Best Baby Products of 2016
We asked Babylist families to tell us the three baby products they’d rather not live without. Thousands of parents nominated hundreds of products, and we analyzed the top products they chose to determine the best baby products of the year.
Wins ‘Em Over
Sometimes little ones snub the bottle in favor of the breast. That’s where this bottle come in and saves your wanna-have-45-minutes-out-by-myself day. A true lifesaver when you have to be away from your baby (hello 9-to-5!), the medical-grade silicone body of the bottle is squeezable and soft–just like the real deal.
Dr. Brown’s bottles are known for their patented vent system that eliminates air bubbles to reduce spit-up, colic, and gas. Similar to breastfeeding, they also have a controlled flow which requires babies to work a bit - and build up their muscles and sucking technique - to get a drink.
Versatile Nursing Pillow
Sure, it was the original nursing pillow that gave moms a resting place for their arms and babies a cushy spot to lay on while they nursed. But over time, moms discovered other uses for it too: a bolster for baby during tummy time, to wrap around sitting babies, and a prop for back-lounging little ones.
Nursing Pillow with Back Support
Because of its flat surface, My Brest Friend keeps your baby from rolling into you (unlike the pillows with a curved surface) so everyone stays comfy and in the prime breastfeeding position. The 360-degree wraparound style, which clasps to stay put, makes it easier to nurse in less traditional positions (hello, football hold) and provides back support for you
These double pumps are among the most popular with BabyList users. The Pump in Style is built into a tote bag, where you can stash all the pumping essentials too, and can be plugged into an electrical outlet or run on its battery pack. It features a let-down phase followed by stronger suctioning you can moderate. For even more intense suctioning power, a digital display, and a palm-sized unit you can throw into whatever bag you choose, opt for the Freestyle. (Don’t know what you really need out of a breast pump? Here’s our roundup of the best breast pumps.)
Like your favorite coffee machine, the Formula Pro whips up a perfectly warmed and mixed bottle of formula in 30 seconds or less. Select your bottle size, press start, and - bam! - the bottle is ready. It’s a lifesaver, especially for midnight feedings, because as we all know, babies aren’t the most patient beings. It stores formula and water for up to 20 bottles.
Small bottle and breast pump parts slip through the larger spaces of a regular drying rack. But this rack specializes in holding up, and drying, mini-size things with it’s flexible, grass-like blades. And it’s adorable on your countertop and has so many accessories to add on, too.
Baby’s First Chair
Once your baby has good head control, he might yearn to be upright more often. The Bumbo offers a way for your little one to sit on his own while you play, read, or feed him on the floor. Made of low-density foam, the Bumbo is lightweight, durable, and easy to wipe off. It can be used until about nine months old.
Peace of Mind
The Owlet uses a “smart sock” placed on your little one to measure heart rate and oxygen levels with the same pulse-monitoring technology used in hospitals. If your baby stops breathing, the base unit and/or your smart phone will sound an alarm, so you can sleep peacefully when your baby is.
You’ll want to use this even when your child is a teenager: a handheld video monitor that shows you her every move. The five-inch display lets you zoom in on your sleeping tot and alerts you when batteries are low or you’re getting out of range. If you can’t hear her crying, lights on the display will indicate the noise level coming from her room.
Wearable Baby Monitor
To help prevent SIDS, the Snuza Go monitors your child’s abdominal breathing and alerts you when there’s been no movement or if it’s weak or irregular. How? You clip a small device onto your baby’s diaper - it’s soft and flexible - and place him on his back to sleep. The wireless, handheld monitor is portable so you can take it with you on outings where your wee one will likely fall asleep.
Yes, we know swaddling can be super soothing to newborns. But how the heck do you do it? Nurse demonstrations and so many videos later, some of us have to admit we’re just swaddling flunkies. Good news: Halo Sleepsacks provide the snug embrace of a swaddle, but require zero skills. Just zip up the sack and velcro the “wings” around your baby. Ta-da!
Like the Halo Sleepsack, SwaddleMe is a no-fuss swaddle with a pouch for baby’s feet and “wings” that velcro around for a calming, night-long embrace. And, at this price, you can have several on hand for when a poopsplosion happens (and it will).
After Swaddle Graduation
When your swaddle-loving baby starts busting out of her confines, you can transition to this padded, snowsuit-like number that prevents babies from startling themselves (yes, this really happens, all the time). It provides the warmth of a blanket and the coziness of a swaddle, but doesn’t restrict arm and leg movement. A double zipper makes nighttime diaper changes fast, too.
