Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Parent/Child Date Accountability Post

We are still doing well with our dates! This month, I had McKenna and Brinley and my husband had Brayden and Kaitlyn.

Nate took Brayden to go bowling, eat pizza, and play arcade games. Brayden loved doing this. We even had a coupon for free bowling, so it was quite inexpensive overall. 

Kaitlyn has been wanting fish for years. I decided she is old enough she can be 100% responsible for them. So Nate took Kaitlyn to dinner and then they went to Walmart and bought 3 goldfish for under a dollar. We already owned a fish bowl and some rocks. It was all very inexpensive. 

McKenna and I went to the ballet Hansel and Gretel. McKenna adores the ballet. It is a perfect date for her.

Brinley and I went shopping for a new dress for her. She had a blast. I don't love this date idea, especially since we went shopping in January for our date together. She had a great time and while we were out, she told me, "Mom, you are my best friend!" When I do a date with her again in May, I hope to have something more unique than shopping again. Who knows, maybe she love to shop?

Once again, I am updating date info on this page: It will be a running list to help give you ideas if you need them.

Don't forget to check out the eBook I co-authored. Go here for more info:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Poll Discussion: Dropping Naps

Our current poll is on dropping naps. I want to cover all naps in general. Most babies start out with 4 naps when on a 3 hour schedule (bedtime is around 7-8pm, so any sleep starting around there is night sleep). So we will start under the assumption that there are four naps. It is very helpful for me when compiling answers if you at least number the answers you give. You can also copy the questions and answer them. If the question does not apply to you, simply put "N/A."
  1. What age did your baby go from 4 naps a day to 3 naps a day?
  2. What age did your baby go from 3 naps a day to 2 naps a day? 
  3. What age did your child go from 2 naps a day to 1 nap a day?
  4. What age did your child start to not always fall asleep for the 1 nap each day?
  5. What age did you move from one nap a day to rest time?
  6. What age did you stop having rest time consistently?
  7. What method worked best for dropping naps for your child (cold turkey, more of a weaning process, shortening other naps, something else?)?
  8. What signs did you follow that it was time to drop a nap?
  9. Any words of advice for dropping naps?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Organizing Tip: Remove Everything

Organizing for me is super easy. So easy that it all seems so simple and obvious that it seems absurd to even share how I do things because it seems so obvious to me. I have come to realize, however, that it isn't. I am aware of the phrase, "Those who can't do, teach." Organizing is so intuitive to me that it is hard to figure out how to teach people how to make it easier for them. But I have been brainstorming! I have been paying attention! I hope this tip will be useful to you and not just a "duh" tip.

The absolute best way to organize, de-clutter, and clean up a space is to remove everything from it. You really just take it all out and then put it all back. Do you really need to get rid of some of your clothes? Remove them all from your closet and drawers and evaluate each one as you put it back. Does your bathroom drawer need some attention? Take everything out and put it all back in.

Every time we have moved, I have commented that moving is the best way to get rid of stuff. Removing everything is the closest you can come to moving without having to actually move. 

Now, I know this is an overwhelming thing to do! You get it all out and along comes a toddler who really mixes things up. If you are doing an entire closet, that is a lot of stuff strewn about your house, and what if you have to stop in the middle? Then you have a gigantic mess on your hands.

This past weekend, I reorganized my closet in my office. Here are the steps I took:
  • Start With a Clean Room: I started off by cleaning the office. Before you have piles of stuff around the room, you want the room to start clean so you know everything out goes either back in the space, into the garbage can, into a goodwill pile, or into some other space. 
  • Start When You Don't have "Help": I waited until Brinley's independent playtime. I definitely did not want her input on the reorganizing of the closet. There are plenty of things I have her help with even though it makes it harder. Organizing with a toddler is really just setting yourself up for frustration. As soon as she started her playtime, I started my project. You might wan to wait for a nap if you need more time for your project. 
  • Take it a Bit at a Time: I organize this closet frequently. Because of that, I knew I didn't need a whole closet rehaul. I just needed to tidy up. I took it one shelf at a time. I removed everything from the bottom shelf, wiped the shelf off, and then put things back on the shelf I knew I wanted there. If you need to totally revamp the space, it is best to remove it all at once. It will give you a blank slate and allow you to be creative and innovative in how to organize your stuff. Once my bottom shelf was done, I moved up to the next shelf.
  • Throw Stuff Away/Donate: Don't be afraid to throw things away. And have the garbage can right there. I save a LOT of stuff. I come from a line of farmers. My grandparents remember the Great Depression well. I am all about reusing, saving for a rainy day, and taking good care of things. I keep more than the average person I am sure. Even still, there will be things that just are not useful to you any more and can either be thrown out or donated. 
  • Make it Kid Friendly: The reason I have to do this closet so often is that I have children. My children use this closet for a lot of things. I am constantly having to tweak the set up so that they can get things out easily and more importantly, clean the stuff up independently. I am a master at fitting things into the space provided, but my children do not yet have that skill set. Things need to be set up so a child can get it back the way it was. It can't be a 3D puzzle. If you look at my picture below, you will notice the purple chest was moved. The previous location was next to a bunch of coloring books. Every time the chest was removed, the coloring books fell over and it was hard to get the chest back in its place. This was a major problem because that chest holds Kaitlyn's art stuff. She uses it constantly (by the way, this is an excellent way for her and I to compromise; artists are by nature usually less organized. She can have her chaos in her chest and I can have my closet clean(er)). I moved the chest to a new spot so that noting will fall over when she removes it. 
  • Label Things: Label makers can be nerdy, but they are so fun! I love labeling my containers so it is easier for other people to know where things go.
  • Clean Up: You aren't done until it is all put away. Take out the trash and make sure your room is back to clean when you are done. 
  • Require Family to Be Good Citizens: You have to realize things will get messed up, and most likely no one else will be as good about putting things away nicely as you are; however, you can require that they put things where they got them from. You can require the best they can do. That is being a good citizen, kind to your mother, and being a good family member.

Related Posts/Blog Labels:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Surviving 45 Minute Naps

45 minute naps! Oh how those naps torment mothers. Every baby has short naps sometimes; every baby has growth spurts, sickness, or pain while teething...Some babies, however, have 45 minute naps for a LONG TIME. Brayden, my oldest, took 45 minute naps for 99% of his naps until he was 6 months old. I know the pain! Here is some advice on how to survive these short naps. 

Allow Yourself to Grieve and Accept It
Short naps can really make you question your abilities as a mother and can also make it hard to get things done around the house. 

Lindsey said: "Oh dear. I think you have to go through a whole process of grieving. "

Sheena said: "Just survived it and glad its over lol"

Erica said: "My son was a chronic 45 minute napper, to the minute. It was awful. Looking back I thought I was doing something wrong. But now I have a baby girl and she's a great napper. I don't do anything different. "

Emma said: "I think you just have to ride it out. My five month old is an erratic napper (45 minutes here, 30 minutes there, occasionally an hour and a half thrown in just to get my hopes up). Some days it drives me absolutely nuts but I try and remember that it won't last forever and as long as she's generally happy I figure she's in some bizarre way getting what she needs." 

Ashley said: "I tried CIO at first and realized it was getting me nowhere with a young baby. Being a person who loves to follow instructions, 45 minute naps where frustrating me to no end. Truthfully, I didn't survive them well. I prayed, I scoured babywisemom's blog, and I cried. Thankfully the answer to our issue was adjusting wake time. Whether at home or at the sitter's, shortening Jake's wake time was the answer. It took a little bit to adjust, but it was so worth it! So many people said "All you do is feed that baby and put him to sleep. Poor thing!" Well, let me say that those nay-sayers are struck dumb by how well Jake sleeps. We're in the process of dropping his morning nap now (he is 19 months)."

Jessica said: "With my now 3.5 month old 45 mins I'm way more laid back [than with my first] so I either enjoy the rocking snuggles (like I'm doing now) or just get her up and readjust our day by having play time before and after a feeding."

Kelly said: "My first was a chronic 45 minute napper from birth to about a year old. I tried everything to extend, and found out a lot about who she was and what she liked in order to sleep. But nothing really fixed it, including CIO. When she became more mobile, and finally able to run, she was able to burn more energy and finally take longer naps consistently. She is an excellent sleeper now (4 yo), but still has lots of energy and loves to socialize."

Jana said: "Wait it out. That's terrible advice when you're in the middle of something frustrating, but I'll just say I did "all the right things" short of letting my lo majorly cry it out (at nap time...because I was never confident which nap should be lengthened...) For almost 4 months, on average, she slept 45 x 4 times a day! I kept trying to provide the opportunities to lengthen naps and FINALLY she now skipped to 2 naps/day. 1 45 min nap in the morning, the regularly a 2.5-3 hour nap in the afternoon!! This feels miraculous to me! Just wait it out. Give them time. Give yourself time. Do the best you can with each nap each day in the meantime."

Leave Baby in Crib if Happy
Dawn said: "If my daughter woke up happy and seemed content, I would let her just hang out/rest in her crib until her next feeding. I stopped stressing that she didn't sleep the whole time and just let her be."

Cry It Out (or Don't)
Some people said CIO worked to get those longer naps. Others said it did not work at all. The trick here is that what works depends on why your child is waking at 45 minutes. 

Lindsey said: "One thing I can say with conviction is that CIO does not work to extend short naps. I let my poor baby cry and cry for months and it did not help change anything."

Amy said: "CIO did not work for naps for my chronic 45 min nappers. Twin boys didn't take a good nap until I finally dropped to 1 nap a day and then miraculously they would take 2-3 hour naps, maybe starting at 15 mo."

AnneMarie said: "CIO worked for us and now if he wakes at 45 min, he will usually put himself back to sleep but sometimes it can take up to another 45 min of just hanging out in the crib until he finally gives in. If that happens, I know he either didn't have enough wake time or enough stimulation and I extend the next day and that usually fixes it too. We've had a lot of 45 min naps, but naps isn't over until I say it's over so he will usually chill until I get him and it's time to eat!"

Emily said: "Transferred to swing for almost every nap from 12 weeks until 6 months. Then we did mid nap CIO. It worked maybe 50% of the time at first and gradually got more successful until around 12 mo, when he grew out of it. He had a twin who slept great so I couldn't "allow" short naps or I would have had two babies on two different schedules every day, and that was not an option for me!"

Angela said: "CIO was actually the solution for my son's short naps. After a couple days of crying it out he started putting himself back to sleep at the 45 min mark. For a long time he did two 1.5 hr naps a day, now that he's 2 he does one 2-3 nap every day."

Rachael said: "CIO definitely worked. She has great naps now however it took longer to get the hang of going to sleep. I found I had to hold her as she fussed until she got past the fitful part 5-10 mins after I did that she can do a couple 2.5 hour naps. She's almost 4 month now"

Help Baby Nap (or at least be soothed)
When your baby wakes up earlier than is ideal and you know the baby will not go back to sleep on his own, don't be afraid to do some baby wearing or swing sleeping. Your baby might need a pacifier or some swaddling. An overly tired baby is not a good thing. 

Alicia said: "[When my baby took a longer nap] really helped me to realize that when they wake happy they are rested but if they wake crying they need more sleep."

Erica said: "Waking up early in the afternoons was worse because of trying to make dinner etc with a grumpy baby. So I would wear him and sometimes he'd catnap in there just to make it through this time. "

Lacey said: "The ergo was our life saver for my YDS's short naps. He would usually go back to sleep for at least another sleep cycle in there."

Amy said: " I coped by never expecting more than 45 min for each nap, and dropping to 1 nap earlier than I expected to. It helped! Sometimes I would move them to their swing after they woke up so they could have an extended rest time and I could get something done."

RaVae said: "This is SO my son. He wakes up an hour after I get him down. He always hoes to sleep by himself, but only goes back to sleep when I snuggle him. When I do that and then put him back in his crib he sleeps another 1-2 hours. After about a week of doing it this way he started sleeping his whole nap. But if there is any interruptions to nap time I have to do it again for a few days."

Misty said: "I go in and rock her back to sleep as soon as she wakes the. She goes back to sleep for rest of nap! If I wait till she is crying then she will not go back to sleep"

Caroline said: "...with my second I discovered white noise (downloaded a free track to an old phone and set it on repeat). I'd creep in just before 45 mins, put the noise on and a dummy back in and he'd sleep thru for a full 2 hrs. Didn't work if I went in late so he was already awake or if he had the noise on from the start until 6 months. CIO didn't work for mine."

Keep More Naps
If your baby is taking a 45 minute nap each time he sleeps, then it stands to reason he will be taking more naps each day than a baby his same age who is sleeping for 2 hours each time. Don't get stuck thinking, "My baby is 4 months old and should be taking 3 naps" if your baby is sleeping for 45 minutes. Yes, many 4 month olds take 3 naps, but those naps are 1.5-2.5 hours long. 

If  you have an older child--older than one year, then it might be that one nap a day will go better than two, however. 

Have an Earlier Bedtime
You might also need an earlier bedtime while you are having 45 minute naps all day. An overly tired baby will not sleep well. Do not keep your short-napper up too late. 

Try to Relax About It
I know it is stressful--believe me I know! I also know it isn't ideal. But it is what it is. 

Erica said: "And just give yourself grace and be more flexible. I was so rigid wih him, not accounting whatsoever for growth spurts etc. I was too driven by schedules."

Wake to Sleep
Wake to Sleep is a method from the Baby Whisperer. I haven't tried it, but reader Amanda said:

"My son was a chronic 35 min napper from 2 to 4 months old and literally every day was torture.... I did so much research I thought my head would explode. I finally researched the "wake to sleep" method and tried it out of desperation for a straight 2 weeks and it worked!! I did have to start using a pacifier too but he's now 8 months old and he takes 2 two-hr naps (sometimes even longer)"

Kelly said: "Wake to sleep for a week at two different times was the only thing that helped. CIO did not help at all."

Other Tips
Charlene said: "Music worked for me. I played a cd that went for at least an hr so hed get past that 45min curb. That and a lot of patience"

Natalie said: "My daughter slept for about 30-45 minutes every nap until she learned how to roll over onto her tummy at just before 3 months old. She now sleeps solid. Even at nighttime."

Alyssa aid: " Getting rid of the pacifier cold turkey! CIO naps with an extended nap at end of day 1! I did this with my son at 2 months."

More Posts From Me
Like I said, I have lived in short nap land. I have some posts that might help you out:
Other Great "Surviving" Posts:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stopping Baby Hiccups

It never seems to fail. Newborns get hiccups often, and pretty assuredly, they get hiccups in the middle of the night. A lot of books you read say something to the effect of, "Don't worry. Hiccups don't bother babies." I am sure that is true sometimes. I have watched a baby hiccup away many times without looking the least bit distressed. There are other times, however, that they sound painful. We have all had those painful hiccups, right? There are also times it is the middle of the night and the hiccups are keeping your baby awake, even if "pleasantly" awake. The sooner your baby is "pleasantly" asleep, the sooner you are asleep, and the nicer you are the next day.

When McKenna was a baby, I tried gripe water for the first time. I hadn't heard of it when Brayden or Kaitlyn were babies. Gripe water is a magical thing that I can't believe I went two whole babies without. 98% of the time, a small dose of gripe water stops baby hiccups immediately. I love gripe water. It also quickly soothes tummy troubles from gas to reflux, so it does more than hiccup control. Even if hiccups is all it did, it is well worth it. Here is what I said when McKenna was a baby:
"I wanted to give a gripe water note. McKenna gets hiccups all the time. Up until a week ago, she got them during every waketime. She got them after every middle of the night feeding. Happily, I can just lay her in bed with her hiccups and she goes to sleep, but I still hated to see her with them. You read in baby books that hiccups don't bother a baby. Really? How do they know? Anyway, each time McKenna gets the hiccups she groans for the first few. No matter what the books say, I can tell they bother my baby.
So this week I tried giving her a small dosage of gripe water when she got the hiccups. It was magic! They went away immediately every time. You might think it was due to drinking something, but that is not so. She sometimes gets the hiccups in the middle of a feeding, and continues hiccuping while she eats. Drinking does not make them go away for her. It is the gripe water!
The recommended dosage on the gripe water for her age is 1 teaspoon. I just give her 1/4 teaspoon and that cures it."

