Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dispatch from the 2012 ABC Kids Expo

Whoa! It's been a busy few days! On Saturday, we talked to hundreds of people at the Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo, an amazing event that was crazy busy this year. It was great to talk to so many new and expecting parents and our peers in the Twin Cities natural birth and baby scene. (Special thanks to Nichi from My Healthy Beginning for jumping our car after the event!)

Early the next day, we were off to Louisville, KY for the annual ABC Kids Expo. With Ellie in her Beco Gemini, we walked the entire 8 miles of the Expo twice over three days, talking to hundreds of baby product manufacturers. We got to see a bunch of new products and reconnect with many of our vendors, including Haba, Beco, Rockin' Green, bumGenius, Naturepedic, Green Toys, Chewbeads, Zutano, gDiapers, and many, many more. Of course, Ellie got to talk to them all, too, which she loved. Seems like our girl is a little social butterfly!
Checking out new teething toys with Chewbeads.
Of course, we found lots of great new products that we'll be featuring in the coming weeks. We really appreciate seeing stuff in person. Ellie got to try many of them herself, too, including a bunch of new baby carriers. We can't wait to share what we found!

The Bad Idea Fairy
As always, the Bad Idea Fairy was busy at work at the ABC Kids Expo. This year's Expo had binders full of questionable new products, many of which sought to solve problems that don't really exist or are more easily solved by simpler means.  It's become our annual tradition to share some of our favorites (search for "expo" in the box at right for previous years). Here's our picks for 2012:

Snow Patrol Ergo: Not sure what's going on at Ergo, which was bought out by a new company a little over a year ago. One of their latest offerings is this all-white carrier lined with fake fur that comes complete with a muff for $195. We though it looked like something from a James Bond movie or perhaps the snow battle dream from Inception. Just be sure to keep grape juice away from it.

The Peeko Baby Monitor: We saw a couple variations of this idea, which is a baby monitor that "monitors your baby's respiration, room temperature, and body positioning on your phone from anywhere in the world". The Peeko did this via a wifi device on a onesie while others used video monitors or a mat placed on the crib mattress. We thought a better idea might be to put down the phone and pick up the baby.

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star: For another hi-tech fix, we found the Potty Patrol Diaper Alarm. These special disposable diapers use an alarm that plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star whenever they're wet because, as the inventor states, it's really hard for a toddler to know when he's wet in a disposable diaper. We're not sure what the long-term effect of this auditory operant conditioning will be whenever he hears Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the rest of his life, but we're pretty sure cloth diapers are a simpler solution.

Diamonds are Forever: Yes, this is an ad for a $17,000 pacifier.

The hills are alive with portable potty chairs:
Finally, here's this marketing image for an otherwise perfectly good potty chair by Regal Lager. Sometimes an image can oversell a product...

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