What baby gear do you really need? That’s every expectant parent’s top question. And then you start thinking: what baby gear is the best? If you’re going to plonk down money on something, you need to know it works! That's why we choose the best of the best for our Best for Baby Awards. But for everything else you might need, Amazon reviews are gold. We’ve eliminated some of the hunt for you with this collection of seven pieces of beloved baby gear that each have thousands of five-star reviews.
And hey, if you’re already a new parent and you have your own ideas about the must-haves for a baby, fill out this fast survey of your favorite baby gear. It gives you the chance to sound off about what really works!
Is it even normal for a product to have more than 20,000 rave reviews? Graco’s convertible car seat, which can take your tiny passenger from birth into elementary school, is that loved. Start it rear-facing for your infant and turn it forward once you’re well past the second birthday. The idea of the extended legroom is to keep your toddler in the safe rear-facing position longer. “Wonderfully easy to install,” writes one reviewer. “A total steal of a deal!” says another, noting that it’s the only car seat you’ll need to buy for your kid. Another notes, “Most of all, my baby is comfortable in this car seat.” And that counts for a lot!
To buy: $146 (originally $200); amazon.com
We can’t say it any better than this reviewer: “Everyone always tells you the millions of gadgets you just ‘have to get’ when you're expecting and you don't end up using half of them. This is not one of those. You will use this all day every day.” We even suggest you bring a Boppy to the hospital and have it ready to go for your first nursing sessions. It saves your back and shoulders from strain and allows you to comfortably and firmly keep your baby latched on for long periods of time. It’s also great for positioning a baby for bottle-feeding. And parents use it for more than nursing: It’s loved for tummy time play and supporting a baby as they learn to sit. “Single-handedly the best purchase I've ever made,” writes a mom who titled her review “Would be lost without our Boppy!”
To buy: $40; amazon.com
This may have been invented as an easy-to-assemble travel crib, and it is great for that, but many parents keep the Graco Pack and Play up in their home as a bassinet, nap spot, and diaper-changing station. “Our 2 month old is still sleeping in it beside our bed for now and we bring it out into the living room during the day for naps so we can keep an eye on her,” writes one parent. Reports another, who is further along in parenthood, “It’s been 15 months and we are still using this! He went from sleeping in this to play time (we put balls in it like a mini ball pit), and he even learned to walk in it as he could go from one end to the other safely.”
To buy: $70 (originally $90); amazon.com
We get it, the rainbow colors give some first-time parents pause. But you’ll soon learn that the bright, happy contrast delivers happiness. Says one parent, “This play mat gives my daughter about an hour of entertainment each day, about 20 minutes at a time.” It’s got more than 10 activities and is good from birth for a baby resting on their back to one practicing a bit of tummy time. “One of the best toys you can buy,” writes another parent. “Starting with tummy time and graduating all the way to trying to stand and pull on the toucan, this gym accommodates multiple stages of a baby developing.”
To buy: $60; amazon.com
Here’s a thing you didn’t even know you need! Lots of people will tell you to get an infant bathtub, but this bath cradle is the truly useful item. You can use it in a large sink, in a baby tub, or in the big tub, always with your supervision of course. “I liked that it’s perforated so I could fill the tub a few inches and it keeps him warm while also allowing the water to go through as I rinse him,” writes one parent. Says another, “My baby hated the bath until we got this seat. Now she loves it.” Multiple reviewers added that it stays in the bathroom as a place for the baby to sit while the parent uses the potty—bet you didn’t think about that when you were imagining parenthood!
To buy: $20 (originally $30); amazon.com
Anything that keeps your baby happily engaged while you take 20 minutes to get something done, like make a meal or load the dishwasher, is clutch. This, for a baby 4 months or older who has good head control, has more than 25 activities. The favorite is a little window that lets them watch their own feet as they step on the keyboard! Can any cause-and-effect toy be more fun? “Best investment I've made,” writes a dad. “And it also turns into a table when he gets older.” Reviewers agree that assembly only takes minutes. And one shopper ends on this note: “It is now one of the only things that I will grab if our house were on fire, besides my son, of course.”
To buy: $116 (originally $136); amazon.com
“This is like the Cadillac of high chairs!” says one parent. The Blossom is an awesome option in particular because it can grow to accommodate two kids at the same time. Stay with us here: You can pull off the seat and secure it to a kitchen chair, and then the base can still be used as a toddler or preschool seat for your eldest. Just trust that those six configurations keep this super useful for years. “Best features: Three removable trays. One-hand tray removal. Easy to move around thanks to wheels. Very sturdy frame,” writes one parent. Winner!
To buy: $145; amazon.com
And again, if you’re already a parent and there is baby gear you want others to know about that is not in this roundup, please note it in this survey. Our updated list of the best baby gear will be in the February issue of Parents!