Flying Squirrel. A New Kind Of Sleep Sack by Sleeping Baby. *GIVEAWAY!*

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…notice blanket all the way at the end of his bed!

Every night I sneak into our baby’s room to re-tuck him back in and ensure his room is warm enough. Some nights I used to even turn the heat up in the house just to make sure he was warm. The winter months are brutal here in Ohio and our little one makes it worse by NEVER staying covered up. I always thought sleep sacks, and ‘toddler sleeping bags’ were unnecessary and ridiculous looking. A cozy fuzzy blanket is MUCH cuter. We are well past the stage of not being allowed to have extra bedding in his bed, so swaddles and sacks shouldn’t be needed, right? WRONG. BK#2 HATES being covered. He appeases us, snuggles up with his lovey, lets us cover him with an adorable Aden & Anias dream blanket, and then the second that we walk out of his room he pushes it to the opposite end of his crib. Really kid?!?!

Thus, began the search for the perfect toddler sleeping solution. I really wanted a way to help my baby sleep without waking, because he was cold, but he is much too old for traditional swaddles. I found some awesome sleep sacks, but the fact that they are a sack makes him pretty mad. He was getting used to it, but I kept on searching to find something to keep him warm AND happy.

I FOUND THE BEST SOLUTION FOR ALL AGES!our-brands-zipadeezip.jpg

Sleeping Baby has the perfect products for infants transitioning out of swaddles, for toddlers like mine refusing to stay covered and warm at night, for preschoolers needing a sleep solution for nap time at school, even teethers,  and necklaces for mom!

Sleeping Baby is AMAZING COMPANY with an even better story. They truly have a heart for their customers and LOVE what they do! They started their company making something to transition their daughter out of the traditional swaddle and created the revolutionary Zipadee-Zip, that was discovered and aired on Shark Tank! I could go on and on about this couple, because they are truly an inspiration to all parents to follow your dreams and to do what is best for you and your family, but I really want to talk about the FLYING SQUIRREL so I encourage you to read all about it here!Sleeping-Baby-522x348.jpg

WHAT IS A FLYING SQUIRREL?FS_Woodlands_Blue_Front_large.png

  • They are an extension of the Zippy because they’re the same basic shape, but have option openings/covers for the hands and feet.
  • The convertible hand and foot covers (like a new born onsie’s optional mitten flip overs )are to  to keep your little one extra cozy and warm without the need for socks. Seriously, ADORABLE! BK#2 hated the mitten option on his hands, but it gave me all the feels remembering  the itty bitty baby onsies. I am going to keep trying and maybe he will indulge me and let me cover his hands!
  • It comes in sizes 2T-5T.
  • Fleece or SUPER soft cotton option. We received the cotton material. – I suggest the cotton for spring and the fleece for winter months. (I put a set of PJ’s under the cotton material, because it wasn’t as heavy for winter as I normally would use.)
  • At LEAST a dozen prints for each gender, and many are gender neutral!sleepingbabyburritobuzzzippersleepingbabyburritobuzzzipper2
  • Zipper coverings! The top of the zipper is always enclosed and there is a layer of fabric covering the zipper on the inside to ensure you don’t snag your baby or their clothes.
  • They run big and look at little baggy on your child. That is how they are supposed to be! Don’t worry! You want your baby to be able to move around freely in their bed AND if gives the product more longevity! All parents know that baby gear lasts for no time at all.
  • They wash up wonderfully! They stay super soft and buttery, and the print doesn’t fade one bit!
  • Fairly priced at $36.95 . This might sound a little high for “pj’s”, but for sleepers and sleep sacks its just right and around the same price as SIMILAR products on the market. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE LIKE THIS DESIGN AVAILABLE!

WE LOVE THE FLYING SQUIRREL SO MUCH WE ARE GIVING ONE AWAY!!


flyingsquirrelgiveawayburritobuzz

How to enter:

  1. Follow @burritobuzz on Instagram
  2. Follow @zipadeezip
  3. Like ORIGINAL POST
  4. Comment on ORIGINAL POST with your child’s gender and size you want to win!
  5. Extra entries: Tag a friend! (One tag per comment please!)
  6. Giveaway will start January 30,2017 at 8:00am EST and will end at 8:00pm EST on February 1, 2017. We will announce winner February 2nd!

GOOD LUCK!

To stay up to date on all their new products be sure to follow Sleeping Baby on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube! They have giveaways every week and are always sharing useful information!

~Amanda


**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

 

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Two Under Two Diaper Bag- JuJuBe Review

jujubeWhen BK#1 was around 6 months old I purchased this diva of a bag! I was shocked by the price, but after looking at review videos, and looking at all the stats I HAD to have it! I am a bag girl, and my little Carter’s bag  was not holding up! I knew that, in general, quality meant a higher price tag, so I sucked it up and went to my local boutique,  {Shop local! Shop Local! SHOP LOCAL! I will get into that in another post, but its phenomenal what it does for our economy to shop small business! That is another post though! But, I mean it,  either order online from a small business or go find one!}  and purchased my first Ju-Ju- Be!

I will never go back!

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All contents for two under two!

I said a while back, in a previous post that I would talk about my BFF! (Literally and physically- that’s the bag’s name) This diaper bag is my bag, by toddler’s bag, AND my 4 mo old’s bag! Keep reading and you will see how!

This is our Ju-Ju-Be. The BFF – Queen Of The Nile

Lets just go over what this bag has to offer!

Front “mommy pocket” I keep MORE than I keep in my small purse in this pocket!  My contents: Notepad, pen, wallet,business cards, lipstick, sunglasses, perfume, anti- bac, tissues, vitamins (in case I forget to take them that day…it happens more times than I would like to admit), hair ties, bobby pins, and my portable phone charger.jujube

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Mommy Pocket

Cell phone pocket jujube small pocket lined with super soft cotton to keep phone from getting scratched.

 

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I always keep a cup of water for my toddler with me.
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Even though my baby HATES bottles, I try to always have a pumped bottle with us, just for emergencies.

2 Exterior insulated bottle pockets– With “Thinsulate by 3M”. It keeps bottles cold for hours and warm for quite a while!

Memory foam changing pad included – Back pocket. I keep papers from the doctor, church bulletins etc. in this pocket also. It keeps them flat and unwrinkled.

jujubeJujube

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It has double zippers on most pockets, which is nice for quick access, but the tinkering makes me kinda crazy sometimes. I tuck one pull inside the bag and close.

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Messenger strap

Detachable and adjustable messenger strap has removable memory foam shoulder pad & can be shortened to tote strap length.

jujubeOptional shoulder strapsI only use this option! Two under two? I need all the hands I can get!

**My husband also loves that he can just throw it on his back, and doesn’t feel like he is carrying a purse.

When you open the bag, it has “Picture pockets“, but I keep small items and coupons in these pocketsjujube.jujube

Inside organization includes: 4  pockets, 3 zippered pockets & lots of  open space!jujube

Two under two requires a lot of organization period, but my diaper bag is very methodical and has some very specific items, so I thought I would share exactly what I pack in this gem, just to help you get an idea of what you might need!

I designate one back zipper pocket as another mommy pocket. I don’t want my toddler tossing tampons around the store when she decides that its time to open up and go through the diaper bag. So at least they are kind of concealed, sanitary, and away from grimy little hands! jujube jujube

In the opposite zipper pocket I keep some emergency ‘medical’ essentials. (You can purchase all of these items at Target or Babies R Us. The clippers are from babies R us, they aren’t my favorite pair, but they are pretty cool, because they have a light.)

Being a stay at home mom, we have the opportunity to visit grandparents and great grandparents a lot more than most. They typically don’t have baby essentials stocked in their medicine cabinets. So I like to have them with me just for emergencies.

I say ‘just for emergencies’ a lot, but it comes from experience! I have found I would rather have it in the bag, and not ever have to use it, rather than that one time where my toddler is losing her mind because her molars are coming in, I have tried every possible option to make her feel better, and I don’t have any Tylenol with me! jujube I haven’t used that lanolin in 3 months, but the second I take it out of the bag, I will want it the next time I’m feeding in the Target dressing room!  jujubeYou just never know when you are going to need things like this as a mommy.

jujube jujube Diapering Items- I keep some sort of diaper paste and powder in the far right open pocket for easy access. My diaper cream is dependent on how their little butts are doing. This cream is my favorite for keeping diaper rash away. (Up and up’s version of aquaphor =half the price)

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I also stand up my diapers, rather than lay them flat, to make them easier to pull out.

My babies wear Up and Up diapers and wipes,  and although they are 17 months apart, they are only one size apart and their diapers look identical at quick glance. So, I separate with the wipes for easy access.jujube I recommend keeping a few diapers for each baby. Your toddler might not even need a diaper while you are out, but it is always better to be safe than sorry!

I always keep a spare outfit for both babies, two burp cloths, and a nursing cover.

jujubeI stack them on the left side with clothes on the bottom, nursing cover in the middle, and burp clothes on top.jujube

In the side left pocket, and remaining two back pockets, I keep odd and ends: Binkies, bath supplies, plastic utensils, a few hair clips, toys, and teethers. jujube

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It looks a little like Tetris, but everything fits super easy!
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SNACKS – ‘Nilla wafers, yogurt raisins and a fruit/veggie squeezie.

jujube jujube jujube  jujubeLast, but not least, before I leave the house I always throw some snacks in! A full toddler is a happy toddler!!!

jujubeThe bottom of the bag is structured and has luggage feet! This is super nice so your bag doesn’t get scuffed and/or ripped.

The entire bag is coated with their Teflon® fabric protector to help you wipe away any mess and prevents stains.

“Agion® treatment protects the liner by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.”

Each corner has crumb drains, so when completely unzipped you can just shake the bag out!jujube

Annddddddd ….Drumroll please!!! It is machine Washable!!!!!! Fantastic feature all in itself, because most bags of this quality are in  a DO NOT wash category!

The only Con for this bag, is that it is pricey, and once you like it, you tend to want more. Don’t follow them on social media, or you will end up drooling and purchasing more!

Two under two is a blast! It’s a lot of work, and requires a lot of prep during nap times, but it is possible to not completely lose your mind….some days! I am 4 months in and I am learning new things every day to make life with babies a little less scary. What do you do to make life with babies easier?

~Amanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levana Lila Monitor {Review}

I spent a decent amount of time reading reviews before putting items onto my baby registry. Of course, everyone has a different opinion so I tend to go with the general consensus. I (mostly) like Levana products, but this Lila monitor is the exception.

51gFRPuBgvL._SY355_The monitor has mixed reviews. It’ll run you around $120, and can easily be found in most stores and online retailers.

I, of course, wanted a video monitor that wouldn’t cost $400-$500 (crazy.) While my son slept in our room for the first 6 weeks or so I definitely wanted to be able to keep a close eye on him when he moved into his own room (he had severe reflux and had several choking episodes when he was itty bitty.)

This monitor was a giant disappointment. 

It interferes with any wifi signal and cuts out. I HAVE to turn my wifi off on my phone at night for the camera to work (since it sits docked right next to my phone.) I can’t change my wifi settings, so I guess I’ll continue to run up my cell phone data since the monitor is incompatible with the waves. (Come on Levana– most households have wifi, so this just isn’t acceptable.)

The picture is rough, at best. The night vision is good, but the monitor REALLY struggles when it’s not dark enough for the night vision and not bright enough to create a good daytime photo. It’s grainy and has a pretty poor picture.

-The interface is clunky. Like, if Windows 98 were a baby monitor, this would be that monitor.

-Cheaply made. My stand broke just from your typical every-day use (mostly, sitting on my night stand not being moved.) Getting a spare part from Levana? Good luck. I emailed WEEKs ago and was informed that it would be around a 6 week wait. So now I have my Levana monitor duct taped to stay up. #ThanksLevana When typical, everyday, baby products break so easily, the customer service should be much better. If you don’t have the stand, offer something else. 0871363024510_AV2_500X500

Battery isn’t great. I plug mine in all day, and keep it plugged in all night. It lasts for the time I need to have it and carry it around with me during naps, but otherwise, don’t expect to leave it unplugged for more than a few hours.

-Changing the brightness on this camera is really awkward. It loses all contrast if you up the brightness.

Cord is too short to be able to mount this high on your wall. We had to rig this with a strange extension cord to get it in the corner of the nursery.

The Pros: Price was OK. Also, I love that the monitor will stay on continuously, or it has 3 levels of sound that it will turn the display on for. The mount works well, and the camera has a decent (manual) swivel for wherever you need to aim it.

I wouldn’t recommend the Levana Lila. Levana has some really great products, but this is not one of them. Save your pennies and buy a different monitor.

-Katie

Mixing Babies and Fur Babies

IMG_7652Many years before having our son Lucas, my husband and I adopted our cats, Edgar and Basil.

Our cats are mellow, and they’ve enjoyed the quiet of our home.

Alllll that changed once Lucas was born. We knew it would be a huge adjustment for them, and really started to plan for introducing the new baby to them. Their entire world was about to be disrupted by a tiny human that needs constant attentiontheir days of cat nip every day and warm milk in a dish were numbered.

When we brought our baby home, we let the cats first smell his blankets and clothing to get used to his scent. We then put our newborn in his infant seat and let the cats approach and smell him at their own pace. The transition went really, exceptionally well. 

I should note, we were even more concerned because both of our cats have feline herpes. You heard me. While it’s not quite as gross as it sounds, it still sucks. Edgar initially had it, and transmitted it to Basil. Thankfully, they can’t transmit to humans. Essentially, when they get stressed they get eye infections that require an expensive ointment. If you’ve never put ointment into a cat’s eye before, count yourself lucky. So, #firstworldcatproblems, I have to worry about my cats being STRESSED. HA. We painted our living room once, and it stressed our cats out so badly that they were both running around with eye infections (our vet told us any small change can trigger it.) Thankfully, bringing our baby home didn’t stress them out and we were eye-herpie free.

When we put our son in his nursery to sleep for the first time (around 8 weeks old,) we made sure to keep the cats out until they understood that they were NOT allowed in the crib. Until we were comfortable with the cats in the nursery, we had a baby gate up that was too high for them to jump over. To this day, we’ve only had a cat jump into the crib once (and I think it scared him so badly that he’ll never do it again.)

One of our cats, Basil, does like to push the nursery door open. We’ve (mostly) solved this problem by spraying him with a squirt bottle when it does it.

BUT, more importantly, now that our son is old enough to understand the word “no” we are teaching him to be gentle with the pets. We never allow him to chase them, tug at them, or get in their faces. I have let Lucas pet the cats with an open hand and tell him to be “soft”. IMG_7647

Our animals are gentle animals. But they are animals. If provoked, they will likely revert back to their instinctual cat selves and hiss or scratch if they feel threatened.

When I see photos of small children pulling on dogs, or up in their faces, I instantly get anxious.

No matter how much you love and trust your pet, keeping your child safe is your first priority. Animals are unpredictable, and whether you think you know your pet or not, it takes a split second for their demeanor to change.

Here are some basic guidelines that we abide by with our pets, and with other pets that our son is around:

  1. Make sure all pets have had the proper veterinary care. Keep your pets healthy, and keep their nails short to avoid scratching.
  2. Do not leave your pet unattended with your child.
  3. Do not allow pets to cuddle with infants that are not old enough to move away if they are being smothered. (We don’t allow our 9 month old to cuddle with our cats anyway.)
  4. Pets can be extremely dirty. Keep your animals clean. Don’t allow them to get into the habit of licking or putting their paws on your child (especially their face.) Our cats use litter boxes, and for that reason I try to keep Lucas from touching their paws.
  5. Keep animal things out of reach of your baby (food, medications, litter, etc.)
  6. Start teaching your child as soon as possible not to provoke animals, and that they should always be handled gently.
  7. Keep large animals from sprinting through your household and injuring your child in the process. (I’ve been hurt more than once by a large dog that is too rambunctious.)
  8. If all else fails, keep your animals contained to a part of the house that your children are not in until they can be properly socialized.

