Let the games begin! Thanks to improved hand-eye coordination and growing curiosity, your baby is probably starting to show an affinity for certain toys and activities. Embrace that love of play, mama—if you use the right items (more on that below!) playtime isn't just fun, it's also great for development.
Speaking of development, you probably know by now that every baby is unique and progresses at a different rate—so don't stress about when those milestones are hit.
What matters is that you feel confident in empowering yourself with knowledge and advocating for your child. And don't forget to have fun! Exploring new concepts alongside that sweet baby is downright magical.
There are so many changes on the horizon, but you've got this, mama. Here are a few of our favorite items to help you tackle this exciting stage:
For jumpstarting that vocabulary: Readerlink First 100 Words
Although babies build their spoken vocabularies gradually, research shows infants aged 6 to 9 months already understand a good number of words. This book is a great tool for encouraging language development, as it allows them to learn the names of things they regularly use.
For soothing tender gums: Itzy Ritzy teething mitt
Fact: A mama can never have too many tools to help her babe ward off teething pains. This mitt helps relieve soreness… and it doubles as a fun little toy, too.
For a fun way to learn: Infantino balls, blocks and buddies
As basic as it may seem to us, the act of stacking and sorting toys helps babies build the fine-motor and problem-solving skills they'll use throughout their lives. The benefits are immediate as well: These activities build concentration skills that'll serve them well today.
For the bottle-to-cup transition: MAM trainer cup
Drinking from a cup may seem like second nature to you, but there's definitely a learning curve involved for an infant. Help smooth out that transition from bottle/breast to cup by offering small amounts of water in this trainer cup. It mimics the feel of a bottle while introducing babies to the concept of sipping.
For brushing those bitty teeth: FridaBaby smilefrida toothbrush
Did you know dentists recommend brushing your child's teeth from the time that very first one emerges? This brush was designed especially for those teeny mouths and boasts a brilliant BPA-free design. You simply slip the brush onto your finger and go to work on those pearly whites.
For making chores more fun: More Than Magic bluetooth speaker
By necessity, mamas are masters at multitasking. But who says there can't be something in it for you? We recommend streaming your favorite podcast or book on tape while taking care of chores around the house
For your new nightly routine: Target book club subscription
If you've officially stashed the bassinet and moved your little one into the nursery, your nights might be feeling very different these days. Embrace it by implementing a nightly reading routine (because you can finally turn on your bedside lamp without fear of waking that sweet baby!). This subscription program makes it easy and affordable to tackle new books.
For those frame-worthy photos: Fujifilm instax mini 9
Only a tiny fraction of the pictures on our phones ever get printed because, well, mom life is busy. This camera, which makes printing mini Polaroid pictures a total cinch, may change that.
For easy cleanup: Dyson cord-free vacuum
Now that you have a baby playing on your floors, you're probably ultra aware of every little crumb. Welcome to motherhood—when it's totally acceptable to get really excited about a great vacuum.
For easy cooking: Rubbermaid food storage container set
Simplify meals by prepping all your ingredients before you start cooking (if you want to get fancy, you can call this process "mise en place" a la a professional chef). When everything is chopped and stored in these handy containers, getting dinner on the table becomes easier than ever.
This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.