Pearls of Wisdom: Potty Time

PottyTrainingOne of the most challenging tasks that parents face is toilet training their child. Every mom and dad who has bought, changed and disposed of stinky and wet diapers appreciates and celebrates this monumental milestone. No parent has a built-in GPS to help navigate the road to “potty town” and even the experienced parents will see variations in readiness from one child to the next.  Remember, too, that forcing little ones to pee/poo using the toilet or potty chair before they are ready can lead to difficulties. Although as parents we anticipate each new stage with eagerness, some things must come naturally.

Though many creative strategies have been developed and tested (star charts, prizes, songs, help from siblings, even talking toilets!), realistic parenting is all about setting developmentally appropriate expectations for children and offering praise and positive reinforcement when it’s due.  Trust me, approaching this sensitive subject with optimism and encouragement is far better than resorting to negativity, regardless of how challenging potty training becomes.

Many children show interest in using a potty between 18-24 months of age. However, some children may not be ready until after 2 ½ years old, so it’s best to let your child’s behavior and actions guide you. Just like speech, motor skills, and cognitive development, toilet training will happen when your toddler is ready. Once he is able to sense the urge to go — or does a noticeable jig — and verbalizes the need go to the toilet or potty chair, you’re on the right track to successful potty training. Another factor to remember: the process can be affected if there are stressors at home like illness, death, divorce or separation, moving, or any other crisis that impacts the family.

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following tactics to facilitate successful toilet training:

  • Decide what words to use to describe body parts, urine and bowel movements. Use terms that will not offend, confuse or embarrass anyone.
  • Pick a potty chair that a child can easily get onto with feet touching the floor. If you use a child-size seat attached to an adult toilet, place a stepstool beneath to support her feet so that she can bear down with ease.
  • Help your child recognize signs of using the potty and encourage him to inform you before, not after, the fact.
  • Make trips to the potty part of a routine. Once you see telltale signs, take your child to the potty and explain what you want to happen.
  • Encourage the use of training pants to make him proud, as this is a sign of being a “big kid.” Don’t get upset when accidents happen since it may take weeks, even months, before toilet training is completed.  Frustration is normal, but try not to let your child sense your frustration.
  • Last and most importantly, give loads of encouragement and positive reinforcement during the whole process to keep your child interested in being diaper-free. Be their cheerleader! Showing lots of excitement when the toddler uses the potty properly will ensure a healthy transition.

Awareness of your own tone and approach is what truly guides toddlers into a success story. Children try very hard to make their parents happy and proud of them, so try your best to applaud your child’s efforts and keep a sense of humor as she tries to master this new skill. It’s just like riding a bike, and once your child gets the hang of it, they’ll never forget how!

Do you have any methods of your own? Post in the comments below, or head over to BabyLegs’ Facebook page and look for today’s post on potty training. Share your wisdom with other BabyLeggers for helpful tips.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Pearl

 

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Fashion Friday: Earth Day Shines a Light on Eco-Friendly Baby Essentials

 

Birthdays, Mother’s Day, National Grilled Cheese Day—there are days on the calendar designated to celebrate special events, people and comforts. Monday, April 22, 2013 is no exception, as we mark the 43rd annual celebration of Earth Day. You and your baby can get an early start with eco-friendly apparel, gear and toys that you will want to use 365 days a year. And with designs as cool as these, you might even find a solution to global warming. By Angela Velasquez

 

 

OrganicClothing

BabyLegs Chromatic socks, Hanna Andersson pajamas, Kee Ka Organic yoga pants

Inside the Closet

The stats: Organic cotton is cotton cultivated from seeds that are not genetically modified and have grown without pesticides.

The benefits: Organic cotton doesn’t require as many harsh chemical treatments and pesticides as conventionally produced cotton, meaning your baby’s precious skin will less likely be exposed to harmful synthetic fertilizers, bleaching, artificial dyes and softeners. The au natural fabric also makes garments perfect hand-me-downs as it is less likely to break down as fast as regular cotton—helping you make the most of your earned green—and cutting down on waste.

The look: Gone are the days when the word “organic” meant baby one-pieces in sobering shades of oatmeal. From greens as bright as grass to blues as clear as skies, advancements in organic apparel have introduces a kaleidoscope of colors and prints to the category.

 *Go green tip: Use natural laundry detergent to scrub babies’ clothes clean. Detergents from The Honest Company and GreenShield Organic use ingredients that don’t irritate skin but guard color and rinse as thoroughly as standard detergents.

Eco on the go

Moby organic cotton wrap, Bummis organic wet bag, Fleurville diaper bag

 

Eco On the Go

The stats: Going green is a lifestyle and thanks to baby gear manufacturers incorporating more eco-friendly materials, moms can channel their inner Mother Nature.

