To say that becoming a mom was the most overwhelming thing I have ever done is not an exaggeration. Luckily, when your baby is about 4-6 months, you finally feel like you are able to keep your head above water…or at least that was my experience. As you become more comfortable with your little one and his or her schedule becomes more predictable, you will probably start venturing out into the world and getting back to your old life. Here are some of my favorite baby products 4-6 months into this journey. And as I always say, I got many products for free. Many did not end up in this article but the haul here is a combo of gifts from friends and brands. Feel free to assume everything was not paid for personally.
After a few bouts with the hysteria of a gassy baby, I realized just how important having the right bottle is. While I once balked at the many parts of Dr. Brown’s bottles (I love the girl pack), I now understand their magic. Plus, I can wash bottles in a flash (and have a nanny to help), so I don’t mind having the extra parts to clean. Their internal vent system helps reduce colic, spit-up, burping and gas by eliminating negative pressure and air bubbles, helps preserve vitamins C, A, & E by minimizing oxidation of breastmilk and formula, and provides vacuum-free feeding similar to breastfeeding. Dr. Brown’s bottles are BPA-free and contain no PVC, lead or phthalates.
Make My Belly Fit
I love holding my little one in a baby carrier so she can see the world. If you live in a cold climate like I do, though, it becomes challenging in the winter to continue to do so. To keep your baby warm, you have to bundle your little one in layers and hold a blanket over her. While you may be able to keep her warm enough, what about you? I was always freezing. Enter the most genius device ever—the BellyFit. It creates an extender that simply zips right in your jacket so you and your little one can both stay warm. The same company also makes a maternity jacket by using an appropriately-shaped extender. The BellyFit is a piece of fabric (you can also buy a warmth insert) that zips right into your own coat. Then poof! Your baby fits. BellyFit make adapters to fit most coats but some don’t even need it. There is a simple quiz on the website to determine what item you will need.
Now that you’re venturing out in rain or shine, you have to brave the elements. Though your little one is snug as a bug in a rug in your stroller with a canopy, a rain shield and even probably one of the amazing 7 A.M. Enfant sleeping bag blankies, what about mom? When we would venture out into the rain, I was stuck trying to push the stroller and hold an umbrella over my head. Enter the Mumbrella, which provides hands-free cover from the rain and UV protection from the sun for the person pushing the stroller. Because moms are people, too! The universal clamp fits most stroller handles up to a diameter of 1.5.” I leave it clipped on all the time and just lay it down against the side of my stroller so I’m always prepared!
Before my daughter was born, I wanted organic everything. Fast forward to when she was born and all I wanted was the diapers with the blue line to tell me when she was wet. Now that I have learned to tell when she is wet sans blue line and have a smidge more time on my hands, I did some research about conventional diapers and how unhealthy they are. They can be filled with carcinogens and toxic PVCs. Do you know what that is? Well, neither did I. But now that I’m more of an expert at diapers and determining when they are wet, I am confident enough to use the unbleached ones without the easy indicator. And you can too, because you’re super woman. I recommend Babyganics Organic Diapers, which still have a wetness indicator (though it’s pretty faint) without the carcinogens and toxic PVCs. I also like Bambo, another excellent brand.
Babies are now moving all around and by now you’re probably even taking them to some classes. You can’t get away with shoes that fall off easily unless you want to keep buying new ones. You’ve probably seen Zutano booties on every kid at the gym. Their two-snap design keeps the booties on until you take them off. They’re comfortable and adorable…because who doesn’t want their babe to look like an elf.
The Perfect Babyfood Maker
There are two main players in this space! And because I’m a blogger I got to try them both out. The Beaba Babycook and the Baby Brezza are your one-stop shops for baby food.
The Beaba Babycook steam cooks, purees and heats all in less than 15 minutes. We love that you don’t have to supervise food prep either; it shuts off when it’s done. And since it holds almost 5 cups, you can make large batches all at once to save time. Oh–and it has a fabulous one-arm design so you can prep and hold your baby at the same time! It clicks into position very easily.
The Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker is great because it’s a one step process, too. It steams and then automatically blends foods with the push of a button. In one bowl, it steams and blends, there is no transfer of food in the middle of the process. I also love the glass bowl since it minimizes the contact with plastic. It’s also easy to clean, and the bowl and blade are dishwasher safe. I have only had this product a short while, but I’ve learned to be sure to follow the instructions to clean it properly otherwise we have heard reports that issues can arise. Though of course, that is the case with every baby item.
The Beaba Babycook is a nicer product in my opinion, it’s higher quality. The pieces on the Brezza aren’t made as well and make it a little more difficult to use–sometimes I have to open and close pieces numerous times to get them to register properly and for the product to start. But it does have a few advantages like the glass and not having to transfer so it’s really a personal choice.
