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Nesting cups:
They provide so many possibilities for play. Baby can build towers (more likely knock them down), scoop things, fill them, find things hiding underneath them, play with them in the bath, you name it. Super open ended toy, which is the best kind of toy.
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Exercise ball:
These are great for bouncing with baby for vestibular input, and for facilitating tummy time if baby doesn't like laying flat on the floor.
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Inflatable water mat:
GREAT tool for tummy time. Also provides opportunities for practicing fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, and strengthening.
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Touch and feel book:
Sensory input is so important! Here is a great option for incorporating tactile play into baby's day.
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Foot rattles:
How CUTE are these? I love foot rattles for when baby starts kicking. It helps bring baby's awareness to their feet and encourages them to look towards their feet, which is a precursor to rolling.
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Silicone baby blocks:
I like these because they are non toxic, and blocks are multi-purpose/open ended toys that will grow with baby's motor skills.
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Wooden puzzle toys:
I much prefer wood over plastic. These are made of natural materials and offer lots of functions (teething, play, problem solving).
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Silicone link toys:
Non toxic linking toys for hanging on stroller, from crib, from cabinet handles. Attach a loofah or scarves to the end for endless play.
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High contrast image book with mirror:
Great tummy time entertaining, providing a variety of visual stimulation.
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High contrast baby mobile:
I like this baby mobile because the images face the baby, not you, providing a more functional purpose than many other baby mobiles on the market.
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Object permanence box/ball drop:
Who else loves Montessori toys? They are well made, simple, and open ended.
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Portable baby mobile:
This will help keep your young infant entertained with the reversible high contrast images. It is also portable and can be attached to stroller or play spot.
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Olababy silicone feeding utensils:
Great introduction to self-feeding and using utensils.
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Wooden play gym:
I like this one because it is simple, foldable, and not visually over-stimulating for a baby.
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Ergobaby 360 Carrier:
This carrier provides optimal positioning for baby's hip health (frog leg position with the knees above the pelvis). Baby should be worn facing the parent at least until 6 months of age/baby is a steady independent sitter.
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Abiie Wooden High Chair:
Provides foot support and ideal 90/90/90 positioning for eating. Adjustable and will grow with your baby.
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Pop n Play portable play yard:
Don't rely on restrictive baby gear! This is a great solution for providing your baby with full freedom of movement while you step away. Bring it with you wherever you go!
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Here are some of my favorite products for your child's first year
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Austen's Recommended Amazon Products
For Infants
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Tissue box with scarves:
Such a great activity for building fine motor skills. These scarves come with letters on them, so you can continue to use them through the toddler and preschool years! Stuff the scarves into the Oball for baby to practice fine motor skills, or your preschooler to practice letter identification.
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Oball:
Such an essential, and babies love them. Provides opportunities to grasp and bring hands to midline. You can pull scarves inside (see next toy!) for baby to pull out to work on fine motor skills.
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Rolling toy:
I like this one because it is wood, not plastic. It offers auditory input, and provides opportunities to work on motor skills like bilateral integration, hand eye coordination, gross motor skills.