Peering Into Our Crystal Ball: Our Picks for the 14 Hot Baby Products of 2014
The world of baby products is constantly changing, but the needs of babies remain the same: they need cozy places to sleep, safe ways to travel, and they need to be fed and rocked, sung to and snuggled. Our goal is to sell you the products that make all of these processes easy – preferably with some style and panache.
So this list of hot products for 2014 doesn’t focus on flashy tech or gimmicks: while these products are all nifty and modern, some have a real “wow” factor to them, and some of them are just remarkable because they look fantastic, they’re all also supremely practical items for babies and parents. Some are variations on old favorites, while others solve an age-old problem in a cool new way. But most importantly, they make caring for your baby easier, so you can focus on getting to know and enjoy the wonderful new member of your family!
Travel: Strollers, Carriers & Car Seats
Valco: Snap 4WD All-Terrain Stroller
Okay, we’ve been talking about our Magic Beans exclusive stroller a lot – but that’s because we’re so excited! The Valco Snap 4WD Stroller can go anywhere: because it’s lightweight and narrow, you can zip through the grocery store, trundle onto subway trains, and toss your folded stroller into any car trunk, but because it also has tough all-terrain tires, you can skim over snow, slush, sand, and sidewalk cracks. And when you’re done, the Valco Snap 4WD Stroller folds one-handed with a happy snap – with the fabrics tucked safely inside, to keep them clean. We’re so proud of our new baby!
Baby Jogger: Vue Umbrella Stroller
We’ve already had a look at the Vue Umbrella Stroller on this blog, but it’s worth repeating: this is the first umbrella stroller on the US market with a reversible seat! Weighing in at a mere 17 pounds, and boasting a quick and compact umbrella fold, the Baby Jogger Vue lets your baby gaze up at his favorite face in the world (that’s yours, silly!) as you stroll, or take a good look at his surroundings instead: you choose the view, just by switching the direction of the recline. We were impressed when we saw this stroller in Vegas, and we’re still impressed.
Bumbleride: Indie 4 Stroller
Four-wheelers are in this year! While the original Indie is a perennial favorite, if you’re not planning on jogging, the four-wheeler may be for you, since four-wheelers are easier to bump up curbs, and this new take on the Indie has all-wheel suspension. The Bumbleride Indie 4 baby stroller has the same fabulous features (pneumatic tires, welded aluminum chassis, adjustable handle, full recline, etc.), just even more optimized for both urban and off-road tasks – it’s a great fit for an urban family that’s constantly leaving the city for outdoor adventures!
Plus, we love the fact that Bumbleride uses recycled fabrics, and their strollers come in such unusual and stylish color schemes.
The Orbit Baby G3 collection features the same components, just a little refreshed and rearranged: every piece of your Orbit Baby travel system is available a la carte, so you get just what you need and nothing that you don’t. First, you pick your bases (the Stroller Frame, Infant Car Seat Base, and/or Rocker Base); then you pick your seats and bassinets (the Stroller Seat, Infant Car Seat, Toddler Car Seat, and/or Bassinet Cradle); then, choose your stroller sunshade, cargo basket, panniers, and other accessories to top it all off. There’s a combination that works for everyone, whether you live in the city or the suburbs, whether you’re driving or flying, and whether you have just one child or more. And there’s a variety of new colors to choose from, too.
Bugaboo Classic Cameleon 3 Classic Stroller
While Bugaboo strollers are engineered for terrific performance, in some ways they’ve always been a fashion statement – after all, they got their first big PR boost from the fashionistas on Sex & the City! The Bugaboo Classic Collection celebrates the origins of the brand with a sophisticated color scheme that evokes all things upscale and preppy: choose from Bugaboo Cameleon 3 strollers in dapper navy or back-to-basics khaki, each with quilted off-white lining. We look forward to these beauties sprucing up our sidewalks!
Ergobaby: 360 Carrier & Ergobaby Wrap Carrier
As we announced after the ABC Kids Expo, this year, you’ve got new Ergo options! After all, there’s a reason why there are so many types of carriers on the market: not all parents and not all babies like the same thing. So now, you can do Ergo in the way that suits you best.
The new Ergobaby 360 baby carrier, for instance, is similar to previous soft-structured Ergobaby carriers, but it’s also designed to please curious kiddos who really, really want to see the world around them when they’re in a front carry. The unique “bucket seat” design keeps the baby in a position that’s healthy for growing legs and hips, with your baby’s weight on his bottom, not his crotch. The carrier is also designed to keep this position from straining your back, so you can enjoy the famous comfort of Ergo!
The new Ergobaby Wrap brings the unique, intimate feel of a wrap carrier into their product line, with specially designed 4D Stretch material that hugs you and your baby together without sagging.
Clek: Tokidoki Foonf Convertible Car Seat & Tokidoki Oobr Booster Seat
Clek’s new innovation this year is all about style, but, then, Clek products have always been known for their unique look. We love all of the innovative safety features on their car seats and boosters, but what’s the use of safety features in a booster if your big kid doesn’t want to sit in it?
No child of any age will be complaining with these hip, eye-popping designs: the Tokidoki Clek Foonf and Oobr seats merge cuteness and coolness with a dizzying array of kid-friendly crazy creatures, including adorable tiny punk rockers, cats and dogs in cactus costumes, milk cartons with cow faces, happy bears, angry diamonds (?), and… well, just have a look for yourself. It would take all day to name everything depicted on one of these Tokidoki car seats, and it would take much longer to get bored with them.
Sleeping & Soothing
Halo: Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
We’re not surprised that this product won “Best in Show” at the JPMA Innovation Awards: it’s a real game-changer for parents who want to co-sleep! With this product, your baby can sleep in his own sheltered bassinet resting right next to you on your mattress, protected by a flexible, breathable barrier. You can swivel the Halo Bassinest to the side on its stand to get in and out of bed, and swivel it back towards the bed to position it for sleeping, and you can feed and comfort your baby without getting out of bed, letting everyone in your bedroom get a little more sleep, with complete peace of mind.
Meet the latest innovation from the folks that brought you the mamaRoo, the baby seat that perfectly mimics the unique motions parents use to comfort their babies! The rockaRoo is also a high-tech baby seat, but it has a more traditional swinging motion. Only, it does that motion just a little bit better than your traditional baby swing: the pivot points are designed to maximize motion at the baby’s head, where it’s the most satisfying for little guys and gals who need soothing. The reviews so far are great, and it’s also smaller and lighter than the mamaRoo. We love both of the ‘Roos, and we love being able to offer you more options!
Aden + Anais: Musy Mate Lovey Blankets
Kids already have been using Aden + Anais’s famous cotton and bamboo muslin swaddle blankets and dream blankets as loveys – so why not make their loveys even more lovable? These darling blankets feature a winsome animal head attached in the middle, giving babies a buddy to hug everywhere they go. Musy Mate Loveys are safe for newborns, and they make awesome baby shower gifts!
Baby Fanatic: Dozer Car Seat Rocker
As a mom n’ pop shop, we love selling products from parent inventors – we mompreneurs and dadpreneurs need to stick together, you know? And the Dozer is such a simple, obvious, and brilliant invention: it transforms your infant car seat into a battery-operated rocker! Just pop the Dozer under the corner of the seat (on the floor, please) and switch it on, and it will gently rock your baby to sleep. The Dozer weighs less than a pound, too, so it can go anywhere with you, facilitating happy napping at home or on the go.
EZ Squeezees: Reusable Food Pouches
This product also comes from parent inventors: self-described “crunchy” parents Jordan and Alexis Takas liked the convenience and healthiness of disposable food pouches, but they didn’t like all that packaging getting thrown in the trash afterwards. EZ Squeezees are just as convenient as disposables, and purees that you make at home are so much cheaper! Plus, you can control all of the ingredients in your child’s food – if you want to banish added sugar, sodium, or preservatives, you can.
Learning to self-feed is always a messy process, leaving the inevitable splatters all over your baby, her high chair, her bib, her shirt, your floor, and your hair. Num Num Dips make it a little easier and cleaner, enabling self-feeding in a way that’s better suited to your baby’s motor skills than a regular spoon: purees and other mooshy foods cling to channels in the Num Num Dips utensils no matter how your child holds them, so more food makes it to her mouth and less winds up on her face and clothes. More independence, less mess – what’s not to love?
And finally, let’s not forget about playtime! This cool little gadget also bumps babies up a skill-level, letting them ride on a big-kid playground swing. Just clip the SwingEase onto any standard chain swing and pop your child into the seat. Or, if you clip the SwingEase in a little higher up, it enables your child to swing safely in your lap! It’s so much fun for both parents and kids.
Of course, this is only the beginning of this year’s innovative and helpful offerings – and we’ll be keeping you updated on everything new for babies and kids right here at the Spilling the Beans blog, so keep an eye out!
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