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Toilet Talk

Occupational TherapistToilet Talks, Notes, Tips and Tricks from an Occupational Therapist in a toilet training seminar. I hope that you find help in all of this, I took the seminar because I have been struggling to toilet train my almost 4 year old for closing in on 2 years, and my daughter is starting to approach the age to attempt to toilet train, so when the opportunity came up to attend this I jumped at it, and this is a combination of their notes, my notes and fun graphics that took me forever to make…. So please enjoy.

 

The Goals for the seminar were simple, to learn about readiness and pre-toileting skills, establishing a toileting routine, learning how to use visuals to assist with toileting, how to look at reward versus punishments, and how to deal with accidents and other issues. It is important that you start toilet training when you AND the child are ready. If started too early, toilet training can become a power struggle, and that power struggle will effect just how long the toilet training will take and how successful you will be in the long run. Some kids might be under

Four Stages Of Toilet Learningreactive to being wet or dirty while others may be over reactive to those same stimulus.

There are Four main stages of Toilet Learning, there is stage one, Toilet Play. This step can include pretending to use the toilet on their potty, mostly with their clothes on, they become very curious as to what others are doing in the bathroom and they show more interest in the toilet itself, maybe not for using but wanting to learn how that it works. Stage two is Toilet Practice, and this step shows the child wanting to practice certain skills that are needed in wanting to use the toilet. Like practicing flushing the toilet, pulling their pants up and down, getting on and off their potty or the big toilet, squatting down then standing back up again, practicing hand washing and asks for your to check if their diaper is wet or dry, or clean or dirty as they are becoming more aware of what is going on. Stage Three they are showing more interest in wearing “real” underwear and feels the need to urinate by showing gestures (also known as the peepee dance), is verbal and uses facial expressions. They are beginning to hold urine in longer, like when they are playing and really dont want to stop to go pee or feel wet while playing, as they also start to feel the need to be clean more than sitting in their mess longer than necessary. They now have words for using the toilet and tells you when they have to go. They can pull their pants up and down a little more freely, and stand and sits on the toilet or their potty with little to no help. They are also showing signs of pushing and concentrating when they are ready to poop, they are also letting you know more and more when they have ‘accidents’ or need their pull up changed. Stage Four is the final stage, as they are now doing independent toileting.

Tips and Tricks for

There are a few tips and tricks out there for Potty Training, many are ones that your parents used on you and your siblings, then there are the ones your grandparents tell you about, you also can look online for many more, these ones are from the occupational therapist as well as a few from the other moms that attended the seminar with me that have older children that they were able to toilet train with no help as they didn’t have the same delays or different issues that our children have now.

So the first thing you can do is establish a toilet language with your child, you can use the actual terms like Urine or Bowel movement or the old stand by peepee and poopoo. Then there also the terms that you want to use for their parts, we are still working on stage one in our house for toilet training so when I am changing my son he is in charge of wiping his ‘macker’ and that is what he calls his penis, and that works for us as well as he calls his bottom his “smelly butt”…. Let’s not start that story. You can also model the stages of going to the bathroom for your child, “Oh I feel like I need to pee, lets got the potty.” They can follow you into the bathroom and you can narrate the steps you are taking. “I am pulling down my pants and big kid underwear. Now I am sitting on the potty, and going pee.” Things along those lines, you can also have a steps on a “Rip Chart” or a check mark sheet your child can check off as you complete the steps now and later when they are completing the steps.

Rip Chart

Rip Chart, each tab is Velcro and can be ripped off as each step is completed

Another step you can try is changing their soiled pull ups in the bathroom so they can start to associate the bathroom with getting clean, you can even start putting the poop from the diaper in the toilet and have them flush it down. Also, dress your child in easy to manage clothing so that they can start practicing pulling their pants up and down. My son when he is in his sweats will do it while he watching TV, not even really for the need to go to that bathroom, just because he wants to, his sister who is only 1 and half is already trying to mimic him, he has cognitive delays while my daughter is right on par with her age, so I will be potty training them at the same time.

Check Chart

Check off each step as they are done.

Establishing some sort of toileting routine will also help you in the long run, you can have your child sit on the toilet or their potty at regular intervals for 1 to 3 minutes, like every 30 minutes or 60 minutes regularly or 20 to 30 minutes after eating and drinking.  Also have your child participate in as many tasks as possible when they are in the bathroom, you can also use a tracking system to determine if your child is already on a routine. If your child has a fairly regular schedule, be consistent in taking them to the bathroom during the times that your child is mostly likely to go. Place your child on the toilet or potty approximately 5 to 10 minutes before their predicted time to go. Try and schedule toilet trails less than 90 minutes apart, timers may assist with keeping everyone on track. A wind up egg timer that you can show your child how to set may help them feel like they are in control of this whole situation.

If your child does not have a regular schedule, your child’s potty habits may be linked to eating, sleeping or physical activity, determine the amount of time between these activities and elimination, you might notice a pattern, also you might want to increase the amount of liquid intake 10 to 20 minutes before a trial to increase success.

Praise your child for appropriate toileting

toilet TRAINING tipsto help motivate your child, praise EVERY step that they do successfully, regardless of how much assistance you provided. Verbal praise should be used whether or not you use a tangible reward, like small preferred food or sticker. Accidents happen, keep calm, avoid getting upset when an accident happens, but help your child clean up. Avoid punishing your child for accidents, accidents can help your child learn what it feels like to be wet and how their body works. Issues that arise, child is afraid of the toilet, your child seems to feel unstable on the toilet, your child wont sit still long enough to go and your child responds poorly to wearing underwear.

Diapers vs. Pull-Ups vs. Big Kid Underwear

-Diapers make potty training less messy, but they dont allow your child to get that necessary feeling of being wet or dirty.

-Pull-Ups also pull away moisture fairly quickly as well

-Underwear provides your child with feeling of wetness which is necessary for learning how to stay dry.

-Let your child pick out ‘real’ underwear. They may have a favorite character like Barbie, Dora, Spider-man, or anything along those lines.

Here are the top ten do’s and dont’s for potty and toilet training. I also have a few other little tips that were shared at the seminar:

  • Try and put the big kid underwear under a pull up, that way they can get some of the sensation of being wet and dirty while you have less of a mess to clean up.
  • Teach girls to wipe from front to back, because we know that the bacteria transferred from back to front can cause infections and problems in the long run.
  • Hand washing should always be included at the end of every child’s bathroom routine
  • When accidents occurs, never leave a child in wet or dirty clothing change the child’s clothing as quickly as possible, and have your child assist you where appropriate.

Here are a few lists of books for parents and children that you can also check out:

List Of Toilet Training Books

I hope this was informative and helped you figure out how you can and will start Toilet Training your little one. Leave me a comment if you have any other tips and trick that you used that were helpful that I didn’t include, or please let me know if you have used some of the ones I did include and they did work for you.

Thanks for Reading

-Ashton <3

Self-Care Escape Moments, The Mommy Book Club
As a Mother its hard to find that moment or two to yourself, but you should , make time even if its just an hour a day, and that is why I started the Online Mommy Book Club, every 2 months a new book, a online chat as well as free downloadable chapter summary printable's, so you always remember all the points you wanted to talk about when it comes to online chat at the end of the 2 months! Please, sign up and take a break. <3
Take A Break and Enjoy

I Thought We Beat The Odds

I Thought We Beat The Odds

When my water broke at 22 weeks my son was given 0% of survival, when he was born at 24 weeks and 2 days he was given a 55% chance of survial with 65% chance of long term health issued. We beat those odds.

When he was 4 days old they started scanning him for brain bleeds, they are extremely common in micro preemies, we beat those odds too and had not a single brain bleed. At 3.5 months old they told us he had ROP and needed laser eye surgery, he didn’t need glasses till 2 and it was just for near sightedness. 

We started crawling, talking and walking and to everyone around him is a normal happy healthy almost 3 year old boy. We had beaten all the odds stacked against micro preemie, I have had many doctors look at him and how my sweet little Spud acts and then look at his medical history and they have a hard time believing that is the same little boy they see in front of them. We had beaten all the odds!

Or ,so I thought….

On April 20th of this year, we met with the Preemie Follow Up Clinic, these awesome groups of doctors and specialists track the progress of many many different Preemies that have gone through Stollery Hospital doors.  Our appointment was from 9 am till noon, we were to meet with a psychologist, a speech and language specialist, an occupational therapist, as well as a doctor and nurse to address any long term concerns we may have, and to also chart his growth, as well as any nutritional and dietary needs he may need. 

Now, I wont go into to much detail, because it is private medical information. The long short if it is, we have delays, significant delays that now require him to attend a special pre-school, at 3 years old. We fell pray to being a mom and dad, seeing all the awesome things our kid was doing but not asking questions about it. 

So now, we as a family have to make a new plan, a plan to fix the delays, to give my son the best possible chance at a normal school experience when he is older. To show him how hard work and determination beat every obstacle in our paths.

We not have beat all the Preemies odds, but we can beat this. We can do this! 

Thank you for reading, if you like what I do here please Like, Comment, and follow me on my Social Media.

Love, Hearts, and Other Pretty Things.

-Ashton <3

Mommy Groups

I am a part of a few mommy groups but there is one I post in quite a lot in one of them because the admins are great and keep a lot of people in check. There is a lot less negativity there and next to no mommy shamming, I have done a post about mommy shamming in person but the most common kind of mommy shamming is online. The power of the pen and anonymity makes people a lot braver and bolder with what they say to other people.

Mommy groups were made for all of us moms to talk to each other, get advice, vent about kids, husbands and life. We need that outside of our friends sometimes, sometimes we need the advice of people at a different part of life to help with what we are doing right now. You can get 2 to 100 comments on a post depending on the topic.

Even in the best of Mommy Facebook groups there are those moms who will bring you down when you are feeling your worst. There are moms who vent about their kids and how they are acting, how they can’t handle it and ask other moms how they dealt with it. They will get 100 comments that are nice and helpful about the situation at hand, but then that one comes in. That one that either has a snarky undertone, or just comes across as just plain mean. That is the one that is going to stick with you the entire time.

Mommy Facebook groups are not for the faint of heart, whether it be what people reply to your posts, what  people ask, or some of those pictures that get posted! Its a scary place where a lot of drama can take place if you let it. BUT, it is also a place rich with so many wonderful ladies who have either gone through the same thing or a similar situation, and are willing to help you out as much as you need.

You need to take your time and observe the Mommy Facebook groups you have joined for a bit and see the goings on in each group before you commit to the one you are going to post a lot into. All of the above is my opinion only, and I am here to present all that I can to you lovely people! SO, I posted 3 questions to the mamas in two of the Mommy Facebook Groups I am a part of, and one mom stated what keeps her coming back is she has a place to go to vent and not worry about people bashing her. Another mom put:

“I really want to be able to go to a place that is unbiased and non-judgmental. A place where even if I’ve never met them in real life, I know the moms have my back and I can say (just about) anything without being afraid to do so.”  -Mama Ronni

 The 3 Questions I posted were as follows:

  1. What are topics you really want to avoid in a Mommy Facebook group?
  2. What are the things that keep you coming back for more?
  3. What are the things you look for in a Mommy Facebook group?

What topics a lot if not all are saying they want to avoid in these groups are topics along the lines of, Circumcision, breast feeding vs formula feeding; they are OK with as asking for advice if you are doing one or the other but please don’t take poll before your baby is here, that can just get nasty. A few other topics that can get touchy are car seat rules and laws, as the box and instructions state one thing, each county, state, province and country does have its own rules and regulations that you should follow, if you are not sure police stations and pediatricians will be a good source of information for you. Politics and religion are 2 very big topics that also should be avoided in these groups.

What keeps these lovely mamas coming back for more is a mixture of having a place that you can just blow off steam about your kids, your husband, partner or any member of your family or extended family and not be met with judgment and negativity. There are a lot of tips being passed around as they work for certain moms, for potty training, snacks and meal for fussy and picky eaters, things along those lines. Name calling is only allowed towards Mother-In-Law’s (or any inlaw/family member) who deserve it, baby daddy’s who are as useful as tits on a bull, Baby Daddy’s Girl Friends who cant seem to stay on their side of the parenting line, and creepy men/coworkers that cant catch a hint.  Sanctimommies are welcome, but be warned you start any shit they will come after you with a verbal vengeance. There is also a lot of humor and honesty that it put out there to bring some lightness to some serious topics, despite a lot of the ugly that pops up these moms do support and care about one another, even if miles separate them, there is a closeness between a few of them.

“Some moms can really encourage and give you support especially when you are stressed or down.” – Mama Leslie

What is looked for in a successful group is the type of advice that is being given, making sure there is no shaming or making a mom feel worse than she already does. There is a HUGE difference between constructive criticism/advice that takes you in a different direction from a different point of view, and just flat out shaming this poor mama for something that is Nine times out of ten, out of her hands in the hands of the terrible one, I mean the kids….. You don’t always have to agree because lets face it, we never do on a lot of topics, but as long and you are respectful and see in some way what they are saying, that is a big thing they look for in a group. Being a mom is hard, and we all do it the best we can in different ways, so support is a very big thing that is needed in the groups, some people are so far from family and friends and need some sort of support system and these groups can be it, and we need to make sure they stay safe and supportive for that, and many other reasons.

