9 Social Media Etiquette Tips For Pregnancy (Hint, You May Want To Share These With Your Family)

Pregnancy, oh glorious pregnancy! You have been blessed with a little bun baking in the oven—now begins the carefully treaded waters of sharing the joy. Social media has allowed us to connect and follow along as our families and friends journey through graduations, celebrations, engagements, weddings and now growing our families. It is a surreal experience to be able to have family and friends, living across the country, take a front row seat to your pregnancy and birth. It connects us in ways that were never possible before.

With social media and pregnancy, also comes a set of etiquette that may not be well known. It is a whole new world for many, especially if you are one of the first to give birth in your family in a while.

After over sharing my way through my pregnancy, birth, and motherhood with Brody, I started writing down some of the tips and frustrations I had along the way. Other tips in this post were shared by the mommas in the Private Momma Society Facebook Group (have you joined yet?). And a few came directly from one of the go-to sources for all things pregnancythe newest edition of What to Expect® When You're Expecting. This 5th edition has interwoven topics of social media throughout the book and also brings the dad's perspective on pregnancy into the picture.

9 Social Media Etiquette Tips For Pregnancy (Hint, You May Want To Share These With Your Family!) | Momma Society-The Community of modern Moms

As our friends and family become excited about the impending arrival of our little bundles of joy, it is best to set the expectations upfront on what your wishes are for sharing this special time in your life. Below are 9 things for your family and friends to consider as you celebrate this joyful phase! Hint, you may want to casually share this post with your family and friends!

9 Social Medi Etiquette Tips For Pregnancy ( Hint, You Might Want Your Family To Read This!)

The Pregnancy Announcement Should Always Come Directly From The Parents

You may have been trusted with the exciting news of a new baby on the way. The parents-to-be have given you this top-secret information and it should remain just that until the parents of the baby decide to publicly announce the pregnancy news. The timing of announcing a pregnancy is a very intimate decision. Avoid posting public comments on anything that could lead others to suspect the mom is expecting.

Tip for Mommas-To-Be: When you share the news with close friends and family, remind them that you are not going to be announcing this news publicly for a while. It may not be obvious to all and as much as we love some of those dearest to us, they may not be able to keep something this exciting under wraps.

Do Not Live Stream The Gender Reveal

Sharing the gender of the new baby is another area that is reserved solely for the parents-to-be. If they are hosting a gender reveal party, be cautious with social media. Don’t snapchat or live stream the event on your social networks. The parents-to-be will mostly likely have a plan of how they will be announcing whether a baby boy or little girl is on the way. Sharing the excitement of the gender is one of the special milestones for the parents-to-be during their pregnancy.

Do Not Mention The Baby's Name Before Birth

For many mommas-to-be, the baby’s name is something they may not want to share with the world. Often times, parents like to avoid any negativity towards the name, so they wait to share it until the baby arrives. Sometimes parents may not have chosen the exact name yet and other times, they are waiting to see the baby first and make sure the name fits. The parents-to-be may prefer to share the name is only with those closest to them. Rather than asking the parents what they will be naming the child, phrase your question as “will you be sharing the name before your little one arrives?” This prevents the sometimes awkward response of “we aren’t sharing the name” when you ask what the name will be.

Do Not Show A Preference Towards A Particular Gender

Whether baby boy or baby girl, all little ones should be celebrated equally. Before the gender is announced, try to avoid comments about hoping for a certain gender. A healthy baby is truly all that parents-to-be care about. The gender of the baby is one of the few surprises we have in life. Let this be a surprise that is celebrated regardless of XY or XX chromosomes. Just because they may have a little boy or little girl already, does not mean they are wishing for the opposite on their next pregnancy.

Do Not Pester An Overdue Momma

Sharing your little one’s due date is one of the joys of many mommas-to-be. As hard as it may be for family and friends to believe, a due date is merely an estimation. Only 7% of babies actually arrive on their due date. The average birth day for a first time mom who does not have any interventions is actually 8 days past her due date. When that lovely due date approaches (and possibly passes), do not send a text that says “no baby yet?” or comment on her social media with “hurry up baby!”. Seeing the due date come and go can be emotional enough for a mother. The constant comments on the topic just make it harder.

