I just found this post hanging out in my drafts folder and realised I never posted it! Oh well, rather late than never right?
These are the things that we found indispensable during the last quarter of Willow’s babyhood.
I have put together a little list in the hopes that some out there may find it useful. Please keep in mind that Willow was this age during spring and summer and we had some extreme heat waves during this time. So this may differ for a winter baby.
Aden and Anais sleeping bag: I weaned Willow off the swaddle at this time and the Aden and Anais sleeping bag came in handy. A big issue for us with the weaning was creating a new bedtime routine. I used the sleeping bag as a swaddle replacement. It worked like a charm. It is also great because I have peace of mind that she is kept warm in the night and not kicking her blankets off.
Sleepy bunny – Along with weaning Willow off the swaddle we were also forced to do sleep training. I found sleepy bunny at H&M for R80! It is a very soft and small cuddly toy which I use as a soother at sleep times. Before we started getting serious about sleep training I introduced the bunny. We nursed while cuddling with bunny and then bunny went into the bed with Willow. She still sleeps with it now and battles to settle when bunny is missing.
Lavender bed mist – This is great if you travel. For a week or so before going away, I spritz the room spray in her room so she associates the smell with home and comfort. Then when we are in a new environment I spritz the room with the spray. It has worked like a charm for us and we had good sleep while travelling during the festive season.
Standing fan – as mentioned we have had some serious heat waves and keeping Willow’s room cool has been a challenge. We bought a standing fan that is small and light – perfect for her room. The best part is that the blades are not exposed so she can’t get her fingers injured. This fan has been a life saver.
White Noise App – As part of the sleep training we relied heavily on white noise as a soothing device. We have an old iPad which I loaded a white noise app onto. As part of her bed time routine I turn the app on and it plays all night. It also really helps when there are people in the house or she is sleeping in a new environment.
Bath Toys – Willow is a big fan of bath toys. We have everything from cups that pour to squirty toys to pretend taps. Bathtime is just not the same without toys.
Exciting plates and cutlery – Willow decided that she would only eat if she can feed herself. She also wants to eat like the adults do. So I got her a little plate set and she loves sitting at the big table and eating her food. We have done away with baby purees and mashes. She eats pretty much what we do and loves it. I also introduced a for in the past week and she loves it! She still struggled to get the food on the fork but she is an expert at putting it in her mouth.
Munchkin 360 cup – This cup is awesome. You drink from it like a normal cup, but it has a special seal that prevents spills. It’s Willow’s favourite cup and she drinks from it at each meal time. She has been drinking so much water lately and I think its a combination of the heat and this cup.
Swimming diapers – Willow has been spending a lot of time playing with water and going to swimming lessons this summer. The swim nappies are designed to let liquids through but catch any solid waste. We haven’t had an accident yet, but I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. A lot of the time she is just in the nappy, but for swim lessons, I put a swimming costume on over it. We love this type which are disposable, but you can reuse them a few times. I also have this set which I think we’ll get more use out of when she’s older.
Swimming lessons – I am putting this on the list because I feel that it’s really important kids learn how to be safe around water. They can start swimming from six months old. Willow already knows how to climb in and out of the water safely, to flip on her back when she falls in and to get to the side of the pool as soon as she can. This year the lessons will build on what she learned last year and the teacher says she may be swimming properly by the end of the year.