Baby girl arrived almost four weeks ago, and if I’m going to be totally honest with you, we’re still in survival mode.
I didn’t expect the transition to two kids to be so challenging. Mostly because I didn’t ever let myself really think about it. Which I still think was a good strategy as my nine months of pregnancy was wrapping up…
One of my favorite things about having my first was the awe I felt for moms everywhere as I struggled to keep a new baby alive and moderately happy and get a shower in at least twice a week.
It was like my eyes had been opened and I saw what had been happening around and in front of me already with a totally different perspective. These women-the one who raised me in particular-but all of these women-my sister, my aunts, my grandmothers, my friends who already had kids, the random lady in the grocery store-wow. They did hard stuff. And with such grace that I’d hardly noticed it.
All that awe? Oh, it came back this time around. And to be honest, I kind of love it. Not that normal, everyday things (like sleeping, showering, eating, ya know, the basics) are hard again. But I love this deep respect I feel again for motherhood and for women I know and don’t know who quietly (or not so quietly-my home? it’s not so quiet) go about this messy and beautiful calling of loving and raising little ones into big ones who grow up and bless the world.
So you-whoever you are-reading this right now. You’re awesome. Give yourself a big hug. And go find a chocolate chip cookie. Because sister, you deserve it.
My little victory of the week was setting up and using what is probably my very best purchase from baby #1. The playard. Oh how I love it. It brought back just a little bit of routine to my day. (And he actually doesn’t mind it-I promise. This is just him being two and not loving it when I pull out my camera…)
So here’s how and why I use it. Every. Single. Day.
I’ll start with why.
It greatly improves my feelings of sanity. Or routine or schedule or whatever you want to call it. It’s good for all of us. Me? Because I get some time I can count on every morning to plan my day and maybe check off a few little to-dos that are hard to get done with a crazy-cute but often crazy-busy little guy right by my side. For him? He’s learned to play by himself for small chunks of time. And he really seemed to appreciate the routine it gave us in the morning.
So here’s how I do it.
When baby boy (baby #1) was about six months old, I bought this playard, the Joovy Room2. We started with 15 minutes a day in the morning and gradually added minutes. I turned on a timer (just on my phone) so that he would learn that when the timer went off and he heard the beep, playard time was done. By the time he was a year old, we were easily doing 45 minutes every morning. It was just part of our routine. We had breakfast, played together for at least 30 minutes, and then went upstairs for Joovy time. (And yes, we still crack up about sending our toddler to “Juvie.”)
A couple of tips or thoughts on implementation…
I think it was a big deal to use a timer that made the same sound every day when playard time was over.
We also kept a set of toys in the playard that always stayed in the playard, so they were special to that time of the day and activity. I did change out those toys every so often to keep things fresh.
I’d also recommend avoiding using the playard as a timeout place if you’re also wanting to use it in this capacity. I didn’t want him to associate it with being in trouble. I wanted it to be a normal part of our everyday schedule-not a “bad” thing at all!
Playard time goes best when it’s happening every day. When I missed a few days because of other things we had going on, he had a harder time getting back into our routine. But when it was happening every day and he knew to expect it, it was rare for him to fuss or ask me to get him out.
I love the Joovy playard because it’s so spacious! It’s bigger than pretty much everything else I saw when I was shopping around for one without being so big that it’s a pain to have in your space. Even now at age two, it’s not too small for him to spend some time in each day.
The Room2 playard was my first experience with a Joovy product, but since then we’ve had a chance to try out a few more. Here’s what we think you need to know about the New Room2, the Caboose Ultralight Stroller, and the Joovy Boob Gift Set.
Trisha and the New Room2:
When my husband and I began that sort of (really) overwhelming process of registering for baby stuff, there were a few things that I knew I really wanted. One of those was a Joovy playard. I had heard wonderful things about it from my sister and I knew we would want something we could use for play time that was safe and that we could move. It’s definitely bigger than most – nearly 50% larger, and it has a very clean look to it. The base is also nice and sturdy so I don’t worry about it tipping over or anything like that. Set-up and take-down is so easy! And I love that it comes in a bag with straps so it’s easy to move with us when we’re on-the-go,
Our little guy is only closing in on 2 months…not sure how that happened…so he has only ventured into the playard once. But I think it will be a win for all of us as he gets bigger!
Natalie and the Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Tandem Stroller:
There are so many options with this stroller! I love that it comes with a universal carseat adapter-pretty much every other stroller I’ve ever looked at sells the carseat adapter separately.
The shade moves forward and back for full coverage, no matter where the sun is, and the basket underneath helps us get wherever we’re going with all of our stuff.
My little guy is two and usually isn’t crazy about sitting in a stroller. This is the perfect transition stroller for our family, because he can sit (there’s a seat with straps) or stand in the back to ride when he wants to ride, but it’s easy for him to jump down when he decides he wants to walk.
Natalie and Kellie and the Boob Gift Set PPSU:
Everything you see? It’s all included in this gift set.
With both of my babies, I’ve tried to breastfeed. After lots of long nights, hospital-grade pumps, supplements, and lactation consultants, both times, we’ve had to transition to formula because of a no-to-low-milk supply. So we’ve been down the bottle path before.
My sister Kellie has had a totally different experience and has been able to breastfeed all of her babies. But with #3 who just arrived, she really wanted to get him to take a bottle so that having someone else feed him with pumped milk was at least an option when it needed to be.
Both of us have loved the bottles in this set.
For my baby girl, the Stage 0 nipple was a lifesaver. Other bottles’ flows were too fast and left her gulping and gassy. This is the only bottle system I’ve seen with nipples for 5 stages, so it’s even easier to get her what she needs and how she needs it.
Kellie’s little guy can easily transition between mama-feedings and bottle-feedings using the Boob bottles.
My point? No matter how you’ve decided to feed this new bundle of joy, these bottles are the way to go.