Mom Knows Best: Tricks for Flying With a Toddler

Posted 10-24-2014 at 03:21 PM by Rasha

traveling with toddler

Packing used to be the part of the trip that you dreaded the most, but that’s all changed now that you have a toddler. Now, packing seems like the easy part when compared to the tall task of keeping a toddler content on a plane. Maybe content is even too much to ask. Most of us would simply settle for a plane ride without scowls and dirty looks from passengers because your kid is throwing a tantrum, playing too loud or playing with the long hair of the lady in the seat in front of you. Here are some tried and true tips to keep your little one in good spirits for the entire flight:

Consider the Schedule

While long flights are challenging, layovers extend your travel time even more, so book a direct flight if you can. Less connections means getting back into some semblance of your little one’s routine a little faster, so it’s usually worth spending extra money if necessary.

Diaper Swapers

Tutorial: Homemade Threading Board

Posted 10-22-2014 at 02:53 PM by Banana Cat


So I like to sew. I have a cheap plastic sewing machine, and what feels like a 5000 lb vintage cast iron sewing machine, and between the two of them I can usually sew whatever I need to, unless it’s something like a king size quilt, because we don’t have room for a quilting machine in our apartment because dumb things like the stove and refrigerator are in the way. But, sometimes I need to hand sew something a little more delicate, or I’m just way too lazy to clear off the dining table and yank out the sewing machine and all the STUFF that goes along with it. One day, I was repairing a small hole on the seam of a sweater by hand, squinting and remembering that once long ago I wore glasses and whatever happened to them anyway?, when my 2 year old came over and asked what I was doing.

“Sewing up a hole in Mommy’s sweater,” I explained.

She stood up tall and declared in the way of two year olds, “Ok. I sew too.”

Now what? I had some large, dull embroidery needles and some yarn. Sewing/threading boards are all over the place—wooden or plastic boards with large holes in them that kids can practice sewing on—but we didn’t have one. So, I put my sewing aside and declared that it was now time for an art project.


Child Safe Decorating

Posted 10-14-2014 at 02:58 PM by Matrivine

baby living room

When you first have children, decorating takes on a whole new dimension of thought. Instead of thinking something is pretty or would go great with your home , you think of your child instead. Will my son eat this if I put it in the bathroom? Will this be stable enough not to fall on my little girl if she pushes on it or even touches it? Here are a few child safe ways to decorate.

LED Candles

I love candles, but with the arrival  of my curious and mobile little guy, the idea of an open flame anywhere he may be able to reach put a damper on my candle burning. So now I use LED candles. Not only do they give the same ambiance that a flame lit candle would, they last longer. Best of all they are safe for my little guy to be around.

Wall Hangings

Rather than have heavy framed pictures that may (and have) fall off the wall, I use wall hangings made of cloth or a paper product. If these fall off the wall and hit my child, it won’t cause much more damage than that of a blanket falling on them. Always remember, however, that a wall hanging has no place over an infants bassinet or crib.

Potty Training : The Apartment Edition

Posted 10-10-2014 at 01:33 PM by Matrivine

Baby on the Potty

Potty training is a messy, messy business. This is especially true for those of us that don’t use pull ups. When a child soils themselves it doesn’t always stay in their underpants. For those of us trying to keep our rented home’s carpet from being destroyed this could be a problem that sometimes we feel can only be remedied with a tarp. Fortunately, there are other ways to deal with apartment potty training.

Be Extra Ready

Contrary to belief there is no set time when all children should be potty trained. Let your child build up to the idea. Watch your child for extra signs they are ready. They will tell you when they are about to have a bowel movement. They will be one hundred percent sure what their potty is for and will actually start sitting on it while they use their diaper, or pretending to use the potty. In either case they are building their confidence and it should make their potty training a shorter road.

Tutorial: Three Travel Busy Bag Ideas

Posted 10-7-2014 at 01:55 PM by Banana Cat



Soon, it will be the holidays.

Soon, hundreds of thousands of families will pack their kids up and travel.

Soon, parents will be rubbing their temples and buying headache medication in giant Costco-sized containers.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Parents hit the road (or sky), not necessarily because they want to, as in during the summer, but because of family obligations and gatherings. It can be hard enough to entertain a child when you’re at home surrounded by their favorite toys, but how to do so while travelling, possibly cramped in a small vehicle for hours at a time, without resorting to gluing your kid to the iPad for 6 straight hours? Thankfully, some smart parent before me has solved this problem with the invention of “busy bags”—small bags with a travel-sized activity to keep your kids busy. While there are a million different types of bags you can put together, here are three easy, low-budget ones.

Are Red Marks From My Cloth Diapers Okay?

Posted 10-3-2014 at 04:03 PM by Banana Cat

A long time ago people used pins and flat diapers to diaper their babies. One of the biggest concerns with diapers then was accidentally poking the baby with the pins used to keep the diaper in place. Nowadays, with larger, safer pins and other alternative diaper closures, jabbing baby with a sharp object is far less of a diapering concern. Instead, one of the biggest worries I see parents ask is, “I took off the cloth diaper and there are red marks on my baby’s skin! What gives?”

There are many, many reasons for red marks caused by cloth diapers, and most of them are harmless. If you’re using fabric that can bunch up, like flats or prefolds, and the red marks are on the part of the body where your baby has just been sleeping on, there is little cause for concern. You know how sometimes you wake up and you smile lovingly at your partner, pleased at the luxury of waking up together, and he or she looks back at you and bursts out laughing because you have sheet marks all over your face, and then the loving moment is totally gone? Sometimes red marks from diapers are just something like sheet marks, where the fabric folds press against baby’s soft skin while he or she sleeps. They will fade shortly.


Elastic comes in multiple shapes and sizes on modern cloth diapers. It’s pretty good at the whole poop-containing thing.

Need a Baby Monitor? Just Use Your Tablet

Posted 10-1-2014 at 12:31 PM by Rasha

sleeping baby

Baby monitors have come a long way. First there were the little white radio-like things with an antenna that relayed audio from the baby’s room to the parents. Now there are hi-tech monitors that have night vision and video cameras.

They may have come a long way, but so have their prices. Some baby monitors cost $400 and up. That’s a lot of formula and diapers. One hi-tech option is to use your tablet as a baby monitor.

Safety Tips for Infants

Posted 09-26-2014 at 03:02 PM by Matrivine

Little baby child in safety car seat
Whether it’s your first child or your seventh child, infant safety should be taken seriously. Here’s a little refresher course of a few safety necessities when working with infants.


Whether you are riding in a car or on a bike it is important to make your little one’s safety a priority. When it comes to the car an infant should always ride in the back seat in a rear facing car seat. It’s easy to make sure you have your car seat installed properly. Check with the fire department, or ask hospital personnel to teach you how to install your car seat. Obey the laws regarding weight and age of a child when it comes to using a car seat. Also, when using an older model car seat make sure it meets the new safety standards.

Some bikes have a child seat on the back of the bike. When on a bike make sure that your infant is old enough to be on a bike. They should have advanced neck control and be able to wear a correctly fitting helmet. Know and obey all biking laws and stay on bike paths. Remember that your child is strapped in on the back of your bike. If you should take a spill the bike will take your little one down with you and they will be unable to move out of the way of any oncoming object. A safer way to bike with a child is to use a trailer for the back of your bike  instead. It is less likely to tip over.

Keeping Our Children Safe at Home

Posted 09-24-2014 at 01:49 PM by Matrivine

Child Safety

We all want to keep our children safe from the moment they exist in our lives. We feed them right, take precautions while bathing them, and never leave them in the tub unattended. We have the newest model crib and some of us won’t let our child sleep with a pillow until they are two years old. It sounds crazy, but we would rather be viewed as crazy and keep our kids safe. And then they do something perilous. They start walking and running.

For Explorers

They want to stick things in the electric socket, open the oven or fridge just to see what’s inside, and are busy trying to get into the shampoo as you read this. I use a good deal of hardware when it comes to my exploring toddler. To buy us time getting to our explorer it’s important to use drawer and cupboard latches, outlet covers, and in some cases door knob covers that are too bulky for little hands to turn. Some companies even sell oven locks and toilet seat locks to further deter your toddler’s quest to see where the water goes.

Two Healthy Swaddling Techniques for Baby

Posted 09-22-2014 at 09:24 AM by Rasha

swaddled baby

The sleep-deprived parent of a newborn, gazing lovingly at the peaceful little being who has finally fallen asleep. More often than not, as you watch, the baby’s arms or legs twitch out in a startle reflex, and the crying starts anew. Instead of helplessly waiting for this stage to pass, lull your newborn to sleep using approved swaddling techniques to keep your baby feeling secure, reduce crying time, and promote longer sleep.

The main thing to keep in mind when swaddling a newborn is to use the right technique to avoid developmental dysplasia of the hip. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, suddenly straightening a newborn’s legs after months in the fetal position in the womb can loosen hip joints and damage the soft cartilage of the hip socket. To reduce the risk of this condition, which can cause hip problems and pain later in life, your baby’s legs should be able to move around, bending up and out from his body, while in the swaddle.