Best in Show: Finds from the New York Baby Show

The other week, Josh and I spent the afternoon at the New York Baby Show at Pier 94 scouring the booths for the latest and greatest in baby gear. From well trusted names in car seats to gadgets helping to create smart nurseries, there were so many new products featured at the New York Baby Show.

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We searched high and low, snapped tons of pics, peeked into many booths and found a really great selection of gear from baby brands that we love, as well as products from new and upcoming companies!

Here are just a few of the many great products we spotted at this year’s New York Baby Show:

Pello

With is gorgeous textiles and poufy circular shape, Pello is described as a luxury newborn lounger. This new take on a pillow can be used for feeding or for a convenient way to help baby sit somewhat upright during his/her waking hours. When baby outgrows the newborn phase, this pillow looks ideal for helping to support during the sitting up and standing phases.IMG 2941 JPG 

Pello has a great selection of colors and fabrics. It can be found on Amazon and retails for $120.

Sage Spoonfuls

A longtime fan of Sage Spoonfuls, I love watching this baby feeding brand flourish. I’m so excited about the Happy Foodie stainless steel divided plate and lid. Plastic plates and feeding ware are among the first items to go in my house because they are the most used and abused. Our stainless steel lunchboxes have lasted 5+ years. 

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So, I can only imagine how well the Sage Spoonfuls Happy Foodie product line will do. Safe, non-toxic, BPA, lead and phthalate-free and easy to clean!

Britax Frontier

Since we first shopped for carseats 10 years ago, Britax has been one of my all time favorite baby brands. This is, yet, another brand that I’ve loved watching flourish and working with over the years. I was so excited to see the various new strollers and carseats on display, but what truly caught my eye was the Frontier booster.

 

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We are solidly in the booster phase with my preschooler, so boosters have been on the brain. This new fabric is chic and unique; combining safety with style is something that Britax does so well. And speaking of safety, the Britax Frontier’s Click Tight Technology makes car seat installation as easy as buckling a seatbelt. This technology is designed to be seamless, especially for families who travel frequently or need to switch seats regularly. Click Tight is a game changer!

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Volvo

And speaking of traveling, I loved that my dream car brand was at the New York Baby Show. I’ve been eyeing Volvo’s SUVs for quite some time. Sadly, the price tag hasn’t been in the budget.

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We decided that this specific Volvo was too small for our needs, what with our year-round sports, lake gear and coaching equipment.  Nevertheless, it’s fun getting a peek at my dream car at the Baby Show. Josh loved sitting in the driver’s seat and checking out the trunk. 

 

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With thanks to Momtrends, we enjoyed meeting up with fellow bloggers in the Blogger Lounge, as well as livestreamed our favorite finds from the show. My little guy loved having the chance to play! 

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Above all, we loved checking out all the awesome goodies and gear at the New York Baby Show. Stay tuned for more fun finds!

 

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New York Baby Show Free Ticket Giveaway

As Spring starts to roll in, so do more fun events in the City and around town. Always on the hunt for new and innovative baby and kid products, I’m thrilled that the New York Baby Show is once again docking on the West Side at Pier 94 in NYC. This great event showcases many of the coolest gear and gadgets for babies and kids. I love bringing the whole family to the show to scout out new gear for babes and the site.

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Dr. Harvey Karp, one of my favorite parenting experts and famed pediatrician, will be one of the speakers at the New York Baby Show. There’s a long list of great exhibitors, including 4moms, Tula, Britax, Clek, Cybex, among other favorite baby and family brands.

Are you expecting or have a little and looking for the best baby gear, I definitely recommend heading to the New York Baby Show taking place May 20-21. Tickets are $30 per family or $20 for individuals.

And because we’re such fans of the New York Baby Show, I’m so excited to give away some free tickets to the show. I have 10 tickets to giveaway, and you can grab them here. These free tickets are first come first serve.

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Once the free tickets are gone, I’m happy to share 50% off tickets to the New York Baby Show. To grab this discount, please head here. 

Best Toys for 1 Year Olds + Diapers.com Giveaway

Even on the heels of Toy Fair, we always have toys on our minds. With a friend’s baby turning 1 soon, I was inspired to create a round up of the best toys for 1 year olds. I scoured Diapers.com to curate some of our tried and true favorite toys for 1 year olds.

From ride-ons to classic toys to techy toys, I gathered our favorites based on play value, durability, accessibility and whether my kids or kids we know loved them!

