The Trick to Getting a Baby to Sleep Through the Night – The DockATot

The DockATot may have saved me. You see, like so many sleep deprived parents, I was desperate for a full night’s sleep. I wanted to sleep and stay asleep for any amount of time longer than 3 hours. Jackson just did not like to sleep. Nurse? He liked that. He would have nights where he was waking up every two hours, like a newborn, at 15 months old. To say I was tired…. well, that felt like an understatement. I was exhausted.

Enter in the DockATot. If you’re unfamiliar with the DockATot- it’s a breathable, multi-functional pillow for babies and toddlers. It comes in two sizes: The Deluxe is for babies 0-9 months and Grand is for babies and toddlers over 9 months old. It was designed to mimic the womb and offer a snuggly safe place for babies to sleep. While most families use it while traveling or for safe co-sleeping, it can also be used when transitioning a child into their own bed. The air-permeable sides offer security for both parents and child as they can act as a bed rail.

 

I had seen people rave over them. This huge pillow for babies and toddlers…. It was supposed to help him sleep through the night. But the cost?! Over $200 for a pregnancy look-a-like pillow for a toddler. Ugh. I needed sleep. I needed him to sleep. So I bit the bullet. I contacted DockATot and they sent me a coupon code to use to help me purchase the DockATot Grand- the DockATot for infants and toddlers over 9 months old. Guess what happened next…..

Ladies and gentleman…. Jackson sleeps. He sleeps 12 hours every night. Straight through. I won’t pretend that it happened the exact day that we got the DockATot. Unfortunately, I learned just how easy it is to clean the first night we had it thanks to some toddler vomit. But after about a month of use, Jackson started sleeping through the night in his bed. We even traveled with it and the little boy that refuses to sleep away from home, slept pretty darn good!

We have “broken” the rule and allow it in his crib. This is NOT recommended by the company as it is against “safe-sleep” practices. But my husband and I felt comfortable since Jackson has the capability to move his head or get unstuck if necessary. He’s old enough for a pillow in his crib at 17 months old anyways. The DockATot has given him a sense of comfort and security and will stay with him as we transition to a toddler bed, sometime this year.

I can not say enough good things about the DockATot. It is super easy to clean, super comfortable- of course I laid on it! I love how easily it travels and can’t wait to take it camping with us! (If you didn’t know- Jackson was not a fan of the pack n play, therefore we had to take the crib mattress with us when we went camping 4 times last summer! Crib mattresses aren’t so easy to just take with you….)

While the DockATot may not be the exact answer to getting your baby to sleep through the night, it certainly helped us. In all honesty, Jackson may not have been ready to sleep through the night. Maybe he physically did need to nurse and cuddle mama all night- even though he REFUSED to cosleep- little booger. But I’ll continue to praise the DockATot for getting me some sleep. 😉

 

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MommyCon- Is it worth it?!

Mama- it’s worth it.

I have already gone over the MommyCon Basics & FAQS, MommyCon on a Budget, 10 Tips for MommyCon, and the latest post- MommyCon VIP. But in case you still need some convincing on just how awesome MommyCon is….

 

My goodie bag from Columbus 2015

The Goodie Bag

In case I didn’t write enough about it, did you know that every attendee will leave the MommyCon event with a super awesome goodie bag filled with stuff?! The sponsors have been pretty generous in the past. While this shouldn’t be your #1 reason to attend MommyCon- I can tell you that in my experience, the goodie bag is worth more than your general admission ticket price. It’s filled with samples, coupons, and full sized products.

 

The Sessions

The sessions and seminars you’ll attend at MommyCon will probably leave you with some awesome new knowledge. And in my experience as a parent- knowledge really is power. Whether you’re taking away facts from Cloth Diapering 101 or from Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstraul Products- that’s up to you! I highly recommend attending as many sessions that you can squeeze in!

 

Jackson wearing Cotton Babies’ Exclusive MommyCon Flip Diaper for 2016

Exclusive Products

Did you know that many vendors go to MommyCon with “MommyCon Exclusives?” Cloth diaper companies like Cotton Babies and Smart Bottoms have had exclusive diapers. Pink Lemonade Shop had an exclusive pad print. Eylas had an exclusive water bottle last year. Tekhni typically has an exclusive wrap for each MommyCon event. Basically- lots of things you’ll find ONLY at MommyCon! 😉

The Giveaways

Now, I know I didn’t talk much about this. Did you know that at the end of event day- MommyCon does a HUGE giveaway?! I mean like $10,000 worth of products huge. It’s really easy to enter- go to MommyCon! When you check-in at the beginning of the day, you’ll be given a badge with a number. That number is your “ticket number” so to speak. If you hear/see your number called- YOU WON! You’ll get additional entries for any VIP tickets you purchase. My first year, a few moms couldn’t stay for the giveaway. They handed me their badges since they wouldn’t get to use them. I won a set of RePlay, even though it was with my own badge number. But I was super excited!!!! You can not win a giveaway if you are not present. So if you can stay the whole day- I suggest you hang around. (There have been car seats and strollers given away! 😉 So yeah- be there.)

