That’s baby stuff! Convention shows off latest innovations for parents
Thousands of baby products for parents and parents-to-be are on display this week at the ABC Kids Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
More than 10,000 people are expected to visit 3,000 booths on two trade show floors at the four-day event that runs through Friday.
The 11th annual show returned to Las Vegas after two years in Louisville, Ky. The show is for industry professionals and retail buyers and isn't open to the public.
Here are some of the eye-catching products on display:
One of the high-tech highlights at the show is the SafeToSleep sleep and breathing monitor kit.
The kit includes a SleepMat with a washable cover and a parent monitor unit. Infants sleep on the mat, which contains a grid of sensors that work when the infant's torso is anywhere on it.
Managing partner Pete Santangelo said the monitor measures and records a sleeping baby's breath, detecting and sending alerts of abnormal breathing.
The 2.5-inch-by-3.5-inch parent unit picks up sound from the mat, displays whether the baby is sleeping or awake and calculates breaths per minute, sounding an alarm for an abnormal event.
There's also an Apple and Android smartphone app that can be downloaded free and presents data and a visual breathing pattern wave in the screen display.
Shaidee Sun Cover
Jane Klugman, CEO of Shaidee Sun Cover, displayed lightweight, soft and flexible sun covers produced by her Ontario-based company.
Klugman said the product, which retails for $40 plus $10 shipping to anywhere in the United States and Canada, is making its U.S. debut at the Las Vegas show.
The shades cast a broad shadow over a front-carried infant, and they also can protect them from snow and rain.
Fill 'n Squeeze
Rifat Jan traveled all the way from Great Britain to show the Fill 'n Squeeze system she developed.
Fill 'n Squeeze is a food processing kit that can be used to mash and puree food and push it into freezable, microwavable pouches for later use. Kits include a filling tank, a plunger that doubles as a masher and a filling spout cap that is removed when pouches are filled.
The company's website has recipes for vegetable and fruit purees that blend with yogurt. Jan said the kit enables people to prepare a week's worth of mashable meals in minutes.
The company offers a starter kit for $40 on Amazon.com. The colorful food pouches are reusable and dishwasher safe, and extra packets of eight small or four large are about $9.
Kids love backpacks, especially when they're cool and unusual.
Phoenix-based MadPax showed several lines of packs, including the new Spiketus Rex, a backpack adorned with rubbery spikes in varying colors.
Mike Cordovana of MadPax said the packs come in three sizes: the Fullpack, the Halfpack and the Nibbler — essentially a lunchbox with straps. LedLox and Mighty Bites are the smallest units, designed for carrying pencils, erasers and markers.
In addition to the Spiketus Rex, the company offers the Bubble, a pack with a series of randomly sized bubbles, and the Blok, a pattern of overlapping raised rectangles.
MadPax is seeking retailers, but products can be purchased at the company's website with packs priced from $15 for the smallest to $60 for the largest.
Diaper Dude MLB Collection
Many dads like to take their sons to the ballgame — even when the little ones are still in diapers.
Interest in the Diaper Dude MLB Collection picked up early in the Major League Baseball season when the company signed a licensing agreement with the league, Diaper Dude founder Chris Pegula said.
Diaper bags, bottle holders and pacifier holders emblazoned with professional baseball logos went on sale in May so every diehard fan can teach their kids early which team to cheer for.
MLB diaper bags sell for $78 on the company's website, while bottle holders go for $16 and pacifier holders, $8.
Mima Moon High Chair
The Mima Moon High Chair has a sleek modern design, but what makes it even more attractive is that its settings can be changed as a child ages.
The Moon is a lounge seat for infants that can be converted to a high chair when a child is old enough to sit up and then to a junior chair sturdy enough to accommodate up to 99 pounds.
Mima, a Dutch company, introduced the Moon in the United States at the Kids Expo with exclusive distribution through Los Angeles-based Muak Baby.
Teething is no fun, but Washington, N.C.-based Kid Kusion is trying to make it tolerable with a new line of Gummi teething jewelry that allows moms to wear stylish bracelets and pendants that babies can chew on.
Teething jewelry comes in paisley, polka dot, bamboo and cable designs in turquoise, pink ice pop, tango orange, rhapsody purple, baby blue, lime green, samba red and Olympian blue colors.
Lee Bowen, vice president of operations for Kid Kusion, said there's also a line of small bracelets and Gummi wristwatches that kids can sink their teeth into.
"Just My Size" bracelets and wristwatches also come in assorted bright colors.
Buckle Me Car Seat Cover
Parents who have transported children in cold climates know how cumbersome it is to strap a bundled infant into a car seat.
At Kids Expo, Toronto-based Baby Parka debuted the Buckle Me Car Seat Cover, which warms like a winter coat without compromising safety in a car seat or stroller.
Baby Parka founders Paula Ling and Tai So said the seat cover comes in five colors and there's a strip of reflective tape for babies in strollers for nighttime walks and jogging.
Covers retail for about $70.