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12 Potty Training Hacks

potty training hacks

Potty training your toddler might seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. And we won’t sugar coat it - sometimes it DOES get overwhelming! But these potty training hacks will help you get through it a little more easily. Read our 12 potty training hacks and feel free to share your own when you’re done.

 

1. Remove the Pants: If you can strip your toddler naked from the waist down, this tends to work best, especially for kids who don’t realize they need to go until it’s time to go. The trick here is that they’ll immediately realize the connection between the potty and a major cleanup on aisle three (and hence an interruption of whatever they were doing). This plan works best for parents with patience and willingness to accept the risks of pantsless potty training. But many parents swear by this method!

 

2. Use the Potty Backwards:This one is great for boys and girls who get easily distracted or haven’t mastered the art of aiming. By using the small training potty - or even the big toilet - facing the “back” of the potty, you have a designated catch zone that means they won’t be leaking out the front of the potty and making a mess everywhere else in the bathroom

 

3. Set a Timer: Set a timer (on your phone, on the microwave, or use a special potty timer) for every 30-45 minutes and have your child sit on the potty whenever the timer goes off. If they go, celebrate and praise them with your reward of choice (be it a special high five, a sticker, a treat, or anything else). If they don’t, go back to playtime and try again next time the timer goes off.

 

4. Use an App: There are a variety of apps available for your smartphone or tablet to make potty training easier. Some are designed to entertain or educate the kids about the potty, while others are useful tools for mom or dad to keep track of timing and progress. Check out The New Potty - Little Critter (for $1.99 on the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone) and Potty Training Kids Learning With Animals (free on the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone). For Android devices, try Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty ($2.99).

 

5. Select 2-3 Designated Potty Books: Keep some books for entertainment in the bathroom while pottying, but don’t switch them out to keep your child interested. This isn’t about reading, it’s about you-know-what. Keep a library of two to three designated potty books. As the books get a little boring and predictable, the bathroom will become more about doing their business and getting back to the fun stuff.

 

6. Sing a Song: Make up (or borrow from your child’s favorite show or book) a song about potty training to make each trip to the potty entertaining and add a sense of ritual. This could be as simple as singing “wipe, flush, and wash your hands” to a favorite tune or making up new lyrics to the tune of a popular song.

 

7. Use a Disposable Changing Pad: This one is a great life hack for potty training. Use a disposable changing pad or even a puppy training pad to place in your child’s car seat or anywhere else you need to avoid a mess when you’re not sure if you’ll have trouble making it to a bathroom on the go.

 

8. Use Incontinence Pads or Pantiliners: It’s one thing to rinse out and wash an accidental leak, but cleaning up an accidental poo should be avoided at all costs. Place a small pantiliner or incontinence pad in your child’s undies for easier cleanup of #2 accidents.

 

9. Pack the Sticky Notes: This hack is for public toilets with automatic flushing mechanisms. A sudden flush before your child is ready can scare them and set you back in the potty training process. Savvy parents keep a pack of sticky notes in their arsenal to place one over the sensor on an automatic toilet. No flushing until you’re ready!

 

10. Mark the Point of No Return: Use decorative tape to mark the “do not pass” zone for toilet paper. Kids are still figuring out how much they need, so set the mark at a few squares’ length so they can get used to appropriate toilet paper usage.

 

11. Designate Kids-Only Toilet Paper: Giving your child their own roll of toilet paper is a small hack that makes a big difference. They’ll be so excited to have a sense of control since parents aren’t allowed to use this roll and might be extra excited to use the potty for their special toilet paper.

 

12. Make a To-Go Bag: Sure, keeping your kid pantsless at home is easiest, but when you need a trip to the grocery store or have to leave the house for a playdate, you’ll need to be prepared. Pack your training pants, underwear, sticky notes, a potty book, and anything else you need.

