Sprinkle baby, is now Sprinkle toddler! It’s true what they say, the days are slow, but the years, or in this case, year, goes by so fast. Sprinkle’s first year FLEW.
In the last few months, Sprinkle’s understanding of her environment and the things around her has drastically changed. As a result, we’ve been able to start playing with some more exciting toys and our dynamic has become way more interactive! Bring on the fun! Take a look at some of our favorites for months ten through twelve and stay tuned for my next post. I’ll be featuring our favorite things for the first year!
Pound & Roll Toy– This pound and roll toy is simple, but keeps Annabelle engaged for quite a bit! One of her favorite things to do is to hide the balls in different places around the house! That’s fun, hah!
Piggy Bank– I can’t tell you how much I love this piggy bank toy, for a variety of reasons. While Annabelle loves it, it provides the opportunity to work on so many skills like, turn taking, making requests, fine motor skills, etc.
Leap Frog Learning Table– This learning table is still one of our favorites. I featured it on an earlier list. My favorite tip was taking off two of the legs so that Annabelle could practice sitting while playing. Now that she’s standing and cruising, she loves playing with this table standing up!
Disney Spanish Book Set– Annabelle got this book set for Christmas and has absolutely LOVED it! She loves taking all the books out and already has a few that our her favorites to read over and over. Each page has one word, which makes it great for practicing receptive language skills, such as pointing to an objet when asked.
Pretend Play Food– This purchase was actually for Annabelle’s November pictures and she ended up loving to play with these pretend play food items. I love that while she mouths them and takes them in and out of the bag, it will be a set of toys she can grow into as well.
Toothpaste– Annabelle has turned one and we have started brushing teeth! I’ll be honest, I didn’t do any research about the most natural or the best toothpaste for babies, I picked this one out randomly at Target and Annabelle is obsessed.
Toothbrush– Annabelle loves her toothpaste, but she loves her toothbrush even more! She will now crawl to where she knows the toothbrush is and point to her teeth so we brush them for her! Also didn’t do much research on a brush, but picked one and out and happy with it!
Nuk Learner Cup– Around 11 months, I started the slow transition from bottle to sippy cup. Annabelle was already used to drinking out of the smaller Nuk learner cup for water at meal times, but with this cup being larger, it was really helpful for when she drinks more than 5 or 6 oz of milk! While it took us about a month to transition from bottle to cup, she did it! Eventually we’ll get to the straw cup!
It breaks my mama heart that this will be the last of these updates! While my heart hurts that my baby is now a toddler, it has been the absolute biggest joy and blessing! Sprinkle has changed SO much! In the last few months she’s been cruising EVERYWHERE. She is also standing up independently and has taken a few steps on her own, but still not walking. It’s so much easier when Mama carries you! We’ve been working on lots of sign language and in the last two weeks in particular, she’s picked it up so fast! I can’t wait to see all the fun things this munchkin has in store for us! Thanks for following along this ride!
It’s hard to believe Christmas is only 47 days away! This year I wanted to feature some of my favorite local small businesses and was so happy to be able to do so! As always, I hope these finds make your holiday shopping a little easier this year!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you)!
Men’s Gift Guide
Cocktail Smoker– I gifted this to Joel for Father’s Day and it made such a fun date night! We need a bit more practice, but love that you can personalize this!
Google Hub– We have gotten SO much use out of our hub, great gift for any techie!
Sandbar Sauce– Local to Miami, a great way to support a small biz! These make a great gift since you simply just need to add your alcohol and you have a delicious hand crafted cocktail!
Nomad Charging Station– Joel is particular about his electronics and after a not so great charging pad, he invested in this one and uses it daily!
Bose Sleepbuds– I gifted Joel a similar pair for Christmas a few years ago and these definitely seem like an upgrade!
Goldbelly Gift Card– Does the man in your life have a favorite dish that maybe isn’t a drive away? Check out goldbelly for some favorites all around the country, delivered to your door!
Buck Mason-This company makes Joel’s favorite t-shirts, I’ve actually been stealing them lately for myself!
Women’s Gift Guide
Pretty Girl Charm Necklace– If you’re a Miami local, you may have heard of this Women & Mom owned business making some of the prettiest jewelry pieces! I love that they have so many options that can be personalized like this necklace!
Charcuterie Book– Marissa Mullen, the author of “That Cheese Plate That Will Change Your Life” has always been one of my go-to for charcuterie board inspiration!
Cocette– Adding this to the list, because this piece has been on my wishlist for quite some time, hint hint!
GT Stitchery Mama Crewneck– Another Miami local and mom owned biz, GT Stitchery does beautiful embroidery! This crewneck is one of my favorites!
