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Toddler Advice for Moms

My Floor vs My Toddler! Who will win?

You just made your little one dinner and right after you give them the dinner they put it on the floor! As a mom the first thing you think is what the hell is up with that, why wouldn't they want to eat! Babies and Toddlers love to throw their food on the floor and this has been happening since the beginning of time.

The main reason they first start doing it is it is fun! Yep that is right, around 8 or 9 months they start to see what will happen when they do it. If mommy will always pick it up, it is a game to them, and kids love games! Simple tip moms; don't keep on picking it up, otherwise you set yourself up for a lot of picking up! Try this: Pick it up twice and after that, dinnertime is all done! Take their food away and move on with the day's activities. After doing this a few times, they'll start to learn how your game works. The simple proposition in a calm voice of; "We don't drop food on the floor. If we do, dinner time is all done" gets results quickly!

Another reason is they just may not like what you are feeding them, or maybe just not like one item that is on the plate. Once your baby becomes more verbal they will be able to communicate this and when you put the broccoli next to the chicken they can so no broccoli I don't like it, and you can just remove it off and offer another vegetable.

Now onto a toddler, they communicate and they still do it….it is time to make them clean it up too! That's right, hand them a wipe and have them clean it up. They will learn a valuable lesson and they will stop doing it so much because they have to clean it up! In fact you should involve your toddler in all you household duties. It will show them how to be tidy and teach them great values in life.

Happy Feeding Mommies!

The Toddler Battles…

Tonight at dinner my toddler saw I was drinking out a glass and she was drinking out of a straw cup. Yes, usually I do let her take sips out of my cup, but I saw she was in a challenging mood since its dinnertime and very close to bed time. She insisted she wanted mommy's water. Now here I had a few choices, one tell her she has her own cup and listen to a possible tantrum, give her some of my water or number three which is what I went with :). I chose to avoid any of these possible situations that could turn bad. Instead I said Do you want the same cup as mommy? and she answered Yes, same as mommy. So I said, Great, one minute, be right back, mommy has a great surprise! I walked into the kitchen grabbed two small plastic Ikea toddler cups and filled them with water and put the glass and straw cup to the side. I came back in and said, Look we match! She was so excited that I got the same cup as her and drank out of it. Best of all, it avoided any tantrum or possible glass being broken. All I did was go to a toddler state of mind, go to her level to put it in easier terms. The toddler battles never end, so choose them wisely, no one likes to live in a no world.

Happy Mommying!

Being Creative With Your Toddler!

Next time the Cheerio's Box runs out and you are about to get rid of it, don't! Truly recycle and use it for a fun art project with your toddler. You can open it up and to the other side and let them color all over it, then fold it into a little house to play with. You can also draw a racetrack on it and let them play with their cards on it.  Do fun handprints on it with paint. Cut out shapes and label all of them so you can use them for learning. The list can go on and on, so next time stop look at your cereal box and think about something fun to do. This will not only help you expand your creative mind but be a great example for your toddler to help them too as well!

Happy Art Time Mommies!

Toddler Art: Making Everyone Smile!

If you have a toddler at home you know that they are all about art. Coloring, painting, play doe, and stickers! What do you do with all your toddler's art? If you are like me, there is just not enough room to keep every piece of art that they make. But we want our little one to know we are proud of their artwork! Here is a great solution, display their artwork in their room on their walls. Make it a surprise to them, come up and say wow that is amazing, you drew those circles so well, mommy is so proud of you! and hang it up in their room.

Now why their room? When they are playing, reading or getting ready for bed they can look up and also be proud of them. They will see the pictures mommy put up and it will put a smile on their face.
You can take down old ones and put up new ones, have fun with it and let them have fun making them!

Happy Proud Mommying!

10 Playtime Activities With a Toddler

Not only is your little one on the move, but now they have started walking and boy do they just want to go go go! The best thing is to offer a wide variety of activities to keep them busy.

Happy Playtime Mommies!

Potty Time! Lets get started!

Did you know the length we keep our children in diapers has increased from age 2 to the age of 4! In effort to lower this age there was an amazing book written called, Diaper Free Before 3, and in this book the author describes steps you can take from a young age to expose your child to the potty to have them fully out of diapers by age 3, and doing it in a healthy manner.

I know as a mother when my first daughter was out of diapers by age 21 months, then fully out of nighttime diapers by 26 months, it was a great joy! But you know the best part of all of that is after 11 months of age she only pooped on the potty, yep that's right no poo poo diaper for me to clean up!

Try to think of all of this from your child's perspective. Its amazing that we put our kids in diapers for more than 2 years then one day all of sudden we tell them no more now in the potty and we think they are the crazy ones for not catching on quickly!!

I always ask parents to expose their babies at an early age to the potty, a routine potty time from 6 months and up. At first nothing may happen, but keep on doing it because all of sudden poops and pees will be done in the potty. Especially once your child is regulated, they will poop in the potty at the same time every day. Going this route of exposing them early will allow them to become familiar with the potty and it won't seem so foreign to them when you decide to fully take away the diapers. In fact, it will probably be so easy you will wonder what all that hype was about! 

So if you have a 6 month, 9 month, or 12 month at home get it started. Make it a fun time for both of you. You can sing songs and read books during potty time. Overall just make it a positive and comfortable experience for your little one.

Happy Potty Time!

No More Diapers! How Will I Know When???

Yes, we all hit this point as parents where we need to take away the diapers and head into a whole new territory of underwear. This is a process that can be very quick with most children if you read the signs right. So what signs should you look for???

If your child does the following they could be ready:

So if you little one is telling you they want no more diapers with all these signs it is time to get started! Good-bye diapers and hello underwear!

Happy Mothering!

Potty Training Prep, be prepared!

Ok its time, your child shows all the signs that they want to stop wearing diapers, now what??? Now you get ready to potty train. Being an organized and prepared parent helps immensely in this situation. So start with getting what you need before you potty training.

So if you and your little one are ready, let the potty training begin! Number one rule, once you take away the diaper, just never go back :)!

Happy Potty Training!

Naps and Nighttime, When Do I Say Goodbye To Diapers?

So you did it, your little one is officially in underpants during the day when they are awake. The next step is when they are sleeping.

You will know your child is ready when they are waking up with dry diapers consecutively for a full week or more. Make sure you put them on the potty before and after naps to give them plenty of opportunity to go on the potty. First get naps diaper free then move onto nighttime sleep. Once you see dry diapers for naps, pull the diapers and go for the underwear. Tell you little one, no more diapers for naps, so if you make pee-pee in the bed it will make your bed all wet! So when you wake up we will go in the potty. Tell them this every time so it sinks into their little brains. Repetition is key with toddlers.

Soon after the naps, the nighttime will follow. Again you will see dry diapers and your child will probably be expressing an interest to you to not wear diapers anymore at night. Give them an opportunity right before bed and when they wake up on the potty. One of the most important things with the nighttime training is limiting the amount of fluids before bed. It is a long stretch of sleep and you want to help them avoid accidents, so limit fluids before bedtime.

The most important thing is once you switch to underwear for naps and nighttime sleep, do not go back to diapers. Accidents happen with every child and yes it will make us frustrated and angry sometimes, that is totally normal. Just remember you are teaching them and with learning, mistakes happen. So you may have to wash the sheets a few times extra but your child will learn quickly if you stick to it. Good Luck!

Happy Diaper Free Sleeping!

Toddler Toys! The Must Haves… That Last Long!

With all stages, come new toys! And anyone with a toddler at home knows good toys that keep toddlers occupied can be a mother's best friend at home! So here are a few toddler toys that are great!

These are just a few of the great toys out there that are long lived and keep your toddler occupied and having fun. This way mommy can have a rest to just watch and enjoy!
Happy Playing!

Big Kid Bed- Are They Ready?

