Is new baby gear on the mind? Whether it’s because you’re expecting a new little one, have a bambino already, or know someone who does, there’s lots of cool gear from which to choose. Here are 10 of the hottest items out there this year.
In order to get anything done, whether it’s dinner, the laundry, or work, mom or dad will need somewhere safe to place baby. If he’s not deep in slumber in his crib or bassinet, a play yard is the perfect spot where he can still see you (and you him), but also be protected within the safe confines of the space. This play yard is particularly useful because it’s portable. That means you can use it at home, but also take it with you by easily folding it down and placing it in the carry bag. It even has wheels so you can bring it from the living room into the kitchen, for example, while you cook dinner. There’s also a zip-in bassinet so it can double as a travel crib while you’re away on that much-needed vacation, or just having an overnight trip at grandma’s.
Strollers are great for freeing up your hands to get things done while running errands or going for a walk, and also ensuring that a walking toddler doesn’t run off on you. But there are times and places where you’ll need to carry it, like if you encounter plenty of stairs and no elevator. The best feature of this stroller is that it can fold up easily, and has a built-in carry strap. And it weighs 24 lbs. – about the size of a child who’s ready to walk.
Bottles are essential – whether you’re breast or formula feeding, there’s always going to be a time you’ll need to give your baby a bottle. And once you switch over to whole milk, a transitional bottle can help ease the change to a sippy cup. This gift set has everything you’d need, including two 4 oz. bottles for the first few months, and two 8 oz. bottles with stage 2 nipples as baby grows, drinks more, and is able to accept a quicker flow. But it also has a few other goodies, including a pacifier, bottle and valve brush (essential for getting deep down into the bottle to clean out milk residue), two pump adapters, and four sealing discs. And the bottles come with a valve that’s meant to reduce gas and fussiness by preventing air bubbles, which can be both uncomfortable for baby, and messy for mom and dad.
While baby is still a wee little thing who can’t hold his head up, you need a small bathtub in which to wash him. What makes this one especially convenient is that it can rest inside a sink, so you don’t need to place it within the bathtub, then awkwardly wash baby while crouched on your knees; or place it atop the bed and worry about water splashes. Plus, it is small enough to fit a suitcase and take with you.
I spent more time in my glider during the first year of my son’s life than in any other piece of furniture. It’s a comfortable place in which to rock baby to sleep, and sit and recline and/or rock while baby is feeding. Plus, with an ottoman, you can put your feet up and maybe catch some ZZZs along with baby.
A baby swing is a must, providing a safe place where you can rest baby and still have her in view while you multitask, whether it’s making dinner, folding laundry, or cleaning the house. This handy device sort of combines a comfortably sleep spot and a baby swing in one, hence the clever name, a Bassinest. You can use it in the living room while you finish chores, then put it beside your bed at night.
I’ll bet you’ve seen a mom with the baby car seat on the floor, rocking baby with her foot while she talks on the phone or otherwise multitasks. You can make a mom or dad’s life much easier with a bouncer like this one, that naturally rocks with baby’s movements, both while she’s at play, or fast asleep.
Every expectant mom wants to look good, which in turn helps her feel good. When I was pregnant, I managed to acquire a whole new “maternity” wardrobe. What makes this dres especially nice is that it can be worn as a dress with a pair of tights for a more formal occasion, or dressed down with a pair of jeans and flats for a walk to the mall.
I can’t imagine how parents ever lived without a baby monitor. And I don’t think I could have lived without a video monitor. They let you keep visual tabs on baby so you can ensure he isn’t stuck in the slats of the crib, or hasn’t turned on his stomach. And when you wake up in a panic in the middle of the night, being able to view the rise and fall of baby’s chest and see his sweet face lets you breathe a sigh of relief and tuck back into bed. This particular model is great both because of the Wi-Fi capability, so you can access the camera using a smartphone or tablet as your monitor, as well as the pan/tilt capability, so you can keep a watchful eye on a playing toddler while you’re in another room.
Stairs can be a dangerous thing for the little ones who have mastered the art of crawling, and maybe climbing, but still aren’t quite ready to go up and down on their own. Gates are a necessity for homes with lots of stairs, and will help ease mom’s mind that, if baby is out of view for a few seconds, he’s not going to scoot up the stairs on his own and potentially get hurt. This one is great because it expands to fit most doorway openings (up to 40” wide), but can retract back into its housing when not in use.
Want more great ideas for the new mom? Check out our blog on products that will help make life easier for any new mom.