“I am a first time mom..So seeing another mom mess up worst or just like me makes me feel like I am not so bad at this mom thing. We all try are hardest and a group is supposed to be there to raise people up.” – Mama Rebecca

This is the true story of what I think and feel as well as what other moms think and feel about Mommy Facebook Groups.

Thank You for reading, please Like, Comment, and follow me on social media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3

Stop The Mommy Shaming

****Warning there will be A LOT of foul language in this post, I am sorry now.****

Mommy Shamming… We are all guilty of it in some aspect or another; I know I am every so often.

This was not what I wanted to post today; I was going to post about my day planner and my scheduling system, and how I can run my household as a single mom 85% of the time. But today, today mommy shamming hit close to home and in a way that I hope no mommy has to EVER go through or feel.

I got mommy shammed today… By two people back to back in Wal-Mart today, it actually brought me to tears!

My husband works out of town 90% of the time so I am left to do everything with my 2 year old son and a 6 month daughter in tow. Since yesterday was a bad day we didn’t go get groceries, but we needed go today because I was out of baby food, formula and training pants for my son as well a few things for meals I wanted to cook for the next 2 weeks. I loaded up the kids, stopped at MacDonalds for a small frie for my son because I can put him in the cart with the fries and he is good as gold the whole trip…. Not today, I am running on maybe 3 hours of sleep because my daughter is teething and it seems to be the end of her world. I go to put my baby carrier on at the store and discover she is now too big for it and it is now weighted down too much and sitting wrong on her and on me. So I put my son in the big part of the cart and put my daughter in the seat and strap her in, as she can sit independent for the most part. My son starts acting like an ass-hole right away, standing up when the cart is moving, not holding my hand when I try and get him to walk alongside me, throwing EVERYTHING out of the cart when I stop, including 3 glass jars of baby food…. that was the final straw.

I had the main things I wanted so I head to the check out and he is still being just so unbearable. So I pick up my daughter carry her in one arm, put my son in the seat, strap him in and he is being terrible kicking me as we walk to the front end. If I wasn’t out of important things I would have dumped the cart and just fucking left.

I never yelled at him but I whipped out that mommy tone a few times. So here I am, trying to control my terrible 2 year old son who is missing his daddy, while holding a little girl in one arm and unloading everything with my other arm, he got the point where I stopped grabbed his chin to get him to look me right in the eye and I said “What is wrong with you today? Where is mommy’s good boy? Why are you being bad? Why are you such a bad boy today?”

And then I hear it from 2 tills over this woman, in her early 20’s, pipe up “You shouldn’t call him bad.. It will give him a complex and grow up damaged.” That was it, she hit that raw nerve I had tried so very hard to calm. I looked over to her in smug face and said “With all due respect, Fuck off.” And went back to unloading my cart with one arm, then I hear that voice again “You really shouldn’t swear around your kids, they will repeat it.” And at this moment I forgave my son because as clear as day I heard him say “Fuck Off”.

I of course gave him heck and said “No, that is a grown up word.” and ignored the woman, still watching, across the way.

Then I hear from behind me, “Well now you know you should have only had one kid, because obviously you can’t handle the two of them.” I look up to see this perfectly manicured, picturesque young mom pushing an expensive baby stroller while an older woman, I later learned it was her mother, unloads the groceries from her cart. Before I can open my mouth to verbally punch her in the face, her mom steps in and brings her daughter crashing down from her high horse.
“Who called me at 11 last night, again at 2 am and 4 am, in TEARS, because your son refused to sleep? As well as the 3 nights before? Who BEGGED me to go grocery shopping with her because they couldn’t handle the idea of their 7 month old in cart while they shopped was too much for them? I did this with you and your 3 brothers and you were exactly like her son. So you say you’re sorry and shut your face. YOU are being BAD.”

I gave the mom a small thank you smile, paid for my shit, loaded my kids in the car, my stuff in the car, turned it on and just fucking broke down in tears.

I have done the bad shops with my kids, I get my shit and get out, and get over that stress when we get home because I am in my safe place and after 20 to 30 minutes he is back in his calm rhythm and my son again. I can handle that stress, its mommy stress, but getting called out… twice! For doing nothing but minding my own business broke me. I didn’t yell, I didn’t hit, and I didn’t threaten my kids… Don’t get me wrong he was on a time out for a long while in his room with all his toys locked up and all the books he had when we got home.

But that was my business, and it was being handled as best I could. Once it was all said and done, both kids were calm and happy the whole ride home, and good the rest of the day… Well, after his time out Spud was.

