When you’re pregnant or shopping for an expecting friend, it’s overwhelming to look at
baby registry recommendations and try to predict exactly what you’ll need. Once you’re a few days or weeks in to having your baby, you may realize there are some tasks that should just be easier — like, why is putting on diaper cream so messy? Luckily, there are plenty of health and beauty tools that are designed to make some of the yuckier parts of parenthood a little better.
If you’re a new parent, congratulations, and also, welcome to the world of doing things you never dreamed you would. Take, for example, sucking the snot right out of your baby’s nose, or gently plucking a little piece of ear wax from their tiny ear. Tasks like this are so much easier when you have some of the latest and greatest tools on hand.
Even veteran parents can find something in this list that will make them say, “Where has this been all this time?” While you can never get back all the time you’ve lost to wiping Desitin off of your hands (and everything else within three feet of the changing station every time you take the lid off that stupid jar), you can find some simple gadgets on this list that’ll help you keep the cream right where you want it for a change.
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 A comb and brush combo to remove pesky cradle cap flakes Pros: The comb and brush are all in one, so you won’t have to find two separate tools. Cons: It’s not great for styling, so you may need another brush for that.
Cradle cap can be difficult to remove from your baby’s delicate scalp, so you need a tool that’s effective yet gentle.
Safety 1st’s Cradle Cap Brush and Comb has soft rubber bristles to loosen up the flakes, and a super fine-toothed comb to remove them from the hair. Review: “This is hands down my favorite baby gadget to date. I tried olive oil, baby oil, selsun blue shampoo (as per pediatrician), cradle cap shampoo, nothing worked. Nothing even budged it. Bought this brush/comb based off of the reviews, gave my son a bath, lathered up with our regular shampoo and used the brush part, working in a circular motion for a few minutes. I rinsed the shampoo out and patted dry. This got off a lot of scales. I then applied olive oil all over and let it sit while we finished with the rest of our bath. Then I used the white comb part to remove the rest of the flakes. His head is now 90% clear. He’s 3 months old and he did not mind the brushing one bit.” 2 Curved nail files to make mini manicures easier Pros: The curved design makes it easier to shape smooth, round nails for your baby. Cons: They’re disposable and do wear out over time.
Trimming a newborn’s nails is truly terrifying — their fingers are so small and the fear of hurting them is so big.
Frida Baby’s Nail Frida The S-Curved Nail Files allow you to skip clipping nails and file them down instead, easily following the contours of the file for a safe, round nail edge. Review: “Like everyone else, I was terrified my newborn would cut herself with those tiny razor sharp nails. After trimming her nails, I go over them with one of these files and then I don’t have to worry anymore. The thin size and curved shape make it so easy to work around those tiny hands and fingers! They are also convenient to have tucked in her bag and on the changing table for when you spot a nail with a new sharp edge.” 3 Stickers that change color when your child has a fever Pros: These can give you an idea of your baby’s temperature without having to break out the thermometer and Vaseline. Cons: Nothing is as reliable as taking a rectal temp if your child is 3 years or younger.
Waking your child in the middle of the night to take their temperature is the worst. Pop a
Physio Logic Fever-Bugz Stick-On Fever Indicator, and you can lift their pajama shirt to check their temp range without disturbing their slumber. The stickers change color with body temperature and last up to 48 hours on the skin. Review: “I have 3 children and have been using these since my 11 year old was a baby. I have to say that these have been a life saver for me time and time again. Cranky sick kids do not like to sit still to have their fever taken. Obviously these don’t give you a 100% accurate to the degree reading however, they get pretty dang close. I saw some reviews stating that they don’t stick to the skin. We did have some issues getting it to stick on the forehead because of the rounded surface however, we stick them on the upper chest or the belly and they work just the same. I actually think they are more accurate there than on the head. If you have a sick child, I would highly recommend these!!” 4 A diaper cream spreader so your hands stay clean Pros: It has a suction cup base so you can stand it upright and keep diaper cream off the changing table. Cons: You’ll need to clean it after each use.
There’s nothing harder to wipe off than thick zinc oxide diaper cream, not to mention getting it out from under your fingernails.