My favorite brand I have tried is Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water. You don't need a lot. I would always start with 1/4 of the recommended dosage and if that didn't stop the hiccups, do another 1/4. With my two non-reflux babies, I only used 2 bottles of gripe water with each baby. Not bad at all!

Give gripe water a try if your baby is having tummy troubles or hiccups.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Poll Results: Potty Training

These are the results for the latest poll on the topic of potty training. You can see the original post with the answers here: Potty Training Poll.

1-How old was your child when you started potty training that ended successfully?
  • 14-15 Months: 2
  • 22 Months: 1
  • 2 Years: 4
  • 25-27 Months: 4
  • 28-29 Months: 4
  • 3: 1
  • 3.5 Years: 1
2-Did your child have a hard time learning to pee in the potty?
  • Yes: 2
  • No: 15
3-Did your child have a hard time learning to poop in the potty?
  • Yes: 9
  • No: 8
4-Did you ever use pull ups? If so, when?

Yes: 9
  • At naps and nighttime: 3
  • Naps only
  • Night only
  • During errands and naps
  • During car rides and errands
  • Just initially as a precaution
  • Naps, night, and plane ride
No: 5
No, but doesn't stay dry through sleeping: 1
No, but wears diaper for naps and/or night: 2

5-How long did it take your child to stay clean and dry in underwear relatively consistently?
  • Immediate: 4
  • 3 days: 3
  • Less than 1 week: 2
  • 1 week: 1
  • 2 weeks: 2
  • 2-3 weeks: 1
  • 3 weeks: 2
  • 1 month: 2
6-How did you have your child dressed from the waist down during potty training? (i.e. bare-bum, underwear only, fully dressed, pull-up...)
  • Fully Dressed: 3
  • Underwear: 8
  • Bare-Bum: 6
7-How long after starting potty training could your child take a nap in underwear?
  • Immediate: 5
  • Immediate but not dry 100% of time: 1
  • A few weeks: 1
  • 1 Month: 1
  • 2 Months: 1
  • 3 Months: 1
  • 4 Months: 1
  • 5 Months: 1
  • 7 Months: 1
  • N/A: 4
8-How long after starting potty training could your child sleep at night in underwear?
  • Immediate: 3
  • Did immediate, but rarely wakes dry: 1
  • Less than one week: 1
  • 3 Months: 1
  • 7 Months: 1
  • N/A: 10
9-Did you do a "dreampee"? If so, for how long?
  • No: 11
  • No, but child wakes on own to pee in night: 1
  • Yes, still doing it: 1
  • Yes, still do sometimes: 1
  • Yes, 1 year: 1
  • Yes, didn't work: 2
10-Any tips for potty training parents?
"It's ok to change methods. We started with a seat insert for the regular potty, but ended up switching to a small potty that sits on the floor. She was interested in the big potty, but terrified to sit on it and release. She is happy to go in her little potty. We'll transition to the big potty later. 

It's ok to start, but then stop if your child isn't really ready. We tried at 18 months because we thought she was ready due to showing interest and wanting to sit on the potty. After 2 days of tears and fighting, we stopped. 10 months later she was ready to go on the little potty, and would tell me when she needed to go. Often times, her diaper would be dry when she did this. During those 10 months of waiting I would sometimes ask if she wanted to sit on her potty, but I didn't push it. When I changed her diaper I sometimes told her that she could go on her potty whenever she was ready; she just needed to tell me when she was ready. And she did; when she was ready.

Don't start until you are ready to commit. Her sister is 16 months younger and I knew it would be challenging to potty train with her around and into everything. She started showing interest around 28 months, but we waited to officially train until 29 months. During that month I took her potty whenever she wanted, but didn't ask her is she needed to go. She also wore only diapers during that month. I was ready when I could send the baby sister to my mom's house for 3 days so I could focus on potty training. I also waited until we had no out of town trips or even daytime obligations for several weeks. We pretty much stayed home for several days to get her used to the process. We are only 1 week in so I am careful about how long I am out. I also carry a potty seat in the van (along with toilet paper, treats, and extra clothes) when I will be out for a long time.

I loved the idea from the Ezzo's about rewarding for clean and dry panties as well as going in the potty! My daughter responds well to treats because they are usually rare (hence the words treat) She really wants 2 treats every time she uses the potty, so I emphasize that 1 treat is for being clean and dry, and only 1 treat is for going in the potty. This really resonated with her, and I think helped her get the idea to stay clean. It has been 5 days of training and she has had no accidents that last 2 days! Even during nap time!"

"Be super positive! And don't force them. Last week we started seeing a little bit of regression and we decided it was probably because we've still been reminding him constantly about potty stuff. He knows what to do at this point so we are pulling back a little. He doesn't like to be told what to do so when we're constantly saying "tell me when you need to go potty" "keep your underwear dry" and making him go in public places when we have bathroom breaks - it was wearing on him and he was getting upset, saying "no potty! no potty!". Last week when we started pulling back a bit, he did SO MUCH better. He has been telling us he needs to go and isn't resisting or holding it as much."

"We taught her how to perch on the actual toilet seat pretty early on so that we could ditch potty seats and not have as much clean-up to do. Plus, that way we don't have to drag a potty seat everywhere we go. Unfortunately, we had to break the floor potty out again as a way to encourage her to feel more comfortable pooping when she had her regression, but she still goes on the big toilet quite a bit which saves us having to rinse out the potty."

ELIZABETH SAID: "Try the 3 day method if you can! Child may not be ready yet though, especially for poop."

BARNOLD SAID: "Be consistent--once you decide to go for it, just do it and keep at it."


We started to potty train with a celebratory shopping trip to buy a potty and prizes and treats--we made a huge deal of the day potty training would begin. She was 15 months old. It was an emotional and long day. Our kiddo is strong willed and is absolutely not motivated by prizes and treats. I vividly remember sitting on the family room floor at the end of the day next to a potty on top of a beach towel and just crying. Everyone said it could be done in less than three days!!

As time went on, we tried every six months or so, but it wasn't until she was almost 3.5 (and her baby sister was due in a few months) that she started toileting herself. Once she decided it was time, she did it independently with no accidents, no reminders and I only needed to wipe her. Let me tell you, hearing your child put themselves on the toilet is one of the sweetest sounds you will hear as a parent!

In my opinion, it really doesn't matter how old a child is when they start to wear underwear. My children are well behaved and obedient and smart and loved. Potty training is not a measure of how good a parent you are (I beat myself up about this.) 

It's certainly worth trying early, but if your kiddos are strong-willed like mine I think it's okay to put the potty away and try again in a few months. Also, if you're in a season as a mom where you're physically unable to pack a toddler to the potty every hour or cleaning up accidents will put you at odds with your sweet little person, just let it go until you can.

As moms of young kids we're steeped in the stats of our children; growth percentiles, milestone ages, hours of sleep, yadda, yadda. "Age of potty training" is not something that will every be of importance beyond toddlerhood peer group comparisons. Just do what works best for your family."

"I have learned there is not one right way to potty train. It's more of what the parent can handle. After trying the 3day potty training method I learned I am not ok having my child pee all over my house. I would much rather take them to the potty every 15 mins. Once we switched to a method we were comfortable with potty training was less stressful and went much smoother.

Also, it's ok to start then stop. We first tried at 2 years and she wasn't ready. We went back to diapers then tried again in 2 months and she was ready then!"

"we tried when he was 2 and he wet his underwear 3 times in 30 minutes so we stopped. then one day he said he didn't want to wear a diaper so we switched and he never looked back. i would definitely wait until your child is ready. theres nothing to rush and if it doesn't work out the first time, just wait a little longer"

"I know a lot of people wait until the child is much older and are successful, but seeing now what a strong willed child my daughter turned out to be, I am SO GLAD I did it before she become obstinate! It seems like it would be impossible right now given her personality at 27mo. So for parents who think they might have a strong willed child on their hands, it might be worth it to potty train earlier, even if it takes a little longer."

JACQUELINE SAID: "Have a game plan. Search for potty training bootcamp posts on Pinterest. I pulled the parts I liked best from a few different ones to devise our plan."

ALICIA SAID: "As cliché as it is, wait till they are ready."

