Category Archives: Must Have Baby Gear

Must Have Baby Gear

Favorite Baby Gym Photo Time

A Must-Have Favorite Baby Toy: 

Here are photos of my little one playing with the Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym.  I love this toy (it’s in my top 25 must-have items for newborns).


‘Photo Bomb’ of Toddler Using the Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym:


Below you’ll find a “photo bomb” of my little one going to town on this baby gym.  She used it all the way up to about 10-months-old.  This baby gym is mentioned in my post 6 Best Baby Toys (0-12 Months), and also in Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  The best part about it is the piano, and the mirror for baby to play with.

Here is a photo bomb of my toddler playing with the
Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym throughout her first year:

Tessa Had a Hard Day
at the Baby Gym 3-Months-Old
Baby Gym at 2-Months Old 
Baby Gym at 9-Months Old
Baby Gym at 2-Months-Old
Tummy Time With Baby Gym
at 4-Months-Old
Playing the Piano Lady Gaga Style
at 6-Months-Old
Baby Gym Workout
at 3-months-old
2-Months-Old Baby Gym


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Posts That You May Also Like:


Top 25 (Non-Ugly) Baby Diaper Bags That Don’t Actually Look Like Diaper Bags (2015)

Top 25 Non-Ugly Baby Diaper Bags That Don't Actually Look Like Baby Diaper Bags



Choosing a Diaper Bag:

If you fall into the category of the type of mom (or mom-to-be) who does NOT want to stroll around town carrying an extra-large bag over your shoulder that screams, “THIS IS A DIAPER BAG! CAN’T YOU TELL FROM THE BRIGHT PINK AND YELLOW FLOWERS AND THE NYLON MATERIAL?”, then this post is for you.  This post is different than the Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items because this post focuses exclusively on the diaper bag itself.


Is your diaper bag ugly?
You may be wondering how you can determine whether or not your diaper bag is ugly (and therefore determine whether it “screams” when walking into a room).  Your ugly diaper bag will distinguish itself from a normal purse or tote through its overly-stated patterns, pastel-colored designs and presence of animal characters and flowers.


The Real Reason That We Buy Ugly Diaper Bags:
Why do we buy such ugly diaper bags?  For whatever reason, by the time “baby registry day” comes around, our ability to distinguish between good fashion from bad fashion often has already disappeared when it comes to diaper bag selection.  Instead of picking a color or style that we actually like ourselves, many of us decide that we should incorporate those cute little pastel-colored zoo animals from baby’s nursery into the theme of this brand new, and often expensive, diaper bag that we will be using every day for the next several months.  (I made this mistake when I picked out my first diaper bag, and if you are like me, then you WILL get tired of carrying around a bag with pink and purple giraffes on it, every day.)


Practical and Stylish Diaper Bags:
This last week, my good friend found out that she is expecting a baby and she asked me to put together her baby registry.  I have had so much fun putting it all together for her.  For the last three days, I have exclusively focused my time on “diaper bag research” (and yes, “diaper bag research” is an actual thing).  My goal was to find a diaper bag that doesn’t actually look like a “diaper bag,” and that was both: (a) practical and large enough, and (b) that disguised itself as an adorable and fashionable purse or tote.


Here are my favorite diaper bags:
(Note:  Don’t forget to share your favorite diaper bag by commenting on this post!)


Top 25 Baby Diaper Bags


1. Petunia Pickle Bottom Cafe Carryall

1.  Petunia Pickle Bottom Cafe Carryall

Link:  Petunia Pickle Bottom Cafe Carryall






2. Urban Mom Stylish Diaper Bag

2.  Urban Mom Stylish Diaper Bag

Link:  Urban Mom Stylish Diaper Bag – Tote Style






3. Kate Spade New York Basic Nylon Stevie Baby Bag

3.  Kate Spade New York Basic Nylon Stevie Baby Bag

Link:  Kate Spade New York Basic Nylon Stevie Baby Bag







4. OiOi Carry All Diaper Bags
4.  OiOi Carry All Diaper Bags
OiOi Carry All Diaper Bag







5. timi and leslie Jessica Diaper Bag


5.  timi and leslie Jessica Diaper Bag

Link:  timi and leslie Jessica 7-Piece Diaper Bag







6. JJ Cole Baby Bag (Cafe)

6.  JJ Cole Baby Bag (Cafe)

Link:  JJ Cole Baby Bag (Cafe)








