Mommy New Year's Resolutions | Lullaby Earth Blog – LullabyEarth.com

Mommy New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

Making a New Year's resolution doesn't have to be the same old goal year after year. Mix things up and turn your annual goal setting into a family affair! You can help your kids set realistic goals for the year and set some family goals too.

Start with a reflection on the past year. What did you do well, and what can you improve for next year?

When making a goal, remember to make it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Customize our suggestions to your own schedule and desires. We do recommend taking some time for yourself though, Mom.

Mom Resolutions

Resolutions for Mom

  • I will schedule four "mental health" days per year to spend time focusing on myself
  • I will take a weekly yoga class for six months
  • I will volunteer for four PTA events or fundraisers
  • I will pack the kids a healthy lunch from home every day
  • I will give my family members 12 hugs per day
  •  

    Resolutions for the Family

  • We will save for a family vacation this year
  • We will schedule a family game night each week
  • We will take the kids to see a movie four times this year
  • We will donate 10% of our income to charity
  • We will take a "family adventure" and go hiking at a local park once per month
  •  

    Resolutions for Kids

  • I will use my manners to say "please" and "thank you" every day
  • I will brush my teeth every day
  • I will count to ten and use my words instead of my hands when I am really angry or upset
  • I will use my "calm down corner" when I have a lot of feelings and don’t know what words to use
  • I will make one new friend at school this year
  • I will try a new vegetable that my parents cook every month
  • I will learn a new word every week
  • I will help mom and dad pick out a holiday gift for a child in need this year
  •  

    Setting goals is a great way to explain to your children how every new year is an opportunity to do nice things for each other and be a better person.

    How old are your kids and which goals did they decide to try?

    Leave a comment:

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

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    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.

    Healthy Baby Happy Planet Pledge

    earth month giveaway

    You care about safer products for your baby, and choosing healthier baby products means a happier, healthier planet too. We’re celebrating Earth Month by giving away prizes from our favorite Earth-friendly brands that will help complete your non-toxic nursery and promote a healthier world. Read on for the details to see how you can help make our world a safer, healthier place for everyone. .

    WIN These Earth-Friendly Prizes

    We are so excited about these prizes and hope you are too. Learn about each company and the products they are giving away when you take the Healthy Baby Happy Planet Pledge.

     

    Babyganics PrizeBabyganics: Our friends at Babyganics believe that babies deserve to grow up in a world that others have taken care of, so they do their part and offer healthier, safer laundry solutions for your entire family. Babyganics will be giving away a pack of Wool Dryer Balls, which reduce drying time and eliminate the need for fabric softener, and Babyganics 3X Laundry Detergent, formulated for strength and gentle enough for baby’s clothes and blankets.

      

    bambo nature prizeBambo Nature: Bambo Nature knows that safer, healthier products are important to parents like you and they also know that those products need to stand up to the competition! Bambo Nature diapers offer high quality and performance and offer a wide line of healthier disposable diapers for your little one. Bambo’s diapers have received more awards than any other disposable diaper on the market and they are giving away a free pack of diapers in your choice of size for the Grand Prize!

      

    california baby prizeCalifornia Baby: California Baby® is the nation’s leading natural skin care line for babies and kids. The botanical skin, hair, bath, and sun care products are the natural alternative for parents who do not want to subject their children, or themselves, to potentially harmful chemicals. California Baby’s Grand Prize giveaway is a Calming Newborn Tote, including Calming Shampoo and Bodywash, Calming Lotion, Calming Diaper Rash Ointment, Calendula Cream, and Super Sensitive SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion, all in a cute tote bag for easy carrying and travel.

      

    moby wrap prizeMOBY: MOBY combines the best features of traditional babywearing with ergonomic support to make babywearing easier on the modern parent. Their Evolution Wrap consists of cotton (30%) and viscose fibers from bamboo (70%). The bamboo is especially Earth-friendly due to its lower water needs and faster growth compared to cotton alone. The Grand Prize from MOBY is an Evolution Wrap in Denim for a neutral color perfect for any parent.

     

    lullaby earth prizeLullaby Earth: Made from recyclable materials and free from off-gassing fumes and harmful chemicals, Lullaby Earth products are also better for our planet and environment. With Lullaby Earth, parents can finally rest easy knowing that their baby is sleeping on the best. The Grand Prize from Lullaby Earth is a Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress, which features a breathable mattress pad to maximize airflow between your baby and their crib mattress.

