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22+ of the Coolest Must-Have Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

must have baby products

It seems like every year that passes, someone invents a baby gadget that I wish I had years before when my kids were babies!

There are also many inventions that are unnecessary, a waste of money, and totally prey on new parents’ emotions. But that’s not the focus of this post!

must have baby products

This post is full of the coolest, must-have baby stuff that we all wish we had “back in the day.” If you’re a new mom or a mom of little ones, you’re going to go nuts over these products!

Take a deep breath and stay calm. When deciding which one you have to have just tell yourself… you deserve it.

Baby Related Posts:

The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimalist Mom on a Budget

51 Adorable Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

27 Creative Pregnancy Announcement Ideas You’ll Want to Steal!

If you’re still in “mom-to-be” status, don’t forget your baby shower registry! Amazon has the largest registry on the planet and allows you to easily add any of these cool products to your registry without searching through retailers!

And you get a FREE sign up welcome box too!

The Coolest Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

1 – Free Hand Baby Bottle Holder

I know every mama has experienced feeding her baby and needing a free hand at the same time! We’ve tried every trick to prop up that bottle but nothing ever works.

This amazing bottle holder is a real problem solver and it almost makes me want another baby… almost.


Get this amazing product here!

And if you’re constantly looking for ways to prop up your baby’s bottle in the car, this car seat bottle holder is an answer to your prayers! Check it out here!

2 – First Years 4 in 1 Remote Bottle Warmer

The reason this bottle warmer is on my must-have list is that when my middle daughter was a baby, she would drink at least 3 bottles every night!

And our bedroom was upstairs so I pre-bottled her milk every evening and stored them in a cold pack on my nightstand. And when she started to get hungry, I would get my trusty coffee mug and fill it with hot water from the bathtub and nest her bottle inside to warm up.

This wasn’t the most effective way to heat up her bottles quickly at all. This warmer actually stores your bottles inside and warms the bottles in seconds! I would have jumped at this warmer back then.

Get this amazing product here!

3 – The Toddler Bathtime Dam

This product is genius! And not only does it holds your little one in place, but it also saves gallons of water every single bath!

It easily snaps in place each bathtime and takes up very little space. In fact, it takes up way less space than those large infant tubs! The best part is, you can use this long after your baby grows out of the baby stage!

Check this out this product here!

4 – QuickZip Crib Sheet Set

I remember changing crib sheets and the nightmare experience it was every time. These amazing sheets actually zip on and off easily without the need to remove the mattress from the crib or wreck your back!

These crib sheets are simply revolutionary!

Check out this product here!

5 – Cocoon Cam Plus – Baby Monitor with Breathing Monitoring

There are many baby monitor on the market that have helpful features that give parents that much needed peace of mind when their baby is sleeping.

However, this monitor takes the cake and actually monitors your infant’s breathing! This technology is revolutionary and the best part is it doesn’t require you to attach or stick anything to your baby like many monitors still do.

Get this amazing product here!

6 – Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Remember the Diaper Genie? I had one with my first daughter and it was horrible! The plastic tub soaked up all the stink and never gave it up.

This stainless steel diaper pail keeps stacking up the awards, acclaim, and parent praise. It’s super easy to use and never holds on to the stick.

Grab this product here!

6 – Gripebelt Colic and Upset Stomach Swaddling Belt

If you’ve ever had a fussy or colicky baby, it’s really hard for mom and dad and baby too. But this adorable little belt actually works to lightly cradle your infant’s belly which is often the source of the fussiness.

It makes them feel safe and held and also has fun toys for baby to touch and hold.

Get the swaddling belt here!

60 Strong and Cool Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

7 – Forehead and Ear Thermometer

This ear and forehead thermometer actually works and is highly recommended by other moms like you! There’s no need to take your baby’s temperature rectally anymore. Especially, as they grow older and strongly object.

This makes the process painless, easy, and accurate!

Get this amazing thermometer here!

8 – The SkinSoother Baby Essential for Dry Skin

If your baby suffers from uncomfortable and even painful eczema, cradle cap, or other forms of dry skin this all natural silicone skin soother will bring sweet relief to your new baby.

Simply rub in on their wet skin and watch the irritation wash away. My daughter experienced bad eczema as a baby so this really would have been very helpful!

Get your skin soother here!

9 – Wash. It. Later. Soak and Save Bags

If you’ve ever experienced a diaper blowout, you know how disgusting and overwhelming it can be. My daughter had a blowout in the car seat while stuck in traffic heading to our hotel in Orlando.

I had to change her in the hotel bathroom and wasn’t prepared at all. I ended up washing her with wet paper towels and then wrapping her naked little body in more dry paper towels to carry her through the lobby. Itridiculousulous and only something I can laugh about now!

I luckily had a washing machine in our hotel. However, this isn’t the case most of the time and too often we’ve all just thrown away cute outfits because they were too soiled to keep. Until…

These cool bags allow you to throw those gross poop and pee covered items in their sealable plastic bags. Just add water and one of their detergent pods and seal up for later.

The detergent starts working on the stains and the water keeps the stains from setting until you can get home!

Get these amazing bags here!

10 – Boon Fast Bottle Warmer

I know this is a second bottle warmer on my list. But if you just need a bottle warmer without storage, this warmer will quickly become your bestie.

This bottle warmer may seem like a luxury item but when your newborn is hungry at 3 am and loves her milk warm, you do not want to have to heat up a bottle the old-fashioned way.

This bottle warmer heats up bottles and baby food safely in just over one minute!

Check out this bottle warmer here!

11 – BoogieBulb Baby Nasal Aspirator

This amazing nasal suction bulb is the first and only bulb that can be taken apart and cleaned! I’ve tried those new nasal suction aspirators that you suck through a tube, and they didn’t work for me.

I love a good bulb aspirator, however, they can get really nasty because you can’t easily clean them. Now you can!

Check it out here!

12 – RaZbaby Keep-It-Kleen Pacifier

If your baby loves a good binky, you may want to give this one a try. It actually has a soft covering attached to the pacifier itself.

This prevents it from picking up gross stuff along the way. This makes storage super easy too!

Get this cool pacifier here!

13 – Accu-Dose Pacifier Baby Medicine Dispenser

Getting a baby or toddler to take medicine can sometimes feel like a Game of Thrones episode. At least it was for my littlest baby!

This dosing pacifier makes the process super easy! It won’t change the flavor, but it’s certainly an easy way to give your baby their medicine.

Mom Tip: When my son was a baby he HATED taking any medicine and at the time was sick and had several bad tasting medicines to take at once. An ER nurse shared their hospital hack:

Add a little cherry flavor syrup after you’ve measured out the medication. It works every time!

Get your medicine dispenser here!

14 – Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon for Baby Led Weaning

As your little baby grows into a big baby, it’s time for the fun world of self-feeding! And whether you decide to go the route of baby led weaning, or stay the traditional course, these fun spoons will be your go-to!

The super soft and flexible silicon make scooping easier for baby and the unique shape help keep the food on the spoon and into their mouth. This totally reduces melt-downs. I mean, it’s really frustrating when you can’t get all that yummy food in your mouth!

Get this amazing spoon here!

15 – Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch

I LOVE these adorable reusable pouches! We moms all love how food pouches are unbelievably convenient for feeding your babies, toddlers, and kids. In fact, I’d love to feed all my kids’ meals from a pouch! But those store-bought pouches are just so dang expensive.

And Squooshi doesn’t make the DIY filling process complicated at all! You simply fill the super-sealed pouches from the bottom and quickly seal them up. They clean up beautifully and can be used again and again.

Plus, they’re super cute so your kids will love them! And you’re saving tons of money, so that’s a total win-win.

Get your reusable pouches here!

16 – Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump

This manual breast pump is running fast to the front of the line of the many breast pumps on the market. Many moms actually favor this and other manual breast pumps over the electric pumps.

I wish I knew this when I was pumping years ago!

This breast pump is winning praise from breastfeeding moms because of its efficiency in pumping breastmilk quick and easy with its seemly one-piece design. Yes, no parts!

This makes it perfect for on-the-go, at work, and at home pumping.

Get this amazing breast pump here!

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong & Powerful Meanings

17 – Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf

This breastfeeding scarf is so cute and actually doesn’t look like a breastfeeding cover! The fabric is soft and breathable and easily moves to create many stylish looks.

And when it’s time to nurse, you won’t feel like you’re covering your baby with a blanket.

Get this adorable breastfeeding scarf here!

18 – Ju-Ju-Be Be Pumped Breast Pump Bag

Of course, I could resist adding this super cute breast pump bag with the match nursing scarf above! Pumping bags have been the last of the mom stuff to get a splash of style!

And a splash of style you get with this breast pump bag from Ju-Ju-Be. It’s both cute and very functional for making pumping at work and on the go so much easier!

Get this stylish pumping bag here!

19 – Boppy Newborn Lounger

I have a confession to make… I never used my Boppy Pillows for breastfeeding. They always made the BEST newborn loungers!

And now Boppy has recreated their amazing breastfeeding into a pillow made for lounging your new baby. These are literally must-have pillows for putting your baby down at a moment’s notice and still keeping them close.

I used mine when I was nursing or pumping to keep my baby close and happy when my arms weren’t available for snuggling.

Get this baby lounger here!

Comotomo Baby Bottles

These bottles are gaining in serious popularity among new moms! Moms swear that they ease gas and discomfort and are the closest to the breast when switching baby back and forth from breast to bottle.

Just a quick warning when buying ANY bottles. Just buy a very small amount and make sure your baby loves them first. And then go back and buy more!

Get this hugely popular bottles here!

Every year new amazing products for mom and baby come on the market, and I swear I wish I’d thought of them! But at least we can be thankful that someone (usually moms) have the smarts and guts to create these gems!

Let us know in the comments below which product is blowing your mind right now!

This list of the coolest, must have baby stuff will blow your mom mind! Be ready to be amazed! #babies #pregnancy #parenting

The Best Car Games for Kids and Toddlers to Survive Long Road Trips

best car toys for toddlers

If you’re planning a long road trip or even traveling on an airplane and you have a toddler or young kids, you need to be prepared! There are three things you won’t be able to live without on your trip – snacks, things to soothe your little one, and games to entertain them.

In this post, you’ll get all the best games and small toys that work like magic to keep your kids happy, occupied and entertained on a long trip.

best car toys for toddlers

I used many of these toys on my family’s 18-hour road trip to Michigan over a year and a half ago. Honestly, other than the grueling hours of driving in the mountains, the trip was very enjoyable.

At the time, my kids were 18 months, 7 years old, and 10 years old.

There weren’t endless crying sessions or even fighting with my three kiddos. I think my husband and I had the hardest time with our backs giving us trouble. But that’s a whole other issue!

But first, this toddler car seat tray is amazing! And can help give your toddler and sturdy place to play, eat snacks, and read books without everything falling to the floor. This one is a must-have!

I’ve separated the toys into a toddler list and a kids list for slightly older children.

Now on to the list…

Toddler Games to Survive a Road Trip

Bizzy Buckle Toy – We all know how much toddlers love pushing, buckling, and tinkering with things. This soft busy pillow will keep your little one occupied with endless buckling and unbuckling!

Wooden Montessori Lacing Toys – These cute little learning lacing toys will keep your little one learning while they weave the worms in and through the fruit and cheese. The worms are attached so no losing parts!

Travel AquaDoodle Pad – This is one toy that my little guy used a ton on our trip and I can’t say enough about it! They feel like their making a mess, but it’s only water. That’s a total win-win!

Fisher-Price Boppin’ Activity Bugs – This is a great distraction toy and is like the toddler version of whack-a-mole! 

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow Books – These 3 little boards allow your toddler to write their letters, numbers, and draw animals with markers filled with only water!

Related: The Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy in 2019!

Young Kids Games to Survive a Road Trip

Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Memory Game – This is a great game to keep brain fatigue from setting in while in the car. They can keep learning and playing!

Crayola Pip-Squeaks Markers & Paper Set – Your budding artist can continue creating in the car or on the plane! And everything stays neatly in place in the carrying case. 

Mickey Mouse Magnetic Zoo – These adorable Mickey Mouse activity cards allow kids to move the magnetic pieces around to create play scenes over and over again. 

Fun Tape Activity Book – This book comes with easy tear tape to create fun pictures throughout the pages!

Connect 4 Travel Game – This game is so fun and bringing it on a road trip is sure to keep the fun going if you have more than one kid, of course!

Kanoodle Brain Twisting Solitaire Game – This game is full of over 200 mind-bending puzzles in a single travel case! 

Spot It! On The Road – This fun card game can be played with the whole family! Plus, there are 5 games in one!

Related: The Best Cheap Stocking Stuffers for Kids that Don’t Suck!

Other Items to Pack on Your Trip

In order to keep the peace and the joy flowing on your road trip, you need to have more than amazing games. Here’s a list of must-have’s in your car to keep the kiddos quiet and happy!

Healthy Snacks are a must on a road trip of any length.

Here are a few of my kid’s favorite healthy snacks to add in your backseat.

Simply drop them in a giant tote bag and let them have at it when they’re hungry. You’ll be saving a ton of money on fast food stops and you won’t feel guilty for letting them eat junk food.

If you want to save even more money, try making all your snacks ahead at home and packing them in a large lunchbox or cooler. Here are some easy lunches and snack ideas to try!

Travel sized toiletries are also a must for cleaning on the go.

On your road trip, you’ll likely see many restrooms and experience many gross emergencies in your car needing these supplies.

I strongly recommend you pack a large pack of kid-safe anti-bacterial wipes, a few rolls of toilet paper, and a large bottle of hand sanitizer.

Books and Magazines are perfect for keeping kids entertained and learning.

I remember reading during very long car rides as a kid and my books were my best friend! Sure, those were the days before tablets and smartphones, but I’d like to believe that my books would still be my favorite.

Here’s a list of great books that will keep your kid happy and quiet but also learning about kindness, compassion, friendship, and diversity. Those are all great things!

What did we miss? Add your best travel tips and tricks in the comments below!

Planning a roadtrip for the holidays this year? If you've got kids you need this list of the best car toys for kids! Keep the peace and enjoy your trip. #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #kids #holidays #christmas #thanksgivingTraveling for the holidays? You need these travel road trip tips and the best car toys to keep kids happy and entertained in the car! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #roadtripWant the secret to keeping kids happy and quiet on long road trips? These packing tips and car toys for kids are everything you need this travel season! #kidsandparenting #parenting

17 Family Christmas Pajamas – Perfect for the Whole Family

family christmas pajamas

Family Christmas pajamas are gaining in popularity in recent years. And just like the “ugly sweater” phenomenon doesn’t seem to be slowing down, matching Christmas family pajamas aren’t either.

I believe this is because it really takes the family Christmas card to the next level. And with social media platforms like Instagram, using photos to share our happiest moments isn’t going away.

And why should it? I love seeing families nestled together in front of the fire or Christmas tree. Even if that’s not their everyday reality… they’re still fun to enjoy!

Here are some great Christmas pajama sets you can buy for your family to take Christmas family pictures or to just enjoy opening gifts while matching.

These PJ’s totally bring out the Christmas spirit!

The Best Family Christmas Pajamas

family christmas pajamas

Christmas Lights Christmas Pajamas

Buy your set here!

Red Christmas Tree Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Red and Gray Dear Santa Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Gray and White Polar Bear Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Related: 16 Family Christmas Traditions that’s Make Magical Memories with your Kids

Let it Snow Pajamas

Buy your set here! 

Green Button Up Snoopy Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Green Striped “What the Elf” Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Red Snowman Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Related: 51 Adorable Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

Red Striped Elf Pajamas

Grab your set here! 

Red Santa Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Royal Blue Snowflakes Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Blue Penguin Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Reindeer Red Plaid Pajamas

Grab your set here! 

Christmas Tree Onesie Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Red and White Warm and Cozy Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Mama, Papa, and Baby Bear Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

Santa Merry Christmas Pajamas

Check out this set here!

Christmas Tree Delivery Pajamas

Check out this set here! 

We absolutely love these family Christmas pajama sets! Let me know when one is your favorite in the comments below.

These family christmas pajamas are perfect for your entire family. Bringing the joy back into the Holidays. #christmas #family #christmas #kidsandparenting #parenting

31 Cheap Stocking Stuffers for Kids and Teens That Don’t Suck!

stocking stuffers for kids and teens

I’ll be really honest, when I was a kid for some reason my stocking was my favorite part of the Christmas morning experience. It was something about pulling so many presents out of a single stocking. It was really magical to me!

As a mom though, stockings became a struggle for me and I hated buying things that seemed like junk just so I could throw it in their stockings at the last minute.

stocking stuffers for kids and teens

Not cool. So I got more intentional last Christmas in an effort to give my kids the same magical experience I had growing up.

My gift expedition was actually a lot of fun and I want to share with you many of the big hits and many more stocking stuffer ideas for kids. These stocking stuffer ideas will NOT be junk and may end up being your kids’ favorite toys this Christmas.

And the best part is… they are all under $10 each! I mean, stocking stuffers are supposed to be cheap.

Here we go!

Related: 16 Magical Christmas Family Traditions to Make Lasting Memories with your Kids

Stocking Stuffers for Kids

Girl Journal – This cool journal for girls is the perfect way to help your daughter stay connected to her hopes, dreams, and anything else!

Boy Journal – This cool journal for boys encourages bravery and allows them a secret place to write their fears, dreams, and plans.

Crayola Color Bath Dropz – Bathtime suddenly got more exciting with colorful, fizzy bath dropz! Just drop a tablet in your baby’s bath water and watch the magic happen. 

Mr. Sketch Scented Markers Mr. Sketch markers are always an easy hit with all kids. And this 12 pack will give your little artist endless color combos.

Related: 51 Adorable Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

Vintage Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses – These super stylish aviator sunglasses will score you serious points for Christmas. 

Kanoodle Brain Twisting Solitaire GameThis tiny game set offers kids over 200 brain-teasing puzzles in one compact little kit. Your kids will be using their brains and happily off their electronics for hours! This may be the best gift yet!

Superhero Cape – If you have a little superhero in your house like mine, this cute little cape and mask set is perfect. No more using all the blankets in the house! Available in many colors too.

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy – This fishing bath toy is wonderful for developing hand-eye coordination in younger kids. Plus, it’s really fun to fish!

Mattel Games Blink – From the makers of Uno, this new card game promises to be the world’s fastest game! Plus, it’s a non-screen activity! 

LED Star Projector – Turn your kid’s room into their own planetarium with this LED star projector!

Projectables NightlightsThese cool nightlights aren’t any ordinary nightlight. These project your child’s favorite TV or movie characters right on their ceiling, wall, or floor. The soft light comes on automatically at dusk and turns off at dawn.

LOL Suprise Bling Series – We couldn’t resist adding one of the year’s hottest toys to our list. These small LOL mystery balls promise to bring a smile to your little kiddo this Christmas.

Marvel Themed Socks – Marvel is the hottest right now and these cool socks will be a great stocking stuffer for your little Marvel fan.

Christmas Themed Fuzzy Socks – Christmas morning isn’t complete without soft, fuzzy Christmas socks!

Braided Leather Unicorn Bracelet – This adorable leather bracelet is a great gift for your little fashion and jewelry lover! Plus, there are many colors and designs to choose from.

Whimsical Bracelet Hair Ties – These colorful bracelet style elastic hair ties are so cute for the little girl who loves getting her hair done.

Kids Junior Aviator Classic Sunglasses – These cool aviator style sunglasses are perfect for your fashionable kid. Plus, they come with their own zippered protective case. 

Cream Scented Unicorn Squishy – My kids are crazy able squishies and this slow-rising unicorn squishy is super cute. 

Scented Galaxy Slime – This scented, stress relieving slime is galaxy colored and comes in a 2-pack egg container.

Kinetic Sand, 3lbs Beach SandKinetic sand is very cool and giving kids their own 3 lbs of sand is a fun stocking stuffer. 

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Rainbow Mini Notes – These mini rainbow notes pack allow kids to create notes and doodles in rainbow-colored writing. 

American Girl BooksThe Care and Keeping of You book is all about growing up and going through puberty. A Smart Girl’s Guide: Drama, Rumors & Secrets is about growing up and navigating relationships. 

Winter Wonderland Color by Number Book – Kids will love these color by number pages with a fun Christmas theme. 

Earbuds with Macaroon Case – These adorable earbuds will easily be a stocking stuffer favorite!

Silly Donut Knee High Socks – Your little girl will love these silly and fashionable knee-high socks. There are many colors and styles.

Leather headphones cord keepers – These cool little cord keepers will keep headphones and other cords from getting tangled. Plus, they come in lots of cool colors.

Great Kids and Teen Books

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

These stocking stuffer ideas are sure to give you some great inspiration for your own stockings! Let us to your favorite ideas in the comments below!

Looking for stocking stuffer ideas for your baby or toddler? Check them out here! 

Get these cool stocking stuffer ideas for kids and teens in time for Christmas. Christmas gift ideas for kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #christmas #holidays #kidsThese cool stocking stuffer ideas for kids promise to be winners. Plus, they're all under $10! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #momadvice #kids #christmas #holidays

51 Adorable Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

Stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies

Just because you have toddlers and babies doesn’t mean they can’t join in the stocking stuffer fun on Christmas morning! My stockings were always my favorite part of the opening presents experience.

If you’re looking for super fun ideas for stocking stuffers for toddlers or babies, you’ve come to the right place!

Stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies

All of these stocking stuffers are perfect for little ones and every idea promises to NOT be junk. I don’t believe in wasting money, even on Christmas.

If you’re looking for Christmas stocking stuffer ideas for kids check them out here.

Oh, and did I say that all of these stocking stuffers are all under $10? Yep! So, have fun shopping and filling up those cute little stockings!

If you don’t yet have a stocking for your little Christmas sweetie, check out these adorable stockings. Here’s one for your baby’s first Christmas!

While we’re in the Christmas spirit, here are 16 Family Christmas tradition ideas that’ll create magical memories with your kids!

51 Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies

Learning Toys


Highchair Wonder Wheel Activity Center – Highchair time can make your toddler restless so having a stick-on activity center will keep them happy and occupied with this fun learning toy.

Colorful Stacking Cups –  These fun stacking cups are perfect for toddler learning and development and make a great on the go toy.

Oball Shaker Rattle – We love anything Oball makes and this is no exception. This vibrant and easy to hold shaker helps strengthen little muscles and keeps them active and having fun making sounds.

Sassy Fishy Fascination Station – This fishy highchair toy will be sure to keep your baby happy and learning in their highchair! 

Developmental Bumpy Ball – This sensory bumpy ball will keep your baby engaged and exploring many textures and shapes.

Related: The Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy This Year

Bath Time

Crayola Color Bath Dropz – Bathtime suddenly got more exciting with colorful, fizzy bath dropz! Just drop a tablet in your baby’s bath water and watch the magic happen. 

Bath Turtle Swimmers – Your kids will be begging for bathtime to see these cute little turtle swimmers swim all around their bathtub!

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy – This fishing bath toy is wonderful for developing hand-eye coordination in toddlers and younger kids. Plus, it’s really fun to fish!

Glittery Toddler ToothbrushColorful easy grip toothbrushes are perfect for little hands.

Swimming Penguin Bath Toy – Wind up this swimming penguin for endless bathtime fun for your little one.

Little Boat Train – These colorful and stackable little boats connect together to create a fun bathtime floating train.

Arts and Crafts

Stackable GiBot Toddlers Crayons – These fun toddler crayons are full of vibrant colors and add to the fun with their chunky and stackable shapes. 

Crayola My First Safety Scissors – Toddler’s love cutting and pasting! These colorful toddler safety scissors will be the hit of craft time. 

Washable Markers for Toddlers – Your little one will be able to easily grip and create with these special tripod markers made for toddlers

My First Toddler Coloring Book – Your budding artist can use those colorful crayons and markers with this adorable animal-inspired coloring book.

ABC Sticker Activity Book – Your little one will have tons of sticker fun with this ABC learning book.

Washable Bright Fingerpaint – Buying your child finger paints got elevated you to Coolest Mom Ever status!

Fingerprint & Draw: Animals & Insects – Finger painting just got more fun with this fun finger painting book featuring all things animals and insects. 

Related: Fun Fall Inspired Craft Ideas for Kids

Feeding and Drinking

Paw Patrol Sippy Cup – Getting your toddler a new character sippy cup is a great gift. Especially, if they are hesitant to transition from their bottles. These Munchkin 360 sippy cups are amazing!

Skip Hop Toddler Snack Cup – These adorable snack cups in the theme of a puppy, ladybug, or butterfly will make snack time so much fun.

Colorful Munchkin Ultinsels – Your busy toddler will love eating with these fun and colorful utensils!

Colorful Suction Cup Bowls – Keep your little ones food on the table with these handy suction cup bowls.

Nuby iMonster No-Spill Cup – This fun monster sippy cup will easily become your little one’s favorite cup.

Nuby 3-D Monster Snack Keeper – Snacktime will become an adventure as your toddler reaches into the adorable monster’s mouth for their snack.

stocking stuffers for toddlers and babies


Animal Crawling Knee Socks – Keep your little crawlers legs protected with these fun animal print knee socks. 

Colorful Toddler Hair Bows – If your toddler has a lot of hair, these sweet little hair bows are sure to keep every hair in place… until playtime that is.

Floral print Knotted Head Bands – Every baby girl needs these adorable little-knotted headbands!

The Coolest Baby Aviator Sunglasses – These unisex baby aviator sunglasses are simply the coolest accessory for your baby or toddler.

Teething Toys

Nuby Gel Teether Key Set – Your teething toddler or baby will love these cute teether keys. Just pop them in the freezer or refrigerator for a cooling soother!

Award Winning Giraffe Teether – The Bambam giraffe teether is made of soft chewable silicone and earned the 2019 Parent’s Picks Award.

Nuby Teething Mitten – This soft teething mitten is the perfect little teether for those babies that like to chew a lot.

Musical and Light up Toys

Baby Einstein Hand Musical Toy – This little classical music maker is a great toy to play soothing music anywhere!

VTech Baby Rattle & Sing Puppy – This musical puppy rattle is adorable and promises to keep your little baby happy. 

VTech Baby Happy Lights Bear – This cute little musical bear is the perfect buddy who sings songs and lights up.

Ocean Glow Sensory Shaker – This cute little light up octopus plays musical and glows at the touch of baby’s hands.

Cuddly Toys

Soft Animal Finger Puppets – These little animal finger puppets are so fun for creative moments of imaginative play.

Aurora Unicorn Plush 

Hedgehog Plush 

GUND Winky Lamb Stuffed Rattle

Animal Lovey Security Blanket – This sweet little owl is the cutest as it has its own soft security blanket that neatly tucks inside.

Dr. Brown’s Lovey Pacifier – These adorable lion acts as a cuddly lovey while attached to baby’s pacifier offering baby double soothing.


Unicorn Coloring Book

Dinosaur Coloring Book

Welcome Little One by Sandra Magsamen 

The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

God Bless You and Good Night by Hannah Hall

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney

On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

Fisher Price “My First Books” – set of 4 baby board books.

Related: The Best Books that Teach Kids Kindness and Compassion

We hope you really have fun with this list and fill your toddler’s stocking with many of these fun gifts! Let us know in the comments below which ideas are your favorites!

Christmas season is almost here and this list is full of awesome stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies. Best of all, every ideas is NOT junk and under $10! #kidsandparenting #parenting #babies #toddler #ChrstimasThese adorable stocking stuffers are especially for toddlers and sweet little babies. Plus, they are great and not one is junk! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #christmas #holidays

The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimalist Mom on a Budget

Baby essentials list

When you’re expecting your first baby or second or fifth there’s a lot of stuff to consider buying for your precious bundle of joy. And there also are a lot of things you absolutely do NOT need. And after having three kids, I’ve learned a few things!

And wasting money and taking up space in your home when adding to your family is totally unnecessary. You really can live the minimalist life and be mindful of your budget when having a baby.

Baby essentials list

This list will give you the goods on what goods you really need and which ones you need to leave at the store!

That’s because that super sweet and cuddly first year of your baby’s life is literally going to fly right by! And so much of the baby gear that’s usually recommended isn’t really going to get used that much or not at all.

Start with Your Baby Registry

One of the first things you need if you’re pregnant is a baby registry. Why? Umm, to tell all your family and friends what you really want so they can buy it for you! But you already knew that, so moving on.

Amazon is the largest retailer in the world and millions of people are ordering their every need on Amazon every single day. And that goes for gifts too!

So while you’ll definitely have fun signing up for your Target Baby Registry you may not know that Amazon has a Baby Registry too. It’s totally FREE to sign up and you get a really awesome free gift shipped to you as well.

This is a huge incentive for gift shopping because while your best friend is ordering her groceries to be shipped, she can add your baby shower gift and have it gift wrapped too. And you can add ALL of these amazing products so easy!

So it’s like doing her a favor! #winwin

Now on to our list of only the baby essentials you really need and the ones you don’t.

Baby Essentials You Must Have

Baby essentials list

1 – Newborn Pack and Plays

By the time I had my third baby, I didn’t want a bunch of large baby gear that I had to get rid of in the first year. I quickly realized that buying a sweet little bassinette isn’t necessary.

With the invention of beautifully designed newborn friendly pack and plays, this is all you need for your newborn’s first bed. They’re small enough to fit by most bedsides like a bassinette but will do so much more.

The reason I love these so much is that the newborn sleeper is perfect for snuggling your little one in softness while safely keeping them on their backs. As they get a few months older, it’s amazing how quickly they can start to roll in their sleep.

They also have a changing table that allows you to do quick changes in your room instead of needing to run to the baby’s nursery in the middle of the night.

And the best part is, as your baby gets older you can remove the newborn sleeper and changing table and have them sleep in the crib attachment. And finally, you’ll still get use out of them as a playpen for many years after! It’s simply one of the best new baby essentials I can think of!

Here is a listing of the highest 5 star reviewed newborn-friendly pack and plays!

Breastfeeding class

2 – Convertible Car Seat

We love convertible car seats because your infant car seat isn’t going to last you passed the first two years. And if we’re focusing on our budget here the convertible car seat is totally the way to go.

All of these car seats come with a newborn attachment that safely keeps your newborn snuggled while in their seat. And this particular seat is perfect because it transforms as your child grows up to 100 pounds!

Here is a full listing of all the five star rated convertible car seats!

The only time I would recommend buying an infant carrier car seat is if you have multiple children. And only if you feel that taking your baby out of her car seat every time would be too overwhelming.

We purchased a convertible car seat with my first daughter and loved it. We then purchased an infant carrier when we had our second daughter and it was convenient. But it was also very heavy to lug around too.

I would suggest investing in a comfortable baby carrier and wearing your little one everywhere. It’s super easy and keeps your baby close!

3 – Infant Carrier

I just love infant carriers! They are perfect for doing things in the house and comfortably getting around out of the house. And if you have multiple children they are a lifesaver!

There’s just one problem, many parents are getting it wrong. There’s a huge danger of hip dysplasia in babies and infants by using the wrong carrier.

Most of those carriers that dangle the baby either front or rear facing are usually the culprits. Read here to learn how to prevent hip dysplasia in infants with common baby products.

The good news is there are many great baby carriers to choose from that will keep your baby safe and comfortable and won’t wreck your back either.

I love Ergo because they’re all about the comfort of both baby and mama! This wrap style carrier takes some practice but once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to stop using it. Plus, it takes up almost no room which is a HUGE plus!

Here’s a Top Five list of infant carriers that moms voted that they love!

4 – Baby Stroller

Though I loved wearing my baby’s everywhere, I still had plenty of opportunities to use our stroller! Especially as they got older and heavier.

We chose this particular stroller that we loved so much because it had all the storage and perks of the bigger strollers but you could basically lift and operate it with one hand. I had tons of jealous mom friends when they saw how light it was.

You can buy the stroller on its own or the infant carrier and stroller combo if you’re opting for an infant carrier car seat. And if you are, I highly recommend you purchase the matching stroller. You’ll thank me later!

Check out my absolute favorite stroller here.

5 – Baby Bottles

Whether you are breastfeeding or not, chances are your baby at some point will need to drink from a bottle. And you want to be prepared!

There are many, many bottles to choose from and bottle feeding is very personal to each mom based on your feeding desires. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and want a bottle that’s very close to breast, you may want to invest in Comotomo Natural Feeding Bottles.

They are on the pricey side, but if you don’t plan to use bottles often, you could get by with just a few. And the benefits of avoiding nipple confusion likely outweigh the investment.

If you are exclusively pumping or are formula feeding like I did, you can feel free to choose a great bottle that focuses on helping baby drink and digest their milk without painful gas. I personally used these Philips Avent bottles and loved them!

I recommend buying the larger 9 oz bottles instead of the newborn 4 oz bottles. It saves money and you can just change the nipples from slow flow for your newborn to the older stages as your baby is ready.

6 – Swaddling Wraps or Blankets

Swaddling wraps have certainly come a long way since just a few years ago. I used to be firmly on the swaddling blankets side of the swaddling debate.

That’s because the first swaddling wraps on the market didn’t really achieve that snug swaddled feel that the blankets did. However, these swaddling wraps are simply amazing and make swaddling a no-brainer for tired parents!

If you love swaddling your baby with those soft muslin blankets, you’ll love these Aden + Anais swaddling blankets. 

Check out this video if you’re feeling clueless about swaddling your little one to sleep.

7 – Breastfeeding Pillow

Whether or not you are planning to breastfeed, you need one of these breastfeeding pillows! I literally used this handy pillow to prop up my little newborns all day long. The Boppy pillow’s shape seems to make them feel snuggled and keeps them calm.

And because of its portability, you can take it anywhere you go. I actually pumped for the first month because he had to be admitted in the hospital for Jaundice at 4 days old.

This complicated our breastfeeding plan, and I ended up using this pillow to lay him on while I was pumping.

This pillow also gets a lot of mileage as it works perfectly for propping up your little sitter.

8 – Burp Clothes and Onesies

A couple of things that you simply can’t live without as a new mom are burp clothes and simple onesies. Your washing machine will be full of these every single load, so you can never have enough.

These burp clothes have a unique curved flap style that seems to stay in place on your shoulder better. Plus, the designs are very cute!

These simple gray uni-sex onesies are perfect because white seems to really hold on to spit up stains and they work perfectly under baby’s outfits when you actually leave the house.

9 – Must-Have Bath Time Essentials

Obviously bathing your baby is something you’ll be doing every day or at least every other day. So, having a simple bathtub is important. This baby seat is what I used for all three of my babies and it easily fits into your kitchen sink or bathtub.

It still cradles your newborn and when you’re done it folds flat. It ends up taking no room at all and it’s very inexpensive! Perfect for the minimalist mom on a budget.

This very cool tub dam is not something I’ve used but, wish I had one when my kids were babies. It saves a ton of money and water. Probably one of the coolest baby products I’ve ever seen!

What did we miss on this baby essentials list? Let us know in the comments below what your absolute must-have baby product is!

Related Baby Posts:

60 Cool and Strong Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong Meanings

This list shares the must-have baby stuff you can't live without as a new mom. Plus, it's only the most essential items perfect for the minimalist mom on a budget. #pregnancy #baby #momlife #kidsandparenting #parenting #babiesThis list of baby stuff is everything you need for your baby's first year! Baby essentials. #kidsandparenting #babies #parenting #pregnancyThis list of baby products is everything a new mom must have and nothing she doesn't need. Baby essentials list for new moms! #pregnancy #parenting #babies

The 15 Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy in 2019

Toddler Learning toys

Honestly, I’m a mom that’s not a huge fan of toys. My kids do have toys… all kinds of toys in fact. But after over twelve years of parenting, I’ve come to learn a few things about toys. And the truth is, most toys just don’t get played with.

At least at my house! So my approach to buying toys is very simple. I ask myself these questions:

Toddler Learning toys

Is it terribly loud and annoying, no matter how educational it claims to be?

Is the toy basically all music, lights, and buttons?

Will it take up massive amounts of space?

If I answer yes to any of these questions, chances are, I’m not buying it.


Because in my personal experience, these toys are usually flash in the pan toys and don’t get played with more than a few times. I find this a waste of money and space in my home.

How I Choose My Toddler’s Toys

Instead of buying my toddler’s toys based on the Target toy catalog at Christmas or what commercials play over and over on TV, I do this instead…

I look for toys that will make him think, reason, and use his imagination and hands. Pushing buttons isn’t a skill that needs developing. It seems to already come quite naturally.

I want my kids to be able to build, create, mold, and make. Toys that allow kids to do that fit into what I consider learning or educational toys.

All the other loud, musical, light up, and other annoying toys can stay on the shelf. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy any toys that have buttons or play music, it’s just that it better have a focus that actually aims to teach something.

Here’s my best list of learning toys for toddlers.

Best Learning Toys for Toddlers

Learning toys for toddlers

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

This bright and colorful shape sorting cube is really great. First, because it’s made of wood. Wooden toys are usually considered safer and non-toxic compared to a lot of plastic toys containing harmful chemicals.

It’s also very sturdy with an easy to open sliding lid that makes it easy for little hands to open without help. My son had a plastic shape sorter that was almost impossible for him to open without help. He almost never used it!

Check out this shape sorter here!

Lewo Wooden Geometric Puzzle 

This pegboard style puzzle is so colorful and creative! It allows little hands to stack, sort, and even build limitless combinations on one board.

I love how challenging it is and allows them to create new projects each time they play as opposed to a standard “fill-in” puzzle. This puzzle is also small and quiet enough to be a great travel toy for long trips!

Grab your geometric puzzle here!

Play22 Magnetic Wooden Train Set

This wooden train set is adorable and so easy for toddlers to mix and match train cars on a whim. The trains are artfully crafted and painted to make them feel real to curious toddlers.

This is a great choice for any toddler who loves trains, cars, or making things move!

Check out the adorable train set here! 

Water Doodle Drawing Pad 

This is one of my favorite toys that kids love to play with because they can get as wild and creative as they want and they’re not actually making a mess!

