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Book Review: Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

I recently read Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. I think one of the biggest problems with the book "Parenting with Love and Logic" is that there isn't much there for the young children. Most of the examples absolutely don't apply to a toddler. Thus, a need for this book was very apparent.

This book is written by the son of one of the original authors and creators of Love and Logic. An interesting thing about that is that this book was written by someone who would have been raised under the theories of Love and Logic.

Now, I honestly cannot decide if you can get by on this book without reading the original. It has great tips, but  I am unable to remove myself from what I know from reading Parenting with Love and Logic. I also must say that while there are some tips for the toddlers, in the end, I think the majority of examples given in the book are toward preschoolers and Kindergarteners. It isn't fully about toddlers. The examples are far more relevant to young children than the first book, though.

I do think it is wise for parents to read through one of the two books every one to two years. It really helps you get in the "logic" mode and apply empathy appropriately. It also helps coach you to keep emotions in check. One of the two is a great tool. I am not sure about both. If you have a hard time taking theories and applying them age appropriately (you need specific instructions for specific instances), then the Early Childhood would be necessary. Otherwise, the Parenting with Love and Logic might be sufficient.

Now for a rundown of the book. The book starts off with some words of encouragement toward parents to get you pumped and ready to take this on. We then move into the importance of disciplining from the start. It is never too early to start. It then talks about establishing responsibility, empathy, and kindness. Next comes th importance of taking care of yourself and disciplining without anger. We then have more concrete ideas for teaching children about the real world and teaching them that you mean what you say.

There is also discussion on how to teach your children to learn from their mistakes and teaching them to think. We then have more talk of the importance of starting early. Then we have common problems that creep up and how to deal with them, and finish up with thoughts on chores.

All in all, while there are of course things I disagree with in the book, it was a good book that reminded me of things I need to improve on. It is definitely worth the read. If you have read or own the first book, you might want to check this one out from the library before deciding if you want to own it or not. This book is a fast and easy read and is not as text-book-ish as the first was. You can get through it quickly and come out the other side remembering what you read. For that reason, this could be the one you want for re-reading every one to two years. It is light and fast and can remind you of what you have read in the past. It can also be a great intro for you to see if you want to invest more time and mental capacity into Parenting with Love and Logic.

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72 Hour Kit Tips

As I have been doing a 72 hour kit update, I have come up with a few new tips for organizing it.

Use plastic baggies
I put all of the hygiene items together in a gallon storage bag. I put all of the first aid items together in a gallon storage bag. This is great for keeping like items together. It keeps things nice and organized.

Use free samples
As I was gathering McKenna's hygiene items, I first went to the bathroom to see what we had extra of. I ran across a bunch of samples. You know how you get samples in the mail like crazy? I put in samples of different diaper rash creams, lotions, soaps, changing pads, etc. Very handy!

Use old
For toothbrushes, I just used old toothbrushes. Perfect? No. But they were only used for 6 months before being replaced, and I think they will do just fine in an emergency situation. So as you pack up, try to think of things you are replacing and keep them for your emergency kits.

Buy generic clothing to pass down among children
My plan is to buy some clothes for Brayden's emergency kit that can work for either gender (for example, a red sweatshirt or something). Then when he outgrows it, I will move those clothes to Kaitlyn's kit, then down to McKenna's. This will help save on cost since children grow so fast.

Use other gender's clothes/shoes
For the girls right now, I am going through Brayden's old clothes to find sweatshirts and such that might work for them. Remember, we are talking emergency situation, not fashion show. Plus lots clothes work for both genders. 

Update every 6 months
It is a good idea to review and update the kits every 6 months. You can make sure food and water are still fresh and that clothe still fit. You can also add a bit every 6 months so that it isn't a huge cost all at one time. Another idea is to change what clothes are in there for the upcoming season. The kits fill up fast, so keeping a winter set of clothes and a summer set can take up a lot of room. I will be doing this in October and April and will remind you when it is time if you would like to join in.

See also emergency preparedness blog label.

Emergency Preparedness--Time to Review!

"They" say it is a good idea to review your emergency preparedness stuff twice a year. I have decided to do it in October and April, and thought I would remind you all when I do so you can do it then too if you so desire.

Now is the time to assess what you have. Now is the time to make goals for the next six months. What would you like to add? Now is the time to look through things like a 72 hour kit and update items (like clothes sizes and perhaps the type of clothes. Change to warmer clothes now, cooler clothes in April). 

