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A 17 month old - lots of questions!

(50 Posts)
leaveamessageatthetone Fri 10-Jun-16 10:13:08

OH and I have just been matched (adoption) with a beautiful 17m old. Having never parented before, I've got loads of questions about what we might need and wondered if anyone could help me?

- Are muslin cloths still useful for babies of that age, or no longer necessary? Don't have any and don't want to buy stuff we don't need
- I was planning to use the IKEA flannels as reusable wet-wipes - is this a silly idea?!
- I want to look into cloth nappies but absolutely no idea where to start with sizes/brands etc. I'll probably start by just buying one or two second hand because he's used disposables his whole life and might not like another style. He's in clothes for 9-12m still if that helps with sizing - where do I start?
- Do I still need a baby monitor? He'll be in with us for the first while, then move into his own room. What age are they useful until?

What kind of medicines do I need? I've got Calpol, anything else? He'll be bringing stuff like towel, plate, cup, baby sleeping bag etc from Foster Carer, but I need a comprehensive list of all the baby-care stuff I'll need that they won't be bringing!

Thurlow Fri 10-Jun-16 10:27:44


I'd buy a pack of muslins, they never hurt at all - you can use them with any teething, as wipes and bibs when out and about etc.

I'd also be tempted to get a baby monitor, depending on the layout of your house. Most 17mo are likely to be sleeping through, and also to make more than enough noise to wake you in the night. However they can be quite useful when you've put them down to sleep to make sure they are going off. Even as they get older, you might want to use it again when you move them into a proper bed. It's personal preference, but I was happier having a monitor on for a long time (only stopped using it at about 4) to hear them clearly, rather than having half an ear out while watching telly. I wouldn't buy a massively expensive one though at this age smile

ElspethFlashman Fri 10-Jun-16 10:40:53


Video monitor = yes unless you live in a tiny flat. Otherwise you're downstairs watching telly and don't know if they're ok. Though at that age they should be sleeping through the evenings at least but in a new house they could be up and down like a yo yo.

And you will need wine!

They are still teething off and on so muslins are handy but don't go mad. 3 is fine. They're still handy for giving their faces a rub out and about though.

Personally I think baby wipes are a gift from the gods - don't underestimate how far away from a sink you may be when the poonami arrives and you'll need something pre-wetted. And we always used a balm type emollient on their bums as not only does it form a barrier against urine but the poo slides off really easily (tmi). Burts Bees have a lovely one in a big pot.

He's probably a size 5 in nappies at that age - be aware that 5+ doesn't mean bigger it means more absorbant. So lots of people use the + ones at night.

A lot of kids at that age loathe being plonked on their back for nappy changes so throwing a toy on the sofa and wiping them standing up and using a pull up nappy can often be 100 times quicker & less stressful for all concerned. Obvs you can use tabbed nappies standing up but it's a bit "all fingers and thumbs" and once you go pull ups you don't go back!

Oh and make sure you have Cbeebies. The transition will be exhausting so don't be too precious about it - you will definitely need Ben & Holly at times so you can flop down with a cup of tea.

Runningbutnotscared Fri 10-Jun-16 10:47:10

Congratulations - as a proud owner of a seventeen month old I can tell you it's a great age.

I can only tell you my experience, everyone is different so the next poster will probably contradict me and be perfectly correct -
I still use muslins, mostly as a quick cloth to put on changing mats when we are out. I think if you have them you'll find a use for them but I found them not as essential as other people make out. The cheap ones and the expensive ones work just the same.

I didn't use cloth nappies so can't help there.
We bought cheeky wipes and love them but I've heard ikea flannels do just the same job :-)

We still use out baby monitor but that is because I spent £70 on it. I like it, it reassures me but if it breaks I wouldn't replace it. Most people I know have stopped using it.

Calpol is great, I also have ibuprofen for really bad teething pain.

Tupperware- you need more Tupperware than you think possible. For carrying snacks in, for storing the perfectly lovely food you cooked that they are last week but have decided is poison in, that sort of thing.

