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My baby turned 1 just a couple weeks ago! I’m still a little bit in shock that my little man is really a year old. It feels like just yesterday he was still in the ball stage and taking naps on my chest. Now he’s busy as can be, walking and talking (babbling) all the day long and keeping me on my toes.
Will received some awesome gifts from family for his birthday as well. So this week on the blog is my 12 for 12 list! These are the 12 items I use every day with my 12 month old. There are thousands of things for infants and tons of toys for toddlers, but one year olds are in a strange world of still a baby but also a toddler. So if you are heading to a one year old birthday party or have a sweet one that is close to their first birthday, this list is for you!
Will’s Mimi and Papaw gave him this scooter for his birthday and it is his number one favorite toy! I’m pretty sure it’s the reason he decided to start walking just three weeks after his birthday as well. He loves running down the hallway pushing his scooter. He hasn’t figured out how to turn it around yet, so he just pushes it from the other side. The other reason I love this scooter is that it will grow with him. As he gets bigger, he can sit on it and use his feet to push it forward.
We got ours in the Dollar Spot at Target, but these from Amazon are super similar. Will loves to play with the red string that pulls the wagon and clacking the blocks together. Since they are real wood, they make great noises when hit together. He also loves the noise of throwing the blocks back into the wagon. He even recently learned to stack the blocks himself!
3) Board Books
Will LOVES to read! We started reading before naptimes and bed around six months and he can’t get enough! We also decided to ask for mostly books for his birthday. Toys can get excessive, but there is no such thing as too many books. We only do board books, because Will loves to turn the pages himself but doesn’t understand doing it gently yet. These are our 5 favorites that get read almost everyday.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is Will’s favorite book and has been since we started reading. He loves the partial pages with the holes in them through the food pages. His first birthday was Hungry Caterpillar themed!
- Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church. This book encourages lots of tickles, which keeps Will engaged.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider illustrated by Rob McClurkan. He loves books that Mommy sings, so this one is perfect! Plus, I learned a few new verses of the song!
- Kisses and Cuddles by Little Bee Books. Lots of children’s books are way too long for a one year old. This one is short and sweet and so cute! It follows the everyday life for a little penguin.
- Really any singing books! My mom gave Will a pack of four songs made into board books and Will loves all four of them! Caroline Jayne Church has some really good ones.
Will loves this bobbling bug busy box! Even before he could actually operate the switches and knobs, the bugs would bobble when he would hit them, so it was still interesting to him. Now he can pull and slide the switches and push the button, and soon he will be turning the knob!
5) Veggietales + Exersaucer
This is honestly how I get my shower in the morning without panicking that he’s getting into something or in danger somehow. I plop him in the exersaucer and turn on a Veggietales and he’s happy! Most Veggietales have quite a few songs which really keep his attention and they are all brightly colored (bonus, they all have good lessons!). I sometimes use this technique if I’m alone during dinner prep and he’s being clingy. The nice thing is that there are three sets of Veggietales on Amazon. We own Volume 1 and Volume 2, and Volume 3 is on William’s Christmas list.
In general, I’m not a huge fan of smart/electric toys. If it takes a battery, I will probably be taking the battery out of it before Will plays with it. But this activity table doesn’t bother me. Will loves the songs and lights it plays and I appreciate that it’s not trying to teach my baby to read. He is way too young for that and just needs to play for now! This one is mostly music focused, and it helped him to learn to stand on his own.
Feeding and Hygiene
7) Boogie Wipes and the Nose Frida
When we lived in the dryness of Colorado, Will constantly had a stuffy nose. He still has it occasionally in Maryland, and in general, I’m just not a fan of extra buggers in his nose or running down his face. We use Boogie Wipes constantly; they are extremely soft saline wipes, so they don’t dry out his little face from me constantly wiping it. The Nose Frida is a little less used in our house, but when he gets a stuffy nose, we use it daily. It’s quick, painless, and dishwasher safe.
We LOVE this sippy cup. Will never got the hang of those hard plastic sippy cups, and supposedly, those are horrible for his teeth anyway. Also, we have found that this cup actually leaks less than any other sippy cup we have. For those of you who don’t know what the 360 cup is, it’s basically a thin piece of rubber over a plastic piece with holes in it. When turned upside down it seals itself, but when a baby sucks on the rim it breaks the seal in that spot so that water comes out for the baby. Whoever thought of it was a genius!
9) Rubber bibs
We tried to stick it out with normal cloth bibs when Will moved to solid food, but I just couldn’t keep up with the laundry that created. Also, our cute cloth bibs were getting stained. We eventually got these awesome rubber bibs. Chris does the dishes every night, and he just washes these, too!
10) Shower Curtain
We live in an apartment with white carpet everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms. That means carpet in the dining room where our child rarely makes it through a meal without dropping or throwing food onto the ground. Things like taco meat grease are very hard to get out of white carpet. So we got a really cheap shower liner from Target that we spread on the floor under Will anytime we are eating a messy meal. It’s been a lifesaver!
Memories and Parenting
11) A good camera
I take pictures of Will constantly on my phone, but it’s so nice to occasionally have a nice camera around to take really good, high quality pictures. Plus, these pictures actually make it onto my computer, so they are more likely to get edited, printed, and shared. Most of the pictures on my Instagram feed are from my nice camera!
12) Love and Logic
This is a parenting model and book that Chris and I are using with Will. I really love the way the book lays out why this technique works and why it works better than other parenting models. The basic idea is that you allow small choices for your child when they are young so that they learn how to make decisions when they are older. It focuses on the parent as the counselor rather than parents either making all the choices for their child or being completely hands off and not helping with the choices.
If you have a 12 month old or a half baby, half toddler, what are your favorite items? Tell me in the comments below!
Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.