This adorable puppy blanket is more than just a luv, it's a sneaky weaner! The new Wubbie blanket features the same fuzzy critters as the Wubbanub pacifiers - without the nipple - so it seems familiar (albeit unsuckable). Plush pacifiers $9.95; Wubbie blanket, $20; wubbanub.com.
Make those microbes work for a living! Block ‘em from your baby with this line of soft, leakproof, disposable sheets in useful shapes and sizes. Placemats have adhesive strips; multi-use pads fold up tiny and can become a changing pad, burp cloth or car-seat liner. Stash one in your "go" bag for life's less-sanitary moments. Neat Solutions placemats, $7.99 for 20; multi-use pads, $3.49 for 10; tabletopper.com.
Look! It's a diaper bag, it's a baby carrier, it's a superhip fashion
statement! I love the Kemby Sidekick, a local mom's gorgeous creation
loaded with features: compartments, pockets and clips everywhere, plus
a changing pad! Load this bad boy up with gear, sling it over your
shoulder and strap your critter in for a comfy side-huggin' ride. For
babies with good head control; holds up to 35 pounds. $172; kemby.com.
Family Tree, Frances England Bright, laid-back baby music that's fresh and singable. England sounds like Edie Brickell's upbeat little sister; some of these songs are sure to become favorite bedtime baby love songs. Check out the deeply sweet "You and Me," a love anthem from a mom to her quickly growing babe; a couple of tracks rock, including "Fast Train to Grandma's." $14; release date: May 20.
That Baby CD: Acoustic Rock Classics for Kids and the Grownups Who Love Them
Lilith Fair vet and Dirty Martini's frontwoman Stephanie Schneiderman lends her honey-sweet voice to this excellent collection of rock favorites, re-imagined to acoustic perfection. (Who knew "Brass in Pocket" could rock the nursery?) Includes covers of Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and others. $14.95.
Your Clever Baby by Dr. Carol Cooper. Here's an interesting, colorful guide for parents who want to "make the most of your child's potential." Cooper takes it well beyond boosting IQ, laying heavy emphasis on supporting a baby's growing emotional intelligence. The month-by-month format includes everything from infant massage to potty training; gorgeous, warm photos make this book a beautiful gift. $19.95; Cico Books.
The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide by Heather Maclean with Hollie Schultz. What do you really need, and when do you need it? Feeling overwhelmed by all the gadgets and gear out there for babies? This book walks you through the process of choosing - and streamlining - baby purchases with lists of things to consider, product comparisons, and tons and tons of descriptions. $16.99; Thomas Nelson.
Heading Home with Your Newborn by Laura A. Jana, M.D., F.A.A.P., and Jennifer Shu, M.D., F.A.A.P. Here's a nice collection of pediatricians' advice for new parents, covering everything from basics like feeding, bathing and diapering, to common medical concerns, to preserving memories. Reassuring, witty, and thoroughly enjoyable. $15.95; American Academy of Pediatrics.
Gifty little books for new moms
The Rookie Mom's Handbook by Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss. The two "geeky girls" behind the fab Web site www.rookiemoms.com put their collected wisdom into a little book that aims to feed the soul of overwhelmed new moms. Subtitled "250 Activities to Do With (and Without!) Your Baby," it hopes to help moms find balance and perspective. From crafts to outings to creative mom ‘n' baby gatherings, mom brain-boosters and mentoring, this is a book for any mom who's ever felt lost in motherhood. $14.95; Quirk Books.
Margarita Mama: Mocktails for Moms-to-Be by Alyssa Gusenoff. The title says it all! Whip up snazzy, alcohol-free drinks - like the Materni-tini or the Raging Hormone - for yourself or your appreciative expecting friend. $12.95; Quirk Books.
Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding by Andi Silverman. Here's a handy little guide to the basics of breastfeeding. Topics include latching, leaking, pumping, breastfeeding in public, and more, all told with a breezy tone and colorful anecdotes to make this a fun - and ultimately empowering - read. $14.95; Quirk Books.
- Kristen Dobson