Today I thought I'd share with you some of the useful bits and bobs that we have for our little girl who turned two in January! These are just some things that have allowed us to move away from thinking of her as a 'baby' (along with all of the equipment we have been so used to!) and more towards a full-blown toddler! Hope you enjoy!
We finally made the leap from the main travel system pushchair we had, into a smaller, more compact buggy! We were reluctant to make the change only really due to getting the most out of our Silvercross travel system. We didn't feel it was necessary to make the change when we could still get use out of it but when the mechanism kept failing us when it came to taking the pushchair down, we gave up and invested in a more streamline model! I absolutely love this. It cost us £49.99 when we bought it...it's now back up to £99.99 but I'd definitely shop around if you like this one as the price varied everywhere you looked! It is so light and so compact, easy to steer-even one-handed, I am really impressed. It comes with the rain cover and you are able to recline it so that your little one can sleep if they wish. Online reviews were very mixed, as with all of the models we looked at and it was one of those items I think we just had to see how it worked for us. I don't think it will last us years, but then we hopefully won't need it for years! But for what we now use it for, as our little one wants to walk everywhere, it does the job. We also bought it with travelling abroad in mind too, we wanted something that was easier to manage but that was still comfortable to sit in or sleep in if needed. I have had no problems so far and love, love, love it!
Our Mother-in-law let us borrow one of these backpacks that she had bought to use with our little one when she looked after her...needless to say, it never went back! We loved it! It was perfect for the stage she is at. She doesn't need a full nappy bag anymore, there is just enough room for a couple of nappies, wipes, a drink and a snack....and even a very special cuddly toy and dummy that have to still go everywhere with her! The link above doesn't go to this exact one but one that is very similar. Our daughter loves the independence of having her own little backpack, the pocket at the front is where she likes to keep her little toys and the detachable rein is great if you need your child to be a little closer to you when they are getting to grips with their walking. Highly recommended...whether I will still only use this when potty training time comes I'm not sure...extra clothes may not fit in! But for now, it is perfect!
3. Potty training equipment!
4. Reward chart
If you have a little toddler you will know that they can be very trying! We decided we would start a reward chart with our little one pretty soon. I wanted her to be used to it before we started potty training and she loves the idea of being rewarded with a sticker and then completing a full row means she gets a little treat. Don't get me wrong, we still have many trying times but it is working really well for us and she is now nearly 2 and a half. I just bought this one from Asda and it was only £1.60. It comes with loads of stickers and you can easily peel them off and start a row again when needed. At first, we started to be quite generous but then we held back and only used them to help with her behaviour or to get her to take responsibility for tidying her toys etc. We are still getting to grips with it but it is working for us so far!
5. Bed guard and gate
It's also 'big bed' time! I feel like the age of two is a time of many transitions! Some of which we have been prepared to make for a little while but life has taken over and now they are things on our 'to do' list! Our daughter has never tried to climb out of her cot but she is quite petite so I'm not sure she would attempt it anyway! However, I definitely feel like she is ready to have a bed now. She still has plenty of room but I just feel it is time. Trying to convince her Daddy has been harder than I thought! Anyway, we are prepared for when we do make the change. We bought another safety gate as we currently only have one at the bottom of the stairs. We are planning to put this on her room so she can get out of bed but not create mischief anywhere else before we get up!! We have bought another of the Lindam Sure Shut safety gates. We have found this works in our house and little hands can't work it out...not yet anyway! We also went for the BabyDan Wooden Bed Guard in white. This is a bit more expensive than your average bed guard but a friend recommended it who has the same cot bed as us. She had quite a bit of trouble with other bed guards fitting so we thought we'd just go for this one straight away! So....we're all ready when the time comes...
6. Numbers and Letters Puzzles
I cannot believe what our daughter learns on a daily basis! It is mad. We actually bought these items for her first Christmas as she was almost 1 but she is now able to not only do the puzzle unaided but start to pick up on her numbers and letters. We have also bought her countless sticker books and books that are continuing to help her with this but I love a good wooden toy. I'm old-fashioned like that! These were from Sainsbury's (Alphabet puzzle - can't find the number one sorry!) and were on offer when we bought them, in fact, they are often on offer so keep a look out if you fancy getting some for your little one or for a great gift.
7. Toys to spark the imagination!
Most of the above toys we bought our little one for Christmas or her birthday. How she plays with them though has really developed over the past few months. We love everything Disney in this house and so I was so excited to buy her the Disney 'Little People' Palace and the figurines. It is so sweet to now watch her put her Princesses to bed and get them out to have dinner together. Sitting watching her imagination when playing with them is fascinating and makes my heart melt on a daily basis! We also bought her an IKEA kitchen (apologies, can't find the link on their website) as anywhere we went before Christmas that had a kitchen, we struggled to get away from! Once again, it has really helped her imagination to develop. She will often play with her dolls, 'cook' us dinner, 'bake' cakes and 'make' us a cup of tea. The other toy that she has really loved playing with has been a doctors bag. In this case it was the Doc McStuffins bag but she also has a Fisher Price one too. She will actually pull this out and look after us if we are a bit under the weather and it can't help but make you smile. I'd definitely recommend toys that toddlers are able to play with on their own and help them to develop their imagination at this age.
8. Picture Books
We have always had story time as part of our bedtime routine but I've definitely noticed a change in what our daughter enjoys reading over the past few months. She still loves her touchy-feely books and lift-the-flap books but she loves a good story now. One of our absolute favourites recently has been 'Barry the fish with fingers!' by Sue Hendra. I think we can all recite it without having it in front of us! Definitely recommend it. It can be hard to find the right length of books as some of the picture books can be quite long. A series like The Gruffalo can also be great as the rhyme makes the story seem a lot shorter and keeps them engaged for the time it takes to read it. Another of our faves!
There we go! Those are my current favourites or essentials for our little two-year old! Every child develops at their own rate and may potty train earlier or move into a big bed later, but I hope it has been helpful to perhaps prepare for this age! This is my first child so I am definitely learning as I go. Please feel free to mention any favourites that you may have below for your little toddlers and I will be back with another post soon!
Thanks for reading!