I thought I’d start doing a series on products that have worked for our little bean. I always loved looking at the ‘what to pack for the hospital’ and ‘must haves for babies’ lists on Pinterest before we had Sophie. We bought a LOT of stuff that was not necessary!
These items are all high ranked and rated on Amazon and are a round up from toys that other babies we know love too. All of these toys can be found in various sizes and shapes as well as prices! All but the swing were gifts for Sophie, many of which were found during black Friday or at a consignment store. Biggest tip for toy buying: shop around. These toys are pricey, especially for the fact that some of them only last a few months! Also, try to get a grow-along toy that can adjust to your baby’s growth.
- Fisher-Price Rocker. This rocker used to be Soph’s favorite thing ever! She used it from newborn up through 3 months and will use it again once she can sit up on her own. Currently it’s out of rotation because she has so many other large toys and she hates laying back. It can be used as a rocker or a chair and has a vibrating function. The little toys at the top play music when pulled or have rattles in them. There is a buckle to secure them in and Soph was mesmerized by the stripes on the side. Again, check for a cheaper one because this one is priced high on Amazon.
- Fisher-Price Piano Gym. This is another grow-along toy. She used it as soon as she was able to lay on her back alone. She then began to kick the keys on her own and eventually reach up to the toys above her. She’s now using it as a tummy time toy with the bar laying on the floor so she can look in the mirror and push off the keys. Eventually we’ll be able to flip the piano and have her sitting up to play! This toy was also useful for when we’d travel to our family’s because it is easy to fold up to the size of the piano. Not pictured above: little toys hanging down that spin and rattle. All of the Fisher-Price toys that have dangling rattles can be interchanged to add variety.
- Graco Swing + Bouncer. This single item is how we were able to sleep for the first 3 months of the little bean’s life! It was worth every penny! There are tons of versions of swings but we wanted one that was big enough for her to use for a long time (30lbs.) and could turn into a bouncer. We kept the swing next to our bed for the first few months in case she was having troubles sleeping but she was a pro. There are nature sounds or music on the swing and the bouncer seat has a vibrating function. It was super helpful to have her sit in the bouncer in the kitchen while I’d clean/cook or hook her up in the swing when I’d do laundry or get ready in the mornings. Be sure to get one with a plug and battery option because the batteries do not last long and the swing will most likely be stationary.
- Fisher-Price Tummy Wedge. The tummy wedge was super helpful for Sophie because she HATED (and still kinda does) tummy time. If this wasn’t a gift, I’m sure we wouldn’t have bought it because we have a Boppy, but it was smaller to store and more fun with the crinkle lion and toys! She only used it for a small amount of time to help her gain neck control but was one of her favorite toys at the time. The wedge is super easy to wash too. The toys are removable and you can either wash off the crinkle part in the sink or put the whole thing in a mesh bag in the washing machine.
- Fisher-Price Jumperoo. THIS GUY! Sophie was OBSESSED! We started her in it right at her 3mo. mark by putting books wrapped in a towel under her feet and a little rolled up towel snugged behind her back. The first time we put her in there she loved playing with the waterfall and the second time she was a bouncing fool. She gets major exercise in it every day. It was super helpful for neck, core, and leg muscle development as well as hand-eye coordination. They say to not put your baby in it at such a young age but Sophie was already holding herself up on our laps and had great head control by that time so we would watch her and only let her jump for a short amount of time.
- Bright Starts Around We Go Activity Station. Sophie’s newest obsession. She’s been using this toy since Christmas but has now fully mastered walking forward, walking backwards, turning herself and being able to reach almost everything on the table. She could go around in circles and play with this thing for a half an hour…and does. We have it in the kitchen, because that’s the biggest space with hard wood floors, and she plays in it while I clean and cook dinner. Once she’s big enough to walk on her own, the seat can be removed and it can be used as a standing play table.
- Lamaze Peacock. This is Sophie’s traveling buddy as mentioned here. Lamaze has TONS of cute animal toys. We have the giraffe that hangs in the car in case we should ever forget Peacock (I know..boring name.) This Peacock is what keeps her busy during trips to Target, Barnes and Noble the Dr’s office or any other place we drag her around! It has crinkly wings that she likes to bite, a squeaker, a rattle and a mirror.
- Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. Sophie’s best friend. This guy has tons of bright colors, is fuzzy and has beanbag feet that are great for chewing. Elmer has a book series for all ages as well. We started showing Sophie Elmer to cheer her up on the changing table at 1 month and she’s been in love ever since. I bought a second one as a back up in case something happens to Elmer 1!
So those are the toys that we have found to be the most useful for our little girl’s development. Like I said, there’s no need to buy full price on these bigger toys because versions of them can be found cheaper elsewhere. If you are like me and dislike a ton of toys everywhere, rotate the big toys out so baby has a chance to develop different strengths and skills. What toy could you not do without as your baby was growing up? Are there any other brands besides Fisher-Price out there that are somewhat reasonable? Anyone else a little jealous that they don’t make an adult sized jumperoo for us to get a workout in? That’d be weird.