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“Sticker… Chart??”

by Dawn on May 27, 2008
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),Potty time

dsc03500.JPG This is one of Lucy’s newest questions to ask when she does something well. Two weeks ago, we started using a sticker chart as a reward system for accomplishing small but important tasks. I decided it was worth a try, because our main problem was (and sometimes still is) getting her to keep her diaper on during naptime. For a few weeks, she would get into the crib and within minutes remove the diaper. If you’ve experienced this you know it’s enough to make you crazy!

Off the top of my head, I made up the chart pictured and listed the things that her dad and I would like to see her do without a fight, such as help clean up the toys, brush her teeth, and wash her hands. She has not taken to potty training yet, so we added several things relating to that area as well, recently adding “sitting on the potty without a diaper”. For each success, she gets a small sticker to put in the box. If she completes an entire row of stickers, she’ll get a prize. For now, it’s not hard to please her, so her prize is simply a larger sticker, which she wears on her shirt proudly. When she’s older, we’ll probably put together a little reward box and fill it with trinkets from the dollar store, and she can choose from that what she’d like to have as a reward.

We have seen this process work for us in numerous ways. A few evenings ago, I asked Lucy to brush her teeth, and she said no. I reminded her that she’d get a sticker on her chart if she did, and she promptly scooted herself into the bathroom and got to work. It was great to witness. We’ve also seen a general willingness to ask about the potty and to follow through with sitting on it – prior to the chart, it was as if the potty didn’t exist. So we’re hopeful that this trend will continue, and make the task of potty training a little easier in the future.

Here are links to more tips, charts, and ideas:

Free Printable Potty Training Charts and Certificates

Printable Certificates & Rewards

Spotlighting Good Behavior on iVillage

Changing a Toddler’s Behavior

Have you used sticker charts or reward systems with your children? What worked for you? What didn’t work?

A Guest Post from Pete: A Dad, A Deal, And 41 Dozen Diapers

by Amanda on February 28, 2008
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),Potty time,Pregnancy,Product Reviews

My friend, Pete (the only male to ever comment on this site), is very excited about being a new dad. He enthusiastically jumped in and started changing diapers on day 1. He works for a small junior high and they recently had a diaper drive for him and one other teacher. The stack of diapers in his garage is about 8 ft wide and 4 ft high! Seriously. In this article Pete shares his first experiences with diapering.

nate.jpg Starting off with my credentials, I’ve been a father for exactly 4 weeks today, thus I’ve changed somewhere between two to three hundred diapers. My experience with diapering before becoming a parent was limited to a few isolated incidences of babysitting for a friend or my sisters. When it was time to clean up the dirty-deed, I simply used whatever diapers were supplied, never noticing their effectiveness or brand. In grocery stores, I undoubtedly walked past the disposable diaper aisle, but had never stopped to determine my “Brand” or even price range. Consequently, I did like the idea of environmentally friendly and exploring the world of cloth diapers…if the opportunity ever presented itself.

Well, the opportunity did present itself this year and I wanted to be prepared. A month before our son arrived there was a disposable sale at Babies R Us and I capitalized on it. I purchased 2 super-sized boxes of Newborn size and 2 mega-sized boxes of size 1 diapers. The cost per diaper was as low as 7 cents per diaper, which is significantly less when compared to some of the “Brand Name” diapers which can easily cost 25 cents per diaper. (And when you’re using 12+/- diapers a day, it makes a big difference). For what it is worth, my wife and I decided that we would postpone the use of cloth diapers until our son was at a stage where he was dirtying fewer diapers per day.

Now, about the four boxes of diapers. They were the cheapest in price I had researched, but would they get the job done? Since I had so many, I was determined that these would work! Unfortunately, our son was not just dirtying these diapers, but he was regularly wetting his clothes as well. The diapers frequently leaked liquids near his lower lumbar. The worst of it happened last Tuesday, when I changed his diaper six times between 6pm and midnight, and believe it or not, all six times the diapers had leaked and soiled his clothes. That was the night I decided to cut my losses and invest in the “Brand Name” diapers. Since making that decision exactly one week ago, I can honestly confirm that our son has never needed to a change of outfit due to his diaper leaking! Thus, as difficult as it is for my spend-thrift mind to admit it, my practical lesson learned here is that the “Brand Name” diapers are worth the extra expense. This same principle extends to Ice Cream brands as well.

Lessons learned – If I was a seasoned parent I would have more credibility for my these theorems, never-the-less, while I’m on the subject, I’ve included an extra paragraph with additional postulates.

  1. Every child is different and things can change at each stage, so “Brand A” may be best now, but “Brand B” may be your best choice after future development.
  2. Do not buy in bulk until you have “street tested” the brand and size to confirm it’s the way to go.
  3. There is a significant amount of money spent each year on diapering, so one very practical way to help new parents is to start a “Diaper Drive”.

The leaking diapers that I purchased in bulk was the “Especially For Baby” brand from Babies R Us. Since then, I have used Huggies and Pampers. Both have worked out very well, but I especially liked the Pampers. My next brand to try out will be Luvs.

Before You Potty Train Your Child

by McKenna on January 24, 2008
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),3 – 5 years (preschooler),Potty time

I have felt so much pressure to potty train my daughter. I will be honest. There is a big part of me that has wondered why it’s so important to potty train early. Diapers, in my opinion, are much easier than having to stop everything to take your child to the bathroom and potty training is just one more factor, thrown in there with nap time and meal time, in strategically planning your outings. We’re busy, and in my free time with my daughter, teaching her shapes, colors, and how to count seem much more important than learning to pee-pee in the potty. While I would rather work on other developmental goals, I do know that it is important (and cheaper) for Darah to be potty trained. Potty training brings about more independence for her.

Recently, at the start of 2008, I determined that 2008 was the year Darah was going to be potty trained. I have read “Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day,” and gone to countless sites about potty training. I have taken the “Is your child ready?” quizzes and determined that she is. I have tried a few days of having her run around without bottoms for a day and taken her every 10 minutes to the potty. I have made the sticker chart, decorated the bathroom, charted her elimination pattern (when she pees and poops) and I have incorporated potty time in her schedule at school with her teachers. I’ve come to the place though where I am now slowing down!

So, like in all mountains I have climbed, I have decided to focus on one step at a time. We are at the place where we are “pre-potty training” Darah. By pre-potty training, I mean that I am training her to go through the whole routine of potty time, without the actual elimination in the toilet.

Preparing your child for potty training:

  • Desensitize your child to the bathroom. The bathroom is unlike most rooms in the house, so allow your child in there with you frequently.
  • Whenever you go, take your child. Celebrate when YOU go to the bathroom and allow your child to join in that celebration.
  • Empty your child’s poopy diaper in the toilet. Explain to your child that his or her poo poo belongs in the toilet and flush it together.
  • Change all diapers in the bathroom.
  • Teach your child what the potty time routine looks like, including: lifting up the toilet lid cover, pulling down your pants, sitting on the toilet for a while, wiping, flushing, pulling back up your pants, washing your hands, and closing the bathroom door when you’re finished. If your child can follow this whole routine, once you start the elimination training, half the battle is already won!
  • Teach the concept of “wet and dry” to your child. When their diaper is wet, let them touch it and explain that it’s wet (washing their hands right after, of course.) When their diaper is dry, let them feel the dryness and explain to them that they are dry.
  • Don’t force your child to explore the bathroom. You do not want your child to become aversive to the bathroom, or the toilet.
  • Always have a good attitude about potty training. Just like all developmental milestones, potty training is a process that will not be without accidents. When a child is learning to walk, parents don’t scold him when he falls down, they encourage him to get back up and try again. Your child will pick up on your frustration with potty training and will decide not to cooperate, and that my friend will be a very tough battle!

With the huge help of Darah’s teachers at school, Darah has learned the potty time routine. She independently pulls down her pants, sits on the toilet, wipes, flushes, and washes her hands. She has not begun eliminating in the toilet yet, except for a few random times we’ve caught her! However, I feel that every day we go through the potty routine with her, we are getting closer and closer to once and for all toss the diapers, put on the Little Mermaid big girl panties, and go for it!

What’s next?

My plan right now is to continue having “potty time” several times a day, and hopefully we will “catch” her when she needs to go more frequently and celebrate those moments. I think that with Darah, we are going to probably need to schedule train her after next. By schedule training, I mean that we figure out the times that she needs to potty during the day and we take her to the bathroom to do her thing. Shortly after she is schedule trained, I am hopeful she will then spontaneously start asking to use the toilet at appropriate times. I will then write a post here on The Mom Crowd and give you all my insider info on the next steps!

Dr Phil’s Potty Training Method

Potty training a child with special needs

What is your experience with potty training? Did/Do you feel the same pressure I’ve felt about potty training? Do you think early or late potty training is better? Any good info, books, or sites to share? Let’s talk POTTY!! ;)

Should I Cloth Diaper?

by Amelia on December 6, 2007
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),1 – 3 year (toddler),Potty time

I asked this question when we were pregnant with our first baby. We had some friends that had done it and our birth teacher had a former student who sold them and came to one of our classes to give a demonstration on how they worked. The picture is of our second son, Isaac in a Fuzzy Bunz pocket diaper.She showed us several different kinds of diapers and we learned that we could save hundreds to thousands of dollars by using cloth diapers. We still had questions that I think most people have like:

How do you wash them? Is it hard?

How do you get the poop out?

Is it gross? Is it inconvenient?

What about when you go out?

Why should we?

How do I get started?

Once we learned the answers to our questions we thought it was a good idea and we wanted to try it. I’ll share with you some of the answers we came up with and add some things I have learned since I started cloth diapering.

