Little List Blog2017-08-01T18:39:24+00:00

[REDIRECT] Successfully Transitioning into a Big Kid Bed with Naturepedic

Successfully Transitioning into a Big Kid Bed with Naturepedic

Sleep.  So important, yet as mamas we get so little of it (unless you are one of those very, very lucky ones that got an amazing sleeper from the get-go).  Now, as being a mama the 2nd time around, I am trying not to make the same mistakes that I did with my first.  N was an “awful” sleeper at around 6/7 months, and after talking to a friend (self-proclaimed as a sleep obsessed mama), she helped me get him on a schedule.  Do yourself a favor and Google “baby awake times” to get a good schedule for your little one.  Her Bible is The Baby Sleep Site and there are plenty of free resources to set up your little ones for sleep success.  Now N is napping at least 4-5 hours a day and only waking up once at night to eat.  Life. Changing.  In addition to the schedule we put him on, we have been using a marpac Dohm (best sound machine ever), Naturepedic mattress (organic and so comfy), and HALO SleepSack.

N’s Nursery – design by YouthfulNest

Ok, so this post isn’t about my good little 8 month old sleeper.  But I did feel like I needed to throw out some quick tips as a PSA, as I believe we didn’t initially set a great foundation for our 4 year old to be a great sleeper.  We actually hired a sleep consultant when she was 2, as she was waking up several times a night (and mommy and daddy were zombies for months and months).  I even considered putting her in a big girl bed at this point.  The consultant said, “NO WAY!”  She shared that age 3.5-4 was an ideal time.  This surprised me but it’s been something that has stuck with me since she was 2.  So, just a month before A turned 4, we decided to take the big girl bed plunge!  I should also note that I read to make the transition as smooth as possible, it’s best to avoid making the switch during other major transitions… so that’s why we opted to wait several months after baby brother arrived.

Luckily, we bought a Dolce Babi convertible crib, so finding a bed wasn’t even a thought.  But a mattress was a different story.  I read that “babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on a crib mattress. As such, for the first few years of a child’s life, the mattress is the single most prominent object in the child’s environment.”  You can read more about the benefits of an organic mattress here. I had just gotten N a Naturepedic crib mattress, and after seeing the quality and comfort of it, I knew I wanted the same for A.  We opted for the Verse organic mattress in full size (it’s a big bed for a 30 lb girl, but at least we won’t have to upgrade to a bigger size in a few years!)

A couldn’t be more excited about her big girl bed.  I think 95% of her friends already had a big kid bed at this point, so it was something that she was really looking forward to.  I actually put the bed together myself on a cold January day.  The mattress came rolled up in a box and the hubs and I put it on easily.  I couldn’t believe the comfort and quality of this bed.  Seriously, I asked A if she wanted to switch, haha!

What’s the first thing that a 4 year old will do when you put together their big kid bed?  JUMP JUMP JUMP!  A got really sick with an ear infection a few weeks into having the bed, and I ended up staying in her bed with her so she could sleep (another bonus of a full size bed).  I can say that this bed is SO comfortable.  No wonder she had been sleeping so well.  I think the excitement alone and a consistent routine (similar to her previous one – but reading in her bed vs. the glider for example, but kept things consistent like her night light & sound machine) made for an awesome transition into the big girl bed to start.  We let her pick out some fun accessories for her new big girl bed, talked about it all the time, used her bed to play and snuggle on and made it a really positive experience.  In hindsight, I would have bought some books ahead of time too, as A is really receptive to books.  Some ideas are Your Own Big Bed, A Bed of Your Own, and Big Enough for a Bed (Sesame Street).  I had gotten like 10 potty training books, so not sure why I didn’t do this with the bed, but it didn’t seem to matter, as she was just SO excited about it.

Then, she got another ear infection and we were back at square one.  I’m talking 2-3 wake ups a night, sneaking into our bed (and I was too tired to realize!)  JUST. GO. TO. SLEEP… pleeeeeeeease.  Literally, she was waking up twice as much as our then 7 month old.

