Baby must haves!

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My son is 8 months old so it goes without saying that we have tried lots of baby products! In the beginning, tons of products were recommended to us and I did my fair share of blog hunting for the posts just like this one to see what was out there and what sounded the best for our family. The thing is, you never really know if something will work for you or not until you get your hands on it. I am VERY fortunate to have an older sister, with 2 kiddos of her own, who saved all kinds of baby items for me. She gave me things like an exersaucer, a jumper, a high chair, and the list goes on. No, they aren’t new and yes, I am sure there are plenty of revised models out there that are “better” but for our family, hand-me-downs were so appreciated and welcomed.

Over the course of these last 8 months, I can say without a doubt that there are a handful of items we use all day, everyday, and those are my must haves!

All of these items are all fairly inexpensive too which I think some of you will appreciate. The global market for baby products was estimated to be 11.4 BILLION dollars for this year alone, which I have no trouble believing at all. You can walk through stores like Target or Buy Buy Baby and spend hundreds of dollars without even batting an eye. I admit, there are some pretty cool products out there that I would love to buy, but they just don’t fit our budget and honestly, we’re doing just fine without them.

Here are my MUST HAVE baby products for ages 0-8 months.

  1. Dohm Noise Sound Machine

Funny enough, at my last job, we had one of these in the hallway where our offices were. I worked for a church and the building was old and the walls were thin so we could hear each other’s conversations on the phone and in meetings. The pastor would often have meetings and church members drop in to talk about private issues, so she bought a Dohm machine for the hall. It worked wonders! We could still hear each other talking but it was muffled. You couldn’t make out a word that was said! When I became pregnant, I saw this on tons of “must have” lists and thought, with 2 big dogs in our house, this was bound to be worth every penny… and it was! Ours is set on the opposite side of our sons nursery from his crib in the corner, I would say roughly 10-12 feet away (it’s a longer room.) We use the higher setting for naps during the day, when the house is generally noisy from the phone ringing, dogs barking, TV, talking, etc. At night, we use the lower setting and its just enough to take away the silence in the room and ease you into sleep.

2. HALO SleepSack

I can not say enough about the sleep sack. My son never liked being swaddled tightly as an infant. No matter what, he could manage to get an arm out usually. I found a HALO swaddle that worked BETTER, but he still didn’t love it. When we transitioned him into his own room around 4 months, I used a sleep sack and we both slept SO well. I was reassured that he was warm AND safe at the same time, and he didn’t feel constricted at all. Now, the sleep sack is even better because it works as a sleep association. When I change him, turn the Dohm machine on, and put him in the sleep sack, he’s ready for a nap instantly. Even more, now that he crawls and rolls all day, he can still move around in his crib even while wearing it. My little belly sleeper can wiggle all he wants and he’s still cozy in a blanket.

3. Nancy Tillman Books

Nancy Tillman is a beautiful writer. This link is for one of my favorites, Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, but there isn’t a book she’s written that I don’t love. Each one makes me cry in the best way possible. They’re the kind of books that touch each person on a different level. Some of them remind me of my mother, who has passed away, and others make my mind wander to dream about the kind of man my son will grow into. Another thing is that they aren’t too long either. This has proven to be important because once my son starts rubbing his eyes and yawning, it’s time to close the book. I can usually get through an entire Nancy Tillman book without having to skip over anything. They’re just lovely books.

4. Exersaucer Learning Center

Once our son was big enough to sit up and hold his head up steady, this item quickly became a must have. It’s great when you need a place to put baby that will also entertain him. Ours lives in our master bathroom. It’s perfect for when I need to shower and get ready for the day. I can do my makeup and he just jumps, plays, and learns all on his own for that short period. Of course, you can’t help but to dance along to the music or sing silly songs while he plays.

5. Bumbo Seat with tray

We used this little seat when my son was able to hold his head up but not sit unassisted yet. It was perfect for keeping him safe and supported while giving me both hands to do household chores or cook dinner. I would put it in the kitchen with me each night while I made dinner and he could sit up like a big boy and watch. I also love the tray because he can play with toys or sensory objects in front of him. When we started solids, this was a great in-between seat before he was ready for a big high chair. Lastly, it travels! We took it with us on our first trip and he had somewhere to eat and make a mess in our home away from home.

At 8 months, we have outgrown the Bumbo, and are now using a high chair but that is the only product on this list that we have stopped using. Each of the others we still use daily! Hope it helps!

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