The Ultimate Family Christmas Movie List

ultimate 38 family friendly movie list christmas ratings run times descriptions plot summaries release years

The Ultimate Family Christmas Movie List


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


Here are the ratings, release years, running times, and descriptions for 38 Christmas movie classics. Yes. That’s right, 38!

If you don’t own these holiday staples and don’t want to research where they are or fight the crowds, simply click on the image of the movie and you’ll be directed to get your movies delivered right to your door (most of them for $5-$10!)

I always put on these movies in the background while I’m decorating, enjoying holiday treats, or spending some quality time snuggled up with the family.  All of these films will give you the warm fuzzies!  Dive right in!  Happy Holidays!

  • Elf

PG (2003) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, James Caan

Since this movie came out almost 15 years ago, it has become a staple in most homes.  Join Buddy the elf on his adventure from the north pole to find his real father in New York City.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Live Action)

PG (2000) 1 hr 44 min

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski

This imagining of Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas tale brings the colorful characters of Whoville to life.  Enjoy watching little Cindy Lou Who make the Grinch’s heart grow 3 sizes.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated)

Unrated (1966) 26 min

Starring: Boris Karloff

If you love the classic tale but have small ones with a short attention span, spring for the tale told in less than 30 minutes!

  • The Santa Clause

PG (1994) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold

Get wrapped up in the clause with Scott Calvin as he inadvertently takes out Santa on Christmas Eve and gets roped into doing the job himself!

Can you believe this classic is almost a quarter of a century old?!

  • The Santa Clause 2

G (2002) 1 hr 44 min

Starring: Tim Allen. Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz

Dive deeper into the Santa “clause” as Scott Calvin finds out he needs to find a Mrs.

  • The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause

G (2006) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell

Meet the Counsel of Legendary Figures and Jack Frost as he plans to take over Christmas in this time bending, alternate universe story unwinds.

  • Muppet Christmas Carol

G (1992) 1 hr 25 min

Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire

Join the whole Muppet gang as they bring the classic Charles Dickens story to life in true Muppet Fashion.  Songs, dances, and amazing puppetry will keep your little ones drawn in.

  • Polar Express

G (2004) 1 hr 40 min

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks

Journey to the North Pole on the wildest express train your imagination can fathom.  The classic book was brought to life with ground-breaking animation and teaches lessons of bravery, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas.

  • Frosty the Snowman

TV-G (1969) 25 min

Starring: Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon

The greedy magician tries to steal the magical top hat that brought Frosty to life.  This quick classic is wonderful for those short attention spans.

  • Santa Clause is Comin’ To Town

TV-G (1970) 48 min

Starring: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn

The stop-motion origin story of Kris Kringle will answer questions about why Santa comes down the Chimney, why stockings are hung, and why Santa comes on Christmas Eve.

  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

TV-G (1964) 47 min

Starring: Burl Ives, Larry Mann, Billie Mae Richards

This stop-motion classic gives a back story to the song of the same name.  What happens between all of the other reindeer calling him names and all of the reindeer loving him?

  • The Little Drummer Boy

Not Rated (1968) 25 min

Starring: Jose Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray

The not-so-well known stop motion TV classic brings the song to life.  A young boy takes out his frustrations on a drum and meets three wise men on an important journey.

This is a great short one to watch on a night that you set up the nativity scene.

  • Home Alone

PG (1990) 1 hr 43 min

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Kevin McCallister is left behind during the family vacation.  Watch Kevin protect his house from the Wet Bandits, Harry & Marv with booby traps while his family fights to get back home.

  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

PG (1992) 2 hr

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

The year after Kevin is left home alone during the family vacation, he finds himself separated from his family yet again…in the bustling streets of New York City with none other than Harry & Marv.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

TV-G (1965) 25 min

Starring: Peter Robbins, Tracy Stratford, Bill Melendez

Charlie Brown accepts the position as Christmas pageant director while he struggles to get past the materialism of the season and seeks help from his friends in order to understand the true meaning of Christmas

  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

Not Rated (1999) 1 hr 6 min

Starring: Kelsey Grammar, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor

A three part special.  “Donald Duck Stuck on Christmas” Donald’s own “Groundhog Day” experience. “A Very Goofy Christmas” Goofy’s journey to Max believing in Santa.  “Minnie & Mickey’s Gift of the Maggi” Mickey and Minnie recreate the ironic story about giving all you have.

  • Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas

G (1997) 1 hr 12 min

Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury, Tim Curry

When Belle finds out that the beast hates Christmas, she decides to decorate and celebrate against his wishes.  Forte, an enchanted pipe organ, has more meaning to his master as an enchanted object than as a human and plans to rid the castle of Belle.

  • The Snowman

G (1982) 26 min

Starring: David Bowie

Raymond Briggs’s book brought to life in simple animation. Christmas Eve brings a boy’s snowman to life and they journey to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.

  • Father Christmas

Not Rated (1991) 25 min

Starring: Mel Smith

Another Raymond Briggs book brought to life.  Father Christmas vacations in France, Scotland & Las Vegas before returning home to get back to work.

  • Arthur Christmas

PG (2011) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy

The answer to the iconic question of how Santa gets the presents all delivered in one night with a dysfunctional family full of hijinks behind it all.

  • The Nutcracker

Not Rated (1977) 1 hr 18 min

Starring: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland

Tchaikovski’s score is brought to life when Clara’s grandfather, a magician and toy maker brings a nutcracker as a gift to a Christmas Eve party.  Clara’s evening brings about a battle, dancing snowflakes, dancing candy, dancing fairies…dancing everything, it’s a ballet.

If you have an aspiring ballerina on your hands, grab this and let them get inspired for auditions!  I have this on VHS as watch it every year.

  • Christmas with the Kranks

PG (2004) 1 hr 39 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Akroyd

When the kids are finally out of the house, the Kranks parents decide to skip Christmas all together, until their daughter makes a surprise visit.

  • Jack Frost

PG (1998) 1 hr 41 min

Starring: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross

A traveling singer struggles with spending time with his son and tends to break his promises. One year after he dies in a car accident, he comes back as a snowman and is given the chance to do all the things with his son that he missed out on.

Although this one is rated PG, if you’re not ready to discuss death with your little ones, skip it.

  • An Elf Story

Not Rated (2011) 23 min

Starring:Leslie Bellair, Brendan Dooling, Evie Eikhoff

Chippy is assigned to a family and finds his job difficult.  With a little help from Santa, the boy he is assigned to believes.

If your kids are all about their elf on the shelf, let them enjoy this short based on their favorite Christmas tradition.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

PG (1993) 1 hr 16 min

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara

Jack, king of Halloween Town discovers Christmas Town and and tries to take over the holiday.

This is rated PG, however, little ones who don’t do well with Halloween may have trouble with this one.

  • Jingle All The Way

PG (1996) 1 hr 29 min

Starring: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman

A mattress salesman and a mail man are both fathers hunting for a Turbo Man action figure on Christmas Eve and every store in town is sold out.

  • Ernest Saves Christmas

PG (1988) 1 hr 35 min

Starring: Jim Varney, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark

Silly Ernest is at it again but this time he joins Santa in the search for his successor.  Failure will result in no Christmas!

  • Deck The Halls

PG (2006) 1 hr 33 min

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito, Kristin Chenoweth

A town’s resident Christmas man and his family prepare for their favorite time of year when a new family, the Halls, move in across the street.  Mr. Hall wants his house to be seen from outer space.  So begins the rivalry of Christmas decor.

  • White Christmas

Not Rated (1954) 2 hrs

Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney

A successful song and dance duo become romantically involved with a sister act.  The four travel to Vermont for a booking and find out that the owner is an old friend who is in dire need of help.

It is not Christmas to me until I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas and this spectacle brings it to life.

  • Holiday Inn

Not Rated (1942) 1 hr 40 mins

Starring: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds

A successful singer leaves the business in order to settle down on a farm with an inn only open on the holidays.  Once he finds himself with too much time, he begins writing shows for each holiday celebration.  Mystery and a love triangle cause mayhem followed by Bing Crosby singing none other than White Christmas.

 

  • Miracle on 34th Street

Not Rated (1947) 1 hr 36 min

Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne

A last minute Santa replacement for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade turns out to be a hit and is quickly recruited to become the store Santa for the season.  Kris Kringle believes himself to be the real Santa Claus but is not met with approval.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life

PG (1946) 2 hrs 10 min

Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

An angel is sent from heaven to save George Bailey from his contemplated suicide.  The angel shows George what the world would be like if he had never been born.

  • A Christmas Story

PG (1983) 1 hr 34 min

Starring: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

A young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his family, his teacher, and Santa himself that what he wants most for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun.


Movies for Mom, Dad, and the teenagers

The following films are filled with some more adult-aimed content.

Enjoy some quiet time with your significant other after the kiddos have gone to bed or when they are at Grandma’s house.

While You Were Sleeping

PG (1995) 1 hr 43 min

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher

A Chicago transit authority token taker falls for a stranger more and more every day.  He is knocked unconscious onto train tracks, she risks her own life to save his.  When he hospital staff won’t let her see him, one of the nurses claims that she is his fiance in order for her to gain access.  The man’s family hears word of their fake engagement, and she is quickly welcomed into their home for the holidays.

Definite chick flick.  If your husband hasn’t seen this one, perhaps have a girls night with some wine and some 90s-tastic Bill Pullman

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

PG-13 (1989) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Family joins the Griswolds in their home for Christmas.  Mishaps, mayhem, and madness occur within their home while everyone just tries to survive the holidays as Clark waits for his Christmas bonus.

Great if you have teenagers, but there’s some language to be weary of.

  • The Holiday

PG-13 (2006) 2 hrs 18 min

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black

Two women both troubled by the men in their lives swap homes for a home exchange vacation over the Christmas holiday.

Chick Flick alert.  Plenty of humor, a lot of bedroom talk.  Great for a ladies night in.

