Archive for March, 2011

Age: 0-2 years old

This is just a fun and easy activity. It takes absolutely no prep. All your need is you and your baby or toddler.

What you do if you sit with your child, hold them or sitting on the floor facing one another. You tell your child you love them so much. Then you proceed to tell them how much you love each part of their body and then you kiss it. The activity might go something like this:

I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH (child’s Name)!
I love your cute little noses more than anything in the whole wide world (Kiss your child’s nose)
I love your elbows more than you can know (Kiss your child’s elbows)
I love your toes sooo sooo very much (kiss your child’s toes)

You get the idea. Once your child starts to get older, you can ask your child to kiss your body parts or kiss a doll or stuff animals body parts. They actually enjoy telling you or their stuffed animal that they love you or them sooo much!

I do this at bedtime with all of my children. My 2.5 years old still loves it when I tell him how much I love him and the proceed to kiss every inch of his body. He giggles and squeals. Man I am going to miss this stage, because I know there is going to come a time when my little man is going to grow up and not want mommy to kiss him all over. So I plan to soak it up while I can!!!

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Coping With Teething

My twins are teething. I hated teething with my son, but it is ten times worse with two babies teething at the same time. I wrote a post about teething when my son was an older infant. Check them out for some tips on how to survive teething.

I have learned some new tricks since then so I thought I would type them up:
1. Frozen food: There are three foods that seems to really help my twins out when they are teething: frozen waffles, frozen sweet potato fries, and frozen fruit in a mess feeder. I think the girls favorite is frozen sweet potato fries. They are so easy to hold and gnaw on- and they taste great. I just pop a few sweet potato fries on their high chair try when they are real fussy and they instantly quiet and go to town chomping. Bliss! The frozen waffles are also a great option, as they are easy to hold and they last a while. I buy organic blue berry waffles and they are pretty yummy too. They are good for car rides when baby starts to get fussy and you need something that will hold their attention for a while. The off course, there is the frozen treats. I take babyfood and freeze it in a mess feeder with cling wrap on the outside the keep the food from leaking out. Out pops the food and they are in heaven.  I am sure you could freeze a whole host of different kinds of foods, but so far these are what seem to be my kids favorites. I know a lot of people swear by frozen peas, but my girls don’t like them frozen.

2. Boiron Camilia– This stuff is great. When the going gets rough and they just seem  inconsolable, I give them this stuff. It comes in a single disposable vial of liquid. I pop it into their mouths and in about 5 minutes, they seem much calmer and more at peace. I like the option of giving them something other than tylenol and motirn.

3. Distractions– Distract, distract, distract. I try my best to go for walks, play outside, or run errands during bad teething days. For whatever reason, the outside seems to almost instantly calm my kids down. I think have been living outside the past 4 days. We talk long walks, play in the yard, and take some small toys outside to pass the time. They girls like going places and people watching, so a trip to the grocery store is also a great idea on a bad teething day.

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If you have decided that you are going to breastfeed your baby, not matter how long your decided to breastfeed, there will come a time when you will have to be apart from your child and you will need him or her to take a bottle. Unless you make giving your child a bottle a part of your weekly routine, he or she will most likely reject the bottle at some point. This happened to me.

Here is my story:

I have 3 child. My first child, Cooper, I gave a bottle to at 3 weeks old after we had established breastfeeding. He did well taking the bottle and it really presented no issue for him. Cooper got a bottle at least twice a week if not more when he was a small infant. I would pump and then offer him the breastmilk in his bottle. When Cooper got older, around 5 months old, I started having issues making enough milk for him at his bedtime feeding. So I began to pump before I went to bed. I used that breastmilk in a bottle to supplement his bedtime feeding after I had finished feeding him. So Cooper got a bottle every day from that point on. When it came time to wean Cooper, he took all his feedings from a bottle so well. He weaned at 10 months and it was so easy. I cried having to stop breastfeeding, but Cooper did not seem to care one bit. I really think that the weaning process went so well because Cooper was so use to getting a bottle every day prior to weaning.

Then I had the twins. I tandem breastfeed my twin girls using a double nursing pillow. The girls took to bottle pretty quickly around 3 weeks of age too. They got an occasional bottle with daddy and we use to use the bottle to give them a dream feed for a short while. I soon dropped the dream feed and giving bottles was difficult for me to do with two babies at the same time so I decided to exclusively breastfeed for ease. Plus, my husband needed to occupy my toddler son while I was breastfeeding in the evenings so I did not have an extra pair of hands to feed the babies bottles. The girls did get bottles at church or when my mother-in-law would watch them, but that was very infrequent. Around 5 months old, I started to not make enough to satisfy both girls at their bedtime feeding again. The solution was to give one girl a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime and the other to breastfeed. That allowed for enough milk for them both. Anna got the bottle and Molly was breastfeed. BIG MISTAKE! So Molly almost NEVER got a bottle from 5 moths and on. Anna got a bottle every night. Guess what, now at 11 months old, I cannot get Molly take a bottle. It does not matter if I hold the bottle, if Daddy holds the bottle, or if she holds the bottle, she just will not take a bottle. Anna on the other hand, will take a bottle no problem.

Closing Thoughts: I think it is important to introduce a bottle at least 2-3 times a week with your infant even if you choose to breastfeed. There may be a time when you will not be able to be around to breastfeed, and you will want someone else to give your child their milk. I am very “boob-bound” because my daughter Molly will not drink from a bottle. How I wished that I would have done bottles with Molly more often so she would be more willing to drink from a bottle, giving me some more freedom to come and go without having to race home to nurse. I am trying to wean Molly to a sippy or straw cup since she will not take a bottle, but it is a very slow process. Hopefully, I will be able to wean Molly in time.

