6 Toddler Products That Have Changed This Mom’s Life
Writer and mom of one, Heather Sundell, shares her top product picks that are making toddler life so much easier (and fun)!
Am I in the minority for thinking that having a toddler is way easier than a baby? Sure, I miss the days when he would mostly sleep, and I could tote him around like a cute little accessory. Yes, it was nice when the only baby meal planning I had to consider was making sure I had a clean nursing bra. Ok fine, it was more convenient to get things done around the house when he was barely mobile. But, despite running around, constantly cleaning up after him, having dirt on my jeans 24/7, dealing with tantrums, and lugging around a 21 pound weight, I find toddlerhood somehow more relaxed than the baby days.
Maybe it’s because I finally feel like I have a handle on what I’m doing. It could be that what little communication we have between us has made me feel less crazy, no longer trying to decipher what he needs or wants at any given moment. It’s very likely in part to no longer being sleep deprived. Ultimately, it’s all of the above and more.
One aspect that has unequivocally gotten easier is knowing what products are necessary and what are not. In the beginning, panic ordering from Amazon during 3am feeds happened multiple times a week. I had no idea what I was doing, and any time something wasn’t working, I desperately sought solutions in magic products or techniques. And, when something DID work, I unnecessarily bought multiples that were soon outgrown.
Luckily I’ve been sleeping more regularly and stopped throwing money at my problems. Now, I don’t feel like I need every piece of gear or gadget. I think more about each purchase and I’ve got my tried and trues that are getting us through the day. Here’s what I’ve been loving with my 15 month old lately:
6 toddler product picks
Truthfully, this is one product I didn’t do a ton of research on before throwing it on my registry. It looked nice and had some great reviews, which felt like enough for me. Though we started using the high chair when my son turned six months, it’s become a major workhorse. Between three meals and two snacks a day, this thing takes a daily beating. I really love it because it’s a simple design that is super easy to pull right up to our table, which I prefer to using the tray. It enables my son to feel like he’s eating with us at the table. We also don’t have a large dining room, and its compact and light design makes it easy to scoot around and shove into the corner when not in use. I also love that it will grow with him, turning into a regular chair when he’s a bit older.
Another meal time favorite is my EZ PZ tableware. I love how easy it is to gauge portions. Though it is no match for a determined toddler, it does suction well to our table when he’ll allow it to remain on the table. I use the Mini Mat and Mini Bowl on a daily basis. I always consider getting a second set of each, but it’s honestly really unnecessary (See, look at my growth!). It’s such a breeze to clean, without any hard to reach crevices, and let dry in between meals.
Available in more colors
I was very hesitant to spend money on a sleep bag when my son had an infinite number of PJ sets he’d received as gifts. I finally caved and got one when my son needed to size up from a medium to large around 11 months. I am so glad I did. It’s huge, so I don’t need to worry about needing to size up for a very long time. It’s also so cozy! I saw a noticeable difference in my son’s sleep once we started using it. It’s got a slightly weighted blanket feel to it, and it helps regulate temperature in heat and cold –– something that was previously so confusing to me. It’s an investment, but you only need one and they don’t need to be laundered too often.
Transitioning our baby from the infant car seat to the convertible seat felt like such a milestone, but the Rava soon washed away my nostalgic mom tears away. This thing is so cool. Two cup holders?! This is luxury. We should all be so lucky to ride in such comfort and style. My son seemed immediately way more comfortable sitting in the Rava than he had in his infant seat, particularly because he was able to sit more upright and read books easier. This is another investment piece, but if you consider how much you’ll use it, I personally think it’s worth it.
As a first birthday present, we got our son a personalized stool with his name in puzzle pieces. I had the same one as a child and I loved mine so much, I knew I had to get one for him too. He already enjoys taking out the letters and putting them back and, as he gets older, it will be great to use for daily use like brushing teeth in the bathroom.
$79.99 – $89.99
Another first birthday present, our Pikler Triangle Climber is such a simple and fun toy. Our son is gradually becoming increasingly interested in climbing it, but I know one day we won’t be able to peel him off of it. It’s not just great for practicing gross motor skills and releasing that toddler energy when you can’t make it to the playground, but there’s also so many ways to use it for imaginative play. Hello, forts!
$350 – $533.95
Now that my little guy is older, I find myself being more intentional about the gear and toys I buy. I’m no longer just making purchases to solve a problem, but rather considering how to make our lives easier and promote his growth. All the stuff I seem to be buying now is bigger, and more expensive, but I don’t buy nearly as often, and when it comes to smaller toys I try to find gently loved pieces second hand.
So, what’s next on my list? I can’t help but have my eyes on a toddler learning tower… Better do my research first.
- Looking for the best kids storage options? We have 10 incredible solutions that both parents and kids will love.
- Some experts believe that children’s personalities are largely determined by their position in the family. Find out if you fit the description of a firstborn, middle or youngest child…