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Wonder Weeks

As you travel among social groups on the Internet discussing parenting issues, you might come across the term "wonder week." Something I have found interesting over the years is that certain ideas are more catching to some groups than others--even among Babywise moms. Different groups online will lean more heavily on some ideas than others. Wonder Weeks is something widely discussed and mentioned in my Chronicles Google Group.

So what is a wonder week? The Wonder Weeks is a book written by Plooij and Rijt (translated by Sonderegger). Here is the info on the book:

The Wonder Weeks describes in easy-to-understand terms the incredible developmental changes and regression periods that all babies go through during the first 20 months of their lives. 
Age-related fluctuations and the need for body contact and attention are all related to major and quite dramatic changes in the brains of children. These changes enable a baby to enter a whole new perceptual world and, as a consequence, to learn many new skills. 
Wonder week by wonder week you’ll discover the dates in the first 20 months when all babies take ten major development leaps. Learn how to encourage each leap forward. Help your baby with the three Cs’ of fussy behavior: Cranky, Clingy and Crying. Recognize the on-set of stressful times and join your children in coping with them.
Based on the scientific- and parental-world-changing discovery of a phenomenon: all normal, healthy babies appear to be more fussy at very nearly the same ages, regression periods, and sleep less in these phases, The Wonder Weeks will help your baby, and you, get the most out of these developmental phases.

In other words, there are predictable times your baby will be fussy. All babies are more fussy than usual during each "developmental leap." Why is this? Because baby is learning a new skill--the world is changing for your baby. Some are more dramatic (like when baby gains depth perception). This book outlines when these changes happen, what is happening, and what you can do to help ease your baby through the transition.

I find the information incredibly helpful when my baby is fussy for "no reason." When you have a baby who is normally quite happy and content and suddenly is clingy, it can be really disconcerting! But then I go to the book, and sure enough! Developmental leap happening! Baby will snap out of it as fast as she snapped "into" it. And she will come out knowing how to do more! It is helpful because if fussiness, poor eating, and/or poor sleep are due to wonder week, you don't want to be changing up waketime lengths, dropping naps, changing how often baby eats, etc. You want to ride it out.

With Brinley and McKenna, any time they had a significant Wonder Week I included that info in their baby summary. You can see these in my posts with a label Wonder Weeks.

The argument has been made of "what about self-fulling prophecy?" In other words, when you are expecting your baby to be fussy at 19 weeks old, then won't you see fussiness? I think that is a valid consideration. However, I personally only have a few memorized. Every time one of my babies was upset and acting "off," I would consult and see yep, it is a wonder week. And the reason I have for my few memorized weeks is that those are the weeks I consistently get the most questions about. 

The books is about 20 on Amazon. The Kindle edition is about 10. And something I think is really cool that they have done is they have broken up the chapters so you can buy just one "week." So if you are on your last baby who is 15 weeks old and you don't think you want to buy the book for your last baby, then you come up on Wonder Week 19 and think "Ack! I need help!" you can spend $2 and buy the Kindle version for the chapter for that week. In't that awesome? It also means you could try a chapter before committing to the whole book.

Now here is what you have to be careful of. Sometimes growth spurts and wonder weeks line up. Sometimes a baby will be sick at the same time as a wonder week. While often a wonder week can explain behavior, you want to still think through and be sure there isn't something else going on. Sometimes you only know by trial and error. Is it a growth spurt? Try feed and see if baby is hungry. If not, you ruled it out. So use Wonder Weeks as a tool and as a comfort, but still take into account other possibilities.

Related Posts/Blog Labels:

Favorite Toys 2013

I had the idea to post about our favorite toys we acquired over the last year. Hopefully this can help you as you think through your gift ideas for the holidays coming up. We will take it youngest to oldest.

Brinley had two big hits this year.

This has been a big favorite. We haven't ever owned one of these, and you readers told me she would love one and you were right! We went with the Step2 Big Splash Waterpark because it has people with it and she loves dolls so I figured she would like playing with people. If I had been buying it for Brayden as a one year old, I would have gone with the Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table--this one has boats and he was big into vehicles. 

