Simpler parenthood. Supported childhood.

 

We believe in buying right the first time and investing in gear you will use for a few years, not just a few months. And it turns out, these long-term essentials are not only great for parentsdevelopmentally supportive for children, but cheaper too! See how our nursery compares! Start with some basic ideas on some alternatives to conventional baby gear and then browse through our recommended gear - from books to beds, carseats to clothes! 

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Want to learn more? Start with a home visit today and let us help you set up your home, work with your child or find materials that best support your child's development. 

 
 

What's (not so) new in baby essentials.

Over the past 50 years, advances in technology and "modern convenience" have dramatically changed the types of tools and gear we use for our children. Not too long ago it used to be the norm to carry the baby, have a floor bed and use cloth diapers  - all of which are immensely supportive to the child's natural development. Human development hasn't changed in hundreds of year and yet many of the tools we use today are not aligned to the natural development of the child.

 

Convertible

vs

bucket

A convertible carseat will support your child until about 5 years old. A bucket carseat will require you to get a new carseat after about year. Either way, the baby should be taken out of either seat - its far lighter to just carry the baby (than carry the baby in the bucket).

carrier

vs

stroller (or both)

Depending on your needs, there is a time and place for both of these items. A baby carrier takes up far less space and keeps baby close for bonding, security and early temperature regulation. Carriers must support the legs through the thigh.

 floor bed

VS

CRIB

The floor bed is a must have - especially for the nursing mother. The baby can go to bed, snuggles and all and you avoid the dreaded “transfer." It also supports the child's visual development by not blocking their view with bars. This bed lasts for as long as you use it!

cloth

vs

disposable

Cloth diapers are cheaper, more eco-friendly than disposable, and allow the child to feel when they are wet or dirty (earlier and easier toilet learning). Disposables wick away moisture immediately so the child feels dry when they should feel wet.

Within my house, I have a home. A space made just for me.

 

The child's space - whether it be the other side of the parent's room, their own bedroom or a room shared with a sibling - is a space the child should feel at home in

For the first year, the child's room can also have distinct areas and with this clear sense of order, the child absorbs this order as a template of where to access their needs - where does sleeping happen? where does activity happen? 

Basic Recommendations in Preparing Your Space

  • Color: Soft natural colors are calming, busy patterns can be overstimulating. 
  • Light: Natural light is ideal with diffused or indirect light.
  • Dimension: Use child’s size materials (meant for the child, not the adult)
  • Textures/Materials: Natural textures and materials are optimal
  • Less is More: Low, open shelves are ideal with a few items on them. Even the youngest child can see their options (allowing them to begin to choose), and have the order of seeing where things go (less clean up for you and them!). Unused (or parts of a set of) toys can be stored and rotated for renewed interest.

Want to know more? Let us help you plan or update your child's room, help you find and use quality materials or guide you in working with your child with a custom home visit today!

 

0-5 Months

one Child, Own Room

Room View

Area for Sleeping

Area for Stimulation & Movement

Area for Physical Care & Eating

5-12 Months

one Child, Own Room

Big changes:

  • Area for Movement does not have the Movement Mat anymore as this mat will interfere with crawling.
  • Area for Eating includes a table setting with the introduction of solids for the first few meals, then the child eats with family
  • Area for Physical Care includes a small toilet and the mirror moves horizontally for the soon-to-be standing child

Area for Sleeping

Area for Stimulation & Movement

Area for Physical Care & Eating

Eating Close Up

12-36 Months

one Child, Own Room

Big changes:

  • Area for Sleeping which had a pillow and blanket for the adult, now has the pillow and blanket for the child

Room View

Area for Sleeping

Area for Stimulation & Movement

Area for Physical Care

0-5 Months

Two Children, shared Room

Room View 1

Room View 1

Room View 2

Room View 2

Area for Stimulation and Movement

Area for Stimulation and Movement

Area for Physical Care

Area for Physical Care

Communal Play Space

12-36 Months

Supporting Movement

 

There are things that support the individual movement of the child and things that support the parent in transporting the child. The child learns by doing. Giving the child safe and unrestricted floor time is ideal for the child's developing mind. Common but unsupportive expenses include: swings, automatic bouncers, wheeled saucers, doorway jumpers, and play pens. A walking child continues to need freedom to move just in a bigger space. They also need limits around those movements so they can be culturally competent in the society in which they live and have an understanding of the expectations of the society (we don't hit, damage people's property, etc).

