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My Top 5 Breastfeeding Essentials

August 30, 2017 by  
Filed under J.Reich

By Jennifer Bright Reich

When I was pregnant with my older son, I was determined to breastfeed. With the confidence one has before children, I didn’t give breastfeeding much thought.  I just figured I would do it, no problem.

Then my son was born.

Within hours of his birth, my fantasies of serenely nursing my baby went out the window. My baby cried a lot, he wanted to nurse all of the time, and it hurt.

It took all of the determination I had to continue, but I’m proud to say I did.  I asked my friends who had nursed their babies and my own mom for advice. I would have done just about anything they suggested to make nursing easier. If someone had told me it would help to nurse my baby while standing on my head, singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” I’d have done it. Willingly.

Fortunately, it didn’t come to that, because I found the following five essentials that made nursing so much easier.

#1: Boppy: A friend gave me a beautiful blue Boppy® nursing pillow with sweet little honeybees on it.  I loved it on sight, and it was the absolute nursing (and sanity) saver. I sat on my sofa or nursing chair, rested the Boppy® pillow on my lap, and then put my baby on the pillow. We were both so much more comfortable in that position. My boys are 12 and 10, and I still have this pillow! Visit www.boppy.com for more information.

#2: Glider rocker: Before my son was born, I bought a glider rocker with ottoman. I “test sat” quite a few chairs before buying this one. I chose it because it was extremely comfortable and quiet.

#3: Nursing bras: I’m not well endowed, so I was actually not going to buy nursing bras. I didn’t think I would need them.  That idea went out the same window as my nursing fantasies. When you’re nursing, exhausted, and half asleep, the convenience and comfort of a nursing bra are key! ThirdLove just came out with a nursing bra collection as well. Visit www.thirdlove.com for more information.

#4: Nursing pads: Mother’s milk doesn’t switch on—or off—like the light in the fridge. I leaked a lot, and I wore nursing pads in my bras to keep the milk from leaking through, and staining, my clothing.

#5: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Nursing Cream: For the first few weeks, nursing was painful as both my son and I learned what we were doing. This cream eased the painful, cracked nipples and really saved my nursing hopes. Visit www.palmers.com for more information.

Breastfeeding is one of many things in parenting that seem like they should be easy, but aren’t. But also like so many things in parenting, sticking with breastfeeding—or finding a nursing/formula combo that works for you and your family—offers many rewards to your baby—and you!

About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two sons and co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year. She lives with her two sons and three cats in Hellertown, PA.

No, Formula Doesn’t Need Warming!

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under J.Reich

Mother Feeding Her Baby ca. October 2000

And 5 other baby formula myths—debunked

By Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH

The MythBusters on TV’s Discovery channel tackled hundreds—if not thousands—of myths in their 19 seasons on the air. If they talked about infant feeding, I must have missed that episode. Yet baby feeding has many pervasive myths—especially about infant formula. Here are five of my favorites.

Myth 1: Breast is best.

Fact: Not for every mother and baby. Baby formulas are a completely acceptable, doctor-approved, and time-tested option when feeding baby. Breastfeeding is hard. It seems like it should be natural easy, but so often it isn’t. A recent study conducted by Perrigo Nutritionals found that more than half of moms experience issues when it comes to breastfeeding baby with low breast milk supply being the top concern. Additionally, while only 18 percent of new moms expect to introduce infant formula to baby during the first three days of life, in reality, 45 percent relied on infant formula during those first days. If you experience breastfeeding challenges, look to formula as an ally – it can be used as a supplement while breastfeeding to provide some relief or used exclusively depending on mom and baby’s needs. Also, know that you can find help and support. Consider talking with a friend who has nursed her babies, your pediatrician, a lactation consultant, or a local La Leche League.

Myth 2: You have to sterilize your baby’s bottles.

Fact: No. This is another time-saver for you! You should sterilize new bottles and nipples before you use them for the first time. Simply put them in boiling water for 5 minutes. After that first time, however, you probably don’t need to sterilize them again.

Instead, you can run bottles and nipples through the dishwasher. Or if you’re “old school,” wash them in hot, soapy water. Rinse them carefully to remove any soap residue.

Myth 3: Babies prefer warm formula.