The Experience

I have only given you some tools to make your MommyCon experience great. Now- it’s completely up to you to make it great. Take pictures. Meet new mom friends. Meet some of the small businesses that are exhibiting there. Buy yourself something. Buy something for your kiddos. Learn some new information. Take the day to be “free” if you go without kids. Take the day to bond with your significant other, if they go with you. The experience will vary from person to person since no two people will visit the exact same sessions, meet the same people, or buy the same things. The “ideal” MommyCon experience is unique to everyone and really- your overall experience is up to you!

 

Still need to buy your general admission ticket? Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off, combine this with the social sharing discount at checkout for a total of $7 off!

 

 


 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in my MommyCon Series! And be on the lookout for a GIVEAWAY of MommyCon tickets! EEEEK!

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Eight Easy Tips To Reinvent Your Toddler’s Bedroom

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It’s hard to know how exactly to decorate your toddler’s room. It’s that time where they’re starting to form their own distinct little personality, and knowing how to reflect that in their space is a tough challenge. Thankfully, there are some solutions…

 

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Pick A Colour Scheme

First of all, it’s important to choose a colour scheme. Toddlers’ rooms are crazy enough with scattered toys and possessions to have a mishmash of decorations too, so if you try to make it as clean and simple as you can to begin with, the mess will be easier to deal with. Go for a cool, calming colour like duck egg blue (yes, for girls as well!) or pale yellow. Colours like red and purple might be bright and fun but you should bear in mind that you want this room to be somewhere where you want your toddler to sleep well so it shouldn’t be too over stimulating.

Invest In A New Bed

If your toddler hasn’t moved up to his or her big boy or big girl bed yet, now is the time to make that transition. Every child is ready for their big bed at a different age – but if your toddler’s been trying to climb out of his or her crib, now is definitely the time! You might feel a little nervous about it on the first night so make sure you put some pillows on the floor next to the bed to break your toddler’s fall if he or she rolls off the bed during the night. Chances are, they’ll be absolutely fine! Look online for the best toddler beds that will suit your needs.

 

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Try Out More Storage Solutions

One of the biggest problems that we all have – and will always have – with our homes is storage. Especially if you have kids, it’s almost impossible to know what exactly you want to keep. Random objects become imbued with more sentimental attachment than they really deserve. It’s not necessarily time to throw away all of your kids’ old childhood toys – but it is time to install some decent shelving so that you can put certain things on display, Put some covered baskets or bins on the larger shelves and use them to keep toys in.

 

Change Your Windows

If your toddler’s having problems sleeping – and staying asleep – it’s probably destroying your sleeping patterns as well. Although you expect new-born babies to be up a lot in the night, it can be really difficult if your toddler continues these patterns. Purchase some blackout blinds or curtains so early morning sunrise doesn’t wake up your child. You can also get soundproof drapes that will block out any noises from the street below. Make sure that you tie up the end of the blind string so there’s no way your toddler can reach it, as this can be a huge hazard.

 

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Decide What You Want The Room To Be

When you’re decorating a room, it’s important to consider exactly what sort of space you want it to be, so it doesn’t turn into a mess of different ideas. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate playroom where your child spends most of their time, then you might want to make the bedroom into a place mostly for sleeping and napping, so you might be focusing on turning it into a relaxing space where it’ll be easy for your toddler to fall asleep and to relax. In that case, you might focus on soft, cosy furnishings, and shelves of books that you can reach for when it’s time for bedtime stories. If you want to make it a more stimulating environment that encourages creative independent play, go for more bright colours and plenty of toys within easy reach, along with a surface where your toddler can create his or her amazing works of art.

 

Give Your Toddler Some Choices

Your child is starting to reach the sort of age where he or she is forming their own personality, with distinct likes and dislikes, so it’s time to start asking them what they might want in their new room. Obviously it isn’t a good idea to decorate the whole place based on a whim – in six months, chances are your daughter won’t love Frozen quite as much as she does now, so the life size statue of Princess Elsa might turn out to be an error in judgement. Give your child choices between a couple of parent-approved options, so they feel as though they have control over their new room but you also know it’ll turn out the way you want it to.

 

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Make It Eco Friendly

In this day and age, it’s crucial to consider what changes you can make to your home to help save the planet. It’s even more crucial to ensure that you include your children in these choices so that you raise them in a household where it’s the norm to consider the rest of the world and how exactly to do the best and greenest thing to help save the world. Make sure that you paint the room using non toxic environmentally friendly paint, and if you’re disposing of any old furniture, consider freecycling it instead or donating it instead of throwing it away. With new furniture, try to use sustainable, recyclable materials like wood, glass and metal instead of plastic. Replace old light bulbs with new LED ones, which will use less energy and also have the added bonus of bringing down your energy bill!

Add Decorative Touches

Finally, add some decorative touches just like you do in the rest of the house. If you’re a fan of taking plenty of family photos, get your Instagram pictures printed and blown up onto canvases so you can put them onto your toddler’s walls. Go for a bright, cheerful rag rug – not only are they pretty, but they also aren’t too expensive, so spillages and mess won’t matter – and as a final touch, stick some glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.

