This post is about our experience with our 6,7 and 8 month old – what worked for us may not work for you, and what I deem a necessity may seem like a luxury for you (or vice versa!). To see all the posts in the ‘Must-Haves’ Category, click here.
Bumbo Seat – When Eleni was much smaller, it was fun to sit her up in her Bumbo and watch her observe the world from a different angle. However, with my especially independent and inquisitive child that luxury did not last very long! Gone are the days where I can sit her in it and turn away – she has been known to pop right out of it trying to get to the nearest toy. So now, we use the Bumbo in our very own way. Since Eleni has grown out of her baby bath my husband had the genius idea of suctioning her Bumbo to the floor of the bath (you just have to push down real hard – without the baby already sitting in it) and she loves to splash about in it. It’s nice for me too because I’m not struggling to keep her from slipping and sliding all over the place. (Please note that it was not designed for this purpose and I cannot be held responsible for any mishaps!)
Baby Hair Clips/Hair ties – If I only had a dollar for every time someone commented on my baby’s hair. She was born with a lot of hair and never lost it. It has just kept growing and growing and I absolutely love it! I even braided it the other day. While I knew when I was pregnant that I would buy plenty of hair accessories for my baby girl, I didn’t imagine it would be out of necessity so soon! Eleni’s hair is constantly in her eyes – enter hair clips and hair ties! Often I will pull her hair into a pony tail (or a ‘sprig’ as her Grandaddy calls it) on the top of her head. I love these fabric hair ties that pull her hair less than regular ones. I found some at Walmart, but I’m sure any drugstore would have them. I also use a lot of hair clips – you can find really cute ones with bows, flowers, anything! The ‘snap’ ones are really good too.
Eddie Bauer Classic Wooden High Chair – This has been an absolute LIFESAVER now that Eleni is big enough to sit comfortably in it. We’ve found ourselves scooting this chair all over the dining room/kitchen when I’m cleaning or cooking. I put soft toys on the tray, or give her a wafer or a carrot stick to chew on and she will sit happily for 10 minutes or more as long as she can still see/hear me. She sits happily while I cook our dinner and when Chris and I eat it, she sits happily in the mornings while we’re waking up and sipping on our coffee – she is just so comfortable in this chair! I am equally comfortable leaving her sitting in it – even when she’s being energetic and a bit wild – because it is so sturdy (thanks to the real wood). I chose this one because I know it is sturdy, I know it will last for more than one child, and I chose a gender-neutral pattern for the cushions just in case we have a boy next. Another feature that I love about this high chair is the detachable snack tray and the actual tray underneath – both of which are dishwasher safe, and also the little shelf at the back in which I keep some of her bowls, bibs and spoons. So handy!
Winter ‘Bundle Up’ Clothes – We have had unusually cold temperatures this year, and a lot of snow too. I absolutely love winter and cold weather, but I had to give some thought on how to keep my baby comfortable yet warm at the same time. Our lovely friend Laurel, who is an absolute gem, bought Eleni a sweet winter jacket that has been such a blessing! It is waterproof and blocks the wind, and it has a big fleeced hood with fur trim – so cute and so practical! The other thing that Eleni has worn on chilly days which is not quite as bulky, so better if we’re driving somewhere and she has to be in her carseat, is a full body suit which I bought in South Africa (in the middle of summer – bizarre!). It is fluffy and adorable. She looks like the abominable snowman and I love it! Last the list of things to mention is a good hat (we lose tons of heat through our head, especially as babies) and a good pair of boots to keep those little tootsies warm. We were fortunate enough to have a matching set passed down to us. Both the hat and the boots are from Baby Gap and they are fleece-lined and gorgeous!
Netflix – Oh, this is going to make me sound like a terrible mother in the world of PPPs (Perfect Pinterest Parents) but let’s be honest, we all do it. And if you don’t yet, you probably will. It might not be Netflix, but you will find whatever it is that makes your child sit still without you for a minute so that you can go pee/put on make up/grab a bite to eat…I promise you, you will find something and you will use it. Now I am not a fan of plopping your child in front of the TV for hours but I really don’t think that 15 minutes here and there is going to do my baby any harm, and if it helps me to regain what’s left of my sanity for the day then I’m all for it! Her attention span at this age is not that expansive anyway. I am also quite adamant that even at this age, the shows that she does watch need to be educational. Eleni loves to sit in her high chair and watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood which is an updated version of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and it is full of sweet lessons relevant to toddlers from potty training to going to the doctor to sharing toys with friends. While she is still too young to understand any of that, it makes me feel good.
Plum Little Yums – Eleni LOVES these! Even though she mostly plays with them, she’s learning to suck on the wafers and get some of the flavor and texture in her mouth. Eleni has always preferred finger food to me feeding her pureed fruits and veggies (although we are still pursuing that avenue as well) and so these are perfect. In the beginning I had to watch her quite closely but now I feel like she has somewhat of a handle on how they work (ie she doesn’t shove them down her throat!) I love that these are affordable, organic and packed full of flavor.
Boogie Wipes – Eleni has had a couple colds/sniffly moments in her 8 month old existence. The first time she got a cold we were so worried, but now we’re quite used to it. I love these Boogie Wipes because they allow me to wipe her nose/face without worrying that I’m going to irritate her skin with a normal wipe or make it raw with a tissue. They are gentle saline wipes, and you can also get them infused with menthol which helps to clear up noses too.
Paci Wipes – These have been an absolute LIFESAVER. Eleni only started using a paci religiously a month ago, and since then I cannot tell you how many times they have been thrown/dropped on the floor! These wipes are safe enough to use on anything that Eleni is going to put in her mouth – pacifiers, toys, bottles etc.
Toys: We are having so much fun now that Eleni is old enough to play with her toys! Not to mention the fact that it is so nice for me to be able to leave her on the floor (on a big fluffy blanket, since we have wooden floors) and get on with chores while she plays happily to herself. These are three of our absolute favorite toys that she plays with at home. When we go out I always pack her Sophie Giraffe, her soft ‘My First Doll’, and at least one set of teething play keys.
Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker – Although Eleni is not quite at the stage where she can use this to walk behind, since she got it for Christmas she has played with it every single day! She loves to sit in front of it and push all the buttons, and she’s figured out that if you rock it back and forth it plays a song or two! I can’t wait to see how much fun she has when she’s learning to walk too.
Activity Cube – The activity cube that we have is Playful Basics from Little Tikes, and Eleni absolutely loves it! I bought at a very cheap price from a consignment event (which, by the way, is where I get all of her clothes) and she loves to sit there and explore. I’m so proud that she’s already learnt how to spin, push, shake all the little parts on it!
Fisher-Price ‘Go Baby Go’ Crawl Along Drum Roll – I swear, Eleni is going to be a drummer. This is another toy that I got at a consignment event and Eleni beats on it like it’s going out of style! The drums light up and play different beats, and they also fold together to roll around on the floor.