Want to know more? Let us help you plan or update your child's room to support movement or teach you about how to support the freedom of movement - and its limits - at any age with a custom home visit today!

 

TRANSPORTATION

Baby carriers are a great transportation item that take up little room on the go! While there is a time and a place for a stroller (with multiples, jogging or daycare centers may require one), a stroller can be a large addition to your space and you may consider holding off on that purchase until you feel you need it.

Baby K'Tan (0-4 Months): This one was our favorite for the early days. It keep baby close and EASY to use. Its like a wrap without all the wrapping!

ErgoBaby (0-2 years): We like ErgoBaby because it supports the child's legs through the thigh. This one is very comfortable with minimal fabric.

ErgoBaby Insert (0-4 Months): The infant insert is necessary until the baby has neck control. 

Baby Bjorn Bouncer (0-4 Months): Not transportation or essential, but very helpful before sitting. Only for use on the floor for short periods of time. 

MOVEMENT

When we allow the child the freedom to move, we allow them to connect with their own capacities and develop them. As long as the environment and materials are safe, floor time is the best way to support the child's learning. As the child's capacities grow, the child's environment should continue to encourage movement in their learning space. Here are some of our essentials.

Movement Mat (0-9 Months): A safe, cushioned place for floor time. This can be a gym mat, a thin mattress, or a few rugs. 

Mirror (0+): Start with it horizontally and once the child is standing, move vertically. You can also add a pull up bar around 8 months to support standing and cruising.

Baby Gates (9+ Months):  This can help section off spaces that are prepared and not-prepared for the young child.

Stools (12+ months): Stools are an aid to independence and problem solving as the young child can use the stool to climb up onto the couch, reach the sink, etc.

Push Cart (10+ Months): A wheeled push cart can aid the cruising child as they begin to learn to walk. 

Walking & Running (12+ Months): Getting out in nature is a great way for the child to practice their walking, get exercise and practice balance as outdoor ground is uneven and requires more balance.

Climbing & Jumping (12+ Months): Your child will be climbing everything they can as soon as they get the hang of walking. They can climb play structures and also up on the couch, into the carseat. They love to practice jumping!

Sliding & Swinging (12+ Months): Your child will love the swing and slide! Let your child use their climbing skills to climb up instead of putting them at the top, this will get them more coordinated in their movements, problem solve, and be able to decide how high is too high for their comfort! 

Appropriate stimulation is the source of motivation (and perseverance)

 

Children are born motivated to learn. As the child develops their capacities, we can support this motivation by offering interesting things that they are actually capable of doing. Furthermore, the most interesting thing in your child's environment is you. Even the baby in utero can hear at 7 months - this is one of the earliest developed senses. Talk to your child, read to them, sing to them, and engage with them. Common but unsupportive expenses include: electronic or battery operated devices (this gives the impression that the child's own efforts are not enough to make them "work"). TV and Screen-time especially reduces movement through pacification and tends to over-stimulate and overwhelm the mind.

Want to know more? Let us teach you about your child's development so you can best match toys and tools for their learning with a custom home visit today!

 

setting up

Order is essential in supporting the child's engagement with their space. Low, open shelves and book cases provide that order. A sturdy working table for the walking child can also give them the freedom to use a large space (typical children's tables are narrow and limiting).  

Low, open shelves: (0+): Low, open shelves are ideal in supporting the child in using their materials. This one is a TV unit stand but makes for a perfect inexpensive shelf. 