7. timi and leslie Dawn Diaper Bag

7.  timi and leslie Dawn Diaper Bag

Link:  timi and leslie Dawn Diaper Bag








8. Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Legacy Collection Diaper Bag

8.  Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Legacy Collection Diaper Bag

Link:  Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Legacy Collection Diaper Bag, First Lady







9. Ju-Ju-Be Super Be Legacy Collection Zippered Diaper Bag Tote
9.  Ju-Ju-Be Super Be Legacy Collection Zippered Diaper Bag Tote

Link:  Ju-Ju-Be Super Be Legacy Collection Zippered Diaper Bag Tote, Queen of The Nile







10.  JJ Cole Caprice Diaper Bag

Link:  JJ Cole Caprice Diaper Bag








11.  Babymel Cara Stripe Tote Bag

Link:  Babymel Cara Stripe Tote Bag








12.  Kate Spade Classic Spade Adaira Baby Bag

Link:  Kate Spade Classic Spade Adaira Baby Bag







13.  Kate Spade Spot Nylon Stevie Tote Baby Bag

Link:  Kate Spade Spot Nylon Stevie Tote Baby Bag








14.  Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Statement Satchel
Link:  Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Statement Satchel – Indigo








15.  timi and leslie Rachel Diaper Bag

Link:  timi and leslie Rachel Diaper Bag











16.   Ju-Ju-Be Nautical Legacy Collection Be Prepared Diaper Bag

Link:  Ju-Ju-Be Nautical Legacy Collection Be Prepared Diaper Bag, The First Mate







17.  Carter’s Zip Front Fashion Tote Diaper Bag

Link:  Carter’s Zip Front Fashion Tote Diaper Bag







18.  Carter’s Zip Fashion Diaper Bag

Link:  Carter’s Zip Fashion Diaper Bag






19.  JJ Cole Parker Diaper Bag

Link:  JJ Cole Parker Diaper Bag








20.  Coach Peyton Brown Signature Baby Diaper Bag

Link:  Coach Peyton Brown Signature Multifunction Tote and Baby Diaper Bag










21.  Petunia Pickle Bottom City Carryall

Link:  Petunia Pickle Bottom City Carryall








22.  Petunia Pickle Bottom Altogether Tote

Link:  Petunia Pickle Bottom Altogether Tote








23.  Universal Stroller Organizer By Ethan and Emma
Link:  Universal Stroller Organizer By Ethan and Emma








24.  OiOi Tote Diaper Bag – Leather Tan Slouch
Link:  OiOi Tote Diaper Bag – Leather Tan Slouch








25.  Storksak Elizabeth Leather Diaper Bag
Link:  Storksak Elizabeth Leather Diaper Bag




BONUS:


26.  Storksak Sofia Leather Diaper Bag
Link:  Storksak Sofia Leather Diaper Bag





27.  Teal and Gray Color Block Diaper Tote Bag by White Elm – The Moxie
Link:  Teal and Gray Color Block Diaper Tote Bag by White Elm – The Moxie






SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE:

I remember being pregnant with my first child and feeling like the concept of diaper bags was somewhat of a mystery to me. Which features were important? Were you only allowed to carry diapers in it? I realized today that I have a deeply-rooted dislike for the diaper bag that I so naively purchased prior to having my first child.





Top Diapers for Baby – The Best Diapers Broken Down by Size, Stages, and Phases of Baby (2013)

Looking for the best diaper for your baby?  So was I.  It turns out that the “best” diaper changes by the stages/phases that your baby goes through.  I made this list of my favorite diapers, broken out by my baby’s stage.  It would have really helped me when I needed to know the best diaper for my baby based off of her specific needs at the time.  I tried almost every single type and brand of diaper out there (and ultimately wasted a lot of money on bad diapers).  What I found was that my preferences in diapers changed as my child grew and developed different characteristics and needs.  Not all babies are the same; however, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a “starting point” as far as a list of great diapers goes.  The diaper aisle was overwhelming for me when I was a first-time mom and pregnant.  Here is a timeline, and list, of the best diapers (in my opinion), broken down by the stage that baby was in:


Top Baby Diapers 
by Milestones and Phases

Best Diaper By Baby Type:

1.  The Newborn With an Umbilical Stump:


Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers for Newborn

You can’t beat an umbilical stump cut-out for newborns.  The only brand that I have found with this feature is the Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers for Newborn.  These diapers have a cut-out so that your baby’s umbilical stump (aka. the belly button area) doesn’t  get moist from baby’s wet diaper. It takes longer for a moist umbilical stump to fall off than a dry one.  This also mitigates the risk of infection to the umbilical stump area.  

