Tag Archives: baby

The ultimate survival guide for plane travel with a baby

turquoise airplaneIt took us and our network of traveller mummies, many a screaming baby during transatlantic flights, to come up with the ULTIMATE list of things you need when travelling by plane with a baby. Ignore the list at your peril! Thankfully, as we are all experienced travellers, the list is not too long so there is no need for your carry-on to be the size of a small car. This list if for babies which are still milk-fed – we will be doing a list for weaned babies soon.

Change of clothes for you and the baby As soon as the words ‘my baby never vomits’ came out of our mouth, we were covered in it, with 4 hours of flying left to go. Known as the smelly lady with the screaming baby for the rest of the flight, we vowed never again…
we recommend taking a couple of sleep suits for the baby and at least a unisex t-shirt or jumper for either you or daddy.

Dummies/ pacifiers. Take a couple more than you usually need and if you do not have a dummy holder, it is time to invest in one. turquoise suitcases

Plenty of small toys. Check out our blog ‘top 10 toys for the holidays” for ideas. Most of the toys recommended are easy to travel with.

Baby sling. Chose one that packs small. The babasling is our favourite. We use it when walking around the terminal and passing through security. It also means that you do not need to hold the baby for the duration of a short flight and can have your hands free.

Nappies and changing mat. We know…. a bit obvious, but if you are packing for the whole family for a week away, you are likely to forget some of the most obvious things. You can use the changing mat of your moomboo so there is one less thing to think about.

Wipes, wipes, wipes!! You can never have enough. We usually take two types. The usual baby wipes and the ones with mild antiseptic (such as the Tommee Tippee Souther, Teat and Teether wipes) – ideal for wiping dummies, toys or the seat around you if your baby likes to leak everything like one of ours does!

Muslins. The ultimate multi-tasker. Wipes drool, miladen anais turquoisek or vomit and very useful for shading the baby from the light when the cabin lights come back on. Our favourite are the Aden + Anais muslins because of their large size and cool designs – they can also be used as light blankets.

Plenty of formula and bottles. You never know how long a flight is likely to be delayed and anyway most mummies like to give a bottle during take off and landing to keep babies calm. As bottles take quite a bit of space, we always take a couple of disposable pre-sterilised bottles with us for emergencies. Security will make you try any liquids you carry on, and depending on the grumpiness of the airport security staff, you might be made to open more than one carton of formula. We found that taking formula in powder form is much easier on the plane. A couple of powder dispensers will take up less space and will also cover you for any emergencies. Just fill the bottles with a bit of extra water in case you are made to have a sip from each bottle by the airport security staff.

passportBlanket,  hat and socks. Cabin temperature is crazy. We always travel with lots of layers to adjust clothing according to temperature and we do the same for our babies. As babies lose the majority of heat from their head, a hat is essential and also takes little space. As for socks…we are still looking for a pair that will stay on so an extra pair is a must. A cotton cellular blanket packs very small and has been useful for many a flight….

Plastic bags. Just have a few of various sizes at the bottom of your bag. handy for soiled clothes, dirty toys …all sorts of emergencies.

And do not forget your moomboo This is one of the main reasons we came up with the idea and as it packs so small, you will be able to fit all of the above and the moomboo in your carry-on!

Share with us your baby travel tips.

On Night Nannies

babies in cuddlesFor some, there is a stigma attached to having a night nurse, as if you are somehow outsourcing motherhood. But for others (like one of us) it was a life saver. We thought that it would be helpful to share our experience. At moomboo corner we belive that there is nothing wrong with getting some help once in a while!

For those who do not know, here is how it works in London. The night nurse comes to your place usually around 7.00 or 8.00 pm. She helps with the bath, night feed and to get the baby to sleep. But where the real value of it comes in, is during those feeds at 2, 3 or 4 am; by the time you have fed, changed and settled the baby, you feel like it is time to get up again! The night nurse, takes care of all of this so you can either feed and then go straight back to sleep or even express so you can get a proper night sleep (well, until your breasts feel like they will explode, that is). She then leaves at 7.00 or 8.00 am when you have hopefully had a good night sleep and are ready to start the day. During the first few weeks, I was so obsessed with whether baby was still breathing, that I only slept when the night nurse was around.

twinsGranted, it is a very personal/ intrusive thing. My night nurse would bring the baby into our room for a feed in the middle of the night and come and take her away – all this whilst my husband was snoring next to me blissfully. That is why it is important to chose the right person and keep the same person with whom you will build a rapport. Some agencies that send a different person each time have probably put people off by making what is a really personal thing, quite impersonal and business like.

The best night nurses, and I can say that I was lucky enough to have one of them, will also start sleep training the baby at an early age (from a week old or so) so that by the time they go, baby is close to or actually sleeps through the night. An added bonus for clueless people like me, was that I actually learned how to do most baby things from the night nurse. She taught me how to bathe, change, feed the baby. She even helped with establishing breast-feeding and expressing. The moomboo came in so handy; baby would sleep in our room and move to the nursery when the night nurse was there. The moomboo made the transition from one room to the other very smooth.

photo (11)Having a night nurse is expensive, there is no way around that (usually ranging from £100 to £180 per night). But it really depends on how much value you place on your sleep and if you take into account the added benefits (i.e. that you do not have to check if the baby is breathing or not every 5 minutes), it is definitely worth it.

Choose someone you like and that will make the experience 100 times better. During the precious first months a good night nurse will enhance your confidence and help you enjoy the experience more. Try Carol Mae Consulting (http://www.carolmaeconsulting.co.uk/) for a very personal and unique experience or Night Nannies (http://www.nightnannies.com/).

Share your night nurse experience with us.

Baby it’s cold outside!

Given the changes in weather it is no surprise that your baby may now have its first cold. Other humans may look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them how worried you are that your baby is coughing, has snot dripping down their nose, and maybe even a slight fever, but you feel passionately that this could be threatening and therefore need to share this concern with your friends to double check. We’ve all been there, and know exactly what you’re going through.

baby coldPerhaps you’ve even gone into the hospital at 3am because your crying baby has a blocked nose or is making a slightly “different” noise when breathing. After putting your uncoordinated socks on in the middle of the night and hopping into the car, you feel slightly embarrassed when the skeptical paediatrician examines your, what is now a laughing, baby (how fun is it to be out at night and take the mickey out of you?) and determines they have “just a cold”.  Well, we know how disappointing it can be to hear there isn’t much you can do other than home remedies, but here at moomboo, we want to make this unpleasant experience as pleasant as possible for you and your baby. So we decided to write a little blog about our top tips to keeping your little one as comfortable as  possible so they can get over their cold quickly. Besides keeping your baby hydrated:

  1. icon blue woombooTurn on the humidifier– if you have one, doctors recommend you turn it on in your baby’s room if humidity levels are below 30%. Although most babies love the sound of humidifiers, a silent humidifier is always best, so you can hear your baby’s breathing through the baby monitor on those more challenging nights.
  2. Incline your baby ensuring their head is a little higher than their feet– The best way to achieve this safely is to insert the moomboo wedge under the moomboo. If you’re waiting to get your hands on a moomboo, for now you can place a cushion under their crib mattress – oh and don’t forget to get yourself on the wait list.
  3. Buy menthol drops – You can put a few drops inside a bowl of warm water by the baby’s crib and/or on a muslin that you can place between the crib and the mattress. We do both to maximize the menthol, and place the humidifier close to both of those so they can spread the smell throughout the nursery (you should smell it in the morning!). In the UK you can buy lots of over-the-counter brands like Olmitos, Vicks, etc at your local chemist.
  4. baby cuddlesLots and lots of cuddles– even for babies on a routine, now is the time to relax your rules/routine and spoil them a little (or a lot). If you can ensure that you don’t bend your routine or rules for longer than 3 days, your baby will revert seamlessly into their old routine. If you have to stretch beyond that because the cold doesn’t get better, then you may just have to work a little harder to get them to fall asleep on their own (if you were in the middle of sleep training), or fall asleep without that extra cuddle.
  5. Buy nasal spray/ drops– Saline drops/spray are a great way to unblock those tiny little noses, especially if stiffer little buggers are in sight. The challenge is of course  to get them to go in if your baby is wiggly or very strong like one ours! Again lots of over-the-counter options at Boots.
  6. Take your baby into a steamed shower/bathroom – running a hot shower and closing all the doors, you can create a mini steam room for your baby. Just hold your baby in your arms and go into the room for 10-15 minutes, and you’ll see how their airways unblock and their breathing gets instantly better.
  7. sleep suitMake sure they are wearing appropriate clothes– ensure they are dressed appropriately for the season, but regulate clothing based on your baby’s preference. For example, one of our babies is very sensitive to heat, so we usually have put on one layer less than most other babies to bed. We get around that by adjusting the tog of his sleeping bags rather than the clothes he wears underneath. We love this JojoMaman Bebe sleep suit with removable sleeves which can also be used to transport baby from car seat/pram into bed without waking (great for the trip to the hospital if you have to take one!)
  8. Finally, if your baby has a predisposition for bronchiolitis (an inflammation of the bronchioles, causing those scary breathing noises which combined with a cold can make anyone panic)  then ask your doctor about Ventolin– you need a prescription and it isn’t for everyone, but we wish we’d asked sooner as its helped our baby immensely!

