What I actually feed my kids

I am always looking for inspiration on food to feed my kids. I like to browse blogs and different instagram feeds to get some new ideas when I hit a rut. Here, here and here are some good ones. My girls aren’t overly picky but they are kids so there is plenty of stuff they don’t like. I always require them to try new things but I also fill their plate with foods I know they like too, especially if its good for them. I avoid food wars this way.

what i feed my kids

Today I’m showing you 10 11 real life pictures of food I fed them. The pictures include breakfast, lunch and dinners.  A couple of points first:

-I’m not a food photographer

-No, it is not organic

-yes they eat other foods besides these

-yes they eat a lot of fruit

-the little gummy is a vitamin. We use these

-the white cube is a probiotic. We use these

-our plates and utensils are Replay Recycle and we love them

  what i feed my kids

1//bbq shredded chicken, baked beans + rotini noodles w/cheese

toddler meals

2//mini pancakes, chopped ham + raspberries/strawberries

toddler meals

3//raspberries, prunes, cuties, granola bar + chobani yogurt.

what i feed my kids 4

4//mini pancakes, chopped ham +raspberries

what i feed my kids 5

5//ground beef, white rice +lima beans

toddler meals

6//apple slices, goldfish crackers, olives, cheese cubes + fruit pouch

toddler meals

7//cheese quesadillas, sliced apples + boiled egg

toddler meals 8//chopped ham, apple slices, strawberries + olives

toddler meals 9//scrambled eggs + chopped ham

toddler meals  10// pb+j taco, apple slices + strawberries

toddler meals

11//apple slices, cheesestick, strawberries , goldfish crackers + fruit pouch

So there you have it! These were all taken over a 2 week period so some of the food was repeated depending on what was in season and what we bought.

What do your kids eat? What are some of their favorite meals?

Linking up here. 

Gift ideas for a 2 year old girl

I made a very similar post to this one here . In fact it’s titled the exact same thing and is one of the most pinned posts on this blog. However, that post is over 2 years old and was made with a different 2 year old girl in mind. Now that I have lived through having a second 2 year old girl I thought a new list was in order. One with newer, fresher suggestions. I mean, at this point I’m basically an expert on what a 2 year old girl would want.

All these are linked below.

  gift ideas for 2 year old girl

1//First Words Book.  A very cool book if you have a little one that loves pointing and naming things. There are so many pretty object/animal/word illustrations in this book. They could spend hours looking at it..or you know… 15 minutes since that’s about their attention span. Here’s a post with more book suggestions.

2//Minnie Mouse Grocery Cart. Or as we Southerners call it, a “grocery buggy”.  To push around play food, stuffed animals and the random knickknacks that 2 year olds like to collect.

3//Cool plates.  I know it isn’t the most exciting gift but these plates are the most durable, picture friendly plates you will find (you know..for those lunchtime IG snaps) . We own lots.

4//Play food. For the girl who loves to cook. This is a great set with durable pieces. My girl loves the bread slices, mac and cheese and cereal bowl the best.

5// Little Bookbag. I love these book bags. They are small but not too small. Perfect for carrying on a road trip or just to the store with your little one. This same brand can be bought on Etsy too. We had ours embroidered with her name and that was the icing on the cake.

6//Play Kitchen.  I should have listed this before the grocery cart and play food. It would have made more sense. Every little girl needs a kitchen and this is a great one. It has 4 parts that open and close (oven, microwave, cabinet, fridge). It has a sink, a burner, a phone, a towel bar and the best part…a coffee pot. This is the most played with thing in our house.

7//Panties. Because it would be nice to think they will use them soon and they’ll be thrilled with the characters on them.

That’s all I have today! What are some things you think a 2 year old girl would love? Let me know in the comments.

Click here to read Gift Ideas for a 2 year old boy!

Alina is 2!

Over 1 week ago my second born turned 2 years old. I can’t keep up with how fast time is passing. My sweet, funny Alina girl is 2! I am finally getting some pictures up and a post that captures a little of who she is right now. I want to remember the details and small nuances that make her the bright light that laughs her way through everyday.

Name: Alina Dawn

Age: 2 years

Hair: White blonde, super straight all over with a few small curls at the end.

Eyes: Blueberry blue

alina 1

Favorite Food: Bananas, Cheese, Apples, Eggs, Sausage, Chips

Favorite Shows/Movies: Alina is an anomaly in that she has never really cared about a particular show too much…EXCEPT….!!…singing shows. She LOVES to watch youtube shows that have kids nursery rhymes. She blows us away with how many songs she knows word for word. My little singer.

alina 2

Favorite songs: On that note a few of her favorite songs that she can straight up sing word for word are: ABC’s, Baa Baa black sheep, Finger Family Song, Miss Polly had a dolly, heads shoulders knees and toes, happy and you know it, row row row your boat, twinkle twinkle little star, Barney theme song and just about 20 more songs!

Favorite toys : She has a few stuffed animals she loves. Her pink teddy (which used to be Emma’s), a blue pony, her Care Bears and Minnie Mouse to name a few. She has several baby dolls that she loves to clothe and diaper. She has always loved to mama her babies. She loves to cook in her new play kitchen and push her new Minnie Mouse grocery cart around.

alina 3

Play time: Alina is my inside kid. She prefers to play indoors most of the time. She does enjoy going to the park and playing outside sometimes but usually is ready to come inside before anyone else. She loves to play with Emma and is a surprisingly good playmate, going along with whatever story Emma sets up.

Clothes: She wears a 2T-3T in most clothes. A size 5 diaper and 2T pull-up. She wears a size 5-6 in shoes. I still dress her most days though she is learning to help.

alina 4

Sleep: 2 days after her birthday we went out and bought her a toddler bed. I needed the crib for Sera and we don’t want to own any big furniture right now since we are in a rental so we went with a toddler bed. I was a little worried about how she would handle it since she is much younger than I would have liked. But she has blown me away. She hasn’t tried to get up once. She has slept great in it! She sleeps 10-11 hours at night and still naps most days for 1.5-2 hours.

alina 5

Paci: We followed the same plan as we did with Emma and took away her pacis a few weeks before she turned 2. We talked about it in the days leading up to it as she likes to talk about things and she has handled it so well. She was sad for a few naps and nights but then she adjusted and has done perfect without them. I am glad to be rid of them.

alina 6

Potty: She is not potty trained. That is next on the list. We have a potty and pull-ups and we talk about it often and she likes to sit on it but it’s not serious yet. I’m not in too much of a hurry.

Things to remember: The way she will catch my attention then just burst into laughter. She makes me laugh on a regular basis with her funny facial expressions and antics.

alina 7

She.talks. so.much….like all the time. She talks about any and everything. I promise she is the most talkative 2 year old you have ever met. The pediatrician said she has a very advanced vocabulary. I told her that was not news to me.

How she is her own little person. Sometimes she wants to just play by herself or do her own thing. I love that about her.

alina 9

How she says “oceeean”,  “nayyyup”, ” I do it by mysayyelf”,  “Geeraff” , “baby Seera”, “Pamana (banana)”

How she repeats everything you say to make sure she heard you correctly.

How she says she’s done with dinner but then always….always comes right back to ask for more.

How she asks Emma for help with everything. Not me….she asks Emma.

alina 8

How she comes up to me and says “I wuv you mama you’re so soft”

Lina Loo, you are a rare, precious little girl. You make us smile and laugh. I know you have a strong, vivacious personality and I can’t wait to watch you as you grow older.

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweetheart ,I love you!

10 on Tuesday/ My kid’s favorite books

Look who’s blogging today! What what! My baby decided she was okay sleeping unattached to me for a few hours so I jumped at the chance to blog a little. What better way than to link up with 10 on Tuesday.

