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Give your child a name that’s out of this world (literally!) with these unique baby names influenced by astrology, constellations and our solar system. Whether you name your child after an astrological sign (hello, Leo!) or something that will impress an astronomer (like Cressida, an inner satellite of Uranus), there are lots of heavenly names to choose from.

photo: iStock

Amalthea

Archer

Aries

Ascella

Aurora

Bianca

Caelum

Carina

Celeste

Ciro

Cosmo

Cressida

Cyrus

Elara

Elio

Eos

Estelle

photo: iStock

Faye

Francisco

Galatea

Halley

Helene

Holmes

Janus

Jupiter

Kyler

Larissa

Leo

Lucian

Luna

Maia

Mercury

Miranda

Nash

Nova

Nunki

Nysa

Ophelia

Orion

Pallas

Phoebe

Phoenix

Rhea

Rigel

Saturn

Stella

Themis

Titan

Vega

Venus

—Eva Ingvarson Cerise

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New baby = new ways to celebrate! Make the holidays even more magical with special family traditions you’ll look forward to each year. Try these fun, festive ideas to make this season with your little one as merry and bright as can be.

1. Rock some family Christmas jammies.
Fact: It’s not Christmas until the whole family has donned matching pajamas and snapped silly photos for posterity (or to post on Insta). If you’ve never taken a ride on the matching jammies bandwagon, now that you have a baby, this is your moment. Check out our favorite family jammies.

2. Turn on a holiday film.
Make it a family tradition to cozy up for the same Christmas movies every year. Your childhood favorites, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, are sure to be a hit, but don't hesitate to turn on older classics like It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas. There's no such thing as "too young" when it comes to Christmas movies.

3. Make (or buy) an advent calendar.
Bring baby in on the fun of a holiday countdown with a chocolate-free, baby-friendly version. Or wrap a Christmas-themed book to open and read each night from December 1 to Christmas. To keep costs and clutter down, borrow them from the library and return them. You can then purchase any that become family favorites and build your collection for next year.

4. Take a Christmas lights tour.
Whether you stroll through a particularly festive neighborhood, cruise down a drive-through display, or visit a holiday-themed event at a local botanical garden, kids of all ages love watching the twinkling lights. And you'll love watching the wonder in your baby's eyes as they take in all the sparkly magic.

5. Decorate a gingerbread house.
To minimize mess and maximize fun, keep decorating simple with white frosting and sprinkles. Assemble the house first; then let baby explore the textures (and taste!) of the frosting and develop fine motor skills by adding the colorful candies.

6. Start an ornament collection.
For year one, choose a keepsake ornament personalized with baby’s name and birthdate. In the following years, select an ornament that reflects your little one’s interests for that year. Then, when your child is all grown up and ready to start Christmas traditions of their own (we know; they're never going to leave you, but just in case…), you can send them off with a collection of ornaments that will bring back fond childhood memories.

7. Turn up the holiday tunes.
It's no secret that babies love music and that Christmas music > any other kind of music. Creating a music playlist of holiday tunes will keep baby happy all season long…through those long treks to Grandma's house or navigating the mall parking lot. For song inspo, check out our favorite Christmas songs.

8. Read Christmas stories.
Cozying up on the couch with your child and a special Christmas-themed story is the stuff that traditions are made of. Keep a collection of books—old classics and new favorites—within reach for guaranteed precious moments. Check out our favorite holiday books for babies and toddlers.

9. Attend a community Christmas event, in person or virtually.
Coming together with the people in your community, old and young, to share good cheer is one of the best parts of the season. Whether you prefer a town tree-lighting, a Christmas Eve religious service or a virtual holiday event, baby will love taking in all the friendly faces, colorful decorations and holiday tunes.

10. Design a holiday photo card.
With a baby on the scene, it's time for a personalized photo card. Dress up your child in a Santa hat or their holiday best, snap a few photos, and then share the beautiful results with friends and family. Or, go all out and do a professional family photo shoot. Find more holiday card inspo here: 9 Adorable (& Hilarious) Ideas for Baby’s Holiday Card.

11. Visit a Christmas tree farm.
Selecting your tree from a Christmas tree farm can be a magical experience for the whole family, and the smell of a real tree can't be beat. Your child won't remember that first experience but will enjoy looking back at photos from years past. If you don't have a tree farm nearby, make the tree-buying a family event to give it more holiday spirit.

12. Take a trip to see Santa.
This tradition has an expiration date—maybe at ten years old if your child has an active imagination (or a good sense of humor). So don't let the holidays pass you by without planning baby's first visit with the big guy himself. Even if your child goes into total meltdown mode, the first meeting with St. Nick is guaranteed to be an iconic moment. (Just google "Santa's lap photos" for evidence.)

13. Donate a gift to children in need.
If you have the means, donate a toy or warm clothing to holiday drives in your area. As your child gets older, include them in the process of selecting and donating to other kids to teach the true spirit of Christmas: caring and sharing with others.

 

—Suzanna Palmer

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The Best New Store-Bought Snacks You Haven’t Tried Yet

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If 2020 taught us anything, it was to have a stockpile of healthy snacks for kids ready at home when the hangries strike. Fuel up with these low- or no-sugar store-bought snacks for kids that will boost their brain power and give them the energy they need to play and learn. From brand-new snacks just released in 2021 to healthy snacks we always have in our pantry, read on for the best new store-bought snacks to stock up on now.

Spudsy Sweet Potato Fries

Those misshapen sweet potatoes aren't going to waste! Spudsy take them and upcycles them into a plant-based snack the whole family will love! The brand's Sweet Potato Fries are grain and gluten-free, non-GMO, plant-based and come in three flavors including Hot Fry, Vegan Ranch Fry and Cheese Fry. While you're shopping, be sure to pick up a few of our other faves, cinnamon churro and Bangin' Bar-B-Q sweet potato puffs!

Available at spudsy.com, Amazon and select Kroger stores.

Love, Corn

These are not your Corn Nuts of the 90's! Love, Corn products are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher and come in so many delicious flavors. New this year, Vegan Cheezy makes the perfect, guilt-free snacks for moms and a great addition to school lunches.

Find Love, Corn at Kroger retailers, lovecorn.com and Amazon.

Yumi Fruit Leathers

Perfect for toddlers, big kids and even busy moms, Yumi's fruit leathers come in mixed berry, mango and strawberry flavors. Kids will get a full serving of fruit and vegetables with no added sugar in each strip!

Get them here.

Brainiac Foods

Don't just eat, feed your brain! Brainiac's new products include Brain SqueezersBrain Butters and Smart Tubes & Smoothies that pack a proprietary blend of brain nutrients including Omega‑3s and Choline and are Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Kosher, have no added sugars or artificial flavors and are approved by pediatricians. Did we mention they taste great, too?

Get them here.

RW Garcia Organic Everything Crackers

Get all the things you love about an Everything bagel in a thin, tasty cracker! RW Garcia's delicious snack is organic, verified non-GMO, gluten free, kosher and is made with corn, seeds, garlic and onion.

Find them at local grocers nationwide.

KIND Bar Minis

KIND Minis pack massive taste into 100 calories or less, with choices like Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and Peanut Butter. Kids will love adding them to their lunchbox rotation and you can feel good that they are getting some good nutrition in at snack time. 

Get them here

Good Crisp Cheese Balls

Yes, you can still have your tasty cheese balls and eat them too! The Good Crisp just turned your guilty pleasure into a healthy snack with no fillers, artificial flavors, gluten or GMO's. On top of that, they've added Wellmune, which helps support your kiddos immune system.

You can purchase at thegoodcrispcompany.com, Sprouts and more retailers soon.

GoGo squeeZ AlmondBlend Pudding

Make packing that sweet snack a breeze with GoGos squeeZ brand new AlmondBlend Pudding! The plant-based pouch offers 5 grams of protein and 30% less sugar as compared to traditional dairy pudding so no guilt required.

You can buy the new pouches at gogosqueez.com and Target.

Famous Amos Wonders from the World

The Famous Amos brand is being reimagined for today’s world with three new cookies. While sticking with its bite-sized shape that people know and love, Famous Amos is shaking things up by introducing three new recipes with premium ingredients from around the world including:

  • Belgian Chocolate Chip: An elevated classic chocolate chip cookie with authentic Belgian chocolate
  • Philippine Coconut and White Chocolate Chip: A bite-size variety with coconut from the Philippines
  • Mediterranean Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip: A bite-size variety with hazelnuts from the Mediterranean

Get them here or in a store near you. 

