Potty Training- The final countdown

img_8002If you remember back in November, 2017 Ava began telling us when she needed to go number 2’s instead of using her nappy- she was 1 and 3 months old! She got the hang of going number 2’s in the potty within a week with only a few accidents here and there over the course of the next year or so but number 1’s were not catching on at all. Every time we’d have a great few days in undies she would have a few major accidents and we would revert back to nappies- after a month or so we gave up altogether and went back to pull-ups full time with the hope of trying again after she turned 2. We tried stickers, chocolate, rewards- the whole kit and kaboodle!

While overseas last November (2018) we stayed with my husband’s father and step-mum, well they have 4 dogs who use the “potty” every few hours- they ring a bell hanging from a door and go outside. Ava quickly caught on to this and started telling us 99% of the time when she needed to use the bathroom for 1’s and 2’s! I couldn’t believe it.. Would you believe me if I told you that she only went through  roughly 25 pull ups in a 3 week period? I have those dogs to thank!

When we got back she came to me the next morning and said “no nappy, undies mumma”.. In December we had a few accidents but we haven’t had any since well before Christmas. We’ve been on adventures to the grocery store, the library, a restaurant, friends’ houses- not one accident! Another “baby” chapter has closed and it’s amazing but so so sad!!

My tip for nap times is to make sure your child goes to the toilet directly before nap time and directly after nap time. This has helped us to not have any accidents while she’s napping.

My top tips when potty training/thinking of starting potty training:

  1. Consider- is your child ready? We tried a few times and she just didn’t catch on. Instead of having accident after accident we decided to stop the process and start again in a few weeks.
  2. When they are getting the hang of using the toilet buy them some really cool undies- we went with Emma Wiggles ones, Moana ones and Minnie Mouse ones. It was such a novelty for her to wear them!
  3. When you start the process ask your child if they need to use the potty every 20-30 minutes. Sometimes they need a little coaxing or encouragement to recognise the urge to use the bathroom. After a few weeks though trust that their instinct has kicked in and lay off the hounding (ha- I think Ava was sick of people asking her constantly “do you need to go wee-wee!”
  4. Try not to stress too much- everything is washable!! I washed a couch cover, a car seat, undies, dresses- it’s all a huge learning curve for kids- approach every accident with lots of grace.
  5. Carry around an emergency bag- In the bag I keep the following 4 items: 1. A change of undies 2. A spare dress 3. A ziplock if the original clothing was dirtied and 4. a nappy (for emergencies).

At this stage we’re still using a nappy for nighttime’s as she still has a bottle. We’ve weaned her down to two bottles a day- we’ll be working on dropping the night time bottle in February/March.

I don’t have much of a recommendation by way or potty training charts or reward charts but hopefully there’s something in our experience that can help you along your journey!

Our life routine with a toddler!

I have received so many questions over the past 18 months as to how I keep Ava in a routine. We have super busy lives between work, church and life.

I know I have posted Ava’s newborn routine before but I wanted to detail my routine day-to-day with a toddler! Below is a summary of our routine- while it doesn’t follow the below every single day I would say we follow this about 80-90% of the time.

IMG_3374.JPGMondays

6am- Ava wakes up so the whole family is up. Ava has a bottle in our bed while Greg or I go for a run/gym/gym class

7am- Come downstairs and make breakfast for everyone. Get the lunches together for everyone going to work that day. Wash the dishes from breakfast

7:45-10:15am- Play inside/outdoors, meet friends for a play date and grocery shop. If we’re strapped for time I won’t grocery shop here so she doesn’t miss her 10am/10:15am nap.

8:30am- Snack time- banana, watermelon, a few crackers etc

10:15am- Ava has her second bottle and goes down for her first nap. She will sleep till around midday. This is where I get any specific things done such as emails/blogging/menu planning for the week (If I didn’t have time too last week and we haven’t grocery shopped yet)

12pm- Eat lunch (or go and buy lunch) and grocery shop. I generally go into Kmart and walk around the shops a bit to drag the time out here. If we grocery shopped in the morning this is where we play indoors/outdoors.

