Alice's Top 10 Must-Have Items for Babies & Kids
January 9, 2023
Meet Alice Mendoza, the blog writer and copywriter for Toki Mats. Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she’s a huge lover of warm weather, iced coffee, and good food from her local farmer’s market. Although Alice also works a full-time job in men’s fashion, her true calling is writing within the baby space—a passion she discovered after having her 2-year old daughter, Daisy. As a self-described “chronic online shopper,” she obsessively researches products before purchasing, combing through reviews and comparing products from competitors. Before she had her first child in 2020, Alice spent her entire pregnancy curating her baby registry, trying to figure out which products were true necessities and which ones weren’t. Now, she applies that same due diligence to bring you her top 10 list of must-have items for babies and kids, so you don’t have to do the work.
1. Hatch Sound Machine
A WiFi enabled sound machine that also functions as a smart night light and clock. A library of soothing sounds and colored light allows you to customize the level of noise and light that fills your baby’s nursery. Control the sound machine via app from anywhere, set programs for daily use, and keep your baby comforted with a calming glow and white noise.
“Living in Los Angeles, a lot of fire engines go by. Without this sound machine to drown out outside noise, no one would get any sleep.”
2. California Baby Calming Diaper Area Wash
Made with plant-based cleansers, this ultra gentle spray makes diaper cleanups a breeze. Witch hazel and calendula clean and nourish baby’s skin, while essential oils provide a fresh, clean scent without any harsh chemicals.
“This was invaluable for those early days when my baby was pooping meconium. It made wiping that sticky stuff a breeze, and it was great throughout the first year.”
3. Costzon Baby Changing Table
This elevated changing table is made from waterproof PVC for easy cleaning and durable canvas for longevity. Equipped with three storage compartments on the side, diapers, wipes, and ointment store conveniently. A space saving design allows the table to fold and store conveniently.
“My husband is 6’2” so we needed a tall changing table. This was the perfect height for both of us—and I’m 5’2”.”
4. Toki Mats Mega Everywhere Mat
A non-toxic play mat made from all natural plant latex with a waterproof cover. 1” latex foam provides thick, springy cushioning that’s soft enough to catch tumbles, yet firm enough to support standing. The mat’s modular build allows it to be folded for storage, while a built-in carry handle allows portability.
“This is literally meant for everyday and everywhere use. I’ve brought it to the park for picnics, I’ve used it both outdoors and indoors for finger painting (we have carpet and the mess has never gone outside the mat), and my toddler uses it every day as her crash mat or place for lounging.”
5. Tubby Todd All Over Ointment
This rich, creamy ointment is made from plant-based ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, jojoba esters, and camellia leaf extract. The natural formulation goes on thick, moisturizes and soothes sensitive, irritated skin, and dries completely to the touch. Gentle enough for newborns, but perfect for all ages, this ointment is a winter must-have.
“My little one has mild eczema flare ups during the winter, and I get dyshidrotic eczema on my fingers. When I apply it on her with my fingers, it saves both her skin and mine.”
6. Happy Baby Original Baby Carrier
A lightweight soft-structured carrier that is constructed from luxurious, breathable linen that gets softer with use. Because it’s fully adjustable, the fit can be tailored to each wearer, and is comfortably worn by moms with cesarean incisions.
“I’ve had every type of carrier, including a wrap and a sling. This soft-structured carrier feels so lightweight and soft, not bulky.”
7. HABA My Very First Games First Orchard
This cooperative board game allows players to work together as a team to roll the dice and pick matching fruit from the orchard before the raven goes down the path to steal it. It develops social skills like taking turns and following directions, and contains high-quality wooden play pieces.
“This is a great introduction to board games and cooperative playing. The concept is super simple, and my toddler asks us to play it every night.”
8. Babyzen YoYo2 Stroller
The Babyzen YoYo2 is one of the most lightweight, compact, full-feature strollers available. Weighing under 14lbs, this stroller folds and unfolds with one hand, and is easy to carry with a built-in shoulder strap. The all-in-one design includes a comfortable seat cushion, a reclining backrest, and a secure 5-point harness.
“If you ever travel, this travel stroller is a must-have. Because it folds to fit into an overhead compartment, no more worrying about gate-checking a stroller. It’s also super helpful to have throughout the airport.”
9. Joolbaby Folding Travel Potty Seat
This folding potty seat is perfect for travel and on-the-go use. It fits most standard and public toilets securely with suction cups, and folds up to be small and lightweight enough to fit in its travel bag.
“We take this with us everywhere and anywhere. It folds up to fit in my bag, and makes it easy for my toddler to use the potty anywhere without falling into the toilet.”
10. WiHoo Mini Handheld Stroller Fan
This small fan features a flexible tripod design that allows you to secure it to a stroller bar. High quality metal and a silicone cover means you can bend it, wrap it, or stand it to blow cool air toward your little one. It is USB or battery powered for easy recharging.
“Southern California gets hot. This stroller fan gives me some peace of mind when my little one is in the car or the stroller because I know she’s getting some air circulation.”
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About the Author: Alice
Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV.