Rainbows and Dragonflies

Archive for the ‘Milestones’ Category

For the past few months we’ve been potty training Li’l T with the help of his daycare. They have a schedule at daycare where he goes regularly and he’ll go to the potty without any urging when he’s at home. We’re halfway there. When he went on vacation last month my younger sister bought him his first pack of little boy underwear. I’m not ready for him to be a big boy but it’s about time to get him out of diapers. The glitch in the system is that he hasn’t made the connection yet that he isn’t supposed to go in his undies. If he’s bottomless he hops on the potty but when he has on undies he equates them with diapers and goes in them. I know it’s a process and he’ll get it eventually. I just want to make sure we help him move forward and not backward.

Since he still wears diapers at daycare we’ve been thinking about switching him to some sort of training pants. My head is swimming after reading the pros and cons of disposable versus cloth training pants. At this point I think we’re going to go cloth. One, because it’s eco-friendly, less expensive and we can go back to a similar process that we used for his cloth diapers. Two, I think disposable will be too similar to diapers and it’ll be harder for him to transition to his big boy underwear.

Are you potty training as well? How is it going for you? Do you have a child who’s potty trained and have some tips and tricks to share? Let’s hear it.

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Li'l T at 2 years old

24-Month-Old Child

Talk about emotional! Two-year-olds are famous for their over-the-top expressions of love and pleasure as well as anger and frustration.

And speaking of bumps in the road, lots of children — even those who used to sleep like logs — may start waking in the night (not pleasant for anyone involved). The cause of thesetoddler sleep problems? It could be erupting molars, nightmares or night terrors, fear of the dark, illness, or even stress. Your goal: Figure out the problem so you can fix it (and get back to bed!). Other toddler quirks may include a sudden desire for your perfectly ambulatory tot to be carried…everywhere! Chalk that up to two-year-old negativity (If Mom wants me to walk, that’s a good enough reason not to) and to a developmentally appropriate ambivalence about separating from Mommy and yet needing her as much as ever. This too shall pass. In the meantime, try playing games or singing as you walk to distract her, or make her your special helper and let her carry your mail or grocery list. More stuff you might be thinking about: making the move from crib to bed; establishing good eating habits now that her diet (and the places she may dine) are more varied; tantrums (sorry, they’re just a fact of toddler life, but there are ways to head them off and to deal with inevitable eruptions). Lastly, this is a great time to tell your tot (and remind yourself) that everybody’s different, both in how they look and how they act — and that those differences should be at least respected and, at best, celebrated. Teaching children about tolerance helps them develop self-esteem (I accept you for who you are, therefore you accept me) and empathy.

Well, what can I say? Li’l T is 2. *bawls silently* This little ball of energy moves non-stop from the time he wakes up to the time he finally falls asleep. And his mouth goes along with the ride.

We’re still having problems with naptime and now it seems that he’s determined that bedtime is evil as well. We’ve moved his bedtime back a little bit to 8 and he seems to settle down a little easier. If a 5 minute tantrum versus 10 minutes is easier. *smh* The nice part of the night though is that he likes to read all of the books in sight before going to sleep. I LOVE that he loves books.

He says EVERYTHING at the top of his lungs. He just randomly starts yelling as he counts from 1-10.

He’s STILL playing in the dryer. It’s like his own little clubhouse.

Spinning in circles has become a new pastime. He spins and spins and falls down. Just to do it all over again. LOL

He’s a little trickster. He closed the door on me when I went in my bedroom. I opened the door after he knocked but he had already run off laughing.

Bonsai seems to be getting used to him. It’s been two years, I would hope so. He doesn’t run off anymore when Li’l T enters a room. He only runs when he’s chased but he comes back later.

He randomly puts things up. For example, he pulled a book off of the dining table and a piece of paper fell, too. He picked up the paper and put it back on the table.

His car seat will be flipped around soon.

Li’l T and Big T have already started wrestling. I tend to stay out of the so I don’t end up getting hit by a random limb.

NO ONE is allowed to sleep when he’s awake. He will walk over and do anything to wake you up. Hit you, pull your clothes. Or in the case of my nephew a few months ago, kick you in the head. 😐

He likes to brush and comb my hair. Ironic since he won’t let me brush and comb his hair.

