The Best Baby Gear You Probably Don’t Know About
The Best Baby Gear You Probably Don’t Know About
March 14, 2022

The Best Baby Gear You Probably Don’t Know About

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The Best Baby Gear You Probably Don’t Know About.
The Best Baby Gear You Probably Don’t Know About

If you’re a parent or a parent-to-be and you know even a little bit about baby gear, you’re probably familiar with certain popular products that seem to appear on every baby registry.

But there’s a whole wide world of baby gear out there, and as Babylist’s resident Gear Editor, I’m lucky enough to discover lots of hidden gems. These are my favorite baby products that you might not know about—but should.

A Travel Stroller That Pushes Like a Full-Size

Traveling with your baby is one of the most daunting things you’ll do as a new parent. One of the questions I get asked often from friends, family and coworkers is if you need a travel stroller (usually, yes) and which one is best. The Joolz Aer is hands-down my top pick even though it’s a brand that lots of parents may not have heard of yet.

Many travel strollers have a flimsy feel to them. Not the case with the Joolz. This tiny powerhouse has suspension and maneuverability that’s comparable to many luxury full-size strollers. It folds down to an easily portable, compact size (carry strap included) and weighs only 13 pounds. It also fits in most airplane overhead bins. And you can fold and unfold it in about two seconds with one hand. It’s just so, so good.

A Bottle That's the Best of Both Worlds

Did you know there’s a bottle that offers the wellness benefits of glass with the convenience of plastic? (Probably not, which is why these bottles made this list!) Meet the Duo Hybrid, a baby bottle with an inner layer made of pure glass and an outer layer made of plastic. These bottles are lightweight and break-proof, two features that all-glass bottles definitely don’t possess. They’re also really easy to clean with minimal parts, things I always look for when choosing a bottle.

THE Most Comfortable Pumping Bra

Pumping is likely not going to be high on the list of things you enjoy doing as a new parent if you decide to feed your baby breastmilk. Pumping bras…also not so great. Except the Larken X. It’s the only pumping bra I actually look forward to putting on every day.

The Larken is so comfortable. (Not something people usually say about pumping bras.) It’s also different than any other pumping bra on the market. That’s because there are no wires, clasps, elastics or tight straps. Instead, there’s a racerback-style back and two layers of soft material up front that you crisscross in a magical ninja sort of way (there’s a video, don’t worry) to turn it into a hands-free pumping bra. Genius.

French Diapering Lotion (Yes, It’s a Thing)

It comes as a surprise to no one that the French have come up with the chicest diaper cream around. While I was busy spreading thick, pasty cream on my baby’s butt—and all over my fingers—it turns out that French parents have been using this smooth, organic diapering lotion all along. Once I tried it, I was hooked. You can use it as a diaper cream or with a cloth or cotton pad as an all-in-one solution in lieu of wipes. It will keep your little one’s bottom clean, soft and rash-free, as promised. Plus you get to brag to your parent friends that your baby uses French diaper cream.

A Play Mat That Blends Right In

Real talk: I didn’t have a playmat with my first son and honestly didn’t think I needed one. (I just rolled out a blanket and hoped for the best. Luckily, it worked out.) After my second son was born, I was gifted a Totter + Tumble, a British-designed playmat that’s just making its way over to the States, and it’s become one of my favorite products.

Style is the real standout here. The on-trend colors and subtle designs complement your home instead of sticking out and the mat looks just like a cool rug. Other things to love include the oversized one-piece design (just roll it out and you’re ready to go) and antimicrobial memory foam that’s easy to clean and has just the right amount of support to cushion your baby. So glad these mats have made the jump over the pond.

A Portable, Powerful Pump

As a breastfeeding mom of two young children, I’m always on the hunt for gear that will make my life a little bit easier. I’ve found that most breastfeeding parents are familiar with traditional breast pumps, and maybe even with hands-free wearable options, but portable pumps like this one are still a bit under the radar, especially if you’re new to pumping.

So why are portable pumps so awesome? Wearable pumps are great, but many won’t empty you in the same way a traditional breast pump will. And traditional breast pumps are effective but also big and heavy. A good portable pump (and this is one of the good ones!) offers the best of both worlds. They combine the power and efficiency of a traditional pump with the portability of a wearable. I love the Genie Advanced for its suction power, compact size and liquid silicone breast shields that are more comfortable than hard plastic and closely mimic the way a baby nurses for maximum output each pumping session.

A Jogging + Everyday Stroller Hybrid

If you’re a runner, you’ve probably noticed a few prominent brand names in the world of jogging strollers. Here’s a new name to remember: the Guava Roam.

This. Stroller. Is. So. Awesome! It combines everything you need in a jogging stroller—souped-up suspension, XL no-puncture tires, a locking front wheel and a smooth and easy push—at 50% of the size of more traditional joggers. And if you’ve ever tried to wrangle a traditional jogger into the trunk of your car, you know just how big of a deal that is.

I love that I can use this stroller as an everyday ride or as a jogger and that I can fold it quickly and easily with one hand. Wave if you see me running by!

Cradle Cap Cure

Cradle cap is something I didn’t even know existed prior to having kids, so I definitely didn’t know there was a product out there to get rid of it. Turns out there is, and this one is the best. It’s a three-step system that makes those crusty flakes on your baby’s head disappear, returning it to the soft, fuzzy baby head you’ve come to know and love. (And maybe occasionally sniff.) It’s super gentle on baby’s delicate skin while still delivering on its promise.

For Better Sleep

At first sight, this contraption may look a little strange, but it’s actually quite genius and can be a game-changer if you’re a family that travels a lot. The SlumberPod creates a dark, private space over any standard playard, travel crib, mini crib and even some toddler cots and mattresses.

Since snoozing while away from home can be tricky for even the best little sleepers, I love any innovation that can help—and the SlumberPod checks that box. It’s perfect for creating a dark sleeping nook for your baby if you’re sharing a hotel room or in a bright room with lots of windows. I also love that it folds down into a small travel bag and weighs less than five pounds.

The Most Stylish Pacifier Around

Who says pacifiers can’t be fashion statements? Loui pacifiers are about as stylish as they come. I love the colors, the fun shapes and the simple, clean design. They also come in the coolest cube-shaped boxes with a clear peek-a-boo window, making them ultra giftable. (To both others and yourself, of course.)

A More Comfortable Way to Pump

Breastmilk collection cups aren’t a new innovation, but they’re something you likely don’t know about until you’re in the thick of pumping. These cups from Legendairy Milk are a particular favorite. Collection cups are more convenient than traditional flanges, and these take things up a notch—the breast shields are made from silicone instead of hard plastic. That means a much more comfortable pumping session is in your future. Ahhh.

For Cleaner, Easier Diaper Changes

Did I not know this product existed for a very long time? Yes. When I found out about it, did I roll my eyes a little bit? You bet. But when I tried it, did I in fact love it very much? YES!

Although not a “need to have” by any means, this diaper cream applicator brush is pretty awesome and is something you may not know about until you’ve decided you’re tired of trying to figure out how to get the extra diaper cream off your finger after every diaper change. It’s inexpensive, soft and flexible and even has a suction cup bottom to keep it in place on your dresser or changing table. And it does a great job of evenly spreading a nice, thick layer of cream on tiny bottoms.

The Best Pop-Up Playard Around

I once searched “baby beach tent” and got so many results, all with so many varying reviews, that I just gave up. So let me save you the trouble and tell you about one of the best pop-up playards around, Veer’s Basecamp.

There are two big reasons to love this tent. One: setup is SO easy. This is a biggie, considering most parents are trying to set up a beach tent while also wrangling one or more sand-eating children and it’s windy out and it’s 96 degrees and you’re sweating profusely and…you get the idea. It’s blissfully just as easy to take down as it is to set up. And two: it only weighs seven pounds! You already have enough to carry and this tent won’t add too much more to the load. It does help make any outdoor excursion a bit easier and a bit more fun.

A Teether Perfect for Little Hands

If you’re a new parent or a parent-to-be, odds are you’ve seen teethers like Sophie or these popular wood and silicone bubble teethers. But do you know about this mushroom teether? Part pacifier, part teether, what sets it apart is the “stem” between the top and bottom of the teether. It’s just the right size for little hands to hold onto, so even younger babies can get a good grip instead of dropping it over, and over, and over and over. (IYKYK.)

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