Best Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

I’m dusting off the ol’ blog to post a recipe that is just too good not to share with the internet. I first learned of this recipe from a bottle of Spice Hunter brand Oregano back in college, and I loved it so much I wrote it out on a piece of paper that has lived in my recipe binder ever since. I totally forgot about this recipe until a couple weeks ago, when I randomly had all the ingredients on hand and came across the recipe. And since Spice Hunter now has a different version of this recipe on its website, I feel that it’s my duty to share this version with the world…you know, for posterity’s sake. Here it is: Chicken Cacciatore (Adapted slightly from Spice Hunter) Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. In a large, deep pot, sauté onion, garlic, and oregano in e.v.o.o. until the onion is clear, around 3 minutes.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then sprinkle flour on them. Move around some of the onion mixture in the pan so you have room for the chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until chicken is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, mix the can of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and vinegar together. Add a little water (maybe 2-3 tbsp.) to thin it out a bit. Pour this mixture over chicken in the pan, and stir everything together. Put a lid on the pot and simmer the entire mixture until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve over polenta. Voila!

Sadly I don’t have any photos of the finished dish, but I can assure you that it was delicious (and toddler-approved…see below for evidence). IMG_0798

Posted in Good Eats, Workweek Meals | 1 Comment

M & s in June

I was inspired by Elise’s E&e series to start a similar series of my own to document my days with S.  This is what S (16 months) and I were up to in June 2015:

Reading

READING:  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking | I Am a Bunny

Wearing

WEARING:  New Balance running shoes (getting back into running after a 2-year hiatus!) | Pink Crocs “shoes!”

Wearing2

DOING: Cooling off at the pool at our new (to us) gym | ditto

Obsessed2

OBSESSED WITH: This trio of face products (Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 Moisturizer, Beauty Blender, Maybelline Fit Me foundation) | “bubbles!”

Eating

EATING: all the organic Cripps pink lady apples | ditto

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Reflections on My Birth, a Year Later

I know…I know. It’s been more than 3 months since my last post…can we still even call this my blog? Yet though I am constantly thinking of things that I want to blog about, I rarely actually put pen to paper (so to speak) because there’s just too much going on, and, let’s face it, blogging’s usually the first thing to go. That being said, something happened that keeps looping around over and over in my mind and I feel like I can’t get it out without writing about it.

A friend of mine sent me a (highly graphic) YouTube video of a natural frank breech birth today. I’m not sure what compelled her to watch it in the first place, but seeing as how my baby is about to turn 1, she shared it with me, saying how impressed she was that I had a natural breech birth as well (let’s just say it’s not for the faint of heart). I watched the video, and after remarking how incredibly similar it was to my own birth, decided to take a gander at the YouTube comments. Big mistake. I knew I didn’t read most comments on the internet for a reason, but the comments on this particular video left me livid. People were not only rude, they were cruel. One person commented that she was “so disappointed that [the woman in the video] was so against c section that [she] was willing to RISK THE LIFE OF [HER] CHILD to have it [her] way.” This same person found the video “upsetting and just plain HORRIBLE and selfish.” Someone else described the woman in the video as “stupid and lucky.” Yet another commenter stated, “I hate people like you. Dirty, filthy idiotic hippies who know better than professionals. If you or the baby would have died, I wouldn’t feel bad at all.” Wow. Just…wow.

I found the comments to the video extremely upsetting on two levels. First, on a general level, since when did it become ok to say such cruel, vicious things to other human beings? Apparently the anonymity provided by the internet gives people license to say whatever horrible things they’re thinking to other people, without any concern about hurting others’ feelings. It also struck me how ignorant most of the comments were. People threw around all sorts of “statistics” about how many babies die during breech birth, but I have to wonder how many of them have actually researched the subject, as I did in advance of my birth? It’s upsetting that people feel they can treat others this way.

