If I’d asked Max to write this post, I’m pretty sure he’d have said his absolute essentials this month were…
* The wind-chimes and bell at his grandparents’ house. Yes, STILL.
* Grandad’s guitar.
* Daddy’s car keys.
* Mummy’s phone.
* The TV remote.
(I mean, he’s actually have said, “Er, write your own blog post, mum: I’m a freakin’ BABY!” but you know what I mean…)
(We did buy him his own set of keys, and my parents got him a toy remote, but nope: he wants the real things, ideally if they’re located somewhere that would be really dangerous for him to get to. Attaboy!)
Honestly, though, this month has been more about getting rid of baby equipment, rather than acquiring more of it. This was the month we said goodbye to the Chicco Next-2-Me crib, the Sleepyhead, and Max’s first car seat, all of which he’s outgrown, and it was also the month when I seemed to spend the majority of my time going, “But he’s just a baaaaaby! Whhhhy is he growing so fast!”
As well as all of those things, though, this was the month we started baby-led weaning, which means the first item on my list of baby essentials at 7 – 8 months is this:
Now, I’ll be honest, I picked this plate above any other purely because I kept seeing it on Insta, and I thought it looked cute. And it IS cute. It’s also pretty useful, because underneath the plate is a really powerful rubber suction panel, which keeps it welded to to the high chair tray – handy for those moments when the baby decides it would be super-fun to pick up his bowl and hurl it across the room.
This can’t go in the dishwasher, so that’s a bit of a downside, but I guess that’s the cost of having your baby eat from a cute fox face plate, huh?
On the subject of weaning, we also bought this:
It, er, seemed like a good idea at the time, I guess?
In fairness, it IS a pretty good idea, in that it stops all of those stray bits of food falling/being thrown onto the floor. We only used it a couple of times before stuffing it into the back of the cupboard and forgetting about it, though, because, well, it’s pretty huge, and if you don’t want it sitting out in your kitchen all the time, it’s a bit of a faff to keep setting up. Also, you might not have to clean food off the floor, but you DO still have to clean it off the rubber tray thing, so I figured that if I was going to be cleaning up food anyway, I may as well just cut out the middle man. I feel like the house is filled with enough baby paraphernalia as it is, and we find that the Baby Bjorn bibs I mentioned in my last baby essentials post are adequate for the kind of things Max is eating right now. Obviously that might change once we get him started on the spaghetti, though, which is why this lime green contraption is staying in the cupboard for now.
I mentioned this in Friday’s post, but this month Max got his first cold, and his nose has been really congested. It just so happened that, a few weeks earlier, we’d been sent a gift box from the people at Snufflebabe, who make various different decongestant products for babies. We’ve used all of them, but the nasal aspirator has been our number one tool when it comes to clearing his nose. We’d actually bought one of these before he was born, but somehow managed to lose track of it, so this one came along at just the right time, basically. It’s honestly kind of gross to use, because you have to insert one end into the baby’s nostril, and then essentially suck out the snot, but it’s designed to make sure none of the ensuing mess reaches your mouth – and by “your mouth,” I obviously mean, “Terry’s mouth,” because he’s the one I’ve nominated for this job. Well, it could be worse: I know people used to – and probably still DO – just suck the snot out with their own mouth, so, yeah, this seems like a better plan to me.
(I should add here that Max absolutely HATES having this done, and screams the place down, so it’s not exactly fun, but it does the job, and helps him breathe more easily, so that’s the main thing…)
In terms of toys, as I mentioned, Max’s preference is for things that aren’t actually toys, but he’s also got a lot of time for this IKEA truck…
… and this little sheep, which is something Terry bought before Max was even born:
I can actually get quite emotional when I see him playing with this, because I can clearly remember the day it arrived – I was pregnant at the time, and so anxious about everything that I was convinced there would never be a baby to play with it, so I was honestly kind of annoyed at Terry for tempting fate by buying it. But now here he is, and while I’d like to think this toy is something he might keep forever, the fact that he’s literally almost chewed its face off suggests otherwise. Sorry sheep!