       

    ezpz fun prizeEZPZ: EZPZ makes feeding your baby...well, easy peasy! Great for neurotypical kids and children with special needs alike, EZPZ’s silicone servingware is one piece that suctions to the table for less mess and easier cleanup. EZPZ has allowed children with Down syndrome, autism, low vision, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries to eat independently, and that’s great for these children and their parents! EZPZ is an excellent Earth-friendly choice because they use silicone, which is environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, and durable to last you for years. When you enter to win, you might take home EZPZ’s Happy Mat (in Sage color), shaped like a happy face for more smiles.

     

    crane usa prizeCrane USA: Crane helps you to create a comfortable nursery for your little one with the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, which runs whisper quiet for up to 24 hours and increases moisture in the air for easier breathing and a better night’s sleep. Crane humidifiers are energy efficient and feature adjustable humidity, automatic shutoff, and other energy-saving functions for a truly Earth-friendly and baby-friendly solution.

      

    olen organic prizeOlen Organic: Olen Organic creates organic cotton baby clothes custom printed with safe water-based inks. Their baby clothes are free from harmful chemicals and are made mindfully, with babies, parents, and mother Earth in mind. Olen Organic is giving away a Babies Who Brunch Organic Cotton Romper and a Snuggling Artist Organic Cotton Sleepsack in their adorable Kupla print.

       

    How to Enter

    You’ll enter the giveaway by clicking HERE and completing the easy signup form. If you refer two friends, you can win even more prizes, so share away!

    When you enter, you’ll be pledging to make conscious choices when you shop for baby and home products. Sign the Healthy Baby Happy Planet pledge for your chance to win prizes from our amazing Earth-conscious partners valued at over $600. Good luck! 

    How to Grow a Garden for Homemade Baby Food

    garden for homemade baby food

    Making your own baby food can save a lot of money in the grocery store, and growing your own fruits and veggies can save even more. If you have a bit of a green thumb (or even if you don’t), we have tips for an easy garden plot that’s perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. Even if you just grow one new veggie this summer, you’ll be ahead of the baby food game. Read on to discover how to plant your very own baby food garden.

    Why Garden?

    Garden-fresh fruits and veggies taste amazing, and growing your own food is more environmentally friendly. Plus, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on food by learning to take advantage of your yard space with a veggie garden. At a bare minimum, we hope you’ll save a few bucks this summer by planting just a few veggies.

    How Much Space Do You Need?

    You can take advantage of any available space, even if you’re in a small apartment or house without a lot of yard space. You can plant veggies in containers like large flowerpots, use a tower setup for vertical gardening, or put a plot or two in your back (or front) yard.

    An excellent gardening method for beginners, if you have the space, is the square foot gardening method. Typically, this strategy requires a 4’x4’ square of space in your yard for a raised garden bed. If you have less space, a smaller plot will work, especially for younger kids! For a more kid-friendly garden, do a 3’x3’ square so they can reach each section. The name of this method gives away the secret: you’ll be planting different veggies in each square foot section of your plot. A 4x4 plot will have 16 sections and a 3x3 plot will have 9 sections. Choose whichever one works for you and your space!

    Which Vegetables Should You Plant for Baby Food?

    You can grow pretty much anything your heart desires, but for a baby food garden, we’ll focus on kid-friendly foods that are typical in baby foods. Your ideal foods might differ depending on if you choose to feed purees vs. the Baby Led Weaning method. Either way, you’ll want foods that can be steamed or baked so they are soft and easy for baby to eat. This guide to planning a square foot garden lists how many plots in your garden you’ll need per veggie.

    Some excellent veggies for baby include:

    • Beets
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • Green beans
    • Peas
    • Potatoes
    • Pumpkin
    • Spinach
    • Squash
    • Sweet potatoes


    Sweet is a nice treat too, and you can grow the following fruits in your garden:

    • Blueberries 
    • Cantaloupe 
    • Strawberries 
    • Watermelon


    These fruits may need a bit more space, so research them before you plant to make sure they’ll work in the space and garden type you have. They should all work in containers as well as in a raised bed.

    When Should You Start Planting Your Garden?

    Start now! Potatoes can be in the ground as early as mid-March, and other plants can be started from seeds inside or planted in the spring. It will depend on your area’s climate and the particular plants you want to grow, so take a look at your seed packets or starter plants to find out when the ideal time to plant them will be. Buy organic or non-GMO seeds when possible.

    How to Make Homemade Baby Food

    First, always check with your doctor before you begin feeding solids. Typically, babies shouldn’t start eating solids until six months of age as recommended by the World Health Organization. Your baby may have different needs and it’s even possible that your baby doesn’t have interest in solid food at six months. This is okay. Remember the adage, “food before one is just for fun!” Let your baby try new foods and tastes as long as they’re interested.

    If you’re going to do pieces of solid food as recommended by the Baby Led Weaning method, make sure food is soft and easy for baby to smash and swallow. This is a great time for foods like avocado, steamed squash or pumpkin, roasted beet, steamed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and steamed or boiled broccoli and green beans. Babies might just play with food at this point and that’s okay too!

    If you’re doing purees, first you want to steam the veggies and then puree them in a blender or food processor. Feed them to baby with a spoon like you would any other jarred baby food. You can freeze the baby food in containers or pouches for easy thawing and access later. Purees are great because you can easily combine foods to give your baby a variety of vitamins and nutrients from different foods they might not like alone. For example, beet, applesauce, and spinach will be rich in iron and vitamins, but a plain roasted beet might not appeal to your little one. Mix and match flavors and options - get creative!

    Ready, Set, Grow!

    We can’t wait to see what you do with your garden this spring and summer. Which veggie or fruit will you grow this year?

     

    Preparing Your Kids For A New Sibling

    Preparing Kids for a New Sibling

    Preparing for your first baby is unlike anything else, but preparing for a second or later baby might bring its own challenges. How can you prepare your older kids for their new sibling? This blog post will offer advice and stories from our readers about helping your children through the transition of adding a new baby to the family.

    Involve Them Before Baby Comes

    As much as possible, involve your older children in preparing for the baby during pregnancy or your adoption process. Take them to your appointments and let them see any ultrasound photos. If you’re willing, you can involve a big sibling in picking the baby’s name. You can also let the bigger kids pick out things like baby’s coming home outfit, car seat color, diaper bag, etc. These are small things that are pretty inconsequential to you as a parent but might make a big difference in making your older children feel excited and involved with the new sibling.

    It also helps to say things like “our baby” or “your baby” to make the point that your family is growing and the baby is as much theirs as anyone else’s. It’s not like mom went out to get a new baby because she didn’t like the old baby anymore. You can even create a special ritual or read a book to help you explain what’s happening in your family dynamic.

    Brittany says: “We didn't say things like ‘Mommy is having a baby,’ or ‘Mommy and daddy have a new baby.’ We always said, ‘Do you want to feel your baby kick? Your brother will be tiny, will you be careful with your baby brother?’ Always your, your, your. We didn't want our kids to feel replaced or jealous. We wanted them to feel like they were gaining something too.”

    Sarah says: “We focused on the idea that the older children were going to have a new baby. The baby was OUR baby. We bought big brother and sister shirts and encouraged talking to the baby in my tummy. The kids went to almost all my appointments. They heard her heartbeat and saw the ultrasounds. They helped pick her name and got to announce the news to family. They picked clothes and new baby toys they wanted the baby to have and got shirts to match her coming home outfit.”

    Dianne says: “We have always done a candle ceremony. We have enough candles on the table for each person and then taper candles that my husband and I hold. My husband and I light our candles and we talk about how two people fall in love and get married. We use our candles to light a table candle. Then we talk about how love multiplies and we had a baby (light that child's candle) and each time the love multiplies the love grows and spreads. We light a candle for each child. Then we talk about how our love is growing again and light a candle for the baby. We talk about how they can see that love (the light) grows and gets brighter.”

    Use Tools to Prepare Them

    In our age of information, there is a product for everything. Look for TV shows and books that help kids prepare for a new sibling, like Daniel Tiger or Doc McStuffins. Caring for their own doll “baby” can also help them prepare and occupy themselves when the real baby arrives. Some parents even suggest giving the older child(ren) a toy as a gift from the new baby, to thank them for sharing their family.

    Rosselyn says: "I used a book, ‘A Pocket Full of Kisses.’ My son asked me to read it almost every day and I think that made him love his sister the way he did from the start.”

    Michelle says: “For my daughter, we bought her a baby doll. It came home from the hospital with us and was hers to care for. She would rock her baby and pretend to nurse while I nursed. She changed her baby when I changed mine also. Before baby was born we read books, watched shows (Daniel Tiger has some great ones) and talked about baby a lot but not constantly.”

