December 08, 2017

Holiday Wish List: Best Toddler Travel Toys

I recently took a long overseas trip with my kids and stocked up on tons of travel toddler toys before I left. These toys came in handy on the plane, in the airport and in the car during the trip. After the trip they were great to carry in my purse for waiting rooms and to keep in the backseat of the car. Here is my list of the toys for traveling with toddlers for keeping kids entertained on the go (these toddler travel toys are even a blast to play with at home).

1. Tegu Blocks

I had as much fun with these as the kids, building blocks are good toddler travel toys that won't get lost because they all stick together. 

2. Small Magnetic White Board

This small travel white board was the perfect place for my younger son to draw and my older son to practice writing words. I also brought along some ABC magnets for them to play with on this board as well. 

3. Imaginetics 

This board with magnets provided endless hours of entertainment for my kids as they made up different stories for all the characters on the board. 

4. Finger Puppets

These are some of the best toys for traveling with toddlers, I even keep a few in my pocket to keep the kids entertained while we are waiting in lines.

 


November 24, 2017

Real Moms Share: Travel Tips for Baby and Toddler

This guest post is from Laci Hill. Laci is a mom and an avid traveler. See her travel tips below. You can follow Laci's journey on Instagram (@globalmotherhood). 

I remember two conflicting emotions when we found out we were pregnant with our first baby, our son, Anchor. I was ecstatic, as we had tried for three years to conceive after a miscarriage. The accompanying strong feeling, however, was uncertainty. We had spent two years living in Asia already, flying internationally every six weeks or more, driving, sailing, or even walking to very remote villages in extreme climates; the idea of doing this with a baby had me instantly overwhelmed. Would literally everything change about our life after welcoming our greatly expected little one? 

After months of processing these feelings, I came to a conclusion that was probably my greatest lesson of motherhood yet: our children need parents who are fully themselves in order to become the little world-changers they are destined to be. So, we decided we were going to keep going strong and change our pace as needed in specific seasons or moments. We were going to keep traveling and prepare to do this with a baby. Many people warned us that this was not possible, that adventure simply ends once you become a parent and that this change was all a part of the sacrifice of motherhood. Our response to them was a further steeling of our will to continue pursuing the deep inner call of our life into the wild. We would not be dissuaded. 
The first baby thing I bought was a Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Crib. Children need consistency, things they can always depend on to be the same, their north stars. Parents are obviously two major constants in a child's life, but because Anchor's environment would be regularly changing (often from one extreme to another: desert to high mountains, tent to five star hotel, etc.) we felt he needed a place he could rest or retreat to that never changed. So we decided to forego a traditional wooden cot and use a travel crib both at home and on the road. Buying the Lotus was probably one of our biggest parenting wins of all nineteen months of his life. Anchor has been to eleven countries (many of them multiple times), on over 75 flights (too many to even count, honestly), traveled on trains, planes, automobiles, camels, and horse-drawn carriages... You know what has traveled with him on every trip? That crib. From bassinet to cot, to unzipped toddler bed, the Lotus has been the perfect safe-haven. We've destroyed many a diaper bag, stroller, baby gear of every kind... But the Lotus will not die. It looks almost as new as the day we bought it! We are now pregnant with baby number two and I've begun to unpack the bassinet to wash and ready it for another tiny explorer. Who knew that the bed I bought as a comfort for my child would become one of the most consistent anchors for myself in motherhood as I travel the globe with my babes...
This brings me to a few tips for traveling with young ones:
1. Buy the Right Gear: There's a Norwegian saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." I feel this applies to any environment. We've been on a journey to find the perfect baby items that can handle the daily mundane tasks like grocery shopping and
going to the park, as well as the extreme and maybe less common situations of camping out in a nomad's tent in Tibet. For us, the latter are our more common experiences, but having the right gear makes all the difference in seamlessly transitioning from one environment to another. 
2. Relax and Enjoy the Ride: Children take cues from their parents. They aren't naturally fussy little dictators, stressed out by any tiny little change in environment or schedule unless you've built them to be that way. So, when you're boarding a long flight with your toddler, relax and act like it's totally a normal life experience. Determine to take deep breaths, to laugh instead of tensing up, to let messes happen at dinner, to care more for your child than for the experience of other passengers. And if other people get upset because your baby can't handle the changes in air pressure, or doesn't want to buckle their seatbelt for takeoff or landing, or is simply being a normal human child (all of these things equal making noise of some sort); just consider it karma, payback on behalf of their parents for all the times they raised hell as a grom. 
3. Lastly, Travel Often and Travel Early: The earlier and more often you adventure with your kids, the sooner they adjust (and the sooner you adjust) to and even develop a taste for a nomadic lifestyle. Our son has been traveling regularly since he was in the womb and the whirring of a plane engine is as normal to him as riding in a car is for most children. As a parent, you decide your kids' natural habitat; so make those choices early on and build into them a taste for the wild. And if traveling early and often is simply not in the cards for your tribe, just refer to tips 1 & 2 whenever you do get the chance to go. 

