How I Keep My Sanity AND My Toddlers While Traveling

My son has been on 8 plane rides(counting going to and from our destinations) Each time he has been occupied and the people sitting in front of us and behind us has commented that they didn’t even know there was a child near them. That makes me smile because I work hard to keep my toddlers sanity and mine when we are traveling. I have traveled recently without the help of my husband.

These are some of the things that I did that helped me during my trip. I will say this disclaimer: only YOU know the personality of your child and some of these things may work and some of them may not. I can only tell you what worked for me. I would highly suggest that you read this to give you some ideas and then you can make changes that may be needed to fit your child’s personality

1. Chose a flight time that is close or includes your child’s normal nap time: This has helped us every time we have flown, I have purposely paid a little more for my ticket just so I can get a nap time in. I know my son and if I wake him up early for a flight, he will go to sleep early. I also know that he only takes one nap a day so it’s important that I keep his sanity and mine. Sure the times may not be so convenient for us but the passengers and your child will thank you

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A sleepy baby makes a happy mommy

 

2. Bring toys they have never seen before:  As a childless person I always wondered what the big deal was when it came to those dollar bins at target. NOW I KNOW!!! That is one of the best places to get little coloring books, toys, little games that you can make a nice little goody bag for your toddler. It also helps that you don’t mind if they get lost while on the trip. Stickers are another genius thing to take. You can take vinyl stickers so they can stick it to the window on the plane(cheaper version would be sticky notes) Or you could also just by regular stickers and a notebook that they can put the stickers into.

3. APPS:  I will not debate the pros and cons of a toddler using a tablet. I will say do what works for your family. I have a few apps that I love that are educational and keeps their attention for a while(if they decide not to take a nap or even just a quick one)  Some of my favorite ones are: Endless ABC’s, Endless Numbers, Elmo Calls, Any of the fisher price apps and counting 123.

4. Favorite movies: My son will watch a few movies over and over, he will also watch them on silent and still be entertained. I make sure to put one or two movies on my tablet for the plane and any layovers I may have.

5. SNACKS:  Did you know you can pretty much bring anything for a toddler lol I brought little baggies of Apples, Pears, A whole banana, peanut butter cheerios, some chicken cut up into pieces and water for my son. The key is to bring a variety that they will love. If you bring liquid for your child TSA will test it(without opening it, they have a machine that will do that) This was AWESOME, I was a little hungry on the flight and I was able to snack a little as well( say no thank you to those little mini pretzels that leave you wanting more)

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Pears are a favorite of my little guys

 

6. I like to board early:  Some parents who have high energy children will wait until the last min to board and that is great. My son needs to get into the mindset that we are about to sit. So when the flight states that all families may board that is what we do. This gives me a chance to get all situated without bumping into the person next to me. I can make sure that the bag that has all the goodies is within reach and this also gives my son a chance to stretch a little and wave to the passengers boarding, which he loves.

These are just a few things that have helped me when I travel.  Sometimes I have to pull them all out on one flight and other times he may nap the entire flight or just want to look at a movie. Really depends on my sons mood. I will say that with travel you just need to be flexible and try to enjoy it. I pay the extra $50(roundtrip) to check my bags, it’s nice not to fight over the overhead compartment and to only have to worry about your kid on the flight. Remember, when you are calm that helps your child be calm, we all know that traveling can be stressful but it’s only for a short trip, you can make it.

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Toddlers and babies LOVE the window seat

 

Some Bunny Loves you

I am always on the lookout for fun things my son and I can do together in our area. One place to look at is event brite.( Just search kids events) this site is great to see what kind of activities your family can enjoy in your area. I came across a mom and me paint class that happens every week.

The class included everything for $20. It was a keepsake painting and you would be using either your child’s foot or hand in the painting. That day we painting a bunny using our child’s foot. One of my sons nicknames is Honey Bunny so I was excited to be able to make this and hang it in his room.

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This was put on by a company called The Color Wheelz and if you live in the Tampa Bay area I would highly recommend you check them out. This class was great. They read stories to the children and had a game for them to play. This company will also come to you for private parties for adults or children.

 

What are some of your favorite outings to do with your chilldren?

Mommy Con Giveaway

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What is Mommy Con?

MommyCon is a boutique style natural parenting convention focused on bringing modern families together to discuss, learn and grow. A day at MommyCon features over a dozen speakers, workshops, shopping and more! The focus at MommyCon is education about parenting choices, and whether you choose to cloth diaper, babywear or breastfeed is up to you! We just like to provide you resources and information to make the best decisions for your family.(Taken from FAQ)

This is one of the biggest parenting events out there. This will be my first time going with my son and I look forward to meeting the winner and their guest.

The winner of this give away will win a pair of tickets to the Oralndo Mommy Con being held on Saturday, May 23, 2015. You can find the time and place of the event here

Yes you have read that right! I am giving away a PAIR of tickets to the SOLD OUT mommy con in Orlando.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toddler Activity: Felt Book of Shapes

The older my son gets the more crafty I seem to become aka looking through Pinterest and finding inspiration to create or funding tutorials on what to create.

My son is 17 mo and has shown interest in shapes. so I found this awesome tutorial on how to make a Felt book of shapes. I will not go into a lot of detail because it’s all on the blog from Plain Vanilla Mom.

