Are you raising your child bilingually in languages native to you and your partner? Did you study a language and want your child to learn it as well? Do you only speak English but want your little one to have an additional language under his or her belt? Do you want to have fun learning a language together with your child? If you answered YES to any or all of the above, I have a totally awesome company to introduce you to... Little Pim!!
Founded by Julia Pimsleur Levine (daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur - created the Pimsleur Method), Little Pim is a language learning system geared toward children ages 0-6 (the prime time for language acquisition). It's a complete at-home program (DVDs, books, flashcards, and CDs) that helps children acquire a new vocabulary and a near-native accent!
You can choose from the following languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian,English, Portuguese.
My husband is Japanese, but works a LOT so we worry that my son doesn't get enough Japanese exposure. My Japanese is conversational at best, but I don't want to use it with him much because I don't want to pass along my bad grammar and accent. Suffice it to say I was SUPER excited to try out Little Pim's Japanese pak.
I know I know, the AAP recommends no screen time before 2 years old. And for the most part I adhere to that. But I have 2 exceptions: 1) when mama is REALLY sick (i.e. flu, mastitis, etc), and 2) when it's for the purpose of having foreign language exposure! So, Little Pim certainly falls into this 2nd category! We've been watching it together, as it's done in a way that gives you time to repeat the words and phrases and engage your child. It's really fun! But for the sake of taking pictures, he was on his own for a while and look how into it he is!! I promise you, it's not just because it's TV. He couldn't give a rats you know what about Baby Einstein or the nightly news! haha!
Now that you have fallen in love with Little Pim as much as I have, enter to win a 3-pak dvd set below (language of your choice)!!
If you can't wait, or if you don't win (boo-hoo!), you can get 20% off all products on the Little Pim website with the promo code "LPHOLIDAY" (hooray!!!). You can also find Chinese, French, and Spanish Discovery Sets in Toys R Us nationwide.
Oh yeah, did I mention what an AWESOME Christmas (or Hanukkah) gift this would be!?!?
Follow Little Pim for news and promotions (FYI, these are included for extra entry points in giveaway)!
Little Pim Website
Without further ado, the GIVEAWAY!! (Enter in the Rafflecopter box below, US Residents over 18 only please)
**Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Sleep Sense Training - Day 3
We last left off with little one napping from 5:40 til 8pm Friday night and I was worried since 8pm was supposed to be his bedtime. I took my mom's advice and kept him up til 11pm. He was happy and playing independently, not cranky, so all was good. He went down at 11pm and only cried for about 2 minutes! Woohoooo!!
He slept straight from 11pm to 6:30am, half-waking and letting out little cries or whimpers, but never standing up or totally waking up. He finally stood up crying at 6:30am, but that wasn't enough sleep so I moved to the couch and let him cry, for an hour! He passed out around 7:30am and slept for another hour, after which he woke up and I took him out for breakfast and play time.
Saturday's day time naps were totally screwed up since we were out all day. Dana of the Sleep Sense Program would totally boo-boo me, cuz she says you have to be really strict the first few weeks of sleep training with a set routine and they have to fall asleep in their own crib by themselves at the same time every day and night. But, you know what, everybody's gotta make it work and fit their lives however best they can. Frankly, I cannot just give up my life for this, and hopefully my baby will still learn to sooth himself to sleep.
For the first nap of the day, he passed out in his stroller and slept for one hour, which is great for him as of lately. I'm fine with him passing out in the stroller, the main habit I'm trying to break is needing a booby to fall asleep!
But the second nap, ohhhhh boy. Clearly we waited too long and he was overtired. He was screaming in the stroller for a while, so I gave up and put him in the carrier. But that didn't work either, he was content and living it up in there. Time ticked on and finally it was 7pm by the time his eyelids were getting heavy and looking like sleep was near. But we were still out and I didn't want to run into the same issue as the previous day with a really late nap, that could turn into a habit! So I kept him up. Singing, talking excitedly, boop-boop-booping in his face! He wasn't upset, but he obviously wanted to sleep. I told him it was his punishment for not taking a nap earlier. #MomOfTheYear
We got home at 7:50, did our bed time routine which is same as usual except with the added key phrases of "night night" and "sleepy time". I put him in bed at 8:05pm and he cried for all of 10 seconds!!
HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!!
From 8pm til 6:30am - hooooooooorah!!!! I could hear him rustling about changing positions and such, but not a single cry or whimper! Is it possible he's learned to fall back asleep by himself already??? Or just a lucky night?
