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20 Must-See New Baby Products

2012 is a good year to be buying for a new baby — or maybe not, considering there are some tempting purchases out there.

But even though the strollers are getting more futuristic (and absurdly expensive) and the designer gear is becoming more widespread (and absurdly expensive), there are some serious upgrades in not only quality, but multi-purpose functions. (And what mom doesn’t love a multi-purpose baby product that lasts longer than the typical 2-month shelf life?)

Take a look at 20 of the coolest must-see baby gear fresh on the shelves (or soon to hit stores) in a range of budgets:

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  • Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper, $99.99 1 of 20
    Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper, $99.99
    I'm so excited about this release coming in May. Similar to the idea of the Stokke Bounce 'N Sleep (retailing for $450), this 3-in-1 bassinet, rocker, and vibrating infant seat from Tiny Love is a mere $100. And after seeing it in person, I can say that it's an incredibly good value for the quality.
    Read more at Babble's Best Toys of 2012
  • Aden + Anais Crib Sheets, $29.95 – $39.95 2 of 20
    Aden + Anais Crib Sheets, $29.95 - $39.95
    ARE YOU EXCITED? YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED!
    Aden + Anais took their wildly popular muslin swaddle blanket designs and turned them into crib sheets. Now if only they'd make them in a queen size...
    Buy from aden + anais (available now!!)
  • Aden + Anais Mum + Bub Skincare, $15.95 – $28.95 3 of 20
    Aden + Anais Mum + Bub Skincare, $15.95 - $28.95
    I'm still using this skincare line from Aden + Anais on my toddler, and I'm still thoroughly impressed. By far my favorite baby (or even adult!) skincare product of the moment.
    Buy from aden + anais
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom Spring Collection, $129+ 4 of 20
    Petunia Pickle Bottom Spring Collection, $129+
    Petunia Pickle Bottom — a luxe mom favorite, known for their gorgeous diaper bags — has come out with a new Spring collection. Even if you won't be splurging on a bag for yourself, the eye candy is worth a quick peek.
    Buy from Petunia Pickle Bottom
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom Scout, $150+ 5 of 20
    Petunia Pickle Bottom Scout, $150+
    Petunia Pickle Bottom also came out with a manly-man line in Matte Canvas. It's simply gorgeous.
    Buy from Petunia Pickle Bottom
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake, $145+ 6 of 20
    Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake, $145+
    If money is no object, Petunia recently released a line of cut-velvet bags for the ultimate in luxe design.
    Buy from Petunia Pickle Bottom
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom Layette, $39+ 7 of 20
    Petunia Pickle Bottom Layette, $39+
    And clothes! Petunia Pickle Bottom finally introduced a layette collection featuring their highly coveted fabric designs.
    Buy from Petunia Pickle Bottom
  • DVF for Baby GAP Diaper Bag, $189.95 8 of 20
    DVF for Baby GAP Diaper Bag, $189.95
    The Diane Von Furstenberg for Baby GAP collection is flying off the shelves — so you might have missed her collection of stylish diaper bag/changing pad combos. If you're in the market for a top-of-the-line diaper bag that doesn't look like a diaper bag, check out eBay for a last-chance opportunity.
    Buy from eBay
  • Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Collection, $16 – $75 9 of 20
    Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Collection, $16 - $75
    I say this every time, but this really is my favorite Skip Hop collection yet. Gender-neutral with a softer color palette, I fell in love when I saw these in person.
    Buy from Skip Hop
  • Skip Hop Wall Decals, $20 10 of 20
    Skip Hop Wall Decals, $20
    Skip Hop also recently came out with affordable wall decals to match with their most popular nursery collections.
    Buy from Skip Hop
  • Prince Lionheart Play Mat, $34.99 11 of 20
    Prince Lionheart Play Mat, $34.99
    I saw this at the New York Toy Fair this year and was seriously impressed by the size and functionality of these double-sided play mats. Measuring a whopping 6.5" x 5.8", these artistically illustrated mats are durable enough for indoor or outdoor play — perfect for picnics or backyard play.
    Buy from Prince Lionheart (coming later this month!)
  • Boon Naked Tub, $60 12 of 20
    Boon Naked Tub, $60
    You might be hesitant to spend this much on a baby bathtub, but it's one of the smartest designs I've seen, seemlessly transitioning from newborn to toddler. Boon's sleek tub reclines, expands, drains and collapses — especially useful in smaller spaces.
    Read more over at Family Style
  • Babyhome Eat Highchair, $149.99 13 of 20
    Babyhome Eat Highchair, $149.99
    Considering this highchair looks modern and sleek, as well as collapses down for easy storage, it's a pretty fantastic price point.
    Buy from Pish Posh Baby
  • Babyhome Sweet High Chair & Babysitter, $299 14 of 20
    Babyhome Sweet High Chair & Babysitter, $299
    If you're willing to spend a little extra on a Babyhome highchair, you'll also get a baby bouncer and reclinable nap hammock — all in one.

