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Reader Favorites Day 2015

I love reader favorites posts. I love to see what you have found that you just love. Some of our favorite toys and products around the home were recommended by you readers. 

Below are the reader favorites posts for you to visit today. Follow the link and comment on the post with your favorites in that category. I will add your comments to the body of the post. Is there a category you would love to see? Go ahead and leave a comment letting me know what category you would like to see included. 

Reader Blog Day 2015

Today is the day to share your blog with the rest of us! Please look through the lists of categories below, choose the one that best fits your blog, follow the link, and comment on that post to share your blog. Please share your blog on only one link--choose the best one for your blog. If you don't see a category that fits your blog, go to "Misc." If/when I get enough similar blogs on that post, I will create a new category. If your blog is listed in one category but it actually fits a different category now, go ahead and list it with the better category.
Take note, I consult these blog lists when looking for contributors and people to highlight for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

Poll Results: Announcing Pregnancy

Our latest poll was on announcing pregnancy. It was so fun to read through the answers! You can see them here. The answers are completely worth the read--there are a lot of insightful thoughts. Here are the results:

How many weeks gestation were you when you announced you were pregnant?
5ish Weeks: 7
8 Weeks: 3
12 Weeks: 2

Did you tell everyone at once, or did you tell family and close friends first and then weeks later tell the general public?

Family/Friends first--general public later: 10
Family/Friends first--general public later, but close together: 1
All at once basically: 1

What was your rational for announcing when you did?
Excited/Celebrating Life Right Away: 6
Wanted to wait until after ultrasound/"safer" from miscarriage time: 4
Private person so I didn't broadcast: 1
Medical Mix Up: 1
Will you do things differently next time?
Yes: 5
No: 6

Any fun ideas for how to make the big announcement?
Katy said: For the first announcement, took a pic of our dogs saying they were going to be big brothers. This time took a picture of my daughter in a big sister shirt. Tried to get her to hold the ultrasound but that didn't happen.

Ashley said: I want to make a sign/graphic announcing Baby's due date, take pictures with my son wearing a "Big Brother" shirt, and take more baby bump photos than I did the first time around. I am hoping to have another pregnancy after #2, but Hubby isn't on board with that at this time.

Amanda said: When we announced baby #3- had the girls sit at the kids table in our homeschool room. They wach had a sign in front of them "Big Sister" and "Big Sister in Training" with a sign in the middle of the table that said "New Job Starts Aug 2015"

Laura said: "For Baby 1 we took both sets of grandparents for dinner and gave them wrapped baby photo almbums with the sonogram picture

For Baby 2 cute Etsy tshirts announcing the pregnancy, then texted the picture to everyone else."

Kellilayne said: "I saw one once that had a picture of the mom holding a "bun in the oven" sign and the dad holding a "baker" sign. That made me laugh. :p" 

Christine said: "We took pictures of shoes in a row, with our D.O.B underneath."

Jess said: Pinterest gives me all my ideas 
smile emoticon

Anything else you want to say?
Ashley said: My dear friend who has struggled with infertility said that she would share news of her pregnancy as soon as she knew because all life deserves to be celebrated, no matter how short-lived. I thought she had a beautiful attitude and am encouraged to do that next time around."

Laura said: "In both cases we called importante people to let them know in the phone prior to putting it up on Facebook."

Kellilayne said: "If I had a miscarriage in the first trimester I didn't want to have to talk about it with everyone. My rule of thumb was, if I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing news of a miscarriage with someone, I didn't tell them I was pregnant until the 2nd trimester"

Christine said: "I totally get why people wait to announce in regards to the risk of miscarriage (I really stressed about this), but someone once said something that changed my mind. That is, every life should be acknowledged. If you keep the knowledge of your pregnancy to yourself, then miscarry, others don't necessarily get to acknowledge your bubba's life. However, I totally respect everyone else's point of view in this regard. It is a very personal decision."

