When you have a baby it can seem like there is an insurmountable amount of gear to buy. Then you start adding in the toys you will want and need and you may start to feel like you are drowning in stuff! The last thing I ever wanted was for my home to look like a daycare centre. I didn’t want to be one of those people who put all of their kiddo’s items in a separate room so there was no sign of a child living in your home, but I also didn’t want things to look…tacky.
Fret not, friends! I have found the perfect balance between having toys and gear in the house while keeping things stylish. In partnership with buybuy BABY, I have sought out (and found) toys and gear for baby that will last through a variety of stages so you aren’t constantly having to acquire new stuff (and a bigger storage room). I was able to find all of these items at buybuy BABY and I’m sure you know they were all on my registry, too! Here we go!
The Perfect Play Area
As soon as I saw these foam tiles, I knew I had to have them. I wanted something neutral that would match my home’s design aesthetic (i.e. match my living room). The Skip Hop Playspot GeoFoam Floor Tiles come in grey and white as well as a chevron pack in peach and grey and provide a safe play area for baby.
I know these tiles might seem a little pricier than others, but they come in really gorgeous neutral colours and can be laid out in a number of super fun patterns. They are also a nicer quality that what you’ll find from other brands and quality is what you’ll want when it comes to longevity. You can configure them to fit any space you need – just add extra sets where required!
These tiles are really versatile. They’re great for baby and toddler play areas but also really useful for a home gym, cushy place to stand on the tile and more.
If you aren’t into the idea of tiles and prefer one full play mat, then I recommend the Skip Hop Little Traveler Reversible Play Mat. I love that this mat is reversible with a cute whimsical pattern on one side and a more grown-up, modern neutral chevron pattern on the other. I like this one-piece mat because it’s easy to use outside on the deck and bring in if it rains, or I can roll it up and take it with me (over to grandma’s!).
This mat is insanely cushy and comfy (I can’t stop pressing my feet into it!) and it is so easy to wipe clean, because….you know, babies.
Okay, I will admit that before I had a baby, I thought play gyms were a little silly and wondered if she’d ever use it. Then I set one up and she was in pure joyful heaven. These toys are great for motor skills and other important parts of baby’s development, but also just a ton of fun! We got two different play gyms because we wanted one on each level of our home:
Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym: Our little one loved this play gym. She enjoyed each of the hanging toys and how they each made a different sound. It might not look like it, but this oversized mat comes with 17 different developmental activities, 5 hanging toys and 13 loops to hang them from! I love how much variety that it provides and that is is machine washable! I also liked that although it is colourful, it isn’t too “loud”.
Skip Hop Camping Cubs Activity Gym: This play mat has a really interactive play mat with a variety of textures, colours and sounds, plus it doubles as a fun little fort when baby is bigger.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of our little one’s toys feature woodland creatures. We figured that since we are such outdoorsy Canadians that these would be a fun way to introduce her to the wilderness.
What to look for: Get a play gym that is part machine-washable play mat, part hanging toys. The play mat is perfect for tummy time, the hanging toys are great for super little ones and extra fun once baby can sit up on their own.
Play Saucer & Table
An exer-saucer is a must get for a baby. They help them learn how to stand on their own offers an opportunity for independent play (i.e. somewhere safe for them to be when you need to go pee!). Our top registry pick was the Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Center & Exerciser.
I chose this one because the height is adjustable so you can adjust it as baby grows. Again, I liked the subdued colours but also how long I would be able to use this particular item. The soft cloth seat detaches and goes in the washing machine, too, which is fantastic.
All of the toys on the table are detachable and the base, once used to support baby’s feet, pops into the top of the table. This grey piece actually doubles as a wipeable chalk board! Once baby is old enough, you can add in the matching chairs and it can be used as a craft or activity table!
Living in the great white north, I know that pool season is pretty short, so if you’re investing in an inflatable pool, you want it to have multiple uses if possible. Here are three ways to use your inflatable pool:
- Use it as an outdoor swimming pool. If you get one that is a reasonable size, it can be used on a deck or patio!
- Use it as an indoor swimming pool. This is an option that I only suggest for those of you with unfinished basements (because, you know).
- Use it as a ball pit! Let’s be honest, those community ball pits always seemed a little grungy, so why not create your own! Plus, you can add/subtract balls so it isn’t too deep or scary for your little!
Toys For The Tub, Pool & Play!
The pool is the best other place to use all of your little’s super fun bath toys! Although some of my favorite bath toys can also be used on and around the play area I mentioned above, they’re extra fun when you’re outside splashing in the sunshine!
Skip Hop Zoo Dog Basketball Bath Toy: This is fun in both the tub and the pool. You could also set it up beside your play area!
Skip Hop Zoo Monkey Pull & Go Submarine: This is a really fun tub toy, but it’s extra fun in the pool where there’s a little more space to let this guy go!
Skip Hop 5-Piece Zoo Stack & Pour Buckets: These little buckets are a ton of fun in the tub and the pool, but also great for stacking on a play mat.
Munchkin 4-Piece Fishin’ Bath Toy Set: I love this fishing set! It is a ton of fun in water, but also fun to use in a bucket or even behind a box or little barrier where you can surprise baby with the catch of the day.
Munchkin Farm Bath Squirters: I like these toys on the play mat. They’re great for lining up and creating a little farm on the mat, but also great for chewing on during teething! They float really well in water and are fun to fill with water and squirt from. They should be fun for quite a few years.
Munchkin Penguin Bubble Bath Blower: There are few things as fun as bubbles – in the tub, in the pool, in the backyard! Just remember that bubbles will make a surface slippery, so I don’t recommend using this around a play area.
Be sure to check out my Bath Time With Baby post for the rest of my favourite bath toys!