Everyone lines up to buy adorable gifts for the newest happy, healthy baby in their lives, but, ironically, the stuff kids need the most to actually be happy and healthy is often left beside a lonely unchecked box on the registry. Because, while nail clippers and thermometers and that weird snot sucking rubber bulb thing are vital to a child’s wellbeing in their earliest days, no one ever posted a baby pic to Instagram with the caption, “Loving my new rectal thermometer, thanks to my favorite aunt and uncle!”
That’s not an attempt to launch the worst trending hashtag in social media history, just an explanation for why you’re going to have to buy these baby health and wellness products yourself. No matter how much Junior needs them, they’re just too boring to bag up with bows and fluffy tissue paper. Now if you wouldn’t mind, your friends have some tiny hats to buy.
Best Digital Thermometer: Withings Thermo
Even if you’re not squeamish about putting a thermometer in your kid’s butt, there’s a decent chance they’ll be squirm-ish enough to make it a serious hassle. (Can you blame them?). But the “back of the hand” method won’t work, since most pediatricians require specific temperature readings before scheduling a visit, especially for babies younger than three months. Thermo, by French tech company Withings, combines the comfort of a hand on the head with actual, accurate temperature readings (pfft, details) delivered in 2 seconds.
Best Old-Fashioned Baby Thermometer: Safety 1st Gentle Read
Despite amazing advances in at-home medical technology, rectal temperature remains the most accurate way to tell if your kid has a fever, specifically for babies younger than 3 months, no ifs, ands, or — damn it, not now, Dad Joke Bot! The Gentle Read delivers consistent accuracy for less than the cost of breakfast, with features like a flexible tip and 8-second readout time to minimize the discomfort for everyone involved.
Best Smart Baby Thermometer: Fever Scout
Let’s be real: constantly measuring your kid’s temperature when they’re sick is a pain. Not only that, you don’t want to wake them up when they’re resting. The Fever Scout measures your child’s temperature without you bothering them. Attach the fever patch right below your child’s armpit (it has a replaceable adhesive), and you can read their temperature up to 100 feet away on your smart phone.
Best Smartphone Baby Thermometer: Kinsa Smart Stick
With the Kinsa Smart, you can take your kid’s temperature with your smart phone. Just plug it into your headphone jack and use it like any traditional thermometer. Added bonus: you can create profiles for every member of your family with their temperatures, and it gives medical advice with readings. If you are ever unsure if a reading is normal, go back and check the records.
Best Baby Nail Clippers: ZoLi BUZZ B Electric Nail Trimmer
Considering the “10 fingers, 10 toes” cliché, you’d think baby nail maintenance would be a bigger deal. On the other hand … there are more fingernails, heyo! Look, there’s objectively nothing exciting about nail trimmers, but, left unchecked, babies grow claws that would make Wolverine wince. This gently vibrating, soft nail file ensures a quick, comfortable, safe manicure. If you prefer tradition, or a challenge, these clippers are highly reviewed.
Best First Aid Kit: Me4Kidz Medibag Family First Aid Kit
Fact: babies get hurt, and they’re total babies about it. Before they’ll rub some dirt on it and walk it off like your dad taught you (and look how great you turned out!), you’ll have to attend to plenty of minor emergencies. This kit has everything you need to heal every cut, scrape, rash, and reaction without requiring you to imagine all those scenarios and build your own kit. Sorry, did nobody at the hospital tell you having a kid also makes you an EMT?
Best Nasal Aspirator: NoseFrida The Snotsucker
Babies are known poo machines, but they underratedly produce a ton of snot, too, which makes eating, sleeping, and breathing uncomfortable. The Snotsucker is a clinically proven alternative to the bulb syringe, featuring an awesomely gross name and a hygiene filter system designed specifically to not make you sick. If the whole idea still does, well, you’re a parent now. Your life is pretty much spending money and gross stuff until they turn 18. (Also, don’t forget the saline.)
Best Humidifier: Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
The last thing you need is for a device meant to improve your kid’s air quality to actually contribute to the toxic cloud you worked so hard to eradicate while building a nursery. That’s why Honeywell designed this humidifier with bacteria-, mold-, and fungus-murdering UV technology and made it simple to clean. The kid’s room will still be a mess, but at least it’ll be things you can see.
Best Baby Scale: Health O Meter Grow With Me
You don’t necessarily need one of these if your kid is getting regular checkups, but it can be helpful if you have concerns about their development, whether they were premature or you just want to make sure they’re eating enough. The Grow With Me is accurate, reliable, and converts from an infant tray to a standing digital scale (up to 60 pounds) for when your toddler becomes a badass boxer and needs to make weight.
Best Baby Toothbrush: Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether
This soft-bristled brush may be the best starter toothbrush for your kid. It doubles as a teether and is available in several different colors and designs, including a shark brush and a corn on the cobb brush. But, unlike real corn on the cob, this won’t get stuck in your teeth.