After becoming a mom, the products that I valued drastically changed. I went from a holding a membership to the local blow-dry bar to purchasing a hairdryer that was quick and efficient. I transitioned from a good time equaling making it to happy hour to thoroughly enjoying the simple pleasure of running the vacuum. Motherhood changes us in so many ways, from the way we look, to the way we think to the way to the things we love. Our lives become consumed with our families and all the things we can do to enrich the lives of those tiny humans we love so much.
So, here I’ve created a list of 20 of my very favorite things with the hopes that I’ll shed some real mama light on products that are pretty kick ass.
PS. Click on the images to shop these awesome items for yourself! Xo.
1. Bentgo Boxes
These bad boys went from making packing lunches the bane of my existence to somewhat of a weeknight challenge that I, wait for it…. Actually enjoy! The small compartments are prefect for little portions. I also find that I obsess over providing my kids variety (like, should-be-medicated obsess), and the kid’s Bentgo Box makes adding variety to their meals pretty foolproof. What I love most is that they are super easy to clean!
I have used every baby wipe every made. No, seriously, working in childcare for the majority of my professional life, provided me with more bum wiping experiences than I’d like to admit. Still, as with all things there is a silver lining, which in this case it is that I was able to experience a multitude of products! Babyganics wipes are by far the best out there. First, they have an excellent rating from the environmental working group (ewg.com). For those unfamiliar with the EWG, they provide ratings based on a product’s safety with regards to chemical/environmental toxins. In my house, the EWG is essentially the stamp of approval for products I use on my kids. In addition, they work (get those tiny hineys clean with only a few wipes!), and they are wonderful for multipurpose (not harsh on little faces, great to wipe down a table, etc.). So, I know it may sound somewhat trivial that wipes on are my list of favorite things, but I assure you these are the bees knees when it comes to baby/toddler care.
Yea, so I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to my teeth and keeping them clean and healthy. In fact, two of my 20 favorite things are related to dental hygiene. So, to say I’m interested in whitening products would be an understatement. I’ve. Tried. Everything. From white strips, to whitening teeth paint, to whitening toothbrushes and chewing gum, the Listerine whitening mouthwash is by far the best product on the market. I’m a bit dependent on coffee and red wine, so my teeth are no stranger to staining agents-and don’t tell me to drink wine/coffee through a straw, that’s just weird. A quick minute of swishing with this magical potion will leave your teeth sparkly and your breath minty fresh.
A newer favorite of mine, found on amazon, of course, are blue light glasses. Not only are these fashionable-you can get them in so many colors, shapes and designs- but they are life-saving when it comes to headaches induced by harsh office lighting, computer, & cell phone screens. They’re aren’t readers, but you can get them with varying levels of magnification if needed. A stylish addition to your accessory wardrobe with actual health benefits made these a win-win for me!
At first these were just simple fashion statement. They were adorable boots with an added dose of sass-just the right amount of mexy (or, mom-sexy). However, now that I own them, they’ve become so much more. Yes, I’m speaking that fondly of boots. The warmth that these boots provide gives me all the warm and fuzzies. I am someone who is generally cold from September-July, so finding a fashion item, that make me feel even a touch sexy, while keeping me warm, is like hitting the jackpot. If I’ve lost you on this one because you’re always warm-let me introduce another benefit that I recently discovered- they look equally as adorable when shrugged down in a scrunched style, making them look like an entirely different pair of shoes. Now, if I haven’t convinced you to add these to your closet just yet-head over to amazon and view the price on them to seal the deal.
This is a mom must have. If you have tiny humans, you must purchase this snack catcher. I won’t promise you that it will save your car from the goldfish apocalypse that inevitably happens when kids eat in the car, but it will significantly reduce the lost soldiers. I’d be surprised to find a mama who said her kids easily and willingly sat at the table for meals. Enter the “snack catcher” which can also be filled with fruits and veggies for the tiny humans on the run. Plus, there is the added “pet proof” bonus for the mamas with four-legged fur babies who like to “share” snacks with their two legged siblings.
So, when the above “snack catcher” fails, you’ll need this. This small, hand held vacuum (I still call them dust-busters, although I think that term is out), is PERFECT for quick spills and messes. It is small but mighty, with some serious suction that can reach even the smallest nooks and crannies. Those lost soldier fish that we talked about? No longer a problem when you have the Shark Wand.
Now, for the bigger messes caused by those loveable, yet messy munchkins, the full-sized shark vacuum is a God send. There isn’t a whole lot to say other than buy it. You’ll be so thankful you did.
9. Air Fryer
I might be a little late to the game with this one, but man did the purchase of our air fryer change my life. I work a full time job as a preschool director and I work that job from 9am-6pm. I write, I read, I run a lot, and of course I love being with my husband and kids. So, time in the kitchen isn’t always a priority, although I do enjoy cooking. This air fryer can cook a real dinner, in a healthy way, fast. Everyone wins!
