Traveling Light

One of my goals is to start traveling light. Yes, even with my toddler (Gah! I can’t believe he’s almost 2😭) in tow, I want our family to be less weighed down by stuff. Not because our backs are breaking (they are though!), but for the mental weight it also takes off of travel. 

Now, I know in my baby packing post I say less is not anymore, but I’m going to try and change that! With an infant, I am not so sure it’s possible. But an older baby or toddler, I think it is! 

I managed to pack our family of 3 a weeks worth of clothes for Disney World and the beach into our carry on size suitcase! We will have our dock a tot and diapers in another bag. So, we aren’t going with just a carry on suitcase, but this is a huge change from our usual two small suitcases or one large suitcase plus the dock a tot bag. 

I’ve been reading more and more about traveling with less and doing more, so I decided that’s our new motto.

I realized in Paris we really didn’t need half the clothes we packed, and that trip was over 2 weeks long. Obviously, having a washing machine made that possible, but going to a laundry mat would work too. It’s also amazing how mixing and matching pieces can make so many different outfits. In Paris, I ended up wearing the same two sweaters over with different bottoms and even over a dress. And my black leather boots were really the only shoes I needed. Baby supplies are hard to cut back on, but I think with adult packing downsizing is definitely possible! 

This is only the beginning of our traveling light journey, so that’s really all I have for now. Hopefully, I will have more to report in the future! 

Happy travels!

Long Haul Inflight with a Toddler or Young Child: a how to sleep guide.

Ciao amici!

 I haven’t posted in a while, sorry! I’m really quite terrible at this whole blogging regularly thing. 

Anyway, I’ve been seeing/hearing a lot people have difficulty with their littles inflight. I can’t promise to work miracles, but I can tell you we have had two fantastic international round-trips with our son at 13/14 and 16/17 months. With babies under 12 months (or pre-walking) you really shouldn’t have to worry, the boob or bottle will knock them right out! But for our now curious travelers who are in the toddler stage inflight seems to be a bit more difficult. 

We slew this dragon with establishing an inflight routine. 

To successfully create an inflight routine we used the following items. However, you can alter these based on your own preferences.

iPad games: fisher price has great free ones, kids doodle, coloring book apps

iPad shows: we have Little Pim in French and Italian, Little Einsteins, Thomas and Friends (whatever your child likes or none of them if you don’t do screen time) 

Bedtime books: if you have specific books you read only for bed or nap time bring them on the plane!!!! I can’t stress this enough!! Or if you have a lovey or something that signals bedtime to your little bring it!

Snacks: whatever your babe eats at home. Nothing new and exciting, we are going for routine and minimizing the stimulation that your little is already getting enough of from the new environment.

So you have your supplies now what? Time to get your itinerary down. Ours goes like this:

1. Board and get everything organized for ease of transition. No pulling bags down from the overhead to get the books, lovey etc. Keep all of that with you from the start. If you didn’t have time to do a diaper change before you boarded do so now. 

2. Snack time. Eating and drinking during takeoff help their little ears feel better during the pressure changes. 

3. Watch a show/play iPad games

4. Meal is served. Eat.

5. Depending on the lights dimming, watch shows or play iPad games. Also take a stroll to the bathroom to do a diaper change into an overnight diaper. Let your little stretch their legs and walk to the bathroom holding your hand. Changing into pajamas is also a good idea if that helps your little get in the sleepy mood. 

6. If the lights are dimmed or they have announced they will do so soon, pull out the bedtime books. Read them with the overhead reading light or until the lights are dimmed. 

7. Now that the cabin is darker, sleep! Your little should be pretty ready for this after a full tummy, fresh diaper, their bedtime books and the lights now low. 

For domestic just alter the routine to the amount of inflight time:) 

Happy Travels! 


Also note the baby neck pillow* 

Babyjogger City Tour

Ciao!! 

