Two weeks ago I attended the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. I always enjoy attending this show, it’s fun for me but it’s a little exhausting too. Which is why this post is a little late, because I needed some time to sit and think about everything that I saw. Every major player in the baby gear market comes to showcase their brand and announce new products for 2014 or spread the news on current products that have been updated. I have a few major take-aways from this year’s show and all of the great baby gear trends, so here goes…
There is no denying that purple is the color of the year for baby. Everywhere I went I saw shades of purple, everything from a deep plum to a bright raspberry, especially in the stroller market. Some brands took this purple trend to the lighter side of lavender and honestly, that did not work for me, at all. Lavender feels very dated to me. If you keep the the purple tones darker and richer they are much more sophisticated and that is always better.
Leather for baby gear? Yes, it’s true. Maxi-Cosi has a leather car seat for you if you are willing to pay the $875 price tag and the new Baby Home leather Babycot, will cost you $1,200. But hey, if you have a ski in ski out chalet in Colorado chances are you have the dough to splurge on this. A brand new brand that made its first USA debut was, Mima and their products were getting a lot of attention. They are a very fashion-forward company that I will be keeping my eye on. Some of their things are a bit futuristic looking, but I did love the leather detailing on their strollers!
Black is also back. There were a lot of sophisticated black car seats and diaper bags. Orbit strollers now come with a black base and the black on black was one of the most request combinations from their fans.
Strollers are out of control. Wow. The competition is tough in the stroller market. They truly are like buying a car, you can customize just about everything. I have to wonder what stroller I would choose if I was newly pregnant… I could see myself crying at just the thought of choosing one, not to mention forking over the dough to purchase one! However, I do have my three show favorites, drum roll please…
The Stokke Scoot in Urban Blue is a sleek little stroller, it’s super compact and very lightweight. The new urban blue was inspired by the northern lights of Norway. It’s a sporty little stroller that stands out in a big way. Bumbleride released the new Indie 4 and I have to say, I liked it a lot. This is a company I am just getting to know, but they make a solid stroller and have a huge fan base from their very popular double stroller, the Indie Twin. Mamas & Papas introduced the Armadillo, a single hand folding stroller that is a great size, simple and still large enough for an older child.
Another notable stroller update is Baby Jogger’s newly designed logo for the City Mini and they are releasing a new lightweight stroller and the seat can face both ways.
The war on Baby Wearing
Just typing the words “baby wearing” makes me nervous, so can we settle down for just a minute ladies? One of the most talked about products of the show was the two new carriers that allow baby to face out while wearing a baby carrier in the front. This is a hot topic because of “baby leg dangling”, which I am not about to get into, I’ll save that for the BabyCenter chat rooms. Ergo Baby has released the 4 Position 360 Baby Carrier and BabyBjorn has just released the Baby Bjorn Carrier One. I saw them both firsthand and both brands assure you that they have created a safe “bucket like” seat that solves the leg dangling problem. Both carriers can also be worn on the back, which is a first for a BabyBjorn carrier.
I wasn’t going to say which one I liked more, but then I thought, what the heck… aesthetically, I liked the BabyBjorn Carrier One better. Please note, I am not a baby wearing expert so that is just my stylish opinion. Take it or leave it.
4 Moms demands attention
The 4 Moms booth was completely empty the first day of the show and the only thing in their booth was a large screen counting down the hours and minutes until 4:00 p.m. when they would announce their three new products. Some called it cocky and some called it brilliant but either way it got everyone’s attention. Where was I at 3:55 on the dot? At the 4 Moms booth waiting for the revealing, of course. With a little bit of a microphone mishap the much anticipated show took off a few minutes late, but that didn’t take away from the excitement. The three new products are a new RockaRoo, which looks similar to the MamaRoo except for the size, motion and price point, a new lightweight stroller and a very tech-savvy car seat. This car seat will literally tell you that you if you have installed it properly or not.
Celebrities, Bloggers and Parties oh my!
Expecting mom Rosie Pope was at the show working in the Belly Bandit booth, talking about her new organic line and the shades of pink belly bandit that helps raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. I stopped by and chatted with her for a little bit, she is so friendly and genuine. Ian Ziering was named Daddy of the Year by Daddy Scrubs. He was in the booth snapping photos with fans and talking fatherhood.
Then there were the bloggers working behind the scenes for brands. I bumped into my friend Audrey McClellan of Mom Generations in the Motorola booth multi-tasking by throwing a Twitter party. Yours truly was hanging out with Stokke and hosting “Cocktails on Changing Tables” for bloggers, writers and other friends in the media. Other bloggers in attendance were Nadia from Childmode, Ciaran from MomFluential, Erin from A Parenting Production, Natalie from Hollywood Hot Moms, Desiree from Stress-Free Baby, Alison from Sassy Moms in the City and Chelsea from Some Day I’ll Learn.
The Young Luxuries Party at the Wynn was hosted by Layla Grayce, Project Nursery, Newport Cottages and Petunia Pickle Bottom. Can it get more stylish than this? Yes, because I was there. 😉 This was a highlight of the show for me because it was intimate and we were able to really chat with one another. I admire all of these companies so it was a thrill for me to be included in the night. I also ran into my former bosses Mary and Tom Lauer from Oh Baby!
Brands I want to get to know more…
Bumbleride — A California-based company that quite simply, makes a great stroller. Their strollers are solid in quality and I appreciate how they keep it simple and stick to the one thing they are good at and do it really well.
Cybex — I do not know a lot about them but have always admired them from afar. They won the innovation award and work with famous artists and designers to create some very fashionable collections.
Mamas & Papas — This brand might just be the definition of Savvy & Sassy. They always have fun prints and a bright and fun color palette. Their products are playful but remain stylish and classy. I like that they are British and don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.
And there you have it – my view from the ABC Kids Expo!
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