Ep 46: Amazon’s Worst Products & Getting Babies to Sleep

September 25, 2017  —  Written by Chris 

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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After a quick dip into some recent reviews, we talk about Chris’s process for the planning and building parts of projects. We share some of the thoughts that have gone into our outdoor cooking area and then jump head first into the topic of sleeping babies. While every kid is different, Chris & Julia are 3 for 3 on solid sleepers despite crankiness and tummy troubles, so Preston is interested in learning more. We wind it all down with a game of Fake or Real on Amazon’s worst products.

Listen to the latest episodes on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

This Episode is Sponsored By Grove Collaborative
Grove Collaborative is an online marketplace for all of your favorite natural home & personal care products. We signed up a few months ago and set all of our favorites products on a subscription to arrive automatically, right when we need them. Visit to sign up, spend your first $20 and they will throw in a FREE set of Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Products. No code required, but you do need to sign up at

Opening Discussion
• Reviews and “getting used to” us
• Details on the outdoor kitchen

Warm Topic: Getting Babies to Sleep Through the Night
On a whim, Preston asks about Chris & Julia’s tactics for getting their kids to sleep through the night, and it turns into what could be viewed as a somewhat hot topic, depending on how you feel about the subject. Chris & Julia have gotten their first two daughters to sleep 12 hours through the night by 4 and 6 months old, and Polly is already making 8 hour stretches at less than 2 months. Some would call it luck, but Chris & Julia talk about the things they’re doing, and why they think “the routine” is the key.

Game: Spotted on Amazon – Real or Fake?
Julia combed through Amazon to find some… interesting products, we’ll say, and mixed them in with others that she made up. Chris & Preston take turns describing each one and try to guess whether they’re real or fake.

Can’t Get You Outta My Mind
Chris: Chris recently started doing SmileDirect (not a sponsor), and he talks about how the process has been. And though his teeth are hurting and he has a slight lisp, he’s still pretty excited about the progress thus far and hopeful that he may have straight teeth for the first time in his life.

Preston: Preston has been listening to The Lively Show on and off, but recently has been all-in. Preston loves personal improvement stuff, so he feels that connection already, but has loved everything she’s doing lately.

Julia: One thing that many guests in our home comment on is the amount of art we have. And a lot of people ask Julia where she buys art, and she shares one of the more reasonably-priced options, Jenny’s Print Shop. She sells digital prints you receive immediately and can print wherever is most convenient for you.

The Lively Show
Jenny’s Print Shop
“Wipe Your Bum” Sign
50 Shades of Grey Outlet Cover
Woman with Inhaler Decal
Maryland Cutting Board
Nick Cage Lifesize (or mini) Cutout

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Theme song Headphones by Preston Pugmire



What do you think?

  1. Jodie says:

    Totally agree about the sleeping! We did the exact same thing and our little one didn’t have any issues either and when teething rolled around no issues either! 2 1/2 years old and we have had a minimum 8 hour sleeper and 3-4 hour napper a day! Keep Calm and Sleep On. Hope this helps other families out there.

  2. Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing your sleep routine. Your podcast was suggested to me by a friend as I have a 12 week old. We have been doing a routine for about ten days and the first few days were a bit bumpy but the past three night she has gone down like an angel. She wakes up twice to eat but sleeps for 12 hrs in total. Thank you so much! I know I sleep solution is one size fits all but what worked for you worked for us and I’m very grateful.

  3. Diana says:

    Telling parents it is their fault, if a baby doesn’t do X or Y is really toxic. You like to think it’s not true, but you ARE simply lucky. Every child has different sleep requirements. Just look at the charts. Some newborns sleep 10 hours a day (my first born) some sleep 20 hours a day (my second born). All of them perfectly healthy, happy and responsive during their awake time. Telling parents about averages does no one justice. Sleep is such a personal topic. Telling people you have a magic trick, which works for everyone is nuts. Even only implying it. It all depends on so many little factors. Not only health issues.
    One personal example: I tried everything with my one year old. Lights out, quiet time, massage, calming story, not looking at him, nice warm room, cold room, singing, his bed, my bed, cuddling him, holding hands, not touching him at all. For days and weeks. And you know what. His bed time is simply 9:15 pm, no matter what. It’s driving me nuts, but that’s the way it is. Sitting in a dark room with a happy, bubbling, awake toddler for hours and not talking is worse. Listing to his crying from the door is much worse. Tried it all and never did he sleep before 9:30.

