Here’s a truth to parenthood that isn’t in the parenting books- having kids cramps your style. Chances are you’re not going to be pulling all-nighters or jumping on a last minute flight to Europe with a toddler in tow. Instead you get to have a new, awesome style that includes your kid, and it can be even more fun. We’re only two years and two kids into this crazy world of parenting but we’ve taken our littles on about ten road trips, thirty flights, and dozens of concerts, boating trips, kayaking, and so much more. I want to raise my kids with a sense of adventure, not memories of staying home with a baby sitter while we were out having fun. Here’s my list of the five best items to help you be moms and dads who rock and want to raise awesome little people-
1. Headphones/ Both of my babies first concerts were within the first three months of their life. You don’t realize how incredibly loud concerts are until you have a sweet little babe with new ears with you. We bought the Baby Banz when we took Sawyer to his first concert and they obviously worked because he slept though the whole thing! It was the icing on the cake when the venue manager brought us coupons for free refreshments because she was happy to see parents protecting their parents ears. We used them during the 4th of July fireworks and at a Sprint Car race too. These are so awesome to have on hand if you want baby to come along to anything noisy.
2. Baby Carrier/ This might be my most used piece of baby gear. I put my kids in our carrier to grocery shop, run through the airport, go to concerts, everything. I have the Baby Bjourn, which my babes have loved. Here is the newest Baby Bjourn and here is the one that we have (We also have a cover which has been awesome when it’s cold out, it’s like a blanket/hoodie that stays on when they’re in the Bjourn). The Ergo carrier is also really popular, and comes in really cute patterns. If there is nothing else on this list that you buy, get a baby carrier!
3. Life Jacket/ We take our kids swimming, kayaking, boating, exploring, etc regularly and it is a blast! There’s not many things I love more than seeing how happy my kids are on the boat or anywhere near water, I can’t imagine not bringing them along. If water’s your thing, a good life-jacket is a must.
4. A great stroller (or two) / While I have some good single strollers, I am in love with my double stroller. We take it running, to the zoo, museums; I even use it to bring groceries in from the car. It makes so many of our trips easier. There are so many options out there, and most parents seem to end up with multiple strollers, but once you find one you like, you’ll know. My requirements- cup holders/food tray, can run or walk with, sun shade, fits through a single door frame, folds up pretty small, and easy to open. (This is the double jogging stroller we have. I don’t think there are words for how much I love this stroller.) I have a different stroller I use for the airport, it is light, super small and opens/folds with one hand in a breeze, which is important since I’m usually flying alone with both boys. The exact model I have isn’t available anymore, but here is Jeep’s newer model, which looks nearly identical.
Passed out after a day at the beach
5. Good Car Seats/ How are you gonna pack up your family on an awesome spontaneous road-trip if you don’t have car seats? We try to get ones that we know will last a long time and have good padding. It really does make a difference. In the convertible and booster car seats, I always make sure they have cup holders for putting drinks and snacks in. Never underestimate the power of bribing a toddler with snacks on a 14-hour drive.
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