Sunday, December 27, 2009

Time limits

I have been coaching a friend of mine (who will remain nameless--because I would hate to throw her under the bus! ;) ) with getting her 5 month old to get her sleeping patterns back in order. Her baby is a great baby and was sleeping through the night at a very early age, but just recently starting waking up a few times during the night as well as fighting some of her naps. My friend, (we will call her Milly) had gotten in the habit of putting her in the swing for some of her naps and then realized that she wouldn't go down well if she wasn't in the swing. So, we talked through letting her sleep in all different areas (because you also don't want her to HAVE to be in her bed) but setting up rules that she feels like she can live with. So, we agreed that 10 minutes would be fair...lay the baby down when you know that she is full and dry and then let her fuss for 10 minutes. If you need to go in after that, soothe her however you need to--and once she is calm (not asleep--calm) lay her back down and push the time a little longer--not a minute--something like 15 minutes the next time.

Well, a few days later when I talked to Milly, her daughter was doing great! But, a few days after that, she had a few bad days and Milly really struggled with setting up good solid timelines. She was letting her cry for 3 minutes and then going in a soothing her...then 4 minutes...
She SAYS that it was because the baby needed her pacifier, and she would go in a put it back for her.
*This is my solution to the pacifier issue: Put a bunch of them in the bed with the baby and then set the same timelines--let the baby find the pacifiers as they need them. The whole point of the crying out is to teach the baby to self going in every few minutes gets in the way of that...
Milly is a great mom---GREAT mom! Honestly, we don't even realize sometimes when we are getting in the way of our children being able to do something for themselves. Even infants are capable of self soothing.

All that to say: Set up rules that you know you can stand by--but also will push your baby to self soothe. Raise the bar on yourself as well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Peter's mom question

So, Peter is 2 yrs and 4 months... a casual, laid back little boy. Pretty good communicator, likes company, likes to be active, likes rules for the most part, a child that prefers a boundary than not... usually. The last week or so that has changed a little. I now am dealing with a "scream" when he either doesn't want to do something I ask, or if I "guide/refocus" when he isn't listening to me, or even if I help him when he didn't ask for it and therefore doesn't want my involvement. Now, sometimes this is a defiant grunt pseudo under his breath, but not. Sometimes it is a quick blast of "aagh", and sometimes it is a "aagh, aagh, aggh" with wriggling, grabbing, kicking. The level of response is not linked to what happened prior, there is no pattern. Usually a time out is all he needs. He doesn't like to be separated and a time out hurts his feelings. With the growing use of time out lately, they are not hurting his feelings as much. In the past I have had maybe 1-2 days that I can think of where I have used time outs more than 3 times in a day... this past Friday, we had 7 time outs, and 3 sets of toys taken away for the day. Still the scream came. When correcting, I always say " you do not scream at Mummy and Daddy, you do not scream at anyone" and then 75% of the time I say "when you don't want something, say I DONT WANT TO MUMMY, if you dont want my help, say PLEASE DONT HELP ME MUMMY" and so on. Today when I dropped him off at his pre-school (Tue and Thu 9-1) I watched through the closed door to see his day start. The teacher guided him to sit, and I could see he was still getting used to the room and he wasnt ready, she didnt notice, she forced the sit a little, he was almost seated and then he popped up and did a grunt at her and had the face. I was horrified and ran out of the building :) prior, when I dropped him off they said how wonderful he is and "so good" (he has been there one week) and usually he is, but I did say to them that we have this recent behaviour so when it happened today at least they were semi-warned! Now that it is happening not just with me - here is my question... if time out isn't "working" and toys taken away doesn't really affect his right/wrong notion, what do I do at this age? Also, after listening to Dr Laura in the car on the way home and hearing her barrage someone for putting a 3 yr old in day care, I am wondering if the T/Th thing is too much. Last year he was in a PDO for 1 day a week. Do you think I should scale back? Could it be an acting out because he isnt ready for so much? Any wise words, wise one? :) I want to get it right, I want to respect his "no" when appropriate as I explain to him above, I want our vibe back :)

I love the sassy bag and frankly if he was older it would have been enforced :)

---This was my response to her:
Easton also does not like time out--SO--if I have to put him in a "normal" time out--which consists of just sitting where ever whenever--more than once or twice--he has to do the time out in his room on his bed...he HATES this and seems to change the behavior--whatever it is--but not usually until after he really lets me know how much he hates the bed time out...I just usually preface it (above his wailing) with --"we do not scream--we use our words"

SO--I don't know how you use time out--but that is one suggestion--take it to a new level...