At 17m the kit they need seems to be quite small - bowls, sippy cup, clothes and toys.

lornathewizzard Fri 10-Jun-16 10:47:20

We haven't used muslins since DD stopped having formula, cause I only used to use them for wiping up sicky bits really

A monitor depends on your house layout I think. We are all on one floor and sound travels really easily so I didn't feel we needed one (we moved here when DD was about a year, we were in a one bedroom before). If you're over more than floor or well spaced out I would prob get one.

Wipes or cloth nappies I'm not sure on, we use disposables.

The only medicine we really use is calpol, you should get a decent digital thermometer too if you can. We've got snufflebabe and saline spray too but used less often.


ElspethFlashman Fri 10-Jun-16 10:47:48

I would also seriously consider putting him in his own room from the start. That means it's one transition for him rather than 2 just when he's gotten used to your room.

There is a 18 month sleep regression so his sleep may go to shit, but at least if he's in his own room the other person can doze In peace. Put a comfy chair in his room cos you may have to sit beside him during long hours of wakefulness and at least you'll be half comfy.

Also don't give him milk during the night. He shouldn't need anything at all at that age but if you crack and give him something make sure it's only water. Otherwise 3am = a mealtime.

lornathewizzard Fri 10-Jun-16 10:49:26

Oh and sudacrem!

NoCapes Fri 10-Jun-16 10:53:48

I'm on my 3rd child and have never used a muslin in my life
So I say no to them

I also don't think you'll need a baby monitor unless you live in a mansion

Never used reusable nappies or wipes so not much help there but I'd recommend you buy wipes anyway
Even if you don't use them for bums you'll need them out and about with a child this age

Congratulations grin

Solasum Fri 10-Jun-16 10:54:27

My top tip is to buy summer clothes with stretchy waists and loose style tshirts. If you are lucky you might get two summers wear out of them as I have with my super skinny boy.


ElspethFlashman Fri 10-Jun-16 10:55:07

Agree that it doesn't sound like you need much more than he's bringing.

Hopefully he'll like pasta. Pasta is a gift to the mum of a picky toddler. Often they refuse everything else. Having some sucky fruit pouches are handy. They love holding them themselves and putting the plastic top off and on again. And it's an easy way of getting fruit into them.

They really need very little at that age. Some hot wheels metal cars/Thomas trains are often popular with little boys at that age but it depends on the kid.

It's a lovely age. Really lovely. You'll get to teach him words etc and it'll be really special.

GrassW1dow Fri 10-Jun-16 11:03:39

Whoop whoop! Fantastic news about the adoption. Many many congrats star

My DS is 17 mo right now. I personally wouldn't bother with muslins. I don't use them. I find these re-useable terry cloths really useful though for wiping face after mealtimes, and hands too:

I wouldn't bother with a video monitor. But yes to a normal monitor.

Elspeth gosh, I didn't realise that about nappy sizing and the '+'....thats really useful to know. thanks.

I agree also with Eslpeth about the not giving milk in the night. And the hating to have their nappy's like wrestling with an octopus. took me about 10 mins to change DS's nappy this morning. And he chucked 3 of the toys I'd made sure to bring to the changing table in order to try and keep him still.

Yes, get Ibuprofen too (you can alternate with Calpol when they have temp).

I swear by WaterWipes. They're not cheap but you can buy them in bulk from Ocado or Amazon and they work out much cheaper.

beginnersewer Fri 10-Jun-16 12:30:26

Congratulations! I actually found 17 months quite an exhausting age because all mine wanted to do was be on the move or open cupboard doors and pull everything out... It's got a bit easier now he's 2 and can communicate a bit more, although the tantrums are worse now.
Expect mealtimes to be very very messy - I would get some of those plastic bibs with sleeves to avoid mess on clothes.
And definitely find a favourite tv programme for when you need 10 minutes peace and quiet, or to keep him still while you open the oven or something that you need him safely in one place, or for times you need him to be quiet and still out and about eg haircuts, doctors appointments - In the Night Garden has been a big hit with mine. It has counting in it so it's educational....
Personally I do still use the baby monitor because if we have the TV on in the kitchen we can't hear him from upstairs (we are def not in a mansion). It's also useful for nap times, it means I can get out in the garden and do a job or two while he's asleep. If you're in a flat you might be fine without but otherwise you don't want to be chained to staying somewhere you can hear him.
Good luck!

