Real Solutions for Real Families Living Real Life

How to Increase Breastmilk: The Ultimate Guide for New Moms

One of the biggest concerns for new breastfeeding moms is how to increase breastmilk. I know this was the case for me when all three of my babies were born.

I struggled with low milk supply and many other breastfeeding challenges that I hope to prevent for other sleep deprived, frustrated, and confused moms.

How to increase breastmilk

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not in the camp of moms who were instantly blessed with a steady flow of liquid gold for their new baby. Or you certainly wouldn’t be wasting your previous time reading this!

You’re probably dealing with long days and even longer nights searching for the best breastfeeding tips and wondering if your baby is getting enough milk.

When you do pump, you produce a few meager ounces. This can be frustrating and depressing. Can I offer you some friendly advice first? Do NOT go down that dark road. It leads to no where.

Keeping your mind on the positive and having a positive expectation goes a long way!

Boost Your Milk Supply

Each of the natural methods to boost your milk supply shared here are proven safe and will only help you. A few do have side effects so be sure to read those before trying any new supplements and checking with your Doctor.

Just remember that every woman’s body is different and there are never any guarantees. If you find that your body just doesn’t cooperate, know you’re NOT alone.

I formula fed all three of my babies after breastfeeding and they are three of the healthiest, brightest, and smartest kids I know… if I do say so myself.  

There is never any shame in feeding your baby in any way that’s needed or chosen by you… a loving mother.

Now, let’s explore all the ways to increase your breast milk supply naturally. But first I just want to say that I’m not a lactation expert. Just another mom who cares a lot and does a TON of research!

Read: Breastfeeding videos for new moms that are actually helpful.

How to Know if Your Milk Supply is Even Low

Boosting your milk supply can be a tricky thing because it’s hard to tell why your milk supply is low to begin with. You may be tempted to start pumping to see how much milk you can make.

This is not necessarily going to give you a good gauge because every baby’s milk needs are unique and you may be making just the right amount of milk for your baby. And babies are much more efficient at removing milk from the breast than a pump. Many pumps just don’t work well.

Many moms also think their supply is low because their breasts don’t feel full or their baby is very fussy all the time.

These can be caused by things other than low supply. First, breasts that produce plenty of milk will often never feel full which is totally normal. And secondly a fussy baby can be cause by many things like reflux.

3 clear signs that your milk supply may be low are:

  1. Your Baby is not gaining adequate weight. (Weight recommendations.)
  2. Your baby isn’t wetting enough diapers. A typical infant should be wetting at least 5 diapers in a 24 hour period from 5 days old and onward.
  3. Your baby isn’t soiling enough diapers. A typical newborn should be soiling at least 3 diapers per day beyond day 5. This is sometimes less or more depending on your baby.

If you suspect your milk supply is low and your baby isn’t getting enough milk, make an appointment with both your baby’s pediatrician and a certified lactation consultant right away.

Boosting your milk supply is something you’ll have to work at and most likely experiment with until you find something that works for your body. This isn’t an overnight process… nothing is with parenting.

You just need to decide what you want to do and stick with it until you see results. And get all the help you need because you and your baby deserve it!

Here are many proven and highly recommended methods you can try to boost your milk supply. Remember, most of these won’t work overnight, so try them for at least a week to see how your body responds.

Fenugreek Breastfeeding

Using Fenugreek to boost milk supply is one of the most popular ways breastfeeding moms are increasing their milk. It’s been shown to increase supply within 24-72 hours, but that, of course, may vary from mom to mom.

Fenugreek is an herb. Its primary uses are as an herb or spice in Indian and Persian cuisine and as a galactagogue for breastfeeding mothers.

Fenugreek is safe but shouldn’t be used by those who are diabetic, have a chickpea or peanut allergy, or have asthma.

There are many ways to use Fenugreek. Here are just a few of the easiest ways:

  1. Take in simple capsule form. The capsules generally come in 610mg and it’s recommended to take 2 capsules 3 times per day with food. That’s a total of 6 capsules per day. (Dosing source) | Here is a capsule that gets high ratings from breastfeeding moms.
  2. Take in a tea form. Many moms swear by Mother’s Milk Tea and is an easy way to take Fenugreek. It has a slightly sweet licorice taste.
  3. Take in a powder form. You can use Fenugreek powder to milk in lactation smoothies to pump up the nutrients you’re getting while breastfeeding. The only downside to using a powder is the high price tag.

Brewer’s Yeast Breastfeeding

Brewer’s yeast is another popular and effective supplement to boost a low milk supply. Though it’s not known exactly why brewers yeast helps increase breastmilk supply it also has some other good benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels for diabetics, may help lower cholesterol levels, and helps nourish skin and hair.

It’s also believed to elevate moods and feelings of mild depression. And with so many moms suffering from Postpartum Depression, it’s worth a try!

It also has some possible side effects such as upset stomach, cramps, and an increased risk of yeast infections.

You can take brewer’s yeast in a simple powder form. This brand of brewer’s yeast has hundreds of happy mom reviews! Just add 1-2 tablespoons to your favorite drink, lactation smoothie, or lactation cookie once per day.

More Breastfeeding Supplements

There are more, less common supplements to use for increasing your milk supply.

  1. Blessed Thistle
  2. Fennel
  3. Stinging Nettle
  4. Alfalfa
  5. Goat’s Rue
  6. Milk Thistle

Always talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant before taking any herbal treatments. For many centuries, herbal remedies have been used as medications. And, just like prescription drugs, herbs and plants can have side effects. And, depending on the preparation, some herbs can even be toxic.

Increase Breastmilk Through Pumping

You can also increase your milk supply through pumping. Also known as power pumping. The concept is simple, the more your baby nurses or you pump the more signals your body receives to tell it to produce more milk.

“If you want to boost your milk supply fast, power pumping can help by creating an artificially high demand for breast milk. By increasing the number of times you pump, you give your body the message to increase milk production.” — Helen Anderson, Chief Lactation Officer

Power pumping works great for moms who’ve already established their milk supply and noticed a dip in their supply or haven’t been able to nurse baby consistently for a number of reasons such as returning to work or a painful breast infection.

It also works for moms who are exclusively pumping as I did with my son. He was admitted in the hospital after 4 days old due to critically low bilirubin levels. I wasn’t even able to hold him more than a few minutes per day.

I had to start pumping right away for days and he never took to the breast so I decided to pump exclusively for as long as I could.

Power pumping helps to mimic cluster feeding which is a natural increase in your baby’s desire and need for milk. Which your body will naturally respond to with increased milk supply.

Power pumping really requires a time commitment. Basically, you’ll need to set aside an hour for your full power pumping session which will look like this:

  • You’ll pump both breasts for 20 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes

You can do this at least 2 times a day until you see your supply increase and then gradually reduce your power pumping sessions.

Foods to Increase Breastmilk

Aside from staying very hydrated by drinking lots of water during and in between nursing sessions, there are also foods that tend to help increase milk production. These are referred to as lactation foods or the lactation diet.

  1. Ginger
  2. Garlic
  3. Rolled Oats
  4. Vegetables like carrots, yams, and dark leafy greens
  5. Sesame Seeds

Here’s a great resource of lactation recipes!

When to Know When it’s Time to Supplement with Formula

There are times when it’s appropriate and even necessary to begin supplementing with formula. If you think you may need to supplement, I urge you to get medical support from your baby’s pediatrician and your own Doctor or lactation consultant.

And never feel pressured to keep breastfeeding or start supplementing if you’re not comfortable or ready. As long as your baby is meeting the above guidelines, you most likely have time to make the best decision for your baby without the pressure from professionals who may not share your convictions.

Do you have a tip that worked to increase your breastmilk supply? Please share it in the comments below!

Is your breastmilk supply low or taking a dip? Learn the natural way to increase your milk supply fast. The ultimate guide for new moms! #babies #breastfeeding

19 Breastfeeding Videos for New Moms that are Actually Helpful

breastfeeding tips videos

Breastfeeding is a wonderful goal for so many new and experienced moms. However, the truth is, breastfeeding is hard! At least it is before you know what you’re doing.

Learning all the best tips for successful breastfeeding is essential for a long and healthy breastfeeding journey.

These breastfeeding videos will help you find the breastfeeding support you need to feed your baby with confidence! #breastfeeding #babies

I love to learn from watching videos because sometimes reading and looking at diagrams just doesn’t cut it, especially when learning to breastfeed.

These breastfeeding videos have been carefully curated to only offer the best and easiest advice to help you learn to breastfeed easily and avoid many breastfeeding pitfalls and commonly made mistakes.

You’ll learn the best ways to get a good latch, the best positions to use, and what to do to heal sore nipples (which is extremely common!).

Breastfeeding Videos to Get a Good Latch

This video gives great information on understanding your baby’s hunger queues and how to get your body position up for a comfortable and effective feeding session.

This tutorial created by FitPregnancy and taught by Corky Harvey is extremely helpful in teaching breastfeeding moms how to get a deep latch. Having a deep latch ensures your baby gets the most milk and helps greatly reduce sore nipples.

This video also shows very well how to get a good latch, especially with a newborn.

Breaking a bad latch or needing to remove baby from the breast for any reason is difficult and very painful if not done correctly. This quick video shows you how to do it the right way.

Breastfeeding Videos to Teach Breastfeeding Positions

This video quickly covers the proper way to do two of the most popular, chair-seated positions. These are the easiest positions to try for your newborn.

The Cross-Cradle Position

The Football Hold Position

The Side-Lying Position

Videos on Tandem Breastfeeding

This video shows you how to easily breastfeed twins at the same time which is so helpful to helping you keep your sanity and not be breastfeeding every second of the day!

In you have a toddler that’s still breastfeeding you don’t necessarily need to stop breastfeeding your toddler when your new baby arrives. This video shows you how to tandem feed your newborn and your toddler.

Videos on Breastfeeding Challenges

This tutorial shares what cluster feeding is and how to successfully survive when your newborn needs to cluster feed.

Sarah from This Mama Life shares her inspiring story on her challenging start to breastfeeding. She didn’t quit and now is happily breastfeeding her baby and now shares her best tips and encouragement.

Get the best breastfeeding tips and learn how to breastfeed successfully with these really helpful breastfeeding video tutorials. #breastfeeding #babies

The Best Breastfeeding Tips to Make Feeding Your Baby So Much Easier

best breastfeeding tips

If you are planning to breastfeed your baby or are already breastfeeding now, you need all the hacks and breastfeeding tips you can get your hands on.

Breastfeeding isn’t easy, well maybe is it for some moms, but it wasn’t for me and so many other breastfeeding moms.

If you’re struggling and searching the web for breastfeeding answers and solutions you’re doing the right thing. Keep searching until you find what works for you. I would also strongly urge you to get connected with your breastfeeding community through organizations like La Leche League.

I hope these tips will help you stick to your breastfeeding goals as there are many reasons to quit and give up. I personally hit many, many walls when breastfeeding all three of my kids and ended my journey far earlier than I intended.

I don’t have any guilt or regrets because I don’t believe that’s healthy for myself or my little ones. But now I want to help moms like you find the help and answers you need!

The Best Breastfeeding Resources and Freebies

If you haven’t started breastfeeding yet or you are and find yourself struggling with proper latch or milk supply you may want to consider a course like Milkology. This is the FREE Milkology Break Feeding Course.

Here are some great breastfeeding freebies:

Free Nursing Pillow
10 Pairs of Reusable Breastpads
Nursing Cover

If you haven’t had your baby shower yet you can get a FREE Amazon Welcome Box when you start an Amazon Baby Registry. You get a box full of goodies. Plus, you’ll earn a 15% discount for completing your registry, 20% off a diaper subscription and the ability to return items for free for 90 days.

The Affordable Healthcare Act has now made it easier for new moms to qualify for a free breast pump. Click here to get details.

Must-Have Breastfeeding Products

This list of breastfeeding supplies will help make breastfeeding more efficient, easier, and more enjoyable for you and your precious baby.

Breastfeeding Pillow – This pillow is made for breastfeeding and is uniquely shaped to make bringing your baby to you much easier. It gets high praise from breastfeeding moms. You could, of course, use a regular pillow but these are just a bit more effective.

Breastfeeding Stool – Having a specially designed nursing stool allows you to easily lift your baby to your breast. Nursing stools allow you to adjust the position of stool so you can get the most comfortable position every time.

Milk Savers – When you’re feeding baby on one side, milk tends to leak a lot from the opposite breast. And because breastmilk is liquid gold, we want to save every drop! Wearing these soft, silicone breast shields will allow you to easily trap milk as you’re feeding.

You’ll also need breathable breast pads, natural nipple cream, and a supportive cotton nursing bra.

Tips to Getting the Best Latch

Getting your newborn to latch on properly is a bit like the blind leading the blind, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding!

Getting a good latch is basically the cornerstone of healthy and pain-free breastfeeding. Breastfeeding with a bad latch creates a laundry list of problems such as extreme pain, sore nipples, and sometimes even low milk supply and breast infections.

This is where a great breastfeeding course, a consultant with a lactation consultant, and helpful video tutorials like the one below are extremely helpful.

Make sure you bring baby to you and not you to baby. This tip is the foundation for good breastfeeding habits. Hunching over to bring your breast to your baby is a hard and painful habit to break resulting in a poor latch and a sore back and neck for you.

No matter which position you choose, always aim your nipple toward the roof of baby’s mouth. This helps ensure your nipple is at baby’s soft palate. Having your nipple dead-center of your baby’s mouth is bad latch and will result in painful breastfeeding.

Image source via unboundbirth.com

If you know your latch isn’t proper (usually because of extreme pain) it’s even more important to break the seal of the latch before removing your baby. I made this mistake more than a few times and I can’t describe the pain!

It’s surprising how much suction a baby can create when breastfeeding and breaking a latch can be difficult. Here’s a video that shows the proper way to do it.

If your breasts are really full, it’s helpful to soften the breast before getting baby to latch. You can do that by pumping or hand expressing first. If your breasts are too hard and full, it can be difficult for baby to latch properly.

The Easiest Breastfeeding Positions for Beginners

There are so many positions to breastfeed your baby. You’ll choose the position based on many factors such as experience, personal comfort, and whether it’s night time.

Here’s a simple video to show the various positions you can try with your baby for your next feeding.

Tips to Reduce Pain with Breastfeeding

Getting help from a lactation consultant is very helpful because they are able to help you and your baby in person instead of just on your own through a screen.

Lactation consultant Sandra Yates of Vancouver says that, in fact, latch problems are the most common cause of breastfeeding pain. “Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” she assures mothers. “When it does, it’s usually a signal that something is wrong and we need to find a way to fix it.” Source

Breasts can become engorged, especially when your milk first comes in. This can be extremely painful and means your breasts need to be emptied either by breastfeeding, expressing by hand, or pumping.

Using cool compresses on breasts will also help alleviate the pain in addition to emptying the milk.

Know the warning signs of breast infections like Thrus and Mastitis. I personally experienced both of these conditions on more than one occasion. They were extremely painful and set back my breastfeeding efforts tremendously.

Preventing these conditions before they set in is so important to continuing healthy breastfeeding.

Tips to Heal Sore Nipples

The two leading causes of sore nipples when breastfeeding are bad latch and not property breaking the seal of a bad latch.

In addition, there are other causes for sore nipples such as milk blisters or blebs, pump friction, and breast infections.

Here are the best ways to heal and soothe your sore and cracked nipples.

  • Apply a small amount of breastmilk to your nipples after feeding or pumping and apply a nipple ointment. Do not air dry as commonly taught as this can cause scabs to form and causes slower and more painful healing.
  • Keep breasts exposed to air as much as possible in between feedings. And because you probably don’t want to walk around naked all day, a soft and breathable nursing bra can help tremendously.
  • Using cotton breastpads without a plastic liner will allow air to flow naturally and you can place a healthy dab of ointment onto the pad to keep healthy moisture on the nipples in between feedings.
  • Apply a natural nipple ointment to sore and cracked nipples before and after feedings and especially pumping to help reduce pump friction.

The following video is teaches you step by step how to mix a natural healing saline solution for quick healing.

How to Know If Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk

This has to be one of the biggest questions breastfeeding moms have, hands down. There’s always a bit of fear when you can’t actually see how much milk your baby is drinking.

And if your baby is fussy, you can immediately assume (many times incorrectly) that your baby isn’t getting enough milk.

Here are some helpful tips to give you much needed peace of mind:

  • Your breast should go from full to soft and empty after nursing.
  • You’ll know your baby is actively drinking when you hear her slurping and swallowing.
  • Your baby is wetting at least 6 diapers a day and soiling at least 3 mustard-colored stools a day after your milk comes in.
  • Your baby seems comfortable, satisfied, and even sleeping after feedings.
  • Your baby is growing on track acording to your pediatritian.

What are your best breastfeeding hacks and tips? Share them in the comments below!

These breastfeeding secrets and hacks will help you make feeding your new baby so much easier! #babies #pregnancy #breastfeeding

Popular Girl Names That Are Still Trending for Over a Decade!

popular girl names

I love the subject of baby girl names! Well, really I love hearing all unique baby names. The act of naming a person is such an amazing privilege and one I don’t take lightly.

popular girl names

However, sweet baby girl names are so fun. Maybe because I have two sweet girls of my own and enjoyed naming them so much. But I think my favorite part was understanding those sweet baby names can also have strong meanings too!

This list shares the most popular baby girl names that have been trending for over a decade with no signs of slowing down. I’ve included their name meanings just for fun!

Top 10 Popular Girl Names and Meanings

Emma – An English name derived from the Old German for “whole” or “universal,” popular since the 19th century.

This name seems to have replaced in popularity the name Emily which was trending in the decade prior!

Olivia – It’s a feminine form of Oliver, meaning “olive tree.”

Isabella – A variation of Isabel, itself a variation of Elizabeth, meaning “devoted to God” in Hebrew. 

This is such a sweet and romantic baby girl name which is probably good reason for its continued popularity.

Sophia – From the Greek for “wisdom.” The name was used by European royalty in the Middle Ages

This is one of my favorite girl names because I love the idea of calling my daughter “wisdom.”

Ava – A variation of Eve. May be from the Latin “avis,” meaning “bird.”

This name was actually voted as the #1 baby girl name expected to trend in 2019 by Baby Center.

Madison – From Madde, a medieval girls’ name short for Madeleine or Maud.

This name is perfect if you love calling your child by sweet nicknames like Maddie.

Amelia – A blend of the medieval names Emilia and Amalia. In Latin, it means “industrious” and “striving.” Its Teutonic meaning is “defender.”

Here’s another girl name with a strong meaning!

Mia –  Its Latin origins mean “mine” or “wished-for child.” 

What a beautiful meaning this name has.

Evelyn – May be a combination of the names Eve (connected with the Hebrew for “life” or “living”)

It’s interesting to note tha this name used to be a boy’s name but now is typically used for girls.

Harper – Originally a last name meaning someone who plays the harp.

This is a great name that can work great for both girls and boys.

Aria – In Hebrew, it’s derived from Ariel, meaning “lion of God.” 

This girl name is especially unique and equally beautiful.

What are your favorite popular girl names? Share your favorites on this list or others you love in the comments below!

These popular baby girl names are the top trending girl names for over a decade. They are popular and the sweetest baby girl names! #babynames #babies #pregnancy
The cute baby girl names are so popular that they haven't stopped trending high for over a decade! Get the full list here! #babynames #babies #pregnancy

How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without the Cycle of Yelling and Regret

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

Do you struggle to get your kids to listen… and obey without turning into the mom version of the Green Man and going all Hulk Smash on your kids? (Sorry, my son is obsessed with superheroes right now!)

I know I’ve been there a thousand and one times!

I have a confession to make… I’m a loud-ish person who’s OK with using my outside voice to be heard… inside. It’s not that I’m yelling in anger, most of the time, I just have high energy and I find that my kids don’t hear me unless my volume is turned up. 😉

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

You know, when it’s time to leave the house and your children are nowhere to be found or when it’s dinner time and I’m serving vegetables and they’ve suddenly been struck with a hearing problem.

So, picking up the volume in my house works.

Can you relate?

In the meantime, I’m looking into installing one of those home intercom systems! Problem solved.

There’s one time I don’t raise my voice anymore, though, and that’s when I’m disciplining. I’ve been on a very long journey from an angry yelling mom to one who knows how to control anger (most days) and still gets her kids to listen.

Do I still have a set-back every now and then and yell at my kids in anger? Sure, but those are infrequent and much less than they used to be. If you find yourself losing your temper frequently with your kids, I strongly encourage you to read and try these tips.

They really do work!

Why Yelling Doesn’t Get Your Kids to Listen

The first step to getting your kids to listen when you’re disciplining is to not be angry. Feels impossible, right?

I mean, sure they “hear” you, but our goal is for them to listen which isn’t the same thing.

Even if you need to step away, it’s important to release or control your personal frustration before diving right in. That’s because disciplining when you’re angry undermines your authority.

I’ve come to learn something along the way. Yelling really never worked, and kids lose respect for yelling parents. 

I thought it was working because when I talked normally, no one ever moved. Until I broke out in a nice yell. That’s only partially true because they simply learned to respond to the yelling.

Not only does disciplining when you’re angry undermine your authority, but you’re also teaching your child how to have loose and untamed emotions by watching you. Ouch!

Yelling like a lunatic and saying hurtful things to your children can have lasting consequences. And whether they tell you or not… those words run deep.

Our yelling is really more about us than it is about them.

This is so, so important for us as parents to let sink in. When we get overwhelmed at the situation and break out into a yelling fit we are acting no different than our toddler who drops to the floor in a temper tantrum.

And when we feel tempted to have a mommy tantrum… we need to give ourselves a mommy timeout.

This is really important to allow us to cool down so we don’t let our emotions take over and do or say something we’ll most certainly regret. And need to apologize for!

Related: 9 Things Your Kid Really Wishes You’d Do but Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

Lax Parenting is your Enemy

Lax parenting – without firm and consistent boundaries – opens the door to being challenged by your child at some point… or every point.

And we have the tendency be most lax when all is well and we’re having a stress-free day. Little things get overlooked over and over again. We’re afraid to make any adjustments so we don’t rock this peaceful boat we’re in.

For example, you’re in the grocery store with your toddler and things are going great. #MomWin

He asks if he can walk, and since you only had to run in for a couple things (another #MomWin) you let him walk.

In a nano-second, he starts to touch things. He’s just touching and not knocking things over… so what’s the big deal you tell yourself. Deep down, you’re terrified to do anything to end this no-chaos bliss thing happening. So you don’t tell him to stop.

But wait!! Here’s the kicker, he’s just mentally and physically recorded that it’s ok to touch stuff at the store.

Fast forward to your next trip to the store when you need to grab a cart full of stuff (no #MomWin). To top it off, your son didn’t get a full nap today and you’re so exhausted you think you might need glasses.

This time your son reaches out to grab and pull down every item he can get his hands on. You’re embarrassed, frustrated, and headed for a melt-down.

The key to setting boundaries is making them consistent. In the Good Times AND in the Bad! They need to know what to expect EVERY single time.

Related: 60 Fun Questions to Ask Your Child to Get to Know Their Heart

The Importance of Staying Consistent

Children desperately need consistency to learn. Not only do they need to know what to except, but that expectation you need shouldn’t change every day of the week. And we can’t be wishy-washy.

I use to be the Queen of the Threat. I’d rattle off statements like, “Do you want to go into Timeout?” or “Do you want a spanking?”

When in reality, I didn’t plan on following through. I was banking on the “threat” doing its job. But the truth is, our kids are just too smart for that. They can see right through our weakness. I think they can smell it too!

Inconsistent or nonexistent consequences do nothing short of undermining our integrity and authority.

In short, they learn not to trust what we say.

Here’s a quick tip – make sure to think about the punishment when you’re not emotional. If you rattle off that your teenager is grounded for 6 months… if it doesn’t fit the crime, you’re going to be in a dilemma.

Do I let her off the punishment early or make her stick it out just to prove a point?

Either way isn’t the best scenario.

Related: 50 Simple Ways to Show Love to Your Child Every Day in Their Love Language

Firm doesn’t mean harsh.

Not only should our discipline be consistent but it also needs to be firm. They need to know you mean business.

But by the same token, they shouldn’t be afraid of you. I know, this kind of goes against many old-school parenting methods. But instilling fear is never helpful. There’s a clear difference between firm and harsh.

You may feel this is beneficial when your children are small, but as they get older – they need to know you’re there for them.

Think of all the crazy things young people have to deal with in our current times. Having a parent who blows their top over every little thing will keep your child from confiding in you – when they need you and your wisdom the most.

Let me also mention, that when I say harsh I’m not talking about spanking either. Spanking, done in a loving environment, without anger, can be a very effective discipline tool. And should only be done in love. Although it can clearly be misused and over-used.

Harsh discipline is done when we’re angry and led by our disappointment, embarrassment, guilt, or some other emotion. And can happen in every form of discipline from timeouts, lectures, mean words, shaming, and spanking.

The whole point of discipline is to teach our children what’s right and wrong. And we do this out of our love.

Related: How to Speak Life and Encourage Your Kids to Be Their Best

Discipline Should Come From Love

We see so much destruction in the news today, and I wonder how many of those individuals had no boundaries in their formative years.

Discipline, done the right way, is an act of love. It’s one way we keep our kids safe.

The Bible provides so much practical wisdom on correction and discipline. And the focal point always comes back to love. Proverbs 3:11-12 

It’s our job, really our privilege, to shape our children’s lives in a positive way. Giving them the best possible chance at life by teaching them the proper way to conduct themselves.

I want to emphasize here that the actual form of discipline and punishment you choose is not as important as being consistent and doing want you say.

Not only that, but each child is different and will respond differently to various forms of discipline such as timeouts, removal of privileges, and so on. There is no cookie-cutter formula that’ll work for every kid.

This is an on-going process and one where we need to fully depend on the Grace of God to do well. And rest in that same Grace when we miss it because we all do!

Do you have some tried and trusted methods for getting your kids to listen? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!

Getting your kids to listen without yelling is possible when you do these steps consistently. You'll feel like you have new kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #positiveparenting

Getting your kids to listen and obey the first time and without the need for yelling isn't always easy. However, these simple tips will work wonders! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #Momlife #momThere are things we often do as parents that create the perfect environment for our kids not to listen. Get the secret to getting your kids to listen without yelling. #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momlife #mom #momadvice Getting kids to listen can be a challenge. Try these simple tips to get your kids to listen without yelling. #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlife #kids

Getting your kids to listen and obey what you say is a huge parenting struggle. To get your kids to listen requires an effective discipline strategy starting with creating consistent boundaries and giving correction in love.How to get your kids to listen without yelling

27 Creative Pregnancy Announcement Ideas You’ll Want to Steal!

Epic pregnancy announcement pictures

With over 200 million pregnancies surprising and delighting families every single year, that’s a lot of pregnancy announcements being shared with the world! Especially on social media.

Announcing your pregnancy is one of the most fun things to do after you find out you’re pregnant. Once you and your spouse decide on the right time to announce your pregnancy you probably want to start with your family and friends first.

Epic pregnancy announcement pictures

As long as you are comfortable on your timeline, you can be as creative or as laid back as you want when you make the official announcement to family and close friends. In other words, a simple excited call to your parents is just fine.

If that’s not fun enough for you, try buying a cute gift to announce to your parents, siblings, and even best friends. Here are some adorable ideas!

Pregnancy Announcements Gift Ideas

Click to get your mug!

Click to get your gift onesie

Click to get your best friend mug

Click to get your gift onesie

Click to grab your mug

What’s the best way to present your cute little gift?

There’s no right or wrong way! Just have fun and let this time bring you and your family joy. Simple invite your family to dinner or a simple lunch and present your fun little gifts at the end for a fun surprise.

If you’re more of a party girl, get inspiration here on hosting a cocktail announcement party.

27 Creative Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy on Social Media

Once you’ve made sure to announce your pregnancy to your closest loved ones, it’s time to share your blessing with the rest of the world. And what better way to do that than on social media!

These fun pregnancy announcement ideas are fun and creative and are sure to bring you and everyone who sees your announcement tons of joy!

pregnancy announcement ideas

Pregnancy Announcements Ideas for 1st Time Moms

Your first baby is such a rollercoaster of emotions! There’s nothing in the world like it. Here are some super fun ideas to share your first baby bump!

 

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Related: The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimal Mom on a Budget

 

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Pregnancy Announcements for Baby #2 and on…

When you have the honor of being blessed with baby #2 and so on those pregnancy announcements go to another level of fun! Try bringing in the siblings for a whole family announcement.

 

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Related: 60 Unique and Cool Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

 

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Related: 25 Sweet and Feminine Baby Girl Names with Strong Meanings

 

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Pregnancy Announcement Using Your Ultrasound Images

We all get those sweet little ultrasound images, at our first pregnancy appointment. Why not use those pictures to announce your pregnancy?

 

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The Sweetest Pregnancy Celebrations

Pregnancy after infertility, IVF, or miscarriage is the sweetest celebration of all! I’ve personally experienced pregnancies after both long-term infertility and miscarriage. You’ll just love these heartwarming announcements.

 

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Let me know which announcement is your favorite! Vote in the comments below. Please click on any Instagram to follow these amazing moms!

Looking for fun ways to announce your pregnancy with the world? Try these amazingly creative pregnancy announcement ideas you'll totally want to steal! #pregnancy #baby #parentingsReady to share your pregnancy with the rest of the world and need some creative inspiration? This epic list of creative pregnancy announcements will have you stumped over which one to choose! #pregnancy #parenting

Parenting Toddlers: 29 Toddler Experts Share Their Best Kept Secrets!

Expert toddler parenting tips

Raising toddlers is one of the most rewarding stages of parenting. Sure, this stage gets a really bad rap because of all the labeling. Terrible Twos ring any bells?

However, toddlers are amazing and really pretty great with their endless curiosity, openness to trying anything (except brussels sprouts of course), and they still think mom’s the best.

And those sweet toddler hugs are what make the struggles worth it.

Expert toddler parenting tips

At least it is for my toddler.

But raising a toddler isn’t away puppies and rainbows. It can be more like toddler tantrums and battle of wills. And this can be downright frustrating especially if your toddler is your first child.

There is a secret to raising happy and tantrum-proof toddlers, and it’s something I learned and tweaked over the years with all three of my children.

My secret to thriving in toddler life is to give your little one very clear expectations up front. That’s it! It’s hard being a toddler and not fully understanding this amazing world around you. They need to have firm boundaries and know exactly what’s going to happen when they cross those boundaries.

Honestly, I hate to sound harsh but a lot of our struggles in raising toddlers is our fault and it’s making life harder for them and us! It’s their job to challenge and seek independence. They are NOT being bad.

They just need us to establish those healthy boundaries and lovingly guard them. You’ll find yourself having much fewer battles when your toddler simply knows what to expect.

And, here’s the kicker, those expectations are always the same and never change based on our emotions at the time. Doing this all the time is pretty much the secret sauce to not having the toddler equivalent of Game of Thrones in your house every day!

Now, here are 29 most super helpful expert tips on thriving as a mom in the toddler years!

Related: The Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Feed Your Child’s Imagination in 2019!

29 Expert Tips to Thrive in Raising Your Toddler


Toddler Discipline Tips

toddler challenges

1 – How to Get Your Toddler to Listen and Obey

Most toddlers and kids for that matter have “selective hearing.” That means they hear us when we tell them to do something, but we don’t see the corresponding action. Enter frustration.

What if there was a way to say our request that gets the attention of our toddler AND gets them to actually do what we ask? Try this…

The two simple words that work for us are, “Yes, Mama.” That’s it. It won’t work like magic the first time you say it. Some training will be required to help your child understand what is expected when they hear those words.

Learn how to use this simple tip in Amy’s full post here!

2 – Positively Dealing with a Defiant Toddler

Did you know there is an actual condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder – ODD? It affects children and their ability to handle listening to authority. This can be especially difficult for parents.

But there are things we can do whether or not our toddler has received a diagnosis. Many of which have to do with how we cope with these challenges, such as bargaining and negotiating with our little ones.

Bargaining is a tool used by kids to get their way and get out of dealing with their responsibilities. No matter how they cry or complain, they must fix their mistake and then accept the consequences.

To read all of Monique’s great tips click here.

3 – Raising a Strong Willed Toddler

If you find yourself in a battle of wills every single day with your toddler, you may have a strong-willed child. Being strong-willed isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it can be a real challenge for parents in the early days.

Establishing very clear boundaries and expectations are your best line of defense!

When we give our strong-willed toddler a routine, she knows what to expect. While this can’t prevent things like meltdowns over the toys we can and can’t bring to the park, it can help with bedtime, night wakings, car trips, etc.

To read Nicole’s full tips on raising a strong-willed toddler click here.

4 – Teaching Your Toddler Discipline without Yelling

Getting toddlers to listen without yelling is a challenge for every parent. Consistency is very important in getting kids to listen and do what you want without yelling and screaming.

Kids aim to please. They want to make you proud and see you excited and impressed with them. Give them that satisfaction when they do something positive! It will encourage them to keep doing it.

Get all seven of Ally’s discipline tips here.


Toddler Feeding Tips

toddler feeding tips

5 – How to Develop Positive Eating Habits

Toddler mealtimes can be some of the most challenging parts of the day. From picky eating, distracted eating, and sudden refusal to eat previously familiar foods. Toddler feeding is a delicate balance between our need for healthy boundaries and your toddler’s desire for independence.

Pick options that are already a part of dinner time, making it look like a choice to your toddler but not putting yourself through too much trouble making new meals just for the children.

Read all 5 solutions to the most common toddler eating challenges here.

6 – How to Start Feeding Your Toddler with Baby Led Weaning

I only heard about baby led weaning with my 3rd child and I wish I’d learned about it sooner. It’s so much easier for you as the “chef” and more fun for your baby. I believe that because they are more in control. And let’s face it, toddler’s love control!

I usually start Bady Led Weaning with snacks then, later on, on move onto full meals.  I just find this works better for my children.

Get all the BLW ingenious tips from Dela in her full post!

7 – What To Do if Your Toddler Refuses Meat 

There are many safe and healthy diets that do not include meat that many parents feed their toddlers. However, sometimes parents who do eat a meat-based diet find their toddler refuses to eat meat

This can be frustrating and there are worries that your toddler won’t get enough nutrients, but there are healthy ways to feed your toddler a meatless diet. No matter the reason.

There are certain nutrients that if you aren’t getting from meat you need to be getting from somewhere. The two main nutrients are protein and iron. My secret weapon: Edamame. It has a good amount of both protein and iron! 

Get Shari’s full list of meatless eating here.

8 – How to Raise Non-Picky Eaters

My oldest daughter is an extremely picky eater and though she’s much better now, she’s still pretty selective in what she likes to eat. She was and still is very sensitive to textures, and many other kids struggle with the same issue.

If you have a picky eater, you may want to consider Jenn’s rather unconventional tip…

By allowing young kids to mouth pine cones, rocks, and leaves they will further develop the mouth sensations which may prevent intolerance for food textures at an older age.  Yes, making your kids eat dirt will make them less picky eaters.

Get the full post of fun ways to raise a brave eater here.


Toddler Tantrums Tips

toddler tantrum tips

9 – Understanding the Function Driving Tantrums

Toddler tantrums are simply a poorly communicated request… a request to keep doing what they are doing, a request to have their way, or not do what they are being asked.

There is a reason for most, if not all, tantrums. It means we need to become skilled at finding out the driving force behind your toddler’s tantrum, so we can most effectively change that behavior.

Understanding the function behind a child’s behavior allows us to plan for it and react to it in ways that will hopefully decrease it.

Get the full post of helpful questions to ask yourself here.

10 – How to Handle Tantrums without Punishment or Timeouts

Toddler tantrums are super tricky and can leave you feeling helpless when a toddler tantrum sets in. Many parents aren’t exactly sure how to handle a tantrum and whether they are actually worthy of punishment or not.

I personally believe that we need to work much harder on the front end to prevent toddler tantrums in the first place. And then they are much more likely to be related to your toddler feeling overwhelmed in some way without the ability to communicate their feelings.

When your child is having a tantrum and distraction and other techniques aren’t working, or even before using those other techniques, try empathy.

Get the full list of little-known tips here.

11 – How to Teach Your Toddler Healthy Emotions

As parents, we can often wonder why our little angels can turn so quickly into… well, the opposite of angels. This happens because their emotions aren’t fully developed, and they often times haven’t practiced using healthy emotional communication.

There are many ways we can teach our children how to share their feelings in an appropriate way and develop social skills.

Attending daycare or preschool is NOT required for your child to learn social skills.  Providing them play time with other people is all they need to learn to play with others.

To get all of Kayla’s amazing tips on toddler social skills, click here.

12 – How to Prevent Toddler Meltdowns

Prevent toddler tantrums? Yes, you can prevent meltdowns from your toddler. The key is doing all the work on the front end so you can help your toddler learn how to express their feelings in a more constructive way.

If we take a minute to give them a voice, to listen to their choices, and to make them feel part of the decision-making team, they’ll buy in. They’ll do what we need them to do. They won’t need to have a tantrum to be heard.

To get Nicole’s full list of amazing tantrum prevention tips, click here.


Toddler Potty Training Tips

toddler potty training tips

13 – The 3 Day Potty Training Plan

Part of the success of potty training is making it fun for your toddler. They love growing up and becoming big kids so help them embrace their desire for independence. This next tip totally worked for my 2-year-old son!

You’ll want to buy your child super cute underwear that will get them excited about going to the potty. I bought Drew superhero undies and he loves them!

Get the full 3-day potty training plan here!

14 – How to Potty Train Your 2-year-old

Potty training can be tricky and there are certainly no one-size-fits-all strategies for getting your little one fully potty trained. There are many ways to approach this right of passive, but knowing when your toddler is ready is your key to success!

If your child is starting to become aware of their bodily functions, it could mean that she’s ready. Sometimes, if you wait it out, your child’s willingness to potty train could pass.

Read Brenda’s simple, no-pressure tips for potty training your 2-year-old.

15 – Tips to Make Potty Training Easier

It’s easy to pick out the perfect potty chair, the cool underwear or pull-ups, but what about when things don’t go as planned? Making the following mistake can set back your potty training goals way back!

One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make is shaming their kids during this process. It may not seem like a big deal to drop an “I can’t believe you pee peed in your underwear like a baby” but it can actually undo any progress you are making.

Get Stormy’s full list of potty training tips in the full post here.


Toddler Daily Routines & Schedules

toddler schedules

16 – How to Painlessly Create a Morning Routine

Getting out of the door every morning on time and without meltdowns from you or your toddler is a huge challenge! No matter what routine works best for you and your little one, consistency is vital.

A toddler cannot readily distinguish why the mornings are so different from one another.  This can lead to increased meltdowns and anxious behavior.

Read the full post from Bridget with all her great tips on creating a successful morning routine.

17 – How to Establish a Sleepytime Bed Routine

Getting your toddler to want to go to bed and actually sleep can be quite the feat! And one of the biggest mistakes is letting the craziness of the bed carry over into a chaotic evening.

That’s a huge mistake because toddlers need consistency and routine more than anything! Creating a predictable bedtime routine can help so much.

Each of my kids takes a bath every night, so we make it fun! I invested in some good bath toys that I can’t rave enough about.

Click here to get Shiree’s full nighttime toddler routine here.

18 – Keeping Toddler Routines Even While Traveling

Toddlers need routine and predictability. When their routines disappear in exchange for new activities, schedules, and places you can be sure a meltdown is brewing just under the surface.

When traveling with toddlers, we need to keep their routines in mind to keep everyone happy.

Kids thrive on routine and while travel can definitely throw that for a loop, we like to try to keep things as similar to home as possible.  For us, this means trying to travel during nap times so the kids can sleep in the car.

To get all of Mary Leigh’s toddler travel tips click here to read the full post.


Breaking Poor Toddler Behavior Habits

breaking bad toddler habits

19 – What to do When Your Toddler is too Clingy

Toddlers are just older babies who are growing up really fast. In many ways, they’re light years ahead of their previous baby stage. But in many ways, they’re holding on tight to their baby privileges.

And being held a lot is one of those privileges. Most toddlers drop the need to be held when the independence stage kicks in, but every kid is unique.

Whether your child’s clinginess is new and most likely temporary or a long-term concern, a great first step is to reassure your child and create a sense of security.

Elizabeth gives great insight into why toddlers are clingy in the first place. And her full process for reducing toddler clinginess. Get the full post here!

20 – How to Stop Your Toddler From Hitting

When your toddler decides one day to hit another kid or even to hit you it’s frustrating and also embarrassing. But just like any other toddler behavioral issue, hitting can be corrected too.

Actions speak louder than words. If you hit back and say no, you’re teaching them hitting is an okay response. The same goes for yelling. If a toddler hits and screams, stay calm and offer an alternative by distracting the child.

Samantha goes into great detail in her post showing you how to overcome this bad habit positively.

21 – How to Easily Ween Your Toddler from a Pacifier

Giving your new baby a pacifier can feel like magic when soothing your inconsolable newborn. However, in a few years, it can feel like a curse when it’s time to wean your toddler from the binky. If you have the right strategies, it gets a lot easier!

It is best to try to control how much your child is using the pacifier in the first place by only giving it to them during naps and bedtime.

Get McKinzie’s great tips on weaning the pacifier in this post.


Toddler Sleep Tips

toddler sleep tips

22 – How to Keep Your Toddler in Bed Through the Night

Once you transition your baby from their crib into their own “big bed” an unfortunate side effect can happen… they never seem to want to stay in their bed.

As frustrating as this is, you can do something about it! It’s not easy… and it requires your unwavering commitment to the process but it will pay off. It comes down to setting a loving yet firm tone no matter how many extra requests your toddler askes for.

When you do the “extra stuff,” you are establishing the idea that if they get up you will come in and give them the attention they want.

To read Michele’s full toddler bedtime process read the full post here.

23 – How to Easily Transition to 2 to 1 Naps

The wonderful thing about the baby years is most babies need more than one nap. Suddenly, something starts to change as they enter toddlerhood… they start needing less daytime sleep.

Your toddler will start showing signs that they are ready for only one nap per day. This transition can be tricky but is a lot simpler with the right strategy.

Sometimes the trickiest part of this transition is figuring out when to give lunch! What works best for most toddlers is splitting lunch during the early days. Who says lunch has to be one big meal at noon?!

Get Jilly’s full list of signs and tips for making this transition as simple as possible.

24 – Creating Sleep Routines for the Spirited Child

Not every child is created the same and many are what can be referred to as spirited children. These are children who find it difficult to turn off their energy switch. They can be endlessly curious and tenacious.

None of which are bad things at all. But they can make for parenting challenges. Especially, when it comes to sleeping and naptimes.

Having an intense, persistent child has its challenges, particularly when it comes to sleeping. Routine helps immensely, but when it is time to let up a little bit and give your spirited child the independence she craves.

Read Freya’s heartfelt story about how she joyfully helped her own toddler with her sleep issues.

25 – How to Easily Handle Bad Dreams

In your toddler is having fears or challenges falling asleep because of bad dreams or other fears, this can be challenging. Sometimes adding a little whimsy is all your toddler needs.

Make a homemade dream spray made up of simply water and a few drops of lavender essential oils. Combine the two ingredients and put them in a small spray bottle with a “dream spray” tag on it.

Get Nicole’s full list of sleeping tips here.

26 – Getting Your Toddler to Sleep without a Pacifier

If your baby took a pacifier, getting them to sleep without it as you try to ween them can be a real struggle. There are many methods to use, and some can cause you a lot more headache and lack of sleep. You may want to try this 3-day approach…

3 days before, the day before, and the day of pacifier removal, I told the twins they were getting so big and it was time to stop using pacifiers. I also told them there were babies that needed them more than they did and we would send the pacifiers to them.

Get Jeanne’s full 3-day break down here.


How to Thrive in Daily Toddler Life

daily toddler life

27 – Stress-Free Traveling with a Toddler

Traveling is stressful enough but adding a toddler to the mix can feel overwhelming. One of your best assets is planning, planning, planning. And in that planning, you must build in plenty of buffers so you don’t feel rushed throughout your travels.

Be Early and Avoid Super Short Connections, especially if traveling by plane. You do not want to be the 30-week pregnant lady with a toddler running to catch her next plane (like I was).

Get the full list of travel toddler tips from Haley here.

28 – Surviving Toddler Transitions 

There are so many transitions that babies face once they grow into toddlerhood such as the inevitable transition from formula or breastmilk to whole milk and transitioning to solid foods.

Many toddlers also must transition from drinking from a bottle to sippy cups and then to a regular cup. And let’s not forget ditching the binky!

To make things easier on myself, I made each change one by one so that neither I, nor my daughter would get too overwhelmed with it all

To read how Josephine survived these common toddler transitions read her full post here.

29 – How to Really Love the Toddler Stage

Toddlerhood is an amazing developmental stage in your child’s growth. They are learning, testing, experimenting, and growing every single moment of the day. We just need to help create the environment for them to safely flourish.

Your job as the parent is to set the boundaries and enforce them gently. You will need to enforce them more or less frequently, more or less strongly depending on how strong-willed your toddler is.

To get more insight on loving the toddler stage, read June’s full post here


Toddler life is truly an adventure but is one I choose to cherish as my son gets older. I hope these tips help you to feel less overwhelmed with this special age and more equipped to build a wonderful relationship with your curious little toddler.

Let us know in the comments below which expert tip you’re excited to use the most!

For More Toddler Posts We Know You’ll Love:

End Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrum Quickly with These Simple Steps!

51 Adorable Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

The 15 Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy in 2019

The Best Car Games for Kids and Toddlers to Survive Long Road Trips 

Parenting toddlers is wonder and can be really hard! Get tried and try tips and advice on your biggest toddler struggles! #parenting #toddlers #momlife #kidsandparentingLearn the best kept toddler parenting secrets and tips for raising happy and healthy toddlers from the toddler experts. #toddlers #kidsandparenting #parenting

 

 

Raising toddlers can be overwhelming! Stop struggling and get your biggest toddler questions answered from the toddler experts! #raisingtoddlers #toddler #kidsandparenting #parenting

51 Adorable Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

Stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies

Just because you have toddlers and babies doesn’t mean they can’t join in the stocking stuffer fun on Christmas morning! My stockings were always my favorite part of the opening presents experience.

