Monday, September 30, 2013

9 Tips for Air Travel With Young Kids

I've been away for a while busy with the Jewish Holiday Season. But now I am back to real life, and I have some fun posts planned. Now back to my tips for air travel with young kids...

1. Don't do it! Just kidding, kind of. Flying with young kids is not high on my list of fun things to do. However, with a bit of planning and preparation, it can be made more manageable.

2. Pack light and consolidate. Getting through the airport is a major operation, and the less stuff you have, the easier it will be. For the past couple trips, I have been using one large suitcase for myself and the kids, while my husband has one smaller sized suitcase.

3. Backpacks are your friend. They leave your hands free for important jobs such as pushing the stroller while pulling a giant suitcase.

4. Plan, plan, plan. Literally plan out how you will get from the car to the terminal, through the security checkpoint, and then on to the plane. Make sure there are enough hands to push, pull, and carry everything that needs to be moved. We travel with 2 carseats and a double stroller, so getting through the airport can be tiring. We get a lot of comments about our "wide load" and jokes about "traveling light".

5. Don't lose the lovies! We almost had a crisis when my toddlers lovey disappeared somewhere between the terminal and the door to the airplane, but thankfully it was found. I would rather him not carry his lovey through the airport, but he was not fond of that idea.  

6. Fill up those carry on bags! My husband gets the backpack full of diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes. Bring extra diapers because you never know how many you will need. In my carry on, I pack the kid entertainment and snacks. Lots of small bags of snacks work best, and easy entertainment that has no small pieces which can be dropped. (The iPad is your friend)

7. Make sure you know how to install your carseat(s) on the plane, and remember that most airlines require carseats to be installed by the window.

8. Be prepared to answer questions such as: What is a water evacuation? Is the airplane falling? Why is it so bumpy?

9. Breathe a huge sigh of relief when everyone is happily off the plane...Until next time!

What are your tips for air travel?

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post - I guess I was too distracted and stressed to take any during our travels!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Baby Jogger Glider Board

I have been wanting to try the Baby Jogger Glider Board for a while now, but I was waiting for my toddler to get a little bit older. He is 2.5 now, and we just got it a couple days ago. He is very excited about his new "skateboard" and so am I!

I was able to open it and install it on the Versa in about five minutes, with A hurrying me along because he wanted to try it out NOW. It is very easy to attach, and feels very secure.

I had to turn my Versa seat forward facing in order to use the board, but Baby E doesn't seem to mind. It is very easy to adjust the angle and length of the glider board, and A was ready to hop right on. I definitely need to change my stride when pushing the stroller with the board attached, but it is still comfortable. I love how the board folds up for easy storage when it is not in use, while still staying attached to the stroller frame.

I think A is still a little bit young for the board, and I wouldn't feel comfortable going very far without an actual seat for him. But for short walks, or the mall where he mostly wants to be out of the stroller, it is a great option. I can't wait to try it out some more!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This post contains affiliate links

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Picture Thursdays: Rainy Day Fun

This is what happens on rainy days at our house...

Water, dirt, cups, and buckets - what more could a kid ask for?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baby's First Toys

Finding toys for your little one is very different the second time around. I remember reading lots of Amazon reviews and carefully picking out Big Brother A's first toys. With baby E, it's more like he plays with whatever he can find on the floor or grab from his brother. There are a few toys however, which I think are great for this age that Baby E has been enjoying. He is not quite sitting yet, and I think a whole new world of toys opens up once a baby can sit and play on his own. I am including some toys for independent sitters on this list.

Bright Starts Start Your Senses Sensory Toy - Giraffe

Bright Starts Sensory Giraffe - This has been attached to Baby E's carseat for the last few months, and he has played with it a lot. I think he is mostly bored of it by now, but we got a lot of great use out of it. I love that it has so many different textures and chewable pieces for such a small toy.

Bright Starts Rattle and Shake barbell Rattle - This toy is very easy to hold and shake. An early favorite!

Baby Einstein Shapes and Numbers Discovery Cards - Both Baby E and his older brother loved this toy from the beginning. I think it's a combination of the crinkly sound the pages make, and the great teething options.

I love Playskool toys for older infants and younger toddlers. They have a lot of great choices, and I have found their toys to have a lot of longevity. Some of our favorites are:

Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin Pals

Playskool Busy Poppin Pals - This is a classic toy that you will find in every waiting room, and kids love it. E will speed-scoot on his stomach to get this toy, and is working hard to figure out how it works.

Playskool Press n Pop Shapes - Another variation on the pop up toy, baby E can already push the buttons on this one and observe the cool effects. (I think he is mostly pressing them by accident at this point, but he still enjoys it) As a bonus, the shape pieces come out and act as great shakers. I like that this toy also works on matching of colors and shapes for older kids.

Playskool Explore and Grow Tumble n Twirl - I LOVE this toy. It is one of my favorite toys ever. Young babies love to watch the balls spin around, and older babies love to take the balls in and out. Big Brother A will still pull this out from time to time. 

Infantino Activity Triangle

Infantino Activity Triangle - This toy has not quite lived up to my expectations, but Baby E is interested in this toy and all of its moving parts.

Any type of ball - Baby E loves all types of balls, but he gets very frustrated when they keep rolling away from him. He specifically loves the small plastic balls that you find in any ball pit.

Really though, Baby E would trade in all his toys to play with whatever crumbs or piece of trash he finds on the floor...

Family Fun Time!
Reading his book on the beach

What is your baby playing with?

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This post contains affiliate links

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Laundry Time!

I think doing laundry is an amazing learning opportunity for toddlers. Big Brother A is firmly entrenched in his independent phase. In between all the tantrums about things he wants to do by himself, or things that I've done the wrong way, there are a few perks to his new found independence. He loves to do laundry, and wants to participate in every stage from beginning to end.

Doing laundry is the perfect for us to talk about colors and textures, work on skills like sorting and grouping, and have a great time. I think most kids at this age are capable of putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, and helping to sort clean clothes. Beyond that, I am letting my child lead the way about how much he wants to participate. Right now, he loves loading the clothes in the washing machine, pouring in the detergent, moving everything to the dryer, and putting the clean clothes away. Basically he wants to be part of the entire process.

Unloading the dirty clothes

 Into the wash they go...
Back for more

Doing laundry does take about double the time when we are doing it together, but it is a great afternoon activity to fill the lull before dinner time. 

What does your toddler like to help with?