We tried everything – bribes from ice cream to toys (whatever it takes, right?)… allowing our dog to stay in her room… threatening to bring the crib back (which she laughed at).  Ultimately, we realized that she actually had another ear infection (how does a child not get one for four years, and then get two in the same month?!) and that’s why she was waking.  I should mention there were no signs of this ear infection besides her randomly telling us “my ear hurt a minute ago” (we had taken her to the doctor about this and they had said it was likely molar teething!!!)  I may be rambling here, but another PSA to try to rule out all reasons why your kiddo might be waking!

Waiting until there are signs your kid(s) are ready, showing excitement (that they are a part of), a consistent routine, and a wonderful sleeping environment (comfy mattress, clothes, bedding, dark room, and sound machine) can make for a wonderful transition.  I hope that we are finally instilling great sleep habits for this awesome little girl… as we ALL need our sleep!  Sweet dreams!

 

With love,

LL

[REDIRECT] Beautiful Minted.com Holiday Cards with Money-Saving Tips

Beautiful Minted.com Holiday Cards with Money-Saving Tips

Sharing some of our favorite tips for creating beautiful cards while saving time & money!

I’ve always loved holiday cards – receiving them, creating them, and sending them.  Even before having kids, I used to spend [a little too much time] getting my dog to pose for pictures to include on our card.  There may have been a dog santa hat included.  Now that we have kids, there is even more excitement about creating our card… especially since it’s sent to family members across the country who don’t get to see our kids too often.

Minted.com is hands-down my very favorite place to order cards – holiday, party invitations, you name it.  They are absolutely gorgeous and the quality (in my opinion) is unbeatable.  By the time you are done paying for professional photos, ordering the card (and all the special touches), and paying for postage, you can easily be out over $500.  So, I’ve put together a post to share a few money & time saving tips that have helped us over the past few years.

As you can see from the above photo, it was a professional photo shoot.  What you can’t see is that I spent $20 on the session and digital files.  I found a great Groupon last year (that is still available) where you can get a great photo shoot at JC Penney.  The photographers range in skill level, but we got some fabulous shots… and for $20, you can’t beat it!!  Groupon also often has additional codes going on, so keep an eye out.

This year we opted for a more full service photo shoot (as we did ones with my whole family as a gift for my parents), so I was thrilled to have my pictures ready to go since September.  The sooner you can get the pictures, the better, as photographers book out months in advance and it can be very tricky to get on their schedule when you are also available.  I was excited to try the gold foil this year and took advantage of a great coupon code.  Right now, you can get 20% off with code BRIGHT17.  The cards shipped very quickly (and free) and I couldn’t have been more excited when I opened the above box.  The foil does add quite a bit of costs (in my opinion, worth the splurge some years!), but even without, the cards are beautifully done.

You can see a closer look at this year’s holiday card.  It was designed by an independent artist and really caught my eye as something unique.  I opted for something different than past years – including our whole family and didn’t use holiday colors per se.  I only wish I could have included our dog, but he wasn’t at the beach for our pictures!

One of my best time AND money saving tips (it saves SO much time) is to get the addresses printed for you.  Minted.com does it completely free and all you need to do is upload your addresses into their address assistant.  I actually use it as my address book year round (as a reference point and also for birthday invitations, etc.)

The address options (in terms of typography) are so beautiful and add such a nice touch.  It takes long enough to stuff envelopes and put stamps on them, so I am SO grateful for this option.  I often order about 10-15 additional cards – some in case I’ve forgotten someone, and some to save for memory boxes.  It costs a bit extra to have the return addresses added, but I think it’s worth the time saved.

It’s not too late to order your holiday cards.  There is a great deal going on right now (only was better on Black Friday by 5%), so a perfect time to buy.  Additionally, I always love a HAPPY NEW YEAR card for those who can’t get it in time for Hanukkah or Christmas.  We’d love to see your Minted.com holiday cards.  Follow us on Instagram (@little_list) and tag us and @minted.

