Top holiday gift ideas

Here are a few gift ideas from our sponsors sure to make shopping for your family a little easier this holiday season.

Automoblox – build it, customise it, love it

What a cool Christmas gift these Automoblox would make for your little ones. These cars have superior styling and inbuilt
versatility with an educational bent. They can be taken apart to reveal removable colour-coded connectors that are unique
to the individual vehicles – swap the wooden body parts to create new designs!
Get a whole range of body types – a pick up, compact, sportscar,
sedan, and the family models – SUV and people mover.

They’re $45 each plus post,
and come with their very own people on board,
from superbly stocked local site
Urban Baby.
I’m
always amazed at the range of gorgeous goods they stock for kids and
babies, so make sure you have a browse around the site when
buying your Automoblox!

Walk On and Ride On from Brio

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Brio keeps churning out the classics and it’s two latest releases are no
different!

Brio’s new
Walk On
walker has an adjustable brake
that can prevent those accidents when baby is still learning to be
upright. Painted in delightfully fresh green and white, it also has a
sliding panel so baby can hide things inside. It’s suitable for babies
from 9 months.

Brio has also updated its
Ride On.
Now
in contemporary yellow and white, the Ride On encourages physical
development, balance and strength attainment. Made from wood and
finished off with rubber-lined wheels for safety and noise
minimisation, Brio has also covered the seat in fabric so your little
one can ride in absolute comfort.

Available from
bÈbÈ, the Walk On is $99.95 and the
Ride On is $179.95. BÈbÈ offer free shipping on all orders over $100.

Cuddly organic friends

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Who could resist a gangly little piglet, duck or echidna? Babs Designs by
LANA natural wear is a collection of stuffed toys with matching hats,
scarves and bags. The bright animals are not only super cute, but they
are, as the name suggested totally organic.

The adorable toys are stuffed with pure wool and sewn with 100 per cent
cotton outer skin. Lana products are so well-made they should stand the
test of time and be able to be passed to the next generation in your
family.

Kideeco are the Australian distributor for LANA natural wear and many of these gorgeous creatures are available through Eco Child.

Dobbin & Drum: ear-friendly percussion!

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Dobbin & Drum Toys

have come to the
rescue with authentic drums that are pleasant to adult ears.
Recommended to me by a friend, these drums make mellow sounds that
soothe, and have encouraged her to get involved in fostering her
child’s musical development. Besides all that, they’re
just plain good fun, not requiring batteries or further accessories,
things that can test a parent’s patience just when you’re in
the middle of something wonderful.

Made from recycled synthetic skins and reinforced metal with cotton
braid, they come in prints and solids and bright attractive colours.
Check out the ‘Styx Valley’ print, proceeds of which help the
Wilderness Society’s campaign to save the area.

Complete with sticks, the drums retail for $29.95 plus post from
Jive Baby.

Lundby Dollhouse – tiny modern luxury

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Lundby
architect-designed doll houses have been around since 1947 and the interiors have been repeatedly
redesigned over the years, in order to keep up with the very latest in interior design. I have lingered many times over the
Stockholm Dolls House, which is beautifully featured in a large clear case in my local toy shop.

Designed exclusively in Sweden, the Stockholm house has been
created to be the ultimate leisure home with its mosaic
patterened pull-out pool, pet deck, hot tub on the party roof and many
lush furnishings for reading and play. The house has floor-to-ceiling windows that retract conveniently
for play and there are even two working terrace lights to light
it up at night.

Available in Australia from Buyster.

Handmade friends to delight!

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Most little girls at some stage of their childhood will have a favourite doll… so why not make it an extra special one?

Each doll from the creators Project Grab Bag
is unique – so no other little girl will ever own the exact same doll!
Handmade from vintage and designer fabrics with a beautiful serene hand
embroidered face, they’re a refreshing change from the usual hard
bodied plastic dolls I see lining the toy shop shelves!

