10 Best Baby Products Food-Loving Parents Should Register For
These are all of the baby products I swear by as a new mom.
One of the tasks on my pregnancy to-do list that I absolutely dreaded was creating my baby registry. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shopping; but when I shop, I often know exactly what it is that I need. As a soon-to-be first-time parent, I was flying blind — not to mention, I hadn’t even met the person I was shopping for! While you’re registering, everyone wants to give you advice. (I received over a dozen recommendations for swaddles alone.) So, my husband and I dedicated two hours on a Sunday afternoon and scanned through the spreadsheets that our friends and family kindly shared with us along with the top must-have list from popular sites. Little did we know that this process would take close to seven hours and filled us with more anxiety than when we started.
Now, as a new mom, I can look back and see what were the must-have items that we placed on the registry and the few I wish I had. Below is a list of the baby products I swear by. Each of these items I have used and continue to use daily. Personally, I wanted items in my home that did more than just fulfill the newborn or infant stage. My daughter is now in the early stages of being a toddler, and I’m now trying to reinvent the products for a purpose as she grows to avoid the plague of "too much baby stuff" and waste in our landfills.
To be very honest, when I first saw this product, I told myself how I was able to do everything it claims by using what I had at home: a saucepan with a steamer rack and a blender. However, when I did a little research, I found many parents raving about how easy it made the transition to purees. I must say, I am a believer! It is a 4-in-1 baby food maker steam cooks, defrost, blends, and reheats. It had an auto shut-off and is dishwasher safe so I never have a sink full of dishes when I’m done. It’s compact size and sleek design will not scream "baby product," which can make it a welcome addition to your countertop. Most importantly, you know exactly what in the food you’re feeding your baby. No preservatives or added sugar, and it’s especially ideal for babies with any food sensitivities.
Tip: As the baby gets older, there are attachments that make food prep easier. A pasta and rice insert is sold separately and designed specifically for the next step. As you transition from baby to toddler, this can still be used as a blender for snacks and a steamer for meal time.
After spending so much making the baby’s food, storage is the other half of the battle. When it comes to storage for baby purees, I always prefer small heavy-duty glass. These are the perfect size because they store just enough for one to two meals. Everything stays fresh and the glass doesn’t hold onto odors or stain. You can store purees, snacks, even premeasured formula. The lids are leakproof and you can write directly on them with a dry erase marker to keep track of date and contents. Stackable, dishwasher safe and cost effective, these are a no-brainer.
Tip: You can use these for snacks or even food storage for sauces and dip post baby stage.
Natural and sustainable organic cotton, I love these food themed bibs for little ones. A baby’s skin is super sensitive and needs to adapt to their newest environment, the outside world. Infants often experience eczema under the age of one. Organic cotton helps with flare ups, which causes major discomfort. This is especially important when it comes to their first interaction with fabrics, onesies, bibs, swaddles, crib sheets, etc. My favorite collection is Taste of Hong Kong.
Tip: They have adjustable sizing which means it will grow from infancy to toddlerhood.
Too soon to think about baby gates? Never. This is perfect for parents who love to cook and need to corral a crawler. I felt it was easier to have a retractable gate versus having all tons of cabinet locks. I am constantly in the kitchen, so blocking off the entire room felt like a better option. Retractable gates are my preferred choice because there isn’t a gate to swing back and forth which can cause damage to walls (and very sleepy parents). This is my top choice for a retracted gate because I can see through the mesh material without having to hop over it every time I want to check on my baby.
Tip: Doubles up as a pet gate and helps with keeping them out during meal times which can be a major distraction.
When I was researching sterilization one name kept popping up: Baby Breeza. Everyone raved about the ease and the thoughtfulness of the design. This model is the quickest sterilizer and has the largest capacity of any sterilizer on the market and uses a 99.9% HEPA-filter. But what really convinced me to buy was the four ways to customize. Whether you have tall or short bottles or just pumping parts, you are able to remove the bins to fit that specific cycle.
Tip: When you’re done with the baby phase, you can always use this to sterilize other household items such as glass mason jars for canning. If not, you can always donate to a local daycare for a parent in need or pass it along to a friend who’s expecting.
This tray is wide enough to store the numerous bottles, nipples and rings. It also comes with a removable cup for smaller items such as pacifiers and breast pump parts. OXO Tot also offers a space saving option and a traveling one. They all feature tines with silicone tips to prevent scratches and for a better grip. It has raised ribs so the bottles do not sit in a pool of water.
Tip: You can also use this as a wine glass or water bottle dryer.
I am not the biggest fan of traditional highchairs because of the bulky size, and I always felt the newest member of the family was not part of the dinner table. They are often on an “island” by themselves. Maybe that’s why they had the urge to throw food onto the floor? A signal to be saved? The Fast Table Chair is super lightweight, collapsible and set up is a breeze. There’s a high padded backrest for the baby to sit comfortably. You can use the chair from as early as six months (if the baby can sit up) to thirty-six months of age. I especially like the Dining Table Plus (sold separately) because it’s a clean surface that a baby can eat directly off of. Plus, it’s easy to tote with you to restaurants.
Tip: Attach this to the island and the baby can be engaged during dinner prep.
This complete feeding set helps babies and parents ease the infant purees into toddler solids stage. The strong suction base sticks to smooth surfaces proves to be extremely helpful because a baby’s ability to throw everything onto the floor is a powerful one. My favorite piece from this set is the silicone bib with a catch all pocket. After testing out any silicone bibs, I love this one the most because the grommets have a snug fit. This ensures her bib stays on for all of meal time.
Tip: The sippy cup comes with two nipples, one for as early as four months and the other is for eight months and on. It’s like getting two cups in one.
Constant cleaing is going to be inevitable, from bottles to toys to breast pump parts! I’ve always opted for fragrance- and dye-free cleaning products, so when it came to my baby’s dish soap, this was a given. BabyGanics is gentle, yet it cuts all the fat that breast milk can leave in bottles and nipples. I felt that the foaming soap makes it less wasteful than traditional because the suds are already present. As for the cleaning wipes, this is a fantastic add for anything that needs to be wiped down and fast: Strollers handles, dropped toys and of course many sticky surfaces.
Tip: BabyGanics sells refill bottles which are more affordable than buying smaller bottles more frequently.
To hold warm water to help warm up or dissolve formulas, I always carry a S’well bottle. I am a fan of this design because of the narrow bottleneck feature. When trying to pour warm water into a baby bottle, this prevents spills. The 17-ounce or the 25-ounce work best for me: 17-ounce for a quick outing and will be sufficient for 1-2 feedings, and 25-ounce would be sufficient for a day trip.
Tip: Depending on the color and designs, prices will vary. You can find a good deal if you aren’t too particular about design. This bottle can also be used as the child gets older to hold water or juice. For ease, you can purchase the top with a straw insert.