Putting together a baby registry (especially if it’s your first!) is one of the most exciting parts of a pregnancy. You can really start to visualize your baby being with you! There are tons and tons and tons of things to add to your registry – and you’ll still get a ton of stuff not on your registry – but you really don’t need (or necessarily want) all of those things. So here are the things you definitely DO want!
It’s hard to believe that at such a young age your toddler is able to actually help out with the cleaning, but it’s the perfect time to get them started! Not only do they love to be little helpers, but it’s a great way to keep them busy and mix things up a bit. Not to mention that it’s great to get some habits instilled early so that they eventually do certain chores on their own.
Most of the chores my son has taken on started because he wanted to be doing exactly what I was doing. Then I started to realize that he was capable of doing more and before long he had his own list!
Believe me, you (and they) are ready for this! Here are some chore ideas to start handing off to your toddler:
For me, nothing beats being a stay-at-home mom. It is the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I feel lucky that in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I’ve found an outlet that lets me escape the hardest parts of the day – the times when you feel unproductive, flustered, lonely, or out-of-control. Being at home is worth it – but it’s still tough!
For me, that outlet has been through writing. It has culminated in this blog, but behind that are freelance jobs, pet projects, and other sources of writing for pleasure or pay. And I didn’t start out as a writer. In fact, I often can’t believe that I’ve even found myself here because writing was never something I actually enjoyed, nor was it something I planned on doing. It just happened. But thank God it did, because now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
Related post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog
So, if you’re considering leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom, or already are and are in desperate need of an outlet, here are all the reasons you need to seriously consider taking on some freelance work:
Christmas for your 3-year old is a BIG deal. In many ways, it’s almost like their first Christmas because they’re finally old enough to understand everything and get excited! Which means you obviously don’t want to leave out any detail – including the stocking! Stockings are a ton of fun to shop for, but obviously you don’t want to spend too much money. All of these ideas are relatively cheap, but don’t forget about the easy wins, like their favorite snacks! Those will help to fill up the stocking so you can mix it up with other nice things.
Shopping for 1-year olds can be so much fun. Everything is brand new to them! But it can still be tough because they haven’t quite grown into full-blown toys and there’s just so much out there to choose from.
My son was fortunate to be showered with gifts as a 1-year old and there were definite, obvious winners. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot for these little guys, which is especially the case when you’re looking to fill up their first little stocking! All of these gifts are inexpensive and small, so they’re perfect for little stocking stuffers!
Related post: 10 Gifts that 1-Year Old Boys Will Love
The ABC’s are one of the funnest things to start teaching your toddler – assuming they’re interested in learning. Luckily, there are so many different ways to incorporate the ABCs into their day – and more importantly, a billion ways to start exposing them to their letters so that they start to pick it up on their own.
Having a late talker, we were obsessed with learning the ABCs, so I’ve tested out more than you can imagine. Here are some of the coolest ideas I’ve come across, as well as some new fun things to try:
My son is obsessed with trains. And leading the pack of all-things-trains is, of course, the one and only Thomas the Train. I don’t know what it is, but something about that show has him completely mesmerized…so I’m always on the hunt for Thomas the Train gifts.
Luckily, from that little boy obsession has sprouted an entire industry of Thomas the Train accessories and toys. And while I’d love to say that my (not) crafty-self has discovered a way to make the equivalent of Thomas from scratch, the reality is that nothing makes me happier than discovering a new Thomas gift that sends my little guy over the moon. He’s just too cute!
So if you’re in need of a new Thomas friend or accessory for your little one, check out these winners in our house:
I’m not the world’s best DIYer, so when I find a project that I can actually pull off, I get really excited! And if I can get my toddler involved, it’s even better. That’s what happened with these DIY bookmarks and they ended up being a huge hit (both for my toddler and everyone that got the bookmarks).
Co-sleeping is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s a decision I never really anticipated making, but now that I’ve experienced it with my oldest, I hope I get to experience with every other child I end up having. But as with all great things, at some point you realize it’s time for a transition. And in this case, that transition means a move from co-sleeping to a toddler bed. Whether it’s overcrowding, time to welcome a new baby, or just the right time for your toddler, you will reach a point where your co-sleeping toddler needs to move out!
Related Post: 12 Ways to Make Co-Sleeping Safer
So how do you do that? Or, as so many like to point out, are you destined to sleep with your child until they leave for college? Hardly.
My husband and I co-slept with our son until he was 2 and then began the transitioning process. And believe it or not, it was way easier than we thought! Just like with breastfeeding, the co-sleeping transition seemed to be 1,000 times easier for my toddler than for me…which was a relief because I ended up being the only one that needed to cry-it-out. 🙂
Obviously every child (and parent) is different, so some tips may work better than others, but this is what worked for us. And as I said, we were able to pull it off without any crying-it-out (at least from the toddler).
When we were invited by friends to join them at The Crayola Experience, I was so excited for a new Philadelphia day trip to enjoy with our little guy. I had memories of The Crayola Experience (though at that time we called it The Crayola Factory), but none of my memories compared to what it is now. What an amazing trip! I’m not exaggerating a bit when I tell you this was just as amazing for a 2 ½ year old as Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum – it was that cool!
The Crayola Experience is located in Easton, so it’s a bit of a drive for some of the Philly suburbs (it took us 1 ½ hrs.), but there’s so much to do there that it’s well worth the drive. We were also pleasantly surprised by how nice Easton was, so there’s lots of restaurants and shops to keep you busy if you want to hang around after The Crayola Experience. We were there on a Saturday and a huge farmer’s market was set up right in the center of town, so check to see if that will be there! It was a lot of fun.