Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

being a new parent Jacksonville, FL | Jax, FL playdate

Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

What’s being a new parent like? Let me paint a picture for you. You give birth to a beautiful baby. You’re over the moon about this tiny bundle of everything right in the world. Your heart couldn’t be fuller, it’s surreal being a new parent. There really are no words. The hospital stay has been a whirlwind. Nurses coming in and going out just as you doze off each time. Your pediatrician stops in, your photographer is working her magic, and excited family and friends with smiles from ear to ear.

You’re feeling ready to get home!

You make your way home for the first time as a family of 3! It smells like home, it looks like home, it’s wonderful. As you settle in you gush over this beautiful baby and family you’ve created. WOW! Being a new parent is so incredibly amazing! Tiredness is setting in. You’re feeling like you could easily sleep for 24 hours straight. You feed baby girl really well, change her diaper, and she’s back to sleep. Your bed has never felt so good, you are fast asleep in no time.

Suddenly you wake with a jolt!

She’ stirring again. Is she hungry again you wonder? Is she just working out some gas bubbles? She’s not waking and seems to be falling back into sleep. Your husband is snoring, the house is still. You start drifting off to sleep again.

. . .

Your husband wakes you, he’s standing over you with your little one in his arms.

“Babe, I think she’s hungry. I just changed her but she is still fusing and rooting around.” You sit up wiping the drool from your chin. You work to get her to latch, it seemed to be easier at the hospital. She’s finally on the boob, you look at your phone, it’s only been 45 minutes since you laid down, wow. Okay, she ate an hour and a half ago, but she definitely seems hungry. She is sucking away.

. . .

You call your husband to come back in.

“I don’t know if she’s hungry or not,” you tell him. “She was fussing and trying to eat. I finally get her latched and she sucked like she was starving and then she fell asleep again, not 5 minutes in. I don’t know what to do. Being a new parent is wild, huh?”

You both laugh an exhausted little laugh.

Your husband, the sweet daddy he is gets the breastfeeding book out. “Well, the book says she should be eating about every 2-3 hours. She ate about 2 hours ago, maybe she’s not hungry. Should I burp her if she wakes again, maybe it’s gas?”

. . .

Cue the dog barking at a UPS driver across the street.

You wake again and find your husband passed the fuck out! Poor guy is exhausted. He’s a champ. He’s stayed alongside you as you labored, never leaving your side. He came home cared for the dogs, updated family, loaded all your stuff in the car, cared for the baby so you can rest and now he is finally getting in a good rest. Good for him! You cover him with a throw and turn the lights down for him.

. . .

Fast forward to your fourth day at home.

Breastfeeding is way harder than you thought it would be, your boobs are sore and your neck is aching. Your pumping so your husband can give a bottle so you try to get rest at night. Rest, yeah that looks like 3 hours straight, if you’re lucky. You don’t know what day it is, but you know your baby is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed and slightly inadequate to be her mama. You think to yourself, wtf was I thinking, I can barely keep plants alive, being a new parent is insane, what a rollercoaster. Tears and silly laughter follow and you wonder if this ever gets easier.

Your husband suggests calling your mom over for some help.

You both need sleep. Breastfeeding feels more like a full-time job than the sweet bonding experience you envisioned and hoped for. You’re running on fumes. Your fuse is short. You have threatened to cut the next person who rings the damn doorbell. You didn’t want to call your mom, but her help is sounding better and better.

Let me stop you right there!

Being a new parent is ALL the things. It’s incredible, fulfilling, fun, scary, and H-A-R-D! Being a new parent is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. You can bond, shower, eat, and SLEEP, for more than an hour or two at a time with the right care and support!

With The Jacksonville Baby Company being a new parent means you’ll thrive!

Our team knows the ins and outs of postpartum and infant care. The physical, emotional, and mental aspects that come with giving birth. We are experts in breast and bottle feeding. We know how to handle, store, and prepare breastmilk and formula. We are very well-versed in deep latching, spotting troubles before they get out of control, feeding positions, different techniques for bottle feeding, burping, diapering, cord care, literally all the things. You can sleep, eat, shower, and do so with confidence that your baby is great hands. Toddlers, extended family, and pets love us too! There is no way not to thrive with us by your side!

Contact us today! It costs you absolutely nothing!

You’ll walk away with a crystal clear vision of what your first few weeks as a new parent will be like with proper support and care. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience, we are up to date and in the know on all things birth and parenting. We support ALL people, ALL parenting styles, and are genuinely happy to do so!

