Mom Helping Son         My oldest grandchild is 6 yrs. old and my daughter started toilet training him at 2 ½ yrs. Toilet training a toddler is one of the most interesting and challenging experiences for both the child and parent. There are numerous guides, videos and techniques on this subject and I am posting some procedures and practices that might help you. Understanding how to use the toilet is a major event in a young child’s life. Because potty training is a complex process, there are many issues parents must consider before and during the process of toilet training so that it is a successful experience for the whole family. Toilet training is easiest when children are physically and emotionally ready, which happens between age 2 and 3 years. This is the same time that they will be experiencing what many parents call “the terrible two’s“-a time when the youngsters are having their first experiences using the word “No!” and with exerting their own will and making their own opinions known. As wonderful and funny as two-year-old might be, their willfulness and independence might make toilet training a real trial for their parents. Girls usually gain physical control over their bowel and bladder muscles before boys do. On the average, most girls are potty-trained by age 2-1/2 and most of boys about age 3. Don’t be alarmed if a child doesn’t follow this pattern closely; individual children mature physically at different rates.

Exactly what can parents do to survive toilet training? To begin with is to realize that everyone becomes potty trained eventually! Your son or daughter will, too. Your child will be ready when he or she is developmentally ready, and this may be different than the child next door or your child’s brother or sister. If you try to pressure your child into toilet training before he or she is ready, this might result in a stressful situation for both of you. I hope the information I have listed below will help you as a parent decide if your child is ready for toilet training. You may want to try this program I recently found to help you toilet train your child  within three days, Click here. Good Luck! And yes, my grandson is toilet trained.

How to tell if a child is ready? The Child:

  • Follows simple directions
  • Remains dry for at least 2 hours at a time during the day.
  • Dry after nap time.
  • Regular and predictable bowel movements. ( some may have bowel movements every day and some may go 2-3 days)
  • Walks to and from the bathroom, pulls down own pants and pulls them up again.
  • Seems uncomfortable with soiled or wet diapers
  • Seems interested in the toilet.
  • Has asked to wear grown-up underwear.

If the child has most of these skills, then they are probably ready to start toilet training. If they do not have most of these skills or have a negative reaction to toilet training, wait a few weeks or months until most of the skills are checked off. Starting too soon can actually delay the process and cause tears and frustration. Toilet training is much easier when the child is ready.

Toilet Training Techniques:

  • Relax! A calm, easygoing approach to toilet training works best. Learning to use the toilet takes time, and each child is different. You will find that one child learns to use the toilet at age 2 and another learns at age 3-1/2. This is normal.
  • Borrow or purchase a potty chair or a potty attachment for the toilet. If you purchase a potty attachment, be sure to get one with a footrest. This will allow a child to sit more comfortable and make it easier to push during the bowel movement. You may want to let the child get used to the idea by sitting on the potty while fully clothed.
  • Toilet training involves many steps (discussing, undressing, going, wiping, dressing, flushing, hand washing) reinforce the child’s success at each step.
  • Help children recognize when they are urinating or have a bowel movement. They must be aware of what they are doing before they can do anything about it.
  • Children should be shown how to use the toilet by watching other children who are trained or discussing each step and practicing each step with out actually using the toilet. (Example: have child sit on toilet dressed, flushing toilet).
  • Parents should include toilet training into the daily routine such as reading books, songs and games that reinforce the skills needed to toilet train.
  • Parents should purchase training pants and easy-to-remove clothing. Just getting to the potty on time is a major task for most children. Avoid buttons, zippers, and belts. Some parents prefer to use diapers at first and switch to training diapers or pants when their child is urinating in the potty several times a day.
  • When a child is giving the signs of having to use the toilet or tells you they have to use the toilet, take the child in and help undress them and on to the toilet. Sit by the child for a few minutes. Try not to push for immediate results. After a few minutes, help the child with the rest of the routine and give praise for the effort or any successes they had. (give a reward such as a sticker of their favorite character)
  • Never force a child to sit on the toilet against their will or for long periods of time if they do not want to. This could set up a power struggle and negative feeling toward the toilet training.
  • Never punish for accidents. Occasional accidents are normal. Clean and change the child immediately. Be positive and reassuring, using a soothing voice, that they will be successful. Punishment does not make the process go faster and may delay it.
  • Wipe the child carefully. Wipe girls from front to back to prevent infection. Teach children to always wash hands with soap and water after using the potty. Set a good example by washing your own hands.

