Everyone talks about things to buy for a newborn baby. There are tons of shopping lists available, and parents delightfully go overboard (I know I did). But what about a little later? After the three month phase is over. Clothes, diapers, bottles are a given but there definitely is more on the list.
As the baby grows, their needs and wants change as well, and these are what I think is required. I have also had help from some wonderful moms of the Positive Birth Doha group in compiling this list!
Once the baby begins to roll over, you need to say bye bye to the swaddles! But blankets are still not the safest bet to keep the baby warm and cozy, and sleeping bags help them stay warm but not overheat, thus, apparently, reducing SIDs risks. I have found that it also helps to limit the rolling over a wee bit. We love our sleeping bags from Mamas and Papas, and it is also available at Ikea. Sleeping bags with hoods are not recommended as it poses a suffocation risk.
This has been a god-sent for us, because my boy takes all of his day-time naps in the swing without any fuss. The Graco swing that we have – bought from Babyshop – is electric, and has various speed and music/sound settings. It has a seatbelt as well. A bouncy seat is an option if the baby is younger. But with the swing, you can use it till the baby is more than a year old. Mamas and Papas and junior also stock baby swings, and Stokke has some high end options as well. Having a swing helps you in soothing the baby, as it sort of imitates the constant rocking motion, and helps keep them calm as well. And it allows allows the parents time to finish chores and other activities that need doing around the house.
For the first three months, you can use a sling or cloth carrier, but after that, you can opt for a structured carrier where baby can look outward as well. Many do suggest keeping baby facing you in the carrier for as long as possible, but my boy loves to look around and see things, and as such, we love our Ergobaby 360 Four Position carrier, with the cool air mesh to suit the hot weather in the GCC. According to the Ergobaby website, baby wearing strengthens the bond between parent and baby, as you maintain a closeness throughout your day; and aids in baby’s development, both physically and emotionally.
When one of our dearest friends gifted us a play gym when my boy was less than 2 months old, we weren’t sure of what to do with it. However, my mom started putting him under the toy when he was just over 2 months, and we were immensely surprised at how he was interacting with it. Following the toy with his eyes, and trying to grab the toys helped him develop hand-eye coordination, and we could see him developing right in front of our eyes. That is when it hit home – such toys at this age help in development. It helps with motor skills development – such as touching, reaching out and grabbing.Help them explore more by playing with them.
Show them how it is done. The Fischer Price website states that such toys will help baby learn the connection between actions and reactions – cause and effect. Press the button that starts the music and gently take their hands and pretend press start. The site also recommends that moving the position of the dangly toys as it will help in building memory skills.
rattles, balls, musical toys, crinkly books and the like – will help stimulate the baby’s sense of hearing, and the bright colors promotes visual skills. Touching and playing with these will give them a hands-on experience – and they get to explore colors and shapes, sizes and textures, and every little bit will contribute to his growth and development. Just make sure you clean everything regularly, as they love to eat the all.
HANDY TIP: The best way to wash the toys – non battery operated ones – are to put them in a lingerie laundry bag or even a pillow case and then into the washing machine for the shortest cycle.
Yes, babies will start to teeth around 3-4month, even if the tooth will only show after a few months, and it is definitely an uncomfortable experience, and can cause irritability, drooling, low-grade fever and crying. Have teething toys handy. Sophie Le Giraffe is our absolute favorite – the one for babies with the ring, and the bigger one which makes the squeaky noise – both are excellent. You can also buy teething toys which need to be kept in the fridge for a while, if that’s more easily available.
Now that bubba is growing, floor time is essential. Not just to give you a break, but to help baby grow and develop. It helps develop neck strength, and to explore his hands and feet, encourages them to roll over, and even gives them a different perspective of the world. As such, we need to put the babies down but the hard floor is sort of scary. What if they fall or hit their head?
This is why foam mats are one of the most popular things on parent’s shopping lists. But please buy them from a reputable place, as low quality foam mats can include materials that are toxic for baby, and even for adults.TIP: If you haven’t bought a play mat before baby turned 4months, I would advise against it. It is almost impossible to hold in place, unless it is the thick foam mat kind. Every time bubba rolls or moves, he will get tangled in the mat.
Reading to babies help them learn the language, and speech: it helps them understand sounds and rhythms of language. “The bonding experience is unbeatable,” says Patricia Cowan, national program coordinator for Reach Out and Read. “When you read to children, they’re getting your full attention, and that’s what they just love.” Obviously no one is asking you to read Great Expectations for them, but you can easily find books with pictures, and even textures, and some has sounds as well.
The next big step of course is starting solids, but that my dears, is another post for another day!