2.  The Newborn Without an Umbilical Stump:

Pampers Swaddlers

After the umbilical stump falls off, me personal favorite diaper is the Pampers Swaddlers Diapers.  They have a “wetness indicator” to let you know when, and if, your baby has a wet diaper.  This feature is a luxury (not necessary) but it’s sure nice to have.  They are also very flexible diapers and easy for the “user” (aka, you) to attach to baby.

3.  The Baby Who Sleeps Longer than 6-Hours:

Huggies Snug N Dry

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers   are great for that transition between your baby sitting there and being a blob and your baby being able to wiggle and move.  They keep your baby dry – for very longer periods of time than the diapers designed for a “newborn.”  They absorb a ton of liquid, so your baby can nap or sleep longer without getting a nasty diaper rash.

4.  The Baby Who Sleeps Longer than 9-hours:

Pampers Overnight Extra Protection

It was a true toss-up for me between the Pampers Extra Protection Nighttime Diapers and the Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers.  Both diapers provide excellent overnight protection; however, the Pampers Extra Protection Nighttime Diapers are very versatile diapers in that they are flexible enough for baby (and young toddler) to move around free (from crawling to walking to running) around the house.  


5.  The Baby Who Wiggles and Crawls:

Pampers Cruisers

I keep Pampers Cruisers Ultra Diapers on-hand for my very active child, and I personally have found them to be more “user-friendly” (aka “Mommy Friendly”) than the Huggies Little Movers.  

However, it is important to note that Huggies Little Movers come out with adorable theme, such as the “jeans diaper” (see Jean-Style Huggies Little Movers Diapers), and the “Santa diaper” (see Huggies Santa Diaper) periodically, and these adorable diapers are pretty hard to argue with. 

Santa Diapers
Jean Diapers


What are your favorite diapers for 
each stage/size/phase of baby?



Top 25 Must-Have Toys for a Newborn, Baby and Toddler

Top 25 Toys


Each of these toys, in different ways, saved my sanity during the first year(s) with my child. From baby to toddler, here is an evolving list of the Top 25 toys that I have found to be most useful and practical for my baby and toddler (toys that my baby actually used and loved) – starting at newborn, to baby and to young toddler (Ages 0-24 months).  These toys bought me extra time to, say, make myself a sandwich.  

Top 25 Must-Have Baby and Toddler Toys 


1.   Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
Link:  Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes


Our babysitter has the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes, and my daughter gets very, very upset when I have to give the toy back to our babysitter when I pick my daughter up after work.  It plays music and i think baby’s and toddler’s love it because it’s also easy to hold and carry around.

Age When Baby Will Start to Love It: 6-months 

2.   Laugh and Learn Remote
Link:   Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote


The  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote is the best $10 I have spent in  a while.  Babies, for whatever reason, are obsessed with your TV remote controls (the real kind that you use to watch TV with), which is all great until they end up reprogramming your home television in Spanish and you don’t know how to switch it back (true story).  This toy satisfies this obsession, and may save you from calling your TV company’s tech support.  You can find it at Target or on Amazon.com.  

Great for:  Remote control obsessed children.




3.   Sensory Development Chime Ball 

Link:   Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball

Sensory Development Chime Ball 


Babies love to pull on the tabs on these Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball, and they are so soft and fun to play with.  We received one as a gift and when my daughter was a baby, she would love to sit and play with the tabs, and now that she is a little toddler, she loves to hug it. It makes a great pillow for mommy if you want to lay on the floor with your baby too.  





4.   Activity Cube
Link:  EverEarth Garden Activity Cube

Activity Cube


My mom purchased a similar activity table to the EverEarth Garden Activity Cube from Pottery Barn Kids, and my little one goes nuts with happiness every time she gets to play with this at Grandma’s house.  It’s great for when your little one is able to sit up on his own.





