Baby gear just keeps getting better. Manufacturers are clearly listening to parents and developing products that are more comfortable, compact and convenient than ever. That's great news for working moms, who could definitely use a little more ease in our lives. Below are some of the most innovative and stylish new products guaranteed to help busy moms balance work and baby like a pro.
If you’re the type of mom who prefers to be prepared for anything, meet the MacGyver of diaper bags, the Vianetic 5-in-1 Backpack. There's padded laptop storage, a thermal insert big enough to store a couple of baby bottles (or, notably, a wine bottle), an external USB phone charger and a wet/dry compartment on the bottom for stashing soggy clothes. The best part? You can hang the bag on the back of your car’s front seat and roll out a detachable changing mat onto the backseat, for fast and easy diaper changing on-the-go. Available in November 2018. ($199 for 16L, $229 for 20L, amazon.com).
What makes this carrier shine is a detachable hip seat for your little one, which helps distribute the baby’s weight more evenly and takes the pressure off your back and shoulders. The wedge also gives the carrier nine different carrying positions, including, when baby’s older, just propping her on your hip. Or, for infants, use the wedge to help with feeding. It’s recognized as an approved carrier by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, so it’s safe for babies—just remove the wedge when they’re small ($169, amazon.com).
Every now and then comes a baby product so genius, parents everywhere say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” This year it’s the collapsible bottle and sippy cup system created by a new mom and dad who wanted to buy a space-saving baby bottle that would fit in their crowded diaper bag and kitchen cabinets. They couldn’t find one, so they made it themselves: Available in November 2018, the Collapsabottle is a fully collapsible bottle made of 100 percent food-grade silicone. Once your baby outgrows the nipple stage, just pop on the brand’s sippy cup top and handles, or the cup attachment when she’s ready to drink like mom and dad. Available in November 2018 ($30 for two bottles, collapseandgo.com).
Nuna’s first baby carrier is just as innovative and sleek as you’d expect from the fast-growing Dutch brand. Instead of bulky buckles, the carrier features easy (and secure) magnetic closures, a built-in infant insert (that you can simply unzip when baby gets bigger) and not one but two removable, washable drool-protective covers for the front of the carrier, so it stays looking pristine no matter how much your baby gnaws on it. Look for it in early 2019 ($190, www.nuna.eu/usa).
Moms can now shower in peace, thanks to the revolutionary new technology in Graco’s latest swing, which detects when your baby starts crying and changes motions to soothe him. If you’ve got an especially restless little one, no worries: The swing offers eight soothing motions (including vibration), three swing speeds and 15 songs and sounds. It’ll cycle through different combos until it finds one that calms your fussy little one. Or, you can set your babe’s faves in Parent Mode ($250, walmart.com).
Any product that makes breast-pumping faster gets our stamp of approval. That’s the idea behind LaVie’s Warming Lactation Massager, which uses heat and vibration to help improve milk flow and relieve pain. Say goodbye to plugged ducts, engorgement and other breastfeeding woes—just place the device right above your breast-pump flange and watch the milk flow. Check it out in January 2019 ($80, lactationmassager.com).
Stylish enough for the office and wide enough to tote a laptop, Skip Hop’s Greenwich Convertible Backpack is perfect for moms who just want one bag that will take them from home to work. If a backpack is a tad too casual for your workplace, it converts to a crossbody messenger. And it comes with all the convenience of a traditional diaper bag, with a magnetic closure, insulated side bottle pockets, five interior pockets and a machine washable changing pad ($100, buybuybaby.com).
A number of brands are now offering ultra-lightweight strollers that fold down small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane—making travel a breeze—but what sets the Silver Cross Jet apart are a couple of features you won’t find on some comparable models, including a large canopy, generous storage basket, detachable handle and a full recline that allows your little one to lie flat. Our favorite feature, however, is it becomes a full travel system, with a car seat adaptor, making it compatible with Maxi-Cosi, Nuna Pipa or Cybex Aton infant car seats ($349, silvercross.com).
The folks that brought you the Doona Infant Car Seat (the first 2-in-1 car seat stroller) are back at it again, this time with the Liki Trike, the world’s most compact folding trike. Why do you need a trike that folds, you ask? Well, the Liki combines a tricycle with the convenience of a stroller, meaning, you guessed it, it’s basically another stroller that fits in an airplane bin. When your baby is big enough to sit independently, simply disable the pedals and safely push her around, but when she’s ready to ride, it easily converts to a trike that fits kids up to 3 years. Available in early 2019 ($200-$300, simpleparenting.co).
Clek has become a go-to car seat brand for parents who need to squeeze three kids in the backseat—the brand’s convertible seats and boosters are some of the slimmest on the market. For the first time, starting in early 2019, the brand is offering a similarly narrow infant seat, and it comes with some pretty cool features, including seven different recline positions that can be adjusted after the base is installed to ensure the perfect recline angle every time. That means you can forget the agony of adjusting the seat’s installation a million times before you’ve hit the right mark on the level bubble (Starting at $399.99, clekinc.com).