The comments were also upsetting on a personal level. I try to keep a thick skin about me and I realize that no matter what decisions I make, people will have different opinions (especially when it comes to parenting). But I couldn’t help but feel personally attacked by the comments, since I made the (almost) same choice as the woman in the video. I say almost because she had a home birth, and I was able to deliver in the hospital. I don’t know that I would have chosen to deliver breech at home if the hospital hadn’t been an option — I honestly think I would have found it too risky — but at the same time, I won’t judge the woman because I am not her and I had the option to deliver in a hospital whereas she didn’t. Reading the comments, I couldn’t help but wonder – is this what people think of me? That I would knowingly endanger my child’s life because I so desperately wanted to avoid a C-section? That I was lucky and stupid?

Because here’s the thing: I most certainly was lucky, but I was not stupid. Leading up to my birth, I did a lot of research on breech birth. I spoke to my doctors candidly and at length, and had to meet very strict criteria set out by UCSF to even be allowed to attempt a vaginal breech birth. I had to deliver in the OR, so that if anything did start to go wrong, the baby could be delivered via emergency C-section. My doctors, who had years of breech birth experience, felt confident that I could deliver naturally with no additional long-term risk to my baby. I made an informed, intelligent decision, and so it really stings me when I see such hurtful, judgmental comments on a birth so similar to my own. It shouldn’t affect me, but it does. And I just hope that as my daughter grows up, she will be able filter out all the noise, make her own decisions and stand by them, and know that her mother chose to have the birth she did precisely because she believed it was the best choice for both of us. Happy almost birthday, baby girl.

Posted in Baby, Baby S, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Fall 50 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs to try something called a “capsule wardrobe.”  Google the term and you will find many different variations on the idea, but essentially it’s this: paring down your wardrobe into a seasonal “capsule” of a limited number of items that you wear for an entire season.  Some people, like Elise, do 36 items including shoes; others do not include shoes in their count.  You may be asking yourself:  Why on earth would anyone do something like this?  I’ve always liked a challenge, and like Elise, my goals with this project are to 1) eliminate clutter, 2) save time standing in front of a full closet with “nothing to wear,” 3) cut down on unnecessary spending and 4) better define my personal style.

I decided 36 items was a bit extreme for me, so I whittled down my wardrobe to 50 items – not including shoes, accessories, workout and sleepwear – and decided to commit to wearing only those 50 items** until January 1, 2015.  As for the rest of my clothes, I donated a bunch and then packed and stored the rest out of sight.  I am also making an effort not to buy any new clothes until January 1, but I am not beating myself up about it too much, since I don’t tend to overindulge on clothes anyway. Instead, I am telling myself that if I do buy any new items, I have to swap out/donate one of my Fall 50 for that item.

I have been unofficially wearing my “Fall 50” items for the past few weeks now, but a weekend at home and a nudge from a curious friend have finally prompted me to photograph my capsule wardrobe and blog about it (nothing like a public declaration to hold myself accountable!).  Most of the items you see below have been in my closet for years; the ones I have purchased within the past couple months are denoted with an asterisk (there are 5 of them).  I tried really hard to pick things that go with at least a few other items in the capsule, but there are some randoms in there too.  No links to products because this is not a sponsored blog and also #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Without further ado, here are my Fall 50:

Fall50Casual

CASUAL TOPS (10): blue and white striped H by Bordeaux shirt (Nordstrom Rack); black and white striped H by Bordeaux shirt (Nordstrom Rack); multicolor stripe Merona tee (Target); purple striped boatneck tee (Ann Taylor Loft); navy shirt (Anthropologie); “Need Coffee” shirt* (Old Navy); “Sunday Funday” shirt* (Old Navy); gray tee (Target); salmon tee* (J. Crew); Caslon white tee (Nordstrom).

Fall50SweatersJackets

SWEATERS & JACKETS (16): orange and gray sweater (Anthropologie); deep purple sweater (Ann Taylor Loft); striped navy and cream sweater (Banana Republic); navy and white polka-dot sweater (J. Crew Factory); gray ruffle sweater (Banana Republic); tan cable knit sweater (H&M); tan cardigan (Banana Republic); Bobeau yellow cardigan (Nordstrom); tan sweatshirt (Oakley); navy and white stripe sweatshirt (Banana Republic Factory); black zip hoodie (Ann Taylor Factory); berry cashmere zip hoodie (Nordstrom); olive puffer vest* (Old Navy); military jacket (Target); brown cordurouy blazer (H&M); navy jacket (J. Crew).

Fall50Blouses

BLOUSES (12):  Polka-dot chambray (Old Navy); light chambray* (J. Crew); blue plaid button-down (H&M); red plaid shirt (H&M); pink heart top (boutique in SF); Bobeau brand sage sheer top (Hautelook); Bobeau brand floral top (Hautelook); French hen shirt (J. Crew); black top (Nordstrom); cream lace top (Banana Republic); black and white flannel shirt (Madewell); teal shirt (Nordstrom).

Fall50Bottoms

BOTTOMS & DRESSES (12): navy & gray sweater dress (Gap); multicolor sweater dress (Ann Taylor Loft); Tiny brand shirtdress* (Anthropologie); Merona black and white dot shirtdress (Target); Citizens of Humanity bootcut jeans (Nordstrom); black Rockstar jeans (Old Navy); Paige ankle peg skinny jeans (Nordstrom); curvy fit bootcut jeans (Gap); Bobeau maxi skirt (Nordstrom Rack); maroon skinny pants (Banana Republic); olive chinos (J. Crew); Franco Sarto leggings (Nordstrom).

My hope is that this little experiment will prompt me to try some fun new combinations as well as hone in on my personal style and what I really do and don’t wear.  I hope to share a few of the outfit combinations over the next couple months as well as report back about how this is all going.  I’ve been doing this unofficially for almost a month now and I can already tell you that getting dressed is MUCH easier in the morning when my choices are more limited.  I am curious to see how I will feel at the end of this and whether it will motivate me to donate a lot of the stuff I put in storage.

Have you or would you try a capsule wardrobe?

**In the interest of full disclosure, I did keep a handful (less than 20 items) of fancier “work clothes” on standby for the days I have to go into the office/to court. Because I work mostly from home, it didn’t make sense to keep these as part of my Fall 50, but I wanted to have them on hand just in case. 

Posted in Inspiration | 5 Comments

A Day In The Life: August 4, 2014

A couple months ago, I was inspired by my friend Kate and others’ “Day in the Life” posts, so I took detailed notes about one of my “typical” days so that I, too, could freeze a moment in time.  I figured it would be fun to have this post to look back on months and years from now when things will be totally different.  And, as I was during my final weeks of maternity leave at the time, things are already looking completely different now that I am back to work part-time.  For one, S is sleeping MUCH better (the day below was a particularly rough one). We also both get up earlier, and she takes more consistent naps, which helps with the night sleeping. It’s crazy how much changes in a couple short months!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monica is 31

Garrett is 30

Baby S is 3 days shy of 6 months

Stinson pup is 5.5 years old

12:22 am – S wakes up screaming after going to sleep at 8:30 pm. She used to be a champion sleeper, sleeping from 8 pm to 8 am with only 1 wakeup, but had a major sleep regression at 4.5 months and hasn’t recovered yet. Plus, we just got back from Romania less than a week before, so her sleep is still really messed up. This night, I attempt to let S “cry it out,” but break down after 10 minutes and nurse her because frankly, it’s easier than hearing her cry even though I doubt she’s really hungry. She nurses for roughly 10 minutes and then we both go back to sleep.

4:00 am – S wakes up again. I let her cry for about 5 minutes before deciding that she isn’t going to settle back down on her own so I go to her room. I nurse her on one side, and she goes back to sleep. I head downstairs to pump the other side while reading the Internets about sleep training and convincing myself that I have messed up my child’s sleep for life. I go back to sleep at around 4:20 am.

6:00 am – I hear S stirring again; this time I let her cry and she eventually falls back to sleep.

6:22 am – She is crying again, and this time won’t settle down on her own. I nurse her again while reading my Skimm for the day. I place her back into her crib hoping for a couple more hours of sleep.

6:30 am – She fusses, but settles back to sleep.

7:30 am – She fusses again, but again settles back to sleep after a few minutes.

8:40 am – I get out of bed and take a shower.

8:50 am – I get out of the shower to the sound of S crying. She is really up now, so I nurse her, change her, and get her dressed for the day (I decide on a Kickee Pants pajama set…it’s still acceptable to keep my kid in “pajamas” all day at this age, right? EDIT: Kickee Pants calls these “coveralls,” so I think I’m legit). I dress myself (yoga pants, nursing tank and chambray shirt…my uniform of choice lately) and I put S into her bouncy chair while I do my hair and makeup. (Note: I don’t wear makeup most days unless I’m going somewhere, but with the rough night of sleep, I need at least a little mascara to look alive today.  Also, even though my short hair is much more convenient than my long hair was, it sadly necessitates washing and blowdrying on a daily basis, which is annoying.)  I text a couple of my mom friends for reinforcement about our horrible night of wakeups. Meanwhile, S poops so I change her diaper again. I let Stinson out of his crate.

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9:30 am – I put S in her high chair while I make breakfast for myself (2 scrambled eggs with avocado, pretty fancy for me). She hasn’t really started solids yet but she likes sitting in the chair. I scarf down my food and soon she wants a snack as well, so I nurse her on the other side at 9:50 am.

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10 am – I put S in the stroller and we head outside to walk Stinson around the block. Meanwhile, my friend Amie (whom I had texted earlier with my sleep woes) calls and we talk/commiserate about sleep issues (her daughter is 6 weeks older than S).

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10:45 am – I strap S into her carseat and we drive to Postpartum Sculpt class at Herself Moms. The class is from 11-12 and it’s so nice that everyone can bring their babies; I have met so many other moms and babies this way! I end up having to nurse S halfway through the class because she gets fussy, but there are always moms nursing in the middle of class so that’s nice. I chat with another mom friend after class about sleep issues. (Side note: I am totally becoming that desperate mom who will talk to anyone who will listen about sleep. UGH.) The other mom has a 4-year-old who looks well adjusted and she nursed to sleep throughout the night as a baby, so there’s hope. I feel better about the situation.

12:20 pm – We are now back home. I transfer a sleeping S from her carseat to her crib; she fusses a bit but I pat her back a few times and she settles down. I go downstairs, eat a snack (white peach), and begin chopping veggies like a madwoman in order to make paleo minestrone soup for dinner. I also make a Nespresso coffee, remembering how much I love (and need) coffee.

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12:50 pm – I’m finished assembling the minestrone soup, so I turn on the crockpot and set a timer. Now I need to clean the kitchen and feed myself. Oh, and do cloth diaper laundry. I decide to put on my oxygen mask first and prioritize eating. I make a salad using some random stuff from the fridge and pantry (sliced turkey, hardboiled eggs, cashews) and scarf it down.

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1:00 pm – Just as I’m finishing my lunch, I hear S cry. She is nothing if not precise. I give her 5 minutes to make sure she’s really awake, and head upstairs to nurse her and change her diaper.

1:25 pm – I finish drinking my (now cold) coffee with S on my lap, then I put S down on the play mat for some tummy time while I unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. The pup is starting to whine, so at 1:45 we head out for another stroller walk. It’s 72 degrees outside and feels perfect. We walk to a nearby park and S falls asleep around 2:40. I dictate a few emails on my phone and make a couple of phone calls while we are on our walk. We get back to the house around 3:10 and S immediately wakes up. I am still on the phone with my mother-in-law at this point, so I comfort nurse S while on the phone.

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3:30 pm – I make myself a snack of (expired, but smells ok) Greek yogurt, honey, walnuts, and nectarine slices) and stuff and fold the cloth diapers. Though I usually enjoy mundane, repetitive tasks like stuffing diapers, I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth the extra effort given the California drought and everything. I press on. I tidy the living room a bit.

4:00 pm – I put S in the jumper while I brown some sausage for the minestrone soup. Just as I am finishing the sausage, S starts getting fussy. I take her out of the jumper and put her on the playmat for a second, and she quickly barrel-rolls to the stroller. I can’t put her down anymore these days and expect her to stay where I put her! I take her upstairs and we play on the carpeted landing for a while. She laughs at Stinson, who is her favorite. I make a mental note to instal baby gates by the stairs since S is now rolling consistently and cannot be left alone, not even for a second.

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4:27 pm – S is hungry again so I nurse her and change her diaper. I read her 2 books and then attempt to put her down for one last nap. She is not having any of it. We play some more, and I attempt to put her down again at around 5:20 pm, but again, she doesn’t want to nap in her crib. She continues to be fussy though, so I nurse her again as it seems to be the only thing that will calm her down since she won’t nap.

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5:30 pm – I have a phone call with my supervising partner from the firm about returning to work part-time. S intermittently nurses and sleeps on me while I’m on the call, which is fine by me because I need her to be quiet and she’s only really quiet when she’s sleeping or nursing. Plus she hasn’t napped that much today, so I will take what I can get. The call goes well, and the partner is open to me coming back on a part-time schedule. I call Garrett right after and we discuss my work situation while he drives home from work.

6:30 pm – Garrett is home from work. We talk about my impending return to work (so many FEELINGS) and our respective days while he plays with S. We also talk about my attempted CIO the night before, and both decide that CIO is not for us, at least not at this point in time.

7:15 pm – we eat the paleo minestrone soup and continue our discussion. We don’t normally have this much “discussion” in our days (there is usually some sort of TV watching but not this evening) but there’s lots to talk about given my phone call with work and me trying to figure out what my return to work will look like.  As you can imagine, I am feeling a lot of angst due to my maternity leave drawing to an end and, um, sleep deprivation.

7:50 pm – we start S’s bedtime routine. G gives her a bath while I sit next to the bath and watch (there’s not really room for both of us to give her the bath due to the sliding glass door, so we alternate). She has become much more interested in her bath toys as of late and it’s really cute to watch her play and splash in the tub.  I wrap her in her shark towel, put on a disposable diaper for night time, followed by a onesie and sleep sack. G gives her a bottle of expressed milk while I read her a bedtime story; this night it’s “But Not the Hippopotamus!” by Sandra Boynton. I then nurse her for a few minutes and she’s asleep by 8:45.

9:00 pm – I tidy around the house and respond to some emails while G catches up on work. I get ready for bed, write in my “Line a Day” journal that I’ve been keeping for nearly 4 years (!!!) and pump. We’re finally both in bed and the lights are out at 11:11 pm.  I promptly fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

2:45 am – Someone’s hungry again…

Posted in Baby, Baby S, Inspiration | 11 Comments

Shopping Moratorium: Final Results

My birthday has come and gone, which means it’s time to report back on how my self-imposed 3-month Shopping Moratorium went. So how did I do? Mehhhh, good but not great, if I’m being honest with myself. Following my 1-month check-in, I actually did really well during June (although I did purchase another one-piece swimsuit and an iPad keyboard — vacation “necessities” in my book, haha), and then July came and…three words: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. The sale actually lasted through my birthday, but I knew we’d be out of the country for the last week of July and the pre-sale is really the best time to buy things because once they run out, they run out. I ended up buying a pair of skinny jeans, a couple shirts, a pair of ankle boots and some earrings from the sale. So yeah, kind of a fail. But I do give myself credit for staying strong for most of the time and keeping frivolous purchases to a minimum.

