Air Travel with Small Kids

I just want to say… going on a trip with children is not for the faint of heart lol

Shoutout to all the moms who are traveling with their kids this summer!

Packing all the kids clothes (and yours), getting the kids on the plane or in the car, being on snack duty, planning all the activities and having the energy to keep up with the kids!

I see you mom! We see each other! in my Nene Leakes voice LOL

Here are some tips others gave me that I put into practice.

1. Bring lots of snacks!

2. Download shows from YouTube and Netflix onto some sort of device

3. Have a bag where you have easy access to diapers/pull ups and wipes (I did have to handle a poop situation 😩🥲🤣). Also have easy access to your ID and birth certificates for the little ones

4. If you are traveling with a stroller practice breaking it down quickly and possible with one hand. You will have to do this through security and at the gate (possibly even to get in a shuttle around the airport)

5. Give Zyrtec before the flight to help with ear popping (other medications work as well; please google)

Some other tips I got, but didn’t have to use were

1. Bringing snacks for the adults as well!

2. For older kids bring gum or gummy candy to help with ear popping

3. Small activities to keep kids busy such as small coloring books

4. A change of clothes for each kid. (I forgot this but luckily I didn’t need it… don’t be like me… bring the extra set lol)

5. Have kids in matching colors and possibly light up shoes to make them easier to track

Enjoy your vacation!!

Mom Brain & Mom Love

Something happened to my brain when I became a mom. The way I think about and process everything has changed and I couldn’t go back to my old way of thinking if I tried.

It’s so crazy how I can’t ever make one decision without taking into account how it will affect Omari lol.

It’s honestly kinda mentally draining but it’s worth it.

So glad to be your mommy Omari 💙

Finding the Right Daycare

Whether you are going back to work or a stay at home parent that just needs a few hours to yourself, you may find yourself looking for some sort of childcare.  It has recently come to my attention that there are many that do not know what to look for when choosing childcare so here is my list of top things to look for and think about when touring potential daycares.

