What are my toddler essentials?
When I was pregnant, I wrote a post about what I thought would be the best essential baby items. Then, once I actually had the baby, I did an updated post on what were actually essential baby items (although I was pretty pleased to see the lists weren’t much different!) Now, I have an almost toddler.
I’m not exactly sure at what age one becomes a toddler, but as he is “toddling” I’m guessing right about now? He definitely isn’t a baby anymore (sob, sob).
So along with his new found skills of crawling, walking, babbling, signing and general independence, there comes a whole host of gadgets and props that can make life with a toddler a lot easier.
In no particular order, here are my top 10 Toddler Essentials:
1. A Baby Carrier
Or should that be a toddler carrier?! As you may have noticed, I’m a huge fan of the baby carrier, especially the Connecta (read all about why, here). I find a sling or carrier a lifesaver for short trips when you can’t be bothered to get the pram out, or for longer trips when it’s not always convenient to take the pram. Even though Alfie is walking, he’s still very little and can’t walk for long without getting tired, as much as he wants to! The Connecta is small enough to fold into my changing bag so always have it with me should I need it.
2. First shoes
We didn’t bother with shoes for Alfie until he actually started walking. We went to Clarks, as they are so well known for good quality shoes. It was great that we could be confident they fit well, and I was amazed that Alfie took to them straight away! I was surprised as he’d never worn shoes before.
3. Toddler Toys
As he has grown up, Alfie has outgrown a lot of his baby toys. The gym and baby swing have been packed away, as has the baby bouncer (which I’m sad about as he loved it) and ball pit (which I’m glad about as I don’t have a million plastic balls to pick up!!).
So in their place I’ve found some great toys that Alfie loves! I put together a box of musical instruments (yes, I’m crazy!) which he adores! It’s so funny to watch him playing his recorder, shaking his maracas and banging on his piano. I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined a band when he is older. Alfie also loves the toot toot train set he got from Nanny and Granddad for his birthday and his duplo train. My favourite toddler toy is the teepee I customised for his birthday. We don’t have it set up all the time as it’s slightly bigger than I thought, but I love sitting in it and reading books with Alfie before bed.
4. Storage solutions
With the mountain of toys he has, Alfie needs some essential storage solutions to keep them all! So for his birthday, I customised a toy box for him. I bought a plain wooden toy box and then painted it and added some embellishments to match his bedroom. I have to say I’m really proud of how it came out. It is so useful for all his toys.
My lovely dad also made a zoo for Alfie to keep all his teddies in as I didn’t have a proper place to keep them. It also doubles as a great baby cage when he’s being naughty (just joking!).
5. Organix Snacks
We are HUGE fans of Organix snacks in the Jones household! Alfie absoultely loves them, and they are great for taking out and about when you know a quick, easy snack is needed. I love that they’re not too messy, and they’re handy to keep in the cupboard to quickly grab when needed. I always try to give Alfie healthy homemade snacks, but it’s not always possible to prepare in advance, so I have peace of mind knowing that I can give him these and not feel guilty that I’m shoveling junk food down him!
6. Dining booster seat
A baby must is a good highchair, but once they get a bit bigger, it can be upgraded to a dining booster seat. I purchased a Munchkin one because my mum has one. I love it because it’s easy to attach to the dining chair, and Alfie can be secured in it safely. It has two height settings plus a detachable tray so he can eat at the table with us, or if for example I’m cooking in the kitchen, I can put the tray on so he can eat. It’s an excellent addition to our toddler essentials
It goes without saying that once your toddler is on the move, you are probably going to need a stair gate! We found that once he was crawling, he was so quick he’d be at the top of the stairs in what felt like seconds. We live in an upstairs maisonette, so there are no stairs for him to climb up, just fall down!! And typically he loves the stairs, so we had to get a stair gate sharpish to prevent any accidents. Now Alfie likes to pull himself against it and rattle it like he’s in prison or something…
8. Toddler cups
We first introduced a cup when we started weaning Alfie at 6 months. We started with a Munchkin 360 which he took to straight away! He loves it because it’s easy to hold and easy to drink from, I love it because it doesn’t leak (unless he throws it across the room, but that doesn’t happen…not often anyway…)
9. Teething remedies
Any parent who has coped with a teething baby knows how hard it is. Now we have a teething toddler, it seems to be a million times harder!! Before Alfie could be soothed with Sophie the giraffee and booby cuddles. Now, he refuses to be held and just wants the hard stuff – Bonjela and Nelsons teething powder. I’m not one to give in to medicines willy nilly, but I know the pain of having wisdom teeth come through, so I can only imagine how hard it is for a toddler who can’t communicate how much pain they are in. So these two medicines are always in the house for when the teeth start to descend, as they usually take us by surprise!
When Alfie got to about 10 months, we swapped his changing bag for a rucksuck. Partly because I was using the sling a lot more than the pram and it was easier to carry, but partly because Craig decided that Alfie needed a more “manly” bag to carry his stuff in! Although we generally need less nappies, muslins and clothes changes for a day out, we still need lots of spaces for snacks and drinks and whatever his favourite toy happens to be that he must take out with him! We definitely find the rucksack easy to take out than the changing bag, so it’s one of our toddler must haves.
A bonus extra…
We recently bought a SmarTrike and love it! It’s so much easier to take on quick trips to the shops or park than the pram, and Alfie thinks it’s great fun. It even reclines, so if he does fall asleep, we can recline him back so he doesn’t slump forward. The only thing is I wish we had bought it at the beginning of the summer – or even the year! Alfie’s such a big boy I’m not sure it will last him for much longer….
What are your toddler must haves/essentials/couldn’t live without items? Do you agree with all of mine, or have any to add?
Proud to be linking with: