This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions are entirely my own.
If there is one thing I have learned from 4 kiddos and the Army is that planning is pretty much the worst. Whether it’s trying to plan a vacation or just adding a new sibling to the family, there is never going to be a “perfect” time to do anything. Today, I am sharing a few tried and true tips for managing the craziness of the Army along with the craziness of babies.
1. Take Trips When You Can
One of the best parts about the Army is that we get sent to many cool places. While the base itself might not always be cool, there is always something fun around if you know where to look. I am a huge believer in making the most of your duty stations and one way to do that is to make a Bucket List so you don’t miss out on a thing. Think about the ages of your kids when planning for things. Our motto is “have baby, will travel,” and it worked out perfectly in Hawaii and Colorado. Be sure to pack the appropriate stroller or baby wearing system so you can be free to roam.
2. Find a Babysitter
Taking time for yourself and your spouse is key. The Army keeps you apart all the time so find a babysitter you can trust so that you can have some alone time with your spouse. I used to worry about leaving my baby alone for a long time but thankfully, that has not been an issue since Tricare now covers breast pumps and supplies! 1 Natural Way has all the Medela supplies I needed and they were so easy to order from – just fill out the resupply information and give them a copy of your prescription and they will be delivered right to your door!
3. Utilize On Post Programs
The Army has really improved their programs on post in the past few years. From toddler groups to mommy and me classes, there are always plenty of things to check out that are free or close to it. I love toddler play groups because I can meet up with other moms and dads who have kids my ages. Did anyone ever tell you how hard it is to make friends as an adult? It’s tricky but luckily, these groups make it a little easier to find people who are in the same stages of life as you are.
4. Find a Support System
I know, I know. I just said making friends is hard but it is so important to find some friends once you get to a new place. Or if you’ve been somewhere for a while. Finding a support system at church or playgroup or a neighborhood playtime is so key. I know I sleep better at night knowing if I have to borrow some milk or need a friend to watch my baby while I run to my older kid’s school because they forgot their lunch, I have someone around. And having a monthly resupply from 1 Natural Way means if the neighbor is watching the baby while I do school drop off and gets hungry, I will have milk on hand for them to heat up and bottle feed.
5. Make Time for Your Spouse at Home
If you cannot find a babysitter or you are uncomfortable with leaving your baby home while you go out to dinner, you still need to make time that is just for you and your spouse. One of my favorite ways is to cook a special dinner for us to eat after the kids go to bed. Eat a snack during their meal and once the kids are in bed, break out the fondue or hot pot and eat something you know the kids hate and you love. Light some candles. Drink from actual glass glasses. This may sound silly but it is one of our favorite nights throughout the month.
Having a baby is a fun and exciting time and even though the Army doesn’t always allow for easy family time, it is always worth it and always fun. Having 1 Natural Way in my back pocket to make sure we were able to feed our babies the way we wanted meant that we were able to explore our duty stations and never miss out on a thing.
What are some of your favorite baby travel tips? I’d love to read yours in the comments below!