|carseat and Moose: ready to rumble|
After Ellie graduated from her bouncy seat, she learned how much fun one can have jumping. I always put Trumpette socks on her so she doesn't rough up her feet on the wooden floors.
I know that some people don't find them all that useful, but we like our Bumbo and tray a lot. (Look for one on Craigslist; they're everywhere. And make sure that you send in for the free add-on kit with straps.) Ellie often sits in it while we eat dinner, scraping on a carrot stick or begging pieces of fruit from her soft-hearted father.
Our infant carseat is a Chicco Keyfit30. It's fairly heavy but also has high safety ratings, and it's wide enough to let a baby's legs fall into the frog position rather than holding them straight. It will fit Ellie up to 30 pounds, after which, I'm not sure. Any suggestions for the next step?
Our stroller is another large item I'd recommend-- it's a Baby Jogger City Elite. At the moment we use the carseat adapter to clip in the Keyfit (since Ellie can't sit up on her own yet). I like the City Elite because the three-wheel design works great on uneven city sidewalks, because it's easy to maneuver, because it has an adjustable handle, because it has a decent sized basket and storage pockets by the handle, because it folds up with one quick motion, and because it is surprisingly lightweight for such a sturdy contraption. It also seems to have decent suspension: Ellie doesn't mind bumping along over the cracks and curbs.
I also use the Bumbo for bathtime. Stick her in, run the water, and she's free to splash away.
Speaking of which, Burt's Bees makes a really nice bubble bath soap. Ellie really enjoys the mounds of bubbles floating around her! It is expensive, though, so I plan to experiment with my own concoction once the bottle runs out. :)
I had a couple of small baby towels for when she was really tiny, but now I've started to just use one of ours and that's perfectly fine since they are all so soft.
Green Sprouts bibs feature a waterproof inner layer, so your little droolbucket doesn't immediately soak the clothes beneath the bib. Ellie is constantly dripping . . . so we have two dozen of these . . . and I still run out.
Mortimer the Moose (or just "Moose" as we call him) is Ellie's favorite toy, apart from anything Mama happens to be holding. He has a squishable body and hard antlers, which are great for teething. We keep him in the car and when we're on the road, you can usually hear Ellie crinkling his feet as she stuffs them in her mouth.
She's also a fan of IKEA children's tableware, particularly cups and spoons. As I write this she's lying on her back with her face stuffed into a cup, singing happily and kicking the floor. Whatever works, baby girl.
Over the past six months I have wanted to take Ellie's temperature several times; I use this spiffy folding model from Safety 1st. She has never objected, and actually seems to think it's pretty funny when I stick it under her arm. She ran a fever once, but I just took off her clothes and kept her hydrated, and it went away on its own (as fevers usually do). Seemed to be related to teething.
Little Mouse sometimes gets cradle cap. I rub coconut oil all over her head, and after 20 minutes start combing it all out, being careful to pick up all the flaky skin I can. After a thorough bath, the cradle cap is just about gone. This little comb and brush set from American Red Cross works nicely.
Not medical, but related to safety: you should probably get a sunshade for the window next to your baby's carseat. We have one from UPPAbaby and I like it so far.
When we go on trips or if Ellie needs to sleep at someone else's house, we put her in a basic Graco Pack and Play with an organic crib sheet.
Sleep sacks are fantastic. I have a few lightweight ones for naptime and fleece for colder nights. Warm, easy, and very cute. Just layer a onesie underneath and you are set! For some reason, Ellie loves putting on her jammies and gets very silly once she's in a sleep sack. :)
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