How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train?

How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train? As a young mom, realizing that cleaning up potty training accidents is no longer a big deal to you is one of those moments that proves to you have truly arrived in motherhood. It’s like the moment you first laughed about getting spit-up down your shirt...or found yourself carrying two babies, a carseat and the diaper bag without thinking about it.  Sometimes you just have to pause and celebrate how far you have come! But we don’t want to be cleaning up potty training accidents forever, so today’s questions is: How do I motivate my child to potty train? Potty training is all about timing and motivation. Timing means is my child ready for what I’m about to teach him? The reality is that your goal has to be physically, neurologically, and emotionally possible or else you are both headed for frustration. Motivation means asking is my child interested in what I’m about to teach him, and if not, can I develop the interest? How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train? Be Cheerful and Enthusiastic Kids quickly pick up on our emotions. If they sense our enthusiasm is low it’s hard for them

How Do I Keep My Toddler Busy on a Trip? 14 Ideas for the Toddler Quiet Bag

How Do I Keep My Toddler Busy on a Trip? 14 Ideas for the Toddler Quiet Bag

How Do I Keep My Toddler Busy on a Trip? 14 Ideas for the Toddler Quiet Bag My husband and I just went on a great trip! The trip involved flying, driving, and several hours of sitting in conference sessions with both kids who are now two and seven months old. Before we left I invested some time into building a toddler quiet bag as a survival tool. Mom was nervous about all the sitting time! I have been that mom digging frantically my purse for absolutely anything even remotely interesting to keep my little guy distracted in the office at church or in the car. I’ve even resorted to letting him pull all the contents out of my wallet piece by piece in a bid for a few more minutes of quiet. This time around, I was prepared. Our quiet bag ended up working amazingly! So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly list of ideas for your next outing or trip, here are 14 ideas for the toddler quiet bag to get your brainstorm started!   A week before our trip we started practicing quiet time every day. We started with just two minutes and added a few minutes each day until

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children?

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children?

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children? Doing housework has never been my strong point. I don’t naturally clean my environment as I walk through the house and seem to have missed that “mom gene” where you naturally add order to your surroundings without thinking about it. When I don’t think about it, the house gets dirty...really, really fast! Once I do look around and think it’s about time to tidy up, my next thought is how? I work from home. My little ones are both under two, and sitting with them while they crawl and run around me as I work on my computer is actually easier than trying to figure out how to sweep and mop, cook, do laundry, and clean the bathrooms with them. Full disclosure - for this blog I’m pulling heavily from the advice of some experienced moms who have been there and done that. So thank you Charity, Lindsay, and Megan for giving expert advice on today's topic, how do I keep my house clean with young children? This Phase will End This stage where housework feels so difficult is just that - a phase that is short

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk?

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk? When I began nursing my firstborn, I had so many very basic questions. One of those was how do I know if my baby is getting enough milk? It seems like such a simple question, yet you can’t see how much milk is getting into baby when you nurse, so how do you know? You sit there in the hospital counting how many minutes they’ve been nursing, filling out the feeding log and wondering if half-hearted “sleep nursing” minutes count. What you really want to know, however, is if your baby is getting enough milk?    What Goes in Must Come Out In the beginning, your primary way of gauging whether your baby is getting enough milk is how much is coming out the other side. It’s simple and effective. JoAnne, one of our contributors who also works on a hospital lactation team, says the rule of thumb is baby should have as many wet diapers in 24 hours as the number of days your baby is old. For example, on day 3 there should be at least 3 wet diapers. There is a reason they have you fill out all those

How Do I Get A Break as a Busy Mom?

How do I get a break as a Busy Mom? Mommy Breaks are a wonderful thing. Being a mom sometimes feels like a long distance race, and we all need time to recharge for a few minutes from time to time. Have you ever tried to take a Mommy Break and found that you honestly really felt no better afterwards? For example, one day when I was just feeling done, I watched my son empty the bookshelf because I was too exhausted to to even think of sitting down to train him on how to put the books back in anymore. So, while he emptied it, I ate my candy bar. I stood there thinking, “Sure, I’m calmer now, but I also have a huge mess to clean up and I’m just as tired as I was before!”  Then, in a moment I had a revelation: “This is not rest; this is a timeout….rest needs to be restorative.” This thought was revolutionary to me. Rest needs to be restorative or it’s not rest! Wow! Actually, there is some solid research on the necessity of rest particularly for moms. Check out this article for more on that.   Rest vs. Timeouts Me watching

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten?

