Month: July 2019

  • Trusting your toddler

    Two weeks ago my two older kids started a new camp. It’s at their new Montessori pre-school and I am beyond pumped for them to begin school here. A few days into camp, my daughter (2.5), started saying she didn’t like her teachers. My first thought was legit terror. I have wicked anxiety and I usually always jump to the worst possible scenario in my head before I even have a chance to think anything through. That said, I took a breath and asked her why.

    She said “My teacher painted my rock.”

    I almost laughed. I pressed for a little more information because I couldn’t believe that this was what was making her so upset. She insisted that “my teacher helped me” and kept referring this rock. I almost brushed it off but then I thought about it and realized that she was legit upset because she wanted to work on this rock herself.

    I asked her if she was upset because she wanted to do it herself and she looked down, as if embarrassed, and said “yes.” I reassured her that it was OK for her to want to do things herself and that all she needed to say was “I don’t need help, but thank you!”–she laughed at my enthusiasm but I could tell she needed to hear that. She repeated it to herself with a smile on her face.

    I talked to her briefly about always speaking up if something didn’t feel right and reminded her it was OK to tell a teacher she wanted to try to do something herself.

    The next morning in the car ride we discussed her feelings about camp again. She wasn’t excited to go and said she didn’t “like camp.” I had a moment of clarity. I will say that I don’t always feel like a mom. I often tell new moms that I didn’t feel like a parent until my first kid was a toddler and I started dealing more with discipline. But it’s true–the day to day doesn’t feel like big “parenting” moments. Then you’re hit with something like this. Something small to you, but big to them. And these are the moments that make us parents. Our small decisions that ultimately help teach our kids something greater.

    It hit me that I needed to help her speak up for herself. It seems silly but she was very clearly upset and I hated the idea of her not being comfortable. I’m not one to intervene at every little thing, but I also think it’s so important to guide your children to grow in their own confidence and independence.

    I hoped her teacher wouldn’t think I was a nut case.

    We got to there and I led the conversation–I explained that Charlotte mentioned to me that she was upset because someone helped her paint her rock. Her teacher probably thought it was a joke at first but when Charlotte spoke up (after a little prodding) she took it seriously and reiterated to C that she just needed to tell her if she didn’t want help. Charlotte felt good. I felt good albeit a little ridiculous.

    When I went to pick her up that afternoon her teacher approached me again. She told me she had asked around to get the scoop about Charlotte’s rock. It turns out one of the teachers was holding the rock while Charlotte was painting. In that moment I felt silly for even making this a thing and I made a comment that made light of toddler concerns. At that her teacher reminded me that while it may seem silly to us, it was big to her. It was real to her. And I gave myself a little pat on the back.

    It’s always difficult to figure out what’s what when it comes to toddlers. They are master’s of all emotions, sometimes all at once. But I’m happy that I slowed down and trusted her. I listened and asked her genuine questions and even though she is only two and a half she understood–she understood her own feelings, she understood that she could say no thank you to an adult, and I hope that she, in some small way, understood that I will always have her back.

    She said “My teacher painted my rock.”

    I almost laughed. I pressed for a little more information because I couldn’t believe that this was what was making her so upset. She insisted that “my teacher helped me” and kept referring this rock. I almost brushed it off but then I thought about it and realized that she was legit upset because she wanted to work on this rock herself.

    I asked her if she was upset because she wanted to do it herself and she looked down, as if embarrassed, and said “yes.” I reassured her that it was OK for her to want to do things herself and that all she needed to say was “I don’t need help, but thank you!”–she laughed at my enthusiasm but I could tell she needed to hear that. She repeated it to herself with a smile on her face.

    I talked to her briefly about always speaking up if something didn’t feel right and reminded her it was OK to tell a teacher she wanted to try to do something herself.

    The next morning in the car ride we discussed her feelings about camp again. She wasn’t excited to go and said she didn’t “like camp.” I had a moment of clarity. I will say that I don’t always feel like a mom. I often tell new moms that I didn’t feel like a parent until my first kid was a toddler and I started dealing more with discipline. But it’s true–the day to day doesn’t feel like big “parenting” moments. Then you’re hit with something like this. Something small to you, but big to them. And these are the moments that make us parents. Our small decisions that ultimately help teach our kids something greater.

    It hit me that I needed to help her speak up for herself. It seems silly but she was very clearly upset and I hated the idea of her not being comfortable. I’m not one to intervene at every little thing, but I also think it’s so important to guide your children to grow in their own confidence and independence.

    I hoped her teacher wouldn’t think I was a nut case.

    We got to there and I led the conversation–I explained that Charlotte mentioned to me that she was upset because someone helped her paint her rock. Her teacher probably thought it was a joke at first but when Charlotte spoke up (after a little prodding) she took it seriously and reiterated to C that she just needed to tell her if she didn’t want help. Charlotte felt good. I felt good albeit a little ridiculous.

    When I went to pick her up that afternoon her teacher approached me again. She told me she had asked around to get the scoop about Charlotte’s rock. It turns out one of the teachers was holding the rock while Charlotte was painting. In that moment I felt silly for even making this a thing and I made a comment that made light of toddler concerns. At that her teacher reminded me that while it may seem silly to us, it was big to her. It was real to her. And I gave myself a little pat on the back.

