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You know how it goes: As a parent, when you find something that makes your life easier, you have to tell everyone about it. Anything that helps us sleep longer, feel better, parent smarter, or live happier is worth its weight in gold.
As editors at Healthline Parenthood, we feel lucky to say that our work is just an extension of what we’re experiencing as parents ourselves. Collectively, we’ve been there, done that, and we’re deeply passionate about bringing you the information and products you need to thrive.
You’ll find us spending our days testing out the newest gear and gadgets on the market, and trying to take our own advice — usually with our own kids as eager participants (except that one time we tested the strategies in How to Discipline a 2-Year-Old).
We read up on the latest research, dive into the trends, and medically review or fact check Every. Single. Article. Published.
So when it came time to pick the winners of our inaugural Best of Awards, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Each year, there are a ton of amazing products that hit the market for pregnancy, baby, and health.
Gathering the newest products and testing them against our longtime favorites is a job we don’t take lightly. After all, we only recommend products we love (and use!) ourselves.
How we chose
For the Best of 2021, we selected products in 13 different categories:
- Best for pregnancy
- Best for postpartum
- Best for baby
- Best for toddlers
- Best for bigger kids
- Best for parents (and kids!) working from home
- Best for health and fitness
- Best for feeding
- Best for sleep
- Best for travel
- Best for outdoor adventures
- Best innovations
- Best for a better future
To make our picks, we started in-house and sent a poll to all Healthline employees. The parents on our editorial, writing, and business teams all weighed in with their faves.
Next, we sent the poll out to moms and dads in our social media community — and already by then, some clear category leaders began to emerge.
To find out what new products we needed to consider, we reached out to partners across each market category, asking them to submit their latest and greatest for testing. And test we did. For the past 2 months, we’ve opened, assembled, and put to use dozens of new-to-market products.
But we didn’t just go looking for the brands you already know — we specifically sought up-and-comers, too.
We looked for companies that aligned with our vision of creating a more equitable and inclusive parenting landscape, and start-ups doing great things.
If there’s one thing this year has brought to light, it’s that we should all be striving to support small businesses and businesses that give back, whenever and wherever we can.
Finally, we reviewed our 2020 product roundups to see what items were mentioned over and over again. These recommendations have already passed medical vetting, have stood the test of time, and have earned honors for being the best in their product category, so they couldn’t be ignored.
We think the due diligence paid off. This year’s cohort of Best Of winners includes products that we think — quite honestly — could change your lives for the better. So without further ado, here they are.
Best for pregnancy
Motherhood Maternity Essential Stretch Secret Fit Belly Maternity Leggings
If you’re looking for the perfect pair of pregnancy pants, look no further than Motherhood Maternity’s essential legging. Sleek, soft, smoothing, and easy to get on, these leggings can be worn in the office or while relaxing at home.
What we love: The price point is great for an item you’ll wear just for a season or two. But what’s more, Samantha in Colorado said, “These leggings are comfortable and not see-through. The belly band is soft and doesn’t cause me discomfort at the end of the day, like some others!”
Ingrid & Isabel 3/4 Sleeve Shirred Maternity Dress
Need a go-to maternity outfit? This 3/4 sleeve dress by Ingrid and Isabel is chic, classy, and versatile. It’s a great item to layer and accessorize, making it easy to dress up or down. Don’t be afraid of the slim fit — parents think that’s what makes this dress ideal for all sizes. But the best part? This dress is comfortable.
What we love: One mom told us, “I wore this dress obsessively in both pregnancies, and always felt great in it.”
Motherfigure and Postpartum Leakproof Running Short
High-waisted and ultra-stretchy, these running shorts will support you and your bump. What’s more, thanks to a built-in liner, these shorts can help protect you from unexpected leaks — which are all-too-common during pregnancy and beyond.
What we love: Motherfigure is a start-up company that understands pregnant and postpartum people still want to be active. We don’t want to let bladder or period leaks get in our way, and we don’t want to be caught tying a shirt around our waist to hide the evidence of childbirth. Thanks for seeing us.
Pregnancy is hard, and parenthood is even harder, but you don’t have to do it alone. Birth Smarter offers pregnancy and parenting classes, support groups, and curated resources for moms, dads, and their families.
