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What's Next In The World Of Baby Gear

Our top discoveries from the ABC Kids Expo

Last week, the StrollerTraffic editors and scouts scoured a million square feet of baby products at the annual ABC Kids Expo, where leading brands debut their latest inventions and next year’s releases. Among the most buzzed-about finds were the Evomove Nomi Highchair (designed by the inventor of the Tripp Trapp); the Lug Bug (aimed at easing the agony of carrying an infant car seat); a clever steam bowl from newcomer Olababy (for those of us who are microwave averse); the SNOO smart sleeper (a tricked-out bassinet from Dr. Harvey Karp); and Bugaboo’s genius Boxer luggage system (it's been out for a few weeks, but is ridiculously fun to play with in person).

As always, car seats were a hot topic. UPPAbaby’s wool version of the MESA is the first car seat on the market with naturally flame-resistant fabric. There was also a focus on easier-to-install infant seats, including Graco’s up-and-coming SnugLock base, Nuna’s “simply secure” RAVA installation, and 4moms' much-anticipated self-installing car seat. We also love the smart solutions that brands like Graco, Nuna, and Cybex are finding for hiding/retracting cup holders when parents need more room in the back seat.

Other big trends were leather and faux-leather stroller handle bars (everywhere), decelerating hand brakes (to slow down strollers on hills), and lots of mesh—most notably spotted in the mattress of Nuna’s updated SENA play yard and as the liner for the sleek Cybex Mios, due out next spring. Native American prints are holding strong (Bumkins bibsHALO swaddles, Bebe au Lait nursing scarves), but we also saw a huge influx of earth tones and sherbet hues. In other words, expect to see equal amounts of hunter green and mint in 2017.