Best Umbrella Stroller for Toddler and Infants

If you are thinking about buying an umbrella stroller for your baby gift, then you might be wondering what the best choice for the new parents is. After all there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of strollers on the market and they are all claiming to be the best. However that simply can’t be the case. So how do you know which one is the right pick? Well to work that out first of all you need to know what you expect from your stroller.

Umbrella strollers and other everyday strollers

Most people don’t expect much from their strollers. Most people simply want a stroller that is easy to navigate around streets and easy to fold down for public and private transport.  Often you might also find that parents like to have a compartment somewhere on the stroller to keep shopping, toys, etc safe.

Umbrella strollers are the perfect partner for any parent who wants a good old fashioned simple stroller that doesn’t take muss or fuss to get set up. They are normally easy to put up, easy to get back down again and they always have a storage compartment to keep those little knick knacks safe. If the new parents are like this – then an umbrella stroller is a good pick.

Jogging strollers

If the new parents are healthy conscious and like jogging then you might want to put some consideration into getting a jogging stroller. Jogging strollers are full of handy little features that can really help get your exercise on.

You can even get double strollers which is great news for any parent who are having twins or a second child. You will find that most jogging strollers have certain features that help to make the exercise process a lot easier. This means that you will normally find that the back bar has been removed to ensure that you don’t bump your legs and that the suspension is often much better.

Jogging strollers normally have large chunky wheels too; this allows the parent the ability to push the stroller through any terrain without too much effort. The last thing that they want is a pram that is getting stuck on every curb when you are jogging.

Travel cribs

Some parents enjoy travelling with their little ones and that means taking everything that they need with them. As you can imagine there is a lot of extras they need to take when taking a little one on holiday, so a great gift can be making this easier. Many strollers actually come with a bassinet attachments which means the parents have a transportable bed.

You could also think about just buying a travel crib. Read more here.

There are so many strollers on the market today, that it can make it difficult to know which one is best for you. However if you sit down and really think about your needs before you go out to purchase your stroller then you really will end up with the best umbrella stroller for you.

Venues for Baby Showers

If you’ve ever been asked to organize a Baby Shower for someone the first detail you need to decide upon is where to hold it. Everything else comes after that. So how do you decide where to host it? What are the options?

In this article we look at four choices for where to host a Baby Shower: someone’s home, a function center or conference room, a restaurant and a hotel room. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses so keep reading to find the best option for you.

Someone’s Home

The obvious choice is to hold the shower in your home, or the home of the mother to be, or someone else connected to them. It’s a good traditional choice, and allows you to set up and pack up at your leisure. You’re not on the clock.

However, is your (or whoever’s) home big enough? If it is going to be a large baby shower maybe not. And of course, if it is at someone’s home that means all the catering and decoration falls on volunteer shoulders. That’s not for everyone.


  • Costs little
  • All the time to decorate it as needed
  • Can host the type of Baby Shower you want


  • Someone has to tidy up
  • Space might be limited
  • Everything has to be done yourself

A Function Center or Hall

From your own home lets go to all the way to the other end of the scale – hiring a proper venue. This could be either a function hall, like those used for weddings or a conference room at a hotel.

You’ll get a lot of space so you can hold the type of shower the mother to be wants, and kids can run around. And if you want, you can pay for decorations and catering – most venues will only be happy to help you arrange it all…

…at a cost. However you will be able to decorate the venue yourself, and provide food if you want, and just stick to renting the room.

Other than the cost – which can be big – is that these venues might be taken up with weddings and the like, which means you’ll be stuck with less popular times. And because you’re renting it by the hour (typically) set up and clean up time (if needed) aren’t free.


  • Big space – can do what you want
  • Flexibility to organize or outsource what you want


  • Can be very costly
  • And have to pay by the hour
  • Might be stuck with less than ideal times
  • May still need to clean up

A Restaurant

If the Baby Shower is going to revolve around a meal then a restaurant might be a good choice. You can be certain that they’ll do the catering!

