I’ve written about my personal experience with newborn baby products, but as this was back in 2019, I wondered what baby items were popular with parents in Japan in 2022?
To find out, I turned to Tamahiyo, a Japanese company that publishes information for new parents. Every year they release a list of best baby products to get as voted for by mothers* in Japan, and the list for 2022 is now out. So what made the cut for this year? Let’s take a look!
*The ranking was compiled using a survey given to mothers in Japan. Why they wouldn’t ask fathers in this day and age is beyond me (my husband changed my daughter’s diaper before I did!) but if you’re a dad who’s reading this, your opinion matters just as much!
Best Clothing Brands for Newborn Babies in Japan
Elfindoll is a clothing brand for babies by Nishimatsuya, a popular children’s clothing store in Japan. My daughter has a few Elfindoll onesies and they’re so cute for the price (especially on sale!). Newborns grow so fast, which is why moms in Japan felt that this adorable yet budget-friendly clothing line was the best.
What mothers in Japan like about Elfindoll clothes:
- Cute designs
- Different sizes and shapes
- Easy to put on
2nd Place: Uniqlo
3rd Place: Birthday
4th Place: Akachan Honpo Original
5th Place: Babies R Us
This perhaps may not come as a surprise to those of you who like Uniqlo. I have several of their undergarments and they’re so comfortable and gentle on my skin. When my daughter was born in July, I turned to their AIRISM line for her inners, which kept her cool and dry. Their clothes for babies are also great quality, have cute designs, and are a great price (especially if you get them on sale).
What mothers in Japan like about Uniqlo’s inner garments:
- Simple designs and different types
- You can match snap buttons by color so it’s easy to put on
- Can launder repeatedly and the quality is still good
- Soft and made of 100% cotton
- Outer tag so it doesn’t irritate baby’s skin
- Available online
- Good price for the quality
2nd Place: Elfin Doll (Nishimatsuya)
3rd Place: Akachan Honpo Original
4th Place: Birthday
5th Place: Babies R Us
Best Diapers for Newborn Babies in Japan
I wasn’t a fan of these for my daughter back in 2019 and they didn’t perform too well in my newborn diaper test. However, Pampers has changed these diapers since then, and it seems like it’s an improvement over their old version. These diapers are the most cost-effective for newborns.
(The diaper that I rated as the best for newborns, Pampers はじめての肌へのいちばん, got second place.)
What mothers in Japan like about Pampers Sarasara Care diapers:
- Easy to see the wetness indicator
- Doesn’t leak
- The tape is stretchy so it fits well
- Thin and compact
- Easy to change
2nd Place: Pampers はじめての肌へのいちばん
4th Place: N/A
5th Place: GOO.N Plus
Best Wipes for Newborn Babies in Japan
These wipes ranked 4th place in my review of baby wipes in Japan but I can see why mothers in Japan, including some of my friends, swear by these. Although I wasn’t a fan of the texture and found they dry quickly, they perform the best out of all the lower-cost wipes I looked at.
What mothers in Japan like about Akachan Honpo Wipes (水99％ Super Series):
- Easy to pull out only one as they don’t stick together
- Effortless to wipe messes since it’s full of moisture
2nd Place: Moony
3rd Place: Pampers
Best Strollers for Newborn Babies in Japan
Aprica’s strollers are very popular with mothers in Japan as their strollers ranked as the best in three sub-categories, including the best brand for strollers overall.
What mothers in Japan like about Aprica strollers:
- The belt is easy to close as it uses magnets
- Moves easily and smoothly
- Easy to change the handle’s position (from front-facing to rear)
2nd Place: Combi
3rd Place: Pigeon
4th Place: CTP Japan’s Cybex
5th Place: Joie
Aprica’s スムーヴ (smooth) series made it to the top of the list as the best stroller for newborns. These strollers have three large wheels instead of two, making them easier to maneuver. You can also remove the seat and carry your infant, which is nice for when you go to restaurants or visit someone.
What mothers in Japan like about Aprica’s スムーヴ (smooth) series:
- Looks stylish
- It’s very safe
- Moves smoothly
- Babies seem like they’re comfortable in it
- You can fit a lot of things in the space under the stroller
2nd Place: Combi’s Travel System series
3rd Place: Joie’s Travel System series
Aprica’s ラクーナseries of strollers are the most popular for babies one month and up.
