Our toddler likes to do everything on her own, including brushing her teeth and using the bathroom. But she isn’t tall enough to reach, for example, the faucet to wash her hands. For us to allow her to be more independent and do things on her own, she needs a step stool. We have tried various models but liked the 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool by Little Partners best. Continue reading to find out why.
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Toddlers are doers
Toddlers are natural doers and enjoy doing things on their own and without your help. Isabella, our three-year-old toddler, is no different. I don’t remember how often she responded with “Let me do it” when I tried to help her with something. We certainly encourage her to be independent and to try things on her own, as long as she doesn’t put herself in danger.
Below are some tasks that Isabella enjoys doing on her own:
- Assisting my wife in the kitchen
- Washing her hands
- Brushing her teeth
- Going to the bathroom, and lately, cleaning herself after peeing
- Putting on clothes in the morning, and pajamas in the evening
Some of the tasks I mentioned above are challenging for her because she is not tall enough. For example, she can’t reach the sink and the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom. She is not even tall enough to take a seat on the toilet without our help or a step stool.
Pros and cons of regular step stools
To assist Isabella with taking a seat on the toilet, we bought the BABYBJORN Step Stool (Amazon*). It is easy to clean and has a non-slippery surface, which is important if you use it on smooth floors, such as tile. It’s a solid product and works well in assisting Isabella when she needs to go pee. But unfortunately, it’s not tall enough for our Isabella to reach the faucet handle and soap dispenser in the bathroom.
On a side note, I can highly recommend the BABYBJORN Toilet Trainer*, which we bought at the same time as the step stool.
When our baby boy Lucas was born, my mother-in-law hand-painted a wooden stool so both kids would have one. Isabella loved to use it as a chair for her toddler table before she started using the chairs that came with the table. As a step stool, it had the same limitations as the BABYBJORN; it wasn’t tall enough. So we started looking for something taller that would be sufficiently flexible to accommodate our growing kids.
3-in-1 Growing Step Stool by Little Partners
We discovered the 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool by Little Partners (Amazon*), and I reached out to them and asked for a review unit. They were so kind to accommodate my request, and they sent me one for testing.
Designed for both children and adults, the 3-in-1 Step Stool gives a secure boost when you need it without taking up precious space in your home. Little ones can use it in the bathroom during their bedtime routine or help mom and dad out in the kitchen. Mom can use it to reach those extra high pantry shelves or in the nursery to comfortably lay the baby in the crib.
- Made of durable birch wood with laminated veneer lumber (LVL) construction
- Tongue-in-groove assembly for ultimate stability
- 3-position adjustable height
- Supports both children and adults up to 250 lbs.
- Cleans easily with a damp cloth
- Product Dimensions: 20”L x 15”W x 32”H
When UPS delivered the package containing the step stool, it was in pretty bad shape. The box was torn, and I was afraid that the product might already be damaged. However, after unboxing the step stool, I realized that it did not even have a scratch. I also found a note from Little Partners inside that suggested I shouldn’t worry if the box looked damaged as the product may not be. They were right, but I would still recommend improving the packaging to reduce the risk of damage during shipment.
The installation was relatively straightforward, but without power tools, it requires some muscles. My wife, Kathy, couldn’t drive in the screws by herself and had to ask for my help. She could have used power tools, but there is always the risk of overtightening the screws. It took some effort to put the stool together, but it was a good exercise, and the kids loved to watch. However, next time, I will use my electric drill!
Once I had finished assembling the stool, my first thought was: “This thing is rock solid…and huge.” The Growing Step Stool is incredibly well-built and holds up to 250 pounds of weight. The steps are covered in a non-slippery material that prevents slipping even if the person using it has wet feet. To prevent the stool from sliding, Little Partner provides rubber strips that you can attach to the legs of the stool where they touch the floor.
My wife mentioned that the Growing Step Stool was slightly bigger than she had imagined. That has certain advantages, as we would learn during our review.
Our kids love it
The size mentioned above and especially the width of the Growing Step Stool has one significant advantage: Both kids can use it at the same time, and they love it! We first had the stool in front of the sink in our powder room that Isabella uses when she has to use the toilet. That worked well because she could finally wash her hands without having to be on tiptoes or asking for our help.
Before bedtime, Kathy and I brush the kids’ teeth. We usually let Isabella brush her teeth first before we do it again for her. Lucas is now 14-months old and watches his older sister like a hawk. He has only two teeth, and we use a silicone finger toothbrush with him. Seeing how Isabella brushes her teeth, he started wanting to brush his teeth as well. As a result, the two kids started fighting for who can use the BABYBJORN step stool. Both wouldn’t fit, and we certainly didn’t want anyone to get hurt while they tried to climb the stool that the other kid was already standing on.
So we decided to move the Growing Step Stool into the kids’ bathroom. It’s wide enough for both kids to use it at the same time and Lucas loves it. As soon as the bathroom door opens, he is on his way to climb the stool and start brushing his tiny teeth.
Review of Growing Step Stool
The Growing Step Stool is an incredibly well-built product that’s sturdy enough even to support adults. At the same time, the steps are height-adjustable and accommodate kids of all sizes and even grown-ups. Compared to standard step stools, it does take up more space, but we consider that only a minor inconvenience considering the value it adds. Our kids love to use it and will probably never truly outgrow it, thanks to their Latin genes :)
At over $100 it is not the cheapest but certainly the most well-built and versatile step stool we have tried. We consider it an investment that we hope will provide value for many years to come. I don’t expect any problems with the step stool, but should the need arise, Little Partners sells replacement parts. In case you wonder what it takes to assemble it, here is a link to the instructions. As you can see, it’s not that difficult. Overall, I can highly recommend the 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool!