Home Daycare

When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I started talking and thinking about daycare for our new baby.  Would we send our child to a home daycare, daycare facility, or find a personal nanny?  We looked into several facilities, interviewed a few licensed home day-cares, and spoke to some friends about using nannies.

One day we were talking to a neighbor. She mentioned another neighbor who was staying at home with her daughter and  was looking for a way to make a little extra money.  We spoke to her and for the first six months our neighbor watched our daughter.  I enjoyed knowing my daughter was staying with someone that had children of her own and treated my daughter as her own daughter.  Unfortunately, our neighbor’s husband was relocated and they moved.  We were considering a daycare facility near our house, but we wanted to make sure our daughter was getting the attention we felt she deserved. I felt like a larger facility wouldn’t be able to focus on my daughter as well as a home daycare provider.  I had also heard a few “bad” stories from a good friend of mine about her facility.

BabyLegs leg warmers for boys

Luckily, a lady we went to church with had an opening in her home daycare around the same time our neighbor had to stop watching our daughter.  We decided to send our daughter to her. Our daughter has been going there for over a year and half. The lady is licensed by the state and has random visits from DHR just like a larger facility.  She has a meal plan she has to follow. She also has a school curriculum she has to follow when the children are old enough.  She only keeps 6 children and none are over the age of 5 or 6 (most leave when going to school).  When she accepts a new baby she likes to try to keep the ages spread out so that she doesn’t have too many little babies.  She has an open door policy. This means we can drop by anytime, unannounced, to check on our kids.  She has been a licensed home daycare provider for 30 years and she kept several of my church friends’ children.

I’m not saying I would NEVER send my child to a facility or that I think that home day-cares are “safer” or  “better” than a facility.  There have been home daycare providers (as well as facilities) that fall short of the expectations the parents have, but I believe that as a parent you have to look into each option and see which one feels right to you.

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I have been married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.

Transitioning to Toddler Bed

We are expecting baby number 2 and decided that it is time to convert our daughter’s bed to a toddler bed (mainly because my growing  stomach is making it harder to get her in and out of the crib).  We wanted the transition to be as easy as possible for us and for her.  We decided to keep her crib and transition it. She was used to the crib and we were worried that a new bed would make the process harder. Her crib was able to be transitioned to a toddler bed by removing the front panel and adding a bed rail. The bed rail was placed in the middle of the mattress so she could not climb in and out of the bed. We also decided for the first few weeks we would still put her in the bed and get her out as if the bed was still a crib. We hoped this way she did not know she could get in or out by herself. We thought that would make the transition easier and she wouldn’t be trying to play when it was bedtime.

On the first night of the toddler bed we read her a book, put her to bed and kissed her goodnight (just like we always did). She noticed the railing was different, but never tried to climb out. We thought it was too easy and expected her to be climbing over the rail soon! We watched on the video monitor and before we knew it she was asleep! The next morning we went into her room and she was still in her bed! We had one successful night in a toddler bed! Whoo-hoo! We continued the same routine every night for about 2 months and never once did she get out of her bed.

Recently, we let her discover that she could get in and out of the bed by herself and she still has not gotten out in the middle of the night. In fact, she LOVES bedtime now because she can crawl into the bed and cover herself up like a big girl! We put a stool by the bed and moved the rail closer to the head of the bed so she could get in and out easier. We don’t let her play in the bed during the day and the only time she gets in the bed is naptime or bedtime—in hopes of preventing her getting up in the middle of the night and playing. The transition was easy and very successful and I believe it was because we slowly changed her routine to get her used to it.

(Here is a picture of her bed the first night we converted it–actually it was the morning after converting it! 

How did you transition your child to a toddler bed? Was it an easy or difficult transition? What were some of the things that you did to make the transition easier?

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I have bern married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.

Baby Sign Language

When I first started my job 7 years ago, I had a co-worker that was learning sign language. I’d always thought it would be neat to know sign language but never learned how. I then found out that she was learning in order to communicate with her 6 month old grandson. I found that very interesting and researched baby sign language.  One day she brought her grandson to work with her and showed us how he would sign “milk” for a bottle, “dirty” if he had a dirty diaper, and even “more” if he wanted more. She told me that it was so easy to communicate with him and that he didn’t cry much because he was able to tell his parents what he wanted. At that moment, I decided when I had children that I wanted to teach them sign language.

