Travelling with a Baby

So considering we got back from Olivia’s first plane trip a month ago and have her second one in about 5 weeks I’m just a bit overdue to share our experience – and even a few tips I have – about Olivia’s first flight!

Because there are no direct flights from our tiny northern town we ended up having four flights total as we connected in  Vancouver.

Here are my thoughts about flying alone with a baby…

Bring less than you think you need

Oh how I overpacked on the way down! I almost never check a suitcase when traveling, especially when only going somewhere for 4 days, however I did not want to be lugging a suitcase through the airport along with Olivia so I checked our suitcase. I did end up with two carry-on’s on the way down though as at the last minute I threw the Ergo 360 carrier into a reusable grocery bag.

I’m so glad I did because Olivia was not and is not a big fan of the boba wrap carrier right now, she wants to be facing out and seeing everything going on when in the carrier, so I ended up switching the boba out for the Ergo in Vancouver.

Before

After 

On the way back I really dialed in what we had and it was much easier to travel with less stuff!

If you see an empty row – ask to move!

I have always been a bit awkward about moving to empty rows on planes but with Olivia it just made sense to have our own row. We lucked out big time and on 3 of the 4 flights we were able to move to our very own row and on the one flight that was right full we sat next to a super nice woman who has a 3 year old son. It was actually one of the first times in a long time that I talked to someone for an entire flight. I’m usually not one for visiting on planes, however it is kind of difficult to read a book or plug in your headphones when you have a baby. Plus she was very nice and interesting so I enjoyed talking to her.

Your baby will probably cry – they are babies after all!

I was definitely super scared that Olivia was going to cry or scream for an entire flight and make everyone else on the plane mad. She was actually really, really good and we got lots of compliments on how well she did. That said, she is a baby so she definitely cried and fussed a bit. Luckily her pacifier, nursing, bouncing her, shushing her and when all else failed letting her look at pictures and videos on my phone (how does a 4 month old already love to look at a screen?! Ha)  worked to calm her down and she never cried or fussed for longer than a couple of minutes. She ended up sleeping for most of all 4 flights. It was kind of nice to be able to hold and cuddle her while she slept as that is so rare for us these days!

We even got upgraded to Plus on our second WestJet flight! 

So, overall a very successful first plane ride for Olivia. I’m super proud of how well she did and also feeling much more confident. I had some pretty major anxiety about it leading up to this trip but it went super super well and I’m already feeling more comfortable with the other flights we have this summer. That said, I already feel like Olivia is a different baby than she was a month ago, so who knows how they will go… hopefully just as well!

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Mind and Body After Baby: 3 months postpartum

I totally meant to do a 1 month postpartum update but then completely dropped the ball on that. Time really does go so quickly right now.

Body Update

I’ve lost about 36 pounds of the 43 pounds I gained while pregnant, but I’ve pretty much stalled out there and the last 7 pounds aren’t coming off so easily. I’ve started tracking my food in MyFitnessPal to see if paying closer attention to what I eat will help, but then I went and made cookies last week and have been enjoying a few each day so that’s not helping lol. Also, when I got pregnant I was about 15 pounds above my “happy” weight. I may never get back to that happy weight, and that’s completely OK, but I would definitely like to lose an additional 10 – 15 pounds from where I am right now.

Even though I overall feel pretty darn good in my body I still don’t love what I look like in photos, I just feel like my face looks so round. Again, maybe that will be my new post baby reality. But I’m definitely getting happier and happier with what I see when I look in the mirror. I was carrying a BIG baby and my stomach got really stretched out so there is definitely quite a bit of excess skin on my stomach still and even 3 months later I still have a little pooch, but it’s shrinking – especially as I’ve started working out again.

Here are some comparison photos.

My last belly picture taken at 41 weeks (taken 4 days before Olivia was finally born)

5 days postpartum:

~ 1 month postpartum (wow did that shirt ever photograph weird!):

3 months postpartum:

On a different note, I’ve been seeing a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor health regularly to try and get my pelvic floor back to normal and also to assess my diastasis recti. I did have a bit of ab separation above my belly button but that was it and I’ve been doing some physiotherapy exercises to help rectify that and also help with some of the pelvis pain I was feeling regularly after labour and delivery. It has been a huge help and I really recommend every pregnant person see one after delivery, regardless of whether you have a c-section or deliver vaginally! I’ve also just started listening to the To Birth and Beyond podcast which is all about prenatal and postpartum health and one of the hosts is a physiotherapist.

I started typing this post up awhile ago (story of my life these days) and then this past Tuesday night I went to a spin class at the gym. It was my first spin class in a long time and I worked super hard and really pushed myself and was a sweaty mess at the end. It felt really, really good and was a reminder to me how – for me – exercise is ALL about my mental health. I am not jumping back into working out to get my “pre baby body” back (what even is that? How can anyone expect to have the same body as before after what our bodies go through during pregnancy and delivery). but rather I am jumping back into exercise because it’s one of the things that makes me feel like me. And feeling like at least a partial version of yourself some of the time is so important in the postpartum journey.

Mind Update 

I would like to think my mind space is pretty good and pretty much back to normal now, however I also thought that during the first month postpartum and now looking back on that I was soooo fuzzy and out of it and barely remember what was going on during that time, sooo…. maybe at 6 months postpartum I will also look back on this time and think about how fuzzy it is! I definitely do not feel nearly as hormonal or emotional as I did in the first 4 weeks, so that is nice.

On average I get about 6 – 6.5 hours of sleep per night, which certainly isn’t terrible for having a baby but is also low compared to the 8 I used to get. Some nights I only get 4 – 5 and some nights I’m lucky enough to get 7. I actually feel like I’ve been functioning fairly well on such little sleep, however that could change as I get further into it. It has only been 3.5 months after all!

I’ve had a bit of postpartum anxiety here and there, which I think is pretty normal. I’ve had some major worries about Olivia’s weight gain as she was a very big baby and has now only gained about 3.5 lbs in the past almost 4 months. She’s still a normal size for her current age, but since she was so large at birth that gave me some serious anxiety. That said, I try really hard to just reassure myself that everything is fine, if she was hungry all the time or underweight I would know. I would say that is one thing that is difficult about exclusively breastfeeding, you just never really know how much your baby is getting and have to trust they are getting enough.

Actually, on the exclusively breastfeeding note, that is one thing that has been difficult. I knew breastfeeding would be hard, but I thought it would get easier after the first 8 weeks. It actually got harder for me around 10-12 weeks. That was when Olivia’s eating habits really shifted from newborn cluster feeding to more snacking and when I got mastitis. I might do a completely separate post on breastfeeding as it still is a struggle some days, but at the same time I’m SO grateful we have been able to do it as it was really important to me when pregnant and it’s allowed for some really special bonding moments that I love. But it’s also super hard, and the hard part can’t be discounted.

I feel like this post was a bit rambly, but that’s where I’m at 3 months postpartum. Here are some of the ‘milestones’ I hit – and plan to be hitting – in my postpartum body journey.

  • Began working out again at 6 weeks postpartum
  • Began running again at 12 weeks postpartum – though my ‘running’ is very very much still a run/walk. I’m yet to run more than about 5 minutes consecutively.
  • Returned to yoga at 7 weeks postpartum
  • Will be returning to teaching fitness classes at 5 months postpartum
  • Will be participating in Yoga Teacher Training at 9 months postpartum – yup, I’m doing my YTT this year! Just put my deposit down! More on this later 🙂

I am still modifying a lot in everything I do. I just really listen to my body. I am also doing some core exercises as recommended by my physiotherapist as my core strength is really lacking.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this very long and rambly post 🙂

If you have kids, what did your mind & body look like postpartum?

Any tips or thoughts for me?

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3 months of Olivia!

You can read previous updates here:

Olivia was 12 weeks old last Friday and will be 3 months old on Saturday.

Ironically enough, I started typing up this blog post while she is napping on me in the boba carrier after a VERY crappy night of sleep the night before and a very fussy day on Wednesday. Probably one of the worst we’ve had. On Tuesday night little miss was up every 1.5 hours and I got around 4 hours of sleep. Wednesday night was a bit better though and I’m finishing up typing this blog post on Thursday evening so we’ll see how Thursday night goes 🙂

Her adorable pouty face 🙂

So, since we last chatted at Olivia’s 10 week update she has once again changed so much! I was just reading through it and sadly her sleep has actually gotten worse, whomp whomp! Olivia was an absolutely amazing newborn sleeper. She slept 4 hours in a row from the time she was born and slept 6 hours straight when she was 4 weeks old, but over the last few weeks her night time sleep has really been on the decline. I would say now she’s averaging more like 3.5 – 4 hour stretches on the regular with the occasional 5 – 5.5 hour stretch thrown in. I can’t even remember the last time she slept for 6 hours straight! And after the first longer stretch she’s up between every 1.5 – 2.5 hours. While we plan to sleep train, I believe 12 weeks is too young for sleep training so for right now I am trying to soothe her back to sleep in other ways than by feeding her as at 3 months old and almost 14 lbs she really does not need to eat every 1.5 – 2 hours overnight anymore. Starting with the least intervention (shushing her and not touching her) all the way up to picking her up and rocking her back to sleep. I lay her down drowsy but awake as much as I can but at night I just kind of want to put her in a deep sleep and be done with it so it’s hard!

Right now nighttime sleep is ~8pm to ~8am with anywhere from 2-5 wake ups in the 12 hour period (would love to get it consistently down to 2!) I am working on moving her bedtime back a bit to ~7:30pm. We don’t want it any earlier than that or else she would not be able to see Eric when he gets home from work.

Olivia sleeps in the crib in her own room now but is still sleeping in the baby nest my grandma made. She wears the Love to Dream 50/50 swaddle for night sleeping and is still being swaddled up during daytime naps, though she almost always breaks her little hands free. In the photo below I really didn’t mind that she’d broken her hand free since she was using it to hold her pacifier in 😉 Saves mommy from replacing it multiple times!

I am still following a schedule of trying to get her down for a nap ever 1.5 hours of awake time. Her naps are actually pretty great. Almost all of her naps are in her crib and she will usually have one long nap of 1.5 – 2 hours per day. The other naps are in the 45 minute range. She usually still has one nap per day where I am baby wearing her.

Over the last couple of weeks Olivia has started smiling SO much. She also has started really interacting with us. For example, the other day I was holding her on my lap facing me after she ate and she would smile and make a little grunt and I would throw my head back and laugh, as soon as I brought my face back down and made eye contact with her she would do it again. I even tested her and kept my head back longer and she didn’t make the smile/noise again until I looked at her. So cute.

She is also reaching and grabbing for more and more of her toys and kicking her little feet like crazy! I am sure she is going to be grabbing her feet with her hands very soon.

Two big milestone things that happened over the last couple of weeks is Olivia rolled from her tummy onto her back twice (both times when naked – she only seems to enjoy tummy time if she is naked ha ha) and she also laughed for the first time when I went to get her up after her afternoon nap the other day. It was hands down the most amazing thing I have witnessed so far as a parent. Baby giggles are THE BEST.

She has outgrown her baby bathtub and so far baths in the big tub have not been her favourite. We’re going to keep trying though and hopefully soon she will love baths in the big tub just as much as she loved baths in her baby bath. Stay tuned!

Also, Olivia had her first two visits to the chiropractor! She didn’t really like the adjustments themselves very much BUT they did help her go poop after 2 days of being constipated. I know breastfed babies can go several days without pooping, but I just don’t think that can be very comfortable and I think she was quite uncomfortable based on how she was acting so I’m glad the chiropractor got things moving.

I plan to write a separate post about maternity leave and how being at home has been for me mentally and emotionally, however I will say that even though some days are very very hard, and I struggle with the lack of structure, I am still incredibly grateful for the 12 months of (partially paid!) maternity leave I get. I literally could not even fathom being back at work right now with our current sleep and also I couldn’t imagine having her in daycare full time right now. I am so grateful I get this very special time with my girl.

Olivia weighed 13 lbs 6.4oz just after hitting 12 weeks. She was in the 97th percentile when born but has now seemed to even out to a more ‘average’ size for her age.

She is one well accessorized babe thanks to her crafty Great-Grandma (GG). Shoes, hat and bib all courtesy of GG. 

She is an absolute joy and lights up our life. No matter how hard of a day we have, I never ever forget how lucky we are to have her. We love her so very much!

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