The ABC Expo Top 10 2013

As many of you know from my flight hysteria and bird nerding, I went to Vegas a few weeks ago to go to the ABC Kids Expo. I met up with Meg from Lucie's List and we decided to come up with a Top 10 from the show between my whining about not going to In-N-Out Burger. 

It was damn hard to come with just 10 – the place was packed with amazing stuff  – but these are ones that stood out for both of us. 

So without further ado, in no particular order, here's what made the cut: 

 

 

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1. Squatchi

How much would I give to avoid driving all around town to find the right pair of shoes for my child? A LOT. Now, you can accurately measure your child's foot right at home and order shoes online with the confidence they will actually fit. You can also use the Squatchi as a keepsake to track your child's changing size over the years. A genius idea from a mom-entrepreneur, what did you expect? You can find them for around $19 – Meg

 

 

2. Woombie Convertible

Products that help parents through difficult transitions deserve a special place on the shelf. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me, "how do I transition my baby off the swaddle, he won't sleep without it, help!"... I'd be rich. The Convertible swaddler from Woombie has arm holes that can be open or closed to assist in the "swaddle weaning" process. Heck, get a little crazy and leave one arm out and one arm in, I won't tell anyone. They run about $28 – Meg

 

 

3. Babywarma

There are two things I love about this Babywarma wetsuit. One, it keeps babies warm when they’re in the water – babies are notorious for getting cold as soon as they get in water because they aren’t great at regulating their body temperature. Two, I love that this wetsuit opens flat so you’re not struggling to pull a wet bathing suit over those delicious ham hock legs. I also love that it’s made with soft, thick neoprene, which is that extra line of defense from a swim diaper poo escape – I never want to be the one responsible for a pool “fouling”. I guess that’s three things I love: warm baby, easy ham hock release, and extra fouling protection. Bring on the swim class! They come in three sizes and are $29.99 – Amy

 

4. Cloud B Twilight Turtle Tunes

Cloud B toys have already earned MVP category in my house with the Twilight Turtle (original) and the Sleep Sheep. New this year is the Twilight Turtle "Tunes", which has built-in speakers that connect to a Bluetooth device of your choosing (iPhone, iPad, etc). With the "T3", you can play your child's favorite lullabies and keep scary monsters away with the light of the stars -- all at the same time. I love multi-taskers!

$52, available at www.cloudb.com, as well as at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Red Envelope. – Meg

 

5. Ergo Baby Wrap  (available February 2014) 

At first glance Ergo’s new baby wrap looks like your standard wrap, but it’s got some really sweet features that set it apart. It’s designed for babies 6.6 to 31 pounds and holds your baby in an ergonomic position (no crotch dangling) but the thing I loved most about it was the fabric. The material is made from this premium, strong 4D fabric that stretches and springs back in both directions so you don’t get that slow sag throughout the day from your baby's weight. It can also be used as a prenatal and postnatal belly band and folds into its attached pocket.

It’s not available until February 2014 but Meg and I are all about bringing you the sneak peeks because we’re broads on the cutting edge (pftt, you already knew that though.) It will retail for $79 once it comes out – Amy

 

 

6. Lifenest

Ubimed has come out with this ingenious crib device called, Lifenest, that helps prevent  flat head syndrome (Plagiocephaly.) It’s like a little hammock that essentially suspends your baby while they sleep on their back to relieve the pressure on the back of their heads normally caused by lying directly on a mattress. Logic would dictate that this would also help reduce the risk of SIDS – the mesh that it’s made from provides constant airflow ¬– but that’s a medical claim that needs to be substantiated with a lot of research and money before that claim can be made here so that’s not my “official” statement. Sells for $99.99 – Amy

 

 
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7. Eat High Chair

Babies are adorable to counter balance how disgusting they can be. Rice cereal, mushed banana, barf, poop, everything ends up on your high chair. So one of my biggest pet peeves is high chairs you can’t wash. This is why I love this Eat high chair from Babyhome because it’s crazy light, folds down to almost nothing, has a removable tray to scoot it up to a table, and you can remove and wash the cover. Can I get a hell yeah? Around $149 to buy.

