This first year of parenting has been wild. How are we just finishing nine months into life with Sophie?? As of April 9th she’s officially been out in the world for the same length of time that she was in my belly (41 Weeks). It blows my mind! I’m already beginning to plan her first birthday which will obviously be more for me than for her since she won’t remember it. 😜 I’m only in the beginning stages of coming up with a theme… it will likely be very small (only a few friends and maybe another baby or two) so I won’t be throwing an epic party like the ones you see from influencers on Instagram, but I do want to make it memorable and special in its own way. More on that to come!
A few new things going on with Sophie: (1) She is sitting up on her own now so we’ve switched to the “sitting side” of her baby bathtub before she graduates out of it; (2) Her top left front tooth and second left tooth (lateral?) have ruptured through her gums as of April 8th! As I am writing this, I can feel that the two teeth on the right side aren’t too far behind. (3) Because of these top teeth coming in and basically creating tiny scissors, we have switched to the next stage of her pacifiers that are more durable and meant for babies with teeth! and lastly, (4) Sophie is down to 2 naps a day — girlfriend loves to sleep, and who am I to object to two naps? (I know she probably only needs one now, but she is still sleeping great through the night so I’m not going to rock the boat by changing her nap schedule until she’s ready).
Anyway, now that we’re just about at the 10 month mark I’m back with another installation of Our Favorite Baby Products series to share the items that helped make the past three months of life with baby easier. You can find our favorites from 0-3 Months here and 3-6 Months here.
If you missed our favorites from previous age groups, you can find them here:
BIG NEWS: Sophie officially moved to her big girl bed!
I can’t believe Sophie isn’t sleeping in her bassinet in our room anymore! She has graduated to sleeping exclusively in her “big girl bed” (aka: her crib) in her nursery! Originally, we had the crib mattress set to the highest level, but now that she’s sitting up (and is close to pulling herself into a standing position very soon!) we had to drop the mattress a couple of levels to prevent her from climbing (/falling!?) out. Now that Sophie isn’t in our room for us to monitor all night, there is one thing in particular that gives us enough peace of mind to be able to sleep soundly and that’s her 100% breathable crib mattress. It’s amazing — so, basically if Sophie rolls over and ends up face-down in her sleep it significantly minimizes the risk of suffocation and therefore allows her dad and me to relax about her being alone in her room.
Sophie and I both had a really tough time with the transition out of her bassinet. I was feeling so many emotions linked to this change that I wasn’t expecting and Sophie wasn’t keen on being far away from mama… it was definitely a rough transition and there were tears shed by all parties, but we got through it. I found that this article and this article provided helpful tips if you’re also struggling with the change.
We have been using Sophie’s Owlet Smart Sock for months, but when she transitioned to her crib we installed a baby monitor in her room above her bed. I usually complain about the slanted walls we have in our upstairs rooms because they make it impossible to hang any artwork or decor, but in this instance it made for a perfect positioning of the camera over the crib. This monitor is great because it links the info from her Owlet Smart Sock and shows that data on the display right to your phone; it detects the room temperature as well as the humidity in the space to let you know if it’s too hot / cold; it has night vision; it offers audio if you will be far away from baby’s room so you can hear them crying or waking up; it has the option to talk to baby; and I think the display is pretty clear and works well over WiFi. Overall, I’m a big fan.
We have had this nightlight on Sophie’s changing table since she was born and it was perfect for overnight diaper changes, but now we use it as a nightlight / white noise machine to help Sophie fall asleep in her room. I wasn’t sure how much we would actually use this product, but it has come in much handier than I had anticipated.
Baby Led Weaning
Update / Progress
We decided to do a hybrid of traditional baby food (purées) and baby led weaning. I don’t think there’s necessarily a “best way” to do things (whatever works for your family is the best way!), but we saw value in each option and decided to utilize both methods because… why not?
Occasionally, if something that we are eating is something that falls into the approved food items for her age we will give her a small piece to eat and feel the texture of to help her get used to swallowing foods that aren’t just purées. Using her hands and fingers to grab things from her high chair tray is also great for her dexterity and immersive exploration.
That being said, we definitely relied heavily on yogurt / purées to start, still giving her the full ounces of formula that she normally takes, and we have gradually moved onto giving her larger pieces of “real” [firmer] foods. As of now, she has had: small pieces of fruits and berries (banana, orange, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries), scrambled eggs, avocado / guac, she loves rice (all kinds!), bits of softened veggies (such as broccoli and zucchini), mashed beans (black, pinto, etc.), tiny pieces of shredded chicken, small bites of pasta, and tiny pieces of various breads. I’m sure that I am forgetting some things that we have given to her, but those are definitely the items she eats most often. We don’t shy away from giving her things that are flavored or seasoned, but we don’t give her anything that’s spicy; we’ll expose her to spice when she’s a bit older. As we are approaching 10 months, we still give her yogurt and tiny spoonfuls of our smoothie bowls, but we’re not really giving her a lot of purées anymore.
Again, I encourage you to choose the method(s) that work best for your family, but this is how we approached it and it’s worked great for us.
As I’ve said before, I LOVE a product that will be useful far longer than just a few months and this amazing high chair can be configured so many ways that it can grow with her up to adulthood (although we probably won’t use it that long)! We also love that the baby seat has safety straps to help keep Sophie contained during meal and cleanup times. I included this highchair in our 3-6 month roundup, but because we were traveling for the holidays while Sophie was 6 months old it was closer to the 7 month mark before we actually started to use it regularly. Sophie really enjoys mealtimes and does a great job in the high chair.
We are still working on adjusting to using a sippy cup. Admittedly, I often forget to give the cup to her 😬; we also spend a lot of time in her carpeted bedroom and I’m not keen on soaking the carpet with spills, but I know that I need to make a more concerted effort to expose her to the sippy cup and get her comfortable with using it so I’ll have to find ways to make that work in our day-to-day. She’s doing great in the aspect of holding it at least — she knows to hold it upright, put the straw in her mouth, and holds the handles on the sides, but she puts the straw in her mouth and is like… now what? 😂
I chose this sippy cup to teach her how the straw works as the whole thing is silicone and you can gently squeeze the body of the cup to push water up the straw and teach baby that there’s something in there that she can get to! The silicone also makes it easy to clean, I like that it can also be used as a snack container once you’ve graduated to those kinds of solids, and obviously I love that it comes in a dusty rose color. I’d recommend giving it a try if you’re in sippy cup training-wheels-mode with your baby too.
Baby proofing the house!
Oh man. I never realized just how many dangerous things there are in a house when it comes to babies! For starters, all of the furniture anchoring systems we’ve been putting off installing will need to be applied.
It feels like as soon as Sophie figured out how to crawl she’s just been on the move all the time now, so it was important to us to make sure that we installed protective safety items all around the house, but especially the areas where she spends the most time (like her nursery). At the stage she’s currently in we can just shut the door to the bathroom and not worry about her getting into the toilet or cabinets that contain cleaning supplies or medicines, but I’m sure the day will come when she’s toddling around and can reach door handles and we’ll need to up the security. haha
Our most important safety measure was installing a baby gate on the stairs because Sophie and I spend the majority of our time on the second floor and it just gives my husband and I so much peace of mind.
We chose this particular gate because (1) it’s super easy to install, (2) it mounts to the wall instead of just using the tension rounds (so, more secure), (3) it is adjustable in its width and because we have a 100+ y/o home that has some irregular measurements so this was a key feature for us, (4) it swings flush with the wall so it stays out of the way if we want to keep it open during Sophie’s nap times, and (5) the latch is easy enough for an adult to manage (and with one hand!), but requires two pressure points which we felt would be more difficult for a child to figure out / handle. This gate is perfect for a ready-to-install situation, but if we had had the choice we would have invested in custom built-in baby gates. Maybe in our next house. 😜
This is one is an easy one; we went with this clear option for obvious reasons.
This might be one of the more important safety items because we keep so many of our cleaning solutions in cabinets under the sinks in our house. I love the convenience of this design because the locks are easy to undo with the magnet release gadget, but impossible for a baby or child to unlock without it. No more fiddling with weird tabs and even less opportunity for baby access!!
Sophie loves a pull knob — they really fascinate her for some reason, so we need to be especially cautious about this and get those low dresser and cabinet drawers locked up.
Table Corner Bumpers
I’m not sure how much good these will do because I feel like the straight edges of tables can do just as much damage as a corner can, but these little protectors are clear and I figured they can’t hurt to have, especially once Sophie is pulling herself up / starting to walk.
window blind cord winder
We liked this option because we wouldn’t be drilling any unnecessary holes into the decorative window frames to mount a cleat and we liked that they’re clear so they’re generally less noticeable.
Our brother- and sister-in-law gifted Sophie with this toy at Christmas and she has loved chasing Lolo the kitty around the house! It’s a great toy to get baby crawling and help them get their “zoomies” out, especially if you’re stuck indoors due to inclement weather. It also comes in a cute puppy version if you’re more of a canine household. 😉
*Note that the toy can only move on hard surfaces (it struggles mightily on carpeted surfaces)
We’re not perfect about remembering to do this, but now that Sophie has a few teeth, we’ve been trying to get her used to the feeling of a toothbrush in her mouth. I love this silicone training toothbrush, but this silicone option fits on an adult finger to brush baby’s teeth and gums. Once Sophie got familiar with the sensation, we transitioned her to a legit baby toothbrush! My mom was a dental hygienist for almost 50 years(!) and this is the baby toothbrush that she recommended to us. We haven’t started using any toothpaste yet… just introducing the feel of the brush in her mouth.
I wouldn’t consider myself a germaphobe, but certain surfaces gross me out and one of them is the handle on grocery carts. Now that Sophie is sitting up on her own, we can take her with us to the store without keeping her in a stroller or baby carrier and place her directly in the cart! For her comfort, as well as preventing the transfer of a potentially germy environment, I bought this grocery cart seat cover and we love it! It fits great on standard carts (Target, Safeway, etc.), is neutral enough in its design not to be visually offensive, and Sophie seems quite comfortable in it. This can also double as a high chair cover if you wanted to take it out to eat with you or even use it on your high chair at home!
for easy baby / toddler meal ideas (for 6m+)
I continue to follow the advice of @milestones.and.motherhood as well as @themovementmama on Instagram and order their courses whenever I feel that I need a little extra guidance on movement milestones like crawling, standing, walking, etc.!
Even though Sophie isn’t quite a toddler yet (omg where has the time gone!?!?) I love to follow @busytoddler on Instagram for tips and activity ideas that I am earmarking for the future! Some activities work for now (such as sensory bins), but there are plenty of others listed that can be set up for older kiddos too!
I hope these suggestions are helpful for you! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a question or a product / resource to share with other readers!
Sending hugs —