If you have a beginning swimmer, or an established swimmer you just want to give an added measure of safety during water play, the Speedo Kids Neoprene swim vest is an easy-packing favorite of ours you should seriously consider investing in. Seriously? Yes. Much to my own surprise, I found myself buying a third before our recent trip to Maui, and although my older kids are independent swimmers (and technically older than the 4-6 years the large size claims to fit), there were times all three vests were in use and all of us were happy to have them.
Though not a substitute for a coastguard-approved life jacket where and when that is required, the Speedo swim vests give kids from toddlerhood to early elementary years extra buoyancy without bulk so they can practice their first doggy paddles and, when older, simply last longer enjoying the hotel pool or boogie board with a confidence. One of my daughters, who chills easily, also liked that hers helped keep her warmer.
Better still, where you might hesitate to pack one or two bulky life preservers in your luggage, these vests pack in at only 2″ thick and are very lightweight. And durable? Ours have spent countless hours in swimming pools and several more in salt water, and without any special care I have to say they still look new.
Speedo’s sizing on these can be a bit confusing, so be aware that what they call size Medium is recommended for most children ages 2 – 4 years or 33 to 45 lbs., and size Large is recommended for most kids ages 4 – 6 years or 45 to 60 lbs. Our Larges are still in use by kids older than that, so your mileage may also vary!
Click here to see color options available and read other customer reviews at Amazon.com. For more Pack This! ideas and recommendations, follow this link, and click here for reviews of the best baby and toddler travel gear.
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Half of the battle in being able to enjoy traveling with a baby or toddler is figuring out how to keep them safe in completely new surroundings. In addition to my Checking-In Safety Checklist included in both Travels with Baby guides and the “Staying Safe and Sane with Friends and Family” pre-trip advice in Travels with Baby, I recommend some of my favorite safety and temporary childproofing products here to help. Now, here’s one to add to the list.
What I love about the Travel Tot kit is that it combines some of my favorite products for temporary childproofing in one easy to pack and re-pack case (there are enough other things to remember!). What’s more, it even includes one fabulous forehead thermometer I recenty recommended here in the blog. And as a bonus? Your own “SHHHH… baby” door hanger to help remind those folks across the hall why they don’t want to let the door slam shut.
The Travel Tot childproofing kit includes 33 items total, plus ahesives for 2 separate rounds of application. No tools are required to install any of the products. You can click here to read more about it and get your Travel Tot childproofing kit ordered today.
Want more Pack This! recommendations for smart, sanity-saving products to bring on your travels? Browse the quick list of favorites I’ve compiled at Amazon. Need gear that goes the distance? See my recommendations for baby and toddler travel gear.
Related posts and pages:
- The ultimate hotel babyproofing tip
- Important tips to prevent accidental ingestion of medicines during travel
- Safety and childproofing products for travel
I’m not sure where you were or what you were doing when you first heard about Friday’s tragedy, but chances are you have heard. I found out just a couple of hours after learning the good news that I was the 1st runner up in the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards for family travel sites, but before I had a chance to send out a big THANK YOU to you all for your many votes of support that earned me that honor, I was dropping off my kids at their schools and dashing out to take care of a few errands before returning to help at school holiday parties.
Like many people across America, I was driven to tears by the news without even knowing anyone directly affected. And like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been left with a knot in my stomach and questions on my mind including how could this happen? How can this keep happening? And… what can I possibly do to help prevent it from happening to the people I love?
Thankfully, a federal ban on assault weapons–something which had already been in place for 10 years but was allowed to end in March 2004–will be reintroduced to congress as it reconvenes in early January. No matter where we stand on other various issues of gun ownership in the U.S., this is the time to stand up and say that guns that can take 20 lives in as many seconds (or less) have no place in the hands of civilians, in our homes, or in our neighborhoods.
Two U.S. Senators previously endorsed by the NRA (with A ratings) have already agreed today that it is time for a ban on assault weapons in this country, but several more members from the House and Senate are waiting to hear from you. That’s why I hope that each of you living in the U.S. will take just a few minutes to assure your state’s representatives that you support a renewed federal ban on assault weapons and are counting on them to help make it happen ASAP. You can click here to easily locate your representatives’ online contact pages and send your message today.
Again, I am very grateful for your ongoing support of this blog and website, and I am also so grateful to each of you for taking a moment to help facilitate a critical change at this sad moment in our nation’s history.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you: Thanksgiving can be the craziest, most expensive time of the year to travel in the U.S. When you add a baby or young child to the mix, and possibly myriad members of your extended family in the adventurous terrain of someone else’s home, it’s all the more important to plan your strategy for a happy Thanksgiving vacation.
Here are three tips that can help make all the difference between a long weekend you’ll always lament–and one for which you’ll always give thanks.
1. Bring easy childproofing-on-the-go solutions that won’t fluster grandparents or permanently alter Aunt Hilda’s sitting room. From my favorite toddler-proof doorknob covers that keep kids from sightseeing alone to finger guards that keep cousins from slamming the doors you want open closed (on precious small fingers), these gadgets take up little space in your bag and offer big help on vacations. And for an unexpected twist on childproofing in other people’s homes: Consider using garden training wire (more here). See more child safety recommendations for travel here.
