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How To Start Potty Training Your Toddler

 

7 Steps to Potty Training Success

Potty training your toddler can seem like a daunting task, but with patience and perseverance you can help your child reach this key milestone.

Learning how to use the potty is a key milestone in your child’s life, but starting potty training can seem a little bit daunting. We’ve put together some tips to help guide you through the process, and with some perseverance and patience, you’ll soon have your child leaving nappies behind.

Know the signs

There are no hard and fast rules about when you should begin potty training. The majority of parents start between the ages of two and two and a half, but some children are ready much earlier while others may take a little longer to get to this stage.

There are however some key signs to watch out for. These include your child:

  • recognising when they’re passing urine and possibly telling you that they’re doing it;
  • knowing when they have a wet or dirty nappy;
  • showing signs that they need to pee, such as going to a quiet corner or fidgeting;
  • going to the toilet only once an hour or less frequently;
  • knowing that they need to pee and telling you in advance;
  • being able to follow instructions and sit on the potty or toilet.

The more of these signs your child displays, the quicker and easier potty training is likely to be. You should also try to avoid potty training during times of disruption or changes to routine, as consistency is the key to success.

Be prepared

Before beginning potty training it’s important to be prepared, and there are a number of key tools that will help to make the process easier.

A potty is of course essential – it helps to have one in your main room and in your bathroom, as well as a portable one for when you’re out and about. Purchasing a step stool to help your child reach the sink and, eventually, the toilet, is also a useful purchase.

Disposable ‘pull-up’ potty training nappies can come in really handy, particularly in the early days of potty training. However, these should just be a transitionary step, so also involve your child in buying some ‘big girl ‘or ‘big boy’ pants to help the potty training process seem special and exciting.

Do the groundwork

It’s important to lay the groundwork and get your child used to the idea before you begin potty training. In the run up to potty training, start changing your child’s nappy in the bathroom so that they get used to it as a place where people go to the toilet. As you change their nappy, explain what you’re doing and why so that they start to understand the meaning of a wet or dirty nappy.

It’s also a good idea to leave a potty where your child can see it and, if they’re happy to, encouraging them to sit on it for a minute or two when you change their nappy. Make sure you explain what the potty is for so they don’t just think it’s a fun new toy!

Getting started

The best way to start potty training is to make sitting on the potty a natural part of everyday life for your little one, so it’s important to keep a potty within easy reach. When your child shows signs of needing to wee, encourage them to use the potty, as well as encouraging them to sit on the potty after meals. If you know your child regularly goes to the toilet at the same time each day, try leaving their nappy off and suggesting they go on the potty – but don’t push it if they seem upset by the idea.

One useful tip is to dress your toddler in clothes that are quick and easy to change, avoiding items such as tights or clothes with lots of fiddly buttons. Some parents prefer to start potty training in the summer when children naturally wear fewer clothes.

Make it fun

A lot of children need some encouragement to start using the potty, so making the process fun can help to give them that extra incentive. For example, you could stack a few toys or books next to the potty so that they have something to occupy them while they sit on it. Some parents even make up a special potty song that they sing each time their child sits on the potty or toilet.

It’s also important to reward success. You could buy your little one a small toy when they hit certain milestones, but making a chart and awarding them stickers, or even just showering them with plenty of praise, can be equally effective. On the flip side, try not to act negatively if your little one has an accident. Just remain calm and let them know that accidents happen.

Involve others

Unless you are your child’s only caregiver, it is important to involve others in your potty training journey. As we’ve mentioned, consistency of routine is vital when it comes to potty training, so be sure to keep grandparents and other family members in the loop, along with your childminder or nursery if applicable. An outstanding nursery should be happy to encourage and support your child’s potty training routine in your absence, so don’t be afraid to let them know how they can help.

Be patient

Last but certainly not least, you need to be patient. Potty training can be a stressful process for children and parents alike, and it’s easy to lose your cool when your little one has his fifth accident of the day. But by remaining calm and positive, and praising progress, you can help guide your little one to potty training success.

The Essential Furniture Pieces for Your Baby’s Nursery

 

Designing your baby’s nursery is really exciting, especially when it comes to choosing all of the gorgeous furniture pieces that you’re going to include, and you want to make sure you do it right. It can be so easy to go crazy when it comes to the designing stages, buying every cute furniture item you see without really thinking about how practical or necessary it may be. The best thing to do is focus on the essential furniture pieces, and then you can add a few decorative touches to enhance the décor and create the perfect space for your little one.

Practical Pieces

Investing your money in the right places is important with your child’s nursery, as you want to know that the products you are purchasing are safe, reliable and durable. Starting with your baby’s cot, you need to find a design and style that works for you. There are lots of different cots available, from chic wooden designs with a slide down side, to chunkier designs that have a half-side to prevent your little one from escaping at any time. Look for your favourite design, with the right colour and style to suit the nursery décor to ensure you’re keeping to the décor style you want to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your cot, you can start to look at other items including a wardrobe to keep all of the little clothing hanging ready for use. Wardrobes are great for adding character to the room and maintaining the style that your cot has introduced. Try to keep the furniture pieces similar, whether that’s from the same range or using the same material to keep the décor within the nursery flowing smoothly.

Simple Storage

Even though your baby is only going to have small clothes, you’d be surprised just how much room they take up. Investing in some simple storage items such as a chest of drawers and an oak blanket box will help you to keep the nursery clean and tidy, with everything stored away safely. Whether you decide to stock the chest of drawers up with essential nappy changing products, or your blanket box is actually used to keep the teddy bears neat and out of the way, these stylish furniture pieces will help to keep the nursery organised and fresh with no clutter.

Dreamy Details

Whilst these features may not necessarily be furniture pieces, they work hand in hand with furniture pieces to keep your little ones safe and content. One of the most important things to include in your baby’s nursery is a set of blinds or curtains. Once you put your little one down for a nap mid-afternoon, you want to know they have a dark space to snuggle down and sleep, and blinds or curtains are ideal for this. The last thing you want is the sunshine shining through and interrupting your little one’s nap. Similarly, you may want to look at including a colourful lightshade, a soft rug and a calming mobile to help them drift off to sleep peacefully.

Traditional Touches

Once you’ve chosen all of your essential furniture pieces, you can look at the traditional touches that most nurseries have today. From a talk oak bookcase with a selection of classic nursery rhymes and stories, to a delicate trinket box on the windowsill and some cute teddy bears sat in the corner, you can create a special space for your baby to grow up and enjoy.

Traveling with Toddlers: How Prepared are You?

Just because you’ve become parents, doesn’t mean your adventurous streak has diminished — do you find yourself reading your child a bedtime story about far-flung lands and the great outdoors, only to wish you could pack up your bags and leave as a family tomorrow?

A lot of parents would say that while your child is still toddling, that’s the best time to take them on the road; once they’re of the age to go to school, you’re limited to official vacation times, which can make traveling as a family more expensive. As such, you may be thinking about taking your toddler on a family adventure soon.

Why you should travel with your toddler

Little people benefit from travel in all the same ways that adults do; it’s great for their development to explore new places and take in new experiences, especially if you can expose them to cultures and languages they don’t encounter at home. Of course, it’s also advised to try and maintain some of their daily routine, especially if you’re trying to potty train or encourage a new behavior. Attempt to wake them at the same time every day, regardless of where you are on the road, and get them settled in bed at a reasonable time too.

What you’ll need to pack

You may be aghast to discover how much more luggage you’ll need when you’re packing for a toddler too — from toys to bath products and spare clothes, you’ll soon fill up the bags! If your little one is yet to be potty trained, make sure you’ve packed some swim diapers if you’re going anywhere with water. If you’re in the process of potty training, you’ll be relieved to learn there are lots of travel size models available, including fold-up and disposable potties. Check out a parent guide to see which one is best for you and your toddler.

Depending on your child’s temperament, you may decide that taking a road trip is preferential to flying with the family, as such you should look for an adventure that’s closer to your doorstep. If you do opt for a flight, check with your air carrier to see what their policy is on traveling with strollers. Either way, make sure you’ve packed a lot of patience — as well as toys and games to keep the little one entertained!

