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Posts Tagged ‘infant’

I was very intrigued with the thought of being done with diapers early than the norm. I cannot stand to clean a poppy diaper. A close friend of mine had lent me a book on Infant Potty Training when I was pregnant with my first child. I read the book and thought, there is no way that I am going to do that because that just seems like to much work. So for the first 5 months of my son’s life, we did the normal diaper changes. But around 5 months of age, I started to see a pattern to my son’s pooping pattern. I would breastfeed him and he would always poop right after he was done feeding. Some one had given me a potty seat that fits on top of a regular toilet seat so I thought, what the heck, I will just give infant potty training a try.

Step One: Develop a signal word and show sign while child is peeing or pooping

I decided to just work on poop, since I hated changing poopy diapers the most. After my son would finish breastfeeding, I would say the word potty and sign potty in sign language as he was pooping. This way he started to associate these two cues (the word “potty” and the sign language for potty). I did this for about a month.

Step Two: Put your child on the potty when he starts to pee or poop (while using your cue word and sign language)

The day my son turned 6 months old, I decided I would finally give infant potty training a real try. After I was done breastfeeding my son, I took his diaper off, placed him on the potty seat, and said potty and signed potty at the same time. Apparently all my hard work for the past month had paid off because my son pooped and the potty! I could not believe it. From that point on, he has always pooped on the potty. He poops on the potty about 95% of the time. He still has an accident every now and again, but it mostly my fault for ignoring his need to go. I still take him to the potty after he eats. He does not always need to poop, but it has become a ritual we do. If my son does not need to go, he will say, “all done”, and at which point I know that it is time to take him off the potty.

Step Three: Your child communicates to you the need to use the bathroom through sign language or words.

The ultimate goal is that you child would tell you that he needs to use the bathroom without you having to take him to the bathroom at set times. Even though I have been signing potty to my son since he was 5 months old, he does not consistently tell me in sign language that he needs to go, which is why I still put him on the potty after each meal. He is now 17 months old, and he is telling me he needs to go more frequently, but not consistently.

What I wish I had done

What I wish I had done was also work on getting my son to pee in the potty early on. I decided to only tackle pooping in the potty. I have attempted to teach him to pee in the potty, but I believe that I missed that magical window where it is easier to train peeing in the potty. My son will pee on the potty about 50% of the time I put him on the potty, but I believe he does not have any control over his bladder muscle yet because I never helped him to develop it. He is also not aware that he is urinating half the time (at least that is what I think). I have decided to take pee training with “bottomless toilet training” or a “bare bottom week”. Essentially, during bare bottom week, you allow your child to run around without a diaper on. Every time he or she starts to pee, you whisk them to the toilet to finish peeing. You reward them for peeing on the potty with some kind of a prize (m&ms, candy, juice, etc.).  I plan on doing this once the weather warms up so my son will not be cold running around half in the nude.

My Closing Thoughts

I am so glad that I decided to poop train my son. I think it will make when I finally tackle pee training even easier. My hope is to have my son completely potty trained before my twins are born at the end of April. Let’s just hope the weather warms up in time for me to start my “bare bottom week.” If I am successful, my son will be 19 months old and completely potty trained. Let’s hope it works! I would be one happy mama to have my toddler out of diapers before I start diapering two newborns again!

Resource Links

Elimination Communication websties
http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/
http://www.parttimediaperfree.com/

Elimination Communication Books
The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative
Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living

Bare Bottom Potty Training websites
http://www.nickjr.com/preschool/potty-training/advice/potty_training_bare_ap.html
http://www.parentingscience.com/potty-training-techniques.html

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If you live somewhere where it gets cold in the fall and the winter and you have a young baby who is still in an infant carrier, than I highly recommend you buy this car seat cover!

The JJ Cole Bundle me is a zipper cover that lines the inside of the carseat and zips over the top, keeping your infant warm and snug without having to go through the trouble of putting a jacket on her. Have you tried putting a jacket on your infant and then placing them in their infant carriers? It is hard and your baby looks all smushed and uncomfortable.

The zipper makes it easy to unzip and remove if the weather becomes warmer, only leaving the bottom lining. I have also unzipped the top layer to use as a blanket to lay my son on when I forgot to bring a blanket to lay him on when visiting friends or traveling.

I really love this product! I give it 5 out of 5 because it is easy to use, keeps your baby warm, and not to expensive (under $40.00). You can find them even cheaper on Craigslist!

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266846

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What is Blanket Time?

Blanket time is an allotted amount of time in the day when you instruct your child to remain on a small blanket (3×3 or 4×4) and play with a select few toys that you have chosen for him/ her to play with. Blanket time can be started as early as you want with your infant and continued into toddlerhood.

What is the purpose of Blanket Time?

“Blanket time provides an opportunity to teach a child to play in a limited area without a physical parameter.” (pre-toddlerwise p.142) It also teaches “sitting skills or what we call parameter skills (the ability to stay put within a boundary).” (Toddlerwise p. 45) This skill comes in handy when you need your child to obey you and stay put. For instance if you are in the kitchen and you need to open the oven, you would want you child to stay away from the oven. You could tell you child to sit and remain still until you allow him or her to get up. Or perhaps you are out in public and you need your child to stay in one spot for a short period of time, that is when this skill really comes in handy. Ultimately, blanket time teaches your child at a young age to obey you. Blanket time also helps with mental focus by only allowing them a few toys that they must play with while on the blanket.

How long should blanket time last?

Start with 3-5 minutes once a day. Once your child demonstrates he can stay on the blanket and play without fussing or crawling or walking off, you can slowly increase the time up to 30 minutes a day. Use a timer to set a designated time. The loud noise of the time going off will signal to your child that blanket time is over.

What if he crawls or walks off the blanket?

The first couple of times he does blanket time, you will want to remain close to him. When he does move off the blanket, quickly return him to the blanket and give clear instructions to stay put and play with his toys. I typically say to Cooper, “Cooper, it is blanket time, we stay on the blanket.” I then direct him toward a toy on the blanket.

How many toys should I place on the blanket?

Just a few toys is enough. Remember your blanket is not that large. I have been placing 2-3 small board books, one lights/sounds toys, 2 toy cars, and one other small manipulative toy.  Keep these toys special and do not allow your child to play with them frequently during the day. The novelty of the toys will help them to remain on the blanket. You might want to have 3-4 small bins of toys that you rotate especially for blanket time so that your child does not tier of the toys.

Make them help you clean up!

When the timer goes off and blanket time is over, make sure to praise their efforts for staying on the blanket. Then ask them to help you clean up. I usually say, “It is clean up time.” Young children will obviously not clean everything up on their own, but you can assist them and teach them how to clean up. My son is 13 months old and I expect him to help put away just a few toys into the bin when we are done. For instance, he has some toy food. He will usually help put away 3-4 pieces of the toys food. As they get older, you might have high expectations for how they clean up. Make sure you give your child clean directions as to what you want cleaned up. For instance, if there are cars on the blanket, you could tell you child, “Mark, put your cars in the bin.”

Where should blanket time be done?

Vary the locations of blanket time in your home. One day do it in the kitchen. Another day try your bedroom. The idea is for you child to be able to transfer this sitting still skill to many different situations and locations. If it is a nice day, try doing it outside. You could even try taking your child to the library with the blanket and a few toys and doing blanket time there.

Travel with a blanket and special toys!

You never know when you might need your child to sit in one area for a short duration of time. You might go to a soccer game for one of your older children, and want your younger child to not wonder. Try keeping a bag with a blanket and some special toys. Then in case you should ever need to do an impromptu blanket time, you would have all the materials!

My personal experience with my son

My son is 13 months old. I have only been doing blanket time with him for a week (we started late). But in a weeks time, he is able to stay on his blanket without fussing for about 10 minutes. I have not had to correct him for crawling off the blanket in a few days too. I see how is mental focus is increasing as he is able to play with one specific toy for a longer period of time. He is also learning to mind and obey me rather well. This past weekend, I was out to lunch in a crowded restaurant. I went up front to pay and sat my son on the ground and told him to stay put, he did not move for 5 minutes. He looked around at all the people, but never once moved. I really think that blanket time has helped him to remain still and obey my commands!

Toy Recommendations for Blanket Time
10-12 Months Old

Resource: Pre-toddlerwise p. 141- 143

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I have tried introducing a sippy cup to my son since he was 7 months old. My son is now 9.5 months old. We have tired pretty much every brand out there. The brand of sippy cup that we have finally found success with is the Nuby Cup with a soft straw and handles. and Take & Toss Straw Cup. My son has difficulty with sippy cups that have a spout because he does not know how to lift the cup up to tip the water/ juice in to his mouth. Have you tired sucking from a spout yourself? I have. It is difficult to get water to come out of those things. The straw is much easier.

My son is use to receiving his milk from me (breastfeeding) or a bottle. The only think that I have put in a sippy cup so far has been water or apple juice. Well the other day I decided to give him his milk in the sippy cup, since he seems to really have the whole drinking from the straw concept thing down. I handed him the sippy cup and he held it and took a few sips. Then he leaned his head on me while still trying to drink. I could tell he wanted me to hold him so I picked him up and sat him in my lap and helped him hold his cup. That was not what he wanted! He proceed to throw his first tantrum. He threw the sippy cup across the floor and started to wail, scream, and kick his legs and arms all over the place. I picked up the sippy cup and then picked him up. Calmly told him, “Sweetie, it is just a sippy cup. You can still have your milk and sit in my lap.” He would not accept this. He kept getting more and more angry. I knew what he wanted. He wanted ME to HOLD him and for ME to give him his milk from a BOTTLE. I believe that he made the association that milk is in a bottle or from mommy (breastfeed) and water and juice belong in a sippy cup. After 10 minutes of screaming, he finally calmed down. I did cave in and give him a bottle. I was afraid I was pushing the sippy cup on him to fast.

Well, I have had time to regain my thoughts and rethink that particular situation. First, I recogonize that my son was manipulating that situation. Second, I need to break the association that sippy cups are only for juice and water. Finally, I needed to give him a lot of affection, cuddle time, and snuggling at other times of the day and while he drinks his sippy cups so he does not think I am trying to “replace” our snuggles when I give him a bottle or breastfeed him with a sippy cup instead.

I have decided to try something out: I am going to give him 2/3 of his milk in a bottle and 1/3 to follow it in a sippy cup. Eventually, I will slowly put less in the bottle and more in the sippy cup. Until finally, one entire feeding will come out of the sippy cup. Once I have one feeding coming completely from the sippy cup, I will try to slowly wean him from the bottle/ breast to sippy cup at another feeding. I think this might be more of a gentle way to introduce the sippy cup than what I tried to do. I am also going to try and offer him some milk in a sippy cup during his snack when he is most happy because I am giving him his favorite food, Cherrieos.

Here are some other suggestions that I found on how to introduce a sippy cup: http://www.babycenter.com/0_sippy-cup-dos-and-donts_1439508.bc#articlesection2

Nuby Cup with Flip-It Straw Top http://www.amazon.com/Handle-8oz-Flip-Straw-Colors/dp/B0019MJZDG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1247372158&sr=1-6

Take & Toss Straw Cup http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799857

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Sigh!

Literally, the day my son turned 9 months old, everything went nuts with him. I had a great routine/ schedule going with him and he seemed to be doing pretty well. But bam….he started refusing to sleep, separation anxiety through the roof, clingy, crying, and fussy. Oh, I should add that he has been teething off and on for about a month now. He cut 3 new teeth and has another one on the way. I have been scratching my head trying to figure him out. I want to blame it on teething, or the length of his wake time, or the fact that he is adjusting to his new home since we just moved about a month a half ago, but I think it is really no one particular thing. I believe it is the combination of all these factors playing together. I found a website that really hit home with me and the trouble that I am experiencing with my son at 9 months. Everything that this article mentions is very representative of my son at this moment. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you. The article also gives some good suggestions to help your baby with sleep problems, teething, and separation anxiety.  http://www.thesleepstore.co.nz/Sleep+Information/Babies+4+to+12+months/Sleep+challenges+with+9+month+olds.html Many of the my son’s difficulties also line up with the developmental period mentioned in Wonder Week 46.

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I am going to review two sound machines that I have purchased. My son is a very light sleeper and we use to live in a condo. The white noise machine has really helped him to sleep better by drowning our all the background noise. If you have more than one kid, than I highly recommend buying one to keep the noise level down while your little one is sleeping and your older child is playing.

Marpac Sound Screen & SleepMate 980

We are currently using this sound machine for my son. It has two settings: soft and loud. The loud setting is not quite as loud as a box fan, but it is loud enough to mask most of the sounds in our home or condo. The benefit of this sound machine is that it is portable. I can through this in my suitcase or diaper bag if I am not going to be home for his naps or on vacation. The familiar hum of this sound machine has made his naps and sleep in other places by home really great. He has never slept better! We use it all the time and I plan on bying another one for my next child.
Where to buy: Amazon

cost: $49

Rating: 4.5 Good sound, portable, drowns out background noise

http://www.amazon.com/Marpac-White-Machine-Screen-Conditioner/dp/B000X1JO76/ref=pd_sbs_bt_7

Sweet Slumber by Graco

This is a neat sound machine. I bought it and used it for 2 weeks when our sound machine was getting fixed (I dropped it). This sound machine not only creates a clean white noise, but it has some additional features. It makes the sound of the womb and other nature sounds. It also has a blue nightlight built into it that you can turn off and on by pressing the top. The other neat feature is that you can plug your Ipod into this unit and play a play list from you Ipod. This sound machine has a lot more to offer and is a little cheaper than the Marpac sound machine. The only down fall to this sound machine is that the white noise is not as nice as the one on the Marpac. It is a little more staticy. My son slept fine with this sound machine too. So I believe it is really a matter of preference.

