Here is a list of random [like really random] products that over the past few years we bought, used for our life with little kids and dogs, and would buy again. They've helped make situations easier, comfier, and more functional!
** Click names of products for amazon link (some are self given in the list for readers to better understand what it is)
This gate is not pretty, it needs a fancy maneuver to be able to do it one handed- but it is compact, out of the way and we are loving it! (Disclaimer: We have only had it up for a few weeks but so far, so good.)
Unfortunately, hair cuts for Will are not fun for anyone involved. He is scared, and we just try to go as fast as we can and do it wherever we can (i.e. holding him on a chair, on the bed, or in the bathroom)... so the fact this is cordless and rechargeable is so helpful! It says its quiet, but I don't really notice any difference between this and the one we had that Dan uses for his home haircuts. Still, it makes a sucky job easier.
So random, but between leaky diapers, spit up, vomit, or whatever... this has prevented us from having to constantly wash pillows. Which is great because I hate that and have ruined a lot of pillows doing so!
Our kids rooms are small, so these actually are a little bright for a night light in their rooms. But we keep one in the bathroom, down in the kitchen area and in the hall for any middle of the night walks. I rarely think of them since they are so tiny, compact and turn on and off by themselves.
5. Stroller Fan
Liv was a newborn in the heat of the summer. I felt so bad strapping her into the stroller and then covering her up with the sun blocking canopies because I felt like she would bake in there but I needed to keep the sun off her! So we got this rechargeable fan and it worked great all summer long. We loved it! Easy clip-on for anywhere on the stroller, lasted a while with charge and it was not expensive!
Will has been a challenger with all things food but for a long time we hit a sweet spot where these were a beloved snack. For an 18 month old, these were great sized bars, easy to chew, flavor-able, Whole30 approved and easy to throw in a diaper bag.
This is a more expensive item but soooo heavily used. So easy and basic and I'm not really sure why it's so expensive but my hope is we will never have to replace it. Each kid has one in their room, and we keep it on the floor and can use our feet to turn it on or off, Will is old enough to do it himself, and its just a product I use daily and stand by!
I know you aren't "supposed to" put any extra padding or sheets into the pack and play. But those things are hard! I never felt comfortable using one just as is. So, this was perfect. And we got the sheet to make it warm and cozy- plus easy to remove if it needed washed. I sure wouldn't want to lay flat on my back on a pack and play mattress- so I wasn't making my precious little babies!
10. Bed Bumper
I can't say these things stay put when you are an adult trying to use them... but for the kids they are wonderful. When we transitioned Will to a mattress on the floor, we used this on the one side (other side was a wall) and it made it impossible for him to roll/fall out of bed. We don't need it in the kind of bed he has now, but we will probably need them for Liv. I tried using one on our bed since we co-sleep so I could easily change the way I lay and not worry about her falling off... but it was too squishy in our bed and the bumper always getting pushed and would fall off. So I just lay only on the one side and she stays between us all night. BUT they are super lightweight and easy to travel with. So when we rent a house at the beach for a week, it will be easy to bring for Will to use!
We drive a small SUV and if we go anywhere s a family with the dogs, we need a car top carrier because we have no where to put anything! This canvas one holds up great! Nothing gets wet, it holds a lot and we can fit our double stroller in it. It's literally just necessity but we love it. So easy to store when not in use and easy to install in car! We accidentally broke our old one trying to squeeze into a garage that was too low, but just automatically re-bought it because we were so happy with it!
Because our dogs are crazy and we stink at training, we use treatss for everything. When we had our first baby, there was a lot of treats going around to make sure they listened. But this quickly became our go too- and the dogs love it. So much easier than treats and less calories/intake for the dogs.
We got this because of our layout of couch and family room set up initially. I love how it gives a safe, sturdy spot for a coffee or water on a spot and allows for less furniture in the space. With little ones moving around, we just want open areas, less forehead/eye-height corners that result in bumps, but still have somewhere to put your drink! Ding, ding, ding this is it! And its rubber... so when there is no drink sitting in it, and the kids want to play with it- it's safe!
14. Amazon Prime
None of this would have been made possible without prime. (That's not 100% true but I do hate paying for shipping and might have scouted out some stuff in stores more often). I love prime. For the video, the music, but mostly for the fast and free shipping. I don't mind waiting a few days for something to get here, and I love that I can buy something- like a gift for my niece- and then ship it straight to her house. I did 90% of my Christmas shopping on prime. I haven't even tapped into prime pantry, or amazon fresh, or prime wardrobe.
So those are some random finds that we use frequently, sometimes daily, sometimes just here or there but now knowing what I know about these products, and using these different things- there's no going back!