 

There you have it - 12 hacks for potty training to make things easier on you AND your little one. Potty training is hard work, so every little thing helps until you find the trick that works best for your family. Of course, we also recommend a waterproof pad for your child’s crib or toddler mattress, like the Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress Pad, which maximizes airflow for a more comfortable sleep and has a waterproof backing to keep those nighttime accidents from becoming a nightmare.

 

If you're still not sure if your child is ready to potty train read on for 5 Signs Your Child Is Ready To Potty Train.

Room Share with Baby and STILL Sleep Great!

Room Share with Baby

By Jenni June Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, CLC and Mom of 4!

If you lack an additional bedroom in your home for baby, or want to keep in line with the recent safe-sleep and SIDS prevention guidelines from the AAP, you are probably thinking great sleep and/or sleep training won’t work for you and your baby if you are both in the same room. Think again! It’s completely possible.

The most notable upgrade to this well-regarded list of SIDS prevention and safe-sleep recommendations is the call to "room share" (not bed share) with baby at least until they're 6 months old (but optimally until 12 months old).

I was flooded with calls from panic-stricken sleep consultants and families alike about this edict the moment it was handed down. “Jenni, how can we sleep train, or sleep well, while still following these newest guidelines?”

Easy! Here’s how:

#1- Place baby’s crib inside your room as far away as you can from your bed (and ideally from your bedroom door). Be sure there is nothing in the crib but a firm, breathable mattress and a tight-fitting crib sheet. No bumpers, no stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, or positioners -- these are all potential suffocation hazards!

#2- Make sure the room is dark enough during sleep time so that baby cannot see you, since your presence may be stimulating to them. Many babies who have not yet learned healthy independent sleep skills, and thus still associate parents with how they get to sleep, or back to sleep (as they connect from one sleep cycle to the next throughout the night), will yield quicker and easier to sleep with correct sleep hygiene in place when the shiny carrot of mom and dad (their old sleep crutch) isn’t dangling in front of them. It’s the equivalent of parking a recovering alcoholic in front of a tavern during happy hour otherwise.

If you are in the initial stages of sleep training, you may use a folding screen or room divider. When doing so, be sure to have a video monitor in place so that you can clearly see your child, even in the dark. You must be able to see them, but they shouldn't see you!

#3- Use healthy, ambient white noise in the room during sleep. Buy a proper white noise machine with ambient sound, or use an inexpensive fan, placed on the other side of the room and facing away from your child. This will help condition the stimulating sounds that might arouse your child all the way awake during their lighter, more active stages of sleep, such as mumbling, talking and moving around in bed.

Babies and non-verbal children do the same in these active stages of sleep. Except, they will have fussing or crying sounds and moving around in the crib, sometimes even sitting up or standing. But they, just like us, have no idea they’re doing it. They are actively moving about, but still technically asleep. These periods within our sleep cycles may last from 1-5 minutes. Adult sleep cycles are 90 minutes long, while babies are about 50 minutes or so. As a result, we are constantly fragmenting each other’s sleep throughout the night. So, invest in proper white noise.

#4- If you have chosen to sleep train (teach independent sleep skills and provide proper sleep hygiene), this sleep environment will work with any behavioral "method" you choose for your child. If using an integrative approach, the only difference is that your engagement is from your bed to crib, rather than your bed to the crib in a separate room.

Your perfect consistency in providing a simple and clear message for your child as you support them in discovering that they can both fall asleep, and connect from one sleep cycle to the next, even faster and better than you can do it for them, is all that is needed from here! Sleep health and safety for all!

About Jenni June:

Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep ConsultantJennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, National
speaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.

Tags: baby, nursery, sleep

First Time Dad Tips

First Time Dad Tips

To celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, we checked in with the dads in our community to ask them what advice they’d give to a new father or dad-to-be. See what they had to say, and add your own advice! Rock on, dads.

On the Postpartum Period

“Ask her what she needs, and OFFER to change those diapers, especially during her postpartum recovery. Oh, and smell that baby noggin as often as possible.” Ben C.

“The first couple of weeks are just about survival.” David M.

“Help your wife with everything.” John S.

On Bonding

“It’s hard sometimes to have mom get so much time with the baby. Whenever you can, pick them up and cuddle them, go the extra step. It’s hard to see them only be comforted by mom, so if you make yourself as involved as possible then you’ll be able to soothe them too. Speak up for yourself, you matter too.” Justin G.

On Sleep Deprivation

"Get any sleep disorders checked out by a doctor ASAP.” John M.

“It seems obvious, but always remember that you are a team. Nobody is going to be sleeping well for the first few months, and mom least of all. That lack of sleep can make it hard to remember that raising a kiddo is a group effort. If she needs a night off from feedings to recharge, prep the coffee pot and let her sleep. Inversely, don’t fight her when she tells you to take a nap or a night off.” Scott M.  

On Feeling Like You Don’t Know What You’re Doing

“It’s normal to be scared and you’re going to make mistakes. Nobody knows what they’re doing. You’ll also never love anything ever again as much as your kids. You don’t know unconditional love until you have kids. The baby literally comes out doing nothing but eating, pooping, and crying, and you are proud of those moments.” David C.

“Just about anybody can become a father. That’s an easy road that doesn’t require much from a guy. It takes a ton of patience and hard work to be a dad. There will be so many moments when you feel like you’ve got it all wrong. Those moments are like blades of grass and it feels like there are a lot of them. But the great moments when you feel like you’re doing it right are like trees in a forest. They’re scattered here and there but they’re tall, strong, and the roots grow deep. Makes it worth it.” Jorge G.

“Breathe. You won’t break them. Just be there and do whatever you can.” Justin H.

“Don’t panic.” John O.

Share Your Stories

Any seasoned dads out there? Share your own advice for new dads so they know they aren’t alone!

Tags: baby, dads, parenting

5 Signs Your Child Is Ready To Potty Train

potty training tips

June is Potty Training Awareness Month, and we’ve got some tips for you! You may be ready to say goodbye to diapers, but your little one might not be there yet. Or they may be begging for big kid undies while you’re worried about accidents and thinking it’s way too early to potty train. What’s the right answer? We’re outlining these five signs that your child is ready to potty train so you can make the right choice for your family to get started today or wait it out a while longer.

Sign #1: Pulling at a Dirty Diaper

If your child fusses and pulls at their soiled diaper, it shows awareness around their bodily functions. They can tell that their diaper is soiled and want to get cleaned up immediately! This is a great time to get started with communication about the potty, since you can take advantage of the fact that your little one wants to stay clean.

Sign #2: Telling You About a Dirty Diaper

This is an even bigger sign, since your child can use their words to communicate. Your child might tell you right before or after they go, and sometimes you can even make it to the potty before it happens!

Sign #3: Using Appropriate Potty-Related Words

If your child can communicate their need to use the potty (whether you use “pee-pee” or “number one” or “urinate”), you’re well on your way to being ready. This shows that they understand what’s going on and they’ll start to connect their “potty words” to their body cues that they need to go, pronto.

Sign #4: Staying Dry

If your child stays dry and doesn’t need a wet diaper change for over two hours at a stretch, you may be ready to potty train. This shows a better control of the bladder and an ability to “hold it” a little longer if needed. Another great sign is if your child wakes up dry from a nap!

Sign #5: Giving You an Audience

It’s no fun for mom or dad, but if your child wants to watch YOU use the potty, they may be ready to mimic and copy your behavior and get used to using the toilet themselves. We can’t promise when you’ll get your privacy back, parents - sorry!

Whichever method of potty training you use, you should know that some kids get it right away and some kids take a while to fully master the potty. It’s completely normal for a child to be potty trained for “number one” but not “number two” - or vice versa - for as long as several months. Also, your child may be completely potty trained during the day but still needs a diaper for night time. These are all variations of normal, so don’t panic! Stay patient and keep your chin up, potty training doesn’t last forever.

Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress PadTo make an easier transition, our Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress Pad not only provides a breathable surface for better airflow and a comfortable sleep, but also features a waterproof backing and machine washable convenience. It’s perfect for potty-training toddlers who are prone to accidents or night-time leaks.

When Should I Flip A 2-Stage Crib Mattress?

When to Flip A 2-Stage Crib Mattress

A 2-Stage crib mattress is a practical choice that offers long-lasting performance through the toddler years. You simply flip the mattress from the infant side to the toddler side for a cushion firm feel and a big kid transition! But when is the right time to flip?

Step 1: Identify Each Side

The 2-Stage crib mattresses have a tag sewn into the seam that lets you know which side is for infants and which side is for toddlers. The infant side of the mattress is extra firm, designed for the flat, firm surface babies need for safety. The toddler side is cushion firm for a little more comfort.

Step 2: Flip The Mattress

When you’re ready to transition from the infant side to the toddler side, simply flip the mattress over! Check with your pediatrician before flipping or adding accessories like blankets and toddler pillows. Most children transition around the age of one year, but each baby has different needs and your pediatrician can give you the go-ahead to make the switch.

Important Safety Tips

Lullaby Earth crib mattresses are designed for safety and feature a firm, flat surface as recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC recommends that you put your baby to sleep on their back, alone in the crib, with no soft toys or bedding.

Any Questions?

Whether you get a Breeze Breathable 2-Stage Crib Mattress or our Healthy Support 2-Stage Crib Mattress, we’re here to answer all your questions! Let us know how we can help you make a safer transition into the toddler years. 

When to Transition Baby from Bassinet to Crib

bassinet to crib transition

By: Jenni June Certified Child Sleep Consultant, CLC and mom of 4!

Transitioning your baby from a bassinet to a regular crib is actually a bigger deal than most parents realize. It’s important to both your child’s safety and how well they sleep in the future!

The ideal age to make the move is when your child turns four months old. This coincides with when we see the first big leap in gross motor development skills (such as rolling side to side, or all the way over onto their tummy, by themselves). When baby becomes mobile there are new safety concerns that are present, and we don’t want to wait for something potentially dangerous to happen before we act to protect them. We are now protecting them from harming themselves, and we must be -- not one, but two steps -- ahead of them (this is good practice for the teenage years!).

A bassinet or co-sleeper does not have sidewalls high enough to protect baby from falling out should they decide to pull or push themselves up high enough to where their little chin is at the same level as the top of the sidewall. Once that happens, because their heads are so much heavier than the rest of their body, they can go right over the edge. And because babies tend to discover, obsess over, and practice these exciting new skills in their sleep environment, which is also where there is less supervision, it must be the safest place in your home!

We must also remove mobiles. Baby is now learning to reach for and grab things. Another common safety hazard is baby monitors (and their cords) being mounted to crib railings or placed near enough where the cord can be reached by a young child. The crib mattress should be lowered, and free of bumpers, positioners, blankets, “lovies”, or stuffed animals. Nothing but a firm, tight mattress and a tight-fitting sheet should be in that crib with your sweet baby.

Four months old is also when a huge cognitive brain surge takes place, and the emergence of object permanence begins to develop. By ages five to six months, babies become more aware of, and attached to, their surroundings. They thrive on consistency and familiarity.

For that reason,

Four months old is the ideal time to transition baby to what will become a more permanent sleep environment (ideally, a safe crib).

 

This can be accomplished either in parent’s bedroom for the remainder of his or her first year, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or in an independent sleep environment in close proximity to parent’s bedroom, equipped with a proper video and audio baby monitor system.

You may make the transition gradually, if you like, by placing your baby in their new, safe crib for one or two naps a day, then all naps, and eventually night sleep.
When baby is safe and sound, its sweet dreams for everyone!



About Jenni June:

Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep ConsultantJennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, National
speaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.

