I’m back with another installation of Our Favorite Baby Products series to share the items that helped make the past six months of life with our baby easier, and… sniff… this will be the last of Sophie’s installments. Of course we’ll continue to share products that we’re loving as well as gift ideas for birthdays, holidays, and any other major milestones, but I’ll be halting these age-specific roundups as child development begins to slow down a bit (the development pace during the first couple of years is CRAZY!).
If you missed our favorites from previous ages, you can find them here:
0–3 Months // 3–6 Months // 6–9 Months // 9–12 Months // 12–18 Months
I remember being pregnant with Sophie and receiving gifts or served ads for things that I knew I’d need eventually, but had no idea when I would actually need to start thinking about buying them (or using the gifts!) so I hope that these posts sharing what we actually used have been helpful for you!
Nothing much has changed regarding Sophie’s sleep schedule; we just work on staying consistent with her schedule [most days] and her once-a-day nap routine.
Some afternoons she’s not really feeling the nap so we’re going through a bit of a regression, but we’re sticking with it and powering through (per @the.peaceful.sleeper‘s advice). You can find more advice for toddler sleep here, here and here if you’re also dealing with some challenges!
We are trying to prolong Sophie sleeping in her crib as long as we can, but if you’re ready to make that adjustment, here’s a bit of practical advice that I plan to revisit when we reach that point.
Still going strong with our crib! I’m trying my best to [subtly] discourage Sophie from attempting to climb out of it and I have found that continuing to put her in a sleep sack for bedtime helps because it limits her mobility.
We have LOVED all of our Nested Bean sleep sacks and highly recommend them, but Sophie is quite tall (literally in the 99th percentile for her age group!) and is sizing out of the largest sack that they make. A lot of sleep sacks are only created for little ones up to 24 months so I had to do some serious shopping for one that would continue to fit her for the foreseeable future. I got a lightweight bamboo one (0.5 TOG) for summer from Kyte Baby and a merino wool one from Woolino for the rest of the year.
Sophie only gets her pacifier when she sleeps (naptime and overnight), but I know we’ll have to give the paci up sooner than later. We are planning to wait until after our summer travels are done (I lean so heavily on the paci to give Sophie a semblance of normalcy / familiarity when we travel 😩), but we will be employing the Paci Fairy Method when it comes time to give it up. I thought this was a really cute way to handle it and make your little one feel excited (well, as excited as they can be to let their paci go) about this new chapter!
We are still absolutely loving our Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair. It’s so easy to wipe clean and we love that it grows with Sophie. We have already adjusted the footrest a few times to accommodate Sophie’s long legs — girlfriend is in the 99th percentile for her height and continuing to grow like a weed!
I used to keep a pouch of wipes for messy cleanups on the back of the footrest, but now that we have adjusted the footrest to a lower placement that is farther forward Sophie often ends up kicking the pouch onto the floor. Stokke offers this storage attachment for their Tripp Trapp chair that clicks into place on the back of the seat. In addition to holding the pack of cleanup wipes, we also keep Sophie’s bib back there and an extra hair clip (just in case 😉). We really appreciate this handy storage solution!
These disposable placemats are far from being necessary (or eco-friendly ), but we like that they help to minimize the mess when we dine out with Sophie. I would argue that half of their utility is minimizing our mess (just peel up the edges, wrap up the food mess and toss it), but the other half is to protect her meal! Occasionally, the table surface is a bit grimy or there are gaps that food can fall between; these mats help avoid those challenges.
This little straw cup has become a favorite for meal times. It’s not totally spill-proof, but definitely toddler-friendly due to the screw-on lid (!) and it comes with a silicone straw that was created with a little built-in ridge to prevent it from being pulled through the lid by tiny hands. 😉 This cup is also great for smoothies because of the double-wall insulation!
Sophie is getting really proficient at using an open cup, but for spill purposes (read: mom and dad’s sanity) we reach for this lidded / straw cup the majority of the time.