Forward Facing Bookshelf (0+): Children have the capacity to choose if given the opportunity. An open bookshelf shows the child which books are available so they can choose the one they want.

Table (Walking Onwards): A low, adjustable, table that gives the child a raised place to eat or work. There is a lower table, but we recommend getting this size as its just slightly big for the child initially but they will be able to use it until they are 3-4 years of age.

Chair (Walking Onwards): A comfortable, properly sized chair is important for the child's posture. These chairs are sturdy, well-designed and have optimal sizes for young children.

Low, open shelves: (0+): This is another example of a great shelf or stand for activities. Its meant to be a night stand but its the perfect size!

Frame Ledge: (0+): This can be a great alternative to a large bookshelf as books can still be facing out. 

Work/Play Rugs: (Walking Onwards): Not all the child's work and play is at a table, some things belong on the floor. These small mats are perfect both in size and that they are sturdy enough to be rolled.

Comfy Chair: (Walking Onwards): This is a great addition to the child's space as it can be a cozy and comfortable place to sit, lounge or look at a book. This particular chair is sturdy and will fit them for years!

Materials/Toys: 0-6 Months

The young infant prior to sitting can engage with the world but only as far as their capacities are right now. Matching the child's capacities to toys is essential to their motivation and interest (if I can't crawl and my toy rolls away where I can't get it, I lose interest in the toy).

Visual Mobiles (0-6 Months): Mobile made to be low hanging but out of the child's reach. These mobiles are meant to attract even the youngest child to move their eyes to see them.

Auditory Mobiles (3-6 Months): Hearing is one of the earliest developed senses. Engaging the child's auditory sense with hanging mobiles with a bell allows the grasping child to enjoy the jingle (and not have the toy fall out of sight!)

 

Tactile Mobiles (3-6 Months): Once the child is grasping, sturdy mobiles can be used for the child to grasp and play with. These should be durable enough to be teethed on, grasped, and pulled. 

Rattles (3+ Months): As the child grasps, they can begin to try to hold onto toys. Toys with handles give them this opportunity and the added jingle of bells excites the child!

 

Teething Ball (4+ Months): If there ever was a teething ball that surpasses all teething balls, this is it! The child can grasp it and it is flexible for great teething.

Teething Rings (4+ Months): These teething rings are tried and true for kiddos everywhere. They are a great addition to the teething set.

Other Teethers (4+ Months): Just about anything that is safe is a good teether and babies will put anything in their mouth. Items around the house are great teethers - including short handled honey dippers and spatulas!

Skwish (3+ Months): This is a unique toy as its frame makes it easier for the child to keep a good hold on. It squishes compact and rattles as well.

MATERIALS/TOYS: 6-12 MONTHS

When the child can sit, they can finally use both of their hands together, which changes how they interact with their toys and tools! Now, when they drop a rattle, they see where it went! Soon, they will learn that even objects that are out of sight are not gone altogether (object permanence, about 8 months), but this process starts with sitting.

Ball Tracker (6+ Months): Of all the baby toys, this seems to delight to no other. The young child loves to watch the ball and the walking child loves being able to do it themselves. Tracking left to right is also good practice for reading later on!

Object Permanence Boxes (6+ Months): Thankfully, the Montessori community has come up with fantastic toys that help the child learn object permanence. This is any toy where the object goes "missing" into a box or drawer only to be found seconds later.

In/Out and Off/On (6+ Months): Thanks to the Montessori community, there are a number of toys that allow the child to put things in and take things out, or put things on and take things off. These actions are a joy to the child and there are many items like this.

Puzzles (6+ Months): The knobs on puzzles are important because knobs allow for fine motor control. Wide knobs support a basic pincer grasp while thin knobs support a refined pincer. Puzzles are a spacial matching activity but can also be a language game (circle, square, triangle).

