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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4 months of Olivia!

You can read previous updates here:

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Our perfect little baby girl is already 4 months old! Time is flying way too fast. Everyone tells you that it will, but you really don’t understand until you experience it. I was giving Olivia a bath last night and it was honestly hard for me to remember when we first started bathing her and she was so small she would just lay there and look at you. Now she’s grabbing my hands, grabbing the wash clothes, kicking her feet and rolling on her little bath seat!

She is the freaking cutest in the bath! Since her 3 month update we had to retire her baby bath and start bathing her in the big girl tub because she grew too long for it!

Smiles are now happening daily and laughs are happening much more often as well. There is nothing better than her sweet little smiles and giggles!

She still has only rolled from her belly to her back twice (and never again!) and she hasn’t yet rolled from her back to her stomach. She kind of hates tummy time though and I probably don’t put her on her stomach as much as I should… she does regularly roll side to side now though and she loves hanging out on her play mat. She doesn’t just look at the toys now, she full grabs them and engages with them. It’s so fun to watch her!

 

She is also so so over facing IN in the carrier. At 3 months old I was still regularly putting her in the boba wrap to get things done around the house in the evenings because she’d nap in there. Not anymore. Now she rears her head back because she wants to look around. So outward facing in the Ergo 360 is how we baby wear her right now.

Even though I vowed it wouldn’t happen, our home continues to fill up with baby stuff – like this exersaucer! But at this point anything that keeps her entertained and is engaging for her between naps is well worth it! Also I took this picture to show how good of an arm she has on her, she threw that little white teething toy off her exersaucer and then looked at me like ‘what?’

Olivia now is in bed between about 7pm and 7am give or take. Sometimes she goes to bed earlier (like last night) but we try really hard to make sure she never goes to bed any later than 8pm. Her sleep was getting better last week as we were having 4 – 4.5 hour stretches again, however this week it went back downhill as she got a cold. On Sunday night she was up every 1.5 hours and screaming and screeching. I think she was SO tired but couldn’t sleep because she was congested. Most of her wake ups were just to put the pacifier back in or soothe her back to sleep after holding her upright for a minute so her sinuses could drain. Hopefully her congestion is gone soon and the 4 – 4.5 hour stretches come back as I was really enjoying them.

During the day she goes down for a nap every 1.5 hours of awake time – maybe 2 hours but she’s usually showing tired signs around 1.5 hours and 90% of her naps happen in her crib and last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours! I try really hard to make sure she gets at least one 1.5 hour nap each day.

Olivia is still exclusively breastfed and she currently weighs around 14 lbs. Considering she was a 10 lb baby at birth that is not a lot of weight gain! However at her three month check up the doctor really wasn’t concerned because 14 lbs is normal and average for her age and even though she was a large baby at birth she now appears to have just evened out. One day I will write a post about breastfeeding, even though it has been relatively easy for us I still always feel worried about her weight gain since most babies have gained 7 – 8 lbs in 4 months not just 4! Of course, her being so large at birth makes a difference and she also just isn’t a big eater. She’s more of a snacker and almost never eats for more than 7-8 minutes per side (it’s usually more like 3-4 minutes per side) and she will refuse when I try to get her to eat more. She does take a bottle, but again will not suck if she’s not hungry!

Oh, and she has her daddy completely wrapped around her finger. Yup, that adorable finger she’s pointing out there 😉

The next month is going to be a big one for us as I have a 2-day fitness training coming up and then a 2-day first aid course just a few days later so in the course of a week I will be away from her for 4 full days from about 7:30am to 4 or 5pm!! I’m a little nervous about it, but I know between Eric and my mom she will be in great hands. It’s just hard to give up control after being her main caregiver for the last 4 months. But I know it will be good for both of us.

I truly love this little girl more and more every day. Eric said to me the other day “if we had gotten pregnant when we first started trying, we wouldn’t have her” and he’s so so right. The wait for her was 100% worth it and I would do it 1000x over to have this exact baby in my arms again because she is perfection.

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3 days with good friends!

Last week Olivia took her very first plane ride (actually 4 separate plane rides!) as we traveled down to southern BC to visit some wonderful friends. We spent three nights at my best friend Jen’s house and Olivia had the best time watching her two little ones. She has a 3.5 year old and a 2 year old so it was a busy busy – but super fun! – 3 days.

Olivia and Sydney (3.5 years old) are BFF’s now! Sydney was SUCH an amazing help with Olivia – or Baby Livy as she called her! – and was so so sweet with her.

BFF Jen and the brood of kiddos!

Just chilling in the big kids high chair!

We didn’t really get up to a whole lot. We hung out around the house, read to the kids, put the kids down for naps, went to the park, played outside on the deck and visited a lot! On our last day there Jen, Olivia and I went into Kamloops. It was a super quick trip and I didn’t get to see nearly as many Kamloops friends as I would have liked to – but I’m looking forward to being down for longer visits this summer!

We did see my friend Katie who was 5 days overdue when this photo was taken and since this has given birth to a beautiful baby boy!

And we stopped in to visit my grandpa!

My friend Carmine works right across the street from my grandpa’s apartment so she popped out for a quick walk and visit with us as well!

As mentioned, we didn’t get to see as many friends as we would have liked but our main reason for this visit was to see my friend Jen and her family.

Of course, now that we have adorable kids we only got one photo of us together! We ended each evening on the couch after the kids were in bed with a DELICIOUS glass of cold white wine and watching TV or visiting. We watched the season finale of our favourite TV show This is Us together! I also have continued the white wine trend since I got home. So delicious after a long day!

I met Jen 11 years ago when I was in my first year of college. We worked together at a restaurant in the city I was going to college in. It just so happened that she had grown up in Kamloops so when I moved there for school we kept in touch and she eventually moved back as well. We’ve been through a lot together and she is one of my go-to mom friends. She is an amazing mom to her kids and it’s wonderful to have a friend who knows me so well to lean on for advice and opinions. As I get older I know friends like this are one in a million, so I so appreciate the ones I have!

The visit was EXACTLY what I need to break up the monotony of maternity leave. I LOVE being home with Olivia right now and would not trade this time for the world, at the same time that the days are fast and busy they are also slow and boring and they all look very much the same. I really felt like I needed something different to break that up and this trip was the perfect thing!

I’m now back home feeling refreshed and with a renewed perspective and I just know that as we get into spring and summer the days will get more busy and less monotonous. That said, we have a HUGE snow storm rolling in tonight and we’re supposed to be getting between 30 and 40 cm of snow over the next few days – so spring isn’t quite here yet!

I will share more about Olivia on the flights in a separate post about traveling with a baby 🙂

White wine or red wine? 

Does your BFF live nearby or far away? 

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