This is also another great travel toy that folds flat in a suitcase. It’s probably too big for playing in the car but is great for keeping kids entertained in your hotel room. Here’s a water doodle pad that is perfect for traveling in the car.

Buy your own water drawing pad here! 

VTech Smart Wheels Fire Station

These Smart Wheels sets are really fun and my 3-year-old son has a few sets. I plan to buy him at least one more set for Christmas. What I love about them is they are very easy for little hands to assemble their own sets on their own if needed.

He loves to build new tracks every time he plays with them and I love how it helps him to reason and think critically. They do take up a bit of extra room but I find it worth it and simply store all the sets together in a large cute basket like this one.

Grab the Smart Wheels Fire Station here!

For other Smart Wheels sets, click here.

Mega Bloks ABC Learning Train Building Set

I really love Mega Bloks! I mean, I cringe when my little guy starts to dump them out all over the floor, but they’re a great toy for learning. This cute train set helps toddlers learn and practice their ABC’s.

I also purchased the large 150 piece bag so he can build the tallest towers. He loves to build right on his Mega Bloks building table. Here’s a pink one for little princesses too!

Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline

If you have room for it, this trampoline will probably be your child’s favorite toy for sure! If you have a busy toddler who has lots of energy to burn, this is a sanity saver right before naptime.

It’s also a great way to get exercise indoors for those extremely hot or extremely cold weather days.

Grab your trampoline here!

Hape Pound Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

This award-winning toy is loved by parents, pediatricians, and toddlers alike. It’s a multifunctional toy that allows toddlers to slide out the xylophone and play it separately or together as a ball hammering game.

Grab your wooden xylophone toy here!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks 

This classic building block set is timeless in fun. Your little one can create endless towers, castles, and highways with the bright and colorful 100 block set.

Grab your wooden block set here!

Guidecraft Grippies Builders

These soft toddler sized rods and balls serve to introduce your little one to engineering as their very first STEM toy! The magnetic pieces connect together to create and build endless shapes and structures.

2017 Toy of the Year Finalist (TOTY) and received also all 5-star ratings!

Check out the Grippies Builders here!

ALEX Wooden Activity Cube

This colorful activity cube promises to keep curious toddlers happy and entertained with each of the many unique sides. Includes wooden cube with curvy wire rides, peek-a-boo doors, spin and match animals, turn and learn ABC word tiles, and racing rollers.

Best of all this toy is made of sturdy and non-toxic wood!

Grab your activity cube here!

Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Set

This wooden clean up play set is perfect for the little guy or girl who loves to help! When you’re cleaning up they can grab their own mop, broom, dustpan, and duster. They are very sturdy and will hold up for many afternoon cleaning sessions!

Get your cleanup set here! 

VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox

This is one of those musical button pushing toys that I’m not fond of, however, my son has this toolbox and he plays with it a lot. There is a learning aspect that allows toddlers to hammer and drill into double-sided instruction cards and learn about colors and numbers while pretending to make repairs.

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy

This adorable bath toy allows your toddler to go fishing in the bathtub. This is a must-have bath toy! The fishing pole works to catch the soft, magnetic fish.

Grab your fishing bath toy here!

BUCKLE TOY “Buddy” Backpack 

This may not be considered an actual “toy” but this soft and vibrant backpack promises to be just as fun! The many child-friendly buckles help toddlers develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and fun problem-solving.

Buy your buckle toy backpack here!

These toys are all focused on helping your toddler learn, grow, and have fun! Which toy is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

More Toddler Related Posts:

The Best Books to Teach Your Kids About Kindness to Others

Never Have to Deal with Another Temper Tantrum with these Fool-Proof Tips

End Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums Quickly with These Simple Steps

Looking for the best learning toys for toddlers? This list contains only toys that focus on fun AND learning! Perfect for Christmas gifts! #toys #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #kidsThese educational learning toys for toddlers are the best of list for 2018! The best toys to buy for Christmas 2018. #kidsandparenting #parenting #parenting101 #kids #christmas Not all toddler toys are created equal. These are the best toddler learning toys to buy in 2018. #funtoys #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parentingtips #christmas #giftsThese toys for toddlers are fun but are also great for learning and toddler development! Get the best of list here... #kidsandparenting #parenting #toddlers #kids

3 of the Best Subscription Boxes for Kids That’ll Feed Your Child’s Imagination!

activity based subscriptions for kids

Screen time can be a huge addiction for kids and a major struggle for parents including myself. Right now we are on the summer break and it’s increasingly challenging to find non-screen activities to keep my kids occupied and entertained.

I’m not the no-screen police and allow my kids time to watch TV or play on their tablets more during long school breaks than I do during the school year. However, I see a clear difference in my kids when they’ve spent too much time in front of a screen and I don’t like it.

activity based subscriptions for kids

So I set out to find alternatives to keep them entertained and happily dropping their devices. Sure, they do plenty of things like making slime, doing crafts, playing outside, and reading good books. Here’s my post for PerfectlyImperfectMama with plenty of idea inspiration.

Related: How to Painlessly End the Screen Time Struggles With Your Kids

I saw how these ideas worked so well and wanted to build on that creativity with some amazing resources that my kids love. Enter, subscription boxes for kids! Think of these little boxes of joy as a mom’s helper or done-for-you activities that you no longer need to plan out or pull together! That’s a win in my book.

Plus, I’ve found that I actually saved money because I wasn’t buying tons of full-sized crafting or kitchen supplies when they only needed a little bit for one project. With kits, you only pay for what you’ll need.

3 Amazing Subscription Boxes for Kids

Here are 3 activity based subscription boxes for kids that will have your kids forgetting about screen-time… for a little while at least!

1 – Kiwi Co Crates

I just can’t say enough about Kiwi Crates. I learned about these adorable little activity kits from another blogger and decided to try them out with my kids. I’m so glad I did!

They make Krates in all ages from babies up to age 13 or so. They specialize in imaginative play and science and STEM-focused projects. My first Crate was for my 3-year-old son to try it out. He loved it so much I was happy to keep the subscription going. Here he is opening his first one:

 This Crate was all about rainbows and there are 3 individual activities in one box plus an activity book to read with even more activities to try! And let’s talk about quality for a moment. I absolutely hate cheaply made products for kids!

Kiwi Co doesn’t make cheap stuff for sure. I was blown away by the quality of every element in the box and the high level of detail and care put into this product.

And guess what happened? I had to buy another subscription for my 8-year-old daughter. She got a Tinker Crate and was able to build her own tie-dye painting station. This was an actual machine with batteries and wires. I’ll be honest, I was intimidated to put it together thinking it was going to be too hard or we’d mess it up.Koala Crate Unboxing

Let me tell you, I had a full work day when it arrived and wasn’t able to work on it with her and we were going to work on it the day after. Well, my very excited child was too curious and took it to her room and spent the afternoon putting it together and actually completed it on her own! I was very impressed. She had a blast and her older sister could resist jumping in too. #sisterbondingwin!

This was definitely time and money well spent and something I could never have put together on my own.

To check out Kiwi Crates for your kids and save 30% off on your first month click here!

2 – BookRoo

BookRoo is a monthly book subscription service that sends carefully curated books to your child every month. What I love about this subscription service, in particular, is the care put into their shipping which makes such a difference.

When my son received his box I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see tissue paper was in the box and each book was wrapped in birthday-esc wrapping! He thought it was his birthday and that simple touch really added to the whimsical fun of receiving books in the mail.

And this book subscription service isn’t just for the little ones, they also have a chapter book selection too!

BookRoo subscription Unboxing

If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce amazing books to your children check out BookRoo here. 

3 – Little Passports

Little Passports is renowned and loved learning activity-based subscription service that takes your child on an adventure all around the world! Each month your child will learn about different and exciting parts of the world.

