Family pictures look a lot different these days. . .
Now that I’m in full on baby mode again, I’m reminded of which baby gadgets I’ve found the most helpful in motherhood so far! I tend to like things that are practical or efficient and don’t take up a lot of space (although I realize that does look different to different people). So here’s the list:
Top 11 Baby Gadgets
Having a video monitor is definitely not essential, but man have we loved and benefited from having one! It has been the most useful in the toddler stage, but is definitely great for all of the younger baby stages too. It saves me having to get out of bed at night, walk back and forth through the house, or risk disturbing my son (who we’ve had to sleep train 4 times!) if I need to check on him. Definitely worth the money if you can afford one!
2. Breast Pump
Having a good breast pump to be able to pump and store milk with is super helpful. I loved that I was able to get away occasionally because I had milk in the freezer! Not to mention you can pump to donate milk to friends in need or your local milk bank.
If you have a smart phone, you may not need this as there are some free apps for white noise. But we’ve found that a small amount of white noise really helps block outside noise from our toddler’s bedroom and can even help sooth a fussy newborn. You should give it a try!
Best blankets ever. They can be used to swaddle (I’ve tried several kinds, and these are still my preferred kind although there are several great ones out there) or just as a nice weight blanket for those of us in the south! They come in different types of material, and I have fallen in love with the Rayon/Bamboo combo (linked above) because they are SO soft and have a little more stretch for swaddling tightly.
It’s so nice to have a place to set your baby while you have a shower, or just get some space to yourself (let’s be real!), all while helping sooth the baby! I really like the small floor versions of the swing/bouncers since they don’t take up much space and can be easily transported throughout the house.
6. Ergo Carrier
A MUST. Another popular brand with quality and similar carriers are Boba carriers and I hear great things about them as well. A carrier is one item that you will use from infancy until over a year old (some people wear their toddlers regularly). It is just so nice to be able to have your hands free when dealing with other kids, or just to get stuff done. My first baby was needy and had a lot of issues sleeping. My arms would get really tired trying to help get him drowsy for a nap, so I would start out with him in the carrier and then would transfer him to his bed once he was drowsy. It helped so much! Not to mention it can be great for outings to the store and what not. Wear them in front or on your back, and the babies usually love it!
I absolutely loved this stroller system. It works directly with the infant car seat we bought with no additional attachments needed. The part I love most is that it is light enough to fly with and is easy to lift, plus it folds easily with one hand! Perfect for those times you are juggling getting out of the car with a baby on one hip and your hands full. The only bummer about this system is that it is not great for 2+ kids.
8. Bumbo Seat
I have yet to see how using a Bumbo will play out with our second baby, but with our first this was super helpful when our little guy was aware enough to want to be able to play and grab toys but couldn’t really sit up well on his own. It gave me some sanity while he got some play time! These can also be used as a beginner high chair.
Helpful for all of those pump and bottle parts, plus other random kitchenware!
This has been so helpful we just keep one in the car for when we’re out and about just in case we need it. Crazy easy to clean and super practical! Doesn’t take up much space either.
This gadget is the best ever. Your kid will hate you at first, but afterwards they’ll be so much happier and you will too! It’s a must to have on hand.
Other Helpful Gadgets
1. Play Mat
I liked having one, but I’m sure you could make something that would work just as well. It’s definitely not a must. I picked up one at a consignment sale for half the cost of a regular mat.
We bought this one even though it was pretty pricey because of how it looked (we’ll probably be needing it out for a few years!) and for easy cleaning and durability. The pads and straps are removable for even easier cleanup and this can be converted to a toddler chair if needed.
We got one with the bassinet feature to use in our room during the first weeks because we knew we would also use the full size feature later. It was nice having something multi-purpose for the bedroom stage vs. buying a true bassinet we’d have to store and not use very long.
There are few toys I actually recommend, but this is one! They are fun for various stages (teething or toddler stacking and sorting), and in various places (bath, outside, inside).