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Since my first two kiddos are young (1.5 & 3), we still have all of our baby gear. That means I haven’t bought anything new for this baby (cue some slight mom this baby hasn’t gotten anything new). One thing we are getting is a nice soft playmat for floor time. When my first two were so young we had carpet, so we were able to use a slinky blanket, but now that we have hard floors we’re getting something with a little extra cushion. There’s a lot of nontoxic playmats on the market, but we’re picking up this beautiful one from cusphorn.
Biting and Teething
My 18 month old has been biting everything lately. Window ledges, couches, people… you name it. We’ve been redirecting her to appropriate things to bite (We love the calmies ball or hevea bear teether). We pretty much make sure to always have one of these within reach and it makes the problem so much easier. We also love this recipe for teething popsicles as well (substitute milk of choice if no longer breast feeding).
Composting for Beginners
One of the things I’m most excited to begin is composting! Though we’ve made some great steps to reduce our waste, we still have a long way to go. Having some place to breakdown our own fruit, veggie and food scraps will go a long way in clearing out our trash cans.
This may or may not be making it’s way to our house:
Natural Deodorant That Works
A quick win for me that I want to share with you! For some reason, pregnancy makes my skin extra sensative. This pregnancy I’ve had problems with every single deodorant I’ve tried. Meow Meow Tweet, Schmidt’s, Alaffia, Earth Mama, Tom’s. You name it, I’ve broken out. For some it was the baking soda, for others… I have no idea!
Luckily, my latest buy, Scent of Sa has been a total win! All natural, cruelty free with no harsh chemicals, and no rashes!
2. Easy Outdoor Play
We built a fence around our front yard recently, and it’s done so much for my sanity. Now my two toddlers can safely explore the front yard, and I don’t have to worry about a distracted break for the street! By far their favorite toy is their water table. We love using bath bombs and soap in the water table to create a colorful mess (that doesn’t stain the bathtub, lol). We love the Little Tikes Spiralin Seas Water table, but if you keep an eye out you could definitly find one for cheap on Craigslist or Facebook Market. Literally hours of fun!
2. Books to Prepare Kids for Baby
I’ve been building up our collection of books about babies lately. When I was pregnant with my second, my first was only a year and a half. We had a few books about babies (relatively simple ones) and they really seemed to help build excitment for him (he was so excited for his new baby at 19 months!). Now that he’s approaching 3, and another baby is on the way, we’ve been building up our baby book collection even more (still keeping the old books for Audrey). We’ve added quite a few to our list, including What Makes a Baby, and Hello Baby (LOVE this one!).
Omega 3s & 6s
Are you getting enough omega 3’s and 6’s? Some studies show they may help mild to moderate depression in adults (but more research is still needed). Luckily, Omega 3s and 6s are great for our health in general, so there’s no reason not to try to pack some extras into your day. Fish is the most common source of Omega 3s, but seaweed and Algae oils are great for those of us who don’t consume fish. Here’s my favorite supplement:
Raising Siblings that Work Together
I absolutely adore how the author encourages team work from her kids and doesn’t unknowingly pit them against each other. I’ve used some of the strategies she shares with my own kids (2.5 and 11 months) and am impressed with how well it works even when they are both so young (and preverbal even). The baby often wants to get into whatever the toddler is doing, and about 50% of the time, the toddler will bring her a different toy, unprompted. It doesn’t always work since her big brothers toys are often more interesting, but it’s a work in progress.
It’s prompted me to finally pick up a copy of Siblings Without Rivaly. So far, I love it and would highly recommend to families of multiples.
1. Toddler Vitamins
My toddler has been just an explosion of words since around his second birthday. It’s such a stark contrast to a few months earlier when we were worried that my toddler wasn’t speaking. He had a few words “mo” (more), “ha” (help), but nothing substantial. All the milestone websites (ugh) all said he should be speaking more and more words and even sentences.
Around this time, we also started our toddler on an d Omega 3 supplement, shortly afterwards he started picking up so many new words. Coincidence? Yeah, maybe. But there’s no denying that omega 3 fatty acides are great for brain development.
Getting it straight from the source is the best way to get omega 3s and 6s into their diet, but whether you have a picky eater or avoid foods for ethical reasons, supplementaion can be the next best thing.
We give our toddler this fish free Omega 3 DHA-EPA supplement and he loves it. He asks for his lemon vitamin all the time (and then reminds me to give baby her vitamin D).
Omega 3s are great for adults too, but I’m not fond of the fishy flavor (From the seaweed source) of this one. Instead, I get mine in pill form by Omnibiotics.
We have a two story house and the insulation is so so… the upstairs of our house gets really warm, but the bottom of our house is always freezing! We’ve been piling on the layers lately (Swap.com has some great deals on sweaters! An extra 35% off!), and running our heat lamp. Heat lamps are great in that they don’t take as much energy as running the full heater. This one by optimus is our favorite.
Once Upon a World
Speaking of books… we’re so in love with the Once Upon a World Series by Chloe Perkins. Classic stories are illustrated with beautiful cultural diverse illustrations. I think I love these way more than my kids actually do. Get them on Amazon.
Hiking Backpacks for Kids
We pack pretty light on our hikes since we usually don’t travel too far, but my toddler loves being helpful and carry his own packpack. We love this one by ZippyRoo. Lightweight and small enough for our toddler to carry without being overwhelmed, plus it easy scrunches up to fit in one of our adult backpacks when he inevitably is tired of holding it, and just sets it on the ground and walk away.
Bathing Toddler & Baby Together
I’ve been giving my kids a bath together lately, but since they’re 2 and seven months, it’s been killer on my back making sure my seven month old doesn’t tip over into the water. I’ve been using the Angelcare Near & Dear bather for when they bathe together and it’s seriously been a game changer. It raises her up enough that I’m not so hunched over during bath time and even if she does tip over she won’t be going under.
It does require a larger than average tub to get this arrangement to work, but if that’s you, I totally recommend it!
Teething Time for Babies
Audrey, my 6 month old has been chewing on everything she can get her little baby hands on lately. Blankets, socks, fingers, nipples… everything! It would be cute if it weren’t so destructive (and painful….). We tend to stay away from plastic teethers and instead use silicon and natural rubber. Our favorites are the rubber calmie ball (so easy for baby to grab!) and the comotomo orange teether.
We’ve had our calmie since my toddler was a baby and it’s been a favorite for both of them since it’s easy to grab, soft, and with lots of different textures for sore gums. It is natural rubber, so it’s best to avoid this one if anyone in the family has a latex/rubber allergy.
The comotomo is a new addition to our household, but the circle design makes it really easy to grab. It’s silicon, so no worrying about BPA, BPS or other yuckies.
Both are easy to clean; I simply pop them in the dishwasher.
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