DIY Travel High Chair for Wiggly Toddlers

Update October 6, 2014: You can now check out the tutorial for this Travel High Chair Here —> DIY Travel High Chair Tutorial for Wiggly Toddlers

I haven’t been posting on here much because I am actually getting ready for the biggest and longest trip I have ever attempted at all, let alone with three children ages 7 and under. I have been sewing a TON, trying to make sure I have everything I need to have an enjoyable trip. Here is something I whipped up a few days ago. I posted on my website about this tutorial for a wrap that turns any regular chair into a travel high chair, but after looking at the tutorial again, I realized it was probably more suited for younger children, not my extremely wiggly and strong almost-two-year-old son. So I spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest checking out different versions of DIY travel high chairs and I figured out that I would have to combine several concepts to get what I wanted.

DIY Travel High Chair

I saw many patterns for these travel high chair wraps that fit over the entire back of the chair. To me, that just seems like too much fabric going on, when you could make the wrap secure without using so much fabric. Fabric is a precious commodity in my home. I literally make most things myself, including clothes. If there is any spare scrap of fabric, it is going to be used thoughtfully. So after looking at several different “belt only” options and reading comments that toddlers can simply step out or squirm downward out of these, I thought I would use the belt method that goes between the legs to assure he couldn’t squirm downward, and I used the shoulder straps on top so that he couldn’t step out of the wrap. So here you go, my wiggly toddler tested and Sprouts En Route approved solution… the DIY Travel High Chair for Wiggly Toddlers. I don’t have time now, but I will put up a pattern sometime over the summer.

DIY Travel High Chair 2

This side view gives you a better idea of how it actually ties onto the chair. I know that none of the tutorials online use button holes like this, but I thought this would be more secure for any width of chair. I also used interfacing to back the button hole so I didn’t have to worry about the straps wearing the button hole out.

I have a few other DIY projects I’ll be posting later on this weekend as we get ready to depart on Thursday for the US!

As always, happy travels!!

Kristin

Baby Product Recalls – Strollers, Pacifiers, Dehumidifiers

This is a quick update to let you know about three product recalls that I hope you already know about, but just in case, I want to make sure you are informed. These recalls are for the US and Canada.

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The first recall is on the Britax B-Agile, B-Agile Double, and the BOB Motion Strollers.

Specifically models made between March 2011 and June 2013.

A hinge on the stroller can partially amputate (one case reported), lacerate, or break the operators finger. There have only been 8 reported cases total.

You can go to their websites, www.britaxusa.com or www.bobgear.com and click on “Safety Notice.” You can also call 866-204-1665 or email them at strollerrecall@britax.com

The second recall is on Dehumidifiers that can reportedly overheat and catch on fire. Yikes.

The models are GE 30, 40, 50, and 65-pint dehumidifiers. Apparently they have started quite a few fires. For more information you can call 866-853-2802 or visit their website, www.greeusa.com, and click on “Recall.”

The third recall is on Fred & Friends Chill Baby Artiste, Volume and Panic pacifiers.

The UPC’s are 72898702599 and 728987020605 and they were sold from April 2013 to December 2013.

Some of the parts can come off and cause a chocking hazard, and the ventilations holes are too small. There have been no injuries reported.

For more information you can call Fred & Friends at 855-346-6372, email them at pacifiersconsumer@fredandfriends.com, or visit their website, www.fredandfriends.com, and click on “Pacifier Recall.”

I hope none of these recalls have effected you in any way. Stay safe!!

For more information on recalls in general, check out this website from ABC News.

Happy Travels,

Kristin

Parenting & The Art of Distraction

If you have been a parent for pretty much any amount of time, you know that learning the art of distraction is very important. Not being distracted yourself, but finding ways to distract your child so they don’t get cranky or end up getting hurt. We all know that kids are naturally drawn to the most dangerous object in any place, and our job as their parent is to keep them from these dangerous objects. Thus we must implement the art of distraction.

The most obvious example of this in my life right now is keeping Timo from crashing off of the changing table. As soon as I lay his cute little body down, he contorts himself in a strange and dangerous position to reach all of the cloths, creams, and wipes that sit behind his head (the way our changing table is set up, he has to face that way or I can’t change him). So every time I lay him down, I give him a travel sized pack of unopened wipes. It crinkles when he touches it, and he loves it. It keeps him distracted long enough for me to change his diaper and get him off the changing table safely.

A photo of Timo's side of the room and his changing table. The one he is always trying to fall off of...
A photo of Timo’s side of the room and his changing table. The one he is always trying to fall off of…

Distraction is an art. You can’t throw just any old thing at your child and expect them to behave. You have to think about it and figure out what each one likes. When we are on an airplane Kati likes to watch a movie or play a game on the iTouch, Ksena likes to draw, and Timo wants a crinkly toy (so far he is pretty easy to please… he likes things that crinkle). You have to know your audience!!

Then there are times when you want your child to focus on something, and distraction is a bad thing. You need to find a way to redirect. When Timo is eating I am constantly shooing Kati away because she wants to play with him. She is in love with her little brother, and who can blame her? But when I’m feeding him, all of a sudden she feels her singular goal in life is to get him to look at her, and away from the spoon coming towards him. So what do I do? Well I have to distract Kati with something so I can get Timo to focus on his food. I need something that lasts about 15 minutes, which is how long it takes Timo to eat an entire bowl of homemade baby food. Usually a suggestion to look at a book works for half of that time and then I suggest Duplos or playing with her My Little Pony set.

When you are traveling you have to plan ahead! You need your tools of distraction ready at a moment’s notice. Whether it is a snack, a toy, or an activity, it is usually not spontaneous (although we are always thankful for the spontaneous ones, aren’t we?). So make sure to know your individual kiddos and be prepared. One of my favorite suggestions ever was when a friend told me she brings a roll of tape for each of her boys on a flight and lets them go crazy taping the back of the chair, their fingers, whatever. Pure genius!

Think about what works at home, because it will also most likely work while on the move. A good example is Timo’s obsession with crinkly things. No matter where he is, at home or on an airplane, he wants a crinkly thing in his hand.

What is your favorite means of distraction?

Child Safety and Travel: A New Series

Hey everyone,

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!! Our was not the best, Travis gave me the gift that keeps on giving, his cold. But he did take super good care of me while I was recovering. Thank God none of the kids have gotten it yet. And this morning we made a wonderful discovery (after a very long night of crying), Timo has his first tooth!! He is getting so big already, it makes me happy and sad at the same time. That is especially true since this will be our last baby (unless God has plans we don’t know about). Now onto some news about a new series I am super excited about.

travel safety

We have been out with the kids a lot lately and I started thinking about all the little things we do that specifically have to do with safety. I was talking to Travis about it and he suggested that I write a series all about child safety when traveling. I am thrilled to start this series titled, “Child Safety and Travel.” I plan on going over everything from physical safety to stranger awareness and airport security. First of all let me give you a little background about me that you won’t find under the About page. I worked for a Police Department as a Clerical Assistant for 10 years on and off while going to high school, college, and even after Ksena was born. My job was to turn written reports into digital ones, and I have seen more reports having to do with children than anyone should ever see (one is too many in my opinion). My husband is also extremely aware of public safety as a former security officer and police officer. I will definitely be getting his input when writing these articles. And no, we did not meet at the police department, in case you were wondering.

Here are the articles I plan on writing over the next few months (this is a larger series than I have done in the past, but it is so important!):

Establishing Rules and Boundaries

-Physical Safety and Child Restraints in Planes, Trains, Cars, and Buses

Standards to Teach Your Children about Strangers

Dealing with Figures of Authority

-Human Trafficking

-Creating Awareness, Not Fear

Holding Hands: A New Technique

-Never Leave Your Child Unattended

-Keeping Track of Everyone

Restroom Safety

Careful vs. Paranoid

Of course, it is likely that this series will change as I write it (like they all do) and if you feel that I’ve left something out, please feel free to comment below. I will address any concerns or questions you have as we go. I’m not a perfect mom, by any means, I just do what I can to keep my kids safe, and I know you do the same. So let’s work together to become more aware as parents.

Happy travels!!

Kristin

PIT: The Grand Canyon With Little Kids

Sorry I haven’t posted yet this week, but Travis had his wisdom teeth out and I had to take care of him in addition to taking care of the kids, which was a full time job!

While we were on our road trip home from Colorado, we stopped by the Grand Canyon with the kids. We thought it was an awesome opportunity for Ksena and Kati to see something they might not have the opportunity to see again for many years. There were a few things I was concerned about, like the fact that I was taking two small children next to a huge hole in the ground they could potentially fall into. I was talking to my grandma about it and she said, “You would think they would fence off everything so people wouldn’t fall in.” For $25 a car, yes, you would think they would fence off everything, but they don’t. I pretty much never advocate child leashes, but in this case, if you have a runner, by all means, use one!

I told the kids before we even got out of the car, “You are to hold my hands at all times, no matter what, no letting go, or else we are going to leave.” And I meant it! I really wanted my kids to experience this natural wonder, but I didn’t want to put their safety at risk. So at all times I kept saying, “I need two little hands in my two mommy hands.” The kids loved it! I also always place my pinky finger around their wrist for leverage when I am holding their hands, especially Kati’s, because she has been know to try to let go and run off. The pinky hold gives me a few extra seconds of control in case I need to scoop her up into my arms for better control.

I hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon since I was a preteen, and it was just as beautiful as I remember it. You can also take buses around to the different areas. While we were there they were having a fundraiser where different artists were painting pictures of the canyon to auction off at the end of the week, so the girls also got to experience art. We met one artist with his father, he showed us his painting, and we walked together to our cars. It was such an amazing few hours, and totally worth the $25 we had to pay to get in, although we were both pretty surprised by how high the price had gotten. We also met people from all over the world, and played “name that language.” To be honest there were two or three we couldn’t identify, although we got most of them.

If you get a chance to go, go! Take your kids and enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature! Take the ultimate family picture! Have fun being together.

Happy travels!

Kristin