As a mother of seven, I get so many questions about all the baby things: feeding, sleeping, babywearing, bonding, navigating transitions, and more. I am so excited to bring fellow mother of seven, Ariel Tyson, on the podcast to chat about the baby days. We both share a love for the early newborn days, and we dive into how we approach the newborn stage in a way that allows us to enjoy it. We also talk beyond the newborn stage and address some of the transitions that come as babies get older. May this discussion encourage you in your motherhood and give you some practical ideas to implement in your own home.
In this episode, we cover:
- The importance of resting in the early weeks after birth to prioritize bonding, breastfeeding, and your own recovery
- How babywearing can help you embrace the newborn days
- Must-have baby products vs. what you don’t need
- Different approaches to baby sleep and baby schedules
- Introducing solid foods through baby-led weaning
Thank you to our sponsors!
Toups and Co Organics uses nourishing, organic ingredients to create simple and safe skincare products. Toups and Co is offering my listeners 10% off any one purchase with the code FARMHOUSE. Visit ToupsandCo.com to order today. And check out my interview with the founder of Toups and Co, Emilie, to find out more about this amazing company and their products.
Check out some of my current favorite products: activated charcoal face bar, seabuckthorn cleansing oil, frankincense tallow balm, makeup line
Redmond Real Salt brings you salt exactly as nature created it – unrefined, ancient sea salt with a complete blend of minerals and a subtle, sweet flavor unlike any salt on earth. Redmond Real Salt is offering my listeners 15% off your first purchase with the code FARMHOUSE. Visit bit.ly/farmhouseredmond to order today.
Check out these products from Redmond: real salt fine bulk (10lb bucket), organic seasonings
Harvest Right has made preserving food accessible to anyone with their home freeze dryers. This method of preserving the harvest locks in flavor and nutrition and can last for years. Harvest Right is offering my listeners a discount on your purchase of a freeze dryer at bit.ly/farmhousefreezedryer.
Watch this video to see how our family is using our freeze dryer!
Ariel has been married for 15 years in December and a mama to 7 babies 11 and under in that time. She worked as a college professor teaching undergraduate counseling for 9 years prior to being a social media content creator and business owner. She’s written the book Chase the Roar: Becoming Faith Chasers in an American Dream Culture and, along with her husband, the children’s book Jack and the Fantastical Circus. She also speaks at conferences nationally. She’s been serving in ministry with youth, children, and as a counselor for over 15 years and loves writing, speaking, dancing, playing board games, and spending time with friends.
Design Dua Moses Baskets & Stands
Infant Loungers: Snuggle Me Organic, DockATot, Amelia Rose and Company
Swaddles: Nested Bean, Dreamland Baby, The Ollie World
Ariel Tyson | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok
Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Pinterest
Join us in the Simple Farmhouse Life Facebook community!
Lisa Bass Welcome back to The Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. Today I’m having on Ariel Tyson from @ArielCTyson over on Instagram. She is a mom of seven. She has six boys and then most recently had a little girl. So I thought she’d be the perfect person to come on here and talk about a lot of the questions I get asked when it comes to babies. So, baby sleep, baby food, babywearing. This is going to be that episode that whenever I get a DM, when somebody says, “How do you transition a child out of co-sleeping to their crib?” I’m always like, “Oh, I don’t even know. I talked about that somewhere. Where was it?” I will just tell them, “Come to the Ariel Tyson episode,” because we’re going to go into that. And it just so happens that right now I am in this phase where I’m doing that. I’m actually transitioning Theo from co-sleeping to his own crib, and so it’s fresh on my mind. A lot of times people ask me, I am like, “I don’t even remember what I did.” Because it’s been a while. And with kids, things change so much. So whenever I have a 15-month-old, I tend to forget about what it was like getting them to the point where they are now sleeping through the night in their own bed. And also just a lot of situations change and it really depends on the child. And so join me if you want to hear about how I’m doing that now. But then also Ariel’s perspective is actually a whole different one, but in a really good way that could possibly work a lot better for you. So if you are currently pregnant or you have a newborn and you just want some practical mom advice on some of these transitions and hearing it from two moms who each have seven kids who we both have our own ways of doing things, then you’re going to really enjoy this conversation.
Lisa Bass My name is Lisa, mother of seven and creator of the blog and YouTube channel Farmhouse on Boone. Join me as I share with you my love for creating a handmade home, from-scratch cooking, and a little mom and entrepreneur life along the way.
Lisa Bass Well, thank you so much for joining me, Ariel. I’m so excited to talk to you in real life. I just watch your reels and I see you on Instagram and YouTube and then it’s always fun to actually interact with somebody.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, yeah. Everyone has messaged me—whenever I posted it—and they’re like, “Oh my goodness, we love her podcast. I can’t wait.”
Lisa Bass That’s so awesome. Yeah, you were the first person that popped into my brain whenever I was thinking about talking about newborn days and babies, I was like, “Okay, Ariel’s got to be the one for this.” And then I was really happy that you actually said yes.
Ariel Tyson That’s awesome. Thank you.
Lisa Bass So, yeah, I get lots of questions about a lot of things like transitioning babies from sleeping to their cribs and wraps. And I know that you’ve been through it seven times as well because you have— you can introduce yourself, but I’m just going to give the spoiler alert here. She has six boys and she just had a little girl last— was it November?
Ariel Tyson It was December. December 4th.
Lisa Bass So yeah, we were all waiting in anticipation because they didn’t find out what they were having. And after having six boys, obviously it’s quite the surprise to have a girl. And she didn’t find out and she had a homebirth. So yes. Introduce yourself, even though I’ve pretty much given it all away.
Ariel Tyson Yeah. Yes, I am Ariel Tyson. I married my husband almost 15 years ago. We’ve lived in several different places. He is a pastor. We recently moved. We lived in Montana for eight years, and we moved to Tennessee a year ago. Went through six pregnancies. My first five were within six years, and then we had a two-and-a-half year break—”a break”, if you call it that—between five and six. And then number six and seven were 19 months apart. And she shocked us all, I think, with being a little girl. But I taught for an online university for nine years, and then I started doing what I do now in content creation, sharing our life, and helping people however I can.
Lisa Bass Yeah, so you can follow along if you go to @ArielCTyson on Instagram. That’s the place you’re the most active. You do also share on YouTube a little bit, too, right?
