Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Toddler Summary: 2.75 Years Old

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Here is a current update on Kaitlyn and what is going on with her right now.

We have had some "developments" with her sleep over the last month or so. She sometimes doesn't fall asleep for her nap. This is pretty rare, but never good. She isn't terrible compared to how Brayden would get, but she is emotional on those day.

Kaitlyn had a few times of getting out of her room and coming to see me during nap time. That is something I didn't want to relive. Brayden did it and I started off trying to be patient and understanding. I would take him back to bed and lovingly tuck him back in. With Kaitlyn, I told her to go right back to bed--alone. She did and things went back to her staying in her room. Knock on wood. I told my husband this is the beginning of the end. She is now on the road to dropping her one nap. It is a long, long road, but she is there.

Remember last time I talked about Kaitlyn's picky phase? Well, I came to a conclusion. I have always been a bit, um, how shall I say it. Emotionally held hostage. I have always been a bit emotionally held hostage when it comes to Kaitlyn and food. Kaitlyn had reflux as a baby, and sometimes I see she has little flare ups in association with that. There are certain foods that are irritating to her. I have always let her get away with things I would never let my other two children get away with at meal times. I was even thinking about feeding her as a baby. I let her play with a toy, and if she dropped it, I picked it up for her. Over and over again. And over. And over. Again. Not so for the other two! If they drop/dropped something, they didn't get it until meal time was over.

So during Kaitlyn's picky phase, I wanted to make sure she ate food so I gave her other foods to eat if she didn't like what we were having. But I, luckily, quickly saw I was going to create long-term problems if I didn't change things.

I gave myself a little pep talk. Kaitlyn isn't going to let herself starve. She is a smart girl. A very smart girl. Too smart. Give her her food. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat it, but you aren't a short-order cook.

For breakfast and lunch, we have food that Kaitlyn loves. For dinner, we have more variety to the menu and sometimes there are things she doesn't like. I now just make sure there is at least one thing for dinner that I know she loves. I also make sure to pull things out if she doesn't like something a certain way. Kaitlyn likes things bland. So if I am going to mix the pasta with something, I pull out a helping for her first. I removed my emotion from worrying about her eating, and she got much better. She ate what was available and is still alive three months later.

Kaitlyn's teeth are all in. I am so glad. She worked on those molars solid from the end of August to the beginning of January. Poor girl.

Kaitlyn still doesn't have pooping down. I am slowly working through ideas to help her out. Yesterday was her first day of napping without a diaper. She did well. She stayed dry. But she didn't poop in the potty. We will see what the future brings.

Kaitlyn is doing great with siblings. Remember last time I talked about her being possessive of toys with McKenna? She still has things she doesn't want McKenna to touch because "she will chew on it." I think that is fair. I have things I don't want McKenna to chew on, too. But she shares even her most prized toys with McKenna from time to time, so she is improving quickly. She really enjoys playing with McKenna now that McKenna is older. Kaitlyn loves to be admired, and there is no doubt McKenna admires :)

Kaitlyn and Brayden are still best friends.

Kaitlyn throws little fits more now than she ever has in life. She hasn't really ever been a tantrum thrower. She is and always has been an amazing communicator. Really good. She is a more effective communicator than Brayden is--and he isn't bad. She is just really good. I think that helps. Plus, she has always been a great sleeper. I think that is the biggest factor.

On days that she doesn't nap, she is likely to have a meltdown over something. Kaitlyn's fits are more of a pouty face and cute little eyes with tears streaming out that make you feel sad for her and you want to do whatever it is she needs...but of course I am too experienced for that now. I am probably really blessed that Kaitlyn wasn't my oldest child.

Times are approximate for the most part.

7:15--wake. Breakfast. Take a bath and get ready for the day.
8:15--sibling playtime with Brayden
9:15--help me with chores. Learning activity.
10:00--sibling playtime with McKenna
10:20--independent playtime
11:30--TV time
12:00--lunch. Free time
4:30--wake. Free time.
5:30ish--dinner followed by family time.
7:30-8:00--in bed




Rachel said...

This is really helpful. My daughter is 2.5 years so I see a lot of things in common. I've recently changed her schedule a bit because she wasn't taking naps either. I now put her down later than directly after lunch. She only naps for about 2 hours though.

