The Ultimate Toddler Girl Gift Guide For Christmas

Toddler Girl Gift Guide. Gift ideas for a toddler.Toddler stocking stuffer ideas. Toddler Christmas Gift Guide.

Toddler Girl Gift Guide. Gift ideas for a toddler.Toddler stocking stuffer ideas. Toddler Christmas Gift Guide.

I’m SO, SO excited to share this Ultimate Toddler Girl Gift Guide with you, friends! It’s loaded with the best of the best for your little gal this Christmas. In fact, I think most of these gifts would be totally awesome for a toddler boy as well. I believe girls and boys should be exposed to and allowed to play with whatever interests them!

I do spend what is probably an unusual amount of time online window shopping + creating running wish lists for Taylor. Last year I posted a Baby Girls’ First Christmas gift guide and basically did all my shopping for her from there for the next 6 months (I actually updated that post with working links for 2017 if you have a little tiny one to shop for!).

This Christmas, at 20 months old, Taylor will really be able to play with and enjoy the gifts we get for her. I can’t wait for epic family matching pajama pictures, monkey bread minis and the light in her eyes when she opens her gifts on Christmas morning.

Of course, we are NOT gifting her all the items on this list (duh), but I wanted to give you a comprehensive guide of the most adorable, developmentally appropriate gifts out there that your toddler girl (or boy!) will enjoy this Christmas and for years to come! 

 

Now, for the Ultimate Toddler Girl’s Christmas/Holiday Gift Guide – No matter what your little girl is into, I hope you find some toddler gift-spiration here. Let’s kick it off with Stocking Stuffer ideas!

Stocking Stuffers For A Toddler Girl:

Toddler Girl Gift Guide. Gift ideas for a toddler.Toddler stocking stuffer ideas. Toddler Christmas Gift Guide.

Some great ideas for toddler stocking stuffers (boy or girl) are:

Gifts For A Toddler Girl:

1.A Cruzee Balance Bike + helmet –  I saw an 18-month-old at our local park riding one and just knew I had to add it to Taylor’s wish list! I love the concept of skipping tricycles and training wheels and teaching balance first. Adjustable seat and handlebar height allow the bike to grow with your little one for up to 3 years!

2. Doll House – A mama could go crazy over all the AMAZING dollhouses from Land of Nod, but some of the pieces are just too small for my 18-month-old. The dollhouse on our wishlist is this wooden classic by Melissa and Doug!

3. Matching Family  PJs – order these asap! The pictures and tradition are well worth the investment. We bought this Dear Deer set from  Hanna Anderson last year, and only had to update Taylor’s to a larger size for 2017!

4. Fisher Price Little People Princess figurines – SO cute!

5. Personalized Christmas Unicorn Ornament

6. Fisher Price Little People A Christmas Story Nativity Set – Taylor was gifted this last year and I know she will really enjoy playing with it while learning about the meaning of Christmas this year.

7. Tea Set with My Very First Tea Party book and Green Toys Cupcake set – I am so torn between the Green Toys tea set or this wooden one from Pottery Barn Kids that matches her playroom decor SO well…Both are simply adorable.

8. 100 Piece Wooden Train Set 

9. Cuddle and Kind – buy one doll and the company provides meals to 10 children in need!

10. Dinosaur set

11. Cute “Big Girl” undies or these amazing Unicorn Training Pants by Honest Co.- I remember “Santa” bringing me undies when I was around 8 or 9 and I was MORTIFIED at the thought! At this age, she’ll never remember and it might just be a helpful motivator toward potty training!

12. Learning Tower Kids Kitchen Step Stool With Safety Rail – this particular model comes in 7 color options. Enjoy time “cooking” with your little helper!

13. Table + chair set –  If you don’t already have a little table and chair set, Christmas might be a great excuse to purchase one. Especially paired with the table top easel, this gift can amount to hours of fun, creative play, and learning. We have the modern, Eames-esque table and chair set shown below, but here is another from Land of Nod that is super cute.

14. iPad Mini + educational apps – if you’re ready to shell out the big dough, and are not anti-screen time this may be a gift to consider. A more wallet-friendly idea is to purchase the Amazon Fire Kids Edition (7″). I bought one for Taylor on Cyber Monday on sale, but even regularly they are only $99! Here are some of the reasons why I’m loving this one:

  • The kids kindle has a 2-year worry free accident warranty versus the regular Kindle’s 90 day limited warranty. Amazon specifically states: “if they break it, return it and we’ll replace it for free. No questions asked.”
  • The Fire comes with Kindle Free Time for 1 year, which is normally $1.99 for prime members per month or $3.99 regularly per month.
  • It already comes with a rubber protective case (yellow, pink or blue), which is absolutely necessary for a toddler.
  • It’s already primed with a bunch of kid apps and books, not to mention parental controls.
  • It comes with a kid-safe browser already installed.

15.Mommy, Daddy and Me shoe sets – I am a sucker for Vans (Mommy, Daddy, Toddler) or Converse AllStars (Mommy, Daddy, Toddler)

16. Teepee + fuzzy rug – check out these ADORABLE teepees starting at $99! We have this gold metallic one in Taylor’s playroom, but check out how cute this rose gold star version is!

17. Winter sweater – this gorgeous ruffle hem sweater comes in gray and blue if you’re not a poppy color fan like I am! Paired with some little skinny jeans and cons….stop. so cute.

18. Wooden toy camera – for your little photog, and only $10.99!

19. Play kitchen + play food/accessories – We have the Teamson Kids Urban play kitchen in white, and I couldn’t be happier with it (stay tuned for an upcoming Playroom Reveal post!), but how cute is the pink version?! I am coveting these wooden appliances from Pottery Barn kids, although they are a little on the pricey side! We love all of the Melissa and Doug wooden play food and accessories.

20. Play shopping cart – for whatever reason, this is one of Taylor’s all-time favorite things to play with!

21. Play-Doh Play n Store Table – just watch for Doh going toward the mouth….

22. Magnatiles – these are a toddler must-have and definitely at the top of my list!

23. Wooden alphabet puzzle

24. Books – I love the personalizable books by I See Me, especially the “It’s ___________’s Night Night Time” book.

25. A Doll (I’m obsessing over the Friend Indeed collection!) + modern or classic crib + modern high chair

26. Art Easel and art supplies(washable paint, brushes, etc.)- if you already have a table and chair set up, this Table Top Art Easel from Land of Nod would be perfect. It has everything you need from a paper roll holder, holes for paint cups, a chalkboard and a magnetic whiteboard. It even has a folding design for storage. This is in my top 5 for T! There are also several stand-alone versions as well.

27. VTech Write and Learn Creative Center– this is one of the must-have items in our Toddler Flight Entertainment Kit!

28. Musical toys Set

29. Stringing beads – great for building fine motor skills!

30. Radio Flyer wagon or Little Tykes Cozy Coupe

31. Bowling Set

32. Dress Up clothes and accessories – we absolutely adore the Disney inspired (and other!) Little Adventures Dress-Ups (starting at 24.99 per costume) but you can also shop second-hand stores for all kinds of accessories and costumes to fill up your little gal’s dress up box!

33. Microphone – if you have a budding entertainer on your hands, this is a must!

34 Hape tool bench and tools

35. Trampoline with handlebar

36. Golf set

37. Melissa & Doug Wooden Puzzles

38. Shape sorter

39. Drums – Taylor ruined punched a hole through both bongos on this adorable Watermelon Drum set, but it was one of her favorite toys EVER so I’m adding to the top of my list for her.

  1. Do you give gifts for the holidays? What’s on your list? 
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Pin this list of toys that will grow with your toddler for all your holiday shopping, birthday gifts or “just because” surprises. 

Toddler Girl Gift Guide. Gift ideas for a toddler.Toddler stocking stuffer ideas. Toddler Christmas Gift Guide. Toddler birthday present ideas

A Toddler Diaper Bag Packed To Perfection

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

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.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

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!

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Why I Love The Coco & Kiwi Provence Bag

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,
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.
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.
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.
3) The ingenious zip-in wet bag. I use mine for opened snacks!
Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

You can check out this and all of the stylish Coco & Kiwi Diaper Bags and accessories here.

What’s In My Toddler Diaper Bag?

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

FOR TODDLER:

  1. 2-3 Diapers – if your toddler still wears them which, at 18 months, Taylor does.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Comb and hair ties/bows – because, #girlmom.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. Diaper bags + dispenser – I am obsessed with the Munchkin diaper bag dispenser. Okay, maybe not obsessed, but I do own 5!
  9. 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 : )
  10. 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!)
  11. Sunglasses
  12. 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!
  13. A small toy that she is reallllllly into – at this moment, Peppa Pig!

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

FOR MAMA:

https://cocoandkiwi.com/?aff=30

  1. 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.
  2. Gum
  3. Feminine products
  4. Phone
  5. Sunglasses & Eyeglasses
  6. Phone Charger – a must since becoming a mama/responsible for someone else besides myself!
  7. Wireless headphones
  8. 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.!
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Wallet (I linked the BEST price I’ve seen for this classic LV wallet!)
  11. Protein bar – not pictured because I literally ate it an hour before taking the pictures for this post
  12. Keys
  13. Pen

To access the printable Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials Checklist use this link or 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 ashley@taylor-mademama.com and I’ll re-send!).

Everything you need to pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag. Toddler diaper bag essentials for a mom and her toddler.

What are your toddler diaper bag must-haves

 

 

 

 

 

Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:

 

Toddler Schedule + Routine For A Stay At Home Mom


Are you a stay at home mom of a toddler looking to add more structure, routine and “me time” into your weekdays?  A work at home mom who wonders how to get everything done in the day? New to the stay at home mom club and need more routine in your daily life? A mama thinking about making the transition from working mom to stay and/or work at home mom? Or perhaps you’re just curious about what Taylor and my routine looks like these days (the last updates I gave were this one when I was on maternity leave and this one when I was still nursing/pumping at work!).

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this post is for you.

Before I jump into our toddler and stay at home mom routine, I feel compelled to write something straight from the heart :

Recently, I had a conversation with a long-time friend. She shared that, through following my journey from working to stay/work at home mom over the last year or so, a fire was lit beneath her to leave her own VERY successful career to start a business working for herself + stay at home with her two little ones.  And, guess what? She has made it happen for herself and her family! I couldn’t be more happy for my friend who had a vision of a different lifestyle and, despite any fears and hesitancies, followed her heart and went for it.

In turn, her story stoked MY fire to encourage women who may be in the same place I found myself a year ago – a heart being pulled toward being at home, yet also with the fear of uncertainty of letting go of a career and identity outside the home.

If this resonates with you right now, please know that I get it. I’ve been there, and I can tell you that I do not regret the decision for a minute. The moments I get to share with Taylor EVERY DAY now, even the hard ones, outweigh anything I could be accomplishing at work. Do I continue to think about what the future of my career may look like as I did a few months ago when I left? Sure, those thoughts still cross my mind…

BUT, here is the evolution in my thinking:

There is always someone who can do my/your day job (maybe not as well, maybe just as good, maybe even better) but there is NO ONE who can be YOU to your child. If you want to be at home with your baby, and it is possible for your family, don’t be afraid to make the big transition because, “the days are long, but the years are SHORT.”

Remembering this always brings me back to a place of content with the decision we’ve made. Fortunately/strategically on my part, between this blog and my LipSense business, I’m finding ways to satisfy the creative, social AND entrepreneurial sides of myself WHILE getting to be at home with Taylor and focussing on my family.

The last few months have truly been the best of all worlds for me, and I would LOVE to chat with you if you have any specific questions about my journey or what I’m up to these days if I don’t answer them within this series(or heck, if you want to join my LipSense/SeneGence team even!).

If you haven’t yet read the first post in this series, How To Rock The Transition From Working Mom To Stay At Home Mom, I encourage you to go back and read that first. In it, I discussed my newly minted stay at home mom response to the question, “what do you do?” as far as work, and finding confidence in however you choose to live your own #momlife.

Working Mom to Stay At Home Mom Update #2

This brings me to another question (or variation of) I’ve been asked many times since becoming a stay at home mom is,

“So, what do you DO all day now?”

That’s actually a really good question, and one I felt super nervous about in the weeks leading up to the transition from working to stay/work at home mom. I was SO used to a jam-packed, tightly scheduled, daily routine that the thought of open-ended days gave me a ton of anxiety. Full disclosure, I remember crying the week before I was finished with work, for many reasons, but mostly because I just couldn’t picture what my new days and weeks would look like.

I wanted to do this stay at home mom thing well and didn’t want to lose myself in the day to day mom-ing/home-making or waste days sitting around watching cartoons with Taylor…. As it turns out, I have spent several days with Taylor sitting around doing mostly just that- and I’m totally okay with it. In fact, I’ll take those extra snuggles any day of the week.

Having a predictable schedule and routine is important for you/your sanity and your toddler. However, it is also important to be flexible and adjust according to your little one’s (or your!) needs on a given day. Moods happen. Things come up. Kiddos and mamas get sick. Naps are dropped. Structure without rigidity is key!

Structure without rigidity is the key!

Weekday Toddler Schedule and Stay At Home Mom Routine

That said, I wanted to share what a typical weekday for this stay at home mom and her 18-month-old toddler looks like. I work best when I time block (as you can see in my admittedly OCD Google Calendar below), and I hope it’s helpful to see what typically takes place during each block:

7 AM – Taylor wakes up and plays with her stuffed animals and reads books in her crib for 15-30 minutes while I “wake up”. One of the goals I have for myself is to start getting myself out of bed at 6AM in order to build in a little more me/work time before the day begins. I’m SOOOO not a morning person though, so we shall see how that goes….any tips?

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

7:30 AM – AJ or I (my hubby works from home with is AMAZING) get Taylor out of her crib, change her diaper,  and bring her into our room to drink her bottle (yep, still drinking a bottle of milk in the AM + PM) while we watch the news/I get ready for the day. Most days I just put on some tinted moisturizer, my LipSense color o’ the day, curl my eyelashes and that’s about it. I can’t usually get Taylor downstairs without making a pit stop at the playroom, so we play there for 15-20 minutes before breakfast. Conveniently, the laundry room is connected to that room so I can start on or fold a load of laundry as she enjoys!

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

8:30 AM – Taylor eats breakfast and I drink coffee and check emails. Her breakfast is anything from a banana + oatmeal, to a bagel, egg + raspberries. At this point, she is able to request her favorite foods which is so amazingly cool!

