Baby Stuff That Makes Life with a Toddler Easier

by tinysneakers

When you have a new baby, or are getting ready to have one, one of the topics that seems to come up over and over again is STUFF. What kind of stuff do you need for a baby, or at 6 months old, or even for a one year old. But then that panic of I-don’t-have-anything-I-need starts to fade away and everyone stops talking about the things you need for your toddler or little kid or big kid. Unless it’s Christmas, then everyone talks about stuff, but it’s mostly toys and non-essentials.

baby things that make life with a toddler easier

While none of these things fall under the “essentials” category, they’re things I’ve been turning towards more and more with my two year old. The funny thing is, most of them are baby things. I only have them out now because I was introduced to them after the baby stage. What makes that so great is that you can pack up your baby stuff or stash it aside for awhile, then pull it back out without having to buy anything new. Or, if you have a younger one as well, you can have things that pull double duty.

So here’s what I can think of right now:

Portable high chair. We’ve struggled with the high chair thing from day one. We wanted something unobtrusive but usable. A clip-on chair worked for awhile, then we switched to booster seat and tray. When it was obvious KB refused to be strapped down, we threw in the towel. But then it became quite apparent that a normal chair wouldn’t work quite yet and was contributing to our eating issues. This Ciao! Baby portable highchair is made to be transportable {it folds up like a camping chair} but we had a lot of success with it inside. {It comes in fun colors too.} It felt like a normal chair to KB, but he couldn’t get out on his own. I wish we could’ve used this longer, but someone’s legs started getting stuck. One day I honestly thought he was going to have to stay in it until daddy got home from work.

Playmats. There’s something magical about containing play. Lots of people use pack n play’s for babies, but that would just piss a toddler off. It’s nice to be able to say, “hey, play here!”. While it doesn’t typically {ok ever} happen quite as easily as that, it does help contain a lot of mess.

Indoor: Posh Play. This playmat is slightly padded, wipeable, and PVC free. It’s also cute. We use this under KB’s “little table” and chair when he’s eating {it’s easier to pick up and shake off than sweep and vacuum} and under high-mess activities {i.e. indoor water play and painting, etc.}.

posh play mat kids mat

Outside: Monkey Mat. This play mat is thin but large and folds up into a teeny tiny square {into an attached pouch} you can toss in your diaper bag. We use this one outside in the grass to have picnics and playtime. When the ground is a little damp we put this down to stay dry, then cover it with a blanket. I’m not gonna lie, the couple super warm days we’ve had I’ve used to lay outside and read a book/eat lunch during naptime.

Monkey Mat kids play mat

Diaper clutch. I never saw the need for this when KB was a baby. I was packing a fully-loaded diaper bag anyways, what was the point in making stuff even harder to get to? But as a toddler, this thing has saved my butt {and literally his} many times. This Wipe Me Cute diaper clutch is a cute and convenient way to take wipes and diapers on the go. I keep it stocked and stashed in my car, that way I don’t have to think about bringing a diaper or wipes ever time we go somewhere. {Which for the record, would be never – I always forgot.} Often times when we go places where I don’t want to lug a lot of stuff around, I just bring this and stash my keys, phone, and cards inside.

Padded changing mat. People always say kids thrive on routines, but it’s hard to really believe that until you see it in action. I’m pretty sure that’s why my wild one actually listens at school – it’s routine. As most toddlers do, KB hates having his butt changed. When I first got this cushy Lili Bebe changing pad, I used in consistently for about a week when I realized if I pulled it out and laid it on the ground, KB would often come over and lay down without a fight. It’s because it was consistent. Plus it’s super soft and plush. So this pad lives downstairs where we have hard floors and I use a boring one upstairs on the carpet. It’s not wipeable, but that’s not a big deal at this age.

Baby lotion/balms/washes. I was too petrified to put any chemicals on my brand-new-baby’s brand-new skin. I stuck with mostly coconut oil and not much else. It’s nice to see there are a lot of more natural options out there though. Now that I’m a little less picky it’s pretty convenient to turn towards one of those. I like Sofi & Liv lotions, body wash, and butt balm {they have baby-specific and mom/family-friendly versions of most things, all made for sensitive skin with none of the yucky stuff}, BabyGanics bubble bath {eczema-friendly}, and my ever faithful diaper stick. The Sofi & Liv butt balm can be used for other things beside diaper rash, like bug bites and dry skin. We’ll likely be using the BabyGanics sunscreen again this year too.

Aden & Anais muslin swaddle blankets. Ok, clearly we’re past the swaddling stage but these swaddle blankets are the bomb diggity dot com. I know, I’m the last person to tell you that – everyone loves these things. I ignored all the recommendations because they’re too $$$, but this print was on a blowout clearance on Amazon lightning deals and I caved. Totally worth it. So soft and comfy I don’t even want to share them with the toddler.

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