Today’s busy parents are always looking for innovative solutions to make life easier, more convenient, and definitely less stressful. And these are certainly some of the concerns driving new products and innovation at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. Get ready to find some great solution!
Every parent knows that not every product is going to live up to its promises. So, how to choose? We went directly to someone who knows, who has lived it with her kids, and who talks to new and expectant moms every single day. Baby interiors and gear expert and NessaLeeBaby owner Vanessa Antonelli gave us her picks from the thousands of 2016/2017 products on display that she thinks will be especially useful—and appreciated.
One of the top concerns of her customers is design. And luckily more and more juvenile product manufacturers are responding to customers need for basic products that not only function well but look great, too.
We started by sitting down, literally. The Kiwi Glider from Babyletto is a sleek, contemporary chair with some great benefits. For connected parents, the chair includes an integrated USB port so parents can charge their phones, or anything else, while snuggling with their baby. But it was the electronic controls on the chair that really called out to Antonelli. The chair goes from full recline to upright with the touch of a button that smoothly moves the back, seat, and leg support. In traditional rockers and gliders, the very act of getting up is sometimes enough to wake the baby, says Antonelli. And rule number one, she says: Don’t wake the baby. The Kiwi Glider will be available in 2017.
There are many solutions and myths surrounding the dropped pacifier, from the five-second rule to mom or dad licking it off to whatever your preferred method is. Enter the Pop pacifier from Doddles & Co. This mom-designed pacifier is made of silicone and has a unique design that draws the nipple into an integrated, protective bubble if it’s dropped. Antonelli loves the design’s elegant simplicity, and, of course, the practicality. The Pop pacifier will be available in early 2017.
Mealtime can be mess time, and Antonelli says the ezpz Happy Mats are a great solution. The silicone placemats have integrated compartments for food or for art supplies as in its new sets. The silicone mats use simple suction to stay securely on a flat surface. Baby can’t lift them or move them, but a parent can easily remove them for dishwasher-safe cleaning. The basic ezpz mats are available now, and the ones designed for art supplies are coming next year. (And for TTPM Pets fans, the company plans to introduce a line of pet feeding products in the next year, so stay tuned!)
Getting baby to sleep can be a challenge, more for some babies than others. If you need a little help getting baby to dreamland, check out the Halo Snoozy Pad. This innovative new system has already won a coveted Award of Distinction from media and buyers attending the 2016 ABC Kids Expo. The pad slips under a crib mattress and gives a gentle and soothing vibration. It also features amber light, which the company says helps increase melatonin production, and quiet white noise sounds to help create the perfect sleep environment. Antonelli especially liked that its Bluetooth-connected and can be controlled remotely from an app. “I’ve done the army crawl to get out of the bedroom quite a few times so as not to wake the baby after resetting a device, so this is a great innovation,” she says. The Snoozy Pad will be available in mid-2017.
Finally, for parents on the go, the umbrella stroller is a must-have. But it can be cumbersome, especially if you’re trying your child in addition to all life’s other necessities. The 3D Tote Stroller from Summer Infant solves all those problems. Weighing in at a comparatively light 19 pounds, the easily folded and toted stroller is a godsend for parents on the move. Antonelli calls it “the perfect Disney World stroller,” and notes that it will be especially great for travel. The design looks very much like a high-end umbrella stroller, but it has even more to offer. The engineering is sophisticated and allows a heavy diaper bag to be hung securely over the bars without tipping the stroller. The under-seat basket is more generous than other umbrella strollers we’ve seen, and the back can even be extended for even more room. There are cup holders for kids, parents and spares, and the larger than expected hood provides great sun protection and has a peek-in window on the top. The stroller will retail for about $150, and will be available in 2017.