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7 Other Things Toddlers Don't Need

toddler activities, behavior & learning

No, a toddler doesn't need a smartphone. But you do, so it's not on the list.

Denise Schipani regrets the sippy cup. Can you blame her? They’re a ton of work to clean — especially if you’re serving milk in them — and they’re just another part of the 24/7 eating-drinking cycle that makes up the modern American kid’s life.

There are other things Schipani regrets giving her toddlers — stuff she writes about in this funny essay on Babble’s main site. It got me thinking about how there’s actually lot of stuff we’re told our toddlers need, which we could actually live without. Here are seven such things. Be sure to add your own unnecessary toddler things in comments:

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  • Special Dishware 1 of 7
    Special Dishware
    If you're worried about breakage, then special plastic plates are the way to go. But if you've got limited space or you just don't want to bother with miniature spoons or sectioned off plates, you don't have to. Unless the adults in your home are using shovels as flatware and limited edition china, your toddler will be fine with what everyone else is using. Well, not that steak knife.
  • Toddler bed 2 of 7
    Toddler bed
    It's a nice transitional piece, especially if you're not quite settled in your forever home. But many a toddler as made the leap (often literally!) from the crib to a standard twin-size. Just add railings as needed.
  • Clothes 3 of 7
    Clothes
    Hear me out! Your toddler needs clothes, of course. But they grow so fast at this age they don't need new clothes. Lucky toddlers are sandwiched, size-wise, between a somewhat larger and somewhat smaller friend, making for a constant stream of the next size up and a place to deposit whatever has been recently outgrown.
  • Mommy & Me Classes 4 of 7
    Mommy & Me Classes
    If you're looking for something to do or to meet other parents with like-aged toddlers, Mommy & Me classes can be great. But if you're too busy or not interested, you're off the hook. Toddlers often like these classes. But need them? Not even a little bit.
  • Preschool 5 of 7
    Preschool
    Monica laid out the reasons she's not sending her toddler off to daycare/preschool. And they can be your reasons, too! Most education experts agree, some kind of preschool just before starting Kindergarten is helpful, but our toddlers are still young and that's years away. A quality preschool is a gift for those families who want or need it. But it's not a necessity -- not at 2 or even 3.
  • The Ability to Read 6 of 7
    The Ability to Read
    There are programs and gadgets and even educational curriculum that promise to teach your toddler to read. While they explain how, others ask: why? Why should a toddler learn to read? Some do, but it's not a necessity and your illiterate toddler is not falling behind. What's important: books everywhere and someone to read them.
  • Toddler Foods 7 of 7
    Toddler Foods
    Foods designed, packaged and sold especially for toddlers are convenient -- and can turn a miserable plane ride into a tolerable one (trust us on this). But they're not a stepping stone in the eating development timeline. You can skip the dehydrated fruits and jarred hot dogs if you're so inclined and never notice a difference.

And be sure to check out Monica’s defense of no toddler preschool.

And my piece on foods to avoid giving toddlers (even on official plastic toddler plates!)

Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Top image: Source

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