Co-Sleeping… You do what works for you & your child!!!

It wasn’t long ago that we had a mothers group catch up, it had been over 12 months since we all caught up as a group, so we were catching up on all the children’s developments and I got talking to one mum about sleep. We had often discussed sleeping especially in our early catch ups as we were all new mums and it was highly beneficial to draw from their tips and experiences. I asked how her daughter was sleeping and her words really stuck and resinated with me, she said, “We co-sleep, it’s just what works for us… some kids are good sleepers which is great but ours just isn’t.” and laughed.  I loved her raw honesty, I have often shied away and was embarrassed about the fact that Noah isn’t a great sleeper, that he wakes a couple of times a night and it can be exhausting.
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Co-sleeping is something that everyone seems to have an opinion on, you will be judged on it and as a parent you will constantly hear:
~ “Don’t rock your child to sleep when they are babies”
~ “Don’t let your child sleep in bed with you”
~ “You are just making a rod for your own back.”
Yet until you have a child that doesn’t sleep through the night you will never understand how much broken sleep and sleep deprivation can impact on you and your frame of mind.be kind

Noah was born, and we rocked him to sleep and yes I can put my hand up and tell the world that we do co-sleep! We don’t co-sleep because we are lazy or selfish parents and just want a good night’s sleep, we co-sleep because everyone needs sleep and rest and I would much rather us all get a good night’s sleep and be happy and in a good mood the following day than get hardly any sleep and be exhausted and cranky.  No parent wants to deal with an overtired child and no child wants to deal with an irritable parent so for us co-sleeping when we need too is a win win situation.  Now when I say we co-sleep it doesn’t happen every night and we don’t plan for it to happen.  We take it in turns putting him to bed, we lay with him until he goes to sleep and then transfer him to his cot, from there we have a few scenarios that follow:

  1. He sleeps through the night and we both do a happy dance the following morning!!!
  2. He stirs around midnight, I rub his back or give him his bottle and he goes back off to sleep and sleeps through.
  3. He wakes a number of times through the night, I try a couple of times to get him back to sleep but if that doesn’t work he comes into bed with us.

Sometimes sleeping through the night can mean until 7am and other times he will wake at 4am, if it is the earlier time I put him bed with me so we both get a few more hours sleep as Jus is getting up for work anyway. We go through stages, Noah can have a few good weeks where he sleeps through and then a bad week, it is a rollercoaster ride just like parenting is…

Noah also has a Lulla doll which he absolutely loves, “Doddy” as he calls her is a real comfort to him and he won’t go to sleep of a night without her.  The Lulla doll is a sleep companion for newborns, babies and toddlers it is soft, cuddly and imitates an adults real life breathing for up to 8 hours at a time.  I bought her when Noah was about 9 months old because he was waking every hour, we were completely exhausted and I was willing to try anything to help him sleep. She certainly helped him sleep and although he still does wake it is nowhere near as much as he was and he can now self settle a lot more with her, I would highly recommend for any parent that has a child who is struggling to sleep.  There are plenty of things out there from toys, dolls, night lights etc to try and assist with sleep, it is just finding something that works for your child.

So yes some mornings I may wake up with an arm in my face or a leg in my back but to roll over and see that cheeky face smiling at me can only mean it is going to be a good day ahead… there are positives and negatives in all parts of life but morning cuddles are certainly one of those positives.

I guess what I am trying to point out is you do what works for you, too often as parents we do what others do or say when realistically you know what is best for you and your child so go with your gut and do what you think is best. Whether you co-sleep by choice or necessity you obviously have good reason to do so!  Just remember that your child’s safety is your biggest priority so please if you do or planning on co sleeping make sure you follow the co-sleeping guidelines.

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Tips when preparing for IVF…

Embarking on IVF is a scary yet exciting journey… It will possibly be the most amazing yet confronting adventure in your life.  It will be a rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions, highs, lows and so many feelings you didn’t even know you had.

