Tag Archives: survival

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! 🎲🎲- 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! 🎶 🎶- 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! 🍽🍽- 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

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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!😉😉

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

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:
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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:

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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?

The Common Cold: A Pit of Misery

Mummy Confession: Before kids, my thoughts towards the common cold weren’t much, but after kids, even the common cold is the most vile of things to strike my children.

Cold, tissues, sneeze, sick, illness, common cold, sick children, misery, sniffles
“We can’t make it today. The kids have come down with something.”
I used to scoff at those words. I used to think, “Oh come on. It’s just a cold. Sniffles and a little itchy nose.”

I take all those thoughts back now as a mum. Both being the one who has kids with a cold and kids who play with my children that has a cold.

We are currently battling the dreaded common cold in our house, times five. One of those is me. But, that doesn’t hurt as much as seeing my babies suffer through the drippy-runny noses and sore throats that take them on a roller coaster of misery. It is probably more exhausting trying to care for the sick when sick yourself, but we must carry on!

Nights are now spent waking up every half hour (because every hour with teething wasn’t  enough already), and fighting to get anyone to sleep. Cries in the night as they try to breathe, and moaning as they clutch their throats. Begging for more medicine which they can’t have just yet, and every five minutes haunted by their tiny voices saying, “I’m still stick Mummy.”

These are the times sleep exhaustion takes over and you just have to get by with each day. I’m not joking when I say I’ve been living on sleep fumes the last few days especially. With a teething baby who takes literally hours to stop screaming, and now this virus, I’m just getting by walking around to do the necessities.

Let me just give some advice to you out there who have yet to experience the misery of illnesses with children: keep your kids away. Whether they are the one sick, keep them away from other kids if possible. If you think that colds are nothing bad, you may think twice after your child is infected. It may seem like a simple sniffle, and during the day it may just be that. Somewhere in the night it transitions into an endless pit of misery and destruction, sucking the joy (and sleep) out of anything in its path. So, wash your hands, and stay away from the sick children, and introduce plenty of vitamin C when your child is around others.

Sick child, sick, illness, misery, cold, common cold, sneezing, coughing, medicine
Current situation 85% of the day

I’m not saying board up the house and never leave, but the common cold is nothing to be messed with, and it’s just best to stay clear. And if your child is the one infected, be kind and let others know (and ask if they want to reschedule) rather than them seeing snot everywhere only to weep on the inside for their anticipation of their child being the next recipient of the plague.

This goes a million times over for babies, especially young babies. You may think it’s something kids get over, it just comes and goes, but even a simple cold can have devastating effects on small babies. Not only can they not understand what is happening, but they can suffer so badly they require hospitalisation. They go downhill fast.

We were once transported by ambulance for this very reason. A cold turned into a cough, and my baby couldn’t breathe properly. And let’s not mention the time my less than week old baby couldn’t breathe through her nose. Even though endless hours were spent cuddling and diligently using an aspirator.

Be kind and, unlike you have been taught all your life for everything else, don’t share. Please, for the love of everything, don’t share. We don’t want to spend our entire night cuddling sniffling balls of mess and reminding them every five minutes that sleep makes the sickness go away quicker! To parents and carers, a cold is not ever “just” a cold. It turns sane people (perspective, people) into anxious messes.

Next time you have a cold, please be mindful that, while children need to “get used to” germs, it’s probably not your job to introduce them.

What if your child is already sick? Check out these helpful tips here (WebMD resource)!

Not sure if you should be seeing a doctor, or concerned about your child? Never hesitate to even just call in and ask questions when you are concerned! Feel free to use my list of helpful Pregnancy, Baby, and Beyond resources for that!

Potty Training: The Ultimate Test of Patience

Mummy Confession: Even though this is my second time around the toilet training ring, it’s still just as painful as the first time.
toilet, toilet training, potty, potty training, toilet paper, messy, accidents, bathroom, toddler, milestones

“Mummy!! I need to poop!” She screams as she runs to the toilet. I’m, of course, in the middle of trying to eat my first meal of the day. Yes, it’s 1:00 PM, but its the first chance I’ve had to sit down. Among the treachery of a teething child and another who has decided today would be the day she would begin using the toilet, it’s a bit hard to get anything done.

It seems to be a cardinal rule of childhood that once mummy sits down, a child must either 1. Need to eat 2. Poop or need help in the toilet. 3. Injure themselves or others or 4. Need some other type of assistance. I’m not joking, though I wish I were. This rule can also be applied to when mum lays down her head after a long day. It’s exhausting.

So, back to the child training in the ways of using a toilet properly. She decides one day that she wants to start.

“Great,” I think, “this should be easy!” Oh mama, such a silly supposition.

We did the running back and forth to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so, but somewhere around the ten minute mark, she would wet her pants, and fail to use the toilet after. Many sighs and moans all around. This continues for the day, intermittently having a successful trip to the toilet or two. No worries, there’s always tomorrow.

It’s 10:30 am. The children are up again, and it’s Saturday. I barely got a wink of sleep because of a psychotic baby who decided sleep was his worst enemy. But alas, I am mum and the day must go on, potty training and all.

Now, with the fact that there are other children around, I obviously had to address a certain tiny tyrant in need of a sleep. He’s having many issues sleeping lately because of the teeth, so naturally it takes a good hour and a half to settle him enough to put down. Relief.

I hear strange noises in the bathroom. Oh please, no.

Tip-toeing down the hall to investigate the noise, I open the door to see the child in the process of training along with an accomplice, trying to clean up a stinky mess on the floor NEXT to the toilet. I sighed. I raised my voice. Then, I looked into the toilet.


Stuffed there was 3/4 a roll of unravelled toilet paper. Again, I’m not joking. I wish I was. The two were trying to cover their tracks and clean up the dirty mess and hide the evidence. No one had called for me, or their father, who was also in the house. I lost it. I yelled. And now, the baby was awake and I had a mess to clean.

Fortunately my husband heard the commotion and helped with the bathroom mess while I hosed down the child in the bathtub.

And that was just at 10:30am. Oh, what a weekend it would be!

These are the moments in potty training that you will look back on and laugh at, but it will probably be long after you calm down and clean up the mess. I have to remind myself that these moments are only a tiny speck in the timeline of her life, and while not all moments may be enjoyable, they are sure to create memories for life!

What stories do you have from toilet training? I’m sure mine isn’t the worst, though this is only the beginning!

If you are starting toilet training (potty training) with your child, be sure to check out here for a list of essentials and some extra resources!

Toilet Training Essentials

Mummy Confession: I get really frustrated with toilet training. toilet, toilet training, potty training, kids, miilestones, frustration, toilet, potty, toddlerToilet training/Potty training is the most rewarding and frustrating challenge in toddler life, especially when they insist they can do everything on their own. I’ve compiled a list of essentials that may help you as you enter into this battlefield. And watch your step! For signs that your child may be ready to start toilet training, start by reading here.

1. Toilet. Obviously. Whether you just use your normal toilet and help your child manage it, purchase a potty or potty seat to put on the toilet, you will need something for your child to use. We have a potty and a little seat that goes on the toilet to make it easier if we need to bring the potty with us to another room, just in case! We actually have one that is a 3-in-1 and can be put on the big toilet, on its own little seat, or just used as a step.

toilet, potty, training, toilet training, mickey potty
Image Credit: Amazon.com

2. Underwear. Or pull-ups. Or nothing. Some brave souls use the nappy-free method for training. We were not that adventurous, so we opted for thicker training underpants at night with plastic covers over top, and pull ups for overnight. 3. Steps. Your child, unless you are training over the age of 10, will probably be too short to get to the toilet or sink by themselves. You may want them to need you, but this will not always be the case. It is helpful for them to have a step to reach when they may possibly go without you around. (Cool product: steps attached to a potty seat! So you have both in one!)

steps, toilet, toilet training, potty, potty training, big kid, toddler, kids, safety
image Credit: Amazon.com

4. Toilet Paper/Flushable Wipes. NOT baby wipes. Always ensure you go by the recommendation on the packet, but we use flushable wipes for stinky messes only, as it’s a bit difficult to get everything with toilet paper for the child by themselves. We teach an “only one at a time” policy for flushing these, and make sure to mention how much toilet paper is appropriate, so you don’t wind up with 3/4 of  a roll inside.

5. Soap. For hand washing, of course!

6. Endless praise. Your child needs to hear they are doing well, and be endlessly encouraged after doing well especially! This can be given along with bribes.

7.  Rewards. This goes hand in hand with praise. But, I have a treat I give for every successful trip to the toilet. Sticker charts work very well, too! Reward for trips to the toilet, dry underpants, dry days/weeks, or going by themselves, and never stop telling them how great it is they are using the bathroom!

stickers, toilet training, rewards, potty training
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Be sure to get yourself a reward, too! It’s hard work trying to teach something like this and managing the accidents!

8. Patience. Like any other milestones, this one especially takes some patience. Maybe your child just isn’t ready? Patience. Maybe your child is just taking a while to learn? Patience. Maybe your child is just missing the cues seconds before and keeps having accidents? Patience.

Obviously, consult your doctor if you have concerns about your child in any way, but sometimes it is just time and patience needed. I hope these will help you as you embark on the journey of potty training.

For further resources, please check out these

My Virtual Medical Centre -Article on toilet training readiness, how to approach setbacks, etc.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network– article on toilet training.

Baby Center Resources for Toilet Training

Huggies– Downloadable Guide on Training and also a place to request free sample of Pull-Ups. (Or go here for the direct link to the free sample for US and Aus)