Monday, June 27, 2016

Managing the Family When Your Spouse is Away


I am a faithful Fitbit wearer (affiliate link). On a typical day, I clock anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 steps. The last time my husband was out of town on business, however, I clocked in 20,000 to 25,000 each day. There is no doubt that parenting solo takes a lot more effort. This effort is not only physical, but also mental. You need to be on all day every day. 

Whether your spouse is out of town, working late often, or working on some big project (hello home addition at our house right now!), tips are helpful. I asked you on Facebook what you do. 

Have Friends Over
This one is from me. When my husband is out of town, my kids get really sad and miss him a lot. I like to have friends over as much as possible during that time. It can be more work having friends over, but the kids get so excited about the friends that it takes their mind off their dad being gone.

If you didn't want to do the friends, you could accomplish the same idea by doing something fun. This might be the perfect time for a movie night. 

Keep Things Consistent
Ashley said: Fortunately we don't have my husband out of the house for long periods of time often. When I am single-parenting, we stick to our normal routine and try to send pictures and/or Skype with Daddy. Sometimes we try to get out of the house and do something unique. For instance, we made haircut night into a fun fast-food dinner night. I really try to encourage and give extra snuggles. Maybe read for an extra five minutes before bed. If bad behavior creeps up, I try to be as consistent as possible. Sometimes I just have to survive. Due to deaths in my family, my son and I have spent a couple weeks a state away from my husband. That can be tricky as I'm missing Daddy a lot, as is J. We try to communicate as often as possible, and stick to the sleep schedule to a T. Again, we try to do something fun, but we almost refuse to sacrifice routine.

Keep Your Chin Up
Christina said:  My husband is significantly disabled, so I can really relate to single moms in that I pretty much have to physically do all of the parenting during the early (baby) years. I just have to keep reminding myself that I will have good and bad days. I have to keep on trying to work on routines and work towards the goal of a good schedule. I try to rest whenever I can/when I need it, which is honestly hard to do with a non-napping 4-year-old. I take any help I can get from outside our home (mostly only my dad and mom). I use my crockpot frequently for meals and take it easy on myself. Housework can wait a day or so later. When I get up for nighttime feedings, I usually watch something or surf the internet on my Nook (less brightness than a computer so it's easier on my son during feedings). And I just tell myself over and over again how many days old he is and that he WILL eventually sleep through the night, get on a schedule, etc. Like I said, you will have good days and bad days. Celebrate the good ones and when you have a bad day, remind yourself that things will probably get better the next day.

Take Time to Rest
Amanda said: Routine stays the same. It muddy stay the same. If I cook we eat it 3 times, but usually we eat really simple. Because we eat simple (or lots of leftovers) we usually get out of the house after naps when I would usually be cooking- library, park, target. Any excuse to get out. I also rest more during naptime vs doing my usual chores. Having 3 under 4 makes me tired, and I need extra rest if I'm not getting reinforcements. Mine actually spend longer in the bath bc they are happy and I can chill while they play in a contained area.

Cook Extra
Jennifer said: biggest hack...When I cook, I cook 4 to 5 times normal and freeze the rest with a food saver. So I only end up cooking a few times a month. The schedule changes by day of the week to give my LO more nap time on days I'm home with him cause he doesn't sleep as well at daycare. He's in bed by 7 every night which gives me precious time to myself. We're also more flexible with nap time on the days we get to talk to my spouse.

Simplify
Sarah P. said: We skip baths more often... Haha. I try to make sure we get in a play date and something special and fun to do. I also keep cooking super simple. And I try to be graceful with myself! Oh! And of it's a long enough trip, and I can swing it, I get a sitter for a few hours.

Simple Pleasures
Sarah B. said: My husband is about to go on night shift. He works night 7 days out of every 28. It is like he is gone because he obviously has to sleep during the day. We don't have TV so it when he is on night shift I let the kids watch a 30 minute video in the evening or do a special craft. Not as many baths, like Sarah Morris Perez said...and they get to go to Bible Study with me on Wednesday night - it's a women's class. Simple pleasures! I just remind myself that it is only 7 nights AND remember that there are many in his industry who are without work and I'm thankful he has a job to go to.

If you don't already, be sure to follow me on Facebook. I share what is posted here each day along with other articles I find helpful and interesting. I also answer questions and do live Q&As each week. It is a great way to connect!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Must Have Products for Doing Your Daughter's Hair


You would think that we would all find doing our little girl's hair easy and intuitive. We do, after all, all have hair as mothers. We do our own hair each day (or most days). But doing the hair of others is not the same as doing our own.

I loved doing my doll's hair when I was a girl. Super loved it. Now I have three real-live heads of hair do do each day. I really enjoy doing their hair each day. There are some products I use that make the process much easier. These tools can make that hair-do time faster, easier, and less painful (literally).  This post contains affiliate links. 

Wet Brush
The Wet Brush is kind of a big "rage" thing right now. It is probably the most popular product for getting snarls out. I swear the whole time I have had daughters, there has been some "it" gadget brush for getting out tangles. Not too long ago, it was the Knot Genie. Now it is the Wet Brush. I do like the Wet Brush better than the Knot Genie simply because it is easier for me to hold and use. I don't think one is better than the other at doing the intended job. The Wet Brush will NOT get every tangle out. I have a process for getting the tangles out. My girls all have long hair. Even Brinley's is close to touching her bottom. That means lots of snarls. The Wet Brush helps, it is a great tool, but you cannot end there.

Start with the Wet Brush and brush out as many snarls as you can. You won't be able to get everything on many occasions.

While we are talking snarls, you will have fewer snarls if you brush the girl's hair out before bedtime. For younger girls, I also find putting it in a braid at night is very helpful. Young girls move around more as they sleep, so it is helpful. Kaitlyn at age 9 doesn't really need it braided at night anymore.

Brush
I next move on to a brush. This kit I have linked to and is pictured has the size brush I like for little girls. I use a paddle brush on myself, but I like the small brush in this kit for my girls. It is a great second step for getting out snarls. The paddle brush is too large and catches many snarls. The small one is the instrument you want for small heads. 
Fine Tooth Comb
Once I can brush through the hair well, I move on to a fine tooth come. That is the one pictured on the left. I sometimes use the other one, also, but I like the fine tooth ones best. The are more fine :). This ensures every snarl is out of the hair. This device is the instrument that will lead to a masterpiece. The hair will be snarl-free. It also is an invaluable tool in creating smooth hair for ponytails and other up-dos.

The funny thing is, the kids think the fine tooth come doesn't hurt as much because when I get to this step, snarls are gone. So sometimes Brinley wants me to go right to this. There is such a life-lesson there. We often don't see that difficulties we go through prepare us to handle things that come up later in life. 
If you just can't get the snarls out, break out the detangler spray. I rarely use this. Maybe once a month total among the three girls. But it is handy when I need it. The other day, I was combing through McKenna's hair after she had been swimming in a ponytail (note to self--ponytail does not work for McKenna and swimming). Her hair was a big knot. The wet brush wouldn't touch it. I was worried we would have to chop her hair off. This great tool saved the day. 


Squirt Bottle

Once everything is all combed out, it is time to do the hair. Let's say you know exactly what you want to do in the hair. If the hair is dry and you want to pull it up at all, squirting it with some water is super helpful. For that, you will want a tool for spritzing the hair evenly. Enter the squirt bottle. This helps keep things smooth and keeps all of those little hairs in place. I use a fine tooth comb when pulling hair up at all.

Even if you are leaving the hair down, if you squirt it some with some water and
then comb through it, it helps it look smooth and fresh again. You don't want to drench it; just a few squirts will do it.

Hair Elastics

These are the elastics we use. Really only Kaitlyn and I use these at this point. McKenna is starting to need it at times. When the girl is younger, the hair bands I talk about next are easiest product to use. The hair is more fine and thinner with younger girls. As they get older, their heads get bigger and the hair gets thicker. I really like these elastics; they hold up very well. They don't have any metal, so they don't get that annoying stretch to them. They are also thick and hold the hair in place tightly.
Hair Bands

I always purchase these from Sally Beauty Supply (though before today, I had never checked Amazon for them). I love these. I have tried these and some from Walmart and these win hands down. They have the clear as pictured, but also have various colors and black or brown. The clear break more easily, but they also slide out without pulling the hair. I use these almost exclusively on three year old Brinley. I like clear because they match anything. We do have a lot of fun with the colors at times, though, and I do always have colors and clear on hand. I also use the black quite often.

Alligator Clips

While you are doing a hair-style, it is often quite handy to have an alligator clip. They can hold sections of hair out of the way while you are working with other sections. I use these pretty much daily. A hair clip can also come in handy, but for the young, fine hair, I like the alligator clips best.



Hairspray

Once it is done, you will likely want to hairspray it to keep it in place. This is especially true for those girls 5 and under--the baby-fine hair just gets fly-aways like crazy. This Kenra hairspray is really great, but if the price leaves you gagging, try Aussie. That is what I usually use on my girls. I have some strong hold and some flexible hold depending on what the hair needs are that day.


Ideas
If you are new to doing hair of others, you might need ideas. Lucky for you, you live in the Internet age. There are SO MANY ideas out there. And not just pictures, but video tutorials for you to follow. You don't have to start from scratch. I have a hair board on Pinterest. I also post pics of hair styles I do with my girls every so often on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there.

Patience and Practice
Just remember, practice makes perfect. I went several years before I would do fancy braids in Kaitlyn's hair because it just looked bad. I then realized it would never get good unless I practiced. So I started doing it consistently, and now my braids look good! I can do all kinds. So just practice away and have patience for your skills to improve.


The ladies of the BFBN are all blogging today with various hygiene tips. Check them out below:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poll Results: Introducing a New Baby to Older Siblings


Bringing home a new baby can be scary, for all involved. Life is going to change and no one really has a full grasp on exactly how that will look and how that will change life. When bringing home the second baby, many parents worry about how the relationship with the oldest child will change. Every new baby brings changes to the dynamics of the home. 

And so the question arises, how do you successfully bring home your new member of the family? How do you help older siblings with this transition? A reader requested this be our poll, and here are the results. You can find the original answers here.


1. How old was your child[ren] when you brought the new baby home?
2 Years: 2
2.5 Years: 2
3 Years: 3
5 Years: 2

2. What, if anything, did you do before the baby was born/adopted to prep the older sibling? 
Lindsey said: "We read books, went through old baby clothes, read and sang to the new baby and did some crafts for her room."

Krysten said: "We read books about having a new baby and there was a new baby at church too that he saw in nursery."

Kimberly said: "We talked about the new babies a lot. We read books from the library. He saw the cribs and baby stuff coming out of storage. He also came with to some of the ultrasounds to see the babies. He actually switched rooms so all the kids could be in one bedroom. "

Sarah said: "We read books, talked about baby, they went to the doctor appointments and sonograms. They went shopping and picked out presents for the baby, and the baby brought them a present at the hospital. The 5y/o and 3 y/o also transitioned to sharing a room and I think that transition also helped them knowing that baby sister would have the other room."

Natalie said: " We talked about how he was going to be a big brother, read a lot of books, pointed out way she could help, slowly set out the baby stuff over a period of several weeks so he wasn't overwhelmed. But, he's an extremely laid back and independent kid, so I wasn't really concerned about the transition for him."

3. In retrospect, what do you think helped your older child[ren] with the transition?
Love and attention: 2
Get baby stuff out before baby born: 1
Make big changes before baby if possible (like room changes): 1
Have baby "give" sibling a present: 1
Our excitement: 1
Prepare what you can: 1

4. In retrospect, what do you think did NOT help your older child[ren] with the transition?
Discipline for being too rowdy with baby: 1
N/A: 4

5. How did your child respond to the change? Things like, how did the child initially react? What about a few weeks later? Did you notice any behavioral or sleep impacts? 
Lindsey said: "Initilally she was great because we had lots of extra help around the house, but soon they left and she started to have some attention seeking behavior/read: crazy loon/ and I started t really have to improve the quality of the time that we spent together. It wasn't enough for her to be a big helper- she needed to feel like she was independently super valuable. She started struggling with her identity and wanted to be "the baby" for a while, reverting to baby-behaviors and then she need to be the "big girl" and wouldn't do anything remotely baby-ish. She's somewhere in the middle now where she does both, one of her big girl things though is getting out of bed. Apparently, only babies have to stay in bed. We are working on that because it has had big sleep impacts."

Krysten said:  "Initially he was very excited but quickly became indifferent. There were some sleep disruptions during nap time but it was short-lived."

Kimberly said: "My son did really well! He didn't want to be too close to the girls or hold them or anything, but that was actually nice. We weren't worried about him accidentally hurting them. He enjoyed helping by bringing burp cloths or giving them toys. He also loved to throw away diapers. He didn't seem to mind how noisy they were sometimes. His sleep didn't suffer too much. He did stall at bedtime a bit, but it wasn't too bad. We were tolerant of it a bit. He did act out a little by pushing buttons. Literally, he pushed buttons around the house and on the bouncers he wasn't supposed to. That only lasted a couple of weeks though. Overall it was a pretty smooth transition."