You can choose from the Sprite dolls (they have hats and beautiful
big eyes) or the Posy dolls with beautiful hair and removeable scarf.
No fiddly bits. No hard bits. No strange bits. Cuddly and soft and
so comfortable to sleep next to and most importantly easy to pack in an
overnight bag (anyone who’s ever had to stuff a plastic body into a
travel bag will understand!).

These quirky little friends will delight any little person and can be picked up locally from La La Baby with prices starting from $47.95.

Post and Play

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A fun way to encourage young children about the delights of sending and receiving mail, self-expression and reading is through Lets Play Mail.
In
our high-tech world snail mail could easily become a thing of the past
— but who doesn’t love to get a personalised letter, postcard or parcel
in the post?

The US-designed set comes with a mailbox, a drawstring mail bag,
shipping box, three postcards, two envelopes, six stamps, six address
labels and six messages. Stamps and messages stick to mail envelops and
postcards with velcro. Soon the kids will be ready to send real mail!

There’s also special delivery sets of letters To Santa perfect for this Xmas. They are available in Australia from monkeytail & wellington for $55 plus postage.

Mooo new range of T-shirts

Mooo
have just launched a bunch of new Christmas and Summer theme tees and
as you can see they are a little bit into gingerbread men at the moment
(who isn’t really?)

Currently these are available for little
bubs all the way up to size 12. They come in long or short sleeved
versions and will be available on rashies mid-November just in time for
the beach.

We are loving the lifeguard gingerbread man and also the surfing monkey!

Prices for t-shirts are $25 so you can stock up on a few new t-shirts this Summer.

Noonoo comfort blankets

These comfort blankets from Noonoo
are just too cute. Created by mum Jo Ashburner in the UK, these stylish
hand-embroidered blankets are made of washable felted lambswool in a
soothing creme color. Not only will the little ones snuggle up to these
Noonoos for comfort and security, their little fingers will love
exploring the funky shapes, loops, flaps and tabs on the blankets. All
the artwork adorning the blankets – the ladybugs, slugs, fleas
woodbugs, houses and sheeps – were originally scribbled drawings by
Ashburner’s three year old son Zak.

Prices from $24.95 – $44.95 ranging in different sizes and available in Australia from Ten Little Indians.

Hip basics for hip infants

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The Hip Infant
has a new basics range, my favourite being the
stripey baby basic collection. The super sweet baby grows are perfect
for everyday wear and feature an envelope neck for slipping over
heads and easy access crotch poppers these funky baby grows are an
essential addition to the wardrobe.

I love the handy Nighties at $29.95 in a range of colours these stylish
nighties make night-time nappy changing a breeze. They have super long
cuffed sleeves that can be adjusted as baby grows or folded over to
keep little mitts warm.

The Hip Infant
Basics range includes nappy covers, singlets, t-shirts and easy pants
all co-ordinated in these striking stripes.


Baby Bonkie




I have to say, I just love these. For those new arrivals this is a  terrific xmas gift.

These cuddly, easy to use and funky Baby Bonkie swaddles will ensure eveyone has a good nights sleep, no escaping that wrap anymore. They are made from unique fresh 100 per
cent cotton fabrics on the outside and yummy lining inside. With so
many styles to choose from, you can’t just have one! They are also easy
to use with three simple steps and Velcro to harness, rather than
having to rely on deft knots and tucks.

You can find them at Urban Child for $52. I dare you to choose just one.

The Bonkie Bag (sleep sack)
for older babies has similarly chic  designs and have just arrived in Australia for $79.95 and are also available at Urban Child.

Katvig Clothing Range

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Take a trip back to the your own childhood with the newest collection from Danish label Katvig.
Street
cred with Seventies flair characterises the new line, with many of the
garments suitable for boys or girls – perfect for passing on to younger
brothers and sisters once outgrown by your eldest.

