Tips for Traveling Without Baby While Breastfeeding

This past week I went to Detroit for 3 days and 2 nights on business (glamorous, I know). I was super nervous about being away from my 5 month old baby and having to pump and store all my milk plus take it on a plane.

Here are some things I learned that might help if you have to be away from your baby while traveling:

1. Call the hotel and request a refrigerator and make sure you tell them it’s for breast milk (if there won’t already be one in the room). I did call the hotel 2 days before I left and requested a refrigerator. The woman on the phone told me it shouldn’t be a problem. Upon arrival at the hotel, no refrigerators. They told me they would bring one to my room as soon as one became available. Great. I called the front desk 3 times that day and never got one. Finally the next morning I called again, still nothing. I went to the front desk and told the woman I needed it for breast milk and to please let me know when one was available. I ended up getting one about an hour later. I think because I finally told them what it was for they realized my dilemma. I was keeping my pumped milk in a cooler with ice, but ended up throwing away 33 oz because it was in the cooler overnight and I didn’t think it was fresh. Bottom line, tell them what you need the refrigerator for!

2. Bring a cooler as a carry on. You are now allowed to bring breast milk on an airplane without having to worry about the 3 oz rule. I ended up with about 80 oz and had no problem getting through security. I did bring ice packs with me that I kept in the hotel freezer. Breast milk is fine in a cooler with ice packs for up to 24 hours. I also asked if the people at Caribou Coffee could fill my cooler with ice once I got through security and they kindly obliged. I carried on my cooler and my breast pump. You can carry on a breast pump and it does not count as a carry on because it is considered a medical device. Also, the cooler not only kept my milk fresh, but it kept my travel beverage cold too, bonus!

3. Get a battery pack. If your pump does not have one already, I would recommend getting a battery pack for those times at the airport, convention center, wherever that there isn’t a private room with an outlet. This brings me to my next tip.

4. Have no shame. It would be nice if every place had a clean family bathroom or private room specifically for nursing mothers, but unfortunately this is almost never the case. I ended up having to pump at the airport in a dirty family bathroom next to a used needle dispenser in Detroit that smelled like 10 people took a shit in it. I also had to pump in the regular women’s bathroom in a stall while sitting on the toilet because the family bathroom was occupied and I didn’t have time to wait or I’d miss my flight (I had already waited 10 mins and no one came out of the locked room). Luckily the stall had a broken lock. I know you’re thinking um, why was this a good thing? Because it might not be as dirty as the other stalls because women might have used the ones with locks over this one (at least this is what I told myself). I was able to keep the door closed by hanging my heavy cooler behind the door.

5. Don’t stress out. I was very nervous about a) having a place to pump when needed, b) carrying on breast milk without issues, c) having a place to store my expressed milk, and d) being away from my baby for the first time. As long as you aren’t afraid to ask questions (Is there a family bathroom here? Can you keep my ice packs in your freezer?) and can relax enough for let down, you will be fine. I wasn’t relaxed until I made it through security on the return flight, but now that I know what I know, my next trip (which hopefully won’t happen for a while, and preferably when I’m done nursing ) will be a piece of cake!

I hope you find these tips helpful for your next trip away from baby. Feel free to post in the comments anything I missed or if you have questions!

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If You Want Your Baby to Stop Crying…

I have this app called Buttons and it has all these different sounds; one of which is called Derp Song. I have no idea what it’s from or where it came from, but my son loves it! Whenever he is upset or crying I just play the Derp Song on repeat and he immediately stops–not kidding! I don’t know what it is that he likes so much about it. My sister seems to think it sounds like how people sounded from the womb, but I’m not sure I agree with that…

I googled Derp Song and I found this YouTube video. The app doesn’t play the whole song, just the first 10 seconds or so (note: the song doesn’t even start until about 7 seconds into the vid):

So moms, if your baby is crying and you don’t know what to do, play the Derp Song! Maybe it will work for you like it does for me!

It gets pretty annoying after a while, but it gets him to settle down so it’s worth it!

My Week As A Single Mom: DAY 7!!!

I DID IT! In just a few hours hubby will be home and I will have survived my first week alone with the baby! Just in time for Father’s Day this weekend!

All in all, it wasn’t so bad, just exhausting like I imagined it would be. Luckily we have a pretty good baby on our hands. He went to bed when he was supposed to, wasn’t overly fussy, and slept pretty well through the night (up 1-2 times–nothing new or worse). I’d say the worst part was getting up at 5 every day and taking him to daycare. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked taking him there, I just didn’t like the longer commute to work.

