I love babies (especially my babies!) and I love gear, but I don’t particularly like Baby Gear (TM). Especially if your friend is a first-time parent, a lot of baby gear is specifically designed to trip the paranoia trigger in their lizard brain. It’s cute, and what if your baby really needs it? “Yes, a wipe warmer!” they think, only to find it, dusty, in their closet years later.
But especially in the middle of a pandemic, parenting a new baby does come with a bunch of logistical problems, like stuffed-up noses, lots of handwashing, and sleepless nights. Between us, reviews editor Jeffrey Van Camp and I have three young kids. These are some of our favorite innovative solutions that make the gross, grueling parts of new parenthood just a little easier. And yes, some of them are pretty cute.
If you’re shopping for older kids, check out our guides to the Best Stem Toys or the Best Tools for Distance Learning.
Updated for November 2020: We removed some old picks and revamped this entire guide with new picks like the Wand Thermometer, GroVia, and many more.