    Please parents, listen to your guts and not to some people on the internet. You will try and fail and be miserable. Don’t do that to yourself.

    • Marta says:

      They’re saying what has worked with their daughters, sharing their experience that might be helpful too many. I swear by these methods, too. They’re not at any point telling any other parents off! And you are being really unfair and indelicate saying they “are simply lucky”. It’s not like they just put their children in their rooms and they fall asleep just like that, or have been since birth! It’s all hard work, with the routines, discipline, cooperation between parents, staying calm and consistent, and the sacrifices they mentioned.

  4. Lisa says:

    Maryland cutting board……I almost peed my pants laughing! And the first thing I did was look it up. haha! Thanks for the entertainment :)

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m obsessed every time you talk about baby sleep ours was born aug 2nd so we are the same age as Polly. And we want to know what does she sleep in at night? Rock and play ? Mamaroo? Crib? White noise? Is it the same for naps? What is your nap schedule? Do you worry about her in her own room – lately all the sids advice says they should be in our bedroom for at least six months if not a year but I think I’m ready to transition ours to his nursery but also obviously want to do what’s safest for my child. Can you tell it my first lol any way thanks for sharing and any and all additional info no matter how tiny the detail is very appreciated!

    • Julia says:

      She sleeps in the rock and play in her own room with white noise. During the day, she’s never awake longer than 60-90 minutes and then naps. She is still taking relatively short naps (around 60-90 minutes) but slept a 10 hour stretch at night this week!

      • Barbara says:

        I’ve heard you mention night and nap sleep in baby gear like the Rock‘n Play, Dock-a-Tot and Mama-Roo a few different places now on the blog and podcast and wanted to mention that we drastically reduced our use of these kinds of baby holding devices with our second baby after reading about the risks. The blog (written by a pediatric occupational therapist) was really enlightening to me when I was learning about issues with head-flattening, neck tightening, and SIDS and I hope these links can be helpful to others:

        I hope the tone of this comment is coming across more “mom sharing with other moms what she’s learned” and not harsh or critical. Thanks for a great blog and podcast!

  6. Lynn says:

    Loved your insights on getting baby to sleep. I’m curious how you handle naps for Polly and your girls when they were in the 18 month to 3 year old range. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      By that time, they have a nap schedule. Faye is 3.5 and is just starting to not nap some days. And we do do a dark room at the same time, but there isn’t much of a routine besides that.

  7. Kristin says:

    No one is discounting the work put in by parents who’s kids sleep 12 hours with good routines. But until you have a reflux baby, colic baby, or otherwise very sensitive baby who cannot fall asleep on their own until they’re much older it is very frustrating to hear “you guys just aren’t doing it right” subtext. You will never understand how frustrating it is until you have a baby like that and then you eat your words.

    • Chris says:

      I think we mention that in the episode – every kid is different, and there are kids with health things that will factor in. Nobody can really know what it’s like for another parent because every kid is different. But I also think it’s worth mentioning that Polly, Faye and Greta have all had reflux (Polly probably the worst – they may have gotten all of their mom’s beauty, but poor girls definitely got their dad’s esophagus).

      Nobody wants to feel judged for their parenting, and parents who have babies who cry nonstop already put too much blame on themselves without it coming from somewhere else. But we’ve received messages from several parents who told us they now use our routine and their kids are sleeping 6 and 7 hours stretches, where before they could only get maybe a couple of hours. So while it may not work for every child, I really do believe it will work for most of them – including a lot of kids who do have some of the health things you mention (like our kids did/do). Based on our experience, it’s at least worth a try for a couple weeks for parents who have babies who won’t sleep.

      • Kristin says:

        Thanks Chris. I appreciate your kind response. Perhaps I was a little too emphatic (can I blame the baby and not sleeping ? ;). I listened again to the podcast. I hear how much effort/ sacrifice you put in to the sleeping routine and I will definitely give it a shot.. i am curious though- what are your other girls doing when you are doing this lengthy nursing in quiet, bathing in quiet, blissful baby massage, nursing again routine? I have a 2.5 year old as well as my 4 month old baby and there’s no way she could be quiet that whole time (even tho she is good at independent play… and I don’t use screen time except in rare occasions). Are you and Julia both home every night? For people who’s husbands / wives work out of the house and can’t be home by 530 how would you recommend trying this?
        Also, I hear the “three for three” thing, and I hear you acknowledge that every kid is different but you guys may also have some good sleeping genes going on here. I have a few friends who have far less routine than we do and their kids sleep 13 hours at night and take 3 hour naps with no problem from early ages and others who just can’t. (I used to joke that my older daughter had VABS- “very alert baby syndrome”- if there was a sliver of light in the room she couldn’t fall asleep no matter what, or any noise etc (even with loud white noise to mask). Anyway thanks for opening up about your routine, I will definitely try a little harder on the routine. It would probably benefit both kids.

  8. Blythe says:

    Would you be willing to share the dimensions you used to calculate how much wallpaper you needed for your nursery? I’ve been obsessed with the Nuvole pattern for years and want to install it in our guest bath… but the calculator tells me I need 3 rolls to install it above 4ft paneling in a standard height, 6 x 7 foot room. Any tips for how you kept your installation to 2 rolls?

  9. Chelsea says:

    Okay but please read the reviews on the Nic Cage cutout on amazon… hilarious!!

  10. Allison says:

    I was expecting something more controversial than “consistent routine,” as your baby sleep tip. Haha. I think that’s a great tip, and in most frantically busy households, it is probably overlooked to have down time before bed. What do your big girls do during the hour of “no talking?” And at what point can you have more flexibility (babysitter or other veering from routine)? I’m also wondering about what you do for daytime naps. That has been the struggle at our house, and bad daytime sleep results in bad nights. Ultimately, I think it’s a combination of nature and nurture. I’ve heard from a mom of twins that one slept phenomenally and the other terribly, despite the same routine.

    • Julia says:

      I really do agree that every baby is different. And maybe we weren’t exactly clear in the podcast when we were discussing it, but there isn’t an hour of quiet, we just don’t talk after her bath. Our older girls are actually in bed by that time (they go down around 7:15) so it’s not a big deal. The great thing is, soon, she’ll go to bed earlier and earlier (we shoot for 6 or 6:30 by 3 or 4 months) and then we are free to get a sitter and go out after that time. :)

  11. Steph says:

    Love your podcast! I listen on my commute and you three have me laughing the whole way! Thank you, Julia, for communicating what you mean when you say that you make sleep a priority. It’s also my pet peeve when my husband and I share how we trained our kids to do something (sleep through the night, eat their veggies, first time obedience, etc) by consistency and sacrifice, and then other parents disregard it by saying that we’re just lucky or whatever. Every kid and every parent is different, and my methods may not work with your kid in your house, but I sure as heck didn’t just get lucky with “easy” kids! Thank you for being real despite internet trolls and meanies! Keep up the good work!

  12. Candace says:

    As a Maryland mom, I can tell you the secret to diet success is using my state’s cutting board.

  13. Fiona says:

    Loved this episode! I’m totally storing this info away from when I have kids so I can sleep train them early on!

  14. Dana says:

    I’d like to offer a bit of constructive feedback. As a long-time reader and avid fan, I’ve noticed your posts about the podcast, like this one, feel different to me than your others and I just realized why. They’re written in third person! As a reader, I don’t know who the post is coming from and it feels disconnected comparted to your regular posts, which are so personal. A small but noticeable detail for someone who loves you and your content as much as I do. Keep up the great work – on the blog, the house, the podcast, and on getting that sweet baby girl to sleep so well! Also, let’s make that toaster inflatable happen, yes? Xo!

  15. Jenna says:

    I loved the talk about sleep! I currently have a 3 week old and am trying to get into a good sleep groove. Does Polly have any trouble taking naps during the day? That is what I am struggling with the most with my little one – I can tell she is tired but she has trouble falling asleep sometimes. Do you think it matters where the baby sleeps during the day / if the baby is swaddled or not?

  16. Diana says:

    Guys, there’s only one Maryland cutting board left in stock. Hope they used your affiliate link! Great podcast.

  17. Lauren says:

    Someone may have already asked this, but tell me about how you handle naps? How late is her last nap?

  18. Anne says:

    Now that I have met ‘Woman With Inhaler Decal,’ life is truly complete. The Q&A on Amazon about this product as well as the customer reviews are priceless. Every single person who reviews this product, or asks or answers questions about it, is crazy in the most delightful way. Thank you for a great laugh!

