9 Empowering Products for Brand-New Parents

Truth: Raising kids is hard, messy work. These products empower parents to accept the imperfections and prioritize their wellbeing.
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Updated March 24, 2024
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Let’s face facts: Being a parent is tough. And sometimes outside factors—like well-meaning friends doling out parenting advice or social media influencers with a seemingly picture-perfect family life—can apply added pressure to new parents. Research conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows that moms are especially affected by feelings of shame, with almost two-thirds reporting they’ve felt judged by another parent for their choices. Fortunately the tide is changing, with parents now pushing back on unrealistic standards and leaning into the fact that raising kids isn’t always a smooth ride.

Here at The Bump, we get it. In 2024 we analyzed changing attitudes and approaches to raising kids, and identified four major trends that have emerged in today’s—and tomorrow’s—generation of parents. At the forefront of this is a push to empower parents to raise their kids on their own terms. Today’s parents are all about embracing imperfections, celebrating small wins and finding humor in the everyday humdrum of child-rearing. It’s also important to prioritize balance—because you don’t stop having ambitions or personal goals once you have children—and to take time to practice self-care.

Of course, parenting is much easier when you have a good support system in place. It’s important to have the right backup, whether it’s from family and friends, or even products to help you tackle your (endless) to-dos and feel your best. This gear is designed to help you parent to the best of your ability, on good days and bad. Keep reading to learn more about this profound parenting trend and discover a few items that’ll help you along your journey of empowerment.

How We Chose Products for Empowered Parents

Empowered parents know that perfection isn’t realistic when you’re raising kids—but being good enough is. We looked for products that offer effective support, help parents balance parenting responsibilities and personal goals, and playfully recognize how ridiculous parenting can get. To refine our product selection, we:

  • Conducted extensive market research and trend analysis in partnership with WGSN, one of the world’s leading trend forecasting agencies, to determine what empowered parents are looking for from their products right now.

  • Leveraged our familiarity with leading brands and trusted online retailers, focusing on innovative products that truly empower new parents.

  • We read user reviews to ensure that these products live up to their claims and actually help make the process of parenting more seamless. Only products with average reviews of four or more stars made the final list.

  • Since The Bump editors are parents too, we relied on our own first-hand experience with several of these products.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Products That Address the Physical Realities of Parenthood

Today’s parents know that life isn’t perfect, and they lean into that. The “embracing imperfections” sub-trend of empowered parenting is about moms no longer feeling tied to the idea that they need to present an Instagram-filtered life, and instead embracing the realities of pregnancy and the postpartum period. Parents are also more body-positive than previous generations, with many new moms rejecting “snap-back” culture.

Leggings that grow with you

HATCH Collection Ultimate Before, During and After Leggings
Image: HATCH Collection

Body positivity goes hand in hand with empowered parenting. In the past, new moms struggled to “bounce back” after giving birth or hid away under layers of oversized clothing, but these days women are celebrating the beauty of their pregnant and postpartum bodies. Luckily, many maternity fashion brands now recognise the need for clothes that work with your changing shape. Take the Ultimate Before, During and After Leggings by HATCH Collection, for example. The leggings—which come in four colors—are C-section friendly and have a soft feel, with a sculpting fit that feels comfortable whether you’re pregnant or postpartum. The fit is adjustable; simply roll the waistband up or down as needed. Plus, the moisture-wicking fabric will keep you dry and comfortable, no matter where your day takes you. Bonus: Take 10 percent off your first order from HATCH Collection with code BUMP10.

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Absorbent underwear for childbirth recovery

Modibodi Maternity Briefs
Image: Amazon

Fact: Motherhood can get messy. No matter how you give birth, postpartum bleeding is to be expected. You also may deal with increased discharge during pregnancy and light bladder leaks after you give birth. Basically, you need upgraded underwear to help see you through this time. Modibodi’s maternity briefs absorb pee, blood and sweat, and have a unique design to keep you comfortable while you wear them. There’s even a V-waistline that won’t irritate a C-section scar. So you can get on with your day feeling fresh, comfortable and confident.

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Clothing with flexible sizing

Universal Standard Meridian Zip Pullover
Image: Universal Standard

Universal Standard approaches fit and sizing differently from other brands. The company offers sizes 4XS to 4XL, and has a special “Fit Liberty” program where Universal Standard will replace your clothes for free if your size changes (up or down) within a year. How good is that? We’re obsessed with this pullover with an asymmetrical zip across the front that provides visual interest and easy nursing access. It’s also available in four chic shades.

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Products That Lean Into Humor

Being able to laugh off parenting fails is helping plenty of moms and dads cope with the stress of raising kids. From a collection of stories of bad mothers in nature to a cool plate that helps kids “win” when they eat their meal, these tools are here to give you a chuckle.

