Other Baby Gear Posts:  Newborn Baby Gear and 4.5 Month Old Baby Gear


Toys and Books –  Henry loves to play, so I’m always looking for fresh ways to keep his mind engaged. We do a lot of games like peek-a-boo and “I’m gonna get you.” We make forts out of pillows, and I set up what I call ‘food obstacle courses.’ I spread the chairs and ottoman across the living room and put HappyPuffs on top of each piece; he crawls or walks in between the furniture for his treats.


Some of his favorite toys include blocks (I bought a tub of jumbo Legos at a consignment shop for $6), the V-Tech walker, toy cars, and balls. MomHTP recently taught him how to throw a tennis ball, which he enjoys doing  a lot. We also make non-toys into toys – think pots, pans, spatulas, tightly closed water bottles, salad tongs, and more.  His favorite toy of all is this new tunnel, which DadHTP bought him from IKEA for $15.


I wrote a post about Henry’s favorite books here.


Activities – I am so glad that we invested in an annual pass to Charlotte’s wonderful Discovery Place. Money well spent! We go all the time, and Henry especially loves the aquarium.


Formula Gadgets – With only a few packets of frozen breastmilk left, we’re mostly using formula all the time. He drinks from the same bottles that he did when I pumped, but there are two formula gadgets that make life a lot easier:  this mixing pitcher and this travel formula dispenser. I highly recommend both!


Baby Gates –  I can’t say enough great things about this baby gate. It’s super sturdy and looks nice with the rest of our décor. Our kitchen and living room are entirely baby proofed and blocked off from the rest of the house; Henry likes having so many places he can crawl to and check out.


Strollers –  I LOVE MY JOGGING STROLLER.  Let me scream it from the rooftops!  I love the Bob Ironman (<— my complete review). I also still like my City Mini, although I usually just carry Henry in my arms or my Baby Bjorn when I’m at a store.


Sleep Stuff – Henry sleeps in a variety of sleep sacks and footed pajamas, which are both so cute. I’m a big believer in mixing up what they sleep in so they never get too reliant on one type of pajamas (because you know there will be a night that the laundry is still soaking wet…). I love the breathable mesh bumper around this crib; I put it in there after he got his arm trapped in the slates and screamed and screamed.  Our blackout curtains are superb. Although I like our video monitor, it hasn’t worn very well (the charging connection is tricky and has to be just-so to work).


Highchair – DadHTP restored my old highchair for Henry. I love it and can’t wait to use it with him when he’s a bit older, but for everyday feeding, it is just not safe for an eight month old (no safety straps and easy to slip out the bottom). Henry is serious squirmer so I purchased this Chicco highchair. Everyone loves it! The seat is comfy and the fabric is easy to clean; the tray is large and includes a removable ‘plate’ to make clean-up simple. You can make the highchair higher (for eating at a table) or lower (for if you’re sitting on the couch feeding the baby, for example). It took me a LONG time to decide on a high chair, and I wasn’t willing to spend much more than $100. Thanks to a Babies R Us coupon code, I got this charge for about $110. Worth every penny!


Solids – We’re doing a little bit of Baby Led Weaning, which means Henry eats safe finger foods like soft potatoes, tofu, lentils, roasted broccoli, and eggs. Most of his fruits and veggies come from pureed food pouches (which I just think are the BEST inventions). He really likes pears and carrots, although he’ll eat a few other flavors, too. We also like HappyPuffs and Baby Mum Mums for ‘snacks.’


Clothes – All of Henry’s clothes are from consignment shops or Old Navy super sales.  I really love hunting thrift stores for his clothes – so cute and SOOOO cheap. And Old Navy has very funny baby onesies. 


What baby gear does your little one love?



  • Jen March 4, 2013, 8:28 am

    Very nice! And if you love the pouches of purees, I recommend looking into the reusable ones. I just got some the other day, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to save me a fortune. I was making the purees myself anyways, now I just put them in pouches for easy travel! Lots of options on Amazon.

  • Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 4, 2013, 8:42 am

    Blackout curtains are a must and so is a video monitor!!! We love the book Brown Bear Brown Bear and my son is 21 months….now he walks around saying “Brown Bear Brown Bear What You See?” 🙂

  • Vivian March 4, 2013, 8:43 am

    Do you have a baby gate for the stairs? I’m looking for one, but I don’t want to drill into my bannister. I’d rather not drill into my walls either, but they’re pretty easy to patch up and pressure mounted just isn’t safe.

    • Vivian March 4, 2013, 8:50 am

      *I’m interested in the gate at the top of the stairs, not so much the bottom. I think on the bottom, I could use the standard pressure mounted gate.

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 8:53 am

      We have a summer gate. You need to mount it into the wall if its on the stairs for safety purposes.

  • Presley @ Run Pretty March 4, 2013, 8:49 am

    We JUST set up a huge play pen (aka cage) in the living room. LIFE CHANGING. We lovingly call it “the perimeter”. So dystopian of us.

    Other than that, he freaking loves anything that isn’t a toy. 🙂

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd March 4, 2013, 8:55 am

    We bought that same high chair at Once Upon a Baby for $63! Do you guys have a Once Upon a Baby near you? It’s an amazing consignment shop. I’m not sure why you would EVER buy baby clothes brand new (unless it’s for a special occasion or something maybe).

  • Amy Q March 4, 2013, 9:54 am

    Long ago, we had those same sea creature bath toys- thanks for the sweet memories of my babies 🙂

  • Barca Mama March 4, 2013, 10:22 am

    We are expecting baby #2 in less than 10 weeks (yikes!!! time has flown by this time). When my son was a newborn we lived in a suburb and space was not a big issue, so we used the Bob- with car seat adapter (loved it). Now we are in Barcelona and well things are a little tighter, the Bob is the size the of a small car here and well it only fits in maybe 20% of the elevators. We don’t have a car- so no car-seat needed either. We were thinking of getting the City Mini Jogger for the second baby. Caitlin and others reading this comment, did you put Henry directly in the City Mini from newborn? There are mixed reviews online about the Mini and newborns. Any feedback much appreciated.

    I seriously have spent more hours researching strollers then all other purchases I have made in my entire life. Thought it would be easier the second time around…

    • Louise March 4, 2013, 6:01 pm

      We have the City Mini and put our tiny baby (5.4 pounds) in it from birth – we did have the car adapter and mostly used the car seat but if I was going on a bus or into the city where space was limited he was fine in the pram. I am pretty sure I called Baby Jogger to ask if it was ok, and they said yes. We did have a head support/pram liner thing though (similar to this http://www.babyshop.com.au/cube40/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=2984).
      He’s 11 months old now and his head is a-ok 🙂 Love, love, love the City Mini – great purchase.

  • Morgan March 4, 2013, 10:41 am

    I don’t know why, but this post gave me serious baby fever! It’s so random given that it’s not one of those “aww, look how cute! I want one!” posts. Maybe it’s my impending birthday coming up in just a few weeks!

  • Vicky March 4, 2013, 10:42 am

    Milo is 13 months now. We still love the Ergo, our Tripp Trapp chair (we did baby led weaning and we could pull it up to the table), his busy town activity cube, Uncle Goose building blocks (they are made in America!), his straw Thermos (not plastic which is awesome), and glass food containers.

    You should try steaming or roasting broccoli in olive oil. It’s perfect for baby led weaning. It was a favorite at 7 months as well as now! Oh and smushed avocado on strips of toast with a sprinkle of salt and balsamic!

  • Sweta March 4, 2013, 10:49 am

    “Clothes – All of Henry’s clothes are from consignment shops or Old Navy super sales.”

    So glad to see that you’re not one of those ridiculous moms who buys all of her baby’s clothes from Baby Gap.

    • Ali March 4, 2013, 1:56 pm

      Why is shopping at Baby Gap ridiculous?