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Preparing Kids for Real Life: 3 Essential Lessons

-A Guest Blog-

As parents, our jobs come down to one major thing.

Each and every day, we work hard to prepare our kids for the day they leave the home.

For me, this carries a different meaning every day of the week. On some days, it means helping with homework. On others, it means a healthy dose of discipline.

… But every day, it means consistency: in my love, my lessons, and my values. Because at the end of the day, when my kids walk out the door to take on the world, that’s all that they will truly be able to take with them.

Here are three tips for preparing your child for the ‘real world’…

 

Teach the Value of a Dollar

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Every parent wants to spoil their kids, it’s only natural. But one of the best ways you can prepare your child for adulthood is by teaching the importance of hard work, and the true value of a dollar.

Perhaps celebrity A-lister Mila Kunis put it best:

“[Ashton Kutcher and I] both came from pretty, pretty, solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth… It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, mommy and daddy may have a dollar… But you’re poor.”

Harsh, but there’s a key take-away here. The real world is harsh, and the earlier you teach this lesson to your kids, the easier their transition into it will be.

 

Instill Healthy Habits

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Healthy habits start young, and stick with us into old age.

Encourage good eating habits (which doesn’t necessarily mean banning all the bad stuff altogether!), consideration (that means good manners!), a thirst for physical activity, and to limit device use (and when to do so!).

A great tool I use to not only teach my kids healthy device habits, but also cultivate accountability is a unique parental control app called OurPact, a parental control app that lets parents remotely manage their kids device habits.

Ever since using the app, my kids are getting good nights of sleep, know that devices are not allowed (let alone won’t work) at the dinner table, and do their homework without distractions beeping in their face every other minute. Cherry on the cake? They know that when they make an agreement, they’ll be held accountable for it. The app is free, and will change your life.

 

Chores, Chores, Chores

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We all have that friend who was coddled into early adulthood, and had a really hard time learning how to live as an independent adult. (In university, one of my roommates didn’t know how to do laundry, had a filthy room, and seemed to think dishes were able to miraculously clean themselves. Our room-mate relationship didn’t last long for this very reason, and she’s still adjusting to the reality of having to take care of her own sh*t.)

Teach your kids early on how to do household chores independently. Not only will this help lighten your load, but it will also work wonders to help prepare your child for independent living down the road.

The real world can be a scary place, but if you start preparing your child for their transition into it early on, they’ll ease into it like hot bath!

 

 

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A Guide to Parenting Expos

In this day and age there is no shortage of parenting event options. Here is our list for the ultimate parenting events in the US. If you have more you’d like to see added to the list, let me know!

MommyCon

The Mother of All Parenting Events can sum up this North American series of events. Contrary to the name, this event is for all parents. With a minimum of eight events per year, this event has become the largest parenting event in the country. Features of the event include a boutique-like exhibitor hall, no less than a dozen educational sessions and a focus on community & bonding. The event focuses on modern and natural parenting methods and each  attendee walks away with a gift bag filled with products from a variety of modern and natural parenting brands. The event is geared towards expectant, new and toddler-staged parents with certain markets hosting early-childhood sessions that extend beyond the preschool years.

More information can be found here. You can use code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off. general admission tickets.

 

Gearapalooza

If you are an expecting parent who is looking for an informative evening that is filled with incredible giveaways from the biggest names in the baby industry, this event is for you! The event is specifically designed for those seeking to explore registry options. Guests walk away with a gift bag filled to the brim with amazing samples and full size products. Jamie Grayson, The Baby Guy NYC, hosts this event with Bump Club and Beyond in 15+ locations each year.

More information can be found here.

 

The Biggest Baby Shower Ever

Are you a Big City Mom looking to connect with expecting parents in your area? This event is for you! The event features over 100 baby companies and offers testing, feeling and discovering products under one roof. The event features pampering services, snacks and even mocktails. Guests can expect to walk away from the event with a ginormous gift bag full of samples like baby formula, disposable diapers, bottles and wipes. The Biggest Baby Shower Ever is headquartered out of NYC, but travels to Boston, DC, San Francisco, SoCal and Miami each year.

More information can be found here.

 

Club MomMe – Fall Fest

If you are a Cool Mom from SoCal, chances are you have been to Family Fest from Club MomMe. This outdoor event takes place in the fall at a scenic location each year. It’s one part baby, one part toddler and two parts socializing with other parents in the LA area. The event features an array of exhibitors, pampering services for mom and fun for toddlers. This is a great event to meet other families while noshing on local finds.

More information can be found here.

 

Celebrity Red CARpet Safety Event

This fun filled event is the see and be seen of Hollywood. Celebrities flock to this event for a special VIP hour and consumers get the chance to learn all about car seat safety at this one-day event that happens in SoCal each fall. The event is informative and the gift bags are always widely talked about for including amazing products.

More information can be found here.

 

The Baby Show Series

They started off in NYC and are now expanding into markets across the US. They tout themselves as the biggest baby show in the country. The event features an expansive exhibitor hall, and they are known for their stroller test track. They now have events in NYC, SoCal and Chicago.

More information can be found here.

 

Other Events to Consider

 

 

The original post can be found on MommyCon’s blog here.

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