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UP UP AND AWAY! Flying with an Infant

Shortly after Daddy headed off to deployment his side of the family was having a reunion. Having not seen baby X since he was 1 month old they asked if I would make the trip. I was excited to see our family. I was excited about X getting to meet his cousins and spend time with the grandparents he hadn’t seen in 5 months. I was NOT excited about the idea of flying with a 6 month old.
Really the adventure went very smoothly, I planned well, but I learned a few things for next time. We had 2 short flights and a lengthy layover both there and back. We were flying super early in the morning, which turned out to be a positive. We also had long drives to and from the airport, which weren’t great, but not terrible either.
Let’s start where any trip begins, packing! I used a small duffle bag as my carry on. I wanted something that would hold everything I needed, but fit under the seat so it was easily accessible. I’m short, getting heavy luggage into the overhead bin is a challenge when I’m NOT lugging a 23 lb infant. Plus I wanted to be able to access toys and such in flight if necessary.

My carry on packing list:
12 disposable diapers
Disposable wipes
2 outfit changes for X
A large blanket
A small flannel receiving blanket
Pacifier
Small toys that didn’t vibrate or light up
Moby wrap carrier
My cellphone
Headphones
A sweatshirt for me
A book
My wallet
Umbrella stroller

12 diapers may seem excessive, but I didn’t want to get caught with out them. I decided not to deal with his cloth diapers for the trip and I think I made the right choice.
Also, X has an uncanny tendency for explosive poops at the worst times, hence the 2 outfits. I didn’t need to change his clothes, but I’m convinced if I hadn’t packed them, I would have needed them.
I used the receiving blanket so I didn’t have to lay him directly on the changing station in the airports. I’m not a germaphobe, but who knows what those things have been exposed to. I’ve seen the video online where the guy pees on everything…
I used the large blanket on the floor so we could play during the layovers. Best. Idea. Ever.
I’m irrationally worried about getting caught up in security and missing my flight. I get to the airport hours early, just in case. So I only packed toys that had no batteries, didn’t vibrate or make sounds, etc. I put them in a big ziplock bag and took them out of my carry on and made them accessible through security.
X doesn’t use a pacifier and I planned on nursing him for take off and landing, but I brought one just in case. The suckling helps their ears pop, and I wanted to be ready for anything.
The umbrella stroller was smaller and lighter then our regular stroller, which made it perfect for traveling.

So, now for the actual travel. We had to get up super duper early to catch our super early flight, which ended up being good! X was sleepy and fell asleep nursing during our first take offs. I had a whole row of seats to myself, so no prudes to offend either. He slept for most of the flight, which made it easy. I wish I’d packed my cellphone and headphones in my pocket before boarding. Once he was asleep in my arms I couldn’t reach my bag to grab them. So I sat watching him sleep for the whole flight, could be worse. I nursed him again for landing, which worked like a charm, no ear pain for him!
Once we got off the plane I packed him into the stroller on the platform and headed to the family bathrooms. Once he was changed and I was set I headed off to grab a smoothie and a snack for myself. He wasn’t thrilled with being in the stroller, so once I got to the gate I spread out his blanket and toys and we played for the remaining 2 hours of the layover. This was really the perfect amount of time. He was getting sleepy and hungry as we were getting ready to board.
Here’s another spot I would make a change next time. X wanted me to carry him, which would be a perfect time to use the carrier. Unfortunately my beloved Moby was just too much of a hassle to get on in this situation. Hopefully next time I will have an Ergo, which would make it a lot easier. We struggled down the ramp, me carrying X, the bag and dealing with the stroller. It wasn’t ideal, but we made it. Luckily X doesn’t mind being carried under my arm like a sack of potatoes. The airlines I was flying didn’t give families pre-boarding and extra time, which would have been helpful. Next time I’ll spend a little more money to go with an airline that does.
Rinse and repeat for my second flight. Nursed for take off, he slept most of the flight, and nursed for landing. Our returning trip was almost identical.

To recap:
– thank goodness for nursing! It made take offs and landings a cinch!
– pack a blanket and toys for layovers.
– a structured carrier that’s easy to put on would be super helpful.
– umbrella strollers are light, compact and cheap; great for travel!
– flying early is a plus.
– pack lots of diapers and clothes. It’s better to have them and not need them then need them and not have them!
– long layovers give munchkins time to get hungry and sleepy before the next flight, which is good!
-Pack cellphone, headphones, etc. in your pocket before boarding. That way you can reach them while holding a sleeping (thank goodness!) baby.

Happy travels!

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My Thoughts Exactly: A Primal Diet Approach To Starting Solids

I’m not one of those lucky moms whose baby weight has just fallen off. That being said, continuing to breast feed X is much more important to me then fitting in a size 2. So what is a momma to do when dieting (ie: cutting calories) isn’t an option and showers are hard to come by, nevermind the gym? Changing the way I eat was the logical answer for me. I was a vegan for years. It wasn’t about animal rights for me, but was about wellness and how I felt. My nutritional needs now are significantly different then they were then. I struggle to get enough iron and I don’t think a vegan diet would work for me at this point in my life.
A friend is an avid Paleo eater and a lot he had to say made a lot of sense. Another friend has recently lost some weight and increased energy using the Primal Blueprint diet. She sent me some links and I started reading. This leads me to the link I’d like to share with you today. The Primal take on baby nutrition almost exactly follows my views on feeding X, right down to choosing avocado as X’s first food when the time comes. Primally Feeding Babies
So I think I may get back to my genetic roots and give this primal diet a chance.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing: Oversupply and Dealing with Fore Milk and Hind Milk Imbalance

Babies can’t talk. Thus, babies can’t tell us how they’re feeling or what they need. There are mountains and mountains of conflicting information out there, which leaves a mom with an uncomfortable baby feeling a little lost. Almost everything can be chalked up to “normal” from 3 hours of crying to green poop.
A few nights back X started waking up crying every hour or so. We would do everything we could think of to comfort him -change pjs, no pjs, change diaper, try to feed, rock, cuddle, lay down, stand up, and so on. Nothing seemed to help. Eventually he would calm down enough that I could get him to latch and fall back asleep; only to wake up shortly after crying again. He was obviously trying to poo or pass gas. He was arching his back and lifting his legs to his chest, but no amount of bicycle kicks or “corkscrews” (as my baby yoga book calls them) seemed to help. His poo was sometimes green and mucousy also.
As a person who likes to solve problems, especially for those I love, “it’s normal” isn’t a good enough answer for X being uncomfortable. Normal for my baby is sleeping 4 or 5 hour stretches at night and being happy during the day. Normal for my baby is rarely crying. The past few nights have been many things, but normal is not one of them.
So I started researching. Immature digestive system is what kept coming up. While I agree that his digestive system is still developing, I also strongly believe that my body makes breastmilk specifically for him and his body is designed to use it. Plus this was a new issue at almost 4 months old. The solution of “it’s normal he’ll grow out of it” wasn’t good enough. More research. Dairy intolerance came up. Possibly, both his father and I are sensitive to dairy. But due to that fact, I don’t eat a lot of dairy. Plus more difficult nights didn’t coincide with days that I’d eaten more dairy then usual. More research. Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance due to over production… Ahh now we’re getting somewhere!
I make a lot of milk. At 3 months my breasts were still getting engorged regularly. I was determined to breastfeed; so I was diligent about waking X up every 2 hours as soon as he was born. I tracked feedings obsessively and woke him up to feed multiple times a day much to my husbands dismay. I’m a stay at home mom and I pumped. I can feed him all day and night long during growth spurts and unfortunately start to leak like crazy if he so much as whimpers or if it’s been more then 2 hours. Milk supply is not an issue in this house. Or is it? First of, here’s a great explanation of Foremilk and Hindmilk from the wonderful resource kellymom. Basically because I make so much milk X was getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. This imbalance was causing digestive upset and sleepless nights. Block feeding was the suggested cure. So I tried it and X slept! I slept! My husband slept! And in the morning my happy baby was back.
While I agree that babies cry, I don’t think it’s ever for no reason at all. I think we can’t figure out the problem so we say “sometimes babies just cry” to make ourselves feel better. I’m not a mind reader so I can’t always figure out what X needs, but I’ll damn we’ll try!

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