Eberjey PJs– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Eberjey PJ’s will always be on my gift guides because they’re delicious and a little piece of luxury that pretty sure almost any woman would love! I’ve gifted Eberjey PJ’s myself, quite a few times!
Growing with the Pizarro’s Earrings– The story behind this mommy owned, small business is absolutely beautiful! I encourage you to check out their website and learn more about the Pizarro’s and make a purchase of one of her beautiful pieces!
Face Tools– Perfect for the woman in your life who is all about self care!
Wine Glasses– Every time I post a picture with these glasses, I get asked about them! They make a great gift!
Kid’s & Teen’s Gift Guide
Casa Viera Headband Holder– It’s hard not to want everything from Casaviera! This will actually be a piece I’ll be gifting Annabelle for Christmas!
Peppa Pig House– I can’t recommend this house enough for toddler’s, especially those obsessed with Peppa Pig. Although a little pricey, it will bring endless amounts of play! It was actually one of the most popular toys when I was working as a BCBA.
Love P & P– Chances are you know how obsessed I am with Love P & P and all their clothes! Love P & P is also a local woman & mom owned small business that provides some of the cutest clothes for kids! She’s also recently added bigger sizes which I’m so excited about!
Crazy Forts– I added this to the list because I would have absolutely loved this when I was little. What kid doesn’t love building forts?!
Lovevery Block Set– While we never did a lovevery subscription, I am a huge fan of their products. As an early childhood educator, I cannot recommend a set of blocks enough! They encourage and foster imaginative play in ways you wouldn’t believe!
Piggy Bank– Another very popular toy from my BCBA days, I plan on getting this for Annabelle soon too!
Gift Card– While I know I said this was also a teen guide, honestly, I stick to gift cards for teens! Target makes it easy now being able to buy gift cards online!
Teacher’s Gift Guide
Trelles Cottage Mug– I love just about everything from Trelles Cottage, another local small business! This mug would make such a cute teacher’s gift!
Officially in double digits, 10 months! Starting to feel like we’re just on hyper speed to get to 12 months. I am just NOT ready!
While not much has changed in the world of what we’ve been using with our Sprinkle, some baby proofing has happened, but honestly not much! While she is pretty familiar with what areas of the house are off limits, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try testing thew waters from time to time! Check out some of our favorite goodies below!
VTech Walker– While Sprinkle isn’t walking quite yet, this toy will be ready for her when she is! It has given her some great practice and she loves to play standing with all the fun things on it!
Stacking Rings– Whenever in doubt, bust out these rings. This girl is OBSESSED. She loves the bright colors, but especially loves all the different textures which help when she’s having a teething day!
Bottle Warmer– In the last few months, we officially transitioned from breast feeding to formula. While Sprinkle for sometime would drink milk cold, she wasn’t a fan of cold formula. This bottle warmer is simple and quick, although while you’re waiting with a hangry baby, it may seem like an eternity.
Formula Mixing Pitcher– For a variety of reasons, when making the switch to formula, I opted for powder based. I quickly learned that making individual bottles was a pain in the ass. This pitcher has come to our rescue! It’s no frills, easy to use and I always have a bottle ready to go!
EZ PZ First Food Set– When we started more of a baby led weaning approach to food introduction, we started off with basic silicone food mats, but transitioning to this food set was a game changer for Annabelle! I was surprised to find that she made MUCH less of a mess, but she’s still a mess! Haha! While we’ve introduced the cup here and there, it does require lots of hands on teaching and help! The set linked is from Target, but the EZ PZ website does offer more colors!
Banana Toothbrush– Sprinkle officially has 4 teeth! While we don’t use this toothbrush as an actual toothbrush yet, this is one of her favorite toys to gnaw on when she’s teething! It’s also just so cute!
Este Cerdito/This Little Piggy Book– If you’re from Miami, then you may be familiar with The Children’s Trust book club. You sign up your little one and every month until they are the age of 5, they’ll receive a free book! Sign up here if you’re interested! Last month we received this book and Annabelle absolutely loves it!
Baby Gates– Like I mentioned earlier, we have started some version of baby proofing and by that I mean we have secured our staircase from baby and conveniently the dog too! It’s actually the only baby proofing we’ve done for now! Also, if you’re going to be putting up any gates, I highly recommend these to protect your walls!
