8 Things Parents Told Me to Buy for the Kitchen Before Having a Baby

published Apr 2, 2022
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With the birth of my first child just a couple of months away, I’ve spent many (many) weeks chatting up other moms about all the essentials we’ll need for baby. Sure, I also read all the books and blogs, but I wanted real-life recommendations from real-life moms I know. And I wasn’t just asking about baby-specific gear like strollers and car seats — I wanted to know about the kitchen stuff I’d need.

Here are eight things other moms told me to pick up for the kitchen. It’ll make my life with a newborn so much easier, each mom promised me.

1. Electric Kettle

“You know what we used the most with both kids as babies? An electric kettle! I drank a lot of Mother’s Milk tea while I was breastfeeding, but also being able to heat water for warming up a bottle (without the beep of the microwave) was amazing too.” — Meghan Splawn

2. Valved Pouch Toppers

“A couple of helpful things come to mind, although at the top of my list are these valved pouch toppers that let you avoid the squeeze-and-spill. Basically you just slip that valve onto a pouch and it controls the flow of food, so babies can take that first step in learning how to feed themselves independently. Because inevitably, without the valve, they’ll just squeeze everything onto themselves at once — which I learned the hard way. They’re also nice because they’re soft silicone, so babies can gnaw on them if they’re teething.” — Melissa Harrison

3. Toaster Oven

“Yes, it takes up space on the counter, but a toaster oven is a lifesaver for cooking or reheating foods without having to turn on the oven. Many are also timer-based, so it’ll shut down on its own, which is great since you’re likely to get distracted easily!” — Christine Gallary, Food Editor-at-Large

4. Tiny Food Storage Containers

“When my babies first started eating, there were lots of small amounts of food floating around the kitchen — a bit of leftover sweet potato purée, applesauce, cooked squash, things that could make a real meal for a baby, but seemed silly to store in a larger container. I loved having a pile of tiny containers around — especially ones that were very leakproof, and could go into the freezer, the microwave, the fridge, and, most importantly of course, the dishwasher.” — Katie Workman, Author, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook

5. Instant Pot

“I think having either a pressure cooker or slow cooker (you’ll get both with an Instant Pot!) is a must-have in those early days of having a baby. Eating can be so hard as a new mom — you’re caring for the baby, but who is caring for you? When it comes time for baby to start eating, a steamer is really helpful — especially if you plan on making their food (which is way easier than you would think).” — Aaronica Cole, The Crunchy Mommy

6. Baby Bjorn Bouncer

“It’s not specifically a kitchen item, but the product that helped me survive those early months of motherhood was the Baby Bjorn Bouncer. My son had a serious case of FOMO and always wanted to be in the mix, so we put him in the bouncer wherever we were around the apartment — especially the kitchen (because I spent a LOT of time there!). We loved the bouncer because it was a safe spot to place him and we ended up buying little toy attachments (like this one) to help him keep occupied while we were cooking or prepping around the kitchen. We’d sing and dance for him while we cooked and it enabled us to entertain him hands-free and get meals on the table!” Ali Maffucci, Author, Inspiralized, Inspiralize Everything, and Inspiralized & Beyond

7. Microwave Sterilizer Bags

“When it comes to saving some time and effort, these bags are AMAZING and so much easier than boiling water to sanitize pacifiers and bottle nipples.” — Erin Phraner, Hey, EEP!

8. A Collapsable Basket

“In addition to products that will help keep your kitchen organized, consider grabbing a basket that also helps you bring your kitchen with you around the house! Pack it with sustenance (think: granola bars, breastfeeding cookies, an insulated bottle with nursing tea, a water bottle, a washed apple) and also a book, your phone, a trashy magazine, Lansinoh, and whatever else you might need when you get stuck holding a sleeping baby, pumping, or are just too tired to move. Any kind of basket will do: a collapsible market basket, a pretty woven jute basket that can double as decor, or if you want to also tote bottles or pumped milk, an insulated picnic basket. Just make sure that it has a handle, because the one-hand carry is real.” — Stacie Billis, Didn’t I Just Feed You Podcast and Author, Make It Easy

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 8 Things Other Moms Told Me to Buy for the Kitchen Before Having a Baby