The pictures
above show some key pieces from the range. Australian toddlers will be looking retro
chic this summer in this personality-laden collection. Katvig’s fine eye
for colour combiningand modern-classic detail make for an easy time in
mixing and matchingwhich I find a challenge at the best of times, let
alonetrying to dress a toddler who just wants to play.

Check out the new swimwear, just in. I love these! Katvig’s fab apple print features on this season’s swimwear – in
black and white, and eggplant and white. Choose for baby a
unisex all-in-one suit with decorative buttons, playful pockets and
built-in swim nappy. Boys can go for the surfer boardies and girls the
stylish one-piece. The boys’ surfer shorts are
$35, and both the baby and girls’
one-pieces are $45, plus postage.

The new collection will be available from Baby Goes Retro.

Global Style Bling T-shirts

Your little ones will look super cool this Sumeer in this new range of custom made BlingShine products from Global Style.

How
can you go wrong with a fantastic thick, smooth and super shiney
glitter used to customise all size t-shirts from newborn up. I love it
on the black and long sleeve black t-shirts, what a great present for a
newborn.

Also new are boys and girls pink and red cap sleeve and
red fine jersey t-shirts from size 2 up to 8. For newborn up to size 2
are olive and pink baby rib long sleeve t-shirts.

Yes, custom
made colour and glitter with free matching gift cards and express post
next day dispatch seems to be the popular purchase for $40 or less
including delivery Australia wide.

Kindergallery

For our newest members of the family, let’s face it Xmas is more about what we want than what they need. Why not buy an amazing piece of artwork for the nursery that they will cherish for years to come.

When it comes to children’s decor, cartoon characters are a quick fix,
but if you would like something with a stronger aesthetic and lasting
appeal, take a look at Kindergallery.

With
a range of originals, prints and decals from leading Australian,
European and US artists, it will appeal to the discerning parent and
child alike. Offering a range of contemporary art works in various
mediums, from photographic collages, oil paintings, to canvas, decals
and felt designs they would also be a perfect special gift for the
child who already has everything and the style conscious parent. A
purchase that will be treasured now and in years to come.

These can be bought direct from the Kindergallery website or through stockists. Prices from $48.

The perfect gift for the Mum-to-be

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I rushed around in the final days of my first pregnancy gathering all
the little things recommended to ease the pain of labour.
All the reading in the world could not have prepared me for what was to
come, but small comforting mementos and things to focus my
thoughts on gave me some relief when the big day finally arrived. Now
Little Sprowtz have released a pack containing all the essentials, to
save you all the legwork!

It’s your own portable ‘midwife unit’ with products aimed at pain
diversion, your comfort and peace of mind during labour.
For pain diversion, the pack contains concentration balls, Mothers
Massage Essential Oil, massage ball, eight affirmation cards,
a soothing blend of essential oils and a focus frame.

The creators have thought of everything, making it easy for you to gather up the pack in one gorgeous box, and have it handy
when that nerve-wracking and exciting time arrives! This makes a wonderfully unique gift for a mum to be and her support
partner as she approaches one of the most momentous occasions of life.

Available for $68 plus post from Metro Mum.

A gift for Dad – Scout Bags

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All the Dad’s out there are sure to love this gorgeous Scout Journey Pack from the chic Petunia Pickle Bottom.

This bag is stylish and also incredibly hip. But in a way that’s good
for dads. Like your man’s favourite pair of cargoes, the Journey Pack
has more pockets than you can poke a stick at. And they snap on and off
for easy access and positioning. There’s one for magazines, one for the
mobile, two for baby bottles and plenty more for all the other kid
paraphernalia men need when out and about with their offspring. Dads
who care about the small stuff might also be impressed with the Journey
Pack’s coordinating wipes container and change mat. But most likely
they will only care that it looks cool instead of girly.

The pack comes in two guy-friendly colours — grey, or olive green. Like it?

Cradle Rock is now stocking these and they are on sale for only $155, normally $209.95. What a brilliant Christmas gift for Dad.

