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We Tried Out for Shark Tank! See How it Went!

By Dallas Stevens

We Tried Out for Shark Tank! See How it Went!

So, we stumbled across a Shark Tank open casting call in Las Vegas right after the new year. We live/work in San Diego, so Vegas is only about a 5 hour drive. It felt like fate. We have made a ton of strides as a business in the last couple years, but we have a LONG way to go to be the leader in kids eye wear we want to be. I thought a Shark could help, and worst case scenario, I'd have a fun experience to blog about! Check out the quick video of how it went when I went to Vegas to audition our fun sunglasses for Shark Tank! While I obviously could not film myself pitching our awesome sunglasses, like these white and teal baby sunglasses, to the producers, I included the rough text of my 1 minute pitch below so you can picture it. Hope you find it interesting, it was really fun to do! We won't know how we did for a long time, so now we just sit and wait! 

Shark Tank Casting Call


Our Pitch (or close to it! Kind of a blur what exactly was said!)

Hi, I’m Scott, founder of Roshambo Baby. I am seeking a $X investment for X% of my company. Here’s the simple problem we solved: 50% of the lifetime UV damage done to your eyes occurs before the age of 10 years old. Despite that, the kids eyewear industry is full of cheap, breakable, frankly, ugly stuff largely made in China. It made me and my wife sad. We solved that by going to Italy and creating a line of matching baby, kids' and adult unbreakable sunglasses that can do this. [SHOW OFF HOW FLEXIBLE AND AWESOME THEY ARE!] Full damage and lens replacement guarantee, so light they float, certified safe for baby, BPA free, lead free, all that stuff. You can drive over these in your car and chances are they’ll be fine. Trust me, we’ve done it.

But that’s not the only reason I am here. The reason I have like permanent jazz hands about the unlocked potential of my company is because while our frames can also do this, they can also do this [PULL OUT A PAIR OF SHADES WITH A PRESCRIPTION LENS IN THEM!].... all of our frames are prescription friendly and kids can swap out their prescription lens for a new frame color every day if they want to! There is nothing quite like our product on the optometry market. We launched an affordable prescription fulfillment service on our website last year to rave reviews from parents. We are at the tip of an iceberg. Think Warby Parker for kids.                                           

We are poised to take this innovative product to a wider audience. I want to be the market leader in children's eyewear because Little People Deserve Big People Shades. But I need a shark to get there.

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Parenting without Saying No

By Dallas Stevens

by 

 

Parenting is a delicate balance of knowing how to raise your kids with integrity while also preparing them for the real world.

Sometimes this means doing things that seem counter-intuitive to make sure our kids are actually hearing what we are saying and learning from situations.

Something that I learned from teaching and in the first couple of years of parenthood is that opportunities to talk to children without saying no is so important. Now as a mother of two, parenting without saying no, don’t, and stop is an important part of my every single day.

 

Parenting without saying no and creating boundaries for our children with intentional wording. 

Sometimes it’s hard to admit that hearing no is really tough. And in a very real sense, I by no means want my children to grow up without having ever been told no and my kids still hear no on a daily basis. It is absolutely part of life and one I want them to hear.

However, I have drastically cut down on its use in our home by saying no without actually using the word. And in cutting down, it has made use of the word more effective for us. So why would I advocate for adopting the “parenting without saying no” approach?

Very simply… because they listen better.

The way we are hard wired as humans is to listen to the sentence structure. We sometimes hear the first part of a sentence, almost always hear the last part, but rarely hear the middle unless we have our complete attention on the person talking to us. And really, what young child is giving us their undivided attention at all times?

Beyond just the way we hear, it’s also important for all of us to have clear directions. If we are given vague instructions, it leaves a lot of gray area. This is because there are a thousand alternatives to “not” doing something, but only one course of action that should be done when told specifically what to do.

So why would we not want to stop saying no to kids and adopt a system that helps our children listen to us better? Or be more obedient?

Read about and listen to my podcast episode on the power of saying MAYBE.

