No Jacket Required – Pookie Moment of the Week

On Wednesday, Pookie got to play outside for hours without a jacket on. Yes, that’s right. On February 21st, 2018, the temperature got up to 75 degrees in Brooklyn, and this was without a doubt Pookie’s moment of the week. Just look how happy he was.

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It’s a good thing he enjoyed it to the fullest though since it was very short-lived. In fact, poor baby has been cooped up for the last two days because winter has returned with a vengeance.

A Swing-Set with a View – Pookie Moment of the Week

On Wednesday, I needed to go to the West Elm store in DUMBO, so Pookie and I boarded the East River Ferry (or as Pookie calls it, the “boatie”) headed downtown. I think this was the first time he associated the “boaties” that he sees from our window with the ones that we ride in since he was really able to see the boat approach before we got on it.

After 10 minutes, we got off the boat and arrived at West Elm. Who knew that a furniture store could be so toddler-friendly? After I checked out some sleeper sofas, I let Pookie run around (with me right behind him of course), and wow, did he ever run! He absolutely loves couches and beds, so this place was Pookie heaven. This was the most he had ever walked without falling, and he just had a blast.

I had noticed that this West Elm had a Brooklyn Roasting Company in it, so I thought I’d check it out. It wasn’t too cold this day, so I thought the Maple Shay, basically just an iced latte with maple syrup in it, would be right up my alley, and it was! Actually, the Maple Shay made it onto City Guide NYC’s list of best seasonal coffees, and I can see why!

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Then Pookie and I headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park to hit up the swings. I put him in one of those baby buckets (as RR calls them), and started pushing him while facing him as I always do. Then all of a sudden, Pookie started screaming “boatie” and pointing, and I realized how jaded I am. I had my back turned to the most incredible view. This swing-set sits right next to the East River and has a view of all of Lower Manhattan. You can see the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and all of the many “boaties” going up and down the river. So, I thought today I would stand behind him while I push him in his baby bucket.

Thank you, Pookie, for reminding me what an incredible city we live in.

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A New York Mardi Gras Love Story

It has always felt a bit strange to be in New York during Mardi Gras. There’s no build-up to the big day like there is in New Orleans, where 63 parades roll BEFORE Mardi Gras day. So, all of a sudden, you’re going about your life, and you’re like “Woah, it’s Mardi Gras day.” And for a second, you’re like “Yay! Let’s do something!” And then you’re like, “Never mind.”

It’s true that you can find Mardi Gras-themed events in New York, but they’re usually ultra cheesy and offer something like unlimited jambalaya (so cliché!) and diabetes-inducing hurricanes for $50 a person at best. No thank you. (That said, I’ve found a few options that seem worth your time this Mardi Gras in New York, and you can check them out here and here.)

Basically, Mardi Gras in New York is kinda sad because it barely registers on people’s radar, and you walk around like “don’t you know it’s Mardi Gras,” “Where’s your Big Ass Beer,” and “Why are you wearing clothes?” Ok just kidding about that. I’d really prefer that most people remain clothed. Basically, it’s just completely impossible to recreate the vibe of Mardi Gras in New York, so it just ends up being lame.

However (and this is a huge however), one year Mardi Gras in New York was magical. Check it out.

Twelve years ago, Jenéesaisquoi asked me if I wanted to go to a Mardi Gras party at a bar in the West Village. For some reason (well, perhaps for all the reasons stated above), I didn’t feel like it, but I wanted to hang with my girl, so I threw on a “The best girls are southern” t-shirt and indulged her.

The party, if you can call it that, was at the Town Tavern (a frat boy-type bar that no longer exists), and it basically consisted of people drinking beer while wearing Mardi Gras beads. We were with another Louisiana friend, who had brought a king cake, so at least there was that. The same friend won $300 that night for having the most Mardi Gras beads, so there was that too.

But suddenly, the party became a party when I spotted this tall drink of water in the back of the bar and promptly recruited Jenéesaisquoi to help me flirt with him. I had never picked up a guy in a bar before, but I was not messing around and just went for it. Well, me going for it consisted of me going up to him with my wing-woman and offering him a piece of king cake. Of course he had to ask “what’s king cake?” So we explained that it’s a cake that is only available during Mardi Gras that has a plastic baby Jesus inside of it. I’m pretty sure we had RR at “plastic baby Jesus.” I mean, what’s not sexy about that? Twelve years later here we are preparing to move our butts (and our baby’s butt) down to New Orleans for this next stage of our lives.

