Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope everyone is having a great week!
I’ve been getting a lot of parenting related questions and I thought a blog post was the best way to answer them. I intentionally named the post Parenting: Amy and Drew Style because EVERYONE is different. This is what DREW AND I do and what works for our family. I’m going to talk about this more later in the post, but we are not researchers. We don’t read 10 blog posts and 5 books when deciding on a parenting approach…in fact…we don’t read one. We listen to our pediatrician and allow ourselves to be intuitive while we go. More than once we’ve talked about how people survived before the information overload that we live in, because people have been raising babies for a long time now 😉
Let’s dive in:
Right now, we have a newborn that is too little for a set schedule. That being said, we wanted to keep things as normal as possible for our toddler Maxwell. Even if Trey needs to eat during our typical dinner time, he just comes to the table on mama’s boob and we keep on rolling.
I’m happy to share Max’s “normal schedule”. Max goes to daycare 3 days a week and we wanted to keep that going through maternity leave. This way he could stay in his routine since I’ll be returning to my nursing job and also so that I could run my business Expecting and Empowered. We do our best to keep Max on his daycare schedule as far as eating times and nap times so that his life runs as smoothly as toddler possible.
7:00am-7:30am: Max wake up time! One of us goes to greet him and we bring him to the living room. He gets snuggles and a yogurt right away. If he has daycare that day he needs to be dressed and ready to go by 7:30.
8:00am: If Max is home for the day we feed him breakfast at the same time he would get it at daycare.
8:30-11:00 am: Play, play, play! We typically do NOT to let Max watch any cartoons as our pediatrician recommends waiting until 2 years. When his grandparents are around, he gets plenty. 😉 Max goes from activity to activity. Trucks one minute, wanting to read a book the next, shooting hoops the next. We don’t structure this time when he is home.
11:00am: Lunch time.
1:00-3:00pm: Nap. Max usually rocks his nap for at least an hour and sometimes sleeps all the way until 4! It just depends!
3:00pm: Snack time.
3:30-5:45pm: More play and daddy gets home during this window! Max always gets SO excited to see him and its a nice change of pace in our day. If it was a daycare day Max arrives home at 5:30pm.
6:00pm: Dinner time as a family. We would RARELY miss this precious time together. This is a phone free zone. Our favorite part is the dinner prayer at the beginning of the meal. Now that Max has learned “Amen” he starts saying it at the beginning of the prayer and just keeps repeating it the whole time.
6:45pm: Max’s bath. We bathe Max almost every day because he is a very messy kiddo and usually has things crusted in his hair and on his face.
7:00-7:55pm: Play as a family. This is what you always see on my Instagram story. It is easily our favorite part of the day. Max is SO fun and happy during this time.
8:00pm: Put Max down for the night.
Moving Babies Out of Our Room
Our pediatrician recommends doing it early enough so they don’t notice the switch. I’ve received messages on Instagram about how different countries have different suggestions. One woman said they are supposed to keep babies in their room for 6 months. Again, whatever is recommended by your pediatrician or what works for your family!
Drew and I have moved both babies into the nursery at 3 weeks. It is important to us to sleep in our bed together, just the two of us 🙂 Our nursery is also SO close to our room that I feel comfortable as a mama knowing that they are still 8 steps away. This time around we’ve been using the Lollipop – Smart Baby Monitor to ease our minds further. It links to an app and you can get notifications right to your phone! It’s pretty awesome!
It has been on the rarest occasion that we’ll let a babe sleep in our bed and we didn’t allow it until they are old enough that we’re positive we couldn’t squish or smother them. I know there are co-sleepers reading this post and we’re NOT judging your parenting, we’re just simply sharing what we believe (don’t get mad, it’s okay to disagree here). If Max is pretty sick and wakes up really upset we’ll let him sleep with us. Trey is sick right now so he is back in our room in his own co-sleeper and not in our bed.
Max has always been a pretty good sleeper. At our 9 month appointment, the pediatrician pointed out that Max no longer needed the nighttime feeding session that I had still been doing. For me, it didn’t seem like a big deal because I could go in there and be back in bed in 10 minutes start to finish. Our pediatrician said this: “Amy, you are creating a habit. So if you want to continue to wakeup every night…by all means. BUT, he doesn’t need it and you are losing sleep for no reason.”
Game changer comment. Drew and I actually love how straight forward our pediatrician is. That night we decided to shut Max’s nursery door and let him cry if he woke up in the middle of the night. Drew and I agreed that 10 minutes was our threshold for going in. Max cried for a little bit and went back to BED! AH! What had I been going in there for?! He would then start sleeping through the night with just a little nudge from our pediatrician.