If you’re looking for super fun ideas for stocking stuffers for toddlers or babies, you’ve come to the right place!

Stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies

All of these stocking stuffers are perfect for little ones and every idea promises to NOT be junk. I don’t believe in wasting money, even on Christmas.

If you’re looking for Christmas stocking stuffer ideas for kids check them out here.

Oh, and did I say that all of these stocking stuffers are all under $10? Yep! So, have fun shopping and filling up those cute little stockings!

If you don’t yet have a stocking for your little Christmas sweetie, check out these adorable stockings. Here’s one for your baby’s first Christmas!

While we’re in the Christmas spirit, here are 16 Family Christmas tradition ideas that’ll create magical memories with your kids!

51 Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies

Learning Toys

 

Highchair Wonder Wheel Activity Center – Highchair time can make your toddler restless so having a stick-on activity center will keep them happy and occupied with this fun learning toy.

Colorful Stacking Cups –  These fun stacking cups are perfect for toddler learning and development and make a great on the go toy.

Oball Shaker Rattle – We love anything Oball makes and this is no exception. This vibrant and easy to hold shaker helps strengthen little muscles and keeps them active and having fun making sounds.

Sassy Fishy Fascination Station – This fishy highchair toy will be sure to keep your baby happy and learning in their highchair! 

Developmental Bumpy Ball – This sensory bumpy ball will keep your baby engaged and exploring many textures and shapes.

Related: The Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy This Year

Bath Time

Crayola Color Bath Dropz – Bathtime suddenly got more exciting with colorful, fizzy bath dropz! Just drop a tablet in your baby’s bath water and watch the magic happen. 

Bath Turtle Swimmers – Your kids will be begging for bathtime to see these cute little turtle swimmers swim all around their bathtub!

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy – This fishing bath toy is wonderful for developing hand-eye coordination in toddlers and younger kids. Plus, it’s really fun to fish!

Glittery Toddler ToothbrushColorful easy grip toothbrushes are perfect for little hands.

Swimming Penguin Bath Toy – Wind up this swimming penguin for endless bathtime fun for your little one.

Little Boat Train – These colorful and stackable little boats connect together to create a fun bathtime floating train.

Arts and Crafts


Stackable GiBot Toddlers Crayons – These fun toddler crayons are full of vibrant colors and add to the fun with their chunky and stackable shapes. 

Crayola My First Safety Scissors – Toddler’s love cutting and pasting! These colorful toddler safety scissors will be the hit of craft time. 

Washable Markers for Toddlers – Your little one will be able to easily grip and create with these special tripod markers made for toddlers

My First Toddler Coloring Book – Your budding artist can use those colorful crayons and markers with this adorable animal-inspired coloring book.

ABC Sticker Activity Book – Your little one will have tons of sticker fun with this ABC learning book.

Washable Bright Fingerpaint – Buying your child finger paints got elevated you to Coolest Mom Ever status!

Fingerprint & Draw: Animals & Insects – Finger painting just got more fun with this fun finger painting book featuring all things animals and insects. 

Related: Fun Fall Inspired Craft Ideas for Kids

Feeding and Drinking


Paw Patrol Sippy Cup – Getting your toddler a new character sippy cup is a great gift. Especially, if they are hesitant to transition from their bottles. These Munchkin 360 sippy cups are amazing!

Skip Hop Toddler Snack Cup – These adorable snack cups in the theme of a puppy, ladybug, or butterfly will make snack time so much fun.

Colorful Munchkin Ultinsels – Your busy toddler will love eating with these fun and colorful utensils!

Colorful Suction Cup Bowls – Keep your little ones food on the table with these handy suction cup bowls.

Nuby iMonster No-Spill Cup – This fun monster sippy cup will easily become your little one’s favorite cup.

Nuby 3-D Monster Snack Keeper – Snacktime will become an adventure as your toddler reaches into the adorable monster’s mouth for their snack.

stocking stuffers for toddlers and babies

Accessories

Animal Crawling Knee Socks – Keep your little crawlers legs protected with these fun animal print knee socks. 

Colorful Toddler Hair Bows – If your toddler has a lot of hair, these sweet little hair bows are sure to keep every hair in place… until playtime that is.

Floral print Knotted Head Bands – Every baby girl needs these adorable little-knotted headbands!

The Coolest Baby Aviator Sunglasses – These unisex baby aviator sunglasses are simply the coolest accessory for your baby or toddler.

Teething Toys

Nuby Gel Teether Key Set – Your teething toddler or baby will love these cute teether keys. Just pop them in the freezer or refrigerator for a cooling soother!

Award Winning Giraffe Teether – The Bambam giraffe teether is made of soft chewable silicone and earned the 2019 Parent’s Picks Award.

Nuby Teething Mitten – This soft teething mitten is the perfect little teether for those babies that like to chew a lot.

Musical and Light up Toys

Baby Einstein Hand Musical Toy – This little classical music maker is a great toy to play soothing music anywhere!

VTech Baby Rattle & Sing Puppy – This musical puppy rattle is adorable and promises to keep your little baby happy. 

VTech Baby Happy Lights Bear – This cute little musical bear is the perfect buddy who sings songs and lights up.

Ocean Glow Sensory Shaker – This cute little light up octopus plays musical and glows at the touch of baby’s hands.

Cuddly Toys

Soft Animal Finger Puppets – These little animal finger puppets are so fun for creative moments of imaginative play.

Aurora Unicorn Plush 

Hedgehog Plush 

GUND Winky Lamb Stuffed Rattle

Animal Lovey Security Blanket – This sweet little owl is the cutest as it has its own soft security blanket that neatly tucks inside.

Dr. Brown’s Lovey Pacifier – These adorable lion acts as a cuddly lovey while attached to baby’s pacifier offering baby double soothing.

Books

Unicorn Coloring Book

Dinosaur Coloring Book

Welcome Little One by Sandra Magsamen 

The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

God Bless You and Good Night by Hannah Hall

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney

On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

Fisher Price “My First Books” – set of 4 baby board books.

Related: The Best Books that Teach Kids Kindness and Compassion

We hope you really have fun with this list and fill your toddler’s stocking with many of these fun gifts! Let us know in the comments below which ideas are your favorites!

Christmas season is almost here and this list is full of awesome stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers and babies. Best of all, every ideas is NOT junk and under $10! #kidsandparenting #parenting #babies #toddler #ChrstimasThese adorable stocking stuffers are especially for toddlers and sweet little babies. Plus, they are great and not one is junk! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #christmas #holidays

The 15 Best Learning Toys for Toddlers to Buy in 2019

Toddler Learning toys

Honestly, I’m a mom that’s not a huge fan of toys. My kids do have toys… all kinds of toys in fact. But after over twelve years of parenting, I’ve come to learn a few things about toys. And the truth is, most toys just don’t get played with.

At least at my house! So my approach to buying toys is very simple. I ask myself these questions:

Toddler Learning toys

Is it terribly loud and annoying, no matter how educational it claims to be?

Is the toy basically all music, lights, and buttons?

Will it take up massive amounts of space?

If I answer yes to any of these questions, chances are, I’m not buying it.

Why?

Because in my personal experience, these toys are usually flash in the pan toys and don’t get played with more than a few times. I find this a waste of money and space in my home.

How I Choose My Toddler’s Toys

Instead of buying my toddler’s toys based on the Target toy catalog at Christmas or what commercials play over and over on TV, I do this instead…

I look for toys that will make him think, reason, and use his imagination and hands. Pushing buttons isn’t a skill that needs developing. It seems to already come quite naturally.