The crying and tantrums are worse than ever though. She cried a lot less as an infant. I am having a hard time being patient.

Her eating habits are fairly good, although we were offering a treat after meals, which we've now stopped. It takes her forever to eat now again.

Is it a good idea to keep her there until she has eaten what's on her plate? We don't put too much on her plate, but we do eat a variety of things and she eats what everyone else eats. We used to offer a treat, but we've been trying to back away from that.

Gaults in Lesotho said...

I don't have a lot of advice because I'm only on number 2. My firstborn, Kaitlyn, is now 4, She always had a time with a nap. I think especially at that time your daughter is now. I noticed several things--she needed a nap because she was grumpy,she fell asleep much sooner if she had played outside some which wore her out, and I also gave her a reward if she would take a nap.

When she was 3 I realized that she just wasn't that tired, so I made sure that she always got up at 6:30 instead of letting her sleep in. Selfishly I wanted the hour or two of quiet in the afternoon :). Now at 4 years we lay down on my bed (small house so number 2 sleeps in the girls' room for naps) and I stroke her arm or hold her hand till she sleeps (usually in about 5 min.). She does very well with that and still sleeps an hour to 2 most days.

It's interesting how children go through similar phases and yet are different.

Kaitlyn also had problems with tantrums and pooping. She's doing great with pooping now and much better with tantrums.

Fortunately my daughter has never been a picky eater although she does have her times still of slowly eating.

Thanks for all the advice you put on your blog! It's been a big help.

Stephanie Gault

dani said...

thanks, this is helpful as my girls are almost 2.5. I too have seen the first hint of the end of the nap, which I hope doesn't happen for a very long time!

Question about eating: you mention you make one thing she likes. Do you let her eat as much of that as she wants? We've been requiring tastes or bites of the other parts of the meal in order to get more of the thing the girls want but I don't really like doing this.

Hello! said...

My children are 21 months youngest just being 2 weeks old. I'm having a hard time getting used to having two children and feel rather overwhelmed at balancing both. I was hoping that you might do a post on the transition from one to two ( or two to three) children. I looked over your schedule posts that you did and found some help there... but I would love to hear more specifics about moving from one child to two. Thank you!

Mrs. Gongaware said...

ha ha i love this post! i like that you caught on to her "picky" behavior and i wish more parents would: children are not suicidal! so if you make something for dinner and they refuse to eat it - then why do you make them eat it anyway if it's not going to provide the nutrition? eventually, children will eat what is provided if you start with this early on (1-2) years....
but if you only offer them yogurt and mac&cheese, then they are only going to like yogurt and mac&cheese! hello!!!!!!
how would we as adults feel, if our husband or wife MADE us eat something we didn't want... and then added by "punishing" us????
so very disrespectful of parents who do that to their children - not to mention - very ineffective....
thanks for the story of kaitlyn, loved it
however, for some of other people's comments about naps: hhmmm... rewarding your child for a nap.... why???? a nap is designed to allow the child to get some rest, but it ONLY happens when the child is tired... have you ever tried to take a nap when you weren't tired??? or when you were excited or wide awake??? yeah, how did that work out for ya?
also, what is the problem with children not taking naps??? if they don't want to - then let them be grumpy, why is it such a big deal? if they whine - ignore them, if they cry- - ignore them, if they won't share - then don't give them things they can hold with their hands... if they are not being nice - natural consequence here, they probably won't have very many friends... but as a parent you shouldn't control your child's friends anyway, or at least not the number...
if your child is grumpy because they didn't take a nap - don't give them attention, because you are just rewarding negative behavior - because remember, as adults, we are often required to be nice in public even when we are tired, so if you have a problem with your child crying/whining or being grumpy - you should have thought about that before you had sex
also, if you offer your child a treat for eating, then what's the point of having them try a "variety" of things, or eating healthy, if they just get something sugary in the end? doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of healthy eating?
tantrums - are just a part of growing up, i have learned from other people that the best thing you can do is IGNORE it, often, children cry simply for attention - whether it's negative or positive, so if you have to sit right next to them while they scream - then oh, well... but don't try to reason with them, or talk to them while they are throwing a tantrum - it's inneffective because a child's brain is not capable of paying attention to more than one thing at a time, also don't leave them in a room alone while they are throwing a tantrum cause this sends the message that "i only love you when you are being good"
and really, don't give them what they want because then they will be throwing tantrums for the rest of their lives
i hate to say this, but children are kind of like dogs: you train your child to act the way they do! if you give attention while they cry or whine - then they will cry and whine, if you ignore the negative behavior by taking yourself out emotionally, then paying attention only to positive behavior - your child will learn to behave in a positive way!

