Want to Know What Gear You Should Buy? Ali Landry Shares Some of Her Favorites From the ABC Show

This post was written by our special guest blogger, Ali Landry, mama of 3, cover star of The Bump magazine and founder of Favored.by

I’m obsessed with pregnancy, baby and kid products, and the moment my Favored.by team and I walked on to the 3.2 million square feet of baby gear galore at the 2013 ABC Kids Expo earlier this month, my excited heart palpitations started! I wanted to stop by every booth, visit with every manufacturer, hear every story, and learn about (and play with!) every product there.

The show this year was especially fun for me because I have a six-year-old daughter, two-year-old son and a three-month-old baby boy to keep in mind. I was so excited to see products based on the needs of my children and our family — and I was definitely on the hunt for products that would make my life easier as a mom.

With more than 1,123 vendors at the show, it was impossible to see everything and talk to everyone, but from what we did see – I was amazed. I felt like a kid in a candy shop at the show! There was so much to see and so little time — so from the gear that I did get to play with and learn about, here’s what I loved (and can’t wait to try out!):

Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
1 of 22

Twilight Turtle Tunes by cloud b

Why it’s cool: It’s the first character to feature wireless Bluetooth technology. With just an app, mom and dad can created a customized playlist to soothe baby at any hour, so you don’t have to worry about creeping into baby’s room while she sleeps.

Why I love it: My children love music and along with their sound machines and I’ve always played classical music for them at nap and bedtime. This little turtle gives me so much more than musical melodies, though: It creates a beautiful starry sky in their bedroom, it’s bluetooth and I can customize their playlists. Not to mention, it’s pretty adorable too.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
2 of 22

3 Sprouts Stroller Organizer

Why it’s cool: You can (easily!) add more storage space to your stroller, without having to bend down for everything.

Why I love it: I never have enough storage on my stroller so when I saw this product I got really happy. It is functional and adorable and also can hold lots of my "stuff"!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
3 of 22

BabyBjorn Miracle Carrier

Why it’s cool: The Miracle transfers the weight off your shoulders and onto your hips while still giving you the back support you desperately need.

Why I love it: I favored this product totally for selfish reasons: I have dealt with neck and shoulder pain from a previous accident for years now and when I was pregnant and when I started nursing, it just got worse. I carry my baby a lot and the Miracle allows me to be hands-free so I can still run after my two older kids -- I even use it to nurse.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
4 of 22

aiden + anais Dream Blanket

Why it’s cool: Most of us know (and love) this brand! Raegan Moya-Jones, the creator of Aiden + Anais, designed a swaddle large enough to really be useful for moms for more than just swaddling. You can use the blankets as stroller covers, nursing shields, tummy-time blankets and even as burping clothes. They’re made from the softest, most gentle muslin and designed with colorful, modern prints.

Why I love it: In my house, we use Aiden + Anais swaddles all the time. At the show, I got to meet Raegan in person and chat about the Dream Blanket. I feel like it was designed just for my family. Finally, I have something that I can wrap myself up in too!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
5 of 22

Boppy Nursing Pillow

Why it’s cool: Developed alongside the help of a Lactation Consultant, Boppy’s Nursing Pillow was designed specifically for breastfeeding moms. Soft, minky fabric keeps the pillow stable why the fiber-fill side offers more comfort.

Why I love it: Because I have a long torso, I need a little more height from my nursing pillow. With the new design of this Boppy, it may just do the trick.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
6 of 22

Born Free Sippy Cups

Why it’s cool: Say so long to cabinets full of tops and bottoms that never seem to match. The new line from Born Free works together for everything.

Why I love it: Okay moms, I don't know about you but my cabinet is a mess with so many different sippy cups and their parts. Born Free has a new line of Sippy Cups that have interchangeable tops and stack neatly in your cabinet, so no more mess!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
7 of 22

Santa's Message Set from Child to Cherish

Why it’s cool: Child to Cherish has tons of sweet gift and keepsakes for baby. The adorable Santa plate is a one-time buy you can use again and again – and it never gets old! There’s enough room for Santa’s goodies and a personalized message for baby!