Ariel Tyson Yes. And it’s @ArielCTyson on Instagram. Yeah. Yeah. And then we are on YouTube as The Tysons and then I’m on TikTok as @ArielCTyson, too. Same as Instagram.
Lisa Bass Okay. I always forget about TikTok even though I’m now over there and posting my reels on there. That just shows that I’m 36 years old that I forget that TikTok even exists. I have no desire to scroll on it, but I just put my stuff on there. But yeah, that’s right. TikTok.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, yeah. That was like a newer— I guess it was maybe almost two years ago, my agent was like, “You should really try out TikTok.” I’m like, “No. No, I’m not doing it.” And then I just started repurposing in both places. It’s been good, but yeah.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I might as well. I’ve been doing clips of my YouTube videos on Instagram as reels and then on TikTok as TikToks or whatever. And yeah, I guess you just might as well.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, you’re right.
Lisa Bass Okay. Well, we’re going to talk about babies. I know you’re about in the same position as me currently with your youngest being— December, what, eight months old? Nine months?
Ariel Tyson Yes, yes, eight months.
Lisa Bass So my youngest was born the end of October, and he is— that puts him at almost ten months. And we’re going through sort of the sleep training thing, which is very controversial. I’m going to talk more about that in a little bit when we’re talking about transitioning babies. And so I’m excited to hear your take on that because this age—to me—is the trickiest time. It’s so easy and straightforward for me to co-sleep babies until they’re about six months. Then they start rolling and kicking and they don’t sleep as well. And then there’s always this tricky time between I can’t night wean you, but I also can’t sleep with you. And so I think a lot of people get very confused by that based on the questions I get in my inbox. And to be completely honest, I feel like in this last week I’ve had zero children and not seven, but I think we’re starting to get something kind of figured out. So yeah, we’re going to talk babies. So this episode is based on a specific question I got from a reader, so I’m just going to go ahead and read it. I love doing these direct responses to— reader. Listener. I’m on YouTube, I’m on blogging, so I forget what we’re— yeah, reader, listener. “Hey Lisa, I don’t know exactly what your demographic is, but I’d love to listen to a podcast with your advice for first time moms, now as you’re about to have your seventh baby.” This is actually obviously asked a while ago. “I know you’ve talked about this in the past, but I’m trying to find a voice that I trust to talk about those first four weeks of having the baby at home, recovering, how to adjust, taking care of your home and yourself.” So I guess we’ll start there with actually talking about newborns because a lot of people— they treat newborn time as like a time of survival and something to get through. And I actually feel like the newborn stage is a little bit easier for me than other stages. And so I’m interested in hearing your perspective. And so you’re homebirth mom?
Ariel Tyson Yes, I am. And I am with you on that one. For me, as far as the newborn stage, I absolutely love it. I do hear a variety and I work with people through, “Oh, what is it that’s hard for you?” But I absolutely love the newborn stage too. But I am a homebirthing mom. I discovered this thing a few babies ago that is the 5-5-5 lying-in period. And so for 15 days after birth, I take time to rest. And so it’s five days lying in the bed, five days on the bed, five days around the bed. So you’re mostly laying down. Of course I’m up here and they are going to the bathroom, grabbing food, going and sitting outside. But primarily I’m lying in the bed for five days, sitting on the bed for five days, and then around your home is how I consider around the bed. So I’m just not trying to go out and throw myself into doing everything within those first 15 days.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that is something— I’ve never heard of the five-five-five, but I always kind of figure two weeks I need to be laying really low because— well, I don’t know what your reasons are for this. One would obviously be newborn bonding, establishing a good breastfeeding connection and all of that. But then also the more kids I have, the more I worry about like everything kind of going back into place and not having issues down the road. What are some of your reasons for that? And then also, did you always do this with all of your kids or is this something that you’ve learned as you’ve had more experience?
Ariel Tyson Yeah, it is not something I have done with all of my kids. In fact, I prided myself on jumping back in with the first especially four, and I noticed that my recovery—after the first few—was getting slower because I was throwing myself in so fast. So it was slower. I was dealing with mastitis as a major issue. I wasn’t getting my water intake in, my vitamins in, I just wasn’t taking the time to rest. So along with newborn bonding—which obviously is so important—I do it primarily for myself, for my healing, for my future, for my health as a mom to be able to take care of my other kids. And a lot of moms are like, “Well, I don’t have time to do that.” Well, I don’t have time to be sick later because I didn’t do it or for my body not to be able to keep up with my other kids because it hasn’t recovered well. So I primarily do it for my health, for my family, for the future, and it just is a good time for our family as a whole. My other kids learn how to take care of me, how to hang out with the baby more. We’re not just on the go right away afterward. And I know that is hard for so many women, especially, because a lot of them will tell me, “Well, that’s good for you, but I don’t have the help.” And the biggest thing I would say is find your community and be that friend before you need it. So for me, I—first of all—rely on family. So my mom has flown in a few times. My mother-in-law has been there. So that’s been great. I have those great relationships. But when we lived in Montana, we were 2,000 miles away from our closest family, so no one could be there right away after. So I relied on our church community, on our homeschool community, and then just other mamas that were around. And then we just— that’s what we did for each other. We made each other meals, came over and did a little cleaning or just took other kids off to do some activities so that I would get that time to rest.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And even if you don’t have help— because some of my kids, Luke’s been home from his job because he’s been home for four years with our business. But then there’s been kids that he hasn’t. I always try to remember—and it’s easier to see with each subsequent baby—how short that time is. I can pretty much let things pile up. We can do some screen time. Two weeks is just really not that much to give yourself that time to rest. Ultimately, life will be back to normal. I know for me, I’m always wanting life to get back to normal so fast. But then I remember once that two weeks or 15 days or whatever is over, that time was so small. It was so insignificant, but then it was really significant in what it actually did. So you can get through it.
Ariel Tyson Yes, absolutely. I think that’s great. Screen time, it’s a season. So, hey, it’s okay. We’re going to have a little extra screen time. We’re going to have a little extra time just sitting on the couch reading. You know, it is a season.
Lisa Bass Yeah, it’s a very short season.
