The 2017 Chicago Baby Show took place on August 26-27, 2017, 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 six 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 largest consumer event in the country for expectant and new parents, the Chicago Baby Show is the joint effort of Family Media and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), who are producing a series of Baby Shows in large metropolitan areas throughout the country.
The Best In Show Awards for the 2017 Chicago Baby Show were selected by a prestigious panel of judges with representatives from media, retail, and local parenting enrichment programs. The judges were: Julie Burt Nichols of Twiniversity, Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends, Debra Flashenberg of the Prenatal Yoga Center, Rachel Gorton of Motherly, Lindsey Monroe of The Birth Boutique, Monica Royer of Monica + Andy, Jill Simonian of The FAB Mom, Alina Slotnik of MamaTribe Chicago, Tina Stavrinou of Prenatal Fit, and Mia Weber of Chicago Baby and Family Media.
BEST IN SHOW:
The YOYO+ is a complete from-birth travel system. From birth, the YOYO+ can be used with the 0+ newborn nest, which works as a lie-flat, rear-facing stroller. But what makes this stroller truly unique is that folding, unfolding, and pushing work with just one hand, and the YOYO+ is almost featherweight at just 13-13.5 lbs, making it a must-have for families on the go. “I was impressed by how compact this stroller was. When folded, it is small enough to fit in an overhead bin on an airplane,” one judge says. “There are many phases of use for this stroller too: From birth, toddler, and having an older sibling along for the ride.” babyzen.com
This super-luxe limited edition baby chair is not only visually stunning (thanks to its very on-trend rose gold hue which, let’s be honest, would really punch up any parent’s Instagram page) but it also offers a number of convenient and innovative features. The fresco chrome has a 3-position recline system, an easy up/down height adjustment, a 5-point safety harness, and a removable sculpted booster seat for use with smaller infants. “It’s stunning in design–a piece of art,” one judge says. “There isn’t any other piece of baby/child equipment like it and I appreciate the gorgeous creativity that went into it!” usa.bloombaby.com
Glow Organics’ Bath Bombs are the first bath bombs on the market specially formulated for pregnancy. They come in three amazing scents–Energize (with organic lemon, orange, and white grapefruit essential oils), Relax (with organic lavender, bergamot, and frankincense essential oils), and Relieve (with organic vanilla and peppermint essential oils)–all of which make for ideal baby shower gifts. Plus, they’re all American-made, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, with no parabens, synthetics, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, or artificial fragrances. “The bath bombs make great gifts and are one of the little treats expecting moms deserve,” one judge says. “The oils included will alleviate stretching, irritated skin, and also act as an oil treatment for your hair.” gloworganics.co
Launched last fall from Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby brand, the SNOO soothes infant crying and boosts sleep with the same rhythmic sensations that babies enjoyed in the womb. The SNOO responds to crying by choosing the appropriate level of shushing and rocking most likely to calm the baby’s upset, just like an experienced parent. In addition, SNOO’s patent-pending swaddle makes it the only bed ever made that keeps babies safely on their back all night long. When securely attached to the bed, the swaddle prevents accidental rolling. “Anything that can help a baby fall asleep without needing to be in mama’s arms is a dream,” one judge says. “I also like the attachable and fool-proof swaddle that is part of the actual bassinet.” happiestbaby.com
The Swaddle UP 50/50 helps your baby to gradually adjust to sleeping un-swaddled. It allows parents to transition baby into sleeping with their arms released, one arm at a time. Plus, it converts to a snug sleep bag for longer-term use, features a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes, and offers a hip-healthy design that lets baby’s hips and legs to flex naturally. “Convertible sleep sac with zip off sleeves – so smart. Hands in or out depending on what your child prefers. Great new fabric designs. “The design of the Swaddle UP is ingenious! It allows babies to sleep in their natural position–with arms up–while still feeling swaddled, allowing for better sleep,” one judge says. “It’s just a brilliant product.” lovetodream.com
The brand-new Veer Cruiser offers the space and durability of a wagon with the safety and convenience of a high-end stroller (its Infant Car Seat Adapter is compatible with the majority of leading infant car seats). The Cruiser can hold up to two passengers (it can hold an infant car seat or two toddlers facing each other, or any combination) up to 110 lbs of cargo. Families can make it their own by customizing with a Napper and Collapsible Sun Canopy that combine to make a JPMA-certified bassinette, a Drink and Snack Tray, a Foldable Storage Basket, and a travel bag to check the Cruiser during air travel. “I love the option to push the wagon, which makes it much easier on the parent when visiting larger venues like a zoo or theme park,” one judge says. “The toddler inserts solve the problem of propping up 6-18-month-olds. It’s a very innovative solution for travel with one or two kiddos!” goveer.com
This new gift set combines Fridababy’s most popular and innovative products for new parenthood’s messier moments. In one handy pouch, you get NoseFrida the SnotSucker with 24 Hygiene Filters, a 10-pack of Windi the GassPasser tubes, NailFrida the SnipperClipper Set, and the Fridet MomWasher. It’s a great baby shower gift that new moms will actually get a ton of use out of. “I see many, many baby products that claim to change the game, but Fridababy is a brand that really delivers on that promise,” one judge says. “To have their best products all in one set is amazing and it will be my go-to baby shower gift going forward.” fridababy.com
Maternity clothing that is stylish and comfortable is, understandably, on every mom-to-be’s shopping list. However, the task of finding such clothing becomes harder in the colder months. Enter Modern Eternity. Their range of puffers and parkas are designed with trademarked 3-in-1 removable panel technology –Baby In (you can wear your baby and zip the coat around baby and carrier), Baby Out, and Baby Free–which makes the garment completely functional before, during, and after pregnancy. “Great maternity clothing for summer is relatively easy to find, but it’s rare to see a winter product for pregnancy (and beyond!) that is so well-designed,” one judge says. “These coats are totally fashion forward, practical, and perfect for cold Chicago winters.” moderneternity.com
This new backpack from diaper bag mainstay Petunia Pickle Bottom is epitome of form meeting function. Inter-Mix is a system of bags (the backpack) and packing pods (the 3-in-1 Grid Caddy and Pixel pods, sold separately) to mix, match and make your own. By creating the space to seamless fit several separate pods, it lets moms pack everything they need for a day on the go without the worry of anything get mixed up. Plus, it features wipe-able glazed cotton canvas on the outside and is machine-washable. “Not only is this diaper bag super stylish, but the system of modular pods is really smart and practical,” one judge says. “It’s the kind of item that you can really see moms using well beyond the diaper years because it just makes so much sense from a design perspective.” petunia.com