    The Sweet Dreams hammock/baby bouncer (0 - 6 months) can be fixed in place, rolled from room to room, or can rock back an forth. Then when your baby is ready for solids, it transitions to a Sweet Lunch highchair (6 - 36 months) that features a reversible seat that can eventually be pulled right up to the table for older toddlers. I know $300 sounds like a huge chunk of change now, but you'll definitely get more use out of it than a typical baby product.

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    Pre-order from Magic Beans
  • Begin Again Green Ring, $10 15 of 20
    Begin Again Green Ring, $10
    This innovative new baby teether (hitting shelves this summer) is 100% compostable thanks to a breakthrough material called Green Dot, which turns into a nutrient when recycled.
    Read more at Babble's Best Toys 2012
  • Hape Baby Gym, $59.99 16 of 20
    Hape Baby Gym, $59.99
    If you're into simple, modern, gender-neutral, supremely safe baby gear, then this is the baby gym for you.
    Read more at Babble's Best Toys 2012
  • CMYK Zen Stroller + Yoga Newborn Nest, $799 + $250 17 of 20
    CMYK Zen Stroller + Yoga Newborn Nest, $799 + $250
    Similar to the new power-folding Origami stroller that I previously showed you, the new ZEN stroller from Bloom is bananas. I'm well aware that this most likely isn't in your budget range, but it's definitely worth knowing about. Why? Because it's bananas.
    This stroller (which, by the way, comes in this funky cool CMYK color pattern) is an all-terrain stroller that folds down to "the world's slimmest full-size stroller" — plus it has a solar-powered lighting system for safety and, of course, a wow factor.
    The newborn nest accessory functions as a stroller bassinet, travel bed, and infant lounger.
    Buy from giggle
  • Babyhome Dream Cot, $299 18 of 20
    Babyhome Dream Cot, $299
    Yes, this might cost more than your crib — but it's perfect for parents always on the move. The coolest thing about it is that you can convert it from a rocking bassinet-like crib (with multi-position options) to a stationary bed that can be rolled from room to room.
    It's probably the closest thing you'll get to a crib that can be collapsed and easily stored in your trunk.
    Buy from giggle
  • mombo™ from Comfort & Harmony™, $49.99 19 of 20
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    The newest member of the Bright Start family is the momboâ„¢ from Comfort & Harmonyâ„¢, which is uniquely designed with a firm side (for breastfeeding back support) and a softer side (to cradle baby's body during nursing, and to use during tummy time). It's also the only nursing pillow that I know with an optional vibration to soothe and comfort babies.
    Buy from Babies 'R Us
  • Stokke MyCarrier, $249.99 20 of 20
    Stokke MyCarrier, $249.99
    Stokke definitely has the best designed baby products — across the board. They can do no wrong in my book (which might be why their collection costs a small fortune).
    Yet the thing with Stokke is that they design for longevity — like their newest baby carrier that can be used for newborns up through 3-year-old toddlers. And this isn't just a pretty fashion carrier — it's made for active families who want a variety of carrying options.
    Buy from Magic Beans

  • See even more new-ish baby products — ranging from useful budget finds to outrageous splurges.
  • Also see my favorite baby products for the least amount of money. (FYI: The Tiny Love 3-in-1 should definitely be added to that list!)

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Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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MORE ON BABBLE:

12 ways college prepared us for motherhood
The most age-inappropriate baby gear…EVER
10 things you should NEVER say to a mom
The 7 habits of highly annoying new dads
12 ways parenting a baby is like hosting a frat party

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