Best Backpack Child Carriers for 2016

Parents who like to remain active with infants and toddlers will love a backpack child carrier. This type of carrier is designed to be comfortable for both parents and children even for extended periods of time. Use a child carrier for trips to amusement parks, hiking, festivals, and even shopping. Children get tired easily, and carrying them can be challenging and exhausting. Strollers work great but are not always an option at some places. A backpack child carrier can easily be brought in small cars or on a bus, making it more versatile than a stroller. Here are our picks for the best backpack child carriers.

Smart Mom Pick for 2016 – Littlelife Freedom Child Carrier


Littlelife Freedom carrrier is designed to be used like a backpack, with the child being carried on your back. There is a harness, hip belt strap, and stabilizer straps that can be adjusted based on the height and size of the user. It is best to adjust the carrier to your personal comfort before placing your child in the carrier. The seat where a child sits is anatomically designed for children, making it snug and cozy for your child. Use the child harness and height adjustment straps to position your child properly. Your child’s arms will remain free and not restricted. A unique feature of this child carrier is the optional foot stirrups. Keeping your child comfortable will help them relax and enjoy being in the carrier.

For additional comfort, the adjustable Air-flow backsystem prevents heat from building up and creates a separation between the carrier and your back. This is perfect for hot days or when you will be using the carrier for a long period of time. Reducing excess heat and sweat will help prevent skin irritation and keep parents and children cool. Use the included canopy to keep your child protected from the sun and rain.

A huge convenience that this carrier has is the ample storage. There are toy attachment loops to keep toys close at hand. Several pockets in the front are easily accessible and are large enough for drinks and snacks. One of the side pouches can hold a 1L water bottle. The other side pouch zips shut to store important personal items such as car keys and wallets.

The Littlelife Freedom Child Carrier has the technology and design for comfortable wearing and accessories that make it easy and safe to use. Enjoy your trips and traveling more when you and your child are happy and comfortable with using the Little Freedom Child Carrier.

Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier


Experience freedom on the city streets and on country roads with the Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier. Designed to maximize family outings, this product is the preferred choice for those who enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle with their child. Available in orange and blue, parents and caregivers will receive many glances from admires when they carry their child in this sleek and stylish carrier.

The Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier is suitable for a child who weighs less than 40 pounds. The easily adjustable child harness offers a fun yet secure ride for little ones who are within the weight specifications. The parent harness is also adjustable to provide an ergonomic fit for adults of all heights and body types. The harness is equipped with padded shoulders and hip belts, which support against children and parents’ bodies. The air-tech mesh panels across the back of the product keeps the body cool while contouring to the spine for additional comfort. This technologically advanced harness system will distribute the weight of a child on a parent’s hips and not on his/her shoulders. As a result, the parent and child team can participate in activities for more than an hour.

Another highlight of the product is the drink bottle storage and streamline pockets. This great feature enables users to access essential items like keys, cell phone, and a wallet quickly and efficiently. The detachable mini-backpack provides little ones with the same benefit. Children can store important items like snacks, drinks, and small games in this cute and practical accessory. The mini-backpack can also be used as a diaper bag.

The Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier is made of extremely durable materials such as high-grade fabrics, which are washable and waterproof. The product also contains an internal aluminum frame and stand to provide strength and stability when parents are getting ready for a grocery run, day trip, or other outings. Moreover, these high-quality materials help parents load their child in the carrier safely by securing the adjustable hardness. Next, the caregivers can grip the strong handle to lift the carrier onto his/her back. After using the item, parents can simply fold the carrier to a flat position. Because the product folds to 23.5 x 12 x 6.5 inches, the carrier can be easily carried on a plane. The item can also fit comfortably in the trunk of a car.

Although the Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier is made with the highest quality of construction, the product comes with a two-year guarantee period for manufacturing defections. The consumer needs to register the item on the company’s website to have access to this benefit. A parent and child will definitely love the Phil&Teds Parade Child Carrier.

Baby Backpack Cross Country Carrier

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The innovative Baby Backpack Cross Country Carrier is both lightweight and sturdy, and is packed with convenient details to make for a smart, comfortable ride for both children and parents. It’s tough enough to tackle the trails, but easy enough to use for daily urban adventures.

