I was recently invited to a preview of the Etsy Marketplace in Toronto and I got to see so many amazing products and meet the creative forces behind them.
One of these super cool individuals was Tiffany, the creator of PonchiesForKids. Ponchies are the most adorable micro fleece ponchos for babies and kids. All locally and hand made, Ponchies are the perfect topper for the cooler weather and her adorable styles will impress even the pickiest toddler.
I asked Tiffany to answer five questions to tell us more about her and her brand!
PonchiesForKids has generously offered a poncho for one lucky reader (Canada only). Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
** All photo by @sharlapikephotography
My greatest fear when I found out that I was expecting twins was that I was never going to sleep again. Thinking about it kept me up at night (the irony) worrying as I got further along in my pregnancy. I shared my fears with my husband and consulted with the wise veteran twin parents of TPOMBA (Toronto Parents of Multiples Association) and decided to go for broke and hire a night nurse for the first few months. This was the BEST money ever spent! It was a small fortune (much of it was paid for by my mother-in-law, bless her) but it saved my sanity. Five (yes FIVE) nights a week for the first several months, the saintly Angelina of Precious Moments Babeez arrived at our door at 10PM to take care of Peanut and Meatball until 6AM. I pumped milk for their overnight feeds so I was able to get 8 straight hours of sleep….. it was BLISS after an entire day taking care of two newborns, one of which was a little *ahem* more spirited than the other. When our luxurious time with Angelina was up, I felt like crying. I dreaded the no sleep and for a while it was pretty grim.
Angelina had them on a pretty great routine overnight with bottles but as soon as I reintroduced breastfeeding at night, the wheels kind of fell off. I was up four plus times a night and the babies were miserable and I was an exhausted teary mess. I joked that their theme song was “Killing me Softly” because that is what I felt like the cuddly little monsters were trying to do to me. Finally I decided that I was ready to…..duh duh duh….. sleep train.
Oh…. sleep training…. the minefield of sleep training. The subject that is the third most likely to start a war on parenting message boards (the first two being breast vs bottle and vaccines). I had known from the start that I would sleep train and that the method I was going to use would involve some crying. I did so much research that I got a bit turned around and I wasn’t sure where to start. I went back to the trusted TPOMBA parents and asked for suggestions for consultants that could help me figure out a plan that would work for me, my husband, the twins and our big boy too…. all the crying at night was disturbing his sleep too!
There are many great options for sleep consultants in Toronto but I settled on Maxine Sass of Maxine’s Multiple Birth Care. She had almost two decades of work with twins and triplets and this made her my top choice. She sent me a questionnaire to get a sense of what we needed as a family and of what we were comfortable doing to achieve our goal of a good nights sleep for all. After she had a chance to review it, she and I had a call to go over everything and once we were sure we were on the same page, she created a sleep training plan for the monsters.
Here are the five things I learned from this experience.
1.) Naps are KEY. Get your kids on a great nap schedule and night sleep is way better. It’s all about awake windows and making sure that the littles don’t get over-tired. There is a science to it and I am a TOTAL convert.
2.) White Noise is an amazing tool to keep out the bustle of a busy household and sooth the babies. We bought this machine and love it.
3.) Blackout curtains are key for city living. Previously I was extremely against creating a super dark environment for sleep in case it meant that the babies wouldn’t be able to tolerate any light. This was before it became clear that there was too much outside light streaming into the nursery at night from the next door
4.) Listening to your babies cry is heartbreaking but it is such a small period of time in the grand scheme of things that if you can handle it, it really works. When they give you those big gummy grins after a good nights sleep you will really see that you have, as they say, not broken their hearts, just their habits.
5.) Utilize your partner. I knew that I was not going to be able to deal with the babies crying so my husband took the primary role in sleep training and I acted as more of a behind the scenes support system.
I am happy to report that we are doing really well almost two months after our initial training began. There have been hiccups and slight setbacks, such as illness and teething (my boy has SIX teeth at almost 8 months) but generally we are SO happy with our progress.
Please share your experience with infant sleep and sleep training in the comments!!!
Ikea High Chair– With our first, we had a fancy bells and whistles high chair but for these two, we decided that the clean lines and inexpensive price tag of the Ikea version made the most sense. They are light and no frills, but easy to clean and don’t take up to much space.
ComoTomo Bottle– This bottle is easily THE most expensive bottle I have ever used and I have used many in my time! It is made of soft silicone which make it easy to hold and the nipple is nice and wide like the real thing! I love this bottle so much.
Jolly Jumper– Looks a bit old school not to mention a bit dangerous but man oh man, do my kiddos love this thing!!! Installed properly, there isn’t anything to worry about and if you don’t have a door frame to clamp it to, they come of a frame as well (I believe that is the only way they are available in the US)
guzzie and Gus double umbrella stroller (discontinued- but McLaren Triumph Double Umbrellla is a great option)- A double umbrella stroller is a necessity for the trunk of the car when your large stroller is a bit too cumbersome. We used this on a recent road trip and it was a lifesaver!
Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler Portable Rocker– The twins have outgrown their bouncer and swing but I was not ready to give up the constraints of a chair not to mention a place to safely and comfortably give them their bottles.
GroBag Sleep Sack– We are sleep training the twins at the moment and breaking them from their swaddle addiction. Our sleep consultant suggested these sleep sacks in the cozy 2.5 tog thickness.
Sprout Right Cookbook– I did a seminar with the writer of this book after Wee Man was born and I am using it again now that the twins are starting on solids. Great and easy to follow recipes to guide the confused parent!