Surviving Daylight Savings with kids!

Daylight savings time is officially here! Most parents don’t mind it so much, in the fall when they gain an extra hour, but it sends fear through people’s bones when they hear they are going to have to lose an hour of sleep! Every year I get a TON of questions asking for the best way to handle daylight savings time and children’s sleep. So here it is:

If I had my way, there would not be a daylight savings time. I think it really does affect not only children’s sleep patterns but adults, too. In fact, statistically, there is an 8% increase in traffic accidents the Monday after daylight savings time kicks in. It really does have an effect on all of us, and it can increase our sleep debt – especially in children, who tend to be much more structured with going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. That is usually why people notice it the most in young children.

So what is the best way to handle the time change?

Split the Difference:

For “Fall Back,” I recommend all parents leave their clocks alone, this makes it less psychologically upsetting for your children. Just get up at your usual time and start the day. After your cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast, then you can go around changing the clocks. It will feel much better this way, trust me!

Nap Time change:

If, for example, your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30am, adjust it to 9:00am for the three days after the time change. This might be a bit of a push for your child, but it won’t cause much damage to their over all schedule. Do the same for the afternoon nap.

Bedtime:

Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7 p.m. I recommend putting that child to bed at 6:30 p.m. for the first three days following the time change. (This will FEEL like 7:30 to your child.) And it will take about a week for their body to adjust. It takes everybody’s body roughly one week to adjust any kind of change in sleeping habits.

For Children Over Two:

If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in the room and put a piece of tape over the minutes, so that they can see if it is 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock, but not the minutes, which often confuses toddlers. Just set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30 it says 7:00 and let them get up a little earlier than normal, knowing that, by the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wake-up time.

For Babies:

Do not rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up, because you do not want to send a message that getting up at 6 a.m. is okay now. So if the baby normally wakes up at 7:00 am, but is now up at 6:00 am, you will wait till ten after the first day, and then twenty after the next, then 6:30 the next day and, by the end of the week, your baby’s schedule should be adjusted to the new time and waking up at their usual hour.

On the fourth night, just get in line with the new time so your baby is back to going to bed when the clock says 7:00 pm. Adjust naps to the correct time on day 4 as well.

Contributing Writer and sleep expert:

Kayla Grundorf, Owner of Keep Asleep with Kayla LLC

Image-1Kayla is a wife and mother to a rambunctious two-year-old son. She is the Owner of Keep Asleep with Kayla LLC and a US Army Veteran. Kayla is a pediatric sleep consultant certified through the “The Sleep Sense Program” by Dana Obleman. Kayla helps families with little ones aged Newborn up to 11 years old to learn independent sleep skills. She is Atlanta based but has helped families all over the world. “I love helping families get the sleep they all need and deserve!”

For more questions about children and babies adjusting to daylight savings time, Kayla can be reached at keepasleepwithkayla@gmail.com

www.keepasleepwithkayla.com

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Teaching our kids how to love themselves

Teaching our kids how to love themselves and disregard the judgments of their peers is a HUGE challenge. My oldest daughter is only four years old and I already see it happening. It is crazy to think that this behavior almost seems inherent. So how do we teach our kids that these judgments and the opinions of others should not hold merit on their own self-worth?

As a girl mom, I think I worry about this mostly because of my own experience. Girls and women can be harsh, judgmental and outright mean to each other. How do we teach our kids to ignore judgment when we ourselves are still figuring it all out?

I try hard to be myself and not let others’ opinions of me affect how I view myself. My hope is that my self-confidence will rub off on my girls, so they can learn to be proud of who they are and not ashamed of how others see them.

Raising tiny humans can be hard, but I know if I strive to be the best version of myself my children will follow suit.

BeProud

5 Things NOT to Do When Potty Training

Five Things NOT to Do When Potty Training Your Child

My youngest daughter turns 11 months in just two days and the toddler down the road, who is in the midst of his potty training journey, has me shaking in my boots with the thought of doing this again!

Potty training is not for the faint of heart. This is coming from a mom whose daughter decided on her own she was ready and it was easy breezy from there. However, as a new mom I thought there were so many things I needed to be doing. I read all the methods and as a working mom/executive outside the home, there were only a few windows for me to get this right. I put so much pressure on myself to “get it done” that I didn’t focus on whether SHE was ready. I based her readiness on the mom chat at pick up and drop off and social media telling me other kids her age were already diaper free and I longed to be like them.

