Tag Archives: parenting

Traveling with Baby: How to Prevent Baby from Crying on an Airplane

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!

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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

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Building Traditions on Baby’s First Christmas

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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.

  1. Drive to see the lights

    In East Texas we’ve got the best lights at Santa Land, a mainstay for childhood Christmas traditions.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Christmas PJs

    Oh the cuteness! This tradition allows for the whole family to have adorable photos on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.babys-first-christmas-pajamas

  5. Food!

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

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Mean Girls & Self Love

Comparison, judgement, self-doubt, insecurity

I want to tell you the stories that I have been told from real women here in East Texas. These stories reveal a toxic problem in female culture that I just have to address.

“I heard her say “If my kids acted like that…”

Of being judged by others

“The lady just glared at me from across the store while I [breast] fed him, but he was literally screaming, and I couldn’t wait!”

Of people not-so-quietly criticizing their choices

“The waitress said to her coworker ‘Did she order all of that food just for her?’ It’s none of her business anyway, but I ordered for my whole family.”

Of people even intentionally trying to hurt a woman’s self-worth with their words

“A mother told her teenage daughter (while laughing!): “Honey, if you ever get fat, I don’t want to see you wearing shorts like that.”

Telling half-truths, or building a narrative that fits their ill-informed perception

“Within earshot she told her kids, ‘do you want to have to work a job like that? Well that’s why you go to school.’ When the truth is, I AM in school and I love my job!”

Good grief! You would think that as we grow older that we would also mature, right?

Wait, aren’t we all adults here?

How common is it for someone to observe a tiny piece of our lives and then craft a whole narrative of assumptions and judgement based on that one tiny piece of information?  It happens all the time.

Here are some thoughts I have on the inner-workings of these types of mean-girl behaviors:

There is this strange thing that happens when someone makes a decision that, deep down, you judge: the little voice of comparison and self-doubt taps on your shoulder and whispers “who does she think she is?” This initial judgement is actually often synonymous with “she must think she’s better than me” or “she needs to fall in line with the tribe.”

Let’s not even get started on the perils of herd mentality, but rather, lets take that train of thought another step deeper.  If this hypothetical person isn’t falling in line or following tribe rules then here’s the root fear motivating the judgement: “she must think my choices are wrong.” And if the person can get really honest about that root fear, we can boil this all the way down to an underlying core truth they don’t want to face “I am insecure in my choices, and my judgements are only a reflection of me”.

Ok, ok, that got really deep, really fast, but I’ll toss in some examples:

Ask yourself how you feel when someone talks about polarized parenting topics with you, something that matters to you like choosing to birth fully un-medicated vs. with an epidural. Or the choice to vaccinate or circumcise. Or maybe you don’t have strong feelings about these birth or parenting topics but you can think of another relevant issue. Sometimes people can really get their hackles raised just by seeing other people’s choices.

For some women, when they see a choice someone else makes, the temptation creeps in to believe that it somehow threatens their worth and value. The way one woman chooses to live, birth, parent, etc. is not a critique of how you live, birth, parent, etc!  Don’t be fooled:

Other people’s choices are not an attack on your choices.

If someone is criticizing, bad mouthing, trash-talking, taking personally, or is otherwise unsupportive of who you are or what choices you make, their issues are their own. They may not know it or believe it, but it has really got nothing to do with you. It’s on them, baby.

What other people think of you is none of your business

It takes self-awareness, humility, and maturity to be able to see that our judgments are really about ourselves. Women doing the hurting probably aren’t at a place where they can realize they are operating out of insecurity and self-doubt. It’s all a journey, right?

As I have grown in confidence and authenticity (thanks in large part to my trainers at ProDoula) I’ve learned that releasing others from your judgements releases you from self-judgement as well.

And as wise Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway.

Does judgement-free support for your birth and parenting choices sound like something you’d like a bit more of?   Drop us a line!

Eleanor roosevelt

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