I am also using my Baby Brezza Formula Pro more than ever. Can’t even imagine measuring 8 oz. bottles every few hours and mixing and heating. This saves so much time and energy, you have no idea. This is still one of my top five products.
Secret Weapon for Sleep
Everyone has an opinion about how to get your baby sleep through the night. Strangers on the street, grandparents and even other parents who have babies sleeping less than yours will try and tell you “the secret.” Any sleep-deprived parent can tell you that if there was a magic sleep aid, you would be willing to try just about anything to get your little one some shut eye. And don’t even get me started on the American Academy of Pediatrics latest declaration that you should sleep in the same room as your baby until one year of age. My husband and I actually followed this for a while (unlike every other person we know) and it was torture (but do what your doctor says of course).
Baby sleep is a mythical beast…getting your child to do it is honestly miraculous as far as new parents are concerned. One night I was lying awake after my daughter’s third wakeup of the night (she slept in 45 minute increments the first few months), and I thought I was going to lose my mind. We were paying night nurses a fortune to spend the night a couple times a week (I simply couldn’t do it on my own seven nights in a row and my husband was working long hours). Then I started wondering, are there people who will come to your home and teach you how to do this properly? After some serious middle-of-the-night Googling, it turns out that yes, yes there are!
I was spending tons of money to have someone sit and watch my baby sleep when I could just invest in someone teaching me how to do things properly and be done once and for all. After tons of research (done desperately on my phone in the middle of the night) I found Dream Team Baby. Dream Team Baby has a book you can read to help you and everything they say is on point. I tried all the other books–Baby Wise and 12 Hours by 12 Weeks. I found these to be helpless and they honestly made me feel hopeless.
I personally worked with a sleep consultant from Dream Team Baby for hands-on help so they taught me about the techniques in the book rather than me reading it. But you can do it yourself! If you feel super desperate, you can also hire a Dream Team consultant to help (there are varying levels of involvement) and come spend the night (or nights). Dream Team’s sleep consultants set your little one up for success by taking a deep dive into your family’s life to figure out any issues (eating, behavioral, medical concerns) that could be affecting your baby’s sleep long term. I am happy to report that after following their technique, my baby (who had been only sleeping 8 hours a night now sleeps for over 12 uninterrupted hours! I will be sharing an article about my experience later and will share the link here. I was gifted this experience to be part of another article I am writing.
White Noise Machine
If you don’t own one already, get one. This is worth its weight in gold! We went with the Marpac Marsona Sound Machine because it is what Dream Team recommended to us. Dream Team Baby recommends using the waterfall setting. We find that the white noise this machine makes is far superior to the Marpac Dohm, which my husband and I personally use for ourselves. This does a much better job of blocking out all the noise in our small New York City apartment. We use this for napping and bedtime. The Marsona is pretty portable but if you want something even smaller, check out the rohm portable sleep machine for serious sleep on the go. It’s great for travel and has a lanyard for easy hanging. You can even take it for the stroller. It’s rechargeable with a USB charger and has surprisingly powerful sound for its size. I couldn’t believe it really. It really is loud enough to mask all those disruptive noises that rouse baby from nap.
Baby Monitor that Grows
Now that your baby is moving around more you’ll want to be able to watch him or her in all their glory! I love the Summer Infant Side by Side 2.0 monitor. It has 2 cameras and a split screen. This way I only have one screen for me to keep track of but can toggle between the living room and the bedroom. This way when I go to prepare her food or bottle and she’s in the bouncer, I can see. But then at night I can also see her still sleeping like an angel in the crib. Setup is super easy, you really just plug and go. It has a great zoom, thermometer, good reception, great pan and tilt and a really pretty nightlight. The nightlight (which we don’t personally use yet) gives two options–a soft blue light for soothing great for toddlers and a red light that mimics the sunset to naturally tell baby it’s time to sleep. There is two-way talk option and sound activated lights on the handheld monitor that light up according to noise level.
There’s a whole world out there to show your little one. Now that your little one has neck control, you’ll feel more comfortable with baby wearing. After trying out several carriers, I learned that each have their benefits. I personally have a few favorites.
For the simplicity and because it packs easily and weighs next to nothing, I LOVE my Sakura Bloom’s Ring Sling. I was totally intimidated by all cloth baby carriers. I received a Boba Wrap, which I registered for, but when I got it in the mail and saw the sheer amount of fabric, I was terrified. Sakura Bloom’s Ring Sling wraps are super easy to use and my little one loves it. Check out the instructional videos, they are just as easy to use as it looks in their videos.
