Parenting can be overwhelming enough, but throw in all of the products you’re told you need to buy and you may find yourself going down the rabbit hole. Fortunately, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute are here to evaluate the top parenting items on the market to find the ones that actually work and are worth buying.
Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Director, GH Institute
Style Director, Good Housekeeping
Cleaning & Home Care Director, GH Institute
Parenting Editor, Good Housekeeping
Kitchen Appliances Senior Testing Editor, GH Institute
Chief Technologist, GH Institute
Textiles, Paper & Plastics Director, GH Institute
Registered Dietician, GH Institute
How We Tested
We received over 450 applications across all product categories designed for babies, toddlers, kids of all ages, and their caregivers. Our team of experts — i.e. scientists, engineers, editors and more — vetted each application on criteria around innovation, problem-solving capabilities and value, then evaluated the top contenders in person. These winners include hot new innovations that have just hit the market, plus tried and true products that have stood the test of time.
SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet
WHY IT WON: Both product experts and consumer testers noticed a significant increase in overnight sleep while using the SNOO, which translated into better overall health for many. And though it’s pricey, there’s a rental model that costs less than five dollars per day.
BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Luxe Series
WHY IT WON: We’ve been fans of the Halo bassinets for years, and this latest iteration ups the ante with clever upgrades like complete rotation, storage pockets, a nightlight, soothing sounds and vibrations and a detachable bed for mobility.
Sustainable Kids Mattress
WHY IT WON: Its comfort, support and sustainability features make it a perfect choice for kids – whether it’s their first real bed or just time for an update. On top of that, the price is lower than other organic mattresses, which are typically marketed towards adults.
Nap-Saving Window Covers
WHY IT WON: Our experts were impressed that it blocked out light better than a blackout shade, making it easier to fall asleep. It was also a breeze to customize the size, apply to a window and remove several days later.
DIY Long John Pajamas
WHY IT WON: The brand uses high quality organic cotton in these incredibly soft and comfortable pajamas that are built to last. You get a blank canvas that’s fun to decorate and they’re priced significantly lower than the already printed sets.
Smart Baby Monitor
WHY IT WON: Our product experts like that the monitor doesn’t require any direct contact with the child to obtain data, and that it’s able to deliver alerts even without Internet connection. The packaging also includes the tools you need to install.
Infant Car Seat & Stroller – Midnight
WHY IT WON: It converts from a car seat to a stroller and back again in literal seconds. Our experts love that it doesn’t require additional adapters and that it maneuvers easily with one hand.
e-Priam Electronic Stroller
WHY IT WON: We were particularly impressed by how the stroller was able to intelligently adapt on surfaces ranging from sand to cobblestone in our tests. On top of that, we were able to get nearly four miles of electric assist usage before needing to re-charge.
Rugged Adventure Wagon
All-Terrain Cruiser Wagon
WHY IT WON: It’s a trendsetter in the industry and our lab pros were impressed by the strong frame. Testers ranging from 5- to 6-feet tall said it was comfortable to push and pull. Not to mention, kid testers said it was super fun, too!
Stay-Fresh Baby Tub
WHY IT WON: Bathing a baby is tricky enough, so the last thing you should worry about is keeping the tub water clean. Its smart features make it stand out from other baths on the market, and it’s versatile enough to use from the newborn days till after baby can sit up.
Moby Bath Essentials Kit
WHY IT WON: Most products are focused on making babies and kids happy and safe in the tub. We love that this set also focuses on making the parent comfy. Plus, the coordinated gray pieces will match just about any bathroom decor.
Nose to Toes XL Bathing Wipes
WHY IT WON: One XL Wipe effectively cleaned up messes that would normally require several smaller wipes in our review. We also love that they’re fragrance-free and have convenient packaging that makes them easy to tote on the go.
Stuffy Nose Solution
NoseFrida the Snotsucker
WHY IT WON: This gadget has been a fan favorite over the years for coming to the rescue during colds. It’s quick, easy, and actually works to clear up clogged noses. The inside filter keeps you protected, and it’s entirely dishwasher safe so you can keep reusing it.