FriendlyGhost Fri 10-Jun-16 12:47:44

Congratulations! I have an 18 month old and it's a lovely age.
I don't really use muslins anymore except to catch calpol when she spits it out. Hopefully your little one will accept it! We have a digital video monitor and I still use it for daytime naps and in the evening when we're downstairs and she's in bed. Be prepared that he might not sleep through. Mine doesn't and still needs milk during the night because she's hungry. It's worth offering water first though. If he's still in 9-12 clothes he may be in 4/4+ nappies. Mine is in 4+ but 12-18 month clothes. Lots of baby wipes are handy.
I'd recommend a few simple toys. I haven't met a 17 month old that doesn't like a ball. Bubbles are also a great distraction if they get upset.
Best of luck. It'll be wonderful!

Just2MoreSeasons Fri 10-Jun-16 12:52:47

We have a 17 month old too.
What everyone else says and:
Nappy changing bag, or similar. You'll need to carry nappy wipes and possibly a change of clothes and bib where ever you go.
We have a video monitor. We used it until my eldest was 4. It's not just for during the night. We used it on those first playdates upstairs on her own where you could keep an ear and eye open for arguments brewing or whispers about having a water fight (yes, really)!
Monitors are also often needed on holidays.
Stair gates, cupboard latches are useful.
Pushchair and car seat.
A baby carrier can still be useful too for days when they're cranky or Ill or just walking somewhere unsuitable for a pushchair.
Some 'feels' type baby books. The library have them. Join your DS in his own name and then your fines are much cheaper.
The library is also a nice place for an outing when you just need to escape!
Try to find out where all the local toddler groups are in case you need company. A call to your local children's centre might be of use. They often know where sales of second hand childrens stuff is. Also the nct advertsise local second hand sales too -very bargainous -everything around one third of the new price.
To be honest I agree with putting him in own room with no night milk.
Wet wipes are a gift from the gods. Buy boxes of 6 at a time. You can thank me later😉
Reusable nappys. To be honest nice they're walking a always feel like they get in the child's way a bit. Obviously better for the environment though.
If you're near a main road you might want to get reins for walking.
Personal preference but mine have always slept better in a dark room-black out blinds and car window blinds help a lot.
If I think of anything else I'll pop back on.
And feel free to message me if you like, even when this thread has died down. There's a lot to learn when you're throw in like that, but you're going to love it. It's a really lovely age!😄

Just2MoreSeasons Fri 10-Jun-16 12:54:56

Another thought-if you're anywhere near me, we have duplicates of lots of stuff.
We're one hour north of Oxford, one hour south of Birmingham.

Caterina99 Fri 10-Jun-16 16:17:09

My DS is a bit younger, but still a toddler!

Muslins - used loads when he was tiny. Still handy now but I don't use as much. Useful to have one in the bag as a blanket/wiping face/shade/using on grubby changing table etc but not essential anymore.

Flannels as wipes. Yes they work fine. We have a wet bag that we throw them in and then wash every few days.

Cloth nappies I never used, but my friend does and she says they use disposables at night and for days out etc.

We have a video monitor and use it every day. Handy for naps and the evenings, I don't really use it at night. Depends on your house though.

Medicines we use calpol, and sometimes ibruprofen too as you can alternate them if necessary.

