The Most-Used Toddler Items in Our Small Home

BP shorts pajamas xxs (style name after my own heart ; ), Express balloon sleeve cardigan xxs.
On Nori: pajamas set 2T (lightweight, soft & stretchy), hair clips, Kidkraft toaster

As we’ve been at home pretty much 24/7 for the past few weeks, our assortment of toddler gear has really been put to the test. We live in a very small space, so every major item we get has to be carefully considered with the hope it will be useful for a long time. Overall, we’ve been focused on finding things that are sized for Nori (currently 20 months) and geared toward helping her be more independent. Read on for our most used items!

toddler faucet extender sink attachment hand washing

1. A Simple Gadget For Hand Washing

Munchkin Faucet Extender (also at Target)

We love this! As Nori has been getting too heavy for me to lift up numerous times a day, this helps her reach the water on her own to wash hands while supervised (on a step stool).

This model stood out as it’s adjustable, easily removable, and works on a variety of faucet types. It’s also dishwasher-friendly for easy cleaning!

2. A Sturdy Toddler Learning Tower / Stool

Unicoo Toddler Tower (similar)

Nori probably spends half her day on this thing. She loves popping up to counter height to eat a snack, watch or “help” us prep meals, or even just to read or play with her toys on our bar counter. There’s something about being able to climb up and down on her own to be at our height level that she can’t get enough of.

Note: anti-slip furniture pads like these are a necessary safety addition if you have hardwood or tile floors.

You can also use this in the bathroom for hand washing and teeth brushing. There are many toddler tower options out there, so here were some factors we considered:

Is the height adjustable? Some designs can adjust to different levels to grow with your child and make reaching the counter easier/safer. This is especially important if you’re shopping for a younger (like 18-24 months) or shorter toddler.

Does it have a back bar? Some are just step stools with side rails and don’t have the back safety bar on the top platform. Of course, always still use supervision with use of any stool or tower.

How will I store it? Make sure to note the dimensions of the tower base and check how it’d look in your home. Some towers are foldable, but we opted for one that has a smaller footprint at the base rather than foldability, because we expected this to get constant use.

Since we have a small kitchen, I usually keep Nori’s toddler tower across the bar counter (where bar stools typically are) so that we are face to face.

inflatable toddler bath tub toy drying rack

3. A Fun & Efficient Bath

Inflatable Tub + Toy Drying Rack

Infant Tub: From the time she could sit up (about 6 months) to about 14 months, Nori used this smaller inflatable tub (not pictured) as her everyday tub.

Toddler Tub: When things got cramped in the infant tub, we transitioned to this toddler tub (also sold here) which is much more spacious, but still only half the size of our bathtub. She absolutely loves it, and we like that it uses less water and is light & portable.

The downside is it came with a strong plastic-y odor so I cleaned it well using rubbing alcohol and let it air outside first.

small space nursery mini crib babyletto

4. A Small-Space Crib

Babyletto Mini Crib (also at Target)

We had purchased the Pottery Barn Low Profile Crib for petites (see my post) for my parents’ house, with plans to move it into our home once we bought a bigger place.

Well, two years later we’re still in our ~850 sq foot condo, and this Babyletto mini crib has been such a space saver! It’s fairly light, has wheels, and is foldable for storage. There are two height settings for the mattress platform as your little one grows. Nori used this from about 6 months til now (20 months, 34 inches long) and it’s getting to be a pretty “cozy” fit lengthwise but she’s still comfortable in it. Several of our small space neighbors used this mini crib til age 2, and I think we’ll do the same.

Hatch changing pad with scale (very easy to clean), sound machine, Evolur dresser
mini crib sushi sheets blanket
baby introducing solids stokke trip trapp high chair review

5. A High Chair That Grows With Them

Stokke Tripp Trapp

We liked this chair starting when she was about 8 months (in hindsight, would’ve gotten the cushion insert for even earlier months), and even more so now. It’s “grown” with her as the footrest has been lowered a couple notches over the past year.

This is a nice divided suction plate we like that fits on the tray perfectly! Also, see this post for my tip on getting food odors out of silicone and see my baby feeding post for getting started on solids.

favorite multi cultural bilingual chinese toddler kids books

6. A Comfy Book Nook

Bookshelf / PB Anywhere Chair

Most of Nori’s things are intermixed with ours, so we wanted to give her a defined space that was her own. She loves cozying up with milk or books on her mini couch.

We also always get questions on this bookshelf. While some may prefer shelves that display books with covers facing outwards, this way is a space saver, and she hasn’t had any problem identifying books by the spine.

See my recent post on some of our favorite toddler books!

Note: At first, books that didn’t get put back vertically would fall through the slats (potentially onto toes), but as her motor skills have improved, it’s no longer a problem.

toddler kids white gold play kitchen

7. Honorable Mention: Play Kitchen

Teamson Kids Kitchen

Nori was ecstatic about this when we first got it, but these days spends more time either on her toddler tower or by her bookshelf. Since this is a larger piece, we’re at least glad it also functions as a storage cabinet for some toys, but the doors take a bit tugging to open.

Nori is in Monica & Andy dress (LOVE these; brand runs a bit small)

What toddler gadgets or items can you not live without? Let me know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment

27 Comments

  1. Viviana Matta wrote:

    Hi! What is the color of the cabinets?

    Posted 7.14.20 Reply
  2. Joan wrote:

    Hi Jean! Love your contents both Instagram and website. I’m just wondering if you can give me any suggestions on white paints for the house. My husband and I are inspired by your white wall condo. Thanks and keep posting helpful tips 💕
    PS: I purchased the same closet and organization you posted and I’m loving it!

    Posted 7.6.20 Reply
  3. Lili wrote:

    Hi Jean! My baby girl is just a few months younger than Nori and I LOVE your baby posts! I’m looking to buy her a mini couch chair and was wondering if that’s the PB regular anywhere chair or the My First anywhere chair, which is a little smaller? Thanks!

    Posted 5.27.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Lili, we have the regular anywhere chair. As you mentioned, the My First anywhere chair is a bit smaller and we felt like it could be outgrown pretty quickly.

      Posted 5.28.20 Reply
  4. Ann wrote:

    Love your blog! Do you or did you use a baby play mat since you have hardwood floors?

    Posted 5.25.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Ann! We use this mat from Yay! Mats https://amzn.to/3d6CQ5g

      Posted 5.26.20 Reply
      • Lisa wrote:

        Hi Jean,
        It’s kinda related but related to this post. I was following your link to Amazon and wanted to buy the PlayYard. I have a 710 sqft aprtmt and have a mat that would fit perfect for a yard made up of 10 panels (6+2 sets of extensions), but the price difference between that and buying 2 sets of 6 panels is not that big. What are your recommendations?
        Thank you so much in advance

        Posted 7.30.20 Reply
        • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

          Hi Lisa! We got 2 sets of 6 but ended up using only 10 panels in our similarly sized small apt. But it was nice knowing we had the 2 extra panels in case you move or decide your little one needs a bit more room. Hope that helps!

          Posted 7.31.20 Reply
  5. Amanda Coleman wrote:

    Love reading your baby content (and other posts)! My daughter is 7 months, so your posts have been super helpful. I’m curious as to what resources you read for baby advice/products etc.?

    Posted 5.7.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I’m so glad you’ve found them helpful! I haven’t really read many books but I do follow accounts on baby food and baby sleep like Taking Cara Babies and Feeding Littles. x

      Posted 5.12.20 Reply
      • Amanda Coleman wrote:

        Thank you!

        Posted 5.14.20 Reply
  6. Maria perron wrote:

    Your little one is so adorable. I visit your site often to get fashion tips. I’m 5 ft. and slight like you. But mostly I love the mommy daughter photos. I’m expecting my first grandchild this month and I know she will be just as precious as Nori.

    Posted 5.7.20 Reply
  7. Kate wrote:

    Thanks so much! I’m three children in and peeped at this post to see what you’d chosen. I’d heartily agree with each of these items but HOW did i not think about the bath toy drier. This has been a problem for so long. such a good idea! Thanks.
    We’re also based in Boston and I can recommend the new England book ‘ the ox cart man’ as your little one grows. Also the DK toddler hide and seek books have been SO well loved they are falling apart and still poured over daily. Thanks for this post!

    Posted 5.5.20 Reply
  8. Aru wrote:

    Being a mom of a 9 month old, I always find your baby related posts super useful. I love that sushi crib sheet! I followed the link to purchase it but it looks to be full size. Have you had it resized to fit a mini crib? Thanks again for a super useful post.

    Posted 5.5.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Aru! Since there’s a limited selection of mini size crib sheets out there, also since we might transition her to a bigger bed (our pottery barn one waiting at my parents house converts to a toddler bed too) I’ve been buying full size crib sheets and just tucking them very firmly underneath!

      You can also buy sheet straps (they’re like suspender straps) to secure sheets that are too big, but I haven’t had any issue just tucking them underneath well.

      Posted 5.5.20 Reply
  9. Thanh wrote:

    Love this post! Definitely picking up a few of these items. My baby is 7 months younger than Nori, and your baby posts have all been so helpful to me. Thank you!

    Posted 5.4.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Thanh! I’m thankful for all my mama friends whom I glean so many tips and experience from and can pass along in some way.

      Posted 5.5.20 Reply
  10. Mireia wrote:

    This is so sweet!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  11. Briana wrote:

    The little bath is so cute!

    Briana

    Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  12. Betty wrote:

    That adjustable toddler sit is just beautiful, totally looking for that for baby no. 3

    Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  13. Jackie wrote:

    Does nori sleep in your room then? How was sleep training her?

    Posted 5.3.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Yes she does…she sleeps with a slumberpod tent over her mini crib. Sleep training just took a lot of consistency and persistence with a set routine and schedule (to be gradually changed of course based on the child’s age), but I think having a nap time and bed time routine with consistent activities leading up to sleep helped a lot. Not sure if you follow taking cara babies on IG but she seems like a great sleep resource.

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  14. Betty wrote:

    That faucet extender is a lifesaver! Our favorite kid item is the Serena and Lily step stool since it matches our adult furniture. I actually use it a lot to reach high shelves!

    BTW love that rug in Nori’s reading nook – do you have a link for this? Sorry if I missed it somehow!

    Posted 5.3.20 Reply
  15. ainomiaka wrote:

    I love reading your kids posts, they’re always how you solved problems I’m either just having or just about to have-my kiddo is about 6 mo younger than Nori. And I have been seriously struggling with how to keep doing/teaching hand washing, and wondering about a kitchen. And now you talk about both.

    Posted 5.3.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      So happy to be able to share in this parenthood journey together! We’re all just learning as we go : )

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply

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