This is another favorite with Brinley this year. This is very similar to the Playskool Busy Ball Popper but it is easier for a younger child to use on her own. Brinley can't do the popper alone, but she can do the dinosaur alone. She loves it!

This toy was something she got for Christmas last year--so she was five months old. It is an award winning toy. It is great for babies because it is easy to grab and manipulate. The same company makes a similar toy called a Manhattan Toy Winkel.

Here are McKenna's favorites from the last year.

This was the favorite! You should have seen her face when she opened this on her birthday! It is every dress Cinderella wears in Barbie size. She uses these with her Cinderella Doll Barbie, but obviously you could use it with any Barbie since it comes with every dress.

This is another huge hit this year--she obviously loves princesses--McKenna loves these! These are mini-figurine princesses. You can take the dresses off and on. You can find all sorts of various sets by looking at the Little Kingdom sets on Amazon.

McKenna also loves dress up, and these shoes have been a favorite ever since she got them for her birthday this year. It is fun to have a few pairs so you can share with sisters and friends as well as change with your outfits :)

McKenna loves play dough. This set of play dough tools from Melissa and Doug has been great for her to play with. It is age appropriate so she isn't just getting mad while using it.

Here are the favorites of Kaitlyn this year.

A scooter is a lot of fun for any gender. McKenna rides this a lot, too, so it definitely could be given to a younger child than 6.

This is the favorite of Kaitlyn. She loves stuffed animals. For Christmas, it was a Boa Constrictor. For her birthday, a peacock. Can I just say I am so glad the Internet exists so I can order such obscure things from Amazon? Otherwise she would be quite disappointed!

Kaitlyn loves art. This How to Draw Animals book has been quite popular with  her. She has improved at drawing animals quite a bit also! If you have a child who is interested in art, another idea is Klutz Books. They have books for clay charms, lettering, folding airplaes, window art, drawing Star Wars, pipe cleaner, finger many creative things!

Here are Brayden's favorites from this year.

Did you ever play with these in gym class growing up? I remember loving them! This has been a huge hit with all of our kids this year, but especially Brayden. I love anything that takes energy out of him.

Brayden started doing his own magic tricks a lot, so I thought we would try out how he liked a magic set. This has been a lot of fun and it is great quality. I like that it shows the child the fun of magic, but also that magic isn't "magic."

Boys this age like anything remote controlled. This is something Brayden actually saved up for and bought himself. He has really enjoyed it and the quality has been good. The price is only 20 (supposedly retails for 130 but I have never seen it more than 20). You can also do a Truck like this one.

Nerf has upped their game--the guns shoot further and with more accuracy. Brayden has enjoyed this so much, we made a birthday party out of it. These new guns shoot 2-3 times further than the old ones did.

Here are our favorite games we added to our collection this year (we love games--we have a tradition to play every Sunday evening). These are games everyone but Brinley can play right now (McKenna isn't always great at it, but she catches on faster than I would think a four year old would, so don't underestimate them!):

We had some toys sent to us to try out for the 2013 Holiday season. Here are our reviews on them.

This is AMAZING. Of all the things we had sent to us, this takes first place in our list of favorites by far. Kids can add funny effects (like a mustache to your face), can create slideshows, and can show what is on the camera by doing projection from the camera. This is big, bit hit and if I didn't own it and knew about it, I would say this is a must-own camera. This is far better than any other kid camera we have owned. Definitely worth it!

I can't find the exact one we have. We got a house for the Littlest Pet Shop characters. Kaitlyn adores these things (as a lover of animals) so she really likes this.

Brayden is a big, big Lego fan, so I thought it would be interesting to try out a KRE-O set. He has enjoyed it. He says they are smaller pieces than Legos are. I think time is going to be required to really judge how this is versus Lego. Initial findings are that they are good just like Legos are good.

This is something quite interesting. It is a My Little Pony in essentially Barbie form. I wondered if Kaitlyn would have a high interest in this because she loves My Little Pony so much. She likes it fine, but it is McKenna who loves it. McKenna is my Barbie girl. So I would guess if your daughter is into Barbies, she will like these, too. It will be interesting to see what Kaitlyn prefers when it is time to play Barbies.

As I mentioned earlier, McKenna loves play doh. Super loves. So she was so excited to try this out. She had fun with it and the new type of play doh they have designed for the frosting is cool (though harder to clean than the traditional kind). I think she would enjoy this more in a year or two when she has better fine motor control. They say it is 3 and up, but as I alluded to earlier, many times these sets wind up just being frustrating for everyone. Older children can run things like this with no problem, but anyone 4 and younger usually winds up needing a lot of help from parents.

Want more ideas? I have done many posts similar to this in the past--here they are:

McKenna Summary: 4.5 Years (plus one month)

This is a summary for McKenna between the age of 4 years 6 months and 4 years 7 months.

She is eating a good variety of food. Things are good.

Sleep is good. We are using her "okay to wake" clock in the mornings again because she started waking up and yelling for us, which is a problem since her room is next to Brinley's. So she isn't allowed to call for us until the light is green. I have it set to go green 15 minutes after I typically get her. Tricky me! 

Rest time is so tricky. She does love to sleep, so she will cozy up into a nice nap, but when I wake her up, she cries and asks me why I don't just let her sleep longer. Ha! This is really only a problem on the day she has dance class--I have to make sure I start waking her up with plenty of time to get her awake and chipper before it is time to leave. 

All is well here in our daily play times.

She is still being great at preschool.

Remember those lack of emotions I talked about last month? Did I forget to knock on wood? I think so! This month has been such a passionate month for emotional outbursts. I have never seen a child throw a tantrum like McKenna did this month. Wow am I glad it was my third child instead of my first. I might have curled into a ball and cried if Brayden did that. As it was, I literally laughed and really wanted to video it all so I could laugh later. 

We actually had two big days of outbursts.

Outburst One--Soccer Game
We were at a soccer game of Brayden's. It was our first time playing at the field we were at that day. When we got there, I told the girls they could play at the playground. Once I sat at the field, I decided the playground was too far from the playing field. I went and told the girls to come over to the field with me. McKenna was NOT happy with that. As we walked to the field, she would stop and refuse to move. At one point, she started screaming, "I want to play at the playground!" Whew!

Outburst Two--Swimming Lessons
We had made great progress at swimming lessons early this month. I decided we had spent enough time gently waiting for McKenna to face her fears in the water--especially considering she had been fine and then became scared. It has been months. So I decided if she did cooperate with her teacher and do her best, she wouldn't play in the water after her lesson. That motivated her and she did awesome! She even passed off a new skill.

The next week, she decided to test my resolve on the new rule. She did well for 15 minutes and then decided she done and absolutely refused to even try to do anything else for her teacher. We got her out of the pool and had her sit with me. I told her if she would like to do what her teacher asked, she would be allowed to play, but if not, she would sit by me.

And the tantrum of all tantrums ensued.

She cried and screamed. She threw her goggles. She sat on the ground and kicked her feet. She walked to the edge of the pool and considered jumping in (I am glad she didn't). It was so over-the-top that I was actually just flabbergasted. I told her if she continued screaming, she would go straight to bed when she got home. She continued anyway.

This went on for about 15 minutes before my husband took her out to the vehicle.

In the vehicle, he had a nice talk with her. He totally kept his cool and turned this into a great teaching moment. He asked her if she knew why she didn't get to swim and why she would be going straight to bed when she got home. She understood and was able to explain it. She went to bed peacefully that night.

The real test will be tonight at swimming lessons...we will see if she really did learn. We have talked about it since and she plans to be compliant. We will see what happens when it is time to speak with actions.

Here is her schedule. She has preschool three days a week and church one day a week, so she doesn't really have consistency from day to day exactly. Here is a school day schedule.

8:00 AM--wake up. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. 
9:00 AM--go to school
12:00 noon--get home. Eat lunch. Free play.
1:30 PM--sibling play with Brinley
2:00 PM--Independent play time
3:00 PM--Rest time
3:30 PM--I check on her. If sleeping, I let her sleep. If not, I let her get up.
4:00 PM--Chores. Then possible computer time or TV time or free play
5:30 PM--Dinner
7:00 PM--Start getting ready for bed
8:00 PM--in bed

On days she is home, we do a nice long bath in the morning and also do learning activities. 

Doubt Your Doubts {Quotable Mondays}

What a quote! Every six months, my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has what is known as "General Conference." This is a two day period where we listen to 8-10 hours of "church." This might not sound awesome but it is! During our latest conference, President Dieter F. Uctdorf said this quote:

"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."

At the time this was spoken live, I said to my husband, "Did you catch that?" Because in context, this little phrase was said as part of an 18 minute long talk. That phrase was one of those phrases that is so true it pierces you to the core. 

And I was not alone! Pinterest soon exploded with various graphic versions of this quote (want to view them all? Go here: I actually really love this one, but it wasn't done to the point of being very readable so I didn't choose it as my main one:

Pause and think about this quote. Just ponder on it a moment.

Isn't that powerful? 

I think this quote has many implications. Obviously it can be applied to religious faith. I think it can also be applied to faith in other things we have stewardship over. How about faith in parenting? Do you ever doubt something you have had success with or have seen success with? I think we have all been there! Sleep training, discipline methods, trudging through chores...we all have moments of doubt. Will this work? Is the effort worth it? Should we even bother?

Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.

The obvious caveat here is that parenting methodology is seldom "doctrine." There are things the Lord has said in respect to parenting, but in large manner we are left to make our own best judgement calls. There is no manual and no one right way to parent--not for a family in general and not for each individual child within that family. So yes, there will be times you make mistakes. Sometimes things that worked for one child will not work for another. Sometimes you will find things don't actually jive with your family. 

But if you are a prayerful person and you frequently ponder and pray over how to best parent your child, you will be guided by the Lord in what to do for that child. As you move forward on what the Lord has told and inspired you for that child, doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. Trust in the Lord. And once you see your miracles, continue in the faith of what you have done rather than casting your eyes about looking for other explanations. Doubt not, fear not.

Rodan and Fields Skin Care {Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Shea. All opinions are my own.

Today's giveaway is from Shea, a long-time Babywise mom to three beautiful Babywise girls! She is a consultant with Rodan and Fields. Here is a bit about the company.
Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the creators of Proactiv® Solution, launched Rodan + Fields Dermatologists to extend their vision of bringing dermatology based skincare solutions to everyone. To support this vision, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields have teamed up with Independent Consultants around the country to market these prestigious products. With Rodan + Fields, looking good and feeling confident has never been easier and it's all possible without a trip to the dermatologist's office. Our products are clinically proven to deliver on their promises and this has lead to a large and loyal customer base. We’re so confident that you’ll experience real results that all of our products come with a 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee. Discover the difference that great skincare can make in your life with Rodan + Fields.
Today, Shea is giving away a REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream to one winner and a mini-facial set to 5 winners!
Shea sent me this eye cream to try out. I have been using the eye cream for about two weeks and have really liked it! The eye cream retails for 59.00. I think it will last me close to forever because you don't need a lot to go around your eyes! Here is some info about it:
REDEFINE  Multi-Function Eye Cream combines powerful peptides to minimize the appearance of crow’s-feet, helps reduce the appearance of both puffiness and dark under eye circles while special optical diffusers noticeably brighten the eye area. Ophthalmologist tested, this formula is ideal for maintaining the delicate skin around the eyes.
My favorite is the mini-facial. It is a Micro-Dermabrasion paste. Shea sent me a sample package. It is really good! I have tried micro-dermabrasion by other brands and this is by far my favorite. Shea is giving away samples of this product to try out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
  • You must enter the giveaway to have an entry.
  • 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 disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until 12:00 midnight November 1, 2013.
  • The winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter.
  • The winner will be announced sometime after the winner is chosen. I will email the winner.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back and/or check your email. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time.
  • I will not use your email address for any purpose other than contacting you if you are the winner (and FYI, I don't have access to the email addresses except for the winner).

Juggling Extended Family During Holidays

My husband and I were engaged over what is known as "the holidays." We had a short 7 week engagement that went from November 14 until January 2. We were also both full time college students, so we were engaged over finals week. Needless to say, it was a stressful time to try to cram in wedding plans.