 

Egg Shaker (6+ Months): For the child still developing the motor control of their hand, this is a great shaker. 

Xylophone (6+ Months): Children love music, there is something about signing and instruments that calms and interests the child. This is a great beginning xylophone.

Harmonica (8+ Months): There are some big milestones in the development of language during this time which changes the child's capacity to manipulate their mouth, including using their lips together. This allows the child to use the harmonica!

Music Together (3+ Months): This is a wonderful music program for babies, toddlers and children. Babies and children alike LOVE music and this is a great way to learn fantastic songs for children. Classes include valuable information about music and child development, a music CD and songbook!

MATERIALS/TOYS: 12+ MONTHS

The walking child has freed hands in movement - this is a big deal! This means the child can move something from place to place without having to discard it to use their hands to crawl. This opens up the doors for putting things away and a whole new world of activities. Each of these materials are categories, with many activities within them. DaisoJapan and Montessori Services are great spots to find pitchers, cups, bowls, trays and more!

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Food Preparation (15+ Months): The child who walks well, can start to engage with how they nourish themselves right from the start of preparation. Things like peeling an orange, spreading jam on a cracker, or chopping a banana can all be made simple tasks on a tray. See more tools in Area for Eating.

Dressing Frames (18+ Months): These frames are a great tool for the toddler allowing them the practice to start to dress themselves. There are basic snaps, buttons, zipper and velcro frames. These frames require a demonstration on how to use them. 

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Self-Care (15+ Months): The child can start to care for themselves by having a tissue station and waste bin, a wash cloth station, a hair brush or nail brush, and tooth brush. 

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Cleaning & Contributing (12+ Months): Your child is trying to be just like you! What we think of as mundane daily tasks, children feel empowered to be given tools to do them  themselves. Things like mopping, sweeping, sponging, dusting, and washing! See tools below!

Swiffer Mop (15+ Months): Children love mopping! Take the middle extension out of this mop for the perfect size. This particular mop has a sturdy handle that doesn't detach from the base. Use a washcloth instead of the wipes.

Spray Bottle (15+ Months): Finding a spray bottle that fits your child's small hands is much harder than you'd think. Its not the bottle size that matters most, its the width of grip on the head of the sprayer.

Scrub Brush (15+ Months): This is a great scrub brush that will fit your child's small hands. Many other scrub brushes are too big or have a compartment for soap that becomes a distraction. 

Small Brush and Dustpan (15+ Months): This is another item that is hard to find in just the right size. These dustpans are the perfect size for the young child to sweep.

Trampoline (10+ Months): This is a nice addition for the child to begin jumping! While it may be slightly short lived (about 6 months), jumping is great for equilibrium, balance and gross motor skills

Small Basketball Hoop (15+ Months):  If you can mount this at the child's level, they will enjoy getting the ball in the hoop! As they grow, you can raise the hoop for a bigger challenge.

Small "Real" Basketball (15+ Months): Giving the child the right size item of the real thing will give them more capacity in using a real sports tool later.

Wheel Toy (15+ Months): This is a great size introductory wheel toy for young children. Its design with the wide wheels in the front (as opposed to the back) make for a wheel toy the child can steer well early on.

Sample Activities

All activities need a demonstration - however simple they may appear. A demonstration, or 'lesson,' simply shows the child how to do the activity. Our home visits include showing you how to show items like they to your child! You can also watch some videos on our Private Facebook Page for more information on how these materials are used. Many of the materials used are available on our Resources Page.

Set up your child's sleeping space for a good night's sleep.

 

We all need sleep. It is essential to our processing and infants do a lot of it. A well prepared space can make you and your child's sleep life much easier. It is common, but ultimately unsupportive, to add stimulation to the sleep routine. Common but unsupportive expenses that add stimulation include: swings (which adds movement stimulation), white noise machines (which adds auditory stimulation), and black out curtain (which removes important sensory information about day and night).

