2013 ABC Expo Picks for Your Little One (and You!)
Every fall, the biggest names in the juvenile products industry show off their hot new products at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas, and boy did I feel like a kid in a candy store wandering the aisles! There were so many great products for cool parents, unique holiday gifts, gifts that give back and a few sneak peeks at what's to come in 2014.
Products for Cool Parents
If you are a cool parent who wants to introduce your little one to your favorite band, relive your childhood with her, or just find the hottest new feeding gadget, we've got you covered.
EM's 4 Buds Baby Earmuffs. If you often worry about your baby's little ears in loud environments, EM's 4 Kids Earmuffs offer infant ear protection with an adorable headband that fits comfortably around his cute little head. $30.99, earmuffsforkids.com.
Rockabye Baby. If you've grown tired of listening to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with your baby, give "Rockabye Baby" a try. Bring back memories of the days before midnight feedings and endless diaper changes with lullaby renditions of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "Beat It" and "Smooth Criminal." Or, relax to lullaby versions of Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind" and "Run This Town." Available via MP3 or CD. $11.99, rockabyebabymusic.com.
TOMY Watergames. Talk about a blast from the past, water games are back to provide hours of enjoyment for toddlers (and adults). Just add water, then see if you can push the button to drop balls into the basket in Pelican Catch or maneuver rings onto the dolphin's nose in Dolphin Dive. $9.99, tomy.com.
NumNum Dips. Avoid messy meal times and help baby become more independent with NumNum Dips. These cool new alternatives to an infant spoon allow babies to feed themselves, and the food will actually make it into their mouth! There is no right or wrong way to hold a NumNum Dips, so you don't have to worry about pureed peas ending up on the floor. $9.99, numnumdips.com.
Great Holiday Gifts
Looking for something different to get your kids for the holiday? Be sure to check out our holiday gift guide online and in our November and December issues. Here are a few other unique, educational and interactive ideas from the 2013 ABC Expo.
Harry Loves Carrots. Would you believe I had to go all the way to Las Vegas to discover Harry Loves Carrots ($9.99, Light Messages), a book written right in our own backyard by Laura Baldwin? This story about a dog that loves carrots will teach your little one all about the nutritional benefits of carrots. When paired with the Harry's Veggie Garden planting kit ($13.95), it makes the perfect gift for teaching your kids how to garden. inthekoop.com.
Baseball Activity Books. This baseball activity book with puzzles, games and more is just what the elves ordered for your little baseball fan. They're entertaining, educational and the perfect stocking stuffer. $7.99, hawksnestpublishing.com.
Santa's Message Plate. For many of you, family Christmas traditions include leaving cookies and a note for Santa on Christmas Eve. Why not combine both traditions with this adorable message plate for Santa? Your child can write her note to Santa on the chalkboard plate or draw festive directions on it each year. $35.00, childtocherish.com.
Gifts That Give Back
Have you thought of shopping for gifts that give back? It's the perfect way to further expose your children to the spirit and action of giving. Check out our November 2013 article, "Holiday Gifts That Give to Others," and consider some of these ways to give back as well.
Tegu Blocks. I did a double take when I saw these colorful blocks. They're magnetic and 100 percent nontoxic, colored with water-based dyes (because we know little ones always put blocks in their mouths). Kids of all ages can use them to make countless creations. Even better, Tegu manufactures all products in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to make a positive financial impact on the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. And if that's not enough, the company donates a portion of each sale to local reforestation efforts and partners with a local school. $30.00, tegu.com.
Bumbo Floor Seat Cover. We all know and love the Bumbo floor seat for babies, but did you know these clever creations have raised over $10 million for Bumbo Cares, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged and special needs children in Bumbo's hometown of Pretoria, South Africa? Over the past eight years Bumbo Cares has reached more than 1,200 children, 15,000 students and tens of thousands of people throughout this community. Bumbo recently introduced a series of covers for its floor seats to help keep your Bumbo clean or change its look for a different gender. Bumbo $44.99; seat cover, $9.99. buybuybaby.com.
Coming in 2014
The two products I most look forward to picking up in 2014 that will make life easier are an at-home and on-the-go feeding must-have and an all-in-one baby gift.
Silimap is the perfect placemat for your little one, especially when you're on the go. This portable silicone placemat folds up small enough to fit in the side pocket of your diaper bag and is even dishwasher safe. $15.00, silikids.com.
The Boppy gift set takes the guesswork out of what to buy for your next baby shower gift. The set includes a Boppy Luxe Pillow with a plush, removable cover, coordinating hat, bib, ring toy and crinkle toy all in one beautiful box, so all you need to add is a bow! $59.99, boppy.com.
Find more great gift ideas in part one of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.
Jennifer Durbin is a working mother of two and author of the Tips for The Clueless Chick book series. Check out her Clueless Chick blog for Carolina Parent.
Baseball Activity Book - Hawks Nest Publishing
Boppy Elephant Hug Gift Set - Boppy
Bumbo Cover - Bumbo
Em's 4 Bubs Baby Earmuffs - Em's 4 Kids
Harry Loves Carrots - Garden in the Koop
JayZ - Rockabye Baby
MichaelJackson - Rockabye Baby
NumNum Dips - NumNum
Santa Message Plate
silimap - Silikids, Inc.
Tegu Prism - Tegu
TOMY Watergames - TOMY