It is not great that BB doesn’t sleep through the night and it’s not great that there are many reasons for that. However, one thing that tends to keep him up is his perma-cold caused stuffy nose. And when it comes to stuffy noses this household turns to saline spray. And this household also likes to use silly words (okay, just some of us). Boogie Mist gently sprays saline into a child’s nose and unclogs the plumbing. The saline is not treated and is natural, but unlike some other saline sprays Boogie Mist features a Schnozzle instead of a nozzle which is scented. The cool thing about saline sprays is that you can use them frequently so like most meds you don’t need to watch the clock to deliver another dose. Most kids react pretty strongly to having sprays shoved up their nose, but Boogie Mist name alone goes a long way to getting a kid to sit still while you spray.
Now that it is nippy out and I had to get down the family’s winter gear from the attic we could finally see if BB was up for my favorite game show, Will The Baby Keep His Hat On? I’m not sure if it counts as a win or not because the game show’s rules are a bit fuzzy, but BB does indeed NOT keep his hat on. Much like his socks there is nothing he does faster than take his hat off. Which is why we needed a something a little stronger. Dots on Tots, made from organic cotton, are double thick baby hats that feature Velcro on the flaps. Of course like most good baby products these hats are made by a mom in the good ole US of A. The flaps completely cover the youngster’s ears to try and prevent ear infections. Dots also makes a Noise Reduction hat with ear protection inserts in case you’re like me and you keep taking the baby to Metallica concerts. I’m still waiting for someone to make a hat that doesn’t just cover the ears, but also stops the little guy’s nose from running as it does all winter.
After we got out the baby toys so BB could enjoy them, I quickly remembered that most of them take a lot of batteries and I needed to once again find the small screwdriver to open the compartment. I also quickly remembered that the tiny screws strip all the time and cause me to use words in front of the kids that are best suited for when they are more mature. SpeedOut is a stripped or damaged screw extractor that makes it possible for the baby’s toys to remain fully operational and beep annoyingly long into the night. You take the SpeedOut bit and put it in an ordinary drill then set to reverse to extract the stripped screw. If I was an infomercial I would say, Yes, folks it’s just that easy. I was thinking about how all the tiny toy screws do tend to strip and maybe they do that on purpose so that you can tell your kids the batteries can’t be changed and you will just have to play without the annoying beeps. Oops, best keep SpeedOut a secret.
As Rob Stark would say (before the red wedding that is) winter is coming. Since the boys seem to have perma-colds and constantly dripping noses the season of hand sanitizer is upon us. Of course it seems like you have sanitizer around when you need it. That has changed with the HALO Sani-CuFFS wristbands which dispense clean goo right from your wrist. The bands feature different colored characters like Binky, Foxy and Panda. You take the included bulb, then fill the wristband (.5 oz) and hope the kid doesn’t squirt it on his brother. My point is that the wristband does make you look like a superhero, but with great power comes great responsibility in the form of being mature enough to keep from constantly squeezing out sanitizer. An interesting side note, the bands were developed by students and teachers in Queens. You can fill the applicator with any sanitizer you choose, but HALO makes an alcohol free version sold separately. However, I am still waiting for them to develop a way to keep the boy from wiping his nose on his sleeve.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know well, I like things that are not only simple, but do what they claim to do. In honor of Halloween’s arrival and the possibility that your kid may be dressed as a ghost and actually disappear, Uh Oh Bands are an easy way to gain piece of mind. The silicone waterproof bands slip on with ease and allow you to write the child’s name and number in case of misplacement. They also have bands for allergies and medical conditions. I have seen child info tattoos and stickers, which work well, but require a little extra effort; bands are as easy as it gets, as the bands simply state, “Uh Oh I’m Lost.” I’m still waiting for them to come out with an adult version since I can never find The Mommy in Target.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know well my quest to force LTD and now BB to relive my childhood continues with mixed results. In our house board games were a staple activity and while LTD is ready for Monopoly or Risk (he just figure out that to play Candyland you can’t move everyone else’s piece) he has enjoyed some of the more modern games. And in our half hearted attempt to limit screen time we try and play games like Keekee: The Rocking Monkey from blue orange games. In the Jenga wheelhouse, Keekee (designed for three and up) is a balancing game in which the titular hero monkey stands on a rocking banana. The object is to place wooden balls on the banana and monkey without them falling off. Of course you need a steady hand and a calm child to win the game. The good news is that while LTD has a little trouble with patience and therefore the game, each actual round of game play is less than 10 minutes. So you can avoid the whole I wanted to win phase of all preschool competitions. On the surface the game is all about fine motor skills and balance, but I like that it forces the boy to try and be patient and move deliberately (plus you can’t beat the look his face makes when he is concentrating.
