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Parenting Tips, Toddler

Help! My Toddler Has Shark Teeth and It’s Freaking Me Out!

What You Need to Know About Shark Teeth!I was helping my five year old brush his teeth one night when I noticed something strange in his mouth. It almost looked like a growth behind his front teeth on his gum. After closer inspection I realized it was a tooth trying to pop in! My first reaction was probably not my best mom-moment as I yelled “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING!” 

I thought for sure my son had some weird tooth condition so as one does I turned to the internet for help and a resolution. Turns out, it wasn’t so weird after all, but was a very common tooth development that people call shark teeth. Shark have two rows of teeth, so when a toddler’s adult teeth come in behind their baby teeth instead of directly underneath, they call it shark teeth.

Now, my son totally dug it. Who wouldn’t want to have a bad ass mouth full of teeth just like a shark? I, on the other hand, was less thrilled. I did a quick check of the baby teeth in front and none of them were loose. Was he going to just have two rows of teeth for the rest of his life? If his front teeth DO finally fall out, will his adult teeth stay that far back? Was he going to be known as Shark Boy at his 25 year high school reunion?

After calming the hell down, I chatted with my dentist and did some research on what to expect as the shark teeth begin to come in. Here are some helpful tips I learned!

  1. Shark teeth, or ectopic eruption, is actually pretty common. One out of ten kids will have it!
  2. Typically, the adult tooth comes up under the baby tooth and pushes it out. But sometimes those baby teeth are stubborn and won’t budge. The roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve or it could also be due to a small mouth size. 
  3. Shark teeth in itself is no reason to panic. First, assess if the baby teeth are loose. If they are, encourage wiggling and try to get them out ASAP to give the adult teeth time to move forward in to the correct slot.
  4. If you try on your own to get the baby teeth out and are having no luck, you may want to have your dentist take a look. Most say give it a couple of weeks of wiggling first. Leaving the adult teeth back there too long could prevent them from moving in to the proper slot and will require future dental work to correct. 
  5. Your dentist may do an evaluation and determine that the baby tooth needs to be pulled to get things moving. I’m not going to lie, this might suck for both you and your child. This was the result of my son’s first shark tooth, and first ever baby tooth lost and to say it went smoothly would be a lie. It went as well as I imagined with his love for the dentist completely dashed. He cried, I cried, it wasn’t fun. When a second shark tooth popped up we wiggled that baby tooth out like our lives depended on it!
  6. The adult teeth may take weeks or months to move in to the correct position. In the interim, just get used to a mouthful of jumbled teeth!

Being a mom is hard AF

We are two-for-two with shark teeth now. One needed to be extracted, the other we were able to wiggle out ourselves. In the baby tooth’s wake we were left with two very crooked and mangled looking teeth that I am hoping get pushed in to the right position. Our dentist warned that my son’s mouth is quite small and the overcrowding will probably be a long-term issue until braces can come in to the equation.

I remember thinking when his baby teeth came in how perfectly spaced they were. Apparently that’s exactly what you DON’T want to see. Space is better so the bigger adult teeth have room. Who knew?

I better start saving my pennies now for all those orthodontist visits!

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means I might get compensated if you click on and purchase something from some of the links below. And by compensated I mean pennies. But hey, beer money is beer money.

If your toddler is starting the tooth fairy journey, these books might help them get used to the idea!

 The Night Before the Tooth Fairy


Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth

And if you need some help making the tooth fairy experience a little more fun, check these out!

Tooth Fairy Pillow With Notepad And Keepsake Pouch

Tooth Fairy Superhero Pillow With Notepad And Keepsake Pouch



Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!
Baby, Parenting Tips, Toddler

Kids Cold and Flu Season Tips-From a Pediatrician!

Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!Am I the only one who feels like I have to re-Google anything and everything having to do with sick kids once cold and flu season starts? As soon as I sense the first sniffle or cough I’m brushing up on what meds are safe to take for each kid and when to know if a fever is a high fever or not. Even then, I always have a slight hesitation when I make any medical-related decisions with my kids. 

And I know I’m not alone, so earlier this fall I had pediatrician Stephanie Dekom as a guest speaker in my private Facebook group to chat with me and all my mammas about cold and flu season and how to deal with all of the grossness and uncertainty that comes with it. 

Stephanie addresses a lot of the common questions we all have as well as a few questions from the moms in my group so check out the video below for some amazing info!

And follow Dr. Dekom on Instagram because she is offering up great advice on all those tricky questions you have! You can ask her questions anytime and she is such an amazing resource to have in your corner.

And if you are looking for a new thermometer, check out my review of the TempTraq wearable thermometer! 

Parenting Tips, Toddler

6 Tips To Survive Meals With a Picky Eater

 6 tips to survive meal times with picky eatersYou probably won’t admit it, but I will. I was one of those pre-kid people who vowed that all my children will eat anything I put in front of them. Picky eaters were not going to be a part of my household. This and my blanket statement of saying my kids will never eat McDonald’s are just the tip of the iceberg of stupid shit I said before actually becoming a parent.

I don’t think I’ve met a single parent who has said to me “Oh my Johnny, he will eat ANYTHING I make for him. Asparagus, green beans, corn, he LOVES his veggies!” Instead, I usually bemoan my child’s eating habits during lunch playdates as my friend asks what foods my kids enjoy (ummm, carbs?).

Kids can really suck at eating all those good-for-them foods that we are told we must introduce to them. And it’s easy to feel like we are failing them as parents when it seems like they aren’t getting a balanced diet. But meal time is already a challenge. I don’t remember the last time I sat down to my dinner while it was still hot. And I’m too exhausted at the end of the day to care that much about the food pyramid.

So I wanted to share a few tips that I use to help keep my sanity with my picky eaters that seem to be working:

  1. Turns out kids have some inherent trust issues with new foods. When introducing something new they are very likely to turn their nose up to it. And it makes sense. Kids love routines and things they are familiar with. If you come at them with something new, and maybe a little scary looking, don’t be surprised if their first reaction is a hell no! 

    Keep introducing that food to them over the course of many meals. It may take as many as 10-15 times (or more!) before a kid gets used to the idea of the new food. Play the long game, and don’t get frustrated in the short-term if they don’t immediately take to the new food. Put something on their plate that you know they will eat so they don’t go hungry, but don’t worry if they aren’t interested in the new item. It’s totally normal!

  2. Don’t force them to eat something they aren’t in to. Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you NOT to do something? What did you do? The exact opposite. If we force our kids to eat something they think they don’t like (or are maybe just not used to yet) then they may react defensively and never give that food a chance because of the way it was introduced.

    I personally have a ‘try it’ rule. Even if that means a quick lick of the butternut squash, that’s all I ask. They don’t even need to swallow it (and often don’t!) but the more they get used to seeing it, smelling it, tasting it, the easier the transition will be. 

    Being a mom is hard AF

  3. When in doubt, dip it! I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to dip their food. The obvious, and less healthy dip, is ketchup of course. But you can also opt for more healthy dip options like hummus, yogurt, low-fat salad dressings. This allows kids to mix something they are familiar with in with something they aren’t.

    You would be surprised at how exciting it is for a kid to have dip. Seems silly, but it’s almost like a challenge because of the dexterity they need to use to accomplish the dipping, so they are less focused on the food and more focused on dipping! I have found that this helps me determine if they REALLY hate the food (which is totally ok! we all have preferences) or if they just aren’t used to it yet.

  4. Cooking together is another way to get picky eaters more interested in new foods. When my kids help me make calzones they love throwing on the green peppers and mushrooms. And since they had a hand in making dinner, they usually don’t think twice about the ingredients while stuffing their face. 

    Try getting them involved in the prep process of meals and you may see them have a more adventurous appetite at the table. If nothing else, they will get an understanding of the hard work you do in preparing them meals so really it’s a win-win!

  5. This might be hard at times but keeping your cool at dinner is key in helping kids continue trying new foods. If dinner is a battle or they fear they will be in trouble by the end of it then they may not be very eager to try anything new. You want them to look forward to meal times and that positive energy you bring will go a long way. And I know there’s nothing worse than working hard to cook a meal that your kid says YUCK to. But stay the course and over time you’ll see some improvements.

    Celebrate the wins, even if they are few and far between. If they try something new and they don’t like it, brush it off nonchalantly with a “That’s ok, I’m really glad you tried it!” and move on. Don’t belabor the fact that they didn’t like it, just take a short break from that food and try again another time.

  6. I noticed that keeping snack foods out of the house helps a ton with picky eating. If my kids are hungry at meal times then they are certainly more likely to try everything on their plate. Kids are super smart and they will realize they can manipulate meal times if they know a snack option is a mere half hour away.

    I’m certainly not anti-snack all the time and think there are times kids REALLY do need any extra pick-me-up, like after an athletic event. But in general, snacking just hasn’t proved to be very effective and made me feel like all I do all day is feed my kids.

Meal times are important for families and picky eaters can make it tough. But don’t stress mammas! All of these picky eating habits are completely normal as your kid starts to show independence and preferences. Show them good eating habits by displaying them yourself and they will begin to see all of the new foods as normal. And it’s ok if you aren’t perfect. I know I’ve totally dropped the ball in some of the green veggie areas because I hate them myself and don’t prepare meals with them often. But focus on the good things you are doing and keep after it!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!


Toddler is constipated
Parenting Tips, Toddler

Your Toddler’s Not an Asshole, They’re Just Constipated

Toddler is constipatedAny mom will tell you that kids go through seasons. This is especially true for toddlers. They have ups and downs of epic proportions that seem to last weeks, if not months. One minute they are sweet little angels giving you kisses and hugs. And the next they are sassing you with an attitude you thought was reserved for the pre-teen years.

You get used to the roller coaster of emotions and often find yourself on guard, wondering whether it will be Jekyl or Hyde that will be greeting you today. So when my two year old was showing some of the finest displays of sass I have ever seen, I simply chalked it up to the terrible two’s. I bemoaned to my husband that we must have entered another ‘low season’ and wondered how long this one would last.

Her bad behavior became so commonplace that we joked about how it’s just who she is now. She’s just a sassy girl who cries over everything and makes her opinion known. We could easily label her the strong willed child that everyone talks about.

It just so happened that at the same time our angel started showing her dark side that we were potty training. She had shown signs that she was ready to roll and we were obviously eager to be rid of diapers. Training got off to a great start and though we had our fair share of accidents and cleanups, she got the hang of things pretty quickly. 

Well, minus one very important part. Half of the potty training equation actually. Pooping on the potty. This eluded her. Peeing was a cinch, pooping was a nightmare.

I read about how typical it is for toddlers to have some issues with going number two and wasn’t overly concerned. I assumed she would eventually come around so I didn’t push it. By the end of month three we were taking her out in public in just underwear and were generally confident that she would tell us when she needed to go. And we counted on nap time as her time to do her other business which worked fine because we were still putting her in pull-ups when she slept.

But we started to notice that a few days would go by and she had not pooped. And by day three she would stand, legs rigid, with a miserable face that read “why me?” while her body was trying to figure out how to get rid of three days worth of waste. She was uncomfortable, constipated, but eventually she would get the job done.

But that pain and discomfort led her to withhold her poop (yup, poop withholding is a thing) even more and it created this vicious circle of constipation. Apparently constipation in toddlers is more common than I initially thought because as I started sharing what was going on I had many moms reach out with their own stories and remedies. 

Potty Training is The Worst, Which is Why I Stopped

We tried altering her diet, pushing more water, and made all the changes we could. But we didn’t see very good results. So after consulting with my doctor we started mixing some laxatives in with her morning breakfast to get things moving. 

And within a day we started to see a difference. Things were finally moving in the right direction (down the toilet that is) and a flip was switched with my daughter’s demeanor as well. It was like we had a whole different kid on our hands. She was back to her mostly sweet self, and although still opinionated she was less of an asshole about it.