WHY IT WON: Its well-thought-out features make it easier for little ones to learn to brush their teeth on their own — not to mention easier for parents who dread the toothbrush power struggle each day. It’s safe, effective at cleaning and comfortable to use.
Muslin Stay-Dry Teether Bibs
WHY IT WON: It’s soft and absorbent, yet you don’t have to worry about drool seeping through to the other side and getting baby’s clothes wet. We love that the clasp makes carrying a teether convenient, but is discreetly hidden underneath so there are no straps hanging down.
Instant Baby Food
Sweet Potato & Raspberry
WHY IT WON: Good Housekeeping’s Registered Dietician loves that it’s organic, plant-based and shelf-stable without being overly processed. It’s available in a handful of options with various fruits, vegetables and grains.
WHY IT WON: Early introduction can help prevent peanut and tree nut allergies, but up until now, they haven’t been widely available in baby-appropriate textures. We also love that they were developed with a pediatric allergist.
WHY IT WON: It gives kids probiotics in real food form, is full of other vitamins and minerals and is USDA-certified organic. Our Registered Dietician also loves that they aren’t too high in sugar.
WHY IT WON: It might look like just a cup, but it has handy features like a small size that’s easy to grip, silicone material that’s comfortable in mouths, a weighted base to prevent tipping and an angled interior to avoid choking.
3-Piece Disposable Feeding Kit
WHY IT WON: It’s practical despite being inexpensive: The bib has a crumb pocket to catch fallen food, the placemat has adhesive strips to stick on the table, and the wipes pack is resealable. We also love its neutral design.
Secure Food Separator
Plate Divider 2-Pack
WHY IT WON: They’re perfect for picky eaters of all ages who don’t like foods to mix, plus they provide a sturdy surface for kids to scoop their food against while they’re mastering utensil use.
Personalized Learning Tool
ABC Board Book
WHY IT WON: The website is easy to use, making personalized photo gifts like this a no-brainer. Toddlers and kids love board books and spend hours flipping through them as entertainment. This version in particular makes learning the alphabet a memorable experience.
Washable Play Mat
Path of Nature Play Rug
WHY IT WON: This brand is best known for its washable cotton play rugs, and its new design took it one step further with the 3D components. It’s versatile for babies to have a soft surface to lie on, for toddlers to explore different textures and for kids who want to create scenes with their toys.
Stable Kitchen Helper
The Orignal Learning Tower
WHY IT WON: It has stood the test of time and still continues to be a favorite for having children reach higher surfaces. Our engineers found it easy to assemble, and the construction to be solid and stable. It also grows with your kid from toddler years through childhood.
Jeremiah Brent Convertible Diaper Bag
WHY IT WON: We love how spacious it is with several organizing compartments, yet it still doesn’t scream “baby bag” from the outside. And while most diaper bags on the market are geared towards moms or dads, this one can be used by either or both without sacrificing style.
Lumi by Pampers
WHY IT WON: There are many baby monitors out there, but nothing like this system. The camera quality alone is top notch, not to mention all of its added features. We also love that the diaper construction is the same as Pampers Swaddlers, which are top performers in our diaper test.
WHY IT WON: It’s easy to use and actually works. It feels just like a regular diaper so babies aren’t bothered by the extra layer, and parents swear it’s the perfect solution to stop dreaded diaper leaks in the crib.
Double Duty Nursing Bra
Sublime Hands Free Pumping Bra
WHY IT WON: It’s incredibly comfortable and convenient, plus it’s secure when holding the pump flanges. One postpartum tester especially loved that it had great coverage (even in the back) and that it was supportive for large busts.
WHY IT WON: In our road tests, we found it to be quiet during use so that others in the same room couldn’t hear, plus it was effective at getting out milk. While it takes a bit of a learning curve to optimize, the ability to be on-the-go while pumping is a huge breakthrough.
Stay-Put Pregnancy Pants
Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings
WHY IT WON: Most maternity leggings either slide down or feel too tight, but these have stay-in-place powers while still feeling comfortable. A tester raved that after trying these on, they’re all she wants to wear.
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