This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PersilLaundry #CollectiveBias
Did you know that a typically developing child is expected to be able to feed themselves completely independently with a spoon by the age of 2? Well don’t worry if you didn’t, because I didn’t either until our Pediatrician told us at Taylor’s 18 month appointment! However, most toddlers are capable of learning to do this at a much younger age; Taylor is well on her way to independently eating with a spoon AND fork at 19 months old! Today I wanted to share 5 ways you can help your toddler learn to eat with utensils as well, and clean clothing stainsfrom the inevitable mess they’ll make withtrial size Persil® ProClean® laundry detergent. Persil® Original Pro10wasnamed “Best New Liquid Laundry Detergent” by Family Circle magazine in 2017, so I was curious to put it to the test! I have to say, I was quite impressed with the cleaning, brightening and whitening results, especially given the amount of time the marinara had to set into her bright white shirt (my bad because, #momlife)!
5 Ways To Help Your Toddler Learn To Eat With Utensils Independently:
Provide your toddler with utensils that are, well, toddler-sized. Silverware with thick, weighted, rubber/textured handles are best as they are easier to grasp and control. HERE are our favorites to use (the set comes in green, pink or aqua!).
Demonstrate how to use utensils with slow, exaggerated motions accompanied by a verbal explanation of exactly what you’re doing. (e.g. “Mommy is scooping some applesauce onto her spoon, now I’m going to raise my arm and put the spoon in my mouth like this… Yum!”). You’re basically their eating mechanics coach!
Start out with thick foods that will stick to a spoon, like yogurt or applesauce when scooped. When your toddler is practicing eating with a fork, I recommend easy to spear pasta shapes like penne!
Provide ample opportunities for practice eating with utensils. At first, your toddler may not have much control or accuracy, but it’s still important that they have the chance to learn to manipulate the fork or spoon.
Praise your little one for trying! Most toddlers prefer to use their fingers over a fork or spoon, so they deserve some applause for their efforts.
All of that said, one thing you can expect is A LOT of mess when your toddler is learning to eat with utensils, so you’ll want to have a laundry detergent you can trust to get the job done! I purchased the convenient trial size Persil® ProClean® laundry detergent last week at Target and challenged it with the marinara sauce stains featured in this post.
Persil® Original Pro10 was named “Best New Liquid Laundry Detergent” by Family Circle magazine in 2017, so I was curious to put it to the test! I have to say, I was quite impressed with the cleaning, brightening and whitening results, especially given the amount of time the marinara had to set into her bright white shirt (my bad because, #momlife)!
Persil Laundry Detergent To The Rescue!
By the time I got around to washing Taylor’s shirt after she finished her pasta, over an hour had passed, so I decided to pre-treat it with Persil® laundry detergent. I poured a very small amount of Persil laundry detergent into the cap, dipped a finger in and rubbed a very small amount directly onto the stain. After leaving the shirt to pre-treat for 5 minutes, I placed it in our washing machine with the rest of Taylor’s whites in the warmest water possible with a capful of Persil® laundry detergent, per the Laundry Tips on Persil’s webpage. Remember to check the results before drying. I really like that Persil® laundry detergent can be used in all machines, including an HE like ours.
WOW. I was honestly surprised at how well Persil laundry detergent was able to tackle the stain. I imagine that, had I pre-treated and washed right away, the results would have been even more impressive. Persil laundry detergent is certainly a great choice for everyday laundry as well as stain fighting!
If you haven’t tried Persil laundry detergent yet, I encourage you to do what I did and pick up their new trial size bottle at Target (AKA Mecca) for only $1.99. The trial size bottle (10.1-ounce package) washes 6 full loads of laundry! Plus, there is a $2 off coupon on the back of the bottle for a future purchase, excluding the trial/travel size.
Give it a try and see the results for yourself!
I would love to hear any other tips you have for teaching your little ones to eat with utensils independently. What successes have you had as a toddler/eating mechanics coach duo? Any epic messes you could have used Persil laundry detergent for?!Email me or leave a comment on this post.
As I was Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping this past weekend, I found myself again ordering way too much gravitating toward super comfy, cozy clothing – the kind you can lounge/work/play around the house in, yet still be considered socially acceptable when you need to go out to run an errand in. Comfortable at-home style is my jam.
Well, based on my online shopping tour de force this weekend, let me tell you that NOW is definitely the time to be stocking up on comfortable at-home mom style staples. There are SO many cute pieces out there – especially for these winter months when we want all the warmth and comfort (I’ll take a pair of joggers in each color of the rainbow, please and thank you!). Take this sweater for example which is essentially like wearing a chenille blanket around the house (but still totally cute, right?!):
So, if you’re a budding comfy clothing connoisseur like me, a stay at home mom who wants to up her mom-iform game, or a working mama who needs some comfy weekend wear, this is the round-up for you! I included items I purchased recently, ones I own, and also several that are on my wishlist – with a range of price points.
