Twelve Top Toy Buys in the First Year of a Baby’s Life

Twelve Top Toy Buys in the First Year of a Baby’s Life

Post Sponsored by Mother Tongue!

My baby boy Spencer is eleven months old, time is flying by! With his first birthday fast approaching, I can’t help but reflect on being a mama for the past year. What have I found challenging? Would I do anything differently? What do I love about being a mama? Let’s go with that one… what do I love about being a mama? There are so many reasons, but I’ve especially loved watching him reach developmental milestones throughout the year. The first time he rolled over, sat up, crawled, stood up, and very soon I’m sure he’ll be walking. These milestones often leap out at you when you least expect it!

I found the wonder weeks app particularly helpful to track his developments. It also gives suggestions on activities you can do with your baby to help their growth and development, but mostly I found it offers a massive relief and provides understanding to those difficult weeks when your baby is struggling during a leap, but he can’t tell you. 

Most of the toys Spencer uses are not just for fun but also aid specific types of development. So as I’m reflecting on the last year, I’ve been thinking about what information I could give that might help other mamas? So with that in mind, I’ve created a list of my twelve top toy buys in the first year of a baby’s life.

0-3 months

  1. Black and white cards: I’d read that bold black and white images are a great way to stimulate your newborn and help with their brain development. It was clear they worked for Spencer, when he would track the card moving from side to side. They were also a great calming tool too.
  2. Soft tactile books: I bought Buddy Dog’s Busy Day soft book; it has interactive and soothing tags that Spencer loved to explore; he especially loved the crinkle paper and squeaker inside the fabric. These books are fantastic for baby sensory.
  3. Baby Gym: I was lucky enough to receive two baby gyms as gifts, one soft and one wooden. I enjoyed using both. Both had detachable toys that he played with separately from the gym. The soft gym came with a soft mat which was great for tummy time; however, I liked how I could attach numerous sensory objects from the wooden gym.

3-6 months

  1. Teething rings: I would have been lost without a teething ring; it helped soothe Spencer’s gums and alleviate pain. It was an excellent tool for helping him learn how to grasp with his hands. I also used them as a prop to entice Spencer to roll over.
  2. Ball pit: I found the round ball pit useful around the 5-month mark, at this age, Spencer had begun sitting up unaided; however, at times he would fall, so being inside a round ball pit meant he could fall without hurting himself. (FYI I took out a lot of the balls at the beginning).
  3. Activity centre: I used the skip hop explore & more 3 stage activity centre. It’s suitable from 4 months onwards, and it converts from a sit-down activity to a play table when your child is older. It was aa great way to keep my Spencer entertained while developing his gross and fine motor skills.

6-9 months

  1. Jumperoo: This item is just good fun! You will see the biggest smile on your baby’s face as they jump up and down. The only problem with this one, the fun is short-lived, so it’s not the best value for money but great if you can do swapsies with friends.
  2. Touchy-feely books: Spencer loves all the ‘That’s not my’ books, all the books are a great sensory source. A great one for building his communication skills too.
  3. Stacking blocks: The stacking blocks have been one of Spencer’s favourite toys and probably the cheapest costing 12dhs from Ikea. When he was learning to crawl, he would army crawl after them. These blocks are great for building gross and fine motor skills, as well as keeping bubba entertained.

9-12 months

  1. Trolleys: I do have both a plastic and wooden trolley, Spencer enjoys using both. From a mums perspective, I liked both too, however, if you don’t put an object in the wooden trolley to weigh it down, it can tip over, and when I put objects inside, Spencer takes them out (lol).
  2. Puzzle with different shapes and knobs (some play music): For Christmas, Spencer was gifted a Mellissa and Doug musical instrument sound puzzle. Spencer can only pull all the instrument shapes out using his pincer grip, as time goes by he will begin to put the shapes back onto the puzzle board.
  3. Shape sorter: At the moment Spencer isn’t putting the shapes into their fitted hole, but he is taking them out of the box and passing the pieces to me and then requests for them back straight away (lol)

Find all of these accessories/toys and more on Yalla Baby Box. www.yallababy.com

I hope these simple tips will help you mamas to enjoy precious time that will fly by, so you can have confidence in playing with your baby whilst also providing strong development guidance. These have all made a big difference to my time with Spencer and I know I will immediately rely on for my next baby. Many of the toys I’ve mentioned will offer progressive  uses at different stages of developments, so they will grow and evolve with your baby as their skill set evolves, hence good value for money and good quality so can be reused in the future. 

