RELATED STORY: Countdown to Baby: Best items for you and your tiny trendsetter »

Babydreams (448 Central Ave., Highland Park; 847-432-4704, 1858 N. Damen Ave., Chicago; 773-486-9445,
Gifts and baby clothes, toys, and accessories, as well as crib bedding. They also create custom gift baskets for special events.

Be By Baby (1654 W. Roscoe St.; 773-404-2229,
Carries everything parents need to prep for baby, from maternity and breastfeeding bras, and cloth diapers to some furniture.

Beautiful Beginnings (1840 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-944-1212, 552 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook; 630-573-1212, Outlet: 4472 Lawn Ave., Western Springs; 708-246-1212
Furniture, bedding, décor and clothing at this three-store chain is made to last. Great cribs and dressers by Newport Cottages and Bonavita, plus we’re in love with their precious, personalized piggybanks.

Bellini (1800 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-981-6301,
The 25-year-old furniture brand outfits baby and kids’ rooms from floor to ceiling, with crib-to-bed hybrids, armoires, and other essentials.

Bellybum Boutique (4347 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-868-0944,
Carries eco-friendly infant and children’s wear from Lucky Jade, Nano, and Laughing Out Loud, as well as iCandy strollers, Petunia Pickle Bottom and Storksak diaper bags, infant carriers, baby gear, toys, and bath and body products.

Building Blocks Toy Store (3306 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-525-6200, 2130 W. Division St.; 773-235-1888,
Classic toys and games from brands like Bruder, Playmobil, and Ravensburger. Helpful owners feature birthday toy ideas by age (1-12) on website.

Bullfrogs and Butterflies (2124 W. Division St.; 773-661-1632,
This go-to baby and kid’s store is excellent for gifty items such as Ribbit-Ribbit frames, Pearhead books, and plush toys from Manhattan Toy. The store also carries practical gear such as crib bedding, Uppababy strollers, and Hotslings carriers.

Cutie Poops and Bottoms (14910 S. LaGrange Rd., Orland Park; 708-873-4588,
This south-of-the-city boutique sells diapers, toys, accessories, and gear. The shop’s exclusive line of short- and long-sleeved onesies is adorable.

Dilly Diaper Cakes (708-860-2253,
Local Sarah Lambe recently launched this line of handmade towers made out of plush animals, organic receiving blankets, wash and burp cloths, rattles, bath products and pacifiers. We like the “Morgan” cake the best.

Galt Baby (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-440-9550, 1915 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-327-9980, 2020 Northbrook Court, Northbrook; 847-498-4660,
30-plus years of strollers, swings, toys and tons of other essentials from the big brands (Graco, Chicco, Baby Björn).

Gap (see for locations)
The place to stock up on striped rompers, pint-size denim, and other cute knit basics.

Geppetto’s Toy Box (730 Lake St., Oak Park; 708-445-9906,
This classic toy store is often mentioned in parenting magazines for its extensive selection of both European and American toys, such as Ostheimer figurines, HABA wooden play food, Citiblocs and Alex arts-and-crafts kits.

Giggle (2116 N. Halsted St.; 773-296-6228,
Everything in this store is geared toward urban parents, with lots of bright, poppy colors. Strong suits are furniture, décor, and kid’s clothing.

Grasshopper 510 (1944 N. Damen Ave.; 773-292-0510,
An eco-friendly store with a selection of toys and clothes for little ones in the back. We love the organic onesies and adorable hand puppets. Brands: A Little Lark for onesies, Barley and Birch, and collegiate ones from Project 571.

Green Genes (5111 N. Clark St.; 773-944-9250,
An eco-friendly baby shop with organic blankets, dishware and clothing galore. Great toy selection, including line of Global Green Pals dolls (think “Carbon Offset Chet” and “Clean Air Kate”).

Grow (1943 W. Division St.; 773-489-0009,
Very mod, trendy baby furniture with an emphasis on organic and nontoxic goods. Owner Deree Kobets looks for high-quality, functional and modern baby goodies, such as the Eicho crib by Spot on Square, mini-library by Oeuf, and organic clothing basics by Kate Quinn Organics.

Hadley (1205 W. Webster Ave.; 773-883-0077,
Design-savvy furniture, clothing, and accessories from brands like DwellStudio and Netto Collection. We also love their soft-glowing animal lights for the nursery.

Hanna Andersson (Northbrook Court, Northbrook; 847-291-9275, Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook; 630-684-0442, Woodfield Shopping Center, Schaumburg; 847-413-9110,
Swedish-inspired basics in nearly every color for kids and babies. Also have good selection of toys and décor items.

Jonathan Adler Junior (676 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-274-9920,
The chic ceramicist’s line for little ones is still brand new, but we have already fallen for the mod giraffe sconces and other animal pieces that pop.

Kooky (Shops at North Bridge; for more info, call Jholet Tabuena at 312-343-4964)
This newly permanent shop carries children’s apparel and accessories from a variety of local designers, such as Juja Bear, Tomoti, Sweet Petunia, Pluto Tees, and Soft & Sweet Baby.

Kustum Kribs (147 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge; 847-825-5742,
Twelve years ago, owner and artist Lisa Arreguin started out painting custom-designed kids’ murals. Now she’s opened an adorable store with a wide selection of toys, gear, and bedding for babies and kids.

