The Nest's Noticings for the Week...
Favorite Product: Today we talked about a few products that are great for travel, including:
Parenting Resource or Tip: Today I showed you how I pack diapers with a ziploc bag, wipes, and a disposable changing pad inside for easy airplane travel. For lots of other helpful travel tips, check out this great blog.
Baby Signs to Use: Airplane, Car, Train, and Boat
Baby Songs to Sing: The Wheels on the Bus, Row Row Row Your Boat
Developmental Play Tip: It can be really tricky to keep your big kid(s) entertained while you are nursing/feeding the baby. Here are some ideas of things you may want to try:
- Keep a basket of toys out of reach for your older child. Fill it with really engaging toys and only take that basket out when you are feeding baby!
- The game Seek-A-Boo can be played in a number of ways that work for nursing. Spread the big circles out before you start nursing and randomly call out items for your older child to find and bring to you.
- Sing songs, read books, have your older child “nurse” their baby sitting next to you.
- Serve a snack/meal so that everyone is eating together.
- Hide stuffed animals around the room before you start feeding baby and play hot/cold or different variations of hide and seek with your older child while you feed baby.
- Lay out a twister mat. Call body parts and colors while you feed baby – making it a game for your older one to practice color and body part names. (example: Put your elbow on a green square.) To make it trickier, play simon says with the mat.
- Start them on an independent activity, play for 5-10 minutes, then walk away to nurse and have them continue independent play.
Today's Topic: FINDING TIME FOR EVERYONE
Today we talked about how to find time for all of the people in your life - your partner, your baby, your older kid(s), yourself... It's overwhelming!! First and foremost, remember, try to make the most of the time that all of you have together! These family memories will be so cherished and are the reason why many of us chose to have more than one child! Try to remember that your younger child's experience will not be the same as your first baby's, but THAT'S OKAY! Different does not mean worse. It's just different. :) Although your baby is getting less attention than your first-born, in many ways, their life is more enriched by being younger and surrounded by the activity of their older sibling. While it may never feel like we have enough time, here are a few tips for trying to make more time to spend with the people we love. :)
Technology: In general, one of the biggest monopolizers of time for many of us is technology! Social media, emails, and blog-reading are not bad, but it is also important that our children know that they have our focused attention and that we don’t run to every beep on our phone! This article illustrates adult technology use’s effect on child behavior: https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20170615/when-parents-focus-on-smartphones-kids-misbehaving-can-rise#1. Still… stepping away from technology is SO hard when we have SO much to get done during the day. Some ideas….
- Create rules for yourself for technology that are reasonable. For example: only check email/social media once in the morning and once at night.
- Create “no technology times” for your family that everyone can agree to. For example, no phones at the dinner table or all phones silenced and plugged in between 4-7pm. When your phone beeps during dinner, explain to your kids that you aren’t going to check on your phone because of your family rule, and because they are more important than anything happening on your phone. Not only will this help them feel great, but it also models setting boundaries with technology that we will want our kids to practice in teenage-hood!
Give yourself grace. At this time in your life, your house may be messy, your food may not be fancy, your laundry may be piled for 10 days and run through the washer twice, but it’s okay. This is temporary. When someone offers to help, accept the help! Put traditions into place that can simplify your life: Example: Friday movie/pizza night on paper plates! Say No without guilt to social obligations or functions that are stressful for your family right now or just add more to your plate.
Finding Time for Kids:
“If you give them 10 minutes, they’ll give you a half an hour.” - when you need for your child to play independently, sit down and play with them first for 10 focused minutes (no phone, changing laundry, etc!). Not only will that 10 minutes fill their “love tank” ;), but they’ll also be much more likely to give you time to get things done after that focused time
Dates - think about setting aside one day a week where you take your older child out on dates (or rotate taking your older children) Example: ice cream Monday
Incorporate your older child into chores that you need to do anyway - they can cook with you, run to the grocery store, help you do laundry by matching and folding socks, and more.
Another idea - dedicate one day per week to each child. In class we talked about the pros and cons of this approach! https://pintsizedtreasures.com/one-on-one-time-with-each-child/
More ideas for finding one-on-one time with your child: https://amotherfarfromhome.com/individual-time-kids/
Finding Time for Yourself:
Putting headphones on while your kids are preoccupied to listen to a book on tape or to your music. Podcasts moms mentioned today: Dirty John, Serial (especially the 1st), S-Town, Dear Sugar, Nursing and Cursing, Oprah's Super Soul Podcast
Nap time - Taking time for yourself FIRST - The chores can wait.
Finding Time for Husbands:
Date nights!!!! You don’t have to get a sitter to have a date. Lots of couples find success with weekly date nights at home - check out the site dating divas or cute ideas
Go for a family walk with the kids in strollers so that you and your hubby have time to talk to one another.
No TV night/No Phone Example: “No TV Tuesdays”
Set the routine now that your kids need to play independently for 15 minutes a day (maybe after dinner? Depending on your family!) while you and daddy talk to one another. Resist the very strong urge to do any chores during this time! Explain to your kids that you and daddy love each other and need to spend time together. This is important for you, your family, and also is important modeling - showing your child what a healthy relationship looks like and that husbands and wives prioritize time with one another.