Parenting Products You Can’t Do Without

Parents look to the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) to find the best products for their families, and the experts and parent testers in the program take their mission to heart. They eagerly dive in and review, play with and meticulously test each entry. The products honored with the NAPPA seal this year stood out because of their innovation, quality, and the creative ways they help make parents’ lives easier.

Visit NAPPAawards.com to see a complete list of winners in the Gold, Silver and Honors categories.

Gadgets ‘n’ Gear

Britax Advocate 70-G3

Britax, $379.99, britaxusa.com, For children from 5 to 70 pounds

Britax takes its safety standards one step further by introducing new technology in this convertible car seat for children rear facing from five to 40 pounds and forward facing from 20 to 70 pounds. Features include integrated steel bars, an improved, tangle- free five-point harness and side-impact protectors.

BabyTouch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

Summer Infant, $249.99, summerinfant.com, Birth to Kindergarten

Peace of mind is what parents can count on with this state-of-the-art baby monitor. Easy to install, the touch-screen monitor controls the nightlight and the camera’s pan and zoom, and shows the temperature of Baby’s room. Parents love the talk-back feature and the ability to add up to three additional cameras to monitor mulitple rooms and/or children.

BOB Motion Stroller

BOB, $349.99, bobgear.com, For children up to 65 pounds

The first four-wheel stroller in its line, the BOB Motion is a comfortable ride for children and a breeze to maneuver for parents. Where other strollers fall short, this one rises to the top with a one-hand quick-fold feature, spacious storage basket, a large canopy and an easy seat-recline.

Summit X3

Baby Jogger, Single: $429.99 and Double: $649.99, babyjogger.com, Birth to 75 pounds

Rugged yet practical, this third-generation stroller from Baby Jogger is one of the smoothest rides among the multi-terrain strollers. Durable, independent-suspension wheels and a hand break for total control allow for speed and easy maneuverability. The front wheel has a swivel option and the seat reclines with ease.

MAM Perfect Pacifier 0-6 Months and MAM Perfect Pacifier 6+ Months

MAM, $5.99, mambaby.com, Birth to 18 months

Designed by pediatric dentists and orthodontists to reduce the risk of misaligned teeth, the MAM Perfect Pacifier is made of ultra-soft silicon and natural latex, has a thinner nipple neck and is BPA free. It comes in a microwaveable storage case that doubles as a sterilizer.

Lullaby Earth Super Lightweight Crib & Toddler Mattress

Lullaby Earth, Starting at $169, lullabyearth.com, Birth to Kindergarten

Weighing just under seven pounds, this eco-friendly mattress is 100 percent waterproof, fits snugly into standard-size cribs can be recycled, guilt-free! Firm to the touch, it guarantees Baby a comfy slumber.

Accessories & Apparel

Twilight Carz

Cloud b, $28, cloudb.com, Fun for the entire family

Toy by day, sleep aid by night, this speedy race car with fully functioning wheels projects stars and lightning bolts onto the ceiling for a calming night’s sleep. It automatically shuts off after 45 minutes.


BabyLegs, $12, babylegs.com, Birth to Early Elementary

Adorable, breathable cotton mesh leg warmers pull double duty by padding knees of crawlers and repelling mosquitoes, fleas, ants, ticks, and other insects with Insect Shield, which is approved by the EPA and will last through 70 washings. Older kids can wear them as arm warmers under short-sleeved shirts.

Green Ring

BeginAgain, $11, beginagaintoys.com, 6 months and up

Made in the USA, The Green Ring is made of smooth maple wood and a soft, cornstarch bio-resin (the “new” rubber). It provides hours of teething relief for babies, and is 100-percent compostable once its useful life is over. The outer ring can be removed and sanitized in the dishwasher’s top rack.

Monster Buddy

Two Hippos LLC, $65.99, wallbumpi.com, Preschool to Early Elementary

Snuggle time just got better with this memory foam body pillow for kids. Shaped like a friendly monster to keep fears at bay, this naptime friend has a flannel blanket tucked into a hidden pocket, and a zipper closure for easy washing.

Emily Press Preschool Shoe Labels

Emily Press Labels, $10.95, emilypress.com, Toddlers to Kindergarten

Foster your todder’s independence with these matching shoe labels that teach left and right and hone matching skills. Great for summer camp, dance class, play dates or whenever shoes get tossed together. Designs are adorable and the durable adhesive is waterproof.

Health & Wellness

Expecting More: Sara Haley’s Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program

Sara Broihier & Associates, LLC, $39.95, sarahaley.com, All ages

Reebok Master Trainer and pre/post-natal fitness specialist Sara Haley helps moms-to-be stay active and fit during their pregnancies in her two-DVD set. A variety of workouts focus on strengthening the core, with modifications for each level of fitness.

