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My kid liked this thing around that age. Manhattan Toy has quite a few cute non-electronic toys.
We took a trip when my son was 3 months old. The trip is 6.5-7 hours if it were just me and my husband, and it took about 8.5 hours with the 3 month old. We stopped every 2-2.5 hours to nurse and play with him and then back into the car seat. He played with his Winkel toy and slept most of the trip. I sat in the front the whole time and didn’t need to sit with him. We left in the morning and got to the location around 4pm. Make sure you have ways to block the sun hitting the car seat on the drive. The drive there was a lot easier than the drive back. He was a lot more fussy on the way back and didn’t really want anything to do with being in the car seat for a week or so after the trip. Other than that he was fine when we got back and his schedule wasn’t affected. The trip occurred before the 4 month sleep regression hit, so he was still sleeping pretty well at night and had no issues with going down for a nap.
My daughter gets mad and frustrated with the oball because she can't get it in her mouth. The winkel she can grab with her hands (and feet!) AND get it in her mouth. She loves it.
If she's having trouble grasping, try this — even if she can't totally grasp yet, the loops here will give her some assistance so she can move it around and practice holding it. Worked great for our 2.5 month old, who now grasps other toys well.
I got this for my daughter after our very first daddy-daughter errand day. (She was good - didn't cry and just chilled in the Baby Bjorn while I went shopping, so this was a "reward" - read: it was an excuse for me to buy her a toy.)
She was 2 months old then, 4 months old now... It's consistently been her favorite toy. It has a soft rattle, is easy for her to grip, and apparently tastes pretty good as well.
My baby's absolute favorite toy was the jumper. We also had a walker that we parked in one place and piled with stacking cups, rings, and little balls. He loved throwing them all to the floor.
Winkel ball: [link]
Baby Einstein Musical Toy (he's almost 2 and still loves this): [link]
Indestructible books: [link]
This one is really noisy but he loved it: [link]
My son’s first toy was this: [link]
As for books, jelly cat books are great first books
I don’t have a big issue with small plastic toys. I just tried to avoid large plastic toys like a plastic play kitchen.
Light up toys are a little annoying, but they also aren’t the best toys developmentally. Light up toys tend to be a little too stimulating, so when the baby plays with something doesn’t doesn’t have lights, it may not keep their attention as well. They also aren’t used for very long before the baby outgrows it.
My son’s first toy: Winkel Toy - good for 2-6 month olds
Here is a good write up about toys and it gives examples by age at the bottom: [link]
Have you tried a Winkel? It was my son’s favorite. We got it when he was around 11 weeks.
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I honestly buy toys that aren't specific. Stuff that seems boring and doesn't require batteries. My 7 month old has stuff like a winkle teether, sensory balls, baby beads, etc.
Not because I'm sooooo against loud bright toys, but because he's baby 4 and I finally figured out that stuff tends to keep their attention longer. I'll probably get him some of these next, or some type of busy board if I can find anything appealing for his age range.
We are almost at 9 months here. The biggest expenses for us were the initial one offs- crib, crib mattress, glider chair, car seat, stroller, bassinet (we used the one that came with our stroller, but bought a stand for it). We got some money at our shower to go towards the big items, and I bought all of the above used except the car seat, crib mattress, and bassinet stand. There is a lot of high quality, lightly used baby furniture out there.
Never pay full price for diapers. They are on sale all the time. Costco and Amazon have good deals, so does Loblaws if you are part of the insiders club. Once you find a brand that works for you, buy in bulk!
I've bought some clothing used through facebook, and it has been great for getting a bunch of certain sizes for very cheap, but sometimes it is nice to buy outfits that you picked out. I would budget maybe $150 for the first 6-9 months (if you are very careful). It might sound like a lot, but it adds up so fast!
There are tons of gadgets, lotions, toys, etc. It will be very hard to resist, but you really only need some basics; baby shampoo, lotion, baby tylenol, diaper rash cream (penaten has worked the best for us), snot sucker, nail clippers, and a baby thermometer will cover you for most issues; soothers, cloths, an activity gym, and the Winkel ( https://www.amazon.ca/Manhattan-Toy-Winkel-Sensory-Teether/dp/B000BNCA4K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=winkle&qid=1581193462&sr=8-1) were the only toys he used for maybe 6 months.
If you are going back to work at 6 months you will likely need a pump, unless formula feeding. See if your benefits cover the purchase of one. I haven't bought one yet, but my partner's health spending account covers pumps as a 'medical device' (but my insurance won't, it just depends on the employer).
We don't spend much on pouches and baby cereal as we moved on to finger foods pretty quickly (he didn't like being spoon fed very much). Currently we spend around $15/week on pouches and snacks. This mostly covers snacks/the odd lunch when we are out. The rest of the time he eats 'regular' food.
Oh and watch out for take out and coffee! I spent most of the summer and fall walking around our neighbourhood and would inevitably end up at coffee shops almost daily. It added up quickly! It was worth it, because I needed time out of the house, but just be aware.
*Edited a word
We have this rattle and she loves it. Easy to grab, chewable, and was a staple for most babies when I worked in childcare
So is the 6 month old starting to crawl yet or showing an interest? Some of my son's former favorites:
learn and play zoo This one was great because it was the only way for him to do tummy time
Manhattan toy company sensory thing It was just great for him to learn grasping and made a rattle. Wonderful in the car
Mortimer the moose Just a simple toy that makes noises (bell in one hoof, squeeker in the body, etc.
play tower May be a little advanced but he will just love watching it and start to understand where to put the balls once he get s a bit older
play cube This one he could sit and play with for a while. It's light so he can pick it up and move it
my personal favorite-spinning tower toy This is a favorite for all ages. A little young at 6 months but he will probably watch it in amazement. My son is now 14 months and understands the concepts well, but before he just loved watching the disks spin. It's been a toy given at many a 1st birthday parties
I hope that gives you a decent start. Good luck!
> Can new shoes for mommy go in the baby toy budget?
I say yes!
Here's a few other things my kiddo liked (with pics/links!):
this rattle, this crinkly guy, and any of these Touch and Feel books.
Here's my .02 about things that my son liked at that age:
And like others have recommended, anything that is squishy, squeezy, makes sounds, etc. He was also fascinated with things like an empty water bottle, a dead cell phone or remote (with batteries removed), etc. The musical tables are great as well as exersaucers!
Edit to add: besides the exesaucer, he still plays with most of these toys!