This might come as a surprise to you, but we’re pretty minimalist when it comes to our kids and their things. With Quinn about to turn 1 this month (omg!) and Conley about to turn 4 next month (omg x2!), we’re starting to phase out a lot of the super infant supplies and move into full-blown toddler territory.
One thing that’s been great about having our girls relatively close in age is being able to reuse a lot of Coco’s toys/clothes/baby essentials for Quinn. While I get a little teary if I think for too long about leaving behind newborn and baby life altogether, there’s something super rewarding about entering the stage where the girls become more like playmates and peers than baby vs. toddler.
This year, we’ve had a lot of firsts as a family: first time traveling to AZ for a month as a family of 4, first time going to the lake all together, first time going with mama to NYC for the launch of her book (!), first time visiting our land where we’re building our family home, first time navigating double the sleep regressions, double the tantrums, double the silly laughs and snuggles.
It has been an expansive, dizzying, pinch-me sort of year amid all the newness and unforgettable moments together.
Our top baby and kids’ products this year
Through it all, we’ve had a few essential staples and products that have made life easier with the girls and our busy life together. Whether you have a baby, a toddler, one of each, or a friend with one, I want to share some of our family’s favorite items that have gotten us through this year.
The Ikea high chair is the GOAT for many reasons: cost effective, simple design, easy to clean. But, it has a few things that left me wanting. This (genius) brand will take an Ikea high chair and custom-add any additions you might want for your little one: seat cushion, footrest, placemat, custom leg wraps to change the leg color. It’s brilliant and I only wish I’d thought of it!
02. This walker:
Walkers certainly aren’t necessary, but I can’t tell you how much Quinn loves hers. It lets her be upright and mobile while also keeping her safe. This one is pretty simple aesthetically (aka, it doesn’t totally stick out like a sore thumb in your home) and lets you be hands-free so you can do something else like cook dinner while you know your little one is safe!
03. This playmat:
A playmat is another non-essential but VERY nice-to-have. This one is pretty and will look nice in your home, and it’s also padded for baby’s comfort and easy to wipe clean (necessary). Quinn loves rolling around with toys on hers!
04. This pack and play:
If you’ve ever started searching for a pack and play or travel crib, the venture might’ve ended with 57 open tabs and a whole lot of confusion and/or frustration. There are endless options out there that make picking one feel impossible. We love this one because it’s super safe, light to lift and move around as needed, and folds up into a backpack carrier for easy transport! Win-win-win!
The most GENIUS invention ever… a carseat that pops up into a stroller when you take it out of the car! Take all of my money, because this product is worth everything and more. We use it mostly while traveling because we can pop it in and out of rental cars, Ubers, or taxis, but honestly it’s great anywhere for a convenient on-the-go travel system.
Now that Coco is in a little preschool program a few days a week, she needs something to carry her snack, lunch, and other important goodies. 😉 We both love this functional but cute backpack. And of course, you have to get it monogrammed!
02. This block set:
Not only are they fun to play with (even for adults!), but they’re beautiful, too! This set comes with different shapes (like arches, stairs, roofs, and doors) to get creative and put together different variations of towers and buildings. So sweet and a fun activity for all!
These subscription play kits are absolutely incredible. Designed around the different stages of your 1 to 4-year-old, they are created with a Montessori theme to help kids discover and hone their curiosity, problem solving, creativity, and beyond. If you subscribe, the kits are sent to you every few months with activities and instructions for your kiddo to play.
04. This doll house:
This precious modern doll house is also super minimal so it fits in with your home. I love the little play furniture it comes with, and it’s so fun seeing the ways Conley uses her imagination to play with it.
05. This trike:
This trike is AWESOME. You can actually start using it when your little is about 10 months old because it has a parent push function. It then grows with your kiddo until they can independently bike themselves around. It also folds down super compact, so it’s easy to travel with!
The best children’s products for both girls:
01. This “nature” spray:
I love using this natural alternative for bug/mosquito repellant on the girls because it’s free of DEET and made using only natural ingredients (that bugs happen to hate). I feel good knowing I’m protecting them from bugs and yucky chemicals!
Get 10% off your first purchase with code JK10.
I love, love, love this sunscreen for me and the girls alike! A lot of traditional big-name sunscreens have icky chemicals and endocrine disruptors, but I love that this one is made with clean ingredients and they even have a spray version.
03. Baby balm:
The cure-all for any and all skin issues for our girls, whether it’s a bug bite, scratch, dry skin, or some other boo boo. (Bonus that it’s a GREAT under-eye salve for mama!)
Get 10% off your first purchase with code JK10.
I love this clean kiddo and baby care brand. The scents are all amazing (they also have scent-free for sensitive littles), plus they’re super gentle yet effective for kids’ hair and skin! I’ll never use anything else.
I love a good organizational moment, and these make keeping track of all those teeny clothing items a lot less maddening. Love that they come in different sizes so you can sort and fold all the different pieces in a way that makes sense!
Life is better with good-quality, versatile, long-lasting kids’ products, trust me! These are our can’t-live-without staples for the girls… Tell me in a comment what your favorite holy-grail baby or toddler item is!