The goal is to fully immerse them into the culture and each month is a traveling adventure. Each new kit comes with a signature blue suitcase, a wall map, a passport, and a boarding pass for fun games. As they get a new kit each month, they’ll learn all about that part of the world and mark their map and passports with stickers for that region.

They also have science exploration kits for ages 9+ and kits to learn all about the USA.

Give the gift of Adventure!

Do you have a favorite subscription or even a favorite activity that your kids love doing instead of watching TV or playing on their tablet? We’d love to hear it so please leave your best tips in the comments below!


Tired of your kids having too much screen time? Try these 3 subscription activity boxes for kids! My kids love them and yours will too! #kidsandparenting #parenting #activities #kidscraftsThese kids craft and activity subscription boxes are my children's favorites. And your kids will love them too and happily ditch their TV and electronics! #learning #crafts #smartactivities #kids #kidsandparenting #parenting These subscription boxes for kids are the perfect cure for boredom and are sure to feed your child's imagination! #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips These creative and engaging subscription boxes for kids will have your kids begging to play! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #activities #reading #crafts #kids

Great Books that Teach Kids Kindness, Resilience, and Diversity

books that teach kindness

The benefits of reading are enormous and at the very top of the benefits list is keeping my kid’s brains thinking, engaged, and learning over the school break.

There are many book lists for kids, but this book list is different because it features books that teach kids kindness and encourage kids to be resilient and love racial diversity.

books that teach kindness

And this is why reading is so wonderful for our kids. When we select great books filled with inspiring characters and challenging stories we open our children up to a new world of possibilities. And this simply doesn’t happen with movies and television.

I chose these books specifically because they are so unique and feature characters and stories that teach our children about other cultures, lifestyles, and challenging life situations that they may never face themselves.

These books have the power to teach our children compassion and opens them up to understanding life in another person’s shoes that they might never have the opportunity to walk in.

I’ve done my best to curate a list that will add a richness to your family and avoid books that would otherwise introduce negative influences such as sex, violence, and drugs. Keep in mind, that these topics are talked about in some of the older aged books on this list but in a healthy way. Please use your own discretion when purchasing any of the books on this list for your own family.

In my searching for these amazing books, I came across many books (not on this list) that glorified violence, bullying, negative stereotypes, and many that glamorized teenage sexual relationships. As a parent, I recommend highly using sites like and to help avoid any media that exposes and encourages these behaviors in our children.

Books, in my opinion, are very powerful teaching tools and can be extremely effective in allowing our kids to be positively exposed to topics and life issues in a profound way. However, if allowed to read books that glorify things like sex, this can work in a negative and damaging way. I encourage you as a parent to be mindful of this when choosing books for your tweens and teens to keep them safe.

Here’s to a summer filled with adventure and new possibilities for you and your whole family!

Books that Teach Kindness to Kids

Board Books (Babies & Preschool Age)

God Bless You & Good Night

This is an adorable and best selling book for babies and toddlers to create a loving bedtime routine.

In this book, sleepy little ones are reminded of God’s blessings and how much they are loved. The delightful rhyming story takes readers through several scenes of snuggly animals who are getting ready for bed. These sweet, sometimes silly rhymes and adorable art are sure to make God Bless You and Good Night a favorite part of the bedtime ritual for parents and children.


Dear Zoo

This fun pop-up style board book has been delighting little ones for over 30 years! Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

This fun book is one of my son’s favorites to listen to and my favorite’s to read! The words are full of fun and melody and keep his busy attention until the end.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.


I Love You Stinky Face

This book is another one of my son’s favorites! He loves making monster noises at all the monster faces in the book. It’s a fun book to read together. In this book, a mother and child discuss how her love would remain constant even if her child were a smelly skunk, scary ape, or bug-eating green alien.


Moo, Baa, La La La!

This cute little book was actually one of my daughter’s favorite board books. She loves making all the sounds as we read the book and pointed out all the animals. It’s a great book to work on animal sounds and recognition.

Early Readers (Ages 4 – 6)


After the Fall

This story is a wonderful tale of what really happened to Humpty Dumpty after the big fall. Kids of all ages will love to hear the inspiring story of how Humpty got up and refused to give up on his love of flying in spite of his overwhelming fear of falling again. This is a must read!


The Book of Mistakes

Sometimes mistakes can be a good thing! Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration.


Max’s Castle

This was the first book my son chose to read in his Bookroo subscription – Bookroo’s Junior Box. It’s a really adorable and fun book to read. The story starts when Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.

Amazing books kids love!

Elementary Readers (Ages 7 – 10)



This book pulls young readers into the story told in the perspective of an old oak wishing tree. Red, the quiet wishing tree, is the recipient of neighborhood hopes and dreams. When an immigrant family is harassed in the community, Red is motivated to act.


For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story

This book is the inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai as she defied the Taliban’s rules and spoke out for education for every girl. She was almost killed for her beliefs. This powerful true story of how one brave girl named Malala changed the world proves that one person really can make a difference.

Or sign up for KindleUnlimited and get FREE access to this book and many more! Get your first month FREE!



This book tells the true story of August Pullman who was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. This book reinforces the message of compassion for others who a different and love is always the best choice!


The One and Only Ivan

The book is inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.




This thrilling survival story features thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson as he is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.


A Wrinkle in Time

With the recent release of the movie adaptation of this classic novel, your child will love diving into the wonderful and mysterious world that Meg Murry and her small brother Charles Wallace are suddenly plunged into. This is a book that won’t be put down until it’s finished!

Older Elementary Readers (Ages 11 – 13)


Wolf Hollow

Eleven-year-old Annabelle lives in a rural Pennsylvania community in 1943. The continued fighting of World War II haunts everyone, but life is mostly peaceful—until Betty Glengarry’s arrival. Betty is cruel and threatening and thrives on inflicting pain. This is a story of a young girl’s kindness, compassion, and honesty overcome bullying. 


The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it.


Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach.


Hello Universe

Have you ever felt lost in the universe? This book brings 4 unlikely tweens together on an adventure. In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.


Lucky Broken Girl

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. She grows in ways she could never imagine!


First Rule of Punk

If your child was every struggled to fit in, they’ll love this book! When Malu has to move away from her dad and everything she knows, she takes her love of punk music with her. Following the rules of punk, she embarks on a new school journey, full of misadventures and hilarious life lessons. Malu is happy not to fit in with the crowd yet cannot bring herself to tell her mom that her passion for punk is not a rebellious phase—it’s who she is. When classmates label Malu a coconut (brown on the outside and white on the inside), she is determined to prove to her school and herself that she is proud of her Mexican roots. With tenderness and humor, Pérez explores the joys and challenges of being biracial.

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

Middle School Readers (Ages 14 – 16)

Out of My Mind

This book is hugely popular and tells an amazing story of a disabled girl’s inner struggles and triumphs. Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect but gypped by physical limitations and misunderstandings. She will never sing or dance, talk on the phone, or whisper secrets to her friends. She’s not complaining, though; she’s planning and fighting the odds. In her court are family, good neighbors, and an attentive student teacher. Pitted against her is the “normal” world: schools with limited resources, cliquish girls, superficial assumptions, and her own disability.


Counting by 7’s

This book is a beautiful story of triumph over tragedy. Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing girl manages to push through her grief.



The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It’s usually more like Don’t try this at home. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students. It wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn’t be a more perfect hideout. That is if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level.


Fish in a Tree

If your child has ever struggled in school or has a learning disability, this is an inspiring and encouraging book with Ally. She’s has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the troublemaker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of.


Inside Out and Back Again

Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America. This moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it “enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny.”


Brown Girl Dreaming

This book is a President Obama “O” Book Club pick! Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child.

