The idea of a long trip with your little one can be daunting. The professional postpartum doulas at No Barriers Birth compiled a list of solutions for infant discomfort during travel, so that you can feel confident and prepared!
Preventing Crying on the Plane
1. Relieve Ear Pressure Just like adults can alleviate pressure in their ears by chewing gum, babies also find relief in sucking and swallowing. Since turbulence may make breastfeeding difficult or dangerous, you might want to have a pacifier or bottle on hand. Tylenol given a half-hour before take-off and again before landing can also prevent pain (and screaming).
2. Prevent Overfeeding While feeding may soothe baby, feeding more than you normally would can cause painful bloating. Atmospheric pressure actually creates more air in your tummy, so substitute pacifiers and teething rings if baby is full and needs something calming.
3. Avoid sedatives Medications meant to make baby sleep often backfire and make your child overtired and irritable or even hyperactive. Instead bring a few new toys that baby has never seen for a nice distraction, or even headphones and calm music.
4. Temperature Planes can be freezing! A familiar blanket that smells like Mom or Dad can be a lifesaver.
Helpful Travel Tips
5. Avoid over-packing You can purchase packs of diapers, wipes, and formula when you reach your destination. For your travel day, it’s best to pack about one diaper for every hour of travel and possible delays (you certainly don’t want to run out at 30,000 feet!)
6. And if all else fails, do not let the haters get you down! Solicit the help of a flight attendant if someone is bothering you or making you upset. You deserve support, not judgment!
How Your Postpartum Doula Helps You Travel
- Handling the details: She will make sure that nothing is left behind, from a car sun shade for shielding baby to resealable bags for dirty clothes and bibs. She will find the mother’s lounge at the airport and make sure a crib is set up in the hotel room, taking all of that worry off of your shoulders.
- Dealing with the TSA: Have no fear when it comes to bringing breastmilk on a plane or transporting your stroller—your doula will double-check all of the rules and standards before you even book the flight. It will also be such a relief to have your doula’s extra set of hands to cart everything through the airport!
- Taking care of yourself: Want to go on an outing with your family but baby needs a nap? Let holiday time be as restful, fun, and stress-free as possible by bringing your postpartum doula with you. Just like she does at home, she will enhance your experience, and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything!
-Blog post authored by Sally Stratmann, A professional Postpartum Doula at No Barriers Birth
Lights, Cookies, and Advent Traditions!
Do you love how your mom’s family always exchanged one gift on Christmas Eve, or how your husband’s family likes to gather together to watch Elf and drink hot cider? Now that your own little family has begun, you guys can hand-pick the traditions that you like best.
How exciting to set the stage for the ways you want to celebrate the holidays as a new family! You get to craft the most meaningful and memorable moments for baby’s first Christmas (and of course, all the cute photo ops). Here are some ideas as you embark on creating special memories together as a family this year.
- Drive to see the lights
In East Texas we’ve got the best lights at Santa Land, a mainstay for childhood Christmas traditions.
- The Polar Express
Make some magic happen for your kiddo by visiting the Polar Express train down on the Texas State Railroad in Palestine, TX. Kids wear their pajamas, hear the story read, and wait for the conductor to come by to punch their tickets. It’s a magical, memorable journey!
- Keepsake ornaments
These ornaments are all about the memories associated with them, and baby’s first Christmas is a biggie! Choose to honor this special holiday with a sweet ornament that will bring you joy year after year when you or your child pulls it out of the box each season as you decorate the tree. You might create a photo ornament, or personalize one with baby’s name.
- Christmas PJs
Oh the cuteness! This tradition allows for the whole family to have adorable photos on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
As your baby gets older, they’ll be able to help you in the kitchen baking or decorating cookies, or whipping up your family’s traditional Christmas Coffee Cake (recipe to come!). Food brings families together, so start now building on this meaningful tradition.
- Family Time
Start crafting rituals like watching a retro Christmas special like A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or your family might choose to read the same special holiday book each Christmas Eve, or to read the Christmas story! Some favorites passages are excerpts from Luke and Matthew as these incorporate lots of detail for young kids to visualize and enjoy.
- Meaningful sacred traditions
Your family may enjoy an advent calendar for children to anticipate and engage with the sacred meaning of the holiday. Or your family could make an advent wreath together every year from natural twigs and branches. Mom or dad could help the child light the candles each week as Christmas day draws nearer. What’s important is that your new tradition is authentic and meaningful to your family.
- Pass on generosity
In the spirit of Santa Claus! One of our local clients started a beautiful tradition that each day of December, the family wraps a small present to give away to a child in need, and then donates them to a local organization or to a sponsored family. Santa doesn’t have to be all about receiving, but can also instill the love of giving into your family’s Christmas, and into your child’s heart.
So what traditions have you started? Share your ideas with us and our readers in the comments!