Lexi awards: Favorite Products {3-9 months}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

The next installment of Lexi Awards brought to you courtesy of Alexis and me.

I realize it is a very long period of time and much happens in a world of an infant in 6 months.
None of these are must-haves, of course. There is nothing that is a must have for an infant besides a boob and a care taker  , however these are all wonderful and make life easier or fun for both mom and baby.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for almost a year now, so I thought I’d finally get it out. I know many of my readers have young babies, so hopefully this will be of use to them. Since the post was written almost a year ago, some things have changed as Lexi grew but these items were the MVPs for us during the 3-9 months stage.

For Lexi Awards: 0-3 Months, click here.

LEXIAWARDS

MOBILE

Tiny Love’s Nature Pals.

We received the mobile at 6 months when it was almost past the age for mobiles, yet it was an instant hit just like suspected. You can see a review here, it’s great because it has little animals whose bellies light up with soft muted lights and a million different lullabies to play. For a baby who has a constant need to be stimulated, yet has trouble relaxing enough to go to sleep, this is a perfect functional mobile (as opposed to one you use for room decor).

mobileawards

MAT

Tiny Love Supermat

This was a GREAT find. So great that I had received multiple emails asking about it from readers and then multiple emails thanking me for introducing them to such an awesome mat. It’s also a joy to see the mat all over my Instagram friends’ photos :)   Someone asked me to describe what was so great about it. It’s really hard to do. It’s just a perfect mat for young babies. It’s huge, it’s colorful, it has a few toys and a squeaky pad, it’s padded really well, easily portable and babies just love it.

tinlovemat

LOVEY

Lexi has not taken to a lovey in the common sense of the word, but nonetheless she has really enjoyed playing with her Apple Park loveys.  They are organic and in the shape of animals with a head, a tail and paws. I bought her 3 of them back when I thought she’d want a lovey and her favorite is the bear. Now that she’s almost 1.5 years, she is actually hugging them more than playing with them.

applepark2

TOYS

This one is hard. She had so many favorites and they changed so fast. She loved all the Btoys (review here), with the Fish N Splish being her favorite in the 3-6 months age range, and Meowsic being her favorite at 6-9 months and it actually continued being a toy that she plays with. At that age, she adored her Begin again bath toys so much that we had to bring them out of the bathroom and use.

If you’re in UK, I was sent a link to coupons for half price on selected toys. US readers can always search for coupons for specific toys and stores. There’s always something out there that can help save money.

fishnsplish

BOOKS

Alexis LOVES BOOKS, so it is very difficult to name just one that she liked during that time, because her favorites are changing as she is growing and we’re buying new books. Here are her biggest loves from 3 months up to 9 months(in order): Mr brown can moo, Cat in the Hat comes back, ABC, all Dr Suess & other board books, Ocean/Farm babies, Baby Listens (it’s a really amazing book)

books2

GYM

It’s a tie between Finn & Emma Organic gym and Tiny Love Nature Pals Gym. I am a huge fan of both companies, our first gym,Tiny Princess, was by Tiny Love. Finn & Emma gym is awesome, because it’s so portable, non-toxic, clean looking and the toys have served us so well (we still used them on strollers at that age). Tiny Love, being the brighter one, is of course is Lexi’s favorite. Just like her Princess gym, she love the Nature Pals one and the toys that come with it. We switched to Nature Pals though, rather than continuing to play with Princess because of a few improvements in the design, though the mat itself IS smaller.

gymlexiawards

SWIMSUIT

Tuga chemical-free sun protection rashguards.

As I wrote in the Baby Beach Essential post, it took me quite a long time to find a swimwear company that doesn’t use chemical UPF protection. Tuga is it, hence the favorite part.  (OMG Lexi is so chubby here!)

tugalexiawards

EXERSAUCER

EVENFLO  JAM SESSION! WOW!

When I did the review of the exersaucer  months ago, I couldn’t have known that she’d still be using it and, more importantly LOVING IT even more well past a year! Being more mobile and strong gives her the perfect freedom to twist however she wants and she now REALLY gets the whole music playing ( before it was just a bunch of button pressing). You should see her concentrated face  as she flips the pages and twists over to the drum, pressed that, then pulls on a guitar. Man! And being in the 99th percentile for height, her feet are still not flat on the floor on the highest setting. A definite winner!

evenflo

BEACH TOYS

One of my favorite green companies, Green Toys, has a sand play set that is biodegradable, so if it’s “lost in the sea”, it won’t junk up the oceans. Plus it’s non-toxic and super cute looking with its pastel colors. We love it.

beach toys

BEACH PROTECTION

Loved loved loved this tent for Lexi’s first year of life. It’s really hard to keep an infant out of the sun in Florida especially with beaches on the agenda. This tent was the only way we could venture out to the beaches without Lexi getting a sun/heat stroke. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I can’t find this particular tent anywhere, but this one is comparable price wise and size wise: Infant Tent

tent

CLOTHING

Polarn O. Pyret

I love how eco friendly and unisex some of their clothes are whithout being boring an drab. I am not trying to teach Lexi gender equality, or keep her from being a girl. I am a girly girl and a tomboy (depending on my mood) myself, but I just don’t care to only dress her in pink only. If I like an outfit, I’ll get it REGARDLESS of what color it is. PO.P  do a great job keeping the colors and styles from being too girly or too boyish. And I adore their prints and classic styles.

