Boon snug lids and silicone straws – These amazing lids make any cup a straw cup (they have a sippy cup version as well). Be sure to pick up some extra straws because the little ones that come with the lids are sure to get lost. I like the smoothie-diameter silicone ones linked here, as they can’t be chewed up, are super flexible, and are easy to clean.
Silicone “pelican” bibs – What fools we were to use washable cloth bibs for so long. They are impossible to clean, always smell funky, and don’t really catch food in the stay-flat pocket. Enter the “pelican” bib – rinses clean in the sink and actually keeps food (well, most of it anyway) off the floor. For the detritus that escapes, you’ll need…
Oil cloth – Just one yard of this stuff makes for a great splat mat. We keep one with the play-doh, one under the high chair, and one on the porch for finger painting. F&S Fabrics in West LA has an amazing selection of patterns and colors.
Portable high chair that clips to the table – Inglesina makes a nice one, we’re very happy with our Mountain Buggy model. Great for restaurants that don’t have high chairs.
EZPZ Happy Mat – If your kid loves knocking his/her plate off the table and onto the floor, this might be the product for you.
Kitchen scissors – Fantastic for cutting food into bite-sized pieces, way more convenient than knives.
Stasher Bag – Easy to close, dishwasher safe, BPA free flexible silicone bags for storing all of your snackables and keeping them fresh.
3-in-1 Avocado Slicer/Storage – Many kids love avocados, which can be notoriously frustrating to dissect, serve, and store without incurring personal injury. This set of gadgets makes it easy (and includes a free strawberry huller to boot!).
Reusable food pouches by “Squeeze Wiz” – Make and take your own healthy purees on the go without filling up landfills!
Grabease – Ergonomic handles make these easy to grab training cutlery a great fit for tiny, chubby hands.
Avanchy – Sustainable bamboo and BPA-free tableware for your littlest diners. The divided plate/bowls come with “stay-put” suction cups on the bottom, defying even the most gravity-curious dinner companion.
5 oz. Stackable Tumblers – The perfect size for tiny hands, these familiar pizza place staples are great for little ones still learning to “use two hands” when they drink (and, the 5 oz size mitigates the spill potential).
Kaboost – Turns any chair into a booster chair, safely!
In the Bathroom
Nose frida – Yes, the snot sucker. This thing works better than any battery operated gizmo you’ll find out there. Once you get over the yuck factor (yes, you create the suction with your mouth; no, the snot doesn’t go into your mouth), you’ll relish “snurfing” (as we call it around here) the gunk out of your child’s sad little nose.
Faucet extender – For when your kiddo starts using the potty and/or wanting to wash hands in the sink, this helps the water get to those hands with ease.
Shea Moisture products – Look, what goes on your body goes in your body. Doubly so for little ones who are mouthing everything. With Shea Moisture products (which can be purchased at most CVS locations, and sometimes go on 2 for 1 sales), you can feel good about what you’re slathering on your child’s (and your) hair and body!
In the Bedroom
White noise machine – These are a lifesaver – we’ve used our Conair one every night for over 10 hours for over 2 years and it’s still going strong. Especially if you have thin walls, these drown out ambient noise, talking, TV sounds, etc. so your kids can have a sound night’s sleep.
Nursery heater – If things get chilly in your little one’s room, this childproofed heater can keep things toasty and safe at the same time. It also has a fan mode for warmer months.
Crane Drop Ultrasonic Humidifier – Offered in a variety of attractive, decor-complementary colors, this quiet, aesthetically pleasing, and simple to clean humidifier will soothe little mucus membranes for many years to come.
At the art table
Ooly paint sticks – Imagine drawing with a lipstick that didn’t smudge: this is the feeling of Ooly’s genius “chunkies.” They glide on smooth like paint and dry instantly. Try using them for mixed media work (paint over your drawings with watercolors) or for decorating rocks!
Pentel Aqua Pen Brush – Speaking of watercolors, ever noticed that little ones have a hard time getting the hang of the process? Not to mention that water can get everywhere? Well these brushes with a built-in water reservoir simplify water coloring on both fronts.
In the Playroom
Backjacks – If your back starts talking to you after hours sitting and playing on the floor, one of these simple back support chairs might help alleviate the strain and keep you playing until dinnertime.
Cate & Levi – I love this friendly Canadian company! They up-cycle woolens and other fabrics into puppets, stuffed animals, and more! Each one of a kind creation is sure to be a friendly keepsake. We love our unicorn puppet!
Cuddle & Kind – Lovingly hand-knit stuffed animals and dolls. Your purchase of these ethically made keepsakes helps to feed children in need!
Green Toys – 100% recycled made in the USA goodness! Fantastic wheeled toys, kitchen play stuff, and more. Totally worth the investment.