Made of durable fabric on a metal frame, this carrier can hold a child up to 40 pounds and can stand up to daily use in any and all weather. The metal alloy frame features a kickstand which enables the carrier to sit upright, making it easy to load or unload children. It can also fold flat for ease in travel and storage. Tough oxford cloth covers the frame and can stand up to mud, rain, and scrapes from active use. The fabric comes in two colors and cleans up in a snap.

The child seat sits high, giving kids an unparalleled view. It is well padded and the soft backing sports wide, comfortable shoulder straps to keep children safe and secure inside. The fabric is quick cleaning and stylish. A removable cloth canopy with clear plastic sides can function as a sunshade or a rain canopy to protect little ones from the elements. Two mesh side pockets with cinch tops are designed to hold water bottles, and a huge back pocket suspends under the seat and is big enough to fit diapers, wipes, snacks and any other essentials.

For the adult, this carrier sports extra cushiony shoulder straps and a thickly padded hip belt to evenly distribute weight and to make for a more comfortable ride. All straps are adjustable for a customized fit, allowing for quick and effortless changes between parents of different heights. The hip belt is plush and contoured with a zippered pocket sewn in to secure money, keys, and other parent necessities.

This full-featured carrier weighs a mere 5 pounds and can support up to 40 pounds safely. Children can begin using it once they can safely hold their head up on their own. The exceptional quality and durability of the design means that the Cross Country Carrier can stand up to years of regular use.

The Baby Backpack Cross Country Carrier is loaded with thoughtful details and innovative engineering to offer parents an unrivaled option in a carrier. Lightweight, easy to use, and durable, it provides the ultimate in comfort and convenience for both parent and child. Whether hitting the trails or trekking through town, The Cross Country Carrier makes it easy and comfortable to travel as a family.

Best Jogging Strollers for 2016

Most parents will agree that owning a stroller is an absolute necessity. Jogging strollers maneuver and turn much easier than traditional strollers. Jogging strollers are perfect for moms, dads, and nannies who frequently take their baby to the park and grocery store as well as other fun places. Here are top picks for the best jogging strollers for 2016.

Smart Mom Pick for 2016 – Chicco Activ3 Jogging Stroller


The Chicco Activ3 jogging stroller is large enough to accommodate your child comfortably and small enough to fit compactly into a closet or the trunk of a car. The versatile stroller rolls smoothly on any terrain, including grass, gravel and pavement. The KeyFit travel system allows you to click the infant car seat in and out quickly and easily.

This jogging stroller’s suspension gives your baby a smooth ride on the bumpiest of surfaces. The large wheels roll well over tree roots, hard sidewalks and sand. The rubber tires have a rugged tread that grips a variety of surfaces, and they will never go flat. The stroller is ideal for taking long walks, jogging or running with your child.

You can lock the front wheel using a button on the handle. This makes the stroller more stable when you’re moving quickly. A hand-activated brake on the handle keeps the rear wheels locked so that the stroller doesn’t roll away if you’re parked on an incline. The handle also adjusts to four different positions, ensuring a comfortable grip no matter how tall you are.

A stroller is not very useful if it’s too large to transport. The Chicco Active3 jogging stroller folds effortlessly with the click of a button. You can fold it in a manner that allows the stroller to stay standing, which is an ideal way to store the stroller in a closet, hallway or garage. When you need to fit the Chicco in the trunk of your car, you can close it completely flat. The compact collapse option makes the stroller small enough to stash in tight spaces. This is an ideal position for stowing away the stroller for long periods of time. Because the aluminum frame is lightweight, the stroller is easy for one person to manage.

Your child will stay dry and out of the elements when you pull down the large, weatherproof canopy. Even the window is tinted to protect your child from the sun. Because the stroller’s material is water-resistant and easy to clean, you don’t have to worry about it soaking up spills.

The Chicco Active3 jogging stroller is recommended for children ages 6 months to 50 pounds, which means you can use it until your child is a preschooler. The seat reclines so that your baby can look around or nap comfortably. Your little one will stay safe in the 5-point harness that adjusts as your child grows.

Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller


Parents and caregivers are sure to love all of the innovative features of the Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller. This exceptional product provides the ultimate in convenience for those who maintain a busy lifestyle with their little one. Inspired by the traditional Graco strollers, this revolutionary item was designed with performance, maneuverability, and comfort in mind.

The Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller is suitable for a child who is less than 50 pounds. The air-filled rubber tires offers a fun ride for children who are within the weight specifications. The front wheel can lock for added stability while jogging on a sidewalk and unlock for better maneuverability while leisurely walking around the city. The extra-padded and adjustable recliner stroller seat ensures that the little one rides comfortably when strolling indoors and outdoors. The product is also equipped with an overarching canopy to protect children from bright sunlight and the rain.

The extra-large storage basket is positioned underneath the stroller seat. This basket will hold items such as food, diapers, clothes, toys, and other essential baby gear. Another great feature of the Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller is the deluxe storage trays. Conveniently positioned in front of the stroller’s handle, the parent’s storage tray is designed to hold two beverages, a smartphone, and other small necessities. The children’s tray is strategically placed in front of the little one’s seat so that he/she may have quick access to games, snacks, or a drink. The children’s tray can pivot or be removed completely in order to place or lift a child in and out of the seat. The children’s and the parent’s tray can be easily cleaned with soap and warm water.

Parents and caregivers can place a compatible infant car seat into the Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller. Once the user hears an audio “click,” the car seat should be secured in the stroller. The “Click and Connect” feature also applies to the stay-in-car based that is included with most car seats. After using the stroller, simply remove the car seat and then pull the clearly marked strap on the stroller’s seat to quickly fold the product. The FastAction fold enables caregivers to disassemble the stroller with one hand while comforting the baby with the other arm.

The Graco FastAction Jogging Stroller is the preferred choice for many parents and caregivers. Because the product is made of premium and light-weight material, the stroller only weighs about 30 pounds, which greatly contributes to the easy maneuverability and ultimate performance.

Kolcraft Sprint X Jogging Stroller


The Kolcraft Sprint X Jogging Stroller is perfect for walks, running, traveling, and shopping. The front wheel is 12 inches and the two rear wheels are 16 inches. These larger, air-filled wheels handle rough terrain and uneven surfaces with ease due to the dynamic rear suspension. The design also allows the stroller to make tight turns in confined areas.

Securing your child in a stroller properly will prevent injury and keep your child comfortable. The multi-position seat can be adjusted for your child and includes a padded 5-point safety harness. Using a 5-point safety harness is recommended for the safety of small children. The harness has 5 points of contact where it secures the child in the seat, ensuring that the child remains in a safe position while using the jogging stroller.

The adjustable canopy has an expandable visor that provides full coverage to protect your child from the sun and weather. Use the large storage basket underneath the stroller to place larger items such as clothing, snacks, or toys. The parent tray located near the handle has 2 deep cup holders as well as a storage area to keep essential items such as car keys. There is also a child cup holder that is removable, and a padded napper bar that is soft enough for your child to rest on for a nap.

Infants are too small to be placed in strollers and carrying a heavy car seat around is not ideal. The Kolcraft Sprint X Jogging Stroller can be used in combination with many infant car seats made by several different brands. Snap the car seat to the top of the jogger, giving you the flexibility to use the stroller while keeping your infant safe and secure in their car seat.

For parents who will use this stroller to go jogging, the handle height can be adjusted and there is a safety tether for added safety while moving the stroller at a faster speed. The safety tether can be attached to your wrist to prevent the stroller from rolling away if you let go. The Kolcraft Sprint X Jogging Stroller folds up more compact than other, more bulky strollers, which is great for storage at home and makes it easy to transport it while traveling. The stroller comes in black fabric with white trim, making it easy to coordinate with infant car seats and other accessories.

Choosing the Kolcraft Sprint X Jogging Stroller gives you the quality and durability you expect from a jogging stroller. The user-friendly design will keep you and your child happy and comfortable.

