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Keep Kids Reading This Summer with our Kid’s Fire Tablet Giveaway!

Written by Author, Misty Black

We want to help motivate kids to read this summer, so I’ve teamed up with 4 other authors to offer you a chance to win a Kid’s Kindle Fire Tablet. Plus, everyone who enters will receive all 5 eBooks FREE. Details below. ENTER TO WIN HERE

As an Amazon Associate and Amazon Influencer I earn from qualifying purchases. You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

Let’s learn more about the authors in this giveaway.

Misty Black is a best-selling children’s book author and mother of three. She wrote Can Quilliam Learn to Control His Temper? and Punk the Skunk Learns to Say Sorry. Her focus in her Punk and Friends Series is to help children learn the social skills needed to navigate their big emotions. You can follow Misty on social media by searching Misty Black Author. The third book in this series, Brave the Beaver Has the Worry Warts focuses on helping children deal with anxiety and worry. It will be released next month.

Lauren Mosback is both a children’s book author and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is the award-winning author of My Sister’s Super Skills, the first in a series of books that introduces children to important coping and wellness skills that increase their self-esteem. Lauren lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three young children. She loves adventuring with her family and strives to continually learn, grow and write!

Dr. Brie is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arizona. She specializes in strengthening the parent-child relationship. Dr. Brie has presented at numerous conferences, workshops, and conducted trainings around the US. She is the author of I Will Always Love You.

Lauren Jumrukovski is a licensed school counselor turned blogger at www.theysayparenting.com and author of They Say, Not Your Average Parenting Book.

Her book is a firmly guilt-free guide for parents and parents-to-be focused on intuitive parenting and on the emotional side of being a parent. What works for one parent may not work for another, and that’s okay. Every child is different and there is no one right way. “They Say” is full of ideas for navigating the hearsay and common parenting tough spots, but reminds parents to feel confident in the decisions they make for their families. Through heart-felt, funny, and relatable stories, readers will see that we aren’t alone in our feelings and experiences.

April Cox is an award-winning author and founder of Little Labradoodle Publishing. The Little Labradoodle series of six books include two picture books and four coloring/activity books. “My goal is to provide beautifully illustrated books with characters that kids love while re-enforcing core values in a way that is fun for the whole family. Her award-winning Puppy Pickup Day can be found here.

As you can see, this is a great line-up of authors, counselors, and mothers who truly care about your children. So don’t just enter because you want a free tablet (which I know you do😉) but join in because you want your child to grow up to be the best person they can be.

Click on the King Sumo link here and simply enter in your best email to join. Plus receive extra entries for sharing (all details included in the link).

Ends 5/29 at 5 PM EST. Awarded at 6 PM EST. Final results will be emailed. No purchase necessary. Not affiliated with Amazon.

Happy Reading!

To learn more about me and my blog, check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: 30+ Fun Craft and Activity Ideas for Kids with Household Items or My Author Journey: Writing My First Book

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Top Educational Toys for Babies and Toddlers: Play to Learn

Looking for a fun AND educational gift for a baby or toddler? Look no further! We have found the perfect Block Set and monthly Play Kits from Lovevery, a child development toy company! Their goal, much like my goal here on this blog, is to “help every parent feel confident.” Their play products “are designed by child development experts and distilled to their simplest, purest purpose: to be exactly what children need at each stage.”

As a Lovevery affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

First, check out Lovevery’s amazing Block Set which is fun for all ages!

Did you know blocks teach children about structure, balance, physics and math in a way that no other toy can? They provide a foundation for early learning. Early experiences with blocks help children develop spatial, language, cognitive, and problem-solving skills!

The Lovevery block set is the most comprehensive block set ever! It comes with an activity guide which shows us exactly how we can play with blocks with our children at each and every stage.

I didn’t realize just how much my children loved blocks, until we received this set and I was able to check out the accompanying guide which showed me ideas of how children can use blocks in play at each age and stage. These blocks are now a go-to for my one, four, and six year old, and we have spent hours playing with them.

There are so many ways to learn with these blocks:

Explore cause and effect, force, magnetism, velocity, and gravity by rolling the wheels down a hill.

Plan ahead and reach a goal by making a car or wagon.

The magnetic wheels make it super fun and easy.

Develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination at the same time. and experiment with pattern play by threading beads.

Learn about rhythm by making music.

Upon opening the box, my littlest one immediately began drumming with the sticks and dancing along.

Learn how to sort and categorize—and how things fit together spatially by sorting shapes.

Practice equilibrium by finding how things stack, balance, or fall.

Use the wooden people/ figurines to imagine, talk about feelings, and even build empathy.

When they are a little older, build confidence, strength and balance by setting up a small hurdle to jump over!

Plus make paths, count towers, make letters, sculpt feelings, build a house, or a city… the options are endless.

I started playing with these with my youngest, and soon, my older two had jumped in.

My son (4) cannot get enough of engineering different buildings and using the magnetic portion of the wheels to make all kinds of fun creations (you can see one of his creations above). My oldest daughter (6) loves to set up the blocks to make a store, a restaurant, and a house, and then play with the doll shaped blocks included. She has since even added in her own little dolls for more play.

I would highly recommend the Lovevery Block Set to any parent. What a great set of blocks which will grow with your child! The set would also be a great gift for a toddler or even for a baby shower… baby’s first set of blocks!

Another favorite from Lovevery is their monthly subscription Montessori-based Play Kits!

We have tried “The Companion Play Kit” for our 22 month old. This box is full of toys designed for toddlers to use from 22 to 24 months of age. I am sure we will use these toys well beyond when my littlest turns 24 months.

The kit has been perfect for our little one. She can use all of the toys now, and there are so many ways she can continue to grow by using and playing with each.

Included in the Play Kit is a play guide. Here is a snippet from the guide under, “Real Life is Where It’s At”:

“Right now, her brain is craving real-world experiences: she wants to be involved with whatever exists around her and use her developing senses to understand what things are and how they work. She wants to take in the smell of the laundry soap, tip the cup over and watch how the thick liquid pours into the machine, open and close the dryer door over and over, feel the dampness of clean laundry, work to pull warm, dry clothes out herself, and heap them in a basket.”

This is another reason I love the company, Lovevery, so much! Did you hear that? Toddlers are happy and learn SO much by just doing what we are doing and helping us! No more guilt for doing chores over playing with our children. They are learning just as much from simply working along side us.

In addition to descriptions and guides for every toy in the box, which teach multiple ways to play, there is an entire section on “Real Life Play.” In this section, many additional activities are shared which you can complete with regular household items!

Check out all the ways these toys teach:

Stemming from my school counseling background, I just love a toy that teaches! And, these toys teach in so many ways!

Learn about executive functions and learn to control impulse behavior by playing pretend with Little Quinn.

Show your toddler routines can happen even in unfamiliar places with the “Bea Gets a Checkup” Book.

Learn about perceiving, categorizing, and comparing with the Animal Match.

I love that this activity can help practice animal sounds, which are the beginning of language. You can also practice matching from left to right, to train the eye for when your child eventually starts to read!

Practice “coloring” with the Carry-Along Kit.

And, the accompanying stickers help your toddler work on the pincer grasp too!

Practice Bilateral Coordination with the Buckle Barrel.

This neat tool teaches using both hands together, finger dexterity, the pincer grasp, and hand-eye coordination as your child buckles and unbuckles!

Teach sizes, stacking, and transfer objects using the Stacking Dripdrop Cups, Tweezers and Felt Stars.

These cups are fun to stack and also encourage water play! Transferring the felt stars with the tweezers helps develop fine motor skills and concentration as well! Triple win!

Strengthen the muscles and skills needed for writing with the Mosaic Button Board.

Use simple two-piece puzzles to help your toddler learn what puzzles are all about!

Or, use the chunky puzzle to teach spatial skills! Lovevery shares that early puzzle skills are a predictor of spatial skills in preschoolers! You will find lots of tips like this in the play guide!

Learn how to process and manage emotions by reading the book, “Graham Turns Two.”

There you have it! A Lovevery Play kit is an excellent gift idea for any baby, toddler, or mom! Or, subscribe and receive a box full of educational toys every two months (babies) or three months (toddlers) for you and your little one. Who doesn’t love high quality, educational toys to explore with their baby or toddler? I would highly recommend the company, their toys, and their amazing play guides which help us moms feel confident as we raise our little ones into who they will one day become!

