The Best New Baby Gear for 2017: Round-up from ABC Kids ’16

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We recently returned from the ABC Kids Expo ’16, the largest annual baby & kids products trade show in North America.  For those of us who work in the industry, wandering the floor is a bit like being a kid in a candy store!

Here’s a sneak peek at all of the latest & greatest products coming out for 2017.  If you like a product, click through to the TotScoop page to see more info or “Want” it!

CONTENTS (click to jump ahead):

Strollers

UPPAbaby Vista

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The UPPAbaby Vista is such a popular high-end stroller that any updates are always big news.  The 2017 Vista will sport a narrower a slightly narrower wheel base, new genuine leather accents, and a new sleeker sunshade material.  All other UPPAbaby models will also feature the same new sunshade material.

UPPAbaby Mesa

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OK, so here’s the biggest news from UPPAbaby this year in our minds.  They’re coming out with the first FLAME-RETARDANT FREE infant car seat on the market!  It’s a deluxe version of the UPPAbaby Mesa, and they manage to meet the standard without flame retardants through the use of naturally flame retardant materials such as wool.  Drool!

City Select Lux

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One of the UPPAbaby Vista’s main competitors in the high-end convertible stroller category is of course the City Select.  A deluxe version of the Select, called the LUX, will be arriving Spring 2017.  It will sport a more compact fold (the bottom of the seat folds in), upgraded fabrics, 4-wheel suspension, updated lower adapter connectors (that self-cover rather than sticking out), and a handlebar hand brake.

Baby Jogger City Tour

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The newest model from Baby Jogger, the City Tour, is shipping now!  We had an opportunity to get hands on the City Tour at the show, and it really is super lightweight (14 lbs.) and folds up super compact (22” x 9” x 17.7”).  It also comes with a backpack-style carrying case.  It’s one of only a handful of strollers (the others being the Mountain Buggy Nano, gb Pockit/Pockit+, and BabyZen YoYo+) that can be taken as a carry-on on an airplane.

Britax B-Ready

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The Britax B-Ready has also been updated for 2017.  It has a new, sleeker, more European-inspired design, is a bit lighter, and now all of the colorways have the color on the inside only.  It has 12 seating configurations, and be folded with either 1 or 2 seats attached.  The new B-Ready has been shipping since September.

BabyZen Yoyo+

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The BabyZen YoYo+ is the newly released version of the YoYo.  It has a higher (40-pound) weight limit, improved suspension, 60% larger storage basket, extendable canopy, and more seat padding as compared to the previous “Yoyo” model.  It can be used with a newborn with the purchase of additional fabrics (see pic at right).

gb Pockit+

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Pockit+ (left) vs. Pockit (right)

gb made serious waves when it introduced the gb Pockit last year (which impressed with the most compact fold on the market), and somehow it managed to improve upon the Pockit with the Pockit+ this year.  The Pockit+ weighs only a pound more than the Pockit, yet has a wider seat, reclines, and can accommodate an infant car seat.

Keenz stroller wagon

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If you spend a lot of time outdoors and often have kid(s) and gear in tow, it’s definitely worth taking a look at the Keenz stroller wagon.  At about $450, it’s not cheap, but it’s super high quality and very maneuverable.  Technically it’s classified as a stroller, so it’s also allowed in places like Disneyland!

Car seats

Cybex Sirona convertible car seat

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Cybex blew everyone away with their Aton and Cloud infant car seats, and their new Sirona convertible car seat that is just as impressive.  It allows extended rear-facing up to 4 years old; reclines; has advanced safety features including a load leg and telescopic linear side-impact protection; and features 360-degree swivel (!) for easy load/unload.

Kiddy: Evolution Pro 2

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Kiddy is a well established German company, but is a relatively new entrant in the US.  Their Evolution Pro car seat was released here a little while back, and now they’re further upping their game with the Kiddy Evolution Pro 2.  It will be the FIRST INFANT CAR SEAT IN THE U.S. THAT CAN BE RECLINED WHILE IN USE IN THE CAR.  This is huge,  especially for newborns and young infants, as it’s not only more ergonomic (avoids putting pressure on their tiny undeveloped spines) but also much safer (with traditional car seats, newborn heads can flop down, causing airway obstruction.  The Evolution Pro 2 also has some other leading safety features, including a load leg.  Coming March 2017.

Nuna Rava convertible car seat

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Nuna’s new convertible car seat, the RAVA ($450), shipping now, is already proving to be a very worthy successor to its very highly rated NUNA infant car seat.  It’s marquis feature is its super-simple seatbelt installation system, which really was super easy in person.  It also has a 50-pound (!) rear-facing weight limit, a retractable Calf Support Panel (allowing up to 2 inches of extra legroom rear-facing, and extra support for forward-facing), five recline positions in each direction, and machine washable fabric.

4Moms self-installing infant car seat

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Tired of troublesome car seat installations?  The new 4moms car seat, get this, instals itself!  It automatically levels and tensions, verifies installation before every ride, and then continuously monitors its status during use to ensure it is always correctly installed.  However, this convenience comes at a price; it retails for $500.  Available now.

Doona Infant Car Seat

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The Doona infant car seat, which packs stowaway wheels for an instant all-in-one car-seat-and-caddy solution, blew parents’ minds when it was first released.  Now, that package has gotten even more formidable with the release of a number of new accessories for the Doona, including the amazing full-coverage sunshade you see above.

Other gear (carriers, bouncers, etc.)

New Beco carriers

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We’ve been long-time fans of both Beco and Boba, and post-merger they’ve got some synergistic great new projects in the works.  Two new carriers coming out under the Beco label are shown above.  The new Beco Carrier (left) will come with an integrated infant insert just like the one that currently ships with the Boba 4G.  Then Beco’s also working on another full-featured carrier (right) intended to appeal to Dads.  Stay tuned for official release news!

Baby Bjorn Mini

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The BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini ($140) has been shipping for a while now, but few parents still seem to be aware of it so we thought we’d highlight it here.  BabyBjorn developed it as slightly smaller, more portable and lightweight alternative to its popular Balance bouncer.  We think it’s a great alternative, given that few people end up using the bouncer beyond the first six months anyway.  Why not get something that’s both cheaper and folds up smaller?

Skip Hop Explore & More Uplift bouncer

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We’ve been eyeing Skip Hop’s new Uplift bouncer ever since it came out, and were delighted to check it out in person.  It rises from floor to couch to table level, so baby can join you at the dinner table!  The only thing we didn’t love was the fact that it requires a fair bit of work to adjust the height…so it’s not something you’re going to want to adjust too often.  However, we love the versatility of the multiple heights.   It retails for $150 and is available now.

Charlie Crane Levo bouncer/rocker

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French company Charlie Crane is manufacturer of this gorgeous Levo baby rocker.  They were at ABC Kids seeking US distribution.  We don’t know if they managed to secure any, but we sure hope so, because this rocker is simply stunning. Retail price in the US would be $209.  You can stalk the manufacturer website here.

Smart baby tech

Baby Vida

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Baby Vida is a wearable heart rate/oxygen monitor that attaches to baby via a sock, similar to Owlet.  However, it claims to use a superior pulse oximetry technology (the same kind used in hospital) that allows for better accuracy.  If either reading falls below the expected range, it sends an alert to your smartphone.

MomSense

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MomSense is a breastfeeding meter that helps you to estimate with 95% accuracy how much breastmilk your baby is actually consuming. It works by monitoring baby’s swallows via a unique adhesive sensor that you attach to baby’s jaw. Perfect for first-time moms just getting the hang of breastfeeding, or any mom concerned about her milk supply and/or baby’s weight gain.  It retails for $90 and is currently available at a number of national retailers.

CloudTot for DockATot

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the DockATot baby lounger/co-sleeper bust onto the baby scene over the past year.  At ABC Kids 16, DockATot announced that it will soon be releasing a major accessory for its signature product called the CloudTot smart mattress.  The CloudTot will slide into the base of the DockATot and transmit information about baby’s breathing, movement, and temperature via bluetooth to a smartphone app.  It will also “nudge” a baby that hasn’t moved in 12 seconds, and detect moisture from a wet diaper.  It will also have white noise, sound, and music soothing features.  It is expected to be released in Summer 2017.

