Tag Archives: parenting

Road Trip (With Kids)! What to Bring Along

Mummy Confession: I don’t mind hours in the car on the road. However, a road trip with kids is a bit more complicated and may prove a bit challenging!

As I mentioned before, we are taking our first family trip to the snow soon! I have compiled another list of things to bring on the road! Not only for the drive, but what to have close at hand, and just in the car, when traveling with kids!

Plus, better still, some great suggestions for games, recipes that travel well, and other advice from fellow-travelers! I’ve included a quick click here, or scroll to see! To check out what to bring to the snow (for kids), check out my post here.

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Road Trip Quick Click:

What To Bring in the Car (With Kids)

Easily Accessible

In the Glove Box

In a Bag/Container in the Car

Activities for the Car Trip

Music for the Trip

Recipes That Travel Well

Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips

Advice from Fellow Travellers

Road Trip! What to Bring in the Car/Specifically for the Drive:

We’re talking a 4+ hour drive with kids in tow. Two of which are toilet trained, so that should be interesting! I want to be sure that on the trip down, we are taking minimal breaks (I mean, as minimal as you can with kids). In order to insure this, I have a list of what we will be taking in the car, strategically placed so as to have necessities accessible while driving. You know how it is when little Munchkin wants that’s toy that’s in the boot? Yeah, we will try to avoid that.

Easily accessible or in the front:

1. Eskie (Cooler) with drinks/snacks– Nothing says “pull over!” Like a thirsty child. Be sure to have plenty water bottles and other beverages for you and the kids as well as some ice packs if desired. We bring a water bottle for each child in addition to drinks, so there is less mess going! Sippy cups are my favourite.

2. Snacks/Food– The road trips in my childhood bring back memories of my beloved Barbeque chips and savouring them as we drove along. Snacks can help pass the time and hold the kids over until the next rest stop. Opt for healthy, or whatever suits your family! There are some great road-worthy recipes for snacks and ideas below courtesy of some amazing Bloggers! (Click here to skip to the recipes)

Little Bellies make some good snacks for babies and toddlers!

3. Activities/Games/Toys– I often pick a few cheap toys the kids haven’t seen yet and hide them for a bit and give them out at random times. Nothing too loud, of course! You do need to be in a car together for hours! If you enjoy playing games in the car or need other suggestions, there are some ideas below (or click here).

4. Toy Organiser/IPad Holder– Unless you wish to hold everything on your lap, it’s probably best to invest in something to store all the bits and pieces from your kids’ toy box. We opted for something to hold a tablet so we can play a movie some of the time, or a couple toys or tissues that are easier to grab. Skip Hop looks like they make good organisers.

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Skip Hop Car Backseat Organiser; Photo Credit: Skip Hop

5. Chargers for phones with car adapter &Phones– You don’t want your phone to run out of batteries while you are on the way to your destination. Especially if you use it for a GPS or to stay in touch with other cars on the way there!

6. Any music desired– When “99 bottles of” your chosen beverage are no longer on the wall, or your refuse to entertain the idea of signing that, opt for some alternative tunes. Go “Retro” as the kids call it nowadays and blast some of your old favourites, or if you’re game, let the kids pick the music. See some ideas below (or click to skip there now).

7. GPS or other Directions– We do need to arrive somewhere close to our holiday spot, eh? I think this one is self-explanitory.

Screenshot from Google Maps

8. Access to internet or written down numbers/addresses for hospitals, medical centres, etc (just in case!)– You can never be too prepared! Either have information on your phone, in a notebook, or however your prefer. Google is great for searching, too, if your GPS is questionable (I know mine is…), so be sure whatever you are using is reliable! And when in doubt, follow the signs!

9. Car Pass for Toll Roads or Money for Tolls– If you plan on travelling the way of Tolls. Try to stay away from trolls and bridges though.

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In the Glove Box:

1. Tissues and/or Wipes– Messes happen, and so do boogers. I often have a few travel packs on hand throughout the car. Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!

2. First Aid Kit– So long as you have access to the first aid kit in the car than its location isn’t necessarily needed in the glove box (it’s jut the easiest place to store it.) I will say, make sure you have a vomit bag in there because, well, you never know. If you would like to purchase a first aid kit, Mumma Morrison has a great place to find one with a great cause here (first aid kit proceeds going to families in need to provide first aid training).

3. Spare Change– You never know when shops may not take cards or have minimum EFTPOS limits. Take some cash just in case!

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In a Container or Bag in the Car (I call this my Go Bag):

1. 1 Change of clothing for each child, full set with two pairs of understuff

2. Wipes – Always an essential. Even without babies.

3. Nappies (if you have one in them)- I always have three per child who needs them.

4. Plastic bag or wet bag– For dirty or wet clothing, or rubbish you need to bring from the car.

5. Towel, blanket, burp cloth or muslin wrap– For the messes, spills, and comfort of your child. Especially in winter, I always carry a blanket.

6. Nappy rash cream– Sudocreme is always good one to bring, because it is not only a nappy rash cream, but is also good for cuts, grazes, and burns. Be sure to use a cotton bud if you intend to use it on more than your baby.

7. Potty seat (just in case!)– With a couple who are toilet trained, you can never be too certain where the bathrooms are on the road. Or, if you child will decide they need to go as soon as you hit the longest stretch of road without toilets.

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Even More Helpful Resources!

Activities for the Car Trip! ūüé≤ūüé≤- Ideas for your entertainment during the drive!

Entertain My Tribe– A great website to look for places to stop along the way (parks, family friendly cafes, lolly shops, etc). Make sure to stretch those legs!

Counting Cows: Road Trip Game from Kid Bucket List

Road Trip Games and Activites from Kid Magazine

5 Apps For Toddlers from Kylie Purtell

Music for the Trip! ūüé∂ ūüé∂- Suggestions and Places to find Music

Little Rockers Radio

Music for Kids from Bokkie Kids

Silver Balloon, songs with your child’s name- Suggestion from Coffee with Katie

Kinderling Radio has a live radio online and an app- Suggestion from Artsplorers

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Snacks for the Car/Recipes That Travel Well! ūüćĹūüćĹ- Yum! (In no particular order..)
(These ideas are either eskie/cooler friendly or travel friendly)

Simple Bliss Balls from How She Does It

Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites from My Fussy Eater

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Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls from Energetic Mama

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Carrot Cake Bliss Balls; Photo Credit: Energetic Mama

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Kidgredients

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes; Photo Credit: Kidgredients

Banana Almond Butter Mini Muffins from Because Food is Love

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Banana Almond Butter Mini Muffins; Photo Credit: Because Food is Love

Peanut Butter and Nutella Muffins from Kid Magazine

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Peanut Butter and Nutella Muffins; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Healthy Lemon Zucchini Muffins from Because Food is Love

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Healthy Lemon Zucchini Muffins; Photo Credit: Because Food is Love

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Fussy Eater

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Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Carrot Cake Cookies from My Fussy Eater

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Carrot Cake Cookies; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Rice Bubble Slice from Play With Food

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Rice Bubble Slice; Photo Credit: Play With Food

BLW Oatcakes from Baby-Led Blog

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BLW Oatcakes; Photo Credit: Baby-Led Blog

Apple Pikelets from Kid Magazine

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Apple Pikelets; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Cheesy Mountain Bread Chips from Kid Magazine

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Cheesy Mountain Bread Chips; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Chocolate Quinoa Granola Bars from My Fussy Eater

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Chocolate Quinoa Granola Bars; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

My Perfect Granola Bar from More Than Just Carrots

granola bars
My Perfect Granola Bars; Photo Credit: More Than Just Carrots

No Bake Vegan Brownies with a Twist from Planting Goodness

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No-Bake Vegan Brownies with a Twist; Photo Credit: Planting Goodness

Healthy Travel Snacks For Babies from Love From Mim

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Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips!ūüėČūüėČ

Ikea Essentials for a Road Trip from The WorldAnd

5 Tips for a Better Family Road Trip from Tell Me Baby

5 Road Trip Essentials: What to Pack in Your Boot from Kid Bucket List

Road Tripping with Kids: A Lesson in Planning from The Togetherish

 

Advice From Fellow Travellers:

“I love the app “Elmo loves you” for my 2 year old. It doesn’t require data so it’s great in the car and there’s a heap of activities within it. Get the free demo version first to see what your child thinks.