He hasn't done this or anything close to this in about 5 months. OH. MY. GOD!!
Now... if this can continue and I can just make myself go to bed earlier I will be one friggin' happy mama!!!
Sleep Sense Training - Day 2
Boy oh boy, this kid is gonna be tough to break. Mommy just might break first!
Here's how the first night and the first day with nap training went...
8-8:45 PM - crying
Bedtime at 8pm, cried 45 minutes and then passed out in a kneeling position up against the crib. I laid him down and he slept for 4 hours. YAY!! GOOD START!!! I go to bed around 11am, regretting this delay...
8:45 PM - 1 AM - sleeping like an angel!!
1 - 2:40 AM - crying
Awake and crying for a while (I hid under the covers and he didn't realize I was in the room). After 20-30 minutes he would go silent, I would peak out of my covers and see him passed (kneeling leaning against the rail). I lay him down. He wakes up crying. Repeat the cycle about 4 times. Finally I decide to just leave him sleeping like that. At 2:40 he's finally sleeping. Ugh.
2:40 - 6 AM - sleeping
6 - 8 AM - crying
Wakes and cries for half an hour. I decide maybe he's hungry so I nurse him but make sure he doesn't fall asleep at the breast (this is the #1 sleep prop we're trying to break the habit of). Put him back in his crib at 6:40 awake. He cries for another hour and a half.
8-10 AM - sleeping
Glorious sleep for both of us!! He wakes up super happy and adorable, thank goodness he doesn't hate me... yet... mommy needs a coffee! after taking care of my exploding booby (the one that didn't see action at 6:30am)! haha!
But now I have a dilemma. The schedule I'm trying to get him on is 8pm-8am sleep, with naps at 10:45 AM and 3:15 PM. But he just woke up at 10 AM... hmmm... so we altered a bit...
12 - 1:10 PM and 1:30 - 2 PM - crying
At 1:10 he fell asleep, against the rail AGAIN but he was not getting good sleep as you can see in the video below, he kept sitting up and falling forward, in a twilight kinda sleep poor guy. But he woke when I tried to lay him down 20 minutes later. Sleep Sense says if baby wakes from a nap in less than 1 hour, try to get them to fall asleep again but if they won't after 25 minutes or so give up. Well, that's what I did at 2pm, just in time to make our 2:15pm co-op class! Somehow he was a good boy in class, there's always lots of fun distractions for him, it's only at home he's a cranky pants!
2-4 PM - awake & decent mood
4-5:40 PM - crying
I was sure he would go right down for a nap after our very energetic class! But, no such luck.
5:40 PM - 8 PM - great nap!!
Unfortunately, this SCREWS us for tonight... he's supposed to be going down for the night now. Instead he's waking up from an amazing nap. No idea what I'm supposed to do. This sleep training this is for the friggin birds. UGH!! I just woke him up at 8 and he was happy and hugged me super tight. I guess I'll just let him play til around 10:30pm??
In case you're new here, here's a recap of my baby's sleeping history:
I read "Babywise" at 7 weeks and my little guy quickly took to the eat-play-sleep schedule. By 2 months he was a great napper and slept through the night 6+ hours, by 3 months 9-11 hours straight. I put him down awake, he sucked his thumb and went to sleep quietly.
At 5 months all went to hell in a hand basket due to any combo of the following:
1) He cut his bottom teeth and promptly stopped sucking his thumb
2) We had a 1 week vacation to my parent's house
3) He developed object permanence
4) We stopped using his swaddle/sleep sack
Around 7 months my sister convinced me to do "Cry It Out" and we gave it a half arsed attempt but had 2 things in our way:
1) It was summer and we don't have AC, so he got way too hot while crying.
2) He gnawed at the crib when we left him in there crying (evidence below)
So, I got crib rail covers and waited for the summer heat to fade away. I found the Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman (more on that in another post) and decided to give it a go during my husband's next business trip (I don't want Kenzo's crying throughout the night to keep my hubby up, awwwww am I the best wife or what?? ha! Seriously though, he's such a wimp, always pulling baby into bed with us at the first sign of a whimper). In the meantime we've been co-sleeping for the past few months and he's been waking up about every 1-3 hours and cries until he gets a boobie. I whip it out and we both pass out within a couple of minutes. It's really not that bad, but it's not good (what would happen after I wean him??) and his napping has been getting worse and worse as well. We both need to get better sleep!
Tonight the sleep training finally commenced! Here's a video selfie just after I put Kenzo down in his crib. Whooooo that sucked...