Lisa Bass I want to take a quick break to tell you about the first sponsor of this episode, and that is Toups and Co. Now, I just started really experimenting with the Toups and Co makeup. I’ve been loving their skincare. So their charcoal bar is one of my favorite things in the summer because my face can get a little bit oily in the summer, whereas in the winter I rely more heavily on the moisturizers and the oil cleansing because my skin is dry. Right now, that charcoal bar is really cleaning out the sweat and the dirt and all that comes with summer. I recently picked up their whole makeup line. I got an email from them about doing the contouring with organic natural makeup from Toups and Co, and I was really confused about it for a while because I’m not a person who knows how to do makeup very well. But a friend of mine—we were getting together for our weekly playgroup with our kids—she told me that you do the bronzer like a three, so you go across your head, you go under your cheekbone, and then along your jawline. Then you do the blush, then you do the highlighter. She told me that, and now I feel like my whole makeup routine is completely revolutionized. So I have—from Toups and Co—the primer, the foundation, the highlighter, the bronzer and the blush. And I really feel like my face makeup is sort of coming together. I think it’s going to be a little bit better when I get a little more used to blending it because I think you probably noticed on the episode that I did have my highlighter blended all that well, but it’s getting better and I love the makeup and feel like I actually know what I’m doing. I’ve always just been a— back in the day, whenever I had time to do my makeup, I would just do foundation, powder. I never knew much about that contouring stuff, but I’m starting to really enjoy doing that. Toups and Co is an American made organic skincare company. They have really beautiful ingredients, like tallow from grass-fed cows. So you’re not looking at a bunch of fragrance oils or ingredients that you have to worry about going through your skin and into your body, because that’s what happens when you put things on your skin. I am very serious about sourcing organic, natural food in my house, and so it makes sense that things I put on my skin that will actually make its way into my body, I would also be serious about sourcing that, and that is exactly what I’ve found in Toups and Co. So if you want to support an American company with natural, beautiful products that actually work, make sure to go to ToupsandCo.com and use the code FARMHOUSE to get 10% off your first order.
Lisa Bass So let’s talk a little bit about newborns because people are overwhelmed by newborns. And I can tell you that my first newborn was very overwhelming for me, but I learned pretty quickly that I had my own ways of doing things. And every newborn after that, I absolutely have loved that phase. There has not been any part of it—I mean, pretty much, to be completely honest, I know people hate me for this—that I don’t love. There’s challenging parts of— like right now, I find challenging as far as sleep goes. But those newborn days— what makes you enjoy the newborn days? I guess, let’s just start there.
Ariel Tyson I just feel like it’s a slower pace of life. I think overall you slow down and you’re like, “Wow, this is what’s most important.” And whether it’s your first or it’s your fifth or sixth or seventh, you just take the time to look around at your family, at the things you have around you, and I just feel like it’s slower and I love that. I love the love that you have for them. I love the priorities that seem to shift. So I’ll get busy without a newborn in day-to-day life and I’m like, “Oh, this is a priority, this is a priority.” And then you simplify it down to just a few really important things. I just think I soak it in better— the baby stage, that little tiny stage. And then I love— I know we’ll get into this later, but I love babywearing and having the baby with me and then just like going about our day, enjoying life, but the baby’s right there. I don’t know. I think I just get a lot of endorphins off of those first little bit of newborn days. I absolutely love that.
Lisa Bass Yeah. So you mentioned babywearing, and I think that is the reason why I love the newborn stage so much. I didn’t figure it out with my first one, but what I figured out with her was that babies don’t like to get put down. And so I was so overwhelmed with the fact that I needed to hold this child all day long, but then I also needed to get other things done. And I know it sounds just a little bit too simple and too good to be true to say that baby wearing completely changed that, but that is the case. That is why I love it so much. And I’m sure you get this a lot, too— people who say that their baby didn’t like it or they didn’t like it. Do you have any other tips if that’s something that people don’t find works for them?
Ariel Tyson Yeah. So for me, I tried babywearing, I guess, with my first. It was just this sling that didn’t even work. And now looking back, it was not a safe one. It was just this random one I found somewhere. So then I gave that up quickly. So I didn’t use it as my first. But then some of my friends were using some and they had showed me how to use it. I think that is the key. First of all, finding which carrier/sling/wrap that you love. So I always tell moms, “I would get one of each. I would get a wrap, a ring sling and a carrier and—just, you know, a soft structured carrier or something—and just kind of see what works for you.” When they’re tiniest, I love the wraps and the ring slings, and then as they get older, I tend to love the carriers, but I think that’s the key is getting at least one of each and trying them. And then for me, I love the ring sling, but I needed friends around me to show me how to use it. So I started off with this wrap and I’m like, I have no idea. So I had friends who had multiple kids that I just asked them, “Hey, can you show me how to use it?” So I think that’s a big thing when people are like, “I don’t even know. I don’t know where to get started. My baby doesn’t love it.” Find someone who is really good at it and has used it for multiple kids and get them to show you how to do it.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s a really good point. I have definitely been around friends who have taught me how to properly babywear and then I’ve also been around friends in more recent years who they’ve tried the wraps and I can clearly see the reason they don’t like it by how they put it on. And so that’s when I step in. I’m like, “Okay, you don’t have to use it. I’m not saying you have to, but I can see why you don’t like it.” For me, the biggest tip as far as wrapping goes is as simple as this, but just get it tighter. A lot of times people will put it on and leave a little space for the baby. And you need to put that thing so tight that once the baby’s in it, they’re actually stretching it out. And so that to me is what makes it comfortable, and you’re able to actually do your chores and bend down and do the laundry and fold and all that kind of stuff with a baby on you.
Ariel Tyson Yes, for sure. For sure. I struggled with that early on was the weight of it all on my belly because of the wrap not being tight and then it hurts your shoulders and they’re like, “Well, it’s not comfortable. The baby’s not comfortable. They’re not up by you.” So I agree.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And then I have— in the last couple of kids— I didn’t figure this out until my sixth and seventh, but around five months I switched from the stretchy wrap and then I went to the soft structured carrier—like you were saying—and then even around five months, moving the baby to my back, that has been revolutionary. I don’t know why it took me so many kids to figure that out.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, because a lot of stuff you can’t get done when they’re that size and they’re on your front.
Lisa Bass Yeah, exactly.