When we were going through our IVF journey I struggled with the mixed bag of emotions, getting excited to be let down time and time again and constantly asked myself why me, why us, why my body!  The process is both physically and mentally draining but we were blessed that the end result was a success.  So I wanted to put together a few things you should know if you are preparing to embark on your IVF journey.192d577ec60c590fc63c62468eb771ec--grieving-quotes-infertility-quotes

A Strong Support Person – Support is one of the biggest things you will need through this entire journey, someone who will listen openly without judgement.  For me this was my husband… He was my rock and my voice of reason, he let me cry, scream and let all my emotions out but he also comforted me when I needed it and gave his raw honest opinion to get me through.  I know not everyone goes through this journey with a partner however everyone needs just someone as their support to be 100% open and honest with.

A Healthy Lifestyle – I am certainly not the healthiest person in the world but I do have a relitively good diet, drink plenty of water and exercise reguarly and I think this helped with the success of IVF for us.  Doing yoga or pilates can really help your mindset along with your health and wellbeing.  I also believe you want to give yourself the best possible chance to become pregnant so ensuring you are healthy is the first step.eat-move-hydrate-sleep-love-life-2

Distractions – IVF can easily consume your whole life and mindset if you let it so I would recommend a hobby or some kind of distraction.  For me it was dancing, I could go to classes each week and just be me, let go and put IVF to the back of my mind for a few hours.  It was also a way to keep fit and exercise at the same time.

Positivity – I certainly found that this was one of the hardest things to maintain through our IVF journey but it is so incredibly important to think and stay positive to increase your chances of conceiving.  It is easy to quickly resort to the negative especially when you get bad news or a set back however surrounding yourself with positive people that can keep you on track and who can boost your confidence will help more than you will know…2954_1_wandtattoo_think_positive

Money – It is hard to put a price on the family you long for but no one can deny IVF is costly.  In Australia medicare will cover some of the costs but I would also recommend private health insurance.  Although private health will not help with the cost of appointments, scans, medication etc it does assist when you have to go in for day surgery for your egg harvest and embryo transfer.  Before starting IVF set yourself a approximate budget of what you would be willing to spend as you do not need the added stress of finances on top of the stress of IVF.piggy-bank

Whether you are just starting your IVF journey, already emarked on it or just know someone going through it then I hope these tips have helped.  Goodluck and remember everyone’s journey is different.

Relish in the wins, the positive and the good times but know that it is also ok to be sad and angry in the hard times and always remember…Any-Woman-Who-Does-IVF-is-a-Freakin-Warrior-580x387.jpg

 

When did the world become so judgy?

No-Perfect-Way-to-be-A-Good-MotherI’ve always known that the world is a judgemental place but it wasn’t until I became a mum did I realise just how judgemental it really was.  Sadly we seem to be most judgemental on other mothers, so why not support other mother’s instead of critisising them and trying to bring them down…

The things I find we critisise the most are:

Breastfeeding VS Formula – Noah was three weeks early and my body had been through a lot with preeclampsia so I tried my best but breastfeeding just didn’t seem to work.  I tried in hospital and he wouldn’t latch so I was expressing milk and bottle feeding him.  Obviously I got the “breast is best” talk from the nurses but as much as I tried when I got home Noah still wouldn’t latch and my milk was getting less and less so we were topping him up with formula anyway.  I was sitting expressing for up to an hour to get around 10ml’s from each breast, it was exhausting, stessful but I just kept trying as I thought it would be best for him.  When in reality if he isn’t getting enough to eat then it really isn’t best for him so I called my OB to get his advise and his honest response was “Is it really going to upset you that much if you can’t breastfeed and he goes on formula full time, I would rather you do this & Noah be healthy than you be overwhelmed and stressed.”  This was all I needed and already I felt relief, even as a new mum you know your baby and what they need so don’t let others try to tell you what is best.  Putting Noah on formula was the best thing for the both of us, he was getting fed and I was a lot less stressed.  But I find I still get the odd comment when I mention I didn’t breastfeed especially from an older generation, they say “well how hard did you try” or “did you really give it enough time” or just “well why couldn’t you breastfeed.”  Breastfed or Formula as long as your baby is healthy and it works for you that is all that matters.

