Thursday, May 31, 2012

A boy and his blanket(s)

Once this boy is allowed to sleep with a blanket in his crib (12 months), I think he is really going to dig it.  Under supervision, he's such a lovey towards blankets and loves to cuddle with them and rub them on his face.  I have a great giveaway coming up at Chasing Davies on Monday for a custom blanket.  Maybe your little one will or does love blankets just as much? :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First time flying with baby

As I mentioned, a weekend in April we traveled for the first time with Liam.  I learned that flying with a baby takes a lot of organization, but very doable!

The short version? I think I was about as prepared and organized as I could have been and wouldn't change a thing (that I could affect).  Traveling went pretty well and we'd totally do it again.

The longer version, recommendations for traveling with a wee-one:

Do you airline research!
We looked at airline policies on their websites, called customer service with questions and talked to other people who've flown with babies for information to consider. We then weighted the pros and cons of our airline options and found that Southwest was going to work for us. Even though they didn't have a direct flight to where we were going (a definite con), you can check your baggage for free, they allow you to gate check BOTH the car seat and stroller, super friendly and good family boarding protocol (the pros).

And our check-in, boarding and flight was fine.  Even the lay-overs (on the way to CA we didn't have to get off the plane, on the way home we did) both went fine/Liam did great.

Talk to your Pediatrician!
At Liam's 4-month check up (a week before our flight) we told him about our up coming travels and he had some advice for us.  If you don't have an appointment - you could definately call your ped to ask for tips and advice for your baby!

What our Pediatrician told us!
- Take disinfectant wipes.  The time to be those overly cautious parents that worry about germs is on a plane.  The minute we sat down, we used the to-go Clorox Disinfecting Wipes we stocked our baby bag with to wipe down the backs of the seats, arms rests, window and trays with the wipes to try to control some of the germs around us.

- Get your baby sucking.  If you can line up your feeding with take off and landing, great.  If not - don't fret - get them sucking on a pacifier.  This helps their ears to pop and release pressure.  Since we had a lay over both ways, we had double the take offs/landings and had him eating and pacifier sucking for each.  We had no problems.  Sometimes he'd get lazy sucking on his pacifier (especially if he was sleeping), so I'd just wiggle it in his mouth to remind him.

Organize your diaper bag/baby suitcase for easy access to things!
We chose to check (with Southwest's free checked luggage) Liam's main suitcase (filled with a bajillion diapers, formula, lots of extra clothes, some toys & books, sleepwear options for all kinds of  tempatures, etc) and carry on a well-stocked diaper bag.

In our diaper bag we packed:
Pre-measured formula (more than we'd think we need - you never know with possible delays) and bottles
Two extra outfits/clothing pieces
Diapers and wipes (again, more than you think you'll need)
Burp cloth, bib, blanket, extra pacifiers and toys/entertainment
Pacifier cleaning wipes & Boogie wipes (more germ-control and helping dry nose)
We kept the disinfectant wipes on the outside pocket for easy and immediate access after we boarded

*One thing I learned, we need a bigger diaper bag.

I used big Ziplock bags to organize everything inside the bag:
Put diapers in one (to keep them from getting smashed to the bottom
Put all the cloth items (bib, burp cloth, toys) in another
Wet items that could possibly leak in another: baby wipes, boogie wipes, pacifier cleaner wipes and butt cream

Everything else was in the front zipper sections on the front, books were in the back slot of the bag and the blanket was stuff in on top.

Then roll with it.
There isn't a ton you can do when/if the baby gets upset.  You just have to have all your tools and resources in line as best as possible and roll with the ups and downs.  When Liam did get a little upset on a flight home there wasn't much we could do, he was well-fed and diaper clean - he was just tired and wanted his crib and own space.  Who can blame him?  We just had to smile and apologize at our neighboring passengers and bounce him in the back of the place when the flight attendants allowed.

As with life, do the best you can and don't worry about the onlookers, mean looks nor naysayers and carry on.  Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed something you're curious about! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Getting through baby's first cold

We were lucky. Liam didn't get his first cold until he was 4 months old, about 5 weeks after starting daycare. And it was a mild one, at that.  But then he quickly caught his second cold, and it was much meaner.  Ten days later and we're finally almost done with it.

Here are the items we used every hour day to help him, and us, get through his first cold, full of running noses, major congestion, little baby coughs, and probably more that he couldn't tell us about.

Graco Nasal Clear Nasal Aspirator
A friend recommended this nasal aspirator to us, and we are so thankful.  The basic bulb aspirator takes many attempts to get a little.  With a squirmy and sad baby, that the last thing you want to be doing.  This electric, music playing nasal cleaner takes only a couple seconds in each nostril to get a glob.  I ca usually get in there an out before he knows what hit him and keep him distracted by the music. Some people also swear by the NoseFrida.

Safety 1st Soothing Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
Every night we had Liam sleeping with this humidifier to help loosen his drainage and help his breathing.  Turn his room into a misty haze, but I felt like he breathed a lot easier, helping us him sleep for at least a few hours.

Pediacare Fever & Pain Reducer Infants Drops
For the really bad part of the cold (it's got to its worst right before he started to kick it) when the little babe is just miserable.  He was at his warmest (100.2), and his cry had a little pang to it.  It was just not him (he fusses when he is hungry, wet, etc - never cries) and I knew he was just feeling pretty shitty. After consulting with our pediatrician (always ask your doc about administering meds first) and follow the directions on the box, we gave him some fever/pain reducer and it seemed to help...for a few hours.

Boogie Wipes
Many, many, many boogie wipes... we dabbled with both scents to keep Liam guessing. When trying to wipe his little nose, which he hates, these soft, moist and interesting smelling wipes made it a little better (and kept his skin from getting chapped). Also carry Boogie Wipes to-go.

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
The quickest, easiest and less invasive way to take the little babe's temp - and we were taking his temperature a ton.  This thermometer quickly scans their forehead or behind their ear, needing only a few seconds of skin contact, for a temp read.  When your lil one is sick, keeping track of their temp is key.  Once it's at 100.4, it can be pretty serious and their pediatrician/nurse needs to know.

Desitin Rapid Relief Creamy
All that mucus running down their little baby throats has to go somewhere.  Colds make for more bowl movements and sore baby butts.  Liam never had a rash or any sore of bum discomfort until this nasty cold.  We slathered this stuff on all day long and it really helped.

In the middle of the night when Liam felt his worse, and so did we, we turned to the swing (alternatively you could use your car seat).  The uplifted position, helped the drainage and he could sleep a bit better here than in his flat bed.  Now, this is not an approved place of long-term baby sleep - so use sparingly if possible. We started each night with him in the crib, but usually around 2 or 3 he couldn't take it anymore.  He was desperate to sleep (and breath), so we moved the swing to his room (keeping him in the misty haze) and turned the video monitor on him there.

Plus, lots of cuddles from mama and daddy.

Lucky to be his mom...

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there...
I feel blessed to be this little growing man's mama.

And lucky to have my mama who taught me everything.