10 Must-Have Toddler Items for Every Working Mom

As someone in my mid-40s, I never thought I’d get to be a mother. I’m loving it, despite never having thought of myself as a “toddler” person. It’s changed me for the better—for the most part—in making me a more relaxed, laid back person. What’s bad about it though? I’m no longer the hyper–efficient veterinarian that I used to be!

So, I wanted to share a few tips on how to be a more efficient veterinarian and mother. Find out what you really need to help you survive those toddler years. Here are the top 10 things that I found necessary to help me survive my toddler years as a busy working mom!

P.S. Wine, Netflix subscription, an uber–supportive spouse, a moms’ group, and a good reserve of babysitters or nanny not included in the list…

1. Bathtub Letters & Numbers 

These were the best gift I ever got for tub time. They keep my kid occupied during bath time, and it lets us practice how to say certain letters. They stick to the tub, your forehead and walls for lots of entertainment and bath time giggles.

2. Amazon Prime Now 

One weekend night, my husband was out ice fishing and I was all alone with a sick toddler…and we ran out of Children’s Tylenol. Seriously? I almost ran down the block to Walgreens, but I couldn’t leave the kid alone. And then I remembered: Amazon Prime NOW! I’d never used it. Does it work? Within 2 hours, 4 bottles of Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin (plus 1 pint of Ben & Jerry’s) arrived, delivered to my door. Reasonable prices. Plus, easy to tip. And I wanted to weep with joy. Amazon Prime Now, you had me at “Hello.”


3. A Library Card

Support your local library! Mine has a story time twice a week, great toys to play with, and an incredible selection of board books to read and return.

4. Crayola Color Wonder Markers

Save your walls. These markers only work on special paper, which saves the rest of your books, magazines, journals, etc. Worth the gift!

5. Silicone Bibs 

These are great to catch all the food that your toddler doesn’t throw on the floor to your dog and cat. (To the “I’m–on–really–expensive–hypoallergenicfood” cat, at that.)


6. Litter-Robot: The Automatic Kitty Litter Box

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with having a toddler. Well, I have no time to do anything anymore, and the last thing I need is to stress out about having to scoop litter. I’m actually surprised how much this $500 splurge improved my QOL dramatically (along with my Roomba). Apparently one of my anal retentive stressors was making the house not reek of cat feces and kitty litter. And this thing has brought me so much joy. No scooping, ever. I dump the box every 710 days. And I can neurotically look at my app for the Open Air to make sure my cat doesn’t have FLUTD.


7. Magna–Tiles

OK, the textbook answer is that these “tactile, colorful translucent Magna-Tiles” are easy to use and let you create 3-D shapes that help with “patterning, shape recognition, building and motor skills.” The real reason? You can step on them in the middle of the night and they don’t drive you to a 4-out-of-4 Colorado Pain scale like stepping on a Lego!


8. Gerber ‘Lil Crunchies (aka, I–love–these–like–crack–cocaine–crunchies) 

I mean, what’s in these things? My kid purposely digs into the diaper bag and pantry closet to get these things out. I think they may contain some weird, addictive ingredient that this toxicologist hasn’t identified yet.


9. Boogie Wipes 

I hate the idea of paying money for saline-infused wipes just for boogers, but these really are so soft. And, as you will soon discover, toddlers snot constantly!


10. Cooking shears to cut up toddler–sized food! 

My husband makes fun of me for using scissors to cut up everything in the kitchen. I use these to cut noodles, PB&J sandwiches, blackberries, etc. into nonchokingsized-bites for kids. Obviously, keep all sharp and dangerous things out of your kid’s reach. +

What hints or items are a MUST HAVE in your toddler house? Share!