Adventures in Babysitting…Nonmom style!

Yes you read that right, plus, it remains one of my favourite movies to this day.

I was asked to babysit my adorable neice and nephew (he’s my mini-me I swear), and overall I’m pretty pleased at how it went.

I adore them, however I don’t see them as much as I’d like as my schedule doesn’t match up with theirs as often as we’d all like. But I assure you, I adore them.

Now, it is important to note that in my teen years I did a lot of babysitting, like A LOT a lot of babysitting. I loved it. I had a couple of regulars and I was known for my grilled cheese sammiches and also my love of crafting, board games and Disney movies.

But it’s been a while. And I admit, I was a little bit nervous. So, I decided on a plan, my nephew has been wanting me to teach him how to knit so I took along my loom (I taught myself for him as I’m a crocheter) and some yarn and he and I had a blast.

My neice is younger (he’s 5, she’s 2) so was understandably a little confused when I arrived to get her from her nap instead of her regular sitter, or her mommy or daddy, or, my mom or dad.

It took a bit of explanation (no no, mommy at work, so is daddy, you have Aunty Amy today), but she relented and even let me change her pull-up.

And here’s where I had a refresher of sorts. When I took the post-nap one off I noticed it worked just like a diaper on the sides. So I didn’t worry when the sides came loose when I put the new one on. The tabs stuck, it stayed on, but apparently (thank you Jackie!!!) it really is supposed to pull-on. I’m still taking it as a win, it totally stayed on. 😉

The kids played, and nephew-kins knitted with me (we traded off rows on the loom) and then the giggling started as the kids warmed up and indeed perked up around me. We were all giggling before long and the neice and I happily played with Mr. Potato Head while nephew-kins did some extra rows all by himself. Hashtag #ProudAunty on that one :).

We laughed, we smiled, they loved being called Goofball 1 and Goofball 2 and when their daddy came home I was admittedly a little sad as we had been having such a fun time.

All in all, a success. Babysitting skills somewhat updated (we’ll tackle a meal next time), happy munchkins and very happy Aunty:).

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Sleepytime Troubles & Help!

So has anyone else been having trouble sleeping lately? Because I have, a lot of it. I have too much on my mind and just can’t seem to get a good night in, and when I do sleep, I’ve had the WORST nightmares. Oh my! Not fun at all to wake up stressed out and panicky.

I’m wondering what tricks others have tried who are in the same boat? I’ve been using the Badger Sleep Balm which helps, but isn’t working quite as well as it did when I first tried it.

And since we’re on the topic, how are the munchkins doing with their sleep patterns? I love the phrase ‘sleep like a baby’, don’t you? What is the trick do you think?I must tell you a quick but cute story about sleeping like a baby.

I was babysitting for my friends, we’ll call them ‘Jerry and Elaine’ and just before her bedtime I gave my ‘Bex’ as I call her, her bottle and flipped through a book with her, I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to just escape the world and focus on the simple act of calming her before putting her down for the night, great relax time for her and also did wonders to calm me.

I know not all babies go down quite so easily, my teething nephew might have something to say about it, so I was lucky to receive some great tips from Johnson’s Baby that I wanted to share with parents, and non-parents who are babysitting and are really confused. I know from watching several of my mommy and daddy friends in action that the massage is really catching on and the kids love it!

So, read up and catch some shut-eye! I know I hope to tonight!

SWEET DREAMS AT ANY AGE

Whether your little one is a newborn or toddler, developing a bedtime routine can lead to a good night’s sleep and will help to ensure your baby is getting the rest she needs. JOHNSON’S® clinically proven three-step routine includes a warm bath,  soothing massage and quiet time which will help drift her off to sleep.

