Parenting

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

What if there was a kids’ clothing brand that was sustainable (both the product + packaging), made kids feel like a superhero, sparked their imagination, and taught them to love our planet? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it exists. It’s called Living Loudly.

 

Living Loudly encourages parents to “create moments that matter” with their kids. Let me walk you through the process because it’s pretty awesome.

1) Log on to the website, www.livingloudly.com, and have your kiddo select a t-shirt. The tees come in fun colors, feature a cute character on the front, and they’re unisex! The shirts are super soft as they’re made of 100% organic cotton + bamboo and they won’t shrink or fade in the wash. They’re ideal for hand-me-downs or donations, which is inherently sustainable and a bonafide #momwin.

2) Next, you’ll receive a capsule delivered to your doorstep. My kids were so intrigued and couldn’t wait to open it. The capsule itself can be reused for small toys, a pretend rocket ship or you can recycle it because it’s 100% biodegradable.

3) Inside you’ll find a piece of paper with a story about the character on the t-shirt like Everett the Elephant or Trevor the Tiger. This promotes literacy and allows parents and kids to cultivate time for the joy of reading.

4) When they’re rocking their new shirt, your kiddo can have fun ripping up the seed paper that the story was printed on and plant the bits in potting soil.

living loudly trevor the tiger

5) Once the seeds sprout, you can transfer them to a larger pot. Now your kids can enjoy watching their very own garden of wildflowers grow!

To serve as an ongoing resource for parents, Living Loudly hosts virtual on-demand workshops that cover a range of topics from creating a calm + focused home to owning your unique parenting style to teaching gratitude and building emotional intelligence.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder, Shannon Murray-Doffo, on my podcast.

Shannon Murray-Doffo, is an award winning serial entrepreneur, marketing expert, and business strategist. Shannon spent over 13 years helping Fortune 10 companies strategize, build, and implement their marketing campaigns, culminating in launching her own brand in 2019, Living Loudly.

Shannon explains, “Living Loudly serves parents as a children’s clothing and lifestyle brand, helping parents realize they’re not alone and bringing a little more joy to the parenting experience.

Whether parents are picking out super-soft, eco-friendly apparel with their kids and cuddling up with a story, or taking one of her online workshops to get real support with their relationships, self-care, or parenting, Living Loudly puts connection at the heart of the business so parents (and their kiddos) can have a few more laughs and a few less bribes.”

According to LiveScience.com, “in a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas, Kim said. Has modern society really extinguished the creative spark among our youth? Experts say creativity is innate, so it can’t really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.”

This brand is getting us all off our screens, involving kids in the shopping process and practice decision-making, and is reminding us that some mundane tasks like buying kids clothes can be experiential and means to bond with our little ones.

As an exclusive BOGO offer, buy one item from LivingLoudly.com and receive the second 30% off with my code, MOMSENSE30.

Enjoy living loudly and making memories!

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Want mom to mom advice? You can trust Mommy’s Bliss to carry you through each stage of motherhood and parenting. They have you covered with pre and postnatal care supplements, babies and kids vitamins, medicines, and probiotics, and now a newly launched sleep product line for toddlers.

A couple months ago, I was introduced to the founders of the brand and after several conversations, I immediately knew the brand was one I wanted to partner with and endorse as an ambassador. I first learned about Mommy’s Bliss when my mom explained the benefits of gripe water, which we’ve been using for generations since key ingredients organic ginger extract and organic fennel extract are staple herbs in Indian home remedies. Ever since my twins were infants, I’ve been using Mommy’s Bliss gripe water to settle their tummies so they could sleep soundly, and I could too.

Gripe Water is where it all started for the family-owned company. It all started when Roshan Kaderali, a mom, pediatric nurse, midwife, and doula who had used Gripe Water to ease infant colic and fussiness for years while working in Scotland. When she moved to the U.S., she was astonished that the “magical” Gripe Water formula she relied on wasn’t available here. So she set out to create Gripe Water and Mommy’s Bliss was born. As the company grew, its mission hasn’t changed: help moms everywhere bond with their babies by creating effective, trusted products that incorporate wise ingredients from around the world.

