One Simple Hack to Make Veggies Taste Good (Even to Kids!)

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Are you sick of eating steamed broccoli and carrots?

Veggies can be so bland and boring. But we choke them down because we want to be healthy! It’s so hard for me to be a good example of nutrition to my children because I don’t want to eat the vegetables either! I try to put on a smile, take a big bite of cauliflower, and act like I’m eating a candy bar.

But I’m no actor you guys.

And to be honest, I don’t think anyone is that good of an actor that they could sell cauliflower to a 2-year old. She sees right through me.

UNTIL….

I learned this one simple cooking hack that transforms boring old vegetables into a culinary masterpiece! They look good, they taste good, I’ve had friends ask me for recipes (even though there isn’t one- I just use this one trick!!).

And the kids eat them without a fight! 

Guess what else??? You don’t even need to make an extra trip to the store. This hack uses only 4 ingredients- and you have them all at home already!!! All you need is the veggie, butter, garlic, Salt/Pepper! That’s it!


Enjoy these Quick Links to Great Ingredients and Resources You’ll Need:

(Just click on the images!)

Butter:

Minced Garlic:

Salt/Pepper:

Vegetable Slicer:

The Vegetable Butcher:


 

This trick works for ANY veggie!!! I’ve tried a ton of veggies and it always works.

Here’s the proof!

Veggies

I cooked several varieties of vegetables using this one hack. I’ll show you a side by side image of the delicious cooked veggies and the boring steamed veggies that I’m used to. You’ll know which one I’m talking about!

In the images below, you’ll see me cook:

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • A Veggie Mix (Onion, Green Bell Pepper, and Mushrooms- we eat this on top of chicken or pork chops all the time!)

Here’s my trick:

Step 1: Chop Up Your Veggies

Nothing fancy, just make em bite sized!

Cut Veggies

Step 2: Boil Veggies Until Al Dente (If Needed)

If you’re dealing with a hard veggie like carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, asparagus, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, potatoes, etc. make sure you boil or steam the veggies first to soften them. Boil them until they are al dente (soft with a slight crunch left). 

We don’t want mushy veggies here! After all, we haven’t even started the yummy cooking yet. This is just preparation.

If you use packaged frozen veggies, they have been precooked already and will be soft enough to skip this step.

Soft veggies (eggplant, squash, peas, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, bell peppers, etc.) are good to go- so don’t worry about boiling or steaming these. Just skip ahead to step 3!

Step 3: Throw It All In!

Ok, if I were some chef in a restaurant, I’d probably tell you to begin by melting the butter and garlic in a saute pan, then add your veggies, then saute lightly, taste the veggies, salt and pepper as needed, taste again… BLEH!!!!

I’m not a chef, and this is no restaurant. 

I’m a mom, and I’m cooking dinner with several children pulling on my clothes while running in circles around my island while the baby eats the dog food and the toddler colors on my walls.

I’m not messing around here- I just need something yummy and healthy on the table without burning the house down! Is that too much to ask??? 

So screw the chef tricks!

Just throw your 4 ingredients in the pan- butter, salt/pepper, garlic, and of course the veggie.

Step 4: A Little Color

Allow the veggies to sit until they are slightly browned on one side, then stir them up so that they don’t burn. Wait for a few minutes between mixing so that the veggies get some nice charring (brown coloration) on all sides.

The char adds flavor that nicely compliments the salty, garlicy, buttery goodness that used to be nasty, bland veggies.

The best part about this is that I don’t need to sit and stir the pan all the time! I can take a quick brake to go take the crayon away from my toddler before my whole wall is colored pink or to pull the dog food out of baby’s mouth.

Perfect style of cooking for a busy mom!

Step 5: Eat!

And guess what?? You’re done! So easy, so tasty!!!

The Results!

Here’s some of the amazing veggies that I’ve tried with this method. You can literally SEE the flavor!

The results really speak for themselves.

Look at the difference! Just wait until you taste the difference! I cooked some of my kids’ least favorite veggies today and they gulped them down like I fed them french fries! 

I love it, and I love the peace of mind that comes from feeding my kids healthy food.

And don’t forget to include your kids in the kitchen with these helpful tips and these great kids’ recipes! 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

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3 Reasons and 4 Tips to Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Trivia: How many children under the age of 6 have smart phones??

