Kristen

Tips for Flying With a Newborn

flying-with-a-newborn

A few weeks ago, I took our then 2-month old son on his first flight to watch his grandma coach in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Division II Final Four. My mom was my high-school lacrosse coach and has gone on to have incredible success at the college level. This year was her 7th NCAA Final Four appearance and we had a feeling that it was going to be the year, so my siblings and I decided to make the trip down to Florida together. Spoiler alert, we were so glad we did because they won the National Championship!

As soon as I booked my ticket, I went into serious research mode. I was fortunate to be flying with my sister who has two little ones as home so I knew I would have a lot of support but she has yet to fly with them so we were both rookies when it came to navigating airports, flights and hotels with a baby!

By no means would I consider myself an expert but I received some great advice and found some helpful tips along the way that made traveling with an infant as smooth as I could have ever hoped for!

Baby’s Ticket & Seat
After I booked my ticket, I called Delta to make sure that I was aware of any of their airline specific rules. I knew that all airlines allowed a baby to sit in your lap until 2 years old but I was glad to have called as they were able to flag my ticket “traveling with infant” and issued Tommy his own boarding pass to make things smoother going through security, etc. They also encouraged me to bring his birth certificate in case there were any questions regarding identification (I didn’t use it but I guess better safe than sorry). Considering his age and size, I decided to hold him in my arms but I also learned that most airlines allow you to bring an infant car seat on the flight if you choose to buy a second ticket (some airlines offer discounted baby tickets).

Hands-Free
I decided to check as much luggage as possible because my husband was dropping us off at the airport so he was able to bring everything in as I got Tommy situated in the carrier and checked in for the flight. With a quick layover in Atlanta, I opted to be as mobile as possible by carrying him versus gate checking the stroller & car seat. I love my solly baby wrap but I decided to use the boppy carrierfor navigating the airport because I like the security of the back buckle and head support, especially when I would be bending over and lifting luggage. I wore him in the carrier right through security (they just did a swab on my hands for as an alternative to passing through the monitor).

Uppa Baby Insurance
I cringed at the thought of our new Uppa Baby Mesa car seat & Cruz stroller getting tossed around the luggage conveyor. I was thrilled to discover these amazing travel bagsand while they are pricier than your basic bag to cover a car seat or stroller, they are built specifically for both models, have durable padding and get this – you can register them which essentially insures your car seat and stroller against any damage during travel when using the bags! I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that both items could be checked as no additional cost, all baby items fly free with Delta!

Avoiding the Pre-Board
I was glad I had read this advice before traveling because it seemed logical to take the airline up on their courtesy offering to board early. In hindsight however, boarding early just means another 30+ minutes of sitting with baby in a cramped space just praying that he doesn’t have a blow out or lose his mind. Both flights, I was so glad I boarded at the end because I was able to keep him comfortable and napping in the carrier and do a last minute diaper change before boarding for take off!

In-flight feeding
Again, another piece of advice I read a lot about, prompted by my angst in cabin pressure changes and the painful effects on his little ears. A lot of moms shared that it helped baby to nurse or bottle feed them during the ascent and descent – it encourages them to swallow and thus keeps their ears from popping. I did this all four legs of the flight and while I don’t have anything to compare it against (I didn’t want to mess with what was working), I would highly recommend this strategy! I wasn’t (and still aren’t) totally at ease with the whole breastfeeding in public thing so I started with a bottle on the first flight that I had pumped the night before. For the rest of the flights I used my covered goods wrap (this thing is my go-to for stroller and nursing cover, so soft!) If all else, feeding in flight also forced me to get more comfortable about breastfeeding in public so that was a win in itself!

Sleeping Arrangements
We are blessed that Tommy has been a great little sleeper (fingers crossed this continues), so naturally I was a little nervous that this trip and a few nights in a hotel would mess with his routine. He had been sleeping in the dockAtot in his bassinet at home so I thought it would help keep things consistent by bringing the dockAtot with me. I learned that most hotels have a pack ‘n play that they will bring to your room at no charge, a perfectly suitable place to hold his dockAtot. I can’t say enough about the dock a tot and the convenience of its size. I packed it right in my large suitcase and packed his clothes right on top of it. I also packed a fresh sheet to use on the pack n’ play so I knew it was cleaned with his baby detergent and fresh and ready to go for tummy time in the hotel room!

…All in all, it was a smooth trip and I was so glad that I didn’t allow my anxiousness about flying with a newborn keep me from being there to celebrate with my mom. I would love to hear any other travel tips from you guys, especially with older kids or road trips in the car. We are driving from Upstate, NY to Northern Michigan (11 hours, yikes!) later this summer so any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Xo,

Kristen B.

My First Pregnancy

first pregnancy bump

 

Hi There!

Before too much time passes and my mind shifts to all things baby, I wanted to share a few things from my first pregnancy with our son, Tommy!

I will first say that I feel fortunate to have had a fairly easy first experience with pregnancy. Other than a week or two of mild morning sickness during weeks 7-9 and some serious acne (thank you hormones), I felt pretty great throughout and was able to continue exercising and maintain my normal work and life routines. That said, I won’t go as far to say that I wasn’t absolutely exhausted by the time the end of the third trimester rolled around but by that time there was light at the end of the tunnel!

 

COMFORT IS KEY!
When it came to maternity fashion, I prioritized comfort over all things! Since I work from home, I kept to a fairly simple maternity wardrobe of leggings and loose sweaters in the fall and winter months. I found that my Madewell cardigans which typically run large were perfect for my growing belly and I also sized up in my favorite Lululemon Wunder Under Tights & Crops and wore those throughout my entire pregnancy (I loved how they came up a bit higher but weren’t a complete full panel – they have also been amazing for the first couple of months after baby!) A few of my other favorite places to find maternity clothes were AsosTarget, Gap (their GapFittops were my favorite, so soft!) and Pea in the Pod.  

STARTING THE DAY OFF RIGHT
I’ve always loved breakfast and I honestly can’t remember a time that I have ever skipped the meal, but when I got pregnant my breakfast cravings went from grabbing something quick to…egg sandwiches; literally EVERY morning. I think that having a more substantial breakfast really helped me feel better throughout the day energy wise. I have Celiac Disease so grabbing a bagel on the go hasn’t really been an option for me for the past 10 or so years. Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, I discovered theseamazing gluten free everything bagel things and I’m pretty sure I’ve had at least one every day since! I got a set of these silicone egg ringsvoila, I was whipping up baked egg sandwiches in no time!

MY ROUTINE, SIMPLIFIED.
I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the rules of what you are and aren’t allowed to use. My best advice for the rules is to avoid google and just ask your doctor. There is so much information out there and sometimes it is hard to decipher what sources are valid but the nurses and doctors will be able to put your mind at ease with anything you aren’t sure of.

When it came to skincare products, I actually found that pregnancy helped me simplify my daily routine. I had been playing around with all kind of different brands of lotions and serums but I hadn’t found anything that I loved. Right around when I hit the 9-week mark my skin developed a mind of its own and I began getting cystic acne all over my face. As anyone who has experienced having bad breakouts can attest to, you become desperate for anything that could possibly work. Of course, many of these solutions are the same ones that are not allowed when you’re pregnant. I tried every natural remedy that I could find but to no avail. Eventually, I decided to take a step back and simplify my routine. I started using the Beauty Counter products and have been using them ever since. I can’t say for sure if it was the products themselves or the fact that my hormones had leveled out a bit mid-way through my second trimester but my skin began feeling like mine again and I loved that I was using a product line that I knew was safe for my skin but also for my little one growing inside me! I would highly recommend the charcoal cleansing bar, cleansing balm, and the rejuvenating night cream as my personal favorites thus far!  

…so there’s just a few of my personal takeaways from this time around. It is unbelievable how quickly you can forget those months and the crazy side effects of being pregnant when your little one finally arrives!

 

Xo

Kristen B.

 

Meet Kristen.

kristen.jpg

Hi There!

I am honored to be a part of the Bundle of Joy Community and to be joining this incredible group of moms in sharing our stories and learning from one another!

First, a little bit about me…

My name is Kristen Beilein and I am very new to the title of “mom,” just about 8 weeks to be exact. As those of you with children can relate to, having our son Tommy has truly changed our world in the most amazing ways possible. On the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the past two months have been a bit of a whirlwind (hence my late intro post, apologies!)

My husband, Patrick, and I live in Syracuse, NY where we met four years ago. We fell in love quickly and starting a family was always a large part of how we envisioned our future together. We got married last June and while we weren’t sure how long it may take us to grow our family, we were delighted (and yes, a bit surprised) when it happened very quickly! There are certain moments that you can remember so vividly and telling Patrick our news is one of those for me. I will never forget the smile on his face and the love in his eyes when I told him that he was going to be a dad.

I was born here in Upstate, NY but I haven’t always lived in the freezing cold. I enjoyed four amazing years at the University of North Carolina where I played lacrosse for the Tar Heels alongside my best friend and older sister, Kelly. After college, I moved to NYC where I worked in Merchandising for Ralph Lauren. After about a year and a half, I realized I was in search of a new challenge and moved out West for a job with Nike at their World Headquarters in Oregon. I fell in love with the charming city of Portland; everything from the local farmers markets to my girlfriends who made 6am runs together the best part of the day. I learned so much about myself during those years as I grew my career in Product Development and Brand Marketing, but the one thing I missed dearly and knew I could never duplicate in Oregon was family.

Fast forward to 2014. I moved back to Upstate, NY and pursued a personal goal of working for myself. I started a consulting business where I could focus more of my time on the work that I loved and while it’s hard to believe that it’s been over 3 years since this new beginning, so many wonderful things have happened since taking that leap…engaged, married, and now blessed with our baby boy. We are incredibly fortunate to have two amazing families and I feel very lucky to be living just miles from my mom and siblings here in Syracuse. It is a dream to be able to call my sister up and meet her for coffee or take our kids to the playground together and see her two little ones love on their new cousin Tommy. We coach our High School lacrosse team together which has been such a fun adventure and brings back the best memories of playing the sport that we loved together. Patrick is a college basketball coach which will likely take our little family on a journey of living in different places but for right now Syracuse is home, and we love that.

Being a first-time mom has been the most rewarding, intimidating, tiring and overall the most incredible experience of my life. Patrick and I often find ourselves staring at his little face (he started smiling last week and it is the most amazing thing, ever). I am definitely a ‘planner’ by nature but if there is anything that pregnancy and motherhood have already taught me, it is to embrace the beauty of uncertainty.In full disclosure, I don’t even know exactly what going back to work will look like for me in these next few months but for now, I am soaking up every minute with our little guy and we will figure that out as we go.

I look forward to sharing more about my experiences as a first-time mom and learning from you all. I have already had many ‘rookie’ moments and am about to embark on a flight to Tampa with the little guy in t-minus 12 hours so I will have lots to report back on about flying with an infant (prayers please!)

Thanks so much for letting me introduce myself and I can’t wait to grow this community together!

 

xo,

Kristen