Sarah said: "Both girls did well! They were excited to meet her at the hospital and proudly showed her off to visitors when they came to our house. About 6 weeks in to baby being home, we had some behaviors from the 3 year old. Overall no sleep disruptions, a little trouble falling asleep at times. "

Natalie said: "My son handled it probably better than I did, lol. I really missed my little dude, and I don't do well on little or no sleep so he was getting snapped at a lot. He did decide he wanted to potty train shortly after bringing her home from the hospital--something I was hoping to put off until we got through the rough first few months of the newborn stage. I'm sure that was a way for him to get some attention. He was excited to be a big brother, but honestly he didn't pay her much attention. Even now at 4.5 and 1.5, they still pretty much exist alongside each other, interacting very little. Not really any significant behavioral or sleep changes. "

6. Any advice for parents about to take this step?
Lindsey said: "Read the book peaceful parents happy siblings and really try not to blame the baby for things. Also, understand that basicaly all the undesireable behavior at this point is due to an unsecure connection and try to nurture that connection rather than punish the child"
Krysten said: "My advice to parents is to introduce your child to a baby before the new one arrives. This gives kids a visual and something you can compare your new baby to."
Kimberly said: "Just because the child doesn't seem to want to talk about the new baby or doesn't seem interested in it doesn't mean the child isn't listening and taking it all in. My son wasn't super verbal during the pregnancy (he was a late talker), so we were never very sure how much he understood. But he was great! He didn't really seem to have a problem with what was going on and is a great big brother. I would also say don't try to force the older sibling to do anything with the new baby he or she doesn't want to. We made it clear he does not have to interact with the babies, or really touch them in any way if he doesn't want to. We really praised when he did though, like when he gave them hugs and kisses. As parents we instantly love our new babies, but to the older child these are brand new people they have to get to know in their own time."

Sarah said: "
My advice would be have as much done house-wise and meal-shopping before the baby comes. This allows you to focus on the new baby and other children without stressing about those things. Try to catch some one on one time with your older children so they feel included too(I.e. Books, coloring, playtime, etc)."
Natalie said: "I honestly think I underestimated what the transition would be like for any of us. Going from 0 to 1 kid was really easy for us as a couple, so I banked on the transition from 1-2 kids would be just as easy...it wasn't.. My youngest is now 20 months and I still feel like I struggle with balancing the needs of both of them. All along, I've told myself that the next stage my daughter goes into will be better--easier. So far, each stage has presented its own challenges. I think the piece of advice I would most share is to remember that especially during these early stages, it's only a season and the stage will be difficult in that way for only a little bit...then it will change. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are in it."

Katie said: "I have 3 kids so I have done this twice - once bringing home a baby to a 3yo, and once bringing home a baby to a 5yo and a 2yo. We had read some books in advance, set up the baby's room, and talked about the baby. I think those were good things - certainly we wouldn't have kept it a secret and made the whole thing a total surprise! But honestly at those young ages, kids are still pretty self-centered, and I think their biggest concern was just their own little world and day-to-day life. They didnt' seem overly affected. They didn't seem to either adore or detest the baby, they just wanted their own normal things - cuddles with mom, toys, snacks, routine, etc. My 2yo did later do some social shyness/regression which maybe could have been avoided, I think that was mostly a factor of how much more we were home once the youngest arrived, since with 3 young kids and 2 in diapers, we weren't getting out regularly a lot! As far as tips, I would say, expect that everyone will get sick once the new baby comes! After the first, it seems like the #1 rule is that when you bring a new baby home, all the kids get sick (bonus points if it's a vomiting illness and your washing machine breaks, like when my 3rd was about a week old!)  Only other tip is to realize it can be about a 4-12 month rough season that will look VERY different from the rest of your life once baby gets a little older, so just hang in there during this time. And cut WAY back on activities for toddlers, they will be okay staying home for a few months!"

Related Posts: 
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

5 Must Have Items for Parents Keep in the Car


Without fail, the moment a child is required to sit still for a few minutes or more, the child will become thirsty. Not just thirsty. Parched. The child is suddenly dehydrated and is bound to die at any moment. This happens during family scriptures, at bedtime, and of course, in the car.

I have responded in logical ways, "We don't have any water in here, but as soon as we get where we are going, you can have a drink." That, of course, is not received well. The child is at death's door. How could logic work?

I have met the continued wailing with, "Then get a drink!" That usually stops the wailing for a while, and sometimes even for good. When the child is told to get a drink and realizes there really is no drink in the vehicle, the child just might stop the drama.

But hey, I am a problem solver. Here is the reality. Children don't even walk from room to room; children run. Children are movers and only pause when necessary (or when a screen is on). When the child is forced to sit still, the child will start to notice pesky things like thirst. The body does need water to survive, so the emergency is broadcast from the child immediately.

The child is thirsty and does need water for life to continue on. I like my children and want their lives to continue on. I also like not hearing the irrational meltdown that comes with the inevitable thirst in the car.

So I keep water in the car. Always.

There are other things I keep in the car as a rule. I have learned over the years that these simple things in the vehicle make life happier. As your children get older, you spend more and more time in the vehicle, so it is nice to keep what is necessary.

I don't over-do it. I don't mind children being "bored." I don't like having an over-crowded car, either. So these are the basics for survival (emotionally, mentally, and physically). This post contains affiliate links.

Water
As I just discussed, I keep water in the car. I like to keep a case of water bottles in the car in case of real emergency. If we get in the vehicle and we are 10 minutes away from home and someone is going to die of thirst, I assure her she can last ten minutes until we get home. I don't like to open bottled water unless it is a must. If we got in the car and were 10 minutes away but we had been at the pool for the last few hours, for example, I would open some water to drink.

When we are going for a long drive--like an hour or more--we usually fill up reusable water bottles. We do at least one per person (our vehicle has a lot of cup holders). That way we can have plenty of water for drinking on our drive.

Food
I keep some food in the car at all times for emergencies, also. We are not a snacking family; we don't need to eat at all times. But I often find that a Brinley stuck in the car while we are driving people around is a lot more pleasant if she can have a granola bar every so often. I just keep a box of granola bars in the vehicle. We also use them often when I am driving Brayden to swim team or McKenna to cheer straight from school. They need a snack but are literally going from school to their activity. 

Books
I like to keep a few books in the car in case of boredom. We chose to not have a movie player in our car at all times. On really long car rides, we bring along our Kindle Fires and watch shows on those for part of the time, but for driving around town or driving usually less than 2 hours, it is books and music only. I keep picture books in there at all times for Brinley's entertainment. 

Motion Eaze
We have a couple of children who get car sick. They mostly only get sick when driving through canyons, and we live in the Rockies, so we are often going through canyons. They can also get sick if they look down too long. So we keep some natural drops that help with nausea in there at all times. Side note, these drops are fantastic if you have morning sickness. I also find they bring some relief when someone has a stomach bug. So I have one in the vehicle and a one in the house.






Wet Wipes
I mean, kids are dirty. We frequently need wet wipes, and always at random times. I just keep a package of wipes in there at all times. I has never been a regret.

Conclusion
These are five must-have items for you to keep in your vehicle at all times, year round, if you have children. There are other things that are smart, like an emergency kit, first aid kit, and blankets. Sunglasses, tissues, napkins, chapstick, pens...those are all things that you might find handy at times. These five listed above will be common sanity savers for you and your children. Then when your child buckles that seatbelt and suddenly realizes how parched he is, you can respond with "Here's some water" and get peace in return.

If you don't already, be sure to follow me on Facebook. I share what is posted here each day along with other articles I find helpful and interesting. I also answer questions and do live Q&As each week. It is a great way to connect!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Managing Cry It Out While Room Sharing


I looked down at the envelope I had been addressing and realized I put the stamp on the wrong side of the envelope. Instead of placing it on the right side, it was on the left. Our return address was on the right where the stamp should be. Clearly addressing envelopes while monitoring my baby who was crying it out was a little too technical for my brain.

Sleep training a baby is hard. There are so many factors to consider and track. Adding room sharing to the mix can really increase the stress levels. Is the older child going to be able to sleep? Is the baby going to be disturbed by the older child? Can a baby even fall asleep with another person in the room? Lucky for you, I have some tips.

Separate For a Time
The first thing you want to do is figure out how to have the children separate if at all possible. I know, I know, this is a post on sleep training while room sharing. So why am I talking about separating? 

I am talking about it for the sake of both children. Baby will have a much easier time falling asleep without a person in the room making noise. Your older child will clearly sleep better without crying from a baby to keep him up.

You are sharing for a reason. If it is out of want and not need, you can put one in a different room for  a bit. If it is out of need, you will need to get creative. You will want to move one of the children to a different location until baby gets this figured out. It should only be a few days. 

Some people move the older child. The benefit of this is that baby is able to get used to his own room rather than a different room. Some people move the baby. A benefit of this is that a baby is usually easier to fit into a different space. It also helps the older child if the older child has some anxiety over adding a baby to the family. Some children have a hard time adjusting, so moving them out of their rooms while you do CIO can be too much. If your child is perfectly fine with the baby as many are, you can sell the sleeping place change as a fun adventure.

Some people see if the older child can go to grandma's house for the weekend and start CIO over the weekend. The first few days are the worst, and for some, it is basically over in a weekend.

When my second baby was born, the house we lived in wasn't very sound-proof. Brayden and Kaitlyn didn't share rooms, but they were right next to each other and there was a vent that was so open between the two rooms that for sound, they may as well have been in the same room.

We left Brayden in his room. With Kaitlyn, we moved her around. She took some naps in her room and some in my room. She started the night in my room and moved to her room after the dreamfeed. She did CIO in a bassinet in my room and in her crib. It never bothered her. She is a flexible angel baby type of personality, though, so not all babies would be okay with the constant change.

A baby can sleep in a bassinet or pack-n-play in a bathroom, walk in closet, spare bedroom, office, or even family room. You just want to be sure the room baby is in isn't cold. Sometimes a large room can be cold or drafty at night. 

Stagger Bedtime
In most cases, when you have a baby and an older child, the older child is at most taking one nap a day. That means that a baby can be in her room for most naps in the day. You could move baby out for one nap if it over-lapped with the older child. Or the older child can nap in a different location once a day.

So then night is your biggest challenge.

I would recommend staggering bedtime. I would put the baby to bed first, then once baby was asleep, put the older child to bed. You just make sure the child's bed is all set up and ready for sleep before you put baby down. You can do pajamas in the room before baby is down or take them out of the room and get into pjs in a different room. You read stories in a different room. You just move the bedtime routine out of the bedroom. You also teach your older child to go in quietly at bedtime so the baby won't be woken up.

If your baby and older child need to go to bed too closely to the same time, while you are training, you can do what I did and put the baby to bed in your room, put the older child down in his own room, and then move baby into the bedroom after the dreamfeed. Most babies are mostly if not fully asleep at the dreamfeed and don't cry after eating. 

Use White Noise
I get a lot of questions from people who are concerned about using white noise. They worry their child will become dependent on it. Sleep props are something that are wise to avoid as much as possible. However, there are times and circumstances when the sleep prop makes sense. This is one of those times. Both children will sleep better with some white noise.

White noise is a "prop" that your child will sleep better with but will also be able to sleep without. When we go out of town or the kids sleep at grandparents, they don't have their white noise. They still fall asleep without it. They don't usually sleep as well as they do at home, but that is typically true when you travel, anyway.

We have a few different white noise methods we have used. For years, we used humidifiers (affiliate link). We live in a dry climate and a humidifier is nice anyway. As kids got older, however, they would at times play with the machine during independent play, so we moved to a white noise machine. But it works well for a baby. If you want a humidifier anyway and have an older child, you can always remove it when you get to doing roomtime each day. One thing to watch when purchasing is the noise. Many are made with the intent to be extremely quiet, so if you want one to double as a humidifier and a white noise machine, you might want to avoid the quiet ones.

We have a Graco Sound Machine (affiliate link) for each bedroom. We have owned three for many years and been happy with them. They have a night light, the white noise options, and can also play an iPod, which comes in handy for independent playtime. It can plug in or run off of batteries, which is handy for portability. It also has a timer function, so if you are worried about dependency, you can use that and have it turn off after your child has fallen asleep. We have been very happy with this machine and I would have no hesitation in purchasing it again.



We also have a Dohm  (affiliate link) sound machine. This is the best seller on Amazon. I am always up for trying out products in order to pass on if they are any good or not. I wanted a backup sound machine on hand in case one died since ours are all several years old. I decided I would take a small risk and try this one out. It is hard to buy something new when you love what you have--don't fix what isn't broken! It was only a small risk, however, since it rates so well and is the number one best seller. It is a great machine if all you want is a sound machine. The sound is a little different than the Graco. My older kids are a bit turned off by that, but my younger ones didn't bat an eye. It could be personality or just age. It doesn't have any additional features--it is just sound. But the sound is more natural sounding. It sounds more like the humidifiers we used. There is less to break in it since it is so simple. So it is a good machine and I don't think you would dislike it. I don't know what I would get between the two--I love the light, battery, and MP3 options of the Graco.

Conclusion
You might feel overwhelmed with this task of teaching a baby to sleep while sharing a room. I know a lot of these baby things can consume you and make something as simple as placing a stamp on an envelope to be too much! It can be done! You can follow these few simple ideas to help make the process easier. Be sure to see my below linked posts that can help you with the other aspects of sleep training and room sharing. You will be back to normal in no time--well, the new you normal :)

Related Posts for Cry It Out and Sleep Training:

Related Posts for Room Sharing:



  • Room Sharing {9 Tips}
  • Help Me Out: Room Sharing Tips
  • Related Posts for Siblings:
    If you don't already, be sure to follow me on Facebook. I share what is posted here each day along with other articles I find helpful and interesting. I also answer questions and do live Q&As each week. It is a great way to connect!

    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    Share Your Success Stories 2016


    I was shocked when I came to my blog one day to find a slew of negative comments. They all came from one person and they were so forcefully negative. They were patronizing and aggressive. I was quite taken aback. You see, I had started my blog as a place to save my "stock" answers I got from other moms who had babies born the same time Kaitlyn was born. I had searched it out looking for some advice for my reflux baby with Babywise, but soon found I was the one with experience. I answered a lot of questions, and you may have noticed the same few questions are always asked by new moms (and that's okay! We were all that new mom once).

    To save time, I posted my answers on a blog. 

    I didn't look at it much for a couple of weeks and came back very surprised to see someone had found me out and went to town with the negativity. 

    I decided right then that this blog was going to be more than just a place to help the 20 or so moms I was interacting with in this group. This person pushed me right into making this blog a place a Babywise mom could come and find answers. Somewhere she could find encouragement. Somewhere she could get support and help.

    I knew that all of those things were lacking on the Internet at the time. I knew what came up if you searched "Babywise"--and not one bit on the first page was positive. But I also knew that the fruits of Babywise were positive. I also knew there were moms out there who were successfully applying the principles and living happy lives with their families. I knew they were kind and loving mothers, despite what the search results would tell you of such people as would dare try to use Babywise. 

    So I dedicated a fair amount of time to create this resource, and I continue to dedicate a fair amount of time 8.5 years later. Now when you search for Babywise, I should be at the top or toward the top of what you find. There are positive resources on the Internet! 

    Many of you won't know how far things have come. There was a day that moms did not dare admit they did Babwise because of the lashing they would get. Look what happened to me! There are people who dedicate time to seeking out public Babywise moms and tear them down on contact. 

    Fortunately, I am not one to be bullied. I am a confident person and I knew what I was doing was working and that it had improved our lives immeasurably. How unfortunate that a mom who was seeking help would be scared off of something like this before even knowing what it is about. I wasn't going to let that be the only voice out there. I would let my voice be heard loud and proud. 

    As time has passed, more moms have stepped out and been willing to be a voice. As a whole, we Babywise moms don't tend to be pushy. We tend to be the type who have no problem with other parents parenting their own way. That doesn't bother us. What does bother us is being criticized for parenting our own ways. 

    Don't be fooled. While Babywise parents have Babywise as a common link among us, we have many differences. Some vaccine. Some don't. Do you know what is crazier than that? We can talk about that topic in a group of Babywise moms and the conversation remains civilized. We talk about
    circumcision, birth plans, and homeschooling all without name-calling or tempers rising. 

    That is the kind of parent who tends to be drawn to do Babywise. We let people govern themselves. 

    The downside to that is that we also tend to be quiet about our parenting style. People can compliment us and we just offer a small smile. We can see a friend bashing Babywise on Facebook and scroll on by. We can feel afraid to offer our own experience because we worry about the backlash we will get from our friends online. 

    Each year, in an effort to provide more positive stories out there, I do a Babywise Success Stories Week. I do this in July. I ask you, the readers, to provide me with success stories to share on this blog throughout the week. It can be as short as a paragraph, or as long as a blog post. It can be about Babywise in general or some specific aspect of Babywise. 

    My hope is that as we provide these stories, parents who are wondering what Babywise is all about can find these stories and see that there are parents who use it and love it. Those parents are loving, normal parents. If Babywise is something that makes sense to them, they can move forward in using it with confidence. 

    To share your story, please email it to me at valplowman@gmail.com. Follow these steps:
    1. Put "Babywise Success Story" in the subject of your email. This helps make sure it doesn't get sent to my spam folder.
    2. Tell me the title of your article. If you do not include a title, I will title it for you.
    3. Tell me how you want to be identified (for example, I could be identified as "Valerie," "Valerie Plowman," "Val," "V. Plowman"--whatever you want).
    4. It would be fun to know the number of children you have and their ages.
    5. Type or paste your article into the email. Please no attachments.
    6. You can include an image for your article. Just send me the image URL for it--again no attachments. If you right click on an image, you can choose "copy image URL." You can also often just copy a picture online and paste it into an email. 
    7. You may also include a link to your website if desired, but any questionable website links will not be posted (just had to include that).
    You can start sending your article any time starting now! I don't have a firm deadline, but you have at least until July 11 for sure. I will respond to you once I have it scheduled and let you know what day and time you can expect to see it up. 

    I look forward to hearing from you!


    I might not have started this blog with the intention to take it where it is, but I am absolutely thrilled to be able to play a small part in helping parents be the best parents they can be. Babywise did that for me, and I am happy to pay it forward and do that for other parents. I hope you will contribute to the positive voices and help me create a successful #BabywiseSuccess week!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Peter Pan Syndrome and Three Year Olds

    "No! I won't turn four. I am free!" Brinley emphatically exclaimed. She loved being three and loved being young. And yet. Yet she wanted to be independent. She wanted to "do it myself." She could feel her dependence on me slipping away, and it both scared and excited her at the same time. I could call this "Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome," but I will instead dub it "Peter Pan Syndrome."

    A three year old naturally becomes more and more independent of mom as the year goes on. The three year old can move with more ease and fewer falls. A three year old can start to draw pictures and get undressed and dressed alone. It is an exciting time!

    But also a nerve-wracking time. Just like Peter Pan, these little ones often find themselves fighting against the idea of growing up. Brinley emphatically insisted she would never be anything other than three again. Also like Peter Pan, these three year olds have an imagination that is unbridled. They live in an enchanted state where deem themselves to be good at everything and can imagine whatever world they want to exist. They are carefree for the most part and literally stop to smell the roses often. 

    But of course Peter Pan wasn't just all fun and games, and neither are three year olds. Every so often, Peter found himself at Wendy's window to listen to stories. There was a draw to this motherly figure of Wendy and this responsible life the Banks children lived. 

    In a similar manner, three year olds have a draw to taking on more responsibility. They don't want to grow up necessarily, but they do want the privileges that come with growing up. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with the skills a three year old develops, and it makes them feel good to reach those milestones.

    You might be thinking, "That's all very nice and good. What do I do about it?"

    You might also be thinking, "My child does not fight against growing up." An oldest child often won't show as much resistance to the growing up. In fact, an oldest might try to grow up too quickly. There can still be anxiety over the growing up process, however.

    Back to what you do about it.

    Don't Push Too Hard
    If you have a three year old emulating Peter Pan and declaring she won't grow up, give her some time. If I told Brinley she was a big girl, she declared that no, she was a little girl. I backed off the big girl statements. Over time, she started wanting to do things the big girl way. I let her cruise at her pace without requiring her to embrace a "big girl" status in general, and now she often starts sentences like, "Mom, remember when I was a little girl and..."

    That is a funny phrase coming from a three year old.

    You Might Have to Push Some
    Instead of saying push, let's say "encourage." Here is an example. A standard milestone a three year old should reach is the ability to dress and undress herself. Brinley has naturally done most of this step on her own by virtue of loving to play dress up. There is one area she was not getting, and that was taking a t-shirt type of shirt off by herself. She couldn't do it and she refused to try.

    I didn't push it for a long time, but she is two months shy of four and it is really time she just do it. One day recently I told her she needed to take her shirt off by herself. She got the drama face on and said she couldn't do it. I assured her she could. I talked her through it. She was dramatic about it the whole way through, but as soon as she got it off, she burst into giggles and was so pleased with herself!

    So I didn't push her to just become a big girl all at once. I let her warm up to the idea. I let her request certain things. And there were other things I have had to push. This might seem like letting the child parent, but we are talking about a three year old not wanting to grow up too quickly. You can take things slowly and let the child grow to accept and even embrace the idea of being a big kid. How do you do that?

