A pregnant woman equipped with a registry scanner can be a chaotic scene, and for good reason—it’s easy to get lost in the sea of baby gadgets and goodies promising to solve every parenting problem. But the truth is, the newborn phase is short-lived (cue the sad face), and you’ll want to invest in products that are durable, intuitive, and as adaptable as life with baby is ever-changing. When it comes to birth-through-toddlerhood, not all products can cut it. From a humidifier to a highchair, here are our picks that do:
Humidifier. A humidifier is one of the few health and safety products that is as safe and effective for newborns as it is for toddlers, and for that reason alone, you’ll want to keep one around. And if you think the only time to pull out the humidifier is when little Johnny has the sniffles, think again. A humidifier is great in that scenario, but it’s only a fraction of its capabilities. “Humidifiers are used as a preventative measure so that stuffy noses, dry cough, and itchy skin do not get out of hand,” says Katie Sotor, Vice President at Crane. As for the summer months, “air conditioning also dries out air in your home. Dry air causes dry skin, nasal passages and chapped lips, [but a] humidifier will add the necessary moisture to dry air,” adds Katie.
As for our birth-through-toddlerhood stamp of approval, Crane humidifiers top the list. Their filterless tank is super easy to clean (just disinfect with a vinegar and water solution weekly) and according to Katie, if users “maintain their humidifier by emptying the base, disinfecting the water tank and base on a regular basis, and air drying the water tank before storage, a Crane humidifier will not need replacing.” Hashtag in it for the long haul.
High Chair. There are many picks out there that are insta-worthy, sturdy, and easy to clean. But when it comes to longevity, nothing beats the Stokke Trip Trapp. Suitable from 6 months+, the weight limit on the chair is 300 pounds, meaning the Trip Trapp will have a seat at the table for years to come.
Baby Carrier: If you think baby wearing is strictly for babies, think again. With the right carrier, you could enjoy the convenience (and snuggles!) well into toddlerhood. The LILLEbaby Complete is suitable for babies 7-45 pounds, and the brand’s signature lumbar support means you won’t be carrying that weight in your lower back. We’re partial to their woven carriers; the buttery soft textiles offer the ideal balance of comfort and support.
Baby Monitor. For the ultimate longterm-use device, parents should consider an indoor security camera, like the Nest Cam IQ. The device is easily moveable, connects to your smartphone, and boasts state-of-the-art technology like facial recognition, Supersight technology, and infrared LED you’ll quickly get used to having around.
Toys. Here’s our golden (toy) rule: the simpler the toy, the longer it lasts. The fewer the bells and whistles, the more the toy is able to adapt, meaning your little one will continue to find interest in it, even as he grows. Think wooden, simple, creative toys from brands that focus on imaginative, open-ended play, like Plan Toys and Manhattan Toy Company.