Want to know more? Let us help you plan or update your child's room, understand the development of sleep in newborns and children and get you (and your child) the sleep you all need with a custom home visit today!

 

SlEEP

A space for sleep should be used for just that - sleep! Our primary recommendation is the floor bed (a mattress on the floor) as this can support the child and the adult in so many ways. The child has a clear visual field, the adult can avoid "transferring" the baby out of arms and once the child is mobile, they don't have to cry for help just because they woke up, they can crawl or walk off the bed to find a toy or a book. For nursing mothers overnight, this is like co-sleeping in the child's room!

Floor Bed (Birth onwards): This is a bed on the floor - it can be a crib mattress or what we prefer is a twin so it will fit your child for years to come!

Topponcino (Birth to 4 months): 100% of our parents found this to be the most essential baby item. It is a portable little bed, just right for the newborn.

Cestina or Moses Basket (Birth to 4 Months): This may be helpful for the child to have a cozy space as a newborn, but is not necessary.

Baby Monitor (Birth onwards): Most parents we know preferred an audio-only monitor to a video-monitor as they worried less and weren't tempted to just watch the video monitor (instead of getting some rest themselves!)

Rug (Birth onwards): This is a great addition to the floor bed to keep the bed warm, comfortable and the area around the bed cozy. This rug is a great size!

Floor Bed Extras (Birth onwards): Have a water proof sheet to protect from diaper leaks and spit up. Get a second for mom's bed, if nursing. Also, get a pillow and blanket for the nursing mom to rest comfortably while nursing overnight. These will just be the child's pillow and blanket after about a year!

Lovie (4+ Months onwards): This is a sleep time only tool that can help with the transition to learning to sleep. This style is a favorite!

Sleep Easy Solution (Birth onwards): This is a great resource recommended by parents to parents time and again. Great developmental information, practical advice, and a helpful resource to understanding sleep.

Bonding to my family, bonding to my community.

 

Food is an important part of our culture and for the young infant, mealtime is a primary source of bonding between you and your child. With the introduction of solids, this bond extends to the greater community as the child is invited to partake in the food of their culture. Independence with food in an important step toward supporting this transition. 

Want to know more? Let us help you introduce solids, understand your child's development in capacities for new foods, and teach your child to create and maintain healthy eating habits throughout their lives with a custom home visit today!

 

Eating (0-6 Months)

From breastmilk to formula, pumps to bottles, there area a variety of ways the young infants and their growing bodies and minds are supported. The attention, closeness, affection, and care that comes with any of these approaches is what gives the child the template of community. The child's favorite thing in their environment is you. Many of these items support you in feeding your baby so that those meantime moments can be protected - however long they last or how frequent they are through the night.

Adult's Chair (Birth onwards): This is meant to be a comfortable, a place you want to be. It can be the couch or a glider, but it should just be comfortable for you so you can settle in and be with your baby.

Pumps: If you plan to pump, it is much more common nowadays for insurance to give you a double electric pump. If you are returning to work and planning on breastfeeding, a double electric is the way to go.

Side Table (Birth to weaning): This will help you settle into the meal with your baby by having some things like water and a snack at your fingertips so you don't have to get up mid-meal.

Pump Bra: If you plan to pump, this pump bra is very effective at keeping the pump bottles in place! It has two layers of fabric to do so instead of the more common one layer.

Bobby Pillow (Birth to 6 Months): This is not necessary, but can be helpful for the nursing mother. The bobby can also be a great support for tummy time and later for early sitting.

Understanding the Human Being (Birth onwards): This is a great resource about child development and the importance of the first few years of life. Dr. Silvana Montanaro worked directly with Dr. Montessori and as both being physicians worked to support the child's natural development.

Bottles: If nursing, bottle introduction should come after nursing is established. If bottle feeding, introduction is at birth. This particular bottle maintains the nutrients of the milk.

Nursing Pads: If you plan to breastfeed, nursing pads are helpful to avoid leaking through your shirt. There are cloth reusable ones as well.