Small Paul

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Good things do come in small packages. Just take a look at the range of
Small Paul clobber for kids. I am loving this range of casually cool
clothes for littlies, with its funky monkey motif and fun designs. And
top of my list is this hipper-than-hip formal tee
from Small Paul’s new spring/summer collection.
Minifashionista
carries an extensive range of new season Small Paul, including tees,
hoodies, hats, bags, socks and toys, with more summer styles expected
to arrive any day now. Prices range from a tick under $20 for an
uber-cool signature sock money or cap to $90 for a lightweight summer
jacket. The formal tee is sub-$30 and the beach sets are $34.95. One of
our favourite online stores is also about to become the first in the
country to stock Small Paul in infant sizes. Itsy-bitsy Small Paul?
Yes, please.

Delightful Maternity options from Stephanie Schell

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This exciting new label is destined to become synonomous with
‘fresh, luxurious’ style, and the Summer ’08/’09 collection has just become available and is selling out fast.

Whilst
Stephanie Schell
assumed her wardrobe would change along with her advancing pregnancy,
she was shocked to discover how
difficult dressing became in the months after giving birth to her son.
Indeed, many of us find ourselves in post-partum fashion purgatory,
with a whole new set of requirements and no clothes to suit. Many
maternity clothes do not facilitate breastfeeding, yet
most of us cannot spring back into pre-pregnancy clothes either.

Maternally Beautiful is a range of maternity clothing that enables
breastfeeding after baby is born, and is made from exclusive fabrics
such as silk jersey, stretch silk satin, cotton jersey and chiffon.
The garments are designed to
be dressed up or down, providing maximum versatility when your
wardrobe is likely at its most limited.

Cedar Leaf is stocking many items in the range. That stunning model you see is Stephanie herself –
beauty, brains and talent all rolled into one, and just look at her lush little bub!

Pampering gifts for Mum

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Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, it’s true. But it’s also a time for stretch marks, varicose veins, cankles, morning sickness and out-of-control hormones. Luckily there is this brand-spanking-new range of pamper products for expectant mums that will have you feeling as glamorous as a pregnant Naomi Watts on a good day.

Sydney mum Renna Danelutti developed the Mum To Be range after enduring nine months of morning sickness hell while carrying her own precious daughter, Melissa. The end result of her agony is a collection of delicious beauty products that promises to make pregnancy a little easier for the rest of us! The luxe Australian-made range includes stretch mark cream, bath and shower foam, fragrant candles, a face mask for zapping pregnancy break-outs, and a reviving foot spray for spritzing over those tired, swollen tootsies.

Everything in the Mum To Be range is organic and free of horrible things like petrochemicals, sulphates, artificial fragrances and other nasties. Which means you can slap it on your tum or wherever else you fancy without worrying about whether it may harm your baby. And we recommend that you do. Because, let’s face it, there’s not going to be a lot of time to pamper yourself once that new baby arrives!

Mum To Be is currently available from selected baby and maternity boutiques in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. They also just launched an online store.

Cocoon Couture Xmas cheer

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Cocoon Couture has been busy, working on a few new things for the 2008 Christmas season. They have just launched is this fabulous Enchanted Woodland
Critter mobile. The mobile’s beautiful wooden construction, featuring Cocoon
Couture’s now famous critters – the bird, squirrel and owl – will hold
your baby’s attention while you get the necessities done. Lovely
enchanted leaves, with beads made from eco-timber accompany the
critters so they’ll really feel at home. Although designed for baby’s room, these will
work well on the handles of baby capsules and on the front
bars of prams.

The Delightful Christmas Sacks range includes a new design – two
little birdies around a big Christmas tree. The dove, Santa and
reindeer sacks are also available, so fill them up with lots of goodies
and your children’s memories of Christmas will include these sweet
critters.

The mobile is $49.95,  charms $15 each and Christmas Sacks are $55.

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