This week, I’d love to chat a little bit about the living room, dining room and other communal spaces. I’ve mentioned before that we live in a lovely small older home … this means that our “dining room”, “office” and “living room” are all basically one room divided into three. Living in a smaller home has definitely made me realize that every inch counts!
I’ll never forget the time I was in my friend’s kitchen and was in search of a spoon. I had two toddlers at the time and she did not have kiddos. I opened up her silverware drawer and saw all of the utensils perfectly lined up next to one another. I remember exhaling deep and feeling relaxed just at the sight of it. Haha!! My drawer at home was filled with a mix match of plastic and metal utensils anything but lined up in rows.
I’m not sure if you live in a big house with a grand front entryway, large staircase and chandelier OR in a farmhouse with a welcoming mudroom in the back door with a bench, hooks and lots of shelving OR in a one bedroom apartment where the “entryway” is two feet from your kitchen table. Regardless of what your ‘entryway’ looks like, I find that this space that welcomes us in from the outside world is prone to get so much clutter.
We have spent the past month talking through routines, age appropriate contributions, and other family structures. A previous client of ours sent over an article she wrote regarding sugar, sleep and the behavior of our kiddos. Jessica is a certified health coach and is offering a free healthy eating guide for kids if you are interested!
Check out our last post where we talked about bedtime routines so you can prepare for what time your little one should be waking in the morning. Once you have your daily wake time set for your family, you can begin to think of your morning routine for your infant/toddler/big kid.
One thing we love to encourage our Sleepy Cues community to do is thinking of the tasks you want your child to be able to do themselves, and which tasks you will help them with. For young infants, you will obviously be doing most things for them, so take time to consider which ones you will take care of and which ones your partner will take care of.
Once you write down the necessary components, you can divide up responsibilities between you and your partner and also your kiddos if they are old enough!
Infant Morning Routine:
7AM: Daily Wake Time
7:05AM: Morning Feeding (keep lights dimmed/white noise on if your baby has trouble focusing)
7:15AM: Open drapes/“good morning”
7:25AM: Tummy Time/Play Time with Dad while Mom gets ready
7:45AM: Breakfast with Mom while Dad gets ready (Solid feeding if necessary)
8AM: Off to work/school/or the day begins with primary caregiver
Toddler Morning Routine:
7AM: Daily Wake Time + Make Bed If capable
7:10AM: Breakfast and Liquids (bus own dishes to trash and then sink)
7:15AM: get dressed (toddler helps put clothes in hamper)
7:30AM: Play time while parents get ready
8AM: Help get shoes/socks on and leave for school/work/day begins with primary caregiver
We hope these routines we’ve provided his month helps you get into some new grooves of your children helping out and being responsible for more around the house!
One routine we find incredibly important is the bedtime routine. At Sleepy Cues, we love to keep the components simple so that you can even do the same routine if you’re in a rush or on the go!
The first thing to consider logistically is the bedtime. We love for kids all the way up to age 5/6 to have a 12 hour “night”. This can include night feedings, but we would love night hours (no talking/playtime) to be 12. Consider your family and what time you will have to wake your child in the morning for school/work/daycare.
Once you’ve decided on a time, give yourself 15-20 minutes of a routine. You can always add bathtime before the routine if you need to bathe every other night or every night. Make sure that the items you include could be shortened if necessary. Here’s a sample infant and toddler routine for a 7pm bedtime.
6:45pm: pajamas/diaper and massage/lotion
6:50pm: feeding time before bed in the dark room/white noise on
7pm: place in crib/bassinet for sleep
6:40pm: book reading time
6:50pm: final liquids
6:55pm: Night Night Song and cuddle stuffed animals/blankets for bed.
7pm: put in crib or bed for night sleep
As you can see, you can use these same elements on the go if needed. You can incorporate these same steps at a hotel or in a stroller if you’re out late. Make sure that you have the same white noise sounds and blankets/lovey for your child to take with them on the go.
We want to recognize that kids of all ages can begin contributing to our families! We find many of our clients do not realize the household tasks/“chores”/contributions that their child or children are capable of. Every family has their of philosophy with regards to wether your child gets paid for their contributions or not. We acknowledge that this is a personal decision. In this space we simply want to brainstorm a few ideas in hopes that it would lead to a conversation with you family about what tasks could benefit the rhythms of your family.
Here’s a super helpful list from The Crafting Chicks:
Another simple, but effective tool is teaching our kiddos about how our money is allotted for different things after we earn it. Think of the following categories and if they might make sense to incorporate with your family?!
Family Tax, Giving, Saving, Spending
Wether you decide to give your kiddos an allowance, have them work for their money, or choose a combination or the two, it can be very helpful for them to divide up their money into categories.
In our house (Robin) my kiddos have enjoyed savings their money up towards a goal of spending it on something they really want. They collect money for random chores that go above an beyond their normal contributions, from the “tooth fairy”, or from grandparents/family for their birthdays. We recently gave them each $10 from our larger family tax refund to enjoy spending or saving. Our oldest (8) even asked if he could open his own savings account at the bank to start saving even more money for his “Lamborghini”. 😂😂😂 #goals right?!
Whatever way you choose, it’s fun to think about how you’re taxed and how you spend, save, and give as an adult to help your kiddos learn! What ways did you learn as a kid about finances and family contributions?!
This month we will be sharing all about family routines and structures. We all know how much children thrive in an environment where they know what to expect. The reality, however, is that all of these structures and routines take work to implement. We want to give you guys some ideas this month of ways you can begin to slowly add some more rhythms in your daily life with your kids.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re looking at your specific family, is that everyone in the family has a place. Don’t discount a toddler or preschooler from contributing to the family in his or her own way. Sit down with your family (or husband/wife if you have small kids) and come up with a list of ideas about how your children can participate more in the daily routines of the family. Do you always need someone to clear the dishes off the breakfast or dinner table? Do you open the garage door every day when you leave for school/work? Do you need someone to carry the toys upstairs at the end of the day? Even these small ways can include even the smallest kids to learn how to participate in the family.
Once you decide on a list of 10 or so items, each week you can gradually help you children add those to their daily routines. Tell them about the new routine at a time that’s not when the event is happening. Then, when the time comes the next day, have them participate with you. The following day they can start to do it on their own!
Take your time and if it doesn’t come second nature right away, don’t get frustrated with your child. Maybe you can continue to help them or co-regulate as we like to say (for a while) until they get it down pat!
Traveling abroad to Nice with children