Baby Essentials Update: 6-12 Months

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.

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. 

(naptime in a hotel crib)

(naptime in a hotel crib)

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. ;)

Baby Essentials Update: 3-6 Months

Last week, I posted an update to the original Baby Essentials post. I discussed the baby stuff we actually used from 0-3 months. But a changing baby has changing needs! Here's what we've been using for months 3-6. 

1. Diapers and a Changing Pad: We've continued to do everything the same but added in an overnight diaper at around 4 months so we could prevent nighttime diaper changes and wakings. (Ooh, plus a swim diaper!)
2. Feeding: We got into more of a pumping/feeding routine and bought a couple of larger bottles and nipples that will hopefully last us until Peanut is done with breastmilk. Although I think it’s more work, I’ve loved having the flexibility of breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I wouldn’t be able to go on dates or work for extended periods of time without the bottle. I also wouldn’t have been able to go to all-day festivals or travel as easily without breastfeeding. Now we’re on to Baby-Led Weaning… wish us luck!
3. Carrying: Although Greg used our Ergobaby 360 with Infant Insert some in the first 3 months, it’s the carrier we have both exclusively used since. We ditched the insert and have taken Peanut all over the US and even Japan in this thing. He prefers facing out but when it’s nap time, we just turn him around, bounce a little and he can catch his z’s like that! I have friends who breastfeed in this thing (!!) and that’s a goal of mine. (Update: Goal achieved over the weekend in New Orleans!)

4. Strollering: We’re still using the car seat and stroller as we did in the beginning but we can also use the stroller on its own now since he can almost sit up. I’m trying to use these less as carrying them around with a bigger baby is getting heavy.
5. Sleeping: So Peanut has been in his crib since 2.5 months maybe. He sleeps in there and takes most naps in there. We are very happy with the crib and mattress! We ended up getting two sheets and one mattress pad which have certainly been enough. We now use a sleep sack and introduced a lovey at around 4.5 months.
6. Clothing: We’ve started to differentiate sleepwear from daily clothing so while we still love the footed pieces for nighttime (and like to have four or five in his current size), Peanut is starting to wear onesies and shorts or pants (with socks!) during the day. We do laundry a little less often and he continues to wear one to three outfits a day so we have a few more items now than we did to begin with. Plus, gifts…

7. Wrapping: Although we no longer swaddle, we still use the same blankets and added a few more burp cloths for travel.
8. Entertaining: After 3 months, we started using a simple activity gym as a playmat and Peanut started looking at, then touching, then grabbing for and rolling over toys. At this point, when he’s not rolling all over our floor, we spend a lot of time hanging out on a quilt and interacting with books, balls, mason jar lids and fuzzy things.
9. Toting: Once we started going on longer outings (hello, Japan and music festivals!) and Peanut’s items started to get bigger, we placed the travel changer in a backpack with a wet/dry bag, a hat, sometimes a bottle and an outfit or two... that’s how we roll for now!
10. Bathing: We’re still bathing together or Peanut sometimes showers with one of us. The same few towels are working and we’ve moved on to small amounts of California Baby Sensitive Shampoo.

+ Peanut spends a lot of time on us, in the carrier, on the floor, in the crib or sometimes in the stroller. We’ve liked having a seat for him so he’s safe while watching us cook or shower. For the most part, though, we’re not real fans of swings/rockers/bouncers. He’s pretty happy hanging out on the floor with a mason jar ring and someone watching him. <3 Now, time to start baby proofing!!