2. Have “the talk” about pills on the premises — and vitamins, ointments, medicated creams and other prescriptions that are often left in easy-to-remember places in homes without young children. If you’ve ever seen a glorified PEZ dispenser labeled Monday through Sunday with easy-lift tabs, you know what I’m talking about, but this one often catches even the most thoughtful hosts off guard. More tips to help on this topic in my post here.
3. Bring thoughtful host and hostess gifts to break the ice — and keep everyone smiling. If you’re still a little nervous about the reception of your “talk on pills” or how your Door Mouse Finger Guard might be received by any members of your extended clan, you will no doubt win them over with humorous–and practical–gifts that never go out of style for those in the presence of toddlers: I recommend ear plugs, flameless candles, and a “splat mat” that matches your gracious hosts’ dining room decor.
If you’re packing up for a holiday stay in somebody else’s home this season, be sure to revisit the “Staying safe (and sane) with friends and family” pages in Travels with Baby, where you’ll find many more tips and helpful advice for having your best stay with friends or family.
Want more help with your holiday travels? Jump to the FAQs and Popular Topics page with health tips and more, or stop by the Flying with Babies and Toddlers tips page for answers and advice for your upcoming flights, or for road warriors, be sure to stop by the Road Trips and Travel with Car Seats travel tips index–and if this site helps your family in its travels, please be sure to show your support for Travels with Baby with a quick vote in the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards (thank you!).
As for us, we’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving for 2012 – though that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of packing to do this week! If you want to know where we’re bound, keep in touch – I’ll try and drop a line.
Just last week, I left my toddler eating his snack in the kitchen for a few momentsonly to return to find him standing on the kitchen counter with a bottle of children’s vitamins in his hand. I had no idea that he had vitamins on his mind when I left the room, nor that he could so quickly and easily access these things I purposefully keep on a high shelf in the cupboard. Has this happened to you?
And now we pack our bags.
Let’s face it: pills, vitamins, even medicated creams and ointments, are often left in easy-to-remember places–especially in homes without young children. Before traveling to Nana’s this summer, it’s worth asking, “Where?” and having a potentially life-saving conversation with your hosts about how and where any prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, pet medications, and vitamins will be stored to ensure they are out of the reach and, just as important, out of the sight of your child during your visit.
I also wanted to pass along these helpful tips and reminders provided by the PROTECT Initiative* on exactly this topic. And after you run through them yourself, you may want to forward them on to your friends and relatives (especially the ones you’ll be staying with this summer!).
1. When packing for a trip, keep your medicines in their original child-resistant containers. Other containers, such as pill organizers and baggies, often lack child safety features and can be easily accessed by young children.
2. While staying in a hotel, secure your medicines and vitamins in a location that your children cannot see or reach, such as a high cabinet or passcode-protected hotel room safe.
3. As a guest in another person’s home, do not be shy about asking them where to put your medicines and vitamins so they are out of the sight and reach of children.
4. Remember to never leave medicine or vitamins out on a table, countertop, or bedside table where your children could reach them no matter where you are – always make sure the caps are locked and put them away every time they are used.
5. Program the national Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, along with other emergency contact numbers into your cell phone, so they are available in case of an emergency.
For more helpful tips to keep little ones safe during homestays and other travels, see “Staying Safe (and Sane) with Friends and Family” in Chapter 2 of Travels with Baby, “Childproofing On the Go” in Chapter 10 of Travels with Baby, check out recommended Safety & Childproofing Products for Travel, and when you get there: Don’t forget the Checking in Safety Checklist in Take-Along Travels with Baby.
Yep, I’ve been there, done that, and here I am all over again.
* The PROTECT Initiative is a collaboration between the CDC and the CHPA Educational Foundation. Click here for more information.
See our recommended products for childproofing and safety on the go
All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli 2007 – 2011
I am unpacking from our trip to Jamaica and can’t wait to share our experiences at one of the world’s most baby- and toddler-friendly resorts recommended in Travels with Baby–watch for the full review and 411 coming soon! Meanwhile, I have a pumpkin pie in the oven and my thoughts are with those of you heading out for Thanksgiving travel with your own little ones and those still strategizing for holiday travel in the weeks to come.
If you have 5 minutes, be sure to check out this clip from last year’s appearance on View from the Bay (no, I’m not pregnant again!) with helpful tips for keeping babies and toddlers safe while staying with friends and family during the holidays. For more help planning your holiday travels with your child:
- Don’t forget the Worldwide Directory of Baby Gear Rental Agencies at TravelswithBaby.com
- See Chapter 2 of Travels with Baby for tips on Staying Safe (and Sane) with Friends and Family
- See Chapter 10 of Travels with Baby for tips on Childproofing on the Go
- See my Essential Holiday Travel Tips over at Babble.com
Now, if I can just figure out what to do with this bird. Jerk turkey anyone?
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby
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