Flyebaby – Infant In Arms Inflight Help

When moms and dads think about traveling with an infant, they often break out in cold sweats and anxiety. However, the reality is if you are prepared, traveling with babies doesn’t have to be a nightmare. One product I used with my first daughter and just used again with my second helps make playing with an “infant in arms” a tad less stressful and more manageable.

The FlyeBaby is a super convenient inflight baby hammock-style seat that attaches to the tray table in front of you and secures around your waist. This seat makes it possible to have some hands-free time on the plane, but it also provides a place for your baby to sit facing you, making it easy to feed them (if they are on solids), play with them, or just let them relax and sleep (if you’re lucky enough to have a baby who knows how to relax).

Overall, our experience using the FlyeBaby with both children was great. The seat is made of cloth with Velcro and buckles, so it folds up into a small case that fits well in my bag. When I got on the plane, I secured the seat to the tray table and let it hang there until we reached cruising altitude. Like baby carriers, TSA does not allow you to use the FlyeBaby during takeoff and landing.

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I absolutely recommend getting one if you plan on flying long distance with an infant in arms. Even if your baby won’t sleep in the Flyebaby, they can sit up and have room to stretch out, not to mention it helps free up your hands! This product is not as helpful on shorter flights because of the set up and take down required, but if you are going overseas (and don’t have the bulkhead bassinette) or on a flight that is more than an hour, I say give it a try.

Some things to consider and tips about the product: The Velcro is color coded so you know what connects to what, but make sure you take it out and try to figure out how it works before you board the plane. It’s simple, but traveling – especially with children – is stressful, so having one less thing to worry about is helpful. Secondly, the seat attaches to the seat in front of you, so be considerate. Just like a kicking toddler or kid, having a bouncy baby in this seat might be an annoyance to the passenger in front of you. Also, if your airplane has armrest tables it will not work, but this is less common unless you are in first or business class.

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Feeding Baby – On the Road

Since I was veering from my normal homemade food this past week, I figured I would provide some insight into of some of the new food options we provided Ella while traveling.

Most the food she eats on the go is pouches, puffs and yogurt melts. This is a quick easy way to feed baby and relatively mess free, but when you have a new eater it is always a tad messy. We have tried a few pouch brands and she seems to like them all. Happy Baby Organics, Plum, Sprout and whatever is on sale at Public or Target is typically what we go with. Then I pack puffs, her favorite is Happy Baby Organics Superfood Puffs (banana pumpkin) she also likes the Gerber apple cheddar puffs and pin wheels. These also help with her teething while on the road.

I pack at least two days’ worth of the pouches and puffs for my in-flight carry on and then up 3 days’ worth of meals in my suitcase, just in case we do not have time to make a grocery run the first day or so upon arrival. Side note yogurt bites are super yummy and make a great snack for mamma too. Think space ice cream in small bites.

When we arrive at our destination I make a grocery store run to pick up some more food for the baby. To keep it easy and simple I typically get some avocado and bananas something easy to mash up on the go.

I wanted to try some regular baby food (in a jar) so we got Plum Organics –Baby food bowls at Target since they were on sale. Unfortunately, the food is runny making it hard to feed a fidgety baby. We added some mashed up bananas to thicken it up and that helped.

One thing I have noticed since she is eating homemade food is her stool is a lot softer on the road and she is going more frequently. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing since it is still normal poop but just something to be ready for if you’re traveling with a mostly homemade food fed baby. I started her on the pouches a few weeks prior to leaving to make sure she did not have a bad reaction to them.

It is always good to test new things out before your trip just in case something does not agree with your little. Also, it is important to consider bringing the “tools” you might need to prep and feed the kids. For example, I always bring a baby spoon and bowl with me. Most places will not have tiny spoons to feed your baby and regular spoons are too wide for a babies mouth.

We also bring our Boppy travel chair with us if we have room in our luggage. Typically we pack it in the carseat bag, that way we can just check it in and not worry about loosing space in our suitcases. Having a travel seat is very helpful for feeding baby in a hotel room or at a family members house, especially if they are new to eating “real food.”

Our First Bluum Box – Review

When Caroline was a baby, we had a monthly box subscription with a company that is no longer in business. I loved trying new products and toys I would otherwise never know about so, I figured I would give it a try with Ella.

We ordered a Bluum Box and paid for six months in order to get a discount. We selected her age range and gender so they can customize accordingly. Our fist box came last week and we are excited to tell you all about it!

The box is bright red and Ella seemed very interested in the box itself … just like every other kid, the packaging is always the best part. Inside there were four items. This is less than the boxes I have gotten in the past, but the items were decent in size so that made up for it. One thing that was not in the box was a description of each item and why it was chosen. This is a bummer for a few reasons. One, most boxes give you a discount code if you like the product and want to buy more, and two, sometimes there is a very good reason why the product is great for my kid that I would never have known about without the explanation.

The items selected for Ella were all gender neutral … kind of a bummer. Since we selected her gender, I expected it to be customized that way. (They did have a gender-neutral option to select for those who don’t like all things pink and blue for their kids.)IW5A4288.jpg

In the box was:

  • A Book: Bib on Bunny, a cut cardboard book with a finger puppet insert. Always fun for littles.
  • A 360 Tooth Brush: Stage 5 Baby buddy. This is neat and we needed a baby tooth brush. It says age 4-24months. I noticed on the back they have some starter products for babies younger and go from stage 1-6. I would have preferred something more specific to a baby with only two teeth. This works for Ella’s two teeth, but can be hard to use with a wiggly baby. I would love to try their finger brush!
  • Magnetic Blocks: Tegu- Travel Pals Tugboat. This is super cool for ages zero-up, perfect for babies learning to use their hands, and will grow with them. Again, we got a Tugboat instead of something cute like a kitty, but other than that we loved this toy. Ella has already enjoyed pulling it all a part and chewing on the wood.
  • Warm Feeding Plate: Plato by bbluv. This is interesting to say the least. It is a plate with three compartments for separating food. A silicon suction cup is on the bottom to keep it from sliding, but it does not stay very well. The idea is you pour in warm water that sits under the food keeping it warm. The water opening clips shut but worries me since it is not complicated to open. I could see a toddler getting it open and spilling hot water on their lap. The plate is nice and dishwasher safe, always a plus, but I just don’t see the need for something like this for a baby. We will likely use it as a normal plate and hope the suction helps keep the baby from spilling her food. I plan on testing out the warming part on my four year old since her food needs to stay warm longer than the baby’s food right now. This product is not super practical for an eight-month-old baby.

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Overall we enjoyed the Bluum Box, but were not blown away. It is hard to say if this subscription is worth the money yet. If you are interested in giving the box a try, make sure to look for their latest coupons and offers. Subscription boxes are always running trial deals!

*This is NOT a paid review or sponsorship just my honest product/mom review 🙂

Packing Cubes- The best invention for traveling with kids

I first bought packing cubes when I was new to Ebates, and when Ebags was having like 20% cash back deals around the holidays, I figured why not. My aunt and uncle had sworn by them on our family trip to Ecuador, and they travel all over the world. What I didn’t know was how impactful these relatively inexpensive, zippered, cube-shaped bags would change the traveling-with-kids game for me.

Packing Cubes are amazing! They were just what I needed to keep my little one’s clothes organized in my suitcase and when I arrived at my destination. Now I use them EVERY trip I take. I pack all my daughter’s clothes in a medium size cube, and her socks and undies in a small one. When we arrive, I can pull her cubes out and organize them in the hotel drawers as I please.

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While traveling, I prefer to unpack my suitcase if I will be in one place for more than one night. That way I can tuck my suitcase away in the closet or in a corner somewhere and not worry about digging through it every time I need something. However, if I am not able to unpack, the cubes also come in handy by keeping everything separated and organized. I also try to make sure I have one cube available for stuffing in all our dirty clothes.

I just ordered Caroline a new set of pink cubes since we have a new addition to our traveling family!

