Lessons at Goldfish Swim School {4}!

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Good afternoon!! Hope your weeks are off to a great start!! Today I am so excited to update you all on E’s progress at Goldfish Swim School!  Lessons have been a little spotty with the arrival of Claire and adjusting to life with two under two, but the second we walk into Goldfish, E’s eyes light up and she picks up right where she left off!  Swim lessons have truly become a way for E and daddy to bond while I hang out behind the glass with Claire.  They practice kicking and pulling to get ready for lessons–so sweet.

Her newest skills:
can kick her feet and pull her arms when asked
can climb out of the pool with a little nudge
go under water without freaking out
swims to instructor and back (HUGE)
not losing her mind when she spots me behind the glass or when I come in and watch her the last five minutes (also huge)

Activities she loves:
going after the balls with the floaty barbell and putting them in the bucket
highfiving on the way into lessons
people watching
getting on the floaty duck and immediately jabbing her fist into the eye
getting in the canoe (THE BEST)

Still working on:
floating on her back

To take a look back at how far she’s come:
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SO little in that first lesson!!  I love seeing how far she’s come, scared and only consoled by a baby doll to giggling and loving her time in the water!  Thank you so much, Goldfish for helping her overcome so many fears!!

Has your little overcome any fears this summer?  Such a special thing to watch them blossom and practice with their new confidence!

To find a location near you, head here!
Have a great day!
Erin

*This post was written in partnership with Goldfish Swim School, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

 

12-18 Month Essentials!

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Good afternoon!  Hope all of your weeks are off to an excellent start!  E is now 18 months and her needs have totally changed so I thought it was high time I got around to doing a post about what she is loving/needing now!  The one thing that I have noticed, is that our “needs” are fewer and it’s becoming more of a what she “wants” and/or enjoys for longer than 6 seconds.

Bathtime

  1. We have moved her out of her enclosed tub (that was really just a bucket) and she is in the full bath now.  Dude, bathtubs are slick and toddlers have no concept of taking it easy.  After one tub-free bath session, I had to go get a bath mat.  Just make sure you let it air dry suction side up every once in awhile because it does get mildewy underneath!
  2. I found this bath fingerpaint in the dollar section at Target, or at least something similar and E loves it!
  3. In addition to these toys that she still loves, we have thrown in cups and bowls that she can fill and dump.

Diapering

  1. We’ve moved into the possible potty training phase of life.  I will probably do a full post on this as we get closer, but for now, the only thing we have done besides couponing for pull ups, is set a potty chair in the bathroom.  She doesn’t really like sitting on it without her diaper yet, but we encourage her to just sit on it when we go too, get comfortable with it, etc…

Play

  1. She still loves everything I mentioned in the 6-12 months post including babies, blankets, buckets, etc…
  2. One magic item I have found are pom pomscups, and spoons.  When I need just like five minutes to breathe or drink my now cold coffee, I pull this activity out.  It will keep her busy for I kid you not, like 30 minutes.  She just fills up all the cups with a spoon (I demonstrate) and then dumps from cup to cup and then does it all again.  As she gets a little older, I am hoping she still loves it and it can become a sorting activity with all the colors!  Although my child blessedly is not obsessed with putting everything in her mouth, I do monitor this activity because the poms are on the smaller side…they may sell bigger ones?
  3. I gotta give a shout out to my mom for giving E this doll.  She can go in the bath and then when she is dry can function like any other baby/doll!  And she is so stinking cute!!
  4.  Purses.  She loves carrying a fake cell phone, keys, and her purse, waving and saying “bye”.  Wonder where she learned that??  Also, you have not seen a fight until you have watched two toddlers fight over a purse.  Gah, so awkward.  Always bring your own purse and baby doll to a playdate.  Always.
  5. ALL THE STICKERS.  You must always have stickers in your diaper bag when you go out.  MUST.
  6. She is finally getting into reading.  Before now, she really wouldn’t sit still for more than a touch and feel book.  I feel like she is just now getting to the point of understanding the elements of the story/remembering what is on each page.  Right now she loves Planes Go! and Hooray for Hat!
  7. I’ll go ahead and throw clothes on here again too because they often serve as entertainment.  She now can put on her own rainboots which is HUGE in the parenting of a toddler world.
  8. I might do a whole separate post on this, but big Items that are good for a birthday wishlist: Play Kitchen (we still need to get E one…she is obsessed), Tent (great for storing toys out of sight), Car, and water table (could fill with pom poms during the winter!)

Sleep

  1.  E no longer sleeps in a crib and if you feel like your kiddo is ready to transition I did a whole post on E’s transition to her big girl room and also a post on how we did Toddler Sleep Transition.  We love her Dockatot!  I also did a post on Establishing a Nighttime Routine!

Eating

  1. I wrote a whole post on Toddler Eating and some of our tips/tricks.  This age is all about control.
  2. E pretty much eats only what we eat now…no more just “baby/toddler” foods like puffs.  The one thing we do still give her are pouches.   Great for on the go, but also a great source of nutritious foods that she won’t necessarily get otherwise.  Especially when she was teething and wasn’t super into food, pouches were a lifesaver!
  3. We also love these sippy cups.  The spout makes for a great transition cup.  It was the first sippy cup E would take!
  4. E has also pretty much outgrown her beloved high chair which does transition into a toddler chair!  She likes her freedom when eating now and so we put her at a table with chairs!
  5. We take E to a sitter and we have to provide meals so we use this lunchbox and backpack to pack for her days there.  This fall, she will start helping us pack and unpack as a part of her chores/things that she can do to help–and let me tell ya, she LOVES to help.

To take a look back, here are the essentials from 0-3 months3-6 months, and 6-12 months!

We just adore this age.  They are so fun and really are becoming their own little selves.  What do/did your littles love at this age??  What should we prepare ourselves for in the next bracket??

Hope you all have a great day!
Erin

Claire is One Month!

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Our littlest sweet pea turned one month this week!  Although I’m not really sure when I am supposed to do this when she was born on the 31st?  It’ll end up just being the perfect excuse to be late every month!  We are settling into a semi-eating/sleeping routine, even though both are still very much on demand.  She sleeps in 3-6 hour stretches at night from about 10 pm-8 am, but hasn’t really quite figured out the extended daytime naps.  She loves laying in the bath, but the washing part, not so much.  She loves E’s attention most of the time and we have gotten lots of smiles already!  We honestly couldn’t have dreamt up a better addition to our family.  She’s really swept us all up into her tiny little 10 pounds 3 ounce self.  We love you, Claire!

And in case you are interested in comparing our two littles from month to month here is E at one month!

Milestone Cards/XO Blanket

The Perfect Baby Shower Gift!

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Good morning!!  Today, I am so excited to be partnering up with Nakturnal to share my go-to gift ideas for the mama to be’s in your life!  They have so many unique, handmade gifts at every price point while still giving the feel of a luxury gift.  When putting together a baby shower gift, I love to compile a couple of things (yes, I am usually the one that strays from the registry…especially if I know the mama well) that I love!  I find it helps unite in the name of motherhood, connect over products that worked for us, even before I was a mama myself.  After all, it takes a village!

I like to give something from each of the following categories:

A product you love
1. Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap Miracle soap, I tell you.  Run hot water, scour with this soap and then let it soak.  You will never know poopacalypse ever happened in the middle of a restaurant when you forgot another onesie, except for the scar it leaves on your soul.
2. A pack of your favorite wipes  These wipes are real soft, y’all.  Real soft.
3. Healing Balm As I’ve mentioned here, here, and here, I slather this balm on everything.  Cradle cap, scratches, mosquito bites, everything.
4. Best soap for washing bottles.  I buy it for everyone having a baby.

A little something your baby loves
5. A favorite Bink
6. A Favorite Book
7. A Favorite Toy (now through July 4th 20% off with code ‘Indep20off’)

A Keepsake
8. Freshly Picked Moccasins  I will never have enough good things to say about these shoes.  I LOVE that I have E’s footprints forever.
9. Every child has a blanket that they have and keep forever.  This one is handmade and actually a really good deal for the quality and style that will really last a lifetime! (20% off with code ‘Indep20off’)

Then I love to throw all the items into something that they will use when baby comes!  I love this pink pom bucket!  Also comes in blue and grey!  Perfect for storing toys!

What are your go-to shower gifts?  Do you stick to the registry?  A little bit of both?  So fun showering all these mamas–I always get so excited!

Hope you all have a great weekend and Fourth of July holiday!
Erin

*This post was written in partnership with Nakturnal, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

Establishing a Nighttime Routine!

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Good morning and happy Monday!!  Feels good to be back at it today, partnering up with The Ollie Swaddle to share some of our tips for establishing a nighttime routine!  It is important to note before I begin that every baby is different and what works for us may not work for you or your baby.

When we had E, our pediatrician shared a wise piece of advice with us that we have taken to heart on all things baby.  When establishing a routine of any kind, whether it be for sleep, eating, leaving the house, etc…it is important to stay consistent and only do what you know to be sustainable over a long period of time.  If reading 4,675 books or rocking them to sleep in your arms before bed is not something you are willing to sustain over a long period of time, don’t make it a part of the routine.  Whatever routine you establish: pacifiers, bottles, etc…to break it is going to take far more work than to establish it.  That being said, it can be difficult to keep this in mind when it is the only thing that seems to work and UGH JUST GO TO SLEEP.  On that note: When E got really sick for what seemed like months back when she was 12 months old, we let her have the pacifier whenever she wanted because it was the only thing that made her feel better so we undid the ‘just when sleeping’ routine that we had worked so hard on–SO if anyone has tips for nixing the pacifier…send them our way (UGH).

The following is the sleep routine that we started with E and C as soon as we got the go ahead from the pediatrician to let them sleep until she wakes up on her own versus waking to eat every 2-3 hours (i.e. back to birth weight).  That being said, you can do any of these things from the start, but just check with your pediatrician about letting them sleep versus waking to eat.

1. Swaddling:  A Velcro Swaddle is key.  We made it a point to only swaddle at night even when it felt tempting during the day.  The Ollie Swaddle is thin, but tight so you don’t have to worry about them breaking out or overheating.  The bottom is also accessible so you can do a diaper change without unswaddling.  We are so excited to use this with C as we had a hard time finding one that kept E in and that also wasn’t too small.  This one is big enough to really last as long as you want it to (just be sure to swaddle with arms out once they can roll over!)
2. Complete darkness at night.  Ok, this one is really tough because it means no turning on lights or TV when you get up for those feeds or diaper changes.  The darkness helps to establish that it is night which is especially important at the beginning when they are trying to sort their days from their nights.  I have a hard time staying awake especially in the beginning when the feeds can take almost an hour so I have to do a little phone so I turn the brightness way down and avoid it being near baby’s eyes.  I have also heard to leave blinds open/lights on for nap so they understand the difference, but I let the sitter establish this because she was with her 5 days a week at nap time.
3. A White Noise Machine  We started this pretty much right away and E still uses hers.  Ocean is her jam.  We will do the same sound with Claire and hope it works because it’ll be easier if they have to sleep in the same room when we travel.
4. Nursery Heater This was way important with E because she was born in the dead of winter and I was petrified she was going to freeze, but actually it’s been great for both kiddos because it regulates the temperature of the crib to whatever degree you set it.  So, if the crib gets too hot, it will blow cooler air as well.  So it’s on every night, year round and E is used to a very specific 72 degrees.
5. Lay them down awake.  I’ll admit there have been plenty of times where we broke this rule (looking at you, teething), but generally this was a practice that has lead to fairly stress-free bedtime.
6. Pacifier We chose to use a pacifier as a means of getting her to soothe herself to sleep.  Since we put her down awake and was swaddled, she didn’t have access to her hands, so she used a pacifier.  It meant getting up a few times a night to put it back in, but for us, that was a sustainable part of the routine versus her self soothing with her hands which we would have a hard time getting her to stop doing (and swaddling with hands in meant she slept in longer stretches).  We were sticklers that the pacifier only be used at night (she would pick out the binks she wanted out of her bink box and knew to put them back in the box when she woke up) and we were doing so well until she got a GI bug (TWICE), four molars at once, and then a double ear infection and double pink eye at the same time–all within about a two month window.  We threw our rule out the window and I know we made the right call at the time, but we were back to the pediatrician’s ‘I told you so’ and at 18 months we are having a hard time undoing the new ‘routine’ of not giving it up right away or needing it when she gets upset.  But, this aside, she still looks forward to playing with all of her pacifiers in bed and will sleep 12-13 hours without waking at night.

So those are the basics of what we do every night with the girls.  We really don’t do much more than that.  Each age bracket has its’ own unique add ons like now we brush E’s teeth and she cuddles up in her Big Girl Bed and we read one or two books.

What does your nighttime routine look like for you and your little ones?  Do you swaddle?  Use a pacifier?  I love hearing what others do!

To snag a 10% off coupon code for The Ollie Swaddle, follow this link!

Have a great day!
Erin

*This post was sponsored by The Ollie World, but all opinions, as always, are my own!