Motherhood // Baby Essentials We Found Useful for 6 months+ *contains ad/affiliate links

August 31, 2020

I wrote a guide to newborn essentials {HERE} and everything that we used from 0-6 months so I thought it was about time that I wrote an updated list for this period post 6 months now that Freya is over a year. Mainly for me to look back upon and remember or to send to friends! But it might be useful for any of you with babies coming up to that age too. And just as a reminder, your baby doesn't need any of these things, your baby just needs you and toys/entertainment can be made out of the simplest things or with what you can get passed down from friends/family second hand or found on Facebook market places etc. Whilst I've included all of the toys that have kept Freya entertained, equally half the time she is just as happy/inquisitive with the pots and pans from our kitchen, a cardboard box or basically anything that's not a toy ha. But these are just some things we've loved and used a lot if you were looking for inspiration. 
// contains some ad/affiliate links and gifted items but none were in exchange for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. 

  • Books - 
  • The 'That's Not My' series, our favourites happen to be this Bee version and this Polar Bear. So cute for them to feel all the textures and not too long for young babies. For a while, Freya would actually look confused if we were reading a book other than one like this as she'd look for the textures to feel/mouth! 
  • This Where's Mr series have also been a complete favourite from a young age and young hands can't rip the flaps either and caused lots of delight as she lifts the felt flaps.

  • One of our favourite gifts for Freya as a newborn was this personalised bedtime story which we love reading.
  • A few books with AMAZING stories for older babies/with more longevity - Any by Julia Donaldson but in particular this and this - the rhyming is incredible. This Kind book has some really lovely messages in, Here We Are and I love these Little People Big Dreams books - again slightly older but look nice on bookshelves in the meantime.

  • White Noise - We've used a 10 hour continuous crashing waves mp3 which Ben downloaded onto a memory card and we put into a little round rechargeable portable mp3 player - I just tried to find the link but it's not for sale anymore? We now have two, one lives under the cot and one lives by the buggy/for the car which we switch when they need charging. Lasts for a good few naps and you can charge with a portable charger if needed too. We swear by this for Freya going to sleep fast, it's like her sleep cue. 
  • Sleeping bag with feet/carseat hole by Ergobaby. I ordered one of these in the summer when we needed a 1 tog and thought how clever the design is, it's great for day trips when you want to lift them from the cot to the carseat asleep or vice versa as you can do up the carseat harness through it. It also has feet if you want to keep them in it and they're walking although we haven't really utilised this part of it. 
  • Ergo carrier. We've had this since newborn and still use it almost everyday for walks if the buggy isn't suitable or if she wants to be closer to us and I absolutely love wearing her facing out for our little adventures together, these days she chats away! For a while it felt like she was getting too heavy for it but I adjusted it and wore it a bit differently {higher up} and although she is heavy and walking up a hill is a serious workout, it doesn't hurt my back. So reluctant to ever stop wearing her in this - as I type I still wore her yesterday at almost 14 months as she's just starting to take her first steps and walk by herself {but of course can't walk far yet so still needs to be carried}! You can use on your back too but when we tried it a while ago Freya couldn't see out so well so didn't love it but I think for toddlers this gets easier. Side note - We borrowed a back carrier from a family member and we found it to be really hot and pulled too much, but this instagram post has lots of good recommendations for backpacks.
  • Sensory toys. I was sent {ad/pr sample + in exchange for me making a donation to charity} this Sensory box by A Sense of Wonder and it has some lovely toys which Freya has used for months in different ways plus a list of what to do with them. Some of them you need to supervise closely but things like the ribbons and light up balls are daily favourites of Freya's.
  • Balls. To roll around, to throw, to try to catch, that light up, that bounce. All big favourites for months and months now. I bought this at the start of lockdown as a 'I need more toys!' panic and this one has been so well used - I'd go as far as saying it's her favourite followed by this . Both have given SO much joy and giggles with her throwing them around and chasing them for months and months now.

  • Wee'un Pikler triangle and slide by Sawdust & Rainbows for the Kid Collective {ad/pr sample + in exchange for me making a donation to charity} - I'd say this is from 1yr+ but since we've had this in our kitchen snug, she's used it every single day - and I really do mean every single day. It's fab for open ended play and should get years of use, so far Freya loves climbing up the slide and has just started climbing down the other side now but also loves to put her teddies down the slide, play with friends on it and you can attach ribbons/a ball run/make a cosy den under it. It's been amazing to watch her grow in confidence and her dexterity improve with her climbing/balance. I love the look of it too and it folds up when not in use.
  • Buggy straps - I don't know why I waited so long to order these, revolutionary for stopping toys falling out of the buggy/little hands. I clip Freya's favourite polar bear to the buggy or in the carrier or carseat and she loves holding it's lead almost as much as the bear!
  • We love wooden toys with lots of longevity that encourage imagination. Things like these stacking animals are lovely, we have this shape sorter, this wooden stacker and rainbow. My Parents bought her the big wooden Grimm's rainbow for her 1st Birthday and I imagine this will get lots of use over the years to come. Along with Wooden blocks for building, we bought this gorgeous set by Wooden Story

This wooden puzzle is online here

  • Freya is a little young to understand the concept of a doll's house but this gorgeous Olli Ella holdie house sits in her nursery and so far she likes opening/closing it. As she gets older there's so much scope for imaginative play with it. Ad/PR sample.

  • This pram walker has given so much entertainment as she learns to walk, and transports all her teddies around! Ad/PR sample. 
  • Tuff tray - aka a builder's mixing tray from Wickes. SO great for messy play/water play/creating little farm scenes. Lots of inspiration on instagram and pinterest for these and they're just wipeable and easy. Ours has been on our gravel outside our kitchen doors and Freya has been so happy with cups or buckets of water to play with on it. 

  • This liewood bucket / beach set {this is the current version, ours was last year's design} has been on lots of beach/day trips with us this summer as it's really easy to squash and fold flat. Plus we've used it in the garden and on the tuff tray.
  • Teepee. My parents bought this for Freya's Birthday. I'd say you wouldn't really use it much with small babies but lovely once they're 1year + for hiding in/reading stories in/putting in the garden/making cosy as a little den.
  • Soft toys, we love jellycat bunnies/lambs/polar bears/octopus! It's funny as you don't know what your baby will attach onto. For ages Freya wasn't really interested in soft toys and then all of a sudden, around 11 months I think, she didn't want to be separated from them and now one comes everywhere with us! I think it's nice to have a couple around from birth so that they grow up having little friends to get familiar with.
  • Comforters. I bought Freya this bunny before she was born and my Mum bought her a soft elephant comforter, again she wasn't really attached to them but we kept them in her cot when she was old enough that we knew they wouldn't be a risk {you shouldn't give anything like this to a newborn until you're sure they can push things off their face}, and now she again can't go to sleep without them in her cot. We keep them firmly in her cot so that they don't get lost! She plays with them and sucks them as she falls asleep.
  • Bath toys, we actually don't have very many bath toys. I actually just ordered this whilst putting together this guide as it looked so cool. But we've used these a lot, a gift when she was born. Both in the sandpit and the bath. And these bath crayons have been recommended for 1yr+. 
  • Play kitchen. From 1 year +. You can see the blog post for our Ikea DIY hack here and some of her kitchen toys.
  • Puzzle/fruit cutting. My Brother bought Freya this lovely wooden puzzle for her birthday and it's been a big hit so far.
  • Teething toys, Sophie La Giraffe was still used post 6 months and these teething mits are great.
  • Musical instruments to shake. Freya LOVES these little wooden rattles etc and bells but I'm always a bit worried about the metal bells as she inevitably wants to just put them in her mouth and they seem a bit sharp! 

  • School bus or any robust wooden toy with big thick rimmed wheels for easy moving around. Freya suddenly got the hang of pushing wheeled toys around about a month ago now and has spent hours wheeling a little Aldi special buy bus around. Similar here. And this was a gorgeous gift from a friend when she was born which she loves, a wooden campervan!
  • These pop up people are a lovely wooden toy for a shelf, they provide lots of fun and Freya has just started to use coordination to put the men back in the holes now. She carries the little people around the house with her, I found the green & yellow people in my make up bag the other day.
  • We actually picked this up from the side of the road that somebody had as a 'please take' pile, but Freya and all her friends seem to make a beeline for this fun ball.
  • In the last month or so, Freya has loved pull along toys and worked out how to pull them along. My Mum has a sweet dog from Aldi and we have a pull along cat!
  • Animals. We started a Schleich collection when Freya was born and gradually add to it by asking friends/family at Christmas/Birthdays and now have a lovely basketful which F loves to get out. As she gets older she'll learn about the animals and play with them in different ways. I know older children who have played with these for years and years. 

  • Sand pit, we upcycled a tin bath around Easter time and spent a lot of time in the sandpit during those lockdown weeks. As she gets older she's now realising she doesn't need to eat it ha and can play better with it. 

  • Star Wrap - depending on the season. I shared this in our newborn essentials but we used it daily from 6 months until it was warm enough in the spring time not to need it. I'd buy this as a gift for any new babies - size up for the right season!

A few lovely websites for all things baby gifts - you can't go wrong with Scandiborn, The Kid Collective and Kidly. They stock so many of our favourite brands with lovely curated collections.

Other things to note - We still find the Wonder Weeks App helpful in understanding development leaps and the Huckleberry sleep app was INVALUABLE until a couple of months ago when we pretty much know Freya's awake gaps well enough now to work it out ourselves.

I hope this helps! Have I missed anything that your little one is mad for or that you couldn't have done without?

R <3 xx 

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