baby

Innovative products that help your kids get over the hurdles.

Yoplait
Thanks to our brand partner, Yoplait

You know, I think the fundamental difference in parenting your first child and parenting your second child is this.

With your first child, the cool new party trick, the latest development milestone, the next hurdle to lumber over, cannot come fast enough. It’s almost literally, “Hooray, you rolled over. Now when are you going to crawl?”

With your second child, the cool new party tricks come far too quickly.

My head is shouting, “Nooooooooo. Slllooooooowwwww dddooooowwwwnnnnnnnnn,” as my baby climbs up onto the couch all on her own, turns to face me and grins with the self-satisfaction of a Cheshire cat.

But if you’re keen to encourage your child to take on the next hurdle in their development, here are some ideas to help. I’ll just be off to cuddle my rapidly disappearing baby one more time.

Skip Hop Night Light

For reasons completely unbeknownst to me, at about the same time that my son moved into a proper bed he lost the ability to go to sleep without the light on. We’ve managed to wean him off the bright overhead light and we’re slowly winding down to just a night-light. I really like Skip Hop products, I think they’re cute, they’re durable and their high contrast design really appeals to the kids. I particularly like that the Skip Hop night light has a 30 minute timer switch.

"At about the same time that my son moved into a proper bed he lost the ability to go to sleep without the light on." Image: Bright Star Kids.

Yoplait veggie & fruit yogurts

We are just about to hit the toddler food acceptance regression with our daughter. All kids go through a phase at about 18 months; they reject foods they once gobbled down. Happily, most every kid will eat yogurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and those smarty pants at Yoplait have created yogurts with hidden veggies in them. Muhahahhahaha. TAKE THAT TODDLER. Mummy wins, again.

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"TAKE THAT TODDLER. Mummy wins, again." Image: supplied.

Plan Toys Baby Walker

I bought this for my son for his first birthday. I honestly thought he was mere weeks away from walking and that a walker toy would be enough to get him across the line. Yeah. Four months later. Look, he walked eventually, and the walker definitely helped him put one foot in front of the other. And our daughter is using the Plan Walker, kindly on loan from her big brother, right now.

There are plenty of walkers on the market, and most of them are nowhere near as expensive as this one. (That’s the other thing about first babies, am I right?) Look for something sturdy and well balanced.

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"Look for something sturdy and well balanced." Image: Hello Charlie.

Gyro bowl

Short of laying a tarp down underneath the high chair, there’s not a lot you can do to avoid the inevitable mess of cleaning up as toddlers learn their table manners. Avoid the encrusted Weetbix on the floor issue with a Gyro Bowl. Some genius somewhere has combined science and parenting to create a swivel bowl with 360 degrees of rotation. It is almost impossible for your kid to spill their baked beans out of this bowl.

"There’s not a lot you can do to avoid the inevitable mess of cleaning up as toddlers learn their table manners." Image: Babytec / eBay.

A Snow Globe

Why are they called the terrible twos? It’s more like the terrible one to fives. I know that at this age, kids are just frustrated because they lack the skill to communicate their feelings constructively, but honestly… well… let’s just say the wine delivery guys are pretty happy about it.

I find that, as my son has gotten older, his capacity to calm down quickly has greatly increased. There’s no silver bullet here, but I’ve found a snow globe really useful. Yes, a snow globe -- hear me out.

When a child gets really emotional, often distraction is a great way to diffuse a situation. A snow globe is really mesmerising and interesting to look at. And it’s also got a natural end to it. Shake your snow globe up, place it and the kid sitting down at the table and say, “When the snow settles, we can talk about it.”

Disclaimer, this ain’t going to work on an 18 month old. The only thing I’ve got for you for that is wine. Hey – I’ll send my guy over.

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"I’ve found a snow globe really useful." Image: iStock.

Like a Bike

I’m a huge fan of balance bikes. I think they teach kids that momentum equals balance much faster and from a much earlier age than training wheels possibly can. Like a Bikes are made in Germany, incredibly high quality and beautifully designed. Don’t forget your helmet.

"I’m a huge fan of balance bikes." Image: LIKEaBIKE.

What product has helped your child overcome a hurdle?

Yoplait

Get more yoghurt dairy goodness into your kids with Yoplait Petit Miam’s new range of Veggie flavours! Delicious real Veggie & Fruit combinations including Pumpkin and Apple, Beetroot & Strawberry, Sweet Potato & Pear and Sweet Potato & Guava. Yoplait Petit Miam is free from artificial flavours, preservatives and colours and provides added Vitamin D and Calcium for strong healthy bones. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Super convenient and perfect for on-the-go, these squeezies can also be frozen for lunchboxes!