 

EATING (6+ MONTHS)

Inviting the child to symbolically and literally eat at the table with the family is a big step socially. They are growing to need different nutrients and are ready to take on whatever is offered them. They are developing their capacities and eating is an important moment for their independence. The right tools can support this independence so your child can develop positive, and pro-social eating habits!

Adjustable High Chair (6-36 Months): This high chair grows with the child. When you get the chair without the tray table, the cild can be pulled up directly to the table, allowing for a place setting.

Clip Chair (6-12 Months): If you are looking to save space or for a chair on the go, a clip chair is a great tool to be able to have the child at the table with you wherever you go!

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Placemat with drawn/sewn tool outlines (6-36 Months): At the introduction of solids, eating tools are a new feature of mealtime and require a new skill in their use. A placemat with drawn or sewn tool outlines gives the child a point of reference for where tools go.

Child-Size Utensils (6-36 Months): Look for utensils made for the child, not the adult. Long-handled utensils are usually meant for the adult. Also look for forks that are functional (many "children's" forks are too blunt to be effective). DaisoJapan is a great resource for inexpensive small utensils.

Child-Size Cups (6-36 Months): For the young child, a small, transparent cup helps them gauge when to tip the cup to get the liquid out. Glass cups allow the child to have the proper weight to hold onto them and the logical consequence of the cup being thrown - they break. These are a perfect size!

Child-Size Cups (6-36 Months): If you don't want to do the glass cups, these are a great alternative that are just the right size for the young child.

Child-Size Plates (6-36 Months): This is a "bread and butter" plate which is about the right size for the young toddler. A good rule is the plate shouldn't be bigger than their face.

Creme Brûlée Dishes (6-36 Months): This is a great alternative to a traditional plate. The short edges make the food visible for the child, but the angled edge makes it easier for the child to use the side of the dish to push food onto a spoon!

Creamer: Young children drink in such small quantities that having a small pitcher at the table is helpful to re-serve water.

Bib (6-12 Months): As far as food bibs go, this bib was by far the most effective, comfortable and durable. There are cloth bibs that work better for drool, but this one can be washed up. 

Fleece by the Yard (6+ Months): This can be bought at any fabric store. Cut into 5"x5" squares for easy to wash and use washcloths to clean hands and face. Once older, the child can use the face-coths themselves. 

Ice Trays with a Lid (6-12 Months): For the young child, purees are very helpful as they begin to eat solids and practice chewing. These trays are a perfect size for freezing single portions of food.

Food preparation (18+ MONTHS)

A walking child can start to be involved in the food preparation process! There are some basic tools to have on hand to support the child at home. Montessori Services and DaisoJapan are great resources to get child-size tools. 

Wavy Chopper (18+ Months): This is a great must-have tool to have the young child start to help prepare food!

Apple Corer (18+ Months): For the child, this is a great tool to cut apples for snack or even fruit salad. For the younger child, cut the apple or pear in thirds or halves so the child can be successful.

Small Cutting Board (18+ Months): For all the child's chopping needs, a small cutting board like ones used as a "cheese or cracker" serving board are just the right size.

Child-Size Cooking Utensils (18+ Months): These tools are great because they are real and meant for real cooking! The child can start to help and can also learn the names of these utensils. 

From being cared for to caring for myself.

 

Much of our time with a young infant is spent caring for their physical body as they have yet to be able to care for themselves. We feed them, cloth them, bathe them, change their diapers, clip their nails, keep them warm, and listen to them when they need help. Each of these acts is a template for the child for how they will one day care for themselves. We can talk to our child about what we are doing and why so they not only have this template but have the language ultimately to describe it themselves. From thermometers to bathtubs, nose aspirators to diapers, we've got you covered.

Want to know more? Let us teach you about the process of developing self-care to see the remarkable capacities your child has to turn caring for themselves into a responsibility to caring for their communities with a custom home visit today!

