baby essentials for an 8 - 9 month old

Max’s Must Haves: Baby essentials at 8 – 9 months

Ah, month 8 – 9 in the life of Max! That special time when Terry and I just started frantically buying up every damn thing we could think of that might – just might – entertain Max for just long enough for us to answer a quick email: or maybe even TWO, if we were REALLY lucky.

I’m talking here about things like this:

bespoke plastic play pen

And, while we’re on the subject, let me just quickly add that, from this point on, these posts will include, not just the things I’d consider baby essentials for the month in question, but also the things that were dismal failures. Guess which category this gigantic plastic playpen that takes up almost the entire office falls into, folks? Did you guess, “Dismal failure”? Well, OK, that’s maybe not TOTALLY true, I guess – I mean, I can sense Terry bristling with indignation at that statement from here – but it WOULD be true to say that the playpen hasn’t had the desired effect so far – which, as I said, was to allow us to spend some time at our desks, without having to worry that Max was off somewhere playing with knives or something.

(Let me also just quickly add here that we found this on Gumtree, so at least we didn’t have to spend a small fortune to find that out, huh?)

So, as I mentioned in my monthly update, this was the month Max started crawling, and, that, combined with his favourite hobby – pulling himself up to a standing position – has meant that literally nowhere is safe for him any more: particularly given that he has a real knack of finding danger everywhere. Seriously, I could put that child into a padded room, and he’d come out carrying a pair of scissors and a loaded gun or something, THAT’S how keen his instinct for danger is.  He’s also just entered a very grabby phase, and will try to pick up anything he can see – as long as it’s not actually HIS, obviously. Like, a few weeks ago, he kept pulling himself up to stand at the coffee table, so I put a bunch of his toys on it, and he totally ignored them all, in favour of trying to grab my coffee mug, the heavy candle that was sitting on the table, and a random pair of batteries. Suffice to say that we don’t use that coffee table any more.

Anyway, so, we bought the playpen, and, that same day, our friends across the street turned up with two bags filled with toys their little boy had grown out of: score! Well, we thought our luck was in, folks: so we built up the playpen in the office, we filled it up with toys and books, and we put Max in. At first, he was pretty darn thrilled with it all:

Max in his playpen

Then he realised he couldn’t get out.


The struggle was real:

the struggle is realAaaaand now, unless one of us actually gets INTO the play pen with him, he basically just stands at the side, yelling at us until we do. So, instead of giving me more time to work, this purchase has essentially meant that I’m now trapped in a play-pen fairly often. Yes, that’s me you can hear screaming right now. I spend a lot of time stacking cups these days, let’s put it that way. And, in related news, I freaking HATE stacking cups. GOD.

So, yeah, it was all a bit disappointing, really. And, I mean, we weren’t planning to leave him in it for hours, obviously, or for us to be very far away while he was in it, either: it was literally just supposed to give us an extra 10 minutes or so every so often, and, seriously, look how close my desk chair is to the thing:

baby playing with activity tableIt’s just not close enough, though, apparently, and, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t have been able to turn my back on him in it anyway, for fear of him falling and hurting himself, so, for the time being, one of us gets in it with him, and that’s our life now. In happier news, though, this photo also shows one of our more successful purchases of the month: this activity table:

VTech Baby Play & Learn Activity Table

VTech Baby Play & Learn Activity Table

This was another Gumtree purchase – because pretty much everything IS right now – and he liked it so much that, a couple of  days later, we picked up another one, too, so now he can switch between the two at will:

Here he is, looking like he’s 38, and a harassed office worker, whose boss asked him to work late, on a night when he’d arranged to catch up with the gang at Nando’s:

baby activity table review

We decided to get him one – and then two – of these tables because we’d noticed that, given the choice, Max would always rather be standing than sitting. We used to be able to sit him down with a toy, and he’d entertain himself for a few minutes, at least, but now that he can stand, he’ll just instantly be looking for something to pull himself up on, so we figured that something he could play with while standing up would be a good idea. Thankfully, we figured right this time, and he absolutely LOVES these activity tables: in fact, I’d say these are the toys that keep him occupied for the longest right now. And, I mean, sure, they’re loud, garish and have slowly driven us insane with their inane babble, but Max loves them ( I guess the fact that almost every  single photo in this post shows him bent over one of them, like a mad scientist, proves that, doesn’t it?), and that’s the main thing, right?

One last “must have” – and this one really IS a must have for us right now: it’s this little travel suction plate:

travel suction plate for baby

(Also, hello to my crotch! What an awesome photo this is, no?)

As you can (possibly) see, this has an airtight lid on the top, so, if you’re going out, you can prepare some food for your baby at home, and then feed him on the go:

feeding a 9-month-old baby in a restaurant

Max might not look too impressed here (He takes his food veerrry seriously…), but while we do normally order him something from the children’s menu too, to let him taste something different, it’s really useful to have something like this with us, just in case there isn’t anything suitable. This photo was taken at Wagamama yesterday, and, as well as helping illustrate one of our baby essentials right now, it’s also served as a timely reminder that I left the stupid plate in the car when we got home, so I guess I’m ending this post here, then, so I can run out and get it before I forget again.

As it happens, I DID have a few other baby essentials I wanted to share with you this month, but I’ve rambled on for so long about the playpen that I’ve run out of time. Never fear, though: it just so happens that they’re all things for the nursery, so, rather than making this post even longer than it is now, I think we’ll just write this one off, and I’ll do another one soon, focusing on nursery essentials, instead. Do we have a deal?

I’ma just pretend you all said YES to that…

baby essentials for 8 - 9 months: advice post for new parents, featuring tips and hints on what to buy - and what not to buy - for an 8 - 9 month old baby

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  • Shame about the playpen! We bought a much smaller wooden one for the middle of the kitchen so I could have hands-free to cook, but also because we had no floor in there at that point and I didn’t want her crawling around on concrete! It worked pretty well, she would play in it for a while as long as the toy selection changed regularly. It was a second-hand purchase but still cost us £50. We later realised the travel cot (also secondhand, £5 though) did exactly the same job and could be packed up in seconds and got rid of when we weren’t using it, unlike the wooden playpen which took a screwdriver and 45 minutes of swearing from the husband! 🙂 So, kind of a win, kind of a fail. She wouldn’t go in either now, far too much to explore! And we have a floor now, so I guess that’s okay…
    She also adored the little table things, her favourite is one with balls and lots of chutes. She has had it 6 months now easily and still plays with it daily and adores it! xx

    October 9, 2018
  • We’ve got the same activity table for my baby – a slight different version and she loved it! Very handy when they just started to stand up.

    October 10, 2018