Best Soft Baby Carriers for 2016

When you have a newborn, infant or toddler, it can be difficult to get anything done. Newborns may cry every time you set them down, and toddlers frequently need your attention. You can give children the care they need while holding them in a soft baby carrier. A carrier can be used by both men and women to keep their hands free while they’re attending to their baby. Here are our top picks for the best soft baby carrier.

Smart Mom Pick for 2016 – Tula Soft Baby Carrier


Tula baby carriers have set the standard for creating intelligent, versatile and long-lasting carrier designs. The brain-child of two passionate and inventive parents, these award-winning carriers allow moms and dads to comfortably and fashionably support their children while on the go.

Tula carriers can ingeniously be worn with the child in the front or in the back, allowing for versatility and superior comfort. Tula has created the M-position seat for optimal support of baby, and parents benefit from an ergonomic design that allows for comfortable distribution of weight. Available in two sizes, the baby carriers can accommodate weights from 15 to 45 pounds, and toddler sized carriers may be used from 25 to 60 pounds. When purchased in combination with the Tula Infant Insert, the baby carriers can even be used from birth. A removable hood is included for head support while baby sleeps. It can also allow for added protection from sun and wind and provide privacy while breastfeeding.

Each carrier sports thickly cushioned shoulder straps and a contouring hip belt, all of which are adjustable to allow for a customized fit. “Perfect Fit Adjusters” on the front of the shoulder straps can be cinched down for smaller wearers, or extended for those who are taller. Duraflex buckles keep parent and child secure and are tough enough to stand up to daily use. Soft padding has been thoughtfully incorporated into the leg-openings of the seat to ensure superior comfort for baby. The hip belt has extra webbing to fit any waistline, and it also includes a roomy front pocket to stash essentials. The entire carrier weighs in at only 2 pounds, making it incredibly easy and convenient to grab for a day out and about.

Hand made from 100% cotton canvas, Tula carriers are extremely durable and easy to care for. The fabric is machine washable, making clean up as easy as a toss into the washer. The designs are offered in a countless array of colors and patterns that will fit any personality, making them both fun and fashionable.

All Tula products are hand-made and come with a one year warranty. The carriers meet and even exceed industry safety standards, and Tula is a member of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.

Tula baby carriers provide parents with durable, comfortable and stylish options for carrying little ones. Available in gorgeous prints and created for unrivaled versatility, Tula carriers set the standard for maximum comfort and convenience for parents on the go.

Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier


The four-position Ergo 360 is one of the most versatile baby carriers on the market. It can be used to carry your child from infancy through toddlerhood, making it easier for parents to move around and get things done while still holding their babies. The Ergo 360 has a belt that secures the carrier around your hips. You settle the child into the carrier, pull up the backpack-style straps, and secure the straps with a clip. It’s easy to put on and simple to take off.

One of the most useful features of this carrier is that it can hold an infant or toddler in a variety of positions. While the baby weighs 7 to 12 pounds, the Ergo can be used with a soft infant insert. The insert positions the child higher in the carrier and prevents the baby from slipping out the gaps in the side. When the little one is in the infant insert, he or she sits facing inward at the wearer’s chest.

As the baby grows, the infant insert can be removed, and the little one can sit in the structured bucket seat. This provides the proper position for your baby, maintaining the baby’s knees higher than the rear end. Some kids prefer to face outward. The leg area of the Ergo 360 can be unsnapped, providing a narrower seat and allowing the child to sit with his or her back to the wearer. In this position, the seat still holds the knees up, maintaining the proper hip position.

The front-outward carry position is not recommended for babies younger than 5 months, however. In addition, babies should only be worn in this position for up to 15 minutes at a time. In the forward-facing position, infants are unable to turn away from the constant sensory stimulation that is presented to them. Turning the child to the front-inward carry can help prevent your baby from being overstimulated.

With the Ergo 360, children can also be carried on the wearer’s hip and back. Hip and back carries are recommended for kids 6 months and older.

The Ergo 360 maximizes comfort for both the little one and the wearer. The carrier has a mesh lining that allows airflow between the child and the carrier. This prevents your baby from getting too hot, especially in the summer. The Ergo 360 also has padded straps and a supportive waistband that distributes the infant’s weight, making it a comfortable option for holding your baby for an extended period of time.