[This blog is meant to give you an idea of what being a new parent can be like for some, others have a unique experience of their own. We will talk more about other experiences in future blog posts]

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

screen time alternatives jax, FL

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

Today we’re sharing screen time alternatives to entertain toddlers because let’s face it, toddlers are busy little people! They’re curious, imaginative, have lots of questions, and are capable of doing amazing things! Toddlers need lots of creative outlets to explore and we as caregivers, parents, and teachers are here to provide those outlets in healthy doses! So let’s talk toddler screen time alternatives!

Sensory Play Table

Sensory play tables are a great way to engage the senses and spark curiosity! You can change out the options available each week here are just a few ideas for the sensory play table: water, sand, playdough, toddler tweezers, sorting and or lacing beads, crinkle materials, foam stamps, moon sand, Monkey Noodles , and WikkiStix

A Felt Board and A Busy Board

A busy board can provide hours of entertainment over a period of months! Toddlers can examine, explore, and keep themselves busy as they attempt to master zippers, buckles, snaps, latches, hooks, gears, levers, locks, and laces.

A felt board can be another source of fun and creativity with boundaries. Your toddler can have a daily felt board where they get to decide if it’s rainy or sunny, hot or cold. They can have a family tree or a holiday board. Maybe your toddler is learning about setting a table or sorting things in order of size. Use felt to create a screen on t.v. as a screen time alternative!

Books on Tape/CD

While there’s no replacement for sitting and reading with your child, books on tape or CD are a fabulous supplement. The Pout-Pout Fish, Is Your Mama A Llama, and The Caboose Who Got Loose are treasured favorites with the toddlers we’ve worked with! As they hold the book in their hands the story is read to them. The characters come to life from the pages and your little ones will have lots to share with you.

Songs that Teach

Kids love to sing and dance so why not get some learning in there! There are songs that teach just about anything, so using them as screen time alternatives is super-duper smart! The cleanup song, the ABC song, sight words, planets, days of the week, months of the year, and the teeth brushing song are just a few examples! Songs are the way we teach our kids, teach our kids, teach our kids, songs are the way we teach our kids new concepts and procedures!

Blocks

From wooden and magnetic blocks to bumpy sensory blocks to Legos, toddlers love to stack, build, show off their creations, and of course, knock ’em down! A castle, a house, a bridge, and a ship, all magnificent time-consuming projects that require concentration and focus!

Art

Art is a form of self-expression! For toddlers who are eager to talk and share their ideas, art allows them to do so in a magical way! Finger paints, macaroni necklaces, watercolors, acrylic paints, paper mache’, crayons, pencils, glue, sticks, and strings, there are endless possibilities!

Hot Wheels

Wheels that spin at record speed as they jump ramps made of books through hallways and kitchens, working doors, a variety of colors and car and truck types, hot wheels do not disappoint! Toddlers and Hot Wheels go together like pb&j!

Yoga

Okay, I’ll admit when I first heard if kids yoga I thought there were no way kids this young would be still long enough to do yoga! I was right! Well, I was also wrong! Kids yoga is so much more than being still. It’s fun, silly, involves movement, and mindfulness. Our partner, Grow Family cracked the code for kids yoga and provides our community with something as unique as your toddler! Check ’em out!

Many of the things listed in this blog can easily be packed into a travel box or bag so your little big guy/girl can be entertained on the go! At The Jax Baby Company, we’re not anti-screen time, we’re all about options! We know these screen time alternatives will be a huge hit!

Our team of fully vetted, compassionate, and knowledgeable specialist are here to assist at the most pressing time in your life! You owe it to yourself and family to have the best at home!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth

Potty Training Tips for Success

potty training jax, fl | Nanny for Potty Training Jax, FL | Jax, FL Night Nanny

Potty Training Tips for Success

Potty training is another crazy adventure you’ll embark on as a parent. There are plenty of people out there to tell you exactly how potty training is done, spout off sure-fire ways that work for every kid, what you’re doing “wrong”, and how you can do it “right”. The Jax Baby Company are not those people. We don’t believe in a one-size fits all model of parenting. Each person, family, and situation is unique and should be treated as such.

Our first potty training tip is the most important piece of the potty training puzzle. Watch for signs of readiness.

You’re paying attention to the individual child. Often times we get in a hurry to get to potty train the child and we forget that the child is an individual and his timing is his own. This doesn’t mean we’re waiting for the child to head off to kindergarten, but we are saying that he may be 3 before he is ready. Ask yourself, is my child ready to potty learn? How do I know when my child is ready? If your child isn’t showing most of the signs of readiness you’re almost guaranteed a child who protests potty training and endless accidents too. So, what are the signs of potty training readiness?