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer)

I have heard that technology can cause problems for kids and parents. I kind of thought, “Yeah, well, anything can cause problems. You’ve just got to be in control of it, be smart.”

That is what I thought.

And then I watched this Ted Talk that changed my whole perspective on technology and social media for children.

Can flip phones end our social media addiction? | Collin Kartchner | TEDxSaltLakeCity

 

Please, please take the time to watch this. It’s 17 minutes long, and life changing. I’m so happy I spent that 17 minutes to better understand this issue.

Let me repeat some of the most horrifying, intoxicating, depressing quotes from that video- Not to bring anyone down, but because I think they’re worth remembering. Even better yet, they’re worth changing ourselves!

There is a lot in this video that’s tough to hear, but it’s worth it to make ourselves, our homes, and our kids better!!

Here we go. Let’s do this.

(All quotes come from the Ted Talk listed above (see link)- unless otherwise specified.)

woman holding iPhone during daytime

1) Social Media and Suicide

“What is one thing your parent does not know about social media? It nearly ended my life.”

“…In just the last 7 years our suicide rate among kids (ages 10-17) have jumped 141%.”

“Experts say that handing a smart phone with social media and untethered access to these apps with no training or guidance is like handing them a key to a car with no drivers’ ed.”

Suicide has been a problem in society for most of my life, but I never really thought about the realities of this mass epidemic.

Children are hurting themselves. Children. All the time! Children don’t just do that kind of crap. Children are loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, understanding. Children are my favorite people to be around because of their amazing qualities.

My eyes are opened that a sweet, innocent child who hurts themselves could be lost forever. Over something so insignificant as a phone. That’s insane! It just can’t go on. This has to stop.

person using black smartphone with gray and pink case

2) Problems for Children’s Mental Health

“We are on the verge of the greatest public health crisis this generation has ever seen. That was two years ago. We are no verging. The verge is here.”

“Robs them of their resiliency…”

“Our kids’ entire self-worth at 13 is determined by virtual, unpredictable feedback. The validation that we all crave, to them, is only available in this synthetic way. Their social standing and their self-esteem is determined by a like on an Instagram photo.”

“When you’re 13 today, there’s no place to run. There’s no escape. And it is soul crushing.”

I’ve often wondered about the rising rates of depression and anxiety in particular, but other mental health issues as well, like bipolar disorder.

This video shared research linking depression and anxiety to cell phone use and/or social media addictions in children. This makes sense to me as a professional. I know that children’s brain development (particularly in complex social situations) takes years to properly form.

Neural connections that are actively used are maintained and even heightened by the brain, while neural connections that are not used weaken, wither, and eventually die if they are not used for a long period of time.

That means that our teens’ daily activities drastically affect their long-term development.

Lack of appropriate social and emotional experiences, learning, and growth will weaken or slow the social/emotional areas of the brain. Overexposure to particular experiences (like cell phone or social media use) heighten those areas of the brain.

It makes sense that the result would be an imbalance of development!


Other Great Reads: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

16 Rules of Parenting Etiquette That Will Make YOU One Popular Mama

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money


two men and one woman standing on station while holding mobile phones during daytime

3) Our Own Addictions

“The answer of ‘how do we save these kids’ is that we can’t… until we first save ourselves. We as adults and as parents, we have to break free from our screen dependency and our social media addiction. We have to start modeling healthy digital behavior for our kids who don’t hear us, they see us.”

“Now that I’m a teenager, I have never felt more distance, and it’s not because of me… It’s because I can’t get my mom and dad off their stupid phone… I’ve never felt more unloved and more uncared for all because of this stupid phone.”

“This little, precious human being looked at me and with tears in her eyes said, ‘Why do you love your phone more than you love me?’”

“When I had my phone out in front of my kids she didn’t know that I was answering emails to make money so she could go to dance… The only thing she saw when this was out in front of her was ‘that means more to dad that I do.’”

This broke my heart.

It is interesting to me that the presenter did not describe the intense, over the top parents. He described every day dads and moms. The ones who use their phone to check email, to enjoy a break by playing a quick game, to keep in touch with long lost friends, to see their sister’s cute baby on Facebook, to learn something new on YouTube.

It’s all good things- but an imbalance of anything is no longer a good thing.

The child doesn’t know the difference between a parent who is doing good things on their phone and a parent who isn’t. To the child, it’s the same result- a distracted, emotionally unavailable parent.

And I realized as I listened that I fell into that same category of “normal” disengaged parents. I remembered my child pushing her face in between me and my phone, or saying “mom, mom, mom, mom…” over and over because I didn’t respond the first time, or hitting my phone in my hands and saying “No!” And I thought she was the one who was out of line. 

Absolutely not! It was me all along.

Not my child! She can NEVER feel this way again! I learned about this with plenty of time to adjust and I’m going to.

My baby will grow up knowing that she and her daddy and her siblings are the most important thing in my entire life! More important than stupid cell phones, more important than Facebook likes, more important than popularity.

She is the center of my universe, and she’s going to know it!

man beside a boy while holding playing cards

4) What Can We Do?

Throughout the Ted Talk, I noticed four ideas of what we can do to improve ourselves as parents to help this crisis. Here they are:

  • “When I get home from work now… I put my phone in a drawer, I grab that little tiny human, I set her on my lap. I ask her about her day and as she’s telling me I try not to even blink. One thing amazing happened as I was doing this. All the defiance and anger stopped right then because she felt loved and connected.

This is obvious, but really hard to actually do.

The first step is to put the phone away. I never, ever thought I had a cell phone or a social media addiction. I never even had an Instagram or Twitter before I started blogging! I only had Facebook, and I spent less than 1 hour a day on Facebook.

But the cell phone… I actually struggle to be without my phone. I depend on it for my calendar, my alarms, my notes, my grocery list, my email, my games, my social media, my communication with my husband (and everyone else I know for that matter….), researching answers to questions, and basically everything else.

How am I supposed to put it down so that I can give my children all the attention they need?

I don’t really know, but I’m going to figure it out. Time to put it down, even when it’s inconvenient.

  • “It’s ok to show the world that we’re not ok.”

Social media has created a world of perfection. A world where everyone compares their worst qualities to everyone else’s best qualities. A world where you hide your flaws and flaunt the things you’re good at, then beat yourself up quietly when others are good at something you’re not good at.

That’s wrong!

Why do we participate?? Let’s just not!

We can be imperfect, even in public. Even on the worldwide web- even in front of our friends, and our colleagues. And yes, even in front of our children!

  • “What is the proper age to hand our children this technology and these devices… When are you ok with him to start looking at pornography? When are you ok with her to start feeling anxiety and question her self-worth? The minute we hand our kids these devices is the minute they stop being a kid.”

A third suggestion is to delay giving your children access to smart phones, especially because of the access to social media.

I know every parent has their own opinions on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion. But I think this point is very compelling and should at least be considered as parents make their own decisions.

photo of mother and child beside body of water

  • “It is never too late to step up and be a parent!”

I love this quote so much!

It’s absolutely right! We never have to get down on ourselves for our mistakes. We get infinity chances to try again, to fix our problems, to become who we want to be. 

Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give it another shot.

And when you fail again, just do that again. One more try, and another, and another, and another. Your kids will love you if you keep trying, even if you fail over and over. Trying shows that you love them. You would give up if you didn’t care, but you do care so you won’t ever give up on your kids.

 

I hope sharing this awesome information helps a parent and a child out there! Please share your experiences in the comments below to inspire other moms and dads just like you!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Click here to get your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Free Self Care Guide 2

 

Trivia Answer: 1 in 4 of children under age 6 have smartphones, according to this resource! 

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How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Hygiene Routines for a Jump Start to Lifelong Health

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

 

Kids don’t like cleanliness. At least, not all of it.

One kid loves brushing teeth, but hates brushing her hair. Another kid refuses to wash his hands, but has no problem soaking in the shower for an hour at a time.

No two kids handle hygiene the same. The problem is- all kids have to do all of the steps to proper hygiene. There’s no skipping brushing teeth just because Jimmy doesn’t like it!

So how is a parent supposed to create a positive atmosphere around necessary activities… that the child detests???

Here are 6 “mom secrets” that help with any hygiene routine—- and stay tuned for specific ideas for hair brushing, tooth brushing, hand-washing, and bath time!  

1) Monkey See, Monkey Do

Usually parents get up and get ready before the kids do. That’s the only way to get them out the door, because they need you coaxing them along every step of the way as they get ready, right?

The problem with this is that young kids don’t see that you go through the exact same hygiene routine as the child is expected to go through. There’s no example, it’s not relatable. Mom is just magically clean all the time.

Look for opportunities to get ready alongside your child- especially on weekends when there is less of a time crunch- so that the child can see you doing all the same cleanliness tasks that they do.

2) Fake That Smile

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

If you want your kid to be positive about the morning/evening routine, you’ve got to be positive about it too! Even if it’s not a real smile, this is a great time to “fake it til you make it.”

How could a child possibly get excited to go brush his teeth if he hears mom say things like, “Oh no, it’s time to brush teeth! I hate this time of night. It’s always so awful! Well, here we go…”

Compare that to, “Oh yay, it’s time to brush teeth! Woo hoo! Toothpaste tastes like candy. I love it.”  

3) Always, Always, Always

Never let up on the hygiene routine! First of all, it’s healthy to brush teeth, take baths, and wash hands.

Second of all, consistency creates structure for the child. If you break that structure, they are more likely to act out because the tasks seem optional. “Why should I have to wash my hands before dinner tonight when I didn’t have to yesterday?”

4) Your Turn!

clear glass flower vase near rolled grey mat

Take advantage of independent streaks or stages.

Yes, your toddler’s extreme independence can be a blessing! Some aversions to hygiene could be because mom usually helps with those things… a lot. If you have a strong willed child or a child who is going through an independent phase, that’s opposite of what that child is seeking.

Help them out by giving them lots of chances to try each part of the routine on their own. It might take a little longer, but it has a lot of potential to cut down on tantrums or frustration.

5) This or This?

Some kids might struggle with hygiene routines because they are mandatory. It’s not easy to be told that you HAVE to do something, no matter what. Nobody wants to be told what to do!

You can help out with this by offering as many little choices as you can within the tasks themselves.

IE- You must brush your teeth. That’s not a choice. But you can have a choice in what toothpaste you want to use today!

6) FUUUUUUUUUN!

portrait photography of baby laughing

Anything you can do to make hygiene routines more exciting will increase cooperation. That’s why Disney makes so much money off of Princess shampoo and Superhero toothbrushes. They’re fun, and kids are more likely to try something that is  fun.

Batman Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Minnie Mouse Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Here’s more creative ideas to increase the fun aspect of hygiene:

  • Talk It Up: Tell kids all of the good things that will happen when they are clean! They look pretty or handsome, kids like to play with clean kids, their body is healthy, etc.

Here’s some great children’s books to teach kids about the importance of hygiene.

Click on the images below!
Don’t Get Sick! How Kids Can Keep Healthy and Safe – Good Hygiene for Kids – Children’s Disease Books

Smelly Melly: Personal Hygiene for Kids and Little Monsters

Hygiene Heroes! My Personal Hygiene Book :: Kids Hygiene Book. WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES! WE CAN DO IT! HOW ‘BOUT YOU?

  • Visual Aids: Make cute, brightly-colored charts to show the child what’s coming up next! It will help them stay on track, and they’re fun to use!

Click the images below! 

Hygiene Habits Play Set

Step-By-Step Potty Chart

Step-By-Step Hand Washing Chart

Step-By-Step Shower Chart

Step-By-Step Tooth Brushing Chart

  • Apps/Games: There are TONS of apps and games to engage kids in hygiene routines. Here’s a few great ones to try out!

Dr. Panda Bath Time

Good Habits

Cute and Tiny Morning

Let’s Potty! Potty Training Board Game!

  • Earn Rewards: Create a rewards system. Maybe a child can earn a fun experience- like staying up one hour past bedtime, or choosing a special movie from Redbox, or feeding the ducks at the park.

Click on the images below!

Teeth Brushing Reward Coloring Book

Magnetic Reward Chart

 

There you have it- our tips for hygiene in general. It’s time to get more specific.

 

Making Hair Brushing Easier:

-Use detangler (Click image below)

-Use a Detangler Comb (Click on the image below)

-During bath time, put the conditioner in the child’s hair and use this as a chance to brush the child’s hair. Conditioner naturally detangles and softens hair, making it easier and less painful to brush.

-When brushing hair, start with the bottom inch of hair. Brush it out until there are no more tangles in the bottom inch. Then, move up another inch. When that section of hair has no tangles, move up another inch, and another inch, and another inch. This makes tangles less painful to brush through.

-Flip hair over your head and brush the underside of the hair first. This section of hair can be particularly tangled, so brushing it out first and then brushing the top layer of hair can decrease pain during brushing.

-For more amazing tips, check out The Secret to Brushing Your Little Girl’s Hair without Tears! 

 

Making Tooth brushing Easier:

-Choose the correct size of brush.

-Use child-safe toothpaste with fluoride(Click image below). It tastes better anyways.

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Twinkle, Twinkle. The child has to brush as long as mom is singing. This is a good way to help the child learn to brush thoroughly instead of rushing through tooth brushing.

-Use this Baby Alive Teeth Brushing Doll (Click the image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to brush all of their teeth. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-For more great tips, check out Make Teeth Brushing Fun with 6 Easy Tips!

 

Making Hand Washing Easier:

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Happy Birthday. The child has to scrub his hands as long as mom is singing.

-Be silly- Use a crazy narrator voice to give a play-by-play of what the child is doing. “Tom is reaching for the soap, reaching, reaching…. He’s got the soap!! Now he’s scrubbing, But can he get those hands clean?? We’ll see- the anticipation is too much!”

-For more great ideas, check out Hand Washing 101! 

Making Bath Time Easier:

-Use child-friendly, tear-free, natural shampoo (Click the image below). It hurts a little less when it gets in their eyes.

-Try a face shield (click on image below) to keep soap and water out of eyes.

-Use this Little Mommy Bath Time Doll (Click on image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to put soap in their hair, then rinse out the soap. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-Be silly- Use crazy voices to name all the parts of the body (hands, arms, elbows, armpits, tummy, legs, knees, feet….) as you wash them.

-For more tips, check out How to Make Bathtime Fun for Kids

 

I hope these tips make life a little easier for you mama!

Always remember that your efforts are worth it! If your little one can enjoy hygiene now, he’ll enjoy a long life of health.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Free Self Care Guide 2

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20 Things I Wish I’d Known BEFORE I Started Potty Training

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

I’ve heard a lot of potty training horror stories in my (short) time as a parent.

I thought I’d heard it all, and I was ready to go when my first child started to show signs of being ready to potty train.

I was wrong.

So, so, unfortunately, dangerously… wrong.

If I’d only known…

Here it is- everything I didn’t know about potty training. Here’s hoping that this information will help some mom out there!

1. I Don’t Know Everything.

Yeah, I know this one is obvious to everyone else, but for some reason, this took me a while to get.

I’m kinda slow that way.

But it was refreshing to finally get over myself and start using my resources- asking for help from other moms, researching answers, and trusting my mom-gut.

2. My Child’s Choice

Before I toilet trained my child, I imagined that potty training was my job as a parent. I imagined deciding when to toilet train my child and that I would have all the control of the process.

Just…. No.

And this is a good thing! My daughter decided when she was ready, and she showed me that she was ready by asking to use the potty. She started holding her poop when she needed to go. She would say “poop!” before her diaper was even dirty, then go poop a few minutes later.

Every child shows different signs, but the choice to toilet train was very much her choice. And I’m really glad it went that way! It seemed to be perfect for her.

How did your children communicate to you that they were ready to toilet train? What toilet training methods did you use, and why? Comment below!

three toilet papers

3. Kids Like Water

I’ve always known this… But I never really thought about how kids’ interest in water affects potty training.

Because, if you take a second to stop and think about it (which I didn’t)…. There’s water in the toilet bowl.

And the water swirls around in a cool way. It’s really pretty exciting.

And kids think so too.

I guess the point here is, watch your little one’s hands, or right into the toilet they’ll go!

4. Splash Zone

I do get a tiny bit of credit for assuming that there would be a splash zone if I was potty training a boy. But I wasn’t. I have a daughter. So I’m good right??

Wrong.

Splash zone principles still apply.

Pee can and will spray past the toilet seat if you’re not careful! Watch out, mamas!


More Great Reads: 

AMAZING Miracle of Moms- Let’s All Be That Mom Every Day

Helping Your Toddler Understand Time- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

How To Survive a Tantrum in Public (Ages 3 and Up)

How to Make and Follow Through on a Kick @$$ Chore Chart


5. Clean Up Time Is All The Time

I also get some credit because I came prepared knowing that I would be dealing with lots and lots and lots of accidents! Which I did.

But, for some reason, in all my preparation, I only prepared emotionally for the accidents. I did not have a plan for cleanup- as in what cleaners to use, what’s safe on carpet, or specific towels or rags that are ok to clean up urine and feces.