Why I love it: The little chalkboard plate, cute Santa milk container and reindeer treats bowl are just so sweet. What a great gift for someone or just for your own family on Christmas! I also just love the idea of being able to use it year after year.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
8 of 22

Guzzie and Gus Perch Hanging High-Chair

Why it’s cool: A seat made for your little one at the table, no matter where you are! The Perch Hanging High-Chair clamps onto almost any table so baby can eat with you. Built with a high back, it offers more support and it’s easy to fold, which makes it great for storage.

Why I love it: I really love how simple this hanging high chair is to assemble to any table style but also to remove and store away.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
9 of 22

Egg Helmets

Why it’s cool: These helmets can be totally personalized just by adding a Skin (a printed, elastic cover). They’re fun for baby, but also totally safe. You can use the for cycling, skiing, snowboarding and even skateboarding.

Why I love it: Since my two older kids are becoming more and more active by the day, I want them to have a helmet that is safe for their scooters, bikes and skateboards. When I spotted these fun and whimsical prints, I stopped in my tracks -- I loved them!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
10 of 22

Graco Slim Spaces Fold Away High Chair

Why it’s cool: When it’s not in use, you can fold it up and keep it out of sight.

Why I love it: If you’re like me, your kitchen is the gathering place in your home, so naturally you’ve got kids of all sizes in high chairs and you’re limited on space. But I love that this high chair can just fold up and be stowed behind a door or even in a closet so that on those occasions where it’s adults only, there’s no high chairs in the way.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
11 of 22

Guava Kids

Why it’s cool: The two-part mitt system keeps germs away and prevents baby from scratching his face. They’re safe, affordable and super-easy to clean (yes!).

Why I love it: I’ve been a huge fan of Guavamitts for about two years – I used them with Marcelo and now I use them with Valentin. To me, they’re the best mitts on the market because they actually stay on. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re super-cute and use great modern graphic prints. Since I travel often, I love that the mitts keep baby’s hands free of germs and prevent scratches. When I saw the boots, I knew I needed them too!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
12 of 22

Lil’ Sidekick by You and Yours

Why it’s cool: It’s a safe, simple solution that keeps items like cell phones, bottles and teethers just out of reach (so baby won’t want to throw around).

Why I love it: My two year old throws absolutely everything he can get his hands on. One day, when I was driving, a little toy train came flying over the top of my head and on to my steering wheel. After that, I wished I had a product that would keep things safe while we’re on-the-go. Now, we’ll have the Lil’ Sidekick.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
13 of 22

Little Castle Gliders

Why it’s cool: They’re gliders – for adults! Made to keep you cozy while you rock baby to sleep, each piece is made by hand to ensure the ultimate in comfort and design.

Why I love it: I’ve been using the same glider for six years now, with all three of my kids. I bought it because it was beautiful and thought it would look great in our nursery, but little did I know that it wasn’t right for my body and didn’t put me in the right position for nursing at all. When I visited the Little Castle booth, they had such a large collection (and so much education!) that I was able to sit and find the perfect one for my body and my baby.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
14 of 22

Noggin Stik

Why it’s cool: It's an educational tool that will guide you through activities and interactions that promotes healthy brain development for baby and a great bonding experience for you both!

Why I love it : I immediately thought of my three-month-old, Valentin. I loved that this wasn’t just an ordinary rattle; it was developed by an early intervention therapist for babies and this "learning tool" to help parents begin their babies learning journey.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
15 of 22

Play Visions Living Sands

Why it’s cool: Living Sand is one of the most amazing modeling materials: It can be sculpted like clay, yet it feels surprisingly soft and fluffy. Living Sand never dries out or hardens, and it is made from a unique, 100% organic, natural formula that uses ultra-fine pulverized seashell powder and the same moisturizing oils typically used in manufacturing cosmetics. It’s non-toxic and gluten-free, not to mention incredibly addictive to play with! It’s like working with pizza dough, without all the stickiness. And it’s great for indoor play because spills on the carpet can easily be vacuumed up (yeah!).

