Today I'm sharing our favorite baby items, from 6-12 months. While I may call them "essentials", all of these items are most certainly luxuries. It goes without saying that the most important item, isn't an item at all.
1. Dex Noise Machine
I discovered around 7 months that A needed white noise to sleep. Once we moved him out of the swing, and into the crib for naps, he needed a background noise to help settle him down and stay asleep. Because A was always a light sleeper, the noise machine also helped drown out the dogs barking at the mailman, or UPS man (or anyone else walking down the street!). My one complaint about this particular machine is that it is not loud enough, but it has definitely served its purpose.
2. Playtex Sippy Cups
I don't know about anyone else, but I found the world of sippy cups to be much more confusing than bottles! After testing a few others, these Playtex Sippy Cups were the easiest for A to use, and, they didn't leak. I can also say they're well-loved, and have survived multiple tosses and drops from the high-chair.
3. North State Baby Gate
I've mentioned before that we live in a split-level home. That means that we have 3 separate sets of stairs that need to be gated off from our little wild child. Selfishly, I wanted to find a gate that blended into our decor, and didn't scream "baby". Knowing that baby gates would be in our home for the foreseeable future, we decided to invest in gates that were hardware-mounted. I love these gates! The bronze color is perfect for our home, they are sturdy and were easy to install. Believe me - A has put these gates through the ringer, and they still look brand new.
4. Kalorik Baby Food Maker
I don't cook. I can bake, but I don't do it often. For some reason, it was really important to me to make homemade fruit and veggie purees for A when he starting eating solids. I seriously loved every second of making his baby food. I realize it isn't for everyone, but if you're interested in making your own food, I definitely suggest a baby food maker. The convenience of an all-in-one unit, that I could set up and walk away from, was perfect for me. While I will probably buy a new machine for our next baby, this one served its purpose and worked well.
5. Taggies Buddy Lovey
Oh Taggie Lovey, sometimes I can't believe what a big part of our lives you are! My parents gave A lovey for Christmas, and he was instantly smitten. I couldn't find a picture of the exact lovey that we have, but this one is pretty close. Lovey is a sleep association for A, and can instantly soothe him. He loves playing with the tags, and it warms my heart to know he has something that is so calming and comforting. Lovey is a very big part of our lives!
6. Bright Starts Walker After lots of research, I have to admit I was really skeptical about buying a walker. Some reports had shown that walkers had actually delayed the walking milestone in some children, and could promote poor foot placement and formation when learning to walk. For us, the walker had no impact on A's ability to hit his walking milestone - in fact, he was walking by 10 months! The walker was perfect for our kitchen: he could motor around while we got ready for work, and since our baby gates were installed, I knew he couldn't go far.
7. Safer Bather
When A started to outgrow his infant tub (the Puj), but was still too small to take a bath in the tub, we searched for something to help bridge that gap. This was the perfect solution: it allowed us to continue bathing him in the kitchen sink, and gave him something soft to sit on. The size of it was perfect, and the material was sturdy enough that it wouldn't move around the sink while it was wet. Of course, we still had to keep one hand on A until he was steady enough to sit on his own, but this product definitely helped during that transition stage.
8. Britax Boulevard 70CS
We had to purchase a new car seat when A was 10 months. While he was still below the weight limit for the infant car seat, he was clearly uncomfortable. Car rides became much more enjoyable once we switched to this seat! What I love (aside from the adorable cow print), is how easy it is to install. One downside to this car seat however, is that is difficult to clean. We had a little incident on a road trip to Burlington, which required that the entire seat cover be washed - in a washing machine. Hand-washing would not cut it for this mess, believe me. Unfortunately, the back of the cover tore a bit in the dryer. While it has no impact on the safety of the seat, I do wish that the covers could withstand both machine washing & drying.
9. Oxo Tot Baby Food Blocks
These are great storage containers for homemade baby food: they wash well, are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Enough said!
10. Fischer Price ABC Train
A gift from my husband's parents, this toy provided endless hours of entertainment. The two pieces can detach, and A used the front part of the train to learn how to walk. It helped him gain his confidence, and he loved that as he continued to walk, the train would play music. Even at 17 months, A still plays with this toy on a daily basis. The ABC train is well loved, and still looks new! This is a great gift for infants to grow into.
You can see our favorite baby items, newborn - 6 months, here.
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