MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

Choosing the best portable bed for your toddler – air mattress, folding bed or a cot

So, it’s that time – time to start taking your kid to trips. Every mom and dad know the trials and tribulations of traveling with your kid.

A big part of the worries that come with the job is one question: “Are they going to sleep well?”

The answer to that makes all the difference. Not only because of the fact that if they don’t sleep, you don’t sleep but because of the fact that what they do and how they behave during the day is largely determined by how rested they are.

So, today, we are looking into the things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best portable bed for your kid.

Types of portable beds to consider

Air mattress for kids/toddlers

A toddler air mattress makes a practical solution both for trips and transitioning from a crib to a regular bed.

Luckily, airbeds are relatively inexpensive, and the difference in prices is so small that you can go with quality and the best brands (like the Shrunk Tuckaire toddler air mattress).

6 Questions to ask yourself before choosing

  1. Do I have a restless sleeper on my hands?

If your child is one of those daredevils that you find sleeping in incredible positions, if they toss and turn, you might want to opt in for an inflatable bed with raised and sturdy sides that keep them safely inside the sleeping surface.

  1. Do we still have “accidents”?

If the answer is yes, an airbed is probably the best option (as oppose to folding foam beds and cots).

But not just any airbed – you might want to look for a bed that doesn’t come with a flocked top. Sure, the ones with the velvety finish look more comfortable, but once the flocking is soaked once or twice, there’s no way of getting the smell out.

A toddler inflatable bed that’s only PVC surface might need and extra blanket (although they usually come with a fitted cover) to make them comfier, but if an accident happens, the PVC won’t keep the smell in and is easily cleaned and you can wash the covers.

  1. Will I use the inflatable around the house or taking it to trips?

Most of the airbeds for kids come with an electric pump that both inflates and deflates the bed (within a minute or less).

Now, that’s all nice and well if you’re going to be using the bed around the house, but if you intend to travel and camp, make a note of whether the valve can be used with a manual pump or if the A/c pump can be battery operated.

If you are traveling overseas, make sure that you have an outlet adapter for the pump.

  1. Packing and flying

An airbed is the most practical option and probably the only option if you are flying. Deflated airbed come with their own carry bag and can easily be packed into a suitcase.

None of the other portable travel beds are as easily packed as an inflatable. Read the product description carefully and look for the size of the deflated mattress as oppose the dimensions of the inflated bed that are usually more obviously listed.

  1. How often will you be using it?

Luckily, as we mentioned, the difference in cost between the best and the worst airbeds is pretty small and, unless it’s a one-off occasion, you should stick with the recognized brands (such as Shrunks Tuckaire, Intex or Aerobed).

The differences range from a simple matter of holding air (you don’t want to wake up and see your kid sleeping on the floor and a deflated mattress) to more serious issues like safety. For example, the Shrunks Tuckaire is completely eco-friendly, BPA and phthalates-free.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of choosing the right inflatable bed for your toddler let’s take a look at some other available styles.

Folding travel bed for kids

A foldable travel bed is the most comfortable option of the three we’ll be looking into in this guide. It’s also by far the most expensive.

That makes it a good option if your plan is to use it mainly around the house or car camping because it doesn’t pack as small as an airbed.

It’s also not the best option if your little one still has accidents because the foam is practically impossible to clean and rid of the smell.

Brands, quality and safety

With all that foam, you have to approach the choice of folding bed for your kid with safety as the primary concern.

Choose a brand and a product that strictly adheres to the safety standards. The safest bet is going with a product that has stood the test of time (a good example – Leachco BumpZZZ travel bed).

Lastly, a folding bed is not really designed to contain your kid if there
are restless sleepers, because the sides are not as sturdy.

Toddler cot bed

A cot for your kid is probably second to an air mattress when it comes to portability and ease of use.

It folds up much like a folding chair, it’s made of steel with plastic parts and it folds up nice and small. Again, probably not the best option if your trip plan includes flying.

It’s not as comfortable as an airbed or a folding travel bed because most models don’t include foam padding; it’s just canvas, which makes it more portable.

It is a good option when there’s no risk of the child folding over – in other words, it’s best for kids who are already used to sleeping in a bed without sides or rails.

Like with all the previous styles, let’s mention that getting a top quality product from a reputable brand of travel cots makes all the difference (Regalo My cot is a good example).

Summary of the guide on choosing a toddler travel bed

It is a cliché but it’s true that, in the end, it all comes down to your specific needs and that of your kid.

We’ve gone through a list of things to consider, but let’s reiterate:

  • How often will you be using the portable bed?
  • Is your child a restless sleeper?
  • Do you plan to take the bed to trips and if so, do the trips include flying?
  • Does your child still have “accidents”?

We’ve also mention the top products and brands for each style we looked into (Shrunks Tuckaire in air mattresses, Leachco BumpZZZ if folding travel beds and Regalo My Cot  among the travel cots for kids)

Between the answers to the questions, the mentioned top brands and products in travel beds and the user reviews, you are now better equipped to make an informed decision than 99 % of parents out there.

Sweet dream to you and your little one

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I get Mold Out of Curtains?

Most mold removal instructions are about how to deal with mold that has bloomed on walls or on furniture in your home. In these situations you can usually call on companies like PuroClean (they do mold removal in New Jersey) to help deal with the mess.

Unfortunately, there are other ways mold can become a problem, such as on your drapes or curtains. Dampness around windows does create an ideal environment for mold growth, and finding smudges of mildew or mold on curtains is fairly common. How do you get them clean?

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The obvious answer is to just wash them, but that may not be the easiest suggestion to follow. Curtains and drapes come in so many fabrics that “washing” can be a complicated situation.

For inexpensive curtains that can be machine washed, you have the least to worry about. Use a standard stain removal product on the moldy areas, let that sit for the required amount of time and then wash your curtains as usual. The stain product is a harsher cleanser than the usual laundry soap, and that’s necessary to really kill the mold. Don’t just toss the curtains in the wash because the hot water alone won’t be enough to stop the mold. Either dry in a machine or hang dry, depending on the care instructions on the curtains.

For more delicate materials, you should consider getting them dry cleaned instead. The chemicals used in dry cleaning should be strong enough to deal with any mold but you could consult with the technician to see if they have any suggestions.

If you have curtains that shouldn’t be dry cleaned either, your last solution is to make up a dilute mix of water and bleach (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) and gently try to blot out the mold. You do run the risk of bleaching the fabric though.

If the moldy spots return, give your cleaning plan another go. If the mold continues to return, you can either get a professional to take a look or simply accept that the curtains need to be disposed of. Moldy fabric, even if you can’t see it, will spread spores and increase the likelihood that you’ll start to find more patches of it around your house.

What About Blinds?

Blinds are also susceptible to mold problems, though their smooth texture makes them very easy to clean compared to fabric curtains. Use the same bleach mixture and scrub down the blinds with a brush or rough cloth.

Prevention

Once you’ve gotten your curtains cleaned-up, you might want to think about some mold prevention. Ensure your windows are properly sealed with good weather-stripped around the edges. Moisture can and will seep in through any crack.

Make sure you close up the windows whenever it rains. Even a slight drizzle outside can seriously damped your curtains. If you really prefer to leave the window open in a little rain, tie the curtains back.

Rooms that are already otherwise damp could be helped by a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture. Makes the room more comfortable and reduces mold problems dramatically.

 

 

 

Happy 11th Birthday

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Nutcracker Tea Party Birthday

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We had an absolute blast planning Sarah’s 11th Birthday! A Nutcracker Tea Party

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Holiday Pine Cones with Mod Podge & Glitter

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I have shared before a cute fun way the kids can help with Holiday Crafts with the adorable Holiday Painted Pine Cones. They are a lot of fun and super easy to make!

The ones below I let the kids use various colors of paint and then sprinkled the same color glitter on the wet paint. Easy and fun!

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Buf for the Gold Pine Cones (and yes the kids can help with them too) I spray painted the pine cones with gold spray paint and then used Mod Podge on some of the bigger pine cone areas and sprinkled Gold Glitter on them.

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The finished pine cones came out beautiful!

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You can find the gold glitter, mod podge, and  color paint at Oriental Trading for an awesome price!

FREE SHIPPING on ANY order PLUS $10 eGIFT CARD on orders $49 or more* Enter promo code PS16527 during checkout.

*A product was provided.

Winter Fest 2016 for Southern California Dec 16th – Jan 1st #WinterFestOC

*A product was provided. We are invited to attend the opening night of Winter fest. All opinions are my own.

If It Ain’t Broke – It Still Might Need Replacing! Essentials All Parents Need To Know

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

We all know that old saying, and it’s a decent one to live by most of the time. If your car is running fine, gets good mileage and keeps you safe, why change it? Especially when new models come to market and then develop faults costing thousands of dollars in repair. If your dryer is working fine, why buy a new one that could end up with a safety recall notice within weeks or months?

The one thing that needs to be remembered about that saying is that it doesn’t apply to everything. Although use-by dates on food are often just a guideline – and an overcautious one at that – sometimes things do have a lifespan. Safety is a hugely important consideration in life in general. When you’re a mom, this is even more true. Risks you’d be happy to take with yourself are less acceptable for your little ones.

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Every once in awhile, you will need to replace things that you bought for your baby. Not just when they outgrow them, either. Sometimes, items which were made for a purpose become obsolete, or just not safe, and it is something that you can’t be cavalier about. The following are examples of things that you should replace on a time limit. Don’t give them a chance to break; sometimes that can’t be fixed.

Your Baby Mattress: Avoid The Hidden Dangers

Hand-me-downs are part of our culture. Most of us when we were younger got used to wearing clothes our elder siblings had grown out of. The clothes were fine – they’d been made to last, they were just too small for the original owner. And we can be persuaded to use other items we bought for a first child, when another comes along. Sometimes this is fine, but reality needs to play into your thinking.

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A bed you bought for your first child a few years ago may be structurally fine. The mattress may seem to be still as firm and intact as the day it was bought. But beware – most older mattresses were treated with chemicals to make them fire retardant. Although this worked, it isn’t great news for your baby. Those chemicals can be dangerous, when breathed.

Although that might be a minor risk – opinions differ – it becomes more of a risk the more that mattress is used. Statistics on crib death show that it is more likely to affect each child sequentially. A second child is more likely to suffer it than a first, a third more likely than a second and so on. Medical consensus is not there yet, but it is thought this is to do with how the mattress degrades and the transfer of body fluids. So replace the mattress, at least, for each new baby.

Your Baby Car Seat: Once Every Five Years (At Least)

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Some parents say that the five year limit on car seats is unnecessarily cautious. It’s up to those parents what they want to do, but this is an issue in which you should err on the side of caution. Moving parts and the materials used to make car seats don’t improve with age. Though yours may be working fine right now, it’s advisable to make sure that it is replaced before it shows any flaws.

Let’s put it this way, while trying to avoid being emotive. A baby car seat is something you don’t want to fail while a car is moving. New models hit the market regularly, and are put through their paces by testers and consumers. Just a glance at BabySeats Reviews Twitter will help you separate the good from the bad – and there are plenty of other sources out there too.

Think about it for a moment – with every new model that is made, testing gets more rigorous and more safety features are added. While some things can be handed down from child to child, you can never have too much safety.

Your Baby’s Drinking Cup: Replace It Regularly

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Kids form an attachment to items early on – you know all about the popularity of safety blankets, I presume? This is also why a lot of babies are so upset if you take away their pacifier. And the same can be true of their drinking cup. However, as much as they may grizzle if you take away a much-loved sippy cup, you need to be ready for it. In fact, once a month is considered to be the optimum time.

Part of the reason for this is that babies and toddlers can be quite rough with their possessions. They haven’t quite mastered motor skills and will pick things up and put them down roughly.

But What If I Can’t Afford This?

You might have read the above and acknowledged the points. However, it’s worth acknowledging that these things aren’t going to come for free. Parenting is an inherently expensive experience.

So how can you walk the line: ensure your child is safe, but not end up going deep into debt? The same techniques to any money saving apply. Look for coupons, wait for sales, compare prices wherever possible. You can even complete surveys online in exchange for gift cards, which you can use towards the purchase price. If you find a product at a good price, buy as many of them as possible. They only degrade with use, so storing sippy cups – for example – in a cool, dry area will keep them safe until needed.

The only option that you don’t have is to buy things secondhand. That, of course, is exchanging one problem for another. If necessary, tell friends and family you need supplies of these items. They might be able to club together or buy vouchers towards your next purchase. All you can do is do what you can and change these things as often as necessary, depending on your budget. Not being able to do so right on the dot of the perfect point doesn’t make you a bad parent, so don’t stress it too much.

Holiday Entertainment from American Girl

American Girl has some family-friendly programming available this holiday season.

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An American Girl Story—Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas

Available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting November 25

An American Girl Story—Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas  is based on American Girl’s previously launched BeForever character Maryellen Larkin. The special is set during Christmas in 1955 in Daytona Beach, Florida, where middle child Maryellen longs to stand out amidst the hustle and bustle of her big, busy family. A boisterous and artistic girl, Maryellen’s adventurous spirit is sometimes at odds with the era she’s living in: when conformity was valued above individuality. When Benji, a family friend afflicted with polio comes to stay with them and visit Daytona Beach’s hospital for care, Maryellen is inspired to help the polio patients have the best Christmas ever. With guidance and advice from Maryellen’s wise and sympathetic mother, Maryellen learns the key to helping others is through listening.

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An American Girl: Lea to the Rescue

Airing November 23 on Disney Channel

For a fun holiday night at home, girls can watch An American Girl: Lea to the Rescue , American Girl’s first-ever action-adventure film set to air November 23 on Disney Channel.  In the thrilling sequel to the original book series, Lea must face her fears as she travels deep into the Brazilian rainforest to solve the mystery of her missing brother.  In her quest to find him, she helps save endangered animals and must outwit ruthless animal poachers. 

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An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win

Now available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video 

Love has to Win centers around 1 0-year-old Melody, who is coming of age in Detroit in 1963. In the film, Melody’s eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

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It’s the season for celebrations as Holidays at the Disneyland Resort has started.  This year, guests will have even more to celebrate as they discover the new Festival of Holidays, with heartwarming holiday festivities inspired by cultural traditions from around the world. Also new for the season is the holiday-themed “World of Color—Season of Light,” a nighttime water spectacular that will inspire guests with cherished holiday music and treasured Disney animation.

At Disney California Adventure Park, guests will discover something fun around every corner at  Festival of Holidays. The Festive Foods Marketplace features 14 kiosks with a diverse array of food and beverages, and the daily lineup of entertainment includes nearly 50 performances of nine unique shows. Look for special Disney characters, street parties, cavalcades, musical ensembles and dance performances. The celebrations include Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas/Navidad and Three Kings Day. Guests will enjoy performances of traditional Indian dance that builds to a Bollywood party, a Klezmer band with a new global sound, the Mariachi Divas, an a cappella vocal group that puts an R&B spin on holiday songs – and more!

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For many guests, Holidays at the Disneyland Resort has become an annual tradition and they  visit the parks for festive favorites, including Disney-themed treats, snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., glistening décor and holiday entertainment.

The First Beauty And The Beast Trailer Is Out And It’s Wonderful!

Watch the brand new trailer for Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson & Dan Stevens 🌹 #BeOurGuest 3.17.17

pediped® Reveals Limited Edition Web-Exclusive Styles

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Award-winning children’s footwear brand pediped® is launching their Limited Edition styles today at 11am (PST).

You can purchase these limited styles on their website at www.pediped.com/limitededition.aspx

The Charlie Herringbone and Faith Snake limited edition Originals® baby shoes have a small run of 72 pairs each. Each pair in this exclusive series will come with an individually signed and hand numbered card.

Dressed in a brown and tan herringbone pattern with chocolate leather accents, Charlie is sure to bring a sophisticated and classic style to any baby’s wardrobe. Wrapped in sparkly and colorful faux snakeskin with a large black velvet bow accent, Faith exudes major chic attitude and is here to grab all the attention.

Don’t miss the opportunity to own one of these Limited Edition styles! The 144 pairs are expected to sell-out quickly so keep an eye on the pediped® Limited Edition webpage to make sure you grab your pair.

Save at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

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Travel through the mists of time to a forgotten age and a tale of devotion, courage and love—at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Imagine the pageantry and excitement that would have been yours as a guest of the king ten centuries ago. That’s exactly what you will experience at North America’s most popular dinner attraction.

See the  electrifying show featuring heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you. A sweeping musical score and brilliant lights provide a fabulous backdrop for this spellbinding experience that blurs the boundary between fairy tale and spectacle!

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My family and I have never been to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and we are super excited to be going! We drive by it in Buena Park all the time and the kids are so excited!

My Readers save at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.  CLICK HERE and use this exclusive promo code MT3629 through 2/17/17 and receive Adults for just $36.95 and children (12 and under) only $29.95.

*A product was provided through USFamilyGuide.com.

How to choose the best tuition service?

In today’s scenario of increasingly difficult exams, students find themselves inundated without a tuition center. Tuition has become a necessity nowadays, as self-study sometimes can be difficult for students. In order to aid our students into the right direction of learning, we must know how to select a good tuition service.

SOMETIMES, IT CAN BE A BUMMER

Finding a tuition centre can be really a painful task, in order of consideration of cost, teacher qualifications, experienced for how long. When you finally get your hands on a list of a few teachers, you can’t seem to decide whom to select or who would be the most beneficial to the student. This difficulty is what most parents face. It seems like there should be some sort of a checklist which we can tick away and which would help shortlist one or two tutors or a tuition center with good qualified and reputed professors who would be absolutely be the best option to go for.

WHAT MAKES A TUITION CENTRE EFFECTIVE?

  • Size of the class. The class size should be small, close and personal. The small size of the class will allow the tutor to understand his student’s strengths, weaknesses and method of approach. Small groups tend to give a one on one learning experience, where the tutor can impart creativity to the students and improvise concepts and cognition. Personal attention is advantageous for a Student’s intellectual development.
  • Testimonials. Nothing is more assuring than referrals from parents or students who already are benefitted from the center. Some centers do not have qualified teachers with proper data. It is wiser to do a first-hand research on the center you are going to enroll your child in, than wasting time and money by enrolling him to some center with no proper background or history.
  • Method of teaching. More than audio cognition, visual cognition is a better approach. Most of the centers employ visual and audio both to suit all kind of students, some who prefers to listen to a lecture and take his notes, and others who prefer to see it in action, using a photographic memory to understand and comprehend what follows what.
  • Parent-to-teacher discussion. A good tuition center will evaluate a student monthly and assess him on the basis of that. He would be able to understand where he’s lacking or where he may need extra practice. The assessment discussion is very necessary for a tutor to make it with the parents.
  • Child’s feedback. A tuition center may be great, but if it fails to meet your child’s requirement, then it’s pointless. Have a talk with the student after the tuition. A good tuition center will be well-versed to his students’ need.
  • Classroom management and disciplineis also an added point here.

This guide will help you choose a good tuition Singapore that would cater to your child’s academic requirements. Every student is different, and a well experience teacher knows if the student needs a strict method or a playful and friendly environment to learn in.

Starting Jan. 1, California Requires Rear-Facing Car Seats up to 2 Years Old

Here is a short podcast to help parents understand the changes that are coming and how they can best be in compliance. It’s hosted by Erin Royer-Asrilant, an LA-based parenting expert and founder of Your Village, a one-stop parenting resource:
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In this episode, Erin discusses:
  • Current car seat safety laws and changes that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017
  • Where you can find information about your state’s laws
  • How to choose the proper seat for your child’s age, height, and weight
  • Car seat setup and places you can go to get help in proper installation
  • Common errors when strapping in kids and infants that can be dangerous/fatal
  • Tips on getting toddlers into their seats!

Thanksgiving Crafts for Preschoolers

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Shelby is absolutely having so much fun in preschool. She is learning to write her name, her ABCs and even simple math problems but I think her favorite thing to do is all the fun crafts!

With it being November and Thanksgiving around the corner I thought it would be fun to make Turkeys with Shelby’s class! They loved it!

We used  Jumbo Turkey Shapes and Bulk Feather Assortment, and added googly eyes! I received the items from Oriental Trading .

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The Jumbo Turkeys come in four different colors and a pack of 12. You can do all kinds of fun crafts with them. They will make adorable decorations on Thanksgiving.

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Oriental Trading  is our go -to online store to get all the crafting supplies we need at an inexpensive price.  So many awesome Thanksgiving craft ideas you can find too! Here are just a few more to choose from.

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Foam Smile Face Leaves Wreath Craft Kit

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Color Your Own Jointed Turkeys

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Peanuts® Color Your Own I Am Thankful For…Wheels

*A product was provided.