Now that I have the job of stocking up on baby gear for the twinsers (3 months to go!!) I realize how much I’ve forgotten. And this is from the person who used to be able to recite the Baby Bargains book by heart.
(New moms: Baby Bargains = the consumer reports of baby crap. If this is your first time around the block, don’t set foot into a Baby Superstore without your copy.)
So before amnesia sets in, I’m documenting my 5 favorite things to make your life with toddlers easier. Hope it helps you!
POUNDS: 20-100 pounds
They should call this “THE LAST CAR SEAT YOU’LL EVER HAVE TO BUY!!”
As soon as your little one can move into a forward-facing carseat, buy this one.
We made the mistake of going from the infant car seat to the Britax to this.
We could have skipped the Britax altogether and gone straight to this bad boy. Young toddlers will feel like total hotshots with this seat’s built-in cup holders and secret compartments perfect for stashing LEGOs and Hotwheels. And when your toddler turns into a preschooler (overnight), voila — here’s your new booster, friend.
Why don’t I ever hear moms complain about how hard it is to find a bib that:
- Doesn’t soak through
- Doesn’t deteriorate the first couple of times through the wash
- Kids don’t rip off easily
- Isn’t so tight that it strangles your kid
- Doesn’t completely suck?
I have no idea. But I do know that these bibs lasted us through two toddlers in a row, and I think there are still some up in the attic waiting for rounds 3 and 4.
3. Multi-layered mattress protection
The best part, of course, is the product shot.
When your little Houdini graduates from the crib to the bed (we went straight to twin beds at around 18 months for both boys), you’ll want to do everything you can to protect their new twin mattresses.
Because as far as I’m concerned, they’ll be using these mattresses until they move out.
Here’s your twin bed setup:
- First the Vinyl Zippered Mattress Cover from Target. It zips around the entire mattress.
- Then a regular quilted cotton mattress pad like this one.
- Then the waterproof sheet protector as demonstrated by our lovely model. (This way if there is an accident during the night, or god forbid a stomach bug, you might luck out and only have to change this layer and up of bedding.)
- Then the fitted sheet. (Unlike our fine model above, I put the sheet protector under the fitted sheet.)
Keep it in or near your kitchen (I’m still trying to find the perfect place to conceal it but have it close enough to make it easy to use). If I used this after every meal, my floor would never be as disgusting as it is this morning.
Note: I had an earlier model of this vacuum and can say that the Ion battery version makes all the difference.
BONUS: Use the code to the left to get 20% off all of their sites
I’ve been using these guys since they launched and they keep getting more awesome. I always get free, next day delivery, and their customer service is amazing.
I’ve use them for monthly diapers & wipes (they sell Kirkland brand wipes, which are awesome), sippy cups, cases of baby food, baby wash, books/toys. And for fun you can always throw in a tube of fancy mascara, laundry detergent, or throw pillows from one of their sister sites.
They also now offer a Baby Registry, which is WORLDS above the baby superstores since shipping is FREE as long as you order is over $49. And what better incentive for your gift giver to put that money toward your gift instead of the outrageous shipping Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby charge. Really, I hate those stores.
So those are my faves. What are yours?
This post contains affiliate links.
I’ve taken the boys to Florida to see their grandparents two or three times now, and I’m starting to get pretty good at the whole flying solo bit. (Even after Isaiah’s breakdown at LGA earlier today.)
So here’s what I’ve got to share. Feel free to add to the list in the comments–as we all know, it takes a village.
Each child over the age of two carries a backpack
And not just for fun. Inside said backpack is everything the kiddo needs for the flight, including their own diapers/pullups, snacks, toys, electronic devices, books, and art supplies. “You really make your kid carry his own diapers?” Hells yea!
Before the flight, find somewhere — anywhere — for them to run
I love the Tampa airport for the play area that always seems to be deserted in the Blue terminal. (I’m far less afraid of germs than I am of wound-up kids on flight.) But most airports we pass through aren’t so accommodating.
At LaGuardia earlier this week, which is small and crowded, I had no choice but to let them run like maniacs on this window-lined runway.
“That looks dangerous,” I heard a 20-something flight attendant say to her cohort. “Actually, it looks like fun,” he replied. Hey, at least they were contained by that metal bar.
Even on short flights, plan two meals.
Here’s why: your flight may only cross over one meal (i.e. lunch) but you have to consider door-to-door time, not to mention delays. This morning, I fed the boys cereal bars in the car (7am), egg sandwiches at the airport (10am), snacks on the plane (10am-noon), and pbj’s in the car on the way home (1pm). I’ve tried to substitute snacks for meal #2 in the past, and it wasn’t pretty.
Don’t bank on in-flight entertainment.
As much as I love Jet Blue, I’ve planned on their personal television devices for two hours of free babysitting only to have the satellite be out of commission for the entire flight.
So plan for backup entertainment. And no, that does not mean math worksheets and Arthur books. It means a full-charged iPhone loaded with at least one of their favorite movies and some new apps. You can save your super mom business for when your feet are on the ground.
You can actually pee alone.
Just look around for a grandmotherly type and ask her if she can sit with your little darlings while you run to the lav. I’ve never had anyone say no. Ok, you’re leaving your kids with a complete stranger, but how much harm can they do in full view of everyone else, in a highly screened, closely monitored environment? And even if your kid gets a little freaked out (mine haven’t, FYI), it’s a hell of a lot better than them touching everything in sight in those filthy filthy airplane bathrooms. (And you do know not to ever use the airplane bathroom sink, right?)
Have someone in charge give them a little scare.
I’m deeply proud of the fear I’ve instilled in my children when it comes to officers of the law. Which as far as I’m concerned includes security guards, flight attendants, cashiers, and anyone wearing anything close to a uniform.
Earlier today, Isaiah launched into a Category 5 tantrum because he wanted to sit in the single stroller occupied by his younger brother. The tantrum lasted from our gate all the way down to baggage claim, where our car service driver was nowhere to be found.
Exhausted, crowded, and faced with trying to pull 3 overstuffed suitcases off the conveyor belt while keeping an eye on the stroller, my way too heavy tote, and a child who was flailing on the ground, I had no choice but to pull out the big guns. As a security guard passed by, I pretended to be scared. Isaiah immediately sat up to see what was up. “Police officer,” I whispered. And the guard played along! He got a really mean face (a bit too mean, actually), and said, “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.” Problem solved. Mister tantrum piped down.
So that’s what I’ve got. How about you?
We used to never have the time to do nothing.
Now we watch cars go by.
And sound out new tunes.
Hunt for backyard treasures.
And find them.