Updated: Mar 16, 2020
One of the hardest things to navigate during pregnancy was figuring out what all baby would need, but with 14 months under our belt I feel confident in the items I could not live without and learned what items really aren't worth the dough. This is where you can find all of my favorite products with links to shop directly.
Transitioning Lou from exclusively breastfed to solids seemed like a daunting venture and according to many websites there are many different things that are must-haves, but we really found at the end of the day that a handful of products work best for Lou's meal and snack times. Hopefully these help you embrace an exciting and fun (albeit messy) time!
Baby Food Cookbook*- I wanted to be sure Lou received a variety of baby food from the start. This book not only helped me gain confidence right away with purees, but it also allowed me to move into the next stages of combinations, textures, and ultimately solid foods with ease.
Serenity Kids Pouches*- When we first started with baby food I wanted a healthy on-the-go option since we dine out a couple of times each week. Serenity Kids stood out because there are vegetable and protein options each with zero added sugar or surgary fruit. I have yet to find another option with as much nutrition! Now that Lou is a toddler, I always have one in the diaper bag for a healthy snack on the go. Use code BREADKALE15 for 15% off your first order!
Smoothie Mason Jars*- It took a bit of searching to find the ideal mason jars. Many glass options do not come with silicone sleeves (necessary for toddlers who have a propensity for dropping their cups), but the Jervis & George mason jars came with sealable lids, straw lids, silicone straws, and silicone sleeves. Smoothies are now Lou's daily afternoon snack which provides a lot nutrition in a tasty little jar.
EZPZ Silicone Plate and Single Bowl Placemats*- This is our favorite option for serving Lou meals for a few reasons. First, silicone is a safer option than plastic especially when serving warm food or reheating food in the container because it does not leach like plastic can. Second, it is so easy to clean. Third, and most importantly, Lou hasn't been able to move it like so many other options! We own the single bowl and plate so I've linked both options. I hand wash these after each use so we have not needed more than one of each.
Play with Lou
When Lou isn't eating or sleeping he is PLAYING! This boy has endless energy for playtime, but as his mama it is important that I select toys and books that not only entertain, but also provide educational benefits. I'm organizing this list by age groups so hopefully as your littles grow they'll enjoy many of these toys and books as well!
Cute Stone Color Changing Automatic Sink- If you follow me on Instagram then you have definitely seen this sink in action. It took some trial-and-error to find a play sink that we really liked because one broke quickly (didn't even last 10 minutes) and one was manual (I was very over that one in less than 10 minutes). Thankfully, this sink by Cute Stone is lasting really well after a few weeks plus it comes with adorable accessories! This toy buys me all the time I need to do real dishes or prepare lunch plus it is instilling good habits.
Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets with Wooden Storage Case*- I saw another blogger, Spinach4Breakfast, share that she uses magnets to work on speech and language skills (her profession) with her toddler so I immediately found this animal magnet set from Melissa & Doug. Melissa & Doug has become on of our go-to toy brands because everything is so well made.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Cooktop Set*- Lou loves playing with pots & pans so it seemed like an obvious idea to find him a little cooktop set, but I didn't want a bulky or expensive option. This wooden cooktop from Melissa & Doug has been perfect! It fits inside of his camper (cannot describe how cute is in when he climbs into his camper to "cook lunch." We love anything that encourages pretend play.
Crate & Kids Camper Playhouse- There are several other styles of playhouses depending on the theme of your playroom, but Lou's is themed as outdoor adventure so this is the perfect fit! It has become his comfortable place to curl up for book time, but also helps engage his imagination as we pretend to "drive" around to parks and grill up goodies on his cooktop set. These are certainly an investment piece, but the quality is amazing and it will be used for many many years especially for kids old enough for sleepovers (who doesn't want to "camp" in the basement?!).
Exploring with Lou
If you've spent anytime on my Instagram, breadandkalenethusiast then you know that our favorite activity is exploring KC and a little bit of travel with Lou. We started exploring with him immediately, but we are also always armed with some of our exploring must-haves.
Fat Brain Dimpl*- I wasn't quite sure what to think of the Dimpl when I first bought it, but it has saved us from meltdowns ever since we took Lou on 2 back-to-back plane flights in June. All we have to do is move the silicone dimples and it is like baby become hypnotized.
*Update- We've now had the Dimpl 7 months and it continues to save us while driving in the car or out to eat. If there is one toy we couldn't live without it would be the Dimpl!
We sleep trained Lou at 5 months and have never looked back. Along his sleep journey we've utilized a few must-haves to help our little man become the champion sleeper he is today.
Love to Dream Swaddle Up- After 2 months, Lou began jailbreaking his swaddles so we found the Love to Dream Swaddle which worked very well for a couple of months as part of transitioning away from swaddles.
Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit*- After the LTD Swaddle Up, we used this sleep suit which we then used until it literally wouldn't zip. This sleep suit really is magic and helped make sleep training as smooth as possible. I've linked the 3-6 months size because we found this helped the most during month 4 and 5 which were right before and during sleep training.
The Sleepeasy Solution*- There are many schools of thought regarding sleep training, but we knew that we wanted a gentle option that would be effective. This book helped guide us through gentle crying-it-out with interval checks. It has continued answering questions and easing our anxiety as we've dealt with sickness, travel, and teething. After 3 nights when Lou was 5 months old he was sleeping through the night and goes down easily for naps. This is the book I will use for any future child(ren).
*I do earn a small commission from many, but not all of these links. I have starred the affiliate links.