Dr. Talbot's Diaper Cream Soft Silicone Brush lets you scoop diaper cream directly out of the tub and spread it on baby’s bum, then clean it off when you’re done. It comes with a carrying case to boot. Review: “I know this seems like one of those gimmicky items that you buy and never use but honestly, I have yet to use my hands to put diaper cream on our 16 month old. We have two of them, one for home and one for the diaper bag. It's easy to put the cream on the brush, set up upright using the suction cup bottom and then tackle the feral screaming child that tries it's best to escape during every single diaper change. You can keep one hand on the feral beast while using this to apply cream and secure diaper. Then simply wipe it off with a wipe and presto! Good to go. I bleach it every once in awhile because, well, germs. Seriously, you won't regret having this nifty little tool.” 5 A toothbrush that scrubs all three sides of teeth at once Pros: The brush head cleans both sides and the tops of teeth all at once. Cons: It doesn’t stand up, so it’s more likely to touch surfaces.
It’s rare that kids of any age just love brushing their teeth, but you’re supposed to start as soon as those first teeth pop through their gums. The
Frida Baby Training Toothbrush for Babies is soft and flexible so it’s gentle on teeth and gums. The looped handle allows baby to hold onto it for brushing and teething too. Review: “The bristle head of this training toothbrush is angle to reach both sides of his gums/teeth. That's a plus because it massages/cleans both sides of his gums at the same time. The tear drop shape of this toothbrush also makes it really easy for my baby to hold. I also enjoy the stopper that is included, it prevents me from pushing the toothbrush too far into his mouth. The stopper is also really good for propping up the toothbrush when I set it down. This prevents it from touching any surfaces.” 6 A thermometer that tells you baby’s temp in eight seconds Pros: It has a memory feature that can show you the last temperature taken. Cons: You can’t sterilize it in the dishwasher or by boiling, so you’ll have to hand wash thoroughly.
When you’re taking your baby’s temperature rectally, they’re likely not laying perfectly still while you wait for the reading. So, a super-fast thermometer like the
Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer can help. It gives a color-coded temperature reading in eight seconds (compared to most other thermometers, which take 10 to 20). Review: “Accurate and fast reading which is essential when you have a squirmy baby!” 7 A shampoo rinsing cup that won’t scare your baby Pros: You can gently rinse with the rainfall side or pour normally from the waterfall side. Cons: The handle doesn’t move, so you’ll need to grip the cup for the rainfall side.
New parents get understandably nervous rinsing shampoo from their newborn’s hair, and families with older kids know that not all toddlers love having all that water dumped on their heads. The
Frida Baby Control The Flow Rinser has a “rainfall” side that creates a gentle, shower-like stream for washing away the suds. Review: “My daughter hates to get her hair cleaned in the bath. I could not figure out how to get her to let me wash her hair until I found this rinser. Now, because it has the fun shower pour side (I think that is what it's called or water sprinkle?) Anyways, she will pour in over her hair herself! She thinks it is so much fun and has made bath time much more enjoyable for both of us!” 8 A diaper cream nozzle that swipes product on for you Pros: It’s dishwasher safe for sanitizing purposes. Cons: It fits most major brands’ tubes, but you’ll need to buy a specific one for Aquaphor.
Spatula-style diaper cream spreaders work great if you use tubs, but a nozzle attachment like the
Eli & Ali Tush Swiper is perfect for cream that comes in tubes. The spreader is made of soft, flexible silicone for a smooth swipe, and the lead keeps everything clean on the go. Review: “I was originally using one of those little baby spatulas that are made for applying creams and such but It seemed like a lot to take off my baby’s diaper and clean her and then put a new diaper underneath and then stop and apply the cream to the tool and try to close the cream and not make a mess and It was just a lot. But with this swiper I can literally do it with one hand! Pop the top squeeze apply spread and you’re done. No mess and I can keep on hand on the baby and use the other for the cream!” 9 A hairbrush that hugs your baby’s head for comfort Pros: It comes with a comb and carrying case. Cons: There is no handle, so it may not be easy for baby to hold and brush their hair as they grow.
Does brushing your baby’s hair make you nervous because of their soft spot? You’re not alone, and Frida Baby’s Infant Head-Hugging Hairbrush + Styling Comb are designed to make put you at ease. The bristles are ultra soft, and the brush bends in your hand to fit around your newborn’s head.
Review: “I got this to help my husband bathe our newborn because he really hated the idea of brushing his soft spot. The bristles are so soft to touch that my husband doesn't feel like it would hurt the baby and makes bath time smooth. It also brushes the hair gently and helps that it's basically a storage case itself. Haven't been able to use the comb that comes with it because he doesn't have much hair yet, but it's nice that it's all held together in the same case.” 10 A paci-shaped syringe for giving medicine stress-free Pros: The pacifier mouth pieces fit on to any standard syringe, so no big deal if this one gets lost. Cons: The medicine flows straight out of the pacifier, so you may want to angle it into your baby’s cheek a bit.
