Milestone: Baby Bed to Toddler Bed (take one)

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are currently in the ongoing battle with the tiny human in my home when it comes to bed time.  The first few nights were a breeze at bed time! My little guy was so excited that he could climb into his bed all by himself! However, it didn’t take long for him to realize that now he had even MORE access to his toys and the rest of the house.

Here are some of the things we’ve tried so far to transition him:

1. Baby-proof door knob covers.

Since we already had the baby proof door knobs on practically every door in the house already, we tried putting one on the inside of his door so that he could not roam the house.

Outcome: He would stand at his door knocking saying “MOMMY! I want out!” He doesn’t seem to realize that as much as I love his sweet voice, hearing him yelling in the middle of the night isn’t exactly fun for me.

2. Returning him to his bed.

I feel like this is going to be an ongoing thing we have to do until he figures out he mean business! If I stand at his door and say “get back in bed” he usually realizes he’s been caught, returns to his bed, covers his eyes with his hands and pretends to be asleep.

Outcome: He still gets out of bed and ends up with random monster truck or helicopter toys with him in the mornings.

3. Co-Sleeping.

We have never really done co-sleeping in our home because of all the risk factors that come with it. On the other hand, sometimes it’s easier to just put him in bed between my hubby and I as soon as the sun comes up prior to my alarm sounding than it is to fight him back into his bed.

Outcome: My face getting played with and poked while hearing such a sweet voice saying “mommy get up!”

So far, we’re still working on it! I’ll post another update when we find something that works!

😉 Joni

Milestone: Baby Bed to Toddler Bed

I have heard so many different opinions and ideas on when the best time is for toddlers to be sleep trained into a toddler bed or regular bed. Do we wait until they outgrow them? Do we just do it when we see fit? Do we wait until they make a break for it? Toddler bed or regular bed?  Since my little guy never seemed interested in being free from the 4 protective walls of his crib, we decided to wait until he was big enough to climb out. When I purchased his crib, I made sure I got the kind that converts to a toddler bed so that he could sleep in a familiar place. My husband wanted so badly to start taking it apart and converting it months ago, but every time he tried I would have minor mommy moments involving tears and stories about when my kiddo was still teeny tiny and eventually, my husband would give up. When I woke up yesterday morning and looked at the baby monitor to find that he was no where in view in his crib, it became obvious that something wasn’t quite right. I found my spunky little man roaming the house having a great time pulling things off of low shelves that he knows he isn’t supposed to touch. Nap time came around and to my surprise, he peacefully slept in his bed without trying to escape.

Today was a different story. He refused to stay in his bed for nap time and would not sleep until I put him in my bed. For bed time, we repeatedly had to put him back in his crib. As I sit here thinking about the first time he rolled over and all of the other milestones he has achieved, it’s becoming more and more obvious that my little baby is not quite so little any more and it is time to convert.

I’ll be writing a series about our adventures with converting him to a “big boy” bed and will hopefully come up with some pointers along the way that may help future mommies!

Wish me luck! This could get tricky!

😉 Joni

Sweet Dreams Little Angel

My little guy’s birthday is coming up soon so I’m having a bit of a mommy moment–that is if a “moment” means the entire last month! I started thinking about putting him to sleep when he was so tiny. He would snuggle me and let me hold him like I was the only person in the whole world that made him feel safe. I would rock him and hold him until he fell asleep, put him into his crib, and slip out of his room as quietly as possible. 1 hour later, he would think it’s party time and would cry and scream until he was in my arms again! I started reading up on ways to make bed time easier after realizing that I could barely function at my job after not getting any sleep for days on end. For any of you new mommies out there, here are some tips that helped give me and my little guy some relief at bed time!

1. Start a bedtime routine. Anyone who knows my nightly routine knows that we practice “bath, bottle, bedtime.” Every night, he gets a bath, followed by a bottle full of almond milk (this helps for little ones with bad allergy issues!), and then he is rocked to sleep. When we are out later than usual, he gets completely out of whack and gets very fussy as all kids do. As long as we have our routine going the same way, he will fall fast asleep.

2. White noise. If you are wondering if getting a white noise machine is a good buy, let me be the first to tell you IT IS! We did not use an official machine, but rather a mini heater set on fan mode. This keeps baby from hearing any noises going on outside their bedroom and also makes them hear less if you’re sneaking out of their room after you’ve laid them down to sleep.

3. Lullaby. If you have a favorite slow song or lullaby, sing it!! My little one makes me sing a song my great-great-grandmother made up every night. The best part is, your baby doesn’t care if you sound like a squawking crow when you sing! It shows them that you take the time to sing to them & they think you sound like an angel. Well, at least he’s not old enough to tell me otherwise 😉

4. Swaddling for comfort. I don’t know about you other moms, but I just couldn’t get swaddling down using the pre-cut swaddle blankets. My mother and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby one day and decided to get a yard of jersey knit fabric cut to see if maybe the extra length would help. It worked for me! I could wrap him up like a burrito instead of trying to figure out which way to fold it and which corner I needed to tuck first.

If you have any tips or tricks for getting new babies to be more comfortable so they sleep longer, leave them in the comments below! All of us mommies need to stick together so we can help each other succeed! Learn from the struggles that we have been through and never be too proud to ask someone for help (or a nap).

😉 Joni

Mommy Hack: Car Wash

Trying to do chores can be difficult with a toddler! Sometimes it’s easier to take the send-them-to-the-grandparents route. However, I want my little guy to learn how to help with chores so that he can eventually do them on his own when he gets bigger! I’ve found that I’m most successful getting things done around the house if I let him have a hand in helping.

Last weekend, my little “super boy” (this is his new thing that he likes to call himself) and I tackled washing my car together. We got all of the necessary items together, pulled my car into the backyard, and got to work. The first issue I found was the fact that he, like any kid would, just wanted to play in the soap bucket and spray mommy with the water hose. After getting frustrated and asking him to play with his Tonka dump truck away from the water, it became clear that I needed a different strategy.  Instead of telling him to “go play,” I started showing him how dirty his dump truck was–just like mommy’s car! I gave him a soapy rag and took his hand to show him how to wash off the dirt, then spray it off with the water hose. Believe it or not, I think worked! I let him spray off the side of my car when I finished cleaning it and he loved helping!

Here’s a suggestion for mommies: don’t put on makeup beforehand and wear old clothes or ones that you don’t mind getting wet if you’re planning to do anything water hose related with your kiddo. If you minimize the things that will cause you to get frustrated during these types of chores, you will have more fun with your little one!

If you have any other hacks like this one or any stories similar, please leave them in the comments! I would love to hear them.

😉 Joni

Fall Crafts: Painting Pumpkins

There are so many different ideas out there for Fall crafts with kiddos. If you have a toddler with the attention span of a jelly bean like my little guy has, you may hear the word “paint” and immediately cringe. I wanted to include my son in some of my fall decorations and had seen so many posts where parents were letting their babies younger than mine paint pumpkins for fall/Halloween! Here is my pumpkin painting experience with my little Aaron and a few things to remember if you plan on trying this!

img_6608 img_6607

First of all, get your supplies together.

  1. Paint: I used Sargent Art Art-Time tempera paint. I pulled 4 colors for our pumpkin, but of course you can make it as plain or vibrant as you want.
  2. Brushes: It would be easy to use ANY kind of brush for this project, but I honestly thought that my son would be more interested in using his hands than a paint brush. I used regular craft sponge brushes that are only about 1″ wide, because that’s what I already had at the house. Periodically I buy these exact same brushes with the intent of painting SOMETHING, but that doesn’t always happen. They are fairly cheap and my favorite part: you can throw them away and not feel bad about losing money on a foam brush!
  3. Something to keep your paint on. I used a paper plate, but you can use cups or bowls. Since I know that I will be the one cleaning up the mess, I suggest using as many disposable items as possible. I also used a 30 gallon clear trash bag to keep the pumpkin on. Some of you may not mind if your grass is painted, but I want to teach him to do things as clean as possible for my sake!
  4. Old clothes! In some of the pictures, you may notice what my son is wearing–stylish, right? He’ll get all the ladies! These are actually clothes that he is starting to out-grow, so I used them since they will be boxed up soon anyways. Since we are in Texas where the weather is never what you think it will be, short sleeves, bare feet, and sweat pants are totally acceptable.
  5. Last, don’t forget the pumpkin! Since it is that time of year, pumpkins can be purchased at any grocery store. I chose the smaller kind (I’m sure there’s an official name for it, but to me they are just big pumpkins and little pumpkins) since this is the first time I’ve unleashed the tiny whirlwind with paint.

img_6616img_6611(Yes, I’m afraid my son will be left-handed like his “Honey” Sandra.)
So something to keep in mind, this craft is really meant for the kiddos. He learned how to scoop colors on his own, put them on the pumpkin, and did his craft pretty much on his own. Somehow, he ended up with hardly any paint on his clothes or hands. He did drip a little on his foot, immediately said “Mommy! Nasty-Yuck!” then proceeded to wipe it off with a paper towel without me having to tell him. I’m pretty sure THAT was a fluke–I won’t expect all of our painting crafts to be that clean. If babies use their hands to paint though, think of it as a learning experience. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts and no one will have any fun.

Something I would have done different, I would probably use acrylic paint instead of tempera if I were to do this project again. The tempera paint rubs off very easily if it’s bumped on something. If any of you have tried this yourself and have any stories, tips or pointers, please feel free to leave a comment!
😉 Joni