When you first become a parent you go a little overboard with the ‘essentials.’ The bouncers, the bottles, the bumbos, the ‘stuff!’
As your kids grow, the stuff that you thought was so important dwindles … there’s still ‘stuff’ but now it’s THEIR stuff, the stuff they can’t live without … the dolls, the toys, the crafts, the crayons.
But you also learn about the ‘stuff’ that makes a big difference for you as a parent. The day to day stuff that make a difference in your life, that actually makes your life a little easier.
For us we have a small but crucial list:
- the crib rail: we’re not sure when we are ever going to get rid of these. Maybe when they’re 15. The peace of mind knowing that we likely won’t hear a ‘thud’ from them falling out of bed in the middle of the night is enough reason for us to keep them up.
- their blankies: I know I had one when I was a kid and the girls have had theirs since they were born. It’s a comfort that they use at nighttime and when upset and we don’t have plans of getting rid of them anytime soon.
- their little ‘magic’ unicorn stuffed animals. These are essential (because of their magical powers) for getting rid of bad dreams.
- air purifier: we crack these out at the start of cold and flu season. We use a Germ-guardian that plugs into the wall. It somehow uses UV light to zap germs in the air to help combat cold and flu season.
- Quality essential oils: this is something that I’m new to, but whenever the girls have sniffles or snuffy noses, I just drop the oils on their feet and in their humidifier and it helps with their symptoms.
- Humidifier: even with a built-in humidifier in our home it is extremely dry. We have a humidifier in our room and the girls room and we use them year round.
- Blackout blinds: we will NEVER be getting rid of these! In fact, we even have them in our room too! Totally worth the money to help us all get a few extra zzzz’s.
- Flashlights: the girls don’t like having a nightlight, but they do like their flashlights. We hang them on their bedposts and when they need them (if they’re afraid or want to read/play in bed for a few extra minutes).
And last, but not least …
- Sammy the sleep sheep: what is this? This is probably the best $80 I ever spent! At about 4-years old our girls started going through a phase where they would wake up, not know what time it was, stay in their beds and scream at the top of their lungs to us in the other room “IS IT MORNING TIME YET???” They wouldn’t get out of bed, instead, they would just lay there screaming until we answered them.
- I found a bunch of toddler clock options, but which one to choose? We actually purchased another one and returned it because the nightlight was way too bright even on the lowest setting.
- We then found Sammy! He’s a little clock shaped like a sheep who closes his eyes at bedtime and opens them when it’s time to wake up (you set this time). His clock face dims or turns off entirely during the nighttime and turns green 30 minutes before it’s ‘morning time.’ Since getting Sammy the girls know exactly when it’s morning time and just play in their beds until Sammy says it’s time to get up.
*note: I have not been paid by any of the companies/products above, these are just things that work for us.*