When the house phone rings he now hands it to me. My cell phone on the other hand has become his personal toy. He texts, emails and calls and hangs up on people. Usually my younger sister is the recipient of the calls.

Words:

  • “Beboo Beboo” is his phrase for “open.” It took a while to figure it out but he says it anytime he stands next to a closed door, the fridge, and dishwasher.
  • Eyes, mouth, nose, head and tummy. He’s learned to say these while pointing to the right body parts. The only problem is when he points at our noses and sticks a finger inside. 😐
  • Tickle tickle.
  • Thank you.
  • Oh yeah. I do wonder if he’s the Kool-aid man.
  • Good job.

Foods

  • He tried salmon for the first and liked it. I was surprised. He’ll be getting more of that soon.
  • Frittatas and hard boiled eggs. He likes ANYTHING egg, period.

23-Month-Old Child

Where do you think you’re going, Mom? That may be the message your toddler sends (loudly and/or tearfully) every time you try to leave her side.

Toddler separation anxiety comes and goes during the first few years of life, but the period around the second birthday is often the toughest of all. There are plenty of potential culprits, such as stress over a new sibling or new babysitter, or the thought that you’ll do something fun without her. Whatever the cause, it’s best to make partings short and sweet (but never sneak off without a good-bye). More must-learn lessons include how to behave in public — on shopping trips, when traveling, and in restaurants. Don’t expect too much too soon, but do explain (gently yet firmly) what’s appropriate when your toddler’s out and about. (With that said, at this age shopping and dining out will be more efficient and enjoyable if she stays home.) Your toddler may also get frazzled at certain times of the day, quite often when you get home from work. Try to take a time-out together before you dive into dinner prep and devote your full attention to a game or story. Spending ten toddler-focused minutes now may make all the difference in her mood and willingness to let you do your chores. In other news, tooth-brushing battles may be raging in your bathroom — try letting her choose a colorful toothbrush and perform a preliminary brushing before you finish up. A similar strategy works for hair brushing, another potential grooming minefield. Try to make the process less painful by letting your toddler pick out her barrettes and bows and by using detangling products and a wide-tooth comb to minimize the “torture.” Speaking of torture, you may encounter some (explosive) resistance when it comes to putting on your toddler’s clothes and shoes (not to mention coat, hat, and mittens!). Provide choices, distractions, and a good dose of humor, and things should go more smoothly. Good luck!

We’re a month away from having a 2-year-old. Time has certainly flown.

I can’t be out of Li’l T’s sight. Even if he’s with his dad I have to be within eyesight or he’s coming to look for me. If they leave the house without me Li’l T throws a temper tantrum.

Songs

  • Sings the Alphabet Song by himself.  It’s actually pretty easy to figure out what letters he’s singing.
  • Has started singing “A Friend Like You” from Fresh Beat Band, the Backyardigans theme song and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

He’s in a toddler size 6 shoe and 2T clothing. His clothes are a little big but it’s better than the snug 18 months clothes.

Food

  • He likes tortellini. Especially, if it’s on mommy’s plate.
  • Oatmeal for breakfast most mornings with brown sugar, milk, butter and whatever fruit we have on had.
  • He LOVES scrambled eggs and doesn’t seem to get enough.
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches with hidden veggies are still a hit
  • Bananas are a must. Especially, since he can reach them in the fruit bowl on the dining room table.
  • I’ve determined that he’s put me on a diet. The Li’l T Approves Diet. Basically, he picks at and eats my food and “approves” the food that is left for me to eat.
  • Turkey bacon

Favorite word is NO! We’re told that repeatedly when we aren’t doing something that he approves of.

22 Months

Posted on: October 10, 2011

22-Month-Old Child

Look out! Your little powder keg may be about to blow!