What we love: This parenting prep is not one-size-fits-all. Birth Smarter has partnered with childbirth experts of many backgrounds to offer on-demand classes specific to Black families, LGBTQIA+ families, Spanish-speaking families, and more.
The Mindful Mamas App
The Mindful Mamas app is a self-care tool designed specifically to help new and expectant mothers focus on themselves. With guided meditations, mantras, mini-pauses, and breathing techniques, there’s sure to be a mindfulness practice that will fit into your busy schedule — and your back pocket.
What we love: Besides the beautiful, serene, and user-friendly design, this app has so much to offer in the way of customization. You can even record your own mantras, to remind yourself (in the tough moments) just how amazing you are.
Runner-up for pregnancy: PharMeDoc C-Shape Pregnancy Pillow
Best for postpartum
Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Leggings
With compression technology and an ultra-high waist, Belly Bandit’s Mother Tucker leggings are super soft, super powerful, and super sleek. They’re great for your hospital bag or anytime during the postpartum period!
What we love: Healthline Parenthood editor Saralyn Ward had her third baby last year and has tried at least three brands of compression leggings. She said, “To be honest, these were the thickest and most opaque of all, without cutting off circulation. They do the job of pulling in and up, supporting the abs and pelvic floor, and they don’t have that ’80s Lycra look.”
Frida Mom Labor and Delivery + Postpartum Recovery Kit
Caring for yourself during the postpartum period can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. This kit — by Frida Mom — has everything you need for labor and delivery, including a peri bottle, instant ice maxi pads, a nursing gown, and disposable boy shorts.
What we love: Hands down, this selection got the most votes of any product in any category. Healthline’s moms swear by the peri bottle, which is “way better than the one they give you at the hospital!” We highly suggest you get this kit for your hospital bag. You’re welcome.
The Honeypot Company Post-Partum Herbal Pads
Soft, ultra-absorbent, and infused with mint, aloe, and lavender, these postpartum pads will keep you cool and comfortable — and help you heal!
What we love: One of our editors said she preferred this brand of postpartum pads over any others on the market. “They’re super absorbent, but not as thick as the other postpartum pads I tried, which meant it didn’t rub on my stitches. And the cooling effect was lovely.”
Thinx Postpartum Set
The first few weeks postpartum can be a bit dicey when it comes to discharge. For a convenient, clean, and eco-friendly way to manage the lochia and blood after birth, check out the Thinx postpartum set.
With three cuts (brief, hip huggers, and high waist) and various levels of absorbency, these underwear are an alternative way to manage your postpartum flow.
What we love: No pads, no problem. Thinx claims that their highest absorbency undies can hold up to five tampons’ worth. One mom said, “I first tried Thinx postpartum because I couldn’t stand another day with a giant pad. They were amazing — kept me feeling clean and I had no leaks.”
Coddle Postpartum Self-Care Recovery Kit
Relieve, soothe, and speed up postpartum recovery with this self-care kit from Coddle. The kit includes nipple balm, perineal balm, a sitz bath, postpartum massage oil, and mother’s milk tea.
What we love: “When my second son was born, I applied Coddle’s nipple butter around the clock because it helped ease that toe-curling ache from breastfeeding,” said Healthline Parenthood’s editorial director Jamie Webber. “I wasn’t worried if he was ingesting it because it’s made from natural ingredients. I now use it as a lip balm — it’s amazing!”
Runners-up for postpartum: Lansinoh Soothies Cooling Gel Pads and NYSSA FourthWear Postpartum Recovery Underwear
Best for baby
Lovevery The Play Gym
With an activity mat, mirror, teethers, batting toys, and series of educational (and interchangeable) cards, this play gym will give your baby plenty to focus on and play with for months. In fact, they may enjoy it until they turn 1 year old.
What we love: The Lovevery Play Gym is like five mats in one, with different sections you can hide or reveal. And there’s a cover to turn it into a fort, for added adventure. Unlike other play mats on the market, this one grows with your baby as you add accessories and keep the stimulation manageable at all phases.
Coterie The Diaper
Soft, breathable, absorbent, and both fragrance- and chlorine-free, Coterie has won us over. Parents like the simple, timeless white design, and that the fit is secure without leaving marks. What’s more, the company uses sustainably sourced ingredients.
What we love: Saralyn Ward said, “Honestly I never knew what reviews meant when they touted a diaper’s softness… until I started using Coterie. This diaper is incredible — and we’ve used a lot of different brands over the course of three kids. Coterie diapers feel quilted, absorb more than any other kind we’ve tried, never leak, and catch the blowouts. I’m hooked.”
Pretty Please Teethers Collapsible Snack Cup
Looking for a fun, eco-friendly snack cup? With a silicone top and lid that prevents spills, this cup from Pretty Please Teethers makes travel and snack time a breeze. But the best part? It collapses — making for easy storage.
What we love: There are so many great products made by this woman- and Black-owned company, but the Collapsible Snack Cup offers the innovation we’ve been looking for. First: easy storage for travel and diaper bags. Second: silicone, which is better than plastic. And third, a lid! Genius. No more Cheerios all over the house.
BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0 Jogging Stroller
Durable, rugged, and road-ready, this BOB jogging stroller offers both you and baby a smooth ride, thanks to a 360-degree swiveling front wheel and tried and tested suspension system.
What we love: Whether you’re planning to go jogging in the neighborhood, want to take your strolling off-road, or are simply looking for the smoothest ride possible, this stroller can tackle it. Many of the parents we surveyed are die-hard BOB stroller users, which made this an easy pick.
Snuggle Me Organic Infant Lounger
Perfect for tummy time, rest, relaxation, and play, the Snuggle Me infant lounger gives your child a calming, comfortable, and safe space to sit back and lie down. Made from nontoxic, breathable, and hypoallergenic fabrics.
What we love: While they should never be used for sleep, infant loungers are the item you never know you need until you bring your first baby home, and wonder where you’re supposed to put them down. The Snuggle Me is soft and cradles your baby like another set of arms.
Best for toddlers
Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike
It may seem odd to include a bike in a roundup for toddlers, but the Strider 14x Sport isn’t your traditional cycle. With an adjustable seat, sturdy frame, and actual rubber tires, the Strider 14x is a push balance bike designed to build confidence and coordination in 3- to 7-year-olds.
But that’s not the best part. This is no ordinary balance bike. The optional pedal conversion kit turns the 14x into your child’s first pedal bike. So once they’re comfortable balancing and coasting on this bike, you can put pedals where the foot rest was, making for a seamless tradition.
What we love: Besides the fact that this bike grows with your kid, it is a miracle tool for helping kids learn to pedal. Ward said, “Both of my girls learned how to pedal within a week of using this bike, and every family we’ve lent it to since has had the same success!”
Pillar Learning Codi the Storytelling Robot
Featured on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank,” Codi the storytelling robot is (well) a storyteller. In fact, Codi tells 130 classic stories and sings 100 songs.
Parents or caregivers choose the songs and stories they want from a mobile app. The robot also has the ability to play voice messages from the adult, and record voice messages from the child, which are then audible in the app. Codi is a fun, screen-free friend that stimulates imagination and supports language development.
What we love: Codi offers kid-friendly technology with no screens. There are song choices to help encourage daily habits like brushing teeth, and the classic stories (think “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”) offer important lessons for budding minds.
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
If you regularly take road trips with little ones, this versatile OXO travel potty is an item you may want to toss in your trunk. It’s quick to open, easy to use, and affordable.
What we love: Parents in our survey reiterated, over and over again, the need to have a portable potty seat with disposable bags for toddlers in training. This seat is ideal because it packs down small, can stand alone (hello, potty break on the side of the road), or can lie flat over a toilet seat to keep germs at bay and prevent little tushies from falling in.
Slumberkins Slumber Sloth Snuggler and Book
Teach your child about self-care, relaxation, and regulation with this award-winning, therapist-created product. The Slumberkins Slumber kit comes with a snuggly sloth toy and book, and teaches a progressive relaxation technique to help your little one ease off to sleep.
What’s more, the online Slumberkins School provides parents with additional tools and resources to reinforce the skills taught in the books.
What we love: All of the products in the Slumberkins line are designed to promote early emotional learning. The animal friends are super soft, and the books are beautifully designed with simple messages. Slumber sloth, in particular, is thin like a lovey, and may very well become your child’s favorite sleep aid.