Ariel Tyson So, yeah, I mean, doing the laundry, how are you supposed to lift everything and the big baby is right on the front? I completely agree with you. And then with the ring slings, I know people are always like, “Oh, those are just hard. The baby’s falling out the bottom.” And I watched several tutorials and just kept working on it myself. And then I taught other people and then teaching it helped me. But yeah, I would agree. Follow the tutorials. Be willing to move and adjust—like you were saying—and change to your back or a different carrier.
Lisa Bass Yeah, it definitely can take some trial and error. And it’s not for everyone because I have talked to some moms who it just doesn’t work with their lifestyle. But whatever makes you enjoy the newborn phase the most, I would say ignore the rules, ignore the— see because you— we have right now, we’re giving advice. And then some people, that sounds overwhelming to them hearing this, but some people need the permission for me to say, “Put the baby in the wrap all day, put them in your bed all night, and you’re going to enjoy it.” For some people, that’s like, “Thank you for saying that.” For some it’s like, “Oh, that makes me not like it.” So really, I mean, figuring out what works for you— but that’s for sure worked for me. Okay, now that you have seven children, I’m sure you have an idea of what items are must-haves and which ones can go. What are your favorite baby products and which ones are overrated or that you’ve tried that are just not worth picking up?
Ariel Tyson Okay. Yes. And I made a list, so I might have to read from some of it. I just recently shared with somebody that was asking. I took one of my best friends shopping for her first baby to do her registry and everything. And so in doing that, I was like, oh, I should just make this list so I can share with other people. Because I’m like, no, you don’t need that or you need this. So for me, the biggest things— I put a Moses basket. I have used a Moses basket for every single one of my seven kids, and that’s what I keep beside me in the bed— or beside my bed. And I have that with a stand. They’re @ShopLoveDua on Instagram. Design Dua it’s called. I love that brand, but I mean, any Moses basket for me has just worked wonders. Obviously I put a ring sling or any kind of your favorite carrier. A carseat, of course. And for me, one of my biggest priorities in the car seat is that I wanted one that was the lightest weight that I could find, but the safest lightest weight one. Because I don’t know—I’m sure you feel the same way—but like as soon as you start lifting the baby and they’re getting up into like 20 pounds and you’ve got this heavy car seat you’re moving if you’re having an infant one— I mean, I know with babywearing some people just use the convertible, not the infant. But if you’re having an infant one that you want to pull in and out, I’m like the lightest weight that we can possibly do.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that makes sense.
Ariel Tyson And then I put a baby nest is something that is good for me because I love to be able to sit them—when I’m not wearing them and when I’m getting things done—sit them in something safe. So I love like the SnuggleMe Dock-a-tot. Amelia Rose was a brand I love. I think she’s going out of business, actually, but hers is one of my favorites because it fit inside the Moses basket. But that would be a must-have for me. A good swing, again, for when I need to sit them down. I usually just do one swing. I don’t even do like the multiple bouncers and whatever else you could put in your house, but just a good swing. A velcro swaddle. So my last few babies— my first several didn’t even want to be swaddled. I don’t know if that was me or if that was the baby, but my last several have loved to be swaddled. So some kind of velcro swaddle like Nested Bean, Dreamland Baby Co., and then there’s Ollie is one of them. So I loved those. Those were a must-have for me for good sleep, good naps, at night and everything. And then I love— if you are looking for a good set of pacifiers, I love the Ryan and Rose. They have this starter kit that has multiple different styles and shapes and sizes all in one. So you can just get one pack and try them all out. Things I don’t use that I might have tried early on that I don’t use now is a diaper pail. I just put it right to the trash. We take it out pretty often, so I don’t even use a diaper pail. I don’t use a nursing pillow. I tend to just nurse wherever I’m at, like if it’s the couch or it might be my bed or it might be a chair, and so the nursing pillow almost seemed to hinder me rather than help. So I just learned kind of quickly how to either use pillows early on—just my own pillows—or to just get the baby positioned how I wanted to with my arms. My posture was worse with a nursing pillow. And I know people have different opinions on that, but I gave mine to a friend who absolutely loves it. I just didn’t love it. And then I haven’t done a changing table since my first few kids. I’ll be interested to know your thoughts on that, but I don’t do it because I change them wherever. I do have a little changing pad on our dresser, but I don’t use it a ton. And then yeah, I don’t do washcloths, baby robes. I don’t do a food processor because I do baby-led weaning. And I don’t do like a full crib bedding set. I’m just going to do like a plain sheet. So those would be probably my biggest things. I’m sure there’s more.
Lisa Bass No, those sound like the ones to me. One one thing I would add— I can speak to a lot of what you just said, but one thing is probably the highchair. I’m sure you do that as well. I do love having a highchair.
Ariel Tyson Yes. Yes.
Lisa Bass I actually just bought Theo a new one. We had one that hooked to the table, and it just didn’t work for our table. We kept it for probably like six months, and we just used it. But then he started climbing out of it and there’s also something in the table— like the support of the table makes it to where you can’t push it all the way in, and so food would fall in between. And I’m like, that’s it. We’re getting a nice highchair, like one that they’re strapped in and the tray comes all the way to them because when babies start— which we’re going to talk about baby-led weaning, having somewhere to put them and give them little foods can keep them busy for a really long time. And so that is a definite necessity. We definitely don’t need a changing table. I don’t know who goes and like goes to the spot. Maybe people who have like one story houses that would probably be it. So for us, if I’m upstairs, I’m not going to run downstairs to change him. I’m not going to run— if I’m outside. We have diapers stashed everywhere. And so wherever we are is just where I’ll change him. And then the pacifiers— that starter pack is a good idea because I have never gotten one of my kids to like a pacifier. I’m sure it’s something that I’m doing wrong. Seven kids and not one has liked one, so I think probably having multiple ones to try would be really nice. But I’m always just the pacifier in my family, which is, you know, it can get frustrating.
Ariel Tyson Yeah. Yeah. When you said— you were talking about two different floors, that was another thing that I thought about. I have not used a baby monitor like when they move into their own room because I had lived in a one floor— until a year ago, I had only lived in one story houses. So I never used it. I could hear the baby wherever they were. I still don’t have one. We have two stories now, but it’s such a small house that we can hear everything. But I feel like— we’re building a home that’ll be a little bit better fit size-wise for our family, and I’m like, that could change. But so far, baby monitor has not been a necessity.
