One is the magic number, so make sure you have these essentials for life with a one-year-old.
It’s amazing what you acquire as a new parent. Suddenly your house is a colourful rainbow of plastics, toys and gadgets. And don’t even get me started on the songs you can’t get out of your head – “changing channels is such fun” (no it’s not)!
Yet, as my baby approaches the grand age of one, I realise that there’s a couple of products he very much needs in his life. Necessities that make life easy for me, fun for him and safe for everyone.
So, I’ve put together my essential list of items that every parent and child needs by 12 months old. If you’re sick of soft toys and clothes they’ll never wear, feel free to circulate this to the relatives for inspiration – Mazel Tov!
1. Funky Trunki
By now you’ve probably taken a few holidays and realised that packing light is not an option. Dare you leave the house without baby’s favourite toy or fluffy blanket and you’ll regret it. So I invested in the faithful Trunki – Boo’s very own luggage to separate ours from his making it easy to access a new outfit, teddy or calpol for when you’re on the go. Adorably cute, and screaming ‘British’ whenever abroad, it’s functional, stylish and fun.
2. Crash and Play
There comes a point, sometime around 8-10 months when children become a bit.. well, wired. For time out and your own sanity a playpen is needed. The safe secure area with baby’s toys is the perfect playground and has been one of my best buys. If you’re looking for one that can be used on the go, the the Pop N Play, Playpen has dual usage.
3. Sitting Pretty
Babies, much like puppies, start out small fluffy and cute – then turn into wild animals! And it’s no surprise that many of them outgrow their car seat around this age. We upgraded from the Maxi-Cosi Pebble to the Maxi-Cosi MiloFix just before his first birthday (full review here), and it has made the world of difference. It also has the added benefit of being rear facing for 15 months, which is the safest way for little ones to travel.
4. Reins for your little dear
There’s nothing that makes you feel older than a creaking back when your baby starts to walk! Which is why you need reins and they don’t get more stylish than the Trunki ToddlePak. Designed with cute animals, a reflective strip for outside, a sturdy lead and lots of padding, they help your little one with the confidence and safety they need for being mobile. Plus, look how adorable he looks in the pictures! As a top tip, I found that starting these on your baby from their first steps indoors gets them use to them before you’re ready to venture out…
5. Happy Feet
Is there anything in this world cuter than baby shoes? No – not even baby pandas, or pug dogs and they’re pretty cute. Nike, Converse and Adidas by far have the best range of baby sneakers, super cute, high quality and pretty dam smart looking. Baby shoe sizes are puzzling, but anything from size 3-5 seem to fit a 12 month old baby. When in doubt, John Lewis provide a fitting service. My favourites are Converse, obvs!
6. Stroll with it
With 30 per cent of children starting nursery before the age of two (telegraph online), you might be thinking about trips to and from daycare. For ease of getting in and our of cars (and into tiny buggy store rooms), a stroller is super handy. We have the Silver Cross Reflex, which also doubles up as a brilliant holiday buggy too.
7. Gate Expectations
When ‘tummy time’ is a distant memory, and you’re exhausted from yelling “get down” the whole time (even though you said you’d never be that Mum!), you’ll be ready for baby gates. Leading manufacturer Dorel tell us that the ‘Safety 1st Auto Close’ metal gate is their bestseller and it’s easy to see why. The sturdy metal frame has lots of thoughtful features, including an automatic closing pressure latch (necessary for my baby brain), adjustable fit and two-way opening door. You can also purchase extensions for extra wide spaces. It’s the single most essential baby-proofing item I own, and gives me peace of mind for when baby is stumbling around the house like a little drunk man!
8. Carry me home
I recently discovered that a baby carrier is not just for the early days… which is just as well because getting through airports without one would be inconceivable. Those clever folk at Baby Bjorn recently introduced the Carrier One Air, which can be use from birth to three years old. And you’d be wrong to think this item is redundant when they start walking. For quick nips to the shop, for those ever-too-frequent ‘clingy’ moments, and for times you just need to get a bit of hoovering done, the Baby Bjorn has been my saviour!
And not forgetting…
Along with the above, you will also need a good measure of gin, subscription to Netflix for all your nights in, toys that don’t have annoying tunes and lots of patience for the joys of having a toddler. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that newborn suddenly seems very easy?!
All the above items are available in leading online retailers and high streets, stockist details;
- Trunki luggage, from £35 at Trunki
- Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One, from £144 at John Lewis
- Pop N Play Portable Playpen, £80 at JoJo Maman Bebe
- Maxi-Cosi Milofix car seat, from £199 at PreciousLittleOne
- Silver Cross Reflex stroller, from £250 at Silver Cross
- Trunki ToddePak, from £17.99 at Trunki
- Baby Converse, from £10 at Office
- Dorel Safety 1st Auto Close Gates, from £27 at Amazon
Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.
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