I did learn some great tips though- such as:

  • Pee leaves a bad smell. Certain chemicals combat the smell, so be careful what cleaner you use. If you use the wrong one, the smell will linger even though you’ve tried to clean it. I really liked using vinegar solution or dish washer liquid soap.
  • Carpet is quite a process to clean, and it is best to act fast. The longer the urine sits in the carpet, the more difficult it is to clean. Check out this great post for more information.
  • When I had my first accident, I used this one blue rag that I have. It’s not a nice one, so I figured it would be fine to use it to clean pee. Then later, I happened to grab that same blue rag to wipe down my counters… and I couldn’t do it. Too gross for me to know where it’s been… Next time I potty train, I’ll have specific rags set aside for cleaning toileting accidents.

6. Rejected

When I started toilet training, I thought it would be a fun and positive to give my child a treat for using the toilet- just to make it special for her.

My little girl loves chocolate, and candy, and sweets, but we don’t have them in our home often, so I thought she would be very excited!

To my surprise, I offered her some Reece’s Pieces and she said “No.”

Whaaaaaat the h*&#??? What happened to you??

I swear she’s never said “no” to candy before or since. Only right when it mattered.

So if you’re planning to give treats to your child to help them learn potty training, make sure beforehand that the child likes the treat!

closeup photo of cupcakes on round white ceramic plate

7. I’m Out of Butter….

I tried to be ready to toilet train by choosing a week or so that I didn’t need to run any errands. I didn’t have much on my calendar, and I moved around my schedule for the few remaining appointments to happen later.

So we got started!

And then I looked in the fridge…..

Uh oh.

So we had to pack up and go to the store. We stopped every 5-10 minutes or so to run to the bathroom, mostly false alarms, but it’s better than cleaning up urine in Walmart!

If you’re going to potty train, don’t forget to stock up the fridge!

8. Sick Day

After a few weeks or months (I have no idea how long it was- my potty training memories are a blur) my poor little girl got sick with a moderate fever and a cold.

I didn’t think it would affect her toileting because she didn’t have diarrhea or anything, but it totally did.

I had no idea!

She was being lethargic and seemed tired all day, and it carried over into going potty. It was difficult to get to the toilet fast enough because she just didn’t feel good.

Moms- be aware- sick children might have troubles using the potty.

9. Night Night, Sleep Tight

When I began toileting, I assumed that my child would learn to use the bathroom during the day and that skill would just sort of transpire into night time toileting.

Also wrong.

Unfortunately, I learned that sleep training is totally different than daytime potty training.

The urge to pee or poop doesn’t always wake children and they may go just because their bodies are relaxed in sleep. It’s unconscious. It’s not naughty behavior, it’s truly just an accident.

The child might be completely unaware until he wakes up and is all wet from peeing the bed.

In my daughter’s case, the best advice I’ve heard was to keep her in diapers or pull ups at night until she is consistently staying dry at night on her own. Then slowly switch to having her sleep in her underwear.

10. Connected At the Hip

I’ve always been connected at the hip with my daughter. We go everywhere together, we spend as much time as we can with each other, it’s amazing!

But during potty training time, it was literally EVERY second.

I couldn’t leave her side because she might have an accident in the few minutes or seconds that I stepped away- and she often did have accidents when I tried to step away.

Potty training was an important time for me to take time for myself since it is a long, stressful-at-times process.

I wish I had known that in advance because I could have arranged for more help from supportive neighbors, friends, and family if I had more time.

11. Waste Not, Want Not

There’s lots of extra skills children learn during potty training other than just pooping in the toilet.

Wiping their own butt is one of them.

For some reason, I just didn’t think about that until I was in it. Or more specifically, until half the roll of TP was in the toilet bowl.

Hmmm. Now what??

(For those of you who are interested- I scooped out wads of soggy toilet paper using a plastic fork into a double wrapped plastic Walmart bag. Then I tied it shut, tied those two bags in a third bag, and threw it all in the trash. Fork and all.)

gray wooden outdoor portable bathroom

12. Toileting Time Warp

At the beginning of toileting, I took my daughter potty every 10 minutes, and more often than that if she showed any signs of maybe needing to pee in between the 10 minute timer (like if she was touching her genitals, doing the “potty dance”, or squeezing her legs together).

