Monthly Archives: April 2015

TotScoop buying guides

Here are some quick links to our top buying guides:

Hope you find them helpful!  More to come!

Our Favorite Baby & Kids’ Clothing Brands

Meet our seven favorite baby & kids clothing brands for stylish, high-quality pieces at non-astronomical prices!  (Note: This is NOT a sponsored post.  We just call ’em like we see ’em!)

Baby Gap

baby gap

Baby Gap will hardly be a new discovery for most shoppers, thanks to its ubiquitous retail presence, but it’s such an important cornerstone of the American baby clothing market that we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it.  It churns out a wide range of good quality, well designed staples that consistently deliver.  Look to Baby Gap for everything from layette basics and toddler activewear to sleepwear and special occasion outfits.  They regularly have sales of 30-40%, so be patient with that itchy trigger finger.

Baby/Mini Boden

Mini Boden

This British import creates high-quality clothing with indubitable style. It is sold at select retailers (e.g. Nordstrom) and can also be purchased directly from the Boden website. We particularly love their print/applique graphic tees, baby jeans (so easy to pull up and down), and adorable sweaters.  We regularly salivate over their collections, and always make sure to load up at their regular sales.  (If you’re new to Boden, also don’t miss their women’s collection!)

Hanna Andersson

Hanna Andersson

This Swedish brand is synonymous with unbeatable quality.  Their clothing is engineered for performance and comfort and washes extremely well; pieces often still look practically new when outgrown, and are often handed down through multiple children.  Over 60% of Hanna’s products are Oeko-Tex
Standard 100 certified, meaning they are free of any hazardous substances.  Hannas are also backed by an unconditioned guarantee, and can be returned at any time.  Hanna makes our absolute favorite sleepers/pajamas and training pants/underwear, and is also a great choice for layette items and playwear.



Zutano, one of our favorite brands for newborns through toddlers, offers cute basics and prints.  Their basics (e.g. tops and pants/leggings), hats, and booties are favorites for newborns and infants.  Note that sizing runs small.

H&M Baby/Kids


For fast fashion for the tiny set, look no further than H&M.  Swedish brand H&M offers a nice range of clothing — including basics, some organic cotton choices, and on trend pieces — for newborns through big kids.  And all at very reasonable prices!  We scoop up their 100% organic cotton basics (like bodysuits and leggings) by the armful!  If you don’t live near one of their retail locations, you can also shop their website.

Zara Mini/Kids


Spain-based Zara Mini/Kids offers a different twist on fast fashion, producing a more classic feeling collection (mostly solids, in a more muted set of colors) at great prices.  They also offer a selection of organic cotton pieces at impressively low everyday prices.  If you don’t live near a Zara retail store, you can also shop online (free shipping over $50).

J. Crew Baby/Kids


We adore J. Crew’s in-house Baby & Kids collections, which sport signature J. Crew style, as well as their curated selection of third-party brands (e.g. aden+anais, Nature Baby, Petit Bateau, Baby Oeuf).  (The cashmere pieces aren’t the most practical we’ve ever seen, but most everything else is both adorable and machine washable.) Kids styles (2+) are available in selected J. Crew stores; Baby styles aren’t available in most stores, but shipping is free on all online Baby orders.

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

What to pack in your maternity hospital bag

Getting ready for the big day?  Here’s a comprehensive list of everything to consider packing in your hospital bag.  Aim to get your your bag together by around 35 weeks, so you don’t risk being unprepared and have less to worry about when the time finally comes.

For you:

  • Towel and/or trash bag (for car)
  • ID / insurance info / hospital paperwork
  • Birth plan
  • Labor/delivery gown (hospital will provide one — but some people like to bring their own)
  • Pen / notebook / watch or timer
  • Gum / hard candy (for labor)
  • Relaxation tools / comfort objects (whatever you need to make you comfortable in your room): e.g. music, family photos, bouncing ball, massage oil, etc.
  • Favorite pillow (if desired), with a non-white pillowcase (so it doesn’t get mixed up with hospital pillows)
  • Favorite snacks (for after labor, and in case cafeteria is closed)
  • Hairband(s)
  • Pajamas / comfortable lounge clothes
  • Robe
  • Socks
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Flip flops or slippers
  • Nursing bras/tanks or sports bras
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream and/or gel pads
  • Nursing pillow (as needed)
  • Breast pump (as needed)
  • Bottom balm, Tucks, or witch hazel (for tears/hemorrhoids)
  • Maternity underwear and heavy maxi pads or Depends (if you don’t want to use the mesh underwear and super thick pads provided by the hospital)
  • Lip balm
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, deodorant, any favorite shampoo / conditioner / soap, face wash, lotion, hairbrush)
  • Glasses, contact lenses, contact solution (as needed)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Makeup (if desired for photos)
  • Going-home outfit; possibly also a second presentable outfit for pictures or visitors (think second trimester)
  • Phone & charger
  • Camera, batteries, memory card
  • Entertainment, e.g. music, magazines/light reading, portable DVD player or digital videos, deck of cards

For your partner:

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Change of clothes
  • Pillow and/or blanket (if not provided by hospital)
  • Favorite snacks
  • Change for vending machines
  • Phone & charger
  • List of people to call/text/email
  • Entertainment (see ideas above)

For baby:

  • Diapers & wipes (if you’re picky or hospital doesn’t provide)
  • Pacifier/soother
  • Scratch mittens
  • Hat (hospital usually provides generic ones)
  • Receiving blanket (hospital usually provides generic ones)
  • Going-home outfit
  • Baby/memory book (if desired)
  • Books on newborn care and/or breastfeeding (if desired)
  • Car seat (installed in car ahead of time)


  • Gift for elder siblings
  • Thank you gift or note for nurses
  • White noise machine (if desired)
  • Take-out menus for local restaurants

Hopefully having everything you need on hand will make your delivery a little easier.  All the best for a smooth delivery and a healthy new addition to your family! 🙂