Do your research, and see what child-friendly activities will be available on your destination. Remember that toddlers will want to move around and be stimulated constantly, so if your ideal vacation involves a lot of relaxation you may need to make some sacrifices! If you’re seeking some peace and tranquility, manage your expectations and make sure you place your child’s favorite toy at the top of the ‘must pack’ list!

There’s no time like the present…

While your child is still too young for formal schooling, you’ve got the freedom to take longer trips, at a time in the year that works for you. So, as long as you plan ahead and pack your bags properly, there should be nothing stopping you traveling with your toddler.

4 Things You Should Take into Consideration Before You Adopt a Pet

Adopting is not only a great way to give a pet in need a second chance, it’s also the only way many families can get a new pet when they can’t afford to buy a pedigree puppy. While adopting a pet can be a great thing, it’s also a big commitment. You also have to understand that adopting a dog is not exactly like buying a dog and raising it and you’ll have to make some adjustments. Here are some of the things you’ll have to take into consideration before you adopt a pet.

Size

If you’re going to adopt a pup, you have to know how big it’ll be once it grows to adulthood. Big dogs need more space, and this could be a recipe for disaster if you live in a small apartment or you don’t have sufficient yard space. If you have limited space, go for a smaller dog breed that does well in secluded areas, like a Basenji or a Bichon Frise.

Be Prepared to Commit

You also have to be prepared to make a commitment to this dog who, in many cases, may have been neglected in the past. They might be difficult at first, but you have to take the time to let them adapt to their new environment. This could be a great time to retrain them if they haven’t been trained properly or at all. Sites like ourpetspot.com can teach you several training techniques you can use on adopted dogs that will work fast on any type of dog.

Check if Your Neighborhood is Dog-Friendly

Not only does your house have to be dog-friendly, but your neighborhood as well. If you don’t live in a neighborhood with plenty of green space for your dog to exercise, you might end up with a very sad puppy on your hands. Make sure you also understand the laws in your area; certain breeds might not be allowed or there might be some important municipal laws that you should be aware of.

You should also check which types of dogs are in the neighborhood; you don’t want to have to go to war every time you go to the dog park. You should also make sure that you’re close to a vet clinic in case of emergency.

Make Sure You Pick a Dog that Fits Your Lifestyle

You should never pick a dog that can’t keep up with you or you can’t up with. If you have a low energy lifestyle, then you might have issues with your dog. He might grow restless, destructive or develop behavioral issues.

You might also get disappointed if the dog you pick doesn’t enjoy the great outdoors as much as you do if you were looking for a partner for your morning jogs. Make sure that you do your research and ask about the dog’s temperament before you pick one.

Conclusion

Adopting a dog is one of the best gifts you can make to a pet in need. But it’s also a huge responsibility, so make sure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for before you make a decision.

5 Ways Single Moms Can Stretch a Part-Time Income

You might have a part-time job by choice or out of circumstance, but either way you can still make things work if you are a single parent. Those who are high income earners might get to go on expensive yearly vacations, but the other 51 weeks of the year they will be missing their family. Read the job descriptions website to find positions that won’t limit your time with your family and will still pay you handsomely. A part-time income can be plenty enough to care for your family if you follow these five helpful tips.

  1. Live Off the Land

Just by growing a few staple vegetables, like tomatoes, lettuce, and cabbage, you could save hundreds on your grocery bills. If you have space in your backyard to erect a chicken coop, you could completely eliminate the need to purchase eggs. Some families have gone as far as raising their own cattle and planting full sized gardens so that they can live in a more cost-effective manner.

  1. Start a Family Based Business

Do you and your family make beaded jewelry for fun? Have you received oodles of compliments every time you bring your apple pie to work based events? Consider creating a family based business that can help you to pay the bills while getting in some extra quality time with your kids simultaneously. Chances are that your kids would love to help and having the chance to contribute would make them feel quite proud of their efforts.

