Wow. My baby girl is a year old now. She is walking, starting to talk, sleeping through the night, (loudly) voicing her own opinions, and all around growing up. Sigh. I can’t really call her a baby anymore (but I still will for a long time). Now that she is entering the toddler stage and my son is exiting that stage, I’ve come to realize how many products we have come to love. Despite their vastly different personalities, there have been 10 (toddler and) baby products that we have come to love.
**There aren’t any affiliate links…these are all just personal opinion, but I have linked the exact or similar products below***
These baby and toddler products saved my skin twice over!! https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sandra+boynton?_requestid=518669 Click To Tweet
Favorite (Toddler and) Baby Products
When Rhys was a baby, he loved his pacy. But, he was really picky. He didn’t like the normal kind of pacies…you know, the kind the that tilt up. But, he loved MAM pacies. Their nipples are round (so it doesn’t matter if they are “upside down”) and are made of soft silicon so it doesn’t have a weird rubber taste. They fit the mouth perfectly and the designs are super adorable. Once Evelyn was able to have a good suck on a pacy (for the first three months of her life, she couldn’t keep a pacy in her mouth), she loved MAM pacies, too. However, she’s not picky at all and we have a wide variety of pacies for her.
Fisher Price “Grow With Me” Booster Seat
With both Rhys and Evelyn, we’ve had small kitchen/dining room combos. I didn’t want a high chair to take up more room. I also wanted our babies to feel involved with the family for each meal. So, we opted for this booster seat. Initially, we had a seat that clenched onto the end of the table, but it was difficult to clean around and under and started to rip. This booster seat is perfect because you can raise or lower it. It comes with a pouch for wipes in the back. You can use a tray with it, which we do when either of the kids are snacking in the kitchen while I’m cleaning or cooking. And, you can slide the chair right up to the table. Rhys sat in it (on its lowest level) until he was three years old. By that time, Evelyn was sitting up and beginning to eat solids. So, we raised it up and started having her eat with us.
When Rhys was a few months old, Bumbos were all the rage. We got one, because every new mom had one. But, it’s absolutely perfect. I prefer putting my babies into a bumbo over an infant carrier or swing. I can have the bumbo be on the floor while they play, or I can put it on the table while we eat, or on the counter while I cook. It is specifically designed to help them learn to sit up and I started putting both babies in the bumbo by 3-4 months old. They are also very easy to wipe clean. Whenever we would stay with family, we would bring the bumbo to use as a “high chair” and just placed it on the table or breakfast bar.
The one linked above from the picture is the exact one we bought for Rhys. When he was about eight months old, he had hit a serious sleep regression and couldn’t settle himself back down. We were desperate and so we got a music machine. This one comes with a mirror, music/noise, and lights that shine on the ceiling. This one has a timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes and you can adjust the volume. There is sweet music, nature sounds, rain, water, static, and womb sounds. Rhys loves the music. He had it attached to his crib up until he was over 2.5 years old. The on button is very large and easy to hit. After having it for a week, Rhys, as an eight month old was able to turn it on and off himself and this helped him sooth himself throughout the night. Evelyn likes it too, but she prefers the static setting.These products are life-savers and deserve the title FAVORITE! Click To Tweet
When Rhys was four months old, I had to get him a nanny because both Justin and I were working. I had also stopped nursing him. So, I started sending him with ziploc bags of formula. My nanny was wonderful enough to get me a formula dispenser and it changed my life. I could now easily store proper serving sizes of formula in my diaper bag and easily pour it into a bottle when needed. I still use the same one for Evelyn!
Kirkland Brand Diapers
Two reasons: 1) I prefer the texture and fit and 2) the price! We get our diapers from Costco and they are typically cheaper than any other big box of diaper. Both kids have worn these diapers.
Gerber No-Spill Pouches
Well, really, any food pouches. These were perfect to introduce self-feeding and mixed flavors to Rhys. They were also really nice when we were going out and about. Evelyn, on the other hand, is the pickiest eater ever!! She doesn’t like baby food and she doesn’t like most table food. It’s both a texture and a flavor issue, as well as an independence fight. However, she does like food pouches–she can feed herself and I can give her mixes of fruit, vegetables, and proteins. I love the Gerber no-spill pouches because the nozzles are specifically designed not to spill. And, they are inexpensive. It’s perfect! Plus, they’re organic!
Children’s Contigo Brand Water Bottle
We went through so many sippy cups with Rhys: he’d break them, they’d spill, etc. We finally found one that we really liked: the Munchkin Miracle 360 cup. But, as he got older and saw me using my Contigo water bottle, he wanted to drink out of that instead. At Wal-Mart, I found children sized and designed Contigo water bottles, so I bought one for Rhys. The nozzle locks into place, so you can put it in your backpack without worrying about spilling. I now need to get one for Evelyn because she’s always trying to drink out of Rhys’s. She learned how to suck liquid out of it very quickly–faster than the 360 cup. In my honest opinion, skip the sippy cups altogether and go for the Contigo Water Bottle.
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car
We got this for Rhys for his first Christmas–he was six months old. He’s loved playing with, in, and around it since then. Evelyn also loves to play with it. Currently, it’s in my bedroom because 1) there just wasn’t enough room for it in the kids’ bedroom and 2) it’s a toy to occupy your children while you get ready. It has shapes to put through holes, balls to roll around, and different songs and sounds while you pretend to drive. It’s definitely the item that other kids fight over when they come for play dates. We have a red and yellow one, but I couldn’t find a link to that particular color.
Sandra Boynton Board Books
I love Sandra Boynton’s books. She write and illustrates the cutest little board books ever. They are perfect for bedtime, learning shapes, animals, sounds, number, colors, and articles of clothing. They all rhyme as well. Rhys had two of them memorized by the time he was two. And even now, as a 3.5 year old he still likes me to read these books. Evelyn likes them as well. And…I love to use them to expand lessons with my Chinese students!What are your favorite baby and toddler products? Why? Click To Tweet
**Bonus: Baby wraps and carriers
I wrapped Rhys a few times when he was having growth spurts or needing attention as a young infant. With Evelyn’s infantile dyschezia, she needed to be held often as a young infant. I have a Mobi and a Boba wrap, as well as an Infantino carrier. I wore Evelyn much more than I ever did with Rhys. It was just so much easier than trying to hold Rhys’s hand and lugging a carseat whenever I went out. And, I always used it when we would fly (which I did with the kids alone four times round trip in 2017!!). I loved having Evelyn so close to me often. It was a way to bond with her, but still keep my freedom to go out and about, keep up with Rhys, and keep up with the house. I was also one of those moms who didn’t necessarily like people passing her around during church or getting close to her face when she was a newborn. Having Evelyn in a wrap allowed me to hide her and “protect” her better than if I brought her in with an infant carseat or just held her.
This list is in no way all-inclusive. There have been many more products that we have loved for our children. But, these ten have been the absolute best and have helped save our sanity a hundred times over.
Keep a look out for more articles like this to come in the next month or two: our least favorite baby products, the top must-have baby products, baby products you can live without, and many more. (My sister is in the second half of her first pregnancy, so pregnancy and infanthood are on my mind lately!)