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City Sprouts

Pity the poor sap who wasn't born in the past ten years. If you haven't been a baby, or at the very least had a baby in close proximity, in the past decade, you may not be aware of the amazing advances in kid-hip (and a parallel leap forward in what, for lack of a better term, we'll call "softness technology") that have relegated Garanimals and Grammy's scratchy old quilt to the sandbox of history. Now the Babystyle and Kitson sprees of celebrity moms routinely fill the pages of weekly mags, and the fashionable crib set sports teeny-tiny Juicy Couture and baby bling. With all due respect to the trendy shops around town (Femme, Lusso and Laurie Solet come to mind) that devote a corner to great baby gear, all hail the arrival of City Sprouts. Finally loving parents of the Lou can furnish the baby room with koi- or sumo-themed crib bumpers by Sozo, snap up sassy onesies ("I Might Barf" and "I Can't Read" are good for a laugh), indoctrinate the next generation of urbanites with titles like Noisy City Day (hey, you take the bad with the good), protect innocent bystanders with the Wee Block (yep, it covers the little guy's little guy during diaper changes) and get "em gigglin' with the pompadoured-and-jumpsuited Melvin the plush chicken. And when you run your hands over the softest blankie you ever touched, you might just want to scrap the duvet and stitch together about 40 of these puppies for your own crib. Granted, being in the baby in-crowd takes more than milk money -- but that's what aunts, uncles and grandparents are for. Start a registry list, drop some hints and wait for the baby booty to roll in.

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