6 Month Old Essentials
So your baby is holding his head up, sitting up, smiling, learning to play, and possibly crawling. Congratulations! You’ve made it to my favorite phase of babyhood: the sentient, fun being phase. Little to no vomiting and a whole lot of giggling. And they can’t outrun you (yet).
In keeping with the Newborn Essentials theme (i.e. for those without a lot of space or money to spend), I’m offering up my list of things you might want to have ready in addition to what was covered before:
A place to corral your kid. A Pack-n-Play/baby jail, a baby gate (or two) to seal off rooms in an open space, or the crib (a LOWERED crib…LOWER THE CRIB). You can’t hold her all the time, and she needs a safe place to play alone.
Teething remedies. If you haven’t experienced issues with this yet, congratulations. There are MANY options when it comes to teething remedies, but I swear by the following three: a raw amber necklace (heads up: pediatricians tend to hate these), Sophie the giraffe, and Hyland Teething Tablets.
2 – 3 simple toys. If it makes noise or is very colorful, it will likely work out. A set of blocks is perfect; a stuffed animal also works; so does a brown paper bag (highly supervised, natch) or a rattle (I made one out of an old pill bottle filled with beans). Help fine tune those motor skills and give him something to occupy himself with while you try to get something else done. Make sure to rotate them instead of having them all out all the time.
Clothing. By now, you probably have an idea of how much your baby will need in a given week. If you’re still going the cost and space effective route, get t-shirts instead of onesies. They will be wearable a lot longer (HK is still able to wear a t-shirt he was wearing at 3 months old now), so you’ll have less to buy and more bang for your buck. They also make diaper changes / pottying that much easier to do. Make sure to get an equivalent number of shorts / pants / bottoms – suddenly mobile babies are very interested in ripping off their diapers.
Something to go outside in. Babies like to be in the wild. Call it a change of scenery if you will. If you don’t already have a stroller, think about getting one. If not, there are also soft structure carriers (think Baby Bjorn), or convertible tricycles. Or you could just carry your baby instead (always free and takes up no space). Don’t forget the sunblock!
A high chair. If your baby is into solid food already, this…this is going to make feedings (somewhat of) a breeze. We didn’t get one until he was 8 months old because I was convinced we could make it without one. Dumbass move, yo. A whole new world opened up when I had a new place to park the kid where he could feed himself yogurt drops and I could keep the couch and my leg/arm/shirt/face clean during his meals.
You. This should go without saying. Be present with your baby. Try to limit your time in front of screens when you’re with your kid – they’re learning what’s important in life and soaking up every bit of visual information that they see. Face time with family is important. Checking your email or watching Seinfeld reruns, less so.
At this point, it’s best to let baby’s personality and your preferences dictate what you need, but in all truth – this stage doesn’t require much more than the earlier one. Babies just don’t need a lot of stuff.