Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Forgotten Post: Even More Must Haves

I have a few posts that I have started but haven't gotten around to posting. Most are more recent but this little gem got lost in the shuffle.  Back when I wrote about my Breast Feeding Essentials and Newborn Must Haves, I also wrote this post.  Since I love seeing what other parents recommend, I thought it'd be a good idea to share it, even if it's a bit late:

Since there's not too much excitement to report I decided to put together another list of "must haves." Honestly, Ayden is just as happy, if not more so, with exploring non-toy items around the house. Give him a rubber spatula to walk around with and he's pretty satisfied. But that being said, there are a handful of baby items that we received as gifts or purchased while pregnant that really have come in handy so I thought I'd share.

Our top 10 must haves for 2-12 months in no particular order:

1) Play mat.

Buy it!

This was great for when we needed to get something done. We'd change out the toys regularly to spice thing up and he'd lay there batting away.  This particular mat was also great for tummy time. It has textures, ribbons and such. It was also easy to wash which was a big plus for our spitter upper.

2) Video monitor.

(only ours is not pink...)
Buy it!
A video monitor was nice because you could actually *see* if you need to go in. Sometimes Ayden will fuss a bit in his sleep, then roll over and drift into a deeper sleep again. Without being able to see that he was still laying down and not moving like he was awake, I would have had to open the creeky door to check on him and that would have woken him the rest of the way up. It also eased my worried mind when we moved him to his own room for a while.

3) A sturdy toy to pull up on. Ayden had a Zany Zoo.

Buy it!

This remained a favorite up past a year. The activities on it really grow with your child. They sell lots of "toddler tables" that play music and such.  We received this as a gift and liked that it was made of wood and didn't take batteries.  It made play on it a little more open-ended which leaves room for imagination.

4) Our Ergo!

Buy it!
I was a wrap girl but around 10 months or so, when he started walking, I found myself reaching for the Ergo more and more.  Once he had a taste of the independence that comes with walking, he wanted out more often and the Ergo makes putting him in and out often really easy.

5) Stroller(s)

One thing I wanted to avoid while I was pregnant was too much baby gear.  I had seen first hand how it can take over a house and I didn't want that to be us.  Before we knew it, though, we had FOUR strollers.  We had the Snap 'N Go that I purchased for $7 (I think?) at a garage sale to use for Little Miss when I nannied her.

Buy it!

We had our main stroller, a Baby Jogger City Mini,

Buy it!

Our jogging stroller that we purchased used and a double stroller that Little Miss' mom purchased and let me keep so I could take them both out and about.  In the end, we went with saving money over saving space and it worked out okay because we found places to keep everything. An alternative would have been to get the Baby Jogger Summit stroller with the Chicco car seat adaptor.  It would have met all of our needs in one stroller, though it would have been a bit bulky and pricey.  Even though we have too many strollers, we use them all and collectively consider them a must have to live our lifestyle the way we like.

6) Books

We started reading to Ayden before he was even born.  We did it while I was pregnant just so he could hear the cadence of our voices.  We read to him as a newborn and have continued to read to him everyday since.  He LOVES his books!  They are the one thing that will keep him quiet and still for a long time and are also the only thing that will keep him the occupied on long car rides.  When he was tiny, we read whatever we wanted to him.  We'd read him our novels, as well as some of his books.  As he got older and started having an attention span, we switched to books that would hold his attention.  Some of his favorites have been Brown Bear, Toes Ears and Nose (and pretty much all flap books illustrated by Karen Katz), and Little Blue Truck.

7) Bumbo seat (with tray).

Trying it out for the first time! (3 months old)
Buy it!
This came in handy for exercising his neck muscles, letting him see the world from a big boy's perspective and including him in our activities when wearing him wasn't an option.

8) Exer-saucer

Buy it!
This was a great place to put him where he could be close by yet contained and entertained.  We feel like it contributed to strengthening his leg muscles as well as his attention span.  This particular exer-saucer is really neat because it can be a play mat, an exer-saucer and a toddler table (though they have to be free standing independently to use the toddler table portion.  It won't support a baby that is just pulling up.)

9) Bath tub

Buy it!

Infant insert

Toddler tub

We did bathe him in sinks a lot early on but when he started sitting up on his own really well, the size of this toddler tub was perfect!  We never had to fill up the whole tub for just one little fella and the base part raise him up so our knees and back never hurt from giving him bathes. We actually still use it today but when he is ready to graduate to the big bath tub, we plan to use the toddler tub portion for outdoor water play and the step stool in front of the sink for hand washing/tooth brushing.  This was one gift that just keeps on giving.

10) Robeez shoes and grippy shoe socks.

Buy it!

Buy it!
(they have girl shoe socks too!!)
I know a lot of folks get their babies "walking shoes" but I am a strong believer in the notion that babies do not need to wear shoes.  When they are learning to walk, they need to be able to strengthen their foot muscles and that just won't happen with hard sole shoes on.  On the other hand, sometimes you want cute shoes to go with an outfit or you don't want their feet to get cold or for them to slip.  Enter Robeez and grippy shoe socks.  Ayden lived in these things.  The Robeez are soft soled and just perfect for looking cute and covering the tootsies all while allowing their little foot muscles to develop.  I also had a thing for shoe socks!  They did all the same things as the Robeez.  My favorite brand were Trumpette.  Both Robeez and Trumpette socks are a bit pricey but in my opinion, worth every penny.  They are popular enough that you can find them used at most consignment stores so if you are hesitant to buy them new, go on a treasure hunt!

There you have it.  Our top 10 must have items for ages 2-12 months.

What were your 2-12 month must haves??


Flashback!  Here is what we were up to one year ago today: "Why I Stay Home"

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  1. We have multiple strollers around here too! Each of my kids have an Umbrella Stroller because they are so easy to transport. We also have a double stroller & a regular nicer stroller. We don't really have to have them all but it does make life easier!

    My first daughter's must have was her swing. Honestly, we couldn't have made it without it. She slept in it about 90 percent of the time.

    For my son, it was his walk behind toys. That is really how he learnt to walk. He would play with them awhile & walk behind them awhile. They were very handy.

    My baby (the youngest) has a bouncy horse that she uses all the time. It makes noises and she absolutely LOVES it!

  2. New subscriber here - love reading your blog and watching the videos! I am trying to get better about putting my videos up. I have a million and most never go anywhere!

    I totally can relate to a house overtaken with baby gear. A few days ago our living room looked like we have 6 babies with all the stuff everywhere. Really the only MUST HAVE of all that stuff for us was our Rock n' Play. My little guy loves being in there still and it's nice to have a quick place to set him down (floor mat is out due to too many excited pug kisses). He didn't like his swing. The hard (+expensive) part is that you never know which item is going to be preferred by baby.

    Happy blogging!! :)