With Love,

Yalla Baby Team

Should I Read to my Newborn

Should I Read to my Newborn

Today we have a very special guest post sponsored by Mother Tongue! (Launching December!) About whether you should read to your newborn or not. Find out in this amazing and thorough blog with practical tips and even book recommendations. – Tom from Yalla Baby Box

I knew it was important to read with your child from a young age, but I did wonder how beneficial it would be to read to a newborn. I mean, lack of sleep, trying to master breastfeeding, changing a nappy in the middle of the night with a child who screams as if they’re being tortured! Honestly, does it really matter if I don’t read to my baby from the moment they’re born? I was interested in finding out more, so I started to do some digging!

Reasons it’s Beneficial.

After doing some research, I found an array of reasons why reading to your newborn can be beneficial.

  • Comforting
  • Builds a Bond
  • Develops language and understanding
  • Introduces emotions
  • Visual stimulus
  • Builds memory & vocabulary
  • Builds brain power
  • It gets a response
  • Makes reading fun
  • Stimulates the imagination

Did I witness the benefits?

From the moment my baby was born, I made a conscious effort to read to him, so did I find any of the reasons above to be true?… YES!!! There were so many I could mention, but here are a few that stood out.

Visual stimulus – I noticed as my baby’s eyesight and mobility improved, he started to move his head to look at the images in the books.

Develops language and understanding – It was apparent he was beginning to pick up on the tone and rhythm of my voice from his bodily reactions. He would stare at the different shapes my mouth made; because of this, I would exaggerate the words.

Builds brain power – I introduced him to books where the images are hidden under flaps, at first he would only look at the pictures, but over time he began to lift the flaps. These are some of his favourite books because they’re interactive.

Builds memory & vocabulary – My baby is now eight months old, from newborn I have read a lot of the same books to him daily, it is clear he recognizes the books from his facial expressions and the way he explores the book.

Builds a Bond – Some of the more interactive books I will read with him in the day, while at bedtime, I tend to choose storybooks to read to him. After the fun of bathtime, I can tell the story helps to comfort and relax him, and I must say, it’s also a magical bonding time.

I did not find one negative from reading to my baby from newborn. I felt gifted with the benefits it gave to us both. It has aided him at every stage of his development so far and given a special time for mother/baby bonding.

Book recommendations

To find what I’m reading with my baby, please see my recommendations below.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kier

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen 

That’s Not My Monster by Fiona Watt 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Baby Development Milestones Every Parent Should Know

Baby Development Milestones Every Parent Should Know

Babies go through a lot of changes in the first year of their life. Apart from physical development, they also go through a lot of mental and social changes. These changes happen during a certain time during the baby’s growth. These major changes in a baby’s life are called developmental milestones.

Every parent should have a good understanding of the developmental milestones. This lets you know what to expect at each stage and seek help when needed.

What Are the Classifications of Baby Milestones?

Baby milestones can be classified into three.

  • Motor development: This refers to the physical growth of the baby. This includes strengthening of the baby’s body, and the baby’s ability to move and hold things.
  • Speech development: This refers to the baby’s hearing and how they respond to it orally. During the initial stages, speech development involves making small sounds. But as the baby grows, this sound changes into illegible words.
  • Social/emotional development: This refers to the ability of the baby to interact with others. Baby smiling at a known person or playing with others are examples of social development.

What Are the Major Developmental Milestones of a Baby?

  • First-month        

By the time the baby is one month old, you can notice him bringing the hands closer to the mouth and eyes. The baby’s neck still needs support while holding. But when you make the baby lie on the tummy, he/she lifts the head slightly. The baby’s hand will always be in a tight fist.