Infantino Fusion Baby Carrier


The Infantino Fusion flexible position baby carrier looks like a backpack but functions in a variety of positions to hold your baby safely and securely. The supportive waist belt can be worn low on the hips or around the natural waist to provide maximum comfort. Smaller babies can be elevated when the waist strap is positioned higher on the wearer. As your child grows, you can lower the waist belt. The waist belt helps distribute the child’s weight more evenly compared with carriers that only provide shoulder straps. The Infantino’s shoulder straps are padded and comfortable and help to support the child’s weight.

The seat also converts to adapt to a growing child. A small infant can be worn facing in with a narrow seat position, and an older kid can be worn facing in, facing out or on the wearer’s back.

Children from 8 to 32 pounds can be worn comfortably in the Infantino Fusion baby carrier. When your infant is young and can’t walk or move around, you can strap him or her into the carrier and go on long walks, shop at the grocery store or get things done around the house. As toddlers begin to walk and run, carrying them close to your body can keep them safe in busy parking lots. Wearing them in the Infantino Fusion can give them a chance to rest on long outings. When they want to be picked up, it only takes a few seconds to secure them in the carrier.

This carrier is easy to adjust when you’re transferring the baby from mom to dad or as your infant grows. The waist strap is adjustable, and the shoulder straps can be loosened quickly. Infants and toddlers are comfortable when carried in the Infantino Fusion. The padding around the carrier is soft and plush, and the headrest supports babies’ necks, especially when they are sleeping.

The Infantino comes in a neutral gray-and-black color that matches all of your outfits. It stashes away easily in any diaper bag and can be used almost everywhere.

Plan a Special Birthday Party with the Toot Sweet Harlequin Party Collection


If you’re planning a party soon, the bold colors in the new Toot Sweet Harlequin Party Collection are guaranteed to make your celebration a festive occasion.

All items in the collection are purchased individually, so you can choose what fits your needs and budget. There are plates, cups, party bags, napkins, cupcake decorating kits, paper pinwheels, party hats, and retro striped drinking straws.

I adore this collection because it looks like it would work for any occasion. The colorful patterns are perfect for a casual adult birthday party. For a child, you could simply add in a few items featuring his or her favorite cartoon character to make a more sophisticated alternative to an entirely cartoon themed party.

If you were serving a large number of guests on a tight budget, you could pick up solid colored plates or cups to coordinate with the colors in the collection.

The cupcake decorating kit is my favorite item in this collection. It includes 24 cupcake liners, six party hat toppers, 24 cocktail sticks, and eight sticker sheets so you can design your own one-of-kind cupcake toppers.

Cupcakes are so much easier to serve at parties than slices of a traditional cake and I think this sounds like a great way to make your homemade treats look like they came from a fancy bakery.

What do you think of this party collection?checkprice

ZingAnything Citrus Zinger Offers an Alternative to Boring Tap Water


At this point in my life, soda is my biggest vice. I crave it more than anything else, including chocolate! Cutting back on the number of Diet Cokes I consume is at the top of my list of 2013 New Year’s resolutions.

One thing I’ve often heard of as helpful for people trying to kick the soda habit is to make their own flavor infused water.

I’ve tried this in the past and haven’t had much luck. My water either seems to have no flavor at all or I get weird fruit chunks in my water and it looks totally unappetizing. However, I’m very interested in the ZingAnything Citrus Zinger.

This unique water bottle has a compartment for your oranges, lemons, or other fruit at the bottom. You put the fruit in the compartment, fill the top with water, shake it up, and enjoy.

The ZingAnything Citrus Zinger is made with BPA/EA-free Tritan Plastic from Eastman and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. It also has a finger hole at the top for easy carrying.

The ZingAnything bottle holds 27 ounces, which I think is great because I personally hate having to get up to refill tiny water bottles all the time.

However, I think it would be nice if they had a smaller size available for children to use. I’d love to try to get my son interested in drinking flavored water, but a bottle this big would probably be spilled before he was finished drinking.

The ZingAnything Citrus Zinger gets overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, but I’d love to hear what my fellow Smart Moms think. If you’ve tried this product, would you recommend it to others?