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8 Things You Think You Need For a Toddler, That You Really Don't

By Emily |

I’m sure you remember when you were pregnant with your first baby and you made the trip to the baby store to register.  They give you a list of things to register for, and there ends up being a whole lot of stuff that you think you just have to have. And then you get all that stuff and never end up using half of it.

You realize the things you thought were so essential, weren’t really necessary after all.

I have found the same thing to be true for toddler gear. There are a lot of things you might think you need for your toddler, whether because someone told you that you do, or they’re on some “Most Popular Toddler Products” list, or you’ve just gotten in the habit of using them for your baby, and now that your baby is a toddler, you’re not sure how you can stop using them.

Now that we’re on our second toddler, we’ve figured out those things that are helpful and essential for us, and those things that just aren’t. This list will probably look different for every family, because, of course, every kid and every family is different. But, I’m going to argue that these things are just really non-essentials, and in fact, often more annoying than they are helpful, in raising a toddler.

Here are eight things we’ve decided we really don’t need for our toddler:

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Toddler Products You Don't Need


We went on a kick of selling off our stuff last summer, and then all the sudden I realized we'd sold all of our strollers, and we still had a two-year old. But, I've found that a stroller is really not necessary for us. Most of the time, Bren likes to walk and have his independence. I have used a leash with him at times when he was prone to running away, and many stores offer carts he can easily sit in. I will say that we do still have a double jogging stroller/bike trailer that my husband will take the kids running in, or we use when we go on family bike rides, but it's too big and bulky to use for regular, everyday stroller needs.
Photo Credit: Graham and Shelia/flickr

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I’ll share our favorite toddler products, those things that we’ve found to be essential and really helpful in making the toddler years just a little bit easier.

What’s on your list of non-essential toddler gear?

Emily writes about green and natural living at Live Renewed.
Follow Emily on Facebook and Twitter for updates!

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What were they thinking?! The most age-inappropriate toddler gear
8 outdoor toys your toddler will love
15 things NOT to do with your toddler
18 awesome homemade toys for toddlers
14 things I’ll miss most about the toddler years


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About Emily



Emily McClements is passionate about caring for creation while saving money at the same time. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family's journey toward natural and green living on a budget at Live Renewed. Read bio and latest posts → Read Emily's latest posts →

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18 thoughts on “8 Things You Think You Need For a Toddler, That You Really Don't

  1. Janssen says:

    I still love onesies for my almost 2 year old for pajamas. It’s just really warm during the summer here and it keeps her from taking off her diaper.

  2. Meagan says:

    My 1 year old was wearing size 18-24 months at 9 months, so we’ll hang on to the big onesies thanks! Besides, I think onesies and rompers are really nice for crawling kids so the “shirt” doesn’t ride up their belly while they’re wiggling around, and some kids don’t walk until quite late.

  3. bethanne says:

    I so agree on the high chair – ours is in storage.

    On the other hand, the onesies are AWESOME. You know those nightmare stories about moms walking in to naptime with poop smeared all over the wall & the diaper half-way across the room? Can’t happen with a onesie ;)

  4. Ruby O says:

    We went straight from breast to sippy cup. When she started solids, we used a Bumbo with removable tray.she is 15 months and sits fine so often we just go for booster seats at restaurants. We got a package of onesies at the shower for 24 months and I thought it was silly, too.

  5. Alison says:

    Hmm, different strokes. I am just starting to enjoy half of the things on this list with my almost 2 year old. We are using the stroller now (we used to use a carrier) for walks with her. The highchair is a great trap so she learns to sit there for dinner (it is a greater challenge to keep her seated in the booster) and it is easier to clean up than the chair seat. Our LO is potty trained, but I have kept the backpack I use as a diaper bag around for sunscreen, extra outfits, mop up materials, snacks, whatever.

    I haven’t used a onesie on her since she was 6 mos old though. I hated those things since I ECed her.

  6. miranda says:

    When my toddler turned 18 months…….. he started picking poop out of his diaper and smearing it, so there was a time when he LIVED in these things… I love onsies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate poop art…

  7. Amira says:

    In NYC, you need a stroller or something to keep your toddler close. I’m in Texas at the moment and I still use the stroller.

