Good Baby Stuff


Driving toys for tots: Vtech Learn and Discover Driver

 

I love to pretend I'm driving!

I love to pretend I'm driving!

At a lovely neighbourhood boutique purveying upcycled goods called La Bonne Volonté (aka Goodwill), my friend S urged me to buy this Vtech Learn and Discover Driver toy for $2.99. It retails regularly for $22.99  at Toys R Us.

Bargain time!

Even at full price, it’s worth it. C grabbed the wheel immediately and started turning it, which allowed me to shop LBV a little longer. Where, by the way, I picked up a pair of impeccable-condition snow pants from The Children’s Place for $1.99. Full disclosure here: La Bonne Volonté is totally S’s coinage, and man, she can shop that place like a pro! She’s actually the one who found EVERY item I came out of there with, and I had like 5 things. 

After I scrubbed the toy and sunned it, I put two AA batteries in it, and C has been tearing up the roads ever since. I must take some points away however for the annoying sounds this little contraption makes. Mind you, those sounds are still less annoying than crying/whining, so I’ll take ’em. Maybe I’ll just find some duct tape to cover the sound holes with.

What Cillian is doing now: Trying to grab my laptop from me. He can stand really good these days, he has 5 teeth, and he took one teeny tiny almost-step toward me today! He’s 10.5 months old, hard to believe.


Water table for babies

 

Me, Mommy, S and Zach had a blast at this water table yesterday.

Me, Mommy, S and Zach had a blast at this water table yesterday.

Can I just say this is an awesome toy? You can get it at Toys R Us, but I got this one from my younger (much younger) bro, Joseph, seeing as he’s outgrown it.

It isn’t really for babies, being that you have to hold them there if they are able to stand, and very closely supervise them (I’ve read babies can drown in something like an inch of water), but if you’re game, man is it a lot of fun. 

Zach and Cillian (held by their mommies, of course) played for ages in it yesterday. It was a glorious warm sunny day, there was wine (for us), there was splashing, and most importantly, the bambini were majorly exhausted afterward.

Two thumbs up! Just be sure to drain the water afterward. Don’t want mosquitoes breeding in it!

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Went to see the doctor and got a stronger cream called Betaderm, that worked a miracle on his skin after the first application. Slept happily in his crib, waking only once between the hours of 10pm to 8am. Minor miracle!


Educo Discovery Box

 

I love twirling all the beads and doodads on this toy!

I love twirling all the beads and doodads on this toy!

Does this Educo Discovery Box remind you of the doctor’s waiting room? Me too. 

My peer/pregnant-at-the-same-time-as-me friend MC, of the amazing magazine Canadian Family sent this to me as a gift for baby.

Apparently it’s for 2+, but C is already digging it. He loves swirling and twirling everything with his grabby little fingers while lying on his tummy. Sometimes he knocks his head against it though, so one must be careful. 

Of course I love the toy cause it’s wood and I’ve got a slight anti-plastic streak, you might have noticed from reading this. 

Downside, contraption is pricey, man. I think it retails for just under $50. 

-GBS

What Cillian is doing now: Rocking/dancing on all fours to, of all godforsaken things, Britney Spears’ Womanizer. Hey, it’s a catchy tune, right? Must try again to get him to the doctor today. He’s rubbed his chin to extreme redness.


Baby toy: Sassy wooden/fabric worm teether

 

I'm 4 months old here, and bundled up for a trip with my worm.

I'm 4 months old here, and bundled up for a trip with my worm.

Sassy makes pretty decent baby products. We have a few things by the company (unbreakable baby mirror, this worm teether, and a mesh feeding ring).

I like this worm teething ring because it’s wood and fabric (as opposed to plastic). The bad thing about wood and fabric for babies is, how do you really give it a good deep cleaning? I guess you don’t. Plastic can withstand a nice hot bath of dishwash soap bubbles, but on the other hand, plastic may not be the best thing for baby to have in his mouth 24/7. 

C likes the wooden rings, he clamps down on them like nobody’s business.

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Slept in his cosleeper, again. Praise the lord. We actually slept in until 9. I can’t say he was relaxed the whole time – toward the end he was doing pushups and falling asleep with his bum in the air – but at least he wasn’t kicking me and pulling my hair. This morning he has somehow learned to slurp (again, the quarter-Asian in him) his oatmeal porridge. He takes a mouthful and slurps it around in his mouth.


Baby toys: Infantino Activity Triangle

 

This toy is lots of fun! I like spinning all the doodads with my little fingers.

This toy is lots of fun! I like spinning all the doodads with my little fingers.

My mom drove herself to Toys R Us, which in itself is a rare thing, to get Cillian a toy now that he’s finally old enough to really enjoy and interact with his toys. 

She chose this Infantino Activity Triangle, which is for ages 6m+. He really loves it! As discussed previously, he is also quite content to bang a few measuring cups around, yet he seems to get a special kick out of spinning all the bits and pieces on this toy.

Yes, it’s plastic (hey, I didn’t buy it) but on the upside, it’s not really the kind of toy you put in your mouth because of the shape. 

