It’s An Age Old Issue: Crucial Questions To Ask Before Taking Your Baby Abroad


The following is a guest post, and does not necessarily endorse the opinion of HaveSippyWillTravel nor myself.

Whether this is your first or fourth kid, the struggles of the newborn stage and the fact that you weren’t able to fly for the last few months of your pregnancy (or at least not without some concerns for overseas labor), means that you’re probably gasping for a vacation. Heck, you may even spend those late-night feeds researching accommodation and letting your cursor hover over that tempting ‘book now’ button. Only, you can’t quite bring yourself to commit because you can’t shake one pressing question – is your baby old enough for international travel?

international travel with a baby

After all, looking after a fresh baby can be hard enough at home, let alone when you’re factoring for things like flights, unfamiliar accommodation, and more. Admittedly, many parents claim that around 3-6 months is a great time for a baby’s first flight (certainly compared with the toddler years), but experts like Lonely Planet co-founder Maureen Wheeler recommend waiting until at least the age of three. 

Realistically, though, no one can know the ‘right’ time better than you. So, instead of getting stuck in a constant back and forth about your first trip as an entire family, consider the following crucial elements that can highlight once and for all whether you’re all ready for traveling long-haul. 

What would you need to take?

The days of slinging a few sandals and bikinis into a tote bag and jetting off are long behind you, but the amount of luggage you’ll need to take will still be dictated a great deal by the age of your youngest child. For instance, if you’re traveling when your baby is younger than a year, you’ll need to consider everything from sterilizers to bottles, travel cots, and of course, a single or double stroller (depending on how many children you’re taking along for the ride). All of this is cumbersome, and not exactly suitable for your hand luggage, meaning that you’ll likely need to check multiple items into the bag hold, often on a specialized basis. Not to mention that it’ll be much harder to get anywhere when you reach the airport at the other end. This can get pricey, not to mention stressful, but it’s something that you can significantly reduce by waiting even a year or, as Wheeler recommends, until the age of three when things like bottles, strollers, and cot sleeping will be well in your past. 

Will the heat be a problem?

Heat should also always factor in your decision about whether or not travel is a good idea for a particularly young baby. After all, while people can and do manage in even extreme heat, it isn’t always fair or safe to impose this on a tiny baby. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests avoiding taking a baby outside in a heat index greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Ignoring this suggestion and going somewhere that’s continually hotter than this could result in an incredibly restless, unhappy baby, as well as opening the doors for worrying health conditions like heat stroke and sunburn. The good news is that these risks iron themselves out as babies learn to regulate their body heat through sweat, etc. by around 1.5 – 2 years old. Until then, though, heading somewhere hot could well end up being a horrible experience for everyone.

Will your child realistically remember the trip?

Especially if you’re paying extra to haul all of their stuff to your chosen destination, it’s also worth considering whether your child is going to remember/truly benefit from this experience. Of course, on the one hand, you’re also heading abroad for the sake of your sanity, but there’s little point in spending a small fortune on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Barbados if there’s not even the slightest chance that your child is going to notice they’re anywhere different. In fact, until your baby begins to develop their awareness/form memories between the ages of two to three, you would be far better off getting an affordable vacation fix closer to home. Then, when your youngest is old enough to benefit from the experience, you’ll have a whole lot more money in the bank for everything from hiking trips to Nepal to a round-the-world trip to Europe that’s guaranteed to be unforgettable for everyone involved.

Putting travel aside for any period can be tough, especially if you’re dealing with the emotions and pressures of having a newborn. Unfortunately, jetting away isn’t always the answer, as you’ll see for yourself if you take the time to address these questions before you go. 

Can You Migrate Without the Help Of A Lawyer?

When you want to migrate to Canada, one of the questions on your mind might be the requirements you need. While they are not explicitly included in the conditions, you might wonder whether immigration services are necessary. To give a straightforward answer, you can migrate to Canada even without the help of a lawyer or a consultant.

However, the better question would be should you hire one? The answer would be yes. While you can handle all the forms, requirements, and tasks on your own, there are just so many advantages to getting an immigration lawyer to help you, especially when you want to move to Canada permanently.

Immigration lawyer services might cost some money, but they are usually within most individuals’ budgets. If you want higher acceptance rates and a more straightforward application process, getting the service of a lawyer can give you that. In particular, the Canadian immigration assistance from can be one of your best choices.

Here are the possible reasons why getting the service of an immigration consultant would be ideal for you.


You want to speed up your application process.

There are various reasons why your application process is taking too long. You might not have all of the necessary documents. You have a hard time filling out forms. There are some steps that you do not understand. Whatever they are, your application takes longer when you do it on your own.

However, if you get the service of a consultant, they can help you get a faster process. They would help you in securing all of your documents. They can also fill out most parts of the forms for you. They are used to every step and would easily interpret them. 


Your application had already been rejected before.

If you have applied in the past but received a rejection, then it means that something was lacking in your previous application. You might have failed to fulfill a particular requirement. If you try to apply on your own again, you might be accepted this time around. However, you can get more security in your application process when you get a lawyer to handle it for you.

There might be some qualifications that you have failed to show on your own. No matter what it is, it might be hard to determine which one is it if you are doing it by yourself. However, with an immigration service to help you, they can determine what parts of your application need to be polished. They can arrange your documents and prepare you to get accepted on your next try. 


You do not have a spotless record.

You might have committed a minor crime in the past. Because of this, you might think that the chances of immigration to Canada are zero. However, if the crime you committed is relatively small, you can still be accepted if you get the service of a Canadian immigration consultant.

They would handle your situation because you are not the first individual to do it. As long as you have not committed major crimes, Canadian immigration lawyers would be able to help you out. They would know the right people to talk to handle your situation. 


You are having a hard time getting all your requirements.

Are you having a hard time locating all of the required documents? Is your application being stalled because you cannot get all the requirements? While you can try your best to find everything yourself, you might slow down your application. If you try and cannot locate them all, it can even be detrimental to your immigration plans.

With the service of an immigration lawyer, you will have extra hands to assist you. Depending on how reliable their service is, they should locate your documents for you. They might need to ask for your signature to secure them. However, as a dedicated office for immigration, they would have contacts with different agencies. 


You have to handle the application process of your entire family.

It is already challenging to ensure that you can prepare for your application process independently. This difficulty increases when you are preparing for other people, too. If you are looking to migrate with other family members, there would be additional requirements that you have to fulfill.

You would be able to handle group applications on your own. However, it is better to get an immigration assistance service. This is because family applications have stricter requirements. If you have other tasks at hand, you might not focus on them entirely. In that case, you might increase your rejection chances.

A brief history of PLC

Many engineering students or even regular people ask themselves what is a PLC. In this article we will try to answer this question, providing some information about the history of plc.


A programmable logic controller is a computer device used by an industrial control system. It can be used wherever control devices are needed because PLC offers a flexible way to soften components together – this means that the information can be transmitted electronically as opposed to hard-working components but are saved. The way the PLC works is to rely on internal mechanisms, meaning that to create a PLC control circuit, one needs to write a program according to the system’s requirements. Then this program is applied to chips.

PLC in history 

When it comes to automation, we have to look back to the late 1960s and consider the importance of automated manufacturing processes as a logical controller (PLC) in the industry. In 1968 when General Motors’ automated transmission division proposed electronic alternatives to the rigid wired relay system, the relay had to be tightened in a certain order for the machine to run properly. If there is a problem, the whole thing stops working. Troubleshooting is not a quick process.

The solution to all this came in 1968, and that was PLC programming. Computer control was beginning to gain some attention at the time, and the winning proposal for the General Motors issue came from Bedford Associates, whose team consisted of two people. It became known as “PLC”. 

