The 2015 ABC (All Baby & Child) Kids Expo recently concluded in Las Vegas. In case you’re unfamiliar with ABC, it’s an annual convention where hundreds of baby and maternity-focused companies showcase their latest inventions.
Here are eight of our top picks for the best in game-changing new baby gear this year:
1. 4Moms high chair
4Moms is known for its innovative and thoughtfully designed baby gear, and they’ve done the brand justice with this genius high chair. Not only does it look gorgeous and modern, but it’s the epitome of practical function. It has a magnetic, adjustable tray that can be popped on and off with one hand, plus a detachable tray cover that can be removed for easy washing (and is machine washable). Then (and here is the truly genius part): the entire tray is magnetic, and 4Moms sells magnetic plates and dishware, so your kid can’t knock his or her food to the ground! Amazing! It will retail for $299.99 and will be available in early 2016 at 4moms.com and retailers including buybuyBaby and Target.com. Read more about it on the 4Moms blog.
2.Austlen Entourage convertible stroller
Austlen Baby Co. has burst onto the baby scene with an amazing new convertible stroller that just won the 2015 JPMA Best in Show Award at the ABC Kids Expo. The Entourage’s innovative frame boasts a one-second expansion to three basic positions, which are the starting point for 30+ different configuration options. It can be a single stroller with extra cargo room (see top row in photo above), a stroller and a half (with main seat plus jump seat and rider board) accommodating a baby and a toddler (see middle row), and a double stroller (accommodating two seats, a seat and a car seat, or two car seats). This stroller has the longest lifespan of any stroller we can think of: the primary seat is rated from birth, and it will last you through at least two kids . The Entourage has the highest carrying capacity of any stroller on the market, accommodating up to 150 lbs. of kids and cargo combined. The Entourage will be available in early 2016, and will retail for $850. The basic product will include the basic frame, seat, belly bar, and expandable parent console; the second seat ($170) and jump seat and platform rider combo ($180) will be sold separately. See more on the Entourage on the Austlen web site. Here’s also a video demo of the Entourage from BabyGizmo.
3.GB Pockit Stroller
If you haven’t seen this new umbrella stroller yet, you’re in for a mind-blowing treat. The GB Pockit folds up insanely small; in fact, it it holds the official Guinness record for smallest stroller fold (14 x 12 x 7″). But even more importantly, it fits in a backpack or under an airplane seat. Combine that with the fact that it’s only nine pounds, and you’ve got a new top pick for lightweight travel. It is suitable for babies 6+ months (can’t be used with a carseat). It will be available in Spring 2016 and will retail for an estimated $229. Read more about the Pockit on the manufacturer website or see TheBabyGuyNYC’s live video demo in this Mashable article.
4.Doddle POP pacifier
Parents of pacifier babies everywhere — here’s what you’ve been waiting for. A pacifier with a retractable nipple that pops back in when dropped so the nipple will never come in contact with the floor. Genius! The popping mechanism is also intended to mimic the latching process, minimizing the risk of nipple confusion for breastfed babies. The Doddle is made of medical-grade silicone and will be available in Q216. See the manufacturer website or their Kickstarter campaign for more info.
5.Owlet smart baby monitor
The 2015 JPMA Parent’s Pick Award went to the Owlet smart baby monitor. It consists of little sock that slips on your baby’s foot and uses the same technology (pulse oximetry) as hospitals to monitor oxygen levels and heart rate and notify you if your baby stops breathing. There are already four documented cases where Owlet set of an alert when the baby stopped breathing. At $250, it ain’t cheap, but many parents will consider it a worthwhile investment for peace of mind. Read more about it at the manufacturer website, or read through the overwhelmingly five-star reviews at Amazon.
6. UPPAbaby G-Link
Nothing crazy innovative here, but UPPAbaby fans will be pleased to hear that UPPAbaby is finally releasing a double version of their popular G-Luxe umbrella stroller, called the G-Link. It weighs about 20 pounds — pretty light for a double. Put that all together and you’ve likely got a new top pick for parents of twins and siblings close together in age. The G-Link will be available in December 2015 for $499. Selected retailers are already taking pre-orders. See more on the UPPAbaby website, or preorder at Pish Posh Baby or Magic Beans.
7. Hatch Baby The Smart Changing Pad
Another welcome addition to the smart baby device scene this year, Hatch Baby is releasing a changing pad with a built-in scale. The companion smartphone app can be used to track not only weight, but also (manually) height, sleep schedule, and feedings. Though probably unnecessary for most families, it could be a very worthwhile purchase for preemies/low-birth-weight babies and/or babies who are having trouble gaining weight. The Smart Changing Pad ships in December, and is available for pre-order at Hatchbaby.com at a discounted price of $199 (post-release price will be $299).
8. Tot2Walk baby walking aid
This one ain’t high tech, but it caught our eye nonetheless by providing a simple, effective solution to an age-old problem. Any parent who has helped a baby learned to walk is familiar with the discomfort and back pain that stems from walking hunched over. This one is on our wish list for our resident five-month-old. According to their Facebook page, Tot2Walk will soon begin taking orders via its website.
Did you have any other favorites from ABCKids15 that we missed? Share in the comments!