Some babies just can’t stand taking medicine, whether it’s the flavor or the hard syringe. The
Dr. Brown’s Pacidose gives them a familiar, comforting pacifier mouth piece to suck on while you administer medicine from the attached syringe. It comes with two pacifier sizes for babies who are 0 to 6 months old and 6 to 18 months old. Review: “This makes giving a baby medicine to a whole new level. Giving gripe water to my son was sooo messy. He spit most of it out or just let it flow out his mouth. With the pacidose, he actually gets all of the amount he needs. No mess. Super easy. And even fits other syringes, like the one that comes with the tylenol or gripe water.” 11 A nose picker to get the boogers out of those tiny nostrils Pros: The bear shape prevents you from picking too far in baby’s nose or ears. Cons: It’s small and doesn’t come with a case, so it is easy to lose.
You can see the giant booger in your baby’s nose, but there’s no way your adult-sized finger is getting it out of that newborn-sized nostril. Enter the
oogiebear Nasal Booger and Ear Wax Remover. Just insert and scoop out the boogie, or use it to remove any wax in the outer ear. Review: “My baby constantly has boogers in her nose & always sounded like she had a hard time breathing because of it. With the oogiebear I literally did a couple of quick & easy swipes & boom, nose cleared! I couldn’t believe how many boogies came out! My baby didn’t fuss, didn’t cry & to be honest didn’t really even seem to mind. I’m so happy to finally have found something that works! Money well spent & mind at ease.” 12 A little tube that gives big relief from gas pains Pros: It was designed by a pediatric gastroenterologist (somebody who really knows their baby poop). Cons: They’re single-use, so you will need to repurchase.
When you’ve tried gas drops, tummy massages, and bicycle kicks but your baby is still in major pain from gas, it’s time to break out the
Frida Baby Windi Gas and Colic Reliever. Insert the little tube into baby’s bum to release all the gas (and more) stuck in their system. You’ll know it’s working when the Windi whistles. Review: “God bless the Windi (or as my husband calls it, the fart straw). My baby has been pretty much screaming for the past five hours. I finally decided to put one of the fart straws to the test. Poop blasted out of his little rear. Like, I legit got crap in my hair. He is now sleeping peacefully. So, I'm summary, this product is the reason I almost got poop in my face and I'm praising it because that's how relieved I am that my son is relieved.” 13 A bath thermometer so the water is always just right Pros: The battery is built in for baby’s safety Cons: You can’t access the battery to replace it. The lifespan is about one year.
When bathing your baby, it’s natural to worry if the water is too hot or cold. A
Famidoc Baby Bath Thermometer can help — shake it to turn on, and it will turn off on its own with inactivity. It reads the water temperature every five seconds, sounds an alarm for water that’s too warm or chilly, and displays the temperature on its back. Review: “We adore this little guy! Baby uses a bath seat, so while the water is filling the tub I set the stingray in the seat to test temp since that’s where baby will be, and then let it float around during bath time. She loves to watch the bold purple and we love how adorable it is. It’s been accurate, blinked blue/red at the proper times, shuts off accordingly, and turns on with a fairly decent tap to the underside. Recently had guests over with older kids who were just raving about it, wishing they’d had it for theirs! A++ and definitely recommend!” 14 A car seat cover to block out UV rays Pros: It straps on to the car seat handle so it won’t slide off. Cons: It’s a thin material meant for summer, so it’s not great for year-round use.
Babies can’t wear sunscreen until they’re around six months old, so what’s a parent to do until then? If your baby is in their stroller or napping in the car seat while you’re out, a muslin cover like the Metplus Car Seat Canopy can help. It’s breathable and soft, and keeps the sun’s rays from burning your little one.
Review: “I needed a cover for the carseat for when I go for walks with my infant in the summer. I wanted something that would cover the seat and protect the baby from the sun, but also allow some airflow since those bucket seats can quickly get really hot. This really was the perfect purchase. The muslin fabric is light and very breathable and allows for the breeze to go through but opaque and blocks most of the sunlight which helps to protect the baby's eyes. The design is also super cute.” 15 A teething popsicle handle for those bad tooth days Pros: It’s dishwasher safe. Cons: You’ll need to prop it up to freeze after pouring liquid into the mold.
One of the biggest health challenges every newborn faces? Teething. When it starts is different for every child, so it’s best to have a teether on hand for when that day comes. The teetherpop Fillable Freezeable Baby Teether can be used to make fruit or breastmilk popsicles so babies can nibble on something nutritious while numbing up their gums. The handle makes it easy to hold for tiny hands so they don’t get cold.