  • Four Christmases

PG-13 (2008) 1 hr 28 min

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall

Brad and Kate are in a happy relationship and have no intention of marriage or children.  Each year at Christmas, they come up with an excuse and head off to an exotic location for vacation.  When a fog rolls in and ruins their vacation, they suddenly end up having to do what they try to avoid every year, visit all 4 sets of their divorced and re-married parents in one day.

  • Scrooged

PG-13 (1988) 1 hr 41 min

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe

While a cynical TV executive is putting together a live portrayal of A Christmas Carol at his station, he, himself, is visited by the ghosts of past, present and future to help him change his ways and get into the Christmas spirit.


#39 Bonus: Adult Only Movie

  • Love Actually

R (2003) 2 hr 15 min

Starring: Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Kiera Knightly, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thorton, Rowan Atkinson,

Warning: nudity & language

This British classic follows the life of 8 very different couples that are all intricately intertwined the month before Christmas.  Follow the heartbreak, love stories, and drama as it unfolds.

Definitely to enjoy on a night the kids are out of the house!

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23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

magical mama blog 23 products all germophobe mom need


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

By absolutely no means am I a germophobe mom, however, if my baby had spent months in the NICU or had a delicate immune system for any reason I’d be all about it!

No Germs On Board Sign

This sign easily attaches to your car seat handle.  It simply gives nosy strangers a big fat stop sign and gives friends and family a reminder to keep your little one safe without you having to tell them over and over.

Baby Hand and Face Wipes

These wipes are a gentle alternative to regular baby wipes or burp cloths that can grab germs off of baby and then be tossed into the trash!

Hand Mitts

Keep baby’s hands safe from germs while protecting their face and body from scratches from those little nails!

Disposable Place Mats

Throw one of these down while you’re out at a restaurant so baby can’t reach for the dirty table underneath.  Throw one down at home to protect your dining room table from becoming a baby food wasteland full of old food and germs.

Shopping Cart Cover

The first thing my baby does as soon as I put her in a shopping cart is open her mouth as wide as possible and try to get every inch of germ ridden metal in her mouth.  Cover the germs, give them some comfort and give yourself some peace of mind.

Sanitizing Wipes

These are great to throw into a diaper bag to wipe down a surface before baby’s hands go to town.  My favorite use for these is in your carry on bag to wipe down plane seat arm rests, windows, and tray tables.  How often are planes deep cleaned?  They are a jungle of germs in a pressurized cabin.

Toy Disinfectant Spray

When you haven’t had the time to clean their toys in a while, give them a spritz.  Throw in the diaper bag for on-the-go disinfecting power.  If your little one takes a toy to the park and throws it into a puddle or the dirt, give it a spritz and wipe down before you throw it in to infect everything else in the diaper bag.

Boogie Wipes

These saline wipes are meant for getting those slimy or crusty boogers off of faces, hands, bodies, and even out of noses.  Using regular baby wipes can cause rashes for babies with sensitive skin.

UV Light Sanitizer

If you have stuffed animals that are being drooled on and cannot be thrown in the washer or glasses that grubby little hands are trying to rip off of your head, throw them in for a UV light bath and prevent mildew and germs from spreading.  Bonus: You can throw your phone in here to get it disinfected!

Cell Phone UV Sterilizer

Specifically for your cell phone.  There have been studies that some cell phones have more germs on them than a public toilet seat.  This device charges your phone while it cleans.  You can also throw in your toothbrush or earphones.

Germs Are Not For Sharing Board Book

Educate the kiddos from day one about germs and get them into good hygiene habits.

Babby Bottle & Sippy Cup Cleaning Tablets

These are space savers!  If you’re going to be having a long travel day or you’re going to be out for an extended period of time without the essentials to clean your baby’s bottles, all you need is some tablets and a bit of water.  These are your on-the-go bottle brushes and soap.  Say you’re doing a weekend at Disney World.  Do you want to take 4 bottles with you for the day?  Or take one or two plus some tablets.  I wouldn’t trust the soap and water in public bathroom sinks to clean my baby’s eating supplies.

Laundry Sanitizer

If your child enjoys jumping into mud puddles, piles of leaves, rolls in the dirt, etc., this is for you!  Remove the germs from their clothing!

Sippy Cup Strap

Easily attach your sippy cup to the stroller, grocery cart, high chair, or diaper bag.  When baby is clumsy…or throws it out of spite, it won’t get anywhere near the ground.  Bonus: you don’t have to play fetch.

Wireless Wipes

Sanitize your cell phone, ipad, and kindle while you’re on the go.

Foldable Travel Potty Seat

Keep potty training on the go, or save your child from the public toilet seats with this handy-dandy device.

Mosquito Repellent Clip

If you have not been able to find a safe mosquito repellent lotion or spray or your child has sensitive skin, clip this on them and set them free.  Keep them safe from bug bites.

Natural Dish & Bottle Soap

Extra clean, toxic chemical free soap to clean you baby’s eating supplies.

Portable Hanging Changing Table

No changing pad will stop a child from rolling off or touching the lovely public bathroom counter or changing station.  This device allows you to change baby anywhere!  DADS can even take baby into a men’s room where it is very unlikely they will find a changing station to lay baby on.

Baby Bottle Bands

To label your baby’s bottle so there are no mix ups at day care.

Pacifier Clips

Never lose a pacifier again with these clips.  Baby can’t throw their pacifier into the abyss of the back seat, out of their stroller, onto the ground, under the couch.  The clips easily hook onto clothing, bibs, car seat restraints, etc.

What I love about these particular ones is that they are plastic. They are easy to clean, baby doesn’t get metal anywhere near their mouth, they don’t rust, and their grip stays stronger than the metal versions.

Pacifier Wipes

Steaming or washing pacifiers usually end in there being water trapped inside which can turn to mildew or mold…and your baby is now sucking on that.  If baby drops their bink while out and about, you can give it a wipe down and get it right back where it belongs.  You can also give all of their binks or bottle tops a general wipe down at the end of the day.

Key Chain Germ Utility Tool

This swiss army knife for germophobes!  Never again will you need to touch a public restroom door, stall door, toilet seat, flushing handle or button, soap dispenser, towel dispenser, trash can lid, gas station key pads, ATMs, drinking fountain buttons, crosswalk and elevator buttons…the possibilities are endless!

Simply wipe clean with a disinfectant wipe or spray and go on your way!

Pro Tip: When pulling or pushing on heavy doors, give it some extra support with your hand so it does not compromise the strength in the middle.

 

Now that you’ve eliminated germs, get to keeping your home clean, or doing a full sweep for Spring Cleaning!

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Diaper Rash: 7 Causes & 11 Cures

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This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Diaper Rash: 7 Causes & 11 Cures

Nothing hurts your heart more as a parent than your baby being in pain.  It’s even worse if you can’t help the pain stop.

No matter what you do to prevent it, every single baby will get diaper rash at some point or another.

Some may get lucky and have mild rashes that go away quickly, but most parents will encounter the dreaded severe diaper rash that leaves your baby screaming and squirming on the changing table.

Diaper rash can show up on the bottom, the genitalia, and even the abdomen.

I have included direct links to any product I talk about so you can have it at your door in a matter of days or you can run to the store and easily recognize it!

What causes diaper rash?

  • Baby not being kept clean and dry

Baby having a diaper full of pee and pootie constantly putting pressure on their skin causes skin to get raw and turn into a rash.

We all know it is impossible to put your life on hold for a few years to watch your baby’s diaper and change it the moment it turns from yellow to blue.  It’s impossible and diaper rash of some sort is inevitable.

  • Diarrhea caused by illness or antibiotics

Having some watered down pootie pressed up against their skin will definitely cause rashes.  It is full of waste bacteria and is usually very acidic.

  • Friction

Moist diapers rubbing on the most sensitive skin on baby’s body will make the skin red and irritated,

  • Sensitivity to certain brands of diapers, wipes or creams

Not all brands are for all babies.  Not all diapers are created equal.  This may not always be agreeable with your budget, but if you go through every treatment for diaper rash and do everything you can to prevent and they STILL came at you with a vengeance, consider changing brands.

  • Introductions of new foods or acidic foods

Baby’s bowel movements will get weird once you start the solid food journey.  Color, texture, and smell will be at each end of the spectrum. Baby’s tummy will have a hard time with some foods which can cause bowel movements to drastically change and that will take baby’s skin by surprise.  If baby is eating a lot of fruits, bowel movements can become very acidic and can give the skin a slight burning feeling.

  • Bacterial and yeast infections

Your baby may have an internal infection that could be affecting their digestive system and therefore causing some nasty bacteria or yeast to come crawling out.  Diaper rashes can also become infected.  Both usually require a visit to the pediatrician who will prescribe antibiotic ointments or antifungal medication that is taken orally.

  • Eczema

If your baby has a pre-existing skin condition such as eczema, it can pop up where the sun don’t shine and cause severe itching and discomfort.  In most cases, they will be prescribed an antibiotic ointment.

Treating Diaper Rash

  • Clean with washcloth or a nasal aspirator

When changing baby, instead of using your regular baby wipes, try a washcloth dampened with warm water or a nasal aspirator filled with warm water…(or one of the peri bottles you stole from the hospital!).

Avoid baby wipes that are scented or contain alcohol as they may further irritate baby’s skin.  If it continues to reoccur, you may want to think of switching to a “natural” version of your brand’s wipes or a different brand all together.

  • Hair dryer

While drying baby’s bum after wiping, instead of air drying, or patting with a dry cloth, try putting your hair dryer on the low, warm setting and keep dryer at least a foot away and get baby’s booty completely dry.

  • Diaper Rash Cream

A classic!  For your basic, run of the mill, bright pink bum, using a cream which contains zinc oxide can help shield baby’s skin from the moisture and friction.

If the rash has broken skin, don’t apply cream to those areas as it can slow the healing process.

  • AVOID Baby Powder & Corn Starch

Both of these have been pushed to help keep baby’s skin dry but they can actually cause the opposite to occur.  The powder can sit in skin creases and hold moisture which will help bacteria spread more quickly.  This can cause the rash to graduate to an infection.

  • Petrolium Jelly

An good old fashioned tub of Vaseline.  This will keep baby’s cheeks slick so they don’t stick and will make a barrier between skin and bacteria.

  • Naked Time

Nothing make’s baby’s sweet skin happier than some fresh air.  Yes, baby will pee and even poop wherever they are, but their skin will be getting a much needed break!

Throw down a towel if they’re not on the move yet.  I would put a changing pad liner down under the towel to prevent full soak through.  If they’re slightly on the move, throw down a blanket.

If you don’t want to do laundry, take them outside and get some sunshine and some fresh air on those sweet cheeks.

  • Warm Sitz Bath

Not much feels better than a nice warm bath.  Throw a few tablespoons of baking soda into baby’s bath water for a refreshing sitz soak.  Baking soda eliminates toxins and neutralizes skin acidity which will calm the rash and make baby’s bum relaxed.

  • Milk Bath

The wonder of breast milk at it again! Fill baby’s tub with some warm water and add just enough breast milk to make the water cloudy.  Let them soak for about 10 minutes, drain all of the milk/water, then give baby a regular bath.  The antibodies in the milk prevent germs and soothe injured skin.

  • Oatmeal Bath

Aveeno has oatmeal bath mix specifically for baby skin.  It can help treat, not only diaper rash, but eczema and chicken pox!  This hypoallergenic powder moisturizes and naturally cleanses without harsh soap.

  • Coconut Oil

Much like Petroleum Jelly, coconut oil keeps the cheeks from chaffing.  Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties that can help prevent the rash from progressing to an infection by killing the bacteria sitting near baby’s skin.

  • Pepto Bismol

The chalky pink drink?  You heard right!  Shake your Pepto, pour a generous amount on a cotton ball and dab onto the affected area.  Let it dry completely then diaper normally.  It will dry up all the moisture sitting in baby’s sensitive skin and will act as a wall preventing more from getting in.

If your baby’s rash does not begin to improve after 4 days, consult your pediatrician.

Good luck and happy diapering!

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15 Amazon Products All First Time Parents Need

This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

magical mama blog 15 amazon products all first time parents need

15 Amazon Products All First Time Parents Need

 

  • Subscribe & Save Diapers!!!!

Oh my goodness!  This has changed my life! We had a diaper shower and filled an entire closet up with diapers…that barely lasted a few months!

I did research on the average of how many diapers you would need of each size until your child is potty trained and registered for those ball park numbers and we didn’t get anywhere near what we needed.

This program has saved my sanity!  I haven’t had to go to the store for diapers or even have them on my grocery list.  An entire month’s supply comes straight to my door automatically!

I can go in at any point and move around my delivery dates or change the sizes or number of boxes we need!

On top of your peace of mind in not having to think about diapers, subscribing saves you money!  And as first time parents, you’re going to want to save as much money as you can while you adjust to financing an additional human being in your home!

I cannot say enough good things about this program!

Check it out on Amazon right now!

  • Nose Frida

I’m so sorry if you’re grossed out by this, but it dances circles around bulb syringes!

There was a night my baby couldn’t sleep because she could barely breathe and was so uncomfortable.  I was trying to suck my poor baby’s snot-filled nose with a bulb syringe while she screamed.

The next morning, after basically no sleep, I decided to get over it and get this thing that every one was raving about and BOY was I happy I did!

I wish I would have registered for this! If I could have had this from day one, I could have saved myself a lot of sleep.

Don’t worry, it’s basically impossible to suck the snot into your mouth.  Everything gets trapped in the base.  Even if it doesn’t, it would have to travel through a long tube and go through the filter before getting to the mouth piece. You’re safe.

It’s easy to clean and has come in handy on so many occasions, I can’t even count and my baby is only 9 months old!

  • Baby Bum Brush

In the prehistoric days of applying rash cream with your bare hands, you always seemed to end up with more cream on your hands and under your nails than on your baby’s bum.

So now you’re slimy, baby’s rash is no better off, and you’ve wasted more than half the cream on your hands that you now have to go wash off.  I don’t know if you’ve looked lately, but diaper rash cream is expensive!

This is a game changer in the diapering game! Babies pee a lot and they’re stuck with constant moist friction on their sensitive skin. There’s no way you’re going to be physically able to change them so often that they avoid diaper rash.  It’s going to happen.  Make it easier on yourself.

This magical invention will save you money and sanity.  Simply get a dab on your brush, slather onto your baby, wipe the brush with a baby wipe, the end!  No cream on you, baby’s bum is happy, and no waste!

  • Onesie Extenders

Your baby will change sizes overnight…literally.  They will be wearing one size when you put them to bed and when you put on their onesie in the morning, suddenly they’re a stuffed sausage and you can’t snap them in.

In the instances that they haven’t been able to show off the cute outfit their aunt got for them, you aren’t ready to accept the fact that you spent money on something and they only wore it once, you don’t have something in the next size ready to go, or your baby has a monster of a torso, these little beauties are amazing!

You simply get to add about an extra 3 inches of room for their shoulders and legs to breathe.

  • Little Remedies Kit

Thank you, Little Remedies, for giving me the ability to make the screaming stop!

All the books will tell you: when your baby is crying, check that they have been fed, burped and changed…well, book, what now?

So many times, you get to play a guessing game with no answers.  Your baby could be having tummy troubles, digestion issues, or breathing trouble that no amount of food, burping, or diaper changing will fix.

The gas drops work wonders for baby tummy bubbles and they work quick! Gripe water will make hiccups, colic and gas disappear.  I have seen the Nasal Drops perform actual magic by transforming 2 nostrils that were completely crusted close to moist, clear passages!

Save yourself the sleep and make your little one comfortable!

  • Pack n play

Whatever genius took the old portable play pen and turned it into this all-in-one miracle is a genius and I hope they get lots and lots of money!

It has a changing table, bouncy seat, pocket caddy, noise maker/night light, bassinet, and pack-n-play.

We had it set to the bassinet level with the changing table on it in our room.  We had our little one near by for late night feedings.  When she woke up, we were able to change her without taking a single step because the changing table was next to where she was sleeping and the pocket caddy had diapers, wipes, and everything we needed in it.

I’m pretty sure our baby lived in that bouncy seat if she wasn’t being held.  It vibrates and kept her nice and cozy at a slight angle to avoid digestion issues.

It’s the swiss army knife of baby products.  Register for it now!

  • Rocker

Didn’t you say products on Amazon?  I sure did! Furniture delivered right to you!

I know some people think they’ll be fine with a regular chair or additional bed in the nursery to feed and hang out with baby in the middle of the night…treat yo self!

We had ours in our room the first 3 months then moved it into her room and it has become a staple in our bedtime routine.  That rocking for her, that lounging for us, and the peace for all!

  • Swing

We’re squeezing every last minute out of our swing! Our chunky monkey could be bending the metal any time now.

If she kept everyone up all night long screaming, we would put her in this and all was well in the world.  At 9 months, we can still put her in it and she’s out in a matter of minutes.

Your arms and your back will thank you for this addition!  When you can’t stand the walking, bouncing and rocking, let the swing do it for you and give yourself a break.

  • Hello Baby Monitor

I can’t give a good enough review for this monitor!  It has color picture and infrared so you can see just as clearly when the lights are out. You can make the camera go close up to make sure your baby is breathing without having to get up.  There is a microphone so you can talk to your little one and comfort them…or tell them to lay down for the fortieth time.

There’s an indicator for the temperature of the baby’s room!  This was a huge help!  If my baby’s room was below 70 or above 78, she would wake up.  Now, I check at bed time and know how much we need to change the thermostat or the vent in her room to make sure we all have a peaceful night.

The receiver is a great size and I attached it vertically with some 3M hooks to our nightstand so we can always see it when we hear her making noise in the middle of the night.  It also has great battery power and a little kickstand so you can watch your little one during nap time!

  • Boppy

Weather you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding, this pillow will pay for itself 10 times over!

It gives your arms, back, and neck a huge break when you hold them so you can relax.  It is great for little ones starting tummy time.  Mine hated being on her stomach and having her head down.  The Boppy was her tummy time buddy for months!

You can prop them up to give them a new view, relieve tummy trouble, keep them in one place, and work on some core and neck strength.

It is the perfect support for when your little one is trying to figure out how to use their muscles to sit up on their own.  It gave me peace of mind when my daughter enjoyed straightening her legs and hurling her head backwards.  That Boppy saved us from a lot of bumps, bruises, and crying.

Be sure to grab a waterproof cover for those projectile vomit or projectile…anything else incidents.  Then dive into the thousands of covers you can get!

  • Cool Steam Humidifier

Not for the sick adults!  For the happy babies! Humidifiers protect against dry air.  They are especially important in the winter months when you have on heaters which pull moisture from the air.

Babies are prone to runny noses, coughs, and cold symptoms.  Keeping the air in their room moist makes for the best breathing conditions which keeps them comfortable and reduces the risk of them getting sick.

It protects your baby’s sensitive skin from become dry and itchy and retains its natural moisture.

On top of the health benefits, it’s practically a white noise maker in itself!

  • Velcro Swaddlers

All the time you spent working on swaddling in class?  Put it to good use. But as soon as your baby is big enough, get them in a velcro swaddler!

No matter what type of blankets and hacks you’re using, your baby will figure out how to worm an arm out or snuggle in and have blankets around their face.  With velcro swaddlers, there’s no escaping AND when it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re changing your 10 diaper for the evening, you don’t have to think or wrestle with your baby to get the blankets tucked in just so.

Once my little one was out of preemie sized clothes, I put her in one and never turned back to those dastardly blankets! In the middle of the night, we’d slip her out, change her, slip her right back in, feed and burp her while she was swaddled and laid her right back down.  Easy peasy!


  • Bath Thermometer

I don’t know about y’all, but I like my showers scalding hot.  When it comes time to run the baby a bath, the books say to dunk your elbow in…when I checked the temperature of what I thought felt appropriate, I could have scorched my little one.

These devices have given me so much peace of mind. The screen turns blue if it’s too cold, red if it’s too hot, and green for when it’s just right for the baby bear.

Pro Tip: Be sure to let it dry with its sensor side up so that the screen doesn’t go out.

Check out how to clean and sanitize your baby’s bath toys!

  • Play Gym

My baby lived on hers for the first 4 months of her life.  She gazed at the hanging toys, played the piano with her feet, napped, did tummy time, and learned how to roll over on this mat.

The great thing about this one is that you can de-tatch the piano once they outgrow the mat and they can continue to play the familiar tunes.

  • Delicate Laundry bags

If you do not already have these in your home, get them, get them now!

I have a small bag hanging on the side of baby’s laundry basket.  This is where I throw all of her itty bitty baby socks.  When I pull it out of the dryer, not one sock is missing… EVER!

I have a medium bag in our bathroom for her washcloths and sponges from her bath time.  Once her laundry is done, I can return the whole bag back to our bathroom without having to sort!

I have a large bag hanging on the back of the chair that her highchair sits on.  This is where I throw her bibs and wash cloths after meal time.  The velcro from the bibs doesn’t get stuck on any of her other clothes and when laundry is done, I can fold her eating laundry right in the kitchen and put it back in her kitchen cabinet with..NO sorting!

These come in handy when you are away on a trip.  You have portable laundry bags!  No wondering what is clean and what is dirty!

Bonus: If your kiddo loves Legos (or other small plastic toys that are after your feet with a vengeance), you can throw them into a bag and then into the sink with some hot water and vinegar to give them a good cleaning and disinfecting.  If you throw them in here, hundreds of little plastic pieces stay together and don’t go down your sink drain!

 

And there you have it!  15 amazing products that you can have delivered straight to your door!

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

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21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great

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21 Ways To Make Your Home Smell Great

Isn’t it interesting how we can go to other peoples’ homes and immediately pick up on the general smell of the place? But when you walk into your own home…nothing?  We become so acclimated to our homes, we don’t even notice it anymore… it’s almost physically impossible to smell your own home.

It’s like wearing a regular perfume…after you put it on in the morning, you can’t smell it anymore throughout the day.  Every once in a while, after a vacation or a cold, I get a quick whiff of my home and I’m not happy about it!

No matter how much you clean your home, some smells just need some Ghostbuster-style annihilation.

We’ll go through my 21 favorite tricks to get your home smelling spectacular!

 

Vanilla Extract

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog vanilla extract baking oven cleaning

Throw about 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.  This is great if you get home before a dinner party and realize your house smells like dogs…or feet.

This is a trick a lot of realtors use for open houses.  Not only does it mask nasty odors, it makes your home smell like warm, fresh baked cookies. Win-Win.

Coffee & Candles

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog candles coffee beans clean

Get some small bowls, place a small vanilla scented candle in the center and fill the empty space with coffee beans.

Small candle is the key because you want the candle to warm quickly to get the aroma from the coffee beans.  A tea light or something slightly larger will work. Dollar store for the win! (Bowls were $2, candles were 4 for $1)

No matter the season, there’s nothing like some Fa la la la la French Vanilla Coffee in the air!

If you’re not a fan of coffee, The Downey/Gain wax scent booster beads work the same way.

Car Air Fresheners

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog clean car air freshener air vent hvac

Take a walk around your house.  Check out how many vents are in the walls, floors, and ceilings.  Somehow, our eyes pass right over them since we live with them.  However, this is how we get air circulated around our home.

To get a whiff of something delicious, snag a few car vent fresheners on your next trip to the store – You can write them down on your handy dandy shopping list

Place them on vents around your home, but spread them out!  They can be very strong if they are placed on every vent.

These last from 2-4 weeks depending on how much air is traveling through them.  I nabbed these at the dollar store and prefer them to the Febreze car vent clips because they’re much less of an eye sore.

Wax melter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog wax melter essential oils candle plug in gain downey scent boosters

Grab your favorite scented wax cubes around the candle section and throw a few in your melter.

If you’re not a fan of the scents at the store or you don’t like the wax itself, grab 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut oil and some of your favorite essential oils.

Not a fan of essential oils?  Grab some spices from your pantry and throw those in there with your coconut oil.  Does it have to be coconut oil?  It has the proper texture to melt and mix with the other things you’re adding to it…splurge the few dollars then go on Pinterest to find the millions of other uses for it!

If you want your home to smell like fresh laundry (my favorite) grab some Gain or Downey wax scent boosters.

Two options for wax melters.  The plug in versions you just have to flip on and the light melts whatever is in the dish.  These are usually $7-$20 depending on how fancy you’re going.  The dollar store has candle heated melters for 1 whole dollar! And tea lights (tons of them) for a dollar.  You can choose depending on style, budget, or convenience!

Box fan

Is the air in your home stagnant?  (If you don’t have a cooling/heating system, this is great to have around!)

Grab your box fan and grab an HVAC filter.  Turn the fan on and place the filter against the back.  You’ll be grossed out by how much guck gets sucked into the filter.  Ta-Da! Home-made air purifier!

DIY Febreze

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog diy febreze homemade cleaning

Grab some Downey or Gain scent boosters and throw a handful into an empty spray bottle, add some hot water and swirl until mixed.  Spray to your heart’s content!

This is great for drapes or black out curtains that you can’t wash.  It makes them smell like they’re fresh out of the laundry!

HVAC Filter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog air filter essential oils

Find your main machinery for your heating/cooling system and replace the filter with a fresh one.  When you pull out your filter, write down the dimensions and run to your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and grab a replacement (and a few extra for next time) they’re just a few dollars.

Not only will replacing the filter help your system work well and clean the air more efficiently, you can throw some drops of your favorite essential oil on there and the air coming into your home is gaining pleasant scents along the way!

Garbage Disposal

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog lemons vinegars ice cube trays clean

Go ahead and stick your head in your sink and smell what is wafting from your drain and disposal.  Chances are it’s not flowers and meadows.

Get out an ice cube tray, 2-3 lemons, and some white vinegar.  Chop off some chunks of peel and put little bits into each cube.  Fill the tray with distilled white vinegar and freeze.

Once frozen, remove from tray and put cubes into a gallon sized plastic bag and BAM! You now have garbage disposal deodorizer cubes for any time it needs a refresh.

Grab 2-3 cubs and toss them into the sink. Turn your disposal on.  Don’t be afraid of the sound.  The ice sharpens the blades, the vinegar and lemon peels disinfect and deodorize.  NOW smell your sink!  Delightful!

Dryer Scent Beads

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog scent boosters polyester bags

Run over to the party supply section of the store and you’ll likely find a pack of these itty bitty mesh drawstring bags for a dollar or two.  Now run over to the laundry section and pick up some Downey UnStoppables or Gain Scent Booster. Throw a small amount in each bag and you have portable scent boosters.

Attach them to a hangar in the back of your closet, throw them in your shoes, in a drawer, in your linen closet, on a towel rack, anywhere!  They’ll last a couple of weeks and are easy to replace!

Tea Bags

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog tea bags

If you don’t want to splurge on dryer scent pebbles, scout your pantry for some tea bags.

Tea bags help to absorb smell.  They won’t necessarily give off any exciting smells to tickle your nose, but they can work great in shoes and gym bags.

Carpet Powder

If your carpet smells like dogs and feet…don’t they all at some point?… Sprinkle baking soda and let sit 10-20 minutes before vacuuming.

If that’s not doing anything for you, jump on Amazon and grab some carpet powder.  It is designed for this exact purpose, there and a ton of scents to choose from, and it helps with the lovely burning smell that comes along with vacuums.

Vacuum

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog essential oils cotton balls cleaning

Speaking of that burning smell when your carpet gets hot and is sucking up all of that hair.. bluh!

Get a few cotton balls and throw some drops of essential oil on them.  Toss those in your vacuum bag or bin and that should diffuse it.

Trash Can

When was the last time you washed and disinfected your kitchen trash can?  Would you jump in it if you were dared?

This is the place where you put garbage in one of the most frequented locations in your house. It sees food scraps, clean up waste from spills, etc.

Take your trash can outside and give it a proper wash with soap.  Spray down with vinegar or bleach depending on how terrible it is.  Not only will this make it smell better, it will give you peace of mind.

Put a cotton ball with 2 drops of lemon oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil at the bottom before putting a bag in to decrease trash odor and detoxify.

Toilet Paper

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet paper essential oils

Toss a drop or two of your favorite essential oil on the inner cardboard tube of your toilet paper rolls. Each time it is rolled, a little bit of scent is re-released.

Vinegar

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning vinegar

If a room has recently been painted and just doesn’t seem to be airing out no matter what you do, or a smell of any kind is lingering, throw a bowl of just plain distilled white vinegar into the room.

One of vinegar’s amazing abilities is to strip scents from air and surfaces.

I used this hack when I was pregnant.  My husband had painted the nursery and I felt the need to get in there and organize and nest…but that silly rule about pregnant ladies and paint fumes! We had windows open, fans blowing, nothing was working…until we tried the vinegar bowl!

Refrigerator

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog coffee grounds mason jar refrigerator cleaning

How long has it been since you have wiped down every surface in your refrigerator? Changed the baking soda?  The food you feed your family is kept here.  Nasty germs could be causing food to spoil faster and even get to the point of making food unsafe to consume.

Take everything out of the fridge, even drawers and shelves.  Toss anything expired.  Wipe down your entire fridge with a safe cleaner.  Wash or wipe down each shelf and drawer before returning.  Place all food back in and organize while you’re there!

Throw a cup or jar of coffee grounds in there overnight to absorb any lingering odors!

Baking Soda

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog baking soda essential oils mason jars

Grab a mini mason jar and poke holes in the lid.  Fill with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  If it starts to dwindle, give it a good shake or throw a few more drops in.  These are great for people with very sensitive allergies to artificial scents.

