This year has already seen us take several flights with our toddler, both short haul and long haul. Whilst I love traveling and exploring as a family of three, I also always slightly dread the flight with my toddler whom is 21 months old. We have been fortunate enough to fly Business Class on the long haul flights so that does give us a bit more room and comfort, however it is still very difficult to entertain a little one who is incredibly active but cant quite yet communicate. As such, I have spent a lot of time scouting Amazon for toddler friendly toys and activities. I pack them into our carry-on luggage to keep her entertained during the flight and then use them throughout the holiday. Here are the top 10 toys that I have opted for to help keep my very busy toddler occupied.
- Recently I attended the Bump & Baby Expo in York where I was very kindly given my first ever ‘Blogger Access’ to the expo. This event, which was organised in collaboration with Avocado Events, featured over 60 exhibitors with ‘bump and beyond’ products and services. We were gifted a very generous gift bag full of lots of lovely items – many of which are from local or small female mum businesses. I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the things I received so that you can look them up and perhaps try them out for yourself. I am all for finding new amazing products as well as supporting small businesses where possible. Everything is linked below so you can find it easily online.
- It sounds rather gruesome and barbaric doesn’t it … eating ones placenta post childbirth. However don’t be too alarmed – I didn’t fry it up in my kitchen or turn it into a smoothie – I had my placenta encapsulated. So okay, that sounds a little more humane and easily digestible but the question is WHY did I do it? And the reason I did ingest my placenta is simple – I was terrified of suffering from post natal depression after the birth of my daughter. I have experienced small amounts of anxiety in the past – I think this has mainly been a side effect from taking the contraceptive pill and stresses such as work. Its never been quite bad enough to seek any kind of professional help for it but I was really worried of post natal depression from very early on in my pregnancy.
- With Mother’s Day just around the corner for those UK mamas (this weekend, Sunday 31st March!) I wanted to put together a last minute gift guide for those who aren’t super organised or cannot fathom that it is the end of March already. Alternatively, if you are one of my Australian or US readers then it gives you plenty of time to plan for your upcoming Mother’s Day on May 12th. I’m sure none of you need a reminder that its an important time to spoil your Mum and special ladies in your life for everything they have done and sacrificed for you. So here is some inspiration from Wander & Luxe, or a list that you can forward on as a hint!
- I was convinced that Mackenzie would arrive early. I had read articles that suggested that early births are hereditary in the female line. My sister and I were born early, as was my mum, and my husband was born 4 weeks early also. Nevertheless, when I discovered my show one morning and two weeks before my due date, I was in shock. My instant reaction was to burst into tears, but I think I was also the tiniest bit excited as I knew within 24-48 hours she would be here. The Oxytocin Hormone had obviously kicked in as I literally did not even consider what was about to happen to my body. I text Troy straight away followed by my doula and then got on with my day.
I really struggled to decide on a baby bag (and I still refuse to call it a nappy bag – in my mind I am cooler than that!). I find lots of them to be bulky and ugly and definitely not something I wanted to be seen carting around with me. In the first year as a new mum you will use this bag every day, so it is worth some thought and investment. I encourage you to think outside of the box when you are choosing your baby bag and not to commit to the status quo because you think you should. And hey, if it is not a traditional baby bag then you can continue to use it for years to come. In fact I accidentally bought a Coach baby bag some years ago as a bag to use as a travel carry-on and didn’t even realize – it wasn’t until later when I found the changing mat inside! Here are a few of my fave stylish baby bags to inspire all you trendy mums.
Are you like me and want to do everything you can to assist in preventing pregnancy related stretch marks? I don’t know whether it is genetics or my rigorous beauty regime but I was fortunate enough not to gain any stretch marks on my tummy, hips, thighs etc. during my pregnancy. I was relatively small throughout my pregnancy and at 20 weeks was mostly still able to hid my bump under a shift dress or loose t-shirt. I also delivered Mackenzie 2 weeks early so perhaps if I were to go full term then it would have been a different story. I have read that pregnancy traits are hereditary, although perhaps it is an old wives tail, however I expected that I would be small and I expected she would arrive well before her due date. That being said, I wanted to share the products that I used throughout my pregnancy. I started applying the products to my non existent bump around the 12 week mark once we had had our scan and everything was looking to be progressing well (I didn’t want to jinx it before then). I applied the products morning and night without fail and regardless of how exhausted I felt. And towards the end I was applying the products several times a day, as my skin was just so damn itchy as my belly grew. These are my recommended 5 products to prevent stretch marks.
Recently we found ourselves flying with a toddler to attend two very important weddings. It was an incredibly long journey from York, England to Perth, Australia and it was made to feel even longer with a toddler in tow. Pre-baby we would have settled into our seats, watched endless movies and drunk copious amounts of wine to survive the flights. Nowadays we have to stay (relatively) sober and alert enough to tend to our toddler’s every need. Its definitely not ideal flying long haul and across multiple time zones with a toddler – everyone has asked how the flights were and my standard response is ‘it was okay.’ We survived, but it wasn’t great. My personal recommendation would be to avoid flying this far with a young mobile child whom struggles to be entertained for more than 5 minutes if you can. A trip closer to home and in the same time zone will be far more enjoyable for the whole family. But obviously there are many reasons why you might need to, such as two epic weddings, so I have prepared a few tips to help you survive flying with a toddler should you find yourself in the same situation.
5 Minutes with Louise of York Pilates People
I have practiced Pilates for many years and I have to admit that I am pretty terrible at it, so much so that I have barely graduated beyond the beginners class. However, I know that practicing Pilates is excellent for my body and it helps to significantly reduce the amount of everyday pain I suffer from my scoliosis. So naturally when I fell pregnant I wanted to continue on with the specifically designed pregnancy Pilates classes – well that and because I was terrified of becoming a pregnant whale (see my previous article – ‘10 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Pregnancy‘). I took these classes until I left Australia at 20 weeks pregnant but unfortunately was unable to find any classes when I arrived in York. Now, thanks to the lovely Louise at York Pilates People this has all changed. Louise has opened a wonderful studio in York which caters for pregnancy Pilates and post natal Pilates (plus classes for everything in between). This week I spent 5 minutes with Louise to discuss the benefits of Pilates for expectant Mums.
- You have peed on the stick (or 10) and it is positive. You have been to the doctors and weed (again) and its confirmed – your pregnant! Now what do you do after the initial excitement, fear, shock, morning sickness wears off? There is an abundance of information out there for expectant mums and everyone (I mean everyone) will want to give you their two cents worth. Many of my girlfriends are now falling pregnant too and just like I did with my dear friend who had a baby a year before me, they are reaching out for some realistic advice. She was definitely not one to sugar coat it and I greatly appreciated the valuable advice on pregnancy and motherhood that she gave me. I have never been overly maternal – I did not rush out and buy a wardrobe full of pink frilly dresses when we found out we were having a girl. I packed my hospital bag the morning I went into labor and over a year later, my daughter’s bedroom is still only half finished – Sorry Mack. So if you are anything like me i.e. somewhat in denial and have no idea what you should be doing, here are my top 10 tips towards enjoying a happy and healthy pregnancy.