It’s hard to believe that we’ve been parents of a baby and toddler for four months now! The time really does fly even faster when you have two little ones. While we are still pretty quarantined in the house due to flu/cold season, we’ve adventured out a bit to a few places recently…and in turn, learned a LOT! Before I had Rebecca, I could put Levi in the car and head out to meet Josh for lunch pretty effortlessly and easily. Now that we have an infant, getting out the door is a bit more complicated. We’ve made a few trips to my parents’ house just a few miles away, the Marina where our boat is docked and of course…who can forget those Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks’s runs that keep this mom sane and caffeinated? Heading out the door with a baby and a toddler isn’t easy, but I’ve learned 5 things that have made our life a bit easier and they’ve kept me a bit saner these days.
5 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Your Baby and Toddler Anywhere
Make a game plan. Seriously, where are you going? How long will you be gone? If we are just running to grab breakfast and eat in the car, then back home…I don’t need a full diaper bag, full face of makeup and the kids dressed like they came out of a J.Crew catalog. PJ’s, a bit of BB cream and a couple of diapers just in case will do the job! If we are going to be gone for a bit longer, I make sure the diaper bag is fully stocked with snacks, diapers, wipes and a spare outfit for both kids just in case. Murphy’s Law of parenting says that for each time you forget to pack a spare outfit, the baby will inevitably have a blow out.
Keep your vehicle stocked.This is something I learned early on with Levi. I keep a diaper bag in the car. I keep wipes, Levi’s Epipen, diapers, and a few toys in this bag. If we are out and I have forgotten to pack a full diaper bag, I know that I have at least the necessities. This also frees up my hands to carry Rebecca down to the car instead of trying to juggle a diaper bag, baby and toddler if I am taking them somewhere myself. Other great things to keep in your vehicle: a pump bottle of hand sanitizer (I keep one in my driver’s door, great for when I get back in the car from gas stations, etc.), umbrella, a spare small blanket for the baby, a cloth diaper (great to use as a changing pad or in case there is a blow out to clean up messes, etc.), napkins and a few extra straws.
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Check the weather. Since I stay at home with the kids, I am blessed enough to be able to set my own schedule 99% of the time. If we are heading out, I check the weather…pouring down rain and less than ideal driving conditions? Let’s postpone the outing for a bit. If we are doing something outside, like the Marina trip, I make sure I have blankets and jackets for the kids in case it is chilly. Same goes for sunscreen if we will be outdoors (another great thing to keep in your vehicle all the time!).
Leave Them at Home. Not by themselves, obviously. However, if your spouse/partner/mom/dad/babysitter, etc. is available and can keep the kids at the house while you run out for a bit, it can keep you a bit saner. You get a little alone time (which we all need!) and you can run in and out of places a bit faster than if you have the kids with you. I tend to use this tactic for shopping and if I need to run to the grocery store. We utilize Wal-Mart pick up all the time also which cuts down on grocery store runs (you can get $10 off of your first order here!).
Check Your Baby Gear. This one is super important for us. I’m a car seat “nerd”. I am constantly checking our little one’s straps to ensure they are in the right place, tight enough/not too tight, that the seat is in the correct position, etc. You can truly never be too careful. The Chicco Fit2 is our favorite car seat for Rebecca. It grows with her so that she can stay in the same seat until she’s up to 2 years old. It has a two stage base that allows you to adjust it from infant to toddler setting easily while still keeping your little one safe and secure.
By now, you all know how much I love Chicco products. Levi is still in his Chicco NextFit car seat and I wouldn’t have it any other way! We also love the Chicco BravoFor2 Stroller (pictured above & below), it’s a MUST if you are taking both baby and toddler out – you can stroll around with your little ones knowing they are safe and secure, plus this stroller has AMAZING storage for parents!
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