Monday, March 29, 2010

Transitioning from Crib to Bed - Part 2

Recently I wrote a blog about transitioning toddlers from the crib to a big kid bed, and emphasized that my daughter Sarah was still sleeping in her crib.

When I wrote this post I was likely closer than I thought to the transition, which is what possibly prompted me to write about it then. Therefore, this should come as no surprise that this past weekend Daniel and I put the toddler bed together to see if Sarah would even be interested. And, interested she was. The great thing is that Sarah is familiar with the mattress from her crib as it's used on the toddler bed too so the transition was somewhat less of a change for her than it was for us. I also chose to add some extra safety precautions (a.k.a – booby traps) considering this new change, just in case.

First, I put pillows on the floor around the side of the bed should she accidentally fall out.
The good thing with a toddler bed is that it really is close to the floor. For parents who choose to transition to the twin bed right away that's fine too but know the distance between bed and floor is much further away. And, if you happen to live in a smaller space like an apartment or a house with a small bedroom then the toddler bed is also a good first option as it doesn’t take up nearly as much room.

Second, I put up a pressure gate outside Sarah’s bedroom door. This was more so because I didn't want to chance her roaming through the apartment at night even though it's also baby-proofed with gates and such. I just wasn’t sure what to expect and didn't feel comfortable with Sarah being out and about our home while we were asleep.

The good news is Sarah stayed asleep all night her first and second nights in her new bed. Yeah!!!!

Now, for the booby traps, or obstacle course, which ever you want to call it, that I added in case Sarah woke during the night and wanted to navigate, play and push past the pressure gate outside her door. These included putting up the pressure gate outside the kitchen area with Sarah’s push car in front (as I would easily hear her moving that it if she tried) and adding her heavy-weight stroller folded up and placed by the front door

I know these measures might seem extreme but with them I felt comfortable enough to sleep through the night as well not worrying about Sarah potentially exploring unsupervised.

Can you tell I am a first time parent?

I do recommend that when it's time for your child to make the transition from crib to their new big kid bed do it over a weekend, a long weekend or a staycation in case there are night wakings or you don't sleep restfully if the transition is not immediately smooth.

At first, when we decided to make this change I wondered if maybe I was rushing Sarah into it as she did stay put in her crib and was not asking to get a new bed. But, I was lucky and hope I am not speaking (writing) too soon.

This weekend in her new bed worked out well. She loved it. She’s so proud of herself too. I have also heard from parents say that other great ways to help make the transition easy include taking your children to help them pick out new bedding, or buying new toy or stuffed animal to ease the new change.

Just remember, age is not a sole indicator as to whether your little tyke will be ready to move out of their crib to a big kid bed. Consider the variables I mentioned in my previous blog post to know when the crib to bed transition is right for your child, and for you. Also know, it is important to keep your child's bedtime routine the same during this time and not consider making the bed change if there are major occurences happening in their lives that might cause stress.

Good luck with your toddler's bed transition.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taking a Much-Needed Parenting Day Off

With some extra vacation days from work that I did not get the chance to take last year, I decided that today was going to be a "me" day.

Yes, a guilt-free, do what I need and want to do day. A day that is not fully planned but in some cases a "let's wing it" day.

Normally, I would want to spend all of my days off with Sarah especially now that the weather is warmer and playground time is more frequent. But, I have been realizing more and more that for me to be a good, well-rested and some-what adjusted parent it is necessary to have to days off not just from work but also from the work of parenting a child, as it can be physically and mentally exhausting.

To all my parent readers and those who have friends or family with children, know that it's okay to have some mental downtime too, and that we are not any less a parent because we sometimes need a break.

I was part of a previous Parenting magazine poll (November 2009) asking for my opinion about the importance of parents having date night. As much as we want to be with our children often, whether we are working or being stay-at-home parents, we need to recharge as well and have some time off. As hard as this can be sometimes, I recommend you hire a babysitter or invite the grandparents over for a play date so that you can have much-needed time to be an adult and play. This is also true for you to take time for yourself.

I suggest taking time for you as necessary, and know that it's okay to feel the need for a break from parenting as we all need a re-charge every so often.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Transitioning from Crib to Bed - Part 1

There are many milestones our little ones experience in their lives, and especially in their first few years. One of these is the transition from the crib to a big kid bed – toddler or twin-sized.

My two-year-old still sleeps in a crib.

For a while I was somewhat embarrassed to share this information thinking that she should easily be in a toddler or twin bed by now, especially as many other children her age have done so. Also, I felt it was a reflection of me as a parent that this milestone had not yet been achieved. Then, trying to give myself a break, I also realized that with us living in an apartment and a somewhat smaller space than a house, we had to use our space more creatively and; therefore, use some of Sarah's room for current furniture such as a futon couch for guest visits and over sized chair which she LOVES to read on, and an armoire for all her clothes due to our limited closet space.

