You may have seen posts about celebrating Sophie’s one year birthday recently and if you’re asking yourself WASN’T SHE JUST BORN?! Trust me, I’m asking myself the same thing. 😭😭😭
Anyway, I’m back with another installation of Our Favorite Baby Products series to share the items that helped make the past three months easier.
If you missed our favorites from previous age groups, you can find them here:
0–3 Months // 3–6 Months // 6–9 Months
Sophie went through a bit of a sleeping regression when she was learning to stand up on her own (around the 10 month mark when she was pulling-up-to-stand and then again at almost the end of 11 months when she was learning to stand independently). We worked through those phases, but man, it was rough to have abbreviated nap times and earlier wakeups during those periods.
In an effort to prevent any accidents, we also dropped Sophie’s crib to the lowest available level when she started standing up. Since we only made the transition to her crib at 8 months this feels super fast to me, but I suppose that’s just the way time feels to me now.
CRIB RAIL WRAPS
We invested in Sophie’s crib because we plan for it to be her bedroom furniture as she grows (since it can be a 4-in-1 with the help of some conversion kits:  Crib,  Toddler bed with guardrail,  Full-sized bed with headboard only, and  Full-sized complete bed with headboard, footboard and side rails) and with Sophie’s top teeth coming in she was chewing on everything so I was nervous about her going full chipmunk on her bed railing. This concerned me not only for aesthetic purposes, but also just in case she managed to chew off and then [potentially] swallow paint and / or wood… due to this concern I decided to order some Crib Rail Wraps (long and short).
I laugh about it now because as a parent you specifically buy a crib of a certain style because you like how it fits into their nursery design, but between the mesh liner that I got to prevent her from popping her legs / arms out or pushing her paci out between the slats while asleep and now adding the rail wraps you can barely see the crib at all (“tell me you’re a first time mom without telling me you’re a first time mom…” 😜). Although, I will say that I wouldn’t change a thing as this piece of furniture will be repurposed for many years ahead; it’s just entertaining to me that at this stage the bed frame itself is barely visible. I would highly recommend these rail covers if you also have a little baby beaver like we do — they’re well made, easy to install and come in a few different color options to complement the style of your nursery.
*I will say that if worse comes to worse, PBK does sell touchup paint pens which I will definitely be investing in because we will likely need it for her other nursery furniture pieces… I just know they will inevitably get scratched over the years.
Sophie finally figured out how to use a straw!!! We started with just the classic straw, which took her a little while to figure out… for some reason it didn’t come naturally to her? But she always does really big pulls of the beverage which ends up causing her to cough a little because the liquid hits the back of her throat too fast. We ended up switching to this stainless steel spill-proof sippy cup and it works so much better for her because you have to suck on it in a similar way that you do a bottle nipple. The handles also make it super easy for Sophie to hold by herself and I love it because it doesn’t spill all over the place!
I am glad that we have the silicone straw cup even if it’s not in heavy rotation right now because Sophie will still need to master the slow sip at some point and then, because the lid can be removed, it will be a great option to help transition to learning to drink from an open cup! In addition to the cups we’re using I’ve linked a few more options in the widget below in case you’re searching for some alternatives.
I wasn’t planning to introduce puffs until further down the line (even though they are approved for babies as early as 8M!) mostly because I wanted Sophie to be introduced to more “real foods” first. That changed when Sophie wasn’t showing interest in grabbing for her food. She was definitely interested in eating the food I was offering to her, but she only wanted to eat it off of a spoon or if I placed that food directly into her mouth. I blame myself for this; my husband often works from home and uses the dining room table as his “office” (as we don’t have a true office for him to use) so I would rarely take Sophie down to the dining room to eat. This meant that I would often take my meals upstairs where everything is carpeted and I was so nervous about stains that I didn’t encourage Sophie to grab the food herself.
It took me a while to find a solution to correct the issue, but dry puffs ended up being my saving grace! They don’t make a mess like other wet / saucy / juicy foods (and any crushed puff dust can easily be vacuumed up, if needed). They are the perfect “practice” for Sophie’s pincer grasp AND they gave her the confidence to grab other bits of food that are placed on her high chair tray. I may be the only parent in this situation (that I literally put myself in 🤦🏼♀️), but if you find yourself in a similar spot I highly recommend giving puffs a try! I love them because they melt quickly in baby’s mouth which makes them great for little ones that don’t have all of their teeth yet.
*I just want to note that most traditional cereals can be too hard (and a possible choking hazard!) so just keep that in mind if you give this “trick” a try. I certainly recommend sticking with the baby-specific puffs that have been designed specifically with tiny ones in mind. Sophie has loved every flavor that I have given to her, but the ones she seems to go especially crazy for are the blueberry and the strawberry-apple flavors.
As part of this puffs journey, we also introduced a snack cup so that Sophie could learn how to use one especially for when we’re out-and-about. We really like this one because it’s all one piece (no lid for baby to remove and dump out the contents), has good handles, and has sturdy flaps to keep snacks inside which are still soft and flexible enough for baby hands to reach in and retrieve the goodies.
