I’ll tackle the toddler/preschooler next week, but this week, Katie is on my mind and what makes for the best set up to be able to care for her and complete the work I need to do. Among the things we do is keep a pack-n-play in my office. We have it there so she can sleep while I work and later play while I work. I’m a big believer in some amount of independent play starting at a young age. I love playing with my kids, don’t get me wrong, but I feel that if I play too much with them, they don’t develop their imaginations and they don’t learn how to deal with the “I’m bored” factor.
The things, however, that I would not live without are:
1. Sara Bear Diaper Caddy. This thing is really pretty and that makes me happy, but it is also super-functional. It allows me to just carry the diapers and needed accessories to where Katie is currently hanging out without having to race across the house with her to her changing area in her room. This seems almost inconsequential, but I had no idea how much it would improve our quality of life. I bought it because it was pretty and I didn’t need to buy much for Katie. We considered it a non-necessity, but now I don’t believe that it is.
2. Ergo Baby Carrier. I had a Bjorn with Ben. It still looks like new. Seriously. I hated the thing and it never seemed to work right for me. The Ergo is outstanding in every way. It makes it so easy to take Katie and go out with Ben to play in the yard. The positioning of the carrier is so much better and the infant insert makes it easier for me to work with her and keep her comfortable. The carriers are well-designed and well thought out and they work well for a busy mom who wants to have her young child with her but also have her hands free to play with the older child (or grade a few papers). We’ve even determined that she can be fed in the carrier. I am bottle feeding, but it still works for her and is relatively easy to accomplish.
3. TinyLove Tropical Isle Playmat. We had one of these for Ben and he loved it. His was borrowed and so returned when we were done with it. We bought one for Katie and this has been a great investment. It not only helps us with keeping her occupied, but is a major source of enjoyment for her.