Here are some sleep time tips and ideas to help as your baby continues to grow and develop:

NEWBORN

The first few weeks of your newborn’s life are all about adjustment – for your baby and for you. Newborns can sleep up 18 hours a day – but never for more than three or four hours at a time. Though it’s too soon to expect structured sleep patterns, there are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Learn Your Baby’s Sleepy Signs: Every baby is special and has a different way of showing you they are tired. Learn your little one’s signals which could include becoming fussy, crying or rubbing their eyes.
  • Night & Day: Keep lights on and normal volume levels around the house while your baby sleeps during the day. At night, turn off the lights and keep the ambiance calm and quiet. This will help your little one sleep the longest at night and also start to learn the difference between night and day.
  • Join in Naptime: It’s tempting to use your newborn’s naptime to finish chores, but be sure you use this opportunity as a time to catch up on your own sleep.
  • Expect Wake Up Calls: Respond to your baby as soon as they wake up. Most newborns are unable to settle themselves on their own and will need your help to be lulled back to sleep.

INFANT

Between three and six months old, your baby will be able to sleep longer during the night – which is great news for tired mommies and daddies! Your little one is also beginning to understand the difference between night and day, making it the perfect time to help develop their nightly routine.

  • A Lasting Routine: Make sure your baby’s bedtime routine isn’t too long or impractical and make sure you adapt it at your baby gets older. According to a recent Babycenter.ca over 70 per cent of respondents said they had a bedtime routine they followed nightly.
  • Bedtime Bath: Help your baby relax before bed by including bathing in her nightly routine. Some warm water and a lullaby can help soothe your little one into the land of nod. JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bath®, formulated with NATURALCALM, a unique blend of patent- pending essences proven to have relaxing properties is a great addition to the nightly bath.
  • Soothing to Sleep: Put your little one to bed when she is drowsy but still awake; this will help her learn to soothe herself to sleep.
  • How Much Sleep?: Your infant will sleep between 13 to 15 hours each day. Every baby is different and your little one may need more or less sleep.

BABY

By six months your baby will be starting to sleep through the night – a wonderful milestone for her tired parents! As your little one becomes busier with crawling, clapping and “talking,” it’s more important than ever to make sure she’s getting the rest she needs.

  • Growing Sleepy: Your baby’s physical advances, such as rolling over and beginning to stand, can influence her sleep patterns. Don’t be discouraged if your baby temporarily wakes up in the middle of the night. Stick to your routine to help your little one return to a regular sleep pattern.
  • Keep Naptime: Cutting down on naps won’t help your little one sleep longer during the night, in fact, sleep begets sleep!
  • Bedtime Bonding:  According to a recent Babycenter.ca survey conducted on behalf of JOHNSON’S® Baby, less than half of respondents (45 per cent) view bedtime as an opportunity to bond with their baby. Developing a regular nightly routine including a calm environment, bath and massage for your baby helps her drift off to dreamland while giving you precious bonding time. Try a nightly massage with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Lotion®, with skin-conditioning emollients and formulated with NATURALCALM to help lull her into sleep.
  • Fix Problem Habits: Rocking, cuddling and feeding your baby to sleep are major causes of sleep problems, so it’s best to try to break these habits early if you’ve established them.
  • How Much Sleep?: Your baby will need about 14 to 15 hours of sleep each day. Crawling, rolling over, sitting up – an active baby means a tired baby.

TODDLER

As your little one continues to grow it’s important they still receive lots of attention, cuddling and sleep. Though they may have moved “beyond babyhood,” it’s important to maintain a consistent nightly routine to help your toddler fall asleep on her own.

  • Changing Sleep Patterns: Your toddler’s sleep patterns will change throughout the next year. Although most toddlers will have learned to sleep through the night, change and stressful events such as an illness or trip may cause temporary setbacks to your routine.
  • “Big Kid” Bed: You may consider transitioning your little one to a toddler bed at the two-year mark. It’s important to keep in mind that switching your toddler to a bed too early could be disruptive to their sleep routine. You may want to wait until your little one is almost three years old before making the transition.
  • Daycare Dreams: If your toddler has started daycare or preschool, her nap time may be shifted to accommodate the need of an entire group of children. During this time it’s important to ensure she is getting plenty of sleep at night.
  • How Much is Enough?: Toddlers need between 12 and 13 hours of sleep in total – usually 11 to 12 hours at night and another one to three hours during the day.