Here’s a list of my top 10 best items that we had for our 0-6 month year old
1. The Fisher Price Acquarium Swimg. (see my “sleep aid for newborns” post on this item)
2. A good activity mat. We have the baby einstein–and I’m sure there’s lots of great ones out there. Tip: listen to the music first if you can, because you’ll be hearing a LOT of it.
3. A good tummy-time mat. Ours has nice crinkly noisy things for her to grab and look at. I thought it was a bit overkill to have both an activity mat and a tummy time mat, but it really was great for keeping her interested and active on her tummy when she was first learning to do that.
4. The Ultimate Baby Wrap (see my separate post on this item)
5. Some good crinkly toys for 3-6 month year olds to put in their mouth. We’ve got a great one from Lamaze that she loves. There’s tons out there. I’d suggest one with plastic rings and pieces to go into the mouth, and parts that crinkle when grabbed. A hook at the end so you can snap it on your stroller is a plus.
6. The Miracle Blanket for swaddling. (see my separate post on this item)
7. For 4+ months, an activity table. We have the Evenflo Exersaucer and it’s awesome. It has a book that makes sounds as you turn the pages, a cell phone, and all sorts of other random goofy things. I’m sure there’s lots of great ones on the market. Whatever brand you get, I suggest checking it out in person to confirm it makes lots of noises and has lots of things to grab and pull. (and that you *like* the noises it makes 🙂 )
8. A good bouncy seat. We’ve got the Fisher Price Rainforest one and she loves it. I’m sure there’s lots of great ones out there. I’d suggest going and looking in person to confirm it does these things: 1. bounces (you’d be amazed how many don’t actually bounce), 2. has entertaining things to play with (I think personally our baby would be bored if she had one of those bouncy seats that don’t have the toys/lights/noises., 3. that you like the music. Again, you’re going to be hearing a lot of it. We keep ours in the kitchen and she’s in there when we’re cooking, cleaning, etc. Great because it’s light and mobile and can easily go anywhere in the house, or outside.
9. One of those foam “pod” chairs. We’ve got the Prince Lionheart Bebe Pod. I’m sure with this sort of item, nearly all brands are the same and work great. Excellent for helping them sit up and develop stomach muscles
10. A glider + ottoman. A good friend of mine, Dale Konrad, said this was a must-have and he really was right. We use it every day, multiple times a day. It’s a great way to rock your baby to sleep. I’d make one strong suggestion–sit in lots of these before you buy. Don’t buy without sitting in it. There are very comfortable ones and there are very uncomfortable ones. For me, I searched until I found one that was comfortable enough for me to sleep in–and both my husband and I have done just that on several occasions while rocking our daughter to sleep. It’s also a great place to feed babies. Sometimes I just rock there and hug her and we hang out. I sat in every make of Dutailier, but ended up liking a Jardine one best. (Also got the Jardine on sale at babies r us and ended up spending literally half of what I would have paid for a Dutallier)