HandsDown Fave Baby Items

In the past two weeks, I’ve attended two baby showers for friends and created my own baby registry for my own soon-to-be-arriving newborn. So I’m DEEP in the world of baby stuff right now. When buying a gift for a baby shower, I like to shop from the registry if possible. Or if my friend doesn’t have a baby registry, I’ll choose one of my own favorite newborn items that I’ve used and loved. Nobody likes exchanging gifts that didn’t work out (especially post-partum!!), so I do my best to choose a great baby shower gift. 

And when I created my own baby registry, especially since this is my third baby, I wanted to choose just a few things in each category that I know I will use. I put almost no clothing items on my registry, because people love to shop for clothes anyway and hand-me-downs always find their way to us. Things like a baby monitor, carrier, feeding supplies, and swaddles are the best baby registry items, in my opinion.

Whether you are building your own baby registry or shopping for a friend’s baby shower, here’s a round-up of some newborn items recommended by real parents on HandsDown.

Best Baby Monitors

Nanit Pro Camera

Fave of Diana

“I love this baby monitor and the travel accessories, which make it easy to bring us peace of mind wherever we go. The best part is that everything is on your phone, so you can watch your baby from anywhere!”

VTech Audio Baby Monitor (2-Unit)

Fave of Tim

“These are the best. Old school, durable long range. The fancy video monitors never got far enough and we actually only listen to them anyway. These rock.”

Moonybaby Split 50 Baby Monitor

Fave of Gregory

“A soon-to-be dad asked me what baby monitor to get; this is what I recommended.”

Best Newborn Baby Gear

Newborn Boba Baby Wrap Carriers by Boba

Fave of Nia

“If you love to baby wear this is for you.”

Itzy Ritzy Natural Rubber Pacifiers

Fave of Samantha

“My baby loves the shape of this paci, which was recommended by a friend. I love that I can loop it onto a paci chain that clips to her seatbelt, too.”

Rohm Travel Size Sound Machine for Adults & Baby by Yogasleep

Fave of Diana

“I am currently on vacation and this sound machine is on as I type this. I’ve brought this everywhere with me since my baby is born. It’s help him sleep on the road, at the mall, while traveling, and more. It’s like a security blanket for all of us.”

Author’s Note: I saw this on HandsDown, added it to my Saves, and put it on my own registry! That’s the magic of HandsDown.

AMKE 3 in 1 Baby Bassinets,Bedside Sleeper

Fave of Nia

“Perfect for mommies who like to be close to their newborns.”

I second the recommendation for a bedside bassinet. Getting up 4 times a night is less exhausting if you don’t actually have to get out of bed. 

Peanut Changer by keekaroo

Fave of Anthony

“Expensive? Yes. A god-send for diaper changes and bath times with a newborn? ALSO YES! Cleans easily and can be moved from the changing table to the kitchen counter for bath time; it’s served us with both of our kids very well.”

Best Feeding Supplies for Older Babies

Duo Meal Station Food Maker

Fave of Nia

“I absolutely LOVE this product. It’s great for steaming and blending up veggies for your little one.”

Kids Eat in Color | Facebook

Fave of Kate

“Amazing FB and Insta account to follow if you have young kids or babies. Advice from a dietician mom. Picky eating helps. Ways to talk about food and nutrition. Learn how to build healthy and happy meal time routines. Free resources. Meal plans. Recipes. Product recs. I cannot recommend it enough!! So, so helpful!!”

A new baby is a huge life-change no matter how prepared you are, but the right baby gear can smooth out the bumps a little. And giving and receiving support is the real reason for baby showers and registries, even if the gifts get exchanged later. So enjoy the newborn season and give as much love as you can to the new parents (even if it’s you!).

And if YOU have a favorite baby item we’ve missed, add it to your own HandsDown list and share the love!

Our Faves for Toddlers

I honestly love the toddler years. I have a 5 year old and 3 year old, and while the last few years have been exhausting, they have also been FUN. The endless learning, curiosity, and sweet/sassiness just delight me. But toddlers and little kids come with an almost endless number of things to buy. Three outfits per day, piles of toys and books to engage their curious minds, gifts for 2 year old friends, etc. 

