baby travel · survival guide · Tips and Tricks

A Survival Guide to Travelling with a Baby

picmonkey_image

So this post is long over due.As the Summer holidays is close upon us  I thought why not  talk about travelling with an infant. We have now come back from travelling to South Africa with Eva being a Toddler which was a completely different kettle of fish than Eva being infant. I thought I would share with you what worked for us when we went on our first plane journey as a family 14 months ago.

I remember being absolutely terrified taking our then eight month old on our first visit home to South Africa, it included three flights, layovers, lots of food, tantrums, a surprise trip for Eva and I home alone but most of all fond memories. I know it may be daunting thinking of booking that holiday or visit home to family but trust me, it’s worth it.

Here are some tips to help you survive the journey;

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!!

I cannot stress this enough, it really helps to alleviate any stress while at the airport. Make sure you have your I.D’S,tickets packed the night before. Also check with where you are flying to make sure you do not need extra documentation. For example for us flying to South Africa we had to bring Eva’s birth certificate  as well as our marriage certificate as Eva’s name on her passport is different from mine.

20170213_150658

 

Bring a Baby Carrier/Sling

Whether you prefer ring sling, buckle carrier or a stretchy wrap , it is definitely a MUST  for the airport and plane. It gives you a hands free option for travelling through security or walking up and down the plane trying to settle your little one. I always found they contain sleepy dust.

 

Pack Extra Outfits

This one is a biggy and to be honest something I would at times forget.  Bring two extra outfits for you little one, trust me anything can happen on a plane in a confined space, I ended up putting the outfits in sandwich bags so they were easy to get to. A tip I got from a friend was also to pack an extra outfit for you as you never know when a nappy may leak all over your jeans or spew their feed all over your shirt. Trust me the last thing you need is to be sitting on a plane for a few hours smelling like baby spew.

 

Something Familiar and Something New

So I found by bringing Eva’s blanket and her comforter it really helped  to give her a sense of security she was familiar with especially when flying and being in a completely different environment.

Bring something new, every baby loves to explore and why not with a  toy for them to figure out, book to look at or teether to chew on.

 

20170213_141347

 

Feed at Take Off or Landing

Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed or you baby has a soother, let them have something to suck on during take off and landing.  The sucking and swallowing helps to regulate the pressure change. This worked a treat with Eva as she nursed during both. We actually brought a nursing cover as it helped to limit all the distractions on the plane during our night flight.

Don’t forget you will have an amazing holiday/trip when you arrive and will be creating amazing memories for you and your little one.

IMG_20170302_152233_679

 

I hope these tips have helped you.
If you’d like to share any of yours feel free to let us know.

Shauna xxx

 

 

Advertisements
Career · mentalhealth · Mom Life · stayathomemom · Tips and Tricks

Minding Mom, when your cup is empty

 

IMG_0785

Honest and real post coming up…………. So as you can tell I havn’t blogged in forever, there have been many reasons. To be honest first of all  life threw many changes my way over the last few months, some for the better and some not so much. It really took me a long time to adjust which was very unlike me.

Its started off with making the decision to finish up work  due to the hours just not working out, after working for the last  eleven years and five years with the company I was with, It was a MASSIVE change.  This change also led to us having to get rid of  our second car and that was one of the biggest changes for me. Being independent for the last few years, being able to get up and go or even pop in to visit my family really helped my mental health and also gave me some down time with Eva.  The adjustment  for me took months!  Discovering life as a stay at home mom,not having a routine, putting too much pressure on myself as a parent and  not being independent anymore took its toll on my mental health.  I stopped looking after myself, I became quite upset at little things  and just felt drained daily, it was a downward spiral. I forgot about self care which was drilled into me in college as well as work.  During this time, we found out we were expecting baby number two! This came as quite a surprise but I’m not going to lie it really helped me to kick myself out of  the funk I was in. It slowly dawned on me If I didn’t start to fill my cup up on a daily/weekly basis with one child how will I manage with two?? So after five months being at home, I finally found our groove and started to pull myself together, even though pregnancy tiredness kicked my butt daily.

 

IMG_1150.jpg

13 weeks Baby Malan no.2

Some of the  things that really helped me gain control of my mental health again ;

  • I made sure to make plans on days that I had the car for a while .
  • As being a stay at home mom I started to live by the mantra ‘ everything else could wait till tomorrow’.
  • Get out once a day! Even it was just for a quick walk or a run around the green, the fresh air really helped clear my head and I know Eva loved it too.
  • I’m going to sound like the biggest granny now but knitting was my go to hobby, to me it was so relaxing so find something for yourself  , whether its reading a book or just listening to a podcast.
  • Letting go of expectations I put on myself! This was a hard one as I felt I was at home all day, the house should be spotless, we should be eating home cooked meals  and planning a million activities with Eva as I felt she wasn’t getting enough sensory stimulation. I’m sure in a perfect world that would be the case but nope not in our house, it just became overwhelming. Its all about balance and figuring out what works for you.
  • Working out! This is something I started doing daily just before I found out I was pregnant and really set me up for the day. Lately my workouts are chasing a curious toddler around a supermarket but I’m ok with that.
  • Last but not least was waking up before Eva does.  Again this hasn’t been happening lately due to our little lady having three ear infections in the last three months and she also likes to party all night.

