Every minute (scratch that, every second) plenty of new babies are being born. And each year, innovation continues in the gear to outfit them, protect them, sooth them, and enhance their play time.

So what’s new for 2016? Here are some notable items.

KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed

If you’re just going for a short trip, or maybe enjoying some fun in the sun on the beach and want baby to be comfortable for nap time, the KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed is convenient because it’s made of lightweight mesh to provide good airflow, but will also keep the insects out. Plus, it provides UV protection to help keep babies shielded from the sun while you lounge outside to catch some rays. It folds up for easy transporting, and weighs a mere 3.5 lbs.

Evenflo Big Kid Amp Booster Seat

At 4 years old and about 35 lbs., my son is just about ready to transition over to a booster seat that uses the car’s lap belt instead of the four-point harness. Not only is he reaching the weight limit for his current car seat, but since he’s tall for his age, he has also surpassed the highest height possible for it. The Evenflo Big Kid Amp Booster Seat has a 6-position height adjustment; ideal for kids like mine who might be well on the way to being 6-footers when they grow up. It has double cup holders for storing both drinks and a snack. And you can keep on using the seat once your child is ready for a no-back booster by simply removing the high back. An added benefit: the design is pretty fashionable versus the sometimes drab colours you may come across with car seats.

Evenflo SecureKid Harnessed Booster Car Seat

No one likes a car seat that’s difficult to install, especially if you’ll be moving it from car-to-car often, or want to bring it along while traveling. The Evenflo SecureKid Harnessed Booster Car Seat has SureLATCH connectors to allow for quick and easy installation. And your child will be safe inside thanks to the e3 side impact protection, which provides extra side impact in the event of a crash, along with four-shoulder strap positions. Like the Big Kid Amp seat, this one can also be converted to a backless booster seat once your child is ready. And it can be converted to a belt-positioning booster that works with the car’s seatbelt as well.

KidCo DreamPod Portable Bassinet

When my son was a baby, we had plenty of sleepovers with friends and family, which made a portable crib come in super-handy. The KidCo DreamPod Portable Bassinet is ideal for babies weighing up to 20 lbs. The best part: it packs up neatly, easily fitting in a suitcase. And it’s lightweight at just 12 lbs. It comes with its own nylon carry bag should you need your suitcase space for other belongings. The steel frame provides stable support for your little one, and the soft padded cotton twill fabric will allow for comfortable rest, and play time during waking hours.

Mmnox Night Light – I Love You

You can remind your little one that you love him even when you’re not in the room with the Mmnox Night Light. Inside is a decorative heart-shaped light, and the words “I love you” for calming reassurance during a middle-of-the-night wakeup, or quick trip to the bathroom. AC-powered, you can switch it off when you don’t need it.

Aden + anais Muslin Stroller Blanket

Instead of having to painstakingly put your child’s jacket on and off repeatedly as he gets hot or cold outside, or while strolling through the shopping mall, use a blanket like the aden + anais Muslin Stroller Blanket. As a stylish option, it will keep baby warm when he’s feeling chilly, and can be easily removed once he gets too hot. It’s large enough to fit over most strollers, and you can use it for other purposes as well: maybe to clean up an unfortunate lunch mishap, as a burp cloth or nursing cover, or for swaddling. The blanket is made from 100% muslin cotton, ensuring that your baby won’t overheat.

Safety 1st Aqueous Adjustable High Chair

Once your baby is ready to try solids, you’ll need a good, supportive, easy-to-clean high chair. The Safety 1st Aqeuous Adjustable High Chair has a 6-position height adjustment so you can feed baby while sitting down or standing up. There’s a 3-position recline, and a Slideguard that will prevent baby from slipping. The 4-position tray can be easily removed with one hand, and is dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning.

KidCo DinePod Portable High Chair

Most parents loathe having to use those dirty, grimy restaurant high chairs. You know, the ones that hundreds of kids have sat in prior, and have likely only gotten a quick wipe every now and then? While you can bring your own sanitary wipes to clean one before plopping your child inside, that isn’t the ideal solution. The KidCo DinePod Portable High Chair is not only convenient, but it looks pretty cool. The chair easily folds up to store away, is lightweight (just over 5 lbs.), and comes with a carrying back. Bring it along when you know you’re going for a bite to eat with the family, and baby can have a seat at the table with everyone without the worry about germs. It can be used both indoors and outside during a backyard barbeque, for example.

KidCo TravelPod Playard

Let’s be honest: playards really only exist to allow mom and dad at least a few minutes of sanity, where they can safely leave the room, hands free, to grab a drink from the refrigerator, or the ringing phone in the bedroom. Which means they can be used just as much in the home as they are on-the-go. The KidCo TravelPod Playard is a neat solution because it can be set up and packed away quickly and easily. You can keep a watchful eye on baby through the mesh sides while you enjoy some “me time” at a friend’s house or while taking s quick breather on the couch. Then, when you’re ready to go, it packs up in a 10 lb. package for easily carrying back to the car.

KidCo GoPod Portable Activity Seat

Similarly to the playard, gear like baby swings and exersaucers are ideal for giving baby some independent play time while also allowing mommy or daddy to run downstairs to grab a load of laundry or brew a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen without worry that your child will venture away from a designated safe area. In the KidCo GoPod Portable Activity Seat, babies can safely play with his favourite toys secured by the nylon loops on top, and even enjoy snacks and some water or milk that are conveniently stored in the built-in holders. The floor pad underneath will keep baby’s feet clean, even if you’re using it outside. Like other KidCo products, this seat can be easily folded into its storage bag, which also has pockets to hold your essentials, like phone, keys, and wallet. It’s the perfect accessory to meet up with some friends for baby and me lunchtime in the park.

Check out what else is new in baby gear for 2016 at Best Buy Online

I am a tech expert and journalist with 17+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism. I write for a number of technology, business, parenting, family, and lifestyle Websites, blogs, and magazines. A self-professed lover of tech, I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV junkie, and proud mother to an 8-year-old son.