Transitioning Out of a Crib

Franci's "New" Bed!

Franci’s “New” Bed!

A couple of weeks ago I posted about moving with a toddler and expressed my concerns about her drastic change in sleeping arrangments. Not only would she not be sleeping in a crib any more, but she also wouldn’t be sleeping in our dark and crowded closet.

Since I can’t fit into any of the clothes in “Franci’s” closet any way, I decided to take advantage of the situation and pack it up first. That way the closet would be empty and I could move Franci from her crib to a mattress on the floor. That way she’d get to take baby steps towards her new sleeping situation. I set up her crib mattress in the corner on the floor, and spread one of her softest blankets next to it (since she’ll probably roll off once or twice).

When it was time for bed, I made a few mistakes I wouldn’t repeat. We went through her usual routine, but when it was time to read her bedtime story we read it in her bed instead of mine (like usual). That was my first mistake. I said good night and closed the closet door and she immediately started crying. I wanted to reassure her, so I went back into the closet and laid down with her. I sang a couple of songs in the dark, but her eyes were wide open. If I was quiet, she made up for the silence by talking and playing.

I should have known she wouldn’t sleep if I was there. I’ve never once gotten her to nap in my bed with me (but she will nap in bed or on the couch with her dad). Instead, she prefers to crawl all over me like I’m a jungle gym. She was so busy jumping on her bed and dancing around the closet; she was more worked up than calmed by my presence.

Finally, I just left. She cried for a minute or two, and then was quiet for ten or so minutes. This repeated a couple of times until she finally went to sleep. When I checked on her a couple hours later, she was curled up on the bed with her stuffed animals. While not a total failure, I couldn’t count it as a win.

The next night I decided to stick to our routine, and just laid her on her mattress, kissed her goodnight and shut the door. I don’t know if that was the magic trick, or if it was the fact that she was already used to the change, but she went right to sleep. We’ll see later this week if the mini-transition made the move to a big bed in a big room any easier!

How did you transition your little one out of a crib? What things went well and what would you do differently?



TBT: DIY Halloween Costumes

Me, dressed as Swimming Bear, on Halloween

Me, dressed as Swimming Bear, on Halloween

My favorite part of Halloween has always been making my own costume.  Not only do you get to come up with a creative idea, but then you get to scour all the local thrift stores for the perfect materials! The ones you don’t find lurking in your own closet, that is.  We’ve posted about DIY Halloween costumes every year, and here are some of the best posts!

 

 

 

 

My $1 Maternity Halloween Costume: “The 1980s Pregnant Lady”

The Two Dollar Halloween Costume

More Fabulous DIY Maternity Halloween Costumes

Our Favorite DIY Costume Ideas for Babies and Kids

What are Your DIY Halloween Costume Ideas?

Homemade Halloween Costumes: A Family History

Last-minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Kids

I’m not planning too hard this year, since I could very well be in labor, or too big to move. But Franci’s grandma has taken charge of her costume and has been busy gathering materials and sewing accessories.

What DIY costume ideas have been your favorite over the years?



Making Your Move Eco-Friendly

Moving is a resource intensive prospect, even when you are planning for it. There are a few ways you can make your move, whether in town or across country, a little more eco-friendly.

 

 

 

 

  1. Hire a green moving company. Depending on your town, you might be able to find a moving company that drops off reusable bins in advance and reuses and recycles packing materials. On the day of the move, the bins are loaded into a biodiesel truck along with your furniture.
  2. Downgrade your house to something with a smaller footprint (carbon and otherwise). A few years ago, Joy wrote several posts about Choosing a Small Home for Economic and Environmental Reasons, How Much House Does Baby Need? and the Pros and Cons of living in a small house. Depending on your area, you might be able to find a house that already has solar panels, a rainwater catch system or at least a tank-less water heater.
  3. Reuse boxes and packing material. For most of our boxes and packing material, this move will mark their fifth use. If you count the boxes that came from my parents, it’s double that. I’ve always made it a point to collapse boxes and fold up paper and packing bubbles and find a place to store them. Since we plan to be in our new home for a decade or more, instead of saving boxes I’m going to offer them up on Craig’s List. I often see packing materials up for grabs there and on local FB groups.
  4. If you are anticipating a move, start saving any boxes that come your way (an easy feat if you are a dedicated online shopper). Some grocery stores offer product boxes to customers instead of bags (Trader Joe’s, for example, has tons of wine boxes), so start bringing your groceries home in boxes. Another great source for boxes that will otherwise be wasted are liquor stores. Call ahead and ask if you can haul some away for your move.
  5. If you are really dedicated, or very cheap, you can forgo packing paper and bubbles and use linens and clothes to protect breakables. Combining your bedroom and kitchen packing will not only reduce the number of boxes you need overall, but will eliminate the need for disposable packing materials.
  6. Populate your new house with house plants. It’s surprisingly easy to make new plants by taking cuttings off your current plants, friends’ plants or plants you see while walking around town (respectfully, or course). Almost any container can be turned into a pot, and drainage can be added to any ceramic vessel with the correct drill bit.

What are your favorite tips for a greener move?

Book Review: Good Night, I Love You

Bedtime Book

Our Bedtime Book

Franci has loved this book since she was old enough to turn pages. I’m not sure what attracted her to it a year ago, but she preferred it over her other board book. Perhaps it was the soothing colors, or the soft cover, or that it is oversized. For some reason she preferred to turn its pages than those of another book.

Recently it has become her go-to bedtime book and she loves it more than ever. She likes to point at the characters and details and can follow along as the little boy and girl get ready for bed. I’m sure she enjoys the story now and not just turning the pages, since she is getting ready right along with them.

I enjoy Good Night, I Love You because it’s not too long and we can read it once through slowly, pointing out all the details, and then one more time quickly.  The characters’ routine is very similar to our own so it is a good choice for us.

