The risk for heart attack increases during the winter months and holidays. Arteries don't love the cold. Stress increases. Shovelling snow is hard. How can you prevent this? How do you know when you are having a heart attack? Let's discuss this!
Part 2... the stay and the flight home (See Part 1 here)
Well, the vacation was great! We learned some lessons AND had some fun! This is a bit of a scattered entry today, because I am not really sure how to categorize these lessons. I will not be talking about sleep scheduling while on vacation because I really believe that is a personal preference.
- Consider how your skin reacts to certain climates and experiences and times that by like 10 for your baby. Our poor girls skin got super dry while we were away. We live in Calgary and traveled to Palm Springs. So, we are used to the dry climate at home. However, the heat and our frequent use of the pool definitely required more skin care love. I normally apply a thick lotion like vaseline once per day (skipping the occasional day if I forget). While we were on vacation, she needed it at least twice a day AND sunscreen as often as possible. She still ended up with a small amount of eczema on her elbows and forearms.
- Buy the sunscreen bar or lotion, NOT the spray. We started out using the baby spray, but it caused a major meltdown each time we used it! Why? It's cold and makes a loud annoying noise. Our girl was not having any part of that. We loved using the bar because you didn't have to rub it in like you do with lotion and it didn't get everywhere.
- When it comes to swimwear, simple trumps cute. We had a few options for our girl: a bikini, a cross back one piece with an adorable tutu and a simple one piece. The bikini and cross back styles were exactly her size and the simple one piece was actually labeled for a 12 month old. It ended up being our favourite because it was easier to get on, the others fit JUST RIGHT, so it was a bit of a wrestling match to get them on and off. The bikini was pretty easy to get on, but never stayed in place and was a bit annoying when we held her. Although the 12 month one was a bit bigger, as soon as she got into the water it tightened up and was definitely the easiest to get on and off and didn't seem to get annoying when holding her. In hindsight, I might have gone with a swim shirt. We saw those at the store midway through the trip and it would have been great for sun protection.
- Go for the window instead of the aisle seat on the plane. We flew with me on the aisle both ways because we thought it would be handy for me to pop into the aisle if I needed to rock her or change her. However, now I would prefer the window. I rocked her while sitting and, because it was only a 3 hour flight, I changed her immediately prior and immediately after landing. I did have to change her once on the flight there, but it was only one time. So, it wouldn't have been so bad to go by people then. It would have been nice to be tucked away when breastfeeding because I didn't use a cover. Also, when she slept in my arms her head or her feet always dangled into the aisle. If I wasn't paying attention, people walking by would bump her.
- When using Uber or Lyft, always go for an SUV size vehicle. Also, make sure you put in the notes that you have an infant and a car seat. My husband provided the driver with some details about this and it paid off. Luckily, we did end up with an SUV because we also had the stroller. If we had a play pen or an additional suitcase (we only shared one for the three of us), then it would have even been a tight squeeze in the SUV.
- Baby friendly activities. I don't really have a lot to say about what specific activities are baby-friendly. I think this is a personal preference and really depends on the baby. My baby is super cheery most of the time. However, she does not have a whole lot of patience. I did a lot of shopping and after about 20min of looking at clothes she is done. So, I pack a lot of mummum crackers and she gets those whenever I need some mommy time haha. So, my one piece of advice related to activities is bring things your baby loves. I don't really think 6 months is an age they get much out of zoos and parks. All babies are different though. When we visited anything, my girl was much more interested in the strap on her stroller.
A few safety reminders when travelling and taking part in sunny activities
- Always remember to provide shade for your baby whenever possible, especially when travelling to very sunny destinations. We do not have a stroller cover and that was probably an essential item to have when walking around at fairs and just going for walks in general. I was always checking on where the sun was in comparison to her and it made me look like a crazy person constantly parking the stroller at specific angles, hunting for shade in weird locations and walking backwards sometimes to avoid the sun. It does not take long for babies to burn!
- Apply sunscreen and apply some more and apply some more. Just keep applying the stuff if you baby is over 6 months of age. Don't forget areas like the tops of the ears and upper lip. It is recommended to apply at least SPF 30 30min before you enter the sun and then every few hours. Read the label of the sunscreen you use.
- Infants are at risk for heat related emergencies such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Dehydration can increase their risk. Make sure they are well hydrated by feeding them frequently, this applies to both breast and bottle fed babies. This is actually a topic we cover in my course Baby Basics. If you would like to learn more about preventing heat related emergencies and more, check it out!