Hello, week № 7! This week I looked to my toddler (14 months old) for his input. With no hesitation and only a few stumbles he picked lentils, his wagon, the plush mat in his room, board books, and weighted straw cups. Honestly I have really enjoyed these things too, so I understand.
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Here are my five favorites this week:
- Plush mat
- Board books
- Weighted straw cups
If you’re cool with eating legumes, you are probably a fan of lentils. Easy on the wallet, easy to cook, and surprisingly versatile – we have a lentil dish at least once a month.
My favorite format is an Ethiopian-style soup from the Kitchn. It’s highly spiced, but not spicy. I add chicken (either bone-in drumsticks or boneless thighs) and it’s always a hit. Definitely use fresh grated nutmeg, and definitely garnish with fresh lemon juice. This soup is delicious the next day, and pairs well with glutenous rice.
Baby Jupiter likes a half cup of soup with milk for lunch. It keeps him well hydrated and I like exposing him to all the spices.
What child doesn’t love a wagon?!
I was eyeballing this purchase during the rainy months, and definitely wanted it for festival season, or at least farmer’s market weekends. After I assembled the wagon we left it in the TV and Baby Jup used it as a play surface for a week before he realized that he could climb into it (one of the sides zips down for use as a bench). Then we strapped him in and took him out for a spin.
Now the wagon lives in the garage (keeping pollen out of the house!), and when we go out for walks we alternate Baby’s wheels. Some walks he rides in his stroller (a Thule Urban Glide II), and others he rides in his newschool Radio Flyer. He loves both modes of transportation.
— PLUSH MAT
I think Baby Jupiter likes this more than he knows. Not just because it’s familiar, but because it makes his falls more manageable.
When Baby was six months old we moved into a house large enough to actually put him on the floor so he could practice rolling. Most plush mats for babies are…very unlike my design style. They were clear unitaskers, and nothing I wanted to see. Long nights of searching finally lead me to plain color plush mats. Perfect for Baby in form and function, and perfect for adults in style.
We have this 200cm x 200cm plush mat and love it. It stays in a dog-free zone, but still collects fur from our socks. To keep it clean we vacuum regularly (with a robot), and I remove stubborn hairs (usually my own) with a rubber broom.
— BOARD BOOKS
Mister Jupiter and I both enjoy reading, and we wanted Baby to pick up this hobby as soon as possible.
We loaded up on classics like Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), and Sandra Boynton (Moo, Baa, La La La!). But also found Chris Ferrie (Quantum Physics for Babies) and Wolf Anderson & Samantha Beaty (Mission Complete Air Force, Go To Sleep ← required reading for AF babies).
Thanks to this wonderful range of board books it’s easy to want to read with Baby Jupiter. And we know that babies like what the adults like, so Baby Jup likes to sit and read several times a day. Usually with Mister or me, but often we catch him flipping those thick pages to himself.
— WEIGHTED STRAW CUPS
We got lucky to have a baby who wasn’t super attached to bottles. He was always far more interested in the contents than the vessel, so transitioning away from bottles was easy. We just needed a new milk delivery system because the kid can’t be trusted with open top cups.
Lots of casual searching led me to weighted straw cups – and it’s what it sounds like; a cup with a straw, and a weight. Baby figured it out quickly (in maybe five tries), and it’s been smooth sailing since. I also introduced sippy cups at the same time. The sippys took a little more getting used to, but are well liked just the same.
Both cups are used daily for milk. But we use them a little differently when we want to. For example, if we need to have milk in the car (not ideal. I’m a no-eating-in-the-car lady because a clean car is more important to me than snacks) we use the weighted straw cup because Baby can drink upright, and is less likely to throw it when he’s finished. By contrast the sippy cup allows for higher viscosity beverages and is only marginally spill-proof, so it’s perfect for homemade mango lassi at the table – it’s so tasty that Baby will not throw the cup, and it’s thick enough that he can’t chug it in 30 seconds.
Looking for something specific? Scan the Picks of the Week, Index.
Otherwise, here are more picks if you’re feeling clicky: