As always, we look to our favorite gear snob, Jamie Grayson (The Baby Guy NYC), to give it to us straight on the latest product releases to catch our eye.
Cybex Aton Car Seat, $199.99
“Getting my CPS Tech certification this spring only added to my car seat snobbery. But at least now I can say, with official street cred, that this car seat is genius and I’m thrilled it’s finally on the market. The Cybex Aton is a cute European seat that is incredibly lightweight (just 8.8 pounds) yet supports babies up to 32 pounds and 30 inches in length. (Tip: leg length has no bearing on car seat length limits—you’ll know your child is too long once the top of his or her head is 1 inch from top of the infant car seat shell). The Aton has a really cool canopy feature that allows it to nearly disappear when not in use, then fan out like an accordion when you need it. The best aspect of this seat, though, is its simple installation. Without the base, the lap belt goes through the standard paths on the edge of seat, and the shoulder belt goes around the back—this is standard in European seats and makes them incredibly snug, even without base installation. Speaking of base installation—this is one of the coolest, most secure and easiest bases I have ever installed without LATCH. Honestly. The built-in locking plate does such a phenomenal job of securing the base that you barely have to pull the seat belt at all. I am obsessed. I am also obsessed with the fact that in addition to being compatible with the Cybex line of strollers, the Aton was engineered to work with Maxi Cosi adapters for greater compatibility with strollers including Bugaboo and UPPAbaby.”
Britax Baby Carrier, available this summer, $129.99
“Accommodating infants from 8 to 32 pounds, the incredibly comfortable Britax Baby Carrier has a terrific built-in infant insert that raises your newborn higher, providing extra support in the early days. Once the baby hits 14 pounds, the insert can be removed to allow for a more standard carry position—facing in or out. There’s also a Seat Extender that easily zips in and supports babies under their thighs, for a more pouch-like seat, if you wish. The carrier’s fabric is quite soft, and comes in navy and black—or brown, in organic. What really sets this carrier apart is the fact that there’s no impossible-to-reach clasp in the back: you simply pull the carrier over your head like a shirt and snap the waist support around your waist. Baby goes in, and snap—you’re off! Strong work, Britax.”
First Years Home and Away Monitor, $189.99
“The first thing I noticed about the First Years Home and Away Monitor is that it has a whopping 650-foot range—a bit unnecessary for most city apartments, but terrific for those blessed to have more room. The parent unit has a zoom and pan feature, and both the parent and camera units can be run on batteries when needed. (Brilliant for travel, not to mention power outages.) What’s really fun about this monitor is that it’s Skype compatible. Yes! You can view from work, or let the grandparents sneak a peek at nap time. You can also use your computer as the base unit to control the camera—a great feature for work-at-home parents. I also like the 3.5-inch screen, not to mention the great price point.”