Being a parent (especially a new one!) is not easy for most of us. However, there are a million products trying to make it a bit more efficient. Here are a collection of products I’ve found to be clutch that you won’t find at a baby shower wrapped up in elephant paper. All of these are ones that have personally saved me time and effort (or sleep!) in their own right.
1. Label Maker
I love our label maker. It’s dorky, bulky and everything I have ever needed. We use it on the regular. From labeling bins of packed away clothing to what’s in the baby’s closet, on the shelf, or in a drawer, these little labels are great (no excuses Dad! You know where the long sleeves onesies are now!). Mini-printed labels find there way to bottles and sippy cups with my kid’s names (avoids confusion at playdates, daycare, and the park!), the inside covers of books and even on the box of retired pump gear for never-confused goods.
2. Bins & Baskets
You never knew you needed so many bins in your life. We have large plastic tubs for storing clothing too big, too small, or out of season (hello, again, label marker!). We have bins for toys too young and toys too advanced. Bins come in handy for securely storing maternity clothes once you fit into normal clothes again (when/if…whatever). Small bins are great for organizing frozen milk in your freezer. Others are great for keeping bottle pieces, pacifiers and other nicknacks tucked away in a drawer. Soft bins for organizing clothing in drawers and more bins to organize baby medicines, wipes, bibs, sunscreen and more in the pantry. We also use these bins as the handiest way to organize our playroom and toys (easy cleanup!). Bins, bins, bins.
I have never used sharpies more! They magical markers come in handy for labeling stored or frozen milk, noting homemade baby food expiration dates, or the millions of post-it notes you leave for your significant others regarding ‘baby stuff’. Make sure you store them in a safe place once your toddler start running around!
Unless you are already Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray, you need more tupperware. I’m telling you now! You don’t want it, no one does. But when your baby starting eating mountains of solid food, you realize that cutting, chopping and cooking in bulk is the way to go.
We buy glass we can freeze and plastic for the fridge. We buy in all shapes and sizes in order to split things up nicely for easy on the go meals and snacks or those served at home. I am also obsessed with re-useable ziplock bags from ReZip and also silicone Stasher bags for dry goods.
5. The Sleep Headband
This magic pieces of material granted us each the serenity to sleep when we were off baby duty. We live in a decently small house and my husband is a light sleeper. A screaming/crying baby was torture for us both, even when it wasn’t “our turn”. I found this headband with built in speakers and ordered it pronto. I had low expectations, but I was wrong! We plug this puppy into to white noise on our phone or ipad and wrap it around our head for a little peace and not-that-quiet. Like any white noise, it doesn’t make the world around you go silent but definitely raises the threshold of sound enough to gain some shuteye.
Whether you have over the ear headphones, earbuds or fancy (amazing) Airpods, you need a way to receive sound that isn’t baby related. My husband listens to podcast on his wireless airpods while cleaning the bottles or rocking a restless baby. He takes a work call while outside cleaning up the slew of toys in the backyard. I listen to my audible books while folding kid’s laundry or on a long way with a sleeping baby in the stroller. I talk to my mom on the phone while my hands are busy, or watch my iPad in silence while the kids are napping nearby. I never needed headphones so badly as I do as a parent. If you have the means to purchase wireless buds like Airpods or another brand, being cord free goes along way for both safety and convenience.
7. Named Diaper Bags
One of my all time favorite non-shower gifts came from my sister-in-law who had different colored zip bags made with each child’s name on on them. These bags are big enough for a handful of diapers, a pack of wipes, disposable changing pads, and some mini disposable diaper trash bags. The larger Baggu pouch in this set is pretty similar and the whole set is awesome out-and-about use too.
Re-packing the to-go bags for multiple kids (especially in different diaper sizes) is easiest with the custom little bags or designated pouch; we know which kid needs more diapers, wipes, or creams and can easily split up their stuff without having unpack and repack diaper bags and backpacks. These bags also make changing diapers out and about much easier, instead of bringing the whole bulky bag into the restroom, we just grab either children’s little pack of diaper necessities.
Either refresh your wardrobe for clothing with good pockets big enough for holding your phone (and perhaps, hand wipes/sanitizer, tissues, pacifiers, snacks, and whatever other spare things you need on hand) or invest in a backpack, cross body bags, running waist band or dang fanny pack for pocketing the perfect size for all the items us moms end up in hand.
I really love these labels (shout-out to my sister-in-law for finding these gems!). They are perfect for daycare, the park, or other outing which sippy cups, shoes, jackets, or toys need labels. They are cute, custom and generally, perfect.
Although an afternoon adult-drink sounds like a more fun use, koozies for kids come in handy when short outing require sippy cups or bottles to stay cool but don’t require you to pack-up bottle bags with ice packs. Check out these koozies or these options.
11. Freezable products
Packit as some seriously awesome products that reduce your workload to one less step. Instead of having to worry about a cooler or bottle pack and ice packs, these products are all in one.
Products you need as a new parent that nobody gives you:
- Label Maker.
- Bins & Baskets.
- The Sleep Headband.
- Named Bags.
- Freezable Products.