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit
Arguably the most innovative and creative learning game of all time, Osmo gives children the opportunity to bring learning to life. Using tangible pieces to create letters and numbers helps make screen time more interactive.
Note: this version is made for the Apple iPad, but you’ll need to have your own device in order to use this toy, since the iPad is not included.
What we love: Researchers have found that hands-on learning improves quiz scores, and that’s where Osmo shines. And Osmo isn’t just for toddlers. With the right kits, you can use the Osmo Learning System up until age 10.
Runners-up for toddlers: Cubcoats and Little Partners Learning Tower
Best for bigger kids
Have fun playing (and training) as a real ninja with Slackers Ninjaline, an outdoor obstacle course that’s awesome for active and adventurous kids. It’s designed for kids for ages 5 and up.
What we love: This year, the name of the game is keeping kids active at home. The Slackers Ninjaline offers plenty of options for active play without taking up a ton of space, or having to move a clunky yard toy every time you need to mow the lawn.
Little Renegades Mindful Kids Bundle: Daytime & Bedtime
Teaching mindfulness to active kids can be a challenge, but Little Renegades makes it easier. This bundle offers strategies for calming the mind and body during the day and at bedtime. With more than 80 activities, exercises, meditations, and breathing techniques, on beautifully designed cards, you can make mindfulness part of your routine.
What we love: Besides being pretty, these cards help parents know just what to say to encourage peace of mind in their little one. “I use these at night with my 5- and 7-year-olds to help release the bedtime jitters and have noticed a significant decrease in waking from bad dreams,” said Parenthood editor Saralyn Ward.
Fort Magic Kit
Take fort building to the next level with this fun, expansive construction kit. With three different sized curved sticks, four different sized straight sticks, five different connector shapes, and 100 fabric clips, the fort building possibilities are only limited by your kids’ imagination.
What we love: One mom told us, “This kit gets used over and over at our house. It’s made of high-quality materials and can withstand the cold weather.”
Healthy Roots Doll: Zoe
Zoe is the first doll by Healthy Roots, a toy company which creates dolls and storybooks that represent the beauty found in diversity. With caramel skin and beautiful, black curls, Zoe can help many little girls see the beauty in their own hair and skin.
What we love: Healthy Roots founder Yelitsa Jean-Charles is on a mission to “bring curl power to the toy aisle with products that reflect the diversity of our reality.” This isn’t a doll that looks like every other doll, but with darker skin. Zoe’s hair helps kids (and parents) learn to style, protect, and love their own black curls.
Pair Eyewear allows kids to change up their eyeglass frames quickly and easily. And with prices starting at $60, parents will be happy to save a bit of money as children learn how to take good care of their glasses.
What we love: Kudos to Pair for making a product that both kids and parents can get behind… because glasses should be a statement piece, without breaking the bank.
Runner-up for bigger kids: Bailey Blue The Ultimate Kids Masks
Best for parents (and kids!) working from home
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
Working from home is hard, but working from home with kids is (near) impossible. The noise. The chaos. The constant interruptions. It’s a lot. And while Bose can’t watch your kids or make your day an easier, these noise-canceling headphones can help you focus.
What we love: Healthline’s senior editor of clinical content Megan Severs made us laugh when she said, “These headphones are a must for working from home with kids, because if a kid whines about something but no one can hear it through their headphones, did they actually whine?”
We hear you, Megan, loud and clear.
Regalo My Portable Play Yard
With a large play space, lightweight frame, and simple fold-and-go design, Regalo’s portable play yard is a great solution for keeping little ones contained when you’re trying to get stuff done. But it’s also ideal for outings, travel, and even outdoor use. It’s designed for ages 6 months and up.
What we love: One parent told us they inherited this “baby jail” from friends and used it all the time: for getting projects done at home, for camping, for visiting family — you name it. It’s big enough for new walkers to stand and walk around in, but packs down small enough you can store it easily.
IKEA Flisat Children’s Desk
Parents aren’t the only ones working from home. With schools closed across the country, millions of students are learning virtually. Give them a leg up with this adjustable, easy-to-assemble drawing desk.
