International flights are brutal.  Adding a small child into the mix can make things, well, interesting.  I’ve taken three long-haul international flights with Jellybean in the past year.  For two of the three flights it was just Jellybean and me flying to/from Boston for my sister’s bridal shower.  I learned a lot about traveling with a young child on those two flights!  And, lucky for us we are currently gearing up for two more international flights in August.  Oh, the life of an expat!

It takes 24+ hours (give or take) to fly from the States to Bangkok, including layovers.  I found the idea of such a long international flight with a toddler to be quite daunting.  Being well prepared for long-haul flights makes things easier.  I’ve learned something new on each of our flights and thought I would pass along what we’ve learned.

Survival Tips for International Travel with a baby, toddler, or young child | airplane, flights, international travel | Life's Tidbits

Here are our survival tips for flying internationally with a baby, toddler or young child:

1. Bring a Carrier (Skip the Stroller)

After flying alone with Jellybean in May, I realized it was so much easier to wrangle a toddler and our stuff by strapping her to my chest.  Having the free hand was an added bonus and helped ensure Jellybean didn’t make a break for an empty plane upon boarding.

2.  Overnight Diapers

The seatbelt sign and ability to get up and around can be as unpredictable and the timing of Jellybean’s inflight naps, therefore diaper changes may occur less frequently when traveling.  If your child is still in diapers I highly recommend using overnight diapers when flying internationally.  A dry baby is a happy baby who might sleep longer – a mother can wish!  These are our personal favorites {tip: go up a size for better protection against blowouts!}.

3.  Skip the Car Seat on the Plane

Car seats are heavy and are just one more thing to shlep through the terminal.  And, unless your child is a car seat napper, they are really more trouble then they are worth.  I have found it much easier to buckle her in for take off and landing.  This allows her to stretch out during the flight and sleep on her seat and on me, or in some cases the free seat next to us … winning!

4.  Pack a Quick Access Bag

This would be the bag you place under the seat in front of you.  All essential items should be in the quick access bag.  The last thing anyone needs on a long flight is for the ‘fasten seatbelt sign’ to be on and your child requiring a snack or their lovie.  For us the quick access bag includes things like: lovie, snacks, iPad (and charger), headphone, diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and a couple of small toys {like this and this}.  Everything else goes in the roller bag and is placed in the overhead.

5.  Snacks, Snacks and More SNACKS

Plane food is not the best and if you have a picky toddler/child on your hands you don’t want them to be hangry. Our favorite snacks to pack for flights include: pretzels, goldfish, cheese sticks and raisins.  On our flight back to Bangkok Jellybean refused to touch any of the plane food.  She lived off the snacks I brought with me and nothing else.  Clearly it wasn’t the most nutritious day we’ve had, but we made it through the flight.

6.  Bring a lot of Activity Options

A bored child is a loud child.  It’s really as simple as that.

7.  Pack a Change of Clothes

Drinks spill, food splatters and blow outs happen!  Typically I pack 3 changes of clothes for Jellybean and 1 each for the hubby and myself.  Sometimes we go through all the clothes, sometimes none – but it’s best to have them on hand.

8.  Flight Schedules are Important

It’s impossible to perfectly schedule flight times around naps and bedtime, but the chances of having a smooth journey increase if you start off with a well-rested child.  If it’s possible, book your travel for first thing in the morning.  Second best is a late night flight where bed time coincides, as closely as possible, with when you are taking off.  The kiddo will hopefully be tired and drift off to sleep quickly.

9.  Normal Rules Don’t Apply

Juice not allowed?  Screen time is limited?  Snacks are only doled out in moderation?  Forget it ALL.  Keep that toddler hydrated, entertained and with a fully belly by any means necessary.  It will make your flight more enjoyable, trust me.

10.  Comfort Items are a Must

Does your kid have a favorite stuffed animal, lovie or blanket?  In our case Jellybean has all three.  We pack them all in the carry-on.  They make her feel more comfortable and, hopefully, encourage a nap (or two or three!).

What tips do you have for international flights with a child?



When we first moved to Bangkok I was lucky to meet a few women who were willing to show me the ropes.  Originally I was looking for outdoor playgrounds, however the Bangkok heat quickly makes for a sweaty and overheating child.  It became apparent the more popular thing to do with toddlers in Bangkok is indoor play areas.

While there are other play areas in Bangkok, below are a few of our favorite places.  We rarely venture to play areas that aren’t BTS accessible as I’m always trying to avoid sitting in Bangkok traffic!

Indoor Play Areas for toddlers and children in Bangkok, Thailand. | Life's Tidbits

Molly Fantasy

Otherwise known as Kidzoona offers a mix of play options from play pretend (sushi bar, grocery store, pizza shop, etc.) to a playground amidst a sea of balls, a bouncy track and a large inflatable slide.  Not to mention, there separate area with a train table, blocks, magnetic toys, and more.  The entrance of Kidzoona is an arcade with Molly Fantasy and a merry go-round in the back.  The promise of riding the merry go-round is the only thing that will coax Jellybean out of the play area when it’s time to head home.