Sleeping in their cot/own room VS co sleeping – Before I became I mum I swore my child would never sleep in bed with us, as a child I was a shocking sleeper I would wake up to eight times a night and go into my parents room.  My mum was very disciplined and night after night would put me back in my own bed.  Me on the other hand I was not so strong and after weeks of Noah waking multiple times a night, Jus and I both having to get up for work I caved and put him in bed with us.  Now he doesn’t sleep with us every night and most nights when he wakes through the night he puts himself back to sleep but if he is unsettled or won’t go back off to sleep then I do put him in our bed just so we can all get some sleep.  So if your child is a good sleeper or you have worked hard to get them into a good sleep routine then that is awesome but don’t judge those who are just doing what they have to to get some shut eye.  Because a sleep deprived mum and bub is not a good combo and the comments like “You are just making a rod for your own back having him in bed with you” do not help anyone.

Working Mama VS Stay at Home Mama – The constant debate and it seems our biggest critics are other mothers on who has it harder, who works longer and what’s best for the child.  To be honest there are pro’s and cons with each and I really don’t think there is a one mould fits all answer.  If you are a stay at home mum you get the advantage of being at home with your child all day and watching them grow before your eyes and you don’tSuper-Mum-Thumb2-0-1-1-800x800 have the added “professional work stress” but it can be a stretch on the bank account and sometimes you can lose yourself a bit both mentally and financially and may long for adult conversation.  Then on the other hand there are some mothers that chose to or who have to go back to work they financially may be better off but bring their work stress home and miss out on time with their children.  I am not saying all of these things do happen just that there are two sides and it’s what works for your family.  I am lucky that I have an amazing and understanding workplace that gives me flexibility  and  I feel I have a really good balance.  I technically work a four day week – I work in the office three days a week and have a work at home day, Noah goes to care two days and to his nanny’s one day.  My work at home day isn’t one full day at home as that is humanly impossible with a toddler so I split my time and do a few hours when Noah has his day sleep and a few hours of a night.  I enjoy both worlds, I love my days at home with Noah and just being a mum but I also enjoy my job and being surrounded by a passionate team in the career I love.

These are just a few I have experienced but you have everything from birth did you have a caesarean, natural or epidural… What foods you feed your child, toilet training, does your child still have a bottle, brands of clothing and the list goes on… Oh and the one I have got is “But why did you need IVF.”

Every mum (in particular every new mum) is just doing their best to get through each day.  There is no rule book on how to be a “perfect parent” actually there is no such thing as a “perfect parent” we are all just winging it to ensure our kids are happy & healthy.

The best thing about kids is they don’t judge and they are honest and maybe as adults we can be more like them…JUDGEMENT

 

 

PCOS… Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome!

In my earlier IVF blogs I spoke about having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome also known as PCOS so I wanted to talk a little more about it as there are many things people may or may not be aware of…

PCOS AFFECTS

Doctor’s say that one in five women have PCOS and around 50% aren’t even aware that they have it.  I was definitely one of these 50% as it wasn’t until we started to try to conceive that I realised something wasn’t quite right with my body.  When I was first told that I had PCOS I didn’t really think much of it, that was probably because I had no idea what it meant or the symptoms that it can bring.  I stopped taking the pill when I was 26 and my periods became very irregular, in fact they became non existent and I went close to two years without even getting a period, that right there should have been a bit of a trigger that something was up.  I had started the pill when I was 15 so that was 11 years of putting something into my body to mask an underlining issue.  In the beginning it did regulate my periods and obviously acts as a contraception which is a positive however for me I do think that it masked a lot of the signs of PCOS that may have been picked up at a younger age if I hadn’t been on the pill.

You may see it as a relief or even convenient not to get your period but my reality was not getting a period was a way of my body telling me that there was something wrong.  And I know to some, getting your period isn’t something to get excited about however I ar121791773359559bet if you ask someone with PCOS that has gone months even years without one then the day they do get their period can be cause for a celebration.  I mean you don’t have to go out and bake a celebratory cake to congratulate yourself but I know many a times I have done my own little happy dance to celebrate it’s arrival!

Along with the irregular/no period I also had these symptoms:

~  Easy Weight Gain  ~  Headaches  ~  Acne  ~  Skin Tags  ~  Fatigue  ~  And obviously the biggest for me was Infertility!

Basically your hormones are out of balance but there are so many more symptoms that I was even aware of until I started researching PCOS more & more… PCOS

Symptoms are varied and the cause is unknown so a diagnosis can be difficult but this is basically how PCOS is diagnosed and what a normal ovary looks like vs a polycystic ovary:PCOS DIAGNOSEpolycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos

Whilst trying to conceive I was prescribed Metformin as this helps with fertility, lowers insulin levels and helps control weight along with taking other prescribed medication as part of the IVF process.  Since having Noah my body has changed again, I now get a regular period and think myself lucky that my body is working as it should but I know this can change at any time.

As we speak there is no cure for PCOS, it is just something that we have to live with but it is important to keep your symptoms under control.  For me it is important to  try and eat well, keep a healthy diet and exercise regularly as I know that if I don’t it is easy for me to put on weight which in time can lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes.

I am certainly no expert I am just someone suffering with PCOS trying to find out more, raise awarenessPOSAA_Logo_sq_400x400 and educate others.  But I do find that the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association of Australia facebook page has some really interesting information about symptoms, research being done and support – https://www.facebook.com/PCOSAustralia/

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Mini Mac’s Arrival…

h-parking-lenah-valley-1So, a week passed and I felt like I was becoming part of the furniture at Calvary Hospital but we were excitedly waiting for Sunday evening to arrive when I would be induced… Steve had always said that if we could get to 37 weeks then we would try for a vaginal birth any earlier and it would have been a caesarean.  As sick as I had been, Mini Mac was doing fine but in the past few weeks had really stopped growing which is why  I was being induced.  We had discussed the birth and whether or not I wanted drugs and an epidural.  This is such a personal thing and every woman is different but for me my answer was straight up “Yes I want the drugs I have a very low pain threshold.”

The Sunday arrived and the midwives came and got me around 4pm and took me to around to the delivery suite and Steve arrived around 5.  He talked me through what was going to happen, did his examination and then I was induced by using a gel which softens the cervix to bring on labour and had a controlled-release pessary inserted, which basically felt like a tampon.  Steve’s last words to me were “Nothing is going to happen tonight, I will see you in the morning!”  He joked how he was going out for dinner so don’t go into labour.  I started getting the first bit of pain within an hour, it just felt like period pain and was more uncomfortable than anything and I had to be careful when going to the toilet that the pessary didn’t fall out.  By 9pm the pain had gotten worse, so the midwives gave me some panadol, sleeping tablets and told me to try and get some rest.  I managed to get a few hours of broken sleep before I rolled over onto my back at 1am and felt a pop.  I called the bell and said to the midwife this is really embarrassing but I think I’ve wet myself… She replied with “Umm no dear your waters have broken.”  Jus was asleep on the fold out bed next to me so I tried to wake him up while the midwives stripped the bed and cleaned up my mess.