Oh, and speaking of things we bought before he was born, Max has also now reached an age where he’s started to be interested in his amazing rocking mammoth:
He obviously still needs our help to sit on it (Terry strategically removed his hand for this shot!), but he is very interested in it, and, yesterday morning I sat him on the floor while I got his clothes ready, and he immediately crawled over and grabbed the baby mammoth that came with it, so I think these are going to be favourites, and it’s just so lovely – and totally surreal – to see him enjoying the things we picked out before he was born!
Just in case you’re tempted to think we’re being a bit hipster with the whole, “MY baby only likes WOODEN toys!” thing, though, let the record show that he’s still very much obsessed with the freaking Jumperoo:
I’ve been secretly hoping he’d get bored with this, so I can reclaim my living room from giant pieces of garish plastic, but nope: he still absolutely loves it – and I suspect the living room is a bit of a lost cause at this point, so, yeah: as long as he’s happy.
Because he enjoys the Jumperoo so much, a couple of months ago, we also bought this bouncer for him to use when he’s at my parents’ house:
When we first got this, he was maybe a little young for it, and didn’t quite know what he was supposed to do in it, but, as you can see, he worked it out, and is now very much in his element, so, if you don’t have the space for a Jumperoo – or just don’t WANT to have the space for a Jumperoo – I would definitely recommend this as an alternative.
Here, though, is a totally un-staged photo of Max’s favourite toys:
The sheep and the truck are both there, obviously, but, well, so is the X-Box controller, and that set of coasters he’s loved for months now, so, yeah – you really don’t need to spend a lot of money on toys for an 8-month old, do you?
(Oh, and the wooden alphabet board at the top of the page was a gift from a neighbour, whose little boy had grown out of it, so I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s another firm favourite right now!)
Before Max was born, one of the things I was most looking forward to was reading with him… and I was honestly a little bit disappointed/worried when he didn’t seem to have the slightest interest in any of the books I tried to show him. Over the last few weeks, though, that’s all changed, and his absolute favourites are the Usborne ‘That’s Not My…’ books, which use different textures along with the bright colours, to grab the baby’s attention. We were lucky enough to be given a few of these as new baby gifts, but I’ll definitely be buying some more, because he’s started smiling as soon as he sees them, and they’re also one of the few things that will distract him from a meltdown, so the more the merrier, I say.
(I will just say here, though, that these have a way of worming into your brain, so now, if, for instance, Terry were to ask me, “Is that your coffee cup over there?” I’d be totally incapable of answering normally, and would have to say, “THAT’S not my coffee cup! It’s handle is too shiny!” Yeah, I’m an asshole…)
As you might have seen from my 24 Hours With an 8 Month Old post, this month my heart broke as we said goodbye to the car seat we brought Max home from the hospital in (I lie, actually: it’s in the cupboard under the stairs. We’re not using it any more, though, so, yeah, heart = broken.) and replaced it with this one: the Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl. This is the seat we’d looked at a few weeks ago during our visit to Mamas & Papas, and we were pretty sure it was going to be our next move for Max, but Terry wanted to obsess a little longer over the pros and cons of front-facing Vs rear-facing, and swivel chairs Vs static one, so it’s taken until now to actually get round to it.
After doing a bit of research, we decided we’d rather keep Max rear-facing for as long as possible, which is why we went for this seat, rather than some of the others we’d considered. We’ve also been really happy with our original Maxi-Cosi (Which, to be fair, he could probably have gotten a bit more time out of, but we’re hoping to do another long drive soon, so wanted a little more space for him…), so were keen to stick with the brand, which had been recommended to us by our police officer friend as one of the safest around. This seat meets the i-size safety standards, and also works with our existing Isofix base, which was another big benefit to us: as I’ve said before, my parents also have the Isofix base in their car, so it’s easy for them to take Max out for the day if they want to, so this seat will work with that base too, and save us all a bit of money.
Oh, and he can use it until he’s four years old, so that’s plenty of time for me to become horribly attached, and then cry when we have go replace it, yes? Thought so.