I will be posting some 72 hour kit tips in another post (to keep things organized for future reference). I have been updating our kits and have some new ideas.


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Votes so far: 111 


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Yes When You Can, No When You Must

I know those of you in some online groups with me have seen me quote this before as we discuss parenting issues. This is one of my favorite quotes, and one I must chant to myself over and over. I have been planning on posting about it for well over a year...

The problem? I cannot for the life of me find the reference to this quote. I am 90% positive I heard it quoted by one of the leaders of the LDS church, but I have scanned my manuals and done Internet searches and have come up with nothing. So please forgive me for not knowing...but maybe someone out there knows? Remember when I couldn't remember that story about the starfish and thought it was clams? Maybe someone can help me out here.

Even if I can't give credit to the originator of this quote (I want to say it was Gordon B. Hinckley), it is still a great quote.

My husband and I often find ourselves saying no just because. Just because it is inconvenient. Just because we don't feel like dealing with it. Just because it doesn't seem like the socially correct thing to be doing. Just because...whatever. We tell each other this quote often to remind each other that we need to say yes more.

I think this is a common tendency for parents. I remember my mom doing it often. It gets easy to say no and forget the why behind what you are doing.

Last week, we celebrated my birthday with my family. While there, I was struck with three different examples that reminded me that I was getting a little to serious and a little too "no" happy. The first was in the decorating of the cake. Now, I let the kids help decorate cakes sometimes--you know, the parts they can't possibly ruin. I also let them frost cupcakes. But I have never let them frost THE cake. My mom handed Brayden and Kaitlyn each a knife and let them go at it. As they spread frosting, they pulled the top of the cake up as you might imagine. I know had I been in charge, I would have stopped them at that moment and done the rest myself. My mom let them continue on for as long as they wanted. Then she smoothed it all out after they were done and you never would have known two little ones had a hand in it. And guess what? The cake tasted just the same as it would have if it was perfect. Lesson number one.

Lesson number two came when the candles were all lit. We were waiting for a couple of grandpas to come back in so we could sing. We waited for several minutes and those candles were getting small. Suddenly, Brayden walked up and blew the candles out. My husband and I both immediately said, "Brayden!" and my husband asked him what he was doing. Brayden felt bad and started to cry. We told him it was okay. The next day, my husband and I discussed the situation and both agreed we had reacted poorly. Yes, on a level I see why I didn't think what he did was okay. If we had been at another child's birthday party instead of mine, the child would have been sad to have had his candles blown out for him. But the good news is candles are re-lightable. No biggie. We can talk to him later about appropriate candle behavior. And maybe he was blowing them out because they were almost gone?

Lesson three was the one that tipped me off the most on me not saying yes when I can. Brayden was the first to get a piece of cake, and apparently he wanted one from the very middle of the cake. So my mom cut a random square in the middle of the cake and gave it to him. If it had been me, I would have told him he could either have one from the side or wait until I got to the middle. But after a moment of thinking about it, I thought, who cares? What does it matter? Unconventional? Yes, at least in my linear mind :). But did it bother anyone? Not at all.

There will be many times your child will ask to do strange and random things. Say yes when you can and no when you must. Don't say no when yes will do. Saying yes isn't always convenient, but when I am striving to really follow this counsel, I find that my kids are much more accepting of no when it comes.

Now, I am not suggesting you let the child run the house. I don't find that my children ask for outrageous things, and they definitely ask for things I must say no to (like when Kaitlyn wants as cookie for breakfast). And sometimes they ask for things I am okay with but now isn't the time. I tell them yes, but it will happen later.

This idea of saying yes when you can and no when you must brings to the forefront the importance of having goals and understanding why vs. how. Understand what you are trying to accomplish with your child. How will the request impact your goals?

Also, you can tell your child you need to think about it for a minute. Say, "Let me think about that" and analyze the situation. I need to say no? Or can I say yes? It is okay to say no when you need to, but equally okay to say yes when you can.

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Chore Cards

Chores are one of those things that I am improving on slowly over time. As you may know, we did some chore charts about a year ago. They worked really well and the kids loved putting stickers up. But I also wanted to try out chore cards as described in On Becoming Preschoolwise starting on page182. 

What are the perks of chore cards? One perk is that when the child uses the chore cards, there is no need for mom (that's me) to stand over the child making sure it is getting done. You give your child the cards and walk away. This also lets the child develop self-discipline and feel a sense of trust from you. You trust him to get things done. You can also add to and take from the cards as needed. I also liked that I wasn't constantly printing new papers off.

Now, it doesn't have to be one way or the other, and in fact, the Parenting Breakthrough talks about the benefits of mixing it up every so often. It keeps things interesting :)  So you can do chore cards and charts...along with many other things.

We have chosen to do chore cards for morning chores. We keep the cards in the child's drawer in the bathroom. There are cards there that must be done for morning routine. Go potty. Shower. Get dressed (yes, I was surprised to discover children need to be told to get dressed. And go potty for that matter :) ).  Brush teeth. Make bed. Say morning prayers. 

I have also created other cards like dust, help with laundry, help clean the bathroom, pull weeds, etc. for daily chores. I rarely use those as of right now, but I have them if I want them.

So how did I make them? First, I made a list of chores for each child. I then created a table in Microsoft Word. I put one chore in each cell. I then found free clip art on the Internet to represent each chore and added it to the coordinating cell. I made it so there were three three rows and two columns per page and that they were all evenly spaced. I then printed them off on card stock and took them to be laminated. I came home and cut them up and here we go:

These are Kaitlyn's. I made Brayden's well over 6 months ago and used contact paper to "laminate" the cards. It worked fine, but my opinion is that the lamination works better and it was a TON easier for me. I just couldn't bring myself to put those cards in contact paper again and work bubbles out and such. 

I have been really happy with the chore cards. The kids are excited to use them and it helps them remember the things they need to get done without any nagging at all from me. I will upload the chore card files to the Chronicles Google Group for anyone interested in using what I have already made. They are titled "index cards" and there is a set for a girl and a set for a boy (so one file is called "index cards girl").

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Product Review: So Easy Toddler Food Cookbook {Giveaway}

Giveaway Closed

This post is sponsored by Fresh Baby. All opinions are my own.

Item: Toddler Food Cookbook
Company: Fresh Baby
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The two most commonly stressed-over subjects for parents are food and sleep. For the Babywise mom and her toddler, that usually means it is food since sleep is typically under control (save a few odd instances that are rarely long-term). A couple of months ago, we did a giveaway of the Fresh Baby Baby Food Kit. I liked it so much, I expressed interest in reviewing their Toddler Food book. Here is some basic info on the book:

  • 48 page Toddler cookbook
  • Family-friendly, simple recipes making it convenient to make healthy meals
  • 35 recipes with photos and USDA nutrition facts information
  • Practical advice and tips for toddler eating behaviors and healthy eating
  • Available in English or Spanish
  • Six Tips for Developing Healthy Eating Habits
  • The 10 Times Rule for Toddlers
  • Converting Picky Eaters
  • DOs and DON’Ts to Avoid Food Battles
  • Making the Most of Your Child’s Day
The list is pretty explanatory, but let me elaborate a bit. The book starts off with some great tips for creating a great eater in your toddler. There are also lists of good food ideas for each meal of the day. 

Now, here is the section I think is so beneficial for the mom who doesn't consider herself a "cook." They have a list of cooking terms. Do you know the difference between dicing and mincing? What about beating and mixing? Or combine? How exactly do you brown meat? There is a simple list of these and more to help you feel confident about what you are doing.

Recipes are organized by meal. Also included are sides, soups, and desserts. Each recipe in the book includes nutrition facts for that recipe. It also includes serving sizes for toddlers and serving sizes for adults, which is helpful so you will know how much to make if the whole family is eating it. 

It is in full color with pictures. Every so often they include a full meal idea to go with that item. They might also have photos for how to prepare something (like a mango). They have taken foods toddlers tend to love, like pasta, cheese, and tortillas, and have added simple ingredients that provide more nutrition. 

This is a great book for any mom, and I think especially for a mom who 1)has a picky eater or 2)feels a bit overwhelmed or uncreative about coming up with nutritional meals her child will eat. I love it because I love simple meals for breakfast and lunch, and it has lots of great ideas for fast meals full of nutrition. It is easy to get in a rut with food. This book can take you out!

Fresh Baby is giving away a book to one lucky reader! Shall we enter?

For Your First Entry:
Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following), comment telling me so.

Sample Entry
I am a follower!

For Your Second Entry:
"Like" this blog on Facebook. Once you have done so, come back and leave a comment saying you did so.

Sample Entry
I "like" Chronicles on Facebook!

