3 tips on how to switch baby’s sleep to a new timezone.

If you’re preparing to travel with a baby or a toddler, and you’re a mom, you definitely worry about sleep. You worry about loosing your own sleep and then worry that your little one won’t have enough rest to recover from all the activities you’ve planned.

With the daylight savings time and packing for our next trip, sleep time switch is what we are going through right now, so I wanted to share what worked for us to gently change our baby’s routine and move the sleep schedule. As parents know, if baby sleeps, we sleep. It’s so much more important for everyone’s immune system (not to get sick from germ infested airports) and recovery from jet leg during time zone travels.

First of all, the most important thing to remember is that you need to plan your day to make sure you know what 12 hours of the day you want your baby to sleep – creating the night hours for them.

It is completely appropriate for these hours to vary depending on where you are staying and what your activities are as a family. For example, when we were in Paris, France, 7 pm bedtime in NY would be 12 am bedtime in Paris. We decided to keep it that way and started baby’s bed routine at 10:30 pm. It worked out perfectly for us because there was no switch! (except for me to count the times of day he was napping) We had a slow morning, kept the room dark with room darkening curtains, and  would take turns going out in the morning. It was great because it allowed my husband and I to have alone time, which is very important when we travel and spend 24/7 together. We took turns running errands in the morning before noon (baby’s wake up time) and then went on with our day together once he was up. Parisians eat dinner late, so it fit into our schedule perfectly, we would take a stroll through the city one last time before coming back ‘home’ to our airbnb apartment around 10 in time for baby’s bed things. You may choose to do it differently, but make sure it works for your family! Another time – when we were in Arizona, baby’s sleep was 7 pm – 7 am, and we had to do a switch for him to get adjusted to a new schedule, it worked great for all of us!

Here are my top 3 tips:

Keep your baby up.

No matter what, no matter how tired your baby is, keep them up, distract them, tire them out even more and put them to bed at the time that you decide and establish as the NEW sleep time. For example, with daylight savings time, we gained an hour and what normally was 7 pm bedtime would become 6 pm. In my opinion it’s too early, so we started keeping baby up until 8 pm 2 days before Sunday, by 8 pm he was so tired and went to bed easily and very quickly. Once daylight savings day came (Sunday), he was half way to the switch; I do feel like it’s harder to move sleep by one hour, but you get it done! If the timezone is 3 hours difference or more, your baby may need a quick nap before the new proposed bedtime, so let them sleep for 45 minutes (a full baby sleep cycle) and then wake baby up for a couple of hours before the new bedtime. Same goes for nap time, keep your baby up until the new schedule nap time is up.

Keep your baby asleep.

I know, it’s the hardest thing to do when your baby just doesn’t want to sleep! Here is what works for us: keep curtains shut and put in extra layer of light blocking curtains to keep the hotel room as dark as possible. If you need some light, then keep it as dim as possible. If your baby wakes up too early and doesn’t know that you’re trying to switch them to sleep in for a couple more hours, take them to bed with you, while you’re laying down, cuddle, hang out, don’t let them play with toys, try to keep them laying down (I know its nearly impossible once your baby is on the move), give them a bottle of warm milk, it will make them sleepy, and in general keep voices low and the atmosphere as calm as possible. When the hour comes when you want them to wake up, turn the lights on, open up the curtains and let the sun in, letting them know it’s waking time. Their body will catch up to those signals really quickly!

Don’t give in!

No matter what, don’t give in and let your baby sleep in, or wake up early, or go to bed earlier then the NEW time YOU set for them! It’s so hard for those 3 days when you’re making them switch and adapt to a new schedule, but it’s so worth it in the end! My baby always did the full switch by day 4, as if his own biological clock was reset and he was ready to do it like nothing ever happened! Don’t get me wrong though, these 3 days to get there (can be more) will be tough! You will either wake up hours earlier then you want to, or loose sleep some other way. It’s hardest when its 1-4 hours difference, and easiest when its 6+ hours of a change.

For full disclosure, I did not sleep train my baby, I tried reading the books, but it was just not for me. My philosophy was to pay very close attention to my baby and his needs, his wake time and when he would want to go to sleep. I believe that we found a sweet spot where he sleeps 12-13 hours at night, 2 naps that usually last 1.5-2 hours each. This has been our schedule since he was 7 months and now is almost 13 months old. Of course we’ve had some really bad nights and teething sleeplessness, sick baby and tired parents times, no one is immune to those.

