Secrets to Getting your Baby to Sleep through the Night + GIVEAWAY!

I am not going to try to tell you that I am expert on babies and sleep but I have been very blessed to have had babies that sleep through the night after the first 5-6 weeks.

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Grayson is still only 4.5 months old so I am aware at any time he can start to sleep regress, but so far we have been incredibly lucky to get good sound sleepers. I realize that I am so lucky in that department and will share the incredibly easy process that I do to put Grayson to sleep as it was the same process I did for Elin.

At this age, Grayson goes down to sleep right about 8pm. He gets his bath first if he is having a bath that day. He gets one every other day. After the bath, he gets in a snuggly sleeper and then we go downstairs to have his last bottle for the night which makes him very sleepy. Usually his eyes are at half mast and you can tell he is getting very drowsy.

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After the bottle, we head up to his room to change his diaper again and to get in his sleep sack. I truly believe his sleep sack helps him sleep so well and soundly. We did the complete swaddle until he was 2 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you discontinue swaddling at 2 months of age. I was super nervous that he would wake up in the night when we had to stop that but luckily the sleep sack was just as awesome and helped him stay warm and secure.

I read him a couple stories and then sing him a couple songs as I rock him to the point that looks like he is almost asleep and then I put him in his crib, sans any blankets or stuffed animals of course!

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It’s really an easy routine with nothing all that special about it, but I do believe the sleep sack is key!

My favorite sleep sack we have right now is our SwaddleDesign zzZip me sack. I love that it’s made of an incredibly soft and stretchy fabric and it has the dual zipper so that if you have to change a diaper right before bed (or in the middle of the night) you don’t have to take the whole sack off. Another reason why I love the Swaddle Designs sacks is their beautiful designs and lovely pastel colors. As silly as it may sound, I am picky when it comes to clothes, sleepwear, and sleep sacks and hands down SwaddleDesigns offers the cutest designs and patterns.

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Now, are you ready for a giveaway? One lucky winner will receive their choice of cotton knit zzZip sack. Looking forward to sharing one of these beautiful sleep sacks with you!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This item was sent to me for review, but thoughts and reviews are all my own honest feedback.

Surprizamal Cuties

Two weekends ago Elin was coming down with a bad virus and not feeling well at all. Before she started to get a fever and was bedridden, I was trying to cheer her up and I had the perfect thing up my sleeve. She loves surprise toys and I had just got my hands on the new tiny surprizamal cuties. This is the first series of the miniature variety and I knew Elin was going to be ecstatic when she saw them!

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These little balls of fun did not disappoint. Elin was eager to start tearing into them to see what her surprises were.

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She is all about cats these days so when her first surpizaball was a little a little cat named Jinx she thrilled. The little tag gave a brief description of new little furry friend as well as well as her birthday (April 12) and her favorite color (purple).

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Each little surprizaball also came with a collector’s guide.

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She eagerly opened all of her surprises and it was so good to see her smile and get excited when she wasn’t feeling well. These little guys stayed by her side all weekend long and she has been playing with them often ever since.

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Here’s the lineup of our cute new friends. These are launching in stores this Fall 2016. Let us know if you get the mystery ultra rare surprizamal! Elin’s bet is that it’s a Chihuahua—wonder why she thinks that!?

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Grayson 4 Month Update

Grayson is 4 months old and growing like a weed! I tell him all the time that he is going to surpass Elin by his first birthday! But more notable than his size this month is this little boy’s happy personality. I don’t know what it is but he has turned into the happiest baby on the planet! He just loves to smile and laugh. His little laugh is so sweet and his smile lights up his whole face.

THE STATS:

Weight: 16 lbs 1 oz
Height:  26.5 inches
Head Size:  16.5  inches
Clothes: 3-6
Diapers: size 2

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Grayson continues to be such a good sleeper!  He sleeps through the night usually for 12 hours.  He takes good little naps through the day and is starting to take nice longer ones in the afternoon.

He eats 5 times a day taking 5 ounces at a time.

This month he has really started to grab and hold onto toys to play with them. He has also started taking a pacifier this month but only a little bit throughout the day and never to nap or at night.

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We haven’t seen any teeth yet, but he is drooling a lot and starting to gnaw on his hands and toys, so I am thinking a tooth may be in his near future.

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Grayson is also getting better at holding his head still and starting to be able to sit up while assisted for short periods of time. He has been practicing sitting with his boppy pillow and with his bumbo seat.

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He is getting so interactive and social. He enjoys watching everyone and paying attention to what they are doing. He really loves to watch Elin and loves when she talks to him in a high-pitched voice and makes faces at him. That makes him laugh so much!