For Your Third Entry:
"Like" Fresh Baby on Facebook. You might already have done that in our previous contest. Once you "like" it, comment saying so.

Sample Entry
I like it!

For Your Fourth Entry:
Follow Fresh Baby on Twitter. Again, you might already be doing so. Once you are, comment. Include your twitter ID.

Sample Entry
Following their tweets! @valplowman.

For Your Fifth Entry:
Blog about the giveaway with a link to this post! You need to have a blog in order to blog about it. Once you have posted your blog, leave a comment with a link to the blog.

Sample Entry
Blogged it!

For Your Sixth Entry:
Change your status on Facebook to talk about the giveaway with a link to this post. Leave a comment saying you did so.

Sample Entry
I changed my status!

For Your Seventh Entry:
Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter with a link to this post. Once you have done so, comment with your twitter ID (not mine).

Sample Entry
I tweeted! @valplowman

Entry Rules

  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow on Twitter but don't want to enter through the other methods, you can just do entry four.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will remove your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM Friday, October 1 Mountain Standard Time.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at
  • The winner will be announced Saturday, October 2.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!

Help a Reader Out: Toddler Prayers

This is a question from Christine:

I have a "help a reader out" question! What are your favorite bedtime prayers for toddlers? 

Since my religion is one that doesn't do memorized prayers for anything but Sacrament, I definitely can be of no help here! So it is up to you readers :)