Juggling Extended Family During Holidays

As if dealing with planning a wedding, studying for finals, finding a place to live once we were married, and dealing with normal "holiday" hullabaloo wasn't enough to deal with, we also found ourselves faced with trying to figure out how to split up holiday time. Both of our families had events with both of their families, so we had four extended family events to work in along with my husband's immediate family (my family just did stuff with extended). To make things harder, the families were in two different states (in the West), so it wasn't as though we could easily hop from one place to another. So we had five families to work around and squeeze in and in two different states. Frankly put, it was a nightmare. 

The next holiday season came along and really wasn't any better. We still hadn't decided what we should do during the holidays and really aimed to please everyone. Some were easier to deal with than others. I was pregnant with Brayden, extremely sick, and we were back to state-hopping in an effort to please everyone. 

The next holiday season was Brayden's first holiday season. For the first several months of Brayden's life, we were still living in "try-to-please-everyone" mode and the three of us were miserable because of it. In October, I finally declared enough was enough. We needed to step up and do what was best for Brayden and let adults, essentially, grow up and get over themselves. I really think grown-ups can think about what is best for children and work with that. Not to say children should never be disrupted at all--sometimes that is okay. But adults can give, too. And I actually think adults should be more flexible than children.

My husband and I found ourselves absolutely dreading the approaching holiday season. The last two years had not been enjoyable for us in the least. I hated dreading that time of year. It had previously been my favorite time of year, and religiously an important time of year. We decided we needed to set some boundaries and lay down expectations. 

Here are some frank tips for helping you to set your own boundaries.

1-Recognize People Who Will Not Be Pleased
Some people just will not be please with anything less than 110% of you. Unless you plan to abandon all other family members, that isn't going to happen! You can't take to people and give the same amount of time to each family over the holidays (unless one of you has no family). You have to visit both families. And there are frankly some people who will never feel satisfied with that. Even if they get it on a logical level, they will be hurt on an emotional level and will never be pleased or satisfied with what you can give.

Take note of these people and STOP trying to please them. Because they won't be! They will always have something to complain about that you aren't doing quite right. Some will let you know outright and some will let it fester for years before blowing up about it. 

As you go through your next steps of figuring out how to juggle this, do not worry about pleasing those who will not be pleased.

2-Think About Your Options
Think through what your different options are for juggling family around the holidays. Talk to other people to find out how they do it. Write ideas out. Write out what parties and events traditionally happen when and think about ways you can do as much of the things that you would like to do. 

Think about where you would like to be when.

There are some common ways people work around this conundrum. Some people establish a certain day for certain parties every year. For example, my dad's family does a Christmas party the first Saturday after Christmas each year. We were with my mom's family on Christmas and my Dad's the Saturday after Christmas. My mother-in-law's family used to do a family party on Christmas Eve each year. 

Some people take an alternating approach. One year, they are with the wife's family on Christmas Day. The next year, they are with the husband's family on Christmas Day.

Some people stay at home on Christmas Day and visit extended family on other days around Christmas. 

Some people have families that live close enough that they squeeze both families into the same day.

3-Decide What is Best for Your Family
Now that you have your lists of options, think about what is best for your family. What will work best for the two of you and your children? Every year, my parents packed up Christmas and drove it four hours so they could be with their parents at Christmas time. I have found very few people are actually interested in doing such things. My husband and I tried that out initially and found we didn't like it! Think about your different options and decide what seems will be best suited for your family.

4-Inform Family of Your Plans With Clear Communication
Once you have decided what your plan is for dealing with the holidays (and isn't it sad that I even have to put it that way? "Dealing" with the holidays? I guess more like dealing with family at the holidays), very clearly tell your family of your plans. Don't sweeten it up or beat around the bush. Just say, "We will do XYZ from now on." End of story. Don't leave things open to interpretation. 

Don't expect this to go any better than it would go to suddenly tell a 13 year old she will now have chores ever day when she previously has not. If you are in a situation where you feel you have to take these detailed steps, you will have family members who take the new plan very negatively. Some will take it as a sign you hate them and never want to see them again. Some will cry. Some will take the passive-aggressive approach and act okay with it initially but then push you on it when the time comes to put your plan in action. 

