Favorite Kids Books

books2

When it comes to kids and books…at least my kids, I have found that there are stages. These are the ones we’ve been though so far.

First there’s the newborn stage where they lay quietly on the boppy pillow cooing at you softly while you read aloud and turn the crisp pages of your beloved collection of children’s books. Next comes the drooly, grabby stage. Where you still can read aloud to them but you must keep the book out their reach and away from their teething gums, its like a game. Once they’re mobile you either hide the books or only leave out the ones in which you don’t mind the pages being bent and  ripped . Any attempts to read a book to them will be met with the book being promptly taken from you and either eaten or thrown. There may come a stage after that where they are obsessed with a particular book and demand you read it over and over, often turning the pages before you can finish said page, then demanding that you read the whole thing over again.It’s a fun cycle.

For a small time books were forgotten due the influx of new toys and an exciting new baby sister. Finally…finally  we are at a stage where I can read a book out loud and she actually sits, listens and enjoys it! Of course at the same time I am playing keep away with my youngest. It definitely makes for an interesting story time.

Here are some books that Emma is loving right now, I can’t speak for Alina. I know she loves to eat them, but read …not so much. Click on the links below to see where they can be purchased.

books

1. Emeraldalicious//2. The New Baby//3.The Going to Bed Book

4. Moo Baa LaLaLa//5. Opposites //6. Blue Hat, Green Hat

7. I’m a Big Sister//8.Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

books 3

What are some of your kid’s favorites?

Gift Ideas for a 2 year old Girl

With only 8 weeks until Christmas I have found myself brainstorming for ideas for gifts ideas for the girls. It’s not that I am in a hurry for it to be here, no, I like to actually enjoy Thanksgiving and all the days until then. I just know that with 2 girls to buy gifts for this year I need to shop in advance so as to not spend so much at one time.

2 year olds are so fun to buy gifts for, especially Emma. She loves pretty much anything and gets so excited when she sees something that she likes.So I have thought of a few things I think she may like and wanted to list them here in case it gives anyone else in the same boat a few ideas. I will do a separate post for gift ideas for a 9 months old.

bitmap

1. Princess Cozy Coupe + Trailer . We actually already have the pink Cozy Coupe but I think the trailer would be so fun! Emma loves to put things in a bucket and carry them around and then unpack them , then re-pack them. She would LOVE a trailer to pull around with her various babies and random rocks inside.

2. These adorable felt finger puppets from this Etsy shop. There are so many sets in her shop, I know I will have trouble picking just one.

3.  This Double sided art easel. One side is chalk and the other side is to color with markers. Emma LOVES to draw and I know she would have hours of fun with this.

4. Frozen. Need I say more?

5. This broom and dustpan set. Emma loves to help mama sweep, but she’s constantly knocking things over with a full-sized broom. She needs something more kid friendly.

6. Trampoline. We decided against a full size trampoline since we don’t want to have to move it next year. But this kids size could still be a lot of fun!

7.  She has recently gotten interested in taking a purse with her when we leave the house. She says “Oh Mama, my purse” and goes and gets this felt bucket that she carries around. So I think a purse like this would be a hit.

I doubt we will get her all of these things but these are just some ideas I am tossing around.  I’m sure I’ll think of more.

What are you getting your little ones?

Items to help your baby sleep

I am convinced you could sell anything to a sleep deprived parent. The desperation you feel is at a level that cannot be described and you would do the rain dance if it promised your baby would sleep better. I have been there, I know. I know about those nights when you wonder “will they ever sleep?”, “will I ever sleep again?”. While this is NOT a post about sleep training ,it is a post with a list of items that I have found helpful in the sleep department. I don’t promise they will cure your sleep woes but give them a try if you haven’t. Also, I am here to tell you that YES, you will sleep again.

sleep

1. A Crib. As with most things baby related there are differing opinions as to whether you need certain items and what not. We bought a crib as one of our first purchases and I am very glad we did. It was something we wanted to invest in for all of our babies to come. We bought from Target online and got a great deal (and free shipping!) on a beautiful crib. You could also find it on Amazon and get free shipping! While My babies do not sleep in the crib until they are around 5 months old, it is invaluable to have when you are ready for them to be out of your room. And trust me, the moment can come upon you  suddenly.

2. Crib Mattress. We bought a mattress similar to this one. There are about 5,876,966 mattresses out there so you have to do your research and make the best decision you can. We have bought the same mattress for both of our girls and they seem to find it really comfortable. A good mattress in very important.

3. Swaddle Wraps. For the first few weeks of Emma’s life and for the first 5 months of Alina’s ,swaddling was essential to our sleep and theirs. I loved Aden and Anais swaddle wraps because they are lightweight and have the cutest patterns. When you are through the swaddling phase they can be used as a lightweight blanket or nursing cover. There are other types of swaddle wraps out there and by all means try them! If you haven’t given swaddling an honest try, you may be missing an important key to help your baby sleep.

4. Loveys. At first I didn’t know what a lovey even was or what it’s purpose was. Both of my girls have one now and I used them in the early days as a sleep cue. When the lovey came out they knew it was time for sleeping. Or that was the idea. Now they still sleep with them and really find comfort in having their “lovey”. I have to say, please use caution. Don’t leave a sleeping baby alone with a lovey. 

5. Rock and Play Sleeper. Do yourself a favor. If your baby has reflux or even just doesn’t seem to like sleeping flat in a bassinet. Stop what you are doing and go get a RNP. You can thank me later. Both of my girls slept in this in lieu of a bassinet.

6. White Noise. I cannot say enough good about using white noise. We have used it since day one in some form or another. Either a fan, portable heater or most commonly the white noise app on my iPad. There are many different free white noise apps out there. Just choose one you like. Or if you prefer to get a portable white noise machine, that works just as well.

7. Zipadeezip– This is a new addition to my ” must haves” list. There was no need for this item with my oldest, however when when my baby was 5 months old and still addicted to the swaddle but sleeping terribly, I desperately searched for a solution. This is an ingenious product that helps your baby ease the transition between swaddle and no swaddle. She now sleeps 12+ hours at night in her zippy. See what I mean? Go get one. Read more about how I used the Zipadee-zip to transition out of the swaddle here. 

8. A swing. Like I said, sleep deprived parents will try anything. When a pregnant mom asks me what is the #1 item she needs. I say, get a swing and get a good one. Get one that looks comfortable enough to sleep in because that’s what they’ll be doing. And get one that plugs in to an electrical outlet so you don’t break the bank on batteries. My babies spent a lot of precious hours resting comfortable and happily in their swing. It saves your sanity.

These are the most important sleep items that have helped my babies sleep. I would love to hear what has helped you.

What to pack in a diaper bag for a newborn

Cleaning out my diaper bag yesterday I started thinking about how in the beginning, when I first brought Emerald home,  I had no idea what to pack in a diaper bag. I had her bag stuffed full of this and that and mostly a lot of things I did not need. Since I am now on my second baby I think I have figured out what is a must in the diaper bag and what can be left at home. Of course, this is my opinion and is tailored to my baby’s needs. You may find your needs are different. Also keep in mind that this is for a newborn to 5ish month old and for a breastfed baby. After this season it completely changes, another post for another day.

rp_what-to-pack-in-a-diaper-bag.txt3-701x1024.png

 

 

1. A Diaper Bag.  Obviously you need a diaper bag or something to carry your “stuff” in. For both of my girls I have ended up getting a 31 Gifts bag. With Emerald I got a Cindy tote and with Alina I got a Zip top utility tote. I like both of them and still use them. I loved that I could personalize them and that they would last long past the “diaper bag” stage. Now I use them for overnight trips to Mimi’s house. Whatever you choose make sure it is a choice you can live with because you pretty much don’t go anywhere without it for a while.

 2. Diapers. I’m not a diaper snob, I’ll try just about any diaper once. Right now we love LUVS. I started out keeping about 10 diapers in my bag, you never know with a newborn. Now I keep about 5-6 in there. You can’t really go wrong packing diapers, after all it is a “Diaper” bag.

3. Baby Wipes. I have tried lots of different wipes but the ones I keep coming back to are Huggies One and Done the Refreshing scent.

4. Extra clothes for baby. I keep a minimum of 2 changes of clothes in my bag. Usually 1 full set and then an extra onesie . Without fail, the one time I forgot to pack them I ended up with a naked child. Also don’t forget to replace the extra outfits as they grow. You don’t want a newborn onesie for your 4 month old as the only choice in your diaper bag.

5. Pacifiers. Love them, hate them , don’t use them or hoard them… We don’t leave home without at least 2.

6. Nursing Cover. Like I said, to each their own. I like to have a cover when I nurse in public.

7. Changing Pad. We use our portable changing pad very often. It’s so handy to have when you need to do a quick diaper change anywhere other than home. Wipes clean, has extra pockets and comes with an extra wipes case. It folds up nice and neat and has a strap if you need to carry it solo.

8. Burp Cloth. Spit up, drool, snot…you name it. Just pack one…or two.

9. Extra Blanket. When my baby was itty bitty we never left home without an extra blanket. Handy for keeping warm, covering the car seat from nosy people in Target and it can act as an emergency burp cloth or changing pad in case you forgot to pack #7 and #8. We still bring one along. A smaller one though.

10.  Extra Shirt for mommy. Do yourself a favor and stick a shirt (that you don’t wear often and won’t miss) in the bottom of your diaper bag. I’ve had to pull mine out a few times and I always thank myself!

I am sure I could add a few more things but when I stop and think of what is absolutely necessary, these things pop up first. So here you go. I hope you found this helpful.

What are some things that you find necessary to keep handy? Let me know in the comments.