  19. Deb says:

    Ok…. If you think the Maryland board is not useful…. What about Delaware?
    Slicing a carrot maybe?
    Please don’t say you don’t know where Delaware is…. We are connected to Maryland’s Eastern Shore!!!
    Actually what it should have been is a map of Delmarva which is part of Maryland, Virginis and Delaware.
    See if that will work for you:)
    LOVE,LOVE,LOVE the podcast. I am twice your ages but I can’t wait for the next episodes.
    Tell Julia I am painting cabinets and replacing hardware and am making sure I have the right nickel!!!

  20. monica says:

    I worked hard to get my first to be a good sleeper and he was ! I felt so superior to all those other parents who could not seem to get their kids to sleep through the night. THEN I HAD MY SECOND!!! Oh my, Oh my – I did all the same things – routine bath and bed at 7:30 – no eye contact or chatting during feedings, low lighting etc. But he would have none of it and for months I fed him twice during the night – at around 11pm and 3am before waking for the day around 6:30-7am. I did have to start supplementing him with formula because he was such a huge eater (he was downing 64 oz a day (that is EIGHT 8oz bottles) PLUS breast feeding at 4 months – so MD thought he was just too hungry to sleep much :), so baby growth rate may play a factor. He is now a 6’5″ 18 year old who sleeps very well!

  21. Shauna says:

    I’m reading your blog post as I lay in bed with my 2 1/2 year old. He’s our second, but nothing like our first who basically slept in his crib the day we brought him home from the hospital. Our second won’t sleep (WILL.NOT.SLEEP) unless myself or my husband is sleeping with him. I slept with him for the first year+, then he started sleeping in our bed with both me and my husband and now my husband and I take turns sleeping in my son’s room in the queen size bed. Clearly we failed this kid in the sleep department and I fear we’ll be sleeping with him until he leaves for college. Ugh!!

    • Caitlin Rose Low says:

      You did not fail mama!!!!!! You are a warrior mama who is honoring her kiddos biological norm! OUR BABIES WERE NOT MEANT TO BE SLEEP TRAINED OR SLEEP ALONE!! I’m sorry, but as a breastfeeding advocate, maternal advocate and breastfeeding educator, posts like this do nothing but undermine the biological norm that babies are “carry” animals and thus must be fed frequently, were not meant to be without their caretakers, and would wake frequently to sense danger. As a society we are shaming women who meet their babies needs. Be proud of yourself. Your kiddo will be securely attached!!!

    • Diana says:

      You did not fail your kid. You are meeting his needs. And that is what parents are supposed to do. Free yourself from the baggage of other peoples opinions and accusations. Co-Sleeping is not bad. If it works for you, good for you. You are doing fine. Your child will not sleep with you until college and you know that.

  22. Kimberly says:

    Is it just me or is everyone else hoping for a picture of the toaster floatie? I was thinking there could be some kind of tag line about “not getting burnt.”
    Fun podcast, you three are really killing it.

  23. amy says:

    I am from Maryland and was already chuckling at Preston, but then I looked it up and went into full LOL! It really is the worst cutting board ever. NOT a good value. Love, just a girl from a horribly shaped state wishing she had a cheese board

  24. RC says:

    Loved the Amazon product game. Laughing too much! Thank you all.

  25. Ash says:

    I freaked out (in a good way) when I heard about your sleep training. We did the same thing and we are two for two and I am a staunch believer in this. Good work!

  26. Lindsay says:

    Ditto on the pet peeve when someone tells you how lucky you are to have had babies who slept through the night at such young ages. My husband and I worked our tails off with our FOUR children, and like you guys, it came down to routine, routine, routine! In fact, one of our children we adopted when she was 19 months old and we had to train her to sleep through the night as well and we did it the same way – establishing a routine and sticking to it at all costs. It works! I read somewhere that independent sleep is a gift we can give our children, and I could not agree more. Thanks for sharing your story!

  27. Winnie G says:

    I completely agree with the nighttime rituals to get kids to sleep. My first one was super easy and fell into a great sleeping through the night (12 hours) routine very early. Unfortunately, my second one had colic so that routine was not established until she was 6 months old. Ouchies!!

  28. Jacqui Stephenson says:

    You guys could be us talking about sleep! Our girls are exactly the same and we’ve also had the exact same obsessive routine. It works! No teething wake ups here either :)

    • Jan says:

      Completely agree with your sleep routine. We are 3 for 3 as well, our children all slept 12 hours without waking at night. Routine, calming baths, no talking, and never turn on a light when nursing in the night at the beginning. Naps not a problem, morning and afternoon, always!

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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