Photo: Plume Creative (Getty Images)
When you become a parent, you are initiated into the weird world of modern baby products. There is something out there to “solve” every issue (and trust me, mums and dads navigating the messy terrain of new parenthood encounter a lot of issues).
But how do you separate the truly world-changing innovations from the gimmicks? What items will you be singing praises for when you’re feeding your infant at 3 AM, and what will you be dragging to Goodwill the moment you chug your next cup of coffee?
We asked members of Lifehacker’s Facebook parenting group to tell us the baby products that surprised them the most, the unexpected items they couldn’t live without. (Some aren’t branded as baby products, but were godsends nonetheless.) Add them to your registry ASAP.
These Toys That Are Covered in Tags
Taggies (prices vary)
“When someone gifted me the first one I was like, “Uh … thanks?” I had no idea babies go bonkers for tags. As it turns out, my kid will find the tag on anything and everything and start chewing away! Never mind the toy itself. She’s obsessed. And apparently a lot of other kids are too.” – Kaila M.
This Strap That Saves You From Bending Over
SippiGrip, $11 “Attach it to the high chair or stroller so you don’t have to pick the sippy cup off the ground 5,000 times.” – Jessica N.
This Pick That Safely Scrapes Out Your Baby’s Boogers
Oogiebear, $US13 ($18) “One thing I Googled after hearing my little guy have trouble breathing was “How do I pick my baby’s boogers?” I stumbled upon the NoseFrida (a product that the majority of new parents are familiar with), but realised it was more for runnier noses and didn’t work so well for sucking out harder and stickier boogies. Then I discovered something called the Oogiebear.
One side of the tool has a loop for the sticky putty like boogie, while the other end has a scoop for the extra dry, crispy boogies. I went to digging and was able to safely extract a big glob of sticky yellow snot. Alas, my baby was finally breathing through a newly cleared air passage! The best part: The tool didn’t irritate him and he didn’t cry the entire time I was picking away.” – Annie P.
This Massive Carabiner That Frees Your Hands
Carabiner (prices vary) “I had a massive carabiner and a couple of small ones that were life savers. They make a “mum”-branded one — the Mummy Hook — but any old thing will do. It hooks all your shit to your stroller, hangs multiple grocery bags together to free up hands for getting the kid in the car and hangs up stuff that shouldn’t be on the ground.” — Clovis S.
These Puppy Pads That Protect Your Furniture From the Accidents of Baby Humans
Puppy Pads, $35 “We put them on the couch during that first weekend of potty training (week, really). They saved my couch from several accidents!” – Alanna D.
This Toothbrush With 360 Degrees of Bristles
Baby Buddy Brilliant Baby Toothbrush, $15 “So easy.” – Dan K.
This Coat That Has a Pouch To Snugly Hold Your Baby
Babywearing coat (similar), $300 “I did a lot of babywearing in a city, and my babywearing coat was awesome for that. I lived in Boston, and that thing made winter so much more doable. I can’t imagine trying to get on the train (or god forbid a bus) with a double stroller, and babywearing through outerwear is a total nightmare. Not really for everyone, but amazing for city use.” — Clovis S.
This Device That Warms Up Wipes Before They Touch Your Baby’s Bottom
Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer“When I was pregnant, we ran into a couple in Babies R Us that had just had a baby. They insisted we register for a wipe warmer, which we hadn’t even considered. In fact, when we walked away, we kind of laughed at them. “A wipe warmer, really? Kids really do have everything these days!” But we put it on the registry anyway and a few months later, we were so freaking thankful for that thing. Little dude hated to be changed, and a warm wipe was much less shocking than a cold one.”
This Lamp That Doesn’t Blind You During Those Late-Night Feedings
Salt Lamp, $31 “During the end of my pregnancy I went nuts trying to find a night light for late night feedings and changing. Someone suggested a salt lamp and we love it. The dimmer lets me adjust it slowly and it has a nice range or bright-dim. The colour doesn’t bother our eyes in the middle of the night and it’s just plain soothing.” – Chelsea F.