9:30-11:30 AM – Monday through Thursday (again, not EVERY Monday through Thursday because flexibility is key!) we go to Lifetime Athletic Club within this time block. Joining this gym is hands down the best decision we made as a family when I quit working and we moved to a new city. Their childcare facility, programming, and staff are absolutely phenomenal and Taylor LOVES going there. While she participates in toddler art or music class, I get to workout for an hour or so. This time is SO good for both of us; she gets to develop her independence and play skills while I get to maintain (maybe even increase!) my fitness and sanity, win-win! I always bring a snack for us to share outside the gym when we’re finished up. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I often document our “conversations” during this time that has come to be a special tradition between she and I.

On Fridays during this time block, we go to the local library for a Mommy & Me developmental play hour which is super fun for Taylor, a little stressful for me (because she is literally the Energizer Bunny + Tazmanian Devil in this environment), and overall great for her development. Anything for T.

11:30 AM – When we get home from the gym, I make lunch for Taylor to eat before she goes down for her nap. Her lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, a toddler approved Green Smoothie, Annie’s Mac and Cheese (no shame in my game!), plus some fruit and water.

12-2 PM – Naptime, glorious, naptime. Although T’s naps have been hit or miss over the last few weeks, she typically naps for 2-3 hours a day. During this time I shower, work on blog-related stuff and/or my Lipsense/SeneGence business, start or finish a load of laundry, and (somedays) clean one room of the house. I create a prioritized “to do” list for each naptime block at the start of the week and get as far as I can through that day’s list, bumping unfinished business to the evening “Task” block or to the next day. Obviously, this system gets WAY backed up when Little Miss decides to boycott her nap/s, but I digress…

Stay at home mom schedule and routine for a toddler

2-4 PM – This is the time we either A) get outside of the house to play (if I have an errand to run that day, we’ll go on the way home), or B) play indoors and incorporate a learning/developmental activity. This may be a trip to the park or zoo, going outside in our backyard to play with her water table or playhouse, artwork or another craft in the kitchen (this art smock is a must, and under $5!), a make shift “fort” in the living room, or up to her playroom to “cook,” in her kitchen  or play with her toys and dress up clothes. 

Around 4:00 I offer T a snack whether we are at home or out and about. Her favorites these days are gummies, protein + fiber bars, and Goldfish.

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6-7 PM – I begin preparing dinner around 6:00. While I’m prepping for dinner AJ (the hubs), Curious George, Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger babysit for Taylor, and we eat together around 6:30 PM.

7-8 PM – Almost every weeknight Taylor takes a bath, and then we go through her bedtime routine. Since I’ve been at home with Taylor, my hubby and I have been switching off every other night with who is “in charge” of the bedtime routine. On my nights off, l usually take a bath with my favorite bath bomb and enjoy some “me time.” This time is so critical, especially on the nights when I need to put in evening work to catch up on or create something for my businesses.

9-11 PM – This is the time where I (usually) try and get things I didn’t get done earlier in the day done. Although, many nights all I do is enjoy a glasses of wine (or 2 or 3) and a crime show with my hubby on our comfy couch. Those are the best weeknights of all : )

I would love to know what your stay at home mom routine  and toddler schedule looks like. I love getting ideas from other mamas like you! How is it different than ours? How is it the same?

XO,

Ashley

How to create a low stress daily routine for a stay at home mom and a toddler schedule

 

Easy + Yummy Toddler Approved Green Smoothie Recipe

Easy toddler approved green smoothie recipe. Even your most picky eater will get the vegetables and nutrition they need with this yummy green smoothie.

Easy toddler approved green smoothie recipe. Even your most picky eater will get the vegetables and nutrition they need with this yummy green smoothie.

Why Green Smoothies?

Does your toddler love to eat veggies? Do you have the time to cook fresh vegetables to accompany every meal they eat? If you answer no to either of those questions, read on and pin this easy toddler approved green smoothie recipe!

From the time we introduced solids and started making out homemade baby food, Taylor would pretty much eat anything, including veggies, at every meal. “Score!”, we thought…However, at around 15 months she began to really develop her independence and preferences – not to mention an increase in her activity level! She began to reject the veggies presented to her, or eat less of them than I knew she needed for optimum daily nutrition.

She also developed a LOVE for Jamba Juice Acai Antioxidant smoothies. While absolutely delicious, the sugar content in (and price of!) those smoothies had my “I want to be a responsible mama” head spinning. I decided to make my own version of a “Jamba Juice” at home and she went bonkers for it.  It’s basically a simplified version of the green smoothie her dad and I drink regularly.

I decided to make my own version of a “Jamba Juice” at home and she went bonkers for it.  It’s basically a simplified version of the green smoothie her dad and have made for ourselves regularly for years now.

Nowadays, Taylor has this toddler approved green smoothie once daily: sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for lunch, and sometimes for her late afternoon/pre-dinner snack. It’s a total #momwin to know she’s getting such a nutritionally packed meal that she is also thrilled to eat!

