Alice isn't crawling yet, per se, but she is getting dangerously close. She's pretty much figured out how to pivot around in any direction and move forward in a complicated combination of scrunching, scooting, pulling, and squirming. Once she figures out how to coordinate her knees and elbows, there will be no stopping her. I've resigned myself, crawling is imminent. I'm sure it will happen within the month, but sometimes these things just click without warning. It could be a matter of days...
*Update: In between writing this yesterday and publishing this morning, Alice made significant crawling progress. In fact, Jon reports that Alice maneuvered across the living room yesterday in a fairly coordinated effort of knees and elbows. No straight arms yet, but that's kind of splitting hairs at this point.
The other day, she was scooting around on the floor and extended her tiny hand in her particularly delicate, deliberate, exploratory fashion right toward the electrical outlet. We were watching her closely, of course, and she can't reach it while she's still grounded by her elbows, but still. Baby-proofing is clearly required immediately.
Also, after her 6-month well-baby appointment in a few weeks, we'll start introducing solid foods. Aside from a few baby food cookbooks and a food mill, we are completely unprepared for this.
I am planning to cook most or all of Alice's food, except probably rice cereal. I know I don't need any fancy paraphernalia to do this, but I bet there are some great things out there that parents would tell me they couldn't get through baby mealtime without. I have my eye on a few things, like this:
Alice also needs a seat at the table. I've been shopping for high chairs since before she was born but keep getting discouraged with the crappy options and give up before I make any progress. I don't know why there aren't more appealing affordable options in the baby gear arena. Yes, there is a ton of awesome, stylish, high-concept/high-design gear, with outrageous price tags to match. I firmly believe that good taste does not have to cost any more than bad taste, but baby product manufacturers clearly do not agree.
We have a small house with little to no storage. If I can't stash this stuff away when we aren't using it, I don't want it to take up any more room than necessary, compete with my decor, or give me a headache to look at or listen to. I don't think that's too much to ask. I don't know who Fisher Price & Graco design for, but I have news for them: BABIES DON'T BUY THEIR OWN STUFF. Parents make the purchases and I bet that, if they had the option, most would choose something timeless, neutral and reusable that compliments their general style. Garish colors and tacky cartoon prints are not "visually stimulating," they are ugly and annoying more often than not. Plus, it's virtually impossible to get everything you might need in styles and designs that even coordinate, let alone match each other.
OK, I'm done ranting, but I would like to find a high chair that is safe, functional, practical, easy to clean and care for, not enormous, and reasonably not-ugly. Based on what I've seen and read so far, two of the current front-runners are:
The Valco Astro (left) folds down flat into the shape of the bottom footprint, only 6.7" high. That would be easy to slide under or next to our coffee console, or somewhere in the laundry room. The Fisher Price Space Saver (right) would not be easy to stash away if our seats are all full of adults, but that doesn't happen very often.
I'm very interested in the new Baby Bjorn high chair, but it is currently only available in Europe. One drawback I can see already is that because it uses the "fold-down table" as the restraint system, the tray can't be removed to transition the chair to the table. That's not a deal breaker for me, I'm not opposed to graduating to a booster seat, but it would be nice to get as many years as possible out of a pricey piece of gear. The molded seat is so appealing to me, I'd seriously consider soliciting a European to export one for me...
My mom said she loved the seat she used for my brother that attached to the table, but our brand new dining table scratches very easily (which we didn't discover until it was at our house), so I'd rather not destroy it prematurely. It seems like a lot of people just go with the $20 "Antilop" from Ikea because it's good enough and the price is right, but I'd prefer something with a tray, at least until Alice is old enough to use a booster seat not throw her food and utensils everywhere (see delicate table finish, above).
So anyway, for all you parents out there who have already done all the research and trial & error on feeding a human child and protecting them from hidden household dangers, I need your advice. Please answer the following, using complete sentences (don't forget to show your work!):
- What high chair do you have? Do you like it? Why or why not?
- What spoons/bowls/baby food storage containers do you use/recommend?
- If you make your own baby food, do you have any great tips?
Please fill in the blanks:
- The feeding/baby-proofing (other) gear I couldn't live without is ___.
- The thing I wished I'd known when I was ___ is ____.
- If I had to do ___ again, I would make sure to ___.
- When you are buying ___, make sure it does/has ___.
- When you are ___, make sure to ___.
- When you are ___, you will definitely need ___.