Fact: Not necessarily. It’s perfectly fine to feed your baby formula at room temperature (as long as it’s freshly prepared), or even a little cool from the refrigerator. Your baby is most likely to prefer his or her formula at a consistent temperature. In other words, if you start warming it you’ll probably have to continue warming it.

Here’s an easy way to warm your baby’s bottle: Set the filled bottle in a container of warm water and let it stand for a few minutes. Check the temperature of the formula on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to your baby. It should feel lukewarm, not hot.

Myth 4: Measuring formula isn’t a big deal—just “eyeball it.”

Fact: The instructions for preparing your baby’s formula are important. Follow the directions on the label carefully. If you put too little water in your baby’s formula, it can give baby dehydration or diarrhea. If you put too much water in the formula, you’re watering it down and your baby isn’t getting enough nutrients. It’s critical to measure carefully each and every time.

Myth 5: Brand name formula is best.

Fact: Nationally advertised, brand-name formula and store brand formula are practically identical—but have different effects on your family budget! Did you know that all infant formulas sold in the United States must meet the same FDA standards and offer complete nutrition for baby? That means store brand formula is nutritionally comparable to nationally advertised brands. In fact, store brand formula is clinically proven to support baby’s growth and development and proven to be just as well tolerated by your baby as those other brands.

So, what’s the main difference? Store brand formula costs less because they don’t spend millions of dollars on marketing – think about all the ads you see on TV and all the samples that get handed out in doctors’ offices.  In the case of those big brands, those marketing costs are passed on to you in the form of a higher price tag on each container of formula.

Once you get into the groove of feeding your baby, it will all feel like second nature. And then it will almost be time to give up the bottle!

About the author: Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, is a family physician and mom of three sons in Lexington, KY. She’s the co-author of the Mommy MD Guides books, including The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year.

About the survey: Perrigo Nutritionals, the makers of store brand formula, conducted the survey in February of 2017, among 2,000 nationally representative Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 who currently have a child between the ages of one and three.  Margin of error is +/- 3 percent. To learn more about store brand formula or to discover special promotions or offers, visit www.storebrandformula.com.

Total savings with Store Brand Infant Formula calculations based on a price per fl. oz. comparison of Store Brand Infant Formulas and their comparable national brands. Retail prices are from a May 2017 retail price survey of assorted stores. Actual prices and savings may vary by store and location.

 

My Breastfeeding Turning Point

June 15, 2017 by  
Filed under J.Reich

My mom with my son Tyler

My mom with my son Tyler

I recently came across a blog on the Honest Company’s site about  Honest Moments. That got me thinking: What are MY parenting honest moments? I can honestly say I have had lots of them! Here’s one of my favorites…

My mom had a theory. She and I were always very close. My mom and I were dear friends who had the tremendous fortune to be mother and daughter. My mom attributed this to the fact that she nursed me.

Because of this, I was determined to nurse my son. Little did I know how hard that resolve would be tested!

My son started to cry the moment he was born. He cried—screamed really—the entire time we were in the hospital. At times, I wondered if the nurses might come take him away! I tried so hard to nurse, but it was challenging and painful.

I was determined to nurse, so I kept trying. And he kept crying—most of his waking hours. Nursing soothed him a bit, as did walking around carrying him in my arms. So I did both, for hours on end.

That ironically made nursing even harder! My nipples got sore and cracked, and I developed mastitis. In desperation, when my son was around a week old, I called my sister, whose children were older than mine.

“Keep trying,” she advised. “I promise, if you stick with it, in a week or two, he will become so comfortable nursing he’ll be hanging off of you like a little monkey.”

I found that extremely hard to believe, but the image amused me at least. The promise of that gave me the strength to stick with it.

My greatest fear was that my son was crying because he was starving. He was nursing often, but was he actually getting any milk? Nursing wasn’t working well for us, and I was almost ready to quit.

The hospital had given me the name and phone number for a local lactation consultant. I called and set up an appointment for her to come to my house.

When the lactation consultant arrived the next day, it was like a breath of fresh air. She was warm, comforting, confident. She talked to me for a few minutes and asked me some questions.

And then she did something completely unexpected.  She weighed my son. Then she had me nurse him. And then she weighed him again! Voila! He weighed more! That was the proof I needed that nursing was working, he was getting milk. I knew that I could do this.

Shortly after that aha moment, nursing clicked for us. I felt so much better, and my baby stopped crying quite so much. I nursed him for over a year—until I got pregnant with his brother.

He took to nursing right away. I nursed him for almost two years. I have the wonderful memory that the last time I ever nursed a baby was on vacation at Walt Disney World. Knowing I’d have that treasured memory made it easier to wean my youngest for good.

About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is cofounder of Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of the Mommy MD Guides books, featuring tips that doctors who are also mothers use for their own families—and more. She lives with her two sons in Allentown, PA. (please link to www.mommymdguides.com)

Solve Parenting Puzzles with the Behavior Detective

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under J.Reich

Book Behavior Detectiveby Mommy MD Guides cofounder Jennifer Bright Reich

I think most parents would agree that parenting isn’t easy! Personally, I have found parenting to be such a series of puzzles:

  • Why is my baby crying?
  • Why will my toddler only eat “white” foods?
  • Why does my school-age son ask for a snack four times a day?

Sometimes I’ve felt that I could use a detective to help me figure out what my kids are thinking and feeling. And now I have one!

I met author and parenting expert Ava Parnass, coauthor of the terrific book Behavior Detective Investigates Hungry Feelings not Hungry Tummies: Investigate, Understand, Translate and Transform Your Child’s Behavior.

This book has helped me to look beyond the words to my sons’ feelings regarding food, and it’s also spilled over into other areas of our lives. It encouraged me to ask myself questions like: What can I change about my parenting so my child’s behavior changes?

What I like best of all is that this book is full of tips and strategies, such as 24 tips for healthy feelings and healthy eating.

I recommend this book and Ava’s website http://listentomeplease.com to all parents who could use a little detective help.

Battling the Bathing Suit Blues?

March 5, 2014 by  
Filed under J.Reich

By Jennifer Bright Reich

As I sit in my home office, wearing comfy sweats and slippers, the thought of putting on—worse yet, trying on—bathing suits terrifies me. I’ve tried to maintain my weight this winter, but the fitting-room mirror is likely to tell a different story.

Here are some terrific weight-loss tips that doctors who are also mothers use themselves. These women are so super busy that if a tip works for them, it’s bound to be good. I discovered these tips—and hundreds more—while interviewing for the new book The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great.

“I recently created my own diet. I call it VEGLY. I eat as many servings of vegetables, eggs, grapefruit, lean meats or Lean Cuisines, and yogurt as I want. If I stick with that all day, I earn a treat: a glass of beer or wine or a small dessert. I’ve lost six pounds so far!” —Amy Baxter, MD, a mom of three, the CEO of Buzzy4Shots.com, and the director of emergency research, Scottish Rite, of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, in Georgia.

“After my son was born, I worked with a personal trainer. He gave me a simple piece of advice that has really helped: Don’t eat any carbs after 7 pm. I try not to eat at all after 7 pm, but if I do, I’ll have something high in protein, such as a piece of cheese or a hardboiled egg.” —Shilpa Amin-Shah, MD, a mom of two and an emergency physician and director of the recruiting team at Emergency Medical Associates in Livingston, NJ.

“I have a very long commute. Because of this, I ‘live’ in my truck several days a week, driving to and from some rather isolated areas in the Appalachian Mountains. Sometimes, after a hard day of working and driving, I’m almost tempted to pick up a slice of pizza and a bag of chips at a gas station on the way home. A trick I use to eat properly on the run is what I call my “cooler diet.” I put everything I want to eat for the day in a nice, roomy cooler. If it’s not in the cooler, I don’t get to eat it—no questions. So that means I don’t get to eat the chocolate that’s everywhere around me at work, or the yummy-looking cream-filled doughnuts that one of the nurses brings in from the doughnut shop for breakfast. I pack my cooler the night before work with lots and lots of whole and nutritious foods and beverages—apples, pears, oranges, and cut-up veggies with low-fat dip. A couple of bottles of water and some unsweetened tea. A container of yogurt, some string cheese, and a bag full of nutritious trail mix. A box of low-fat granola cereal. I pack as much food as I can fit into my cooler. The only rule I have is that the food I pack must contribute to my overall good health and support a healthy weight.” —Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, a mom of three, a family physician, and the coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Want to ‘lose’ 10 pounds in an instant? Sit up straight, pull your shoulders down and back, and arch your back to get ‘cheerleader butt.’ By pulling your shoulders down, your neck looks thinner, and with a C-curve in your lower back, your thighs and tummy look thinner. Voilà, you’ll look 10 pounds slimmer.” —Jennifer Hanes, DO, a mom of two, an emergency physician who’s board certified in integrative medicine, and the author of The Princess Plan: Shrink Your Waist, Expand Your Beauty, in Austin, TX.

