It all started with a stroll down the street to the poshest baby boutique in town, which also sold high-end maternity wear. The window displays were filled with tempting toys for tots, the most loveable layette, beautiful blankies, and more.
This first-time mama could not help going in, having passed by the shop five days a week, morning and night, for the last three years.
It began with a simple enough purchase: a strand of designer silicone teething beads, which made a posh pregnancy accessory many months before the baby who would gnaw on them was ever even born.
But then an awareness started to form: There were so many stylish maternity (and nursing) options, so many brands to start following on all of the various social media feeds…
A lifelong love of fashion, handbags, and style, in general, turned into a keen awareness of what was all the rage for women just starting to live that mom life.
More than four years and two babies later, and with many hours logged shopping for, using, and writing about items for little ones, it’s time to dish on the latest and greatest of the year.
Check them out, ranked: the 20 trendiest baby products of 2018.
20 Kickee Pants Pajamas
So far, I had only purchased very affordable, basic baby clothes for my expected little one. I hoped to receive plenty of hand-me-downs and do everything on the cheap.
Then, I discovered Kickee Pants. The softest of bamboo fabric may be what draws you in — or perhaps the uniquely fun prints and appliques on the one-piece rompers and PJs (and dresses, and shirt, and more…) — but it was how easily I could get the ultra-stretchy clothes on and off of my newborn at all hours of the day and night that had me hooked. I quickly had to order more, and more, and more, and soon discovered that these things have a cult following.
19 Chewbeads Teething Necklaces
It’s easy to get carried away growing your collection of this ultimate mom accessory — believe me. Loud colors and boldly big silicone beads are strung to create long necklaces (perfect for layering), bracelets, teethers, paci clips, and more, and with necklaces costing upward of $20 a pop, they make a statement: that you are a mom fully able of keeping up with the latest fashions.
Older babies may enjoy grabbing and gumming the beads as those teeth begin to come in. I liked that my accessories could become toys whenever needed, to keep babies and toddlers entertained on the go.
Find them online or in posh baby boutiques in your neck of the woods.
18 Ergo Carriers
I had the Bjorn, but I quickly came to realized that the one I saw almost everyone wearing some version of the one that allowed the baby to sit a bit differently, without the legs just dangling straight down. It had a little fabric flap that could be used to cover a napping baby’s head, and some even had a trademark trailing of printed stars adorning the grey fabric.
With updates and more models continuing to be released, Ergo Baby carriers make babywearing not only fun and functional but also very fashionable, indeed.
Once you get the hang of getting it on and off, it may become your most treasured baby item.
17 MamaRoo Fancy Swing
There are baby swings, and then there’s the mamaRoo, which looks space-age, can be hooked up to your smartphone, plays soothing sounds, and swishes and sways in a variety of motions meant to soothe babies who are strapped into it.
I noticed staff in the hospital nursery had a handful of the things going to placate the newborns who were in their charge while new moms and dads rested in nearby recovery rooms.
Having put in hours rocking and swaying my first baby to sleep each day, I decided this splurge was worth a try.
As another tool to keep young babies happy, calm, or entertained, it might just be worth it.
16 Halo Bassinet
When you walk into a store that sells baby furniture and equipment, that unique and eye-catching, modern bassinet in shades of pastel and white that makes you pause will be the Halo bassinet.
It swivels around, and if your bed is in the appropriate height range, it can make it really easy to have the baby RIGHT at your bedside for nighttime feedings and the like and yet still be able to get out of said bed without rolling across your slumbering husband and off the other side.
The thing that made it wonderful for me was that I could see and hear my newborn clearly through the mesh siding.
15 BOB Joggers
I put off splurging on a brand-new BOB jogging stroller, first making my way through a more affordable single jogger, a clunkier double stroller our infant carrier could click into, and an off-brand side-by-side jogger purchased secondhand online.
Then I realized that it was time to spring for the BOB, and I haven’t looked back.
I love this thing so much that I baby it. It lives inside my (very tiny) house so it will stay as pristine as possible.