Worried about relinquishing your phone? Put it into airplane mode so your toddler can’t make calls or post your selfies on Facebook!” from¬†Mel- Anyday Adventures

“I use my dehydrator to make snacks for road trips. That way it’s nothing sticky and will keep. My Instagram has pictures of my dehydrator creations” from Carlie Maree @mscarliemaree on Instagram

“Portioned bags of air popped popcorn, ‘scroggin mix’ of nuts and dried fruit, portioned bags of chopped carrot, celery, cheese sticks and rice crackers all make good snacks for the road” from How She Does It

“We need our portable DVD players. They keep everyone quiet for a good hour. You also need scheduled breaks. So find the best parks or kid friendly cafes or towns with lolly shops. Map those out before you go.” from Entertain My Tribe

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Road Trip Quick Click:

What To Bring in the Car (With Kids)

Easily Accessible

In the Glove Box

In a Bag/Container in the Car

Activities for the Car Trip

Music for the Trip

Recipes That Travel Well

Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips

Advice from Fellow Travellers

My Laundry Room: The Vortex of Doom

Mummy Confession: This is my Laundry Room. The never ending vortex of doom.

Laundry, dirty clothes, sick kids, doom, pile, motherhood, parenting, toilet Training, potty training

It just keeps piling up. The job that’s never done. And it’s funny. All of the kids are sick now, plus one teething (ie “don’t you dare put me down or leave me alone, and you can forget about an easy sleep.”) and one toilet training (ie. “I’m big and I won’t thoroughly soak my bed linens every night…”). This means the laundry is constantly piling up and never-ending.

As a matter of fact, just after waking this morning, my baby coughed quite a bit and then threw up all over my face and chest. He did the same yesterday. What does that mean? More laundry.

Rather than look at this insane pile and be completely overwhelmed (which I am every time I open that door), I’ve decided to try to think positively about what this room means.

Here are three reasons why ¬†when my laundry room is overflowing, it’s a good thing:

1. It means I can take care of my family. My kids. My husband. I am so thankful for them all. And doing their laundry means they are (other than the minor cold) healthy and home. Safe and secure.

2. We have.  We have clothes. We have towels. We have blankets. We have a roof over our head. We have a sanitary place with clean water to wash clothes. We have what we need.

3. My kids are learning, reaching milestones, and growing. Yes, there will be some set backs and wet bets, but soon enough she will be accomplishing far more than I can imagine.

So regardless of the laundry that just keeps growing, I can be thankful, grateful for the things we have. And hopefully this thankfulness will stay with me until the sickness passes, and I conquer the vortex of doom.

How can you look at seemingly negative events or things in your life right now and be thankful?

Great Apps for Baby Development

Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.

There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.

Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are ¬†listed here with my¬†Pregnancy and Parenting Communities¬†¬†post.

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks app has some great information on development and fussy periods

Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!

You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.

Download Wonder Weeks here:
Australia
United States
United Kindgom

Kidfolio

So many places to keep track of various baby things!

Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to?  Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.

If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).

Download Kidfolio here:

Australia
United States
United Kingdom

 

Kinedu

Kinedu is a great resource for developmental activities!

I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.

It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!

Download Kinedu here:
Australia
United States
United Kingdom

I hope these come in handy like they have with me!

What apps have you found to be useful as a parent, or helpful for baby’s first years or after?

My Little Love Heart: Review

Mummy Review: I’ve always loved boutique styles, and having something that is a unique style! I also love supporting local businesses and mums, so this is a win, win!

Disclosure: Some of these products were given to me in exchange for my honest opinion. I liked them so much, I bought more .