About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two, cofounder of www.mommymdguides.com and coauthor of the Mommy MD Guides books, including The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great.

Getting by with a Little Help from My Friends

January 23, 2014 by  
Filed under J.Reich

by Mommy MD Guides cofounder Jennifer Bright Reich

99.9999 percent of the time, I love working at home. I left a staff job in publishing that I loved to start my own freelance company so I could be at home with my kids, and I’ve been grateful every single day. But especially now that both of my kids are in school all day, it can get really quiet here!

Generally that’s good. It’s peaceful here, and I can think. But sometimes it’s isolating. Lonely even. I do almost all of my work by email. It’s rare that I get to talk with a client or colleague by phone, and I can count the times on one hand I’ve met anyone in person in the past few years.

And so I was overjoyed to become a member of 411Voices, which is a network of distinguished experts providing individuals, families, and organizations solutions for creating and maintaining healthier relationships. (Louise, If you have a better blurb please adjust it! Jennifer) This group of inspiring, dynamic, supportive women are always there for me. We kick around ideas and offer support by email, but also we get on the phone regularly to brainstorm that way. I’ve shared ideas with them, and I’ve asked for support, and I’ve loved to do the same for them.

I read somewhere that soon 20 percent of people will be freelancers. That’s a lot of folks working in their slippers in quiet houses, only communicating by tweets, posts, and emails. It’s ironic that in this time of social media we are so disconnected from everyone! (Hello out there! Is anybody listening?)

But I really crave that communication. As time goes by, I realize more that what’s important in my life isn’t what I’ve made or done, but who I’ve helped and connected with. It’s all about relationships and connections. And so I’m going to start something called a mastermind group. I read about it in a life-changing book called The Answer. I invite my 411Voices friends to join, and I hope at least five to seven will, and we’ll talk once a month for around an hour. Each member will have “the floor” for 10 minutes, to share at least one successful tip and ask at least one question. All focus will be on her! Then, we’ll shift attention to the next member, until everyone has a turn. I’m excited to see how it turns out!

I know that I can do more, I can be more, with a little help from my friends.

About the author: Jennifer is coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great and cofounder of http://mommymdguides.com.

Looking for a Great Read?

November 8, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Reich

By Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

Our friend Nonnie Jules has published a new novel—Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend—and we want to help her to get the word out!

DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND Book Intro!

Blurb:

“She was one horrible mess. Always looking over her shoulder, avoiding becoming too friendly with the neighbors, never letting her kids out of her sight for fear of human monsters lurking around corners, waiting to cause them harm. That anxiety stemmed from her own childhood memories. Always fearing that someone would recognize her face, she kept to herself and didn’t go out much. And when she did, no matter the season, she wore some kind of hat or covering on her head, enough to shield her face. HE had done this to her even though he was dead now.

Walter never understood why she was such a loner, avoiding people as much as she could, and just being extremely anti-social outside of the house. Houston was originally her home, not his, yet she didn’t even want her own family and friends to know that she had returned. The only person she found herself able to really open up with was him. And although she tried to make him feel otherwise, he knew that there was still a huge wall up that even he would never be able to see over or climb.

Marisa had a secret, and if it was ever discovered, it could cost her her life and her freedom.”

 

Review:

“I couldn’t put this book down! Every chapter that I read kept me on the edge of my seat, excited about what was to come in the next chapter. I want more…so I hope there’s a sequel! Lifetime Television…watch out for DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND. You’re going to want to turn this script into a movie!” —P.J. Soemer, book lover

 

Trailer:

http://youtu.be/qbUK3XQ5-dA

 

BUY LINKS:

Nonnie’s Book Store

Also on Amazon

Justification for a Family Vacation–and Great Disney Deals from Pixie Vacations!

