Mommy Files: How to Survive Long Flights with Toddlers

Before becoming a mother, I traveled quite a lot. From short 2 hour flights to London or Venice, to 12 hour flights to Shanghai or Seoul but I loved the “airport life”. After giving birth to my son I still traveled but it would always be by car or solo flights to visit friends. Something about the idea of traveling with an infant or toddler really made me nervous and I always put it off. But since my husband’s family lives in Texas we did want to visit them, which meant biting the bullet and putting L. on that flight.

So here’s what I learned from our experience:

  • Pack all kids essentials in a carry-on suitcase just for them. This means diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, books, snacks and any other essentials they need.
  • Pack at least 2 outfits in case of accidents.
  • If they are young enough, an umbrella stroller is a lifesaver and can be checked at the gate.
  • Pack empty sippycups, granted the TSA allows liquids for small children but I wanted to avoid the headache and waited till we were on the flight. The flight attendants do not mind filling the sippy cup for you and you can request as many refills as you need. Don’t be afraid to ask, they are happy to help.
  • Buy extra snacks for them to eat, you can bring most foods through the security check. Airlines have very over-the-top meals that a picky eater might not eat. Mine only wanted the bread from his meal tray.
  • Bring a car seat! If you have bought a seat for your little one, bring a car seat onto the plane. You can strap them in and know they won’t try to escape and are a probably more comfortable. If you don’t want to bring it onto the plane, you can also check it at the gate.

 

The details for the Kiddo Carry-On:

  • 2 Outfits (Accidents will happen)
  • Diapers for each hour spent traveling (including layover time.)
  • Wipes
  • Books
  • Toys for every hour of the flight
  • Headphones
  • Blanket
  • Stuffed Animal that they love
  • Tablet with games and shows (it’s okay to bend the rules this once)

 

When boarding the flight you typically will have priority since you need extra time and assistance with your little one. From start to finish, everyone was so helpful since we were traveling with a toddler.

But most importantly: It’s hard, but don’t be bothered by people giving you dirty looks if your child is upset. It is just as stressful for the little ones like it is for us.

 

Happy Travels!

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Health Talk: Probiotics and Why You Need Them

Probiotics are one of those things that are so important and valuable in your morning routine. Disclaimer: But first it needs to be said that I am not a medical professional, and you should consult your doctor to see that taking a probiotic is right for you.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics, also known as Acidophilus, are “good” bacteria and live microorganisms that are in your gut and help regulate the bacteria. They help with digestion, absorption of nutrients, and remove toxins/bad bacteria/ chemicals. Overall they help with your digestive health which will lead to several other health benefits.

What Are Some Benefits?

Besides improving your gut health, it can also:

  • Improve your skin
  • Reduce risk of Diabetes
  • Reduce symptoms of IBS and ulcerative colitis
  • Boost Immune System
  • Improve Mood, Depression and Anxiety
  • Boost Metabolism & Weightloss
  • Diminish Sugar and Hunger Cravings
  • May improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Reduce “bad cholesterol” and lower blood pressure

So Where Can I Find Probiotics?

Surprisingly, probiotics can be found in several foods we already eat every day such as yogurt. Every morning I eat yogurt with a little organic honey and some healthy granola. (So Yummy!) But you can also find probiotics in foods such as Sauerkraut (a favorite here in Germany), Kombucha, Kefir, raw dairy, Natto and Miso, or overall eating more sour foods.

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And What Can Reduce Probiotics?

Well, unfortunately there are several things that can reduce the amount of good bacteria in our bodies:

  • Sugar
  • GMO Foods
  • Inflammatory Gluten
  • Emotional Stress
  • Medications
  • Alcohol (except red wine)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Over-sanitation
  • Smoking
  • Poor sleep

But don’t worry, you can include a Probiotic supplement to help your body in case any of the above factors might apply to you.

How Do I Find A Probiotic Right for Me?

There are a few things that need to be considered when choosing a probiotic supplement that is right for you. First, you want to check the brand quality, it will be a bit more costly but you know that the probiotic will actually work. Second, you want a supplement that is high in CFU count. Probably one that is around 15 billion – 100 billion live cells would be the right amount. Survivability is important as well, some probiotic supplements need to be refrigerated or the live cells will die off before you even consume them. The same applies to the encasing of the supplement, some might not even withstand the stomach acid so that is another factor to look out for.

But most importantly: do your research on this. Not every probiotic works for everyone since every body has different needs.

If you do take a probiotic supplement, what is your favorite? And what has your experience been like?

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Mommy Files: No-Cook Homemade Playdough

I always wanted to try incorporating playdough into my daily play-routine for my son, especially on rainy days when we are stuck in the house. But my biggest worry was always that since he has the tendency to stick everything in his mouth he would do the same with playdough. Thankfully, his speech therapist recommended making homemade play dough. So if he eats it that wouldn’t be the end of the world and still perfectly safe.

The Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • few drops of food coloring

The Directions: 

  • Add everything to a bowl and mix well.
  • It’ll take a bit of kneading to you properly mix all of the ingredients.

It’s even more fun with utensils to shape the dough.

What are your favorite rainy day activities?