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the newbie: European Vacation!

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


We are about to go overseas with June for the first time. It’ll be a lovely week in France, in the country, and I’m hoping for lots of cute shots of her crawling through lavender fields. I have a dorky dream of her taking her first steps in an olive orchard or something equally idyllic.

But in addition to my excitement, I’m terrified! First, the flight: Seven hours on a plane, overnight, with my squirmy, wiggly 11-month-old in a front carrier? The task is daunting at best. I’m just hoping she’ll sleep. The strategy is milk, food, white noise and motion. It’ll work, right?

Then: The time change. We’ll land around 3am our time, but it’ll be 9am over there… whoa. Jet lag rocks my world enough—I can’t imagine what it’ll do for June. I’m thinking it’ll be pretty intense, and I wonder if we should go with the flow for the first few days, or try to stick to a schedule, or throw up our hands completely and buy earplugs.

I’m bringing her favorite stuffed animal, her sheets for the pack-n-play, and her noise machine, but I wonder if that’ll be enough to help her feel at home.

Any experienced baby-travelers out there want to offer any advice? I’m all ears!

the newbie: Feeding Time

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


Now that June is weaning herself a bit, we have fun trying out different types of meals and snacks. Scrambled eggs, strawberries and yogurt, sweet potatoes with spinach and carrots… these are all popular with the little one. We’ve even given her cod roe (a favorite of my husband) and puttanesca sauce—she slurps those down like a champ.

So while I’m happy with what she’s eating, I’m never really sure when to feed her. Usually, she gets a little bit cranky when she’s hungry, so it’s a good bet that a snack or a meal will pacify her. But I wonder if I should be keeping to more of a schedule with three bigger meals and a couple of snacks mixed in.

I haven’t read any of those newly popular French parenting books, but I’ve heard they have a lot to say about snacking and how American moms hand food over any time of day. I guess French parents do not. They sit down and dine consciously, and their children wait for mealtimes without fuss, at least on an ideal day.

I don’t want to get in the habit of shushing June with food, but I’m also not sure she’s ready for a rigorous meal schedule.

I wonder if any other moms have a routine that works? Let me know.


The Newbie: Baby Grooming
By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


In addition to my questions about brushing imaginary teeth from last week, I have a few other baby grooming conundrums, and I’m hoping you guys can offer some advice.

I’ll be honest: Baby June was born with a ton of hair. While some of it fell out, there’s still quite a bit on top that’s long, and it gets pretty crazy. I’ve seen headbands and bows, but she tears those right out. I have a soft brush and comb set, but it honestly doesn’t seem to tame the mane. I keep wondering when she should get her first haircut. Is it crazy to take an 8-month-old to a barber? In the meantime I’m enjoying her 80s hair band look.

Also out of control? The fingernails. I can’t seem to keep up with the rate at which June’s nails grow! It feels like every other day she scratches herself (or me!) with a long, sharp nail. I sit her down and try to use the tiny clippers a couple of times a week, but it’s incredibly nerve wracking. Full admission: I’ve cut her once. It was her thumb, it bled a little and we both cried (oops!).

Are these issues on other moms’ minds or am I just crazy? I’d love to hear your hair and nails tales!