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Welcome to my third installment on this series of favorite products! Now that Brielle is over 18 months, I wanted to showcase some items she grew to love the last six months! Before going any further, make sure to check out my Top 10 Favorite Baby Items for birth to Four Months and my second installment of Five Months to a Year!
Once again I’m cheating (in your favor) and giving you top 10 categories full of products we love!
- Food and Drink
- Let’s start with the most important, the things that hold the things they eat and drink! Brielle loves these Munchkin Snack Catchers which I often fill with Happy Family Puffs or Yogis. She can put her hand in and get some out but if it accidentally tips, the whole thing doesn’t spill.
- Once she learned how to master the straw (which we succeeded in doing by practicing with mommy’s straw and a very full cup) she was happy to suck down her whole milk in a Munchkin Click Lock Straw Cup. We tried A LOT of different brands and styles and this one with the click lock lid really was the one that leaked the least.
- Early Learning – I hope Brielle’s love of books will continue throughout her life! At a younger age she was really into books with sensory panels, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings being her absolute FAVORITE. As she got older we started to get more into interactive books, especially lift-the-flap styles, like Where’s Spot? and Fisher-Price Little People Farm (the latter being a more durable series).
- Playing House – It’s so fun to watch your little one play “house” and put on pretend conversations with their characters when they themselves can’t really talk yet! Brielle received the Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home for her first birthday and would happily sit and play with it alone or with us. We put it under the console table so it was slightly raised for her to sit and play.
- Pretend Play – It’s so cute to watch your mini me mimic the things that you do. Brielle has always “helped” me do the laundry but once she started swiping the lint screen I had to laugh and realize how much she was actually watching my every move. So seeing her use items like her Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn My Pretty Learning Purse, VTech Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase, and Little Tikes Shopping Cart in the same manner in which her mommy uses it is pretty much the cutest thing in the world.
- Outdoor Sensory Play
- All summer and fall we tried to get outside at least once a day to do different things. While we have a few playgrounds in walking distance, it’s also important for her to explore new senses in her own backyard. She loved to stand at her Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table and splash around under a shaded space.
- When it was a bath night, I let her explore the sandy mess that lived inside her Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox. A neighbor was throwing it out (since their kids outgrew it) and I luckily picked it up for our yard. Tip: if you have any neighborhood animals or live in a buggy area, make sure you get a sandbox with a lid to keep both those critters out of your fresh sand!
- UPDATE: Check out my recommendations for backyard must haves for toddlers!
- Outdoor and On the Move! – Brielle was walking at 9 months but she certainly can’t do laps around the neighborhood! Instead she strolled around the block in the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike we got her for her first birthday or the Step2 Wagon grandpa bought her. The wagon can fit 2 so it will be good when she hosts her cousins or her new sibling! I’ve also taken this bike to the mall in winter!
- Music Makers – Brielle and I have now done three Music Together sessions, starting when she was 9 months, and I can’t recommend them enough. It was great for mommy to have a scheduled day to get out every week but it was even more fun to watch Brielle grow MUSICALLY as she got older. She now uses the remote to put on the cds at home and knows which dance moves or actions are meant for which songs. The class uses all sorts of musical instruments, but these Nino Percussion Plastic Egg Shakers were such a hit that we got a set to shake around at home.
- Arts and Crafts – While most of the arts and crafts materials are aged for children much older than her, Brielle has been enjoying finger paint activities with me since she was 6 months. We use the Crayola Washable Fingerpaints and have made plenty of beautiful creations for holidays and special occasions. Just make sure you watch them as they tend to want to put their hands in their mouths! UPDATE: Check out our favorite arts and crafts supplies for toddlers!
- Build, Stack and Sort – I’ve already mentioned our love of the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks for Brielle at a younger age, but now that she’s older she has a refreshed interest as she’s now working to recognize shapes, colors and put puzzles together. I also highly recommend Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag as she can easily stack the pieces together to build a castle or separate them without help. At 16 months I brought out these Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks which she received her first Christmas and she’s been LOVING them the past few months. Sometimes we’d just sit there and watch her nest the set back up, taking out the wrong sizes to make sure the right ones go inside. It’s amazing to watch her problem solve with this set!
- Cold and Cough – Here’s a downer but necessary part of the baby raising process! It’s inevitable that your child is going to get sick and once they’re a squirmy toddler that bulb nose sucker they give you at the hospital is no longer affective. When Brielle has a cold (which she unfortunately has gotten often from daycare) we use three things: Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist, Baby, NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator, and her Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Humidifier. Like most First Time Moms, reading about the NoseFrida totally sounds like the grosses thing. And to be honest, I personally don’t use it! BUT my husband does and it works like a charm! The nasal mist is used before it and we put the humidifier in her room as she sleeps. UPDATE: Find the items I recommend having in your baby’s medicine cabinet here.
Looking or more toddler toy suggestions for the next age group? Read our favorite items for Age 2 (really 18 months – 3 years) here.