5.   Kick and Play Piano Baby Gym

Link:  Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play

Kick and Play Baby Gym, by Fisher-Price


The Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play is amazing is our favorite baby gym because of it’s dangling mirror (babies love mirrors because they love looking at themselves), but it’s main asset is its kickable piano that babies LOVE – it plays music and lights up….very entertaining. Another great thing about this baby gym is that you can level up the piano as baby grows and starts sitting. The only downfall to this baby gym is that it is hard for the baby to roll over all the way without getting caught in the arch. I mention this play gym in my Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items article, but I felt compelled to mention it again here for a couple of reasons: (1) it is not only for newborns, and (2) because it’s awesome. 

6.   Oball

Link:  Oball

Oball


The Oball is great for those tiny little fingers because it’s an item that they are actually able to grasp with those tiny little fingers.  The was the first item that our daughter was actually ever able to hold.  She loves it.  It’s costs about $4.99 and is a toy that is worth every penny. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  The Manhattan Toy Winkel is also great for your little one to wrap their hands around, and it rattles slightly too.  Overall, my little one seemed more impressed with the Oball.

7. Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book

Link:   Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book


Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book


The Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book is great if you want to see your baby or toddler fascinated by a book, then you need to pull out this finger puppet book. My little one gets so excited each time we pull this book out. She kisses the giraffe every time. The author makes other finger-puppet books as well. You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.



8.   Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

Link:   Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse


The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse is the technical name for this toy, but I call it “Magic Seahorse” because it’s works like magic at calming your baby to sleep.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling soothed as well!  I also talk about his seahorse in the article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  


9.    Happy Giddy Tunnel
Link:   Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 

   Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 


Once your baby learns to crawl, she will love to crawl through a tunnel! They sell these in just about every store that also sells kids’ toys.  Here is a link to one on Amazon.com, made by Melissa and Doug if you are interested:  Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel.

10. Jumperoo
Link:   Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo


Some of my favorite memories around from watching my little one bounce around in her Jumperoo.  A popular choice is the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo.  We bought the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo are were frankly not that impressed. There are a variety to choose from on Amazon.com (I like to read all the reviews before purchasing); here is a link: Baby Jumpers. 








11.   Alphabet Bath Toys 
Link:   Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers

Alphabet and Number Foam Bath Toys


My toddler is absolutely obsessed with the her foam alphabet and number bath toys (Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers).  She carries them with her everywhere around the house, and this really helped her learn the alphabet and numbers quickly.  It was amazing.  I bought mine at Target, and you can find them at Walmart in their bath toy aisle, or order them from Amazon.com.




12.   Laugh and Learn Music Activity Table

Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table


The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table is the best activity table out there that I have found. Unlike other activity tables, the Laugh and Learn Fun table has multiple settings (Play, Music, Spanish, Learning Time), so it keeps your baby occupied for longer. You can remove the legs for baby to use it during the Sitting phase as well. The is one of those “Keep Baby Busy, Keep Mommy Happy” Toys. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.




13.   Toy Links
Link:   Sassy Ring O’ Links

Toy Links


The Sassy Ring O’ Links are great for attaching toys to strollers and many other things too.  Baby’s love to play with these things.  Toy links are small enough to keep in your purse and pull out for brief entertainment for your baby while you are grocery shopping.  


14.   Poppin’ Play Piano, by LeapFrog
Link:   LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano 

Poppin’ Play Piano



The LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano toy is great for a baby who loves to play music.  It has multiple settings (which is great) and keeps baby entertained for about 20-minute increments in my experience.





15. Dino Walker

Link:   Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino

Dino Walker


This toy is called the Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino.  This friendly little dinosaur helped teach my daughter to walk, and now, she jumps up and down nearly every time she sees the thing (I have to hide it in the closet sometimes if I know I won’t be able to supervise her with it).  I love this thing.  







16.   White and Black Book
Link:   White on Black

White on Black Newborn Book


The book White on Black will entertain a newborn (as much as a newborn can really be entertained).  You can see pictures of my newborn infatuated with black and white images at Simple Way to Entertain a Newborn;  I just used my iPad and downloaded PDF images black and white from Google, to my iPad, that I thought my little newborn might like.  If you don’t have an iPad, then you could also Google some black and white images, and just print them! It was a hit with our little one!  You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.






17.   Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 
Link:  FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers

Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 


This is the coolest bath toy of all time for your child once your baby or toddler is able to sit up in an adult bath tub.  The FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers squirts out water and sings, and your child will love it.  We bought it from Barnes’N’Noble, but they also have it on Amazon.com.  I’ve also just recently seen this toy at Target and Walmart.

