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:
Stroller 1 of 8We 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
Diaper Bag 2 of 8It's a liberating day when you realize that you don't need need to carry a diaper bag any longer. I use a pretty big purse, so I just throw a diaper and a few wipes in there and I'm good to go. We also keep an extra set of clothes in car, in case we need them when we're out and about.
Photo Credit: marioanima/flickr
Pacifier 3 of 8Okay, this one stems from personal experience. Although both our kids used pacis, we let our daughter keep hers until she was a few months after her third birthday, and we took our son's away when he was 18 months old. We found that it was much easier for our son to adjust because he was younger, and our daughter had a much harder time because she had used hers through her toddler years. She started sucking her thumb instead, and still sucks it, which is a much harder habit to break! If our third baby uses a paci, we will make sure we break her from it before she gets too attached as a toddler!
Photo Credit: dospaz/flickr
Changing Table 4 of 8There comes a point in a babe's life that they become too big, to wiggly, and too heavy to lift up onto a changing table and the floor, couch, bed or other low and flat surface becomes the preferred place for changing diapers, rendering the classic changing table unecessary.
Photo Credit: trenttsd/flickr
Toys with Batteries 5 of 8They seem cool and engaging to a toddler for about twenty seconds, and your kid will certainly be drawn to these types of toys in the store. But, then all that happens is those toys get really annoying, and eventually left in the corner while your toddler makes his own toys out of items from your kitchen drawer.
Photo Credit: Amazon
High Chair 6 of 8A high chair seems like a necessity for a young toddler who is starting solids and learning to feed himself. But we found that high chairs are just big and bulky, and can be really hard to clean. A booster chair at the table works just as well, if not better. It allows your child to join you at the table for meals, and the table is infinitely easier to wipe off then all of the cracks and crevices of a high chair.
Photo Credit: andrewmalone/flickr
Onesies 7 of 8I don't really understand the need for onesies in sizes any larger than 12 months. A two-year old does not need to wear a onesie. They are just annoying to put on, get in the way if you're trying to do any kind of potty training, and seem uncomfortable for the child. Skip the onesies and just use regular t-shirts.
Photo Credit: Cafe Press
Sleep Blankets 8 of 8Although young children may still have trouble keeping their blankets on them at night, once a toddler is walking, sleep blankets just seem to get in their way. I have heard of some people though who use them to deter their child from climbing out of their crib. Knowing my kids, they would still try to climb out and just end up getting caught, or falling and banging their head on the floor!
Photo Credit: Amazon
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?