I almost couldn’t believe it but it makes so much sense looking back at the timing of everything. I so easily chalked up her change in behavior as a season when really it was directly related to her health and discomfort. Lesson learned that when your kid is being a turd, well, turds might actually be the problem.

Knowledge and community right at your fingertips!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

Parenting Tips, Toddler

Potty Training is The Worst, Which is Why I’m Stopping

Potty training is a roller coaster. Here's why I decided to get off the ride and have no regrets.I can see it so clearly. A future where I’m not constantly wiping asses and carrying around a bag full of diapers and wipes. The vision is marvelous. I can almost touch the freedom and I’m eager to make it a reality.

So when my youngest started showing signs of potty training readiness I did a happy dance and Amazon’d all the necessary potty training paraphernalia. We started talking to her about how amazing it is to wear underwear and pee like a big girl and she was on board. And of course the bribery didn’t hurt either. She very quickly learned that a trip to the potty yielded lots of praise and treats in return and she maxed out the opportunities.

We were on a roll and I could sense the end of diapers was near. But one big, and I mean big, thing stood in our path to success.


Yup, the deuce. Poop. Number two. Chocolate delight. Whatever you call it, it was screwing my diaper-free fantasy up royally. My daughter refused to poop in the potty. Which for most kids is completely normal at the beginning of potty training. But after trying many methods to get her to overcome this hurdle it just wasn’t happening.

We continued on, hoping to master the skill of peeing while developing her turd-ometer as time went on. Surely at some point she would get tired of shitting herself, right? And to be honest, it really wasn’t a big deal in terms of clean up either as she almost always waited to drop her load during naps or bedtime when she had a pull-up on. 

Progress was steady and I was even confident of being out in public with her for longer periods of time without worrying about an accident. And for anyone who has potty trained a child before, you know how big of an accomplishment that is.

Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!

And then we moved. And everything went to hell. Prior to the move she would go a few hours without an accident and would either tell us when she needed to go or would at least begrudgingly head to the potty when prompted. Now, she was piddling (puddling? Whatever, she pissed herself) often. I’m talking once every half hour. The accidents started small, barely enough to dampen her underwear. 

I quickly familiarized myself with potty training regression to figure out how to quickly get her back on track. One of the key triggers in potty training regression is a recent life event or change. Like a move. Super. But, at least I knew what might be behind this backwards trend. So we reminded her of what she already learned and tried not to get upset with her (though we weren’t perfect) when she had an accident. But three weeks after being in the new house and things got worse, not better.

The accidents suddenly got larger and more frequent. And we also noticed that she wasn’t dropping deuces during nap times like she usually did. She was constipated and irritated. A bad combo for a 2 1/2 year old. I’ll spare you the details but we got her relief and hoped this would be a start to getting her back on track. But it wasn’t.

At this point everyone was exhausted and frustrated. My daughter started reacting to her accidents as if she knew she had done something wrong and was ashamed which broke my heart. I never want her to feel that way about potty training and it was at this point that I said fuck it. She’s going back in pull-ups full-time.

This was a big shift for me because I’m fully in the camp of once you put a child in underwear you don’t put them back in pull-ups because it’s confusing. And I still believe that. But clearly my daughter, who seemed ready earlier, is no longer ready to potty train. And I need to respect the signs she’s showing me and slow down. 

My pediatrician’s office echoed my thought process and also warned me that I may get judged by others for this decision. And I might. But I just don’t care. No one knows our potty training journey but us. No one heard my daughter whimpering after having a large accident. No one can understand the thought process of a 2 1/2 year old who just had a major life event. No one can feel our sanity slipping as we try to make sense of the regression when everything seemed to be going so well.

So judge on if you must. But my daughter seems perfectly happy to once again have a saggy pull-up on as she explores and adjusts to her new home. And when she feels more comfortable and starts to ask to use the potty on her own again, I’ll gladly oblige. 

But for now I’m grateful for a potty training reprieve. Because potty training is a bitch.

Knowledge and community right at your fingertips!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!




Raising a toddler is like training a puppy
Parenting Tips, Toddler

5 Ways Raising a Toddler Actually IS Like Having a Puppy

Do you think a toddler and a dog are the same thing? NOPE! Well, except for this...

My youngest looks up from the toilet, eyes eager, and says “Treat?”. And it hits me. Having a toddler is eerily similar to having a puppy. The bribery. The praise. The anxiety that they won’t ‘perform’ in public as they should. Who knew having a dog before having kids really DOES prepare you for kids.

Obviously, having a dog is not the same as having kids. I’m certainly the first one to roll my eyes when someone suggests that. But you can’t deny that similar behavioral tactics can transfer from dog to toddler.

And as I am sitting squarely in the middle of toddler hell with one who is edging out of the toddler phase and one who is two going on 20, I find myself comparing the aspects of training a puppy to raising a toddler. And there are certainly some similarities worth mentioning.

  1. It’s a shit show, literally. One of the hardest parts of having a puppy is getting them housebroken.You are counting down the days until you can be finished with the pee soaked puppy pads and 2 a.m. walks. Potty training a toddler isn’t so different. Ditching the diapers is a huge milestone, but it comes at a steep price. The use of treats, whether it be food or toys, comes with the territory. I’ve been known to dangle a cracker out in front of my kids to lead them to the porcelain throne. “Come here little Johnny! Don’t you want a treat?” Pavlov himself would be proud. Oh, and I’ve been know to use the phrase “Don’t forget to pee the toddler!” just as you would to remind someone to let the dog out before you leave. So, yeah, pretty much the same thing.
  2. When you set out to buy a puppy you have a vision in your head of what your life with a dog will look like. Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!Long runs with your buddy by your side. Perfectly obedient as you chat with friends at the local coffee shop. Evening snuggles on the couch as you catch up on Netflix. It’s similar for moms before having kids. Most dream of the perfect play dates at the park where she can talk to her friends about the latest Game of Thrones episode and her little one plays quietly by themselves. And they envision a serene family brunch every Sunday with zero tantrums and polite children.Reality is much different. You may expect a golden retriever but end up birthing a crazy chihuahua instead. Obedient? Nah, independent to boot. Snuggles on the couch? Nah, spastic AF. 
  3. No! Don’t chew on my shoes. No! Don’t piss on the rug. No! Don’t stick that in your mouth. Am I talking to the puppy or a toddler? Who knows. But I think we can agree that one of the first words they both learn fast is ‘no’. 
  4. Who here has tried to hide healthy food among the rest of the crap kids love to eat? Now, tell me you didn’t pull that same trick when you had to give your puppy medicine. You didn’t know it at the time but wrapping a pill with cheese was just preparing you for years of trying to sneak veggies into the bellies of your toddlers. Nope, those aren’t tiny broccoli floret pieces in your mac ‘n cheese. Just eat it, ok?
  5. Have you ever noticed that dog toys and baby toys are eerily similar? The dental bone that has grooves specifically to help with tooth decay in dogs looks like it would be perfect for the teething toddler in your life. And let’s be real and admit you have definitely let your kid chew on a dog toy and your dog chew on a baby toy. Not in a purposeful way, but you don’t exactly jump up to remove the toy quickly because you just realized it’s the first time they’ve been quiet in hours so you’re just going to roll with it. It’s ok. Sharing is caring. Plus, aren’t dogs teeth cleaner than humans anyway? 

Hands down the best similarity between raising a toddler and training a puppy is their endless love for their parents. Despite our flaws (and we’ve got ’em!) our kids love us. Even on our worst days we are enough for them. Whether it’s a cute furry face or a pudgy little toddler greeting us after a long day, they make everything worth it.

Except pee pads and diapers. No one wishes to be in that phase again. 

Knowledge and community right at your fingertips!

