Back when Mia was 1-2 years old and we didn’t have a helper yet, I was always dying to go out to get some air, see some people, and have some much needed adult conversation. But every time an opportunity came, I’d all of sudden feel lazy and prefer to stay home.
My silly reason? It takes a lot of effort to leave the door! Aside from getting the baby dressed, there are so many things we need to pack! Diapers, wipes, milk, extra clothes, burp cloths, anti-mosquito patches, sunscreen, sun hat, snacks, the list goes on and on.
Then, once we reached our destination, say a restaurant, we could never eat our food as enjoyably as before. There was always something that the baby needs. Mia would either drop the spoon, or the fork, or the veggies I lovingly prepared, taste the tissue, seek attention, or soil her diapers.
On top of that, it was also a challenge to keep her in place. She would cry and would want to get out of her chair after 15 minutes of being seated. Okay maybe 10. Oh, sometimes just 5!
So this post is to make life a bit easier for you if you are in this stage. I am adding 9 more things to pack that are worth every space in your plump bag.
Whether you want to keep your child entertained, or you’re at church and you need to keep them silent, or you need to stop a tantrum that is about to erupt, take a look at these items that have saved us a lot of times.
Just make sure these toys are not available at home and your baby only sees them when you are out and about. That way, there is always the element of surprise and excitement.
A friendly reminder also that babies and toddlers always need adult supervision. These suggestions assume that you are with your child and you just need to distract or keep the child entertained for a while. These toys have been very useful to us but it is not safe to leave your child unattended with them.
Here we go.
1. ASSORTED MINI-BALLOONS
We always have balloons.
Stuck in hopeless traffic and baby is restless? Blow her a balloon. Baby gets bored with blue? Give red. Fighting toddlers while you’re in a family gathering? Hand each one a balloon. Could not take your boy out of the playground without crying? Wave a balloon.
While it’s not the best and recommended solution, it always works. They’re small, handy, and not too distracting to other people, but super effective and entertaining.
Just try not to over use. 😉 It’s a distraction tool and you don’t want your kid to expect one all the time.
2. KEY CHAINS, CELLPHONE CHARMS, & POMPOM HAIR TIES
I learned that a variety of TINY TOYS that don’t occupy much space is better than bringing one favorite toy.
Colorful butterflies, starfishes, guitars, slippers, and letter key chains – they all look interesting to a child. I often stop by thrift stores or souvenir shops to find some baby-appealing ones and buy 4 or 5 different kinds for variety.
Cartoon characters are also a hit. Inside Out, Minions, Mickey Mouse, Dora – whoever they’re fascinated with or have recently watched will surely be amusing to their eyes.
Choose the ones with no detachable parts or pointed areas that baby can poke their eyes with and make sure you clean them before handing them over.
And if you don’t trust that your kid won’t gobble the whole thing up or you wish to keep it from falling, keep your finger in the ring or inside the string and just extend your arm over while your toddler plays with it. You can then grab a few spoonfuls with your other hand, finish venting out, or at least listen to what your friend is saying.
Oh, and if you don’t mind spending, here are some cute toy key chains from Fisher Price that I recently saw.
Video source: Vat19.com