9-12 months was a fun age for us! I felt like there was a big turning point in what Finn could do and his activity level really increased. He started pulling up, cruising, crawling on all fours and sitting up unassisted during these months. Finn started feeling much more like a little person instead of a little baby if that makes sense!
9-12 months also brought a whole lot more personality with it, which was really fun to see! Finn became so much more playful and adventurous. It was a great compliment to his easygoing, smiley disposition. My grandmother calls him “the entertainer.” And the he is!
It’s important to remember that every single baby is different in personality, meeting milestones and what they like and don’t like. I had friends whose babies were walking at 8-9 months! Finn was nowhere close and just starting to pull up. He didn’t transition from army crawling to all fours crawling until the day he turned 11 months!
I share my baby essentials as a guide to hopefully provide some ideas and inspiration around useful toys and gear for the 9 to 12 month range. What’s a hit for one baby can be a miss for others but these are the things we couldn’t live without! The following includes affiliate links.
BABY ESSENTIALS: 9-12 MONTHS
- BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller – there is a reason why the BOB is the first item listed…because I can’t live without it! It was on my 3-9 month essentials list too. This stroller is BY FAR the best splurge item that I added to my registry. There’s no telling how many miles I put on it walking and running in Finn’s first year. Even if you don’t plan to do a lot of running with a stroller, the BOB is a dream for walks. It handles well and is so easy to steer.
- Max-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Car Seat – right before Finn turned a year I transitioned him out of his infant car seat and into a convertible car seat. Technically, the Magellan is designed to work from birth through 10 years old but I used the Chicco Fit 2 Infant Car Seat for the first year before switching to a convertible. The main benefit of this is the ease of popping the carseat out of the base and into strollers, shopping carts, other cars, etc. The Magellan is an awesome, comfortable car seat that will grow with Finn.
- Ergobaby 360 Mesh Carrier – this has been an essential since Finn was four weeks old. Could not have made it through the first year without baby wearing! I much preferred the Ergo over wraps.
- gb Pockit Lightweight Stroller – I received this stroller for Christmas but we didn’t start using it until around 9 months. This stroller is AWESOME for running errands and travel. It’s the world’s smallest folding stroller, folding down to 11.8” x 7” x 13.8” square and weighing just 9.5 pounds. It takes up minimal space in my trunk and even fits in the overhead bins on airplanes. Note, it’s the easiest to steer and does best on flat, hard surfaces. Do not recommend for rough terrain.
- Gorilla Grip Bath Mat – I stopped using the baby tub in the bathtub around 9 months and transitioned to Finn sitting in the tub. Once he started pulling up, I could not get him to stay seated in the bath. This bath mat has been great for preventing slips and falls. It has hundreds of suction cups, is antibacterial, BPA free, non-toxic, phthalate free and latex free. Bonus: it can be thrown into the washing machine for cleaning! Oh and a bathtub faucet cover is also a must!!!
- Baby shoes – once Finn was up on his feet, it was time for some shoes. Our favorites are Jack & Lily for a harder sole and Robeez for soft sole. I adore all of the fun designs that Robeez offers. We probably have 5 pairs of these that were handed down from a friend.
- GAP PJs – around 9 months I ordered a bunch of GAP pjs on sale. I am now obsessed and it’s all Finn wears for sleep! I love their zipper one pieces and their two piece sets. I also find great deals on the GAP Factory site.
- Little Tikes Five-In-One Trike – we keep this in Florida and Finn enjoys riding around in it. It’s also awesome for transporting him to the pool/beach and much easier to hose down than a stroller. This trike will grow with him. We push him in it now but he’ll eventually be able to pedal and steer on his own.
- SkipHop Activity Center – another carryover from 3-9 month essentials, this activity center was a godsend! Finn loved playing in it and it bought me time to do dishes, take a shower, vacuum, etc. The great thing about this activity center is that it turns into a toddler play table!
- Infantino Great Leaps Infant Gym & Ball Roller Coaster – this is another one that stays in Florida and it’s a great grow with me toy. We bought this when Finn was just four weeks old. In the beginning he would just lay on the play mat and look up at the toys. As he got bigger he could sit up and play with it and now he loves putting the balls into the holes and seeing where they come out. Definitely recommend this one!
- V-Tech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker – I feel like everyone I know has this toy and now I know why! We have gotten so much use out of this toy. Before Finn was up and moving, he enjoyed playing with this sitting on the floor. Then once he was moving…watch out! There’s no stopping him when he’s pushing this walker. This one is a great value given the cost and how much entertainment you get out of it.
- Ingenuity Baby Booster Seat – this is the seat we use for feeding in Florida and it’s great! We can buckle it to a chair or place it on top of the counter at the bar. It’s also easy to throw into the car to take to restaurants with us. It functions as a seat with a tray or as a booster seat. It’s easy to wipe down and clean. No fabric!
- Jellycat Books – these touch and feel books are our FAVORITE! We have the puppy, elephant and zebra books and have read them all hundreds of times. Finn never gets tired of them and is constantly bringing them to me to read. The Jellycat touch and feel books were a great way to get Finn interested in books and reading because he loved the colors and textures that he could interact with. I know this is something I will give as a gift to all of my expecting mama friends!
- Frozen Teethers – these are just a must! They’re cheap and I always keep some in the freezer to help with teething pain.
- Munchkin Farmyard Bath Toys – love these for bath time! They’re the perfect size for Finn’s little hands and we’re all about animals over here! 🙂
- Wubbanub Pacifier – can’t live without our Wubbanubs! The attached animal makes them so much easier to find in the crib/car/stroller and makes it so much easier for Finn to handle. Note, around this age he started throwing them out of the stroller on walks (we lost a few!) so pacifier clips are helpful too!
- Baby Einstein Music Toy – you guys, for $9 you can’t beat this toy. Finn is obsessed with it. In fact, we have two! One for the car and one for the house.
- Munchkin 360 Cups – these are our favorite water cups. Some people have shared that their babies don’t seem to grasp how to use them. We just did tons of modeling and practice and he eventually got it down.
I hope you found my 9-12 month baby favorites to be a useful resource and guide for deciding on baby gear. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what worked well for you in this stage.