I will say that it was not that expensive. I purchased the felt from Joann’s fabric(total was $5) A hole punch from staples( $1.99) and I already had a needle and thread on hand to do the stitching. I waited until the little one was asleep and got out my adult beverage and began to cut and sew :)

Here is my final product. I am going to go back to Joann’s and purchase a little velcro to place on the back of the shapes so that they stick a little better to the page. Overall I would say this was a success and I love the added pocket on the back of the book to hold the shapes when they are not in use.

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Breastfeeding Tips for the new mom

I would never consider myself an expert, although I would love to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant(IBCLC), all I have to give is the knowledge that I have acquired over this past 15 months(and counting) of breastfeeding as well as the information that I have received from credited sources and mothers who have also breastfed. I hope you enjoy

Amber-and-Xander

Tip #1 Breastfeeding Classes. I would highly recommend taking a class on breastfeeding(even if its your second or third time) If some time has past you can always use a refresher course. When My husband and I decided to take the class I was a little nervous because this would be the most important class of my life, I mean I would learn how to feed my child. Yeah I hyped it up a lot lol you will never truly know what you need to know about breastfeeding until you are actually in the act of doing it However, the classes help you to learn a little about what to expect. By all means you should take your SO there with you, make sure they pay attention, I can’t tell you how many times in the early part of my breastfeeding journey that my husband would look at us and say babe his latch is a little lax and maybe this will help you both. It was nice to have a team effort when it came to feeding time.

 

Tip #2  Find Support. My husband was amazing but he has never breastfed and I was an emotional wreck for the first month. So SEE A LACTATION CONSULTANT I can not stress that enough. if you have to pay for it, it’s so worth it. These ARE the experts and they can help you with whatever problem you may have. If you have one that just doesn’t click with you personality wise then see a different one. I waited until my son was 4 weeks old before I saw one. I was having MAJOR over productive issues on one side and my son would choke whenever he would eat. I learned about block feeding the first day met with her and that helped me tremendously and helped me enjoy my feedings with my son. If you aren’t having a problem with anything physically they can help you with mentally. It’s nice to know that what you are going through is normal and LC are able to help you because they have seen it all.

Tip #3 Feed baby often. One of the biggest things that mothers worry about it milk production. Although there are reasons why your milk production can slow down(pump not strong enough,hormone imbalance, not enough water intake etc) one of the sure ways of milk depletion is for baby not being put to the breast as often as possible. baby will go through growth spurts and you will feel like a milk machine, you may even just spend the day on the sofa because all you will be doing is feeding. Your well to do family members may say “here let me feed the baby a bottle so you can get some rest” that is so sweet BUT it’s important for you to hang in there and put baby to breast often because these growth spurts are the babies way of telling your body that it needs to make more milk. so when you let someone else feed baby from bottle then that is you telling your body I don’t need that milk. I understand that you need a rest. so if you need some time to sleep then I would suggest pumping before you get some rest. Just know that the pump is not as effective as baby is.

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Tip #4 Get a good nursing pillow.  Since you will be using that thing quite often it’s no important to find one that is great. this is where My breast friend(MBF) comes in. I know the name is horrible but seriously this is the BEST one out there. Imagine my surprise when I FINALY went to see the lactation consultant and she pulls out a MBF! she advised me that this is the best pillow out there. It has lumbar support and actually clips around you. you pretty much can use it as a table lol it has a nice pocket on the side. If this is not in your budget you can usually find them at second hand stores for great deals. The cover is machine washable so that is a plus too. Also they may one for moms of multiples

Tip #5 Water is your BEST friend.  Water is the source of life and it’s also the source that helps keep you hydrated and your milk supply up. before having a baby I would drink about 50oz a day. After Xander came along I was up to drinking 70-80 oz a day. breastfeeding is work and you have to stay hydrated to maintain your milk supply. juices, teas and sport drinks don’t have the same effect as water. So drink up, your baby and your skin will thank you for it.

Tip #6 When the teeth come… I am the first to admit when I was pregnant I would say.I will breasted as long as baby doesn’t have teeth. well guess what, baby got TWO teeth at 5 months. AAP suggest that you breastfeed exclusively for 6 months before introducing food and my son just happens to love breastfeeding so he did not  really start easting three meals a day until about 13 months. I was his food source and I didn’t want to give that up because I was scared of some teeth lol. Now i’m not going to lie sometimes when he bites down it HURTS(very rare occasion) but I just unlatch him and let him calm down and we try again. when he was younger I would just unlatch him and wait a few minutes. I will tell you this a baby ACTIVELY nursing CAN NOT bite! So be on the look out for comfort sucking, baby falling asleep, baby distracted  etc these are times when bites occur.

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Tip #7 Let the Neysayers Ney. There will inevitably be someone who is offended by your choice, or feel that because you choose to breastfeed that you look down on formula feeding(this is not the case, when we say breast is best it scientifically is. If you have to supplement or formula feed that is ok. whatever works for your family is fine). Don’t let that get to you. Feed your baby in public(covered or not) Federal law states that you can do it anywhere and it does not have to be in a bathroom. When a rude person ask “are you STILL nursing?” when obviously you are, just ignore them(or have a witty comeback)  Society has a messed up mental state when it comes to breast. these were made to nurse and feed our young, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s a bonding experience that is like no other. It’s full of ups and downs. Wear breastfeeding like a badge of honor because it is. It does not matter if you did it for a day or for years, you offered the best thing that you could have for your child. so don’t let anyone take that away from you.