I was sent some of these products to review. All opinions are my own.
A few months ago, I posted a list of my favorite baby products for newborns. I still stand by the recommendations on that list, but thought I'd add a few more products we've discovered as Ian has gotten older. He's now almost seven months! We've slowed down on buying baby stuff, so this list won't be quite as long as the first one, but I thought this might be helpful to some of you with babies around the same age.
1. Boppy pillow - I originally got the Boppy for nursing, but did you know it has lots of other uses? Lately, I've been placing it around Ian's waist to give him some support while sitting, since he's still rather wobbly. I also have a Bumbo, but the occupational therapist at the NICU told us that it's actually not good for babies' development since it locks them in a passive position. I still use ours occasionally because it's so dang convenient, but I try not to leave him in it for too long.
2. Books - I've been reading to Ian since the day we brought him home. It's fun to see him get more engaged and interested as he gets older! I also prop up open books for him to look at and reach for during tummy time. Our latest favorites are Shh! We Have a Plan, Where's the Giraffe? and of course the classic Guess How Much I Love You.
3. Toys - I read that the best toys for early development are ones that are open-ended and encourage your baby to explore and interact with them in lots of different ways; toys like blocks, stacking rings, balls, rattles, and shakers. Luckily, these are also the toys that tend to look prettier and annoy parents less (aka: not the plastic gizmo that lights up and makes a bunch of noise when the button gets pressed). Just make sure they don't have chokable pieces!
4. Stuffed animals - Ian is at a stage right now where he looooves stuffed animals. He especially loves chomping on their arms, legs, ears, and tags...haha. His current favorite is Pierre the bunny--it's so soft!
5. Teethers - We've tried a few different teethers, and so far Ian's favorites are the Comotomo (it's sort of finger-like) and the Oball Grip & Teethe keys. They're not the prettiest, most designer-y teethers out there, but they're both really inexpensive and he likes them, so win-win.
6. Baby gate - We made the conscious choice not to get an exersaucer, johnny jump up, or activity center because 1) we don't really want big, unattractive, plastic things in the house anyways and 2) the occupational therapist at the NICU did not recommend them...in fact, she said that they can actually delay baby's development (similar to the Bumbo). But we can't always be entertaining Ian. Sometimes, I need him to be playing by himself somewhere safe, so I can get dinner done or take a shower in peace. So we got a baby gate so we can block off a baby-proofed area for him to play in.
1. Food processor or blender - We've just started feeding Ian a little bit of solid food, and instead of buying canned baby food, we decided to make it ourselves by blending up fresh fruits and veggies. It's really simple, cheaper for us, and (I think) yummier for him. So if you don't already have a blender or food processor, here's your excuse to justify the purchase! We use a Vita-Mix and I love it, but there are lots of cheaper options that would work as well.
2. Boon GRASS & TWIG - Now that we have even more baby dishes, I finally got a dedicated drying rack for all of them. I really love this set by Boon, as it's super functional and also really cute. The "grass" is flexible blades that hold bottles, baby spoons, etc. and the "twig" tree is perfect for hanging bottle nipples and other small accessories.
3. Boon PULP - Another innovative product by Boon is this silicone mesh feeder. We found that Ian kept trying to grab the spoon when we were feeding him, so we thought we'd try this self-feeder out. It looks kind of like a popsicle with holes in it, so Ian can suck his own baby food out.
4. Bibs - Ian is a big-time drooler these days, plus babies eating solid food is a cute but very messy affair. So I got him a few bibs. So far, I've just been using the super-simple terry cloth ones as they're more comfortable for him and are easy for me to throw in the wash. But I've also heard people love the wipeable silicone ones that have a tray for catching food spills at the bottom.
5. Full coverage nursing cover - I originally got this for its function as a car seat cover (to keep the sun out of Ian's eyes)...but ended up loving it for nursing. The 360 degree coverage is super nice and it's a light, breathable, stretchy fabric.
1. Boon CARE - We got a baby first aid kit when Ian was born, including a bulb aspirator, nail clippers, and a thermometer...but Boon sent me this modern looking set so I figured I'd try it. Even though it includes a lot of repeat items, they're all a little more innovative (and better looking too). The nasal aspirator works by you sucking through a tube (instead of squeezing the bulb), which gives you more control and is easier to clean. The thermometer is a lot quicker than the one we had before--definitely a win with a squirmy baby. There's also a silicone toothbrush, cradle cap brush, nail clippers, and a medicine spoon. Basically, it's your baby's must-have toiletry kit!
2. Diapers & wipes - We tried several brands of diapers and wipes including Huggies, Pampers, and a few others. So far, our favorite for price and quality are Costco's. However, we don't have a Costco membership...so I was excited to find that you can purchase their "Kirkland Signature" brand on diapers.com without having to be a member!
3. Crane humidifier - Ian just had his first cold, and a humidifier really helped him to breathe easier. I like that this one has a cool mist so it won't burn you, turns itself off when the water tank is empty, and adds to the decor instead of being an eyesore. Beautiful products that function well are my absolute favorite.
3. Baby bathtub - Ian has outgrown his Puj tub, so it's time for us to find a new bathtub that'll work for the next stage. I've been loving all things by Boon (in case you can't tell from this post), so I'm thinking of trying out this collapsible baby tub. On the other hand, I could probably start bathing him in the regular bathtub soon, now that he's starting to sit up. It just kind of scares me a bit!
Hope these recommendations are helpful! And fellow mamas, I'd love to hear the products that made your life easier when your babies were 6-12 months. I know Ian has some exciting milestones ahead (crawling, walking, talking, etc.)