We’ve been crazy busy here the past 30 days. We got back from Paris to immediately fly to Florida because my grandfather passed away after Christmas. We stayed a little longer to help my grandma settle into her new life. They were married for 56 years, and she has never lived alone:( 

Anyway, I wanted to at least post something about our trip, and I thought I would share our new stroller that made Paris soooooo much easier! The new Babyjogger City Tour. 

So Paris is narrow and small. Yes, I know it’s a “big” city, but for strollers it is small. The restaurants, cafes, doorways, walkways, crowds, it’s all narrow and small. This stroller has a tiny footprint. It’s also light weight, easy to fold and compact which is important for the train and all of the stairs in the city. Just because there is an elevator doesn’t mean there aren’t still stairs for you to tackle. This stroller makes that navigation a lot easier. It has a good recline (6 months +) and our son napped for hours in if. Also, the basket is pretty big for a compact stroller:) 
I will say it’s the hardest of all of my strollers to push, but this is because of the narrow frame. It’s worth the extra effort (which really isn’t bad, I could one hand push still) for the narrow frame and small footprint. 

The rain cover was also the worst of all my strollers. It took my son just barely nudging it to pop the bottom open. It didn’t let a lot of rain in, but it would be better if it attached better on bottom. 

The backpack feature is cool, but hubby mostly just carried it by side for a quick up or down. Was nice for the gate check, though. Also, good for the train bc we just held our son until we got back outside the station. 

The price is awesome in comparison to other compacts, but if this was my first travel stroller purchase I might opt for the new babyzen yo yo+ despite the much higher price. The City Tour is 6 months+ and the new Yo yo+ is newborn friendly with reversible seat and a bassinet option even<3 However, my babyjogger Vue lite would have been ok in Paris and has a bassinet insert, reversible seat and much lower price tag. But that Yo yo+ has me gaga, and I saw it everywhere in Paris. Definitely worth also checking out! 



Note we did a lot of walking and touring during nap and bed time:) LOUVRE DURING NAP TIME!! We got 2 1/2 hrs in with him sound asleep and then switched to babywearing. 

Buon Viaggio Amici!! 

Travel Gear Must Haves: Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard (Dock a Tot optional)


Update!! We have used it twice now, and it’s awesome. We took it to Paris and Florida, checked it like a regular bag. We even fit the dock a tot in the bag it goes in! I don’t think it would fit if the infant sleeper was also packed in there. 
First, I have to say we have never used it to travel with, yet.

 We just transitioned our son from co-sleeping with us using a Dock a Tot and sidecar crib to his own crib detached from our bed. We are leaving for Paris in a month, so I had to find something that would be easily portable and safe for him to sleep in on his own as they wanted 90 euro a week to use their pack n play! 😳 Going back to bed sharing would ruin all of our progress of sleeping on his own, so I did some research and found this lovely travel cot for under 90 euro (I got it for $89)! This bad boy was the cheapest I found with the best features! I was looking at the Baby Bjorn, and while it is all organic, non-toxic, etc it is also almost triple the cost. If that is something that is very important to you, I would recommend checking that one out.

For us the short term use has as pretty ok with the materials it’s made of and this one has an infant sleeper attachment! That’s right, infant sleeper attachment!! It’s also inclined which is awesome for reflux babies, like our son. You can put your baby on the bottom level too, but I don’t like really little babies near the drafty ground. 

Weighing only 13 lbs with everything in the storage bag that has both a handle and shoulder strap this travel play yard is impressive. That means with the frame, mattress, infant sleeper attachment and the diaper changing mat and caddy all packed in the handy bag it comes in you can easily carry it and baby, check it on its own or even put it in your big suitcase!!

It just pops right open, clicks to tell you it is locked in place, drop the mattress in, do up the velcro straps and done! Or if you want to use the infant sleeper snap it into the top 4 corners, put the cushion on and voila! Just as easy to fold back up and put away.

