Toddler Tech, Baby Headphones, and Travel Accessories for Kids

Toddler Tech, Baby Headphones, Travel Accessories

Embrace the Screens!
Survive Your Travel Days with Toddler Tech & Baby Headphones

I hate lamenting how parents these days have it so much easier. I know,  it makes me sound old. But guys, I traveled with tiny glass jars of baby food, and you guys get these handy dandy foil pouches.
 
AND they’re organic.
 
Ok, I digress…
 
Seriously though, the one gadget that has made the biggest impact in our traveling life and lightened our carry-on bag immensely is the tablet. I kid you not, we used to travel with a portable DVD player, DVDs (natch), at least three books, plus assorted games. Our bag was HEAVY. So while my inner luddite wishes I could somehow keep my kids away from screens forever, realistic me uses tech judiciously. And yes, against the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation, my kids had access to screens well below the age of two.A tip for traveling with tablets and babies and toddlers: use your non-tech toys and distractions first. Once you bring out the tech, it’s hard to go back to stickers and crayons.


Best Tablets for Toddlers

tablet for toddler, toddler tablet, baby headphonesV-Tech InnoTab

My biggest pet peeve with “kiddy” tablets was the batteries. Of course they drain quickly and of course it’s a pain to change them out and of course if you use rechargeable they take forever to charge. We went straight to a “real” tablet, but I sorta really wanted to get my youngest this one since it’s age appropriate (read: not as frustrating) with a camera and over 4 gigs of storage, over 350 fun and educational “apps,” plus–the Kid Connect communication app allows for secure communication between the InnoTab and a parent’s smartphone. For less than $100 I think this is a great option for big toddlers who aren’t quite ready to get their mitts all over mama’s iPad ๐Ÿ™‚


leappad, leappad ultra, tablets for toddlers, toddler tablets, baby headphonesLeapFrog LeapPad

One way of protecting your precious tech from grubby hands is to get them their own. And this “kiddy” tablet claims to engage kids up until the age of 9. Now when my daughter was 8 she had already been completely captivated by Minecraft, so this particular tablet would not have been a great investment for us.

But, if I were to do it over again, I certainly would go for this or the InnoTab for when they were smaller, and to be honest I would have been a bit relieved to keep them out of the “real world” apps for as long as possible. The LeapPad gets great reviews for being durable, with fun games that are age appropriate. This particular model comes with 11 apps and a library of over 800 to choose from.


google nexus 7, nexus 7, toddler tablets, tablets for toddlers, baby headphonesGoogle Nexus 7

Many view the Google Nexus 7 as a great “grown up” tablet that’s still appropriate for little ones…

It’s much less expensive than an iPad and a great size for small hands. And, the Android OS gives access to Google Play for apps, games, and ebooks.

This can work great as a shareable tablet, since multiple user profiles can be implemented and Google offers restricted profiles so certain apps cannot be accessed by other tablet users.

That’s also handy for lazy totally daunted parents like me who haven’t quite mastered parental controls just yet.


iPad, toddler tablet, tablets for toddlers, baby headphonesApple iPad mini

Should you do it? Should you bite the bullet and just invest in the Grand Poobah of all tablets since you’ll end up buying one eventually anyway?

Full disclosure: my kids both had their own iPads by ages 8 and 5. But, by rights, they did save for them. All birthday money and allowance went towards their electronic babysitters devices and we covered the tax. BUT, we’ve learned the hard way that we need to be extra vigilant about enforcing limits. We do waver from time to time, but for the most part that’s another reason why my kids love travel so much–they know on travel days they have unfettered access to their devices, so they can Minecraft and movie to their heart’s content.

Does your kid need their own tablet? Four and under? You can probably get away with “sharing” yours. However, when they’re a bit bigger, their own device means you actually get to use yours UNINTERRUPTED for more than a minute at a time. That might be worth the investment right there ๐Ÿ™‚


Best Toddler and Baby Headphones

Once Junior is hooked up with a tablet, we don’t really want to hear all those shows and apps, now–do we? The best baby headphones have volume limiting adjusters to ensure the sound is at a safe and acceptable level–protecting baby’s ears while still maintaining your sanity. Anyone else still singing “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map. Yay!” from eons ago?

toddler headphones, baby headphones, headphones for toddlers, headphones for babiesCalifone Kids Stereo & PC Headphone

My kids have these headphones. And the oldest pair is in the double digits. They still work great although one of the bears has lost his “ears.”

We got these when my daughter was 18 months-old, and she was happy to wear them because they were so cute. They seem really comfortable, and even I sometimes wear them in a pinch. When the kids were really little, we tested the volume on our own ears to make sure they weren’t too loud. The volume adjuster on the cord really helped to keep things at a safe-sounding level.


LilGadgets Untangled Pro

Toddler Tech, Baby Headphones, LilGadgets Volume Limiting WirelessThese headphones may last a little longer in the looks department, especially if your kids go through that inevitable phase where they don’t want to be associated with anything “baby.” Heaven forbid they be caught wearing baby headphones!

They’re wireless (bluetooth enabled), which may or may not be a good thing. They come in a wide range of fun colours, are compatible with all devices, and are adjustable for comfort. They offer high definition sound, noise isolation, are volume limiting, rugged, and come with a travel bag. And they even have a share port so a splitter isn’t necessary if you have two kids watching the same device.

Personally I think they give off a certain “Beats by Dre” vibe, but at like 1/10th the price! The reviews for the LilGadgets Untangled PRO headphones are very good.


kids gear headphones, baby headphones, toddler headphonesKidz Gear Volume-Limiting Headphones for Kids

These are another great choice for a fun-looking but high quality volume limiting headphone for babies and toddlers.

They have a lifetime limited warranty, are compatible with all devices, and are lightweight and comfortable for children 2 years-old and older.

They come in five fun colours, and feature a built-in volume control knob as well as a “KidzControl” volume limit cable.

Looks-wise, these also give off a kind of “Beats by Dre” vibe, but again–1/10th the price PLUS volume limiting protection. There are over 2000 Amazon reviews for the Kidz Gear headphones, mostly praising their durability and comfort.


vtech headphones, baby headphones, toddler headphonesV-Tech Headphones

These headphones are slightly more toy-ish than the LilGadgets and the Kidz Gear, but maybe a little less so than the Califone.

At any rate, for a very affordable price, your toddler can customize their look with interchangeable plates.

The headphones themselves are of decent quality, are compatible with all devices, and have built-in instant mute control. Most of the Amazon reviews for the V-Tech kids headphones are quite favorable, although some question their overall durability and longevity of use.


JLab JBuddies, kids headphones, baby headphones, toddler headphonesJLab JBuddies Kids Volume Limiting Headphones

These quality headphones are designed to be comfortable on smaller heads.

They have hypoallergenic ear cushions and an easy, built-in volume control knob.

They are compatible with all devices, and come with a handy-dandy travel pouch. Your child can customize them with multiple theme stickers.

Most of the over 400 Amazon reviews for the JLab JBuddies headphones are quite favourable, with a few complaints about the volume in spite of the volume control knob and some concerns about durability depending on how rough your kids are with their stuff.


Best Travel Accessories for Kids

Now you’ve got the main necessities under control. These “nice to have” accessories help complete your overall toddler tech arsenal–sure to keep your littles entertained and you sane!

ipad car mount, tablet headrest mount, best headrest mount, mount ipad in carArkon Center Extension Car Seat Tablet Headrest Mount

Without a doubt, mounting our iPad between our seats is how we survived our 21-hour drive to Florida.

And this was the only headrest tablet mount we could find that places the tablet so both backseat passengers can easily watch–which was totally essential for our (then) single tablet household.

We found it very easy to install and uninstall, and there was never any fear of the iPad falling out. It worked for both our iPad mini and my old-school iPad 2.


headphone splitter, baby headphones, toddler headphones,Headphone Splitter

In addition to the tablet mount, if you’re sharing a device you absolutely need a headphone splitter! The one we have was totally cheap and has worked perfectly for over five years.

It’s a very simple one, but these days there are even more options: headphone splitters with individual volume controls, and super fancy headphone splitters for as many as five outputs in super-cute colours.

Our plain-Jane headphone splitter has never let us down. We’ve been very grateful to have it on many shared-iPad travel days!


ipad case, ipad case for kids, baby headphones, tablet for toddlers, toddler tabletsShock-Proof Protective iPad Mini Case

If you’re going to fork over the big bucks to get your kid their own iPad Mini, a few extra dollars is money truly well-spent for this handy and helpful protective case.

For kids and travel, this iPad case is as useful as it gets. The handle is good for small hands to carry. The thick foam shell protects from the inevitable bumps and (gasp!) drops it will be subjected to.

The handle flips back to create a stand that makes this case perfect for airplane use. While older kids may find this case bulky, this heavy duty iPad case will help to keep that very expensive “toy” safe from all the various toddler mishaps you can think of.


tablet carry bag, baby headphones, toddler headphonesTablet Carry Bag

Keep kiddo’s tablet, headphones, chargers, splitters, and all related accessories safely together in this neoprene tablet carry bag.

It comes in a number of colours and a number of sizes–from 7 – 8 inch to 14 – 15 inches. The neoprene is water-resistant. The tablet carry bag also has extra padding to help cushion any impact should the precious tablet be dropped!

The zippered front pocket ensures safe keeping for all of your wires and chargers.

The zippered closure is handy for small fingers to open and close. It comes in a number of fun colours.


 

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23 Responses to Toddler Tech, Baby Headphones, and Travel Accessories for Kids

  1. V at #

    Great suggestions on headphones. I bought a cheap pair of kid headphones without doing any research and you can’t hear a thing through them over the airplane noise because of the safety volume control feature. Ugh.

    Crazy contraption they’ve come up with for attaching the iPad to your headrest. I just buy a pack of those Nike headbands, put it over the headrest and then hang the iPad case from it. It works perfectly!

    V
    Life+1

    • Corinne at #

      Thanks, V! I’ve never heard of the headband trick. Can you elaborate? Does it work for two kids in the back seat?

  2. Jen at #

    Any tips for getting two-year-olds to keep headphones on?

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Jen!

      With mine, once they actually wanted to hear their show, they kept ’em on. Also, if they saw me wearing them, they wanted them instead! Whatever it takes ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck and have a great trip!

      • Emma at #

        Great idea! ..They do want everything you have…definitely going to try this trick!

  3. Great tips and gear – i foresee a lot of happy traveling kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great gear tips, Corinne!

  5. Jeff at #

    Tablet + Headphones = Happy traveling Toddler and sane parents. Great list Corinne ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Emma at #

    Thanks for doing this review!! Just placed an order for the tiger Califone headphones for my 18 month old for our flight this month. Appreciate the help in the right direction ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The LeapPad worked great for us for a few years and then, inevitably, the kids learned about IPads and now my iPad has become their iPad on vacations!

    • Corinne at #

      You need to get a new one, Melissa! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Amy at #

    Thanks for the great list! I have been looking for something to hold our iPad in between the two seats and this will be perfect.

  9. Sabeena at #

    When did you start letting your kids use the baby headphones? We have a trip planned that will include a 13 hour flight and since we’ve never done that long of a flight we are already freaking out. Our baby will be 10.5 months old at the time. Is that too young to put baby headphones on her? Another option we were considering is putting a thicker hat on her that covers her ears and then putting baby headphones on her. Or just use our earbuds and have it “near” her so she can hear it sort of without bothering the other passengers.

    • Corinne at #

      Honestly at 10mos. she probably won’t care if she can’t hear the show/app. Volume-adjusting headphones would work just fine, but I really don’t think you’ll need them just yet.

  10. Lucy at #

    Are there any tablets or DVD players that lock? My daughter just wants to play with the screen or open up and play with the dvd player. Thanks!

    • Corinne at #

      I don’t know if there’s a “lockable” tablet, but on Android devices I believe you can lock an app so you can’t accidentally get out of it while you’re using it without entering a pin. There is an app called Peekaboo that is meant to “lock” babies and toddlers out of the rest of the device, while offering enough to keep toddlers busy. Reviews are mixed but it’s not too expensive. Failing that we recycle our old phones by keeping the kiddie apps and deleting all email and various other personal bits.

  11. Pat at #

    I’ve tried a few of these with my family and I think of all of them the headphone splitter was the best investment we ever made. It’s amazing how such a small inexpensive purchase can stop fights! The only problem we’ve had is that some of the newer devices aren’t coming with what used to be a “standard” audio jack.

    • Corinne at #

      Isn’t that funny?! I almost miss the days when they had to share a device because they would look so cute watching together.

  12. Enza at #

    Hi. I need some advice for how to use headphones with an 8 month old? Any advice on what product to use?
    Thank you!

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Enza! Just make sure they are volume-limiting, which means you are able to separately control the volume–usually from a dial on the cord.

  13. Alex at #

    Great content, our website specializes in baby headphone reviews and I can say you know your stuff =)

  14. Jake at #

    Baby… headphones? Please no, just… no.

    • Corinne at #

      Well maybe YOU like listening to Paw Patrol on a loop! ๐Ÿ™‚

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