      • Kate March 4, 2013, 8:17 pm

        I’d kind of like to know, too, as I buy almost all of my kids’ clothes there yet never spend that much.

  • Rachel March 4, 2013, 10:50 am

    I’m curious about the transition from breast milk to formula- how is the volume per feeding different? I’ve read that babies eat more formula than breast milk at each feeding.

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 12:56 pm

      He does seem to be eating more although the calorie amount from BM to formula is roughly the same.

  • Erin March 4, 2013, 10:59 am

    My 8 month old isn’t mobile, which makes life a little easier. But we have love our video monitor, which is the same as yours. And my daughter has been obsessed with the Vtech walker since she got it at Christmas. We also love our Ergo, the Graco Blossom high chair, and plastic blocks.
    We are doing a similar feeding route with our daughter, but mostly by accident. She refuses to be spoon fed! The pouches are a lifesaver for fruits and veggies. She loves to suck them. I am in the market for some reusable ones, since I have a bunch of homemade purees in the freezer that I can’t get her to eat.

  • ann March 4, 2013, 11:15 am

    Best invention ever are the little plastic spoon tips thatvscrew onto the pouches, no need to bring a spoon on the go. My 9 month old doesn’t like to eat from the package. But the spoons work great. Also we use the medela breastmilk tubes that we got in the hospital to hold our powdered formula premeasured, works better for us with 8 oz bottles, but the agent bottles we use have a wide mouth. Favorite toy anything he can climb on or walk around.

  • Allison March 4, 2013, 11:15 am

    You have some handsome boys in your life!

  • ann March 4, 2013, 11:16 am

    Oops, Avent not Agent, love auto correct.

  • Beth March 4, 2013, 11:19 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting about the Dr. Brown mixer! We have had to use formula exclusively since week 2 with our little guy (I had serious supply issues) and I wish I had known about this from the beginning. I’ve already ordered one!

  • Steph March 4, 2013, 11:45 am

    That first pic is wonderful. Henry looks so handsome!

  • Mary March 4, 2013, 12:13 pm

    I second the reusable pouches. We just got a few packages of Little Green Pouches, and they are great. I was worried about the effort to wash them, but they do fine with a bottle brush, then just throw them into the dishwasher. We’ve started mixing fruit purees with stuff like quinoa, or veg purees even with tofu— works great.

  • Mari March 4, 2013, 12:19 pm

    We had the same problem with our video monitor (of a different brand), so I called the manufacturer and got it replaced since it was under warranty. I bet yours is too! You should try getting it replaced before you hit the 1-year mark (assuming you have the same warranty time frame).

  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl March 4, 2013, 12:29 pm

    I was looking over this post in my RSS feed and just had to come over to the good ole’ blog and tell you…Henry looks just like you in that first picture of him and his daddy! 🙂

  • Heidi March 4, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Do you use your BOB for everyday stroller outings as well as running? I’m an avid distance runner and definitely want to get a running stroller when my baby arrives this summer. I’m wondering if it’s possible to just get one stroller for multi-purpose? (It looks like the BOB Ironman allows an infant carseat to attach, so you could use with new baby for walking or running as well?)

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 12:57 pm

      I’ve heard the BOB revolution can be used for multiple purposes. There are some comments re this in my ironman review.

  • Jenny March 4, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Henry sure is cute!
    But…don’t you think that scattering his treats around is kind of unsanitary, considering how many pets you have, as well as general human traffic? What if you replaced the food with toys?

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 2:24 pm

      Hah! Henry puts everything into his mouth regardless. A few puffs from the couch is the least of my troubles.

  • meredith March 4, 2013, 1:00 pm

    When I saw the favorite books you have listed, I remembered my son around your son’s age and immediately thought of the book I was forever reading over and over…”A cow says moo, the sheep says baa…the three singing pigs say la la la”…and now it will be stuck in my head as it was back then!

