It’s a given that baby products just keep getting cooler every year—more sleek, stylish and practical too. But this year’s nifty new gear isn’t just pretty; these 10 must-haves also make life easier for working moms, with innovations meant to save space, time and effort. We’ll take them all, please.
Moms-on-the-go, rejoice: There's now a baby monitor you can toss in your bag and take everywhere—and we do mean everywhere. Meet the Totokan. This tiny, tough, cordless device is weatherproof, so you can use it indoors or outdoors. Even better? It can create its own hotspot and synch with your phone, so you don't need wifi. Just grab it and go ($249, amazon.com).
For parents who are nervous about using an infant insert (or just don't plan to babywear beyond a year), BabyBjorn has you covered: The brand is introducing a mini version of its beloved Original Carrier, suitable for babies beginning at birth (and up to 12 months). The best part: The Mini comes with a removable front panel you can simply pop out—reducing the chance you'll wake up your little one when you take her out of the carrier. Look for it to hit shelves in late June ($80-$100, babybjorn.com).
Sure, pack ‘n plays are convenient for travel, but getting your kid to sleep in an unfamiliar bed can be next to impossible. That’s where the genius new crib by Noninoni Kids comes in: Since it requires no hardware, it can be assembled (or taken apart) in just four easy steps—so you can quickly take it on the road, stash it in another room or pack it up for later use. The full-size retails for $750; the mini for $660 (noninonikids.com).
Yes, this is yet another nifty baby monitor to hit the market in 2018, but what makes Project Nursery's newest so revolutionary is that it synchs with Amazon's Alexa, meaning you can ask the monitor to perform any number of tasks—hands-free—from another room. Just ask Alexa to adjust the monitor's camera, play lullabies or white noise, check the temperature in the nursery or let you know when your baby's last movement was detected. The set includes a wifi camera and a smart speaker with built-in Alexa voice-control technology ($230, amazon.com).
Yep, there’s now an app for your car seat. The latest convertible car seat from Cybex now synchs up with your smartphone to track your vehicle’s temperature, let you know if your little one has unbuckled his seat and alert you if you left your child in the car ($330, amazon.com).
If you thought it was impossible to find baby gear that's both earth-friendly and affordable, think again: In April, Safety 1st introduced Riva, a new stroller system that's completely made-in-the-U.S.A. using recycled products, including the brand's own recycled car seats. With a stroller that weighs in at 18 pounds and a price of just $200 for the stroller and car seat, it's light on both your back and your wallet ($200, walmart.com).
If you love the safety features of highback boosters but hate lugging them on family trips, then Graco has a solution for you: the new TurboBooster TakeAlong Highback Booster. Even better, it converts to a backless booster, too, for when your kid is older. In highback mode, the seat nests and has a handle for easy storage and carrying; in backless mode, the seat easily folds to become 50 percent smaller ($99, amazon.com).
Looking for a stroller that you can use from birth but can comfortably lug around? Meet the newest member of the Baby Jogger family, the City Tour LUX. The seat can be switched from forward to rear-facing and reclines to a near-flat position, so you can even use it with your newborn. Weighing in at only 14 lbs. and featuring a one-hand fold, it’s also a breeze to tote ($266, amazon.com).
Strollers are definitely going sleeker. Add UPPAbaby to the list of popular stroller brands introducing a lightweight, everyday option that parents can use from day one. Earlier this year, the brand debuted the Minu, which weighs in at under 15 lbs. and is suitable from from birth when used with the brand’s birth kit accessory or car seat adapters ($400, amazon.com).
Because ain’t nobody got time to boil a bottle on the stove, the new BabyMilk from Beaba warms breastmilk or formula in just two minutes using a patented, ultra-quick steam heating system. It can be used with silicone, glass or plastic bottles—and it can even sterilize one bottle at a time, or bottle parts ($60, beabausa.com).
Sure, breast-pumping is a chore, but that doesn’t mean breast-pumping accessories have to be a snoozefest, too. Fans of JuJuBe’s machine-washable diaper bags will be excited to learn that the brand just launched its first line of stylish pumping bags, which include a dedicated pumping pocket, a cooler that can hold up to four 5-oz. bottles, a mini wet bag for parts storage, a mini fuel cell for battery storage and staging mat to help keep everything clean ($200, www.amazon.com).
Every parent who has ever tried to change a diaper in the backseat of a car knows the challenges—you have to reach awkwardly for the wipes while the baby keeps rolling down the seat’s incline. Leave it to a mom to come up with a solution: the Beanko mobile station, which features a foldable wedge underneath the changing pad to keep baby flat. The other side loops over the headrest and offers plenty of pockets for wipes and accessories. Once you’re out of the diaper stage, you can hang it around the back of the front seat and let your little one watch videos from a mini iPad or phone. (Yep, it’s got storage for that, too) ($100, beanko.com).
Stumbling in the dark to warm a bottle is peak new parenthood—but no more. With The First Years new 4-in-1 bottle warmer, you can pop the bottle in the machine before you doze off (it stays chilled!), and then simply press a button when you're ready to warm up the milk or formula. Save yourself a few precious moments of sleep—and the stubbed toe ($63, amazon.com).
Skip Hop’s first baby jumper not only features the sleek design and developmental activities (20, to be precise) that the brand is known for; it also has a digital counter that awards baby with applause when she hits 100 jumps. But the best part? It easily folds down to save space, making this one a giant leap above the other bulky units on the market ($130, skiphop.com).
There’s certainly no shortage of high-tech baby monitors on the market right now, but what’s special about the just-released Raybaby is that it can track your baby’s breathing and movement from up to 16 feet away, but it’s not a video monitor. It actually uses radar technology to transmit info to a parent’s phone, including still images of key moments—say, when baby wakes up ($200, www.raybaby.us).