1. Bumbo– This was great for the period of time before Eva could sit up on her own. I would put Eva in it while I was doing things around the house, and she loved being able to look around and play with the toys I’d leave in front of her. I’d also take it to the beach with us.
2. Alphabet Floor Tiles– I loved these, especially when Eva was learning to crawl and walk. They were easy to clean and they kept her off the dirty floor.
3. Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym– This was one of the first “toys” Eva began playing with. It was perfect for tummy time.
4. Johnny Jump Up– Eva started using this when she was around three months old. She loved, loved, loved jumping around in it. What I loved about it was that I could easily move it from room to room. I’d put it in the kitchen door frame while I was cooking or the bathroom door frame while I was showering so that I could easily keep an eye on her and she’d be entertained.
5. Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Orchestra Musical Toy– This toy is really simple. All it does is play classical music and light up. But it is the first thing that motivated Eva to sit up on her own right before turning four months old. It was definitely one of her favorites.
6. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table– This toy lasted longer than any of her other toys. I bought it when she was about six months old and she was still using it right before we left Tanzania. When I first bought it, she would practice standing and eventually walking with it. It has a little keyboard and storybook with English and Spanish options.
7. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote– I don’t know what it was about this toy that Eva loved so much… maybe she knew how crazy it drove me. Seriously, the songs it played still haunt my brain. But it was definitely a daily choice for her.
8. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker– We gave this toy to Eva (technically from my mom) when we first got to Tanzania and a week later she was walking on her own (right around 9 1/2 months). I think it’s what really got her going. She still used it long after she took her first steps.
9. Fisher Price Swing– This is definitely one of Eva’s favorites to this day. It fits babies 6 months to 3 years.
10. Play Yard– Evita would scream if she was ever put in a play pen, but a play yard served as a good alternative. I was able to “rope off” a section of the living room that was much larger than a playpen so that I could join her in there and she wouldn’t feel so much like she was in jail. Eventually, she even grew out of the play yard space, but I still use the play yard to put around my treadmill so that she doesn’t climb on there when I’m running. I’ve also seen people put it around fireplaces, Christmas trees, and other off-limits areas of the house.