We moved to Jacksonville from the Washington D.C. region three months ago now, and our family has made the decision for me to leave my career field for awhile to focus on taking care of our son, adjusting to our move, and settling into our new life here in Florida. My son had been in daycare since he was nine weeks old, and today marks one month of my new occupation as a stay-at-home mom. While my daily tasks no longer involve meetings or commuting, I still spend a lot of time in the “working-mom” mindset and remain passionate about supporting working moms. Today I want to highlight the products that have helped make my life easier as a mom and made each day go smoother when I was commuting to the office.
1) A large pouch, or small clutch, was TOPS on my list as a working mom. The ones shown here are from Kate Spade. The outlet in St. Augustine often carries these pouches at a decent discount, and I absolutely love them for holding all of my random daily purse items. This makes everything easily transferable from my purse or office bag to the diaper bag for nights and weekends when I was out with my son. After months of forgetting to move things from my purse into the diaper bag, I finally splurged on a pouch and haven’t looked back. I used one now to hold everything but my wallet (I should downsize my wallet!) and sunglasses. It also makes it easy if my husband and I are out somewhere and he stays behind with our son. I can just grab the pouch, slip my ID and money into the inside pockets, and go!
2) The Boba Air baby carrier. This is a compact, lightweight, EASY baby carrier that fits inside of your diaper bag. It folds up into itself, zipping closed. My husband loves it–it’s packable, portable, and practical. I’m a Boba brand ambassador because I love their baby carriers so much. Babywearing after picking my son up from daycare each day has helped us run errands easily and happily all while bonding and promoting closeness. WIN/WIN. Plus, it comes in black, this amazing blue, and white. The material is easily wipe-able and dries quickly.
3) Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine. I know so many people that have had had to replace their Keurig machines several times, which would have equaled the cost of splurging on a Nespresso machine to begin with. My sister owns one of these, and it is so fast and easy to make an amazing coffee drink each morning. It’s quicker and more affordable than stopping for coffee on a daily commute. We have a different espresso machine now, but I am saving up for this one for a holiday gift for myself!
4) Little Pnuts subscription. This quarterly special-delivery toy company is one of my favorites. The products are quality brands, timeless in appeal so they will last through multiple siblings and generations, developmentally appropriate, and eco-friendly. I cannot rave enough about them. We have a subscription, and I love knowing that my son will have stimulating toys arriving every few months, saving me a trip to specialty stores to hunt out these incredible European brands, and no more buying plastic electronic toys that break, require batteries, and do not foster the same sense of creativity. Our son had those toys at daycare for use, so it was important to us that our home held different play opportunities for him at this age. If you’re a busy, working mom, you will love having the same sense of comfort in knowing your toys at home are the very best quality and are fun for all ages. I also love that this is a quarterly delivery. I have tried monthly companies but found ourselves to be quickly overwhelmed with too many things too frequently, with a lot of items that we were not useful to us. With our Little Pnuts box, I can open up one new toy for play, and put away the other few for the next month or two. My son’s focus and concentration seem more intense that way at his current age.
5) Wean Green Cubes. This brand of modern glass food storage has impressed me in so many ways. The tempered glass is extremely durable. Our son loves to play with the locking lids and cube, and he’s dropped it many times and it hasn’t even chipped. Since they’re glass, they’re all BPA-free, and everything stays fresh. I have stored puff-snacks and crackers in ours and forgotten about them and they never went stale–a testament into the air-tight seal. These sizes are great for fresh baby foods and portioning out snacks for your desk at work.
6) Boxtera. Speaking of snacks! I have recently splurged on this monthly snack subscription in an attempt to control eating throughout the day. Boxtera is a company that delivers smart, healthy snacks to your home or office each month. I wish I had known about this when I was working because it would have been great to take each box and stash it in my desk drawer for office treats. This gives you a healthy variety for yourself and your family.
7) Duplicates (if possible) of favorite daycare items. This blabla Traveling Play Pad would make the perfect nap blanket for daycare. Our son loves his aden + anais dream blanket (he’s addicted to holding the tag) and the swaddle blankets. They come in packs of four, which has been great for daycare since laundry doesn’t need to be done daily if one gets dirty during his day. I saw this blabla blanket in Atlanta last weekend and would love one for a younger baby. It’s beautiful, soft, and the handles make it easy for folding and carrying with you to the park or daycare.
8) I think we have tested out every sippy cup and straw cup in the world (it’s possible) and we the ZoLi Bot cups is hands down our favorite for so many reasons. It’s leak-proof, easily held, the straw is easy to use, and the base of the bendy, silicone straw is weighted, so it easily reaches all of the liquid. Buy two of these, one for home and one for daycare! They are worth every penny, I promise.
9) Large Planet Wise Wet Bag. Even if you do not cloth diaper, this bag is a must. It’s perfect for the beach, diaper bag, and daycare since it keeps wet items enclosed and not leaking all over your car seat or the inside of the diaper bag. Daycare often sent my son’s clothes home in knotted, plastic grocery bags, and it was a pain each night to rip them open and throw away when doing his laundry. Plus, that just created more waste. The Planet Wise bags can go in the washer and dryer, so you just dump out the clothes and throw the bag in with it. EASY. We have a couple since we use cloth diapers occasionally, and now that we’re in Florida the large bag is getting a ton of use after the beach and pool weekly. If your children are older, have them pick out their favorite pattern and maybe this would be a great way to start having them keep their wet clothes together or learn a little about laundry?
10) A backpack! A local baby boutique in Virginia was having a moving sale, so I picked up an adorable Skip Hop dinosaur backpack for my son’s daycare. It was the perfect size to hold his daily sheets, a change of clothes, bottles, food, and dirty clothes each day. We left it somewhere while on vacation, and I recently upgraded to a Skip Hop rolling suitcase because he is in love with wheeling it around the house. They sell a few animals at Target even. The Mad Pax Bubble backpack shown is a fun brand that attracts a ton of attention. Their bags are beyond clever, creative, cute, and fun. Check these out for fun cube designs, spikes, and more. They’re a great conversation piece.
What do you think? Anything you would add or change? Are you returning to work after the birth of your child? Besides the obvious breast pump and necessities (I will post on this soon!), check out my post for my Top 10 Essentials for Returning to Work After Maternity Leave.