As a follow-up to How do I Live Without You: 0-6 Month Must Haves for Baby, I wanted to post my must haves for 6-12 month olds. Even though our little guy is almost 18 months now, we still use almost all of these items and they are still some of our most loved products.
As you venture into solids and eating real food, you finally need a high chair. For home, I purchased the Skip Hop Tuo Convertible High Chair in Charcoal Grey from Indigo (online). I managed to get it on sale which was wonderful considering it is on the higher end of price point. It is a great piece and I especially like it because it goes with our decor and isn’t an eye sore since it is going to be hanging around for a few years! It converts from a high chair with tray to a toddler chair for the table with two heights. The only thing I will mention with this is that the tray is narrow so it cannot fit the big suction plate/mats on them.
I also picked up the Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair that we use as a travel high chair when going to different relatives homes, vacations etc. I was able to buy this on sale during “baby days” at Toys r Us/Babies r Us for under $40. It adjusts easy (straps on the bottom and back) and can attach onto most dining chairs!
When our little man started on solids I made a lot of homemade purees (carrots, apples, pears, sweet potato, squash etc.) I found the best way to store them, was to pour them into ice-cube trays, and pop them in the freezer. I found these great ice-cube trays on Amazon. They come with a lid and have a silicone bottom to easily pop out each cube. I also recommend getting a vegetable steamer if you don’t already have one as it makes making baby food a breeze. I almost purchased one of those fancy baby food maker systems, but a normal cheap food steamer and blender did the trick for me and they were already appliances that I had.
Sticking to the topic of food (which obviously was a big theme of this phase of development), I wanted to share some of the cups and bowls that we loved (and still love today). I purchased the EZPZ Mini Mat from a local baby store called Baby Boutique. These are an all in one placement and plate (or bowl) that is made of silicone and suction to a table or surface so it stays put while baby is eating. You can also purchase these in a few other places online including Indigo, Snugglebugz and I am sure many more retailers. This line has the regular size mats, mini mats (both come in different shapes/colours) and they also have bowls. These are a bit pricey but I feel they are definitely worth the investment. Check them out for yourself!
For a cheaper option, I also purchased these Munchkin Stay Put Suction bowls from Amazon. For $10 you get three bowls (three different sizes) that easily suction onto tables or surfaces. I find I use them the most on the coffee table with snacks while we are playing but you can use for meal time as well.
My last item in the mealtime category is for cups. The cup/sippy cup challenge is no joke. There are so many brands and styles to choose from it is very overwhelming. The two cups we had the most luck with using were the PC Sippy cup (we use this one for milk primarily with meals) and our little guy loves the Playtex Sipsters Spill Proof Straw Cup cup for water. We also love the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer for learning how to drink out of a regular cup for the first time. If you have any suggestions for easy to drink out of, non spill, easy to clean cups for toddlers, please email me!
Moving on to health, I need to rave about the Nosefrieda by fridababy aka Snotsucker. Okay, the concept of this pretty much makes everyone dry heave but I will clarify that: 1- It REALLY works and 2- there is a filter in the main tube so the snot doesn’t actually come anywhere near your mouth. When your baby is so little and gets their first cold, they really have no idea what blowing a nose means and aren’t physically capable of doing so. This gadget works wonders to clear out their little noses so they can breathe (and sleep).Worth every penny.
One of the most used and loved toys from our 6-12 month time was the Exersaucer. We purchased the “Life in the Amazon” Jungle Themed Exersaucer as a Christmas gift for our little one. He was six months old when we got it and he absolutely loved it! Its was a great toy when he was learning to stand and wanting to move and it kept him contained in one spot, plus since the exersaucer is spring-loaded, he just bounced and bounced. I will also mention that I got the exersaucer on sale on Amazon.ca during the Black Friday sales which are coming up soon so keep an eye out if you are looking to purchase one!
Friends of ours introduced us to the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around car and I instantly knew it was going to be a worthwhile investment. There are lots of interactive items in the car, lots of songs and even shape sorting in the doors. It’s great for crawlers and our little guy actually learned to stand while playing with this. He still enjoys playing in it now at 18 months. I was lucky enough to get mine second-hand, however you can purchase online at Amazon or Toys r Us.
For teething, we discovered the Cookie Teether by LouLou Lollipop and it is still something our little guy loves to much on at a year and a half at the peak of teething. Not only is it adorable, but it is super durable and the best part is that it clips onto their clothes so they can’t lose it. It comes in a few colour options as well. We purchased ours at Snugglebugz.
Moving onto toys, one of the most loved items for us was books. I bought lots of thick board books to read and play with but the most popular were any books that had a “lift-a-flap” feature. Some of our favourites are the Sandra Boynton series, the Little Blue Truck Collection, Jimmy Fallon’s Mama/Dada, and the Babies Love Lift of Flap books.
The Melissa and Doug Pull-Back Town Vehicles are still one of our favourites. They are soft plush cars with a removable wheel mechanism for easy cleaning. The plush aspect makes it easy for tiny hands to grab and manipulate. Once our little man figured out the pull back feature to make them go far, it changed the game and we constantly have car races down the hallway. I picked ours up at a local baby boutique called the Playful Piper, but you can also find these online at a number or retailers that carry the line.
One of the most used toys we had outside this summer was our Step2 Big Splash Waterpark water table. You can spend a little or a lot on one, but I highly suggest you pick one up. This toy is tons of fun for 6-12 month infants, toddlers, big kids and even adults and a great way to keep cool while having fun during the hot summer months. Bonus feature: your dog thinks you purchased him the biggest water bowl of all time.
Last but definitely not least is Safety. One of our friends had this Even Flo Top of Stair baby gate and even though I could never figure out how to open it before we had kids, I knew it was exactly what we needed. We purchased the wood version and stained it to match our bannister and floors. It looks perfect and isn’t an eye sore, especially when we plan to have it up for a few years. It also has the ability to swing in either direction which makes it even more convenient. Note: We also purchased the Summer Infant Banister to Banister Universal Kit to we didn’t have to drill into the banister itself. It worked like a charm.
I hope that you found this post helpful, especially if you are a new mom, or if you are shopping for families with infants. If you have any products for infants that you have tried, loved and would recommend, feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments below!