Tips when you’re travelling with a toddler :)

And we’re back from our short and sweet vacation. It’s funny how I felt like we’re just packing our bags yesterday.  Last year I wrote Tips when you’re travelling with a baby :) What I wrote there were based on my personal experiences just like what I am going to write for us today.

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We are making it a habit that we have to dine together before travelling :)

I just realized that as our babies steps into toddlerhood the amount of stuff that they need will be twice their age. When we travelled last year, Ellie is just 9 months old – we packed all of the basics and some additional things that might help but now – we packed the BASICS, what she wanted and stuff that kept her entertained and comfortable during the whole trip. Take note that whatever it is that we took with us… has a sole purpose – minimize any unwanted attention that might arise during our 9-hours flight. Ellie was 21 months when we left.

FOOD and lots of CLOTHES

As a mom – her food and clothes are my priorities.  Comfortable clothes and 3 more sets of clothes for “something happened” moments. The footwear should be comfortable too. Comfortable shoes lessens the “carry-me-daddy” situation. When it comes to food – we packed up  biscuits/cookies that she likes. Fruit bites and juices WITH straw. The straw reduces spills and the mess that might happen on board. We are loaded with milk and her water too. The funny thing with our little one – she prefers to eat what we are eating…so I am eating her stuff too :)

WIPES and SANITIZERS

Wet wipes and hand sanitizers … don’t forget these. These are  necessities and LIFE-SAVERS. I also bought this Evian Mineral Water Facial Baby Spray. It helps us during her nappy changes and I used this to clean her face and hands. I don’t know how… but toddlers have the amazing ability to be messy.

EMERGENCY KIT

Medicines, band-aids, insect repellant and a little bottle of alcohol in a zip-locked bag. The medicines are not only meant for Ellie – but for me and my hubby too. Whenever we travel we always make sure that we are all feeling well. It’s a nightmare to go on a trip when you’re sick.

HER FAVORITE TOY + a gadget she cannot refuse.

After giving her a lot of options to choose from… Ellie decided to bring her Minnie Mouse stuff toy with her for our vacation. We encourage her to read books and write using a pen and paper but that’s on a regular day – since we are travelling we’ve decided to allow her to use the tablet – we downloaded – baby games and puzzles and other educational applications that she can explore. Take note that this is our last resortand we weren’t able to use this during our flight back and forth because she ate, looked outside the window – watched a bit of Moana and fell asleep.

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Ellie and her Trunki – Benny the Cat.

We also invested on a Trunki for Ellie and she loves it and the idea that she got her own bag to carry. At first she didn’t want to ride or even pull it..but you know how toddlers are. We didn’t bring any strollers with us because at her age right now – sitting is an enemy.  We also brought a neck pillow for her to keep her comfortable during the flight.

A happy baby is equal to a happy trip. I know parents like me prepare a lot of things and rituals just to make sure that their child will not have any problems – keeping them warm, safe and comfortable during their trip. Our toddlers are also adjusting to the environment and if it is an unfamiliar territory we have to help them to cope up with it.

When traveling with toddlers, It is really important to choose the right flights and fly at the right time of the day. We choose the late afternoon flight (4-6pm). Since Ellie’s nap time is around 11am-12pm or 1-2pm, if we fly in the late afternoon there’s a huge probability that she will miss her nap time.  And we prayed to God that that she will be tired enough to fall asleep on the flight – and she did :)

To each his own. Parents know what’s best for their kids and we just have to trust ourselves that we are doing what’s best for them always.

Share the love. How do you manage your travel experiences with toddlers in tow?

Do you have any tips on keeping them busy while you’re on the go?

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Staycation and Realizations.

It was not planned like other staycations we had during the past months but this made me realized a lot of things as a mom, as a wife and and as a person. Tags work schedule will be different than the past 6 months and he will not have a weekend off for this month, so he wanted to make this weekend worthwhile.

We booked a hotel in Abu Dhabi – we opt for Sheraton but they are fully booked during our preferred dates after one whole day of searching we booked for Al Raha Beach Hotel. We booked here because based on the reviews they are kid friendly and got a kids club and a nice kiddie pool too. Ellie is with us so this is not a romantic getaway with Tags.

There are lots of things inside my head. Ever since I became a mother I always caught myself overthinking and over analyzing a lot of things. I want to share these with you, not for you to judge me, but for me to check if I am alone in these thoughts.

The days are long but the years are short. I realized that Ellie is no longer a baby. We were watching her a she splashed the pool water… when Tags whispered that there’ll be a day that she will get married and he will cry. True enough, the years are really short. It seems like yesterday we were waiting for her to come out of this world and now she is throwing tantrums!

