I'm back for another baby gear post! So far, I've recapped what we used for contraptions and feeding and today I'm talking: toys! I try to subscribe to the thought of the less toys, the better. So I only have a few things, what I have I rotate, and if I notice that he's not playing with something, I get rid of it. If I like it, I store it for a bit and bring it back in a few weeks to see if his interest is sparked. If I don't like the toy... I konmari it. So, in the beginning this is what I had:
play mat - Javi hated tummy-time. I didn't want a really large play mat but still wanted to encourage tummy-time so this was a good compromise. He didn't use it for very long each day but I did make it a point to put him down on the mat every day. He liked the mirror and I liked the measurement piece because I could see how much he had grown!
Sophie - My guy LOVED Sophie. It was the first toy he grasped for and we brought it everywhere for many, many months. She's expensive but so worth it.
oball - Javi loved this. We had an orange one and he learned to hold it and toss it and roll it. It was a lot of fun for him and he also really loved these sensory balls. They were all great because as they rolled, they encouraged Javi to chase them.
teether - Javi loved teethers and this one was a favorite. We kept it in the car so there was always something around. Quick and easy!
water mat - This also encouraged Javi to stay on his stomach for a few minutes a day. I didn't have this exact one but it was very similar. The cats enjoyed this too and I was afraid they would pop it! But it survived!
teether - I had so many of these, I couldn't even count them. Javi loved them (still uses them). They don't stay cold for that long which isn't too good and they're pretty small (not a choking hazard) but they fall down in between the seats in the car, like where the seatbelt buckle is, and they are hard to get back.
carseat toy - Everyone needs a carseat toy! This was Javi's. It was given to us and it was cute. Once he learned to pull it down to make music he liked it even more. Again the velcro didn't last long and it would fall and bump him in the face when he pulled on it. What is it with velcro?!
As he grew and started to become more mobile (lifting his head, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and eventually walking) I changed out his toys as much as I could. I still try to only have 4-8 items out on his shelf at one time:
object permanence box - Javi mastered this pretty quickly and I was so excited! It's expensive and I bought it on amazon rather than a real Montessori site. The one I got came with a wood ball that was WAY too small and such a choking hazard. So I changed out the ball. But I highly recommend this.
solid wood drum - I thought I would love this because it came highly recommended by Montessori blogs but I found the mallet to be a choking hazard. Maybe I'm too scared, I don't know. But it was always in his mouth and he would chew the yellow part right off. Once he was crawling it was alway in his mouth and he would fall on it and it would still be in his mouth. AH! No, thank you. I quickly took the mallet away and just let him drum with his hands. It's not the same, but it's safer.
wooden bead maze - This was also highly recommended on Montessori blogs and I didn't like it. The suction cups sucked (no pun intended) and it always moved on him when he would try to use it. It was nice that it was so little and compact and didn't take up so much space but it wasn't practical because of it's size.
stacking cups - He loved these from day 1 and still uses them EVERY single day. They are the toy found everywhere in the house, one of the first to be taken from the shelf each day and he loves them.
juggling scarves - He loves these! It's especially fun to put them in an empty wipes container and let him pull one out at a time. What excitement!
foamnasium step // foamnasium wedge - I cannot recommend these enough. They have been played with every day since he was 5 months old. They encouraged him to move and crawl. They let him pull himself up and fall down safely. They are comfy to sit on and watch tv or read books. And now he just runs up and down and all around them. Just the best!
jelly cat soft books - We have so many of these books. He loves them! They're adorable and bright. So worth it! The velcro doesn't stick though so don't think you'll be able to fasten them to your stroller or carseat.
That wraps up what toys we had for his first year!