Hi hi! We’re back from our trip and have a few posts lined up with some helpful tips, hints, and purchases that came in handy with Noura. This was our first family trip and we were gone for a little over a month; 5 countries with varying climates so you can imagine the stress in packing for this lol it was my first time having to pack for a baby, let alone taking all that into consideration but alhamdulilah we did it!

I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and buy a million and one things just for the sake of keeping Noura preoccupied on the trip; the whole point was for her to be preoccupied with the world duh lol so I intentionally limited myself to a maximum of 10 new items which had the potential to make the trip a little easier (as per my research and the tiktok gods lol)

I can hand on heart say that each of these definitely came in handy when it was their time to shine; glad I purchased them, yes, but could I have also done without a couple? yea I guess so! Namely the Itzy-Ritzy toy and the Baby Einstein one which was so surprising because I thought she would love those the entire trip, but our girl got bored of them real quick, sigh.

Listing these in order of *most useful to not so most useful for you to check out for yourself! I think a majority of these would come in handy for bubbas of any ages during a trip, but you know your baby best!

  • Toy Safety Straps – girl amazing amazing amazing! Even if you’re not travelling! They’re cute and silicone and come in a pack of 4, but you essentially tie one end to babys toy, pacifier, bottle, whatever it is, and the other to the high chair, or stroller, or chair, wherever, and it completely eliminates you being a flustered mama constantly picking up said item from the ground each time it drops! Genius right?! Baby eventually figures out that they can pull the string up and get their item all on their own and everyone wins!
  •  Disposable Bibs – The exact ones we got are no longer available, but these made life so much easier when feeding baby in public or you’re out someplace to eat. There are 3 sticky tabs to peel off, 2 stick to babys chest and the other is for the neck bit, and voila! They’re leak-proof so even if something spills, no outfits are ruined, literally just like the silicone one you use at home but when baby’s done eating you take it off and throw it away. Of course you could pack your silicone one and just wash it each time – I packed ours too – but this just made life so much easier at restaurants etc.
  • Portable White Noise Machine – We’re officially so annoyed with this after hearing it every night for a month lol but Nunu usually has her hatch going at night while she sleeps so we wanted to maintain some consistency with her bedtime despite the obvious jet lag. The battery on this lasts ages, it’s super portable and can hang from anywhere, has multiple sound options to choose from and the volume reach on it is super good. I was a bit mehh at the price but after getting it and using it, it’s definitely a high quality product worth every penny!
  • Suction Spinner Toys – Not only were these fab for when we had a window seat on the plane, we used them in hotel rooms, at the airport itself, wherever there was a wall they would suction on to and we needed a distraction lol I currently have two stuck to the island in our kitchen and one upstairs on my bathroom cabinet, so yes, highly recommend lol
  • Biodegradable Baby Laundry Sheets –  These were recommended by a friend and I was like woah! I didn’t even think about what I’d do about washing Nunu’s laundry lol the only reason why they’re further down is because I only used them a couple times due to not having access to a laundry machine ourselves, but when we did use them, fabulous! They come in a flat pack, so its super easy and compact to pack. Each sheet rips into two pieces and you just throw one of those pieces into a load and carry on as usual! Such a genius idea!
  • Stroller fan – Okay I was totally going back and forth on this one and tried to find a much cheaper one at my local dollar store (which I couldn’t), but it came in handy loads, both in Dubai and especially during Umrah amongst the sea of people to help keep Noura cool, so I can’t hate it. It’s super sturdy, the grip bit doesn’t slide at all, the fan itself has 3 speeds and an LED light with different brightness settings, so meh, I still love it and I know it will come in handy in the future lol
  • Baby Einstein Sensory Clutch Toy – can’t find this one on amazon, but I picked it up from Toys R’ Us super excited at the fact it was so compact and had so many sensory features that Nunu would love lol but she was just meh about it. Other babies we met in passing and at the masjid etc loved it haha so maybe it’s just Noura, but I loved it!
  • Itzy Ritzy Link Toy – again, another toy I was so excited to surprise her with for the trip because it was just so multi-functional, teether and pull-tabs and crunchy feet so my logic was perfect it’s an all-in-one so I’m not going to bother packing other toys lol but it was another meh for my Nunu lol Itzy-Ritzy does these in different animals though so still worth checking out for your bubs!
  • Packing Cubes – purchased two sets of these because they were so helpful in organizing Nunu’s clothes for each location. I had planned her outfits before hand so automatically knew which bag was for which country and just picked up a ready-made-set and we were good to go. Because we didn’t get her a seat on the plane (she was in my lap), she didn’t get any checked luggage, so the cubes fit perfectly in our carry-on cases which was fab! Bilal got use out of the second set lol I personally couldn’t for my clothes; undergarments and hijabs yes, but would recommend cubes for babies 100%!
  • Baby Munchkin Spill Proof Cup – the logic behind this was that this way we would always have water for her that she could drink herself and it wouldn’t spill lol duh duh. Turns out the cup is still kinda sorta big for her and so when you drink your nose has to touch the center in order for the liquid to come out but Nunu still has a baby face and nose so it wasn’t really practical. I literally used the bottom plastic cup bit once and then it remained in our case the entire trip lol I think it’s fab if your kids are toddlers maybe, but yea this one we could have definitely done without!