I wonder what’s the right age to finally accept Ellie’s independence. I know she’s just turning two, but during the whole trip – she is trying to do things on her own. Small things – like drinking in a glass, wearing her shoes, dressing herself, walking alone, trying to swim alone etc. Seriously? She is almost two and I felt like I am not needed anymore. [Clingy mother alert!!!]

I always thought about these moments. Yes… it is true. It dawned upon me that this is what I want. Walking hand in hand with my husband, wondering what to eat, where to go and what to do next. Planning for the future and thinking about what is in store for us. Yes. Whatever we have now is what I wanted and what I kept on praying for. Thank you Lord for the gift of family.

My husband is a blessing – no matter what. Well… I get pissed off and annoyed and irritated. We have our moments. We shared the same negative emotions but we sort things out and we don’t let these bad vibes get the best of us. Tags has always been a great father to Ellie. The way he takes care of her, the way he looks at her with love and joy and the efforts he exerts to provide all of our needs and wants. He is a wonderful husband too, marrying a crazy girl like me is a challenge.I don’t have to explain this further. He is a blessing to me…to us… rain or shine.

Time spent with the people we love = life’s precious moments. I was looking at them from a distance and I realized that, that exact moment is what I am living for. Seeing both my daughter and husband happy and well and filled with love cannot be exchanged for anything. Moments with your love ones will never be replaced. The people that I have in my life now are gifts to me. Whatever I have now I wished and prayed for.

There are a lot more thoughts in between these and a number of subtopics too… but there’s one thing that I don’t have to think or question about…and that is I love being a wife to my husband and a mother to our daughter. I might overthink, overreact and overdo numerous things when it comes to our family but for sure… all mothers do.

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Toddler Care during SUMMER :)

Summer in the UAE is very different from summer time in the Philippines. Each season has its own charm and its own challenges. But whether it’s here in Dubai or in Manila, summer still brings with it scorching sun and hot winds. It is a big change for the little ones (even adults too!) But do not fret. I want to share with you a summer care guide to keep us and our munchkin comfortable and cool this summer. Most of what’s written here are advices from my mom, fellow moms and based on my personal experiences too.

  1. Dress them right.Wear light coloured clothing. – What our baby wears can help keep them cool. Whites and brights are nice to look at and very comfortable to wear during the hot season. Put on your checklist cotton clothes and say no to synthetic fabric at this time of the year – this can cause prickly heat rashes.
  2. Get a proper sun hat for your baby. Make sure it has a wide rim, and that it fits well. My mom already bought three different hats for Ellie.Take note that it’s best to avoid hats with elastic support which may constrict blood circulation.
  3. Stay indoors during the peak heat hours. Do I have to explain this further? It can cause heat stroke on adults and what more on our kids right?
  4. Choose suitable nappies.Remember that nappies tend to trap the heat, this can cause rashes and other types of skin irritation. We haven’t tried using the washable nappies that’s currently on trend. Ellie uses Pampers Premium Care because of the breathable materials note : micro pores help air circulation, allowing skin to breathe.
  5. Be HYDRATED.If your baby is younger than six months, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you do not need to give them water, even in hot weather. Babies who breastfeed whenever they wish do not get dehydrated. If your baby is formula-fed, you could offer him some boiled, cooled water in hot weather. For older babies who are already on solids, you could try milk shakes, fresh fruit juices and coconut water. These are refreshing and nutritious. Avoid sodas and caffeine-loaded drinks.
  6. Sunscreen. There lots of good brands out there just make sure to go for the mild sunscreen specially designed for babies and toddlers as they need to be protected from harsh sun too! Ellie’s Godmother – Geli, gave her The Honest Company Honest Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 50+. We also have Mustela High Protection Sun Lotion and the Nivea Sun KidsSunscreen. Costco-Find-Honest-Company-Honest-Mineral-Sunscreen-SPF-50.png
  7. Cool off with some water play. Summers are a good time to let your baby enjoy some water play. You can head out to the beach or even just the bathtub or a small inflatable baby pool with a little water and some bath toys. I noticed that Ellie or toddlers in general, love to splash around, so let them have fun. *But make sure that they are supervised – little ones can drown.. even with just few INCHES of water.
  8. An air conditioned room right after a bath is a NO NO. They can easily catch a cold and chills. Switch on the air conditioner only after they are fully clothed and their hair is dry. Whenever Ellie is sleeping or playing, we make sure that the cold air does not flow directly at her (my mom told me this). It’s also best not to take them into warmer areas just after she has been in an air conditioned room. Switch off the AC first.  We have to let our kids adjust to the warmth before taking him out.
  9. Protect them from mosquitoes.Dengue fever and even malaria are caused by stagnant water and dirty surroundings. So,regularly clean and change water. This will prevent the breeding of any insects. Use insect repellent creams on your baby.
  10. Use shades or eye goggles to protect their eyes. Some might say that this is too much… but please make sure that it has UV protection, after all that’s the reason why we are buying it for them  – and second is, of course,the undeniable cuteness.]