Hungry Buddha Lemon Blueberry Bars

These Lemon Blueberry Bars from Hungry Buddha are the perfect combo of zesty lemon with the sweetness of juicy berries all in one delicious, vegan, plant-powered and allergy-friendly snack bar. These gluten free, Non-GMO bars are packed with 10g of protein and only 2g of sugar, and are made without the use of palm oil, sugar alcohols, dairy or soy. Pick these up at your local Sprouts Market for $2.49.

Catalina Crunch

Catalina Crunch, the makers of delicious keto-friendly cereals and cookies, just released a brand new Crunch Mix that features protein, fiber and specially curated natural ingredients in four delectable flavors: Traditional, Cheddar, Creamy Ranch and Spicy Kick. Each variety is made with the same delicious taste and crunch of your favorite party mixes and features a delicious mix of Catalina Crunch cereal, vibrant seasonings, nuts, chickpea pretzels and (depending on the flavor) cheese crisps. We love to keep these in the car for impromptu park days and hiking trips. 

Purchase here

Perfect Bar Snack Size

Perfect Bar to the rescue! The new snack size is perfect for kiddos and now comes in Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter. Made with organic peanut butter and organic honey, 20+ organic superfoods and six grams of whole food protein, these petite bars make the ideal lunch or after-school snack.

Get them in the refrigerated sections of Target, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway and retailers nationwide for $6.99 for an eight count box.

Undercover Snacks

Healthy ingredients… in disguise! Developed by a mom whose two daughters were diagnosed with celiac disease, all Undercover Snacks are made with carefully sourced all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, simple ingredients and Rain Forest Alliance Certified chocolate.

Undercover Snacks are made with crispy quinoa, which is naturally gluten-free, packed with protein, fiber and nutrients, and has an incredible crunchy texture. They are made in a dedicated facility that is free of the top ten food allergens. For lunchboxes, tuck one of their single-serve packs in as a treat! 

Get them here

Without a Trace Foods

Looking for healthy, allergy-friendly snacks to pack in your kid's backpack or lunchbox that are free from the top 8 allergens? Look no further! Developed by a mom whose children have severe food allergies, Without a Trace offers a mouthwatering variety of plant-based, gluten-free Chewy Granola Bars, Power Bites and Cookies. They are perfect for tucking in lunchboxes or as a grab-n-go snack for everyone in the family. 

Get them here

Thinful Guiltless Snack Mix

A sweet, popcorn-based treat without all the extra added sugar? Yes please! Just a 1/2 cup clocks in at 60 calories and 2 grams of sugar thanks to their all-natural sweeteners. Now you can feel good about treating the kids without any of the guilt. 

Get them here.

Dick and Jane Educational Snacks

Make snack time fun and educational! Dick and Jane's educational snacks are all-natural, non-GMO and 100% nut-free. Each pack is made with crackers imprinted with learning opportunities like spelling, abbreviations and more. Varieties currently include States & Capitals, Presidents, English & Spanish, Food & Nutrition, Fun & Fitness and Farmers Market.

Get them here, $25 for 30 variety pack

KRAVE Zero Sugar Jerky

KRAVE recently introduced a new Zero Sugar Jerky line that marries grass-fed beef with all the flavor and none of the sugar. Your kids will love the two new flavors: Sonoma Style BBQ and Southwest Hatch Chile. KRAVE Zero Sugar Jerky perfects bold flavor and tender texture for a snack that delivers on taste and nutrition—both 100% grass-fed beef jerky flavors have 12g of protein, 0g of sugar and only 1.5g of fat per serving.

KRAVE Zero Sugar Jerky is available now in select CVS stores nationwide and online at kravejerky.com, with availability in Meijer, Kroger and on Amazon coming soon.

Belgian Boys

Belgian Boys make delicious non-GMO European sweets and you're going to want to stock up on them for your next road trip. Kids will especially love the speculoos cookies that come in the too-cute mustache shape and the Belgian chocolate cookie bars (hide these, you'll want them for yourself). Try their frozen breakfast items like waffles and bite-sized pancakes for on-the-go munching.

Find them here or at a store near you

Brave Good Kind Tender Chicken Bars

Up your protein game this year with these in your backpack. Perfect for a day at the beach or a hiking adventure, these jerky bars are the savory treat your crew needs. Hot Honey is our favorite with its sweet kick. Tender Chicken Bars also come in teriyaki and original flavors. 

Get them here

Pure Batch

Plant-based eaters, listen up! Pure Batch has grab-and-go cookie batches that include four types of truffles, a protein brownie and  refrigerated-to-eat cookies. You'll love knowing that you are feeding your body with something nutritious while also enjoying a sweet treat. 

Get them here

2Betties

2Betties creates dairy-free, nutrient-dense mini donuts with no refined sugars. We love them for a hiking treat to motivate the kids to keep going! They are currently offered in six delicious flavors: Chocolate Chunk, Maple Cinnamon, Sweet Almond, Mocha Chip, Vanilla Bean, and Pumpkin Spice. Hide the wrapper and your guests will think you’re an expert donut maker.

Get them here or find them in a store near you, $2.99. 

DINO BARS

Developed by parents, DINO BARS are the healthy, travel-friendly bar that your kids will love eating. They are wrapped in edible paper and available in three fun flavors: strawberry, blueberry, and mango. Parents will love that they are non-GMO, USDA certified organic and free from nuts, gluten, soy, and dairy. 

Get them here.

Horizon Organic's Yogurt Pouches and Cultured Dairy Smoothies

Horizon Organic's newest offerings from their Growing Years line include a yummy dairy smoothie and yogurt pouches. The dairy smoothie comes in a small container that's perfect for school lunches or a quick snack. We also love that these new snacks were developed with the help of a pediatrician, so you'll know your kids are getting great nutrition. 

Available at Target, $4.99 for a 4-pack & up. 

RIND Skin-On Dried Fruit

Sink your teeth into RIND’s new Skin-In Dried Fruit snacks! The chewy, tasty snacks have no added sugar and 4-6g of fiber per serving. Because the skin is still on, kiddos will get more vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber than other dried fruit brands. Not only that, they are non-GMO project verified, Kosher certified, allergen-friendly and gluten-free. We love all the flavors that include Tropical Blend, Straw-Peary, Orchard, Tangy Kiwi, Coco-Melon and Coconut Crisps.

Get them here.

Seapoint Farms Mighty Lil’ Lentils

Enjoying lentils never tasted so good! Perfect to enjoy by the handful or tossed on a salad, these salty snacks pack plant-based protein, are gluten-free and have vegan options. Choose from Pink Himalayan Salt, Barbeque, Falafel and Cinnamon Sugar.

Get them here.

Quinn

Quinn is known for making crazy delicious and totally craveable pretzels and microwave popcorn using only 100% REAL, simple ingredients and kicking artificial ingredients and unpronounceables to the curb. We love the maple almond butter filled pretzels for family hikes and the whole grain sea salt pretzel sticks for school lunches. 

Get them here

Supernola

For on-the-go snacking that you can count on to be free of junk, look to Supernola. These superfood clusters come in Triple Berry Vanilla, Dragon Fruit Lemon Zest, Honey Sweet Goji, Banana Nut Crunch, and Dark Chocolate Nut Crunch. Supernola fits many specialty diets including Paleo, Keto (4 flavors), Vegan (4 flavors), and is naturally dairy, gluten, grain, peanut and refined sugar-free.

Get them here.

Tia Lupita Tortilla Chips

Chips made out of cactus? Just say YES to Tia Lupita! These grain-free chips come in flavors like sea salt (our favorite), salsa verde, hot sauce, and chipotle, you'll definitely find one that you love. 

Get them here

Clio Less Sugar Yogurt Bars

The world's first Greek yogurt bar wrapped in chocolate has two new flavors! Delicious enough to pass for dessert, the Coconut and Berry Açaí treats are just 100 calories, contain one gram of sugar and pack eight grams of protein.

The two newest flavors are available exclusively at Whole Foods and you can find the others by visiting cliosnacks.com.

Raisels Pick-Your-Mix

Raisels, the creators of the fun-flavored Golden Raisins, has just launched the perfect way to get the flavors you want sent right to your door. The new Pick-Your-Mix option will allow you to mix-and-match delicious Raisel packs to create a perfect, custom Raisels box. Choose from among 7 options to bring the sweet, sour and slightly-spicy Raisel flavors to you. We love these as an alternative for kids who love sour candies—they won't know they're really eating fruit! 

Bobo's Almond Brownie Oat Bars and Bites

Bobo's is back with new whole grain snacks! Get ready to let kiddos sink their teeth into gluten-free whole grain oats, cocoa, chocolate chips and chocolate almond butter in the new almond brownie oat bars and bites. Not only that, choose from brand new strawberry and apple stuff'd oat bites for a fruity snack that keeps you full.

Available here

Solely Organic Whole Fruit Gummies

Solely's new Organic Whole Fruit Gummies contain only two or three ingredients, real whole fruit and a little Vitamin C. Every pouch offers 0.7 ounces of fruit, is only 60-70 calories and has no added sugar, preservatives, gelatins, colors, or gums. They're also USDA organic, Kosher, and Non-GMO verified. Choose from Organic Mango and Organic Mango & Orange flavors!

Available exclusively at Whole Foods Market.

LesserEvil Lil' Puffs

We'll just come out and say it: these new snacks from LesserEvil are so delicious you'll want to buy one bag for them, and one bag for you. The brand-new line includes flavors like Veggie Blend, Sweet Potato Apple, Non-Dairy Cheddar and Strawberry Beet. The puffs, which are in fun star-like shapes, use organic coconut oil and offer zero grams of sugar. They're certified USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO project verified, grain-free and gluten-free. The tasty snacks are best for toddlers 12 months and older. 

Available at Whole Foods and LesserEvil.com

 

JUSTIN'S® Refrigerated Almond Butter Protein Bars

We love these refrigerated bars for on-the-go snacking as they come in kid-friendly flavors like Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate Chip Almond Butter and Honey Almond Butter. Pop them in your purse for a protein-rich, plant-based snack that you can feel good about serving. With 10g of protein per bar, you can definitely keep the hangries away. 

Available online or at a grocery store near you.

Brave Good Kind Chicken Bites

We love this delicious line of tender chicken snacks made from real, wholesome ingredients like antibiotic-free chicken and various spices and we think you will too. They’re available in three flavors: Original, Teriyaki, and Hot Honey and they're the perfect option for hikes or to keep in your purse for when the hangries hit. High in protein, they can definitely get you through a playdate at the park that ran through lunchtime. 

Buy them here

Butterfly Nut Butter

Give their lunches a colorful boost with Butterfly's brand-new nut butter that comes in two unique colors and flavors: Blue Dream and Pink Panther. Each is a unique mix of walnut, cashews, macadamia and MCT oil. The color comes from pitaya (dragon fruit) and blue spirulina. Both new flavors are organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free.

Available at butterflysuperfoods.com

 

Serenity Kids Grain-Free Puffs

If your babe is a puff fanatic turn to the brand-new grain-free puffs from Serenity Kids. With zero grams of sugar and no fillers like rice and grains, Serenity Kids leads with cassava root and real veggies. Choose from flavors like Carrot & Beet with Olive Oil, Broccoli & Spinach with Bone Broth and Tomato & Mushroom with Bone Broth. The entire line is non-GMO and USDA Organic certified. 

Available at myserenitykids.com

Urban Remedy Plant-Based Protein Bars

This uber-fresh plant-based food company gets a 10,000/1000 rating from our editors, which basically means these protein bars are beyond tasty! Handcraft and plant-based, Urban Remedy's bars are low in sugar, high in protein and rich in healthy fats. Currently, they are available in Cacao, Matcha and Superfood Chaga flavors. 

Available at urbanremedy.com and amazon.com

Catalina Crunch Keto Sandwich Cookies

Ditch your traditional sandwich cookies that are loaded with sugar for these low-carb treats that taste delicious! Packed with 4g plant protein, 2g sugar and only 5g net carbs. 100% plant-based, nothing artificial, great macros and now available in four flavors: Chocolate Vanilla, Chocolate Mint, Vanilla Crème and Peanut Butter.

Available here

Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream

These delicious mochi ice cream bites are available in individually-wrapped packaging and are gluten free and non-GMO. Made with all-natural ingredients, they are a tasty, no-mess, perfectly portioned treat everyone will enjoy. The new single serve mochi are available in varieties including Vegan Chocolate, Vegan Strawberry, and (non-vegan) Green Tea, Triple Chocolate, Cookie Dough Bites and more at the self-serve freezers in Whole Foods and other grocery stores nationwide! 

CLIF Kid Zbars: Cinnamon Roll

Our tots adore Zbars (and we do, too), which is why we're eager to let you know about CLIF Kid's brand new flavor: cinnamon roll. It's packed with whole grain oats and swirls of cinnamon, and it tastes just like your fave doughy cinnamon rolls (but without the gooey, sticky mess). 

Available at shop.clifbar.com

Nature's Bakery Baked-Ins

Our kids can't get enough of Nature's Bakery fig bars, which means this brand has set the bar high for kids (and adult) snacks. Good news: Nature Bakery's brand-new soft-baked bars are just as delicious as their beloved fig bars. The new snack comes in two flavors: Chocolate Oat and Banana Chocolate Chip. Both flavors feature organic whole grains, fruits and veggies with 9 grams of whole grains, fruits, veggies and chocolate chips. They're free of high fructose corn syrup and are nut-, dairy- and soy-free. Our toddler loved the bar and we thought that it was soft enough to give to our 11 month old who devoured it as well.

Available at target.com

Mavericks Snacks Cookiez and Crackerz

Launched in early 2020, Mavericks Snacks is new to the snacking game. But that doesn't mean they're going unnoticed. Mavericks Snacks was recently voted "Best New Healthy School Snack" and are winning kids (and parents) over with their delicious Cookiez and Crackerz. Their Cookiez have 40% less sugar than the leading kids cookie and their Crackerz boast 8 grams of whole grains. All snacks are non-GMO and peanut-free.

Available at mavericksnacks.com

HighKey Snacks

This keto-friendly snack brand strives to make OG-tasting products in a healthier way. Each product is gluten-free, grain-free, made with clean ingredients and has no added sugar. Shop seven delicious products for 2021 that include Caramel Clusters, Salted Caramel Mini Cookies and Vanilla Shortbread Mini Cookies.

Available on Amazon and HighKey.

GOOD GOOD Krunchy Keto Bars

A great on-the-go snack, GOOD GOOD's Krunchy Keto Bars taste like a dessert. Packed with nutrients, each bar is loaded with eight to 13 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and has no added sugar. Choose from Raspberry Cheesecake and Caramel Friendly flavors in this snack that is great for parents and kiddos! 

Available at Amazon.

ICONIC Kids Protein Shakes

We all know how hard it is to get kids to eat healthy—the constant battle over sugar and veggies never ends. That's why ICONIC® Kids was created. It's a delicious kid’s drink with 0g of added sugar, a full serving of daily organic vegetables, Vitamin D3, and a taste that will trick kids into thinking it’s dessert. Try the sample pack and you'll get two of each of these flavors: Fruity Fiesta (tastes like the milk leftover from a bowl of Fruit Loops), Chocolate Carnival (as decadent as a sliver of rich dark chocolate cake) and Vanilla Vacay (tastes JUST like a vanilla milkshake). 

Buy them here

 

Without a Trace Power Bites

Gluten-free and plant based, Without a Trace's Power Bites are tasty as can be. The allergen-friendly bites are made with real ingredients and are free from chemicals, fillers, are non-GMO and the Big 8, plus sesame. Enjoy these fork-free morsels in Red Raspberry and Cinna-Monster.

Available at withoutracefoods.com.

Snacking Avocado from Earnest Eats

Snacking Avocado is a uniquely light and crispy clean-ingredient snack made with slices of real Hass avocados that are freeze-dried and simply seasoned with sea salt and spices. Available in three savory flavors, including Sea Salt, Sea Salt Lime and Roasted Chipotle, the nutritious new line is vegan, keto, gluten-free, Non-GMO, high-fiber and sugar free. 

Available on Amazon

Dark Chocolate Mint from Kate's Real Food

Addicted to Thin Mints but looking for a better-for-you option? Check this out! Kate's Real Food just launched their newest all-natural energy bar flavor, Dark Chocolate Mint, and you're going to love it. Like all Kate’s Real Food products, the Mint Bar is loaded with tasty USDA-certified organic ingredients, including cool peppermint extract, smooth dark chocolate, natural cacao powder, creamy peanut butter and certified gluten-free oats. It also includes organic, dried bits of cacao beans, adding texture to the bar with chocolate in a pure, unaltered form.