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Whined. A lot. Cried. A lot. A lot for him anyway, as he doesn’t cry much. He’s gotten really fast at playing on the Exersaucer, making a ruckus spinning all the parts. His fingers are very good at spinning things these days.


Hooray for the borrowed Exersaucer!

 

I loved this Exersaucer at Zach's birthday party.

I loved this Exersaucer at Zach's birthday party. Ava had a good time, too!

When I plonked C in this Exersaucer at his friend Zach’s birthday party, he took to it like a fish to water, slowly circling around the toys on the periphery. He was in there for about 35 minutes without a peep.

From this previous post, you might recall I didn’t buy an Exersaucer, cause frankly, I couldn’t afford such an expensive toy that I wasn’t sure he’d like. 

Zachy’s mom, my dear friend S came to the rescue, and lent us his Evenflo Ultrasaucer, which Zach has grown out of. 

It’s great! It has music, baubles and beads galore, it even makes a pot of coffee in the morning. Ok, it doesn’t, but importantly, it lets me make a pot of coffee while junior is happily occupied. Hopefully he’ll play in it outside so I can do some gardening, too.

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Cried for an hour when he only partially napped at noon (have been trying to get him to nap in the crib), came with us to Home Depot and had a grand old time, crawled around on the living room floor. He still can’t go forward, but he can pivot in all directions, and move backward alarmingly quickly. Right now he’s asleep in his crib. We put him in there to chillax because he got up at 5:30 (And so did we. Ugh.) Suddenly, he fell asleep by himself. That never happens!


Manhattan Toy makes great baby toys

 

Check out the groovy babies on this toy!

Check out the groovy babies on this toy!

Without fail, Cillian’s two Manhattan Toys draw the most attention when other moms see them. Oh, that’s so much fun! They coo. I didn’t discover this line of toys, my friend Y did, and brought one as a gift for C after he was born (along with a gorgeous Baby Bonkie and a cute Wry Baby T-shirt. She is a very, ridiculously generous friend, I have to say).

Manhattan toys are priced reasonably (more expensive than Fisher-Price, I think, but still affordable, I think the one above retails for about $18). The colours are pleasing (I am not a big primary colour person), and the toys seem to intrigue the little ones. Mind you, so does a wooden spoon, but that doesn’t make for a fun baby gift, really.

In Toronto, they can be found at many places, including Playful Minds, and the always beyond awesome KolKid on Queen St. 

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Was bored out of his mind because we were trapped in by the rain for three days straight. So, played with measuring cups and a wooden spoon. He has a sore on his cheek that he keeps rubbing, so we bought Polysporin and Bandaids, and slapped a Bandaid on his cheek so he wouldn’t rub it at night. He looked like he was in a barroom brawl.  Then he kept us up most of the night, crying at 1am, wriggling like a lunatic at 3, 5:30 and 7:30. Oy. Thank goodness it’s going to be the weekend.


Ikea’s rabbit toy

 

I used to love biting on the paws of this rabbit toy from Ikea.

I used to love biting on the paws of this rabbit toy from Ikea.

If you’re going to Ikea and are expecting or know someone who is, I’d suggest picking up this little rabbit soft toy, called Fabler Kanin, for a mere $2.99. At a certain point, C loved chewing on his, particularly the paws and the gingham cotton shirt. 

It doesn’t have a great deal of aesthetic appeal because it’s got no stuffing, but you can throw it in the wash and dryer, and hey, it’s so cheap that if bambino gets attached to it, you can buy three more backups and not feel too pinched by it (unlike Sophie the Giraffe).

-GBS

What Cillian is doing now: Driving me crazy by insisting on crawling either under the change table, or beside it and knocking his head against the side. I usually have more patience for these shenanigans, but I’m exhausted. He was a little tasmanian devil all last night, twisting and turning from 12 to 4:30, when I finally implored his father to put him in his crib, where he slept until 7:30. Thank god for one-year maternity leave in Canada, cause if I had to go to work on a morning like this, I’d cry. Update: He’s lying on his tummy in the living room, watching Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald. He usually ignores the TV.


We love the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies & Lights Gym

 

This is one of my favourite toys! That's not me in it though.

This is one of my favourite toys! That's not me in it though.

This Fisher-Price floor mat or “gym” is my favourite toy of Cillian’s and his too. In place of a person to entertain him, this is the next best thing. Meaning, I can go and brush my teeth and my hair while he happily occupies himself playing with it. 

Since he was about six weeks old, he’s been happy to stay on it for up to an hour, at first just looking up at the flashing lights, and now exploring all the toys hanging from it, and he’s 7 months old! It’s like a mother’s helper. 

His dexterity is finally good, so it’s fun to watch him play differently with each hanging toy, there are five of them. His favoured accessory is the elephant, which has a tumble ball of beads that he likes to roll. At this very moment he’s looking at himself in the hanging mirror.

I highly recommend it, or a Gymini, or some sort of floor mat. 

-GBS

What Cillian did yesterday: Had a long nap on the bed (he’s finally becoming a better sleeper/napper) while I watched downloaded episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Ate dong, which he loves, which means he never gags when he eats it because he’ll gag sometimes when he’s had enough of something or doesn’t like it. Came for a walk with us in the Ergo baby carrier, and held onto the straps with his little hands.