Baby Travel Toys Tips

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What are the best toys to get my infant if she’s less than six months old?

Travel Toys From Newborn To Six Months

When your child is under six months old, her senses and motor skills are rapidly developing. She goes from a tiny infant who is developing her hearing and eyesight to one who reaches out to grab, touch, rollover, and sit up. Brightly colored objects and toys that engage her various senses from sounds to textured fabric toys will be engaging for her.

If you're traveling, you want to bring a toy that's easily portable, rugged, and compact. We don't really think there's any one best travel toy out there for babies in this age range, or any other. There are lots to choose from. But we do have a few personal favorites that we think your little one just might enjoy.

Baby Whoozit by Manhattan Toy ($9) – We like this one because it's soft, compact (only 6” in diameter) and full of fun, colorful activities for baby to try out. Babies can make it rattle, make it squeak, bend the mouth, or enjoy their own reflection in the mirror. The best part? You can also attach it to a stroller or car seat.

Freddy The Firefly by Lamaze ($12) – This one really packs a lot of features into a tote sized toy. It's full of bright patterns that will catch a young baby's eyes. It comes in a soft package with an attached ladybug for teething, textured fabric for exploring, and wing with squeaker. The plastic hook for hanging is pretty convenient, too.

How can I keep better track of my toddler when I’m traveling?

How To Keep Track Of Your Toddler When Traveling

If you have an active toddler and you're going on a trip, he'll probably want to spend some time on his feet running around and exploring his new environment. While this may help burn off some toddler steam, it does present the dilemma of keeping track of a young child. And as you know, they can be out of your sight very quickly. If you have some concerns about keeping track of your toddler, here are a few ways you can make sure your toddler is safe and sound.

  • Dress them up in bright colored shirts. Orange or red comes to mind, but use whatever color your fashion sense permits that lets you spot your little one in an instant.
  • Get a leash. We know how this sounds, and before you imagine your toddler in shackles, check out a product out called the Eddie Bauer Harness Buddy ($10 and up). Your toddler wears a harness on his body, but it's dressed up by an adorable plush animal. Get the one with the monkey if you want one that will eventually convert into a backpack.
  • Get a child locator. You can find some effective, inexpensive gadgets that your toddler will be delighted to wear. Giggle Bug ($20) makes a child locator that comes in brightly colored ladybug shapes. Clip one on your toddler and keep the hand held activator with you. You'll be able to locate your child by following a high decibel beep as long as he's within 150 feet of you.

Is there a way for me to save on hotel accommodations?

Snagging Hotel Savings

When you're booking hotel accommodations for a family trip, you don't want to be stuck paying more than you have to. There are a few ways to save money when you're booking accommodations.

  1. Don't always go for the room with a view - at least not of the ocean. A garden view is less expensive than an ocean view. If you really don't mind, the so called “standard run of the house” view which may give you a direct sightline to the hotel rooftop or parking lot, is a less expensive room to book.
  2. Ask for a discount. Sometimes hotels run specials or will honor discounts for card club members like, AAA.
  3. Check rates online as well as directly with the hotel desk. A standard room rate does not apply in the hotel world. Depending on which source you decide to book with, you may get a different rate.
  4. After you book, check back to see if there are rate changes. It's always good to book early, but you can call the hotel again to see if their rates have changed in your favor. If they have, see if you can adjust your reservation to reflect the lower rate.

What toys should I avoid bringing with me on a trip?

Five Signs A Toy Isn't Travel Friendly

Your child may have a favorite toy, but the thought of carrying it
around with you from the airport, to the plane, into the rental car,
and to the hotel, doesn't make you jump for joy. Some toys are great for entertaining little ones at home, but just don't cut it on a
vacation. If you're on the fence about whether or not to take a toy
with you, here's our list of five signs a toy isn't travel friendly.

  1. There are more than a dozen different separate parts to this toy. If the toy has multiple pieces that can get misplaced or is otherwise hard to keep track of, don't bring this toy with you on the trip.
  2. You're having a hard time deciding whether to pack the toy in your luggage or take out half your wardrobe. It the toy is too bulky, heavy, or cumbersome, it's not a travel toy.
  3. The toy costs more than the price of your child's reduced fare ticket. We're not sure what toy you decided to buy your youngster that carries a steep price tag, but unless you can afford to replace it without so much as batting an eye, we recommend you don't take the toy on your trip.
  4. A puncture or breakage in the toy will cause a mini flash flood in your luggage. If you have a toy that could break and drench your clothing and belongings with water or some other fluid, it's best to leave it at home.
  5. You toddler loves the toy, but the repetitive flashing lights and musical tunes of the toy will make for a very long trip – for you and the other people around you. Need we say more?

What toys are safe and appropriate for my child?

Infant Toy Safety

During your travels, you're likely to peruse through tourist shops, street vendors, or maybe even a toy store or two. Getting swept up in buying cute little trinkets for your infant or toddler can be especially tempting. However, keep in mind that not all items, no matter how cute, clever, or well designed they appear to be, are safe and appropriate for young children. Keep these infant toy safety tips in mind on your travel shopping sprees.

  • Check to see if a toy has a label for age appropriateness. Though it may be tempting to purchase that cool gadget for your infant, think twice. Some of these toys can have small parts that can become choking hazards for your infant or small child.
  • Don't purchase small rubber balls for your child if they are less than 1-3/4” in diameter. They can be choking hazards. In general, anything that can fit through the inside of a toilet paper roll can be considered a choking hazard.
  • If you're buying a plush toy, avoid anything with parts that may come loose, like glued on eyes and noses.
  • Avoid plush toys that may have pellet sized stuffing. If the toy tears or breaks, these pellets can become choking hazards for young children.

Is it safe to let my baby play with car seat toys while I’m driving?

Safety And Car Seat Toys

Car seat toys are great for entertaining babies. Whether you're going on a road trip or driving across town, it's great to have something on hand to keep your infant's interest. Toy bars, mini-mobiles, and clip-on toys are all great ideas to keep your infant occupied on the road. However, though it may be tempting to leave items like toys attached to the car seat while en route to your destination, any hard objects that might become loose and act as a projectile in your car isn't safe to leave attached to your child's car seat. If you have any car seat toys for your baby, make sure they're secure. Otherwise, it's better to leave them off and attach them when you're out of the car or wheeling your baby around in a stroller.

One way to solve this dilemma is by picking out some soft toys you can attach to your infant's car seat. Lamaze makes a great soft, Clutch Cube ($15) that lets little ones interact by touch, sight, sound, and smell. Your little one will love playing with the jingling chimes, exploring the peek-a-boo flaps, or smelling the cube's apple scent. It's appropriate for infants from three months to toddlers.

What are some award winning stroller toys?

Award Winning Stroller Toys

Some stroller toys have impressed consumer experts so much, they've become award winning. The Oppenheim Awards are given to toys that meet the approval of a panel of judges as well as a child development expert. Here are two current Oppenheim picks for award winning stroller toys.

Sassy Stroller Bar – Spin it, twirl it, and crinkle it. This fun toy has multiple activities and attaches to strollers with adjustable straps. It also comes with a removable snack cup for munch time.

Tiny Love Stroller Play Set – Three different toys which each attach separately with Velcro make for an award winning toy that encourages interactive play. Your baby will learn to explore the various fabrics, sounds, and movements that are part of this toy.

Is it safe to let my baby play with car seat toys while I’m driving?

Safety And Car Seat Toys

Car seat toys are great entertainers for babies. You can use toy bars, mobiles, and clip-on toys to keep your little one preoccupied and happy for a few minutes. However, though it may be tempting to leave items like toy bars attached for your infant while you're en route to a friend's house or to run an errand, anything that might become loose and act as a projectile in your car isn't safe to leave attached to your child's car seat. If you have any car seat toys for your baby, make sure they're secure. Otherwise, it's better to leave them off and attach them when you're out of the car or wheeling your baby around in a stroller.

What are the best toys to get my infant if who is just under a year old?

Travel Toys From Six Months To A Year

At this stage of the game, your baby is getting increasingly mobile. She may go from crawling to standing between six months to a year of age. Some infants do walk under a year, but if yours doesn't, count this as a lucky blessing. You'll have less chasing to do at home and on your trip. Toys that encourage movement, fine motor skills, and the exploration of cause and effect are great for babies of this age. For traveling, we've picked a few toy suggestions that you can just pop in your diaper bag and pull out to entertain baby.

Munchkin Twisty Teether Toy ($7)– Not every toy has to be complicated. This one twists and shakes for fun sounds and comes with nubs for babies who are teething. It's also the perfect size to take on any trip.

Winkel By Manhattan Toy ($11) – It's got a ton of bright colored flexible rings attached to a bright polka dot square in the middle. For older babies who are teething or just like figuring out how to grasp and pull with their hands, this one is compact and easy to bring along with you.

What are the best toys to get my toddler?

Travel Toys For Toddlers

When your baby reaches toddler stage, he'll be very active and curious about the world around him. He's much more coordinated and can even begin to use his hands to start “drawing”. Toddlers love to see what adults are doing, so toys that imitate grown-ups make good picks. During travel time, we recommend self-contained toys that you can just pack and go. We picked a few toddler appropriate toys that would be great for travel:

Whoozit Photo Album by Manhattan Toy ($11) – We're suggesting this one because it packs flat, is nice and soft, and will keep older babies entertained at least long enough to buy you a few minutes of much needed peace. Plus, we think the photo album idea is great – it lets you customize it with pictures and photos to keep older babies entertained. Hang onto this one through the toddler phase when your little one will be interested in finding familiar faces.

Cool Toys Box by I Play ($20) – This toy is a bit bulkier than some of the others, but completely self-contained. We think it's great for road trips, but also works for plane travel. Your toddler can play with sorted shapes, and spinning gears. The hammer, power drill, and removable screws are all perfect for toddler motor skills and exploring.

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Christina Chan
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