The baby’s hearing is fully developed by this time. The baby can recognize some sound, though it cannot make out the source. If the baby hears a familiar sound it turns its head.

  • Second month

The baby can now bring both the hands together and stare at it. Some babies even manage to bring the hands straight to the mouth. The baby can hold the neck slightly up if he is made to lie on the tummy.

Since the baby’s hearing is fully developed, the baby can hear what you say. Sometimes she might even reply with a “coo”ing sound.

  • Third month

This is the first major milestone when the baby starts rolling over. The baby slowly turns towards the side and tries to roll over to the tummy. You should be extra careful at this stage and never leave the baby unattended when awake.

The baby starts smiling and babbling when he is three months. He is fascinated by bright colored objects like toys and things that make sound. Add some toys to your monthly Yalla Baby Bundle.

  • Fourth month

Once the baby is four months old, he starts playing by himself. The baby uses his eyes and hands a lot to play and grasp things. Whatever he comes across, he is sure to put it in the mouth. He can hold the head straight while lying on the tummy or when you hold him upright.

When you talk to the baby he tries to mimic you by making similar sounds. You should talk to the baby almost every day to develop his speech. You can point to objects and name it.

Baby Development Milestone Every Parent Should Know

  • Fifth month

The baby at this stage makes efforts to crawl forward. He might even turn the head and look back when you call. Whatever he comes across, he is sure to put it in the mouth. By the time the baby is five months old, he can hold his head for long. But the legs are yet to get full strength for the baby to walk.

The baby is now able to recognize people who are close to him. He even points when you name them. Their expression at this stage becomes more distinct. You can even make that out by closely watching him.

  • Sixth month

This is the time when two major milestones take place – teething (Great teethers available at Yalla Baby) and sitting. Teething can cause difficulty for some babies like fever and pain. Some others pass this stage without much difficulty.

Now that the baby recognizes you very well, he might become clingy. Some babies even show separation anxiety when you leave them for a short time. The baby might refuse to go to strangers as he feels uncomfortable.

  • Seventh month

If your baby has not started crawling, he will most probably do it in the seventh month. He might stand on his knees and arms and rock back and forth. The baby is now able to grasp small objects with his little fingers. Hence, you should be careful not to leave small and dangerous things at arm’s length.

  • Eight month

Your baby will attempt to stand with support. You can encourage him by placing a toy on a chair or sofa.

The baby will also start uttering small words. You can develop his vocabulary by showing him colorful picture books.

  • Ninth month

Babies at this stage are naturally curious. They examine whatever they come across inducing books and utensils. They even tend to put things in the mouth to taste. Hence, you should always keep objects away from the baby’s reach.

  • Tenth month

Babies at this stage are more playful. Most babies can stand on their own, some even without support. Their level of inquisitiveness increases, so does the chances of accidents. It is best to install safety gates and guards around the house to protect your baby.

  • Eleventh month

The baby becomes more mobile at this stage and starts moving around on his own. He might try climbing stairs or chairs, which can be dangerous. The baby can feed on his own using a spoon though it can be a messy affair. But you should encourage it by all means.

  • Twelfth month

Your baby is now one year old and is more energetic than before. He can utter more legible words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada.’ You should speak to her slowly and more clearly so that she can pick up the language.

As parents, you should keep a close watch on the baby’s milestone. If you feel that something is amiss or if the baby is not behaving as he ought to be, then you should consult his doctor without delay.

8 Baby Products Every New Mum Needs

8 Baby Products Every New Mum Needs

Parenting is not an easy task. It brings with it a lot of duties and responsibilities. While on the one hand, you need to attend to every need of the baby; on the other, you should ensure that the baby is well taken care of. From feeding the baby at the right time to meeting all their physical and emotional requirements, the task is endless.

The good news is that there are many baby products that can make your job easy. While some products are familiar, others may not be so, especially for first-time mothers. Here we are sharing a few of the must-have products for a new mother.

  1. Diapers

A newborn baby has only three requirements – a good supply of milk when they are hungry, a cozy bed to sleep, and poop whenever they feel like, and be comfortable. As long as all these requirements are met, your life will be easy.

Hence, a good quality diaper that is appropriate to the baby’s weight is highly essential. While purchasing a diaper, you should ensure that it is of the right size, soft to touch, and has a good absorbing capacity. Brands like Pampers, Huggies, and PureBorn are good quality diapers that keep your baby comfortable. Explore the whole Yalla Baby Range here

  1. Baby Wipes

Keeping your baby clean after every feed and diaper change is highly essential. Baby wipes come handy in such situations. These are soft, wet wipes that can clean your baby’s supple skin. Wipes can also be used to keep the body hydrated during dry weather.

You get good quality baby wipes from brands like Pampers, Waterwipes, Johnson, and PureBorn. While selecting a wipe, it is best to go for unscented ones, especially for cleaning after a diaper change. See Yalla Baby’s available wipes

3. Baby Bath Products

Bath products include hair and body wash, shampoo and conditioner, bedtime bath, soap, and cleansing gel. These products are meant to keep the baby neat and clean. While selecting bath products, you should ensure that it is pediatrician approved, dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and gentle on the baby’s skin.

A few of the brands that you can try out are Johnson, Mustela, Just Gentle, Organic Larder, and Original Spout. Feel free to check them out by clicking this link

4. Feeding bottle

You might be exclusively breastfeeding the baby. But you never know when a feeding bottle might come handy!

A feeding bottle can be used not only to feed water and milk but also juice, soups, and other liquid food items. A few of the good brands of feeding bottles that you can try are Dr. Brown, NUK, and Camelbak. Check them out now

5. Car Seat

As per the road safety rules of the UAE, children up till 4 years should be made to sit in a car seat whenever they travel. Car seats are available in different designs and models depending on the age of the child. For babies, rear-facing car seats with 5 harnesses are the best as it provides complete protection.

Check Yalla Baby’s brands here.

6. Baby carrier

Getting your job done while carrying a baby is not an easy task. A baby carrier or wrap comes handy in such a situation. Using a baby carrier, you can wrap the baby around you while running your errand. Since the baby is close to your body, he is sure to feel comfortable.

7. Stroller

A stroller is a must-have when you take the baby out for a stroll. Like car seats, strollers are also available in different designs and sizes. It is best to go for one with a bottle holder, and a storage compartment underneath that can accommodate all baby essentials. A stroller with a canopy helps protect the baby from rain and sunlight.

Since the UAE is predominantly a hot and humid region, it is best to go for a stroller made of heat absorbent material. This way, the baby will not feel uncomfortable while being in the stroller.

8. Multi-purpose clothes

This is one product that comes handy on several occasions. It can be put on the shoulder as a burp cloth or used to wipe the baby after a feed. You can spread it out on the changing table while changing the diaper or pull it over the baby when he is feeling cold.

While purchasing multi-purpose cloth, make sure that it is lightweight and soft on the baby’s skin.

Things to Consider While Purchasing Baby Products

  • Read the label: While purchasing baby products, you should always read the label clearly for product details. In the case of products like dresses and diapers, you should check the label for the right size. For baby food and skincare products, it is best to go for products with natural ingredients.
  • Check for allergy: This should be considered if while purchasing baby food or baby bath or skin care products. If the baby is allergic to any particular ingredient, it is best to avoid food or baby care products containing that ingredient.
  • Avoid products with fragrance: Most baby products like wipes and creams contain added fragrance to mask the unpleasant smell of the ingredients. This fragrance can be irritating for the delicate skin of the baby. Thus, it is best to avoid products with artificial fragrance.
  • Do not compromise on quality: When it comes to baby products, quality should always take the upper hand. Quality products are always costly. Thus, it is best not to buy products in bulk, which might contain expired items as well. Go through the label clearly and ensure that the product is genuine and has not expired. Trusted partners like Yalla Baby give you the peace of mind mums need nowadays.

Gone are the days when baby products were confined to just the essential items. Now, new products with additional features are introduced almost every year that parents have a lot to choose from. It is good to check the review of new products online before trying it out on your little one.

