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

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

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 You Workout With Kids at Home? 6 Practical Ideas

How do you workout with kids at home? As a starting disclaimer. I have modest mommy-fitness goals: jog a few miles without dying, strengthen my core, hike in the mountains. You get the idea!  Marathons are not among my life goals, at least not yet! I’ve just passed the six-week postpartum mark which means I’m getting back into the workout routine. Here are six practical mommy-workout ideas.    1. Go on a Walk If the weather is good, put the little ones in the stroller and go for a brisk walk. Once you work up to it, you can jog this way as well. It’s helpful to have a jogging stroller, but not absolutely essential. Older kids can ride their bikes beside you. This method tends to get challenging if you have more than two kids under four because the older ones can’t go fast enough on their bikes yet. You may have to invest in a double stroller or do what one of our contributors, Aimee did. She would put her baby in the stroller and have her toddler sit facing toward her, arms linked on the sturdy stroller handlebar. This was a perfect solution for those brisk walks, but certainly

How Do I Help My Toddler Adjust to a New Sibling?

This morning my 18 month old woke up and immediately looked for his baby sister. He looked first at her and then gave me a focused look using his mouth to imitate the sucking motion she makes when she eats. Evidently he was convinced she was hungry! He also proudly showed me her tiny toes and nose, and this brought such joy to my heart! His baby sister was born four weeks ago. True, at first he wasn’t a big fan, but here we are a few weeks later. Two months ago I was asking myself, “How do I help my toddler adjust to a new sibling?”. Today, here is the list of the top ideas I have collected for a smooth transition. A huge thank you to our contributor moms who contributed substantially to this list!   Talk Ahead of Time Before my daughter was born I taught my son the word “baby”. He didn’t learn to say it, but at least he was used to me pointing out babies and saying the word. Once his sister was born, he was saying “baby” within two days. My son was only 18 months old. In preparing for a baby, talking with big

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking Up at Night Again? (Part 2)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking Up at Night Again? (Part 2) I am usually caught by surprise when my son suddenly starts waking up at all hours of the night again. Haven’t you ever wished you had advance notice when another round of sleep training is coming?  In part one, we discussed why is my baby suddenly waking up at night again?  In this post, we are talking about what to do when you’ve discovered there is nothing physically wrong with your baby, but he simply doesn’t want to sleep. Perhaps he has fallen out of the habit because of an illness, a vacation, a growth spurt or another reason. Below are the basic steps to follow for successful sleep training.   Establish a Bedtime and a Bedtime Routine - Pick a realistic bedtime that you will be able to stick to, and start adjusting naptime so your baby will be sleepy on time.  Create a simple bedtime routine that your baby can begin to use as his cue to settle down for bed.  The exact components are not nearly as important as the fact that they become a consistent, recognizable routine and are not energizing. Possible components include putting

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1) Nothing makes you feel like a detective faster than trying to figure out why your baby is suddenly not sleeping through the night after weeks or months of sleeping peacefully. I blissfully thought that once my son was sleeping through the night the first time, I had successfully completed the sleep training step forever or at least until he was old enough for a toddler bed. Guess what? A few months later I found out that sleep training, like so many aspects of child training, is cyclical in nature. We’ve been through this cycle maybe six or seven times now over the last year and a half. Each time I have to start at the same point: Why is my baby suddenly waking up at night again? Here are five easy questions I ask myself now and some detective strategies I use to discover the answer as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to use your mommy instincts when sorting through the possibilities; they really do help! Is My Baby Hungry or Thirsty? Detective Action – This one is easy. Just pick up your little one when they cry and offer food

How Do I Get My Toddler to Eat Fruits and Veggies??

How Do I Get My Toddler to Eat Fruits and Veggies

All us moms know our toddlers need balanced meals including fruits and veggies.  I have never heard a mom disagree with that statement; have you? Somehow, though, it gets so much more challenging in practice than in theory.   Nutrition was my major in college, and yet I found myself a few months back with a 13-month-old whose preferred fruits and veggies list had dwindled to bananas.  Yep, that’s it – bananas.  Suddenly, I discovered a whole new empathy for the moms of picky eaters.  I had ground up fruits and veggies for him since he started solid foods at six months, and he had enjoyed almost all of them.  I felt like I had followed the instructions only to discover I didn’t know as much as I thought about getting toddlers to eat and enjoy fruits and veggies.  So how do I get my toddler to eat fruits and veggies?  We’ve been working on it for several months at our house, and here are the best tips we’ve discovered.   The Practical Part 1. Keep Fruits and Veggies On-Hand. This seems obvious, but how often is this honestly a big piece of our problem? If there are no fruits and veggies handy, chances

How Does Mommy Medicine Work?

Mommy Answers

Providing Mommy Answers! So, I definitely have some OCD tendencies. And this in addition to being very, very Type A. Mix these two ingredients with being a new mom & well… let’s just say with every single new mom question I faced, I grit my teeth, dug in my heels a little farther and searched fervently for the answer. Looking back now, I see I was a bit animal in my behavior and certainly fear-driven. But, as new moms we simply have so many questions and we are hunting for oodles of answers. Why is my baby crying? Why is he not sleeping? What is that red thing on her forehead? Oh God, is she coughing or dying? Initially, I refused to give my firstborn any vaccines, as I had heard so many theories flying about. Her first 6 months I read countless books and websites...trying to make sense of everything. Do I vaccinate? If so, at what pace do I vaccinate my child? Do I give my child all of the vaccines or do I pick and choose? In the end, because of our frequent travel to Third World countries, we chose to do most of the vaccines but at a

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