I've missed a few weeks here and there and decided to combine the topics. I know many are having showers/creating registries and generally looking for baby items/deals. Registries aren't just for newborn items!
This week will start our older baby series. This is kind of a mis-mash...
Toys: share your thoughts on the best babytoys. What was good for that newborn phase and what did you use/baby like as she/he got older? What are some lasting toys? Something you wish you didn't have and curse the person who gifted it to you. lol. Any essentials?
Teething: remedies, suggestions, what do you use to keep those new teeth clean?
Feeding: cups, plates, bowls, spoons, bibs, snack cups, etc. what did you use, what did you love, what wasn't worth your time?
Baby Proofing: How do/did you keep your LO contained? other safety outlet covers, cabinet locks, furniture wall mounts? Those with toddlers/older children how do/did you keep baby from the toddler toys/small parts etc.?
Re: Product Spotlight: Older Baby Series/Registry Items: Toys, Teeth & Feeding, Baby Proofing
Teething: Nuby silicone tethers that come with a case (really any Nuby has been good) baby banana toothbrush, baby banana octo brush, Sofie the giraffe, cheap water filled circles, Motrin, cold wash clothes. We used to use Hyland’s tee things tabs…they were amazing, but then they were indefinitely recalled. Canada might still sell them though.
Feeding: boon plates with the rubber around the edge. We also used OXO suction bottom plates. I liked them for mealtimes, but hated washing and storing them. OXO utensils, buy a bunch, they’ll last several kids. Bumpkins bibs. Again, buy a bunch they’ll last forever, just don’t dry them in the dryer. Nuby soft spout or straw cups. Canto go water bottles for toddlers. Cheap munchkin bowls have lasted through all my kids. Graco Duodiner highchair has lasted through all my kids. I’d suggest buying a second seat cover though so you can use a clean one while the other is in the wash (think spaghetti nights!), they do wipe clean otherwise. Later on OXO training cups are awesome!! OXO booster seats again lasted through all my kids and still look perfect.
Baby Proofing: Outlet covers and power strip covers. Door pinch cushions (?). Corner pads on tables (the clear ones are great) and we have a strip of furniture edge and corner pads on our stone fireplace mantle. Dreambaby Baby gates that screw in on both the bottom and top of stairs (we have adapters for spindles). We also have a room divider gate, dreambaby Mayfair converts for our deck stairs and to cover the entrance to the play room. This keeps the baby out of lego’s and the dog from chewing up big kid toys. In the living room, we keep storage ottomans that double as extra seating full of baby toys. The baby gets the living room, the bigs get the playroom. Now I just need to keep the dog from chewing up baby toys!
Indestructible books (these were a hot item!)
Kick n Play Piano (this was huge with my BMB and I loved that I could hear him kicking the piano while I cooked dinner or something)
Busy Cube - this toy was great once they first started to sit up because they could support themselves pretty easily. HOWEVER, the songs made me want to stick a knife through my ears. So you decide!
Teething: we didn't really do much for teething. A few toys to chew on but didn't really go crazy for this.
Silicone Bibs - these were great and super easy to clean
Silicone Mats - these were nice because they couldn't pick them up and throw the whole thing on the floor. Didn't stop him from individually throwing food on the floor, but at least I could try to intervene before the whole dish was gone.
Self feeding spoons - these were great for learning, exploration of getting a spoon to mouth. Mostly used these for entertainment vs actual feeding.
Weighted Straw Cups - these were amazing when first learning how to use a cup/straw. It was a love/hate relationship though because the cold milk would pressurize (?) as it started to warm up and then leak out the top of the straw. very very annoying!
360 Cups - these were great, but when tossed on the floor they do leak fluid everywhere
Quiet Door close - loved having this on the nursery door for quiet open and closes
So many baby gates everywhere.
We did the magnetic open/close for cabinets. But we only put them on cabinets that were truly hazardous (chemicals, knives, etc.). DS5 didn't really get into things very much so we did very little baby proofing. My nephew on the other hand was constantly playing in the toilet so she had to put a lid lock on her toilet. So this might be a bit of a play by ear type thing.
Teething: I had a few mama jewelry pieces I wore when we went out that were designed for teething babies, so I could just take them off to give her or hold her while she gnawed on it. We loved our Sophie Giraffe. And I would freeze breast milk in ice cube trays and then pop them into these little holders so she could go to town.
Feeding: We did baby-led weaning so we didn’t use any spoons, forks, etc. She had some divided plastic plates that I would use but mostly I just dumped her food on her high chair tray and let her do whatever she wanted. I love these from Target for snacks on the go— it took her some practice but helped with her motor skills and didn’t spill all over the place.
We had some 360 cups, too, but they got mildewy very fast under the plastic seal on the inside of the lid, and we mostly just gave her an open plastic cup so she could learn how to use it.
Baby Proofing: I made a door latch cover for her room out of two hair bands that looped around each side of the doorknob and a piece of padded fabric in between to cover the latch. It helped for getting in and out of her room quietly, and when she got big enough to get around by herself it stopped the door from latching closed and shutting her in/out. We used the magnetic locks on the cabinet that had my big heavy pans, under the sink with all the cleaning supplies, our pantry door, and the lowest drawer where I kept things like my mandolin and cheese grater, but everything else was fair game for her. It took some reorganizing but it made the kitchen another place for her to explore safely. We also had this baby gate in the entrance to the closet where we kept the litter box and cat food:
Also, just go ahead and bolt all your furniture to the walls now. There are safety straps you can buy. I’ve heard too many horror stories about babies and toddlers (and bigger kids) seriously injuring themselves when they pull dressers or whatever on top of themselves. We’re lucky not to have a climber, but you never know until you come in your kitchen and your 18 month old is on top of the fridge. Our friends’ two year old broke her arm pulling a knee-high bench over on herself.
Keep it chill - literally. Like, some wash cloths with a little water in the freezer are fine for them to chew on, a little Tylenol or Advil if needed, but mostly just don't assume everything is teething. If your kid is fussy AF and teething take them to the pedi because it might be an ear infection.
Feeding... I mean, honestly, try using your own stuff. The ezpz mats work until they figure out how they operate (which is usually pretty fast). Oxotot has some good ones. But really just transition to your real stuff sooner than later, ala Montessori. DD3 stopped ever even suggesting she'd throw stuff once we just switched her to our regular plates.
Teething: mesh baby feeders that you put ice cubes into! I never used them for feeding but for teething the munchkin mesh feeders are great
Feeding: follow feeding littles on Instagram. It’s AMAZING! I don’t bother with plates or mats until like a year because they learn to pick them up and fling them. I just put the food right on the high chair tray.
90% of his toys were from hand-me-downs. Turns out my son loves anything that is ball or sports related and just got into cars at 2 years old. At 3 he started really getting into imagination related toys so we started getting more of those recently.
Food was a mess for us, I have nothing good to add but still, don't buy a million of any one thing until you try it out.
Babyproofing we did the outlet covers and then did the magnet locks on cabinets and drawers. Like above, we didn't do every cabinet and drawer, just ones with dangerous items inside and the drawers that were at the perfect height for baby to try to pull themselves up on from a sitting height. (Didn't want them to grab handle thinking it was sturdy and have the drawer slide out and hit them)
Otherwise toys are so dependant on their age and likes. In baby stuff I agree I loved the kick pad keyboard. My daughter only liked one or two songs so if she accidentally kicked a song she didn't like she would quick kick one of her two favorites.
Teething: I've got nothing to add here it was not that bad for us just a few teething rings and life was good. Watch me eat my words this round.
Feeding: I have to admit I we used the heck out of the plastic baby Bjorn baby bib with baby food. It was just easy to use for the 6 months to a year that everything is a mess. I used the soft small bibs early on a lot even with breast feeding as she was messy and easier to change out that then a onesie. I wasn't too impressed with like any baby cutlery but my MIL can't throw anything of any value away so she has gifted us some stupid sum of small decorative silver spoons that have no match for us to use as "baby spoons." I just remind myself she means well and into the trash they go. For sippy cups I was a super fan of the Pura brand cups that have conversion to straw or sport water bottle and are metal and options for insulation. It was pretty easy to transition her from bottle to cup. They aren't mess and when it's gotten a dent we have hammered it out and kept on using for 4 years. Mine is dishwasher safe so I'm always a fan of that.