    Pippa says: “We read this really cute book given to us by a friend called 'There's a House Inside my Mummy' that we read loads of times.”

    Karry says: “I got the older siblings a gift that the new baby brought them, which I gave to them in the hospital when they first met their sibling. We typically did Build-A-Bears that I bought online and had hidden in the trunk. We never had a single problem with jealousy even after three kids.”

    Spend One-on-One Time

    If your big kid is feeling left out, it’s more important than ever to remind them that you’re still their parent and love them. If you can get out of the house for a quick errand or lunch with your older child, take advantage of it. Even if you can’t stay long because you need to get home to the baby for a feeding, the older sibling will appreciate the individual attention. You can even give individual attention to your older children when introducing them to the new baby.

    Katie says: “I birthed in a hospital. My older children were not there for the birth. When older sibling came for the first visit, I put baby in the bassinet and greeted the older children with open arms. I was able to have them sit with me, and shower them with hugs and kisses and tell them how much I missed them -- then introduce them to the new baby. It seemed to work really well for them.”

    Claire says: “The first time baby meets sibling, have someone else other than mom holding baby so mom can be with big brother/sister. This gives them less cause for feeling ‘replaced.’”

    Sarah says: “We make sure to have lots of family time and I set aside time for each of them individually as does my husband. That seems to have kept potential jealousy at bay.”

    Expect Questions and Confusion

    While you’re pregnant, and after the baby is born, curious children will ask you a lot of questions. They might even be confused about the baby. Be prepared for questions and have your answers ready.

    Meg says: “I got sex ed questions out the wazoo.”

    Laura says: “My older son wanted another baby sister so bad, it took almost a month to get him to use masculine pronouns after the baby was born. It also required involving him in diaper changes so he had visual evidence that the baby was in fact male.”

    Hilary says: “My son was too little when I had his sister to be asking questions at the time, but when he sees pictures of me pregnant or sees my stomach when I’m getting dressed, he has made comments. He’ll ask why my belly is squishy and I tell him it’s because he and his sister grew inside me. I notice he never asks his dad this question.”

    Acknowledge Their Feelings

    Remember that adding a new baby to your life means that your older child is no longer the only child (or youngest child). There is a new normal for them to get used to, and if you’re sensitive to their changing feelings, the transition will go easier for everyone. Understand that your child will go through a grief process during their transition to being an older sibling.

    It is important to validate your child’s feelings, especially the strong ones like anger and sadness. Even though you’re tired and it’s hard to focus on anything but your newborn, give your older children your full attention when they are experiencing their grief feelings, and let them feel what they need to feel.

    Validating their feelings can be as simple as acknowledging them by saying “I understand, you are sad that the new baby is taking up mommy’s time” or “you’re angry daddy couldn’t hold you at the baby’s naptime.” When you listen and acknowledge like this, you let your children know that their feelings are okay and welcome, and you’ll be there to listen and support them.

    Your child’s feelings might come out at surprising times that seem unrelated to the new baby. If they’re upset over losing a blankie or their favorite bear, or they got the “wrong” plate at lunch time or they didn’t want the ketchup you served them, use these moments to allow them to process their feelings (even if they seem out of place to you). Take as much time as you can to let your child cry if they need to cry.

    Heather says: “It's important parents understand it's a grief process. And everyone grieves differently.”

    Caitlyn says: “Communication was key. We'd ask what they were excited about, what they felt scared or nervous about, etc.”

    Lura says: “I told each of the kids individually that we were expecting a new baby and gave them time to digest it, ask questions, and keep their own special secrets before we let the next in line in on it. It was really special and I think helped them get excited and open up with me a lot as well.”

    Don’t Force It

    It’s tempting to emphasize how exciting the new baby is, and how important is to be a good big brother or sister. While positive reinforcement has a time and a place, don’t force the big sibling role onto a child that needs some space. Reprimands like “Don’t shout, be a good big sister” take away the child’s valid feelings and replace them with guilt over not being “good” in your eyes. This can cause a lot of hurt feelings for your little one down the road. Remember to acknowledge their feelings and help them process their emotions.

    Parenting expert Janet Lansbury suggests that parents establish a boundary and ask about the child’s feelings to open up a dialog. For example: “I can’t let you jump on the bed next to the baby... are you feeling upset that the baby is here? Big sisters can feel like that sometimes. I am going to help you down from the bed, and I’d love for you to sit on my lap or jump on the floor next to me.” (Read her blog post on adjusting to a new baby for more advice and examples).

    Advice for Blended Families

    What if it’s not a new baby coming, but new siblings in the form of stepchildren? A lot of the same advice applies, since kids will experience similar worries about being replaced or having reduced time with a parent. Use the same advice outlined in the rest of this post to help your children adjust and react to the addition of new siblings.

    Lydia says: “When I got together with my partner, I explained to my three kids that he had two kids of his own and that even though we hadn't made them all together that they would still get to love them and now they would just have more siblings and how exciting it would be to have a big brother and sister instead of another little sibling.”

    Add Your Own Tips

    Have you experienced the new sibling transition? Tell us what helped your family prepare and process the addition of a new baby.

     

    A Guide To Nesting During Pregnancy

    Nesting During Pregnancy

    Have you noticed the first blooms of spring popping up in your garden, or perhaps the singing of birds building nests in the trees? Spring is here and it’s time for a renewal of the world around us! If you’re pregnant, you know that nesting isn’t just for the birds anymore. This blog will give you a guide to nesting this spring as you get ready for your new bundle of joy to arrive. Plus, it features real stories from moms who have been through it all.

    You’ll know the nesting bug has struck when you have an urge to get your home “baby-ready.” It is more common in the later weeks of pregnancy, closer to delivery. Similarly, we get an urge to clean and organize the house once nicer weather is upon us, so if you’re due in the spring or summer months your nesting urges are more intense as you have twice the urge to get your home in shape.

    Advice for Nesting Safely

    Safety first! You might have a strong urge to get everything super clean from the baseboards to the ceiling, but enlist the help of your partner or a friend to do any heavy lifting or climbing to clean high areas. You should also open a window to improve ventilation, and avoid using harsh chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners can release fumes that are harmful for you to breathe, especially during pregnancy. Look for a list of safer non-toxic cleaning supplies in our earlier blog post about spring cleaning your nursery. If you have any concerns about how much to lift or what cleaning supplies to use, check with your doctor.

    If you’re building or setting up nursery furniture, try to do it as early as possible to allow for any off-gassing. Some items might be light enough for you to put together on your own but if anything is big, heavy, or awkward to move and arrange by yourself, ask for help. Of course, a lightweight crib mattress will be convenient and easy to move around to set up your nursery, even if you rearrange it all twelve times.

    Nesting in The Nursery

    The urge to clean and organize is different for each woman, and even each pregnancy. Or you might not get the nesting urge at all. It’s common during nesting to spend a lot of time on the nursery, including washing and folding the baby’s clothes and blankets. You can also open the windows to air out the room, and wash the curtains to make sure nothing is dusty. If you are painting the nursery, get zero-VOC paint and/or have someone else paint for you so you aren’t exposed to the paint fumes.

    Lauren says: “I started nesting around 34 weeks. I folded and organized baby clothes about 4 billion times. I also scrubbed the baseboards with a toothbrush. I made my partner rearrange the nursery 3 times and went back to the original way we had it set up.”


    Nursery recap:

    • Laundry (baby clothes, bedding, cloth diapers, curtains)
    • Dust furniture
    • Clean ceiling fan
    • Scrub baseboards 
    • Sweep and mop (and/or vacuum) floor and rugs 
    • Make sure you have all the baby necessities on your list

    Nesting in the Kitchen

    Another common area pregnant women focus on is the kitchen. Some pregnant mamas use the nesting urge to finally banish all of the non-matching containers and lids that accumulate in cabinets and drawers. It’s a great time to clean out the coffee pot, blender, and electric kettle with a vinegar solution. If the mood strikes you, clean out the fridge, toss anything expired (resist the urge to open it and see how far gone it is - you’re pregnant, come on!), and scrub the shelves. You can also scrub the sink and put some cleaning pods down the garbage disposal. While you’re at it, rearrange the items in your pantry. Be honest about what you’re actually going to eat, and donate the rest of your non-perishables to a shelter. Wash all your kitchen towels, washcloths, and curtains. Replace sponges, clean out the microwave, and clean the oven. You can rearrange and organize cabinets and countertops too, if the mood strikes you.

    Another aspect of nesting is preparing for life after baby, so you can also take some time and direct your energy toward making freezer meals to eat when you’re home with your new little one!

