I don’t know how most people get through long road trips with their kids, but for us, it is about two things: Food and movies.
Some may call that cheating; I call it doing whatever you have to do to survive.
The problem with letting Nora watch movies on road trips has been that I get easily overstimulated when there is too much going on in the car. Audio from Nora’s movie, radio on for the adults, and of course, some conversation. In the past, that has resulted in a pounding headache. Now that Nora is forward-facing, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the iPad is now located directly behind the head of the front passenger—making the movie audio even more of a distraction. We’ve dealt with it a few times for shorter (but still long) trips to see Michael’s sister, but I knew we needed a solution before taking the eight-hour trip (ONE WAY!) to my dad’s.
The obvious solution was to set up Nora with some headphones, but this proved to be more challenging than you might think. We went to several different stores looking for headphones designed specifically for kids, but came up empty. We actually brought a couple pairs of adult sets home, but we had concerns about volume control—we want to be careful not to damage Nora’s hearing in any way—and they were clearly BIG for Nora’s little head and ears.
Enter Kidz Gear’s KidzControl Volume Limit COLOR Headphones for Kids to save the day. Seriously, they really did save the day, as the package containing the headphones—as well as a really nice quality headphone carry bag and a headphone splitter cable—arrived on our doorstep the day before our trip.
The problem with a lot of “volume limiting” headphones is that they lessen the volume so dramatically that you can’t hear the soft spoken word, or hear ANYTHING if there is a lot of background noise in your environment (so, say on a plane… or even in a car on the highway). But Kidz Gear has solved this problem by making the volume limiting easy to turn on and off. There is a little cable that comes with the headphones that you can attach to the headphones to limit the volume when needed, but in louder settings, you can attach the headphones to your child’s device without it.
I tested the headphones prior to putting them on Nora and found that the volume limiting was a bit much with the road noise, so we chose not to use it. Instead, I turned the volume all of the way up on the headphones’ volume control, then turned it down to an acceptable level on the iPad itself, which Nora couldn’t reach to mess around with. She did, however, mess around with the headphones’ volume (seen above) a few times… by turning it down. It was a quick fix once we realized why she was taking off the headphones and handing them to us. :) Although it was a little bit of a pain for us, I can see why having the volume control here is good for older kids.
The headphones themselves are great. They are designed for children ages 2 and up, and they’re highly adjustable—they fit Nora pretty perfectly on their smallest setting, but I could even wear them comfortably at their largest. Like adult headphones, there is a little “R” and an “L” on the sides to designate left and right (why that makes a difference, I don’t know—but we threw them on Nora any which way!)
And as you can see, these are CUTE. The colors are great, and we opted to get them in Nora’s absolute favorite… PURPLE!
Still, our biggest challenge—at least at first—was getting Nora to wear them. I’ll be honest and say that she was NOT a fan when I initially put them on her. She kept ripping them off and throwing them at me, even when I explained that this is how she was going to be able to hear her movie. But please don’t let this alter your impression of the headphones, because my kid is weird. With anything new like this, we have to fight with her several times until she finally realizes that we’re not trying to torture her. When summer turned to fall and we had to put on things like PANTS and SWEATSHIRTS and ohmygod REAL SHOES, Nora flipped out every time for a while. This was exactly the same thing. My girl, she’s stubborn. I don’t know where she gets it.
Anyway, I was able to eventually get her to wear them and settle in to watch her movie by distracting her with our other roadtrip survival tactic: FOOD. I gave her a cup of cereal and set her up with Toy Story 3 and she was happy to wear the headphones for a while. During the eight-hour car ride south, we had to reach back and put them back on her several times, and she went a few stretches watching her movies silently because she didn’t want to wear the headphones.
But on the eight-hour stretch back home? It was like a switch was flipped, and she was completely used to them. She wore them nearly the entire time, and when they were off, she tried to put them back on herself. It was a big change between Friday and Monday.
For those wondering what our setup looks like in the car, this is it:
(Side note: The iPad headrest mount we have is this one. It only works if you have a cover with a flap on your iPad. Your iPad can’t be “naked.”)
The Kidz Gear headphones are precisely what I had been looking for all along. Something that could get the job done—giving us peace in the car while helping to entertain my child—and was MADE for a person her size. And now that she is sold on the idea of the headphones, Nora LOVES that they are purple. :)
We can’t wait to use them again when we head to the west coast (via airplane) in January. When we flew to Boston for my birthday in August, we tried to occupy Nora with the iPad but were unable to hold her interest because even with the external volume all of the way up, she couldn’t hear it—and we couldn’t get her to wear our headphones. Now, we don’t have to worry about that since she’ll have her own personal set.
At home, we’ll let her use them when we occasionally give her the iPad for some quiet time. The girl loves her apps as well as her movies, and the headphones will come in handy there as well. The headphones work on all of your standard devices—tablets, computers, iPhones, iPods, etc.
Now, Kidz Gear is giving all of you a chance to win a pair of KidControl Volume Limit COLOR Headphones of your own (or rather, for a child in your life). The headphones retail for a price of $19.99 at www.gearforkidz.com, as well as through Amazon.
NOTE: The giveaway is available to U.S. residents only. My apologies to the rest of the world—I love you, I promise!
Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget embedded in this post. Good luck!
Disclaimer: Kidz Gear provided Nora’s headphones, carry bag, and splitter cable for free in exchange for my review. However, opinions expressed within this post are my own. (I hope you know me well enough by now to know that I wouldn’t positively review a product that I wouldn’t back anyway, whether I paid for it or not!). Kidz Gear is also sponsoring the associated giveaway.
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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