Over the past few years I've heard from some great companies that are making ingenious baby gear, but because I'm well out of that stage, it has felt disingenuous to talk about those products since I'm obviously not trying them out myself. When I found out my assistant/email whisperer/writer Lindsey Anthony was expecting, I asked her if she'd like to help me create a Friday Finds of all of the best baby products out there. I love the stuff she found and I wish some of these had been available when I had infants. Thanks Lindsey!
Dear new moms and mamas-to-be,
I feel you. If you ever wished for a baby registry cheat sheet to go along with your magical doula who will make labor completely painless and your short-on-sand hourglass to give you just three more hours in the day, preferably at a less than ungodly hour, I have tried to make one of these happen for you. Behold…the Friday Finds for New Moms.
(Left to right)
1. If you are looking for a lightweight, all-terrain stroller with great maneuverability that also doesn't take up the entire sidewalk, a one-hand fast fold, adjustable handlebar, 5-point safety harness, full recliner seat, extended canopy, a peek-a-boo window, and comes with a matching diaper bag, not to mention the hand-stitched leather detailing, Mountain Buggy's urban jungle: the luxury collection stroller in pepita (or nautical) gives you everything you want in a stroller while rocking a ton of style. *Also compatible with a separate Carrycot and several different car seats.
2. BabyBjörn's Bouncer Balance Soft is both bouncer and napper early on, "high" chair and regular chair for later on, and can slip between the cracks of even the tightest of car packing jobs for a weekend away.
3. Chic, water-repellent, reversible seating with a one-handed fold, made with lightweight aluminum, one-handed seat recline, a huge adjustable canopy, 5-point safety harness, adjustable leg rest, front swivel wheel locks and the list goes on... Inglesina's Trilogy Stroller in Special Edition Denim is an Italian-made smooth ride for the everyday that is as stylish as it is functional.
*Also compatible with a separate bassinet and several different car seats.
4. If you're looking for a baby monitor that isn't looking up your baby's nose and examining every pore while monitoring their pulse rate, but still gives you a clear picture with a lot of bells and whistles without dropping several hundred dollars, the Levana Ayden 3.5" Digital Video Baby Monitor is a sensible monitor that still gives you night vision, temperature monitoring, and a 2-way talk intercom if you're into that.
5. I love me some function over form, and Phil&Teds Nest travel bassinet is a pragmatic mom's dream. The portable pop up bassinet also serves as a travel bag for baby!
6. In three soft velcro snaps (minus one swaddling comedy of errors), you can have your little bundle swaddled and ready for sleep in seconds with one of Halo's SwaddleSure Adjustable Cotton Swaddling Pouches.
7. BabyBjörn's Travel Crib Light is perfect for a traveling family like mine with family on opposite coasts and an uncle with an NFL Sunday Ticket package two doors down.
8. The Evenflo Platinum 3-in-1 Soft Carrier Versa Fit has a lumbar support belt, great for both new moms and new dads who are taken by surprise at the neck and back pain that comes with parenthood. (My husband especially likes Evenflo's more masculine look compared to the sling carriers.)
9. The Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Nearby Napper is the mother of all pack 'n plays, complete with a removable bassinet that flips into a rocker seat and can also be used as a vibrating seat, a diaper changing station with a side storage unit, a mobile, music and sounds, and a push-button fold. With this convertible playard, who needs a crib?
10. Little Green Pouch's reusable 7 oz. pouches are a nice eco-friendly solution for baby purees and all things mushy. Free of all those toxic acronyms and dishwasher safe!
11. Babyganics has a long list of products I'm a fan of including their All Purpose Surface Wipes and Laundry Detergent. If you can't tell by the name of the brand, the company is devoted to using non-toxic ingredients and they abide by both US and EU lists of "ingredients to avoid."
12. For the toddler years, JJ Rabbit has designed a plastic cup you can feel good about. JJ Rabbit's Cuppie is made from biodegradable and compostable bio-plastic and hides a small animal friend at the bottom.
13. 4moms mamaRoo works like a magic wand with bouncing, swaying, rocking, multiple speeds and sounds, as well as bluetooth and mp3 capability, an AC adaptor (my personal favorite), and it all can be controlled from an app on your smart phone. Brava!
*Also check out the newborn insert to go along.
14. Convenient, lightweight, and durable, Mountain Buggy's pod high chair removes the need for a clunky piece of plastic with dried oatmeal caked in the crevasses taking up space at the kitchen table.
15. Graco's Simple Sway Swing is the nap maker- the gift that keeps on giving.
16. JJ Rabbit's ergoFork+Spoon are made from plants, people! This is how to do plastic.
17. JJ Rabbit dipPLATE is biodegradable yet also safe to put in the dishwasher. Cute factor a plus.
18. JJ Rabbit dryBIB is made of organic cotton, waterproof with a catch pocket, but really, I love the simple designs.
19. I live with a handyman. We love tools. Mixed Pears BiteSizers Mealtime Scissors are a great on-the-go shortcut to have for meals out.
20. If you're doing the cloth diaper thing, Prince Lionheart's Warmies Wipes Warmer keeps your cloth wipes moist, warm, and ready.
21. Prince Lionheart's Wheely Bugs come in two different sizes (small and large) and six different designs. Encourages gross motor skills, great for indoor play, but really they are just super cute!
22. Prince Lionheart's 2-in-1 Diaper Depot (which also works with the Warmies Wipes Warmer) is a nice way to try to keep your changing station organized. It has six different configurations.
23. If you're looking for a classic, vintage style baby gown for a christening, photo shoot, special occasion, etc...Feltman Brothers makes this adorable Special Occasion Set with Scalloped Lace Trim, complete with hand embroidery, french lace, and a sweet little bonnet.
24. I've found the Baby K'tan's Breeze Baby Carrier is the easiest of the slings to figure out and for Southern California, I appreciate the mesh fabric, allowing mama to cool off, too.
25. This sweet little gem made in Canada promotes skin-to-skin nap time with a tiny bit more freedom. The Sleepbelt comfortably belts your baby to your body, allowing you and baby to get some more secure Zzzs or freeing up your hands for all that reading you plan to do now, right Mom?
*The Sleepbelt cannot be used as a sling!
26. One of my favorite companies right now is aden + anais. Besides everything they make being aesthetically gorgeous, I love the cotton muslin they use. This terry cloth twinkle baby bath wrap is so cozy!
27. Cake Lingerie makes a ton of maternity lingerie that actually makes you feel like you've still got it - pregnancy belly, swollen ankles, and all. This Honey Toffee Shaping Nursing Tank Top is the softest with no seams, tags, and easy access for breastfeeding.
28. Pish Posh Baby aden + anais Organic Dream Blanket is just that. Made of cotton muslin so it breathes, it's great for tummy time, a blanket for the stroller, or a quick shade when out to brunch.
29. Noodle & Boo's Elasticity Oil is great for that 7-month itch on through the 4th trimester when everything makes its way back. You can also use it as a bath or massage oil. Also love the lightweight perfecting creme.
30. This cool piece is a hand-painted nursing cover made of flax linen. Galileo Linens in Brooklyn makes Hand-Painted Nursing Covers as well as some cool screen-printed ones and linen baby carriers. Right now, they can be found at Bump Brooklyn.
31. The Hugaboo is a convenient seat for baby (once they can support their head) to chill with the family on their own terms. It's intended for floor use only and adult supervision is obviously required.
32. Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is a must have. Easy to use, easy to clean, love the digital display clock, different suction settings, BPA free and comes with a simple tote.
33. Again with the aden + anais, I know. But this prince charming starburst teething toy is crafted from soft maple wood and comes with a muslin piece of fabric tied around the teether. Great for comfort and drool.
34. The Lansinoh Breastfeeding Starter Kit is a great shower gift for new moms who will need that extra TLC those first few weeks while they get the hang of it. Comes with disposable nursing pads, breast therapy packs and HPA Lanolin for all the soreness.
35. Belli makes fantastic pregnancy-safe skincare products. My favorite of which are their Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub, Acne Control Spot Treatment, and they also make an awesome Elasticity Belly Oil and Lip Balm.
36. And for all those emails to catch up on or delete, there's the Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra.