To potty, or not to potty – that is the question

Is Chloe to young to start potty training? That is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. For the past three days in a row, Chloe has come to me and said “Poopy!” and then I’ve watched her bear down and go (in her diaper). The first day it came as a big surprise. The second day, I was surprised again, yet prepared to act excited and pleased. The third morning, I went out and bought a new potty. I had no expectations, but thought I might as well be prepared.

The third day was yesterday. When Chloe came to tell me, well, let’s just say I could have handled it better. First, I waited too long, but I wanted to be sure. Then, when I was sure, I took her to the bathroom, tried to whip off her diaper, and sit her on the seat. Unfortunately, one side of the diaper got stuck. There was already poop in it (because I waited), and I had to use the other hand to keep it inside (and limit the smear factor). Anyway, I was too late and it was awkward for both of us. Doubly so when I finally got the diaper off and Chloe reached her hand to see what was going on where her diaper had been. Yuck. Chloe looked at her browned fingers and learned a new word: “Dirty!”.

No pooping was done in the potty that day. And Chloe was out running around with her daddy the second time she went. I’ll have to remember to ask if she warned him, too.

Today is the fourth day.

Will she be as consistent today? She sure loves sitting on her new potty and has since randomly said “Poopy!” several times yesterday in reference to the chair. Will I be faster? Should I even try? What if she does (miraculously) learn to poopy in the potty, doesn’t that mean that I’ll have to find a potty whenever she needs to go? If I told her to go in her diaper, wouldn’t that be sending a mixed message? On one hand, I’m pleased she’s begun to recognize her bodily functions, but on the other hand it adds a complication that I don’t feel ready for.

I also have a confession to make. I already had a potty that I bought on craigslist soon after Chloe was born (top left image). I really liked the modern design of it, but it was used a little harder than I originally thought and I never cleaned it like I knew I should. It is sitting in our shed. Then, a friend recommended a  sit-on-top model, actually a 3-in-one, that was working well for her son, and I thought that might be better (center image). So that is what I bought. Now we have two (or three, really, because I couldn’t decide and bought a third one, too, which I plan on returning. I’m such a dork.).

So, that is where I am. Now I wait to see what today might bring for poopy time…

Note: Babies R Us is currently offering $3 off all potty chairs over $20, plus an extra $5 off if you get the coupon book.


Flying with Baby – Packing list, tips and advice

We just got back from our trip to Washington, DC. It was long – coast-to coast, but baby handled her first airplane travel much better than I expected. I credit good advice, a smartly packed diaper bag, and the luck of sitting next to child-friendly people for making a big difference on all our flights.

Our experience on Frontier: One piece of advice I got was to check my suitcase, stroller and car seat at the curb, but it turns out than Frontier doesn’t offer curb-side check-in. Because of this I decided to leave the stroller (which I was waffling on anyway), since I wouldn’t be able to carry it into the terminal alone, along with the baby, our suitcase, the car-seat and our carry-on diaper bag. Thank goodness she was in her baby carrier, because I needed both hands to get everything to the ticketing counter, and it was a life saver getting through security.

It definitely bothered me that Frontier doesn’t allow 24hr advanced online check-in with a lap child. However, a representative told me that Frontier always tries to give mothers’ a window seat, which is what I wanted. I also noticed on most flights that they seem to stow all babies at the very back of the plane (either for convenience to the lavatory or to keep all the noise in one place, it is hard to say). Chloe was an angel during the first day of flights (layover in Denver) but a little more fussy on the return trip, probably due to the extremely early wake-up and just generally being off her schedule. The first set of flights were better timed for her.

I thought I would be rushing through the layovers, but there was plenty of time to grab a bite to eat, change her diaper, and give her some tummy-time. I tried to schedule feedings so I could nurse during take-off, and she was usually asleep by landings. She didn’t seem bothered by air pressure changes, so I didn’t wake her up. Other key elements to our successful flights included packing several small and varied toys that were new to Chloe (which kept her attention longer), choosing easy to eat, one-handed foods (a sandwich vs. a salad, for example), giving baby multiple positions in my lap, and some tummy-time / free time to stretch off my lap during the layovers.