Shop Lovevery now, by clicking here!

To learn more about me and my blog, check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: Are Parents Setting Themselves Up to Fail? Or 10 Things I’ve Learned From My Parenting “Mistakes”

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Top Products for Moms!

Over the past 6 years, between three kiddos, we have tried out lots of products! I have narrowed it down to our absolute favorites and shared them all on our new Amazon storefront!

Check out our storefront here: They Say Parenting’s Favorite Things

As an Amazon Associate and Amazon Influencer I earn from qualifying purchases. You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

Some of our favorites included in our storefront are:

For Mom:

The best instant iced latte!
The Wet Brush
Our favorite double decker diaper bag
…and more!

For Baby:

The Happi Tummi – incredible for calming gas pains!
The best cradle cap brush
Our favorite diaper creams and ointments
The most convenient cabinet closures ever (baby proofing)!
Our favorite sippy cups
…and more!

For Children: 

The easier way to store stuffed animals!
Our favorite full potty seat covers
A conditioning spray which also prevents lice!
Our favorite hooded towels
…and more!

Plus, a link to my newly released parenting book, toys and games, items for the home, pregnancy, and fashion! Check out all of our favorite things here: They Say Parenting Amazon Storefront

To learn more about me and by blog, check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: Looking Back – When My Heart Went Off to Kindergarten or Parenting with Grace





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17 Time-Saving Parenting Tips

What is it “they say” about time? Time is money. Time is gold.Yep, it’s gold. It is something I always wish I had, but it’s really hard to find.

Sometimes I feel like nothing gets done. With so many interruptions it’s hard to finish any of the tasks I start.

One day while I was in the middle of doing laundry, my toddler was calling for me, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” 

I thought to myself before responding, If I hurry, I can finish folding this laundry really quick.  After all, I am almost done.

The next thing I knew, he was coming up the stairs carrying the little training potty. He said, “Look mama, I went poop and pee!” He was so excited. 

On the other hand, I was NOT excited and yelled out, “Please tell me you did NOT spill that!”

There is never a dull moment in my house, and this is why I get nothing done.

Over time, as a mom of three, I have learned some tips and tricks which save me time… and save my sanity. 

Tips and Tricks for Babies:

1. Fels-Naptha Stain Bar 

Not a day goes by where my baby has stain-free clothes. At the end of the day, I end up with at least one pair of stained clothing. Soaking took way too much time, so I needed to find something which worked fast. The Fels-Naptha Stain Bar is quick, easy to use, and inexpensive. I simply wet the clothing, rub it on the stain, let it sit for a minute, and throw it in the wash. That’s it! The stain is gone.

2. Wash bottles in a large bowl.

We use Dr. Brown’s Bottles and there are so many pieces to wash! Washing and rinsing each piece one by one takes so long. This technique is much faster:

Grab a large bowl.

Add some soap and water.

Throw all the parts in.

Scrub each piece with a bottle brush at once. 

Rinse. 

Done.

My five-year-old likes to help with this one which saves me even more time. There is nothing like making chores fun so the kids want to help.

time-saving parenting tips

3. BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush

Never want to touch diaper cream again? It can happen. This BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush is a life-saver. I simply put the ointment on the brush, rub it on baby’s bottom, and clean it with a wipe. 

4. Use stickers to label breast milk with the date.

When pumping and breastfeeding, we bought these simple stickers. If milk was going into the fridge, I would simply write the date and time on a sticker and stick it on the container I pumped into. This made my life easier because when pumping in the early morning or middle of the night, I was usually in a daze. I always forgot which milk came from which pump session. If freezing the milk right away, we used these breastmilk storage bags and simply wrote the date and time on the bag.

5. Zip-up sleepers are key, because who has time for buttons?

With three children to take care of, I simply did not have time to button up baby sleepers. There are so many buttons! In my haste, I could never find which buttons were supposed to snap together. I always ended up with a hole somewhere due to a missed button. Zip-up sleepers are the best, especially in the dark during middle-of-the-night feeds and changes.

6. Use bibs with plastic backing.

My baby is a messy eater. Food gets everywhere. Why she loves to smash her food in her hands and then rub it on her face, I will never know. Bibs with plastic backing ensure the food doesn’t soak through and onto baby’s clothing. One less outfit to wash is always a win.

Time-saving parenting tips

7. Put extra pacifiers in the crib.

If you have a pacifier-lover, put more than one pacifier in the crib so they can easily find them during naptime and nighttime. Less interrupted infant sleep equals more time, or rest, for us. There is no such thing as too much sleep these days. We use the WubbaNub pacifiers which are super easy to find in the crib.

8. Cradle Cap Brush

We used this cradle cap brush from the beginning and it removed and prevented cradle cap. Simply add shampoo and gently rub this brush all over baby’s head. Then, rinse. It is easy, quick, and effective.

9. Pull the onesie down after diaper blow outs.

When a blowout happens, poop can literally end up everywhere while trying to remove the onesie. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this tip out. The top of most onesies have little folds. You can simply pull the onesie down and off the feet. Viola! Less mess and no poop in baby’s hair!

Tricks and Tips for Toddlers:

10. Wet Brush

This brush may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. Where have you been all my life? I am not even kidding. My oldest has long hair, and let me tell you, brushing it out after a bath is NOT fun. That is, until I started using this brush. It detangles and there are no more tears. Win!

11. Pulls for light-switches

The amount of times I am in the middle of something and my toddler has to go potty “RIGHT NOW” is unbelievable. I am pretty sure they wait until we are in the middle of something to ask. He is too tiny to reach the light-switch so I always had to stop everything I was doing and run to turn on the light. Now, with this light switch extender, he can turn on the light by himself.

12. Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the toddler potty.

Adding a simple coffee filter in the bottom of a training potty really helps when it comes to poop. Way less residue is left in the potty. Win! This tip is thanks to a blog post by onecrazyhouse.com.

During potty training, we keep a toddler potty in the car in case of emergencies. I learned this tip the hard way. It is especially helpful to have a few coffee filters and diaper disposal bags on hand for the car in case of a toddler poop emergency. There is no harm in doubling or tripling them up either!

13. Hershey syrup can make medicine taste better.

One of my children struggles with taking medicine. Often when medicine is required, there are tears, screams, and sometimes even vomiting. Our pediatrician recommended mixing the yucky-tasting medicine with Hershey’s Chocolate syrup. This trick has worked wonders for us. 

14. Put all stuffed animals in a bean bag chair.

Over the years, we have accumulated a lot of stuffed animals. This is probably the understatement of the year. The amount of time we spent cleaning up and re-organizing stuffed animals was mind-blowing. Now, when our stuffed animals aren’t in use, we simply zip them all up in this Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair. It looks so cute in the kids’ rooms, and it doubles as a comfy place to sit.

15. Use mattress pads to protect the bed.

My kids have double and queen beds, so we use two of these waterproof mattress pads under the sheets which cover most of the mattress. I keep an extra in the closet in case it is needed in the middle of the night. This makes changing sheets due to an accident or illness much easier. 

16. Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Conditioning Spray

We spray this Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Leave-In Conditioning Spray on our daughter’s long hair before school. So far, no lice. Enough said. 

17. Disposable Placemats

These disposable placemats have been so great when I am short on time. I simply ball them up and toss them after meals. There is way less mess for me to clean.

I hope these hacks will save you as much time as they have saved me! What is your favorite time-saving hack? Share it in the comments. Let’s help each other out.

To learn more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: My Mom Life in Pop Song Lyrics

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

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Top Christmas Gifts for Kids 5 and Under

Here is a list of our favorite Christmas gift ideas babies and toddlers are sure to love. Whether you are putting together your Christmas list or have found yourself looking for a last minute gift idea, hopefully this list will help!

Gifts for Newborns

Teethers

Sophie the Giraffe is a favorite in our house.



Jewelry Teethers are great gifts for both mom and baby. Mom can wear them as jewelry and baby can chew them from her lap.

The Nuby Hanging Pendant Teething Necklace is another teether we know and love. This one is easy for baby to fit into their mouth. Click the link to check it out.

A pacifier holder is a great gift to help keep the paci close to baby and easy to find. We like this one because it can be hooked onto any pacifier baby likes.

An Infinity Scarf Breastfeeding Cover is a great gift for both mom and baby. I used mine while breastfeeding and I continue to use it now as a scarf.

Spiral Travel Toy: Toys which hang from the carseat are always nice, because it can help keep baby entertained when they need to stay put.

Oball Toy Ball: This one is fun because it can easily be grasped by little fingers. My babies always giggled when we threw the ball around, and it was one of the first toys they could hold.

Gifts for Older Babies

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Remote is a toy all of my children have enjoyed. We love gifts which make noise as these are great to entertain baby at a doctor’s office, or while on the road (especially at night).

The Fisher-Price Dance and Groove Rockit is an interactive toy babies and toddlers can both enjoy, while learning about letters, colors, and numbers. They can even recording themselves and hear Rockit talk back!

The V-Tech Sit to Stand Learning Walker is great fun: for younger babies to sit and play, and for older babies to start learning to walk. This one is a favorite in our house!

An activity table is great for older babies. They can practice standing and play at the same time!

Books

Books are always a great idea! You can never start reading with your child too early. Here are some of our favorite books for baby:

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals

Whose Feet?

We love I See Me’s personalized stories. These are great gifts for any baby or toddler. There are lots of different story options!

Books which make noise are always fun! This is one of our favorites: Moo, Cluck, Baa! The Farm Animals are Hungry

Peek-A-Boo books are another favorite in our house. Here is one we love.

Puzzles

My kids love puzzles. My toddlers enjoy helping the baby play with puzzles already. Here are some great first puzzles:

First Shapes Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle

Farm Animals Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Gifts for Toddlers

Leap Frog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

All three of my kids love the Little People toys:

Little People Big Helpers Home

Caring for Animals Farm Set

Books

Here are some of our favorite toddler books.

Dear Zoo

Goodnight Moon

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Gifts for Children Aged 3-5

Picasso Magnetic Blocks: These blocks can entertain my older two for quite a while.

Art Sets: We love painting with different shapes, brushes, and sponges.

Learning Games

Educational games are another household favorite. Here are a couple that we love!

Note: Some of the pieces are small. These would be appropriate for children who are no longer putting things in their mouths.

Learning Resources Mini Muffin Match Up

This game teaches counting, colors, sorting, and even addition. The neat tool also helps with fine motor skills and the skills needed to hold a pencil.

ABC Cookies Game

I love how there are multiple games you can play with this one set. It teaches the alphabet and letter sounds. My kids also like to use the cookies for play in their kitchen.

Toys

Fingerlings Interactive Toy

LOL Surprise Dolls

These also contain small parts. The manufacturer recommends this toy for children aged 5 and up.

Super Friends Bat Cave

Anything related to superheroes is at the top of my three-year-old son’s Christmas list this year!

Play-Doh

Play-Doh is one item which will entertain my older two for quite some time.

Books

We love any books that encourage us to love ourselves for who we are. Here are a couple of our favorites which focus on this concept:

Thelma the Unicorn

It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny

I wish that I had Duck Feet

Puzzles

Here are some puzzles we love:

Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

Farm Wooden Cube Puzzle

See and Spell Puzzle

Fanciful Friends 4-in-1 Wooden Puzzle

We hope this list will help make your holiday shopping a little bit easier this year!

Top Christmas Gifts for Kids 5 and under

To learn more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: Times I Am Thankful for My Toddler

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

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Top 10 Products for Toddlers on the Go

Taking a toddler or baby out into the world is not always an easy task. You never know what could happen. Usually getting out of the house is a chore in and of itself. If you have tried putting shoes on a toddler, then you probably get it. And then, there is always a blow-out or an, “I have to go potty” right before heading out the door. This usually occurs once the said shoes are already on the feet. Then, once we are out, one moment I could have perfect angels, and the next, one of the kids could be wallowing on the floor or licking the table. But, with three little ones, we have found some pretty neat products which have helped us with these intimidating adventures out.

1. Toilet Seat Covers

If you have a potty trained toddler, you will find yourself helping them use a public toilet at some point or another. If you are like me, you will find yourself getting frustrated or disgusted because either their bottom, their hands, or the back of their pants will touch the toilet. We found potty seat covers which cover the entire potty. They stick to the toilet seat so that they won’t move and they offer full coverage you guys! They cover the full seat and edges of the toilet. This means no more hands or pants touching the potty. Check out how they work here. Another option is the folding potty seat. We have also used these, and they work great!