Another thing would be to give him a sign or even make a sign--like a picture of a stop to him when he is really frustrated about when he gets really mad that he can show you the stop sign in sign language--and that you will help him--you can act it out--you know pretend like you are Peter and you are really mad and you show you the sign and you give him your full attention--does that make sense? Alot of times it is just that they dont' feel like they are getting their point across and they can't get a whole sentence out when they are frustrated (I know when I am really frustrated...I have to keep my mouth shut! or something ugly might come out... :) )

The stop sign is something I told a friend to do with her son a few years ago and they loved it...he would get really mad and go get the stop sign...he would show it to her--it was not a real sign that could be used as a weapon--but was just on paper and laminated at Kinko's...but he would get it and slap it...she would give him her full attention and put the sign on the table--he would calm down immediately...

I prefer the hand sign because it is quiet and you have it with you all the time...

BUT--you are doing everything right with being consistent and giving him words to use instead of the screaming...which is exactly what I do--but you can't let time out stop working for you--it is the best thing in the world...! :)

Follow through

It has been such a long time since I have posted, but I just had to touch base to make a comment about consistency...I have been working with families of children that are really acting out that we were concerned about some deeper meanings behind their behaviors...but what came out most of the time was that there was never any consequences for the behaviors.
One child was running out into the street over and over again--a real safety issue and when I asked what the parents did when this happened, they said that they went to get her. I think they could see the shock on my face and replied that they did not want to spank her, just in case she didn't understand, because she is only 3. Listen--3 year olds can understand NOT SAFE! DANGER!! A 6 month old can understand your stressed voice say is all about tone and follow through. We set up some consequences and some "keep it from happenings" for this family and they just kept saying--do you really think she will understand? I finally said, "Are you willing to risk it if she does or doesn't? I mean, you could be talking about life and death here."
Another child, the behavior was just a real concern because he wasn't unable to play by himself and would throw a big fit if his mom encouraged it. So, we set up a schedule and a timer for "Tommy (that wasn't his name) time" and even if he threw a fit, play time was all on his own until the timer went off. We started with just three minutes because she said that sometimes he would play for a minute or two... and we said that the goal would be 15. She cried thinking about 15 minutes to be able to do the dishes in the mornings. I explained that just being consistent and expecting him to do it--not giving in when the fit got too big--would get it there.
I saw this with Easton a few weeks ago and my friends keep making fun of me because he was really giving me a hard time in the car on the way to Waco...hollering and fussing in the back seat. Jason was on call, so I was on my own taking both kids to my parents and I had gotten a later start than I had wanted to--so I set him up for failure. BUT--I still had to be consistent. He was being rude and I redirected him to make a better choice and handed him a toy. He continued to throw a fit and holler. I gave him a warning that he would have to sit in timeout (knowing that I was driving on Hwy 31 and where would I put him?) if he could not get it together...well--he called my bluff. He threw a book down and screamed no at me. I pulled the car over and walked back to him and restated the expectations and pulled him out of the car. (Yes, I wanted to spank him, but that was not the consequence that I had given him...)I walked over to the side of the road and sat him in the grass. He kept pointing to the cars flashing by and saying, "I'm going to get hit by a car", it was so funny--but not funny at the same time. As soon as he got it together, he stood up and apologized and we dried his eyes, gave sugars and had a wonderful remaining drive to Waco. The great thing is now when we are driving somewhere and he acts up--he KNOWS that there is a consequence of time out--he has experienced it. If Mommy says will happen. That is follow through. Kids need that in their lives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sassy Bag

Elle has really been struggling with being sassy and disrespectful to Jason and I--and really all authority figures. I am sure that she thinks it is just little stuff, but it has really been progressing beyond what I can tolerate and I spent one whole evening trying to come up with something that would help this better than spanking or having to put her into timeout every few minutes... (because for a child that is not in trouble very often...this gets old really fast and frustrating to the parent REALLY fast) SO--this is what we came up with: I put a bar of soap in a little baggy, a thing of antibacterial gel, a box of wipes all in a big baggy...I labeled the baggy "Elle's Sassy Bag" and then wrote on the outside of the baggy Ephesians 4:29, and Mark 7:10...this way, when she is sassy, and is being dirty...she can clean her hands with the gel, wipe her face with the wipes, and clean out her mouth with soap--then read the scriptures and cleanse her soul...

She has been really great since we introduced The Sassy Bag...we have had it now for 5 days and we have done it once...I have given her one warning when I feel like she is getting sassy and she has always gotten it together...where before, I was having to warn her and then send her to timeout over and over again...SO...I am really excited about this and hopefully what it will do for our family and the stress level around here...

Monday, July 6, 2009


This summer we have spent a lot of time at the pool (those of you that have seen the kids and I can tell by the tans we have) and Easton has absolutely NO fear of anything...well, he didn't until the other day...he has been jumping off the diving board without any floaties or anything and swimming to me and then I bring him up for air and then he swims to the ladder. Well, Jason came with us to see how he was doing and Easton fell off the diving board (not because of Jason-really because some guy was trying to be nice and thought Easton was too little, but it made Easton move away from him and towards the side of the board--and he slipped off--landing about 4 feet down on the concrete on the side of his head). When this happened, he screamed and cried and didn't want to have anything to do with the board anymore...

This was my dilemna...I liked that he now had a little bit of thought before he ran to the end and tried to do a summersault--but I DON'T want him to be scared--so I asked him to go back with me...the thing that that scared me was what if he said no...was I going to make him do it? Right after he injured himself? Thankfully, it only took a little prompting and he went back and jumped to Jason and swam to the side...later, he asked to go back and was more cautious, but more himself...

Earlier in the week, he had been going down the slide over and over and a little girl decided she was too scared and started screaming and her mother came up and got her and allowed her to come down--so Easton said he wanted to come down...I told him no. I told him to slide down and he wouldn't have to slide anymore. He wouldn't, so I went up and sent him down the slide...some of the moms really looked at me, but again, I don't want him to be afraid and he had loved the slide--he was scared because the little girl was scared--after he did it that time, he did it another 50 times...

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I have had so many conversations with people this summer about their children being fearful of the water, and how they just want them to enjoy it right now--but being fearful has to be tied to confidence--not fun, right? I don't know, maybe I am being the devil's advocate here, I guess the water really scares me too--so I go to the extreme, and thankfully both of my kids are strong swimmers now...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time out in public

So, I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about how to work with time out in public...and I think that is why people think that time out doesn't work because they can't do it everywhere or it isn't recently, I have been taking advantage of the changing tables in restrooms to give Easton his time outs...then we are behind a closed door, I can sit him down on it and keep a hand on him, but he is removed from all of the attention of everyone else...I don't talk to him or give him any other attention until he apologizes for what he has done...

**I have always just sat them down where we were in a store or a resturaurant...whatever, but I really have liked this takes away more of the attention from onlookers that smile at them or frown at them sympathetically (they have no idea why they feel sorry for them!)...

At times, Easton has been taken in there because he is screaming about something and I am embarrassed, but this works, too---because screaming in the restroom is better than all over the store...once they realize they can't get away with it...they quit...I think sometimes that carrying them screaming through the store to get to the car is more attention for them than anything...Unless they know they are missing out on something once they get to the car (it really depends on the age)...

The other day, Easton was acting like a real toot and I asked him if we needed to go to the restroom to talk...he said yes...(which he never does)...I was a little taken back, but I went with him and we sat in time out. He wanted to talk to me and I told him no that we come to the restroom to sit in timeout when he is making bad choices...he then got upset and said he wanted to leave and "talk to his mommy"...I loved that!! So, he apologized and we left and were able to visit on the way out...we will see the next time what his response is about going to the restroom...

Friday, June 5, 2009


So today, this came up: a mom was walking out to the parking lot with her daughter (who happens to be going into the 3rd grade) and the girl was very upset--when she came out of the school gate into the parking lot, she swung the gate open hard and accidently slammed it into a brand new black Yukon that was parked in the spot right there...damaging it...this mom happens to be a teacher at our school and she came back in furious! She had to find out whose car it was so that she could pay to have it fixed...then she asked, "and how do I even punish that?" I looked up and said, "really, go home and start getting some of her stuff together that can be sold--and sell it to pay for the damages...that is not rocket science"...she was shocked! But, I paid for that stuff not her! Yeah, but you are going to have to pay for the damages too and at least you won't have to pay for both and she will miss out on something in the long run!

Right? I mean, at the very least she would learn the value of a dollar from all of it...she is young, but not too young to learn that her actions have significant consequences...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Big Blue ball

Okay, so something happened this past week, that really got me to thinking about how other people impact our kids on a daily basis. Grandparents for instance... Let's run through this (of course hypothetical) scenerio...

You go to Toys R Us to look for something with your parents. Your child sees something that they really MUST have, but obviously do not need and proceed to throw a huge fit about not being able to get motto with my kids is and always has been, "if you throw a fit, you are choosing NOT to get what you want..."...but you are with your parents, who have the opinion that all children should have anything and everything regardless of why. (I am not sure if your parents are that way, but mine sure are!) So, I really have to stand my ground and be the big, mean mommy often when these situations arise. So, you tell the child they cannot have the big blue ball and try to leave when your silly old father buys it and gives it to the child without you seeing...

*FIRST of all, the child really didn't want the ball--he or she wanted control of the situation and just got it...
*SECOND of all, my parents just made me look like a ninny in front of my child, so some MAJOR boundaries are going to have to be drawn!

Like I said, this is obviously hypothetical, but this is what I would have TRIED to do...
*told the child no, if it is really something they don't need or something I don't want them to have...OR they throw a HUGE fit when I insinuate they won't get it...
*Even children as young as 15 months of age can understand that they will not get rewarded for screaming like a crazy person (let's try to teach that as young as we can, right?)
*then, if my crazy father had proceeded to do it, I would have explained that he was going to really make the child sad when I had to take it away from her...and I would have...regardless--I had said no and "no means no" not "no until Grandpa says yes"
*then next time we went to Toys R Us, I would make a HUGE effort to go shopping and leave with nothing...but have a wonderful time there playing...I hate the assumption that everytime we go in somewhere we have to leave with something or "I'm in trouble"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FINALLY--a good nights rest again!

Okay, so a few months ago, with Easton-I broke every rule that I am a natzi about...I allowed him to crawl into our bed in the middle of the night and then to continue doing so for a while because I told myself that he first had the flu, and then he had bronchitis, and then he was recovering and then he had pneumonia for like 4 when you add all of this up--we are talking about a total of about 2+ months that the child was coming in the middle of the night and getting into our bed. Now, I was always taking him back to his bed, but when he would protest a lot..I would feel bad for him--because remember he was sick?-and I would allow him when he would wake up the 8th time and then it would happen again...

SO..I mean, the NIGHT the tubes went in...I told Jason, no more! We lay down the law tonight and commit to 5 days of living poo poo, but then it will get better. Get this though, on top of all of that, Elle has decided that she is kind of scared to sleep alone and wanted to know if she could pull out Easton's trundle bed and sleep in his room with him... (which I did with my older brother until I was way too old and until he would just not allow it anymore--he also had a trundle) we devised a plan.

We added music in the room, we added Elle to his room, and we prayed! The first night...AWFUL! At least two hours to get him to sleep and at least 8 or 9 times of putting him back to bed screaming during the night. And, I kept having to remind Jason that we did this...

Night #2, 7-8 minutes to put him to bed, did not get out of the bed but woke up once and cried for 4-5 minutes.

Night #3, went straight down, no problem. Slept through the night! Thought I would DIE!!!

Night #4, cried when it was time to go down, but did go down within 1 minute or two. Slept until 5 and then we had to battle that out. He eventually went back down until 6. *We are still working on him sleeping until noon.. :)

But, I know better! I did this to him and I have to pay for my sins! So, remember there are consequences for all of your sins...never forget that!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The hardest thing for me

Okay so this weekend we had this crazy schedule: we were to go to Waco and have lessons, then go to McKinney and spend time with old friends and go to our old church there and then go to Southlake where our niece was celebrating her 2nd birthday--all great things...but by the end--the kids were SPENT! So, on the last leg of the trip, we stopped at McDonald's to let Elle go to the restroom, get a drink, and allow her to get dinner and both kids to get to play and just get out of the car for a few minutes. We had been to Whole Foods while we were in the metroplex. so we had lots of things for Easton to eat while we were there...

Well, here is the hard part...Easton was HORRIBLE!!!! He cried about everything from the minute we got there to the minute we left. He threw his napkins on the floor and refused to pick them up, he didn't even want to go to the table--and when we got close, he would scream...I HATE being embarassed of my children! AND, Elle needed to eat a little something and eating in the car with a child with severe food allergies is just not in the cards! SO...first, Jason took him to the restroom and counseled him---but then he knew Jason was upset with him, so that upset him the rest of the time was me taking him back and forth to the restroom, sitting in time out and then him getting it together, saying he was sorry, and trying to come back to civilization...only to have to leave again a few minutes later. I felt like everyone in the place was looking at us and thinking, "look at that awful kid!" And, I knew that if I would only let him go play in the playground, he would be fine, but I would be reinforcing the behavior--so we fought the battle and hurried through Elle's nuggets, let her play again for a few minutes while we got him buckeled in and another sippy poured...and then were back in the car.

I think my struggle in those situations has to be like everyone else--if I just give in--they will be quiet and people will think I have a well behaved kid...

BUT..I have to think about next week--will they still just want to play on the playground or will they up the anty and want to dance on the tables--or something that is just one step farther than I am willing to let them go--then we are going to have a WAR! So, I need to just fight the little battles and then we can live in peace, right? Man, this is hard!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


I think it is important to always have a toooblox at your fingertips when your children act up...yes, I probably use the same ones most of the time once I find the ones that are most effective with each child—but then I also know when to “kick it up to the next level of tools” when the behaviors do not appear to be getting any better...
*redirection-just explaining to the child that the choices they are making are not good and what they can do instead…
(I ask my daughter to pick up her room and she whines, I say, “ Thank you for respecting our house enough to do your chores without complaining.” Then I walk away. Don’t engage her--just walk away. Check back with her a few minutes later to see if another tool needs to be used.--9 times out of 10 my child doesn’t need anything else…she knows that this means “get ‘er done!”
*timeout--this needs to be trained. You need to practice it with your child when the child is not in trouble. For example: Let’s pretend-we are not in real trouble…pretend that you made a bad choice--what choice could it have been? (let them tell you one--it is always good for a laugh) okay, well if you make a bad choice and mommy tells you to sit down--I want you to sit down until I tell you to get up. Okay--let’s practice. Now let’s pretend that you are very upset because you are in trouble--you can pretend like you are throwing a fit, etc… (ha ha) Okay, now mommy is telling you to sit down and you can’t get up
until I tell you to get up or you have to stay there longer. **The key is for them to sit down until they are calm and can talk about the choice. Once they are calm--they get up, apologize and explain what they should have done. Then it is over. If they get up, the time starts over. If a timer would work better--have a timer handy--but you will need to have a timer with you all the time--because the behaviors are going to happen everywhere--at Walmart, out to eat, etc--and you will need to use this tool--if they are used to a timer and you don’t have one--or a time out chair--you will be up a creek.
*privileges taken away--this works very well when your child gets to be about 3 years of age and older--when they really start caring about certain things…just by saying, “I’m not sure if I can trust you to play with this toy right now, and removing it--for an hour or for a week---they start to want to earn your trust back. Trust is earned. I cannot trust a child that acts up every time we go out in public--so why do I bring them home to a carnival??
*earn rewards--try making these intrinsic motivators--having a friend over…things that don’t cost any money
The things with stickers, candy, etc…is that children will always want more. I truly believe that children should behave well because they are asked to--I know it seems crazy--but they should.
When we implemented chores for our 3 year old--she had 5 must do’s everyday. They were posted in her room--she helped me make the poster. But, there was no reward. No sticker chart, etc. My husband asked if we were going to pay her--I said no…that our house functions because we have active members within it. So, we all have to do our part. When we added chores for our 15 month old--one basket in the living room and a bucket in a pantry--those were his ways of helping our house room smoothly.
Elle is rewarded all the time with a thank you and a lot of appreciation and she is allowed to do things that I feel that she earns with hard work--but I don’t post those things up anywhere--that is Mommy and Daddy decided.
*planned ignoring--sometimes just taking away their reward of the attention--the behavior will get worse--but then sometimes it will stop…just be careful that you don’t say that you are using this tool when you are really just trying to avoid the confrontation of addressing the behavior

How to make naps happen

I think this one goes back to the letting them cry. Once you have found the schedule that will work for your baby, once it is naptime…they go in their crib. For the amount of time you have set up. They can sleep, cry, lay there…regardless, it is naptime. They will sleep. They may not every time, but if you honestly make it a routine, their bodies will begin to get tired before that time and they will be able to go to sleep anywhere. (Now, this isn’t all children—I have friends that their kids HAD to be in their beds, but both of mine would fall asleep at 10:30 wherever we were in whatever position they were in up to about 2 years of age. It just has to be a consistent time and you have to leave them in there the whole time. Don’t put them in there for 20 minutes and if they don’t sleep, you go get them—maybe they take 30 minutes to cool down to even be able to sleep and then you come in and take them back out.