The ASPCA has some great resources on co-mingling babies with cats and dogs. The Humane Society also offers some great advice.

I’m a huge animal lover, and as such, I want my family to be a cohesive unit where our son can hang out freely with our pets. Precautions are key to avoiding issues and injury. Know that this is an adjustment for all of you, and that it sometimes just takes time and understanding.

-Katie

Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker Product Review

untitled (6)Pros: BK#1 LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this swing! I mean it was the only way I could get her to sleep in the first few months of life. Between colic and being a new mom this thing was a God send! (BK#2 Likes it, but doesn’t seem to fall asleep as easily in it.) It has 6 swing speeds, which is really nice because when they get up there in weight you need a swing with a little more umph.(This swing has a 30lb weight limit!) Multiple songs on the music setting, and multiple noises on the soothe setting (birds, heartbeat, water, and white noise). images (2)The seat itself can adjust to 3 different incline positions, and you can also turn the direction that the seat swings! Which was fabulous for our little apartment we were in at first with BK#1. My favorite part of this swing, that most swings don’t have, is the plug-in option! I hate buying batteries! Can’t stand it, and charging batteries is just as annoying. My second favorite part is that it is not only a swing, but also a bouncer. This was extremely convenient when the baby is sleeping and you want to take them with you into another room! Just lift and go, it was fabulous!

untitled (7)Cons: Did you see that there….was fabulous. Last night as I went to place my sleeping infant in the swing, and I found that the swing wasn’t working! The power light turned on, and the music worked, but the swing wouldn’t move. The motor had burned up. I called the company this morning and because I don’t have the paperwork etc. from purchase, and it is barely over the one year warranty mark, there is nothing they can do! Even though they admitted that it was a product defect. It was a shower gift, so of course I don’t have the paperwork a year later! (I registered at Babiesrus and it was purchased there) That is beside the point, a swing should last over year. If this swing hadn’t died on me I would be telling everyone to go buy a dozen of them! We seriously loved it! Sad, sad day! The swing is fairly large, so some people might not like it, but it worked well for us. Also, the vibration on the seat was pretty noisy and might wake a sleeping baby, or prevent sleep.

Overall, I was a little let down. Being a huge Graco fan, I expected the usual high quality product. This did not meet my expectations. Hopefully the company fixes the defect for future products!

~Amanda

Ingenuity Pack n’ Play Review

A pack n’ play was absolutely a necessity in our home, and I actually ended up with two of them; one downstairs in my living room and one in my bedroom on the 2nd floor for the 6 weeks my son spent sleeping in our room.

The first I received was an Ingenuity Playard. I had registered for this at Babies R’ Us in my excited-new-mom-frenzy, and while I had looked at reviews casually, I definitely picked this one for its aesthetic values because I knew it would match my living room (ignorant, I tell ya’.)

This playard is not practical, especially in comparison to the Graco playard I had upstairs. (Side note- I loved my Graco playard, and would recommend it a thousand times over. Fantastic quality, easy to use, and comfortable for my little guy.)

16343377The Ingenuity Brighton was easy enough to set up and pack back into the bag. However, the small mattress that it comes with is only a small step up from cardboard, and there are no covers that adequately fit without bunching up and being unsafe for little ones. The newborn napper is of the same quality: the bottom portion where the baby rests is hard. I’m not talking firm… I mean really hard (and for anyone already worried about flat spots in your baby’s head, this doesn’t help.) Not only is it uncomfortable for baby, it also doesn’t conform to their body in any way, making them slide downward.

The changing table portion of the playard works well enough, but it has a limit of 15lbs.

All extras (napper, changer, shelf within the playard) were incredibly difficult to set up. My husband works out, a decent amount. Guy has some serious biceps, and he could barely get some of these pieces to click together. (So single moms putting all this crap together on your own, steer clear unless you have the muscles of a young Schwarzenegger.) 16343377_Alt03

This will run you right around $120, and for that price you’re getting a cheaply made, uncomfortable, impractical piece of junk that probably cost around $20 to make.

The good: like I said, cute design. Outside of that, I have no “pros” to this piece of baby gear.

(Note: See this baby sleeping peacefully in this napper? This never happened with Lucas in this bassinet.)

-Katie

A predictable little one is a happy little one!

I hear so many parents talk about their babies and children, and how they just “Go with the flow, they don’t have a schedule”. My response? Are you CRAZY! I would not be able to function, and neither would my children. If your children are happy and function well like that, more power to you, but I believe that babies and children need structure and a schedule to function well.

Through years of education, child care, teaching, researching children, and now having my own I have a pretty good idea of why structure works, and how to implement one. I have parents and friends ask me all the time “How do you do it?” and my answer every single time is “support, prayer, coffee, and STRUCTURE!”

Okay, so let’s dig a little deeper and make a routine!

Why are routines so important? (I will just say ‘them’ because this applies to babies, toddlers, AND children!)

A routine lets them know what to expect.

A routine gives them a sense that their life is predictable.

A routine is calming, and provides a sense of security

Gives them the ability for self- initiation.

Gives you, the parent, less to worry about and more to focus on.untitled (5)

As an example BK#1’s morning routine looks like this : wake, get dressed, go downstairs and get breakfast, playtime, snack, reading time (where we end up reading every single book that is on the first floor), lunch, relax time – cup of milk and a show or story, and naptime by 12:30.

BK#2 has a very similar schedule, although he is 17 months younger! : Wake, nurse, playtime, nap and repeat. Eat, play, sleep= very important for a baby, but I won’t get into that in this post.

Every. Single. Day. If we have things to do, or errands to run, then it is worked in after breakfast and before lunch so she gets to bed for nap on time.

On a more physical level, it lets them to participate in the day to day activities. – meaning a routine can help encourage independence in your child. When they know what is coming next, they are more willing to do it. But, also more willing to do it on their own.

Our schedule is very flexible, but it is the routine that is important. If BK#1 asks for an apple after she has had lunch, and we aren’t quite getting ready for nap yet (it’s not a distraction to get out of nap), then yes she gets another snack. If she is acting tired and fussy earlier than normal then she might go down for a nap an hour or so early. The schedule keeps me sane, but their routine keeps them happy!

So relax and go with the flow! {The flow that you have created!- see how that works}

When you are making your routine for your children/babies remember that it takes time, effort and consistency.

Consistency will make it easier for you to transition from one activity to the next, hopefully without a meltdown. If I get BK#1 down for her nap at her scheduled time, she goes willingly and goes right along with our nap routine. If her nap gets pushed back and then she is over tired, there’s a meltdown coming and she cries for a bit. It’s not pleasant, I have to carry her up to her bed crying and screaming that she doesn’t want to go for her nap, when she obviously needs it.

Remember to praise their effort, not results. – i.e.: your two year old trying to get their pants on but they may be backwards and inside out. They tried, and that is what is important.

With babies look at the bright side of things. They might not have napped as long as you wanted them to the first few days of getting them on a routine, but they did it in the time frame you wanted. It’s a start!

Keep your focus on what is going well in your routine, not what is making you crazy. Be sure to give lots of praise and positive attention to LOs when they make an effort, to boost their self-esteem and they will want to try even harder next time. (If you are creating a routine for your baby make sure your DH is doing this for YOU, so you don’t get discouraged)webmd_rm_photo_of_mom_kissing_baby

Lastly, make sure you don’t have too high of expectations for your LO!

Pay attention to their development and what you are trying to require of them. If you are trying to get a nursing 4month old to sleep through the night it just might not be possible. Most breastfed babies need to wake at least once during the night to feed. And that is OKAY! If you are trying to get your 1 year old to only take one nap a day they might not be ready for that, because they are still a baby and require a TON of sleep!

You cannot set a schedule and expect them to follow it all the way from day one. If you’ve decided on an earlier bedtime, you will need to gradually move up their bedtime to let them get familiarized to the new schedule. Does it mean they will be more accommodating and easy going? Maybe not, but if it will help then why not try it to see if it works for you.

If you haven’t set a routine from day one from the hospital, this might be hard to start. Don’t get discouraged! I promise that it will make your child happier and make your life so much easier!

~Amanda

If you see me out…

Congratulations. You’ve had a baby. The hospital has sent you home VERY quickly with your new, needy, adorable infant. You’re lucky if you’ve had a shower by this point, and your hair is probably already up in the “mom bun” that will become its new home for the next 6 months or more (you know what I’m talking about, ladies.) You take your car ride home, and once you get there… you think “what now?!”

article-2221909-1589FD09000005DC-659_634x728Parents are exhausted for a long time after having a baby. When I say a long time… I mean, I don’t even know when the end is in sight yet (my LO is just now 8 months, and I’m still pulling some pretty intense all-nighters.) Do I ever get to sleep in again? Will I ever have time to do cat-eye liner again? Take a shower longer than 5 minutes? Read a book for a WHOLE entire chapter?

So let me just tell you– those 8 weeks of maternity leave I looked liked I’d just survived a few weeks of zombie apocalypse. Yoga pants. Dry shampoo. No makeup. And yeah, I totally forgot to brush my teeth and eat a meal more than once. Infants require 24/7 attention, and if I looked crazy, it’s because my postpartum hormones and lack of sleep had totally taken over. Don’t get me wrong, I put everything I had into nurturing my tiny, amazing human, but WOW did I look rough.

So my first trip leaving the house: I went to Target (the mecca of all for meccas for moms.) While standing in the card aisle I witnessed another new mom with her toddler and also new-ish baby waltz by. But let me tell you– she was not me. This woman looked like a celebrity. Skinny. Hair done. Makeup done. Babies calm. I had a total meltdown, right there in the card aisle of Target. I justified her glamour by saying she must be their aunt, or have a night nanny, or have her mother living with her. Or maybe it was a total mirage and I was hallucinating from the lack of sleep.

Who knows.

Now I wonder sometimes if I’m that mom, because when I go out these days I feel like I really have it together. I can shower, do makeup, curl my hair, make some coffee easily in 20 minutes. I take my LO out of his drool-covered onesie and throw some cute clothes on him. He’s almost always content on trips, and spends most of his time flirting with the ladies. I’ve built up some serious arm muscle and can handle carrying both my LO, and an infinite amount of groceries (seriously, I’d rather dislocate both of my arms than take more than one trip out to the car to unload.)

So, I feel like I’ve got it together.

The point? I want new moms to know that the zombie-apocalypse phase doesn’t necessarily go away, but you get good at it. I’m talking Michonne from the Walking Dead good. Those first few weeks home with a newborn you are in total survival mode: feed the baby, change the baby, Google all the things you don’t know how to do with the baby, cry in the bathroom, maybe remember deodorant. But soon after, those parenting-instincts kick in and you acclimate to the situation. You develop routines, learn how to best take advantage of naps and play times, memorize the peak Target rush hours so you can avoid crowds, and continue to take pointers from other moms who have recently survived the battlefield. So if you see me out, I wasn’t always able to feel “put together” for the day. And if you need more time in your yoga pants, I won’t judge you.comparison-is-the-thief-of-

Here are some of the tips that helped me:

  1. Start establishing a routine as soon as possible. It may take weeks to work, but eventually it will.
  2. Take care of yourself. Sometimes this means taking help from others. Get a shower, and make a cup of tea for yourself. You can’t be healthy to take care of your baby if you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical needs for yourself.
  3. If you have a partner helping you with the baby, be straight-forward. Letting him/her know your needs will help both of you to avoid frustration when those 2AM crying wake-up calls come.
  4. Don’t stay up late. I know we all just want some time to ourselves after our LO falls asleep, but if your LO is a poor sleeper, try to go to bed around the time that they do. (I was never a person that could sleep when the baby did during the day, but when I put my LO down at 8:00 every night, I promptly hopped into bed.)
  5. Find ways to simplify your routines. Set clothes out the night before, set your coffee to brew, find simple hairstyles and makeup tips to make yourself feel human.
  6. Stick to the routine. I can’t say it enough– when we started sleep-training our LO, everyone invited us to come over to their houses for late parties. As much as you might want to keep your LO up so that you can go have fun, don’t. Routines are hard to establish, and easy to break. If you want to go out, hire a babysitter that is comfortable with putting your LO to bed.
  7. Take a shower without the baby monitor (or the baby,) in the room. When my LO was super tiny and wouldn’t sleep, he sat in his rock n’ play while I showered. But, nothing is as relaxing as a shower alone while someone else watches the baby for a few minutes.
  8. Have as many things shipped to you as possible. SAMS club ships baby items free, and my Amazon Prime membership has been thoroughly used. Quick trips to the store are no longer quick… and sometimes it’s just easier to order what you need online, and then push all of the boxes quickly in through your front door before your neighbor sees them when they’re delivered.
  9. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You won’t be able to do everything you could before. Want to watch an entire season of Parks and Recreation in one sitting? HA. Forget about it. Stick to a half an hour episode, and count yourself lucky if you only have to pause it twice.
  10. Don’t compare. Every mom handles having a baby differently. Every mom has struggles (whether they’re external or not.)

Just remember that each phase of infancy is just that, a phase. Soon your tiny baby will be a grown adult that doesn’t need your constant care;treasure the moments while they’re still little.

-Katie

Our Sleep Schedule

Sleep-Training

The first 2-3 months of being a parent are brutal. There is such a HUGE adjustment period, and acclimating on little to no sleep is nearly impossible (not to mention those post-partum hormones.)

Like many, I brought my LO home thinking he’d sleep soundly in his beautiful nursery in his giant, expensive crib. HA. Oh man. I gave up within an hour. My LO was quickly laying in the Rock n’ Play next to my bed. Soon after, we upgraded to a full-blown pack n’ play with a sleeper/changer built in. My LO stayed in our room solidly for the first 6 weeks. In all honesty, it was easier. I could quickly feed and change my LO, watch him breath and fall asleep, and go back to bed (in-between Googling a billion things at 2AM.) When the 6 week mark approached, I knew I needed more sleep since I was going back to work at the 8 week mark. So, I set up a plan. I’m not a proponent of the CIO method, so I needed another way to get my LO to sleep more than 2 hours at night (especially with reflux.)

Once we got our reflux issues worked out (more about that in our “reflux” category,) my daily scheduled looked something like this:

6AM: Wake Up. Whether he was up or not.

9AM: Nap

Around noon: Nap

Sometime in the afternoon: Small nap

Bedtime: Firmly 8:00PM. I would take him up to his nursery, lights off, no talking, no playtime. He would eat, and, as much as I wanted to hold him forever, I’d lay him down in his crib.

During the day I kept him active. Lights on, window shades open. TV or background noise, and lots of play and interaction.

After putting him down at bedtime, if he would stir/cry I would give it a minute before running in instantly to console. I never let him cry hard, or more than a whimper.

I also put him to bed without his binky. Though, I sometimes had to go back in and give it to him to console him.

After about a week and a half of the routine, he was set. We have had the same schedule for months now, and it’s worked out SO so well for us. I was firm with our routine, and I think it helped us to really feel confident and get through the day. Disclaimer: you will get grief about this from someone. Do what works for you.

And, of course, this won’t work for all babies. Every baby is absolutely different. To any parent trying to get a scheduled day? Keep on it. Eventually you’ll have some progress, no matter how small.

-Katie