ABC Kids Expo 2016: Margaret’s Faves
I had the opportunity to attend the ABC Kids Expo 2016, which was simultaneously dazzling, overwhelming and incredibly fun. One thing that I learned about myself is that I’m a bit of a “gear junkie,” and with 3,259 booths to hit at the world’s largest baby and juvenile products tradeshow, I could have used another week to take it all in.
At this point, with a kindergartner and a preschooler, I’m more of a veteran parent, but I remember how overwhelming it was to narrow down the available products as a newly minted parent. Below are some of the best, and most intriguing products that I had a chance to touch and test at ABC Expo 2016.
Pip & Grow Smitten Sleep System Baby Box
As a first time parent, I didn’t know much about safe co-sleeping. Back then, there wasn’t much information other than, “Don’t do it.” With the recent release of the expanded American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe-sleep guidelines, which recommend newborns sleep in the same room as his/her parents for the first 6 months to a year, there is much more information, and products, available to encourage safe cosleeping.
Developed by one of the country’s leading child injury prevention experts, the beautiful Smitten Sleep System by Pip & Grow, is a modern approach to safe sleep spaces. For nearly 80 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have received a Baby Box from the state that is used as the child’s first bed. When used properly, bassinet boxes provide a protected sleep space that can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation death. And in comparison to a traditional crib, bassinet boxes can offer parents an affordable, portable safe sleep space – making them an easy option for both room-sharing and around-the-house napping.
Embé 2-Way Swaddle
As a new mom I literally studied up on swaddling: I read books and articles on swaddling techniques, downloaded and printed diagrams of how to swaddle which I referenced while trying to lasso an overtired newborn. I was a swaddle failure. I tried every swaddle shortcut product on the market at the time, but I would have ended my search with the Embé 2-Way Swaddle.
This revolutionary swaddle, invented by a mother of four and aerospace engineer, features a convertible design allowing for leg in and legs out swaddling. The “No-Rise Neckline” keeps the fabric from rising over baby’s face and its specially designed zipper and second layer swaddle wing can keep even the little Houdinis confined. And, due to its generously sized, heart-shaped leg pouch which allows for natural leg and hip positioning, this swaddle has been given a nod from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
Pee Kaboo Reusable Potty Training Sticker
For those of us with slightly older kiddos, the Pee Kaboo is a fun discovery. I’ve potty trained two littles –one with sensory issues– and know how important it is to keep it positive and let them feel like it’s their idea as much as you can. The Pee Kaboo Potty Training Sticker actually makes potty time a fun challenge, because they have to pee on the sticker to make the image appear! Both peeing on things and stickers are popular in my household, so this is a win all around.
La Petite Creme
Oh la la, I love La Petite Creme! Not only does it allow you to eliminate the waste of diaper wipes, it allows you to eliminate harsh chemicals from the diaper clean-up process. Just olive oil, water, beeswax and other natural elements and baby’s buns are good to go. Can I add (although this is not an indication for La Petite Creme), I used La Petite Creme to clear up a rough case of chapped lips -and face- after my son had a very nasty mouth-breathing headcold? His poor chapped face was ready for kindergarten picture day in less than three days.
Thule 4-in-one (stroller, jogger, bike trailer, xc ski trailer)
Fair warning, I already own a Thule Chariot Cougar. But not by happenstance. I’m a Researcher-Mama and I do ALLLL the research on all the things and already decided that our urban, biking family of four would be better served by a Thule Chariot than many other comparable brands. We can stroll, jog, run and cross-country ski with our basic trailer body. We actually use our Chariot Cougar constantly, even for strolls in the park. Thule items have built-in flexibility so you can take them on a simple trip to the store, or with a quick change of the wheels, running or skiing! Our Thule has lasted for years and will stick with us for a few more.
For those of us who adore infant and juvenile products, ABC expo was a dream come true. I can’t wait to learn more next year.