Sprinkle has changed so much in the last two months! Particularly in the domain of MOBILITY! This girl is cruising everywhere! While it may be exhausting, it’s super super cute! We’ve also started having some mini tantrums here and there, those, not so cute! If you follow me on Instagram, you also may remember that Annabelle recently gave us a little scare with some red spots that appeared on her back. After a few doctors visits, one urgent care visit, a visit to a pediatric dermatologist and some blood work, it was determined she has Mastocytoma. The blood work determined there was nothing internal which was just the news we wanted! We have a follow up in a few weeks to see what our next course of action is, but for no, we’re just monitoring that no more spots come up! Unfortunately, it is genetic, so no known triggers and really the only treatment is hydrocortisone cream if they bother her. Luckily, as of now the spots she’s gotten haven’t bothered her!
8 months! With summer ending and back to school, 8 months snook up reaaaaal quick! The last two months were full of so many firsts, it’s hard to keep track some days.
Luckily, we’ve done a decent job at rotating her toys to always keep things a little fresh. Although I did just order her a few new things that I have a feeling will be making my next guide of favorite things, so stay tuned! As always, most of these items are things we use daily and have made all the difference for us!
Honeybear Cups– Recommended by pretty much any SLP or OT you may come across, these Honey Bear Cups aid in transition from bottle and straw drinking. We transitioned from the sippy cup to this at around 7 months and what a difference! Technically, the straw helps in developing tongue, cheek and lip muscles that will continue to help in future drinking and eating skills! This pack was great because it came with 3 cups and multiple straws!
High Chair-You probably already know how obsessed I am with this high chair alternative. We already have enough clunky baby stuff all over the house. The last thing I wanted was a bulky high chair. We also often eat at our kitchen counter or are usually standing around it, so for us this was a no brainer! It’s so easy to put together and clean up. We even took it with us to our house in North Carolina!
Play Mat– As soon as Sprinkle became mobile, it was time to get her a softer surface for our tiled floors. I can’t tell you how many times she’s bumped her head, oops. I love that you can pick and choose how many tiles you use and it comes with a great plastic carrying case. We also took this mat with us to North Carolina, which is where Sprinkle started crawling!
Play Pen– I think it was a matter of 2 days after we got home that we ordered a play pen for this baby on the loose. It’s probably the one item I hate the absolute most because it now dominates our living room, but such is this season of life, huh?!
Suction Toy Holder– This was a Kinactive Kid recommendation and I can’t say enough great things about it. This toy holder suctions to *some* surfaces. Unfortunately, not our wood dining room table, but that’s ok because she loves playing with the toy holder strings too!
Herobility Bottles– When I was pregnant, I ordered the Babylist bottle kit that provides 4 different bottles for baby to try! I used to be a die hard fan of the nano bottles. They even made a prior list, but with all the issues we’ve had with starting to do bottle feeds, the nano wasn’t cutting it. I brought out this bottle and what a difference! They’re not super easy to find in person, but I was able to order a few from their website. I also think they’re so cute!
Lev Baby PJ’s-I’ve been obsessed with Lev Baby for quite some time now! I love her original prints, but the fabric is just BEYOND! Because they use bamboo for the fabric, it makes everything so soft and so breathable, which is amazing for Miami weather. They actually just released some new Halloween prints and I already ordered Sprinkle a little PJ! Added bonus, use my code LIVELOVEFINDS15 for a discount!
Zoe Travel Stroller– While I love my Nuna stroller and still use daily, it takes up SO much room in our trunk. Since we were driving to North Carolina, we needed something much smaller and compact. The Zoe Travel stroller came highly recommended by some mama friends I super trust! They were right! It is SO light, you can open and close it up with one hand and folds up teeny tiny! For the price point, you can’t beat!
Babytrend Jogger– To be fair, I haven’t spent too much time with this stroller, BUT if you’re a casual “runner” like me, for $98, this is a great jogger stroller! Very basic, but again, I’m a casual “runner” and this won’t be our all the time stroller! Thats my Nuna!
Before updating this, I took a look at my last update. I loved reading that we were starting to give her actual pieces of food. Now we can’t get Sprinkle away from the food! We recently took her out of state on her first road trip and after 14 hours in a car, we got to North Carolina and she started crawling! Little babe is ALL over the place and has her hands in everything! Seeing her little personality coming through more and more everyday is such a treat!
It feels like just yesterday I was doing my post on our favorite products from months two to four and now were at six months?! HOW?! We’ll be celebrating this girl all week! Can you imagine her first birthday?! I can because I’m already planning, haha!
Annabelle has changed so much in these last two months and as a result so have some of our favorite things. A few of these products I really swear by because I’ve seen how they’ve helped her to reach milestones like sitting independently.
Skip Hop Fox– I actually bought this for Annabelle when she was around 3 months, but over the course of the last month this has become one of her favorite toys. She always gets a smile on her face and she loves all the different textures and things to grab!
