Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What To Pack - Toddler Daycare Check List

If you are like me and your child is going to daycare soon, you are faced with the scary daunting task for figuring out what they need to bring with them.

Below is a list of items that many daycares require and our recommendation on which one to get - there are a million options. Some are items that were polled from moms with kids in daycare already and others are based on own experience.

Sleeping bag: http://amzn.to/291gKma
  • 100% cotton, light and folds well
Slippers: http://amzn.to/29kM5Pj
  • Some daycares require a change of shoes. I do not believe in rubber crocs, feet will sweat. Something comfy and easy on is best
Potty: http://amzn.to/28Y1vHz
  • Ask if this is allowed first but offer to bring your own potty. The child might be used to a certain type and it may be an easier transition
Sunscreen: http://amzn.to/294TDaS
  • If your child goes to daycare or camp in summer months, they require sunscreen. Some daycares will request spray sunscreen. If your daycare allows for lotion sunscreen (which I personally think is better) - grab this one: http://amzn.to/295pYel
Clothing labels: http://amzn.to/291vrEL
  • If you want to get back the clothes that are yours.No need to iron them on, just stick it on and it lasts through washes
Diaper Spray: http://amzn.to/28Y2eZj
  • I love Aquaphor for every day but I’d rather have the childcare provider use a spray. They will (hopefully) use it more frequently and its mess free
Bibs: http://amzn.to/290q0sB
  • These are the only bibs I found that are 100% cotton and extra long to cover the full torso. Helps that they are super cute! Get 2-3
Water Container: http://amzn.to/290qVJp
  • We love this cup, easy to open and close, keeps temp regulated
Backpack: http://amzn.to/29kP9eg
  • Tons of fun designs, light and durable.
Hand Sanitizer: http://amzn.to/290qUoO
  • All natural, no chemicals, and no dry skin!
Other popular items on a daycare list:
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissue boxes
  • Pack of Wipes (1 box per week)
  • Two full changes of clothes (including socks, underwear)
  • 5-10 underwear if potty training
  • Diapers/Pull Ups (if child still uses) - 1 pack a week at least
  • Plastic bags
  • Zip lock bags
  • Medications, if needed - note: be sure to ask your daycare about their policies and if they have a nurse on staff. Many daycares will not administer anything, even over the counter meds for fear of overdosing a child/liability.

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Cruising With Kids: Travel Packing Tips

**This post contains affiliate links

If you’ve followed our blog for a while, we’ve mentioned that we’ve traveled with our daughter to Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. We’re about to embark on our next adventure to Bermuda, only this time, we’re taking a cruise.
Packing for a cruise to a tropical destination is somewhat similar to any beach vacation there are some big distinctions:
  • During ports of call, if you leave the ship, you need to take more with you
  • If you do not need to fly to the port, you can take MORE (which isn’t always better)
  • You need different items for Sea Days vs. Port Days
  1. Most ships do not allow non-potty trained kids in the pool. Make sure you check with the cruise line before you book! Bring swim diapers (disposable and reusable)
  2. Keep in mind, unlike a hotel with a balcony, there won’t be much space to dry your swimwear. Bring extras and towel clips!
  3. Bring walkie-talkies! You’ll thank me later. Best to get one with many frequencies that work across more distance. The best way to communicate when you and your family need or want to split up.
  4. On the ship, get a few green apples and cans of ginger ale. They really help if your child gets seasick.
  5. Always. Buy. Insurance. Especially when traveling with children. (Why have travel insurance)

Below are musts in your Cruise packing list:

Flying to the cruise port? Taking an excursion to the beach? Check out our other posts for packing and entertainment ideas:
What To Pack For Vacation With An Infant
Family Trip to DR - What To Pack For Kids
How To Travel Light With Your Family To the Beach
Road Trip With Kids: Survival Kit
Travel Kid Entertainment Kid
Travel Toys & Gear for 4+
Top 8 Family Travel Space Saving Tips

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Top 8 Family Travel Space Saving Tips

**This post contains affiliate links

The fees to check in luggage have skyrocketed lately! When traveling with children, especially young ones, luggage space is super limited and there’s so much to pack. Below are top 10 tips:

#1. Tech Gear: I have two words for you: Anker charger - If your child loves your phone or tablet, which, let's face it, they do! Make sure you take it and pre-charge. We absolutely love this Anker because it is super light for the amount of power it has. It has charged our horrid iPhone batteries 3-4 times on one charge!

*BONUS TIP* Don’t load up tons of travel tech gear. Stick to a few essentials. Do you really need a tablet, phone, laptop, camera, tripod and selfie-stick for a 3-day trip plus all the charges/wires? Pair down based on the itinerary.