Review: “My son loves it. Used as a breastmilk pop while teething. It’s easy for him to hold. Keeps the mess contained and him entertained for a while! Best part is there is basically zero mess or waste. Melted liquid does not come out until sucked through holes at the top of the silicone teether. Even shook up and flipped upside down milk does not come out!” 16 A snot sucker to clear out those tiny sinuses Pros: It’s dishwasher safe for deep cleaning. Cons: You can see all the snot in the tube, so this isn’t your tool if you have a weak stomach.
Nasal aspirator bulbs have been around forever, but they often don’t help with congestion as much as you’d like, and it’s impossible to properly sanitize their insides. The
Frida Baby Nose Frida uses your suction power to pull boogers and music out of your baby’s nose, but traps them in the blue tube so they can’t actually get near your mouth. It comes apart for easy cleaning too. Review: “I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our Nose Frida. Yeah, yeah it's gross sucking your kids snot but you know what's worse? A sick, miserable baby. Our pediatrician even recommended the frida over those little blue bulbs. I can suck more junk out and it's so much easier to clean and sanitize.” 17 An electric nail file that smooths nails quickly and safely Pros: It’s super quiet and includes an LED light, so you can trim your baby’s nails while they’re sleeping and still. Cons: The file stops when any pressure is applied, which is a great safety feature, but it takes some time to get the hang of using it.
Royal Angels Baby Nail File Kit is perfect for parents who don’t want to use nail scissors or clippers on their little one. It comes with color-coded files for babies of every age, a carrying case, and spare filing pads. It’s powered by two AA batteries, so make sure you have those on hand before you settle in for a baby spa day. Review: “I was terrified to clip my newborn’s nails, so I purchased this products in hopes for something much easier. It did not disappoint! I’ve used it twice so far, and each time it has put my little boy to sleep; I’m guessing from the light vibrations. It works wonderfully with minimal effort. You literally cannot mess it up; love this product!” 18 A portable pacifier sterilizer to sanitize on the go Pros: It includes a strap to loop onto handles or strap onto a diaper bag. Cons: It holds about 90 minutes worth of charge, so if you use it often, you may need to recharge it frequently.
Every parent has been there — your baby threw their pacifier on the floor at the restaurant, and now you can either hand it back or spend the rest of the meal with a crying babe. Or, if you have a
GROWNSY Portable UV Light Sanitizer, you could take one minute to sterilize it (killing 99.99% of germs) and hand it right back. It’s USB rechargeable and durable enough to survive being bumped around in the diaper bag. Review: “Good size for on the go. Convenient and easy to use. It big enough to fit 3 pacifiers inside and has a strap on the outside to tie onto a stroller handle. I can't say for certain how effective UV sterilization is, but it gives us peace of mind when we are outside and can't wash with soap and hot water.” 19 Quiet hair clippers for babies who need a trim Pros: It’s noiseless, cordless, and waterproof. Cons: They’re USB rechargeable, so make you sure charge them before haircut day.
Some babies and toddlers have more hair than is manageable (and often they don’t love sitting still for brushing). The
Baistom Baby Hair Clipper is designed to be noiseless and gentle so trimming your little one’s locks isn’t scary for them. The kit comes with six guide combs, 6 guide combs, blade brush and lubricant, a sponge and a protective cape. Review: “We keep a couple pair of these in our salon. Of course they don't trim as well as professional trimmers...But, for small children who are afraid of their haircut, they are VERY helpful because they are quiet and gentle on their skin. Also very good to have these for highly sensitive children and adults with autism. Less noise and gentle on the skin is always a win.” 20 Dry wipes for babies with super sensitive skin Pros: Reviewers who work in hospitals say this is what they use for babies. Cons: If you’re on the go, you’ll need to find a way to wet them.
For babies prone to diaper rash or skin issues, using dry wipes with plain water to clean up during diaper changes can make a big difference.
Medline’s Ultrasoft Dry Baby Wipes are super soft, absorbent, and large enough to cover your whole hand. Review: “Best product to help prevent and treat diaper rash. I have a 27 month old and a 10 month old. Both have very sensitive bottoms. I tried a ton of different wipes and all irritated their skin. I switched to these wipes and a bowl of water that I mix a small amount of baby soap with. It works great and doesn't hurt my kids sensitive skin. I use a OXO Good Grips Diaper Wipe Container to hold and dispense the wipes and it works great.”
Which of these baby health tools will you be adding to your bathroom cabinet? Chances are you (and any parent, really) would relish the idea of never getting Aquaphor all over your hands again, letting your sick kid sleep while still knowing their temperature, and knowing the bath water is always juuust right.