Graduating to Toddler Mom Life can be like some kind of roller-coaster ride we wish we had the decrypted manual to – but as the saying goes, “life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother”…..(who’s probably winging her own mommying, eye-liner and basically life!…hahha)
Sure, we cannot plan for our toddler’s every move – but, perhaps we can be a little more prepared for some of their needs and tendencies.
For this post, I’ve partnered with fellow boy Mom @ammarah_issufo – to bring you guys some favourite toddler essential must-haves, with its benefits, that could make our lives and our little toddlers lives a little bit easier.
So whether you’re a toddler mom, soon-to-be #todmom (or dad) or simply looking for possible gift ideas -this read’s for you!
Long Sleeved Apron/Bibs
Let’s be honest, as much as we want our toddlers to explore and learn through messy play and mealtimes, we really need all the #momhacks to make clean up as simple as possible! Our favourite less mess mealtime item is from @hipporoo – these 2 – in – 1 apron bibs are made from a lightweight PUL materiel and actually grow with your little one from 4 – 36 months. It has definitely saved so many outfits and is waterproof, easy to wipe off or machine wash.
You can also find another amazing fuss-free bib option from @nurtureonesting. Overall these bibs are great for encouraging food exploration and allow our toddlers to practice all the self-feeding. Yay!
Splash Toddler cup
Aside from having a removable press fit lid to avoid spills when drinking, it’s great for helping our toddlers naturally learn to drink from an open cup independently. M loves his big boy cup and this durable toddler-proof option is available from @Munchkinza.
Our toddlers are on the verge of learning to eat by themselves – which means they have to learn to master some bilateral integration (using both sides of the body) – having a good suction plate, not only aids with this, but also makes it less likely for food to be flying all over the show. Again we’ve loved our versatile @Hipporoo Grippo Plate, which suctions to almost any surface. This has definitely been one of our fav items since the very beginning of our solids journey.
Lots of Snacks
Let’s face it, toddlers are little snackers, which means we gotta be prepared with a good snack stash 🙂 (for those teething days too!) We’ve found Happy Family Organics and Kiddylicious to be great, healthy options and can also come in handy for those picky eating episodes or even any busy mom day.
Another ready to eat snack option we love is Gullon Biscuits – they’re high in fibre with no added sugar and yummy too! I mean what’s toddler life without snacks, right??
Lastly if you’re looking for nutrient packed food pouches – Organix has some amazing wholesome snack options with a no-baddies promise. This has also been the only food pouches I’ve seen with the least amount of natural sugar content.
Along with Toddlerhood comes those seasonal visits from the unwanted evil twin of the Tooth Fairy – the Teething Fairy! Textured Teethers are a must-have for these teething sagas.
Another awesome way to relief those painful gums is to fill a food feeder with some plain yoghurt and freshly cut fruit pieces – place in the freezer and you have yourself a tasty teether!
This item right here!! Honestly, the nappy journey can last quite a while and this item is something I wish I had invested in since birth – now that M is potty training, I still find myself wishing I had bought one for that quick and convenient disposal, before busy M decides to run off again. A definite must -have, from the start! TommeTippee has an amazing nappy bin that wraps each individual nappy with an anti-bacterial film and seals in that odour.
While on the topic, let’s be frank, those poop nappies can be so heeeeectic….but changing a busy toddler’s poop nappy – that’s some next level Olympic Sport! We never really know what to prepare for until we actually open up that nappy. Changing mats are just crucial to avoid coming back to see those unexpected smudge surprises on the whole (and don’t forget to have tons of wipes around ALWAYS!)
Aside from needing tons of easy outfits – a good pair of walking shoes is a must-have for our little humans who are on the verge of learning to walk independently. To assist them in learning this new skill at their own pace – walking shoes with a great ankle support and non-slip grip is essential for building confidence as they learn to balance and navigate their first steps. I’ve been through my fair share of shoes and can honestly say my absolute favourite brand for first walking shoes is Footsies and Tootsies – the quality and durability is amazing! These really gave M all the confidence to find his feet ( see what i just did there?) 🙂
This part is probably my favourite – I mean our kids’ favourite too – and the best part is that they learn SO much when they’re just doing what they love – to PLAY! To enhance M’s play experiences, I find investing in toys that can provide endless opportunities for learning is important. Here are two types of toys that’s essential for toddler life:
These are basically toys that do not only have one sole purpose, but can be used in a variety of different ways. They’re great for boosting creativity and encouraging problem solving, self-expression and learning to self-regulate – which are all important skills needed to navigate childhood and adolescence too. A few examples of this include:
- Recycled Boxes
- Sensory Bin Activities
- Animal Figurines
- Peg People
- Rainbow Stackers
- Balance Board
Push or Pull Toys
These are great for helping our toddlers strengthen the core muscles, improve balance and coordination as they learn to walk independently. M still loves his push walker, which also has a shape sorter in the front. I always love a good multipurpose toy that grows with M without losing much of its novelty.
For General Use and Safety
Have you noticed how much toddlers seem to love their bouts of independence? – I mean, M has so many moments where he’s just not so keen on having me hold his hand and prefers doing certain things by himself – like brushing his teeth – he loves doing this all by himself – and absolutely hates when I have to brush the teeth he doesn’t get to. Haha so, I find a step stool is great for these ‘independent’ moments in which they’d need to reach the sink, wash their hands or perhaps climb onto bed with minimal assistance. An alternative to this is a learning tower – which also encourages lots of active participation and a greater level of independence in daily functional activities including cooking and baking.
First Aid Kit
With independence comes lots of trial and error – keeping a first aid kit on hand can save us in those unexpected accidents. At the moment, I’ve put together a small kit for us, consisting of a few plasters, bandage, aloe gel, mini tweezers, syringe, alcohol swabs, etc.
An amazing full first aid kit package is available from Dr Carmen (@oneaidsa)
Bath Toy Scoop
This item just makes the aftermath of bath time that much easier – M gets super excited for every bath time and loves a bunch of toys accompanying him to the bath too – with this convenient item, you can literally just scoop everything up in one go and let them drip dry!
And what’s bath time without some bubbles for some sensory fun! We absolutely love the Childsfarm Range, which smells amaaazing and is filled with naturally derived ingredients + essential oils. If you’re not set on a product range yet, this is the perfect option to have from birth.
Do you agree with our picks?
We’re giving away an amazing toddler must-haves prize worth over R2700!!
how to enter:
let us know what your go-to must-have is below
don’t forget to follow the brands involved and enter on Instagram too!
- This Giveaway will run from the 14 September 2020 – 30 September 2020 via Instagram.
- All Entry Steps will need to be followed for your entry to be valid.
- Giveaway is open to South African Residents residing in South Africa.
- Winner will be drawn at random and announced on 1 October and prize will need to be claimed within 48 hours.
- Our amazing sponsors involved will be delivering prize to winner.
- Prize cannot be exchanged for cash.
Good Luck !