Monday, April 16, 2012

Big Kid Transitions: Potty Training and Big Kid Bed -- Products That Might Help

As a parent, you aspire for these moments--when poop goes in the toilet (not on you or in a stinky diaper pail) and when your child can get themselves out of their bed and read books in their room for 15-30 minutes while you eek out a few more moments of morning sleep.  It's the "big kid" transitions that happens between 2-4 years.  Like many families, this transition becomes a bit more important when a younger sibling is on the way.  But like every transition your child makes, it is never up to you and your schedule.

Recommended Potty Training Products:
Here is a list of products that helped us with potty training.  We're still in the middle of it because Sidney is only 2 1/2 so things are still evolving but thus far it feels like we are on a positive trajectory.

  • Books: One of the best things that happened to us was receiving "The Potty Book for Girls" by Alyssa Satin Capucilli.  There is also a Boys version too.  Reading this before potty training gave Sidney an idea of what potty training looked like and set expectations about how it progresses.  It even addresses what happens when you have a setback.  

Baby Bjorn Travel Seat
  • Potties: The more the merrier, I guess.  We have 4: a permanent toilet seat for the big potty that has a smaller seat which nests into the larger seat, a Baby Bjorn chair potty that sits on the floor and a Baby Bjorn travel seat that snaps onto adult toilet seats.  We even have a stand-alone travel potty for road trips or where there were not adequate facilities.  Having options also allows for when Sidney also has friends over who are also potty training and we all have to go together.  This must be where girls going to the bathroom in groups starts.

  • Underwear: The Gerber padded training pants for boys or girls gives you a little more leeway if you have an accident.  It doesn't contain the wetness like a diaper but it gives you a little more absorbency and a few seconds to get them to a bathroom.  I notice that Sidney also notices that disposable training pants (aka the "pull-up") feels different than underwear and will be less cognizant of taking a trip to the potty if she knows she's in a pull-up. 

  • Disposable Training Pants or "Pull-ups": This has become my crutch because I don't want to deal with an accident while running errands.  If we leave the house, I usually put her in one of these unless we go to co-op where they have mini potties and such things.  I am also a mom who used disposable diapers so that is probably why I feel so attached to them.  I need to eventually break the habit but until then... We use the Seventh Generation brand though they are a little narrow in the butt so perhaps jump up a size bigger than you think you need.  We will also be using the Nature Babycare ones on a regular basis too.  We once had to resort to using conventional Pampers Pull Ups that had Disney Princesses all over them.  I just told Sidney they were a bunch a pretty ladies.  Dodging the princess bullet as long as possible.

  • Wipes:  Did you know there are biodegradable, flushable wipes for potty training?  Why aren't all wipes made of this material, I ask?  For baby #2 you better believe we will be using these for him from the beginning.  Anyway, check out Pampers Kandoo Flushable wipes or Earth's Best Flushable Tot Wipes.  Why?  Because dry toilet paper on a wet toddler's butt always results in "hangers."  Every. Time.  Also, what's not to love about a cartoon lizard that can wipe his own behind?

  • Mattress Pads/Flannel Pads: These are for the elite and brave among us.  The risk-takers.  I have accidentally put Sidney to nap in panties and so has Ken.  She is clearly not ready.  Always make sure the bed has a mattress pad.  And flannel pads (which never stop being relevant from birth) for airplane travel, car travel, bed at grandma's or your own lap.  

Recommended Big Kid Bed/Room Transition Products:

As for the big transition to the big kid bed and room, the new found freedom of a bed she can get in and out of is hard to resist. It has been a source of accomplishment and set backs.  For example, Friday we took a major step back during nap when I had to put Sidney in the crib just so she'd sleep but overnights are fine.  The most important thing is to make sure the room is a safe and inviting place but not too stimulating with toys and such.  Here are some other things that may help:

  • Bed Rail: Not even 2 hours after putting the bed in the room, Sidney managed to fall off of it and hit her mouth on the night table.  I think she might have been bouncing on the bed but never the less, it cemented my insistence that we have a bed rail.  This one can actually unlatch and slide under the mattress for easy sheet changing or when you just don't want the rail up.

  • Blackout Shades Roller shades: From the beginning we have endeavored to make Sidney's sleeping quarters as dark as possible to promote good sleep. You can get roller shades anywhere but Home Depot can cut to your specifications and they are not that expensive. 

  • Sleep/Nap Timer: This plush owl in pajamas, known to us as "Owly", helps kids know when it's time to get out of bed. There are many products on the market designed to do this but this one seems to be the simplest: his face turns green at the preset time that you specify and it can be used as a nap timer as well. He also plays music and can light up.

  • Hampers: They're not just for dirty clothes any more.  Given Sidney's vast collection of stuffed animals and her desire to access them, pop-up hampers are a great way to keep them off the floor while allowing her access on her level.  Also great for storing dress-up clothes, blankets, pillows and other soft play items.

  • Closet Organization: Storables has a well-designed, affordable modular custom closet system that can be easily created in-store with a few measurements and option selections. Ken is a big fan of this system and installed these in both kids' closets. Makes the most out of the space.  

  • Bedding/Valances:  Just in case you can't get enough purple and pink butterflies.  This set is nice because all of it is there and coordinated--if you and your kid find that important.

  • Big Kid Bed: There are many different ways you can go with this.  If you don't need your crib immediately and it can transform into a toddler bed, that's a nice way to go.  Also, there are toddler beds that are the intermediate step between a crib and twin bed.  Of course, you can put a twin mattress on the floor, buy the whole twin bed with box spring set or split the difference height-wise with a twin mattress and a Bunkie Board (instead of a box spring) plus a Metal Frame.  We went for the last option since the twin mattress would be something she could use until high school but the box spring put the height of the bed a little too high for her to get into and out of without death-defying feats. 
  • Mattress Pad: All of the beds in this house have them, because you never know.

Hopefully this is helpful to fellow parents to compile all in one place.  If other seasoned parents have other helpful suggestions, please feel free to comment.   And Woohoo! to accomplishing big kid milestones.


hulagirl said...

Just an FYI...the flushable wipes can be a problem in the sewer or septic system. I was told (when we had a sewer issue) that even some TP (like Cottonelle) will not fully break down. I know these products say flushable on it, but I'd be cautious. I "really" want to flush stuff, but a hefty bill from a sewer cleanup has me more than hesitant.

Ian said...

Our addition, christina would have to say where it comes from, is to go pants free for nearly 3 months. E is still working on a week of "clean sheets", but the pants free really helped her.

Admin said...

I really like your house stuff. That is really cool. Blinds made to measure

Baby Accessories said...

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