If you have toddlers, you know how it is when you go out for the day… stuff, stuff and more stuff! The list could be endless depending on where you are going, and, if you are like me, you will want to bring everything “just in case.”
Over the past few years I have become pretty good at narrowing things down so I’m not carrying around everything but the kitchen sink. I have also found quite a few products that I never leave the house without, since they always come in handy and work beautifully. Anything that can make life for my husband and myself easier goes to the top of my list!
In future posts, I will break down products I love by location, such as for the pool club, beach, etc. The below list are a few items that I pretty much always have with me and that are worth investing in and bringing wherever you go!
Built NY Gourmet Getaway Mini Tote: I always like to bring some food for the kids to have “just in case” they are hungry and there is no where for them to eat, or maybe our plan was not to grab lunch out. My kids like when we sit and eat lunch I brought from home, I always call it “a picnic” and they think it’s the best thing ever. Plus, it ensures me that they ar eating healthy since I know I made it at home. This Built lunch tote is the perfect size to fit two sandwich containers and even some snack or drinks. It keeps all the food cold for a pretty long time, even if it has been sitting in the car for a bit. It is compact and has a built-in handle which makes it easy to bring around or stick under the stroller.
ThinkBaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+: I have tried so many sunscreens over the years and have had many ups and mostly downs, like sun poisoning, and allergic reactions to the harsh chemicals found in many sunscreens. So when I had children I did TONS of research to find a safe sunscreen for them to use that really works without all of those nasty chemicals. Well, this is it! ThinkBaby is terrific! Not sticky or greasy at all, super smooth to apply, smells great and actually works very well. I love it and always make sure it is in my diaper bag. I stock up when I’m running low to ensure I always have enough!
Thermos FOGO Insulated Food Jar: Having a child with severe food allergies means that I always have to bring her own food from home. This can be very daunting but at least I know I can make a warm dish at home, like pasta, and keep it warm for her to eat out at a restaurant or wherever we may be going. It holds a good amount of food and keeps it hot for a long time.
Icy Cools Reusable Ice Cubes: I use these inside my Built Lunch Tote. They are great because they are just like throwing in ice cubes, but they are re-usable so you can wash and freeze them again when you get home. Since they are small, they fill in around all the food to keep it evenly cold. They take up way less space then sticking a bulky ice pack into the tote. They stay cold for a really long time and never melt like real ice! Plus, if anyone every gets hurt, I know I have ice on hand for any bumps or bruises!
Summer Infant Play Yard with Full Canopy: If you have a child under 2, this is for you (and sometimes I can even get my 3 year old to play in it!) I bought this for my second child when she was around 1 year old and I was so mad that I didn’t buy it for my first daughter. It is super lightweight (under 5 lbs.) It unfolds in seconds and it makes life so much easier! Once I got this, I began bringing it everywhere with us, and I even use it in our backyard. My daughter likes to play in it and it is so convenient at the beach or pool when you need to put the baby down. They can stay in there to hang out, play or even nap, while you keep an eye on other children or do whatever (eat lunch in peace for 5 minutes!) At least you know they are safe in there and not wandering around. This version even comes with an SPF sun canopy which is great. It lets in air while keeping your little one out of the harsh sun. The only note I will give is that the bottom is just a thin material, not padded, so if using outside I always go to put it on sand or grass so the kids aren’t sitting on a hard surface other than that, love it!
Melissa and Doug Water Wow Travel Set: My kids love to play with these Water Wow sets. It keeps them amused for quite a while – great for car rides – just be sure to fill the pens with water before you leave the house!
ThinkBaby Thinkster Straw Bottle/Cup: I have been through what feels like dozens of cups, all which have leaked. This one is great, no leaks and easy for little hands to hold on their own. I always make sure to have these on hand with water or juice.
Leapfrog LeapPad Ultimate: If Water Wow doesn’t work for long, the LeapPads from a Leap Frog are my next choice from entertainment. I like that the parent knows what content the child is looking at, since it’s not a full flags iPad with internet capabilities (for YouTube etc). Kids can draw, play music, take photos, and play many educational games, which you can purchase through the leapfrog app.
BabyBjorn Smart Potty: I have a child who is just learning to potty train and instead of having to go into some less than desirable public bathrooms with my daughter, I keep this potty in my trunk for emergencies. It is so compact and takes up only a very small amount of space, but it is comfortable for her to use on the go if need be. The interior pops out easily to clean up the mess and I believe you can purchase liners that fit inside for even easier clean up.