Finding ways to include a 1.5 years old in the holidays has been challenging. So many traditions he just isn’t old enough for or doesn’t understand like Santa, Elf on the shelf, baking cookies, etc. but I wanted to find something fun to do with him.
That’s when I decided to DIY our wrapping paper with his help. Every year we wrap our presents in butcher paper and I find new fun ways to personalize it. Some years I tie twine around each present, decorate each present with each persons name or use sharpies to draw right on the paper. So, to include Killian this year I’m having him DIY it for me.
🖍A roll of brown butcher paper
🖍Crayons (I used the jumbo Crayola crayons for our little guy)
🖍A creative tiny human
Find an open space. Unroll a large area of your paper. Set your tiny human on the paper with crayons and let them go to town. As they fill up an area roll the paper from that end to create a scroll. This way you can keep the decorated side from the unused side.
Days of Fun
The nice thing is this will give you and your toddler days of fun! It will probably will take a few sessions for your toddler to color on the whole roll of paper. Once they do color on all the paper just use like normal wrapping paper.
Family and friends will love the personalized touch, your toddler will be a huge part of the gift giving tradition and it will definitely be unique.
What traditions do you have that are toddler friendly?
Last Christmas was our first Christmas with a baby. When the conversation of Christmas came up we had to decide what traditions were going to adapt as a family. It was exciting to pick what we wanted to do. Things I knew I didn’t want:
- to spend a bunch of money
- to raise spoiled children
- to have a house full of toys
That’s when I went looking for a tradition that didn’t involve aimlessly shopping for a crap ton of toys and I found The 4 Gift Tradition.
What is the 4 gift tradition?
If you have never heard of the tradition it goes like this- each kid gets 4 presents each one falls under a specific category.
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
I love that this tradition covers the difference between want and need. It’s such a good lesson and I really like the idea of teaching it so young.
So this category is what you think of when you think of a Christmas present. This is the present that would be used as their “big present.’ What is that thing they have been wanting all year or would love to get. Both of our babies are still under 2 so we picked this present for them but if you have toddlers here are some ideas of things they may want.
If you need more GREAT gift ideas visit the queen of all things tiny human toy related: Two n Tow & On the Go
This is where you can get your kids really thinking about what they need to have.
Some ideas could be:
- equipment for a sport (new glove, a bat, skates)
- something for school (a backpack, new organizer)
- do they need to replace something that is broken or outdated?
- supplies for a hobby they have (scrapbook paper, new headphones)
One of our presents to our kiddos is either a new outfit or something they can wear. This category is kinda open ended. You can customize it for each kid or make a rule for all your kids.
- new coats
- something they’ve had their eye on to wear
it’s completely up to you.
Ahhhhhh… my favorite category as an educator, books! You can change this up for whatever age child you have. For older kids I love the idea of having them writing down books they WANT to read. It’s a great way to make reading fun for kids.
For smaller kids like mine, we buy them an assortment of books to start exploring. This year we opted for cloth books that both our 19 month old and 2 month old could enjoy together, were soft enough to play with around the baby, and were durable enough to last.
Christmas is about family and tradition. You can use this system and make it work for your family. We do these four gifts but we also added a gift for the kids to share and we still do stockings as well.
This tradition works for us because it keeps the holidays simple. Using the 4 gift tradition keeps Christmas about family and not JUST about gifts. I want my kids to understand that we are not made of money and that presents are great but wants and needs are separate things.
Buying 4 presents will make each one special and Christmas morning will be more than just a free for all of wrapping paper. My house won’t be turned into a giant toy box of toys that will be forgotten by January 1st. My hope is that this tradition will make the holidays fun, will teach my kids to appreciate what they have and will keep us from being wasteful and buying things we don’t need.
So, what do you think, will the 4 gift tradition be something your family will do?
Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. Something that seems so natural is actually really freaking complicated and for most does NOT come natural. It takes practice and patience.
my first experience with nursing was messy, hard but I learned so much. Those hard lessons I’ve learned have given me much more confidence nursing this second time around. Here is what I learned the hard way nursing my first born.
1. Your emotions affect your baby’s emotions
Yep. Looking back on my time nursing the first time this makes SO MUCH SENSE.
When you’re postpartum you’re of course super emotional but when you are nursing your baby you have to be in a calm state. Think of it like being around a horse (I know weird analogy stay with me). When you ride a horse they always tell you to stay calm because horses sense fear and anxiety. The same for your little one.
It’s so easy to be on edge. You’re tired, hormonal (that’s probably an understatement) and sure you probably have anxiety about feeding still. But staying calm and knowing when you take a break will help you tremendously.
2. Less is more
When you’re at the hospital they make you write down when you fed, which side and for how long. They also make you track wet and dirty diaper and what the poop looks like. So, when you get home it can be overwhelming to do all that on top of, I don’t know adjusting to life with a tiny human!
With my first I obsessed over every minute he fed, the time between feeds and what his diapers should look like. It was exhausting.
My best advice the first week or two track it. The doctor will want that info and it’s hard to recall it all. But once your babe is back to birth weight relax and go with the flow. Make sure they nurse a good amount but don’t obsess. Forget the clock and soak up the bonding.
3. Let baby take the lead
Since breastfeeding is natural a lot of it just happens. Baby knows what to do (in most cases). Let them nurse as long as they want to. Nurses made me believe if my baby didn’t nurse 20-30 minutes he wasn’t getting enough. False.
Of course always make sure baby is swallowing and nursing. A good amount of time but some babies are more efficient and will nurse less. There are also other factors time of day, mood, age. All these things play a part in how long a nursing sessions last. Let baby lead and as long as they’re making diapers, are content and satisfied you’re doing great.
4. What works for one mom, may not work for you
This one is hard and honestly it applies to more than just breastfeeding. As a new mom people will have so much advice for you. Take it with a grain of salt.
What works for one mom may not work for you. Maybe, Sally really loved nursing on demand for a year, good for her. That might not work for you, maybe it will. Who the heck knows! Only you can make that call. My advice is try it. Try Sally, Megan’s whoever’s advice. If it works, great! If not, great! Do you, momma.
5. Build you stash early and wait on the bottle
With my first I would pump and freeze it (even as a SAHM) but then I would let my husband use the frozen milk to feed at night. Which was fine but I did it too often.
If you pump and only use it when necessary then when it’s time for date nights, meetings, or simple mom time you have it. Even if you’re a stay at home mom, make a stash, you’ll thank me on date night when you can stay out that extra hour or so.
6. Your journey is your journey
This one is most important. If you’re scrolling and didn’t read anything stop and read this….
It’s your journey! It doesn’t matter if you nurse 3 years, if you exclusively pump, if you nurse part time, or if you supplement. It doesn’t freaking matter!
Breastfeeding is hard, it’s taxing emotionally and your journey is yours. Do whatever it takes to keep you and baby happy and healthy no matter what that looks like or what anyone thinks.
What lessons did you learn through your first nursing journey? I’d love to hear them below.