  8. Kate says:

    I have a 2 1/2 year old, and we don’t use any of the items on this list! We got rid of her high chair at 15 months bc she was using it as a jungle gym..never used a pacifier…and she is now potty trained, making onesies, diaper bags and changing tables obsolete. We still have a stroller, but I haven’t used it in months. We also took down her crib and now she sleeps on the mattress on the floor. I don’t plan on getting her a regular bed until she is around 3 1/2…

  9. Lu says:

    I’m one of these moms who still dresses her 20 month old toddler in onesies under everything. On warm nights when the ac never seems to be cool enough, they’re his pjs. On almost any other time, they’re under wteve he wears. Toddlers move around alot and their torsos get exposed. I lost count of the no of times I walked into my son’s class to find some of the kids running around with their tummies all out, one child even takes off her top! When the kids are playing out on a hot day or with water, the onsie is perfect! And it definately doesn’t ride up when my son’s asleep. We no longer use the travel system stroller we paid $$$ for, now we have the umbrella strollers and have used them for a yr. My son loves taking long walks with us and the umbrella stroller works good for us. I agree with the booster/space saver high much less room and much easier to clean. We can’t wait til we no longer need the paci!

  10. steph says:

    My son just turned 18 months and I still use a stroller, onesies, sleep sacks, a change table (I find getting down on the ground to change his diaper a huge pain – but I’m also 7.5 months pregnant and getting down anywhere is tough!). I do try to avoid the diaper bag when I can though! Definitely to each their own.

  11. Tyffani E. says:

    I disagree about the diaper bag. I LOVE ours. I’d be lost without it! I don’t like lugging around our big stroller but I love the umbrella stroller!

  12. Tina says:

    I agree on some of them but I use my jogging stroller everyday (literally every day even days i dont jog) with my1.5 year old and will for at least another year and a half. I also keep a bag of some sort until my child is school age for wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen etc. and I use my high chair till around 2-2.5 years. (this is my third child btw) :) but that’s what works for me.

  13. CMDJsMommy says:

    LO is a 14mo old BOY (noise with dirt on it), so we definitely still use our high chair and stroller. He is a total bink-a-holic; we’ve got at least 2 dozen. We stopped using onesies around 6 months, except the super cute first holiday ones they have at Target; we have a few, maybe 6, that fit now that we only wear if it’s hot. We’re all about the backpack tho, I like to be prepared for everything. Most of our diaper changing happens on our bed, and we really only use the changing table for super yucky diapers. Totally agree about the toys with batteries thing tho. The kid loves balls, bowls, books and stuffed animals.

    We never used the baby bath tub tho, moved from the sink to the tub with mommy.

  14. tegen says:

    I was looking for a onesis for a 3 year old one time as a swim suit. $6 onesis is a lot better then a $20 swim suit. I hate strollers the one we had was hard to get in and out of the car. I gave up and only used it when i went to the zoo or something one of the kids walked really slow. If i need to hurry I just picked him up his sister moved a lot faster. The high chair got replaced with a booster seat the first time i had to clean it. most booster seats now have straps to hold kids in about half of them can be strapped down to just about any chair. There also really portable so a trip to the park with one is really easy.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I would like to say I agree with the onsies. Both my boys stopped wearing onsies some where around 9 months to a year. And by the way if your child really wants to smear his poop or take his diaper off. The will even with a onsie. Both my kids did.

  16. valerie says:

    I agreen with all of these except the stroller and onsies. Since you already have the stroller it is not really like its an extra expense anyway. I did sell my big stroller that the car seat attached to, and now just use the umbrella stroller. It works perfect when we walk to park. I let my son walk there and then he plays and usually falls asleep in the stroller on the walk home! Now that he is potty trained (2 1/2) I have quit using onsies, but up until now I have loved them. They are great for around the house, under sweat suits, under pajamas etc. They were the one thing he was not able to take off! lol For battery toys my son and I have a system. I let him play with them in the store, he gets sick of one and plays with another. By the time we leave he is bored with the toy again and does not mind leaving it behind! Saves me a ton lol and he still gets to play with the toys :-)

  17. Lisa says:

    I agree with all of these. I have a 16 month old in the throws of potty training and I hate the onesies for anything! As far as nap time, I just put a pair of training pants or a cotton dipaer cover on her that we have over her diaper. That seems to works just fine in deterring her from ripping off her diaper during naps in the summer weather.

  18. sarah says:

    we stopped using all of these at around 15 months except the sleep sak we use one every night but the big kid ones with leg holes

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