HYGIENE / WELLNESS
When we took Sophie for her 2 y/o wellness appointment, we discussed giving Sophie a daily vitamin just to be sure that she’s getting her necessary vitamins and minerals (you know how challenging it can be to feed littles ). This gives us more peace of mind about Sophie’s nutrition. I’d definitely recommend discussing with your pediatrician — we found a great organic, dissolving chewable option for Sophie, but there are gummy options if that makes them more appealing for your little one and even liquids that you can “hide” in their drinks (if you need to go that route 🙃). I can’t link them in the widget, but I’ve also heard good things about Hiya and First Day toddler vitamins!
One other thing to note is that our pediatrician said that we should be conscious about making sure that the vitamins we find were going to give Sophie a boost of iron. “Iron is an important mineral that plays a major role in kids’ health and development. It is especially important for children under the age of 5, because iron serves as a vital building block that impacts how their bodies grow. Despite that, iron-deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in this age group. Not having enough iron can negatively impact brain development, lead to poor school performance and suboptimal growth.” (You can read more of this article here).
We just recently introduced conditioner to Sophie’s bathing regimen — apparently, the age of two years is the generally accepted time to add this product to your little one’s routine. We love this product because it’s not too heavy or greasy for toddler hair, just use a small amount (a little goes a long way; you may only need a half pump or less!) and be sure to rinse thoroughly.
I don’t know that Sophie has a regular need for conditioner at this point, but as her tresses are getting longer the hairs can get a bit tangly or even dried out after swimming in salt water or a chlorinated pool. Our goal is to simply replenish any moisture that may have been stripped from her hair so it’s currently used on an as-needed basis.
We originally started Sophie out with some silicone toothbrushes just to get her comfortable with the idea of having them in her mouth and to massage her gums as she was teething, but once she had a few teeth visible we introduced the toddler toothbrush with ultra soft, real bristles and “training” toothpaste! We also started to use little floss picks to introduce flossing once she started to get enough teeth next to one another. *Note: I know that using a loose strand of traditional floss is the ideal situation, but we’ll introduce that when she gets a bit older / bigger. For now, it’s just about getting used to the sensation and routine of flossing, even though the floss picks aren’t the optimal dental cleaning product.
I am SO late to the game with getting Sophie to a pediatric dentist. We brush her teeth every night before bed, but I really want to get tips on how to make brushing (and flossing) her teeth less of a struggle (😳😬), get her a professional level cleaning, familiarize her with the process, and establish her dental care journey on the right foot.
These are the items that we use and were recommended by my dental hygienist mother + pediatric dentist at our recent appointment!
Sophie may not be quite ready for potty training just yet, but I am starting to gather intel on what gear we need, suggested training methods, as well as tips and tricks from other seasoned parents.
Because I’m a stay-at-home mom, Sophie has to come with me when I need to use the restroom throughout the day so on every trip we talk about wiping, what’s in the toilet, when I’m done I ask her help me close the lid and flush, and then we both wash our hands afterward.
We’ve also incorporated some potty-relateda books into her little library, so we can familiarize her with the process ahead of time. I have my fingers crossed that the potty training process will be fairly smooth sailing when we reach that point (with a few inevitable bumps along the way, of course).
We ran into an unexpected hiccup with our new house — we couldn’t find a baby gate option that would work for the design of our stairs. The closest safety gate that could have potentially worked was this option, but we weren’t willing to drill into the stairs to create a mount for the base strap to attach to (yes, it’s technically a “no-drill” gate, but with our setup we would still need to create a lower anchor).
Instead, we worked diligently at teaching Sophie how to use the stairs safely. We work on holding onto the rails daily as we move up or down the stairs and coach her to “watch where our feet are going” so she plants her feet in a good spot on each stair. At first we always held her free hand to help steady her and give her some support (both physical and moral! 😉), but now we stand just a few steps below her to catch her if needed and move along at her pace. We let her flex her independence and take the stairs “on her own” unless she asks for our hands, which we gladly give to her.
Our girl is becoming more and more comfortable with her surroundings and is exploring a lot, which we love, but there are areas she shouldn’t be exploring on her own (like the cleaning product closet). For those select spots we have these door handle locks and they’re perfect for our doors / their handles. The locks are incredibly easy to install and use — we highly recommend them!
We will likely keep these safety locks on the doors for a few years, but I found out that there is any easy way to remove them without damaging your door (the safety lock in the video is a different type, but it also uses the same 3M adhesive to attach to the door so the method is still applicable). We opted for this installation type to avoid drilling into the door.
