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Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

12 multifunctional gadgets every parent needs

New parents' homes can quickly get filled with toys, baby clothes, gadgets, bottles and other necessities. It can be overwhelming for those who pride themselves on a clean house. But many modern baby products are designed to handle multiple needs, so you don't have to stuff as many things into your home. If you're looking to save space, there are several multifunctional baby products worth checking out.

In this article: Skip Hop Baby Activity CenterGraco Made2Grow 6-in-1 High Chair and Infantino 4-in-1 Succulent Jumbo Activity Mat

What to consider when buying a multifunctional baby product

  • Don't sacrifice quality for convenience: In some cases, multiple functions may be a gimmick to get more sales. Some brands sacrifice durability to incorporate convertible features. When considering a multifunctional product, it's best to only buy from reputable brands.
  • Longevity: Many multifunctional products are designed to grow with your child. These products often save you money as well as space.
  • Need: Sometimes, things with numerous functions seem too good to pass up. Still, it's worth considering whether you'll actually use each function.

Types of multifunctional parenting products

  • Strollers: Many convertible strollers are designed to grow with your child, transitioning from rear-facing to forward-facing configurations. Sometimes, these come with car seats that click into the stroller.
  • Toys: Toys can take up a lot of space and get scattered throughout your home. Many are designed to transition among types of play to save you space and money.
  • High chairs: Convertible high chairs are designed to support your child from infancy through the toddler years. In some cases, the chair can be split into a booster seat and stool to support two children.
  • Feeding and nursing: Bottles, cleaning tools and nursing products designed with multiple functions are ideal for travel.

Multifunctional parenting product FAQ

Q. Are convertible high chairs OK for all ages?

A. Those that transition into booster seats and stools should last several years. Generally, your child will give you cues when they're too old for a particular configuration.

Q. Is it safe to buy a used convertible car seat?

A. In some cases, companies only send recall notifications to people who bought and registered their products. This means you wouldn't know if the car seat has been recalled. Additionally, you won't know if the previous owner has been in a wreck, dropped the car seat or compromised the seat's quality. It's best to buy car seats first-hand to avoid potential hazards.

Best multifunctional parenting products

Skip Hop Baby Activity Center

This transitions from a baby bouncer to an activity center and table with a chalkboard. You can position the toys wherever you want. The seat swivels around. The piano can be placed on the table or by your baby's feet.

Sold by Amazon

Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine

This is a night light and noise machine that can be controlled with your smartphone. It has various noise settings, such as an ocean, washing machine, white noise and heartbeat. You can use it as an alarm clock or program scheduled color changes to help build bedtime routines.

Sold by Amazon

Skip Hop 3-in-1 Push Walker to Toddler Scooter

This transitions from a wagon to a seated scooter and a standing scooter. It's easy to convert from one mode to another and there's an adjustable handle. Many reviewers said they were impressed with the straightforward assembly process.

Sold by Amazon

Graco Made2Grow 6-in-1 High Chair

This transitions from an infant high chair to a traditional high chair, infant booster seat, toddler booster seat and stool. It folds down and has a dishwasher-safe tray. Many users said they were impressed with its sturdiness.

Sold by Amazon

Klir Air Travel Baby Bottle Cleaning Set

This comes with a bottle brush, soap container, straw brush, nipple brush and drying rack that fit into a travel-sized container. All included components are dishwasher-safe. It can be used for cleaning bottles or breast pump components.

Sold by Amazon

Graco Modes Pramette Stroller

This transitions from an infant car seat carrier to a pramette and toddler stroller. It's compatible with all Graco infant car seats. Many buyers said it was easy to use and fold down. It has a cupholder and comes in three colors.

Sold by Amazon

Graco Pack 'n Play Close2Baby Bassinet

This transitions from a portable bassinet and changing table to a stationary bassinet and play yard. The sides are made of breathable mesh. It only takes around five minutes to assemble.

Sold by Amazon

Infantino 4-in-1 Succulent Jumbo Activity Mat

This transitions from an activity mat to a sit-down activity center and ball pit. It comes with a succulent-themed bag that holds the balls. It's easy to assemble, and many parents said their babies loved it.

Sold by Amazon

Skip Hop 2-in-1 Sit-Up Activity Baby Chair

This small chair doubles as an activity center and snack tray. The seat is machine-washable. It can be difficult to get your child in and out of it, but many said their kids loved it.

Sold by Amazon

Gyothrig Car Seat and Nursing Cover

This cover fits over your car seat and can be used for breastfeeding. Many consumers said they were impressed with its durable material.

Sold by Amazon

Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

This converts through various configurations to support around 10 years of use. It features an anti-rebound bar and adjustable headrest. The cover is machine-washable. It comes in six colors, including red, blue and purple.

Sold by Amazon

Uppababy Vista V2 Stroller

This travel system includes a bassinet and stroller. It's compatible with Mesa infant car seats, and the harness system can be adjusted with ease. It's made with durable materials and is easy to maneuver. Although it's expensive, most parents said it was well worth the price.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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