Now, Roshan’s daughter Yasmin, who’s a mom of two, is at the helm as CEO. She grew up learning from her mom about the “miracle of life,” surrounded by the realities of childbirth and infant health through her mom’s maternity center. After attending college at the University of California, Davis, Yasmin spent two years living in Central America volunteering with programs focused on women and children’s human rights. Inspired to learn more and make a difference, Yasmin pursued an MPH & MBA and continued this work in the non-profit sector, and then was led back to @mommysbliss bringing fresh perspective as a new mom herself. Both Roshan and Yasmin share the dream of helping children and women all over the world to live in bliss, with food, good health, respected human rights and peace.

This year, Mommy’s Bliss launched a toddler sleep line because they truly believe in the importance of #bedtimebliss. It’s no surprise an ongoing challenge we face as parents is getting our kids to SLEEP. Regressions, routines, daylight savings, life in a pandemic! We often have to recalibrate so our little ones can fall asleep at the right time and have a restful night.

I interviewed Pediatric Sleep Expert Nicole Cannon, aka @sleepymamanj, to learn more about the science behind sleep. Nicole is a mom of 3 kids (ages 7, 5, & 3) with her 4th child on the way! Drawing from her expertise as a Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant as a member of the International Maternity Institute and Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, Nicole clears up misconceptions around sleep and explains how melatonin and cortisol affect our sleep cycles. On our podcast interview, we discuss how essential it is to have a bedtime routine in place and and review what to do on those days we’re thrown for a loop and need to call in the reinforcements. That’s where the new sleep line from Mommy’s Bliss comes into play with options for kids 3+ — a gummy, a chewable tablet or liquid — that all contain safe ingredients such as melatonin, magnesium and a bedtime bliss blend of organic chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower.

Some of the best quality time I have with my kids is when we’re reading books at bedtime. I love our conversations, the giggles, and witnessing their imagination take flight. Now that I have toddlers, circumstances are different and “sleeping through the night” varies. I’m glad that I have an arsenal of safe, natural, efficacious products when my kids are having an especially difficult time.

LINKS:

Use this link to save $3.00 on any (1) Mommy’s Bliss sleep product:
https://mommysbliss.com/sleep

Sweet dreams kiddos (and grown-ups too!)

 

Should You Dress Your Twins Alike?

Should You Dress Your Twins Alike? 2560 1545 Chase Jennings

If you’re a fellow twin mom, let me start by saying, “I am here for you.” We are in a league of our own because we’ve endured delivering two babies at once (and may have had a NICU experience), know how to tandem breastfeed and bottle feed, have their schedule down pat, and of course have mastered handling double the diapers, baths, and naps along with twice as many hugs, cuddles, and cute clothes! It’s a journey through all the feels (x2) and it’s incredible.

Matchy Matchy?

Many people expect to see identical twins donning matching outfits or fraternal twins wearing complementary colors. I say trust your “mom sense” (your super power of intuition) on outfit choices. It’s undoubtedly easier to buy two of the same garment, but be mindful that their sizes may actually vary. Through my informal research, I’ve found that dressing your twins (triplets, quadruplets, etc.) the same when they’re babies does not have a long term effect on their sense of identity when they’re older. And they do make for the cutest photos!

Same, Same But Different

According to a BBC article, Keith Reed, Chief Executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA), says it is important for parents to help multiple birth children develop their own identities when they’re older, meaning 2 years old on up. This can be done by dressing them differently and using their individual names rather than calling them “the twins” or “the triplets.” He adds, “If they are used to always being together or always wearing the same clothes, then the older they get the more distressed they may become if you try to make changes. However this does not mean denying their special relationship as one of a multiple. Rather it allows them to see themselves as individuals who have the bonus of being part of a multiple unit.” Womb mates to roommates, I say!

I dress my boy-girl twins in outfits that they feel most comfortable in and resonate with their personal style. My daughter is a problem-solving engineer, and is a girly-girl when it comes to fashion. She loves her House of Sofella pink tulle skirt. Pink is her favorite color and she loves to wear skirts all year long (with a pair of tights underneath during colder months). Her twin brother is protective and affectionate. He loves the color blue and likes to look dapper, yet laid back so his shirt of his choice is often a collared button down. My youngest son just loves being part of the party and is outgoing, gregarious, and always smiling. He is athletic and has a penchant for any sport we can introduce him to as a toddler, so he lives in his t-shirts and fleece joggers.
 

