While I was pregnant...
Everyone: "They grow up SO fast."
Me: (With moderate disregard) "Mmm hmm."
Four Months later...
Me: "Oh my god! My baby is already four months old! They grow up SO fast."
It's funny how one the one hand, it feels like Brayden has been part of our family forever while on the other hand, it seems like just yesterday I was going to the bathroom for the 52nd time that day and fielding overly personal questions about pregnancy from my sophomore English class. It's also funny how Lauren and I bought all these great baby toys while I was pregnant without realizing that it would be months (we're talking 6 to 8) before our little one would be playing with any of them. Silly us. We have had some winners, however, and Brayden certainly has strong opinions about what he likes and doesn't like.
I've also learned along the way that the 0-4 month age range can be so much fun. At first, I didn't know what I could really do (other than change, talk to, nurse and love) a baby who can't even see across the room or keep his head up. But I have simply loved this age and have had so much fun interacting and playing with the little guy. It has been fascinating watching him develop and grow along the way. In addition to my own antics (I have become quite a pro at making up songs and silly games for infants), we've been lucky enough to score some points with Brayden on a few toys. I've listed them chronologically - starting with his earliest favorite things and ending with the most recent. At the end, I've also included a few Mommy favorites.
Brayden's Top Ten...
Peter Linenthal). There was also one that unfolded like an accordion (Black & White by Tana Hoben) that I propped up next to his changing table. He was always looking at the wall anyway, so I figured it would be more interesting than green paint. He loved these. His earliest "favorite" thing for sure.
Fisher-Price whale one. There's a great little divider that props up babies not old enough to sit (I found this better than the slings/seats that come with some baths).
This might have been his longest running favorite "toy". He's only now starting to grow wearisome of it (and I suspect it's because he's wanting more room to roll over and move around). He would lay on this and play for a good 15-30 minutes even when he was just a month or so old. The toys at the top are interchangeable and I would switch them out with others that I bought (not necessarily designed for the activity center, but all you need are rings to attach) to give Brayden some variety. He actually noticed when I changed things, which was really interesting. I love using toys that make noise when he hits them or pulls on them (like the Sassy Chime animals or the Bright Start Take & Shakes). He would pick up on the cause & effect pretty quickly and then work to keep doing it. Because my boy is a kicker (oh, is he ever!) he adored the piano at the bottom. When he was lying down, he would kick the crap out of it (kicking = music). And the piano switches around so he can play with his hands once he can sit up. Super cool, IMHO.
one for his crib so he could talk to himself and stare at his big blue eyes more often!
sea creatures (which is probably my favorite) and the peek-a-boo set (which has a weird peacock thing that looks like a turkey and a frog my husband thinks is smoking a pipe).
Raffi cds that he remembered from his childhood. I think my little guy is just a music man in general, but he definitely does enjoy these songs. There are some in particular that I swear he recognizes and likes more than others.
this toy spins and makes rattle noises and the bottom plays music when the keys are hit. He watches me spin the top and then does it over and over (and over) again. Or he just pounds away at the little keyboard and listens to some classical tunes belt out. It's pretty small (about the size of my hand) and was a cheap, good toy.
this one score major points with my son, but it keeps my husband occupied for hours, too. All I heard for a week was how cool the toy was. When someone (baby or husband) hit a flower, it plays a loud piano-like note. All of the flowers have different tones so it becomes quite musical. When hit, the flowers also light up, which is pretty cool. My little guy loves this toy right now. As soon as we put it in front of him, he starts smacking at it.
Some Mommy Faves...