If you don’t want to splurge on mason jars (which really aren’t bad! I got 4 for $5 at the grocery store!), you can just put this mixture in a bowl.  Unfortunately, the delightful smells will ware off much more quickly in a bowl, but feel free to add more drops of oil as needed.

Toilet Brush

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet brush lemon pine sol cleaning

Fill up it’s holding container with some lemon fresh Pine Sol!  Not only does it clean …can that thing ever really be clean?…no…but it also provides a lovely scent and is a deodorizer!

We need all the help in the bathroom we can get!  A lot of bathrooms don’t even have windows and they are rooms where we wash dirt off of ourselves, go to the bathroom, and are a moist breeding ground for bacteria that cause terrible odors!

Towels

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning vinegar baking soda towels

Run your towels through 2 hot wash cycles.  One with vinegar.  One with baking soda.  DO NOT WASH TOGETHER!

This will get the mildewy smell out of them and give them a fresh, new life.  A lot of times, your towels will be fluffier and will absorb water well again.

Pets

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog dog bath cleaning

Give them a bath and their bedding.  Would you lie in their bed right now?  Most pets enjoy their beds as nasty as they can get because it smells like them and it’s conformed to them.  They can get it back to that state in no time.

BONUS: Car Candle

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning car candle

If your car smells like soccer shoes and spilled fast food, take that candle you love that is becoming impossible to light, throw it in your cup holder and let the sun do its work.

Obviously this works best in warmer weather, but sometimes, the sun cooking your car just a bit will be enough to release some great scent from your sad, dying candle.

 

I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you go and do all of these things right now.  It will be like walking into a Bath and Body Works…ridiculous amounts of smell…and strong ones at that all conflicting and you won’t be any happier than you were before.

Try a few tips and see if you like them.  Try a few more if you notice a certain smell starting to stick out.  Don’t go overboard!  And if your home maybe doesn’t smell fresh because it hasn’t been well cleaned in a while, go grab my Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist and give your home a bath!

 

Good Luck and Happy Cleaning!

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How To: Clean and Disinfect Bath Toys

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How To: Clean and Disinfect Bath Toys

Very few children sit in a bath tub quietly and calmly waiting to be washed without a few toys floating around to keep them busy.

Unfortunately, a few toys turns into many toys and the task of squeezing the water from each one and setting them out to dry in fresh air becomes an impossible task while wrestling a wet baby that feels like a Vaseline’d watermelon.

I’m guessing you’ve seen the horror movie-like pictures on the internet of bath tub toys cut in half revealing mounds of mold and mildew.  It sets you into panic mode.

Your baby is munching on these toys… is that why they randomly threw up? Or have a rash?

You suddenly find yourself trying to peer into the tiny little holes expecting black gunk and prepare yourself to throw out everything… but then this whole process starts over.

Now you have the heebie jeebies and want to clean and disinfect your whole home.

Worry not!  I’ll go through 2 different methods that will not only clean but sanitize these toys for your little ones.

Method 1: Vinegar

how to clean and disinfect bath toys vinegar cleaning magical mama blog

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.  Though it may send you jumping back when you first smell it, the scent always goes away…but not before disinfecting!

  1. Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of freshly boiled water in a basin or sink.
  2. Take a clean sponge and scrub the outside of the toys with the vinegar water.
  3. Force the toys to suck in the solution and squirt it back out several times.
  4. Allow the toys to soak for about an hour.
  5. Thoroughly squeeze out all the liquid you can
  6. Set them out on a fluffy, clean, dry towel to let dry

Do you need to boil the water?  Not necessarily, but boiling water cleans the water and if you’re cleaning and disinfecting, don’t you want the cleanest water?

In my town in the midst of West Texas, the water is rough and I wouldn’t trust a cleaning job with just anything out of the tap.

Method 2: Bleach

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Bleach is a lot harsher.  This would not be my first choice unless you believe you already have mold or mildew, in which case, you want to kill it with whatever will do the job!

  1. Add 3/4 cup bleach to your gallon of freshly boiled water
  2. Take a clean sponge and scrub the outside of the toys with the vinegar water.
  3. Force the toys to suck in the solution and squirt it back out several times.
  4. Allow the toys to soak for about an hour
  5. Force the toys to suck in/squeeze out plain water in order to get the bleach off all of the surfaces
  6. Thoroughly squeeze out all the liquid you can
  7. Set them out on a fluffy, clean, dry towel to let dry

You don’t want your kids playing with mold, mildew, OR straight bleach so make sure you don’t skip the step of rinsing the insides with water!

Preventing

You should repeat this process about once every 2-3 months depending on how often they are used and how much care is given to them at the end of each bath.

how to clean and disinfect bath toys hot glue squirt toys rubber ducky magical mama blog

If you have a hot glue gun, try plugging the holes with a bit of hot glue.

You want to make sure to make a good cork, so really get the glue going on the inside then fill the actual hole.  This way, chunks of glue won’t end up floating around in the tub.  Keep an eye out for floating glue!

Obviously, if the kids are obsessed with squirting toys, they may not be thrilled about those getting plugged up.  Just do an inspection and clean regularly!

bath toy how to clean and disinfect baby toys cleaning magical mama blog vinegar bleach

When was the last time you cleaned and disinfected your baby’s bath toys?

Happy soaking!

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38 Fun Fall Activities for your Family

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38 fun fall activites for your family, family night, family bonding, autumn fall family game night magical mama blog

38 Fun Fall Activities for your Family

School bells are ringing, the air is still muggy from summer, and everyone is trying to figure out this new routine.  Why this is a surprise every year? We may never know.

Between the time the first school bell rings and the time sleigh bells are ringing, it is so important to make time to spend together as a family…but coming up with things to do?  That can be a doozie!  That’s why I created this fabulous list!

If you’re signed up to receive freebies from Magical Mama Blog, you’ll be getting a printable calendar so you don’t have to spend your evenings debating over what to do!  If you’re not signed up, scroll down to the bottom of this (or any) post and you can get unlimited free and useful stuff!

Getting out of the house activities:

  1. Go to a Corn Maze or Hayride

    Almost all city councils crave a fun seasonal festival to bring the town together.  Look on your city’s website for upcoming events.  If your city is unable to host something like this, chances are one close to you is.

    Look up “hayride near (your zip code)” and all kinds of options will pop up for you to look into.  A lot of them also have petting zoos, mazes, crafts and more!  You can make a whole day of it one weekend with your family!

  2. Apple picking at a local orchard

    “An apple orchard?  We don’t usually see those off the freeway.  There’s no way we have one near us!”  I dare you to look it up!  Most states have websites dedicated to “pick your own” farms and orchards divided up by county.  You’ll be surprised how close a local PYO is to you!

  3. Go to a Pumpkin Patch

    They’re everywhere in October!  You can always go to the parking lot of the local store, but its much more fun to go to a local farm or pop up “farm” and get some great pictures of your kids, fun family photos and make an event of it!

  4. Check out your city’s calendar of events for a fall festival

    Your city should have a website with a link to upcoming events put on by the city.  If your city isn’t on the brink of technology, check the paper!

    This is a great way to plan a fun play date or start an annual family tradition!  Some day, your kids can tell your grand kids about how they always went to the Fall Festival in their home town and can take them some day!

  5. Pick out Halloween Candy to hand out

    Instead of going to the grocery store yourself and looking at a mountain of options, get your family involved.  I know, it sounds crazy, let your kids be in charge of picking out candy?  I’ll go bankrupt!  Their teeth will rot!

    Simply give each family member a budget or a one bag rule.  Get your kids excited about going to the store and getting groceries!  Errands don’t have to be a chore!

    My favorite part of Halloween as a kid wasn’t trick or treating.  Sure, I’d go out for 30 minutes just to do it, but I’d rush home to see all of the fun costumes come to my door and hand out candy.

  6. Go out for seasonal donuts

    Everyone makes them.  Krispy Kream, Dunkin Donuts, and all the mom and pop shops around.  Take the kiddos out one morning to a local shop and enjoy breakfast together.

    You can bring donuts home any old time, but going out to a shop where they’re forced to talk to each other and try something unique makes for a great time.

  7. Go for a sunset walk

    It’s been a long day at school and work, the kids have done their after school activities, homework is done.. before dinner and electronics and a bed time routine, get outside.  Take your kids out in the fresh air and have them look up.  Enjoy a sunset as a family.

  8. Go on a nature walk

    You can go out to enjoy the outdoors or you can send your kids out on a serious hunt.  Make them a list of things to look for or make a list of things to collect along your walk.

    Play nature bingo or I Spy.  Try to get away from walking around your neighborhood.  Go to a big park in the city, or a local campground.  Get them out in the leaves and dirt!

  9. Collect pine cones

    Along your nature walk, collect pine cones or other natural materials.  Not only is it fun watching your kids hunt and compare, you can bake them and make a Fall centerpiece or a Winter wreath.

    To bake: preheat your oven to 250, line a baking sheet with tin foil, place cones and cinnamon sticks on baking sheet (I like to sprinkle a little ground cinnamon and nutmeg on top too!), bake for one hour, check occasionally to avoid burning.

    Baking your cones dries out all the moisture and makes sure there’s no miniature critters hiding in there!

  10. Flashlight Tag in the park

    You know all of those flashlights around your house that never get used?  Now’s your chance to find them, check the batteries, have a good time, and make sure everyone knows where their dedicated flashlight is in case of an emergency.

    Get your little ones bundled up in dark colors.  Head out to a local park after the sun sets and it gets dark.  Be sure to establish boundaries so they can all be found again easily and have fun!

  11. Grab seasonal drinks at a local coffee shop

    I’d love to challenge you to find someplace other than Starbucks.  Avoid the girls in their leggings and Ugg boots waiting in line for their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

    Get on Yelp or ask around for a fun local place and go out for a fancy family date.  Finding a coffee shop that has fun hot chocolates and teas, serves drinks in actual mugs, and has a little ambiance makes for a great trip!