 

Diapering

Supporting the child's physical care with frequent diaper changes is a main part of our day as parents of infants. Cloth diapers allow the child to feel when they are wet or dry (instead of wicking the moisture away) which protects the important sensorial feedback for the child about what happens when they feel that sensation in their body. This supports the natural development of toilet learning. Any soiled diaper should be changed so that the child does not get de-sensitized to the feeling (feeling wet is "normal") as this will obstruct toilet learning later. Here are our essentials. Good Guide is a great resource for finding out what is in the products you're buying.  

Trifold Cloth Diapers (0+): There are a lot of options in cloth diapers - all in ones, pads, pockets, and trifolds. We like the trifold because it is not specific to a certain wrap and once the child is toilet learning, these make for fantastic clean up towels! Size 1 works for about a year, then size 2.

Cloth Diaper Wraps (0+): There are a lot of diaper wrap options, but we like this style because its adjustable and is the only wrap you need for the duration of diapers!

Cloth Wipes (0+): Its surprising the amount of chemicals used in wipes - especially when a wet cloth wipe will suffice. 

 

Diaper Liners (0+): There are a nice addition to the cloth diaper as they are flushable and can catch much of the waste.

Lidded Garbage Can (0+): Any lidded garbage pail with a liner is sufficient for a bin for soiled diapers, wraps and wipes. 

Diaper Pail Liner (0+): This is a great diaper pail liner. There are others with a drawstring that we found didn't fit securely over the top of the bin - these liners always did!

Changing Table (0-12 Months):  If you have limited space, you can commit to changing on the floor, but you should still have a designated space for changing with all your materials at your fingertips (wipes, diaper pails, diapers, etc). Alternately, if your bathroom counter is long enough, you may be able to fit a changing pad on the counter.

Changing Table Pad (0-12 Months):  Its important to get two covers so you can wash one while having the other one on the pad. This can be put on a long counter or other surface but above ground, the child must be buckled in.

Disposable Wipes (0-12 Months):  These are rated highly on Good Guide for their lack of chemicals and environmentally friendly practices. Disposable wipes are handy on the go.

Disposable Diapers (0-12 Months):  These are rated highly on Good Guide for their lack of chemicals and environmentally friendly practices. We have yet to have a "blow out" in cloth diapers, but there is a time and place for disposables. 

Diaper Bag (0-12 Months):  You may want to get a diaper bag - but a backpack works too. One of the best recommendations we got was to have zippered pouches in the diaper bag with different items. It makes finding what you need much easier.

Tiny Tots Diaper Service (0+):  Greater SF Bay Area: This is a diaper service that can include deliveries and pick up of cloth diapers and/or compostable paper diapers. 

TOILETING

When the infant can sit well, they can start to use a small toilet and by the time the child is walking, they are capable of toilet learning. Here are some of our favorites to support this process.

Baby Bjorn Smart Potty (6-12 Months):  This small toilet is the lowest we have found and it supports the young child to be able to sit and use the toilet. 

Stools (Walking Onwards):  Once the child is walking, stools will be needed for the child to reach an adult sink for hand-washing or even to use the "big potty". This is a sturdy, wide stool for the child to feel comfortable using. Many stools are narrow and for the toddling child, can feel more like a balance bean than a stool!

Toilet Insert (Walking Onwards):  This is a great addition to an adult sized toilet. Once the young child starts to follow the process of using the little toilet, they often want to use the big one, just like everyone else! These inserts allow them to feel comfortable and secure.

Padded Cloth Underwear (Walking Onwards):  Once the child is walking and they begin learning to use the toilet, padded cloth underwear is ideal as a transition from diapers. This underwear has a few extra layers of padding that can catch some of the liquid.

personal care

This is an important part of the child's day and as they become more independent, they can start to take on more of this themselves. 

Burp Cloths (0-12 Months):  You will need many of these. We liked this particular style because of its size. However many you have, you need more.