Reader Early Morning Waking Questions

  • GledBlog said...
    I am looking for some advice on a too early morning wake up time. My little guy has always been a great sleeper. We started babywise from day 1 basically and he fell right into a great routine. He naps well, loves going to sleep and puts himself to sleep beautifully. I have never been able to get him to sleep longer than 10 hours a night. And maybe that is just him - who knows? When he was on three naps a day and a 10 hour night it was fine... but then the already early wake up time (6am) started getting earlier and earlier. I decided a few weeks ago it was time to drop the third nap. In order to maintain a good eating schedule and space out his two naps a bit we also adjusted his schedule (versus just skipping the third nap and keeping everything else the same). The first few days it worked great and he even started sleeping in until 6:30 (who knew that would be sleeping in?!?). BUT now he is back to getting up earlier and earlier.... and I am at a loss as to what to do! This is his schedule:6 - wake up, 6 oz bottle7 - breakfast (oatmeal and fruit)8:30 - nap10 - up from nap, 6 oz bottle1 - lunch (rice, veggies, 6 oz bottle)2 - nap4 - up from nap, 6 oz bottle7:30 dinner (oatmeal, veggies, 8 oz bottle)8 - bedSo the wake up time of 6am is even getting earlier... this morning he started fussing at 5:10! For the last week he has woken up between 5 and 5:30 and I haven't gone in until 6am and he never puts himself back to sleep... just goes back and forth between crying, fussing, and talking. I have tried going in but this seems to stimulate him more and he screams if I leave again. Last night I tried putting him to bed earlier (7:30 vs 8) but he still woke up early (although not a half an hour earlier like I thought he would). I truly am at a loss for what to do.... but I really don't want 5:30 to be our new wake up time. Any advice or suggestions you have would be so appreciated!
    April 8, 2008 9:27 AM
    GledBlog said...
    I forgot to say that my son is 8.5 months old.Thanks again, in advance, for your advice!
    April 8, 2008 9:32 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    See these posts:Nighttime Sleep Issues:
    Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    I would also wonder if there is something that is waking him up. Dad getting ready for work? Dog barking? Sun rising? Let me know if you have further questions. Good luck figuring it out!
    April 8, 2008 10:19 PM
  • heather said...
    I'm having such trouble with establishing my daughter's wake up time. It had been 7 am for months until we went through our weird 6 month sleep thing. So now, she is so unpredictable. Yesterday, she stirred at 6:15 but went back to sleep until 7:30 which was great. But today, she woke at 5:45 never to go back to sleep. I left her until close to 6:30, but she was wide awake. If I want her wake up time to be 7, no matter what time she wakes before then, am I okay to just leave her?
    May 21, 2008 6:43 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Heather, If she is awake but not screaming, I think it would be fine to leave her in there. until your wake time. Do remember that you can be within 30 minutes, so I would decide which way you want your 30 minutes to fall (6:45-7:15, 7-:730, etc.) and go with that. If she is still asleep at the end of your threshold, I would wake her up. And actually, I personally would wake her at 7 every day if that is what you ultimately want the real wake time to be. If she wakes early and won't go back to sleep, I would get her at the earliest threshold.
    May 21, 2008 11:10 AM
    heather said...
    I'll give it a try. Thanks so much!!!
    May 21, 2008 3:29 PM
  • Amy said...
    Valerie,I have gone over many of your topics trying to troubleshoot on my own...I thought I'd post and thank you for your site and see if you had any ideas for me. My dd is 8 and 1/2 months and we've done BW since birth as far as feeding goes, due to a major move at 4 weeks old we started late with CIO to sleep. I still do the dreamfeed around 10pm and she has never slept more than 8-9 hours at night. She has been stuck on 5-6am morning waketime forever and I have tried everything- I think. I started to back up the df and got to 9:30 last night and she woke up at 5. I wait but she gets so loud (cry/yell) that I don't want my 7 and 4yo to wake up so I get up with her. She goes back to sleep about an hour later...naps end so early she needs a cat nap to make it to bed time. I have done babywise with my 7dc and taught classes 12 years ago- I am completely humbled by this sweet girl! Any ideas, Valerie?
    July 15, 2008 9:01 AM
    Amy said...
    It's Amy again- last night her cat nap went too long and so she was not ready for bedtime until 9:30...she had her last feeding around 8:30pm. I did not go in for the df to see what would happen and she cried/very upset at 12:30am. I fed her and she went back to sleep. I heard her cry at 5am but did not go in...after 10min she went back to sleep and woke up at 7:45am. I am glad we can have a better routine today- still confused about what to do though! I do like 7:30am better than 5!!It seems to me she is eating enough during the day but I'll log it and see if that may be the problem?if you have any ideas I'd love to hear-thanks!
    July 16, 2008 9:32 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Amy, That kind of scares You never know what the baby will be like and give even vetrans a run for their money ;) It sounds like her 5 AM waking has become a habit since she woke at 5 still after eating at 12:30. She did go back to sleep, but still woke. I would consider factors that are happening at 5 that might be waking her. The sun, hot, cold, noises, animals, other family members waking...Also, is there anywhere you could send your older kids so you can do a real CIO? Or anywhere you can put baby in the house (or other kids) so they won't hear each other? If you are going to get up and get her anyway, I don't think I would let her cry at all. She is likely getting the message that if she cries long enough, she is responded to. I feel your pain. I didn't do CIO with Kaitlyn for the same reason. I am sure you have seen this post, but will reference it just in case:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    July 16, 2008 10:42 AM
    Amy said...
    Hey! At least it wasn't until dc #8 that this happened to me- I tell her she really needs to read the book!I read through your post again and I guess I'm wondering if you would agree with me if I just let her CIO from 5am until 6:30. That is longer than I've ever had to do... the most I've done is 1 hour about a month ago and she stayed awake morning after morning...I think I did it (CIO) for a couple of mornings. She is just older and louder now! I would just do it even if it woke the older kids if I thought it was going to work...I guess I gave up.I did see in your post the reminder to not stretch feedings during the day until night time is established- I let her go to the normal daytime bkfst,lunch,dinner and 4th feeding routine because of her age- do you think I should keep that the way it is?I know my pediatrician told me 2 months ago to drop the 10:00pm feeding and let her CIO till morning. She certainly weighs enough and is old enough. Is that what you would do? (cold turkey with the df and the morning problem?)Sorry for rambling. Thanks again.AmyI will say living in Seattle- the sun is crazy bright early so I need to buy a dark shade.
