Saturday, May 12, 2018

Air Travel With Baby

Hi all!

Ok, so I've literally been working on this post for almost a year now.  Turns out finding time and energy to finish a blog these days is a lot harder than I thought -- I don't know how real mom bloggers do it! 

In the past year, I've done a bit of traveling with my little guy, for work and pleasure: Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, NYC.  I feel pretty confident in saying that I finally have a system that works for me, so I thought I'd share some things I've learned along the way.

Here's what I don't travel without:


This is an obvious one.  As tempting as it is to leave it behind because it's heavy and a real pain in the tushie, you will need one to get to and from the airport, and depending on where and how you'll be traveling at your next destination, even if carseat laws are lax, you may still want your carseat with you for the most obvious reason, your baby's safety.  
Yes, you can always opt to rent one at your next destination.  At a lot of places I've traveled to they've provided us with a car seat in advance, but I've never really used them because 
A) MOST car seats are installed incorrectly.  When you jostle the car seat's base, it should not move more than an inch.  I've checked rented car seat installs by jostling them and found that 100% of the time the whole car seat moved around!  

B) If you want to install a rented car seat yourself, be sure to read the manual or watch a video for that particular car seat to get the best install.  Because I'm on tour and on such a tight schedule, I don't have that kind of time or brain strength, so I haul my own along.  I know exactly how it should be installed, and the one I have is a super easy install.  The Britax ClickTight convertible car seat "clicks" locked when installed properly, and won't "click" if not properly installed, which is a nice safety feature.

(There are so many great car seats out there, and all of them, when properly installed, will help protect your baby in the event of an accident.  Because car seat regulations are so high in the US, most car seats go above and beyond.  The KEY is a proper install.)


This bag is durable and fits most car seats.  I've flown so many times with this thing, and it holds up.  I check my car seat at the ticket counter, because it's free to check a car seat, and I don't want to be this guy walking through security and a crowded airport. 

He's making it look way easier than it really is!!!
The risk of checking your car seat at ticketing vs. checking it at the gate is the possibility that it doesn't make it to your destination with you, as well as possible damage.  *knock on wood* I haven't had this misfortune yet  (>.<)

This thing is awesome.  I put baby in here when going through security.  If I'm lucky enough to go through the TSA Pre line, they usually let me walk right through the metal detector with baby on me in this thing.  There have been only a few times they've needed me to take the carrier off.  In a busy airport, it's nice to have baby close.  Sometimes he'll be totally asleep in there.  I've even breastfed him in there with a sweatshirt or wrap pulled around us with nobody knowing.

If your child is too big to wear in a carrier, you will need to carry him in your arms or walk him through the metal detectors at the airport.  Which means if he's in a stroller at security, you'll need to fold that up, put it on the conveyor belt, and carry him through the metal detector. 


When my hands and arms are full with baby, I prefer to wear the diaper bag on my back and out of the way.  The one I have is HUMONGOUS, and even though it's amazing because it carries everything I need and then some, it's almost impossible to find anything right away.  I know there are way cuter ones out there as well, so here's one as an example.  Not the one I use, but an example. 

You want a bag that can carry:
- enough diapers for every hour of travel time
(trust me, with diapers it's better to err on the side of more.  You never know what might happen.  I've heard so many stories of mid-flight poo-splosions.  My own son pooped 4 times during one flight.  And in the case of travel delays, you may find yourself wanting more diapers than you expected.
- a full pack of wipes
- extra change of clothes for baby (and you)
- room for bottles, sippy cups, food packs, snacks etc. (you are allowed to bring milk and water through security for your child.  You may want to double check with your airline on how much you can bring.  I've always brought a full sippy container of water for mine.  All they need to do at security is test it to make sure it's not, I dunno, an explosive liquid or something)
- toys, pacifiers, hand sanitizers, lotion, baby tylenol for sudden sickness/fever/pain relief


The stroller I recommend to everyone is the BabyZen YoYo stroller.  This thing has been so worth every penny spent on it.  It's lightweight and folds up with one hand into a size that's smaller than most carry-on bags.  I've never not been allowed to bring it on the plane with me.  I've been questioned about it, but they truly could never stop me when they see how small it is when folded up.  It is nice to deplane with stroller in hand so that I can open it up immediately and put baby or even bags in it to help lighten my load.  Also, because of it's size, it fits through tight spaces, including those poles at the airport that don't allow luggage carts to fit through.  It's also not an obnoxious behemoth stroller in tiny places, like a small cafe in Tokyo for example.
This stroller has actually become my primary stroller at home due to it's ease and light weight.  Let's be honest, as cush as some of the other strollers are, they're still kind of heavy and a little bit of a pain opening and closing.

If you want to go for a more affordable route, I suggest buying a super cheap fold up umbrella stroller, for a lot of the same reasons.  It will be lightweight and easy to open and close.  Chances are much higher that they'll make you check the stroller at the gate, so you may have to wait for your stroller after de-planing.  But realistically, sometimes you end up waiting for the whole plane to de-board before you gather all your things and a (hopefully) sleeping baby. 


I mentioned extra clothes above because you will be so happy to have them when you need them!
Baby will have accidents: spills, throw-ups, diaper leaks.  And when these happen, baby will most likely be on your lap.  You won't regret having packed an extra shirt and pants for yourself, partner, and baby.

What to do to keep baby busy on a long or short flight?  Here are a few things that worked for us:
- sticker books
- crayons and paper
- mini watercoloring set
- mini books
- NEW toy - I usually find one at the airport before we board
- And then there's the iPad.  There are actually some great, mellow and educational apps out there.  I like to spend the extra $2 and go ad-free so there's less clutter on the screen.  And I tried to find less stimulating and less aggravating apps.  So here are a few favorites:


I swear this is how my son learned his ABC's

Music Time!

All music by Caspar Babypants, and allows child to play along on the vibraphone, guitar, and percussion.

Magnetic ABC

This is a simple "magnet" board that is peaceful and easy to use.


Easy, peaceful drawing app.


This is a beautiful drawing app that includes different types of pens and brushes.  Everything my son makes with this blows my mind.

Ok, I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things here.  Please feel free to leave a message, question, or share some tips that have helped you in your travels with kids!  As they grow, what you bring with you when traveling changes so much.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

💕Mama P

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Motherly Comforts

Here are a few threads, for outer AND under garments, that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout my pregnancy and beyond!

photo from


I looooooove this bra made by Storq!
It is SO incredibly soft, with no underwire and no clips and tags.  When your milk first comes in, your boobs get pretty huge (a post about that experience coming soon).  I went to my local Pump Station to find a few 'typical' nursing bras.  They provided a lot of support and comfort at the time, and also had clips so that I could have easy access for feeding.  Easy access is important in the beginning since you're feeding almost constantly on what feels like an endless loop of naps, diaper changes, and 25 minute feeds.  But I never truly got the hang of the clips, and they were something I didn't want to deal with for the next x amount of months of breastfeeding.  Also, the extra support and padding of the 'typical' nursing bra started to feel bulky and cumbersome, and not needed as much once my milk regulated.  So I tried one of these Storq bras.  I felt so free, comfortable, and chic in it.  Instead of fussing with clips, you simple pull the bra cup over, or under, or above -- whatever works easiest for you and baby in the moment.  After trying it out, I immediately bought 3 more.  I've had them for about a year now, and they are still just as soft and comfortable as they were on Day 1.


A great tip another mom friend gave me when I was pregnant was to buy some underwear one size up from my normal size.  When you're pregnant, sometimes you don't realize your tush is gradually expanding (to help support that beautiful belly), and you don't want to wake up one day and realize all your underwear is stretched out and unwearable once you go back to your pre-baby size.

If you want to treat yourself, get a few pairs from Storq.  Made of the same material as the nursing bra above, they are so soft and comfortable.  They no longer sell them a la carte, but it looks like they are included in a pretty nifty Intimates Bundle.

FYI - I am not cool enough to be endorsed by ANYBODY.  These are just my recommendations based off of my own experience.


photo from

I'm all about buying maternity clothes that I will also be able to wear when I'm not pregnant.  Since decluttering about 10 garbage bags full of unwanted (and even some unworn!) clothes, I've been very careful about what I bring into my wardrobe and home.  Some of the brands I've listed below are a bit on the pricier side, but their quality and wearability are worth it to me.

Hatch is definitely on the pricier side, but I've found a few pieces that were on sale that were my go-to's for most of my pregnancy.  I love their loose fitting shirts that I wear to this day, as a non-pregnant person.

Elastic will be your best friend as far as pants go.  But instead of wearing sweatpants every day, I'd wear my Ace + Jig Indian cotton pants I bought 3 years ago.  You get what you pay for as far as quality, style and comfort.