It allows me to go on short jogs and long runs both — and get a REALLY good workout because I’m pushing all the mass of the thing along with two babes.
The cupholders! The under-storage! And ALL the moms in the know have one…
14 Haute Headbands
Moms of girls, take heed: Gloriously sweet, shiny, large, small, and in-between baby headbands that grow with your little love are here, and it seems they will stay for quite some time.
On the counter of every trendy baby store and in the feed of so many bloggers, celebrities, and everyday mommies are stretchy bows, either tie or turban style with very wide bands or with very slender bands and bows or flowers adorning them at the forehead.
13 Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets
They do not come cheap, but they are available in packs at both high-end boutiques and large chain retailers.
You’ve probably seen these thin blankets, often in white with lovely, mellow patterns, draped casually over a car seat or stroller, used as a nursing cover, or swaddled around a napping newborn.
They also — let me tell ya — make great spit-up rags, impromptu changing stations, lap blankets for stroller and car seat rides, and more.
The rather large size of these make them more practical for many uses than the smaller flannel variety I had beforehand. But honestly, it was the sheer trendiness of the brand that had me feeling like I needed some.
12 Petunia Pickle Bottom Bags
I said I’d just use one of the large totes I already had. Then I discovered the silly little name behind the backpack-style diaper bags in bold prints I’d seen worn in posher places frequented by young moms: Petunia Pickle Bottom.
From large Boxy Backpacks to smaller setups shaped like vintage bowling bags of sorts to the City Carryall, with its glorious zip-down, fold-out changing pad, these beauties really are as practical as they are stylish.
Internal and external bottle pockets, a key clip inside, and plenty of practical features and organizational options make this fancy handbag of the mom world a totally justifiable purchase.
11 Freshly Picked Moccasins
What were those little shoes that cute 1-year-old was wearing? I had to know as I paused outside the dressing rooms of the shop in town that sells high-end denim, shoes, and women’s clothes…
Little did I know that I was about to become a collector of the original shoe that sparked the trend of allll the babies wearing fringed suede moccasins: Freshly Picked.
In the original style, a strand of tied elastic is threaded through opening of the shoe, so you just stretch it around that pudgy little foot to get it on and off.
There are so many colors (and now prints!) to choose from, and moms like them for dressing up tiny babies for photoshoots or new walkers.
10 Twilight Turtle (And Friends)
Light in three different colors (press a button for each shade to appear) shines softly out of star-shaped openings in this loveable turtle’s shell, and it turns off on its own after a while (such as once your little love has fallen asleep).
My older toddler likes to put on a relaxing light show of sorts for her little sister some evenings after we’ve tucked them in.
Various other animal buddies were available, as well, last time I checked, and this item makes such a cute shower or B-day gift that it’s available in most baby boutiques and is cuddled up cutely on many a nursery shelf.
9 The Sweetest Swaddling Wraps
During this last year, there wasn’t a newborn in my house, and I’m really tempted to have another just so that I can wrap him or her in one of these adorable swaddling wraps and take a thousand pictures of it. Just kidding — sort of.
Inspiring envy and the immediate urge to online shop in moms and hopeful parents everywhere (speaking from my own experience, anyway) are stretchy swaddlers in oversized floral (that’s the big one this last year) and other prints and patterns.
For girls, I think it’s the matching headbands with oversized bows that really has moms hooked.
8 Trendy Sleep Sacks
Remember those muslin swaddling blankets we mentioned earlier that you may have noticed most posh moms pulling out of their totes or draping chicly over their strollers?
They make something very practical, known as a sleep sack, too.
Aden + Anais sell a variety of sizes of the zip-up variety, which allow the arms of babies to be free.
Parents come to rely on these contraptions to get a baby comfortable for sleep when they’re too old for swaddling but could still use the warmth/security of sort of being contained in something (that’s NOT a loose blanket).
While many brands and fabrics are available, this one is the standby that you’ll find in the highest-end shop in town.
7 Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat
What convertible car seat should I get for my first baby once she was about to outgrow her little infant carrier? I posted this to my friends and followers at the time, and an answer came back loud and clear: the Britax Marathon.