Why I love it: It was the first product I saw at the expo and I thought about it the entire time knowing that my two older children would love playing with it – it was fascinating! I will be buying this as a Christmas gift for my children and nieces.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
16 of 22

Naturpedic Mattress

Why it’s cool: It was founded by parents, grandparents and scientists who all have baby’s best interests in mind. The Naturpedic model is committed to making mattresses that are organic and totally safe for baby’s environment and development.

Why I love it: I know that mattresses are not a glamorous product and that they’re always hidden beneath a sheet but they are so important. For me, this is one of those "know better, do better" moments – and with Naturpedic, I know I’m doing both!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
17 of 22

Pipa Car Seat by Nuna

Why it’s cool: Super cool (and super-lightweight), the Pipa comes with a five-second installation and green-to-go safety indicators. It even has a stability leg for quick, easy and secure installation.

Why I love it: Being a certified car seat safety technician, I’m always concerned with the proper installation of car seats. I think having a car seat that makes a proper installation easy is really great. I’ve also never seen a car seat with the stability leg and I thought it was such an interesting feature.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
18 of 22

Peg Perego Agata and Perla 2014 Collections

Why it’s cool: New plush and irresistible fabrics from Peg Perego brighten up the designs on all of your favorite products (car seats, strollers and travel systems).

Why I love it: Okay, I know -- it’s the whole collection, but I was so impressed with the design of these products that I had to include them all. The entire collection is exquisite; using Italian leather, stitching and beautiful fabrics… it’s luxury at its finest!

Coming soon!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
19 of 22

Slumber Sheet

Why it’s cool: The Slumber Sheet is a 3-in-1 safe sleep solution that works as a mattress protector, fitted sheet and sleep sack, all in one. It is designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered so that mom can get some sleep, too.

Why I love it: My two-year-old just recently climbed out of his crib and fell on the floor. He was okay, but after that I immediately started looking for products that would keep him safe in his crib. At the show, I saw the Slumber Blanket and felt like it was the answers to my prayers! Plus, I can use it for each one of my kids.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
20 of 22

thinkbaby Sunscreen

Why it’s cool: It’s a top-rated safe sunscreen that you can use for babies, toddlers and big kids. Not to mention, the founder, Kevin Brodwick, is totally obsessed with making safe consumer products moms can feel good about using. What’s not to love about that?

Why I love it: Once I learned about this company’s mission statement (to provide safe consumer products that are sustainable and BPA-free), it forced me to look at the products I was using on my kids. My children are so precious to me and I want to do everything possible to keep them safe and healthy. These eco-friendly products are ones that I feel comfortable using on them.

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of Ali Landry
21 of 22

Twist by Kiinde

Why it’s cool: You can pump, store, organize, warm and feed baby all by using the same pouch. The Twist eliminates the need to transfer milk from bottles to bags and back again.

Why I love it: Okay, when I learned about this product I immediately thought of all of the bottles, pouches and pump parts I had drying on the sink counter in my hotel room. I knew that this product would make my life so much easier, so I actually ordered it online while I was still at the booth! No more leaky storage bags, no more transferring milk (I could feed directly from the pouch) and fewer parts to wash!

Buy it now!
Photo Courtesy of the Manufacturer
22 of 22

Baby Link WiFi Internet Viewing Camera by Summer Infant

Why it’s cool: You can watch the feed on your monitor straight from your iPhone or tablet – and you can hook it up for more than one viewer. (Which means you and your partner can have eyes on baby at all hours of the day – even from the office!).

Why I love it: I love that not only can you view it on your smart phone or tablet, but that I can also give controlled access to other people (remote family!) to see my child sleeping. Like my mom, who doesn’t live in driving distance, can peek in on Valentin when he’s asleep.

Coming soon!

Moms, have you used any of these products? Let me know what your favorites are! I’m launching my Favored.by app very soon so we all can share and discover our ultimate favorite baby and child products!

Plus, more from The Bump:

Top 10 Biggest Trends in Baby Products

The Bump Best of Baby Awards

Baby Gear Central: How to Find the Gear You Need