We try our best as new parents to be minimalists. We stick to books, wooden toys and other basics from which we think Isla will really benefit. At six months old she’s rolling every which way, grabs anything and everything, loves turning the pages during story-time, rocks back and forth on all fours as if she’s going to catapult into a crawl at any moment and is quickly learning to feed herself. She loves all things bright, books she can chew, toys that crinkle and the feel of wood on her gums. Feeding time has also become very important (follow our journey with baby-led weaning), but introducing solids is messy business. Having the right gear is essential. Here are a few things we wouldn’t want to do without around here (listed clockwise).
Bright Starts Grab and Stack Blocks. Two of these have bells inside and the other two make that crinkling noise babies go nuts over. They’re colorful, have fun animals, numbers and letters on them and they’re very lightweight so they are easy travel companions.
NUK Learner Cup. Isla grabbed hold of those handles the very first time we gave her this sippy cup. It’s durable (she throws it all over the place), easy to use/clean/carry and so far there’s only minimal spillage (but I think it’s coming from Isla’s mouth, not the cup).
Haba Rira Clutching Toy. This wooden rattle was recommended by Lynzy, of Sparkling Footsteps. I am partial to wooden toys in general and I love that this one is small enough for Isla’s tiny fists. She eats it all day long because, I imagine, it feels great on her sore gums.
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack. I don’t know about you, but these were a staple when we were babies and it appears nothing has changed. Isla goes crazy for the rings and has become a pro at getting them off (and chewing them).
BabyBjorn Soft Bib. I bought a two-pack of these bibs and haven’t used anything else for feeding since they arrived. Baby-led weaning is a mess, but these bibs catch nearly everything she drops in front of her. She’s even started to realize and reach in there to grab her food! It’s pretty amazing. This bib is a mealtime necessity and huge clean-up saver for us.
Where’s Ellie? Board Book. This is the first book Isla really seems to understand. She searches and searches for Ellie (you can tell she’s concentrating very hard), turns the pages as quickly as possible when she doesn’t see Ellie (she tries to cheat and skip to the last page, too, because she’s figured it out) and cannot control her excitement at the end when we find that silly pachyderm. And then we start all over again. We also love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Going to Bed Book and Hello Bugs (which I bought because of the bee on the cover not realizing she’d love it so much!).
Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether. Oh, Sophie. We don’t leave home without her. We started with the mini Sophie when Isla was a newborn because it was easier for her to grab but we’ve since graduated to full-size Sophie. I sort of feel like I’m giving my daughter a dog toy, but hey, anything that makes her this happy … I don’t care if it really is a dog toy!
Svan Complete High Chair. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but we love this high chair. Baby-led weaning means mealtime with Isla can sometimes take a while so her high chair has to be comfortable and the right size for her to feed herself. This one is easy to clean, looks nice with all of our regular furniture and is the perfect size for both Isla and our home.
What are some of your infant essentials?