KidletNation

Unique toys, books, music, and clothing for babies, children and their parents.

Making Tooth Brushing Fun (AKA Getting Them To Brush For Themselves)

No Comments »

We’re lucky in that our little guy never really had an aversion to having his teeth brushed. I can’t say that he enjoyed it, but once it was established that we brushed teeth after meals he would consistently endure the process. That said, he would NOT take the initiative and work the brush on his own. It was definitely a task for Mom or Dad to initiate and perform.

How did we get past this? We bought him an electric toothbrush.

Actually, we bought ourselves electric toothbrushes first so he could see that it was the way we brushed our teeth and established it as something adults do, whereas the non-electric brushing was something for kids. Next we bought him his own and just set it down in front of him. He’d already seen how ours worked, so he was interested to see if this new brush would work the same way. Note as well that the brush we chose prominently featured characters from the movie Cars.

Surprise, surprise, by that evening he was turning it on and off and actually doing a pretty good job of brushing his teeth. At this point he takes the first stab after each meal and either Mom or Dad will bat clean-up and make sure that all areas are scrubbed. Best of all, if WE forget to get his toothbrush he’s sure to remind us!

We ended up getting him an Oral B Stages toothbrush for those interested.

Good luck all :)

Potty Training. An Update On Our Toddler

No Comments »

Last post I referenced an article that suggested one should not push potty training given that toddlers are generally fully capable of using the toilet, but for whatever reason choose not to. Further, that pushing them to use the potty rather than diaper can lead to issues like constipation now and later in life. We opted to follow this counsel in part due to the readings we found, and in part given the feedback from our daycare provider who has seen many, many children over the years of all personalities and schedules. I’m glad we did.

About four weeks ago our little one began to use the toilet much more frequently. Today it is the exception for him to soil is diaper vs. tell us that he has to use the potty and walk upstairs on his own to do so. Initially it was progress at home only, with reliance on diapers whenever we were traveling, or at someone else’s home. Roughly three weeks ago he decided that using the potty at his Grandfather’s place was ok, and earlier this week this willingness was extended to his Grandmother’s as well.

We’ve taken potty training / toilet related books out of rotation so as to remove any additional stress and it seems to be working well. We do asks occasinally if we’re at a time that typically would have seen toilet use, but otherwise leave him to tell us when he needs to go. We do cheer him on whenever he says he needs to go, and accompany him to the bathroom cheering all the way.

Now, granted we still use incentives as part of the exercise and have no immediate plans to remove these, but progress is progress and we’re thrilled, as is he! It’s been several days since the last time he woke up with #2 in his diaper, or didn’t make it to the toilet in time in the morning. Number 1 remains an issue, but its improving as well.

Next steps? Pull-ups and underwear when he’s ready, and having him wipe on his own.

Progress!

Potty Training And The Argument For Not Starting Early

No Comments »

Our son is continuing to work on his toilet training, having just passed the three year mark. I have to admit that it’s been a source of some frustration for me since a) I know he knows when he needs to use the toilet and is able to do so should he choose, b) he often doesn’t choose to when there’s something more interesting going on and of course c) many of the other children at his daycare are already toilet trained or well on their way to being so (shame on me for allowing this last item to influence me).

Today I stumbled across an article that suggests that the approach most parents seem to be taken these days is misguieded.
The article is here: A Doctor Responds: Don’t Potty Train Your Baby

I’ve pulled out some of the more interesting statements to whet your appetite.

The Oniciucs may be thrilled and proud that their daughter knows how to hold her pee and poop, but from my perspective, they should be concerned. For proper bladder development, young children need to pee and poop without inhibition.

And:

In toilet-trained children, chronic holding is the root cause of virtually all toileting problems, including daytime pee and poop accidents, bedwetting, urinary frequency and urinary tract infections.

Oh, and let’s not forget:

In truth, mastering the toilet has nothing to do with brainpower. Parents who wait until later to train their children aren’t treating babies as “stupid” and neither are they lazy; they’re wisely allowing their child’s bladder to develop in a healthy manner.

Enjoy!

Parenting Cheat Sheet: Helpful Resources From Reddit Of All Places

No Comments »

Reddit may not be a site often associated with positive parenting, but for those of you not aware, r/parenting does exist and it’s FULL of interesting and potentially helpful resources.

Here’s a thread to get you started: Resources to help you be a better parent.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Were They Appropriate Then? Are they Appropriate Now?

No Comments »

My wife and I would never allow our son to watch the new Grimm tv show that kicked off last year, yet the basis of that show is Grimm’s Fairy Tales, stories that I can remember hearing/reading when I was young. Granted, the versions my mother told me weren’t as grisly as some of the originals, but still, they weren’t the pleasant, sugary stories that we tend to read our little one.

I would be really interested to know how many people do read Grimm’s Fairy Tales to their children, and at what age. Further, I’d like to know what the concensus is regarding the impact of these types of stories on a child’s development. Are such Fairy Tales appropriate? Were they ever?

Are Grimm’s Fairy Tales too twisted for children?

Just to refresh your memories, there are the Disney versions… and then there are the originals. Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the like have various versions and the originals certainly aren’t child-worthy. In fact, today most of them wouldn’t garner anything close to a PG rating.

The following article documents some of the original storylines: Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins

Holding Your Child Back A Year From Kindergarten. AKA “Redshirting”

1 Comment »

Today was the first time I’d heard this concept referred to as redshirting and frankly it made me chuckle in the context of kids and kindergarten. It was NOT the first time I’d heard the concept discussed as it’s surfaced many times over the past year, particularly in discussions with some of our friends in the southern US.

What is redshirting? Redshirting in the context of kids and kindergarten is the practice of holding your child back from kindergarten for a year (usually) because they are born later in their calendar year. The reasons I’ve heard are so that a) your child isn’t that much younger, and potentially further behind developmentally (I would think this would be more a reflection of the child’s personal developmental stage rather than something that should be decided purely based on age), b) your child isn’t significantly smaller than some of the older children (some folks mentioning sports / physical activity abilities as well as their ability to generally hold their own on the playground).

I’m against the practice as a general, age-based decision. Purely based on age, I’m against it. Based on developmental stage and your child’s personal needs I’m all for it. The increase in consideration of redshirting strikes me as a symptom of some issues at the parental-level that might be better addressed or focused on. Why are we concerned about sports ability of a child in kindergarten… shouldn’t we just be letting them explore their world with friends and leave the competition for a later date?

Anyway, the following article includes some additional thoughts and links that anyone reading this might find interesting. Enjoy.
Redshirting: to enter kindergarten or not… that is the question

Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare…

No Comments »

Perhaps not WORST… as I think we can all imagine how that would have ended.

Thankfully I’ve never found myself in the situation illustrated in the gif below… but if I ever do I pray that my reflexes and grip don’t let me down!

babydrop

Bereavement Rates on Westjet

No Comments »

I posted quite a while back on the strategy we used to ensure our pre-2 year old was left with a full seat during those two years when he was able to travel as a lap infant.

This post is one for those unforunate times when you might have to travel due to the loss of a family member. We recently found ourselves flying across Canada more than once in a short period of time due to illness, and unfortunately, ultimately the death of a close family member. Under the stress of the time we didn’t think to look into the options available to reduce the cost of this travel under such a circumstance. Westjet does offer bereavement fares and I wanted to call out a couple notes to share our experience.

1. Westjet bereavement fares don’t necessarily translate to a reduced fare price. If you have enough advanced notice to benefit from the lowest, or middle fare tranche you’re unlikely to get a discount on the price of the ticket. That said, by contacting Westjet and arranging for a bereavement ticket you will be provided with additional flexibility than you would have with a standard ticket. It was my experience that the bereavement fare ticket was priced at the same pricepoint as the middle tier tickets.