Reader Sample Schedules Day 2015

Today is Reader Sample Schedules Day. These posts are among the favorite on this blog. Take a moment to fill comment on the post where your child is currently. So if you have a 13 month old, head to the 12-24 months old post and share your current schedule. If you remember other schedules at different ages, feel free to fill that in as well!

Here is what you do. Click on the link to the post you want to add a sample schedule to. Then add a comment with your sample schedule. Then future moms can come look at these sample schedules to get ideas for their babies and children! If everyone took a moment to share their schedule at this very moment, it would add a whole lot of ideas for future moms! 

There are some posts that definitely could use some attention--one is the 5-8 year olds...because there are only a few right now! Another is the Summer Schedules post--I started that last year and it needs a lot of filling in. I also started a 9-12 year old post today, so if you have a child in that age range, check that one out (it is right below this post).
NOTE: I am turning comments OFF of this post. I want to make sure you add your schedule to the appropriate post and not this one. 

Reader Sample Schedules: 9, 10, 11, and 12 year olds (Preteens)

Comment on this post to add your individual children's sample schedules. Please include the age for the sample schedule. As you comment, I will organize the sample schedules into the main body of this post. Add them for any age; you don't have to do every age listed.

9 Years Old

10 Years Old

11 Years Old

12 Years Old

Reader Week 2015

t is reader week again! I think this is the fifth year we have done this. This is a fun week where you readers help contribute to improve posts that parents look to as resources regularly here. Akin to the idea of "many hands make light work," I think many minds make great ideas. I love turning to you readers to see what you all love and getting new, fresh ideas. Here is the schedule for the week:

The Readers Sample Schedules posts are some of the most popular and most-visited posts on this blog. I know you love them! So be sure to drop by Tuesday and add your most recent (or any from past years!) schedules. I will have a post up linking you to all of the reader sample schedule posts so you can easily get to your pertinent sample schedule post. 

Poll results can be very helpful to people. It helps someone come see what is "normal" and also see that even though there is a range of "normal" there are also people who fall in a range outside of normal. If you haven't voted on the current poll, click here to do so--it is a fun one!: 

Poll Discussion: Announcing Pregnancy

I will put a post up Thursday that will take you to the various posts where you can share your blog. I have a post for various categories, everything from business blogs to "just-for-fun" blogs. This is fun because it helps keep the Babywise community close and helps you be aware of blogs written by like-minded parents. 

I will put up a post Friday to link you posts where you can comment and share your favorite things. These will include baby products, toys, books, and more.

Giveaways are fun because it gives you readers a chance to win something for free! Be sure to drop by Saturday for your chance to enter to win a canvas! 

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and thank yous as I write this blog. I know I can't always respond to all of your comments across all of the various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog...), but I love to hear from you! I really do enjoy it and sincerely enjoy helping you. So long as you keep reading, I will keep on writing. Have a great week!

Divine Walls {Vinyl Coupon Code}

This post is in written in partnership withe Divine Walls. All opinions are my own. 

I love having nice quotes around the home, and vinyl is a great way to make that happen. Divine Walls is a Christian wall decal company. They have lots of inspirational quotes for you to choose from. They have love and marriage themed, kitchen themed, family themed, children's rooms themed, Christmas themed, and inspirational themed. 

You can choose your saying, color, and size so it can work in the space you have in mind. 

Divine Walls asked to send me a free sample for me to review. When I was thinking of what I would like, I decided I wanted something for the room Kaitlyn and McKenna share. So I asked if I could do something custom, which they did! I chose the phrase above--Sisters are Forever Friends. I let them know the size and color and they designed it for me! What you see above is the proof they sent to me to approve. I love the custom idea because you can choose a scripture or quote that really fits what you are trying to portray if they don't have that in the store.

And here it is in action. I have found I really like putting vinyl on boards and then hanging/displaying those. That way it can be reused if I change kids around rooms or redecorate a room. It was very easy to apply and is working very well. It has been a great company to work with. 

Divine Walls is offering you readers a coupon for 30% off anything in the store. Simply use coupon code dtHsWHE8.

5 Things You Must Consider When Designing Your Nursery

This is a sponsored post. 

Designing your baby’s nursery is an exciting part of being pregnant and you should enjoy every bit of it. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are 5 things to get you thinking about what you want, and more importantly, what you and your baby need.

1. Choosing the right room
If you have a choice of rooms for your nursery it is important to think about two factors: heat and noise. A room that has a natural temperature between 16-20 degrees Celsius (that is in the 60s for Fahrenheit) and is in the quietest part of the house will be perfect. If you don’t have a choice, you need to make sure you can regulate the temperature and learn to tip toe around.

2. Keep the layout simple
It’s natural to want your baby’s nursery to look great, but when you’re stumbling around in the dark to carry out night feeds you will want the most simple layout possible. Having everything to hand when you’re carrying your baby will make it easier, so why not test your layout before the baby arrives? It might seem crazy but you don’t want to realize you should have put the changing station closer to the crib on the first night at home with your newborn.

3. Choosing the right color
Many parents are moving away from the traditional pinks and blues, even when they know whether having a boy or a girl. Sticking with neutral colors and pastel shades will keep the nursery calm and relaxing, which will be welcomed by both baby and parents. Plus, it can be nice to have a nursery be ready for a different gender if you use it for a sibling in the future. 

4. Block out the light
Black out blinds and curtains are available to achieve the darkness you need during the day. Nap times will definitely be easier if you can if you can shut out the sun. Just one important consideration if you decide to go with a blind — make sure that you read up on the safety tips before choosing.

5. Make the baby changing unit work for you
Your baby changing unit will be one of the most used items you buy so you need the best one for your situation. If you are short on storage, choose one that will hold everything you need, even a baby bath if you want! If you have space to store items elsewhere you can choose a more minimalist style. Stores like Tesco have a great selection for every budget and there are lots of tips on how to choose the right baby changing unit, but as long as the one you like complies with health and safety, it really is just down to what goes best in your nursery.

So there you have it, our top five tips for getting your nursery ready for your bundle of joy. Happy shopping.

Image by  homestilo used under the Creative Commons License.

Dropping the Morning Nap {BFBN Week}

The second blogger you get to hear from today is Claire from My Devising. She is talking about dropping the morning nap--that blessed event! Claire says:
Every nap that is dropped means more freedom.  When I was a first-time mom, I would read things like this and feel very confused.  Your kid is up more and it's freeing? YES!  Once they get to one nap a day, life is wonderful.  (I mean, life is wonderful before that point, but being able to be out and about all morning with two happy kids is a glorious thing.)
I completely agree! I dreaded losing that morning nap with Brayden (I was pregnant at the time and did not look forward to that busy boy keeping me up and moving more than he already did!), but I soon learned how wonderful one nap a day was. Claire takes you through 5 phases of dropping this morning nap (with a play on songs, so that should help you remember ;)--I so love Claire's passion for music). Head on over to My Devising to read up on her phases and tips. 

For more on dropping the morning nap and other naps on this blog, see:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:

Prioritizing Sleep {BFBN Week}

Today you will be able to hear from Elaine from Faithfully Infertile. Elaine is talking about prioritizing sleep for your little one while still being able to have a life. She is honest and encouraging. She says:
"Prioritizing your baby’s sleep during the first year will take some sacrifice on your part, but it is totally worth it. As your baby gets older, their sleep schedule will afford you more flexibility and because you prioritized their sleep when they were little, you will have a child with healthy sleep habits and a whole family that is well rested."
Head on over to Faithfully Infertile to read more on her ideas for how to prioritize sleep. For more on sleep and prioritizing it on this blog, see:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:

Infant Sleep Guide: Helping Your Baby Sleep {BFBN Week}

Today you will also be able to hear from Emily at The Journey of Parenthood. She is sharing an infant sleep guide she has written to help people establish healthy sleep with their infants. This is a fantastic, bare bones guide to helping you establish good sleep in an infant. She shares the necessary information without overwhelming you--and with a baby who isn't sleeping well, you don't have time to be overwhelmed! Head over to The Journey of Parenthood to read all of her tips.

Related Posts on this blog:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:

Conquering The 45 Minute Nap {BFBN Week}

As we continue our BFBN week, we will hear from Carrie from Wiley Adventures today. Carrie is sharing how she conquered the 45 minute nap--a topic most if not all of us have an interest in at some point! While her first three children had a little bout of the 45 minute nap thing, her fourth gave her a run for her money! And as she puts it, with a fourth, "The 45 minute nap, or "short nap", or not-long-enough-for-me-to-even-catch-up-on-laundry-much-less-my-sanity nap, is one of the most dreaded things with a newborn." Head on over Wiley Adventures to to read her four steps she took to get her little one to get past these short naps. 

Related posts on this blog:

 It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:


Our next post today is from Brooke at ApffelADay.comBrooke is talking about you having confidence in your decisions to teach your children to sleep:
For the mom feeling unsure because of others. I see you. I’ve been there. You quietly doubt yourself, your abilities, your instincts, because others loudly shout their opinions. You feel in your soul that routine, consistency, and sleep will benefit the entire family, especially your little one. Yet, you see an article or a status or hear a friend or a family member and there it is, that fog. It creeps over you quickly until you are surrounded with a doubt so strong, it makes you question your instincts. Instincts that God gave you for a child He also gave you…and no one else.

I had my first baby before the Internet was huge--I know, hard to imagine, right? "Back in the day," we didn't turn to the Internet for answers or support. By the time Kaitlyn came along, less than two years later, we were there. The Internet was a part of our research process. So I was lucky in that I made a decision on how to parent my child and I just did it without getting input from the opinion of the world. I didn't even know the controversy around Babywise until my second child was born. 

In our modern day, you only have that luxury if you unplug. You definitely need to learn to trust yourself. Find moms you can turn to for mentoring and support and learn to block out the voices who try to make you question yourself. Head on over to to get her words of encouragement on this front. 

Related posts on this blog:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:

Maintaining sleep schedules on vacation {BFBN Week}

The first blogger you are hearing from today is Kimberly from Team Cartwright. Kimberly is talking about three important reasons she maintains a sleep schedule on vacation. I loved her first tip:
1) Children's sleep needs don't change on vacation.  This is sad but true.  I wish my son suddenly could go without a nap for a week every once in a while so we could get out and have a lot of fun.  But this isn't the case.  Just because we are doing something different, it doesn't mean he can skip important hours of rest.  If anything it means he needs more rest!  We are in a new, exciting situation.  There is more stimulation and less down time.  Kids need sleep just as much if not more during these times.  Busier days and more activities up the need for sleep, so I make sure my son gets it.
This is such a logical point--you can't really argue that at all! Head on over to Team Cartwright to find out her other points. 

Related Posts on this Blog:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep:

Protecting Baby's 1st Nap {BFBN Week}

Shea from The Moses Home is also blogging today. She is talking about the importance of the first nap and how to protect it. Shea's post is spot on. I love every tip and bit of advice she shares here. As Shea shares:
This nap is the most important nap for infants, in my opinion, because this nap sets the napping tone for your baby's day. Any subsequent naps are dependent on this nap, and how baby sleeps for the rest of the day will be determined by the success of this nap. Oddly enough, this nap also happens to be the nap that infants can handle the LEAST amount of waketime before. It is common for moms to think that since they have just had a full night (or at least in the early newborn days, the longest stretch of sleep) that they could handle a little time awake before needing a nap again. This is just not true. 
Shea goes on to talk more about why that first nap is so important, how to get it down, and then she breaks down each age group from birth on up to toddlers. Head on over to The Moses Home to read all of her helpful advice. 

Related posts on this blog:

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of sleep: