Kristina Rihanoff Kristina Rihanoff

LA with baby Mila!

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay with my blog! I’ve been away for three weeks and in that time, Mila took her first flight across the ocean – she’s a proper traveller now! I was so, so stressed about taking her on my own to the States because Ben was following us later. I thought, what’s Mila going to be like for nine hours on the plane? But at the end of the day she was absolutely fantastic, she slept most of the time, she was really sweet and didn’t cry and interacted with most of the other passengers who spoke to her. People leaving the plane said that they didn’t know there was a baby on board, so that made me feel so good! I really didn’t want to be one of those mums with a crying baby who everyone doesn’t like! But Mila was absolutely amazing.

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Reunited with my best friend

The first week we stayed in Seattle, where I used to live, with my best friend Alex. I haven’t seen Alex for a couple of years. She has two kids herself – three-year-old Milena and six-year-old Max, and I’m his godmother. Yes our daughters have the same name! It was actually Alex’s idea first. It’s a Ukrainian name and Alex is from Ukraine, and when we were choosing baby names she said that she was going to call her daughter that. I absolutely fell in love with Milena too and so did Ben – he didn’t want to hear any other names once he’d heard it! I did think, is it going to be weird if my daughter has the same name as my best friend’s daughter? But it actually isn’t! Obviously we’re still best friends, we’ve known each other for 15 years! But lol, yes, our daughters do have the same names!

It was great for Mila to be around the other kids and Alex’s mum did a lot of babysitting, which was nice because my mum isn’t around right now to help, so it was nice for Mila to have another kind of grandmother! Mila was so happy to be with the other kids, we had a brilliant time! Alex and I have always loved dancing and working out together so we did a lot of hot yoga, Bikram yoga, to get in shape and lose weight. I feel like hot yoga has really prepared me – I feel much stronger. Yoga is very popular right now all over the US, you can find it in every city, and when I used to compete in the States yoga was part of my preparation regime. Hot yoga makes your body lean and more flexible because of the heat in the room, so I was so happy to go to the classes – you feel so good after it! I can’t wait to start rehearsals now for One More Dance and get my dancing shoes back on! Here are some photos of me before and after…

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Dance practice with Gleb in LA

Then we were off to LA, where Ben met us and I had meetings scheduled with Gleb and Elena. Gleb was performing on Dancing with the Stars and the week we watched him, he got all 10s for his Argentine Tango so it was great to see live. The show is incredible and so is Gleb so it was great to see him succeed! I also saw Artem, who was also on Strictly, and some other dancers I used to work with years ago, and everyone was so shocked to see me there! They all said how great I was looking after I had a baby, so I was so happy to hear that!

I had to see Gleb and Elena to sort out our show in December. There was no way that he could come over because of Dancing with the Stars. We did a photoshoot and a bit of dancing, we tried to maximise our time together ahead of our West End show.

Overall we loved our time in LA! We had a great time as a family. We enjoyed the weather, the food, the parks, Santa Monica. The whole trip was fantastic! The flight back was also quite good. It was delayed which we weren’t terribly happy about, but Mila was still a good girl and a very well-behaved baby which makes me happy!

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Swimming lessons

The downside of being away for three weeks is that we’ve missed her swimming lessons with Water Babies. Mila absolutely loves going to Water Babies – she loves being in the water with other babies and the instructors are all great. It felt like she was so strong after those lessons, she was really developing, so I was kind of sad to miss the lessons. We’re definitely going back soon! It’s a great bonding experience with your baby, but it’s also great to not be scared of the water from such an early age. Babies can’t do that much at this age but swimming they can! I’ve decided that unlike me, my daughter is going to be a much better swimmer ha ha! I just want to encourage all the mums out there to give it a try!

The cure to Mila’s cradle cap!

In other baby news, Mila had cradle cap for quite some time. I looked for so many products to try and get rid of it, not everything works, it depends on your baby. Shampoo didn’t work on Mila but I found a cream by Mustela which you leave on your baby overnight and then wash it off in the morning. I used it three times and her cradle cap is completely gone, so I’d totally recommend it to other mums!

I know I’ve just come back from LA, but I’m actually off to Dubai now for a shoot! It’ll be nice and warm there, a great sunny destination for Mila! It’ll be nice to relax because when I get back I’ll have a couple of shows with the lovely Ian Waite from Strictly Come Dancing, and lots of work!

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Readers’ questions

Thank you for your questions. Please tweet @hellomag and @KRihanoff with your questions using the hashtag #AskKristina and I’ll try and answer them in my next blog post! these are a couple I received from readers this week…

Have you got any tips for breastfeeding and going back to work?

I exclusively breastfed Mila until she was three months old and then I started introducing a little bit of instant formula in preparation for our long-haul flight to the US. I thought on the flight I would need to take formula for her, to comfort her when we’re taking off and landing so her ears wouldn’t pop. Thankfully she was completely fine with the bottle and it was much easier for me to not be stressed out and have a little bottle with her. I still breastfeed her 90 per cent of the time, but if I need to have a bottle I have one on me. It makes her full for quite a long time. I thought I would only exclusively breastfeed her for quite a few months but with the flight, I decided to try formula and it was actually a good experience and she liked it too. It’s a very personal thing but you could try it if you need to go back to work. I think as long as you’re doing it 50/50 the baby is still getting a lot of nutrients, but it’s a personal thing!

As for going back to work, it was extremely stressful leaving Mila the first couple of times but it is what it is. We’re working mums and we just have to do it. It’s hard to juggle, to leave your baby, you do feel a bit guilty but remember you’re working for your family. When I left Mila now with my friend’s mum to go to yoga, it actually gave me that little bit of freedom and that sense of, I’m alive again, I can do things! There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re constantly putting pressure on ourselves and questioning if we’re doing the right things, but we’re only humans. We shouldn’t neglect ourselves because if you’re happy, then your baby will be happy. When I come back home after not seeing Mila for a few hours, I just can’t get enough of her. I shower her with cuddles and kisses! So don’t feel guilty. You’re doing everything you can for your baby and your family!

Is Mila’s a mummy’s girl or a daddy’s girl?

Oh I think I have to say she’s a Mummy’s girl! Just because she’s spent the majority of the past three weeks with me. But you know she’s very well-behaved with Daddy, I think she knows that when she’s around me she can have a little cry and misbehave a bit more! I read somewhere that babies know when they’re with mums, they can misbehave because they know they’re going to get that extra attention. But she’s brilliant with everybody actually, she always gives everyone smiles, she’s very sociable and very happy to be around other people. She’s a happy baby so that’s the main thing!

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I’ll be posting in a couple of weeks again.

Until then!

Kristina x

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