Marketing pushes parents hard to buy more things they “need.” And we do need to buy things. But when I shop for my kids, I’m either looking for dirt cheap second-hand items that can be destroyed without guilt, or I’m looking for really quality stuff. When I’m shopping for quality toddler products, I always look for consumer product reviews. But the product reviews I trust the most always come from friends who have toddlers themselves.

Lucky for me and you, HandsDown is a community of friends recommending awesome products! Instead of marketing playing on my mom-guilt, I can trust a review from another parent with a 2 year old or 3 year old toddler. Here are 10 toddler Faves from my Saves.

Best Toddler Outdoor Gear

Roshambo Sunglasses for Babies & Kids

Fave of Anne

“Unbreakable. I have prescription glasses for one child and sunglasses for all three. They’ve been accidentally driven over by a car and didn’t break.”

Amazing. I wonder if they come in adult sizes…

FlapHappy UPF 50+ Swim Flap Hat (Recycled)

Fave of Angela

“I love this hat for the beach or the boat because it actually stays on in the breeze and the flaps cover his ears and neck. It’s basically swim material so it floats and dries super fast.”

A hat that actually STAYS ON A KID’S HEAD?! This is a very big deal.

Stavanger Kids Waterproof Reimatec Winter Snowsuit

Fave of Kendyl

“I have these one piece snowsuits for both of my kids and they are bulletproof! They wear beautifully and wash up like new. My kids can be outside for hours in the VT winter and never complain about being cold.”

Best Toddler Clothing

Kidizen – Buy & Sell Gently Used Kids’ Clothes and Shoes

Fave of Jenna

“I love Kidizen b/c the App is easy to use, and they have tons of amazing kids clothing from all of our favorite brands. I love to reduce and reuse — so this is the perfect place for me to shop for my son.”

90% of what my kids wear is second-hand, so I will be checking this out!

The Dopple — The worst kept secret in kidswear

Fave of Rachel

“Just like their marketing says, I genuinely wish this subscription came in my size. The clothes are CUTE and whatever magic they are casting to make the pricing work I hope it never runs out. I’ve found them to be extremely human in their customer service responses, which is the way to my heart, and gifted them to people who are just as ecstatic as I was to find them. Props to Jenna (as always) who turned me on to The Dopple.”

Best Gifts for 2 Year Old Boys

Picasso Tiles

Fave of Jenna

“They’re fun for both kids and parents! And they cost a FRACTION of Magnatiles — the main brand that makes them. I even find extension packs of them at HomeGoods or TJMaxx sometimes.”

Battat B Sand Toys

Fave of Kate

“Tough plastic that won’t crack with a big scoop of wet sand, just the right amount of toys that all have purpose, and a zippered bag to store them in. These have held up to two years of daily play in the sandbox. Love, love, love.”

This one is from my Faves! I’d also list the sandbox if I could. Best backyard toy ever.

My First Dinosaur Atlas: Roar Around the World with the Mightiest Beasts Ever! (barnesandnoble.com)

Fave of Angela

“We recently watched the Land Before Time, so the animal obsession now includes Dinos. This book is bright and colorful but packed with so much info that it will grow with him. We are all learning so much. Have you ever heard of a Coloradisaurus?”

Best Toddler Travel Gear

Jool Baby Products Folding Travel Potty Seat

Fave of Angela

“This puppy is super portable and folds down so small into its own little bag. It has suction cups to affix safely to any big potty to make potty training on the go a breeze.”

Currently in my cart… 

Inflatable Toddler Bed for Travel

Fave of Jenna

“This toddler-size air bed has totally changed travel for us. Our son is too big for a pack n play and kicks like a mad man. It’s a bit smaller than a twin but larger than a crib. Great for kids up to age 5 and packs down small into your suitcase.”

If you are a toddler parent also neck-deep in fish crackers and laundry (#pottytraining), I hope you found a few things on this list that will make your life with a 3 year old better. They are real reviews from real parents without the marketing spin.

Also, here’s a high five because you’re rocking this parenting thing. ✋ Now go negotiate that power struggle!