Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Potty Training

Well this month has been slow for my daycare, I still have two large hurdles I am trying to deal with.  One is potty training 2 children and the other is 2 children teething (this will be a blog to come!).

I have a just about 3 year old and a 2 and a half year old that are trying to be potty trained right now.  This is a experience I really did not enjoy with my first two children!!!!  But it has to be done. 

One has to remember that every child learns at their own pace and just cause they are slower with one thing in life doesn't make them slow at everything else.  When choosing to start potty training a child you must first and for most look and assess them to see if they are truly ready to try this task and experience.  From some children, just like adults, when they fail at something it can really devastate them. So if they are not ready to start learning then don't push them. 

Once you get the aspects and rules/guide lines taught to your child, please, please, please remember that accidents will happen even when they have accomplished the basics of going on the potty.  When accidents do happen, don't go off the deep end and lose it on the child, because this can lead to set backs and self esteem problems too.  Just because they are 2, 3, 4 years old, does not mean that when you yell or get mad at them that it doesn't hurt their feelings, they are humans too. 

ABC of potty training

Click here to find out more!

Most parents eagerly anticipate potty training as a milestone in their child's development -- if for no other reason than that it means an end to changing diapers. But few moms and dads are prepared for how long it can take. Yes, some children get it within a few days. But many more take several months. You and your child have a better chance of success if you know the basics of training and can make the process clear to your child.

A -- Assess your child's readiness

Most people begin training when their child is about two, but some kids may not be ready until well into their fourth year. Watch for the right signs, such as imitating others' bathroom habits, and don't pressure your child to start before he's ready. It's worth running through a basic checklist to see if he is ready.

B -- Buy the right equipment

First and foremost, this means investing in a child-sized potty or a special seat to attach to your regular toilet. Whichever you choose, make sure your child can stabilize himself with his feet so he can push when he's having a bowel movement. You may also want to pick up an explanatory picture book or video for your child to help him get interested in training.

C -- Create a routine

Sit your child fully clothed on the potty seat once a day -- after breakfast, before his bath, or whenever else he's likely to have a bowel movement . This allows him to get used to the potty and accept it as part of his routine. If he doesn't want to sit on it, that's okay. Never restrain him or physically force him to sit there. And especially don't push the issue if he seems scared.
In both cases, it's better to put the potty away, or at least aside, for a few weeks or a month and then try again. If he's willing to sit there, fine. But at this stage, don't even try to explain why he should use it; you just want him to get used to the thing. Make sure it's always in a convenient place -- since it's portable, your child's potty can be used in the garden or the playroom.

D -- Ditch the diaper

Sit your child on the potty seat without a diaper. Again, let him get used to what it feels like to sit there this way. At this point you can start explaining that this is what Mommy and Daddy (and any older siblings) do every day. That is, undressing before you sit down to go to the bathroom is the grownup thing to do.
If he gets the idea and produces something, that's fine. But don't push him to perform. Again, wait until he's ready and demonstrates a clear interest in using the toilet on his own.

E -- Explain the process

It may help to show your child where his bowel movements go. The next time he goes in his diaper, take him to his potty, sit him down, and empty the diaper beneath him into the bowl. This will help him make the connection between sitting and producing. After you've emptied his potty into the big toilet, let him flush it if he wants to (but don't make him do it if he's scared) so he can see where it goes. Teach him to dress himself and wash his hands when he's done.

F -- Foster independence

Encourage your child to use his potty whenever he feels the urge to go. But make sure he knows that he can tell you, too, and that you'll take him to the bathroom whenever he wants you to. If you can, let him run around sometimes without a diaper (or any clothing below the waist), with the potty nearby. Tell him he can use it whenever he wants to and remind him occasionally that it's there if he needs it.

G -- Grab some training pants

H -- Handle setbacks gracefully

Virtually every child will have several accidents before being completely trained during the day and at night. Don't get angry or punish your child; after all, it's only recently that his muscles have developed sufficiently to allow him to hold his bladder and rectum closed at all. Mastering the process will take time. When he has an accident, calmly clean it up and suggest that next time he try using his potty instead.

I -- Introduce night training

Even when your child is consistently clean and dry all day, it may take him several more months or years to master night training, so don't throw away his diapers just yet. At this age, his body is still too immature to reliably wake him up in the middle of the night just to go to the bathroom. You can help cut down on wet nights by not letting him drink too much before bedtime and telling him that if he does wake up in the middle of the night he can call to you to help him get to the potty. You can also try leaving his potty near the bed in case he wants to use it.

J -- Jump for joy -- you're done!

Believe it or not, when your child is ready to learn this new grown-up skill, he will. And if you wait until he's really ready to start, the process shouldn't be too painful for either of you. He will eventually be trained, and you won't have to think about it again -- at least, not until the next baby...

Now many of these steps can be helpful with a child in your own home (IE.  letting them run around naked or no clothing from waist down) it can't always be the way out in public or in a daycare with other children around.  Children will be children and ask alot of questions!!!!

Every child works at their own pace, like I mentioned above.  If after trying for a number of weeks and you are unsuccessful, maybe try lighting up a bit for a while and try again in 2 to 3 weeks.  It shouldn't be stressful on the child and if so then they really wont even try.  If problems continue for lengths of time and no success is made, try a reward chart, treat, or song.  So every time they do use the potty they get one of these things as a reward for doing so.  Incentives are always exciting to children.

Just remember whether your child accomplishes the task of using the potty in 2 days or a year, its an exciting step of independence for them and you too!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

So while in my kick of trying to cut out a lot of processed foods (not all but at least cut down on them), I was looking at the nutrition values of the granola bars I buy for m,y family.  I don't buy the chocolate covered ones any longer, due to 2 reasons.  One I can eat a whole box myself in about 3 days.... and no that's not the small box that's the value size box.  And two is one of my daycare children is lactose intolerant so I have to have as little milk and milk products for him.  So anyways now, I couldn't believe when you stop to read what is in these store bought granola bars there is a lot of unneeded shit in them and a lot has to do with packaging and keeping them fresh.  So I go to my good friend yet again, the wonderful world of the Internet and found some really good recipes for homemade ones.  I printed a few and did some work on the WW website to figure out values and what.  This one was one I mixed up a big and added a few of my own ingredients to help out.  The kids loved them and they are so easy to make and smell great cooking!


2 cups rolled outs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of splenda brown sugar)
1/2 cup of wheat germ (I bought bulk at the Bulk Barn)
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup of raisins (I used a trail mix that I picked up from Costco, but toss in any nuts or dried fruit, it will taste just as good)
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cups of honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of oil (to me that was a lot so I used a 1/4 cup of oil and a 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce)
2 teaspoons of vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease a 9"X13" pan
2.  In large bowl mix all dry ingredients well.  Once mixed make a well in the centre of the mixture and add all other ingredients and mix again!
3. Place in pan press firmly and evenly.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cold slightly and cut.  Don't allow bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be to hard to cut.

Makes 24 pieces and is 4 points on WW new program.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

OH NO!!! Crayons and heat

While doing laundry the other day my husband started folding the clothes..... low and behold he was taken away while pulling one of his cream work shirts out of the basket and a nice bright green stain was down the front of it.  He at first thought he split some chemicals on it at work and didn't notice at first. Well wrong he was, each and very piece of white and cream clothing was covered in green streaks and stains.  In the bottom of that endless load of laundry was the wrapped to yes a GREEN CRAYON.  We were both horrified to see all these "good" clothes destroyed. 

Once calming down I good to my great buddy, the Internet and did some research on different ways to get crayon out of clothes.  Now with living in a small town, alot of these recipes are out of my reach.  But I found one and so far it has helped with some of the clothing.  I haven't tried it on some of the delicate materials... I am still waiting to see if this load comes out good or not.

So here is the best concoction I found that I also have around the house:

What you need:
  • Bleach for colored clothing
  • Car part lubricant
  • Paper towels
  • Liquid dish washing detergent
  • Laundry detergent

Steps to work out that nasty crayon:
  1. Examine all articles of clothing from the offending batch of laundry. You will want to remove the crayon from all pieces of clothing at one time. It's going to be tedious and time consuming, but it's definitely a process worth going through
  2. Lay the stained area of clothing on several paper towels. Four or five paper towels should do the trick. Try not to have any layers of material under the stain or you may end up with more mess than you bargained for.
  3. Spray the stains with a car part lubricant. Let it sit for a few minutes. Flip the clothing over and spray on the opposite side. Let the fabric sit for a few minutes more.
  4. Pour a little liquid dish washing detergent onto the stained area. Gently rub the detergent into the stain. The wax will work it's way onto the paper towels. Replace the towels as needed. Continue to work detergent into the stain until all of the crayon is removed.
  5. Wash the clothing with laundry detergent and color-safe bleach. Use a hot water cycle for 15 minutes or on the heavy load option. Rinse the clothing in warm water.
  6. Verify that the stain(s) have been completely removed. If there's still crayon residue on the clothing, repeat steps above.
  7. Clean the drum of your dryer before drying any more clothing in it. If you fail to clean the drum, you'll likely end up with crayon marks on your clothing again. After cleaning the dryer, dry your garments as usual.
OK so now I have learned 2 things here.  One is that car lubricant works well on alot of things, not just the car.  It hasn't been the first time I have used it!!!  Second is that I MUST ALWAYS, ALWAYS, check the darn pockets of clothing.  I can't really just blame my son on this one, it is also my fault for not doing laundry correctly, by skipping that step.  Now I have 10 times the work to do.  Yeppers 10 things need a good scrubbing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


As we celebrated a birthday in the daycare yesterday I had decorated the house a bit with a "Happy Birthday" banner and balloons.  We had cupcakes ready for after lunch and a few games to play.  Well once the kidlets all got here.... all plans went out the window. And down come the balloons.  Kids love balloons, well most do!  It was to my surprise that young ones have a great imagination even with only a simple balloon.  I have seen this imagination with boxes, in the sand box, and of course with toys, but this is the first time I have seen children have so much with such a simple item. 