Sophie has outgrown her baby bathtub so we got some items to make our adult sized bathtub more toddler-friendly:
We got this faucet cover to protect Sophie from any accidental head bangs. I love that it’s white so it’s not offensive to look at (I’m just not a huge fan of bright primary “circus” colors) and it has an adjustable strap underneath so that it can fit many faucet designs.
We also got this mat that suctions to the bottom of the tub so that she doesn’t slip around and her little bum doesn’t get cold from sitting on the ceramic surface while I bathe her.
SILICONE DRAIN COVER
This drain cover was a necessary purchase because I was nervous about Sophie injuring herself on our tub’s metal drain plug. The plug protrudes quite a bit and seemed like it would be painful if fallen on or squished into (assuming anything can happen while she’s playing around — haha).
HAIR RINSING PITCHER // STORAGE BIN
I should have gotten this hair rinsing pitcher months ago; I don’t know why I didn’t because it’s so helpful in keeping soapy water out of Sophie’s eyes (I was just using a regular cup before which worked when she was a baby, but this is so much better for our current situation). I love that it came in a set with this bin which is the perfect storage solution to keep all of these bathing items contained. I especially love the drainage / air hole feature that will prevent mildew from growing if wet items are placed into it post-bath.
I also got this light up sprinkler toy because I thought it might be a fun way to entertain Sophie during her baths, but I want to note that the sprinkler spray goes up a lot higher than the images on the product listing indicate so the water can easily be sprayed in baby’s face. Just something to be aware of; not a knock on the product!
I followed this Childproofing Checklist to make sure our home is as safe as possible for Sophie. Obviously, we can’t keep her in a bubble, but preventing what we can will go a long way especially when it comes to major injuries. We covered a decent amount of these childproofing items when she started crawling, but now that Sophie can stand up there’s a lot more to be concerned about. She is ON. THE. MOVE. and a very curious little gal so these additional safety (and sanitary) installations were definitely no-brainers.
TOILET LID LOCKS
This is one of the most important ones in my opinion. This way Sophie can’t put anything into the toilet (and cause a clog in our VERY old pipes) and she can’t reach / fall into it herself.
DOOR KNOB / HANDLE COVERS
We try to keep most things out of Sophie’s reach, but these door handle covers are great for simply just shutting the door to a room where she shouldn’t be unsupervised. She’s not quite tall enough to actually reach door handles quite yet, but girlfriend is growing like a weed and I can’t imagine it will be long now.
DOOR PINCH GUARD / LOCK
Those tiny fingers are always into everything and are prone to getting pinched in between the door and doorframe especially as they start to explore the open-and-shut concepts. I love these little buffers that easily fit on doors that your child may come into contact with frequently, but can also be removed easily in case of situations like fully closing their bedroom door for nap time.
GAS RANGE KNOB COVERS
I didn’t know these were even a thing until we were visiting another couple’s home and they had them on their gas range knobs to prevent their kiddos from playing with them. SO smart! These knobs are also out of Sophie’s current reach, but I figure that it can’t hurt to be prepared.
Baby Ice Packs
I know that even with all of the babyproofing we’ve done we won’t be able to avoid the occasional bumps and bruises, especially now that we have a wobbly standing girl and taking those first steps will likely happen sooner than later! This prompted me to place an order for these cute little flexible gel pads that you keep in the freezer so they’re ready when you need them! I love that they’re the perfect size for tiny hands (easier than trying to manage a bag of frozen peas or Ziploc bag of chunky ice cubes!) and that they come with soft little fabric covers so that tiny hands don’t get too cold as they hold the gel pad in place. There are multiple cute designs to choose from and even though we haven’t had to use these ice pads yet, I’m grateful to know that we have the option whenever those little boo-boos inevitably happen.
I have been waiting for what has felt like forever for this day! Sophie received her first COVID-19 vaccination dose and I don’t think I’ve breathed easier since the day she was born. The vaccine became available to her age group around her birthday (what an excellent birthday gift!) which meant that it also happened to coincide with the timing of her 12M wellness visit.
Because Sophie was already set to receive her routine vaccinations at that doctor’s appointment, I reached out to her pediatric team as soon as I saw the news that her age group would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. I wanted to know if should delay her first dose for two weeks after the vaccinations at her wellness appointment (as I was advised to do when I was vaccinated against COVID-19 related to my routine TDAP vaccination during pregnancy), but her pediatric nurse told me there wouldn’t be any kind of conflict between her vaccinations and to feel free to get her COVID-19 vaccination whenever we wanted.
