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Part 2: Extending my list of essential items for babies in Germany, 3-6 month old edition.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


The best feedback I can get on a blog post is that it is so helpful, it has been referenced several times. This is the best kind of encouragement to keep going, so your girl is back with the next iteration of 'damn, babies are expensive' with a list of items for 3-6 month olds.


Before I get started, I just want to note that the list of newborn essentials is the foundation of this post, i.e. this post assumes you already own the 0-3 month items. Here I laid out our circumstances (so I won't repeat here) and shopping philosophies, while also including all the stuff we already own, 95% of which is still in use for in the 3-6 month phase of life. I already have good news for you though, and that is the upfront purchase is by far the most stuff we have purchased. Thus future lists are much more manageable and also include more FUN items, since babies are more fun with age.


baby Marienplatz Munich winter

(New) Circumstantial Notes

The only rule is that change is constant, so I will drop some additional points around

  • Max has now been around long enough for me to confidently say he is an easy baby. He is so good humored and easily goes with the flow.

  • Enter: cooler weather.

  • We spent months 5 & 6 of Max's life in the USA / away from home.

  • I stopped pumping at four months and switched completely to formula.

  • While some recommend starting with solids around 4 months, we started at 6 with the the baby led weaning (BLW) approach.

 

Shopping List for 3-6 Month Old Babies

I love product research and scouring the e-commerce world, so it is a gift for me to share my passion with others. Like my previous post, I will list the generic items by category, and then the exact products I recommend in line with it (if I have one). Unlike with the newborn stuff, the variance in e.g. toy offerings gets wider, so you'll have more options to choose from and of course can insert your own personality into it because these days it is all made in various materials, colors, and patterns.


Parenting Books

  • Baby-Led Feeding. Even though I officially started with solids once Max was a full six months, I really liked informing myself upfront about baby led weaning and what to expect. This book also offers a hybrid approach for those who still want to offer purees, so I am happy to recommend it as a holistic view. It really breaks down schedules and amounts so you can feel confident you're satisfying baby's hunger. What I really enjoyed is the phased recipes, even including a final step of options the whole family can enjoy together.


Instagram Accounts to Follow

  • @solidstarts is the bible for BLW. I also recommend their app next, but they cover every question or concern you could ever imagine for starting solids. They offer paid guides if you want extra detail, but their Instagram account alone is a great free resource.

  • @feedinglittles is an additional resource to Solid Starts that also likes to bring some humor. There are so many accounts to provide meal inspiration, so once you follow a couple the algorithm will feed you until you're full (pun intended).

  • @carochambers is a California-based home chef and 3x boy mom who offers fun cooking tips for the whole family and keeps it real with motherhood. I love her series "1st like 3rd" (see her highlights) where she offers tips on how to parent your first child like it is your third. I love this mindset to help check in with myself and my mom guilt.


Apps to Download

  • Solid Starts. The best part about this app is the database where you can search a food and it will show you in a simple graphic how to introduce it to your child by age and offers recipe ideas. There is also a premium feature that allows you to log the foods, if you are a super tracker.


On-the-Go

  • UPPAbaby Newborn Comfort Insert. Normally I try to be generic about the item but this one is very brand specific. Somewhere between 3-4 months, Max grew bored of the stroller bassinet and I could tell he wanted to see more. However he was still too small for the seat. UPPAbaby offers a soliton here with the Newborn Comfort Insert and it is a perfect solution if you're ready to move out of the bassinet. We even kept Max in it until he reached a year old.

  • Foot muff (Fußsack). Fall rolled around and it was time to inlay the foot muff so Max could stay warm on the cooler days. Most stroller brands offer their own model to fit the stroller, but there are also tons of generic brands that work well like Kaiser and Werner Christ. The first thing you will want to consider is whether to get a fleece (more affordable) or lambskin (warmest) lining, depending on your climate and how you plan to dress baby. The second thing is the size of the sack. I personally opted for one that he could use for the lifetime of the stroller, even though it may have been a little big the first winter. They also them for summer, but I think that's a bit over the top and prefer to just pack a light blanket.

  • Hand warmer for the stroller. Someone gave me the advice that if you splurge on the lambskin, do it in the hand warmers and I couldn't agree more - anything less and you'll need gloves in addition.

  • Straps for stroller. These silicon ties are genius for tying up anything your baby may be holding in the stroller, from bottles and pacifiers to teethers and toys.