These strollers are breathable, help protect your baby from harmful UV rays, and have cushioning to keep your baby comfy and safe. It also looks like it’s easy to strap your baby into the seat.
What mothers in Japan like about the Aprica ラクーナ Series:
- Belt is easy to close as it’s magnetic
- Light, compact, and easy to fold using only one hand
- Protective cushion for baby’s head
- Easy to push and moves smoothly even over curbs
- Wide seat so it’s good for bigger babies as well
2nd Place: Combi’s スゴカル series
3rd Place: Aprica’s カルーン series
4th Place: Pigeon’s ランフィ series
5th Place: Joie series
6th Place: Aprica’s Optia series
7th Place: Nishimatsuya’s Smart Angel series
I have a Combi stroller and although it’s very lightweight, it can be difficult to maneuver and it’s a little bulky. However, I’ve been using it since my daughter was born and it’s still in great condition. But if I had another child, I would try the Aprica スムーヴ (smooth) series because it looks much easier to maneuver.
If you’re considering getting a stroller for your newborn, I would recommend going to either Akachan Honpo, Babies R Us, or a second-hand store like Book Off to try out the strollers before buying one online (as it can be cheaper to get strollers off of sites like Amazon or Rakuten).
Best Car Seats for Newborn Babies in Japan
Combi comes in first place for the best brand for car seats. We have one as well as it has done a great job over the last 2.5 years, and it’s still going strong. Mothers in Japan like Combi the best because they feel their car seats are the safest.
2nd Place: Aprica
3rd Place: Joie
4th Place: カーメイト
5th Place: Nishimatsuya
In terms of specific products, Combi’s クルムーヴ series is ranked as the best.
What mothers in Japan like about Combi’s クルムーヴ series :
- You can turn it 360 degrees so it’s easy to put your child inside
- It’s very safe, with shock-absorbing cushioning, and compact
2nd Place: Joie
3rd Place: Aprica’s クルリラ series
4th Place: カーメイト’s エールベベ series
Best Carriers for Newborn Babies in Japan
This may come as no surprise to some of you but Ergobaby made it to the top of the list as the best baby carrier. We have an Omni 360 and my husband loves it. I found it easy to use as well but as I’m quite short in stature, I found it to be a bit too bulky for me when my daughter was a newborn. However, it’s perfect now that my daughter is a toddler and I’m able to easily carry her around.
What mothers in Japan like about Ergobaby carriers:
- Very safe
- Designed so you can carry your baby for a long time without feeling tired or in pain
2nd Place: Baby Bjorn
3rd Place: Aprica’s Koala
4th Place: Konny
5th Place: POGNAE’s NO5
(I also used and loved the Konny but I’m eying POGNAE’s carrier. I like that it comes with a seat, which is nice for older babies and toddlers.)
Best Bottle Sterilizers for Newborn Babies in Japan
Microwave Sterilizers: Combi
I was excited to see that the Combi microwave sterilizer that I used when my daughter was a baby is still ranked as the best in 2022. It’s affordable, easy to use, and compact. However, you need to be careful when using this as if you place it into a microwave oven that’s still hot from the oven function, the container or the items inside might melt. (It would be nice if they made it in other colors too.)
What mothers in Japan like about Combi microwave sterilizers:
- Easy to open and close
- You can leave bottles inside the case after being sterilized
- Fast as you can sterilize bottles in only 5 minutes
2nd Place: Pigeon’s microwave sterilizer
3rd Place: Betta’s microwave sterilizer
Sterilizing Solutions: Milton CP
Milton CP made it to the top for the best sterilizing solution. I used this once when I went to a ryokan with my daughter when she was 6 months old (in the “before times”) and I was not a fan. I found it messy and hard to use, not to mention I didn’t feel great submerging my daughter’s bottles into a chemical solution. The solution also has an expiry date and I imagine it’s an added expense to buy. However, you can sterilize a lot of things at a time, including toys.
What mothers in Japan like about Milton CP:
- Easy to use as all you have to do is place the items in the container with the solution and leave it
- You can sterilize toys
- Good for sterilizing items that shouldn’t be exposed to heat
2nd Place: Pigeon’sミルクポン
3rd Place: Pigeon’s Bottle Disinfectant
Best Bottles for Newborn Babies in Japan
I’m not surprised to see this at the top of the list as the best bottle for infants. Out of all the ones I tried, this type of bottle by Pigeon was the only one that my daughter could drink easily from. They also didn’t leak, were durable, easy to clean, as well as cost-effective.
What mothers in Japan like about Pigeon bottles:
- Variety in terms of size and design
- Easy to use to feed your baby
- Nipples are close to the real thing
- Maternity clinics and hospitals use these bottles
2nd Place: Pigeon’s Slim Type Bottle
3rd Place: teteo’s 授乳のお手本 bottle
Best Skin Cream for Newborn Babies in Japan
I received many samples of these when I was pregnant and I liked how gentle it was on my daughter’s skin but I could only spring for a travel set (which I continue to buy for visits to the in-laws with my daughter) because it is quite expensive. The price, however, reflects the quality. I would say try out the travel set before committing to spending your yen on a full-size product.
What mothers in Japan like about Mama&Kids Baby Milky Cream:
- Used by maternity clinics and hospitals
- Very moisturizing, especially when paired with lotion in fall and winter
- Not sticky
2nd Place: Pigeon Baby Cream
3rd Place: SOLIA’s ALOBABY Cream
Best Vaseline for Newborn Babies in Japan
I used Baby Vaseline on my daughter when she was a newborn. It was very cheap but gentle and kept her skin protected from dryness and rashes, so it’s no wonder mothers in Japan love this product the most when it comes to vaselines for babies. I also liked how it’s a tube so you’re not contaminating the remaining product when you use it.
What mothers in Japan like about Baby Vaseline:
- Not greasy
- Easy to apply
- Not runny so it’s safe to apply near the eyes
- Heals diaper rashes
2nd Place: Daiichi Sankyo’s プロペト ピュアベール
3rd Place: Pigeon’s Vaseline
Best Bath for Newborn Babies in Japan
This is yet another item that I used for my daughter when she was a newborn. I used it for two months before I decided to wash her on my lap as recommended by a midwife, but I found it to be a great product during the time I did use it. And I was able to resell it on Mercari! If you don’t have very much room in your house, this is great because it’s inflatable, so you can deflate it and store it if you want to keep it for Baby #2 or you want to take it with you somewhere.
What mothers in Japan like about Richell Baby Bath:
- Cushioning is soft so babies can move around and be safe
- Easy to carry
- Easy to store
- Easy to inflate
- The seat is at an angle that makes it easy to bathe babies
2nd Place: Nishimatsuya’s Smart Angel Soft Baby Bath
3rd Place: People’s Rucko Hug
Best Lotion for Newborn Babies in Japan
As with the Mama&Kids Baby Milky Cream mentioned earlier, I got samples of this lotion as well when I was pregnant and quite liked it. This is also included in the travel set that I currently use and recommend.
What mothers in Japan like about Mama&Kids Baby Milky Lotion:
- Keeps skin moisturized long after application
- Not sticky
- Comes in a small pump bottle so you can use it with only one hand
- Easy to apply
2nd Place: Atopia Full Body Moisturizing Milky Lotion
3rd Place: Pigeon Baby Milk Lotion
Best Bath Additive for Newborn Babies in Japan
This bath additive (入浴剤) is a liquid that you pour into your baby’s bath to wash them. It’s meant to be gentle on the skin and there’s no need to rinse it off as it will help prevent your baby’s skin from drying out. It’s also hypoallergenic. I never used this on my daughter as, at the time, I didn’t like the idea of pouring something into her bath and not rinsing it off of her. But if I had another child, I think I would try it out as it seems easier to use than foam-type soap, which you have to pump onto the cloth repeatedly while you wash your child.
What mothers in Japan like about Skina Babe:
- Easy to use
2nd Place: Pigeon Baby Bath Additive
Best Bar-Type Baby Soap for Newborn Babies in Japan
Although I know of Kewpie, I have never heard of this soap before. But apparently, it’s a popular one with mothers in Japan as it’s their favorite for baby soaps! It’s hypoallergenic and gentle as it doesn’t strip their skin of natural oils.