Fisher Price Sit Me Up-This “container” was SO incredibly helpful for introducing solids and helping Sprinkle to start sitting on her own. The chair is super portable and comes in so many different color options! It’s also super easy to wash and clean!
Haaka Teether– I am obsessed with this food feeder/teether and so is Sprinkle! You can put fruits, frozen fruits, and her favorite on those hard teething days is frozen cubes of breast milk! The teether comes with 3 different size feeders and an easy little carrying case! We use this everyday!
Leap Frog Learning Table– You already know how much I love following Kinactive Kids on instagram! Her tips are SO helpful and this table was one of them! The best is that the legs are removable, so we only use 2, to prop it up on the side which helps so much with sitting play or tummy time play!
Tissue Sensory Play Box– Truth be told, I couldn’t bring myself to get the Lovevery subscription. Instead I’ve taken a look at what’s in the boxes and have found my own similar versions! While this isn’t the exact tissue sensory box we have, (we have such a cute Eric Carle one, but it’s sold out!) Annabelle in the last week or so has really started to LOVE taking everything out and opening up the box!
Nanit Breathing Bands– As soon as Annabelle got more comfortable rolling over during her sleep, baby girl got a little TOO comfortable. This girl likes to straight up sleep flat on her face. If you have the Nanit monitor this is SO helpful if you have some anxiety about tummy sleeping like I’ve had! This band wraps around her tummy, on the outside of her PJ’s and the app tracks her breathing and alerts you if for any reason she stops. They do also offer a sleep sack that has the same feature, but she’s already out of her sleep sack so we went this route!
Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets– I can’t tell you how many swaddle blankets we have that we haven’t used, until now! Sprinkle hated being swaddled, but she LOVES these muslin blankets for nap time. She literally stuffs them in her mouth and falls asleep in about 5 minutes flat. She only uses them for on the go naps since I’m still not 100% comfortable with her having anything in the crib. But we love the Aden + Anais blankets and their burp cloths have always been our favorites too! Not to mention all the beautiful prints!
Moms on Call– If you’ve been around for a while, you know that Mom’s on Call has been my bible since week 2. Fun fact it was the only book I read in regards to pregnancy and preparing for a newborn. Their materials are so easy to read and helped me SO much in developing a routine and good sleep habits for Annabelle. This girl has been sleeping through the night, with a few hiccups since about 3.5-4 months! Our naps we sometimes struggle with still, BUT the great thing is that for the most part she’s never TOO miserable from lack of sleep.
I Love You Through and Through– If you’re a Miami local and a mom with littles, I highly encourage you to sign up for the Children’s Trust Book Club. Each month, from birth until 5 years old, they will send your child a free book! We’ve gotten a few great ones so far, but this one has taken the cake for me. No lie, I cried the first time I read it to her! So cute and Annabelle loves it too!
Today we had our 6 month check up and developmentally she is doing fantastic! We’ve also gotten the all clear to try any foods, any textures, whatever she likes! Minus salt and empty calorie foods! We started solids at 4 months on the day and to date Sprinkle has tried so many different things, likes most things except for Quinoa. Mix anything with her favorite, carrots, and you’re good to go! We’ve started giving her some actual pieces of food for her to explore. So far she loves toast, but for most other things she’d prefer for Mama to feed her. Can’t say I blame her! It’s so fun to see all the new things she’s doing, like sitting by herself, looking for Cogsy when I tell her to look for him and opening her mouth when I say “ahh” for her vitamin D drops! The interaction aspect is SO fun!
Time is a thief. This line. This line is one I’ve thought of maybe every single day of this infant phase we’re in. Next week, we’ll have a 6 month old and it’s been a thought that’s been hard to stomach!
What’s hard is how quickly everything changes! Sure, watching Thomas grow up gave me a bit of insight to my his thief we call time, but as they grow older, the changes aren’t so quick. There are days I literally tell myself, don’t rush her to the next milestone, these days won’t be here forever. But are there days that feel extra long and extra hard that we want nothing more than to skip over a leap or two. Absolutely. I’ll say it loud and maybe not so proud, FU time.
It still feels like yesterday we were bringing our little Sprinkle home in her sushi onesie. What I also think about lately is that my original plan was to go back to work after just under 6 months. Almost a month after giving birth I had a talk with Joel and knew there was no way I could go back to work and give up being with Annabelle everyday. I miss working, I miss the day to day interaction with adults, and working with my kiddos, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to have this time and opportunity to be with her and get to see every moment. It’s also why I photograph and post almost everything. I don’t want to miss a thing! But pretty sure that transition won’t be any easier six months from now either.
