Over the past 4 years, I’ve had a crib-sleeper, a co-sleeper, an in-his-own-room sleeper, an only-in-your-arms sleeper, and a next-to-my-bed sleeper…and that was just one child. Now I have a newborn, so the joy starts all over again…and this time with two to juggle. While I love co-sleeping, the fear that’s been instilled in me has led me on a search of all the possible co-sleeping alternatives. And luckily, there are quite a few (looks like I’m not the only one trying to make things work).
So if you’re wondering what your options are if your baby or toddler wants to co-sleep, but you (or your spouse) really aren’t into it, I’ve got you covered! Here are some of your other options:
Related post: 12 Ways to Make Co-Sleeping Safer
I will never forget my pediatrician’s fateful do-or-die advice at my son’s 9 month check-up. I had asked about co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babysitting, crying-it-out, napping, feeding solids, sun exposure, eye contact, bathing vs. showering, first words, crawling, walking, teething, socks or no socks, and over-mothering. He said: “Whatever you decide to do is fine. Just don’t ever let him watch TV.”
What?? I just nodded my head. I had gone in worried that he’d think I was crazy and walked out thinking he was crazy. Of all the controversial concerns we have about toddlers, TV was the last thing I was worried about – and to be honest, it still blows my mind that people worry about it so much.
For me, I’m actually glad that I let my son watch TV. In fact, I think we’re both better for it. So before you rip your hair out trying to avoid the inevitable, consider these reasons for giving into a little screen time:
I LOVE the idea of being able to take your kids to work. I wouldn’t trade being a stay-at-home mom for anything, but I also know I’d probably go crazy if I didn’t have at least some amount of work to do too. Not to mention that the extra money really helps!
I’m always so impressed when I come across someone that has figured out a way to experience the best of both worlds, so it’s time to share! If you’re in a position where you want a job, but also need to keep your kids in tow, consider some of these options:
For a lot of moms, working from home while still being able to be a stay-at-home mom is a coveted dream that often feels out of reach. It can be hard to find flexible work, hard to take care of your kids and the house, and nearly impossible to mesh the two together. But once you do figure it out, it can be the best arrangement imaginable. Whether it’s for extra money, personal fulfillment, or just to keep an oar in the water, it can be a total game changer for your life!
I’ve been working from home since I had my son and I’ve learned a lot through the years. Some things failed miserably and others opened up amazing opportunities. Here’s my advice for how you can make it work:
There are lots of items I would consider absolutely essential as a mom, but honestly there’s only one item I can’t go 20 minutes without and that’s my phone. And it’s not because I’m playing Candy Crush or posting pictures on Facebook. It’s because of the collection of free apps I’ve gathered that tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Ones that calm my baby, put him to sleep, then calm me. And ones that tell me what’s going on outside the world of baby. And for those moments when I do have time to post on Facebook, it makes the process possible (and fun).
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:
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:
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).