All in the family
Q&A session on adding to the fam and bedtime routines 😴
We made it to another Friday! This one feels especially welcome if your family, like mine, has been battling one icky fall bug after another…and keeping Kleenex in business. My 6-year-old is my reminder to stay strong—germs roll right off that kid after all the common cold reps she's put in. 💪
For today: We’re tackling major life changes—from new nighttime routines to new family members.
(Hot tip: If the word “routine” lit you up, check out the East Fam day in the life video at the bottom of today’s newsletter!)
We have an almost 7-year-old son and are finally thinking about adding another kiddo to our family. How do we prepare ourselves for getting back into the infant routine and also prepare our son for no longer being the only child?
Our answer: It can be so strange to dust off those diapers and teeny weeny socks after a gap in baby time, right? We send all the good vibes for your journey. Here’s some advice →
Take the East family’s approach. “Instead of telling Drew that mom and dad were having a baby when I was pregnant with Jett,” Shawn said, “we told her she was having a baby! Our pediatrician recommended giving ownership to the older sibling, so excitement builds and the sibling still gets a ton of attention.”
One way to put that ownership into action: Shawn and Andrew put Drew in charge of all visitors. Whenever someone came to see the baby, they’d have to check in with big sister first to see if it’s okay to say hello to “their” baby.
Prepare the big kids for what’s to come. Talk about it, draw about it, watch kid-friendly shows addressing the topic like this favorite from Daniel Tiger. Remind them that life changes but your love for them only grows. And focus on the exciting parts!
Prepare yourselves for what’s to come, and we mean more than researching which double stroller is the easiest to fold up. You might experience parent guilt for having less one-on-one time with your oldest. You might stress about how your first baby will handle a sibling. You might feel overwhelmed. But tons of families figure it out—and you will, too.
Take it from the pros—having a big family can be really awesome. Our resident lots-of-kids experts, Stephen and Amanda Miller from the What’s Up Beautiful People podcast, share plenty of tips on growing their family, adopting, and raising 7 (!) kids together. Check out this episode for inspiration and encouragement.
And on those days you’re extra stressed about it all? I’m pretty sure that’s why sibling-meeting-newborn videos were invented. We also love this compilation of the kiddos of celebs meeting their siblings for the first time! 😭
We have a very active 4-year-old who loves to be part of the action. As part of his bedtime routine since he was born, we have a calm down hour the last hour of the day where we sit together for a movie, play quiet puzzles/games, and relax. Recently he has been very resistant to going to bed. Should we remove nap time or try a different approach at the end of the day?
Our answer: Like your outerwear or your drink order, your bedtime routine should reflect the chapter of life you’re in. Before kissing nap goodbye, might we suggest tweaking parts of the current bedtime routine?
Because routines are a good thing—they’re how we communicate boundaries and expectations consistently to small kiddos with developing brains. Here are some ideas for perfecting your current routine to meet new needs:
Change up movie or game time for something even quieter like classical music and a book or two.
Sing quiet bedtime songs.
Tuck in stuffed animals and baby dolls.
Dim the lights.
If that’s not doing it for you, examine your overall daily routine. Most experts recommend nap or quiet time for kids under 4, so there is a chance your little one might be ready to move ahead without a nap in the near future. Try one day without a nap and see how sleep goes that night. It’s all a big experiment!
Submit a question to be featured in a future Q&A here.
Day in the life. Ever wonder how Shawn and Andrew balance family life and everything else they have going on? Me too. Check out their recent BTS video of what a day with littles looks like. Too relatable. Worth it for the lunch box menu alone.
Calling all air fryers 🗣️ Looking to shortcut some Thanksgiving prep/consume the most delicious turkey of your life? Look no further than the air fryer. These recipes focus on side dishes, but I can personally vouch for the air fried turkey. Hit reply for hints.
Raising teens. Who else is navigating the secret life of the American teenager? J Lo is, and if J Lo can, you can, too! Grab her and the *other* Jennifer’s tips, here. (Cheers to co-parenting!)
If you have a small (or large) victory, tip, or trick, hit reply and share! I’d love to hear from you.
We accomplished a lot today. Join me on Monday for our big Thanksgiving-themed newsletter. Can’t wait to see you then!