Current Essentials:

25 Jun 2016

Adventure With A Plus One

Before we were on the road to parenthood, a lot of people "warned" us (and by warned us I mean tried to scare us into believing) that life after children would be slow, restricted, and rather unadventurous. We ignored that entirely, proceeding with our agenda and are we ever glad we did. Life is just as adventurous, only now the adventures seem that much more significant and purposeful. So two things; if you want to date someone, marry someone, have kids, get a puppy - whatever it may be - your life is your adventure, not anyone else's and also don't believe 95% of the "you don't know what it's like" or "just wait until" nonsense.

If you have little ones (but don't get up to much), are expecting, or want a family and fear your days of wandering are over - I'm sharing my personal must do's and must have's behind all the snaps of us and a baby on the go.

Stroller Gadgets.
Diaper bags are great, but stroller gadgets just might be better. They're more compact, lightweight and if you find the right one, organized beyond belief. The best part about stroller accessories is they're generally made for convenience at a quick speed - no stopping, difficult undoing, or digging required. We use the All Black City Stroll by Choopie, a collaborative brand of ours, but I also love the Skip Hop Stroller Organizer. Next to that, the coveted cup holder is favourite and while it seems silly, believe me, it makes a difference.

The Lighter The Better.
We have a diaper bag that I adore but as stated above, sometimes more compact is better. Mix stroller gadgets/accessories with travel products and in a lot of (day only) cases, you can get away with going light. After all, who wants to get lost wandering with a ton of stuff to carry or pack up? A change pad, diaper slot, wipes holder, mesh compartment for wet clothes and zippered pouch for small belongings all-in-one. Don't believe it? Haven't seen it? They're everywhere. Travel changing stations. They're relatively all the same more or less, but we use Skip Hop's Pronto Changer and it's probably the most innovative parent product we own. It all, somehow, folds up into one large sized clutch for wearing, clipping or being tossed in the stroller. Great for unsanitary washrooms or impromptu changes, this is easily top of my must-haves list period.

I know it sounds hippie, but with a growth in education behind the benefits for baby as well as companies creating stylish or athletic options, baby wearing is a growing thing for both women and men. Be it for tight squeezes like airport check-ins and a crowded market you can't miss out on, or for safety purposes like travelling in countries that make you a little weary (ehem.. Colombia..) or a stadium full of people, baby wearing keeps your little one safe and your hands free. My husband prefers the baby carrier but I swear by the Solly Baby wrap.

Worst Case Essentials.
No excuse to have to cut things short because it's past the 4 hour reapply time frame or a situation isn't doable if far from home. Whenever possible, I opt for travel size in both first aid and baby products (simply re-fill from larger bottle to avoid having to move heavily). Currently packing Tylenol, Ora-Gel, Camilia Drops (a God-sent for homeopathic mamas), and Boogie Wipes because ain't nobody got time for the drama teething brings.

Snack Varieties.
Nobody likes eating the same thing over and over and for the most part, kids aren't any different. I can't speak on behalf of anyone else's children but Rheo would so not last the entire day on the same one snack. Common theme here is to go light and this is no different. I almost always opt for a quality Tupperware (nothing worse than loosing all your goods) filling it with 2-3 different snacks, something like a child friendly trail mix to keep him on something new throughout the day. Aside from that, his willingness to share whatever we're having come mealtime, can get us through an entire day without having to pack a lunch bag's worth of food.

When shopping for baby supplies, people said, "they're all the same." I'm telling you now, that's a lie. Regular and/or organic muslin is quite possibly the most multi-purpose material imaginable. These swaddles are extremely lightweight and breathable. On any given day we use them as a sleep cover, sun shade, something for R to sit/play on, an object of comfort and (confession) a face cloth when the times are desperate and the drooling is rabid. No matter the weather, we don't leave the house without some size, brand, and print of muslin. 

No doubt there are other little items of preference that come and go but those mainly depend on the day, occasion, or mother nature as each day is unique in itself. I strive to always be packed with the above listed to cut down on the time it takes to get out the door and increase that of learning, seeing, or being spent make memories together. Once we found a niche and routine that worked for us, the stress of taking on something new and unknown fizzled. I've actually found so much more purpose and excitement behind taking on the world because the added appreciation of a child's view.

Every day I see our son getting a different kind of interaction, responding correctly to words of a language that is not our own, expanding his taste palette, and growing increasingly alert and fearless. In some ways, I think we are growing more in tune with all these things as well, as we celebrate his experience or first encounter with them. If there's one thing I would tell people about exploring with and after children it would be, can't stop. It doesn't have to be travelling around the world. It can be down the street or a road trip to the next city. But it's crucial for the soul to go after what's calling you. 

Do not be deterred. Stay wild for a while.

XO, Olivia Murray

Some products featured in this post are sponsored. 
All views and opinions remain that of my own.
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