I love that the only time I tried to pick up a guy in a bar the guy became my husband and baby daddy. I also really love that we met on Mardi Gras day. And I think that it means we were meant to end up in NOLA.

The moral of the story is… Just because Mardi Gras in New York sucks doesn’t mean you should knock it because you never know when a lame ass Mardi Gras party could become your New York Mardi Gras Love Story.

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Va-LENT-ine’s Day Schmalentine’s Day

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I just realized that Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year! What to do? Haha! Just kidding!

I mean, if you really do observe Lent, then I guess you can try any of Simcha Fisher’s hilarious suggestions as to how to “keep the Lent in VaLENTine’s Day” (carob truffles, anyone?), and I guess you could go to some romantic vegetarian restaurant and drink club soda with two straws. Maybe you can even add some apple juice to that sparkling water! Dang!

Well, RR and I plan to share a big ole steak, drink champagne AND wine and finish it all off with a heart-shaped chocolate cake!

What are your plans for Va-LENT-ine’s Day?

Photo credit: Jamie Street on Unsplash.com

“If I Could Do It All Over” Baby Registry – Part 1 (Mobility and Bedding)

When you’re expecting your first little one, it’s exciting to create your baby registry, but it’s also frustrating. You’ve never done it before, so how would you know which stroller will fit your lifestyle best or which nursing pillow makes life easiest? I will go over the best of the best in each category and tell you what you can leave off your list as well! I hope this helps you create your perfect baby registry!

First comes first: where to register? I registered at BuyBuyBaby and Amazon, which was fine, but looking back, I think the winning combination is… drum roll… Amazon and Target. I had no issues with BuyBuyBaby, but I definitely got a bit jelly when I checked out a couple of my friends’ Target registries. A good barometer is the fact that these two stores continue to provide me with everything I need for Pookie, so it makes sense that they would’ve been a great place to start! Start your registry at Amazon and Target today!

In-store consultation- useful or a waste of time?

I had an in-store consultation at BuyBuyBaby, which I found a bit fun, but also annoying. I definitely felt pressured into registering for things I didn’t need and ended up indeed not needing. So, if you do go for this kind of thing, do it just for fun, and don’t let them pressure you into registering for silly crap!

Let’s get started!

Part 1: Mobility and Bedding

This sounds like a strange combo, right? Well, you’ll see why it makes sense!

Stroller

One of our favorite and most used registry items has to be our UPPAbaby Vista stroller, which comes with a bassinet for the first six or so months (when baby should lay flat) and a toddler seat (for when baby has more neck control). It also comes with a rain shield and bug net. As a stroller, I think it’s perfect. It’s got incredible wheels for handling whack sidewalks. You can even jog with this stroller, and you never have to inflate the wheels! It takes the cake when it comes to storage space, which is key if you live in a walkable city and plan to do a lot of shopping on foot with baby. But here’s the kicker…

It doubles as an actual bassinet! Pookie was so cozy in the bassinet that we used it as his bed. You can get the UPPAbaby bassinet stand for it, and voilà, it’s a bed! In my opinion, there is no real need to get a separate bassinet when you have this stroller, especially if you live in a shoebox!

Oh, and for those fun pee, puke or worse accidents, get an extra mattress cover for the bassinet mattress! That came in handy many times for us!

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Here is Pookie snoozing away in the UPPAbaby bassinet. Here we didn’t even bother putting it on the stand.

Co-Sleepers, if you insist

Ok, let’s face it. For the first few months of your baby’s life, your main obsession is how can we all get some sleep, so if you have the space, you might also want the following items: the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and the DockATot. The HALO sleeper is perfect for those middle of the night feedings because baby is right next to you without being IN bed with you. You can (duh!) swivel her so that she practically is in bed with you, but not. For the HALO, you’ll also want to get a mattress pad and some fitted sheets. And then there’s the DockATot! Even if you insist that baby will never be in bed with you, chances are it’ll happen in the middle of the occasional desperate, sleepless night, and when it does, you’ll be happy to have the DockATot! I mean, wouldn’t you love to sleep in that thing? It’s basically a super cozy little docking station for your baby to sleep more safely in bed with you or to feel cozy and happy when being transitioned into the crib. My friends who have this are obsessed! (I think they’re just living vicariously through their baby! It looks that comfortable!)

Crib

Here’s an important tip. Don’t even think about getting a mini crib!! We got one, thinking… actually, I don’t know what we were thinking. It was a total waste! Pookie became too big for it in no time, and we had to get a regular crib, which we had to get either way. Take my advice, when it comes to cribs, just go for the full sized crib. If you want a sleek (small-ish footprint) crib, go for the Bloom Alma Papa Crib. We love ours!

Mattress and other bedding necessities

I had a super difficult time selecting a mattress. Of course, we wanted the best, most hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, organic mattress possible without having to spend a fortune, and, after hours of research, we went with the Colgate Eco Classica III Dual Firmness Eco Friendlier Crib Mattress with Organic Cotton Cover. What a mouthful! Don’t forget sheets (any will do, but these by Burt’s Bees look so nice, and they’re organic!) and an organic mattress protector like this.

So, I know a lot of sites say not to get a bumper, but I disagree! Pookie kept bumping his head on the bars of his crib and getting a foot or hand stuck between them. Before we got our bumper, out of desperation, we wound a towel between the bars because we didn’t want him to hurt himself, but then said “this is stupid. Let’s get a bumper.” Good decision. We got the BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner, which I guess is called a “crib liner” because the word “bumper” has become so taboo, but it’s essentially a lightweight bumper that baby can breathe through if indeed she buries her entire face in it, which she likely won’t do anyway. We love it, and, since we got the safari print, we have fun every morning talking to Pookie about the “mommy monkey and baby monkey,” etc.

I recommend also getting a sound machine for your munchkin’s room. We LOVE and absolutely recommend the Mybaby Soundspa Sound Machine AND Projector. We use it every night, for naps and we travel with it! We use the rain setting as his “white noise” when he sleeps, we use the songs like “twinkle twinkle” sometimes when he wants a little music before bed, and we use the projector function just for some fun. He loves it!

Car seat

As you know, you need an infant car seat in order to leave the hospital. We borrowed the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat from a friend and found it convenient. It connects to the UPPAbaby stroller without an adapter, so for quick shopping trips or if baby falls asleep in the car and you don’t want to transfer him into the stroller, just pop the car seat onto the stroller base, and you’re good to go!

Once Pookie grew out of the Mesa, we got a Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat and are very happy with it. Pookie approves too.

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This was back when the Pookster still fit in the UPPAbaby infant car seat. Look at those cheeks!

Second Stroller

Most people can’t get away with just one stroller. We wanted to get a light-weight stroller for traveling, for taking Pookie on the subway and for quick errands. We got the Maclaren Mark II, and while it is ultra light and does the job, if we could have a do-over, we’d get something else. I would go with the Babyzen 2017 Yoyo Stroller. I like it because it folds up super compact and light, but it is also sturdy and easy to push. Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to the slightest bump, I’m just not sure how to get the Maclaren over it, or up stairs for that matter! It’s pricey, but it’s worth it since you’ll actually use it! We don’t use our Maclaren, and it was also expensive!

Baby Carrier

So, Pookie hated each and every baby carrier that we tried (and we tried SO many!), but I think that’s because we didn’t put him in it earlier enough. Either way, if I could do it all over again, I’d go with the LILLEBaby Six-Position All Season Carrier, and I’d put him in it as early a possible. One of my friends who has two kids and has tried many carriers swears by this one, and Mommyhood101 rates it as the #1 carrier. This is the one to get! 🙂

Extras

For the UPPAbaby Vista, you’ll want to get the snack tray! It’s great for meals or snacks on the go. And of course you need a parent organizer/ cup holder like this one.

And you of course need a mobile for your baby’s crib. We have a giraffe theme going on in our family, so we got a giraffe one, and Pookie loves it.

For frigid winters, you absolutely must get a 7am Enfant 212 Evolution Blanket with matching Warmmuffs to keep your hands toasty. These are necessities! With the blanket, which is really a bunting, you don’t have to bundle up your baby with crazy layers only to have to take them all off each time you enter a joint. And, most babies hate snowsuits! Well, at least Pookie does! And the Warmmuffs are truly the best invention since sliced bread!

Lastly, you’ll also want a bunting for your infant car seat. The JJ Cole Bundleme works great!

Let me know if I’ve left out any bedding and mobility registry must-haves and if you agree or disagree with my recommendations! Stay tuned for Part 2 of “If I Could Do It All Over” Baby Registry!

 

Dear Dad – Letter Six

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It’s blurry, but I just love your expression in this pic. We were at Lakeside Camera taking the last couple of pictures on the roll of film before we dropped it off to get it developed.