Most restaurants will either provide a room provided you guarantee to order a minimum amount of food and drinks or insist on a set menu at a per head charge. This can add up, making it a possibly expensive option.

The restaurant probably won’t decorate the venue for you, although staff might help set up decorations you provide (generally fancier places more used to hosting events will do things like this). If you pick a restaurant you’ll be stuck with getting the decorations sorted.

Having a meal at a restaurant will spare you cooking but it shapes the dynamic of the shower. You’ll be mainly sitting at a table which restrictions conversation, other activities (if any) and might not be ideal for kids if any where invited. So it is best for small to medium groups.

Still, you’ll be spared the washing up!


  • No catering
  • No cleaning or washing up
  • Not as much organisation as a function venue


  • Can be very expensive
  • Less room, mostly have to sit
  • Not ideal for kids who might attend

A Hotel Room

A Hotel Room is a good compromise between being able to hire a space and the cost. If your party is not large then a hotel room could be a good choice. You might be able to arrange an earlier check-in, too, if they are not too busy that day.

Depending on the hotel it should be significantly cheaper than a whole function hall, or even a restaurant. We’re not talking about Super 8, but it doesn’t need to be at the nearest Marriott either.

The size of room can be determined by how many people are to come – some rooms can fit quite a lot of people in.

While you will still have to do the decoration yourself (most likely) you maybe be able to outsource the catering to the hotel (although it may not be cheap). You can still cater for yourself if you want as well.

The nice thing about a hotel is – provided you don’t break anything – there’s no cleaning up to do!


  • Potentially a much cheaper option
  • Catering can be a job for the hotel
  • Less time pressure – the room is yours for the day/night
  • They’ll clean up for you!


  • A smaller space – can limit the people you can have and what you can do
  • Can still be expensive in busy periods (depending on the hotel)

Read more baby shower tips here.

What are the Main Features of an Umbrella Stroller?

The umbrella stroller is becoming increasingly popular in urban families because of its sleek design and easy dismantling. Unlike many strollers on the market the umbrella stroller is designed to fit down narrow streets and shop aisles, making it the perfect choice for parents who live in and around cities. It’s also lightweight and folds down to a reasonable size making it a good choice for any parents who are fond of travelling.

If you are thinking about a great baby gift for new parents, then an umbrella stroller is a great choice!

Features on an umbrella stroller

When it comes to an umbrella stroller the features directly correspond with the price. This means that they range from a standard stroller that does the job, to a fancy stroller that can play music, tell you the time and hold your drink.

This being said the umbrella stroller always has certain features that define it for what it is. These features include handles that are in an upside down ‘J’ shape, the stroller being lightweight and it folding easily, somewhat like an umbrella.

What benefits does an umbrella stroller offer?

The main advantages of an umbrella stroller are felt by people who frequently travel and people who live in urban areas. They are normally much easier to control than full size strollers and this makes navigating busy streets and narrow shopping aisles a lot easier on the parent. They also fold down with relevant ease meaning loading the stroller onto a bus or into a car isn’t as much of a hassle. The umbrella stroller is also designed to fold down to the smallest possible size, so it’s much easier to fit it into the back of your car with your food shop.

Would an umbrella stroller suit someone in a rural area?

The umbrella stroller wasn’t designed with rural areas in mind, although they are more than adequate for day trips to the country side. The main disadvantages of an umbrella stroller can be felt when in rural areas however as things like suspension are sorely missed. The wheels also fail to impress on rough country roads as they are designed for smooth pathways not dirt roads. So you will notice over constant use on rural roads that the wheels will wear out much faster than other strollers.

From what age is an umbrella stroller suitable?

An umbrella stroller isn’t suitable from birth due to its upwards sitting design. However you will find from around the six month mark that you will have no problems using an umbrella stroller for your little one. You might think that it’s a waste of money to buy a new stroller so soon after birth but you will find that the umbrella stroller will in most cases last all the way through to your child walking, providing you look after it.

The umbrella stroller is an excellent choice for any parent who lives in an urban area or who travels a lot. The range of features you can get with the umbrella stroller are almost limitless and there is a make and model to suit any parents budget.

Looking for something smaller? Read our guide to the best baby shower gifts under $20.

Buying a Voucher to a Pharmacy – Lame Yet Cool!

Looking for a super helpful baby shower gift? For something a bit different, and sure to be very useful, why not consider a gift voucher for a pharmacy.

If you have not had a baby yourself, this might seem like a strange idea for a present, although once you have your own child you will understand! New babies go through a lot of pharmacy goods. Things like nappy rash cream, baby panadol, diapers, dummies, formula… In fact most disposable items that a baby needs are from a pharmacy and the new parents will quickly find that they are spending half their pay cheque in a pharmacy.

I know I rarely went into a pharmacy before having children and now it can sometimes feel like I am in there every second day. Pharmacies certainly make good money from new parents.

For these reasons, a pharmacy voucher can make a fantastic present. It is easy to buy and easy for the new parents to use. The best part is that you can be sure that it will be put to good use with the parents getting something they actually need and will be sure to use.

When buying your pharmacy voucher, look for a chain pharmacy that is situated near the mom to be’s home. New parents usually do not want to venture far so you want to make it super easy for them to use. A pharmacy in a chain is also a good idea so that the voucher can be used at multiple stores.

Another alternative is to buy a voucher for an online pharmacy. This way it is even easier for the new mom to order what she needs and not even worry about leaving the house.

A pharmacy vouchers makes an excellent present. Do not feel embarrassed and be sure that mom to be is going to be thanking you!

Travel Cribs

A travel crib is a portable crib that is used when parents take their kids on trips and this crib is a neat tool to have since it makes traveling safer and easier for the parents. Travel cribs are lightweight and they fit inside most car trunks. The fun thing about travel cribs is that they come in diverse colors and patterns. For example, if you have a baby girl you may purchase a travel crib that has girly designs such as fairies, bold colored flowers, tiny lollipops and cute animals. Or if it is a boy you can buy a crib that has masculine designs such as toy trucks, tree trunks, sports equipment and blue birds.  Travel cribs make an excellent, loving baby gift.

Safety Advice for Using Travel Cribs

When using a travel crib, it is important that you set up the crib according to manufacturer’s instructions so that the crib will not collapse and injure the baby. When you shop for a travel crib you should also find one that has a neatly snug mattress on the inside of it to keep the baby from falling in between the mattress and the crib.

Travel Cribs Are Better Than Hotel Cribs

Another reason you should buy a travel crib is because it is safer than the hotel cribs according to travel safety experts. In one recent report, the safety inspector found that some hotel cribs had a mattresses that were covered with adult sheets and this was a hazard to babies. In another inspection, it was found that the rails on the hotel cribs were too loose and the plastic covering on the mattress was torn slightly.

Travel Cribs Are Affordable

You may think that travel cribs are just as expensive but this is not true because most stores offer discounts on the most popular crib brands and there are inexpensive brands that offer high quality travel cribs. At the same time, don’t choose a travel crib solely on the price because some cheaper brands are not always the best.  Travel Crib Reviews is a great tool to help you find the right travel crib for your needs in your price range.

These Cribs Are Helpful Even When Not Traveling

Travel cribs are used mainly for going on trips but these are helpful even when you’re not traveling. If you live in a small cottage house or studio apartment, sometimes it is not feasible to buy a traditional crib since it would take up too much space in a room. Or if you’re going to be in the kitchen for a few hours, you can put the travel crib a few feet away from you so you can monitor the baby.


lotus travel crib

Travel cribs serve different purposes and for the most part the cribs are safe for babies. Some models of cribs are better than others so before you buy a travel crib it is a good idea to read reviews and get recommendations from those you know. Look out for any recent recalls on certain cribs and do troubleshooting if you sense any problems with the crib. Our favourite choice is the Lotus Travel Crib (pictured above).  Finally, keep the crib clutter free as too many objects in the crib pose a safety hazard.