    Point Out Privileges that Come 
    You get children excited about accepting growing up by pointing out the privileges that come with being a big kid. Oldest children inherently recognize those privileges and usually want to be like their parents, anyway. That is why you often don't have trouble talking an oldest into embracing "big kid" tasks. You usually have to talk them into holding on to childhood longer.

    Do not allow your child the privileges that come with taking on more responsibility without taking on the responsibilities. Is it harder to take your shirt off by yourself? Yes. More effort is extended that way. So your child might not have motivation to do it.

    You can use privileges your child wants as motivation to do others. "You want to drink out of a big kid cup at meals? Great! Only kids who put their pants on by themselves get to drink out of big kid cups. As soon as you put your pants on by yourself, you can drink from a big kid cup!"

    Allow for Mistakes
    A huge part of learning a new skill is making mistakes. There will be many spills, for example, when the big kid cup first comes out. Be smart about how much liquid you put in the cup. You might even start with just water at first. Be patient with the mistakes and mishaps as they come. If you make a big deal over them, your child can become hesitant to take on new tasks for fear of you getting upset when the inevitable mistake happens.

    Conlusion
    "I won't grow up" may be your child's favorite song right now, but with some patience and gentle prodding, your child will soon start sentences, "Mom, remember when I was little and..."

    If you don't already, be sure to follow me on Facebook. I share what is posted here each day along with other articles I find helpful and interesting. I also answer questions and do live Q&As each week. It is a great way to connect!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Brinley Preschooler Summary: 46 Months


    This is a summary for Brinley from 45 months to 46  months. She is now two months shy of 4 years old.

    SLEEPING
    Sleeping is going well. She naps most days. I definitely notice her napping more consistently when her mornings are spent with some physical activity and something that challenges her mentally. If you have a toddler or preschooler, do not underestimate the importance of physical and mental stimulation for good sleep.



    One thing she loves is to go for a walk. I make her walk on our walks (not that it is a battle--she loves to walk--but that is how we do it). It is a great time to practice having her listen to me and obey my voice. I live in a place where that is a safe practice time and location. For the mental, she loves to do the activities from the Babes, Tots, and Kids eBook I co-authored with Raegan. So awesome. I love that I don't have to create the lesson plans. I did once, but not now! Haha. 

    EATING
    Eating continues on as usual and normal.



    DANCE
    Oh my cute. Brinley had her dance recital. And she was adorable. There really isn't much in this life more entertaining than a three year old dance class on stage at a recital. If you never have a daughter in dance, you should add to your list of things to do in life attend one dance revue so you can see the three year olds. Not every three year old is funny. Some are little perfectionists like Kaitlyn was and get every move right. Which is just plain impressive.

    Some leave the line completely and walk to the edge of the stage to fully wave at mom and dad.

    Brinley was somewhere in between. She would do the dance moves, then she would decide to do some of her own moves. For one dance, she had a feather boa on. It left feathers floating in the air, so naturally she needed to pause dancing to try to catch some feathers.

    Her dance teacher, one of the owners at the studio, told me Brinley is one of her favorites. She is such a cute charmer. She is a performer in many ways.


    SCHEDULE
    Here is our typical schedule. Some days, we did independent play after lunch instead of before lunch:

    8:30 AM--wake up/eat breakfast/scriptures
    9:00 AM--get ready for day
    9:30 AM--watch 30 minutes of TV 
    10:00 AM--Independent Playtime
    11:15ish AM--Learning time
    12:00 noon--Lunch
    12:30 PM--free play
    1:30/2:00ish PM--Nap
    4:30/5:00 PM--Wake up and free play
    5:30 PM--Dinner
    6:00 PM--Family time
    8:00 PM--Get ready for bed
    8:30 PM--Bedtime


    Monday, June 13, 2016

    Schedule Overview: 13 weeks (3-6 Months)


    In many ways, things calm down a bit by three months old. You start to figure your baby out--likes and dislikes. You know better how your baby prefers things to be. You are getting better at reading cues and sleep is getting better. 

    But the thing with babies is life is ever-changing. The schedule changes as quickly as you can figure it out. That is why it is so helpful to see samples from other people and have an idea of where the benchmark is for a baby the age of your baby so you can get to the perfect schedule before it jumps away from you. I did this with the newborn weeks and today want to hit 3-6 months. If you want a look at the full first year, see my comprehensive first year overview that includes what to expect in eating, sleeping, and playing. 

    Week 13

    Kaitlyn:
    7:30--nurse
    8:30--nap
    10:30--nurse
    11:30--nap
    1:00--nurse
    2:00--nap
    4:00--nurse
    5:00--nap
    6:30--nurse
    7:30--bed
    10:00--nurse then bed (dreamfeed)

    At this age, her night feeding was in those early morning hours, usually around 6 AM. I believe she dropped that feeding around 4 months.

    McKenna:
    8:00--eat
    8:50--nap
    11:00--eat
    12:00--nap
    2:00--eat
    3:00--nap
    4:30--eat
    5:30--nap
    6:30 or 7:00--eat then down to bed
    10:00--dreamfeed

    Every other night, she ate between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM. Those days, we started at 8 AM. The other days, she at between 7:00 AM and 7:30 AM. She still slept until about 11:00 AM.

    Brinley:
    8:10--feed
    9:10--nap
    11:30--feed
    12:20--nap
    3:00--feed
    3:50--nap
    6:00--feed
    7:00--nap
    8:00--feed, then bedtime
    10:15--dreamfeed

    Week 14

    McKenna
    8:00 AM--eat
    8:50 AM--nap
    11:00 AM--eat
    12:00 PM--nap
    2:00 PM--eat (sometimes this was at 1:30 PM)
    3:00 PM--nap
    4:30 PM--eat
    5:40-5:50 PM--nap
    6:30 PM--sometimes woke. She is starting to usually take a shorter nap at this time of day. If she woke at 6:30, I got her and held her until starting to feed her at 7:00 PM. If she didn't wake at 6:30, I got her up at 7:00 to eat.
    7:00 PM--eat then right back to bed.
    7:30 PM--in bed
    10:00-10:30 PM--dreamfeed
    5:30ish AM--eat from one side

    Brinley
    NOTE: There was a time change between week 13 and 14, hence the dramatic change in schedules
    7:30--feed
    8:30--nap
    11:00--feed
    12:00--nap
    2:00 or 2:30--feed
    3:00--nap (one hour after waking)
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (one hour after waking--sometimes she does one hour ten minutes here)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime
    9:45--dreamfeed

    Week 15
    McKenna:
    It is a bit different this week since she is extending nights. I will just say she is waking at seven even though it ranged from 6:45-7:15. 7:00 is a happy medium.

    7:00 AM--eat
    7:50 AM--nap
    10:30 AM--eat
    11:30-11:35 AM--nap
    1:30 PM--eat
    2:35 PM--nap
    4:00 or 4:30 PM--eat
    5:15-5:45 PM--nap
    6:30-6:45 PM--wake up
    7:00 PM--eat then straight to bed
    10:00 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:

    7:30--feed
    8:30--nap
    11:00--feed
    12:00--nap
    2:00 or 2:30--feed
    3:00--nap (one hour after waking)
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (one hour after waking--sometimes she does one hour ten minutes here)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime
    9:45--dreamfeed

    Week 16
    McKenna:
    5:30-6:00 AM--eat from one side
    8:00 AM--wake and eat
    8:50 AM--nap
    11:00 AM--eat
    12:00 AM--nap
    2:00 PM--eat
    3:00 PM--nap
    4:30 PM--eat
    5:45 PM--nap
    7:00 PM--eat and straight to bed
    10:00 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:

    7:30--feed
    8:30--nap
    11:00--feed
    12:00--nap
    2:00 or 2:30--feed
    3:00--nap (one hour after waking)
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (one hour after waking--sometimes she does one hour ten minutes here)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime
    9:45--dreamfeed

    Week 17 {Four Months Old}:
    • 4 Months: Baby is usually at 3 naps. If not, by 5 months baby should be at 3 naps in a day.
    • 4 Months: Baby might be ready for 10-12 hours of sleep at night. Some will not be ready for this until 6 months, and the normal range is always 10-12, so some babies might just be 10 hour a night people.
    • 4 Months: Often a rough age for sleep.
    • 4 Months: Baby will move to 4-6 feedings in a day.
    • 4 Montths: Baby might be ready for blanket time.
    Kaitlyn:
    7:30--nurse + solids
    8:30--nap
    10:30--nurse
    11:30--nap
    1:30--nurse + solids
    2:30--nap
    4:30--nurse
    6:30--nurse + solids then bed
    9:45--nurse the bed (dreamfeed). I was starting to move it back in preparation for dropping it.

    McKenna:
    5:30-6:00 AM--eat from one side
    8:00 AM--wake and eat
    8:50 AM--nap
    11:00 AM--eat
    12:00 AM--nap
    2:00 PM--eat
    3:00 PM--nap
    4:30 PM--eat
    5:45 PM--nap
    7:00 PM--eat and straight to bed
    10:00 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed
    8:35--nap
    11:30--feed
    12:45--nap
    2:30--feed
    3:45--nap 
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (80 minutes after waking)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime
    9:45--dreamfeed

    Week 18:
    McKenna:
    5:00-6:00 AM--eat from one side
    8:00 AM--wake and eat
    8:55 AM--nap
    11:00 AM--eat
    12:05 AM--nap
    2:00 PM--eat
    3:30 PM--nap
    5:00 PM--eat
    6:30 PM--nap
    7:00-7:00 PM--eat and straight to bed
    10:00-10:30 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed
    8:35--nap
    11:30--feed
    12:45--nap
    2:30 or 3:00--feed
    3:45--nap (75 minutes later) 
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (80 minutes after waking)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime
    9:45--dreamfeed--until it was dropped during this week

    Week 19:
    McKenna:
    For this week, our day started a bit earlier than I would prefer, but late enough to make me happy :)

    6:30-7:00 AM--nurse
    55 minutes later--nap
    10:00 AM--nurse (if she ate closer to 7, she will often go until 10:30)
    60-65 minutes later--nap
    1:00-1:30--nurse
    60-90 minutes later--nap (I try to watch for cues for this nap
    4:30--nurse
    6:00--usually a nap
    7:00--nurse then bed
    10-10:30--dreamfeed (there is no real reason for my dreamfeed to be any later other than I just didn't get around to getting her until later sometimes ;) ).

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed
    8:35--nap
    11:30--feed
    12:45--nap
    3:00--feed
    4:15--nap 
    5:00 or 5:30--feed
    6:30--nap (80 minutes after waking) until it was dropped
    7:30--feed, then bedtime

    Week 20:
    McKenna:
    7:15 AM--wake and nurse
    8:10 AM--nap
    10:30 AM--nurse and rice
    11:30 AM--nap
    1:30-2:00 PM--nurse
    2:40-3:10 (70-90 minutes later) PM--nap
    4:40-5:00 PM--nurse and sweet potatoes
    7:00-7:20 PM--nurse then straight to bed
    10:30 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    5:30--feed with solids
    7:30--feed, then bedtime

    Week 21 {Five Months Old}

    • 5 Months: You might want to start teaching sign language to baby. This can be done at any point forward.
    • 5 Months: Teething can start to impact sleep. 
    McKenna:
    7:30 AM--wake, nurse, solids (1 T rice. I will add 1 T peaches this next week)
    8:30 AM--nap
    11:00 OR 11:30 AM--nurse, solids (at least 4 T bananas)
    12:00 OR 12:30 PM--nap
    2:00 OR 2:30 PM--nurse
    3:15-3:45 (75-90 minutes later) PM--nap
    4:30 OR 5:00 PM--nurse and solids (2-4 T sweet potatoes)
    7:00 PM--nurse and straight to bed

    Sometimes she ate after only two hours in the evening since she was extending her day out. This was a temporary situation.I find that preferable to having a fourth nap and eating at a 3 hour interval, and thus having a later bedtime. I want bedtime consistent.

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids--half of a banana and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    5:30--feed with solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime

    Week 22
    McKenna: 
    8:00 AM--wake her up, nurse, eat 2 T oatmeal and 2 T fruit (she doesn't always finish this much)
    9:00 AM--nap
    11:30 AM--wake her up, nurse, eat 2 T veggie and 2 T fruit
    12:30 PM--nap
    3:00 PM--wake her up (sometimes she wakes on her own), nurse
    4:30 PM--nap
    5:30 PM--wake her up or she wakes up, nurse, 2 T fruit, 2-4 T veggie, 2 T oatmeal
    7:30 PM--nurse then bed
    10:20 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids--half of a banana and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    5:30--feed with solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T)--we alternate every other day with squash and sweet potatoes.
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 23
    McKenna:
    8:00 AM--wake her up, nurse, eat 2 T oatmeal and 2 T prunes. She now usually does eat all of her oatmeal. Some days, she loves her prunes. Others, she hates it.
    9:00 AM--nap
    11:30 AM--wake her up, nurse, eat 2-4 T veggie and 2 T bananas
    12:35 PM--nap
    3:00 PM--wake her up, nurse
    4:30 PM--nap
    5:30 PM--wake her up and she is mad to be woken up, nurse, 2 T oatmeal mixed with 1 T peaches, 2-4 T veggie
    7:30 PM--nurse then bed
    10:15 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley
    7:30--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans with 1 T oatmeal mixed in
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    5:30--feed with solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T)--we alternate every other day with squash and sweet potatoes.
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 24
    McKenna:
    • 8:00 AM: I wake her. Nurse. 2 T fruit (prunes or peaches) and 3 T oatmeal. This is followed by bath and then independent playtime.
    • 9:00 AM: Nap
    • 12:00 PM: I wake her (yes, she takes a 3 hour nap). Nurse. 2-4 T peas and 2-4 T of bananas. This is followed by some time with siblings and some tummy time/floor play.
    • 1:15-1:30 PM: Nap. Almost every day this week, she took this nap at my parent's house.
    • 4:00 PM: I wake her. Nurse. 4 T yellow veggie, 2 T fruit (usually peaches), and 4 T oatmeal. This is followed by us going to our new house to work on it. I would put her in the front carrier or in the bouncer. Some days, she and I would drive to pick up food for the workers.
    • 6:00 PM: Nap. This was taken in my new neighbors master bedroom closet in her bassinet.
    • 8:00 PM: I wake her. Some nights she woke on her own. She sleeps so well! I never expected her to sleep well there. They have six kids, so you know things just get really loud sometimes. The girl can sleep. Nurse and then back to bed at home.
    • 10:20 or 10:30 PM: Dreamfeed.

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans with 1 T oatmeal mixed in
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    6:00--feed with solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T)
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 25
    McKenna:
    8:00 AM--wake, nurse, eat 2-3 T prunes and 1 T peaches mixed with 3 T oatmeal (3 T dry before mixed with water).
    9:00-9:10 AM--nap
    12:00 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T green veggie and 4-8 T banana (she will eat an entire banana. She loves them).
    1:15-1:30 PM--nap
    4:00 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T yellow veggie and 4 T pears. I then offer 2 T oatmeal and let her eat until full. She usually doesn't eat much oatmeal, but I offer it to see if she is still hungry.
    6:00 PM--(sometimes she is tired between 5:30 and 6:00, in which case I put her down) nap
    8:00 PM--wake, nurse, change into PJs, story, bed
    10:15 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans OR peas with 1 T oatmeal mixed in and some fruit
    1:00--nap
    3:30--feed
    5:00--nap 
    6:00--feed with solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T) and some fruit
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 26 {6 Months Old!}

    • 6 Months: Baby will likely be ready to start solid foods. Consult with your doctor.
    • 6 Months: Baby might be ready to move to two naps. Some are not ready until older. Average is 8 months. 
    • 6 Months: Have 4-5 nursings in a day.
    • 6 Months: Naps will be 1.5-2.5 hours each. The third nap can be short (about 45 minutes).
    • 6 Months: Independent play will be 15-30 minutes in length once baby can sit independently.
    • 6 Months: Discipline will be needed if it hasn't been already. Discipline means to guide and correct, not to hurt.
    Kaitlyn:
    I finally relinquished the dreamfeed. Kaitlyn basically started to refuse to wake up and eat, so I consented and dropped it. Her waketime had also started to extend a bit, and she started to need to go longer in the morning between feedings.

    7:30--nurse + solids
    8:45--nap
    11:00--nurse
    12:15--nap
    2:00--nurse + solids
    3:15--nap
    5:00--nurse
    7:00--nurse + solids then bed

    McKenna:
    8:00 AM--wake, nurse, eat 2-3 T prunes and 1 T peaches mixed with 3 T oatmeal
    9:10 AM--nap
    12:00 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T green veggie and about 4 T banana
    1:30 PM--nap
    4:00 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T yellow veggie, 4 T peaches or pears, and then 1-2 T oatmeal (sometimes she eats one bite only of oatmeal).
    6:00 PM--nap
    8:00 PM--wake, nurse, change into PJs, story, bed
    10:10 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    7:30--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in
    8:45--nap
    11:30--feed with solids--4 T of pears OR peaches and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans OR peas with 1 T oatmeal mixed in and some fruit
    1:00--nap
    3:45--feed
    5:15--nap 
    6:00--solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T) and some fruit
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 27
    McKenna:
    8:15 AM--wake, nurse, eat 2-3 T prunes and 1 T peaches mixed with 3 T oatmeal
    9:20 AM--nap
    12:15 AM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T green veggies and 4 T banana
    2:00 PM--nap
    4:30 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T yellow/orange veggie, 4 T peaches or pears, and then 1-2 T oatmeal
    6:00-6:30 PM--nap
    7:45 PM--wake, nurse, change into PJs, story, bed
    10:00 PM--dreamfeed

    Brinley:
    8:00--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in--a few days we did 2 T yogurt here
    9:15--nap
    12:00--feed with solids--4 T of pears OR peaches and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans OR peas with 1 T oatmeal mixed in and some fruit
    1:30--nap
    4:00--feed
    5:30--nap 
    6:15--solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T) and some fruit
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:10

    Week 28
    McKenna:
    8:15 AM--wake, nurse, eat 2-3 T prunes, 2 T peaches mixed with 4 T oatmeal
    9:25 AM--nap (some days, she was up until 9:30, but her nap was disrupted. She would go back to sleep after talking for a few minutes, but that is unusual for her to wake and talk).
    12:15 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 4 T green veggies and 4-8 T applesauce
    2:00 PM--nap
    4:30 PM--wake, nurse, eat about 2 T squash, 2 T carrots or sweet potatoes, 4 T bananas or pears. If she still seemed hungry, I would offer 1-2 T oatmeal
    6:00-6:30 PM--nap
    7:00-8:00 PM-- wake
    7:50-8:00 PM-- eat, pjs, story, bed
    10:00 PM-- dreamfeed for half of the week

    Brinley:
    8:00--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in--a few days we did 2 T yogurt here
    9:15--nap
    12:00--feed with solids--4 T of pears OR peaches and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans OR peas with 1 T oatmeal mixed in and some fruit
    1:30--nap
    4:00--feed
    5:30--nap 
    6:15--solids--half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (1-2 T) OR butternut squash (1-2 T) and some fruit
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00.

    Week 29
    McKenna: 
    I am continuing to move things back slowly before the time change, but I can't change her much more than she is since it would conflict with the other children too much. I am also going to stop posting how much of each food she eats. I think too many people are worrying over it :):

    8:20--wake, nurse, eat (prunes or peaches and oatmeal)
    9:30--nap
    12:20--wake, nurse, eat (green veggie and applesauce. I was also doing avocado here, but have since stopped it. I will start again if the rash is attributed to something else)
    2:00--nap
    4:30--wake, nurse, eat (orange/yellow veggie, bananas or pears)
    6:00--nap
    7:50--wake, nurse, pjs, story, bed


    Brinley:
    8:00--feed with solids--2-4 T prunes and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in--a few days we did 2 T yogurt here
    9:20--nap
    12:00--feed with solids--4 T of pears OR peaches and 2 T of oatmeal mixed in and 2 T of green beans OR peas with 1 T oatmeal mixed in and some fruit
    1:30--nap
    4:00--feed with solids half a banana mixed with 2 T oatmeal OR 3-4 T applesauce mixed with 2 T oatmeal and sweet potatoes (2 T) OR butternut squash (2 T) and some fruit OR 2 T carrots
    5:30--nap 
    7:30--feed, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00.

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