July 2016: The Month of Travel
Welcome to Yoko's Monthly Favorites! We're hearing from Mitera founder Yoko Shimada and learning what her favorites for July are. As a #MiteraMama and #WonderWoman, Yoko spends a lot of time in the motherhood world, so we know that all of her favorites are mama approved.
This month was all about travel. This is a topic I know all too well. I have lived outside of my home country (Japan) for a looooonnngg time and lived in the US, Germany, India, England to name a few. Now my husband I are raising our 'third culture kids' across several continents where we have to travel long ways to see our families and we have, whether we like it or not, gotten used to traveling with our children. Naturally, our kids have become little pro travelers, too. They can take 15 hour direct flights from Dubai to the US or enjoy (?!) a 2 day car ride from DC to Maine. My 5 year-old has been to 13 countries and his 3 year-old sister has been to 9 countries so far.
I know summer is the season of travel and many families take vacations during the summer months so I thought it would be a perfect month to share some of my favorites related to traveling with children. Here are some classic things that my family has come to love when it comes to traveling.
Favorite for Mamas
I am making an exception and mentioning two brands here. While I had so many baby carriers and wraps for different stages of my kids growth and different occasions and moods (once my daughter would not stop crying in one carrier so I had to do an Amazon Prime order of another carrier to try!), my favorite to date is the Ergo Baby Carrier. I had this organic one in Black and used it for both kids. We used the Baby Bjorn carrier at the beginning but as soon as the kids were old enough, we switched them to Ergo Baby. Traveling can be stressful for both baby and mom but keeping the baby in the carrier can keep them calm while you have both hands free to schlepp all the crap you are inevitably carrying (gone are the days of traveling with just a carry-on!). You can even go to the bathroom with your baby in your carrier. How handy.
The first time we saw this amazing backpack was when we hosted a social event for our Washington, D.C. neighborhood's babysitting 'co-op'. One of the dads brought his little one in his Deuter backpack, he set it down on the floor and his baby kept snoozing. We were sold. We bought it when our son was about 8 months old and took him to his first European tour of France, England, Belgium, and Italy in the Deuter backpack. Not only it is a sturdy and comfy baby carrier, it has a sun shade for the baby when it is too sunny, it holds so much stuff (diapers, change of clothes, wipes, snacks and bottles and more) and it folds flat so that it fits in the overhead compartment in an airplane. We are still using the same Deuter backpack for our second one and our kids (our 5 year-old is now to heavy to be carried though...) still fight over their 'back-pack car'. Our Deuter 'backpack car' has been to 12 countries so far and counting.
Favorite for Baby
To use or not to use pacifiers debate aside, it is recommended that babies who cannot pop their ears on their own yet should be sucking on something during take-off and landing to help pop their ears. Otherwise.... you will have a very unhappy baby screaming with discomfort and/or earache. If you use a pacifier, don't forget the pacifier clip to prevent from losing it during travel! I love BooginHead!
Favorite for the Home
This travel crib from Phil and Teds is hands down an amazing product. We were trying to decide between this one and a similar one by BabyBjorn but we decided on this one because of its portability. When not in use, it becomes like the size of a yoga mat rolled up and it easily fits in your suitcase. Super handy. Again, we used this crib for both of our kids around the country and around the world in hotels, at people's homes, camping and outdoors. Super easy to put together and sturdy.
Favorite for Work
I am a Bose fan. There are other headphones in the market but I have been loyal to them ever since my husband got me my first pair of noise cancelling headphones for Christmas. It accompanied me on numerous business trips around the world for several years until...I sat on it accidentally. I called Bose to explain the situation and they told me since mine was several models old, they will simply send me their latest one and I just had to pay the difference in price. Amazing. Then.... I lost it on a business trip.... then my husband got me a new one last Christmas. Noise cancelling headphone took a totally different meaning when I became a mother. When flying with my kids, I love sleeping or watching movies with high quality sound where I cannot even hear them screaming sitting next to me...
Tell us, what have you been loving this month? Comment below or tell us online by commenting on Instagram!
*Disclaimer: all these recommendations are purely personal and are not the result of any brand sponsorships.