Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Works For Us: favorite baby stuff (3-6 months)

It's been like 5 months since I did a What Works For Us post (or really any posts except Judah's monthly ones)! Life got a little crazy there with two trips to Oregon, watching two babies for a while, and Judah's grandparents visiting :)

Let me just preface this post with some baby gear/toy safety stuff: I didn't realize this before I was pregnant and did the research but there are SO MANY chemicals and toxins in baby gear and baby toys. I've been really careful about the baby gear and toys that we get for Judah. I have pages and pages of research and info saved on my computer, but to make it easy.... One of the blogs I follow, The Art of Making a Baby, wrote an excellent & concise post about toy safety and the chemicals/toxins to avoid. She also wrote several features about toy companies that make safe toys. If you check her archives she has plenty of posts about safe baby gear etc. as well.

Some of my favorite companies for non-toxic baby stuff are The Honest Company, Oxo Tot, Boon, Tiny Love, Plan Toys, B Toys (Target has a great selection of B Toys!), Dandelion toys, One Step Ahead, Green Toys, and Green Sprouts.

Without further ado, here are my favorite baby things 3-6 months :) The images are linked to the product page. [Here's the blog post for 0-3 months stuff]

1. Jumperoo - This thing is worth it's weight in gold. We got it right when Judah turned 3 months old. Judah would spend HOURS a day in this thing if we had let him. I tried to only put him in there for 15 or 20 minutes at a time (because I heard you're not supposed to leave little babies in them for too long), but a couple times he was just so happy that I let him stay in for up to 45 minutes! As he got older I wasn't so worried about just letting him play in it as long as he was happy. He loved it the most from 3 months old to 6 or 7 months old, because it gave him the freedom to stand and jump and twist and turn all by himself. Then he went through a little stage when he was mobile enough on his own that he didn't like to be "trapped" in the jumperoo seat. Sometimes he'll still go in and jump for a while, but it's too constraining for him now that he can crawl and pull up and toddle around!
But for the sheer amount of time that he spent in this thing from 3 - 6 months old and the joy that he got out of it... I would have paid much more for it! We still have it out because he loves to pull up and play with the toys  from the outside and occasionally he'll bounce in it.

This jumperoo we have is the Fisher Price Luv U Zoo... and while I wasn't too thrilled about getting something from Fisher Price (they are known for having lots of chemicals in their toys), there aren't too many options for jumperoos! I just made sure to wash the seat cover before I put Judah in it, and I wiped the whole thing down thoroughly. I figured that he wasn't going to be putting the jumperoo in his mouth, so the transfer of toxins would be minimal.

Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

2. Tiny Love Jittering Giraffe - Judah loves this thing. It clips onto his carseat and his stroller (and pretty much anything), and when you pull down on the body the neck stretches out and then the giraffe "jitters" and jingles when you let go. He had this toy figured out even at 3 months old.

Tiny Love Tiny Smarts Jittering Activity Toy

3. Sophie Giraffe - There's a lot of hype around this thing, and I fell for it. It's made of natural rubber and painted with food-based colors. Judah really does love it! It's very easy for even tiny babies to "squeak" it and chew on it.

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether

4. Dandelion Organic Crinkle Book - Like most babies, Judah loves anything crinkly. He would get really excited about plastic bags, but I didn't want him to play with those! This is a safe and soft alternative... it crinkles and crackles and has little tags on it - and for some reason Judah LOVES little tags. If any of his toys or blankets still have the tags on them, he goes straight for the tag and plays with it. So this crinkly, taggy little book is perfect!

Dandelion Classic Organic Toy Crinkle Book

5. O-ball - I found this at Target and it's one of the very first toys that Judah started playing with. It's so easy for tiny babies to grab a hold of and shake around. It is BPA-, PVC-, latex-, and phthalate-free... so I have no problem with Judah chewing on it! We have the green one.

Rhino Toys Oball Rattle, Colors May Vary

6. Cloud B Gentle Giraffe (travel size) - this cute sound machine goes everywhere with us! It has 4 sound settings, but we mostly use the "waterfall" one for white noise when Judah is sleeping. His room is not very sound proof, and we have loud neighbors (sometimes it sounds like there are elephants stampeding upstairs), so Gentle Giraffe kind of blocks this noise (or any noise when we're out and about) for him so he doesn't startle awake.

Cloud b Gentle Giraffe On The Go Travel Sound Machine with Four Soothing Sounds

7. One Step Ahead EVA foam mats - non-toxic, safe and bright and padded! I did a lot of research trying to find non-toxic foam mats... apparently many of them are made with PVC which is all kinds of bad. These ones are made from EVA which is very safe, and they don't have any traceable levels of formamide in them, which was another biggie. We have the alphabet set, the numbers set, and the edge and corner pieces as well... they are laid out in his "playroom" which is just one end of our living room. They are especially perfect for babies who are getting too big for their little play gyms and need more room to move on a padded and clean surface. When Judah was learning to sit up, I didn't have to worry about him toppling over because the mats are soft. Same thing when he was learning to pull up to standing. They're also super easy to wipe up, or you can pull them all up and chuck them in the bathtub for a thorough clean. When he was just 3 months old Judah loved to stare at the bright colors and feel the different textures of the interlocking squares as he rolled around... now at 10 months they pave his play area and he crawls and toddles all over them, and often pulls the letters out to chew on :) He's starting to figure out how to put them back in their holes too.

8. Goodnight Moon - I don't know what it is about this book but Judah's been obsessed with it from just a few weeks old. I think it must be the bright and contrasting colors, and the rhythmic story. Our copy is very well worn from his little hands!

Goodnight Moon

Hmmm... that's all I can think of for now. If I was an over-achiever I would go through all my pictures and find ones of Judah playing with or using each of these things... but ummmm that's way too much work :)

Next up 6-9 months! :)

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