Best Baby Shower Gifts Under $20

You need to buy a baby shower gift for a good price? It’s not always easy to find a great baby gift especially if you do not have children yourself and have no idea what a baby needs.  This can be made especially difficult if you are on a budget.

Thankfully for you, we can help you out. There are some fabulous baby gifts out there that will impress any mom to be. The best part is that there are many options for less than $20. Here are some of our top picks for the best baby shower gifts you can buy for less than $20.

  1. Sticky Bellies Stickers, $14.99. This gift is great! The new mom can stick these numbers onto the front of their baby’s clothes every month to take a cute collection of “1 month”, “2 month” etc photos. It is an original and thoughtful gift.
  2. Baby Minky Dotted Blanket, $13.Blankets are always in great demand with a new baby and these ones are awesome! There are five great colours to choose from.
  3. Personalized Baby Spoons, $14.90. These cute baby spoons will make an original and cute baby gift that will show the mom to be how much you care.
  4. Ba Bottle Holder, $15. This very cool bottle holder will let the new baby hold the bottle for itself at a much younger moment. The mom to be will really appreciate this milestone and the fact that you helped it happen earlier!
  5. Baby Legs, $10. Baby legs are basically leg warmers for babies. They are a great and easy way to keep baby warm while still giving easy access to baby’s bottom for diaper changes. Baby legs come in all different colors and patterns and it will be easy to find something that will suit your taste.
  6. Hairbands, $8+. This gift is an awesome way to make a new baby girl even more adorable. There are many types and sizes of hairbands you can buy that new baby girl coming into the world.
  7. Babyprint Ornament, $10. This kit will enable the new mom to quickly and easily make a footprint ornament to help remember the precious newborn moments. Thoughtful and unique, this is another great present option.
  8. Baby beanie, $19.50. For Winter babies, a beanie is a great gift. These super cute designs are sure to wow any mom and new baby. Take your pick from any colour or design. These handcrafted beanies will be a hit.
  9. Turtle Soother, $11.50. This cute turtle soother helps distract babies when they are upset or at times like a diaper change. It glows and makes sound.
  10. Baby Turtle Crochet Pattern, $5. For something extra special, how about buying this cute crochet pattern and making the new baby a gift? The mom is sure to appreciate the love gone into making a special gift of your own.
  11. Pharmacy gift voucher, whatever value you want! Read more here.

Hopefully these ideas have solved your baby shower dramas!


Top Games at a Baby Shower not Involving Alcohol

So it’s time to plan a baby shower!

Baby showers are lots of fun, but they can be stressful to organise particularly if you have not been to many before. One of the toughest parts can be working out suitable games to play. Games that are fun, but not too dorky can be tough to come by especially if the mom to be does not want alcohol involved!

To help you out, here are 5 games to play which are fun and sure to entertain and impress your guests.

  1. Don’t Say Baby!

Equipment: A cheap dummy on ribbon for each guest.

On arrival, each guest is given a dummy to wear around their neck. Whenever a guest says the word “baby” they have to give their dummy to the first person who calls them out on it. The winner is either the first person to collect all dummies or the person who has the most dummies at the end of the party.

If the person saying “baby” has multiple dummies, they only have to hand over 1.

  1. Guess The Price!

Equipment: Pictures of 5 baby items along with names and descriptions (you can print this from a site like Amazon). Note paper and pens for all guests. A prize.

Display the pictures and hand out the paper and pens. The guests then have to list the items from the cheapest to the most expensive. The person who gets the order the most correct wins!

  1. Guess The Baby Food

Equipment: A range of different baby food jars with the labels removed. Spoons. Paper and pens for all guests. A prize.

Each guest tastes each of the baby foods and writes down what each baby food is, for example, pear, pea, etc. The person who guesses the most right wins!

  1. Decorate The Cake

Equipment: Plain cup cakes, various decorations for the cakes such as icing, candy, etc

The best part about this game is that it also provides food for everyone! Each guest decorates their cup cake. The mom to be then picks her favourite. The guest that decorated that cake is the winner!

  1. Guess The Baby Items

Equipment: About 20 small baby items in a bag such as a dummy, baby spoon, teething gel, etc

Each guest gets 30 seconds with their hand in the baby bag. Once the time is up, they have to guess as many items that they can that were in the bag. The person who gets the most right wins!

Baby showers can be lots of fun! Hopefully using the suggestions above, you will host a fabulous baby shower. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of your venue. Good luck!

Toys For Newborns/Young Babies That Can Be Hung Off Strollers

When you are looking for a gift for a friend’s recently announced baby shower, one set of items that few parents can deny useful are the toys that attach to the baby’s stroller and baby carrier. These toys are great because they go anywhere the stroller goes and therefore are always available for the child to look at, play with, chew on and attempt to throw.

The problem and the solution

Almost any parent will be able to tell you at least one story where they were taking their child out and a toy, soother, blanket or other item was thrown out of the stroller and lost forever. These toys are designed specifically to avoid this happening. These toys attach via Velcro, clips, spiral wires, etc. All of which are designed to do the same thing, they keep your child’s toys safe from falling out of the stroller or carrier which is always disappointing as your child will usually not notice for quite a while but when they do it can become the end of the world.

What’s available?

As these toys are attached either along the bar or dangling from it, it encourages the baby to reach for it, pull it and interact with it which promotes both gross and fine motor skills as well as hand-eye co-ordination. These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and noise levels. There are some which are high-contrast to captivate young children’s attention while working on their fixation, tracking and scanning co-ordination. Others have bells, squeakers and rattles in them to keep them entertained and distracted from what could be a long time sitting in a stroller if you are out hiking. Some of these toys also have special materials used for texture stimuli, teething materials and some even have interactive stimuli such as buttons. These toys quite often have the appearance of various animals and are usually quite whimsical in their appearance which children, especially those who are young, appreciate.


The one downside to a couple of these toys is the noise factor. Some of them have bells which jingle on the slightest hint of movement which can make you sound like you are pushing a cart with horse bells attached to it or very young children during the winter to ask where Santa is. They have also been known to awaken a baby who fell asleep during their walk and as their parent is carefully lifting their sleeping baby out of the stroller a light nudge causes the bell to ring and the child to wake fully.

These toys are appreciated by almost any parent and their children and are well worth a second look when you are trying to decide what to get for the new arrival. They can be purchased at most stores where baby toys are sold and range from very inexpensive to moderately priced and are also available online through most retailers.

How To Host An Excellent Baby Shower

So your best friend or sister is having a baby. Congratulations! As they share the excited news you start thinking of all the cute little outfits you can get them to wear, the adorable bedding sets and nursery items and then it comes to you: you can throw her a baby shower!

So you’ve offered to host a baby shower for the new addition and then realize that you’ve never done this before. Perhaps you have never even been to one. Fear not, they are not so difficult and with a little effort they will be fantastic and something that the new mom will never forget.

What will you need to think about?

A standard baby shower has:

Date & Time: Very important. Make sure the guest of honor is able to attend


  • Also important. Whether at your house, hers or a hall somewhere, location can really make or break the perfect baby shower.
  • Some ideas of locations that are not your house or hers are restaurants, rental halls and public parks. All of which can be reserved for your event and have their own benefits. For example: At a restaurant you do not have to worry about preparing food for the guests as it can be purchased from the restaurant itself.

Read my full article about finding a venue.

A guest list of family and friends:

  • This is probably the most complicated part about a shower. Make sure your mom-to-be has informed everyone that is coming as you would not want to burst that bubble.
  • You will also want to make sure that if two people do not get along that you figure out one of two things: either ensure they will behave while at the shower or find out which the mom-to-be would prefer to be there. Drama is something that no shower deserves nor wants.


