Toddler Parenting Hacks: Single Serve Container Toys

As a 12-month-old, Hazel has a newfound mobility and insatiable desire to do everything herself, and this includes the obtaining of snacks. One that we always have on hand is teething wafers, which Hazel now prefers to get out of the container herself. This rendered my system of keeping a bunch of little yums in a small tupperware problematic as Hazel would dig the container out and hand it to me to open, expecting to then be able to eat whatever was inside. After a few days of not-at-all-stealthily removing all the wafers except one while trying to find a place to hide the ones I’d removed before handing the container back to her, I had an idea.

I’d noticed that when given a container with a wafer in it, Hazel would happily take the wafer out and put it back in several times before consuming it. She would then continue to play with the container, opening and closing it (or attempting to open and close it) long after she’d eaten the snack. So I needed single serve containers that were small enough that I could easily fit a few of them in my purse.

I began with mini tupperware but soon discovered that the cost and so-easily-lost lids make them impractical. Trying to come up with a better solution as I tidied up the kitchen, I absentmindedly picked up toys to return to the toy basket when I stumbled upon the perfect single serve container toy: a plastic Easter egg. Priced as low as $7.95 for 144 eggs, they are budget friendly while also being fun and colorful. Hazel loves to study them before and after she eats the wafers inside and I don’t mind if, upon arriving home, I find that she’s chucked one out of the stroller into the we’ll-never-see-that-again abyss.

As an added bonus, Hazel now consumes fewer teething wafers because the pieces I put into the eggs are much smaller than what I previously gave her, but each egg-contained-piece keeps her busy for a longer period of time.

Winning.

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the I-can-see-everything diaper bag

contents from left to right, top to bottom:
bags, sunblock and diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, pacifier,
baby snack, adult snack, more baby snacks,
baby clothes and burp cloth,
wipes and disposable liner, diapers,
changing pad

Motherhood has sparked an uptick  in my obsession with being organized, and diaper bags have been a key focus in my (un?)healthy hobby of preparedness. There are many factors here, including questions of size, pocket count, cleaning ease, and whether both parents find the bag agreeable. You can have a huge bag that fits everything you might ever need or go for something more compact while making a pact with yourself to pack minimally.

What I’ve discovered in my quest for the ultimate diaper bag, though, is that no matter how well packed and organized the bag was when I left the house, it soon morphed into a frenzied disarray, a disarray which prompted panic, anxiety, and newfound determination to figure out a better system. (The urgency becomes greater when poop is involved. There is only so much one-handed blind groping among the many items in a diaper bag as the other hand holds down a wriggling baby whose bottom parts are covered in feces that one can take.)

The cause? Not being able to see everything in the bag in order to grab the one thing I needed when I needed it. And this got me thinking. Is it a possible to have a diaper bag that allows immediate and easy access to everything in it?

And, well, it is. Just use a hanging toiletry bag with clear compartments. I’m able to fit almost* everything I (or my partner or our babysitter) would need for a few hours out with baby. In addition to the quick and easy access to all that it contains, the small compartment keeps everything organized, even during the most desperate and agitated of diaper changes. The visibility also makes the task of replenishing items much easier since I can see what is running low. (Except for the wipes which are in a semi-translucent case that I love.)

I doubt I’ll ever come up with a system of organization that I don’t continue trying to improve, but for the time being, I’m happy with this rendition of my diaper bag.

The end.

*A bottle and/or sippy cup does not fit. Bringing a toy is also a good idea.