Ecobirdy – Recycled, recyclable, and artful children’s furniture & accessories
Mosaiz Face Paint Sticks – These deeply pigmented face paints come in a twist-up handle, go on smoothly, and wash off easily with water. Spark your kid’s imagination and have a spontaneous face painting party!
TwigTales – Write and publish beautiful books about your own family’s special story using the gorgeous pre-formatted templates on TwigTales.
Pipsticks Sticker Club – Sign up and get a new pack of the coolest child-friendly stickers every month. Who will enjoy them more – you or your kid?
The Jigsaw Doctor – Who hasn’t been driven slowly mad by one missing jigsaw puzzle piece? Don’t worry, the Jigsaw Doctor can make an exact replica, preserving your sanity for just a little bit longer!
5-year One Line a Day Diary – Whether you get it in pink or blue, this analog memory keeper offers just enough space to record a precious memory or two from each day of the first 5 years of your child’s life. It’s such a simple ask, I’ve managed to keep up, and enjoy looking back at what this date has looked like for my child over the past few years.
Nixplay – Cloud based, wifi enabled picture frames. Upload your photos and send them right to grandma’s frame to enjoy, no memory sticks or downloading required!
Qeepsakes – With tiny humans to keep alive, is it any wonder most of us have half empty (or mostly empty) baby books to record the journey? Enter Qeepsakes – an app that texts you periodic questions about your child. Respond in text and pictures, and Queepsakes will keep an ongoing private journal about your child. Print at any time – your book is expandable, so the story can go on as long as your child’s.
Out and About
KiloFly – Traveling with tiny tots feels like it requires as much gear as an attempt to summit Mt. Everest. That’s why I love this pop-up infant bed/tent – true, it did seem to require a doctoral degree in structural engineering to repack, but once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t have been happier. Now my baby will have somewhere safe to sleep on our travels, and my suitcase is only 1.75 lbs heavier for it. It’s even got SPF 50 sun protection, so it can be used at the beach or while camping (comes with tent pegs and everything).
Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib – This super easy to use travel crib weighs next to nothing and has a side panel that lets you cuddle with your little one (helpful for bedtime in a new place).
Blue Q Bags – These recycled zipper pouches handily store a wide variety of your kid’s stuff, from crayons and small toys to diapering accessories. The fun, snarky designs and messages only enhance your already stellar parental coolness.
A Fanny Pack – Go hands free at the park! I hate worrying about my purse or other valuables strapped to my stroller while I’m following my kiddo around. These sustainable ones from Cotopaxi are super colorful and hold 3 liters worth of your most valuable stuff.
Bagnets – Super-powerful magnet pendants that don’t destroy your cell phone and credit cards, perfect for hanging up diaper bags on restroom walls, beach umbrellas, park fences, and more. Keep those bags off the ground and within reach!
A baby carrier – Wear all the babies! Tula and Ergobaby are two great, trustworthy brands.
In the car
Car seat with washable covers – I don’t care what brand you get, but trust me on this one. You want to make sure the carseat you buy has a removable, washable cover. We have a Diono Radian RXT, a three-way convertible seat, and the cover washes like a dream.
The Noggle – If your car doesn’t have A/C outputs in the back, keep your littles cool with this simple, safe, low-tech, back-seat-cooling solution!
Clothes and Accessories
Threadless – Cool graphic tees and other apparel featuring original artwork.
Out of Print Press – All your favorite classic book covers printed on shirts, onesies, tote bags, and more. I think my family has personally kept this company in business for the past few years.
Primary – Not everything needs to have a unicorn or children’s TV star on it. Primary offers basics for babies and kids in every color in the rainbow.
Babiators Sunglasses – These awesome shades for babies and kids come with a 1-year warranty; if you break or lose them, they’ll replace them for the cost of shipping and handling.
RoShamBo Baby Sunglasses – Safety tested, nearly unbreakable (guaranteed!), matching shades for big kids and parents, and a portion of sales goes to support Surfers Healing, a charity teaching autistic kids surfing, pride, and confidence. What’s not to like?
NerdWax – Keep those sunglasses (or regular glasses, if your kiddo wears them) where they oughta be with this innovative, skin-safe product! Use it on your own sunnies for long stroller walks on hot, sunny days.
From Babies with Love – Beautiful organic baby clothes; all profits go to help orphaned and abandoned children!
Permanent Ink Clothing Name Stamp – Now that you’ve purchased some cool clothes for your kid, make sure they have a fighting chance of getting back home to you from daycare, camp, or school. I like this one from Trodat, but there are many options to choose from (including some that offer black and white ink, for dark colored clothing).
Empowering Clothes for Girls and Women
Princess Awesome – Perfectly twirly dresses and more with STEM-powered patterns.