October 25, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Reich

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

This is the third and last blog in a series on Disney World travel. Yes, I’m in a Disney frame of mind! I’m always either planning a trip, on a trip, or scrapbooking a trip. My life is one big Walt Disney World Vacation! (And below you’ll find some great Disney deals from my friends at Pixie Vacations.)

Writing these blogs got me thinking: What’s my justification for a family vacation? I believe that happy memories are the glue that holds us together. I’ve seen firsthand how my sons made great leaps in maturity and also intellectually on our family trips. It was on a Disney trip when my older son really “got” the idea of reading. He went from barely reading to noticing words and language everywhere, thanks to Disney signs that are everywhere. As my kids get older, they express more and more that they don’t get to spend enough time with me. On a trip, I’m focused on them 24/7, and we all love that.

According to a study conducted by Kelton Research, quality family time increases while on vacation, and both parents and children say they’re more likely to learn something new about one another during this time. The study found that family vacations made people more excited (77 percent), relaxed (75 percent), silly (68 percent), calm (54 percent), and affectionate (54 percent). That sounds so great that I can hardly wait until our next family vacation!

And now about those deals!

Play, Stay & Dine at Disney World & Save Up To $600

Booking Dates:
October 8 – December 31, 2013

Travel Dates:
For Stays most nights January 5 – March 5, 2014

Walt Disney World vacation packages are here for 2014 travel.  You can save $600* on your family vacation by booking this offer.  Here are the details:

Purchase this Walt Disney World Vacation now through Dec. 31, 2013 for stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Save $600* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Plus Dining Disney Vacation Package at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Or, save $400* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Disney World Vacation Package Plus Quick Service Dining at select Disney Value Resorts.

Booking Window:
Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014

Don’t delay! With savings this huge, rooms will fill up fast! If you are interested in this offer contact Pixie Vacations today.

Save Up To 35% – Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

You can save up to 35%* at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with this offer.

Booking Window:
Book Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 and March 14 – April, 12, 2014:

Save up to 35% at
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts,
Disney’s Beach Club Resort Villas,
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas,
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard/pool view rooms),
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Polynesian Resort,
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Old Key West Resort,
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (standard/woods view)

Save up to 25% at
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort,
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort,
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins

Save up to 20% at
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort,
Disney’s All-Star Music
Disney’s Pop Century Resort

How to Book:

Contact Pixie Vacations
Call 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacaitons.com
Get a Quick Disney World Quote

Disney World Christmas 2013 vacation packages from $118 per person

Spend the Holidays at Walt Disney World with this special vacation package offer from our friends at Pixie Vacations.

Booking Window:   10/10 – 11/18/2013
Travel Window: 12/18 – 12/25/2013
You must stay the night of the 18th, you can extend past the 25th based on availability.

Package for 5 nights / 6 days at select Disney Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Resorts
and get a FREE Disney Water Park or DisneyQuest Ticket for each person in your party.

This Exclusive Holiday Season Disney World Vacation Package Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Magic Your Way Base Ticket
  • Disney’s Plus Dining**
  • A Free DisneyQuest or Disney Water Park Ticket

Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World.
Available Disney Resorts for this Disney Holiday Special Vacation Package are:

DISNEY’S ALL STAR MOVIES RESORT (Value Resort)
DISNEY’S PORT ORLEANS RESORT – RIVERSIDE (Moderate Resort)
DISNEY”S POLYNESIAN RESORT (Deluxe Resort)
DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT (Deluxe Resort)

To Book:

Click this link to get an online quote: Christmas at Disney World Vacation Quote
Ask about packages available in other resort categories and for other lengths of stay.

www.PixieVacations.com
Phone: 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacations.com

Get a Disney Vacation Quote Now For Your Travel Dates.

Note: I was compensated by Pixie Vacations with a Mickey Mouse Santa Hat and Minnie Holiday headband. However, I love talking about and planning Disney World vacations and feel passionate about helping families make magical memories and I would gladly have written it anyway!

Bio: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two sons and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great. Next to her home in Allentown, PA, Walt Disney World is her favorite place on earth!

