A holiday gift guide for our littlest elves.
’Tis the season for bundling up; even the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this winter will be colder and snowier than average. Lucky for us, our favorite winter gear comes in tiny sizes, too. For this year’s holiday gift guide, we’re focusing on apparel and accessories for babies and tots—and we know Lake Minnetonka is home to some of the most stylish kiddos in the metro. Check out our picks from lake-area retailers who specialize in presents for the littlest among us.
All Dressed Up
The experts at local purveyors Hi Little One and Oh Baby! share their favorite apparel for tykes.
Hi Little One isn’t a run-of-the-mill onesie operation. Sisters Nell Lindquist and Maggie Allen (who lives in Deephaven) specialize in ready-to-wear and customizable onesies and tees with witty phrases and attention-grabbing graphics (and what baby doesn’t need more attention?). You can find Hi Little One items in several local boutiques (check out the Resources section for more details), including a holiday line chock-full of adorable toddler tees and infant onesies that are “cute but not too cutesy,” says Allen. One of our favorites is the quippy “Not an elf, just short” onesie. Winter items are available in three-piece gift sets ($65) or individually ($23). Hi Little One.
Things are better in pairs—socks, friends, and baby clothes. Oh Baby!’s fall/winter line, which you can find at their Excelsior boutique, is called Fairly Forest. The line includes 100 percent cotton top and bottom sets ($49.94), made for newborns to 12 months, so you can mix-and-match your favorite enchanted forest characters.
We love the Sasquatch and Boo Boo hoodies ($95.95–$105.95), which coordinate perfectly with matching Yoke pants ($59.95) and Glinda wrap skirts ($79.95–$109.95). The soft tulle wrap skirts are available in 14 colors and work for all seasons. They can be seen on stylish tots from coast to coast. “We found that in Aspen, they put them over ski pants. And in the Hamptons, they put them over bathing suits,” explains Oh Baby! owner Mary Lauer. Don’t forget to look for coordinating accessories like a Meadow Bunny or Elmer hat ($59.95), fairy wreath ($99), crown ($29.95), bear mask ($49.95) or handmade Boo Boo doll ($129.95). Oh Baby!
Possibly the cutest mini items in the baby market go on feet. And because baby feet grow so fast, there’s always a reason for an update, right? Carisa Fegers, owner of Little Feet Children’s Shoes in Minnetonka, shares her favorite picks for pre-walkers, boots and walking shoes.
Pre-walker (up to 12 months)
Little Feet Children’s Shoes always stocks Minnetonka Moccasin’s Riley suede pre-walker ($29.99), available in white, brown and pink, with an elastic opening for easy on-and-off. Little Feet also carries three hand-painted moccasins ($46.99) by New York-based designer Lindsay Stewart. Those styles, from Stewart’s Free Range Mama brand, are a collaboration with Minnetonka Moccasin, and also found at minnetonkamoccasin.com.
Keen Footwear makes its outdoorsy Targee shoe in a crib/pre-walker style ($39.99)—think baby’s first hiking boot. Fegers says that Keen is a reliable brand for baby’s first shoe. Hook-and-loop laces make for a comfortable yet secure fit. Little Feet Children’s Shoes.
Fegers says that the Robeez brand is always popular, especially their Cozy Ankle baby bootie ($39.99), which Little Feet carries in tan and black, and their Galway Cozy baby bootie ($39.99), available in pink and grey. Both have faux fur, perfect for baby fashionistas, and leather lining, creating a comfortably warm and breathable boot.
Another Keen Footwear winter favorite is the Rover crib boot ($39.99). The Rover has a flexible, grippy rubber outsole and Little Feet carries this nylon and microfiber boot in new colors True Blue and Purple Wine.
Finally, for the most confident walkers, Fegers predicts that Bogs boots ($55.99) will be popular this year. “They’re for babies, but for babies who are walking,” she says. Bogs are 100 percent waterproof and machine washable—great for Minnesota slush and salt. Bogs come in a seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns; Little Feet carries the Classic Polar Bear, Classic Pompom Dot, Classic Black and Classic Flower Stripes styles. Little Feet Children’s Shoes.
For babies who start taking their first solo steps during the winter, Fegers recommends the Stride Rite Soft Motion Burrell boot ($45.99), available in tan, and the Soft Motion Constance boot ($45.99), available in glittery taupe or grey. “I think the glitter is going to be the top color for our store, only because everyone loves that it’s a little shiny,” says Fegers. “It’s cute.” These shoes are designed to help babies improve their balance while learning to navigate the rough terrain of a snow-filled backyard. Little Feet Children’s Shoes.
Even in the depths of winter, Minnesotans of all ages have to get outside and make the best of it. Katie Roedler, the owner of Hopkins’ Baby Grand boutique, shares her favorite products for keeping baby warm in our frigid winter wonderland.
The Car Seat Cocoon ($59) by New York-based 7 A.M. Enfant secures over baby’s car seat to provide a warmer ride. “It’s kind of revolutionary, where it doesn’t impede the five-point harness for infant car seats,” explains Roedler. She says that bulky snowsuits can prevent a harness from fitting properly around baby’s chest and pelvis, so the cocoon offers warmth without the bulk. Available in nine colors.
There are a lot of stroller options on the market, but if you can deal with the hefty price tag, Stokke’s winter kit is worth a look for its great accessories (kit $249–$299). The winter kit includes a faux-fur lining that can be installed in the Stokke Xplory stroller (stroller $1,225), a faux-fur blanket, an insulated hood and storm cover, and faux-fur-lined attachable mittens, for uber-plush baby transportation. “People do like to get out and about in Minnesota, no matter what the temperature is,” says Roedler. “So it is a good seller.” 7 A.M. Enfant also makes WarMMuffs 500 ($30), which are stroller mittens that can be attached to any stroller.
A favorite hands-free travel option is the Ergobaby baby carrier, also with a winter edition ($195). The carrier, worn by a grown-up, has three positions, so baby can face front, back, or at your hip, with the weight evenly distributed between Mom or Dad’s hips and shoulders. The winter edition has 100 percent sheepskin trim and is lined in organic cotton and recycled polyester. “It’s a more natural and green composed carrier, which we like, too,” explains Roedler. Baby Grand.
Lullaby and Goodnight
Roedler notes that pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise against the use of loose blankets and pillows in cribs, and instead suggest the use of wearable baby blankets. Baby Grand carries Baby Deedee sleep nests ($38–$48), sleep sacs made of breathable quilted cotton. Sleep tight, all of you. Baby Grand.
Odds and Ends
Stocking stuffers for every last naughty and nice babe on your list.
You can find more than shoes at the Little Feet shop. Carisa Fegers loves Chewbeads ($15.99–$34.99), attractive necklaces for caregivers that are safe for baby to chew on. These beads provide a pleasant pop of color for a winter wardrobe. In addition to necklaces, Chewbeads has brand-new chewable stroller clips ($15) and Major League Baseball-themed necklaces ($34.50) for the tiniest Twins fans out there. Little Feet Children’s Shoes.
If you’re a fan of ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, this next item is a baby must-have: Baby Grand is a Freshly Picked moccasin dealer. Katie Roedler says that, while the mocs are little pricey for a pre-walker, the quality is unbeatable. Any moccasin from Freshly Picked’s winter line, Sparkle, will make baby’s feet light up and come packaged and ready to give as a perfect gift ($45–$60). Baby Grand.