Instead, send an encouraging comment or reminder. I still remember an email my aunt sent me around the time Brody was due. She didn’t mention anything about his due date, just a simple thinking of you note and a little prayer for mommas-to-be. It was so uplifting in the sea of “no baby yet?” comments.

Tip for Mommas-To-Be: if you haven’t announced your due date, consider being vague rather than giving out an exact date. If your due date is February 16th, you can say your baby will be arriving at the end of February.

Related: Surviving The Final Weeks Of Pregnancy

9 Social Medi Etiquette Tips For Pregnancy ( Hint, You Might Want Your Family To Read This!)

Ask Parents For Their Policy On Posting Photos

Every parent has a different policy regarding sharing photos of their children. Before you post a photo of a child other than your own on social media, be sure to ask the parents for permission. Even if this is your niece, nephew, or grandchild, the parents may prefer that the photos are not shared on your accounts. As one mom on the Momma Society Facebook Group pointed out, social media posts have a reach far greater than just those in your network. Often times, the picture may be visible to friends of the person who “liked” the photo or someone may click the share button and the parents can quickly lose control of who is viewing the post. Before the baby arrives, simply ask the parents what their policy is on posting photos of the little one. Whether you agree with their policy or not, please follow it.

Tip for Mommas-To-Be: Discuss your wishes for sharing photos of your little ones with your family and friends before the birth.

Do Not Announce The Birth

The news of labor and the baby’s arrival should be shared by no one other than the new parents or someone they have designated. Being invited by the parents to the hospital does not give you permission to post status updates on the labor or a birth announcement. Also, do not casually geotag your location at the hospital when you are posting on social media as you wait. You’ll often share mutual friends with the parents-to-be and a simple geotag is usually enough to tip off the masses that baby is on the way. 

Tip for Mommas-to-be: Make a plan for how you will share the news of your labor and birth. Will you be the one calling extended family when your little one arrives? Who needs to be contacted before you post the announcement on social media? Who are you inviting to the hospital or birth center? Would you like your visitors to wait until baby is born to arrive? Be clear on all of the details beforehand.

9 Social Medi Etiquette Tips For Pregnancy ( Hint, You Might Want Your Family To Read This!)

Avoid Talking About Bump Size

That pregnancy glow! Many mommas feel beautiful during their pregnancy as their bumps start to grow. One of the joys of recording their pregnancy is sharing photos of the process. Try to avoid any mention of their bump size. Whether commenting on how tiny they are or how big their bump is, these comments can unintentionally be worrisome or offensive to a momma-to-be. It is easy for a momma-to-be to become hyperaware of weight gain during her pregnancy. For this reason, comments like “you are glowing” or “you are rocking that bump” or “you are beautiful” are far more supportive. 

Do Not Ask A Couple When They Are Going To Start Trying For A Baby Or Have Another.

There are so many factors that go into when, how and if a couple will become pregnant or expand their family. These factors can be very private to the couple. Whether they’ve been struggling with infertility, experienced a miscarriage, or are completely satisfied with their current family structure, these are not topics that people often care to talk about--especially in a public forum, like social media. If and when the time comes and their family expands, I am certain they will be sharing the exciting news.  

Just remember, a little support, love, positivity and encouragement go along way with expectant mommas!

What pregnancy and birth etiquette tips would you add to the list? Did you have any experiences with these topics during your pregnancy and birth?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How An Hour A Day Has Made Me A Better Mother

At the beginning of the Summer, I found myself feeling exhausted and stressed about Motherhood. I would wake up in the mornings to my toddler crying and begging to get out of his crib. Exercise, to-do lists, blogging and things that made me happy were being pushed to the back burner. I felt exhausted, despite having had a full night of sleep. My days were off to a rough start.

At that time, I decided to make a huge lifestyle change. Inspired by the book, Morning Miracle, I began setting my alarm clock for 5:30am. Those of you that have known me for a while know I am not a morning person. Pre-baby, making it to church at 11:30am on Sundays was painful. I was the person who stayed up all night working on projects. A self-proclaimed night owl. 

How an hour a day has made me a better mother | FREE 10 day challanege + workbook | Miracle Morning | Momma Society

With my morning alarm set a solid hour before Brody’s usual wake up time, I dedicated this hour solely to myself. What this hour has given back to me has been nothing short of fulfilling. The hour is filled with a combination of reading, meditation, exercise and relaxation. These are all things to help bring a sense of calm to the day. Things that always leave me with energy and excitement for the day that lies ahead.  Things that leave me feeling excited when I would hear Brody wake up and ready to have a great day. My new morning routine has been a game changer to my mood, my focus, and my gratitude towards this wonderful stage of life.

Spire Activity Tracker Review + a Miracle Morning Routine Challenge

My morning power hour, as I’ve now termed it, has had such a positive impact on my days that I wanted to share it with you. Maybe you’ve been struggling to find time for yourself in your day-to-day life. Perhaps you are waking up and the first sound you hear is a crying baby. Maybe you are struggling to recognize the old you now that you have become a mom. Or Perhaps you could use a little boost to remind yourself that you are so much more than just a mom these days. If any of these statements ring true, you are not alone. I’ve been there a million times and the only cure I've found is a little self-love.

So today I am challenging you to 10 days with a morning dedicated to you. I want you to see how life changing it can be. I want you to feel the energy it can give you. I want you to feel a sense of calm and relaxation, even when some days may be anything but.

Spire Activity Tracker Review + a Miracle Morning Routine Challenge

How The 10-Day Morning Power Hour Challenge Works:

  1. Set your alarm for 1 hour before your little one usually wakes up, or 1 hour earlier than you currently wake up.
  2. Print off the Morning Power Hour worksheet + 10-day tracker below.
  3. Plan out your Morning Power Hour
  4. Pick a Start day and for the 2 weeks that follow (M-F) incorporate the Morning Power Hour into your day.

What is the Morning Power Hour?

My morning power hour is made up of 6 different parts. You can pick and choose which of these you would like to incorporate into your morning routine and how much time to allot for each of them. Below is an overview of what my Morning Power Hour looks like. Use this as a guideline as you craft your own with the downloadable worksheet. These categories have been adapted from the book Morning Miracle.

Reading: 15 minutes

I kick off my mornings reading a book while I take a bath. You can read anything you would like. The newspaper, some chick lit, or articles you have been meaning to read. The key is having what you are going to be reading prepared the night before. I usually spend this time reading books that will help me become a better childbirth educator (right now, I’m reading Gentle Birth Choices). Since I rarely find time to read theses days, this is one way to ensure I am constantly learning. I keep the book I am reading on the edge of my bathtub so it is ready to go first thing in the morning. The bath on the other hand is totally optional.

Journal: 10 minutes

The next ten minutes are spent journaling. There are no rules to my journaling. I just start jotting down everything that comes to mind. Sometimes it ends up looking more like a to-do list for the day and other times I am recoding motherhood moments I never want to forget. I use a Cambridge Journal for this. At the bottom of the page I also write one thing I am grateful for that day and one single task I would like to accomplish throughout the day. Just accomplishing this one task is always a boost.

Spire Activity Tracker Review + a Miracle Morning Routine Challenge

Meditation: 10 minutes

My favorite part of my Morning Power Hour is the daily meditation. I’ve dabbled in meditation a few times in the past, but always gave up after my mind would immediately wander. Meditation takes training and consistency and I never gave it the time. My new morning routine has helped me to see the difference this short period of quiet and calm can bring. I started out using guided meditations that teach you the basics. During the day, I use the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker to track my calm, tense and focused moments. If I’ve been tense, the tracker will vibrate and I can do a quick breathing boost in the app to calm down. The app also has timed mediations and guided breathing exercises that I use in the mornings. It’s incredible what being aware of your breathing can do for you mindset.