High School Readers (Ages 17-19)


The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences—Josh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks—both twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. With a former professional basketball player dad and an assistant principal mom, there is an intensely strong home front supporting sports and education in equal measures. When life intervenes in the form of a hot new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful.


Long Way Down

In our world filled with violence and glorified acts of hate, this book takes teens on a riveting perspective of a teen tempted to enact his own violent revenge and the choice he must make. Fifteen-year-old Will’s big brother has been shot and killed. According to the rules that Will has been taught, it is now his job to kill the person responsible. He easily finds his brother’s gun and gets on the elevator to head down from his eighth-floor apartment. But it’s a long way down to the ground floor. At each floor, a different person gets on to tell a story. Each of these people is already dead. As they relate their tales, readers learn about the cycle of violence in which Will is caught up. Readers will go on a journey to decide what action he should take.


The Fault in our Stars

My oldest daughter is reading this book right now and can’t put it down! This was made into a movie and is hugely popular. This book centers around Hazel, a terminally ill girl. Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.


Paper Towns

This very popular suspense novel has also been made into a movie. The story opens when Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.



If your teen hasn’t jumped into the Divergent series, they’ll want to this summer. This entire series was made into a movie but the books are so much more thrilling! Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.


In Search of Us

This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie’s father, James, who was African-American. But Angie’s never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she’s never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him.

This entire book list is dedicated to learning new ideas, embracing creativity, and growing into our best selves. Let me know your favorite book recommendations and leave them in the comments below!

Are your kids complaining of being bored this summer? Check out this hand picked books to read your kids won't want to put down! #parenting #kidsandparenting #books #reading #bookshelf This book list is full of books for all ages that teach kindness and how to overcome challenges with grace! #kidsandparenting #books #reading #parentingtips

Encourage your kids to put down their electronic devices and dive into a great new book with this super fun summer reading list for kids! #books #reading #booklist #familyfunIt's summer time and there's more time to read amazing books. Get your kids to want to read more with this super fun book list for all ages! #reading #books #bookstagram #bookshelf

Summer is here and that means even more time for reading great books! Here is a reading list with amazing books for all children's ages!

The Gift Idea Guide for Your Teen or College Student

High school and college aged kids are sometimes the hardest to buy for because everything we (translation: adults) pick can be “lame.” Or whatever the word for uncool is these days. 😉



But no fear! I’ve done the work for you and scoured my favorite store Amazon for some amazing gifts that are perfect for your older child.

Since this list contains an overwhelming number of unisex gifts, I didn’t divide the gifts by sex but some are distinctly boy or girl. So, have fun getting inspiration to get those big hugs or exuberant high fives for whatever the occasion.

And to make your life even easier you can shop right from this page! Just click right on the image to go straight to that specific item on Amazon.

Disclosure: I do earn a small commission anytime a purchase is made using any one of my Amazon links. If you do decide to purchase any of these awesome gifts, it actually helps to keep this blog running smoothly by purchasing through one of my links. Thanks a bunch! Happy Shopping! 😉 

Gift Ideas Guide for the Older Child in High School or College


Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Sprout LED

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Sprout LED

This is a really cool gift for the kid who loves to grow things, is into science, or if you have a budding chef. This complete kit allows you to grow herbs, salad greens, vegetables, or flowers. They can grow up to three plants at a time! The high performance LED is tuned to the specific spectrum that allows for plants to at their maximum and even blinks to remind when nutrients are needed.

Vintage Lighted Star Marquee

Vintage Lighted Star Marquee

This is a cool marquee light that will liven up any desk or dorm room and is your secret way of letting them know they’ll always be your star! 😉

ATTCL 2016 Vintage Fashion Round Arrow Style Wayfarer

ATTCL 2016 Vintage Fashion Round Arrow Style Wayfarer

These stylish sunglasses are totally on trend right now! And they won’t break the bank and are available in a variety of cool colors.

Hangry Kit Sweet & Salty Snack Sampler

Hangry Kit Sweet & Salty Snack Sampler

If your kid is away or on their way to college, this gift will let ‘em know you’re thinking of their nutrition. 😉 We don’t want them getting hangry!

Fandango Gift Cards

Fandango Gift Cards

Movies, movies, movies … Need I say more?

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration


This cute and fun journal is a welcoming way to ease your teen into the habit of journaling and thinking about themselves and their future.

Emojicon Backpack

Emojicon Backpack

Who doesn’t love emojis at any age?!

Premium Metallic Tattoos

Premium Metallic Tattoos

These aren’t your typical “kiddie” tattoos. These are premium metallic tattoos that last for days and won’t lose their shine. And they’re non-toxic and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

APIE Portable Wireless Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker


For the outdoors lover who wouldn’t want to miss listening to their i-tunes playlist this speaker is a great option. It’s also completely waterproof and delivers HD acoustic sound for crystal clear sound. To top it off, it comes with a built in SOS emergency button!

Herschel Supply Co. Charlie Card Holder

Herschel Supply Co. Charlie Card HolderThis is a simple and easy gift for pretty much anyone. It comes in 24 difference colors and designs to there’s one everyone would love.

1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion Diary

1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion Diary

Here’s another great tool to get your young person to journal and reflect on their life in a meaningful way. The benefits of journaling everyday are too good to pass up, so this is an entry level way to develop the awesome habit.

iPhone 6S Leather Case, iPhone 6S Case

iPhone 6S Leather Case, iPhone 6S Case

This is not just another phone case. It holds money and important cards, but it also folds to prop up the phone for easy viewing! And the best part is it comes in over 40 unique colors and designs.

Amir 3 in 1 HD Clip-on Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit

Amir 3 in 1 HD Clip-on Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit

This lens kit turns your cell phone (i-phone, Galaxy, and other Android phones) into a professional camera. You get 3 in 1 HD Lens – Including superior quality 0.4x Super Wide Angle Lens + 10x Macro Lens + 180° Fisheye Lens. Enjoy the high quality and incredible images

Sephora Gift Card

Sephora Gift Card

You can’t go wrong with a Sephora gift card for the girl who loves all things beauty! This is an easy win.

Man Up!: 367 Classic Skills for the Modern Guy

Man Up!: 367 Classic Skills for the Modern Guy

This is a totally cool and relevant book for any guy in your life. This book really thinks of everything!

Umbra Fotochain Picture Frames, Set of 3

Umbra Fotochain Picture Frames, Set of 3

This frame set is a really cool way to put their favorite photos on display. I think I want a set for myself!

Luxury Inflatable Lounger Sofa by Airlug

Luxury Inflatable Lounger Sofa by AirlugThis has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. This fully inflatable lounger inflates instantly and doesn’t require a pump!

Portable Charger Mopower 3000mAh

Portable Charger Mopower 3000mAh

This charger is a must have gift. You don’t want your child out and about with a dead cell phone! This inexpensive gift could be a life-saver.

W7’s Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection

W7’s Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection

This eyeshadow palette set has every color base covered and you’ll look like an expert without needing a PhD. in beauty!

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual:

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual:

If your daughter loves but is new to the arena of make-up, this gorgeous and easy to follow book will help them look and feel their best.

Ikee Design Acrylic Jewelry & Cosmetic Storage Display

Ikee Design Acrylic Jewelry & Cosmetic Storage Display

This storage unit is sleek and functional for many uses such as cosmetic, jewelry, and even for art and drawing supplies! So this gift could be for a girl or guy!

All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice RemoteAll-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice RemoteThis is a great gift! It’s the smaller version of the Amazon Fire TV Box which is what our family uses to watch TV. This is a low cost way for your kid to get their own!

I hope you love this gift idea guide for your higher schooler or college student. Let me know in the comments sections if you found this gift guide helpful and add any other gift ideas you’ve found to the list!

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