So how do I remove negative words when talking to my child?

It’s really easy to say no… WAY too easy. So it’s not going to be a cake walk to retrain your mind to ditch negative words and actions like “no”, “stop”, “don’t”, “can’t”, etc. but it is possible. It took me a long time and I am still not perfect. It’s all about practice.

Instead of saying “I can’t talk right now” when I am waiting on hold on the phone and my daughter comes to ask me a question, I say “I am on the phone right now. I can talk to you in a little bit”. I do this because I am focusing on what she is going to hear. If she is not giving me her undivided attention, she may only hear “talk right now”. Instead, I want her to hear “on the phone” and “in a little bit”.

Related: Need help navigating your child’s behaviors?

Likewise, if my daughter is in danger and is too close to the street I am not about to yell “Don’t go in the street!” because I don’t want her to hear the last half of it. I want her to hear “Come here please!” or “Move away from the street!”

Alternatives to saying no & using negative language with kids

There are numerous examples I could give, but thought some of the best were in the image above. We have also replace “don’t touch” with “please keep your hands to yourself”/”please keep your hands in your pockets” (we go to antique stores a lot).

And my husband is working on not using “my ears don’t hear whining” because she has shut down too many times. Instead, we encourage her to use her words and express her emotions in a way that we can understand.

Read more from Parents with Confidence about adapting your parenting style to your child’s needs.

Is it possible to discipline without saying no?

Yes! This has everything to do with the idea of being intentional with our words and giving clear instructions to our children. Using positive phrasing actually has the ability to set clearer boundaries than the word no itself.


Magda Gerber once said “A child who is never told “no” is a neglected child.” And I completely agree, but sometimes it’s also more about how we tell them no, rather than the word itself! We must affirm what our children need to do. Rather than discipline and teach them by telling them what not to do, it’s a lot easier to tell them exactly what we want them to do. In telling a child not to hit, maybe he thinks “Well can I kick?”

When my daughter threw a small wooden ball and it hit me in the forehead instead of saying “NO! Don’t throw that!” I simply said “Ow! That really hurt. Please keep your toys in your hands.”

In the end my parenting has become much more intentional by using negative language and “no” less and coming up with a more positive approach. It makes the power of “no” retain its meaning and has created clear boundaries for my children.

Get the Positive Discipline Cheat Sheet

Need help reframing how you see or respond to situations with your kids? This cheat sheet will help you through some of those tough moments when you want to react with frustration instead of love. The sneak peek is below, but be sure to subscribe to download the full, printable version!

 

 

Watch this response to many of your questions & concerns about reducing negative parenting language.

 

**Edited for Author’s Notes:

 

  • The list provided is simply a visual to help say no less. In fact, that is the thesis of my article. In no way have we ditched the word “no” forever. It’s all about finding alternatives and choices, especially in the hard moments as a parent when nothing is working.
  • Also, the phrasing of “negative language” and “positive language” simply refers to the grammatical English term in that the sentence is or is not negative.
  • For more responses, such as one to the “we will not buy that” alternative, please watch the video. It explains how we say no, divert attention, and create boundaries with our words. Thank you all for your great feedback and responses!

www.roshambobaby.com

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LEARN ABOUT HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE {MAGNET ACTIVITY FOR KIDS}

By Dallas Stevens

via momentsaday.com

 

LEARN ABOUT HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE {MAGNET ACTIVITY FOR KIDS}

Activities and ideas for teaching kids about having a positive attitude

You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts.

– Brian Tracy

We used this marble wand to demonstrate and explore the concept behind the quotation above.

Magnet activities for kids to explore what it means to attract positive thoughts into their lives

When we surround ourselves with positive experiences, positive people and positive influences then we can be sure to have a more positive mindset.

