21 clever uses for a swaddle

It breaks our hearts to part with a supersoft swaddle (or 8), so we’ve found 21 alternate uses for our Aden + Anais – from crumb catcher to superhero cape!

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Tie it around child’s neck for an instant bib

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A lovey (soft + breathable + washable = score)

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Fabric for a boudoir pillow case for the crib

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A head scarf or turban

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A changing pad in a pinch

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A giant, effective burp cloth

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A portable crib sheet if you forget one – it’s big enough to cover and fold under the mattress.

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A spring/summer scarf for you (though not if you opted for the monkey print, please)

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A toy and food-catcher on the plane (tuck one end in the seat pocket, the other under the car seat)

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A swim towel for littles, especially since it dries quickly

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A travel sunshade for the car (tuck it in as you’re rolling up the window)

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A hammock or a swaddle for a baby doll

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Tie it around your neck and — voila! — impromptu nursing cover

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A cover for the dirty airplane seat

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A sunshade or a lightweight blanket in the stroller

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A booger/snot wiper

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A cape for superhero play

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A pareo for you at the beach

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Restaurant high chair cover — also filthy!

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Canopy for building forts

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Shopping cart cover – those things are dirty and cold

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JenniKayne

We’ve been fans of designer Jenni Kayne ever since we discovered her laid-back, chic clothing line and signature D’Orsay flats years ago. Her effortless, LA-steeped vibe is 100% authentic – the girl doesn’t even blow dry her hair!

Jenni grew up in Santa Monica and now lives in Beverly Hills (cue the jaw-dropping!) with her real-estate agent husband Richard Ehrlich, son Tanner (6), and daughter Ripley (3.5). Having launched her first collection at 19, she’s well on her way to creating a brand empire that emulates her West Coast lifestyle – 4 boutiques, the inspiring Rip + Tan blog that she writes herself, and of course season after season of cute clothes and shoes.

Jenni spent last weekend transforming the front half of her West Hollywood store into a lifestyle shop, much like the Jenni Kayne Home outpost in Montecito. It’s Rip + Tan brought to life: a spot to shop curated housewares and travel finds alongside her collection of boxy blazers, tailored pants, feminine blouses, and those perfect everyday flats.

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Come spring, we’ll be seeing a slightly different look from her, as it’s her first collection with a new designer: “It’s much more in line with my personal uniform, and I think my readers will find it speaks to their practical lifestyle and what they want to wear.”

We got more details on that “uniform”, as well as her key to glowing skin, her trick to stop a toddler tantrum in its tracks, and much more.

Meet the ultimate California girl Jenni Kayne.

Her Uniform

My look totally changed after kids, but I haven’t sacrificed style at all. I have to be able to get on the floor and be comfortable, and I have a uniform: high-waisted Acne jeans with a Jenni Kayne tee or button down and Jenni Kayne flats, loafers, or Birkenstocks.

Toys Du Jour

Tanner is outgrowing our playroom, so we are in transition mode. I have always been about wood toys and no plastic, but we’ve gotten really into Zoobs, Magnatiles, and Legos. He’s really into building and games, so guess who has a foosball table in her house?!

Ripley loves dressing up – she’s really into princesses and I refuse to go the Disney polyester route. So I’ve stocked a rack with costumes from Wovenplay, The Creator’s Touch, and Fire & Creme in Venice – the owner, Peggy, is French and has great costumes from Paris.

Keys To Parenting

You have to learn how to be flexible, patient, and focused. I’m a Virgo, so that can be difficult. I am always striving for balance – when the kids were younger, I used to take them to work, but that wasn’t very productive. And they notice when I’m on my phone in the playroom. So now I separate the two and am far less distracted and more productive.

Making time for me – yoga and horseback riding – keeps me sane. So does my great team at work.

Parenting Is Hard

Not having control over things is hard for me, especially when I see either of my kids struggling with something, and I don’t have the ability to fix it or make it better. Breaks my heart!

Fashion Pet Peeve

Get dressed! It makes me crazy when people wear workout clothes throughout the entire day.

Good Advice

When your kids are young and having a tantrum, you can’t force them out of it, but you can change the subject to something more interesting and fun for them. The art of distraction is brilliant!

Giddy Up!

I grew up in LA and rode horses in Topanga until I was 18, and I have been saying for years that I would get back into it. I finally did it this year, and I am hooked! I ride 2 or 3 times a week at Sullivan Canyon, and Ripley is taking lessons too. I’m learning how to jump – it’s pretty crazy!

Memorable Purchase

I recently took my daughter to Neiman Marcus for fro-yo (something my mom and I used to do together), and we walked right by the Oscar de la Renta section where I spied the perfect black dress. I’ve always loved my mom’s ODLR dresses, and I didn’t own one – this fit me brilliantly, and it felt like a sign, so I bought it!

Family Time

Weekends are my favorite. My husband and Tanner are taking surfing lessons together, so Ripley and I go and hang at the beach. Then we all go for lunch afterwards at Brentwood Country Mart. And for dinner, we love going to Fresh Corn Grill or Pizzeria Mozza – always early.

