Our Favorite African Inspired Accessories for Babies and Toddlers
Before starting Ade + Ayo, I had hoped that I would find an extensive variety of African Inspired baby accessories to purchase for my firstborn. Like many other expecting parenting who had similar hopes, I was shocked to find such limited options available, and even fewer that were gentle enough for everyday use as well as affordably priced. At Ade + Ayo, we’ve created not only soft wardrobe staples for your littles, but we’ve also redesigned a few African Inspired accessories that are adorable, functional, and affordable. In this blog, we’re taking a look at our favorite African print accessories for babies and toddlers.
We’ve taken 12 gorgeous African prints and fashioned them into stylish headbands to dress up your sweet baby. (or, to give as a gift! They make for great baby shower presents) Pictured is our Umhlaba print, inspired by ankara, a pattern and fabric style common in various parts of Africa. Ankara is seen in celebration wear, everyday wear, accessories, furniture and, more recently, fashion runways across the world. This style of fabric is known for its bright, vibrant colors and unique repeat patterns. The patterns have different cultural meanings, conveying messages to those who are gifted the fabric or see someone wearing it at an event. I’ve always loved the way I feel when wearing ankara - joyful, beautiful and connected to a greater community. Kids should feel these things too, so our ankara-inspired prints bring a traditional fabric style to comfortable kids’ clothing. We’ve named this particular print Umhlaba, the Zulu word for land, earth or soil.
Made of super soft and lightweight 100% Organic Cotton and available in sizes 0-12M and 1-5T
Baby Turban Hats
This adorable accessory is the perfect finishing touch to any outfit -- meet our Baby Turban Hat! Available in 6 different prints, but here we have our Kayin Print. This unique print is inspired by adire - an indigo-dyed cloth made in southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba women. When I traveled to Nigeria as a teen, I was particularly drawn to the adire fabrics I saw hanging in local markets. The striking designs drew me in, and I was even more amazed when I learned about the traditional dye process undergone to create these beautiful fabrics. The memories of seeing adire in the markets were with me as I worked with print designer Shadé Akanbi to design our Ade + Ayo take on adire. The Kayin collection pays homage to the traditional fabric, capturing the varying shades of indigo that emerge through the dyeing process and bringing the beauty of adire to play-ready clothing. We've named this print Kayin because it means "celebrated child" in Yoruba.
Our turbans are also made of super soft and lightweight 100% organic cotton and are available in one size that fits newborn to 6 months.
Knot Hat Set - Summer Prints
We love seeing sweet newborn babies come home in their precious Ade + Ayo Top Knot Hats. These tiny knit caps are carefully crafted to keep your little one comfortable without compromising style. This 6 Piece Hat Set is the perfect gift for a friend or your own soon-to-arrive babe. Each print (Adehye, Berbere Bogo, Kayin, Sapeur, and Takula) boasts bright summer-inspired colors to spark joy and happiness. Easily tie the knot to adjust the height of the hat, making for the perfect fit. Roll the bottom of the hat up or down to adjust the fit or the look! Pairs perfectly with our other styles including the bodysuit, sleeveless romper and jumpsuit.
Every mom knows that cloth bibs are an absolute must-have for any baby, so why give them some African joy? Our African Print Cloth Bibs will keep your baby’s neck and chin dry while bringing a pop of color to their outfit! Soft and absorbent, our bibs pair function and style to help your baby stay comfy, keeping the delicate skin around baby’s mouth and nose safe from irritation. Pictured is our Tukula print, a playful interpretation of kuba cloth - a textile traditionally handwoven by the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kuba cloth is woven using the strands from raffia palm leaves that are then dyed using natural dyes. This fabric originated in the 17th century and is characterized by bold patterns that suggest movement. Of the 17 ways that a design can be repetitively varied on a surface, the Kuba people have exploited twelve in their cloths! Amazing. Historically, the Kuba people have used these cloths as wrappers, skirts, sleeping mats and even currency. We've named this print "Tukula,” the Bakuba word for the red pigment obtained from the heartwood of indigenous trees and traditionally applied to art and cloth created by the Kuba people.
Our last included accessory might be considered a bit more of a mealtime staple, but if you make it this cute – it most certainly counts as an accessory. Our African Inspired Silicone Bibs come in 8 beautiful and unique styles and prints to keep mealtime playful and fun. Pictured is our Gangan Silicone Bib – a design inspired by various African drums, including the talking drum known in the Nigerian language Yoruba as "gángan." Talking drums are part of a family of hourglass shaped pressure drums that have special importance among the Yoruba people. Because the pitch of talking drums can be changed to mimic the tone of human speech, they were once used as a means of communicating over long distances. Even today, talking drums are used to celebrate births, tell stories and mark someone's passing.
Made from food-grade silicone, these comfortable and easy-to-clean bibs are anti-bacterial, BPA free and phthalate-free. They feature a wide, stay-open front pocket that keeps your child's cute outfit free from messy accidents.
Any of these 5 accessories are the perfect way to top off your little one’s look, and keep them stylish all season long. Our African print accessories are sure to make a statement and turn heads wherever you go, and are full of intentionality and tradition. We hope you love our collection as much as we do! Which piece is your favorite? Be sure to follow us on Instagram + join our email list to save 15% off your next purchase!