  1. Cut Out All the Extras

If you pay for basic cable you could spend more than $1,200 a year on in-home entertainment. Ordering pizza for dinner once a week can add up to another $1,000 a year wasted. Monthly car payments are another splurge that your family can avoid if you elect to walk, use public transportation, or ride a bike to local places. There are also car sharing services available for longer trips that can be way more cost-effective than buying and maintaining a vehicle year after year. Parents who believe that being there for their kids is more important than working full-time have to find other ways to decrease their family’s living expenses.

  1. Share Your Home with Another Single Parent

It might not be reasonable for you to invite a single, childless roommate in your home if you have children, but sharing a space with another single parent can help both of your families to flourish. You would have to spend less money on babysitting services and you and your single parent roommate could take turns cooking dinner and cleaning. As long as you both have similar lifestyles, you might find that your new roommate becomes like another member of your family.

  1. Coupon Constantly

Whether it’s time for back to school shopping or you’re getting ready to embark on your weekly grocery shopping trip, there’s literally a coupon for everything available nowadays. Want to rent a new movie over the weekend? Look for a coupon that will make your family’s entertainment choices cheaper, or perhaps even free. Cut the cost that you pay for shampoo, on afterschool snacks, and for every other tangible good that you and your family regularly enjoy.

Remember that families make up communities. Moreover, involvement in your community will make you feel even more capable of raising your family on limited funds. Attend local activities where you can find other like-minded parents and your income can go even further.

How to Teach Your Child to Use the Internet

As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your child important skills that will help them to be successful in life. In today’s digital age, one of those skills they absolutely must learn to master is how to use the Internet. And it’s not just about how to perform searches and find funny videos, it’s about teaching them how to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner. They also need to be able to identify which sites and what content is trustworthy.

So where do you begin in teaching your child how to use the Internet? At what age should you introduce them to the Internet? Should you give them free rein of it? Here are some tips and advice that should make the teaching process as smooth as possible.

Introduce Them to the Internet at a Young Age

Because society is so heavily reliant on digital tools such as the Internet, the fact is that your kids will need to know how to use it. With that in mind, it’s best to introduce them to it at a fairly young age. That doesn’t mean you hand them a tablet and walk away, instead the experience can begin more as a mentoring type of relationship.

You can be the one who is actually using the Internet but have them watch what you are doing. You can perform searches for content that relates to their age group and would be interesting to them. Take for example a toddler, you can be showing them educational content online, including videos and games. They aren’t going to understand the “Internet” or how you are making these things appear on the screen, but it does act as an introduction that there is this tool that can be used to find information.

If your child is a little older, perhaps just entering school, then it can be used for more age appropriate content. After watching you perform searches and navigation exercises, you can let them give it a go.

Discuss Online Safety

Once kids are old enough that they are showing interest in the Internet on their own, meaning they know the basics so they could technically find their way around, then it’s time to discuss Internet safety. There are some basic rules you can teach them, which are:

  • If you come across a site that seems inappropriate, turn off the screen immediately and tell an adult.
  • Don’t click on links to outside pages.
  • Learn to question content you read and look for reliable websites and sources.
  • Everything that is posted online is permanent so give thought to what you post.
  • Don’t chat with people you don’t know, and don’t respond to emails if you don’t know the person.

Find that Middle Ground

While it’s certainly important to be aware of your child’s online activities, it’s also okay to give them a bit of independence. Let them explore and get creative. The Internet can be a great source of fun and entertainment, such as the Rage Maker site which allows users to create their very own memes, which is the big trend nowadays.

Preparing and Educating Your Kids in a Fun and Engaging Way

Teaching your kids how to use the Internet is a reality of today’s times, so doing so in a way that is safe, fun, and engaging is always the best plan.

A Great Time Together: Ways to Plan a Successful Family Vacation

 

A family trip is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and enjoy each other’s company, but there are a few things you might need to do when planning your vacation so that the time away is a great success.

Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of enjoying an amazing vacation that everyone will remember for all the right reasons, including why it helps to talk about your plans, a good mix and match strategy, plus a sensible idea to give everyone some space.

Get the kids involved

Unless you have very young children it is always a good idea to involve your children in the planning of your family trip.

