NEW YORK -- American Baby magazine here recently presented its third annual "Best of the Year" awards, and displayed products chosen by the real experts: the moms themselves. Parents were asked to name the three products "they couldn't live without," and 16,000 of them sent in nominations.
The top three choices -- Graco Open-Top Swing, which retails at $90; the Playtex Diaper Genie, at $27; and the Fisher-Price Deluxe Soothing Bouncer Seat, $30, are not usually carried by food retailers. However, the classic Desitin Creamy Diaper Rash Ointment, $3.95, which came in at No. 4; the Gerber Nuk Pacifier, at $1.89, which was voted fifth; Huggies Supreme Diapers, No. 7; Playtex Spill-Proof Cup, eighth; and Johnson & Johnson Infants' Mylicon Drops, at No. 9 in popularity, are items that many grocery stores carry.
In addition, runners-up in the voting included Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo, the famous "no more tears" brand; Huggies Supreme Baby Care Wipes ("large enough to cover my whole hand," wrote one mother); Johnson & Johnson Head To Toe Baby Wash, and the Playtex Easy Feed Drop-Ins Nurser, pre-sterilized liners that go into bottle holders.
"Supermarkets, like all other retailers, realize what a huge market this is," said Judith Nolte, editor-in-chief of American Baby. "These are the established brands. These are the ones the mothers know about." In all, 136 products were nominated. "And the biggest baby boom is coming," noted Darcy Miller, president of the American Baby Group, which recently purchased the Baby Faire consumer shows.