Category: Parenting

The 10 Best Board Books for Toddlers

I got lucky with a son who absolutely loves to read and look at books, but that love of reading doesn’t seem to translate into an appreciation for keeping the books in good condition.  So, for the time being, we’re only using board books so that he can use them however he likes (and for the most part, they have proven to be indestructible).  Luckily, it has turned out that board books aren’t that expensive either, so I’ve been able to get most of them in the $3 range on Amazon.  

So if you’re looking for a good gift idea for your toddler or just need some new inspiration to get them using new words, try out these board books that have been big winners in our house:
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8 Space-Saving Baby Products for Travelers and Small Home Dwellers

As small home dwellers and frequent travelers, my husband and I have developed somewhat of an expertise for getting around with our baby.  When you’re in close quarters with a little one, you basically have no choice but to be creative (or depend on the creativity of others), so we’ve come across some amazing space-saving baby products and gadgets that make life waaaaay easier.

Some of these were amazing gifts, some we discovered out of desperation, and some were just plain dumb luck.  But ALL of them have proved to be essential and/or quite a relief in our day-to-day lives or travels.
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The Please Touch Museum: Philadelphia’s #1 Destination for Toddlers

I knew about The Please Touch Museum long before I was even pregnant with my son (my husband and I had our wedding there!), but I was pretty sure it was best for 4, 5, or 6 year olds, so I had pushed off taking my toddler. Holy moly, was I ever wrong.  This place is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for toddlers.  If I was closer, I would be there every single week.  Since heading there for the first time with him, I’ve been on a hunt for other children’s museums that compare and haven’t found anything even remotely close.

So if you’re in the area or live in the suburbs like I do, you need to make sure you take your toddler to the Please Touch Museum the second they’re comfortable walking.  There are so many things to do with little guys (and older too) that I guarantee you’ll want to come back again and again.

Related post: 15 Philadelphia Day Trips for Your Toddler & Preschooler

Here are some of the highlights:

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10 Amazing Perks of Breastfeeding a Toddler

Even though it’s becoming more and more mainstream to be breastfeeding a toddler, I’m still surprised by how many people find it shocking.  Breastfeeding certainly has a lot of challenges, so for some moms there just isn’t the option to continue.  But that’s different.  If you can keep breastfeeding and want to keep breastfeeding then you should keep breastfeeding.  It just makes logical sense.  But, more importantly, there are some unbelievably amazing perks to breastfeeding (especially past the age of 1) that everyone seems to overlook.  

So in case you’re considering it yourself (or are wondering why the weirdo on the park bench is nursing her 2 year old), here’s a list of all the amazing perks of breastfeeding a toddler:

Related post: 10 Reasons to KEEP Breastfeeding

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Why Every Mom Deserves to Have a Roomba in Her Home

I’m obsessed with my Roomba.  So much so that sometimes I think I should have one for each room in my house. It doesn’t even bother me that I’m about to give you 9 amazing reasons to fall in love with a vacuum cleaner because honestly, it’s that great.  I still need and use my beloved Dyson for heavy duty work, but now we’re like a 3 person/machine/robot team that vacuums the whole house together.

So why in the world is the Roomba so amazing??  Let me tell you. 🙂

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The Baby Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bought…And Definitely Didn’t Need

I’m definitely not a minimalist (though I wish I was).  In fact, I probably carry more traits of a hoarder than I do of a minimalist.  Yet I STILL found that there were quite a few baby products that I just didn’t need, wish I didn’t have, or was so unbelievably grateful that I DIDN’T get.  I mean, these little babies come with a ton of stuff. And in my case, my son rarely left my arms, so what was the point of half of them? At one point his room had literally turned into a storage facility for the overabundance of his “things”, while the stuff he actually needed just moved into my space.

Related post: The Baby Products You Actually Want on Your Baby Registry

So to save you the trouble (and money), here are the things you may not actually need to buy:

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10 Reasons You SHOULD Fly with Your Baby in First Class

Last week, my husband and I did the unthinkable and flew from California to Philadelphia with our 2-year old…in first class. We were well aware that having a baby on our lap in these premium seats would be taboo, but honestly it feel like a baby anywhere on a plane is taboo – so what’s the difference?

Well, let me tell you right here and now – there is a difference.  A huge difference.  And not just for our comfort and our baby’s comfort, but for the whole entire plane.  When you can keep your baby happy, it will make everyone around you happy.  When our plane landed at the end of our trip, the patrons around us stood up and actually congratulated us on a perfectly silent flight – they actually congratulated us. Now that was a scenario I hadn’t envisioned ahead of time.

So before you book your next flight with your baby in tow, please please please consider these reasons for opting for first class tickets.  I promise, you will not regret it.

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9 Reasons to Take Your Toddler to the Jersey Shore’s Cape May Zoo

In my opinion, each and every day is the best day to be at the Jersey Shore.  I don’t care if it’s raining or sweltering or whether the mosquitos are biting.  The bay and ocean are always in view and there’s something intoxicating about the salt air.

Needless to say, it is an amazing place to take your family, but there are days where you just need a break from the beach and sun.  Luckily there are tons of things to do, one of which is the Cape May Zoo.  It used to be a second thought for me, but now that I have a toddler in tow I will certainly be making regular trips.  I’m telling you from experience, it is one of the best places along the Jersey Shore to take your toddler for a morning or afternoon visit.

Here’s why:

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A Guide to Camden, NJ’s Adventure Aquarium with Your Toddler

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our 1 ½ year old son to the Adventure Aquarium (aka Camden Aquarium to the locals) to meet some friends who also had a toddler on their hands (2 years old). We weren’t quite sure what to expect with him, but were pleasantly surprised by how engaging the aquarium was for such little guys! They’ve definitely worked hard to reach different age groups and it was refreshing to find something fun for my little guy (even the local playground is too tough for him).

Bottom line, we’ll definitely be back again and I would certainly recommend the trip to anyone in need of entertainment for a young toddler.

Related post: 15 Philadelphia Day Trips for Your Toddler & Preschooler

Here’s everything you need to know:
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How to Make Edible Finger Paint

Entertaining a toddler can be easy or hard depending on your level of creativity and patience for their odd interests. A bag of rice may hold their attention for 20 minutes, while the $50 toy sitting in the corner only makes them cry. My baby’s favorite toy is still a tupperware container despite various attempts to sway him with Fisher Price’s newest gadget.

In the end, you still want to expose them to new wonders and watch them discover something for the first time. When my friend suggested an edible finger paint get together, I was definitely excited for the outdoor activity. This was my little one’s first paint experience and I must say, it was an adorable act to watch. (more…)