What we love: For remote learning, the wide surface area of the Flisat is ideal for kids who are logged in to a laptop and writing with pen and paper at the same time. Aubrey Wood, Healthline’s managing editor for nutrition said, “This desk is very popular in our house for art projects, LEGOs, just sitting… a variety of things, really!”
Goddard at Home
When COVID-19 hit, many businesses were forced to pivot. Child care franchise Goddard did just that by making their preschool educational content available to parents online.
With dozens of age-appropriate activities available virtually, Goddard at Home can help your child develop socially, emotionally, cognitively, and linguistically.
What we love: If you had a preschooler enrolled in a child care center that closed down in 2020, then you know businesses weren’t the only ones who needed to react — quickly. Finding activities to keep active preschoolers busy at home was a challenge for many of us, and Goddard helped bridge that gap.
BUT GET THIS: Goddard’s lesson plans are completely free. Talk about a lifesaver.
Ergobaby Omni 360
Need to boost your productivity while caring for a baby? With four different carrying positions, lumbar support, and padded shoulder straps, the Ergobaby Omni 360 offers convenient and comfortable hands-free support.
What we love: Ergo makes carriers with great back support, and now with the 360, curious babies can face away from the wearing parent while maintaining healthy hip alignment.
Best for health and fitness
With traceable nutrients, several different formulas, and both capsule and gummy forms, Ritual is a vegan-friendly, gluten- and allergy-free vitamin backed by science and tailored to specific needs.
What we love: We love Ritual’s postpartum formula, which has choline, DHA, and other important nutrients for the postnatal period. The mint-infused capsules smell good (not like fish!) and the capsule is designed for easy absorption (no stomachache!).
With a small footprint and elegant design, The Mirror has completely changed the look of the home gym. All you need is 2 feet of wall space to turn any room into a workout area. Plus, with 50+ genres and hundreds of workouts, The Mirror is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
What we love: Katie in Indiana said, “The Mirror provides a diverse lineup of workouts and trainers for all fitness levels, without leaving your house. As a busy working mom who values her gym time, it has been a lifesaver, allowing me to prioritize my health without sacrificing time!”
While there are dozens of online nutrition programs currently available, none are quite like Noom. Why? Because Noom isn’t just a weight loss program, it’s a lifestyle adjustment. Noom takes your personal goals and activity levels into account, and helps you build healthier habits — no fad dieting necessary.
What we love: Kristin Furr, senior project manager at Healthline, had this to say: “Noom was a great accountability tool for helping me lose baby weight after I had my twins. I loved that it provided me with one article to read each day that taught me better ways to eat — backed by scientific information that made me better understand the ‘why’.”
The Bloom Method
With more than 100 pre- and postnatal workouts and an easy-to-use app, The Bloom Method is one of the most accessible fitness programs out there, specific to our changing bodies.
What we love: The Bloom Method isn’t just your run-of-the-mill, “let’s lose the baby weight” fitness program. The prenatal workouts focus on strengthening your core and pelvic floor, which will help prepare you to give birth. Postpartum workouts include functional exercise specific to healing diastasis recti, a separation of abdominal muscles that often happens after childbirth.
With 10 workout types and thousands of classes on-demand, the Peloton App puts the power in your hands. Try yoga, outdoor running, strength training, and even meditation with this app — no stationary bike necessary.
What we love: As Peloton notes on their website, “Work out on any equipment or none at all,” and all for way less than a gym membership.
Runners-up for health and fitness: Find What Feels Good and Chirp Wheel
Best for feeding
ezpz Mini Mat
Reduce slips, spills, and messes with this suction-attached placemat and plate combo from ezpz. It’s both microwave and dishwasher safe, and packs easily for travel and dining out. The happy face helps make mealtime fun, and provides compartments for a balanced meal.
What we love: This is one of those products that makes so much sense, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it. “I love all of our ezpz products because they’re so easy to clean. But the mini mat is so portable, easy to throw in a diaper bag, and just the right size,” said Saralyn Ward, Healthline Parenthood editor.
Spectra S2 Electric Breast Pump
The Spectra S2 is one of the most beloved breast pumps — and it’s easy to see why. With various flanges, suction levels, personalized settings, and a “massage mode” that simulates the natural suckling of baby, the Spectra S2 is quiet, adjustable, and as comfortable as a breast pump can be.
