UPDATE; Since I posted this I have received some objection to letting a baby cry at all. Some people were rude and judgey and some were kind and respectful. All I can tell you, which I feel like I say already in this post but I want to stress it again, is that you have to figure out what is right for you. What I’m sharing is what was right for my family. I did a lot of research, talked to mothers that I trusted, talked to our pediatrician, read books, and made a decision with my husband to give this a try. It worked for us. It brought more harmony to our home and allowed me to get some desperately needed sleep. I didn’t do this with a newborn. I didn’t let them cry all night long. I didn’t do it if they were sick or teething or if they seemed ‘off’ like something else was going on. I totally understand that this might not be for everyone and also that not everyone will agree with me. I’m not saying this is the ONLY way. It is just one way, especially if other ways haven’t worked for you. If this way isn’t for you, don’t do it. If you disagree, don’t read it.
Sleeping through the night is sort of the holy grail of parenthood. Everyone wants it to happen, only some seem to get it. Is it luck? Is there a trick to it? My answer: a little of both. But I do think that every baby is capable of sleeping through the night — sometimes they just need to be given the right tools and other times it comes naturally.
I used to think “anyone can get their baby to sleep through the night if they take the time to teach them. It isn’t that hard, you just have to be committed.” And then I had Quincy. Quincy is not a great sleeper. He never has been. I attribute much of that to the fact that he had reflux and spent his first 6-8 months trying to sleep through a condition that caused him a lot of pain. But I contributed to his poor sleep habits a bit too. He may not be a great sleeper, but he is capable of it when I’m able to commit to being consistent. For example, he sleeps better when I’m able to put him to bed by 6:30 pm. But having two older children and a husband who (when working) doesn’t get home until almost 6:30 himself makes that almost impossible. And I know that he wakes up at night to nurse, purely because he knows I’ll come in and nurse him. When I only had one child, or even when I had two, I wouldn’t have done this. I wanted and needed my sleep and I knew they needed to learn to self soothe (except when they were sick or teething, of course.) But with Quincy, I’m SO tired that I would rather quickly nurse him and have him go back to sleep so that I can as well instead of letting him cry and put himself back to sleep, but also keeping me awake for much longer. So those night wakings? Those are on me. And I know it.
Having had three babies, two of which slept through the night at a pretty young age, I can tell you with certainty that all babies are different. Not all babies are capable of “sleeping through the night” as you think of that concept. Not all will be put down at 7 pm and sleep until 7 am. But I do think every baby can be taught to how to sleep on their own, and if yours still isn’t by 6 months old then there may be a bigger reason than “he’s not a good sleeper.” I think some of us are given naturally good sleepers and others are given babies who need to be taught how to soothe themselves. I’ve had both. So instead of telling you that I can teach you to train your baby to sleep through the night (even though I probably could and it would work for most of you) I’m going to share ways to help your baby learn to sleep better and share some tips or products that have helped me with specific sleep issues.Read More
Whether you need to save more money or spend less, or not, no one likes to spend money unnecessarily. As a stay-home, work from home mother who is married to a creative (writer, actor, filmmaker) staying within budget has become a major priority for us. And it probably took me too long to figure out where we were spending money unnecessarily or areas we could easily cut to save quite a bit. In case you haven’t made these changes yourself, I thought I would share how I saved our family over $2000 last year by doing just these three things:Read More
I’ve always been a sucker for pretty paper and good design. The stationery suite and paper goods were some of my favorite details from my wedding. I look forward to holiday cards and birth announcements. I choose products by their pretty labels. I spend more time on a well-designed website than its less pretty counterparts. You might have noticed that I recently had a facelift here at Oh Lovely Day, and the beautiful and clean design was done by the ladies of Little Bit Heart. They did such a fabulous job and were such a treat to work with that I wanted to share more about the services they provide. If you’re on the hunt for a wedding stationery designer or are looking to rebrand your business or revamp your website, these ladies are the best! And they are giving away a set of 5 custom illustrations, like the pretty map illustration you see in the photo above, to one lucky reader. These are so perfect to illustrate a love story on your save the date (your first date, where you got engaged) or on a map for your invitation set. So be sure to enter at the end of the post! Read More
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe for a while (if you don’t know what that is, go here to read more about the concept), but being pregnant and nursing and carrying postpartum weight (still), I haven’t felt ready to commit and also don’t want to buy any new clothing that I (hopefully) won’t be able to wear once I get back in better shape. But then I started thinking about how I tend to wear the same 5 things now already (beyond the standard t-shirt and yoga pants) and how, after three babies, I’ve pretty much figured out the perfect uniform for this phase of life: comfy but still stylish enough to make you feel put together, babywearing-friendly, nursing-friendly, extra weight-friendly, affordable, and transitions well from season to season. My wardrobe issues were/are:
- I look in my closet full of clothes and find nothing that I want to wear or that fits me well. There is nothing I really LOVE to put on.
- I find myself spending money on the cheap stuff to have “options” or because it was on sale, and then I never really wear it because it falls into the first issue and doesn’t really look good on me.
- When I do find something I love, I end up wearing it almost daily because it is what I feel the best in, and then I wear it out. (my favorite jumpsuit has faded and gotten pilly after one million wears, my favorite jeggings have holes in them near the pockets, etc.)
Do any of those issues sound familiar to you? Have a closet full of stuff but nothing to wear? Do most of your things make you go “meh” or just not fit at all? Maybe a capsule wardrobe is right for you too. I think a capsule wardrobe is an especially great idea for moms because our lives are complicated enough already. We get very little time for ourselves. Why not simplify our closet, having only a few options to choose from day to day (you can have a couple special pieces for date night or a special occasion or if you have an event, wedding, etc. also) that you always love to wear, feel great in, and that never go out of style?
So I thought I would share my mom uniform (can we call it a momiform?) pieces that I tend to wear over and over because they fit the above criteria. And I’m throwing in some accessories as well, because a good hat or sunnies are momiform essentials and you can wear them no matter what stage you’re in or what size you are 🙂 All of the items pictured above are linked to under their categories below and you can shop most of them directly at the bottom of the post as well!Read More
Baby proofing isn’t as fun to research or shop for as other baby gear categories, but it is probably one of the most important things to think about as a parent. It is about safety, after all. No, the knobs and latches aren’t cute. But they can save your baby’s life. While I certainly don’t think you need to add bumpers and padding to every single corner and hard surface in your home, I do think protecting your baby from toxic cleaning products, heavy furniture, and other safety hazards is pretty easy with the right products. So I rounded up my top 10 baby proofing essentials that every home should have.
- Munchkin Multi-use Latches: These things are amazing. You can pretty much use them to latch anything shut — cabinets, the toilet, the refrigerator, the oven — all without needing to do any drilling or causing any damage. A must-have.
- Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps: It is so important to secure large furniture like dressers and bookshelves to the wall to prevent tipping over on your children if they climb or pull on it. These wall straps are essential.
- TV safety strap: Our TV is placed up high where it can’t be reached by little ones, but even still (and especially since we are in earthquake territory) it needs to be secured to the wall or furniture. These straps make it really easy to do that.
- Window blind cord wraps: I feel like this is one you don’t realize is a hazard until you are a parent, but window blind cords are really dangerous. These wraps make it simple to secure and keep them out of reach, which is way easier and more reliable than trying to knot them like I originally did. And it actually looks nicer too. So easy to install as well!
- Outlet covers: This is probably the simplest and fastest way to do some basic baby proofing. These simply go into each outlet, keeping them inaccessible from tiny fingers. There are many different kinds, but these have worked great for us.
- Power Strip Covers: Sometimes we go around and cover all of our outlets, but we forget about accessible power strips. That’s why this power strip cover made the list.
- Finger Pinch Guards: These are actually brilliant and help keep little fingers safe from pinches and smashes due to closing doors. It can also keep little ones and pets from accidentally getting locked in a room.
- Safety Gate: We don’t have stairs, so I don’t use a gate, but when Charlie was a baby we lived in a home with stairs and this was a must. But you can also use them to keep baby limited to one room (or out of one room) etc. And I love this one from Munchkin if you’re looking to add a gate to a frequently seen space because it looks more stylish while still providing safety and security. It also has a turnkey mount, making it simple to install without drilling.
- Oven Knob Covers: I didn’t need these with Charlie — he never even tried to touch the oven — but Calvin tried to turn the oven knobs as soon as he could reach, so on these went. Better safe than sorry, right?
- Magnetic Cabinet Locks: Another brilliant and simple baby safety product are these magnetic cabinet locks. You don’t need to install them or drill into your cabinets, and they aren’t hard to unlock when you need to get into the cabinet yourself. It doesn’t matter what type of knob or pull you have either. Genius and a must have.
What are your favorite baby safety products or baby proofing methods? I really don’t think you need to baby proof every single thing in your house. I’m a big believer in leaving things as normal as possible and teaching your baby not to touch certain things. But there are just some areas that should be secured and aren’t worth the risk, especially when it is so simple to prevent injury or death. At the end of the day, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
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As I was expecting my third baby I often wondered how I would manage my other two children with a newborn. I wanted to make sure they all got enough love and attention and that all of their needs were met. I was afraid my middle child would be too rough with the baby, since he was only 17 months older. And I was pretty sure I would never conquer leaving the house with all of them on my own ever again.
In all honesty, having two under two was way harder for me than having three kids total. With my oldest being 3 1/2 years older than my middle, I hadn’t yet faced the challenges and struggles of having two so close in age. I definitely found that to be the hardest part. And probably the biggest challenge for me was something that never occurred to me until I had the new baby and was facing the issue head on — how the heck do I breastfeed the newborn while managing my toddler at the same time!? Read More