November 13, 2017

Ambassadors Share Travel Tips That Worked for Them

As the holidays approach you may be thinking about taking your little one on their first trip. The idea of a road trip or flight with baby can seem overwhelming. We asked our Guava Family Brand Ambassadors to share what has worked for them:

From @lifewithkristiannajade

  • Have a mirror so that you can see them in the car seat from the drivers seat
  • Pacifier clip attached so that it is easy to reach for their binkie
  • A bottle or snacks within arms reach
  • Toys they can play with
  • Travel during nap/bedtime so you don't mess up their sleep schedule (and they sleep most of the time!)

 

From @ashley_aamot
  • Less is more. Really think about what activities you’ll be doing and how many outfits and shoes you really need. I know for myself I tend to over pack because “I never know what I’ll feel like wearing” BUT even if it is hard it is always best to have less with you not only because it’s easier to carry you also can keep track of all your things and not leave anything behind.
  • Have a plan. There is nothing worse than showing up in a new place and suddenly realizing you don’t know where you want to go. Then you’re sitting on your phone for hours trying to find and agree on places to go. Read about each of your locations.. Find the new fun places to go and of course the tourists stops as well! Spontaneous trips can be fun too but sometimes you don’t get to experience everything to the fullest! 
Mom to be @spiffykerms is looking forward to taking along her Lotus on future trips!
"It's perfect for travel due to it's backpack straps, and keeping baby comfortable in a familiar place when traveling." 
What are your top travel tips? 

November 10, 2017

Five Ways Your Feedback has Improved the New Lotus Travel Crib

As of writing this, there have been over 1,200 reviews from parents of our products in less than a year.
View full article →

November 10, 2017

Why Travel Cribs are Essential for Families Who Love Travel

Whether you’re traveling for a much needed vacation or just driving to the grandparents, you want a safe and comfortable place for your little one to sleep.
View full article →

November 03, 2017

Meet the Guava Family Brand Ambassadors

We are very excited to introduce you to our very first Guava Family Brand Ambassadors! See a little about them below and look for their adventures with their Lotus' on our blog and social feeds over the next few months.



Annie B. (@prettypleasemrsb)

Hello! My name is Annie and this is my son Kai (9 months). We are very excited to welcome the Lotus into our home as our portable crib and play yard. With another one on the way this spring, I'm excited to be able to move the Lotus to different rooms with ease. Most of all, I look forward to the side access door to avoid leaning as my belly grows! Please tag along on our adventures in San Francisco, and the Bay Area. We look forward to many outings (okay, probably more cozy stay-ins) where Kai will be able to explore, rest, and play safely.  

Hannah F. (@hgwinnfran)

Hi! My name is Hannah and I am a former Pediatric ICU nurse turned SAHM to two kids (girls, ages 3 & 19 months) and a third (another girl) due to arrive any day now! My husband (of almost 5 years) & I are raising our sweet family in WV, where we love swimming & boating in the summer, playing in the snow in the winter, and going to church on Sundays. In my spare time (it occasionally happens!), I enjoy cooking & baking and being an MVP Contributor for Guidance Guide. And thank goodness for coffee and babywearing!

Ashley A. (@ashley_aamot)

My name is Ashley, I am the proud mama bear to Bodhi. We live in Long Beach. We love to go walking by the beach, take our dog Uzi to the dog beach and dog park, we love to go visit family and especially shopping...but that’s more for me than it is Bodhi! We cannot wait to share our experiences with you!

Kristianna H. (@lifewithkristiannajade)

My name is Kristianna and we are a military family who is constantly on the move! Our baby HAR has tons of energy and the lotus is going to help us a ton with traveling back in forth these next few weeks! Thank you guava for choosing us to be a part of the guava family!

Nancy G. (@spiffykerms)

Nancy is a Canadian living in sunny California and her little family of 3 (counting the sweet big brother/pup!) And after many years she's finally expecting her first born, due in February. We're a super active family who not only travels frequently back and fourth to Canada to visit home, but also love to take everyone in tow for rock climbing (me), and Ironman triathlons (the hubs), so we know the Lotus will be a great piece in our travels. 

Natasha P. (@natashapleis)

Natasha and her husband, Jacob, live in Northern California where they are currently renovating their 1925 bungalow and raising their five month old daughter, Lina. They enjoy a good sushi roll, the outdoors, fall, and continuously dreaming of traveling the world as a family. 


September 26, 2017

Baby Shower Inspiration: Throwing a 'Sprinkle'

Throwing a sprinkle for a friend or family member who is expecting another baby is a fun way to celebrate the newest addition without throwing a full shower (plus...there's a built in theme so you have one less thing to worry about!) If you are in the process of planning a celebration here are some baby sprinkle theme ideas to help get you started:

via A Little Tipsy

via B Lovely Events

via Shoes off Please

via Keys to Inspiration


September 07, 2017

Easy Ways to Show Grandparents Some Love on Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day will be celebrated on September 10 this year, here are some fun ideas for things to do for Grandparent's Day:

1. Photo Magnets: An easy way to bring a smile to grandma and grandpa's face is a picture of their favorite kids! Go to the local craft store and glue some snapshots onto magnets, if the kids are old enough get them in on the fun and make a few with their artwork. 

2. Time: Spend time with grandparents near and far. If they are local treat them to lunch or dinner, if they are far away take some time and FaceTime them.

3. Create Brag Books: In this digital age most of our photos get stuck on our phones or digital cameras, make a brag book for grandma and grandpa so they have something to show their friends!

4. Flowers: An easy way to brighten their day whether you are near or far. If you are local a fun activity might be having the kids pick flowers and deliver them.

5. Lotus Everywhere Crib. If your kids spend a lot of time with their grandparents a Lotus might be the perfect gift. Grandma and grandpa can easily set up and take down the Lotus and take with them from room to room around the house, to the park, backyard...well, EVERYWHERE!


August 16, 2017

Creative Baby Shower Games

It seems that all my friends are pregnant, and for quite a few of them I have been tasked with planning the games for their baby shower's. I didn't want to end up with the same recycled ideas for baby shower games for all the showers so I took to Pinterest for inspiration for creative baby shower games.

B-A-B-Y S-H-O-W-E-R Guessing Game

Image from The DeVore's via Pinterest

Love this Office Baby Shower from The DeVore's, I especially love this game! Inside each bag is something for the baby that starts with that letter, the person who guesses the most correctly wins. 

Blindfolded Diaper Changing Game

Image via Pinterest 

Saw this image on Pinterest among ideas for baby shower games and thought it looked like it could be a fun game!

Message on Diaper

Image from Urban Sky via Pinterest

Love this idea from Urban Sky, have guests write a message (funny or sweet) on a diaper. Then you can put all these diapers in a basket for mom and dad to use for those late night diaper changes!

 

 

Baby Shower Price is Right

 

Image via Pinterest

Have guests guess the price of each baby item without going over, have the actual products there for guests to look at and print up a sheet like this for them to fill out, one of the best ideas for baby shower games.


Do you have any creative baby shower games?


May 24, 2017

Safest Sunscreens for Baby

Sunscreen is always a must have, but with summer travel season quickly approaching you are sure to be reaching for that sunscreen more often. Here are some guidelines and baby sunscreen recommendations to keep in mind when you are picking out sunscreen:

1. Stay away from the spray on sunscreen.

2. If using a chemical sunscreen make sure "avobenzone" is on the label. If you are opting for a natural sunscreen be sure it contains "zinc oxide." 

3. Steer clear of sunscreen with SPF over 50.

4. Avoid products with oxybenzone and vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) on the label. 

 

Here are our top picks for safest sunscreens for babies (and the entire family) this summer:

Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 

California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Thinksport Kid's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick Fragrance Free SPF 30

 

To check out your favorite sunscreen search it on the EWG site here

 

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