This post is sponsored by Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My baby’s not a baby anymore! How this heck did that happen so fast?! It’s so cliche but I swear we just brought her home from the hospital last week and now she’s 1 whole year old! Not going to lie, the night before her first birthday, as I snuggled and sniffed her one last time before laying her down to rest, I cried. They were bittersweet tears. A mixture of salty sadness knowing it wouldn’t be much longer that I could cradle her in my arms like the tiny lil thing who stole my whole heart the second she let out her first cry (though Lord knows I’ll still be trying to when she’s well into her 20s LOL) and the overwhelming sweet, sweet happiness that we’d made it to this amazing 1-year milestone with so many precious memories of love, laughter and challenges overcome along the way. More than anything I felt proud and grateful. I was proud of all three of us for doing this family thing pretty freaking well, if I do say so myself, and so grateful that this little girl picked me to be her mama and flipped my whole world upside down the moment she decided to enter this world. She’s one powerful tiny human, I’ll tell ya. A force that’s changed me inexplicably and I know will change so many others who will have the pleasure of knowing her along the path of her bright, bright future.
So, here I am. A few weeks into being the mom of a toddler and I know that doesn’t seem like very long but I swear, they turn one year old and all of a sudden they’re these little people overnight. She’s transitioning off of formula and eating real people food as often as we do, is days away from walking and talking and knows what she likes and wants and what she doesn’t. She is blossoming this independent, strong, hilarious personality right before my eyes and I’m just trying to keep up!
All of a sudden, my arsenal of baby gear that I’d come to rely on and trust to have me covered in every scenario no longer does the trick because my baby’s not a baby so I just did another major shop at my go-to superstore for all my family’s needs, Walmart to help me transition into life as a mama of a toddler! Thought it’d be helpful to share some of the new gear I’ve been using in our day-to-day for any mamas out there who are experiencing or on the verge of this same transition!
First thing’s first… travel. Our infant car seat was only recommended for up to one year so we just made the switch to a toddler car seat. We’re now using the Chicco Nextfit. We also just got a new stroller that we love from Baby Jogger. It is their City Mini and after having used 5 different strollers throughout the first year of Bowie’s life, this is my favorite. I guess, sixth time’s the charm? I’ve never used this stroller with an infant car seat so I can only speak to the experience of using it once your baby is big enough for a stroller seat but it has been amazing. It is more compact and lightweight than any other stroller I’ve tried and it’s by far the easiest to fold down. You only need one hand! It has a strap on the seat that you pull up with one hand and the whole thing collapses on itself with no effort from you, which is amazing when you’re holding a 20-something pound toddler on your hip.
The next major change is baby proofing, which in my opinion should really be called toddler proofing. When I was pregnant, I got a little too eager in my nesting and baby proofed a lot of my house… which was ridiculous and entirely unnecessary. Once your baby is crawling, it’s definitely a good idea to have outlets covered and some other baby proofing done but it really wasn’t until the last month or so that my girl has figured out how to pull cabinets and drawers open and shut or been at risk for knocking her head on corners, etc. We now have every table corner covered with these Baby Safety Table Edge Clear Corner Guards, which I like because they’re less obvious and unattractive than other corner covers but do the same job of protecting your little one’s noggin. We’ve also equipped every cabinet and drawer with the Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System, which are the best option out there in my opinion because they’re hidden and easy to use. I’ve seen friends use non-magnetic hidden locks that are tricky to get your fingers into and unlatch and others use big bulky contraptions on the exteriors of their cabinets that are just a major eyesore. These are simple, effective and out of sight.
As I said earlier, Bowie is on the verge of walking and talking so we’ve stepped up her toy game to help encourage her development now that she’s past the stage of early motor skills. We just got her First Words Flash Cards that she loves to look at and will hopefully help encourage some basic vocabulary as time goes on. We’ve also had the Fisher Price 3-in-1 Sit, Stride and Ride Interactive Lion for a while but now she is finally using it to its full potential. Her favorite new addition is the Fisher Price Stroll & Learn Walker. Her big cousin is big on baby dolls and gave her one for her birthday so she loves putting the baby in the stroller and going for a walk around the house. We also still use her 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard regularly so it’s definitely an investment I’m happy we made. She’s used it since she was teeny tiny and it’s great to still have it out for times when I’m cooking or have to run to answer the door, especially now that she’s super active and gets into absolutely everything!
Lastly… and this is a major one as far as new gear for navigating toddlerville is concerned… food! Bowie is now fully eating real people food a minimum of 5 times a day (3 meal and at least 2 snacks) so we’ve purchased more toddler dishes and utensils. We’ve recently introduced the Munchkin Raise Toddler Fork and Spoon and she is spoon feeding herself like a champ. The key with all plates/bowls is super strong suction like the Disney Silicone Bowl we always use, otherwise that food will end up all over your floor. Easy wipe clean silicone bibs with a food catcher are also a must. We like our Tommee Tippee Easi-Roll Baby Bibs. Bowie loves independently gulping down water throughout the day from her Philips Avent Sippy Cups. She’s still a little lazy with her morning and bedtime bottles and prefers to snuggle up while I feed them to her so we are still using our Dr. Brown’s Options Bottles. I’ll take every baby/mama moment I can get while I can still get ‘em so I’m not mad about it! She also loves to independently eat her snacks so the Munchkin Snack Catcher Cups are great for minimizing mess when she’s munching away. We’re heading out and about with her more and more now that she’s older so while we do still use our Summer Infant Pop ’n Sit Portable Booster Seat, I also like to keep our new Neat Solutions Sili-Stick Table Topper and Tommee Tippee Portable High chair Baby Harness in my diaper bag. They fold up super tiny so they don’t take up a lot of room and it’s great to have them in there all the time in case I didn’t think to bring our Summer Infant Pop ’n Sit Portable Booster Seat because they turn any table and chair into a makeshift highchair for her.
I hope these product recommendations from Walmart help you navigate your own transition into toddlerville. It’s also worth mentioning that in October, Walmart will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Parents Choice, Walmart’s exclusive baby brand. I recently stocked up some new bedding from Parent’s choice now that Bowie is old enough to have a blanket in her crib and I’m so happy with the quality of the products at the awesome price point. Great value so make sure you check out their products. They make everything from bedding to diaper station needs to formula and more!
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.