baby girl, Baby things, husbands, kids, second baby, stepmom, Uncategorized

Ways to help your firstborn get adjusted with the new baby

I have really thought about making this post for awhile now and it has taken some time to get the list of things just right for all of you!

If you really think about it, you have been telling your oldest that they will have this wonderful little brother/sister to play with, and how much fun and amazing this will be. Now that the baby is here, your oldest is most likely thinking, “How am I supposed to play and have fun with them?”

He then tries to “play” with the baby the only way he knows how. He tries to wrestle and he gets yelled at because he can hurt the baby, he plays peak a boo and gets yelled at for putting the blanket on the babies head, he gives the baby a big hug and then you tell him not to because the baby is too small for the big hugs and he has to be a lot more careful.

Now your oldest is confused at the fact you said he was going to have so much fun with his new sibling and it will be the best thing ever, but keeps getting yelled at for it.

Here is my list of things I thought could help out other families that are about to or are thinking about adding another baby to the family.

  1. Watch what you say

Don’t blame everything that you can’t do on the baby being here. “Be quiet, don’t wake up the baby.” We can’t go play outside because the baby needs to take a nap.” Saying things like this will most likely make your oldest not want the baby around anymore. Maybe try alternative words like, “We can go after the baby takes a nap.” “I can help you in just a few minutes.”

2. Give extra love

Tell them you love them a little extra than usual, give more hugs, find time to read a book or even play a game together.

3. Let your oldest be your helper

Teach your oldest how to be helpful with the baby. Let the older sibling use the camera to take pictures, or help put the babies socks on, he can even help with spoon feeding the baby when it comes that time.

4. Give praise

Whenever you see the oldest sibling helping or doing nice touches with the baby, make a positive comment. Try to make a big fuss about it and how important big brother/sister is and tell them just how proud you are of them.

5. Teach by showing them

Children will learn and do what they see. Your oldest will be always watching you and how you are handling the baby. Your child will learn everything they need to know just from you and watching what you do.

6. Quick reaction times

Anytime you see your oldest being too rough with the baby, act quick. Firmly let them know that hitting or whatever they were doing is not a nice thing to do.

7. Teach soft touches

Teach the older sibling how to give the baby soft touches. Try showing him how to give the baby a gentle back rub and let him know that he is helping to calm down the baby.

8. Hover over them

Whenever you have both of them together, hover close by. If you see your oldest about to get rough with the baby, you can quickly pick the baby up and distract the older sibling by singing, dancing, doing a craft, activity, etc. By doing this you are protecting the baby and also staying away from constantly saying no.

9. TEACH

I saved this one for last because it is in my opinion the most important thing you can do. Your main goal is to make sure the baby doesn’t get hurt, but your second is to teach your oldest how to be gentle and interact with the baby in nice ways. You can sit down and talk to him, show him by demonstrating what to do, and encourage great behavior and nice touches.

These are just a few things I have thought about and I am sure there are way more out there. I would love to hear some of your ideas, especially since I have a five year old and ten month old so we are constantly learning.

baby girl, Baby things, kids, second baby, Uncategorized

Baby-Led Weaning

I had no idea about this with my oldest, the only baby food I really knew about was the purees. As he got older I started hearing more about it, but at that time he was already out of that stage. So with our daughter I wanted to do it once I did a lot more research and knew I was comfortable doing it.

I want to briefly talk about the term, because there seems to be a lot of confusion around it. Think of it as baby led feeding instead of baby led weaning. That is important to know because you are not decreasing your baby’s milk intake from the start. You are actually adding solid foods to your feeding schedule and gradually replacing breastfeeding and/or formula with the foods.

When your baby starts to have solid foods consistently, the milk feeds will naturally become shorter and less frequent over time. By the end of the first year, it’s most likely that they will drop to 2-3 per day.

When do I serve the solids?

Choose a time of day when you both are relaxed and not on a time crunch. You might have to play around with different times until you find the perfect time for you both. When I started our BLW journey our time was morning. Make sure your baby is not overly hungry or too full. You want your baby to be hungry but not so hungry they are overly upset because then they wont want to try the foods. I usually like to offer solid foods 45 minutes after breastmilk when we first started. You also want to make sure your baby is comfortable, any discomfort could hinder your baby from eating. Don’t make your expectations too high and don’t worry too much about consumption because eating that first month or so is mainly for practice and exploration (it will get messy).

As your baby starts to eat more, add the second meal because you want to work up to three meals a day by the time they are 9-10 months. I personally was at three meals a day with my daughter a little before that but that is just how it worked out with us.

Why did I decide to do it?

I didn’t want to worry about bringing purees everywhere we go. I wanted her to be able to eat with us. I also feel like it has helped with her not being a picky eater. It is also so fun and exciting being able to see her and watch her facial expressions when exploring new textures and flavors.

How do I do it?

There are many people who do long strips of food so the baby can pick it up, but what works with us is we break the food into bite sized bites. She has very good control with her pincer grasp and has always done great this way. There are a few foods that I put in strips for her and they are avocado, banana, and toast.

You want to make sure you are never giving babies anything rounded that could get stuck and always cut food into strips or bite sized pieces. I recommend reading and watching videos on it before you start, just so you have an idea of what it looks like and choking vs. gagging because there is a big difference in the two. There are many accounts on Instagram that has helped me and using Pinterest for meal ideas and once you start it is easy to make your own recipes.

We are about three months away from Quaytn having her first cake…..for her first birthday! I am very positive that our food loving little girl is going to be all over it!

I do plan on writing more about this topic and sharing my meals that I have made for Quaytn with you guys. I do hope that this was helpful to get you started and I know it’s a lot to juggle and you may be thinking that you need more guidance so If you have any questions or want to chat about this please feel free to reach out at any time!

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kids, stepmom, Uncategorized

Stepmom Stigmas That Need Put Away

Let’s be honest, there are many stigmas that go around the role of “stepmom.” From the evil stepmother in Cinderella, to the evil Queen in Snow White.

We can’t seem to escape the assumptions that are made about us, and it drives me crazy! I was doing some research on different roles and what people think about stepmoms that we can debunk once and for all, and here they are.

We knew what we were signing up for

Honestly, you really have no idea what you are signing up for. I myself grew up in a blended family and I truly had no idea what I was “signing” up for. I also hate that it is called “signing up,” it is parenting, not some sports team. Parenting is hard whether you are biological, stepparent, adopted, etc.

We want to replace the mom

We want to be the stepmom, not the mom! The bond that children have with their mom is truly unbreakable, it is not our bond to have. Mom, our goal is to stand alongside you not replace you. We want to form our own bonds not take what is yours. I love co parenting, we all get along and it makes it so much easier for everyone involved.

We only care about our stepkids during our time with them

Stepparents are still FULL-TIME PARENTS. Our love for our stepchildren isn’t limited to the hours they are at our homes. Being a stepmom does not mean we turn on and off our love for them when they come and go every week.

That honestly breaks my heart when people think that, I love my stepchildren no matter what, they mean the world to me just as much as my biological two do! I don’t get every update or daily phone calls but I do miss them when they are not with us just like I would with my other two.

We only care about our partners

This is where I go back to all those movies that make stepmoms look like evil people. Okay, yes we do love our partners and care about them a lot. We fell in love with them, but we also fell for their children. Being a stepmom does not mean you are selfish, Stepfamilies are a package deal and we accepted the whole thing! Even those stepmoms who have a rough relationship with their stepchildren have love for them and want what is best for them because of the love they have for their partner.

If you are a stepmom or know someone who is, I would love to hear what other ones you have heard about in the comments.

Baby things, business, kids, Uncategorized

Balancing work and family

Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress from divided attention between work and family. I am extremely thankful that I am able to take my children with me to work but I still have to be able to share attention between work and family. The key is to focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance for you.

Make your mornings easier

Avoid starting your day off on a frazzled note by getting organized the night before. Pack the kids’ lunches, lay out everyone’s clothes, and make sure everyone is showered. I also will make sure I figure out what I want to do for breakfast, make sure you repack the diaper bag, backpacks, your purse and make sure you put them out near the door so all you have to do is grab them and go. Divide up the schedule between you and your significant other, determining which parent buys groceries, gets the kids dressed, and who cooks the meals. I also make sure I get up early enough to drink my coffee and exercise. Making sure you have everything finished the night before will allow you to spend a few more minutes eating breakfast and spending time with the kids without feeling rushed out of the house.

Create a family calendar

Make sure you figure out your families priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, chore chart, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and much more. My husband and I have a shared calendar on our phones so he knows when i make appointments. We also have a whiteboard calendar hung up in our home where I write important things including birthdays, bills, school activities, and appointments. Make sure you set aside a couple minutes each Sunday to prepare and review for the upcoming week’s schedule.

Stay connected during the day

Make sure you stay connected even when you’re not together. If you are going to miss or be late to a child’s event, give them something special that morning, like a good-luck gift or a special note. Also look into filming options for the event so that you can watch it later. During your breaks at work. make sure to call and talk to them. Hearing their voice can help you get through a rough day, and your child will be comforted knowing you are near.

Create special family activities

Making time for your kids is very crucial during the week and the weekend. If you are pressed for time, have a family breakfast or family night with games and a movie. Have family outings, and when you do go to the outings avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Focus on your kids’ interests such as hobbies, friends, school. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you do just as long as you do it as a family.

Spend time with your partner

Do not forget to nurture your relationshio with your partner. Often, if you are busy with work and home, your partner is the first to get neglected. Fostering this relationship will bring back some excitment to the relationship. For some couples, going out on a monthly date night can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on each other. You can always have an indoor date night by cooking a meal together or even sitting together with a glass of wine and talking, not about kids or work.

Have “me” time

If you are managing your time wisely, you can fit in valuable “me” time. Having a refreshing break will help you recharge while taking care of your needs. You cannot be an efffective parent or spouse if you are always cranky, so make sure you take time to care for yourself and feel relaxed. Remember to eat well and get enough rest, the most simple things are the easiest to neglect.

Let go of the guilt

Instead of dwelling on how you can’t be with your kids, think about how your role at work is benefitting your family. Maybe you are able to afford a great school, extracurricular activities, the best daycare, or start a college fund. Accepting that there will be good and bad days, you are not alone and you should discuss your feelings with your partner or support groups.