I want my kids to be able to build, create, mold, and make. Toys that allow kids to do that fit into what I consider learning or educational toys.

All the other loud, musical, light up, and other annoying toys can stay on the shelf. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy any toys that have buttons or play music, it’s just that it better have a focus that actually aims to teach something.

Here’s my best list of learning toys for toddlers.

Best Learning Toys for Toddlers

Learning toys for toddlers

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

This bright and colorful shape sorting cube is really great. First, because it’s made of wood. Wooden toys are usually considered safer and non-toxic compared to a lot of plastic toys containing harmful chemicals.

It’s also very sturdy with an easy to open sliding lid that makes it easy for little hands to open without help. My son had a plastic shape sorter that was almost impossible for him to open without help. He almost never used it!

Check out this shape sorter here!

Lewo Wooden Geometric Puzzle 

This pegboard style puzzle is so colorful and creative! It allows little hands to stack, sort, and even build limitless combinations on one board.

I love how challenging it is and allows them to create new projects each time they play as opposed to a standard “fill-in” puzzle. This puzzle is also small and quiet enough to be a great travel toy for long trips!

Grab your geometric puzzle here!

Play22 Magnetic Wooden Train Set

This wooden train set is adorable and so easy for toddlers to mix and match train cars on a whim. The trains are artfully crafted and painted to make them feel real to curious toddlers.

This is a great choice for any toddler who loves trains, cars, or making things move!

Check out the adorable train set here! 

Water Doodle Drawing Pad 

This is one of my favorite toys that kids love to play with because they can get as wild and creative as they want and they’re not actually making a mess!

This is also another great travel toy that folds flat in a suitcase. It’s probably too big for playing in the car but is great for keeping kids entertained in your hotel room. Here’s a water doodle pad that is perfect for traveling in the car.

Buy your own water drawing pad here! 

VTech Smart Wheels Fire Station

These Smart Wheels sets are really fun and my 3-year-old son has a few sets. I plan to buy him at least one more set for Christmas. What I love about them is they are very easy for little hands to assemble their own sets on their own if needed.

He loves to build new tracks every time he plays with them and I love how it helps him to reason and think critically. They do take up a bit of extra room but I find it worth it and simply store all the sets together in a large cute basket like this one.

Grab the Smart Wheels Fire Station here!

For other Smart Wheels sets, click here.

Mega Bloks ABC Learning Train Building Set

I really love Mega Bloks! I mean, I cringe when my little guy starts to dump them out all over the floor, but they’re a great toy for learning. This cute train set helps toddlers learn and practice their ABC’s.

I also purchased the large 150 piece bag so he can build the tallest towers. He loves to build right on his Mega Bloks building table. Here’s a pink one for little princesses too!

Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline

If you have room for it, this trampoline will probably be your child’s favorite toy for sure! If you have a busy toddler who has lots of energy to burn, this is a sanity saver right before naptime.

It’s also a great way to get exercise indoors for those extremely hot or extremely cold weather days.

Grab your trampoline here!

Hape Pound Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

This award-winning toy is loved by parents, pediatricians, and toddlers alike. It’s a multifunctional toy that allows toddlers to slide out the xylophone and play it separately or together as a ball hammering game.

Grab your wooden xylophone toy here!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks 

This classic building block set is timeless in fun. Your little one can create endless towers, castles, and highways with the bright and colorful 100 block set.

Grab your wooden block set here!

Guidecraft Grippies Builders

These soft toddler sized rods and balls serve to introduce your little one to engineering as their very first STEM toy! The magnetic pieces connect together to create and build endless shapes and structures.

2017 Toy of the Year Finalist (TOTY) and received also all 5-star ratings!

Check out the Grippies Builders here!

ALEX Wooden Activity Cube

This colorful activity cube promises to keep curious toddlers happy and entertained with each of the many unique sides. Includes wooden cube with curvy wire rides, peek-a-boo doors, spin and match animals, turn and learn ABC word tiles, and racing rollers.

Best of all this toy is made of sturdy and non-toxic wood!

Grab your activity cube here!

Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Set

This wooden clean up play set is perfect for the little guy or girl who loves to help! When you’re cleaning up they can grab their own mop, broom, dustpan, and duster. They are very sturdy and will hold up for many afternoon cleaning sessions!

Get your cleanup set here! 

VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox

This is one of those musical button pushing toys that I’m not fond of, however, my son has this toolbox and he plays with it a lot. There is a learning aspect that allows toddlers to hammer and drill into double-sided instruction cards and learn about colors and numbers while pretending to make repairs.

Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy

This adorable bath toy allows your toddler to go fishing in the bathtub. This is a must-have bath toy! The fishing pole works to catch the soft, magnetic fish.

Grab your fishing bath toy here!

BUCKLE TOY “Buddy” Backpack 

This may not be considered an actual “toy” but this soft and vibrant backpack promises to be just as fun! The many child-friendly buckles help toddlers develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and fun problem-solving.

Buy your buckle toy backpack here!


These toys are all focused on helping your toddler learn, grow, and have fun! Which toy is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

More Toddler Related Posts:

The Best Books to Teach Your Kids About Kindness to Others

Never Have to Deal with Another Temper Tantrum with these Fool-Proof Tips

End Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums Quickly with These Simple Steps

Looking for the best learning toys for toddlers? This list contains only toys that focus on fun AND learning! Perfect for Christmas gifts! #toys #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #kidsThese educational learning toys for toddlers are the best of list for 2018! The best toys to buy for Christmas 2018. #kidsandparenting #parenting #parenting101 #kids #christmas Not all toddler toys are created equal. These are the best toddler learning toys to buy in 2018. #funtoys #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parentingtips #christmas #giftsThese toys for toddlers are fun but are also great for learning and toddler development! Get the best of list here... #kidsandparenting #parenting #toddlers #kids

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong & Powerful Meanings

Baby girl names

Choosing the perfect baby name for your little bundle of joy is a hard task because names are so important. Lately, in pop culture news it seems there’s no rhyme or reason for choosing baby names other than to stand out.

While I’m all for choosing a unique name that stands out (I did this myself) I also believe strongly in choosing a name with a real meaning that speaks to what you want to call your child every single day.

Names are powerful and speak that meaning into your child daily, you can choose popular baby names or creative ones but choose wisely.

Baby girl names

So what meaning should you choose?

That’s totally up to you, however, you may choose to pick a name from this list that is full of romantically feminine baby girl names.

But what I love about these names is they all have a strong meaning behind that sweet name!

Sneaky, right! Think warrior princess!

Seriously though, I just love the combination of sweet and feminine with strong and powerful!

Here are more cool and trendy baby names for both girls and boys.

Breastfeeding class

25 Beautiful Baby Girl Names

Amira – Princess/Rich/Cultivated

Aurora – Goddess of the Dawn

Brielle – God is my Strength

Eva – Giver of Life

Gianna – God is Gracious

Isabella – God is my Oath

Emilia – To Strive, to excel, to rival

Reina – Queen

Adele – Noble, Kind

Amelie – Hardworking

Angelica – Messenger of God

Anna  – Gracious and Merciful

Elise – God is my Promise

Camille – Perfect

Ariel – Lion of God

Eden – Paradise

Eliana – God has answered

Cherish – Care for, Honor, Love

Mirabella – Beautiful, Admirable

Naomi – Beautiful, Gentle

Maya – Great 

Gabrielle – God is my Strength

Sophie – Wisdom

Valentina – Strength, Health

Vivienne – Alive


Now it’s your turn to choose your favorite! Share in the comments below which name you love or share a name that you think is perfect for this list!

These beautiful and sweet baby girl names are complete with powerful and strong meanings! #kidsandparenting #babynames #babies #parenting #parentingtips These pretty baby girl names are so unique and beautiful! But they also have the most amazing meanings too! #babynames #parenting #kidsandparenting