Of course, I continue to offer her fresh, cooked vegetables with every meal, but on the occasions when she refuses or eats very little, I am confident that she is still getting sufficient fiber and nutrients in her diet from her green smoothie. I’m not a doctor, and of course there are feeding issues for some little ones that complicate this, but in general it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to introduce a variety of foods to toddlers, multiple times and in multiple ways, in age-appropriate portions, but to let them decide how much to eat.

Why Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender?

Okay, so I won’t spend too much time on this piece, but I do have to say that we have tried gone through  several different blends over the years, and the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender is A) the most convenient for a family (it comes with several different sizes of blender cups), and B) the best a thoroughly blending the ingredients (even whole, frozen fruits or ice!) .

The auto setting is awesome; the Nutri Ninja takes the guesswork out of the equation and blends perfectly every time. I’m not exaggerating. I will not mention our previous blender or harp on any more about the Nutri Ninja, but l think we can all agree that no one wants a grainy smoothie resulting in remnants of kale leaves in their teeth, am I right?

Go get the Nutri Ninja – totally worth the investment in your toddler’s health.

Easy toddler approved green smoothie recipe. Even your most picky eater will get the vegetables and nutrition they need with this yummy green smoothie.
At the time I took this picture, she would ONLY drink her smoothies from a recycled Jamba Juice cup. Pick your battles, I say.

Simple Toddler Approved Green Smoothie Recipe:

Print

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 handful kale red kale is less bitter than green
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/4 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 4-6 organic frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla flax milk + protein

Instructions

  1. Layer all ingredients in the Nutri Ninja blender, starting with the kale and spinach.

  2.  Blend under completely smooth

  3. Serve in a cup with a straw.

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlers

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlers

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlers

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlers

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlers

Toddler Approved Green Smoothies. Great for sneaking in veggies for picky eaters and toddlers! Healthy green smoothie recipe for babies and toddlersShop Cups With Straws:

The possibilities are endless with this base smoothie! Which other yummy, nutritious, power ingredients will you add to this easy toddler approved green smoothie recipe? Avocado? Egg white protein powder? Gogi berries? What tips and tricks do you have for getting picky eaters to eat veggies?

Everything You Need In A Toddler’s Emergency Car Kit

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

Do you have a toddler car kit stocked with everything you would need in case of emergency (i.e. forgotten diapers, sudden need for a potty break, stuck in traffic, car wont’ start,  flat tire, etc.)? Do you lug around a huge diaper bag full of everything under the sun in case of emergency and want to lighten your load? If you answered yes to either question, then this post is for you!

Taylor and I were out and about the other day when she needed a mid-shopping diaper change. I realized I didn’t have a diaper in my diaper bag – TOTAL #momfail. Then I remembered the Baby Car Kit I keep for her in the trunk of my car (this also happens to be one of this blog’s most popular posts to date!). Relieved, we walked to the parking lot for her change. Much to my chagrin, I realized it had been quite a while since I’d updated her kit, and the diapers I had in stock were a size too small. Although I was able to squeeze her into the diaper until we made it home and I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this as an “emergency” situation, it did remind me that our original emergency car kit needed a little updating.

So update I did, and here is exactly what is you need for an emergency car kit, fit for a toddler.

Everything You Need In A Toddler’s Emergency Car Kit What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

Here is a list of everything you need to pack in an Emergency Car Kit for your toddler to keep them fed, changed, happy and entertained in case of an unpredictable situation (or if you just don’t feel like dragging a big ole diaper bag around with you everywhere!). I pack all of this in this bin + lid from Tar-jay – it’s less than $10 and fits all our supplies (minus the portable potty) perfectly!

