Toddler Time – Bye bye crib

Over the past weekend, we transitioned our little one from her crib to a toddler bed. She’s slept on a toddler bed at her daycare for at least a few months now, but we’ve kept her in her crib at home because she seemed comfortable there (and I’m of the mind that if its not broken you don’t fix it).

She recently completed potty training though, and we decided we want her to have the freedom to get up to use the potty as she chooses. So- off to the store we went to purchase a little toddler bed.

As I sat there watching my husband put the bed together as our little one took her last nap in her crib, I cried. (It really doesn’t take much.) I can’t believe my little baby is turning into a big kid! Almost all of the remnants of her babyhood are disappearing… her diapers, her crib, even her high chair (we also moved to a booster seat at the table with Mommy and Daddy this weekend!) Now that she’s potty-trained, we can’t even use onesies, so those are out too.

It’s sad to see all of the remnants of such an amazing time in her and my life pass by, but I’m so excited for everything that’s new and replacing those things. Her big kid bed means easier bed time stories and tuck-in’s and dinner at the table with Mommy and Daddy means more chatter. I can’t wait to see what else the toddler years will bring!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Travel Tuesday- Traveling Tunes

If someone told my 20-year-old self that ten years later I’d be (willingly) driving around listening to Alvin & the Chipmunks and singing “The Wheels on the Bus” and other children’s classics– I would have told them they were crazy. I’ve always said that I would instill a love of great music in my kids, and by great music, I was referring to The Beatles, Mozart, Michael Jackson– and I feel like up until this point, I’ve done so. My daughter has been listening to lullaby renditions of the Beatles every night since the night she was born- and the first song she ever sang was “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  But in addition to those classics, the toddler tunes have crept into our rotation, first slowly and now with full force.

It started with the Wiggles. Not the show— because at that time, we weren’t allowing Harper to watch TV.  But the music. The first song to work it’s way in was “Big Red Car”. Even I thought it was catchy, and found myself singing it even while she wasn’t with me. Then came “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, and “Hot Potato”.  And there we remained for a while, until she became verbal. Then, she started asking for the songs that she was singing at daycare. “Twinkle Twinkle”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, “Row Row Row Your Boat”, etc. I sang them for her. And yet, it was never enough. At the end of every song I heard “AGAIN?!?!” (which is so sweet, and something I’ve always imagined as a Mom), but it ended up leading me to purchase a compilation of children’s songs to play in the car, because we had a big car trip planned for the holidays, and I wanted to have a voice left before we arrived for our family visit.

And then there was the Christmas music. I grew up with the Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas record. In fact, I already owned that CD before I had a baby, so I had no problem playing it for her– the first 10 times. But then she wanted to hear it every day, even after Christmas had passed. And she loves Alvin and the Chipmunks so much, that I’ve now bought her a compilation of Alvin & the Chipmunks that includes everyday songs (some of them are covers of Beatles songs, so that counts for something right?)

So it seems I’ve completely given in to the fact that our car rides will be full of children’s music, (with some classics peppered in for good measure of course). I’ve realized that these songs are a part of childhood, and obviously something she really enjoys (and seeing her happy makes me SUPER happy). So now I’m taking recommendations– what are your children’s (and your) favorite traveling tunes?

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Toddler Time – Change is Good…Right?

I knew it was coming. I knew EVENTUALLY, my daughter would either need to go to pre-school, we’d move, or some set of circumstances would occur where we’d have to change childcare providers, but I kept pushing that idea away, saying, “well, that’s way off”. Well, “Way off” has now become “next week”.

My little girl’s last day at her current daycare is this Friday. She’s been attending this home daycare since she was 12 weeks old. She’s had the same little buddies for close to 2 years– they’ve grown up together, been the closest thing to siblings that she has had (so far), and on Friday, I’m expecting her to say bye to them, because we’re moving and she’ll be starting at a new daycare next month.

I’m feeling so conflicted about this– really worrying about the whole situation. Will she be scared at the new place? Will she ever be as comfortable there as she was before? Will she make close friends the way she had before? Will she miss her friends and the daycare owner and ask for them? How can I explain the situation to her? What can I possibly do to make this transition easier?

My husband is falling on the other side of this coin, saying that kids are really adaptable and that change is good, that she’ll fit right in because there will be other kids around and I’m stressing out over something that will work itself out. By the way, this is always the case. I constantly worry about her… for everything. Is she the right weight? Is she sleeping enough? Do we read to her enough? Does she get enough outside time? This transition worry really is just another thing to add to the list but it’s weighing on me more than usual, probably because I feel like I’m forcing this situation on her… it’s our choice to move, and that choice is causing this “life change” to occur for her. And I’m freaking out a bit.

I’d love to hear about other people’s experience with this kind of change.  What can I expect? What is the best way to help my kiddo through this transition?

Ah, the joys of parenthood… Just learning as I go!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Travel Tuesday – 5 Tips for Traveling with Babies

Today is December 20th- and now that we’re in the “20’s” of December, that means that holiday travel is kicking into high-gear.

Traveling during the holidays is stressful for ANYONE– think of the lines, the cranky passengers, the potential weather delays making for even CRANKIER passengers.  Add baby (or babies) to that mix, and you’ve got a recipe for chaos–or at the very least, a very tricky parenting challenge.

As a travel-pro (and I make this claim only because I’ve flown almost 40,000 miles with my little girl, starting at 5 months of age -her first flight photo is above), I think I’m in a decent position to give some advice on how to get through those long airport and airplane hours. I’d love to hear tips from others as well- while I’m pretty good at traveling with one, I seriously suspect that traveling with multiple will be an entirely different story!

Tip 1- Book that extra seat.

Babies up to the age of 2 are allowed to fly on their parent’s lap on most airlines, but if at all possible think about booking a seat for your baby.  Not because the baby will actually sit in the seat, because in my experience, your kiddo will almost always end up on your lap, but to at least create what I call a “buffer zone” between you and another passenger.  If you’re traveling with another adult, the extra seat might not be necessary, but if you’re alone, a single-seat-sized space probably isn’t enough room for you, your baby, and your gear. Though– I’ve done it, with some luck and some cooperation of friendly row-mates, of course.

Tip 2- Pack light, but pack smart.

In the early days of traveling with my little one, I packed EVERYTHING I thought she could possibly need- including clothes for every single day we’d be away. But if you’re going somewhere that you’ll have access to a washer/dryer- don’t feel obligated to pack the whole dresser. Bring the essentials for about half the days that you’ll be at your destination and just plan on doing a load of laundry while there (and in my experience, if you’re visiting family, you’re going to get gifts of cute outfits upon arrival anyway!)

The on-the-plane necessities actually add up to quite a bit on their own anyway. In my experience, the following are must-haves:

  • a diaper wallet (lugging a giant diaper bag down that narrow airplane aisle and maneuvering it in those tiny bathrooms is just too difficult)
  • lots of liquids (one less thing to carry if you’re nursing)
  • snacks if the baby is on solid food
  • a changing pad
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • a change of clothes (for your baby, and a back-up shirt for you)
  • hand sanitizer
  • a nursing pillow (totally worth the space it takes up in the seat, because once you’re done nursing, baby can snooze on it and your arms get a rest)
  • a nursing cover
  • baby’s favorite book
  • a blankie (it gets cold on planes!)
  • an umbrella stroller if baby is big enough (this will get you all the way to the plane, and then you’re on your own) and, if all else fails-
  • your smartphone

Tip 3 – Nurse your baby on the way up and the way down to prevent the “ear pops”. Changes in altitude have been known to affect even adult ears, so there’s potential that those “pops” can make baby very uncomfortable.  If you nurse, or give your baby a bottle on the way up and down, the swallowing motion eases the pressure build-up and can make the altitude change less painful (for both  of you).

Tip 4Accept Help When it’s Offered. 75% of the travel that I did with my little one was travel alone. My vacation schedule was different than my husband’s, so I often flew back east on my own to see family while he stayed home and worked. This certainly complicated matters– and for those first couple trips, I tried to do it all by myself. Its not easy once you have to turn over that stroller at gate-check and you’re left with all your bags (purse, diaper bag, carry on) AND little one in your arms. Other passengers had offered to help and at first, my reply was always “oh thanks, I have it though”- after a couple trips, I was more than happy to let a nice co-passenger help me get our bags to where they needed to go, and when other passengers didn’t offer, the flight attendants were always happy to help (though, they often wanted to hold the baby, as opposed to the bags, but help is help!) Take the help when its offered and seek it out even if its not offered– it’s definitely worth it!

Tip 5- When all else fails, it really is ok (at least in my book!) to take the “easy way out”. Yes, I’m going to admit to you here that when I traveled with my toddler, when she was done coloring, when we’d read her books twenty times each, when she was bored and near melt-down, I pulled out my smartphone. Yes, I let her watch a movie. Sometimes, we let her play with baby flash cards on the phone. We had always said we’d stick to the American Academy of Pediatrics advice about no screen time before 2- but on the plane, while surrounded by strangers who just wanted some peace and quiet, and no possibility of escape, and with a solution at my fingertips, I took the easy road. And it worked.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Page 3 of 41234