Summer time is a great time to spend outdoors with the family. We are excited to be back in the Philippines for our vacation. We will definitely go far south for the beaches or went far North to Baguio City.  Nothing is definite as of this time but Tags and I are sure that Ellie will enjoy her vacation this year.

Share the love, let me know how you take good care of your toddlers during summer? :)

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Ellie’s first CINEMA experience

We’ve decided to finally bring Ellie to our movie date. This is her first time and I am so excited about two things 1) Ellie’s first movie 2) Beauty and the Beast Tags was teasing me the whole time that he is 100% sure that I’ll enjoy it more than Ellie. Well, partly true, but he enjoyed too.

The lyrics are still on my head, same with iconic yellow ball gown that Belle wore.

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly

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But let’s not focus on the movie today (BTW I really love the treatment of this Disney Classic). Ellie loves the vivid colours and the singing and dancing parts. She was watching the movie and was even laughing and smiling. I am happy that we were able to unlock this milestone for her.

I want to share some tips If you want to bring your toddler to the movies :

BEFORE:

  1. Make sure to inform them beforehand, show them pictures or books and at least try to engage them of what they’ll be seeing for an hour or two.
  2. Choose a child-friendly movie.
  3. Create excitement. Tags keeps on asking Ellie if she is excited and if she wants to go to the cinema. Ellie is smiling and nodding the whole time.
  4. Make sure that they are cozy and comfortable -shirt,jeans,shoes etc. Ellie wore her long sleeve-top, tights and trusty rubber shoes.

DURING:

  1. FOOD.We were loaded. Popcorn(cheese and caramel) her choice. Nachos with Dip. Large JUICE (freshly squeezed). Biscuits.Her toddler biscuits.  These kept her busy and focused.
  2. We were pointing at the important details on the big screen so that she’ll pay attention and will remember details. It’s easy because the movie was colourful and happy.
  3. Whenever she is distracted – we told her that there are other people watching and she should be discreet when she sees something interesting.

AFTER:

  1. For continuity, we asked her if she liked the movie. If she remembers certain parts and if she likes the dress and other important details.
  2. We asked her if she wants to watch a movie again in the cinema.

Ellie is turning 20 months tomorrow and we are happy that at this stage we were able to engage her without any problem with this kind of activity. Ellie is not yet speaking properly but she understands everything and has her own ways of expressing herself. Some might say that she is too young etc. but come on, we will not do anything that will harm her. Toddlers are very much advanced nowadays no matter how hard we try to deny it.

What activities are you introducing to your toddlers?

I might try baking with Ellie next time.

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Some magic takes time.

I am stressing and freaking out over these crazy thoughts. I know that toddlers have their own pacing when  it comes to unlocking their milestones.  Ellie has always been a healthy bundle of joy and everything about her is just a-mazing. She is 18 months and still not talking. I am bit worried although we already check with her pediatrician about my concerns. Her pedia laughed about it. She said that I was overthinking. Some toddlers don’t talk until they are two years old. But I can’t wait anymore.

Some kids are early walkers and some are early talkers and there’s nothing to worry about. I read a lot of articles about milestones and really gave a lot of time when it concerns speech and language. So far I don’t have to worry about anything. If you’re concerned about your child’s speech and language development, there are some things to watch for. An infant who isn’t responding to sound or who isn’t vocalizing is of particular concern.

I have to keep in my head that every child is different. Children pick up language in stages, and kids may reach those stages at different times.  I just have to give her more time and I have to relax. With the sounds and gestures that she makes now, I know that it will be a handful when she can say words properly and start asking questions.

As parents our concern for our little ones are endless. When it comes to their milestones and health, growth and development everything is a BIG deal. We want the best things for them and sometimes we compare them to other toddlers as well and when they cannot do what another baby can do we worry. I am so guilty of this.Tags told me that even if Ellie cannot properly say words she can do things that other kids cannot. :) So I will stop this. All babies are heaven-sent and special in their own ways. After all, she is only 18 months and her magic will surprise us soon.

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