I just returned from Louisville, Kentucky where I walked the annual ABC Kids show. It's the largest tradeshow in the U.S. for baby gear, furniture, toys and, well, everything under the sun. While the buyers and sellers were wheeling and dealing with each other, I walked the aisles (what seemed like miles of them) scouting out the most beautiful, innovative, useful or otherwise interesting products that I thought you would be interested to see.
Here are just ten of my favorites from the show - more ABC posts coming your way the rest of the week!
District Crib by Nurseryworks: This was perhaps my favorite piece at the whole show. It's not easy to come up with an eye catching crib design that is unique but not too out there. The District straddles the modern and traditional aesthetics. It has a hint of a Mid Century Modern vibe, but isn't pigeonholed into that style. The wood used is white oak reclaimed from an Alabama train station so it carries a bit of history with it. And, the crib converts easily to a desk by removing one side and flipping it.
Leaf Baby Seat by Nuna: The Leaf is a beautiful battery and electronic-free baby chair that does have some movement. The parent gives it a small sideways push (or pull) and the chair swings gently back and forth for about three minutes. The cushion can be easily washed in the washing machine and the rest can be wiped down.
Dorma Twin Bed by Monte Design: Monte introduced the upholstered Dorma bed at last year's ABC show, but it's still a stunner. What I really love it this year's (optional) addition of a trundle and guard rails that add to the beauty of the bed rather than detract from it.
Twin or Full Pebble Mattress by Nook: Hands down, Nook makes the most attractive crib mattress and now kids and even adults can have one in their size. The company has also rejiggered the product to be more affordable while still bringing high comfort, breathability and safe materials.
Cumulus Stool by NurseryWorks: I might be a little obsessed with this stool. There's something so appealing about its subtle cloud shape and these custom fabrics (it comes in the grey or you can choose a custom fabric).
Boon Inc. Changer: (sorry, I forgot to note it's official name) I've never understood (and many readers agree) why most changing pads had fabric covers which require regular washing. I'd much rather have one I can quickly wipe down when needed. Boon seems to agree as you can see from their new changer. They've also added a simple mobile above that will hopefully encourage your baby's hands to reach for it instead of get in your way. The only downside I can see to this changer is that it could get outgrown quickly in size.
DwellStudio / Thermos Collaboration: The function and quality you expect from Thermos with the memorable DwellStudio patterns you already love. A surprising but smart collaboration of cups, food containers and bags.
Kid-size toilets and vanities by Kids Bath Creations: Living in a small, one bath apartment in Brooklyn, clearly I am not the target audience for these mini bathroom products. But would my son like using a sized-for-him toilet and sink vanity? I bet he would. If you have a kids' bathroom and especially multiple kids, these might be up your alley.
Wood Toy Collection by SkipHop: SkipHop had plenty of new products this year, but the standout might be their new collection of wooden toys. We all know wood toys are durable and attractive, but many parents are put off by the price. This new collection is in line with SkipHop's mission to bring parents quality products at an accessible price. And, they really are super cute.
Oilo for BabyHome: Barcelona-based BabyHome made their US debut at the 2011 show with their sporty baby goods. This year they teamed up with Oilo to offer this limited edition bassinet in Oilo's beautiful Cobblestone print.
(Images: Carrie McBride)