The 2018 Chicago Baby Show took place on August 25-26, 2018, at Navy Pier in Chicago, introducing thousands of new and expectant parents to a variety of products and services in the baby and maternity realms. This year’s Best in Show Awards named five winners and three honorable mentions, with the winners including outstanding products from a range of baby and maternity gear categories. Collectively, the winners and honorees are notable for their innovation, design, functionality, variety, and overall excellence.
The Best In Show Awards for the 2018 Chicago Baby Show were selected by a prestigious panel of judges with representatives from media, retail, and local parenting enrichment programs. The judges were: Lauren Barth of MomTrends, Linnea Boulger of Prenatal Fit, Julie Burt Nichols of Twiniversity, Melissa Gonzalez of Mesa Birth, Stephanie K. Hopkins of Babywearing International of Chicagoland, Laura Krawisz of Bubbles Academy, Hillary Scharmann of Heart Birth & Baby, Mia Weber of Chicago Baby and Family Media, and Caitlin Wolper of Chicago Baby and Family Media.
BEST IN SHOW:
Created by a Chicago-area mom with a background in the food world (she spent 15 years at Kraft), lil’gourmets is a thoughtful baby food company that creates refrigerated, delicious, nutritious, organic meals designed to expand a child’s palate and teach them that vegetables are yummy. Their vision is to transform current baby food options to be truly nutritious and delicious. “It’s a great option for those who want more real flavors for their little ones without the processing of many foods adults may eat,” one judge notes. “They were delicious and no added salt or sugar!” lilgourmets.com
Just launched in the US, the Nomi is the hottest highchair in the game right now. Available in several colors and wood options, it’s beautifully designed from both an aesthetic and functional perspective. The best part? It grows with baby and can be used into childhood, the teen years, and beyond. Nomi is seamlessly adjusted without tools and will evolve with your child’s changing need for support at the family table. The soft, organic contours are pleasing to the eye and invite the child to stay active and mobile in many different sitting positions. “I love the clean European design and that it’s lightweight and can be used for a long time,” one judge notes. evomove.com
The Ready Rocker just launched officially at the Chicago Baby Show and clearly made an impression. It lets your turn any chair, bed, airplane seat, and more into a rocking chair to rock baby in on the go. Just set the Ready Rocker securely against an immovable object where there is sufficient support to safely lean into, then sit with the Ready Rocker between your back and the stationary object, and, finally, shift your weight while pushing back gently until reclined. Then simply allow the Ready Rocker to rebound you forward to your starting position. “I love the simplicity and functionality of this product,” one judge says. “As a mom who has spent many hours rocking in one specific chair in one specific room, I am thrilled to see a smart and portable solution that makes it easy to rock baby anywhere and everywhere. I also like the back support it provides.” rockermama.com
Just launched last month, the Jet is Silver Cross’ new compact stroller offering. In addition to the quality and style that consumers expect from Silver Cross, this ultra-compact new stroller, makes traveling a breeze for family getaways. The stroller folds so small that it can be carried on board an aircraft and stored in the overhead bin, with room to spare. Weighing just 13 lbs., it’s very light and easy to maneuver as well. The folded Jet measures a tiny 21in x 11in x 7in, conforming with cabin baggage regulations for all key airlines. “Despite being lightweight and ultra compact, this stroller feels substantial and study,” one judge says. “It’s sleek and stylish–as one would expect from Silver Cross–and it’s an amazing on-the-go option for frequent family fliers. The simplicity of its compact fold is a game changer for travel.” silvercrossus.com
Travel Tray is a must-have for keeping messes at bay on the car and on the go! This product is focused on stopping spills in the car–it’s great for toddlers, easy to clean, sturdy, designed to keep snacks handy, and mess free. Travel Tray securely holds cups, bottles, snacks, and food, all of which helps to reduce messy spills! “Super simple yet genius! Why didn’t I ever think of this?” exclaims one judge. “It’s a tray that fits right into a stroller or car seat cup holder to allow the child to have more space for snacks, toys, crayons, etc. It can also be used by mom or dad in the car or on the parent cup holder on a stroller. I hope this will stop my twins from dropping everything every 2 minutes.” traveltray.us
The Boppy ComfyFit Baby Carrier enables confidence in babywearing because of its simple and supportive structure that is both comfortable and comforting. Inspired by yoga apparel, the lightweight, soft fabric moves with you and your baby, supporting your active lifestyle. “[It’s] a hybrid of structured and soft carriers, so you get the best of both worlds” one judge notes. “It’s secure, easy to put on, and super soft and stretchy for keeping baby really close. I love this for twin families who struggle with a traditional soft wrap or sling and need something a little easier to put on.” shop.boppy.com
Lil’ Jammerz is a trio of lovable plush toys that fit perfectly on most infant car seats, strollers or carriers, streaming music and soothing sounds via Bluetooth technology, from any Bluetooth enabled device. Mom or dad can play internet radio, a personal music library or through a pre-programmed play list available through the freeLil’ Jammerz app. Lil’ Jammerz encourages a baby’s natural fascination with music to stimulate development, boost language skills and strengthen the relationship between a parent and child. “These soft toys are super cute and colorful instruments–which any baby would love to play with –but one of them has a bluetooth speaker inside,” one judge says. “Your baby can jam out to tunes with you in their stroller, car seat, etc. as it syncs with an app on your phone. I love this idea to bring more music into our children’s lives.” liljammerz.com
Touted as the first ever mobile social network for breastfeeding moms, pumpspotting is a destination for women who are breastfeeding to share, discuss, and support one another. One notable feature of the app is a Yelp-like aspect where users are able to find the best places to pump or nurse and connect with other moms in their given area; users can also upload their own thoughts on given spots and rate businesses based on their breastfeeding-friendliness. “Everything about their marketing and presentation is beautiful and light and encouraging for hardworking mothers who nurse and pump,” one judge says. “I just love their whole image! The RV was super charming.” pumpspotting.com