Parentdish guide: New baby gear for 2013
Whether you're expecting your first baby or looking for the latest gear for your existing brood, here's our lowdown on the new nursery products hitting the shops in 2013.
Stokke Xplory gets younger siblings: Crusi and Scoot
It's now 10 years since Stokke debuted their innovative Xplory which most definitely turned heads on high streets thanks to its elevated seat, space age chassis and quirky oval-shaped handle.
So will the Xplory's new younger siblings, the Crusi and Scoot, still turn heads?
The Crusi (pictured on the right) sticks with the Xplory's high seat concept (the idea is to keep your baby closer to you, aiding communication). The difference here is that by adding the sibling seat, this model can be converted to a double pushchair as your family grows, and as with the array of single/ double convertibles now on the market, it can be switched back again once your older one is walking full time.
This is very much a luxury option - costing £879 for the single version and an even more eye-watering £1200 with the sibling seat - making it one of the priciest pushchairs around. That said, we don't doubt that it'll soon be papped being pushed by the same sort of A-listers who used the Xplory (think Angelina Joie and Courteney Cox).
The Scoot meanwhile is Stokke's lighter weight buggy, made with the city parent in mind. It folds in one piece and is designed to do so one-handed – making it a viable, if again not exactly cheap choice (it's £549) if you'll be on and off buses and trains with your baby in tow. It features a reversible seat and is compatible with the iZi Go car seat too.
New super-light and compact buggy, the BabyZen YOYO
If you're planning a family holiday overseas this year, you might want to take a look at the super-light, super-compact YOYO (£309).
Weighing in at a featherweight 5.8kg, it folds down so small (52cm x 44cm x 18cm) that it can even be taken on-board a plane as hand luggage. It would also be brilliant back home for a toddler in town (it's suitable from six months upwards but does have a seat recline) - you can sling it over your shoulder when it's not being used and it won't annoy other customers when it's folded up in that crowded coffee shop/ bus!
Mountain Buggy Mini - smart hybrid pushchair
Mountain Buggy is renowned for its extremely durable all-terrain prams - hard to beat if you're trekking up hill and down dale, but they can be a little bulky for urban living. The Mini takes the Mountain Buggy quality and ethos on board but makes it cheaper (£349) lighter (8kg) and smaller - think of this as your hybrid option if you're as likely to take it in and out of the shops as you are to walk off-road. It features a reclining 'suitable from birth' seat and travel system and carrycot options. Well worth a look for parents needing a buggy that can cope with city and rural life alike.
Ergobaby Stowaway Carrier - smaller version of one of our favourite carriers
Whilst most baby carriers hold your baby on your front and are only realistically useable whilst your baby remains relatively light, the Ergo is one of a handful that also offer a back carry position. This means it can work well for toddlers as well as tiddly babies (although you'll need an extra newborn insert for very young ones).
The standard Ergo has been gaining fans since 2003 when it was launched but this new version folds noticeably more compactly, into its own pouch, so you can take it out and about with you more easily. Ideal in case your toddler needs a break from walking - most will love the piggyback style back carry position. The Stowaway Ergo costs £94.90.
Britax Versafix - a more versatile Group 1 seat
Most of us use our children's car seats in more than one vehicle (the grandparents', a childminder's, a family second car) and with this in mind, Britax's new Versafix Group 1 model can be fitted safely no matter whether each car has ISOFIX with or without a top tether, or just the adult seat belt.
It comes with a comfortable amount of padding, solid feeling side protection and an indicator to confirm correct fitting when it is used with ISOFIX plugs. £225.
New double version of the popular Medela Swing pump
The single electric Medela Swing breast pump has proved hugely successful among mums who express feeds and has won plenty of awards. The Swing Maxi now builds on this as a double version, allowing frequent expressers to pump more milk in less time.
At £220 this is one for the more committed expresser but those who invest in it are unlikely to be disappointed by its efficiency, comfort and ease of use.
See all new products in all their glory in our picture gallery below.
Liat Hughes Joshi is the author of What to Buy for Your Baby, published by Carroll & Brown.