I don't know about you, but the day Ava turned ONE, I felt like her needs started changing quickly. She was fully transitioning to solid foods, ditching the bottle and becoming a lot more mobile. So, as I was packing away the nine-month clothes and the formula, I was also adding a few new items to my mommy tool belt.
So for this special blog post, I've teamed up with one of my favorite mom-bloggers - Lindsay Pettit! She is a local SoCal mama to two adorable little girls (below), so she also knows a thing or two about the toddler-transition!
We thought it would be fun to each share our must-have products - so you'll read mine first and then follow the link at the bottom of this post to read Lindsay's half (and also be sure to check out some of her other blog posts - this mama has tons of tips and great ideas to help, well, keep mama life simple)!
Alright, let's get started! I'm linking each title and image to the item, in case you want to add to your products-that-make-mom-life-a-heck-of-a-lot-easier arsenal!
1. Transition Sippy Cup ($8) & Insulated Thermos with Straw ($16) - This is technically two but they fall in the same category and both were awesome for us while transitioning Ava away from the bottle! This transition sippy cup, called the NUK Active Cup was the only thing Ava would take after the bottle. She refused countless other cups... (someone should really start a sippy cup rental company because Ava's rejects are now collecting dust in my cupboards).
The insulated thermos is perfect when taking milk on-the-go because it will keep the contents cold for 10 hours! But when we aren't out and about, it also makes for a great all-day water cup. I fill it with ice water at the start of the day and keep it in her play area for the occasional water break.
2. See Kai Run Shoes ($45) - Now that we have a walker, we needed some real shoes with some real soles. A fellow mom-friend recommended these shoes, and swore that when her daughter started wearing them, she also started walking! Now this may have just been a coincidence, BUT there is something to be said for a pair of toddler kicks with a flexible sole, designed with healthy foot development in mind. Now I'm sounding like I work for them (I don't), and these are a little pricy (more than I like to spend on my own shoes... sorta) BUT they are worth every penny and Ava wears them *almost* every day.
3. Bento Box (leak-proof) ($14) - One of the biggest adjustments as we transitioned into toddlerhood has been the food. I had a really hard time letting go of the bottle, and the ease of formula (everything she needs packed into a drink that she loves!) All of the meal prep, chopping, and having to sit down somewhere so she can eat - even if we are out and about... Gah, why does my sweet little baby have to turn into a child who eats three meals a day?!? All kidding aside, I wanted something that would make daily meal prep easier.
I found this cute little bento box on Amazon; It is much cheaper than traditional bento boxes, and just as cute. I love that it has little leak-proof compartments so I can prep two servings of each thing I'm feeding Ava for lunch, and then easily serve the second half for dinner! It is also perfect for trips to Disneyland or the zoo because I can throw it in a little cooler with an ice pack, and we are ready to eat whenever. I have recommended this to countless other friends, and those who got it now swear by it too!
4. Sticky Placemats ($14 for 66 mats) - I'll keep this short. These are a necessity for us. I keep a couple in my diaper bag at all times. Plastic disposable placemats that you can stick to any table (restaurant table, picnic table, etc.), so your kid has a clean eating surface, and you won't be leaving a trail of broken restaurant dishes and gunky tables behind. Just unstick, roll it up and toss it when you leave.
5. DockATot Grand ($300) - It is no secret that we are DockATot enthusiasts around these parts. This thing was the ONLY thing our newborn would sleep in during those first few trying months. We ended up moving it into her crib at three months, and because she was already used to it in her basinet, she didn't skip a beat when we relocated her to her own space, because she was still in her cozy Dock.
Fast forward a year, and little Ava has outgrown her DockATot Deluxe (we removed it from her crib at around six months -- more on this in another sleep-related post), and grown right into the DockATot Grand. This is her favorite spot to lounge while watching a movie and it's so cute to see her kickback in her own special spot. Sidenote: prior to getting the larger DockATot, Ava's only place to 'lounge' was on the dog bed... this is a little more sanitary and a more popular solution with our furriest family member.
6. Bitsy Box ($40) - Okay so this is a bonus one, and not a *necessity* as much as it is a fun way to keep up with your little one's changing needs and interests, through all of the baby-to-toddler stages! This is a new subscription box (it's currently available for preorder) that I got to try and review, and I'm already signing up to receive my next one! You enter in your child's birth date, and then Bitsy Box will tailor that month's box with products for your little one's age!
This month, we received an animal themed box, complete with a 'Brown Bear' puzzle, Animal Babies book, mini travel bento box, a cute inch worm toy, and even some fun nail polishes for me!
So that's my half -- now click HERE to read the rest!
There really is a baby gadget for everything, and you definitely DON'T need it all (I know, I know, our parents brought us up on much less and we turned out fine). BUT, the way I see it, why not incorporate something new that might make the craziness of life with kiddos a little bit easier? These things did that for us, so we wanted to share our favorites with the hope they'll do the same for you!