The next five hours were spent in and out of the shower, for me this is where I felt most comfortable, there was something about the water running down my back when I was having contractions that seemed to help.  Contractions really are something that you can’t prepare for… The pain is something else and as much as the midwives try to tell you to breathe through it I was constantly trying to hold my breathe and clenching until it passed.  I tried the gas however this didn’t seem to help at all and by the time Steve walked in at 6am I was leaning over in the shower vomiting, a lovely view for him I am sure, but nothing he hadn’t seen before.  He asked me what drugs I had been given to which I responded in a crying voice “PANADOL.”  He seemed quite shocked “You told me you didn’t deal with pain” he said to which I screamed back “WHAT ELSE COULD I HAVE HAD???”  He gave me a smile and said “Get this girl some morphine and organise the epidural.”  I wasn’t aware that all I had to do was tell the midwives I needed stronger pain relief and I could have had it but was proud of myself for getting this far without it.  I was constantly being monitored to check Mini Mac’s heart rate was fine and that everything was progressing as it should be.

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The morphine seemed to work quite quickly and before I knew it the anaesthetist was by my side trying to find a vein to give me the epidural.  Next thing Steve walked in and said “STOP, babies heart rate is dropping and we need to get them downstairs immediately for a caesarean.”  At this point I was actually grateful for the morphine as I was calm and not completely aware what was going on.  We got downstairs, Jus put on his scrubs and I was given a spinal block,  I lay there looking at a big blue sheet knowing it wouldn’t be long before we met our little miracle.  The feeling of a caesarean is still so bizarre to me, you are completely numb and cannot feel a thing however you can feel a slight tugging IMG_1057as they are getting baby out which just feels so odd.  The next thing I knew my son was handed to me and laying on my chest… Yes it was a boy!!!  Tears ran down both mine and Jus’ face and the midwives asked if we had a name, Jus immediately said “Noah Leo.”  They asked if Jus wanted to cut the cord, he was already a bit unsure but as they asked he caught a glance past the sheet and at my stomach (parts still in pieces) and was a bit nauseous.  We didn’t really take any photo’s throughout the labour however I am now so grateful for the midwives taking photo’s of Noah’s arrival and the first few moments we shared together as a family of three.

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Noah Leo it was and he was just perfect… I was wheeled to recovery where we both just stared at our new baby boy.  One of the nurses commented to me “Is this your first child because you are very relaxed” I laughed and said “Relaxed, I am just tired, exhausted and still a big drugged up.”  Steve also told us later that they had got me to theatre just in time as the umbilical cord was around Noah’s neck which was what was causing his heart rate to drop.

So that was it… The 22nd of August 2016 the day our lives changed forever and we became parents.

NOAH LEO MCVILLY – BORN AT 7:48AM – WEIGHT 2.7 KILOS – HEIGHT 48CM’S

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“Wow you are Puffy”

Pregnancy is truly an amazing time in a woman’s life and an absolute miracle!  From one cell and an embryo transfer we created an entirely new human which is something that should be enjoyed & celebrated.  I relished in pregnant life and adored my new shape with a growing Mini Mac inside of me.

Around the 30 week mark I found myself feeling quite tired, I thought it was just the 2016-07-22 20.17.41extra weight I had gained and the growing human inside of me but I realised I also had a bit of swelling around my ankles and feet.  For the next week or so I tried to keep my feet up at home and rest as much as possible.  At 32 weeks we had a busy weekend, mum threw me a family baby shower and we had a maternity photo shoot.  I knew when I tried to put shoes on there was still quite a bit of swelling but it wasn’t until the next day when I saw photo’s I actually realised how “puffy” I really was, not only my feet and ankles but my lower legs, hands, face and neck so I decided I should go and check that everything was ok with both bub and I.

I couldn’t see Steve so the nurses took my blood pressure, took blood and got me to do a urine test and said if there was anything not quite right they would call me.  I didn’t hear anything so assumed everything was fine plus I knew I had an appointment scheduled with Steve on the Thursday.  I was still working so on the Thursday left the office, said I would be back in an hour and headed to my OB appointment.  I walked into Steve’s office and he said “wow you are puffy” he did a scan and Mini Mac was fine but when he checked my blood pressure it was high, he immediately said “Don’t panic everything is fine but I am sending you straight to hospital” I laughed because in myself I felt fine but agreed it was for the best and that I would meet him over at the hospital.  This didn’t seem real, this morning I was sitting in my office and this afternoon I was sitting in a hospital bed.  The next 72 hours were crazy and a bit of a blur… Steve came to see me and told me that I had high blood pressure, protein in my urine and obviously I had a lot of fluid which meant I had preeclampsia so they needed to keep a close on eye on me.  He asked when I had finished up at work, I said I hadn’t and he said “Well you have now.”  I left the office for a one hour appointment never to return… Lucky I was super organised and already done a hand over because this was three weeks earlier than expected.  I was given blood pressure medication and Steve explained that I would have to be monitored closely over the coming couple of days but there was a large chance that Mini Mac would be here over the weekend via caesarean!

Queue mini meltdown… I was nearly 33 weeks and not prepared for this to be happening!2016-08-01 09.54.53

I had half of my hospital bag packed so had to give Jus instructions on what else I needed and get him to bring them in.  We still felt like we had so much to do before Mini Mac’s arrival so Jus spent the weekend putting the wardrobe and cot together whilst still coming in and out of the hospital, so we could have the final name discussion.  They were pretty much sorted by this time but we were still trying to decide on a boys middle name, remembering we didn’t know the sex so had to have both options sorted.

Steve was not rostered on over the weekend so Dr Marion Chilcott came to see me on the Saturday, she gave me steroid shots to try to get Mini Mac to grow that little bit more as they would look to deliver on the coming Monday.  So we sat tight over the weekend and tried to prepare ourself… It was a mix of nerves and excitement all rolled into one.  Monday came and Steve said as my blood pressure had gone down slightly and my fluid had reduced they would wait another 24 hours and reaccess things, he came back that evening and said you can go home… “Home, what the…” here I was preparing myself to have a baby that day and now I was being sent home.  He said that he was happy for me to go home as long as I relaxed (so I was basically on bedrest) and had to come back every second day to see him.

So home I went and home was where I stayed for the next two weeks… I caught up on trashy tv, slept and tried my hardest not to clean the house even though “nesting” was well and truly setting in.  I went back every second day as requested to see Steve just to check everything was fine, every trip taking my hospital bag with me to be prepared in case he admitted me again.  And after nearly two weeks at home the day came where he said “look you need to be back in hospital, your blood pressure is starting to increase 2016-08-17 09.41.14again.”

So back I went to Calvary Hospital, I was beginning to feel quite at home here and Steve scheduled me in to be induced the coming Sunday.  Once again the nerves set in but this time it was more excited knowing in less than a week we would be meeting our Mini Mac.  I had mentally prepared myself (well as much as you can) to have a caesarean so now I had to try and get  my head around having a vaginal birth but I guess I had five days to do so…

Steve would come to check on me twice a day, once in the morning (sometimes for a crazy 6am wake up check) and once in the evening (sometimes not until after 8pm).  He would enter with a “hey puffy, how are you today.”  Remember I said you either get his sense of humour or you don’t, I felt comfortable with the banter and jokes and it made me more relaxed and at ease but I do remember thinking when does this man ever sleep and when does he see his family as it seems like he is here 24 hours a day.  I could never thank him enough for everything him and the amazing midwives at Calvary did for me and Mini Mac over the month period that I was in and out of hospital.

Preeclampsia can occur at all stages of pregnancy!  I am so glad that I got checked out once I realised I had a lot more fluid than I should have because this was something I was barely aware of and definitely didn’t have all of the details on.  I might follow up with another blog all about the effects of preeclampsia in the coming weeks…

Next blog… Mini Mac’s Arrival!!!

10 Tips for Travelling with a Toddler!

We have just returned from a family holiday… Although I had travelled with Noah a bit as a baby it had been around 9 months since I flew with him and wow how time changes as they get older and are on the move so much more!

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So here are my tips for travelling with a toddler…

1 – Get to the airport early – There is nothing worse than rushing and being completely frazzled as your child will sense your vibe and thrive from it.  Get to the airport an hour prior to give yourself enough time to check in, clear security, get a drink or some food and do a nappy change.

2 – Book through flights – I know that budget airlines with cheap fares is appealing, I know this best being a travel agent.  However budget airlines mean if you don’t have a direct flight then picking up your bags and re-checking in.  When travelling with bags, prams, portercots etc you just want to know you can check in at your origin and have them arrive at your destination.

3 – Spare Seats – Ask the check in staff if it is a full flight, fingers crossed they say no so you can ask if there are any spare seats.  Noah is 21 months old so just about time that he is classed as a “child” and we pay for him to have his own seat.  As much as it pains me that I will have to pay for him having him sit on our lap for longer flights can be a bit of a challenge.  On our Melbourne – Cairns flight we were lucky that we had a spare seat next to us so Noah could spread out, he had room for his toys and room for him to lay down with his head on me when he needed a sleep.  On our return flight unfortunately the flight was full so we were crammed in, it made me realise how lucky we were on our flight up to have that extra space and being taller Jus was feeling the pressure of being crammed in a lot more than me on our forward flight.

4 – Tire them out – Yes you may have to chase them around the airport twenty timflyinges but you will be thankful when you get on board with a tired babe.  Better that they burn that energy before getting on the plane.

5 – Have the wet wipes and sick bag handy – Unfortunately I learnt this the hard way, we had a toddler with motion sickness which ended in Noah, Mama and the seats and floor covered in vomit.  We had amazing crew on board who cleaned it up along with Jus without a fuss while I got Noah cleaned up and changed.  But the ongoing smell, eww!  Wipes are also handy to wipe down the tray table, change table etc as god knows what germs are on them.

6 – Change of clothes – I know most mums would have a change of clothes for their babes however pack a change for yourself as well.  As per my tip number 4 bub is not the only one who can end up with vomit on them!

Peppa-Pig-Around-the-World-with-Peppa-Airplane-e1490370902307-17 – Entertainment – Yes I know screen time isn’t always best but you will give anything to keep your child quiet, sitting still and entertained with some Peppa Pig.  Also pack some of their favourite toys and colouring books.  I also found it good to bring out one toy at a time so that Noah was over one thing before I bought another out.  Qantas have a great kids program called the ‘Joey Club’ so when Noah got on board he got a pack that helped keep him occupied for some of the trip.

8 – Snacks – Pack plenty of snacks!  Noah will eat basically anything and isn’t fussy yumboxhowever I had his YumBox filled with his favourite snacks and things that wouldn’t get him high on sugar.  Cheese, fruit sticks, crackers, some fruit (for him to eat on board as some states are funny about bringing fruit in), yoghurt and his sippy cup of water to keep him hydrated.  Food can also help as an added distraction when they are getting restless.

9 – Have a bottle or dummy on hand for their poor little ears on take off and landing.  They can’t let you know whats wrong but the tugging at their ears may be a giveaway.  Giving them something to suck on to try and ease the pain may help or if you are still breastfeeding that too will help.

10 – Flight Times – If possibly think about the time of the day you are travelling.  For longer/international flights I would opt for night flights so that Noah can sleep as much as possible, no guarantees but worth a try.  Noah still has a day sleep around 11am/midday so flight times around that time are good for him to have some lunch and try to get him off to sleep.  We find early morning flights the hardest as you have to wake them up to get to the flight so they are already a bit cranky before you even start.

I hope my tips have helped a little when you are travelling with your toddler next and I would love to hear any of your tips that you may have… It may be a lot of planning to travel with a infant but there is nothing better than travelling as a family and creating memories together!cairns