Here are some general signs:

  • your child is telling you before they wet or soil themselves
  • wanting to be changed after they poop or pee in their diaper/pull-up
  • pointing to the potty or wanting to sit on it
  • hiding to pee or poop in their diaper/pull-up
  • waking up dry after a nap
  • removing her diaper/pull-up on his own
  • if your child can follow multi-step commands such as: please hand me the cup and plate and then wipe your mouth
  • your child has reached the “I do it” or “me do it” stage
  • your child seems to be looking for more independence and is needing less help

Make it a family affair!

Look, everyone poops and pees, even mommy! Have them join you in the bathroom from a very young age, as soon as they can sit on a little potty, let them sit with you. Read a short book to them while they sit and you sit. Children of all genders can start potty training by sitting on the toilet. This isn’t a must, but I tell you what, you’ll save yourself from having to do a lot more cleaning up by having them sit.

Avoid potty training during a big transition.

By big transition I mean a divorce, marriage, or a death in the family, moving or having someone move in or out of the house, daycare switch or introduction to a new nanny, a very recently weaning from breastfeeding, someone in the home has just given birth, or you’ve brought a new dog or puppy into the family. These are huge changes and while children are resilient they still need time to adjust and settle in and potty training in itself is a huge transition.

Make sure you and all caregivers are 100% on board with the process and have the time to commit and follow through.

Patience, consistency, and time are key factors in potty training success! Be consistent, totally chill and positive throughout, wash, rinse, repeat. They will get it, it may happen quickly, or not, both are normal. While it can be frustrating, do not let it get at you. Children can begin potty training or potty learning as some call, it as early as 10 months and as late as 3 or 4 years old. Most will start between 2 and 3 years old. In the United States, most boys average about 39 months old while most girls average about 35 months. This age has risen since the 1940’s. We won’t even get into discussing Elimination Communication (EC) in this blog series, that’s for another day. Potty training will happen in time, don’t feel pressured to rush, you, your child, and your home will survive the accidents along the way. Promise!

The Jax Baby Company stands by your parenting choices, potty training style, and individual needs.

Our team is there, in homes helping families just like yours develop a plan, set the ball in motion, and adjust as needed. We hope you found these potty training tips helpful and you’ve gained confidence from your reading. More sleep, healthy snacks and meals, expert advice, science-based resources and all of it comes from judgment-free and friendly specialists. Don’t wait, put us on your team today!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

The First Day of Fall | Autumn Equinox | Balance

the first day of fall jax, FL

The First Day of Fall | Autumn Equinox | Balance

Today, September 23rd, 2019 is the first day of fall. Now, for most Floridians, fall and winter mean… absolutely nothing. No beautifully changing leaves, cardigans, or crisp nights. It’s hot here pretty much year-round with the exception of February and maybe a few weeks scattered out between December to March. One week it could be 78-84 degrees and then out of nowhere, we might get a day where we have a thermometer reading in the 20’s or 30’s.

The first day of fall, the autumn equinox marks the time of year where days and nights are as close to equal as we will experience here on the First Coast. That’s kind of a big deal! After the autumn equinox, the nights begin getting longer. Now, if you’re a new parent the thought of one more long(er) night might just send you over the metaphorical edge.

The first day of fall marks the beginning of longer nights to come, sounds terrible if you have a newborn, but it also signifies balance, rest, reflection, and blessings.

5 Ways to Make the Most of the First Day of Fall:

Make a list of your accomplishments.

Reflect on the last couple of months. What goals have you set and achieved? What did you achieve that you didn’t think you could? Are you pregnant? Add, “growing a human” to your list. If you’re a new parent add “keeping a tiny human alive” to your list! You can add any goals you’ve achieved and any awards you’ve received. Go ahead and pat yourself on your back and take time to enjoy and give appreciation to those accomplishments.

Host an autumn gathering with those who fill your cup as much as or more than they sip from it.

Ask each person to bring a fall dish or beverage so the entire workload isn’t on you. If a bonfire is part of this celebration even better! Ask your guests to come ready to share a few of their own accomplishments and be prepared to cheer you on when you share your own. This is where you and your tribe give thanks to one another and your ancestors! Even better still, if your family and friends are musically inclined, raise the vibrations together and let the waves of energy come over you as you play together!

Focus on implementing balance during this time.

Create a place outdoors where you can relax, unwind, and even meditate. Give to yourself as you give to others. No time? Nonsense, make time. Close your eyes, imagine a scale. On one side are all the things (weight) you do for others. On the other side are the things (weight) you do for you exclusively. Is the scale equally balanced? Take some weight from one side of the scale and place it on the other. Balance my friend.

Rest on the first day of fall.

Take a quick 20-minute nap to recharge your batteries if you’re dragging in the afternoon. Schedule time for additional rest during these shorter days. Rest can mean different things for different people. Allow yourself the rest that you need as an individual and also expect others to do the same. During your periods of rest through this time of the year remember your ancestors and loved ones who are no longer with you on earth. Share stories and memories from your past. Be nostalgic, walk memory lane, reminisce together with those you love and care for.

Set your intentions and set goals for the next season in life.

Don’t let the worries or mistakes of your past hold you captive today. Just as the day is made new each morning, so are you! Without the darkness, you can not have the light, but you have the power to reach your goals and dreams. Set your intentions, create goals, shoot for the stars!

The first day of fall is an opportunity to stir up big things.

Harness the power of the autumn equinox and seek out the balance you are literally craving in your life. Start today. If you’re in the Jax, FL area and you need help finding that balance in life contact The Jax Baby Company and we can help guide you, we can take second shift or tag team with you so you can get “me-time” in!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth

first day of fall Jax, FL | Fall Equinox

Elizabeth is the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co., providing exceptional support and inclusive care for families welcoming babies in the Jacksonville, FL area since 2013. Helping families enjoy their births, their babies, and their sleep.

Expecting a new baby soon? Contact The Jax Baby Co. and let Elizabeth and her team help you get off on the right start!

Moments You’ll Never Get Back | Yin & Yang

Moments You'll Never Get Back Jax, FL | Jax, FL Newborn

Moments You’ll Never Get Back | Yin & Yang

Parenting means there will be moments you’ll never get back. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, I promise! Today, Elizabeth Luke, mother of four, postpartum and infant care specialist, and the owner of The Jax Baby Company, Jacksonville’s only agency catering to, caring for, and supporting new families as they parent their babies during the first year of life shares 3 secrets that will help you capture moments you’ll never get back!

The Yin and Yang of Parenting

There are lots of sleepless nights. Tears will be shed; both your own tears and tears from your babies. There’s heartbreak when you can’t figure out why or what is wrong. Spoiler alert, this isn’t limited to their time as babies. This will apply to newborns, toddlers, children, teens, young adults, and your adult children if or when they become parents. Might as well get used to it, embrace it, and realize with the bad comes the good. You simply can’t have one without the other.

Then, there are the moments you’ll never get back!

Those moments and memories you want, so desperately to hold tight to. These moments happen, and as they fade away you think to yourself, “I’ll never get this moment again! I’m going to remember this forever.” But guess what? You can and almost always do forget. And, it will be okay. Promise

The good news is that the moments you’ll never get back are replaced by new, equally magical moments! And the sentiment lasts a lifetime.

The new moments capture your heart yet again and remind you that although you’ve forgotten a lot, there is still more moments to come that are beautiful and most importantly meaningful! So meaningful they may be forgotten, but they deeply impact you, your life, and how you parent and love your babies forever and ever amen!

I know you’re thinking, BUT I don’t want to lose any moments!!! I simply refuse!

What if I told you there are 3 ways to help you hold tightly just a little longer to the moments you’ll never get back?! You’d be excited, almost tearful at the thought, right? I know I sure get that feeling just writing about it! I’m not crying, you’re crying! Damn hormones! What do we do when we want to remember things? Make lists, set calendar reminders, create a post on social media so it will pop up in our timehop each year, create visual and auditory reminders, and hire a tutor!

3 Secrets to Help You Capture the Moments You’ll Never Get Back

Photos!

Photos, when done right can capture a moment in time, evokes emotion, triggers memories, and are gorgeous! Moments like pregnancy, birth, squishy newborn feeding sessions, sibling interactions, baptisms, birthdays, and graduation photos are all moments that are irreplaceable!

Music!

Music therapy is very interesting. We’ve all experienced it. A song comes on the radio and immediately you’re taken back. Psssss, It works with a scent too! Make a short soundtrack or playlist of songs during the year and play the sh*t out of it! Make some for each year. Make sure you label with the month and year! When you play that soundtrack or playlist years later there will be at least one or two songs you can close your eyes and go back in time to! Try it! I’m not even kidding. Likewise, we’re in the digital age so videos have never been easier to create! Do it! They don’t need to be perfect, they need to authentic to trigger memories!

A Professional Tutor!