Despite being light weight it is very sturdy. Our son is pretty big for 15 months, and I am not worried about him tipping it over at all. 

The mattress has a pretty good thickness, not that different from our home pack n play. The foot print of the bottom isn’t much smaller either. It takes standard play yard sheets. 

Basically, I wish I would have known about this guy sooner because I would have used it at home for nap time with that inclined infant sleeper, and killed two birds with one stone!  

I’m really excited to use this bad boy, and let you all know how Paris went with our 1 yr old. He will be meeting one of my best friends for the first time😁 


**the dock a tot pictured is the larger Grand size. Our son is 32.5″ tall and 15 months old.  

Leave a comment! Let me know what you guys think or if you have any questions. 

Baby Travel Gear Must-Haves: Boon feeding utensils and a willing eater! 

Boon is just a great baby company, BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free. We love all of their utensils and especially their rubber duckies! But the Squirt and Pulp utensils, in particular, are perfect for travel! 

Now as much as I love these Boon products I’m about to share with you, the true reason we have such success eating is because of our very willing little eater. We are foodies. We travel mostly with our stomachs, not hearts (except for you Roma😉). Our little man is being raise the same way. 
We started solids at 4 months, with the basics apples, bananas, avocados, but the moment the doctor gave us the OK, he was eating exactly what we eat. He eats American classics like chili (I don’t hold anything back in making it, except it’s not super spicy), corn bread, meat loaf, green bean casserole, Mac n cheese, you name it, he’s had it! But we also give him all the other cultural food we love. He eats Indian favorites like chicken tikka masal and mango lassi. He eats pasta with all different sauces, ravioli with any filling. He eats food from the sea, his favorites being lobster and crab (go figure, the more expensive and harder to prepare stuff!). Mediterranean/middle eastern favorites like lentil soup and hummus are an easy go to because I just spoon them as they are right from the bowl. This may not be for everyone, but it has made our life easier and we feel it is doing him a great service. 

Children are not born picky eaters. I’m not saying we aren’t born with any preferences, but we are definitely not born programmed to only like foods like chicken nuggets and pasta with just butter. This kind of food preference will make world travel much more difficult. I’m not even going to sugar coat it. This kind of children’s menu style pickiness is not well tolerated outside the US, at least not the places we go. Most restaurants in other countries don’t offer a children’s menu, nor is it likely they will be very kind to a picky eater tantrum. Food and its preparation is more highly regarded in basically everywhere else I have been. 

That said, it doesn’t mean I think you should never travel with your picky eater. Quite the opposite, you should definitely expose them to other foods. Maybe a different environment will inspire some openess to trying different things. I just want to warn you that you won’t go into an Italian trattoria and find chicken nuggets or a grilled cheese made with American cheese on a children’s menu, but I will say Italy is by far one of the most accommodating countries you can visit with your baby! They also have plenty of McDonalds in the bigger cities if you are desparate😂 If you staying in the US you will have no problems finding accommodating food, but I would still suggest trying to introduce local favorites. Trying and Eating new foods should be fun, and what better way to start making it fun than in a fun place!

Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder, this is how we manage to give him just about anything and not worry about him choking on it. It also seems to be helping him learn to chew which is really cool. 

 
 
Boon Squirt Silicone Baby Food Dispensing Spoon, no need for bowls, which are hard to deal with on the go and hard to pack. Only takes one hand to feed baby with and no worrying about baby getting a hold of the food to make a mess.  It even has a little lid so you can fill it before you leave if you would like or save the uneaten food for later. Just don’t wait too long and refrigerate it to help prevent bacteria from baby’s mouth growing quickly in it. 

  

Here’s some photos of our little guy enjoying some different foods for the first time and using the Boon Pulp and Squirt:) 

***not endorsed by any of the products I suggest, everything is purchased by us and my personal unbiased opinion. 

   
   

 
Safe and Happy Travels! 

