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I original wrote this post when my first daughter turned one! I put together a list of my top 10 favorite baby items for newborn age to four months and it was a hit for moms-to-be! I followed up with the next run in this series showcasing my top baby items for 5 months to 1 year. Now that I’m a mom of 2 girls, I have updated this page to confirm that these items really were well loved by both girls!
Instead of all individual items, I’m going to cheat giving you ten categories and list a few of our favorite products we’ve enjoyed from each category. This way you have lots more things to buy a beloved baby in your life!
No blankets in our house for our little one! Nope we only use sleepsacks year round. She started in a HALO SleepSack Swaddle, then moved to a regular HALO SleepSack and finally ended in the HALO Early Walker SleepSack. We’ve used micro fleece ones for winter and soft lightweight cotton for summer and have had no problems with being too hot or too cold. She still wears pjs underneath and you gotta love that reverse zipper for late night diaper changes!
- When taking her occasional bottle or eating messier foods, we loved the Tommee Tippee Milk Feeding Bibs with the extra rounded edge that would help stop things from going under her neck. They were the softest bibs we used and weren’t stained by most foods! Once we did finger foods, we moved to JJ Cole Adjustable Snap Closure Bib Set with pockets as they stopped her from wearing all her food in her lap!
- When we started introducing solids at 4 months, I wanted Brielle to feel like a part of family eating at the table. Thanks to her Gwenma and PopPop, she got this nifty Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System high chair that converts to other seating styles as the baby grows. I love that there is a separate tray that comes off for easy cleaning as we often use this chair for creative playtime when we do art class! (NOTE: Brielle, my first, used this high chair until she was over 2 years old and my 2nd daughter who’s 16 months is still in it too! You’ll get a lot of use out of this well made highchair!)
- She ate her Happy Baby purees using a mini bowl and these Gerber Graduates Soft Bite Infant Spoons. I had originally put different ones on my registry but once we started trying to eat, I realized they were too “scooped” to get the food in her mouth. Instead these Gerber spoons have a flatter shape that really helped with those early foods she was testing out.
On the Go:
- At 8 months (to the day!), Brielle was finally ready to sit up in front of the shopping cart when we went out to the store. And man did she LOVE it! I happily put our Boppy Shopping Cart Cover on the front of the cart to help protect her a bit from the grimy carts and the little book that was attached let her have something she could play with while we shopped.
- Her first winter was a brutal one with lots of snow and really cold days. I bought an adorable Car Seat Cover from this Etsy shop and was able to protect her from rain/snow/wind/sick people all season. I loved this version which had snaps in the front so I could separate the “curtains” and see her when she was awake or snap it closed when she was sleeping. I have been asked by SOOO many stroller toting moms where I got this cover! Note: I would also suggest looking into the extra fee to get the one that has the fitted band on the back to help stop it from flipping over in high wind. I didn’t get that for my cover but could really see how it would’ve helped in several situations.
Baby Safety Products:
- We installed this Summer’s Infant banister to banister baby gate using a method which didn’t require drilling into our gate.
- For all our dangerous cabinets and drawers (i.e. under the sink cleaning supplies and one that held pantry food or extra kitchen utensils like pizza cutters) we use this Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System. It worked well, but was just a pain to get used to. We’d always pull the handle first before remembering we need a key after. I caught on quick but I still catch Derek pulling the knob before remembering the key. Just be prepared for the learning curve but that’s of no fault of the product, just us forgetful parents!
- For all the other drawers that needed to be closed for safety but weren’t in a dangerous location, we used these Safety 1st 10 Pack Spring n’ Release Latches.
- At 6 months we moved Brielle from the pack n’ play in our room to the crib in her nursery and having the video monitor was key to allowing us to sleep. That girl makes some funny noises at night and I’d rather peek over to the monitor to see that she’s dreaming than have to get up and see if she was actually up. Sorry folks, but I’m not putting the make/model we used on the internet but know that I HIGHLY suggest looking into one for your home, especially if it’s multiple levels like ours. Tip: Buy a second power cord for the remote screen so you can easily plug it in on multiple levels without losing battery power.
- UPDATE: Find all the baby safety items we used in our home here!
