Life with littlies can get out of hand, especially when it comes with all the stuff that comes with caring for them. Here, Four Under Four blogger, and mum-of-four Melissa McDowell separates the useful from useless to leave you with nine essential toddler items.
1. Sleepytot comforter and dummy holder toy
This thing is a godsend to any parent of a baby with a dummy. They’re bulky enough that they can’t lose the damned things between the bars of the cot in the middle of the night, or down the side of the car seat, but light enough for them to carry around during their every waking moment. They hold up to four dummies at a time so your bub is spoiled for choice.
Yes, they carry a hefty price tag and have been receiving some bad press of late, but this magical machine really does make life easier. If you’re at the baby stage, the chopping and cooking and pureeing, all in the one gadget is fabulous. If you have toddlers or older children, experimenting with hiding vegetables in lasagne or mac n cheese is really easy… yes you can do all of these things without a Thermomix, but it is about ease, and speed.
This will leave you with so much more time to pick up after the kids, and who doesn’t love that? Besides, being able to whip up a batch of scones or peanut butter at a moment’s notice has always got to be a good thing.
3.Thermos Funtainer drink bottles
These things are fantastic. They come in cool designs, are stainless steel, and they keep water cold for hours. The only downside to them is if the lids are open and they are knocked over, they will leak because they have a straw, but they really are the best water bottles we have found, and we have been through a few different brands before we got to these!
4. ‘Magic’ colouring books
Truly a brilliant invention. Colouring books or painting books rather, where the ‘paint’ is impregnated into the pages, and is activated by brushing water onto it. No more paint everywhere! Worst case scenario the area gets a bit wet, but I will take water over paint any day of the week. Whoever came up with this idea deserves a Nobel peace prize.
Listen: From how often your kids really need a bath to Susan Carland’s trick for getting the conversation flowing at the dinner table, these are the highlights of our podcast about family life. (Post continues.)