Available on Amazon

The Soulfull Project Granola

For a breakfast or on-the-go snack you can feel good about, we love The Soulfull Project's new granola. Made with steel-cut oats, brown rice crisps and puffed quinoa, your kids will love the "no junk" flavors of maple pecan, toasted coconut and dark chocolate cherry. You'll feel good knowing that for every serving of a Soulfull Project item that is purchased, one is donated to a food bank in that same region.

Bubba's Fine Foods Sweet & Savory Nut Mixes

These brand-new nut mixes from Bubba’s Fine foods come in six different flavors, three savory, and three sweet. Each one is filled with real food ingredients, and pack a whopping seven grams of protein. The 1.2oz serving size makes this an easy snack for busy parents and kids alike. And, if you’re trying to eat a more keto-focused diet, these nut mixes also only have three grams of net carbs per serving, too! 

Available at Amazon.

Clio Less Sugar Yogurt Bar

Clio has launched a new less-sugar Greek yogurt bar in two flavors, peach and mixed berry. With only one gram of sugar and eight grams of protein, this is a sweet treat you can feel good about sharing with the kids.

Available at Clio and Walmart stores nationwide.

KIND EQUALITY Bar

You know and love KIND bars for their low-sugar combo of nuts, dark chocolate, salt and much more. Now, they've just launched their second-edition EQUALITY bar. While the bar itself is the favorite Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut, but the new wrapper is custom designed by a Black female artist, and it represents a world that’s beautifully diverse, inclusive and equitable. 

Available at KIND Snacks

Greater Than Performance Drinks

Ditch the sugary sports drink and hydrate with Greater Than instead. With new flavors that include Strawberry Lemonade and Peach Clementine, this electrolyte drink is non-GMO, gluten and dairy free, 100 percent vegan, organic and paleo friendly. It's perfect for busy kids and parents on the go!

Available at drinkgt.com

—Editorial Team

All images courtesy of retailers.

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase. 

 

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The only thing better than a snuggly pair of pajamas on a cold winter night is knowing that somewhere a child in need is staying warm too because of your good deed. The Carter’s Pajama Program is back this year to help keep kids across the country stay warm and cozy this winter.

Carter’s is celebrating the 12th year of its partnership with the incredible Pajama Program. Now through Dec. 24, 2021, customers can make a donation in-store at any Carter’s location or online to provide kids everywhere the comfort of new jammies.

The Pajama Program is a national nonprofit organization that promotes and helps to provide a comforting bedtime routine for children in need. In addition to your own contribution, Carter’s its continuing its tradition of donating 100,000 pairs of PJ’s. Since the partnership, the brand has donated over 2 million pajamas!

To make your donation online, simply click the monetary amount you’d like to donate on the checkout page when you place your order.

If you plan to donate in store after picking up your kiddos own jammies, simply let the cashier know upon checkout.

—Karly Wood

All photos: Courtesy of Carter’s

 

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There’s so much about wooden toys that we love: they blend in with grown-up décor so easily and literally last forever (hello, resale value!). Etsy has all of our top picks for wooden toys like the versatile Pikler triangle, too-cute play kitchens, Montessori toys, personalized gifts and more. Consider this your wooden toy shopping list.


Pikler Triangle

$220   BUY NOW

If you don't have a Pikler triangle in your home, you need to get on it. Not only are these all the rage for indoor climbing for little ones, but they have a high resale value when you are ready to pass them on. 


Inclusive Wooden Peg Dolls

$67   BUY NOW

We love this option for your Montessori-inspire playroom. These wooden peg dolls are hand-painted in rainbow colors with different skin tones, encouraging open-ended play.


Fairy Tree House

$107   BUY NOW

We love all the details on this wooden fairy treehouse that will soon be the most-play-with item in your playroom.


Large Waldorf Natural Rocker

$199   BUY NOW

You'll love this multi-use piece for your home as it is functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Kids can rock on one side and then flip it over for a climber/tunnel. 


Wooden Grasshopper Puzzle

$45   BUY NOW

This little guy will look so adorable on your bookshelf and the kids will love putting it together again and again. 


Wooden Play Gym

$22   BUY NOW

Keep your baby busy with this fun play gym that has five hanging toys just within reach. 


Personalized Grimm's Rainbow Stacker

$55   BUY NOW

This Maple, Cherry and Walnut nesting arch set is fun and engaging for caregivers and their young children. You can even have it personalized!


Dusty Green Play Kitchen with Oven

$433   BUY NOW

We are totally enamored by this handcrafted play kitchen with oven, cupboard, cooktop, sink, water tap and drawer. Your little one will want to bake a cake in thanks for this gift and you'll love that the dusty green color blends in with your aesthetic. The seller can also customize a kitchen to your specifications and offers other colors like dusty pink and natural wood. 

Find all our favorite play kitchens here.


Wobble Board

$62   BUY NOW

You'll love all the ways the kids will play with this balance board and climber. It comes in a natural wood finish or rainbow! 


Mandala Loose Parts Kit

$43   BUY NOW

Kids can learn shapes, colors, counting, sequencing and more with this colorful kit. 


Wooden Toy Camera

$15   BUY NOW

Get your little one's name carved into their very own wooden camera. What photos will they want to take? 


Name Train

$50   BUY NOW

Isn't this just the perfect holiday gift? Get your child's name in this personalized train that includes a steam engine, caboose and personalized name letter cars. 


Wooden Heart Stacker

$44   BUY NOW

This Montessori toy will be one that the kids will use over and over. And how cute will it be on your bookshelf?


Personalized Toy Truck

$21   BUY NOW

This little wooden truck is great for toddler birthday gifts as it's the perfect keepsake. 


Very Hungry Caterpillar Lacing Toy

$30   BUY NOW

Lacing toys are great for working on fine motor skills and sequencing. You'll especially love this one that is everyone's favorite Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed! 


Grasshopper Pull Toy

$35   BUY NOW

Your tiny person will love pulling this grasshopper around your house and seeing how the legs move up and down as they go!

—Kate Loweth

RELATED STORIES

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The Smart Moms’ Guide to Montessori Toys for Babies & Toddlers

Back to Basics: The 10 Best Non-Electronic Toys for Babies & Toddlers

Read next

Even if you’ve Konmaried your home, there’s still a fair amount of stuff you can’t help but accumulate because well, parenthood. While minimalism may not be in the cards, it’s easier than ever now to buy smart from eco-friendly and sustainable brands. From covet-worthy bags that are cruelty-free to goods made out of recycled water bottles, we uncovered forward-thinking products and gear that you can feel good investing in. Read on for our picks.

Sheets Laundry Club

Sheets Laundry Club is saving the planet from plastic "one laundry sheet at a time." The company's products are simple and clean and all packaged without plastic! We especially love their signature patented Laundry detergent sheets: pre-measured, dehydrated sheets of detergent that dissolve instantly in the wash and make laundry so easy, the kids can help. Stock up on basics like eco-friendly dryer sheets, scent boosters and cleaning products for the home, each of which reduce your carbon footprint.

Available: sheetslaundryclub.com

Cloth + Bristle

You're going to love this Black-owned, woman-owned business that offers nontoxic household cleaners delivered right to your door. April Sargies, founder of Cloth + Bristle, took her more than 25 years of experience in the professional cleaning industry and identified limited options within the market for products that were free of the toxins/chemicals that worked effectively on delicate and fine surfaces. This problem inspired Cloth + Bristle, and the renowned patent pending No. 001 all-purpose cleaning product. You can order up one-time delivery or get it sent to you on the regular via their subscription service. 

Available: clothandbristle.com

Cleo+Coco

Finding natural and sustainable beauty products that work just got easier. Cleo+Coco's products are made with plant-based ingredients that have been carefully vetted for quality, potency and safety. Shop cleansing bars, deoderants and dry shampoos/body powders that are  safe, nontoxic and synthetic fragrance and filler free. When it come to packaging, Cleo+ Coco's deodorants come in 100% recyclable bottles with compostable refills powders.

Available: cleoandcoco.com

Blueland

Blueland is changing household cleaning with its efforts to eliminate single-use plastic packaging. The company has already diverted close to 2 billion single-use plastic bottles and is a B Proud Corporation Certified brand. You can find soaps, cleaning sprays, laundry and dish products that come in tablet or powder form and are mixed with household tap water that saves both money and space.