Our airplane carry-on diaper bag packing list

For Baby:
O    8 diapers + wipes (which we didn’t use all of)
O    diaper changing pad
O    3 disposable diaper changing table covers
O    5 diaper disposal sacks
O     sample size packet of diaper cream
O    small tube of baby lotion (in case of dry cabin air)
O    small amount of masking tape (wrapped around lotion tube)
O    Little Noses saline drops (in case of dry cabin air or air pressure problems)
O    bulb syringe
O    baby tylenol
O    thermometer
O    baby nail clippers
O    Clean Well hand sanitizer
O    1 receiving blanket (for it’s small size)*
O    2 burp cloths
O    3 pacifiers (two with clips)
O    3 small toys / teethers (new ones keep her attention longer)
O    2 changes of clothes (I dressed Chloe in a one-piece “sleep-and-play” for travel, because it was easy for diaper changes but packed a     change of clothes to meet grandpa and grandma in, which I didn’t use, plus an extra sleep-and-play, if needed, protected in a large ziploc with a spare ziploc to hold soiled clothes)
O    baby hat
O    immunization records
O    birth certificate

For Mom:
O    wallet (including driver’s license and spare cash)
O    water bottle (that I filled at a water fountain after we went through security)
O    snack bar
O    spare t-shirt
O    cell-phone (see note below about the iphone)
O    small point-and-shoot camera (to record this first flight)
O    travel-size contact solution and case
O    eye glasses
O    ultra light jacket (weighs almost nothing, and takes up little space – perfect for airport tummy-time)
O    nursing cover
O    extra set of breast pads
O    book (actually two, since I bought another one at the airport)
O    travel pack of tissues
O    ear plugs
O    lip balm
O   2  pens

Other Notes

Travel clothes: Since I am still nursing, I wore a low-neck t-shirt over a nursing tank top, so I could nurse easily (and discreetly with a nursing cover) on take-off. I also wore pants that have a flat waist (no belt to sit underneath the baby carrier) and a zipper pocket (so that my wallet, phone and money were secure on my person, without needing a separate purse).

Dealing with ear pressure in babies and small children: The key is to have them sucking and/or swallowing to help even out the air pressure in their ears. Nursing, a bottle, or a pacifier works great (older kids and adults can usually just chew gum or suck on a piece of candy). Another method is to use baby saline drops or spray which will moisturize dry nasal passages (especially on longer flights) and will also cause baby to swallow.

Emergency ear pressure relief trick: Here’s an obscure tip that one of my clients who has five kids shared – If your child seems to be having a really hard time coping with ear pressure, ask the flight attendant for two styrofoam cups, some hot water, and a wad of napkins (you could also use two socks, washcloths, etc.). Dip the napkins in hot water and wring them out so they won’t drip, place half the napkins in each cup and then “cup” the cups around both baby’s ears. This creates a bit of a vacuum, which will also help relieve the pressure.

Diapers & Wipes: I packed enough diapers and wipes in my diaper bag to last the day, plus a few extra should a delay occur. I also packed a couple in my suitcase, with the intention of buying more when we got to our destination.

Travel and the iphone: My husband generously let me borrow his iphone for the duration of our trip and I can’t say enough about it. This one small device was so handy for: an alarm clock, watch, music player, gps, camera, game device, intermittent night light, emailing, texting, phone calls and general internet access. Love it!

Baby Carrier : I use our awesome Beco Carrier. More about it here.


Bloch Baby Shoes

I remember my very first pair of ballet slippers. It was preschool, and unlike the room full of little girls wearing pink slippers, mine were black. I asked my mother about this when I got a little older. She said they were purchased by my grandmother, who figured that the different color would never get them mixed up with the other girls’ shoes. A very practical decision, but not one I appreciated at the time. Needless to say, by the time I was making my own decisions, I always chose pink after that.

These memories were brought to mind by the new baby styles by Bloch, the famous dance footwear company. They have expanded into fashion footwear for women, girls and babies. I love the idea of Chloe in little flats and a tulle skirt, someday twirling around the living room (or a dance studio). Even if she doesn’t need real ballerina slippers, these pretty shoes would sure be fun.

Via Design Mom

Postscript: I emailed the Bloch rep and she replied that a few online places to try were ronrobinson.com,  madisonandfriends.com and chickdowntown.com, but I found a better web site for online viewing at Bohemia.com (UK).


Baby's First Toy

After Chloe’s first play date with Ava and Lorenzo, I thought it might be time to get her an infant-specific toy. I started looking at options online and really liked…

The wooden Anelina Rattle Teething Ring and the Tulpino Rattle, both by the German toy maker Selecta. I loved their simple design and materials. Unfortunately, neither of these seem to be available locally, so…

Instead, Daddy brought home a Rombino Rattle Ring (0+months). I was delighted to see her grasp the toy after I placed it in her hand, and then and bring it up to her mouth all by herself! Two other toys that Daddy couldn’t resist was a Chick-ita (not shown) and a Ballino. The Chick-ita sounds like a mini maraca and the Ballino is made of beech wood, with ecological, water-based, non-toxic lacquer. It is one of those really great structural toys that looks good just sitting on a desk – fun for adults too. 🙂

“Babies learn soon to comprehend the world around them: holding, observing, putting everything in their mouths – A baby explores their surroundings with all their senses…”

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