sleeping soundly

Did we miss any of your favourite tips? If so, please let us know and we’ll add it to upcoming posts.

We hope you and your little one ride the cold out soon.

Here is to many restful nights of sleep ahead!

Routine or no routine? Our happy inbetween

alarm clockAs part of our routine or no routine series, we have tapped into our network of multi-cultural mummy friends who have shared their experiences with us. Part three of this series, is written by Mrs C who has adopted a more…. relaxed approach to a baby routine.

“When I was pregnant, I would observe our friends with kids and I always thought that the best behaved children were the ones on a routine. It was probably just a coincidence, but it anyway made my mind up that routine was the way forward for us. The benefits seemed endless…predictability, well behaved baby, rested mummy… I was so set on this, that we actually employed an expert as soon as we could, to help us establish the routine.

And the routine worked great. Our baby girl was one of the first to sleep through the night, and the predictability of the feeding and napping cycles, meant that I was very attuned to her needs. However, what I found very hard, and what I think that most people on a routine do not always admit to, is that for it to work you have to continue working at it (sometimes hard) and that it also means that you are a little imprisoned by it.

a2ed3ad1e971c8322436775d1b51aeefI am a very active and sociable person and I found that having to stay indoors between 12.00 and 2.30 EVERY day very limiting. It was probably also that my baby is such a light sleeper that she would not follow the routine when out and about. After a couple of weeks of not joining my NCT friends on the various activities because ‘it is nap time’, I decided that this was not going to work for us. A happy mummy is a happy baby, and this mummy was the happiest when surrounded by her friends, their babies and a nice skinny cappuccino.

There came a period of adjustment. After being on a routine for a while, when she found herself in a soft play area during nap time, baby was a little confused. But being sociable and adaptable little creature, she soon figured it out. I also figured out that she was happiest when in the company of other babies, and in some ways became more manageable as a result of a more flexible routine. So here is how it works for us:

  •  we roughly follow the Gina Ford routine with the three naps a day (short morning nap, long lunchtime nap and short afternoon nap). We are flexible and vary the nap times depending on our activities. If she does not take a long enough lunchtime nap, she will make it up later by having longer than the 45 minutes recommended by most routines
  • two to three times a week, we stay at home and try to follow the routine by the book. This bores baby and mummy but I think it is important to avoid her getting over tired
  • we are more strict when it comes to feeding times. There we only vary by 15 minutes here or there. Although not so at the beginning, she will now have meals anywhere. This fits with our lifestyle as we love eating out
  •  we are religious about the nighttime routine of bath, little story, bottle of milk and off to bed. She knows that there is no room for negotiation. It is always at the same time and done in the same way.

This more relaxed approach to a routine is not for everyone, but it has really worked for us by giving us a rough outline to the day. What is interesting is that one way or another, all babies (whether on a routine or not) all end up falling into a similar schedule naturally.”

Baby Routine? No Thank you!

passportIn an effort to provide an array of views, moomboo corner draws on the expertise of its multicultural NCT group. Following our post on the advantages of putting your baby on a schedule courtesy of Mrs. V, we thought we would share our dear friend Janie’s views on how allowing their little one to find her own schedule, worked for their uber mobile lifestyle.

“Before my daughter, my partner and I had never really been much of a routine-led kind of a couple..In fact I’d go so far as to say we’d actively avoid the r word…

Not that it’s a bad thing, it just never suited us. As a writer (of both songs and books) I found inspiration would rear it’s head at any time of the night or day and I got used to welcoming it at the oddest of hours, often working when most of the rest of the world slept, finally resting while the majority of London dealt with the morning rush-hour mayhem.

While I was pregnant I read, like most first time mums, an enormous amount of  literature, some of it useful, some it fairly pointless and in retrospect some of it was really quite unhelpful.. I weighed up the pro’s and con’s of  water births (what if he can’t swim? /do they come with a baywatch certified lifeguard?), breast feeding or bottle, (any NCT teacher will tell you it is your moral duty to breast feed until your baby reaches 18  years of age), which buggy (it is a seat, with four wheels, why oh why are there so many to choose from?), and what really are the essential accessories? (I wish there had been moomboo when I had my baby girl).

turquoise vespaI also read a lot on the subject of whether to put your child into a routine or not.  Given my previous lifestyle and my partner and I’s need to travel  frequently (having bases in both the UK and Italy), we decided to opt for a more, let’s see what the baby wants to do, if we’re easy with her, maybe she’ll be flexible when travel plans mean we can’t given her 2 hours in a nursery in silence with the blinds shut to have a nice sleep…kind of approach.. Somehow, incredibly it’s worked for us.

Our little girl has developed her own routine which is not dissimilar to the babies I know who areroutine led.  She gets the sleep she needs but when it suits her and on the plus side she is not overly grumpy if she misses her usual nap, she just takes it later….

lucky baby

Here is how a “typical day” could look for us:

  • Approx. 8am the baby intercom broadcasts a string of incomprehensible babble (which my partner has fondly likened to something from the film “Mars Attacks”.)
  • Milk and biscuits are duly dispensed to our beautiful wild haired little alien followed by a nappy change, general clearing of goo and preparation for the day…
  • Play ensues until mid morning snack of hipp fruit pot or fresh banana and water around 10:30/11.  Nap for 30 mins-1hr can happen around now depending how her night’s sleep was…
  • Lunch is consumed/thrown/smeared at 1pm followed by a walk (for Mum)/ chauffeur driven buggy experience (for Charlotte) then a 1/2 hour nap around 2:30/3..
  • Afternoon tea of fruit or biscuit is requested by Miss Charlotte around 4pm followed by furious play and exploration of every possible dangerous area of the house until dinner at 7pm.
  • Light play (reading together) bath and ready for bed all happens before 9pm then it’s time for beauty sleep, often this suggestion is met with some resistance but the addition of warm milk, patience and a few songs normally works by 9:30pm…just in time for Mum’s take away delivery:)

And that’s the great thing about babies, your one will be the right one for your approach whichever you choose, so my advice would be don’t listen to the books, listen to yourselves. If you love routine your baby probably will too…if not, going with the flow can really work too!”

By Janie Price mum to Charlotte age 10 months

Do you have a similar experience to Janie’s? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

5 ways to start off the New Year!

Yes! It’s resolution time. Or you may be thinking “yuk, resolution time, I don’t have time”. If you’re a new mom that is how you may feel. No time to think about yourself, just time to keep doing what you love doing – taking care of others and particularly your new bundle of joy. Although easier said than done, setting time aside for yourself could be the best thing you do for your family. A happy mommy is a happy baby, husband and household. So, this year, why not focus on you a little bit too? We will make it easy and share out top 5 tips, to get “a new you” ready for 2013!

bikram yoga postures1. A Bikram Yoga Session – or maybe two, or if yo’ure up for it a 30 day challenge! Although it is a big time commitment (1.5 hours for the class, getting there and back and having to take an extra shower to get rid of all the sweat), it is well worth it. Not only is it great physical exercise for your body and a great way to relax your mind, but it is also wonderful for detoxing, debloating, and giving your skin a makeover. Your skin will be radiant, soft and clean. Oh, and did we mention that there is one posture (n23) that equals a great night sleep? For those of us who could use with a few more hours in the night THIS posture is the one for you.  You can practice Bikram anywhere in the world, but if you’re in London we highly recommend @SoHotBikramYoga (especially the Victoria studio). The owner Lorraine is a hoot, and the staff is super welcoming. They also do Pregnancy Series which are a great way to prepare for labour (in case you’ve started the year with another little bun in the oven!)