The crying lasted 45 minutes, which funnily enough is the exact time Dana reported as the average time of first night crying on the hundreds of cases she's worked on as a baby sleep consultant. She gives the option of staying in the room with the little one throughout, or just going in to check on him and reassure him. I opted for the second method. I went in at 3 minutes, at 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes a few times. Then I felt like my going in was just working him up even more. So after the 30 minute mark I stopped going in and by the 45 minute mark he was silent. I waited a few minutes then went in to make sure he was ok and in a comfortable position. This is what I found and I almost burst out laughing!!!
He was out, kind of in a twilight sleep, and kept sitting up and falling forward over and over again. Really sad actually, but hilarious at the same time. Luckily he didn't wake up when I laid him down. I'm really not looking forward to him waking up in the middle of the night... I have a feeling it's going to be rough!! I blame myself - just giving him the boob to make him go back to sleep has just made him wake up more frequently and become so dependent on me. This might be a tough habit to break!
Preemptive strike against possible criticism: Sleep training with or without CIO, no sleep training, breast vs. bottle, SAHM vs working mom, whatever... #ISUPPORTYOU and hope you will support me too. We're all doing the best we can and doing what we feel is right for our families. I would love if you comment with your personal experience, advice, tips, etc. But there is no need for judgement or criticism.
Struggling to come up with a Christmas wish list for your munchkin? Me too. What's more? I have to come up with his 1st birthday wish list as well (yes, he's a Christmas baby!). I'm in baby toy and gear research hell. Don't get me wrong, it can be fun to troll the internet and pinterest boards and just add away to the registry, but it can be overwhelming as well and end up turning me into a Grinch.
Speaking of Grinch... look at what we just got from Manhattan Toy - Whoozit Learn & Play Cube & Grinch toy!
How cute is this Grinch doll!?! You know how parents do the Elf on the Shelf to report back to Santa about who's being good or bad little boys and girls? Well, I think Grinch will do an even better job in this house!! ^_^ Here's my little one checking out his new plushie.
The Grinch is way cute and so festive, but definitely something to only let the little guy play with while being monitored. Not sure how long those soft little buttons and whiskers will remain in tact! haha!!
The Whoozit Learn & Play Cube on the other hand is not only baby friendly but has an assortment of gadgets and gizmos to entertain and develop baby's tactile skills! It's got a little clock, abacus, spin dial, beads, crinkle fabric, a mirror, and lighty-uppy buttons that play music. It bundles up into a neat little cube and then fans out for baby's play time!
This cube has quickly become one of Kenzo's favorite toys. At 10 months he can't do some of the functions himself yet, but I'm excited to watch him learn and develop these skills soon!
There you have it, 2 Kenzo tested and Kenzo approved toys you can add to your little one's wish list! Or just go ahead and buy the Grinch & Cube today ^_^
**Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Baby's First Halloween
Halloween, oh how I love thee! I have such fond memories of getting all dressed up (Cleopatra, zebra, Village People with friends, you name it!) and going around the neighborhood collecting pillowcase after pillowcase full of candy. MAN it was fun! Now that I have a baby, I'm not so keen on the idea of him collecting and eating tons of candy, but I'm all for the dressing up and trick or treating part!
Here's our little monkey all dressed up and ready to hit the streets!
First we went to Owl's Head Park for their annual Halloween Party, which was pretty fantastic. They even had a Haunted Walk! We went around 5pm and it was still light outside, and since we had a baby nobody jumped out at us, but it was still pretty darn creepy. Kenzo is too little to understand monsters and ghosts and such so he did fine, but we definitely won't be taking him back there til he's at least 10!
After the park, we headed to 3rd Avenue for some Trick or Treating at, get this, the shops!! Apparently the big thing in Bay Ridge is going trick or treating at all the restaurants, pharmacies, and boutiques on the main strip! This was a crazy idea for me but actually was a really fun way to meet all the shop owners and clerks! But never thought I'd carry my baby into a liqueur store and beg for candy, haha!! Even Rite Aid had a worker handing out candy!
We even hit up some of the gorgeous million dollar homes in the nabe, but were disappointed that only a very small percentage of houses were participating. I guess that's what happens when you can count on your local shops to hand out candy, haha! When Kenzo was tuckered out, we popped into the Pizza joint for one last trick or treat and some dinner to take home :)
Our little monkey did a pretty good job earning candy for mommy and daddy! Next year we'll have to figure out how to implement the "Switch Witch" (she takes kids' candy and replaces it with healthier treats and toys).
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)