Home, sweet, home with Baby

Life changes dramatically when you have a baby — and that includes your home. 

Here are five products designed to help families keep their abodes clean and beautiful despite bouncy seats, activity mats and Boppy pillows stuffed into every corner.


Cozy crib 

Stokke, which became a household name in 1972 with its modern Z-line wooden highchair, is now offering a birth-to-age-5 nursery set, including a crib with a house-frame topper ($699), a portable cradle that sways ($359), a changing platform ($249) and a matching dresser ($529). 

You can perch the cradle sling and the changing platform right on the crib for a “compact newborn” arrangement, or you can set the changing platform on top of the dresser. And the crib converts to a toddler bed and playhouse as your kid grows. When you’re all done with the changing platform — yay! — it can be turned over and set on top of the cradle base to create a play table. 

A crib guard to keep your kid from falling out during the toddler years cost extra ($89) as do the too-cute canopies ($105 for a roof and $140 for a tent). The Stokke Home line is made of solid European beech wood, non-toxic lacquers and formaldehyde-reduced medium density fiberboard.  


3-in-1 chair

The new Stack 3-in-1 Multi-Chair from Chicco ($129.99) grows with your child from a traditional highchair to a booster and, finally, a stool. It includes a padded, three-position reclining seat, a tray you can snap on with one hand (with a removable liner for easy cleanup) and a variety of other bells and whistles at each stage. 

Faux-leather mat

This stylish, wipeable, multi-use alternative to play mats for babies, toddlers and beyond — Posh Play Mat — was invented by a mom who was frustrated with the many play mats on the market. Made of eco-friendly, child-safe PVC-free faux leather, it’s available in a variety of cool prints, including crocodile, Aztec and snakeskin. 

Full-size play mats are 45-by-50 inches ($84). Bibs ($24), snack sacks ($38), changing pads/placemats ($22) and a diaper-bag clutch purse with a pad ($49, pictured) are also available in a variety of fabrics. You can customize pieces with monograms along with the fabric and thread colors of your choice (for an extra charge of $19.95). 



Washable rugs

Most rugs aren’t easy to clean.

And that’s a pain if you have rugs plus a baby with a penchant for spitting up unexpectedly or a toddler who likes to grind blueberries into the floor. 

We recommend you investigate the new washable rugs from Ruggable

Each rug includes a non-slip cushioned backing that you place directly on the floor, followed by a cover that attaches firmly to the rug pad. When it’s time to clean up, simply pull the cover off and throw it in the washing machine. These rugs stay in place, are easy to vacuum and are water- and stain-resistant, too. 

A 5-by-7-foot rug costs $150 ($50 for the pad, $100 for the cover). 


Eco-cleaning products

If bringing a baby home has you thinking about reducing your use of chemicals — specifically cleaning chemicals — be sure check out the new Zabada line of cleaning tools. They all utilize “nature’s own miracle solvent — water.” 

Zabada products wipe away bacteria and contaminants at “a microscopic level,” thanks to Austrian-made fibers 100 times finer than a human hair: “Dirt, grime and dangerous microbes are trapped deep within the Zabada fibers, to be rinsed away under the faucet later.” 

We tested two of the products and the results were impressive: Though we can’t confirm anything on a microscopic level, we loved the scrubbing power of the Kitchen Glove (especially on the stainless steel cooktop) as well as the streak-free drying action of the Kitchen Marvel (ideal on granite). 

We also liked the idea of using about 100 fewer paper towels every day. Also, these products never seemed to get that funky kitchen stink that’s so common with cotton cloths. 

Zabada says their products last up to three years, even with frequent machine washings. The Kitchen Kickstarter set (Kitchen Marvel and Kitchen Glove) goes for $70. At press time, however, it was on sale for $49.