Whole Parenting Family

The 8 Item List: Must-Haves for Our Toddler

list of toddler must haves

Since BabyLoves is really more like PowerBoy these days at almost 18 months, it seemed appropriate to make mental notes of what a third born child actually uses as a toddler, versus those reams of items you think you need (and, indeed, you do need!) the first go ’round.

His personality is both insanely sweet and totally fire-breathing dragon. He will utter “gggeeenntle” before biting me while nursing. He will snuggle up with my dad for days on end, and swing a bat at his sister’s head, or lob a candle at her. He has been walking since ten months, running since ten months and two days, and went through a climbing phase that has led me to believe he will be a mountaineer.

Right now he understands pretty much every direction, and is fairly compliant with most of them. Except removing the humidifier water jugs. Those he drags around at every opportunity. And throwing books into the toilet. That, too, is a mystical experience for him, punctuated with tearing pages out of them first.

His do-or-die toys // activites consist of:

1) Books: his latest ones

Little Blue Truck: gift from his Godparents and the lyricism is just great!

Roadwork: great cadences and lots of outdoorsy stuff he likes.

Slide & Find Trucks: slide. find. trucks. win.

Colors: Bright Baby: gift from a dear friend when my daughter was born but he’s obsessed!

2) Cardboard box

Anything that he can sit inside. Like a cat. Or be dragged around in by his siblings.

3) Stacking toy

We have a few Melissa & Doug but he’s really really into this one. He will also hide all the pieces in different spots around his room and think he’s SO clever in doing so. Until he runs out of them. Then it’s all indignation and horror.

4) Coloring utensils

Extra wide crayons. He goes to town on these big leftover paper rolls we lay on the floor. Easy grip!

5) His truelove spoon

One spoon to rule them all. One fork to bind them. But for truth: he began feeding himself a long time ago and I credit these spoons! The contour keeps food going in the mouth direction: love that!

6) Firefighter box set

The best toy in the world. He will kinda set it up and then dismantle it. The helicopter fascinates him! I love these Janod box sets because the box is part of the toy! We have this one, too (which has LOTS of people in it). I want all of them.

7) A stool

This one. To sit on while someone else is in the bathroom and he’s not supposed to demolish the contents of the garbage can, to reach the sink, to reach his sister’s dollies, to reach his own desired books: he carries it around. He would sleep with it if he could.

8) Mister Mousie

His favorite animal to fall asleep with, or drag around the house, or put in his sister’s vintage shopping cart.

Maybe this list is insanely long for a third child and I should have stopped at cardboard box. Anything you love for your toddlers?

List for baby registry

List for 5 Nursery Items

List for 9 favorite baby toys

*all links to amazon mean if you click through and make a purchase, I get a sliver at no additional cost to you. 


  1. Emily Barnes on November 4, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Little Blue Truck and Roadwork are staples in our house too!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Both are so so great!!

  2. Jean on November 4, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Great Christmas gift ideas! Thanks!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I’m so glad! I always like to find small ticket items that will be thrillers.

  3. Laurel on November 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Little Blue Truck is a major favorite around here! The rhyming scheme keeps everyone interested all the way through.

    I’d never heard of the Janod company. I’m browsing through some of their offerings…they’ve got some great toys! Love it! Thanks for sharing, Nell!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      That schema is so beautiful! I love Janod. Their Body Box has been a favorite for years.

  4. Lauren B on November 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Play kitchen
    A giant stack of library books
    B toys squeeze blocks (we have both numbers and letters- awesome!)
    A $15 ikea easel
    (I’ve got a newly minted two year old)

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 9, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      LOVE this. Especially the library books.