"For naps and night it worked for us to just wait until her diaper stayed dry for a period of a couple weeks and then stop using the diaper. That happened younger than I expected, in our case 32 months. I found that the Oh Crap Potty Training method worked extremely well. I did bare bum for 2-3 days (no forced attempts; just rush them to nearby potty when they start to go until they go by themselves or tell you when they have to go), then pants/dress only on the bottom for a couple weeks and then undies. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be!"

"Don't panic, it'll happen. Don't use pull-ups, they just confuse them. Bare bum made it so much easier for her to realise when she had an accident. It's worth committing to three days at home to really consolidate the potty for pee-pee"

"I personally believe earlier is better. In Europe where I come from, early potty training is common; my mom trained her 7 kids before 18 months. My oldest was 14 months and we are currently working with our second. If you can get them trained before the 2-year-old stage comes along, you will save yourself trouble. It was so much easier than I thought. Here's what I did, I put her on the potty once a day or so from 6-9 months of age, just a couple minutes to get used to it. Every once in a while she'd be successful. At 14 months we went hardcore. I put her in underwear and I set a timer every 20 minutes. She would get 1 chocolate chip if she was successful. A couple days later we were done and she never looked back. Night training went by itself, she was in underwear at 17 months and she has only wet the bed 2 or 3 times since she was trained... she's 3 now. Another tip I have is to always use your "potty word" whenever you notice your baby is going potty in her diaper. I did this from birth on up and she started saying the word at 8 months. So helpful when they can tell you when they need to go. There is definitely no right or wrong way to go about potty training, but this is my perspective..."

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Brinley Toddler Summary {31.5 Months Old}

The obsession with play doh is going strong
This is a summary for Brinley from 31-31.5 months old.

Sleeping is great. The time change happened about halfway through this time period. We couldn't do any prep since we are bound by school schedules. She did awesome! She has adjusted well. 

With naps, she is very pleasant to go down if I get her down earlier--around 1:30. I don't like 1:30, though, since McKenna hasn't been home from school long at that point. I like 2:00 just to give them more time to play. But by 2, she often gets upset when it is time to go. She is good once she is in the room and we are reading stories. I am not sure if I will shoot for 1:30 or deal with an upset toddler at 2. Her nap is fine either way. It is just the pre-nap attitude that changes. 

She is doing so much better about not getting down during meals. She still tries it sometimes, but it isn't 200 times per meal (exaggeration, but it was that frustrating). So improvement. 

Playtime is wonderful! A fun thing about Brinley is that she loves to play with everything. She likes the doll toys, the animal toys, and even the boy toys. She really plays with all of the types of toys we have. She does have a special love for "houses." Little People are a huge hit because she likes the "house" that comes with it (the house, the barn, etc.). She will put any little toy in the houses, though. And we must not forget her favorite thing to do at the moment--play doh. Her favorite.

Brinley sits on the potty after every bath. She didn't ever go, though she does think that passing gas is using the potty. 

Brinley is breaking her top 2 year molars. She is being a little grumpier than usual, but not terrible. It is really hardly noticeable. She is not being as rough as she was a couple of months ago. I am so glad! 

I have said it many times, but two year olds are just my favorite! I love the crazy things they say as they try to figure out the world. One morning as we at breakfast, Brinley said, "Hey! You have a crab in your smoodie." Thinking I heard her wrong, I said, "I have a crab in my smoothie?" "Yes!" She replied. Then she scrunched up her eyes, tilted her head, and stated, "That's weird." She says something hilarious at least every hour. I really enjoy spending my days with her.

This is her typical daily schedule.

8:45 AM--Wake up/Breakfast
9:15 AM--Get ready
10:00 AM--TV time
10:30 AM--Independent Playtime
11:45 AM--Help get lunch ready/hang out with me doing stuff
12:15 PM--Lunch
12:45 PM--Learning Activity
1:00 PM--Sibling play with McKenna
1:30/2:00 PM--Nap
4:30/5:00 PM--Wake up and Free Playtime
5:30 PM--Dinner
6:00 PM--Family Time
7:30 PM--Get Ready for Bed
8:00 PM--Bedtime



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