I’ve only been a parent for 9 short months and there have already been several of those events. You know the ones… the ones where when you think about taking your little ones you get so excited when you think about how much fun it’ll be (especially if it’s a first for your family) and then in record time you. freak. out.
It’s going to be so much work, what if they’re cranky, should we take them…. Does this sound familiar? I know it does for my husband and I. We are still so new at this and there have been several events where I want to take our son and I weigh the pros and cons and decide if I should, most of the time I do.
One thing you should know about my husband and I is when we got pregnant we decided we wanted our baby to be apart of our lives. What I mean by that is, I did not want to be a couple that stayed in and turned down plans because we had a baby (within reason of course). We wanted adventures and memories with all the good and the bad.
So when the opportunity arose to get semi season tickets to our favorite hockey team when I was 7 months pregnant we took it, knowing that our son would only be 3 months old when the season started. There was going to be so much to figure out but it was an adventure we wanted.
So this is how we take our son to hockey games and pretty much every where and enjoy ourselves.
Most of us moms are planners or at least when it comes to our children we are. We know when it’s time for them to eat, when they will throw that evening fit, and when they are going to get overly sleepy. Knowing these things is part of being a mom and they play a huge roll in planning a successful trip out to a big or crowded event.
Things to figure out before:
- When will your baby need to eat.
My son was still nursing every 2-3 hours when we first started going to games so I knew I would have to feed him before we left, once we were there, during the game, and before we left.
- Where/how will you feed your baby
We decided to do a little of both. Sometimes I would have a bottle pumped so we would take that and save it for during the game to cut down on needing to nurse in public and other times I didn’t so I would prepare for nursing under my cover in my seat or sitting on a bench.
- Do you need to take any medications
My son needed acid reflux medicine so we knew that it needed to be packed and easily accessible while we were at the game.
- What kind of event will you be attending, do you need anything special (swim diaper, head phones, etc)
Hockey games are loud so we knew that we had to invest in some good headphones to protect our little ones ears. We bought these and they have worked so well even as he has got bigger.
- How late will you be out, should you take pj’s to make baby comfortable
Since our hockey team plays 1.5 hour away we knew that packing Pj’s was a good idea. We could get him settled in and comfortable making transition to bed easier when we got home.
After you have answered all the big questions you can move to onto the check list of things to take with you.
Going to the hockey games meant seats that were close together so we opted to take a small draw string bag instead of our diaper bag. So we went down our plan and figured out what we would need to make sure baby was happy and content without packing everything but the kitchen sink.
- Diapers (how many)
- Food (breast milk or formula)
- Nursing cover
- Binky and clip
It was here, our first hockey game as a family of 3. To say we were nervous and stressed would be an understatement. I stuck to the plan of nursing right before we left ( to keep baby somewhat content on the drive), we loaded the car with our condensed diaper bag and headed off to our first big outing. When we arrived I nursed again in the car ( I know I can nurse in public but I always felt more comfortable in the car). We parked and walk to the game. When we got to the arena we changed his diaper and found our seats.
During the game we had our plan. The baby would eat once during the game and then again when we left. I located the nearest restroom just in case and we settled in. We had a blast!!! Once we were in our seat my son (who was SUPER difficult his first 6 months) did amazing. He got his medicine on time, I nursed in my seat and he had his head phones so he could enjoy the game. The bag we brought fit perfectly under my seat making it easy to grab but not in the way and when he got cranky he had his binky or I could walk him up the aisle.
After the game we changed him and learned about ‘Family Restrooms!’ (we were really excited about this haha), took him back to the car changed him into his pj’s and headed home with an amazing night of memories.
He did so well. As a family we had so much fun. Was it different? Of course. Was it a little difficult? YES. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY
As new parents we were probably a bit naive and we probably still are. But who isn’t?? And if a small touch of ignorance gives us memories… well then it’s worth it.
Comment below and let me know what events you have been brave enough or naive enough to take your little ones to.
After I weaned my son from nursing at 6 months old I was feeling a bit guilty. I knew he would be starting solids now and I wanted to give him the best food I could find. I was talking to my cousin about the guilt I was feeling about weaning him and how I was nervous about starting solids. While we were talking me explained she had felt the same way and to make her feel a little better she made her daughter’s food herself. What?! I had never heard of people making their own baby food. Every mom I had known or baby sat for before just bought food.
She then explained. She bought simple produce, pureed the food and then stored it. How simple is that?! So I started looking into what my son could have and when. There. was. so. much information! As a new mom everything seemed to be so confusing to me.
This is what I learned.
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about making your own baby food is if you have blender you’re set. When I started out I just used a blender and Ziploc baggies. This got the job done but I wanted to be able to store the food in a more organized fashion so I borrowed a Baby Bullet Blender set from my cousin. If I would’ve known how much I loved making baby food I would’ve registered for one of these amazing sets for my baby shower.