With love,

LL

Favorite Baby Gifts for Baby #2

Favorite Baby Gifts for Baby #2

One of the most FAQs we’ve gotten over the past 4 months has been “so what gifts did you get with baby #2 that you wish you had for baby #1?”  It’s a great and timely question as we both welcomed babies this summer.  Some of these baby gifts have been ones that we knew about with our firsts but didn’t get, and some have been new since we had our first babies.  So, we are putting together a list of our favorite new baby products to make life a bit easier and also to give you some ideas for baby gifts for baby #2.

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1) BabyBjorn Bouncer: This is a baby gift that I have used constantly since baby was born.  I seriously kick myself for not getting it for A.  It is the comfiest seat and N loves it.  It adjusts so he has been able to sit in it since he was a couple weeks old.  We bought the simple toy bar, which doesn’t look like much, but is worth every penny as he totally loves it.  You will steal the show with this baby gift at a baby shower, whether it’s the first or second baby!

baby gift, gifts for baby, baby shower, halo, bassinest, bassinet2) HALO Bassinest: Love, love, love this!  We did a co-sleeper for our first, and it worked out fine, but the HALO bassinest is so much easier to use.  The swivel makes it easier for us to climb into bed, and the drop side of it allows for easy transition of baby in & out.  We used the newborn insert for the early days, which really kept him sleeping well.  We used it for 4.5 months (and he’s a big baby) and still keep it in our room, as it’s a safe, easy place to lay him down or do a quick diaper change.

baby gift, gifts for baby, baby shower, swaddle, halo, baby sleep

3) HALO SleepSack Swaddle: It’s funny how kids can be so different.  Our daughter loved to be swaddled, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t this guy’s thing.  We started immediately with the SleepSack Swaddle (newborn size) and it kept him snuggly and sleeping well from the start.  We are a huge fan of HALO sleep products (our daughter was in a sleep sack past age 2!)  This is a great baby gift because you can’t have too many of these, and they come in different sizes too!

4) 4moms mamaRoo: This is another one of those baby products that we thought, “why didn’t we get this for our first?”  Besides being so much more compact and attractive than the swing we got the first time around, this truly is a fantastic soother.  The mamaRoo has been a godsend for those times when I need to tend to my daughter but need a safe and comforting place for the little guy.  Side story: We have since lent it to a friend who was rocking her son for HOURS in her arms with no luck.  It is the ONLY thing that has worked for her to keep her son calm… AND it puts him to sleep!

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5) UppaBaby MESA Carseat: The easiest car seat we’ve installed!!  Besides being gorgeous, it’s super comfy, easy to use and naturally fire retardant.  Read our full review here.

baby products, baby gifts, baby registry, baby shower, baby boy, baby girl, baby gift ideas, uppababy, uppababy vista

6) UppaBaby VISTA stroller This stroller is amazing for one, two, or three kids, and we have been loving the ease and versatility of this all-in-one stroller (read more here).  We’ve used several configurations in the last few months and will continue to do so.  It’s definitely an investment we should have made for baby #1 in hindsight, but we are thrilled to have it now to move the kids around with ease.  We’ve been to baby showers where several people will chip in to buy a nice stroller or stroller system – we think it’s a great gift idea!

baby products, baby gifts, baby registry, baby shower, baby boy, baby girl, baby gift ideas, pacifier, mam

7) MAM pacifiers Our firsts rejected pacis like no other, but this little guy is simply loving the comfort of his MAM pacifier.  In combination with his DockATot (see next product), it’s been enough to put him to sleep on his own.  We also feel really good about this choice as they are scientifically proven to support oral development.

baby products, baby gifts, baby registry, baby shower, baby boy, baby girl, baby gift ideas, dockatot

8) DockATot: This is one of those products that EVERYONE was talking about after our girls were too big to try it… and we were just dying to try it with these guys!  The DockATot lives up to its rave reviews.  It’s been an amazing (and safe) place for our little man to rest, play, and sleep for his first few months of life.  His naps in it have been long and he seems to be comforted by the snuggle environment.  The new patterns are gorgeous and make great gifts!