Swaddle Blankets (0-12 Months):  These are nice to have and versatile in use, but we don't recommend the practice of tightly swaddling babies and immobilizing their arms and legs. They had freedom in the womb to move and we don't recommend taking that freedom away just because they were born.  They can be wrapped around the torso for warmth, used as a sunshade, a spare burp cloth, a knapsack or a to go play mat.

Baby Bathtub (0-6 Months):  A baby bathtub is a short-lived item that is not necessary, but can be very helpful when handling the newborns slippery skin. Bathing for the child is a sensorial experience and a familiar one at that as they are quite used to the feeling of being in water from in the womb. There are plenty of alternatives (bathing with the baby, using the sink or another basin) but a tub sure is useful!

Bath Towels (0+):  The young child can be wrapped in a regular towel just the same as a baby towel. The baby towels out there, however, are quite thin and for the young baby who can't regulate their body temperature until about 4 months, they can be wrapped nicely in a large comfy towel (and they wont outgrow it either!)

Nasal Aspirator (0-12 Months):  Unplugging a young child's nose when they have a cold can be difficult and a blocked nose can result in difficulty sleeping and irritability. This is a top pick from parents to clear your child's nose.

Personal Care Kit (0-12 Months):  Items like nail clippers, a comb and brush are all helpful to keep the child clean. 

Thermometer (0+): If you call the doctor with a question, the first thing they will ask you is what the baby's temperature is. This thermometer is our favorite. 

 

Sunscreen (6+ Months):  Protecting the child's skin is important and this particular brand rates highly on Good Guide for its lack of chemicals. Some parents find this brand to be too thick, but for health reasons its one of our favorites!

DRESSING / clothing

One of the most essential items is a child-size dresser to store the young child's clothing and then for the walking child to be able to access their clothes and dress themselves. For the newborn, clothing is important for the child to keep warm but skin -to-skin contact is ideal of the young child who cannot regulate their body temperature. Clothing for a newborn should have special attention to the head, trunk, arms, legs and feet while leaving hands and feet free where possible for the possibilities of movement. As the child grows, the clothing should reflect the capacities of the child.

Child-Size Dresser (0+):  This Ikea Kallax shelf can have drawer inserts to make a child's dresser - a great addition to the child's room even from the beginning! To start, the adult can just store their clothing in it and once they are crawling and walking, the child can access their clothes themselves.

Clothing (0+):  When getting clothing, think about the child's capacities (what they can do and what they are trying to do). We don't go to the gym in jeans for a reason. The child is trying to learn to sit, then crawl, then walk, then run! Clothing should be comfortable, flexible and be able to be independently put on or taken off once the child is walking (avoid closures like buttons, snaps, zippers).

Booties (0-12 Months): For the most part, children should have access to their feet and should be shoe and sock-free so that they can use their feet for important traction and explore them (when they find out they have them!). For warmth, however, these particular booties are fantastic as they do NOT come off. 

From Understanding to Being Understood.

 

The child is born with the potential to develop rich language and it is up to the adults in the environment to provide it. Without hearing proper sounds, the child will not be able to reproduce them. Talk to your child often with real words about real things

A Note About Pacifiers: We strongly recommend delaying pacifier purchase until baby is born and using it only if the newborn baby needs it. Pacifiers block communication between child and adult, but can be useful to soothe a particularly colicky baby in the first two months, then should be phased out for important language development.

Want to know more? Let us teach you about the important development of language from the growth of understanding through their first word all the way through reading and writing with a custom home visit today!

 

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

When looking for a good book, look for books that have real words and real images (photographs or nice drawing/paintings) as much as possible. Avoid character-driven books as this will peak early interest in screen-related media and it gives them something that is not real (and they don't know the difference yet). These books last beyond the first three years, especially as they can be reinvented as early reading books later on! 

Share the Title and Author! We will pick our favorites and add them to this collection.