Tag Archive | baby

Flying *Without* Baby

I had not realized how much my life has changed post-baby until recently.

My daughter Amaani is about to turn 1-year old. It was only after doing 14 flights with Amaani and then flying once by myself that it hit me.

I took a day trip for work. I anticipated it being exhausting because I knew I would have to wake up super early in the morning and that I would be coming home late. But it was cake, given what my normal days are like.

The first thing that amazed me was how fast I could get through the airport. I had already checked in online and had a mobile boarding pass. I cruised through security and made it to my gate within 5 minutes.

I had totally forgotten what it’s like to travel without carrying diaper bags and suitcases that had mostly baby stuff and maybe a little bit of my own. I had forgotten what it’s like not to have to dismantle Amaani’s carseat and stroller while carrying her through security. I had forgotten what it’s like not having to worry about changing diapers and feeding baby before and after takeoff. I had forgotten what it’s like not to spend the entire plane ride trying to keep my active daughter in my lap and hopefully not kissing the passenger seats and windows or grabbing people’s food off the tray tables (or in one case, a man’s headphones)

To be completely honest – I felt like I was playing hooky on this day. Hooky from being a mom. I knew my daughter was in great hands so I was carefree, in that sense, about going away for the day.

When I reached my destination, again, I was surprised. I actually had time to do my hair and makeup and I could take my time choosing which dress to put on. Usually, everything I do is interrupted. I tend to getting Amaani ready first and then rush getting ready myself. On this day, I got to take my time. And I did. I even spent time matching my jewelry.

I didn’t have any spit up on me. I didn’t have to clean up any food spills. I didn’t have to worry about my daughter. All of this felt really strange.

It begged the question – did I love my present life or did I miss my old life?

It was a very interesting question. Getting around is definitely faster and easier without a baby. You don’t have to worry about putting her in a carseat or carrying toys that will entertain her.

But when I was on the plane, do you know what I was doing? I was looking at my daughter’s pictures and videos, hearing the sound of her laughter and recordings of her saying “mama.” I was missing my travel buddy who may be a handful but she makes the plane rides go by fast. And she helps me forget about turbulence.

I realized there used to be days when she was a newborn that I would miss my former care-free life where I could do things I wanted, whenever I wanted. But now, a year later, I am so entrenched in my journey as a mom that I have not only forgotten how different life was before (for the most part) but I am also in love with my life now.

I may not get around or travel as fast as I once could… but I am no longer traveling alone. I carry a beautiful part of me and my husband’s love everywhere I go (and I wouldn’t want it any other way!)

Travel Buddy

Christmas Presents and Gift Wrapping for Babies

My daughter is 7 months old this holiday season. She’s crawling at the speed of a rabbit. She wants to stand all the time. She’s teething. I had to really think about what to get her for Christmas and just how to wrap it in a way that she could open it. I wanted her gifts to be safe, fun and educational.

Here is what I came up with it:

  •  Cloth Books – she loves to read and the cloth books are really nice because she can’t tear out the pages or poke herself in the eye with any hard edges. They also make crinkling sounds which she loves. And some cloth books are designed as natural teethers for babies. I’ve also noticed that these books are easy to take with you everywhere so if you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment or something, you can hold baby’s attention in your lap with these books. And if he or she decides to throw it down on the floor…at least it won’t make a loud noise 🙂

    Reading her cloth book on the plane.

    Reading her cloth book on the plane.

  •  Cloth Dolls – You’ll notice the word “cloth” keeps coming up. That’s because as Amaani tries to stand, she often ends up falling. I try to keep plastic toys away because they can hurt her when she lands on them. And like most babies, she wants to put everything in her mouth. I feel better about her putting the washable materials in her mouth than her plastic toys (which are sometimes too heavy to bring to her mouth anyway but that doesn’t stop her from trying!) I also got her a cloth doll to sleep train her with – a companion in the crib that she won’t be in danger of suffocating on.
  •  The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Love to Play Puppy – this is a good example of an educational toy that can also be fun and safe to play with. We’re all about introducing her to the alphabet, numbers and colors as much we can. We have her whole play area floor covered by an alphabet puzzle mat and colorful baby gates. We also have cloth blocks with numbers and letters. She loves it!

    Alphabet Puzzle Play Mat and Colorful Baby Gates

    Alphabet Puzzle Play Mat and Colorful Baby Gates

  •  Remote Control – Not all of Amaani’s toys are made out of cloth. We just take make sure we don’t leave her unattended with any toy that she could accidentally hurt herself with. For some reason, babies love remote controls so we got Amaani a Click and Learn Remote.
  •  Colorful Teething Blanket – can never have enough teething toys!
  • Donate Toys – We feel very blessed that we have a child, one who we are able to buy such presents for. As a gift to ourselves, we donated toys to Toys for Tots and are looking into donating some at our local hospital once the season is over (the hospitals get a lot of toys this season but needs help throughout the year)

These are just a few ideas but there’s so much one can get for a baby that’s both fun and practical – jumpers, high chairs, baby piano, etc. I had to think about how I was going to wrap everything though. I really want Amaani to open her own gifts so here’s what I did:

  •  Swaddle blanket– I wrapped some of her toys in a swaddle blanket – it’s safe, she can still open it, and she can put the blanket in her mouth without concern.
  •  Gift Bag – She loves gift bags. In fact, she might be more fascinated by the bags than the toys. She loves to teethe on the handles of the gift bag. I thought, this way, she would have fun with the bag and she could knock it down to get to her toys.
  •  Gift-wrap paper – we only used gift wrap paper for one small toy. Our concern with wrapping everything the traditional way was that she might not be able to open her gifts and that she might start eating the wrapping paper (babies put EVERYTHING in their mouth – it’s how they explore the world)

We’re excited about Amaani’s 1st Christmas and know it will be special with or without the presents…. wishing everyone a happy holiday season from our family to yours!