When you're closing in on the big 3-0, you naturally want to celebrate in a grand way. For my husband's birthday, choosing the destination was easy. Deciding if we would bring our toddler with us was another story.
I have no problem admitting that I am an overprotective mama bear. My daughter is damn near two years old, and she has only been babysat by three family members for no more than a few hours at a time. Daycare you ask? Nope, shorty is with mommy 24/7. So, when hubby started throwing around the idea of a baby-free vacation, I wanted to be cool and give this hard-working man everything he wanted for his birthday, but internally I was in a panic.
Ultimately, he wasn't comfortable with spending so much time away from his little girl either. After all, we vowed to be that black couple that traveled the world with our kids in tow. So, off we went on our first family trip to Cuba. And you know what? We discovered that Baecation-ing with a tot is totally doable. If you're down to make a few adjustments, you can definitely sneak in sexy time with bae while traveling with small children. Here's how:
Writer Alisa in Cuba with her little one in tow
Stick to a Schedule
If your child is anything like mine, she functions better on a schedule. A missed nap or snack will transform your little angel into the Tasmanian devil and ruin everybody's good time. Stick to your usual nap routine. It's been proven that children who nap during the day sleep better at night. Don't fret about losing precious daylight. This presents the perfect opportunity for you two to squeeze in some alone time. If you've planned a full day excursion and cannot get your kid back to a room for a nap, a baby carrier will be your best friend. The Ergobaby is our favorite, but there are plenty of other that also hold up to 44 pounds.
Ditch the Hotel and Opt for an Airbnb
It's hard to pretend that you're on a romantic getaway for two when there's a toddler snoring a few feet away from you. Try to rent a two-bedroom apartment instead of a hotel. When the baby is down for the night, you get what you really flew thousands of miles for, vacation sex.
Alisa's husband and daughter wandering the streets of Cuba
Take the Party Outside
After a long day, your baby may be ready for bed, but that doesn't mean you have to call it a night. In the famous words of Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What?" Give your munchkin a goodnight smooch and move your party outdoors. A rental with a private rooftop or a large balcony with a sea view, will make you feel like you never left the beach.
Traveling with your kid will look and feel differently than it used to. Sure, you lose out on the romantic hotel stays where you two have the option of turning a king size bed into a private island. But exposing your little one to the great big world will give you other types of feels. A sleeping child will allow for plenty of alone time. After all, nothing helps a child sleep better than a day full of exciting new adventures.
When the coast is clear, get creative and make it work, even if that means getting it poppin' on a nearby bathroom floor. Just remember not to wake the baby. ;)
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports