I Survived Flying With Toddlers, So Can You!

Posted 01-23-2015 at 04:30 PM by Banana Cat

Recently, I flew across the country with two kids for the first time. My husband was with me, but our kids are three and one and often after 8 hours with them I feel a bit insane—and that’s when I have an entire city at my disposal in which to drag them around. Spending several consecutive hours smushed between them, trapped in a narrow metal tube with 150 other people sounded like a very special punishment for all the stupid things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

I was so freaked out about the entire trip that a couple of weeks before I sat down and wrote an item-by-item list of things to pack for every person in our family. It was color coded by person and which piece of luggage each item would be packed in and everything, and if you knew how incredibly unorganized I usually am (once I lost the baby monitor and eventually found it in the refrigerator, because DUH, where else would it have been?), you’d appreciate how much I was stressing out to the point where I’d do something like that. Then I hit up the dollar section of Target and threw whatever looked semi-interesting into my cart. Usually I like quality toys, often wood, and carefully budget for them, and don’t (often) bribe my kids with junk food, but this time I strapped them into the front of the cart and shoved Icees into their hands to distract them from seeing the sheer amount of crap I was tossing in the basket. I am sure every other parent in the store was glaring judgmental daggers at me.

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How is it that when you travel, you always feel like you’re bringing way too much and not enough at the same time?

Diaper Swapers

Life Lessons From Little Ones

Posted 01-1-2015 at 10:45 AM by Matrivine

Silhouette of Happy Mother Playing Outside with Baby

Children can do and say some crazy things sometimes. It’s part of their charm. Sometimes the things they say and do make us have to stop and question our priorities and points of views. If we are really lucky we can even change a few of our points of view to find the joy in life that comes so naturally to the small ones in our lives.

Be Excited About Life

An apple is worthy of a jump up and down celebration in my child’s point of view. So are new pajamas, taking the trash out, and watching a favorite television show. We are talking about uncontrolled bouncing shouts of joy. If we all celebrated the little things like a two year old the world would be a happier place. The opposite, however, does not apply. We would all be very unhappy if we all had toddler like meltdowns instead.

Potty Training Hacks

Posted 12-31-2014 at 10:43 AM by Matrivine

Potty Training

After about six months of trying to convince my son to use the potty, and cleaning up the aftermath, we have found a few potty training hacks we agree on (because when your toddler isn’t cooperating with potty training it feels like herding cats to a toilet) that have turned the tide in our potty war and resulted in a truce.

Hand Held Entertainment

I don’t let my children play with my Kindle Fire as a rule. This has resulted in making it one of the most coveted items for my children to play with. I can see their little wheels turning over how to play with it without getting in trouble. There is one way mommy will share her toy. On the potty. If my child is on the potty, he has five to ten glorious minutes on the Kindle. If he has a stubborn bowel movement, he gets more time. To get his hands on the Kindle he will even tell me when he has to go.

Kitchen Timer

I set a fifteen minute timer on my microwave to make sure I hold up my part of potty training. My part would be to ask regularly if  he needs to go. I have a seven month old, work from home, and do house work. Naturally I am going to forget. Setting a timer, however, makes me remember. I just have to make sure to drop everything and ask otherwise I’ll get sidetracked and forget all over again.

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.

Tutorial: Homemade Threading Board

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

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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.

Supplies

Tutorial: Three Travel Busy Bag Ideas

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

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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.

The Long Road of Potty Training

Posted 08-20-2014 at 04:00 PM by toneylarson

Potty Training

I’m sure there are people who will feel adamantly different, but I am convinced that children potty train whenever they darn well feel like it. I don’t know much about elimination communication, so I don’t consider that when I write this. I have a friend who did it that way and that kid has been trained to potty for a long time. But for those of us not going that route, this is for us.

My daughter is smart. I don’t say that because I’m her mom. I say that because she is always one step ahead of me and I see her wheels working to get what she wants. I started cloth diapers when she was a little over two years and we had a four month old. I didn’t get a ton of diapers because I thought she would be out of diapers soon anyway. Boy was I wrong.

At first, I was casual about it. We got her a little potty and showed her how to use it. She liked the potty, and if I recall correctly, she even used it a couple of times, so I thought this was going to be easy. But after the novelty wore off, she didn’t seem to see the importance of the potty when she had the convenience of a diaper.

I started to take a little more initiative. I bribed her with the promises of M&Ms if she went. She liked the idea and it worked a couple of times, but again, she decided the treat wasn’t worth the effort. I upped it again, making a nice chart with stickers to record how many times she went and another chart with pictures of what to do that also would get stickers. It was fun – for the first two stickers.

The Magic of Stay-Dry Fabrics

Posted 08-14-2014 at 12:51 PM by Banana Cat

A billion years ago (so it seems), the only diapers that were used were flat-style diapers. Many cultures across the world did and still do practice elimination communication, but many cultures also still use flats. Don’t get me wrong, flats have plenty of upsides—they’re easy to wash by hand and quick to dry, and you can make a flat diaper out of almost any spare fabric you have lying around, in a pinch. I totally went through a “flats phase” and understand the benefits. One of the reasons I liked flats for a while was because my daughter did best in cotton fabrics. Anything else she was more prone to getting rashes in, but that good ol’ 100% cotton was cheap and breathable.

Flat Diapers

Flats: as close to a universal diaper as you can get

However, the upsides of flat diapers can quickly become the downsides as well. They can be difficult to fold quickly, and aren’t as absorbent as some modern manmade fabrics. Another downside I only discovered after my second child was born: Some kids simply do not like sitting in a wet diaper.

The Anatomy of an All-in-One

Posted 08-11-2014 at 12:23 PM by Banana Cat

All-in-one diapers are very popular, for good reason. Every part of the diaper comes sewn together in one neat piece, rather than having multiple pieces, such as inserts or covers, that must be assembled to make a complete diaper. The convenience comes at a price—they are more expensive than other diaper types—but they are especially well-liked by daycares and other temporary caregivers that may only be familiar with disposables. However, because all-in-ones are all one piece, they require a little different care and look different than other diapers. To make things even more confusing, some diapers that are actually pockets, especially foreign-made ones on eBay, are often labeled as “all in one diapers” even though they are what we call “pocket diapers.” Let’s look at the parts of a true all-in-one diaper below.

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Cloth Diapers: New or Used?

Posted 07-30-2014 at 12:09 PM by Banana Cat

So you’ve been suckered into the cloth diapering world. Congratulations, and say good bye to your money. But wait! Before you have a small heart attack at the cost of a single all-in-one name brand diaper, you might want to ask the question: Will I be buying my cloth diapers new, or used?

While you may assume you’ll be buying your cloth diapers new—after all, especially if this is your first child, you’re probably buying or being gifted mostly new baby items—there is actually a very large secondhand cloth diaper market (hint – the For Sale or Trade Forum here on DiaperSwappers is the best place to start!), if you know where to look. Used diapers can sound kind of icky at first, but let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

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