Potty training is not for the weak, but that doesn’t mean it has to be emotionally draining for you or your little one. Before you move into potty training take some time to make a plan. You know you won’t be using pull ups for all the same reasons you didn’t use disposable diapers. What plans do you have that you implement? Will you promote toilet target practice with your son. Will you convince your daughter that her potty chair is her princess throne. We get silly trying to get our children to use the potty. Here are a few things we are trying.
Have The Equipment Out
Long before you start trying to get your toddler to use them have your potty training tools in plain sight around your home. It’s hard to start potty training as it is. It’s not fun to try to get a toddler to sit on a new contraption he is uncomfortable and unfamiliar with. Let him inspect his soon to be underwear. The more familiar your child is with this new piece of clothing the more likely they are to actually wear it. If it helps have him wear the cloth diapers he is used to without an insert during potty training until he is ready to make the transition to underwear.
The only thing that may be more difficult than breastfeeding your baby can be weaning. They may not want to stop breastfeeding and you may have come to enjoy the special time that you share with your child. Here are a few things to consider when you are planning to wean your baby.
Make Sure The Baby Is Ready To Wean
Some little ones were born ready to wean. It’s been more of a struggle getting them to nurse than it will be taking them off the breast. Other children are the exact opposite. Healthcare workers recommend that you continue breastfeeding for at least six months. Some mothers feel they need to breastfeed their child until they are well into their second year of life. As your child’s mother it’s important that you are in tune with your child’s needs when it comes to moving on in the feeding department.
Breastfeeding has perils all its own, but a sick baby adds a new dynamic of breastfeeding difficulties. Your little one may have trouble wanting to latch on because they can’t breathe through their nose. Or they may spit up more than usual. Here are a few ways to help breastfeeding along while yoru little one isn’t feeling well.
Keeping a baby’s airways clear during breastfeeding is always important. We all check to make sure our body isn’t covering the nose of our little one while they are on the breast. With a congested baby, however, we have to help keep their little nose clean, or we are in for a frustrating feeding time. Before the feeding and after each burping use a nasal aspirator to clear your little one’s nasal passages. You may choose to pump and give your little one your milk in a bottle during this time. It makes positioning more flexible and may help your little one pick a better position for their breathing. Check with your pediatrician before using any medications including nose clearing rubs. Some types of medication should not be used before certain ages.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always go the way we plan. There are gas pains, lack of cooperation, and lots of crying. Sometimes your child has colic. Sometimes you don’t know why they aren’t cooperating and your pediatrician says it’s normal. Before throwing in the towel try these tips.
Yes, your little one is crying. Yes, you feel the need to help him or her be happy and quietly go to sleep. Right now, however, you are frazzled and your nerves are raw from trying to get them to calm down for the past hour. So take a step back. After you have made sure they are burped, fed, and changed, take a five to ten minute break to regroup. It may be that your child will calm down because frazzled you has stepped away. Or it may be they will continue crying while you get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or get a snack. Put your little one down for tummy time or in the baby swing. With a moment to breath you may think of a new way of approaching your unhappy baby that will bring a stop to the sadness.
We know what is good for our little ones even when our culture or society is ill prepared to work with us. Here are a few ways to help our communities embrace a better understanding of how important breastfeeding is to the moms living in them.
The Nursing Room
Most churches I have attended have a nursing room. So do some, but not all, day care centers. That’s about it on the list of places that provide a room for women to breastfeed in public, which is disturbing for two reasons. First, gone are the days when it wasn’t common knowledge that breastfeeding a child was the best option for a child’s health. Second, if so many people are truly offended by the sight of breastfeeding, you would think they would provide an out of sight place. This would be good for customers and clients and employees of establishments and be a great compromise for those who find breastfeeding unsightly.
Bring these ideas to local business, assuring them that you would frequent them more often if they would reach this compromise with you. It doesn’t even need to be a new room. It could be an old utility closet with a sign on the door and a rocking chair.
Have you ever tried to diaper a newborn while receiving aid from a toddler? It’s one of the most frustrating things to do. On one hand you want to encourage the helpful nature of your toddler. On the other hand you would rather not have the contents of the newborn’s diaper decorate your home’s carpet. Luckily, for us all, there are ways to nurture your little helper and keep your carpet refuse free.
Let your toddler help with snaps. The best way to allow this is the unsnapping of the diaper. This is because there is a pulling motion rather than a pushing motion. It’s not likely that, with your supervision, the toddler will fall on the baby. At the same time toddlers are fascinated with things that can open and close. This could also help the toddler with motor skills. The upside for you is as long as your little guy has a part to play he will most likely be fine letting you do the rest without trying to help more.
Have your toddler be your gopher. Have him help get the wipes, the Desitin, or an insert for the diaper. Make sure all the materials are close by and then, as you need an item, ask for them. Between eighteen months and two years of age a toddler should be able to carry out simple requests. It will take some time for them, so be patient.
