Gifts & Toys

To say that I am a fan of the Canadian textile designer Virginia Johnson would be a gross understatement. Her entire collection of scarves, bags, bedding, pillows and jackets all carry her signature style of colourful and whimsical prints. Each piece a work of art.

And while this blog post may seem a little premature, given the snow is only just melting — I couldn’t resist. Baby’s First Bikini pants in lightweight cotton and available in a variety of colours and prints.

Who wouldn’t welcome such a stylish sign of spring?


Bikini -100% cotton $40




For more on Virginia Johnson, check out our 2011 blog post: Cool Styles For Mom


We’re crazy for stripes at the babyscoop. Blue and white, black and white, and especially multi-colored stripes that ooze retro Canadiana appeal. On a recent Fall fashion hunt, our editors spied a few new, hard to resist additions to the iconic HBC Signature collection for kids: thick velour onesies, striped cashmere sweaters, and a matching mitten and hat set. Small luxuries never looked so good! Sizes 0-24 months.


HBC Striped Cashmere Sweater – $95


HBC Striped Cashmere Hat & Mittens (sold separately)


HBC Striped Cotton Onesie with Hat -$45


HBC Cotton Tennis Sweater -$75


If you’re a fan of stripes too — check out the Bay’s stripe spotting photos 


With Fall just around the corner, many of us wanderlusters are looking for ways to hang onto that sense of summer adventure and discovery. Even a favored item of clothing does the trick (just ask my 7 year old, who has been wearing his tie-dye t-shirt non-stop!).

These hip designs for kids from Mixed Up Clothing are chock-full of that great summer vibe. Inspired by textiles, people and cultures around the globe, designer and owner Sonia Kang blends together a diverse sense of colour and pattern for little outfits with high personality and appeal. The line includes rompers, tanks, dresses, pants and a gorgeous little jumpsuit. Even better, the infant sizes have a snap closure at the bottom for easy changing.

Have fun Mixing It Up!



Infant Girl Romper – Piñata


Capris – African Beat


Strappy Romper – White Papel Bonito


Pant Jumpsuit – Pink Marigold


Check out Mixed Up Clothing on facebook and keep up with all baby things hip and happening at Rachel Florio-Urso

This bilingual wooden block set from Elegant Baby may just be the ultimate baby or toddler gift wrapped-up in one!  With an educational bent, these 6-sided blocks featuring delightful hand-drawn pictures, matched up with their first letter and bilingual descriptor (english: Bike; spanish: Bicicleta) provide hours of creative play and learning fun.

spelling blocks toy

For the style-conscious gift-giver, these wooden blocks bring together the beauty of a traditional toy with a retro-contemporary look. We love the eye-catching patterns and unique designs – not to mention, the super-cute illustrations of everything from a Dr. Seuss-esque vase (Jarron) to a snuggly looking Giraffe (Jirafa) – printed onto each block.

And, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing these block sets were cut from natural FSC wood and printed with non-toxic ink to produce a sustainable and safe gift for any child. Really…it’s like the holy trinity of gift-giving.

If you’re looking for the simpler, english-only option, these blocks are also available from Elegant Baby in either a blue/red or pink/green design that appeal to both babies and parents.

With a price tag of $42, these wooden block sets are perfect for just about everyone’s gift-giving budget!


Check out all of elegant baby’s personalized products and keep up with all baby things hip and happening at Rachel Florio-Urso

As everyone knows, kids love to leave birthday parties with something of their own. So, when we stumbled upon these lovely customized favor bags from Sila Boutique, we were more than excited. They add a sweet touch of the personal to any party or gathering.

These 100% cotton bags can be customized in a variety of ways for each guest of your party – be it a baby shower, birthday party or any other special event. You can choose from a variety of options including: baby footprint, butterflies, dinosaurs, fairies, ducks, birthday age, elephants, monkeys, ballet shoes…you can even personalize them with each guest’s name for a special touch. There’s definitely something for everyone.

Fill them with a cookie, candy and small favors. They make for a memorable and thoughtful keepsake.  And who knows, maybe you’ll be remembered as the “Martha Stewart” of party planning!

Party Favor Bags $5 – $7 available online at Sila Boutique.

Personalized Name/Initial Favor Bags

Cutie-pie cupcake favor bags

Customize with the name and age of your guest of honor

The baby footprint bag – perfect for a baby shower

Everyone loves an elephant!

Everyone has their own unique vision of what their delivery day will look like – for me it definitely included not sharing my naked backside with the world at large. I remember while in the throes of labour, being passed two enormous old hospital gowns to slip into, one with the strings to the front, one with the strings to the back, just to keep everything under wraps. Honestly, with everything else you have to think about in preparation for the big day – what you’re wearing shouldn’t be one of them.

The clever team at Gownies have figured this out. With Cameron Diaz and Elizabeth Banks sporting their gorgeous delivery gowns in “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”, gownies have become quite the rage. And why not, they look great. Made of 100% cotton or organic cotton, they come in three generously cut sizes — so you’re comfortable, not swimming in material. Simple snaps don the back and front shoulder panels for easy access and breastfeeding. You can even get matching pillow cases.

Our favourite is the black & white organic cotton Ella, with just a shot of raspberry color on the trim. But not to worry, with fourteen different designs, there’s something for everyone!






Elizabeth Banks in the Nicole Gownie in “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”


Have one? Write A Review and tell others what you think.

You can purchase Gownie designs at and keep up with all baby things hip and happening at Rachel Florio-Urso

18th June, 2012

There are plenty of topics that seriously divide parents, but manners usually isn’t one of them. Who wants to be the parent watching their child chew food with a wide open mouth while simultaneously flinging bread across the table? Or worse, using their shirt as a napkin (something my son has mastered). Well, there’s help to be found.

Table Manners, by golly-gee-pers, is a clever set of cards I’m pretty sure even French children, with their impeccable etiquette, would find fun. The game comes neatly packed in an unbleached cotton pouch with 15 cards depicting good and bad manners (thumbs up = good job, thumbs down = oops). Each child gets 4 cards and exchanges cards with others at the table based on the manners being used.

What I most appreciate (aside from the fact that I no longer have to police mealtimes), is that the game encourages good manners while being motivating at the same time. Gentle reminders include: “hat off at the table, eating too fast, one bite at a time”. They even include 4 customizable cards for those times when you need to improvise. At the end of the meal, players who have earned only thumbs up cards are given the “Ready To Dine Out” card.

Aside from the fact that my kids are now nagging me about my manners — the cards have worked!

Laminated cards are made from 100% recycled material. Good for ages 4+.

At Amazon $12.95




Wandering around a small garden store in Toronto, I spotted these cool paper placemats from Cake Kitchen Table & Home. The founders live in the heart of Nashville with their three young sons and were inspired to design a collection with a distinctively vintage feel. Their creations are all sweet illustrations and whimsical colours with 30% recycled paper.

Just perfect for my three little busy bodies at mealtimes this summer….


A Nashville artist's rendition of vintage chairs adorns this color placemat -$22



25 placemat sheets featuring paper disguises to color-in, punch-out, and wear. $27



Cake Kitchen Papers For Kids





Wendy Tsao (originally from Vancouver) is the genius mom who tapped into the idea of transforming the wonderful imaginary creations of children into one-of-a-kind plush toys.  In her own words, Child’s Own Studio sprouted from a simple idea: to make a recognizable comfort toy for a 4 year-old boy based on his own drawing.  It was an idea that spurred the launch of her home-based craft business and since then she has custom-made hundreds of quirky, loveable, personal soft toys based on children’s drawings, each one as unique as the child who drew it.



We love the quirkiness of her creations and the overall celebration of creativity. If you’re as addicted to these little gems as we are, you can check out Child’s Own Studio flickr feed that features a gallery of hundreds of these unique recreations.  Unfortunately, as popularity goes (and Wendy being only one person) she is currently not taking new orders as she strives to catch up on her waiting list. But keep checking in on her website and facebook page to find out when orders are being accepted again!


What could be better than having a lovingly curated gift box full of pampering products delivered right to your doorstep? Not much, especially when you’re busy tackling a new baby, under-eye circles and deep sleep-deprivation.

Our first ever giveaway features a brand new & super cool monthly gift box service by petitebox, a package full of premium hand-picked products for mom and baby. Launched by the founders of GlossyBox (a highly successful European beauty box brand), the concept is well known to the beauty industry, but fairly new to the expecting and new mom market.

What makes this concept so interesting is that petiteBox focuses as much on mom as they do on baby. The boxes are customized to your stage of pregnancy (from week 17), or to the age of your baby (up to one year). Even better, every month offers a new discovery, so subscribers get access to the hottest new products, some not even on the market yet. Their selection of brands include: Dr Hauschka, Weleda, as well as Earth Friendly Baby and Lansinoh. They even tuck in some helpful tips & advice into your little box of goodies.

Subscriptions are pay-as-you-go monthly – $25 (includes shipping), or you can purchase three or six month subscriptions at a slightly reduced cost.

petiteBox ships across the U.S, so you can send a treat to your favourite pal and their new bundle, and you won’t feel so far away!


Special Giveaway!

Win a 1 month subscription to Petite Box! How to win? Write a Review on any product on thebabyscoop, the more reviews you write, the better chance you have to win! Winners are chosen randomly. Contest runs Friday April 20th, 12pm – Saturday April 28th, 12pm. We will select our winner on April 30th, after 11pm EST.

Don’t forget to drop by our facebook, twitter & Pinterest pages to like us and say hi! Good luck!



There’s very little a parent loves more than a multi-use product. Maamam, a clever design company out of San Francisco clearly understands this, and has launched a series of well-designed, functional products that are genius at multi-tasking. Bath time at our house is not something to be taken lightly – with 3 kids and a dog, it often means going through a number of towels and rarely does anyone (especially me) end up dry. That’s why this product is so appealing. The 4-in-1 aacua is a supremely soft and versatile towel: it serves as an apron to keep you dry while bathing baby, a towel for drying, a babywrap to keep your baby safe and warm (no more reaching for towels), and a bathwrap for toddlers. Plus, it’s 100% cotton terry with a beautiful clean design.

Bath time just got a whole lot easier and a lot more fun! Available at Amazon $42.00



For a video demonstration, watch here:

The Mimijumi bottle is one stylish little milking package. But don’t be fooled, this is definitely not a case of form over function. Created by a superstar team: mothers, nurses, physicians, lactation experts and designers, the (very nipple-like) nipples are made from food-grade silicon and come in the three different nipple designs with various flow rates (slow/medium/fast). And mimijumi has some interesting features, like the integrated ventilation system that helps baby’s digestion. All are BPA and latex-free.

The result is an exceptionally safe and natural bottle, designed to mimic (and complement) the experience of breastfeeding.

For more information, see



Replacement Nipples

Replacement Nipples



Very Hungry Bottle (240ml/8fl oz)

Not So Hungry Bottle (120ml/4fl oz)

19th December, 2011

It’s easy to understand why Tegu’s magnetic wooden blocks made our Top 10 Best Gifts for Kids this holiday. With their soft rounded corners and smooth finish, it’s hard to keep your hands off these little gems. Made from sustainably harvested solid wood (= meant to last), these blocks have little magnets hidden inside, which makes them less likely to tumble after all that time spent making that building really, really tall! There are four different shapes: a cube, a rectangle, and short and long flattened planks.

The blocks are harvested and manufactured in Honduras, an entrepreneurial effort to stimulate the local economy. And for every tree they cut down, they plant well over 100 to replace it.

Perfect for kids 3-99. This is definitely a gift you’ll feel good giving!



Tegu Blocks Carrying Case


Tegu Block Pouch


Anyone who has grappled in the dark dead of night with a newborns buttons or snaps, will rest at the feet of Magnificent Baby. They have designed a very cute line of clothes for babies, that just happens to be incredibly functional too!. Instead of  buttons, snaps or velcro tabs, they have used hidden magnetic fasteners. Made of super soft 100% combed cotton, their collection includes gowns, cardigans, bibs, blankets, a kimono set, and the burrito onesie (my favourite!). They call it the burrito because you open the onesie, insert your favorite ingredients (baby), and close the two flaps in seconds. Sounds like the recipe for a very happy baby (and parents)!

Check out the babyScoop’s personal demo at the ABC Kids Expo:



Above: Gown For Newborn


Above: Unisex Gown and Hat

Above: Bib


Above: The Onesie "Burrito"


Above: Newborn Solid Footie



2nd December, 2011

If the flurry of new kids products hitting the market this season makes you dizzy, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to lay a little bit of shopping love on you with our newly launched Family Gift Guide.  We’ve scoured through our favourite products this year and compiled Top 10 lists for everyone on your list: Mom, Dad, and the Kids. We’ve even included a few helpful ideas for great gifts under $25. There’s a mix of stuff, from good ol’ classics, to a few new and noteworthy finds. Just the right amount of inspiration to get you started.

And to make things even easier – all products in the guide link through to an on-line retailer for easy and instant shopping.

Have Fun!  Family Gift Guide


A sneak peek at what’s inside:

For those of you with insatiable wanderlust, we have found the most interesting, well-designed maps, something you and your kids can stare at as you construct your next adventure. Design Studio, These Are Things has managed to chart the world with gorgeous, modern world maps. Nothing too textbooky or geography class, everything beautifully simplified and colourful, with a modern minimalist slant. Their collection includes a map of the U.S, Europe, and local city maps such as San Francisco and NYC. And their gender neutral feel makes them perfect for kids rooms, or any room in the house!

Above: The original modern world map. Simplified geography with country borders. A selection of countries and oceans are labeled in burgundy.


United States of America Map -Price $99.00

Above: Silkscreened by hand in the USA in five colors plus overprints. Measures 20″ x 30″. Limited edition of 100.


Europe Map - Price: $99.00


NYC City Map - Price $49.00




Amidst the sea of gorgeous toys and gadgets at the ABC KidsExpo, this was one of several products that stood out for us. Made in the USA, Topozoo playsets are completely eco-friendly and, more importantly, endlessly creative for kids.

Topozoo Toy Playset

The Safari toy set (above), includes three animals made up of 5 wooden pieces.  These can be mixed and matched within each set to create over 1200 custom animals.  You’ll find sets designed around themes sure to please any child: Dinosaurs, Owl, Dragons, Unicorns, Monsters, and Spring. And they each come with their own unique combination of wooden pieces, felt fabric add-ons, and color-and-cut-out layers.

Topozoo Dinosaur Playset Toy

And, priced from $14.99 – 29.99, you won’t have to break the bank to add any of these toy playsets to your Christmas shopping list.

Check out the video below where we were given a brief product demonstration from Topozoo.

28th October, 2011

Aside from being captivated by the photo of this beautiful baby, this little slice of fashion is as practical as it is good looking. Created by the makers of the Woombie Swaddle, this peanut-shaped swaddle is a more stylish, eco-friendly way to keep baby comfy and warm. Expected on the market in January 2012, the Modswad is a comfy blend of bamboo and merino wool, with a knot to customize length. So clever. Good for babies up to 9 months.

Above: Price $30.00

Above: Woombie Swaddle

Above: Woombie Swaddle

Everyone seems to be launching a vintage line these days, but no one can lay claim to Canadian Heritage quite like the Hudson’s Bay Company. Canada’s Company of Adventurer’s have been churning out fashionable striped products for over 300 years, and now their gorgeous collection includes a line for babies and kids. We love how the stripes can create a look that is slightly retro and contemporary at the same time.

Image Source: Mjolk via Remodelista

Hudson enjoy his Hudson’s Bay blanket. Photographer: Megan Battersby.

HBC Knit Sweater for Infants -$50.00

HBC Extra-Thick Striped Towel $40.00

HBC Collection Tote $50.00

HBC Multi-coloured Knit Teddy Bear $30.00

Not so much a new product as a perennially hot one. Created by a French toy company in 1961, Sophie’s bumpy head has been chewed, bitten, cuddled and safely loved for over 40 years. Her limbs are perfectly sized, allowing little hands to get a firm hold. And better still – her beauty is all-natural; she is made from 100% natural Malaysian rubber and non-toxic paint.

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