10. Hatch Baby Rest
I’m going to say something that’s going to make a lot of people reading this roll their eyes, so brace yourselves: I have two very good sleepers. Yup, I said it. My boys both got the sleep memo from a young age. Yes, we’ve had our sleepless nights but for the most part we lucked out & will probably be doomed for sleep deprivation with our next baby. I thank genetics and routines and part of our routine is to “pick a color” and turn on the relaxing rain on the Hatch Rest. What I love most- you can dim the color or turn it off entirely, from your cell phone, once your babe is asleep! It travels easily and has a variety of colors and sounds to choose from, creating a sleep environment that fits your child perfectly. Basically a glorified night light, this is clearly the Cadillac model.
If you’re in the market for a less expensive yet equally as peaceful sound machine, this is the way to go. Again, portable and nice soothing sounds, this sound machine comes at the right price. You will miss out on two of the features that come with the Hatch-the colored light feature as well as the ability to control from your phone, but with a variety of soothing sounds, portability, and timer this is a great option that we’ve used since day one.
12. Wyze Cam
These came recommended by my bestie and have been a great option for a really low price. These small, box cameras can be set up in your child’s room and linked to your cell phone, replacing your monitor. Just about every mom group that I’m in has posts from moms about their monitors dying, not lasting long, and not working right. What’s more is that these monitors are often really expensive. For about $25, you can purchase these small wyze cameras, saving a pretty penny. They work just as well, if not better than the monitor I had and have all of the same features.
The is the Ferrari of hair dryers. No, seriously, the makers of this hairdryer are under the same umbrella as the engineers who develop Ferrari engines. This hairdryer easily cut my drying/styling time in half, if not more. But, it is not just about the time… My hair has never looked better. It is healthy and easy to style. Every mom needs this. Put it on your list!
Yes, this is definitely a luxury and not necessarily a need but what a wonderful luxury to have. Similar to the air fryer, I may be late to the game with this, but when my husband gifted me the air pods a few weeks before I ran a half marathon I said, and I quote “this might be my favorite gift ever, next to my engagement ring.” My air pods were a game changer when working out or running. So for the active mama, these are a luxury that will certainly enrich your life.
Remember back at the beginning when I said I was a freak about dental hygiene? Well, here is another one of my favorite things that centers on just that. I have a sonicare electric toothbrush and it is just about as good as a massage, but for your mouth. It has numerous settings, a timer so you know you’re brushing for the right length of time, and the particular model I have comes with a charging station and sanitation compartment. With all of the running around that we do as mamas, it is easy to let simple things fall between the cracks. Having a good quality electric toothbrush in your arsenal will allow you to check one thing off your list.
I forgot my coffee the other morning when I left for work. My husband, who works out of our home came across my coffee in the Yeti travel mug (which he claims is his, despite the fact that I’ve essentially inherited it) at about 2pm and it was still warm. Virtually every mom out there suffers from reheating coffee 17 times and typically still not finishing it, which is also why this magical Yeti coffee mug is amazing.
It is just as important to keep your water cold as it is to keep your coffee hot and this is why I love my hydropeak water bottle. With all of the benefits of its more expensive cousin, the hydroflask, hydropeak is the way to go. It comes in a variety of colors, with a variety of lid choices, keeps water cold all day without the annoying exterior sweat that you may assume a cheaper stainless steel bottle would produce and finally, it comes in a few larger sizes, making it easy to get in those required daily h2o ounces.
Just as mama bear needs her water, so do the tiny humans and these camelback cups are wonderful for many reasons. They come in a bunch of different themes, which makes it fun for them, and they are durable with easily replaceable parts making it convenient for mama. They hold a decent amount of water (or child beverage of choice) so you don’t have to pack multiple cups when leaving the house. Finally, the camelbak cup is easy enough for a small toddler to use, yet also appropriate for an older kid (they won’t feel like they’re using the ‘baby’ cup).
19. Foam Roller
Generally I find self-massagers pretty pointless. If I’m looking for a massage, I am looking to relax, which means I am not interested in doing any work. Enter my glorious foam roller which took stretching and massage to a whole new level. Now, I have to provide a disclaimer. I purchased my first foam roller in the height of training for my very first half marathon, which means I was running, A LOT, and dealing with sore muscles that I didn’t even know I had. Still, I couldn’t believe how amazing it felt to just simply lay across the roller. In the event you use it for other stretches, exercises, or massage purposes and find you need to do some “work,” rest assured the payoff far beats the efforts put into foam rolling. Do yourself a favor and amazon prime this baby ASAP.
The last item on my list of favorite things are the Crayola bath color drops. If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to get your kid into the bathtub, these magical gems are the way to go. They are super fun for the kids, and turn your water fun colors without staining your bathtub. An added bonus, they come in primary colors so you can practice color mixing, making bath time into a learning experience. I know you’re, probably thinking by the time bath rolls around the exhaustion is real, but that is just another reason to make it easy and entertaining for your babe.
As we rapidly approach the holiday season, I ask one thing of all you mamas who’ve read this: we are consumed with giving to other each and every day. You pour your heart and soul into motherhood. So, take a step back and treat yourself. Whether it is with a bubble bath, a new pair of shoes, or the massage you’ve been dreaming of, just do it. Because mama, I promise you deserve to have all of your favorite things.
Sending love, hugs, and a bottomless wine glass to you all during this season.
The Winey Mama