Thursday, December 26, 2019

penny favorites: 3-6 months

Penny turned six months (half a year!!!) old this past weekend, and I can't believe my little baby is already half way through her first year. The time goes so quickly! It has been such a joy watching the leaps and bounds she's grown mentally and physically over the past three months - she's like a real interactive human now rather than our little newborn. 

As first time parents, we have been trying to be mindful of what we buy for Penny while still trying to figure out what we and she needs. I can easily fall into the trap of buying buying buying - first of all, baby things are so cute and second, I'm trying to figure out what makes our lives easier, and what she likes to play with. Especially as she grows older and actually plays with things, we are trying to stick with more organic materials and less battery operated. I also don't want so much stuff that we don't know where to put it or worse, end up throwing away a bunch of stuff, so we (ok, I) am trying to hold myself back from buying all the things.

I shared our baby favorites from 0-3 months, so here are the items we all have loved and used over and over again for our now 6 month old!

Sakura Bloom Ring Sling // We loved loved loved our Solly wrap for the newborn phase - I babywore Penny every day. But as she grew older, she became a lot less interested in being all snuggled up, and wanted to look around. We received the Sakura ring sling recently, and we have loved still baby wearing (and having free hands!) while letting her look around. I feel it's slightly less secure than the Solly wrap, so I mostly still support her with one hand, but it takes a load off my arms, which is definitely a big plus. I know moms who still use theirs with their 2-3 year olds, so I'm excited to get a lot of use of this for the next few years!

ABCs of Biology // Okay, maybe I'm a bad parent for saying this, but I think most baby books are a bit boring (except the Pout Pout Fish, which is a personal favorite to read). I initially purchased this book as a present for a friend, but after reading it to Penny, I purchased it for ourselves. The book has bright pictures for the baby, but with information captions for the parents to read - all in all, a book I've enjoyed reading to her over and over again without getting super bored. There's also the ABCs of Science, ABCs of Math, ABCs of Engineering, ABCs of Quantum Physics...I think I'm going to need the ABCs of Space pack

Teether toy // I used to see these teethers on a pacifer clips and not really understand the point of them...until my own baby started to sprout teeth at 4.5 months, and now I get it. Penny is obsessed with her little polar bear (we call him Charles the Chew Bear) and I love that she has a silicone teether that I don't constantly have to pick off the floor. We got ours at a local boutique (the brand also has an Etsy shop) but there are tons of cute options out there, from sloths to llamas to sushi! This is one of those "trying to be mindful" situations because I want to get all sorts of cute ones (hello, adorable watermelon!) when in reality she only really needs one, and she doesn't care what it looks like. This would also make for a really cute baby shower present, like on top of the present with a bow!

Baby Paper // I can't remember where I learned about Baby Paper, but for $6, I ordered one off Amazon and you guys...Penny loves this thing probably more than she loves me. She has spent an hour straight just stuffing this thing in her mouth and crinkling it. I keep it on my baby-designated purse and pull it out when we are in stores or eating and she just gets so excited. Cheap and super effective - a win win in the baby toy world!

Avanchy spoons // We started with purees when Penny was around four months old. We are now doing a combo of purees and baby-led weaning, and have really enjoyed using the Avanchy spoons. They have a silicone mouth piece with a bamboo handle. Penny is now helping us feed her by grabbing the handle and bringing the spoon to her mouth, and chewing on the mouth piece (I think the silicone feels good on her gums). We also purchased one of their suction cup bowls that we haven't used yet, but will probably get good use out of in the next month or so as we let her explore more of "adult" foods. 

Baby Bjorn bouncer // My in-laws have this amazing bouncer from when my husband was a baby that Penny loved being in - it has a little toy bar in front of it and she happily played with it for fairly long stretches of time. Obviously they don't make that version from thirty years ago, but when I started researching current versions, all reviews pointed towards the Baby Bjorn bouncer. Now, brand new this thing costs $200+, which seems very steep for a metal frame with a piece of fabric on it. I actually found ours second hand on Facebook Marketplace, which is where I would suggest starting out. We got ours for $50! I did end up purchasing the toy bar to go in front of it new, but we have just loved this bouncer that I would say it's the number one item on this list. The bouncer itself is super light and foldable, so you can tuck it away behind the couch or in the closet (my husband loves this feature), and can easily move it all over the house, so you can use it in the kitchen while making dinner, in the living room while folding laundry, and in the bedroom as you get ready. It's also easily washable, which is great if you are buying second hand or just have a messy baby. Penny also enjoys sitting in it as she gets to sit up, and has something right in front of her to play with. We are so happy with item!

Bibs with teethers // Are we noticing a trend? So many of our favorite items include something for my poor baby's gums. She started becoming super drooly around four months, to the point where our daycare would have to change her outfits because she was soaking her shirts. Our daycare also doesn't allow the teethers on the clips, so finding these teethers on the bibs was a great compromise! It protects her clothes from all that slobber, and gives her something to chew on. Plus I love the pretty floral patterns!

Kyte Sleep Sack // We started the transition out of swaddles around ten weeks of age, first by taking one arm out, then a week later unswaddling the other arm, and then for another two weeks just using the velcro swaddles like a sleeping bag that still gave her that "chest pressure" secure feeling. We tried a few different sleep sacks but I really fell for the Kyte sleep sacks. They are made of the softest bamboo fabric and come in the prettiest colors. We own the 0-6 month size in the 1.0 and 2.5 TOG. The sizes are pretty generous, I think we will probably end up using this size for at least several more months as she isn't anywhere close to outgrowing it. You can order directly from their website, which has a lot more options for colors and sizes, or on Amazon and get free shipping with Prime. The reviews on Amazon aren't great, but we have had no issues with our sleep sacks, and have been using them for three months now. If you like the brand, you can also join their facebook group and get early access to their sales, which is great because the items are pretty pricy. 

Pipette Balm // Penny started developing some eczema around three months of age. We switched to Baby Dove's wash for bath time, and then started using this Pipette balm after, and her skin cleared up in days! I think having fragrance/dye free really made a difference for her, so we will be sticking with that combo. The balm is really so nice to apply after her bath and helps seal in moisture, especially during these dry-air winter times. I kind of want a bigger tube to use for myself...

We now have a six month old who will probably be on the move soon - would love to hear any suggestions you have for the age group we are moving in to! From play mats to items for learning to eat, to favorite books to read!