Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Traveling with Infants

Traveling with infants (and children) can be a daunting task, but with a little planning and organization it's very do-able!  We just survived and even enjoyed our first trip with our baby!

If you are traveling by airplane, know your TSA (Transportation Security Administration) rules and regulations. The 3.4oz rule does NOT apply for baby food or formula. Leave yourself a few extra minutes because TSA will have to check the fluids in one of their machines. TSA cannot ask you to separate yourself from your baby. You may be asked to take your baby out of a carrier; if this is too much you may request a pat down in addition to going through the metal detector.
Below is TSA's website to help with any other rules and regulations.
Other hints:

-To help with ear popping have your baby suck on a pacifier or bottle during take-off and landing. You can also use infant Motrin or Tylenol to help ease the pain.
-If traveling by car, bring enough formula and diapers for the whole ride. Storing them in a suitcase under all the others, may result in having to take everything out, just to get to the diapers. Also, things happen and you may not be near a store to get refills.  

-Have an extra set of clothes just in case. Good advice for the baby, and for you as well!  Luggage gets lost!

-If traveling by car,  have one adult sit in the back with the baby to help calm them if neccesary.

-Remember, you may need to stop to let your baby some time out of the car seat.  Good for you too!

-Things like baby food, formula and diapers can be picked up at your destination. It's less to pack and organize in the car or plane. We bought many of these items when we arrived in Arizona.

-While on vacation, remember to pack enough food for the time you are going to be out of the house.

-Pack water bottles for yourself and the baby when going out for the day.  We realized that our baby was eating more than usual because he was thirsty!  

-If there is a time difference, keep that in mind while on vacation and planning your days.  It will help to be aware of this to accommodate nap time and feeding time which will be "off" schedule.

-If you're out in the sun, pack enough sun screen to reapply numerous times. Also, try to keep your baby out of the sun as much as possible by shading him/her.  Bring a hat!  And be aware of which direction the sun is facing so it's NOT in your child's face. 

Note from Angela:  I made the decision not to let having children keep me from traveling or going out. So I took them along wherever I went and wherever they were welcomed.  Whether traveling or for a night at a friend's house, my children learned to sleep just about anywhere, be comfortable in a variety of situations and they enjoyed lots of positive experiences!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Snack Time Ideas!

I remember as a child that snack time was the best. My mom would sometimes have a special snack for us. Here are some ideas for fun special snacks.

-Silly Sandwichs: one piece of bread with peanut butter on it. Make a face or design using whatever "toppings" you wante, ie. chocolate chips, raisins, marshmallows, m&m's, coconut, peanuts.  Whatever is in the cupboard!

- Fruit cup.  My grandmother's recipe is the best:

1 large can of fruit
2 bananas
2 apples
1 pear
1 can frozen strawberries

Mix all together including the juice from the can of fruit & the strawberries.  The best summer dessert!

- Apples and peanut butter

- English muffin pizza: one half of an English muffin with tomato sauce and cheese

- Mud pies: chocolate pudding with crushed Oreo cookies

- Stuffed caterpillar: celery stalk with peanut butter or creme cheese.  Add raisins for eyes.

-Fruit sundae cones: ice cream cone filled with fresh fruit

- Cheesy chili popcorn: Parmesan cheese, chili powder, and popcorn

This is a great time to include your children in what they want to eat. Starting children off early with eating healthy will help them as an adult with healthier eating habits.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What Do Babies REALLY need?

It can be exciting when you first find out your pregnant and you want to go out and buy all the cute stuff that goes with babies!   But you'll be surprised to discover that babies need very little.

Before Chris and I started our baby registry, we did our research into what was an actual need and what was nice to have. We asked many of our friends what they felt was something that they could not live without. The list below is what I believe are the essentials for a baby:

- crib/bassinet
- 8-10 onesies
- sheets for crib/bassinet
- cloth diapers (for burp cloths, rags)
- bottles (if you are bottle feeding)
- nipple cream (if you are breastfeeding)
- swaddles (I didn't think I would need these, but they have become a lifesaver!)
- pacifier
- car seat
- stroller or carrier

Now, 4 months after baby was born, there are things that I am particularly glad that I have because they get used daily:

- mobile (on top of the crib)
- blanket with a Winnie-the-Pooh head (My son loves gripping it.)
- cloth diapers (I didn't know I would need these everyday, but I do. I use them for spit up cloths)
- swaddle (Thank you Teresa and Mike for this. It is a pre-made swaddle that Velcros together)
- Transition sounds (CD transitions: soothing sounds for crying infants)
- Moby wrap (to hold Ryley when he is being fussy or whenever I need to use both hands)

I didn't buy any special furniture for the changing table. I used a bureau that was my mother's growing up, repainted it and added a portable changing pad. I didn't even buy a diaper bag to begin with but used the one the hospital gave us. I just didn't want a lot of extra stuff in my house.

Babies don't need much in the way of "things." As long as they have food, clothes, a place to sleep and a car seat they have the most important "things." Other gadgets and gizmos are helpful, but not necessities.

Below is a great website for money saving tips. She has a series out about having a baby without breaking the bank. Check it out for more ideas.