Baby Travel Gear Must-Have: Baby Jogger Vue Lite Umbrella Stroller

I could probably write a 10,000 word essay on why I love this umbrella stroller! It has so many features in one little (relatively speaking) package.

**I am in no way compensated for this review/pick. Just my personal opinion and purchase.


The first thing I love about it is that it is made with quality materials that feel durable and sturdy. I want all of my bigger baby purchases to last and be safe. The Baby Jogger Vue Lite is no exception. The metal frame is light weight, only 14.5 lbs, but definitely feels sturdy. It’s capable of being a travel system with the baby jogger infant carrier car seat and adapters, so that tells you how sturdy it really is! I have never used this feature. The material is also high quality with a very large 50+ UV sun protection canopy that has amazing coverage for both seat positions. 5 point harness for your squirmy wormy, escape artist or not sitting up on their own yet baby. One fairly easy to push brake, comfy and taller than most umbrella stroller handles I have seen, lots of accessories!

My second favorite thing about this umbrella stroller, it has the option of both parent facing and outward facing. This is super important in our family. And get this, you can switch it with just one hand! If your baby is like mine, and enjoys face time with mommy, or if you are like me, and in congested areas want baby facing you to avoid being knocked into or touched by strangers, this is the umbrella stroller for you! Heck with its almost lie flat recline and bassinet insert (that’s right a bassinet add-on for an umbrella stroller!) that makes it useful from birth to 55lbs, this may be the only stroller you need!


For us, it’s our travel stroller. We keep this bad boy, in the separately purchased, handled storage bag, in our car at all times ready to go. It folds up fairly easy, takes me and hubby two hands pretty much, and is light enough for me to carry while also wearing or carrying our son! It has a little handle on the side that is perfect for when you’re on the go and run into stairs. Just hold baby, fold, grab the handle, go up or down, unfold and put baby back in, no fuss! It also stands up on its own when folded!! My full-size doesn’t even do that!

Another thing that makes it perfect for travel is the front wheels lock. Yes, an umbrella stroller with front locking wheels! So you can survive cobblestone, grass, gravel etc. It’s not all terrain still, but it helps a lot!

The basket under it is nothing special, but hey, it’s an umbrella stroller. We get our diaper clutch (filled), extra water bottle, Kidco peapod, a burp cloth and a book under there all at once. Sometimes I even stuff a blanket, but that’s all it can handle! No diaper bags are going under there. You also can’t access it from the back, another common umbrella stroller downfall. To add a little bit more storage I suggest getting the cup holder (or two). You could add the Baby Jogger parent console too, but in the parent facing direction it might be in your way. A perk of using it facing out is that sitting straight up, it does give you an area to put some more stuff. I can put my jacket back there or a small/medium diaper bag or hand bag, which is really nice and unique to this umbrella stroller design.

Some other cons, no peekaboo window (it’s bigger sibling the vue has this, I believe), every accessory sold separate (but at least it has them!), and the seat isn’t very padded. This is all pretty common with umbrella strollers. However, the seat situation I easily solved with this one of those universal car seat inserts you can pick up just about anywhere that sells baby stuff. You will see it in some of my pictures. We just fold it up with it in there, no issue, problem solved.

The price is on the higher end for umbrella strollers, but reasonable for the quality and features of the product. I picked mine up from buy but baby for $179 (not including any accessories I mentioned), but I found it at Amazon now for $143.99 with free shipping.

There is a similar Summer Infant version on the market now. I’ve seen it, next to my Vue lite even, the quality and features are not there. It’s worth the extra $50 for the better product, in my opinion.

Cons aside, this is the perfect gate check, keep in the car, use from birth, take all over the world, light weight, sturdy stroller.

Overall, we love this umbrella stroller and so does our little man! I’m kind of a stroller snob, my other set of wheels is a Stokke Xplory, so it takes a lot for me to say I love a baby product.


What is your favorite travel stroller? And why? Questions on this stroller? Leave a comment below.

Safe and Happy Travels:)