    July 16, 2008 5:26 PM
    Amy said...
    Hey- I'm sorry I asked you a question you sort of answered already in your previous post.(about if you would do CIO) Could it be due to lack of sleep that I missed that? lolI am pleased to say that last night she went from her last feeding(df) at 9:30pm all the way to 7:00am! She cried a little at 5 but went back. It was cloudy this morning-maybe that helped or it was just because I posted here for help!I really hope it happens again tonight...thanks again!Amy
    July 17, 2008 10:10 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Hi Amy,Well, DC #8...hopefully that is how it will work out for me too because I don't plan to get to ;). Actually, my first threw me through a lot of loops, so I think that is one reason I am able to problem solve today. Have things been going well more consistently? Remember that things will go well, then seem to backtack, then go well...Since things went well with the cloudiness, I would consider some dark shades or curtains (or even a blanket) to help keep the room dark and see if that is the reason for the waking early. I know my oldest is a sun riser in the morning (as am I).
    July 21, 2008 3:10 PM
    Amy said...
    I just saw your response tonight. You know, it has gone back and forth a bit. I let her go without the df the other night and she slept from bedtime (8:30pm) to 5:30am. I fed her and she went back to sleep-even when it was not cloudy thank the Lord because that is way too early to start the day! The next night she cried for a feeding at 9:30 pm and slept until 6am...still too early :( Tonight, so far, she is sleeping still and I am not going to go in to feed her. It seems time to drop it so I can only hope she will eventually sleep a little longer in the a.m. I cannot seem to get her to go to bed any later in the evening so I really hope she will stretch a bit more! I hung a black sheet on the window but I am not convinced it makes much of a difference with her! I have enjoyed some mornings- the house is quiet and I can read my bible.Hope all is well with you- I really enjoyed your last post on motherhood. Thanks for writing your blog- well done.Amy
    July 26, 2008 10:54 PM
    Abby's Mom said...
    Amy,I have posted in another area about this exact problem with my now 7 1/2 month old. She has always woken between 5am and 6am also. We put a black blanket up and it didn't change anything. Very rarely she will go back to sleep without eating. (Once every few weeks) She will usually go back to sleep after I feed her for an hour or so. I don't know what I am going to do if she stops going back to sleep. That is WAY to early to start the day, especially since she only takes two naps of an hour each. Keep us posted on how your lo is doing. I am interested to see if she will start sleeping later. It might give me some hope!
    July 27, 2008 10:35 AM
    Amy said...
    Hi, Abby's Mom!Your picture is so sweet. I'm sorry to hear your waking so early, too. Have you dropped the df? Last night I went to bed thinking I was not going to do it but she cried at 10pm so I went ahead and fed her hoping that she would sleep a bit later in the morning- she did go to 6:30am which IS better than 5:30 or 6 I suppose...I really don't want to do the df anymore (she is 9months now) but I might need to unless I'm good with the early mornings...which I'm not so much! I keep thinking she will just stretch longer when she's ready. I am always thinking, "have I missed something? am I forgetting some important part of this that I did with my other dc?" but you know I've been over it so many times and I think I am doing all I can. I would think being in a family of 10 would be enough to wear her out but maybe she just wants to keep playing with us rather than sleep in!Let me know how it is going!Amy
    July 27, 2008 10:45 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Amy, it sounds like she is close. Both of mine have been the type to wake around 5:30-6:30 for a while before finally making it all the way. Be sure to see this post about that:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    July 28, 2008 2:31 PM
    Abby's Mom said...
    Amy,Yes, I dropped the df cold turkey when Abby was about 5 months. I wanted to see what would happen. Well, nothing did. She didn't sleep any later or wake any earlier. About once a week she will sleep until about 6:30am, the rest of the time she is up around 5:30am. Every now and then she will still wake around the time we used to do the df (9:30pm). If I can't get her back to sleep then I will usually just go ahead and feed her. My niece woke for an early morning feeding until she was two. Lets keep our fingers crossed that we don't repeat that! CIO just doesn't work at that time for me because I feel horrible letting her cry when I know she is hungry. (I am usually pretty hungry too once I am awake) Keep us updated!
    July 28, 2008 4:46 PM
  • ProudMum said...
    My baby sleeps around anywhere between 7 and 7:30 at night . but she always wakes up at 6:15 to 6:20. she is 6 months 3 weeks. she does not seem to be hungry so I pick her up at 7:00 and give feed. at this time she is hungry. how can I make her sleep more upto 7 or 7:30
    September 7, 2008 7:17 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Proudmum, if she is one who needs only 11ish hours at night (and anywhere from 10-12 is fine), then you could try a later bedtime. Other than that, there is nothing you can do to force her to sleep later. You can troubleshoot and see if there is something waking her at 6:15. Maybe the sun, maybe it is cold, maybe a noise, etc.
    September 11, 2008 11:07 AM
  • Gabby said...
    I have an 8 month old son. We have done babywise since he was born. I set his waketime at 6:30, which is early, but necessary to get my 7year old to school. A couple of months ago we were having early waking and after solving this we ended up with a 7-7:30 bedtime and 6:00 waketime. He seems to sleep for 10-11 hours, but not usually 12. With the 6:00 waketime he always woke up at 5:30-5:45 and talked or fussed off and on until 6:00 when he would usually get upset and we would get up.Now, school ended and we went out of town for 8 days (2 long traveldays with flying included) and now we are trying to get back tonormal. He is napping great and sticking to a 4 hour schedule, but my question is how to get a later bedtime and waketime. He has been waking in the 5 am hour and sometimes won't go back to sleep without eating, or eatsand is ready to get up(if it's 5:45 or so). The days he went back tosleep we got up at 7:30ish and he ate well and went on with the day.It seems like no matter what time he goes to bed his body clock isstuck. He is dropping his 3rd nap. If he has 2 good naps he simplywon't go down for a 3rd and doesn't seem to need it.Any suggestions would be great. Not only would I love to sleep past 6am, but my husband gets home at 6:30 pm and has been getting verylittle time with him with a 7:00 bedtime.Thanks!!Gabby
    June 3, 2008 6:47 AM 
  • Plowmanators said...
    I would suggest this post for ideas:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: You could also have him wait about 15 minutes at a time to get him used to eating later. Good luck!
    June 3, 2008 11:17 PM