Boyfriend jeans were also in heavy rotation for me.  The pair that I liked were made by Zara.


photo from

I love Christy Dawn dresses.  All of their fabric is made from deadstock (leftover fabric from other designers) which means they're not adding to the 11 million tons of textile waste that gets sent to  landfills every year, or contributing to the 20% of the world's industrial water pollution caused by the fashion industry.  The fabrics are romantic and one of a kind.

The Dawn dress and The Lincoln are two of my favorites for post-pregnancy because their v-necks have a hidden snap closure allowing for easy breastfeeding access.  I wore both these styles while on tour in Japan last year so that I could breastfeed with ease in between promo and shows while still looking cute and fashionable.

Treat yo'self!  A little goes a long way when you're sleep deprived, haven't left the house in days, or just need a little pick me up every now and then.  You deserve it!  If you have some favorite motherly comfort go-to's, let me know in your comments!  

☆ Mama P

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mommy + Me Safety

Yes, these are blisters on a tiny 1 year old hand, and yes, this is my son's hand.  It turns out, not all "Mommy & Me" classes are actually child-safe.  I think it's kind of a bummer to start one of my earliest posts on this blog about something so negative, but this just happened, and I feel like it's my duty to spread the message of a little simple child-safety sooner rather than later.

A few days ago I was feeling spunky and decided to take my son to a Mommy & Me yoga class at Yoga West, here in L.A.  It's a beautiful yoga space that specializes in kundalini style yoga, and it's where I went for all my prenatal yoga classes, and I loved it!  The class takes place in a big, clean, open room with ambient lighting.  River had a blast running around to all corners of the room, investigating other kids' mats, sharing their snacks and toys.  I, too, was enjoying the much needed "me" time and stretches for my body.  When River would wander away, I always kept an eye on him.  I noticed that most of the electrical outlets along the wall had socket covers on them, but I was surprised that a few didn't.  So I stopped stretching whenever he wandered too far and made sure he steered clear of the open sockets (it's amazing how quickly they find open sockets and start touching them).  This should have been my first cue to give the room a quick scan for any other potential dangers.  I just didn't think there would be any.  It's a yoga studio, what other dangers could there be?  If I had been more on the lookout, I might have noticed a lamp on the floor, illuminating a large photo on the wall.  At the very end of class, as I was saying goodbye to the teacher, I looked at River just as he was putting his hand in the lamp and starting screaming.  The lamp was completely open to an exposed and extremely hot light bulb inside.  Needless to say, I whisked him up and immediately to the bathroom to run cold water over his hand, where blisters formed almost instantly (the blisters in the photo actually grew about 3 times in size by the next day, and there are 8 in total).  My son started walking at 10 months (3 months ago), so he's had his fair share of daily bumps and big falls.  He usually cries but recovers surprisingly fast.  But the pain from this burn was so intense, he was writhing and shaking and just could not be consoled.  I was so angry at myself for not being more vigilant, and angry at the place for having such a scalding hot light on the floor during a class where babies are supposed to be free to explore the space while their moms relax and do yoga.  Another shocker was the fact that they did not have a first aid kit of any kind, and when I asked for some ice or something cold, they lackadaisically said they didn't have an ice machine and sent me down the street to a restaurant (that was closed).  I had to run to the nearest gas station on foot with my screaming baby in my arms to get something cold for him to hold until I figured out what to do next.

Moral of the story is:  

Not all Mommy & Me classes are child-safe
If you're not positive the space you're about to let your child run freely in is 100% safe, you don't have to go nuts or immediately pack up and leave, but a quick scan of the room for potential hazards is not a bad idea.  In fact -- it's a good one!

Lesson learned the hard way is:

Have a first aid kit in my car at all times!
Our pediatrician said one of the 1st things you want to address when it comes to 2nd degree burns is pain control.  I DO have a first aid kit in my car that I bought from Rite Aid, but upon opening it I realized all it contained were a bunch of bandaids and sterile wipes.  I will now be buying a small container and filling it with:

-  a bunch of bandaids and sterile wipes
- children's tylenol or motrin
- burn relief cream
- bumps & bruises gel such as Arnicare gel
- neosporin
- sterile gauze and tape
- small safety scissors (for cutting gauze & tape)

Wanna hear another crazy Mommy & Me experience?  I was trying out a pretty highly touted Mommy & Me class here in the L.A. area, that had a crazy waiting list.  Women literally sign up for this class the minute they find out they're pregnant to reserve their spot.  Somehow there was an opening and I got a chance to try it out.  We're all sitting on the floor with our babies in front of us, playing with toys.  One mom was coming out of the bathroom with her eyes glued on her cell phone and actually tripped over a baby!!!!  

