From the moment you pee on that stick, see those two beautiful pink lines pop up, and find out you’re pregnant, the research begins:
“Can I keep drinking coffee while I’m baking this babe?”
“Which stroller is the best choice for my baby?”
“Which car seat is the absolute safest model ever made in the history of mankind?”
“How many swaddling blankets does my baby need?” – Or, if you’re me “What the hell is a ‘swaddle’ anyway?”
The quest for the best baby gear (and spending countless hours consulting Dr. Google about it) is never ending. I remember writing about Must-Have Baby Products back when Baby L was 3 months old. Even though I had *just* had Little J only 13.5 months earlier, I was still constantly learning about new baby and toddler products every day.
Here’s the thing that no one is telling you…to be the best parent you can be, you really have to start shopping at Home Depot instead of Babies R Us once your kid is officially a toddler.
Here’s what you should be on your Hardware Store Toddler Registry:
The crumbs. The spills. The messes. With two toddler boys, the back of my SUV looks like a Goldfish crackers graveyard. I swore I wouldn’t let them make a mess of my new truck. I also don’t want to hear whining while I’m driving, so snacks are a must.
The bottom line is: toddlers are walking garbage disposals. Which is why this handy, Shop-Vac is Numero Uno on my Toddler Mommy Must have list.
One swift swipe of this powerful sucker and all of your toddler-sized messes are swept away into the canister. See ya later, Legos. Farewell fallen French Fries!
I’m going to give you some really sound parenting advice right here. Ready?
Do yourself a huge favor and start collecting batteries in every size you can possibly find, every time you go to Target. Since that’s like, everyday, you should be all set for the amount of battery changes on toys you’ll be doing during the toddler years. Of course, they all take a different size battery, and they all use at least 6 batteries – minimum.
This brings up a good debate I like to call “Should I save up for my kids go to college or have enough batteries to power all of their toys this Christmas?”
Now that you have a serious supply of batteries, you’re going to need to open all of those battery compartments.
It’s apparent that you’re going to need a pretty decent screwdriver set once you have a toddler on your hands.
Everything that your kid owns, short of his diapers and the shirt on his back, will now require a screwdriver to be fully functioning.
FYI: That great new toy your kid got for their first birthday isn’t coming out of the box without a fight. “Better get your Philip’s Head and a grab a drink while you’re at it, because you’re going to be here for a while” is what the directions on the back of every package really should say!
If you’re smart (which you obviously are), you won’t only get a regular old screwdriver set, you’ll also get a mack daddy 20 volt cordless drill/driver. Learn from my mistakes, my friends. You can jump right into a cordless power drill, and be ahead of the toddler game! Grandparents thought it was a good idea to buy your kiddo Power Wheels for their birthday? No problem, you have the tools to handle the job! No need to pay that crazy $200 assembly fee at the store.
Just trust me on this one. Go ahead and get some of these. You’re gonna need ’em.
…because toddlers are the loudest creatures ever, and because sometimes you just want peace and quiet for five minutes.