With a new baby, the right gear makes a world of difference. The GolfHr Institute put the latest parenting supplies to the test and curated a list of baby essentials that no new mom or dad should be without.
The amount of planning and packing it requires to travel with a newborn can be daunting, but these finds will keep every trip organized.
New parents have a lot of extra stuff to carry around. This organizer packs phones, wallets, diapers, and toys and attaches directly to the stroller handle, so parents can reach everything without carrying an extra bag in their hands.
Parents can protect their hands from chilly mornings with these gloves, made especially for gripping a stroller. The built-in hook and loop closure attaches the mitten directly to the handle, so you can slip your hand out when you need to check your phone or adjust an errant paci, and then put it back on again without fumbling in your pockets for a lost glove.
Those looking for a few-frills, reliable playard will find this an affordable alternative to the Nuna Sena Aire (see #9).
Mom can turn her tried-and true-tote into a diaper bag with this organizer. It's rigid enough to keep pockets upright, but flexible enough to stash away easily when not in use. Eleven pockets fit diapers, wipes, bottles, keys, a phone, and even a magazine or tablet.
A stylish carryall that doesn't scream diaper bag, 7 A.M.'s tote is spacious and practical with comfortable handles, deep pockets, and a changing mat. New moms will have no problem filling it up with bottles, wipes, snacks, and clothes — with room leftover for personal items.
The Ergobaby Four Position Carrier lets parents hold their child facing inward or outward, on the hip, or on the back. With the padded shoulders and extra-wide band, parents can hold their baby comfortably in all four positions. One caveat: In the GolfHr Institute's test, it was a bit difficult to strap the child into the carrier and to wear with an infant, who requires an additional insert.
If ease of use is a top priority, consider Chicco's Key Fit 30 car seat. In the GolfHr Institute's tests, we found it very easy to tighten and secure. The cover is also safe to toss into the washing machine — a time-saver when baby spits up. Our testers' main issue was with the harness, which has to be re-threaded every time the height is adjusted.
In the GolfHr Institute's tests, we found this playard well-constructed and easy to fold. It's great as an on-the-go sleep station and we liked that the bassinet could fold up with it. Our tip is to buy the optional changer accessory, so it truly becomes an all-in-one mobile solution when traveling.
No need to wake baby after a long car ride. This stand lets parents take the bassinet from stroller to nursery without stirring the child.
Known as the "it" stroller among city moms, the UppaBaby Vista is highly functional, stylish, and durable. The bassinet and toddler seat makes it adjustable as baby grows. With optional add-ons like a rumble seat and ride-along board, the stroller can also extend to add another child (or two) onboard. Add another gold star for the super-large storage bin.
New parents know that meal time can paint the kitchen in whatever color vegetable is for lunch that day. These gadgets, essentials and extras make feeding a little bit easier.
This rack has two adjustable spinning levels and space to hold up to 16 bottles. It can also be stored flat when not in use to save precious counter space.
These 100% BPA-free bags have a patented double Click'n'Secure seal that prevents leaks. Mom can also pump directly into the bag to help avoid spills.
The Medela brand of this feeding essential comes in a range of sizes to guarantee a fit for every mom. We recommend getting two sizes to find the most effective shield.
$17 for 3
It's the GolfHr Institute's recommendation for parents who want to avoid investing in too many bottles until they've had the chance to try them out with their baby (a smart move, since every child has different preferences and necessities). That being said, we like that the mOmma bottles don't require lots of additional components and offer a breast-like nipple that allows a smooth transition from breast to bottle.
Drool and spit-up are no match for these super-absorbent terry bibs — and the variety of colors ensure that there's an option for every baby's outfit.
Disinfect bottles just by popping this contraption in the microwave. The included tongs also mean parents can remove sterilized bottles without touching the hot plastic.
The colorful silicone spoons are designed specifically for babies who are being introduced to solids and include handles made for easy feeding.
$25 for 5
These soft and stylish burp cloths compliment both baby and parent with a variety of patterns.
$29 for 4 boxes (60-count each)
These discreet nursing pads help avoid discomfort and embarrassing leaks. We found them to be absorbent and because of two stickies on the back, they stayed better than others that only have a single point of .
This multi-use pillow is great for added comfort while feeding, and can also be used to support baby with propping, tummy time, and sitting up throughout the first year. Lots of designs are available for the slipcover — which is machine washable, just like the pillow.
This best-selling nursing cover lets new moms have their privacy in style. With a range of patterns and colors, there is an option for everyone.
For home or on-the-go, this high chair clips onto the edge of most tables. It's light an portable enough to bring to when you go out to eat, too, if you don't want to use a restaurant's high chair.
This all-in-one set includes everything parents need for feedings: lots of bottles, nipples, pacifiers, steam sterilizer bags, a bottle brush, and a bottle warmer. Also included is Dr. Brown's latest bottle, Options — a fan-favorite designed to help reduce feeding issues and aid in digestion.
This one-step sterilizer is a splurge, but takes the work out of disinfecting bottles. The machine uses steam to kill 99.9% of germs for up to six bottles in just eight minutes.
Getting your baby's bottle to the optimal temperature can be stressful. So is precisely measuring the water and formula. The Formula Pro makes the perfect bottle, every time, in seconds. Bonus: You can use most powder formula brands with it, and vary the bottle size.
We like that this pump uses two-phase pumping to mimic the way a baby naturally sucks. When combined with the tote, the battery pack and adapter makes it the ultimate all-in-one system that mom can use on-the-go, even when there's no outlet handy.
Tip for parents: Check with your insurance provider to see if you can get this pump for free. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to provide coverage for breast pumps.
The GolfHr Institute's best-of-the-test highchair offers tons of adjustable settings with easy-to-use safety features. It's the Rolls-Royce of chairs, reclining for infants and folding with the tray attached. We love its one-touch braking feature, which keeps kids in place while they're seated. Bonus: It stores bibs in a convenient back pocket.
It takes more than just towels and tub to get a little one clean. These picks will leave them hygienic and happy.