First Day of 4 Year Old Preschool

Last Wednesday, Elin started her first day of 4 year old preschool. She will be going 4 days a week: Monday through Thursday, during the morning time.

She was very eager to get to school and see all her friends from last year. Most of the same kids are in her class.

We got up extra early so I could take tons of photos. She had picked out this dress from some new clothes I bought her for the school year. She liked that it had a matching necklace with it.

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I don’t know why my inside photos always look horrible compared to the outside ones.

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We got to school a little earlier than expected and were waiting for the doors of her classroom to open. As we waited, we saw Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Alexander, her teachers from last year. She was so excited to see them and give them each a big hug.

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Then it was time to go on into her classroom. The first day is the only day you are supposed to walk in with your child. Outside the class is a “goodbye zone” were you are to say goodbye so that the child can walk independently into the classroom. As expected, Elin was not the least bit sad or scared. She was eager to spot her new cubby for her book bag and begin working on puzzles before everyone else arrived.

She was excited to se Mrs. Armao and Mrs. Ebert. She had already got acquainted with Mrs. Armao because she visits everyone at their house over the summer to get to know them better and to help them feel comfortable on the first day of school.

She was also excited since I have talked to her many times about how Mrs. Armao was my 4 year preschool teacher, too!

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Elin had a good first day of school and continues to be excited to go back! We are working hard to memorize her memory verse as this year it’s more of an expectation to know them each week instead of being optional. I’m looking forward to being able to see Elin grow and learn so much just as  she had the prior year. I’m sure this year will fly by just as the previous school year did.

Grayson 3 Month & Elin 4 Year Pictures

Grayson had his 3 month pictures right before the fourth of July and of course big sister Elin got in on the photo shoot and consequently got her 4 year photos.

The pictures were scheduled on a Friday at 2pm. I was very nervous about the time because Elin had her last swimming class that morning and she was always super tired after swimming class and 2 pm was the fussiest time for Grayson. Luckily, they both did better than expected and we got some cute shots.

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I tried on this outfit a few days before the photos and I knew it was big but I thought it would be ok. In hindsight, I wish I would have gone out and tried to find it smaller. It was huge on him and so ill-fitting. Oh well…

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I love this picture of Elin. It’s one of my favorites of her ever taken.

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We’ve always got to let Angel her close up. She loves the camera.

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I’m so glad that I schedule these photo shoots. It’s not always easy to find the time, but I always love the photos and I’ll cherish them forever.

Grayson 3 Month Update

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THE (unofficial) STATS:

Weight: 15 lbs
Height:  25 inches
Head Size:  17 1/4
Clothes: 0-3
Diapers: size 1

Grayson is 3 months old! Three months have happened so fast! He is getting bigger, stronger and more alert everyday. He likes to hold his hands and stare at the toys above him when he is on his activity mat. He has also started enjoying his swing and bouncer seat more and more each day. He also continues to love being outdoors on walks or just outdoors in general. It’s so fun to see him smile a lot more and laugh out loud.

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This month was easier to start establishing naps and figuring out when he would take them during the day. He would take one for about 30-60 minutes in the morning each day. Then afternoons were still a toss up. Sometimes he would barely take any in the afternoons, sometimes a small 30 minute or so and then every once in awhile he would take a good 1.5-2 hour nap if he was swaddled and in bed.

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For some of his firsts this month, he got in the pool for the first time and seemed to really enjoy it. He enjoyed floating around in his little boat. He also enjoyed spending time in a Baby Bjorn while watching big sister in swimming lessons. He mostly just slept the whole time he was in it.

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Another first was staying all day at Nanny’s house while I went back to work. It’s an adjustment to not get to see him much during the weekday now. He has to go to bed early at about 7:30 PM since he has to get up so early now to get to Nanny’s at 7:30AM.

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I love this picture showing how Elin takes photos of Grayson during our little monthly photoshoots.  She loves him so much and is always taking his picture. It’s the sweetest thing! I’m so happy that she loves and is so proud of her baby brother.

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Do you want to build a snowman–in July?

Elin and I tried a new a modeling clay called Floof and it’s amazing!

Elin is a huge fan of playing with play dough and clay, so I knew she would love playing with this new feather-light substance called Floof. It’s smooth and airy light and feels like you playing with marshmallows without being sticky at all. You have to feel it to believe it!

This is one of those toys that is actually fun for me to play with her. She always loves me to play with her and I love that this keeps our hands busy and we can create virtually anything and have a million different ways we can play with it.

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We used the snowball maker set. It came with six different molds in three different sizes. Elin liked using them to make snowmen rather than snowballs per se, so I know she would have loved the little set that actually includes all the little accessories to create a snowman–right down the carrot nose and little scarf.

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Elin loved pretending that it was snow. As someone who is always looking for fun ideas for kids parties, this would be so adorable to play with at a Frozen birthday party!