Since I am home with my girls 9,445, 880 hours a week we have a lot of time to play games and read. Like a ton. They recently became very into having me read them books. Which I just love. There is nothing better than having their rapt attention for a few minutes seconds while they absorb a story. Seeing their eyes light up at parts they love and recognize is precious. I thought I would quickly list their favorite books and why they love them in case anyone is looking to add to their collection. {All books are linked to Amazon. }

Oh and by the way my girls are 3.5 yrs, 2 yrs and 5 months (not a huge reader that one).

fav books

 

1// Are you a Cow?.  If you have young kids and don’t own any Sandra Boyton books you are missing out. They are short, clever and extremely entertaining. We have LOTS. This one is a favorite because they love answering “NO” to each animal as the book asks “are you a ___” .

2// Big Preschool workbook. When I first flipped through this workbook I thought it was WAY above my 3.5 yr old’s head. Nope. Man, I am learning every day to let her try things I think she can’t handle. She can’t do all of the exercises but there are plenty she can do.  She loves the tracing exercises, the coloring and matching ones. Lots to do in this one.

3//Go Dog Go.  A classic by Dr. Seuss. I don’t know what it is about this book but it captivates them. They ask for it over and over and they freaking love when the dog asks “Do you like my hat?” over and over. I even enjoy reading it.

4//The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Another classic. I will sheepishly admit that they had watched the Netflix version of this about a million times before I bought the book. But they love that they know what is coming every time (thanks Netflix). The illustrations are of course gorgeous.

5//First Words. Now this is a cool book. Both of my older girls love it. Basically it is a big, bright and colorful book full of illustrations of objects to help teach a child first words. But since my 3.5 year old loves it, it goes beyond that obviously.  They love me to point at an object and “call on them” to say what it is. I love that it pushes them to learn new words and concepts. Many of them they still don’t know but they seriously learn new words everyday with this book. It’s great.

6//I Love you Through and Through.  This is geared towards younger children and babies but they all like it. They mostly like to see what the kid is doing in each picture (crying, mad, playing…etc). Any chance to tell them I love you is good to me.

7//This Moose belongs to Me. I’m not going to lie, I was a little selfish when I added this one. The illustrations guys. Just gorgeous.It reminds me of our cross country road trip. I love to read this one to them. The language is above their level and definitely loses them a bit at times. But I like to stretch them and introduce bigger words. This is a good one for that. And they like that moose Marcel.

8//Snuggle Puppy.  Another Boynton book. This one is silly and sweet. You have to sing it like a song and they get a huge kick out of that. I like to change up the tune to keep them guessing.

9//Happy Hippo, Angry Duck.  Another Boynton. They’re just good. This one introduces the concept of different emotions very easily. For example, the first time I read it Emma asked me”What is Angry?”. Well thanks to this book she knows now.

10//Guess How Much I Love You. This one is also a show with episodes on Netflix. What can I say?We watch a lot of Netflix. They really like this one. It’s sweet and familiar because of the show.

Okay that’s all for today. I hope your kids will like these books. What are some of your family’s favorites? I love adding to our collection. Let me know in the comments.

Here is a post I made last year with some more of our favorite books! (There are 4 more Sandra Boyton books listed)

Emerald is three

emma bday 2

Yesterday my first born turned 3 years old. So unbelievable. If you think she looks sweet in these pictures just meet her in real life. She is everything pure and princess. I wish I had a way to capture her in words as she is now. I will do my best but am holding onto every moment so I don’t forget.

Name: Emerald Mercy

Age: 3 yrs

Hair: Dark blonde and Curly Q ringlets, getting longer every day

Favorite Food: dry cereal, noodles, grapes, blueberries, SWEETS!

Favorite Shows/Movies: Curious George, Toy Story, Buzz Bee, Clifford, Leap Frog, Strawberry Shortcake, Daniel Tiger and More. She LOVES her shows as she always has.

Favorite toys : Anything small and hold-able. Right now she loves her collection of miniature dinosaurs and safari animals. She also has a few favorites that include a cow, pig, train and a few cars. She can usually be found playing with a combination of these things. Putting them in random drawers and cabinets to “take a nap”. It’s not unusual to find a plastic dino in my pots. She also has a love for her stuffed animals. Often toting them around and taking them in stores with us.

Play time: She begs to go outside every day. Loves to play in the water table  we purchased last year for her birthday, loves to swim in our inflatable dinosaur pool. Take her to the park or beach and she will play until you make her leave. On another note she also can be happy playing inside for long amounts of time. She plays fairly well with Alina and likes to “pretend play” with her babies.

emma bday 3

emma bday 4.svg

Clothes: She wears a 4t in most things though we still have a lot of 3t that we are trying to get through the summer with. She wears a size 7-8 in shoes. She’s great at putting on her panties and shorts, needs help with her shirts but can handle her own flip flops if you show her which feet they go on. These days the weather is so hot she loves to not wear anything but her panties inside and when she sleeps. I’m a warm sleeper too so I understand.

Sleep: We moved to a twin bed a few months ago and it’s like she never missed a beat. She LOVES her bed. I let her help pick her covers and that was that. She sleeps just as well in her big bed as she did in her crib. She sleeps 12-13 hours at night. She stopped taking naps a few months ago as well. It was a gradual thing but in the end I settled on letting her have “rest time” for 1 hour or more everyday. She gets a few toys and knows she must sit in her bed and play quietly. She looks forward to this and it really does help her recharge to make it through the rest of the day.

Potty: She has been potty trained for about 6 months. Well, half trained. I say half because she refused to poop in the potty until about 2 weeks ago. I tried many methods to get her to but she simply refused. Choosing instead to wait until nap or bedtime to go in her pull-up. I tried bribery, discipline and you name it. She was golden with tinkling on the potty….never had an accident but nope… no poop. Eventually I gave up and said she will go when she is ready and backed way off. About 2 weeks ago it must have clicked for her. She decided to go #2 and has been accident free since! Now we are working on dropping the pull up at night. Hooray for a potty trained girl!

emma bday 1

emma bday 6

Things to remember: The way she always wakes up happy and waits for someone to come get her.

When she gets excited she talks fast, often saying the sweetest things to butter you up

How daddy is just about her favorite human being ever. She comes alive when he gets home from work! They have their play routine that includes piggyback rides, horsey, blocks, running in circles, tickling and more.

How she sometimes is so sweet to Alina, often finding her a paci or stuffed animal if she is upset

When I tuck her in at night I have to say goodnight to whatever it is that she is sleeping with. I usually find myself kissing a plastic dino goodnight.

She asks about the baby in my belly a lot. She seems to understand that she is coming after she grows a bit bigger. Often she asks if the baby will have certain body parts (lips, feet etc) and if she’ll be able to do stuff like play, swing and eat.

emma bday 5

I love you Emma Lou bear. You are a rare and precious gem. You light up our world and I am so thankful so are going to be the biggest sister for our lot of girls.

Happy 3rd birthday!

How to save money on kids clothes

When it comes to shopping for my girls I have a bit of an obsession. Nothing makes my heart beat quite as fast as when I stumble upon an amazing deal on something I absolutely LOVE for them. I wasn’t always a deal junkie. When Emerald was an only child I would just shop at Target or Old Navy, often paying full price with no mind to sales or coupons. Ah , those were blissful days. At the time I was working as a nurse in addition to my husband and the extra income was nice. But staying home full-time with my 2 (soon to be 3) girls is far better. I can still find great deals on super cute things. It just takes a little more searching and planning. Here is how to save money on kids clothes.

how to save money on kids clothes

1.) “Hand me downs”. This might seem obvious and a little boring but let me tell you, some of the most worn clothes my girls have are hand me downs given to us by friends and family. I never turn away someone who wants to give me free clothes! You just may have to spot clean or pick and choose what you like and donate the rest. Let it be known that you are happy to take used clothes off your friends hands.

2) Buy from friends. Along the same lines. I have had a few friends that didn’t necessarily want to just give away their nice clothes. Instead, I would go to their house and look through their stuff and we agree upon a price for the lot of it. You still save a ton and it’s nice knowing exactly who wore the clothes before your kids.

3.) Consignment sales. Probably one of my MOST favorite ways to get my girls clothes. I am like a kid before Christmas the night before a consignment sale. We have a local sale here twice a year that I look forward to and I will move heaven and earth to be there each time. I get there right when it opens and stand in line. I am never disappointed by the selection of clothes and toys. I have also sold clothes in this consignment sale as well. This is a nice way to try and “break even” with your purchases. Check out Consignment Mommies on Facebook for help learning where to find consignment sales.

4. Thrift stores. If you are like my husband you turn up your nose at thrift stores. Not me buddy, I am not afraid to get in there and search for treasures. Yes, many things at thrift stores are in worse condition than say, a consignment store, but there are great things to find if you give a little effort. Goodwill is an obvious choice but be on the lookout for smaller, local thrift stores as well. My favorite has a 25 cent sale day on Wednesdays where ALL clothes are a quarter each. I have found great baby and toddler clothes that way. Make sure to ask about special sale days at your thrift stores.

5. Ebay. It never occurred to me until recently to shop on Ebay for kids clothes. Then I heard a friend mention a great deal she found and I was off to the races. Since then I have found numerous great deals, mostly on infant clothes. A few tips : search for “lots” of clothes. You can often find better deals per piece that way. Make sure to calculate shipping into your total per piece of clothing, otherwise you will get slammed with shipping charges.  Lastly, if it says “or best offer” then make an offer! I always will make an offer and more often than not the seller will accept it.

I will leave it at those 5 suggestions so as to not waterboard you with info. Just know that there are tons of other ways to save money! I didn’t even go into garage sales, online garage sales, online consignment…not to mention just regular old sales and coupons at your favorite kids stores (target, old navy, the children’s place, etc.) I hope you’ve been sufficiently motivated to search for the hidden treasures and save money on your kids clothes!

Emma’s Room: Shabby chic kid’s room

I’ve always wanted to do a post with pictures of Emma’s room or really any room in our house. Until we moved into the house we live in now it was just too dark. We had almost no natural light. And while the light we have now isn’t great, it is much better. Her room isn’t perfect but it is something that I put alot of time into before she was born and along the way I have collected things. I love all the little things about it. We’re getting ready to move her into a twin bed but I want to keep the decor the same because I just love it.

My next project is to finish Alina’s room and I will definitely share pictures when I do.

Enjoy the pictures and if you have specific questions about where something came from just let me know.

room 2 room 3 room 4 room 5 room 6 room 7 room 8 room 9 room 10 room 11 room 12 room 13 room 14

Bedtime routine with a toddler and a newborn

 Emerald was 19 months old when Alina was born. I knew going into it that having 2 kids under 2 would be no easy feat. I would have to say that the transition was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be but I think that had alot to do with my husband having a 2 month paternity leave (can I get a high-five?!).

 Back to my point. I think that one of the most challenging issues was creating a bedtime routine with a toddler and a newborn. Once Jonathan went back to working nights that made it even more difficult since I was doing it alone most nights. I can remember in those early days how stressful it was trying to time it juuuust right where I would have time to do bedtime with Emma without a hungry or tired Alina interrupting us. I thought we would never figure it out and that our bedtime was doomed to chaos.

I am here to tell you that if you just hang in there it does get easier. As do most things when it comes to having 2 under 2. In the meantime I thought I would share some tips that may or may not help. Some of these may seem pretty obvious or irrelevant to you so if you read this and think, “That didn’t help at all” then just keep doing whatever you’re doing and eventually it will get better.

bedtime routine

1. Have a routine already in place. I can’t stress this enough. I tell people all the time that I am so glad we worked hard on Emerald’s bedtime routine and sleep issues BEFORE Alina was born. Newborns have crazy enough sleep schedules that you don’t need a toddler who doesn’t know how to sleep either. If at all possible, get your toddler in a good routine before the new addition arrives. Having this in place did wonders for our family. It was our safety net. If you’re curious to read  how we got Emma sleeping so well read here.

2. Work your new baby into the existing routine. Along the same lines as #1, don’t try to create a brand new routine once baby gets here. You are going to have a confused and stressed out toddler. It is much easier to work around the schedule in place since newborns are generally flexible in the sense that they won’t notice if their bedtime gets pushed back 30 minutes every now and then but a toddler most definitely will.

3. Pacify the baby before you start bedtime routine. Bedtime is always 8pm at our house. So If I knew that the baby was supposed to eat at 8:15pm I would always feed her a little early so she wasn’t squawking just as I was trying to rock my toddler. Same goes for diaper changes and burping….just get them situated so you know you have a clear 15-20 mins.

4. Include the baby. There were times when I just couldn’t time it right and I ended up rocking both at one time. That’s ok. If you have to bring the baby into the routine by having them lay on the ground on a blanket or in their Rock and Play while you read, sing or rock your toddler then do it. For us this wasn’t ideal in the beginning since babies can be noisy and exciting to a toddler who you are trying to get to bed . But you just have to do what you have to do.

5. Ask for help. If you are blessed to have your spouse home every night for bedtime then that is awesome! Get them involved. I know on the nights Jon was home we would take turns. One would do bedtime routine with Emma while the other hung out with Alina. If you are going it alone then don’t be afraid to ask for help from your mom, sister, friend, neighbor….anyone you trust. Even just 30 minutes to help you get through bedtime in those early weeks will help tremendously.

I hope these helped or sparked some ideas. Of course, they are geared more towards the early newborn weeks. Bedtime now looks much different with a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old. It’s a sister affair with baths together and snuggles together while we pray and do our routine as a family. Those days are coming soon. You just hang in there and don’t stress about it mama!

Gift Ideas for a 2 year old boy

I thought it only fair, since I posted my gift ideas for a 2 year old girl and a 9 month old girl  that I put together one for a boy. Of course, I don’t have a boy so I turned to my sister for help. She has 2 boys that are almost the same age as my girls. I said “I need you to tell me the top things your big boy would love for Christmas!”. She didn’t disappoint. Oh the wonderful world of boy’s toys. I love this list and I know many of you have boys that would love some of these things too! So here you have it, gift ideas for a 2-year-old boy.

boy gifts

Click on the links below to see where they can be purchased.

1.Drum Set//2.Thomas the train play rug//3.Balls

4.Loops N Swoop racetrack//5.Riding tractor//6.Wooden trains

7.Aliens in underpants book//8.Superhero toys

How I got my baby to sleep through the night

sttn

I get asked often how I got my baby to sleep thought the night. I’m so convinced that the most difficult issue when it comes to parenting babies and toddlers is sleep. It all comes down to sleep. Your sleep, their sleep…everybody’s sleep. You can see it in the dark circles under the new mom’s eyes or even in the frazzled mom of non-sleeping toddlers. Occasionally you will come across someone who says their baby was an excellent sleeper since birth. Well good for them. I’m pretty sure these babies are the exception to rule. I can’t tell you how many times I googled “How I got my baby to sleep through the night” in desperation only to get so frustrated at reading accounts of people whose babies just magically sleep so well. I hesitated to even write this post for that reason. I can assure you this is not one of those accounts.

I had to work for it and work at it. I don’t have a quick formula or a 10 step plan. If you have a 12 week old that you are wanting to sleep through the night like… tonight then you probably won’t find this much help. I’m just going to tell you what I did with both of my girls that worked both times. The proof is in the pudding and both of my girls sleep 12-13 hours at night without waking even once (95% of the time).

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Emma’s sleep story:

When I was pregnant with my first I read Babywise and thought “Why yes, I would like to give my infant the gift of nighttime sleep.” I tried to implement this plan from the start and spent the better part of her first 5 months stressed and frustrated because she wasn’t sleeping…wasn’t following my plan….wasn’t napping long enough…etc. I wish I could go back to those early days and shake myself and tell myself to reellaaaxxx, take a chill pill,let your baby nap in the swing and go take a nap yourself.

Then we tried co-sleeping out of desperation and that semi worked but not really because I was sleeping so poorly and she was still waking so often at night to nurse. Which made for a cranky and sore mama.

**(Let me just stop and say that I am not someone who expects a baby to sleep through the night before a certain age. I think babies NEED to eat at night for some time and I actually enjoy night feeds…to a certain extent {i.e not every hour})

I was against cry it out from the beginning, my heart could not take it. I knew from reading Babywise that this was what I was “supposed” to do. Instead I continued trying to co-sleep and after several more months of struggling with naps and getting to her to go and stay asleep at night my husband said “enough”. By this time she was 9 months old and I knew we couldn’t continue this way. I was at a breaking point so I agreed to try  a modified version of cry it out.

On the night we chose to start we did our usual bed time routine with prayers, rocking and good night kisses. We put her in her crib and left the room. She cried. Yes she did. She was able to stand up so she spent the better part of 30 minutes standing up crying. We checked in on her every 5-10 minutes depending on the level of her crying. If she had thrown her paci we would pick it up and give it back. After a total of 47 minutes of on and off crying with very frequent checks, hugs, kisses and reassurances from us..all was quiet. She was asleep and guess what??! She slept the entire night. She had NEVER done that. The next day we did the same for naps and night again. She put up a mild 15 minute fuss at naps and a 30 minute fuss at bedtime. Again we checked on her, kissed her, hugged her and reassured her that it was ok to lay down and go to sleep. Again she slept through the night. On the 3rd night would you know that she didn’t cry at all…she laid down and went to sleep for 13 hours. I literally was beside myself with excitement. Of course, I still went in to check on her to make sure she was breathing. She was fine…turns out she just needed her own space.

Since that time she has slept like this and now at 2 years old she still sleeps from 8pm-8:30am and I don’t hear a peep. Now of course we have gone through phases where she will fight it a little more (18 month sleep regression anyone?) or when we took her paci away or if she’s feeling sick.

I think a few things contributed to our success. -Her age: she was 9 months old so it was a little easier to let her cry and I knew she wasn’t hungry. -Our resoluteness: I think she could sense that our minds were made up and this was the way it was going to be.- Her disposition: I do think her disposition had something to do with it. She is a very mild-mannered child and not very stubborn so she didn’t put up too much of a fight unlike her sister (more on that below).

Alina’s sleep story:

This story won’t be nearly as long.

I didn’t read a single sleep help book during my pregnancy with Alina. I had learned my lesson. I let her nap in the swing nearly all the time and at night she slept in the rock and play beside me. I fed her whenever she wanted to eat and didn’t stress about it. We slept snuggled up together often. It was amazing and I will always cherish those days.

When she was 6 months old I knew she was ready . You can read about our struggle with transitioning out of the swaddle here. That was a whole other issue in itself. Once we got that figured out I knew she was ready to sleep on her own. We followed the same plan that we did with her older sister. I knew since she was younger and more strong-willed that I would be going in her room more often and that it might take a little longer. I was right. She cried longer and it took about 6 days. I had a lot of empathy for her and often would go and pick her up until she settled down. Sometimes holding her for 10 or 20 minutes. I would even nurse her sometimes to calm her. I knew this probably went against traditional cry it out methods but I didn’t care. I knew what she needed and I wanted her to know I was there for her. After that first week she figured it out. She began going to sleep on her own and only waking at night if she was hungry which at first was 2 times, then just once and now…she doesn’t wake at all. There was no crying involved in dropping those feedings. I was prepared to let her eat at night for a few more months but she decided she was done. Now she too sleeps from 7pm-8am and is a great napper as well.

I have so much more I could say about the subject of baby sleep. Another day. Today I just wanted to share these stories in hopes that it might encourage someone. If you have any questions or just need encouragement please don’t hesitate to contact me. Sleep deprivation is no joke. Hang in there mama’s! It does get better.

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