So, you’re a multiple-parent looking for must have toddler products? Well, we have got you covered. My twins are currently 4, so this list is going to be a bit more comprehensive than the “newborn” edition. Still want to read the newborn edition? Let us know.
I’m a simple mind, and I like to keep things simple. I’m not going to badmouth people that enjoy the finer things. Life, like literature, follows the “whatever works” method. Not all toddler products are meant for everyone, but below you will find a few that have been most the helpful to some of us twin dads. As long as you aren’t paying for three nannies per twin, this list is for you.
Once those kids are old enough to run around, you'll find that they're old enough to want you to pick them up. Single child? Not a problem! On the shoulders they go, and it's back to the task at hand. More than one kid? Maybe it’s time to grab a collapsible cart. We currently have two, one we picked up at a Big Box Discount Store (rhymes with moss-grow), and another with wider tires that we grabbed for those trips to the beach. Whether it’s the zoo, the park, or an extended stroll through the neighborhood, packing these awesome wagons with a few essentials has always helped us to deal with the “I'm too tired to walk anymore” blues.
Speaking of blues, I have three boys, two that were born within five minutes of each other. I can’t tell you how often my kids go in to “pee in the toilet”, and manage to pee anywhere but. (I rue the day the grandparents taught them that standing up to pee was an option). If the “sit down to pee” rule has surpassed viability in your house as well, may I suggest a quick stroll through the electronic aisles of Amazon. Type in a quick search for “frog” urinal, and you'll find the solution that could possibly just save you a “club sized” tube of bathroom cleaner (because, let’s face it, when you can go through six tubes of powdered bathroom cleaner in a year you are part of an exclusive club). I’ve known people that have installed actual urinals in their houses (because boy’s). This is, by far, the much cheaper and effective method.
I swear we tried every sippy cup known to man. We probably even tried a few that no one's ever heard of. Finally we decided that rather than getting stuck on one type of cup (and then not being able to spontaneously go out to eat with the kids if we didn't have their cups packed) we'd transition them right to straws. The boys use plastic cups with straws at meals, water bottles with straws at snack time, and we never have a problem finding a straw in a restaurant if we decide to grab a bite on the way home from an outing! You can also consider doing what this dad does!
Every stay at home parent dreads the important phone calls. Almost as much as we dread having to do the prep work for the evening meal with little fingers around. It's a battle to keep kids entertained when I have to take a call, or get dinner on the table. For those moments, specifically, screen time is a life saver. Finding something on the iPad or television is essential. One of our go-tos is PBS; Daniel Tiger, specifically. Daniel Tiger's neighborhood is possibly one of the most well thought out pieces of children’s programming (and currently on Amazon Prime). From potty training, to learning to share, important lessons are learned through song. Fred Rogers' teaching legacy lives on through this incredible program.
Lastly, I would suggest taking a trip to the google and looking up “kindie music.” If you haven’t heard of Biz’s beat of the day yet, you really need to look into it. Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora all have their versions of this as well. For those lucky enough to have local performers, music is always best live. My kid’s enjoy Dizzee Rascal from time to time, but if they start asking about the words in Bop ‘n keep it dippin’ dippin’ (or H-town, or any other song in the current line up), it’s time to pull that from the rotation. If you're trying to decide on good Kindie music, check out Jeff Bogle's podcast from Out With The Kids.
The best advice, as was ingrained into my professional DNA, is to keep it simple. You don’t need a four course meal when a bottle and a banana will get the job done in half the time.
Did we miss a toddler product that you love? Let us know about it in the comments!
A few months after hearing the phrase “baby A,” we embarked on a corporate roller coaster with the wife at the helm and myself making the transition from aspiring amateur cycling domestique to professional domestic do-gooder.