Lisa Bass Yeah, I don’t use them either. Theo is still in our room and so that ends up being why I’m not using one. But I have one out here to monitor things if kids are out because I’m actually in a separate building from my house, but I don’t actually use the baby monitor for the baby. But I can see how if he had his own room, that would be pretty nice.
Lisa Bass All right, I want to take a break to tell you about our second sponsor for the day, and that is Redmond Real Salt. Salt is the foundation for so many meals and ferments in a farmhouse kitchen. Everything from my sourdough recipes to my sauerkraut to my bone broth requires good, healthy salt. You don’t want to take all of this time to make something from scratch and then—to make it actually flavorful—throw in a bunch of salt that isn’t quality. That’s why I love using Redmond Real Salt. I buy it in bulk for my home and I couldn’t recommend it more to you. You can use the link bit.ly/FarmhouseRedmond. Use the code FARMHOUSE to get 15% off your order. If you want to make that coupon go a long way, make sure to grab the huge— I forget the actual poundage, but there’s a large bucket of salt with a resealable lid. I got that, and I just fill up my little salt cellar that sits above my stove every couple of weeks because we go through a lot of salt in this house. A lot of from-scratch food, you go through a lot of salt. Get 15% off. Bit.ly/FarmhouseRedmond.
Lisa Bass So the number one question I get asked all the time, and I’m sure your DMs are probably flooded. I almost just guarantee that since you’re a mom and also you create content surrounding being a mom and so yours is probably way more than mine— on sleep. And it sounds to me like your approach to sleep might be better than mine because it sounds like you start to put them down when they’re first newborns, and so you don’t have to go through this phase that I’m going through now, which I’ll share more about. What has been your approach to sleep?
Ariel Tyson Yeah, I know it’s a touchy subject and a lot of people will comment on anything, but I have shared it before. I have a lot of friends that are Instagram content creators that won’t because they’re nervous of the backlash.
Lisa Bass Okay, because yeah, that’s what I was wondering— if you’d want to share.
Ariel Tyson Oh, I’m totally— yeah. I’m open to it. I am confident in my decision, so I’m fine. But when I was pregnant with my oldest, I was nannying a family of five. I was also teaching as a professor at the same time. It was kind of crazy. I was part-time nannying, part-time teaching. But she was a mom of five and all of her babies started sleeping through the night. I started watching her fifth when he was seven weeks old because she was a teacher back to school and her baby would sleep through the night, and I would get there and wake him up, feed him. And I was like, “Okay, so now I’m pregnant. You need to help me. Like, how does this happen?” And so she did a version of Baby Wise, and I know people are like, “Oh, Baby Wise. It can be so stringent.” I would say that I do a very loose version of the Baby Wise method. I do a schedule, a routine, but with fluidity and the ability to change if we need to. If the baby needs to eat sooner, I’m obviously going to feed the baby. But I just do a little bit of a schedule starting when they’re about a month old. It just helps us to function with me, with working and homeschooling and all the activities. It just helps us to have a little bit of a time schedule. And the baby’s really— I kind of almost naturally let them put themselves on it but with my guidance. Baby Wise is where they wake up and they eat and then they have their awake time and then they sleep. And so the baby gets used to being laid down to sleep from pretty young. And I don’t deal with any crying. So people will talk to me about, “Oh, do you do crying it out?” And I don’t. I don’t because I think it’s just they’re so little and that’s just— they’re used to it. “Okay, it’s sleep time. I’ll go to sleep.” Of course, mine also take a pacifier. So that is helpful.
Lisa Bass Okay. Yeah, that might be the thing though because I’m thinking, “Wait a minute. What baby, when you lay them—” his has been my— I have seven children, and I’m still so perplexed by people who get their children to sleep without any crying because I have never had a child where when I take them and then I lay them down they don’t cry. So that’s why is still— I’m sure this is why I get so many messages because people have the same experience, but do you get them to sleep first and then lay them down or are you just laying them down when they’re drowsy and it’s so young that they actually get really used to it?
Ariel Tyson Yeah, that’s the key. The second one. I lay them down drowsy, not totally asleep, but drowsy. So they’ve already been comforted by me to where they’re drowsy, and then you lay them down. Now I use the swaddle recently and then the pacifier. So there is that too. But they just get used to it as you get on to that schedule. And sometimes I’ll— I’ll obviously always start off just nursing on demand. Sometimes I’ll nurse to sleep early on, and I’ll try to slowly get to where I lay them down after I nurse them. And then we get to a schedule where they’ve been awake, I wrap them, I give them a paci and then they know that’s their cue for sleep time. So we kind of move from the nursing as the cue for sleep to that. And I guess with the schedule, that’s what I was going to say. We’re fluid. I did have one friend that would be like, “No, I’m feeding my baby every four hours.” And then they’d be crying at like three-and-a-half and she’s like, “They got to wait.” And I’m like no. That’s not something I do at all.
Lisa Bass See that’s what makes the newborn phase sound horribly stressful to me. And this is very probably a personality type thing. But for me, even doing any schedule just sounds so stressful because I’m so not sure. I’m just not sure. One thing I know for sure is if I wear the baby and I nurse the baby and I sleep with the baby, they sleep and everything’s fine. But there does come a time whenever—if you do it my way—there is this hard transition. And I like the fact— I think a lot of moms would like the fact that yours avoids that. Like the method that you’re doing does avoid the transition that happens around where I’m at right now. Nine-and-a-half months, basically.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, yeah. It almost always happens around then. I feel like if it’s not sooner, it comes to that point then. And then some people ask me, “Well, how do you get them to nap when you’re out and on the go if they’re used to being laid down?” And I think that’s where I’m also flexible in that they are going to nurse on the go in a carrier or wrap or riding in the car in the car seat. So I just get their primary main nap or naps at home and then we just adjust for those if we need to. So I guess I have a hard time answering that question perfectly because I just adjust to how I need to do it for our family. But that would be the key is I think I go from nursing them to sleep to letting them be drowsy to go to sleep and just slowly back off from the nursing to have to be a part of it, and then just have the cue for sleep to be either the swaddle or the paci. I think you need a cue for sleep either way. So maybe figuring out what that is for each person. I don’t know if that helps.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think this is why there’s so many books and courses is it’s not so cut and dry and I think we want people to be like, “Do this.” That’s what I wanted the other night. We’re going through this transition right now, and I just wanted somebody to reassure me in the middle of the night, like, “This is what you should do.” But it really just— situations can be so different. So if people are wondering—because I know that people are because I get asked this constantly—how I transition from them exclusively sleeping in my bed and in the wrap to sleeping in their bed. It first starts by around six months, I start laying them down for naps, and I will admit there is crying because we’ve gone from them completely being soothed 100% of the time by me to now I’m expecting you to sleep for some time in your pack ‘n play or crib or whatever you have. So around six months I start doing like the morning nap, the afternoon nap, and the evening nap is usually what they need. Usually it’s about two hours after they wake up in the morning. Depending on when they wake up, it’ll be different. And then another two hours for the afternoon and then usually they need like another short nap around two hours later. I do that for maybe like a couple of months just to teach them how to self-soothe. And then around, I would say it depends on the kid, but it’s been pretty consistent throughout all my kids— around seven-ish or eight-ish months, they don’t really— they’re starting to move too much, and so nursing them to sleep in the bed and then rolling away doesn’t work. That’s when I start putting them down for that first stretch, and then once they wake up for the first time, I will nurse them in my bed and then sleep with them the rest of the night. So we just completed that phase, and I’ll do that phase up to 14, 15, whatever months they want if they sleep well. But Theo, he doesn’t. So he started around like maybe eight months, rolling around, kicking, literally waking up in the middle of the night and just looking around. He’s stimulated by the fact that I’m next to him. And so I realized that that needed to change. And so that’s when I start thinking about, okay, we need to start maybe putting him down throughout the night in his crib, which is a little bit of a difficult transition. So I finally found something that’s maybe sort of working now, and I did the— have you ever tried the dream feed? That’s where if you lay them down for bed around 7:00, you wake them up before you go to bed around like 10:00 or 11:00, nurse them. And my thought process with that is that if he wakes up in the middle of the night and I’m doing my old way where I pick him up, nurse him, then lay him back down, he doesn’t know why he can’t wake up 15 minutes later and nurse, and then 15 minutes again and nurse, and my thought process—and I’ve literally done this just one night and it worked really, really well—is I wake him up and nurse him, but then if he wakes up between 11:00 and 6:00, I’m not going to get him. And last night, he basically only just fussed a couple of times. So I think we’re headed in that direction.
Ariel Tyson That is awesome. Yeah, I’ve heard of the dream feed. I’ve not— I would say not exactly done it. But when I first start trying to cut out night feedings early on, I would—for me—just pop a pacifier in. So again, there’s the pacifier thing.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Dang pacifier. I’ve heard just the wonders of the pacifier and I cannot get my kids to like them, not for anything. I try so hard, and I pat them in my little wrap and put the paci in. I’ve tried a few different kinds.
Ariel Tyson Yeah. That’s what my sister-in-law was dealing with. She said, “Oh, my goodness, he won’t take the pacifier.” And she’s going through the same thing. Well, he’s past it now, but he was right around Theo’s age when she was dealing with the sleep thing and trying to get him, like, “Where do I put him? Do I put him in this room or this room or?”
Lisa Bass Where to put them? I still don’t even know.
Ariel Tyson Yes, well, I don’t even know. Mila sleeps through the night fine, and we have, I say three and a half bedrooms. The room I’m in right now is our nursery, but it’s more like an office. It’s tiny. I don’t want to move my two-year-old. I have to move him in with his brothers.
Lisa Bass Oh, that’s always the issue. So I said in order to put Theo in the room where I want to put him, I have to then move the two-year-old in with the four- and six-year-old, and who wants to do that? And so Theo is still in our room.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, it’s the four- and six-year-old.
Lisa Bass It is. Because then they’re going to be going crazy and they’re going to be running around. And the two-year-old’s gonna be runnig around, too. And he has his little crib. I actually was texting a friend of mine yesterday. I’m like, “Tell me why this won’t work.” Okay, so in our room— we have no closets because it’s an old farmhouse. I know you’re in an old farmhouse, but you’re getting ready to build one. But there is no closets. A master closet is like the prime best nursery on the planet, we just have never had one. But I know from like staying in an Airbnb or like my sister’s house, those are the best nurseries. And so I was telling my friend, “Why can’t I take my faux mantel, bump it out into my room, and create a closet like a master closet behind it? Why won’t that work?” She’s like, “You probably don’t want to put that on the Internet.” I’m like, I’m not. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s just a cozy little spot where the child could still be in my room, but not be in our room. So my next— if that doesn’t work, which it’s probably kind of crazy to create this permanent room in my room, but I’m thinking about getting a canopy crib and putting curtains around it. So that way he can’t see me. And then it’s like his own little space.
Ariel Tyson Yeah. Yeah. Well, what I probably shouldn’t be putting on the internet is that I’ve had multiple babies in closets for a while because we had three bedrooms in Montana, and so Ari spent a lot of time in our closet, and it’s perfectly fine.
Lisa Bass I see no problem with the closet.
Ariel Tyson Perfectly fine. But Mila has spent some nights in a bathroom in our house.
Lisa Bass Oh, you know how many kids of mine slept in the bathroom? Bathrooms are the second best ultimate nursery. We just don’t have one because we just moved our whole house around. And so we are now in what used to be the living room because we don’t need a dining room, so we shifted things around. But my last three—whenever they got to this phase of sleeping in their own bed but they couldn’t go in their own room like all the way across the house or whatever—bathroom is where they all slept.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, well, we only had one bathroom when we moved into this farmhouse.
Lisa Bass Oh, that’s a little tough. Yeah.
Ariel Tyson One. But we did put a second one in upstairs with the kids. So Michael and I will just use the upstairs kids’ bathroom and she’s in the downstairs one.
Lisa Bass Yeah, well, so I have thought about that because we do have a bathroom that’s not connected to our room on the main level of our house. But the problem with that bathroom is it also has the washer and dryer. And it would also have to be his napping room. And so I’m like, how often are we going to not plan ahead and it’s like, “Oh, we’re going to swim lessons, we need the towels.” Or just I know that we’ll end up needing something in that room. And so that’s my hesitation with that. But I’m on board with the bathroom and the closet nurseries. Anybody with a lot of kids does that.