The PLC kept getting ready. Previously PLC relays were capable of working with coils, timers, counters, input and output signals. Evolution included analog input signals, analog output signals, floating-point math, improved timers and counters, math functions, drum sequencers, and single shots. As their functionality increased, so did the number of PLC as well as programming devices. It is also pertinent to note that the automotive industry is still one of the biggest customers of PLC, considering that it is the industry is where PLC started. However, given their functionality, PLCs can be used in many other industries. For an example, PLC can be used when it comes to automatic wastewater systems.

As long as the method is rational, PLC can take care of many functions, and is capable of working on the whole circuit control, according to the contents of the written program. Even though PLCs have been around for a while and there are other ways to do things, PLCs have laid their foundations for decades and are still popular. They can be very flexible when it comes to writing programs, they are compact, economical, and very reliable. There are no (or very few) mechanical failures or program accidents. There are many devices in the market now, most of which are manufactured by foreign companies.

Rules of Vintage Block Game

I am certain that in one way or the other, you have interacted with some kind of block games. At first, the game may seem tricky to understand but, with a few verses of instructions, you are good to go. For example, if you are playing the famous Jenga block game which inspired blockoduko.

Jenga is a block game synonymous with the Savanna of East Africa. The game was introduced by British board game designer Leslie Scott born in Tanganyika, present-day Tanzania. The word Jenga is derived from ‘kujenga’, a Swahili word meaning building.

A few years later, Scott migrated to Ghana with her family, where she founded Jenga. In the early 1970s, Leslie Scott had a simple idea of building stacks of wooden blocks for as high as she could. To materialize her idea, she bought small pieces of wood in a sawmill in Takoradi, Ghana, where she was currently living and used them to build a pillar.

At first, the idea seemed crazy, but when she visualized it and showed it to her family, a cloud of interest descended on the game. In January 1983, Scott launched the game at London Toy Fair, introducing it to the world. She later began selling the game under its iconic brand name Jenga through her Leslie Scott Associates.

One of the earliest forms of the game can be found at the V&A Museum of Childhood. This game has been sitting here since 1982, thanks to Leslie’s revolutionary idea and creativity.

Rules of the game 

Though most of Jenga’s rules are still in play today, there are a few changes that were made to standardize the game. Jenga is played by 54 blocks with minor variations to complicate the stalking process.

Generally, each block measures 0.59 in × 0.98 in × 2.95 in or 1.5 cm × 2.5 cm × 7.5 cm. To start playing the game, a gamer sets up an initial tower build of 18 layers of 3 blocks per layer. However, when building the layers, blocks are placed adjacent to each other and at a right angle with the previous layer. In simple terms, if one layer of three blocks is facing in an east-west direction, the other layer will be facing north-south.

After building the tower, each player is required to remove one block of wood from any of the 18 levels other than the second last layer to the top. The removed block is then placed on the top layer to complete it.

Blocks may be removed from any layer, and the game will end after the tower collapses and the last person to ring it down is obviously the winner. Also, when playing, players are allowed to use only one hand, and each turn lasts for 10 seconds only.

Block games such as Jenga are easy to play. You need to observe key rules such as using one hand in the game and keeping time. But the winner is the last person to bring the stalk down.

How to Boost Your Sales with Digital Staging

Prospective home buyers searching for houses on sale go through several listings every time they visit the internet. Needless to say, offers with blank, empty rooms are quickly dismissed as they scroll on to more interesting listings staged traditionally or virtually. Traditional home staging is, however, not as popular as staging. Traditional staging would make you incur huge expenses in hiring furniture, transportation, decor, and photography yet you still get static photos. With it, you get more dynamic elements, 3D designs, and styles. Bella Staging is going to help you out with digital staging once you’re ready to start.

However, as a realtor or home seller, you have to put extra effort when staging virtually. This is if you want to sell your house(s). In case you are wondering how you can pull off scroll stopping digitally staged homes and drive sales, this is how you do it:

Create Visually Appealing Rooms Using Digital Staging

It goes without saying that furnished properties sell more than those with empty rooms lacking character. You can use Digital staging to transform your empty house into a hospitable cozy home. Just make sure you have high-quality photos, then incorporate the best realistic-looking furniture and décor exhibiting class and style. 

Digital stagers have a big portfolio of design elements. Thus, you will not be limited to using physically available furnishings. No matter your preference or your realtor’s style recommendations, you will always find design elements that match your taste.

Offer a Flexible Customization for Your Listed Property

With the numerous design elements you can use to virtually stage your house, you will never run out of options of styling. Different prospective clients come with different expectations and preferences and with digital staging you can meet their needs. 

For example, you may come up with four different design styles. This is to meet the needs of four different types of clients. With one house, you can stage its interior to suit a big family, a small one, an elderly couple, and newlyweds. 

Alternatively, you can always be open to switching designs for a house to give clients varying designs that meet their tastes. This is a sure way of hooking prospective buyers to your properties hence achieving your sales goals.

Go an Extra Mile with 3D Floor Plans

Whether you are exhibiting an empty house or a staged house; virtually or physically; the listed property must have a floor plan. While most floor plans come in boring 2D drawings, you can give yours an edge over the rest with 3D floor plans. 

3D designs not only give your clients who cannot interpret dimensions an easier time, but they also give colorful and impressive layouts. In essence, your 3D floor plan will be a miniature version of your digitally staged house. Hence, relatable to the overall outlook. One look at a 3D floor plan even without seeing the overall house design is enough to make clients want to buy your house.

Give Prospective Buyers a Virtual Tour

Modern technologies have made significant contributions in all sectors of our lives including the real estate business. More people are opting for online shopping and searching for information before making crucial buying decisions.  With this in mind, why not immerse your prospective buyers into your sales pool with a 360 view virtual tour?  

This view is a great convincing option since the home will appear real as the clients virtually tour the place. The camera views in this 360 view keep changing while zooming in on the interior details. By the end of it, you will sell your property even before prospective buyers physically visit it.

Create a Refreshing Outdoor Experience

While interior images for marketing a condominium or an apartment may suffice, selling a villa, holiday home or family home requires more. People buy family homes or holiday homes for more than just fulfilling their housing needs. 

They go for the extra outdoor experience as they see themselves hosting and entertaining guests or spending quality time outdoors. However, actual landscaping or outdoor renovations are quite costly. You wouldn’t invest in this unless you are sure of your client’s preferences. The best you can do is clear out your yard removing any debris and do a cleanout.

In this case, outdoor digital staging is the ideal solution. It would be effective and save you money in the process. With special staging software, you can do an outdoor renovation without physically altering any design on the house. 

The possibilities are limitless. You can remove unwanted elements and add decorations, green lawns, fire pits, gazebos and so much more. In the end, you will create a refreshing outdoor experience that prospective buyers can bet their money on.

Final Thoughts

Other than being convenient, fast, and producing quality impressionable photos, digital staging has so much more to offer. This is if you are ready to explore your creativity. While critics view it as a deceiving technique to prospective homeowners, they are not far from the truth. If you let your creative juices get the better of you to an extent of masking or altering the real state of your house, you are bound to lose clients. Instead, be creative with your designs but be honest about the real state of your property to build trust. Digital staging should be your conduit in boosting sales. This is by helping clients imagine the possibilities the property has in store for them.

The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Program Awards Bears for Cares Children’s Books and Toys as July’s ‘Project of the Month’

books for kids

A youth service program for young people of all ages, Roots & Shoots, an initiative of the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute, awarded their Project of the Month for July to Bears for Cares children’s books and plush toys, designed for little readers to learn about the beauty of nature, the endangered state of wildlife,  treating animals kindly and creating a more compassionate world.

In making the announcement, Adrienne Bermingham, Roots & Shoots USA National Program Director said, “This award goes to Bears for Cares for making a difference for people, other animals and the environment we share with your world-changing project!”

