Baby’s First Finger Foods

puffsWhen your baby is about 8 months old, it is a good time to let them start trying finger foods. What does that mean? Finger foods are used to help baby learn that by placing their thumb and finger together they can pick something up. It is a developmental milestone called the pincer grasp that usually develops around 8 months of age. At first baby will use more of a sweeping motion and a fist to aim and put stuff into their mouth, but slowly they will understand that they can use just the two fingers! Here is a list of some foods you can try to let your baby experiment with as they begin to refine their pincer grasp.

- Puffs - they are a little hard so baby may spit them out at first if not used to textured food, but they dissolve right away – my girls preferred the Gerber ones over the other brands as they seemed to dissolve faster.
- Cheerios – again a little hard but once baby gets the idea of using their gums to chew they will love these
- Banana – make sure it is soft and not hard pieces, you can mash it up with your fingers and then place on tray/plate
- Small pieces of any cooked/softened vegetable or fruit – pear, apple, melon, mango, carrots, squash, sweet potato, etc.
- Bread – make sure it is soft bread, and I would avoid the crust at first, and add butter if you want to add calories
- Sliced cheese – no soft cheese as they are not recommended until a year of age
- Rice – cooked rice grains are fun for baby to try as well
- Pastina – you can add this to your baby food to start introducing texture, it’s basically tiny pasta that you boil and add to food
- Pasta – you can boil pasta to be quite soft and then cut into smaller pieces (try the bow tie or spirals) – you can even use the colorful pasta to add some fun!

Always make sure baby is being supervised when attempting finger foods. Make sure to avoid any foods that may present a choking hazard (grapes, peas, etc).

Getting Your Pet Ready for Baby

nyloMany times I will hear non pet owners tell others how dangerous it is to have a pet around a newborn. While that may be the case with an aggressive pet that does not like humans, I LOVE pets! I have a dog of my own, Nylo, and from day one of coming home, both of my girls were introduced to him; after all he is my first-born :).

Some things you can do to ease the transition of your baby coming home to your pet is:
- start to use the lotion/cream/oil you plan to use on baby a few weeks before you deliver so that your pet can get used to that smell as something that is part of his “territory” and with someone he already loves
- bring home a receiving blanket for your pet to play with that baby was wrapped in over night so that your pet can start getting used to baby’s scent
- once baby comes home – give your pet attention while holding the baby – let your pet stay close to you while you nurse or feed the baby so he or she does not feel left out
- give your pet attention when your baby sleeps so he or she knows you still love them too

Always remember, even though we trust our pets, NEVER leave a baby or any child unattended with a pet. Yes, the relationship they will form over the years is priceless, but they still need supervision – more times for the baby not to mess with your pet than the other way around :).

Developmental Toys for Baby

sassybooksetThere are a lot of brands out there when it comes to baby toys.. and for different age groups I love different brands… For our littlest ones, however, I really like the Sassy Baby Developmental Toy line. They have great toys for baby’s first year and they have developmentally appropriate toys for every 3 month mark. Their high contrast patterns are perfect for getting their attention and keeping them engaged. Check out the post about their vision development to learn more. They also have small tips of baby milestones on their packaging which is a nice reminder of things baby should be working on achieving. One thing I love to gift is their first sounds book set and cube.




My Fav Thing: Rock N’ Play Sleeper

rocknplayThe Rock N’ Play Sleeper was a must have in our home with both girls and many of my friends homes for their little ones. Here is a list of why I love this thing!

— It really helps with reflux – putting baby in it for 20 minutes post a feeding to help digestion really helped. Even helps with reflux at night to help baby (and me!) get some sleep.
— It helps when baby is congested – usually unable to sleep comfortably on their back, I found that in the Rock N’ Play, my girls were able to breathe comfortably and sleep through the night (well at least until the next feed) thanks to its incline!
— It has an incline – hence helping with reflux and congestion – but also, when baby was awake and I wanted to get stuff done (shower, dishes, fold laundry, the list goes on), I would put her in there so she could see me and I could talk to her and sing to her while she watched me.
— It rocks! literally, which meant that when baby was getting fussy, I could put her in the Rock N Play and help her settle down without needing to carry her the whole time!
— It folds – so you can take it easily in your trunk when going to visit friends and family with a clean safe place above the ground for baby to play or sleep! Or you can store it on the side of the couch when it is not being used!
— Lastly, the cover is one big piece and really easy to take on and off which made throwing it in the wash with the other clothes a piece of cake!(mmmm, cake!) Not to mention all the cute patterns in comes in!

*** TIPS ***
***I found the back support to be quite hard (which it should since it is also approved for sleep) – so I used to fold a small receiving blanket to put behind their head in between the cover and the back board to help prevent flattening.
***I also wouldn’t use it during the day for more than 20-30 minute segments, usually after feeds (thereby allowing time for baby to be flat and move their limbs and TUMMY TIME!), except at night of course :)
***Lastly, some people had complained of mold forming underneath the cover over time, so check and clean it frequently and if you have any issues call the manufacturer.