Oh my, someone is 13 months old and kind of my favorite thing ever. I thought it was time to do another update on the few things we find very useful with having a
baby toddler. Here's what we initially thought about buying, an update with what we actually used for 0-3 months, and one for 3-6 months.
6-12 MONTH BABY ESSENTIALS:
1. Diapering: We're still very happy with our compost diapering setup and products. And we've still only used diapers, wipes and coconut oil. One thing that has changed is the activity while changing. Wow, babies can squirm and dislike getting changed. We take RIE classes and learning about slow diapering has been super useful. It's counterintuitive but slowing the process down and including Peanut in the task makes him more agreeable. If we rush or distract, it's much harder. Our setup in his closet with this changing pad is also really helpful.
2. Feeding: Solid food! We've done an interpretation of baby-led weaning and it's been awesome. Yikes, this boy can eat. And he likes real adult food... not that puree but your sandwich, please. At about 6.5 months, we started adding solid food and were working on three meals a day by 10 months. He's now eating three large (more than me!) meals a day and nursing about four times a day though that is continuing to wane. Some days I feel like all I do is prep food, feed him, and clean up after. :) Yep, I would say months 9-12 were almost entirely about feeding. We decided on one highchair that can be used on our table, our island, or even when we travel. Except for one annoying flaw of a large gap between Peanut and the table, we've been really happy. I don't think it's considered machine-washable but we pop it in the washer once or twice a week on a quick wash and hang it to dry overnight. We also use a couple of bibs (I think they're drool bibs but they are the only ones he doesn't try to yank off), and a bamboo plate, fork, and spoon we picked up in Japan!
3. Carrying: We still use the Ergo but less, usually just for hikes or flights. I tend to carry Peanut in my arms most of the time when we're not...
4. Strollering: We're still using our initial one stroller but now without the carseat. And we bought a gate check bag since we finally flew with it. The stroller is so useful but I'm not a fan of the process of using it. If we're going from one place to another in less than 10 minutes, I just carry him. I recently spent most of a week alone with Peanut in Brooklyn and it was great to have our stroller for outings without the subway. Because he's getting h-e-a-v-y!
5. Sleeping: <3 I love how he sleeps. We had a sort of sleep training/sleep-through-the-night miracle at 11 months. Peanut loves sleeping in his crib and sleep sack with his Snuggle Bunny. Naps are great too... we're using waketime intervals instead of a set schedule. Sleeping on the go is another matter...
6. Clothing: Our little boy is starting to wear t-shirts! And shoes! His future clothes (gifts) are organized by size and type so we still buy very little, usually socks and pjs.
7. Wrapping: This has mostly been replaced with a jacket or a borrowed snowsuit.
8. Entertaining: Wow, our days look so different now than at 6 months. They are scheduled around his two naps and all those meals. We get out of the house for a walk at least once a day regardless of the weather. In between the sleep, feeding, and walks, he mostly has independent play with stretches of my full attention. Play during these months includes crawling up and down the hallway, walking along the furniture, drumming on the toilet, holding balls or cars, investigating the washer/dryer, and figuring out Duplos.
+ Toys and clothes are the easiest items to amass and therefore, the easiest to essentialize. I bet Peanut would be just as happy without any "toys". When we've traveled and I've brought along a few, he's preferred empty containers, boxes, furniture and toilet paper rolls.
9. Toting: We're still using the small backpack but now with less clothing and more food, toys, or books. I even do some outings without a diaper bag! Exciting, I know!
10. Bathing: Baths are now alone and with a toy or two but most of the time we'll take showers together. Peanut will walk or crawl around with a rubber toy and his shampoo bottle until we're ready for a rinse. Oh and thanks, Laura, we're still enjoying the Mustela upgrade!
++ Babyproofing: Another huge element of this time period has been babyproofing. We chose to do most of the house and it really facilitates independent play. Peanut will now go into his room and close the door to play with toys! It's probably not intentional but it's super cute. Having a simple home made babyproofing relatively easy. Closets and furniture were already safe so we just added some kitchen cabinet and oven latches, some window wedges, and moved a few plants and trash cans.
It sounds cliché but each phase is even more fun than the last. Getting to take care of this guy (with some help) is the greatest honor. Until he jams his finger in my eye. ;)