This set comes with everything you would need but you can make your own food without this set all you need is
- something to puree food with (baby bullet, food processor, blender)
- some containers to freeze food in ( ice trays, silicon freezing trays, Ziploc baggies)
- fresh foods of your choice
How to Get Started
Here comes the over whelming part..getting started. You have all your gear ready to go but now what?
Well, you have to decide what you are going to feed your baby. I started my son on soils after I weaned him around 6 months but *I am not your doctor so make sure you check with them and see what is the best time for you to start your child on solids. Depending on how old your baby is will determine what you can make them. I use this awesome chart from One Nerdy Momma
Charts like this one will give you a basic outline of when most babies are ready for each food. Once you have found what your baby should be trying for their age.. it’s easy peasy.
Making the Menu
There are a ton of ways that I have seen this done but I am going to share how I make my menu. If you have read my previous post, 5 Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food then you know that I make my son’s food in bulk. I take one day a month and make all the food he will need. It’s quick, easy and I don’t have to think about what he will eat for the rest of the month. But to get to that point I have to have a plan.
As a stay at home mom and a one pay check household we live on a budget so I try to buy foods that I can use in multiple recipes. To pick what foods I am going to use I look at the list of foods my son has tried. I then pick a few foods he’s enjoyed, one he hasn’t and I also pick a few new foods to try. We follow the 4 day rule. So, when we introduce a new food we wait at least 4 days until we introduce another new food.
Once we have picked our food I sit down and make a list of those foods and new combinations I can try. This month I am using the list below to make his menu:
- Pineapple (new food)
- Spinach (new food)
- Sweet potatoes (food he LOVES)
- Peas (food he doesn’t care for)
- Ground Turkey
Then I mix and match. I do a few fruity flavors like pineapple-peach, some veggies options spinach and sweet potato and then I try to cross flavors such as sweet potato-peach. Next, I add in proteins. Any of these flavors can be mixed with turkey or chicken:
- spinach, sweet potato, turkey
- pineapple, peach, chicken
and so on… after you have made your menu you cook!
What’s Cookin’ ?
Making baby food is something I enjoy doing and it’s actually a lot of fun. Once you have picked all your foods it’s time to cook some yummy, nutritious and natural food for your tiny human.
Cooking for your little one is pretty simple, you basically cook down the veggies and some of the fruits until they are in a form where you can easily blend them. For this particular menu I will boil down the peaches, apples, spinach, and sweet potatoes. You can boil them separately or you can steam them all together if you’d like. I will normally boil like flavors together e.g. sweet potatoes and carrots or apples and peaches.
Cooking the meat can be tricky at first if you’re not a great cook like me… For chicken I will boil it in water and then make sure I temp it out until it’s at 165° and for turkey I will bake it until the same temperature is achieved.
Once all the foods have been boiled, steamed and baked it’s blending time!
This is where you need to keep your little ones age and preference in mind. Your child’s age will determine the texture you will want to blend each food at. My son is 9 months so his food is thicker and has chunks of food in it for him to “chew.” If your little one is just starting out then a smooth thin texture is what you will want to have. You can get that by adding the water you cooked your fruits and veggies in, to the food when you are blending.
Now that you have a bunch of pureed food it’s time to store it so you can easily grab food and go for the next month. Doesn’t that sounds AWESOME!?
Storing Homemade Baby Food
Things to know: baby food has a shelf life of 3-4 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer about 3 months or so (unless your little one eats like mine, in which case it won’t make it that long).
This is how I do it. I take a little bit of everything and store three days worth of food in the fridge. Then I take the rest and freeze it. This is where you can use those awesome freezer trays, whether it is ice trays or silicon trays. I personally use the baby bullet silicon trays.
They are easy to use. I also really like them because the food freezes in the shape of the baby food containers I have, making grabbing food to go even easier. I just freeze one batch at a time. Once they are frozen I pop them out into baggies, label and date them. I continue this until all the food I made it frozen.
But when I first started I didn’t have any of that and you might not either so I used Ziploc baggies. I would store one meal in each bag and freeze them laying flat. Whatever you have will work.
And There You Have It
Easy Peasy right?! Just buy fresh produce and meat, boil down, blend, freeze, store and enjoy! That’s it! I never would have thought about this if my cousin hadn’t told me about it. I am so glad I did this for my son and myself there are so many benefits but the best one is knowing what my son is eating.
Lots of Love,
*I am not a doctor please consult with your pediatrician before making any decisions on what foods to feed your child and when.
* Big shout out to Jodi for introducing me to making my own baby food 💛💛💛