I’ve thought about this concept of time in relation to childhood because this isn’t to say I haven’t felt the same way about Thomas growing up. But I missed Thomas as an infant. Infancy feels like its on hyperdrive compared to toddler years! There’s so many milestones in the first year, so many stepping stones to the bigger things later one. I always say, no stage is harder than another, they’re all so different with so many pros and cons to each. Although I am super partial to ages 3-4!
But here we are, almost 6 months later, out of the newborn phase and with a full on delicious baby. Almost 6 months and Annabelle sits by herself, is starting to eat food (already a foodie), sleeps through the night, looks for Cogs when you ask her, is not afraid to use her voice when needed and puts on the biggest smile when she sees her Papa and big brother!
To think that in this same amount of time I’ll have a one year old is daunting, also makes my eyes water every damn time. Stay tuned, soon next week I’ll be sharing my favorite products 4-6 months and before you know it we’ll be planning Sprinkle’s first birthday!
Dutifully reporting that the endless research on baby products doesn’t stop after baby is born. BUT I am hoping to make the process a little easier for you by sharing our favorite products every few months! Birth-2 months was all about basics and necessities. But Sprinkle is changing, growing and doing something new everyday, Mama has to keep her entertained! The last two months have been all about tummy time and play and our favorite products reflect that!
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags– I can’t tell you what a lifesaver these have been. Are they great for the environment, no. Am I thrilled about that, no. But at 3 AM when I’m done pumping, unfortunatley, that is the last thing on my mind. I’ve already gone through 3 boxes of these!
Ergo Baby Omni 360 Carrier-When Annabelle was smaller, I loved the solly carrier, especially to be at home, but out and about the ergo carrier is AMAZING! Her weight is distributed perfectly and she never feels like too heavy of a load, at least not yet!
Tubby Todd All Over Ointment– We’re huge fans of Tubby Todd products! I was a little skeptical of this all over ointment, but I tried it on myself first after I got a small burn. The burn was completely healed in almost 2 days! I was SHOCKED! I’ve used this for little scratches Annabelle has given herself and it has even worked on the baby acne she occasionally gets! With this link, you’ll get 10% off your order!
Sloth Soft Rattle– I bought this toy as part of Annabelle’s Easter basket, but she has absolutely loved it! She’s a big fan on chewing on soft things so she’ll hold onto the teething side while mouthing the sloth, hah! But this toy comes with us everywhere we go becaues it’s definitely one of her favorites and one she’ll spend a little more time with!
Tummy Time Water Mat-It is no surprise that Annabelle is not the biggest fan of tummy time. We’ve tried so many different things and this water mat has definitely helped! She loves looking at all the different under sea images! If you don’t follow Kinactive_Kids on IG, you need to immediately! This is also a toy she recommends for tummy time!
Boppy Pillow-I never used this as a breastfeeding pillow, but instead it is what helped Annabelle the most with tummy time. Little by little we’ve been able to fade it out, but on days that she’s having a little more trouble we still use it! Kinactive_Kids also had a great tip to use this for early sitting by placing it in front of baby as baby sits against you! Annabelle loves this!
Nano Bottles– In my first favorite product post, I raved about the nano bottles, Nano actually reached out to gift us this bottle and she immediately took to it! It’s been our favorite bottle to use! I’ve also found that it’s the most accurate at measuring milk. I often use this to measure milk when I’m filling my storage bags at 3 am!
Large Exercise Ball– Another tummy time hack brought to you by Kinactive_Kids! She gives a great tutorial on how to safely and effectively use an exercise ball for a super engaging and productive tummy time! This was a game changer for us!
Baby Einstein Musical Toy– I swear this toy is crack for babies. One of my awesome mama friends, here’s looking at you Meredith, recommended this and could never thank her enough! This has been helpful during tummy time, while out and about, or during Annabelle’s fussier moments!
Otteroo– If you’ve seen my stories, Annabelle LOVES this thing. I will admit, the first few uses are pretty scary and it doesn’t look very comfy, but she loves floating around in the tub! She also lets off so much energy using this! They offer two different sizes, so just make sure you’re buying the correct one for your babe!
Last week we had our four month check up with the pediatrician and she is continuing to do great! We got the OK to start solids and we immediately went home to give that a shot! So far we’ve introduced rice cereal, old fashioned oats, whole grain oatmeal cereal, and pears. Tomorrow we’ll be introducing squash! Sprinkle is sleeping through the night, but if you checked out yesterday’s stories, our naps have been MEH. But Mama is doing better at letting that go and making the best of up time!