Great Ideas! 15 Gadgets That Make New Moms’ Lives Easier

05/10/2013 at 10:00 AM ET

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Tom Grill/Getty

When you’re expecting, it’s hard to know what you really need when your little one arrives.

And the last thing you want is to have a house full of useless baby products collecting dust. editor and mom-of-two (she recently welcomed her second daughter) Amy Jamieson helps take the guesswork out of which gadgets are really worth checking out.

From a formula dispenser to an on-the-go bottle warmer, here’s her list of indispensable tools for mamas who already have their hands full.

Check it out below:

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy NoseFrida

1. Nasal Aspirator Seriously, this is mom’s secret weapon against snot! Dubbed the “Snotsucker,” this booger removal system ($16) — which is operated by holding a tube in your own mouth — cleans tiny nasal passages like nothing else.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Motorola

2. Video Monitor Eliminate the anxiety that comes with moving baby into his own room with this crystal clear color monitor ($180) from Motorola. It has a two-way communication feature so you can sing your baby to sleep from a different room, and, for the vocally challenged, it plays five lullabies all on its own. You can also use it to watch your baby remotely via your smartphone.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Itzbeen

3. Baby Care Timer This one-touch timer ($20) allows you to set reminders for the three most important baby duties: diaper changing, feeding and sleeping. Use the fourth customizable button for whatever you wish — like reminding yourself to eat!

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Prince Lionheart

4. Travel Warmer It sounds impossible, but you can warm your baby’s milk or food without batteries or a plug. Boil this heating cell ($15) before you go on a trip and when it’s mealtime, simply crack it with your hands and it stays warm for hours.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Baby Brezza

5. Formula Dispenser You’ve got a screaming baby in your arms and you don’t have the time to fuss with formula. Don’t fret! This dispenser ($30) doles out the exact amount you need to make that bottle and help maintain your sanity.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Dex Products

6. Wipe Warmer Too many things startle your tiny newborn in those early months. And a cold wipe shouldn’t be one of them! This space-saving product ($32) dispenses warm wipes without zapping their moisture.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Ubbi

7. Diaper Pail That newborn baby smell is unmistakable, and so is that dirty diaper aroma! The powder-coated steel body of this sleek pail ($80) successfully quells the stink — and no special bags are necessary.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Blooming Bath

8. Bath Pillow No more bending over the bath to bathe your little one. This adorable flower-shaped foldable pad ($40) cuddles your baby as he sits in the sink and doubles as a cute play mat for the floor. Added bonus: it’s machine washable.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Aquatopia

9. Bath Thermometer Is it too hot? Too cold? Know for sure with this cute, easy-to-use thermometer ($12) that reads the water temperature every two seconds.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Simple Wishes

10. Breast Bustier Mix a bottle, make a phone call and pump all at the same time? Totally doable thanks to this hands-free pumping bra ($35) that adjusts to your size and is designed to be used with all major breast pump brands.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy My Brest Friend

11. Nursing Pillow The unique wraparound design of this pillow ($48) eliminates stress on your shoulders and helps get your baby in the right position for the perfect latch-on. It’s like a live-in lactation consultant.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Safety 1st

12. Pacifier Thermometer Just 90 seconds (or the amount of time it takes to change a diaper!) and you’ll know your baby’s body temperature. It also comes with a medicine dispenser so it’s a great value at $8.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy First Years

13. Sound Machine With six white noise options and six Mozart melodies to choose from, this cool nursery gadget ($36) has more than enough soothing sounds for each day of the week! Set the timer for a full hour of tunes.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Pneo Respisense

14. Movement Monitor Put your mind at ease with this cordless Ditto monitor ($104), which snaps onto your baby’s diaper to sense tummy movement. It vibrates after 15 seconds without movement.

Cool Gadgets for New Moms
Courtesy Vicks

15. Germ-Free Humidifier Bugs-be-gone! Worry less about your child getting sick with this germ-zapping humidifier ($60), which features an ultraviolet light that kills mold, bacteria and fungus before it can float around your baby’s room.

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Showing 35 comments

Sheri on

Oh Please!! Most of these items are a complete waste of money. And these are supposed to be necessities!! People Magazine, I’m disappointed in you for leading new moms like this!! Of everything on the list, what you truly need are a travel bottle warmer (if you aren’t breastfeeding), a wipe warmer, a diaper pail, a baby bathtub (not this petal nonsense that you’ll have to launder after every bath because babies poop in the tub!), and a vaporizer. Do yourself a favor and get a forehead thermometer. The whole family can use it…and not all babies like pacifiers, and the ones that do only like certain pacifiers. This pacifier thermometer is likely a compelte waste of money. And don’t get me started on the booger sucker. I love my babies, but I would NEVER suck their boogers out with my mouth. I’m getting the dry heaves just thinking about it.

Jennifer on

What a load of crap! I really hope these are all on the list because you are being paid to endorse them.

amelia on

What a terrible list! A formula dispenser, wipe/bottle warmer, sound machine??!!! Are we so busy that we need these types of unnecessary technologies in our home?? How about writing an article that doesn’t directly market expensive unnecessary products and rather write an article that makes mothers feel supported and encouraged (breastfeeding support for example), which this article does not.
Just terrible.

amelia on

It’s shameful that you’re endorsing products like these, I mean; formula dispenser??? Are we so busy that we don’t have the time to feed our babies??!! Really? It’s not technology that will make our lives better its changing the way we live.

Just a terrible list that you’re endorsing.

lovely123 on

The telephone is the perfect gadget. I would use it to call my sisters for help!!!

MommytoanE on

Wow. Crap that women buy out of an idea and find its useless as heck. Wipes warmers are NOT the best thing ever…they dry out wipes horribly. One would think they would come up with a better bunch of ideas here…things that REAL moms use.

ecl on

I will chime in and say that I think bath thermometer and wipe warmers are complete wastes of money. So was the “egg” that checked the temp of the room to reduce chances of SIDS. Common sense!

Amy on

I would name this list “things you definitely don’t need and shouldn’t waste money on as a new mom” – so silly!

Jen on

#10 and #11 are two items that I used religiously, but I actually just made my own pumping bustier by cutting slits into a bra. Worked like a charm. The My Best Friend pillow was great though, held my daughter in position much better than a boppy or other pillow.

The majority of these gadgets are ridiculous and a complete waste of money.

lovely123 on

Oh, I forgot! My mom gave me a carpet cleaner during my third pregnancy.

missy on

The only thing I’ve used on this list is a video monitor and only because we got it as a gift, otherwise a regular monitor without video works just fine.

jay on

Im a first time mom and I will also chime in and say these things are a TOTAL WASTE of money! None of them were on my registry. Makes life easier? Click on the link for the formula dispenser. It has 21 reviews and only one out of 5 stars, the reviewers HATED it. People Mag….really? Stop pushing this garbage on moms.

Annika on

I am pro a convenience every now and then, but 90% of this list is just…ridiculous!

All these companies con first time mums into thinking they NEED junk like this.

If you have time to dedicate to being a parent, you should have a few extra seconds available to scoop out a few spoons of formula by yourself.

Movement monitor?? What the hell is that?
And a noise machine, ugh. Looks like some of us are a bit too “advanced” for a plain old radio.

stephaknee80 on

Give me a break! These are a waste of money. You know a newborn needs? These things called diapers, wipes, breast milk or formula and place to sleep. Looking for items to buy? Try a rock and play my kid loves it. A changing table is good for storage and easy access for them to grab toys off the bottom when they get older.

Molly on

Why does anyone need to spend $40 on a white noise machine. CD player/iPod that you already have, free. CD/Album, $10 max. My parents put me to sleep with “Baby Bach” 20 years ago, always worked like a charm. Still does.

Anonymous on

What I love is that you need (a) A formula dispenser, (b) a breast pump bra, AND (c) a nursing pillow.

AnnieGrey on

I bought the bath thermometer for me so that I wouldn’t have a bath over 100 degrees while pregnant.

Anonymous on

It’s amazing what you can do with what your already given and (apparently) don’t even realize… boobs, arms, a soothing voice, a brain and instincts.

Hard to believe I made it to adulthood without my mom wiping my butt with something warmed by a machine.

Someone's Mommy on

I totally agree with #1. The NoseFrida is the best nasal aspirator I’ve bought, having gone through several with little results. You just have to get past the idea of it, which isn’t hard if your little one is really struggling to breath. I definitely recommend this,

Ashley on

I’m a pediatrician and I agree with the other commenters that this list is totally absurd. The pacifier is actually dangerous- every parent of a newborn needs a rectal thermometer and should call their doctor right away for a rectal temperature of 100.4 or above. A pacifier thermometer could give an incorrectly low reading and give false reassurance.

Erin on

Ashley, I was WAITING for someone to mention accuracy with the pacifier thermometer! LOL. Too bad some new moms may read this & really think they are better off with all this stuff…

sam on

A lot of negativity here but I’ll say I wish I had the Snot Sucker from Day 1 with my two kids. That thing is awwwwesome….so much easier than a bulb syringe. And no, the boogies don’t go directly in your mouth!

TheGoldenRule on

Why does every mom on here automatically jump to the conclusion that if they personally didn’t use a product with their own child that it is “useless” or “unnecessary” for everyone else in the world. Commentators needs to realize that they can give their own opinion about products without sounding completely pompous and rude. I have used and continue to use many products on this list. Obviously these are not the absolute “necessities”…and that is why the list is appropriately named the way it is. These products are dubbed to make life a little easier for moms who may be working…going to school… or have other responsibilities. Just because we are given a computer screen to sit behind, does not mean etiquette and respect should be omitted. Treat others as you would like to be treated…and how you’d like your own kids to be treated. Everyone is someone else’s kid. Even the individuals who work at People Magazine and make these lists.

