Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Favorite Toddler Products

When Walker was first born, I put a ton of time, effort and research into all of his teeny tiny baby products. "Is the MamaRoo worth it?" "What about the Rock 'N' Play, should I get that?" "Oh, this bouncer is better than that one." "Do I even need a bouncer?" Seriously, I researched and read Mommy Blogs until I was blue in the face, added things to the registry, took them off and replaced them with others and so on and so forth. 

But then, you reach the toddler stage and you feel left to your own devices. Or at least I did. When I was adding bouncers and bottles to my baby registry, I wasn't thinking about potties, divided plates and snack traps. But, just how the baby stage {sadly} inevitably comes to an end, the toddler stage inevitably begins -- and so does the transition from bottles to sippy cups to potty chairs to baby gates. 

With all that said, we have purchased, tried, used, loved, hated, sent back, got refunds on and threw away many a product. Here are some things that we found worked best for us, broken down by three categories: "For Home," "For Traveling" and "For Eating." 

Please note these are just things that are ranked very high on our list and knew had to be included. You can see a full list of my favorite products on the left sidebar of my blog. 


For Eating:
  • These RePlay Divided Plates are awesome for toddlers! They're made in the USA from recycled milk jugs and are BPA-free. You can put them in the microwave, fridge and dishwasher {on the top rack} and they're very durable. We use them nightly for Walker's dinner and love that they keep the mess contained and don't allow his food to touch, which, if you're a mother to a toddler, know that sometimes they decide is life-altering and cause for a major meltdown. 
  • On the same note as the divided plates, the RePlay Utensils are the perfect size for little hands. Like with the plates, they're made in the USA from recycled milk jugs and are BPA-free. We like them because they have shorter handles, which make them great for Walker to maneuver into his mouth and keep a good grip on. And I love them because I can throw them in the utensil basket in the dishwasher and they hold up just fine. 
  • Walker never really drank from a sippy cup, so I can't say much about those. However, he did go from the bottle to the straw sippy cups, and these Munchkin Click-Lock Straw Sippy Cups are better than other brands we have tried. They don't leak nearly as bad as other brands and I love that the straw clicks down when it's not in use, meaning it's easily thrown into a diaper bag when we're on-the-go. Now of course, when Walker throws these across the kitchen and they land upside down, they do leak a bit. But that's normal toddler wear-and-tear for you! 
  • My cousin had this Fisher Price Space Saver high chair, so after she told me how great it was for small spaces, I was intrigued. We don't have a very big house, so this has been great in the kitchen! It secures firmly to the bottom and back of a regular kitchen table chair and is removed by two quick unlocks of buckles. We used the tray portion of the highchair when we were still feeding Walker, but we removed that and use it as a booster seat {pushed up to the table} and he uses the table and his plates to eat off of. After that, we can make it into a full booster to use for years to come. I don't know about you, but I love it when products have multiple uses {and don't take up valuable space in my house}! 

For Traveling:
  • When Walker was a baby, we loved our Britax B Agile Stroller: you could put him in his carseat and just click it into the stroller. When he grew out of his infant car seat, you could sit him in the stroller like normal. But when Walker started walking, he was not cool being strapped into a stroller -- our Britax or our umbrella stroller. He was not having it and walks became a pain. When my grandparents gifted him with the Step 2 Whisper Ride II car, we started putting him in that when we went on our walks...and our lives miraculously changed. We've even taken this to the zoo and pushed him around in it! We love this in our house for a wiggly toddler. 
  • The Chicco Next Fit carseat is probably some of the best money we've ever spent. Like with our stroller, we had the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat and it worked awesome for us when he was an infant. But, Walker moved to this carseat around 10 months and he seemed much more comfortable in the car. We absolutely love that this car seat has a 9-position reclining feature; when he falls asleep on car rides, we can pull a small lever and it reclines him! I also love its size and durability, and when he spills something on the seat, it wipes away in an instant. And, it has adjustable shoulder straps and headrest and fits children up to 65 pounds! 
  • I have told y'all time and time again about my love for the Neat Solutions Table Toppers, but I have to rave about them again. They are placemats that stick to the table with adhesive strips, made with biodegradable plastic. They're awesome when you're eating out at a restaurant and don't want to put your child's food directly on the table or deal with them throwing a plate of food on the floor. I keep these in our diaper bag at all times! 
  • The kids Camelbak is fantastic for car trips; they literally do not spill due to the bite-then-sip mechanism on the valve. Walker saw me drinking out of mine one day and reached out for it. I was shocked that he figured it out so quickly! We take this with us in the car on the way to school in the morning, and I fill it up with ice cold water at work and give it to him for the car ride home; it's hot in Texas in August! The best part {other than the non-spillage} is that they're BPA- and BPS-free and are dishwasher safe! 
  • Oh, OXO Tot Flippy Snack Cup, how I love thee. Basically: your toddler can take a snack in the car {or carry Goldfish around your house} without spilling them. Snack Traps = a Christmas miracle. I like the OXO brand better than others because I feel like the silicone "traps" aren't as easy to maneuver to spill as other brands, and Walker literally cannot get the lid off of these. And, it's dishwasher safe {on the top rack}! 

For Home:
  • As I've mentioned before, our house isn't very big. We have a one-story that's very open-concept...meaning Walker can get anywhere very quickly. We tried a couple of baby gates, but our strong boy figured out a way to shake them, move them or otherwise just get beyond them. Brandon ordered this Summer Infant baby gate and Walker could not figure out how to get beyond it. Plus, I loved that it looked somewhat stylish and not cheap like some of the plastic ones can look. 
  • We have used this Graco Sound Machine since the day we brought Walker home from the hospital. Our small house does us no favors in the noise department, so this has been a lifesaver -- and even more so now that Walker is older and is more attuned to what's going on around him {or without him}. Yes, my child has major FOMO like his mama! 
  • Teething, we aren't friends. Seriously, what is it about teething that can make your super sweet child turn into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a matter of minutes?! Either way, I'm not a fan, and I'm sure Walker isn't, either. We have all kinds of teething toys, but he really loves these Nuby Teething Keys. They're easy for him to handle, and he has multiple ones to chew on and keep his interest. 
  • Pottying is a relatively new subject in our house, so I can't speak much to it, but I will say that this potty is great! It includes a traditional potty seat, a removable seat that sits on an adult toilet {that you can travel with}, and also acts as a step-stool if you use the latter. It's only 4 pounds, too, so definitely lightweight and easy to maneuver around.
  • I found these free printable flash cards from Mr. Printables after searching on Pinterest, and then had them laminated at Office Max. This is such a great site and has free printable flash cards for almost everything: alphabet {in English, French, Portuguese, German and Danish}; sight words; animals; fruits & vegetables; days & months; emotions; Earth vocabulary; kitchen vocabulary; numbers; math; 3D shapes; regular shapes; and colors. And it's all free! 

3 comments:

  1. Have you seen those silicone things that are a placemat and plate in one and they suction to the table? I'm intrigued by those. Not that we're there yet. Putting some of these on our Amazon wishlist! Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. I will definitely keep all these items in mind for my future babes!

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  3. I have a new niece and while she doesn't need these things quiiiiet yet, I am definitely going to remember them for when she does!

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