Ariel Tyson Oh, yeah. So the sleep thing, I guess the only thing I do is just slowly cut out night feedings, like we were saying. And generally they just kind of fuss a little bit and then fall back asleep, and then I just make it a little bit longer, and I just kind of slowly make the time in between longer till we get to that point. Yeah, I don’t know if that’s in any books or anything. That’s just what I do.
Lisa Bass Well, you figured out what works for you. Just out of personal curiosity because I’m kind of at this spot with my son, how long is Mila able to sleep overnight right now without nursing?
Ariel Tyson So she goes to bed somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00 usually because I get the other kids down first and then I’ll feed her or nurse her to sleep, and then she’s waking up at about 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning.
Lisa Bass That’s great. I mean, that’s fabulous.
Ariel Tyson I know. I feel guilty when I say that.
Lisa Bass No. I think people need to do what works for them. I was telling a friend that just a few days ago because there’s so much guilt with so many things that people do with their babies, especially when it comes to sleep. And I think— I mean, clearly she can handle it just fine. And that’s actually what I’m moving toward with Theo. We’re doing that dream feed. And so he’s going to be doing like eight hour stretches, which this is brand new. Last night was actually the first time he’s ever done it. And then from there, I might start trying to figure out if we could stretch— probably around one, is usually when mine can start doing like the full— but my kids go to bed a little bit earlier. We do the earlier bedtime, so that’s why I can’t just go the whole time.
Ariel Tyson Right. Yeah. My first kids did more like 10 to 12 hours at night, those stretches, which she’s kind of right around 10. But we didn’t have activities. My older boys are in football, so by the time they get home, it’s like 8:30, 8:45, and they want to eat. So it’s after 9:00 before they get to bed. So I’m a little struggling with that. There’s no early beds. There’s like never been early bed.
Lisa Bass Man. Yeah. We’re not able to get the older kids in bed early, but getting to put the toddler and the baby down early is— basically the four, two, and baby down is so important. But if you can’t, you can’t. A lot of times, Luke and I will divide and conquer, which sometimes I feel bad about it because we’ll end up not going to the same— if it’s an activity that I don’t need to be at, we’ll a lot of times just one of us, usually me, because it’s the baby will stay home and do the early bedtime with the younger three and then he’ll take the older four to the activity.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, we’ll do that some. Like some of the football practice nights, we’ll do that. We have life group at our house that is here late. Our home group for church.
Lisa Bass Okay.
Ariel Tyson So some things, we can’t. Sometimes some of them we can, at least the littlest ones. But I think my six-year-old needs more sleep than he does.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s probably the case, too, for my six-year-old because he’s always included in the oldest four, but he’s probably sometimes in need of a little bit more sleep because he’s also at that age where he doesn’t sleep in because of it. Whereas the kids who are over about—I don’t know—nine-ish will sleep later if they stayed up later, whereas the younger ones don’t do that.
Ariel Tyson Yeah. Yeah. I mean and you were saying, you don’t want to put your two-year-old with the four- and six-year-old, and that’s the exact ages that I— like, my four- and six-year-old are the ones getting up at the crack of dawn, and my older ones will sleep later. And I don’t want the two-year-old in there.
Lisa Bass Exactly. Yeah. You know, you’ve been there so many times. You’ve had so many times where you have the six, four, two, baby— or at least three times where you’ve had to just basically swap everybody down. It’s funny how much stuff moves around in our house because you think like, okay, this is it, this is these kids’ rooms and this is this kid’s room. And then before you know it, it’s all switched again. There’s always some reason why we have to, like, move everybody all around.
Lisa Bass Taking a break to tell you about the last sponsor for today’s episode. And that is the Harvest Right freeze dryer. If you hang around the homestead world, you’ve already heard of them. You probably wonder if it’s worth it. Well, they’re brand new to me, but I can tell you that that thing has not stopped running since we had it. I have done 24 dozen eggs. A million zucchini. I don’t know. I’ve been doing zucchini shreds. So I put them out on the trays, put them on my harvest freeze dryer, and then after their freeze dried, I just store them in jars. And all winter long, I plan to put a little handful into our soups and stews or whatever else. We can even make zucchini bread. They reconstitute beautifully, and they are perfectly shelf stable now for years and years and years. So nothing is going to waste from the garden. It’s made it so easy. We made yogurt drops. So my daughter Ruth actually did this. She took some yogurt, blended it up with frozen strawberries and a little bit of maple syrup, and then just put it in spoonfuls like little circles onto the trays—actually on some parchment paper—onto the trays, into the freeze dryer. And now I have a jar of very easy snacks for Theo. He can bite into them and they’re very soft and it’s a great first food. So we are absolutely loving it. I’m finding new uses for it each day, things I didn’t even think I would enjoy doing on that. I’ve been brainstorming all of these things that we can do with the Harvest Right freeze dryer. Everything from actually preserving the harvest to even some fun things. Like my daughters and I were talking about how we could maybe make a pumpkin spice latte and then freeze dry it and then have a powder to do something really fast with. I don’t know. We are enjoying it. If you want an easy way to preserve the harvest for many, many years that doesn’t require freezer space or a lot of time canning, make sure to go check out the Harvest Right freeze dryer by using my link bit.ly/FarmhouseFreezeDryer. That’s bit.ly/FarmhouseFreezeDryer.
Lisa Bass So another topic I wanted to touch on before I let you go is food. You did a recent reel where you shared baby-led weaning. That is something I get questions about a lot. When are you introducing foods? And then what is usually your strategy behind this baby-led weaning?
Ariel Tyson Yeah. So my first two kids, I think, I did not do baby-led weaning. I just like pureed all of my own food. I didn’t really even know about it. And then I saw someone talking about, and I’m like, well, this is way easier for me. And I love that they get introduced to textures and different seasonings and flavors sooner that way. And my third child is by far one of the best eaters I know. Like, period. Not just of kids, but like, he is a foodie. He loves his food. And that was my first one I did baby-led weaning with. I do it about six months is when I start. And I’ll introduce it with things that are like real soft at first: avocado, sweet potato, things that can be in little chunks but are super soft, banana. And then I’ll go into green beans. Those are a little bit not quite as soft, they’re a little more solid. But I’ll do green beans. I’ll do like roasted apples. I’m trying to think of all my favorites.
