Having a baby is a big deal, and clothing your baby is becoming an art form. The era when new parents simply borrowed or inherited baby clothes from their older relatives or even used clothes from their own babyhood now seem long past, and our cute little bundles of joy have become a means to showcase parents’ good taste and fashion sense.
Some sociologists have also noted that the current trend of dressing children and babies like little adults reflects an attitude popular in the Middle Ages, which saw basically no difference between children and adults, so their styles of dress were identical. Even though this might be a bit of a far-flung theory, it’s obvious that we’ve started to turn our babies into small fashionistas — and this hasn’t gone without notice in the Toronto shopping scene. Over the last decade, new and trendy shops full of exquisitely designed baby clothes have sprung up all around the city to create a full palette of choices for fashion-conscious parents. Here’s just a taste of what Toronto has to offer, and if you wander into one of these baby stores, you won’t be disappointed. Check them out!
969 Queen Street East
Baby on the Hip is a shop where well-off hipster moms flock to choose the cutest eco-conscious baby products. This little boutique in Leslieville keeps most of its merchandise locally sourced and provides more traditional toys and fashion for babies (you won’t find any battery-powered baby toys here). As the management emphasizes:
“Many of our baby clothes and other products are made in Canada, including several from right here in Toronto.”
Toronto brands include Twice Upon a Time, Pippalily, Schoolyard, Wee Urban, and Patouche.
But buying clothes for your baby while saving the planet with style doesn’t come cheap, so get your bank accounts ready for the attack of boutique prices. You also shouldn’t expect a huge selection, as this store specializes in quality products and has more of a boutique vibe. Baby on the Hip also provides workshops for keen parents and offers an online registry service to make shopping easier.
670 Queen Street West
Kol Kid is another beautiful shop where you can find everything you might need for your little bundle of joy — from clothes and accessories to cute, handmade toys made by local artisans. The variety of clothing and shoes in their selection features brands that are difficult to find elsewhere in the city, including Wovenplay, Oeuf, Bobo Choses, Tsukihosho, and Old Soles. Like Baby on the Hip, Kol Kid is no place for budget buyers, but if you’re looking for something special or a gift for a friend, you might appreciate the quality and uniqueness of their products. If you sometimes catch yourself wishing that baby stores had adult sizes and feeling a bit envious, don’t even consider coming here!
1642 Bayview Avenue
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive baby boutique where you can easily find everything under one roof, Moms to Be and More is an excellent choice. One of the top baby boutiques in the city, it offers all parenting must-haves and amazingly cool clothes for your little ones. The staff is very knowledgeable and always happy to help with your inquiries. The store is quite spacious, so you should have no problems choosing from their selection, which can also be browsed online. The prices aren’t the lowest, but if you scour their website carefully, you might come across some great sales, which come up about once a month. The only thing customers find annoying about Moms to Be and More is that they only have two parking spots, both of which are always occupied.
2 Davisville Avenue
Since 1995, Spoiled Baby has stood up to its name and offered unique, innovative baby products. The owners apparently focus on gift-buying customers and feature specialties that parents themselves probably wouldn’t buy but that would certainly make you and your baby’s day as a present. For example, you could get a tiny, cute raincoat, hooded animal towels, or adorable socks. Fashion tip: according to owners, there is a trend of people getting fed up with dressing baby girls in pink:
“Girls clothing in black, chocolates, and bright colours are sought after right now.”
The shop features as many Canadian-made and organic products as possible. Some of the best sellers in the shop include Baby Guess and Juicy Couture for baby, as many people like to shop for their favourite brands. The staff is friendly and helpful and perfectly knowledgeable about their selection. Prices are quite high again, but again this is not the kind of shop carrying everyday baby products — and of course people have to reach deeper into their pockets to pamper their little ones!
Li’l Niblets & Baby Sprouts
1654 Avenue Road
Lil’ Niblets and Baby Sproats is another of those one-stop shops. Even some people who aren’t parents love visiting and exploring all the cute, inventive little products. This great store on Avenue Road features an amazing selection of cribs, dressers, and gliders supplemented by a huge offer of strollers. Saying their prices are budget-friendly would be an exaggeration, but the shop is reasonable compared to other baby boutiques, and it also offers many products hard to find anywhere else in the city. The store itself underwent a major renovation a couple years ago and is really customer-friendly now. Parents can also choose to use Lil’ Niblets and Baby Sproats’ online store, which features loads of their awesome products and provides free shipping for orders exceeding $100.