Becoming a parent comes with a host of surprises: the amount of sleep deprivation the body can really stand, for example, or how a simple song about baby… marine life can echo in your head for days. Parenting also means you acquire a whole bunch of new stuff. There’s the diapers, onesies, tiny socks, and strollers, sure, but there’s also a lot of things you may not have even realized existed. Scrolling through your fave shopping site, you’re sure to see some weird baby gadgets with high ratings on Amazon.
Maybe you’ll get a snot sucker as a gift at your baby shower (how sweet) or a well-meaning friend will pass down a swing that looks better suited for a space station than for rocking your baby. Inevitably though, the hand-me-downs will stop trickling in, and you’ll have to buy a few key things; this is true even of your second child because baby gear changes so fast. Rest assured that just because a product looks weird and maybe even a little daunting, many of these seemingly silly things will actually make your life much easier. Read on for some weird baby gadgets on Amazon that reviewers are raving about. Rubber ducky thermometer, anyone?
1. Lawn Countertop Drying Rack
This is a staple in almost every parents’ kitchen... but what is this grass-like contraption? Glad you asked! Simply put, it’s a BPA-free rack designed to dry bottle parts and anything else that you'd like to air dry. The two pieces make it easy to pop apart and clean.
2. Zipper Crib Sheet
I will tell you because no one else will: changing a crib sheet is really hard. The bars will dig into your stomach, and it's almost impossible to get the sheet to fit around the mattress because you're so far away. Enter zipper sheets. A hidden zipper panel stays in place around the mattress, and you can zip the middle part in and out for easy washing. The sheet also stays taut, which lowers the risk of suffocation.
3. Portable Swaddle Swing
This genius invention fuses swaddling with swinging to soothe fussy babies on-the-go (or at home when the baby just... won’t ... sleep). It's the same idea as swinging the carseat to soothe your baby, only it's much lighter. Many reviewers mention what a savior this gadget is for colicky babies.
4. NoseFrida Baby Nasal Aspirator
You've probably seen the NoseFrida by now but that doesn't make it not weird. This strange gadget requires the suction from a parents' mouth to clear out congestion inside your child's nose. Don't panic: there's a guard so no snot will actually get into your mouth.
5. Compact Baby Swing
This looks a little bit Space Age, but the swing is amazing for small spaces because it folds up small when not in use. Sometimes you need to put your baby down (and some babies aren't having that). This swing is great because it has different speeds and a bar of toys that will keep baby busy.
6. The Windi
Truly, I'm not sure I want to know how, exactly, the Windi works, but I know that it does. Designed to relieve gas, this will be your best friend when your baby's stomach is hard and gurgly. Instant relief.
7. Baby Knee Pads
If I were crawling around all day, I would definitely want knee pads too. These perfectly rated knee pads come in a pack of three, which is good because they're going to get dirty. The pads will protect your busy babe's knees, especially on wood floors or outdoors.
8. Bath Thermometer
It can be hard to gauge how hot water really is just by using your hands. This handy duck thermometer tells you the exact temperature in both celsius and fahrenheit, and it beeps when the water is too hot or too cold to be safe. It also has a clock feature, and perhaps best of all, it's super cute and kid-friendly.
9. Backseat Mirror
This is one of those products that you may not initially think will be as helpful as it is, kind of like the Dyson blow dryer or the Rumba, but those are stories for another day. The shatterproof mirror allows you to see your baby's face while they're riding backward in the car. Installation is a breeze, and there's a lifetime money-back guarantee.
10. Baby Food Freezer Storage Trays
Once your baby starts eating solids, you may want to make their food yourself, but you also may not have time to every day. These BPA-free storage trays make it easy to freeze baby food for easy thawing; just touch the edge of the cube to make it come loose or run warm water over the back of the tray (the website warns against twisting, which could harm the plastic.) It also comes with 27 baby food recipes if you're not sure what to make.
11. Portable Pacifier Sterilizer
If your baby loves pacifiers, then that pacifier is going to fall in places you'd rather it not: at the park, in the grocery store, maybe even in a public restroom (yikes). Instead of confiscating their pacifier until you get home, you can sanitize it on-the-go. It only takes six minutes and the gadget is small enough to keep under the stroller or in a diaper bag.
12. Radiation Protection Blanket
The jury is still out on if and how radiation affects a fetus, but if you're firmly in the camp "better safe than sorry", then you'll love this radiation protection blanket. You can put the cozy cloth over your belly while you use your laptop or phone. Once your child starts using screens, you can pass it on to them too.
13. Breast Milk Freezer Tray
The fact that you may need an ice cube tray for breast milk probably will not occur to you until you're nursing, but not any old tray will work. This one from Milkies is made of food grade plastic, and comes with a top to keep the milk sanitary. Each slot holds exactly one ounce. One reviewer said, "I received some breastmilk storage bags as a gift, but have never used them, because this is so easy, and seems less wasteful."
14. Teething Necklace
Wearing your usual necklaces or dangling earrings is pretty much out of the question when you have an infant who wants to pull on any shiny thing they see. These silicone teether necklaces are not only cute and fun to wear, they're totally safe for your baby to gnaw on. Win win!
15. Breastfeeding Starter Kit
A great baby shower gift (or a gift to yourself) this breastfeeding starter kit comes with nursing pads, nipple balm, and a wet bag for storing damp pads. The pads are washable, so you can use them over and over. One Amazon reviewer says, "These are the BEST and softest breast pads put there. You don't even feel them in your bra."
16. Changing Wrap
You don't want your baby's hands in a dirty diaper, but you also don't want to wrap them up in a straight-jacket looking device to keep their arms held back. This barrier is the best of both worlds because it has toys for your child to play with while you change them. The barrier and the changing pad fold up into a small rectangle for easy transporting.