The Best Baby Monitoring Apps

In my spare time I write for an online blog called freshlytechy.com
Recently, I wrote an article about the top baby monitoring apps for your smartphones and iPads.

I have used ALOT of baby tracker apps and the we WebMD app is pretty cool. These are awesome for new mommies and veteran moms alike.

Apps include baby logging and tracking, baby monitors, baby soothers, informational, and photo book creators.

Check out my article here.

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The Best Baby Monitoring Apps

In my spare time I write for an online blog called freshlytechy.com
Recently, I wrote an article about the top baby monitoring apps for your smartphones and iPads.

I have used ALOT of baby tracker apps and the we WebMD app is pretty cool. These are awesome for new mommies and veteran moms alike.

Apps include baby logging and tracking, baby monitors, baby soothers, informational, and photo book creators.

Check out my article here.

Traveling with a TODDLER & a BABY

Oh, the places you’ll go …

IMG_2186 IMG_2187 IMG_2197 IMG_2208 IMG_2218 IMG_2247 IMG_2248 IMG_2249IMG_2232IMG_2258IMG_2257

We just got back home from upstate New York. 2,877 miles! The trip was fun and we were glad to spend time with family and friends. The traveling… well it was definitely an experience.

IMG_2151

Traveling with a toddler and a newborn is nothing like I expected.

Plane rides, melt downs, no naps, messed up schedules, time changes, oh my.

Initially, I thought if I did a lot of researching on the internet and pinning on Pinterest that I’d be ready for this trip. That wasn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a miserable experience. It just wasn’t as easy as I had originally hoped.

IMG_2184

I’ve included some pictures of what I packed as carry on items. I wish I could have gotten some pictures from our travel days, but my husband and I were managing a toddler, 2 month old, and a lot of luggage.

CARRY ONS:

DSCN1616 < (Tula baby carrier pictured)

I decided to do one bag per person.

[[ Honestly, we only needed a bag for Austin’s toys and a bag for snacks/electronics/changing necessities. Three bags was too much. ]]

DSCN1612

MOMMY’s BAG ^

I love my JuJuBe Bag. There is so much storage. There is a pocket/pouch for everything. If you love being organized like I do then you’ll love these bags.

DSCN1609

The front pouches were for my essentials. I packed a nursing cover and lanolin cream for the little nugget (Luke). I also had a flashlight (just in case haha), some pens, a stain pen, hair ties, chap stick, hand sanitizer, and my inhaler.

DSCN1611 < (Kokadi ring sling pictured upper right corner)

The inside is for the kids.

  • Changing pad
  • Diapers
  • Wipes (butt wipes, hand wipes, boogie wipes, pacifier wipes)

Let me tell you, those pacie wipes come in handy because binkies were being dropped left and right by a cranky toddler.

  • A change of clothes for each kid
  • Small travel tubes of butt cream, first aid cream, and sun screen from California Baby (nice organic company that doesn’t have all those icky chemicals)

California Baby sells an AWESOME travel bag that is only 20 bucks at Target. If you’re interested in trying before you buy a big bottle then I highly recommend the travel bag.

  • Wallet with cash (in case of emergencies or for tipping the bag boy)
  • Plastic bag for trash and diapers if you can’t leave your seat or the stewardess hasn’t been by in a while
  • M&Ms to bribe the toddler to behave
  • Wrap for carrying baby in

I packed my Kokadi ring sling and my Tula SSC (soft structured carrier)

[[ I wish I could say that I used this bag frequently during the trip, but I ended up with the baby and only decided to have a wrap/carrier with me and a small drawstring bag with my nursing cover and diapers/wipes in it. ]]

DSCN1614

AUSTIN’s BAG ^

DSCN1613

I packed a bunch of goodies for Austin. My goal was to keep him preoccupied on the flight.

