Review: Lamaze Firefly

Enjoying her firefly

Enjoying her firefly

We don’t have a ton of toys for our five month old, but among the few we have there are winners and losers. I consider a “winner” a toy that captures Franci’s attention for more than ten minutes. So far the most successful plaything is her Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly Take Along Toy. It’s easy to hold on to, has that crinkle material inside so it makes noise and lots of limbs to gnaw on.

Eventually she does tire of playing with it, so I think it’s time to broaden her toy collection. I want to make sure and buy something new to introduce when we fly on an airplane later this summer.
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Infant Sippy Cups

We’re still figuring out how this whole solid food thing is going to happen.  We’re leaning towards baby led weaning, since that seems to mean that we don’t cook separate food for her.  My parents rave about the food mill they used when I was little, but I can’t seem to find one that’s any good.  For now, I think I’m just going to smash everything up with a fork.

We have our spoons at the ready, since that was the one thing Franci’s dad registered for when we had a baby shower.  I don’t think we’re going to buy any plastic plates or bowls at this point, which we might regret.  Our kitchen floor is linoleum so everything seems to bounce off it instead of break.
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Baby Gear I Wish I’d Splurged On After All

If you’ve read The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, you know I got pretty hardcore about baby gear. That is, if it wasn’t going to last a long time or perform five functions at once, I didn’t want it. The pleasant side effects of this policy was that I didn’t have mountains of blinking plastic toys to wade through on my way to the kitchen. I saved money and the environment. Great!

But . . . in retrospect I have to wonder if I might have eased my restrictions just a bit to make my life with a new baby a little easier. In Baby Gear I Lived Without, I go over some of the common baby items I didn’t buy. Here are a few things I might have liked after all:
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Creative Play Ideas: Without Toys!

Walking through the baby aisle in through any big box store, you’d think tots require blinking plastic playthings for constant entertainment.  As we point out in The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, parents need far less than they’re pressured to buy in those months leading up to baby’s arrival.  Plus, everyone knows the story of the child who receives a brand new gift only to end up playing with the ribbon and cardboard box.

So what do you have around the house that might fascinate your baby and toddler?

Cereal boxes, egg cartons, and toilet paper tubes. Young children bat them around and sit on them while older kids can use them to construct castles, caterpillars and many other three dimensional art projects.
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How to Recycle Your Clutter

My basement is a level of hell where all my failings as an environmentalist are revealed.  Up above this musty, dank repository of castaway boxes, Christmas decorations, charity donations, and mismatched pots and pans lies a perfectly ordered house.  In fact, the first thing most people do upon entering my humble abode is marvel at the sheer emptiness of it.  “Where’s your stuff?” they ask.  I just offer a smug smile in return, affecting an air of effortless minimalism. 

Where’s my stuff?  It’s in the basement.

Sorting through the contents of my basements was akin to doing an archeological dig, uncovering remnants of my wedding and my baby’s first year.  I’d thought a lot about the environmental impact of bringing a baby into the world.  I limited the baby gear that entered our home and bought much of what we did want at secondhand stores. 
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