Please don’t shame other mamas. Please.

Thank you for reading, Please Like, Comment, and follow me on Social Media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3

Stop The Mommy Shaming

picsart_01-05-09-49-58_resized

****Warning there will be A LOT of foul language in this post, I am sorry now.****

Mommy Shamming… We are all guilty of it in some aspect or another; I know I am every so often.

This was not what I wanted to post today; I was going to post about my day planner and my scheduling system, and how I can run my household as a single mom 85% of the time. But today, today mommy shamming hit close to home and in a way that I hope no mommy has to EVER go through or feel.

I got mommy shammed today… By two people back to back in Wal-Mart today, it actually brought me to tears!

My husband works out of town 90% of the time so I am left to do everything with my 2 year old son and a 6 month daughter in tow. Since yesterday was a bad day we didn’t go get groceries, but we needed go today because I was out of baby food, formula and training pants for my son as well a few things for meals I wanted to cook for the next 2 weeks. I loaded up the kids, stopped at MacDonalds for a small frie for my son because I can put him in the cart with the fries and he is good as gold the whole trip…. Not today, I am running on maybe 3 hours of sleep because my daughter is teething and it seems to be the end of her world. I go to put my baby carrier on at the store and discover she is now too big for it and it is now weighted down too much and sitting wrong on her and on me. So I put my son in the big part of the cart and put my daughter in the seat and strap her in, as she can sit independent for the most part. My son starts acting like an ass-hole right away, standing up when the cart is moving, not holding my hand when I try and get him to walk alongside me, throwing EVERYTHING out of the cart when I stop, including 3 glass jars of baby food…. that was the final straw.

I had the main things I wanted so I head to the check out and he is still being just so unbearable. So I pick up my daughter carry her in one arm, put my son in the seat, strap him in and he is being terrible kicking me as we walk to the front end. If I wasn’t out of important things I would have dumped the cart and just fucking left.

I never yelled at him but I whipped out that mommy tone a few times. So here I am, trying to control my terrible 2 year old son who is missing his daddy, while holding a little girl in one arm and unloading everything with my other arm, he got the point where I stopped grabbed his chin to get him to look me right in the eye and I said “What is wrong with you today? Where is mommy’s good boy? Why are you being bad? Why are you such a bad boy today?”

And then I hear it from 2 tills over this woman, in her early 20’s, pipe up “You shouldn’t call him bad.. It will give him a complex and grow up damaged.” That was it, she hit that raw nerve I had tried so very hard to calm. I looked over to her in smug face and said “With all due respect, Fuck off.” And went back to unloading my cart with one arm, then I hear that voice again “You really shouldn’t swear around your kids, they will repeat it.” And at this moment I forgave my son because as clear as day I heard him say “Fuck Off”.

I of course gave him heck and said “No, that is a grown up word.” and ignored the woman, still watching, across the way.

Then I hear from behind me, “Well now you know you should have only had one kid, because obviously you can’t handle the two of them.” I look up to see this perfectly manicured, picturesque young mom pushing an expensive baby stroller while an older woman, I later learned it was her mother, unloads the groceries from her cart. Before I can open my mouth to verbally punch her in the face, her mom steps in and brings her daughter crashing down from her high horse.
“Who called me at 11 last night, again at 2 am and 4 am, in TEARS, because your son refused to sleep? As well as the 3 nights before? Who BEGGED me to go grocery shopping with her because they couldn’t handle the idea of their 7 month old in cart while they shopped was too much for them? I did this with you and your 3 brothers and you were exactly like her son. So you say you’re sorry and shut your face. YOU are being BAD.”

I gave the mom a small thank you smile, paid for my shit, loaded my kids in the car, my stuff in the car, turned it on and just fucking broke down in tears.

I have done the bad shops with my kids, I get my shit and get out, and get over that stress when we get home because I am in my safe place and after 20 to 30 minutes he is back in his calm rhythm and my son again. I can handle that stress, its mommy stress, but getting called out… twice! For doing nothing but minding my own business broke me. I didn’t yell, I didn’t hit, and I didn’t threaten my kids… Don’t get me wrong he was on a time out for a long while in his room with all his toys locked up and all the books he had when we got home.

But that was my business, and it was being handled as best I could. Once it was all said and done, both kids were calm and happy the whole ride home, and good the rest of the day… Well, after his time out Spud was.

Please don’t shame other mamas. Please.

Thank you for reading, Please Like, Comment, and follow me on Social Media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3