Available: blueland.com

Lemi Shine

It doesn't have to cost a lot to get safe, effective cleaning products. Lemi Shine is made with plant-based ingredients, biodegradable formulas, powerful citric extracts and is free from bleach, ammonia, parabens, gluten and alcohol. 

Available: Amazon, Walmart, Kroger and Target.

Hello Bello Plant-Based Cleaning Line

Hello Bello has delved into cleaning with its new plant-based line that comes with vibrant packaging, environmentally-friendly design and pleasant scents. Coming in three products that include a Glass Cleaner, Multi-Surface Cleaner and Wood and Floor Cleaner, each product comes in a reusable bottle and with interchangeable scent pods. The entire line is plant-based and made without synthetic fragrances or dyes, bleach, ammonia, MIT & BIT, gluten or phosphate. Plus, Hello Bello’s reusable bottles results in a 90% smaller carbon footprint and 80% plastic use reduction. The 3-Pack Cleaning Starter Kit is available in lemongrass sage and cucumber scenes and retails for $24.98, making it one of the most affordable sustainable cleaning lines.

Available at hellobello.com

Partner

Maxi-Cosi's PureCosi™

Maxi-Cosi knows carrying the future means protecting your little one, and our planet. With the new PureCosi™ product line, they've developed children’s car seats that meet flammability standards through material and design choices, not with added chemicals. Now, you can get the Coral™ XP Infant Car Seat or the Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat with high-quality fabrics that are removable, washable and made without added fire retardant treatments. Plus Maxi-Cosi's cupholders are made without BPA, so your little one can snack happily in their Pria™ 85 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat!

Learn more.

Each & Every

Each & Every is bringing customers natural deodorants, fragrance and shampoo bars with ingredients that are all validated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The company's lineup of products are vegan, cruelty-free and made with plant-based packaging for deodorants. Tinybeans editors love the natural deodorants that come in 10 fragrance options, are made with just six base ingredients and contain no aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrances, baking soda or gluten.

Online: amazon.com and eachandevery.com

Grow Fragrance

Did you know that the majority of fragrance products today use harmful chemicals? Grow Fragrance is different. They use a farm-to-table approach that relies on nature and what’s in season to inform the scents they create–– and they disclose every ingredient used in their products. The brand is a Certified B-Corporation, and are a part of the Leaping Bunny Program and 1% for the Planet initiatives. Grow Fragrance candles are the first-ever certified 100% plant-based, toxin-free candles. and are intentionally designed with sustainability in mind. Each insert is made from aluminum that can be recycled after use.

Online: growfragrance.com

Grove Collaborative

Grove Collaborative makes getting clean products into your home a breeze. The sustainable home and personal care service delivers a huge variety of sustainable and eco-friendly products to your home, with recurring deliveries as an option. Every product is B-corp certified and all orders are 100 percent plastic neutral. Choose from well-known brands that include Mrs. Meyer's, Seventh Generation, Stasher, method and Babyganics in addition to Grove's own sustainable lineup of products.

Online: grove.co

photo: Cadence

Cadence

We love this option for traveling with your personal care items from Cadence. Meet Cadence, the first magnetic and refillable capsule made from recycled ocean-bound plastic that is designed to effortlessly move with you no matter where life takes you. Pack your vitamins in your purse or bring your favorite shampoo with you when you travel, Cadence is there for it all. 

Available here

Botanical Origin

Botanical Origin is here for your laundry needs. The plant-based cleaning brand's formulas are sensitive, hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, that are free from dye and brighteners. Currently, the brand uses between 0-25 percent post consumer recycled plastic with a goal of 100 percent by 2022. You can currently shop two gorgeous fragrances for laundry detergent and softener, Fresh Jasmine & Wild Lavender and Orange Blossom & Citrus Leaves.

Available exclusively on Amazon.

Wondercide

Wondercide is the leader in safe and effective pest protection for pets, families, and homes. All products are naturally derived, DEET free, have no harsh chemicals and are safe and effective. In addition, Wondercide is a Green America, gold-certified business for high standards in social and environmental impacts and all their products are made with biodegradable and recyclable packaging. Customers can shop tons of products that include flea and tick spray, skin and haircare for pets, mosquito repellants, indoor and outdoor pest control and more.

Online: wondercide.com

Bare + Bloom

After struggling to find hair and beauty products to fit their needs, the Nayel family decided to create their own, and Bare + Bloom was born. Featuring natural ingredients, this eco-friendly skin and hair care line is handcrafted in small batches, and they've got something for every member of the family. New moms will love the nipple butter and the talc-free baby powder, dads will like the soothing shave butter, and kids will appreciate the overnight detangling hair cream. Prices are affordable, and they offer free shipping to 48 states. 

Online: bareandbloomnaturals.com

photo: Kizik

Kizik

Kizik gets that saving time is a top priority for parents and they've come out with two new shoe lines that both offer easy-on technology, Cairo and Madrid Eco Knit. Both are available in a variety of colors and allow the wearer to pop them on without bending down or breaking the heel. Best of all, both were designed using Kizik’s environmentally-friendly fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and the 4-way stretch air mesh upper means it’s breathable so you don’t have to worry about sweaty feet. 

photo: Zazubean

Zazubean

Zazubean is a chocolate brand that stands for promoting an ethical and sustainable balance while striving to conserve biodiversity, foster the cycling of resources and making certain that their chocolate would never subject itself to any GMO's or non-organic modalities throughout the entire production process. The brand carries a collection of decadent, smooth, healthy chocolates with NO added sugar or 1/2 added sugar that are sure to hit your taste buds! 

Get yours here

Bodhi Beverly Hills

Bodhi Beverly Hills uses recycled cardboard for product cartons as well as glass containers for packaging to eliminate plastic waste. As a brand that is 100% Cruelty Free Vegan, Toxic and Made in the USA, the Natural Dream Beyond Peppermint Exfoliating Cleanser is the perfect wakeup to any morning routine. Bold and invigorating peppermint deeply cleanses the skin while using natural oils and extracts to gently exfoliate the face and body.

Get yours here, $36. 

HOMMEFACE

HOMMEFACE was created to give skincare solutions that are easy, simple, safe, but still effective. To reduce waste, their products come in “long-lasting volume” meaning their large bottle sizes enable the consumer to use the products without the need to frequently replenish them. 

The Daily Skincare Trio Set is a 3-step skincare set for men that is made with no alcohol and only natural ingredients while providing healthy skin & a better shave experience. The set includes: Daily Face Wash, Herbal Spray Toner and Face Moisturizer. All products are vegan, natural, certified cruelty-free and include no parabens or SLS.

Get yours here, $45. 

photo: Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot

We love that Viviobarefoot is thinking about our planet. They just launched their shoe amnesty program which allows customers to return their footwear through reconditioning, re-commerce platform, ReVivo with the option to receive 20% off of a new pair of Vivobarefoot shoes or have a donation made on behalf to the LiveBarefoot Foundation, an in-house incubation that pioneers regeneration solutions for environmental and social problems. 

Branch Basics

Getting rid of harmful chemicals and swapping for nontoxic cleaning alternatives just got easier. Branch Basics best-selling multi-purpose Concentrate makes cleaning simple with a nontoxic formula that is safe for families and can be mixed with water to make a variety of cleaners, including bathroom, all-purpose, hand soap and even laundry soap. Each product is human safe, plant and mineral-based, biodegradable, non-GMO, not tested on animals and free of harmful preservatives.

Online: branchbasics.com

photo: Handed By

Handed By Bags

Style plus sustainability intersect with these bags from Handed By. Made of 70% recycled plastic, the bags aren't mass produced in factories, instead, the company collaborates with dedicated craftspeople to hand weave small-scale production runs and in doing so, forms long-term personal partnerships. We could totally see loading one of these up with your favorite snacks and taking it for a day at the beach

Get yours here, $57 and up. 

photo: Green Goo

Green Goo

Green Goo is all about using plants in their huge lineup of skincare, soaps, first aid, sanitizer, mama and baby and even animal care products. They are made with plant-based ingredients that are gentle, effective, cruelty-free, and sustainably sourced. All products are free from petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates and other dangerous additive. Because they are free from chemicals, many of their items can be used on multiple needs at once, which means less products crowding your medicine cabinets, and more non-toxic goodness.

Online: greengoo.com

photo: Public Goods

Public Goods

Public Goods is your one-stop shop for sustainable grocery, household, and personal care products. The marketplace's affordable and good for the planet products are eco-friendly and simply designed, in simple black and white. For an annual membership of $79, members get access to cruelty-free manufacturing, sustainable packaging, tons of vegetarian and vegan options, gluten free, no harmful chemicals, zero waste, biodegradable and compostable products.

