Charlotte just turned eight months old and it’s as if a light bulb went off in her little brain. In a matter of days she started sitting up on her own, began babbling up a storm (mostly about dada, but I still claim she said mama first hehe), and grabbing at literally everything in sight – which can get interesting at times ;). I’m sure you’ve heard that the majority of a baby’s brain is developed in the first three years, but did you know that a baby’s brain actually doubles in size just in the first year? Pretty amazing, and to be honest, a little intimidating at the same time. All of the sudden you start to feel the pressure of making sure you’re challenging their little minds, instead of just stealing about 2,000 kisses throughout the day. Luckily, around this same time, I had the privilege of partnering with IncrediBundles.com to try out their awesome bundles specifically designed with a baby’s development in mind. I love that they make it so easy, since us moms have enough on our plate as it is, and you can either choose from one of their pre-made bundles (book, bath, sleep, etc.) or you can choose to create your own bundle which is what I did.
When creating my bundle, I thought back to the types of activities I remembered doing with Garrett and seeing how much he thrived from them. So I’ve listed below my tried and true ways to stimulate development in your baby, along with the IncrediBundles items I selected for Charlotte.
1) book worm
I’ve always heard that you should read to your children at least 15-20 min every day. Seems easy enough right? Well, when things like work, keeping up with household chores, and juggling another child’s schedule come into play, it’s easy for a simple task like reading to your baby to go by the wayside. That’s why a lot of parents incorporate bedtime stories into their nightly routine, which is something we always did with Garrett that he still loves it to this day. However, with Charlotte, it hasn’t proven to be so simple. I’m lucky if her bedtime routine even consists of a bath, and when it comes time to put her down, all she wants to do is nurse. But when I started browsing all the books on IncrediBundles.com, I came across this Fluffy Chick soft cloth book. I remembered Garrett loving a similar one he got as a gift when he was a baby. It’s so perfect because all she wants to do is put everything in her mouth anyway, including hard books (go figure), and she loves the crumpling sound it makes when she squeezes it. I highly recommend it along with several of the classics they have to choose from like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” – which happened to me my fave as a little girl.
I don’t know why, but watching a baby play in the bath has always been something I loved to do. It’s right up there with hearing their first giggles – I just can’t get enough. Charlotte has now graduated from a sink bath to sitting up in her own big girl tub, and has learned the joyful art of splashing (usually in my general direction). It’s so fun to see her discover the water – which started with little baby kicks, and now is an all out splash war with her hands and feet competing to see which one can get mommy the wettest. Big brother loves coming in and laughing at my expense, and he gets so excited to hand her bath toys that he used to play with as a baby. But one of my new favorite toys for her is one I just got in our bundle – the Skip Hop Pink Dunck Stacking Bath Toy. She can stack them and play with all three as they float around her, or it also doubles as a rinse cup – so I can finally retire the old Rockets plastic cup that doesn’t exactly go with our bathroom décor 😉
3) Jam out
It’s no mystery – music is just good for the mind, body, and soul. But I’ve seen it firsthand with Garrett. He loves music, and always has since his very first Melissa and Doug instrument set. Nowadays he likes playing more with mommy’s guitar and an awesome keyboard he got for Christmas one year. He loves giving Charlotte his hand-me-down wooden instruments, and they have little mini jam sessions in his room :). But I figured it was time for her to have some of her own, so I was super excited to find this Mini Orchestra Set to add to our bundle. She loves it, because they’re easy for her to hold and make all kinds of new sounds. I love it, because I know it’s helping her with coordination and rhythm, and all those important sensory/early motor development skills. Very fitting for her namesake hashtag – #dothechacha 😉
4) Little builder
There’s something about playing with blocks that just never gets old. The minute I opened these awesome Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks, Charlotte and Garrett both took to them right away. I was shocked that lil Cha Cha knew exactly what to do and starting fitting the smaller boxes inside the larger ones. All the bright colors and fun animal illustrations are so perfect for stimulating their little minds, and I can’t wait to use them to teach her the A, B, C’s. Garrett even got in on the action and had fun stacking them saying “Mama look, I made the Eiffel Tower!” They then proceeded to make a game where Charlotte would throw the littlest box on the ground from her highchair at Garrett hiding under the table until he picked it back up for her cackling the whole time 😉 I can tell we’ll be getting hours of entertainment out of these, and who can ask for more than that right?!?
And to top it all off, each IncrediBundle comes in its very own reusable storage container that doubles as the cutest little toy box! My mom and I couldn’t get over the quality of it, and how it would be the perfect baby shower gift for any expectant mama. Speaking of, head on over to my Instagram where you can enter to win a $50 gift card that you can use as a gift or to create your own IncrediBundle for your little one!