2. Snack Container

If you have a toddler like mine, you will almost never leave the house without bringing along a snack. This bbluv snack container is awesome! There are three storage areas, so you can bring three different snacks. The top has a lid like the top of a bottle, so you can even store juice or water here. It’s cute, easy, and a space-saver! It’s also leak-proof and dishwasher and microwave safe. toddler products toddler products  

3. Stroller Clips

With a toddler in tow, you will have plenty to carry with you. We love these dreambaby stroller clips. You can clip your purse or diaper bag directly onto the stroller. You can even clip grocery bags on your way out of the store. When we know we will be walking with the stroller quite a bit, we even clip our favorite straw sippy cups directed onto these clips. products for toddlers products for toddlers  

4. Placemat/ Meal Mat

I love a good placemat at a restaurant. We all know what happens when you give a toddler a glass plate… and it’s not always pretty. Here are three of our favorites. We switch them up when we go out. The Gerber Meal Mat: This is a silicon plate with separate areas for each food item. The silicon helps it stay put on the table. The best part about this one is it comes in a container. This makes it super easy to bring back home even if it is covered in food. Click the link to see how it works. Silicone Coloring Placemat: This placemat is loads of fun. You can literally ball it up into a ball and throw it into the diaper bag and it will keep it’s shape. Kids can use either dry erase or regular washable markers to color it and then it can be used as a placemat when the food arrives. The best part is, it’s dishwasher safe! Klean Kids Disposable Placemats: Thanks to Home Worthy Goods for gifting us these! They are great for dining at a restaurant. Even if your toddler decides to lick the table, it’s clean. We ball these up and throw them away after, which means leaving less of a mess for the server. Double win! toddler products  

5. Wipe Clean Books or Cards

The kids will likely need something to do to keep them busy at some point during the outing. We especially like to bring along activities when we are eating at a restaurant. Wipe clean books can be used over and over again and they never seem to get old. Both dry erase markers and dry erase crayons work on these books. You can also find wipe clean activity cards.

6. Sippy Cup Strap

The sippy cup strap is essential for my toddlers, because I am pretty sure their drink spends more time on the floor than on the table. What is it with a young toddlers desire to drop things to the floor? At least with the sippy cup strap, it will not actually hit the floor. Yay for less germs! This one is our favorite because it can easily adjust to fit around toys.

7. Pacifier Clip

Along the same lines, if you have a pacifier lover, the pacifier clip is essential. One pacifier in reach equals a much happier baby. There are so many options, but here is a simple one we like to use. baby products  

8. High Chair Cover/ Cart Cover

We love these shopping cart covers because they can be used to cover both the highchair at a restaurant and the shopping cart in the store. I am all for items which serve multiple purposes. I swear the first thing my toddlers want to do is bite the cart. With the cover, it’s one less thing I need to worry about. toddler products shopping cart cover  

9. Travel Bags

These Bumkins bags are great. I love that they are reusable and waterproof. It’s a great place to store pacifiers, teethers, crayons or markers for the kids, and pretty much any small item you don’t want lost in the diaper bag. This package comes with three different sizes. These are also TSA compliant which is great for plane rides. travel baby products  

10. Disposable Diaper Bags and Dispenser

Finally, the baby always poops at a restaurant or while out and about. And why are these always the blowouts? These Munchkin disposable diaper bags are great because I hate leaving a smelly diaper behind in a bathroom. I mean, no one wants to smell that. Seriously! I just toss the diaper inside one of these, tie it up and throw it in the trash. These are also nice for those blowouts, because once the shirt and pants are covered in poo, there are pretty hard to carry home. So, we just stick the soiled clothes right in a bag, tie it up, and take them home.   I hope these items will help make your next outing a bit easier! Let me know what you think in the comments!   To learn more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren You may also enjoy: Fed Is Best   As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!    

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How to Survive a Beach Trip with Kids

“They say” going on vacation is relaxing. “They” must not be talking about vacationing with small children. Going to the beach now is not at all what it used to be. I would always bring along a book to read while soaking up the sun. Now, I am lucky if I have room in my arms to even carry a book to the beach. Reading a book, forget about it! Now, it’s chasing and entertaining toddlers, making sure they stay close, safe, and covered in sunscreen. I used to feel re-charged when we got home. Now, with three children in tow, I need a vacation after the vacation. Here are some tips which make beach trips a little easier for our family. Hopefully, they can help make your next trip a little more relaxing. Every little bit helps, right?