What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

        1. Water bottle with a spout (at least 1) to  keep both you and your tot hydrated.
        2. 3-4 diapers
        3. Wipes – I keep my wipes in a lined, zippered bag like this one so that moisture doesn’t escape over time (especially when it’s hot!).
        4. Non-perishable snacks like Annie’s gluten free oatmeal bars or these Sprout Power Pouches.
        5. Disposable diaper bags + dispenser –  I have these Munchkin bags and dispensers in my diaper bag, daycare bag and car kit.
        6. Diapering creams
        7. Roll of toilet paper – if you’re in the potty training stage, this is critical, along with this portable potty (scroll down for more details).
        8. 1-2 activities/toys – I always keep 1-2 books and an activity that could consume my toddler’s attention for the maximum amount of time possible. This Magnetic Curious George Set is perfect for the car and developing imagination, and T loves it!
        9. Travel first aid kit  – you could, of course, put one together yourself, but I chose to buy http://bit.ly/2xKe7PVthis one from Target for $6.49.
        10. Sunscreen  – my favorites are this spray version and  pure mineral sunscreen face stick from Babyganics.
        11. Changing pad  – the one pictured here is sold out, but this is a great option on Amazon Prime + only $6.
        12. Hand sanitizer – I have one of these Babyganics hand sanitizer pumps in our change table caddy, nursing station basket and in the emergency car kit. I like this brand because it is alcohol and paraben free, yet 99% effective in killing germs.
        13. Tissues
        14. Spare outfit (socks, pants, shirt) – I keep a t-shirt and pants that are 1-2 sizes too big so that I do not have to think about updating the spare outfit every couple of months because – growth spurts. The Cat & Jack line at Target has super cute T-Shirts for between $4.50 and $6.00  (both short and long sleeved depending on the seasons you’re in/entering).
        15. 2 gallon Ziploc bags
        16. {NOT PICTURED} Lightweight blanket – I keep a swaddle blanket by Aden & Anais in the car in case it gets chilly.
        17. {NOT PICTURED} A Restaurant Kit – create a Restaurant Kit with all the essentials you need to reduce the stress of dining out with little ones and keep it in your trunk. I have actually been bringing the Airplane Entertainment Kit in the car lately because it’s so packed with things to keep T busy.
        18. {NOT PICTURED, but a MUST HAVE} Potette portable travel + training potty – I don’t yet have this portable potty because we haven’t started potty training at this point, but it is already on my Amazon shopping list for later. My best friends both have this in their cars and it’s come in incredibly handy on numerous occasions. You can actually be out and about during potty training because it can be adapted to any toilet seat OR you can just plop in on the ground anywhere you are and the disposable liners catch everything. Genius, right?!

      everything you need to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

      To access the printable Toddler Emergency Car Kit Checklist use this link or just click on the image below.  Print it, shop with it, then keep it in your kit to make sure you’re always stocked up. 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.

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

      Is there anything I’m missing? What other ways do you keep your car organized and prepared for your little ones? Let me know if I’m missing anything in the comments on this post and I’ll happily update my kit + this post.

       

       

       

      P.S. 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/kits so that they are right on hand and I can keep track of what needs packing, refilling, etc.

      Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:

      What to pack in an emergency car kit for a toddler. Be prepared for any emergency

Fall Wardrobe Staples For Toddler Girls

Toddler Girl Fall Style // Building a Mini Wardrobe: Early Fall Favorites // toddler style /fall clothes for toodlers

Am I the only one who devotes way more time and attention to their toddler’s fashion than their own? I may only get one shot at this #girlmom thing, so I’m making the most of it! However, now that I’m at home with Taylor I am more judicious with how I spend, and therefore picking adorable, affordable staple pieces that can work together for an entire season.

So, in this installment of “my 1-year-old is more stylish than me,” I’m sharing a round up of toddler girl fall wardrobe staples. If you have a toddler girl, these are must have pieces for her closet, and many of them are on pre-season sale right now.

Happy shopping, mama!

Toddler Girl Fall Style // Building a Mini Wardrobe: Early Fall Favorites // toddler style /fall clothes for toodlers

Jersey Scoop-Neck Tee (white) / Plaid Dress / Long Sleeve Thermal Tee (pink) / Jersey Scoop-Neck Tee (floral/avian)Quilted Vest (black) / Open-Front Cardi (cream) / Hooded Peplum Anorak (green) / Ruffle Trim Sweater (polka dot)Jersey Leggings (pink) / Skinny Jeans / Jersey Leggings (black) / Metallic Pleated Skirt (pink)Twist Front Sweater Beanie (black) / Sneakers (blush) / Hunter Classic Rain Boot / Zip Boots (tan) / Ballet Flats (black) 

Everything shown/linked is from either Old Navy, Nordstrom, or H&M because I’m obsessed with their toddler lines and their online shopping platforms are (maybe a little too) user friendly!

Where are your fav places to shop for your little ones?


This post contains some affiliate links. As always, I only showcase products I actually really, really like!

What To Pack For Travel And Vacation With A Toddler (and what you can expect!)

Be prepared for any trip with a toddler! Free Printable Packing List for Traveling with a Toddler (and a packing list for moms too!) + what to expect when taking a vacation with a toddler. This list is a must-have when you’re packing for a vacation with a toddler! CLICK THROUGH TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE! Toddler packing list | new mom | first time mom | travel with a toddler

Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!

Now that you have a toddler, the word “vacation” has a whole new meaning. From keeping your little one entertained during car or airplane travel to packing ALL of their belongings into one suitcase, travel sure does become more tricky with a toddler in the mix.

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…

Be prepared for any trip with a toddler! Free Printable Packing List for Traveling with a Toddler (and a packing list for moms too!) + what to expect when taking a vacation with a toddler. This list is a must-have when you’re packing for a vacation with a toddler! CLICK THROUGH TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE! Toddler packing list | new mom | first time mom | travel with a toddler

4 Things You Can Expect On Vacation With A Toddler

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. 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!
  4. 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!):

Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!
EZPacking Starter Set in gray.
Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!
2 weeks worth of toddler gear -easily packed!
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. The cubes can be packed to utilize the entire height of the suitcase – so, no wasted space! 
    4. 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:

Be prepared for any trip with a toddler! Free Printable Packing List for Traveling with a Toddler (and a packing list for moms too!) + what to expect when taking a vacation with a toddler. This list is a must-have when you’re packing for a vacation with a toddler! CLICK THROUGH TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE!