I hope you enjoy shopping this round-up, and being super comfy, cozy and cute all winter. Click on any of the images below to shop!
Comfortable At-Home Mom Style Staples:
Have you ever had to shift your wardrobe in a similar way? Let me know what your mom-iform consists of, and if there are pieces I must have in my newly minted stay at home mom wardrobe!
This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you purchase an item I like and recommend.
This post contains affiliate links but, as you already know, I only post about things I actually buy, use and love!
Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family yesterday.
Let me get right to the reason for this post: Black Friday is kind of THE day to get the bulk of your Christmas shopping done and/or score great deals on items you’ve had your eye on for a while! I know I will be scouring the web to see if any of the items on my Ultimate Toddler Gift Guide For Christmas are on sale, as well as checking out my favorite sites to up my #momstyle game (i.e. Nordstrom, ILY Couture, etc.)!
All day today (Black Friday 2017!!) on the Taylor-made Mama Facebook Page I’ll be sharing the best deals for babies, toddlers AND their moms from the places we LOVE to shop, including (but not limited to!):
Try the liquid lip color everyone is talking about! 💋👏🏻
Snag YOUR perfect color for *15% OFF + FREE Shipping through midnight on 11/24/17 plus tons of other fun deals and freebies! THIS LINK will take you straight there!
P.S. If you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership then today is a great day to become one. Many of the deals I’ll be sharing with you throughout the day on the Taylor-made Mama Facebook Page are Prime Eligible (free 2-day shipping and exclusive deals!). You can get a FREE 30 Day Trial to Amazon Prime HERE, just in time to take advantage of all the Black Friday Deals! You can also check out a full list of ALL the benefits of a Prime membership here.
I was prompted to share this Modern Girl Nursery Reveal post as I have begun to think that, all too soon, I’ll need to transition it into a “Big Girl” room (my eyes tear up even just writing that sentence). I’m just waiting and watching the monitor closely for the day when she attempts to climb out of her crib. Babies just don’t keep, I tell you…
If you’ve been a reader for a while, you already know that I quit my job as a Special Education Administrator to stay home with Taylor a few months ago. Part of that whole cluster-change package was moving to a new home in a new city! Aside from now getting to spend my days with my precious little girl, one of the things I’m finding a lot of joy in these days is decorating our home! My passion for interiors is definitely resurfacing with the blessing of time and headspace. My favorite rooms to design by far have been Taylor’s nursery as well as her playroom; each decision and detail in those rooms is an expression of my love for her. I truly hope you enjoy photos of the finished product! Oh, and I linked everything that I could still find online for you at the bottom of the post!
With a second shot at creating Taylor’s modern nursery space, I used many of the pieces and artwork we had in her room at our previous home but paired things down for an even simpler, clean look. The other main change to her modern girl nursery is that the queen-sized bed (where I slept for several months when she was newborn!) is no longer in her room. This left a lot more space to work with.
The most recent addition, and finishing touch to Taylor’s room, is the beautiful piece shown in the photo above. This piece was gifted to us by one of Sacramento’s local artists, Sarah Phulps, owner of She’s Scripty. I told Sarah the verse I wanted over T’s bed (Proverbs 3:15), sent her several pictures of the room, and she created this one of a kind gem! I couldn’t be more pleased with her creation. You have to check out Sarah’s Instagram and ETSY shop!
It is my daily prayer + mission that Taylor will grow up believing that, because of her heart and the unique being God created her to be, she is indeed more precious than rubies.
All custom framing in Taylor’s modern girl nursery is from Aaron Brothers. Rocking Chair is from Buy Buy Baby but is unfortunately no longer available; linked here is one from Land of Nod that is very similar.
Modern Girl Nursery Organization:
Ya’ll know I can rarely put a post up without some sort of organizational tip or spin, and this one’s no different!
Organization For Outgrown Clothes:
With the rate babies grow (mine in particularly bc girlfriend is already on 2T at 18 months!), it’s important to have a system to keep all the clothes they outgrow organized until you decide what to do with them. Alternatively, you can just have a massive pile of little clothes in the bottom of the closet. Whatever suits you – mom your way ; ) I don’t yet know what we’ll do with Taylor’s baby clothes, but at least they’re neat and tidy for now, right? Maybe I’m secretly hoping we’ll have another girl who can wear it all but I digress… Anyway, here is a visual of what I came up with for storing the clothes/shoes she outgrows by size (the clear bins can be found at Target!):
Changing Station Essentials + Organization:
Although Taylor is a toddler, since she is still in diapers, not much has changed about the configuration of her changing station since her newborn days. Below are a few photos of how I organized her changing station/dresser for convenience as well as a printable shopping list of Changing Table Essentials (PS if you don’t have the Ubbi Diaper Pail – go. get. one. now. It works like a charm and works with the decor of any nursery!)
To access the printable Changing Station Essentials Checklist, click THIS LINK or the image below. If you are a subscriber, this list is now in the Printables Library for you!
I truly hope you enjoyed this Modern Girl Nursery reveal post. If there is anything else in my pictures you would like links to, comment on this post or shoot me an email and I’ll send them directly to you! If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss our upcoming Modern Playroom Reveal post – I seriously CANNOT WAIT to show you what I’ve been working on in there!
Thank you to Coco & Kiwi for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and any affiliate links are to products I actually use and like.
The last time I posted a “what’s in my diaper bag” style post, Taylor was only 7 months old. Time has absolutely flown by….Now that she is 18 months I want to share what’s in our Toddler Diaper Bag. I keep my Toddler Emergency Car Kit and a Toddler Restaurant Kit in the trunk of my car which contain many of the things I would otherwise have to worry about grabbing on the way out the door or lugging around in my already full diaper bag (i.e. bib, utensils, first aid kit, change of clothes, etc.). If you haven’t already, and have or will soon have a toddler, definitely check out those two posts!
I have gotten more compliments on this Coco & Kiwi Provence Diaper Bag since I started carrying/wearing it, mostly from girls at my gym who are non-moms actually! As a Coco Ambassador this season, I had the option to choose my favorite bag; it wasn’t even a question which I’d choose. I adore the classic, chic sandstone stripes paired with the camel colored leather of the Provence Bag. Aside from how cute and stylish it looks, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite features with you – game changers I don’t know how I didn’t look for in a bag sooner:
1) detachable stroller straps,
2) the bag can be carried as a clutch, over the shoulder/messenger style, or as a BACKPACK! If you couldn’t tell by all caps, I’m definitely loving the diaper backpack option these days, running around after my toddler.
3) The ingenious zip-in wet bag. I use mine for opened snacks!
You can check out this and all of the stylish Coco & Kiwi Diaper Bags and accessories here.
What’s In My Toddler Diaper Bag?
2-3 Diapers – if your toddler still wears them which, at 18 months, Taylor does.
Wipes – I love Water Wipes travel packs because they are all natural, and can be used to clean little ones’ hands and faces as well!
Sanitizing Wipes – the Wet Ones Sensitive Skin canister makes for easy packing as well as pulling out wipes to sanitize shopping carts, restaurant tables, etc. quickly.
Snacks – did you know that when your baby becomes a toddler you then become a snack peddler? I keep a variety on hand at all times because, at this age, T is starting to really exert her independence through making her preferences known!
Comb and hair ties/bows – because, #girlmom.
Changing pad – a burgundy colored changing pad, which matches the lining, comes in the Coco & Kiwi Diaper bags, and it is actually long enough to accommodate a growing toddler bod!
Wet bag – this is another convenient feature of the Coco & Kiwi Diaper bag. The wet bag zips in and out. I personally use it to store opened + unfinished snacks!
Kleenex – toddlers tend to need nose wiping every now and again, and it’s nice to have these on hand when a runny nose occurs. These travel packs are the cutest I’ve found – it’s the little things : )
Mini first aid – I only carry bandaids in my diaper bag because I have a mini first aid kit in my fully loaded Toddler Emergency Car Kit (which includes this AWESOME portable potty for you potty training mamas!)
Water bottle – sometimes I will just bring my adult sized version of this bottle and share with Taylor but, again, these days my toddler likes to have her OWN things!
A small toy that she is reallllllly into – at this moment, Peppa Pig!
LipSense Lip Gloss– I literally do not leave the house without at least one of my LipSense glosses (Matte, Glossy or Bouganvillea), whether I’m wearing the lip color or not.LipSense is a kiss-proof, smudge proof, waterproof lip color that lasts up to 18 hours – talk about a busy mom MUST HAVE! The gloss is the only thing you need to reapply a couple of times throughout the day to keep your lips moisturized and your color it’s staying power. LipSense has been a game changer for me as a new, busy mama: if nothing else, I walk out the door with tinted moisturizer and LipSense on and feel pretty + put together! I loved this stuff so much that I became a distributor myself, at first for the discount but now I have another stream of income for my family because of it! If you’re interested in learning more or placing a LipSense order – check out my Taylor-made Beauty Facebook Group (lots of sales and fun giveaways!), and my In-Stock Album and Order page.
