There are many reasons for progressive-minded parents to stop into the all new Sprout Natural Parenting store, which is located just off Greenport’s Front Street and opens today.
But if you have a toddler who has shown resistance to potty training, these two words might just be your saving grace — tiny toilet.
The new 450-square-foot space is designed to make parents and their little ones feel comfortable. That means no merchandise is placed below a 36-inch height, a breast-feeding station welcomes nursing mothers and, yes, there is a miniature toilet and sink in the bathroom.
“We want it to be a safe, comfortable space where parents can come to nurse or change a diaper,” said Laura Tancredi, the store’s owner.
Inside you will find books on subjects like nursing multiples, home births and sleep solutions. Products like washable lactation pads, nursing creams and natural sunblocks will be for sale, as will toys, mealtime supplies and baby clothes.
The merchandise is eco-friendly and much of it — like clothes made by Vermont-based Booba Ruba — is made by artisans.
“We try to carry the full spectrum from things that are not mainstream to everyday products,” Ms. Tancredi said
Ms. Tancredi describes the natural parenting philosophy as one that is baby-centric and is guided by intuition.
“It was how I wanted to parent my kids,” said Ms. Tancredi, who is mom to Aidan, 14, Madeleine, 11 and Gibson,7.
She will also offer free workshops on subjects like doula-assisted births and adoption, and will feature a community bulletin board and a resource wall with information.
She stressed that her staff will be knowledgable and will adhere to the natural parenting philosophy. She also noted that some intimate items, like baby carriers and nursing bras, will be available to try on, something that is not possible when buying that merchandise online.
An example of a niche item will be bags to carry a placenta, which is used if one chooses to leave it attached to a newborn after birth.
This is the third incarnation of the store. Ms. Tancredi has ran Sprout stores in Burlington and Brattleboro, both in Vermont. Inside, all the displays — which were crafted by Ms. Tancredi’s husband, Bill — are curved with no sharp edges. That is both so knee-high people don’t bang their little heads and a nod to the curves of a woman’s body.
Residents of the Upper West Side, the Tancredis fell in love with Greenport and purchased the building at 37 Front Street as an investment. Ms. Tancredi said the East End community has already been very receptive to the concept.
“I didn’t realize how much of a natural parenting community was already here,” Ms. Tancredi said. “The network is much broader and richer than I thought it’d be.”
The store will be open seven days a week and will stay open year-round, Ms. Tancredi said. She has hired Candice Jenkins, a newly full time Greenport resident and mom to three-month-old Oliver, to manage the shop.
Find Sprout Natural Parenting is located at 37 Front Street. Reach them at (631) 593-0271 or follow them on Instagram, @sproutnaturalparenting.