  • Pretty standard of any party. It can be as simple as a nutritious vegetable dip or as extravagant as a chocolate fondue. This is completely up to you.
  • For instance: does she plan on finding out the gender and telling people? You could do gender reveal cupcakes. These are simple yet ingenious treats that are easy to have made for your party in advance. You have half the cupcakes frosted with pink icing, the other half with blue icing. Everyone gets a cupcake and when they cut into them either the entire batter is the color of the child coming or they have a colored cream filling informing people of the gender.
  • Remember that some women have odd cravings and sensitivities while they are pregnant. If your guest of honor is sensitive to the smell of chicken for instance, serving chicken may not be welcomed with open arms. If, however, you find she is having cravings for salt and vinegar chips with ketchup, make sure that is available at all times.


  • Games are a great way to break the ice and to encourage conversation among the party guests. They also prevent awkward silences and help everyone get involved.
  • From a “guess the gender poll” to “what baby food is this” there are plenty of fun and ridiculous games which will encourage conversation, laughter and memories. Remember to check your dignity at the door for some of the games out there, “name that poo” anyone?
  • Read our list of the best baby shower games.


It is generally assumed that gifts are involved when it comes to baby showers so arrange a time towards the end where the mom-to-be can open her gifts and make sure you have a clipboard, paper and pens on hand so you can write who gave her what so she does not have to worry about forgetting.

Making it special

So those are the standard necessities, what makes or breaks the shower though is you! Doing a little research may only take 20-30 minutes but will make a world of difference.

You may want to consider party favors and prizes for the games. One fun item is a baby bottle full of chocolate or other candies. Obviously if your mom-to-be is diabetic those can be substituted for more appropriate fillings.

A themed shower

Perhaps a themed event is more her taste. Make sure that your guest of honor’s opinion is first and foremost in your mind. You can host the perfect elegant and modern baby shower but if your mom-to-be is into classic books and Southern charm, this may not be the party for her and may lead to awkwardness.

Regardless of where, when and how you throw the baby shower for your loved one, make sure that she feels loved, appreciated and remembers to stay well fed, hydrated and comfortable as today is definitely her day. She will thank you for it and appreciate every ounce of effort you have put into this and will remember it for the rest of her life.

Baby Soothers

Walking through the baby aisle in your local store will have you bombarded with options of soothers. What is the right one? Which will the baby like? Does the mom even want to use soothers? All excellent questions.

All the options…

Soothers come in many different shapes, sizes, brands and materials. A few of the options are listed below:


  • Latex
    • More flexible than silicon
    • Possible allergen
    • Does not last as long as it is softer
  • Silicone
    • Firmer
    • Easier to clean and sterilize
    • Does not hold odor


  • Gumdrop
    • This is a new shape that is long with a bulb on the end
    • Some babies may not like this particularly if breastfed
  • Orthodontic
    • Designed to fit in the mouth better than the standard shape
    • Flatter than the standard shape and many babies will take these without problems
  • Standard
    • Tried and true; most babies will take these without issue
    • May lead to issues with bite issues (under or over)
  • Sizes
    • Age
      • It is important to get the correct size for your child’s mouth as a child under 6 months has a much smaller mouth than one who is older than 6 months and therefore requires a different shape/size

What’s the right soother?

So as far as what the correct soother is, it all depends on the parents and the child the soother is for. Most children get attached to their soothers and will develop a preference for a certain shape and material. My boys each had the silicon ones however; my younger one preferred the orthodontic version whereas my son preferred the standard nipple shape.

Is a soother appropriate?

Some parents will not want to use soothers especially those who have decided to exclusively breastfeed as it can cause nipple confusion. These babies are usually fine with a soother after they have been feeding well for a month as they will be able to distinguish between their mother and the soother itself. These issues can be found with thumb-sucking however, and that is much more difficult to stop as a soother you can take away when you feel the baby is too old for the soother, whereas you cannot take away their thumb.

Soothers can be found in almost any department store, baby boutique and supermarket. The only part you will find difficult about purchasing a soother is deciding between the brand, material and shape.

In all, soothers are a good choice for a baby shower gift and most parents will be thankful for the quiet they will get on those nights that the baby wants an extra little bit of support.