 

5 Baby Must Haves – The Second Time Around

Okay, so let me start off this post by saying no two babies are alike, so I am going to focus on baby must haves but also the things I purchased or saved from the first child that as a parent were helpful to have on hand.

#1 More than one kind of baby carrier

Personally, I used a Baby Ka’Tan with Caroline and saved it for baby number two. With CC, it was helpful the first three months but she was a big baby and quickly grew too big. Ella is the exact opposite. At almost eight months old, she still fits and is not going to outgrow the Ka’Tan any time soon. Cloth wraps are perfect for newborns and fussy nappers. The Baby Ka’Tan is nice and snug, but also very easy to use!

Before Caroline was born, we bought an off brand Ergo/Baby Bjorn type carrier that worked but was not as sturdy or supportive as I would have liked, so when I found out I was pregnant with Ella, I wanted to invest in an Ergo Baby carrier. I got the Original Ergo Baby with infant insert. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten the 360. The reason I say that is because the Original does not allow the baby to be front facing. Caroline loved front facing and I am sure Ella would to but after spending $85-ish on the one I have (I got it on Zulily, a discount site), I just can’t justify getting another one. Learn from me and make the splurge for the more expensive 360-version if you can!

# 2 Guava Family- Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib

The next MUST have for our family is the Guava Family travel pack and play. (I have posted about this before in a travel-related post.) What I love about this crib is not only the travel ability of the Lotus, but the quality and size of the crib. It sits on the ground so Caroline slept in it up until recently (three years old) and it is compact so it fits most hotel room corners. It also folds up into a light backpack! If you travel or just visit family a lot this is a must have.

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#3 Baby Food Maker and Silicone Freezer Cube Tray

A baby food maker with steamer and blender is super convenient when making your own baby food. The first time around we did this all wrong. We would make the baby food and then store it in recycled baby food jars. It was a messy and made for lots of washing and wasted storage space in our fridge. Silicone cube freezer trays are wonderful. We make the food (way easier than I thought it would be), freeze it in the tray and pop them out into Tupperware, and then save them in the freezer. To use, I just pop one or two cubes in a microwave safe dish, and POOF – it’s ready to go.

#4 Wubbanub Pacifier

This genius pacifier with a little stuffed animal attached has been a lifesaver for me with both girls. With Caroline, I was determined NOT to give her a pacifier … HA! Then reality set in and before I left the hospital she was sucking away. Anyway, the Wubbanub is the perfect little friend and baby muter – I mean soother. Ella loves hers and it helps babies learn how to use their hands. They can even put this pacifier in their own mouths much sooner than with a plain old pacifier.

#5 Disposable Nursing Pads

This was something I did not think of the first time around because I had NO clue what would be happening to my boobs in the coming months. With baby #2, I was ready to go with my favorite disposable nursing pads by Johnson and Johnson. I tried all kinds of brands with my first baby, but ultimately these were the only ones that did not irritate my skin or feel funky in my bra. The only downside is the fake nipples imprinted on them. Not sure why they would do that.

A Bouns #6 would be magnetic jimmies! They are typically more expensive, but worth every penny. Nighttime diaper changes will be a breeze, so make sure to add a few pairs to your registry.

XO,

Laurie

Comment with your baby must haves!

The Internet Says I can

I was surfing the discovery feed on Instagram and came across a post that I think we should talk about.

The photo was of a beautiful pregnant woman in a bikini with a comparison photo of her in the same bikini looking AMAZING, flat tummy, perky boobs and tan skin.

The post was praising this woman for having twins and looking so banging only SEVEN weeks postpartum. Under the image was a statement that there are “no excuses” for mom’s and losing the baby weight… wait what!

The post was from a MALE fitness professional of all people… Stuff like this is all over social media and contributing to the pressures us moms are facing with body image as we trying to navigate our post-baby bodies. So many men and (gasp) WOMEN were commenting on the post about how there is “no excuse.”