  • Courtney March 4, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Love this post 🙂 Nannying taught me the amazingness of baby food pouches, too! 😛

  • Sarah March 4, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Ah hahaha, the “food obstacle course” is called Agility Training when you do it with a dog. I always think how similar babies are to dogs… I don’t’ want to offend anyone but seriously! So similar in many ways haha.

  • Reenie March 4, 2013, 1:51 pm

    Cute pic of The Husband and Henry 🙂

  • Jill - A Little Baby Bean March 4, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Hey Caitlin – a question about solids, and forgive me if this has already been addressed before.. did you start Henry with rice cereal? As we are approaching the day when solids will be introduced, we are on the fence about having cereal be the first due to poor digestion, and so on. Just wanted to hear the perspective from a more “natural” mother’s point of view! Thanks in advance Caitlin!

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 3:16 pm

      Talk to your doctor about introducing other foods first if you are interested. Check out Baby Led Weaning.. Sweet potato can make a great first food. People all over the world introduce their babies to foods at different times, etc, and there are really no hard and fast rules (see that link to the egg article above). There is new research coming out every day, and I think it’s fun to introduce ‘real’ foods like veggies first. I haven’t read any BLW books but I know there are some great resources out there. And lots of helpful posts, too!

  • rachel March 4, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Eggs at 8.5 months? Aren’t you concerned about allergies?

    • Caitlin March 4, 2013, 3:13 pm


      No I am not concerned, especially after discussing it with his doctor.

      • Morgan March 4, 2013, 4:17 pm

        if he’s allergic, he’ll react at any age regardless of if he’s 8.5 months or 12 months, IMO.

      • rachel March 5, 2013, 12:57 pm

        Sorry for asking, I was just wondering since most physicians recommend waiting to avoid allergies from the whites. I didn’t mean to offend.

    • Louise March 4, 2013, 6:12 pm

      I was told by the health nurse to start on eggs,nuts etc before 1 year to avoid allergies. Studies change all the time and currently in Australia the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy advise against waiting to introduce foods as there is insufficient evidence waiting prevents allergies. I just ask my mum what I ate – she didn’t have access to the past 30 years of studies and I have no allergies so if she agrees with the current advice I go with that.

  • Jackie March 4, 2013, 4:25 pm

    My 1-year old son likes/liked a lot of the same stuff. He has a “ride on” little car (made by Fisher Price) he likes, as well. For his birthday, my in laws insisted on getting him a wagon. I was a little reluctant because he seemed too young for it (and we don’t really have a ton of extra space in our house)…but I’m so glad I didn’t veto the purchase because he LOVES it. After we get back from wagon walks, he’ll go over to it and sit in front of it crying because he wants to get back in. So if you’re thinking ahead to birthday presents…

  • Lori March 4, 2013, 5:44 pm

    Thank you for this post! Do you have any recommendations for a crib?

  • Lindsay March 4, 2013, 7:22 pm

    I saw on another blog once that the mom used her formula dispenser (once baby was dine firmula) for a protein powder dispenser for post workout protein shake! What a great idea!!! I’m tempted to buy one! Btw, I love how you handle ‘challenging’ comments :). Keep up the good work Caitlin. Being a mom is a hard job 🙂

  • Lindsay March 4, 2013, 7:23 pm

    Dine= done
    Firmula= formula!

    I’ll check my comment before I submit it next time!

  • Megan March 5, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Our baby monitor did that, too, after about 1.5 years. It was the cheapest Graco audio only monitor (about $20) so we just got a new one. Hoping by the time she is 3.5 we won’t need a monitor anymor,e but her room is at the top of the stairs so who knows.

    I looove consignment shopping for my kids clothes, especially the toddler. The older they get the harder it is becuase 7 yr old boys seem to be really hard on their clothes. 🙂 But luckily I can always count on ON clearance!

  • Tracy March 5, 2013, 8:06 pm

    Henry looks so much like your dad!!!

  • Jenn@ Be Me March 7, 2013, 2:15 pm

    Your little guy is so cute! This post was so helpful. I am expecting my first child and needing to learn A LOT. Thank you.

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