When choosing a daycare

  • How secure is the facility?
    • When touring potential daycares pay attention to how easily you can access the building.  At Omari’s daycare the parents need a key fob to access the building and you also have to use the key fob to to go past the lobby where the classrooms are.
    • When you tour also pay attention to if they ask for ID.  I toured a few daycares and to my surprise some did not ask for ID when we went to the classrooms. (IDK that gave me an extra sense of security LOL)
  • Teacher to Student Ratio
    • Beware of “cattle heard” daycares that just throw a bunch of kids into a room and take as many children as possible.
    • Beware of daycares that have children of multiple ages in the same room.  You do not want your 5 month old in the same room as a 2 year old.
    • Look for daycares that have 1 teacher for every 4 children, if you can find less even better but that ratio is pretty good. (Ratios may vary based on the age of the child; my ratio above is for infants)
      • At Omari’s daycare there are currently 4 children in the class and the class maxes out at 8.
  • Curriculum
    • Think about what they will be doing with your child besides just “watching them”
    • Do they teach the children sign language? Many reputable daycares do this and start in the infant stages
    • At our daycare they actually give you the curriculum they are working on all month at the beginning so you will know what to expect.  My son is still an infant so I do not know what the other children have but I can give examples of the infant curriculum)
      • They have a sign they focus on each month (ex. the signs for hungry or sleepy)
      • They work with the babies on sitting up, grasping, clapping, crawling, different fine motor skills, etc
      • They do finger painting and different art activities (yes even babies)
      • Each month has a theme they focus on like traveling, reading, plants, fruits, etc
        • For each monthly theme they focus on certain books they read, a color of the month, a shape of the month, etc.
  • Cleanliness
    • What are their protocols on cleaning?
      • How often to they wash the toys and mats in the rooms
      • How often do they wash the sheets in the cribs? (this is for infants)
    • Was there a smell when you walked in?
      • Personally I feel like if it stinks when you walk in, its a NO Lol
    • In the infant room or toddler room do they require you to remove your shoes?
  • Cameras
    • Oh yes, someone needs to be able to watch the people who are watching your children
    • Some daycares have cameras that you can access from your phone to keep an eye on your child throughout the day
    • Some daycares have cameras that you cannot access from your phone but stream to monitors in the lobby of the facility to be looked at by parents coming in and out and the daycare directors.
    • In my opinion there needs to be some type of camera somewhere so there is footage if anything go wrong.
  • “There’s an app for that”
    • Does the daycare offer any kind of way for them to communicate your child’s daily activities with you?
    • The app we have is called “Show and Tell”
      • On this app they send you pictures of your child doing activities like finger painting, tummy time, outside stroller time, and also pictures of any developmental milestones you may be missing like grasping, clapping, crawling, pulling up, etc.IMG_7652
      • They also send every feeding, how much they ate, every diaper, what was in the diaper, and every time they fall asleep and wake up
      • Some daycares may offer a written log at the end of the day, but I believe the app is better.
  • Get reviews
    • Many daycares have reviews online you can look through
    • I would also ask parents at the daycare you are touring if you can catch a parent that is not in a rush.
      • When I toured our current daycare and asked a dad what he thought while he was picking up his daughter, his enthusiasm and what he had to say about the facility and teachers really played a part in my choice to choose that daycare.
  • Sleep protocols
    • I almost forgot this one! But a recent article about a child dying under a blanket at a home daycare made me remember.
    • What are their rules on sleep for babies?
      • Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs until they can roll over
      • They should not allow blankets, pillows, or toys in the cribs
      • When your child is able to roll over there should be some indication on their crib to let the staff know…. after this the child can be placed to sleep on their stomach.
  • What are their rules about food?
    • Do they allow food with nuts?
    • Do they send all food not eaten and food containers back home at the end of the day?
      • They should…
    • Do they require the food you bring to be labeled and dated?
      • Trust me, its a chore but you want this
    • Do they allow food from parents to be served to the whole class?
      • This is kinda a no-no when children are young unless you know all allergies of children in the class
      • also food served to the whole class should be store bought, nothing home made.

**It should be noted that I do not recommend a home daycare because they do not seem to be regulated like regular daycares are.  Most good daycares have rules they have to follow in regards to feedings, diaper changes, etc and corporate people who drop in to make sure those rules are being followed.

Remember these are not rules to follow just some things to think about when finding a daycare and I hope it helps!

-Wiggy

 

Breastfeeding Woes

Having some issues with breastfeeding?  Join the club.  I think its easy as a new mom to assume that breastfeeding will come naturally and be a blissful experience between you and your child and while this may be a reality for some it was not for me.

My personal experience is this…

My son Omari was born via emergency c section so not only was I not able to do skin to skin with him right after he was born, which can help with bonding, but I was not able to feed him until a few hours after he was born when I was released from the recovery room.  When I finally arrived in my postpartum room at the hospital it was time to feed Omari, my nurse asked “breast milk or formula?” to which I replied quickly “breast” and they brought him over to me.  I never received any instructions on how to breast feed but I assumed I didn’t need any thinking that he would naturally find the breast on his own and our blissful feeding experience would commence.  WRONG!  As I breastfed him over the few days I was in the hospital I experienced pain which I thought was normal (it’s not) and eventually my left breast began to bleed, this is when I knew something was definitely wrong.  I called on the help of the head nurse who taught me about proper latching and how it should feel but it really did not help (for reasons I’ll reveal later) and I also asked for help from the hospital lactation consultant who honestly was a waste of space but she did at least teach me that a “football” hold would be the best position to nurse Omari in because it would not affect my surgical incision.  So, nothing was really getting any better with my breast feeding experience but I was determined to keep at it through bleeding/cracked nipples and all because of course I wanted to give my son the best and we know “breast is best”.  A few days after I was released from the hospital and Omari had his first visit to his pediatrician I decided to have a lactation consultant come to my room and help me out because Omari was gaining enough weight but I was still in a lot of pain and his nursing sessions were lasting almost an hour on one breast.  My new lactation consultant was an angel sent from heaven and made the consultant at the hospital seem even more incompetent than I had already thought.  First she weighed my son to get a baseline of if he was gaining weight based on his birth weight and to use at the end of our session to see how many ounces he would drink while she was there.  She then examined my breasts and the inside of Omari’s mouth.  She explained to me that not everyone’s breasts and nipples are ideal for breast feeding and sometimes the anatomy of the child’s mouth can hinder proper breast feeding techniques.  Based on her exam on his mouth she said he had a tongue tie which makes it harder for him to lift his tongue high enough move milk to the back of his throat, and the roof of his mouth is higher than normal which makes it even harder for him.  When she looked at my breasts she said that my nipples were flat (who knew? lol) and the shape of my breasts did not really fit his mouth to which I thought “how can mother and son not match?” but I guess thats how it goes sometimes.  After her examinations she watched me nurse off each breast so she could correct what I was doing and give me better techniques.  First thing I had to do differently was change my latch position to an asymmetrical latch where the nose is lifted away from the breast, his chin is hugging the breast tightly and you see the back of the jaw and ear moving instead of a lot of sucking sucking motion in the front of the mouth.  We had to change it to this latch position because in another position he could not lift his tongue properly so he was overcompensating and sucking VERY VERY hard in order to get all the milk he wanted out of the breast (this was also why the nursing sessions were taking an hour, he was getting little sips at a time instead of big gulps).  I continued to use the football hold position because it was the easiest based on my incision and shape of my breast and things seemed to be going uphill for us for a few days.  What I did not anticipate was as Omari grew getting him in the right position to breast feed would start to be challenging, what worked the day before would not work the current day and it started to get very frustrating for both of us.  It started to be that every feeding was a fight between Omari and I as I would try to get him to latch properly and avoid him slapping at me.  My honest feelings every time it was time for him to eat was anger and frustration because I knew he had to eat but I also knew the pain I was about to be in.  After about 2-3 weeks of feeding on the breast I decided that there had to be something I could do to take control of the situation because I was starting to get depressed about the whole situation on top of the “baby blues” I was already having.  After his two week check up and discovering he was gaining plenty of weight I decided to order a breast pump (that I would need anyway when I went back to work) and pump all my milk out all day and feed it to him in a bottle.  I did some research on “exclusive pumping” to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into and if I could handle the task because not only do you have to pump on the same feeding schedule as your baby but you still have to feed the baby (lol) so it’s very time consuming.  However for me personally I will take losing a little more sleep to make sure I pump when I need to over the pain of severely cracked bleeding nipples any day (it wasn’t like I was getting much sleep anyway).

So my fellow new mommies… here is some advice while you are on your own breast feeding journey

  1. Don’t compare yourself to your friends and family’s breast feeding journeys.  You have to do what works for you and your child
  2. Drop the mom guilt.  If by chance you don’t make enough milk, don’t want to breast feed, etc, give that baby some formula and be happy in the fact that your child is full and happy
  3. Get a session with a lactation consultant if you are having any problems, even if they aren’t severe.  Most consultants are covered by insurance, you may just have to pay a travel fee if they come to you versus you visiting their office.
  4. Get a quality breast pump.  Also should be fully covered by insurance
  5. If you are having trouble with your milk supply try some lactation teas or lactation treats.  I personally use Milkmakers lactation cookies (which are actually pretty delicious)… oh and drink plenty of water, your body is using the water to make the milk.
  6. Don’t stress and love on that precious baby!  Stress can actually decrease your milk supply
  7. .  While you are pumping have your partner feed the baby sometimes, you don’t have to do everything mom! haha
  8. Visit exclusivepumping.com

So good luck ladies, and happy feeding!

-Wiggy

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