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Jamie grayson is the last person you’d expect to be an expert on baby goods: The 37-year-old is a single man with no children. But when his New York City acting career (he was a cast member in regional productions and national tours of Cats*) failed to pay the bills, Grayson applied his dramatic flair to a gig demo-ing baby gear for retailer BuyBuyBaby. A star was, ahem, born: theBabyGuyNYC, as he’s known on social media. Grayson’s dynamic presentations and fastidious product research earned him a reputation as the person parents could rely on when navigating baby registries. Now he’s out on a 30-plus-stop national speaking tour, and his August 15 Denver appearance will be a homecoming of sorts. The Arkansas native recently relocated to the Centennial State and brought a housewarming gift: his product picks for Colorado families.
Motherlove Green Salve ($8.95)
This little jar of organic skincare goodness, made with extra-virgin olive oil, beeswax, plantain herb, comfrey herb, marshmallow root, and calendula flower, is grown and packaged in Fort Collins. The zero-toxin, GMO-free ointment combats everything from diaper rash and chapped lips to bee-sting welts and poison ivy blisters. “This stuff is magic,” Grayson says. “Everyone, with or without kids, should have some.”
Make My Day Bib ($17.99)
Denver dad Lance Little created silicon Make My Day bibs for the same reason many other parents get creative with new products: He couldn’t find one he liked. These durable (and cute) bibs boast sizable crumb catchers and come in 19 designs, two of which—full disclosure—were created by one of Grayson’s sisters, Jennifer Grayson Buske.
Mountain Buggy Terrain Stroller ($599.99)
When Grayson was still in New York City, Buske offered her Stapleton garage as a de facto storage place for the ever-growing collection of gear Grayson needed to review. Buske also played tester, giving all the strollers trial runs with her four kids. “At one point my sister had 18 strollers in her garage,” Grayson says. “But the Terrain is one of the only ones she kept. It’s great for snow, and it folds up neatly. This stroller isn’t an awkward beast.”
Ezpz Happy Mat ($24.99)
In 2014, Grayson posted a video of himself lifting up a table with an Ezpz Happy Mat, a silicone place mat that’s perfectly proportioned for toddlers, to demonstrate Happy Mat’s suction power. In a matter of hours, the Parker-based company’s Kickstarter campaign jumped from $12,000 to $48,000. Now, Happy Mats are available in 20 countries around the globe, and the company sold more than 180,000 units last year.
Líllébaby Complete All Seasons Carrier ($140 to $160)
Toting your baby in a hands-free carrier is convenient and snuggly—and also hot. The Complete All Seasons carrier from this Boulder company has a zip-down panel that reveals breathable mesh designed to avoid an overheated baby and a sweaty T-shirt.
7 a.m. Enfant Blanket212 Evolution ($189.99)
Snow doesn’t keep Colorado families from outdoor adventures, which is why Grayson recommends 7 a.m. Enfant’s Blanket212 Evolution stroller bunting to keep your little companions warm. The panels—which are insulated down to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit—extend to grow with a child from infant to four years of age. Grayson says the bunting’s best feature shines after a romp down the trail: The bottom unzips so muddy snow boots can stick out of the bottom.
*Editor’s note 4/28/16: A previous version of this story stated that Jamie Grayson was a cast member in Cats on Broadway. In fact, he was a cast member in regional productions and national tours of Cats. We regret the error.