Birth Order: The Youngest Child

The youngest child is a place in the family that holds a special place in my heart. As an oldest, I have this sense of responsibility over a youngest. My father is the youngest of seven, and I recognize so many of the qualities he has that I know saved my sanity as I was raised. I also have my dear McKenna, who right now is the youngest and I have no sure idea if she will remain that way. She definitely displays many youngest child characteristics, many of which remind me of my Dad.

One of the traits Kevin Leman discusses for youngest children is that they are often in the limelight. They are outgoing charmers and personable manipulators. They are affectionate and uncomplicated. They do not worry. They are often the family clown and love to entertain. They love making people laugh, point, or comment.

These qualities, other than the manipulator part, all describe my Dad. He loves to make people laugh and was always playing jokes on his siblings--especially his poor sisters and his nieces and nephews. He has no worries--ever. This is a trait that I happily picked up. Chill and ready to take whatever comes in life. As a perfectionist oldest child, let me just say having a father who was so relaxed about life did wonders for my pshyche. He never drove me to do anything. He was supportive and applied no pressure in life. I did enough of that on my own, and had I  had a father adding to it, I may have ended up with some problems.

Leman (who, by the way, is a last born) points out that this love of limelight can have a "dark side." He points out they might ruin a family picture to get a laugh--even as a "responsible" adult! Okay, that is 100% my Dad also. I could probably count on one hand the number of family pictures with him in it without the bunny ears happening over someone's head.

Last borns have the disadvantage of following siblings. Siblings who are taller, more coordinated, smarter, etc. Leman says parents get "taught out" by the time the last borns arrive and are less impressed with last born accomplishments. Maybe that is true for some...but not true for my Dad's mom or even for my husband and I. My Dad's mom is convinced that he is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Bright. Mr. Nice Guy. Those things are true, but he was a teenage boy once who did some things that I shake my head at. Nothing terrible, but my grandmother flat out refuses to believe it happened. Seriously. I have tried talking sense into her.

As for McKenna, she has two parents and two siblings who are impressed with every move she makes. We marvel at every word and laugh at every silly thing she does. She has the most doting audience a person could ask for. So I don't think she will grow up thinking she isn't as capable. As of now, I can tell she is quite pleased with herself at all times.

Leman quotes from a book called First Child, Second Child where the authors say some last borns become adept at charming the world while others realize the only way to gain attention is to make a mess. Somehow, McKenna has picked up on both of those things :)

Leman states " of our major traits is persistence" (page 185). Oh my. How true that is for my father and my daughter. How very true. McKenna is the epitome of tenacity. I have commented many times that so long as I can help her have worthy goals, she will be just fine because absolutely nothing could distract her from them.

Leman's strengths list includes likable, fun to be around, easy to talk to, read others well, do well in social settings, tenacious, caring, lovable, want to help, like praise, relaxed, genuine, trustworthy, entertaining, and funny. These are all things I see in my father and McKenna. I can honestly say I have never met someone who doesn't like my dad. There are few people I introduce him to that don't comment sometime on what a great person he is. Even at McKenna's young age, she has some magical ability to gain the attention of people around her. She doesn't reach out or do anything, she just has some look she gives that draws people to come comment on how cute she is.