House of Sofella has such a curated collection of styles that are contemporary and chic. I love that the brand allows my kids to have access to European fashion and express themselves in their own unique, special way.

 

Originally posted here on HouseofSofella.com 

The Ultimate Gift Guide for New Moms

The Ultimate Gift Guide for New Moms 2560 1707 Chase Jennings

There’s so much changing for a new mom after the birth of their child that many people don’t think about outside of having a new human being to look after. For one, they often suffer from a severe lack of sleep given their baby’s sleep schedule and need to feed every few hours. Secondly, new moms’ bodies have just been through labor and need time to heal. Third, babies are unpredictable. Even with two active parents taking care of the newborn, there are endless unknowns as the baby grows and many anxious new parents can use all the help they can get!

We’ve created the following list to account for items that may not be on the baby registry but sure can help new moms and new parents in general ease into parenthood.

The Essentials

New parents might not know the ropes just yet unless they have close friends who have gone through the process and they bear witness to the things that worked well for them. Some common missed items are:

Nasal aspirator: Moms swear by it. This contraption sucks boogers out of a baby’s nose with your mouth. It sounds and looks disgusting to the non trained eye, but it is a safe, gentle way of keeping their baby’s nostrils clear to breath better at night.

A dual car seat and stroller: One of the best combinations to get so new parents can easily transfer their sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without struggling to unclip them from everything. Pick up the car seat and pop it in the stroller or vice versa. It’s that easy.

Breast-Feeding Cover: Baby needs to eat every few hours. It’s really impractical for moms to find a private room to breast feed when they are out and about. Instead, with this breast feeding cover, they no longer have to! This cover has an easy viewing window to see how baby is doing while keeping mom covered. It’s easy to put on and take off.

Infant Bouncer: These rockers rock! Babies often love constant movement to feel safe and be lulled to sleep. Help a new mom out with the gift of sleep while their baby sleeps safely clipped in.

Unisex Diaper Bag Backpack: Going anywhere with baby means carrying around a dozen items for changing, feeding, and the occasional milk puke. Be prepared with an easy to carry and go ergonomic diaper backpack that won’t weigh down one shoulder and comes with insulated bottle holders among other things like a built in changing pad.

Take a look at Instagifts.co for more lists specifically catered to new moms. If you swear by a product that isn’t on here, leave a note in the comments below and share!

Guest post by: InstaGifts

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby 2566 1374 Kanika

Potty training is a sh*t show (literally!) I am in the midst of training my 2.5 year old boy-girl twins and my 14-month-old son (yes, you read that right!) because my husband and I are so done with diapers at our house. If my kids know how to memorize shapes (including the obscure ones like octagons and trapezoids), know their ABCs and numbers, and are speaking in full sentences, it’s high time they learn to go the bathroom. However, I am quickly learning that kids are creatures of habit so no matter how acute their memorization skills, training them to change their routine and adopt a new one is painfully tough. According to Mayo Clinic, potty training success hinges on physical, developmental, and behavioral milestones, not age. Some kids show signs of being ready at 18 – 24 months and others are ready by 3 years old. Here’s what they recommend you ask yourself.

  • Can your child walk to and sit on a toilet?
  • Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?
  • Can your child stay dry for up to two hours?
  • Can your child understand and follow basic directions?
  • Can your child communicate when he or she needs to go?
  • Does your child seem interested in using the toilet?

If you answered mostly yes, your child might be ready. If you answered mostly no, you might want to wait — especially if your child is about to face a major change, such as a move or the arrival of a new sibling.

For my baby, we prop him on the toilet when he wakes up in the morning and from his two naps, and he inevitably pees and goes number 2 at times. Amazing! We read that getting your child acclimated to the toilet at a young age may make it easier when he is walking and talking because it’s something he’s now familiar with. (Fingers crossed he trains right alongside my twins!)

To me, the process of potty training isn’t really for the kid. It’s for the parent. Are you mentally, physically, and emotionally ready for it? Because it’s your lead, and you’ll have to come up with a game plan and stick to it. As I said, we are in the midst of training our kids so I have yet to do our victory dance at the finish line, but the process takes time and I know we’ll get there. For now, I’d like to share what is working for us thus far!

  1. Reading Material. Most of my friends read Oh Crap! Potty Training – Everything Modern Parents Need To Know To Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki. She has a 6-step plan and encourages parents to spend a long weekend at home (with kids sans diapers) so that they get used to the sensation of going in a toilet. Kids actually grow comfortable with sitting in their own urine/feces (so gross, I know!) because they don’t know any different. For your kids, you can buy them Toilet Time books. All three of my kids love pressing the button and hearing the flushing sound, and though it’s silly, I think it reinforces what using the potty entails – start to finish.
  2. Get Equipped. We have both toilet seat covers and small toilets at home. The kids seem to prefer the Jool Baby toilet seat covers because they’re comfortable and they actually like stowing them away on the handy-dandy command hook on the wall. I love them since I’m a minimalist and hate clunky baby gear. You’ll need a step stool like the Acko foldable step stool (another stow away item in the bathroom. Score!), which helps them get onto the toilet and is necessary when they’re washing their hands. We use this Prince Lionheart faucet extender too, which makes it easy for my toddlers to be self sufficient. We have two Oxo Tot Potty Chairs which are easy to clean and do the job as well (especially when the kids need to sit a while). I just discovered this Mindful Moby Baby Potty that has an ergonomic design, doubles as a step stool, and donates a portion of its proceeds to save whales which is a lovely initiative.
  3. Schedule Time. Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a snickers (and some pet training pads to line the floor and bathroom cleaner) because doing the full-on potty training is a 3-day-long affair, in 1 hour increments. You can let your kids run around with no underpants or if you want, put on their underwear and if an accident happens, at least they know what it feels like.
  4. Buy the Necessary Apparel. My son wears Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs and my daughter wears Hanes hipster panties. On school days we send them in Seventh Generation pull-up diapers because I’m not quite ready to have an accident in their car seats. I find these to be the most hypoallegenic on the market. At night, they wear The Honest Company Overnight Diapers, which are free of harmful chemicals and are super absorbent for 8+ hours. There are PeeJamas (cute, huh!) that help with weaning off overnight diapers because they have absorbent material for accidents, and can be worn as regular PJs post training.
  5. Use a timer. Whether you have an Echo Dot with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or smart watch, set a timer for every hour or every 45 minutes and put your kids on the toilet. It’ll turn into a game each time the alarm goes off. If that’s too difficult, be sure to put them on at least 45 minutes after each meal or after they chug down their milk or water.
  6. Potty Chart, etc. You can make your own potty chart and put up stickers each time they use the bathroom which leads to a prize at the end like a new toy or a trip to their favorite indoor gym. I also started incentivizing with Auntie Annie fruit snacks – 1 for pee, 2 for poop. I know some schools of thought are staunchly against rewards because kids need not be rewarded for something they must learn to do, but if it’s working for you with younger kids, I don’t see the harm in it. Eventually it will become habitual and they’ll forget about the chart and rewards on their own.

As with any parenting strategy, to each their own. Get prepared, try a few different tactics, and remember to be calm and patient. Don’t shame your little one when they make a mistake because potty training can backfire and they may regress even more. Lastly, ensure that you and your village (grandparents, preschool teachers, nanny/babysitter) are on the same page. You’ve got this!

Mom Haul: Baby Products I Love

Mom Haul: Baby Products I Love 1200 1027 Kanika

Doesn’t it seem like there’s some new gadget for your toddler on the market every day? Though some products are useful, many are just plain frivolous or unnecessary. I am a minimalist (like most New Yorkers), so I only buy things I believe serve a utility and are valuable. Here is a short list of toddler products I have come to swear by. 

Lumehra FlexBag

Is it a hamper? It is a duffle bag? Wait for it. It’s both! The FlexBag was designed to make ‘mom life’ simpler as it doubles as a bag to use at home and while traveling. Consider it a hamper on steroids since it has numerous mesh compartments. I use them for my kids’ socks, undershirts, and as a way to separate my baby’s clothes from my twin toddlers’ clothes, which cuts folding/putting away time in half. The bag is made of durable, stain/mold resistant, waterproof fabric, so it’s ideal to take on the road. If you have older kids, you can leave it in the back of your minivan (your supermom-mobile as I so fondly call it!) and throw in dirty soccer clothes, shoes, etc. to toss in the laundry when you get home. Can we say mom win? You can purchase the FlexBag here

 

Nose Frida

My toddler twins are in daycare and I still can’t believe how many viruses the’ve been exposed to in a matter of months. Just as they’re recovering from a cold, they seem to get better for a week, only to have a runny nose again. Enter – the Nose Frida. I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s an ingenious product made by a mom who knew the tried-and-tested bulb syringe for mucus extraction is actually a cesspool for mold and bacteria. It makes me wonder why they’re still used in hospitals. The Nose Frida is a mucus removal device comprised of an aspirator tube and a mouthpiece valve that allows you to literally suction your little one’s boogies. To clean, you can take it apart and put it in the dishwasher or sterilize it. Just brilliant. You can purchase the NoseFrida here.

Door Knob Protector

When my kids became tall enough to reach door knobs, I became paranoid that they would sneak out of their room in middle of the night and go tumbling down the steps. Child proof door knob covers by Jool Baby lets me sleep easy. It’s a very simple design that snaps over a round doorknob. No fancy lock or lever. Your kids will attempt to twist and twist, but will be swiveling the cover around and won’t actually have a grip on the doorknob to open the door. Is it bad that I get some sort of pleasure out of them trying to make a break for it knowing that it’s impossible?! Purchase your Jool Baby child proof door knob cover here.

 

 

Faucet Extender

My husband and I encourage our kids to be self-sufficient. From eating their food with a fork (no matter how much ends up on the floor) to climbing up the steps to belting themselves in their carseats, it’s gratifying for us (and them!) to see how they’re growing and becoming increasingly more independent. The Prince Lionheart faucet extender is a simple design that suits most bathroom sinks. With the help of their 13″ inch small stool, my one year old kids are able to brush their teeth on their own. They love it and so do I. Purchase the Prince Lionheart faucet extenders here.

How to Swaddle Your Baby

How to Swaddle Your Baby 2048 1367 Kanika

 

My OBGYN told me the first three months of a baby’s life should be considered a fourth trimester. Anything and everything that simulates the womb reminds your baby of his ‘happy place.’ Swaddling is one of the first techniques new parents learn to soothe their crying babies. I still remember learning to swaddle our twins at the hospital. My husband and I would practice on either my son or my daughter and then switch! With my third baby, it couldn’t be more easy peasy. He’s a lovely, low-maintenance kid and the fact that I actually know what I am doing probably helps too. Over the years, I’ve learned complicated swaddling techniques and easy ones and have tried various swaddle blankets and sleepers. And you know what? I personally feel that coming back to the basics is what works best for my baby. Here’s a video on swaddling made easy! I love Aden and Anais swaddles since they’re lightweight, breathable, and made of 100% organic cotton muslin. 

 

My Fave Organic Baby Products

My Fave Organic Baby Products 3000 2000 Kanika

 

It seems as though the major retailers in the baby industry are the biggest culprits when it comes to using chemicals and toxic materials in their products. After extensive research and trial and error, here are some of the all-natural baby products I swear by.

Crib Mattress
We have three Colgate Eco Classica III Organic Crib Mattress for our twins and newborn and love it. Made of 100% cotton and natural fibers, the mattress is firm yet comfortable. It fits right into our 3-in-1 crib/toddler bed which makes life so much simpler with each phase of our babies’ lives.

Baby Pillow
To prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), pediatricians advise no pillows, blankets, bumpers, or toys in the crib. It should be completely bare. We use this Organic Cotton Baby Protective Pillow when we are watching our little one as it prevents flat head. Organic Cotton Baby Protective Pillow

Moisturizer
Whether it’s for you or the baby, coconut oil is the best emollient, moisturizer, daily diaper rash barrier cream, hair oil, you name it! We use Tropical Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Why use lotions with ingredients you can’t pronounce when this works just as well, if not better!

Bug Repellent
My little ones often had mosquito bites crop up on their hands and feet (I guess they can’t resist that baby fat!), so I use California Baby Bug Repellent whenever we go outside in the summer. You can spray it on their skin and on the stroller to add an ‘aura’ of added protection.

Baby Toothbrushes
The design of these Sunzel Baby Toothbrushes prevent your toddler from shoving their toothbrush to the back of their mouth. These initial toothbrushes are a great way for growing toddlers to get in a routine of brushing their teeth and maintaining their oral health.

Baby Toothpaste
According to WebMD, “in children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.” Our babies use Tom’s Toddler Floride-Free Toothpaste.

