Monday, September 2, 2019

Motherhood Monday: Our Favorites at Six Months

It feels like FOREVER since I posted about our newborn baby favorites. Oh remember when I could just leave Mia in the Dock-a-Tot for hours at a time?! Of course she's much more fun now, and actually playing and grabbing and laughing. There's just a little less downtime for mama ;)

Some of those favorites are actually still the same - those changing pad liners are still saving my life (and changing table... and car seat...) on the daily. I'm also still trying to squish Mia into her Magnetic Me onesie because not having to worry about snaps or zippers is the best :)

Our Favorite Baby Gear at Six Months

Now that we're past that newborn baby stage, here are a few of our favorites:

Sophie La Girafe - Okay, so I thought this thing was the most overrated and overpriced baby item of all time. I mean, really, what's the deal?! Um, turns out the deal is Mia LOVES this thing. Like, can't get enough. She's always making out with little Sophie, or hugging her, or chomping on her feet. We think she must be fun because she's got so many places to hold and she's soft and easy to chomp on. Just remember not to put her in the dishwasher or the bathtub!

IKEA High Chair (also available here, but try to buy from IKEA directly if you can as it's much cheaper) - We initially only registered for a travel high chair that could attach to our counter. I figured, why buy one more thing when we definitely needed the travel chair? Plus we live in the city, so the less stuff, the better. But, it turns out our travel chair is made of fabric and within three days of using it Mia started wiping out her mouth on the arms when she didn't like something. Yuck! I did not want to have to wash this thing all the time, so I started looking for alternatives. The IKEA high chair is a cult favorite for a reason. It's really easy to clean, it's easy to assemble (and travels really easily too if that's your thing!), it doesn't take up much space, and it's a streamlined modern design. Oh, and did I mention it's only $20?! Nuts, right? It is pretty bare bones and I'm unsure how it will work when Mia gets bigger, but for now (and for $20) it's definitely doing the trick. If your baby needs a footrest, I've heard a good hack is to put an exercise band around the legs! I did buy this little insert cushion too since Mia is still so little.

Gathre Mat (ABC version is currently sold out, but they do frequent restocks so check back soon!) - Instagram hit me HARD with ads for Gathre (I think because I was looking at Crystalin's?). I initially got a big leather blanket in the maxi size for going to the park - it's great because you can put it down on wet grass or sand and not get wet yourself, plus any spills (ahem: or baby accidents) just wipe right off. And it's big enough that I can fully lay down without having to touch any grass (does grass make anyone else itchy?). Pro tip though - don't get the double-sided version unless you're cool with your mat being twice the weight and size! Definitely not something I thought about ;) But anyway, after loving the big size I decided to go for a smaller one that would be easier to fold up and carry with us for spontaneous play moments outside or on our deck. We also brought it with for our trip to Wisconsin and it was great because it took up zero space in our bags. Now that we're eating solids, I have it on the floor under the high chair so I can just take it outside and shake it off or give it a quick wipe after meals.

Lovevery Play Gym and Kits (play gym also available here) - Jeff's stepmom signed us up for the Lovevery box subscription and got us the play gym, and I am so in love. The play gym is great because it's not ugly like so many play gyms so I don't mind having it in the living room, and it has a bunch of different sections to keep Mia's short attention span in check. We use it multiple times a day. The kits come every other month and are full of little toys made out of mainly wood and fabric that are designed for each developmental stage. At first, I was like, what is this box of crap? Because one of the boxes was literally just little rings and crinkle paper and random noisemakers (like a little cage with a jingle bell inside?). But now I am a total convert. Mia loves everything, they are by far her favorite toys (besides Sophie of course). Weirdly all of the other kids in our family (who are ages 10mos - 4 years) all loved the toys too! They're also like Montessori toys, teaching your kid how to learn and play. They also don't make crazy noises and sound effects so they won't drive you crazy. I also love the boxes because we get new toys every month and I don't have to think about it. I think I've literally bought one other toy for Mia so far. I think we're signed up for boxes just through the first year, but I'm definitely signing us up for the toddler boxes too!

Munchkin Formula Dispensers - When we started supplementing with formula, I initially was at a loss as to how to travel with it. Do I bring the giant formula container? Do I put measure the formula into a ziplock? Do I pre-measure into bottles and then guess at how much extra water to put in to  account for the extra mass of the formula? Well I saw a mom using these containers instead and I literally hopped on Amazon immediately and ordered some. The bigger container has three sections that each hold enough formula for an 8 oz bottle, and the smaller container can hold one serving for an 8 oz bottle. They are perfect for sticking in the diaper bag. The reviews also say that parents who feed formula in the middle of the night like to pre-measure formula into them so their tired brains don't have to figure it out at three am. These little guys are game changers for sure.

Oh, BTW, while we're talking about it, we're using the Kirkland formula. Our pediatrician said that all formula is basically the same ingredients whether you go for name brand or generic, but this kind is sweetened without corn syrup (which weirdly is in a lot of formulas!) so it is our go-to. Much cheaper if you buy directly from Costco!

OXO Tot Glass Food Storage Containers - Is it dumb that I have two food storage items in this lineup? We started on solids a couple of weeks ago, and I'm making my own food so far. I love that these little containers have ounce measurements on them so I can keep track of how much Mia is eating. They also freeze nicely and can go in the dishwasher. I also chose them because they're glass, so I don't have to worry about gross plastic chemicals seeping into Mia's food.

SkipHop Activity Center - This was my one Prime Day purchase this year (can you tell I'm getting old?!) and I'm so happy with it so far. Mia is just figuring out how to spin herself around in it and how to play the little piano. She's literally sat in this for an hour straight. Worth every penny. Plus, it's cute ;)

Love To Dream Transition Swaddle Bag - At around 4 months we had to transition out of the swaddle because Mia started trying to roll over, so I ordered one of these. It lets you transition your baby's arms out of the saddle one at a time, which makes it easier on the baby. We did three nights with one arm in, and then dropped the second no problem. If I had to do it again, I would have just bought the transition bag when Mia needed to move up a size, because she was in the medium swaddle with her arms in for about three weeks before I had to switch into the transition bags. We are still using the transition bags now for naps at daycare and at night, although she's about to outsize them.

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