The best and worst baby gadgets for new parents

New parent gift guide - the best and worst gadgets to help with baby.
Photo credit: supplied

To see a salesman salivate, introduce them to a new parent - there's an invisible sign that says 'sucker' stuck above their weary brows.

With my first child I was an easy target.

Bin that creates a scented string of plastic wrapped nappy sausages? Here's my money.

Bottle with a built-in warmer that just needs a twist? I'll have that.

Bouncer with more movement and music than a fairground ride? I'll fetch my wallet.

Pram that charges my phone, lights up like a Christmas tree and folds with a single button press - can anyone lend me a couple of grand?

With sproglet number two, I'm older, wiser (although that's probably debatable given my current baby brain state) and oh so much stingier with my money.

Having learned the hard way, any baby clutter gadgets that I buy now have to be extremely useful and, frankly, I don't own a lot.

Despite my passion for gadgets and gizmos, I've found the old fashioned way of baby rearing works just as well. 

However, here are a few things that are worth considering - and a few that are not.

A baby monitor may be the number one most handy gadget for new parents.
Photo credit: Getty

Baby monitor

These help new parents feel less anxious about leaving their baby sleeping. It doesn't have to be the most high-tech version on the shelf, just pick one that's easy to use and portable.

Some have a two-way function for remote soothing and built-in thermometers.

Personally, I'm a big fan of sound-only baby monitors. I bought mine for $15 from a charity shop several years ago and it's still going strong.

I understand many people would prefer a video monitor to keep an eye on their little darling, but the merits of a Wi-Fi model are debatable. There's always the risk, however small, of them being hacked.

For monitoring baby's every move there are some clever wearable baby monitors available which use sensors to monitor things like heart rate, respiration, sleeping position, blood oxygen level and or body temperature. One well known one is Owlet Smart Sock which connects via Bluetooth and sends notifications to an app and base station.

White noise machine for baby.
Photo credit: supplied

White noise machine

White noise can help get a baby to sleep as it simulates a womb-like environment. 

Some people turn on the washing machine, vacuum or leave a radio sitting between station frequencies. I find white noise tracks on Spotify and play those on a little bluetooth speaker outside the bedroom door.

But for those who love a good gadget, there are lots of different white noise machines to choose from. Hussh is a portable one that comes highly recommended by many of my friends.

Be careful though. Overseas research has found that some white noise machines are actually too loud for babies and can far exceed the 50dB limit enforced in hospital nurseries.

Pram rocker.
Photo credit: Behance

Pram rocker

Yes there is such a thing and though I haven't personally used one, my friend swears by an invention called Rockit. It clips to the side of a parked up pushchair and rocks it gently, helping keep a baby asleep. How cool is that? 


OK so this is more an item of clothing than a gadget but I swear by swaddles that zip up. It's so much easier than trying to wrap a wriggling baby, or worse - a screaming one that desperately needs some sleep. I like Woombie but have also tried the Love to Dream brand. A good swaddle should be followed by a good sleep sack, as it stops the need for blankets in a cot.

Bottle steriliser

I use a microwave steriliser for baby bottles. Kmart does the cheapest I've found. On occasions I've also been known to use a microwave steamer for vegetables - it works just as well! Electric sterilisers seem a bit of a waste of money unless you're one of those few people that doesn't own a microwave.

Nuna Leaf.
Photo credit: Nuna


These can be very useful for fussy babies but they can also be very expensive, if they vibrate, rock or play music. For luxury take a look at the Nuna brand, but there are plenty of cheaper ones from the likes of Fisher-Price and Kmart. They can even be hired. Basic ones that simply let the baby bounce themself are also good. It's great to be able to put them down occasionally and let you have a shower or make a cup of tea.

Handy pram

I'm not going to recommend particular models here because there are so many different ones to choose from but a pram that allows a baby capsule to be attached to it either with or without adaptors is very handy. It means you can easily transport a sleeping baby from the car to the supermarket or for a walk without disturbing them. Failing that, there are lightweight click-and-go stroller trolleys for capsules that can be hired from the likes of Baby on the Move.

A baby sleep timer training clock can be a super helpful gadget for parents.
Photo credit: U Ready Teddy

Sleep training clock

This one is more for parents of toddlers and can be a total sleep saver. These use lights and pictures to help a child know when it's time to get up. Some of them are also useful as nightlights. Again, Kmart does a very affordable one.

The not so necessary...

Automatic baby wipe warmer.
Photo credit: Ebay

Wipe warmer

Really? Who thinks of these things. Why would anyone need to buy a plastic box that plugs into the wall and keeps wipes warm so that baby doesn't get a cold bottom? 

Baby food maker

This is entirely unnecessary as a normal food processor will be more than adequate. Or you could try being really old-school and use a potato masher. Then again, I have been given an old one by a friend so I really ought to be more grateful and try it.

Pee pee teepee.
Photo credit: Amazon

The pee pee teepee

This is a little cone shaped device that helps stop parents from being peed on when changing their baby boy. Surely a DIY flannel or small piece of cloth would work just as well? 

Baby formula maker

For those who find mixing formula by hand just a little too tedious, these machines automatically mix formula and water to make a ready-to-drink bottle. Wow! If one of these would fit nicely alongside your espresso machine there are a few different brands to choose from.

Babypod - the speaker for your vagina to help baby listen to tunes.
Photo credit: Babypod


This last one is actually for pregnant women but I just had to include it for the sheer 'what the…' factor. Babypod is a small speaker for intravaginal use. It allows mothers to share music and communicate with their baby which apparently stimulates the development of their vocalisation before birth.

Methinks that's taking baby gadgets a step too far.


This article was created for Newshub Technology, produced in partnership with Noel Leeming.