Retro Baby Gear

8 baby gear picks that your mom would approve of.

Retro Baby Gear

Getting ready for the arrival of a sweet, squishy newborn is so exciting. It’s no joke: the nesting phase is real. We fill our Insta-feeds with dreamy baby images, we spend our insomnia-ridden nights searching for swoon-worthy nursery ideas on Pinterest. Before our babies join us on the outside for snuggles and kisses, preparing a space for them is one way we can stay busy... and tangibly show our love.

And for the mama who loves all things vintage, we’ve curated a list of some of the most sweet, nostalgic pieces. This baby gear will have you feeling like you’re living in a fairy tale. From prams to high chairs, swings to bassinets, these 8 whimsical items are a must for your wistful aesthetic.

  1. Silver Cross Kensington Pram | $2,749

    With its oversized wheels and and swooping chrome handlebar, this pram has the perfect Alice in Wonderland vibe that will make you question whether your stroll through the park is in 2017 -- or 1817. It’s available in 5 different colors and comes with an optional coverlet and pillowcase for your baby’s total comfort.
  2. Little Hedonist Lullaby Crib | $221.50

    Imagine a nursery flooded with natural light, lush greenery and the gentle swing of this wool-cotton and bamboo crib. Is your heart full yet? Swing your baby to peaceful dreams in this handwoven work of art that would look lovely beside your bed, or all on its own.
  3. Aloha Love Moses Basket | $185

    Let your little nap anywhere with this whimsical statement basket by Plum + Sparrow. This handwoven basket is 100% vegan, with faux leather handles and a hypoallergenic, waterproof mattress pad. Perfect for lounging in style, even better for Instagram photos!
  4. Safavieh Bali Brown Rocking Chair | $237.48

    With it’s dreamy curves and timeless rattan weaving, this rocking chair is perfect for coaxing your little one to la la land in style. A perfect seat for nursing, snuggling or reading to your sweet one. Available in two shades to match any nursery.

  5. Macrame Baby Swing | $86

    This handmade macrame swing harkens back to an era before toys required batteries and flashing lights. The team of artists at HangAHammock from Nicaragua sell their one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy. Swings are made of cotton rope and sustainable wood, and come in a variety of colors.
  6. Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair | $249

    This high chair has that classic wooden look, but with clean lines and a modern update. This chair has been in production since 1972. It’s that good. And, it’s totally customizable with twelve color options and personalized engraving. Even better, it is designed to seat your little love for life -- from six months into adulthood.
  7. MacKenzie-Childs Tea Party Tea Set | $135

    This lovely child size tea set is the epitome of nostalgia--in fact, the creators boast it as “tradition with a twist.” Pull up a chair and enjoy some one-on-one time with your littles, sans electronics. This set comes with a carrying case, table cloth and napkins and is sure to have your tiny ones behaving like little ladies and gentlemen… for a few moments, at least!
  8. Mother Stork’s Baby Book | $150If this baby journal feels like it’s from another era, that’s because it is. It was originally printed in 1904 and more than 100 years later, maintains that idyllic feel. It filled with timeless nursery rhymes and thoughtful prompts to help you remember your first year with your baby.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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