It's an unshakeable rule of parenthood: The second you buy the latest whiz-bang baby gizmo, another version will hit the market, loaded with even more bells and whistles.
Want to stay ahead of the curve? We're here to help. We've scoped out the latest and greatest baby gear launching in 2017. From high-tech beds that monitor baby's movement to wearable devices that track both mom and baby, many of today's best baby products are designed to provide peace of mind for busy parents. And if you're not tempted by the latest technology, there are plenty of new low-tech finds sure to make life easier for working moms, including strollers that fit in your handbag and toothbrushes disguised as finger puppets.
Welcome to the brave new world of baby gear.
1. gb Pockit+
This nifty little stroller has garnered lots of love since its debut, but arguably its biggest accolade? It was named the world’s smallest folded stroller by the Guinness Book of World Records. At only 11.5 lb., the gb Pockit+ folds down to the size of a handbag—perfect for stashing in a packed trunk or under an airplane seat. The brand’s latest version, available in March 2017 for $280, is primed to impress yet again: It’s now travel-system ready, with optional adapters for gb and CYBEX infant car seats.
2. Baby Dam
Here’s a familiar dilemma: Once babies outgrow the infant tub, there’s a period of time where it seems just plain wasteful to fill up a big tub for a still-tiny tyke. Meet the Baby Dam ($40). The flexible divider saves water, time and energy by allowing parents to customize the size of their tub to fit their tot. Available in Europe since 2008, the Baby Dam has been redesigned to fit standard shaped U.S. tubs with a smooth bottom surface and hits the market in January of next year.
3. DockATot CloudTot
If you're intrigued by all of the high-tech baby monitors popping up on the market, take a look at the CloudTot launching in Spring 2017. Designed to work with the DockATot baby lounger, the device monitors your little one’s movements, providing parents alerts via phone if it’s been too long since baby last moved. In fact, the new CloudTot not only tracks movement, it also monitors breathing, nursery temperature, bed wetness and noise levels. And the lounger provides a gentle nudge if no motion has been detected for 12 seconds. Welcome to the future, baby.
4. Babyletto Kiwi
It’s just a fact: Working moms often multitask while breastfeeding or rocking baby to sleep. So why not make the nursery a secondary work station? The Kiwi, a glider/recliner combo by Babyletto, includes a hidden push-button panel that not only controls the chair’s movement (from back-and-forth gliding to a 360-degree swivel motion), it also provides a USB port to charge mobile devices. Available in February 2017, the chair retails for $599.
5. Fisher-Price Revolve
In the almost never-ending quest to successfully rock young infants to sleep, an exciting new contestant enters the field in January 2017: The Fisher-Price Revolve ($130). [Speaking of sleep, are you getting enough shut-eye? Take our sleep survey here and enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card!] Unlike the brand’s other rockers, this version moves in small circles to mimic the natural soothing motions from parents’ arms. For parents looking to save space, it’s also 25 percent smaller than other models in Fisher-Price’s Cradle ‘n Swings line.
6. Nomi by Evomove
With its sleek Scandinavian design, the Nomi highchair ($299) is another European product likely to make waves when it launches in the U.S. early next year. With a recliner attachment for small infants (the Nomi Mini, $160) and a weight limit up to 280 pounds, the chair is literally suitable for every age. Use it as a highchair for tiny tots and a desk chair for teenagers.
7. Project Nursery Parent + Baby SmartBand
Calling all Fitbit addicts! If you’re hooked on devices that track everything from your steps to your sleep, then meet the Project Nursery Parent + Baby SmartBand, a wearable device created specifically for parents. Not only does the device log your own steps, calories burned, hydration, weight, diet, exercise and sleep, it also tracks breastfeeding and bottle feeding, pumping, pre- and post-natal vitamins, medications, diaper changes, fetal movements, child weight and naps. Plus, the band syncs with iOS and Android apps, allowing users to receive smartwatch notifications for caller ID, text messages and app notifications. Available in February 2017, the band will retail for $150.
8. The Brushies
Leave it to a dentist and a child psychologist to figure out a way to get kids excited about brushing their teeth. Determined to help parents’ fight dental decay—the No. 1 chronic childhood condition worldwide—these two moms launched The Brushies, finger puppet toothbrushes for infants and toddlers. The brushes even come with a board book, describing the playful personality of each puppet. The book and set of four brushes launched in fall 2016 ($25, thebrushies.com).
9. Skip Hop Explore & More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center
Skip Hop has upped the ante on the traditional baby exercise center by designing it to last long beyond the bouncing stage. Before they’re mobile, babies can sit, swivel, bounce and play in the company’s new Explore & More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center, filled with fun extras—like a piano that can be clicked on to the tray or the base, where little ones can create music by foot. Even better, a window lets baby watch the action below—and connect cause and effect. Once baby is standing, it converts to a play table, and later, a smooth table for toddlers. Currently exclusive to Babies"R"Us, the center retails for $120 and will be available at wider retail beginning in December.
10. Sleepybobo Gerry the Giraffe
Gerry the Giraffe may look like an ordinary plush toy, but the friendly critter is actually a portable rocking device designed to attach to most car seats and baby bouncers. So, instead of investing in an electronic glider for every room, let Gerry rock your baby to sleep for up to 30 minutes at a time. Designed by Sleepybobo, Gerry retails for $150 and hits shelves in late 2016.