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The Maverick

Some parents implement the heavily regimented feeding and sleeping schedules recommended in popular books about childrearing. Some parents join online chat rooms, attend meet-ups, and ask family members for advice. Some parents build consensus. Not you. You prefer solutions to advice. You find what works for you.

Perhaps your parents were mavericks, too, and raised you in an untraditional manner — like a few years in a surf van as a young child. Or maybe you were raised in an extremely traditional manner and have spent years trying to unlearn ways of thinking that you found stultifying (or just limiting). Whatever the reason, you are going your own way with this parenting thing.

You are so skeptical of algorithms telling you what products you are supposed to like that you may well ignore our advice. You also might not. You’re unpredictable, but you put your kid first. You don’t make rash decisions; you just don’t get pressured into non-decision decisions by peers or “best practices.”

What’s on your registry? From a drone that will help you with the family photo shoot to multi-pocketed diaper backpacks, your list isn’t a bunch of consumer products curated for your every preordained need. It’s a slew of tools that will allow you to customize life for you and your baby.


Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contour Changing Pad

Featuring the best in both natural and synthetic materials, the Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contour Changing Pad harnesses the benefits of both. Its organic cotton cover is soft and safe, while the polyethylene coating allows for easy cleanup and sanitation for repeated use during the diapering years. The included safety belt helps hold your child so that they don’t inadvertently roll off mid-change. It even includes optional screws to attach the pad itself to changing surfaces for an additional level of security. Hypoallergenic and nontoxic, it’s a workhorse with a nod to the eco-conscious.


Baby Tula Free to Grow Carrier

Whether you’re looking for an infant carrier or one that will comfortably hold a toddler, the Baby Tula Free to Grow Carrier allows a long-term solution to moving with your child. With three width settings, two height settings, and a thick waistbelt to disperse the weight to your hips, the carrier is fully adjustable for both you and your child’s comfort and ergonomic needs. The cotton material is breathable and accommodates both front and back carry options. It even includes a removable hood should you and your infant get caught out in the rain. Holding a max weight of 45 pounds, you’ll be able to get a few years of use before your son or daughter outgrows it.


Eddie Bauer Echo Places & Spaces Back Pack Diaper Bag

Pacific Northwestern outfitter Eddie Bauer knows a thing about going your own way — it’s been a trusted name in outdoor exploration since 1920. You and your child can depend on its Echo Places & Spaces Back Pack Diaper Bag throughout the day. Eight pockets, including insulated bottle spaces, offer a ton of organizational options, while its cavernous interior, accessed through a top flap, is a great catchall when time’s up and you and your child have to run. The removable changing pad is awesome for those instances when you’re faced with a diaper change and available surfaces are a little sketchy. And though the padded shoulder straps make for all-day carrying comfort, it’s nice to have the option of stroller loops.


Owlet Digital Video Monitor

When your own adventures take you far from home, check in with your little one with the Owlet Digital Video Monitor. Connecting your smartphone with your nursery through a proprietary, secure-feed app, the Owlet streams 1080p HD video with optional night vision on demand, no matter where you are. It even works with other apps, ensuring you’ll hear any disturbance even while streaming and gaming. Add the Smart Sock, available separately, to receive wellness insights. With its ultrawide 130-degree angle of view, you’ll feel like you’re right there.


Arm’s Reach Mini 2-in-1 Ezee Co-Sleeper Bassinet

Whether you prefer co-sleeping or want a freestanding solution or some combination, the Arm’s Reach Mini 2-in-1 Ezee Co-Sleeper Bassinet has you covered. With superbreathable mesh sides, it’s well ventilated and offers at-a-glance access to your infant. Its hallmark feature is a front panel that can be lowered to a four-inch height so you can have that feeling of co-sleeping without the danger of your child in the bed. If you don’t want it or just want more security, simply raise it up to the same height as the other three sides. The bassinet also easily breaks down and stores away in an included travel bag to take this show on the road.


Graco Pace Click Connect Stroller

Even if you don’t have a Graco car seat, there’s still a lot to love about its Pace Click Connect Stroller. For fast maneuverability, its swiveling front wheel can cut corners, but if you’re out for a leisurely walk, lock it forward for easy control. When your trip is over, the stroller folds up with a one-handed release and allows for simple carrying thanks to a built-in strap and a light weight of just over 16 pounds. Of course, if you do have a Graco infant carrier compatible with its Click Connect system, it snaps in with ease for fast transitions from car to strolling. Trays for your child and you, along with a generous storage basket, show this company thought of every parenting need.


Pearhead Ceramic Piggy Bank

Sure, a baby having a piggy bank would strike many as odd. But you know that the path to financial prosperity can never start too early. Start saving pennies now for your child’s college or first checking account. When it’s full, no need to break the bank; the removable rubber stopper allows you easy access to empty, deposit, and start anew.


Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers

For those who love exploring and care about preserving our planet, Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers allow you and your child to tread lightly. While they’re ultra-absorbent and hypoallergenic, minding your son or daughter’s delicate skin, these disposables also have a huge commitment to green initiatives. Sourcing their moisture-sealing core from Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood pulp, they’re the first diapers to achieve the prestigious seal. They also eschew chlorine bleach, lotions, or extraneous fragrances for a completely natural diapering option.


Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes

Superthick and ultrasoft, the Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes are a simple way to clean your son or daughter before a fresh diaper. Made from a plant-based fiber, the unscented wipes contain zero fragrance, alcohol, parabens, or phenoxyethanol, making them as safe on the face as they are on the bottom. Adding in aloe vera for natural moisture, they’re also hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested for ultimate safety. Their flip-top package ensures the first wipe is as moist as the last.


Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat

The Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat is a very smart choice. It transitions quickly and securely from carrying to riding by incorporating the easy-on, easy-off Latch connector. Once its base is installed securely, the car seat itself pops in and out with an audible click, letting you know that your kid is locked in tight. The deep foam-lined shell and steel frame absorbs energy, shielding your child from all sides in the event of a crash, while a five-point harness keeps them secure. Plus the cover itself removes easily for a hand-wash in the event of another kind of accident.


Nuk Simply Natural Bottle 5oz, 3 pack

As close as it gets to the real thing, the Nuk Simply Natural Bottle is one of the finest engineered bottle solutions available. Its ingenious design features multiple nipple holes (from three to nine, depending on desired feed rate) for a feeling similar to that of your partner’s breasts. It also features an anticolic air system to reduce excess air from entering your infant’s tummy, helping prevent colic, gas, and spit-up. BPA-free, these bottles are easily sterilized and dishwasher-safe.


Graco DreamGlider Gliding Baby Swing and Sleeper

Get the most from your baby gear with the Graco DreamGlider Gliding Baby Swing and Sleeper, which transforms its function with one hand. As a glider, it soothes with added vibration, variable movement speed, and sounds. When your child has drifted off to dreamland, adjust its reclining position easily and quickly with little disturbance. We appreciated its ability to operate via a wall plug or batteries, which lets you use it almost anywhere. It also has a machine-washable pad in the event of an accident.


Skip Hop Moby Smart Sling 3-Stage Tub

While functional and incredibly practical, the whale silhouette of the Skip Hop Moby Smart Sling 3-Stage Tub just makes us laugh. Made from PVC- and phthalate-free plastic, the bathing unit adjusts as your child grows. For newborns, its mesh sling provides a comfortable position in which to recline. After a few months, when your infant can sit up with help, the sling shifts for seated support. Finally, when your child is sitting without assistance, the sling is completely removable for a larger bathing area. After bathtime is over and the water is drained via a removable, star-shaped plug, hang the tub to dry behind a door or from your shower curtain rod thanks to swivel hooks built into the frame.


Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash

Powered by the relaxing scent of lavender, Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash calms your son or daughter, making it the perfect precursor to a restful sleep. Its gentle formula cleanses skin and hair while moisturizing with natural ingredients like aloe. Vanilla and chamomile create a lingering, pleasant scent. Tear-free, it’s as soothing for you as it is for your son or daughter. Like many other products in the company’s baby line, it contains no parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS.


4moms High Chair

Creating a better high chair seems akin to inventing a better mousetrap, but 4moms High Chair makes a lot of little changes to the classic design that add up to a demonstrably superior product. Start with its magnet-guided tray, which slides into place easily without guidance rails. The tray top itself is magnetic, which helps keep kiddos from upending their dishes. To get you halfway there, it even includes one magnetic bowl, with the option for additional compatible dishes. The removable, dishwasher-safe tray liner and removable foam seat insert make cleanup a snap, while the chair’s three-height positions and two tray positions ensure the best fit for every size of child and table.


Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology

Squirmy, sick kids don’t want to sit still, which is why the Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology grabs an accurate temp in seconds flat. Insert the prewarmed tip into your little one’s ear and its correct positioning is confirmed with a light and beep. When it’s finished taking a reading via infrared technology, the temperature appears on a large, easy-to-read display. Disposable lens filters ensure sanitary readings use after use. And it’s powered by two AA batteries, which are easy to source wherever you’re located.


Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream

Target your son or daughter’s eczema the natural way with Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream. Its soothing blend of plant-based ingredients, rich in antioxidants, calms irritated, inflamed skin. Colloidal oatmeal relieves itching, allowing your child to sleep. Fully organic, it provides up to 12 hours of hydration thanks to a blend of tomato, sunflower, cranberry, raspberry, and black cumin seed oil. Free from all steroids, sulfates, parabens, dyes, and other artificial ingredients, this cream is an environmentally friendly means of providing relief to your child.


SwaddleMe Original Swaddle, 3-pack

Combining the comfort of the swaddle with the simplicity of Velcro, the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle makes putting your infant down fast and easy. Insert your infant and the adjustable wings provide a perfect fit every time with a quick press. Easy-open leg pouches provide access for a quick diaper change without its entire removal. Made from breathable cotton, these swaddles are machine-washable and –dryable, all while helping your child go down faster and sleep longer. They’ll feel safe and secure, and you’ll get more rest.


Infantino Go Gaga! Infant to Toddler Play Gym & Fun Teepee

There’s a definite amount of whimsy that comes with the Infantino Go Gaga! Infant to Toddler Play Gym & Fun Teepee. But it still has a broad functionality that justifies its excesses in appearance. Whether your child likes overhead discovery, tummy time, crawl through, or an interactive environment, this teepee provides lots of stimulus and entertainment. Little things like a squeezable, musical owl and a peekaboo mirror are a lot of fun, but the scenic sides, which feature different times of day and the Big Dipper are an easy way to provide a foundation of education for your growing son or daughter.


Baby Einstein Neighborhood Symphony Jumper

Allow your child to march to the beat of their own drum with the Baby Einstein Neighborhood Symphony Jumper. This music-themed activity center engages the young brain, allowing your kid to create music in a 360-degree rotating seat. This jumper lets little hands pound out beats on an electric bongo, which activates lights, sounds, and multiple languages. Your child spins to perform on the piano, guitar, and tambourine.