Everything You Should Know About Hands-Free Baby Products

Baby in baby carrier with mother

From the moment I gave birth to my first child, I desperately wished I could either multiply myself or grow extra sets of arms in order to get everything on my to-do list done while tending to my baby. Needless to say, I didn’t have the resources for human cloning and those extra arms never materialized. Left to my own devices, I relied heavily on some pretty ingenious baby items that helped me multitask throughout the day. 

This is where hands-free baby products really come through for new parents. And they have come a long way over the past decade or so. 

If you are curious about what makes a product “hands-free” and how it can help you, particularly during that first year with baby, we are about to get up-close-and-personal with the ever-expanding category. Because let’s face it: When it comes to raising kids, it takes not only a village but an arsenal of clever tools as well.

What Is a Hands-Free Baby Product?

The name pretty much says it all. A hands-free baby product is essentially an item that helps babies get what they need while allowing your hands to remain free to do other things. Now your hands might still be at work doing something for your little one, but the product in question is accomplishing another task.

A hands-free baby product is essentially an item that helps babies get what they need while allowing your hands to remain free to do other things.

Take, for example, a baby feeding pillow that holds your child's bottle in place so they can sip independently before they have the ability to hold it to their mouth on their own. You may be gently rubbing your baby's head while they enjoy their bottle, but the pillow is assisting in the feeding process.

What makes these hands-free baby products so convenient is really in the name. It gives parents the opportunity to use their hands to do other things during a period of life where time is extremely precious.

Consider what you can do while your infant is snug in a baby carrier. Not only are you not wearing out your arms as you would holding them in the traditional way, but you can actually get stuff done, like grocery shopping or other errands. Your baby is happy. You are feeling productive. It is truly a win-win. 

The products can also make life a little easier. A hands-free stroller might sound dubious but if you are a runner, you have likely dreamed of a contraption that allows you to move freely all while safely “pushing” your baby. A jogging stroller does exactly that! CYBEX’s Zeno, for example, lets your little one glide along while you run to your heart’s content, hands-free.

Then you have the high-tech hands-free baby products that really make you feel as though you’re a family of the future. Take the SNOO Smart Sleeper for example. It is a bassinet equipped with sensors to detect when your baby is fussing. In response, a rocking motion begins to help calm your baby so that you can (hopefully) remain in bed. 

What To Look For in a Hands-Free Baby Product

Innovation is great, but try not to get swept up in a new baby product, hands-free or otherwise, because it looks cool or might come in handy. Consider what the hands-free baby product is supposed to achieve and whether or not that is something that will really make your life easier.

Consider what the hands-free baby product is supposed to achieve and whether or not that is something that will really make your life easier.

If you think your toddler is going to outsmart the hands-free baby monitor (more on that in a minute), then you are probably better off looking for a different option. On the other side of things, if you can grab a bite to eat or get dinner started while your baby consumes a bottle courtesy of a hands-free holder, then that item may make the cut. 

Types of Hands-Free Baby Products

Curious as to how hands-free baby products can work for you? We have rounded up some favorite products in different categories that will hopefully make your life a little bit easier, and that baby will love.

For Travel

Hands-Free Strollers: These allow you to bring your baby along with you on any adventure. Generally, these are jogging strollers, like the CYBEX Zeno or the BOB Gear Revolution Pro. They give you the ability to pull your baby (and stroller) along as you move about.

Phone Holders: If you are waiting for an important text or call while taking a walk with your little one, a phone holder that attaches to your stroller’s handlebar can be a lifesaver. Options like the Skip*Hop Universal Phone Holder or the Sheer Living Stroller Phone Mount keep your phone in view while you pass your baby a bottle or simply push them along.

Baby Carriers: When you want to keep the baby close while on the go, a baby carrier is essential for allowing easy movement and keeping your hands free. Carries like the Ergobaby 360 All Positions Baby Carrier or the Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Harmony provide options for the way you safely carry your baby. They can be facing out, in towards you, or on your back. And in some cases, even on your hip.

For Feeding

Hands-Free Breast Pumps: One of the aspects of pumping breast milk that makes it so frustrating is being tethered to the pump itself by tubing. Wearable breast pumps, like Willow Wearable Breast Pump or the Elvie Pump, eliminate that. Not only are they hands-free, but you can actually move around while they are at work. Just slip the pump on and let it collect milk while you go about your business.

Hands-Free Bottle: Imagine a world where you can eat dinner (using two hands!) at the same time as your baby is consuming a bottle. The Podee Hands-Free Baby Bottle allows babies as young as 3 months to feed themselves. This is due to a design that uses a straw to deliver milk through a nipple. 

For Sleep

Hands-Free Bassinets: Sleep is not something any parent expects to get much of during the early days of babyhood. Hands-free bassinets, like the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet or the Graco Sense2Snooze, try to solve that problem. These bassinets are powered by smart technology that both rocks baby and provides white noise when it senses fussing. While you will still have to wake up for those late-night feedings, the goal is to prevent parents from having to soothe baby when hunger isn’t the issue.

Hands-Free Baby Monitors: When you want to check on your little one, whether they be a newborn or a toddler, without physically going into their space, a hands-free system like the Owlet Monitor Duo or Sense-U Video+Breathing Monitor covers all of the bases. The wearables track your child’s heart rate, oxygen level, and sleep trends while a camera delivers video right to your phone with the accompanying stats.

A Word From Verywell

Hands-free baby products are meant to make your life easier, freeing up some space (and hands) for you to multitask while caring for your baby. You can find a range of products that might help. However, remember that not every product works for every family or baby, and that is OK! Focus on looking for products that will truly help you and your situation.

By Kelly Kamenetzky
Kelly Kamenetzky is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer/editor with more than a decade of experience covering the parenting and family space. She enjoys connecting with experts in the parenting field and delivering impactful recommendations on family issues. She is also a mother of three.