Welcome to the third edition of My Favorite Baby Products! My little one keeps growing, and we keep buying (I suppose this is what they meant when they said that kids ain’t cheap). Following are my personal favorites for the 6-9 month age range.
- Tommee Tippee Explora Li’l Sippee Trainer Cup: We have tried every sippy cup on the planet. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But not by much. They are all wrong for oh so many reasons. The ones with the hard plastic or silicone nipples don’t work. They are not comfortable for the baby (a pretty rough transition from a soft bottle or breast nipple), and they encourage chewing chewing chewing of the nipple. Others with softer nipples are TOO spill-proof. Meaning, they are so airtight that it’s nearly impossible to suck that water out. I can barely do it – and only after an inordinate amount of effort. The other types with the soft nipples are easier for baby… But a MESS for mommy. So I finally realized I needed a sippy cup with a soft nipple, easy flow, and some sort of anti-spill mechanism. Tommee Tippee fits the bill! Plus it has a nice shape and handles that are easy for my son to grasp. Highly recommend.
- Step2 Push Around Buggy: I don’t know what it is about this toy that makes it so much more exciting than a regular stroller, but my son is absolutely thrilled to ride this. As soon as he gets on it, he grabs onto the steering wheel and quickly begins rocking his little body back and forth in an attempt to make it go. When I push him, he screams in delights, waves his arms, and reaches for everything we pass. A smile is plastered all over his face literally every minute he’s on this thing. Each time we are out with it, a passerby will stop and laugh and comment on our happy baby. Needless to say, this a huge hit, and I would have purchased it sooner had I realized.
- LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table: This is more than just a toy, as it’s teaching him how to stand and balance. He’s also learning cause and effect: pull this to hear that, or open this to hear something else. He is really intrigued with this and I love watching him trying to stand and balance himself on it while reaching for the different buttons and pulleys. Nicely, the music and words it plays don’t seem nearly as annoying as some other toys we have.
- Bubbles: Okay, I know not really a single product, but I had to add it to the list. My son is crazy for bubbles! I only found out by seeing him absolutely mesmerized at Gymboree every time the bubbles come out. He just can’t get enough. He reaches for them, holds them, pats them, and claps and squeals every time he sees them. In fact, he is much more enamored with the $3 bubbles I bought than the fancy-shmancy talking music player. I suppose it’s the little things.
- North States Superyard Playard: I know what you’re thinking. I had the same thought too. Put my kid in a pen?? Like a dog?? No way, not gonna happen, not in my house. Yet… We broke down and got the pen, er, playard. And am I ever glad we did. Our house, you see, is open concept; great for entertaining, horrible for kids. On the main living floor of our house, there is literally no way to gate off separate rooms or areas! So we were setting the baby into the high chair or the bouncer just for a few minutes to get things done. Poor little guy. We figured it was time to give him some more space. This pen is wonderful. We bought a $19 thick rug at Big Lots to line it, put in his toys, and he is as happy as can be to roll, crawl, and play. It’s a pretty sizeable pen, and I appreciate the fact that there is a muted color option (our house is already beginning to resemble a circus as it is). There is room for the entire family to spread out and play in it, including the dog! I imagine as he hits the pre-toddler stage, we will need to buy some more extensions to make it a bit more bigger, but for now it’s great and allows my husband to continue procrastinating on the baby-proofing.
- Contours Lite Stroller: Who knew that strollers were such a booming business?? There are strollers for every style, budget, and personality. It’s mind boggling! Even we have no fewer than 4 strollers for a single 9-month-old baby. And which one is our everyday favorite? This one. It is light light light (can easily throw into car trunks), folds quickly, and is a mere $65 vs. the several-hundred-dollar models. Rides smoothly, steers easily with one hand, includes a large umbrella cover, and has a HUGE lower basket which is perfect for baby bags, groceries, and a little dog. Also reclines easily and includes a removable 5-point-harness, which was especially important to me when he was younger. A great buy and wonderful stroller!
- Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket with Carrying Case: I have to give credit to our nanny for this great recommendation. I guess she was tired of having to line up several tiny baby blankets to sit on at the park, then washing them over and over to get rid of the grass stains. Now with this blanket, there is plenty of room for the entire family to sit, it is water-resistant, and cleaning is a breeze. Add to the mix the convenient carrying case (to clip onto the Mommy Hook on your stroller), and this is the perfect blanket for a picnic or day at the park.
- Infantino Cart Cover: I’m already a germaphobe (think: knuckles on elevator buttons and paper towels to open public doors). So when I had my son, my germaphobia went through the roof. I heard the horror stories. My baby caught mono from a shopping cart! Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease from a restuarant tabletop! And I wanted no part of it for my son. I admit that I have shied away from even putting him into a shopping cart or restaurant high chair for the sheer fear that he may touch an uncleansed surface and contract some horrifying disease. That’s why these cart covers are so ingenious! Now I can safely sit him into a shopping cart and a restaurant high chair with no fear that he is going to touch something he shouldn’t. It even has a little belt and loops upon which to hook his favorite toys. Fluffy and soft too. Baby likes it and so do I.
So there you have it. Now time for me to start thinking through the 9-12 month list (really?? Already almost 12 months??)