Survival Gear to get Through your Baby’s First Year — When you have a Toddler

Survival Gear to get Through your Baby’s First Year — When you have a Toddler

Chicco Caddy Hook On Chair

When my son turned 10 months old, I got pregnant with my daughter. After the initial excitement started to fade, I found myself wondering how in the world I was going to take care of a baby and a toddler at the same time. Well, my daughter will soon turn 1, so I guess I did it. Looking back on the past year, here are some items that helped get me through.



iPad or Tablet
Sorry, I’m not sorry. My toddler used the iPad. Whenever I needed It. It was my saving grace when I put the baby down for a nap or bed and I needed him to be engaged enough that he wouldn’t come bursting through the door of the nursery singing the theme song to “Little Einsteins.”

Baby Carrier
I literally have no idea how I would have gone anywhere without my carrier. When Cora was really small, I used the Baby Balboa sling and now I use a Baby Bjorn. Get one that you’re comfortable using and if your baby is fussing, it is hands-free instant calm.

Chicco Caddy Hook On Chair
This chair saves you from putting your baby in the grimy restaurant high chairs that never seem to be clean. It positions your small baby at table height, plus the seat is removable and machine washable. (This one has nothing to do with having a toddler, but it just was too valuable not to include as a must-have!)

Fruit Snacks
If your toddler is about to go all tantrum on you and you’re sitting on a park bench nursing your baby, the mention of a fruit snack will turn that ship right around. They are like toddler crack.

Sound machine
We have a ranch-style home, which means my screaming, singing, block-knocking-over on hardwood floor, squealing toddler is always right on the other side of the wall of the nursery. Crank the sound machine up in baby’s room and the problem is solved.

Online shopping and a “Baby Sleeping” sign
Taking a baby and toddler to the store for something small seems like a waste and taking them when you need something large like a case of paper towels brings logistical issues of having to carry both it and them. Herein lies the benefit of online shopping and delivery to your door. Oh, and you need a sign for your front door because you don’t want all those deliveries messing up your household nap schedule.

A cleaning service
This is everything. It’s not a luxury. It’s as necessary as anything. I actually cried when my husband gifted this to me. Even if you can arrange for a cleaning once a month, you will be a better person that day you walk in your house and find it spotless and it wasn’t you who cleaned it.

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About the author

Professional marketer turned stay-at-home mom Reneé Sanden rarely ever stays home. She’s usually out and about with her two children, visiting kid-friendly spots and reporting back to the readers of C.A.L.M. in CLE. You can read more from her at or

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