Move these must-have baby gear essentials to the top of your list
Let’s be honest, having a baby can definitely be an expensive endeavor. Beyond the expense of trying to bring them Earth-side, there’s all the stuff parents have to buy to ensure their new little bundle is safe, happy, and healthy. If you’re a first time parent, how to do you even know where to start? Without much experience it’s hard to know what baby gear items you’ll really need, what items are nice to haves, or what items are overrated and rarely get used. All that’s before you even think about the way the bottom line plays into your purchases. To really get that bang for your buck, we asked seasoned parents to share what baby gear they used long after the first year.
Here’s a hint at what they said: Don’t throw out that video baby monitor, and definitely buy a lifetime supply of baby wipes.
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TrippTrapp High Chair
TrippTrapp’s stylish chair is definitely a staple and can be used from infancy through an adult (yep, you read that right). The sleek design is made from European beech wood, and it’s fully adjustable and durable for every stage. It has an infant add-on for them to lay down and cushions for added comfort for the other stages.
TushBaby, Safety-Certified Hip Seat Baby Carrier
The TushBaby holds up to 44 pounds and comes in handy for babies through toddlers (and even some four year olds) when they need a quick lift. This seat carrier pulls double-duty, serving as a diaper bag, with nooks and crannies to store items like diapers, wipes, your cellphone, wallet, and keys. One mom says she bought it when her daughter was 9 months old, and she still uses it at 3 years old. “Game changer,” mom Jalyn says.
WaterWipes, Plastic-Free Original Baby Wipes
Parents swear by WaterWipes. They always come in handy ,no matter what age your children are. Grownups, infants, toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens all need water wipes at some point, whether to wipe a bottom, clean dirty hands, or wipe up a mess. Plus, WaterWipes don’t have the “baby scent” and can be used for several other purposes as your child grows. Hint: We’ve even heard tell of parents using them for a quick wipe down before a meeting.
Naked Panda Baby Carrier
The Naked Panda baby carrier will hold children from infancy through elementary-school aged, and is particularly helpful for families of children with special needs. They can be customized, and they have some cool designs that are timeless so you don’t need to worry about looking good on the playground five years from now.
Insider Tip: Their “butter” model is made from velvet, so they’re comfy and cozy for both parent and child.
Related: Buckle Up, Baby! Carriers for Babies on the Move
All parents know the struggle of finally getting your child to sleep, and then ninja rolling or army crawling out the door to ensure they don’t wake up. For most parents, this technique lasts well into their kid’s preschool years. And once they’re out of a crib and have free-range—well, that’s when the fun really begins. You have no way of ensuring they’re still snug as a bug and not running around their room wreaking havoc without having to get up and check. After finally getting them to sleep, nobody wants to risk waking them up when opening the door. Plus, who wants to get up during a binging session on the couch and interrupt some much-needed grown-up time?
Enter the HelloBaby video baby monitor. Most moms said they used their monitor until upper elementary school, and who can blame them? You won’t be sorry for purchasing a well-made, long-lasting video monitor.
Related: 18 Apps New Parents Should Download NOW
A SlumberPod comes in handy when traveling at all ages and stages. Whether you’re staying in a hotel room, sharing a room at an Airbnb, or need a little help getting your kids to sleep in an unfamiliar place, the SlumberPod travels with you to provide a dark and cozy sleeping nook. And did we mention is also gives parents with the opportunity to move about the room (quietly) while the child sleeps. No more lights out at 8 p.m. for everyone when you’re on vacation. It can cover a pack and play up to a toddler cot or mattress. Or use it with a sleeping bag and pillow once the child is older.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat
If you’re looking for a car seat that grows with you child, then you can’t go wrong with the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat. This seat transitions from a rear-facing harness seat for baby all the way to a booster seat that holds up to 100 pounds and every stage in between. The seat even has a headrest that adjusts to 10 different positions and a six-position recline to help keep your child comfortable as they grow.
Related: 7 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about Their Kids’ Car Seat
Boon Lawn Countertop Baby Bottle Drying Rack
What may seem like a silly purchase has actually come in handy for many years post-baby feeding for most parents. The Boon baby bottle rack is not only great for drying pump parts, bottles, and nipples, but it transitions to a really great sippy cup, and eventually a water bottle drying rack. It’s cute with the green color like grass, and the little trees that come with it are perfect for hanging bottle nipples, pump flanges and tubes, and even pacifiers and lids and sippy cups. Plus, it’s easy to clean. Just take it apart and stick it in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Hatch Rest+ Baby & Kids Sound Machine
Most parents will tell you that it’s super helpful to have a sound machine for your baby—especially if they’re light sleepers. The Hatch Rest+ sound machine comes equipped with an app to choose your sounds, stories, or guided rest meditations. Plus, nightlights come in handy for parents when they have to go in for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes and feedings. The Hatch sound machine provides both of these options for your baby.
Hatch also transitions into a “cue” for older kids to know when bedtime is over and it’s okay to get up. Parents can adjust the time and sound to signal it’s officially morning time (when you’re up and ready to rumble with your kid).
Most parents say to themselves before having their baby, “I would never suck snot out of my child’s nose with my mouth. That’s disgusting.” But as they’ll soon find out, as parents, we gotta do what we gotta do in order to make sure our kid is comfortable and able to sleep and breathe. The Nose Frida is a perfect tool for getting that snot out of baby’s nose. It’s more hygienic than the bulbs, which harbor mold. While some parents have no problem using their mouths to help their baby, this tool has a filter and tube to make sure what comes out doesn’t go in (if you know what we’re saying). This works great for as long as your child doesn’t know how to blow their nose—or at least doesn’t know how to blow it well.
Baby Trend Expedition Stroller Wagon
A wagon can be so much more versatile, and hold more stuff, than a stroller. And more importantly, it grows with your family. The Baby Trend Expedition Stroller Wagon includes harnesses for your baby or children, then can eventually be used just to lug all of their things around. “From lugging kids, and now their stuff to the beach, sporting events, and drop offs at camp—best money spent ever,” says mom Jeanne. This model can be switched to a push stroller and also includes a UPF 50 cover to ensure your kids stay safe in the sun. And for those families who live where the mosquitoes are rampant, you can purchase a mosquito net to go around the wagon.
Related: Yes, Your Child Needs a Stroller Wagon
BabbleRoo Diaper Bag Backpack
Many parents opt for a backpack diaper bag for its ease of use and storage options. The BabbleRoo Diaper Bag Backpack will grow with your family. It offers tons of storage for all of your baby items—like insulated pockets for bottles (or sippy cups down the line), pacifier holders, diapers, and wipes—plus storage for all the things you need to carry around as well. Then when you’re out of those baby stages, use it as a travel bag. It’s got plenty of pockets to hold laptops and other items easily.
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