Friday, January 25, 2013

Gear: Three to Six Months

Axel, 2013

In the last few months, and especially the last few weeks, it seems like Axel is suddenly in need of a lot of stuff. The newborn things have been put into boxes and he's slowly staking new, expanded claims on our space.

It's been a bit of a conundrum because I am very resistant to having an apartment filled with plastic baby junk. Part of it is aesthetic snobbery, and part of it is a genuine feeling that kids are just so overstimulated nowadays and that all these plastic machines that blink and make noise stress them out as much as they stress us out.

With that said, at around four months Axel became so much more aware of his environment and genuinely thrilled by his toys (and I'm not cruel enough to totally deprive him.) So I thought it might be helpful to do a round up of the gear that saw us through this newborn-to-half-year-old transition, some for play, some for more practical purposes. The necessities that saw us from birth to three months are listed here.

1) Baby Bjorn Baby Sitter Balance
I ordered this from Miniluu before Axel was born, but I'd say he really took to it at around 3 months. It doesn't vibrate or make noise, and it's not 563 colors at once. But it's provided hours of entertainment, especially with the attached rail of wooden toys, which our boy spins incessantly.

2) Ikea Antilop High Chair
Axel first showed interest in high chairs around Thanksgiving, when he was a few weeks shy of four months. He had to be propped up with swaddle blankets, but he loved being up higher and following the adult happenings around the kitchen. I spent hours researching chairs hoping to find something un-hideous. Ultimately, I was nearly swayed by this one from Baby Home. Then I saw him use the Ikea one at his grandparents' house in London and I was won over. It's simple, it has clean lines, there's no fabric, and it's $24.99.

3) Plan Toys Activity Baby Gym
After looking around at some of the baby play mats online, I registered for this wooden baby gym at Miniluu (all in all a great site for non-garish baby stuff.) You just use it with any old blanket (no googly eyed frogs required.) Axel has spent brobaby hundreds of hours gazing up at it and batting at the wooden bugs.

4) Baby Dee Dee Sleep Nest
Once we retired the swaddles, at around 8 weeks, I bought one of these sleep sacks from Wee Babe. I love the khaki and neon scheme and the fact that it unsnaps over the shoulders, so you don't have to wrestle a sleepy baby's arms into tiny arm holes. We are just about to size out of the small, and I'll happily order a couple in the next size up.

5) Green Toys Twist Teether
This is hands down Axel's favorite toy. I bought it at Mini Jake, and he never seems to tire of it. Sophie and this Moulin Roty rabbit are close seconds.

6) J.J. Cole Polar Bundle Me
It's been around 10 degrees out this week so this stroller cocoon has been a life saver. I bought it when Axel was about five months old, but I really should have just leapt on it as soon as the weather turned, since it beats trying to stuff a squirming babe into a snow suit, and means his hands are free to play while we stroll.

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