Sunglasses & Eyeglasses
Phone Charger – a must since becoming a mama/responsible for someone else besides myself!
Lifetime Athletic Gym card – I can’t insert the praise hands emoji through Word Press, or else I would. Adding this element into our toddler and mom weekday schedule has been a game-changer, sanity saver, etc.!
Wallet (I linked the BEST price I’ve seen for this classic LV wallet!)
Protein bar – not pictured because I literally ate it an hour before taking the pictures for this post
To access the printable Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials Checklist use this linkor just click on the image below. As a subscriber, you can access and download this and any of the other printables from my website by going to the Printables Library Page and entering the password I emailed to you when you subscribed (if you can’t find it, just email me at email@example.com and I’ll re-send!).
What are your toddler diaper bag must-haves?
Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:
Thank you to Fab Fit Fun for gifting me the Fall Box for review.
The Fall 2017 Fab Fit Fun box has arrived and once again I’m super excited to share what’s inside with you! Fall is pretty much my favorite season, plus my (34th?!?!) birthday is in October, so this box was perfectly timed.
So far, as a #fabfitfunpartner, I’ve received the Spring, Summer, and now Fall 2017 Fab Fit Fun boxes and each time I have honestly been wowed with the VALUE; I seriously think to myself, “how do they get away with including this much quality product for THAT price??”.
What’s So Great About Fab Fit Fun Subscription Boxes?
If you aren’t yet familiar with Fab Fit Fun, how it works, and why you’ll love it too, allow me to break it down : )
Each box costs $49.99 for over $300 worth of product (but read on for a code to get $10 off that price + free shipping!)
Boxes ship out seasonally and are chock full of full-sized fashion, health, beauty and fitness goodies – the latest and greatest for that season.
Not only do you get a box filled with awesome goodies but, as a subscriber, you also get access to FabFitFun TV! Fab Fit Fun TV is a free service (for subscribers) through which you get full access to on-demand videos from the top fitness trainers in the world. Hello, workouts during naptime!
Fab Fit Fun is ranked #1 in subscription boxes. I’m sure you can already see why! I honestly have not found this kind of value in any other subscription box I have had the chance to review.
Travel with a toddler doesn’t have to be stressful, but it does take a lot of thought and planning to make sure you get everything your family needs packed and stay (at least somewhat) organized once you arrive at your destination. Vacation is meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating.
Of course, it won’t be the same care-free time as it was pre-baby, but it does not have to be stressful.
We just survived got back from our first family vacation since Taylor officially entered Toddler-dom. Although we took several trips with T when she was under 1 year, flying across the country and spending two weeks in several different locations with our Energizer Bunny was an entirely different ball game.
As usual, I spent a lot of time brainstorming beforehand and reflecting afterward on ways to make my/your #momlife easier and take some of that mental load off of you, mama (because I don’t know of many dads responsible for packing for both himself and the kiddos, am I right?).
To that end, I want to share a few things you can expect when traveling/vacationing with a toddler, a total Mom Must Have for packing and keeping ALL the things organized, free printable packing lists for you + your toddler, as well as a few family photos from our vacation.
This post is part of the Packed to Perfection Series. Each post (including one of my most popular – “What To Pack In A Carry-On To Entertain A Toddler On An Airplane”) includes tips for what to pack and printable checklists to make sure you don’t forget anything. It’s hard enough remembering what to pack for yourself, right?! I like to print my checklists, laminate them and keep them in my bags/suitcases so that they are right on hand when it comes time to pack for a trip. I hope you find the vacation packing checklists for both Toddlers and Mamas from this post useful the next time you are getting ready to travel with your tot.
If you are traveling by plane, make sure you check out THIS POST and printable checklist to make sure you have everything you need to pack in a carry on bag to keep your toddler entertained during the flight! If you are going on a vacation where the pool or beach will be involved, make sure to check out THIS POST and printable checklist as well!
Without further ado…
4 Things You Can Expect On Vacation With A Toddler
Sleep and nap schedules can and will go out the window… and your little one will be just fine.Time change + jet lag (especially if you’ve made a long journey), excitement, new faces + environments, general overstimulation and even F.O.M.O. can all be cause for your little one to miss naps, stay up late, wake up earlier than normal, and just generally be off schedule. I learned that this isn’t the end of the world, and worrying about it only serves to increase your stress and decrease the vacation vibes.Your tot WILL get back on schedule when you get home and back to your regularly scheduled programming, I promise.
Reframe your mindset from taking a “vacation” to taking a “trip”. A trip, which is what you’ll be on, is definitely a memory-filled experience, but it may not include laying out in the sun for 3 hour stretches with your beverage of choice, pausing to take and post one of those obnoxious bottom halves of your legs in the foreground + ocean in the background pics ( #guilty). If you are pining for the duty-free vacation days of old, you’ll feel disappointed and like you need a “vacation after the vacation,” so it’s best to get in the mindset of making it a memorable trip with the fam. Unless of course, you have # 3 going for you…
Traveling with Grandparents, friends, and family can make “vacation” with a toddler feel like an actual vacation. If you can plan a trip with friends and family included, I would highly recommend it. It takes a village, right? I cannot explain how wonderful it was to have my parents and some of our closest relatives around to A) spend time with, and B) help to entertain/care for Taylor. If it weren’t for the help of family, I know I wouldn’t have come home feeling as relaxed as I did. Taylor pretty much played with her cousins from sunup to sundown, which was so sweet to watch. Thanks to the generosity of my parents, AJ and I were even able to sneak away for a date night in Charleston while she enjoyed some special time with them. You could even plan a trip with other couples with little ones and trade off on nights in/date nights!
Your tot is going to have a blast! No matter where you are, what you do, or even what you forget to pack, YOU are providing an amazing experience for your little one that they are going to love. Enjoy every precious, energy-filled moment.
Pack For Vacation With A Toddler Made Easy!
The EZPacking cubes made packing for and then accessing ALL the toddler things upon arrival at your destination so, well, “EZ”! I purchased the Starter Set (one cube in each of the four sizes) a year ago, and was gifted another set for this trip – Thanks, EZPacking! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I could go on about EZPacking all day long, but I’ll just give you the top 4 reasons why you MUST have these packing cubes for your next vacation (Plus, you get a 15% discount with code TAYLORMADEMAMA!):
Transparency. I love that the EZPacking cubes are clear. I can easily see the outfits, accessories, diaper cream, etc. that I am looking to find for myself or Taylor.
If you are going to be traveling between several different places, the packing cubes make it so easy to get comfortable and organized quickly. Even if we’re only staying somewhere for a couple of nights, putting things away and getting my suitcase out of sight just makes me feel more relaxed and at home. Throw the cubes into the bedroom or bathroom drawers and you are all set; everything is still in the same place it was at your last stop.
The cubes can be packed to utilize the entire height of the suitcase – so, no wasted space!
EZPacking cubes come in several different colors (black,green, pink, blue and gray – orange is currently sold out), which is perfect for mamas packing for more than one child and sharing a suitcase. You could even have older children pack their own color cubes. I used a black set for myself, and a gray one for Taylor:
What To Pack For Vacation With A Toddler:
These are the vacation packing lists I use to pack for Taylor and I. I tried to include all the essentials a toddler and their mama would need. “Other” lines are under almost every category within the checklists so that you can add any additional, specific items you need to pack. Please let me know in the comments if there are any glaringly obvious things I left off! Clickhere or just click on the pictures below to access, download and print copies of the Mama and Toddler packing checklists:
J by Jeep Umbrella Stroller – this lightweight stroller is super easy to travel with and handles surprisingly well, even on the cobblestone streets in Charleston!
Portable Crib – although we borrowed a crib from my cousin this trip, we typically travel with our Baby Bjorn portable crib unless we are staying at a hotel which guarantees access to a crib (just make sure to bring your own sheet!).
Boxed organic milk – no refrigeration required. You can buy a 12 pack on Amazon and take a few with you for car or airplane travel when refrigeration isn’t convenient or possible.
Wet Dry bag – I pack all of Taylor’s suits and sandals in the wet dry bag, and then use it for pool/beach trips if we are going on that sort of vacation. I can’t get enough of these Skip Hop wet/dry bags.
I hope you find the things I did to plan for, used during and learned along the way on vacation with a toddler help make your next vacation an enjoyable experience for your whole family – including YOU!
EZPacking has kindly extended a discount for my readers. Enter code: TAYLORMADEMAMA15 at checkout for a 15% discount!
P.S. A few of our fav family vacation photos (July 2017)
(Charlotte, North Carolina + Litchfield Beach and Charleston, South Carolina)
The thought of flying with a toddler with an attention span as short as they are cute for the first time (or anytime) can be downright intimidating. Taylor had flown with us before, but not since she became mobile and A LOT more active/aware. In preparation for our family vacation to South Carolina, I spent a lot of time tapping the brains of all my been-there-done-that mama friends, “researching” on Pinterest, and brainstorming ideas to compile the perfect carry on bag to keep my toddler entertained and happy on a cross country flight. Guess what? Our 4.5+ hour flight with a 15-month-old went off with far less stress than I envisioned – sans iPad/electronics or spending a ton of money – so I want to share what we packed, how we packed it and tips for a successful travel day with a toddler based on this experience.
