zoli baby

7 Great New Baby & Toddler Inventions

A Julia's Corner Feature. Last week the Little Pim team attended ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, which proved to be a smorgasboard of baby carriers, organic cotton clothes, mom-invented products, and toys and gifts of all stripes. I admit some of the products made me feel lucky that I had my babies (now 6 and 9 years old) before the explosion of baby products in the last few years. Now, there are so many brands to choose from that shopping for baby gear practically requires an excel spreadsheet and a GPS. It also seems that cloth diapers are de rigueur! (Big sigh of relief that those days are behind me.)

Here are a few of the things that caught my eye in the two football fields full of baby products at ABC Expo (click on any of the images to enlarge):

1. Baby Tooth Album

Lala and her husband invented, and got a patent on, this little roulette-inspired book for kids to keep their baby teeth. And who knows, the tooth collections may come in handy for macabre Halloween costumes in a few years' time!

Lala is raising her kids bilingual in Armenian, her first language. You can find the Baby Tooth Album at Hallmark and on their web site at babytoothalbum.com.

2. Baby Elephant Ears

We thought Little Pim's friend Lola the Elephant might be behind these Baby Elephant Ears. As it happens, this is not Lola’s creation, though we might see if they need a spokes-elephant. This cute pillow supports baby’s head while she naps. I definitely could have used one on my 5-hour flight home!

3. Chic Cups and Cutlery

Zoli Baby, created by a mom from San Francisco, has a line of beautifully designed cups, plates, bowls, and containers for the fashionable mama and her brood. I like this pink stackable canister.

4. Snowtime – Anytime!

Kids want to have a snowball fight but you live in Florida? No problem! Mother-daughter inventor team Juanita and Dianne spent two years working with manufacturers to perfect the synthetic (not cold) snowball. Your kids can go nuts and not break any teeth. I didn’t get this for my boys, because they really don’t need more encouragement to throw things at each other, but it kind of makes me want to have a snowball fight party…in June!

5. Diaper Bag Meets African Chic

Ousimine is from Nigeria and couldn’t find a diaper bag made of any fabric that came close to the vibrant patterns of Nigerian textiles. So she created House of Botori, a line of colorful bags and accessories for the multi-culti mommy. Her 4-year-old son speaks Yoruba in addition to English!

6. Pacifier on Demand

When I entered into the pacifier zone, I didn’t realize I was opening up a Pandora’s box. Out came the designer pacifiers, the sterilizers, the clippy things, the stuffed animal meets pacifier, and the carrying cases. I think today’s pacifier has more bling than the iPad. PullyPalz is a mom-run company that has upped the ante once again on the pacifier gear, combining a stuffed animal with a stroller clip to keep pacifier within reach of baby. With a PullyPal a baby as young as 6 months old can reach up and pull down the pacifier from an elastic cord. Talk about instant gratification!

7. CoughSpot

Invented by a mom who wanted to make it easier for her young children to remember to cough in their arm instead of on each other, this is a clever arm band kids wear when they have a cold. Or they can sport a temporary tattoo! Here is Denise at the show in her adorable scrubs. Look for CoughSpot in your closest drug store this winter. I personally am hoping that her next invention will be something to help my kids remember to use a tissue not their shirts!

There were thousands of products on display, so if you want more, check out what some of our mommybloggerfriends had to say. It was great to see many of the retailers who carry us at the show, and meet new store owners and entrepreneurs. There are so many women who took the leap into business for the same reason I did: they wanted to give their kids an experience they couldn’t find on the shelves and decided to just will it into being. If you are one of those moms incubating an idea right now, I salute you! And maybe I’ll see you next year at ABC Kids Expo? Bring flats.