Flight with Baby

I just took my first trip with my little one and my husband back in August. We traveled from Austin, TX to Santa Barbara, CA. Here are some recommendations for what can make your flight a bit easier.

What to pack in your diaper bag

  1. I like to pack one diaper for each hour I will be gone just in case, but I know this is always too many
  2. Pack a set of diaper wipes, I like to have a fresh full pack just in case I am in a “messy” situation
  3. Diaper cream, Theo never has diaper rash but did on this trip for some reason
  4. Clorox wipes, there are places that you have to put your little one down and it can get pretty gross
  5. 3-4 outfits, baby clothes are small and easy to fold so they don’t take up too much room
  6. 3-4 Toys that have dual purposes, we have this toy and it makes noise by shaking but can also we used to touch and teeth
  7. Pacifiers! Cannot stress this enough, babies have to suck on something on the way up and down to hep with altitude change, otherwise they will cry because their ears can’t adjust

Checking items at the front

  1. Check your car seat and buy and car seat bag off Amazon to protect it. I bought this one:
  2. Ask if you can check your stroller for free (usually you only get one infant item but sometimes they are nice to allow you two) , if you have the UPPAbaby, and buy the UPPAbaby stroller bag so the warranty keeps.
  3. Check all other luggage you don’t need, we only took the necessities…

Strolling through the airpot

  1. Wear your baby through the airport strapped to your chest
  2. Try to have all luggage checked so you don’t have to carry anything
  3. Wear your diaper bag on your bag while you carry the baby
  4. Have your husband be in charge of the personal carry on for both of you, including your purse with the tickets
  5. Have your purse inside his personal carry on item with the tickets, pull this out while in the airport so a wallet is readily handy

Getting through security

You really don’t need much, make sure that you wear your baby and state that you are the mom. Here’s what you need:

  1. Birth Certificate for your little one
  2. Bottle of Water
  3. Formula
  4. Breast pump (if you are pumping)
  5. Ice packs that are solid ice or at least cold (these are allowed in Austin if they are to chill the milk that you have)
  6. Baby carrier to wear your baby through security
  7. No jacket so you don’t have to take off your baby and your sweatshirt

At the end of the day it is really easy to wear your baby through security and just check everything through to your destination. A lot of people I know like to take the stroller through and use that as your “catch-all.” Well, that just didn’t work for me, I am too worried about loosing something and forgetting something along the way. If you have too much stuff it is too hard to remember and you really just need to remember your kiddo. And get this! You can pee with your little one attached to you, it does work.

Make your life easy, wear your baby, pack lite and get traveling mommas! Happy to help with all of you that are traveling.

Being a NICU Mom: How to Stay Strong

Being a new mom is a scary thing. It is even scarier to be a mom when your little one is admitted into NICU, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

There are so many different feelings that rush through you, and all you want to do is be with your little one once they are born, but put simply, you aren’t, as they are in a different division of the hospital. Moms and dads don’t stay in the NICU… parents have their own room on the other side of the hospital, at least at St. Davids North Austin Medical.

What’s the tip here? Do a hospital tour before you have your baby and ask where the NICU is, and ask, “Can stay with your baby should they be admitted to the NICU?”

What to ask your doctor if your baby is admitted to NICU:

  1. Can you stay with your little one in NICU? If so, what are the accommodations?
  2. What visitors are allowed in NICU? How many at a time?
  3. Who is the doctor while you are in NICU? Do they rotate?
  4. Where do you find out the nurse for the day?
  5. What is the contact number for the NICU and your specific bed?

The doctor’s and nurses do let you spend as much or as little time as you would like in the NICU, we were even offered to sleep in the chairs that they had there, but it was not comfortable. We just made the journey across the hospital instead and slept in our room.

So mamas, if you need help to stay strong while your little one is in the NICU until he graduates and can go home with you, read a little bit further. Here is a list of thoughts that helped me get through the week that baby Theo was in the NICU.

  • You are strong and your baby is strong too. They just need a little help in the first part of life.
  • The doctors and nurses of the NICU will not send your little one home unless they are ready.
  • Your little one is in good hands! These people who take care of your new little one went to medical school, they know what they are doing.
  • If you don’t like a doctor, say something. Request to have them taken off care for your child. You have the power.
  • State what you want, and how you want to care for your child. Your wishes will be respected.
  • Speak up, you are the parent, if you don’t want your newborn to be swaddled, tell them. If you want to do breastmilk and do the feedings, tell the nurses. They will respect your wishes, they will wait for you to get to the hospital to feed your baby, you just have to say something.
  • Everything is a choice and you and your husband have the power to raise your child how you want.
  • Do let the grandparents visit. It can be a good mood booster for you to spend time with your mom and dad.
  • Take a hospital tour, it will help so you know what to expect.

So mamas, being in the NICU can be scary, but remember, that the doctors are only trying to make sure that your little one has a great start to their life. They will take good care of your little one, and you can be there 24/7 if you would like. Y’all can still be the parents if your little one is in NICU.

A Mom’s National Tequila Day

Today is National Tequila Day mamas!

And…

Each mama deserves a break, you deserve some time to take care of yourself and celebrate the fact that you are a strong, powerful woman that provides not only for your family first, but for yourself. We as mamas can get into a crazy routine where we go go go go and don’t remember that we are literally are super mamas.

We cook, clean the house, do the laundry (even sort the laundry) , play with our kids, walk the dogs, keep friendships, grow friendships, meet new people, maintain a business or a job, and even make time for a workout or two…. Just to name a few.

So today is not National Tequila Day, it is “Mom’s National Tequila Day.” If this day is for anyone, it is for you mamas. If you can’t celebrate today, try this week, but take a step and ask your husbands to take you out! And even have your little one tags along, you can make it a family outing, but make your hubby be on baby duty. That’s what our plan is on Friday 🙂

This day is a celebration, a celebration for the super mom that you are.

So what do I recommend you have on this special day? Only the best for us super mamas!

I love to have a margarita with a floater of Grand Marnier on top. My mother-in-law introduced me to this and that’s all I like to order, unless we are at happy hour at Chuy’s!

We won’t have a margarita today, and I wouldn’t want to trade this little one for a margarita any day!

So mama’s! If you can, please enjoy a margarita for me this year! And if you want a recommendation for where to go in Austin, I recommend Chuy’s, they have great margaritas, and even better prices during happy hour.

If you’re in it for the tequila, I read an article on Austin 360 about the best places for National Tequila Day- and I have to agree that these are pretty darn good. My favorite on the list? Fonda San Miguel.

Drink up mamas! I’m enjoying my #momlifeandmargaritas and you should too.

Newborn Photo Session: What to ask and how to prepare

You need to know exactly what photos you want from your newborn session and you have to make sure the photographer knows how to work with babies safely. We found someone who used to be a postpartum nurse, big plus!

My recommendation…

I recommend that you do a photoshoot in your home, because it allows you to have your own space and the photos look more personal than posed. You can use your own props, which hold more meaning, and you also have the option to use a few that the photographer brings. I also recommend that you have someone do the photo shoot for you so you can get all family members in the photo. These two decisions would also allow you to have your pets in the photos as well, which I wish we would have done!

Why this recommendation…

We did a photo shoot in a studio and didn’t have our own props, which is why I am writing to you now, so you know what your options are before you make a decision. There are photographers that will come to your house and are within your price range! I didn’t know this at the time, I thought the cost would be way outside what I could do.

Decide first….

  1. Do you want to take the photos yourself or find someone to do them?
  2. Do you want to have the photo session in your home, outside or in a studio?
  3. Who is going to be in the shoot? The whole family or just the newborn?
  4. When do you want to do the shoot? Do you really want to have newborn photos or would you rather wait until they are 3-4 months or older?

Ask….

  1. How long have you been working in newborn photography?
  2. Have you completed newborn photography workshops or training in posing of newborns?
  3. If not, do you know the safe positions for baby and handling of baby? Where did you learn these?
  4. Do you know CPR for infants and toddlers? CPR in general?
  5. Do you have business or liability insurance? (KEY!)
  6. Do you have examples of work you have done? Can you send this over to me?
  7. What if baby is sick/ we can’t show up that day? (Babies are unpredictable and this can happen, you may have to reschedule… or… and hopefully not… but… if your baby is in NICU, you don’t know how long this could be)
  8. Do you have props that are safe to use? Do you come to our home or do we come to you?
  9. What should we bring with? Can we bring our own props? (If you aren’t photographing at home)
  10. How long is the session typically? What are the different packages and lengths? Can we do a custom package?

Prepare…

  1. Find exactly what you want in your newborn photos and send them examples (We didn’t do this and I regret it because our photos didn’t turn out how I wanted them to)
  2. Make sure that what you want is what they do- go on Pinterest and send her the pins, make sure the props will give you the look you want
  3. Have a color scheme in mind of what you want to have in your photos, your little one will be wrapped in some sort of swaddle, think about what you will want on your walls in your home!
  4. Prepare a few outfits to be photographed in just in case you don’t like what the photographer has
  5. Dress comfortably, we dressed up but if we had been more comfortable the photos would have turned out better

Good luck with your new little one and I wish you all the best in those first few months! And if you decide to do a newborn photo session, I hope that these thoughts help you get the most out of your photo session.

Taking a Successful Family Picture, No Photographer Needed

Have you ever tried to take a family picture without a photographer?

We tried for the first time this past week… it was a serious struggle. And! We only have one kid and one dog. We ended up liking our selfie the most and our individual photos as well. Ellie also got her own photo!

Ellie didn’t want to sit still even though she is good at “stay.” Theo luckily wasn’t fussy but his clothes were riding up and he would stare at me not the camera. My husband kept saying, “is that good?” Which is a good question but it never was! And finally our camera stand wouldn’t stay steady and it even fell apart.

So what are some things I learned that might help you?

  • Grab a toy, like this one to put directly behind the camera. Your baby will stare at the camera! The sound and songs that the elephant plays pulls Theo in and he stares at the camera and not me.
  • Get a good tripod, like this one, so you have one less thing to worry about.
  • Set up your dog last and have your dog on the edge of the photo. If your husband can manage, have him put his hand on your dogs butt. This worked for Ellie. And I would sit between him and Ellie.
  • Put your iPhone on portrait mode, my photos always come out better in portrait.
  • BUT if no one will sit still do a Live Photo because it gives room for your mistakes. If everyone is wiggling, the Live Photo picks the best one of the lot.
  • Match your outfits. Pick a color scheme and have everyone dress up. You will feel like a million bucks so you will look like a million bucks. If you feel good you will look good.
  • Lastly make sure that you have lots of light. And make sure the sun is in front of you. I love taking photos in the sun room but if I take them at the end of the day the sun ends up being behind us so our faces are pretty dark. I have to make sure we take photos in the morning in that room, they are still really lights and the sun is in the right position.

We really had a tough time. Enjoy our outtakes!

Overall it was a big struggle in our first family shoot but I learned a lot and hope that you learn something from our mistakes, and I hope your first photo shoot is more successful.