As you may know, last week we returned from our first official vacation as a family of four. I know not everyone feels comfortable traveling yet – but I wrote a little bit about that here in our last post – and because Eric and I are now fully vaccinated and were at the time of travel, we felt it was the right decision for our family.
Anyway– it was a great trip. It’s funny, because if you ask Eric, he’ll tell you it was a bit stressful and didn’t feel like a vacation. I’m sure all the moms reading this are rolling their eyes right now – because I’ve felt this way ever since having even one child haha. Vacations with little kids are not really relaxing “vacations” – they are family “trips” LOL. That being said, it was truly a blessing to get to see Shep experience the trip – he had so much fun swimming in the pool, building sandcastles with his cousins, and running in and out of the ocean and around the beach. Of course it had it’s stressors – I was constantly nervous about him being around the water and was a drill sergeant about having his water floaties on anytime we weren’t in the room, making sure neither kid got sunburnt, keeping them both hydrated, well rested, etc. But it was 1000% worth it and we’ll have wonderful memories for years to come.
There were 5 items that we used on this trip that ended up being Godsends. We tried to keep our packing as minimal as possible – because as you know, with little kids you start packing and all of a sudden it looks like you’re actually moving across the country. I tried to be as strategic as possible about what we brought – and these ended up being our absolute favorites and things we would definitely bring again AND that we can use in our everyday lives.
Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other must-haves in the comments below!!
5 Items I'm Loving Right Now for Traveling with Two Kids
You've probably seen this contraption 100 times. I always thought it was interesting but never felt the need to purchase it until we decided to go on our family vacation this year with both kids. We would be staying in a small two bedroom condo, so my thought was that we needed some sort of separator so that the kids could actually share one of the bedrooms (this was wishful thinking LOL). Anyway - I wanted something that would keep Shep out and away from Scottie's sleep space - to ensure she had a safe sleeping environment - so I started looking more into this thing.
Let me tell you - I have been MISSING OUT, this thing is AMAZING. Especially if you have limited places for kids to sleep. It's like it's own little room you can put anywhere you can fit a pack and play. We originally had it in Shep's room - but they were waking each other up - so we ended up moving it into a bathroom and they both slept perfectly after that LOL.
IDK about yours, but my kids need a dark environment and a loud sound machine if they're going to sleep well - and this tent was a Godsend. Scottie slept so well in it - it was like she was in her own little world. I also loved it because there's a little pocket at the top that we could pop her video monitor into - so I could see and hear her very clearly (more on the monitor below). You can also put toddler air mattresses in there - so it could be used for Shep as well in the future.
From a safety standpoint - make sure you do your research. The description states that anyone younger than 4 months should not use. This made me nervous since Scottie is approximately 5 months old, so I made sure when we moved her from the bedroom to the bathroom it was well ventilated and air conditioned. I also made sure to open up the vented flaps it has on the side, and once we all went to bed later in the evenings, I'd unzip the top part to make 100% sure there was enough air circulation. Once she gets older I won't feel the need to do this, but felt compelled to share this info nonetheless.
I got a lot of DMs about this after posting a few pictures from our trip - including one in the airport where Scottie was wearing this. We bought two of these bucket hats - one for Scottie and one for Shep. The shield is removable and attached by velcro, so it was nice because we could use the bucket hat by itself for Shep on the beach, and then for Scottie we only had this on her with the shield when we were in the airport. It gave me much more peace of mind since she isn't old enough for a mask - and it definitely served it's purpose. They don't sell them in baby sizes, so I just got the smallest size for her and it was a little big, but she was perfectly content.
The crazy (and disgusting) part was how just how dirty it was after walking through the airport. Even if we weren't living in COVID times, I don't hate the idea of this thing for young kiddos in super crowded areas!
Remember how I mentioned my kids only sleep well if we've got a super dark room? Well - we had Scottie taken care of in the Slumberpod but I also needed a solution for Shep, otherwise I knew he'd be up at the crack of dawn. I actually bought these curtains a few months ago and have been SO happy with them. You can stick them on virtually ANY window because they have suction cups on both the long and wide sides. We used them for Shep's room on vacation and they were very easy to pack and set up. I also use them everyday in our basement guest room because Scottie takes some naps down there during the day when our nanny is here. I wish I would've known about these sooner - they've been REALLY clutch!
This will forever be my favorite pack and play. We've had it since Shep was born and it's HANDS DOWN the easiest playard we've ever setup / taken down. Whenever we use a different brand for whatever reason (if we're visiting someone who has a different one or if we use one that a hotel might offer) we get SO frustrated trying to set up and get things locked into place. It's maddening when it doesn't work every time! IYKYK.
My girlfriend (who has twins) recommended it to me when I was pregnant. She said that her husband had suggested a less expensive pack and play, and so she told him to practice setting the cheaper one up in the store (Buy Buy Baby) and then had him do the same with the 4moms. The differences were HUGE. It literally glides open and shut in two seconds flat, and is SUPER easy to pack up and travel with. It's also easy if you're by yourself with kids running around because you can do it with one hand. Needless to say, they went with the 4moms, as did we.
We use this for Scottie's naps when she's with our nanny in our basement guest room, too, so it's gotten a lot of mileage in the past 3 years and is still going strong!
Okay - I am in LOVE with this monitor and I've never said that about another monitor. It's very hard to find one that has everything you want - am I right? I bought it to use as a travel monitor and am seriously considering using this as our full time monitor for both kids. We have semi-"fancy" ones in their rooms today - (which I don't share due to privacy reasons) - and those work well and great - but this monitor covers all bases and is super inexpensive compared to the other ones we bought.
The two cameras allow you to put one in each kid's room or sleeping area. Scottie's fit PERFECTLY into her Slumberpod monitor pocket and the image was extremely clear. You can swap between both cameras from the parent device, and you can have the sound constantly on (even if you turn the video screen off). It also tells you the temperature for each room the camera is in - which also helped me feel better with the Slumberpod because I could see that it wasn't getting too hot in there. There is also setting that will alarm if it exceeds or drops below certain temps - so if in the middle of the night it gets really hot - you can opt for it to notify you. Love, Love, LOVE this monitor. Highly recommend.
Ashley and her husband Ryan live in the suburbs of Chicago with their two daughters Palmer (5) and Remi (2). In 2018, Ashley left behind her corporate career selling software to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She now works part-time as a Dermatology nurse, allowing her to do the work she is passionate about while also spending time with her daughters.
In her free time, Ashley can be found spending time with friends and family, geeking out about skincare, reading, or writing. She tries to be very honest when it comes to keeping a candid and raw lens on motherhood so less moms feel alone in the best (but sometimes hardest) journey of their lives!
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