Dear Diary,

I can’t believe my daughter is turning three this summer! It seems like just yesterday when I compiled a list of baby items I could not live without. Since then, I’ve learned to curb my spending–somewhat. Although I still wasted money on a few things I wish I kept the receipts for, I did bring home a few top toddler items I always pack in my purse. Here’s what I go gaga over and recommend that all parents pack this in their diaper bags or toy chests.



At first, my iPad was off-limits to my little one. Then, I realized it doubled as a babysitter and an entertainer. In the past when we dined out, my daughter would finish her meal and then climb into my lap, which led to the waiter bringing me a to go container. Now, she watches Barney and Dora as I finish my dinner. Plus, there are lots of toddler friendly apps to read stories and play games.

Germ Killer

Germ Killer

Although I’m no longer a germ fanatic, I am very particular when it comes to dining out. I bring along a high chair cover and disposable place mats, which are awesome, since my daughter can drop a french fry and still eat it. In the past, I would always dig through my bottomless diaper bag to retrieve things, but the Skip Hop wipe dispenser and Bath and Body Works’ Pocket Bac both clip onto my purse.

Pillow Pet

Pillow Pet

After my daughter tried to steal her cousin’s regular sized pillow pet, my mom ordered her a smaller version. She has since swapped out the blankie for the pink hippo–well, at least I think it’s a hippo! The website says it’s a pig. She always asks for her pillow at bedtime, and the plush toy comforts her to sleep.

Toddler Bike


Toddler Bike

My friend bought this bike for Caitlynn’s first birthday.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the product back then, since it required me to bend over and push her around the living room for an hour after work! But after a few months passed, Caitlynn learned how to use her feet to mobilize the bike and ever since has been taking off throughout the house.  It’s the best $20 you’ll ever spend!  She picked one up at Target.

Bath Toys

Bath Toys

My daughter is a water baby, so after I make her “nice and clean” as she puts it, I let her splash around in the bath tub for a few minutes–sometimes longer if I want to get some me time.  Me time as in me using the toilet as a chair and checking email. She enjoys playing with squirt toys, but is also entertained with recycled yogurt cups.

Hey DFTM Fam–What’s the top toddler product at your house?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

One Response

  1. MJ

    Zoë just got acquainted with the IPad but now I have to regulate her time in it. She also loves her toddler bike and her Doc McStuffins golf clubs and her Good Night Moon book.


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