But after a while, she was picking up the skill so I spread out our visits to the potty. 15 minutes, then 20 minutes, then every 30 minutes, every hour…

It’s a total time warp. Weeks passed without me realizing.

I wish I had soaked up that time with my child a little more. Although it was a lot of hard work, it was one-on-one time with my sweet little one. It’s not easy to get that kind of quality time. I wish I had appreciated it a little more.

13. Preparation

There are lots of times in daily life that a toilet is not conveniently nearby. For example, driving in the car.

My little girl didn’t have to go to the bathroom before we left, so I assumed that she could make it all the way until we reached our destination. That’s just not always true.

I learned to take my child to the potty before we ever got in the car.

baby beside green textile

14. What About the Pants?

My toddler did not know how to dress or undress herself at the time when we started toileting.

Woops.

That meant that she was unable to go to the restroom without mom’s help. She needed me to help her pull down her pants and put them back on.

That was fine for a while, but after weeks of taking my child to the toilet dozens of times every day, I was excited for her to be able to go on her own. That meant teaching her some basic dressing skills.

I had no idea I’d be teaching that!


Resources:

Click the Images Below!

  • Potty Time Watch

  • Potty Chair

  • Potty Seat with Ladder

  • Potty Training Reward Chart

  • Cotton Training Pants

  • The Potty Train


 

15. Vacation Time

Going on vacation is difficult with a child who is just learning to use the potty.

Our family went to visit Grandma. It takes four hours to drive there. We couldn’t leave until after dad got home from work at 5:30. I made sure the car was ready to go so that we could get started on the long drive as quickly as possible.

The drive to Grandma’s is a who lot of nothing. Just barren dessert. There’s only one gas station on the way.

So of course, I took my little girl in to the bathroom at the gas station.

But she had to go again only 15 minutes after we left the gas station.

Ugh. Now what??

In desperation, we pulled over and put her in the diaper. 

Traveling issues like this one contributed to some toileting regression for my little one.

16. Mom’s Routine

I never thought about how to help my toileting child when I had to shower. Our usual routine was to bring a few toys in to mom’s room, where she would play happily while mom took a quick shower.

But there’s no shower fast enough to guarantee that there won’t be a potty accident. After all, my daughter needed my help to pull down her pants to use the toilet.

Sure enough, one day, my daughter called in to me in the shower, “Poop!”

I had soap all in my hair. I thought maybe I had enough time to rinse and then rush out to help her.

That was wrong.

four Mad About Curl and Waves labeled bottles on wooden surface

17. Mom’s Hygiene

Between my shower issues and the time warp I was living in, I had no idea how fast my hygiene slipped.

I would randomly stop to take a look at myself and think…. “Ewww. Let’s get it together, self.”

Maybe half the reason we stay home during potty training isn’t just to avoid accidents in public. Maybe mom’s not fit to be in public. I know I wasn’t!

18. Verbal Praise All Around

I always tried to show my baby that I was proud of her. I told her things like, “You did it!” and “You’re learning how to go potty!” and “You didn’t have an accident today!”

My favorite potty training memory is sitting in the women’s room at Walmart (apparently Walmart is the only public place I ever go… Just realized that) and out of nowhere my little girl yells, “Mommy, you pooped on the potty! Yay!”

Awesome!

I was embarrassed at first, but I can’t help but look back on that moment with a little chuckle.

And then I got smart. I thought… “Hey, if she gets a treat for going potty…. Maybe I do too???”

Yep. Good choice.

19. No More Treats!

And then comes the day when I realized that my toddler really didn’t need to have a treat any more.

How are you supposed to stop that habit once it starts?

I learned all about fading away rewards in college and at work, but it was the first time I had to use it in my parenting.

It seemed like it had been a while.

If you choose to use treats, remember that they have to end sometime. And that’s a whole ‘nother story.

girl making hand gesture on her face

20. Never Ending

Toileting doesn’t stop once a child seems to “have it down.” Accidents happen forever more.

  • Lots of children get so excited about what they are playing that they don’t want to stop to go pee, and so they have an accident.
  • Lots of kids struggle to get sleep training down.
  • Lots of kids have accidents when they feel stressed or under pressure.

Potty training isn’t a “one and done” sort of deal. It’s just life.

So get cozy, keep a smile, on, and don’t stress too much.

It’s still your happy life, and it’s still your sweet baby. Make sure to enjoy it before life moves on and you’re left remembering how it was.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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