Not one body is created equal but these internet trolls make women feel like there are “no excuses” for access skin, stretch marks, and some extra cushion. They fuel this cultural image that childbirth and pregnancy are a walk in the park. Like you are just getting some routine outpatient surgery and if you stay fit during pregnancy you will walk out ready to go.

NOT!

The reality is, not all women are created equal. I follow several “fit moms” on Instagram and none of them are the same shape or size, some are skinny, cut, ripped, natural you name it. Being a “fit mom” can mean many things.

To me, it means staying healthy and working toward my post baby #1 body.

I feel you, Mamma… Even with the reality in my head that I am me and cannot compare my progress to others, I am constantly comparing myself to the images I see online of these rockin post-baby bodies and wishing I had one.

A trainer once told me reality sucks and what we have is not always a reflection of what we eat and how hard we work in the gym. Yeah, eating right and working out DOES help, but not everybody is created equal. What works for you might not work for me, or her or him.

The way we see ourselves is often very different than reality. I can’t tell you how many times I look back at photos of myself and think “Man how did I not know how awesome I looked!” Even now, I don’t see myself in the same light as others do.

Stay strong Mamma and you do you! If there is one thing I hope my readers can take away is to be the best YOU that you can be.

XO,

Laurie

Summer Time Prep

Who would have thought that summer time required so much prep for a pre-schooler? Here in the North Atlanta area, even the pre-schools take a summer break!

Who would have figured… summer break when your not even school-aged yet.

One Perk of this “break” is all the fun things going on this summer in Woodstock and around Atlanta. There are tons of events and even summer day camps for kids under five. I am excited to sign Caroline up for a few princess dance camps and a ninja warrior themed gymnastics camps in-between our summer travels.

We will also try to venture into the city in order to visit the museums and other fun places we have yet to explore in our new city (Atlanta.)

What are your favorite summertime activities?

PS if you’re in Woodstock, GA and you have a little girl age 3-6 check out Dance Imagination’s Story Book Summer Camps. 

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XO,

Laurie

Insta Shopping

Before I had my girls I had no idea  Instagram shopping was a “thing.” Now, I can’t get enough of shopping my feed!

Ok, Amazon Prime is still on the top of my list when it comes to online shopping, but Instagram is a close second. You can find so many great trendy and unique things on Instagram for your littles and yourself. I discovered some of my most frequented online shops via Instagram.

The best part about social media shopping are the flash sales, and discount codes stores share exclusively with their social media followers.

Here are some of the many shops in my Insta feed you should check out:

@sweet_peekaboo

@swankyshank

@trendytreehouse

@meandzoey

@twinkletwinkleliljar

@alleyandrae

Also, this is NOT a sponsored post these are just a handful of the many shops I follow and shop on via Instagram, your welcome.

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My girls in customized Trendy Treehouse!

xo,

Laurie

A little Longer

Tonight I will hold you little longer, nurse you longer, gaze into your eyes longer… Because, I know when these moments pass they will become fewer and fewer. You will get bigger, start talking and walking and before I know it you will no longer be a baby. I am so grateful that life surprised us with you and a little sad this will be our last baby. For now, I will soak up your snuggles take in your smell and appreciate the long nights and days because the weeks, months and years are swift.

Love,

Your Momma

The Weekend

Before we moved to the Atlanta area, I was an Executive Vice President working a typical 9-5 day job.

When Friday at 4 pm rolled around, I would scoop up Caroline from school and spend the next two days soaking up all the time I could with my little love.

Now that I am home with both girls SEVEN days a week I find myself preferring the weekdays. Funny how that works…

On weekdays we have dance class, gymnastics, and story time at the library. On weekdays there is structure and way less traffic!

Weekends are unplanned for the most part and somehow feel like more work. My husband typically likes to do stuff around the house and watch sports on the weekends.

Meanwhile, I am entertaining the children in our home. Not that I don’t love spending time with them, I do, but sometimes this momma needs a break. Even if that break is a 45-minute dance class or a trip to the HomeGoods store.

Who would have thought? For now, I am enjoying my weekdays because soon I will be headed back to work and my SAHM life will be long behind me.

Xo,

Laurie