Unpatterned Picks: Favorite Well-Designed Baby Gear

While I realize this is a design blog, I happen to be a designer with a toddler, who was once a baby, one hot second ago. The vast sea of darkness that is the abyss of baby gear can be overwhelming. And nauseating. And while you really don't NEED a lot of the stuff, I picked my Top 5  baby gear items based on some self-imposed restrictions:

  • They had to be visually pleasing/well designed. Everything doesn't have to be CUTE!
  • They had to be a functional object - not cute clothes or toys as those are not essential. We are talking gear here, the stuff people will see sitting out in your house.

These are the things I would buy again tomorrow and sanction for nursery designs or kitchen countertops:

  1. Boon Naked Collapsible Tub. I hate clutter. I hate having every room look like a rainbow threw up in it after you have a kid (got that expression from a client.) We are a one tub house and it's our main hall bathroom. I didn't want to see some massive baby tub or inflated rubber ducky every day. Enter this tub. It collapses and has a hook. Since bathing babies (or young kids) every day is not a necessity, we always hung it up after bath and then put it in our daughter's closet the next day when it was dry. It would also have been just fine hanging in the shower all the time or on the back of a door. Because it looks good! I will say the hook did snap, but Boon replaced it. I still love it and L even resisted moving on from it.
  2. Ubbi Diaper Pail. I wasn't really feeling a plastic white diaper pail. Enter the steel Ubbi that comes in a variety of colors. Plus we did cloth for the first year or so (and had planned to do it all along) so I really liked the way this opened and closed. I will say now that we've switched to disposables, the Ubbi could be better at containing odors when you open the top. Regardless, I still don't mind seeing this thing in the corner of the nursery.
  3. Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer. I would never ever buy a cloth diaper pad after having this thing. Ever. Put your cute prints on the sheet, the drapes, the rug, the wall, whatever. You can either change and wash the cover every other day or you can scrub this thing down when you need to. I'll take the latter as I do more than enough laundry. I totally roll my eyes at traditional changing pads now. Or I walk in a nursery with a pee pad over the cutesy cover. Worth the cash.
  4. OXO Tot Drying Rack. Loved this bottle rack. While I tooted Boon's horn above, I just didn't want "grass" sitting on my counter. This was the most innocuous thing I could find and I like the utensil cup.  You could see when it started to get grody on the bottom and you could run in through the dishwasher. Nicely designed, coordinating accessories (hello, bottle brush, containers, dishes...) and made a great wine glass drying rack as well.
  5. OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser. OXO FTW x 2. I was so happy to see this wipes dispenser on a registry for a dear friend. It's the best and looks good too. Still going strong here, but hoping it's retired soon. 

So that's it! If you bought me one of these things off our registry - THANK YOU! I won't blog about the things I hated (Summer Infant placemat that never stayed stuck, I'm looking at you.) These 5 items are well designed aesthetically and functionally and I don't mind seeing them in my house. Unlike you, massive ugly Jumperoo, even though you were a life saver! What else is on your list?