When it comes to carriers that can face your baby out, there are two that I recommend. The new edition of Baby Bjorn’s Baby Carrier One allows you use it from when baby is a newborn (no insert needed), then the carrier can be used facing the baby out starting at 6 months, and starting at one year you can use it on your back. The new edition has an ergonomically-correct seat with a wide leg position. There is also thick padding in the shoulder straps and a sturdy waist belt that helps relieve pressure on your shoulders. Oh and by the way, they have the cutest limited edition collection right now called #dadstories. The collection features Baby Carrier One in attractive shades of blue with a modern leaf print and Baby Carrier One Air in three new colors. You can go on the website and learn more about new dads and also tag your own honey using the hashtag. Nothing sexier than a dad with a baby carrier—and I say that without the tiniest bit of sarcasm!
The other carrier I love is the Ergobaby 360. It’s ergonomically correct for baby. It has a nice bucket seat that keeps baby in the frog-leg position with her spine in an optimal position, too. It has a little steeper learning curve than the Baby Bjorn, but I like that it really seems to keep my little one feeling super secure.
Now that you’re on the move and starting to travel, you will undoubtedly want to get yourself an umbrella stroller. Now remember that my needs may differ from yours since I do alot of travel and live in a big city. I don’t have a big trunk to carry things around with me. So that said, I wanted a stroller that is extremely compact and one that fit my car seat.
One of my favorites is the GB Pockit stroller. I love it because it is extremely easy to lift and it fits in small spaces. In fact, it has the world’s smallest fold according to Guinness Book of World Records! It shrinks to the size of a large purse. You can even fit it under an airplane seat. It can be a tiny bit difficult to maneuver but it more than makes up for it by its small convenient size.
We are also obsessed with the Mountain Buggy Nano. We love it because it has great maneuverability, compact fold and it is compatible with a variety of infant car seats making it ideal for travel. Many other umbrella strollers aren’t compatible with any car seats or (like the Recaro) are only compatible with its own. There are straps under the nano that work just like a safety belt in a car. Also, you can pair this with the Cocoon and then use it right from newborn age. It’s great for travel because it’s easy to lift and fits in small spaces. It has rear wheel suspension to keep your baby comfortable on their travel adventure, an easy to use color defined brake for extra safety and 5.5” EVA wheels for a smooth ride. Also love its versatility and ability to last a long time. It connects with a freerider stroller board to its rear axle to accommodate a second child. The freerider then transforms to a kids scooter, offering dual functionality for free-wheeling scooter fun! How cool is that?
It’s almost teething time! Get ready for your little one to put everything in their mouth and for a lot of drooling.
We love the Zoli Chubby Gummy. These little nubs are the perfect size for tiny mouths and the handle is easy to hold for little grips. And you won’t worry about your little one gumming this since it’s made from safe materials that are all BPA and phthalate free.
We are loving our So Pure Sophie Teether right now.
And while we’re on the topic of teething, let’s talk about the drool. I found the cutest bibs ever—Rags to Raches makes these adorable printed bandana bibs. I am particularly obsessed with this set since there is one that looks like a diamond! They’re made with organic cotton (on the front) and super absorbent. They’ve washed really well and maintained their adorable patterns.
I also love their rags, which when I received this item, all I could think was what a pain to change, but somehow it is actually easier than dealing with all the snaps on the onesies. Plus, look how adorable these outfits are for spring and summer. They call them “rags.” I mean, I can’t…the diamond reference…these are just too adorable!
Pediatricians differ on when they recommend your little one should start solids, but it’s typically sometime between four and six months. One thing we think is important is making sure to avoid exposing our little ones to any unnecessary chemicals (we recommend avoiding plastic spoons and avoiding using Tupperware for storage).
Finding the perfect feeding accessories is important because you want to make sure that you’re using high-quality products that are safe for your baby.
After some serious research, I found that I wanted to avoid potential toxins like phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, PVC and BPA. Here are some of my favorite brands that I think meet my high standards and are good (and safe) enough for my little one.
Think Baby’s Complete Feeding set is free of BPA, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, PVC, PET, Melamine and other biologically harmful chemicals. I love that it’s made from medical grade stainless steel and wrapped in polypropylene. The interior and exterior separate for easy cleaning. And it’s also dishwasher safe. For traveling, it has a no-leak solution so you don’t have to worry about finding food at the bottom of your bag.
Blue Brontide makes amazing feeding accessories that are organic, gender neutral and made with premium sustainable and ethically-sourced wood. The adorable options like the bear make mealtime fun!
