When I became a mommy for the first time three years ago, I quickly learned what some of the must-have items were for babies and toddlers.
If you’ve been following Dallas Moms Blog for a while, you may have read my very first blog post back in 2012 – Top 10 Must-Have Toddler Items.
Since then, I’ve evolved from being a mommy-of-one to a mommy-of-three, and I’ve uncovered a few more must-haves for the toddlers in our lives.
In no particular order:
- Play/Train/Craft Table – Some sort of toddler-height table is a must have! I can’t even tell you how many total hours my boy has spent playing at his train table. A few weeks after he first got it, he became less interested in it. We quickly realized that if we rotated the toys that were on it – trains, cars, pretend groceries, puzzles, etc – his interest and attention would be drawn back to it once again.
- Foam Bath Letters and Numbers – Although these are available in many brands and from many locations (Amazon, Babies R Us, etc), the cheapest ones I found were the Munchkin brand at Target. My son has enjoyed these since he was a year old (he’s almost 3 now). They not only offer a fun way to learn letters, numbers and colors, but they stick to the tub when wet, so they’re proving to be great fun for spelling practice as well.
- Color Changing Bath Tablets – These have been our saving grace on many nights when our mind-of-his-own two year old wasn’t quite ready to start bath time. The fact that he gets to choose his own bath water color(s) is typically enough incentive to get him to the tub.
- BABYBJORN Soft Bibs – These are my all-time favorite bibs. They offer full coverage with the handiest “catch” tray in the front. All three of my boys have learned that if mom and dad aren’t feeding them enough, they can always go in search of more food inside their bibs. They’re very sturdy too, and the very best part of these bibs is that they are very easy to clean and dry. Although our oldest has outgrown the need for a bib (most days), we still put it on him for certain foods such as the ever-loved watermelon.
- Crocs – Even for a boy who is very active (aka. rambunctious), these shoes not only stand the test of time, but they stand the many tests that an active toddler puts them to. They are quick and easy to put on and take off, they stay on, and they’re a breeze to wipe down or even put in the wash (just don’t accidentally toss them in the dryer with the rest of the wash…they WILL shrink – at least that’s what a little birdie told me). Oh and did I mention that my son loves wearing them? He’d choose crocs over tennis shoes any day.
- Dogs (the living vacuums) – I’ll be the first to admit that pre-children, I was a staunch believer in not feeding human food to dogs. Other than carrots, I never fed my two mini schnauzers anything but their dog food as I believed (and still do) that keeping them food-healthy would prolong their life. And who doesn’t want their furry friends to be around as long as humanly possible? Fast forward to my first introduction to toddlerhood and eating. Let’s just say, I’m oh-so-grateful for our dogs’ big appetites as they save me from the dreaded post-meal (or post snack) clean up duty.
- Coconut oil – In addition to all the healthy benefits of cooking with coconut oil, there are many great uses of this sweet smelling oil with your sweet babe. One of my twin-littles has a reoccurring cradle cap spot on his head and coconut oil works wonders. That same twin (poor little guy!) has bouts of eczema for which the coconut oil works wonders (overnight, in most cases!). It is also great to use as a diaper cream or to help soothe itching (think mosquito bites, chicken pox, poison ivy).
- Hanna Andersson Baby Sleeper PJs in organic cotton – These are my favorite baby/early toddler pjs of all time! They’re soft cotton. They’re zippered. They’re footless (for those early walkers who want to hang out in their pjs all day and NOT slip and fall). They’re durable. What more could you ask for in the perfect pj? Well, maybe that they not cost so much? At $34 list price, they are rather pricey, however, they often have sale opportunities on their website or you can find them at consignment/resale shops or on ebay. I’ve even seen them at Costco before (several years ago).
- Books – even from a very young age, our sons have been intrigued by books – both being read to and “reading” on their own. We keep toddler height shelves stocked with fun books, and they make for hours of entertainment. Just like with the toys, rotating the books out every so often works wonders for holding their interest.
- Wine – obviously, this one is not directly for the toddler in your life, but indirectly, this is a toddler must-have in our household. Because if mommy is happy, everyone is happy!