  12. Take some fall family photos

    It doesn’t have to be fancy.  Not everyone has the money to hire a busy and expensive professional, coordinate schedules and get all children dressed and happy at the same time.  It’s nearly impossible.

    Take a fancy camera with you to a pumpkin patch or coffee shop or your back yard and get some realistic and fun photos.  Kids don’t remember the fancy photo shoots when they look back at family albums, they remember the memories you make.  Capture those!

  13. Trick or Treat

    Teach your kids the fundamentals of the classic activity.  Make sure they use their manners and their courage.  Get them some exercise before they chow down!

    If they get tired, bored, cold, scared, etc. head back home.  Let them exchange the candy they got from trick or treating that they don’t like with the good stuff in your bowl that they helped pick out.  Turn on a fun movie (ABC Family and tons of other channels have family friendly Halloween movies running constantly) and have fun handing out candy.

    If your neighborhood isn’t known for it’s Trick or Treating crowd, or Halloween falls on a weeknight, a lot of cities will have Trick or Treat events where the kids can safely get candy without scary decor or crossing streets at night.

    At- Home Activities:

  14. Play football in the yard

    You don’t have to be an NFL pro.  Split up into teams while dinner is cooking and have fun challenging each other back and forth across the yard.

    If you don’t have a big yard, head to a park, invite family friends with you and have a picnic and a scrimmage.

  15. Bob for apples

    Take the apples you picked at a local orchard or some from the supermarket, fill a big basin with water and tell your kids to go for it.

    Most times, they’ll think it’s easy then struggle and giggle with each other as those mini mouths try to capture those giant granny smiths. Get pictures!

  16. Start a fire & make S’mores

    Make your first fire of the season and have the kiddos make some fun snacks for themselves.

    If you don’t have a fire place, head to the beach or a camp ground and nab a bon fire pit, or make them over a grill or stove.

  17. Carve Jack-O-Lanterns

    Get ready to get messy and carve the pumpkins you picked at the patch.

    My favorite stay-clean trick is to cover whatever surface they will be working on in a few of the dollar store plastic table cloths that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  Once you’re done, you can pull the corners in and put the entire thing in the trash.  No soggy newspapers or sticky magazine pages!

    If you don’t have an artsy eye, you can always grab some Halloween cookie cutters and hammer them into your pumpkin or trace them so you don’t end up with a blob thats supposed to be a cat or a bat.

  18. Watch Hocus Pocus

    A classic Halloween film that is rated PG.  Enjoy some autumnal treats and watch this as a family.

  19. Decorate your home

    There is no need to spend a fortune to make your house look like a haunted house or like a Martha Stewart magazine cover.  Grab some stuff at the supermarket, dollar store, or party supply store.

    Have your kids cover the plants out front with spider webs, make a leafy centerpiece you can keep on the table until Thanksgiving, put candles and plastic spiders in jars, place their pumpkins out front, hang bats from a tree, put spooky signs on their bedroom doors, hang fun hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen, put a fun wreath on the door, etc.

  20. Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    This 1966 classic isn’t even rated.  It’s great for all ages and it’s only 25 minutes long!

  21. Rake & jump in a pile of leaves

    If you don’t have a big tree that graces you with mounds of leaves, chances are someone in your family or neighborhood does.  Get your kids into the giving spirit and go rake up some leaves for someone (with their permission).

    Great pictures can be taken when kids are thrilled to be throwing colorful, crunchy leaves up in the air.  It burns up energy and gets them grungy for a nice hot bath!

  22. Light some fall candles or simmer a seasonal brew

    Nothing makes you warm and cozy like walking into a warm home and having it smell like the season ought to.

    Toss some apple slices, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and some ground nutmeg into a pot of water on the stove.  Try orange peels, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

    Don’t want to waste produce?  Have some essential oils lying around?  Toss 2 table spoons of coconut oil into a wax warmer and drip some cypress, sandalwood, and white fir to make your home smell like a forest.

    Don’t have the oils?  Get the coconut oil, some pumpkin pie spice and ground nutmeg on the warmer!

  23. Play board games

    You know there are a ton of them in that one closet.  Get them out!  Have a family rivalry, make them use their heads, talk to each other, and strategize.

    Bonus!  You can see what games are missing too many pieces to salvage and can get rid of some stuff!

  24. Make a fall wreath

    Use the pine cones and leaves from your family nature walk, some fabric from your scrap pile, or take a venture to Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or JoAnn and let your kids pick out elements for your front door decor.

  25. Make Cinnamon PlayDoh

    No cook recipe!

    Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar, 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, a few shakes of cinnamon. Add about  1 and a half cups of freshly boiled water (now is the time to add in food coloring if you’d like it to be bright).  Let it cool and play!

    You can also replace the cinnamon with ground cloves, ground nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or anything else you can think of!  Experiment!  This is not a costly craft!

  26. DIY your Halloween Costumes

    I know what you’re thinking, I don’t sew!  I don’t have the skills!  Worry not, you’re not making a Project Runway gown.

    It’s great to see what your kids come up with and most times, it saves you money!  Halloween stores and websites overcharge for a highly duplicated costume that tons of kids will be wearing.  I know I saw a sea of Harley Quinn twins last Halloween and eons of Elsa’s a few years ago.

    Get their creative juices flowing and they’ll end up with a one of a kind costume!

  27. Leaf rubbing with crayons

    Take some of the leaves from your nature walk and place them under a sheet of paper, take the wrappers off of your autumn colored crayons and let the kids go to town creating simple art for you.  No coloring within the lines required.

    Seasonal Food and Drinks to Make:

  28. Apple cider

    Dive into Pinterest and look for a fun crock pot Apple Cider recipe.  Great for a family gathering or a fun evening of board games or movies or baking fun seasonal treats.

    Bonus! It makes your house smell incredible!

    Extra Bonus:  You can make some spiked cider or hot toddies for Mom and Dad!

  29. Baked pumpkin seeds

    Grab a few hand fulls of pumpkin seeds during the carving madness and throw it into a colander in the sink and run some water to rinse and separate the seeds.

    Preheat oven to 400.  Throw a cup of seeds in a pan with 3-4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes, drain, spread out on greased sheet, sprinkle with some melted butter and salt and pepper or cinnamon and sugar.

    Bake anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes depending on how large the seeds are and how many you have.  Keep an eye and as soon as they start to turn brown, pull them out and enjoy!

  30. Pumpkin chili

    There are tons of great recipes out there.  This is a great treat for those seeking a delicious fall recipe that isn’t chock full of sugar.

  31. Pumpkin pancakes or Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

    What better way to wake your kids up on the weekend than with something delicious wafting through their air and tickling their noses?

  32. Pumpkin bread

    Every time you’ve ever tried to make bread at home, has it come out burnt or dry or goopy?  If you’re one to leave it to the pros, every bakery will have seasonal goodies saving you time and heart ache.

    If you’re a baker at heart, Pinterest is crawling with recipes for regular pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, pumpkin cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread… my mouth is watering just listing them.

  33. Candied apples

    I have terrible teeth and the thought of these makes me want to cringe. Trying to eat these delicious treats growing up was no pleasure and all pain.  Until recently when some genius decided the show the world that you can slice the apples before dipping or coating them and make them easy to eat!

    Most grocery stores have candied apple kits near the apples in the produce section… just look down!  If you’re hardcore and wouldn’t DARE use a KIT, grab a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits, melt and dip or drizzle your slices.  You can add melted chocolate, nuts, broken up Halloween candy, or whatever you please!

    Pro Tip:  If you have little ones or want a pretty easy party snack, grab your melon baller at the back of your kitchen drawer and make little apple balls, throw a tooth pick in them, dip them and voila!  Mini candied apples!

  34. Cookies with fall shaped cookie cutters

    Look in the baking section for them to put out the cookie cutters for the season!  Leaves, pumpkins, witches, cats, ghosts, spiders, etc.

    If you don’t want to dish out the change for new, seasonal specific cookie cutters, see what you already have in the pantry.  You can turn a Santa silhouette or tulip up side down and decorate it as a ghost.  Turn a gingerbread man into a mummy or skeleton or a witch.  You can just make plain circles or squares and give your kids a blank canvas for their imaginations to run wild!

    This is a great activity for people who want to throw everything pumpkin-spiced in the trash!  You can make cookies in your favorite flavor and have a blast cutting them out and decorating with the kids.

  35. Rice Krispy Treats

    You can make these all year round and the recipe is on every box of the cereal!  But how is this a fall activity?  You can make them into fun shapes and decorate them with fun colored melting chocolate!

    These are great for parties!  You can make them bite sized or huge.  Keep them plain or make them into a fun shape and douse them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled candy for an impressive treat!

  36. Pumpkin pie

    It’s a classic and you may as well get some practice in before you have to bring it over to mom’s house for Thanksgiving.  People are usually making this once a year and it’s disappointing if it doesn’t turn out right.

    If you want to be fancy, you can grab an extra pumpkin at the patch and make pumpkin puree from scratch for pie, bread, etc.   If you want to be that fancy… you go, Glen Coco!

    Bonus:  Get your can of pumpkin pie mix before the Thanksgiving rush!

  37. Apple pie

    My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  Kids love getting their hand dirty in the kitchen… so let them!

    Put the kids to work peeling the apples, you chop them, let them find and measure the other ingredients and mix the sugars and apples by hand, you put it in the oven while they put the ingredients back where they belong and start on dishes!

    If you’re not a crust person, like myself, go for an easy apple crisp.  Place the apple filling directly into a greased glass 9×9 and throw the buttery, sugary crisp on top!  Easy peasy!

  38. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

    A delightful treat you can keep in the cookie jar the whole season!
    Want to be lazy?… Yes, please!

    1 15 ounce can of cooked Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix), 1 box of Betty Crocker Spice Cake, a bag of chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are always the best!).  Preheat oven to 350, spoon out the combination on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

    BAM!  Cookies in about 15 minutes and not a single measuring cup or spoon was used!!

 

So there you have it!  38 fun family activities for this season!  If you’re going to be a Pinterest-Perfect Mom and accomplish every single one of these, I give you serious props!  I’m going to try… but doubt that a 9 month old, full time work schedule and unplanned sickness will allow it to happen!  I’ll be sure to come back and update this post with pictures as we get things checked off the list!

If you’d like to accomplish a couple of these, I have them written down and planned out for you on our printable calendar so you don’t have to remember!  Just sign up to get free stuff via e-mail and I’ll send you activity calendars for each month!  No need to argue on what to do this weekend!  It’s already on the calendar!

 

Happy Fall and enjoy your family time!

ihelpmoms.com magical mama blog

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How to: Pack baby for plane travel

how to pack baby for plane travel packing airline flight airport trip vacation suitcase carry on checked bag organization

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How to: Pack Baby for plane travel

It’s time to blast off into the wild blue yonder… but you don’t know how you’re going to fit your entire nursery into your suitcase?  Worry no more!  We’re going to simplify and organize the whole process!

Cheat sheet!  At the bottom of the post, there’s a free download for my baby packing check list for both breast fed and formula fed babies!

I always have a suitcase for baby and a suitcase for Mom and Dad.  We fly Southwest so we get 2 free checked bags per person (50 lbs & under) plus our carry ons! Score!

Baby’s Suitcase

Packing baby airline flight airplane airport travel vacation road trip suitcase carry on checked bag what to pack

Time line

Know how many days and nights you are going to be gone for.  This should be your base line.  You’ll need at least that many outfits for the day and sleepers for the night.

You know your baby inside and out and know how many outfits they usually go through in a day.  Add those to your baseline and always throw in an extra outfit or 2 on top of that.

You never know how your baby is going to react to a new location, new weather, or a new time zone.  Always better to be prepared and expect the unexpected.

Efficiency

Make it easy for yourself.  Baby clothes are small and no matter how nicely you fold them and pack them in from end to end, they will get jostled and mixed around while your luggage is being moved.

Do yourself a favor and invest in some quart size ziplock bags!  We’re going to make little baby clothes burritos and pack your outfits as sets!

This is especially awesome if you have a baby girl and want to bring along headbands and bows because they stay with the outfits they go with!

baby packing clothes tutorial ziplock hefty bag organizing

Dirty laundry

So you’re half way through your vacation and you now have half of your outfits left in their bags and the used ones are now just floating around? No way, Jose!

Delicate laundry bags.  If you don’t have them already, go get them now!  Pack one of these bags when you are away from home and ta-da you have a portable laundry bin!

 

Pro Tip:  Get a set of the laundry bags.  Use the smallest ones to hang on the edge of your baby’s laundry bin to keep all of baby’s socks together.  Use a medium laundry bag to hang on the back of the baby’s high chair to keep your dirty bibs and washcloths together.  Hang a large sized bag in the bathroom for the bath time towels, washcloths and sponges.  This not only allows you to refrain from losing pieces, it makes separating baby laundry a breeze. You take it out of the dryer and know where all the bags need to go and your stuff is clean and right back where it started!

Food Supplies

Whatever you’ll need during travel time should be in your carry on.  But if you’ll need bowls, spoons, bottles, sippy cups, teethers etc., throw those in a gallon sized ziplock bag so they’ll stay all together.

If you’re running out of your vacation at the end, and have freshly washed utensils, they now have a place to go where they won’t get any other stuff wet!

Pump/Formula

If you’re able to make it through your travel time without pumping, put your pump in a checked bag.  This will save you a headache at airport security!

(TSA has really streamlined breastfeeding supplies over the years, but each airport and agent is a bit different with their training, resources, and policies.)

If your formula container is already opened, put it in a gallon sized Ziplock bag.  If, for any reason, it opens during travel, you’re not losing those precious pennies of formula dust!

Monitor

We like to keep things as much like home as possible.  It’s nice to be able to put her down for a nap or bed time and be able to go out and socialize while keeping an eye her.

Her naps and bed time get thrown off quite a bit with long travel days and being in a different time zone.

Our monitor is pretty compact, so we take it with us everywhere.  I pack mine in a little box that we got in one of our hundreds of Amazon packages.  It held a battery pack and cord for one of her toys and our little monitor fits in it just perfectly.

You don’t need a fancy box, but just something to keep the screen safe and keep the cords from getting tangled would help.

baby monitor packing clothes airplane airline airport travel vacation

We adore our Hello Baby Monitor!  It has audio, color/infared, you can do close-up to make sure your little one is breathing, it tells you the temperature of their room, and has a microphone so you can calm them down from a distance!

Medical Bag

I adore Little Remedies!  They have saved me a lot of sleep and stress.  The newborn kit comes with several products and this handy-dandy zipper bag that holds all of the supplies.

I like to throw in Tylenol, a syringe, Vapo rub, Saline Drops, Gas Drops, nail clippers, thermometer, and the Nose Frieda.  Our munchkin developed a cough and runny nose on our last trip and I had fortunately packed all of these supplies and was able to make her comfortable.

Side note: We keep bath wash, baby oil, lotions, sunscreens, bug spray, etc. in the toiletries bag in our suitcase.

baby packing medicine medical bag first aid thermometer little remedies baby airplan airline airport

 

Diapers

If you have it in the budget, get a small pack of diapers once you arrive to your destination.  This way, you’ll just have to pack them in your carry on and you can save a ton of space.

Extra bag

Anywhere I take my baby, she gets spoiled rotten.  We always wind up coming home with twice as much as we came with.

If you don’t wind up using it for new stuff coming home, no worries, it’s a flat bag. And, if anything, it’ll just keep your stuff nice and snug inside your suitcase.

It’s nice to have in case any of your bags wind up weighing over 50 pounds.  It’ll save you the fee that comes along with heavy luggage!  Just transfer heavy or bulky items into the extra bag and BOOM!  Saved yourself some cash!

baby packing suitcase formula baby clothes organization airplane travel vacation airport

Carry Ons

Each person gets 1 carry on plus a personal item.  My husband and I each take a diaper bag.  Mine is a diaper bag that I use as my regular purse and my husband’s is a diaper backpack.

When I was still nursing, I took my Boppy as my personal item and, boy, did we use it!  My husband had a small, soft cooler I bought at Target as his carry on to bring some frozen milk.

But how did we navigate boarding an airplane with 2 diaper bags, a cooler, a Boppy and a baby?

My husband was able to put on our carrier with baby, put on the back pack and I was able to have my bag, the cooler and the Boppy.  I found seats, got settled, then took baby while Dad got comfortable.  It was seamless through 4 flights in one week!

Remember, everything in your carry ons will be going through security.

Here are TSA’s guidelines on traveling with children.

Mom’s Carry On – Diaper Bag

diaper bag baby packing travel vacation tsa security airport cooler toys organization

I focus my carry on on the baby.  My stuff will be in Dad’s carry on.

Folder

If your little one is under 2, you need their ORIGINAL Birth Certificate in order to get them a boarding pass.  This is also where I keep confirmations for hotels and rental cars at easy reach.

Food

Have your formula, bottles, water, juice, or baby food in a gallon ziplock bag.  They have their own rules and have to be scanned separately from the rest of your items.  Be sure to tell a TSA agent that you have these items.  This also applies for frozen or chilled breast milk in coolers.

Here are TSA’s guidelines on milk/food for babies.

Essentials

Diapers, wipes, cream and a changing pad.  Bring more than you think you’ll need!  You never know how your plane will be delayed or if your luggage gets lost.  Bring extras!

Pacifiers for those poor little baby ears that don’t know how to handle pressure changes.  If they’re not eating at take off and landing, have that pacifier ready!

Burp Cloth.  Those poor little tummies can hold a lot of stuff and the last thing you want is for all of that to come flying out and have no way to clean them up.

Carrier.  Hands free baby wearing.  Travel is taxing. Save your arms.

Dad’s Carry On – BackPack

baby packing backpack suitcase vacation travel airport tsa security

Phones & Wallets

We have a small outside pocket and a big outside pocket.  We keep our phones in the top pocket and our wallets (with ID) in the big bottom pocket along with our boarding passes once we get them.  They are accessible at all times and don’t get lost in the baby junk.

Electronics & Chargers

If you have to bring a lap top or tablet, put it in the bag not designated for baby.  Also, bring phone chargers.  If you’re stuck in an airport with a delay, you don’t want a dead phone.

Clothes

Keep your extra outfit for baby in a ziplock bag.  Also bring an extra shirt for Mom and Dad.  If you get thrown up on mid-flight, you don’t want to be stuck in it AND you’ll have a ziplock bag to keep the mess contained!

Essentials

Diapers, wipes, and a changing pad.  Aren’t these in Mom’s bag?  YES!  Have them in both!

Baby Blanket

If you plan on nursing in-flight or in the airports, get yourself some private space and bring a blanket.  Not all airports have designated rooms.

Baby may want to spread out and play, better to have them on a blanket than the airport floor and it’s always freezing in airports and in the plane… keep your little one as comfortable as possible.

Toys

You never know how long your airport stay or wait on the runway will be.  Keep your baby as happy as possible.  Bring some favorite toys to keep them at ease.

 

carry on backpack diaper bag baby packing travel vacation tsa security essentials organization

Car Seat

If you’re planning on bringing a car set with you, DO NOT forget the base to connect it with whatever car you are going to have.

They have car seat bags available online if you’d like to check your stuff and give it a bit of protection.

If you would like the space, security and have it in the budget, you can also opt to buy baby a seat on the plane if they’re under 2 and take them in their car seat.  The magical little hooks on baby’s arm rests are meant to be used with airplane seat belts.

Stroller

Call the airline that you have bought your tickets from and discuss the options for strollers.