I’m a huge advocate of cloth diapers. Really, I think they’re one of the Most Amazing Things Ever, Plus Our Ancestors Used Them, and yadda yadda. They’re cute and seem comfy and it’s kind of nice seeing them all lined up on a shelf.
Sure, I would say things like, “Of course everyone must use the diaper system that fits into their lifestyle,” but I won’t lie, when a family member discovered he had run out of disposable diapers for his son and refused my offer of a loaned cloth diaper with a, “Well, thanks, but we’re not into cloth, that’s kind of icky,” I felt VASTLY superior for a while. I mean, *I* got over the ick factor! There you are, polluting landfills with your son’s waste for the next several hundred years while I am responsibly using eco-friendly cloth…and accidentally clogging the toilets with disposable wipes, but never mind that!
Cloth vs disposable: One catches poop. So does the other.
While I was pregnant with my second child, we went camping with family. I dragged along a tote of cloth diapers because I simply refused to buy disposables for a three day trip. To be fair, my daughter often broke out in rashes when she was in synthetic diapers, so I liked putting her in 100% cotton. She was comfortable and rash-free that way—that was what worked for us.
Then, my son was born. You know how they say every kid is different. Well, I knew that. But I didn’t know that until I had my second child. While my daughter would happily sit in an overflowing diaper without making a peep, my son seemed highly distressed if he felt even a drop of liquid in his diaper. We quickly learned that when he cried, it usually wasn’t because he was hungry (like my daughter), it was because he wanted his diaper changed. The moment we changed him he went from loudly shrieking monster to sweet, cooing, baby-commercial baby.
“I use an Ameda Purely Yours with 25 millimeter flanges, but the white valves need to be replaced and it wouldn’t hurt to get a spare set of diaphragms as well.” If you haven’t clicked away from that mess of words already, and you are new to the world of breastpumps, you probably are wondering what on earth everything is! Since most people have had absolutely no reason to research breastpumps at any point in their lives before they had children, the lingo can be mysterious and confusing! Why are there tubes? What is a flange? Will I feel like a cow being milked? We will explore the basic parts of a breastpump below.
Maybe you’re currently breastfeeding, but need to go back to work. Maybe you’ve decided to be an exclusive pumper. Maybe you just want a backup stash of milk for a babysitter. Whatever the reason, you are in the market for a breastpump! Like many other baby-related items, you probably opened up Amazon.com in your browser and immediately felt overwhelmed by the number of brands and types of pumps available. What should you choose?
Manual pumps: Not for the weak-handed. Alternatively, a good substitute for those strength grip things that are always in the exercise section of the store, but no one ever buys.
These are the cheapest pumps on the market, and it can be tempting for the budget-minded family to just grab one of these. After all, electric pumps can run $300 or more and a manual pump tends to be in the $30-$40 range! Manual pumps are also simple pumps—you have the pump itself which screws onto the top of a baby bottle, and that’s it! They are small enough to toss in your bag and you needn’t worry about keeping track of a dozen small pieces. This also makes them simple to clean.
However, manual pumps are powered by you. Most modern manual pumps require you to squeeze a handle, which draws out the milk. You may need to do this for ten or fifteen minutes, which can grow tiring very quickly. You may have health issues that do not allow you to physically do this. You can also only pump one breast at a time, which can be good if you just need to empty one side because baby has just nursed on the other, or it can be bad if you’re in a hurry and need to empty both sides quickly. Many mothers, however, like having a manual pump stored away as a backup. If their electric pump fails, it’s better to have a manual pump than no pump at all!
Breastfeeding, while good for our children, can also be a nightmare. So can the after effects of breastfeeding – the dreaded burping session. If you have a child like mine you can spend more time with a very uncomfortable child that no matter how much you cajole can’t seem to get the gas to rise up out of their little tummy. Colic is never fun for mommy or baby, but getting upset only makes it worse.
Don’t despair! That will only make the little one feel even more uncomfortable and you feel like the horrible mother you’re not. Instead keep your sense of humor and play a few burping games to vent your steam.
Bring Disco Back
Normally I am not a fan of this genre of music, but I have found it to be critical for burping my child. We bounce that burp out to titles like “She’s a Burp House.” Just pick a song of your choice and just make up lyrics with the word burp in them. If rap is more up your alley try “Baby’s Got Burp” instead. The ridiculousness of it will keep you sane and calm and sometimes even helps you feel like you have some form of control over this whole process.
The Cheering Section
Some older siblings are not old enough to understand why the new family member is crying so much. While this may inspire love and concern the first month it will soon cause irritation early into the second month. The last thing you would like during this time is to hear a cry off between the toddler and the newborn. Instead explain to your new big brother or sister that burping is hard for a baby and we need to give them encouragement. And then have then cheer them on. Some toddlers will even show the baby how it’s done.