  1. What To Pack For Vacation With A Toddler:Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!

    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! Click here or just click on the pictures below to access, download and print copies of the Mama and Toddler packing checklists:

    Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!

  2. Top tips for how to pack for travel and vacation with a toddler, without all the stress! Including a FREE printable packing checklist for toddler and mom!

    Our Vacation + Travel With Toddler Must Haves:

    • EZPacking Cubes – see above!
    • Travel Sized Downy Wrinkle Release Spray – I roll when I pack in EZPacking cubes because it saves more space, and this spray helps in a pinch when I don’t have access to or time for ironing!s
    • 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!). 
    • Bags for your stroller and car seat if you’re traveling by plane.
    • 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.
    • Portable Snacks – Taylor’s fav snacks (that include protein) are these Sprout Power Pouches.

     

  3. 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!


  1. P.S. A few of our fav family vacation photos (July 2017)

    (Charlotte, North Carolina + Litchfield Beach and Charleston, South Carolina)

Be prepared for any trip with a toddler! Free Printable Packing List for Traveling with a Toddler (and a packing list for moms too!) + what to expect when taking a vacation with a toddler. This list is a must-have when you’re packing for a vacation with a toddler! CLICK THROUGH TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE! Toddler packing list | new mom | first time mom | travel with a toddler

How To Entertain A Toddler On A Plane – Travel Tips + A Free Printable Checklist

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.

If you’re packing for an upcoming vacation, you NEED to snag some of these.

Make sure to download and print the FREE printable checklist at the end of this post (or click the photo below)!

 

How to entertain a toddler on a plane flight

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!?

What’s In The Bag (and how it all fit!):

 

  1. In-Flight Entertainment Kit – I included a section below with all the details on what’s inside this cosmetics case turned toddler entertainment kit. I use this same bag (in this floral pattern) for my Baby/Toddler Restaurant Kit as well because it’s a perfect size and has tons of storage space!
  2.  A lightweight swaddle blanket to put over your toddler if/when they nap. Airplane cabins can get chilly!
  3. 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.
  4. 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% off here using the discount code TAYLORMADEMAMA.
  5. Puffs (AKA toddler crack).  I keep these on hand pretty much at all times. We only buy the Happy Baby organic brand.
  6. 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.
  7. 1-2 tried and true favorite books and 1-2 new books having to do with their interests, airplane travel or their destination; I suggest Richard Scarry’s A Day At The Airport, and Amazing Planes.
  8. Spare outfits for you and your toddler.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. An Etch a Sketch, MagnaDoodleor LCD drawing tablet.
  12. Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad (Adventure, Playhouse, Farm or Vehicles and Habitats)

Taylor’s Top Entertainment Pick…


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):

This cosmetics case is the PERFECT in-flight entertainment kit bag.

Left side = snacks, utensils, wipes, box of organic milk, bib, etc.

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.

 

Right side = toys, art supplies, flashcards, etc.

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:

Snack and Play Travel Tray (top rated on Amazon.com) – good for plane, car or train travel!

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…

Top Tips For Traveling/Flying With a Toddler:

  1. Check the TSA and your airline websites well in advance of your flight for their rules and regulations regarding travel with children under 2 years old.
  2. 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 Lion while 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, click here 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:

What To Pack For A Pool Day With A Toddler – Free Printable Checklist

This post is the first in my new, official Packed to Perfection series. Be sure to check back for other posts in the Packed to Perfection Series as they are posted – 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, and never worry about forgetting something again! You can see other examples of ways to organize and pack for a baby or toddler in these existing posts: Diaper Bag for Baby, Packing Cubes, Working Mom’s Pumping Bag, Infant Daycare Bag, Baby/Toddler Car Kit, and Restaurant Kit for Babies/Toddlers.

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.

Swimsuit with built in swim diaper by i play.

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!

3. Sunglasses for mama and toddler 

4. Quart size Ziplock bags for electronics

5. Skip Hop cooler for water bottles (I also used this in my Pumping Bag) – Camel Back bottles: mom version, toddler version. If you’re looking to pack snacks that need to be refrigerated I HIGHLY recommend this Freezable Tote by PackIt; you stick it in the freezer and, once frozen, it stays cold for up to 10 hours – no ice packs needed!

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!

8. Baby or toddler kids sun hat with chin strap (50+ UPF cotton) – I also bring my own hat, similar to this floppy chambray one from Nordstrom.

9. Towels  – I bring one for myself and one for Taylor, but you could probably get by with just one and save bag space.

Tote Savvy Insert = Mom Must Have!