At first they started off playing with their balloons, as usual kids do.  Tossing them around, keep off the floor, catch......

But after a while I noticed them playing house, at first I thought it was with the dolls, but was I wrong when I went to check on them in the bedroom.  There they were, blankets folded down on the bed slightly and there "babies" sleeping.  Yep that's right the "babies" where their balloons.  Each one had its own name too.  Two asleep in the bed one sitting in the chair reading a book.  It was all to cute listening and hear them play.  The children made lunch for the "babies", walked them in the strollers, hugged and kissed the boob-boos if they fell.  Not to long later they came out of the room wanting more balloons.  One, because 2 popped on them, two because they needed "dogs".  While I was blowing up some more for the kids, my daughter goes digging through the drawer for the dogs leashes.  Attaches them to the tried end of the balloons and off they go again.  So now not only do they have "babies' but also "dogs". 

It just amazed me that children, ages 4 (the birthday girl!) and 2 can mimic and play out something so amazing.  With such a basic decoration.  I ended up putting off the games and crafts for the day, because they were in their own little world, having a blast together.  For a first day in a long time, we had no fighting, whining, or crying.  It was a great day all around for the kids and for me.  I enjoyed myself watching them and even giggled a little at the things they would say.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Taking a bite out of your day!

A great book for teaching children about biting

No Biting!

Karen Katz

As many many childcare givers, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends know children of many ages tend to bite.  No not all children do and some are only once while others go through a full phase of it as they grow up.  I have been lucky and never really had to deal with a biting child, at least not for long.  My own son started biting at daycare one day and we were able to stop it right there and then, thank goodness.  On the other hand, now with owning my own daycare I have to learn to deal with this experience more often.  Everyone has there own way of dealing with biting but at the same time, many children just continue biting more matter what happens to them after they have bit someone. 

Through research, I have learned that "most" children bite for a reason.  Whether that reason be frustration, anger, a way to communicate with others, hunger, tiredness.... there are a number of triggers that can lead to a child biting someone.  May child care facilities will have a shadow for the bitter if its something that they can't seem to keep under control.  This shadow is an adult that will more aless follow that single child around all day and watch their reactions and try to find out the trigger for them biting, and hopefully catch them in the early part of the act and stop it then.  As many people own their own in home daycare, one can't always to that, especially if you are the only adult around, with many other children to look after, take care, and comfort.

Biting doesn't only harm the victim but also the predator and even the other children around who witness the act.  As a victim biting usually causes pain, marking, sometimes even the breakage of skin. This child will usually shy away from the biter and even keep to themselves after a while, due to the fact they are scared it will happen to them again.  As a predator (the biter), the issue is that they don't know how to show their emotions in the right matter most of the time.  They get punished for biting, yet the reason they were biting has usually not been dealt with either, because the adult hasn't realized that something needs to be done, besides the punishment.  For the other children that have witnessed the situation, they can be traumatized.  They are scared to play with the predator in case they are the next victim.  No child wants to be bit or hurt and many realize whats going on if they are old enough and will try to keep their distance from trouble that might arise again.

To deal with a biting child many people have taken different steps to stop the situation from happening again.  I have heard of people trying the following situations:
  • taking a favorite toy away
  • time outs
  • isolation of the bitter
  • spanking (if you are one whom still believes in this.  Many consider spanking as child abuse)
  • biting back
  • soap on the lips (I discourage this if possible)
  • hot sauce on the lips (I discourage this if possible)
If you have a young toddler just starting to bite please try the following before you go into anything drastic with punishment.  If its a first time situation of biting, that child might learn from you talking to them and explaining what has gone on and why its wrong.

    1) Firmly say "No bite!" and remove the biting child offender from the situation. 2) Administer an appropriate consequence such as removal of the toy or a time-out for a biting child. 3) Lavish positive attention on the bitten toddler. 4) Use distraction between young kids and watch their interaction closely to avoid placing youngsters--especially one to be known to be a biting child--in a conflict situation. 5) Resist the temptation to bite a biting child back as a way to "show them" their wrongs. Use a positive approach instead. You don't want your toddler telling his teacher that he bites because that's what his parents do!
If you have a child that continues to bite even after explaining what has happened, you might need to take a more stronger approach on the situation to have them stop the biting.  By any means don't go right to the harshest punishment right off the start.  I know its hard to deal with but that biting child is usually tyring to show emotions and just don't know how.  Remember you have to also teach young ones how to tell you or anyone they are angry, hungry, tired, or what ever might be the problem with them. 

Now with the odd ball child that bites for no reason!  You have study the bitter for many, many days, even weeks and just can't seem to find their triggers as to why they bite?!?!  They don't seem to understand biting hurts, they don't stop after you have taken on stronger punishments for them.  What to do?  This is where I need the advice too.  My fellow readers, if you have any idea what to do please let me know!  I am at lost for further information on this part of the subject.