Baby Silk Dry Skin Rescue Extreme Care Cream

MD Moms, $14, mdmoms.com, All ages

Relief is on the way with MD Moms’ latest skincare product made of highly concentrated shea butter, aloe, glycerin and oat kernel extract. Designed to calm the senses and provide immediate relief to dry, itchy eczema-prone skin, the cream is clinically tested, certified hypoallergenic, paraben free, phthalate free and fragrance free.

Johnson’s Baby Washcloths

Johnson’s Baby, $4.99, johnsonsbaby.com, All ages

Pre-soaped washcloths make traveling with Baby a breeze. The cloths come in two soft, durable varieties: Johnson’s Baby Head-to-Toe Washcloths and Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Washcloths. Both have the perfect amount of soap to wash Baby from head to toe using mild ingredients that are allergy tested, dye-free, and dermatologist tested.

Family Fun

Luna Star Shining Stars and Pixie Fairies Natural Play Makeup Kits               

Luna Star Naturals, $19.99 for small kits, $29.99 for deluxe kits, lunastarnaturals.com, Preschool and up

No need to guard your expensive makeup when your daughter has her own! And these 100 percent mineral make-up products are free of toxins. Choose from a variety of themed play kits including Princess Fairy, Fancy Fairy, Sparkle Fairy and Soccer Star. Kits include eye shadow, blush and lip balm. Deluxe sets include an additional lip balm and two peelable nail polishes.

Brain Quest: My First, for Threes and Pre-School

Workman Publishing, $11.95, workman.com, Ages 3-4 years

The folks at Brain Quest have hit it out of the park again with their lastest curriculum-based question-and-answer games that involve interaction, communication and quick thinking. Three new versions for the younger set: Brain Quest: My First, Brain Quest for Threes, and Brain Quest: Pre-School.

Recycled Robots by Robert Malone

Workman Publishing, $26.95, workman.com, Early Elementary and up

Families can create 10 moving robots with supplies provided in the kit or household items. They encourage family together-time, inspire creativity and introduce children to the science of inventing, designing, and engineering.

Solar Walk – 3D Solar System Model for iPhone and iPad

Vito Technology, Inc., $0.99, vitotechnology.com, Fun for the entire family

“Reach for the stars” takes on a different meaning with this fun astronomy app from Vito Technology, which is educational, entertaining and boasts 3D graphics that are out of this world. Also available is Star Walk, an app that helps you locate and identify more than 20,000 objects in the night sky.

KidzControl Volume Limit Headphones for Kids

Kidz Gear, $19.99, gearforkidz.com, Toddlers to teens

These adult-quality headphones in a child-friendly design are easy to use for children, and the volume-control feature gives parents peace of mind. Given the popularity of children’s electronic devices, this product is a must-have.

Brain Beats

Marbles: The Brain Store, $13.99, marblesthebrainstore.com, Early Elementary and up

This addictive mnemonic CD features 12 brilliantly catchy songs to help kids memorize the state capitals, the Presidents, the Bill of Rights, and more! Play it in the car or crank it up at home. Before you know it, you and your kids will be belting out everything from the first 84 digits of Pi to how to say “hello,”“good- bye” and “thank you” in multiple languages.

Parent’s Corner

Surviving Infancy – A Parent’s Video Guide to Infant and Toddler Safety, Routine Illnesses, Emergencies & More!

Surviving Infancy, $19.95, survivinginfancy.com, Birth to 3 years

This comprehensive two-DVD set features pediatric ER doctors addressing infant

and toddler safety, routine illnesses, immunizations, common parenting challenges and pediatric emergencies. The set includes instruction in choking first aid and CPR, and makes a great gift for new parents, grandparents and caregivers.

Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of

Fear, by Carrie Goldman

HarperCollins Publishers, $25.99, carriegoldmanauthor.com, Tweens and teens

Mom and author Carrie Goldman takes on the topical subject of bullying in this relatable, easy read that offers practical advice on helping your child respond to bullies, and discussion of how we as a society can combat this problem online and off.

Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go Of Your 13-18 Year Olds, by

Thomas W Phelan, Ph.D.

3e/ Parent Magic Inc., $14.95 , 123Magic.com, Tweens and teens

An easy, humourous read tackling myriad teen topics, including teen risk- taking, problems you can let go of, how your relationship affects your teen’s safety, how to manage “The Snub,” and what makes a “normal” adolescent.


TeenLife Media LLC., free, teenlife.com, All ages

It’s never too early to plan ahead. Teenlife.com is an invaluable online resource for parents, educators and college-bound students in grades seven though 12 looking for summer programs, community service opportunities and academic experiences to enrich their lives.

Survival Mom, by Lisa Bedford&

HarperCollins Publishers, $19.99, harpercollins.com, All ages

This book will take you step-by-step through preparation for everything from small inconveniences like a few days without power to full-blown emergencies. Everything you need to know to care for your family during a crisis.