9 must-have gadgets for first-time parents

When you and your significant other walk
through the threshold of your place with a
brand new bundle of joy, any prep work
you’ve done beforehand is going to help a
lot. Painting the room, building the crib,
and picking up a stroller are all easier to do
in advance.

There are many tech products for new
parents, and we’ve rounded up a few that
we think will help smooth out some of the
first bumps in the road.

A white noise machine

Low, ambient noise can help soothe your
child before he or she goes to sleep. There
are a lot of white noise machines
specifically aimed at children, but we’re
going to recommend this one from Marpac
instead. It may be as cute looking as your
air conditioner, but what it lacks in looks it
makes up for in functionality.

Two motors and a fan sit inside the case
and can be adjusted to change the sound of
the white noise it creates. Parents who’ve
used this machine have raved about it on
Amazon, claiming it really does help their
baby sleep through the night.
Marpac DOHM-DS, Natural White
Noise Sound Machine, $44.99,
available at Amazon

A humidifier

Keeping a humidifier in your baby’s room
helps to keep dry air from irritating their
nose and throat, leaving them more
susceptible to sickness. This humidifier
from Pure Enrichment will dispense water
vapor into the air for 16 hours once its tank
is full and automatically turn off when the
water level gets too low.

The humidifier is quiet, so much so that
some Amazon reviewers were disappointed
because they couldn’t also use it as a white
noise machine. Its most baby-friendly
feature is the fact that it comes with a built-
in night light.
Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier by
Pure Enrichment, $39.99, available at

A bottle sterilizer

Instead of washing your baby’s bottles in a
sink or dishwasher, Phillip’s bottle sterilizer
lets you clean them in a microwave using
steam. The main benefits of cleaning
bottles this way are that the microwave
gets hotter than those other methods,
which helps kill germs, and it takes less
time. Plus, if you keep the container sealed,
all the bottles inside will stay sterilized for
an entire day.

The bottle sterilizer holds six bottles, but
the catch is that it’s made to fit with
Phillip’s Avent bottles. If you don’t own any
baby bottles yet that shouldn’t be a
problem, but it is something to keep in
mind if you own bottles from other brands.
Amazon reviewers had mixed results when
trying to use different bottles with this
Philips AVENT Microwave Steam
Sterilizer, $16.99, available at

A baby monitor

Baby monitors have evolved significantly in
the past few years because of the advent of
streaming video. There are a lot of
them out there, but the most well-regarded
is the DXR-8 by Infant Optics.

You can link up to four cameras up to one
base station, if you’d like to keep track of
your little one in different parts of your
house, and buy an additional zoom or wide
lens depending on the type of room they’re
in. The DXR-8’s battery is rechargeable
through a USB cable and lasts for six hours
in video mode and 10 if you disable video
and use it as an audio monitor. My advice
would be to find a specific spot for the
camera and keep it constantly connected to
power with a USB power adapter.
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby
Monitor, $167.09, available at

A smart thermometer

Gone are the days of poking and prodding
your child every few hours when they’re
sick to get their temperature. The
Infanttech Smart Strap is a small
thermometer that you attach to your baby’s
body via a Band-Aid style adhesive strip.
Once attached you can connect to the
thermometer through Bluetooth. As long as
your phone is within range you’ll be able to
monitor your child’s temperature without
disturbing them.

The parents who reviewed the unit on
Amazon were pleased with the quality of
the adhesive pads, and noted that their
children didn’t mind getting their
temperatures taken this way. The only
trouble you may run into is spotty
connectivity, but that should only be a
problem if your room and your child’s
room are far away from one another.
Infanttech Smarttemp, $72.99,
available at Amazon

A Keurig for baby food

Pretty much a baby food Keurig, Gerber’s
BabyNes turns palm-sized pods into baby
food in one minute. There are six different
pods, each delivering different nutrients
and meant for babies between birth and
age 3.

The BabyNes hooks up to your smartphone
through an app to help monitor your child’s
growth. Parents on Amazon have praised
the BabyNes for producing no-clump
formula consistently, but like the bottle
sterilizer I mentioned earlier, it only works
with proprietary pods, which are only
available through Gerber.
Gerber BabyNes, $199.99, available at

A motion-detecting night light

If you’re running back and forth between
your room and your kid’s in the middle of
the night, it might be a good idea to buy a
motion-detecting light or two. I’m
recommending this one from Cleartonics
because it runs on batteries and can be
placed anywhere using a 3M strip. This
allows you pick the perfect place in your
hallway for a light source, instead of being
beholden to an outlet. Plus, once your kid
gets older it can help him or her out on
those late night trips to the bathroom.
Smart LED Motion Activated Sensor
Night Light, $19.95, available at

A portable sound machine

A fussy baby may need to hear a consistent,
soothing sound to fall asleep, and you might
not always be able to coo to them.
This sound machine by myBaby is battery
operated, can clip onto a crib or stroller,
and play a heartbeat, ocean, white noise, or
lullaby at 15-, 30-, or 45-minute intervals.
It’s a useful gadget to have if your newborn
gets up a couple of minutes after you’ve set
them down.
Nothing will replace the gentle rock and
familiar sounds of a parent, but this sound
machine may save you from a few extra
trips to the crib each night.
myBaby SoundSpa On-The-Go
Sound Machine, $9.99, available at

A clip-on stroller fan

Summer is here, and while the top of a
stroller can keep your baby protected from
the sun, it can still get hot.
This clip-on desk fan can also be attached to
the front of a stroller, which will keep your
baby cooled down. It’s powered by a
battery you can charge through a Micro USB
cable so you can top it off on-the-go using
an external battery pack.
The best part is once your baby has grown
up, you can still use this as a general desk
SkyGenius Battery Operated Clip on
Mini Desk Fan, $22.99, available at

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