The word toddler is derived from the phrase 'to toddle' which means to walk unsteadily (cue to baby penguins waddling). And as the little ones learn to master new things in life, parents naturally invest in as many products to help make their transition into toddlerhood as smooth as possible. Hence, the market for toddler products is always up for grabs. But are all the products really necessary? Do they truly aid in stimulating our children?
With that being said, congratulations! You have just survived 12 months of harrowing days and nights of baby spit ups, soiled diapers, baby pee, and endless gnawing and teething. Your baby is now one year old. One year old! Wow! Didn't think you could survive motherhood with your sanity intact for that long, did you? Well, you have and you deserve a pat on the back. Pat. Pat.
And now that baby is finally one, you have finally joined the ranks of mommies to toddlers. Level up ladies. This marks a whole new level of milestones and a great number of 'first times' to come. Let's break down 20 of the latest products in the market that are selling like hot cakes. Let's see how many of these products you have already ticked off in your 'must have' list.
20 getting them a little Toddler Walker
These are exciting times. Your child is finally learning how to walk that is if he or she hasn't already mastered the are of waddling around the house yet). Experts agree that toddlers generally learn to stand straight and walk unaided between 12 to 18 months of age. So now would be the best time to invest in a good solid walker to help your little one explore the house on two legs instead of crawling on all fours.
The walker can help promote your child's interest in walking with all the interesting little gadgets that come with it. Most of the walkers come in a colorful assortment and are usually accompanied by plush toys attached to them. Some walker products even come with music, while others have push buttons to activate pop up toys. Children these days, they or rather we, the parents) are spoilt for choice.
19 their very own Toothbrush And Toothpaste
Check your baby's mouth and you might just be surprised to see a lot more teeth in them than you initially expected. At times, the growth of their molars can catch us by surprise. And with all the baby teeth sprouting out, we will really need to invest in a good pair of toothbrush and toothpaste.
Nope, don't even think of using big brother or big sister's bristles as they can be slightly hard for a one-year-old's gums. Look for toothbrushes that are produced specifically for one year old's and shop for a toothpaste that is fluoride and sugar-free.
We want to clean their teeth, not rot them.
18 a much-needed Bedrail
So little John/Jane is finally being upgraded to sleep in a children's bed. No more bed cribs for them to scale out of this time. But being toddlers, they will toss, turn and end up in all sorts of sleeping position so it would be best to buy a bed rail, just in case they roll off the bed at night.
There are a plethora of bed rails available in the market ranging from wooden to plastic and netted ones. Parents usually opt for the netted ones as they are softer and will thus create fewer knocks and bumps on their children.
The downside though is that netted ones tend to trap more dust so more thorough cleaning will be required. Look at the pros and cons and weigh in which bed rail suits your child's bed more before you invest in one. These can truly be a lifesaver for our little ones.
17 getting them started on Baby Potties
The time has finally come to start weaning your child off diapers. Yay, pop the champagne!
But before you start celebrating, know that there will be many 'accidents' with potty training before your toddler finally becomes diaper free. There will be countless spills of poops and pee on the floor before you claim victory, so keep your champagne in the cellar first.
To encourage our kids to accept the potty instead of the oh so convenient diaper), we should look for an ergonomic and comfortable one. Look for one with a sturdy base that allows your child to sit comfortably while they answer nature's call. As they will be learning to control their bladder and bowel movements, they will likely be spending a lot of time sitting on the potty.
So it would be best to get one that allows them to play while they go about answering nature's call. Some potties come with covers that allow them to act as a chair while others come with removable tables. So take your pick. In fact, have your little try sitting on a few of the potties to test them out before buying them. After all, a potty is to them like what a car is to us. It has got to have the 'right feel'.
16 Boosting them up with a brand new Chair
Toddlerhood allows our kids to graduate from the baby high chair and finally join the big leagues of booster chairs.
These booster chairs come in all kinds of designs, from the conventional cushion booster seat they look like normal squarish polyethylene cushions with seat belts that can be secured to dining chairs. The cheapest of the lot and also the most popular choice among moms) to plastic booster seats that come with removable trays. Some are even of foldable and portable types that allow you to bring along for road trips or picnics.
15 Allowing them some reach with Step Stools
At about one year old, your toddler's level of curiosity would have peaked way above that of Mount Everest. They will naturally be curious about what goes on at the top of the kitchen table, dining tables, dressing tables, etc.
In short, they will want to see and know what the heck mummy and daddy are hiding on top of tables and shelves that they cannot see and reach. They will also want to be able to grab things off the table top themselves. So what better way to let them explore safely than to invest in a sturdy step stool. You can double it as a mini ladder for yourself to reach the top of the bookshelf too.
14 making life a little easier with a Faucet Extender
At around this time, parents need to start instilling in them the importance of hygiene. Toddlers need to know they should wash their hands before a meal and after. Just wait until you see their little faces light up when they get to splash some water at the sink.
You can even keep them occupied with their toy boats at the sink while you rush to complete your chores. Therefore, it would be wise to invest in a faucet extender. That way you won't have to worry about having to check your toddler every other minute in case they try to climb on top of the sink just to wash their hands.
13 time to get those Training Pants on
With potty training comes the need for training pants. These training pants serve as an insurance during the arduous process of your child learning to poop and pee in a designated hole aka the bathroom toilet).
With a multitude of choices for training pants, parents have to weigh which training pants best suit their needs. Should they opt for disposable ones definitely more convenient but more costly and less environmentally friendly) and the cloth trainers basically like a big kids' underwear but with a triple layer of fabric at the crotch area to absorb trickles of pee).
While they may seem to function similarly to diapers, these training pants will only hold a certain amount of moisture (aka the pee) before the rest of the volume trickles out.
This way, our children will be able to feel a slight discomfort and quickly head for the nearest bathroom or potty.
12 Washable Bibs will be the best investment ever
Toddlers are messy eaters. You'd think the way they keep asking you for food that they'd shove everything straight into their mouths. Instead, half --if not more--of the food you give them usually ends up either on the floor, their hands, legs, body and even hair.
It doesn't matter if you personally feed them, the food will still somehow make its way to parts unknown. So we implore you to buy bibs. They will save you a lot of hassle from having to wash food stains off their clothes later on.
Bips come in many different types but the ones that are more economically and ergonomically friendly would be the plastic/silicone washable bibs. These bibs can be used over and over again and can also be rolled up to be brought outdoors in case the family intends to dine out.
11 keeping things a little cleaner with Drawing Pads
Toddlers are most creative at this age. Give them a paper and they might just surprise you with an art worthy of Van Gogh's museum. The only thing that we should worry about is our little ones chewing on crayons and licking the watercolors. Yum yum, they might not be but our toddlers' taste buds can be rather unusual at this age.
So to enable them to explore their creative side safely, why not buy a drawing pad? You can either invest heavily on a smart tablet that comes with drawing pad apps, which is not actually recommended as the light from the smart tablets is not good for our children's eyes. Alternatively, you can buy the simple but popular magnetic drawing pad. Let your child's imagination soar as they draw and sketch over and over again on the pads.
10 getting them used to Sippy Cups
Remember when they were babies and would always be mesmerized by your mug or cup? Their eyes would be hooked whenever they see you take a gulp from the glass. Sometimes they would even try to grab your glass and mimic you drinking.
So now that they've turned one, what better way to let them act like an adult than to give them a sippy cup? Once they've mastered the sippy cups then they will be able to move on to ordinary cups and you can breathe a sigh of relief. No more washing the baby bottles and sippy tips with those annoying brush bristles.
9 letting them have some fun with a Push Car
Kids love being mobile, it gives them a sense of adrenaline rush, kind of how we feel when we take our car for a spin and do the drift.
So gifting them with a push car or rocking toy can send them to cloud nine. They can be entertained for hours just by pushing the toy car around the house or garden or rocking the toy horse back and forth. Look for toy cars and rocking products that can carry the weight of toddlers to at least up to 36 months.
You wouldn't want to keep buying a new one every year just to accommodate their increasing weight unless you belong to an obscenely rich family like the Kardashians or the Beckhams -- heh, then that would be a whole different story.
8 encourage their brain power with Lots of Puzzles
The synapses of a toddler's brain start to multiply at an incredible speed and this allows a child to absorb information like a sponge. Hence, children will be naturally curious as they try to learn and master as many things as possible.
To stimulate the growth of their brains, we could buy puzzles (no, not the 1000 pieces of boring puzzle pieces that could put you to sleep halfway through) for them to put together. These puzzles can range from the stackable ring types, shape sorter blocks, squishy go puzzle boxes to the Einstein box.
7 getting them excited about A Brand New Crib or Bed
A baby will eventually outgrow his or her crib and will need a whole new bed to cater for their ever-increasing body size, weight, and length. So now might be a good time to start shopping for a new bed.
There are plenty of toddler beds available on the market. Some are of the extendable types where you can increase the length of the bed as the child grows into rebellious teenagers while others are basically adult beds with limitless number of designs and colors.
You get the ever-popular pull out beds (in case your child has a habit of rolling off the bed), the bunk bed with storage or study table to the conventional single sized bed with colorful designs. Choose your pick. The choices are as wide as the sea.
6 Upgrading to Board books
Board books provide wonderful visuals for our little ones as they introduce them to an array of vibrant and colorful pictures and more importantly instill in them the love of reading.
These books come in thick paperboards that prevent them from being torn apart or be spoilt by our little ones' nibbles. Some come with flaps and pull outs while others have a variety of fabrics and textures to help further engage our child's interest in the books.
A number of publishers even add in push buttons that animate the sound of animals and vehicles. Methinks kids these days are way too privileged.
5 Baby Proofing with Outlet Covers
Curiosity wasn't too nice on the cat and it can be just as fatal (knock on wood) for our little ones. This is a time and age where they will spend many hours exploring their surroundings and anything (literally anything) that is mobile or clicks will be of interest to them.
And it just so happens that switches and power outlets intrigue them in a way no other household products do. See a power outlet and they will make a beeline for it so always install a socket cover protector at any outlets that you can possibly find around the house.
These covers can be found easily at any departmental or electrical stores around you so fret not about having any difficulty in locating them. Just make sure they are of good quality and do not easily come off when your child pulls at them.
4 investing in Safety Gates
Socket outlets aren't the only safety hazards in the house. You also need to look out for the staircase and any other rooms that the little ones should not enter. Bar them from entering restricted areas using safety gates.
This will save you and them many tears in the near future. Safety gates are generally divided into two types: the pressure mounted ones designed to squeeze into any size of doorways or hallways and are therefore extremely versatile and sturdy but not exactly very strong.
The second type is the hardware mounted ones, which require some drilling into the doorways and hallways. A lot of work but is considered the sturdiest and therefore safest one of the lot. So choose a proper safety gate depending on the kind of barrier you require.
3 setting up a new Playpen
Most moms literally live on this. The playpen. They can simply dump (in a loving and gentle manner of course) their toddler in the playpen, throw in a few of their favorite toys or switch on the TV and quickly finish cleaning up the house, do the laundry, take a quick shower or even cook a meal. Playpens can be a lifesaver at times like these. Even dads like them. Have the child play with daddy's socks or beard while daddy lays down in the playpen and snore away. It's like killing two birds with one stone. As with all the other products for toddlers, there are a great variety of playpens one can choose from, from the plastic playpens to the wooden ones to the mesh play yards. And some playpens even come with extra features like activity bars and integrated lights and sounds. It'll be like a toddler version of a nightclub.
2 Don't overlook the Rubber Bath Mat
At one year old, your child will spend twice as much time in the bathtub than when he or she was a child. Throw in a rubber duckie or a toy boat and you will be rewarded with endless squeals and giggles.
And because of the longer duration spent soaking in the tub, chances of them moving and wriggling around will be much more. Hence it would be best to place a rubber bath mat at the base to prevent slip-ups and choking of water.
They may love the water but they are still no Michael Phelps.
Bath mats can be placed in tubs as well as on the bathroom floor as they have a number of miniature suction cups to prevent the mats from sliding around so we can rest our laurels and let the little ones play in the tubs for as long as possible.
1 Delving into More Fashionable And Durable Clothes
When they were babies, we would mostly dress them in rompers. Some of us even had our little ones wear hand me downs from big brother or sister regardless of their gender. I mean, who can tell if little Jane was a girl or a boy at 3 months. Let her wear big brother John's baby romper.
But, aha, there's a major "but" to this one. Now that they are one, it is high time to invest in more fashionable attires. All the pretty little dresses and tutus -- oh and not to forget the ripped jeans and preppy boy clothes. Ballerina pumps and colorful sneakers -- the choices are endless.
You could dress them up differently every day and have a mini fashion show! Fret not about burning a hole in your pocket though as many of the pants and skirts come with adjustable bands to accommodate the growth of a child's waist. Some of them even come with foldable pants, so you can fold them up or down depending on the kind of look you want and cater to the ever increasing height of your child.
And recently, word has it that a Chinese website sells amazingly fashionable toddler clothing at dirt cheap prices.
You'd have to rub your eyes twice just to make sure you didn't read the price wrong.
References: Care.com, Taobao, and Parenting.com.