I recently posted a list of items you REALLY needed on your registry from birth to 6 weeks. Now that little man is 5 months old, you need an updated list. Every baby is different, and they all have their own unique likes, dislikes, quirks, and personalities, so keep in mind that your baby won’t necessarily like or need something just because mine did.
1. Infant feeder. These are a nifty little invention. It’s like a bottle for baby food. (Don’t try to make your own by just punching a bigger hole in a bottle nipple. These have an open bottom with a pressure plate so the baby can suck the food through.) Don’t use it all the time, your LO needs to learn how to eat with a spoon, but if you’re on the go and don’t want a mess, these are great. I used mine while Christmas shopping with LO.
2. Teethers. I bought at least 20 different kinds, and have had the best success with the WubbaNub pacifier. My little man can chew on any part of it, and it’s easy for him to hold. Keep in mind when you’re trying to find something your LO will like, the most important things are: easy to hold, and all parts chewable. They won’t be able to differentiate which parts to chew on at this age.
3. Carrier. I have an Infantino flip. It’s a bit of a puzzle to put on, but easy once you get the hang of it. My LO doesn’t like sitting in his carseat, he likes to look around. But it’s hard to get anything done, especially in stores, while I’m holding him, so this is the optimal solution. He can look around and I have both hands free.
4. Jumperoo. I would strongly recommend one of these instead of a saucer, because a Jumperoo is a saucer and jumper in one, and I don’t know about you, but I have toys everywhere and need to save space and money anywhere I can. Little Man loves his, although his legs don’t quite touch the floor yet. I put some blankets under it so he can still bounce. It’s great for his leg strength and his independent play. I have the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo, but I wish I would have gotten the Laugh & Learn, it has more toys on it.
5. Bumbo chair. I know there has been a lot of controversy with this, what with the recall. But remember this: most recalls stem from events in which the users were not following the manufacturer’s instructions/warnings. Read them, follow them, and you probably won’t have a problem. Little Man loves to sit in his, but he likes to bend over and chew the leg support, so spend a little extra and get the tray so LO has a place to play with toys. This is also a great prop for pictures. I throw a blanket over it and it looks more like he’s sitting up on his own.
6. Footie PJ’s. Fleece for winter babies, cotton for summer.
7. Vaseline. You’ll need to rub some on his cheeks and chin every night, because he will inevitably get a drooley-rash from teething.
8. Tub seat. I had a hard time finding one, I think because many were recalled because someone left their baby in it unsupervised…NEVER DO THAT! My LO likes to splash and kick, and the sink tub was getting to be a nightly flood. I have a Dream Baby Deluxe Bath Seat, I got it from Walmart.com. The only thing I don’t like is that the seat is a little slippery, so he slides down a bit and smushes his little man parts. Ouch. I’m going to get some of those little tub grips for the seat to fix that.
9. Safety spoons. Make sure they are small enough to fit in LO’s mouth.
10. Ice cube trays, a food processor, and a steam basket. If you’re planning on making homemade baby food (MUCH cheaper than store-bought.)
11. High-chair. Make sure it has shoulder straps, I have a cousin whose LO escaped her belt and fell out. Ours is table-height so I can feel him from a kitchen chair and he can sit with us at dinner and feel like he’s involved during the meal.
12. Big cushiony car seat strap covers. They’re cheap and work better than behind-the-head supports for keeping LO’s head straight when he falls asleep. I have Kiddopotamus.
13. Pacifier straps. Because for some reason, babies don’t know how to put things down. If they don’t want it, it gets thrown.
14. Classical music. I have a Baby Mozart CD that calms LO right down in the car.
15. More socks. Little Man thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world to yank his sock off, he holds it in the air and screams like Braveheart, “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!!” Which means I have about half of the socks I used to.
16. Freezable lunch bag. I pump at work because I’m still nursing, and I hide my milk bottles in the fridge in a Pack-it lunchbox. This helps me avoid silly questions like, “what’s that in that baby bottle?” Duh.
17. Medela Labeling Lids. You can dial the day you pump to keep track of how old the milk is. I also use Medela Pump & Save bags for freezer storage.
18. TOYS. LO is learning fast, and needs playtime to do it! Don’t be afraid to let LO pick his toy, I take Little Man with me and hold toys in front on him, and he’s either interested, or a lot of times he’s not. It’s surprising how much of an opinion they already have at this age! I recommend:
a. The World of Eric Carle: Activity Caterpillar. LO never gets tired of it.
b. Vulli® Sophie Giraffe Soft Rubber Toy (beware, it squeeks)
c. Finger puppets (got mine from Carter’s)
d. Rattle- just find one that LO can see the beads inside the rattle.
e. Something with a safety mirror.
f. Tub toys and something to put them in after bathtime. Your husband will thank you. I have Mini Bath Buddies and a Boon Pod.
19. Shampoo Rinse Cup. Your LO will thank you.
20. Bumper. Little Man is squirmy and has now gotten his foot stuck between the crib rails a couple times. I know that there’s a risk of SIDS with bumpers, so try a Breathable Bumper. Not pretty, but functional.
21. Humidifier. Little Man got a sinus infection, and there’s nothing a doc can do for that. So I used this along with some vapor rub and it made a big difference.
22. NoseFrida® Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator. When I was preggers, I thought, “Eew, that’s gross!” But one, there’s a filter so you’re not eating snot, and two, the truth is, when your LO is feeling awful and breathing like Darth Vador, you would eat snot if it made him feel better. This works about 100 times better than a bulb aspirator. Just spray LO’s nose with baby saline, wait one minute, then suck out the snot. Hey, whatever works.
23. Car seat cover. Only if you have a winter baby. Infinitely more convenient and functional that a blanket. I have a JJ Cole Car Seat Cover.
24. Car seat arm cushion. DON’T go cheap on this one. I got one for $9.99 that was worthless, it was only cushioned on one side and kept rolling over. Spend the extra money for the fully-cushioned one, i.e. Padalily.
A few more tips. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. The expensive clothes don’t shrink. The expensive toys don’t fall apart. The expensive car seat/stroller is more durable. That doesn’t mean you should spend a ton of money. Most baby stores take competitor coupons, so clip any store coupons, find the store with the lowest price, then use the coupons too. Check out the clearance items. Wal-mart has a lot of name-brand items online for great prices. And shop online for reviews that you can’t find in a store. Thrift stores are great too, but I’d stay away from safety items (such as car seats and high chairs) because you won’t know if they have a recall. The health and safety of your LO is, after all, your number one priority when you’re making purchases.