Yalla Baby was designed to save Mums time, money and the hassle of last-minute shopping. Our subscription boxes allow you to have diapers, wipes, lotions, nutrition, bodycare and more delivered straight to your door, every month.

See for yourself why hundreds of families choose us every month.

7 Reasons Why Babies Cry and How to Soothe Them

7 Reasons Why Babies Cry and How to Soothe Them

One of the toughest tasks a parent faces is to soothe a crying baby. It leaves you with a lot of anxiety, frustration, and fear that something has gone wrong with the baby. Your anxiety, in turn, creates a lot of stress, which makes the situation worse.

The whole crying episode can be mellowed down if you clearly understand the reason behind the same. Once you understand the baby’s needs and wants, you can manage the situation with ease.

Why Do Babies Cry?

Crying is how the babies communicate their feelings. It is a way to grab the attention of parents and get their needs satisfied.

But sometimes the baby cries for no reason. This is mostly seen in older babies. This is an indication that the baby is bored and needs a change of activity or surroundings.

What are the Reasons for Crying in Babies?

  • Hunger

The main cause of crying in babies is hunger. When babies feel hungry, they have no other means to express themselves other than crying.

The stomach of a newborn baby is very small. It can hold only a very little amount of breastmilk, which gets emptied within an hour. Thus, the baby feels hungry very fast.

Solution: The only solution for this is to feed the baby at regular intervals. If the baby is newborn, then you should feed once every two hours or whenever the baby cries. Sometimes you feel that you have fed the baby not long ago. But still, you should feed the baby to soothe them.

  • Colic 

Colic is a condition in which the babies cry uncontrollably for an extended period. If the baby cries continuously for three hours, at least three times a week, for three or more weeks, then the baby is said to be suffering from colic.

The main symptoms of colic include uncontrollable crying or screaming, arched back, passing of gas, clenched fist, and pulling of legs to the chest.

Solution: Unlike the other forms of crying, it is very difficult to soothe a baby suffering from colic. You should try out different methods to calm the baby. If you suspect that the baby is crying because of gas, then adjusting your diet can help. You can even consult the pediatrician and rule out any other health problems.

  • Nappy change

Babies do not like wet feelings. Thus, if the nappy is soiled, they cry to let you know that they need a change.

Solution: Changing the nappy is the right thing to do. If you have fed the baby and the baby starts crying after some time, you should check the nappy to ensure that it is not soiled. Make the process easier by having all the stock you require at hand – Ordering from Yalla Baby could really help! We’ll make sure you are ALWAYS in stock. Having a monthly subscription could really ease the whole process.

  • Extreme temperature

Just like adults, babies do not like very hot or cold temperatures. If the temperature inside the room is not comfortable for them, then they express it through crying. This could be happening more frequently in hot countries such as the UAE.

Solution: The best way to check whether the baby is feeling hot or cold is to touch their tummy or back of the neck. If this area is hot or cold, then it means that the baby is not comfortable.

You can either adjust the temperature of the room or change the dressing to suit the weather. It is best to keep the room temperature between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius, so the baby feels comfortable.

  • Sleepy

This is another reason why babies become cranky and cry. But usually, babies show sleep cues like rubbing the eyes, yawning, or sucking the thumb before they start crying.

Solution: The only solution is to put the baby to sleep. You should put the baby to sleep as soon as they show the sleep cue. Prolonging sleep can make them more cranky, resulting in uncontrollable crying. Thus, once you feel that the baby is tired and time to take rest, you should move them to a quiet area and put them to sleep.

  • Not feeling well

Crying when the baby is unwell is different from their normal crying. The sound may be weaker or high-pitched, depending on the baby’s condition. Fever, teething, nose block, etc are conditions that can trigger a crying spell in babies. Sometimes diaper rash or insect bite can also make the baby cry.

Solution: As a parent, you are the baby’s best judge. If you suspect that something has bitten the baby, remove the dress, and inspect carefully. On the other hand, if you feel that the baby is not well, you should consult a pediatrician without delay. They can prescribe medicines to relieve the baby’s symptoms.

  • Need to be held

Babies need a lot of cuddling and physical contact to feel comfortable. If they do not get it when desired, they will end up crying. Similarly, babies feel bored when they are in the same place and position for a long time. This can also result in crying spells.

Solution: The best solution is to hold the baby and give some kisses. This can provide a sense of comfort to the baby. Carry the baby to a different room or for a ride. All of this can make them feel relaxed and comfortable.

How to Soothe the Baby If He is Still Crying?

Sometimes, whatever you do may not soothe the baby. In such a situation, you can adopt any of the below methods.

  • Hold the baby close to your chest: When the baby was in your womb, the only sound that he was familiar with was your heartbeat. If you hold the baby close to your chest, your heartbeat’s sound can relieve the baby and stop crying.

         Holding the baby upright also helps to release gas and make the baby more comfortable.

  • Rock the baby: Gently rocking the baby can soothe the baby and help them calm down. You can either sit on a rocking chair or rock the baby in your arm. You can even take the baby for a ride to calm them.

It is very important that you stay calm when the baby is crying. Otherwise, your frustration can pass on to the baby and make the situation worse.

With Love,

From the Yalla Baby Box Team

The new parent’s guide to diapers and wipes quantities

The new parent’s guide to diapers and wipes quantities

How many diapers and wipes do I need per month!?

We hear this soooo often! So that’s why we wrote this blog for you. So go grab a cup of coffee/tea, relax and find out!

Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming. From wearing your heart on your sleeve to having a new life to keep safe and happy – it’s a whirlwind of emotions. When expecting a child, you’re walked through feeding patterns and milestones to expect. A topic that isn’t as common as it should be is diapers. Yalla Baby Box, a monthly baby essentials subscription box, is here to guide you through everything you need to know about diapers and wipes.

How many diapers a month do I need?

DAY ONE TO DAY THREE

Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, you may or may not have heard about meconium. It’s a dark green, odorless substance that your newborn will be dropping in their diapers on their first days in the world.

Meconium is your baby’s first milestone: their first-ever bowel movement.

Given the nature of meconium, it’s recommended to use disposable diapers as it may not be as easy to wash out of cloth diapers. Day one – done.

MONTH ONE

Most babies are born weighing between 2 to 4 kgs. Yalla Baby Box’s specialists recommend 300 diapers and 600 wipes for their first month.

HOW MANY SIZE ONE / NEWBORN DIAPERS DO YOU NEED?

Your baby will need more diapers than ever, in the first month. Their bowel movements will be quite active before solids are introduced into their diet. During this month, our specialists recommend 260 diapers and 520 wipes. 

Size one diapers are a perfect fit for babies weighing between 3 to 6 kgs.

Diapers guide UAE

A GUIDE TO DIAPERS AFTER SIZE ONE

Diaper sizes vary depending on your child’s weight and bowel movements, as they grow older. But the good news is – you will be changing less diapers as the months pass. Here is a guide to diapers and wipes after size one:

Size 2: 200 diapers | 400 wipes (for babies 5 to 8 kgs)

Size 3: 160 diapers | 320 wipes (for babies 7 to 13 kgs)

Size 4: 140 Diapers | 140 wipes (for babies 9 to 17 kgs)

Size 5: 140 Diapers | 140 Wipes (for toddlers)
Size 6: 110 Diapers | 110 Wipes (for toddlers)

YALLA BABY BOX & KING COLLEGE HOSPITAL – WITH YOU FROM DAY ONE

Yalla Baby Box is in partnership with King College Hospital. Our products and advice is tailored with the support of medical and maternity experts. Mothers who give birth at King College Hospital are gifted a newborn maternity kit.



Yalla Baby Box is inspired by mothers and guided by medical specialists, pediatricians and doctors. Our products have been handpicked to be affordable, diverse, and just what you and your baby need delivered monthly!

Diaper quantities dubai

Get started – shop your Yalla Baby Box here: https://www.yallababy.com/choose