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Not too much changes in the hygiene department. You still need diapers and wipes. You still need simple washes and lotions.
Toothbrushes: First things first, your little bub is starting to get teeth. What I like about the Nuby set is that it includes 4 brushes – one for every stage. It’s about $5, and will last you about a year. The silicone bristles on the smaller brushes make them great chew toys too!
Toothbrushes: Once bub out grows the Nuby set, get them normal toothbrushes. I’m a fan of bamboo brushes, partly for less plastic waste and also because the bristles are soft. I’ve been eyeing the set below for $10.
After 6 months, your little potoato will become a little bit more curious. You’ll need safe places to put them down on occasion.
Play yard: If you don’t have a play yard already, now is the time. We got the below one with a fun Carnival print for stays at Grandma’s house. $50 on Amazon gets you a simple play yard without the extra diaper changing station and napper (non-affiliate link below).
Foam Play Mat: If you have hard floors, consider getting a foam mat! Many moms in my mom group loved this Skip Hop pattern because it was reverse-able. One side has fun patterns babies can trace, the other side will match the decor. At $88 there are cheaper options, this one was the most popular in the group.
Pillow Pile up: Ok, this one isn’t a purchase, but an idea of horizontal play that encourages muscle development so strengthen core muscles (for rolling and crawling) and their legs too (as a primer for walking and standing). Pile some pillow or stuffed animals on the play mat an just play with your baby. Encourage them to crawl over the animals, around them- talk to them. Tell them what they are doing. It’ll keep you entertained too.
Alright. Now that you’ve made sure their teeth are clean, and they are safe, let’s upgrade the play area. For this next stage, I like anything that encourages vertical play (gets them standing and muscles ready for walking).
Play Kitchen: These are so hugely versatile, and easy to customize and expand. There are items in reach of sitting babies, so they can play and crawl around. tether the kitchen to a wall so it can support babies at a pull up stage, and help protect babies who climb on everything. I personally prefer a simple kitchen, since that’s more timeless and easier to grow with baby. Ikea makes a great one, and so does KidKraft and Step 2. Can you imagine your baby banging on the oven door? Or your toddler banging pots and pans together? Your young child washing fruit in the sink? These will run $80-200, with the below one running $100.
Kitchen Play: Ready to accessorize? If you have old kitchen ware you can give to your little one, please do! If you need to add to your stock since your dogs ate all your pieces, then these are what I recommend. Metal pots are fun to bang together, AND the dogs can’t eat them! Such a win! This Melissa & Doug set runs about $20.
Play Food: We love Ikea’s DUKTIG fruits and vegetables. The plush feel gives babies something soft to chew on, and toddlers something soft to throw. We do have lots off food fights in our house! The tiny garlic and mushrooms make me so happy! These are $10 at Ikea, and you can get them at Amazon, although it’s more expensive.
Play Food: These eggs make an adorable Easter gift and kitchen accessory. My little liked to roll them around on the floor and chase them. She also likes the loud thunk they make when she tosses them into the metal pots and pans. at 18 months, she is just now caring about matching the shapes. This set below is about $12.
Walker: Again, vertical play. Using a walker helped my baby to gain confidence as she learned to walk. I love wood toys for many reasons, among them being the durability and ability to keep them for future babies or gift them used to friends. This Cossy walker is $35, and amazingly adorable!
Activity Table: Tables encourage babies to stand, which we want them to practice! I like that this does not require batteries. There are no lights or sounds to overwhelm. This is a toy I like to wind down time, it bridges the time between active play and nap/ night time! This is $26.
Baby Shark: Look, it’s 2019 and my toddler jams out to Pinkfong songs. Most parents are annoyed by now, but if it keeps baby happy long enough for me to get things done, I’m happy! She likes to cuddle the shark, we talk about it (“Where is Baby Shark? Baby Shark is yellow.”), and we cuddle. Often I will model something on the shark before I do it to her. For example, I diaper and swaddle the shark, I feed and burp the shark. She loves it, and it’s under $10!
And lastly, car seats. If you haven’t already, most babies will start to transition out of the infant seat onto a convertible seat. I use Car Seats for Littles as a starting point. As an American, I often cross reference what is acceptable in Canada and see what is available in America. I do this because Canada has stricter regulations, and our roads/cars/drivers are similar enough. Here is their page: https://csftl.org/recommended-seats-canada/
I personally have Graco Extand2fit ($160). I love the extended rear facing capabilities and all the colors. I honestly got our back when Toys R Us was going out of business.
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertiable car seat had my heart, but my wallet ran away. As your baby gets older, taking out the entire car seat to clean up after diaper blow outs and various car snacks and drinks becomes a chore. If I had $300, I would have gone up to this model. Just…. look at how easy it zips off…. so easy.