  • Coloring books
  • Paint with water pages
  • Color wonder kit
  • Matching game
  • Flash cards (ABCs & shapes/colors)
  • Electric toothbrush

Any other toddler would have LOVED this bag, but my toddler went through the whole bag in 10 seconds. He couldn’t keep his attention on one toy for too long. The big hit, however, was the electric tooth brush. He was preoccupied with that little treasure for a while. Although, I did have to take it away from him when he started brushing the backs of seats and the floor.

DSCN1615

DADDY’s BAG ^

This was the snack/electronic bag

  • Snack cup
  • Empty juice cup
  • Lolly pops for take off and landing
  • Various snacks
  • Fuzzy blanket
  • PJs (since we were flying at night)
  • Portable DVD player

Ah, that DVD player was a life saver. We need to invest in one that hold a charge longer.

Some little TIPS & TRICKS:

Going through Security

  • You don’t have to remove kids’ shoes who are under 12 years of age
  • Carry your baby in a soft structured carrier (like an Ergo, Tula, Becco). TSA will swab your hands and you don’t have to take your baby out of your carrier.
  • Bottled breast milk (of any size) can be carried through security. Just let TSA know you have breast milk for baby (I exclusively breastfeed so no bottles here)
  • Wear flip flops (easy to take off for security & in the plane)

Navigating the Airport

  • I would HIGHLY suggest investing in a cheapo umbrella stroller. I’d say a cheap one because it WILL get a little bumped up and scratched traveling with other bags.
  • Bring food so that you don’t have to make a mad dash to the restaurants between flight (wish we did that)
  • Know your terminals, bathrooms, elevators, baggage claims, etc
  • Get there at least 2 hours ahead of time. You never know how long the line will be for check-in and/or security.

Bags

  • The less bags the better. Traveling with a ton of bags not only slows you down, but it is more to keep track of. They say two bags per person, but I’d recommend one bag per person.
  • If you’re traveling with car seats and a stroller then check these bags AT THE GATE. This ensures that it’s not bumping around with all the other luggage and getting destroyed. You can transfer your car seats to your final destination and have your stroller meet you at each connecting flight. Having your stroller with you will make carting around a toddler so much easier.

IMG_2259

  • Have a separate drawstring bag for diaper changing essentials so you’re not taking your whole diaper bag to the bathroom. I found cute little drawstring bags in the dollar section at Target and used it for diaper necessities and my ring sling.

Flying

  • Wear your baby while flying. I brought my ring sling and my Tula. I wore the Tula through security (no metal) and my ring sling while in flight. The SSC was nice for running through the airport and provided extra support while we were walking from gate to gate. The ring sling was light and soft so my son could fall asleep easily. If you do decide to wear your baby on the plane then you’ll have to take them out for take off and landing. Sucky, I know. However, if you’re wearing a SSC then you can just unbuckle the straps and still keep your baby in it and hold him in the carrier until it’s safe to strap him back up.
  • Distractions for toddlers
  • Binkies or lolly pops for take off and landing
  • A variety of DVDs for the DVD player
  • Book flights with a layover. Kids do not like being cooped up in an airplane for long periods of time. A direct flight is not a good idea if you’re going cross-country.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP EVER: make sure your kids have napped. DO NOT book a red eye in hopes that your kids will sleep on the plane. That may or may not happen. Don’t count on it. It’s best to plan a flight after nap time or right when they wake up.

When we flew, my son refused to nap. What a horrible day to skip nap time. He was overtired and cranky on the plane. A complete nightmare. The trip back home was significantly better because he had a whole night’s sleep. He even napped on the plane. We got compliments on how well our kids behaved on both our flights back home. Obviously, they weren’t PERFECT angels, but they did well enough to get complimented.

Some of the tips and tricks I read about helped A LOT and others… not so much. The only solid advice I can give you is know your child and figure out what works best for them. I guess what I am trying to say is that “you live and you learn.” No amount of preparation can cover ALL of the bases. You just need to have experience traveling and figure out what works best for you and your toddler or newborn.

Traveling with a TODDLER & a BABY

  Oh, the places you’ll go …

IMG_2186 IMG_2187 IMG_2197 IMG_2208 IMG_2218 IMG_2247 IMG_2248 IMG_2249IMG_2232IMG_2258IMG_2257

We just got back home from upstate New York.  2,877 miles!  The trip was fun and we were glad to spend time with family and friends.  The traveling… well it was definitely an experience.

IMG_2151

Traveling with a toddler and a newborn is nothing like I expected.

Plane rides, melt downs, no naps, messed up schedules, time changes, oh my.

Initially, I thought if I did a lot of researching on the internet and pinning on Pinterest that I’d be ready for this trip.  That wasn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a miserable experience.  It just wasn’t as easy as I had originally hoped.

IMG_2184

I’ve included some pictures of what I packed as carry on items.  I wish I could have gotten some pictures from our travel days, but my husband and I were managing a toddler, 2 month old, and a lot of luggage.

CARRY ONS:

DSCN1616 < (Tula baby carrier pictured)

I decided to do one bag per person.

[[ Honestly, we only needed a bag for Austin’s toys and a bag for snacks/electronics/changing necessities.  Three bags was too much. ]]

DSCN1612

MOMMY’s BAG ^

I love my JuJuBe Bag.  There is so much storage.  There is a pocket/pouch for everything.  If you love being organized like I do then you’ll love these bags.

DSCN1609

The front pouches were for my essentials.  I packed a nursing cover and lanolin cream for the little nugget (Luke).  I also had a flashlight (just in case haha), some pens, a stain pen, hair ties, chap stick, hand sanitizer, and my inhaler.

DSCN1611 < (Kokadi ring sling pictured upper right corner)

The inside is for the kids.

  • Changing pad
  • Diapers
  • Wipes (butt wipes, hand wipes, boogie wipes, pacifier wipes)

Let me tell you, those pacie wipes come in handy because binkies were being dropped left and right by a cranky toddler.

  • A change of clothes for each kid
  • Small travel tubes of butt cream, first aid cream, and sun screen from California Baby (nice organic company that doesn’t have all those icky chemicals)

California Baby sells an AWESOME travel bag that is only 20 bucks at Target.  If you’re interested in trying before you buy a big bottle then I highly recommend the travel bag.

  • Wallet with cash (in case of emergencies or for tipping the bag boy)
  • Plastic bag for trash and diapers if you can’t leave your seat or the stewardess hasn’t been by in a while
  • M&Ms to bribe the toddler to behave
  • Wrap for carrying baby in

I packed my Kokadi ring sling and my Tula SSC (soft structured carrier)

[[ I wish I could say that I used this bag frequently during the trip, but I ended up with the baby and only decided to have a wrap/carrier with me and a small drawstring bag with my nursing cover and diapers/wipes in it. ]]

DSCN1614

AUSTIN’s BAG ^

DSCN1613

I packed a bunch of goodies for Austin.  My goal was to keep him preoccupied on the flight.

  • Coloring books
  • Paint with water pages
  • Color wonder kit
  • Matching game
  • Flash cards (ABCs & shapes/colors)
  • Electric toothbrush

Any other toddler would have LOVED this bag, but my toddler went through the whole bag in 10 seconds.  He couldn’t keep his attention on one toy for too long.  The big hit, however, was the electric tooth brush.  He was preoccupied with that little treasure for a while.  Although, I did have to take it away from him when he started brushing the backs of seats and the floor.

DSCN1615

DADDY’s BAG ^

This was the snack/electronic bag

  • Snack cup
  • Empty juice cup
  • Lolly pops for take off and landing
  • Various snacks
  • Fuzzy blanket
  • PJs (since we were flying at night)
  • Portable DVD player

Ah, that DVD player was a life saver.  We need to invest in one that hold a charge longer.

Some little TIPS & TRICKS:

Going through Security

  • You don’t have to remove kids’ shoes who are under 12 years of age
  • Carry your baby in a soft structured carrier (like an Ergo, Tula, Becco).  TSA will swab your hands and you don’t have to take your baby out of your carrier.
  • Bottled breast milk (of any size) can be carried through security.  Just let TSA know you have breast milk for baby (I exclusively breastfeed so no bottles here)
  • Wear flip flops (easy to take off for security & in the plane)

Navigating the Airport

  • I would HIGHLY suggest investing in a cheapo umbrella stroller.  I’d say a cheap one because it WILL get a little bumped up and scratched traveling with other bags.
  • Bring food so that you don’t have to make a mad dash to the restaurants between flight (wish we did that)
  • Know your terminals, bathrooms, elevators, baggage claims, etc
  • Get there at least 2 hours ahead of time.  You never know how long the line will be for check-in and/or security.

   Bags

  • The less bags the better.  Traveling with a ton of bags not only slows you down, but it is more to keep track of.  They say two bags per person, but I’d recommend one bag per person.
  • If you’re traveling with car seats and a stroller then check these bags AT THE GATE.  This ensures that it’s not bumping around with all the other luggage and getting destroyed.  You can transfer your car seats to your final destination and have your stroller meet you at each connecting flight.  Having your stroller with you will make carting around a toddler so much easier.

IMG_2259

  • Have a separate drawstring bag for diaper changing essentials so you’re not taking your whole diaper bag to the bathroom.  I found cute little drawstring bags in the dollar section at Target and used it for diaper necessities and my ring sling.

Flying

  • Wear your baby while flying.  I brought my ring sling and my Tula.  I wore the Tula through security (no metal) and my ring sling while in flight.  The SSC was nice for running through the airport and provided extra support while we were walking from gate to gate.  The ring sling was light and soft so my son could fall asleep easily.  If you do decide to wear your baby on the plane then you’ll have to take them out for take off and landing.  Sucky, I know.  However, if you’re wearing a SSC then you can just unbuckle the straps and still keep your baby in it and hold him in the carrier until it’s safe to strap him back up.
  • Distractions for toddlers
  • Binkies or lolly pops for take off and landing
  • A variety of DVDs for the DVD player
  • Book flights with a layover.  Kids do not like being cooped up in an airplane for long periods of time.  A direct flight is not a good idea if you’re going cross-country.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP EVER: make sure your kids have napped.  DO NOT book a red eye in hopes that your kids will sleep on the plane.  That may or may not happen.  Don’t count on it.  It’s best to plan a flight after nap time or right when they wake up.

When we flew, my son refused to nap.  What a horrible day to skip nap time.  He was overtired and cranky on the plane.  A complete nightmare.  The trip back home was significantly better because he had a whole night’s sleep.  He even napped on the plane.  We got compliments on how well our kids behaved on both our flights back home.  Obviously, they weren’t PERFECT angels, but they did well enough to get complimented.

Some of the tips and tricks I read about helped A LOT and others… not so much.  The only solid advice I can give you is know your child and figure out what works best for them.  I guess what I am trying to say is that “you live and you learn.”  No amount of preparation can cover ALL of the bases.  You just need to have experience traveling and figure out what works best for you and your toddler or newborn.

Life Update

Quite a bit has gone on since I last left you. Since I don’t have too much time to write I’ll give you a quick summary.

cutie

New Home

Last week we had our HOME INSPECTION. It went very well and things are moving along in the escrow process. Our realtors are amazing and on top of everything. I am so glad we got hooked up with them. I only hope they can find my friend a home soon so we can hang out up there together.

We are so excited to close on our new home and buy some toys and decorate the house. Justin is more excited about the man-toys and I want to decorate!

Current Home

We agreed to fix a few things for the new homeowner. One of the things we weren’t aware of until the inspection came back (broken beam in the attic). Crazy. It wasn’t as expensive as we thought and not as serious as it sounded.

We also had our appraisal and our home, thankfully, appraised for what we are selling it for.

Termite treatment is happening tomorrow. Apparently termites are very common in San Diego. It’s pretty frustrating for home-owners and buyers alike. I hope our new home isn’t affected.

The last part of the selling process is on the horizon: signing our home away.

