Well, I survived another ABC Kids Expo. This time I took my Pregnant Chicken Posse, Kelly and Claire, so they could meet all the people we work with throughout the year (and so we could build company morale by taking an Uber to In N Out burger.)
So here are some of the things that we saw at the show that was new and cool – and should be on the market in 2016.
Feel free to comment with any other questions and I’ll find out the answers to them. Actually, who am I kidding, Kelly and Claire will figure it all out – I’m going to bask in the role of eccentric CEO now (bottling my own urine should follow shortly.)
Ezpz Happy Mat
Happy Mats are silicone mats that have the bowl/plate built right into them. Once it is set down on the table it is really hard to move and/or toss so all the tableware stays. These guys were in the innovation section last year (it’s like the “this is my idea, what do you think?” section) and everyone lost their damn mind. This year they were up for a JPMA award and totally won the feeding/bathing/changing category. Companies have been trying to crack this one for years with suction cups, etc. so this simple solution was a real win. They are already on the market. Find them here.
GB Pockit Stroller
These guys have come out with a stroller that folds down to fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment of a plane. It folds down to be 12”x14”x7” which is crazy small. It will be out in spring in 2016 and sounds like it will land in the mid $200 range. Keep an eye on GB for their new Lyfe Travel System too – it will come with the stroller, bassinet AND a cart seat for just over $300 bucks which is pretty impressive. You can find my review on it here.
Brezza 4-in -1 Baby Bottle Washer
Brezza is coming out with this little baby dishwasher which means you can wash your bottles, soothers, etc. in one machine. It uses regular soap (so you can use your favorite hippy soap or just regular old Dawn) and it sterilizes everything. It should be out in 2016 and I think it’s going to be in the $250 range. Not for everyone but I’m sure a real sanity saver for a few parents – I would have liked it just to keep my baby’s stuff away from my crusty spaghetti plates. You can find it here.
There have been quite a few mattress innovations over the last few years, but I felt the Newton mattress made a really big leap (it won the JPMA award in the Nursery category). You can breathe through this mattress. Like facedown rock-star-drunk breathe through this mattress. The cover easily zips off and you can even hose the whole mattress off in the shower. Now, the idea is that your baby lies directly on the mattress because every layer you add makes it less breathable, however, you can buy extra covers if you’re worried about late-night diaper blowouts. Find them here.
4Moms High Chair
Everyone always beetles over to the 4Moms booth when the show opens so they can be the first one to see the new, cool thing they came out with, so this year didn’t disappoint with their new highchair. The tray is magnetic so not only does it easily come off the base with one, easy lever release, all the dinnerware has a stainless steel core so it “sticks” to the tray. It’s going to be around $300 so, as with all 4Moms stuff, you’re going have parents that say “how much? Are you high?” and others that say, “brilliant. I want two.” You can find them here.
I was really intrigued when these guys at Lully asked me to swing by the booth because I know how freaky and awful it is when your child suffers from night terrors. It’s a wireless vibrating pillow that slips under your child’s mattress and syncs with an app on your phone. You answer questions about your child’s sleep and it figures out when you should have it vibrate which heads off the night terror. The company was founded by a Father/Physician and an Engineer from Stanford University who spent years researching children’s sleep, so the research around it is pretty impressive. It’s available for around Find them here.
Tot 2 Walk
I thought this was such a nice, simple (yet brilliant) idea. Most walking aids are designed to save your back but typically harness to your child whereas this Tot 2 Walk is based on a child’s natural grasping reflex. They control their own balance, stability and speed so they ‘get it’ at their own pace. It sounds like this should be ready to roll sometime in 2016 and will sell for around $30 so keep an eye out for it.
I’m not surprised that the SpinAgain won the Play/Entertainment Category at the JPMA’s. My kids would have gone bonkers for this sucker and I can see it having a long play life and educational value. It’s really simple in that it has a threaded peg that all the gears spin down onto but it’s just so satisfying and fun to play with. Find them here.
Ergo Nursing Pillow
The Ergo Nursing Pillow another JPMA winner in the Infant/Parent Care category. It’s different from a Bobby or a My Brest Friend pillow because it’s more structured and is kind of scooped out so your baby is tilted towards you. As with most breastfeeding gear – pillows in particular – a lot of it comes down to personal preference, but I thought this was a really cool direction that I haven’t seen before. You can find it here.
These brilliant folks, Michelle and Nicki, have come up with Doddle Pop – a one piece soft silicone pacifier that pops back into itself when it’s released. So not only does it stay clean when it’s dropped, it mimics the latching process to minimize the risk of nipple confusion. They are going to be around $10 each and available around spring 2017. You can find them here.
These guys have created a smart changing pad, called Hatch Baby, so parents accurately track their babies’ growth, feedings, diapers, and sleep on their smartphones. It’s really easy to use and would have been right up my alley when I had a baby – as a bit of a type-A personality, tracking and data actually put me more at ease. It’s going to be available in December for $299 but you can see my review on it here.
The guys at Pariday have developed brilliant reusable hot and cold packs that come with washable ‘pillowcases’. One size is for perineal use (think padsicle for after you’re given birth but better because they don’t freeze solid) and the other size is shaped like a coaster for boob relief. If you were my pregnant sister I would take your face in my hands and say, “Trust me. Get these.” Find them here. Bonus: you can use them as boo boo packs for scraps and bruises too.
This little Owlet won the Parent’s Pick Award. It’s a little sock that slips on your baby’s foot and uses the same technology – pulse oximetry – as hospitals to measure your baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate. If your baby stops breathing an alarm goes off. It’s pretty damn cool and they reached out to me when they were developing it to see if I thought parents would find it helpful. I can’t remember what my exact words were but I think it was somewhere along the lines of, “I don’t know about other parents, but I would have tackled you to the floor and given you two mortgage payments for one of these.” I had a movement monitor when my son was an infant and not only did the false alarms scare the crap out of me, it made me question how reliable it was. It ain’t cheap at $300 but if it makes you feel more secure when you’re baby’s sleeping, it may be worth springing for. You can find it here.
Summer Infant Kiddopotamus Jumpin’ Jive Jungle
Summer Infant is coming out with a portable play center (or what I used to affectionately refer to as the ‘circle of neglect’.) It would be amazing for grandma’s house or when you visit friends for dinner and want a fun little hangout for your baby and heaven knows those full-size activity centers are about as nimble as a parade float. It should be coming out in May/June 2016 and will be around $100.
Bridge the Bump Coat Extender
If you live someplace cold this Bridge the Bump could be a real score. It zips directly into your coat so you can keep wearing it when you’re pregnant or babywearing. It’s $110 so it may not be worth it if you don’t have much of a winter, but if you’re in the kind of cold where your nose hairs freeze and want to keep wearing your badass (and expensive) coat like a Canada Goose, it may be worth the investment. You can find them here.
Neat Cheeks are already out but I just wanted to get them on your radar in case you hadn’t heard of them. They are flavored face wipes. So unlike the scented wipes, they actually taste as good as they smell because they are flavored with a natural, non-stickystevia extract. They just came out with a Peach flavor and they are delicious. Find them here.
Lotus Yoga Bra
Cake Lingerie is coming out with their Lotus bra in January 2016. It’s a seamless yoga bra that is especially great for women who want to use breast pumps because it has the slits in the white portion to hold the pump in place. I’ve always been a big fan of their bras because of their incredible attention to detail and quality, and this one is no different. It’s going to sell for around $50. You can find them here.
This is veering a little off the path from pregnancy and newborns, but I just had to mention Sporkman from the guys from Fed (Fun Eating Devices.) It’s a combo spork/chopticks that is a lot of fun to use (hello, picky eaters), helps with fine motor skills and donates a portion of their proceeds to Stop Hunger Now. When I was a talking to them in the booth at ABC I was so inspired by their passion and enthusiasm for feeding kids everywhere that I’m surprised I don’t have Mike Tyson Sporkman tattoo on the side of my face. You can find them here.
Austlen Entourage Stroller
This stroller blew my mind. So the Entourage can quickly expand to the size of small country, has 30 configurations, is surprisingly light, AND it looks really nice. It won Best in Show at the JPMAs, which isn’t surprising because I’ve never seen anything like it before and it’s just so well thought out. It’s going to be just under $900 when it comes out in early 2016, and I have no doubt it will be a real life saver for people with a certain lifestyle. If you buy one of these, can we go for a picnic while I sit on the jump seat drinking a beer? I’ll bring a crudité platter.
I’m going to keep going through my notes to see if there was anything else I wanted to mention and confirm pricing and dates, but I wanted to show you think stuff while it was fresh in my mind.
Plus, I wanted to show you pictures from our outstanding Vegas visit.
I’m sure the patrons were wondering why a garden gnome was taking pictures of a Gilmore Girl and Pocket Uma Thurman in In-N-Out.
Uber Aric’s BMW after In N Out.
The gals at BabyList threw an incredible party on the rooftop of the Commonwealth where I drank whiskey sours and caught up with some amazing people in the ‘baby biz’.
Of course, we headed over to the Container Park which has a flaming metal praying mantis out front and a grown-up playground inside. Shari from Spearmint Baby and I demanded that ‘big slide’ be opened and I instantly regretted it because I nearly got stuck halfway down and it was a little touch and go for a second.
We moseyed along Fremont after my near death experience in the slide, and felt fairly confident that I could eat here for free after the week of eating I’d had.
This photo of Kelly pretending to put a ‘Benjamin’ in the slot machine makes me howl. We ended up each putting in $10, winning around $50 each, then cashing out. I know, the squad rolls hard.
Kelly felt that it was important to get a ‘surprise shooter’ later in the evening – the only thing that was surprising is that I didn’t wake up in a puddle of my own urine on Fremont the next day.