[Note: an earlier version of this needed an additional crotch restraint to make the CPSC happy, but this version has been improved so there's no need for the extra kit.] 

  

 

8. Graco Elite Gliding Swing

Graco invented the first baby swing and has continued to innovate since. The space-saving Graco Elite Gliding swing offers baby the sensation of gently rocking in mom's glider - PLUS, the functionality of a stand-alone bouncer, which pops off the glider and can easily be carried from place to place at your convenience. Graco hit a homerun with this one – w00t! Retails for around $179.99 – Meg

 

9. Summer Fuze Stroller

The new Summer Fuze stroller knocked my socks off at the baby show by offering all the features of a luxury stroller at an attainable price. With this stroller, baby can rear-face (e.g. face mom) or face out, has a 3-position recline for the tiniest of babes, comes WITH a car seat adapter (what? that never happens), has a large, accessible basket, adjustable handlebar, a cupholder, folds easily and rides like a dream. Essentially, they thought of everything a mom could want, and put it into this stroller. Bravo!!! Runs around $299 – Meg

 

 

10. phil&teds navigator

Oh phil&teds, you always make me so happy with your badass strollers and making me feel like I want to be “on the go”. Not only does the navigator have 26 riding options (including a rear facing function) it has a hands-free auto stop safety brake. Just like when you let go of a lawnmower and it cuts the power, this stroller stops dead if you let go of it, fall, slip, wipe out, whatever. I love that the technology that stops us from cutting off our feet is now being applied to our children not rolling into traffic. Makes sense. Non? $499.99 and the second seat (if you need it) is $149.99 – Amy

 


Amazing, eh?

Whitney, from Rookie Moms, posted her own top 10 and they are completely different which proves just how much amazing stuff was at this show. 

The best part though? For the next 10 days, Meg and I will give away each of these items. Shut up! I know!! You're our peeps and our peeps need sweet swag! The first giveaway will be posted tomorrow.

Check in every day to see which prize is up for grabs – I'm getting all excited just thinking about it. All the giveaways will run for a week so you'll be able to "like", tweet, pin and share your way to score over $1,600 worth of wicked gear.

Screw staying there – what happens in Vegas actually needs to be shared with the most badass readers on the planet. Good luck! 

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Tiny Prints Birth Announcements

Tiny Prints notified me that they are having a site wide 25% off sale for Labor Day (promo code LABOR13) so I thought I'd poke around the site a bit to see what they had, and I was pretty impressed.

It's a bit of hobby for me to shop for imaginary babies (mine is named, Flick) so I figured it wouldn't hurt to share my findings seeing as many of you guys may actually need birth announcements.

Here's what I found:

 

Good Photography Announcements: 

If you've actually gone to the expense of having professional shots taken, then you want to get birth announcements that really makes them shine. These are the ones that I thought did a good job with making it all about the photo. 

 

 

I love this one because it's nice and clean and lets any horizontal shot shine. I picked the one for a little girl, but they do have a boy version as well. 

 

Love the knock out type on this one. Just make sure to use an image that doesn't have much going on in the bottom left-hand corner. There's a girl version as well. 

 

I love how everyone is featured on an announcement like this – especially the siblings who may feel a little left out right now. Bravo for mom getting in on the shoot too. I looked like a sweaty garden slug when my kids were this age but that's what good lighting is for, right?

 

I love that they haven't forgotten about the twins!

 

Announcements that Let the Stats Shine

These announcements are great because they are more about the stats than the photographs, so if you're not feeling up to a professional photoshoot a week after giving birth, these are a great option because even a few little snaps taken at home will do the trick for these ones. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out my Baby & Cool Photography board on Pinterest or check out this great tutorial on how to photograph a newborn.

