Incredible Shrinking Baby Gear for Small Spaces
You want smaller and lighter? You got it!
Baby gear is great...except that it takes up space. Lots of space. Parents inevitably get tired of their car's backseat being nothing but car seat, their foyer being a stroller parking garage, and their living room looking like a daycare center.
Well, the gear engineeers have heard us, and they have some new—smaller!—stuff. First up is GB's Pockit Stroller, which may be the first stroller that can be called a YouTube sensation. The Pockit folds so small that when the company's representative brought one to my office, he had it in his totebag. The entire stroller. Folded up.
If you're pregnant, I'll forgive you for not caring. When you're expecting you want a stroller that's built like a tank. You basically want a crib on wheels. But by the time your baby is a year old you'll be SO over pushing, lifting, and storing the thing that you will see the appeal of a stroller that doesn’t just fit in the overhead bin of an airplane, but under the airplane seat in front of you. You'll understand why parents may pay $250 for the Pockit, which is often on amazon.com for even less than that.
Oh, and if you do need a compact stroller that works right from birth, check out Babyzen’s YoYo+. The $495 stroller is only 13 pounds and it fits in an airplane overhead; add the $225 bassinet and it’s good from birth. Pottery Barn Kids now sells Babyzen’s YoYo+ and all of its attachments.
Similarly, when you bring home a newborn, you pretty much love the infant car seat. Babies are not only protected in one, but you can use the infant seat to carry your baby around, taking the seat right off of its base and into your home. But as your baby grows from 8 pounds to 12 pounds to 16 pounds, lugging that seat gets rough. That’s why we love Nuna’s new Pipa Lite, the lightest car seat available, weighing just over 5 pounds. It will save your back and protect your baby, and is $350 at brixy.com.
A teeny tiny booster seat is also on the to market. The mifold is billed as a grab-and-go booster and it, too, can fold up and go in a tote bag. Instead of being a big wedge to raise your child to the right height for a seat belt, it essentially brings the seat belt down to your child. It's for ages 4 and up, and if you've got a child in that age range, you'll see the appeal of this immediately. The best feature, though, might be the price: Only $40 at places like target.com and walmart.com.
There is also now a $50 folding bouncer seat, called the Fun ‘n Fold Bouncer from Fisher-Price, that can slide under your couch when you’re not using it. (You can get it from target.com as well.) And Graco’s Slim Spaces Highchair folds up, with its tray, to only 8 ½ inches wide. It’s less than $100 at walmart.com. In other words, we have entered a golden age of compact baby gear. Now if only we could do something about all the stuff we pack in our diaper bags.
Jessica Hartshorn is the Senior Lifestyle Editor at Fit Pregnancy and Baby and a mom of two. There's a folding bouncer seat at her desk right now.