The benefits: From blankets to carriers, babies are bundled in fabric from the moment they are born. Organic cotton wraps and swaddling blankets offer the same perks of organic apparel, while diaper bags made with natural cotton canvas and even from recycled plastic bottles let parents walk the eco talk and create good (green) habits for their family.

The look: Modern geo prints and chic, wardrobe-friendly slate and chocolate hues result in looks that say “cool mama”— and that’s a good thing!

 

Play Safe

HaPe racecar, Zoë B Organic beach toys, Yellow Label Kids rattles

The stats: Wood toys are classic, but toys made with bamboo wood—which grows in three years—offers sustainability and a blank canvas for water-based, non-toxic paints. Other materials, including organic knits, natural rubber and plastic made from corn (yes, corn!) keep kids connected to nature.

 The benefits: Toys are bound for baby’s mouth—and the landfill as soon as they outgrow the fun. Natural materials and non-toxic paints and glues make the toy box safer. Plus, organic toys are more likely to have a timeless design and be passed on to other siblings and family members, making the trinkets instant heirlooms.

The look: The most eye-catching organic toys take cues from the sleek, Scandinavian-inspired designs that nurture children’s imaginations and stay relevant with bold colors and whimsical touches.

*Go green tip: Hypoallergenic Natural Nursery & Toy Cleaner by Seventh Generation cleans plastic, painted and wood toys and removes odors.

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Pearls of Wisdom: Naptime

Over the years, countless parents have asked me how to get babies to sleep through regular intervals on a daily basis. Naptime is an essential part of a baby’s development and health, but it’s also good for parents, who use those hours to give more attention to other children, catch up on chores, cook, or even to nap themselves!  Here are some of my thoughts on successful snoozing.

Regardless of your child’s age, sticking to a regular routine is essential to get your baby off to a sound sleep. Very young babies will sleep through all kinds of noises and don’t necessarily need absolute quiet…think of how many times your baby has fallen asleep in his car seat while horns are honking!  If a baby grows accustomed to sleeping only when there is silence, parents can set themselves and their child up for problems later on, when siblings are noisy, the telephone rings or the television is on.

When is the best time to lay baby down in her crib for a nap?  You, and not necessarily the clock, will be the best judge of that! It’s vital that you watch for signs of fatigue such as fussiness, crying for no reason, or refusing to play, as these are clear signs that it’s time for a nap.

The average newborn may spend at least 16 hours a day sleeping!  As they mature, babies’ sleep requirements gradually decrease, averaging about 14 hours by the time they are six months old and a little less than 14 hours by the age of one.  The duration of newborns’ naps are variable, often random, and quite unpredictable depending on circumstances (noise level, distractions, discomfort, etc.)  Ideally, newborns settle into a three-nap–per-day schedule by the age of 2-3 months: an hour in the morning, two hours in early afternoon and another short nap in the evening. Moms and dads who bring their babies to a daycare or a nursery may expect their babies’ sleep patterns to be slightly different but eventually, babies adapt and will stick with a pattern that’s in synch with parents’ sleep cycles.

After two years of age, toddlers do not require that much sleep; usually, 1-2 hours in the afternoon is sufficient. This isn’t true for every child but more important is that he or she is active, playful and energetic.  Here’s something that should be kept in mind: it’s not necessary to stop daytime naps with the intention of making babies sleep better at night. Many new parents assume that eliminating naps will result in better nighttime sleep for their child, or greater willingness to go off to sleep.  Oftentimes the opposite can be true! Keep in mind that lack of sleep during the day may lead to behavioral problems and hyperactivity at night.  An overly exhausted child will be agitated, irritable and less likely to wind down for bed… same as an overly exhausted adult!

By four year of age, naptime is usually eliminated, for better or for worse. Before entering school, I suggest limiting naps to weekends only, in order to prepare your child for this big transition. Though daycare centers often include naptime in toddlers’ schedules, many preschools do not and by kindergarten, it’s virtually eliminated.

There are a few strategies that parents can practice to develop a healthy naptime routine:

1. Mom and dad can observe baby’s behavior to see when he or she exhibits signs of fatigue; making naptimes regular and based on when the baby is tired.

2. Engage your baby in active play when awake.

3. Schedule feeding times before naptime so baby will not get hungry and cut short his naps

4. Again, develop a routine around naptime like using a favorite blanket or stuffed toy to calm her down. Then move her to her crib once she’s sleepy.

