Karen — who has written numerous posts here and who has her own site Off the Meathook — and I spent the past two days walking the enormous floor of the annual ABC Kids Expo, where folks in the baby industry show off their products to potential buyers and media.
Karen even spent some time laying on the floor, enticed by a lesson on how to give herself a prenatal massage with a small rubber ball. (That was at the Pariday booth; they make postpartum recovery products that are definitely worth knowing about.)
We saw zillions of strollers, bedding sets, bibs, and tiny lounge chairs, and these are ten of the items that I’d most consider buying myself.
- Storage bins by fluf.ca. I liked these because they are stylish patterns and sized just right to go into that basic IKEA cube shelf system.
Some of the Fluf collection is stiff fabric bins that you can toss a bunch of train tracks in and drag around, but a bunch of the 2016 stuff is made out of Tyvek, which is the lightweight indestructible material used on construction projects. That means it won’t rip, even if covered in slobber.
- Fold-up, portable cot bunk beds by Kid-O-Bunk. I think a picture is worth a thousand words in this case. So I’ll just leave this here.
- Infinite privacy for breastfeeding. We looked through a lot of infinity nursing scarves. This concept, a highly wearable privacy shield for breastfeeding, is a much better solution than it’s ancestor, the Hooter Hider.
Many manufacturers are using fabrics that aren’t soft enough, or using dated prints that you wouldn’t actually want to wear as a scarf. We liked the jersey versions from Bebe au Lait, and when we asked them why the scarves are single-layered (ie, there is a wrong side that reveals seams and has no print), the brand representative explained that a double-layered scarf becomes so thick that it’s a burden to wear. Well done, Bebe Au Lait.
- Speed jogging stroller from Bumbleride. This stroller is for serious running, and it will be available in 2016. I loved everything Bumbleride showed me from how easily the tires popped off, how it folded and stood up on it’s own, and the modes that the wheels can be set in for efficient running or steering.
Shopping for a stroller is overwhelming, and I’m not your expert, but this demo won me over. And so did the olive green color. You’ll find this particular stroller in local independent baby stores where it’s worthwhile to get guidance from actual employees, not just online reviews. Shop small, y’all!
- Chalkboard for monthly baby photos by Pearhead. It’s okay if your chalk art skills are not Pinterest-worthy because this reasonably priced template will do the trick.
- Bassinest from HALO. This thing is so flexible that you can swivel baby closer and further while you are half asleep.
Plus when you get up, swivel it so that you can get out of bed without scootching down. It’s got a flexible side so you can push it down when you want to touch baby, and a bunch of other (soothing) bells and (quiet) whistles. A clever solution for close-sleeping rather than co-sleeping. Wait, is Karen laying down again?
- Carrycot stroller by Greentom Upp. This white (!) stroller is revolutionary in it’s eco-friendliness. The frame is made from post-consumer recycled plastic, as is the fabric.
I think Karen, who will be pushing a baby around in a few months would turn a lot of heads in San Francisco with this unique stroller. She should get one, right?
This frame can convert to the older baby and toddler models, too.
- Cute-as-heck newborn clothing by skip*hop. All the layette items were really adorable, but we were especially charmed by the black and white stuff.
- Doona convertible stroller-to-carseat from Simple Parenting. What!? My mind was blown by this stroller that folds its wheels into itself to become carseat. Yes, it’s a heavy carseat (15.5 lbs). But it goes up to 35 lbs/32 inches so you can use it for a long time. I made this video of the sales dude to illustrate how it works. Press play:
All opinions are my own. All photos are mine, too.