Potty training // 8 months on

Like most things parenting related potty training was something I had no idea about. I’d heard of kids being out of nappies before their second birthdays and others being closer to four before they potty trained. As with most other things we took a fairly relaxed approach to getting Toby out of nappies, and let him take the lead.

He had no interest in the potty for a long time. We had one in the house from him being about two I think and he would occasionally sit on it fully clothed but wouldn’t entertain the idea of sitting on it with a bare bottom. I wrote back in October about our reluctant potty trainer – at that point he was three and three months and although we had finally got him weeing on the potty at home he was still insisting on wearing nappies.

I realised I have never written an update about what happened next…so here it is. A week or two after I wrote the last post Toby decided he would wear pants instead of his nappy and once he had made the decision that was that really.

Toby in the early days of potty training

For the first five months or so we hardly had any accidents. He was still wearing a nappy at night at first, and it was often wet when I took it off in the morning. But I realised if I took it off as soon as he woke up it was actually dry, and he was doing a wee in it once he was already up. Read more

How to make your own reward chart (and does it work?)

I don’t really have a parenting style. I try and be fair and remain calm (although that doesn’t always happen) but most of all I try and be consistent. One thing I have learnt from my years as a teacher is that children need to know what the rules and boundaries are, and for them to stay the same. Quite often, knowing what is expected of them, and receiving praise when those expectations are met, is enough. But sometimes they might need a little bit more encouragement… and that’s where a reward chart can come in.

You can buy lots of reward charts, or download templates online, but when I decided to try using a reward chart with Toby I decided we would make our own. And it’s super easy.

Both reward charts

If you want a reward chart to work I think it’s really important that you involve your child in deciding what will be rewarded and what form those rewards will take. Toby is only three and a half so there was quite a bit of input from me, but if your child is older then you can probably let them make a few more of the decisions. Read more

Toby is three and a half

Toby was three and a half a few weeks ago. On the one hand it really doesn’t seem that long since his third birthday but then when I think about it that was before we even moved from Scotland, which seems like it was ages ago now.

When you spend every day with a child it’s easy not to notice the changes and developments they make but when I was reading through Toby’s three year update I realised just how much he has changed in the last six months.

Three and a half year old Toby in his sunglasses on the slide

I guess I’ll start with the vital statistics – Toby is now 106 cm tall so he’s grown 4 cm in the last 6 months. He’s still sitting above the 91st centile for his height so he’s still tall for his age but he’s not off the top of the chart like he was when he was two! Read more

The reluctant potty trainer

Toby is three years and almost three months old. Three months ago he would cry and complain if you even suggested he go near a potty. He knew what it was for – if you asked him where wees and poos go he would tell you they go in the toilet (thanks Bing Bunny!) but he still wouldn’t contemplate sitting on the potty or the toilet, even with his clothes on.

As we were moving house in July we weren’t about to start pushing things but did mention to him that perhaps he could start using the potty when we lived in our new house and he seemed fairly open idea. We went out and chose some big boy pants together and we got a chair type of potty (this one if you’re interested) – I realised that because he is so tall sitting on a standard potty was really uncomfortable for him.

He sat on the potty a couple of times but didn’t do anything then seemed to lose all interest so we just put it in the living room and mostly ignored it for a while. We asked occasionally if he would like to use it and about six weeks ago he said yes one night. So, we got into a bit of a routine; Toby would sit on the potty in front of the TV every morning and every evening before bed. But still we didn’t even get a drip. He obviously has good bladder control as he could sit on the potty for half an hour and do nothing but do a massive wee as soon as he got a nappy on.

the-reluctant-potty-trainer-on-his-potty-watching-tv

We were quite happy carrying on like this and I was confident that Toby would get there in his own time. Near the beginning of September though nursery forced the issue a bit, and I’m still not entirely happy about it. When school started back nursery moved all the kids who will be starting school next year up into the pre-school room. All the kids except Toby. Nobody had mentioned anything about it up to that point but it turned out they didn’t want him to go into the pre-school room while he was still in nappies. However, I spoke to the manager and explained I didn’t want him being held back. I understood that there were no nappy changing facilities in the pre-school room but he’s only changed two or three times a day so it can’t be that much trouble for someone to take him to the other room to do it. I also thought that maybe seeing all the other children using the toilet might encourage Toby to do the same.

Anyway, nursery were actually fine and moved him up to the pre-school room the next week. But a week or two later when I went to pick the boys up they told me Toby had used the toilet and apparently didn’t want his nappy back on after, he wanted big boy pants. They suggested I put some in his bag the next day so if he asked again they could put him in them.

The next day, and the following week he wore his big boy pants at nursery but had lots of accidents. In fact I’m not convinced he did a wee on the toilet at all. We tried to keep up the pants at home but still had quite a few accidents and still no wee on the potty. It seemed to me that Toby was scared of doing a wee anywhere but in a nappy (or in his pants).

So last week we spent a whole day at home. Toby seemed to know when he needed a wee and would sit on the potty but still nothing came. He would start panicking when it felt like he was about to wee…but eventually he did one. A few drips at first and then a full proper wee! He did two more big wees on the potty that day, and didn’t have any accidents. But he did spend pretty much the whole day just sitting on the potty watching CBeebies! And he got a sticker every time he did a wee so that seemed to help too.

Both days at nursery last week he wore pants but still had a few accidents. He did manage a poo in the toilet though which he was very proud of. But by Thursday lunch time he was crying and begging me to put a nappy on him, and he’d woken up crying a couple of nights too, which I think must be related. So I put a nappy back on. On Saturday we tried pants again and although all his wees went in the potty he did two poos in his pants.

Since then he has only been wearing nappies and just doesn’t want to wear his pants. We have made progress though. He will now occasionally tell me he needs a wee (or sometimes just ‘I’m doing a wee!!’) or if I see him doing his ‘need a wee’ jiggle I will get him to sit on the potty and do it. So at home, most wees are going in the potty even though he is still wearing a nappy. We use cloth nappies and for that reason I don’t really want to go down the pull up route.

I had been trying to encourage Toby to wear his pants, and put him off nappies but I realised that if I don’t want to completely put him off I need to go back to listening to him and going with what he wants. And for the moment if he wants to wear nappies but still use the potty most of the time then I’m happy to go with that. I always said I would wait until he was ready and I think in the last couple of weeks I’ve been ignoring my own instincts. It’s come close to really causing an issue but hopefully by letting Toby go at his own pace he’ll get over whatever fear it is that he has and I’m sure it won’t be too long before he decides for himself that he is really ready for his big boy pants.

How old were your little ones when they potty trained? I would love to hear if any of you have had similar experiences to us.

Toby is three years old

Toby is three years old today. Can you believe it? My little tiny 6lb 10oz baby, who was only three months old when I started writing this blog, is three!

Baby Toby

This is the first time that he’s really understood about birthdays and so the first year we’ve bothered having presents wrapped and waiting for him in the morning. Of course, his favourite thing was the balloon though!

Birthday balloon

We only gave Toby a few small things today because we’re moving out of our house this week and won’t be in our new house for at least a week so we didn’t want to give him presents that would just need to be put straight into storage.

Opening presents

So anyway, what is Toby like at three years old? He’s funny and cheeky, polite for the most part, prone to crying when he doesn’t get his own way but rarely has a tantrum. He can count to 20 (if you ignore the fact he goes from 13 straight to 16). He knows his full name and can recognise the letter T for Toby. He still loves his muslin blankets and has four on the go at any one time and he still loves to suck his thumb, although we’ve started trying to get him to only have it at bedtime.

Sucking his thumb in a cushion house

He can name all the planets and will tell you that Venus is ‘berry berry hot’, Jupiter has got a big red spot and Saturn has got rings. He knows the names of at least five different dinosaurs and could probably tell you every single character in every program on CBeebies – which perhaps I shouldn’t be quite as proud of! He learns new words every day and we rarely have trouble understanding him these days. I love how I can have a proper conversation with him now, and some of the things he comes out with are hilarious.

He loves anything chocolate and always wants to eat some of my cake, even if he’s got his own. He eats most things, as long as he’s got mayonnaise to dip them in (he may have picked that one up from me!) and we seem to have mostly got over the fussy phase that I mentioned in his last update. He eats a lot and was 102 cm tall at the last measure and wears age 3-4 clothes but he still only weighs 2st 5lb so he’s only put on 2lb in the last six months.

Imaginative play at three years old
He loves playing outside, especially making giant bubbles, and he’s really starting to get into imaginative play at the moment; building things and making up stories about them. But he also loves playing games on his ‘tiny telly’ (which is actually my Kindle Fire). He would probably play on it all day if he could but we try to limit his time and make sure all the games are at least vaguely educational.

He sleeps in a single bed, and usually sleeps all night. He likes to have three stories at bedtime and fall asleep on my lap. He sometimes wakes up early but always stays in bed until ‘Mr Sun’ comes out on his Groclock at 7:20. Sometimes he sleeps later, it usually depends whether Gabe is being noisy and wakes him up. He doesn’t nap, except sometimes in the car, but if he does it’s a nightmare to try and get him to sleep at night.

He still wears nappies (cloth ones of course) and although he knows when he is doing a wee or poo he has absolutely no interest in using the potty or the toilet. I’m hoping we might have a breakthrough over the summer, although with all the changes coming with moving house I’m not going to push him if he doesn’t want to.

Toby and Gabe - best of friends

He loves his little brother, and is still the one person who is pretty much guaranteed to be able to make Gabe laugh, but he gets annoyed with him all the time and is still not keen on sharing his toys. We are seeing more moments of affection though and Toby even seems to have started babbling nonsense back to Gabe – I have no idea what they think they are talking about but it’s very cute.

Fun with mummy
He winds me up every day, and then he melts my heart when he says ‘I ruv you mummy’. My Toby-Bear, my T-dog,my Super-T, my Toby-tobleroney, my baby.

Now you are three.

 

 

What Toby Wore // The Princess and the Frock

Here we are for another instalment of What Toby Wore. You might have been slightly surprised by the title that Toby is wearing clothes from a company called The Princess and the Frock but this lovely company not only make fabulous dresses they also make some very funky leggings too. Their leggings are available exclusively from another lovely independent retailer, Florrie & Max.

Flamingo leggings

I think Toby was about 10 months old when I realised that even though he was a boy I could still dress him in leggings. They are super comfy for him, and perfect for active babies and toddlers. There are so many awesome designs out there too. Having said that even I wasn’t sure if these pink flamingo leggings were a step too far but I loved them. And I reckon Toby totally rocks them! He’s wearing them with a t-shirt and long sleeve vest both from Marks & Spencer.

Princess and the Frock

Unfortunately these leggings aren’t available any more but I know there are some fab new designs coming to Florrie & Max soon. And while I’m at it I should give a mention to Claire who runs the shop – she is another one who always provides brilliant customer service and super speedy (and free) delivery. Support your independent retailers folks!

The boys also have some matching red star leggings from The Princess and the Frock, and I loved them so much I’ve just bought Gabe the next size up when he grew out of the 0-6 month ones. I’ll try and get a picture of them both together to share soon.