Where to buy: Target, Amazon

Cost $40

Rating: 4.5 ★ Many different sounds, portable, nightlight, and Ipod ready

http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Sweet-Slumber-Sound-Machine/dp/B001GQ2P78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1246042157&sr=8-1

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My family just moved from Maryland to Texas. My son is now 9 months-old and we decide to make this move totally on our own. What I mean by that is, we packed the boxes, hulled it all into a truck (you pack, they pick it up), and drove across country, unpacked the truck ourselves, and painted our bedrooms in the new house. It was a huge under taking, but we had to move on a budget and this was the most affordable way for us to move.
Here are some suggestions on how to make a large scale move more manageable with a baby:

Pre-Move/ Packing Suggestions

1. Ask for help– get some friends and family to take your baby/ child to their house or play with them at your house so you can pack. This was about the only way I could get anything done!

2. Work around napping schedules- try to be as productive as you can while your baby is napping

3. Starting packing in advance– we started packing a month before we moved. As you know getting anything done fast with a small baby is near impossible. The sooner you start getting things in boxes, the less stressed you will be as time leads up to the big move day.

4. DVDs/ TV/ New Toys- I am not advocating sticking your kids in front of the TV non-stop, but the TV can help especially when you are in a bind for time. My son loves Baby Einstein DVDs and they kept him occupied while he was awake and I needed to by packing and boxing. I also borrowed some toys from friends that were new and that kept him interested for a while. The key is finding things that are noval and distracting so you can get things done.

5. Try to pack your baby’s room last- Keep pictures on the wall, things on the selves, and curtains up for as long as possible. Babies tend to sleep better and be less anxious when their sleeping environment is familiar and unchanged. We did not pack my son’s pictures, curtains, and room decorations until the day before the move. We did not take his crib down until the morning of the move. This really helped him to have less anxiety leading up to the move, as well as helped him to sleep better.

Traveling with Baby (in car/ plane)

6. Buy some new toys- get some new toys. They don’t have to be expensive. You can get some toys at consignment shops and garage sales for cheep. The novelty of new toys will keep you baby content and happy for a little while.

7. Keep snacks and drinks on hand- we had some Gerber rice cereal bites, Cheerios, and my pumped milk on hand. That way you don’t have to stop the car to give him some food to hold him over until you are at a good stopping point. I have an electric breast pump and I used that to express some milk to give to him in a bottle if he got fussy if we were not a good stopping point while we were driving. If you are flying, you are allowed to bring breast milk and formula through security in a bottle.

8. Portable DVD player/ DVDs- What would I have done without this? My husband got a portable DVD player as a gift right before we moved. My son loved watching his Baby Einstein DVDs while we were driving down the highway. When my son was in melt down mode, all we had to do was turn on the DVD player and he would instantly quiet. I will never go on a long drive without a portable DVD player again!

9. Head Rest/ Sun shades/ blankets- Buy an infant head rest and make sure you put up blankets and sun shades to help keep you child comfy for car naps and cool. We hung blankets from the windows to help darken his spot in the car, which helped him to nap a little better in the car.

10. Training Toilet- If you are at the stage when you are potty training your child, make sure you bring a training toilet along. You can just pull over anywhere and allow your son or daughter to go to the bathroom without having to hassle with finding a bathroom or the cleanliness of public restrooms.

11. Drive during naps and at night as much as you can- The easiest time to drive is while your child is sleeping. If you can time travel  during your child’s naps and nighttime sleep, it will be much easier to get where you’re going. We did a bulk of the drive from about 7pm until 1am for 2 days. That was 12 hours of driving while my son slept.

Post-Move

12. Don’t wash your child’s crib sheet- A friend gave me this piece of advise and it works. The scent on the crib sheet is familiar to them and when you get to their new room or they are sleeping in a pack ‘n play, put the unwashed crib sheet on. This should give them a familiar sent and help them to sleep better.

13. Give them familiar objects/ things- My son sleeps with a stuffed monkey and a sound machine on. So we made sure these things were not packed in boxes. We put them in the car so we could have them immediately when we got there. It helped him to have the familiar sounds and smells of home just like the crib sheet.

14. Paint the nursery the same color and use the old furniture- now would not be a good time to change your nursery theme, furniture, or color of the walls. We painted my son’s room exactly the same and hung the pictures that were hanging in his room like they were at our old house. This made the transition into his new room a lot smoother than I thought it would be.

15. Give them lots of cuddle time before bed and while they are awake- If you spend a lot of time with them reassuring them that you are not leaving than the transition to the new home will be easier. My son need more cuddle time and a little long before bedtime activities in order to go to sleep and go down for naps. I was happy to give him the extra time if that was what it would take to get him settled. The days that I tried to rush pre-sleep activities were the days he slept the worst. So give them the extra reassurance and TLC they need!

16. Play in their new room- Take time to do some play time activities in their new room even if you don’t usually play in your child’s bedroom. This will help them to get comfortable with where they will sleep and be less strange to them.

17. Don’t rush un-packing- Make sure to ease into your new home and give your litle one lots of attention. You can unpack slowly during his naps and nighttime sleep. While he is awake, make sure you give him the extra attention he needs.

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