Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Carry Me To The Park - Pam Guide

Let the park adventures begin! 

I remember being a new mom excited to get out of the house for the first time… Eventually, I couldn’t wait to move on to the big leagues…aka taking baby to the park. When it’s your first baby, you tend to over pack and bring most of the house with you on your excursions, however, you quickly realize that all you need are the essentials (Food, Drink, Toys, and Safety). Here are my go-to items for the park/outdoor fun (spring/summer edition).

I. Sunscreen

As a parent of a super fair baby, I’m always searching for safe and healthy sunscreen (no chemicals and easy application). I used the website EWG's Guide to Sunscreen to check out which are great for baby and mama. Here's what I found:

  1. Badger Brand  -  This is my go to brand. Very safe and awesome ingredients. They make a baby, kid, and adult version, but really baby can use any of the three (I use the baby and kid version for my 18 month old but if for some reason I only see the adult on in site I will use it on him. They make a face-stick kid version which is great too!
  2. Thinkbaby  -  I happen to like this company and was very pleased with the sunscreen. It’s actually a little thinner than the Badger brand so application was a bit easier. I’ve used it myself and like it. 

II. Hats

For my family, sun hats are necessary. Once again, I have a very fair child, however. It never hurts to have extra coverage against UV rays (Make sure the hat has SPF coverage)

  1. i play  -  I like this brand and they have a lot of hats to choose from and are comfortable for the kids.

III. Water bottles

Hydration is key! We’ve been having one super hotttt month of July and making those kids drink is very important.

  1. Thinkbaby  -  Once again, a great brand. I’m not a fan of plastic and they have stainles steel containers, which are great.  
  2. Life factory  -  These are glass bottle with a rubber exterior so keep it from breaking when it falls. They have straw caps which are great! 

IV. Activities

Even though the swings, playground, slides, etc. should be enough to occupy the kiddos, sometimes they just want to be in the park and play with outdoor items. If you have a non-mobile baby always keep a blanket in your stroller or diaper bag (I love the Aden and Anais brand dream blankets). Here are some helpful items/tips:

  1. Bubbles  - Stock up! Bubbles are great for all ages and never get old. They’re an inexpensive and fun (you can make them yourself too). 
  2. “Clean” Painting  - Bring a paintbrush, paper, and a cup of water. Kids can paint using the water, which means no mess! Also, they can work on their fine motor skills. 
  3. Soft Books    -I’m always looking for an opportunity to read to my son (if your child isn’t really mobile yet this is for you). Packing a soft book is a great way to keep little babies occupied. 
  4. Balls  - My son loves to kick and throw balls all day long. It seems like a no brainer, but keep one in the stroller for those times he/she will ask you for one and you don’t have to remember it (it’s always on hand).

V. Snacks

My toddler is a human garbage disposal and eats CONSTANTLY, which can be pretty normal for this age (18 months) since they are growing like crazy. The easiest thing to pack is usually fruit, raisins, crackers, or remade snacks. My advice is to try and pack/organize your food for the following day the night before. That way, you can just throw it into a container and go.

Recommended snack items:

  1. Skip Hop Containers  -  They are tin contains that keep food warm or cold. These ones snap together. Some others come attached with a fork on the side.
  2. Sage Spoonful Containers  -  I like the size of these containers and I can just keep them in the bottom of my stroller (they’re glass so be careful). Side note, if you're looking to make purees, Sage also has a good baby blender.
  3. Life Factory Containers  - These are glass but have rubber netting on the outside for food storage. 
  4. For snacks, I like the Earth’s Best Brand snack bars or Happy Family brand dried fruit and vegetables if I don’t have time to pack fresh fruits or veggies. 

VI. Miscellaneous Items

  1. Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes  - I love Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer or the Honest company hand sanitizer (both are sprays). They don’t have any harsh chemicals in them. For baby wipes, they’re not only good for wiping the baby’s hands but also for patting their face, neck, and back if it gets reallyyy hot outside. 
  2. Water shoes  -  Some parks gave sprinklers so it never hurts to have a pair of water shoes on hand. 
  3. Fan/Water Bottle Sprayer  - These are great for little ones since they can get overheated in their strollers on hot days or may be too busy to drink enough while playing. 
  4. Mini first aid kit  - you can order a small travel size one that contains band aids and some antiseptic ointment if need be. These are always great to have on hand whether it is for your child or someone else’s baby.

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