Traveling With Baby

Someone recently asked me about traveling with baby. How to do it, is it easy, etc… We’ve traveled enough with Ethan to know that if you’re prepared, then yes. It’s pretty easy. I’ve flown with him twice now and both times were mostly a breeze. And we’ve taken a dozen or so longer car trips so we’re near experts on that game.

traveling with baby on plane

…if you’re nursing, nurse baby at take off. It’ll help equalize his/her ears and provide a nice distraction. Not nursing? A bottle will do. Or a pacifier.
… Ask at check in if your flight is full if not, bring your car seat with you that way you can strap baby in and get his/her own seat.  You can thank me for this one later.
….Flight full? Gate check your baby gear. Technically car seats are supposed to be handled with care so you’re fine checking it at checkin or gate side, but if you’re super paranoid, check it at the gate with your stroller.
….Use a carrier. We use our Tula carrier when traveling – it gives me extra hands and I use the stroller to throw our bags on to.
….Flying alone? If someone walks you in, you can always have them be an escort at the gate. Just have your hubs or family member show their ID and they get a special pass.

 

traveling with baby driving

Check traffic. Seriously, we’ve skipped routes because of the traffic because no one wants to sit in 20 miles of back up on the NJ Turnpike.

Be strategic about stopping. We schedule our departure around his nap time so we stop once, then he gets 2 hours or so then we stop again, then we have 2 hours left to my in laws generally. This is really only if we travel during the day, but we try to mostly travel at night when we can so he just sleeps it off.

Over pack. We once went through four sets of pjs one way to Connecticut. You can never over pack. Just never. Also, have wipes, diapers, formula (if you use it), etc… waiting at your location. This is a rule you should follow driving or flying because it cuts back on the gear you have to lug around.

Drive in pairs. I couldn’t imagine driving long distances with baby alone – stopping is a pain in the tush especially if you need to pee. If your babe is anything like mine he/she is afraid of the hand driers and the noise of the toilet flushing in EVERY bathroom this side of the Appalachians – it’s easier to tag team and have one of you hang in the car, feed baby, get him/her out of the carseat for a few and the other run inside and switch off.

Some people stress about flying with baby. Really, if you prepare, if you time flights/departures right, then it’s easy breezy. I may have just been blessed with a good baby (which may very well be the case, for now at least) but he’s a pretty low key traveler in both the car and on the plane.

Have you traveled with your little one? Got any tips or tricks that I missed here?

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Day in the Life of a Stay At Home Mom

Life as a stay at home mama is tough.

I’m slightly exaggerating here, but not really. I’m certainly not cut out for it but this is probably also the reason I’m not a Kindergarten teacher. I’m not really good at entertaining children let alone children who don’t talk back and can’t tell you what’s up when the cranky pants are on.

For my friends who wonder what the eff I do all day, well here it is. A while ago, I shared Adam’s day with baby so today, I’m sharing our typical day. (note: Some pictures may have been taken on separate days as seen by the different outfits ;))

6-7am – Wake up Mommy!

Ethan comes into bed and we cuddle while he has his morning bottle. After the bottle, it’s a diaper change and breakfast.

7:30a – breakfast!!! He usually gets an egg or waffle and some cheerios or fruit to add a bit umph. Sometimes we get dressed before breakfast, other times we eat in our jammies. This day, we happened to be dressed at breakfast. That’s consider a win in our book.

8:30a – Play time! We’ll crawl around and see what kind of shenanigans we can get into. This day Ethan was working on pulling himself up on the entertainment center.

 

9:30a – Gym time! I usually workout in the mornings if I go to the gym or the afternoons/earlier mornings if I run. 9:30am spinning is one of my favorite classes at my gym, Ethan goes to play in the day care while i work out.

10-11a (ish) – ends up being Ethan’s nap time. If I go to the gym, we try to get home by 10:30 so we can still hit the nap window. It’s a short window.

