Late last week, I was on a mission that left me in unfamiliar territory. I ended up in said landscape after my dear friend Emily sent a group text awhile back that managed to make multiple heads spin in unison — a pregnancy announcement for a surprise third baby. Many screams, tears, and open mouths later, a gender reveal party was in the works and I needed a gift to take to the big unveiling.
Once upon a lullaby, I was a baby goods guru. I knew every product, gadget, and way to make a mom’s life easier that existed. I was a pro. Today, I can tell you the best hoverboard to buy, which Lego sets will steal 10-plus hours of your life away, and how to dress an American Girl doll like a runway model, but baby gear has me bamboozled. Confounded, I headed to Edmond’s mecca of all things infant — Cinnamon Bears Children’s Boutique and reintroduced myself to the land of little ones and all things tots.
I practically smelled that intoxicating newborn baby fragrance as I took in all the beautiful displays that fill the 3,500-square-foot interior of the relocated Cinnamon Bears. Established in 2005 and originally located in downtown Edmond, the business moved to Kelly Centre (610 S. Kelly Ave., 405-330-2327) in November 2018 and carries a huge array of clothing and accessories (preemie to size 6), toys, room décor, diaper bags, and every other inventive baby product under the sun.
Owner Mary Edwards guided me to lots of options for a cute gender-neutral gift to add to the always-needed diapers we were giving our parents-to-be. I finally landed on a WubbaNub pacifier with attached sloth stuffie and a fun little clutch that stows a diaper or two. While sales associate — and resident Cinnamon Bears monogrammer — Ann Kaiser was wrapping up my gift, I wondered what most mommas-in-wait choose for their new arrivals. Here is a list of Edwards’ top five winning picks:
• A certifiable must-have for a newborn, the Zen Swaddle ($33) takes the classic sleep swaddle blanket to another level.
“What makes this special is that it is lightly weighted on the sides and chest to mimic touch,” said Edwards of the popular gift. “It can be used from newborn to six months and arms can go in or out, while legs have room to move.”
• Often used in combo with the swaddle, the Baby Shusher ($38.50) is a take on the classic white-noise machine known to settle and keep babies asleep. This version is portable and can be attached to the stroller to soothe on-the-go.
“My biggest validation for this product was a mother of seven who used the Baby Shusher and the Zen Swaddle in combo and said it was the first time one of her babies had ever slept 12 hours,” Edwards said.
• Expectant mothers spend lots of Googling hours trying to select the perfect coming home outfit and Kissy Kissy Layette ($50, gown/hat) is an elegant and comfy answer. Made in Peru, the Pima cotton pieces are super soft and feature timeless, understated designs. I loved the outfits designed for a trip home from the hospital. They covert from a gown to a romper, which is key for buckling a tiny one into the carseat for their first ride home.
• Little Giraffe has been creating lush and elegant baby blankets since 2000 and the quality and top-of-the-line aesthetic continues today.
“They’re an heirloom piece,” Edwards said.
Again, you’ll find low-key, subtle prints in soothing color palettes, and likely some of the softest chenille, satin, or velvet you’ve ever touched. The keepsake blankets ($48.50) come in solids and pretty prints and can be monogrammed in-store to create a keepsake that will be treasured long-beyond the baby years.
• Moms quickly learn that there’s not a lot of down time in the world of babies. The Copper Pearl 5-in-1 Multi-Use Cover ($27.50) takes multitasking to another level with a completely clever design. I remember the days of carrying a nursing cover-up, a car-seat cover, and a big bulky protector for the shopping cart/high chair rolled up under my arm. (I start breaking out in a panicky sweat just thinking about it.) This gorgeous piece of stretchy perfection is next level, combining all these needs into one sophisticated span of material that can also be worn as a fashionable infinity scarf (with patterns that seriously make it possible).
Edwards said, “Most moms want three or four so they can keep one for the carseat, restaurants, and shopping; one for nursing; and one in the washing machine.”
I left Cinnamon Bears feeling sentimental about those sweet infant years (that seem like yesterday) and crazy envious of how far baby goods have come since I was slinging Pampers on the regular. And although I am not likely to have a true case of baby fever anytime soon, I can’t wait to spoil my friend’s bundle of joy in the not-so-distant future. It’s a boy, by the way.