Location:  Ekkami BTS Station, Gateway Ekkamai Mall, 4th floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Molly Fantasy a great play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Molly Fantasy a great play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand | Life's Tidbits


Imaginia subscribes to the learn through play concept.  It is home to a gigantic slide (that takes your picture on the way down!), a coloring/arts and crafts area, a wooden playground, a small library, and much much more.

Location:  Phrom Phrong BTS, Emporium Shopping Complex, 3rd floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Imaginia Playland at Emporium Mall in Bangkok Thailand. Great indoor play area for toddler and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Imaginia Playland at Emporium Mall in Bangkok Thailand. Great indoor play area for toddler and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Central World Indoor Play Area

Central World is so large one can easily get lost just trying to navigate through all the restaurants and shops.  The free indoor play ground has a variety of slides, a small rock climbing area, a seesaw and more.

Location:  Chit Lom BTS, Central World, 6th Floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: This indoor play area is FREE!





Funarium offers two play-gym areas, one for those under 3 and a bigger area for the older children.  This place isn’t lacking in things to do with ball pits, basketball court, a bicycle/scooter track, and daily sing-a-long shows.  Despite being under three, my daughter prefers the big kid area, which means I get to climb around with her.  I try to wear legging (instead of shorts) in an effort to protect my knees a bit.  

Location:  Short taxi ride from Phrom Phrong BTS, Emporium Shopping Complex, 3rd floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Funarium an indoor play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand. | Life's Tidbits



The primary area of this indoor play area is a large play-gym, similar to Funarium.  There’s also a separate space with a sandpit, an area for those under 3 and more.  The space also include a cafeteria where a drink, snack or lunch can be purchased.

Location:  Short Walk from Ekkami BTS, Parklane Ekamai 3rd-4th Floor
Time Opens: 9am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Play Time an indoor play area in Bangkok, Thailand. Great place for toddlers and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Which of these play areas look most appealing to you? If you live in Bangkok any you might add to the list?


Jellybean’s 2nd birthday is fast approaching, not to mention the holidays, and the brainstorming of gift ideas has officially begun.  When it comes to buying presents I often feel like I don’t have enough options OR I’m totally at a loss as to what to buy.  Trying to decide on the perfect second birthday gift has actually made me think a lot about the things Jellybean has really loved over the past year.  Some of them we bought for her, others were gifts and a few we just enjoyed using at a friend’s house.

So if you, like me, sometimes draw a blank here are some of my favorite gift for a toddle who’s 1 to 2 years old …

Christmas, Hanukkah and birthday gift ideas for a toddler.  Perfect for 1-2 year olds  |  Life's Tidbits

  1. Corn Popper // I will admit this toy can be a tad bit annoying.  The constant popping noise might be annoying to us ‘adults’, however the kiddos love it!
  2. Magnetic Drawing Board // Perfect for a toddler who loves to color or one who’s just starting to build those motor skills.  Jellybean found this gift particularly entertaining when we were on vacation and on those morning’s when I’m running late and she has to sit in the bathroom while I shower.
  3. Radio Flyer Scoot-About Bike // I wish we had known about this bike earlier.  It’s great for scooting around the apartment and outside the little toddler bike posse is pretty darn adorable.
  4. Little People // Perfect for learning to play pretend or you know just chuck the different farm animals around.  Haha.  Oh the life of a toddler!
  5. Take-Along Shape Sorter // Great learning toy for colors, shapes and fine motor skills.  Also the perfect size to fit in the diaper or carry-on bag when traveling.
  6. My First Chair // This is probably in the top 5 favorite things Jellybean loves, and I’m a huge fan as well.  She loves to sit in her chair for snacks, tv, playing with a toy and often sets up all her ‘babies’ for tea or story time.
  7. MegaBlocks // Great for building, stacking, counting and identifying colors.
  8. Laugh & Learn Tea Set // Love the songs on the tea pot and it’s pretty adorable when Jellybean asks if I would like some “mor’ tea”.
  9. Chat & Count Cell Phone // This toy is great when you are on the go.  It fits in a purse or pocket.  It’s my go to toy for trips to the store, doctors and trips, especially, on the airplane!
  10. Jumbo Triangular Crayons // My daughter is not gentle with her toys and these crayons have held up really well over the months.  While Jellybean didn’t love coloring at 12 months, by the time she was 18 months it was one of her favorite post-nap activities.

So there you have it, our favorite gift ideas for a 1-2 year old.  And, seriously with all the toy choices out there toddlerhood is pretty darn fun on a birthday or holiday!

What are you favorite gifts for toddlers?


Run Jump Scrap!


Jellybean is a toddler, but she will always be my baby!!  So we have moved on from the baby must have to toddler favorites!  I think JB is taking a more active role in selecting her essentials and her little personality is really starting to shine through.

