On the plane ride home from the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, I made a list of my ten favorite things I discovered there, as a rough draft for this blog post. But over the next few days, as I went through business cards and brochures that made their way into my bag, the list grew. I’m not sure where this will go, but stick with me. I’d love to know which of these items you are excited about, which sound too expensive, and which you would consider buying for a pregnant friend.
1- Ergo 360 carrier. Big news from Ergo is that their new 360 carrier allows parents to wear babies on their front, both forward and back facing as well as on the back. The waistband has a thick velcro fastener that you secure against your body, then buckle on top. For C-section moms, this means a nice padded band around your abdomen that feels supportive. The seat is now more of a bucket seat so that even in the front-facing position, babies knees can be at or above their hips, to achieve the healthy body position for baby that Ergo is committed to supporting. This new baby carrier will be available in the Spring of 2014. Cost not known, but Ergo carriers range from $99 (on Drugstore.com) to $149. I’d guess this one will be toward the higher end.
2- Wean Green food containers. These glass storage containers have snap-on lids and are designed to keep food air-tight fresh. I try to store our food in non-plastic containers in the fridge, but I like them to be see-through so I know what’s in there. Wean Green makes some conveniently small sizes for baby-sized portions. The prices I found on Amazon were all over the place because they have so many sizes and shapes.
3- The Lullaby Playyard from Chicco. Actually I can’t even decide if this is the thing I liked most from Chicco. They make some great looking carseats, too. The Lullaby Playyard seemed like it would serve as a handy sleeping place for folks who live in tiny spaces, or who want baby sleeping right next to their bed. It pretty much has all the features of a crib, including some attached storage, and the changing table piece that goes on top is quite big. Joovy has a similar one that looks good, too. If baby is going to spend a fair amount of time at Grandma’s house, I’d ask her to have one of these there. We had a Graco Pack N Play at every grandparent house, I think! In fact, I want to remove any brand recommendation from this paragraph and just say that a playyard with a removable bassinet is a good thing to own. I’m not sure it matters which type.
4- Wall decals from BUTCH + Harold. I love these for a big kid room; in fact, I gave my 30-year old apartment-dwelling sister a set of black ones for Hanukkah last year, but I think they can work for a nursery as well, depending on your color scheme. These guys make a wall decal Happy Birthday “garland” and a few other cool temporary decorations, but my favorite concept is the photo corners which range from $12 to $15. They are simple and seem perfect for kids artwork that you want to change out. I’m going to order a set for each of my kids for the holidays.
5- Yepp bike seats – These Dutch-designed seats caught my eye because they come in as many bright colors as Crocs do. And, they’re made of the same material, which means they are anti-bacterial, wipeable, and shock-absorbent. Kids sit back in a 5-point safety harness to watch the world go by. The seats can be attached in the front or rear, or both if you are brave like the folks in Amsterdam. The Yepp Mini is for babies 9 months to 3 years. The Yepp Maxi lasts from 9 months to 5 years. Check their website for weight specifics, of course. About $160 on Amazon. Also sold at REI.
6 – Puj baby bathtub. A clever tool that allows you to bathe a young baby in the sink, this mom invention seduced me with its functional elegance. When not in use, it unfolds so that it can hang flat against the wall from a bathrobe hook. There’s a travel version that folds compactly, though I’d argue unless you’re travelling for a week or more, you can probably get away without a full-body bath for a young infant. Regardless, I love this invention, but worry about the price. $44 on Amazon, Target, and Nordstrom.com.
7 – Imaginebaby Shade. This item is one of many that makes me say, “Why didn’t they have that when I had an infant in a carseat?” Unlike a blanket that falls off, or a sunshade that enlarges the profile of your stroller, this stretchy shield is made of SPF 50+ fabric and offers ninja-like access to your baby. (You can reach her below the Shade through the sides of the carseat.) Comes in many solid colors and runs about $40.
8- Rockaroo by 4moms. This brand knocked a lot of socks off at the ABC Expo with their announcement of three new products. Heather became obsessed with their Oragami stroller about six months ago (folds with a touch of a button, charges your cell phone while you walk), and I was able to report back to her that it’s been redesigned with the same features but lighter weight. The winner for me, however, was the Rockaroo, the new answer to the baby swing. Here’s a video that shows you how sleek this little sucker is.
I did not write down the price for the 4moms Rockaroo, but their high-tech bouncy seat, the Mamaroo, is about $200, so you can guess at it.
Which brings me to #8 on my list. And please note, this list is in no particular order. Press the play arrow to watch this video:
The Dozer. I always wanted a “dock” for my infant carseat where I would set it upon entering the house with a sleeping baby and it would continue the white noise and motion of the car. This is not quite that thing, but it’s getting close. About the size of a large stapler, The Dozer is battery powered and essentially kicks the carseat in a rocking rhythm. It’s $29.99 and I’m pretty sure I would have bought it when I had babies in this phase, although as Stephanie from Naptime Enterprises commented on the Instagram video I posted of this, some babies require a lot more motion than this provides.
10 – Skip Hop bedding, and pretty much everything SkipHop. I’m a little bit obsessed with this chevron diaper bag because it’s so straightforward, reasonable priced (under $60 on giggle.com), and cute. It was so much fun to see what else was new with this brand that won me over more than nine years ago. The owl lunchbox which had become iconic in my household after Scarlett used it for preschool has given birth to a host of accessories, from kids bedding to travel toys. The mod dot designs from the floor mats have moved onto crib sheets and sleep sacks. It’s all bright, fun, and not so babyish that it won’t grow with a child through preschool. A 4-pc toddler bedding set is about $60 and a crib package, without bumpers, is $99. (Fitted sheet with contrasting sides that looks like cute bumpers, dust ruffle, wall decals, and baby blanket.)
P.S. All opinions are my own and I have no relationships with any of the brands mentioned above.
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