The last time I made a post about baby gear we're finding essential, my baby was 10 weeks old. I'd intended to do one every couple of months, but time management and intentions rarely match up these days. So I'm coming back to it now, with a nearly ten month old baby. The only things mentioned in my ten week baby gear posts that are still in heavy rotation are the AppleTV and the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bras--things for me more than for him (though the AppleTV has become a delivery vehicle for vintage Sesame Street episodes). Things change fast when you're a baby! Lately, we have a whole new bunch of essential items.
2. Evenflo Triumph Convertible Car Seat: I did a lot of research before I pulled the trigger on buying Buzzy's first non-bucket car seat, and considered a number of models that are significantly more expensive than the Triumph, but the Triumph ultimately seemed like the best value for the money and we're extremely pleased with it. So much so that we actually bought two, one for each vehicle! It's a sturdy seat, easy to install, with a reasonably high rear-facing weight and height limit. The best part, though, is the side knob you use for tightening the straps. Not hand-tightening the straps is so, so great. That alone makes this seat worth more than it costs.
3. cloud b Twilight Turtle Constellation Night Light: OK, so this one is a nice-to-have, but it's really nice to have it, and well worth the $25 or so it costs. This little guy sends a whole wall and ceiling full of light-up stars up for 45 minutes after we put Buzzy down in his crib, and looking at them definitely helps him go to sleep/back to sleep when he's not quite there. As any infant parent knows, things that help them go to sleep? Worth their weight in gold.
4. Carlson Extra-Wide Walk Through Gate with Pet Door: We tried a cheaper gate before we bought this one, but it was flimsy, hard to open and close, and the pet cut-out in it was nowhere near big enough for our largest cat. This gate, however, is perfect. It's super sturdy, easy to open and walk through, and the pet door is a real pet door--even a small dog could fit through it easily.
5. Ikea Antilop High Chair: This thing is a cult classic for a reason! It's not beautiful, but it's structurally sound, super easy to clean, and dirt cheap.
6. Infant's Advil Dye-Free Concentrated Drops: Four teeth and one ear infection in, I worship at the altar of Infant Advil. Three packs of it from Costco, dude.
7. Diono Easy View Back Seat Mirror: Some people think back seat mirrors are a distraction. I think not being able to see if the noises my kid is making mean he's choking or singing is a distraction, so I love this mirror. It attaches easily and is really maneuverable, so it works in both our small car and our mid-size SUV/crossover thing. We had another type of cheaper mirror for a while and it wouldn't stay in place and drove me nuts. This one doesn't do that. It makes life better when things just work, you know?
8. The First Years Gumdrop Slim Neck Bottles: Once the slow-flow of infant bottles started making Buzzy angry, it took us several tries to find a bottle he liked. I was so happy he decided these were the way to go, though--they're cute, cheap, don't have any dumb characters on them, and the mouths are the correct size to attach directly to the pump, so no pump bottles are needed. Yay for fewer bottles to wash!
9. Carter's 3-Piece Jersey PJs: Pajamas were a little bit of an issue around here for a while. Buzzy has a very long torso and was growing out of one-piece footed pajamas bizarrely fast, while simultaneously deciding that he hated having his clothes changed. Many two piece pajamas worn tight, to reduce fire danger or somesuch. These are almost impossible to get on to the body of a squirming, pissed off, chunky baby. Enter these wonderful, loose sets from Carter's, which come with a t-shirt style shirt and coordinating shorts and pants. They're lightweight, easy on and off, and also adorable. We seriously have five sets.
10. Plum Organics Baby Food Pouches: Buzzy has been eating an increasing amount of solid food, mostly in the form of purees, since he was about four months old. For the most part, I make it myself, but nothing beats the convenience of a shelf stable pouch, especially for traveling. There are several decent brands that use organic ingredients and nothing that sketches me out, but Plum is my favorite. They have some great combinations, including raspberry, spinach, and Greek yogurt (pictured), and my personal favorite, sweet potato, mango, and millet.
Add to my list! What are your essentials for a baby at this stage?