Yep, this day comes for every parent. The secure and closed in sleeping space for your toddler needs to be upgraded. It is time for a big kid bed! Most toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 move from their crib to a big kid bed and in most cases best to wait closer to 3.

What if your child climbs out of the crib prematurely around 16 months or 18 months? Should you give them a bed? NO! This is a very early age for a big bed and with another case of separation anxiety coming around the corner it is best to keep them in the crib for now. Try putting a sleep sack on them so they can't climb out making their time in the crib a little longer. Another option is to try lowering the mattress to the floor but still inside the crib. Whichever one you choose, just be sure to be safe.

Having a big kid bed instead of a crib is not about the size of your child it is about the cognitive development of your child. As a parent be ready for some unexpected visits into your room. It is a learning process for your toddler to know the imaginary boundaries around their bed since before it was just bars of the cribJ! Whether they are 3 next week or you are expecting a new little one soon, here are some tips to make the process run smoothly!

Always remember not every kid is the same. Some move at 2 years old just fine and others really need to wait until they are 3 years old. Read your child's signs of readiness. It could be potty training, starting school, or a soon to be older sibling! Whatever it is, make it fun and have fun with it!

Happy Transitioning!

Getting A Toddler To Brush Their Teeth.

Brushing teeth with a toddler, most of the time an uphill battle. If you are one of the parents out there with a toddler that loves to brush their teeth, pat yourself on the back and keep it up!  Most toddlers at some point become difficult during brushing their teeth. Lets face it, they aren't doing the best job, so in trying to be make sure they clean their teeth it becomes a game of tug of war with the toothbrush. So how can we make this process easier for mommy and toddlers? It takes work, patience and repetition. Here are few tips to help you along the way!

So get brushing and have fun with it! This is the one of the many toddler battles we have to win :).

Happy Brushing!

Night Terrors: What are they? Is my child having them?

You are fast asleep in bed and all of a sudden you hear loud screams from your toddlers room. You look at the monitor and there is your little one sitting straight up squealing with their eye wide open, so you rush in to see what's wrong but right when you get to the crib your little one is already calm and fast asleep. You are thinking, what is wrong? Is your little one ok? Let me just start by saying yes they are ok. In fact, they won't even remember that this happened, they are in deep sleep. What you are hearing and seeing is called a Night Terror. 
Night Terrors can start as early as 18 months, but that is rare. They more commonly begin at age 3. Night Terror is a random disturbance in a child's sleep when they are going from one sleep cycle early on in the night to another deep sleep cycle. So they are not in dreaming sleep mode (REM sleep). The most important thing to keep in mind with Night Terrors is to keep your child safe. If they are old enough to get out of their bed and walk around make sure they are ok. They are not awake and do not know what they are doing, so be sure to check on them always.
So how can you try to avoid this? That is the main question that everyone wants answered. The most important thing is to make sure they are getting good quality sleep that they are well rested. The most popular cause for a Night Terror is overtiredness, exhaustion or fatigue. Naps and good nighttime sleep (without waking) is very important, not only for their development but also their overall happiness and avoidance of Night Terrors. Other causes could be sleeping in an unfamiliar surrounding or a new medication. Speak to your pediatrician about any medications that may be causing it to discuss other options.
So if you see this, don't be worried. It is common and totally normal. Just make sure your little one is well rested on a daily basis to avoid any more Night Terrors. These arbae always scarier for us than the child!
Happy Sleeps All Around!

Taking The Milk Away, Oh No!

Every mother has then never-ending fear of taking away the bottles of milk. It is a point in every mothers life where we just say, next week then the next week say… next week. Yes it is a hard move to do for each and every one of us. Why is it so hard for us as mothers to make this jump? The #1 reason is we all correlate milk with giving our child a better nights sleep and no one wants to mess up good sleep for mommy or baby! Guess what, your child will sleep just fine with out a bottle of milk. In actuality I think it is harder for us as mothers because that is one step closer from your baby being a baby to being a toddler and growing up and that is just hard for each and every one of us. So how should you take it away?

There are two options to take away the bottle: slowly transitioning it with one feeding at a time going into a cup or just cold turkey! Personally with both my kids I did cold turkey around a year for each of them. The reason I chose to stay close to a year, Jordana was 14 months and Ariella just recently at about a year, is because the earlier you take it away the easier it is for the child to adjust. The longer they have it the more the attachment will grow, which makes it harder on everyone. So if you want to do cold turkey just wake up one day and say no more bottles! If you would like to transition, drop one feeding at a time to a straw cup each week. There is no right way so whichever way you choose; they both have the same outcome.  Just remember and know like anything else change takes time so give your child at least a week to get use to the new change in the repertoire.

The hardest one for every mom to drop is that nighttime bottle. So just try inching it up by 10 minutes each week until you have it around an hour before bed. This way there will be a gap between the milk and nighttime sleep to make it even easier to take away the bottle.
So good luck mommies and remember just stay strong and consistent!
Happy Mommying!

Toddler Tip:

Keep yours and your toddler's favorite snacks in the car for emergency. Protein bars for mommy and crackers for kids are great items that I keep because they don't spoil and can always do the job!

Are You A Helicopter Parent?

When we are a new parent we watch our newborns every move and keep our eyes glued to the monitor. Then when they begin to crawl we predict every move before they do or at least we hope that we do ☺! But do we hover too much? What would happen if we just give them a little space? The question is, are you a Helicopter Parent?

First, lets start with what helicopter parenting is. It is exactly how it sounds, a mother that is constantly hovering over their child. A mom that is tracking their every move, worrying about them 24 hours a day, and never gives them space to explore and be a kid. First let me say yes, we can over parent. A great example is a little girl I saw at the park today with her mother. She was over 2 years old and very capable of climbing. Her mother instead of letting her enjoy climbing and learn to do new things was hovering over her and didn't let her finish just would put her at the top. The kid was not allowed to do anything and you could see this little girl just wanted to say, Mom back off, give me some space! And when she is a teenager she probably will! 

So where should you draw your line? Your barometer is your child. Let them explore and be a kid! Getting bumps and bruises is part of being a kid. When your child first learns how to walk they will fall all the time. As long as you are there to avoid catastrophes let them get the hang of it and enjoy it! Most of all, let them be a kid getting dirty, running around and exploring the new things they find everyday. If you find yourself hovering just take a step back and a deep breathe, stop and remember even your 2 year old needs their space. :)
Happy Mommying!

The NO World, AKA: Toddlerhood!

As a mother of two adorable little toddler girls I stop myself before I say no when my first instinct is to say it. These poor little girls, if I did say no when my brain told me to that is all they would hear. Instead I avoid the word no as much as possible. I stop and think to myself how would I feed if someone told me no all time? Or even wonder why the world is made up of all no words? I even wonder to myself, how does this make them confident when all I say is no? It's the ongoing battle a mother of a toddler goes through day in and day out. I see it especially my younger one, who is 15 months old. Right now she mimics everything and want her voice to be heard, especially even more that she is a second child. If I said no all the time that is what I would hear out of her all the time and toddlers already start off saying no enough, as a parent I don't want to encourage it more and more.

So what do I do instead? Number one and most importantly I make our home kid friendly and take them to fun places to play that are kid friendly. With my home kid friendly they have toys to play with and have a less chance of danger, which makes me, say no less to them. Secondly, is giving them a yes place in a no environment. The perfect example of this is a tableware cabinet in a kitchen. This gives them a safe cabinet to play in a room that is filled with a bunch of no areas.  Lastly is letting them know what they can do, not what they can't do. For example if my toddler throws a hard toy, I calmly say, we don't throw blocks but we can go throw a ball if you would like and I get a ball out to play catch.

