Play & Go {Product Review}

Getting our kids to clean up there toys is always a tedious, argumentative task. Cayden’s new thing is “I can’t carry them all”- to which I typically have him use his shirt as a “pouch” and I fill it up. It’s cute- but it’s annoying.

I was thrilled when offered to review the Play & Go. It’s a play mat, storage system that when flat acts as the play mat, and when it’s done being utilized, a draw string cinches the sack together and cleans everything up.

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Cayden loves cars. He loves racing them around, driving them, making roads and lining them all up. What he doesn’t like is cleaning them up.

img_9494The Play & Go mat didn’t change that, but helped it not be such an argument. We received the Play & Go Roadmap print and Cayden loved it. He immediately went and got his cars while I flattened the mat out in the living room.

Now, this thing is huge! 55″ in diameter to be exact and the material is high quality, thick, polycotton canvas so durability isn’t even a concern.

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The size is great as a play mat, but isn’t small hand friendly. Cayden, who is 4.5, couldn’t cinch it together by himself. I had no problem helping him, but would love to see something easier for smaller hands.

Overall what I don’t like, is the draw string system. There are two places to pull the drawstring and with a 4.5 foot diameter, it leaves a weird taco shaped ordeal, not the “sack” I was hoping for. I think if it had 4 places to pull to cinch it closed, it would be better and close more efficiently. temporary

Price wise, you’re looking around $40 for the regular sized and they do offer a Mini which is only $20. It is the same concept, same material, but only 15″ in diameter. It works great in the car for travel toys, a quick snack holder for park trips, or every a makeup bag. Play & Go has a color and design for everyone. Their Classic Collection offers 8 solid colors, the Print Collection offers 14 fun (yet subtle) prints, and their Designer Collection offers 5 choices including a “Color Your Own”. The Mini Play & Go is only available in 2 prints- either Cherrys or Thunderbolts.

You can find this versatile product on Amazon, in select speciality stores or you can send an email to info@hotalinginc.com where they can take you order and ship it direct.

Love the concept and the size. Not a fan of the seemingly ineffective draw string and think it would be more effective with 4 handles instead of 2.

4 out of 5 stars.

Kirstyn

**Burritobuzz received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are that of my own and no compensation was provided or offered in exchange for a positive review**

 

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Two Under Two. Tips and Tricks

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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people ask me “How do you do it?”

My answer is usually “Lots of patience and love”.

While that is true, we have a pretty regimented life. I am a stay at home mom  while my DH works night. I HAVE to keeps all my ducks in a row or it will just be pure chaos.  Two under two is not for the faint of heart. You learn so much more than you ever thought possible, and it almost hurts how much you can love two little babies at one time!

Planning on “Baby bunching”? Found yourself Pregnant 8 months after your first birth, like me? I am 10 months in now, and I have to share some of the things that just get you through your day-to-day life!

I hope it helps! I am sure I will come back and add more in a few months since the babies are always changing…

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Order Diapers and Wipes online

freeshippingI use Target.com with my Red card, and I get free shipping, but  there are TONS of other options! AmazonFamily, Amazon Prime, Diapers.com <<, Just to name a few.  I never did it with BK#1, but a month or so after BK#2 came along I found out that I could order diapers with no shipping with my Red card. It is seriously the best thing ever, and eliminates the extra trip because you forgot about opening the last pack of diapers. Seriously, diapers at your doorstep! Now if I could only train the post man to leave the box and back away quietly……

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The schedule that you make will change because of feedings, diaper blow-outs, meltdowns, the end of the world, and ya know pretty much anything. I have found that being able to tell BK#1 what is going to happen next and reminding her of her day to day activities grounds her and helps her feel like she is in control.

 

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If your child isn’t ready and not even interested, don’t sweat it. I introduced it pretty young with BK#1 but didn’t start making it a regular and consistent thing until she was around 2, and it has been pretty impossible. It never fails every time I sit down to nurse BK#2,  finally get him asleep, or I have him in the bath and she is gated in her room that she will holler “Mommyyy potty!!” Better yet BK#1 crawling through an accident that you didn’t know existed until you bend down to pick him up…….

 

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When I was around five months pregnant I un-boxed the baby swing, pack n play, changing table etc. I wanted her to get used things that were not hers, and not only not hers, but she was not allowed to touch. It didn’t totally eliminate her pushing on the swing when he was in it, or trying to see over the pack n play edge, but it certainly started the communication early. She was very aware of “ Only for baby” ,  “Very gentle” , and “Be careful” way before there was even a baby in the gear.

 

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imagesBIZZSE10Baby gear is pretty bulky, and I tried my hardest not to have double of everything! For example: We transitioned into a booster seat instead of using the high chair, to conserve space. Another item that we started transitioning out of was the binky. We didn’t completely take it away, but it was no longer anywhere but her bed. We did it for a lot of reasons, but mostly to make it as easy as possible when she saw her baby brother with one. When it was time to get rid of it completely it really wasn’t a huge deal, thankfully!

 

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I know some people can’t because of their backs, or just don’t chose to because they feel it is “babying and spoiling your child” when you carry a toddler. I will tell you that wearing my toddler has seriously saved my sanity. If you don’t already have one get a soft structured carrier or wrap and start putting that baby on your back! Your toddler needs to feel special and close to you too, and it is seriously the easiest way to do just that. Even if you hand the carrier to your DH when he is heading out to rake leaves, I promise your toddler will be calmer and you will have a lot more hair on your head.

Don’t know how?

I pretty much taught myself how with youtube videos! I will link a good one below for you. It looks a littler awkward, and takes practice to do alone, but its worth it.

** She is going a little slower than you normally would to show steps…..

Wrapyouinlove.com is a great resource for tutorials and BabyWearing Education, if you need more info!

 

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Okay, so I am a little back and forth on the topic of baby monitors. I think they are essential to get things done while the babies are sleeping, but we had a video monitor with BK#1 and I made a horrible habit of getting her way too soon if she woke in the middle of the night. She had a horrible time teaching herself to go back to sleep, because I would see her sit up and I would rush in to get her. We transitioned to a simple radio monitor to get away from seeing her and relying on knowing her cries and letting her sleep! Well when BK#2 came along I thought I was losing my mind with the radio one! Once the newborn cry was gone it was so hard to distinguish between the two children’s noises. They are siblings and they sound A LOT alike! Not only that, but I was so paranoid! Was BK#1 silently climbing out of her crib? Is BK#2 still breathing? Is he standing and trying to climb out too??? Bk#2 is nicknamed “Monkey” because he is way ahead of the game when it comes to moving. He’s 10 month old and can climb stairs, is trying to walk, and can just about pull himself up on the couch.gebaby

This is the GE Monitor system that we have right now. It’s really nice, but I am always looking for better, because I have yet to find the PERFECT set.

{If you have one you LOVE and have zero issues feel free to share!}

So sanity, parents. Save. Your. Sanity.

 

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This isn’t essential, but purposeful play with dolls gave BK#1 and idea of what was to come. I believe it truly helped with our smooth transition. 140545_0000.jpgBaby Stella is the current favorite!

 

 

 

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Do you carry your toddler up the stairs most of the time? Do you have every single entry way gated off? Do you always carry in parking lots? Does your toddler understand the word ‘patience’ and actively use it/ talk about using patience?b3f0a99d9292dfc4c41ccb3f89efeb91

Toddler –Proof an area.

13971309.jpgWe actually have multiple places that I can leave BK#1, with a gate on the door, and not worry about her hurting herself. Her bedroom is absolutely her space, and there’s nothing she can hurt herself on, and the same with the play room. If you don’t have the space I really encourage you to do this. You will need to get a shower, get the mail, take the dogs out, and make a phone call, etc. without a toddler trying to get your attention and without worrying about what they are getting into.

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Just start out with one and get a system down. Don’t try and have a bag for both kids. I felt like I still needed all the essentials for BK#1, and in reality you just need a diaper and a change of clothes. Don’t overdo it and cause yourself unnecessary stress. You can read more about what I put in my diaper bag here.

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cea8ff434961f0508ea09cec8b90711dBefore baby number two arrives set up stations around the house to keep essentials ready for quick access.  I have a basket or storage solution for diapering, lunch items, bottles, breast pump accessories, and snacks. Not only does it make the day go smoother, it makes it easier for DH or babysitters.

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Have a pack n play, swing, bouncy seat, or whatever floats your fancy set up in multiple areas of your house. Speaking from experience, there will be many times you will be casually canoodling the newborn and the toddler will spill a bottle of water everywhere, or knock something down, need a diaper change, and or just make a disaster of your house. There will be no time to run a baby to the next room to the swing, you will need SAFE places to leave the baby. Not only for toddler disasters, but just to do normal things. Ya know, like peeing.

 

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Eventually you will turn on Daniel flipping Tiger, put the baby in the saucer, and hide in the kitchen to drink your (hot)coffee in 5 minutes of quiet. If you say you don’t (or you won’t) then you’re in denial/lying.join-daniel-tiger-image.png

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FindingRest1You’re going to be sleep deprived, and just plain crazy some days. I promise you will forget to call someone, pay a bill, buy a gift, or even put pants on if there weren’t bright pink Post-its plastered all over your house. Let’s be honest…that last one is purely optional.

 

 

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Get the baby on a nap schedulewith the toddler as soon as possible. My 12:30pm nap is when I get 80% of my housework done. Seriously, it’s probably the best thing I did!

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I promise it really is okay to let friends and family help you. Learn how to ask for it, and learn how to accept it. It makes a huge difference to have a good go-to list when you are at your wits end and the toddler just needs to get out of the house.

 

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However this works into your day be sure to do it. It can be as simple as story time.

Husband time!

 

871c1aff5a1234e86739aa1a0ace466bI try really hard to leave my evenings for my DH. Even if things aren’t done I tend to leave them for the next day, so that when the babies are in bed I am actively and consciously spending time with him. It’s so easy to spend your days throwing everything into two babies, and then just shutting down the second there is silence. Don’t forget that he still needs you too.

 

BurritoBuzzBK#2Two under two has been such a blessing, and really more fun than I can even describe. Even with all of these things, I will tell you your kitchen won’t be perfect, laundry is always going to need washed, toys are always everywhere.

Chill out! It will get easier and less messy some day!

Do you have two under two? Do you do something that I don’t? What else can I be doing to save my sanity?!?!?

 ~Amanda