Would you like to hear more about our baby’s sleep schedule and how I learned from him what he needed?

Comment below your questions and comments about sleep, I’ll do my best to share our story. I am an expert in my baby’s sleep, because I have to be, and hope that it can help another mama friend!

XX

L.

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apps every mom needs!

Oh how I love technology! Sure, it keeps us connected and plugged in and more busy, but it also allows us to keep life organized. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite apps with you and I hope you find them helpful in making your life easier and more organized.

 

GoogleKeep. FREE. Someone introduced me to it 2 years ago and since I became a mom I really appreciate having it. Mom brain is a real thing and I can’t wait to get my “sharp” edge back, all you moms know. So this app is awesome for helping me keep up with life, to do lists and everything that needs to be done on a daily basis.

Sworkit. A really cool way to work out with a trainer, with a plan. It’s free (also an upgrade option available for a price, well worth it in my opinion!) I like how its easy and very user friendly with reminders to be able to be keep up your motivation. The app allows you to pick your work out and 7 day free trial to check it out to make sure you love it. After 7 days you have the option to pay $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month if you choose to pay for the full year all at once, which is an amazing option to have access to so many work outs on your phone for only $59.99 a year.

Amazon. FREE. I had to add this one to the list! If you’re a mom you know how long it takes to go to the store and pick up just some of the essentials, and amazon prime comes in so handy it’s unreal! I will admit, I use amazon for reviews on products, ideas for gifts, shopping and price comparisons.

Sweat. I know so many women who use this app and love Kayla’s training system. The work outs are great and one of my favorite things is the video where it shows you how to do the work out if you’re more of a visual person and pictures aren’t enough. I like the clock going during your work out and showing you how much time you have (suggested) to finish your work out. This app comes with resources for food and more education – definitely a lot to read up on, and is worth the money, as it’s a little more cost then the first app I mention, at $19.99 a month.

p.s. If you follow other blogger moms, you probably heard of Kayla Itsines and her BBG 12 week program. This app is super in helping you follow the plan.

Expensify. FREE. If you’re a mompreneur, you need this. An easy way to track your milage, copy of receipts and everything business expenses related when you travel + work from home + hate keeping up with papers and receipts. It has an option to email the spreadsheets at the end of the year to make it easier for taxes.

TheWonderWeeks. FREE. An absolute must have for first time mamas with infants. I feel more educated on the stages of development my baby is going through and follow along with his stages and new skills. I wish I downloaded this app sooner and knew when to expect the stage of sleep regression or tantrums.. So definitely get it into your phone now!

Poshmark. FREE. A perfect spot to sell clothes, shoes and accessories for you and your kids. It takes a little time to navigate it, but you find things to buy quickly! I was able to make some money selling items from my closet that no longer fit (hello postpartum body) and get some shoes and purses for myself. I haven’t bought any baby items yet but I have seen a lot of them on there. The biggest thing about this app is understanding the way it works and making sure that the quality of the product you receive as the purchaser is the way it was described.

Quora. FREE. I just recently discovered this website and app. It seems like the best spot for forums, questions to ask and give advice. I love how easy it is and how many questions you’re asked at the beginning when you’re setting up your profile. The app allows you to add topics of your interests so what you see are topics you’re an expert on or interested in learning about. A new mom or a mom who is going through something new with her kids (teenagers or potty training..) would love this website! It’s definitely better then all the Facebook mom groups because there are more opinions and more people to gain from.

Photofy. I like this one for all the editing on photos. We are in the world of Instagram obsessed moms and this app helps! It’s easy to use to edit photos and overlay with words (for those weekly updates). AND then some! If you work from home and need an app for backgrounds for your quotes, Facebook posts, etc., you’ll love it! This app will give you a lot and allow you to choose what you need and how much you’d choose to pay for the services.

Pinterest. FREE. Every woman’s best friend for ideas, because how else will you spend your nights feeding the baby? Enough said.

VoxerFREE. Perfect for the organizer mom. This app will make a walkie-talkie out of your phone. When you’re constantly on the go and still need to keep up with your tribe, get them all on the app and it will allow you to send quick voice messages with ease. SO much faster then texting even! It also allows you to create groups so that more then one person can hear you. I have used it to communicate for my business so far (my business mentor made me get it but now I love it) but I see a lot of value in it for moms when you need to be hands free and get a message out to a group of moms quickly. There is also an upgrade option available depending on your needs.

MY NUMBER ONE Must have app for newborns!

