We’re less than a month away from 2018, so it’s time to talk new products and trends for the upcoming year. StrollerTraffic went straight to the expert: Eli Gurock, co-founder of Magic Beans, home to countless have-to-have items from the baby-sphere.

ST: Stroller design has undergone a transformation in the past year. What are the stroller trends that you notice for 2018? And now that the current car seat recommendation is for kids to be rear-facing until at least two, what seats should parents consider?

Eli: Strollers that convert from a single to double seat have been very popular for a number of years, but in the 2018 it’s going to be bigger than ever, especially with the Nuna Demi Grow and the Thule Sleek. Both are single-to-double convertible strollers that use a streamlined design to make it easy for parents to shop or simply fit a stroller through a doorway. The micro movement (like the BabyZen Yoyo) will still be trendy, but compact strollers that are slightly larger, yet fully featured, like the The Cybex Mios and UPPAbaby Minu are also popular. For car seats, the Clek Foonf and Fllo and the Nuna Rava are rear facing for kids until they reach 50 lbs.

Other Popular trends for 2018

We’ve seen plenty of buzz-worthy trends:

  • Eco-Conscious Purchases. This will be the year everyone sees that eco-friendly doesn’t mean boring — and it certain doesn’t limit quality, convenience, or aesthetic. Organic cotton and hemp wearables in sweet-meets-chic designs will give you major closet envy, PVC-free and BPA-free toys (the gold standard… green sprouts) will catch baby’s eye, and classic-yet-modern toys made from sustainable wood (we are forever fans of Plan Toys) are sure to make Grandma smile.
  • Problem Solved with Products. The next time you think, “Why don’t they make a car seat/high chair/crib that…”, do a quick search. Companies have become responsive to mom’s needs and are creating product lines that solve problems. We’ve seen space-saving strollers, like the gb Pockit, that fit easily into closets and next to restaurant tables while handling a full day of errands. Mini portable cribs like the Babyletto Origami mini crib collapse and store easily. For nursing moms, lines like Target’s Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel, are super stylish and can be worn anywhere, while still making it easy to feed a hungry baby.
  • Multi-purpose and Multi-use Gear Save Time and Money. Diaper bags that double as backpacks, mini cribs that convert to mini co-sleepers, baby swings that change into seats, and high chairs for all ages allow moms to buy less “stuff” and concentrate on what their child actually needs. Some companies aren’t traditional baby gear businesses, but have created products that are of similar design. The Thule Sleek convertible stroller, for example, is made by the same well-known company that sells bike racks, roof racks, and luggage. But they understand the world of transport, making them the perfect stroller designer.
  • Parents Taking the Reins: Moms (and dads) are founding brands based on what they think parents really need, and using their professional experience to back them up. For instance, Eli and his wife Sheri got the idea for Magic Beans more than a decade ago when they were expecting their second child. By designing the idea for a retail store that’s perfect for parents, they started a baby product powerhouse that continues to expand.