What mothers in Japan like about Kewpie Baby Soap:
- Very moisturizing
- Nice fragrance
- Simple ingredients so gentle on the skin
- Cheap and long-lasting
2nd Place: Koshinsha Cow Brand Red Box
3rd Place: Pigeon Baby Soap
Best Foam-Type Baby Soap for Newborn Babies in Japan
I used this soap on my daughter when she was a newborn and it never irritated her skin as it’s free of fragrances as well as paraben-free.
What mothers in Japan like about Pigeon Baby Soap:
- Soft foam
- Safe on the skin
- Easy to use
- Used by maternity clinics and hospitals
2nd Place: arau baby
3rd Place: Kewpie Baby Foam Soap
Best Crib Brand for Newborn Babies in Japan
I used an Ikea crib for my daughter as I wanted something that could transition into a toddler bed. However, mothers in Japan seem to like Katoji cribs the most.
What mothers in Japan like about Katoji:
- Simple design and easy to use
- Easy to assemble
- The bottom can be used for storage
- The mattress height is high so it’s easy to pick up the baby
- Has wheels so it’s easy to move around the room
2nd Place: Aprica
3rd Place: Yamatoya
Best Futon Brand for Newborn Babies in Japan
I swaddled my daughter and kept her in a crib free of any blankets, stuffed animals, etc., in an effort to prevent SIDS. However, Japanese parents have been placing their newborns in futon sets with comforters for years. (My mother-in-law couldn’t wrap her head around swaddling but she let me do my thing.)
Nishikawa futon sets are made in Japan and are 100% cotton, so it’s meant to be gentle on your baby’s skin. The futon also helps prevent overheating by absorbing moisture, which then evaporates. You can also use it straight out of the bag, which saves you time on washing.
What mothers in Japan like about Nishikawa baby futons:
- It’s warm as the comforter has down in it
- Seems comfortable for babies
- Nishikawa has a long history as a company and a brand parents trust
- The futon is light
2nd Place: Nishimatsuya
3rd Place: Akachan Honpo
4th Place: Sandesica
5th Place: Nitori & Babies R Us
Best Bouncer for Newborn Babies in Japan
I never used a bouncer for my daughter because I already had a high low chair but I know many parents who swear by this.
What mothers in Japan like about Baby Bjorn bouncers:
- Simple design and easy to store
- Babies are soothed by it
- Reclines at three different angles
- Seat is mesh so it’s breathable and easy to wash
2nd Place: Nishimatsuya
3rd Place: Katoji
Best High Low Chair/Rocker for Newborn Babies in Japan
I had a Combi high low chair for my daughter, which was helpful when she was a newborn as I could put her inside and it would automatically rock and usually calm her down. I could also select different kinds of music to play. She didn’t like being strapped down, though, so I had to just watch her like a hawk when she was inside. I ended up selling it on Mercari when she started solids because I found it took up too much room and I didn’t want to wash the padding constantly if she spilled something on it. (Cleaning the Ingenuity chair was much easier for me.)
But for parents (and kids!) who don’t mind these things, this is a great product that you can use for a long time.
What mothers in Japan like about Combi Nemulila:
- You can use it from the newborn stage as a rocker to a high chair when your child is eating solids
- Helps when you need a break from holding your child or need to do chores
- Comes with a cover and rocks back and forth to help the baby sleep
2nd Place: Aprica’s ユラリズム series
3rd Place: Katoji Swing High Low Rack series
Best Grocery Delivery Service
I was surprised to see this included in the list but it makes sense! As mentioned in my review of Co-op’s delivery service, having groceries delivered to you is so helpful when you have a newborn. This is especially true during a pandemic! And when you don’t have any time to cook (which is often with a newborn), Co-op has meal-kits that make having a hot meal at home a cinch. I honestly wish I had known about grocery delivery services like Co-op and Pal System before my daughter was born!
Co-op also offers some nice extras if you have a newborn or a young child, like free baby food.
What do you think about this year’s rankings? Let me know in the comments!