POP

FOOD GEAR

Being a big Boon fan, I usually buy their products before exploring other options. Their suction plates are awesome and should be a staple of any BLW household. I bought a bunch of different Boon plates to try out and they are all great. And the no PVC, no BPA, no Pthalates is a welcome bonus. Recently I wanted to find a cup/sippy that Lexi would like. This straw cup is the best invention hands down for this age range ( it occasionally leaks, though, so it’s no good for diaper bags or travel per se ). You don’t need to tilt it to drink out of it. If you need something leak prove, this other sippy cup works really well for us as well. And finally, just a few months ago I stumbled onto the most beautiful toddler set I thought could exist by a Danish company TODDLER.

HIGH CHAIR

BOON FLAIR! I freaking love this chair! And so does Lexi, though what does she know. She DOES NOT like the 5 point harness, but I hear that’s common. Otherwise, this chair is really the best chair we could have gotten. I am a HUGE fan. Takes 2 seconds to clean, wheels all over the place, is very comfortable and looks YUMMY! For more info you can read the review here.

boon

CAR SEAT

Our car seat story was far from a happy one (read it here). So Maxi Cosi Pria saved us from miserable car trips with a screaming baby.  I can imagine that getting ANY convertible car seat would have made things better with Alexis, but there are a few things that I loved about Maxi Cosi that made it a must for me. For a baby that is older than 6 months, another great convertible seat is Clek’s Foonf.

maxi cosi

STROLLER

KIDDY USA

At that age it was my favorite for a grab’n’go LIGHTWEIGHT stroller. It’s an affordable stroller with any feature you can possibly need. They had just came out with it in the US and were making a splash. If you’re on the market for a stroller in the $200 price range and aren’t willing to sacrifice some of the features like in most lightweight strollers, check it out.  The true full coverage canopy is unheard of in any other stroller, it will hold a full diaper bag without tipping backwards (while empty), UPF 80+ protection, big storage and a seat certified by Health Backs Association. Buy here!

kiddylexiawards

CARRIER

This one is tough, because a different carrier is good for different situations, but I guess our favorite carrier of the moment is Boba Air. My husband still adores Nordic, I have really started to enjoy Boba 3G for the back carry and there is K’Tan for every day home use.

bobaairlexiawards

BEST TRAVEL ACCESSORY:

BABYHOME SIDE

This is a true life saver when it came to co-sleeping and travelling. In fact, we still use it for travel at 18 months old. Hotel beds are way too high, and as soon as your baby becomes mobile, they become dangerous. Babyhome sides are super portable, come with a carry bag and easy to install. They lower with a press of a button and store out of the way when you don’t use them. I am about to move Lexi to a full sized bed in her bedroom and these are the sides we will be using to prevent falls. Read a full feature on  BABYHOME products here (a video included).

 

side

 BEST SHOES

PEDIPED SHOES

Proper footwear is surprisingly important for your baby’s foot health, their developing walking skills and their comfort. Pediped designs incredibly comfortable shoes for early walkers that don’t restrict their step and have a great fit for chubby wide feet of most infants. We are huge fans here of their line for toddlers as well, with grippy surfaces and flexible sole. All materials are natural: leather and rubber.

pediped

BEST OUTDOOR ACCESSORY

A swing cover/shopping cart cover/high chair cover is a must in the early days of hands-to-mouth.

Originally we had the cover you see in the pictures below and it worked fine, but my biggest complaint was it was floppy and big. Since then I’ve been using a 2RedHens cover that folds into a neat pouch and we just keep in the car when we need it. Read about 2RedHens and what we love about it here.

chaircover

BEST HAIR ACCESSORY

I loooove Hopscotch Boutique for its bows and clips. They are simple hair accessories in beautiful colors and with that little bit extra without going over the top. It’s my only destination for bow clips.

hairaccess

SLEEPER

Modswad! All the way, no questions asked! It’s hands down THE BEST, COMFIEST, SOFTEST sleeper to date. We used Modswad’s swaddle which was literally something that saved my sanity (read about it here) and once Lexi no longer wanted to be swaddled, we switched to the sleeper and she wore it for as long as she was ok with her legs being a in sack.

modswadlexiawards

BEST BATH TOY

The problem with most bath toys is that they are ALWAYS made of PVC (see dangers of PVC here). I had the hardest time finding one that is not made of PVC and looked fun.

Begin Again’s toys are completely safe and made of natural products like rubber (without the nitrosamines). The Bathtub Ball is designed to work as teethers for smaller babies and role playing toys for bigger kids.

bathtoy

SPECIAL OCCASION DRESS:

If you have a serious occasion ( a wedding, a baptism), there are few classier dressier outfit places than Baby, Beau and Belle. Their special occasion dresses are classic and made of very rich looking fabrics like silk. Boy’s sets are so handsome that they make me want to have a boy. Lexi wore her dress to our Princess Tea Party at Disney during her first visit and she was just the most beautiful little girl ever.

specialoccasiondress

BEST FIRST BABY PROOFING ITEM

NORTH STATE GATES

I’ve raved about these gates from the very beginning. This was one of those finds that took a long time, but once I saw them – I knew they were perfect!

Sturdy, well made, long, fit weird angles and turn into a play yard. I don’t know what else you can ask of a set of gates. We have other gates for the top of the stairs and bottom of the stairs, but if you have a large opening to cover or need a play yard, these are the best looking highest quality gates you will find. I promise.

gate

Where to buy

I linked most of the items to places where they can be bought via Amazon or US sites. You can also get free delivery on all items over £50 for most of these if you’re in UK.*

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT

BOON SQUIRT TOYS

As much as I love Boon, their squirt toys are lacking. The funny part is that I can’t call them a complete failure, because Lexi loves playing with them in the bathtub and chew on them. But as squirt toys they… well, don’t squirt. So if you need waterproof, non-toxic, non-PVC bath toys, these are fine, but for squirt toys, get something else.

If you hadn’t read the previous edition, click here for more items that have become a staple in our household. For more baby products we love, you can read this post about our obsessions.

 

*Sentences marked with an asterisk were sponsored. Some of these products were sent to me for a review, others were bought on our own. The opinions expressed in this post are only ours and have in no way been influenced by brands or whether the product was sent for free.

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Comments (20)

  • Ashley

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    We love hopscotch boutique too! Adorable.

    Can you be more clear with your disclaimer about sponsored products? It says sentences marked with an asterisk were sponsored, but there are several items (exersaucer, for example) that you received free from the company, that aren’t marked with an asterisk. I’m just confused.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Like I said at the end that the one sentence is sponsored (paid to be included), but nothing else in this post is sponsored (meaning, noone paid me (or even provided the product, though that is not considered sponsored) TO include any product in this post. This is solely my opinion of the products I’ve used. Some of the them were originally sent for review, every single one of which was done separately and mentioned somewhere in the review itself or at the bottom. Hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Irina

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    Second that on play mat (Tiny Love) and the car seat; Modswad is so far is a complete dud with my 3 mo old. I had bookmarked the sight for Modswad even before I was pregnant with my second and got one shortly after the baby was born. So far, she hates it. I am hoping that I can reintroduce it again when we stop traditional swaddling for night time – may be it is going to be my transitional swaddle. Boon toys are great – we love, love and love the nesting buckets, and also enjoyed the phone, the key chain and the Cat piano, but not as much… apparently less technology is best for little ones :)… to this day, though, my older daughter’s favorite toy is the Bright Starts little toy that looks like a baby remote control that we got when she was about 7mo. It was her first toy with buttons and it was love at first sight. By the way, Btoyz are now sold at Target (at least here in CA) and they have a great selection.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I think the issue with Modswad is that it’s not as tight as traditional swaddles and some babies like to feel really restricted. Lexi was never one of them, so once we did discover Modswad it was amazing. But i think she was 4 months by then

      Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    What? You’re about to move Lexi into her own bed?!? Do tell! I am thinking of doing the same with DD – but into a twin floor bed Montessori-style. Am curious how you will do night nursing and transitioning her away from being near the both of you. I am seeing small signs of readiness from DD that she wants her own bed, but she’s nowhere near ready to wean!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh she’s been in her own bed for a while now ( sidecarred to the mattress on the floor that we usually co-sleep on). The only reason I want a full bed for her now is because she INSISTS that we start off the night in her toddler bed which is impossible for me. I pretty much killed my back trying to nurse her to sleep for the last month or so on that stupid toddler bed. But I don’t want to get her used to our bed again, since she loves hers so much, so I suffer. Until we figure out what we are buying for a full sized bed and which mattress and all that good stuff. I have to stop travelling to have time for that.

      Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh and no weaning for us. We’ll still sleep on the mattress next to her, but at least I will be able to fit on her bed for night nursing.