2. If you’re booking last minute and find yourself with only the most costly fare option available to you then calling Westjet for a bereavement fare ticket is definitely worthwhile. Not only will you gain the flexibility that goes along with the bereavement ticket, but you’ll find that Westjet will provide a discount on the ticket price itself.

3. If you forget to book a bereavement ticket, or weren’t aware at the time of booking you can contact Westjet and they will apply the benefit after the fact. For example, my wife and son joined me as I’d flown earlier to our destination. They booked day before and so paid the full fare price. We called Westjet several hours later and explained that our travel was due to a death in the family and they graciously revised their ticket to a bereavement fare, with the only cost being that they were reseated from their priority seats to positions further back in the plane. Definitely worth it so save almost $500 across two tickets.

I hope someone out there finds this helpful, because worrying about cost is the last thing you need when dealing with the death of a loved one.

Living In Smaller Spaces

No Comments »

Growing up I can remember swearing that when it was my turn, I’d have a large home over a small one, and ideally a sprawling one (single storey) rather than stacked. The rationale was that it drove me crazy to feel like I was in close quarters with the rest of my family, particularly during my teenage years. Larger home meant more opportunity for privacy and bungalow meant potentially greater ‘distance’ from others.

Fast forward to 2 years ago and I found myself in the complete opposite situation. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we, like so many others found ourselves in a relatively small apartment (~1,100 square feet) spread across 2 levels. Fine for two of us, but what about baby?

Fast forward to today and we find ourselves with a relatively happy and healthy toddler in that same apartment. So far things are working well, but I have no illusions that were he to be in his teens he would see it very differently. As well, I’m starting to realize that even at his young age it would be nice to have some additional space or at least that we did a better job of using our existing space.

The following article, Chill-Out Corner: A PositiveTool for Learning Emotional Self Regulation, draws attention to the fact that as our toddler has continued to grow and mature I may not have continued to consider his needs and revisit the layout and makeup of our home environment. While the article discusses the subject in the context of a place for a child to go when he needs to ‘chill out” I think it applies equally to the discussion of other, more general scenarios as well. Does your child have an environment that allows him or her to deal with life in a safe, comforting, familiar way?

Our son has a need for privacy. He has a need for a safe, comfortable space. While he has his room, we haven’t done a good job (in my opinion) of making sure that its decorated / designed appropriately and in such a way that he sees it as HIS ROOM. Today it serves a shared purpose. We store random stuff in his closet. We hang our coats on his wall. Two of the walls are bare. The lighting doesn’t provide a warmth that makes you want to spend time in that space.

Time to get to work!

Christmas 2012. The Haul.

No Comments »

So, we’ve failed. Clearly. We’ve failed in our promise to ourselves that we wouldn’t allow the toy situation get out of control. I clearly remember visiting friends’ homes and cringing at the piles of toy cars and sports equipment that just seemed to occupy every nook and cranny of their previously tidy homes.

We promised ourselves that wouldn’t be us.
We failed in that promise.

As a result of Christmas 2012 I now have a new project on my hands. Identify, review and select Vancouver-based services that accept used toys, kids books and children’s clothing and put them, or their proceeds to good use.

While our situation may not be as bad as most, our little guy certainly has more toys right now than he needs, or frankly than he can manage. More concerning, where prior to Christmas he showed little interest in either presents or the idea of new toys, he now considers anything loosely resembling a present as being something that should be his, and to my dismay he’s asked me if he can have “new cars.”

I figure there’s no time like the present to try and change that attitude and to reduce both the clutter and amount of distraction for him in and around our home.

I’m open to any suggestions for worthy recipients of toys, clothes and books in good to excellent condition. Currently I’m thinking of:
Vancouver Public Library for the books.
Big Brothers for toys and clothes that our friends’ kids won’t be able to use.