Bed Sharing Safety Tips

Safe Sleep Practices
Bed sharing, a lot like breastfeeding, is still a very taboo parenting choice in many Western countries.  Of course, this is when you’re out in public or talking to your pediatrician.  The reality is, a lot of parents have shared sleeping space with their infant, toddler, or older child…probably quite a few times!

It’s one of those parenting choices that comes with so much judgement!  Also, everyone seems to be an expert and there’s so many conflicting facts and even more opinions, that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and maybe even guilty.

The most important thing…

The most important thing I can say and stress is that parents who bed share should do so intentionally!  Many dangers can be eliminated simply by making the intentional choice to bed share—sometimes called co-sleeping, though co-sleeping can be room sharing or bed sharing.
Related Post: 6 Ways Babies Benefit from Babywearing

Bed Sharing Safety

Safe sleep surface

If you’re going to host the family bed, then the bed needs to be safe for your little one.  Eliminating risks of entrapment, suffocation, and falls is the priority here.
  1. Take your bed off its frame, so it’s closer to the ground.
  2. Make sure you have a firm mattress.
  3. Keep room at a comfortable temperature, so you can eliminate excess blankets, pillows, etc.
  4. Pull bed away from wall and remove other risks that might provide opportunity for baby to become trapped.

Don’t be a risk factor!

Part of being an intentional bed sharer is knowing what conditions and choices can make it inappropriate and, most importantly, dangerous for you to sleep with your baby.
  1. If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including many prescription drugs), then you shouldn’t bed share with your infant.
  2. If you’re obese, then it can be dangerous to share sleeping space with your baby.
  3. If you’re overtired, your child is safer sleeping solo.
  4. If you’re a smoker, you shouldn’t sleep with your baby because of the increased risk of SIDS.
Safe Cosleeping

Never ever, ever…

Couches, loveseats, recliners, etc. are never a safe place for baby to sleep.  This is true for parents who sleep with their babies, as well.  There are lots of reasons, but at least one is all the crevices where baby can slip or slide and become stuck and strangle, suffocate, etc.

Where to learn more?

If you want more information about bed sharing, room sharing, co-sleeping, or just are seeking general knowledge about family sleeping arrangements, then here are three links that can help you!
Related Post: 10 Awesome Pieces of Parenting Advice
There is no one “right” way to do this parenting thing, so if you’re considering bed sharing or maybe bed sharing has chosen you, then safety is what is important!  Finding what works for your family is what’s important and remembering that all children are different is helpful, as well.
Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice and I’m not give medical or “professional” information.  I’m simply a mom sharing info with others who, hopefully, find it useful and thought provoking.
We love bed sharing in our home, but it’s been different with each of our kids.  How do sleeping arrangements work in your home?

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Lego, Minecraft, Playdoh Charlotte Mason Inspired Narration Cards

Charlotte Mason Narration Cards

This year is our first year homeschooling.  The “meat” of our curriculum comes from Build Your Library, a secular and literature based curriculum that is inspired by the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.

Included in the curriculum your purchase are a wonderful collection of narration cards for your kids to draw or choose from.  My kids really love Minecraft, Legos, and Playdoh, so I’ve created 20 more cards to go with the ones included in our Build Your Library curriculum.

Printable Narration Cards

I print mine on bright colored cardstock and laminate them.  Then I cut them up for the kids to choose from on days we’re doing narration.

These could be used separately from the Build Your Library curriculum.  They’re straightforward enough to be used in any homeschooling environment.  Simply have a child do his daily readings—or you read to them—and then draw a card.  You might get:

Build your favorite character’s home in Minecraft.

It’s fun and helpful to have discussions before, during, and after these kinds of activities to help build on what the child heard, remembers, learned, feels, thinks, etc.

>> CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF FILE <<



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5 Printable Planner Pages—Arrowhead Themed Coral & Brown

Free Planner Printables

School is back in session or about to be for children and adults alike, which means the summer relaxation season is wearing off.  Before we know it, it’ll be the holidays and extra curricular activities will be in full swing.  Calendars will be full, if you’ve been fortunate to use one.

Related post: Dates to Remember Printable

If you’re still looking to put together a planner for the busy season of life—really, what season of life isn’t busy, though?—then here are five free planner printables just for my awesome readers!  This is a first for me, so let me know how you like them or if you find any mistakes!

Meal Planning Planner Printable

I’ve included a daily, weekly, and monthly planning page.  In addition to those two pages, there’s also budget and meal planning pages.  What other pages would you like to see in future free offerings?  What are your favorite planner pages?

Free Editable Planner Printables

These pages are completely editable, as well.  You can change many parts of them, and I highly encourage you to experiment and let me know how it goes.

Related post: Free Printable Baby Book Pages Part I

Soon, I’ll be adding lots of other options to my Etsy shop.   But don’t worry, freebies, sneak peaks, and discounts will all continue right here!

>> CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DOWNLOAD <<

What would you like to see for the next freebie?



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Motherhood from the Bathroom

Motherhood from the Bathroom

When we bought our house, there was my husband, myself, our Kindergartener, and our toddler.  Three bedrooms.  One—large—bathroom.  Now, we’ve added our daughter, a cat, and two large dogs.  Suddenly, our house—and especially the singular bathroom—doesn’t feel quite so large, or big enough at all, really.

However, based on what all the other moms (and some dads, too) are saying…I don’t think it’s the one bathroom that’s the issue.  It’s just the reality of parenting, where you have one or four bathrooms, one or six kids.  I’m not the first to notice. 