2. Bobbi Brown BB Cream- Get a “new face” with the hottest beauty product of the moment. We have tried a few and the Bobbi Brown one is the best. It evens out skintone and gives a natural glow. It blends easily so it literaly takes a couple of minutes to put on. With SPF35 it is great for those long walks in the park with the pram.

sledge shoe turquoise3. LK Bennet Sledge Shoe– Get “new” legs. OK, yes you may have seen it on K Middy, but that is not why we are recommending the shoe. It’s actually a beautiful, comfortable heel that comes in multiple colours every season. The height is just right to wear for work and for a great night out with hubby. If you want to lengthen your legs with an easy fix, then why not splurge a little on a great sledge shoe? (Although we would probably go for the neutral tones, we couldn’t help ourselves from posting the acqua version). You don’t have to be in London to buy this, they sell online!

4. Return to Glory. Us busy mummies, do not get much of a chance for pampering. We have found that the London Return to Glory home massage and beauty service is a great little treat. HotStoneSchedule an appointment during baby’s long lunchtime nap. The therapist will show up on your doorstep with a massage table (and will even remember not to ring the bell and wake up the baby); she/he will recreate your own little spa in your home. They think of everything – they even bring their own spa music so if you close your eyes you might think that you are in a spa hotel in Thailand (even if it is just for an hour….)

5. Caramel baby and child photo studio- This is a favourite London secret. Every fortnight, the caramel baby&child Notting Hill boutique is converted into a photo studio. The professional photographer overseeing the shoot is amazing! We are not into having pictures of ourselves, but we wanted a nice natural picture as a family. Nana (for some of her shots click here), is the only one who managed to capture my baby, husband and me in the most natural and charming way. If you don’t live in the UK, the same theory applies: why not get a gorgeous, natural photo of your “new self” and the family? If you happen to live in Spain don’t miss Noonu photography, they do amazing family and baby shoots.

This is our frivolous take on pampering yourself just a bit. After all, you deserve it! Don’t feel guilty, just enjoy!!!!!!! And if you try any of these, please let us know your experiences!

Are you an Airport Security Virgin?

turquoise travel kitSo you’re off on holidays with your baby for the first time. We bet you’ve got a list of all the things you need to take (you may even have a color coordinated spreadsheet donated by your dear, experienced friend). Yes, we’ve all had our roadmaps for perfect travel. After a tedious packing session (who knew your heels would be relegated to the back of the closet, and you’d have to rely on just 1 pair of shoes to fit all your munchkin’s outfits?) you smugly head to the airport thinking you’ve got everything under control. And then you hit security. If you’re traveling alone this can be a daunting task, but even with your hubby or partner by your side, security can be a stressful experience – if you’re not prepared. Thus, moomboo has put together their top tips for zipping through security so you can enjoy a bit of R&R before getting on that plane to find out if your baby is one of the lucky ones who don’t cry in take off and landing!

You have three options to get through security. You can take your baby through in a pram, on a sling, or in a car seat. We find the sling is the best solution for multiple reasons:

  • turquoise suitcasesyou do not need to wake the baby to go through the metal detector
  • your hands are free to pick up your bags when you are on the other side
  • in many airports they would make you remove the baby from the pram or car seat before you go through the metal detector
  • airport security staff at most airports are instructed not to handle your baby making it difficult to gather your belongings while holding your baby

You have the following options when taking milk through security:

  • turquoise milk bottlesExpressed breast milk – believe it or not, security staff will ask you to take a sip (sometimes from each bottle), therefore, ensure you take a little bit more than you require in each bottle.
  • Formula cartons- if you’ve chosen to move on to formula, and you’re used to the ready-made formula cartons beware that depending on airport security staff, you may be asked to taste each carton. Obviously this means the carton is useless within two hours, and although some airport sell formula cartons, there is no guarantee you will find the specific one you use. Thus we find that formula powder is best for air travel.
  • Formula powder- We find this works best because it packs smaller. If you pre fill your bottles with water, put a bit of extra water in the bottle since you might have to taste it. If you use bottled water you might find taking empty bottles easier and just buying the water on the other side. Another alternative if you are ok with bottled water is to take pre-sterilised disposable bottles which take up even less space.

turquoise airplaneFinally, it is worth finding out if your departure airport has a family lane. Although these are slower, they can take the edge off going through security as there are other parents struggling to juggle prams, babies, toddlers, and bags. You’ll feel less self conscious if your baby is crying (once you’ve done this many times you’ll stop worrying about it).

In case you’re interested here is what our traveler mummies recommend:

  1. The Babasling has plastic fastening so you can go straight through the  metal detector. It is the only sling we have found where the baby is horizontal and thus you can sit without disrupting the baby’s sleep (and even go to the loo mid-flight without waking him/her)! Our friends also like the ErgoBaby as it is very good on your back.
  2. If you are carrying expressed breast milk  you may want to buy a tiny bottle carrier to keep your bottle at the right temperature lasting the full duration of the flight. We used the Tommee Tipee Closer To Nature, which clip onto the outside of your carry on bag (so they don’t take up packing space) and can be easily clipped to the seat in front of you so you can access quickly during take off and landing.
  3. For formula powder, we have found a few options Avent Milk Powder Dispenser, that converts into a snack pot, and the Babisil by Bebbeco that converts into food containers.

Did our post help? Please let us know your views! We hope you enjoy your flight!

Top 10 Baby Items you are Likely to Forget on a Long Haul Flight

So you know we are all about comfort and efficiency when traveling, especially when you have to worry about all the things your baby needs. Just when you think you have the perfect travel formula all figured out, you forget those few key essentials for the long haul flights. Sure, moomboo will provide your little one with a comfortable, safe place to sleep, play and be changed while on the plane, but there are other little bits and bobs you shouldn’t do without.
We’ve compiled, thanks to our great network of jet set yummy mummies, the top 10 most likely to forget list when you’re traveling on a long haul flight. Hopefully you won’t have to go through the same little hiccups we encountered when we forgot these!

  1. A blind/shade, so your baby can sleep even when the airplaine lights go back on (an aden anais swaddle; our favourite on the market would do just fine)
  2. Air mist for you and the baby – as the air gets very dry- specially if you have a little one that has a predisposition to eczema (like one of our munchkins)
  3. Multiple change of clothes for you and the baby (can you say, baby nausea all over mommy or daddy during a take off or landing? Yes, we’ve been there WITHOUT a change of clothes. Yuk.)
  4. A headset for the baby – nothing like a little classical music to put your little one to rest and alienate them from the loud noises in the plane (although they do like the engine’s white noise, there is no need to hurt their eardrums!)
  5. A comfy sling to walk the baby around and carry them through security – we love the Babasling as it isn’t metallic and can easily fit through airport security on you so that if the baby is sleeping you don’t have to take them out or wake them up (unless you run into a crabby security person that makes you do that anyway).
  6. An Ipad with downloaded baby friendly clips – have you seen the Baby’s First Stroller Book? Its a great little animated booklet that with plenty of visual stimuli for your pumpkin to soak in during the long flight. (This gives you the perfect excuse to get a cute little iPad cover to prevent your munchkin from chewing all over the screen).
  7. Lots of wipes – not only for the nappy changing(which we are sure you already thought of), but to clean pacifiers, toys, and the seat around you that the baby could lick/touch and meddle around with. You may also want to take extra blankets to put the baby on if they already roll around (otherwise your moomboo will suffice for this)!
  8. Emergency Calpol/Benadryl – We know, we know, a lot of doctors may not officially endorse this idea, but even our paediatrician winked at us when we mentioned this. It can be a life saver when you have 8 more hours to go and your baby shows no sign of settling down- really!
  9. 7 Disposable pre-sterilized bottles – you never know how long your flight will be delayed, and if you’re into the simple, compact, convenient disposable world these are it. On the other hand, if you prefer not to use disposable items, then don’t forget a bottle brush and some non bio detergent (in a less than 100ml container)  to clean those bottles on the plane!
  10. Nappy sacs – not necessarily for the nappies, but for all the waste that you accumulate with a baby on board! Although airlines provide them, you may just want to bring your own so you don’t depend on a stewardess to bring you some when you’re desperate to put something stinky, or sticky away!

Although the above is a result lots of air miles (can you say Korea, Thailand, China, Japan, US, Mexico and Argentina?), we are sure we’ve forgotten something too! What are your top picks to make it on this list?