Exercise: 15 minutes

After meditating, I do 15 minutes of exercise. I try to find something energizing, yet still relaxing. I usually search YouTube for short yoga videos, stretching routines, an ab workout or a quick Pilates video. I set a mat down on our bedroom floor and do the workout. This short workout really wakes me up for the day. 

Affirmation: 2 Minutes

An affirmation is simply a short statement that defines who you are and what you would like to do. Earlier this Summer, I wrote out an affirmation that summarizes my goals both professionally and as our family. An affirmation is most effective when it is in the first person. Try using phrases such as “I want, I will, I am” Repeat this out loud every morning.

Spire Activity Tracker Review + a Miracle Morning Routine Challenge

Visualization: 2 minutes

My final step of my morning routine is closing my eyes for a couple of minutes and visualizing what my plan is for the day. It hardly every goes as planned, but closing my eyes and picturing myself going downstairs and sitting at the table typing up a blog post or tackling that project I’ve been working on helps prepare my mind for the day to come. Visualization is a powerful thing!

These little pieces make up my Morning Power Hour. Some days, Brody wakes up towards the end and I finish the routine with him in the room. Other days, he’s still sound asleep for 30-45 minutes after I finish and I am able to start checking off that one task that I wanted to make sure I accomplished for the day. For those that have asked when I find time to blog, this is when the best blogging happens. After each Morning Power Hour, I am still amazed by how it makes me feel. It has been a game changer and I can’t wait to hear about the impact you feel after giving it a try! I’m challenging you to 10-days with a Morning Power Hour and I can’t wait to hear how refreshed and invigorated it leaves you feeling.

Are you up for the challenge?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

11 Things You Should Know About Traveling Abroad with A Toddler

I will be the first to admit that traveling abroad with a toddler scared me to death. Not so much the whole being-somewhere-new-with-Brody part of it, just the idea of getting there. As an infant, Brody travelled with us frequently. By the time he was 6 months old, he had been on over 10 plane rides and traveling seemed simple. My how things can change when these sweet, adaptable little babies grow!

I should preface this by saying Brody is a ball of energy. I know all toddlers are, but he’s the type of toddler that will not sit still. He’s Mr. Independent. Wouldn’t even watch a television show if I tried. He’ll push himself through avoiding a nap if something exciting is going on. Oh, and the toddler tantrums are in full force in our household. Need I say more?

11 Tips for Traveling Abroad with A Toddler & FREE printable packing list

To summarize, Brody is not the ideal travel buddy. If you are in the private Momma Society Facebook group, you probably read about my break down on our flight to the East Coast over the Summer (hint, I cried).

 Despite all of these things, my husband and I have always agreed that we never wanted having children to get into our way of the things we love and the things that bring us joy. One of those things is traveling. So early this year, we bravely booked flights to Italy and began planning our two-week itinerary.

Now that we have been back for a little while and had time to reflect on our trip, it was an amazing trip made even more special by experiencing Italy with Brody. There were tough moments and a few times where we would have liked to do or see things that just were not practical with a toddler, but there were so many little moments that we had together that will forever be in my memories. Licking gelato cones while watching the gondolas float by, the little Italian boy by the sea that picked Brody up and hugged him dearly as we splashed in the water, and the evening running around the Piazza in Rome chasing bubbles. These are the moments my motherhood dreams were made of. These are the moments that bring me home from one adventure just itching for the next!

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

With our Italian adventure behind us, I thought I would share some of the travel tips and tricks we learned along the way.  I'll also sprinkle in some of my favorite pictures we took on the trip!

1. Toddlers Do Better On Overnight Flights

On overnight flights, there are far fewer distractions from the crew and the other passengers. The lights are dimmed down, the stewardesses come around passing out drinks a little less, and the other passengers aren’t roaming around the aisle nearly as frequently. These are all major advantages when you are trying to coax your toddler into sleeping on the flight. On overnight flights, we always change Brody into a pair of footed pajamas and go through our little nighttime routine with him. On our overnight flight from the US to Venice, Brody slept almost the entire time (even through an hour of crazy turbulence). As a comparison, our flight back to the US was during the day and Brody didn’t sleep a wink.  

