This thing is AWESOME! I bought one for Grandma's house instead of getting a second Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair like we have. Well, we found ourselves stealing it every weekend and decided to just invest in a second one. They are great for everything. They are more stable (read harder to wiggle out of) than the restaurant high chairs and soooo easy when at someone else's house. It can sit right on the floor or be strapped to a chair, and it folds up easily so travel is a cinch! Highly, highly recommend!
Just because I love baby wearing doesn't mean I don't love me a nice stroller. In fact I'm kind of one of those geeks who watches YouTube videos from the big baby gear expos to see what cool features are coming out with next years models. One of the main reasons that we haven't really had a good stroller up until now is that I knew exactly which one I wanted and didn't want to settle for what we could afford at the time (that's how I got stuck with a crappy second hand stroller. One of the only second hand purchases that I've been unhappy with). So, just a few weeks ago I was able to purchase my dream stroller... the Britax (LOVE them!) B-Agile. At $250-ish it's on the cheaper end of the stroller spectrum (relatively speaking). It rolls and folds like a dream! If you've never seen one in action then I highly recommend hitting up your local Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby. The one handed fold alone will sell you on it. The only thing I wish it had was a reversible handle/seat so she could face me but she doesn't seem to have any issues with it and that feature tends to add quite a few hundred dollars to the price tag. This should last us for as long as she needs/wants to use a stroller and additionally, if we were to have any more kids (god forbid!!) we could use it as a travel system.
Baby gates are EXPENSIVE! So, keep that in mind when you are doing your post baby budgeting! We were given an inexpensive wooden gate which although useful is difficult to open and close. So, as soon as our finances opened up we invested in a really nice, foot pedal operated baby gate for the most highly trafficked area of our house. We then used the inexpensive wooden gate in an unused door opening and an ottoman to block the last opening. We really need one for the top of the stairs but at the moment I just don't put her down to explore upstairs. Seeing the I need to do a good deep clean up there, it's probably for the best. My best advice is to look at the layout of your house and figure out how you want things to flow. Do you want to block off just one room or just part of the house or if you have a single level you might not need any gates at all. You don't necessarily need a lot of gates depending on how you set it up.
My mom and I both have one of these at our houses and they get a LOT of use! We both got ours at the grocery store too, so you don't necessarily have to order one or go to a specialty store. Since Turtle is now eating mostly table food, this makes dinner quick and easy! I can throw some fresh or frozen vegetables into the basket and then drop the basket down into a pot with some water in the bottom and in within a few minutes she has healthy soft steamed veggies. Love, love, LOVE it!
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Kitchen
My Aunt, Uncle and Cousins gave Turtle this toy for Christmas and it has become her favorite! She can open and close the stove a hundred times a day. I think it's about to drive Grandma crazy! It has so many different things to do that it keeps her occupied and she has yet to lose interest in it.
Baby Einstein Count and Discover Treasure Chest
I'd had my eye on this little toy treasure chest for a few weeks and decided that Daddy and I would give it to Turtle as one of her birthday presents. It has been a HUGE hit! Turtle is currently in this stage where she loves to put things into other things and take them out again, so I figured she would like this. She has even figured out how to put them through the slot in the top which I didn't expect. She has also learned how to put the coins in her little purse. Girl's learning early!
New Diaper Bag
I'm currently in the market for a new diaper bag. I love my Vera Bradley and will continue to use it as a secondary bag but it seems to be simultaneously too big and too small. And because of the length of the straps it's hard to carry when I have Turtle on my back which is a lot. I bought a diaper clutch thinking that would solve the problem but I find I need more than just diapers and wipes when I'm out. I need a toy and possibly some food, etc. So, I'm going to go through the bags I have in the closet to see if I have something that will work before I decide to spend money on a new baby specific diaper bag. We'll see how the search goes.
Soft Structured Carrier
As for baby wearing, our Boba 2G soft structured carrier is still our work horse, but my friend gave me her Mei tei style carrier that she doesn't use any more and I've been playing with and liking that as well. It's more comfortable for front carries (which Turtle only tolerates when she's very tired) and might end up being my husband's favorite because the ties mean it doesn't have to be readjusted to go between he and I.
I'm going to do one last post in this series. Everything so far has been age specific. To close out I want to look at the things that we have used for most of if not the entire year.