Emily said...

i noticed that Kaitlyn doesn't go to any kind of preschool? Does Brayden? I'm considering putting my son in preschool when I get pregnant with baby #2 (my son will then hopefully be 2-2 1/2) as I think it'll be good for him to adjust to not having mommy ALL to himself and get used to being around other children. Of course I'm not looking forward to the price for it! I greatly admire you as a parent and would love your insight! I was kinda hoping your kids went so I could see your thoughts on how it did with their schedules!!! i'm a hardcore babywise mom! :) thanks!!!

ys said...

It's interesting to hear that Kaitlyn took SO long on those 2 year molars. We were doing it for months too! They were by far the worst teeth for mine.

I'm really surprised about Kaitlyn's nap, just because she is such a huge sleeper. That is interesting. I heard it can take up to a year before dropping fully...don't know about this yet:) It could have been a fluke or maybe she is used to skipping naps on Sundays now (I thought you mentioned that for your church times now but maybe I got that mixed up). I'm just curious, what age does the "average"BW child drop naps? I've read about Brayden's transition but you said his transition to rest time was different from the book and maybe it was because he has lower sleep needs. I was thinking it was around age 4 where naptime is rest time. This will be interesting to hear your periodic updates on Kaitlyn. I really love when you do these for the older kids as it helps give an idea what is normal for the older toddlers and preschoolers too. So thanks!

ys said...

Actually I have a question as I think about your post. Do you leave her in her room for the entire nap time regardless if she sleeps or not? Like if it's apparent at 4 PM she's not sleeping, will you just get her up? And what do you do for bedtime on nonnap days? I assume it is earlier, so what time is it? And does she sleep extra long that night?

Plowmanators said...


Kaitlyn's sleep is back to normal when she gets good physical exercise in the day, so you might try that. Winter is hard :(

lol about crying more now than as a baby. That is probably true for Kaitlyn, too :)

I would just have her sit until she is done eating. I am not one who agrees with "clean your plate" for children this age. For a 10 year old who dishes herself and conssitently has eyes bigger than her stomach, it can be a good teaching tool to help her learn she can always get more and help not waste food. But for a 2 year old who is handed her food, I think it is best to let her eat what she needs. Most are very good at managing themselves.

If a certain food group has been ignored, I will require X number of bites before she can get down, but I don't require her to finish everything.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Stephanie. I agree with the physical exercise. Our days are much nicer now (you know, 40 degrees instead of 20), so she is able to play outside more often, which has helped immensely with the napping. She always takes a great nap when she plays outside in the morning.

Her pooping is also great, too. Hurray for progress!

Plowmanators said...

Dani, it takes a long time to fully drop the nap.

I let her have as much of the thing she likes as she wants. She has her certain healthy foods that she just loves. She LOVES corn. She LOVES peas. So if the main course is something I know she doesn't like, I am sure to have corn or peas as the veggie so she can eat all she wants of it.

Plowmanators said...

Hello! That is a good idea. I will add it to my list.

Plowmanators said...

Mrs. Gongaware,

I liked your point about thinking of how you would feel if put in the child's place.

Plowmanators said...


Brayden does go to preschool. He started as a four year old. Kaitlyn does not go to a preschool.
She won't start until she is 4.

Here are my reasons for waiting until 4:

1-I think the primary influence in a child's life should be mom

2-A child prior to the age of 3 is incapable of really learning morals. Some might be ready a little earlier. But before age three, we are working on good habits (we don't hit), after age three, we add moral reasoning to it (we don't hit because it is not nice. It hurts people). I want this moral training to be done by me. When she has influence from other children, I want to be able to be there to bring her back in line when she does something she shouldn't.

Kids bring home lots of bad habits when they are around other children. It is very easy for me to stop something Brayden brings home. It would be harder if he were younger and didn't have that training time with me at home.

3-for me, there is cultural influence here. Most moms around here don't send kids to preschool until age 4. Some do at 3. Anything before 3 is daycare.

4-Studies show that all gains made in preschool are lost by 2nd grade and everyone evens out. For me, preshcool is not about academics but about social. I want them to learn to associate with other children and follow class rules, and I prefer that to happen when they have the moral compass to be able to be without me and think, "That is something I shouldn't do. I won't do it."

So, there are some of my reasons. I honestly think it is really good for children to learn to share their parent's time. Some kids have a hard time with it. Others are fine. Either way, it is a good thing for the child in my opinion.

As for being around other children, you can go to the park and have playdates and even do classes of some sort where you are around to help him learn to socialize with your supervision.

There are my thoughts for what it is worth :)

Plowmanators said...

YS, me too! I was shocked that she wasn't taking naps. But she is back to taking good naps. I think there were a few things going on--she might have even been taking a power nap at some point (I don't have a video monitor for her). Sundays when she misses a nap (you are right) she is a ticking time bomb for tears. But other days when I think she isn't napping, she is fine. So she might be getting something in there. Either way, she is definitely taking 2.-3.5 hour naps again.

The books vary a bit on dropping the nap. I think one says you start around age 3, another says you start around age 4 and it is dropped by 5. But of course some kids still need naps as 5 year olds. Brayden was about 4.25-4.5 when his nap was officially rest time. It is still rest time (about 4.75). He does sleep every so often.

Plowmanators said...

YS, as for her napping, I usually leave her in there the whole time. I hold out for some hope that she will get a little nap in there. Sometimes I get her up.

At night, her bedtime might be 30 minutes early, but not much more than that. On Sundays, she goes down sometimes as much as one hour early. I pretty much have to get her up at the same time each morning to get her taken care of before I get McKenna up, so I don't know how much longer she would sleep in the morning.

SM said...

This blog has been such a help and encouragement since my 2nd son was born 6 months ago! Thank you!!

My two year old (turned two in May) just transitioned out of the crib and into the bed. So far he has done great at night, however since the switch he will not take a nap. He usually naps from 1:30 to 4:30 or 5. I have seen an emotional change since he dropped the nap and I know he is very tired. I just can't seem to get him to rest. I have tried sitting in the room with him, making him stay in his bed, giving him a reward but to no avail! Have you are anyone else experienced his after the crib to bed switch? Any tips or suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

SM, there is a post titled "toddler/child getting out of bed." see that post and let me know if you have further questions. Good luck!

The Greenfields said...

hey val

glad to read your daughter was having napping issues at 2.75 year as we are now experiencing with our son. (32 1/2 months)

we have had a LOT of transition in the last month (moving from the Middle East back to America, traveling to see grandparents, family visiting us, new home, new EVERYTHING, took away his pacifier... ) so i know this can be part of the problem. I also don't think he's getting enough physical exercise in the morning because of the weather. I am going to work on this!

My schedule is identical to yours at this age 7 am wake, 1pm nap, 4 pm wake and 8 pm bedtime. I was curious if I needed to push his nap back to 1:30 or 2.

Should I try that or leave things as they are and ride out the storm?

good news is he NEVER gets out of bed! bad news is he fusses, plays with the blinds and kicks the wall (all of which are things he is not allowed to do)

Plowmanators said...

I would wait until things even out--you have consistency for at least a week, maybe two, before messing with the schedule. Then if he still needs tweaking, I would move the nap back in 10 or 15 increments. Good luck!

Kelsey said...

Hey Val! Thanks so much for all this info...soo helpful! I wanted to find out what your recommendations are for starting out the wise series on a toddler. I never did Babywise with my son who's now almost 3. Obviously he sleeps through the night and stuff so I don't need that part of it but I wanted to "schedule" his time more..what would you recommend?

Plowmanators said...


Start with basics--wake up at the same time each day. Eat meals at the same times each day. Have a nap at the same time each day. Then have bedtime at the same time each day.

Once you have that down (or if you do now), the next thing I would start on is independent playtime. Check out the posts on that. Once you have that down, we can decide on the next thing to work on.


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