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

2. Pick Your Seats Strategically

How to get a seat for your lap child toddler on the airplane | Momma Society

I’ll let you in on a little secret; Brody had his own seat on both international flights even though we did not buy a ticket for him. How did we manage this? With some strategic seat selecting. When the airlines allow you to choose your seat, your initial reaction may be to select a set of two seats on the left or the right of the plane so you have a window. No one likes to sit in that middle section with no windows and people on all sides of you. However, this is the exact reason you should sit in the middle section. Book your seats near the end of the plane, picking both of the aisle seats in the middle section (leaving 1-2 empty seats in between you and your partner). If your flight is not sold out (which international flights frequently are not), there is a good chance that middle seat will be unbooked. Let’s be real, the middle seat, with no window, in the middle section of seats at the back of the plane is about the least popular seat someone would ever choose by choice. When you check-in for your flight, double check that the middle seat is still empty. If it is, try asking the gate agent if it would be ok if you brought your little one’s car seat on board with you for an empty seat in your aisle. Both flights we did this for, the gate agents were so kind and marked off the seat as “reserved” in their system. As passengers and standby flyers were being moved around, that middle seat stayed open for Brody. Having Brody in his car seat on the flight was a godsend. Here’s a little diagram of the two seats we picked.

3. Exhaust Your Toddler Before The Flight

Our number one goal before we loaded onto the airplane was to make sure Brody was wiped out! Our flight to Italy went from Phoenix to Atlanta to Venice. We had a 5 hour layover. Initially, this concerned me since it was making our time to our destination even longer. After some thought, I realized this was a blessing in disguise. Five hours was enough time for us to leave the airport. Our bags were already checked in and we had time to go explore. We ended up going to Zoo Atlanta during our layover and had so much fun checking out all of the animals and letting Brody run free. This was a big contributor to Brody sleeping through almost our entire flight to Venice. 

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

4. Figure Out How To Change Diapers On Airplanes Beforehand

Confession: I am terrified of the airplane bathrooms. For some reason, I have these visions of getting stuck in there, or being sucked through the hole, or getting some crazy virus from the germs in there (strange, I know). So the thought of bringing Brody in there with me to change his diaper was just not happening. We mastered the art of the stand up diaper change on this trip. When we are flying, we usually dress Brody in an outfit that is easy for diaper changes. His little linen short overalls that snap open and close are our go-to at the moment. We let him stand up in the seat, quickly remove the diaper, wipe up the mess, and immediately bring the dirty diaper to the trashcan in the back. It is so much simpler than trying to use a tiny airplane diaper-changing table with a squirmy toddler.  

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

5. Pack The Bare Minimum; You’ll Thank Me Later

I am a recovering over-packer. My husband is a bare bones kind of guy. He packs the necessities and the necessities only. He doesn’t think about what if the weather is rainy? What if the weather is cold? What if we decided to go to the pool? Etc. He is of the belief that most things can be purchased at your destination if they end up being needed. After 10 years together, I’ve finally adapted this belief system as well. Since we were jumping from city to city during our time in Italy, hauling as little as was absolutely necessary was important. Let’s be clear, when you are traveling with a toddler, you’ll be bringing a lot of gear. My rule of thumb was if we were not absolutely sure we were going to use it, we did not bring it.

I’ve typed up my whole packing list for traveling with a toddler. It tells you how many diapers we packed, what activities we brought on the plane, and what gear we used. Just click below and I’ll email you my list.   

6. Plan One Activity Per Hour Of Flight Time

Speaking of activities for the plane, we packed a mixture of old and new little toys and activities. Some were a total bust and some were great entertainment. Brody has no interest in tv or iPad apps at the moment, so we didn’t even bother bringing the iPad with us. We packed about one activity per hour of flight time. If you download the packing list from the link above, you’ll notice there are a ton of toy ideas listed. After a little miscommunication at the airport our bag of toys ended up in our checked baggage on our flight home, so we frantically bought every toy in sight at the airport shops. The thought of 11 hours with zero entertainment was not going to happen. Some of those toys, like Duplo Blocks, were not a good idea for Brody’s age (18 months), but they would have probably worked well for a toddler who was a little older. Below were the biggest hits for airplane entertainment (besides the stewardesses coming around offering snacks and drinks).