What we love: This is a hospital-grade pump, which means it’s more powerful than some other pumps on the market. One fan told us, “I used another brand of pump with my last child, and never got as much milk as I do with the Spectra. I’ll never go back.”
Comotomo Baby Bottle
Leak-proof, heat resistant, and free of both BPA and PVC, this silicone bottle from Comotomo is easy to clean and hold. Plus, the naturally shaped nipple is designed to help your little one latch and make a seamless transition from breast to bottle.
What we love: In addition to everything we mentioned above, these bottles are seriously easy to clean. The wide opening makes it simple to scrub inside, and the silicone holds up to boiling water when you need to disinfect.
Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder
More durable than its mesh counterparts, the Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder will help your baby self-feed on fruits and vegetables through small holes in a silicone “spoon.” Bonus: The Boon feeder can be chilled to give relief for teething babies.
What we love: Man, those mesh feeders are a PITA to clean. Sometimes you can only really get one or two good feedings out of them. Not the Boon, though. The product’s silicone is easy to rinse, sterilize, and use, over and over again.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced Baby Formula Dispenser
This on-demand formula maker from Baby Brezza mixes the perfect bottle every time. Choose your ounces, choose your temperature, and let the machine get to work. Because it mixes the formula so thoroughly, there are fewer bubbles in the mixture, which some parents claim helps colicky babies.
What we love: If you’ve ever tried to make a bottle at 2 a.m. with a raging baby in the other room, you’ll know why this dispenser is a must-have. AND you can use the app to make your bottle from bed before you even get to the kitchen. Pure genius.
Runner-up for feeding: Amara Organic Baby Food
Best for sleep
Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet
Rock your baby safely and easily with the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet, the world’s first (and only) smart bassinet. But what makes the SNOO special? With two speakers, secure swaddling, and an automatic rocking function that responds to crying or fussing, the SNOO will lull your little love bug to sleep.
What we love: While the SNOO isn’t cheap, they make it accessible with their rental option. And the thing we love most is that it works. One mom joked, “I get to lie in my bed more while the SNOO rocks my baby to sleep.” I mean, no judgment here.
Part night-light and part sound machine, the Hatch Rest helps promote healthy circadian rhythms with color and sound. It also acts as a white noise machine, masking any room from unwanted sound.
What we love: The Hatch is amazing — even for older kids. As your baby reaches the toddler stage, you can use the app to set an automatic wake-up time, letting your kiddo know it’s OK to come jump in your bed.
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit
Help transition your baby from swaddle to sleeper with Baby Merlin’s magic sleepsuit. The thick, padded suit works by calming the startle reflex (like swaddling does), but it helps babies get used to sleeping with their arms and legs outstretched.
Note: Babies should be transitioned out of the Magic Sleepsuit when they begin trying to roll.
What we love: This product is a cult favorite — on our survey, it was one of the most popular responses. Besides helping baby sleep, it also keeps them warm and cozy, and flat on their back, per safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
HALO SleepSack Swaddle
With an adjustable Velcro closure and an arms-in or -out design, the HALO SleepSack Swaddle is a nice alternative to the traditional swaddle. It’s also super easy to use — and when your baby is ready to transition out of the swaddle, you can continue to use it with their arms out.
What we love: HALO SleepSacks are a new-parent staple. And since safe sleep is at the forefront of every new parent’s mind (e.g., no loose blankets for babies), they’ll help keep your baby toast on cold nights.
Olly Kids Sleep
Help your little one sleep with this dietary supplement by Olly, which contains melatonin, L-theanine, chamomile, passionflower, and other soothing botanicals.
What we love: In moderate doses, melatonin can do wonders for helping kids who struggle with sleep… and ALL of us want more sleep, right? Oh — and Olly has fully passed our thorough medical vetting process. Still, just be sure to talk to your doctor before giving your kids any supplement.
Best for travel
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
Lightweight, portable, and easy to assemble, the Lotus Travel Crib is ideal for car trips and — thanks to its super compact design — air travel. And, it sets up in 15 seconds or less.
