Showing posts with label toddlers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toddlers. Show all posts

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why I Waited to Potty Train My Toddler

By Rachael

I potty trained my youngest child in a day or two. It took little effort, and she’s only had a few accidents. I’m not a super mom, nor is my daughter a potty training prodigy. They key was waiting until she was almost 3 years old.

In the process, I came across a few people who were surprised Abigail was not already trained, from friends to child care workers at churches we visited while on vacation this past summer. With more families beginning the potty training process as young as age 1, and many beginning around the time children turn 2, I can understand why our family appeared to go against the current.

A little reading on the potty.
I did try to train Abigail earlier, but shortly before she was 2 ½, she suddenly decided she wanted nothing to do with using the toilet. She cried and protested and ran when I tried to fetch her to sit on the potty. My husband and I figured it wasn’t worth the fight, so we pulled back. She began wearing diapers again instead of pull-ups, and I only occasionally sat her on the potty.  

I have heard the statement, “If you begin potty training your child at age 2, they’ll be fully trained at age 3. If you begin at age 3, they’ll be trained at age 3.” 

This adage held true for both of my daughters. I began potty training my oldest when she was about 28 months, but she didn’t have consistent success until eight months later, around her third birthday. It was a long process, as fellow blogger Katie has admitted. For our family, early training simply lengthened the time it took to complete potty training, and there were many more accidents, messes, and control battles. Early training did not translate to early success for us.

Science backs up our family’s delayed approach. Some research shows that training kids too early can cause problems related to chronic holding of urine and bowels. There is evidence that later training actually benefits kids, leading to fewer cases of wetting or constipation. Even Dr. Sears acknowledges that toilet training is a complex process, and the child must be ready in order to be successful. He also takes some pressure off parents by pointing out that early training does not make someone a “better” mother. 

So I didn’t really bother with potty training Abigail all summer. In August, when she was about 2 and a half months from her third birthday, I was ready to do some intensive potty training. We were done with our busy season of summer travel, and my teacher husband and my older daughter headed back to school. Abigail and I had lots of uninterrupted time at home to focus on the potty. 

During that first day of school when all was quiet at home, I pulled out a collection of tiny pairs of Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse undies. The prospect of wearing real underwear was enough to motivate Abigail. She put on that underwear and hardly looked back.

She had a few accidents during the first few days, but she was pretty much potty trained from the moment she put on her big girl underwear. We’re waiting for her to be consistently dry at night, which is normal. Still, I was astonished at how little effort her training required on my part. Who imagined potty training could be easy? It’s one undertaking that definitely can be worth the wait. 

Rachael is associate editor for Mumbling Mommy. She previously worked as a newspaper editor and has a bachelor's degree in English and writing from Indiana Wesleyan University. When she’s not busy with her husband and two daughters, you’ll find her gardening, cooking, singing with ladies from church, or reading Charlotte Bronte novels. You can contact her by e-mailing

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Monday, June 23, 2014

10 Things You Really Would Miss If You Didn't Have Kids

By Katie --

Kids add a lot to our lives, and I don't just mean in the way of extra bills and gray hair. There are just some things that really wouldn't be the same without our little mini-mes around.

This isn't to say that childfree people are missing out. Having kids is like playing Candy Crush for the first time. Your life will never be the same after mastering that first challenge, but you would certainly be more sane and have more time without it.

But I digress... just admit that you would actually really really miss these things if you didn't have kids:

1. The calories you burn heading to the kitchen to reheat your morning cup of coffee 10 times before it is gone.

2. The cute questionnaires that they make for Mother's Day that basically call you a couch potato who eats fast food a lot.

3. When your toddler discovers emoticons, and is able to text your thoughts with startling accuracy.

4. Your all-powerful ability to ruin lives (DESTROY THEM!) with the mere suggestion that your kids pick up their dirty underwear from the middle of the kitchen floor.


5. Your FREE human voice recorders that know when to play back exactly the thing you don't want to hear again at the worst possible time.

6. The snacks. Let's face it -- what child free adult would buy Goldfish, Ice Pops or those overpriced toddler Puff things that taste surprisingly incredible after a library story time?

7. The FREE advice!! And so much of it! Advice from so many strangers who you didn't even have to ASK to give it to you!!

8. Your heightened vocabulary that includes such contemporary additions as "Boppy," "Bjorn" and "Idina Menzel."

9. Your built-in excuses when anything at all goes wrong, you are late, you are dirty or you just plain don't want to do something.

10. Your psychic ability to predict to the second when someone will be hungry, thirsty, tired or completely lose his or her mind in public.

Life would just be plain different without our kids -- and a lot less interesting, to say the least. Kids bring out the silly, the childish and the best in their parents -- and maybe a few gray hairs too.

You may also enjoy these posts:

How a brother to four sisters reacts to news of a fifth

Do kids come by nurturing honestly?

5 lessons learned in 5 years as a mom

The truth behind a perfect family photo

Photo credit (in order):

photo credit: SurFeRGiRL30 via photopin cc

Katie Parsons (points 2, 3 and 4)

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

photo credit: kamagurka via photopin cc

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

photo credit: tempusfugate via photopin cc

photo credit: One Way Stock via photopin cc

photo credit: designwallah via photopin cc

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Toddler Tales: Three Things My Toddlers Taught Me

I was nervous when my children were tiny babies. I’ll never forget the moment we hooked a tiny, screaming two-day-old baby boy into a car seat and loaded him into the car. I made my husband drive about 40 miles per hour on the highway and sat in the backseat. How was I going to protect him from all of the crazy and dangerous people in the world? How could I be up all night nursing my new baby and function the next day? How could I take care of him? I figured when my children became toddlers and could eat and do other tasks by themselves, things would be much easier. In a few ways, life is much simpler. But in other ways, I’m an inexperienced mom learning from my needy little ones who love to do the opposite of what I’m begging them to do. Here are some things my toddlers have taught me:

They are independent – or really, really needy. 
When it’s pouring raindrops the size of a full-grown German Shepherd, and the umbrella is tucked away safely in the car and all I want to do is buckle the soaking wet kids into the car, that’s the time they will decide they want to do it themselves. Last week, we were leaving my son’s school party. I hadn’t checked the weather forecast so we were sporting tank tops, sandals and shorts as most would assume was safe attire for early June weather in Indiana. Rain jackets? Ha! Not in sight. So as we exited the school doors, I told my kids we were going to run for the car and as I put my daughter in her seat and began to buckle her, she threw a fit. And you know what it's like when toddlers throw temper tantrums -- not pretty. I stopped and asked what was wrong – she yelled MINE and got back out of her seat so she could climb into it herself.

Smiling proudly after completing
(with some help) her horsey puzzle.
But on the flip side, the time you want them to be independent and play alone for just a few minutes so you can assemble a lasagna, they will need your help. Right. Now. We have only done the horsey puzzle 86 times that day. Alas, I digress – the noodles can wait.

They will surprise you, and often.
One Sunday night we arrived home from a long weekend out of town. I came inside the house and placed my daughter, about 8 months old at the time, in the living room with a bunch of toys to hopefully occupy her for a few minutes while my husband and I unloaded the car. We carried in several bags from the weekend and quickly took them up the stairs with the intent to unpack later after the children were asleep. We came down the stairs and realized our daughter was missing. We peered all over the main level and didn’t see her. My heart skipped a beat. Had she somehow crawled into the garage while we were unloading our bags? Next we heard giggling from our son and realized she had, for the first time ever, crawled all of the way up the stairs to the second level of our home! That, my friends, was pretty impressive and it did not leave me feeling like mom of the year. (Don’t ask where our baby gates were).

Mealtime is rarely relaxing.
We usually eat our meals at home or select carry out over braving a night out at a restaurant. However, we do enjoy going out to dinner, and while it’s by far a chance to chat about the week ahead or really even taste my chicken chimichanga, it can be a pretty fun time (when did my kids become fun?) if we plan ahead. We always give our kids a pep talk on the drive to the restaurant and pack iPads (last resort) – and of course fill a lunch box full of peanut butter crackers, raisins and Nutri-Grain bars (appetizers?) for the kids to snack on while we wait on our food to arrive.

Enjoying a (fast) dinner
out at a local Mexican
restaurant the kids love!
We went out to the Pizza Hut buffet one evening last week. Sounds easy, right? What could be better than a place that’s serving pizza that’s already prepared! Luckily the place was full of families (I think Pizza Hut invented the buffet so all people with kids would come on the same night, and then all other week nights are more peaceful for guests without children). Needless to say, our noisy crew blended right in with all of the other families with hungry, excited and very loud children. At one point, my son was actually jumping on the booth seat like a trampoline! Every time I got up to get more pizza, one child or both children came screaming after me like I was never coming back. Other than that, I think the night went off without a hitch. Plus, you always have to look at the bright side -- at least this time my son didn’t run into the kitchen at a Mexican restaurant or play in the toilets at Chuck E. Cheese during a birthday party.

Being a parent is wonderful. It’s terrific and amazing and terrifying all at the same time. Parenthood is a job I can’t imagine never having. My kids teach me things every day. They teach me to slow down. They inspire me to keep learning.  They make me crazy. They exhaust me. But most of all, they complete me.

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis. She is mom to two children ages 3 1/2 and 2 and enjoys watching them grow. Lori also enjoys taking walks, shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, decorating, amateur photography and traveling. Leave her a comment below or e-mail her at

While you are here, you may enjoy the following posts: 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Day in the Life: My Babies are Growing Up

Writing these annual day-in-the-life posts has been pretty incredible for me. Not only do you guys love them (thanks!), but it is quite surreal looking back a year (2013) or two (2012) to see how much my life has changed in such a short time. Gosh, I only wish I had a post from before my twins were born to figure out what the heck I did with all that extra time. Man, I must have been bored. Here's what a day in my life looks like these days with 2-year-old twins (Natalie and Sophia) and a 4-year-old (Lily):

2:00 a.m. - Natalie has a nightmare. I sit up, wait a second for the blackness to disappear (I have orthostatic hypotension and can’t get up too quickly or I pass out.) and then stumble into the nursery. I hold her close for a second, wipe her tears and tuck her back in.

2:10 a.m. - Since I’m up, I use the bathroom.

3:00 a.m. - Insomnia has set in for the night. As a sufferer of adrenal fatigue I do get pretty decent sleep but if someone/thing wakes me up between 1 and 3 a.m. my whole cycle is off and I’m normally wide awake. I bum around online, do some reading on my phone, work on some social media work and try to not wake my husband. I might as well be productive, right?

4:45 a.m. - I am finally getting tired again so I shift and try to get comfortable. I finally nod off.

5:45 a.m. - Husband’s alarm goes off. I normally wake up to his alarm but after having a rough night, I manage to sleep right through it without even realizing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

When Your Child is Spoiled (But It Isn't Your Fault)

By Katie --

I have a one-and-a-half year old toddler and we joke that she is queen of the castle. My husband and I say our fair share of the word "No" to her, as parents of toddlers often do. When it comes to our other kids, though, it's a different story.

When Erinn wants a toy they have, they give it to her. When Erinn wants a piece of food they are eating, they give it to her. When Erinn shakes her empty sippy cup, they fill it -- or come find my husband or I to fill it. They all rush to greet Erinn with hugs when they get home from school, and she rushes to get into all of their belongings the moment they leave again the next morning. If a prized toy is broken because of Erinn, shoulders are shrugged. If the same toy, or an equally important one, is broken by any of the older three -- it's throw-down time.

Last week Erinn started to walk towards a large, full glass of ice water I had absentmindedly put within her reach. From across the room, I yelled "ERINN! NO!!!" She stopped, stunned, and turned away from the glass. I walked towards it but was blockaded by my stepson, arms crossed.

"That's not nice to yell at Erinn like that," he said, trying to muscle me a little bit, I think.

"Oh... I wasn't actually yelling AT her -- I just didn't want her to..." I started to trail off, a little defensive that I was explaining my parenting to a six-year-old.

"Well, you should say sorry to her," he said.

"I didn't yell on purpose," I said.

"You always make us say 'sorry' when we don't do things on purpose."

Dang. Got me there. Erinn, by the way, was off stealing a toy from her sisters and did not care at all that I had "yelled at her." I turned toward her, more for my stepson's benefit than hers.

"I'm sorry Erinn that I yelled. I just don't want you to get hurt," I said. "There? Good?"

He let me pass.

It's an interesting dynamic. When Erinn was a baby, I appreciated the fact that there were other people to dote on her and that there were extra (attentive, non-sleep-deprived) eyes on our littlest. As she became more mobile, the others were always quick to let me know if Erinn put a stray non-baby toy anywhere NEAR her mouth or if one of their markers somehow wound up in the baby's hands.

Now that Erinn is a little bit older and learning the ways of things, she definitely uses the extra attention to her advantage. I wouldn't call it manipulative, exactly. She's one year old, for goodness sake. But it does concern me to the extent that Erinn will be in for a rude awakening when she finally realizes that every other older child on the planet is not going to wait on her.

Enjoy it now, little one. The world can be a harsh place -- but if your siblings have any say in it,  you will have plenty of cushion(s) when you land.

Katie Parsons is a mom of four who also writes for websites and publications worldwide. Before she was a freelance writer, she worked in news media in Chicago, Orlando and Shelbyville, Indiana. Before that, she earned a Creative Writing degree from Ball State University. Katie is writing a memoir about the time when she was single and pregnant.

First time here? Like Mumbling Mommy on Facebook to continue the conversation!  

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