The best gadgets for new parents
The Doona isn't your typical baby stroller: At the touch of a button, its wheels flip back and convert it into a car seat. It's the ideal option for city dwellers who need to hop into cabs or traverse public transportation. And unlike the huge, sidewalk-blocking strollers that are all the rage, the Doona is compact and ease to hold one-handed. You can even flip its handle up vertically to squeeze into tight grocery store aisles. It's not cheap at around $500, but it's well worth it for one of the most versatile strollers around.
Every baby room needs a smart speaker: Since they rely on voice commands, they're essential for playing bedtime music or a mealtime podcast when your hands are full. Amazon's Echo is the best option around right now, mostly because of the strong Alexa app ecosystem. You can use it to control your smart lights with ease -- perfect for dimming the room at night -- and it even integrates with Hatch's baby-tracking app, allowing you to effortlessly log feedings and wet diapers. While you could save a bit of money with the Echo Dot, it's worth investing in the full-size model for its superior speaker. That's great for tunes, but it also makes white noise sound much clearer, which should help your baby get through the night without fussing as much.
If you’re worried about strangers spying on your connected baby monitor, it might be worth considering one that doesn’t rely on the internet. The Eufy SpaceView is one of the best: Its remote has a gorgeous five-inch HD screen, a 460-foot range and battery life far superior to the competition’s. And its camera can pan up to 330 degrees, letting you keep an eye on large rooms easily. While many popular baby monitors rely on aging tech, the SpaceView looks and feels completely modern, so staring at it won’t feel like a huge step down from using your smartphone.
Rattlers are pretty basic: They make noise to get a baby's attention. But the SmartNoggin NogginStik goes a step further: It also lights up, which could help to snap your kid out of an epic freak-out session. It has a goofy face, something that helps little ones learn to recognize human faces. And it also has a ridged handle, which encourages motor development, as well as a mirror on the bottom. That variety means there's less of a chance your baby will get bored with it, and makes it essential for every diaper bag.
The Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother lights up, plays music and features colorful characters dancing around. That's it. There's no internet connectivity. There's no app. But even though it's pretty low tech, it does a great job of distracting a shrieking baby during diaper changes as well as helping to calm them down for naptime. A large button on the front of the soother turns it on and off, which helps to promote interactivity with your little one. Just be sure to keep plenty of C batteries or a handful of rechargeables around, since it'll eat through them like candy.
Plop a baby down on the Hatch Baby Grow and fire up its app and in seconds you'll have an accurate weight measurement. It's that simple. While there are plenty of baby scales around, the Grow is ideal if you're looking for a smart and relatively automatic option. It also keeps a log of your measurements in its app, which is one of the best baby-data-tracking options around. And on a less high-tech level, the Grow is a great changing pad: It's soft and smooth, and it makes it easy to clean up the inevitable mess.