18. Animal Magnets
Link:   Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box



 Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box


If you have a toddler and would like to get work done in the kitchen, then animal magnets are the way to go.  My little toddler is entertained by the Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box for at least 30 minutes, especially if I play and talk along with her while a cook.  I love these because I can keep an eye on my little one (as opposed to her wandering off in the living room and getting into something).  I also love these magnets because they don’t have tiny little stick-on magnets like others do (so I am not worried about choking).  These are great.

19.   Stuffed Elmo and Book

Link:  So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings)


Elmo and Elmo Book


If your toddler is as crazy about Elmo as my child, then you can’t go wrong with Elmo. I liked So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings) a lot when my little one was around  9-months-old, because it helps teach the adorable trick of “How Big is the Baby?”  I highly recommend pairing off any Elmo book with a Stuffed Elmo (see more about the power of Elmo over toddlers at Top 5 Toys for Young Toddlers).I wish that I could understand the magical, mesmerizing powers that an Elmo Stuffed Animal somehow has over children.  My daughter has been in love with by Elmo ever since she was 9-months-old, and Elmo continues to be her favorite toy now that she is 14-months-old.





20.   Car Seat Arch Toy
Link:  Car Seat Toys

Car Seat Arch Toy


Entertaining your bored, cranky baby in a carseat can be a lifesaver.  Your little one can bat away with her hands and make noises with this toy.  This sure came in handy when my baby was 6-months-old (especially when we were grocery shopping).  A popular choice seems to be the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch; we purchased the Bright Starts Take Along Carrier Toy Bar and were very happy with it (it’s also about $5 less); however, the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch seems to provide a lot more variety.  If I could do it over, I would have purchased the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch version.



21. Secure-a-Toy

Link:  Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy

Secure-a-Toy


The Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy is an amazing invention that prevents your baby from losing toys when riding in the stroller. I love these things.



22.   Stuffed Animal Net
Link:   Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time

Stuffed Animal and Toy Organizer Net

I am a big fan of the Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time because my child has what seems like a million stuffed animals (between the baby shower and moments of mommy weakness, we a have a lot).  It saves a lot of floor space.


23. Little Readers Chair
Link: Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham

Little Reader Chair


Our 18-month-old daughter loves her little reader chair. We received one from Pottery Barn Kids (as a gift), but Amazon.com has a cheaper alternative (the Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham). You will have quite a few options to choose from for a chair for your little one.



24.   Suction Spin Wheel for Highchair
Link:    Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy 

High Chair Toy – Suction Wheel


The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy will keep your baby occupied at his high chair for a solid 5 minutes while you prepare a meal.  That may not sound like much, but if you have a hungry baby and still need to get his meal ready, then that five extra minutes can mean a more peaceful meal preparation experience for you and for baby while you heat up the veggies and pasta.  The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy suctions to  the tray of your plastic high chair (TIp: The high chair tray must be squeaky clean in order for the suction part of the toy wheel to effectively stick to the high chair).  If you pair this suctions pin wheel with the bungee sippy cup cord (see How This Small Idea Solves a Big Sippy Cup Problem), then you’re feeding sessions will go much more smoothly.


25.   iPad Protective Case
Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition


iPad Protector Case

If you have an iPad, the this Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition can be a savior for it!  Not only does it protect your iPad from damage, but it also has the option for preventing your little one from pushing the “Home” button – so you don’t have to worry about her changing the keyboard in your iPad to “Mandarin Chinese”!  Downfalls:  It’s a tad bulky and it’s not completely water-proof; however, it makes an excellent first-line of defense.




Bonus!



26.   First 100 Words – Book

Link:  First 100 Words


———————————-


    Top 6 Best Baby Toys! (2013)

    For an updated list of the top best baby toys, please see Top 25 Best Toys – Baby and Toddler.



    If you’re looking for the best baby toys – toys that your baby will actually use continuously and not get sick of playing with – then you have come to the right place.  I have a small obsession with baby toys (maybe more than small).  Here is a list of my top 6 baby toys (ages 0-12 months) that my baby loved the most during her first-year:

    1.  Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote 
    Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

    The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote is the best $10 I have spent in  a while.  Babies, for whatever reason, are obsessed with your TV remote controls (the real kind that you use to watch TV with), which is all great until they end up reprogramming your home television in Spanish and you don’t know how to switch it back (true story).  This toy satisfies this obsession, and may save you from calling your TV company’s tech support.  You can find it at Target or on Amazon.com.

    Age When Baby Will Start to Love it:  around 6-months old

    2.  Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Baby Gym
    Link:  Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym


    I mention this play gym in my Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items article, but I felt compelled to mention it again here for a couple of reasons: (1) it is not only for newborns, and (2) because it’s awesome.  The Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym is amazing is our favorite baby gym because of it’s dangling mirror (babies love mirrors because they love looking at themselves), but it’s main asset is its kickable piano that babies LOVE – it plays music and lights up….very entertaining.  Another great thing about this baby gym is that you can level up the piano as baby grows and starts sitting.  The only downfall to this baby gym is that it is hard for the baby to roll over all the way without getting caught in the arch.  


    Age When Baby Will Start to Love it:  1-2 months old


    3.  “The Magic Seahorse” 
    Link:   Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

    The ” Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother” is the technical name for this toy, but I call it “Magic Seahorse” because it’s works like magic at calming your baby to sleep (not all the time, but a good chunk of the time).  I’d give this seahorse a 50% success rate at soothing babies. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling soothed as well!)  I also talk about his seahorse in the article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  My little one has a few lovies and this one is by far her favorite.  We play with it during the day, and it’s her source of comfort at nighttime – it works by pressing the seashorse’s belly and then the seahorse lights up and plays relaxing music for about 10-minutes until it turns off.  Ask your doctor before putting it in the crib with your baby and exercise common sense).

    Age When Baby Will Start to Love It:  Newborn



    4.  The “Oball”

    Link:  Oball

    The Oball is great for those tiny little fingers because it’s an item that they are actually able to grasp with those tiny little fingers.  The was the first item that our daughter was actually ever able to hold.  She loves it.  It’s costs about $4.99 and is a toy that is worth every penny. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

    Age When Baby Will Start to Love It: 3-months

    5.  Laugh and Learn Music Activity Table
    Link: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

    The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table is the best activity table out there that I have found.  Unlike other activity tables, the Laugh and Learn Fun table has has multiple settings (Play, Music, Spanish, Learning Time), so it keeps your baby occupied for longer.  You can remove the legs for baby to use it during the Sitting phase as well.  The is one of those “Keep Baby Busy, Keep Mommy Happy” Toys.  I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

    Age When Baby Will Start to Love It:   When they can sit up on their own

    6.  Suction Spin Wheel for Highchair
    Link:   Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy 

    The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy will keep your baby occupied at his high chair for a solid 5 minutes while you prepare a meal.  That may not sound like much, but it is…!  It suctions to your high chairs plastic (so keep that high chair clean or it won’t stick!)  If you pair this suctions pin wheel with the bungy sippy cup cord (see How This Small Idea Solves a Big Sippy Cup Problem), then you’re feeding sessions will go much more smoothly.

    Age When Baby Will Start to Love It: Highchair Age



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    Activity Tables – Keep Your Baby Busy and Mama Happy

    Laugh and Learn Activity Table,
    by Fisher-Price

    This activity table continuously provides so much entertainment to my little one. It has so many different settings – an even greater variety of those baby-toy tunes that can get stuck in your head! The variety of this activity table keeps my little one interested though. My daughter has loved this thing ever since she could sit up on her own. It has removable legs, so your sitting-baby can play with it, and then when our little one started standing, we just put the legs back on it and she loved it all over again! I love this thing!  We bought it on Amazon.com, but they have it at Target and at Walmart (and also at baby stores, such as Babies’R’Us or BuyBuyBaby).  

    Here is the link to it on Amazon.com:   
    Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

    An Economical Bib That Saves Toddler Clothes

    My one-year-old has recently decided that ripping off her old baby bibs is hilarious.  I knew the day would come.  I’m actually surprised she didn’t start ripping her bibs off sooner.  Sure, I could purchase bibs with a button snap that wouldn’t be quite as easy for her to rip off as the velcro bibs I currently own – but I’ve realized that baby bibs don’t serve their purpose anymore – they work that well at keeping her clean and protecting her clothes when she eats solid foods.  My washing machine is constantly busy! 


    Solution:  Bibs with Sleeves.

    Genius.

    My friend found these bibs, made by Ikea, and they are just $2.00 each.  They have sleeves so your little one’s clothes are protected. Ikea doesn’t sell these bibs online, but Amazon.com now sells these on their website (link: Ikea Baby Bib with Sleeves).  