It is a somewhat significant investment, but check the safety specs on these things and you’ll see that it’s one that is intended to last you for years to come, from rear-facing to those toddler times and beyond, like a booster.
We now have one for each little one, in matching purple, though a variety of colors and prints are available.
Peek in the window of the nicest mom cars in your area, and you’re bound to see one or two.
6 Project Nursery Alexa Speaker and Smart Baby Monitor System
Baby monitors just weren’t my style. Plus, I don’t think my home was even nearly big enough to warrant using one.
But I know that many moms rely on them, especially for those newborn days, and so I researched the latest and greatest.
“Yes, this is yet another nifty baby monitor to hit the market in 2018, but what makes Project Nursery's newest ($230, Amazon.com) so revolutionary is that it syncs with Amazon's Alexa, meaning you can ask the monitor to perform any number of tasks—hands-free—from another room,” says WorkingMother.com.
You can remotely adjust the camera, turn on lullabies or white noise, check the room’s temp, or find out when the baby last moved… OMG.
5 The Noni Crib By Noninoni Kids
Crib assembly can take a full work day — just ask my husband.
And Pack n’ Plays can be folded down to relatively small rectangles, but one company out there saw the need for something new.
A new crib by Noninoni Kids (NoniNoniKids.com) can be put together or taken apart in what WorkingMother.com describes as “four easy steps,” and without the use of any hardware. Score!
That site notes that getting little ones to sleep in new beds can be pretty tricky, such as for travel, and says that’s why this number is “genius.”
You can pack it for travel or stash it for later use, no prob, and full-size ($750) and mini ($660) models are sold.
4 The Good Baby Bandana Drool Bibs
I felt like such a fool for buying the biggest, cheapest pack of bibs once I realized that the extra layer of protection would be needed on and off each day for my baby. The more practical — and posh — alternative, I quickly decided after hanging around more new moms, would have been to get some silicone bibs for mealtime, and some these for the rest of the time.
It looks like your baby is wearing a little bandana as a scarf…
“We’re loving The Good Baby Bandana Drool Bibs — they actually add to the cute outfits you spent so much time picking out for baby,” says TheBump.com. “They're made from organic cotton, and unlike other bandana-style bibs… Adjustable snaps mean baby shouldn’t pull it off…”
3 Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
What TheBump.com labeled the “Best No-Fail Infant Seat,” and what I lugged and drove around for three years with my own two babies, is the Chicco KeyFit 30.
Parents reviewing the product online a few years back noted that it seemed heavier than some other infant carriers, as far as that function, and I would have to agree.
But it’s true what The Bump notes: that it’s easy to install right, you can adjust the straps with one hand, and the bubble level on the side provides reassurance that you’ve got it at the right angle.
And at a couple hundred bucks, it’s more accessible to the masses than some other seats. Maybe that’s why you see it EVERYWHERE.
2 Baby K'tan Carrier
There are sturdier fabric packs, like the Bjorn and the Ergo. There are fabric slings. There are long pieces of cloth you can learn to wrap, tuck, and tie this way and that to wear your baby in various positions and at various ages.
To combine the soft simplicity of the more complicated wraps with the easy functionality of the more basic front packs, there are carriers that can be slipped on sort of like T-shirts, these days.
“The Baby K'tan carrier eliminates the complications and frustrations of babywearing with a design that allows you to slip it on… Choose from five different wearing positions depending on baby's age,” says TheBump.com.
You can pick one up on Amazon for about $50.
1 Pram-Style Strollers
It is just so… European!
Now, I say that because the first mom I ever knew who used this style of stroller, or should I say pram, was actually from Europe.
The momma I knew would use that stroller for walks around the neighborhood, but it was also where the newborn napped, nice flat surface that it was — and she could even wheel it around to whichever room (of the single-story home) she was spending time in. I was intrigued…
More and more of these have been showing up in those social media feeds this year, and they are of course as posh and eye-catching as everyday strollers come.
I found a fine example of this trend by Inglesina.