These are definitely items I’ll be re-packing on our next trip but I’d love to hear if you’ve got any others! Let me know some of your must-try finds! Xoxo

As excited as I am about finally jet-setting off into the world again, I’m equally as nervous and anxious and have been all in my feels about it the past few weeks just trying to mentally prepare for this trip.

Travel and the world have always been my thing you know lol the thing I was good at and could/would do on my terms always and the way I wanted to. Staying in dingy hostels, accepting rides from strangers and trusting the universe and kindness of people, trying new foods without the fear of getting sick, relying on public transport because I want to do it like the locals do it, the list goes on lol but this time is already faring to be quite different.

This time I’m travelling as a mama. A mama of a baby who is still very much so new to the world and has completely changed, transformed, distorted, my life. Yes a million times for the better alhamdulillah always, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let that change creep into this part of my life. Not that I’m not ready, but I don’t want it to. I don’t want it to infringe on my happy-place negatively in fear of it being yet another part of me that needs to be on pause or temporarily ‘let-go’ of just because I’m a mama. If that makes any sense at all lol?!

I’m not complaining I promise, nor am I ungrateful for even the opportunity to be able to alhamdulillah travel with my little family because that in its own is privilege alhamdulillah, but if you’ve been here for a while I think (hope!) you’ll kinda sorta get me xx I also think it’s going to be one of those things maybe only mamas (or babas) will get too solely based on the fact that you’ve lived it/are living it, and have experienced that shift of identity once you’ve had a baby x

It won’t be the same. It’s not just me myself and I versus the world anymore. I don’t just answer to myself (and mama!) anymore. I, we, as mama and baba, need to make sure we have enough diapers for the day. And snacks. And extra clothes. And what if she gets sick and we can’t go see that thing we were so excited to travel so far to come see?! I don’t think Bilal will struggle with this as much as I will lol and obviously in that aforementioned scenario my baby comes first lol but I know I’ll subconsciously feel that feel and I’m not quite sure what to do with it when the time comes.

There isn’t really a point to this post, just some inner ramblings like we used to do lol but I’ve been trying to go through it and prepare mentally and emotionally that this is going to be different. Its own experience. Maybe a slower paced one. Maybe a less adventurous one where we think twice about riding scooters with strangers. One where every golden hour doesn’t necessarily warrant an Instagram outfit photo lol. I might be baby-wearing and won’t be able to crouch low to get ‘the-shot’ of someone praying, and I need to be okay with it.

