I just realized I never posted my favorites for months 10, 11, and 12, so I thought I'd go ahead and do that so I could finish out the first year. I've had some people ask if this is something I'll keep doing, and the answer is no, I don't plan to. If I like a product, I'll probably just mention it. But the older Manny gets, the less "stuff" he needs (thankfully) so I don't think these types of posts would really be all that useful.
This is such a great thing to have when we go out to eat because while I'm not a super germa-phobe, I also like to keep germs at a distance when possible. This also has a little catcher thing that hangs off the table, so it catches (some) of the food he knocks off. I prefer it over the plastic disposable placemats because Manny could always rip those up and throw them off the table.
These snack traps are really great for actually keeping snacks from falling out. I also like that they're shallow. There are some other brands that are anti-spill, but the cup is so deep that Manny has to practically stick his whole arm in the cup to reach the snacks if it's not full. These and the placemat I mentioned were both gifts from my friend Jessica (thanks - we love them!) but I think you can get them at Toys R Us.
Being a first time mom, I'd never thought about the need to protect the crib from my gnawing little beaver. When I asked about it here, you guys gave me lots of great recommendations, and these are the two brands I ended up with. I used two different kinds because the front rail is rounded, so the square pieces wouldn't fit. I like the gummi protector because it just forms to whatever shape your crib is. I bought it on Amazon, and the square pieces at Toys R Us. I like both of these styles because they don't change the overall appearance of the crib.
We've actually been using these for awhile but I forgot to mention them. I've always hated plug protectors at other people's houses. They are impossible to get out of the socket! I like these because they have the little button you can press and it makes it a little easier to release it. Also, it has notches on the sides, so you can actually snap it to a cord. So if you take it out to plug something in, you just snap the piece on to the cord, and when you unplug it the protector is right there for you to put back in. Very convenient.
Remote Control (real)
Manny loves our TV remotes, so we picked up a cheap one at the dollar store that he could bang around and chew on. He still plays with it often.
I was not asked or compensated to say I like these things...I just wanted to share what we loved with other (first-time) moms who are trying to sort through all the baby gear. Hope this has been helpful to some of you! :)