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

7. Tour Guides Are Awesome

We spent two of our days in Cinque Terre with a private local tour guide. Cinque Terre is composed of five little coastal villages and one of the main attractions in the area is hiking to each of them. Since the hike can be a bit strenuous, having a guide allowed us the flexibility of getting to hike, while always having the option of going with going another route if we were getting tired or Brody was being cranky. The guide also knew all of the fun playgrounds to stop at. We would not have been able to see nearly as many sights in this area had we not had a guide with us.

8. Toddlers Love Transportation

Keep in mind that the simple things are often the most exciting to toddlers. Our trips on the subways, trains, and ferries were probably some of Brody’s favorite memories in Italy. Hanging out at the train station, riding on subways, seeing all of the boats at the marinas and the excitement of watching the airplanes take off and land at the airport are simple sources of entertainment to break up the trip.

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

9. Plan For Lazy Days

Be sure to leave some days on your trip with no agenda. We scheduled one of these days into each of the four places we visited. Sometimes we used these days to sightsee and other times, we literally sat on the beach for an extra day or hung out in the apartment. The lazy days with no plans are almost always my favorite. 

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

10. Stay in Airbnb’s

On most of our adventures, we stay in Airbnb’s. They are usually convenient to the sites we want to see and they almost always offer more space than a hotel would. With a toddler, the extra space is more than necessary. Below are the Aibnb’s we stayed at during our trip. 

If you’ve never used Airbnb before, feel free to use this referral link for $35 off your first booking! Full disclosure: I'll get a credit too for referring you.

*In Sardinia we stayed at an amazing little boutique hotel called Albergo Santa Maria. It has beautiful gardens on site, it is walking distance to the beach, and houses a restaurant with the best food we had on our entire trip.

Tips for Traveling with A Toddler | Momma Society in Italy

11. Jet Lag is Real, Plan Accordingly

One of the toughest parts about traveling abroad for anyone is the jet lag. It usually takes us about 2 full days of feeling hungover to adjust. Since Brody slept most of the overnight flight to Italy, he adjusted quickly to the new time zone and schedule. Coming home we had 2 nights of waking up around midnight and falling asleep before the dinnertime. Keep your calendar open for a couple of days after your return to get back on schedule.

Traveling with an Infant? Check out the tips we learned traveling abroad with Brody when he was a baby.

 Have you travelled with your toddler?

Related: 9 Must-Haves When Traveling With A Toddler

9 Must-Haves when Traveling with A Toddler (and a Free Packing List!)

Traveling with a toddler requires a lot of planning, packing lists and gear. Now that we have been home for a week and finished unpacking, I thought it would be fun to share nine of the most useful items we brought with us during our two weeks in Italy.

Baby and Toddler Travel Packing List (Free printable!) | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms | www.MommaSociety.com

One: Lightweight Stroller | Joovy Balloon | Remember that little Instagram chat about whether or not we should bring a travel stroller? Well, I am SO glad we did. Our trip certainly would not have gone as smoothly without it. Rather than buying a new stroller, we decided to bring our Joovy Balloon. It is fairly lightweight, folds up easily, the seat can recline flat for naps, and the sunshade is huge. We used it quite a bit on our trip. At the airport, it served as our luggage carrier (while Brody was in the LILLEbaby). In Venice and Rome it went with us every time we left the apartment and in Sardinia, it helped us haul all of our beach gear down to the beach. Brody took numerous naps in the stroller, which allowed us to explore during nap time and after bedtime. I do have to say that the steering on the Joovy Balloon is not the best (especially for cobblestone streets). Joovy has since advised me that there is a complimentary wheel upgrade they are offering to help with the steering issue. Overall, it was 110% worth bringing abroad.

