Monday, October 5, 2009

A Puppet on the Hand is Worth Two in the Diaper Bag

These sweet puppets were a homemade gift to my son from his Great Aunt. They are a big hit. They play peekaboo during take off, they talk about what is happening during the flight, they share snack, they take naps. They have saved Mama's tush on several occasions.

Hand and finger puppets are a great diversion for the under three set, especially ones with moving mouths. If you can find some like these that are flat, they pack really well. Even bath puppets are great, neat texture and usually small and compact enough to stick in a toy bag.

My littlest one likes his finger puppet, too. He's really into bugs and he loves to make it fly.

Ages: 0-4

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sassy Baby Mealtime on the Go Feeding Set

I am writing my first review about this Sassy set because it's indispensable. I am unabashedly OCD about keeping all the parts together because I cannot fly without it.

Each piece has a leak-proof lid and the spoon snaps right in to the lid. The lids can be difficult to keep track of on the plane with wiggly toddlers who like to throw things, so I did mark it down slightly on the frazzle meter. But having a cute, all in one, feeding system that's leak-proof soooo makes up for it. And it's small enough to pack into a toddler backpack so Jr. can carry his own lunch.

I usually pack frozen peas in one of the smaller containers (yes, the green one, OCD again...) to keep the entire thing cold until meal time.

Price: $5.99
Frazzle Meter: .5 out of 10

Monday, August 3, 2009

Airplane Travel Sucks

Let's just get that out in the open, shall we?

Between being inevitably late to the airport, unloading car seats from the car, trying to shove those dang car seats into the x-ray machine, schlepping a kid or three + two carry-ons a piece + the dang car seats to the farthest possible terminal in the entire airport, and then oh yeah, the flight itself it's a wonder we don't all land in the throes of travel-induced anxiety attacks.

Add to that recent headliners about flight attendants kicking kids off the plane for throwing tantrums or (horrors) nursing we get the feeling that the only people we have to help us (isn't that what "attendant" means?) aren't even on our side.

When I got married I moved 6,000 miles away from my family. We then wised up a little and cut the distance in half. We've now got two kids and make the pilgrimage at least twice a year (and I do mean pilgrimage we're talkin' an hour to the airport, all the security rigamarole, 5+ hours in a plane, and 3 more hours in a car, and on the way back it's another hour for headwinds). That means that for two very long days each vacation I have had it up to my toddler mom ponytail with anxious, over-excited children.

I have learned a few survival tricks that I thought others might benefit from including quiet toys to keep the pre-video game age kids entertained, snack and lunch ideas (because some airlines aren't even offering free pretzels any more), and I thought I might do a couple of product reviews, too.

If you are about to embark on your first airplane trip with a baby, good luck and godspeed! If you are a seasoned vet like me looking for a few new ideas, good luck and godspeed! If you are a nanny who likes to take long flights with stranger's children, who are you and will you take my kids? They're great, I swear. But those blankety-blank car seats...