My kids aren’t babies anymore, but as the founder and CEO of Babylist, I spend all day talking to new parents and checking out gear. One of the pieces of advice I give to new parents: Invest in products that will take you through not just those first months, but the first years. Check out my six, must-picks, below.
- Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair: Just having a piece of baby furniture this sleek and simple is benefit enough for many new parents. But this high chair is designed to have more than just good looks. It’s cleverly designed to support your child as she grows, and you can make adjustments to the seat and footrest to accommodate everything from a baby (with the Baby Set that’s sold separately) to a 250-pound adult.
- Hatch Baby Rest Night Light and Sound Machine: When your baby is new, the Hatch Baby Rest uses sound and light to create a “custom sleep environment” for your child, which you can program via your phone. It also makes routines infinitely easier. One quick tap turns it from soothing white noise machine into a night light that’s indispensable for late-night feedings. Later, as your kid grows into an early-rising toddler, program the “OK-to-Wake” indicator to signal when it’s okay to get out of bed and wake up mom and dad. You’ll be incredibly thankful for the extra sleep you get.
- Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center: One purchase, years of play. This activity center transforms alongside your child to fit kids’ needs as they grow. For infants, it’s perfect for self-contained play (so you can do the dishes or get a much-needed shower). Later, it converts into a play station your child can cruise around while he learns to walk, and finally a sleek, seamless toddler table perfect for tea parties and coloring alike.
- Babyletto Hudson Crib: This convertible crib is not just beautiful—behind those mid-century modern lines is a practical solution for a growing child. This crib comes with a kit that converts it into a toddler bed that works for children up to 50 lbs. You can buy a conversion kit to turn it into a full-fledged daybed, as well. In theory, this bed could see your child all the way to college! Pro tip: For any crib you want to convert, buy the kit around the same time you buy the crib. Cribs get discontinued all the time and you don’t want to have to troll the backwaters of the internet to find a conversion kit later.
- Nest Cam: Okay, technically, the Nest Cam isn’t a baby monitor. It’s a home security camera that we count among our favorite baby monitors at Babyist. Turns out, the features that are great for home security are perfect for a baby monitor —from live streaming on your smartphone to two-way communication so you can soothe your little one from anywhere. As your child grows, and you no longer need a baby monitor, you can use it to keep an eye on your pet, yard, or empty home while you’re out.
- Ju Ju Be Everyday Tote: This diaper bag has tons of pockets for easy organization, an anti-microbial lining to prevent bacteria from growing when you accidentally throw in a damp wipe or a questionable banana. Best of all, it’s sturdy enough to last, and stylish enough for you to carry once you no longer need to lug around diapers.