Tags: baby, nursery, sleep

Mom Life is the Best Life

Mom Life Is The Best

Make no mistake about it: Being a parent is hard work. You’ve created a tiny little person and you’re completely responsible for raising them, feeding them, and taking care of them. It’s a big responsibility and you find yourself full of all the fear (and all the love, like more than you ever thought possible) in the world. You celebrate their milestones as they learn to walk, and talk, and eat food by themselves, and then you’re hit with the realization that they’re mobile, demanding their favorite foods, and throwing snacks on the floor.

But it’s not all butts and runny noses. Otherwise, we’d never do this again and our species would be in big trouble. Lucky for kids, they can also be charming and adorable, reminding us that even when it seems like we’re going to melt down and we can’t do this anymore, our role as parents is one of the most important things we’ll ever do. And it’s so worth it.

We reached out to moms in our community to hear about what makes #MomLife worth it. And their responses might have you reaching for the tissues, so get ready to wipe your own runny nose for a change.



When Kids Know Just What You Need



Sometimes when you’re feeling your worst, your little ones can brighten your day and remind you that you’re the star of their world.

“I was in the front seat of my van trying not to cry over my home insurance/water damage disaster. In the back seat, I heard my four-year-old say to my three-year-old, ‘Emmy, you’re such a good sister. I love you.’ And I couldn’t help but smile.” Chantel G.

“I’ve been on prednisone for 7 months and I’ve gained weight. I put on a dress and a little makeup the other day and my three-year-old exclaimed, ‘Mama! You beautiful! You princess?’ Day made.” Mal E.

“I’ll be completely losing my mind annoyed with everything and before I know it I have little arms around me and a little voice telling me she loves me and asking for a kiss.” Rogue B.

“My kids and I were killing time at the mall before parent teacher conferences and I don’t remember why, but I said ‘I know I’m a horrible mom’ and my nine-year-old said, ‘Mommy, you are the best mommy! You are so nice and you always do stuff for us and you discipline us and that’s really important so we can grow up to be good people.’ She made me cry and my heart sang. As often as I feel like I’m doing everything wrong, my sweet, amazing, wiser-than-her-age little girl reminds me that it’s not how I see myself or how others see me, it’s how my kids see me. It’s moments like this that make me realize I’m doing OK.” Jaclyn M.

When Kids Appreciate The Funny Things



Knowing you’ve imparted your sense of humor onto the next generation is its own reward. Sometimes children can be so funny and there’s no denying they inherited your impeccable wit (or your talent for terrible knock knock jokes).

“Mine can sing the entire ‘Bad Lip Reading of Star Wars” song. It’s HYSTERICAL. I made a funny human!” Renee L.

“It was Christmas Eve and my husband was working late, so I decided it was finally time for my Sesame Street-obsessed son to try one of my favorite movies: The Christmas Toy. He snuggled in my lap right up until the funniest bit, where he sat up, pointed at the screen, and laughed like he was getting tickled.” Jennifer L.

 

When Kids Show You How Much They Can Love



Kids truly show us the meaning of unconditional love and those little moments are what keep you going when you feel like giving up.

“We were at the grocery store as a family, and my daughter stayed with me while my son went with my husband to a different aisle. We met up in the middle of an aisle and the kids ran to each other from opposite ends, called each other’s name, and hugged like they hadn’t seen one another for years. That’s the kind of thing that makes it so worth it for me.” Brittany M.

“For me, it’s seeing how loving and selfless she is. Her cousin is eight months younger but she was upset she wasn’t finding any Easter eggs, so my daughter put down her own basket and helped her cousin find them instead. She gives me hope. I love her giving spirit.” Misty W.

“The little ‘I wuv you’ I get, the kisses, the hugs, the super excited ‘Mama!’ when they want to show me something.” Andrea H.

“When I just let his utter joy in life be contagious.” Kat B.

“When they stop mid-play to come give me kisses and hugs.” Auna K.

 

When Kids Remind You How Much They Need You



There’s something bittersweet about your child growing up and becoming more independent, because you start to feel like they don’t need you anymore. But then you realize that they still need you, and they’ll always need you, even if it’s in a different way than when they were babies.

“My daughter refuses to go to bed until I hold her in my arms and sing her the ‘Abbey Song.’ It’s her own little lullaby. She hums along, and it’s the most precious minute of my day.” Bethany N.

“Anytime they are hurt they come running to me (or their dad) for help and snuggles. They trust us to make it all better, to reassure them that while it hurts now it won’t hurt forever.” Erin O.

“I feel like he needs me the most when HE tries to take care of ME. I was up late working the other night and had taken a break from it long enough to feed him and take him to a movie. When we got home, I sent him to take a shower and go to bed. I got back to work, and he said, ‘You’re obviously tired, go to bed and finish that tomorrow.’” Renee L.

“My daughter was playing at the park and came running to me saying she hurt her leg. All she needed was a kiss and a hug and she was off to play again. As she grows, she needs me less and less, but moments like that remind me that she’ll always need her mama in some capacity, even if it’s not what it was.” Misty W.  

What Do YOU Love About #MomLife?



We want to hear your stories about what makes parenting in the trenches worth it. (Did you need those tissues?)
Tags: moms, parenting

What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

mothers day gift

Moms are hardworking people, and there’s a day coming up that’s just for them. There are so many options, so many commercials, and so many recipes for breakfast in bed… you have to wonder, what does mom really want this year for Mother’s Day? Put down the tissue paper and glue, everybody, we have the answers.

 

Mom Wants Quality Family Time (And a Break)

 

- “Time with my boys!” Erin O.

- “To be able to enjoy the day with my kids and not have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or any of that jazz.” Brittany M.

- “I’d like to go out with my family on a picnic or to the beach and NOT have to plan and be in charge of everything.” Crystal J.

 

Mom Wants Something Nice

 

- “I tried to put a bug in my son’s ear… ‘mom wants a pretty bouquet of flowers.’ He said, ‘OK, mom, I’m on it!’ So we’ll see if mom gets flowers.” Jessica H.

- “Something I never get, that I’ve asked for for three years now. I want silhouette art of my kids. This year I’m just going to do it myself.”Hilary T.

- “I would like a necklace or ring with my boys’ birthstones. I’m not a huge jewelry person but if it was something for my kids I would love it.” Jaime B.

 

Mom Wants To Tap Out (You Know, Like a Break)

 

- “Honestly, I have three mothers-in-law in addition to my own mom and our grandmothers. Gifts are neither my husband’s nor my love language, but it falls on me to purchase gifts and arrange the Mother’s Day plans. I just want my husband to take over buying presents, making cute crafts, and making Mother’s Day plans so it’s a day of rest for me rather than a hassle.” Sara M.

- “To wake up to a clean house.” Millissa B.

- “I want one day of my kid doing his chores without complaining about it. He agreed to do this, so we’ll see if he pulls it off.” Renee L.

 

Mom Wants You to Remember She’s a Mom Too

- “For someone to take me out for a fancy dinner instead of focusing on just my mom.” Jaclyn M.

- “To not hear my mom, stepmom, or mother-in-law talk about their wants and needs are for Mother’s Day because they forget there are mothers with young kids that need to relax. Mother’s Day is great, yay moms! But I’m a mom too.” Stacy C.

Mom Wants Something Delicious (And a Break)

- “Let me sleep and feed me good food.” Sara D.

- “A date with my husband, a backrub, whatever food I crave on demand, the dog not to pee in the house… I can keep going.” Andrea H.

- “Dark chocolate covered pears that I don’t have to share.” Terra J.

Mom Wants Her Privacy

- “I want to use the bathroom alone.” Khari M., Maile A., Amanda B., Renee C. and moms everywhere

 

Mom Just Wants A Break

 

- “I just want to sleep for eight hours without a single person touching me. Also, I don’t want to wipe a single butt.”