There are various good reasons why that is a sensible strategy. When kids feel included in the planning stage of the trip they will have a much better understanding and appreciation of what’s involved and they get a chance to say what they would like to do while you are away.

The sense of anticipation and the chance to talk together about your plans can be the start of the bonding process that will continue into the holiday itself and by getting everyone involved you can quickly identify any potential issues before you finalize your plans.

Balancing everyone’s needs

A family trip has to be just that, a vacation that doesn’t just suit the interests and needs of one person but an adventure that manages to find a suitable balance between what everyone might want individually.

If you line up a holiday that doesn’t offer much for the kids in terms of entertainment and facilities that would not be a smart move, but equally, arranging a vacation that is solely focused on keeping the kids entertained is going to leave you as the parents feeling underwhelmed by the experience and wanting more.

Talk about all aspects of the trip as a family and if you are booking accommodation, like the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott, for example, and making plans for sightseeing trips while you are in the area, share the excitement and the anticipation with each other.

Leave some time in the day

Despite the fact that you are all going on a family trip you don’t have to spend every minute of the day with each other, especially if you have some different things you would like to do for part of the day.

If mom likes the idea of a relaxing morning spent at the hotel without rushing out of the door then there is no reason why you couldn’t schedule an adventure with dad taking the kids somewhere for the part of the day and then meeting up later.

As well as giving everyone a chance to get a bit of a mini-break you don’t have to feel that every part of the day has to be planned, or you could end up returning from the trip feeling like you haven’t rested at all.

How Can You Keep Your Child Safe?

As a parent, one of the big concerns you’ll have is how to keep your children safe at all times, especially when they’re young. It’s impossible to keep them safe all of the time. However, there are measures you can take that will make their lives safer and help you to protect them throughout their life. There are also things you can do if they have an accident that you’re unable to prevent beforehand, so here are some of the scenarios you should keep in mind.

Be Respectful of Animals

Depending on where you live, there will be animals and insects that can cause your children harm if they get too close. In most cases, being aware of your surroundings and respectful of an animal’s territory will be all they need to avoid getting an injury. It’s important to teach them that if they’re outside, they must take care in certain situations. In particular, snakes, spiders, and bees can cause the most harm, so you need to teach them about how to recognize them and where they may be hiding.

Keeping Them Safe in Public Areas

When you’re out with your children, you’re always aware of where they are and what they’re doing. However, in busy places such as malls, it can be difficult to keep your eye on them all the time. If you’re worried that they may become lost, you need to have a plan in place to minimize any chance. If you have young children, a good idea could be to have a strap or other harness that you can attach to your children. It would allow you to keep hold of them, especially if they like to run off and explore. For older children, you can always have a safe meeting place that you can all arrange. If they become lost, they can go there to wait for you. A good place is usually the information desk so that they can call you.

Making Sure They Stay with People You Trust

One of the most difficult things about parenting is being able to let them stay with other people. Your family are usually the first people you’ll let them stay with, however, if you hire a babysitter or nanny, the risk becomes slightly higher. Always try to choose someone who was recommended by someone you know. You may have other friends who use them and have found them to be reliable. If you’re still worried, you can always start off with just a little trip and then go out for longer periods as you feel more comfortable. Some parents have taken steps to install cameras when they’re away so that they can be extra sure everything is ok.

Teaching them to Call 911 in an Emergency

If there was ever to be an accident at home and one of the parents became hurt, it would be difficult for anyone to know. That’s why, if you have older children, they should be taught to dial the emergency services. Of course, they also have to be taught that it’s for emergencies only, but it could be of vital help if something serious happened. You also need to teach them your address and other contact details, or have them written down beside the phone, so they can tell the 911 team where the help is needed.

What to do if Your Child is Injured

Although parents do all they can to protect their children, there can sometimes be an accident that wasn’t the parent’s or child’s fault. Even though it’s a deeply difficult time, it’s important that you get your child the help they need as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to learn some basic first aid so that you can help them before the emergency services arrive. It’s also important to take down details of the accident. If they are injured by a third party, then you need to get their details in case you need to file a claim through a firm like Harrell and Harrell accident lawyers. If it was a car accident then that means the car and registration details, and if it was an animal then record the type of animal that injured them, especially if they were bitten by a snake or spider. Any information about what happened could be useful, so don’t worry about recording too much.

Parents should always make sure that their children are prepared and able to see the dangers ahead of them, and they should likewise be prepared for anything themselves. You shouldn’t spend your life worrying, but you do need to be able to act if the time comes and your help is needed.

iPad vs. iPhone: Which One Is Best for Kids?

 

The benefits of screen time for children have been a source of debate for some time, but most experts agree that some time each day is a good thing. In addition to providing a variety of learning-based apps, movies and television shows, mobile devices have shown to have a calming effect for children on the autism spectrum. Before you start searching for good deals on iPads, though, consider whether a tablet or an iPhone would be a better purchase.

Display and Touch Areas

Although phone screens are getting larger, they are still no match for the screens found on iPads. If you have small children who still have clumsy hands, they will probably do better with a tablet. The larger display screen and touch area make it easier for them to navigate. Tablets are also better if your children will be reading picture books that have large letters and illustrations in them.

Battery Life

The smaller the screen, the longer the battery will last. The iPad is a good choice if you intend them for home use and the kids will be in quick reach of an outlet as the battery indicator goes red. However, if you’re looking for a device that can be used on the go, such as in the car or while waiting in long lines, an iPhone is a better choice since it won’t need to be charged as often.

Functionality

While both devices provide Wi-Fi connectivity, the iPad won’t have any functionality if you aren’t near a wireless network. This is probably acceptable if the device is for younger children, but if you’re purchasing something for a tween or teenager, the iPhone is probably a better choice. It can be used for texting and calling, and you can always restrict usage and content with special apps.

Now that you have a good idea of which device is best for each situation or age group, it’s time to begin your search. You can look for good deals on iPads online or even check out your local iPhone accessories store.

Some Great Ways to Get Kids to Bed Earlier

Kids – you gotta love ‘em! Or so it is said, because as we all know, children can be a right pain at times! There’s feeding them, to begin with: kids are notoriously picky when it comes to what they will and will not eat. Choosing the right food for them to enjoy and be healthy is never an easy task. Then there’s getting them to go to bed at a sensible time, which may prove to be one of the most difficult of all tasks. You may have your own ways of getting the kids off to sleep – perhaps a bribe or a promise – but we’ve got some more ideas that might help.

You could start with the traditional: read them a story. This works for some kids, but for others it doesn’t do the trick. They become too interested in what’s going on, and don’t fall asleep. There has to be a better way – and we think we might have found it. We’re talking about a great way of getting the kids soothed at bed time, and it’s one that can be educational, too. The answer comes in the form of star projectors, which are fun, inexpensive and almost guaranteed to do the job.

About Star Projectors

The stars in the night sky have always held a fascination for both young and old. Find a place with limited or no light pollution and look up at a clear night sky; the sheer number of stars and planets that you see, twinkling above, is a thing of wonder, and kids love to learn about the heavens above. It’s no surprise that, once you get hooked, you remain so, and that’s why many people have telescopes.

Star projectors come in many forms, so we recommend you read a great review of the top 10 that we found at a site called Bestreviewer. They provide comprehensive, interesting and entertaining reviews of a wide variety of items, star projectors being just one of them. They give you full information of each on the list, plus pros and cons and recommendations, as well as the price you should expect to pay, and you’ll find great savings on the high street price. If you are interested, they also have reviews of telescopes, plus a range of household appliances, gadgets and more, so have a look and see what they can do for you.

Enjoy the Stars

A star projector can display the actual universe on the ceiling of the bedroom, or may project a soothing, colourful image that is designed to help them relax and fall asleep, and each is an inexpensive item that will provide the necessary relaxation to ensure your children are asleep in no time at all.

There’s something very special about a star projector, and at the prices you will be getting an inexpensive and interesting – as well as fascinating and educational – item that will keep your children happy and get them to sleep in no time at all.