There is a lot of information out there about cloth diapering and once learn some of the terminology and get the basics down it should be smooth sailing.

Did you know…?

Disposable diapers have traces of Dioxin in them. Dioxin comes from the bleaching process and is a known cancer linked chemical. It is also banned in several other countries but not here in the U.S.

Disposable diapers also contain another toxic chemical called TBT that can cause hormonal problems in humans.

It can cost approximately $1,600 to diaper one baby in disposables but you could cloth diaper ALL your babies for less than half of that?

Did you know (from a Green perspective):

That 92% of all disposable diapers end up in a landfill?

That disposable diapers are estimated to take 200-500 years to decompose and are the third largest consumer item in landfills?

300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum byproducts and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to diaper one baby each year in disposables?

Disposable diapers are not able to be recycled but cloth diapers can be used 50-200 times before being recycled and used as rags?

Okay, okay enough with the facts. I got those from a non-profit group called The Real Diaper Association committed to teaching parents about all the benefits of cloth diapering.

To answer some of the questions I asked earlier….

How do you wash them? Is it hard?

Everyone seems to have their own way of washing the diapers but there are some basics. Some people soak their diapers in the washer overnight but others will just run a pre-wash. I wash my diapers in a cold/cold cycle with no detergent first. This serves as my “pre-wash”. Then I add All Free and Clear to the diapers and change the water temp to hot/cold and wash them on the heavy duty 14 minute cycle. I take out my diaper covers and put all the pre-folds in the dryer and set them to dry. It takes a little practice to figure out when to wash before you run out of diapers to use on the baby.

I have noticed that the cloth diaper pail actually smell better than a disposable diaper pail. It still has an odor, don’t get me wrong, but it is not quite as putrid–in my opinion. The chemicals in the disposable diapers mix with the urine and poop to create a rather unpleasant odor.

Is is gross and inconvenient? What about when you go out?

It isn’t any more gross than disposable diapers. Poop is poop. I will admit that it is perhaps a little grosser when your baby is older and having some ooey-gooey poops but the great thing is that the washing machine will clean what you can’t dump into the toilet. When we are out and about I use a little plastic grocery sack or a vinyl bag to carry around used cloth diapers. I just have to dump it into the diaper pail when I get home. It doesn’t feel burdensome to do that.

When we travel I use disposable diapers. It is inconvenient to use them while traveling because they take up a lot of packing room and you have to have a washing machine to wash them. That is not always possible when traveling.

Why should I?

Cloth diapering is environmentally friendly and also economic. A friend of mine from Tanzania told me that the United States is sending some of our waste to landfills in Africa! Our landfills are so full of disposable diapers and if more people started cloth diapering then maybe we wouldn’t have to send our trash to another continent. It is one way to make our biological footprint a little smaller.

You get the most economic savings if you have more than one child because you can reuse cloth diapers on every kid. Depending on what kind of cloth diapers you buy you can still get quite a savings on one child. There is a small learning curve to get started but it is easy to learn and the benefits are great! Instead of spending $40-50 a month on diapers over a 2-3 year period you can save that money and spend it on other things!

How do I get started?

There are so many different kinds of cloth diapers available online that it is a little overwhelming to know what kind to get. Here is a breakdown of the different kinds of diapers:

Chinese Pre-Folds-Rectangular diapers that absorb pee and poop. These are the least expensive cloth diapers you can buy. You can get cotton or hemp diapers. You can splurge for organic ones if you want.

Diaper Covers-There are several kinds of diaper covers out there. You need them to put on top of pre-folds or other fitted diapers that don’t come with a cover. My favorite is the Super-Whisper Wrap by Bummis.

Pocket Diapers-You insert a pre-fold or other absorbent material inside of the diaper. These are usually waterproof and a little more expensive than a pre-fold and a cover.

All-in-Ones-Diapers that come with the absorbent material plus the cover sewn into one diaper. These are also more expensive but work more like disposable diapers. They are great for grandparents and babysitters to use.

Doublers-Extra inserts for pre-folds and pocket diapers for extra absorbency

Decide on a budget of how much you want to spend. A lot of cloth diapers come in fun colors and patterns but they cost more. If you know you would spend approximately $1500 over the course of 2 to 3 years on one child you could set that as your budget amount and purchase diapers accordingly. The links above are from a website that I have bought diapers from before but there are tons of different sites to choose from. Some websites provide beginner packages for a discounted price. Ask around and see if you have any friends or acquaintances that cloth diaper and ask about their experiences. Cloth diapering can be fun and some moms have even made their own diapers.

I find that I love the economic savings and I really don’t mind the extra laundry load every couple of days. If you have any questions about it please let me know!

Survey: The Cost of Disposable Diapers

by Amanda on October 30, 2007
category: Potty time

We are doing an upcoming article about diapers and we need some help from you! Please take a quick second and answer our survey below. Thank you!

[poll=2]

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