Authored by youth writer Lotus Kay, who is passionate about animals, the environment, and endangered species, and illustrated by Chey Diehl, the four books in the Bears for Cares series are “More Beautiful than Heaven,” “Billie the Octopus,” “A Thanksgiving for the Turkeys,” and “Jenny the Chimpanzee.” The books are told in rhyme and inspire children to care for and protect the earth, our environment, and our fellow wildlife inhabitants. Companion plush toys are available for each book.

Bears for Cares  and the books will be featured in The Jane Goodall Institute’s “Good for All News” blog on the  Roots & Shoots website, along with being promoted through the non-profit’s social media outlets, with a particular focus on “Jenny the Chimpanzee” in conjunction with World Chimpanzee Day, July 14, 2021.

A bonus to “Jenny the Chimpanzee” are inspirational quotes from world-renowned ethologist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and founder of the The Jane Goodall Institute.

Upon receiving the books and toys, Dr. Goodall sent the following note to Lotus: “Dear Lotus, It is fantastic that you are writing these books – thank you so much for sending me some copies, including, of course, Jenny. And it is such a good idea to have soft toys with them. Children’s books are really important – and even more so because of the pandemic. Congratulations.”

Books are 26 pages, printed on recycled acid-free paper and are available as hardback ($14.95) and paperback ($9.95). Published by Eifrig PublishingBears for Cares books are recommended for ages 4-9. The books are also available with a companion plush toy from each story and retail for $49.95 each. To order the sets, visit Hugg-A-Planet.

The Bears for Cares campaign was founded by Lotus and her sister Jazmin Kay on Endangered Species Day A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all books and toys will be donated to the Roots & Shoots program.

Pandemic Lockdown Weight Gain & the Medical Reasons for it

At a time when Americans should have been focused on their health, as a population they were anything but. During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown the average American gained two pounds a month, according to a study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Network Open).

But the reasons for this trend were the result of brain chemistry that evolved in humans over the millennia, according to well respected neurologist, Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative. He described these on his regular podcast that can be heard on Apple PodcastsAudacyHouston Healthcare Initiative, iHeartPodcast AddictPodbeanBacktracksSoundcloud, and just about anywhere podcasts can be heard.

Stress & More Stress

Dr. Goldstein told his audience that the main reason for the weight gain was related to stress. “The main reason is stress, especially given the really bad news about the seriousness of the pandemic and the controversies about different treatments early on,” he told his listeners. “That was stress of a long duration which exacerbated the physiological accompaniments of stress.”

Fight or Flight Responses

As part of the ‘fight or flight’ response, the human brain goes on high alert. To maintain a high state of alertness requires more energy for the brain in the form of calories. “Heightened states of stress and anxiety like this require more calories to keep the brain on high alert, Dr. Goldstein stated. “We eat sugar to get a boost of energy. Sugar gets converted to energy faster but does not last long, requiring more sugar. It is a cycle that is unhealthy short term, but really bad long term.”

Long Term Fear of the Unknown

On top of that stress was the unknown. No one living had ever experienced anything like the Covid-19 pandemic and closure of practically everything. According to Dr. Goldstein, not knowing was a huge problem for the American psyche. Research shows that the unknown makes people more stressed than when they know something is about to happen. “In late March, April, and May of last year we really didn’t know what we were dealing with, in terms of how contagious the Covid-19 virus was or how potentially fatal it might be,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Obviously then, the unknowns of the virus and the dramatic worldwide lock downs were things none of us had any experience with and that is the perfect recipe for stress, anxiety and the overeating that accompanies both.”

To Flee or Not to Flee

Stress like this is in reaction to the ‘fight or flight’ response that is hard-wired into the consciousness of humans. According to the web site Psychology Tools, the fight or flight response is ‘an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee.’ When the duration of this automatic response is months or even over an entire year, part of the evidence that Americans endured all this stress is registered on the scale.

Brain Chemistry

So what in the human psyche links eating with stress? “Humans evolved such that when faced with stress, the body does what it must to keep the brain on high alert,” Dr. Goldstein reported. “It decreases levels of some hormones and brain chemicals to discourage behaviors that won’t help in an urgent situation, and it increases other hormones that will.” Dr. Goldstein added more details, “our ancestors had to outrun predators and other humans or be ready to fight them. Thus, we evolved to release adrenaline in response to the fight or flight response. From an evolutionary perspective, that stress responses are tuned to environmental uncertainty suggests that they gave people a better chance at survival, depending on who or what was chasing you.”

A Gut Feeling

Dr. Goldstein also explained that there was a connection between the brain and the stomach. “The brain is connected to the gut through a two-way communication system called the vagus nerve,” he said. “When you are stressed, your body inhibits the signals that travel through the vagus nerve and slows down the digestive process.”  Eating for comfort can be a natural response to stress, but when combined with the lower motivation to exercise and consumption of low-nutrient, calorie-dense food, people can and did gain weight.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit

Dealing with Back-to-School Struggles Now – Pandemic Pandemonium


back to schoolWas your child having difficulty managing at home or distance learning? Is he or she worried about going back to school? I can tell you, my youngest is in a panic about going back, he’s very worried. While at home learning was necessary for both the safety of the children and the teachers and staff, it has definitely had it’s negative effects on quite a few of the kids. Socialization, a sense of normalcy, routine, etc. Being stuck at home was hard on everyone, and it seems that the kids took it extremely rough. If your child is returning to school this fall, check out these tips from Dr. Bregman, child psychiatrist, starting next sentence.

While the Covid-19 virus has been less of a medical concern for children than adults, statistics show that it is taking a major toll on their mental health. Children’s hospitals across the country are showing a significant surge in admissions for everything from generalized anxiety to suicide. 

Returning to school in August may be much more challenging than the typical “end-of-summer bummer.” Parents will be paramount in helping them through obstacles and the time to start is now.

Children who suffer from pre-existing mental health disorders like anxiety/OCD, PTSD, or depression are expected to have the hardest time when school resumes. But what about children who didn’t have mental health issues prior to the pandemic? 

In my private psychiatry practice, I am now seeing a children’s version of Cave Syndrome, a term I coined which describes people with a fear of leaving their house (or cave) due to stressors that developed or worsened during the pandemic. Unlike adults with Cave Syndrome who are fearful of leaving the house to go to work or run errands, kids with Cave Syndrome are worried about returning to school.

New Factors

Even children without a tendency towards anxiety have seen their routines get disrupted. Some

have seen their family suffer from Covid-19, lose their jobs, and experience financial difficulties. With more than 600,000 deaths nationally, there are few people who haven’t been impacted by loss.  

Everyone was talking about the “new normal” a few months ago. Well, there’s nothing normal about it. Now we’re seeing the consequences when treating young patients for anxiety and fear-based problems they may never have developed if not for the pandemic. In a way, it’s an arrested childhood development.

Recognize Your Child’s Concerns

You can spot difficulties by observing your child closely. Do they make excuses to stay at home? Do they talk frequently about not wanting to return to school? Are the choices they make based in fear and anxiety as opposed to rationality and necessity? If they seem like they would rather be grounded than return to school, they may need professional help.

Guidance to Move Your Child Forward

You know your child better than anyone else. The most important thing you can do immediately is to talk to him or her privately. Speak to them with honesty, love, and caring. Let them know that it’s ok to have these feelings and that you will be there to support them every step along the way. It’s also good for them to realize they are not alone in feeling anxious and fearful at this time.  

For younger children, talk to them about the first day of school with a sense of levity and good humor. Framing it in a positive light may work wonders. In addition, you can give him or her something from home, a memento, to hold onto as a comfort mechanism.

[Read more…]