Is your baby starting to act like a big kid? Is your precious little one walking…better yet, running? Is she acting a little bit sassy and craving some independence? Once Bubba reached about 15 months, the above really kicked in with him, and I started to refer to him as a Toddler. Once Bubba reached toddler status, we started doing new things, like playing at parks with playgrounds, visiting zoos and aquariums, and just a lot more on-foot type exploration.
With these changes, I found we needed some new gear in order to make a successful “go” at Toddlerhood. The following 10 items were not discovered overnight, in fact, it took me nearly 7 months to figure out what we needed in our arsenal–and I am sure there is lots more to discover in the next 7 months! I thank my wise Mommy-friends for passing down their knowledge, and I hope I am able to do that for some of you:
1. Backpack for parents – I featured this item as numero uno because I cannot imagine my active days without my diaper-backpack. I, like most moms, ordered the cutest designer diaper bag when Bubs was first born, but had to ditch it once he was off and running. I currently use my hubby’s “daddy diaper-backpack,” which isn’t the best quality, but does the job. It’s a Fisher Price, cost about $30, and has lots of handy pockets. I love being able to strap it on my back when at the park or chasing Bubba through the Aquarium.
2. Stepping stool - You may remember the article about my “Mr. Independent“…if you are not familiar with this post, basically, I was advised by a wise mommy-friend to get my new toddler a stepping stool so he can wash his own hands, reach things on his own, etc. I immediately ordered a Bumbo stool, and we have loved it ever since! My growing toddler gets a kick out of doing things like a “big boy,” which not only brings a smile to my face, but keeps the peace in our household!
3. Booster seat - Again, another item mentioned in the “Mr. Independent” blog a while back. We love having the option of seating him in a booster vs. a high chair, plus, it’s AWESOME for travel. Bubba really enjoys eating, coloring, or simply sitting in his booster at the table. Plus, it will be handy when baby #2 comes along one day, and kicks Bubs out of the high chair.
4. Streaming radio app - I’m a Pandora fan. The Toddler Radio station is part of our daily routine. Bubba and I love the variety, and he is at the point where he knows 75% of the songs–even smiling and dancing when he hears the first few seconds of a familiar tune. This app is great to stream through a speaker, in the car, or simply blast from your smartphone or tablet. It’s gotten me out of many jams. And it’s FREE!
5. Small, portable board books – You may already have small board books in your diaper bag or car, and that’s great. I find that now that Bubba is a toddler, he is way more interested in books than before. I love having small books as a secret weapon when we are trying to dine out, or on a long car ride. A great tip: Keep these in the bag or in the car–reserved for special times–that way, your tot appreciates them, and is excited to crack them open.
6. Zoli teething sticks – I just discovered these when staying with friends in Hawaii. They had these for their toddler, and my son gave them a try–loving them. I placed an Amazon order immediately. These are GREAT for those hard to reach molars, plus, they have this handy ring around the tip to prevent it from touching the ground or other undesirable surfaces. This is NOT a sponsored post–I just really think the product is fantastic–so go buy a set.
7. First Aid Kit for the car – Another no-brainer–but it took me until my newly walking son stepped off a high surface and scraped his head open to remember to keep first aid in the car! Toddlers are fearless, and get hurt about once a week. Be prepared!
8. Hand sanitizing wipes - Some parents don’t prefer to use anti-bacterial wipes and gels on their little ones…but I do. It’s not like I bathe my munchkin in the stuff, I simply wipe his hands after the park, the store, gym class, or when he is about to snack on-the-go. Plus, my kid always has his hands in his mouth, and we don’t always make it to the soap and water in ample time. There are many hand wipe products on the market that are safe for babies and toddlers, and it sure beats getting sick every other month!
9. Healthy on-the-go snacks - Whether it’s crackers, puree or applesauce pouches, bananas, rice rollers, or dried fruit, I am sure my bag is stocked with one or two healthy (and portable) snacks when leaving the house. A snack can be a secret weapon at the store, or when stuck in traffic. Plus, growing toddlers with boundless energy really know how to work up and appetite!
10. Umbrella stroller - I might as well sell my BOB, because all I ever use now that Bubba is a toddler, is my cheap umbrella stroller! I bought it at Babies ‘r Us about a year ago, and it is still going strong. It’s small, super lightweight, easy to use, and folds-up compactly. It’s really great for those of you who have active toddlers (like mine) who are constantly wanting in and out of the stroller in order to explore.
So, there you have it! Stay tuned…I may revisit this list in a few months and add another 10 must-haves! What would you add?