Expectant parents, new parents and grandparents received a taste of the cutting edge in baby products this weekend in Schaumburg.
Bebe Paluzza's Chicago Baby, Maternity and Toddler Faire, held at the Schaumburg Convention Center, showcased a variety of innovative offerings for babies and toddlers.
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The event, which attracted around 70 exhibitors, also offered educational sessions on topics like making baby food, car seat safety training, storytelling and even fashion tips.
Krista Nicole Turpin, one of the principals of Bebe Paluzza Productions, said this is one of four baby and toddler events the company offers throughout the country.
One popular item was the Munchie Mug, the contribution of inventor Phil Amormino, who was inspired by the messes of his grandson.
Amormino, a machinist created a mug out of No. 5 polypropylene plastic. It has an elastic fabric for the opening, which is overlapped by a quarter inch.
"So if they turn it upside down or shake it or drop it, nothing comes out, not even the crumbs," he said.
It also has a high lip to discourage prying hands and a screw-on lid.
Algonquin resident Lisa Parrish said she was impressed.
"I have never seen that before," Parrish said. "And we have a 2-year-old, so we have been through snack cups. That one's something different."
Another innovative product was a stroller cover that blocks out 94 percent of the sunlight. Sales representative Joe Marcucci said this item is used heavily in Los Angeles by celebrities.
"Number one because they are trying to protect their kids and keep them sleeping, but also against the paparazzi taking photos," Marcucci said.
Buffalo Grove resident Hal Norman was on hand to exhibit a safety gate that boasts easy removal, and he said the product is ideal for grandparents. As a representative for Gatekeepers, Norman said the event helped vendors easily access their target clientele.