Timing

On our very first family beach trip with our daughter, we decided to leave late at night, hoping she would sleep in the car and be easily transferred to her crib upon arrival. Nope! She was wide awake the second we pulled in to the resort. We have now learned, for long trips, leaving before the sun comes up works best for our family. The kids are so groggy, they fall right back asleep in the car and by the time they wake up, we are well on our way. Consider your childrens’ sleep styles, and choose a departure time that makes sense.

Packing

Preparing for the beach is a huge undertaking. Gone are the days of quickly and easily packing last minute, and heading straight out the door. I found it helps to pack what you can in the car the night before so it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning. I have learned packing light saves both space and time. When packing, think layers. For example, for girls, think skirts or dresses with leggings, or short sleeve shirts with a light jacket. This way, you can avoid packing both a daily outfit for warm weather and an entire extra outfit in case it is cold. The light-weight jacket can be re-worn. Think about which items will already be provided at your destination so you don’t waste time packing those things for no reason. Also consider which items you can quickly purchase upon arrival, for example, food for the room. On a long road trip, it can be difficult to get all of the formula and feeding supplies together for an infant. Here is a photo of how I put everything together for the road. Packing formula I love this formula dispenser from Avent. It can hold up to three bottles worth of formula and can even convert to a snack cup for later. Just remove the insert. Check it out here. Another helpful hint I have learned: Have a portable potty in the car for toddlers, along with some toilet paper just in case. You never know when they will have to go…right now! It will probably be when you are on a long road of nothingness.

Carrying Loads to the Beach

After you have already spent so much time packing, then you have to take all of your beach supplies to and from the beach… and, when you have kids, there is A LOT of stuff. My husband ends up muscling all of our gear to and from the room while I wrangle the kids. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a service like UBER that would take your stuff to and from the beach by just using an app? It’s genius! You heard it here first. As far as realistic suggestions… I love to save up and rent the umbrellas and chairs already on the beach. It saves me having to carry those large items with me. If that is not in the budget, I have heard wonderful things about beach carts. For quick and easy shade, I love this toddler beach tent which easily folds up flat in a small carry case. We used this both at the beach and by the pool. Baby beach tent We laid our infant here for most of the time we were outside. This would also be great for toddlers, as there is an area which can drop into a pre-dug hole in the sand which can be filled with water for a tiny, shaded pool. See this link for more photos.

More helpful products

Baby powder. You can rub this on hands and it completely removes the sand. Now, you and the kids can eat without sand in your picnic lunch! Stroller fan. We love how this little fan can provide an extra breeze and keep our baby cool while in the heat. Stroller Fan Hooded towels. These are a lifesaver. You don’t have to keep re-wrapping the kids every-single-time they fall to the ground. This particular type of hooded towel goes over the head and will stay on! Here is one we love. Sunscreen. My favorite for my kids with sensitive skin is Babyganics. Don’t forget the floatation devices. We love puddle jumpers. It is always good for the kids to wear these near the water as an extra line of defense. Check out our favorite type here. An old, large sheet. We love to place a large sheet down so that we can put all of the bags, the towels, and cooler on top. This helps keep things a little less sandy. Or, check out this sheet from beach sheetz which folds up into a backpack! Beach Toys. We like to carry beach toys in a mesh bag, so that the sand can fall out on the way up to the room. We like this one which you can carry easily over your arm. Pack ‘n Play. This is a great place for crib-sleepers to sleep safely after a long day of fun. We love how easy these are to put up and take down. This is our favorite. Even at the beach, it’s a balance. You can have fun together as a family, but we also try to take turns with the kids. For instance, one parent can take the kids while the other rests or one adult takes the older kids while one handles the baby. This way, you can enjoy your family while still getting in some rest time. Lastly, even in the craziness, try to enjoy the good moments. Sometimes I think seeing the beach through our kids’ eyes can be more rewarding than the relaxation we miss out on. What do you think? Baby at the beach As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You may also enjoy: You Know You’re the Parent of a Toddler When… or Don’t Let Your Marriage Take a Backseat After Kids To learn a little more about me check out: About Lauren

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