Stuff my DS and friends around 18 months old love: balls, touchy feely books, toy cars and trains, toy mobile phone, videos on iPad, cardboard boxes, going to park or soft play

auberginefrog Fri 10-Jun-16 16:24:41

Congrats! I have a 17 month old and although she was a super sicky baby I haven't used a muslin for 6 months. We use reusable nappies - I got a pack of 6 cheap Chinese made birth- potty popper nappies for £35 or thereabouts off amazon to see how we got on as sometimes you might find they're too much of a pain to use so I guess get disposables and some cheapish cloth ones and decide what works. We use disposables for nursery and travelling
We don't have a baby monitor but our flat is all on one level. At 17 months babies tend to make themselves known if they aren't happy but if you have bedrooms upstairs then it might be useful.

Learn to embrace the nightmare that is peppa pig.... grin

beginnersewer Fri 10-Jun-16 16:57:55

PS I would definitely recommend the backpacks with a 'lead' on them: helps with holding onto them plus you can put a nappy in the backpack bit. There are all sorts of fun designs eg dinosaurs, ladybirds etc.

thescruffiestgiantintown Fri 10-Jun-16 21:06:45

Huge congratulations!

Re nappies - we use reusables, a mix of Bum Genius, Charlie Bananas (my personal favourite) and Tots Bots. See if you have a real nappy library in your area - different brands fit different children better, and of course you'll develop preferences too.

That said life is going to be tough and exhausting and you might not want to give yourself all the extra laundry at first. Go easy on yourself. Buy some disposables for now and then see whether you feel you have the energy for the reusables. (They are great, and I firmly believe helped my DD potty train early, but they are a bit of work!)

I still use a video monitor for nearly 2.5 year old DD. I just like to check she's breathing in the night. blush

Someone upthread recommended bubbles - great idea, I always keep a little pot in my bag - and SNACKS! The Goodies bars and 'crisps' are a favourite with DD and all her friends.

GrassW1dow Fri 10-Jun-16 21:48:49

definitely recommend getting a minimum of 3 sleeping bags....for when he is sick in the'll need something else to put him in. And if he's sick more than once in the same night, well.....having yet another spare sleeping bag is invaluable!

Rainshowers Fri 10-Jun-16 22:04:34

Congratulations! My DD is two and has been using a (IKEA) duvet and pillow for quite a while. If he's still using a sleeping bag it might be best to stick with it so he's not unsettled but might be worth bearing in mind if you're heading off shopping. We don't use her monitor it but if she didn't sleep through the night or we had a bigger house I possibly would.

I know people up thread have mentioned bowls, but also cutlery (we have several IKEA sets) - my DD somehow gets through about 4 spoons a day!

At 17 months my DD loved anything with wheels, her slide, clothes pegs (!), simple puzzles and CBeebies (particularly Bing, and Chuggington). The Iplayer ap on your phone can be a lifesaver with an overexcited toddler who just needs ten minutes quiet time when you're out.

KeithRichardsPetCat Fri 10-Jun-16 22:16:01

Congratulations flowers

I've a 21 month old - it's all been covered by other posters but please get ToddlePak reins or LittleLife backpack reins

The earlier he gets "trained" to walk; the better

Fantastic age, I wish your family all the love in the world

GrassW1dow Fri 10-Jun-16 22:21:41

super excited for you OP!

cornishglos Fri 10-Jun-16 22:27:14

How fabulous. 17 months really is fun!

Muslins - yes. So versatile.
Flannels - yes. For wiping faces after meals etc.
Nappies. Mine only ever went to size 4 before potty training at 28 months. Reusables are good for toddlers as they learn when they're wet.
Monitor - not necessary imo

I agree with pp who said own room from the start as one less transition.

You mat also need/ want:
A booster seat for sitting at the dining table.
A toddler bed (mine moved out of cots at 18 months as they were climbers)
Bath toys
Stacking cups (very cheap from Sainsburys)
One piece jigsaws
Brio train set?
A scuttlebug?
Stories (I love Jez Alborough for that age)
A watering can
Sippy cup

Mine also loved Peter Rabbit and Chuggington at that age.

Good luck and have funsmile

cornishglos Fri 10-Jun-16 22:28:08

I also recommend Sticky Kids CD and Barefoot Books on Youtube for rainy days.

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