Thursday, April 16, 2009

Favorite things - For the to 3-6 month old.

I wrote my first favorite things post when Colin was 2 months old, so I thought I would update you on some of my newer favorite things. As Colin gets older and his needs and abilities change, so do our favorite things. So here they are, my favorite things during his 3-6 month old phase. (Although the use of these was/is not limited to that time frame.) (I think I should say "favorite things" one more time for emphasis)

Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes. This toy is an absolute life saver, especially in the car. You press the large central button and it plays a classical tune and colored lights blink. Colin becomes memorized by it and it can buy me 15 minutes of content time to stall him. I can't tell you the number of times he starts fussing when I'm 5 minutes away from the house, I reach back and press the button and bam, like magic the fussiness stops. Of course the songs are only about 20 seconds long so I have to press the button a few more times before we get home but still, it often distracts him well enough that even after it goes off he stays content a little while longer. At around 7 months started pushing the button himself but it doesn't seem to be intentional every time. (We actually now have two of these, just in case!)

Sassy Earth Brights Wooden Toy: Another favorite of Colin's is this odd looking foot shaped toy made by Sassy. He loves to have his face tickled by the "feathers" and to chew on the "toes". Little hands aren't always coordinated so this toy is good because I can hold the feather part secure while he plays with the other end without it falling loudly to the floor at his whim. This is especially helpful when we are in church (for the quiet factor) or anywhere out really where you won't want to give the toy back after it has hit the floor. One of Sean's co-workers gave this to Colin because it was a favorite of his own daughters (who is about four months older than Colin.)

Itzbeen Baby Timer: I know I am going to be made fun of for this, but shortly after 'The book" (discussed here) went away, I started using this timer to help me keep track of Colin's diaper changes, feedings and sleeping times (and occasionally Tylenol). It is basically a digital version of the book but the data is not stored anywhere. I know it seems anal but honestly, the sleep deprivation makes me a little forgetful about everything so this is a handy reminder of when I did things last. You simply press the corresponding button when you do something and it counts up time from there, so you know how long it has been since Colin ate, for example. I have the diaper setting on a five hour alarm, so that button blinks (can be audible if you want it to) when it has been more than five hours. This helps me remember to change his diaper at night before it is too late. By too late I mean anytime after 3am, you change a diaper at that hour and Colin wakes up completely and will stay awake for an hour. However, if I leave the diaper on too long that wakes him up more because I assume it is uncomfortable. Before the alarm, I would have him completely asleep and then curse myself for not changing his diaper first! Who can remember that upon waking up! I feel a little like the TV show Lost constantly asking "Did you push the button?" but it works for us for now. (Note: we stopped using this after Switzerland. Colin can now go three hours plus between feedings so I no longer have to plan around two hour intervals)

Finally, my Hotslings baby carrier! This is another must have in my opinion. I could not have functioned in Switzerland without it. Frankly, I couldn't vacuum or do laundry without it! We also have a Baby Bjorn, but I can't tell you enough that this one is so much better. Sean uses the Bjorn occasionally, but for me, the weight isn't distributed well enough to use it for any length of time. This sling is east to use, and doesn't require much instruction (unlike the moby wraps which just confuse the heck out of me). You just fold it, put it over your head and slip baby into it. If I forget to bring it with me while we go shopping I get so annoyed because Colin is just to heavy and wiggly to accomplish anything while holding him. He does sit in shoppnig carts but if a stranger (usually a man) talks to him and makes him nervous it is over, he has to be held. The sling makes it so I can still finish the shopping trip! Have you ever tried pushing a full cart one handed, it isn't easy.


Daisy and Ryan said...

I certainly wouldn't make fun of you for using the timer... I used my book a lot longer than you did! I never had Aiden on a set schedule, but I couldn't keep straight what happened at what time or on what side (nursing), etc. I think shortly after 3 months, I stopped writing down nursing in the daytime - but I still wrote down naps & nighttime nursing and waking. Finally I went to just nighttime stuff b/c I couldn't keep that straight at all but wanted to know what his "schedule" was so I could tell how he was improving (or not...). Once we started co-sleeping, that clearly stopped. I didn't have to get up to feed him, so why bother getting up to write it - and risk waking him more?! ;)

Aiden has that wooden toy - we have a bunch of those. For some reason, he never did a whole lot with it. He'll chew on it some but not a whole lot. I think he would rather have more of the wood to chew on - and it's harder to get to.

We couldn't use the sling until Aiden was older b/c he never liked lying in them! He will now sit in them. But I use the Ergo more b/c it is so super comfy! I've been hearing more about the negative effects of carriers like the Bjorn - not sure if you've heard about that. The Ergo is good b/c it puts the baby in the correct sitting position. Aiden is always super calm in it. I haven't even attempted putting him in a cart yet...just haven't even thought about it. (Well, for one, Ryan does most of the grocery shopping b/c he can be in and out and I don't have to try with Aiden - but when I do, I always take the Ergo.) :)

Daisy and Ryan said...

oh - and yes, i've tried pushing a stroller with one hand. holding a fussy baby b/c he needed to be held. and me stuck with no carrier. NOT FUN OR EASY. of course, this was when he was less than two months old - so I couldn't hold him on my hip like I can now. But still. Carriers are life-savers!

Amy said...

Hm, I never used a notebook, but it might have helped me when we were struggling with napping! I had no idea how much he needed!

I just wanted to say how much I love my Moby carrier. He is at least 19 pounds at 5 months, and the Moby distributes his weight across my shoulders and back really well. Also a lifesaver for shopping, vacuuming, getting anything done!

Julie said...

Thanks Becky! I always enjoy reading your "favorite things" blogs. They are very informative, and I have used these blogs to help me update my baby registry. I just added the "hotsling" and the baby timer. Unfortunately, the hotsling is temporarily out of stock, but I am hoping that it will be in stock by the time the shower rolls around. Thanks again!

Daisy and Ryan said...

julie - there are other brands of slings, even if the hotsling is not available. i have the peanut sling, and i've seen others. i think the peanut one is available at babies r us in a couple prints. i got it online last mother's day - there was a sale for 40% off! that said, i wish i had waited until aiden was here b/c he didn't like the slings until recently. he will now sit in them but has never liked being bundled up in them. we also have a moby and an ergo (we got these after aiden was born and had him with us when we tried them out, so we knew he was ok with them - though he would not use the infant insert with the ergo - same issue as the sling holding him int too much in a position he didn't like). both are great, though we use the ergo the most - easy to get on and off, anybody can use it, baby loves it, and it's comfy for me. but if you do want a sling, which is nice at times - i think different carriers work well for different situations - there are many brands out there that all are very similar. :)