La La Land (129 N. Addison St., Elmhurst; 630-834-5252,
This girly kids’ shop—Cach Cach dresses, Corolle dolls—recently expanded.

Land of Nod/Land of Nod Outlet (900 W. North Ave.; 312-473 9903; Outlet: 1860 W. Jefferson, Naperville; 630-388-4666; see for more locations)
Land of Nod is a go-to emporium for all things baby and kids (including a large, seasonal selection of outdoor items, such as Radio Flyer wagons), but the real gem is the outlet, where parents can score deals on furniture, strollers, and more.

Lazar’s Juvenile Furniture (6557 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood; 847-679-6146,
An alternative to Babies “R” Us and other chains for basics. Employees guide each customer around the store, sharing facts about bedding, high chairs, strollers, bottles, car seats, and toys. The shop stocks a mix of water-based painted and stained furniture from Stokke, organic cotton clothing from Sage Creek Organics, and three different organic mattresses (two from Naturepedic, and one from NaturalMat).

Li’l Deb-n-Heir (540 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville; 630-717-8100,
A local favorite for furniture, this shop stocks cribs, dressers, armoires, and vanities in an assortment of finishes—everything from espresso and white to cherry and true blue— from well-established manufacturers such as Romina Nursery and Canada-based AP Industries. Shoppers will also find Dutailier and Best Chairs gliders and recliners in a variety of shapes and styles as well as blankets, mobiles, lamps, room and wall décor, and area rugs.

Little Green Baby (4654 N. Rockwell St.; 773-505-2066,
One of the city’s latest openings, this Lincoln Square shop carries cute eco-friendly onesies and rompers from Huggy Bunny, summer dresses and shirts from Daily Tea and Daily Tea Collection, polyester animal-themed blankies from Angel Dear, and organic toys and layettes from Under the Nile.

Little Threads (2033 W. Roscoe St.; 773-327-9310,
Adorable toddler and kids’ clothing from local favorites such as Pluto as well as big names like City Threads and Rabbit Moon. Accessories are also a big draw; we recommend the Skip Hop diaper bags.

Lollie (1312 Chicago Ave., Evanston; 847-328-7303,
We can’t help but love this little suburban gem, filled with cute clothes from Appaman, Dagmar Daley, Glug Baby, Wonderboy, and BabyLegs. Other standouts include the unique books and toys, play area, and the owners­—sisters Mimi Fron and Alyssa Fron Newcomb.

Munchkin Land Kids (30 E. Hinsdale Ave., Hinsdale; 630-920-9400,
From newborn to young kids, find toys, accessories, and clothes for boys and girls. We recommend the Screaming Beauty hats and headbands.

Nordstrom Rack (24 N. State St.; 312-377-5500, for more locations)
Its namesake department store may feature all of the baby gear and furniture, but the Rack boasts a huge section of baby clothing. Find T-shirts, onesies, pants, jeans, skirts and more from Joe’s Jeans, Paul Frank, Ralph Lauren Baby, and Ed Hardy.

Odile (710 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-255-0800)
Upscale baby and kids’ items Le Nouveau-Né, Victoria Christmas, and La Stupenderia. Best bets here are the kids’ overcoats (very Upper East Side), the dresses, or the silver rattles—an alternative to Tiffany’s.

Pottery Barn Kids (2111 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-525-8349,
This chain offers classic and affordable changing tables, highchairs, cribs, lighting, and more for babies, toddlers, and preteens. Accessorize with the shop’s colorful, yet sophisticated, bedding and décor. 

Psychobaby (1630 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-2815,
Clothes from Sourpuss and Okutani and toys from Charm Company and Ugly Dolls make this the perfect place for hipster girls and boys.

The Red Balloon Co. (2060 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-9800, 5407 N. Clark St.; 773-989-8500,
One of the best baby stores around, with clothes from Sweet Peanut, Petit Lem, and BabySoy, alongside sock monkeys, Woodours bears, “Sophie the Giraffe,” and other signature toys. We also love the array of personalized keepsakes, ranging from cotton pillows and picture frames to music boxes. Don’t forget to sign up for the birthday club, where you’ll receive 10 percent off all purchases during the month of your child’s birthday.

Stinky Pants (844 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-281-4002,
This local favorite recently implemented personalized gift baskets—stuffed with an assortment of adorable clothes and accessories—for any budget. We can’t get enough of the Rowdy Sprout AC/DC and Aerosmith onesies from the shop’s tee-shirt bar.

Tink-Tinks (1104 Davis St., Evanston; 847-869-6405,
This trendy clothing and accessory shop for baby and kid brings in new brands every few months to keep their stock unique. Recent clothing lines include Slap Happy and Parade organic clothing.

Twinkle Twinkle Little One (3224 N. Damen Ave.; 773-472-3000,
Owner, Rachel Glasson, is incredibly helpful and stocks a fantastic selection of Serena & Lily bedding and Best Chairs recliners and gliders.

Village Toy Shop (807 Elm St., Winnetka; 847-446-7990. At the Kohl’s Children’s Museum)
A parental favorite since 1948. Owners Pat and Liz Berwanger, a helpful and enthusiastic mother-daughter duo, stock the shelves with must-haves from Melissa & Doug, Playmobil, Ugly Dolls, and i Play alongside smaller businesses, such as California-based Hagen-Renaker and Ohio’s Late for the Sky.