Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Toys, Toys, and More Toys

As you can see by my living room, we have a lot of toys downstairs right now. Toys go on rotation, because we have a big Toy Box full of them, too. We try to keep them different every week so that she stays entertained when she's learning and exploring. She loves to empty the little toy bin.

We also have a big playroom full of toys upstairs and a lot of toys in storage. Early on, we read that within the first year, the more new and different objects a baby encounters, the more their brain will develop. Who knows if this is true, but we wanted to give her the best chance.

So, which are her favourites? The vtech toys, hands down. She loves them! They talk and sing, and have lots of buttons to press. She has the Spin Around Learning Town, Sit To Stand Learning Walker and Sig To Stand Learn & Discover Table. She plays with these the most.

 Second is the Little Tikes piano. We all know the one, and she plays with it ALL of the time. If it's not in her toy rotation, she looks for it.

She also loves her classic Fisher Price stacking rings. She likes to examine each ring until she finds a favourite for the day.

Almost all of the toys E has were purchased for $1 or $2 at thrift stores. Some, her daddy had to take apart and fix. He's a whiz when it comes to electronics and motors. Most of the toys just needed a good scrub and fresh batteries. I would really suggest thrifting for toys before your little one arrives. Look up each toy and find out the recomemended age for use. Store them by age and open up a new box when your child advances. It's such fun!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Art Of Buying Bibs

If you're anything like me, you bought everything you needed for your baby years before it was born. My husband and I had been married for almost six years before E came along, and my condition for having children was that I would get to decorate a nursery and a playroom before we got pregnant. Of course, this was a blast! We spent our weekends at thrift stores and I picked up some of the best items out there. This kid has 5 ride-on toys, 20 different kinds of blocks and about umpteen-bajillion baby toys. No, seriously, we had two of everything, including change tables, swings, bouncers, jumpers and bassinets. We just wanted everything to be perfect before our little one got here.

One thing we didn't count on was that we'd end up buying the wrong kind of bibs. I mean, a bib's a bib, right? Some of them have snaps and some have ties, and some are fluffier than others, but they all serve the same purpose - they catch spit up.

We got lucky from the very first day we brought E home. She has never spit up. Not once! She does have another fault, however. She doesn't latch. Not to a nipple, not to a bottle, and not to a sippy cup. She just drinks and the fluids come right down the side of her mouth. Our pediatrician laughed when we thought this was an issue. Our solution has been to use receiving blankets to catch the mess, and as E gets older, the mess becomes less. I wish we would have known how handy they are. We never use the little fabric bibs anymore, and only use receiving blankets for feeding. We would not have bought any newborn bibs at all had we known she'd never spit up!

She's 7 months old now and has been feeding herself since she turned 5 months old. She wants table food now and no baby purees, though she'll still eat a few Beech Nut products. Try to give her anything else, without disguising it in oatmeal, and she won't eat. That means that she's eating diced vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta, eggs and meat now. We're constantly making something new. 

Our nursery was finished in a Dr. Seuss theme and we had a Dr. Seuss baby shower with over 100 guests. We got everything we needed, and in that set we had two Dr. Seuss Bumkins bibs. I had no idea what they were except that they felt kind of like plastic and I wasn't sure how to wash them. 

Wash them we did, and now we KNOW what they're for! They're amazing at catching E's meals! She gets a little over eager about her favourite items, like broccoli, and she tends to spill a lot. We can easily refill her bowl 4-5 times per feeding by using the little pocket on her Bumkins bib. I wish I would have known about these when we first started buying. I'd have bought less of those little fabric bibs and a lot more of these! 

What are your thoughts on bibs? Is your kid a messy bottle taker? Do you have a lot of problems with spills and solid foods? What do you wish you had bought more?