What is your child’s favorite bedtime book?

Making a Move With a Toddler

Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo

Moving is stressful enough when you don’t have a toddler underfoot. Add in a kid or two and you’ll really get the cortisol flowing. Routines are interrupted, the house is in chaos and playtime has to be traded in for packing time.

As much as I might explain what is going on, I don’t think Franci has any idea what we are up to. She’s been to the new house a few times, but how is she going to feel when we don’t come back to the house she was born in?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to introduce a series of changes without stressing her out too much. After all, a month after we settle in she is going to become a big sister! Ideally, she’ll be used to her new room, new bed and new surroundings by then.

One of the biggest changes is going to be her sleeping arrangements. For the last year, she has slept in a crib in our closet. Not only is it pretty dark in there, but she is closed in by, well, clothes. It is almost like being entombed. I was hoping to transition her to a bed before the new baby comes, to avoid any confusion or jealously over why she has to give “her” crib to the baby. Is it too much to move her to a new room in a new house and a new bed at the same time?

Have you moved with a toddler? What things made the transition easier and what would you do differently next time?

TBT: Tips for a Greener Pregnancy

Keeping it Green

Keeping it Green

If you’re hoping to raise your baby in an organic, eco-friendly way, you might as well start during your pregnancy! There will be plenty of changes going on when the baby arrives to start anything new, so make sure to get into your green routine early on. Here are a few of our best posts about having an organic, thrifty and eco-friendly pregnancy.

Eating Variety through Cravings and Aversions

Anti-Nutrition and Empty Calorie Food

Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Symptom

Trimester Concerns (and What to Do About Them)

Green Maternity Fashion

What Pregnancy Gear Is Necessary—and What’s Not?

Cutting Back on Maternity Clothes

Buying Secondhand Maternity Clothes

What green choices did you make during your pregnancy?  Were you able to continue once the baby was born?

Age Appriopriate Chores for Children

Picking up toys before bed

Picking up toys before bed

Now that Franci hit the 18 month mark, and has a handle on using her potty (as long as she is naked from the waist down) I thought I would try introducing a few chores. I tried a few times in the past, but she was unable to follow my simple instructions. She would “help” me pick up and then start playing with the toys, undoing all our (my) cleanup efforts.

It all started in the laundry room. She was so interested in what I was doing and wanted to help put clothes in the washer with me. A-ha! It only took a try or two for her to follow my lead as to when the clothes are going in, and when they are coming out. Now whenever it’s time to put clothes in (or take them out) of the washer or dryer, I let her help. I guess you could say laundry was Franci’s first chore.

Bolstered by our success, I decided to see if she was ready to pick up toys at the end of the night. She caught on very quickly and it has become part of her bedroom routine. I have to direct her work (think, “go get that yellow book under the chair and put it right here on the shelf”) but it saves me from crawling around on the floor myself.

I haven’t tried any other chores at this point, because I’m not really sure if there are any others she is ready for. I hope I remember to introduce new ones as she becomes more able!

How old are your kids and what are their daily chores?

Top 5 Zucchini Recipes

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Every year we end up with too much of one crop or another. It’s not always the same vegetable, so it’s hard to anticipate come springtime. However, it is often zucchini that overflows from the harvest basket.

In an attempt to not get sick of summer squash such as zucchini, I’ve tried many different recipes. Here are my top 5 favorites:

  1. Cook’s Illustrated’s Zucchini Bread
  2. Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad
  3. Cook’s Illustrated’s Ratatouille
  4. <a href=”http://www.marthastewart.com/314971/lemon-zucchini-cornmeal-cookies#Zucchini%20and%20Summer%20Squash%20Recipes|/275750/summer-squash-and-zucchini-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide|314971″ target=”_blank”>Lemon-Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies
  5. Zucchini Salad

A recipe that isn’t in my top five, because I haven’t tried it yet, is Curried Zuzzhini Soup. I already used up all of my summer squash, but next time I have some I’m going to whip this up and give it a taste!

How do you like to cook your zucchini?

Blogroll Update

Looking for more Green Parenting Blogs

Looking for More Green Parenting Blogs

Being a green parent (or person, in general) is a commitment that requires support. A community is the best place to find that, so it’s time to renew our ties and make some new ones!

I have been meaning to update our Blogroll for months and months, and I’ve finally done it!  The eminent arrival of baby number two in 69 days has spurred me to get through as much of my to-do list as I can, and connecting with other green parenting bloggers is at the top of that list.

You can find a list of these “Blogs We like” at the bottom of the righthand colum. I encourage you to check them out and like them on Facebook! If you have any suggestions for green parenting websites, please leave me a comment so I can add them to the list. If there are any blogs I’ve listed but you think deserve a little extra attention, please leave a comment!

And if you know of any good Blog Carnivals, please let me know!

TBT: Breastfeeding on GBG

Bonding Time!

Bonding Time!

Since I’ll be breastfeeding once again in about 10 weeks, I’ve been perusing the archives for all the old breastfeeding posts. For Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share some of the best ones!

Too Much Pressure to Breastfeed?

Transitioning from Bottle to Breast

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding Despite the Challenges

Breastfeeding Moms Reap Health Benefits

Are You Breastfeeding Your Toddler?

Did you have a low milk supply while breastfeeding?

When a Breastfeeding Baby Rejects the Bottle: Help!

The Saturday Question: Was breastfeeding worth it?

The Truth About Breastfeeding and Survival in Those Early Months

Reusable Nursing Pad Reviews and Recommendations

How Do You Support Moms Who Struggle With Breastfeeding?

Pumping Extra Milk While Breastfeeding to Get More Sleep

What is your go-to resource for breastfeeding?

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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