She has an opinion on what she will wear each day.  I’ve got it down to a science {on those days where she’s acting ‘typical’} … I pick out 2 outfits and say ‘this one or that one’.  She usually points aggressively at one and boom that’s the OOTD.  But seriously, that girl has style.  If I select an outfit she doesn’t like I get a very stern looks followed by “No, No, No, Mommy!”.  And yes, those no’s are capitalized on purpose. :)

Over the past few months here’s what Jellybean has been loving the most …

Toddler Favorites Months 13 to 18  |  Life's Tidbits

Contigo Water Bottle // This water bottle was recommended by a friend and is actually the same brand as our coffee mugs so I was excited for Jellybean to give them a try.  It took her a little bit of time to get the whole straw thing down, but these quickly became a staple in our house.

Baby Buddy Natural Bath Sponge // Amazing product and I’m bummed we didn’t find it when Jellybean was just an infant.  Bath time sponge equals a decrease in the amount of laundry {no more… or at least less wash clothes}.

Lovey // My mother always joked she was going to get Jellybean a whole bunch of tags for her 1st birthday, because JB was always eating the tags of her toys.  Apparently this is a typical baby thing (wink, wink) and when my mom found the tag lovey she just had to buy it.  Jellybean took a quick liking to the lovey and now sleeps with it every night!

Munchkin Bath Letters & Numbers // These are so much fun! They stick to the tub and walls very easily.  While Jellybean isn’t totally ready for learning all the letters we do

10 Little Monkey (Poke-a-Dot!) Book // My mom found this book and oh my goodness does Jellybean like it.  So much so, the book is starting to fall apart from all the use it gets.  I like that it teaches number and is interactive in a way that helps kids with their motor skills.

Ikea Dinnerware Set // Don’t really think an explanation is needed here.  Affordable and practical. Done & done.

Circo Folding Stroller and Jenna Doll  //  I think this is probably in the top 5 toys played with everyday in our house.  Jellybean loves hugging her doll and then placing (read shoving) it into the stroller.  They then zip up and down the hallways … there is no walking Jellybean insists on RUNNING everywhere. :)

Mega Blocks // Jellybean has found all sorts of uses for the blocks that go beyond stacking and building castles.  She hurls shares them at the dog and tries to balance them on her head.  Typically these little gems will keep her busy for a while.

My 1st Anywhere Chair // This is definitely one of my favorite things we have for Jellybean.  My in-laws asked what we would like for her 1st birthday and this was my pick.  She curls up and ‘reads’ a book, has a snack (much to my wishing she wouldn’t eat on her chair) or just hangs out on it with her toys.  She uses it  So even though the price point is kind of high, I think it’s totally worth it!

In case you missed it, check out the the baby essential series for newborns, 3-5 months6-8 months and 9-12 months.

Does your toddler love any of these items?  Any recommendations for a 19-24 month old?



First Birthday Cake Smash |  Life's Tidbits

First birthday cake smash photos are just the cutest!  Little hands and smiles covered in frosting just melts my heart.   As Jellybean’s birthday approached I got increasingly excited at the idea of her cake smash.  On her birthday my parents entertained Jellybean while I got to baking.  I made the vanilla cake and pink buttercream frosting {from scratch} and anxiously awaited the hubby getting home from work so we could sing to the birthday girl and then watch Jellybean get her cake smash on.

1st Birthday DIY Cake Smash Cake  |  Life's Tidbits

I envisioned how cute Jellybean would look covered in pink frosting.  I hoped I would snap a really cute photo that could be used on her birthday ‘thank you’ cards.  The camera was set out on the table, charged and ready to go!

We took some ‘practice’ shots of Jellybean with her princess birthday hat on while she ate her dinner.


The hubby, my parents and my husband’s parent (via Skype) sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and Jellybean just looked at us with that little furrow brow she has when she’s unsure of what’s happening.  With the cake in front of her I stepped back to snap what one would only assume would be an adorable face and then …

We realized she didn’t like the cake.  No, it wasn’t that she didn’t like the cake, but instead she was afraid … Yup, completely terrified of the cake!  We all started pontificating what might be the matter.  She was tired, wasn’t hungry, and so on.  And while we discussed her face said it all, “someone to make that cake disappear … STAT!


Completely baffled, we took the cake away, put her on the floor with the cake and then my baby girl cried.  It’s my cake and I’ll cry if I want to!  It was hard not to laugh at how much she most certainly did NOT like the cake.  For a child who has never shown any signs of fear, is was a strange sight!!!  All I can think when I see this picture is ‘no one puts baby {and a cake} in the corner”. Tee hee hee =)


We tried again a few days later at her winter ONEderland birthday party and met with similar results.  A little scrunched up face, followed by some crying and no cake smash.

Cake Smash Fail First Birthday Party | Life's Tidbits

Despite there being no cake smash for Jellybean’s 1st birthday; we did get one hilarious story to tell over and over again.  I’m sure we will embarrass her at some point when we whip out these photos in front of her friends, or better yet a future boyfriend hahahaha {pending Daddy’s approval for her to date, of course}.

Anyone else’s baby not like cake?!


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