      Reply

      • Megan

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        Do you have any advice for surviving sleep deprivation? You are the only person I could think of that had a baby who wakes up all.the.time. (mine, almost 7 months still nurses 5 times a night). I’m just so so so tired. And I feel hungover most mornings, never refreshed. It’s really really hard to avoid sleep training when I’m just so desperate for some sleep. Also since my sleep has been interrupted for so long now I find that when I try to sleep, I can’t fall asleep easily anymore or stay asleep :-(

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Megan, first of all, I feel for you. Lexi still goes through phases of waking up all the time. Good night it’s 1-2 wake ups, bad night every hour, or a party for a few hours. I don’t have any miracle solutions. Everyone deals with sleep deprivation differently and everyone’s situation is different. I think what saved me is co-sleeping. You roll over, give a boob, half asleep, then roll back. No need to wake up fully. If you need advice on how to transition to that, let me know.

          In the meantime, there is an amazing FB support group for mothers who use WIO method of sleep training (wait it out), meaning they let the babies start sleeping through the night at their own pace without forcing them. There are amazing stories there and articles and just plain all support of tired mommies. https://www.facebook.com/groups/waititoutmethod/ JOIN IT!

          Also, you get used to that. At this point with my work load, I go to sleep at 1am at the earliest, and up for the day at 6-7-8am with multiple wake ups. So it could be worse :))))

          Reply

          • Megan

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            Thank you! The link didn’t work or maybe it’s a private group you need an invite to join. (in that case, invite me! hahaha)

            I think the only reason I’m still functioning is because of side-lying nursing. I have a side car crib arrangement right now but mostly we bed share to get through the night. Here’s to hoping good sleep is right around the corner for us soon!

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I’m using this email to send you an invite.
            And yes, let’s hope. But from what I’ve seen- once a non-sleeper, almost always a non-sleeper until they outgrow it at 2,3 or 4.

            Reply

          • Megan

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            Thank you for the invite! I already feel the support from tired mamas! Do you ever worry about the lack of sleep? Every.single.person and book seems to drive home the fact that babies/kids need long, uninterrupted restorative sleep for development. I really don’t see how it’s possible to achieve in babies because if you think about it, look at how many adults have sleep issues and yet, we expect babies to be perfect little sleepers (which I understand because hey, we’re tired and people have to go to work) but as much as my rational brain understands it, I still worry that my baby isn’t going to develop properly because of his constant wake-ups. Probably just first-time mom worries.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I am a firm believer in baby cues. I believe that babies and young toddlers do what they need to do. They eat as much as they need to, sleep as much as they need to etc, as long as the conditions are right and those things are available to them. Some people/personalities need more sleep, other need less. Some kids are driven and the last thing they need is sleep, others need that extra time for their brain to process events. As long as you’re providing a calm environment, a routine and a full tummy, you’re doing everything to facilitate as much sleep as your baby needs. That’s my belief. Because a lot of things are instinctual and based on reflexes at that young age, I choose to trust my daughter to regulate her own needs with my help. Of course I worried a lot in the beginning, and there is this whole “i need to get shit done” issue, but now I am at peace with how she sleeps (except for really bad nights where I just want to sleep myself lol)

            Reply

          • Tawny

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            I had a non sleeper. A wailing non sleeper and it was terrible. At 5 months we put him in his own room and wa la, like magic, my non sleeper became a 12 hour a nighter and still is. I think some babies/people like their space. Worth a try maybe?

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Oh Tawny! I have tried EVERY single thing in the book ( no kidding), except for anything non-gentle and the best(and the only) way she sleeps or ever slept is right next to me. She has had her own bed for a while now but wakes up every 2-4 hours like clockwork. I don’t expect it to change at least until she’s completely weaned.

            Reply

  • Lauren

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    Vintage Lexi pics!! These are great!

    Reply

  • Chris

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    Awww…. look how much Lexi has grown!! I can’t believe how quickly the time flies, I’ve been a reader since your pregnancy. Are you thinking about having another any time soon? You were so open with your first pregnancy/TTC, I was wondering if there are plans for a sister/brother for her.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I will definitely write about it IF and WHEN we decide for a second. Right now it’s not even on the table… I am enjoying Lexi way too much to take away from that experience even a little bit. We’ll rethink it in a year :)

      Reply

  • Ali

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    This is most likely just an unfortunate phrase, but in the section on pajamas you say “I am not trying to teach Lexi gender equality…” Really? Gender equality is not the same as ignoring gender, and I really hope you are planning on teaching gender equality.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Didn’t find anything else to pick on, huh? lol

      The emphasis is on “NOT TRYING”… not on “teaching gender quality”. She will pick up the idea of gender equality from simply being around us and hearing us talk and seeing us act, like pretty much everything.

      Reply

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