Thankfully Sophie didn’t have any reactions to the vaccine and after the initial shot (which she always hates; I mean, me too) she was immediately back to her normal self. She will have two more doses of the Pfizer vaccine before she is considered fully immunized, but this first shot really gave me and my husband some peace of mind that we’re on track to protecting her health.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much relief I felt after Sophie received her initial vaccination shot… it’s like the world is opening up for us because I will finally feel more comfortable taking her out into our community to do all of the things I’ve been wanting to experience with her! Things like: going out to eat more often as a family, taking mommy & me classes, taking swimming classes, going to the zoo / aquarium, playing at the children’s museum, etc.! Basically, all of the things I have been too anxious to do during her first year of life I will feel comfortable enough to do after her final shot. Maybe I have been being too cautious and playing it too safe, but I suppose I felt like if getting sick with a [potentially] deadly illness was avoidable, we may as well do our best to minimize her exposure whenever we could.
Also of note: our pediatrician is part of a family medicine group (my husband and I also see her for our wellness visits and absolutely adore her and her team), but their facility is unable to store the vaccine so they weren’t administering it. I also learned that pharmacies aren’t permitted to vaccinate children under 3 years of age, so I was in this weird circumstance where Sophie was eligible for the vaccine, but I couldn’t find anywhere to get her vaccinated! Thankfully, @pedsdoctalk shared this GoogleDoc that lists pediatric vaccination administering facilities in all 50 states so if you’re also having trouble, I recommend using that list to find the best option for your family!
Travel GEAR UPGRADE
Oh man, this one’s a bit of a doozy. Sophie is now a toddler (where did my baby go?! ) and has frankly just grown too big to fit into her infant car seat. She has been teetering on the edge of “too big” for it for a little while, if I’m completely honest. Thankfully, we were able to squeak one last use out of it for our trip to Hawai’i in April, but it was definitely the right time to think about finding lightweight, travel-friendly car seat and stroller options for her graduated size.
We were looking for items that would be mostly lightweight for schlepping through the airport / onto airplanes and would be easy to load / install into a rental car (which often don’t have a ton of trunk space). We wanted them to be FAA compliant and as compact as possible for potential travel on European airlines.
I will be writing a whole post about our new travel toddler gear after using them for some upcoming travel which will include even more details, but for now I’ll just link the products below if you’re also in the market for lightweight, compact toddler travel gear and don’t have time to wait for the full review.
NURSERY UPDATES: Play
We removed the foot rest from Sophie’s beloved Activity Table as she is now tall enough to touch the ground while in the seat. I imagine that soon we will remove the seat altogether and fully convert the container into a little table. Sophie has loved using the table to learn to pull herself up into a standing position and I think it’s been a worthwhile purchase for so many months of use now!!
The following are items that were gifted to Sophie for her first birthday and she has loved all of them!
So many parents swear by these little kid-sized chairs and it’s clear why! Sophie absolutely loves climbing into her chair to stand on it and look out the window or sit and flip through a book. My only concern is teaching her how to safely dismount (she keeps attempting to lean forward and tumble out of the chair to get out! 😳 we’re working on safely crawling off backwards).
I ordered this on Etsy and it came all the way from Ukraine in perfect condition… I was certain that with the war happening there that it was going to take so much longer to arrive or even get totally held up, but it arrived in time for Sophie’s birthday! I loved all of the little gizmos and activities on it — practical things like zippers, snaps, loops, ties, switches, etc. as well as fun things like fidget spinners and a caster wheel to spin! I would highly recommend this product, just order well in advance. I’ve linked a few other options as well!
Sophie isn’t walking yet, but my mom gifted this to her in anticipation of her next milestone. I love that it can be used four ways and extend to grow with our little gal!
LITTLE PEOPLE DOLLHOUSE
Oh my goodness, Sophie has had so much fun exploring this little dollhouse. She hasn’t quite figured out “playing” with it yet, but she loves to hold (and taste 😂) the Little People, press all of the buttons that make noises or music and touch and feel everything inside! I don’t think it will be long before she is playing pretend with it. Such a cute toy and so many additional options in the Fisher Price Little People realm!
REFERENCE / EDUCATION
I used this helpful guide to help me transition away from formula once Sophie turned a year old (as recommended to do by her pediatrician).
If you are looking for more guidance regarding air travel with carseats, carseat safety, and product suggestions I recommend this course as well as following @safeintheseat on Instagram (there are also lots of great ideas for keeping toddlers occupied on flights here if you have some travel coming up!).
I continue to follow the free advice of @milestones.and.motherhood and @themovementmama on Instagram / their newsletters as well as order their courses whenever I feel that I need a little extra guidance on movement milestones like crawling, standing, walking, etc.!
As we are approaching full toddlerhood over here, I will be looking to experts for guidance on this [sometimes tumultuous] period. Specifically, I enjoy following @dr.siggie and @biglittlefeelings on Instagram to get guidance and perspective on gentle parenting discipline.
I really appreciate the advice from Big Little Feelings courses: “Winning the Toddler Stage” and “Potty Training Made Simple“. Some of these topics (like potty training) are years away for us, but I like to be generally equipped with some info so I can be a bit prepared when we reach those stages.
I hope these suggestions are helpful for you! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a question or a products / resource to share with other readers!
Sending hugs —