Every morning my daughter, Catie, and I wake up together andwatch Sesame Street duringbreakfast. While I’m sipping my coffee on the couch she gets busy flingingCheerios off her high chair. Rather than continue to get frustrated at what isnormal (and seemingly unstoppable) toddler behavior, I invested in a few Snack Traps.
These little containers keep her food contained (for themost part) while allowing her to get it out. Basically the way they work isthat the lid is made of a really soft plastic with slits that allow her to pullthe food out. Once she retrieves it, the lid automatically closes. The cupsalso have little handles so she can hold it herself. More importantly though, Ican attach it to her stroller or high chair so she doesn’t decide to fling that at me too.
The packaging says that Snack Traps are for one-year-oldkids and up but I started giving it to her around 10 months and she pretty muchmastered it from the beginning. Snack Traps run around $8 for a package ofthree. I got mine at Babies ‘R Us but check here for a list of retailers.
Baby Buddy Secure-a-Toy
This is that miracle product that is so simple yet soclever. It is what I use to attach Catie’s Snack Traps, toys and whatever elseshe wants to be carrying in the stroller with her that day. Sometimes I wrap it around her cups since shehas the tendency to let go of them when she finishes sipping. I liked these somuch I bought several packages to use on both strollers and in both mine and myhusband’s car.
I got mine at Buy Buy Baby (in the stroller section) andthey run you about $3 for a set of two. Check the Baby Buddy website for a list of nationwide retailers.
Munchkin Insulated Straw Cups
We rarely ever gave my daughter a bottle and at five monthsshe took a real strong interest in cup-drinking (as in, out of our cup) so wedecided to try a sippy with her. She was never a big fan but we would try onoccasion. Then when she turned 6-months I stumbled across these straw cups fromMunchkin. My husband thought I was crazy for even attempting it but she got itright away! At first she would take a sip and spit it out but she seemed toenjoy doing it so we let her. Once she got a little older I made her a yogurtsmoothie, sucked it up halfway into the straw and let her do the rest of thework. I guess because it was a thicker drink she was able to get to it out withmore ease. She has been using these cups ever since.
I like them because they are really spill proof and alsobecause if you refrigerate them before going out, they actually stay cold for afew hours. The straws are a little bit of a pain to clean but at least they aredishwasher safe. My only complaint is that the little drawings rub off reallyquickly so they get old looking way before you are ready to replace them.
These cups are about $10 for a 2-pack and I have seen themat Babies ‘R Us and Target. Mostrecently I bought a 4-pack for a deal at BJ’s Wholesale club. If you reallyhate Dora they have them with the Spongebob characters too. I am told they havethem in plain colors as well but I have yet to find them. Replacement straws are also available if youhave a kid who likes to chew on her straws. Read more about them on the munchkin website.
Occasionally we’ll go out to eat and since I would never eatany piece of food that touches the restaurant table, I want to make sure mydaughter doesn’t either. Still, sinceCatie now self-feeds, I also want to be able to put her food in front of her(and plates don’t work at this age since they’ll just end up on the floor) sowe use Table Toppers. Basically they are self-adhesive placemats that come incute designs (this month we have Elmo and Zoe; last month it was Dora). Youremove the backing off of the edges (really not complicated at all) and stickit onto the table. Sometimes, if the table is round, I just kind of bunch thebottom together and wrap it around the edge so that it sticks underneath.
Table Toppers come about 20 to a pack for around $10. Thecome in a zip-lock bag so they are really easy to keep in your diaper bag. Igot mine at Target but click here for more stores that sell them.
Pampers Pocket Bibsters Disposable Bibs
Though I prefer to use cloth bibs that I can wash and reuse(not to mention they absorb more) I will occasionally use disposable bibs if Ithink we are going to be gone for a long time or are going on vacation. I alsowill always keep a few in my diaper bag because there is always that inevitabletime where I grab a bib only to find one from our last outing, still crusty,that we forgot to throw in the hamper.
I love the Pampers Pocket Bibsters in particular becausethey are really large (maximum coverage!) and have a pocket that catches allthe food. They are also leak proof sowhen she gets really liq
uidy stuff like tomato sauce on herself, it doesn’tleak through to stain her clothing.
I have seen these at Babies ‘R Us, Target and Buy BuyBaby. They come in boxes of 32 and arearound $7. You can read more about them here.
What are some everyday products that make your life easier?