Patti of Insane in the Mom Brain, who is totally hilarious, and a collection of other bloggers published I Just Want to Pee Alone in 2013, which went on to be a four book series.

Now that I’m up to three kids, three pets, and a husband…Well, bathrooms—or bathroom, singular, rather—do not equal privacy in this household.  We didn’t even have a door on our bathroom for at least two months after the last one literally came off the hinges.

Bathroom Realities of Motherhood

Eating in the bathroom.

I don’t want the kids to eat anymore cereal.  I want cereal.  I’m hiding in the little “cove” our toilet sits in, eating a bowl of cereal while the tea I’m boiling on the stove boils over and karma bites me in the butt.

Related post: 5 Step Parent Confessions

Everyone’s bladder is on the same schedule.

I’m seven months pregnant and I have to pee.  Suddenly, I’m racing a toddler in a diaper and my six year-old to the only toilet in the house because everyone else now has to pee, as well.

Motherhood: Racing children to the bathroom

The tub doubles as a toilet.

While my kids have never peed in the sink, like some of my friends have at parties, it’s probably just because they’re too short to reach it.  The tub, on the other hand, regularly gets peed in (see last point) by kids and adults, alike.  My toddler may have finally grown out of pooping in the tub every time she takes a bath.

Can I join you?

I hope you don’t mind the close proximity of toddler hugs or a neglected cat who wants to be pet while you’re trying to poop.  Because since you’re sitting still for a few moments, everyone is demanding to take that time to get in some snuggles.  Or maybe you’re in the shower and the only way the baby is getting bathed is with you.  Even my cat likes to live life on the edge—of the tub—while I’m trying to shower and the dogs try to sneak in and get a lick of the delicious shower water.  If I try to shower by myself, I’m “caught” 99% of the time by an already-half-stripped small child demanding to get in the tub for the fifth time today.

Related Post: 4 Tips to Get Kids to Enjoy Reading

All eyes on you.

Maybe this one time, you actually don’t have a small child trying to sit on your lap or a feline who is taking advantage of the empty space for some quick petting.  Well, if they’re not sitting on you, they’re staring at you.  I hope you don’t have a shy bladder, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dog laying at my feet staring up at me or a kid watching me for no particular reason.

Real talk.

My kids always have the most pressing questions when I’m on the toilet or in the shower.  If they’re miraculously otherwise occupied, my husband absolutely has to show me the “funniest” YouTube video ever or tell me that same story he told me yesterday.

Kids & husband need to talk in bathroom

Sure.  Lock the door.  I dare you.

Before our door came off the hinges and we replaced it with another, the bathroom door was the only interior door with a working lock.  First, I can’t tell you how many times I was locked out of our only bathroom because a kid had messed with the lock and then closed the door when exiting.  Second, when you lock the door as the parent, all the previous points still apply except you now have kids and pets on the outside of the door in a state of panic because they can’t reach you.  The littlest children are probably crying and hysterical and the older ones can just yell their questions through the door or tattle on each other or narrate exactly how upset the littlest is.

Related Post: Today I was a Bad Parent

Basically, the bathroom stops being a place for private, long, hot showers and sexy time with your significant other.  It stops being where you spend an uninterrupted hour getting ready—makeup, hair, etc—every day.  It’s almost as much a family gathering place as the dining room.

Maybe that’s not your reality.  But it is mine.  What’s motherhood from the bathroom like at your house?


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Pregnancy & Your Vagina

Pregnancy & Your Vagina
This week, I found myself getting on Google and searching "ugly vagina during pregnancy." Believe it or not, I didn't get a bunch of R rated nonsense.

Surprise! Tons of other women are posting on parenting, pregnancy, and baby forums about this. This is my third pregnancy and I'm kind of wondering why I am having this vagina epiphany right now.

So, obviously most women are expecting some changes during and/or post childbirth. Thanks to me (and Google) you can now be informed that it starts before birth, ladies!

Vaginal Changes During Pregnancy

New Scent, Taste, and Extra Discharge

Yes, that smell might actually be you. Thanks to your sensitivity to smells, you'll probably be the first (and maybe only) person to notice this. Your partner might notice a new taste...or maybe not. It's there, but not always as noticeable. To top it all off, you might find yourself changing your panties more often, and not just because you peed yourself after sneezing.

Related Post: Relieving Pregnancy Pains Without Medication

Cheeseburger Crotch

Okay, so I didn't invent this term. The internet informed me that ugly pregnancy vaginas were deemed by some genius, "cheeseburger crotch." This is basically what someone thought their vagina looked like during pregnancy thanks to the swelling/puffiness that may or may not be equal from one side of your vagina to the other.

Varicose veins are not uncommon, even in the vaginal area. You or your partner might also notice a blueish tint, which can also be normal, thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow. To top it all off, pregnant women typically notice more ingrown hairs.

Extra Discharge During Pregnancy

Higher Risk of UTI/Yeast Infection

Pregnant women are at higher risk of getting a UTI thanks to extra pressure on the bladder and yeast infection because of the pregnancy hormones that change your pH balance.

On the Plus Side

There might be one benefit (other than the baby at the end, of course). Due to increased sensitivity and swelling during pregnancy, you might experience more intense orgasms!

Related Post: Today I was a bad parent

Keep In Mind

Pregnancy and child birth are miracles; that's for sure. The whole process is amazing and unusual and beautiful and crazy. Every pregnancy is different, and your doctor/OB/midwife is your friend! If you're worried or unsure, call them about it!

This is not medical advice, but I hope you've found it informative and maybe a little amusing.

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