Basic Developmental Toys
- Both Brielle and her daddy were a big fan of The First Years Stack N Count Cups. We watched her grow through so many milestones with these blocks – from just picking up an item with one hand, passing between hands, chewing on it like a teether and clapping them together to make a noise. Daddy loved to stack them high and Brielle loves to knock them down. Mommy loved that they nested together for small storage purposes and to bring on the go! 🙂
- These simple Sassy Ring O’ Links are the perfect toys for on the go. This set lived in her car seat for the first year of her life (but was washed of course)! You can see them in the photo above with my favorite Sophie teether photobomb picture. She loved to throw them around, catch them on her toes, or have them hung from the handle of the car seat. The rings are very colorful and have different textures on them for sensory play!
- We all know that babies tend to like the packaging more than the gift. But the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks set has both a packaged item (the bucket) and the contents inside (the blocks) which are fun for a little one!
Toys that encouraged movement
- “Welcome to our learning farm!” Brielle received the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker at her first Christmas (Thanks Aunt Melanie!) when she was only 4 months old. She began playing with the musical part when sitting and just a few short months later was pulling up on it to stand and play! It was only a matter of time before she was pushing it along the carpet at eight months and by 9 months we had ourselves an early walker! I can’t promise you’ll get the same results but I can promise your little one will love this toy and you will find yourself singing along to the songs it plays!
- Balls! It’s as simple as that. Think small (not too small that they’re chocking hazards) AND big! Brielle loved these one large ones with little bumps on them as she could easily grip it and hold on!
- Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether – I didn’t put one on my registry because, let’s face it, can a $20 TEETHER really be worth it? But we received one as a gift once she arrived (Thanks Aunt Melissa!) and let me tell you, she loves the silly thing! We leave it in her carseat so it’s always at the ready when we’re on the road. She’ll happily chew on it, throw it around and squeak it our whole ride. You can see Miss Sophie photobombing my car seat shot in the photo above!
- Nuby Silicone Teether with Bristles – This particular teether has these little bumps on them which she seemed to like. The handle was a bit different than others and she would always pick it up and throw it right in her mouth in those early teething months.
- We also used Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets when she was having a rough teething day. She LOVES to take medicine, like these quick dissolving tabs or Tylenol in a syringe so we never had a problem getting her to open up and wait for these to dissolve in her mouth. I swear they really are INSTANT relief since she would tend to calm down once they were working their magic.
- UPDATE: Learn about more teething items both my girls used!
- Brielle LOVES the “That’s not my” series of books! We received three from our baby shower/Christmas that she loved to flip through and read. I’d say the line “That’s not my teddy, his paws are too rough” and then she’d know the exact spot of the page to touch and feel the texture. She’d flip through these over and over again, loving certain pages more than others. We have and recommend: That’s Not My Baby, That’s Not My Teddy and That’s Not My Monkey but I’m sure any in the series would be great! We also loved Peek-A Who? since she loved the mirror in the back and also Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings with all the fun tactile panel (see above).
- Babies love to look at photos of themselves or other babies. We love our Sassy Look Photo Book where I swap out photos of family members often!
- UPDATE: Looking for good bedtime books? Check out this full list of ones I recommend!
I already mentioned our love of our Sit to Stand Learning Walker, but we also loved standing up at our LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table (Thanks Liz!) and Fisher-Price Interactive Baby Grand Piano (Thanks Aunt Lauren!).
Foldable Outdoor Blanket with Zipper Closure. I got mine at Kohl’s a few years ago and don’t see it online but here is a similar style: Clara Clark ® Waterproof Outdoor Beach Picnic Blanket, Multi Color Stripes. Mine folds up pretty compactly, has a waterproof bottom and a full on zipper closure all the way around. This allowed me to have a portable blanket to bring on the go but one where I could stash a few flat-ish toys/books inside the zippered compartment that was all ready to be unrolled for play. We used this often in the park or brought to outdoor parties all summer so I knew there was a safe play place for my little miss.
UPDATE: Check out more outdoor toys I recommend for toddlers in a follow up post!
Looking for ideas for toddlers 12 – 18 months, then check out this follow up post!