For babies up to eight months old, this plush pad with bumpers was made to be a cozy, womb-like spot for your little one to relax. Use it on the floor under a playgym or for tummy time (the bumpers help bolster your baby up). Many parents also use it as a diaper-changing station, for co-sleeping, and for travel. (There’s also a Grand version for 9 mos+.)
BabyList parents swear by its magical powers to soothe babies to sleep (especially for babies with colic or reflux), but the Rock ‘N Play also makes an excellent spot for your wee one to chill and watch you as tackle that sinkful of dishes or tap away at the keyboard. Another thing to love? It’s lightweight and folds up so you can move it from room to room or take it with you on outings.
Womb With a View
It’s easy to keep an eye on your newborn with this mesh bassinet that swivels. Pull your little one close - even over your mattress - to check on her, and then push it to the side to get out of bed. It’s especially great if you’ve had a c-section since there’s no need to bend over. The weight of your arms leaning in to touch or pick up your child automatically pushes the sides down. (Don’t worry, they pop back up when you move your arms away.)
You will get tired of having to be ninja-stealth around the house every time your baby needs to nap, trust us. Cover up everyday sounds, street traffic, and conversation with this machine’s three different white noise options. Even better? You can take it with you so your wee one can sleep peacefully when traveling or even just for everyday outings - it clips onto a stroller or car seat.
During summer, or in warmer climates, babywearing can make both you and your little one a sweaty mess. But the Solly wrap, a traditional front-carry style, is made from lightweight modal fabric, sustainably sourced from Austrian Beechwood trees, that just gets softer - but stays strong - after each wash. Made for newborns to nine months old (up to 25 lbs.).
Wear All Day Long
Whichever way you carry your little one - on your back, hip, or front facing you or facing out - you’ll feel great toting your baby for hours in this carrier. The extra-wide adjustable waistband gives lumbar support and padded shoulder straps provide cush for you. A structured bucket seat and a sleeping hood makes your child’s ride nice too.
While fabric wraps look super cozy, some us just can’t master all that, well, wrapping. Enter: Baby K’Tan. Get the snuggly feel of a miles-long fabric wrap, without the extra steps. Slip on two, connected loops of fabric, configure in two steps, add a sash and you’re ready to go.
Soft, but structured, the Lillebaby carrier has six carrying positions and a seat that’s wider than most. The good news? It can still be used for newborns without having to purchase an infant insert. And, because carriers can trap body heat and make your mini a sweaty mess, this one has a panel that unzips to reveal a breathable, mesh lining.
A leaf crunches, a flower squeaks when pressed, and the owl plushy chimes. Your baby will be fascinated by the hanging toys (five of them), a mirror, and the textures and fun sounds on this gender-neutral play mat. Best of all, it comes with a pillow that makes tummy time more tolerable for babies who aren’t big on being on their bellies. For newborns and up.
Little ones love making music on this small playmat. Whether your child is laying down and kicking the piano keys, or sitting up and hitting them, he’ll be tickled when notes and tunes play. Five toys - that can dangle overhead or be clipped to the mat for tummy time - entertain too.
Skip having to wash changing table covers with this wipeable, molded changing pad. It’s a cushy spot, shaped like a peanut, that keeps your wiggly one in place while you do the diaper switcheroo. Use it on the floor, or on top of a dresser or changing table. The bonus? A five-year warranty.
While they may cost more than your standard disposable, Babylist users say Honest Diapers are worth it. The no-chlorine, no-perfume policy makes these gentle on sensitive skin. And the plant-derived materials and sustainably harvested pulp is easier on the environment.
Perfect for Newborns
No More Leaks
Convenient Cloth Choice
Get the best of both diaper worlds - the convenience of disposables with the environmentally and wallet-friendly factor of cloth - with Charlie Banana diapers. Choose to use either a reusable, cloth insert or a disposable insert (great for travel and/or daycare) in these.
If messing around with inserts seems like a pain, then your go-to cloth diaper is this one. Put the all-in-one style on just like a disposable (with snaps in lieu of sticky tabs) and throw in the wash later. It’s one piece and one size that adjusts to fit your growing baby via a snap system.
This sleek trash can puts dirty diapers on lockdown. The slider lid keeps little hands from prying and because it’s made from metal, odors won’t seep into the container itself (something that can happen with plastic). You can also use it with regular kitchen trash bags or a reusable cloth liner.
For Practical Fashionistas
Thoughtful features like memory foam shoulder straps, a light-colored liner (no more black hole!), insulated bottle holders, and Teflon fabric to repel stains will have you saying, “Come to mama” to this bag. Choose from a bazillion colors and patterns. The bonus? You can carry it as a backpack too.
Common Cold Essential
When your baby gets his first cold, it will make you and him miserable. To help your wee one deal with clogged nostrils - aren’t they the worst? - the Nosefrida uses quick suction to pull mucus out and clear his airways. You can actually see it working. Although the contraption looks, um, gross, it’s a world above the traditional nose aspirator.
Cuddles and a binky? Yes please! Your child will be the envy of the diaper set with this pacifier/stuffed animal. Best of all, it’ll be hard to lose it and easy to spot in the middle of the night so no more frantic patting of the ground to find a fallen pacifier in a dark room.
Stay Put Soother
With a nipple designed for healthy oral development, this pacifier flattens to fit the cavity inside your baby’s mouth. It also has an anti-slip, soft, silicone nipple that makes it easier for your child to grip. But should it fall out, you can sterilize it using the container it came in, water, and your microwave.
Uber functional with sleek good looks is what we’ve come to expect from Scandinavian design. Stokke, a Norway-based company, doesn’t disappoint with the Tripp Trapp. Made from beechwood, this high chair is one you can have around for years - from baby to big kid - if not generations. But note, this chair doesn’t come with a tray. It just pulls right up to the table. Check out all of our best high chairs.
Suds in the Sink
Tiny newborn bodies don’t need an entire bathtub to get clean. That’s why for generations parents have used the kitchen sink instead. The Puj Tub is a spongy insert that cradles and cushions babies during their first splish-splashes. Afterwards, it hangs flat to dry and takes up hardly any space.
Need a changing station? A bassinet? A playard? The Pack ‘N Play does all of the above. Although it’s not the best for travel (harder to carry and setup), it’s fabulous for in-home. A popular way to use it is as a second changing station and nap area downstairs (stairs are a no-go for c-section moms) or over at grandma and grandpa’s.
Your little one will love the egg-shape of this modern bouncer. With five different motions to choose from including swaying side-to-side and bouncing up and down, you’re bound to find the movement that makes your wee one happy. With white noise to boot, you can bet a snooze will happen too.
Whenever you need a place for your baby to chill - in the bathroom while you shower, in your home office while you work, in the kitchen while you cook - just unfold this movement-triggered bouncing seat (i.e. it bounces when baby moves or if you touch it) and, voila, your arms get a break. It weighs next to nothing and is great for on the go.
We’re not saying you’ll always be able to skip the shopping cart, but this stroller holds 30 pounds in its storage basket. It’s a convertible stroller too, which means you can use it now with the detachable bassinet for your newborn and later, with an additional seat and a standing platform for three kids.
For Downtown Living
Let’s be clear: this three-wheel stroller isn’t for jogging (confusing name, we know), but for nimbly steering around high rises. It’s lightweight and easy to fold, which makes it a clear winner when using mass transit or piling it in a small trunk.
Grows With Your Family
If you’re a planner, you’re going to love the City Select’s ability to go from single stroller to double to triple. That’s right: it can hold up to three kids (with an attachable glider board for a toddler to stand on). Seats can be arranged whichever way you want - facing each other, facing you, facing front - and you can adjust the height of the handle bar too. Tall and short parents rejoice! (FYI, this is not a jogging stroller, despite the name.)
Easy to Use
You’ll love how easy this car seat is to install - it even features a built-in level that indicates whether the base is in the correct position. Your baby will love getting to stay asleep as you carry the car seat inside, shuffle it into your partner’s car, or hoist it onto a KeyFit-compatible stroller.
Biceps everywhere, rejoice. This car seat weighs in at a mere 7.7 pounds. But its real advantage over other choices is a steel stability leg that stretches from seat-to-floor and a green light that indicates everything is correctly set. Plus, it comes with a canopy that extends almost entirely over your baby to block light, rain, or bugs.
Instead of having to play matchmaker to see which brand of stroller is compatible with your car seat (or buy an adapter that allows your car seat to connect with your stroller), you can purchase a travel system that has both already made to work together. The three-wheel design and skinny silhouette of the B-Agile stroller means it can get around tight spaces, and the car seat is consistently ranked as one of the safest.