We have made our space efficient and safe for our growing toddler. However, I have even heard and read about kid’s rooms that have even had very little furniture but still the possibility of injury is high due to curious minds and their active bodies.

Like many amazing developmental milestones our children will experience in their lives, some talk sooner, others faster and many transition from crib to bed sometimes before the age of two.

I say, unless a child is ready to be in a big kid bed and has the ability to stay there, they may still need the constraints of a crib to keep them safe and stable for a little while longer especially if they are not complaining about it.

My daughter would likely love to be in a big girl bed that she can get in an out of independently but right now since she is comfortable in her crib, not complaining of coming out of it, has not tried to climb out, and is also a monkey who loves to climb all over everything else, I have more peace of mind with her staying put in her crib and not rushing her to the next stage of sleeping arrangements if not absolutely necessary.

My recommendation regarding timing on bed transition is that safety is the most important concern. If your child is climbing out of their crib and falling on the floor, clearly there is a need for a change. If your child is comfortable, happy and sleeping well in a crib, I say the movement to a bigger kid bed can wait just a little bit longer.

We have a toddler bed all ready for when this transition happens and have been looking for the right opportunity to make the switch when we all feel it is right. Assess your living accommodations and even consider hiring a child safety expert to come to your home to confirm that your environment is safe. Also, consider the disposition of your child before determining whether to move them sooner rather than later from the crib to a toddler or twin bed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cool News To Share!!!

As my readers you know that I have been writing furiously on this blog (http://www.mommyspointofview.com/) sharing tips, thoughts and advice about parenting, and in some instances venting, crying, and laughing my butt off.

This blog has been cathartic and a great opportunity to be self-deprecating and honest and to also create a safe haven for all parents, and non-parents, to come and join, and share without judgment.

This journey has been an amazing one so far, and I am thrilled you are along for the ride with me.

Now, I want to share with you some cool news.

In addition to this blog, which I do for fun outside of my full-time public relations job, I have also been doing media interviews with parenting magazines and other mommy blog sites as a mom providing some of my tips from Mommy's Point of View. I am happy to report that I have been featured in Parenting magazine (November 2009) and Mommy MD Guides (http://www.mommymdguides.com/) as a parent guide offering "simple solutions." Most recently another one of my tips was featured in the April 2010 issue of Parents magazine

I was psyched and wanted to share this good news.


Thank you again for being such great supporters and frequent followers of Mommy's Point of View, and also allowing me to help be there as support for you too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Here's Your Chance to Make a Difference!

I wanted to let you know that The View Brand Ambassador program I had been invited to take part in is coming to an official end, as they were doing a test for the past month to secure information and ideas from moms like us that would impact future programming to further interest us to watch the show.

It's likely that they will be doing this again soon and will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I wanted to take one more opportunity to gather from you any insights or feedback you would like to have me share with the ABC staff regarding future programming.

Here is your chance to further shape the content they consider moving forward, and especially guests that are interest to you as a mom.

Please feel free to share with me here or on my blog (www.mommyspointofview.com) your thoughts about The View, what you would like to see in the future, what you liked and didn't like, etc.

Thank you again for your ears on this and interest in wanting to help play a part in transforming future programming that would be of interest to us moms.

I certainly plan to continue staying tuned into The View as it's still a favorite show on television that provides the news and includes some celebrity indulgence. As a mom, I know I would certainly like to see more real and celebrity mom's featured on the show talking about their lives as parents including some of their tactics and strategies so that we can relate more and feel more connected.

Enjoy watching and I look forward to your feedback!!! Thanks again for your interest, comments and time.

As a reminder: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.

Kids and Clothing: Size Doesn't Fit All

Clothes for kids of different brands fit differently. When shopping, trading or bargain hunting for clothes for your little tyke keep in mind that it's not a one size fits all in that age category. Especially with kids of all different sizes and heights clothes for them do fit each differently. For example, my two-year-old wears 2T pants and 2T/3T tops, and still can wear a 24-month dress with a pair of leggings.

Sarah was an average-sized baby at birth and wore newborn clothes well into her third month. In fact, much of her clothes were big at the beginning. I often had to go out and get more smaller-sized articles of clothing as many, but not all, of the wonderful gifts of clothes we received were 0-3 months or larger.

I have come to realize that certain labels and brands fit Sarah better than others. For example, as far as pajamas go, we have become brand loyalists for Carter's. They truly fit the best by far and get many more wearings than other brands. I actually think it's funny. Some of the jammies we had in the beginning were like skinny jeans. They were so snug it was ridiculous on my potbelly baby. We barely got any use of some of these other choices.

