This post is brought to you by VTech and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own and based upon my experience.
Is it just me or are beach houses actually Toddler Death Traps in disguise?
Until I had an almost two year old, beach houses were synonymous with relaxation; big open doors that let in the sound of the ocean, tall, rickety wooden staircases that allow the perfect perch on the dunes and balconies full of wide open railings that won't obstruct the view.
Now all I can see is my toddler tumbling down those rickety staircases, plowing through those wide open doors and slipping through those insanely spaced railings. And nothing says, "hey mama, take a load off and relax" like imagining your child making it out the loosely bolted door and sprinting at top toddler speed directly towards the ocean.
Yep, it's all of that relaxation slipping right through my fingers - and we haven't even discussed sunscreen yet.
So, what's a mildly anxious mom to do in order to ensure her toddler survives a week at the beach?
As we loaded up the casual twenty two bags that were packed for this trip, I kept reminding Justin that no matter what happens, the baby monitor box was not to be removed from the car. And in case you didn't catch the undertone, that was a nice was of saying that I nagged the ever loving mess out of him and threatened his life continually if he somehow managed to move that box. Wisely, he chose to leave it in the car and the VTech Safe and Sound DM271-110 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed & Motion Sensors made it safely to the beach house.
And good thing it did because this happened roughly ten seconds after we arrived:
Yes, our son can apparently reach both the door knob and the deadbolt and has the dexterity/determination to open them both and free himself. Yay, vacation!
So, first things first we busted out the VTech Digital Monitor and set about toddler proofing that exterior door. What makes the VTech Digital Monitor my travel go to are two things: one is the ultra low energy Open/Closed Door Sensor and the other is the Smart Home Motion Sensor. We set the Open/Closed smart sensor up on the exterior door (using the mounting tape provided so we didn't damage the rental house) and programed the hand held parent unit to alert us if the baby somehow managed the get the door open and make a break for it.
Take a peek at how the sensor works on a door with thick trim - we just rotated the two pieces to the Open/Close Sensor and it worked like a charm.
And let me be clear, there were 6 adults and one toddler in that house so he was extremely supervised (and two of the adults were his grandparents so you know he didn't have much personal space with all of that crazy grandparent attention) but toddlers are known to be wily and inventive creatures and if they want out, out they'll go.
booby trapping securing the exterior door we made a move to his make shift nursery.
Because the house was a rental, toddler boy was going to be camping out in his own room, Pack and Play style. It's been a hot minute since he's crashed in anything but his own bed so I had forgotten how short the walls of a portable crib are. There was no doubt in my mind that he could (and would) shimmy up and out of that crib without breaking a sweat. And guess what was right outside of his room? A staircase. So, we outfitted his room with both the audio monitor and a motion sensor to alert us if he made it out of the crib.
We positioned the motion sensor half way up the way to give us a wider range and to accommodate for a crawling or walking toddler - basically if he made it out of that bed and was moving around his room, everyone in the house was going to know about it. Thankfully, the motion sensor also came with both mounting tape and screws so we were able to use the tape and not do any damage to the walls.
With the aforementioned six adults on hand, I had to laugh at my parents and child-free brother and sister in law as they watched us take over our communal beach house, toddler parent style. My brother kept saying, "so, the monitor tells us the temperature of the baby's room? and then it will tell us if the baby gets out?!". Ah, the innocence of a child-free newlywed.
Once we had the space completely locked down and toddler security was tight, it was time for me to take a breather. I plopped that baby in his temporary bed, snatched up that parent unit and, thanks to the 1,000 feet of freedom it provided me, did this:
for approximately 10 minutes.
And then we were back to this:
Thank goodness he's so cute!