Miscellaneous Emergency / Aid Tools:
I recently saw a news article about a 4 year old choking on a hot dog at Costco and passing away which sent me into full panic mode. I tried to imagine myself as their parent or even just as a bystander and quizzed myself on my safety knowledge and I couldn’t recall the proper steps for the rescue procedures! I should refresh my memory by re-taking our safety course (by Tinyhood!), but I also felt like having a few tools on hand couldn’t hurt!
This CPRWrap is basically a bib that you lay over the body in crisis. The “wrap” gives you instructions / is a roadmap on how to perform CPR in case your memory fails you in the panic of the emergency. It comes in Infant, Child, and Adult sizes!
The RESQME Device is a handy tool if you ever find yourself inside an immobilized vehicle in rising waters. There’s a little [protected] blade inside to slice through a seatbelt as well as a small pointed tool that can be used to shatter a window to escape the vehicle.
I wanted to note that although I am guilty of embracing the “beige mom aesthetic”, when it comes to life jackets the brighter and more neon / unnatural the color, the easier it is to spot in an emergency (this life vest probably has too much gray and isn’t bright enough, to be honest). You can learn more here, but just know that the really bright (read: ugly) colors are used for safety reasons so don’t avoid them.
I am currently working on a post about toddler plane / travel entertainment ideas that don’t take up a ton of space in your bag and a few tips for flying with a two year old. While I’m working on it, I still wanted to include those items in this post, but I’ll be sure to link the more comprehensive one here when it’s complete!
One of our favorite things to pack for on-the-go are Sophie’s Highlights booklets so I feel compelled to highlight (😏) them here!
When Sophie turned two we updated her Highlights subscription from the “Hello!” booklets to the “High Five periodicals” which are meant for kiddos aged 2-6! I have mentioned the Hello! Booklets so many times on the blog — we have adored them and they were one of the best gifts we received when Sophie was a newborn. We’re so excited that we can continue to enjoy Highlights products as she grows.
Since moving to the suburbs, I’ve admittedly been slow to get involved in local community of our new neighborhood, but there are so many great opportunities to get plugged in and activities to enjoy! I’m still looking for the right mom group, but we’ve enjoyed splashing at our local pool club, exploring neighborhood parks, children’s museums, playgrounds & indoor play places, and local zoos, aquariums, and local barnyard experiences!
We also like to use the Playground Finder app when we want to switch it up from our usual spots!
We especially love utilizing the pools and splash pad spots during the summer months. I also plan to enroll Sophie in swim classes sooner than later (which will be a great indoor activity for us as the weather turns 🙃). I also recently wrote a post rounding up my indoor play gear picks to help your little ones exert all of that energy!
If you live on the Eastside of Seattle (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, and Sammamish area) these are the resources I use to find activities and events to attend for Sophie! TinyBeans, ParentMap, VisitBellevue, ExploreKirkland, VisitIssaquah, and EventBrite.
REFERENCE / EDUCATION
Parenting a toddler is no joke… and sometimes I need to revisit these resources to feel validated, find suggestions to ground myself when I am feeling overstimulated, and read tips for parenting at this stage. Experiencing big feelings is super normal at this age and our little ones lack the knowledge on how to manage those feelings, so it’s our job to help them understand the feelings and how to get through them. I thought I’d share my resources with you too because parenting is HARD and we shouldn’t have to muddle through on our own. ♥️
What To Expect: Tantrum Guidance
loved this article on Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
follow @steadyparent for guidance on self-regulating
when feeling overstimulated as a parent
if you have a slow talker too, I found this post about a Pediatric SLP Experience to be so reassuring
It feels SO wild to be saying goodbye to the “real” baby years and running headfirst into toddlerhood. It’s true what they say:
life comes at you fast
I remember being pregnant with Sophie and receiving gifts or being served ads for things that I knew I’d need eventually, but had no idea when I would actually need to start thinking about buying them (or using the gifts!) so I hope that all of these posts sharing what we actually used have been helpful for you!
Just in case no one’s told you today, you’re doing a great job.
We’ve got this, friends!
Sending hugs —