Reference:

Portions were reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Oesterreich, L. (1995). Guidance and discipline. In L. Oesterreich, B. Holt, & S. Karas, Iowa family child care handbook [Pm 1541] (pp. 242-245). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Extension

How hard is it to add fruit to your child’s diet? Are your children having a tough time trying different fruits? Have you recently found out that your child has an allergy to dairy and cannot have ice cream?(what’s that got to do with fruit, you’ll see shortly) Remember your parents saying, “please eat your fruit”, well I do. Both fruit and vegetables seem to be hard for a child to accept but I found a way around the ‘fruit’ part and an idea for getting them to eat their vegetables. It is important that we establish healthy eating habits at an early age. In general, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Refer to the chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Fruit Chart

These portions work for those of you that get fewer than 30 minutes on a daily basis of moderate physical exercise, over and above normal daily activities. Children who find themselves more physically active might be able to consume more while remaining within calorie requirements.

Now the fun part, my first the fruit trick! If you haven’t found out about this product yet, let me be the first to introduce you to it, ‘Yonanas.  Our six year old grandson has an allergy to dairy and as a result cannot have ice cream, even soy based. What is beautiful about the ‘Yonanas’, you fill the chute with frozen fruit; bananas, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, apple slices and more. The machine processes the frozen fruit in such a way that when it discharges down the chute, the fruit now has the consistency of ice cream! It also comes with a recipe book. You can freeze it into ice cream pop molds and serve it. Now your child has their daily portion of fruit in a way that’s healthy, no added sugars, preservatives, and any possible allergens.

What about vegetables? Yea, what about them. Vegetables as well as fruits are a very important part of your child’s daily intake. Refer to chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Vegetables

 

One trick we found to work is to add vegetables into various blends. Mix cauliflower with mashed potatoes. In fact you can mash the cauliflower itself, add a little margarine and salt, and serve it as ‘mashed potatoes’.  Take spinach, finely chopped and make small bite size meatballs (try with turkey meat). Be creative and your child will never know the difference.

Normally our blog is geared towards newborns and toddlers but because of the recent reports concerning childhood obesity, we felt the need to provide you with some insight. As a parent, we are concerned about our children’s health which should include childhood obesity. It has been noted numerous times that obese children and adolescents are at risk for health problems during their youth and as adults. For example, during their youth, obese children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes) than are other children and adolescents.

Obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. One study has found that approximately 80% of children who were overweight at aged 10-15 years were obese adults at age 25 years. Another study found that 25% of obese adults were overweight as children. The latter study also found that if overweight begins before 8 years of age, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.

Our blog today will hopefully give you more of an understanding of this serious problem and how as a parent, help you to deal with it. We’ll provide information about childhood overweight and obesity, including how overweight and obesity are defined for children, the prevalence of obesity, the factors associated with obesity, and the related health consequences

Why is childhood obesity considered a health problem? 

Doctors and scientists are concerned about the rise of obesity in children and youth because obesity may lead to the following health problems:

  • Heart disease, caused by:
  • high cholesterol and/or
  • high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Social discrimination

Childhood obesity is associated with various health-related consequences. Obese children and adolescents may experience immediate health consequences and may be at risk for weight-related health problems in adulthood. Many times, obese children and adolescents are targets of early and systematic social discrimination. The psychological stress of social stigmatization can cause low self-esteem which, in turn, can hinder academic and social functioning, and persist into adulthood. Then there are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal glucose tolerance. Obese children and teens have been found to have risk In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-old, almost 60% of overweight children had at least one CVD risk factor while 25 percent of overweight children had two or more CVD risk factors.

Tips for Parent – Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight 

To help your child maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories your child consumes from foods and beverages with the calories your child uses through physical activity and normal growth.

Balancing Calories: Help Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits

One part of balancing calories is to eat foods that provide adequate nutrition and an appropriate number of calories. You can help children learn to be aware of what they eat by developing healthy eating habits, looking for ways to make favorite dishes healthier, and reducing calorie-rich temptations.

Encourage healthy eating habits

There’s no great secret to healthy eating. To help your children and family develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

Remember that small changes every day can lead to a recipe for success!

Look for ways to make favorite dishes healthier.

The recipes that you may prepare regularly, and that your family enjoys, with just a few changes can be healthier and just as satisfying. For new ideas about how to add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet check out the recipe database from the fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. This database enables you to find tasty fruit and vegetable recipes that fit your needs.

Balancing Calories: Help Kids Stay Active/ Reduce sedentary time

Another part of balancing calories is to engage in an appropriate amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time. In addition to being fun for children and teens, regular physical activity has many health benefits, including:

  • Strengthening bones
  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Helping with weight management

In addition to encouraging physical activity, help children avoid too much sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time your children watch television, play video games, or surf the web to no more than 2 hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television viewing for children age 2 or younger.12 Instead, encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.

          This post is for mom’s who are concerned about those extra pounds that were put on during their pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and should happen, with most of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)

The total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight when you became pregnant.

 Women whose weight was in the healthy range before becoming pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant. The advice is different for those who were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.

 If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be hard to lose the weight after your baby is born. Most women who gain the suggested amount of weight lose it with the birth of the baby and in the months that follow.

 Breastfeeding for more than 3 months can also help you lose weight gained during pregnancy. If you gain too little weight during pregnancy, you may have a higher risk for a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant.

 Follow your MyPyramid Plan for Moms to choose the right amounts from each food group. In addition, visit your health care provider regularly so they can check on your weight gain. If you are gaining weight too slowly or too fast, change the amount you are eating:

  • If you are gaining weight too fast, cut back on the calories you are currently eating.
  • The best way to eat fewer calories is by decreasing the amount of “extras” you are eating. 
  • “Extras” are added sugars and solid fats in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no-added-sugars. They have fewer “extras.”  You need a certain number of calories to keep your body functioning and provide energy for physical activities. Think of the calories you need for energy like money you have to spend.  Each person has a total calorie “budget.”  This budget can be divided into “essentials” and “extras.”With a financial budget, the essentials are items like rent and food.  The extras are things like movies and vacations.  In a calorie budget, the “essentials” are the minimum calories required to meet your nutrient needs.  By selecting the lowest fat and no-sugar-added forms of foods in each food group you would make the best nutrient “buys.”  Depending on the foods you choose, you may be able to spend more calories than the amount required to meet your nutrient needs.  These calories are the “extras” that can be used on luxuries like solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol, or on more food from any food group.  They are your “discretionary calories.”Each person has an allowance for some discretionary calories.  But, many people have used up this allowance before lunch-time!  Most discretionary calorie allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active.  For many people, the discretionary calorie allowance is totally used by the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher fat meats, cheeses, whole milk, or sweetened bakery products. You can use your discretionary calorie allowance to:
  • Eat more foods from any food group than the food guide recommends.
  • Eat higher calorie forms of foods—those that contain solid fats or added sugars.  Examples are whole milk, cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.
  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods.  Examples are sauces, salad dressings, sugar, syrup, and butter.
  • Eat or drink items that are mostly fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

For example, assume your calorie budget is 2,000 calories per day.  Of these calories, you need to spend at least 1,735 calories for essential nutrients, if you choose foods without added fat and sugar.  Then you have 265 discretionary calories left.  You may use these on “luxury” versions of the foods in each group, such as higher fat meat or sweetened cereal.  Or, you can spend them on sweets, sauces, or beverages.  Many people overspend their discretionary calorie allowance, choosing more added fats, sugars, and alcohol than their budget allows.

  • Alcohol is also considered an “extra,” but you should not drink at all while pregnant.
  • If you are not gaining weight, or gaining too slowly, you need to eat more calories. You can do this by eating a little more from each food group.

         I have four grandchildren and the twin girls started walking alone at thirteen months and my two grandsons started walking alone at seventeen months. As you can see, children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.

         During this time, your child is becoming increasingly more mobile, and aware of himself and his surroundings. Her desire to explore new objects and people is also increasing. During this stage, your toddler will show greater independence, begin to show defiant behavior, recognize himself in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. Your toddler will also be able to recognize names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.

         If you have any questions above your child’s achievement at certain milestones, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician, I am only providing information not diagnosis.

 

Movement                                                                                                                                                                

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind her while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more frequently than the other

Language

  • Points to object or picture when it’s named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Cognitive

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Social

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children

 

 

Emotional

  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Episodes of separation anxiety increase toward midyear then fade

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops at his own particular pace, it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician; however, if he displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot walk by 18 months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his toes
  • Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
  • Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
  • By 15 months, does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon)
  • Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
  • Does not follow simple instructions by age 2
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age 2