But of course, there are weaknesses that come along with position, too. These include manipulative, flaky, undisciplined, can push too hard, gullible, easy to take advantage of, make decisions with too much feeling and too little thought, self-centered, temperamental, spoiled, and impatient. None of those things are true for my dad or McKenna thus far. But I will say that my dad has commented that he has changed a lot as he has gotten older and that he used to be hot-headed. And I know he was spoiled when my parents got married. Remember his Mom? Yeah. He had never even made a bed when he got married. So he has come a long way.

So, how does this information hold to the people you know who are youngest children?


Time Change Warning

It is that time of year again. That time of year most mothers of young children despise and most teenagers love. Time change. We "Fall Back" and "gain" one hour. This means what your child knows as 7 AM will become the new 6 AM. If you have never experienced a fall time change, let me inform you that for most babies, this one is pretty hard.

If you live in most of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or American Samoa, go ahead and go back to your nice weather and stop reading this post. Unless you just want to feel happy you aren't dealing with it.

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere and your area observes Daylight Saving Time, you are going to enjoy the easier side of Daylight Saving Time when you move forward.

The time change for the United States is November 7 (first Sunday in November). For most of Europe, it is October 31. Although I would assume most people know what is going on where they are, a list of countries in the world and their DST status can be found here. Most Southern Hemisphere countries seem to be moving in early October, so take note of that.

Now on to the how. Never fear, I have posts to help you.

Start with Time Change Strategies.

If you have older children, be sure to read Time Change with Older Children. I would classify "older" in this case anyone over 12 months old.

Also, read through Time Change: Troubleshooting. This was written in response to common questions I saw people have over the first year of this blog.

Here is a quick summary on my recommendations.

For children two and younger, I really like the slow approach outlined in Time Change Strategies. I spend a solid month moving the clock in 15 minute intervals each week. If you have a more flexible child, you could try doing this in two weeks with 30 minute intervals, or even 15 minute intervals every few days. This is for you to decide.

For two and older, I usually take it faster. I will do one week before the time change and one week after the time change, adjusting 30 minutes as I go.

If you have early time constraints in the morning (you work, your child is in school, your child has a lesson of some sort), be sure to take that into consideration so you can make it to these things on time on either side of the time change. For the "falling back" time change, you might need to wait until after the time change to shift things. This might also be true if you have evening time constraints because shifting the schedule means a changing bedtime.

I have never had any major issues with the time change. My kids have all done well with my slow and steady approach. I do get a lot of questions following a time change that start "everything was perfect until the time change....", so do take the time to think through and plan ahead. That is why I am giving you such an early warning. Good luck! And even though I call this your "warning"--don't be scared :)


McKenna Pre-Toddler Summary: 17.5 Months Old

Reading with Daddy
The last two weeks have been quite calm. So calm I considered not even doing a summary...then I realized she was almost not a pre-toddler, so I had to do it! Just so I can call her a pre-toddler one extra time.

Great. She is continuing to get better and better with the spoon. Sometimes she eats part of the meal with it, then wants me to feed her. I tell her she can do it and she doesn't always like that. I am not sure if she is conflicted over growing up, decides it is getting to be too much work, or just wants to eat faster and knows I can provide that...or something else altogether.

The biggest story here is that she and Kaitlyn started having more consistent sibling play since Brayden started school. They have a lot of fun together. I schedule 20-30 minutes of them alone together and we haven't had any issues.

She is more interested in playing with other kids and wanting to join them.

We started blanket time again. She remembered exactly what it was and what the rules were. The first day she was literally perfect. I was in shock. Day two....I moved her back onto the blanket while she giggled in delight about a billion times. She never got frustrated with it. I sat there for 25 minutes moving her back on, waiting for her to finally sit. I ended up waiting until she waited a couple of seconds and I snatched her off and said blanket time was over. The girl is tenacious. And loves a good time.

Sleep is all good, but I do plan on evaluating the morning nap need over the next two weeks to see if it needs to be shortened or even dropped. Most children are about 18 months when they drop it, and she has been pretty close to text book, so I will be looking into that.

She still adds words every day. She also tries to stay pretty much everything you say. I love listening to these little ones try to say words. It is so cute what their version of the word ends up being.

I think we got a new tooth in? We either got a new molar, or nothing happened. I am going to have to sit down and write it all out.

Our schedule is more structured now:

9:00--bath/get ready
9:30--go for a walk
10:00--learning time
10:30--sibling playtime
1:00--blanket time
1:30--independent play
2:30--"help" me with chores
5:00--wake. Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00--in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.