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10 Baby Trends to Look Out For in 2018

From fanny packs, to jarred baby foods to pacifiers that glow in the dark.

10 Baby Trends to Look Out For in 2018

2017 brought us some pretty spectacular baby products, but we’re now looking ahead to the new year and all the new gear that it will bring us. So which baby trends will reign supreme in 2018? From compact strollers to products that will help us keep track of baby's health and sleep patterns, we're forecasting the baby trends we'll be seeing and wanting more of this coming year. Here are 10 baby trends to look out for in 2018, and it’s looking good! 1. Sensor Technology. Parenting, especially in the early days, can be nerve-racking. But with the development of more and more tech-savvy baby gear, parents can breathe easy and, dare we say, even get more sleep. From the SNOO to Fisher Price's Sproutling to Hatch Baby's smart changing pad, baby's been soothed back to sleep while you've been able to keep track of his sleeping habits and track his health metrics. And in 2018, the trend of sensor technology stays strong. Cybex just introduced a new convertible car, the Sirona M, seat with a sensor that alerts parents when they accidentally leave their children in the car, if the child unbuckles the seatbelt or if the seat becomes too warm or too cold. Another notable addition is the Cocoon Cam, which closely monitors your baby's breathing and sleep with just the camera -- no wearables needed! 2. Compact Strollers. It all started with the impressive fold of the Babyzen Yoyo, and it didn’t take long for other brands to realize parents love a stroller with a compact fold. So Baby Jogger released their version called the City Tour, and so did Cybex with Mios and its one-hand standing fold. And let's not forget the ultra compact, Pockit from GB. Up next, Uppababy’s Minu, and Ergo’s first ever stroller, the 180. 3. Hybrid Carriers. Hybrid carriers are perfect for those who want support, structure, softness and fashion all in one. They're ergonomic and super comfy for baby AND your back! After launching their soft-structured, waistband-free carrier, Onbuhimos, Sakura Bloom introduced the Scout: a carrier that mixes the adjustability of the Meh Tai, the comfort of a structured carrier and the beauty of a ring sling. Other brands, like Cybex, Happy Baby and XOXO have also come up with hybrid carriers that snap around the waist with a buckle but have softer bodies than most structured carriers.

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4. Colorful Cribs. While a neutral crib is timeless, we're expecting them to get a whole lot more colorful and fun in 2018. Some of our favorite brands, like Bloom, Babyletto and Land of Nod, are already offering colorful cribs, and we're happy to see more brands jumping on the bandwagon. The Noni Noni Crib, which you can build without any hardware or tools, comes in unique colors such as soft peach and sky blue. 5. Innovative Pacifiers. Pacifiers are getting more and more innovative, and for good reasons. The Doddle Pop, also known as the cleaner pacifier, features a nipple that pops back in its own protective bubble when it drops. Smilo's pacifier supports baby's growing palate to promote healthy development. And Joovy came out with the Silinoogie pacifier, which comes in a version that glows in the dark, so that your little one can find it easily at night. 6. Fanny Packs. Yes, you read that right: hip bags are officially back, taking baby wearing and hand-free parenting to a whole new level. All your essentials for baby's outing at your fingertips? Yes, please! We love the one from Herschel; and Twelvelittle, known for their rad diaper bags, has introduced a straight up gorgeous fanny pack. The one from Rais Case is also sure to elevate your parenting style. 7. Jarred Baby Food. We want to feed our babies healthy, delicious food, but we don’t always have time to make it all from scratch. Enters pre-made, jarred baby food. Plum Organics launched Baby Bowls, organic purees packed in light-weight bowls that can be tossed in the diaper bag for healthy eating on the go. And Little Spoon completely reinvented baby food with their subscription service that ships fresh, organic meals right to your doorstep. 8. Subscription Boxes for clothes. Speaking of subscription services, Old Navy is the next company to launch a kid’s clothing subscription box, called Superbox after the success of babyGap’s OutfitBox. How does it work? Each box contains six items at a reduced price, you keep and buy what you like and return the rest! Effortless shopping at a savings? We can get down with that and have a feeling this is going to be a huge trend in 2018. 9. Merino Wool Car Seats. You may already be familiar with merino wool. It’s that incredible natural material that’s super soft, breathable and, as it turns out, naturally fire resistant. Be on the look out for more baby products made with this material in 2018. You’ll soon be able to purchase car seats made with merino wool from three of the biggest names in the car seat business: Uppababy, Nuna and Clek. 10. Innovative Breast Pumps. Breast pumps have gone through a bit of a revolution, and we expect the innovation will continue into the new year. Breast pumps have become quieter, smarter, and more efficient. From cordless pumping from Willow and NUK, to pumps that connect to your smart phone from Naya and Medela Sonata, it’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to breast pumps. And if you ask us, we think it’s about time.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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