Bonus – the in-flight kit I created has served as a both a car and restaurant entertainment kit while we’ve been on vacation as well! I hope you find this post useful when packing a carry on bag to keep your toddler AND you entertained and happy during your travels. If you have an infant, check out this post to see how we packed for one of Taylor’s first flights/vacations featuring our absolute, must have packing cubes by EZPacking.
Make sure to download and print the FREE printable checklist at the end of this post (or click the photo below)!
Let’s start with the bag:
I snagged this mesh tote at Target for $9.99 (!!!) and think it’s a perfect carry on because A) they have it in 8 colors, B) it’s durable but mesh, so you can easily see and grab for anything you might need in-flight, C) it can be used as a beach bag upon arrival if you’re taking a beach vacay, and D) did I mention it was only $9.99!?
Tote Savvy Mini Insert – Stocked with 4 diapers, pack of wipe, disposable diaper bags/dispenser, changing pad, hand sanitizer, lip gloss, wallet, keys, etc. I pop this in and out of pretty much all my bags so that we always have the essentials on hand and organized. Check out this post for exactly what and how I’m packing my Tote Savvy for a toddler diaper bag these days.
A zippered pouch (this one from Target is only $4.99) to carry a copy of your little one’s birth certificate (most airlines require proof that your toddler is under 2 years old to qualify as a “lap infant”) and headphones for if and when your toddler naps. I stored this pouch in the front pocket of the mesh tote bag for easy access during our travels. I love my beautiful rose-gold, wireless headphones from Sudio – you can snag a pair for 15% offhere using the discount code TAYLORMADEMAMA.
Puffs (AKA toddler crack). I keep these on hand pretty much at all times. We only buy the Happy Baby organic brand.
Empty water bottles for mama and tot – Fill them up once you’ve cleared security. I store the water bottles in the outer pockets on either side of the tote bag.
A novel toy set like this one with a wooden fire engine theme. Check Target’s Dollar Section – I swear, they have the most amazing toys/activities for travel purposes on the super cheap! After I already had everything together for this trip I found mini felt board sets which would be PERFECT for the kit! There is a set of 3 felt story boards on Amazon right now that I’m considering ordering to our beach house for the return flight (another Amazon Prime membership perk!). This magnetic block set would also be a great option.
Packing tape to tape up a box for your car seat if you’re bringing it with you. We had a short wardrobe box as that was the only box that would fit the dimension of our beloved car seat (Maxi Cosi 70 Convertible – on sale for only $199 right now on Amazon!!). We also brought a roll of bubble wrap to line it with. You can also check it in one of these nifty car seat backpack style bags – either way, the goal is to prevent damage. We ended up making a game time decision to put our car seat in our travel stroller bag and forego the box altogether!
Number 11!!!! Although she LOVES to color, I can’t freely give Taylor crayons or other drawing instruments because, at 15 months old, she cannot be trusted not to try them out for flavor… so, introducing this off-brand etch a sketch during the flight was a total win-win. There are more expensive versions with lap pads and sound features that would be great for car travel, but this one fit the bill for function, size and the quiet factor. Taylor played with this for nearly an hour of the flight (cumulative), so I would say the $19 price tag was well worth it. As I was writing this post I noticed that right now it’s on sale for Amazon Prime members for only $10.65! Don’t have a Prime Membership yet? Get a FREE 30 Day Trial here ( I PROMISE it’s worth it – most things on this list are Amazon Prime eligible!). There is also a cute set of two miniature drawing pads like this if you’re packing for more than one little. One of my besties recently showed me her kids’ LCD Writing Tablet like this one which is only $29.99 on Amazon.com for Prime members and an even better option than the traditional etch a sketch.
What’s In The In-Flight Entertainment Kit (# 1):
The Left Side:
When all else fails, snacks (and a big variety of them!) will be your tantrum tamers on a flight. In the left side of the in-flight kit I packed a ton of snacks I knew she would love: Annie’s organic gummy bunnies, fruit roll ups and cheddar bunnies, fruit + veggie pouches, a variety or bars, 2 milk boxes, a travel set of utensils (LOVE these by OXO!), a Green Sprouts wipe-off bib with a pouch (the best, and so easy to fold up!_, and individual hand and surface sanitizing wipes by Babyganics.
The Right Side:
Basically, I raided our local party supply store and the Target dollar bins to stock up on a ton of fun little toys, stickers, flashcards and other packable items that I knew Taylor would be interested in. I brought them out one by one, or let her pick, whenever she began to lose interest. I actually had WAY more than I needed, so I’m happy we’ll still have some novel entertainment for the return flight and/or restaurant trips on vacation! I’ve heard of parents also wrapping individual toys and letting their kiddo open them up one by one to add to the time/excitement.
A Speech Pathologists I worked with recommended these Busy Baby cards to work on language development. Taylor loves looking at the cute little images and hearing me talk about what she is seeing (i.e “this baby is holding a cat and wearing a hat!”). I definitely recommend any toddler mama to pick up a pack.
What I’ll Pack Next Time:
Although our trip went smoothly, of course, I’m already thinking about how to make our mom lives even less stressful. Here are a couple things I didn’t bring with us this time, but likely will for the next trip based on our experience:
A portable, foldable high chair like this one that I almost bought on Prime Day this year! It could easily fit in a carry-on. Fortunately, we were visiting family who let us borrow us their daughter’s old Pack and Play and high chair for this trip, but in the future, we will want to bring those ourselves. The portable crib we have, use and love is this one by Baby Bjorn.
Now, onto my top 10 tips for traveling & flying with a toddler…
You can bring your own milk or juice in a cooler like this one, but you may have to go through a full on TSA check. One option is to wait until you get through security and buy a milk box from Starbucks (these do not require refrigeration). Some airplanes will have milk depending on the airline and time of day, but if you care for it to be organic, you’re likely out of luck. I think the best option is to bring no refrigeration needed, easily portable milk boxes with you. When we arrived at our beach house, I ordered another 12 pack of organic whole milk boxes for the rest of our travel as we will not always have easy access to a fridge/milk.
3. Put your little one (if not already potty trained) in overnight diapers for the flight initially so that they don’t need to be changed as soon as they would in a regular diaper. Leaky diapers are fun for no one. Make sure they are in comfy clothes with shoes that are easy to slip on and off; we opted for Natives and they worked like a charm – definitely our new fav toddler shoe!
4. I know it isn’t always possible with logistics, but try to plan your flight time around your toddler’s nap if possible. We booked a SUPER early flight which was painful at 4:30 in the morning but worth it to coincide with Taylor’s daily nap. We enjoyed watching the movie Lionwhile she snoozed.
5. I know screen time isn’t for everyone, and to each their own, but if you allow it this suggestion is for you. Download shows from Netflix, Xfinity, etc. and age appropriate apps onto your iPad or laptop. This will, hopefully, occupy your little one and buy you and your fellow passengers some quiet time. We had technical difficulties and weren’t able to utilize this option on this flight. Luckily, Taylor slept for nearly 2 hours of the flight but if she hadn’t we really would have missed out on having this entertainment option.
6. Bring empty water bottles in your carry on and fill them up at the airport once you’ve cleared security.
7. Invest in a travel/umbrella stroller and umbrella stroller bag. Previously, we traveled with our Baby Jogger City Select, but it was just too big and cumbersome with all the other luggage we needed to bring with us. This J by Jeep umbrella stroller is easy to fold open and closed and really compact. It also has a UV. You can check the stroller at the gate right before you board, but make sure to ask the desk attendant at your gate for a tag asap.
8. Walk the aisles if you sense that the native/s are getting restless and it is permitted by the captain. Generally, other passengers are going to want to see that cute little toddler’s happy face when they get to get up and move around the cabin. The walk will give them a chance to check out this new environment and distract them from being confined to a seat. If anyone has a problem with it (or your toddler crying for that matter) then that is their own issue – but truth be told, #momshaming can be real on flights!
9. Arrive to check in for your flight early, call ahead, or both to ask for an extra seat if possible. Generally, airlines will go ahead and reserve a seat when a “lap infant” is flagged on the manifest and keep it if the flight is not full. The extra seat makes diaper changes, and the whole flying experience, a lot easier! By the way, this article by USA today does a great job of breaking down how to deal with how to change a diaper during a flight!
10. My last, but number one piece of advice would be to prepare and pack as well as you can beforehand, but then try your best to relax and go with the flow because, as we all know, toddlers certainly cannot be predicted!
I truly hope there is at least one piece you can use to make your #momlife less stressful when planning and packing for your next family vacation!
Now, clickhere or just click on the picture below to access, download and print a copy of the packing checklist:
Be sure to check out the other posts in my Packed to Perfection Series – I’ll be including free downloadable packing lists for each! Print, laminate (this laminating machine is $19.97 on Amazon.com – woo hoo!), stick the list in your bag to reference, and stop worrying about forgetting something every time you head out the door!
What other posts would you love to see in this series?
Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:
Make sure to download and print the FREE printable Toddler Pool Bag checklist at the end of this post!
Now, let’s dive into (pun intended) what to pack for a day at the pool with a toddler…
It used to be as easy as grabbing a towel, sunnies and a suit, sunblock, an issue of InStyle, water bottle, flip flops, then off to the pool for the day. Now that you have a baby or toddler in tow, there is a whole new element to planning and packing for a successful, fun, safe day at the pool.
I want to show you what and how I pack for a Mommy and Me Pool Day with my toddler. If you’re a first-time mom in the same boat as I was OR a been-there-done-that pro mama, I hope this post will give you some good ideas for things to pack (and what to pack them in!) for a great day at the pool with your toddler.
Now that we have access to a pool right down the road in our new community, pool days are a part of our weekly routine. Taylor lovingly refers to this special place as the “poooo,” which I find pretty darn funny, but I digress…
Before we moved, I had never taken Taylor to a pool and I wasn’t quite sure what to pack to bring with us that first day. Flash forward a couple weeks and I feel like we have rounded up everything we need with the caveat that, at some point, we’ll probably start bringing some pool toys. Right now, at 15 months old, Taylor is happy to just people watch from her float or splash/walk around in the baby pool. The first few times at the pool for her were about introducing her and helping her become accustomed to the water and new environment.
What to pack for a day at the pool with a toddler:
Tote Bag – obviously, this is a must! The bag shown in the photo above is one I got at our local grocery market because I loved the design, fun color scheme and the size worked perfectly. Here are a few similar and the black mesh tote I am using for a carry on/beach bag for our upcoming vacation (it comes in several colors and is under $10!):
1.Babyganics sunscreen stick SPF 50 (for the face bc my fingers on her face is, apparently, torture) and sunscreen in a gallon Ziplock bag – I usually put my own sunscreen on at home and if I need to reapply, I will just use Taylor’s.
2. Skip Hop wet/dry bag with the following inside the dry pouch: the Wet Brush and a change of clothes for a toddler. When we are ready to leave, we rinse off and then I change her into a diaper, put the pool cover up back on her and throw the wet suit into this bag. I can’t tell you how many things I use these bags for or how many we own!
6. Floaties – the ones linked are super easy to blow up, well rated, Amazon Prime eligible (as are most items linked in this post) and under $10! If you aren’t yet an Amazon Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial HERE.
7. Swim Suit Cover Up for mama – I have two pool cover ups I’m LOVING right now. The first is this simple, classy one.The second (shown in the photo above) is by Michael Stars. I got that one as part of the summer Fab Fit Fun box. I’m kind of obsessed with these boxes. Most of the individual items in the box (like the cover up) are worth more than the cost of the ENTIRE box. Use the code TAYLORMADE to save $10, and get your box for only $39.99!
Cooler or freezable picnic tote for water bottles, milk and snacks that need refrigerating. For me, this is just too much to carry – I can only manage a baby, tote bag and float when it’s just T and I.
This post contains affiliate links but, as you already know, I only promote things I am actually into (like anything Amazon.com)!
If you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership then today is, definitely, definitely the day to become one. If you already have one, are you ready for Prime Day 2017??
You can get a FREE 30 Day Trial to Amazon Prime HERE, just in time to take advantage of all the deals for Prime members only beginning on July 10 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET and runs all day Prime Day July 11.
Why So Awesome, Amazon Prime?
As a side note, my Prime membership easily pays for itself within a few weeks. I consider Alexa a bestie (btw, you can get $10 credit on Prime Day for ordering through Alexa). I save hundreds per year by shopping for everything from the comfort of my home, car (as a passenger, of course), waiting in lines, etc. Groceries, baby stuff, home decor, electronics, clothing, music, movies…is there anything Amazon Prime doesn’t get you access to + free 1-2 Day Shipping/returns on these days ?? Truth be told, I went completely a little crazy on Prime Day last year because deals were just. that. Good. The onslaught of boxes 2 days later totally freaked my husband out, but, #worthit. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Free 30 Day Prime Trial HERE and get to shoppin’.
For a full list of ALL the benefits of a Prime membership check out this link.
Okay, so onto some of the deals I have my eye on for toddlers and their mamas. Head over to my Facebook Page for all the deals I’m finding starting…..NOW! I’ll be posting every chance I get when I find a deal for you:
Let me know if there is something in particular you are looking for and I’ll see what I can find!