A silly book to lift you up

Everyone has those days when you feel like the worst parent on the planet. But There Are Moms Way Worse Than You is sure to ease the inevitable “mom guilt” and give you a giggle. The book offers a hilarious look at the wild things animal mothers do to their young. Giraffe moms kick their babies to encourage them to walk, while koala moms feed their babies their own poop. Feel better yet? This page-turner is good for a laugh, whether you’re feeling down on yourself or not.

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A shirt that speaks the truth

Ambitious Kids Predictably Irrational Raglan Baseball Tee
Image: Ambitious Kids | Etsy
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Social media influencers may portray their kids as little angels, but the truth is that even the most well-behaved toddler can be trying at times. (Or all the time!) Let people know what to expect with your little one thanks to this tongue-in-cheek tee. It reads, “Predictably Irrational,” with a grumpy storm cloud and happy sun next to a rainbow. The graphics are fun for kids, while those who can read will get a chuckle out of the relatable messaging. Choose from three color combinations, all in raglan styles.

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Gamified mealtime

Fred Dinner Winner Plate
Image: Amazon
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Dinnertime can feel like a battlefield if your toddler refuses to eat your lovingly prepared meal. Fortunately, the Fred Dinner Winner Plate is a genius solution for picky eaters, and those who seem to prefer to survive on a diet of air. The plate features nine sections, laid out like a board game. Each has fun graphics and encouraging messages to keep your child going. At the end, there’s a covered finish section (which can be a small treat).

In fact, Daniel Carroll, associate director of e-commerce content for The Bump, used this plate with his own child. "Almost since the moment she could talk, my daughter's favorite phrase at mealtime has been, 'can I be finished and still have dessert?' We used the Dinner Winner plate to make a game out of getting to her sweets, and she loved it. She'd shout 'I win!' when she got to the end." Aside from the fun design, we like that the BPA-free plate is made from sturdy melamine and is dishwasher safe.

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Products That Help Parents Prioritize Balance

Another vital subtrend of empowered parenting is prioritizing balance. Of course, parents do what they can to balance family obligations with their professional and personal goals, while carving out space for “me-time” too. But sometimes it can feel like a zero-sum game. The key to fitting everything in (and staying sane) is often multitasking and being unapologetic while doing so. That may mean scrolling on your phone while pumping, incorporating baby into your workout or even scheduling some solo time to take a breather. Keep scrolling for a few practical products that’ll help you multitask with a baby in tow.

A multi-functional bra

Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-Free Nursing & Pumping Bra
Image: Amazon

Pumping no longer means having to whip off your bra and strap on a nursing bra, only to repeat the process again in a few hours. This bra by Kindred Bravely can be used for nursing and hands-free pumping, with enough support to wear it all day. The bra has a special EasyClip feature to provide access to your breast on demand, and it fits securely with all standard breast pump flanges. It’s also free of underwire and has removable padding. The beauty of a hands-free pumping bra is that you can replenish your milk stores while completing other tasks, whether that be journaling, online shopping, reading or even calling a loved one to catch up.

“I used and loved this bra during both of my pregnancies,” says Ashlee Neuman, content director of The Bump. “The freedom to get work done on my computer while I pumped five, six times a day was a game-changer (and big stress-reliever) for me. And the fact that I could comfortably wear this all day, whether I was nursing, pumping or just going about my life, without having to change bras saved me a ton of time and hassle!”

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A jacket with room for your bump (and baby)

Seraphine 6-in-1 Multi-Climate Coat
Image: Seraphine
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Getting outdoors for some fresh air is incredible for your mental and physical health during pregnancy and beyond. And this versatile coat by Seraphine can be worn every step of the way. The six-in-one design is suitable for all climates thanks to the interior fleece and the exterior waterproof jacket, both of which can be worn together or separately. Then once baby’s on the scene, simply attach the babywearing panel, which fits over your baby carrier or sling to keep your little one cozy inside.

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A stroller to take baby along for runs

BOB Gear Wayfinder Jogging Stroller
Image: Amazon

Rather than attempting to fit a solo workout session into your busy parenting schedule, why not bring baby along for the ride? BOB has built up a reputation for creating functional strollers that last. I’ve had a BOB stroller for a decade, and I still use it regularly with my one-year-old. The brand’s Wayfinder Jogging Stroller has dual suspension and air-filled tires to allow you to run or jog over sidewalks and uneven terrain with your child, keeping them comfortable along the way. The five-point harness and removable UPF 50+ canopy keeps baby safe, while there’s plenty of storage space underneath and behind the seat for gear.

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About the writer

Korin Miller is a mom of four kids, ranging in age from one to 10 years old. She’s spent a decade researching, testing and using gear for parents and children, and has plenty of first-hand knowledge about which products are helpful and which just aren’t necessary. Korin has also been published in Prevention, Women’s Health, Forbes, Health and more.


The Bump Future of Parenting Report, March 2024

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, Mom shaming or constructive criticism? Perspectives of mothers, June 2017

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