we have SO MUCH free time during ‘nap time’ and after the kids go to
bed, we like to make a little pocket change off our blog posts
occasionally…to afford lip gloss, wine, and boots=) So FYI this post is sponsored by Burlington and there are some affiliate links.
Kindergarten. My little girl is being signed up for KINDERGARTEN today. Not only is this the start of a new school year but we are also new in town. We haven’t even lived here for 2 weeks and I’m throwing my baby girl into a brand new school/routine within a month. I’m feeling a little guilty about it.
She wants to ride the bus to school but I’m nervous about putting her on for several reasons, my main concern being that this is still an unfamiliar place and she won’t know when/where to get off. She gets easily overwhelmed and is so sensitive, I just don’t want to put her through even more stress on top of everything else.
Maybe I’ll feel different about the bus as we get more settled in here and the first day of school approaches. I think possibly an even better solution for us will eventually be car pooling. We planned to do it with a few kids in our old neighborhood but obviously our plans changed. We know there are lots of kids in our current neighborhood but we have been so focused on getting unpacked and settled that I haven’t had a chance to really introduce myself to anyone.
Finding friends and other families will come with time, and when it does I will be the first to suggest an elementary school car pool. I’m less nervous about putting my child in another parent’s car than I am the bus, but I still think about safety and exactly how easy (or hard?) car pooling will be. Luckily Ashley W participated in a car pool last year when Grayden started kindergarten and she has ALL the answers (what would I do with out her?). Car pooling with kids in car seats can be complicated but it IS doable. Here are some of Ash W’s tips for a successful and safe car pool with car seats:
- Get your car seat situation under control. Layla is a tall kindergartener but has been in a 5 point harness until recently. She was finally starting to outgrow her old seat and ready for a belt. I scored this amazing Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 seat from our friends at Burlington via their Baby Depot. A few things I love about this seat- it has the 5 point harness option if your child isn’t quite ready for the belt, it EASILY adjusts to a high back/belt only booster (but can be converted back to the 5 point if you have a younger sibling that will use it later) and…let’s be honest…it has cup holders and a place for toys. Burlington has a ton of other car seat options so if you don’t already have the perfect seat for your child, check out their amazing deals! Layla was THRILLED when we installed it:
2. Make sure your child can get in/out of the car safely. True story- I was in a kindergarten car pool and I bit the tip of my tongue off when I fell getting into another family’s van. You read that correctly…I bit my tongue OFF. Luckily a great plastic surgeon was staffed and I was perfectly fine after a few (lots) of stitches and Popsicles but the event was pretty traumatic for all involved. Layla has been taught to clear the floor of the car before she gets in/out and that she needs to stay seated and buckled until the car is off.
3. Have buckles accessible. Our van’s buckles are flimsy and get stuck easily between the seats, especially if we slide the seats or move them around to fit more people. MyBuckleMate is one of the best car investments we’ve made other than the car seats themselves. It stabilizes the seat buckle so kids don’t have to wrestle with the straps. We have several of these installed in the car so that when we have buddies riding along, they can have access to their buckles easily too.
4. Label your child’s seat. We plan to just use a permanent marker to put Layla’s name on the seat, along with our phone number/contact info. That way her seat is labeled if we need to drop it off at school for a pick up, and our contact info is on there in case of an emergency.
5. Start a routine a few weeks before school. We’ve talked about how Layla will need to start waking up early, but nothing will prepare her quite like her alarm clock going off for a few weeks before school starts. This will be a rough adjustment for everyone in this house, girl friend sleeps would sleep until 10 every day if I let her! I have a feeling attitudes will be out of control until she’s adjusted but I want to start early and if you are car pooling, you may want to consider doing it too. I’d MUCH rather make some attitude adjustments at home than have another Mom deal with them in the morning. Not that this face could EVER give sass to anyone, EVER.