I had some help from my neighbors and aunt-in-law, so I wasn’t totally alone. I definitely have much appreciation for and give credit to the truly single moms out there, military moms, and even stay at home moms (the weekends were the hardest when I was with him all day and all night!). You rock! Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

At the end of the week, here’s how things ended up:

Exhaustion level:
8 out of 10

Explosive diaper clean ups:
1.5 (carseat clean up is 0.5)

Times peed on:
me – 3 baby – 4

Times pooped on:
0.5 (I got lucky with this one, having only gotten a bit on my hand/arm!)

Times spit-up on: too many (luckily the dog likes to clean it up!! Gross, I know.)

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1 (honestly shocked about this one!)

Average times up during the night: 2 (typical)

Naps (me, not baby): 2

Rooms cleaned: 3 (more than I thought would happen)

Loads of laundry: 3 (all baby, none mine, though there seems to be A LOT LESS laundry when hubby is gone…)

I hope you enjoyed reading about my week of full time mommy-ing, and hopefully there won’t be another one for a while! Stay tuned for my next series on “Why I wish my husband would leave me alone.” Just kidding!! 😉

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My Week As A Single Mom: Day 6

I think I’m getting used to this exhausted thing, as I don’t feel as tired as when this week started out. Not sure if that’s a good thing though…

Day 6 was ok. I spent the day struggling to keep my eyes open at my day job, and in the evening went to my neighbors so she could help me with a father’s day project, and she was kind enough to feed me dinner too 🙂

Mom fail: I left my neighbor’s around 6:30 because baby boy was being fussy (I thought he was just tired since they said he didn’t nap AGAIN at daycare). I gave him a quick bath before feeding him and putting him to bed. He wasn’t happy in the tub like he normally is, but again I thought he was just tired. I nursed him and put him to bed around 7:15. I never checked his food/diaper/nap log from daycare until after I put him to bed. It was then I noticed he hadn’t eaten since 2:40! Poor thing was hungry, not tired (or maybe both?)!!! Major mom fail. I’ll be sure to read the log as soon as he gets home tonight.

One day left, and here’s where I’m at:

Exhaustion level: 8

Explosive diaper clean ups: 1.5 (carseat clean up is 0.5)

Times peed on:
me – 3 baby – 4

Times pooped on: 0.5 (I got some on my arm/hands, but not enough to warrant a full count)

Times spit-up on: too many

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1

Average times up during the night: 2

Naps (me, not baby):
2

Rooms cleaned:
3

Loads of laundry: 3

I think I’ve done pretty well! It wasn’t AS bad as I thought, but I would definitely still rather have hubby home to help me out if needed. I just have to get through tonight and tomorrow morning and by the time I get home from work he will be home! Victory is ALMOST mine!!!

My Week As A Single Mom: Day 5

Yesterday was fairly uneventful. I was up at 5, baby boy was up around 6:15. I dropped him at daycare (he was happily yelling the entire way there) and went to work.

My aunt-in-law picked him up from daycare to help me out. When he got home I took him out of his carseat to find quite a bit of dried poop in the seat! He must have done it that morning (which explains the yelling), as I left him in the seat at drop off because his teacher wasn’t there yet and another lady was watching him along with a handful of other older children. Thanks for letting me know/cleaning it! Ugh. I don’t love daycare, but alas, I have no choice.

Baby boy was also really tired and cranky, so I fed him and he went right to bed around 6! He usually goes down around 7:30. Luckily he slept well (still up for a feeding around 1 though), despite the very loud thunderstorm we had around 11:30!

Day 5 sanity:

Exhaustion level: 7.5 (I’ve been getting up at 5 to make sure I get ready for work before baby gets up. Tired!)

Explosive diaper clean ups: 1.5 (adding the carseat clean up as 0.5)

Times peed on:
me – 3 baby – 4 (all over himself this morning!)

Times pooped on: 0.5 (I got some on my arm/hands, but not enough to warrant a full count)

Times spit-up on: too many

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1

Average times up during the night: 2

Naps (me, not baby):
2

Rooms cleaned:
3

Loads of laundry: 3

2 days to go!!

In other news, I really want one of these puppies!! But probably shouldn’t, right? 😀

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My Week As A Single Mom: Day 4

Sunday. Nothing bad can happen on a Sunday, right? This was true for the most part.

Things started out a little rough with a 5:30am wake up time. We had some cereal (both of us, though he didn’t like it much) and I had my coffee and I was hoping he would take a nap in my Tula carrier while I was cleaning, but all I got was a quick doze. My aunt-in-law (is that a thing?) was supposed to come over for a while so I could get some things done, but she ended up being sick. So, off to Target we go.