I really try my best to not be a "helicopter parent" who hawks over their kid 24/7.  I like the idea of being able to leave him in a safe space where he can move around and experiment and explore things on his own.  If anyone's interested, the one class where I know he is in a safe space is in our RIE class.  I will have to do a whole other post on RIE and our experience with it.  But what I love about it is that the space is absolutely child-safe, cell phones and shoes are left at the door, parents sit on the outskirts of the room, and the children are left to roam the room as they please, engaging with each other and the safe objects in the room, and we simply silently observe.  It's amazing how relaxing it is, as well as entertaining!  

I hope you never have to experience a day like I had when River's hand was burned.  I hope you find a Mommy & Me group that is a safe place for your baby.  I hope if anything should happen that you are more prepared than I was.  If you've had a similar experience, or have other suggestions for my first aid kit -- please share!

☆ Mama P

Monday, January 2, 2017


January 1, 2017, as I was waking up from a nap with my 1 year old son around 1pm, and realizing I was, yet again, still in my pajamas, teeth unbrushed, hair a mop of wavy crazies, I decided to make a new year resolution right then and there:  to not wear my pajamas as much as I have in 2016.

First of all, my pjs are not sexy in the slightest.  They are practical, warm, and pretty dorky.  My mom gets me a new pair every Christmas, and I love them.  But in 2016, I would say I wore them about...85% of the time.  I'm not exaggerating in the slightest.  I really thought about this, and 85% feels pretty accurate.  What can I say?  I'm a creature of comfort, and when I'm breastfeeding throughout the day, and hanging around the house, I want to be in comfy, clean, snuggly clothes!  But something's gotta give.  It's amazing how good it feels to put on my 'going out' bra, pants that actually reveal the shape of my leg, shoes.

My second resolution is to be a better wife.  I've been all about being 'Mom' last year.  My poor husband's been pretty left out of the mix.  He's been extremely patient and gracious to let me pour all of my love and affection into our son while he's up in the rafters, alone, waiting for some more one-on-one time with his wife (and I'm not talking sexually.  I'm just talking, basic, best friend hanging out time).

My third resolution is to keep posting here, and sharing all my foibles with you in hopes to help you in some way if you're first time preggers and/or first time mom.

Happy 2017 to everyone!!!

☆ Mama P

P.S.  If you haven't checked out Mother Mag yet, I highly recommend it!  I love it.  It reminds me that I'm not just a mom, I'm a woman.  It feels good to remember that.  Here's to being a mom-woman in 2017!

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hello.  If you're reading this, you're probably a parent, or about to become a parent, or just interested in parenting stuff, I guess?  Hopefully this blog can help you in some way, and help prevent you from making some of the silly mistakes I made and had to learn the hard way!  

I just wanted to use this first post to preface all of my future posts by letting you know that I am NOT one of those moms who "has it all together".  I am literally still trying to figure it all out, every. single. day.  And my son is almost 11 months old!!!  But I think this is the way it goes.  As soon as you feel like you got the hang of parenthood, the next day everything implodes/changes/poops on your hand.  I am also a pretty much full-time mom.  I'm still working as a singer-songwriter when I can, so I'm starting to get 6 hours of help a week so I can start working a teensy bit (those 6 hours of 'free time' feel like 30 minutes).

It's interesting how neatly, and naively, I pictured momhood before I actually became a mom.  Funny, really.  In case you're curious, here's a little picture of the mom I've become at the moment:  
  • The only time the house actually gets clean is if someone from the 'outside' is coming over (which isn't often).  As soon as our guest says their goodbyes and steps out the door our home immediately explodes back into a cluttered war zone of baby food, diapers, wipes, bouncy balls, puzzles, and baby pants. 
  • Some days I barely have enough time to change out of my pajamas, and other days I simply choose not to change out of my pajamas. Which means most days....are spent in my pajamas.  
  • It now takes me an average of 4 days to reply to an email.  
  • It is a freakin' miracle this blog even exists right now.  

So if you're a new parent who feels like you're flailing (or even failing) everyday, just know that I'm in the same boat as you.  I made this blog to simply share some little things that have helped make my life a tiny bit easier.  A lot of things that no one ever warned me about, and also a few super useful tips I've learned from other fellow mamas out there.

A lot of mama friends and I agree that there's a lot of gearing up for the big birth day, but not so much prep for what comes after.  Hopefully these tidbits of information can be useful for you before and after the epic and truly miraculous arrival of your little one.

☆ Mama P