 

Everything about this announcement is just lovely in my opinion. It gets all the details in there graphically and tastefully. They have a baby girl version as well. 

 

Again, the stats are just as important as the snaps on this one. I love that you can feature little shots of toes, etc. in the tiny photo spots. Try to keep all your shots in a similar tone – all from one photoshoot would probably work best – or convert them to black and white to get a consistent look. There's a darker palette for this one as well. 

 

I love all things square. Of course it costs more to mail square envelopes (thanks post office) so they offer a rectangular envelope if you want to save a few bucks on postage. The pink version is equally pretty.  

 

No Photo Announcements

I didn't have time to bathe let alone pull together birth announcements after my kids were born, so I love these no photo options. Just bookmark the page and plug in the stats once you know them and you're good to go. You can pop a little picture in with the announcement if you find you have a couple good ones once you're ready to mail them.  A nice to-do to give to a helpful visitor once the baby arrives.

I really dig the chalkboard theme because it looks soft without being cutesy. They also have a photo version and a baby boy version of it. 

 

There's something very Beatrix Potter about this yummy vintage style that makes me happy. There's a little boy version as well as coordinating shower invitations if you really want to look like you have your shit together.

 

More than Birth Announcements

I've always had it in my head that Tiny Prints was all about birth announcements, but I was surprised at some of the other goodies they have. 

 

Baby Shower Invitations: Save someone the hand cramp and get shower invitations printed. They even have return address labels to go along with them. 

 

Thank You Cards: They have a nice selection of photo and type-only thank you cards. After all, it's hard to get pissy about a thank you card that is four months late when it comes from an adorable baby. 

 

Contact Cards: I remember seeing the idea of having a contact card before I had kids and thought it was stupid – how hard is it to find a damn pen? Turns out these are brilliant I and I could have used a simple card with my name and address on it about a billion times while functioning in the parent world. I could have used one to hand the cool mom I meet in the park instead of writing my email an old receipt for toilet paper and tampons (charming). I could have used one to leave at playdates and birthday parties instead of scribbling my emergency contact info on a paper napkin. I also could have really used one to hand a parent at school instead of using my business card which informed her that I was a graphic designer (guess who laid out the cookbook this year?). I would keep it simple with my key contact information but you can use them for allergy info, emergency contacts, etc. These would make a nice shower gift too. 

I found the one above in the business section but they do have a section that is solely contact cards for parents.

 

Cool stuff, eh? Anyway the sale runs through to September 3rd if you want to check them out. The code is LABOR13 to get the 25% off.

I'm actually going to do my holiday cards with them so I'm not frantically mailing out cheesy box cards on December 23rd. Instead I'll be frantically mailing out beautiful, custom cards on December 23rd! Wish me luck.

 

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Best Gifts for Babies

Click on the image above (or the link below) to see the entire list.

Click on the image above (or the link below) to see the entire list.

Let me start by saying babies don't need much – they are happy with a boob and a set of jingling keys – but just try to tell new grandparents, aunts and uncles that are itching to go nuts at Toys R Us. If you don't give them a list you will end up with a drum set or a battery operated Dora toy that can loop a stroke inducing "Hola!"

However, I’ve noticed that many sites are putting together baby gift lists that have a lot of, well, expensive, short-lived stuff on it. Don’t get me wrong, you know how I love me some hippy-whittled-Parisian-giraffe teethers, but when you’re shopping for a baby, you want to get things that your baby will really enjoy that aren’t necessarily cheap, but have a little staying power to get the most bang for your buck.

So I set up my own little list of what I thought a baby would like for its first Festivus on Baby List.

I tried to pick things that had lasting appeal and could be enjoyed by your baby now, and down the road. And I tried to pick things that are practical, and things you'd like to have, but would never buy for yourself. I've got a pretty good span going on because your baby could be brand new or almost a year old this holiday, so keep that in mind.

Check out the list to find the items shown above (plus more) and let me know some of the great gifts that you think should be added.

Best Gifts for Babies List

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