Despite less-than-stellar results, I am really glad I embarked on a shopping moratorium because it has forced me to think about how I spend my money (and my time).  I realize that a lot of times, I would buy things I don’t really need for the instant gratification.  Though it feels good in the moment, it usually only serves to bring me down later when I realize I have yet another item to find a place for and to maintain.  Buying unnecessary items not only affects my wallet, but also my time as well. I end up having more stuff (clutter!) to organize and maintain, and I also end up spending considerable amounts of time going to and from stores to buy, return, and exchange items.

I have to admit that since my shopping moratorium has ended, I’ve felt a bit of relief that I can shop again guilt-free; but I will say that I have noticed a change within myself. Though I still enjoy browsing, I am much, much more selective about what I will actually buy. I still enjoy browsing around stores like Target but rarely spend more than $20-30 a trip there — gone are the days of dropping over $100 per visit and wondering where it all went.

Since Baby S is in the process of starting solids, I have been tempted to load up on various feeding supplies (bibs, high chair, tiny bowls and spoons, etc.) but have held off.  I realize the set of spoons I got at my baby shower are all we really need; we can use our ramekins and Tupperware instead of plastic bowls to contain her purees; I don’t need a fancy baby food maker because I can just use our steamer and food processor; and we are borrowing a high chair from a super sweet friend (in addition to the travel one we got at my baby shower).  Resisting the urge to over-zealously stock up on feeding supplies will ensure that when the time comes and we actually need something, the items we buy will actually get used. I’ve found that, especially with baby items, you don’t always end up using the things you think you’ll need (I’m looking at you, Puj tub!)

Another realization I’ve had is that if you’re always buying new things, you don’t really get a chance to enjoy the old things.  If you’re anything like me, whenever you get a new piece of clothing, you end up wearing that a ton to the exclusion of other things in your closet. Keeping my clothes shopping to a minimum over the past 3 months has helped me re-discover some old favorites and mix up my wardrobe a bit.  On a somewhat related note, perhaps the thing I am most proud of is that I have not bought any makeup or body products (with the exception of sunscreen) for the past 3 months. I am realizing that I only really use a handful of products on a daily basis, and I’d ultimately like to be able to fit all of those products into one makeup bag (a la Sherry from Young House Love, a personal hero of mine).

Thanks to my shopping moratorium, over the past 3 months I spent on average about 40% of what I would previously spend on extraneous items (63% if you include my pre-birthday Nordstrom shopping spree at the end of July).  While the saved money in my back account is nice, the best thing to come of this is a changed perspective. Going forward, I’m going to aim to keep up the “shopping moratorium” mentality, knowing that though I will probably never have a month where I don’t buy something, I’ll think twice before wasting money on unnecessary stuff.

Posted in Inspiration | 2 Comments

Airplane Travel with an Infant

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We recently went on our first domestic round-trip flight with our little lady (who is now 5 months old) and I did a ton of research about what to pack before our trip. I am by no means an expert but our cross-country round-trip (4 flights) went pretty smoothly, so I thought I’d share a few things that worked for us. Keep in mind that our baby is exclusively breastfed so we didn’t have to pack any formula, bottles, etc. but we did have to pack my breastpump. This list will obviously be a little different once she starts solids in a month. Also, we were fortunate enough to be able to borrow a carseat and stroller at our destination so we didn’t have to pack those either.

Here’s what we carried on the plane:

Ergobaby carrier (we didn’t bring a stroller because we were able to borrow one at our final destination so it was much easier to wear Baby S in the airport)
Breastpump (Medela Pump In Style Advanced)
Diaper backpack (we have the JuJuBe Be Right Back (Platinum Petals print), which is great because of all the compartments, but you could use any backpack)

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Here’s what we packed in the diaper backpack:
1. Paci pod with 2 pacifiers – Not just for keeping baby quiet, they also help with the ear pain during takeoff and landing. A paci clip is also a good idea so they don’t drop their paci on the floor.
2. Toys/entertainment for baby – we brought our Sophie teether, an O-Ball, a NogginStik rattle (she loves that thing!), an Indestructibles book and a soft crinkle book and Baby S played with all of them. I’d also recommend bringing some plastic links so you can tie the toys down so they don’t fall on the airplane floor.
3. Lightweight muslin blanket – can be used as a nursing cover or an extra blanket for baby if it’s chilly.
4. Muslin bibs and burp cloths – if you have a spitty baby like ours, it’s a good idea to just put a bib on them at the beginning, that way if they spit up you’re not having to change their outfit.
5. Personal items – wallet, cell phone, tablet, plane tickets.
6. Paci wipes – I generally think these are kinda gimmicky, but they are great for wiping down toys or other things that may go into your baby’s mouth when you don’t have access to soap and water.
7. Extra footed pajamas for baby – useful if your baby has a blowout. I would choose something easy like long-sleeve PJs since airplanes are often cold and you don’t want to have to fumble with multiple-piece outfits.
8. Separate pouch/bag with disposable diapers, wipes, and trash bags – I’d recommend putting all of this stuff in one easy-to-grab pouch so you don’t have to take the entire diaper bag into the tiny airplane bathroom. While we normally do cloth at home, but I didn’t want to have to lug around dirty diapers in our carry-on, so I brought 1 diaper for each hour of travel, just to be safe. We ended up only having to use a few of them, but it was nice to have extras just in case. I also packed 2 cloth diaper covers (just the covers of our BumGenius pocket diapers, not the inserts) and put one over Baby S’s disposable to contain any potential blowouts.
9. Travel My Brest Friend Pillow (shown inflated) – I have the regular version of this for every day, but the inflatable travel version was the best $20 I have spent. It packs very small (maybe 7″ x 5″ x 3″?) and you can use it not only for nursing your baby on a flight but also as a soft sleeping spot on your lap.
10. Extra shirt for you – in case baby spits up during the flight.
11. Nursing cover – or you can just use the muslin blanket (I would probably do this next time to save room).

Not pictured:
12. Changing pad – we just used the one that came with our diaper backpack, but you could always pack a disposable one in your pouch along with the dipes, wipes, and bags.
13. Goodies to bribe the other passengers – totally not necessary, but we made little ziplock bags with earplugs and sweets in them to hand out to our fellow passengers in case Baby S got really fussy. Thankfully she wasn’t too bad, but I think people appreciated the gesture. (ETA: only handed these out for first flight as they were really unnecessary. I think I’ll just bring along a few next time and only hand out if baby is being truly disruptive.)
14. Infant Tylenol and small tube of Aquaphor – the Tylenol is in case baby isn’t responding well to air travel and the Aquaphor is a multi-purpose moisturizer and diaper rash cream.

As for flying tips, here are some great ones we got:
– wear your baby. Makes it much easier to handle your boarding passes and bags and get through security (they didn’t even make me take her out of the carrier).
– nurse baby (or give baby a pacifier) during takeoff and landing. It has the same effect as chewing gum does for adults, and really helps alleviate the pain from the change in air pressure.
– if possible, don’t travel alone. It really does help to have an extra set of hands, especially when you have to use the bathroom or deal with heavy luggage. Baby S and I will be flying solo later this year, and I get nervous thinking about it!
– call ahead and ask your airline if they can seat you in your own row (we had 2-person rows on both flights, which was really nice).
– if traveling internationally, call ahead and request a bulkhead or “bassinet” seat. If they won’t do this for you, show up to the airport early and beg.
– try not to sweat it too much! Most people are very sympathetic and will go out of their way to help you out.

We will be flying again later this month (this time internationally), so I’ll be sure to provide updates in case my lists change.

Do you have any tips or packing must-haves for airplane travel with an infant?

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