2pm- Ava has her third bottle and goes down for her second nap. She will sleep till around 3:45pm. After I put her down I will empty the groceries and make dinner for that night. When I make dinner I always make extra so we can have it the next day for lunch. Depending on the difficulty of the next days meals I may also make Tuesdays and potentially Wednesdays meals here and freeze them.

3:45pm- Snack and Indoor/Outdoor play until dad gets home around 5pm.

5:30pm- Dinner together and after dinner play

6:15pmish-7:15pm- Bath time and book reading

7:15pm- Fourth bottle and bed time

Ava will sleep through the night now until 6am when we do it all over again.

If you have any specific questions please let me know. As mentioned, we normally follow this schedule except for Fridays- instead of grocery shopping I normally clean the house.

Another thing to note is I do our laundry just once a week, on a Saturday morning. Everything gets consolidated in the laundry and I will do 2-4 loads, hang them out and have everything dry by late afternoon. So I’m not stuck at home I work the loads around our Saturday schedule. For e.g. If we go out to breakfast I will put a load on as soon as I wake up so it’s done by the time we’re leaving for breakfast. I’ll hang that load out and set another one ready for when we get home from Breakfast.

I used to have a friend who did her cleaning on Saturday and she commented to me that she felt like it was cutting into her family time as her husband worked Monday-Friday- her comments have stuck with me for years which is why I make it a point to do the bulk of cleaning on Fridays during the day.

It’s been a while..

Wow.. I didn’t realise I hadn’t posted in 2 months! Life has gotten busy to say the least.. and I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I don’t feel like I have anything very interesting to say.. they say comparison is the thief of joy.. well there are A LOT of amazing bloggers out there with amazing families and kids and DIY projects.. and here’s little ole’ me from the backside of Sydney just trying to juggle one child and a part-time job.. It’s been hard.

Ava tuned one while I was on a bit of an unexplained break- YAY! We had a great week of celebrations with her. She ate way too many sweets and had one to many servings of cake, but I’ve adapted the motto- if it won’t kill her let’s give it a try.. my how times have changed. I didn’t pull out my good camera once for her birthday so you’ll just have to head over to instagram to see a little snapshot of weekend parties!

She has gotten way more talkative! Her vocab is probably around 20 words now.. and her second top tooth has finally caught up to her first top tooth- YAY! Symmetry for the win!

With Ava turning one has come a whole new set of struggles. Last night was actually the worst she’s ever acted- my husband and I looked couldn’t help but look at each other in shock. She is strong-willed and defiant! We will tell her for e.g. not to drop her water bottle off her highchair- she’ll pick it up and throw it over the edge. We smack her hand (yep..we lightly smack her hand), pick the water bottle up and say “no, leave it on your highchair”. This will happen two or three times- by now the tears are starting to fall. She will stop pushing the bottle of the highchair for a minute or two, and then put her hand on it as if daring us to do something. She will then look at either my husband or I in the eye and as if in slow motion push her bottle of the highchair.. argh!! It drives me nuts!!

We love her to death, but we are definitely on the parenting journey. I constantly struggle with the thought of “am i harming or helping her.” Are our boundaries and discipline too soon, or are we actually helping shape her for her 2’s and 3’s?

I don’t think you are ever prepared to become a mum or dad.. it’s so much more than getting pregnant and birthing a child.. you actually have to now raise them..

It’s such an emotional, exciting, overwhelming, crazy role to live out.. One that we are extremely grateful for.. but boy.. is it challenging!

For any mumma’s out there- I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job.. It’s okay to countdown the minutes till bedtime.. It’s okay to hide in the bathroom and eat that chocolate bar.. it’s okay to reminisce about when it was just you and your partner or when you didn’t have to vacuum for the ONE THOUSANDTH TIME! It’s okay to dream of that rug in your living room that was once spotless but is now COVERED with little specs of food.. it’s okay to struggle to remember when you last showered or actually finished a meal or a hot cup of tea… oh sorry.. did I lose some of you there? Guys.. I am totally being real right now.. this journey is challenging.. but if you asked me to do it all over again I would say yes in a heart beat. I would literally give my life for my baby girl..and you know.. the past is never as great as you remember it.. and who else will feed the tiny ants that you sure are living in your rug anyways?