Here are some things I absolutely love during Harlow’s toddler days (so far).
Harlow is inseparable from Blankie these days. I first bought it for her on a whim when she was around 11 months old (maybe?). Until then, I had to very carefully nurse/rock her to sleep, then put her down soooo carefully, so as not to wake her up. If I did wake her up, I’d have to start all over. Someone suggested this blankie, and the very first night I tried it, I put her down awake and she grabbed it, rolled right over, and went to sleep. Ever since, it has been a miracle worker! We have about 1/2 dozen of these so we are never without one! Can you spy Blankie in these recent photos? She even puts it behind her when she’s eating in her high chair so it doesn’t get dirty…
Dog Head (and assorted stuffed animals)
Harlow is HUGE into stuffed animals lately, as you can see in the sleeping photo above. But she really loves Doggie (which Chris and I call Dog Head, but is actually called Spunky Huggybuddy). She also really loves a pink stuffed kitty rattle, a white puppy with pink patches, and her lambie. She has to sleep with them all, and we literally carry these all around with us when we’re at home, plus Blankie, of course.
Cute Toothbrushes (& a healthy dose of excitement!)
Tooth brushing has been… challenging. We started off just going for it, and was met with the predictable toddler lip seal/head turn/meltdown. From there, we tried “Mommy brushes Harlow’s teeth while Harlow brushes Mommy’s teeth!” approach. That worked so-so for a while. Mostly, I’d have bleeding gums and had cleaned Harlow’s teeth a decent amount, but not great. That led to trying the, “Do you want to brush your teeth, Harlow?” which was inevitably met with a resounding “NO!”. A couple of weeks ago, on a whim (which is basically my whole parenting style, it seems), I started jumping up and down, clapping, and saying in my most excited voice, “Oh my gosh, Harlow! Do you know what time it is??? It is time to go use your My Little Pony toothbrush to brush your teeth!”. I fully expected to feel like an idiot for no good reason, but lo and behold, it worked! (For now…) Now every night before bathie, we go through the jumping up and down, squeaky excited voice routine, and Harlow literally runs into the bathroom to brush her teeth.
Straw Sippy Cups
We pretty much only use these from Target. They don’t spill, but watch out, because when the liquid starts out cold and sits out, even for a short time, the pressure of the temp change makes them leak out the straw. They are still the best I’ve found, though, and super cheap – like, less than $3 each. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to know!
Harlow’s class doesn’t eat breakfast until around 8am, and since she gets up at 6:30am, that is a long time to go without food. I try to feed her something in the morning, but she’s usually not interested in actual food, so I started making her smoothies using Pediasure and Berry Boost bottled smoothies. Half a bottle of Pediasure and fill the rest up with Berry Boost. She loves them and it gives her something to tide her over until breakfast. Now she’ll even ask for it in the morning. “Moo-ey?” with a point and an emphatic nod.
Harlow just has a very small 13 piece starter set right now, but LOVES it. And I have it on good authority that she might be getting more for Christmas… shhhh.
This girl loves to be read to. We read a TON of books every single day. She also loves to look at books herself, so the board books, as opposed to the paper page books, are essential.
Stride Rites – with Velcro
Harlow loves to put on her own shoes (and take them off, but on obstacle at a time, mmm?). We currently only wear Stride Rites, except for her “fancy boots” and winter boots. We picked that brand mostly because her feet were so small when she started walking, we had a horrible time finding “walking” shoes to fit her. The only shoes we could find with soles were Stride Rites. The rest were crib shoes, and as a walker, she would keep slipping and falling. These are pricey, but great.
MAM Coller Teether for back teeth.
I never even knew this type of teether existed, but Harlow loves this since cutting her molars. I was looking for some topical teething cream one day and saw it. This is her favorite teether. We have a dozen or so different ones that we keep on the bottom shelf of the door in the fridge. After bathie, I let her pick out a couple to take to bed with her (I think it helps her to sleep through the night… or maybe that is just wishful thinking…). She always picks this one, and usually has it with her around the house on weekends.
“Real” Toddler Forks
I don’t know how anyone expects a toddler to learn how to use a fork with a soft plastic “baby” fork! It is like giving them a spork… useless! I found these “real” forks and Harlow has been doing SO great with using a fork at mealtimes now. They are still “safe” and designed for a baby, but actually work to stab food and hold it in the tines. The soft plastic forks just squish the food, and it slides right back off, leading to a mess, and a frustrated little toddler!
Hopefully you found a new product to try out with your toddler!
Anything I should add that work for you and your little one?