Baby TrackerFREE. This app SAVED me in the beginning! One of my mom friends introduced me to it and I am so thankful! For the first few months after my baby was born it was hard to keep track of anything let alone keep up with his feeding schedule, poop diapers, sleep and everything else! This app allows you to keep track of EVERYTHING baby related, add pictures, and even keep track of how much breastmilk you have in your storage. You have to have this one with a newborn! I especially loved it when traveling, because then everything kind of blended together and it was very helpful to have a tracker of my baby’s activities to make sure I didn’t miss something. I used the app religiously until about month 7/8. My baby got on a regular schedule then with diapers and with naps, so one day I decided to stop and we have been on a good routine that’s easy to keep track of since.

 

I hope you found some of these apps helpful and they can make your busy life easier! If you already use some of these or if you download it and think its amazing, please come back and tell me, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Maybe you thought of your mom friend who needs one of these – do her a favor and share this on her Facebook wall, she will thank you!

xx

L.

Breastfeeding: 5 things that helped me with milk supply

Increasing my milk supply is hard. I think ultimately it all has to do with genetics, stress levels and on the baby (what kind of feeder/eater baby is). I certainly remember doing all kinds of research in the beginning to find out what would help with my supply; now that baby and I are getting pretty good at this feeding thing and I hope my 5 tips may help someone who’s looking for ideas.

I no longer use a pump and I stopped building a freezer stash as of a few months ago. Around month 4-5 I decided that I will continue to breastfeed as long as my baby wanted, introduce foods and let him try everything he wants. I stopped stressing over it and have felt much better about our experience of feeding, since then its been great for me and the baby since he’s growing longer every doctors apt!

Breastfeeding a hungry little dude is a lot of work! This past weekend our little family went to Long Island, New York, and half way through our trip I started to worry about my supply changing mostly because Rollo wasn’t eating as much as he did at home during the normal routine. He ate more solids on this trip and even took some water from a bottle.

I’m sure every baby is easily distracted at this age, it seemed like everything is more interesting then me and eating is hard now, again. I am not sure if I’m the only one experiencing this with my baby at 7-8 months old, I literally have to hold his head, sometimes his legs and arms too, and even cover his head with a swaddle blanket because otherwise he’s too interested in stuff around the room or where ever he is.

I plan to breastfeed until 12-14 months, depending on how long he would like and how it goes with weaning him. It’s a little selfish too, because we have a big 3 week trip planned when he’s 12 months and I don’t want to make a big change like weaning him before then, making it easier on me to comfort him on a long plane flight (like more then 12 hours long) and bribing less food and formula for the trip when I’ll be focusing on less luggage.

If you have tips on traveling for that long with a baby and what to bring on a plane for a 1 year old, please let me know in comments below!

Coming home this week I went back to what works for me to increase and upkeep milk supply. I know there are tons of milk supply cookie recipies out there, so I will not include that here because that’s not always my go to.

  1. Water! I know, duh! But it really works! At home on a regular basis I drink 100-125 oz of water every day. I literally measure it because otherwise I won’t drink enough. I notice a huge difference in my supply once I started to drink 100 or more oz a day. Since then I’ve been drinking water and visiting the bathroom like when I was pregnant. Added benefit – my skin is feeling great, smooth and hydrated. This time I also added some coconut water to add the hydration to my body. Somehow when I’m traveling I end up dehydrated.
  2. Tofu. Ok, so this has been my go to for increasing my supply anytime I get worried. About 3 months postpartum we went out and I had agidashe tofu, it’s usually served as an appetizer at a Japanese restaurant. The next day I noticed a huge increase in my supply and ever since then it’s been my little secret weapon. I also have used tofu in my cooking at home, and I can link a few recipies if you ladies would find it helpful, it can be hard to eat if not seasoned well because the taste is so different. IMG_1228
  3. Muesli. I love this muesli from Red Mill brand, it’s what I have for lunch or breakfast every morning at home. I add blueberries or raspberries to my muesli with some almond milk and it’s so refreshing on a hot day! I noticed how my milk supply started to be very consistent once I added this mean into my day. I don’t know why exactly, but it must be all the different grains in it! I also know it works because when we travel and I don’t have it for a few days I notice a difference. IMG_1166
  4. Increase feedings. I think babies know home and their own bed! My baby boy certainly loves his bed and will sleep best at home in his own crib. I’m very protective of his sleep, and when we come back from a trip he always takes a day or two to recover. He usually takes an extra nap during the day and an extra hour per nap. It works great for me because I can unpack and get stuff done at home. I add in a couple more feeding sessions during the day to help increase my supply. I don’t pump anymore, unless it’s super necessary, and I feel like making my baby nurse actually increases my supply more then if I was pumping. We both enjoy the extra cuddles after a busy weekend. IMG_1454.JPG
  5. Sleep. Maybe it’s me, maybe its the stress levels, but I find that after a weekend trip, or any trip with the baby, I need a LOT more extra sleep to catch up. I find that sleep and rest, maybe a bath or a massage – whatever helps to relax and catch up to a peaceful state of mind – helps me SO much with letting my body do what it needs to! So make someone baby sit if you need to, and rest up!

 

I am no expert, I am not a specialist, just a mom who tried different things via trial and error until I found what worked for me and my baby and my body.

Best of luck to you if you are in the fight to breastfeed your little one. It’s a good fight to be in, and many of us win in the end and get the hang of it! Keep up the good work mama!

L.

5 Baby things I wish I didn’t buy

Are you getting unwanted advice from everyone and their mother yet?

When I was pregnant and through the first months after R was born I was getting all kinds of advice from moms and even women who are not moms. THE BEST advice I’ve ever received hands down is from a couple who also have a newborn, they said to listen to what people have to say, but only take the advice that you need, that applies to you! So in this case, I am writing from my personal experience, this is what has worked and not worked for me and my baby. So take what you need from this post and I hope you find it helpful if this applies to you!

We got lots of help from friends and family with baby items, some we haven’t started using yet, some we really love, and some items we really didn’t find practical or useful at all. Here are a few that I wish I didn’t buy or ask for on my registry.

1. 4moms tub

It’s certainly fancy! It’s has a temp reading to tell you if it’s warm enough for the baby, but honestly, you can get a thermostat for that or even better – use your judgement. You know your baby best and I trust that you will get the appropriate temps for the tub!

The water in this tub stays shallow, my baby wasn’t comfortable, so my husband had to hold his head while I washed him so he wouldn’t fall to the side. I have a big baby, and on top of that he kept growing so fast that within 3 weeks the water was not even covering his tummy and I have to put a warm wet towel on top to keep him warm. Maybe it’s best for tiny babies if you have something for their head to keep them from rolling to the side.

Pros:

  • best for smaller babies
  • temp measurement
  • small in size

 

Here is a tub that I love: Infant & toddler Tub and I would use.  

The actual baby tub I love is hand me down from my mom, she saved it from my baby sister who is now 9 years old. It’s the only hand me down item I got so I’m cherishing it! My baby absolutely loves it and I adore it for how easy it is to use! I am always on the look out for the items that I can keep using and not buy a different one once the baby grows out of it. I know this one I will keep for a while, once my baby can sit, he can just splash it all he wants!

2. Wipe warmer

Again, this is my opinion. Waste of money on this thing. The wipes dry out if left open inside the warmer, and by the time I take it out and get to the baby’s bottom, the whole thing is cooled off.

I tried a few different brands of baby wipes and found the one my baby liked the most. I still use it. It’s a Wegmans brand (our local grocery store) sensitive thin wipes. The price is great, its super soft, just moist enough, and my baby doest react negatively to it. (I love all organic stuff, tried them all, our favorite one is Burts Bees baby wipes, but they are the most expensive on the market and when you go through SO many wipes, it’s not worth it for me.

3. Blooming bath – the Flower bath thing

I love the idea of this as a bath for my baby and I didn’t actually purchase one myself or tested it out (just being honest) but every mom I’ve talked to who used it, did not like it as much as a traditional simple bath tub. My friend who used this also has a big baby (our babies were actually born the same weight and length) and it was very uncomfortable to keep the baby stable and comfortable while washing him.

Cons:

  • it’s larger then it looks
  • you have to put it in the dryer to dry it because its big and heavy with water once your bath is done
  • you have to pour water over it to keep it warm, to keep the baby warm
  • creates unnecessary steps after the bath to take care of it, the ‘clean up’ seems too much work for a mom who has to bath the baby, dry the baby, lotion, and put a diaper on, especially if your baby does not love bath time

Pros:

  • it’s super duper cute – and we, the women, buy most of the things that are cute
  • best for babies who can sit on their own
  • portable, easy to transport around
  • saves space if you don’t have a lot of storage for a tub

 

4. Diaper bag

This is MY opinion. So don’t judge please, make your own decisions on this one. I love my purses, I love being a woman and after giving birth I felt like I needed something of my old stuff to make me feel more womanly to help me come back to the new normal and feel sexy again. Because there are so many things after the baby that make you feel SO NOT sexy, you have to work hard on this one, in my opinion.