Hatch Baby Grow 2.0

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Hatch Baby showed V2.0 of its smart changing pad (with integrated scale), Hatch Baby Grow, at this year’s show.  The new version looks quite a bit sleeker and more practical — instead of a doctor’s scale, it now looks much more like a consumer device and something that you would feel comfortable laying your baby on 10 times a day. It is covered in a wipeable, antibacterial, non-toxic (PVC-free, BPA-free, phthalate-free, lead-free) soft cushiony material similar to that of the Keekaroo Peanut. If you’ve been eyeing the Grow but you aren’t in a rush, in our opinion it’s definitely worth waiting until the new version comes out to buy.

Hatch Baby Listen & Rest

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Hatch Baby also showed two new products at the show: Hatch Baby Rest (a very sleek-looking, all-in-one night light, sound machine, and OK to wake device) and Hatch Baby Listen (a consumer fetal doppler device).  For the LIsten product, you can control the color displayed via your smartphone, and there are also a range of fun decorative sleeves available to change up the look.  Hmm, we’re definitely loving the direction in which this company is headed!

Totokan OXii

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The Totokan OXii was still at the prototype stage when we saw it at the show, but they have developed what they say will be the first non-wearable breathing/heart rate monitor.  In a field crowded with devices that have to be clipped onto or attached to your baby somehow, that would certainly be a breath of fresh air!

Motorola connected nursery

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Motorola (actually Binatone, the licensee for Motorola in this space) showed its Smart Nursery collection, along with its latest generation of baby monitors, at the show.  That’s their Smart Nursery Dream Machine ($70) just to the right of the camera, and their Smart Nursery Humidifier+ ($100) on the far right.  The collection also includes a Baby & Me Scale as well as a Smart Nursery Alert Sensor for nursery windows and doors, baby gates, etc.  All of the Smart Nursery products can be controlled via Motorola’s Hubble smartphone app.  We have to say, their industrial design is looking amazing!

Sleeping

DockATot

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The DockATot ($165) is one of the hottest new products in the infant lounger/co-sleeping world. You can use it around the house as a safe, snug place for your baby to nap or hang out, or use it while bed-sharing to provide a semi-protected space for baby.  At the show this year they announced several new accessories for the DockATot, including the toy bar shown above and the CloudTot smart mattress (discussed above).

SnuggleMeOrganic

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Similar to the DockATot, the Snuggle Me cushion (from $140) can also be used either as a lounger for naps and awake time around the house, or to create a safer, protected space while bed-sharing. Your baby’s weight activates a snugging reaction that is meant to simulate the womb, and also effectively counters the Moro (startle) reflex. The Snuggle Me is available in a wider range of materials than the DockATot (including a 100% cotton fill and an organic wool outer version).  If we ever have another baby, this one’s at the top of our list!

Snoo smart bassinet

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The Snoo smart bassinet from Happiest Baby, designed in conjunction with Dr. Harvey Karp (baby whisperer and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block), auto-jiggles and shushes your crying baby to calm him and lull him back to sleep.  Karp claims that it “usually calm a crying baby in less than a minute.” It also comes with proprietary sleep sacks that attach to tabs on the side of the bassinet to keep baby sleeping in a safe position on his back. At $1160, it ain’t cheap, but if you were considering hiring a night doula or having someone else come over to help, this might be a reasonable alternative.

Babybay co-sleeper

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We’re no strangers to the BabyBay, having used this co-sleeper for our second child recently.  We were thrilled to see that BabyBay seems to be increasing its US distribution efforts, as it’s really a great product.  It’s not cheap, at $365, but it is the best solution we are aware of for creating a true sidecar-style co-sleeper (where baby’s mattress is flush with your own, so you have easier access during the night).  It’s also solid wood and is designed to easily adjust to any bed height.   Read more about our experience with the BabyBay on TotScoop!

SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper

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SwaddleMe’s follow up to its popular By Your Side Sleeper in-bed co-sleeper is its forthcoming By Your Bed Sleeper.  As you can see from the picture, it is one of the few co-sleepers with an inclined position for reflux babies.  It’s not yet available (the picture is of a prototype that was shown at the show) — stay tuned!

Arms Reach co-sleepers

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The insanely popular Arm’s Reach co-sleepers just got a major upgrade.  The new versions now sport an improved design featuring all-mesh sides as well as an sliding mechanism that allows you to convert between bedside co-sleeper and freestanding bassinet modes more easily. The model pictured is the new flagship Ezee 3-in-1.  See all Arm’s Reach bedside bassinets, as well as a guide to choosing between them, on TotScoop.

Halo Snoozypad

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The HALO SnoozyPad looks like a promising entrant into the world of baby and toddler soothers.  Designed for newborns through toddlers, it slips under your baby’s mattress to create soothing vibrations. It also features soothing sounds and a starry night ceiling projection.  It received a 2016 Award of Distinction at the show.

Pip & Grow Smitten baby box

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Inspired by the baby boxes given out to every expecting parent by the government in Finland (a country that also happens to have one of the lowest SIDS rates in the world), the Smitten baby box was developed by a US-based safe sleep expert. It comes in a number of modern styles, and comes with a waterproof, Certi-PUR-certified foam mattress and 100% cotton sheet. You can buy one on its own for $70, or pay $100 and also donate a box to a family in need (how cool is that?!).

Moba contemporary moses basket

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Moba ($180) is modern moses basket made out of TPE, a medical-grade rubber polymer blend.  How incredibly refreshing to see a moses basket that isn’t all frilly!

Cocoon Nest 4-in-1 crib system

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The Australian-made Cocoon Nest 4-in-1 crib system converts from a bassinet to a crib to a toddler bed to a table & 2 chairs set.  It’s reminiscent of the Stokke Sleepi system, but could potentially be a bit more reasonably priced (it sells for ~$A1000 in Australia).  It’s made of solid beechwood and looks absolutely TDF in person.  When we saw them at the show they were looking for US distribution; fingers crossed that they found it, because we’re seriously considering having another kid just so we can get this!

Swaddles & sleep sacks

Lulujo

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We’re always on the lookout for fun new muslin prints, and Lulujo definitely has some gorgeous modern ones to choose from.  A great option to be aware of if you don’t to have the same prints that all the other moms at playgroup have.

Weegoamigo

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We also stopped in our tracks to check out Weegoamigo‘s fun muslin prints.  They currently have limited distribution in US, but are worth seeking out if you’re looking for prints that are fun and different.   We’ve got a couple links on our TotScoop page.

ergoPouch Australia

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ergoPouch, an Australian company (with no relation to ERGObaby), wowed us with the quality of their swaddles and wearable blankets. Unlike many US companies, they make their products with ONLY natural fibers (for example, the fill in their winter-weight products is 100% cotton, NOT polyester)! The also have some genius design elements, including snaps on their swaddles which allow them to convert from swaddles to sleep sacks. We’re in love!

Kyte Baby

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We were blown away by how soft and luxurious the bamboo fabric in these Kyte Baby sleep sacks is. They’re a bit pricey (starting at $45), but would make for an amazing baby gift or splurge for your own little one!

Magnificent Baby magnetic-closure layette

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Magnificent Baby has been around for quite a while, but this was the first time we actually managed to get hands on some samples.  And WOW, the magnetic closures were seriously NIGHT & DAY vs. traditional baby rompers with a zillion snaps!  Seriously, they practically close themselves!  If you’re expecting a baby, do yourself a favor and add some of these to your registry PRONTO.

Feeding

Evomove Nomi ergonomic high chair

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Winner of the 2014 Red Dot design award, the Evomove Nomi (from the same designer of the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair) is a super ergonomic and modern new high chair that is definitely one to keep an eye on. Reminiscent of the Stokke Steps high chair, it is a modular chair that converts from a newborn table-high bouncer (0-6 mo.) to a toddler high chair with restraint (6-24 mo.) to a kid chair (24 mo to teenager). It is expected to ship as soon as January 2017.  Read more on TotScoop.

Skip Hop Tuo convertible high chair

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If you’re into mid-century design and products that grow with your child, the Skip Hop Tuo might just be the high chair for you! Its key feature is that it transforms from a high chair into a kid chair (3+ years). It also features a wipe-clean seat and removable tray. It will retail for $160 and is expected to ship March 2017.

Baby Bjorn high chair

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The new BabyBjorn High Chair is a solid option to consider for smaller spaces.  It’s one of very few full-size high chairs to fold flat for storage.  It is available now and retails for $198.

Zoli weighted straw cup 2.0

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Non-parents might not appreciate what a big deal this is, but if you’ve ever been thwarted by a leaky straw cup, you will thank the heavens for the forthcoming update to the very popular ZoLi Bot.  ZoLi’s designers have added a pressure chamber at the top that they say will eliminate leaking from temperature differentials through the weighted straw, so you’ll now be able to use the cup for milk and other cold liquids.  Hurrah!

Avanchy bamboo feeding line

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Non-toxic feeding gear is a major trend these days, and we love this relatively new line of Bamboo dishware and utensils from Avanchy.  You can’t see it in the picture but the suction feature on the bottom is a ring rather than a circle, which they claim helps their dishes to stick to tabletops better.  Avanchy’s new infant spoons ($20 for 5) are the newest addition to the line.

UpSpring Milkflow breastfeeding supplement

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The makers of the UpSpring breastfeeding supplement have introduced a new chocolate flavor, and we have to say it’s pretty delicious.

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Dr. Brown’s new Options line can be used either with or without the vent.  We love this evolution because most parents buy bottles before their kid is born (and many parents buy Dr. Brown’s because they are supposed to be really good for reducing gas), but not all babies end up needing the vent for gas reduction, and the extra pieces just end up being a pain.

Bath & potty

Charlichair baby shower chair

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The Charli Baby Shower Chair, distributed by Primo, could be a great option for parents with no bath tub or space for an infant bath tub.  It’s designed for ages 0-24 months and is currently selling for ~$90 on Amazon.

Marcus & Marcus mold-free bath toys

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Not only are they adorable, but these animal squirt bath toys designed to pop open and be dishwasher-safe — for easy cleaning and NO MOLD!  These were just announced at the show, so they’re not yet for sale anywhere, but hopefully soon!  They’re adorable and we can’t wait to pick some up for our own tub.  In the meantime, you can stalk the manufacturer website for more info.

Grovia Unders

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Yay!  Cloth diapering brand GroVia is expanding to offer Unders (underwear), sized for ages 2-5.  They will be 100% cotton and come in a single, unisex, boxer brief style that are designed for comfort (e.g. no tags) and can also be worn as pajamas or loungewear.  A 2-pack will retail for $13.95.  Coming January 2017.

Bambo diapers & babycare

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Bambo has long been one of our absolute favorites in the premium disposable category (see our guide here), so we were excited to catch up with them at the show.  Their new & improved diapers (shown at left) will be getting softer on the outside, and will also be getting an improved wetness indicator (yay!). Bambo is also launching a non-toxic babycare line.  Both should be available in February.

Happy Little Camper 100% cotton wipes

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Well-known international brand Veeda is bringing 100% cotton baby wipes to the US!  What a great new option for parents who prefer all-natural fibers.  We don’t know of any other baby wipes on the US market made of 100% cotton.

Just for fun

Jaq Jaq Bird

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Jaq Jaq Bird’s chalk drawing and coloring books caught our eye as something fun and unique.  They sell blank versions ($24), as well as a new coloring book-style Artist Series (the initial two themes are Van Gogh and Monet; $26).  Their dust-free “Butterstix” chalk ($12) pairs perfectly with a book.  These would be perfect for restaurants or on-the-go!


Hope you enjoyed our roundup of ABC Kids ’16!  What were your favorite new finds featured above?  What did we miss that you liked?  Let us know in the comments!