From ride-ons to classic toys to techy toys, I gathered our favorites based on play value, durability, accessibility and whether my kids or kids we know loved them!

1. Manhattan Toy Snuggle Bunny Baby Doll

ManhattanToySnuggleBunnyNKTTransitioning from baby to toddler, one year olds start to change their play patterns. According to KidsHealth.org, babies go from shaking and throwing toys to understanding functions of objects as a toddler. At one year old, kids start to play pretend, so toys that allow for nurturing and modeling behavior is always a hit. Manhattan Toy makes a myriad of interactive and beautiful toys such as the Snuggle Bunny Baby Doll ($17.) This soft and cuddly doll makes for a perfect first baby doll.

2. Plan Toys Sort and Count

PlanToysSortandCountStacking and nesting toys help toddlers develop hand-eye coordination, as well as cognitive development, according to an article on Cnn.com Simple, open ended stacking toys such as PlanToys’ Sort and Count allows kids to sort and stack the various pieces. This abacus-looking toy is made of Plan Toys’ planwood, organic rubberwood, e-zero glue, water-based dyes, recycled and recyclable materials, soy and water-based ink.

3. VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker

VTechSittoStandWalkerMany toddlers are learning to walk and toddling around at a year old, so walkers make a fun gift. This VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker offers a lot of play value with its many learning tools and interactive electronic features. VTech is so great at the electronic learning toys, but they’re also masters at creating toys that grow with kids. This walker can be used for kids in a more stationary pattern, as well as for those who are cruising and walking.

4. Melissa and Doug Large Shapes Knob Puzzle

MelissaandDougKnobPuzzleAccording to Learning4kids, puzzles help toddlers with important skills such as cognitive, fine motor, hand and eye coordination, problem solving, social and self esteem. Wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug provide fun play patterns for toddlers to co-play and enjoy independence. I love the knob puzzles for toddlers, to give them extra help grasping these chunky pieces. Classic puzzles are timeless and perfect for curious problem solvers.

5. B Toys Fish Splish Boat

BtoysSplishFishBoatGood bath toys are the best for toddlers! I love the colors and creativity that B Toys inspires. This fun boat that can be used in the bath has a number of fun features that help toddlers explore bathtime and the environment around them. From the fishing pole, fish, captain and little rudder, this cool boat helpstoddlers with imaginative play while getting cleaned up.

6. Step 2 Whisper Ride II

Step2WhisperRideIIAs the winter starts to fade to warmer spring and summery days, ride-on toys will be all the craze. Step 2 are pros at the ride-on and outdoor toys, and the Whisper Ride II is one of my all time favorites. This push car is perfect for going on strolls in the neighborhood without the restraints of a stroller. Toddlers can pretend to steer while driving their ride, all the while mom or dad navigates with the handle. The Whisper Ride features a seatbelt, small storage compartment and cup holders.

 

 

 

There are so many awesome toys for 1 year olds on Diapers.com, and these are just a small sampling of their selection. Do you have a favorite toddler toy? What makes you and your kid love it so much?

Giveaway

Want to grab a few new toys of your own? We have a $50 gift certificate to Diapers.com up for grabs. Tell me what your favorite toddler toy is and why! Share your comment below.

For even more entries, check out the giveaway below to win a  Diapers.com gift certificate. This giveaway will be open for a week, so be sure to enter!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Full disclosure: this is a sponsored post in partnership with Nakturnal, with a gift certificate as a prize. As always, all opinions on NKT are mine. Thank you for supporting The Next Kid Thing.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Comfi-Neck Bibs

Like so many of you, I’m very brand-loyal, especially when it comes to products for my kids and gifts for friends and family’s kids. Tommee Tippee for years has been a mainstay in our home. From bottles to feeding supplies, we’ve always used tommee tippee products because they’ve worked for us. I even searched the archives for a baby Josh wearing a Comfi Neck Bib.

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Tommee Tippee’s Closer to Nature Comfi Neck Bibs are just some of the many feeding products that I’ve always used for my babies, and they’re staples for baby shower gifts. I love the soft texture of these bibs which are 80% cotton and 20% polyester. They’re soft and suitable for sensitive skin, which is something I always appreciated.

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The newer line of Comfi Neck Bibs are reversible, which gives the bibs a little splash of color and style and added functionality. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to flip over bibs to extend the wear because it’s all I had in my diaper bag.

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Speaking of functionality, the cushioned neck—hence the Comfi part—are such a smart feature for bibs. Both of my babies were major dribblers, so whether they were being bottle-fed or breast-fed, their dribbles were absorbed before dripping to their neck. The easy velcro fasteners are soft and subtle; it works quietly when it counts.

There are several colors and styles to choose from in the Comfi-Neck Bib line. The Comfi-Neck Bibs can be found at major retailers where Tommee Tippee products are sold.

Full disclosure: I was provided a sample and compensation to provide this review. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Best Family Cruises for 2016

 

Many families are in the midst of planning their calendars for the year, including vacations. Since we’re all about families on NKT, I wanted to find out more about the best family cruises. A few weeks ago, along with several fellow bloggers, my friends Audrey and Vera invited me to attend the Cruise Lines International Association media event where I had the chance to meet with various cruise lines. 

According to CLIA, 24 million passengers are expected to sail on a cruise in 2016. Despite that staggering statistic, not every cruise line is the same. As with any vacation, some cruises are geared to the luxe category, some to the more moderate passengers and others appeal to budget passengers. Some ships are oversized, others are smaller vessels that offer a more intimate experience. And as you can imagine, some cruises are suitable for families while other cruises are more appropriate for mature passengers (i.e., not kid-friendly).

There are so many cruise lines worldwide, so based on accessibility, affordability and amenities, here’s what we think are among the best family cruises for 2016.

 

1.  Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival is known for being affordable and accessible with 24 ships operating 3 to 16-day cruises to exotic locales such as The Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Carnival has a brand new ship, the Carnival Vista set to debut in May this year. The Carnival Vista boasts a long list of features, but these certainly caught my eye: the first-ever IMAX theatre at sea; the SkyCourse and SkyRide for sports fans is a sports mecca and zip bike course and Carnival Waterworks, a water park with fun features, including a raft slide for two.

 

Vista

 

2.  Disney Cruise Line

Disney touts their cruises as combining the magic of Disney with ocean travel. As a family who adores Disney and the idea of cruising, admittedly, a Disney Cruise has been on our must-do list for a few years now. This year, in fact, Disney Cruise Lines will be sailing out of NYC. 

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The Disney Magic will feature sailings from New York to the Bahamas and will include a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, plus a Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation between the ship and the resort. All New York to Bahamas voyages also include a stop at Castaway Cay. From their theaters that feature live musicals to spas for the adults to the cool activities with Disney-centric stories, Disney Cruise Lines seems like an idyllic cruise vacation for families in mind.

 

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

Known for their Freestyle Cruising ships, NCL has a relaxed, yet chic vibe to their ships. Their newer ships feature water parks and amazing Nickelodeon themed kids’ clubs. I love the idea of their Splash Academy, which is a youth program geared to 3-12 year olds.


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They even have a cool teen program called Entourage which is ideal for 13-17 year olds. The ships feature Group Sitting which is perfect when you’re hoping for adult time while in port or in the evenings. We were aboard the Getaway for a tour and press event just two years ago when it first arrived to NYC.

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We had a great taste of this fun ship, needless to say! NCL just makes it easy for families to have fun at sea.

 

4. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is another cruise that has been on our must-do list. With ships that feature activities such as 3-D screens, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and surfing simulators, RCCL appeals to families who love adventure and fun activities at sea. Their Adventure Ocean Youth Program has activities for kids to 17.

 

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Their Royal Babies and Tot Nurseries offers childcare and actives for the littles cruisers. RCCL goes to 230 destination through the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Panama Canal, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and South America. The cruise line also has 2 private destinations: CocoCay, which is a private island in the Bahamas and Labadee, a beach locale on the coast of Haiti.

 

5. Princess Cruises

A well known cruise line and part of the Carnival Corporation, Princess Cruises has a fleet of 18 ships. People may know Princess Cruises from their starring role on The Love Boat in the 70s. In modern days, Princess Cruises focuses on innovation and high caliber entertainment and amenities aboard their ships. I recently had the chance to get a taste of some of their offerings at a media event last fall.IMG 8973 Princess Cruises and Discovery have teamed up to offer some really cool experiences. From Stargazing experiences to Animal Planet shore excursions to my favorite, Shark Week at Sea, Princess and Discovery are tapping into pop culture and educational avenues with their new partnership. 

 

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Having covered the cruise industry in my previous magazine editor life, cruises hold a special place in my heart. As a parent who appreciates adventure and practicality, I love the idea of cruising for families. I love the inclusiveness and not having to drive anywhere after you board the ship. I appreciate that on these floating cities there’s something for everyone. So, if you wanted to vacation with the grandparents, aunts and uncles, you could do so. From food to fashion to kids’ clubs to water parks, there’s truly something for everyone aboard a family cruise.

 

#ParentOn with Tommee Tippee

The absolute best parenting advice I’ve ever received was from a family member almost 8 years ago. “Always trust your instincts,” they told me. So, whenever I’m second-guessing myself, whether it comes to feeding, disciplining or normal day-to-day parenting, I always think about that tidbit advice.

Our friends at Tommee Tippee are heralding this same advice with their #ParentOn campaign. #ParentOn encourages parents to ignore the unsolicited advice they may receive, trust their instincts and embrace all of the perfectly imperfect parenting moments as their children grow! 

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In honor of my bigger guy turning 8 in a few weeks, I thought I’d share a parenting moment that we recently had:

Went to our local ice cream shop to celebrate the first day of school. My 7 year old asked for a cone, told him to get a kiddie cup. Against my better judgement, I got him the cone. And we received a generous small scoop. Told kid to lick it so that it doesn’t fall off. Ice cream fell off. Scolded him quietly, and thought it would be a good teaching moment. Had him look at the numbers to see how long the wait would be. It was about 25 numbers back. I told him there is always a next time. 

There was a teenager standing near us who watched our whole ordeal go down. As we were getting ready to leave, she handed us her ticket that was a few numbers away. She felt so bad for my kid and insisted that we have her ticket. I felt obligated to buy my kid a replacement ice cream bc of the gesture. So, I went up to buy a kiddie cup and the person who originally served me our ice cream noticed me and joked, “more ice cream?” I sighed and said, “of course my kid dropped his after a few licks.” The owners would not let me pay for my replacement after I offered several times. Instead, I paid it forward and paid for the young lady who gave us her ticket. 

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Originally, the teaching moment for my kid was to show him that life isn’t always fair, and that you have to deal with the consequences. But after a series of kind gestures from the young lady and then ice cream shop, the teaching moment underscored generosity and how we live in a fantastic community.

Sometimes, it’s more than just teaching a lesson and letting kids be kids. Mistakes happen and life carries on. I’m so glad I was able to learn and #ParentOn!

Giveaway

In honor of Tommee Tippee’s #ParentOn campaign, we’re giving away a set of Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles. If you could use some new bottles, tell me about a recent #ParentOn moment that you had.

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Join Tommee Tippee For a Twitter Party 6/18

Our friends over at Tommee Tippee are holding a Twitter Party on Thursday, June 18 1-2pm! Tommee Tippee will be chatting all about what parents are doing this summer with the kid lets. If you aren’t already following Tommee Tippee, be sure to check them out at @tommeetippee_NA and I’m at @jenrab.

I hope to join in, so if you participate, be sure to say hi. We have a busy summer planned already, I can’t wait to get the show on the road! 2 more days of school!

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Full disclosure: this is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Join Us for a Twitter Party with Safety 1st on 5/27 at 8pm

Join us for a Twitter party! We’re partying on Wednesday night, May 27th at 8pm with our friends at Safety 1st. Together with several of my fellow bloggers, we’ll be celebrating parenting victories and talking about the very cool Step and Go from Safety 1st.  If you have some parenting victories to share, be sure to keep it real with us and join the conversation at #StepAndGoParent

If you don’t already follow me, be sure to follow me on Twitter @jenrab, and of course, follow our gracious hosts: @Safety1st.

 

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Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am being compensated for sharing this information. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Highlights from The New York Baby Show

Eight years ago when I started this site, I was inundated with baby gear research. Like many other parents, I spent hours researching the best products for my own baby. That research ultimately led to the creation of The Next Kid Thing.

All these years later, one of my most favorite things is attending shows, especially ones that showcase cool new gear and goodies. Last weekend, the kids and I made our way to Pier 92 for the New York Baby Show.

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photo credit: Momtrends

Quickly becoming one of my favorite baby shows, this year’s New York Baby Show didn’t disappoint. This year’s show featured more than 140 exhibitors for expectant and new parents to meet and learn all about. Alongside of the expansive list of exhibitors, the New York Baby Show rounded out their weekend-long show with sessions conducted by parenting experts and other informative sessions. Twiniversity and NYC Dads Group, two organizations that I proudly call my friends, were among the experts who led sessions. 

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photo credit: Momtrends

And speaking of friends, new this year to New York Baby Show was the Blogger Lounge hosted by our friends at Momtrends. As always, Momtrends knows how to host a fun soiree; it was a treat that manis and blowouts were offered by the Glam Squad.