Jayna on

Wow, you are some angry ladies! I don’t normally comment, but this really surprised me. It’s a list of gadgets, people. Not a list of absolute necessities or all-time old fashioned registry gifts.

Every baby and every mom is different. I can’t breastfeed, so are you going to judge me for using the dispenser? Jeez.

Erin on

I’m not even a mom and I know 95% of these things are unnecessary. Handy? Maybe, especially for the lazy, but necessary? No.

Annika on

TheGoldenRule- I think mainly people are disappointed that this site is pumping these things as “Must needs”. Had the article have been labelled “Things that might help but aren’t necessary” I think the answers COULD have been a lot less intense.

I am disappointed this site is showing these items as “must haves” But I guess the site doesn’t pay for itself…. paid advertising is the reason this site is able to be up and running.

Zarah on

Those are absolutely needless things, which cost a lot of money. When babies are breastfed, Moms don’t need warmers, dispensers, etc. The baby will tell you when he/she is hungry, no need to buy a fancy shmancy gadget. Oh yeah – and the no name humidifiers can be bought at Walmart for like $15.

Myself – the only thing I own from this list is a humidifier. The rest are money grabbers. Four kids, three breastfed, one formula fed.

T on

i just laughed out loud of the lady in her office pumping milk.. .haha

Ashley on

Clearly these moms could use some of these products on this list to get some SLEEP so they aren’t so crabby!

I have a lof of these items and love them –

The Nose Frieda snot sucker is AMAZING. Sheri is ridiculously dramatic – the boogers don’t go in your mouth. You use your mouth to suck them into a tube that catches them and then rinse them out. The bulbs can’t be cleaned and get filled with mold. THAT is disgusting.

The travel warmer – I’m going to get that thing. My daughter refuses to drink a cold/cool bottle, so I struggle to go out unless she is well fed before we leave. This looks like a lifesaver to me.

The wipe warmer – I love it. My daughter would stay sleeping through late night diaper changes with warm wipes, but would wake up EVERY SINGLE TIME when I used cold wipes.

And the diaper pail – while I don’t have that particular one, I love ours. We never have an odor problem and don’t have to empty it every single day.

The Blooming Bath – again, LOVE that thing, and so did my daughter. I’m tall, so bending over a low bathtub to bath her was NOT an option. Having a soft insert to put in the sink was amazing for our family.

Breast bustier – also a lifesaver. As a full time working mom who breastfed, I could continue to work rather than holding my double pump. I now recommend that thing to everyone that wants to breastfeed!!

Sound machine – my daughter wouldn’t sleep without noise in her room. I ran a humidifier (love it, since it’s dry here in Colorado) but now that it’s getting hot, I don’t want extra humidity in her room. I like having the sound machine because I don’t have to charge it and it’s easy to transport when we go out of town.

These are SUGGESTIONS and products that other people like. If you don’t like it, don’t read the article. Plain and simple.

Melissa on

I can see how a lot of this could be a waste, but also a lifesaver! I breast & bottle fed both my girls & the breast pump looks very helpful for a busy mom! Also, having friends who lost their babies to SIDS makes the movement gadget priceless! My sister & I had our last babies 3 weeks apart. There were things that she couldn’t live without that I never used once and vise versa. Every mom & baby need is different. It’s a good list. Maybe not every item is useful to you, but may be to someone else. The flower petal bath, I would’ve loved! I have a really bad back & fractured my hip giving birth to my second daughter. Bathtime was so hard for me with her! This would’ve been amazing! Good job People magazine! 🙂

Heidi on

Do NOT buy the nursing pillow listed here!! it is absolutely awful!! It does not relieve stress on your shoulders. All it does is give you a terrible backache and it is a pain to get set up to use it. I Had one of these and used it once.

Brittany on

This list is a load of crap!! I mean seriously, a timer to tell you when to feed and change your baby?? how did people know when to change and feed their babies before these “necessities” were invented? a wipes warmer? I am 100% sure that a cold wipe on your butt never killed anyone. Garbage like this is what is wrong with the world. People should be embarrassed that they put out this list. Really.

L. on

From this list, I used the pumping bra and the timer. The pumping bra enabled me to pump in my office and still be able to keep working, so that my daughter could be breastfeed for a full year and pumping didn’t lengthen my workday. I only used the timer as an alarm when she was a newborn and I had to wake her up to feed her every 3 hours. Later we have used it to time how long her naps are. Also when she has been sick, to time the interval between giving her medicine. A lot of this stuff seems worthless, but we do have a different noise machine and we used a breastfeeding pillow for the first few months.

whynotmomdotcom on

Two products I would add are the Bobee and the SnuggWugg!

Maey on

Great Blog thanks for the informative post