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Parents

18 Practical Baby Products That Are Actually Worth It

Here's the stuff I wish I'd known about sooner.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

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Hi! I'm Melissa, and this is my little beb.

Instagram: @melissaharrison

She loves doughnuts, dinos, and being a general ham. 🤓

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To help sort through, I rounded up some of my favorite super-practical baby products, or the stuff I keep coming back to. They're all items that save me time, money, sanity, or (ideally!) all of the above.

Instagram: @melissaharrison

First, a quick disclaimer: All babies are different, so none of these things below are one-size-fits-all. But I wanted to include some of the things that have been most useful for me personally — in hopes that these might help someone else. That said, let's do this. 🙌

2. A sleek and functional humidifier that's super helpful during cold season.

Amazon

I picked this up this last winter after my kid caught her first cold — and went from sleeping soundly through the night to waking up every few hours with congestion. But running a humidifier next to her crib at night seemed to make an immediate difference. I especially liked this one because it's quiet and compact.

(Also, I know this is on the pricier side — but I bought the top-rated one on Amazon because I wanted to make sure it worked as promised. And it did!)

Get the MistAire ultrasonic humidifier from Amazon for $39.99.

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3. A silicone feeding mat that suctions to the high chair or table — so your kid can't tip it over or break it.

Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed

This version is especially handy because it's a placemat and plate in one — and comes in different sizes and shapes, depending on your high chair or table setup.

Get the EzPz silicone mini mat from Amazon for $19.99 or Walmart for $19.95. Available in several colors.

4. A set of sturdy non-slip stroller hooks so you can transport extra bags or baskets hands-free.

They easily clip on to the stroller bar, and are perfect for solo grocery runs.

Get a two-pack of OXO stroller hooks from Amazon for $14.99.

5. A lightweight, foldable (and waterproof!) changing pad that you can use on the go.

Amazon

After realizing the changing pad that came with my diaper bag was terribly flimsy and absorbent, I bought this one as a replacement. And it's way better: super durable, lightly padded, waterproof, and easy to clean. (It also folds neatly into a rectangle when not in use, so you can tuck it into a diaper bag.) It's great for use on those hard, plastic changing tables in public restrooms — or in the car.

Get it from Amazon for $6.63.

6. A super-thick organic balm to soothe dry or chapped skin, especially during the winter months.

Amazon, Melissa Harrison / Via Instagram: @melissaharrison

A fellow mama recommended this balm to me for use in really dry spots where lightweight lotion wasn't cutting it. (In my daughter's case: Her cheeks would get dry and windburned if we were outside in cold temps for too long.) This stuff came to my rescue! I apply it at night before bed so it's absorbed by the morning, and it really helps in clearing up dry patches.

Get a tube of The Honest Company's organic all-purpose balm from Amazon for $10.55.

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7. These smart valved pouch toppers that let you avoid the dreaded squeeze 'n' spill.

Amazon

The valve controls the flow of food, and the soft silicone material means that the toppers wont scrape the the top of babies mouths. (And they can gnaw on it, if they're teething.)

Get a two-pack of MeChoo pouch toppers from Amazon for $7.99.

8. These tiny storage containers, which are perfect for packing snacks to go — and not having them get crushed in transport.

Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed

These have lasted me through a billion dishwasher cycles, and they're perfectly sized for travel-friendly snacks like cereal, crackers, a hardboiled egg, or berries.

Get a six-pack of small lidded Rubbermaid containers from Amazon for $8.50.

9. A first-aid kit with all the essentials — an extra toothbrush, a medicine dispenser, etc. — that you can store within reach.

Amazon

Some reviewers point out that you might not use every single thing in this 17-piece kit (which is fair, I haven't), but it's still worth it to stock one of these IMO — because it's probably less expensive than buying several items separately.

Get an American Red Cross first-aid kit from Amazon for $14.57.

10. A silicone trainer toothbrush to help kick off the ~teething~ era.

Amazon, Melissa Harrison

This one is super durable, dishwasher-safe, and made of food-grade silicone. It's got big trainer handles on both sides, which makes it easy for tiny hands to grab — before they start gnawin' away. 🤓

Get a Baby Banana teether toothbrush for $7.61 from Amazon or Walmart.

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11. This swaddle sleep sack that turned out to be my overnight MVP.

Amazon

I've written before about how this thing was basically responsible for my daughter sleeping through the night pretty early on. The key is in its velcro sides, which snugly hold a baby's arms in at night so they're less likely to "startle" awake.

But TBH, my biggest tip (and one I'd wished I'd hadn't learned the hard way, lol) is to get at least two of these. Because inevitably, one night, your kid will have a blowout — and you'll want to be able to swap in a clean one ASAP so they can go back to sleep. In short? Always have a backup!

Get a Halo sleepsack from Amazon starting at $12.92. Available in multiple sizes and colors.

12. And a sleeveless version for when your baby outgrows the first one.

Amazon

Once your baby learns how to roll over and crawl, you'll want to swap in a sleeveless version. For the colder months, there are also versions made out of micro-fleece, instead of cotton.

Get a sleeveless Halo sleepsack from Amazon starting at $14.57. Available in multiple sizes and colors.

13. A set of pacifier clips so you're not constantly picking up dropped ones.

Amazon / Via Instagram: @melissaharrison

These can clip right to your baby's shirt and are especially useful for times when you can't reach them right away, like if you're driving and they're in the backseat. I especially liked this set because the fabric is very durable — even after lots of washes.

Get a set of three pacifier clips from Amazon for $6.99, or a set of four for $9.99.

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15. A top-rated instant-read forehead thermometer so you can take your baby's temperature with the least amount of fuss.

Amazon

Fever season is already pretty nerve-wracking for any new parent, so anything that can help along the way is a win in my book. Enter: This thermometer, which you can press to a sleeping baby's forehead — without waking them up — and get an instant read on whether or not their temperature is something to worry about. Still stressful? Yes. But slightly less so.

Get an Innovo Medical digital thermometer from Amazon for $29.99.

16. A sturdy bottle brush — with a built-in cranny cleaner and drying stand.

Amazon

There are a ton of bottle brushes out there, but I what liked most about this one was its built-in base. It allows the brush to dry standing up on its own — without taking up real estate on the bottle-drying rack. Also handy? The twist-out tiny detail brush that gets into all the nooks and crannies.

Get an OXO tot bottle cleaner from Amazon for $3.99.

17. A stocked supply of 12-hour overnight diapers, so lil' bebs can sleep through the night without incident.

Amazon

This may seem like an obvious one, but I'm including it here because when I first had my daughter, I (admittedly) didn't immediately realize there were different types of diapers, depending on the brand: daytime ones and extra-absorbent nighttime ones. And TBH? You can never have too many of each.

Get a 104-pack of 12-hour Pampers diapers from Amazon for $23.27, or Walmart for $24.49. Available in several sizes.

18. And these handy electrical outlet covers — for when you inevitably start childproofing.

Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed

It seemed like as soon as my kid could crawl, she beelined straight for the electrical outlets. (Or those springy doorstoppers.) These handy plugs completely childproofed the former. They pop right in — covering up the outlet — and adult hands can pop them out by hooking a finger into the tiny ridge up top. Keep 'em stocked!

Get a 36-pack of Safety 1st outlet covers from Amazon for $3.49.

What's your favorite practical baby product? Let me know in the comments!

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