Limiting Screen Time in a Digital World

While my daughter is still fairly young I want to implement something that I’m a huge advocate for and that’s limiting screen time. We live in a digital world now and while iPads, game consoles, computers, etc.. may keep the kids busy and quiet, I think it’s important to limit those times and teach them shapes, colors, and sounds the old fashion way. Babies learn best from people! The more you interact with them, the more familiar they’ll become with your voice vs. the characters on the TV.

I’ve noticed that Rylee loves sitting in front of the TV or iPad while her movies are on, granted there’s sound and colors that get her attention, but I don’t want her getting too attached and dependent on those things. I read an article from CNN that I found so interesting. They state, “For parents with infants, cutting off technology completely can be challenging. But banning screen time for babies is hugely important for brain development and healthy parent-child connections. If parents’ attention is fixed on a TV or phone screen, babies are deprived of that attention; and if they are repeatedly neglected in favor of digital media, children may develop behavioral issues in the future.

With that being said, I found some really fun sensory activities for babies that I can’t wait to try with my daughter!

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Sensory Play Ideas for Babies

Review Wednesday – Nomi+Sibs

Happy Wednesday, Loves! You know when you have play dates and it seems like all the little babes have the same bottles or sippy cups as your little babe does? The answer for that is Nomi+Sibs personalized labels. I discovered a new product out there that is so simple but makes a big difference for both parents and the little ones. I’ve partnered with Nomi+Sibs to promote their personalized, silicone engraved name labels. These things are so adorable and when I first received them I knew we’d be using them often!

These labels are sustainable, toxin-free, and adaptable labels great for bottles, sippy cups, thermos’ and small snack containers. The purpose of these labels is not only to help your child identify colors and items, but also to never confuse another bottle or sippy cup during play dates! They come in different colors and they’re dishwasher safe. They come in a pack of four and the packaging is minimal, which is great!

You can get your pack now at Nomi+Sibs using the promo code “decodingmotherhood” to get a discount off your order!

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*Thank you to Nomi+Sibs for sponsoring this post. All opinions are of my own. I am delighted to share their products with you. *

Job Application for Motherhood

Sometimes I’m still amazed at this new job title I have – Mommy. I was filing out an application recently and it made think about the questions I asked myself when I was thinking about becoming a mother. I have so many girlfriends that have become moms in the last year, but I also have so many girlfriends who don’t have kids yet that ask me about when I knew I was ready. So here’s my application for motherhood for all those curious women out there –

Motherhood Application

Contact Information

Name Estephany
Current Mental State Crazy, but Stable.

Availability

During which hours are you available to dedicate your time to your child? (Please select all)

Weekday mornings Weekend mornings
Weekday afternoons Weekend afternoons
Weekday evenings Weekend evenings

Questionnaire

Please answer the following –

  1. Are you prepared to lose sleep?
  2. Are you ready to talk about the importance of baby poop?
  3. Can you do multiple things at a time while also trying to tend to your crying baby?
  4. Are you flexible in bed? And by that I mean, are you able to maneuver around your bed in the middle of the night while your baby tosses and turns in all directions?
  5. Are you ready to sing the ABC’s, Patty Cake, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star daily?
  6. Are you able to watch Disney movies on repeat?
  7. Do you have experience changing diapers?
  8. Do you have a good support system?
  9. Are you ready to have your relationship tested?
  10. Are you ready to get your world turned around?

Agreement and Signature

By submitting this application, I affirm that the facts set forth in it are true and complete. I understand that if I am accepted as a mother, any false statements, omissions, or other misrepresentations made by me on this application may result in my immediate dismissal.

Name (printed)
Signature
Date

Our Policy

It is the policy of this organization (motherhood) to provide support to the curious women and our fellow mamas and build our tribe. Motherhood is such a beautiful experience and should be taken seriously.

All joking aside, I love being a mom and if that means my new boss is my daughter, then so be it. It’s the best and most rewarding job!

Safety First! (& I mean Car Seat Safety)

This last week my daughter turned six months and we had to adjust her car seat straps. It dawned on me that she is growing so quickly that in a matter of time she’ll be growing out of her infant car seat and moving into a big girl car seat in no time. As first time parents we didn’t have a clue on what kind of car seat to get other than what looked safe and easy to use. Let me tell you; there is so much more to a car seat than that! Thankfully I was approached by www.reviews.com with a guide to the best infant car seats & the best convertible car seats for my daughter.

Based on their survey’s, the best infant car seat is UPPAbaby Mesa which is basically the dream car seat parents can ask for! MESA is the industry’s first SMART Secure system which is the only infant car seat with a unique technology indicator and self-retracting latch connectors for easy installation. It also has an indicator that shows red for “Incorrectly Installed” and green for “Correctly Installed” – I mean, how cool is that? Along with The Smart Secure System, MESA also has a Side Impact Protection which is designed to keep your infant’s head in place during a side impact collision. The UPPAbaby Mesa comes with a hefty price tag, but can you really put a price on your child’s safety?

As we transition into the the best convertible car seats, www.reviews.com recommends that the Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat is top notch! I did some digging on this car seat and I may have to get this for my daughter as she grows. It is both rear facing and forward facing, but my favorite part about it is it has nine reclining positions to accommodate a wider range of vehicles. It also has premium latch connectors and a SuperCinch tightener to achieve a secure installation. I’d be hesitant to purchase it based on the price, however, with all the unique features this car seat has to offer, I just might have to!

Thank you Reviews.com for sharing these fun articles! You can read more here –

Infant car seat: https://www.reviews.com/infant-car-seat/

Convertible car seat: https://www.reviews.com/convertible-car-seat/

Review Wednesday – LifeClock by GabbyBox

Happy Wednesday, Loves! As you know, I love finding unique things for my daughter  and the Life Clock by Gabby Box was just that! I’m excited to have partnered with Gabby Box to promote their newest product. I received the Life Clock in exchange for a review and absolutely love it. When I first saw the clock I thought it was such a neat idea to incorporate a clock and a disaster/emergency relief kit in one.

Living in Las Vegas we don’t get natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes, but I know my readers who live in different parts of the world who could really benefit from this product.

The fun thing about the Life Clock is it is such a simple and sleek design that you can really place it anywhere in your home and it’ll fit right in, but in case of an emergency it’s also nice to know that these items are close by! I got the gray & pink clock so I can place it in my daughter’s room and as she gets older, it’ll be accessible to her in case anything were to happen. The clock runs on batteries so you may have to replace it every once in a while, but other than that, this product is overall really fun & helpful! The clock includes the following –

  • In Case of Emergency Card
  • Chemical Lights
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Rescue Whistle
  • Emergency Flag
  • Bandage

You can check out their full collection of Life Clocks & other items and receive 20% off your entire order using code Estephany20.

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*Thank you to Gabby Box for sponsoring this post. All opinions are of my own. I am delighted to share their products with you. *

6 Month Milestones

Happy Friday, loves! Today is a special day because our little love is six months! It’s been such a fun time for our family because she is finally playful and full of life. Granted that it’s been a hard six months juggling full time jobs, school, family, friends, & Rylee, but there are so many great times with her that it really cancels out the hardships we’ve seen so far.

Two months ago I was worried that she wasn’t hitting her milestones, but then I realized that babies go at their own pace and she never showed any signs of underdevelopment so I just let her be and here we are today totally hitting all her major milestones!

  • She is rolling all over the floor! She’s extremely flexible and loves to roll from her back to her stomach, but still struggles a little rolling from her stomach to her back.
  • She’s sitting up by herself. We recently got her a Bumbo because she wasn’t sitting on her own yet and a few days after we got the Bumbo, we noticed a huge improvement with her sitting. She was able to sit unsupported for a few minutes and she’s only getting better.
  • One thing she’s not doing 100% yet is sleeping, but do they ever?! She’s gotten better, but she still has many nights where she’s awake at all hours of the night. We’ve tried just about everything and regardless of how much this little babe loves to sleep, she just won’t sleep at night!
  • She loves eating solids! One of the most fun things is watching her eat. She’s so funny still learning how to eat, but now that she’s gotten the hang of it, she devours her food like nothing! She loves green beans, squash, & bananas.
  • She recognizes familiar people & toys. It’s been so great coming home after a long day of work to see her smiling and getting excited that mommy & daddy just walked through the door. She’s so aware of her surroundings and knows what toys she wants to play with.

Life with Rylee is basically the best life! I can’t wait to see how the next six months go!

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First they Steal your Heart, and then they Steal your Bed.

When my daughter was born I knew that she was going to be sleeping in her bassinet by our bed for the first few months and right around the three-month mark, she somehow migrated into our bed a few times a week and here we are at six months and she’s taken up 40% of the bed to herself every night. We tried transitioning her into her crib around 3-4 months, but as first time parents we didn’t know how to do that without having any problems. I thought, “sure, just put her in her crib and she’ll sleep just fine!” boy was I wrong. I guess that’s why they call it the “tansitioning phase”.

The first time we put her in her crib, she tossed and turned and cried all hours of the night until we brought her into our room. I don’t know if she was going through a sleep regression or genuinely hated her crib, but she would not sleep a full night and til’ this day, she still hasn’t. We figured that consistency is key and the more she slept in her crib, the more she’d become used to it, but we just couldn’t get this kid to stay in there.

It then occurred to me that if she is sleeping all night while she sleeps in our bed, what’s the harm in doing so? Again, no one teaches you these things and you kind of have to roll with what works for you & your family. The harm in her sleeping in our bed is not the fear of getting tangled in blankets, but a black eye in the morning due to her little fists hitting my face or the fact that she has learned to turn 180 degrees in bed which has resulted of her little feet pressed against my face in the middle of the night.

The pros of co-sleeping for me is she’s right next to me which makes it easier for those late night feedings because I don’t have to get out of bed. She feels safe because she is nuzzled right next to us. She’s also a little cuddle bug and I’ve noticed she has to be touching my face or arm for her to fall asleep. Oh the sweet moments. The cons of co-sleeping is it interferes with husband-wife relations. Mommy and daddy need that quality time and having her in the bed diminishes that. She takes up 40%, my husband takes up 35% of the bed which leaves me with 25% of the bed.. right in the middle of them. So while I have one little baby that wants to cuddle, I also have my big baby that wants to cuddle too!

What are some of your pros and cons of co-sleeping?

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