Diaper bag, even though they have SO many cute ones now, just didn’t make me feel like a sexy mom. I have a beautiful diaper bag, exactly what I asked for and I love it! So far I used it twice maybe… I think I will get more use out of it once my baby is older and I will need more space in the bag or when traveling and I need something thats organized well.

Instead I’ve been using my own purse as a diaper bag and use a ToteSavy insert for organization. It’s worked perfect so far! It helps to keep me organized and not have to carry lots of stuff around. You may not find it as easy if you need to bring a lot of bottles/formula, I am breastfeeding and for now its a very convenient solution.

5. Baby wrap carrier

I think this item is LOVE it or HATE it kind of thing. I hate it, not because of what it is, but because my baby hates it. I tried 3 different ones, I tried to wrap it around and after trying it and fighting it, I returned all of them but one – baby K’tan wrap. I only used this carrier when we were on vacation and I needed something easy to carry him.

Every baby is different. R gets hot and over heated very quickly, so I can’t use a carrier that will heat him up being so tight next to me. He is very independent (which makes me happy and saddens me at the same time) and doesn’t want to be pressed into me all the time. I also found it so difficult trying to do the whole wrap around me. I want something that’s quick to put on and take off, simple and easy is my friend now.

 

I hope you found this helpful! In the end, what you feel is best for you and your baby, every one is so different, so what I didn’t like you may love!

Stay fabulous mom!

 

xoxo

L.

 

Build a freezer stash without pumping

If you are exclusively breastfeeding, hate pumping but would still like to have a freezer full of supply just incase, this is for you!

I’m no expert in breastfeeding, just another mom sharing my experiences.

Breastfeeding is an incredible opportunity I feel blessed to have. Knowing that your baby is growing so rapidly and is only using the food that’s produced by your body is still surreal to me. All the talks you hear about bonding with the baby and all those feelings a mom would experience breastfeeding, it’s all true.

I work from home, so when I needed to start working again I started pumping, he was 4 weeks old when I went back for the first time. I am not a fan of the whole pumping thing, so I give you mamas kudos and then some if you pump exclusively! It’s a serious and difficult commitment!

If you’re like me, “just enougher” with your supply, you would definitely benefit from this. Then keep reading.

I was still nursing during the day since my schedule is flexible, so I would have to make specific pumping times during the day in order to create a freezer stash. I wasn’t too excited about it, and didn’t really do it. In the end, I had maybe 10 oz stored for the future. My supply was good but not to the point where I could build up a stash in the freezer for the future. I know some women who have an abundance that they are able to share with other moms and have a freezer full also.

Then I found a silicone manual pump. I call it boob squeegee. Maybe because my baby brain is worse after I had the baby, now I forget the actual names of things and it’s all just “that thingy”, anyone with me on that?

Anyway, I love my boob squeegee!! In a 24 hour period I get about 7-10 ounces to put into storage in case I will need it in the future. To me that’s gold! Especially because my supply isn’t much more then what my baby has been asking for. The way it works? While breastfeeding, I use the pump on the other side, it’s easy to attach by suctioning it on (it sounds so weird, but you figure it out, and yes I googled for some videos on how to) while the baby is nursing any milk that would normally leak out is collected and then some.

This thing is less then $20, so I definitely recommend getting one! Here is a link for one.

Do you struggle with clogged milk ducts? I wish I had this pump with me early on as I would get so full and start getting clogged ducts if I wasn’t paying attention. If my baby sleeps 7 hours at night and only nurses on one side, I end up with 9-11 hours without nursing on the other side which also gets uncomfortable. This pump helped so much with my night feedings for the baby and my own comfort.

P.s. The pump works to pump, not just catch your let down.

P.s.s. I go to a lactation specialist once a mont or so. It was so important to get help in the beginning but now I go to be able to weigh my baby to calculate how much he’s taking in and get answers to my questions.

I hope this helps if you are in the same boat as me with basically just enough to feed your baby, but a desire to build up a freezer stash just in case! If you get the pump and use it – I’d love to hear from you, tell me if you love it or hate it!

 

Make sure to leave a comment if this was helpful to you and Share the link with a friend who could use it!