Living in a big city has its advantages, and having access to lots of wonderful children’s stores is one of them. Yes, big city living is great… until you have to drive somewhere!
Traffic is a Mom’s worst nightmare; no one wants to be stuck in gridlock with a crying baby or restless toddler in the back seat! That’s why, despite having lots of shopping options, many urban parents seek out their neighbourhood kids’ boutique to find all the product advice (and gear) they need.
And, while smaller boutiques can’t offer the array of products that big box retailers can, they know that parents don’t want to compromise on quality, service, eco-friendliness or selection. So it’s important to have a carefully curated product line-up that emphasizes functionality and value, while offering as many local and sustainable items as possible.
This month’s featured boutique, Baby on the Hip, strives to incorporate all of those features in both of their stores. And, if their large fan base is any indication, they are succeeding. With locations in Toronto’s popular Leslieville and Little Italy neighbourhoods, Baby On The Hip is well situated to serve the growing, bustling communities they serve.
One of the ways they differentiate themselves from some other retailers is through the wide variety of eco-friendly, organic, and natural products they carry. Customers will find clothing, sleep sacs, bedding and swaddles made with safe, organic materials such as cotton, bamboo, and soy. They also carry skin care lines comprised of natural and organic ingredients that are safe to use on baby’s sensitive skin (and yours, too!) as well as toys, teethers, and other baby essentials made with eco-friendly materials such as wood, cotton, silicon and natural rubber. They are also proud to carry locally-made items from brands such as Pippalily, Fidoodle, and Substance.
And, while sustainability is important, the folks at Baby On The Hip know that parents want products that look good, too. So they only carry brands that stand out for their combination of form and function.
Some of my favourite items they carry are soft toys from blabla (made by a women’s collective in Peru); sustainable wooden toys from Hape, Tegu and Plan Toys; the ingenious weighted-straw lollacup; spill-proof sili squeeze feeder; Wee Urban and Tea Collection clothes for kids (up to size 7!); Natural Charm Canadian-made organic cotton Moses basket; and footwear from Kamik (fun rain boots), Toms and See Kai Run (high-quality leather shoes and sandals).
Baby On The Hip has got all your needs covered – everything from maternity/nursing wear, cloth diapers (Montreal-madeBummis are big sellers) and baby earmuffs, to large purchases like strollers (Bumbleride and Baby Jogger are popular) – and are available in-store and online.
Another element that makes Baby On The Hip unique is their community outreach. They host community workshops that help new parents gain valuable knowledge and skills. There are frequent CPR Training workshops, taught by an experienced paramedic, that teach important first aid skills such as clearing airway obstructions and performing CPR on infants and children. They also hold clothing and book swaps throughout the year, where parents can exchange their used clothes and books with each other. Not only is it frugal and environmentally friendly (less consumption, more recycling), but proceeds from the swaps are donated to a local charity, too!
For those times when you have questions, their staff is ready to help. They receive extensive training on everything they carry, so you can shop with confidence, knowing they will help you find the best item to suit your needs.
Baby On The Hip strives to offer the best possible experience to their customers. This is evidenced by their passion for customer service, their product knowledge and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere in the stores.
If you’re in the Toronto area, take a moment to visit Baby On The Hip at either of their locations. Be sure to bring your shopping list, or you’ll easily get distracted by all of the other great stuff you’ll find there! You can also shop online, and if there’s something you’re looking for, give them a call; they’ll be happy to help.
Baby On The Hip
969 Queen Street East Toronto, Ontario M4M 1K2
786 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1C6 tel: 647.427.1484