Friday, September 30, 2011

Ten Practical Baby Shower Gifts Under $50!

Baby-showers are supposed to be fun, happy affairs, but struggling to select that perfect gift can certainly take the wind out of your sails!  We've all seen the endless parade of cute, slogan-laden bibs and onesies (i.e. "Party at my crib - 3a.m.!," "Do I look like I was born yesterday?,"  etc.), and while they make for entertaining baby-shower gifts they are not always the most practical items for expectant parents.  So if you are looking for ideas for fun, practical, and useful baby-shower gifts under $50 (to go with that witty onesie!), check some of our faves!

Our Ten Favorite Practical Baby Shower Gifts Under $50
  1. HALO® SleepSack Cotton ( $19.00) Ideal for everything from naps to night-long slumbers!  Carries the gold seal from First Candle/SIDS Alliance!
  2. My Blue Bumbershoot Stroller Umbrella (Walmart $47.99) A perfect fit for any stroller, this oversized clip-on umbrella keeps you dry while it frees up hands to allow easy stroller manipulation!
  3. Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing Kit ( $34.95) The perfect way to take the peace of mind of home wherever you roam; features a myriad of childproofing devices and sturdy, temporary adhesive so installed pieces go on strong, yet come off cleanly when it's time to pack back up!
  4. Diaper Genie II (Walmart $34.32) Keep your nursery clean and fresh smalling with this ingenious diaper disposal system!
  5. Monkey Foot Designs Wetbags ( $8.50 - $50.00) The best way to store soiled bibs, burp cloths, wet swimsuits, cloth diapers and other wet items; its unique lining contains smells and prevents leakage - comes in tons of great fabrics and sizes (single or double pocket!).
  6. Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony Cozy Cart Cover ( $25.00) Keep germs at bay when you place your child in a public shopping cart with this adorable padded cart cover - offers 360-degree coverage!
  7. Sophie Giraffe ( $22.98) A durable, fun, natural, non-toxic, super-cushy teether and grasping toy. Very lightweight for easy manipulation by a baby.
  8. Cloud B Twilight Constellation Nightlight - Twilight Turtle ( $21.19) A brilliant turtle-shaped night-light that projects a sky full of stars (in blue, green, or amber) onto walls and ceiling - self-timed shut-off makes this a great "fall asleep" buddy!  Terrific for travel too!
  9. Diaper Cake (Sara 'N Dippity Creations $32.00) A cute and clever way to give the uber-practical gift of diapers along with loveable plush toys!
  10. Pacifier Pal ( $12.00) The best way to keep pacifiers within reach of little hands and safe from tumbles to the floor!   
 Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

Friday, September 23, 2011

Child Safety Month: In Case of Emergency!

September is Child Safety Month!  Until you have a toddler, it is hard to understand how many facets there are to keeping your littlest family members safe; car seats, childproofing (at home and on the go!), infant/child CPR classes, baby monitors, identification tags, cribs, toys, strollers - and the list goes on and on! 

image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

However, one of the most basic things you can do to keep your children safe is to create a comprehensive listing of all medical and emergency contact  information.  Print multiple copies so that you can post one on your refrigerator at home, pack one in your wallet for whenever you go out, and provide a copy to each of your children's caregivers (i.e. pre-school, after care, relatives, etc.).  Be sure to include:

Emergency Numbers:
  • Parent's cell phone numbers;
  • Parent's work phone numbers;
  • 911;
  • Non-emergency Police Department phone number;
  • Poison control phone number;
  • Fire department phone number;
  • Child's doctor's practice, name, and phone number;
  • Off-hours doctor's phone number;
  • Child's chart number;
  • Child's dentist's practice, name, and phone number;
  • Address, phone number, and directions to preferred hospital;
  • Emergency contact information for two people other than parents, including:
    • Name;
    • Phone number(s);
    • Relation.
Emergency Information:
  • Home address;
  • Mom's full name;
  • Dad's full name;
  • Child's full name;
  • Child's date of birth;
  • Any allergies, medications, or special conditions;
  • Insurance provider;
  • Insurance provider phone;
  • Insured name and ID;
  • Group ID;
  • Policy ID.
Travel-Tot is pleased to provide an easy-to-use Emergency Information Form here for our readers!  Having such information available all in one place in an easy-to-distribute format could be the difference between life and death, particularly when your child is under the care of someone who may not have all that information committed to memory!

Safe and happy September!
-Destination Mom

Friday, September 16, 2011

Destination: Camping!

image courtsey of wiangya/

The beauty of camping as a family is that it is affordable, engaging, and perfectly adaptable for families with children of any age!  A family camp-out can be as simple as pitching a tent in the backyard, building a fire pit for marshmallow roasting, and spending the night sleeping under the stars or as adventurous as exploring one of America's National Parks for a week! 

One of our family's favorite traditions is to camp-out in the backyard the first weekend after school starts.  We throw the tent up, bring out the sleeping bags, grill up some supper, and make a little fire pit for smores!  We do all sneak inside for bathroom breaks during the night and I usually end up sleeping inside (so the dog doesn't spend all night barking!) - but it just adds to the fun; my daughter breaks out the walkie talkies and once I'm inside she periodically "radios in for supplies" (i.e. snacks, glow sticks, books, toys, etc.) as the night wears on!
Below are some of the things we have done on our annual backyard camp-out that were a huge hit:
  • cookout (we find that campfires are ok for hot dogs, but our gas grill is really better for most other items; but we make sure to eat outdoors and everyone helps with the cooking!)
  • smores (the cornerstone of any successful camp-out according to my daughter!)
  • glow-sticks/bracelets/necklaces
  • flashlight hide and seek (instead of us hiding, we hide a prize!)
  • star gazing with a telescope (we have seen everything from comets to planets to the space station!)
  • scavenger hunt
  • storytelling/book reading
  • nature hunt (find bugs, make leaf rubbings, search the skies with binoculars for birds or bats - your imagination is your only limitation!)
Safe and happy camping!
-Destination Mom

Friday, September 9, 2011

Childproofing Tips: Home and Beyond!

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under, with more than a third of these injuries happening at home.  Every year, more than 3,000,000 unintentional injuries occur in the home to children (ages 14 and under) and result in emergency room visits; even more tragically, each day approximately six children die from injuries resulting from fires, burns, drownings, poisonings, choking, falls, suffocation, and strangulation in the home.  Many of these injuries can be prevented by simply taking the time to properly childproof your living space - whether you are at home or away.

Tips for Childproofing your Home:
Your home should be a safe, loving environment that your child can explore with minimal chance of incurring injury; and while vigilant supervision is the most important safety precaution you can take, it’s sometimes not enough or possible.  Below are some simple steps for making your home more "little-explorer" friendly and safe:
  • Install standard childproofing devices and guards (according to guidelines and instructions), including:
    • outlet plugs,
    • cabinet and drawer locks,
    • knob covers (stoves with controls on the front of the unit),
    • door guards and doorknob covers,
    • window stops,
    • window guards,
    • cord guards,
    • furniture straps and brackets,
    • corner guards, and
    • stair gates (while pressure mounted gates can deter children, wall-mounted gates are more effective at preventing injuries from accidental falls).
  • Install and check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, and be sure to change the batteries in each unit regularly.
  • Set hot water heater thermostats to a maximum of 120 degrees, if you do not have control over the heating element (apartment dwellers, etc.) install an anti-scald device, which is relatively inexpensive and can be installed you or by a plumber.
  • Keep pools enclosed by a locked fence that cannot be climbed to prevent accidental access (hot-tubs should be covered and locked when not in use). Be sure there is a perimeter alarm to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.

Tips for Childproofing Away from Home:
Investing just fifteen minutes to inspect and childproof your guest room can considerably decrease the odds of your child injuring themselves on unsecured doors, outlets, drawers, sharp corners, or cords. Here are some simple steps you can take to make your home-away-from-home safe and relaxing:
  • Get down on your hands and knees and explore the room from your toddler’s perspective; be sure to thoroughly check under beds and furniture for stray pills, buttons, pins, or other items that could pose a poisoning or choking hazard.
  • Make sure that if you are using a hotel-provided crib that it is up to standards with the Consumer Product Safety Commission: slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart and all sides should be fixed (no drop sides).
  • Whether using a hotel-provided crib or a port-a-crib from home, remove pillows, toys, or blankets that may cause suffocation or strangulation.
  • Never leave your child alone in the bathroom.
  • Unplug electrical appliances (i.e. hairdryer, razor, etc.) and store them in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • Ensure that the bathtub floor has a non-slip surface or that there are non-slip mats or decals available.  
  • Keep hazardous products out of the reach of children (i.e. mouthwash, shampoo, cosmetics, medications, etc.).
  • Bring and install some basic childproofing gear (such as the items found in the Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing Kit).
    • Secure blind cords.
    • Keep low cabinet doors shut with straps.
    • Secure corner guards onto furniture.
    • Place pinch guards on interior swinging doors.
    • Install guards on interior sliding doors.
    • Insert outlet covers into unused outlets.
    • If your little traveler is curious about the toilet, be sure to place a doorknob protector on the handle or install a locking strap if the door has a lever handle.
  • Ensure that all locks and latches on exterior doors are in working order and secure them to prevent unsupervised access to stairs, balconies, and terraces.
  • Keep furniture away from doors and windows to prevent access to locks and accidental falls.
  • Finally, be sure to arrange the furniture in a way that allows for some play space; a room full of “no-nos” will result in bored and irritated toddlers, which will lead to stressed and anxious parents!
 Safe and happy exploring!
-Destination Mom

Friday, September 2, 2011

Family Car-Trip Travel Products We Love!

Travel-Tot is dedicated to helping keep children safe away from home; and while we are proud to have introduced to the market the first temporary Travel Childproofing Kit, we are also thrilled to have discovered the following products that we feel could also help make travelling with young children easier and less stressful! Check out these great products:

We love this innovative, safe, compact, and easy to pack seat that can be used for children between 40 and 80 pounds. A huge hit in Europe, the Bubble Bum inflatable booster seat meets the crash testing USA FMVSS213 standards in its inflated and deflated state; a great product for both travel and to keep on hand for emergency situations where a booster seat may be needed, but too bulky to keep a spare on hand. We especially love that it deflates to virtually the size of a hand towel for storage and packing!

We love this travel tray;  it's a play station for the road! This adorable tray provides your little road-warrior with a great surface for drawing, reading, playing and more; helping to keep your child entertained in the car!  Featuring a mesh pocket for crayons, markers and more, built-in side walls to help keep items from sliding off tray, and a built-in spill-proof snack holder, it's the perfect way to keep everything contained yet easily accessible!

Safe and happy travels!

-Destination Mom