What we love: Carry it backpack-style through the airport, set it up while you’re waiting at the gate, slide it in the overhead compartment on the plane, and use it as a crib when you get to your destination. This crib makes travel with a tot much easier.
WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat
The WAYB Pico can be used on a plane or in the car — just fold, grab, and go. It provides a 5-point harness for kids over 22 pounds, who are forward facing.
What we love: Gone are the days of lugging a giant car seat through the airport. The Pico is easy to pack and streamlined enough to keep kids buckled on the plane, too.
mifold Grab-n-Go Booster
Ten times smaller than a regular booster seat (and just as safe!), the mifold grab-and-go booster is so small it can fit in your purse, glove box, or child’s backpack. Designed for children weighing 40 to 100 pounds.
What we love: City dwellers say the Mifold makes it easy to hop in a cab, and suburban families love that they can easily keep it on hand for the days you unexpectedly need to drive another child home from school.
Durable, affordable, compact, and lightweight, the gb Pockit stroller is one of the best travel strollers, hands down. But the best part? This stroller folds to the size of a handbag in seconds, making it great for small condos, apartments, city living, and air travel.
What we love: Did we mention that this thing weighs 12 pounds? 12 pounds! And it reclines!
Inglesina Fast Table Chair
With an easy and secure setup and portable, collapsible design, the Inglesina fast table chair is ideal for home use and while traveling. Bonus: The cover of this “high chair” is machine washable.
What we love: The Inglesina is great for more than just mealtimes: Your child can sit in it to play with blocks or read books at the table while you’re otherwise occupied making dinner or cleaning the dishes.
Runner-up for travel: Sound of Sleep LectroFan Alpha
Best for outdoor adventures
Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier
Safely and comfortably explore hiking paths, trails, and even local parks with the Poco Plus child carrier. Features a double halo harness, front-facing arm loops, a fit-on-the-fly hip belt, attachment loops, sunshade, and a zippered lower compartment.
What we love: If you’re going to take your bigger baby or toddler on the trails, you need this pack. Designed for longer trips (much like a frame backpack), it’s way more comfortable than your everyday carrier when you’re going to rack up the miles.
The Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro
Looking for a quick and easy way to heat a baby’s bottle on-the-go? The Baby Brew battery-operated bottle warmer is compact, convenient, and portable. Heat baby’s milk to a perfect and safe 98.6°F.
What we love: This warmer is perfect for families who like to camp, or even just for quick weekend trips to see the grandparents.
Snowcraft Copilot Ski Trainer
Developing balance, stance, and stability, the Snowcraft Copilot ski trainer will help you teach your little one how to ski. But this harness is different than the others because it attaches to your child’s boots, not their back.
What we love: Saralyn Ward, an editor from Colorado, said, “This harness is amazing because of where it attaches. It has elastic bungees to help you guide their skis as they turn, and pulling on the boot helps their weight stay forward, rather than pulling their body back.”
Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer and Stroller
The Thule Chariot is a bike trailer that easily converts to a jogging stroller when you arrive at your destination. But, add on the ski conversion kit (sold separately) and suddenly you can use the trailer behind cross-country skis as well.
What we love: If you know you’ll need both a jogging stroller and a bike trailer, why not do double duty by purchasing just one product that is both?
With the feel of a wagon and the functionality of a stroller, the Veer Cruiser will help you navigate rugged terrain with ease. It’s ideal for day trips, sporting events, theme parks, camping, festivals, and other fun-filled events.
What we love: When you’re using a wagon, you usually need to haul your little one and all your gear, which is way easier on rugged wheels that can handle any path. And where traditional wagons can be hard to maneuver, the Veer can be pushed or pulled. It even has a car seat attachment for toting young ones along for the ride.
Runner-up for outdoor adventures: CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Kids Hydration Backpack
Nuna Leaf Grow
The Nuna Leaf Grow is more than a swing or bouncer for baby. It is an unmotorized, swaying seat that becomes a soothing recliner for your toddler or big kid. With a weight capacity of 130 pounds, removable inserts, a reclining feature, and an adjustable harness system, this chair can be a staple for your kids for years to come.