When do you start Potty Training and how?

Well--let me say when they are ready is the best answer...but here is my second answer:

I just read this really good book on potty training and here are all of the notes that I took while I was reading it: I think what is so important as far as age to know about potty training is that not only does your child need to be ready—but you need to be ready to give up your flexibility of the diaper at all times when they need to go potty...Because once you commit to do the training, you cannot go back...I think I am also taking some of my cue this time around with the boy from Easton because he will sit all day long on the potty and he will go every time I want him to go without any sort of a fuss—he loves it! But, nothing ever comes out—so I consider it still playing until something comes out...
Elle said she wanted to use the big girl potty and she went in there and went—at 15 months...then we just supported her from there...Easton is going on 27 months and he won't go on the potty—so I am in a holding pattern until something happens on that potty—then we are full speed ahead...BUT—I loved everything this lady had to say about potty training—feel free to find her book: Potty Training Made Easy, Fast & Simple
Powerful Secrets, Tips, and Shortcuts
From My Work With More Than 317 Children (Including
My Own!)
By Johanne Cesar
Again, here are all of my notes from the book....
If it was nothing to get upset about when you changed your child’s diaper,
try to avoid being upset now that you’re potty training. Try to stay matter-offact,
pleasant, and calm while you change your child or help your child change
Now take out a sheet of paper and write down your expectations. What do
you hope will happen during potty training? How can you, as a parent, make it
easier on your child? Here’s an exercise that will help you:
Picture yourself at your job. You have just made a mistake and your boss is
screaming at you. What is your reaction? You are probably saying to yourself,
“Dude, screaming at me is just not helping me make this situation any better
Decide now –will you say pee-pee or poo-poo? If you tell your son or
daughter, “Let’s go potty,” what does that mean? Are you doing No.1 or are
you doing No. 2? Be very specific! You don’t want to just pick a general word
like “potty.” Children need clarity because without it, they will make more
mistakes. So you might use “tinkle” for going No. 1, and “poop” for going No. 2.
Your child is a lot smarter than you think, and will quickly learn the difference
between No. 1 and No. 2, or the difference between “tinkle” and “pooping
First, desensitize your child. Go to the library and get some videos and
books on potty training. Start showing your child these videos and read the
books with him or her. You want to get your child accustomed to seeing other
children in the potty training process. Yes, you can start showing the videos or
even the books to your child as early as you wish. The books and the videos
help desensitize the child to the potty
The most important factor is getting your child used to being in the
bathroom. Here is an excellent trick for accomplishing this: 3 to 8 weeks
before formal potty training starts, hold story times in the bathroom. This will
help you not to be afraid of being in the bathroom.
You can also use this time to get your child used to the toilet. At first, let
your child sit on the potty chair as you’re reading the story. Then for a few
days, have your child sit on the potty chair with the chair open as you’re
reading the story. Finally, maybe you have the child sitting on the potty chair
with their pants down as they’re being told their story.
This would be a good time to get yourself a potty training chart and or
journal to familiarize yourself with the times your child usually goes potty
So really create some excitement. Make it a big celebration. Tell your child
how wonderful today is Remember the goal here is also to train you, the parent, to be vigilant –
just as much as we want to train your child to be potty trained. The easiest
way to do this is to get rid of the diapers.
Underwear can motivate children in another way. If they do have an
accident, explain that they have only 2 or 3 clean underwear left for the day.
That means if they make all their underwear dirty, they will have to wear a
diaper. Such a simple and excellent motivator for a child –most of them
simply don’t want to make their special underwear dirty
When the bell went off, it was almost like the 4th of July! Every 20
minutes it would sound, and everyone in the house would chant, “It’s potty
time!” That included not just mommy, but my older son who was 4 ½ years
old, my second son who was 3, and my husband. We would all start to sing the
“It’s potty time!” chant. Even though we want to get rid of diapers altogether, in the first week or so you want to make sure you put a diaper on your child when he or she is
sleeping, especially during nap time. It may take a few months before your
child can sleep without a diaper, so don’t be disappointed. I’ll cover nighttime
potty training more completely later in this book, but for now, keep some
diapers around for nap time and sleep time.