    Katie says: “With my first I didn't own a mop and would scrub the entire kitchen on my hands and knees with a sponge.”

    Kitchen recap:

    • Laundry (towels, washcloths, curtains)
    • Clean surfaces (stovetop, countertops)
    • Clean appliances (microwave, toaster oven, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher)
    • Clean the sink and garbage disposal 
    • Throw out expired food
    • Clean pantry and donate food you’re not planning to eat 
    • Prepare freezer meals for after delivery 
    • Buy a mop (trust us & Katie)

    Nesting in the Living Areas

    Your living room, den, or family room probably needs some attention. Spruce up the space with a quick tidy and clean the floors, baseboards, and any dust or cobwebs in the corners. You can clean lampshades with a lint roller and launder your curtains and any furniture slipcovers or throw blankets. You might even get the urge to rearrange furniture, which is pretty normal. Remember to ask for help if you’re trying to move something heavy!

    Lexie says: “Our old couches needed to GO and my husband said he would take care of it. Well, he kept putting it off. So one day I got fed up and just started pushing the loveseat out the door. My husband said “Just wait. I told you I would take care of it,” to which I responded, "Yes, and you haven't." I was halfway to the elevator before he helped me drag it in and out to the dumpster. Then he called a buddy of ours to help him with the couch since clearly I was 100% done waiting.”

    Living room recap:

    1. Laundry (curtains, throw blankets, slipcovers)
    2. Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs 
    3. Wipe baseboards and crown molding 
    4. Organize bookshelves, DVDs, tv stand, etc.
    5. Clear surfaces of clutter 
    6. Dust surfaces and appliances 
    7. Get a friend to help with heavy lifting or moving furniture

    Nesting in the Bathrooms

    Bathrooms can get pretty germy and might have funky smells, so feel free to delegate this one! Take down the shower curtains and wash them with your towels, and scrub the toilet, tub, and sink. Bonus points for cleaning out the linen closet and mopping the floor. Keep in mind that you can use vinegar and baking soda to clean without chemical fumes. If you can stand the smell of the vinegar, it’s an excellent cleaner! You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant and cleaner without much of an odor.

    Bathroom recap:

    • Laundry (towels, washcloths, curtains, shower curtain)
    • Clean tub and sink
    • Clean toilet 
    • Sweep and mop the floor (or steam clean)
    • Wipe baseboards 
    • Clean out and organize linen closet and medicine cabinet 
    • Throw out expired bath and beauty products 

    Nesting in the Bedroom

    Clean your room! Seriously. Especially if you’ll keep your baby in a crib or co-sleeper in your room, it’s important to feel secure and happy in your space. Gather up all the dirty laundry lurking in closets and hampers, clean the floors, and change your sheets. You’ll feel refreshed and calmer with these small changes and you can undertake bigger projects like organizing bookshelves, etc. if you feel up to it.

    Bedroom recap:

    • Laundry (clothes, sheets, curtains)
    • Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs 
    • Wipe baseboards
    • Organize bookshelves
    • Organize closet
    • Organize jewelry

    Nesting in the Office

    If you have a home office, use some of your nesting energy to organize and prepare things you’ll need easy access to like hospital records, information from your midwife, your birth plan, etc. You can also organize bookshelves and office supplies and clean your desk. Not all nesting has to happen in the physical environment, either; you can organize files on your computer and phone too!

    Office recap:

    • Laundry (curtains)
    • Sweep and mop (or vacuum) floors and rugs
    • Wipe baseboards
    • Organize bookshelves, file cabinets, and storage containers 
    • Declutter office supplies 
    • Organize computer files 
    • Make space on your phone for hundreds of baby photos

    General Pregnancy Nesting Tips

    The nesting urge may strike you or it may not, it depends on the person and the pregnancy! Most mamas-to-be find that having their hospital bag packed by 35 weeks or so is a good idea, and you may find yourself re-packing it a few times, even if you’re not nesting much. Nesting might present itself differently in the much later weeks of pregnancy when you could go into labor at any time.

    Meg says:”Currently, I'm hitting the psychological nesting of "OH NO, IT COULD HAPPEN ANY SECOND!" My brain is making me panic non-stop to the point I keep my hair braided for the hospital, dishes washed, all errands ran... just in case. It is mentally exhausting.” (Editor’s note: Just a few days after providing this comment, Meg has had her baby. Congrats, Meg!)

    Caroline says: “I didn't pack a bag properly until I had called a taxi to take me to hospital. I thought I'd be able to do it when my contractions started… wrong.”

    Nesting Tips for Partners

    Partners, we know this nesting stuff might seem a little weird, but it’s a natural part of pregnancy. Your partner might ask you for help, so do your best to be available to help with some tasks like moving furniture or cleaning things that are high up. Feel free to offer your ideas on how to organize, or offer to go pick up some nontoxic cleaning supplies. Do what you can to make nesting an easier process. And remember, pregnant women shouldn’t be cleaning litter boxes due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, so get used to the scooper.

    Caroline says: “Advice for the partners: No matter how crazy you think it is, no matter your clean you think the place is, don't tell your pregnant partner this. If they ask you to help, then help!”

    Your Nesting Stories

    Has the nesting bug hit you? Did you get double trouble with a spring cleaning urge on top of nesting? Tell us your funniest nesting stories!

    Non-Toxic Easter Basket Ideas

    nontoxic kids easter basket

    Whether you prefer candy, toys, or other goodies in your children’s Easter baskets, it’s easy to go non-toxic! We’ve rounded up some amazing suggestions to consider as you prepare for Easter on Sunday, April 16.

    Choosing Your Easter Basket

    Every Easter basket starts with just that - the basket! Look for a reusable basket made from wood or wicker that you can re-use every year. These are more environmentally-friendly than a plastic basket and they will last for years. If your little one is old enough, they can even help pick out their basket at the store. If you want something more durable, try a colorful metal bucket instead! When your child outgrows it, you can reuse it as a garden planter.

    • Rather than disposable plastic grass to fill the Easter basket, choose biodegradable raffia palm ribbon or shredded paper. You could also give your child a small blanket as an Easter gift, and use the blanket to line their basket. 
    • Look for biodegradable plant-based plastic Easter eggs, like these Eco Eggs

    Healthier Treats

    Some toddlers love to munch on their fruits and veggies just as much as they like jelly beans and candy bars! Mix things up and provide homemade, fresh, or healthy snacks in addition to the sugary goodies. When you do hit the candy aisle, a simple switch to organic candy is an easy-peasy way to make a healthier Easter basket. They taste just as good and your kids won’t know the difference.

    • YumEarth provides all types of candy without the funky ingredients you prefer to avoid in your non-toxic lifestyle. 
    • You don’t have to go far to find healthier candies. Even Target carries options, like these Black Forest Organic jelly beans and bunnies
    • Bitsy’s Brainfood has a variety of crackers, cookies, and treats made from healthier ingredients. They come in kid-friendly shapes and are a great choice for Easter treats.
    • Of course, Annie’s offers bunny-shaped treats year round, so scoop them up for your Easter baskets for a healthier treat that’s fun and festive. They offer a variety of snacks from crackers and pretzels to fruit snacks and cookies so they’ll be a hit for the whole family!

     

    Non-Toxic Easter Crafts

    Easter baskets aren’t just for candy! Load your little one’s gift basket up with non-toxic art supplies or do an Easter craft as a family.

    • Check out Eco-Kids for a variety of kid-friendly non-toxic craft supplies, including an all-natural egg coloring and grass growing kit. They also have crayons, sculpting dough, and more, perfect for toddlers to play with and make adorable Easter crafts. 
    • You can use Eco-Kids finger paint to decorate homemade Easter cards for family and friends! 
    • Using a non-toxic paint mix, you can also make cute art projects with your child’s footprint. Follow this tutorial from One Krieger Chick to create a footprint bunny or footprint carrot. 
    • If you have paper bags from grocery shopping, turn them into a quick and easy non-toxic Easter craft and make masks. This tutorial from Oh Happy Day will show you how.

     

    Eco-Friendly Easter Toys

    What’s Easter without a stuffed bunny? Even if you don’t do a stuffed animal, we have some suggestions for cute non-toxic Easter toys perfect for your baby or toddler.

    • Easter makes you think of cute, snuggly bunnies and ducklings, and this wooden Duck Color Wheeler from Land of Nod is perfect for babies working on their motor skills. It makes a great addition to your little one’s non-toxic Easter basket. 
    • Nova Natural’s Organic Cuddle Bunny is made from organic cotton and is the perfect snuggle buddy for your toddler. 

    Ready for Easter?

    Are you all set with your little one’s non-toxic Easter basket? Let us know what non-toxic treats you plan to include.