    It’s always difficult to figure out what’s what when it comes to toddlers. They are master’s of all emotions, sometimes all at once. But I’m happy that I slowed down and trusted her. I listened and asked her genuine questions and even though she is only two and a half she understood–she understood her own feelings, she understood that she could say no thank you to an adult, and I hope that she, in some small way, understood that I will always have her back.

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  • Taming curly toddler hair

    This child. This hair. No one loves it more than me. See, I my hair is pin straight. My whole life I have wanted curly hair. I used to make my cousins curl it for me every time we had a sleep over. They would spend hours. It would fall flat within minutes. So I’m seriously jealous over these amazing curls. That said, I also had ZERO clue about how to care for curly hair.

    To wash or not to wash

    I was washing it almost daily (as I do my own…I know, I know, I’m not supposed to do this but I can’t help myself). Then I realized that I probably needed to do something different for her hair. I started researching the curly girl method and the “no poo” method–I also consulted with my own mama, as she is probably the one who passed these crazy curls down to my little one. Honestly, it’s a simple concept that I almost feel silly writing about it. But I just started not washing her hair unless it was REALLY dirty. My girl is a dirt loving, rambunctious, food slinging little so I sometimes have to really stop and ask myself–will this wash out with just a good finger scrub and water?

    Products for curly haired toddlers

    If I feel like she needs a little more cleaning power I use a mild shampoo (I like Tea Tree and Lavender from California Baby) at her roots. I always condition her hair whether I shampoo it or not (again with the California Baby Tea Tree and Lavender Conditioner) and I use the California Baby Detangling Spray and brush it with this curl brush that is specifically designed for curly hair. I ONLY brush it when it’s wet. Then after I have detangled I scrunch a dime sized amount of this Sprout organic natural curl cream. I love it because it doesn’t make her hair “crispy.”

    Embrace the curls

    I have already started talking to her about caring for her curly hair–we talk about not brushing curly hair when it’s dry and using her special cream. I know a bunch of curly haired mamas that are only now starting to own their curls in their mid-thirties, and I’m hoping my daughter can embrace this chaos from an early age because not only are they absolutely beautiful but they are part of what makes her, her.

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  • Best eco-friendly cup for infants and toddlers

    I swear I see multiple posts a week in my various moms groups asking for advice on what sippy cup to buy. It seems like such a simple decision, yet it plagues so many mamas. There are always a few things I feel the need to mention when I see these posts.

         1. DON’T use a “sippy” cup. That’s my number one recommendation.

    “Sippy” style cups are not recommended by dentists or speech and language pathologists. They impede the natural oral development. Check out the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for more detailed into here.

         2. Find something with the least amount of pieces. The more pieces, the harder it is to clean and the more likely the cup is to develop mold.

    I thought I found the perfect cup when Istarted my first with the plastic Munchkin 360  They were great. My kid quickly learned to drink from a “real” cup. After a while though, I started doing some research on more eco-friendly options and transitioned to the stainless steel version of the Munchkin 360. After a while, I noticed that mold was starting to grow under the little silicone ring that seals the top to the cup. Despite taking the ring off and washing often–which was a pain.

    So I said bye to our 360 cup and purchased a Pura Kiki. Yes it’s a little more expensive, BUT there is ZERO plastic (Even the stainless 360 has a plastic top). There are zero places for mold to hide AND best of all Pura Kiki makes a cup that works with different lids (yes they have an actual “sippy”, no you shouldn’t get it).

    Everyone in my house currently drinks from a Pura. My husband and I have these guys, my kids have a bunch and we mix and match between the straw version, the “sport mouth” straw and the sport top

    And when I have to pump, the baby drinks from the bottle version.

    The cups actually screw into the breast pump flange!

     

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  • The best baby bathtub

    The best baby bathtub - Play. Learn. Thrive. baby gear guide

    The best baby bathtub. Not really the most sexy baby item on the block but definitely something you need (unless you want to wash baby in the sink old school style–been there, done that).

    It only took me having three kids to find a baby bathtub that I actually loved. Who knew you could LOVE a baby bathtub.

    With my first two I used this Fisher Price guy. It was big, it sat on the counter (or the floor), it had this little mesh thing so tiny squish didn’t sink. It worked–I mean I was successfully able to bathe two babies, right? But I hated it.


    Charlotte getting her first bath

    You see, babies are slippery little suckers. Giving them a bath is not fun or relaxing when you’re constantly worried they are going to slip under the water if you aren’t holding them in place…and if you’re holding them in place what hands are you supposed to use to soap them up and rinse them off. It was a struggle. With my third little nugget, I decided to buy a new bath tub. I stumbled upon this Munchkin one. It was inexpensive and looked like baby could actually sit and enjoy the water vs slipping and sliding everywhere.

    I absolutely love this bathtub. Emma can actually sit in it (and has been able to since she was about a month old—Took me a while to give her a bath… she’s the 3rd kid….) The way it’s designed is the perfect recline for baby. They are totally propped up and you can actually let go of them and use your hands to soap them up/rinse them without them slipping under the water.

    I love that this tub doesn’t use a ton of water, making a more eco-friendly choice than some of the bigger baby bath tubs.

    Another awesome feature is this bad boy is compact enough to fit into a sink, or it can sit on the counter or floor. It also fits into the bottom of my linen closet so it doesn’t take up too much space (or it could be hung up using that little handle in the back).

     

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