9) NestingDays Newborn Carrier: There’s a 9 week old baby in there!  This carrier was a total godsend during the first couple months.  This carrier is so easy to use (you put it on like a shirt – no wrapping skills required) and it kept our little guy SO comfy and sleeping for HOURS.  It’s a safe place from germs and strangers trying to touch your newborn and gave me full use of two hands. This made the transition from 1 to 2 kids so much easier.  I love this carrier so much and have given many as gifts since I became hooked on it myself!

10) BabyBjorn Air Carrier One:  I have been ISO a carrier that is easy to put on and adjust and also comfy for baby.  This one takes the cake!  I figured this carrier out in a few minutes and our little guy is loving it (so is his big sister as she enjoys when I have two hands available).  This carrier also converts to 3 other positions and can hold up to 33 pounds!!  It has an ergonomic design and offers the ‘back carry’ as well.  And how beautiful are the color options?!

#11 Covered Goods Nursing Cover:  Shamelessly using a stock photo here as we don’t have any pics of us nursing, but this cover has been beyond amazing.  I don’t know how we nursed in public the first time around!  This cover is SO comfy, easy to use, and offers complete coverage (admittedly I haven’t lost my modesty with baby #2 ;))  I use it at least 2 times a day as we are almost always out and about!  It also functions as a car seat cover, scarf, and shopping cart cover.  This is a total must-have and a great priced gift!!

What did we miss?  We’d love to hear some of your must-have baby products or baby gifts in the comments below.

With love,

LL

UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller & MESA Car Seat Review

UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller & MESA Car Seat Review

uppababy, baby gear, stroller, carseat, travel system, uppa baby mesa, uppa baby vista, uppababy vista, uppababy mesa

My review on the UPPAbaby VISTA & MESA and why I think it should be top on your baby registry… for your first baby (or second or third)!

UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller + Travel System

If you’ve been following us for some time, you may know that I have a total love of strollers.  I live in an area where I can walk for hours, and it has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes with my daughter (now 3.5).  It’s very important for me to have a good system in which I can use the stroller in my neighborhood, but also easily transport it when we are going out somewhere (which we do a lot).

When I was registering for my baby shower, I put on a jogging stroller for my ‘stroller pick’ – although cumbersome, it was an amazing stroller for one.  When I found out I was pregnant, I started polling my friends and everyone I knew that had more than one kid (along with random strangers that I saw with two kids in a stroller).  “What is the best stroller?  What is the easiest?  Which is the most flexible?  And of course… what isn’t obnoxiously big?”  You all know those looks people give you when you are pushing even a single stroller through a store!!

uppababy vista, uppababy stroller

The more people I asked, the more people I heard say the VISTA.  To be honest, when I registered, I thought the VISTA was a single luxury stroller.  I didn’t realize the TONS of configurations it has for one, two, or even THREE kids!  Luckily, UPPAbaby has a very easy chart to illustrate the flexibility and multiples options that the stroller has.  You can also see what adapters you need here. I have tried several configurations so far, and I love that it will continue to grow with these two kiddos (and dare I say a potential third one day??)  So.. let’s start from the top!

UPPAbaby MESA Car seat

uppababy, uppababy mesa, uppababy vista

Ok, so the MESA car seat is AMAZING.  Not only is it the ONLY naturally fire retardant car seat on the market, it is also super safe, comfortable, easy to use, and beautiful (so many awesome colors to choose from – we went with the Henry).  I have gotten so many questions about this car seat in the past three months, I can’t even tell you.  I thought I loved the car seat I had with my first, but this one definitely takes the cake… he just always seems so cozy in it!  It is also SUPER easy to install and use (as is everything in the UPPAbaby line)… it has the highest rating (5 stars) for ease of use.  It uses a unique technology that utilizes a tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors for fast, accurate and easy installation.

I’ve already had to adjust the size of it, as this little guy is growing like a weed (he doubled his birth weight in two months).  It was super easy to adjust (and very intuitive).  I so appreciated the easy and crystal clear instruction manuals.. as I was figuring this all out with a newborn and not many hours of sleep.   What else is awesome about the MESA?  I’m so glad you asked 😉 It fits right in the VISTA stroller with no adapter needed.

The car seat pops right in and is so easy to fold and unfold.  It’s a bigger stroller, which is great for the huge undercarriage basket space, but it moves easily as if it’s a more compact one.  It’s been perfect for all of our adventures over the past three months… to the beach, to the pool, on walks in the neighborhood, the grocery store, to drop off my toddler at school, you name it!  The little guy is super comfortable in it and often takes long naps in it.  Also, for those of you who already have an infant car seat, the VISTA is also compatible with select Chicco and Maxi-Cosi style infant car seats with UPPA adapters.

UPPAbaby Travel System + Configurations

So what’s included when you buy the VISTA?  You get the stroller frame (which will fit all those configurations), toddler seat, bassinet, bassinet bug shield and storage bag, toddler seat rain and bug shields, and bumper bar.  We loved the bassinet for the first couple of months.  It’s great on the stroller, or to be honest, on it’s own inside your house (as a safe place to lay baby (especially when you have pets around like us).  It folds flat for easy car or closet storage.  You can also buy the bassinet stand separately to make it into a full-sized bassinet inside your house.

I often see first time moms pushing around the bassinet as a single stroller and it makes me smile.

uppababy, uppababy vista, uppababy mesa

You can see how we set up the bassinet configuration with my toddler above (this is the bassinet and toddler seat).  You may be wondering, how hard is it to do these configurations?  I’m here to tell you… very easy.  You can get ideas on this page for “multiples” configurations.  You buy the adapters separately and you will very easily understand how they snap into the stroller.

I keep the upper and lower adapters (along with bug and rain shields) in a small bin in my car.  It makes it easy to switch up the configurations depending on where we are going.  For example if we are going to take my daughter into school, we use it as a single stroller.  If we are going to the mall, I make it a double.  You get the hang of what configurations suit you depending on your needs at the given time and it becomes second nature. The stroller folds up very easily and is lightweight.  It also stands while folded.  You can see how I store the stroller and RumbleSeat (different from toddler seat) in the truck of my car.   I apologize for the mess, but I am a new mom of two with a big fluffy dog 😉

We’ve been using the stroller a ton as a single stroller and it’s been fabulous.  It’s nice that when our little guy is a bit bigger, we can just pop on the toddler seat for him (right in the place where his car seat is currently).  Then my daughter can sit in the RumbleSeat (shown below facing outward) or can cruise along on the PiggyBack, which she is standing on.  Let me tell you, kids think the PiggyBack is the coolest thing ever (so do we) and it easily snaps on/off or you can keep it on (not needing to take it off while folding the stroller).  You can see by the picture below how this stroller would accommodate three littles.

The configuration we’ve been using when we aren’t using it as a single stroller is the RumbleSeat + infant car seat. My daughter loves climbing in and out of the seat herself.  Please note that the weight limit is 35lbs and 36”, whichever comes first.

I can’t tell you how smitten I’ve become with this stroller system and car seat, and now I’m the one who is responding “the VISTA!” when anyone asks for a stroller recommendation.  My only regret is not getting it with my first!  It’s really one of those systems that you need to buy and try to understand how easy it is, but hopefully this post has given you a good idea of the ease and flexibility.

We are so grateful for a system that makes this transition into becoming a mom of one to two so much easier.  It’s made our outings more fun – less we need to think about or schlep around!  If you don’t already, follow us on Instagram and see how this fab stroller grows with us!  And certainly follow @UPPAbaby to see all their awesome products and to keep on top of what’s coming next!

With love,
LL

[REDIRECT] National Baby Safety Month Tips by MAM

National Baby Safety Month Tips:

brought to you by MAM

As parents, nothing is more important to us than the safety of our MAM babies. In observance of #NationalBabySafetyMonth MAM is sharing safety tips to help raise awareness of key things we can all do to protect our babies.  We are sharing them with our Little Listers as nothing is more important to us than safety!