There are many other brands that have worked well for Sarah too and it just takes time to realize which ones are the better fits. It really is a matter of trial and error. We have some clothes that are 24-months that still fit while there are some 3T shirts that are too snug. Go figure.

Also, since I was tremendously fortunate to bequeath clothing from my awesome niece who is close to Sarah's age, we graciously and happily tried many brands to see which brands and styles fit best.

When shopping whether it be retail or yard sales for your little one, consider all your options and know which brands and styles/cuts are a best fit for your child. You never know the great finds you will come across and those that will have a longer use if you choose wisely.

As we all know, kids grow so fast and they grow out of their clothes so quickly. So, if you are able to find brands or styles or cuts that work better you will get more use out of them. In my case, Sarah has an adorable potbelly and sprinters thighs. For her A-line, empire waist and low waist dresses work best. We also don't buy jeans with button closures but instead invest in stretch pants with elastic waist bands that get a great deal of wearing. Also consider what additional use you might be able to get out of existing clothing. We, for example, get much use from Sarah's stretchy dresses that may now be too short to wear on their own but gain new style with an added pair of leggings or stretch pants.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Color With New Perspective

Each morning when I take Sarah to school either in the stroller, or more recently now on foot, we have a new game we play. We live in a neighborhood with many cars parked on the street and name the colors of each of the cars as we pass them on the way.

What started out as basic colors, red, blue, white, green has expanded to light blue, gray, dark green, etc. Everyday, in fact, my husband and I infuse reference to color with Sarah as much, and as often as possible. At the age of two she's certainly in that developmental stage of seeing, identifying and appreciating color more now.

I love color. I often accessorize my clothes with color. I even enjoy a beautiful painting or picture or magnificent sunrise and sunset bursting with color. But, since Sarah arrived, seeing life through her eyes, I see color with new clarity. I see color differently. It's more fun, it's more noticeable and it's more present.

I often wear black, gray or brown and accessorize with bright colors. However, when I dress Sarah the thought of putting her in these colors feels wrong. It's so much fun dressing her in bright pinks, reds, oranges, greens and blues. Even her room is robust with color that now makes it the most fun room in the house to spend time in.

As a parent I have established a stronger appreciation for color through the eyes of my daughter. It's amazing the boldness of color when trying to explain it to a two-year-old. It's fun and rewarding to experience color with such happiness and joy for the excitement it brings. I love color, and likely will still dress the same way I do, but with Sarah I am blessed with an even greater appreciation for hues of all different kinds for they bring energy, enthusiasm, love, passion and excitement.

Enjoy the colors around you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The View" and this Week's Highlights (Fashion Focus)

As a Brand Ambassador for ABC’s The View, I am pleased to share with you this week’s line-up and guests.

Sorry for the delay in my post about this, it’s been a crazy busy week at work and I have been pooped by the time I get home through getting Sarah to bed.

With the Oscars this past Sunday it was certain that the ladies would be discussing what and who the celebrities wore. I especially like this part including seeing what’s a hit or miss. Then, I like to see if I can translate some of the styles by re-looking at what’s in my wardrobe or trying to add to it reasonably.

While I like fashion I wouldn’t consider myself someone who is fashionable. I tend to keep things simple and classic, and basic especially with a toddler who currently loves to pull at and play with my accessories including my necklaces, earrings and bracelets. I especially love accessories as they really put together an outfit and you don’t have to invest too much to make an outfit extra special. I have come to realize that just because I am a mom I can have some flavor in my wardrobe as well even when I take Sarah to the playground or out for play date. I like to get dressed up too and dress in different styles. On some occasions leggings and yoga pants are a must when much running around with Sarah happens.

Sometimes, depending on my mood, and the people I am around, I dive into my wardrobe, as the baby weight continues to come off, with my new eating and exercise habits established, to see what new creations I can try out, and re-try. Since I work with many younger women too I am sometimes inspired by them to step outside my comfort zone with fashion. It’s like playing adult dress-up. If our kids can do, we should be able to as well.

So, it comes as no surprise that The View buzzed about the Oscars early this week. The hosts have a “no holds barred” approach and tell it straight up. I like this. Honesty. Again, this is one of the many reasons why I like this show.

Later this week the following guests will appear including Sir Elton John and Eric McCormack on March 11 and Kate Gosselin and Carolina Herrera on March 12. I love Herrera’s designs so very much and looking forward to her appearance.

If you can see The View in real-time, great! If you can’t, like me, try to DVR or TiVo it as it’s filled with important information at the front end of the show in their Hot Topics section and filled with much laughter throughout, something necessary for everyone, and especially tired mommy’s like myself at the end of the day.

Enjoy!!!