I am taking things one day at a time, but I know some day everything we are going through is going to compile and I am going to have a mental breakdown. It’s crazy to think I will be leaving my hometown and my family/friends. It’s exciting and scary all at once. I think Justin and I are still relishing the idea of owner a nicer and better home in a better neighborhood that it hasn’t sunk in that we will be MOVING. More so for me than for him. I need to hold my sh&* together for my kids and my Grandma and Mom. It is definitely going to be tough leaving them….

MOVING ON so I don’t have my meltdown early. I’d like to save that for the U-Haul drive. Lol

The Boys

picky eater

Austin has become such a finicky eater. I plan to write a post entitled Perils of a Picky Eater. But for now I’ll let you know that he is so difficult! He is a moody eater. And when I say moody, I mean that he has to be in the mood for the food I serve him. Otherwise its meltdown central in the Pfeffer household. He will push it away or resist being put in his highchair/booster. UGH.

He also got his third professional haircut this weekend. He had his first haircut at Pigtails & Crewcuts (success), his second at Fantastic Sam’s (epic failure accompanied by a horrendous fit), and his third/current haircut back at Pigtails and Crewcuts. We usually have my bff’s mom cut his hair for us and it looks good. We thought someone he knew doing it would help with the tears. This time was OKAY. He whined a little. I think the fact that there was another boy screaming his lungs out helped Austin keep his crap together. That and I had Team Umizoomi on my iPhone and M&Ms on hand. haha We treated him with French fries and water play for being such a big boy. Successful day.

no neck luke

Luke has been such a sweet little boy. He is not too needy and is content sitting in his rocker while I tend to Austin. Today he went in for his 2 month well baby check up. Luke is 14 pounds (90th percentile)!!!! He also got his first round of shots. 3 shots and 1 oral! I usually split up his shots up so that my boys only have 2 at most. However, we are leaving for New York on Friday and wanted him vax-ed up before the plane ride. I have never heard Luke cry like he did today after his shots. Truly ♥ heartbreaking.

shots

He was fine for a couple hours afterwards, but around 1:30 he was miserable. He wouldn’t eat and NOTHING made him happy. He cried for around 30 minutes straight and passed out on me . . . sweaty and whimpering. I did give him some Tylenol (as recommended by his pediatrician). I wasn’t going to initially, but he was in so much pain/discomfort that I had to. Poor little guy. He is awake now and a little whiny, but will crack a few smiles for me. Bless his little heart.

loves

Our Up and Coming Trip

In the midst of this buying and selling fiasco, we are traveling to New York/Massachusetts for 10 days. Way to plan a trip, right?

Anyways, I will be doing laundry & packing like a mad woman the next couple days.

****Thank gosh for GiGi because I would not have gotten anything done without her. Love you, GiGi!

I’ll post about traveling with our toddler and baby at some point.

So, we went from

Listing our house >>>prepping for open house >>> having an open house >>> accepting an offer >>> going through escrow (signing papers, inspection, termites, repairs, etc.) >>> driving up to Temecula/Murrieta/Canyon Lake to look for homes >>> putting in offers (2) >>> getting our offer accepted >>> going into escrow >>> new home inspection >>> packing here and there >>> planning/packing for a trip across country with a toddler and infant (what was I thinking) >>> hoping escrow on both homes goes well while we are away

all while keeping up with the house, a crazy toddler, and a newborn.

I am amazed at how well I have been able to hold it all together recently. Time to give myself a proverbial pat on the back. 😉

LIFE Update

Quite a bit has gone on since I last left you.  Since I don’t have too much time to write I’ll give you a quick summary.

cutie

New Home

Last week we had our HOME INSPECTION.  It went very well and things are moving along in the escrow process.  Our realtors are amazing and on top of everything.  I am so glad we got hooked up with them.  I only hope they can find my friend a home soon so we can hang out up there together.

We are so excited to close on our new home and buy some toys and decorate the house.  Justin is more excited about the man-toys and I want to decorate!