Lisa Bass Do you do eggs? We do a lot of scrambled eggs. Just so easy to give them.
Ariel Tyson Yes. Well and it’s great because I make those for everybody so I just give a little bit to the baby, too. I guess that’s the key is I pick whatever I think the baby could eat from what we’re eating and just let the baby— that like squash and zucchini, that’s been real good. But yes, eggs is like a good breakfast thing. I’ll do like fruit, like raspberries with oatmeal. Things like that that are just easy to make, but everybody can eat them together.
Lisa Bass I think it’s just— baby-led weaning is a age old practice given a new modern name. Just feed the baby whatever you can, whatever you have. And then also, they don’t have to have food. That’s something I’ve figured out more and more with the more kids I’ve had. Whenever they are up to basically one year old, food is not something they really have to have. So if we’re out and about and there’s really— usually there’s something even if we’re at a restaurant, you give them a couple little pieces of fry or a little bit of the bun, but I’m not giving him a ton because it’s not important for his nutrition. I want him to stay hungry for nursing. And so it’s not important that they’re getting a lot of calories from food. It’s just something they’re practicing with. They enjoy it. It’s fun sitting them in their highchair and giving them little bits of food. It keeps them busy. But knowing that you don’t really need to stress about, okay, we’ve been out and about. There was nothing healthy, nothing baby friendly. But they’re eight months old. You can just nurse them all day.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, I’ve had a lot of messages saying, “Well, what do I do? Mine won’t eat, mine won’t eat.” And I’ve had probably about three out of my seven that would be very slow to eat. And I’m like, “Don’t worry about it. It’s fine. It’s fine.” And then one thing that I’ve also learned is there’s a difference between gagging and choking. And people are like, “Well, my baby’s gagging.” Well, it’s their gag reflex. And they’re learning how to eat the food, how to swallow it, how to chew it correctly. And that’s good. They’re learning. And that’s totally different than choking. And so, Mila, when I first give her a new food, a lot of times she’ll try it, she can’t get down, she just gags and it comes up and it’s fine. And then she’ll try it again and eat it fine probably the next time. But I agree with you, I was way slower the last couple of times in how often I fed my babies because I’m like, they’ve gotten enough with nursing. This is just fun.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Exactly. And that’s the important food. Whenever I was a new mom with my first daughter, Ruth, the pediatrician told me, “Give her rice at four months.” And looking back now, I was so inexperienced. I was so young. I had no clue what I was doing. But giving her something that is so lacking in nutrients, something that’s very filling, and that taking away her appetite for fatty, rich, sweet milk is just a lot of— I don’t think they’re really steering people in that direction these days, but I know that that was definitely something that was recommended when I was a young mom. So I’m glad that I think people are starting to really wake up to that not being good.
Ariel Tyson Yeah, we had a great doctor even with my first two, and all my friends were saying the same thing as you. “Oh, we’re supposed to start it at four months with rice cereal.” And my doctor, he was a family doctor and he just said, “You know that’s empty calories, right?”
Lisa Bass Totally. Yeah.
Ariel Tyson There’s no nutrition to that. And he’s like, “No. Just fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables, whatever you can for that is like best to start with.” And Mila can put away some meat, too.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Ariel Tyson Of any of my kids, she has loved meat the most. Like pulled pork is her favorite food.
Lisa Bass Oh, that’s so funny. Oh, how sweet. I bet your house is wild and crazy like mine because I have five boys. I don’t have six, but it’s still—
Ariel Tyson Oh, yeah. A lot.
Lisa Bass There’s a lot of energy. Boys are definitely different than girls. I know you only have the eight-month-old girl, but I’m telling you, they are different creatures entirely.
Ariel Tyson Remind me how old your girls are.
Lisa Bass They are 13 and 11. They’re about to be 14 and 12 in the fall. And then the boys are nine, six, four, two, baby.
Ariel Tyson That’s awesome. That’s crazy. I bet you were surprised when you had all the boys in a row after two girls.
Lisa Bass So surprised. So my parents had four girls and then my sister and I had three girls in a row, so I had two, she had one all in a row. And then we’ve since had nine boys in a row. So we both did the exact same thing. And she’s actually due in two weeks with another baby. She didn’t find out the gender. So if she has a boy, it’ll be our 10th boy in a row, which is just, like, crazy.
Ariel Tyson Wow. Wow. Yeah. My mother-in-law right now has— it’s somewhere like, I think it’s nine and two. Nine boys, two girls total of her grandchildren, and then my sister-in-law is getting ready to have twin boys so it’s going to be 11 and 2.
Lisa Bass Oh, wow. Yeah. So that’s about the same situation in our family. It’s just crazy. We have— well, if she has a boy, we’ll have ten boys under ten, which we get together all the time, so that’s— it’s actually really fun the way it worked out because then my daughters have their cousin that’s a girl to play with and then the boys have each other and they definitely love playing together. So it’s really— if you could pick, it’s great. But you know, either way.
Ariel Tyson That’s so awesome.
Lisa Bass One of the things I love following you is just you really seem to embrace motherhood and the joy of motherhood and not succumb to the culture of mommy’s always stressed and tired. I’m sure that those things definitely happen, but looking for the joy in that. And I really want to encourage people to follow along with you over on Instagram, to follow along with your daily life and that encouragement in motherhood. So thank you so much for joining me.
Ariel Tyson Thank you so much. And I am always inspired by you. I talk about you to all of my followers and my real life friends, too. I just love everything that you share. I learn so much from everything that you have on there.
Lisa Bass Well, thank you. I really appreciate that.
Lisa Bass All right. Well, thanks so much for listening. I hope that you enjoyed listening to myself and Ariel talk about some of these motherhood things that it’s really nice to feel like you’re in a community. You have another mom telling you this is okay, this is normal. A lot of times I just want somebody to tell me that what I’m going through is the same thing that they’re going through to answer some of my questions in a way that’s practical coming from another mom. So thanks for listening and make sure to go check out @ArielCTyson over on Instagram to follow along with her family and their really adorable reels and life. And I will see you in the next episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast.