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Heather shares her favorite things- part 1

So, you've made it past the newborn stage. Congratulations! And, you've managed to put all of that stuff you registered for to good use...or at least most of it. But now you are entering uncharted territory. You have a baby who is eating purees and real people food. They aren't staying on that play mat like they did a few short months ago. You need new gear...FAST.

While I was pretty confident with our picks for newborn gear, there seems to be less time spent on items that are great for the 6-month and beyond set. So in an effort to share some things that we have found and loved, I've compiled a list of five items that we couldn't live without. These items are not only loved by us but also by our little guy. My criteria for picking these items was that the item stood the test of time not only in durability but also that we've been able to use the items for longer than a few months. In fact, I can honestly say that we've used these 5 items for well over 9 months and still use them daily/weekly. Hopefully this short list will be helpful for some of you mommas with little babies as they begin to enter the wonderful world of teething. eating real food, and outgrowing all of that cute newborn gear.

One side note before I give you the list...I am by no means getting any kickback from these companies for talking about these products. These are simply 5 things that the Tully household has loved and would happily recommend to any of my nearest and dearest mommy friends.

1. ezpz Happy Mat ($19.99-$24.99)

Hands down my favorite product. I'm serious. If this was a publicly-held company, I would buy stock. All of it. I love this thing and so does the little guy. It is basically a mat with deeps wells in that that suctions to the table, minimizing mess and making it easy for your little one to use utensils and learn to feed him/herself. Even better- the mat is dishwasher safe and stackable in your cabinet. Also of note: the mat is made of silicone and is BPA-,PVC-, and phthalate-free. And if that weren't enough, it is hypoallergenic and won't harbor bacteria. The wells are even deep enough to use for yogurt and cereal. There are several different versions of this available, including one with an 8-ounce bowl and the new mini mat that is geared for beginner eaters and has smaller compartments for smaller amounts of food/purees for the littlest eaters. Go buy this. Now. You'll thank me.

2. Zoli Gummy Sticks ($10-$15 for pack of 2)

We must have tried 6 different teethers until we found this beauty. It was a hit in our household when J began teething at the rip old age of 19 weeks and has made several appearances since then-especially for the horrible two week period that one in the Tully household slept due to four gigantic molars. The silicone rub on the end of this stick is perfect for chewing on. We've really liked Zoli products in general and this is no exception. The only caveat to this product: despite the guard on the stick, we monitored him closely when he used it and kept it on a pacifier clip. This was to keep J from chewing on the wrong end of the stick since we were concerned he'd gag himself and we just weren't too keen on that.

3. Bumbo Multiseat ($44.99)

This little seat has paid for itself in the short time we've had it. We particularly like it as an on-the-go seat when visiting friends/family that don't have houses stocked with baby gear. It is also super useful for travel. The straps secure easily around a chair and store within the base of the chair when not in use. The built-in tray is also incredible convenient and easy to clean. Bonus- its a place to plop your little one in a location that doesn't come equipped with the baby gates you've gotten used to at your own house. And when your little daredevil decides to scale your regular-sized highchair like Mt. Everest, this becomes a lifesaver while you give that big chair the boot to the basement until someone realizes he/she isn't a mountain climber.

4. Infantino Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station ($24.99, but can be found for less on Amazon)

Those pouches can get expensive. For awhile J didn't care for them and I thought this contraption I bought back when he was 6 months old was useless. Until those dreaded molars I mentioned above...and then ALL he wanted to eat were soft foods and his love affair with pouches was rekindled. Now that he can feed himself pouches, this little machine has become a real easy way to pack a healthy snack and get sneaky with what I put in the pouches. This little machine can make up to three pouches at a time. The refills are easy to purchase and while I haven't done the math, I know that when I buy a few organic apples and a bag of carrots to steam and puree in my food processor, I can fill many, many, more pouches than what I could buy for the same price. The pouches can be frozen which is great for making a large batch of something and popping them away to take out at a later date. For on-the-go mornings, I'll prepare pouches with a mix of applesauce and yogurt, For sneaking in veggies and protein, I will make lunch or dinner pouches with spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and even mix in cooked lentils or quinoa. For the money, this gadget has been worth it. (TIP: get this on amazon and save money) I have several friends with older kids who have shared that these pouches have been perfect for preschool lunches and snacks just filled with yogurt or applesauce.

5. Hanna Andersson Swedish Slipper Moccasins ($25)

We are big Hanna fans in our household in general, but this little pair of moccasins has been a staple since J was little. During his first winter when he was non-mobile, they were perfect for keeping his feet warm at home and when we were out and about. Now that he is walking, they are used daily when he's playing around the house. With tile, wood, and carpeted floors in the house, these are a great non-slip shoe that he will actually keep on. If we're running a quick errand in the car and he won't need to be walking around, we'll still use them to throw on quickly. They are completely washable which is another huge bonus since they see a lot of action each week. And, of course he wears them to bed with his Hanna jammies.

So, mommas, there it is. Five things we've loved. I sincerely hope this little list has been helpful. It is's one thing, its finding products that are practical and durable. An added bonus is getting to share that love with you. Happy shopping. XO!

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