Dear Dad,

This is just a quick note to tell you about last night’s dream. It was a short and simple dream, but it made me feel good.

RR and I were in my bedroom with the door closed, getting dressed for the day I suppose. All of a sudden, I heard your voice. You called to me from downstairslike you have done so many times before. You said, “Tiny (that’s my alias)! Open the door so that I can see you!” I turned to RR and asked “Did you hear that?” RR had heard it too. I flung the door open, thinking for some reason that you would be standing there. You weren’t there.

That’s it for the dream. It was short and sweet. It may sound sad, but it wasn’t. I woke up feeling so happy that I had heard your voice after not hearing it for so long, and I just wanted to tell you about it.

I miss your voice.

Love,

Tiny

New Yorkers Are Lovely – No, Really!

You may remember my post about my frustrating experience of having to re-park the car with Pookie. Well, today could have turned out even more exasperating than that day, but it didn’t thanks to the kindness of New Yorkers.

We have had some issues with our 1998 Chrysler lately. Actually, I need to give the car a little more credit. The problems surprisingly have little to do with the age of the car and everything to do with the fact that we left a light on in the car, which drained the battery. Because we have put off actually taking the car to the shop, every time we have to move the car (roughly twice a week), we have to count on the kindness of strangers to jumpstart our car – because the meter maids (I know – not PC at all) don’t care if your car is on fire. They will still ticket you. Or will they…?

So, today I had to move the car at 8am, and I had no babysitter, so Pookie came along. I packed up his breakfast, and we headed to the car. I thought maybe the car will miraculously start. But that was wishful thinking. I parked Pookie on the sidewalk, got out the jumper cables, opened the hood and put on my most desperate expression. After five minutes, here is what happened.

I saw a meter maid, actually a meter dude, placing tickets on the windshields of cars that no one had moved yet. He clearly had figured out my situation and did not give me a ticket, which is normal since they don’t ticket you if you are present. But then I thought why not ask him for advice. Given that he had already passed, perhaps I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of getting the car jumped and moving it after all. He had a great idea. He said he would put a fake ticket on my windshield so that no other parking enforcement officer (I found the proper PC title for these folks) would give me a ticket.

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This ticket made our day!

Just as I was thanking him profusely, a car pulled up next to mine. Voilà, more ultra friendly and helpful New Yorkers. They told me that they had seen me standing there with a baby and jumper cables and had driven around the block to come back and help us out with a jump. I thanked them profusely as well and told them that I fortunately didn’t have to move the car after all thanks to the loveliest parking enforcement officer ever.

So, instead of having to get the car jumped, move the car and have breakfast in the backseat until we could get out of the car, I got to head to Starbucks (Shhh… don’t tell anyone) with an already cranky Pookie, and we had breakfast there. Not only was it much more pleasant for both of us (I got to have an Iced Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte!), but I also got the warm and fuzzies thinking about just how nice New Yorkers really are.

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Muji – Great for gifts and killing time

My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥/ 5

The other day, Pookie had woken up a bit early from his nap and turned into a cranky mess by 4pm. I needed to find a way to survive the next few hours before bedtime. I also needed to get a birthday gift for “Igor,” so we (I) decided to hit up Muji.

I managed to get Pookie’s jacket and shoes on and stuff him into his 7am Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution and, because the new Muji store opened up two blocks from our apartment, we arrived in no time! The walk over there chilled him out a bit, and by the time we entered, Pookie was a new baby.

I LOVE Muji! And so does Pookie! So, what is it? The name Muji is short for Mujirushi Ryōhin, which means no-brand quality goods in Japanese. They carry everything from skincare products, clothing and snacks to furniture, dishes and stationery. They set themselves apart with their excellent, but simple designs, high quality and reasonable prices.

Did I mention that they carry stationery?? Woah. Among so many other cute and useful office supplies, they have notebooks of all sizes, materials and varieties and pens in all colors of course, but also every tip size you can imagine so that you can find the best one for your handwriting. And you can test them all out on scratch paper, which means you can easily spend all day there!

Pookie and I had only been there for five minutes when “Ellie,” a friend of ours, walked in with her three-year-old. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who had decided to spend the witching hour there. Her kiddo (obviously) loves the stationery section and had a blast testing out pens and markers.

I knew I would find Igor the perfect gift in the stationery section. Not only is she one of the most organized people I know, but she also appreciates cute crap as much as I do, so I thought she would enjoy a selection of Muji office supplies. First I picked out a couple pens (one in black and one in sky blue). Then I had to get her a clear tip double ended highlighter in pink because seriously I’ve never seen such a cool highlighter tip. I also chose some fun cat sticky notes, some to-do list sticky notes in two different sizes, and a pad of weekly schedule sticky notes.

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Then Ellie gave me the best tip ever. She pointed out that you can purchase a notebook and decorate it at their stamping station. I obviously had to personalize a notebook for Igor.

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So, I’m not completely happy with the finished result. I got a little nervous because the pressure was on to not mess it up, and meanwhile cranky mess had returned. Pookie wanted to keep ALL of the stamps, which made the process a bit frustrating. At least he never figured out how to open the stamps! Even if it’s not perfect, I think Igor will appreciate the effort!

This place gets 5 hearts for so many reasons: their beautiful and clever products, their use of little or no packaging, their low prices, their stamping station (!!) and their kid-friendliness. Pookie enjoyed the hour spent at Muji, and I feel that in a year or so he will enjoy it even more.

Suffolk Arms – It’s all right

My rating: ♥♥♥/ 5

When you and your husband only get to have date night once every 2-3 weeks, the pressure is on to make it the best night ever! I mean, when you’re paying the babysitter $20/ hr, it’d better be worth it! Am I right, or am I right? Well, RR and I had our bi-weekly date night on Friday, and, I must say, it didn’t quite live up to my (RR was cool with it) expectations.

RR had a prior engagement in the city (in Manhattan), so he had suggested we pick a place in the Lower East Side. In Manhattan? Whut? We normally NEVER go out in Manhattan, but LES is for sure one of the cooler neighborhoods in Manhattan, and it’s close to Williamsburg, where we live. So, I thought why not!

While on a previous date night, we had gone the fancy route at Leuca in the William Vale, on this night, I thought we’d go the bar-hopping fun route. And by bar-hopping, I mean, dinner in one place and then one more drink at another place. I know – we’re wild.

I’m so out of the loop though and thus had no idea where to go. Of course, I turned to Yelp and somehow landed on Suffolk Arms. According to the website, it’s a “cocktail pub,” and I think that sums it up perfectly. It has an extensive cocktail list and a short menu of mostly greasy bar food.

Since being pregnant, having Pookie and then breast-feeding for 13 months, I basically have lost interest in cocktails, so I got (woah Nelly!) a glass of prosecco, but RR went with a cocktail. He chose “Ready Fire Aim,” and they were not kidding about the “Fire” part. At first, it tasted delicious, but then after a couple sips, he decided he couldn’t drink it. I thought he was just being a wuss, so I said I’d drink it, but then after a couple sips, my lips were burning and actually really hurting, so we had to admit to the server that we couldn’t handle it. If you love spicy drinks, go for it because it tasted so good, but maybe ask the bartender to chill out on the hot sauce.

 

The food menu consists of burgers and the like, but also a few New York-themed items, which we enjoyed. I’m not a fan of matzo ball soup, but RR loves it so we got a bowl of that. Unfortunately, it was beyond bland, and even RR didn’t like it. We also got tater tots and the chopped cheese, which were both amazing. But, what is a chopped cheese, you might ask.

 

The chopped cheese is an iconic sandwich of Harlem and the Bronx that you could historically only find in bodegas (that’s an NYC convenience/ food store). It’s made of ground beef, onions and bell peppers that are grilled with melted cheese and dressed on a hero roll. The fact that RR and I had it in a restaurant in the LES probably has at least something to do with the recent “discovery” of the sandwich by white foodies. For example, you can see Anthony Bourdain chowing down on one in an episode of “Parts Unknown” and Sarah offering her thoughts on the sandwich in an INSIDER food video. But if you really want to understand the chopped cheese, watch writer and YouTuber Jeffrey Almonte’s hilarious video in which he slams INSIDER food for having “Columbus Syndrome” and claiming to “discover” this sandwich that “nobody knows about.” You could also check out First We Feast’s excellent documentary about it.

While I do feel bad that we have now (unwittingly) supported the “Columbusing” of the chopped cheese, we did find out that the chef at Suffolk Arms features the chopped cheese on the menu because he actually hails from the Bronx. He even stays true to the sandwich by not inflating the price. You can get it there for $5, and it tastes quite delicious.

So, Suffolk Arms lost a heart because of the horrible matzo ball soup and another one because of the atmosphere. We had expected warm and cozy pub, and instead got loud, bad music-playing, bright light-shining, cold-air-coming-through-the-taped-up-windows, whatever bar. This would work for guys night out perhaps, but not for date night.

For afterwards, I had made a reservation at “speakeasy” Garfunkel’s for a drink, but after 10 minutes of waiting while the bouncer spoke into his headset, we felt so damn old and annoyed that we said never mind and went home.

Hopefully next date night doesn’t suck ass as much as this one did. Or perhaps I need to lower my expectations and stop hyping date night so much? I’ll work on that, but we will for sure stay in Brooklyn from now on. What were we thinking?!

 

What to Do When Your Toddler Becomes Obsessed with Your Smartphone

Let’s face it. Our little ones want to be just like us, so they copy what we do and have a strong desire to explore the things we use on a daily basis, be it the pots and pans, our make-up bag, the remote control and, above all else, our smartphones. The fact that most of us are addicted to our smartphones can make our toddlers downright obsessed.

You’ve likely read about the negative effects of screen time on children, and you thus try your best to keep it to a minimum. You are right to do so, for the latest research shows that smartphone use can impair children’s development, can lead to behavior problems and can even be as addictive as a gram of cocaine in older children. What?!

Well-meaning articles tell you that if you don’t want your child staring at a screen, then you need to put down your devices as well. While this is excellent advice, we all know that it isn’t always possible. Perhaps there is an important phone call that we cannot ignore or an email that we absolutely must send out, and so on and so on. Here I will give you tips that work, but that are also reasonable in 2018.  

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I know I said that my tips would be reasonable, but I had to start by saying that the less your toddler sees your smartphone, tablet or laptop, the less opportunity they have to use it.

My best advice here is to try your best to keep your smartphone accessible to you but out of sight for your kiddo. Keep it in your pocket or your bra or inside of your purse or diaper bag, behind a pillow or under a book, etc. Get creative with your hiding spots.

When possible, try to schedule calls and check email during nap time or after bedtime. I don’t know about you, but I can focus much better when I don’t have a Pookie pointing at my phone and screaming his head off. If you must answer a phone call during waking hours, try using speakerphone, headphones or better yet, wireless headphones (RR just got me these, and I LOVE them!!) so that you can take the call without having that sexy phone attached to your ear. When emailing or texting, voice recognition software can also prove quite helpful.

Distraction

We’ve all been there. You tried my first set of tips, but I promised to be realistic, and I know that those don’t always work. So, despite your best efforts at hiding the coveted devices, your little dude or dudette has spotted the phone or tablet and may even have it in hand. What to do now.

Your go-to first option should be distraction. Take the device away, put it out of sight and offer another tantalizing toy. Is there such a thing? Hopefully. Try a kids toy smartphone, for example. This one has worked well for us. Keep it hidden until you suddenly need it. The best case scenario: your child falls for it! But if that doesn’t work (for me, this does not always work!), try some other distractions. Tickle her, play “flying baby,” say the word “smoosh” over and over (Pookie loves this for some reason). Do that thing that always gets her to laugh. Develop your arsenal of distractions.

If none of these work, offer her something a bit more exciting. Perhaps it’s time to get outside. If possible, head to a playground or just step outside for a walk.  I hope for you and your kid’s sake that the playground trumps the iPhone. 

Replacement

It isn’t always possible to drop everything and go to a playground. Maybe it’s raining or freezing outside. When all else fails, you may find it helpful to give them extremely limited “use” of an old smartphone. I have an old iPhone 5 lying around, and I occasionally turn to it for help when I’ve tried all of my other tricks (and if I’m feeling lazy). I keep the wi-fi turned off and lower the brightness of the screen and allow him to play with it for no more than 5 minutes. This way, he gets to use that bright and shiny object but quickly realizes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be without FaceTime or videos. He most often abandons it before his 5 minutes have passed.

Tough Love

Perhaps you’re worried about research that recommends strictly forbidding screen time for children under 2, and you would rather not give her even those 5 minutes. Then it may be time to practice some good old tough love. Take the device away if she has gotten ahold of it. She may cry, but just hold her and explain to her why it is not allowed, tell her you love her and move on.

As our lives become increasingly intertwined with our smartphones, it will become even more difficult to limit screen time. Stay strong, and help your fellow parents by sharing your own tips in the comments below!