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I love that it comes in its own bucket for storage. Everything must have a home in the toy closet!

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Another one of my favorite features of this innovative compound is that it’s less messy than some other popular clays out there. It stays together better and doesn’t leave little balls of clay all over the place. It stayed better clumped together. Definitely a win in my book.

We have truly loved playing with Floof and recommend it to any kids over the age of 3. This product was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.

Grayson’s Nursery

When I originally started to plan out Grayson’s nursery I had planned on gray, navy and white but somewhere along the planning process I decided to just do gray and white. I wanted to just go simple, crisp and clean. I also loved the the crown molding and wainscoting we put up in Elin’s room so we put that up in his room as well.

I decided to shop for the bedding first and fell in love with the Belgian Linen bedding at Pottery Barn Kids. I ordered it in gray and then realized that since I wanted the walls to be gray it might be too much so I decided to exchange it and went with the Harper collection from Pottery Barn Kids.

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From there I went through the horrible task of finding a gray. Grays are so very difficult to work with. It’s amazing how different grays look in different lights and up against different colors. We have a gray we used in our master bedroom and bathroom and we tried that in the room first and it looked completely different in there! It came out more tan looking than what we wanted. We made numerous trips to the paint store and finally we decided to have them color match a few items for us. We got on the right track but the color was still too dark so they upped the white in the paint and finally we eventually found our perfect gray. I like to call it Grayson Gray in case Sherwin Williams would like to make it an official part of their color line.

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Want a peak in the dresser drawers? Check out his drawer organization on this post.

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Then we searched high and low for a nursery chair. The gray color was tripping us up again but finally we found the quality and color we were looking for at Pottery Barn Kids. We ordered the rocker chair in Washed Linen French Gray and when it finally came in 8 weeks later it looked light purple in the room up against our gray! Ugh! Luckily, Pottery Barn Kids let us even-exchange it for the Washed Grain sack in Dove Gray and we couldn’t be happier with the color.

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The basics were there and then the hard part really started of finding wall decor I liked. There are so many beautiful options out there. However, I didn’t find a lot I liked in stores. Most of the items I found that I liked were on Etsy. I highly recommend finding unique and personalized items on there for nursery decor. After going through all the options I finally decided to go with the little gray elephant from Daisy and Bump. I had the pictures sent from the UK and they came super quick and were in perfect condition. I was nervous because I also had them framed there since the sizes were not common here in the US. I love all the prints on their site! I only wish I had known about them when preparing for Elin’s nursery.

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The carriage is my cake topper from one of my baby showers.  I love that I can reuse it as decor instead of just keeping it in a box.

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My other favorite find was Grayson’s nigh light. Why oh why is it hard to find a cute nightlight in stores? Etsy to the rescue again. I came across the Lightning Bugs Etsy shop and they have droves of adorable and personalized night lights. It’s so beautiful in person and I love it! Makes the room more special for sure.

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I love how his nursery turned out. I can be very indecisive and picky but all the trips to the stores and hours poring over the internet in search of the perfect item pay off when I am pleased and happy when looking at Grayson’s room.

 

Sources:

Bedding: Harper Collection: Pottery Barn Kids

Wall Monogram: Pottery Barn Kids

Nursery Chair: Washed Grain Sack in Dove Gray: Pottery Barn Kids

Changing Table Baskets: Pottery Barn Kids

Mirror: Lowe’s

Pendant Ceiling Light:  Pottery Barn Kids

Monogrammed Night Light: Lightening Bugs

Closet Dividers: ModishCG

Elephant Prints: Daisy and Bump

Floating Shelves: Amazon

Handprint/Footprint Frame (Pearhead): Amazon

Moon Bank: Bed Bath and Beyond

Back to Work

I haven’t had much time to blog lately because last week was my last week at home and this past Tuesday was my first day back at work after maternity leave. It’s good to be getting back into my work routine but also sad. Those 12 weeks went by super fast! I can’t believe that Grayson is already 3 months.

Lucky for me I have lovely co-workers who have been amazing. They have welcomed me back with lovely notes and cards and they decorated my office for my arrival back to work.

I wanted to share some cute photos from Grayson’s first 4th of July. The weather was rainy and not awesome during the holiday weekend which was a bummer. I was hoping to get him into the pool for the first time. But we did celebrate Nanny’s birthday with a cookout. Today is her actual birthday so a huge, “Happy Birthday” to my mom and the kids’ Nanny. We all love you!

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This picture cracks me up because they are both in the same position.

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Instagram

I am finally on Instagram and loving it!  I don’t know why I avoided it for so long.  I would love it if you would find me and follow!    Check it out:  Instagram.com/simplejoysblog.