All eyes are on Austin this week for SXSW. But there’s a reason so many of the coolest New Yorkers we know have made the move to this cool Southern city for good. Austin often tops the lists of best places to raise kids (Forbes, Parenting Magazine, Business Week), and with great weather for most of the year, plenty of open space, live music, kid-friendly festivals and great public schools, it’s no surprise. Home to Whole Foods, Lulumon, Formula 1 and the X Games, Austin also leans heavy on health and outdoor activities. Throw in an easy, arty laid-back -- yet totally hip -- vibe, and you have the trappings of a childrearing utopia.
Here’s our favorite Austin stores for expectant parents:
This long-time go-to store is a great place to shop for hand-picked items for your pregnancy and beyond. They offer a great selection of jeans, fashionable tops and dresses, as well as registry items and baby clothing that never lets you forget you’re in Austin.
Best for: Maternity clothes, baby clothes, gifts for your expectant friend and décor
Visit: 1003 W 34th Street, Austin picketfencesbaby.com
Special Addition is a welcoming maternity boutique known for its amazing customer service and assistance with nursing bras and nursing equipment. The store offers a wide range of maternity clothing in addition to under garments; anything product you might need for breastfeeding and a wide range of gifts.
Best for: Nursing bras, breast pumps and nursing advice
Visit: 7301 Burnet Road, Suite 200M, Austin maternityandnursing.com
Baby Earth is the ultimate baby gear store in Austin. With high end brands like Bugaboo and Nuna as well as everyday favorites like Graco and Chicco, it's a great place to find whatever baby gear you need. The store also has a wide selection of cloth diapers and furniture to peruse.
Best for: Stroller, car seat, cloth diaper supplies
Visit: 106 E Old Settlers Blvd. Ste D-100, Round Rock babyearth.com
The Natural Baby Co
Located downtown, the Natural Baby Company is just what you’d expect -- a sunny filled store chocked full of green and clean products like cloth diapers, amazing baby skin care line and a carefully curated selection of baby gear. Whitney and her staff are helpful and knowledgeable.
Best for: Cloth diapers and baby carriers
Visit: 515 S. Congress Ste. 200, Austin thenaturalbabyco.com
Also located downtown is Wee, with a modern urban take on baby gear, furniture, bedding, gifts and toys. While a ‘wee’ store, it does pack a punch in any hipsters registry.
Best for: Nursery furniture, stylish baby clothing and gifts
Visit: 213 West 2nd Street, Austin shopwee.com
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sparkle Kids. This upscale secondhand store is shopping at its finest on a budget. The store carries a wide range of high end baby and kids stuff that often times looks like its never been used. Great selection of shoes too!
Best for: Upscale second-hand baby gear and fashion
Visit: 4800 Burnet Rd, Austin & 2810 Manchaca at South Lamar