Diaper Rash Cream
Oh the painful diaper rash! Since urine and stool (especially the watery poopy blowouts. TMI, I know!) are acidic, they can easily cause rashes on your baby’s tush and they worsen because they’re in diapers all day long. The most important thing to do when your little one has a burn on their bum is to keep the area as dry as possible and use a barrier cream + vaseline. We use Burt’s Bees Diaper Rash Cream as a barrier cream and good ol’ petroleum jelly to seal the wound shut.

Hand Sanitizer
I honestly love all of Honest’s products. 😉 The Honest Hand Sanitizer smells amazing and kills 99.9% of germs with a few spritzes.

Sunscreen
Kids have uber sensitive skin so just like us, they should wear sunscreen every day. My entire family uses Alba Botanica Sunscreen SPF 30 which is made for sensitive skin.

What all natural products does your little one use? Leave me a message in the comments below!

5 Parenting Tips When Raising Twins

5 Parenting Tips When Raising Twins 2323 1549 Kanika

You’re Expecting Twins!

My husband and I nearly fell over. We looked at each other in disbelief and then back at the sonogram screen feeling a surge of emotions at once – joy, shock, gratitude. We always wanted a big family so having two babies in one pregnancy certainly put us on the fast track.

My boy-girl twins are a year old now and I’ve learned so much since the day they were born. From double strollers to tandem breastfeeding, tummy time to their first steps, we’ve all grown as a family and I have to say I’ve become well-attuned to their needs and am always thinking two steps ahead!

Here are my top 5 tips on what to do when raising two:

1. Have your babies follow the same schedule.

If you ask any parent of multiples, they’ll tell you this is a cardinal rule to follow from day one. Imagine this: it takes up to an hour for just one feeding, and newborns feed every 2 – 4 hours. Then they burp. Then they need a diaper change and go back sleep. And the cycle continues. If you were to do this back-to-back day and night, you would never get a break!

In the beginning, I breastfed my twins simultaneously (using a Twin Z pillow) and once they outgrew it, I breastfed one while my husband/nanny/family member gave the other a bottle. That way, their feeding and sleeping routine was in sync. The same went for bath time, play time, etc. As toddlers, they have grown accustomed to doing everything together. They both wake up at 7 am, nap from 12 – 3 pm, and wind down for bedtime around 7 pm, with their breakfast/lunch/dinner, bottle feeds, bath time, and play time allotted for. I put a printout of their schedule on our fridge so that everyone knows what the twins are up to, which has made life so much easier.

2. Assemble your village.

Sure you may want to prove to the world that you can handle child rearing all on your own, but believe me, you’ll be tired, cranky, and won’t be able to give your 100%. The better care you take of yourself, the better caretaker you’ll be for your family.

I have been fortunate to have a husband who enjoys being a hands-on super dad. He does diaper changes better than anyone (no leaks!), orders their baby products on time (thank you Amazon subscribe and save), and reads books to them before bedtime with sound effects and Hindi translations to boot. Ask your partner to partake in all the childcare duties. It’ll help build a stronger relationship between the two of you and the kids will be thankful for that quality time.

If you’re a working mom, hire a nanny or opt for daycare. Our nanny works on weekdays and some weekends and has helped look after our twins since the day they came home from the hospital. That familiarity is key as they are so comfortable with her and adore her. We are eternally grateful to her and trust her with what’s most precious in our life – our kids.

Lastly, have your family members get involved. We live a stroller ride away from my in-laws; Our kids’ faces light up when they go to Dadaji and Dadiji’s place. My sister visits on her free weekends and my parents come stay with us when they can. Any help is a huge load off your shoulders, so don’t hesitate to ask your family and friends to come by for play time so you can take a nap or have them bring over food so you won’t have to cook. And don’t forget to thank them and return the favor in any way you can.

3. You actually don’t need two of everything.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go on a crazy shopping spree buying two of everything. There are some essentials that you’ll have to double up on like diapers, clothes, bottles, bouncers (we bottle-fed them at the same time this way when they were infants), and high chairs, but there are other baby items where you can get by with just one. For instance, there are strollers on the market, like the Baby Jogger City Select, that are versatile because they can convert from a single stroller to a double stroller (with attachments for infant carseat and toddler that are interchangeable with this adapter). We have one baby tub, one jumper, one walker, and one of each toy, and guess what, they have to take turns and learn to share.