Who knew such a little person could have such a big temper? A short fuse is common among the almost-two set, primarily because a toddler’s mind is much more advanced than his skills. In other words, he knows what he wants but not necessarily how to get it — or even ask for it. Now, that’s frustrating! You can help by being patient and staying calm (no screaming or tantrums from you, Mom). A low-key approach also works when it comes to toddler sharing and taking turns, a tough yet necessary lesson to teach, especially as he becomes more social. In other news, you might be concerned about those little hands constantly exploring his genitals (totally normal — hey, it feels good), but don’t make a big deal out of it. Explain the concept of privacy and that some things are okay to do in public and some are not. (Distraction will probably be more effective than anything else at this point.) Other potentially concerning toddler behavior includes rituals (for instance, he must have his banana cut exactly the same way every day or he must wear the brown hat and it must be on backwards). Don’t sweat it — this is just a toddler’s way of trying to gain a little bit of power and control over his life. Your best bet is to humor him while gently suggesting (once in a while) that he try something new. Along these lines, lots of toddlers are very resistant to change as even minor adjustments to the routine can rock their world. Hold off on changes that can wait (like that new rug in his room), and try to give him plenty of warning about changes that cannot.

Favorite Books:

  • Usborne Touchy-Feely Kittens
  • Mouse’s First Fall
  • If You See a Kitten
  • Good Morning, Good Night!

Learned to say:

  • 3,2,1 blastoff
  • Five (for high five)

Activities:

  • Li’l T walks down the steps in our foyer by himself. I was scared that he would hurt himself at first but he likes to do it over and over. I guess he’s practicing.
  • He likes to close all of the doors in the house. No door is spared and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the room or not. LOL
  • He’s started playing a hide and seek type game. If we’re in the bathroom he’ll close the door and then knock and wait for it to be opened. We say “hi”, he smiles and closes the door again. This goes on until he gets distracted by something else. He also plays this game while he sits in my closet.
  • He “counts” all of the steps as we walk to the building and to our condo.
  • He actually dances to music now instead of just standing there smiling. It’s a combination run, dance, bounce and it is hilarious.
  • He likes to clean up his and everyone else’s things. One day I couldn’t find my cell phone or the remote. He had them in his stroller basket with all of his toys.

Songs: He loves Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star now. It has the same tune as the alphabet song but if you listen carefully you can tell which song he’s singing.

21-Month-Old Child

A preference for “boy” or “girl” stuff may soon emerge as toddlers continue to express their individuality.

It may seem as if your toddler never stops moving, but she actually spends about 20 percent of her time just looking around. So don’t fret if she’s sitting on the sidelines while the other critters are racing around — she’s participating in her own way and that’s fine. One thing that’s not fine is a toddler’s tendency to put all sorts of objects in places where they don’t belong, like her nose, ears, mouth, and vagina. Be firm about this behavior as you explain why it’s a bad idea to shove a raisin in your nostril. And speaking of explanations, now is a good time to start teaching your toddler about the concept of time. For example, talk about your schedule: “First we’ll go to the library, then we’ll go to the playground” and remind her what happens on particular days of the week: “On Sundays, we go to Grandma’s.” You might also be thinking about sexual identity issues as toddlers start to show preferences for certain types of toys, games, and playmates. Keep in mind that crossing traditional gender lines is not unusual at this age, so ease up on the pressure for your little girl to act like one. By the same token, parents of boys should steer clear of stifling their son’s emotions in an effort to “make a man out of him.” In other news, routines are an increasingly important part of a toddler’s day since they represent calm in the storm of their very busy life. Routines can help smooth transitions, especially when it comes to toddler bedtime routines, morning time schedules, and day care departures. Another key to keeping a toddler on an even keel is offering the right kind of comfort when things go wrong. For example, if your tot gets a boo-boo (to her body or her spirit), stay calm and you’ll help her do the same. Listen without lectures or I-told-you-so’s (there’s plenty of time for those later) and offer unconditional comfort, no matter whose fault it was. Really, a kiss does make things better.

This month brings counting from 2-10 (the number 1 just doesn’t exist) and singing the alphabet song. It’s so cute that the numbers 7 and 8 sound alike and lmnop sounds like mommamamasomething. LOL We’ve found that singing the alphabet song will calm him down some of the times that he’s upset. I think it’s just the tune of the song. Drumming has picked up and he bangs on EVERYTHING. He’s very insistent that we participate. He’ll hand us some spoons and start dancing around. He has the new thing that he does with bananas. He’ll hold one horizontally across his tummy and say “banana oo oo oo.”  His daycare was suprised to hear about it so we have no idea where it came from. LOL My aunt gave him a toy vacuum cleaner and he loves being chased by it. It’s funny because he’s scared by the real thing. I’m sure it’s the loud sound because the blender freaks him out, too.

