Gotta-have-it gear

Babies and toddlers don’t, technically, need a lot of gear. But certain basics are essential (and it’s best to buy them new, not second hand): We’re talking pacifiers, teethers and sippy cups. Have a kid or two, and you’ll go through quite a few. Here are some of our favorites — old and new. Bonus: Want to learn how not to go crazy with baby-related spending? Check out our financial columnist’s super strategies for saving at



MAM’s chillable Cooler teether offers a variety of chewing surfaces — a hard plastic, textured ring that’s easy to grab (or even wear as a handy bracelet), plus three water-filled prongs. If the water-filled parts are too cold to hold when the teether comes out of the fridge, your kid can simply hang onto the hard plastic end and chow away in comfort on the cool bits without freezing his hands.



Finding the perfect pacifier for your baby can sometimes be tricky. While some infants love the soothers that come home with them from the hospital, others need to try a few more to find the right fit. Natursutten’s pacifiers have a large shield that touches the nose, which is — according to the manufacturers — more comforting for babies because it more closely simulates breastfeeding. Made in Italy from natural rubber, these binkies are free of BPA, PVC and phthalates.



Some sippy cups are really just glorified bottles with nipple-like spouts — not the Wow cup. 

It’s more like a cup than any other sippy — ideal of you’re trying to wean your kid from a longtime sippy or bottle habit. It’s drinkable from 360 degrees (just like a real cup). And there are no levers, spouts, straws or buttons, just three simple dishwasher-safe parts that are easy to assemble. And, get this, it doesn’t leak (even upside down or on its side), making it an ideal travel or overnight cup, too.