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A few weeks ago I got to attend the Chicago Baby show at Navy Pier. Presented by JPMA and Family Media this is the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country and the first time it was in Chicago. As a mom of four I have seen, and used, a lot of baby products. With my youngest being 4 I’ve been out of the baby market since about 2013/2014 and am wowed at just how much has changed and evolved since then. I’ve put together some of the trends I’m seeing after walking the fair and talking with the brands as well as my favorite products that I found at the fair that are on trend. Pass these on to your expecting friends or add them to your register and you will be all set for your new bundle of joy.
Trend #1 Products that Grow with Your Child
Children come with a lot of stuff, and some of that stuff last a hot minute – I’m looking at you newborn sized anything. I was thrilled to see so many companies and so many different products created with a growing child in mind. Whether they have more than one use or change and grow as the child does longevity seems to be on trend going into 2018. Which, from the standpoint of a mom of many, is great! It means that the investment in a product over time is less because it will last years instead of months.
Products that are doing this well:
You my not be familiar with this Norwegian Company but they have been around since 1932 and in the US since about 2006. They design products that encourage child development and strengthen the bond between parent and child through ergonomic designs that grow with the child and keep them close to mom and dad. Their oft copied and iconic chair is the Tripp Trapp:
I personally own a Tripp Trapp – I won it at an event. It was not something I would have ever bought on our own, it was expensive and seemed a little trendy. We’ve now been using it for 7 years, it’s the family favorite of everyone and I can’t imagine toddler life without it. My younger two have both used it from baby through now – the fight over it! It allowed them to always be at the table with us and they loved being able to climb up in it themselves. Coming this fall they are introducing a cushion for the seat to keep it growing with older kids.
Stokke line includes one of the first high parent facing stroller, baby carriers, car seats, high chairs and cribs. I wish the Stokke Sleepi crib was available 12 years ago when we had a small apartment! No need for a bassinet and a bed this bed grows from a small bedside bassinet style all the way up through a child’s day bed style bed.
Their newest high chair, which we also got to see at the show, is their Stokke Steps Chair. This high can be combined with their bouncer and go from infant through adult. Just like the Tipp Trapp it’s totally adjustable and can hold an adults weight, meaning you don’t have to buy a high chair, a booster, a step stool for the kitchen, etc. One chair is all you need for life! Which while more expensive at first over the long run saves money. Before getting our Tripp Trapp we bought 2 high chairs and 2 boosters, way more expensive then just buying the single chair!
This wagon is more than a cute way to transport kids here there and everywhere. As we were told when we posted a picture from the show, their are cuter wagons on the market – however they can’t do what VEER does. Aside from being able to easily seat my 10 year old, it folds flat, can be pushed or pulled and will hold two infant car seats. In the below video it’s demonstrated how moves and open and closes. You may not catch it at the end but the representative said she carried her whole display set-up about 2 miles int he wagon. It weighs only 32 lbs (less than my toddler!) and can hold up to 110 lbs. The rugged wheels will take you from the zoo, to the beach, to the trails without missing a beat.
There is nothing worse than an exploded pouch of baby food in a diaper bag… except maybe a kid’s snack of watermelon leaking all over their backpack. The Baby Tripster promises to be the first leak-proof baby food travel kit. I made my own baby food for 3 out of my 4 children and this would have been handy. There is a fork/spoon that is stored in the top. I actually bought two of these at the show not for a baby but for my girls to use for school snacks. My 6 year old has been taking tomatoes and feta in it daily for snack and it truly does not leak. The container is dishwasher safe aside from the gasket/seal. The container is small and ergonomic fitting in a child’s hand and my kids can open it themselves. The only downfall is the gasket is a little hard to get in and out and I can see that causing great frustration.
Trend #2 Personalization and Style Beyond Primary or Pastel
When we were choosing a nursery design 12 years ago we could basically choose between various versions of pastels and baby animals. I remember being so thrilled 6 years later when I could get modern patterns in browns and grays. Nursery and more so diaper bags and products are moving well beyond the primary or pastel aesthetic into gorgeous designs that will grow with your child and express your style.
Mouse and Magpie
Designed by artists these curated collections will take your nursery and playspaces from typical to loved. The fabric was so soft, the images so beautiful. Perfect for creating a room that will grow with your child and not look babyish. The product line includes everything you need to put a room together: Art, pillows, lamps, clocks and blankets in themes from nature to construction and dinosaurs to whimsical unicorns. Each piece is individual so you can pull a look together with all of them and look coordinated and not matchy or use one piece as an accent.
The other thing we saw a lot of was the coloring book craze coming to everything from baby carries to diapers Kanga Care has a line of Coloring Book cloth diapers that almost had me wishing we were still in diapers (almost!)
4 new Products that Wowed us!
As I said in the beginning I am always amazed at how many new products are coming out and how innovative they are. These are a few we saw that really impressed us:
Everyone is familiar with these adorable animal humidifiers but do you know why you need them? Babies are nasal breather for the first 4-6 months so the humidity relives dry and stuffy noses making sleeping and feeding easier. Humidity also helps relieve nasal congestion and dry coughing so everyone sleeps better. What’s new? The new Personal Humidifier and Aroma Diffuser that not only let’s use diffuse your essential oils, it has a changing color LED light that can serve as a night light as well.
While many people were interested in their heated changing pad I was wishing I had the Cozy Cradle for our years of co-sleeping while traveling. The cradle is made from an antimicrobial memory foam that cradles the child to allow for safe co-sleeping or using an adult bed for naps. The best part, it rolls up and is small enough to fit in a diaper bag!
Made with natural and sustainable fibers, breathable and waterproof, soft, cosmetic grade Zno which helps to regenerate and protect the skin and is antibacterial and reduces odor, natural dust mite barrier – NOT crinkly or plastic sounding. They were so soft and come in all bed sizes making them perfect for potty training! Those sheets above? All holding water! I saw them and touched them, dry on the outside, water inside.
This was by far the best and most innovative product I saw at the show, it will become my go to baby shower gift. Everyone hates clipping baby nails, my preschooler still hates having his nails cut. This electric nail trimmer files them down with no fear and no tears. Watch our demo and interview on the product below:
What new product are you most interested in?
Disclosure: Some links provided in this story are affiliate links. We earn a portion of the sales made through these links, thanks for clicking! I was compensated by The Chicago Baby Show for my appearance and the time to create the videos and story. All thoughts and opinions are my own.