The thought has crossed my mind that if I knew the last time was going to be the last time, void of any responsibility etc., would I have done something different?! Maybe commemorated it somehow, or spent a little while longer watching the sunset on my own, or, or, or… I don’t know the answer to that question. Maybe yes, maybe no, but in the depths of my heart I know I did my best to embody #noregrets in whatever capacity within my means no matter where I was, and that brings me some peace x That, and believing in the concept of ‘maktub’. That it’s already been written to happen exactly the way it’s supposed to by means way beyond us, and so nothing different really could have happened because if it was meant to it would have lol but it played out the way it did for a reason, and so there’s contentment in that alhamdulillah xx

If you’ve made it this far, yay lol thank you for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you, and thank you for being on this journey with me. I was always unsure about myself when I would just sit and write and post on the blog, but as of late I’m finding it to be a source of reflection and it’s because of you x I’m forever grateful to you for engaging with me, my postings, my thoughts, all of it lol and subconsciously encouraging me to continue sharing x I’ve always made a point to say that even if one person likes a post or a share or is inspired, it was more than enough for me and that I’d keep doing it for that one person (who was initially just my mama lol) but alhamdulillah for those of you who are in addition to mama xxx love you longtime xoxo

Noura tried kiwi for the first time the other day and I was so excited to cross it off our 100 Foods list and shared it on my stories. So many of you were wondering where to get a copy so posting it here for you to download!

When we decided to start Nunu on solids I was doing some research online and instagram and came across this concept of ‘100 foods for Your Baby to Try Before Turning One’ from @babyledweanteam ! I believe they have some courses to help guide you with BLW, and I couldn’t find the chart itself on the page, but a quick google search brought it up lol

I reckoned it was a nice little chart to post on the fridge to help us keep track of what we’ve tried and haven’t tried with Nunu and so far we’ve been making steady progress lol

A million percent, you do what works for your family and your bubbas, but I love that this just works as a rough guideline and reminds me to try different foods with her and/or add new things to her grocery shop!

Hope this helps! xx

As promised, here are 6 things we’ve grown to love love for Noura over these past 6 months! Some of the items have been linked to my Amazon storefront for easy access in case you’re on the hunt for yourself or wanting to gift a new mama or baba! xoxo

6 things we love for Nunu:

1. BioGaia Probiotic Vitamin D Drops – I wish I had tried these a lot sooner than I did! If you don’t have them, check with your doctor or paediatrician beforehand but I promise they will help so much especially if you have a colic baby!

2. Bouncer – we use this every single day without fail. It’s part of our morning routine where she sits and watches as I make breakfast, or any other meal tbh. She bounces in it while I shower, while I do laundry, while her baba works and he has to watch her etc etc etc. we love it!

3. Frida Baby chest balm – any time we hear the slightest congestion, this goes on at night and we feel it makes a difference in her breathing a little clearer the next morning.

4. Breast Pump – ufft. I was SO skeptical about pumping just because I thought it would mean my baby wouldn’t need me anymore or it would tamper with my milk supply or it was just not a good thing to do (don’t ask me why lol), and then I also didn’t want to go through the process of researching pumps on the market and paying so much money when I knew I only wanted one to use occasionally because we had so many weddings during the summer and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my dress on/off so easily lol

I found this one on amazon and it was/is the best thing I did and completely worth the money (pretty inexpensive in comparison to others on the market) and something I wish I would have purchased earlier. Knowing I could pump and someone else could feed her later, or pumping to release and relieve myself from pain in the event she was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake her, was SUCH a relief. I haven’t tried other pumps so can’t comment on anything else, but I still use this when needed; it’s portable enough to travel with too and cordless!

5. Thermometer– the slightest change these past 6 months has us being cray cray and wanting to check her temperature to make sure she’s okay and there’s no fever lol and having a good thermometer which you can stick in the armpit and works fast is definitely something I’d recommend. We had one from amazon but that was quickly replaced by one from the drugstore because the new one just worked faster, and when you have a poorly baby who squirms and cries when somethings stuck in her armpit, you want to know what the temp is asap! We had a fever scare at around the 3 month mark with a super high temp and she just looked so unwell to the point we took her to emergency to make sure she was okay,  but that thermometer was key in giving us updates and peace of mind that everything was okay!

6. Sudo Cream– your mum and her mum and all your mama friends probably swear by this and there’s a reason for it lol yes it’s that good. So much so you can also use it as a bit of a spot treatment on your own face! This has been so good at preventing diaper rashes and healing some of those under-the-neck irritations from wearing a bib. A little goes a long way and works like magic!  

Are there any items you swore by during your bubbas first few months of life?! Comment below as I’m always wanting to trial some new ones! xoxo

I can’t believe how fast time has actually flown by! 6 of the most intense, emotionally overwhelming, no-idea-what I’m doing months I’ve ever experienced, yet now it literally feels as though I blinked and we’re here.

I half-heartedly believed everyone during that first month when they said it got better and easier lol the first milestone to reach was the 6 week mark. “it gets better at 6 weeks, then you’re in the clear. Your body heals and you build a routine”, then it was the 3 month mark, “isn’t it so much better now?!” and now the 6 month mark “that’s it, she’s grown. It’s not that bad is it?!” ufft.

It’s definitely been a lot, a lot of the best and a lot of the not-so-best, but I wouldn’t change it for the world alhamdulillah! She has quickly taken over our hearts and our lives and we are so so in love with her xxx literally last night we both sat staring at her as she fell asleep on my chest and just talking about how scary it is to be a parent because your heart is literally beating outside your chest and you never ever want this part of you to experience pain or sadness or to have their feelings hurt. (the heart beating outside your chest thing as a parent is probably the most truest thing ever. I used to think it was a cheesy line but nope, very true!) and then I started crying because I realized one day she won’t need us or rely on us for things and she’ll be too big to sleep on my chest and questioned if she would ever remember these precious moments and how much we adore her xxx and then it made me think about how once upon a time our parents felt the exact same way about us and then we grew up and what that must have felt like for them and they wanted to keep us safe and protected but we were in a hurry to grow up too and ufft, it was an in-your-feels evening haha xx

I’ve learnt a lot in 6 months, and tried and tested a lot in 6 months, so wanted to share some of these learnings and experiences with you! Going to post this in two parts so it doesn’t get super long for you to read! As always, these musings are solely based on our experience and our bubba so feel free to take what you want, but also remember everyone and every baby is different and not everything and every tip will work for you and your family and that’s completely okay!

6 things I’ve learnt post-partum

1. Stop weighing yourself – I was doing this at the start and feeling super discouraged every time the number refused to change, especially if I felt I had a good couple days of walking and no sugar etc. It just so happened that our battery died in the scale and we never replaced it haha but it helped me stop weighing myself and obsessing with that number! Because if I was consciously doing small things to make myself feel ‘healthier’ and active and I felt better about myself, why was I counting on a number to confirm if I was allowed to feel good or not?! This obviously took some time, but I’m learning to focus on the small wins and choices we make each day xx

2. Those that get-it, get it, and those that don’t, don’t. and that’s okay! – this has taken some time and is still a work in progress, but #sorrynotsorry those friends and people in your circle who either don’t have little kids or have not been around children don’t get that your life is now different. And it’s kind of lame and sucks a lot of the time and the dynamic in your friendships and relationships is going to change a bit, but I guess that’s just how it is..(I don’t have a solution or the right answer for this lol) I have to be mindful of what times I leave the house now, prepare mentally for whether I have to feed before I leave or when I get home, or while I’m outside, and whether there will be space for me to feed and change diapers or will I have to put up a cover and feed in the car, and do I have enough diapers with me, have I run out of wipes, is the place stroller accessible, are babies even allowed, will there be parking close by etc etc etc. and even if you plan for everything in advance, you can expect a massive blowout which will throw you completely off course and you’ll realize you’ve packed everything in your suitcase of a diaper bag except for an extra pair of clothes lol and the thing is, only your other mom/dad friends will get it!