Wait, they make tutors to help you remember moments you’ll never get back? Well, not exactly. A professional tutor to help you take time to slow down, enjoy, and thoroughly soak up the moments in time, yes! Well, not exactly. A professional tutor to help you take time to slow down, enjoy, and thoroughly soak up the moments in time, yes!

Remember Elizabeth, mom of four and agency owner?

Hi, it’s me! My team and I are your professional tutors, just contact us! We help you slow down, we will make your lists, do your shopping, toss in the laundry, play with the dogs, and organize the pantry so you my dear can enjoy those moments you’ll never get back. We will take the nights so you can enjoy the days, or vice verse! We will prep your meals so you can enjoy time with your family. We will encourage you when you are feeling unsure or uneasy! We will validate your feelings and help you create a plan that works for your family!

So, while it’s true that there are lots of moments you’ll never get back, it’s also true that the 3 ways I listed above will help you capture and store more of them in your longterm memory bank!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support to families in and around Jacksonville, Florida for the better part of two-and-a-half decades. Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum support, in-home infant care, and sleep coaching! Here is The Jax Baby Co website , the FB page, and the IG account.

Carpe Diem Parenting | Do the Thing Y’all!

carpe diem parenting

Carpe Diem Parenting | Do the Thing Y’all

“What’s carpe diem parenting”, you ask. In short, it just means seize the day! Do the damn thing! Say yes!!! Life is short, sometimes much too short. Between adulting, exercising, meal prep, and chasing your toddler around, the days seem so long, but the years just fly right by! You know how it is. One minute you’re wondering if they’ll ever crawl or say mama and the next minute it’s a full-time job to keep them from climbing tables and you’re hiding fine chocolates in an empty frozen broccoli bag to enjoy a piece now and again in peace in quiet!

Carpe diem parenting means saying yes to family time!

Take the vacation! Use your leave! Take the boat out on the water, put your feet in the sand, and splash around in the pool, the bills, the to-do list, and the mess will all be there when you return! No one ever looks back on life and say, “Damn, I should have tackled that laundry instead of playing and enjoying time with my family.

Carpe diem parenting means it’s not all about the kids!

Catch a movie and lunch with your sister, the kids don’t need you every minute. In fact, being away from your kiddos sometimes will allow them time to miss and appreciate you more! As long as they are well-cared for they will be fine. There’s nothing like the love of a sibling, even when they are a big pain in the ass! I promise one day will come and you will miss them probably more than you ever imagined. Yes, I know that day is not today!

Carpe diem parenting means everyone is learning!

Get that massage, try the dessert, and sing wildly with your hair blowing in the wind! You deserve to treat yourself to something fun and relaxing! Being a parent is hard! There’s no trophy for those who finish without stopping to smell the roses along the way! Hint: the trophy is the flowers you missed along the way! It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Journies are meant to be lived and experienced to the fullest. I’m not saying there won’t be hardships, bad times, or even times that the unthinkable happens. I am saying just the opposite. With the good comes the bad, you can’t have one without the other. So carpe diem means to seize every single moment in this life!

Carpe diem parenting means saying yes!

Say yes to you, because in doing so you’re teaching others how you expect to be treated. You’re setting an example for your kids. You are paving a way for others who may be hesitant to seize the day, the moment, or the experience!

Say yes to your kids, if you can’t identify the true harm in it?

Embrace carpe diem parenting whenever and wherever possible!

Get down on the floor and roll around, be silly! Splash in the water, skip stones, and watch the birds. Talk about your day, listen and ask questions about their day. Let them wear the tutu and rainboots! Enjoy them!

Our team at The Jax Baby Company wants you to experience and cherish everything you can in this lifetime! No matter what parenting style you adopt We are here to listen, offer an objective perspective when you’re interested, and most importantly we have no ideas about how you should parent your children or live the life you are living! We just want to support you through it and help you enjoy it in your own way, in your own time as much as possible! Contact our team today! Cheers to carpe diem parenting!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

6 Steps to Grow | Personal Growth for Parents

6 steps to grow Jax, FL | Jax, FL night nurse

6 Steps to Grow | Personal Growth for Parents

Within my circle of friends, the parents with whom I work, and even in my own home, we each strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. We’re each taking steps to grow as individuals and as parents! Personal growth should push us, stretch us, and even pain us at times, but most importantly it should excite us! We were meant to grow, change, and evolve throughout our lives. Does that mean we won’t fall short at times? No! Does it mean it’ll be easy? No! But, taking steps to grow is worth it! Growing as a parent is especially rewarding!

Here are 6 Steps to Grow as Parents:

Tackle the Hardest Task First

Dreading the thing you don’t want to do is often worse than actually doing it. Not all hard things end up being as hard as we anticipate them being either, the bark can be worse than the bite. My advice, take bites at the hardest, most dreaded thing on your plate first. Then, chomp away at the more palatable pieces of the pie. More often than not when we handle the hard things first we feel accomplished, we breathe a sigh of relief, and we can move on.

Learn to Say YES, without feeling guilty.

Sounds easy, but just as saying no without apology or explanation can be extremely difficult, so too can saying yes! Say you’ve had a rough week. A friend calls to see if you want to get a pizza and watch a movie. You want to say yes, but you have a load of laundry that needs washing and a dog that needs to get a bath. What do you do?! Say yes! Saying yes because that’s what you want at the moment is perfectly okay. Try it! There will always be laundry. You won’t always have the friend, the opportunity, or the ability to join said friend.

Meet Others Where They Are

This is a difficult one! It can take a very long time to become aware you’re even doing it. We’re literally designed to use our judgment to help us survive, but surprisingly we’re not always so great at the judgment part. Knowing when to use it is the hard part. We learn pretty early on that a hot stove isn’t something we want to place our hands on.

It gets tricky when we’re talking about judging others.

It’s so easy to say, “If that was my kid, I would…[insert judgemental comment here].” “Why doesn’t she just …[insert another judgy thought here]?” This behavior isn’t healthy. STOP! Check yourself! Your truth isn’t everyone’s truth and each person is on a unique journey in life. There is beauty in that. There is happiness is non-judgment. Be self-aware. Hold yourself accountable. Take steps to correct yourself. These things will help you meet others right where they are. The best part is you don’t have to travel anywhere!

Yoga

You can’t take steps to grow and not include yoga and meditation! Yoga is for everybody and every body! It truly is. I don’t care for labels, but here goes; young and old, singles and couples, disabled, athletic, introverts, extroverts, moms, dads, caregivers, police officers, doctors, kids, babies, and grandparents, large people, tiny people, silly people, and even pregnant people. Yoga incorporates breath work, gentle poses, stretching, meditation, and mindfulness. It helps you center yourself, feel more grounded and connected, and become more self-aware. The perfect place to grow is literally from within.

Exercise

We’ve all heard it, exercise is 90% mental and 10% physical! Exercise very literally pushes you out of your comfort zone. It requires you to be resilient, persistent, and consistent! Exercising absolutely requires you to takes steps to grow in more ways than one. Exercise the body, but also remember to exercise kindness, forgiveness, will-power, and always, without a doubt your right to vote!

Keep an Open Mind and a Level Head

Hold it together Karen, noone wants to see you lose your shit in the breakroom today! Sometimes things aren’t as they first appear. Black and white are black and white, but they make gray when watered down and mixed! We need to become masters of adjusting our own lens. If you can slow down, become aware of your own feelings and breath, silence the tongue, and keep an open mind and a level head as you adjust and observe, it gives you the freedom to think more clearly and objectively!

Taking steps to grow is important.

Growth happens in so many ways. I challenge you to begin taking steps to grow right now, today. Answer these questions: In what ways have you grown as a parent? In what areas would you like to grow? What is your biggest challenge (remember to tackle the hardest thing first)? What is one thing you’ll work on this week that will help you grow as a parent?

If you find that you enjoyed this blog and the steps to grow mentioned within it, and you’d like to learn more, contact us or leave a comment below!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke, author and owner of The Jax Baby Co.

6 Brilliant Ideas to Get an Uninvolved Dad Involved

Get an Uninvolved Dad Involved Jax, FL | Jax Parenting | Dad in Jacksonville, FL

6 Brilliant Ideas to Get an Uninvolved Dad Involved

Let’s face it, shoving a baby into our partner’s arms and saying, “Here, you need to spend time with our kid” is probably not [it’s definitely not] one of the best ways to get an uninvolved dad involved. Brutally honest? Yes! Effective? Not likely.

Here are 6 Brilliant Ideas to Get an Uninvolved Dad Involved:

Give Him a Job

Not just any job, a fun job! One isn’t too hard and just might help him connect with his baby in a safe space, his home. One idea is reading to the baby each day. Another idea is picking out clothes and getting his baby dressed either for the day or the night ahead. The idea is to help him connect and let him do it!

Talk With Him

You could totally come up with some ideas to get an uninvolved dad involved, but maybe you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. He may be unaware [yes, oblivious] that he is “uninvolved”, as you (the other parent) define it. You came looking, I just provided the resource.

Talking to him may be all it takes. For example, let’s say you want him to help with a feeding or bathtime in the evening. But rather than him jumping in and taking over he finds other tasks to busy himself or just relaxes on the couch. Do you perceive it as not helping or disengaged. Maybe he is modeling what he believes his role as the father to be. Could it be that this was his father’s role was or what he wished he had in a father as a child? Maybe working and helping to provide for his family is [how he interprets] his role and contribution to his family. Use your words [kind ones] and be direct. “Honey, what I need for you to do is [fill in the blank here]. I bet [baby’s name here] would love to have some time one on one bonding with you.”

Dr’s Orders

Does your partner usually side with doctors or scientifc studies? Then science may be just what the doctor ordered. There are several studies showing that through touch fathers develop and foster relationships with their young. (Field, 2001Field et al., 2004Field, Hernandez-Reif, Diego, Schanberg, & Kuhn, 2005).

“Imagine if the hugs, lullabies and smiles from parents could inoculate babies against heartbreak, adolescent angst and even help them pass their exams decades later. Well, evidence from the new branch of science called epigenetics is reporting that this long-term emotional inoculation might be possible.”~Robert Winston

Infant Massage

Daddies give amazing massages and the effects of personal touch and the connection he makes with the baby will benefit both of them for a lifetime. Not sold on this one? Well watch this Ted Talk and tell me what you think in the comments below! Please!

Baby Wearing

Your husband may never look sexier than he does wearing the baby the two of you are rearing together. Once he finds his groove at it anyway.

Be Around Other Dads

When in Rome do as the Romans do. If your partner is open to getting involved in some Baby and Me activities and classes with other fathers, cheer him on! Have him join the Jacksonville Pregnancy and Parenting group on Facebook together. It’s open to all parents who are willing to follow a few simple guidelines [like don’t be an asshole] and we would love to get more dads and babies together in a group setting! This would be a perfect way to try out baby/infant carriers before making a big purchase!

The Hard Part!

When you get an uninvolved dad involved with his baby you must, I repeat you must let him do it! Step back, walk away, literally bite your tongue if you must! BUT, you must let him lead, let him learn, and let him grow in his role! He’s got this!

There’s only so much you can do!

You can be brilliant and have all the ideas, but there’s only so much you can do. If you think your partner is uninvolved, withdrawn, or just not connecting with his baby you can encourage him to reach out for help via counseling, seeing a therapist, or a support group. You can only be responsible for your own actions. I encourage you to be patient, show some grace, and don’t give up on your partner!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Tips for Getting Out of the House With Kids in Tow

Getting Out of the House With Kids in Tow Jax, FL | Jacksonville Nanny | night Nanny Jax

Tips for Getting Out of the House With Kids in Tow

It’s a big transition from one to two babies. Getting out of the house with kids in tow can be a job and may even seem a little terrifying. Our team has put together an awesome list of things to make getting out of the house with kids in tow easier, less stressful, and even more enjoyable for all of you!

We Hope You Find These Tips for Getting Out of the House With Kids in Tow Helpful:

1. Babywear

Wearing your baby is an excellent way to free your hands so you can quickly dedicate them to Cool Hand Luke over there [look it up, I’m old AF], a.k.a. your toddler! Babywearing also allows you to do other tasks like sip on a cup of coffee while simultaneously pushing the Target cart and taking a commemorative selfie. Just think of how boss so you’ll look! Also, what a sweet memory you’ll have when it comes up in your Timehop for years to come!

2. Double Stroller

So wearing your baby is great, unless you hate it! Even still having a double stroller, in my opinion, is nice for some occasions, especially longer outings where one or both kids will need to rest. You can stuff a bunch of things beneath the seats, and if you’re feeling touched out the stroller definitely gives you more personal space.

3. Leash the [incredibly cute, sometimes feral] Beast

Never underestimate a toddler. Their size and speed give them the capabilities to move with the stealth and agility of a cheetah and hide effortlessly in tight spaces like a pancake tortoise [again, look it up or see one at The Jax Zoo]!

Seriously, “Where the Wild things Are” would be a great movie title for a toddler’s life! Don’t fear the leash, save your sanity, and keep your kiddo safe. Bonus: when your toddler pretends to be a kitty cat they can really get into character and be even more realistic! BOOM, mom win!

4. Leave (extra or extra-extra) Early

Feeling rushed can make your entire trip off-kilter, for you and your babies! Know your route, turn on the GPS to check the traffic if backups may be expected, and plan to arrive 30 minutes early. That “should” leave you enough time to get where you need to be without the pressure of running behind.