The Mommy and I often disagree on the role that cereal should play in our lives. If left to my own devices the boys and I would consume cereal for dinner with perhaps alarming frequency. The Mommy feels that cereal is rare thing to enjoy when other breakfast options have been exhausted. However, the worm has turned as I can now sneak the best part of cereal on the side and behind her back. Cow Wow Cereal Milk comes in the Tetra pak container and currently is available in chocolate chip and fruity. Now I know what you’re thinking, the left over cereal milk in the bowl is okay to drink in small doses; it can’t be replicated in the lab? I too was skeptical, but these are not overwhelming and chemically tasting. The have, surprisingly, few ingredients: Organic 1% Milk, Organic Cane Sugar, Natural Flavors, Organic Cocoa Powder, Salt. Best served chilled, LTD and I were basically fighting over them. However, despite my love for cereal I think if you did drink these every day the novelty would wear off and I’m categorizing these guys as dessert.
If your child hasn’t taken over your tech yet, he or she may be using a screen with the word Leapfrog on it. If that is the case then consider yourself lucky that your iPad doesn’t have sticky finger prints covering it. Lately, thanks to Netflix, LTD has been getting into the Magic School Bus. And of course, his top three things are robots, monsters and dinosaurs. And thus a marriage happened, Magic School Bus Dinosaurs for Leap Frog Explorer features Ms. Frizzle leading the kids to a Jurassic Park in which Laura Dern is not only not chased by raptors, but isn’t seen at all. The cartridge features six games filled with some many dinosaur facts that when your kid repeats them back to you, he won’t repeat himself. For some Ms. Frizzle is a bit much, but LTD seems to like her and you can never go wrong when you are allowed to put together a dinosaur sketleon. Magic School Bus Dinosarus is compatible with Leapfrog tablets, LeapsterGS, and Leapster Explorers.
As long time readers of Beyond the Car Seat know well, The Mommy is a huge fan of saline when anyone in the house even thinks about sneezing. Nasal spray is her first line of defense against any cold. In the quest to keeps things as natural as possible, we turned to Xlear Nasal Spray. The spray has the simple ingredients of purified water, xylitol, saline, grapefruit seed extract. And then you ask what is Xylitol? Xylitol is a natural sweetener even found in our bodies from sources including fruits, berries and lettuce. In fact, if you want to move from your nose to your teeth there is research to suggest it helps prevent tooth decay. But back to the nose. Xclear uses Xylitol in the nasal spray to help… “draw moisture and keeps the nasal passages and sinuses more moist and clean than saline alone.” Another feature is the lack of antihistamines or decongestants. Now if I could only get LTD to keep his finger out of his nose long enough to use the spray we may be able to prevent some colds.
If you have spoken to LTD in the last few months then that means only one thing, that you have heard the word robot used more times in a shorter span of time than you probably have in your whole life. And when the subject is robots, OWI is a good place to start. Most of their robots are for older kids and adults, but their Green Life line features some cool items for the younger set (with supervision, a lot of supervision since the kit is all about assembling the robot). LTD has moved on from just talking about robots to asking if we can build one so I figured this would be a good fit. The Green Life line features plug-in solar recharging car kits. The charge only takes a few minutes (assuming it isn’t cloudy) and the car roams around for about three minutes. No need for screws, etc but the kit does have a lot of small potentially sharp parts which is great if you want your robot to work better than the cardboard one I first built, but not great if you got really young ones hanging around to see what all the fuss is about. The cool thing about building it is that you get that robot vibe instead of a just a toy from a box.