Becoming a parent for the first time is a bit overwhelming… You’ve got so many things to think about and (try to) plan for, plenty to worry about, and to top it off you have a lot of stuff to buy. Well, that’s what everyone tells you, anyway. I had a lot of people telling me that I just had to have a wipe warmer, or that I wouldn’t be able to live without a changing table. It turns out that you don’t really need a lot to take care of a baby.

Here are 15 products that made my life a little easier during this almost eight-month (whaaaaa?! I can hardly believe it either) sink-or-swim introduction to parenting:

1. Gerber First Essentials Bottles

 These come in both 5oz and 9oz sizes. They’re inexpensive and work better than the pricier bottles we tried…And believe me, we tried a lot of bottles! Dr. Brown, Tommee Tippee, Playtex… Plus, it’s no big deal if you have to replace a couple that you’ve misplaced. Bonus: They fit my pump, so less stuff to wash. Hooray!

2. Boon drying rack

boon I love this thing. It’ll hold just about anything you want to let air-dry…Spoons, toys, pump parts… It isn’t dishwasher safe, but all you have to do is wash it in hot soapy water. There are two sizes, Grass and Lawn. If you’re limited on counter space, go for Grass. Munchkin also makes a good drying rack that’s a bit cheaper.

3. The Boppy Pillow

If you’re breastfeeding, this is wonderful! In the early days of trying to get O on the boob, I used this thing to keep him off of my c-section incision. Once I started pumping, I would occasionally set O down in the pillow next to me and feed him while I pumped (I still held the bottle, I just couldn’t hold O). Now, it’s O’s napping pillow. When he’s sleepy, he’ll crawl up to it and put himself to sleep snuggling his blanket. I love this pillow. You can find less expensive versions but I can’t vouch for them. I would consider getting the water-proof cover, also.

4. Ameda Purely Yours breast pump

Speaking of breast feeding…As I mentioned in this post, I had to start pumping exclusively when O wouldn’t latch. If you have to pump at all, do yourself a favor and go the double electric route.

5. The Bumbo Seat

bumbo I loved the Bumbo seat…as long as you SUPERVISE YOUR CHILD and don’t put him or her on a high surface while using it, you will too. O’s legs got too chunky to fit into the leg holes, but by then he’d figured out how to sit up so all was well.

6. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bagsquick clean

I think I got two boxes of these at my baby shower and I have yet to crack open the second box. You can use each bag up to 20 times, so they last for a long, long time.

7. Sophie la Giraffe

O LOVES his Sophie. You might want to get two, just in case you accidentally kill her squeaker by submerging her in water. Oops.

8. Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

monitorSeriously, best thing ever. It even has night vision. Night vision, y’all.

9. The First Years Take & Toss infant spoons

takeandtossWe’ve tried a number of different spoons and these are by far my favorite. The bright colors make them easy to find if one ends up at the bottom of your diaper bag, they’re sturdy, and O took to them better than the other spoons we tried. They’re really inexpensive, so if you lose one it’s really no big deal.

10. North States Superyard Play Yard

Also known as the Sanity Saver 5,000. Baby proofing done in one easy step. You can also buy a door panel if you don’t want to hike a leg to get over the thing… Nice for short people like me.

11. Eddie Bauer Wood High Chair

Ok, I feel a little pretentious even mentioning the high chair… But the thing is sturdy. My kid already thinks it’s hilarious to beat the hell out of it with his fists, and he really enjoys slamming his heels into it. I fear a cheaper high chair would’ve already been broken. If the boy would only contain his squash puree smears to the lift-out tray, life would be perfect.

12. Cloth Diapers

 Before you ask, NO. These don’t go anywhere near my kid’s bottom… But they come in handy for just about everything else. Most of them are lint-free, so when you no longer need them for the baby you could use them as cleaning rags.

13. Munchkin Dishwasher Basket


If you have a dishwasher, these baskets are lifesavers. No more losing various bottle and sippy cup parts whenever you wash a load… They all stay neatly contained. I actually have two of the kind pictured because I needed more room, but you can find different sizes or expandable baskets.

14. Bouncy seat


I’m not sure what the proper term for this is…But I do know that my boy LOVES this thing. We have one similar to the Fisher-Price jumperoo pictured above. I don’t let him spend a lot of time in it, but he loves to bounce while I’m cooking dinner or cleaning.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure I’ll continue to think of things that made life easier for me…So perhaps this post is of the To Be Continued… type.

To make it easy, clicking on each picture will take you to Amazon, where you can get an idea of the price or even order the items. I didn’t purchase any of these items from Amazon, but I think I found some of them at better prices for you. I’m a giver.

Did I forget anything? What baby products made your life easier?


I’m thinking of doing a Question and Answer post in the near future. A couple of readers emailed questions about pumping, so I’ll answer those as well as any other questions I get. If there’s anything you want to know about me, or if you desperately need advice on a topic, or if you can’t make up your mind between that cute pair of stilettos or a new purse… Shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.

Once I get a handful of questions I’ll  post the answers. I think it will be fun!