Our first summer vacation destination this year was Hawaii, and although we have traveled by plane many times before, each time brings about a different experience. When I was preparing for our departure, it became clear that as the kids have gotten older, they have grown out of most of their existing travel gear. So, I decided that we at Go-Go Babyz needed to put on our product development brainstorming caps and try to fill our new travel needs. Needless to say, upon our return from Hawaii, I had an extensive and, honestly, a bit overwhelming list of product development ideas.

While I hope to share some of these ideas with you in the form of actual products in the not-so-distant future, for now, here are two things I recommend to make you’re your life a bit easier on your next plane ride:

1. Always bring a car seat or booster seat; unless of course you are going to grandma’s house and she has one available for you to use!
2. Use your Car Seat Protector Bag to store some of your “extras.” The airlines do not charge for strollers or car seats as a piece of luggage, so the protector bag is a great place to store extra things like beach toys or diapers, throw in the booster seat, a couple books or toys. (watch out for the max weight limit on the airlines though)

Okay, so now that you have a couple travel tips, I want to return to my dilemma about changing needs. If your family is like mine, you get into a routine with your little ones and then six days or six months or six years down the line, things change dramatically simply because the kids grow. And then you have to start over trying to figure out what’s next. What I, and countless others, have found is that this is life: As soon as you think you have a grasp on it (whatever “it” may be) and everything is under control, things change. A new routine, a new solution, a new consequence, or simply a new perspective is required.

For me, this is the best but most difficult time. It is the best time because I have recognized that something different needs to occur and I know that what comes out on the other side will be a solution. It is the most difficult time, however, because I don’t have the answers and must search to find the solution.

I find that this is a time when I really focus. I have to consciously begin to let go of the old routines as I search for the new ones. For example, time-outs no longer seem to hold the same magic for the kids and I have resolved to stepping out of the situation and taking a time out rather than the kids going to sit in the time-out spot; our normal bedtime routine during the school year seems to have been thrown out the window along with our morning routines and I have to accept the change (and sometimes tired kids & grumpy kids). Change is occurring all around. New products, new routines and definitely new perspectives are on the horizon.

In a way, I am a bit amused that our trip has brought about this recognition. I mean, I saw it beforehand, but I was not really seeing it. What I am realizing now that I’m back in the office after our vacation is that it is not just my kids and kids products that I need to look at differently; I have to look at everything around me differently. I acknowledge that I have been blessed with awesome routines with both the kids and with Go-Go Babyz; however, I am now realizing that there has not been any recent forward movement on my end, while everything around me has been changing.

For those of you who sit in a similar spot, whether you are a new parent, parent of toddlers, or perhaps a family that was working and is now staying home, or going back to work; I would love to know how you adjust to the changing routines and new perspectives. What was it that made you open your eyes to the need for change and what is it that motivates you to change?