I got my grocery shopping done and picked up a few things, and he had fallen asleep in the carrier. Again, just a quick doze, while I roamed around the aisles like a zombie.

We played and played and FINALLY around 1:00 I was able to put him down for a nap, and he slept for over an hour! And so did I! Victory was mine. I felt like a new woman.

 

Stats:

Exhaustion level: 8 (hey, it was a 12 before. That nap rejuvenated me just a bit.)

Explosive diaper clean ups: still just the 1 from yesterday

Times peed on: me – 3  baby – 3

Times pooped on: 0 (wahoo!)

Times spit-up on: too many

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1

Average times up during the night: 2

Naps (me, not baby): now up to 2!

Rooms cleaned: 3! I managed to vacuum, clean the floors, and dust!

Loads of laundry: 2

 

Sunday. Yeah, it was a pretty good day that ended with a glass of wine and a bubble bath for mom 🙂

 

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My Week As A Single Mom: Day 3

Today was a little rough, mainly because my son refused to nap, thus making us both exhausted. We went to a charity walk then to my neighbor’s for a cookout. I had a hard time having fun at the cookout because I was a) trying to keep him occupied and then b) trying to get him to nap with everyone around. Didn’t work out so well and we ended up leaving fairly early (they are still playing conrhole as I type).

So now here’s where I stand:

Exhaustion level:
12 (and I think I’m getting sick)

Explosive diaper clean ups: 1 – major poop today after eating almost an entire jar of squash yesterday! It was not pretty, but luckily he waited until after the walk.

Times peed on:
me – 2 baby – 3

Times pooped on: 0 (thankfully, so far)

Times spit-up on:
again, let’s not even keep track of this one

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1

Average times up during the night:
2

Naps: 1! He slept on me for his hour nap today; I took advantage/was seconds away from falling asleep while standing up anyway.

Rooms cleaned: 0

Loads of laundry: 2

Today was very tiring. I’m going to bed and it’s 8 o’clock. Hopefully tomorrow is better. 5 days to go…

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My Week As A Single Mom: Days 1 & 2

So my husband is in upstate New York for a week, which means I am taking care of our about-to-be-5-months-old baby boy. AKA no help with mid-night feedings, changing diapers, cleaning the house, running errands, taking care of the dog, etc. I’m basically a single mom.

I  have given much credit to single moms ever since I was home alone all day while on maternity leave. Now I give them even more credit–especially moms with multiple children! I am lucky enough to have a husband who is a very hands on dad. Maybe that’s why I’m so upset that he is gone.

It’s not that I can’t take care of the baby on my own, or that it is all that difficult, but it is just EXHAUSTING and a lot of work. Where my husband would be the one to take our son to daycare and pick him up (it is on his way to work), it is now my responsibility. My commute used to be 45 minutes each way (long enough!), and it is now an hour and a half. Where we would take turns occupying the baby while the other could clean, eat, shower, etc, I now have to hope he takes a nap at an opportune time so I can get one of those things accomplished. Where he would sometimes take a bottle to our son in the middle of the night so I could sleep, I can not rely on that if I am too tired. You get the point.

Here’s where I’m at so far:

Exhaustion level: 7 out of 10 (already, I know)

Explosive diaper clean ups: 0 (unless you count the one at daycare when he was in the car seat that the teacher had to clean him up)

Times peed on: me – 1  baby – 2

Times pooped on: 0 (thankfully, so far)

Times spit-up on: let’s not even keep track of this one

Days the dog has been neglected of play time: 1

Average times up during the night: 2

Naps: 0

Rooms cleaned: 0

Loads of laundry: 2

Stay tuned to keep track of my sanity until hubby comes home next week!! Feel free to comment if you can relate, or to tell me I need to suck it up.

Milk. It’s What’s for Dinner (and breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dessert)

I mentioned before that I might have over supply. Here’s proof of that:

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We have pretty much no room left in our freezer for food because it’s full of breast milk! (Not that I’m complaining. I’m blessed enough to be able to give my baby the best nutrition possible, and I know many women aren’t able to do that) I got some free food boxes from BJs (hence the Bisquick, juice. and Jif labels) today to finally get it somewhat organized, though I’ll probably be screwed again in a month and need to redo it all once again!

This is all from April and May (we rotate out for daycare). Not sure where I will be putting this months supply…speaking of which, I need to go pump now because we were out running errands for several hours and now I’m full. See ya!