Late morning through lunch time…

If we don’t have a play date scheduled, we’ll go run errands and tool around town and sometimes meet Adam for lunch near his work.

But if we do have play group…we play usually play until close to afternoon nap (anytime between 2-3p)

Our favorite playgroups are the Plum Moms Group (earlier this week we tested out My Gym with them!) and our Wednesday coffee group at the mall where Ethan acts like a vacuum cleaner and eats all the puffs and cheerios off the floor. Gross, I know but even if I move him away, he crawls back to them until they’re either cleaned up or some other poor child gets to them.

Mid-Late afternoon…

Also known as post afternoon nap time. We have story time, and we play at home waiting for Adam to get home from work. We crawl around getting into mischief. This is my witching hour so some days I tend to be a bit more hands off and let him explore and have more independent play versus the mornings where I’m super interactive. I try not to, but sometimes…I get tired.

5p-7pm 

Dinner! Bathtime! Daddy gets home (or two days per week goes to class in which case we have all of the sads)! Bedtime!

Some nights dinner is a big hit!

Other nights…not so much.

After dinner comes bath time. If daddy is home, he’ll get in the tub with him in swim trunks and we do bathtime together. Some nights if one of us is out, we go back to the whale tub. Anndd this is what’s been happening lately because homeboy is so squirmy.

After bath time it’s a bottle and story and bed. Then mama gets to enjoy relaxing. I’m in bed by 1030p-11pish after catching up on TV and reading, then it’s lather, rinse, repeat. *sigh*

What do your days look like as a stay at home parent? 

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Baby Update: 8 Months

Baby turned eight months on Friday.

How are we already closer to his one year birthday versus his actual birth? The whole “birthing” thing seems so long ago.

Either way, he’s starting to act more like a little boy versus a helpless baby.

This month…he’s solidly sitting up on his own (finally – it happened right after Halloween for realsies). And can sit himself up! That started earlier this week one day at the end of nap-time. He woke up angry so we went in and lo, he was sitting up! Now, he’s like a pro. The past day or so he started getting up on his hands and knees – so I fear crawling may be soon in our future. I feel like we’re going through some major developmental things here so it could be a fun week traveling.

He’s happy to stand with support, but isn’t yet pulling up to stand. Thank goodness – our coffee table is about half baby-proofed. Also, we probably need a gate sooner than later.

He loves…bath time. Oh em gee does he love bath time (splashing is his jam). He loves to move. And by move i mean try to move. He loves sweet potatoes, chicken, pancakes, and broccoli. He also loves people. He loves to laugh, and smiles when you smile at him. He loves to read, and he loves watching how things work. It’s fun for us to watch him watching everything wondering what he must be thinking.

He also loves his swim lessons – he’s a natural in the water and is super happy and smiley at swim lessons!

He hates…being in one spot too long, the nose frieda, socks (still), hats (he’s a master at pulling off both), avocado (weirdo), and he wasn’t a fan of turkey the other night when he got to try it.

He…

…weighs about 15 lbs.
…is probably around 27″ long.
…sleeps solidly through the night from 7pish through til 730aish.

 

Happy eight months baby Ethan! You are the handsomest, happiest, most perfect baby ever and I love you to bits and pieces.

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International Babywearing Week in the Tula

It’s International Babywearing week and while I try to keep my pseudo-wannabe-natural parenting beliefs off my blog for the most part I wanted to share my love of the Tula with you all today.

You see, I get baby gear envy. I see mama’s hanging around – whether with strollers, carriers, you name it and it’s like I crave new baby gear when I see something that looks cool. Thankfully, I keep it in check but the Tula was one baby gear item I couldn’t resist.

First we had an Infantino carrier. And it was okay. Not great. Not horrible but I found it difficult to get on and off without Adam’s assistance and I don’t believe it was ergonomically correct for baby’s hips.

Thankfully, in my mama’s group, I’m surrounded by many a baby wearing mama who have shed some good light on me as to what to look for. My baby gear envy first led me to the Baby K’tan Breeze. Which I loved. Buuttt it was only good for a short period of time due to the lack of support once baby started gaining weight.

Seriously, the k’tan is perfect for newborns if you’re afraid of the Moby wrap – which I was. I tried it but just…couldn’t. So I traded up for the K’tan and it was everything I wanted to love about the Moby without needing the coordination.

Eventually however, my back started to ache with the K’tan. Ethan was getting a touch too heavy for it and my back was starting to ache during long carry periods. Not surprising since it’s not super strong on the back/shoulder support for mama. Despite the minor downsides, I would still highly recommend it.

I contemplated a Boba carrier. And an Ergo. But eventually, I saw a couple mama’s with Tulas and I was immediately smitten with the cute designs (chevron, sea horses and elephants…oh my!)

You see, Tula’s have the awesome benefits that Boba’s and Ergo’s have but are wayyyy cuter.

And I got Adam to try it out. Granted that was taken the other day but still, my love of the carrier finally wore off on him. It’s especially useful while grocery shopping.

Not to mention, the Tula is super easy to get on, and Ethan seems to enjoy it alright.

The Tula by far has been my favorite carrier of the ones I’ve tried. I do still want to try a Boba, however, you won’t see me wrapping baby up in one of the beautiful baby wraps like this – I’m just not that coordinated.

If you want to give baby wearing a shot, I highly recommend trying many baby carriers – I know a couple of stores in the area will let you try them on  and/or fit you for the right carrier (read: Chapman Hill Baby in Crofton or Greenberries in Columbia). Do your research – there are many differences between the Tula/Ergo/Boba (all ergonomically correct and are fitted for healthy baby hips) versus the Baby Bjorn. Here’s a couple of great posts on the differences and benefits of SSC’s.

Do you baby wear? What’s your favorite carrier? 

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Four Month Favorites

Four month favorites

California Baby Calming Shampoo and Bodywash
Baby Gap Body Suits
Sophie the Giraffe Manhattan Toy Winkle
Aveeno Baby Eczema LotionPiyo Piyo Nail Scissors
This month, Ethan solidly starting grasping toys – Sophie and the Winkle are among his favorites – especially Sophie. Anything he can grasp easily and shove into his mouth is a winner these days, these two just happen to be with us most often.

We had a bit of a dry skin problem earlier this month and found that California Baby works amazingly as far as body washes and the Aveeno Eczema lotion cleared everything right up super quick. No more Johnson & Johnson baby for us – sad because I loved the smell of the bedtime lotion. Also, after two unfortunately nail clipping incidents, a friend of mine recommended these Piyo Piyo scissors and holy lifesaver! Aside from his general squirminess, these make clipping his talons a breeze!

I love, love, LOVE the baby gap onesies. They fit him really well because they tend to run a touch longer and he’s a long baby but really lean. Really, I love all of baby Gap’s clothes but these especially. He’s starting to fit into 3-6 month gear from them and just barely into the 6 month stuff we have from Carters. I finally put most of his 0-3 month gear away, and all of the newborn

He’s getting so big. So big, so fast. Stay little baby boy.

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Baltimore Half Training Week 2

So last week, I had an awesome training week aside from the weekend where things fell apart.

But thats the great thing about my training plan, I go week by week and pick the days I run. If I don’t I won’t run and I know that but it allows for a lot more flexibility if I don’t say M, W, Saturday are DEFINITELY my running days because baby doesn’t give a crap what days I’m “supposed” to run…and Friday night? He had no regard for the fact that I wanted to go to Family Day for stroller strides. Instead, he wanted to party at 1am. 330am. 6am. 730am. So getting out of bed at 8:30a and needing to the leave the house by 9:15am just…wasn’t happening. Nope.