3 Hours Alone

I would go horseback riding then get a facial at Terri Lawton, who does cranial work, so you leave glowing and feeling like you had a deep tissue massage.

Secret Talent

I love needlepointing. I don’t turn them into anything because it’s not my style, but I love the process of starting and finishing one. It’s so satisfying! I should probably find something that suits my aesthetic more.

Name, You’re It!

With Tanner, we knew we were having a boy, but we hadn’t decided on a name. The day we went to the hospital, we went through a name book and towards the end, we saw Tanner. We both loved it, especially my husband because he’s a huge fan of Bad News Bears, so that was it. With Ripley, a friend of ours had a brother named Ripley and they kept describing him as this cool, eccentric guy. We both loved it and decided boy or girl, the next one would be named that. Her middle name is Jewel, so if she wants to switch them up later in life, she can do that. But I hope not!

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5 Tips To Raise Grounded Kids

As if providing for your little isn’t challenging enough, it’s also your responsibility to make sure he’s healthy emotionally (gulp). For our how-to-not-screw-up-your-kid questions, we always turn to Erica Komisar, a New York-based psychotherapist and parenting coach with two decades of experience helping parents raise emotionally-balanced kids. Here she shares 5 essential truths about toddlers – and the top takeaways for you.

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Put Words In Their Mouth

Truth: Your child relies on you to translate what they are feeling – so help them out!Takeaway: Stop asking questions your toddler can’t answer (“What’s wrong babe?”) and take a guess: “You’re mad because you want to sleep over with the monkeys at the zoo” and then deflect, “but let’s go home, eat dinner, and read the monkey book!”

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Keep Calm

Truth: Your kid learns to regulate emotions through you.Takeway: Duh: cursing, pot-throwing, and slamming doors are out. But you should try to choose a deep breath over an angry huff whenever possible. Likewise, celebrate life’s joyful moments: “Look, hunny, my J. Crew package arrived! Hooray!”

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Set Limits

Truth: Kids need limits. Without them, they feel fearful and unloved.Takeaway: Use sensitivity when setting the rules: “I know you feel sad about going to bed now, but if you go to bed now you’ll have energy to play tomorrow.” Repeat like the broken record you have become. Moderate limits are best – too strict can create anxiety in a child.

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Engage Immediately After Distractions

Truth: You child learns how to cope with frustration and stress via you.Takeaway: While at the park together, you have to take a work call and must ignore him for a few minutes. As soon as you finish, reconnect with him immediately: “Sorry about that, sweetie. Mommy is back and ready to play now.” This builds resilience and patience.

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Acknowledge That Change Is Hard

Truth: Even small transitions can be hard for young children (going to bed, waking up, going to school), so be present, patient, and attentive.Takeaway: If drop-off at nursery school is bringing on a lot of tears, get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to spend quality time together beforehand – read a book about going to school. It’ll relieve some of the anxiety.

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dressup

Somewhere around age 2 1/2 to 3, every day turns into what feels like Halloween: imagination takes flight and pretend play becomes a thing. Be prepared, you’re going to need dress-up clothes (and lots of them!).

Toddlers gravitate towards archetypes and realistic items for role play, but over time their imaginations grow, so make your collection a mix of representational items (fire chief hat, princess dress) and less obvious finds (scarves, goggles, antennae) that foster creativity.

And when it comes to gender, we’ve seen little girl construction workers and little boys in tutus play for hours on end. In other words, in our costume boxes there are no gender “rules”.

Princesses

Etsy is a goldmine. LoverDovers and Heart Felt Costumes do Disney costumes you can feel good about – they’re machine washable and lovingly handmade. The Creator’s Touch is for future couture clients (with price tags to match), but they’re showstoppers.

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Knights

You can fight the no-weapons battle in your house, or you can get this knit helmet, shield, and sword. After all, creativity is mightier than the sword.

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Super Heroes

With great power comes great responsibility – and of course the need for an awesome flying super hero costume and a tiger cape. Lovelane kills it in this category.

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Animals

It’s a jungle in that playroom, so why not let them roar, flit, and fly.

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Fairies

Mix and match your own midsummer’s night dream fairy or opt for the tutu and wing combination.

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Police & Firemen

Leave it to the cops and firefighters to keep your house safe. (As long as they have the waterpack and boots, of course.)

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Doctor

A pint-size pediatrician with the essentials kit is not only fun but also a great way to work through doctor’s office anxiety.

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Hats

Sometimes all you need is a tip of the hat. To wit: a train conductor, chef, construction worker, cowboy/girl, pirate, and crowns. Lots and lots of crowns.

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Accessories

The extras – boas, scarves, beads, masks, antennas, glasses, wands – will work overtime once your kiddo wraps her head around the idea of mix-and-match. Your closet is also a treasure trove of items: Comb through your old purses, shoes, boots, ties, belts, vests, and other embarrassing accessories from the 90s (that crushed velvet babydoll dress looks better on an actual baby) to complete their collection.

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Storage

Depending on your threshold for wrinkles and clutter, we suggest a costume rack (so you can hang and organize flawlessly) or a trunk to stash it all out of sight. If you want a cheapie, this will do the trick.

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