Hopefully you are like us and will at least have some family who says, "Great! We are great with whatever you can do." And NOTE to all of us--let's all be that way when our own kids get married! Deal?

5-Stand Your Ground
As you are faced with the range of emotions of the new plan, stand your ground. Go ahead and assure that you still love them. Turn down offers to come to things that you have already clearly stated you will not be able to attend. 

Some years, you will be able to change things up at times. When you do, make it clear that you are making a one-time change. Open communication is the best way to make it through these situations. 

I was sorely disappointed when I got married and learned open communication was not always the easy answer. As a English Major and Communications Minor, I had been taught that if you communicate openly, conflict is easily resolved. This is unfortunately not always the case. Sometimes it takes years or decades of open communication. Sometimes all open communication gets you is clear understanding of what you will and will not do. It definitely doesn't always get you a Kumbaya moment.

Our Plan
Curious what our end-plan was? We were lucky enough that my husband's little sister got married the summer Brayden was a baby and they were smart enough to seek out a plan right away. They were interested in an "every other year" plan so we went with that.

Here is a sample of how we do things:

Thanksgiving Day: With my family.
Another day around Thanksgiving: Do a party with my husband's family. The day is not set--we just find one that works for everyone.

Christmas Eve: We host a Christmas breakfast at our house. Everyone from both sides of our families are invited. This is our attempt to allow both families to be with us at a Christmas holiday even if it isn't "their year."
Christmas Day: With my husband's family. We wake up at home, open presents, then go to my in-law's house.
Another day around Christmas: Do a party with my family. There is no set day--we just find a day that works for everyone.

Thanksgiving Day: With my husband's family.
Another day around Thanksgiving: Do a party with my family. The day is not set--we just find one that works for everyone.

Christmas Eve: We host a Christmas breakfast at our house. Everyone from both sides of our families are invited. 
Christmas Day: With my family. We wake up at home, open presents, then go to my parent's house.
Another day around Christmas: Do a party with my husband's family. There is no set day--we just find a day that works for everyone.

Repeat alternation.

What is Your Plan?
I am always interested in hearing how people have worked this out. What do you do to juggle family around the holidays?

Today is the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest Theme Day. Check out our joint Pinterest boards here: We have chosen a them today of "Holidays." Today I want to talk about juggling family during holidays.

Poll Results: Picky Eaters

As a reminder, here are the questions asked:
  1. Would you consider your child a picky eater? Yes or no.
  2. If yes, do you think you did anything to contribute to that? Yes, no, or N/A
  3. If no, do you think you did anything to contribute to that? Yes, no, or N/A
  4. What did you do to contribute to the type of eater your child is? Elaborate as much as desired.
  5. If you have overcome picky eating, how did you do that? Elaborate as much as desired.
  6. Any words of advice?
Number of votes=17
Now results:
  1. Would you consider your child a picky eater? Yes or no.Yes=6 (35%)
    No=11 (65%)
  2. If yes, do you think you did anything to contribute to that? Yes, no, or N/AYes=3 (18%)
    No=3 (18%)
  3. If no, do you think you did anything to contribute to that? Yes, no, or N/AYes=9 (35%)
    No=3 (18%)
  4. What did you do to contribute to the type of eater your child is? Elaborate as much as desired.

    "I moved to table foods as early as I could. I remember she was eating our foods (other than spicy foods or unsafe ones) at 10 months. I chopped foods up, squished them up, etc so she could be introduced to our normal fare. It's also why I introduced some foods, simply so I knew it was safe in a favorite casserole we have for example."

    "We also did BLW with C. He actually started out very picky and completely switched by about 11-12 months. He can now be counted on to eat just about anything."
    "I gave rice cereal at 4 months until 6ish months then pureed vegetables. I didn't rotate them all the time and if the had pureed sweet potato 3 meals in a row because that's all I had so be it. Then I would blend whatever food I cooked and I gave it to them, be it tacos or pasta. I tried never to force it and put veggies in with the rest of the food, but generally they are big eaters with healthy portions. Again, I allow them to have a preference but even if they "don't like it" I make them eat one bite. Apparently children's taste buds change every 6 weeks so I don't want them to think they don't like something they will in fact like next month.

    If they don't want something I make them eat one bite and then let it be. I don't force it nor do I replace the food with anything. They "go hungry" if they won't eat it. If they do that at dinner I'll give them a bedtime snack I know they'll eat so they won't wake up starving, but I don't play any food games. "

    " i did BLW with her. for me, i think this is a major contributing factor. i let her play with her food. which i didn't allow with kid#1 cause it was messy. i didn't know better. she doesn't eat much veg but i'm working on this but it was becoz i never quite fed her corn, peas which i hated. "
    "What is on his plate is what is for supper. He will usually get around to trying everything without prompting. What is important to us is that he be willing to try foods, which he does most of the time. He definitely enjoys meat and dairy the most, but will eat other food groups as well. I do think personality probably does play a bit of a role. We will see what baby #2 is like!"
    "Made by own baby food, no processed food, all organic, gave him every veggie I could think of before starting fruit, and don't give him choices (if he doesnt eat what i make he doesnt eat) but always put something I know he will eat as one of the meal items."
    "After having my oldest, I thought I had a lot to do with his great eating habits b/c I put a lot of effort into his diet. After seeing the same method fail in my very picky 2nd child, I see that it is more based on personal preferences."
    "Healthy food from the beginning. Requiring non-favored foods to be eaten from the beginning."

    PICKY"We did BLW, where we went straight to table food at about 6.5 months. We always offered a version of what we were eating at the table. E was a very relatively good eater until about 12-13 months when he began to refuse food. He would always taste it, but refused probably 85% of what he was offered. 

    He was never, never offered anything other than what I had made him. If he refused it, he didn't eat for that meal. I NEVER offered snacks during the day. This has been our rule since the beginning (and has been implemented for essentially the past 18 months since his refusals started). It has made no difference whatsoever. He is still good at trying things 95% of the time, but will quickly spit things out and say no thank you or that he is finished. 

    I do not retire recipes based on the fact that he doesn't like them. I keep offering things even though I know he doesn't like them. "
    "being my first kid, i had no idea about transiting her from bottle to solid food. fed her purees til she was 8-9 months and even though she refused, i simply insisted. it was frustrating. later, i just bought bottled food coz i was fed-up cooking for her. it was hit & miss til about 1 year when i started giving her rice and she ate. she is still a fussy eater with very specific preference. i try to respect that while insisting that she needs to try (at least 1 mouth) some foods before deciding."
     "she likes her proteins, eg chicken, fish, meat etc. picky about eating her carbs eg, rice/noodles/pasta. she also loves her veg, eg corn, broccoli,peas. she was fed corn,peas, carrots almost everyday in her porridge/meals and now she loves it.  now that she is > 1 year, she just eats whatever everyone is eating. no special food. there are good days, bad days."
    "I made his food as an infant and made sure that he was exposed to many different vegetables, meats, and fruits. Now, though, he would prefer to live on just fruits and carbs. By advice of our pediatrician, I keep offering healthy options and he has the same meals we do. We try not to make an issue of mealtime, but I am looking forward to the day when we can all enjoy dinner together."

    "Allowing refusal to even try foods. Reflux played a huge part in my reaction to her feelings toward food--I wanted her to like food and let her be pickier because of it."
  5. If you have overcome picky eating, how did you do that? Elaborate as much as desired.
    " i didn't help to overcome that, but i think going to school & eating with her friends helped her to try foods which she normally woudn't. "

    "now i try to eat a variety of food, a larger variety than i would normally eat without kids. simply becoz i want them to be exposed rather than be hampered by my food baggage."
    "Have patience with the picky eaters. It is not worth frustrating you and him/her. Keep offering foods, don't cook specially for them except to make sure they get the necessary nutrients. I use foods he likes to hide things he'd never eat, like adding spinach to a homemade fruit smoothie. I also still puree his veggies that he has to eat prior to a meal. I look forward to the day I can stop this and "negotiate" with him to eat the whole version, rather than a puree, but for now I just want him healthy. He seems sensitive to textures and vomits easily, so I don't want to push it if he's willing to eat it in another form. Also, I am a picky eater (wish I wasn't, but I just am) and I remember being forced to eat foods I truly don't like, even to this day, so I can respect personal preferences. I also agree that snacks should be special and well thought out as to type and timing, not a regular occurrence that ruins meals. Consider using them only as a post meal treat that is earned by eating well."
  6. Any words of advice?
    "Encourage your child to try foods, even if it gets spit back out. After months of trying cucumbers, they went from a hated food to a favorite!"

    At the end of the day, I have to look at the fact that my husband and I were both extremely picky eaters as children, but we got over it on our own and have very broad tastes as adults. I think you do what you can and you let the rest lie. We have done everything in our power short of holding him down and forcing food down his throat to get him to not be "picky" but he clearly has very limited tastes for the meantime. I focus instead on his attitude at the dinner table and praise his willingness to try new things. "

    I started two children on solid foods in practically the exact same way. One started out great then turned picky, and one started out picky then turned into a very good eater. They each have favorite foods, but their preferences are vastly different. I think personality plays a much bigger role in eating habits than most people are wont to admit. :)"

    Don't oversnack the kids. If they aren't hungry then they won't eat it unless it is something they love (like ice cream). Give small portion sizes at first so that YOU don't flip and stress out if they don't eat a lot. Let them determine their own portion sizes and don't assume everyday they need the same amount. Unless they are sick, don't run around trying to find something they will eat if they don't like dinner. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit."

    she's almost 5 now, so it is easier to enforce try-at-least-1-mouth rule. :)"

    some kids (and even adults) are foodie, some are not. they do have preferences and my job is to ensure a healthy diet. sometimes she would eat so much that i have to tell her to stop!"

     have to start giving veg from the is an acquired taste. 
    if i ever have another 1, i would do BLW, let them make a mess and give them veg everyday. :)"

    They don need help learning how to like cake, cookies, and fast food. Give them the healthiest stuff, all the time, whke you have control over things. Then you can branch out when they start asking for what other kids have or whatever."

Brinley Pre-Toddler Summary: 14 Months Old

This is a summary for Brinley for 13.5-14 months old. This two week period was really quite uneventful. She was happy and mild-mannered.

Eating was great. She has started to make progress on the throwing food on the floor front. She seems to think that when she is done that she needs to clear her place of food. Maybe that sounds nice, but not when there is a pile of food under her on the floor (I actually call this her food storage. If I don't sweep it up right away, she will return later for a snack...). I talked about this last time how it was improving and I can see her having cognitive decisions to not do it. She will grab it and just about throw it, then shake her head no and put it back on the counter. But she really wants that spot cleaned up, so she is happiest if I take it from her. 

Play time is going well! Nothing new or different to report.

Sleeping is also going well. We are now at the age that I have predicted Brinley would drop down to one nap a day--I figured she would do it sometime as a 14 month old based on the timeline of her signs. So we will see if that comes true this month (I won't force it true if she isn't ready ;) ). Toward the end of this time period, a couple of naps were sketchy, but I am not sure if it is teething or a sign that she is ready for one nap.

Brinley cut two teeth during this two week period. One central incisor and one lateral incisor (both upper). 

Brinley is not walking yet. She does get furiously mad if anyone tries to get her to walk. She has the strength, just not the desire.

Kaitlyn and McKenna were both older walkers. Kaitlyn was 15 months and McKenna was 17 months. I don't mind it. The only down side is that knees get dirty (but Brinley will actually crawl on her feet and palms when she is out side--basically in a walking "down dog"--impressive huh?). A crawler is happier to be carried when in public. I don't think she necessarily gets into less than she will when she can walk--she can stand up anywhere and get into things just fine. She is slower as a crawler than she will be as a walker.

Something I like with the later walkers is the accidents are much less frequent. They have such good balance by the time they walk that they rarely fall.

8:45--sippy of milk, oatmeal/prunes mixed, and solids (fruit, cereal, yogurt, finger foods). Independent Playtime happens in this block.
11:00--nap starts
12:45--wake up, sippy with solids (veggie, fruit, other foods we are eating)
3:00--nap starts
5:00--wake up, sippy with solids (veggie, fruit, dinner) 
7:30--bottle, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:30.