I fit in 3.5 miles of walking, and 10.1 miles of running. I finished a five mile run Friday night at dusk, and spent the weekend picnicking with my family. I missed stroller strides on Saturday thanks to a severe lack of sleep and spent Sunday morning in bed for the same reason. But that five mile run was absolutely a life saver. Ethan had a not so great day on Friday and by the time I got around to my run, I needed an hour of solitude with me and my tunes. Had I skipped that run? I would have been cranky and angry and resentful. Sometimes, you need to be a little selfish for the sake of everyone. Besides, hubs and I are a team and he goes to cross-fit, I go running, and we support one another.

Overall, week 1 a total success!

west annapolis running

 

This week, I go back to work part time (2 days this week) as a marketing assistant for a local consulting firm. Eventually, it’ll be mostly virtual based by the end of August, so in the mean time I’m on the prowl for child care. If you know of anyone in Annapolis looking for some extra dough for 10-20 hours per week, send them my way.

This week…

Monday – run 3  rest
Tuesday – Tempo run: 1 mi warm up; 5×3 min @ pace (~9:30) 60 sec rest between each; 1 mi c/d
Wednesday – run 3
Thursday – walk 3
Friday – run 6
Saturday – rest
Sunday – walk 3

Total Running Mileage – ~12 miles

If you’re in Annapolis and are a nursing mama, be sure to check out the Big Latch On at Westfield Annapolis this Saturday morning. My play group(s?) will be there in full force and I’m excited to use this as an opportunity to show how far baby and I have come in our nursing journey. It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness week so I’ll write a more in depth post on that later this week.

Over all, we had a joyful weekend – seriously, August is going to be a bit crazy so it was nice to not have much planned and to just enjoy each other as a family. I feel so cheesy saying that I feel beyond blessed and happy for my family. But really, Adam and I are having so much fun. Ethan’s so fun at this age. It’s so fun to watch him coo and try to crawl and take in the world around him. And I’m fairly certain it only keeps getting better and better.

How was YOUR weekend? What are you thankful for? 

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Four Month Update

Yesterday Ethan turned FOUR whole months old.

Time flies when you’re having fun doesn’t it?

We entered into month four with an excellent nights sleep – Sunday night, after a long car ride, he slept from 9:30-5:45a and then 6:15am – 9 am. Someone was all sorts of tuckered out apparently.

Ethan 4 months

Ethan is…holding his head up on his own. He can lift himself up during tummy time and hold himself there for a few minutes (not full pushup type but half way). He’s laughing nowadays which is the best sound ever. He’s rolling himself over – back to front mostly but he’s rolled front to back also – I think he just gets a little lazy. After all, holding that big ole noggin up is tough work!

He’s been sucking on his fist tons lately – sometimes his thumb. He’s also drooling up a storm which makes me wonder if teething might not be around the corner.

Mostly though he’s trying to move himself. Once he’s on his tummy he’ll shove his little bum in the air and push himself forward with his feet. He can’t hold his head up while doing all this but we’ve certainly noticed him move from one side of the play mat to the other.

I’m not ready for him to be mobile. Definitely not ready for that.

ethan 4 months

Sleep has been up and down lately. Especially with our traveling two out of the past three weeks. It’s like once every week or so I’ll get one really good night’s sleep. Then it was waking up at 12:30a, 2:30a, 5a, 7:30a…I don’t know if that was our four month sleep regression but if it was, that’s cool as long as we’re done with it. If not, well then…yippee?

ethan 4 months

As for size?

He’s ~13 lbs according to my impromptu weighing myself then him.

Length? Uncertain but his 3 month clothes are just about too short for him and he’s solidly starting to fit in 3-6 clothes and we just moved him to size 2 diapers – yay! No more leaking! I’m guessing he’s closer to 25-26″ since he was 24″ at 10 weeks and we’re about seven weeks past then…sooo.

And just to finish it off… family selfie. We’ve had some awesome moments this month – Ethan got baptized, we made two trips to Connecticut, saw lots of friends and family, started running with mama and dad, and started sleeping in his crib! Adjustments all around my friends!

family selfie

See last month here!

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Baby Update: 3 months

So Ethan is 3 months today. I can’t figure out where the time has gone really. It seems like it’s flying by. Now that he’s out of this “fourth trimester” he’s so much more alert, and more “talkative. One of my friends recently said to me that once they turn four months it’ll be like a whole new baby – so I’m excited to see what month four has in store for us over the next few weeks!

Ethan is…mostly holding his head up on his own (still a little bobblehead-y but getting better and better each day). He can roll from his back to one side though he’s not quite rolling over yet. He’s grasping toys that are in front of him (mostly if you put them in his hand but he’s starting to grab ones that are right in front of him). He’s cooing up a storm these days and when he’s not sleeping he’s most likely trying to laugh or cooing at something or other. When you stand him up he will press his feet down – he’s going to be a mover and a shaker here before we know it! In general, he’s a really good, happy baby. Except when he’s gassy. Then he gets cranky.

He’s sleeping pretty well – for now. Usually it’s 8:30/9ish til 4-5ish. Last night he slept from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. but I woke up around 3:30 a.m. concerned. Us parental types will do that often – check on baby to make sure they’re still breathing.I don’t want to brag about it because I’ve learned the moment I’m all like “YAY HE’S SLEEPING FOR SEVEN HOURS” he goes back to sleeping for like…four hours and waking up at 2am.

Finally, in addition to grabbing things, most recently he’s also discovered his hands. And puts them in his mouth often. But mostly? he’s been enjoying his thumb. Which is delightfully cute but makes me worry about future orthodontic bills. Still, my mama pals told me not to worry about it. After all, in a week or two he’ll discover something new and his thumb will be forgotten about.

He’s so handsome.

As for Ethan’s stats, let’s compare…

Birth weight: 6 lbs 15 oz. (was 6 lbs 3 oz when he came from the hospital, this is normal)
1 month weight: 8lbs
2 1/2 month weight: 10 lbs 15 oz

Birth length: 20″
1 month length: 21″
2 1/2 month length: 24″

He’s a tall little bugger. Considering there are babies in our playgroup who are four months older than him almost and only 25″…still though, he’s not getting any height genes from mama or dad, sooo he has that to look forward to.

I’m not going to go into how I’m doing since I write about that all regularly. Working out is going good. Sleep is getting better. Life is all in all, pretty swell.

Happy 3 months baby!!

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On Traveling With A Baby

Recently, we took the Baby Schmidt Show on the road. Eight hours up – two hours on what’s usually a 6 hour trip (1 hour of stops for feedings, 1 hour in traffic) was a bit rough. Baby though? Was pretty much a rock star despite the long trip. We stopped twice in Jersey, he nurses for about a half hour so we were usually stopped for about 30-45 minutes each time. But more so than the stopping to feed,

As many of you know, I’ve started writing for a DC based website DC Ladies. It’s a great little community. This month? I talked about traveling with a little one. Ethan traveled pretty well when we went up to Connecticut over Memorial Day, but planning? I planned for that for a good while before hand.

This month, I shared some traveling best practices from our lone experience (so far…many more trips to come. Including July 4th weekend) and some great advice I got from my amazing moms group.

Have you traveled with a little one? What are your best practices? 

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Eight Weeks in Photos

So baby turned 8 weeks old yesterday. He’ll be two months on Wednesday (!!!) so expect my 2 month update late next week before our venture up to CT.

But since it’s Saturday and I’ve got nothing better going on here are a few baby pictures to enjoy your weekend with. Who doesn’t love a cute baby 🙂

month2

 

As you can see, the 2 month update might be one full of a bunch of smiles. Bath time & bed time!

Onward ho! Happy Weeekend everyone!

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