Well, you swore it wouldn’t happen, but it did. Your sweet little baby is now a big, busy toddler and you are left wondering where the time went. It’s just like the saying goes: the days are long, but the years are much too short.
Toddlers are a whole new ball game, metaphorically speaking. With their newfound mobility, energy, and curiosity, they are sure to rock your world (and house). They are constantly learning about themselves and always want to exert their independence and knowledge in every single way. While this may cause a few (ha!) frustrations on your end, you’ll be undoubtedly proud of how quickly your little one is growing.
And, you might need a few things to support their latest learning endeavors. While we always want to encourage our kids’ independence, we also want to keep them safe. As their needs change, your gear will too.
If you’re wondering what you’ll need as the parent of a new toddler, here are our picks for the basic toddler necessities.
Toddlers LOVE doing things on their own. The only problem is, they can’t always reach those things they want to do. A learning-tower style stool in the kitchen can help your child safely be a part of the action, and a smaller stool is a bathroom must-have for reaching the sink while learning how to wash hands and brush teeth.
If the stool is not enough, a faucet extender helps get the water where it needs to be — and your hands are left free to help without having to boost your tot over the edge of the sink.
Convertible Car Seat
Once your little one outgrows their infant car seat (or, more likely, gets too big to carry that thing around!), a convertible seat is the next step. While the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) previously recommended children be rear-facing until age two, they recently updated those guidelines to encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing even longer. If you’re looking to practice extended rear-facing, be sure to look for a convertible car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight maximums.
Toddler Bed or Bed Rail
As it becomes apparent that your little one is ready to switch from a crib to a bed (climbing out of the crib is a sure sign!), there are a few ways to go. You can convert your crib into a bed, buy a new toddler bed altogether, or transfer them into a larger bed (twin and full being the most popular options) with a rail to prevent them from falling out. Many families start by just putting the mattress on the floor too, and letting their children acclimate before getting a new bed frame.
Toddler Pillows and Blankets
Toddlers love feeling grown-up, so switching out the flat mattress and sleep sack for a cute toddler pillow and blanket can go a long way in making their new sleep settings more comfortable.
Convertible High Chair or Booster Seat
If your current high chair doesn’t convert to allow your kiddo to sit at the dining table with the family, you might need a new option. Many allow the tray to be removed so that the chair can be pulled up to the table, and others allow the seat to be strapped right onto one of your regular dining chairs.
To make create even more independence during mealtimes, introduce utensils if you haven’t already. Child-sized utensils can help your little one gain important fine-motor practice, while still being comfortable and age-appropriate.
Umbrella Stroller or Carrier
Now that your kiddo wants to walk (or run or jump or climb) rather than ride, you might decide on a lighter stroller for daily outings. Since they’re probably napping on a schedule at this point, falling asleep in the stroller isn’t as much of a concern, and a lighter umbrella stroller can (literally) take a load off of your back.
If you’re more of a baby-wearing family, make sure your carrier is suitable for your growing child’s weight to, again, save your back.
Potty Chair or Seat
Yes, you’re dreading it, but it’s inevitable. Once your baby hits toddlerhood, potty training is right around the corner. Get yourself prepared and you’ll thank me later.
Bath Spout Cover
Now that your baby is out of the little tub and in the big one, a bath spout cover is essential to keep head bumps at bay. One with a thermometer makes life a little easier so you know just how hot that water is before letting your kid splash around.
This one is boring but so important. Toddlers are notorious for climbing and pulling and scheming. It’s only a matter of time before they get into something they shouldn’t, and you want to prevent every potentially dangerous situation as best as you can. Stories of kids pulling down dressers, bookshelves, TVs, and even play kitchens onto themselves are everywhere. Furniture anchors might not be the cutest, but they work. That’s worth everything.