- “An empty house and no expectations of me to do anything.” Brianna H.

- “To drink my coffee hot and read a book for a few hours uninterrupted.” Katie C.

- “I want to be left alone. Your dad knows where the juice and snacks are, kid!” Jessica R.

- “A day with no kids. Yep, ‘horrible mom’ here - no guilt.” Kaila K.

- “First, all the kids would go to Grandma’s house. Then I would like candles lit all around the bathroom and a hot bath with bubbles. Bring me a bottle of wine, a box of salted caramel turtles, and my Kindle. Let me soak for however long it takes to wash away all the stress and spit-up and poop. Then, I want to lay in bed alone and watch Netflix. Bring me more wine, a large bowl of popcorn, and a pint of cookie dough ice cream. Finish all that off with a back massage.” Heather S.

- “A day on my own, in a fancy hotel, with room service, a massage, and no one else. I don’t care if the house burns down while I’m gone - someone else can deal with it.” Eve B

- “Just ten minutes of peace and quiet.” Augustine V.

 

What Do You Want, Mom?

  

What is it that YOU really want for Mother’s Day this year? Tell us all about it. And let us know if you find that private island with room service we’re all waiting for.

Tags: moms, parenting

7 Parent Self Care Tips for Better Sleep

parent sleep self care

As parents, we tend to make sacrifices for the good of our children, even when it means sleepless nights. Unfortunately, many of us lose touch with the importance of healthy sleep for ourselves because we’re so focused on helping our little ones sleep better. But healthy sleep is important for you too, parents! For Sleep Awareness Week (April 23-29, 2017), we’ve put together some easy tips to remind you that self-care is a top priority. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup (and if you’re too tired for that metaphor, it means you’re not doing anybody any favors if you run yourself ragged and forget that you deserve care too).

Parent Self Care Tip #1: Have a Cup of Tea. Not while you’re running around the house, not when you’re trying to get the kids ready for daycare, and not when you realize you haven’t eaten food all day. Before bedtime (or in the morning), brew yourself a cup of calming herbal tea and give yourself just five minutes to sit quietly and drink it. Hide in the bathroom if you have to - but get those five minutes. This is a quick and easy way to center yourself and get in touch with your body. Where do you feel stress? Are you hungry or thirsty? Have you washed your hair recently? Just check in, and breathe, and drink your one cup of tea today. Repeat tomorrow.

Parent Self Care Tip #2: Eat Your Veggies. If you’re grabbing quick convenience food because you forgot to eat (again), take a breather and see if you can find another option for lunch. Add one serving of vegetables to your day each day for a week, and then add another serving. By focusing on healthier, nutrient-dense veggies, you can stave off hunger pangs and reduce the craving for a quick sugar boost. You know that a sugar high makes it hard for your kiddos to wind down, and it works the same for you. Next time you’re craving an easy snack, reach for veggies or something with healthy protein like a hard boiled egg or handful of nuts. Small changes to your diet will help you feel better (and sleep better) day after day.

Parent Self Care TIp #3: Take a Bath. Just a ten minute soak can help you center and focus on yourself, like the cup of herbal tea. You can even combine the two tips and have a cup of tea in the bath. We know, crazy, right! Lock that bathroom door and take a quiet moment to yourself while you soak in a warm bath. Add epsom salt for a relaxing muscle soak that will provide natural magnesium for easier sleep.

Parent Self Care Tip #4: Take Your Vitamins. We know it’s impossible to have a Pinterest-perfect meal plan every day. And we know a vitamin won’t fill all your nutritional voids. But at the very least, a high quality multivitamin can help provide vital micronutrients your body might be lacking (which show up in cravings for junk food). Magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin D are all linked to healthy sleep, so grab a multi with your breakfast to build on this healthier habit.

Parent Self Care Tip #5: Practice Breathing Exercises. Mindful breathing can help you get through the stressful moments in your day and can help you relax when your mind is racing at bedtime. Breathe in deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold for four, and release through your mouth for four. Repeat until you are calm and relaxed, or even until you fall asleep. (Tip: You can even teach this method to your children to help them calm down in stressful situations).

Parent Self Care Tip #6: Read Something You Enjoy. Some people’s self care comes from reading non-fiction, self-help, self-development, or religious books. Other people’s self care comes from reading a fiction or fantasy adventure. Whichever you prefer, reading a chapter each day can help you to unwind and enjoy something YOU like to do that doesn’t center around caring for everyone else. Reading can be part of your waking or bedtime routine (but be careful with e-readers at bedtime, as the screen’s light can interrupt your healthy sleep patterns).

Parent Self Care Tip #7: Exercise. Moving your body throughout the day helps promote healthier sleep at night, but late night workouts might have the opposite effect and wake you up. However, the best time of day to exercise is when you’ll actually do it, so take advantage of your energy levels and fit in a few minutes of exercise to promote a healthier mind and body. 

Not everyone’s self care is the same, and what YOU personally need to recharge your mind and body might be totally different from someone else, even your spouse. As you browse this list of seven tips to promote self care, we hope you’ll find one or two ideas that speak to you. Try them out and let us know if they help!

Tags: parenting, sleep

4th Trimester Baby Sleep

4th Trimester Baby Sleep

By: Jenni June, Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, CLC and Mom of 4!

“The fourth trimester” is the newborn stage from birth to 16 weeks old. While it is a magical time, the colic and/or sleepless nights begin to take its toll for many parents. Moms who plan to go back to work fear doing so if the baby is not yet sleeping better at night. Months of sleep deprivation have reduced her energy, memory, creativity, patience, and emotional well-being.

The pressure to bounce back, perform well, and still return home to care for and nurture her little one, is immense and may even cause some postpartum anxiety or depression. This is usually when I get “the Call”: The desperate plea to help sleep train the young baby under 4 months old before mom goes back to work.

Unfortunately, this cannot, and should not be done.

You see, babies are not born with a circadian rhythm. They are not born with the ability to produce melatonin on a timed basis. Nor are they able to experience the deeper stages of sleep that older babies can. But, this isn’t a bad thing. Their sleep is designed to be light, active, sporadic, and disorganized. This type of sleep helps babies to easily resuscitate should their physical vitals fall below normal, protecting them from SIDS. A baby this young must eat constantly and on demand, especially if mom has chosen to breastfeed. These months are critical in establishing healthy milk supply and positive breastfeeding behaviors. The foundation of secure attachment must also be laid for optimum infant mental health.

“Ironically, this on demand -- unscheduled, round-the-clock care, and nurturing of your child during the fourth trimester -- does not spoil your baby or make sleep worse.”

It is what sets up the best beginnings for good sleep in the future, when they are capable of consolidating and organizing sleep.

In the meantime, the absolute best way to take the edge off of things is still the age old cliché: Sleep when baby sleeps. The problem is, this does not happen. I'm sure every mom knows why; there is not sufficient help with the mounds of laundry, shopping, prepping or cooking of meals, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, extra help caring for older children and so on.

This generation of parents forgets that we were never meant to do this alone. This last 60 years is the first time in human history that parents no longer have older parents and grandparents living in the home with them, helping to raise and care for little ones and the home. It still takes a village!

If you are expecting, have a special “village people” baby shower where the theme and gifts revolve entirely around “sleep and sanity support” for at least 12 weeks! This can be gift certificates for meal delivery service, house keeping, mother’s helper, or volunteer tasks with pre-organized shifts and duties. Invest everything you have to get lots of extra support in these areas. This will not only help you take the pressure off of yourself, but it will take the pressure off of your baby to do something they aren’t biologically capable of doing until they’re beyond the fourth trimester.

About Jenni June:

Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep ConsultantJennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, National
speaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.