9 Baby Items That Will Make Your Life Easier
Now that you’re preggers, you may have already started collecting your essential items, perhaps some on this list that I wrote about a few months back. And now you’re wondering if there are any other items you’re missing or you have friends and family asking what they can get you as a gift. I’ve made a quick list of items that I don’t believe are necessary but sure make my life easier! Some will be great to have right away during the newborn stage, others can wait until your babies are eating or walking. Here’s my list:
- Food Pouches! When your children begin to eat, and you find yourself on the go a lot, these will be a life saver. My favourite brands are here and here. You can also make your own food pouches by purchasing reusable pouches and then filling them with your own purees. I was given this baby food maker as a gift, and when I was churning out tons of baby food during the season of my life when I had twins, it was a game changer. You can of course make your own baby food without a machine, but the Babycook really was a major convenience, which allowed me to save a ton of time to do other things (like laundry *sigh*).
- High Quality “Play-Friendly” Clothing: Kids grow out of their clothes very quickly, and as they age, they also wear them down as they play. But sometimes, they wear them out before they have grown out of them. My favourite brand for kids clothing is Peekaboo beans. They are a Canadian designed clothing line made only with the strongest, softest, sustainable fabrics. When you first get your hand on your beans, you can feel the difference in quality compared to most other children’s clothing. In fact, I think the quality is better than most adult clothing! It will last through multiple children, multiple washings and lots of play. They are more expensive than the average kids clothing at big box stores, but there are often great deals on them. Also, they have an amazing resell value. There are Facebook pages dedicated to reselling beans, and sometimes you can get even MORE than you paid on certain beans. Most kids clothing, you will never get back the cost you paid for them, but that’s not the case for beans. Also, I should mention that the slightly higher price you pay also supports local mompreneurs. It’s a direct selling company that is a great small business option for parents who want to make a bit of side income. The company also funds playgrounds to be built all across local communities, which supports their mission of play! I cannot say enough good things about this company. I am in no way affiliated with them, so you can be sure this is a non-biased review!
- Easy To Wear Shoes: When you have a fussy baby or antsy toddler who doesn’t have the patience for ties and buckles, easy to wear shoes such as Natives or Freshly Picked moccs are your best friends! I love these two brands for their durability, how easy they are to put on PLUS their ability to stay on, and customer service. I have never had any issues with my Natives. In fact, they look the exact same as the day I purchased them, and are easy to pass down to each child. My freshly picked moccs also have lasted for child number two, however one pair did have the elastic break by my sprinting toddler. I contacted FP, and they sent me some money via paypal so I could take the moccs into a local tailor to sew back up. Easy-peezy! The Natives are great for wearing in the water, indoors, as well as the park. My older son wears them all year round. During the winter, he wears them indoors with socks on. I am embarrassed to say that I have a bit of an unhealthy addiction to them, as we currently have a pair in every size for the boys (as you can see in the top pick). But I do typically buy them on sale, and they have a great resell value!
- Green Toys: This brand of kids toys is super cute, affordable and durable, PLUS they are made out of recycled bottles. We have about 5 or 6 of these toys ranging from a ferry boat, to a firetruck to an airplane. They also have great stacking cups for babies and teacup sets for all ages. They are often bright and multicoloured and can be used in the bath too! We get ours at Winners and Marshalls.
- Usborne Books: This brand of books is both beautiful and educational. And most important of all, kids love it! I first learned about Usborne through a mama friend who was selling them, and fell in love with the designs, and variety of books ranging from baby board books, to arts/craft books to educational and interactive books. They also sell them at Costco for very good prices. My son loves the Lift The Flap books, and I often learn a ton from them too. These are books that will keep your kids busy and interested for a long time!
- Health & Well-Being Products: My favourite nasal aspirator is the Nose Frida. More expensive than a nose bulb, but way more effective! Also, I strongly recommend a digital thermometer that can be taken through the ear or forehead. When you have a fussy baby, you don’t want to sit there for a minute while you try to keep your baby calm enough to take their temp through their mouth, arm pit or butt. Although the safety kits that you can get everything in a pack for $20 or less is cheap, they are just way less effective and convenient in my opinion.
- White Noise Machine: When your baby is ready to sleep on their own, don’t worry about every noise you make around the house waking the baby. Just get a white noise machine. Sure you can get free ones via apps to put on your phone or tablets, but it’s not always convenient to leave my phone in the same room as them as they nap. Also, I’m a bit wary of the long-term use of wifi devices in their rooms, so I opted for an actual plug in machine. Here’s the one we use, which also has a nightlight and various sound options. You can get a portable one too like the Cloud B stuffed animals, which I loved when I put my little ones down for naps at other people’s homes. You do need to constantly put batteries inside of them though, so don’t use them for everyday or you will be changing the battery very frequently.
- Pack n’ Play. Speaking of sleep, you will feel assured putting your baby to sleep in one of these travel beds when you’re traveling or at a friend’s place. My babies have always been movers when they sleep, so I didn’t trust putting them on beds to nap after the newborn stage in fear of rolling off. My favourite pack n play is this super lightweight one by Phil & Teds. It takes a bit of used to to fold up and down, but it’s easy once your get the hang of it. The best feature is that you can pack it in your suitcase when you travel without it taking up much room. If you are looking for one that zips all around and very easy to set up and pack, the KidCo Peadpod beds are also great too.
- Professional Photos: If you are a millenial mama, there is a good chance you will be a mamarazzi. There is no way you are not going to be snapping pics of your kids with your smart phone on the daily. But often those photos are cute as they are won’t always be print worthy due to the lower quality. I wholeheartedly believe it is worth investing in professional photos of your family every so often. Having these beautiful keepsakes might mean that you can put your camera away and just focus on being 100% present instead of snapping away blurry photos with your phone. I am guilty of this, so it is something I am working on. I am so glad that I have some beautiful family photos to look back on with the kids. I also suggest that you get family photos done, not just of your beautiful children. You and your children will be glad that you were in the photos too. Oh, and just because these are professional photoshoots, it doesn’t mean there aren’t candid shots. Those ones are often the best and most memorable photos! Lastly, professional photos do not need to be expensive. Yes I think there is a place to pay for an experienced photographer (like we had for our wedding) but if you plan on getting regular family photos as your kids grow, then it doesn’t always have to be a splurge. Our friend who moonlights as a photographer did our High Park photos, and we did our family portraits below from the photo studio inside of the Walmart closest to us. We had stopped in for passport photos for the kids, and they offered us a free photoshoot, which was fast and easy, and I ended up loving the results. I prefer outdoor or at home photo sessions, but getting in studio photos done occasionally is a great alternative when 1. the weather is crummy and 2. your home is a mess.
I could go on and on with all the children’s products that I love, but this list above are the ones that I can wholeheartedly recommend to my friends and family as products you won’t regret purchasing. It’s also a great list to refer to when buying for the mom who has everything. None of these are necessary essentials, but they sure make life a bit more convenient (and fun)!