    Since this post, we have evaluated other bibs for toddlers.  You might find the post Top 5 Baby and Toddler Bibs helpful.



    Top 5 Uses of the Newborn Podster

    The Newborn Podster
    Multiple-Uses, Demonstrations, and Photo-Time

    I am obsessed with this must-have newborn item – the Newborn Podster, made by Leachco, as can be shown by my numerous posts about this simple item (I do not work work the company, I swear).  I talk about how much easier the Newborn Podster makes life with a newborn in my post How to Make Life With Newborn Easier – The Newborn Podster, and it is listed as number one for the Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.
    Newborn Podster
    I ran out of things to talk about today, which is a first (we lost a member of our pet family this week, so I’m not myself this week).  So, here is a photo demonstration of the multiple uses for the Newborn Podster.
      

    Exhibit A:  
    Nap Time and the Newborn Podster


    Make sure you supervise your little baby, because you don’t want them to suddenly learn to roll over while laying on the Newborn Podster and get hurt or worse.  Be a smart mom.  Safety first. 



    Exhibit B:  
    Bath Time and the Newborn Podster


    In that awkward moment between getting your baby out of the infant bath tub and wrapping them with a towel – where do you set your baby?  The Newborn Podster is perfect!  I just lay the towel on the Podster ahead of time next to the bath tub on the counter, and set my baby there as I wrap her up and them cuddle her in my arms.  


    Safety First:  DO NOT LEAVE THE PODSTER ON COUNTER WITHOUT BOTH ARMS ON YOUR BABY. I may not even need to say that, but I feel compelled to.




    Exhibit C:  
    Tummy Time and the Newborn Podster

    The Podster is great for tummy time practice.  I absolutely despised tummy time with my newborn, simply because my newborn despised tummy time, but the Newborn Podster helped.



    Exhibit D:  
    Awake Time and the Newborn Podster





    Exhibit E:  
    Baby Outgrows the Newborn Podster – Dog Bed!

    The Newborn Podster makes a great dog bed after your baby outgrows it!  
    Take it from my dog, Bammer!


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    Newborn Podster


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    Sleep Issues and Your Baby: Must-Read Book

    The Sleep Lady Book

    The “Sleep Lady” book (The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tightis my go-to reference manual for whenever my daughter starts to show any hints of sleep problems. I’ve been lucky to have been blessed with a great sleeper for a daughter, but this may not be all luck and blessings – I have to give credit it to this book – “The Sleep Lady Book” (as I call it), written by Kim West and Joanna Kenen.  When my daughter was much younger, and I was exhausted, I turned to books for suggestions on ways to help get into a better sleep schedule.  I read so many books, all varying from from “cry-it-out”, to “attachment parenting” type of books.  When I finally found this book, which doesn’t advocate either of the above-mentioned methods, I was extremely happy because it allowed me to make my own decisions.  The book lays out what you should expect, what your options are for improvement, and most importantly  the author gives you the ability to tailor your own beliefs to her suggestions.  She is a big believer in the power of nighttime routines and how powerful these routines are for getting your child’s mind geared up for bed time.  She talks about the power of a “lovey.”  And much more.  It’s an easy read and you can always refer back to it.  This book has helped me a ton.

    5 out of 5 stars.


    A Non-Ugly Toy Bin for Baby and Toddler Toys

    NON-UGLY IDEA FOR CHILDREN’S TOY STORAGE:

    Link: Threshold Global Trunk 

    from Target


    I love my child’s toys, I do, but the neon-pink and neon-green polka-dotted storage bins that we were using to store my daughter’s toys had to go if I wanted re-gain control of my living room.  This is my first attempt to restore the “Zen” to my living room since the birth of my child.  A friend of mine suggested a brilliant idea: get rid of the neon storage bins and use a storage trunk (for adults) for toys.  I was disappointed in myself that I had never thought of this idea.  

    I found this storage trunk online from Target 

    (Link: Threshold Global Trunk) and it’s amazing because

    I am now one-step closer to having a zen-ful living room.  This trunk is large enough for a lot of toys and it’s actually stylish.  My little one just stands over the toy trunk and pulls out the toys of her choice.  My next big step will be to get her to put her toys away (baby steps).




    The storage bin is $76.99 (if you use your Target debit card, you get an additional 5% off).



    Goodbye to the Easter-colored toy bins that always found their way to my hallway closet whenever I wanted to impress a guest who was coming to our house (this was usually done a last-minute effort).  



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