Don’t get me wrong, our kids have their moments where they fight over the same puzzle or blocks, but we let them resolve their issue on their own rather than mediating every single time. It’s the only way they’ll learn to compromise as adults and meet each other halfway.

4. Allow them to embrace their innate bond.

The bond between twins is so unique. From womb-mates to roommates, they understand each other like no one else and can truly feel what the other feels. My husband and I always thought this was special and try to capture photos of them interacting, whether they’re giggling together or giving each other high-fives.

When our kids were newborns, our pediatrician told us they should sleep in separate cribs. Somehow this didn’t sit well with me. They were together in my belly for so long, I couldn’t bear to separate them in the outside world. So I went with my gut and swaddled them (in aden + anais swaddles) and laid them to sleep side by side (this was not a SIDS risk since they were not able to take their arms out of their swaddles or roll over at this time). They looked so peaceful and content sleeping this way. Twins have an innate connection so allow them to embrace their bond; it’ll last a lifetime/.

5. Encourage them to develop a sense of individuality.

I feel I may have an easier time with this since I have boy-girl (fraternal) twins. Since they are physically different, it’s natural to accept their different tastes and interests. My son loves eggs, potato flatbread (parathas), and blueberries; my daughter likes to eat lentils and rice, string cheese, and apples. My son loves kicking his toy soccer ball and playing with cars and trucks while my daughter prefers musical toys and her mini laptop. It’s fascinating to see what they gravitate towards and how they’re happy playing with their chosen toys on their own.

Lumping your twins together as one unit, especially if they’re identical, may create a complex later on. Pay heed to the foods and toys they like. Also, accept that they may be different weights and heights and reach milestones at various times. They are still two distinct human beings with different DNA. They shouldn’t be attached at the hip or be forced to do the same things. Instead, allow them to shine as individuals with their unique preferences and opinions.

Wrapping Up

I hope these tips were helpful to you and remember, go easy on yourself, trust your gut, and enjoy the ride, you supermom of multiples!

Baby Proofing Must-Haves

Baby Proofing Must-Haves 1500 846 Kanika

 

Each milestone in your baby’s life comes with a host of changes you have to make to your own lifestyle. As newborns, they can only placed down on their backs, then explore the joys of tummy time, start rolling over, crawling, cruising, walking, and before you know, your little one is running around the house amuck, curiously exploring every corner and gadget he can find. We are in the thick of our twins toddler phase and took these precautionary measures to baby proof our home (without having to compromise our interior design and aesthetic!) 

Baby Gates

We use the Retract-a-Gate mesh, retractable gate for all our stairways. Firstly, these gates are the only ones that fit our broad main entrance steps. Secondly, they’re discreet and retract away when not in use. When they are locked in place, they’re fixed and taught so the kids can’t push their way through.

Child Safety Locks

We use Magnetic Child Safety Cabinet Locks which have hooks that you place inside your cabinet drawers and a magnetic opener which you hover over the hook to open it up. I bought small 3/8″ circle felt black stickers to use as indicators from Etsy. You can’t see them at first glance and they match my white and black kitchen.

Crib Rail Covers

For the first two years of their lives, kids have to grapple with teething and gnaw at everything in sight! My husband and I were shocked to find that our twins left teeth marks in the wood of their cribs and the paint had chipped off. Not only is the wood & paint toxic for the little ones to ingest, their beautiful cribs look worn out. I came across Trend Lab Waterproof Crib Rail Covers, which are perfect for covering the crib rails, protecting the kids teeth since the fabric is a soft felt/shearling, and they’re waterproof and easy to throw in the wash as needed.

Play Yard

One of the first things you want to buy when your toddlers are walking everywhere is a play yard. Throw their toys, games, and books in there so they can play in this confined space. We have this North States Play Yard at home. As a DIY project, I covered the play yard rails with felt/shearling fabric that I bought from JoAnn Fabrics and had my tailor sew in strings every 10 inches to tie around the rails. They get the job done and protect our little teethers much like the crib rail covers.

Play Mat

Lastly, invest in a good play mat for your kids. We have the Skip Hop Geo Grey/Cream Playmat, which matches our cream/grey decor. Your kids will tumble and wrestle and bang their toys on the floor, so the thick foam cushioning protects them (and your home!)

What baby proof items do you have at home that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comment section below!