5 items that make car travel easier! April 18 2014

With many of you traveling this weekend and summer around the corner, many families will hit the road in their cars this year.  With my parents living 3 hours away from us, my kids are somewhat used to a road trip.  I have a few toys that we keep in the car, so on these trips, even though the toys aren’t new and shiny, they are hardly played with, so the kids are excited. Here are a few of our favorite items for the car:

1. A doodle board - I started out buying cheaper, smaller versions, and they broke.  So, I splurged and got a nicer one.  I love this Fisher Price one - it is travel sized, and is perfect to hold on small laps.  To eliminate fighting, I got two.  My kids draw pictures, practice writing letters, and their favorite is when I write letters/numbers/shapes for them to name.   

2. vtech ABC text & go - I am not a huge fan of toys that make noise in the house.  So, we keep them in the car. Both of my kids have this and I like it - it is interactive, has a few different letter and number games - words that start with each letter, guessing which letter comes at the beginning of a word, counting, etc.

3. A water bottle - I like the safe sporter water bottle - I love that it is stainless steel, it keeps drinks cold, and, a feature my kids love is the colorful silicon grip.  We have had issues with other stainless steel cups and my kids not wanting to hold them because they were too cold.  This cup was the perfect solution.  I also like the wide mouth, so it is easy to add a regular ice cube if needed.  And, because no one wants a spill in the car, the sport top is perfect!

4. Zutano blankets - My husband likes to have the a/c on high, so sometimes the kids get cold, or just like to cuddle with a blanket.  So, I keep a blanket for each ready to go.  I like the zutano ones because they are warm and thick, but aren’t too heavy and bulky.  The fun patterns are hard to resist!  

5. Lastly, a couple of books.  Again, we have a stash of books that we keep in the car, so they are ‘new’ because they aren’t looked at every day, but I will also grab another 2-3 per kid on a topic or theme that they are into at the moment.  

Where does all this stuff go?  I looked into ‘car organizers’ and thought they were too expensive - a cheaper option was to purchase a cleaning caddy - it perfectly holds toys and books.

 Safe travels!

Erica Young has a MA in Early Childhood Education from New York University. She is currently a stay at home mom to a 4 year old pony loving ballerina and a 2 year old metrocard holding bus driver.



Erica Young has a MA in Early Childhood Education from New York University. She is currently a stay at home mom to a 4 year old pony loving ballerina and a 2 year old metrocard holding bus driver.

“The Car Seat Lady” helped me April 15 2013


                           Wrong way                       Right Way


You may have heard about the recent car seat recommendations that say to keep your child in the rear facing position until at least age two, or until they hit the maximum weight or height requirements for that position.

My son Charlie is 20 months and because our car is quite old we could only put his seat in one position and frankly, this new requirement was causing me to have around the clock anxiety. One morning while reading my favorite parenting blog, I saw a great post about Dr. Alisa Baer aka ”The Car Seat Lady.” Dr. Baer is a practicing pediatrician who also happens to have a second job as an advocate and expert on keeping children safe while in their car seats. I wrote Dr. Baer a note explaining that our car was practically vintage and how my son was seated–forward facing behind the driver. To be honest, I thought she would write back saying that Charlie was in the right position for the make of the car we have. I was wrong.

Not only was he in the wrong position––as an only child, he should have been in the center which is 43 percent safer than the side, explained Dr. Baer. And should be rear facing.* See pictures of the “wrong” (left) and “right” (right) ways, below:

Since she doesn’t live too far away we made an appointment to meet over the weekend. With toddler and husband in tow we trekked over the bridge to meet with someone who, I have to say, is one of the most important people that I could possibly have met regarding my son’s safety. Dr. Baer gave me and my husband the advice, direction and help we so desperately needed. Dr. Baer is an encyclopedia of car seat safety knowledge; she is also a second-generation safety expert. If  you have any questions regarding this new recommendation please click here.  The site has everything you need to educate yourself as well as a great video demonstration about how this new recommendation works. She strongly recommends that every parent visit SeatCheck.org to find a trained technician in their area to get the installation checked-even if they are sure they have done it right.

*Dr. Baer’s advice is for those with two children, one who is forward facing, one who is rear facing. If your car seats can be installed securely side by side the forward facing child in the center and the rear facing is on the side.

Originally Posted on Motherburg, 2011, written by Donna Ladd

Bumbershoot No Hold Stroller Umbrella February 13 2013

I can’t believe I just found out about the Bumbershoot! For the last 3 years I’ve struggled with holding my umbrella and pushing a stroller or else just wearing a hat and raincoat but no more. Now we all get to stay dry in the rain.
The Bumbershoot is here to save the day. The umbrella attaches to all types of strollers and the height of the umbrella adjusts to your height.
Bumbershoots are available at Wee Babe and online!

Photo: Fun Finds for Famillies