Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday's Must-Haves: Oh Baby Baby! Toys and Snackies.

I've gotten a few email inquiries lately surrounding the types of toys and sorts of snacks that are must-haves in the M household as of late. Here's a quick rundown of what's currently a sanity-saver in our everyday lives.

Sophie has been on our list pretty much since month 3. I truly do not see the fuss over her tiny little rubber self, but Carter absolutely adores her. Natural food rubber? Natural paint? Yes, please! She's a sanity-saver for sure. We even recently bought Sophie #2 for the car. Welcome to teething city! Population: One. 

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether

Speaking of teething, Carter loves his Sassy Tactile teether keys, too! What's one more baby toy that makes annoying sounds, right? At this point in time, it just blends in with all the rest of the baby background music! Not to mention it's pretty dang cute when C tools around the kitchen in his walker, sucking on his car keys. 

Sassy Tactile Tunes Keys Teether Toy
I'd be 10 kinds of crazy if it wasn't for Carter's affinity for his walker. We have this one at our home in Maryland and he absolutely loves it. He could easily sit in it for an hour and entertain himself, mostly by beeping the horn with his tongue. My husband loves it because it allows me enough time to cook dinner each night. And yes, he scoots all over our house! I'm not sure if it would scoot on carpet, as our entire first floor is wood- but he's quite the mover! He also loves to sit and spin the sideview mirrors. Over and over and over again.

Jeep Liberty Renegade Walker, Storm 

While at home in New Jersey this week, Gammie and Poppy surprised Carter with this walker. A bit pricier than the one we have at home but fabulous nonetheless. The extra nice thing about the Combi is that the handlebar tray is removable and reveals a flat snack tray. When Carter tires of the lights and buttons I can easily remove the activity portion and either throw some new toys at him or fill the tray table with Puffs. It's a win-win!

Combi Adventure Walker, Red

VTech, how I love thee. Here's another new favorite in our household. The Vtech Sit-to-Stand Activity Walker. Carter loves, loves, loves this! Mama loves it for many reasons, too. Not only is the activity portion removable so that Carter can play with it on the floor if the Prince so wishes, but when attached in the "sitting position," I'm able to lock the wheels so that the walker isn't rolling all over the place. Granted, we're not quite to the mobile stage where he's pushing this little sucker all over the place, but until then- it's the perfect little learner! Numbers, letters, animals and animal sounds.. and it's bilingual! I bet you all didn't know that I'm near fluent in Spanish, did you? Hopefully Carter will be, too! 

VTech Sit-to-Stand Activity Walker

Ah, the Zany Zoo. I don't have much to say about this toy other than if you don't already have one, you need to change that immediately. What I love most about this toy is that it's super durable and made of wood- just like all those toys from our childhood! Colorful and lot's of great kiddie artwork. It really helps strengthen and encourage C's fine motor skills. Can't go wrong there! His favorite task is to push the little animals and beads along their wire tracks. He's a bit young to enjoy this toy in it's entirety but I have no doubts that he'll be growing into it for months to come!

B. Zany Zoo 
When Carter isn't playing, chances are he's eating. Totally takes after his Mama, that boy! In addition to his 4 milkies and 2 meals of solids a day, Carter also gets to enjoy a few snacks here and there. Here's what we're munching on at six-months old. 

Mum-Mum's. I first came across these tasty organic treats when searching for a teething biscuit for C. Let me throw out there that I am a choking-hazard Nazi. Seriously, the thought of my son choking on something is pretty much one of my biggest fears. Bigger than SIDS, if you can believe that. So when I read through the hundreds of Mommy-reviews and not one of them mentioned choking or gagging, I was sold. Carter is obsessed with these crackers. They're actually more of a wafer, as they are super thin and basically melt in your mouth. He loves feeding himself and these wafers help him do just that. The only downfall? Any leftover Mum-Mum mush turns to cement if not wiped away immediately. We've taken many a bath after snack time. Carter's favorite flavor is Banana. Mama's favorite flavor? Veggie. Try them all. Yum! 

Hot Kid Organic Baby Mum-Mum Original Rice Rusks, 24-Count Rusks (Pack of 6)  

Puff's. Okay, so back when I said I was a choking-hazard Nazi, I really wasn't kidding. I'm still slightly terrified when it comes to giving Carter Puff's, but they really strengthen his hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills (ie.: the pincer grasp!) So, what does this crazy Mama do? Why, I break them in half. I mean, I personally think they're a bit large for my little 6mo. old's mouth anyway, so breaking them in half not only makes them safer but more manageable also! Carter started eating his Puffs earlier this week and once again, the child loves to feed himself. As soon as he hears the "shake shake" of the carton, he goes bonkers. For those of you wondering, yes, our Pedi encouraged us to start small snack foods. Carter's a bit ahead of the curve. We love our little overachiever! We also love us some 'Nana Puffs.

HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs, Apple Puffs, 2.1-Ounce Containers (Pack of 6)

Healthy Times Premium Organic Teething Biscuits, Vanilla Flavor. Okay, so these I found in the organic foods aisle in our local grocer. For weeks my mother had been asking if I had given Carter his first biter biscuit and truth be told, I had forgotten that these kinds of things exist. It's been a while since I was a Nanny and hadn't really been reading my... um... child-rearing books. And last time I checked, I hadn't received any emails with the subject heading, "Give Your Baby Biter Biscuits!" 

As soon as I saw these, I knew I had to scoop them up for Baby C! Okay, let's be honest because we're all about honesty on this blog. Mum-Mum's take approximately 5 minutes to devour. That's like 30 seconds in Mom-Free time. These teething biscuits? Oh, we're talking a good thirty minutes. Which we all know translates into an eternity in Mom-Free time. Mama's, if you're going to head out and snag a box of these, be prepared for a major mess. How do I know Carter loves his biter biscuits? The minute he drops it or loses it to a certain Sheepdog, he starts freaking out! I've even had a few chomps and these babies are delicious! 

Healthy Times Premium Organic Teething Biscuits, Vanilla, 6-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Last but not least, I started introducing Carter to a sippy cup. With the introduction of more and more solids, let's just say things tend to get a little backed up inside that lil' Buddha belly. We all know that babes need additional fluids when solids are introduced in greater quantities and when things started to slow down a bit, I knew it was a good time to introduce water. During snack time, I'll often offer Carter a sippy full of water. If things have been especially slow, sometimes it's a sippy full of water with a dash of apple juice throw in. Currently, these are the Nuby sippies that we're using. No-spill valve, easy for C to grasp onto and I love the soft silicone spout. Now, he can sippy with the best of 'em!

Nuby 2 Handle Cup with Soft Spout, Colors May Vary, 7 Ounce

So, there you have it! Just a few of the things that make my every day life as a Mama that much easier. Thanks for the emails! I always love to hear from you. Don't forget, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too! Just check out the "Contact" tab at the top of the page! Happy Monday, readers!
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  1. thanks for sharing these... now i better go get hubster's wallet and invest in some of these things!

    hope you and carter man are having a wonderful monday!

  2. Great post! I need all the help I can get with my 6 month old and this is a very informative post.

  3. I love so many of those products...we actually went through 3 Sophies!! ( husband still doesn't know, lol!!)

  4. Sophie is going on my list of things to get for my little one soon! Thanks for the ideas :)

  5. Ive given sophie to all my pregnant girlfriends!

  6. Two questions and a comment:

    1. Can we be best friends?
    2. Can you come and live with me from say, oh, I don't know... June 15th - July 15th? [the first 30-days of this babe's life].

    Thanks for this list........ I'm saving it NOW and changing up my registry based on it! I added the sophie giraffe last week after seeing 83,000 awesome reviews about it. ;)

  7. We are big Sophie fans as well!!!

    Have you looked into any of the Melissa & Doug fill and spill toys? They are wonderful - and quiet! Kate loves her purse and picnic basket.

  8. Great post. I am planning on asking about puffs and biter biscuits at G's 6 month appointment this week. I love that you found organic ones!

  9. Great recommendations... We love Sophie too! I think Timothy loves Sophie so much, he has managed to cut teeth that weren't actually ready! He is working on 4 on bottom 4 on top right now!!

  10. We love puffs and mum-mum. The nuby cup though? Hate it! Spills and when B drops it, it comes apart and I'm constantly snapping it back together. We just moved to Tommee Tippee and so far so good.

  11. Such a great post! I love reading what everyone is using - it's seriously the best way to find new fun things for our little ones.

    Our pedi pushed us to start doing puffs or some organic-cheerios type things at 6 months too - it's been so fun! And I'm definitely going to get some Mums after talking to you about it last week!!

    The sippy cups are crazy in our house - I'm using the Dr Browns ones right now and I really like those. Trey likes to bang and throw them - so really they are a 2 for 1 - sippy cup & toy? :)

    p.s. Glad my kid isn't the only one who takes sophie everywhere!!! :)

  12. Strangely, Em chokes/gags on mum-mums nearly every time she has them. It's because she breaks chunks off and has gotten really good at moving stuff to the back of her throat and the cracker is still to hard to slide down when that big. I think she also may have a sensitive gag reflex too though, because she chokes nearly every bite and gets covered in big undissolved chunks.


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