My Little Love Hearts is a boutique style shop for a range of accessories for babies, handmade in Australia. Their line of products includes bibs, hair bows, and teething rings. I have reviewed the products below which I have received and also purchased a couple more, in addition to the lovely presentation of how it arrived in the parcel!
Firstly, though, I just wanted to give some insight into the maker of these great products and what inspired her to create this brand, as well as her aspirations and personal favourite items. ūüôā
(I will also be editing this post and putting better photos in once my little model will stand still)

What inspired you to start My Little Love Heart?

My interest in baby apparel and accessories, specifically bandana bibs, began after my daughter Natalia was born. As she was prone to reflux we started to go through a large amount of baby bibs. I found it very difficult to find products of the highest quality with modern and stylish patterns so I started making them myself.

What is your favourite product?

I would have to say I have three favourite products, firstly the Love Heart Teething ring as this is my own idea and design, it also represents what my brand is all about ! The second would have to be the bandana bib, this would be my most popular item and I love the feedback I get from customers. The third favourite would be the burp cloths, as they use the most fabric I really get to enjoy the detail on the wonderful patterns.

Are you working on anything that you’re excited about (new product, new styles, new designs, etc)?

Last month we just finished our first collaboration with Perth designer Megan Isabella Designs. She has developed the Succulents and Cactus print exclusively for My Little Love Heart. We love that it is a print that boys can wear as there are very few options for the little guys these days. We will also be adding 2 more fabrics in the coming months, once again something for the boys !

What is a goal you have for the future of your business?

I enjoy making these products and would love to increase the export side of the business through retail outlets around the world, especially my birth country of Colombia. It would be an amazing feeling walking into a shop in another country and seeing my products sold there.

This is the beautiful parcel I received from My Little Love Heart. I must say, the care that went into this presentation is lovely!

Need a nice gift? Your order comes nicely wrapped and ready to go (See photo at the top of the post)! this attention to detail is such a great touch!
Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality

Regular Bib
The Bibs made by My Little Love Heart are made in two sizes and has two plastic buttons to adjust to a proper size as well. Backed with towelling, it’s not thin and soaking through easily. I would say my baby is a medium level drooler, and I haven’t had an issue with it soaking through too quickly. Obviously, I take it off during naps, and let it dry.

I recommend the cactus and succulent pattern for its pure awesome look. I was overjoyed to receive this bib, and it sure is helping us have less wardrobe changes during the day, while still maintaining a fashionable look. I have gotten a ton of compliments on this bib, and just adore the pattern!

Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality, teething ring, teething
Baby boy’s outfit of the day, paired up with his super cute bib!



Bandana Bib
I love the style of the bandana bibs! For my boy especially, it makes him look even more handsome, and covers him under and around the neck. It is also backed with towelling and ¬†keeps his neck dry. This is good, because my bub’s neck is particularly sensitive as he is prone to eczema. The bandana bib also comes in two sizes and has two buttons for adjustment within the size. My little one was lucky enough to try one out in the lovely feathered pattern. I have washed it a few times, as the drool is strong with my baby, and I have no complaints. It’s still just as cute and great for bubs to wear!

Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality, teething ring, teething
My model wasn’t being cooperative, but this bib matches nearly everything!


Bandummy
This particular style I have never seen before, and I think it is quite innovative in its design! After finding¬†this style online, I had to order one! Bub is¬†always losing his dummy (pacifier to those not fluent in Aussie) and this design allows me to keep it close. The best part is not needing an extra dangly bit to clip on, hoping my baby won’t rip it off minutes later. You can also attach teething toys!
It works best with dummies or teething toys that have a bit of space, and just fits one of my bubs preferred pacifiers. Bubby was putting his own dummy back in easily, and I didn’t have to search the whole house for it!

Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality, teething ring, teething
Snaps for different neck adjustments and the snaps to clip a pacifier or toy

Only one issue I would have with it is that, obviously, I cannot attach any other pacifiers that my babe prefers to it, as they would need a string attached to lace through the hole (which is a simple fix, anyways). Otherwise, this is a totally brilliant idea, and I’m stoked to have this in his wardrobe!
Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality, pacifier, dummy, paci

Bunny Teething ring
These eco-friendly Beech Hardwood¬†teething rings are particularly lovely to look at, and I think the patterned moustache pattern¬†makes it so cute! It comes in this handy little bag, so a beautiful little touch I appreciated! I’ve always loved this style of bunny ear-ed¬†teething rings!¬†I had to order one for my little man, as he is experiencing the dreaded teething, and everything is in his mouth. This ensures that he’s not crawling around and shoving things the other kids have left out in for amusement, but playing and chewing on this instead. Even better, his bandummy easily clips on to this, so it’s not getting lost! Little man is still getting used to it, but so far seems to be enjoying this one!
Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality, teething ring, teething Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, quality Bandummy, my little love heart, handmade, Australian, bib, baby products, baby bib, bandana bib, qualitySo, all in all, I am stoked about these products, and I hope you have even found something to admire. As you may know, I just love talking about great baby products, so out of these, I would highly recommend the Bandummy if you have a bub with a pacifier or teething toy they are attached to. Help baby and help yourself by ordering one today! Tell them Mummy Confessions sent you!

Feel free to check out My Little Love Heart online here, or follow them on social media!
Http://www.MyLittleLoveHeart.com.au
Facebook Page: My Little Love Heart
Instagram: @MyLittleLoveHeart
Twitter: @mylittlelovehrt

 

I Don’t Get Out Much

Mummy Confession: I don’t get out of the house much. With or without kids.

School holidays have rolled around again, and that brings my stubborn side out. The side that hates leaving home. We have only left the area a handful of times, because the thought of it alone exhausts me. It’s gotten worse with the number of children. Though, I love socialising and getting out of the everyday routine, it’s so daunting just to get out of the house!

Take for instance this typical before, during and after a trip outside of our neighbourhood: I corral all the children together as I tell them we are going somewhere. Next, they all dart in opposite directions excitedly as I yell for them to put on various articles of clothing. I answer questions of, “where’s that?” I’m serious that it takes about fifteen minutes for shoes alone.

After about an hour, everyone is dressed. Now, I have to convince the oldest and middle children to use the toilet before we leave, because I’m not managing three children in a McDonald’s restroom on the way there. ¬†Twenty minutes later, they have finally finished.

Then I wrangle the kids into the car, buckling them in, and drive to my destination, answering various questions (the same one over and over again usually) about where we are going and who we are meeting. Following that, I get them unbuckled, unload and set up the pram, filling it with several bags of “just in case.”

We roll up in the pram, and I chase them around for hours (as again, they all take off in multiple directions at once) with trips to the toilet every twenty minutes and snacks every ten, while trying to simultaneously prevent the youngest now from putting everything in his mouth and crawling away.

Finally, I find myself debating with them about getting back into the car. Several threats and bribes later I accomplish the feat. Strolling back, I lure them back into the car, changing the littlest, feeding the littlest, buckling seatbelts, wrestling the pram back in the car, and then taking a deep breath before getting home and unloading all the “not tired” passengers. And that’s just a typical venture out for a short while. (Minus the pram for Grandma’s house.) Can you imagine if we actually got out?

I know, I know, it’s good for kids to have experiences, spend time exploring and learning. But, when the holidays roll around and I am not scheduled to get somewhere twenty minutes later than what I set out to arrive, it takes a while to work up the energy and, dare I say, courage to take all of them out on my own.

It’s not that they aren’t behaved. They behave like any child, and I love them to bits. I just don’t feel like spending half an hour negotiating with a toddler on why it’s time to go home. It’s a lose, lose situation and someone always winds up crying. Generally, it’s the children in the car on the way home. And let’s not talk about how the baby now realises when we’re leaving and breaks down in hysterics as I try to strap him into his car seat.

How does it go for you? Do you brave the outside neighbourhood when it’s holiday time? How much time does it take “psyching yourself up” to leave?