What happens when you get off schedule?

From the very beginning, I was pretty strict about staying on the schedule, and with Elle, I was told to wake her up every 3 hours for the first 3 months of her life, so we really stayed on the schedule perfectly—because even if she was still sleeping when it was time to eat—I woke her up. BUT…when Easton came along, he was never awake for the 3 hour feeding, so we adjusted him (while he was still in the hospital) to a 4 hour schedule. Then I did NOT wake him up when it was time to eat—I let him wake up—up to 30 minutes past—never beyond that. He always woke up before 4 ½ hours, I think I may have woken him up once or twice—but I did not have to make a habit of it. I think if consistently you are getting off of your 3 hour schedule due to the baby staying asleep—you might want to relook at the 3 hour schedule. Maybe they would eat better, stay awake better, and wake happier on a 4 hour schedule.
To adjust the schedule—like when you drop a middle of the night feeding, but they are not able to go all the way to the next scheduled time… I just “inched” my way there at each feeding. For example: Say I was feeding on a 3, 6, 9, 12 schedule and then I need to adjust to accommodate the 12 o’clock feeding at night being gone, but the afternoon 12 o’clock feeding is still there… Say my baby goes down at 9:30 after feeding at 9, and sleeps until 8 o’clock in the morning—a pretty good night obviously, but I am an hour behind schedule—so what I would do is feed the baby at 8…but then try to not feed the baby again until 11:30…either the wake time is a little longer, or the naptime for that one is a little longer…then I would feed at 11:30 and then try to feed again at 3 and would be back on my schedule for the evening routine. Sometimes that would happen weekly once a week—but it was just a little inching…You could also skip a feeding and then “inch” on the next one—I was just always anxious until I got back to my schedule…

How old can I let the baby cry it out and how can I be okay with it?

I did not do this with either of my kids until they were sleeping through the night…
Then once I knew they could sleep past a certain point, I was okay letting them cry. For example, when they would slept through the night (12 hours or it could be 10 hours) for 4 or 5 days in a row and then they woke up one night at 5 hours, I would let them cry it out for a period of time—with confidence that they could sleep through the night—and knowing how much better off they were on the days when they had slept longer. If they cried past my designated time period (I always started with something very reasonable like 15 minutes) I would go in, calm them down and then lay them back down and go back to bed. Then if they still cried, I would double the time—next time would be 30 minutes...I was okay with it because I know (based on Babywise) that a rested baby wakes up happy and I don’t want to get in the way of that…
As far as naps, I started from the same period laying them down awake and if it was “naptime” on my schedule, I would let them cry—because again, I knew they full—because we had fed right before wake time and they were dry because I had changed them right before I put them down…Now, again, the occasional dirty diaper does happen right after they fall asleep, and so that is why I had the time period on the cry and when I would go in—I would calm them down and do a little smell check at the same time.

How can you insure the baby is getting a full feeding--so you can put them down and leave them down?

At the very beginning, this is the hardest thing to know. Especially if you are breastfeeding…but if you will pump each time after you feed the baby, you can document whether or not the baby is draining you at each feeding…then you would at least know that they are getting everything they are asking your body for…
I was not ever the best person about solely doing breastfeeding—I was a little too anal retentive about KNOWING they were full before I put them down so that I could check that off the list of things to worry about…but I did breastfeed and pump and could tell a difference in myself and my baby when they had drained me and were full and when they weren’t. When you are not breastfeeding—I have always been told the baby will spit up once they are too full, so if they want more—give it to them. BUT, I had a friend when Easton was little that would say that her daughter could drink a 10 oz bottle at 1 month old and still cry for more…that is crazy! So, my answer would be to feed them based on "TTOB" (their time on breast) and then have your playtime and then let them sleep—if you do that for a week and the baby does not appear to sleep, they may need more food…

Okay, I'm back...

Well, I was really enjoying this whole thing, but I kept feeling like I was just typing this stuff to myself, ya know? So, one evening, I just pulled the Blog off and thought that I would keep praying about where God wanted me. Anyway, seriously, that night I received an email asking about the blog. I just laughed. I just answered the question in an email and thought that really that is what I had been doing anyway, so it wouldn't change anything. But, since then I keep getting asked about I am just going to put it back up--'cause at least I know that people were reading it enough to notice it was gone! ;) So, it is back!

Please post questions if you have keeps me from having to make them up all the time!!