Here's a roundup of some awesome items that have made parenthood much easier, or at least, more doable.
(Note: I am an Amazon affiliate, so I have included links to the products. I do receive a small percentage of the sale if you buy through the links, but I am not otherwise endorsed for promoting these products. I just think they are cool. I have personally used them and found them extremely helpful.)
Fisher Price's Rock 'n Play
This may be the best thing I own when it comes to babies. This thing is amazing. You can easily carry it from room to room, even with the baby in it. It is slightly elevated, so babies can see out, plus, when they are sick, they can sleep without choking. It rocks a little, which Cricket loves, and it even comes with a toy. Plus it comes in cute colors. We used this every single day when Cricket was first born, and even now that she is over a year old, she still sleeps in it when she's sick. It's like magic.
And yes, I know about the recall. Ours didn't have any mold on it, and even if it did, I would trade it in for a new one. That's how much I love this thing.
Baby Bullet and Steamer
These little guys are awesome. I made Cricket's baby food before she was old enough to eat table food, and these made it easy. They come with super helpful books on how to steam, puree, and store baby food, along with a set of storage capsule-looking jars. Plus, they're super cute, 'cause they have smileys on them. I still use them now when I need to puree something small that isn't worth getting out the food processor, and the steamer is like magic for defrosting frozen baby food cubes, making hard boiled eggs, steaming veggies, and even sterilizing stuff!
Flip Diaper Covers
We use cloth diapers, which might be a post for another day, but anyway, I tried several other brands before I found Flips, and I love them. They rarely, rarely leak, unlike every other brand I tried, and they are one size, so you don't have to keep buying more as she gets bigger. They are cute, sturdy, and well-made. They are cheaper than a lot of diapers, and since they are covers, you don't have to buy as many, again saving money.
Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
Seriously, there is nothing this stroller can't do. Well, almost nothing. It is a three-wheel, so it is really easy to steer, even with one hand while pushing a door open with another. It's all-terrain, so I can go on unpaved walking trails, off road at the Renaissance Faire, or on a normal sidewalk. It has a three piece hood with two windows, so it's very adjustable according to how much visibility vs. sun shade she needs. It has a basket in the bottom AND a pocket on the back. It has a rain hood, air vents, and a foot rest! It lays down, sits up and everything in between. Oh, and my favorite part: it folds up with the pull of one strap. No kidding. I can completely fold it up and load it in the trunk while holding Cricket in my other arm. It is amazing.
Graco Snugride Car Seat
This is a great car seat, and I highly recommend it. It's easy to get it in and out of the base, and it's so nice to have the removable seat so you don't have to carry a floppy baby down the stairs to the garage or wake her up to get her out of the car. It also snaps directly into the stroller frame, which you buy separately and is totally worth it. That's all we used for the first six or nine months, because it was so easy to just keep her in her car seat, and the frame is much lighter than most strollers.
Jellystone Teething Necklace
(Also another good picture of the stroller.)
This necklace is solid silicone, so it is chewy for babies, and since babies chew on your jewelry anyway, it's nice to have something that is safe for them. It comes in a lot of colors, but I got black because I figured it would go with the most stuff. I love it! It is very versatile, and looks surprisingly good! I've worn it to the park, to church, and to parties. Since it's pretty much the only jewelry I wear, it is nice to have something that makes me feel dressed up at least a little, and Cricket loves it, too! She always goes for it when I pick her up. Also works as a great distraction during nursing, changing, or whenever else you need a toy within reach!
So those are some of my favorites, plus the items in the picture at the beginning:
Fisher Price Rainforest Healthy Care Booster Seat (longest name ever);
Infantino Baby Carrier (and also my Ergo Carrier, not pictured);
Kelty Baby Carrier Backpack;
Fisher Price Rainforest Jumparoo.
I've got tons more, but this is already long. What about you? Any favorites for kids (or their parents)?