Safe Disney Travels—and Great Disney Deals from Pixie Vacations

October 24, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Reich

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

Parenting is a challenge—and that’s on a good day, at home, where everything is familiar and safe. Then try taking the show on the road!

From the time my sons were infants, we took a lot of day trips and one family vacation each year. We’ve taken our sons to Walt Disney World three times. Of course the Disney Company does everything it can to keep everyone happy—and safe. But traveling anywhere presents challenges.

Here are some safety tricks I use for my family.  And below you’ll find some great Disney travel specials from my friends at Pixie Vacations!

Dress kids alike. On trips, I always dress my kids in similar outfits. If one got lost, I could point to his brother and say, “He’s dressed like that!” Also it makes my boys easier to keep track of because I don’t have to struggle to remember what they’re wearing. I also dress them in brightly colored clothes, which are easier to spot in a crowd. When their clothes match, it looks great in photos to boot!

Take a photo first. First thing each day on our trip, I take a photo of my kids on my phone. That way, if one of my kids got lost, I would have a current photo that shows what he is wearing.

Bring ID. I bought each of my sons a set of Who’s Shoes ID tags for each of their shoes and sandals. The tags attach to kids’ shoes with Velcro, and they have places inside to write your child’s name, your contact info, and any special medical needs. I’ve always taught my kids to tell people “look at my shoes” if they got lost.

Teach kids who to ask for help. Whenever we prepared to go on a trip, I’d review with my sons who to approach for help if they ever got lost: a policeman or fireman, a person working in the park or store, or a mommy with kids. When we got to a Disney park, I pointed out Cast Members and how you could identify them by their uniforms and their Disney nametags.

Pack your travel bag. In my travel bag, which I take with me to the parks, I keep hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, Table Toppers (when my boys were smaller and eating finger foods), a few pieces of plastic silverware and straws (so I don’t have to go back up to the counter to request one if I’m missing it), and Band-Aids.

Keep a safety kit.  I keep a small safety kit packed that I bring on all trips. It contains a smoke alarm and batteries, a carbon monoxide detector and batteries, a small screwdriver, a roll of painter’s tape (blue tape that doesn’t pull paint off walls, which is handy to secure loose objects, hold curtains closed, etc), a small plastic bathmat (a cheap one that I throw out before we go home), triangle-shaped plastic door stoppers to keep doors opened or closed, and a flashlight.

Do a safety check of the room. When I first get into our hotel room, my husband and I scan the room for anything left behind. Especially dangerous are choking hazards, such as coins, pieces of balloons, and pieces of plastic or cellophane.

Check that everything works. Before I unpack, I always check to make sure everything works in the room. I turn on the fan and lights, flush the toilet, and run the AC or heater. This is less a safety issue than a convenience! I don’t want to have to repack all of our stuff if we discover later the toilet doesn’t flush!

Now that you know my secrets to traveling to Walt Disney World with kids, I want to share three terrific offers from Pixie Vacations!

Play, Stay & Dine at Disney World & Save Up To $600

Booking Dates:
October 8 – December 31, 2013

Travel Dates:
For Stays most nights January 5 – March 5, 2014

Walt Disney World vacation packages are here for 2014 travel.  You can save $600* on your family vacation by booking this offer.  Here are the details:

Purchase this Walt Disney World Vacation now through Dec. 31, 2013 for stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Save $600* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Plus Dining Disney Vacation Package at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Or, save $400* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Disney World Vacation Package Plus Quick Service Dining at select Disney Value Resorts.

Booking Window:
Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014

Don’t delay! With savings this huge, rooms will fill up fast! If you are interested in this offer contact Pixie Vacations today.

Save Up To 35% – Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

You can save up to 35%* at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with this offer.

Booking Window:
Book Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 and March 14 – April, 12, 2014:

Save up to 35% at
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts,
Disney’s Beach Club Resort Villas,
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas,
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard/pool view rooms),
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Polynesian Resort,
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Old Key West Resort,
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (standard/woods view)

Save up to 25% at
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort,
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort,
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins

Save up to 20% at
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort,
Disney’s All-Star Music
Disney’s Pop Century Resort

How to Book:

Contact Pixie Vacations
Call 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacaitons.com
Get a Quick Disney World Quote

Disney World Christmas 2013 vacation packages from $118 per person

Spend the Holidays at Walt Disney World with this special vacation package offer from our friends at Pixie Vacations.