 

Basically the reason I wanted to write this blog was  to encourage other moms out there , that they are not alone and  to make sure they look after themselves. I find as a mom , you put others first and leave very little left in your own cup for yourself.   I found once I start to look after myself whether it’s taking time out for a bath, quick face mask or what I started doing recently was going to the cinema in the morning by myself( dates are hard to come by in our house and the time alone to switch off is so nice),  doing little things for my self and getting myself into a routine  really gave my mental health a boost.  It really brought new meaning to the term ‘Happy Mom, Happy Baby’. My relationship with Eva began to thrive after this and so did my relationship with my husband.

How are ways you fill up your cup daily or even weekly?

Shauna xx

4th Trimester · Mom Life · Tips and Tricks

Surviving the 4th Trimester

 

15781553_10154900601147990_5318275865385988927_n

Im sure we have all heard of the 1st, 2nd and third trimester but have you heard of the 4th?   That’s right, its not over at birth. After having my little girl it was a crash course into motherhood especially the first few weeks. I joined some parenting groups on Facebook and the same thing kept coming up, the 4th trimester.  Little did I  know about the 4th trimester but apparently it is a ‘thing’ and its a big one at that.

 

To read more head over to Mummypages for the rest of the article.

https://www.mummypages.co.uk/all-the-things-no-one-will-tell-you-about-the-fourth-trimester

What tips would you give someone going through the 4th trimester?

 

Shauna x

Career · Mom Life · Returning to work · Tips and Tricks

Returning to Work and Me – tips to survive the transition

20161009_160755

Dear new moms returning to work, I have been where you are. It can  can be a choice for moms or sometimes necessary.  For others returning to work  couldn’t come quick enough and for some maternity leave  went in the blink of an eye. It was the latter for me and it was something I struggled with hugely.   No mother should feel judged either way but both will have to go through that transition. The transition from new motherhood to returning back to work is a shock to the system but these for tips should help.

 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

When I was pregnant I spent all my time preparing for our girl to arrive making sure I had all my ducks in a row.  It was no different with returning to work. There are so many  ‘ducks’ to get in a row from childcare, household duties, who is doing what etc. It can be  quite overwhelming .

  •   Make sure to get reliable childcare, the last thing you need is  to be worried whether you will make it to creche on time.  Depending on your job and your support systems, find what childcare  suits your family best.
  •  Trying to stay on top  of the house in the first few weeks was a nightmare by the time I got home and got Eva to sleep I felt like I had my days work  long done.  I finally started to do blitz cleans  on a Saturday or Sunday and a quick tidy around daily.
  • Batch cooking!! All I can say is this is a must! For the days I would get home late or the mornings I was running out the door , it was so nice to stick my hand in the freezer and pull out a meal. That went for both Eva and myself.(I will be posting some of my go to recipes soon )
  • Practice run.  Two weeks before my return I did a few practice runs of how my work days would go. I set my alarm and did a run through for the day to see the time I needed in the mornings.  This also helped Eva to adjust to her new routine from being at home with me to being with my hubby then shuttled to my parents for a few hours

 

Make it Gradual

Link with work at least 4 weeks before your return to sort out the nitty gritty of your return but I would say make it  easier on yourself. Whether you  work full-time or part-time don’t throw yourself in at the deep end. Try taking a short week if you can or even half days. This really helped both Eva and I with the return. It eased us into our new routine.

 

Don’t be hard on yourself

Settling back in to work and playing the new juggle game is going to take a while to get used to . Though you may be in your work place physically it will be a while  before you are emotionally and mentally present (mommy brain is a thing just like pregnancy brain). Your workplace and colleagues will understand that this adjustment will take awhile, you need to realise this too. Give yourself time .

 

Quality Time

Time may seem hard to find during the constant juggling but don’t neglect quality time .   It was always the nights I was working that it seemed to take hours for Eva to finally settle to sleep. I used to get frustrated  at times as I held her in my arms nursing  that I just wanted to go downstairs and eat.  Till  it hit me like a ton of bricks that she missed me and just wanted to have a cuddle  and chat (lots of babbling) with Mommy. She craved that quality time with me where there was no distractions of phones, food to be cooked or the house to be cleaned.

 

20170114_163309

 

 

Finally remember not everything will go as planned, in the first few weeks after returning its just trying to survive and settle into the new routine. Most of all, though a challenging step in motherhood, enjoy the new journey.

 

 

Would love to hear about your experiences returning to work and what helped you?

Shauna xxx