#2. Neck Pillows: Go for an inflatable - we love this one with a hood. Packs up really small and easy to inflate: http://amzn.to/2kymhUj

*BONUS TIP*: For your kids: this 3-in-one is super cute and works as a neck pillow, backpack, and iPad holder! Comes in several designs: http://amzn.to/2kycopx

#3. Baby Gear: For kids under 2, you need tons of bottles/sippy cups. Stack them inside each other, nipple inward for more compact space, or get these adapters and save a ton of space! When you get to your destination, either order ahead or get a case of plastic bottles and use the adapter, then toss the bottle!

*BONUS TIP*Diapers: Pack sealed unopened packs, they are much more tightly packed

#4 Luggage: Invest in medium sized luggage (24”) with extender. If you get a large size, it's easy to over-pack and exceed the allowed size/weight limit. We swear by Samsonite. Get a spinner suitcase, it is so much easier to roll! Also, look for lighter luggage. Hard case luggage looks nice but adds more weight.

*BONUS TIP* When traveling with younger kids, make sure to get them identifying tags in case they are lost! Tattoo or bands work best so that they are discreet.

#5. Diaper Bag: Leave the bulky shoulder bag at home. It is a total waste! Bring this backpack. It's hands-free, has a built-in cooler, a mesh top and a ton of pockets. Bigger than an average diaper bag so you can take MORE on the plane for FREE (Diaper bags are not counted towards your luggage)

*BONUS TIP* Pack meds in clear Ziplocks and store them in the cooler of the diaper bag along with food/snacks. Easier to get through security by unzipping the bottom.

#6. Clothing: Get EBags and Space Saving Bags. I use space bags for bulky clothing, for example traveling to Mexico in January from NYC, our jackets go into Space Bags for a couple of reasons. Obviously to save space but also to ensure moisture from the warm climate does not seep in. Ebags are really great for organizing and packing outfits or separating itty-bitty kids clothing that can be super hard to fold and pack. Plus they go into drawers so they work as a liner and organizer.

*BONUS TIP* If you are potty training, bring 2x as many bottoms just in case!

#7. Beach Gear: Bring foldable beach bags and mesh sacks. They do not take up much space but you’ll need multiples for all of the toys, inflatables, towels, etc. Also, the mesh sacks help shake out all of the excess sand!

BONUS TIP* Get these clips and keep the towels from blowing away in the wind

#8. Airplane entertainment: Kids want a lot of toys and you want to entertain them during your travels. Below are good space saving options:

For the plane:
  • Activity To go packs: Come loaded with stickers, markers, coloring books in a zip lock bag.
  • Water Wow: Reusable for hours of fun. Just fill with water and your kiddo can color and re-color as soon as the water dries.
  • Sticker Activity books: these are TINY but have several pages of activities. Get a couple!
  • Triangular Crayons: they do not roll off the table, which can be especially terrible on a plane!
  • Window decals - if you are sitting next to a window on a plane these are a great way to “decorate” space and not get dirty looks from the crew since they easily come off!
  • Magnet activities: Comes with 50 magnets and a lot of options to play house

On the ground:

We take some smaller toys to the resort so that there’s some entertainment for our kiddo besides TV while we get dressed for dinner/lunch. Not the best picture but our child loves drawing, stickers, and water wow. Plus we took tiny books for bedtime reading and small puzzles. All fits into this Brica backpack that she carried herself.

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rub a dub dub: Best Bath Toys

**This post contains affiliate links

My daughter loves the water but bath time can sometimes be a little boring for her. Check out these really bath time toys!

The first thing I ever bought was, you guessed it, rubber duckies and their moldy friends. About 2-3 baths in, they became gross, and not that fun.

TIP: For new rubber bath toys, hot glue the holes and they stay mold free.

We soon discovered tons of other types of bath toys that do not mold and provide a lot more fun.

Gone fishing! There are many but I love this particular brand. They do not mold and easier to catch since they have magnets: http://amzn.to/2amtPHW

Doodling - bath crayons: For the little artist like our girl, bath crayons are so much fun and doodles rinse with water: http://amzn.to/2aj2xyy

Letters and Numbers - Bath time can be a good time for the educational time including learning letters and numbers as well as spelling. We love these and have used them since she was one: http://amzn.to/2amtKUv

Puzzles: We have animal and letter puzzles they stick with water to tiles and are loads of fun: http://amzn.to/2aj4IlC

Bath books: We bought a variety. She loves to “wash” the animals on every page and flip the pages to learn different sea and land animals and objects: http://amzn.to/2aj563n and http://amzn.to/2aAxlPk

Build a scene water toy - I love these different sets by Alex Toys. Fuels the imagination and gives our toddler plenty to do while we wash and comb her hair: http://amzn.to/2amwtgL and http://amzn.to/2anukyE

Don’t forget storage for all these toys. On our wall, we have this storage which also lets water drain: http://amzn.to/2a5tivd

In the tub, we have a divider with easy access to toys chosen for the bath: http://amzn.to/2awIhwi

What toys does your little one absolutely love? Share with us in comments.

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

Ebates - Always thought it was a myth until I tried it - so far, I've earned $88 without really trying. Use my link and get $10 today for sign up! It's really great.

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