Related: Things We Love: Joovy Balloon

Two: FAA Approved Carseat | Cosco Scenera NEXT | After price checking rental carseats and the safety of them abroad, we decided we would feel more comfortable brining our own carseat. The Cosco Scerena NEXT is one of the lightest carseats around. It's priced under $70 bucks and Brody has found it to be very comfortable. Does it have as many safety features and padding as our Maxi Cosi? No. However, for travel it rocks. It is also FAA approved, so we were able to use it on our flight to Venice. Brody sat and slept in the carseat for about 6 out of 9 hours during that flight. This has been one of our best travel purchases.

Three: Carrier | LILLEbaby Airflow Baby Carrier | One word: Godsend. I am a big proponent of using a baby carrier in the airport. Typically you can leave your little one in the carrier as you go through security. We used the LILLEbaby non-stop on our trip to Italy. I would wear Brody on the front when we were hiking or out exploring some of the towns that were not very stroller friendly. My husband would wear Brody on his back in the carrier when I was tired. Brody gets very cozy in the carrier and falls asleep pretty easily. The small, unobscured zippered pocket on the front of the carrier was a great place to slip our passports and wallet when we wore Brody through the train station. There were so many pickpocketers at the train stations! I also loved the mesh exterior of this carrier considering we were in Italy during the warmest month of the year.

Four: Sippy Cup | Zoli Bot XL Sippy Cup | There are two things to consider when picking out a travel sippy cup. First, does it leak? Secondly, can you cover the mouthpiece? This is the one cup that has successfully met both criteria for us. Brody loves to throw his cups and making sure that we could keep the mouthpiece covered from airplane gunk was important to us. We brought the empty sippy cup with us on the plane and had the stewardesses fill it with water when they passed by with their drink cart. It helped us from having any spills on our five flights. 

Five: Backpack | Herschel Supply Survey Backpack | I debated whether or not to bring a separate bag for Brody on the airplane. Ultimately, we decided to bring a small backpack to store all of his plane gear separate from my husband and I's gear. It worked out really well. Inside the backpack we kept a change of clothes, Brody's blankies (two so we had a backup), his sippy cup, and his airplane entertainment. The packing list at the bottom of this post has all of the details on what we packed. Brody is now obsessed with his backpack and tries to bring it with him whenever we leave the house. Oh, toddlers! PS: The yellow polka-dot version of this backpack is super cute as well.

Six: Placemat | Mastrad Lil' Placemat | This thin, silicone placemat is perfect for the airplane tray table or eating out at restaurants. It can easily be rolled up into the crumb catcher and fits easily into a small diaper bag or your carryon. We used it on the airplane tray when Brody played with his Play-Doh and at nearly every restaurant we ate at during our stay. Brody is not a fan of eating food solely off of his plate--he loves to spread it all over the table!

Seven: Carseat Bag | J is for Jeep Car Seat Travel Bag | When we travel with a car seat, a car seat travel bag is equally important to protect the car seat. We have used this travel bag for five trips now and it has worked well. Tip: we always stuff our diapers, wipes, and bulky shoes into the travel bag, along with the car seat. This keeps our checked luggage from being overweight since we gate check the car seat travel bag.

Eight: Silicone Bib | Make My Day Bib | Our favorite bib is our Make My Day bib. Since swapping outfits between meals is not practical when we are on the go, we bring a bib with us to contain the mess. I love that this bib can be wiped clean. It has a handy little built-in crumb catcher and fits nicely along the neck so food does not stain Brody's collar. The Breakfast at Tiffany's version of the bib for little girls is equally adorable.

Nine: Travel Crib | BabyBjorn Travel Crib | This travel crib has been with us on every single trip we have ever taken with Brody. From short weekend trips to international travel, it has been a great investment. It's the lightest weight travel crib on the market, comes in a sturdy travel bag, and has been comfortable for Brody when he sleeps. He will be outgrowing it soon, but it has been worth every penny!

