I’ve just come back from a major shopping mall. It’s only November and I’m already in a tinsel-induced tizz. It was utter madness. The crazed clamber for a parking spot and the queue to buy or visit Santa has begun. Already. Did I mention it’s November?

So with that in mind, and to help spread the Christmas cheer to some of my fave small business owners by encouraging you to shop small and shop local, I’ve compiled a handy little guide to the BESTEST places to shop online this Chrissy. I’ll be purchasing a lot of my gifts this festive season from these stores. In the past I’ve bought some of our most treasured trinkets, outfits and shoes from these stores and every one of them rocks.

Whatever you buy from these stores, I can assure you it will be awesome and the present will be loved. You won’t have to brave the crowds, instead just wait for the doorbell to ring when the postie arrives laden with gifts! No need to thank me (but I do hope you’re noticing how helpful I’m being, Santa). Here we go…

Hello Willow

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Some of the best children’s designers from Australia and NZ can be found in the one place. PIC: Hello Willow

This little shop is packed to the brim with the funkiest children’s clothing, décor and gifts with everything either designed or designed and made in Australia or New Zealand. You won’t believe how talented our local designers are – there’s brands like Minti, Bella & Lace, Children of the Tribe, Nature Baby, Peggy, Huxbaby and Milk & Masuki to ensure your little one is streets ahead in the style stakes. Then Mister Fly, Boo and Bear, Two Little Ducklings Naturebubz and Indus will kit them out with the cutest accessories like play mats, rattles, flash cards, blankets and softies. Run by Melbourne mum Jas, the shop is located in Elwood village, but if you can’t get there and don’t want to miss out, visit hellowillow.com.au

Acorn

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Millie wears the Abbey reversible hat and Golden Day bloomers. PIC: Acorn

Acorn is your one-stop summer shop. Sunhats, bonnets, playsuits, headwraps and bloomers with the sweetest prints are available in all sizes from infant to big kids. Designed in Melbourne, the hats are a winner for staying on and keeping the sun off. Adjustable bands, toggle ties, reversible designs and wide brims, the hats are rated UPF50+ and keep little heads cool (while looking cool!). With a long, hot summer of playground visits, beach days and kinder ahead of us, it’s the gift you’ll need AND want. A word of warning: adding bloomers or a playsuit to cart will generate a new shopping addiction once you see your little one’s leggies in them. ADORABLE. Have a look at acornkids.com.au

Oishi-m

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Colourful, cute and comfy. PIC: Oishi-m

Limited edition garments for skinny minis and chubba bubba boys and girls, Oishi-m is designed in Torquay (Vic) with lots of the clothing made here too. Pieces are so adaptable with rolled hems, stretch fabric ‘tummy toastie’ waistbands and double buttons on dresses and jackets to accommodate a growing child. Cleverly cut panels allow freedom of movement while looking oh-so-cute. Super comfy but super stylish, Oishi-m is original, bright and hard-wearing – you won’t find better clothes that allow kids to be kids. Visit oishi-m.com

Pretty Wild

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Millie wears the Pretty Wild Ginger dress in Blossom

If you love classically chic clothing with hand smocking, embroidery or Liberty florals, you’ve come to the right place. Pretty Wild pieces have a timeless charm that suit every occasion and will become a treasured part of your child’s wardrobe. Party dresses, Christmas Day outfits, cosy cardis or beautiful clothes for frolicking in the park, it’s all here. A brand new store has opened in Smith St in Collingwood (Melbourne), but the online store also has all designs and accessories in stock with free shipping Australia wide. Visit prettywild.com.au

Naughts & Crosses

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A treasure trove of childhood fun. PIC: Naughts and Crosses

I’ve spoken of my love for this store on this blog before, but now there’s an online store for the shoppers not lucky enough to live near this hidden gem. Owner Louise has a knack finding the cute and the quirky, the different and the sometimes hard-to-find toys, decor and knick-knacks that means you’ll be spolit for choice when deciding on pressies. There’s goodies for teeny bubbas celebrating their first Christmas to dolls for girly-girls, puzzles, toy trucks and trains, craft kits, bath toys, wall hangings, lamps and bedding. Go to naughtsandcrosses.com.au

Printebebe

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Floaty florals and breezy dresses at Printebebe. PIC: Carlotta Moye for Printebebe

Another one of my fave online stores (I’m now realising I have many!) is Printebebe. Having worked as a fashion editor, Printebebe is a combination of Sydney designer Fiona’s love of fashion, mixed prints and her daughter, Gidget. The simple girls’ clothing range suits children from three months to eight years – with some pieces for boys too. Lightweight cotton dresses for summer or quilted jackets and printed overalls for winter, I’m often asked where I find Millie’s outfits and more often than not it’s when she is wearing Printebebe. Shop at printebebe.com

Bobux

MIllie wears the Bobux Zap shoes in red

Got to love a shoe shop where I can find something for my baby boy as well as my ‘big girl’. Soft soled booties, colourful sandals, leather boots and sneakers that kids love to wear but are good for their feet are very hard to find. But every Bobux shoe is designed with healthy foot development in mind. We can vouch for the quality of Bobux shoes – they look cute-as-a-button but protect tiny toes, prevent blisters, allow feet to breathe and flex and move with every step. Try the expert fitting tool and shop online at bobux.com.au

Big Dreams

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I’m convinced Santa shops here too. PIC: Big Dreams

It’s a children’s emporium that fills every little visitor with joy – from the artfully decorated windows to the massive range of quality toys, the Northcote (Melbourne) store is just like Santa’s workshop. But jump online and it’s all there for your choosing and really easy to navigate – the shop by age category is super handy for buying gifts and staff picks highlights the fave pieces from the ever-helpful Big Dreams staff members. Soopsori, Bajo, Grimm’s, Brio and Moover brand toys sit alongside Ragtales, Maileg, Oli & Carol, Lego, Seedling and Sylvanian Families. Clothing, baby gifts and a huge selection of shoes is also available for browsing online 24/7. Fast, free shipping is offered for orders over $150 at bigdreams.com.au

Oobi

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Colourful, fun and frilly is the Oobi style. PIC: Oobi

Frolicking in bright and cheery prints is the Oobi mantra. Designed in Sydney, Oobi is all about colour and the cute outfits that little girls want to wear. There’s styles for newborns right up to a size 13. My favourite part? Designer Alex Riggs wants to ‘Oobify’ the world and donates a new piece of Oobi clothing to a child in need for every item purchased. Shop at oobi.com.au

Little Nook Children’s Boutique

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A very Christmassy flatlay. PIC: Little Nook Boutique

Little Nook Children’s Boutique was created by mother/daughter team Sue Manson and Nicole Haddon with stylish and quality fashion and interior design important to them personally and professionally. They have put together a beautifully curated range of Australian and international designers for kids including books, toys, cushions, nursery décor, party ware and clothing. If you can’t visit the boutique in Mt Eliza (Vic), shop online at littlenook.com.au

Wild & Whimsical Things

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Little forest friends by Hazel Village. PIC: Wild & Whimsical Things

Owned by a self-confessed day dreamer, lover of nostalgic childhood stories, crafter and collector of beautiful toys, mum Adrian encourages the toys for children to learn skills to enable them to become more confident and capable adults. Wild & Whimsical Things has selected toys “that help naturally engage children into imaginative and creative play rather than have a specific purpose built in mind”. Toys that won’t restrict a child’s imagination and allow them to play and explore freely can be found here. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter for a 15% off discount code, wildandwhimsicalthings.com.au

*MillieMummyMelbourne is a proud brand ambassador for Acorn and Bobux

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