HI friends! There are a lot of items that I like, BUT I've narrowed the list down to my absolute favorites - ones that my family can't live without and are so grateful for!
If you prefer to skip the detailed explanations and dive straight into the list, here are the links to my gift guide:
I'd like to highlight the products that we truly enjoyed during this phase, both for myself and my little one.
- Magic sleepsuit - Pure magic is what this suit is! My second baby was extremely colicky and just would not sleep! And THIS was a game changer for us.
- Swaddle blanket - Once my babies started to roll onto their tummies, we transitioned into this wearable blanket. My daughter slept in it until she was 13 months.
- Black out curtain -Even though we have a standard blackout curtain, light still manages to creep in. So what we do is attach this one straight to the window (has suction cups) for additional coverage. Makes the room completely dark and my daughter sleeps amazingly in her room. This is also great for traveling! When we went to Korea, this literally saved us. It has Velcro closures so it can be adjusted to fit almost any window size.
- Hatch rest - a sound machine, nightlight, and you-can-wake-up-now clock all in one! It also grows with your child. My son had a lot of night terrors (still does at 6 although not as frequently) and he felt comforted by the noise and the light. It's also great because he knows that it's time to come out of his room when the machine shuts off. If he wakes up before, he reads or plays in his room, which as been SO incredibly helpful for my mornings.
- A more economical white noise machine - this is what we're currently using for our daughter. We don't need the nightlight and I find the sound of this one very pleasant.
- Pacifier cleaner - Very compact and SO convenient to carry with you wherever you go for when you can't wash a dropped pacifier.
- Nail trimmer - Safe, easy to use, great for fidgety babies!
- Vitamin D - it is essential for breastfed babies and toddlers to take this supplement because you can't get enough to meet their daily requirements through food alone. I like this one because you just need one drop (can add to milk or food) and has no unnecessary additives. Just be careful at the beginning as the drops come out fast.
- Teethers - they're not just for soothing sore gums! These can actually help set your baby up for success when it comes time to start solids.
- Shampoo and wash - I LOVE their entire Sensitive baby line - lotion, ointment, diaper cream, we have them all!
- Toothbrush - The LED light allows you to see inside the mouth and your child may enjoy the light and the vibrating sensation like both of my kids.
- Stuffed animal - If you follow me on IG stories, you know my son's sidekick, Mr.Foxy, very well. Super soft and so adorable. It washes well and air dries within a day. There are also a ton of cute animals to choose from.
- Flappy the Elephant - this adorable toy ALWAYS manages to make my daughter smile and laugh! It sings and plays an interactive game of peek-a-boo and it's just so cuddly! There are also 6 different animals to choose from.
- Starting solids? Here are my top must-haves.
- Sticky or dry boogers? You've met your match! We also love this aspirator. My daughter used to get congested A LOT as a newborn and I preferred this aspirator over the nose frida because apparently I'm incapable of sucking in haha.
- Lovevery Play Gym - I honestly don't know how I would've survived our newborn stage without this! More on this below!
- Magnet tiles - I first introduced these to my son when he was around two and they continue to be his favorite (currently 6 years old). They’re actually what helped us to implement quiet time. These tiles encourage imagination and creativity, and it's been soo awesome to see his neat creations! They are great for hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills. Compared to the other magnet tiles that we've tried, the pieces are thicker and sturdier, and the magnets are bigger and stronger so really easy to connect. My daughter has been playing with these since she was a baby, thanks to her brother, and it's one of their favorite things to do together.
- Drum set - Super fun! So many fun colors and sounds.
- First camera - Can take pictures, videos, has a built-in microphone, flip-up lens for selfies, green screen feature, fun photo frames, and games (which parents can turn off). What I especially love is that the photos and videos can be uploaded to a computer. My son takes so many random pictures throughout the day that I save them onto my computer and look through them to close out my evening.
- Activity table - It's absolutely perfect for arts & crafts and any sensory play. Very easy to clean and can be closed after use. Can use indoors and outdoors.
- Leapfrog 3D Learning System - We received this as a Christmas gift 5 years ago and now my 2 year old is loving it just as much as her brother did!
- Tablet - We mainly use this for educational apps, like Khan Academy (free) and ABC mouse, which you can download. Much better size than iPad and comes with a kid-proof case. There's an adult profile that basically does everything an iPad can, and you can also set up multiple profiles, one for each of your children.
- Headphones - These are foldable, comfortable, durable, and the built-in safe audio volume control protects hearing.
- Balance bike - It took a while for our cautious son to take to it. For a long time, he simply walked with it. But one day it just clicked and he went flying! My daughter, however, took to it pretty much immediately at around 2.
- Workbooks - We've purchased about 3 of these already and my toddler loves it! We do a letter or number a day in addition to another fun activity from the book (e.g. tracing, finding hidden items, coloring, etc.). Great for learning about letters, shapes, and numbers. This one's another one of our favorites.
- Fridge magnetic set - When my son was one, he loved to just stick the letters on the fridge. Helped me to get some cooking done in peace! As he got older, he started putting them in correctly and pressing the letters - so great for gross motor skills. Now he likes to line up the letters in correct order, make words, etc. Really neat!
- Sandwich play food - THIS is so adorable! We open up our sandwich shop quite often and take turns being the sandwich maker and customer. We've enjoyed quite a bit of unique combinations so far.
- Learn to read - There are 25 very short books in this collection. Each one is 8 pages long, simple and colorful. Lots of repetition. Great for early beginners who are just learning to bring letters together.
- Flexible tracks - super fun to assemble, can bend and twist to create different configurations.
- Scooter - built to last and rides so smooth!
- Alphabet decals - These are so cute! A great way to invite fun into your child's playroom.
- Lovevery play kits - I don't have a separate list for baby toys because these play kits have been more than enough! The kits come with developmentally appropriate toys for your child's age so they can learn through play. They also come with a play guide, which provides suggestions for how and when to play with each toy. It really helped me to engage with my baby in a more meaningful, intentional way that made sense for her particular stage of development.
- Instrument set - if your child loves music like both of my kids, this is the set to get!
- Highlights High Five Magazine - filled with crafts, puzzles, hidden pictures, read-aloud stories, it's been such a treat for my kids to get something in the mail each month. My 5 year old is starting to lose interest but we will continue the subscription for our daughter.
- National Geographic Kids - Filled with incredible photos and games, we really enjoy flipping through all the pages together! It really sparks their imagination and curiosity.
- Nose Pump - so I didn't know if I should include this here BUT this has been a game-changer! We've used NoseFrida for years but there's no going back after trying this! No more getting sick from the kids and they (and us!) don't dread it.
My Top "worth the splurge"
- The Play Gym and The Block Set - If you don't want to subscribe to the Lovevery Playkits, these two are what I recommend. My baby spent SO much of her time rolling around the play gym exploring on her own and with her brother. As for the block set, there are SO many creative ways to engage with it. Stack, roll, connect..love the quality and how it encourages imaginative play.
- Balance bike -love exploring the outdoors on our bikes
- Magnet tiles - We started with the 100-piece set (pictured on the left) and just recently got him the mega set (on the right). Whenever I need to cook or get some work done, I can count on these to keep him occupied! And as you can see, he also takes pictures of every single creation. So I should probably include the camera to this list as well ;).