What we love: “When we unboxed the Nuna Leaf Grow, I planned to put the baby in it, but my preschooler took to it immediately,” said Saralyn Ward, Healthline editor. “She’s an active kid, but she sat still in this chair — the swaying motion helped her stay focused and calm. Now she loves to read in it while I feed or change the baby.”
Beaba Babycook Neo
Making baby’s baby food at home? The Beaba Babycook makes puree preparation a breeze. Cook, steam, blend, defrost, and reheat with one device — and the push of a button.
What we love: Two words: fewer dishes. This product is genius.
Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair
Sleek, functional, and adjustable, this high-end high chair is worth every penny. Why? Because using it with the newborn set and baby set (sold separately) allows you to bring baby right up to your dining table from the newborn days to the preschool years.
What we love: Parents we surveyed who have this chair are obsessed. It’s a chair they’ve gotten plenty of use out of, and the simple modernist design blends seamlessly with most home decor.
Part foam play mats, park furniture, The Nugget is a smart addition to any playroom. From fort-building to reading books, The Nugget does it all — and with microsuede covers in over 12 color options, you can likely find one to fit your decor.
What we love: The Nugget is the stuff of legends, as far as Facebook parents’ groups are concerned. One moms’ group in Denver, Colorado, has over 12 separate threads about how to get them, how great they are, and what their kids do with them.
One mom said, “Hands down [The Nugget is] the best thing we have. It’s played with, lounged on, forted-in every single day. We have two. I’d get more if I had room to store them!” The only thing is, The Nugget’s popularity means that it’s often backordered, so order well in advance of when you want it delivered.
Gathre Padded Mini
This faux leather mat from Gathre contains a layer of memory foam padding and comes in 12 muted colors. It’s an ideal size for tummy time, babies who are learning to roll or sit unassisted, or use as a portable play mat.
What we love: If you’ve ever laid a blanket on the floor for tummy time, you know it can bunch and fold, or even tangle in a squirming baby’s legs. And inevitably, you’ll have to wash it several times. But this mat is wipeable and easy to move, taking the mess out of tummy time on the carpet.
Not only is it cushy and practical, but the Gathre Padded Mini looks good… so good you may want to keep it for other uses in the home, even after the baby stage is over.
Best for a better future
DYPER Bamboo Diapers
Dyper is a great diaper option for those looking for a way to save tomorrow, today. These diapers are made with responsibly sourced bamboo and packed in clear bags made with biodegradable materials. Plus, they can be returned for composting through the REDYPER service.
What we love: Dyper takes the guess work out of composting disposable diapers. They provide you with bags, boxes, and prepaid shipping labels to make sure more diapers don’t end up clogging the landfills.
Happy Baby Regenerative & Organic Baby Food
Grown with farming practices that help reverse climate change, Happy Baby’s Regenerative & Organic Baby Food is making a difference for the environment. What’s more, Happy Baby has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle the plastic pouches when you’re done.
What we love: Happy Baby has really thought about the baby food process from start to finish and challenged themselves to improve their practices.
From using the best organic ingredients to considering how their farming practices impact the soil, to giving parents a solution for all those used pouches… this company is taking a lead in sustainability. And not to mention, their blends are delicious according to parents who’ve tried them themselves.
A Kids Book About
A Kids Book About is a series of books that explores complex and complicated topics in a thoughtful way. Examples include shame, climate change, gender, racism, and sexual abuse.
What we love: This Portland-based, Black-owned company was started by a father who wanted to explain complex topics to his own kids. Their motto is, “because kids are ready,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Looking for a disposable diaper alternative? Esembly Baby is a sustainable, eco-friendly system that helps educate parents on all they need to be successful with cloth diapering.
What we love: Cloth diapering is somehow less intimidating with Esembly. They help you narrow down what products you need and show you how to use them with their online class. And, their subscription service ensures you’ll never be caught without the magic Washing Powder that gets soiled diapers clean.
The minds behind the Little Feminist subscription-based book service believe representation matters. They’ve launched three specific series: HAIR, showcasing race and ethnicity, FAMILIES, showcasing gender and all the ways to make a family, and ON-THE-GO, featuring many variations on mobility, ability, and bodies.
What we love: Babies and young kids love looking at picture books with faces, and the parents in our survey were thrilled to offer books with a wide variety of people.