Finding yourself consistently right on time? You’re golden! Finding yourself a little early? Magic! Still running late? Eh, leave 10 minutes earlier next time, but sometimes getting out of the house with kids in tow just means you’ll be late. Only now you have a free pass “reason” to be late sometimes!

5. Keep a Go Bag in the Car

A Go Bag is a bag that is ready to go at all times, but is kept in your vehicle, hence the name. The following are some ideas for your Go Bag:

  • A full change of clothes for yourself and your kiddos
  • Diapers, pull ups, and underwear for each kid
  • A large pack of wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Bottle of water for hand rinsing
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A few non perishable snacks
  • A special toy or two that only comes out at special times to grab and hold their attention
  • Any other essentials like a paci, bottle, cup, femine hygiene products[not the kitchen sink Karen]

6. Back Pack It!

Forget the diaper bag and opt for a back pack! It keeps your arms free and has lots of great pockets! Since you have a Go Bag you don’t have to pack the kitchen sink [looking at you again Karen]. Pack a diaper or two, a small pack of wipes, water for you, and any essentials [again, not the damn sink Karen]. Bring any needed food, drinks, and snacks and again I highly recommend a small, but fun item or two that your little beastie gets to hold or play with ONLY when you need to occupy them when your hands are full.

7. Easy Access Clothing

Those adorable one-piece rompers you fancied before you were pregnant… Two words, donate them! Do it! Unless you want to make a bold dash to the car for your Go Bag after a mishaps while pottying while also trying to keep care of two babies, donate them now! That image ain’t cute!

Likewise, I don’t know who in blue blazes designed baby and toddler clothing without snaps between the legs, but it had to be someone with literally no brain or hands. Dress your kids in clothing they will not only be cute and comfy in, but that have easy access points so you can change diapers with ease. Pay special attention while potty training. After all you shouldn’t look like you’re trying to swaddled a rabid hyena while you’re wrangling your half naked child during an outing! And if you do see #11.

8. Rest Before Leaving the Nest

Easier said than done. I know! If just the idea of getting out of the house with two kids in tow has your stressing, say no to things you don’t have to do. BUT be willing to say yes to some exploration and adventure.

Start by scheduling things (when you can) around their nap times. So if they have their morning nap at 10-12, leave plenty of time for that and travel, see #4. Otherwise leave the nest on a whim only when your baby birds are well rested.

9. Frequent Family-Friendly Places

Little ones come with some mess and noise. I know, shocker! Visit places you might “find your tribe”, or at least where you can let your kids be kids while get to enjoy seeing them have some freedom. The Zoo [you can see the pancake tortoise here], Sunshine Park, and Grow Family are all places to consider!

10. Just a Few Safety Tips:

  • Avoid leaving your kids unattended while in a vehicle. Strap your most mobile child in their carseat first and remove them from the carseat last. This will help demobilize them long enough for you to get the youngest situated.
  • If help or assistance is needed don’t be too afraid to ask. It could be an employee if you’re at a store or another person who is nearby. There are good people left in the world!
  • Park in the locations you feel safest. There isn’t always a right or wrong answer here, use your best judgement and it will be fine.
  • Keep your cell phone on your person at all times when not in use.
  • Never place an infant carseat on top of a shopping cart. It can tip or get knocked over.

11. Be Prepared for Opinions, but Give No Fucks

You don’t owe anyone an answer or response. Focus on you and your kids. If you feel it woud be helpful you can prepare a blanket statement ahead of time for a few general things you may be worried or concerned over. Outsiders don’t pay your bills, you don’t have to sleep next to them, and life moves on. Your kids, none the wiser. You got this!

At the end of the day if the thought of getting out of the house with kids in tow leaves you feeling scared or nervous here are 3 things you can do that I am positive can help you:

  1. Focus on safety and love. Do not fear judgement or outside criticism. See #11
  2. Stop judging yourself so harshly. Just loving your kids and keeping them alive some days is amazing and enough!
  3. Hire help! We’re here and for hire to assist with these things. We can for sure help [without judgement] assist you and prepare you to go it alone!

DISCLAIMER: The JBC team has no personal hang ups, problems, or beef with anyone, more specifically, anyone named Karen!

Get in touch with our amazing team at The Jax Baby Co. and let us help you plan and execute [like a boss] your first few outings after your baby is born! We don’t judge and our bark is pretty badass! Basically we can handle the haters, cheer you on, and assist as needed! We got you!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth