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Filtering by Tag: Travel

3 Tips to Tackle the Red Eye with your Wide Eyed Toddler

Rachel O'Reilly

Flying with a little one can be a big enough challenge in itself, but when we faced an 11 p.m. flight home on our last trip, I had to dig deep into my “mom trick bag.”

My daughter is a little over three and we still do a pretty consistent bedtime routine, so I knew this was going to significantly shake things up. Sounds exciting, right? Rest assured, I found these three things made it easier for all of us.

  1. We had a healthy dinner at home and skipped bath and pj’s. My thinking is it would confuse her (aka meltdown) if she did not go to bed right after her normal bedtime prep activities.  

  2. Bomb snacks! Somehow my child is always starving on an airplane, no matter how much she has eaten before. I stocked up on tons of nutritious options and let her dig in as soon as we sat down.

  3. Desperate times call for desperate measures - I did bring a couple of her favorite books as a first line of defense, but I also packed the iPad and downloaded a few of my daughter’s favorite shows. She watched for a few minutes, and then wanted to lay down on my lap and sleep.

Turns out, she was down for the count at that point, fell right back asleep once we got in the car, and made it through the rest of the night. We started fresh the next day like nothing had happened.

There were crying kids all over that flight. I attribute the fact that my daughter was relaxed partially to a tiny miracle, but have to factor in some of the prep work. I still think it’s ideal to travel on your child’s schedule, and even though things went smoothly, I wouldn’t choose that flight option again if I could avoid it -- but that’s not always possible. Being nimble and shaking up routines is a good chance to teach our little ones (and ourselves) how to roll with it.

Hopefully these tips will help you if you find yourself on a red-eye with your little one! What else do you do to prepare for late night travel? Leave us a comment below.

What to pack for the hospital

Rachel O'Reilly

Stand West  eyemask,  bkr  water bottle,  Londin Lux  newborn outfit,  Beats by Dre  speakers,  Coyuchi  organic baby blanket,  Chilote  slippers,  Cake Maternity  nursing bra,  Luminara  battery candles,  Teavana  honey sticks

Stand West eyemask, bkr water bottle, Londin Lux newborn outfit, Beats by Dre speakers, Coyuchi organic baby blanket, Chilote slippers, Cake Maternity nursing bra, Luminara battery candles, Teavana honey sticks

By Courtney Ward

As you near your due date, it is time to put together the bag to bring to your birth. Items can vary depending on if you do a home birth, hospital or a birthing center, so please modify to what your plan is. Also, don’t forget to install the car seat a couple of weeks before birth! You won't be allowed to leave the hospital without the car seat installed properly, and it'll be one less thing to worry about if you go into labor earlier than expected. And the reality is that most likely, where you give birth will be close to your home, so if you forget anything crucial, don't worry about it too much. 

Here is a list of items that could be helpful to have on hand during your birth. 

For You & Your Partner

Need to have: 

  • Healthy, satisfying snacks like nuts, fresh fruit, coconut water and chocolate - #1 item that delivering moms wished they'd had more of! 

  • A couple of comfortable outfits to change into, including underwear that you won't mind throwing away after

  • Phone, charger and camera if you are not using your phone for first photos of your baby

  • Refillable water bottle

  • Face wipe towelettes and moisturizer

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste

  • Your necklace from your Mother Blessing, or any additional item(s) that will bring you comfort and strength

Nice to have: 

  • Nightgown, pajamas and/or robe

  • Eye mask - to block out light so you can sleep during the day

  • Slippers and/or cozy socks

  • Nursing bra - if you plan to breastfeed

  • Breast pump - hospital or birthing center may have one on-site that you can borrow

  • Rubber sandals - for the shower

  • Makeup and hair ties/headband

  • Magazines or a new book - this can make for a great surprise for your partner

  • Aromatherapy oils or sprays that calm and comfort - we love lavender essential oil and/or rosewater

Luxury: 

  • iPad

  • Blanket and your favorite pillow(s)

  • Bluetooth speaker - for music during and after birth

  • Battery operated candles - it’s nice to have some low light, but open flames won't be permitted in the hospital

  • Champagne - post-birth, because you deserve a toast!

For baby

  • Baby clothes - a few onesies or outfits for the baby including tiny mittens, hat and socks

  • Baby blanket - the hospital of course provides this, but you may have a special one you want to bring

 

If you need a cute weekend bag to stash all of your goodies in, I love this one from Everlane and this one from Cuyana.

Traveling with Babies or Toddlers

Rachel O'Reilly

By Courtney Ward

First off, I highly recommend traveling with your baby only after they are three months old. If you have an engagement within that period that requires you to fly, give yourself a little window and tentatively commit. Especially with your first child, you'll still be learning and getting used to each other in those first few months. Even after three months, traveling with a little one sounds overwhelming, but below are some tips that might help. 

Packing for a baby is a breeze. If you have everything well-organized, it takes less than five minutes. I was all about preparation during those first months. I separated my baby’s outfits into individual freezer bags so that I could just reach in my suitcase and grab a bag in the morning. If you have a little girl, there are usually hats, shoes and accessories, so this was the easiest way for me to keep everything together. I also kept two back-up outfits in the diaper bags at all times (more tips here for packing a diaper bag). 

My daughter and I flew a lot when she was little to visit family, although we never flew over two hours, so it was pretty manageable until she was fifteen months old. I think my biggest piece of advice, which I received from a girlfriend, is just to go and do it if you are thinking about it. At first I felt paralyzed because I thought I couldn't do anything or go anywhere with a baby. But I was wrong. You can do what you want, it just takes some preparation!

Here are my travel-with-baby tips: 

1. Wear comfortable, loose clothing that allow you to easily breastfeed if you are, and comfortable shoes. This is not the time to break out your cute heels.

2. Pack several healthy snacks for yourself and your baby. I always found something a little fun and different for my daughter. Those fruit/veggie squeezies are lifesavers.

3. Ask the flight attendant for water in a cup with a lid and straw, or bring your own cup/lid combo as back-up. That kept my baby busy the whole flight when she was seven months old. Genius!

4. Bring a pretty large linen (or other breathable material) scarf if you don’t want to bring a nursing cover. You will feel chic while feeding and it can double as a scarf if you spill on your shirt or get cold, which you probably will, because airplanes.

5. Skip the stroller and use a baby carrier. My child is two now, and I still go this route. It's nice to have your hands free and you burn extra calories going through the airport. Also I like to have my baby close to me when in crowds, which keeps her safe and calm. 

6. Stickers are your best friend if your baby is over the age of one, especially the reusable kind, so they can stick 'em all over the place - on a window, tray table, seat-back or your belongings - with no worry of any damage. 

7. As a last resort, I always recommend loading up a couple of good apps on your phone like PBS Kids. If your child is having a meltdown, you will be ready with a go-to plan, which is always better than sweating with regret and wishing you had over-prepared.  

8. Book flights around nap times and keep your child on their regular sleep schedule as best you can. 

9. Remember to breathe, stay calm and relax even if people are giving you looks. Just think, you will probably never see them again! 

With these tips and a little preparation, you can make your trip surprisingly easier than you thought!

Diaper Bags that Don't Suck! (And What to Pack)

Rachel O'Reilly

By Courtney Ward

Packing your first diaper bag can be a little intimidating. Early into my motherhood adventure, I packed what felt like a bag full of bricks. Here are some tips to help you streamline the process, so you can save your sweating for the gym.

First off, toting a baby around is heavy, so keep that in mind. I have found that pairing your diaper bag with a very small, cross-body bag where you can store personal essentials is the best way to go. Keys/phone/ATM card/lipstick, all accessible by one hand. If you are running a quick errand or two, you can strap your babe in a carrier, and be on your way, sans diaper bag. Major win. When headed out for a longer adventure, we think being a little more prepared is the way to go.

Diaper bag essentials:

  • Refillable water bottle

  • Granola bars or healthy snacks for Mom and Dad

  • Lightweight scarf that can double as a nursing cover or stroller cover to block the sun

  • Two extra sets of baby clothes, including socks

  • Baby sunhat

  • Four diapers

  • Travel-sized wipes

  • Diaper cream

  • Teething ring

  • Two pacifiers

  • A small toy or two

  • Extra shirt/top for Mom and Dad (babies spit up a lot!)

Optional: diaper changing pad - I often used my scarf or a swaddle blanket.

Here are our picks for the most stylish, functional, and eco-friendly diaper bags!

 

 

We love this "diaper bag" that's made in CA and designed using eco-sourced, quality materials including water-proof canvas, leather and wool quilted straps. Inside is a removable lining made of BPA free wipe-away materials and organic cotton (less mess!). The interior also has two thermal pouches to keep things cool or warm depending on your needs. The sweet addition of the wool role-out changing mat with a snap-off organic cotton bamboo pad for easy cleaning is genius! Use this bag for hikes and travel when the diaper days are over... 

Fawn + Cub : The Ruckus Sack Diaper Bag $375

Fawn + Cub: The Ruckus Sack Diaper Bag $375

This sleek tote will have you looking tres chic for trips out with your babe. We appreciate that it's sustainably made in Argentina of locally sourced, strong, luxurious leather. It has one interior pouch, a full zipper closure and removable strap. This tote will live beyond the bottle as a classic durable bag for everyday life... After all, it's about having, "fewer, better things," as Cuyana so beautifully suggests.

Cuyana : Large Carryall Tote $185

Cuyana: Large Carryall Tote $185

This bag is perfect for baby's needs, but will have many lives in the family... From diaper bag to work backpack to overnight sack and, maybe one day, first day of 5th grade pack! The unisex elegant utilitarian design is made of sustainable water resistant canvas, vegetable dyed leather, interior mesh compartments to keep everything in place, and includes a matching change-kit! This is a bag that will keep on giving.

Leader Bag Co. : Julien Backpack $465

Leader Bag Co.: Julien Backpack $465

We have our eye on this stylish multi-use backpack from The Honest Company, which is made of vegan leather with a wipeable PVC-free lining. Additionally, it's a unisex design and allows you to be completely hands-free! This smart pack also has a padded electronics pouch.

The Honest Company : "City" Backpack $149.95

The Honest Company: "City" Backpack $149.95

We adore these custom wax canvas bags, handmade in Santa Cruz, CA. Strawfoot's creations are all about quality of materials and durability. If you want a truly unique bag crafted to your specifications, Garrett and team will take excellent care of you.

Strawfoot : Example of Wax Canvas Diaper Bag $298

Strawfoot: Example of Wax Canvas Diaper Bag $298

This charming diaper bag is made by hand in Paris and features a waterproof cotton design that includes 10 interior pockets, key fob and a durable leather strap and base. Ikabags has been a family business since 1952, producing high end practical bags that will withstand baby and time.

Ikabags : Stockholm stripped diaper bag $136

Ikabags: Stockholm stripped diaper bag $136

All of Graf & Lantz's bags are made in LA, CA by a small group of craftsmen who source the finest leathers, canvas, and cottons to produce their handmade unique collections. We love the seasonal colors this line offers, as well as the simple functionality of a large tote with interior zipper pouch and removable strap. A well-made classic family tote!

Graf & Lantz : Bedford Tote $275

Graf & Lantz: Bedford Tote $275