Putting Max down for a nap or bedtime: This takes us 3 minutes. We tell him it is “nun night time”. He knows that means he is going to bed. He’ll adorably runs to Drew as if Drew is going to save him from his bedtime fate. Soon he gives in and knows he wants mama to take him to bed. We do this from 7:55-8:05 pm pretty much with zero exception. If you cannot tell already, we’re pretty serious about schedules around here…which is funny because we’re pretty easy going about other stuff. We’ve just found that Max does the best when you keep him in his routine. I go into his room, rock him for 1 minute and then he points to his bed because he knows he wants to go to sleep. I shut the door.
If Max would start crying (very rarely), we would give it at least 10 minutes before going in. Drew and I can tell the difference between “I really need something” cry and “I’m just whining”. Recently I put him down for his nap and he was doing his “I really need something cry” which is very unusual. I went in there and he had the fullest poopy diaper one ever did see. I changed him and put him back down. Sometimes, they do really need you.
Now that we have Trey babe, we’re back to the start. In the beginning we just ride the wave of sleepless nights and keep reminding ourselves that it gets better pretty fast. Trey has definitely been a better newborn sleeper than Max was, so we already feel blessed.
Newborn Sleep Set Up and Snuggle Me vs. Dock a Tot
Trey sleeps in the Snuggle Me Original | Co-Sleeping Lounger ($120). He also has the DockATot Deluxe+ Dock ($175) and Boppy Newborn Lounger ($30). Can you tell we’re serious about sleep around here? We were actually gifted both the Snuggle Me and the Dock Delux. I get A LOT questions about the Snuggle Me vs. the Dock. I can easily recommend both! We’re using the Snuggle Me while he is SO little because it is smaller and more snug, which prevents him from startling himself. If he outgrows that we’d transition him into the Dock Delux and then into the Dock Grand. The Boppy Lounger is a great tool for when you want to put your babe down. We do let our babies nap in it during the day when they are downstairs and around us. I’d highly recommend getting that lounger!
For other parents that aren’t going to be buying both I would do the Snuggle Me into the bigger of the two Docks (DockATot Grand Dock ). This is what Max has slept in since he was about 6 months.
Going from ONE to TWO Children
We decided to move Max into his “BIG BOY!” room about a month and a half before Trey came. For us, we found it easier to leave the nursery the nursery and move Max. We also made this decision because the nursery is the closest room to us and we wanted the littlest babe in that room. Before the big move, we started playing a lot in his new room. It was the guest room at the end of the hall, so he wasn’t in there all that much and we wanted to get him more comfortable and familiar with the room. Max has been sleeping in his DockATot Grand Dock and Pack ‘n Play (on sale for $79!!) set up for a loooong time. It’s actually hilarious because the reason that ever came to be is because Drew and I were lazy and slow at converting his crib down lower and were worried he was going to fall out. He started sleeping AMAZING in the combination and we figured, “Well, why change it?” Of course it looked a little silly but the benefits were: 1) We knew we’d be moving him out of that room and down the hall…and this would allow us to use the crib for the baby. 2) When we stayed overnight at someone else’s house we could keep the exact same setup. We felt comfortable with the setup because there isn’t any gap between the Dock and the walls of the Pack N Play. Max was also at an age where he could get himself around and wouldn’t get stuck there.
As far as preparing Max we didn’t really do a whole heck of a lot. We started talking about our baby and that our baby was coming when he rubbed or poked my belly button. It is a complete bonus that Max is around babies at daycare. At the end of the day, they consolidate rooms and sometimes Max has to spend the last little bit of the day in the baby room. They teach the toddlers to be super gentle with the babies. Max always gets SUPER excited when his little cousins or our friends little babes would come around. Drew and I feel like we are just blessed with a little man that really likes babies.
Max has been really good with Trey! Of course sometimes he isn’t gentle enough and sometimes he gets jealous, but we meet him with patience. We understand it is a HUGE change for him. That being said, we don’t let Max run the show. If Trey needs to breastfeed, he needs to breastfeed. Even if Max gets upset or throws a tantrum I just keep telling him that Trey needs to eat and mama can help him in a few minutes. Sometimes this results in flailing around on the floor, but he typically regains composure and comes and sits by us.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
There is NO better time for parenting teamwork than when you go from 1 to 2 kiddos or adding a newborn into your brood. It does get stressful at times, that is FOR sure. Drew and I have to get back on the same page at least once a day. It isn’t easy, but we do deeply believe that we’ll be happier parents if we’re happy in our marriage. A 2 under 2 situation can definitely test that, but we’re poised to come out stronger than ever.
We would both highly suggest still doing things that make YOU, YOU! We both still workout, see friends, pursue our hobbies, etc! There is LESS time, but we think this is really important!
If you have any other questions add them below and I’ll update this post to answer them!
Have a great day!