For many having kids often means a garage filled with baby and kid stuff. At least that’s how it is for us. There are so many useful baby products out there! And from experience I’ll tell you that there is no amount of money I won’t spend or products I won’t try in an effort to get a little more sleep or have my little one be occupied enough so I can take a quick shower or go to the bathroom.
But after having three kids and a husband who is constantly trying to have me get rid of all things baby related in the garage I’ve found there are some things I absolutely refuse to get rid of because they are tried and tested and loved by all 3 of my boys. And that’s saying something. I’ll have to do a completely different post about all the crazy stuff I’ve bought that were a total and complete waste of money. Here they are, in no particular order.
One of our favorite and most useful baby products was our Jumparoo. We got our Jumparoo as a gift from my mom with our first son and he LOVED it. It has since gone through all 3 of my boys. It is a little spendy but worth every single penny. It was my go to when I needed a little bit of time to get something done, like dinner or go to the bathroom. Sure you can put babies on a blanket on the floor but sometimes I was nervous about them being stepped on by brothers or once they were starting to move that there might be an accident. Our Jumparoo has provided hours and hours of entertainment for my little men and I refuse to let it go and want to either keep it for #4 or if we don’t have another for a future niece or nephew. It’s just that good.
See? He’s so happy! This was one of his first times in in and he loved it. Also, can I just say how weird it is to have a 3 month old with teeth?
A classic which I would recommend to anyone. Ours is super basic, no frills and has worked perfectly even after 6 years and 3 kids. It is similar to this baby bouncer. Ours was a baby gift for our first son and has a little vibrate button (or as we would always call it the butt shaker). With our oldest it was sometimes the only way we could get him to sleep at night when we put him right next to our bed. The little toy bar was gone pretty much the day we got it, I still have no idea where it is but the bouncer itself has lasted through all three of my boys and even through a friends little one. It’s nothing fancy just something that bounces will usually do the trick.
Here’s my #3 sleeping away in his bouncer. I bet if I were to scour all my other boys baby pictures I could find them in it as well! Oh and that was pretty much the only time he took a pacifier, dang it!
Oballs Baby Ball
These balls are the best because those teeny fingers can actually grab on to them and they make a fun noise! We’ve bought tons of baby toys over the years and gotten rid of just as many but these are keepers. Oballs can be found in different shapes like footballs and cars.
We are swaddlers. Big time. We tried numerous blankets but each time little fingers would start to peek out no matter how hard we wrapped our man. Then of course he would rub his face, get unwrapped and hated it. And the cycle would continue. Then our friend bought us the best stretchy baby blanket which worked perfectly. It had a little bit of stretch in it so baby could move around a little without getting out completely. We have used that same blanket for all our three boys. We love that stretchy blue blanket and would recommend it to anyone. This is not the same exact one, but almost.
With having 3 kids we have owned a number of strollers. Big combo strollers you can put baby carriers in, jogging strollers, double strollers. But the one we have kept through all three is our simple cheap umbrella stroller. Why? Mostly because it’s so compact. All our other strollers took up so much room that we decided they were too big to keep around. Our stroller is a lot like this cheap umbrella stroller and super simple. It’s not the best as far as having a good height (my husband and I are taller so the handles are a little low) but for convenience and storage it wins hands down. Oh and it’s not pink, with a herd of boys we don’t have much pink around here!
Here is our oldest in that stroller, it has been well used through all three boys and is still going strong!
This might not sound like it should belong on a list for useful baby products and more for someone wanting to exercise but I promise, I used this a TON when pregnant as well as after baby came. I don’t have any pictures that I can find of us using ours but they are amazing and I highly recommend it to all with babies or kids. Some babies are rockers and some are bouncers or some are both. Mine always loved bouncing but it gets tiring so this ball saved us. In between babies we’ve used it constantly. You can play with it, work on balance, use it as a chair (great for wiggly boys who like to move around but still need to do homework), exercising. We love ours and still use it daily even without baby in the house.
With my first son my sister in law gave me some bibs that she had made. Honestly I didn’t know what to think because all I had really seen before were the prettier ones you buy at the store and the ones she gave me were basically dishtowels with a hole in it. Then I tried it. Genius! Babies can’t really pull them off till their older. It absorbs everything instead of just bouncing right off and onto the floor/tray. It’s big so it covers everything. Since it’s big usually there is a clean spot somewhere which I would always get wet and use to wash baby’s face, hands and the tray. Then you just throw it all in the laundry. It is genius.
Definitely high on our list for useful baby products because it can be used for such a long time. When we had our first son we had one of those big cushy high chairs that everyone has. It was big and reminded me of a throne. We used it for the first several months then found this booster chair (used I believe) because we needed something portable for a trip and we fell in love with it. While the big high chair said it folded compactly it was still huge when folded, had a fabric lining which despite it’s best efforts was hard to clean sometimes and when we would take the cover off to clean, it was disgusting to see all the grossness that was underneath that somehow got there even when we thought it was clean. So we switched to this simple booster seat and haven’t looked back much since.
With my third I actually thought about doing something different, especially at the beginning of feeding him solids because he was still working on sitting up and I was thinking of something more stable. But I just couldn’t decide and within a couple of weeks he was sitting up fine using this booster and that’s all we’ve used since. It’s completely washable, folds up for traveling (we love taking it camping) and all you have to do is attach it to a chair you already have.
We have and love it
Here’s my #3 and the chair is still in great condition no matter what he does to it. His head looks a lot like a kiwi don’t you think? Seriously, one of our most useful baby products we’ve purchased and it’s still going. Ok. now it’s in the garage because he’s a ‘big boy’ now but I’m still keeping it.
Pack and Play
Another one of those things we’ve had from the beginning is a pack and play because everyone has them. Ours have been used a ton for travel. I like the simple ones and even bought a fancier one with all the add ons like a changing table with my 3rd (it is like 3-4 times more expensive) but have found we just ended up using the basic pack and play part of it most. In fact from month 3 to almost 2 years my third son has slept in one. Confession. He slept in a pack and play in our closet until just a few months ago because our spare room is headquarters to my jewelry biz and I wasn’t ready to have him share a room with his brothers. He didn’t mind it one bit.
Zip Up Sleepers
Seriously why would anyone want buttons? With each boy I’ve gotten lots of new baby cloths cause who can resist them!?! With that I’ve gotten a few of the cutest sleeper with buttons. It makes me so sad because I absolutely refuse to use the botton ones. It’s not that I haven’t tried, cause I have but when you have a kid needing a diaper change in the middle of the night, whose fussing because it’s cold and they just want to go back to sleep or eat and you don’t want him to wake up the rest of the house, you just want it to go as fast as possible. Buttons don’t help one bit so I’m done with buttons and only do zip ups.
PS. Babies in footie PJ’s are the cutest ever. I love pretty much all the different fabric choices, fleece ones are warm and great for colder nights and camping. The terry cloth ones are good for medium temperature and are very soft and the the cotton ones are very light weight and great for a hot night. My favorite brand is Carters just because I’ve found their quality is great, they last a long time (many of ours have gone through all three of my boys). You can find some here in a lot of different sizes and styles.
Take and Toss Cups, Bowls and Silverware
Another of our favorite useful baby products is more for when baby starts eating but we love these bowls, cups and silverware from take and toss. They are not very expensive and work really well for the price. And bonus if you lose a piece or forget a cup at a friends house or something you don’t have to feel too bad because it wasn’t that expensive. I’ll admit we still have a number of cups, bowls and silverware from when our first son was learning to eat (that was over 7 years ago!). We’ve added some because we of course have lost things throughout the years but you pair them with some ikea plates and they are perfect for younger kids.
I’m sure there are a few other useful baby products I missed but these are on the top of my list!