In the end, it all worked out. Yeah, it got a tad messy at times but we came out of it alive! I have no idea how it will be with our baby, but am going to recap some methods and important lessions I learned the first time around.

  1. Don’t start to soon: Make sure THEY are ready. Like I mentioned, I tried to potty train Caroline before she indicated she was interested in it. This resulted in a few naked days outside with constant pee running down her leg, and a stressed-out mom feeling lost and unsupported.
  2. Don’t go in without doing your research: Make sure YOU are ready. Yes, I said you. It is just as important that you pay attention to the signs of readiness in your child and do your research. If you haven’t picked an approach you are bound to fail. Sorry, that’s just the facts. Potty training is an art (for those not as lucky to have a self-training child) and if you don’t pick a method, your inconsistency will influence the success of your efforts, and that’s the worst feeling ever as a parent.
  3. Don’t forget to reward them for their success: Set up a reward system! So this can be whatever you think will work for your child. Some like candy or little toys. We did two things. I got M&M candy and gave her one every time she went pee or poop on the potty. She loved this, but started to just sit on the toilet just to get candy — smart kid! We also created a sticker chart. This was a suggestion from a good friend and it worked wonderfully. I got a poster board and wrote Caroline’s Potty Stickers on the top and found all kinds of fun Disney princess and other stickers I knew she would love. When she went pee she got to pick from one stack and when she went poop she got to pick from the super fancy stack of stickers. She LOVED her chart and would admire it several times a day. It was simple and relatively inexpensive — and healthier.
  4. Don’t stress: If it doesn’t work out the first try, do not stress! I scheduled two separate times where I was going to have her give it a go (pardon the pun). Both times failed miserably and I put so much pressure on myself to make it happen. When it didn’t happen, I felt like a failure of a mom. The reality of it is “Momin'” is hard, potty training is hard, and just because it does not work out when and how you want or expect it to does not mean you have done something wrong. A few months after my last failed attempt, Caroline came to me asking to go potty like a big girl and the rest was history. Of course, we had a few accidents and still wore pull-ups at night and during naptime, but it happened. The point is if your child is not ready to potty train, it won’t work. Many children naturally become interested when they see their friends doing it.
  5. Don’t be caught empty handed or unprepared: Make sure you have the gear so you are ready to go. Go out and buy a fun potty for the living room and car, let them pick out panties with their favorite characters and have toilet liners for when you are on the go. Caroline feared “big” toilets when we were out and about, so having a seat cover helped her overcome that fear. We also had a singing potty at home that we kept in the living room and a seat cover for her bathroom. Having these things all ready to go made it easy to just start when she was ready. Another thing I found useful was a car seat liner. It helped with keeping the seat dry when she had accidents and helped keep me stress free while driving knowing I had something between her (possibly) wet bum and the seat!

Moral of the story: Good luck out there and get ’em to “go” when the time is right!

 

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5 Baby Must Haves – The Second Time Around

Okay, so let me start off this post by saying no two babies are alike, so I am going to focus on baby must haves but also the things I purchased or saved from the first child that as a parent were helpful to have on hand.

#1 More than one kind of baby carrier

Personally, I used a Baby Ka’Tan with Caroline and saved it for baby number two. With CC, it was helpful the first three months but she was a big baby and quickly grew too big. Ella is the exact opposite. At almost eight months old, she still fits and is not going to outgrow the Ka’Tan any time soon. Cloth wraps are perfect for newborns and fussy nappers. The Baby Ka’Tan is nice and snug, but also very easy to use!

Before Caroline was born, we bought an off brand Ergo/Baby Bjorn type carrier that worked but was not as sturdy or supportive as I would have liked, so when I found out I was pregnant with Ella, I wanted to invest in an Ergo Baby carrier. I got the Original Ergo Baby with infant insert. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten the 360. The reason I say that is because the Original does not allow the baby to be front facing. Caroline loved front facing and I am sure Ella would to but after spending $85-ish on the one I have (I got it on Zulily, a discount site), I just can’t justify getting another one. Learn from me and make the splurge for the more expensive 360-version if you can!

# 2 Guava Family- Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib

The next MUST have for our family is the Guava Family travel pack and play. (I have posted about this before in a travel-related post.) What I love about this crib is not only the travel ability of the Lotus, but the quality and size of the crib. It sits on the ground so Caroline slept in it up until recently (three years old) and it is compact so it fits most hotel room corners. It also folds up into a light backpack! If you travel or just visit family a lot this is a must have.

LotasCrib.jpg

#3 Baby Food Maker and Silicone Freezer Cube Tray

A baby food maker with steamer and blender is super convenient when making your own baby food. The first time around we did this all wrong. We would make the baby food and then store it in recycled baby food jars. It was a messy and made for lots of washing and wasted storage space in our fridge. Silicone cube freezer trays are wonderful. We make the food (way easier than I thought it would be), freeze it in the tray and pop them out into Tupperware, and then save them in the freezer. To use, I just pop one or two cubes in a microwave safe dish, and POOF – it’s ready to go.

#4 Wubbanub Pacifier

This genius pacifier with a little stuffed animal attached has been a lifesaver for me with both girls. With Caroline, I was determined NOT to give her a pacifier … HA! Then reality set in and before I left the hospital she was sucking away. Anyway, the Wubbanub is the perfect little friend and baby muter – I mean soother. Ella loves hers and it helps babies learn how to use their hands. They can even put this pacifier in their own mouths much sooner than with a plain old pacifier.

#5 Disposable Nursing Pads

This was something I did not think of the first time around because I had NO clue what would be happening to my boobs in the coming months. With baby #2, I was ready to go with my favorite disposable nursing pads by Johnson and Johnson. I tried all kinds of brands with my first baby, but ultimately these were the only ones that did not irritate my skin or feel funky in my bra. The only downside is the fake nipples imprinted on them. Not sure why they would do that.

A Bouns #6 would be magnetic jimmies! They are typically more expensive, but worth every penny. Nighttime diaper changes will be a breeze, so make sure to add a few pairs to your registry.

XO,

Laurie

Comment with your baby must haves!

Summer Time Prep

Who would have thought that summer time required so much prep for a pre-schooler? Here in the North Atlanta area, even the pre-schools take a summer break!

Who would have figured… summer break when your not even school-aged yet.

One Perk of this “break” is all the fun things going on this summer in Woodstock and around Atlanta. There are tons of events and even summer day camps for kids under five. I am excited to sign Caroline up for a few princess dance camps and a ninja warrior themed gymnastics camps in-between our summer travels.

We will also try to venture into the city in order to visit the museums and other fun places we have yet to explore in our new city (Atlanta.)

What are your favorite summertime activities?

PS if you’re in Woodstock, GA and you have a little girl age 3-6 check out Dance Imagination’s Story Book Summer Camps. 

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XO,

Laurie

A little Longer

Tonight I will hold you little longer, nurse you longer, gaze into your eyes longer… Because, I know when these moments pass they will become fewer and fewer. You will get bigger, start talking and walking and before I know it you will no longer be a baby. I am so grateful that life surprised us with you and a little sad this will be our last baby. For now, I will soak up your snuggles take in your smell and appreciate the long nights and days because the weeks, months and years are swift.

Love,

Your Momma

The Weekend

Before we moved to the Atlanta area, I was an Executive Vice President working a typical 9-5 day job.

When Friday at 4 pm rolled around, I would scoop up Caroline from school and spend the next two days soaking up all the time I could with my little love.

Now that I am home with both girls SEVEN days a week I find myself preferring the weekdays. Funny how that works…

On weekdays we have dance class, gymnastics, and story time at the library. On weekdays there is structure and way less traffic!

Weekends are unplanned for the most part and somehow feel like more work. My husband typically likes to do stuff around the house and watch sports on the weekends.

Meanwhile, I am entertaining the children in our home. Not that I don’t love spending time with them, I do, but sometimes this momma needs a break. Even if that break is a 45-minute dance class or a trip to the HomeGoods store.

Who would have thought? For now, I am enjoying my weekdays because soon I will be headed back to work and my SAHM life will be long behind me.

Xo,

Laurie