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This is a great activity that you can do with your pre-toddler. It is simple and does not take much planning at all. This activity helps with language development and categorization (if you choose to find objects in the same category).
1. Collect a couple of objects. If you can try to find objects that are in a similar category, such as animals, cooking utensils, or clothing items. You will also need an blanket of some sort.

2. Hide one of the objects under the blanket. Ask your child, “Where the “_____”? You will want to hide the object under the blanket so your child will know where the object is. Then have your child crawl or walk towards the blanket. Have him lift the blanket or help him lift the blanket to find the hidden object. Once he finds it say, “You found the “_______”.  Then clap your hands and applaud your little one for finding the hidden object. Then, explain the object that you hid purpose, function, or properties (color, shape, texture, size, etc.).

4. Repeat the same activity with all the other objects you gathered. To add some variety, you can try hiding the object in a box or something with a lid for your little one to open and shut. Once you are done finding all the objects, tell you child how all these objects are related to one another. For example, you may have chosen all kitchen utensils. Tell you child that all these objects are use to help cook in the kitchen.

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I have decided to start teaching the twins their colors more formally. The girls really enjoy touch and feel books and feeling different fabrics and small objects. So I thought this would be a fun activity for them.

1. I decided to die some chunky pasta. I got the idea from the Totally Tots Website. What a cleaver idea. So I died some bow tie and spiral pasta purple.

2. I found some objects that were purple. They included a purple baby spoons, a purple ball, purple socks, purple gloves, purple fabric squares, purple toy cars, purple ribbon, purple Easter egg, and Foam-cut out-purple shapes.

3. I put the objects into a wash basin with the purple died pasta. I placed the wash basins on top of old sheets or old shower curtains to contain the mess from getting all over the floor.

4. The girls seemed to really enjoy digging into the sensory tubs. I gave them some spoons, scoops, and cups to dig with. I also gave them an empty wash basin to scoop pasta and objects into. I did sit with them on the first day this tub was introduced and talk to him as they scooped into the wash basin. When the girls found a purple objects, I made sure to name the object and the color of the object. I also described the shape, texture, and use of the object they found.

5. After the first initial day of playing in their sensory tubs, I used this activity as a blanket time activity. It held their attention for about 15 minutes of independent structured play on their blankets.

NOTE: Do not leave your child unattended if they do this activity. I found my girls putting the pasta in their mouths several times and I had to tell them no. This could be a choking hazard to leave your child unattended with these pieces of pasta.

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If you are anticipating a newborn, I bet you are wondering how you can possibly juggle the needs are two different children. Here is my suggestions:

1. Write your current child’s schedule on paper. Then think about how you can incorporate the needs of your newborn into your older child’s schedule.
2. Write out two schedules: One schedule that is a 3 hour schedule and one that is a 2.5 hour schedule. The 3 hour schedule is the goal and the one you hope to maintain, but you might need to feed more frequently in the beginning and also you might have a few growth spurts where you will need to feed more often. It is helpful to have a game plan for either situation.

Here are the schedules that I kept. I hope you find them helpful.

1-4 week old & 19 Month Old
(3 Hour Schedule)

7:00 Nurse, Followed by one-on-one time with Molly
7:45-10:00 Nap
8:00 Wake Up & Free Play
8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Outside Play

10:00 Nurse, Followed by one-on-one time with Anna
10:00- 11:00 IPT
10:45-1:00 Nap
11:00 Structured Learning/ Play
11:30 Free Play
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Read Stories, Potty, Get Ready for Nap

1:00 Nurse, Followed by laying on the floor with Both Girls
1:00-4:00 Nap
1:45-4:00 Nap

4:00 Nurse, Followed by hanging out in bouncers
4:00 Snack & DVD in gameroom on blanket (Modified blanket time)
4:45-7:00 Nap
5:00 One-on-One time with Mommy
5:30 Outside Play/ Play with Daddy if he gets home on time
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Free Play

7:00 Nurse
7:00 Play with Daddy
7:30 Family Play
8:00 Bedtime
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime

8:30-10:00 Adult Time with No Kids
10:00 Nurse, Right Back To Bed (treat like a dreamfeed)

This is my 2.5 hour schedule that I used when the girls were about 6 weeks old. I did this for schedule for about 3 weeks when they hit a HUGE growth spurt. I also went back to this schedule a few times during other growth spurt seasons.

Twins: 6-9 weeks old, Cooper: 30 Months Old
(2.5 Hour Schedule)

7:00 Nurse & one-on-one time with Molly
7:50- 9:30 Nap
8:00 Wake & Free Play
8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Outside Play

9:30 Nurse & one-on-one time with Anna
9:30-10:30 IPT
10:20- 12:00 Nap
10:30 Structured Learning/ Play
11:00 Free Play

12:00 Nurse (I nursed in the room right next to the kitchen so I could see Cooper) & Hang out in bouncers in kitchen
12:00 Lunch & DVD
12:50- 2:30 Nap
12:50 Get Ready for nap (sort version)
1:00-4:00 Nap

2:30 Nurse & hang out on floor with both girls
3:20- 5:00 Nap
4:00 Snack & One-on-One time with Mommy

5:00 Nurse
5:00 Blanket Time in Game room with DVD (modified blanket time)
5:30 Sibling Play with Mommy in Gameroom
5:50- 7:00 Nap
5:30 Outside Play/ Play with Daddy if he gets home on time
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Free Play

7:00 Nurse
7:00 Play with Daddy
7:30 Family Play
8:00 Bedtime
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime

8:30-10:00 Adult Time with No Kids
10:00 Nurse, Right Back To Bed (treat like a dreamfeed)

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