FKF

What Toby & Gabe Wore // Polarn O. Pyret

In last week’s What Gabe Wore post I mentioned my love for the Scandi brands, and when I was looking for Christmas pyjamas for the boys I found myself looking at Polarn O. Pyret. PO.P is a Swedish brand and it means ‘Buddy and the Little One’. I was initially drawn to all their stripes but when I was trying to find an all-in-one that they had in sizes to fit both Toby and Gabe I came across these stars…

Twinning is winning

Now they weren’t exactly cheap (£21 each if I remember rightly) but they should at least last a while. Both boys have got the the leg and arm cuffs turned up but as you can see there isn’t a lot of room left in the body for either of them. They both are on the 91st centile for height but it seems most of it is in the length of their bodies so finding sleepsuits/ onesies that fit can be a bit of a struggle!

Polarn O Pyret

(This picture was Toby pointing at the camera to try and make Gabe look in the right direction!)

The other fab thing about these onesies is that they have zips which go all the way down from the neck to the bottom of one leg. No more messing about with poppers but still easy access for nappy changes.

Laughing brothers

I know Toby and Gabe won’t let me put them in matching clothes forever so I’m going to take the opportunities wherever I can get them for now! Twinning is winning after all…

FKF

My Wild Ones // First time snow fun

I can’t actually remember if it snowed last winter, if it did it definitely wasn’t enough for Toby to go out and play in. So when it started snowing on Saturday night we were all hoping that Sunday morning would bring enough snow in the garden to go out and play.

We didn’t have much in the end but there was certainly enough to play in so we got Toby bundled up (although I was putting Gabe down for a nap at the beginning and so wasn’t there to make sure he put his hat on) and out he went…

snow wonder

Even though you can’t see his face I think you can still see the look of wonder as he saw the snow up close for the first time.

circles in the snow

Then came the circles and looking at his footprints.

building a snowman

And the beginnings of a snowman.

snowball

For some reason, even though he’s normally really good at throwing, every snowball went behind him. He even managed to hit himself in the back of the head!

snow owl

Just enough snow for a tiny snowman (I think it looks like an owl though) and every day since Toby has come downstairs in the morning, looked out of the back window and said ‘snowman melted away’.

that face

And lastly, just look at that face! How did we make such pretty kid? One whose childhood photos will all feature a wonky fringe cut by his mum!

MyWildOnes

What Toby Wore // Tobias & the Bear

In Toby’s first year and a half most of his clothes came from either Tesco or Asda. He had a few bits from places like Next and Marks and Spencer, and he was lucky enough to have a Nana who lived round the corner from a Jojo Maman Bebe shop so he had lots of things from there too. Generally though he grew out of things so quickly that it just wasn’t worth spending a lot of money on them. However he started wearing age 2-3 clothes early last year and he has only recently started moving into the next size. His clothes still get a bit of a battering with the amount they’re worn but he doesn’t seem to get quite so messy at nursery any more so I feel happier spending a bit more on clothes that are well made and will last.

I thought it was about time I started sharing some of Toby’s outfits with you (and I’ll probably post some of Gabe’s too at some point). I also like to support independent retailers and small manufacturers where I can these days and there are so many fabulous online shops now so I’ll be sharing some of my favourites with you as we go along.

I think I need to get Toby to work on his modelling poses though, and find somewhere better to take pictures of him too!

Tobias and the Bear

The sweatshirt is from Marks and Spencer. It was another gift from Nana which she gave to Toby probably six months ago but he’s only just got big enough for it. He doesn’t really wear jumpers that much but it’s been so chilly lately that this one has come in useful. I love the colours on him too.

I love Toby in leggings, he’s got loads and he always seems so comfy in them. These are new ones from Tobias & the Bear at Desmond Elephant. The material is a little thicker than some of the other leggings he has so they’re perfect for this wintery weather we’re having too. And I think £16 is a very reasonable price for something that is designed and handmade in the UK. On another note I just discovered Desmond Elephant before Christmas and I love it! They stock a mixture of clothes and homeware and I could literally order just about everything they sell.

I’ll try and work on my photography and outfit putting together skills for next time (maybe some shoes would be good?)

Linking up with the lovely Hannah at Make Do and Push and Alex at Medicated Follower for Funky Kid Friday.

FKF