20 Months

Posted on: August 10, 2011

20-Month-Old Child

Life can be pretty scary sometimes, especially for little ones. To the rescue: you!

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! At this age, toddler fears and phobias may emerge with a vengeance, with sudden noises, strange animals, and doctors at the top of the list. The fact is that getting smarter (which toddlers do at an amazing rate) enables children to imagine all kinds of frightening scenarios, yet they’re not mature enough to sort out what’s possible from what’s not. In other words, you know the vacuum cleaner can’t suck him up, but he doesn’t. There are plenty of ways to help him cope with his fears, the first of which is acknowledging that they’re real and that you’re afraid sometimes, too. Another hallmark of the approaching-two set is aggressive behavior (i.e., hitting, biting, and hair pulling) fueled by frustration (I know what I want, but I don’t know how to get it!), egocentricity, and lack of impulse control. Again, you are his ally and teacher when it comes to learning how to tame aggressive instincts; try praising positive behavior, providing opportunities for venting, and keeping playdates brief and small. And while most parents find that living with a toddler is far from easy, some (about one in four) must deal with children who are truly difficult in one way or another. For example, some are super high-intensity and some have trouble adapting to (any) change. Remember, your child’s inborn temperament is neither his fault nor yours, and there are effective strategies to help both you and your toddler cope, support being key among them.

Li’l T is back from his vacation and this past week my nephew was here. The two of them were hilarious. Li’l T could not start or end his day without messing with J. Wrestling, running, lots of giggling. They reminded me of when my niece was around J’s age and J was around Li’l T’s age. I swear it’s always the younger one that messes with the older. LOL

I’ve been thinking about what we should be be teaching Li’l T now. I don’t know where he should be at this age and I don’t want to push him. But I see other kids around his age and hear about the things that they’re learning. I didn’t even know that he could absorb counting right now until he came how from daycare and counted to three. We’ve been reinforcing the things that he’s learning but I want to be the one introducing him to new things. Guess I need to do some researching.

19 Months

Posted on: July 10, 2011

19-Month-Old Child

Whether you’ve got a whirling dervish or a laidback little one, your best bet is giving her plenty of time and space to do her thing.

Catch me if you can, Mom! Your toddler may be on the go from morning ’til night as her energy level and desire to explore collide in a whirlwind of perpetual motion. Your mission is to provide lots of opportunities for safe physical activity, both indoors and out. Some little ones like a slower, quieter pace and that’s fine; a mellow toddler may tend toward drawing, puzzles, or listening to stories, so give her what she wants, Mom, and embrace her individuality. And speaking of individuality, keep in mind that some kids may be chattering away by now while others have fewer words in their verbal repertoire. Try not to worry or compare, as some late talkers don’t bloom linguistically until age two (check with your pediatrician if you’re truly concerned). At this stage, it’s wise to update your childproofing efforts every month or two to keep up with your child’s new abilities, (like opening cabinets and climbing stairs). Plus, lots of toddlers this age are prone to daytime wandering (it’s time for a “streets smarts 101” lesson) as well as night wandering (try a gate across her doorway). Other toddler sleep problems include night waking and snoring (generally harmless, but check with your doc to be sure there’s no medical cause). And even though your tot is still focused on “me, me, me!” you can start to lay the groundwork for how to be a friend. First lessons include sharing and cooperating and using words instead of physical aggression to work out disagreements. There’s a lot to learn, but you’re a great teacher!

I really feel like time is zooming by. This month’s new words are “nana” for banana, and good job. We’re sleep training again so naptime is getting better. We put him in his crib and he cries for about 5 minutes then he goes to sleep. At his 18 month appointment his doctor mentioned starting him on the potty. At least getting him used to it. Yeah, this is going to be fun. LOL At his appt he came in at 33 inches and 24.5 lbs. *sigh* He isn’t my little baby anymore.


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