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten?

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten? Change is just plain hard. I still remember sobbing as a child when my parents sold our big, beautiful, brown 1975 Volvo Van. Then, when we moved away from our old, yellow farmhouse as a teenager, I shed a few more tender tears. Even as an adult, I still struggle with the changing seasons in my life. When something is good, you just want to hold on. Ironically, sometimes good turns to better with a life transition. Or, if not better...it is just a different version of really good. Case in point. Kids are so darn cute when they are little. So innocent and beautiful. Then, one day they turn big. Just like that. Big kids with big opinions and big mouths. Not so cute anymore. It took me several years to just START getting comfortable with having big kids. I longed and longed for them to stay little and cute. Now mine are no longer babies. No longer even toddlers. My youngest is in Kindy and my oldest is twelve. Major life transitions for us. Lots of emotional adjustment for Mom. One unexpectedly bumpy transition for us has been my

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do?

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do?

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do? Does your toddler climb out of his crib? Last week, I put my son to nap and five minutes later he had climbed out, snuck into the bathroom, and was happily emptying the shampoos. Yikes! I knew the time would come, but at least we made it to 23 months! I swooped him up and put him back in his bed. Wouldn’t you know it? 30 seconds later he was right back out. This time I was standing at the door, though, and put a quick end to the escape. This process repeated itself eight times during an hour punctuated by tears of frustration on my son’s part and me resigning myself to the loss of an afternoon. After about an hour of this game, I had an idea. I caught my little guy on his way out of the room, scooped him up and back into bed, and shut the bedroom door. He hesitated before climbing out again and during this brief moment, I throw open the door with a big smile. “You stayed in your bed! Good job; it’s time to wake up!” I said

How Do I Handle My Emotions as a Mom?

How Do I Handle My Emotions as a Mom? Today was the first day of Kindergarten. I cried when I saw that my little kindergartner was the first up in our family and had her uniform on before the crack of dawn — her jumper twisted over her shoulder, with one blouse collar up and one collar down. One was sock pulled high, and one sock barely on. I cried when her teacher simply greeted me in the morning. I cried when my baby got in line to go to class, with her big brave eyes and a wave goodbye. She was fine. I was a wet mess. I did feel better when my friend, Jessica, admitted that she shed a tear when her baby ate her first bit of solid food this week. Sigh. This is what we do. As moms, we cry. We deeply sense every transition, and we feel it somewhere deep in our heart, our spirit. This is how we are made. In fact, this lovely, awful pang is what makes us so able to connect with our kids, with our friends, with our own moms. And, however emotional it is...however heart-wrenching and beautiful it is to navigate...

How do You Teach a Toddler to be Gentle with a Baby?

How do You Teach a Toddler to be Gentle with a Baby? The first few days I watched my 17-month-old son interact with his new sister I realized that nothing is more precious than the newborn-toddler combination. It really is magical! On the other hand, one of my primary roles immediately became keeping my enthusiastic toddler from killing his sister by mistake! So. How do you teach a toddler to be gentle with a baby? I’m going to share a roleplaying method that works really well for me not only for teaching a toddler to be gentle with a baby but also for teaching a toddler not to pull the books out of the bookshelf or do other amazing feats such as how to whisper. Empathy The first step is to think for a minute about where your child is in the process of developing empathy and use this information as you go through your roleplaying session. In my case my oldest was young enough that his empathy skills simply had not developed very much yet. In other words, neurologically it was not possible for him to understand the concept that what he was doing hurt or might hurt the baby. For

How Do You Teach a Newborn the Difference Between Day and Night?

How do you teach a newborn the difference between day and night? My baby girl was born thinking night time was from about 4pm-2am. How could I tell? She would  sleep “hard” when she napped during these hours. You know the cute, limp-baby, happy sleep? Then right at 2am she would open those pretty eyes as if she were a baby owl and look around like it was the middle of the day. She would not be sleepy again till 4:30am! By then I was so exhausted it hurt. Moms of newborns know this feeling! If you are in a similar situation, here are the basic steps to teaching a newborn to sleep at night instead of all day. The overarching goal is to teach your newborn that days are for eating, playing, and napping while nights are for sleeping and quiet snacking. 1. Lights On During the Day and Lights Out at Night This goal of this first step is to make night and day feel very different to your newborn. Keep the lights on during the day even when your newborn is napping. At night, keep the lights low and sound levels down. If you watch TV during night feedings

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