10. ToteSavvy Mini Insert – I use this ToteSavvy insert interchangeably in all my bags these days be it a purse, diaper bag, carry on for a flight or pool day bag;  I love it because I always know where to look for the essentials. To me, this insert is an absolute mom must-have! These days I carry the following inside it’s pouches: Bandaids, mini Evian facial spray (this keeps both toddler and mama cool on a hot day!), a couple small toys, Babyganics Alcohol-Free individually packed hand,face and mouth sanitizing wipes, 2 diapers, pack of wipes, several snacks, keys, wallet and one of the most popular items purchased through Amazon via links on my site – the Munchkin Arm & Hammer diaper bag dispenser and bags:

On Toddler:

  • Swimsuit – I bought a couple of these suits with built in swim diapers by I play on Amazon Prime Day 2017, and we’re loving them so far.
  • Swim diaper to wear underneath a suit if it doesn’t have a built-in. We have been using these disposable swim pants by Babyganics, but there are also tons of non-disposable versions as well.
  • Diaper for over the swim suit in the car ride to the pool because swim diapers tend to leak (or maybe I’m using them wrong?).  When we get to the pool we just take off this extra safety precaution.
  • Swimsuit cover up
  • Sandals – these clear Mary Jane jellies are a toddler girl must, plus they have great grip on the bottom. Old Navy has a huge variety of strap-back flip flops for toddler girls and boys.

Additional Items:

  • Floating toys – I’m definitely getting this cute  Shark Fish Hunt Game by Melissa & Doug.
  • Float – Tented Float by Intex 
  • 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.
  • Pop Up Sunshade/Tent – optional depending on if there is shade at your pool.

Now you tell me, what are your pool day bag must haves? I’m on the lookout for some water shoes like these from Carter’s for Taylor, but are there some you like better?

Click here or just click on the picture below to access, download and print a copy of the checklist:

P.S.  If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the American Academy of Pediatrics pool and sun safety recommendations including:

  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming or sweating.

 

Toddler Girl Fashion – Must Haves For Spring & Summer

Almost all of these toddler girl fashion must haves for Spring (and Summer!) are on sale right now so if you see something you like, snag it today.

Here are my favorite pieces for little ladies this season:

1.LIGHTWEIGHT NEUTRAL CARDIGAN – on sale for $13

A staple for transitioning from warm spring days into cooler evenings when you’re out and about with your little lady. This one goes with everything, and I think it’s a steal at $13.

2. SUNGLASSES – $5.90

3. FLOPPY STRAW SUN HAT – on sale for $13.50

Taylor won’t allow me to put anything on her head at the moment, but I’m hoping that changes soon (or I can figure out an effective way to coerce her) as it makes shielding her from the Spring and Summer sun when we are doing something outdoors so much easier! Perfect hat for a day at the beach or a picnic in the park.

4. LACE TRIM KEYHOLE TANK – on sale for $9 (4 color options, including basic white) OR

LACE TRIM TANK BODYSUIT – $14.95

Taylor wore the bodysuit versions all the time last summer as a newborn, and I just took advantage of Gap’s Last Days of Spring Sale to grab her two of the white lace tanks, and one pink. These are also a great staple as they can be paired with pretty much any shorts or skirts your babe may have.

5. MULTI-STRIPE SHORTS – on sale for $19.99

I love that these shorts have several different colors highlighted throughout the coral base. These over even a plain white Onesie would be adorable.

6. THE POCKET SKIRT -$12, or $11 each for 3+

If you have been a reader for a while, you already know about my affinity for Primary Clothing for kids and babes, but their fitted tanks (#8) and pocket skirts are definite warm weather staples for a little miss. Super soft and a price making it inviting to stock up on several colors.

7. EYELET PEPLUM TOP – on sale for $16.99 (3 color options)

Isn’t this top the sweetest?

8. THE TANK -$9, or $8 each for 3+ (15 color options!)

9. PINEAPPLE ROMPER – $29.95

For those warmer spring days we get here in California, I love dressing Taylor in a quick, easy and comfy one piece. This romper is the perfect blend of function and fun for play time!

10. RUFFLED BACK BIKINI – on sale for $10

I am dying over how cute this little itty bitty bikini is. At only $10 I’m sure these won’t last long!

11. RUFFLED CHAMBRAY SHORTS – on sale for $10

Every little lady needs a pair of feminine jeans shorts in her Spring wardrobe. I had these for Taylor in a 0-3 month size last year and she was in them nearly every day!

12. JELLY SANDALS – $24.95

I feel like Jelly sandals are a rite of passage for little girls in a way. Did you wear them growing up? I know I did! I’m definitely snagging a pair for Taylor to sport on summer days at the pool in our new community. I can’t believe we move in a month!

Where are your favorite places to shop for your little one? What colors do you tend to go toward? Let me know in the comments!

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xo, Ashley (1)

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