5 Signs Your Toddler is Ready To Give Up Their Nap
Parenting Tips, Toddler

5 Signs Your Toddler is Ready to Give Up Their Nap

Is your toddler ready to give up their nap time? Check out these 5 signs to find out!The nap time hustle. It’s for real mamas. Those precious hours that you take advantage of while your toddler is sleeping is PRECIOUS to you. Maybe you get a shower in. Or do the dishes. Or, if the stars align, take a nap yourself. You get accustomed to have some down time during the day so the thought of giving that up is terrifying.

But if you’ve noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to get your toddler down for a nap, or maybe they are only sleeping for a half hour, the idea of nixing the nap may have crossed your mind. Is your toddler ready to give up their nap? 

Here are 5 signs your toddler may be ready to give up their nap:

  1. They play during their naps. If you notice that your little one plays for the majority of their nap time, then it could mean they are ready to cut it out of their daily routine. If your little one plays for the first hour, naps for the next hour, and
    then you wake them because they are sleeping too late in the day then you may want to consider nixing the Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!nap.
  2. They fight the evening bedtime routine. Now, no kid likes to go to bed, so this alone is not enough to give up the nap. But if your toddler is consistently fighting bed time at night and stays awake for a long time after you put them down, it may be time to give up the nap. Kids should be sleeping 11-12 hours a day total, so use that as your guide. But when a kid doesn’t get to bed until 11 pm, it just sets them up for a rough morning. And you get to pick up the pieces!
  3. They aren’t asshats when they miss a nap. Nap schedules are great, but sometimes life happens and you just won’t be able to stick to it 100% of the time. If you notice that your toddler isn’t having complete meltdowns when they miss their afternoon nap then that is a sign they no longer need it. But if your toddler is a mess in the evening when they miss their nap, then stick to it! 
  4. Cat naps are nonexistent. Remember how you could almost set your watch to your kid falling asleep in the car? No? Well, they might be ready to give up nap time then. If they are stay awake in the car or on a stroller ride, it could be another sign that nap time may be a thing of the past.Did your child give up their nap? Is your sanity in question? Try this quiet time guide or help!
  5. Sleeps better at night when they miss a nap. The next time your toddler misses a nap, try putting them to bed an hour or so earlier than normal. Do they fall asleep quickly and stay asleep? Do they get their full 11 hours of sleep in? Do they wake up rested and in a delightful mood? Ok, that last one is a stretch. But for real, if you test this out and your toddler reacts well to going to bed a little earlier without a nap, then thats a sure sign that naps can go by the wayside.

Is your toddler showing any of these signs? If so, it’s probably time to give up the nap once and for all.

Now, before you say ‘WAIT! I’m not ready for this yet! I need my ME time!’, I totally get it. That’s why I’m hooking you up with my Quiet Time Guide. Use this as a starting point for transitioning your child from nap time to quiet time during the day.

This guide will give you tips and activities that you can have your child do in their room during their normal nap time. This way you still get some mom time and your child still has a chance to rest during the day.

Your sanity may depend on this!

Did your child give up their nap? Is your sanity in question? Try this quiet time guide or help!





If you are exhausted from saying 'NO' all the time and hate when you get angry, check out these 5 strategies to not lose your temper with your kids!
Parenting Tips, Toddler

5 Strategies to Not Lose Your Temper With Your Child

If your kids are pushing your buttons, try these 5 Strategies to Not Lose Your Temper with Your KidsHave you ever noticed that kids seem to be equal parts adorable and asshats? One minute you are doting on them with all the love your heart can muster, and the next they are driving you up the wall with their shenanigans. And sometimes they push you just a little too far and you might lose your cool.

When I get angry and yell at my children it never ends well. They get upset, I get upset, no one benefits from it. So I’ve been actively searching for strategies to keep in my back pocket for those times that I can feel my emotions getting the best of me. 

Check out these 5 strategies to not lose your temper the next time your child is pushing your buttons. 


  1. Battle cry
    The parenting war is long, the battles are short and frequent. So choose your battles appropriately. If you don’t, you run the risk of an EXHAUSTING day of saying ‘NO!’ every two minutes. It’s hard to stay positive when every word out of your mouth is negative.If you sense yourself heading to the dark side, ask yourself how many shits you REALLY give about the situation at hand. Stand your ground if you must, but if it’s something that in the grand scheme of things isn’t going to shape your child in to the stand-up citizen you want them to be, then just leave it for another day. Your mental health thanks you.
  2. Baby steps, literally

    When I notice myself creeping towards the edge of losing my shit with my toddlers I usually find that I’m parenting at a distance. I might be giving them directions to do something while I’m in the kitchen. Or I’mJoin kick ass moms in the Selfies to Selfless Community! trying to get ready in the bathroom while also attempting to settle a dispute that is happening in the living room. The tactic isn’t working and everyone is getting pissy.

    Once I realize my distance is doing nothing but cause more frustration, I’ll just take the physical steps to place myself into the situation that needs to be addressed, and kneel down at their level, and suddenly the child’s attention becomes very directed. We can talk about what is happening and ways to resolve the issue.

    If mama bear is out of sight, their behavior is sometimes out of mind. Recognize what situations seem to get you the most frustrated and determine if your physial distance may have something to do it with it. 

  3. ‘Tis the season

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent it’s that nothing stays the same. This goes for the good and the bad. If you feel yourself in a rut with your toddler, just know that it won’t last. It’s hard to remember that when you are on day five of an asshole kid. But it will pass. 

    One day, all too soon, you’ll look back and think of these early days fondly. And the bad times just seem to fade away as your memory gives preference to the good days. Except that time your toddler had a meltdown in Target. That’s one you’ll remember long enough to tell your grandkids about.
    Grab your copy of my MUST HAVVES for new(ish) moms

  4. Push the reset button

    If you feel like your temper is getting the best of you more often than usual, it may be time for a reset in terms of behavior expectations with your kids. Poor listening is usually the number one issue in my house and the problem seems to come in waves. 

    When I take a moment to sit my child down and share with him that I’ve noticed he’s had a hard time listening lately he seems to digest that a little bit better than me going with my old stand by of reminding him every two seconds or repeating myself to death. 

    Just like anyone would, a toddler who hears the same charge from you over and over again will eventually tune it out. Which can be a vicious cycle of getting frustrated when behaviors don’t change. Try explaining to them what your expecations are moving forward, and stick to them.

  5. Treat yo self

    This one might be my all-time fave way to keep your sanity with your children. It’s so important to recharge your own battery when you are at your limit. Taking a step away, even if it means spending 30 minutes alone in the bathroom, can be a game changer.

    For me, even a Target run (by myself!) is enough to fuel me for days. You’ll actually miss your kids again! And when you return, all of their shenanigans suddenly seem cute again.

  6. BONUS TIP! Check out my genius hack I stumbled upon that I use often when I’m trying to cut the tension with my little ones. (HINT: the tickle monster makes an appearance)

Give some of these tips a try the next time you find yourself losing your cool with your kids. Let me know which ones worked, which ones didn’t, and any new ones you come up with! 

And remember that you are doing AMAZING mama! The fact that you are even reading this means you care so much about your little ones. YOU GOT THIS!

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Wondering if your toddler is ready to ditch the diapers? Check out these 7 signs your toddler is ready to potty train.
Parenting Tips, Toddler

7 Signs Your Toddler is Ready to Potty Train

Is your toddler ready to ditch the diapers? 7 signs your toddler is ready for potty training.Arguably one of the greatest moments of being a parent is saying goodbye to diapers for good. It’s a light at the end of the baby stage tunnel and most are eager to get there. And for good reason. Your monthly budget gets a nice boost from the money you will save and you no longer have to lie to your partner about being the last one to change the diaper (just me?).

But so many parents are eager to get the potty training party started that they start a little too soon. How soon is too soon? Well, it depends. On a lot actually. And age isn’t necessarily the guiding light in determining whether your toddler is ready to potty train. So when your friend says their one year old just went poop on the potty, don’t freak out. It doesn’t mean your child is behind. It might just mean that your friend’s potty genius of a child showed these 7 signs of potty training readiness:

  1. They show interest in the toilet and all the lovely events that happen on it. Finally, a good reason to have your child interrupt you while you are doing your business. If your toddler has taken a keen interest to all things bathroom, that could mean they are starting to put together that they can do what you do. And maybe this diaper setup isn’t so great. One aspect to really look out for is whether they are afraid of the flushing noise. I know my youngest was scared shitless (not literally unfortunately) of public restrooms because those toilets had the power of hurricane sucking down the water. The loud noise from flushing was terrifying so I knew we weren’t even close to starting.(parent hack: keep a sticky notepad with you and cover up the sensor so there are no surprise flushes!)
  2. Stays dry for long stretches of time. If you start to notice more dry diapers when you change your toddler, that could be a sign that physically they are ready to start potty training. They need to have enough bladder control (two hours is a good start) to make potty training effective. So if you’ve had days when you wonder when the last time you changed them was because they have been staying dry, that’s a good start!
  3. Pulls off diapers. This is a mom’s worst nightmare. The child who pulls off their diaper in the middle of the night. You wake up to a wet mattress and a child who acts like they accomplished the impossible. Yes, it’s no fun to catch your child taking off their diaper. And yes, you can try all the tricks in the book to get them to stop, like putting them on backwards (or duct tape, just saying), but their naughtiness could just be a sign that they are ready to potty train.
  4. Can pull up their own shorts. This isn’t a deal breaker, but certainly helps the whole process go more smoothly. If they don’t yet have this skill mastered you may find yourself in a daily battle to get them to disrobe so they can use the toilet properly. Another option is to let them run around in just their undies for the first part of training (I’m a big fan of this method, especially with the frequent last minute rushes to the bathroom).
  5. Tells you when they are going. If your child is looking you dead in the eye and telling you they are peeing or pooping in their diaper, it’s probably time to potty train. That means they have the feeling and sensation recognized and it’s no longer a subconscious act for them. That’s a big hurdle for them to overcome so this is a big sign that they are ready to begin.
  6. Can follow instructions. This is where age does play a role. If they are on the younger side of potty Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!
    training they may have a difficult time understanding the tasks at hand. If you think about it, there’s a lot that goes in to going to the bathroom. Realizing you have to go, making it to the bathroom, pulling down the underwear, climbing up to the toilet, not fall in, go to the bathroom, wipe, pull up underwear, flush, wash hands… It’s a lot. Especially for a child who may not want to quit playing to address all of that nonsense. So if your child has not yet mastered taking instructions, it may be too early to get started.
  7. Likes underwear. Seems a little trivial I’m sure, but if your toddler isn’t going apeshit over picking out underwear for themselves then they might not have enough interest yet. Most kids who are ready to roll will LOVE picking out their own underwear because they get to see their favorite cartoon characters on their butt. Who doesn’t love that?When we were close to potty training both of our kids I made sure to point out my underwear and daddy’s underwear so they understood that we don’t wear diapers (sans postpartum that is). This got them noticing the difference and why underwear is so ‘cool’ so both kids were jazzed to pick out their own undies.
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If your toddler is showing some of these signs then you may very well be on your way to acheiving potty training greatness. But if not, don’t worry! They will get there in their own time. One of the most common mistakes I hear among moms is starting their child too early. It frustrates the child and the mom and in the end no one is happy. Making the child excited to start potty training is key to a successful transition so if they aren’t feeling it then scrap the plan and check back in a few months down the road.

If after reading this you think your child is ready to roll, then check out a few resources for you to get started:
The ultimate potty training guide-has hacks, tips, printables, and all kinds of good advice
How to get your toddler to poop in the toilet-One of the hardest parts of potty training is getting your toddler to successfully go #2. Here’s a post that can help!
Baby led potty training-Really interesting article about one mom who never actually ‘started’ training, but let her kids decide on their own. I think it speaks to the readiness factors mentioned above and how easily we can be swayed in to starting too soon.

Did I miss any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments?

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