It is handy to have a stroller if you’re going to a big airport and you’re going to be walking for a while.  Most airlines let you check your stroller as you board the plane and have it waiting for you as soon as you land, but policies vary and can change.

Do your research and find out ahead of time.  Be sure to clean your stroller out before you head off to the airport.  It has to be emptied and collapsed to be sent through the X-ray at security.

baby packing luggage plane travel vacation suitcase carry on checked bags airport airline airplane crib luggage

And there you have it!  Congratulations, you’re all packed and ready to go!

If you want a printable check list so you don’t forget anything, you’ll find it right below!  Head to my FREE STUFF page for other printables and check lists!

Happy travels and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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How To: Organize Baby Clothes

how to organize baby clothes magical mama blog mom clean family home

So, you’ve got a room overflowing with baby junk and you have no idea where to start.  As Julie Andrews would say, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”

We will get your baby’s room in order in no time!  It just takes 3 steps!

Categorize.

Prioritize.

Organize.

Categorize:

First thing’s first.  If you’re a mommy-to-be, shout it from the rooftops… then head over to your local dollar store and get yourself some baby hangars and clothespins.  (These are usually by the laundry/cleaning products)  Spend a few dollars to keep you organized from day one!

Second thing’s second.  Scout Pinterest to find some adorable printable clothing separators or head to a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, JoAnn, etc. and get yourself some size separators.  This way, from the start, you can have all baby clothing divided by size.

Pro Tip: When you have size 3M and 3-6M.  I suggest keeping those ALL in your 3 month category in your closet.  It’s better to have those 3-6M clothes where you can see them and consider them.  If you have them in the 6 month category, they may be too small by the time you get there.

I made this mistake because my baby was a Preemie size and I didn’t think she’d be getting into those clothes until much later on… she went from 4 pounds 15 ounces to almost 20 pound in less than 9 months!

Fortunately, I am constantly going in and re-organizing and realized that I had made this fatal error with my pregnancy brain and we didn’t end up outgrowing things we had never even had the chance to see!

You’ll be able to see what you have very easily and know if you’ll need to go out and get certain items that you’ll need (much later on).  If clothes come with receipts, use those clothespins to keep them with the outfits the are for.

If you have an outfit with several pieces and don’t want to hang on separate hangers, link the hangars together or put those clothespins to work!

Hold off from washing clothes or putting things into drawers just yet.  I know the temptation to nest.  Washing and getting things put away and ready...read my 10 nesting mistakes to avoid... spoiler alert: I washed everything and threw away all the receipts…BIG mistake!

Prioritize

Now is the time to make your life convenient!  Figure out what you will be needing the most immediately and what you will be using the most often.

Pull out a portion of your huge Newborn section. Sleepers, onesies, pants, etc.  Maybe 10 of each if you have a lot.  De-tag, wash, and fold.  Then place what you will be using the most often in the most convenient spot for you.

This is how our dresser is laid out.  (My husband and I went around to the vintage furniture shops and found this dresser for $100 and refinished it and added some fabulous knobs!)

baby dresser clothes draawers organize magical mama blog

Organize

We have a changing spot designated on top with our handy-dandy diaper genie close by.  We keep the drawer right under the changing pad well stocked with with diapers, wipes and cream.  That drawer is open at all times unless we have company over, so we keep the drawers beneath it as more diaper/wipe storage.

Diaper station diaper genie changing pad diapers baby wipes rash cream

If you do not have 9 drawers or have one of those fancy cribs with built in changing table, consider decorative baskets for diaper storage or using your closet floor space.

We have medications at easy reach in the top middle drawer.  I also keep the travel bag with them so we can easily pack before a trip.

baby medication drawer organization

Below that is a small drawer of teeny tiny socks.  I put the pairs together by shoving one itty bitty sock inside of the other so you can see what the socks look like and they can’t get easily separated (our dog is a sock thief!)…and, heck yes, there’s Christmas socks in there year round!

baby socks drawer organize baby clothes

The bottom middle drawer is where we keep swim wear and drool bibs (things we hardly use)

baby bathing suit drawer bathing suites birp bibs drool bibs

Our onesies are used the most often so we keep those at easy reach in the top drawer.  Our baby runs hot, so when at home, she rocks a diaper and onesie most of the time.

baby onesie drawer folded baby clothes organize

Below that are sleepers and rompers.  Our baby lived in sleepers for the first three months of her life because she was preemie sized (which gave us VERY limited options for wardrobe) and sleepers are convenient as all get out!

I used to keep rompers hung in the closet, but it’s summer time in west Texas and it is a scorcher!  So we brought those out to the drawer once we were using more onesies than sleepers and had the space.

baby pajams baby romper drawer baby clothes organize

The last drawer of our dresser holds her pants, shorts and skirts for when we go out in public.

baby pants drawer shorts skirts

Are you asking yourself, but what about the shirts and dresses? Shoes? Hats?

Baby closet organize hang clothes

Clothes are hung in the closet until needed.  Her shirts and dresses for fancier occasions reside in here in their labeled size section.

Clothes in her current size that have yet to be washed and can be exchanged for bigger sizes also reside here for if she decides to go up a size overnight…which has happened.

I got this fabulous door organizer at Target but there are tons of places you can get them.  Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon.  It was about $30 and I adore it.  (I have one in my pantry as well!)

I have constantly exchanged what has been in it.  Baby accessories are tiny!  I kept shoes, hats, bath supplies, towels, diaper genie refills, labeled bags for daycare, swim diapers, wipe boxes, etc. in there.

Something VERY VITAL I would like to point out is the tub (with lid close by) I keep at the bottom of her closet.  When you go to put something on your baby and they look like a stuffed sausage, fold it and put it in an “outgrown bin”.

This way, you have a place to immediately place things that you have washed… and now look half the size of your ever growing baby. Once it’s full, place the lid on it and put it in whatever type of storage you desire and replace it with another empty bin!

(I keep a small piece of paper in there along the side that has what sizes are in this box… if you wind up with 10 boxes and another baby shows up, you want to know what is what!)

But what about adorable headbands?

Should I be making one of those adorable Pinterest-worthy oatmeal canister headband holders?

Sure you can, but I went a little coocoo on the Wish app and bought 3 or 4 huge packs of headbands that I could personalize and would have to have 12 of those headband holders to display them all.

baby headband bow organization magical mama blog organize clean nursery clothes baby

I have them neatly folded in a bin that I can move around and match the perfect headband to her outfit of the day.

How do you fold such tiny little clothes?

First of all… could this onesie BE any more true?

baby onesie clothes organization organize baby room nursery folding

Folding tutorial coming up!

baby clothes organize onesie folding tutorial magical mama blog

Now you can line them up in the drawer and easily see which is which!  You can also roll them if you’d like, but that takes a lot more time and effort!  But, you go Glen CoCo if that’s your thing!

(I roll and place each outfit – complete with headband into a ziplock sandwich bag for travel… but more on that for another post!)

Pants!  But what about itty bitty pants?!

baby clothes organizing pants drawer magical mama blog

And there you go!  Teeny tiny folded pants that can be placed in a line or two (or ten) so you can easily see what’s what and grab a pair without messing everything up!

 

If you have more categories that you’d like advice on, if you have a dresser only or a closet only and would like advice, please feel free to comment or e-mail me and I’d be happy to help you get organized!

Good luck and happy organizing!

 

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How To: Make every trip to the grocery store a walk in the park

how to make every trip to the grocery store a walk in the park

Even with a full time job, babies, spouses, pets, meals and sleep. We still need to squeeze some fun into our lives.

Unfortunately, we also have to squeeze in trips to the grocery store.

Time to spend most of our hard earned money dodging shopping carts, weaving around the store, juggling a list…and forgetting things. Every. Single. Time.

Time to make things easier. Grocery stores shouldn’t be a chore, they should be a breeze! So here is my secret to getting in and out of the market without pulling all my hair out!

(If you’re already bored by this post, the free downloadable check list is at the bottom! Happy scrolling!)

Make a pattern.

We all have “our” grocery store. A place within decent proximity of our homes with the best prices or great customer service or good parking, etc… we all have one.

The next time you go, figure out your habits. Which side of the parking lot do you park on? Do you start in the produce section? Pharmacy? Bakery? Do you go up and down every aisle? Just the ones you need?

Make yourself a mental map of how you shop every time.

Take notes.

Once you know your pattern, take a pen and paper. Write down the aisles or sections in the order that you hit them.

Take pictures if you’re not into notes. Make note of what grocery items are in each aisle.

I typed out my list of super market sections in a Word document, saved it to my computer, and printed several copies.

Mine reads in a long column down the left Pharmacy, Baby, Cleaning Products, Dairy, Drinks, Dry Goods, Cans, Jars, Frozen, Meats, Fruits, Veggies, Herbs, etc.

Keep track.

Once you have your lists printed, keep them in the kitchen! I cannot stress this enough.

Keep your lists where the food is! Throw them on the fridge with a magnet, keep them in a drawer, hang them in the pantry (with a pen!).

Have them handy so whenever you run out of anything, you can immediately write it down and you won’t forget it on your next trip.

If you’re going to be making a recipe that you think you’ll remember, instead of pulling out your phone in the middle of the market and searching your Pinterest boards, simply pull them up and write down your ingredients in the pre-determined sections and you know you won’t forget anything.

Test it.

It will take a while to get into the habit of writing down what you need as you go, but once your mind jumps on board, you’ll always have what you need! And Voila!

I used to type out lists on my phone or jot things down on a pad of paper as we ran out of things. While this worked, I always ended up with my head buried in my list while I made figure eights and ran into about 30 people in the process.

With my new method, I can look down at my categories and know all of the things I will need to grab on the next aisle. I can keep myself engaged in the super market traffic and I never have to double back for forgotten items.

Especially for times that you have a grumpy baby, a toddler tantrum, a hungry family, or you are just ready for bed, this will save your life!

If this sounds like too much work for you, but you’d like to do it, there’s a free downloadable grocery store check list right down at the bottom of this post!

Good luck and happy shopping!

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