Booking Window:   10/10 – 11/18/2013
Travel Window: 12/18 – 12/25/2013
You must stay the night of the 18th, you can extend past the 25th based on availability.

Package for 5 nights / 6 days at select Disney Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Resorts
and get a FREE Disney Water Park or DisneyQuest Ticket for each person in your party.

This Exclusive Holiday Season Disney World Vacation Package Includes:

 

  • Accommodations
  • Magic Your Way Base Ticket
  • Disney’s Plus Dining**
  • A Free DisneyQuest or Disney Water Park Ticket

Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World.
Available Disney Resorts for this Disney Holiday Special Vacation Package are:

DISNEY’S ALL STAR MOVIES RESORT (Value Resort)
DISNEY’S PORT ORLEANS RESORT – RIVERSIDE (Moderate Resort)
DISNEY”S POLYNESIAN RESORT (Deluxe Resort)
DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT (Deluxe Resort)

 

To Book:

Click this link to get an online quote: Christmas at Disney World Vacation Quote
Ask about packages available in other resort categories and for other lengths of stay.

www.PixieVacations.com
Phone: 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacations.com

Get a Disney Vacation Quote Now For Your Travel Dates.

 

This Exclusive offer is ONLY available to guests that book with Pixie Vacations.

Note: I was compensated by Pixie Vacations with a Mickey Mouse Santa Hat and Minnie Holiday headband. However, I love talking about and planning Disney World vacations and feel passionate about helping families make magical memories and I would gladly have written it anyway!

Bio: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two sons and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great. Next to her home in Allentown, PA, Walt Disney World is her favorite place on earth!

Disney Travel: Save Sanity-and also Money with Pixie Vacations!

October 23, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Reich

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

Here at the Mommy MD Guides, our mission is to help moms raise healthier, happier families. We talk a whole lot about the “healthier” part. I’m really excited today to talk about the “happier.”

What makes you happy is as individual as, well as you! But I think most people would agree that taking a family vacation is at least close to the list. And what vacation destination could boost happiness more than the one of the “happiest places on earth”–Walt Disney World.

I’ve traveled to Disney World 10 times, and the past three have been with my kids. Sure, we had some stressful moments, even some Mommy Meltdowns, but I made it home with my sanity intact. You can too! And below you’ll find some great specials from my friends at Pixie Vacations!

  • Work with your family’s schedule. I’ve read dozens of times about families that go back to their hotels in the middle of the day for naps. I’m sure that works well, for some. But I knew from other trips and day trips that my kids did better with a concentrated block of time out and about, naps in their stroller when they were younger, and an earlier return to the hotel to relax, swim, and sleep. Also, we try to keep our mealtimes as close to what we do at home as possible, eating around 7 am, 11 am, and 4 pm. Eating early like this also helps us avoid the nutty meal-time crowds!
  • Don’t pressure kids to ride. On our first trip with my kids, who were 4 and 2 years old at the time, I encouraged them to go on “It’s Tough to Be a Bug.” It’s a show in the dark, about bugs. Didn’t scare me a bit, but my younger son was terrified, and he was reluctant to go one anything else indoors for the rest of the trip. After that, before getting into a line, we told him as much as we could about a ride, and if he didn’t want to try a ride, we skipped it. Now before trips I show my kids (prescreened!) youtube videos of rides that they might want to go on.
  • Plan ahead. Disney is the master at crowd pleasing, and crowd control. Their FastPass system and the new FastPass+ allow you to cut your time standing in line. Yet, sadly  not all park guests know about them.  Don’t be one of them! They are FREE and easy to use! Basically, with a FastPass, you get a “ticket” that gives you a window of time when you can return and bypass the regular line for a much shorter FastPass return line. My strategy is to get a FastPass for one of the popular rides, such as Space Mountain, then check out nearby, less popular rides such as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, until our FastPass window opens.  Then we ride the popular ride, go get another FastPass, and repeat the process.
  • Hydrate often–with free water! Just walk up to any counter service or snack station that serves soda and ask for a cup of ice water. I bring along packets of drink mix and iced tea mix to flavor the water because the water at Disney World often has a bad taste.
  • Share meals and snacks. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it took me a few meals with kids to realize that the portions at Disney World are generally huge. And who wants to carry a doggie bag around the park–and risk food poisoning by eating it later? We often split snacks and meals to save money, and waste.
  • Combat motion sickness! Try Queasy Kid Pops or Sea-Bands. I’m not admitting that I’m old, but rides that never used to bother me make me downright queasy now. I have great success with two Mommy MD Guides-Recommended Products: Sea-Band acupressure wrist bands and Queasy Kid Pops. I put on my wristbands before going on spinning rides like the Mad Tea Party. My older son also has a pair he wears on long car trips. Those Queasy Kids Pops saved our Magic Kingdom day on my kids’ first trip. My younger son had a very upset stomach, and I gave him a pop. He felt better right away! I always keep some of them in my purse.

Now that you know my secrets to traveling to Walt Disney World with kids, I want to share three terrific offers!

Play, Stay & Dine at Disney World & Save Up To $600

Booking Dates:
October 8 – December 31, 2013

Travel Dates:
For Stays most nights January 5 – March 5, 2014

Walt Disney World vacation packages are here for 2014 travel.  You can save $600* on your family vacation by booking this offer.  Here are the details:

Purchase this Walt Disney World Vacation now through Dec. 31, 2013 for stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Save $600* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Plus Dining Disney Vacation Package at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Or, save $400* (based on a family of four) on a 5-night, 6-day Disney World Vacation Package Plus Quick Service Dining at select Disney Value Resorts.

Booking Window:
Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014

Don’t delay! With savings this huge, rooms will fill up fast! If you are interested in this offer contact Pixie Vacations today.

Save Up To 35% – Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

You can save up to 35%* at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with this offer.

Booking Window:
Book Oct. 8 – Dec. 31, 2013

Travel Window:
For stays most nights Jan. 5 – March 5, 2014 and March 14 – April, 12, 2014:

Save up to 35% at
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts,
Disney’s Beach Club Resort Villas,
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas,
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard/pool view rooms),
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Polynesian Resort,
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa,
Disney’s Old Key West Resort,
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (standard/woods view)

Save up to 25% at
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort,
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort,
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins

Save up to 20% at
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort,
Disney’s All-Star Music
Disney’s Pop Century Resort

How to Book:

Contact Pixie Vacations
Call 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacaitons.com
Get a Quick Disney World Quote

Disney World Christmas 2013 vacation packages from $118 per person

Spend the Holidays at Walt Disney World with this special vacation package offer from our friends at Pixie Vacations.

Booking Window:   10/10 – 11/18/2013
Travel Window: 12/18 – 12/25/2013
You must stay the night of the 18th, you can extend past the 25th based on availability.

Package for 5 nights / 6 days at select Disney Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Resorts
and get a FREE Disney Water Park or DisneyQuest Ticket for each person in your party.

This Exclusive Holiday Season Disney World Vacation Package Includes:

 

  • Accommodations
  • Magic Your Way Base Ticket
  • Disney’s Plus Dining**
  • A Free DisneyQuest or Disney Water Park Ticket

Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World.
Available Disney Resorts for this Disney Holiday Special Vacation Package are:

DISNEY’S ALL STAR MOVIES RESORT (Value Resort)
DISNEY’S PORT ORLEANS RESORT – RIVERSIDE (Moderate Resort)
DISNEY”S POLYNESIAN RESORT (Deluxe Resort)
DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT (Deluxe Resort)

 

To Book:

Click this link to get an online quote: Christmas at Disney World Vacation Quote
Ask about packages available in other resort categories and for other lengths of stay.

www.PixieVacations.com
Phone: 678-815-1584
Email: Info@PixieVacations.com

Get a Disney Vacation Quote Now For Your Travel Dates.

 

This Exclusive offer is ONLY available to guests that book with Pixie Vacations.

Note: I was compensated by Pixie Vacations with a Mickey Mouse Santa Hat and Minnie Holiday headband. However, I love talking about and planning Disney World vacations and feel passionate about helping families make magical memories and I would gladly have written it anyway!

Bio: Jennifer Bright Reich is a mom of two sons and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great. Next to her home in Allentown, PA, Walt Disney World is her favorite place on earth!

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The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.