Here are some sample discussion questions that can be used along with magnet activities to inspire positive thinking for kids:

  • What makes you happy?  Why?
  • Who are your best friends?  How do they make you feel?
  • What is your favourite activity?  How does it feel when you do it?
  • Where do you enjoy spending time?  Why?
  • When you feel happy, how does it influence your actions towards others?
  • What can you do to ensure a positive attitude every day?
  • If you wake up and think, “This is going to be a great day!” what do you think will happen?  How about if you think, “This is going to be a bad day”?

Magnet activities for kids to explore having a positive attitude

Magnets, of course, can be used for many fun educational activities.  Please note that they should always be used under adult supervision.

Here are some more magnet activities to try:

4 Fun Magnet Activities for Preschoolers from Teaching Mama

9 Magnet Play Activities from What Do We Do All Day

Fun Science Experiments: Magnet Magic from Babble Dabble Do

You may also like to check out this post with 10 more activities about developing a positive attitude.

Fun tools to explore magnetism from Child.com.au

Magnetic toys and tools from Child.com.au can be found here

Thanks to Child.com.au for sponsoring this post as well as 10 readings of my storybook Mason’s Greatest Gems.  The book shares how to “mine your inner gems” and develop virtues.  Character building activities such the one described in this post are a great follow-up to the story.

Child.com.au has donated each institution I visit a $100 gift voucher to use on educational materials from their extensive range.

Activities and storybook for kids to learn about new virtues

I recently enjoyed visiting a primary school in Mount Isa (outback Queensland) to do a reading.  This visit was especially fun because the kids knew all about mining as their town had a huge mine in it!

After the book reading, I asked the children to name the virtue from the scenarios on the free printable found here and the child who answered correctly got to stand up in front of the group holding the gemstones I had prepared (pictured above).  After all the gems on the worksheet had been covered, we went through the virtues again by asking for new examples (and the students then sat down as their virtue had a new example described).

www.roshambobaby.com

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10 Phrases to Help You Develop a Growth Mindset in Parenting

By Dallas Stevens

By 

One shift in thinking has drastically improved my parenting, and that is moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset about being a mom. This growth mindset says – you are always learning and it’s never too late to make a more positive choice. When you make a mistake it’s not an indication that you are doomed to be a failure; it’s an opportunity to grow.

The concept is easy enough to understand, but changing the thinking habits I had wasn’t as simple. One of the interesting things about growth mindset that Carol Dweck states in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is that we can have a growth mindset about one area of life, but not another – that’s how I was about parenting. I had a growth mindset about things like creativity and academic learning. However, when it came to parenting, I expected myself to be a natural at being a mom.

I felt so awful about making mistakes in parenting. I’d feel so terribly guilty that I could barely make room for more positive, growth oriented thoughts. However, over time I discovered certain phrases that would quiet down the negative judgmental inner voice and allow me to learn instead of getting stuck in a place of depression and hopelessness. Here is a collection of 10 helpful tips about the growth mindset for parents.

If you’d like to be reminded regularly of ways to have a growth mindset, connect with your kids and communicate effectively, make sure you sign up here to get an invite to Bounceback Texts.

10 Phrases to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Parenting

  • Always learning – short and simple, you can think about this phrase to remind yourself that it’s healthy to be in the process of learning, you don’t have to know everything.
  • Connection, not perfection – this is my personal favorite growth mindset phrase for  remembering the priority in my relationships is connection, not getting every detail perfect. It is useful to think when I find myself getting stressed about a family event not going as planned, when I want to support a friend and don’t quite know the right words, or when I find myself waiting for just the right time to talk or play with my kids. Connection, not perfectionnudges me towards what matters most.
  • I’m in tune with my kids and I can make adjustments to our routines when needed. Have you ever felt like a failure when your perfectly worked out routine falls to pieces? It’s helpful to  remember that your job is actually paying attention to this and making a change.
  • This used to work for us (or I thought this would work for us) but I am empowered – I can make a change when things aren’t working. It can be hard to have a growth mindset when something you thought would be perfect for your family….isn’t. We put a lot of store in parenting choices like schooling, breastfeeding, foods we feed our kids, childcare, sleeping arrangements and so on. It’s not to say the way we handle these decision isn’t important, they are. However it is a mistake to believe there is one right way and if you find it everything will be great. Sometimes we have to make a change, and it can be humbling and scary, but holding on to patterns that don’t work for your family is no way to be a leader. Which leads us to another phrase that helps you have a growth mindset about parenting…
  • It takes strength and wisdom to recognize you need to change course, and then take action to make that change. 
  • I made a mistake and I am a big enough person to learn from it and move forward instead of clinging to something that isn’t working. Sometimes it stings to admit we were wrong, but compounding a mistake by clinging to something that isn’t working for you isn’t the answer. Learning from it and moving on is freeing.
  • It’s never too late to make a more positive choice. Sometimes I’ve been caught up thinking that everything is a mess – why bother? This phrase reminds me that making a more positive choice is always an option.
  • I can change directions. I can start over from now. Some days we need a do-over. Permission granted. You can start over from now.
  • I am a work in progress and this is part of that progress. It’s great to have a vision of where you want to be, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that the process of learning and growing has great value. You are someone valuable right now.
  • I always have potential for growth. Yes you do – you are not too old, too broken, too dumb. You have potential for growth. It’s helpful for me to remember I am not stuck being one particular way; through effort and time I can change if I wish.
  • What have I learned from this? Reflecting on what you’ve learned, even from the most uncomfortable situations, helps you grow.
  • Mistakes mean I’m learning. I always loved the song my Dad would sing to me when I was a kid that had a chorus that said, “Oops, you made a mistake, and you’re beautiful to me.

What phrase do you like to say to yourself to help you remember that you don’t have to be perfect?

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The Most Instagrammable Onesies For Your Sweet Baby

By Gen Cohen

If you can't get enough of the serious baby style* that graces your Instagram feed, we're totally with you. There are a ton of small businesses that make the most precious onesies for babies, which in turn make photos of babies that much more adorable (bet you didn't think that was possible!). We're sharing some of those onesies with you so that your photos can be the ones to pop up on other peoples' feeds to make them say, "Damn, that's a cute baby in a cute onesie."

Scroll through for fun onesies that you'll want your little babe to be wearing during their next iPhone photo shoot.

*Don't forget about mama Instagram style!

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Safe Baby Teething Remedies

By Gen Cohen

Check out this list of the best baby teething products to get through what can be a stressful phase for both parent and baby. And make sure you grab a pair of our teething safe baby rubber sunglasses, like these red kids' Wayfarer sunglasses, before you go :)

Not sure how to ease your baby’s teething pain after the recall of Hyland’s Teething Tablets, and FDA warnings about benzocaine in Anbesol Baby and Baby Orajel? Try one of these safe ways to soothe teething (most are med-free!)

By Melanie Monroe Rosen via parenting.com

 

Gum Massage

All you need is a clean finger for this old-fashioned teething remedy. Gentle counter-pressure from Mom or Dad applied to a baby’s sore gums can help ease the pain of teething.

 

Cold Spoon
A spoon chilled in the fridge (not the freezer, or it can stick!) can offer much-needed relief. Just apply the rounded part of the spoon to baby’s gums. Best for before any teeth actually break through to avoid the risk of chipping a tooth.

 

Cold Washcloth
Frozen or merely chilled, a cold wet washcloth (dipped in water, breast milk, or—as some mom’s swear by—chamomile tea) can be comforting for baby to gnaw on.

 

Chilled Foods
If your baby has already started solids, try offering him a cold food like applesauce or yogurt to help soothe gum pain and fill him up.

 

Breastfeeding
Every baby teethes in her own way. While sucking may aggravate teething pain for some babies (sometimes leading to a nursing strike), others may want to nurse more often for the sheer comfort of it. Is your baby using mama’s nipples as a teething toy? Teething does not need to mean the end of breastfeeding; if your baby seems tempted to bite during nursing, try rubbing a clean finger over her gums before beginning and ending the session once she seems full, but not yet bored.

 

Plush Teething Toy
A soft plush toy from an organic brand like Under the Nile is a safe option for baby to chew on when teething is a pain. We love their fruits and veggies line, like these striped bananas, as well as their plush ring toys and “blanket friend” toys because they’re both super soft and machine washable.

Striped Banana from underthenile.com, $7

 

OTC Pain Reliever
Be sure to ask your pediatrician first (especially for early teethers, as doctor’s approval should be given for acetaminophen in babies less than 3 months of age and ibuprofen in babies less than 6 months of age), but some parents find that a dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen can work wonders, especially during a tough middle-of-the-night screaming episodes. Make sure to read the product labeling fully, especially in light of changes to the formulation of OTC versions of acetaminophen for infants.

 

Teething Jewelry for Moms

Moms of teething babes know that their little ones will grab just about anything within reach and start chomping. Fortunately, specially designed teething jewelry like Teething Bling from Smart Mom Jewelry is made to be gummed by little mouths. Made from FDA-approved silicone that is free of phthalates, BPA, PVC, latex and lead, it’s non-toxic and dishwasher-safe—and made from the same material as many teething toys, but way prettier hanging around your neck or wrist. Available in a rainbow of colors.

Lapis Lazuli Donut Shaped Pendant from smartmomjewelry.com, $19.10

 

Baby Orajel Naturals
Free of benzocaine, alcohol and dyes, Baby Orajel Naturals is an alternative to the regular version of Baby Orajel, which does contains benzocaine, an ingredient the FDA has recently issued a warning about because of its association with a rare but serious condition called metheminoglobinemia. The active ingredient in Baby Orajel Naturals is eugenol, which is derived from the oil of the clove plant, which is known for its antiseptic, analgesic, antibacterial and local anesthetic properties. (You may have read suggestions for rubbing diluted clove oil on baby’s gums for teething; this takes the guesswork out of the potency for mamas in desperate need of a remedy while baby is shrieking in pain.) Available at major retailers and pharmacies.

Baby Orajel Naturals from drugstore.com, $5.99

 

Camilia
A widely available alternative to teething products containing benzocaine is Camilia, a homeopathic medicine from French company Boiron. Camilia containes homeopathic preparations of German chamomile (for relief of teething pain and irritability), Poke (to soothe painful gums) and Chinese rhubarb (for help with minor digestive disorders, like diarrhea, sometimes associated with teething). Comes in 5 or 20 dose single-use dose packages. Reminder: be sure to check with your pediatrician before administering any OTC teething remedy.

Boiron Camilia from amazon.com, $6.39

 

Wooden Teether
Babies like to gnaw on all kinds of things, especially things that really don’t belong in their mouths. Next time baby reaches for the remote as a snack, hand her a sweet wooden teether, like one from HABA, Camden Rose or this sweet owl teether from Etsy shop Little Alouette. They’re handmade in Ohio from locally sourced hardwoods and are available either unfinished or finished with certified organic flaxseed oil.

Wee Wooden Owl Teething Toy from littlealouette.etsy.com, $15

 

Rubber Teether
Sophie the Giraffe has been helping babies get through teething for more than 50 years. Made of 100% natural rubber (BPA- and phthalate-free) and food paint, this squeaky toy made in the French Alps will likely prove to be one of your babe’s faves. We’re also fans of this Hevea panda teether, made from 100% natural rubber latex (free of BPA, PVC, pthalates and artificial colors; $13.50).

Sophie the Giraffe from jilliansdrawers.com, $21.95

 

Cold Fruit
Chilled fruit, like apple slices or banana, placed inside of a mesh feeder can provide relief (and a tasty snack) for a baby with sore gums.

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder from amazon.com, $7.69/2 pk

 

Distraction
Sometimes a change of scenery or activity is all it takes to help distract baby from teething pain, at least temporarily. Try running a bath for baby—the warm water may help him to relax—or even just some giving some unexpected cuddle time.

 

Chilled Teether
Placing a solid or liquid-filled teether in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before offering it to baby can amp up its soothing powers. We like this sweet easy-to-grab BPA- and PVC-free apple-shaped teether from Green Sprouts.

Green Sprouts Fruit Teether from jilliansdrawers.com, $3.95

 

Silicone Teether
Another popular option for teething tots is silicone teethers, like those from Born Free or this one from Lifefactory (shown). Dishwasher safe, this teether is BPA-, phthalate-, PVC- and latex-free. It can be stuck in the fridge or freezer, and best of all, worn by mama as a funky little bracelet, so relief is always close at hand. Available in a rainbow of bright colors.

Lifefactory Silicone Teether from jilliansdrawers.com, $6.95

 

Vibrating Teether
This teether from Sassy is not only multi-textured and water-filled (ideal for chilling in the fridge), but it vibrates when baby chomps on the water-filled section, which helps stimulate gums.

Sassy Vibrating Textures Teether from diapers.com, $5.99

 

Hyland’s Teething Gel
Although Hyland’s teething tablets were recently recalled by the FDA, its teething gel is still on store shelves. Hyland’s Teething Gel is a homeopathic teething remedy that contains very small amounts of its active ingredients: Calcarea Phosphorica (a mineral that supports teething), Chamomilla (a botanical that relieves irritability), Coffea Cruda (a botanical that relieves the symptoms of wakefulness and diuresis) and Belladonna (a botanical that relieves gum inflammation and redness). Although the Belladonna plant can be toxic when ingested in large doses, homeopathic Belladonna is safe and non-toxic, due to the miniscule concentration in the gel. Available at major retailers, pharmacies and health food stores nationwide.

Hyland’s Teething Gel from amazon.com, $4.55

 

Sippy Cup
If baby is old enough (around 6 months), try offering a slow flow sippy cup of cool water to suck on for comfort.

And don't forget, our roshambo baby sunglasses are small parts certified teething safe material as well!

 

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18 Tips for Traveling with Baby

By Gen Cohen

Have a fun and stress-free vacation with baby by navigating on-the-go naps, time differences and cramped hotel rooms

By Colleen Lanin, Originally published on parenting.com

Does "vacationing" with your baby sound like an oxymoron? As someone who has ventured on road trips, beach getaways, cruises and more with my two kids, and who is writing a book about family travel—The Travel Mamas' Guide—I know that vacations now are not as easy as they were prebaby. And while there are tons of tips on how to get there, there's not much advice for how to manage once you arrive. A few simple tricks have saved some of my family's trips.

Strategic Unpacking

Just as important as what you pack—and you can check out get-ready checklists here—in my opinion, is how you unpack.

Do it immediately

As soon as you arrive (unless someone in the family is overly cranky or tired), set up your room to make it as close to home as possible. Put the baby in the playpen or hotel crib with a pile of toys and occupy an older kid with a coloring book. Or have your partner take the older sibling out to get the lay of the land while you unpack. Settling in will help you remain organized (and sane) throughout your stay.

Designate a baby-changing station

Bring a box of wipes, lay out a changing pad (I like to put a disposable changing pad on top of a hotel towel) and stack a bunch of diapers in one area. That way, you won't need to chase down the diaper bag when that first big poop occurs.

Create a play space...

Stash toys and books on a low shelf or in a drawer, or keep all the playthings in one corner. Creating a place for your baby to play will make the room feel homey and keep it from looking like a disaster area.

...and a kitchen

Even if your room doesn't have a kitchen or bar area, establish a spot where you'll keep bottles, dishes, baby food, snacks, formula and dish soap. Sometimes the bathroom is best if it has the only sink in the room.

Napping Smarts

Your baby needs her naps, but you don't want to spend your whole vacation watching her snooze. Follow these strategies for squeezing in that daytime sleep:

Start walking

When my daughter, Karissa, was a baby, she wouldn't nap in a strange crib while on vacation. So we planned our days around taking long walks with her napping in a stroller. Some momsadvise bringing the lightest, most compact umbrella stroller on vacation to save room, but I always pack a stroller that reclines completely to make stroller slumber easier.

Wear your baby

If your baby doesn't sleep well in a stroller, try a front carrier (like the BabyBjorn) or baby backpack. If you've never used one at home but think it might be convenient on vacation, try it out a few times before you leave. Not all babies will like it, and it might be too hard on your back.

Go for a scenic drive

Try taking leisurely drives to check out the area while your baby naps in the car seat. And on some trips, you can coordinate drive time between destinations with sleep time.

Take turns nap-sitting

If your tot isn't an in-transit sleeper, don't be afraid to schedule naps back in the room. While it's a different vacation rhythm than you're probably used to, an a.m. break and midday siesta can be relaxing for you, too. Just consider your baby's napping style when booking accommodations; if you'll need to return to the room often, a hotel near the beach may be a better bet than a spot farther away, even if it's a bit pricier. If you can, book a room with a balcony or patio so the parent "on duty" can enjoy the outdoors, too.

Easier Bedtimes

One of the most worrisome things about traveling with a baby is getting your tot to sleep in a new place. Here's how to up your odds of at least a few peaceful nights:

Do some trial runs

If you're bringing a portable travel bed, have your baby sleep in it for a few nights before you leave. That way, it will feel like a familiar, comfy spot to go night-night on vacation.

Give it a few days

While it can be tempting to throw in the blankie and drive home in the middle of a sleepless vacation night with an inconsolable baby, I implore you to power through. Eventually, babies will adjust to their new surroundings and schedule, and sleep. If you can survive a couple of nights, I am (almost) willing to promise happy vacation days ahead.

Book the right room(s)

If bedding down in the same room means no one will get any sleep, consider booking a suite or connecting rooms. A suite may offer the convenience of a kitchen area, but connecting rooms may afford more space at a cheaper price.

Stick to the routine

If your baby's bedtime ritual at home includes a bath, lullabies and a bottle, do the same on vacation to make up for the change in location.

Get adjusted

Instead of expecting your infant to shift her internal clock and adjust to a new time zone, shift your day: Stay up later or get up earlier than usual by a few hours.

Meals on Wheels

Sampling local cuisine and splurging on restaurant meals are vacation pleasures I refuse to give up. Dining with babies can be done.

Breakfast in Bed

Because our times to swim, hike, shop or visit an aquarium are limited by morning and afternoon naps, it makes sense for the entire family to eat something quick in the hotel room. So we pack plenty of ready-made breakfast foods like mini-bagels, cereal bars and fruit (bananas, apples).

BYOF

If your baby drinks formula, it helps to pack more than you think you'll need. To save space, empty powdered formula into zipper-lock plastic bags. Or order heavy staples like diapers and formula—even baby shampoo—from a site such as diapers.com or Babiestravellite.com that will ship to your destination (and since you won't have to carry the formula, consider splurging on the ready-to-feed type).

Nurse wherever you feel comfortable

You can breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be.

Bend the rules

To enjoy dinners out, you may have to encourage what you would normally consider bad behavior. I don't let my kids watch TV while eating at home, but we always bring portable DVD players when we eat out. Putting on some Sesame Street for them allows us to actually taste the food we're shelling out big bucks for.

Eat early

Sure, a romantic dinner would normally be at 8 p.m., but by dining out at 5:30, you'll likely have an empty restaurant, room to park your stroller, and a short wait for your food. Alternatively, if your newborn loves to sleep in her car seat, make later reservations and then feed her a bottle or nurse her while you wait for your appetizers. Hopefully, she'll be out for the rest of the meal.

 

Now, go enjoy! Toss out all your old ideas about what a vacation should be and embrace the new craziness that is traveling with a baby. Laugh at the fact that you're at the local playground by 6 a.m. and in bed for the night at 8 p.m. Consider all the gear and baby-lugging as great vacation exercise. And then savor going back home to "regular" life that much more.

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