Current Home

We agreed to fix a few things for the new homeowner.  One of the things we weren’t aware of until the inspection came back (broken beam in the attic).  Crazy.  It wasn’t as expensive as we thought and not as serious as it sounded.

We also had our appraisal and our home, thankfully, appraised for what we are selling it for.

Termite treatment is happening tomorrow.  Apparently termites are very common in San Diego.  It’s pretty frustrating for home-owners and buyers alike.  I hope our new home isn’t affected.

The last part of the selling process is on the horizon: signing our home away.

I am taking things one day at a time, but I know some day everything we are going through is going to compile and I am going to have a mental breakdown.  It’s crazy to think I will be leaving my hometown and my family/friends.  It’s exciting and scary all at once.  I think Justin and I are still relishing the idea of owner a nicer and better home in a better neighborhood that it hasn’t sunk in that we will be MOVING.   More so for me than for him.  I need to hold my sh&* together for my kids and my Grandma and Mom.  It is definitely going to be tough leaving them….

MOVING ON so I don’t have my meltdown early.  I’d like to save that for the U-Haul drive.  Lol

The Boys

picky eater

Austin has become such a finicky eater.  I plan to write a post entitled Perils of a Picky Eater.  But for now I’ll let you know that he is so difficult!  He is a moody eater.  And when I say moody, I mean that he has to be in the mood for the food I serve him.  Otherwise its meltdown central in the Pfeffer household.  He will push it away or resist being put in his highchair/booster.  UGH.

He also got his third professional haircut this weekend.  He had his first haircut at Pigtails & Crewcuts (success), his second at Fantastic Sam’s (epic failure accompanied by a horrendous fit), and his third/current haircut back at Pigtails and Crewcuts.  We usually have my bff’s mom cut his hair for us and it looks good.  We thought someone he knew doing it would help with the tears.  This time was OKAY.  He whined a little.  I think the fact that there was another boy screaming his lungs out helped Austin keep his crap together. That and I had Team Umizoomi on my iPhone and M&Ms on hand.   haha  We treated him with French fries and water play for being such a big boy.  Successful day.

no neck luke

Luke has been such a sweet little boy.  He is not too needy and is content sitting in his rocker while I tend to Austin.  Today he went in for his 2 month well baby check up.  Luke is 14 pounds (90th percentile)!!!!  He also got his first round of shots.  3 shots and 1 oral!  I usually split up his shots up so that my boys only have 2 at most.  However, we are leaving for New York on Friday and wanted him vax-ed up before the plane ride.  I have never heard Luke cry like he did today after his shots.  Truly ♥ heartbreaking.

shots

He was fine for a couple hours afterwards, but around 1:30 he was miserable.  He wouldn’t eat and NOTHING made him happy.  He cried for around 30 minutes straight and passed out on me . . . sweaty and whimpering.  I did give him some Tylenol (as recommended by his pediatrician).  I wasn’t going to initially, but he was in so much pain/discomfort that I had to.  Poor little guy.  He is awake now and a little whiny, but will crack a few smiles for me.  Bless his little heart.

loves

Our Up and Coming Trip

In the midst of this buying and selling fiasco, we are traveling to New York/Massachusetts for 10 days.  Way to plan a trip, right?

Anyways, I will be doing laundry & packing like a mad woman the next couple days.

****Thank gosh for GiGi because I would not have gotten anything done without her.  Love you, GiGi!

I’ll post about traveling with our toddler and baby at some point.

So, we went from

Listing our house >>>prepping for open house >>> having an open house >>> accepting an offer >>> going through escrow (signing papers, inspection, termites, repairs, etc.) >>> driving up to Temecula/Murrieta/Canyon Lake to look for homes >>> putting in offers (2) >>> getting our offer accepted >>> going into escrow >>> new home inspection >>> packing here and there >>> planning/packing for a trip across country with a toddler and infant (what was I thinking) >>> hoping escrow on both homes goes well while we are away

all while keeping up with the house, a crazy toddler, and a newborn.

I am amazed at how well I have been able to hold it all together recently.  Time to give myself a proverbial pat on the back.  😉