The time has come once again to round up the items I have found the most useful during this phase of Miss Willow’s life.
I have done a few others of these that you can read here: Pregnancy, new born, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months.
As Willow has ventured into ttoddlerhoodI have found we need both more and less stuff. Its an interesting place to be in and it feels very transitional to me. I must say that I’m a little surprised by how much in on my must have list!
Grab some tea, this is a long post!
Not much has changed here. We still use the same tools and have made a few simple tweaks as we go. The standard stuff we enjoy: the iPad with the White Noise app (we love this one) and sleeping bags (I have written a whole post on these here). On to the new things
Digital Monitor or Nanny Cam: I have no idea why it took us so long to get one of these! I got it from A for Christmas and believe me it is life changing! We got a Samsung Camera that is not strictly to be used as a baby monitor. I want to put them all over my house now. Just be aware of security and make sure you set it up correctly!
Spill proof water bottle: A lot of the time when Willow wakes in the night it’s because she’s thirsty. I keep a water bottle in her crib now. She will often wake up, take a few sips them go back to sleep. This is similar our one.
Crib toys: I know this is not for everyone, but it has been my experience that Willow stays in bed longer when she has a toy or two to play with. It scores me and extra 15 to 20 minutes in bed.
Night light: We have the Spoka from Ikea. This light switches off after a while. We don’t use it every night, we prefer Willow to sleep in the dark. But should we need to see in her room, or if she’s fussing it provides a nice distraction for a limited time.
I try and have Willow barefoot as much as possible, but often I need to protect her feet f rom the cold or heat. When she first started walking I loved ShooShoos. These are soft soled shoes perfect for those first steps. They are really flexible and easy to walk in. As Willow got more confident and needed warmer shoes we put her in Bobux (which are not available in SA), ShooShoo Toddler shoes and Naartjie shoes. All have barefoot technology to aid in foot development. I must admit though, I’m looking forward to warmer weather and bare feet.
A Gillet: Willow has a few of these from different shops. She has two lightweight ones from Bonds and Pick ‘n Pay, a thicker one from Naartjie and a puffer vest from Pick n Pay. IO found these essential in the cold months. I could keep her torso nice and warm but her arms were free so she could play freely. This are ideal for layering up!
Bilibo stacking cups: We have had these for a long time, but they are starting to come into their own now. These are great open end toys with a myriad of applications. They come in bright colours and different sizes. Best part? They will provide years of play. Right now Willow loves them to pour water in the bath. If you see them snap them up!
Sand/water table: We got quite a small one due to space restrictions but this has been one of the best purchases ever! In the summer Willow would play for hours with her hands in the water. Now that it’s cold she loves the sand I have filled it with. This is a must have for sure!
Plastic tubs: Speaking of storage you will need some of these. I have large 56 litre ones and I don’t regret buying them for a minute. I can store all her toys in the tubs and bring out what we need when we want it. I also get Willow to help tidy up at the end of the day. They stack neatly in the corner.
Play tent: This is a great hiding place, quiet place to sit and read, my friends son who is a year older than Willow was pretending it’s the three little pigs house. We love this tent.
Balls: Pretty self explanatory. Get them in different sizes, textures, weights, whatever you can find. Ball pit balls are also a big winner in our house. We have filled a large plastic bin with them and Willow likes to sit in it. Bonus the tub doubles as the storage solution.
Music and instruments: toddlers love music and dancing. There are plenty of good videos on Youtube with nursery rhymes, but a nice kids CD is handy as well, especially in the car! I also got Willow a music set that somes with a shaker, tambourine, drum and bells. The lid of the drum comes off and they all get stored inside. Genius.
Neurofen: This comes with a dispenser and is invaluable for little niggles, teething pain and more. There is always a bottle in my house.
Gel Cooling Pads: We’ve had a couple of scary fevers in the past few months. I discovered these cooling pads at Dischem and we used them for the first time the last time Willow had a fever. They worked like a bomb! I wouldn’t use these for run of the mill temperature spikes, but when the meds are working to bring the fever down these are brilliant!
Justine’s Baby Tissue Oil: If you live in SA get your hands on this stuff! I swear by it. It contains no mineral oil and smells delicious. Willow’s skin is amazing and we’ve had no chapped winter cheeks. Also I found this is great for teething rash.
Toddler cutlery and crockery: Willow has gotten pretty good at feeding herself. I have a few sets of melamine plates and bowls for her. Although I’m still looking for the perfect solution, what we have now works well. I really like her cutlery set which comes from Dischem. It has stainless steel for and spoon which Willow finds much easier to eat with.