You know you’ll need a stroller, car seat, swaddles and burp cloths, but what are the mom must-haves that will help make this parenting gig easier? Here are our top 10 parent-approved favorites for keeping baby happy, healthy and comfortable.
Forget rushing around in a sleep-deprived daze to find the wipes and the diapers and the diaper cream. Keep it all organized in one spot with the brilliant Skip Hop Light Up Diaper Caddy ($40). It has multiple compartments for storing wipes, diapers, rash cream and other baby essentials. Best of all, there’s a touch-sensitive light built into the handle, with an auto-off feature, that makes it a game changer for middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
Step aside, generic, run-of-the-mill sound machines. The Baby Shusher ($31.49) offers a smart take on the usual white-noise products by using a recording of long, rhythmic “shushes” made by a human’s voice to help soothe your little one. (The “shushing” sounds are said to trigger a fussy baby’s innate calming reflex.) Because it’s portable (only 6.25 inches high and weighing less than half a pound), this is the perfect option for calming baby on the road or in the stroller.
photo: Suzanna Logan
A mini-vac? Yep. Once you have a baby, you want a clean spot for them to lay on, and those Cheerio years are just around the corner. So a lightweight, handheld portable vacuum like the Black+Decker Cordless Lithium-Ion Dustbuster ($49) is your best friend. It’s easy to grab with one hand if the other is holding the baby, has plenty of suction power and a long battery life. So it’s perfect for quick cleanups around a play mat or high chair, or for vacuuming out the black hole of snack crumbs (aka a car seat). It’s worth its weight in gold but rings in at just under $50.
Fact: A baby can sleep through a demolition derby, but one click or creek of a door will snap them out of dreamland in a hot second. Make your entry or escape on the sly by slipping on a genius door silencer, like the Itzy Ritzy Hush Happens Door Silencer ($9.99). Bonus: It comes in a bunch of adorable fabric options.
The only thing worse than having a sick baby is having to wrestle that sick baby to take their temperature. Make the fever-checking process easier with a cutting-edge thermometer like the Pyle Bluetooth Smart Non-Contact Handheld Thermometer ($162.99), which uses infrared technology for a touch-free (really!) temp check. Simply hold the thermometer near baby’s forehead, touch the button, and voila, an instant read. Bonus: It pairs with your iPhone or android phone to keep track of your readings.
Shopping Cart Hammock
How do you fit a week’s worth of groceries into the cart when an infant car seat hogs all the space? The BinxyBaby Shopping Cart Hammock ($49.95) is the answer. This hammock uses upholstery-weight fabric (tested to 50 pounds) to cradle baby comfortably and safely in its built-in seat harness, freeing up precious cargo space below. You can even place the car seat directly into the hammock.
photo: Suzanna Logan
Magnetic-Fastening Infant Wear
Dressing a wiggly little one can be tough, unless you have MagneticMe baby clothes ($29.95 for footie shown above) in your arsenal. The innovative brand uses magnetic fasteners, rather than zippers, buttons or snaps, on everything from sleepers and prams to jackets and booties to help you dress baby with ease. Simply insert baby into the clothes and the flaps fall back together naturally.
The saying “Sleep when the baby sleeps” sounds good, but it isn’t always easy to do — especially when parenthood worries about your baby’s health keep your brain racing. The Snuza Hero Movement Monitor ($109.98) is designed to help bring a little peace to parenting minds. The tiny device clips easily onto baby’s diaper and is designed to stimulate breathing with a vibration if movements are weak or it registers fewer than 8 per minute. If breathing doesn’t resume post-vibration, Snuza emits a warning sound to alert parents.
Portable High Chair
Once baby is eating solids, a portable high chair is handy for eating on the go. The sleek, new Tush-A-Roo will help get you out and about as it’s designed to keep your little one secure in everything from restaurant high chairs to stadium bleachers. It’s usable from 6 months up to 32 pounds, so you’ll get plenty of life out of it.
Once baby is on to real food, cloth bibs are out and pocket bibs are in. Baby Bjorn, OXO and Tommee Tippee, among others, all offer smart options, but the Tommee Tippee Explora Easi-Roll ($6.16) is on of our faves for its quick drying time and portability (simply roll the bib into the silicone pocket to keep mess contained). Plus, it has an adjustable hook-and-loop closure that resists tugging and offers comfortable dining for your baby.
What’s your favorite registry present? Let us know in the comments!
— Suzanna Palmer