Overly disinfecting toys

Truth: I have let my kid eat dirt (it was one time and it was more of a little dirt disc He found on the floor) and sometimes I have to pull things out of his mouth that he picked up off the floor (like an old blueberry he found on the floor that the dog didn’t eat and I didn’t sweep up). If his pacifier fell on the ground, at home, I dusted it off and popped it back in his mouth. But I totally disinfect his toys every two weeks. It’s all about balance!

I’m a firm believer in allowing your child to build an immune system. If you overly disinfect things, you actually reduce your child’s ability to be exposed to certain bacteria and pathogens, therefore causing them to have a weaker immune system.

By no means am I telling you to allow your child to lick a gas station floor (I went a little dramatic there I know). But don’t overly sanitize. You don’t need to clean their toys every day. And don’t freak out if they eat dirt on occasion or chew on the dogs chew toy (been there). They will turn out just fine! It’s good for them to be exposed to different elements.

I know I ate my fair share of dirt when I was little. I even drank from the hose! I turned out just fine.

Disinfect toys every so often. Aim for every other week, or every week if you’re a clean freak. Don’t make it a daily thing. Especially if you keep your house decently clean. Spend more time playing with your child and making sure they stay physically safe. They grow up too fast. Wouldn’t you rather spend that hour you would disinfecting, playing with them instead?

Never under estimate a toddler

I used to think the infant stage was going to be the most difficult part of having a new baby. I figured because they were so little they were going to take so much time and energy.

Go ahead and laugh all you veteran moms. Yeah yeah I was SO wrong. Infants are easy! They eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom with little movement. I say little movement because they aren’t walking and depending on age, just learning to crawl. I could put Ryder in a front carrier and get so much done around the house when he was really little! He would just sit and watch or fall asleep!

A toddler, now that’s a whole different story! They get into everything! What little free moments I had before are now gone. I spend most of my day chasing him around making sure he doesn’t hurt himself. That and picking up whatever he’s torn up or pulled down. I swear the minute I get something put away, he’s already gotten in to 3 other things! By the time his bedtime hits, I’m ready for bed too!

Forget having a clean house. Those days are over. I’m just happy if we can get through a day where he doesn’t get hurt or the house is torn apart too much. I’m sure someone is shaking their head at me for saying I hope we can get through a day without injury. You’d understand if you took care of my kid for a day. Baby proofing has nothing on this kid. He will get the dog to lay down so he can stand on her to reach for something high above him. Never under estimate a one year old.

Every day is something new. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love every messy, exhausting minute of it. We have our good days too I promise! 😉

Kids and technology

I always said I would never be one of those moms who just stuck their kid in front of the tv or let them spend hours playing a video game. I’m still not. However I will use technology to my advantage.

I grew up in a time with no cell phones and only one tv in the house. People had pagers and made calls on land lines or pay phones. People didn’t have a tv in every room of their house. You had one in the living room and that was it. In our house, tv time was only allowed if homework was done or on weekends in the mornings. After the morning tv time was up we could either play outside or in our rooms.

Going to dinner as a family we all sat together and talked or my brother and I would eat fast, find a tree on the restaurant patio and go climb it! We didn’t have phones or video games to entertain ourselves. I want Ryder to grow up not fully relying on a tv, a cell phone or a video game to entertain himself like I did. I know it’s not logical to completely avoid this. So that’s where I feel moderation comes in.

Ryder’s so little right now that he has no interest in the tv or video games. However going to a restaurant it can be a battle to keep him entertained. He’s in a throwing phase so we can’t bring toys our we spend the entire dinner picking them up off the floor. At football games he wants to run all over the place and there’s not much space for him to do that. That’s where the cell phone comes in handy! Ryder loves to watch videos of himself. He thinks it’s so funny. What’s even better is he will sit still for a good 30 minutes watching videos of himself!

I know as he gets older the battle over the tv or phones will get worse. That’s part of growing up in a tech savvy world. But I do hope we are able to be that family I see on occasion, out to eat with no cell phones in hand, just hanging out spending time together. But for now I’ll be appreciative of cell phones and their ability to entertain my child through a short meal or and event like a football game!

Car rides with toddlers

When I told people we were taking Ryder to Lubbock, I swear every one of them got a look of horror on their face. Yeah yeah yeah I know, a 5 hour drive with a 1 year old isn’t ideal. But we wanted to go to the game and knew he’d have a great time

We planned accordingly. I downloaded lots of learning games on my iPad, packed tons of snacks and left an hour before nap time. Ryder is perfectly fine in the car for an hour. So we figured if he took an hour and a half nap, we already killed 2 1/2 hours right there! That left about 2 1/2 hours left to entertain him. If you aren’t familiar with Texas cities, Lubbock is roughly a 5 hour drive West of Dallas (4 1/2 if you go over 70 and don’t stop to go to the bathroom).

Everything worked out perfectly. He actually ended up sleeping a little longer than an hour and a half. When he woke up I crawled in the back seat with him and we played games, read books, ate some snacks and hung out. He didn’t get fussy till about 30 minutes outside of Lubbock. But let’s be honest, we were all getting a bit squirrelly at that point!

Car rides with small kids don’t have to be miserable if you can plan accordingly. I know you can’t always plan your trips to fit your child’s schedule but if you can I promise it’s worth it.

Here is my list of must haves for long car rides with a young toddler:

🔹Snacks

🔹Water

🔹Diapers/wipes

🔹Plastic bag/trash bag to throw trash in

🔹Backup outfit (you never know)

🔹Books, games, toys

🔹IPad loaded with movies and games

🔹Blanket in case they get cold but you are hot and need the air on

🔹Backup bibs if your kid is a drooler like mine

🔹Socks. Ryder’s feet always get cold in the car

If you’re one of those parents who doesn’t want their kid just sitting and watching movies, then download educational games! I found animal games that teach sounds, colors, etc for Ryder that he absolutely loves.

Like I said, car rides don’t have to be miserable. You can make them tolerable if you plan accordingly and bring enough things to entertain!