With so many baby items on the market (and at so many different price points), it can be hard to weed through all the choices. I registered for all the usual big ticket items when I had my first child, but I found that I was still scouring Amazon every day to find smaller necessities to meet my ever-evolving needs as a new mom.
Now I'm paying it forward by giving you the inside intel on all the unexpected products that saved my sanity during that crazy first year of motherhood. All of these items have been used by me and my two sons (now five and two), so they're the real deal.
Bumkins Baby Bib, Waterproof SuperBib 3 Pack - $14.99
Why it's amazing: I tried cloth bibs at first, but was annoyed that I always had to throw them in the washing machine. Then I tried those firmer silicone bibs, but my son hated them. These waterproof bibs are perfect because they are flexible and comfy but can be washed off in the sink after a meal and hung to dry. They also have a pocket to catch food. These are honestly the best bibs on the market.
OXO Tot Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers - $9.99
Why it's amazing: I'm a working mom, so both my sons are in daycare. These little OXO containers are perfect for packing in their lunches because they stack easily and wash well. The 2 oz. size is just the right size for babies, and then there's a 4 oz. size for bigger kids.
Playful Pinwheels Bouncer - $26.99
Why it's awesome: When my kids were babies, they both hung out in this bouncer every morning while I showered. It's durable and easy to move around the house (but best not to carry it around with your baby in it). But the best part is how affordable it is. Don't be fooled by the fancy $100 bouncer chairs — this one is just as good as a fraction of the price.
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo - $104.99
Why it's awesome: Okay, I know what you're thinking: This thing is not very chic. And it agree, it's a bit of an eyesore. But both of my sons absolutely LOVED this jumperoo. Once they got too old to sit quietly in the bouncer chair, this was the perfect place to park them for 15 minutes while I cooked dinner. They jumped and played, I got stuff done, and we were both blissfully happy. I would have paid twice as much for this thing.
Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate - $32.00
Why it's awesome: Again, this isn't the prettiest gate on the market, but it's affordable and works perfectly well to separate rooms. The thing that makes this gate great is the door you can open and step through so you're not constantly climbing over a gate.
Dr. Brown's Bottle Brush - $3.37
Why it's awesome: You're going to be washing a million bottles and cups. Might as well treat yourself by buying a brush made for the task.
HaloVa Diaper Bag Multi-Function Waterproof Travel Backpack - $35.99
Why it's awesome: All diaper bags should be backpacks. Full stop. This bag is cute, functional, and has multiple compartments so you can easily separate things.
Munchkin 2 Piece Snack Catcher - $4.39
Why it's awesome: My car is still covered in Cheerios, but I like to think there are less Cheerios than there could be because of these handy snack cups.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy - $8.99
Why it's awesome: I'm generally not a fan of baby toys that make a lot of noise, but both of my boys absolutely loved this simple music player. There's nothing fancy about it, but this toy is a proven crowd-pleaser.
Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack - $12.98
Why it's awesome: Someone recommended this product to me after my first child was born, and at first I didn't get the appeal. But then I got one as a gift and I realized how handy this product is for drying bottles and nipples (I had previously just been piling them up in my normal drying rack). It also comes apart so you can throw it in the dishwasher when it needs a deeper clean.
Hook-On Chair - $59.90
Why it's awesome: We also had a normal high chair, but this hook-on counter chair was incredibly useful for eating out at unexpected places. We also hooked it onto our kitchen island so the baby could eat and play while I cooked dinner.
Little Partners Learning Tower Kids Adjustable Height Kitchen Step Stool - $199.95
Why it's awesome: When your kids start getting into the toddler years, getting anything done in the kitchen becomes almost impossible. This step stool was a godsend because my kiddos could stand inside of it and help me cook (or just fuss around with putting bread into the unplugged toaster).
Zutano Unisex-Baby Newborn Cozie Fleece Bootie - starting at $11.21
Why it's awesome: These are hands-down the best booties in existence because they actually. stay. on. The snap is so simple, yet it's completely revolutionary. To be honest, I didn't even bother with socks once I found these. They also come in non-fleece versions if it's hot where you live.
Gerber Unisex Baby 5-Pack Short-Sleeve White Onesies - starting at $9.99
Why it's awesome: You will probably have no shortage of onesies, but buy this inexpensive 5-pack anyway. I kept them handy in my diaper bag and car in case of blowouts and other messes. You won't feel bad if they get ruined because they are only $2 apiece.
12-Pack Baby Bandana Drool Bibs - $20.97
Why it's awesome: Once teething starts, babies drool all the time. You can either change their onesie a million times a day, or you can buy this affordable 12-pack of drool bandanas and change them out every couple of hours.
Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra - $39.40
Why it's awesome: What this pumping bra lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in functionality. The pumping flanges actually stay in place, and this bra is very durable (mine lasted through a year of pumping with both of my kids). Pro tip: Splurge and buy two of these so you have one handy when another needs a wash.
We hope you love these products! So you know, Mabel + Moxie may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Prices and availability are up-to-date as of this article's publish date.