I never thought…..

I swore before I had children that I would not be one of those parents that would give their children electronics, Ipad, or playing on my phone.  Then I had children and my ideas changed.  It started with the phone.  We used it as a last resort to help occupy my son when we needed to do something for a couple of minutes.  We noticed that he actually really enjoyed the educational puzzle and games that we had put on the phone for him and that he was learning!  Then we moved to a touch screen computer, which offered even more educational apps and programs that my son could do. Then we were able to upgrade to an Ipad Mini (which we got at a great deal on sale).

Even now I cringe at the thought of my son playing these games on the phone, Ipad, or computer, but I have to remind myself that my husband and I consciously made the decision to allow these electronics in certain situations.  Before we introduced any electronics we decided in what situations we would use it and to what extent.  We also agreed that we would review and “play” and new educational game before either child plays it.  We wanted to make sure that they are appropriate and educational.  We didn’t want to have this be another avenue to get addicted to.  So we purposely choose apps and games that are all educational and grow their mind.

Now that we have these extra tools, I have noticed that not only my son, but also my daughter loves to “play” these games that are all educational.  They have learned so much and I can see how excited they get when they get to “play” these games.

Below are some of the rules we have to help monitor the use of the electronics.

  1. We monitor every and all apps that he plays
  2. They have their own folder so they are unable to get into any other games
  3. Lock, so they are unable to purchase any other apps
  4. They do not get it if they are misbehaving or whining
  5. It is a treat and used sparingly
  6. Preschool, which is on the Ipad or computer, is an actual program that the kids are apart of, or another educational app for writing, reading, counting, colors, shapes and more.
  7. They can not have it for more than an hour a day.  Broken up over spurts throughout the day.

Tips for Using Cloth Diapers on Vacation

As you know I love cloth diapering my children.  My son potty trained at 2.5 years-old and my daughter will be about the same age when she is potty trained.  At this point we have been through a couple of vacations while fully using cloth diapers.  I really thought that it was going to be difficult and way too much work, but really it wasn’t that bad.

My family takes a yearly vacation to the beach with both my side and my husband’s side of the family.  Last year I used disposable diapers for the 4 day vacation with my family and noticed that my son took 3 HUGE steps back in the potty training.  Before the vacation he would tell us when he went and would want to be changed immediately.  He was really getting good at noticing when he went.  After using disposable diapers for the duration of the vacation, he no longer mind sitting in the pee, and he wouldn’t tell us he went.  It took a couple of weeks to get him back to where he was.  After that I knew that the second vacation I was going to cloth diaper him and my daughter the entire time.

I knew that the week vacation we take with my husband’s family has a washer and dryer, so it was no big deal to be able to take the cloth diapers and continue using them throughout the week.

Below are tips of cloth diapering while on vacation:

  • Bring twice as many as you think you might need
  • Bring 2 wetbags/diaper pail liners
  • Bring cloth diaper safe cream
  • Bring laundry soap you use for the cloth diapers
  • Bring disposable inserts or liners to cut down on the laundry
  • Think about using prefolds, as they are easier to wash and dry
  • When you get to your location, scope out where you are going to keep your diaper pail or wetbag
  • Think about bringing a hand washing machine, if you know that their will not be a washing machine

It is something that can be done and something that people do all the time.  Please comment with other tips you have for using cloth diapers while on vacation.


Tips for Potty Training

So we now have 1 potty trained child and 1 that is very close to starting.  There are some tips that I have learned over the last year to help ease the process.

  • Start early: It is okay if you didn’t, but start now.  Start by putting them on child on the potty, whenever you change their diaper.  Don’t force it if they don’t want to, you don’t want to have a negative affect.
  • Ask often: Ask them if they have to go often.  Some recommend every 15-30 minutes.
  • Change them often: I know that this is a no brainer, but change their diaper after every time they have told you they have gone.
  • Take them every time they ask: Every time they ask to go, take them.  Encourage them, even if you know that they went 10 minutes ago.  You want to encourage the “feeling” they may have until they figure out the actual feeling.
  • Be patient:  They are learning, they will make mistakes and will have accidents
  • Wait until they are ready: If you try and push them too early, you will have more accidents and have more issues.  Wait until they show signs and understanding of going on the potty.
  • Once you put them in underwear do NOT go back to diapers:  Some days and weeks it may seem like there are many accidents or that they don’t know that they need to go or even regress.  DO NOT put them back in diapers.

There are some things that I have done that I feel have helped.  We cloth diaper with an all natural insert that lets my daughter know when she has gone.  She feels it and there is no pulling away that happens with disposable diapers.  We take my daughter when we take my son to go potty.  Every time she tells us she went pee we sit her on the potty.  We also stop using diapers all together.  Within a couple weeks after my son requested underwear, we took the diapers away during nap and bedtime.  It was rough the first week or so, we had to change the sheets almost every night, but he now wakes up and goes.  We also don’t make a big deal if he doesn’t make it to the potty.  We understand that he is still learning.