  • Strap in for Safety.  Did you know that falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children ages 0 to 19? Daily about 8,000 children in the US visit the emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This September, JPMA is focusing on strap safety! Safety belts and straps should always be used when available, whether it’s on the go, in the car, and even at home. Visit www.babysafetymonth.org to learn more about how to create a safe environment for your child!

  • Always place baby to sleep on their backs.  A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that about 2 in 10 babies are placed to sleep in incorrect positions that greatly increase the risk of SIDS.  Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. Placing babies to sleep on their sides is just as dangerous as placing babies to sleep on their stomachs, since they are likely to roll over on to their stomachs while sleeping.

  • Consider pacifier usage when placing baby down for sleep and remember that the pacifier may not be reinserted once baby falls asleep. Pacifier use is shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. MAM supports the AAP published guidelines for pacifier usage. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/AAPInfantSleepSafety Read more here if you’re interested in more information about pacifiers and how they reduce the risk of SIDS: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/5/1245

  • Before placing a pacifier in baby’s mouth, check to see if there is any damage or signs of weakness. Pull the nipple in all directions and throw away the pacifier at the first sign of damage or weakness. Pay extra attention to your child’s pacifier as teeth emerge, which can occur as early as 1 month. Be sure to replace your baby’s pacifier frequently – once a month or every two months.

  • Always monitor your baby’s body temperature. Your baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing.  One of the best ways to ensure your baby can regulate their body temperature while they’re asleep is to dress them in natural fibers like cotton, bamboo and merino.

ErgoPouch (pictured) is a great choice when it comes to correctly dressing your baby for sleep. The correct, tog (warmth)-rated swaddle or wearable sleep bag/suit will allow you to not use blankets, which can place babies at risk of SIDS. You can see the complete ergoPouch collection at www.ergopouch.com.

  • Ensure that your baby’s crib meets CPSC standards and that everything in your nursery is free of harmful chemicals and toxins. Check that the crib of your choice is not on the CPSC recall list, here: http://bit.ly/cpscCribRecalls. Just as important is ensuring that your baby’s crib is placed away from (1) windows, where drafts and sunlight can put your baby at risk, and (2) drapes/blinds, which are strangulation hazards.

Our friends at Micuna (pictured) offer a collection of safe, stylish cribs made of sustainable materials like solid Beech Wood. Check out their wide variety of cribs here: http://www.micunausa.com/shop-products/

  • Place baby to sleep on a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. Remove ALL soft objects from the crib: bumper pads, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that almost 15% of babies are placed on non-recommended sleep surfaces each night while over 90% of babies have loose, soft objects in their cribs that pose suffocation risks. Please make sure to carefully check your baby’s sleep environment for these dangers to protect their safety.

Looking for a great, breathable crib mattress? Our friends at Newton (pictured) make Greenguard Gold Certified breathable, washable and recyclable crib mattresses that are   specially designed for baby’s health, safety and comfort.  The innovative design allows air to flow freely for optimal breathability and temperature regulation.

  • The SIDS institute says give your baby plenty of interactive tummy time.  This should never be in a bed, a good place for this is on the floor.  Never leave baby on their stomach unattended.  Play with baby as he/she does baby push-ups.  @Gathre offers a great selection of wipeable, waterproof bonded leather mats — functional pieces that appeal to the modern mom’s personal aesthetic.  Choose the perfect mat for playtime with baby at www.gathre.com!

  • MAM pacifiers come in four sizes: newborn, 0-6, 6+ and 16+.

Each size was developed with pediatric dentists and developmental psychologists to provide your baby with the ideal pacifier at each age and stage.  These sizes are recommendations for your baby’s maximum comfort and safety; if your baby likes a MAM pacifier that is not the ideal size for his or her age, not to worry! It is still safe to use as long as all other safety guidelines http://bit.ly/mampacifiersafety are followed.

About MAM

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and on six continents. To find out more and view MAM’s baby care range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets visit www.mambaby.com.

 

[REDIRECT] A More Efficient Beach Trip with Toddlers: Pacific Breeze Shelter & Lounger Review

A More Efficient Beach Trip with Toddlers

A Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter & Lounger Review

Last summer we did our first beach trip as a family.  It was a total blast – so much that we vowed to do it every year. What wasn’t as fun was: 1) figuring out what we needed to bring to the beach (in regards to sun shelter) for an extended visit and 2) lugging it all there a couple times a day.  We were the clueless family overpaying in beach town shops for crappy umbrellas that broke after a day.

I have been determined to figure out a simpler solution for this year’s trip (in August), especially in light of the fact that we will be having a baby join our crew this vacation.  Additionally, I was hoping to find some easy products that would allow us to take more frequent day trips to the shore without feeling like we were schlepping too much stuff.  So, I did my research and got several recommendations for the Pacific Breeze line of products.  The most important attributes were that they were compact, lightweight, easy to use, sturdy/safe, and of course, provided good sun protection.  The Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter and Loungers seemed to fit the bill, so my excited three-year-old and I put them to the test!

You can see by the picture, that the very large beach shelter is quite compact (to be exact, its travel size is 39 L x 7 W x 7 H).  It also weighs only 9 pounds (but feels lighter).  My (strong) toddler could even pick it up!  Don’t worry, we won’t be putting her in charge of carrying it to the beach!

One of the obvious reasons I wanted to try it out before going to the beach is to see if it was as easy as it claims to set up.  I may be a semi-pro at installing car seats and putting strollers and baby products together, but this sort of thing is often out of my wheelhouse.  I have some funny memories of my husband and dad trying to get the cheaply made umbrella into the sand last summer, having it blow away 5 minutes later.  Well, the directions on the tag show three steps and that’s all I needed to get this up in the 30 seconds it promises (there are more specific directions inside the bag if needed).  It was seriously so easy and A was in awe of our fun tent for our “camping adventure” we had on our front lawn.

One opened, the tent is seriously huge.  The size is 94.5 L x 94.5 D x 59 H that comfortably fits 4 or more people with UPF 50+ sun protection and a large and airy feel with excellent ventilation.  The full tent is water resistant, and the bottom tarp is heavy duty

There is a sun shield you can move around, depending on the direction of the sun.  The open panel areas also allow for some great ventilation (and not feeling like you are in a camping tent all day).

One super cool aspect of this beach shelter is that it has a zip out floor that allows children to play in the sand while still having shade from the sun.  This is also perfect for adults (like me) who like to have their toes in the sand.  It allows for great versatility.

When we opened up the floor of the beach shelter, we immediately thought it was a great time to pull out the chairs.  I was very intrigued by their design when I saw them online.  When they arrived, I loved how lightweight they were (6 pounds), and their folding design allows them to pack down to 27.5 in tall and 21 in wide.  When you put it on your back, you can hardly feel that it’s there (especially if you are used to carrying a toddler around!)

The fully padded loungers have an adjustable back rest and also can adjust the footrest to be shorter or longer.

Two easily fit in the tent, with additional room to spare.  I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable and easy these loungers were.

The final test would be how easy everything was to put away.  The lounger chairs fold back together so easily and are ready to be worn as a backpack (or their slim design would also make them easy to put in a beach cart).

The beach shelter was just as easy to put away as it was to put up.  The directions that are sewn inside the storage bag make sure you are doing it right, but it’s seriously so easy.  I was easily able to put the folded up tent into the bag by myself.

I am so thrilled to find a system that I think will work great for us this summer.  I still will be in the market for a beach cart (for all the beach toys, floaties, wine ;), etc.) but knowing that we will be using this shelter and loungers takes a huge weight off my shoulders in advance of our big trip in August.  Stay tuned for some pictures then, but in the meantime, we certainly recommend you checking these products yourself!

With love,

LL

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