“I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Unpredictable Bed Changing's for Little Ones

On my day off from work today I hoped for maybe a more calm morning to start the day, but Sarah definitely got things off with a bang, or shall I say a blow up.

Sarah over the past six months has been so interested in taking off her pajamas and pants rather regularly to strip off her diaper, and we are currently in the potty training phase but not quite there yet too. I understand that at Sarah’s age taking on and off her clothes is a developmental milestone but did it have to involve my child who seems to like to poop just at the time she wants to remove her diaper?

I even started putting Sarah in a onesie under her pajamas at night, which has worked out well. She many times would wake up in the morning and take the jammies off but still be in the onesie not having yet mastered the buttons underneath.

When I would run out of onesies having not been able to get to laundry as quickly as I would like to I would resort to putting t-shirts over her jammies. The latter worked well for a while, except until this morning. Sarah hasn't really been able to get shirts over her head or out of the arms holes yet.

So, this morning, Sarah decided, the monkey that she is, to wiggle her way out of her pajamas without removing the t-shirt and did so successfully standing without her diaper and her sheets and body covered in poop.

So, you can image, rubbing my eyes still trying to wake up, I was fully alert at this point. Ugh.

This is the first time that Sarah has done this and this is the second time in the past week I have had to change sheets while being very sleepy. Last week the culprit was puke when Sarah got sick with a 24-hour bug that started with throw up in her bed at 5:00am.

It is funny how sometimes the details of the story must be told first before the message is revealed. If you can imagine there is a silver lining in this situation, if you can even see it at this moment.

I highly recommend to all parents with young children either due to curious minds, uncontrollable bladders or sick moments to have a hypo-allergenic plastic covering underneath the sheet covering the entire mattress. Despite the top sheet and blankets getting soiled in these situations the mattress remains untainted. Just removing the sheet and wiping it down with cleaner the mattress cover then makes bed changing’s somewhat easier especially in the middle of the night or on sleep mornings when you are not fully awake.

I have even read in many parenting magazines that it's also worth considering two sets of bed linens and mattress covers so that if you remove the first sheet and cover you have a clean set underneath. Since we use a full, all around mattress cover due to allergies this doesn’t quite work well for me. It actually makes more work to get the mattress cover off. I feel that one mattress cover has been sufficient as the effort to remove the mattress cover does require some work. Nonetheless, a waterproof mattress cover is highly suggested, whether it is one or two sets, so that clean up with our little ones in these instances is somewhat easier for all.

"The View" and This Week's Highlights

As you know, I am a Brand Ambassador to The View as a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime to help share with you what will be highlighted on the show during the next month but also to share with you why I like The View. My role is also to help encourage that you consider watching the show whether in real time or on DVR or TiVo to check it out.

As I must provide full disclosure to you regarding my participation, I will be receiving a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.

To be completely truthful, I am not by any means doing this for the goodies, which are a nice bonus, but because it is such a cool opportunity to parlay my interest in the show, my role as a mommy blogger and passion for social media including education and awareness to other fellow parents.

In case you have interest in the show but have not yet had a chance to watch, or have not watched The View and would like to hear more about it you may be interested to know why I like the show and can even ask me questions.

What I most like about The View is the truthfulness of the hosts, and guests that appear on air. There is such honesty in what they are communicating and they do indeed share their own personal points of view as well. It does get heated sometimes, which makes it a little bit tough sometimes to follow along. But, all-in-all, it's a great chance to hear the highlighted news in the media including information for parents as part of their "Hot Topics" section at the front end of the show.

I also especially enjoy the humor that is weaved in during the show, where appropriate. The news, generally, can often be very serious and it helps that the hosts, when times are tough, can shed some light and laughter, when it's reasonable to do so.

Further, I like the celebrity portion of the show, often the last segment of the show, as well but more so when it's about their lives and experiences, and messages they want to deliver. Celebrities sometimes seem so untouchable. When they exhibit real life experience through these interviews, for moms I think then we can relate, maybe even just a little bit especially when some of these celebrities are people (moms) we admire.

Earlier this week they did an episode on infertility. Considering the nature of this topic it was a good balance between celebrity and real-person experiences that made the story being delivered more compelling. While I LOVE celebrity news, as a mom I have to say that hearing other's real experiences rings more true. The segment included Bill and Giuliana Rancic who shared their challenges with conceiving a child as well as two other real-people experiences that made it more relatable.

I am especially looking forward to Valerie Bertinelli being a co-host on Thursday, March 4 along with The View's "Road to the Oscars" on Friday, March 5” with Oscar nominee Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes.

I know for me one of my vices is celebrities and fashion. It will be interesting to hear about what will be expected to be worn by select celebrities this year including a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of past Oscars as far as fashion goes.

Enjoy!!!

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...