Spring Showers: FAO Schwarz

A fun day is just a subway ride away.

Spring Showers: FAO Schwarz

When you live in New York City, there’s just no way around it: you’re a slave to the weather. And although we’ve enjoyed snuggling with our babies and toddlers in our apartments during this long, snow-filled winter, spring has finally sprung and we’re beyond ready to head outside. Even if that does mean enduring the frequent spring showers NYC spring weather brings. There’s no way we’re letting a little rain stop us from enjoying milder temps… even if only for a few moments before heading inside somewhere else. We do own umbrellas after all. Thankfully we live in a great city, filled with incredible destinations for our kids and babies that are just a subway or bus ride away. In our first of an an ongoing “Spring Showers” series with Ergobaby, we’re taking the train to one of New York City’s most famed kid-friendly sites: FAO Schwarz. From my Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, FAO’s an easy ride on the Q train to 59th Street, made even easier with Elsie in the new Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier (coming in mid-April!*). The Four Position 360 has four different carrying options -- including a hip, back, front outward-facing and front inward-facing -- meaning I could arrange and rearrange my sweet 9-month-old baby to accommodate pretty much any situation. And when you’ve got two 2-year-old toddlers in tow (Kaity’s son, Oliver, and my daughter, Libby), you need to be ready for just about anything! There’s something about FAO Schwarz that can melt the heart of even the most serious adults I know. No matter how many times you’ve stepped foot inside those big revolving doors, it’s a brand new experience when you get to see it through the eyes of your little ones. The awe in Libby, Oliver and Elsie’s expressions -- their twinkling eyes, their gaping mouths, their heads whipping round and round as they tried to take it all in -- brought us right back to our own childhoods. When in FAO, you’ve got to do the FAO stuff, which means first and foremost: hightail it to the giant piano, best known for its cameo in Big. If you hit the store the minute it opens, as we did, you can get the whole keyboard to yourself -- or in our case, all to our toddlers. The experience brought the sensation of touch to a whole new level as they catapulted down the keys. With Elsie close to me in the Four Position 360 I was able to act quickly on any sudden toddler shenanigans. And hit a few high notes of my own of course. FAO also has one of the most impressive stuffed animal collections known to man, including lust-worthy options from the uber-luxe Steiff, which makes buying a stuffed giraffe for $800 seem reasonable. A quick change of Four Position 360 positions put Elsie face to face with lions, tigers and bears, oh my -- her first taste of the wild kingdom up close and personal. Like any great toy store, FAO also has its fair share (and more) of trains, cars and Dora dolls, so keep an eye on your toddler (and wallet). Luckily, there’s an enormous candy section right near the exit on the main level, which helped lead us to the perfect getaway, lollipop and all. Back out on Fifth Avenue, the M5 bus was practically awaiting our arrival, so we decided to extend our Spring Showers outing for a little while longer. With Elsie tucked away into the Four Position 360 -- turns out we can effectively snuggle with our little ones while on the go too -- and Oliver looking sharp in Ergobaby’s Original Carrier in the Sea Skipper print, it was super-easy to hop on board and head downtown to our next destination. Find out where we’re headed in the next installment of our Spring Showers series with Ergobaby next week. Destination: FAO Schwarz, 767 Fifth Ave. Nearby subway: N/Q/R train at 59th St. Hours: Sun-Thurs 10-7, Fri/Sat 10-8 Mama Tips: Go early and avoid the crowds! The famous giant piano is on the second floor, all the way in the back. Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative. This post was sponsored by Ergobaby. *To find out more about the new Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier, sign up for Ergobaby's newsletter.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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