Baby Gear / July 9, 2018 / Baylee Felton.
The past year was no different. Here are some of the smartest baby gadgets that launched in 2017—all designed by entrepreneurial parents. Breastfeeding mothers are always worried they won’t produce enough milk for their infants. But saving pumped breast milk and reusing it from one feeding to the next is tricky, since babies can contaminate an entire bottle with their saliva just by taking a single sip. aLoo is the first device that prevents contamination from baby backwash. The disc-shaped, plastic-and-metal valve fits inside a baby-bottle cap and allows milk to flow to the baby but keeps saliva from permeating the bottle’s main chamber, so parents can save the unconsumed milk and serve it later.
Occasionally Essential for Newborns: Changing Pad or Table (with Covers if Necessary) - Any surface with a comfortable height can become a changing table if you throw a changing pad on top of it. "Official" changing tables offer some extra storage and safety features. Rocking Chair or Glider - A comfy armchair that rocks back and forth to help you soothe baby may be a bit of a splurge– but it’s a cozy splurge you both can enjoy.
Pacifier - Before I actually had a baby to take care of, I always thought I wouldn’t let my child have a pacifier. However, when my son was three days old, I remember crying, "Where’s a pacifier?!" My belief about pacifiers was forever changed. For the next several months, I was highly reliant on the pacifier to calm my son during the difficult transition from womb to world. Plus, he broke his pacifier habit on his own once he discovered his thumb.
Willow Wearable Breast Pump - Though breast pumps are crucial for many new mothers, the gadgets seemed to be stuck in a time warp for several decades. No longer—several entrepreneurs launched new designs in the past year alone. One of the most promising is Willow, which liberates nursing mothers from the cumbersome external tubes, cords, and dangling bottles attached to most breast pumps. Instead, Willow built the pump apparatus and bag for collecting milk into a cup-shaped device that fits inside a bra, which allows women to move freely while pumping. A corresponding iOS app lets them monitor how much milk they’re expressing and track other metrics, such as the length and output of past pumping sessions.