  • Pack-n-Play / Travel bed. If you have any stays elsewhere planned, it is time for a travel bed. We weren't sure how much we would use ours, so we opted for one of the more affordable models. It well serves its purpose for us, which is 1) an extra baby bed at home for guests and 2) trips with car. However if I were to do it again, I'd probably splurge on the Babybjörn Travel Bed since it is much lighter and more compact, enabling you to easily bring it along to more places, whether flying somewhere or to a friend's for dinner.


Bath Time

  • Bath soap. The first months we washed Max only with warm water, per our midwife's suggestion. Baby's have very sensitive skin, and my baby turned out to have especially sensitive skin prone to eczema, so after ditching our drugstore brand baby wash, we started using this wonderful shower gel from A-DERMA called Exomega control. The smell is out of this world and is way more sensitive on the skin. A French mama friend recommended and we will never go back. She also recommended purchasing it from Cocoon Center and I can only recommend purchasing from there because their prices there are unbeatable, even with shipping costs.

  • Bath toys. Time to introduce some bath toys! They're still very young at this point, so you can keep it simple with a floating ball or cup. I wouldn't go too crazy yet, but it's fun to slowly introduce some bath time entertainment. I also like to play music during bath time.


Sleep

  • Sleep sacks. I already included these in the previous post, but they are one of those things that come into play right around 3 months, so I want to note them again here. Once your baby begins to roll, it's time to transition from the swaddle to the sleep sack (which was right around 12 weeks for Max). The options are truly endless. I followed a recommendation from @notskinnybutnotfat and can confirm the Woolino sleep sack is a fantastic buy because a they are 1) year-round due to their Merino wool composition and 2) fit the first two years. Some brands will really try to get you here with different weights for different room temperatures and size changes every few months, so you' can easily spend what one Woolino costs with these various combos.


Clothing



Back to the most fun thing to buy... clothes! As a boy mom, I am all about a coordinating combo of the following: onesie as a base layer, pants, and a t-shirt + sweater when it is cooler. On really cold days, you can throw the wool coveralls atop all of this. If there are freezing temperatures, you will also want to throw on some leggings underneath the pants. Once bundled in the foot muff, baby should be warm and cozy for your outdoor adventures.


Here's my list of clothing essentials for the 3-6 month phase:

  • 10x Onesies (My preference is the short sleeve option, since I normally put a long sleeve t-shirt and or sweater over and it is harder to do with a long sleeved onesie)

  • 6x Jammies

  • 7x Pants

  • 2x Leggings

  • 3x Sweaters

  • 1x Sun Hat

  • 2x Beanies

  • 1x Wool Coverall

  • 10x Socks


Feeding


During this phase, we made a decision for our family to switch 100% to formula. My supply had dropped and once I began supplementing one bottle per day with formula, I could see the light and decided that it was worth it for my family for me to feel more like myself again. Plus, Max didn't miss a beat. Everyone has their own timeline here but the timing was perfect for us here.

  • Formula. We are a HIPP family through and through here. We began with the Pre-HA. I bought the powder for home as well as the ready-to-drink bottles, which I always kept in the diaper bag in case of emergency on the go.

  • Formula storage container. I found it a much easier and tidier to have a dedicated storage container to portion the formula, plus it keeps it airtight.

  • Water boiler (Wasserkocher). Like any good german household, you probably already have one. We used the one we already had, but I would recommend one like this that keeps the water at a certain temperature for most efficient formula preparation.


Even though we waited until 6 months to begin baby led weaning, I did make some purchases ahead of time so we would be ready to go.

  • High Chair. During this age, as Max gained strength for sitting, we often sat him at the table with us during meals to initiate his interest in solid foods and include him more in the family. We chose the Stokke Clikk simply because it looks nice in our home and is very easy to clean. In particular I selected this over the classic Tripp Trapp for 1) the ease of cleaning and 2) if you look at used Tripp Trapps on the market, the wood really shows its wear over time. In the summer we bring also bring the Clikk outside and hose it down after messy meals. The downside of this chair is the legs jet out far from the base, so we tripped over the legs frequently until we got used to it.

  • High Chair Support Cushion. Before Max could sit completely independently, we used this ergonomic pillow in the high chair to add extra comfort and support.

  • Plates & utensils for baby. This can be an oddly nuanced topic in the world of baby led weaning. Some avoid silicon due to complaints that a funny taste transfers to the food and there's advice to avoid plates with divisions because it can lead to picky eating / concerns over food touching. Nevertheless I love this starter set for baby led weaning. The utensils are perfect for baby learning to grasp the concept of a knife and spoon and I like that the silicon is unbreakable. The caveat is the plates don't really stick to our high chair (general problem with the material Stokke uses for their trays). My advice is don't overthink this decision and get whatever you like.


Our Formula System

Maybe it was just me, but I found switching to formula a bit overwhelming at first with the various restrictions and finding a way to optimize the preparation. Making a bottle fresh every time seemed like way too much work, my husband refused to buy the Baby Brezza since it takes up so much counter space, yadi ya ya, but I wanted to ensure we followed the instructions provided by HIPP.


If you aren't familiar with making formula from the powder, it looks something like this:

  1. Boil water.

  2. Let water cool to between 40-50C.

  3. Scoop in formula.

  4. Shake well.

  5. Let cool to around 37C for serving; or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.


With Max downing 6 bottles per day, we knew doing this process individually 6x per day wasn't an option. Finally, we found the perfect system for our family. Every evening after Max is in bed, we prepare all of his formula for the following day.

  1. Boil water.

  2. Distribute correct amount of water into storage containers (these are the same we used for pumping).

  3. Let cool to between 40-50C.

  4. Add correct portion of powder scoops.

  5. Shake.

  6. Refrigerate.

  7. Fill bottle at feeding time.


Max enjoys his formula cold, direct from the fridge, so this system worked perfectly for us as there was no need to warm every time.


Toys

Baby is starting to need more entertainment so its time for some toys! At this age, anything really is a toy so I would limit the purchases here, but nevertheless there are some fun things you can introduce.

  • Rattle. It's really the simple things at this 3-6 month stage.

  • Crinkle book. This high contrast, crinkle book was perfect for tummy time. Panda's day may seem simple, but there are lots of little things to catch baby's attention in this book like a mirror and various elements to rub.

  • Teether. Someone gifted us this teether from Matchstick Monkey and it really is the best. It's an antimicrobial, BPA-free teething monkey, which is easy to grip and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

  • Lovey (with tags). Max's first lovey was this rhino. We introduced it after we discovered his love for tags via his baby blankets. Whatever item you gave him, he would always find the tag to rub for comfort and so the rhino was a perfect companion. We also liked that we could clip it to various items, like the play mat or stroller.

  • 2-in-1 activity table. If your baby is like our baby, s/he won't be happy lying down all the time. We loved this 2-in-1 home office activity center. Once Max had the head strength, he could spend 20-30 minutes in here happy and I could e.g. cook a meal in peace. For the early months you have the seat in the center, and once they can pull up to stand the seat can be replaced in the middle with a classic toy to transform it into an activity table.

  • Board books. This is also a great time to start introducing books. We already have quite the collection of board books, which we read at bedtime with varying interest from the little guy.

  • Music player. Another great gift we received with this music player. Max loves music and this way he can play it himself! It is so simple (and plays the same songs on repeat, parents-beware), but it has kept Max's interest well through the first year. No wonder the gifter referred to it as "baby crack".


Accessories

  • Toy bin. Now that you have toys, you will need somewhere to gift them. One of my best friends is a mom of three and at my shower she put her gift in a cute woven bear basket, which we now keep in the living room for toy storage. Such a nice idea, which I will definitely copy for future baby gifts! I also like having a small one because it limits what we keep in the living room and serves as a reminder for toy rotations (Montessori concept).

  • Foam play mat. Once Max started showing signs of crawling, we upgraded to a larger foam play mat. I am not proud of what I spent on what is a foam puzzle at Toddlekind to keep our neutral living room aesthetic, but I am happy I did it. Since then I have found other nice options in various price ranges worth checking out.


Drug Store

  • Paracetamol. The new entrant to the medicine cabinet is baby paracetamol, which is dependent on baby's weight. It is a must-have around for vaccination time, fevers, and for any early teethers. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on the dosage and administration.

 

That should cover it for the 3-6 month age. What were your must haves for this age group? Share in the comments to help out any other new mamas!


3-6 month baby shopping list

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Hi, thanks for stopping by DCS!

I'm Alex, a Texan now at home in Munich, Germany.

 

In real life, I love to host, so I created a little home on the Internet to host everyone. Welcome, I hope you enjoy you stay here on Duck Creek Street!

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