So next time you want to say no nonstop, stop yourself and imagine being a toddler living in a no world.  Choose another way to tell them and enjoy this fun age of nonstop excitement! The best thing about parenthood is that we learn as much from the children as they learn from us!
Happy Yes-ing!

My Toddler Is Such A Picky Eater! Why the sudden pickiness?

You started it our right, giving your baby veggies instead of fruits first, encouraged them to eat all the colors of the rainbow from bananas to spinach and your baby would happily eat it all without much of a problem.

Then all of a sudden, one day your child began to reject things she once loved. The good news is, it really is probably a stage and the length of time the picky phase persists depends on how you respond to it.

They fuss for various reasons and here's what it boils down to:

Making food look creatively fun is also a great tactic for encouraging good appetites!

Finally it is thought that around age 2 toddlers are genetically programmed to be picky, the only way to help override this is to know they will outgrow this phase and it really is ok for them to skip a meal here and there remembering that they need less food than us & a few bites here and there can add up to a balanced meal.

Happy Eating!!

Toddler Tip:

Here are two of many great and affordable games you can let your toddler do that are safe, easy, keeps them focused, and they learn in the process.

Life With Kids: AKA Life As A Musical!

With my kids everything turns into a song and dance. Music is such a powerful tool to change the tone or make something fun, so as a mommy it should be in our mommy toolbox!

So now that you are a parent, your life is a musical. Everyday you can sing and sing about what you are doing to make life more fun!
Happy Singing!

Tantrums Tantrums Tantrums!

Anyone out there that has a toddler knows about tantrums and also knows when that bomb goes off; it's a whole other side of your child that you didn't even know existed until they hit toddlerhood! So the million-dollar question I have been asked recently is how to avoid them and deal with them. First let's touch on how to avoid them and in order to do that, let's learn about why tantrums happen.

The most important thing we need to remember about tantrums is it is better to think ahead and avoid them then be stuck in one. So make sure your child has good sleep, food, and plan around what their needs are with sleeping and eating. When you are in a tantrum show them you understand their frustration and feelings, let them know they are heard. Some extra cuddles and hugs always seem to help too :).

Happy Mommying!

What should you do if another kid hurts your angel?

As a parent this is a hard one to face, watching your little one get hurt by another kid- let's paint a picture..

You're at the park and your kid has a ball in hand, another kid decides he'd like that ball (or better yet, needs that ball right now!) & runs over to your child and just grabs it & hurts your child in the process by scratching their face. You're left with your kid who is now crying & hurt both physically and emotionally.

We know how much you'd love to step in, grab the ball back and yell at the kid who feels entitled but obviously that's not appropriate so use it as an opportunity to teach both kids what's appropriate.

Say something to the offending kid such as " we say please, my turn & we don't scratch/hit/spit, that hurts (insert your kids name here) feelings and makes him/her sad inside we can be nice & then touch gently."
So next time you are at the park and the other mom doesn't jump in, go for it and try to avoid tears and scratches :)!
Happy Mommying

Socialization For Your Baby!

As a mother we often forget how very important it is to have our little one socialize with other babies of a similar age. Of course you are an amazing mommy and you are doing everything to be your little ones favorite person, and trust us, you are! But, it is so important for your little one to socialize with peers (kids their own age) and here's why:
*They generally will talk sooner and are definitely more understandable
*These babies have better social skills (eg. sharing, following instructions, etc). Which is important especially as they grow older
*They seem to have better large motor skills. (Remember they are watching and learning what the other kids are doing.)

There is really great benefit to socializing children young and we strongly encourage it! So go out there and find local meet-ups, join a kid’s gym like Gymboree, have several play dates a week and have fun with your little one and friends!

My Baby And I Need HELP Now!

Uh oh! Baby is not happy and mommy is ready to pull her hair out!! Have no fear, we are here to help.

If you need urgent assistance in any baby matter, be it sleep, routine, new baby on the way, integrating a baby into a pet home, or anything else, we have you covered. Reach out, let’s schedule a consultation yesterday and let us change the uh oh in to a simple ahhhh.