Fast forward 5 years to when I had my first child…I’d forgotten about the sign language until a friend of mine told me of a website called “BabySteals.com” (the same awesome site that introduced me to BabyLegs). One day I saw the “steal” was a DVD/CD set called Baby Signing Time and I immediately ordered it!  My daughter was about 13 months old and she was just beginning to talk and I could NOT wait to get her started on signing. Once we received the set I put the DVD in and my daughter was captivated by the children on the screen signing. My husband and I sat and watched as well. The host, Rachel, shows the sign, explains how to properly do it, and then sings a song while various children repeat the sign. My husband and I made sure to use signs when talking to our daughter to teach her. After about a month of watching the DVDs every night, our daughter showed us her first sign. We were walking out of the grocery store one rainy day and our daughter signed “rain”. We were so surprised and happy that we stopped right in the middle of the parking lot in the rain and praised her.

Rain Sign Language

It has been about a year since we started using sign language and our daughter knows about 75 or more signs and her communication is extremely advanced for her age. Our pediatrician was impressed with the way my daughter could sign and thought it was great that we were teaching her at such a young age. We have seen a decrease in temper tantrums even though she is only 2 years old because she can communicate with us better. We started later with her but plan on starting with our son when he is about 3 months old.

Have you used sign language with your baby? What type of results did you see?

About the Blogger:

My name is Stephanie. My husband and I have been married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter and a little boy.

*Flashcard from BabySignLanguage.

Being a New Mom

There I was, checking into the hospital to deliver a precious new baby. I had waited nine months to meet our prince or princess and the time was now! I had planned and prepared for this day since I saw the double lines on the home pregnancy test, but nothing had me prepared for the flood of emotions I felt when I was walking to the labor and delivery floor. The thought of becoming a new mom had me feeling anxious, excited, and scared.

While checking into the hospital, I remember thinking to myself, “This is it! You are going to leave this hospital with a baby!” At that moment I became anxious and so many questions ran through my head —Would I be a good mom? Would my husband be a good father? Can I REALLY do this? Once I delivered my baby and my husband said “It’s a GIRL!”, all those questions went away. They placed my daughter in my arms and I instantly fell in love with her. As I held her, I couldn’t imagine life without her and she was only in my life for a few minutes. Any anxieties I felt about becoming a new mom were washed away with excitement of my new adventure.

BabyLegs newborn leg warmers

Most little girls dream of being a mommy and now I was one! I was so excited to have a new baby and couldn’t wait to get her home to love on her even more. While we were at the hospital I let them keep her in the nursery at night so my husband and I could get some rest, but I did miss her so much when she was gone. I was so happy when they wheeled that bassinet into my room. She was the best baby; she only cried when she needed to be changed, fed or burped and slept most of the time. I was eager for them to discharge us so I could take my baby home and start taking care of her on my own. Finally, they discharged us and we headed home…daddy, mommy and baby! On our first night home, my excitement was now mixed with scared feelings.

Being at home with my new baby was the most scared I had been in a long time. The first night I was scared that I had done something wrong because she would just cry all the time. She didn’t sleep that first night except for an hour and that was while I was holding her in the rocking chair. I was reassured by friends and family that it would get better and they were right. We just had to work with her and get her on a schedule. By night number six she would sleep for four hours and wake up for feeding, then go back to sleep. By two weeks, she would stay awake and look at us for a few hours before going back to sleep. When she was six weeks old we had her sleeping in her room for five to six hours at night and waking twice in the night to feed. We followed her schedule and she remained happy, as were we.

A new baby can be one of the happiest times you experience. When I think back to the day of delivery, I remember feeling anxious, excited and scared. I’m sure those feelings are normal for a new mother. I read all the books and asked experienced moms, but nothing really prepared me. I just had to learn my baby’s cries and go with my gut on what needed to be done.

Every new mom’s experience is different and for most of us, adjusting to this new life as a mom is a wonderful challenge. What was your new mom experience?

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I will be married 3 years in October.  We have a soon to be two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.