 I’m learning to be okay with people not getting it, which is hard because you presume your friends of all people would get it, and some will and some won’t but it’s okay and it doesn’t mean they love you any less, but their lives are still carrying on as is yours, it’s just a little different and that’s okay! I literally reply to some of my heart peoples messages a month later apologizing for the delay and there’s no love lost because I know they understand lol

3. Lower your expectations – this is a work in progress also and I need to be reminded of this every so often lol but don’t expect anything so you won’t be disappointed. It’s easy to feel a certain way because you feel some things are just the norm and that you would treat situations differently, but people are different and show they care in different ways, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you stop feeling some type of way about certain issues. This goes for family too, I think I presumed and expected that just because people were family they would naturally and/or instinctively help with baby and diapers and be okay with getting milk spilt on them, or soothing my crying baby, but it’s not always the case (which I’ve had to learn lol) Knowing who your support circle is and who you can rely on and trust to just take the initiative and help you when needed without being asked, and being content with that circle, is something I’m learning to be okay with!

4. Live in the moment – maybe it’s because I’m a first-time parent lol but I’m loving being a mama xxx enjoying all the small things and changes and firsts she’s doing and experiencing and I keep reminding myself that she isn’t going to be this small forever and to just take it all in as it happens and I love it xxx especially being on maternity leave from work, I keep reminding myself that there’s no rush, that the purpose of being on leave is to enjoy my baby and spend time with her so why am I antsy to do that and then some?!

5. Be gracious with your spouse/partner – this has been a little difficult, especially at the start when I realized that my life had changed way more than his did. He could still go out with friends as he did before and didn’t have to think about feedings (as much), and one he was back to work and meetings etc. it truly felt like I got handed the short end of the stick with this entire parenthood thing. Finding that balance that works for both of you and your new little family definitely takes time, and lots of communication in order to avoid that buildup and then the outburst when your cup is full (we’ve had some of those lol) but alhamdulillah we’re getting better at it and finding a groove which works for us! I try to see it from his point of view too in terms of he doesn’t get the chance to spend every second with Nunu and bond with her in the way I do and get all the smiles and giggles because he has to work and that he’s doing it all for us and our family. When you think about it logically it 100% makes sense lol but finding the time to think about it logically is a whole other thing! Just remember you’re both in this together and trying to navigate parenthood so be patient and gracious with both yourself and with each other.

6. The rule of ‘one’ – this is so important to remember and my sister had to constantly remind me of this: one activity at a time, one chore at a time, one day at a time. Mama (or Baba), you will not get to everything every single day and that is 100% okay! The faster you learn to accept this, the less pressure you’ll put on yourself to be Wonderwoman/Wonderman and the less disappointed you’ll be at not completing all your tasks!

I was literally trying to do the most with Noura at the beginning and then feeling so burnt out every evening from feeling like I had to do everything in one day or else everything would fall apart. Laundry and cooking dinner and vacuuming and grocery shopping and going to a baby class and taking a walk and writing a blogpost and and and and ufffft! I know most of it was for myself and to make myself feel like I could still do everything plus look after a newborn, but the reality is that you’re still healing. Mentally, emotionally, physically, it’s all different and trying to get back in sync whilst you have to constantly attend to the needs of this little human who yes, at the beginning literally sucks the life out of you. Take. It. Easy. If you give baby a bath, that’s your activity for the day. Dressing him/her up to take a cutesy monthly photo, that’s your activity for the day. Doctors appointment, taking a walk with bubba, one load of laundry, going grocery shopping, one event/activity for the day until you’re ready to make it two. Remember, there’s no real award for best mom/best dad ever. You burning yourself out isn’t going to benefit anyone, especially yourself and baby so take it slow!

There you have it, 6-for-6 xx check back for part 2 where we share 6 things we’ve love loved for Noura over these past 6 months! I

Anything you’d like to add or that you found as a new parents?! Share your sharings in the comments below as I love hearing from you! xoxo