Curious what be packed for the trip? Click below and I'll send you my packing list, including tips on how many diapers to bring, what to pack for entertainment on the airplane, snack ideas, and more.

A little follow up: 11 Things You Should Know About Traveling With A Toddler (along with how we scored an empty seat for a lap child on both international flights!)

Related: 16 Tips For Traveling Abroad With A Baby

My 5 Favorite Toddler Cleaning Hacks

Toddlers are messy. From food stains, to poop stains, to germs there is little left to the imagination with a toddler. As a self-proclaimed germophobe, I’m always on a mission to clean up Brody’s messes. Today, I am partnering with STAINMASTER to share 5 of my favorite toddler cleaning hacks.

Cleaning Hacks for Toddler & Baby Messes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

Stroller/Car Seat

Crumbs and stroller seats go hand in hand. More times than I care to admit, I end up bribing Brody with a snack to keep him content when we are one the go. It is one of those many things I swore I would never do prior to becoming a mom. As you well know, by the time I lift Brody out of the stroller or car seat, there is usually a pile of crushed crumbs left behind in the deep crevices. My favorite quick cleanup solution? Masking tape. Take a small piece of masking tape and fold it under so the sticky side is on the outside forming a loop. Press the tape into those hard to reach cracks and crevices of the car seat or stroller and watch as it lifts those crumbs right out. Instant satisfaction! The roll of masking tape now lives in our kitchen for easy access at all times.

5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

Carpet

Confession Time: One of Brody’s favorite things to do is run down the hallway into his nursery buck-naked after his nightly bath. He giddily laughs as he skimpers around upstairs sans skivvies. The freedom nearly always results in peeing on the carpet. I can’t be the only momma who deals with cleaning bodily functions off of the carpet on a regular basis, right?!

I have recently started using the STAINMASTER Carpet Spray to clean up these pesky messes and it has worked so well. It picks up the stains and leaves behind an invisible shield, making the inevitable next pee stain a little easier to clean up.  I also like that it does not leave behind any sort of sticky residue like some of the other cleaners we have used in the past. I have a feeling the STAINMASTER Carpet Spray is going to come into handy even more as we begin potty training.

5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

Clothes

Babies should not only come with manuals, but there should really be laundry lessons for new mommas as well. Every single item of clothing gets stained. I stopped buying pricey baby clothes early on. Not only because they grow out of them so quickly, but more so because it is inevitable that they will become stained. I used to keep a separate laundry pile of all of the stained clothes, but I quickly came to the realization that every piece of clothing Brody wore was ending up in that pile. The mommas in Brody’s little preschool playgroup shared their clothes-cleaning secret with me and it has become my favorite laundry hack. What is it? Laundry stain spray. When we change Brody into his pajamas at night, we will spray any stains, then toss the item into the laundry pile. When they come out of the laundry machine, they are usually stain free.

5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

Toys

From teething babies to sticky fingers, Brody’s toys often take a beating. Every couple of months, I throw the plastic, non-electronic toys through a cycle in our dishwasher. I pour a little white vinegar into the detergent compartment and run a cycle full of toys. This has worked really well with the balls from Brody’s ball pit and the other miscellaneous toys after we’ve had a busy play date at our house. It is also a good way to continuously donate or discard the toys that are really worn as we are swapping the toys out from our bi-weekly toy rotation.

High Chair

The high chair area in our kitchen may very well be the messiest area in our entire home. It is the spot we are constantly trying to clean up. That spot where when you look away, two seconds later more crumbs and spills just seem to magically appear. Since these are surfaces that Brody eats off of regularly (including the floor around the high chair), I am extra cautious about what we use to clean. My favorite hack for this area has been the Giggle Toy & High Chair Cleaner. This plant-based cleaner is unscented, wipes up well, and does not require rinsing. A total win-win in my book.

What are your favorite toddler and baby cleaning hacks? What area of your home seems to always be a mess?

5 Secret Toddler Cleaning Hacks | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

Thank-you, STAINMASTER for sponsoring this post. Learn more about the STAINMASTER carpet care collection.

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