Toddlers

How to survive sleep regressions

sleeping toddler

Perhaps you’ve heard of the dreaded sleep regression. Or maybe you’ve heard, “the 4 month sleep regression is a myth!” and you want to punch that person in the face because your experience says otherwise and you are TIRED.

Note: The Evidence-Based Mommy’s official stance is against punching people in the face. Even when you really want to.

Regardless, something like this has happened to you: You and your child had gotten into a predictable sleep routine. Maybe he was sleeping all night, maybe he wasn’t (and that’s okay! No, really.), but you at least knew what to expect.

Then all of the sudden, his sleep drastically changes for the worse.

(more…)

Breastfeeding a toddler

When I was pregnant with my first child, my friend asked me if I thought I would breastfeed. I responded, “I’ll try it and see how it goes.” So my daughter was born, and I was fortunate enough that breastfeeding came really easily to both of us.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will make a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

At that time, I hadn’t thought about how long I would breastfeed, but I knew I wouldn’t be one of those “weird” people who breastfed a kid past babyhood. I had read that some people did that in this fantastic book (seriously, if you read only one book during pregnancy, make it this one) my friend gave me, but I was sure extended breastfeeding wasn’t for me.

Little did I know that I would end up so passionate about nursing and its benefits! Five and a half years later, I have tandem nursed twice, meaning my oldest and middle nursed simultaneously and later my middle nursed at the same time as my youngest. Now, I’m breastfeeding a toddler for the third time. This means I have nursed non-stop for over five years.

(more…)

Easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids

little boy dressed for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is in just a few weeks! My kids love making “art-crafts,” so I thought I’d discuss some ways to allow kids to be creative while celebrating.

Let me be up-front: These ideas aren’t meant to be Pinterest-worthy, beautiful masterpieces. The goal of these ideas isn’t necessarily a perfect looking keepsake for Grandma. This is more about allowing kids to have fun and to learn through doing (and maybe to keep them occupied for a few minutes so you can get something done or simply have a break!). I’m a big believer that it’s better for kids to do crafts on their own terms than for me to hover and make sure that everything is perfectly in place, so if that means that a googly eye is glued kinda wonky, so be it. I want my children to take pride in their own work!

(more…)

Positive parenting vs. spanking: The research

If you’re a a late Gen X or Millennial parent, you’ve probably noticed that parenting advice and styles seem a lot different from when we were kids.

Or perhaps it’s just that parenting advice is a lot more available now than it was when our parents had us (thank you, interwebs!).

Either way, times have changed, and there’s a lot of emphasis on positive parenting, gentle parenting, responsive parenting, or whatever you want to call it.

(more…)

Is it safe to take antidepressants while breastfeeding?

There are several posts on this site about mental health and anxiety for new moms because this is a subject that impacts so many of us.

But we haven’t discussed a part of mental health that is unfortunately more taboo in our society: Antidepressant use. Since I want to focus on one of the more common antidepressants, I’ll focus mostly on Zoloft and breastfeeding.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous to be talking about my own journey with antidepressant use for all the internet to see. But I know that when I was grappling with starting to use one, I would have liked to find an article like this. Plus, the stigma won’t go away if we don’t start to open up. So I’ll start with me.

(more…)

How mindfulness can make you a better parent

mindful parenting

Mindfulness can make or break a whole afternoon with your child! How can this concept teach you to use responsive parenting instead of reactive parenting?

Case in point: A week or so ago, I unexpectedly ended up being the one to pick up General Leia from school. When she saw me, the first words out of her mouth were, “Can we go over to Nana’s and Poppa’s to do my art project?”

I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for a “Hooray! I’m so happy to see you, Mother dearest!”

But I told her cheerfully, “Sorry, we can’t play go to Nanna’s and Poppa’s house tonight. We have to go get your brother and sister and then go home.” This started a whole dramatic ordeal in which Leia’s world was ended and she cried as I walked past the other moms picking up their own cherubs from school. Awesome.

My instincts in that moment were not MOTY material. Ungrateful little kid, you could at least pretend you liked me. Honestly, I wanted to be snarky with her, because my feelings were hurt.

But I thought about where she was coming from, how I wasn’t who she expected that afternoon. Perhaps she had been thinking about doing that art project all day, and then there I was instead, blocking her from painting and creating. So I tried to stay positive, and after a bit we somehow made going to the pharmacy to pick up a neti-pot into a little adventure (you get adventure where you can!).

Of course, I don’t always do that well when my kids are in a bad mood. It’s hard to do!

But what if, instead of reacting according to our instinctive, negative emotions, we stopped and evaluated our thoughts first? 

(more…)