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photo credit: Momtrends

Before hitting the floor at the show, bloggers were treated to lunch, some glam and had the chance to meet several brands before the show. The Blogger Lounge also provided childcare courtesy of the Nanny League, which was basically a two hour playdate for Littles.

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 photo credit: Momtrends

So, while Littles was hanging out at the childcare area, Biggie and I walked the showroom floor to meet and great with the exhibitors. Biggie was my photographer for the evening, and he was able to capture photos as I networked.

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I loved the way many of the companies interacted with him as he took pictures, but my favorite was when we approached Canon’s booth. Canon, the presenting sponsor of the New York Baby Show, was on hand to showcase several of their latest cameras, including the beautiful and wifi-enabled 70d and T6i models.

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photo credit: Jack Bertram

As I spoke to one of the Canon reps to share my longtime love for their products, another gentleman was so nice to engage with Bigs. He asked to see his photos and made him giggle while I ogled.

Back to the babies: there were so many favorite brands at this show, so it was almost impossible to visit every booth. But here are just a few of the many brands that we loved visiting at the New York Baby Show:

My friends at Regal Lager had a spectrum of beautiful Cybex gear, but the innovative Cloud carseat was my absolute favorite. IMG 9597

photo credit: Jack Bertram

This thing grows with baby; it’s incredible. Love to Dream swaddles promote the arms up sleeping position that many babies naturally love. The textiles for these swaddles are so soft and pure. I love recommending these super practical swaddles and sacks to all of my new mom friends.

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I loved stopping by the Babyganics booth to check out their growing product line. Their sunscreens and hand sanitizers are staples in my beach bag.

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Shea Moisture is another personal favorite that I loved meeting. The Mommy scrub is so perfect for expectant moms and even ones who, like me, just love the smell and feel of this delicious scrub.

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photo credit: Jack Bertram


I was excited to see Nordic Naturals exhibiting at this show because I JUST bought their Children’s DHA liquid which comes highly recommended for kids with speech delays. I add a few drops into Little’s smoothies and voila! I’ve noticed a difference since he started the drops, and I’m thrilled that this liquid seems to be gentler on his sensitive stomach. Nordic Naturals offers a range of supplements applicable for all members of the family.

 

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photo credit: Jack Bertram

I met lots of newcomers at this show, which is always exciting. I can’t wait to learn more about this crib mattress, these snacks and this cool new family camp in Vermont. 

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One newcomer that I wasn’t able to meet was the stroller company, gb. I wanted to get a closer look at the Qbit, which appears to be a smaller stroller that would work well for city families. 

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 If I had an unlimited amount of time, I would have loved to walk the show for another day to meet the other exhibitors that were too busy to chat. The New York Baby Show is a fabulous forum for expectant and new families to learn, shop and engage with family-centric exhibitors. What I truly appreciate about this show is that the whole family can enjoy the day together. 

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The two-day format on the west side allows for show-goers to truly take in all that this show has to offer, from information sessions to visiting all the booths to taking a stroll on the test track. If you’re pregnant or have a new baby and want to check out the latest and greatest, be sure to put the New York Baby Show on the must-do list.

A big thank you to Momtrends and New York Family for having us this year. As always, I enjoyed covering this show and look forward to sharing more.
 
Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am being compensated for sharing my experience. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

tommee tippee Now Available at Walmart

One of my all-time favorite baby brands, tommee tippee, is now available at Walmart. The beloved baby brand known for their bottles, nursing accessories and feeding gear, can be found at select stores and at Walmart.com.

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When the company first made its way to the States several years ago, tommee tippee could only be found at a few baby stores. But now, it’s great to know that tommee tippee is more accessible than ever with its availability at Walmart.

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I’ve done many round ups professing my love for this brand, but truly, I almost always include tommee tippee bottles or bibs in baby shower gifts for friends and family. And since my older brother and his wife are expecting their second baby this summer, I’m slowly stashing away baby gear for them.

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With thanks to a generous gift card from tommee tippee, I picked up a few new Closer to Nature bottles for my new baby nephew gift stash. Of all the offerings online, I loved seeing all the newborn gift sets and, of course, my favorite roll-up bibs that are perfect for stashing in the diaper bag or babysitter bag.

 

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In need of baby shower gifts or new feeding supplies? Be sure to check out tommee tippee over on Walmart.com!

 

Full disclosure: I was provided with a gift card to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.