5. Other effective strategies include: swaddling baby in a blanket; rocking baby in your arms or in a rocking/gliding chair; using white noise or music (singing quietly to baby or playing lullabies) to drown out jarring daytime noise; changing the baby’s diaper before his nap; taking a short walk with baby in a stroller, or even just turning down the toddler bed and telling a story.

These suggestions, combined with patience and experimentation, should provide a plan for good sleep patterns. After all, it’s a parent’s responsibility to satisfy baby’s needs and helping him or her adjust to family life. This will take time and many tears – maybe even fits and tantrums —  but with effort, you will be rewarded with a child who literally ”sleeps like a baby.”

How do you encourage naptime?  Post in the comments below, or go over to BabyLegs’ Facebook page and look for today’s post on naptime. Share your own pearls of wisdom with other BabyLeggers who might need help with this important part of baby’s daily routine.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Pearl

 

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

———–

Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Staff Picks: Lauren N.

LaurenNHi there! My name is Lauren Nobile and I’m the new E-Commerce Marketing Assistant at BabyUnited. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the BU team. Although I’m not a mother, I was once voted “Best Babysitter Ever” by the neighborhood kids in my New Jersey hometown – a title I’m still proud of. I also have plenty of friends with young nieces and nephews that I ‘m surrounded by more than I ever expected. I’ve become very familiar with the  many uses of BabyLegs since I’ve come on board and I’ve grasped why our customers are so crazy for our products – distinguished designs, comfort, accessibility, practicality; I could go on all day.

Here are my favorites picks:

 

 

1. Anchors Away

Maybe vacations spent at the Jersey Shore or my summer birthday influence my taste, but  I’m completley obsessed with anything nautical for both genders. Sail boats, anchors, variations of the color blue all give off an “Americana” feel of timelessness.  It’s a classic look that can’t go wrong – for the young and old.

OshKosh B'Gosh: $10

OshKosh B’Gosh: $10

BabyLegs Anchors Away

BabyLegs Anchors Away

 

 

 

2. Fan-Tastic

It’s always a win going with something crisp and simple but to make it a homerun, there needs to be a pop of color to tie it all together. The playful Mediterranean colors in Fan-Tastic work perfectly with basic aesthetics for spring and summer months.

H&M Top: $9.95

H&M Top: $9.95

BabyLegs Fantastic

BabyLegs Fantastic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Alien-Invasion

I don’t need to tell you how fun babies are, so it’s a no brainer that fun babies like fun things. That’s one of the best parts of being around them! Cyclops aliens are not typically the cutest characters, but these legwarmers can put a goofy grin on anyone’s face.

OshKosh B'Gosh: $24

OshKosh B’Gosh: $24

BabyLegs Alien Invasion

BabyLegs Alien Invasion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite styles for Spring?

Fashion Friday: A New Era of Wardrobe Staples

 

Spring-cleaning is in full bloom. Now is a perfect time to rid your kid’s closet of too small, worn out, chocolate milk-stained clothes—except for those sentimental pieces, of course—and replenish with new colors, the latest silhouettes and trendy accoutrements. Just like your own closet, quality basics are needed to create the foundation for children’s impeccably cute wardrobe, but contrary to what you may believe about investment pieces, it is easy to restock and refresh on the cheap. Savvy moms will enjoy the newest pack of versatile wardrobe builders that will outlast the season and the life expectancy of most trends. Remember these simple rules on your next spring shopping spree.

 

 

 

Windbreakers are to kids as trench coats are to moms.

The name might conjure up horrible Eighties fashion, but light weight packable windbreakers are a go-to item for chilly mornings at the school bus stop and rainy day trips to the movies. An old-school elbow patch helps to tailor the athletic style and smarten up the look in the style of the trench, while the tech-y fabric excels at soaking up hot hues.

Hooded Jacket by OshKosh B'Gosh

Hooded Jacket by OshKosh B’Gosh

 

Layered Skirt by Mim-pi

Layered Skirt by Mim-pi

Tutus are to kids as little black dresses are to moms.

Moms know how the LBD takes the guesswork out of dressing up for a special occasion, and tutu skirts for girls does the same—plus add fairy-like fantasies to a gal’s day. From birthday parties and communions to kindergarten graduation ceremonies and weddings, tulle skirts pack a fancy punch for a myriad of events and even looks cute with a casual tee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twofers are to kids as twin sets are to moms. 

The look might be less prep school chic and more skater boy, but twofers serve the same purpose as their more genial counterpart: options! The layered style is a mainstay in kids’ fashion. However, on extra warm day a wiser option is to fake the look by pairing arm warmers with a cotton tee. By midday, toss the warmers in the diaper bag.

T-shirt by Zutano. BabyLegs Jolly Jack

T-shirt by Zutano. BabyLegs Jolly Jack

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.