Get a membership at publicgoods.com

Boob Design: A Nursing Collection You'll Wear Long After You're Done Feeding Baby

When you're a sleep-deprived new mom, 3 a.m. impulse buys of ill-fitting nursing clothes may seem like a good idea. But for styles that'll make you look and feel your best—and are kind to the environment—there's no better option than the nursing collection from Boob Design. They make garments with a purpose, meaning their designs are intentionally meant to be worn from bump to toddlerhood and beyond. All their styles are made of sustainable materials that are traceable from fiber to final garment and they only work with factories that respect their code of conduct. Plus, they're GOTS-certified (learn more about their sustainability code of ethics here). Bottom line: Boob Design knows what's best for the environment and for new moms. What more could you want? Online: boobdesign.com

 

Snapper Rock: Sustainable Swimwear Made from Recycled Products

In January of this year swimwear brand, Snapper Rock released Oceania, their first sustainable swimwear capsule collection made from recycled products. The reef-inspired collection features their signature UPF50+ technology and includes styles for parents and kids that range from bikinis to rash tops to board shorts, baby sets and more. According to Snapper Rock, “by selecting recycled materials, [they] can reduce the consumption of nonrenewable resources, such as oil and coal, reduce water and energy use, and help to clean up our beaches and oceans from discarded waste.” Sounds like a win-win to us. Online: snapperrock.com

photo: Dyper

Dyper: The Compostable Diaper

In the past, if you wanted eco-friendly diapers, your only choice was cloth diapers...until now. Month-to-month subscription service, Dyper is giving parents another option for diapering with their chemical-free and totally compostable diapers. Durable, absorbent and free of all the chemicals, inks and phthalates you want nowhere near baby, Dyper’s goods are convenient (manage your deliveries using the website or mobile app) and affordable ($68/month). Running out of diapers? Rely on Dyper’s service that sends extra diapers within 4-24 hours. Plus, with each order of their compostable diapers, the company purchases carbon offsets on behalf of the customer.

Dyper has partnered with TerraCycle on ReDyper, a composting program where subscribers can opt-in and receive bags and a specially-designed box to send diapers out for compost. Subscribers can download a prepaid shipping label and all waste composted will be used in projects such as vegetation in highway medians.

Online: dyper.com

photo: Reima

Reima: Activewear with a Conscious 

Finnish-based brand Reima is no stranger to kids activewear. Expect bright, bold prints, non-toxic waterproof finishes and materials that include recycled polyester and biodegradable, mulesing-free wool. Their current winter collection includes fan favorites like the Silda Reflective Jacket that’s designed with reflective prints to keep your kiddo safe,  Kinsei, a quick drying wool base layer that allows for less micro plastic shedding in washes, and the Nalle, a winter suit for baby designed using plastic bottles. Keep an eye out for Reima’s upcoming seasonal collections, which we’re guessing will be just as impressive as this winter’s one. Online: us.reima.com/

photo: Apple Park

Apple Park: Whimsical Toys & Clothes for Baby & Kids

After having her firstborn 10 years ago, mom Angie Ting discovered that eco-friendly, organic and hypoallergenic toys and clothes for baby just weren’t widely available. Her disappointment led to the inception of Apple Park, which today is known for colorful and whimsical toys, clothes and accessories. Their newest Organic Farm Buddies collection, launching March 2020, starts at $11 with nothing over $37. Expect fun hippos, flamingos, zebras and more, all made with organic fibers and sustainable ingredients. Online: applepark.com

Rivers Eight: Cruelty-free Luxury

Luxury doesn’t equate to cruelty. At least that’s the way Rivers Eight sees things. Their luxe handbags and travel accessories are faux skin, and to the naked eye may get PETA riled up. But, rest assured the entire hand-crafted collection is cruelty-free and made right in L.A Current fan favorite is this 3-in-1 bag, which is a fold-over belt bag, cross-body bag and clutch all in one. So go ahead and celebrate the animal kingdom with Rivers Eight, all without negatively impacting their population. Online: riverseight.com

Rothy’s: Put Your Best Foot Forward with These Kid Sneakers

Rothy’s has a cult following amongst women so it’s only natural that they’re just as popular with the pint-sized set. Check out their girls’ loafer line and their slip-on shoe that every kid can wear. The latter—tested out by active, busy kids—are washable and offered in 10 different colors and prints inspired by the bright colors of the 1970s. Both shoes feature a stretchy knit made out of recycled water bottles and are machine washable. Online: rothys.com.

Parkland: Carry It with Pride

There is one thing a family can never have too many of: bags! From totes to kid backpacks to duffles and adult-sized backpacks, Parkland is your go-to spot for functional bags with a punch of attitude and style. The exterior fabric of all bags is made from recycled water bottles (check out this cool video explaining the process here) and their mission is all about inspiring others to make sustainable choices. Now, that’s a brand (and mission!) we can get behind. Check out all of Parkland’s products, including their brand-new spring line, at parklandmfg.com.

Bee’s Wrap: Natural Food Storage Wrappers

It may be hard to grasp life without plastic, but we have an easy step to take to help get you closer to that goal. Choose Bee’s Wrap, an alternative to plastic bags, tupperware and saran wrap. Made of organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, use them to wrap around veggies, cheese, fruit, snacks, sandwiches or really, any food products. They’re lightweight and reusable (clean by washing with cool water and light soap) for about a year. After you’re done, compost or use as a fire starter for your next camping trip. Multiple options available at beeswrap.com.

Kinder Birch: GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton Onesies

Kinder Birch, a new clothing company that debuted just this year, is disrupting the organic baby clothing space. Their styles are all GOTS certified Organic cotton and all printed with low impact dye. The patterns are whimsical, fun and playful, with the actual fabric thick enough to withstand rough and tumble play, while being oh-so-soft for baby's skin. Toddler PJs and more styles coming soon. Available at kinderbirch.com.

CrayonBlocks: 100% Biodegradable Beeswax Crayons (Created by a Dad!)

If Junior is into art, but you’re worried about what type of unsafe materials he’s coming into contact with, you’re not alone. The dad creator beyond CrayonBlock felt the exact same way when his son licked a crayon and realized his child was tasting paraffin. Thus, the idea of CrayonBlocks was born. This dad-created line of crayons is 100% biodegradable, paraffin- and chemical-free, certified organic beeswax with food grade colors that conform to the strictest of standards. Not only that, but the crayons also feature 8 edges and 8 corners making them easy to grip and draw. Available at crayonblocks.com for $13.99.

The BIONIC® Sneaker: A New Eco-Friendly Collection from Sperry

Sperry's new line of sneakers for the entire family is specially made from BIONIC fiber made from plastic recovered from marine and coastal environments. The eco-friendly kicks feature their signature non-marking rubber outsoles for fantastic traction and they're cushy enough to stay comfortable for all-day wear. The shoes themselves come in Sperry's shoe box made from 100% recycled paper material, and include only vegetable ink and water-based glue. How's that for eco-conscious innovation? Various styles available at sperry.com for $49.95.

Recover Brands: Tees Made of Recycled Water Bottles

Every day—not just Earth Day—is a teachable moment to show your kids how to really care for Mother Earth. Remind her of this daily with a “Protect Our Parks” tee from Recover Brands. This brand makes their goods from recycled water bottles (check out the process here). Bonus: their apparel also comes in adult sizes, too! Available at recoverbrands.com for $18.

Stasher: Ditch the Plastic Bags

There are so many awesome companies that make going plastic-free easy and Stasher is one of our favorites. Their goods are all 100% pure platinum food grade silicone that are easy to clean, reusable and non-toxic. We think Stasher bags stand out because you can not only store snacks for easy access (they bags are super easy to open and close for little hands), but you can also microwave, place in the oven, store in the freezer, boil on the stove and wash in the dishwasher. Versatile and functionality at its best. Available online at stasherbag.com.

 

Aldea Home + Baby: Eco-Friendly Furniture with a Conscious

Fans of modern, eco-friendly design should check out the kids collection and baby registry from San Francisco’s famed home goods store Aldea Home + Baby. The store prides itself on carrying only items from sustainable artisans and socially conscious design companies, so you can feel good about purchasing items that look this great. Not in the Bay Area? You can still get in on the goodness by shopping online at aldeahome.com.

Sustainable LEGO Bricks: Your Favorites Made Better

The LEGOs you know and love are in for some big changes. In an effort to create zero waste, the company is producing LEGO bricks made from plant-based materials, but you likely won’t notice at all. LEGO just announced in early 2018 that it has started production on sustainable blocks made with materials sourced from sugarcane. The plant-based polyethylene is softer but still durable. Despite these new changes, LEGO promises that builders won’t notice a difference in the look or feel of the bricks. Learn more here.

Got another awesome brand you think we should add to this story? Email our editor at editor@tinybeans.com with your tip!

 

—Erin Lem, Gabby Cullen, Kate Loweth, Shahrzad Warkentin, Eva Cerise and Karly Wood

 

RELATED STORIES:

The Best Natural Skincare Products for Babies and Toddlers

Kid-Centric Clothing Companies with a Conscience

Eco-Friendly & Fashionable Diapers

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Straws

What You’ll Really Use with the Second Baby

Read next

Congrats, you have baby number two on the way! That means more love in your heart, but also more stuff in your home. So this begs the question: What do you really need? We asked parents with multiple children to weigh in on what items to keep, what to donate, and what to toss. As you’ll see, not everyone was in agreement, but that’s where your opinion comes in because you’re an experienced parent now too.

Pro tip: Give all items a thorough check and discard any that are past their expiration date, recalled, or have wear and tear that might pose a safety hazard.

Feeding
“Make sure to keep fresh bottles and formula on hand for the second baby, even if you didn't use them with the first. You always want to be prepared in case you need them for a middle-of-the-night feeding.”Julianne

“Don’t keep the baby food maker. I made all my first child’s baby purees. However, I found I couldn’t keep up with the peeling, dicing, steaming and mashing with my second and working full-time. Buying storebought ended up being so much easier and less stressful. If you’re concerned about the regulations in storebought brands, my pediatrician recommended checking the Clean Label Project website. Or, there are fresh baby food subscriptions you can join, such as Yumi.”Ashley

“I liked having my same familiar nursing pillow for baby two. You can always get a new cover to freshen it up or make it match any new decorating you do.”Kate

“We had extra breastfeeding pillows from keeping one at a parent’s house, so we donated one of those. We learned from baby one which bottles we didn’t like, so we gave away those extras.”Kelly

Diapering
“One product I found that was not necessary was the changing table. The floor was so much easier as I was usually sitting on it anyway, and the older sibling was right there to help as well. Pulling out extra wipes was a helpful job and having the older sibling be a part of it made it special for her and easy to keep eyes on both kiddos, which was a mom win!”Meghan

“Don’t keep a purse-style diaper bag. Get a diaper bag backpack instead! I had a crossbody style for my first, but being hands-free was so much easier with two.”Ashley

“Between babies one and two, we switched to cloth diapers and so donated that horrible diaper genie!”Andi

“After the first one, I realized the waste of the diaper genie and wipes warmer. A plastic shopping bag works just the same and is much cheaper than the refills, while the wipes warmer dries out the wipes too quickly.”Shelly

“Keep the wipe warmer. I was a skeptic. I left it in the box. I mean, really—one more thing to plug in and maintain—so unnecessary, right? Well, three kids later, the youngest (now 4) still insists on a warm wipe when the pull-up comes off in the morning. And in retrospect, who can blame her—have you ever tried to use a cold wipe on a chilly morning? Case closed!”Kelly

Sleeping
“I was so grateful to have kept our bassinet for the second baby.”Kerry

“Keep the crib. I reused my crib and put my son straight into a big boy bed. But don’t keep the crib mattress. You want a firm, clean mattress for the new baby!” Ashley

“Cribs are expensive, and getting a new one for every child would be incredibly wasteful. So long as it meets safety standards, it makes sense to tighten up all the pieces, give it a good cleaning, and buy new sheets for the next baby.”Adam

Clothing
“We have three boys, so we saved a lot of baby clothes, only getting rid of those that were stained or damaged. We kept it all organized by size in canvas storage containers and pulled them out as needed.”Kate

“Don’t keep all the old clothes. I had a girl after having my son, and as much clothing as I saved to be practical, I found I couldn’t resist buying some new clothes. People also gifted or handed down plenty to me. Jammies, however, keep! You can never have too many and they’re all adorable. I loved seeing my daughter in her big brother’s shark and construction jammies for some reason.”Ashley

Car Seat
“As a mom that had her second child five years later, so much had changed. My newest family member was over ten pounds, so the infant car seat was extra heavy. So we used a convertible one and wore him as much as we could.”Meghan

“The JJ Cole Bundleme is an absolute lifesaver. The ease of zipping it right into the car seat and not having to worry about putting coats on and off is well worth it! With multiple winter babies, I couldn’t imagine not having it!”Rebeka

Stroller
“Time to upgrade the stroller. I like the sit-stand type so my older kid can jump on and off.”Christopher

“If you have kids close together, a sit-and-stand stroller is great. The older one wants to be independent but still gets tired easily so it's great when they want to hop off to walk with you.”Shelly

“We never bothered with a double stroller since the boys are four years apart.”Kerry

“I definitely kept the strollers. I held on to almost everything if I’m being honest!”Lindsay

 

Play Time
“I donated anything we never used with baby one, anything broken, chewing toys with plastic, gifts we didn’t use. Babies need very little. A soft place to play on the floor, a place to sleep, an eating chair, clothes, diapers, a car seat, stroller, and a few things to play with and teeth on.”Kelly

“One baby item I made sure to keep was the swing. It was great for the baby to take an afternoon nap in. Or a safe spot to keep the baby entertained while I made dinner. There were even a handful of nights it helped during the witching hour when everyone was at wits' end! Definitely one of the most useful baby items in our house.”—Nicole

“The playmat is a must keep. It makes the dreaded tummy time a little more manageable. And older siblings love having a turn demonstrating all the toys to the new baby.”Kate

“Keep any safe place to put the baby when things get hectic. This includes pack and plays, swings, seats and loungers. Also, just because your first didn’t like something doesn’t mean your second will be the same. I was gifted a baby swing that my son never enjoyed using, but my daughter loved.”Ashley

“We kept my BabyBjörn bouncer, the jumper toys, my lightweight baby carrier, our swings, all of our ‘teach the ABCs’ toys, and our ride-on lion!”Kerry

It’s Not All About the Stuff
“I’d say that after having one child, when you’re preparing to have a second, you realize how few of the things you registered for or got with your first that you actually used. All you really need are a crib (or similar), car seat, some clothes and diapers, and a stroller and/or carrier depending on your parenting style.”Phoebe

“The best advice I can give to parents from going from one to two kids is to give yourselves time and some grace as you adjust. Say yes to help from grandparents or friends when they offer. Try to dedicate some special time every day to your first child when the baby sleeps or other parent is home and engage in a craft, walk, reading a book or just playing with toys.”Lindsay

Katie L. Carroll

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Nursing Bras 101: Everything You Need to Know

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If you plan to breastfeed your babe, you definitely need the best nursing bra you can get your hands on. But you may be unsure about what to buy, when and how many. Read on to find answers to your burning bra questions, from the styles that will suit you, to the best pumping and nursing bras on the market of 2021.

Why do I need a nursing bra?
Nursing bras make it easier to feed your child and are more comfortable for you, especially in the first few months of breastfeeding. Their soft fabric and wider straps accommodate engorged breasts, and they offer stretch and support without aggravating sore breasts or sensitive nipples. Plus, some women find underwires uncomfortable as they can press on milk ducts, so a wire-free nursing bra is a welcome option. If you're pumping, you definitely need a comfortable pumping bra so you can keep your hands free.

How do I know which size bra to get?
Nursing bras are stretchy and accommodate size changes, so you can start purchasing bras at the end of your pregnancy. If there’s a department store or maternity/breastfeeding store in your area, get a professional fitting and advice on what's best for your specific breasts.

Otherwise, follow brands’ size charts. Many nursing bras come in letter sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL), so they’re designed for a broader range of band and cup sizes than a typical non-nursing bra. Bras with multiple adjustment hooks in back give you flexibility as your body changes postpartum.

How many do I need?
Start with three or four bras. You’ll want at least two in case you leak breastmilk into one, and you may want a softer style for sleeping/nighttime feedings or a more supportive option when you’re outside the home. If you're pumping, you may want a dedicated bra for pumping or a combo nursing/pumping bra.

But don’t buy too many bras until you’re at least 3-4 months postpartum, as your body and breasts need time to regulate after baby is born. Your needs and breasts will change in the months after pregnancy, so you may want a different style or size of nursing bra as time goes on.

What kind of nursing bra should I choose?
The right bra depends on your breast shape and where baby will be nursing. If you breastfeed outside your home, you may want a different type of bra for convenience and privacy than you’d use if you mostly plan to be nesting at home.

Here are the most common nursing-bra styles:

Drop open/drop cup: These bras have a clip on each strap that you open and pull down the cup to nurse. Look for styles where you can unclip the bra with one hand, as you’ll likely be holding a hungry baby with the other. We like the Everything Bra from Bodily, the Signature Lace Cotton-Lined Nursing Bralette from Hanky Panky and the "nu nudes" line of seamless bras from Motherhood Maternity, a seamless clip-down bra that comes in a range of colors, including many skin tones, and sizes: original (for B-D cups), full-busted (D-G cups) and plus-size (1X-3X).

Crisscross/Crossover/pull-aside: Just pull the bra aside to expose the breast for nursing. Super easy and convenient, especially for home use and as sleep bras. We love the Foxy by AVYN for its stretchy, supportive fabric and stylish strappy back and the 24/7 Full Cup Bra by Boob, which has a roomier cup and supports women up to size XXL.

Lift-up/pull-down: These bralette-style bras can be lifted up or pulled down when nursing. They're convenient for nighttime feedings and are comfortable sleep bras.

Combination pumping & nursing bra: A hands-free pumping bra you can also nurse in is the ultimate sanity saver. We love the convenient comfort of the Do Anything Bra from Bodily, the Multitasking Maternity Bra from Motherfigure, Hands Free Pumping Seamless Nursing bra from Motherhood Maternity and the Sublime Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra from Kindred Bravely.

Nursing tank or cami: For added support on a postpartum belly, consider a nursing tank or cami, which comes in both crossover and drop-open styles. We like the Amelia Pumping & Nursing Crop Cami from Davin & Adley.

Nursing sports bra: Yes, you can get a sports bra that’s easy to nurse in! These bras, like the ActiveSupport Nursing Sports Bra from Belly Bandit and Cadenshae's Ultimate Nursing Sports Bra, balance comfort and support with easy-to-use clasps or zippers for nursing. The nursing and pumping bras from Sweat and Milk come in three levels of support (high impact, medium impact, light impact), so you can find the right kind of bra for your favorite workout, from running to Pilates.

Maternity-friendly nursing bras: The Ella Maternity, Nursing & Pumping Bralette from Davin & Adley keeps you comfortable during pregnancy and looks gorgeous, with its lace details and racerback styling. Then, when baby arrives, you can nurse in it by twisting the magnetic, locking nursing clasps. It's also compatible with wearable pumps, flanges and milk catchers.

What else should I look for?
Within the different styles of nursing bras, you’ll find a variety of models: seamless or shaped cups, wireless or underwire, front closure, back closure or slip-on, and lined or unlined. Choose the style that best suits your breasts and personal preferences.

Once you get into the swing of breastfeeding, your needs should become clearer and you can add more bras to your stash. You may also discover issues that warrant a new purchase. Like, if you're leaking breastmilk, try Belly Bandit's Leakproof Nursing Bra or Leakproof Nursing Pads.

The Best Nursing Bra Brands
We asked nursing moms for their favorite nursing bra brands, and these top the list. We’ve linked to their websites so you can find the right styles, sizes and price range for you.

Anita

AVYN

Behr

Bella Materna

Belly Bandit

Bodily

Boob

Bravado

Cadenshae

Cake

Cupcake Maternity

The Dairy Fairy

Davin & Adley

Freya

Hanky Panky

Hotmilk

Ingrid & Isabel

Kindred Bravely

Knix

Larken X

Lataly

Latched Mama

Motherfigure

Motherhood Maternity

NOONI'S

SHEFIT

Sweat and Milk

 

featured image: Motherhood Maternity

Eva Ingvarson Cerise

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best nursing bras 2021

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The holidays, and all the tasty food that goes along with them, have arrived. And while family gatherings may look different this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up an epic holiday charcuterie board. From waffle and bagel boards to Christmas cocoa, these holiday charcuterie board ideas are great for gatherings of any size. Scroll down to see them all.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Grazing Board

Who needs a fancy dinner when you can dig into this Valentine's Day Grazing board from Domestikated Life? Packed with salty and sweet treats, the colorful candies tie in the holiday of love perfectly.

St. Patrick’s Day

Rainbow

You can truly taste the rainbow with this colorful dessert charcuterie board from Jenny Cookies. Sweet circular cookies are paired with coordinating sprinkles and candy for an eye-popping dessert you won't be able to pass up.

Fall

Harvest Charcuterie Board

There's a little bit of something for everyone with this cheery charcuterie board by Number 2 Pencil. We love that the look embraces the feeling of "harvest" with plenty of fruits, cheese and nuts.

Fall Dessert Charcuterie Board

With gatherings happening on a smaller level this year, this fall dessert board is perfect for avoiding full-size sweets. Some demi-desserts, sauces and fruit are all you need to whip up this choice charcuterie board by Live to Sweet.

Autumn Charcuterie Board

Hello, autumn! Perfect for Thanksgiving, this smorgasbord of fall treats from Healthy Little Vittles brings healthy snacks and a few hidden treats to your family and friends with plenty of eye-popping appeal.

Fall Apple & Cheese Board

Simple meets savory and sweet with this gorgeous fall apple and cheese board by Bless This Mess Please. We love how there's something for even the pickiest of eaters while remaining festive and delicious.

Perfect Fall Charcuterie Board

Can we all just raise a hand for the deliciousness that is a cheese ball? This fabulous fall board by Tidy Mom effortlessly pairs our guilty-pleasure snacks with tasty treats no one can turn down.

Turkey Charcuterie

It just got so much easier to get your littles to eat fruit this holiday! Arrange arrange layers of Sugar Bowl Bakery's Pumpkin Spice and regular Madeleines, Palmiers, Brownie Bites and fresh fruit to form a turkey. Don't forget the Nutella for dipping! 

Thanksgiving Snack Board

Waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready can be hard! This ultimate snack board from Passion for Savings makes biding the time until the turkey is ready a breeze, with plenty of fruit, crackers and cheese that looks just as pretty as they are tasty.

Halloween

photo: Sugar Bowl Bakery

Halloween Sweet Treats Board

It's officially candy season with this treat board! Whether you're hosting a Halloween bash or staying home in lieu of trick or treating, this cute board from Sugar Bowl Bakery packs in tasty options like Madeleine cookies, popcorn and candy. Don't forget the the cobwebs!

Holiday

Waffle Breakfast Board

Whether you're hosting a small family brunch or just want to make breakfast special with your immediate fam, Sandra's Easy Cooking waffle board is next level. Pack it with plenty of waffles, toppings and a side of fruit. Breakfast is served!

Epic Cinnamon Roll Board

Is this not the most gorgeous cinnamon roll board you've ever seen? Perfect for kiddos who want to DIY their own Cinnabon, we love how this charcuterie from the Reluctant Entertainer to see all the assembly details. also packs a punch with other breakfast faves for the adults.

Bagel Holiday Charcuterie

Bagels are the perfect breakfast for busy mornings, especially when laid out on a fabulous board. Add a variety of flavors, plenty of schmear and all the fun extras that will make your breakfast extra festive, just like this board from Sandra's Easy Cooking.

Winter White Cheeseboard

Beautifully simple and elegant, Fashionable Hostess' winter white cheeseboard brings all the feels. The lovely colors and smooth textured foods make us want to dive right in!

Holiday Charcuterie Board

This rustic-toned holiday charcuterie board from Twelve on Main is major eye candy! Each item perfectly represents that winter season, and the gorgeous layout makes it the perfect fit for noshing on while everyone opens gifts.

Candy Cane Treat Board

It's peppermint time! This candy cane-shaped board is packed with wintery treats like Hershey's kisses, chocolate and tasty baked goods from Sugar Bowl Bakery like Madeleines and brownie bites.

Christmas Dessert Board

It's time to get your hot cocoa on! Great for post-dinner dessert, this Christmas dessert board by The Wiegands is loaded with chocolatey treats, peppermint and lovely greenery for the ultimate holiday vibe.

Holiday Candy Board

One of the best parts about the holidays is the candy! Load up all the goodies you've been gifted this season on this ultimate candy board from An Indigo Day that's just what your sweet tooth ordered.

––Karly Wood

 

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