Stellar Baby: 7 Gadgets & Toys We Love

The truth is, if you’re an old pro at raising kids, you may take a look at this list and think “why on Earth does she think she needs all this stuff?” Well, I don’t. But I do think some have been nice to have and have made life easier. And some make Penny happy, so that’s reason enough for me!


If you’re a new mom, or about to be, registering for baby gear can be overwhelming. If you were thinking of adding any of these to your list, here’s why I’d say go for it:

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer 

I registered for the thermometer you put in the baby’s ear, but apparently you shouldn’t use those on newborns. And the thermometer they give you at the hospital is OK — we used it under her armpit, but man did it make her holler! This thermometer is what they used on me in the hospital and a quick swipe of the forehead is all it takes. Easy peasy. 

Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer

Penny used to scream during diaper changes at night, so we bought this to see if it would help. I’m not sure it made a difference, but she does scream less now (knock on wood).

Zolibuzz Electric Nail Trimmer

The thought of clipping Penny’s nails terrified me. My friend Leah saved the day when she recommended this. It buffs her nails down easily, and I’ve even used it successfully while she was awake. 

Snuza Pico

This wearable movement monitor attaches to your baby’s diaper and an alarm sounds if there’s been no movement for 15 seconds. So basically it monitors the rise and fall of her belly as she breathes. While I’m still paranoid while she’s sleeping, it’s been very comforting having this since Penny sleeps in her crib in her own room. The monitor also tells you whether she’s lying on her back, if she’s asleep or “light” or awake, and monitors her temperature. 

VTEC Video Baby Monitor

Penny has slept in her crib in her room since our third night home with her — and this is why. I can still watch her like a hawk, from two angles. 

Graco Pack n Play with Portable Bouncer

If you have a two-story house, I especially recommend getting one of these since it includes a changing station, which is particularly helpful if you have a c-section and can’t get up and down to the baby’s room. We also love the portable bouncer, which most days sits on one end of our sectional couch so she can nap near us. 

Baby Einstein Activity Gym

This play mat is a lifesaver! For about a month now, the easiest way for me to eat lunch is to put Penny down in this to play and then I sit next to her on the floor while I eat. She’s a huge fan of all the colors and noises and loves interacting with us while using it, too.

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