Pacific Baby’s natural small weaning bowl is what I first used to feed my li’l babe. It’s ergonomically designed so it’s easy to hold, it’s totally plastic free and made from bamboo. It’s strong and durable enough for the dishwasher (safe for the top rack).
When considering choosing a high chair, I considered several things. First, I didn’t want the high chair to take up a lot of space (sense that theme with me in my tiny apartment?). Second, I didn’t want something my baby would quickly outgrow. Finally, I considered advice from a man I sat next to on the subway—no joke. My husband and I were having a discussion when this random stranger chimed in and told us that the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair for a Manhattan apartment was the way to go.
I went home and looked it up and quickly fell in love. Miraculously I was offered a chair to review from the company. Here’s what I’ve learned. While it is on the pricier side, it’s a sturdy seating option that will grow with our babe from 6 months well into childhood (it can actually seat an adult with proper adjustments). It’s made of wood and available in an array of colors (all non-toxic paint). I recommend starting with the Baby Set, which is sold separately from the high chair and includes extra support for babies with a back rest and rail for support. The setup took me about 30 minutes (moms do it all!). You also have to buy the tray separately.
Now that you’re not home alone all day, it’s time to get back to looking cute! Say what you will, but buying cute baby stuff is one of my greatest joys! I’m obsessed with Aidan + Anais’ new White Label collection. It’s carried only in exclusive boutiques that curate a collection for modern parents with an appreciation of design. I am loving the watercolor-inspired prints and bright color palettes.
I also am obsessed with monogramming everything. This is two-fold—first, it’s easier not to mix up her things when at baby classes and play dates, but also, it’s just adorable. I have been ordering from Cutest Things for years. I get all my baby gifts for friends here, and now finally for myself! I am obsessed with the camo patterns mixed with hot pink lettering for girls.
On one hand, you are using your phone every second to look up things—when can baby start solids or what can I do to encourage motor skill development—but you also want your baby to be safe from the harmful radiation. To minimize the radiation and any other harmful electronic emissions when possible, I use Defender Shield’s new wallet case for the iPhone 7. Their claim to virtually block 100% of EMF radiation has been substantiated by independent FCC certified laboratory testing.
And is it just me or does your phone die every freaking second—between the incessant photo shoots and logging baby’s feeding and nap schedule, I can’t seem to keep my phone charged. I’m obsessed with Ventev’s slim and lightweight powercell 3015. It’s lightweight, slips into my purse and provides up to 12 hours of battery life for your phone. Bonus? It also charges other USB-powered devices. Never miss capturing that adorable baby smile again!
Toys to Love
Your baby will finally start taking interest in her play things around now! You’ve most likely seen these around.Some of our favorite toys are: Mr Whoozit, Winkel, Jellycat Soft books with baby paper are the best! Yoee Baby looks like a feather duster but it’s so much more. It combines a plush toy, silicone teether and rattle in one toy. Our little one loves chewing on it and bonus—we use it to tickle her.
Pick-Me-Up for Mom
Is it just me or has the joy of having a baby left you looking a little tired? I have to admit my eyes and skin were looking a little drab. Not sure if it’s from the moisture being sucked from my body (literally) because of breastfeeding or if all the late nights caught up to me, but if your skin needs a refresher, I found rejuvenation in Avalon Organics’ Wrinkle therapy line. I love that this line follows a strict organic standard but achieves powerful results. The line features natural wrinkle fighters like CoQ10, Rosehip oil and hyaluronic acid to keep my skin looking dewier.
When it comes to my eyes, though, I had to call in the big guns, so I went with Dermalogica to brighten my tired eyes. I had a chance to try their newest weapon against aging eyes, Stress Positive Eye Lift (sometimes blogging has its perks). It’s coming out 4/6. After a few weeks, I’ve noticed a visible reduction in dark circles and puffiness. I love the cooling and massaging applicator. I also love the age reversal eye complex, which uses retinols to fight aging around the eyes. However, don’t use this product while nursing or pregnant.
My favorite cleanser right now is Jurlique’s Nutri-Define Refining Foaming Cleanser. It has those tiny polishing beads to refine skin and restore a smooth reflection. My other favorite Jurlique product is the aromatherapy sprays. As a new mom if you can make your bed feel like a spa for one minute, you have to do that. They’re all made from pure essential oils. My favorite variety is Balancing, which is made with Rosewood, Lavender, Clary Sage, Patchouli and Basil.
As with many of my articles, I often receive many products for free for purposes of review. However, I have no further connection (other than a love connection) with any of the brands in this article. ***With every beauty product you use while pregnant or nursing, check with your physician first before using.*** And make sure that you are using any baby product properly and within the proper age range.