Baby proofing. We did the magnet ones on the inside of the cabinets and then use the big magnet want to open the door. Nice because when you are done using them you don't uninstall because you never see them you just click a button and turn them off. I mean not for everything but the knife drawer and the under sink where we keep dishwasher detergent.
Baby gating. I have a single story house so we just used the gates that locked together and when she was super small made a 10 sided baby pen and she she got more mobile was got two sets and made pens for our stuff like the Christmas tree .
Teething: like others just something cold. once he had teeth we got that little banana tooth brush/chew thing. He also had one of those teething mitts.
Feeding: we also did baby led-weaning and started with food on the highchair tray. for plates/bowls we had some of the avanchy bamboo stuff and the ezpz mat plates/bowls. He still uses the ezpz at times when he wants a "color" plate. Once we moved to utensils. we had a variety: grabease (recommended by an OT), OXO, avanchy and a few others. at times he still asks for the avanchy spoons.
We did the 360 cups to start, but DS kind of hated them. We moved to the weighted straw cup and while yes, they do pressurize and leak, he still asks for these over other cups/open cups for his milk, for water he likes a regular cup. the 360 cups can be "converted" to a straw cup with a separate lid/straw pack that they sell.
the snack cups that @aloha_mama linked or the ones by nuby are still used at our house. (just with out the silicone lid now)
Baby proofing: cabinets have the magnetic locks. We initially just use a hair tie around the knobs until we got the locks in. We did do the drawers. We have a million outlet covers I'm not even sure where they all came from. We had a baby gate on his room from day 1, but it was more to keep the dogs out. DS figured out how to open it a at a very early age. it is still up and remains bc of the dogs.
eta: I second @kiwi2628 feeding littles is super helpful. they're on IG and FB
TTC/IF:included medicated cycles, IUIs and 2 rounds of IVF with 1 embryo each.
BFP finally in 12/2018
"Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks,
some doors are open, some roads are blocked"
Teething: Other than my nipples and knuckles? Haha. The teething toys help a bit, but the damp wash cloth frozen in the freezer method seemed to do more.
Feeding: We also found it easier to put the food directly on the high chair tray and then wash the whole tray, rather than dealing with dishes that get thrown. Babies get super strong when it comes to pulling the suction plates and bowls off!
Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup, Pink/Purple, 7 Oz, 2 Count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q1SZBB7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_QVZKAZM9Z1ZQ47DD7JZS
Nuby 2-Pack Two-Handle No-Spill Super Spout Grip N' Sip Cups, 8 Ounce, Pink and Purple https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IN8OHAA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_8FBT8X14ZEQQQBW1SVGQ
Baby Proofing: Toilet locks!! We had a swimmer last time.
Teething: Something to chew on, especially if it can be frozen. Also used Hyland’s teething tablets if we ever had any extra nighttime troubles.
Eating: I second the silicone bibs with the food catcher. Can easily be rinsed or thrown in the dishwasher. We just put baby food (we did BLW) straight on the dishwasher safe tray that attached to their chair. When they got old enough we used some grippy Gerber silverware or something. I liked the Thermos sippy cups with a pop top and a straw. Again I’m sure there are a thousand more brands for those types of things now. I’ll also add we started putting water (while at home) in small plastic cups very early on. Same with starting plates. I don’t remember throwing being a huge issue, although I’m sure it happened. But when they feel big/included/like they’re getting the same as everyone else, I don’t think it’s very appealing.
You honestly don’t need much (but tell my family that haha)
feeding- it depends on your child. I don’t buy that stuff until it’s needed. My first would throw any plate or suction mat put in front of him. So, we put food directly on his high chair tray. When we went out, disposable placemats that stuck right to the table were the best! He couldn’t lift them up, kept things clean and no plates thrown.
same with baby proofing- didn’t do it until needed and only bothered with things they showed interest in. I locked up cabinets with chemicals or medicines- but honestly by my second we barely even used the outlet
covers. He was uninterested.
The biggest worry I have for my 3rd is my oldest is now 6 so he has toys with tons of tiny pieces - the legos! He wasn’t old enough for them yet when my 2nd came along so we will need to restrict those to his bedroom.
No tiny toys in shared spaces.
adding that we of course have gates on our stairs
Married: October 2011
DS: January 2016
DS: May 2019
#3: April 2022