Saturday, 19 July 2014

Potty Training - Day 3

So here we are 3 days into potty training.
No major tantrums, no disasters, just plodding along making slow but steady progress.

I didn't post an update yesterday as, to be honest, there wasn't really a lot to say.
Saturday was the hottest day of the year so far and we spent most the time nappy free in the garden, particularly the paddling pool.
I can't guarantee therefore that we caught every wee but she did tell me she needed to go and we did have results.
All in all another positive day, if hard to measure.

Today the weather was not as good and we were limited to being indoors.... a whole new ball game!
I put a Dry Nites bed mat on the sofa (just in case) and put the potty in pride of place in the centre of the room.
The first time this morning, we weren't quite quick enough.
After that though she really seemed to get it.  Sometimes we were a little late getting on the potty but we always managed to get something in there.
I'm really pleased with her!
More importantly she seems to be really pleased with herself as I want this to be a positive experience for her and not traumatic.

Things to work on over the coming days:
  • Encouraging her to recognise slightly earlier that she needs to go.
  • Encouraging her to get to the potty on her own (rather than freezing and me having to grab her and run)
  • Encouraging her to do a no.2 on the potty - I've heard this can be a whole new challenge!
Bring on tomorrow!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Potty Training - Day 1

I have been planning for weeks to begin potty training on 21st July.  That day marked the first day of the Summer Holidays and the end of our weekly commitments such as Nursery and Toddler Classes.

For the past 2 weeks I have been getting organised; buying numerous pairs of knickers, Huggies Dry Nites bed mats, Dry Like Me training pads, and the all important reward stickers... Thomas The Tank Engine of course!

Today started like any normal Thursday with my parents arriving to help out with the childcare.  My mum then offered to take C into the garden with"pants and potty" to see how she got on.  This wrong footed me slightly.  Did I really want to start today?  I have always said that once I start I would see it through to the end, no going back to nappies on odd days if it was more convenient. 
I wobbled for a minute...
On the plus side, the weather was going to be good for the next few days, she could spend the majority of time in the garden.  There was no guarantee the weather would be so good next week.  Also having my parents on hand on day 1 would be a huge help!

We therefore started today.

By lunchtime we had got through numerous pairs of knickers and had had no wees on the potty despite numerous sitting attempts.  On the plus side, C was aware she was wetting herself and informing us.... although slightly late.  I was actually really pleased.

In the afternoon C seemed to be up and down from the potty every few minutes.  She was getting stressed which meant so was Mummy.  It would appear she hadn't yet understood how to empty her bladder fully which was resulting in trickles every few minutes.

Eventually we had our first success, followed by lots of praise from Mummy!  C seemed pleased with herself and especially pleased on her Thomas sticker!
I think in total we had four successes on the potty which I am so impressed about!
More importantly she is recognising when she needs to go and informing us.  As her bladder control improves hopefully she can give us more warning.

I had concerns that her lack of speech may prove a barrier to potty training however she has had no problem communicating when she needed to go. 
Her speech today has been brilliant.  Saying "Get Up Please" when she wanted to get off the potty.  The first 3 word sentence I have ever heard her say!

I am slightly apprehensive of what tomorrow will bring, especially as I will be on my own but all in all I am feeling very positive.  Today went better than I expected!

Nuna Zaaz Highchair - A Review

Baby B is now 7 months old and we are well on our way with weaning.
It is going surprisingly well so far, and as long as you time it right and he is not too hungry or tired, he will eat just about anything.  This includes stealing off anyone elses plate if they have carelessly left within arms reach.  Yesterday he stole a grape today and ate it whole.  I thought he might spit the skin out but no, all gone!

As with C, I have been doing a mixture of finger food and puree.  It worked well for C and while B seems happy I see no reason to change.

C has always used a small Mama and Papa's travel highchair which attaches to the dining chair.  This converts to a toddler booster seat once they get older.  DH was adamant he did not want a large cumbersome highchair cluttering up the dining room.
As B is such a big boy we decided to not to move C out of her seat, but instead buy B a new highchair.
I had a look through the Kiddicare Summer Sale last month and came across the Nuna Zaaz Highchair.

I was attracted to it initially because the legs did not splay out from the body, therefore taking up a smaller floor area than many highchairs and preventing a trip hazard.
Secondly, because it is designed to sit at the dining table.  Our dining set only has 5 chairs instead of the original 6 therefore having a highchair fit the empty space suited us perfectly.
Thirdly, the fact it changed into a toddler chair and then into an older child's chair meant that it solved our missing dining chair problems for the foreseeable future!

Further discussions with DH actually resulted in us purchasing 2 of these chairs!
One for C and one for B.
The little toddler booster could then go to my parents to use when we stayed there.

So here we are with 2 new Nuna Zaaz highchairs in Orange.

The Zaaz boasts the following key features:
  • customise the ZAAZ to any size, height or amount of wiggles
  • a hidden lift behind the footrest adjusts height easily and lets baby join in at the table
  • three or five point anti-loop harness, featuring quick click release button provides ultimate safety and peace of mind
  • unique air-foam cushion custom-fits each chair and pads both small and bigger bottoms
  • no-crevice design outwits crumbs and cleans up like a dream
  • removable plastic components are dishwasher safe
  • extraordinarily sleek leg base, chic colour options and smart look makes the ZAAZ feel like designer furniture
  • made of high quality materials and is bpa, pvc, and dehp free

We have customised our Zaaz for each of our children. B has it in full "baby"mode with a five point harness and the tray attached.
C has hers 2 stages on with both the tray and safety bar removed and only a 3 point harness.
Both are currently using the chair at its maximum height.
The removal of the safety bar on C's chair allows it to be tucked away neatly under the dining table when not in use just like a standard dining chair.

Occasionally if we have visitors and B is asleep I will transform his highchair into an adult seat for the duration of the meal.  The clear instruction manual that comes with the product makes this a quick and painless transformation.

The smooth "no crevice" design definitely helps the item stay clean and hygienic, and the tray is even dishwasher safe.  There is unfortunately one space where the safety bar attaches to the base which is a crumb magnet and actually quite hard to clean out.

We were concerned that the more vertical legs may make the highchair less stable however the product has enough weight to easily hold it in place.
I love the design of this highchair and although I am sure it was designed with modern minimalist kitchens in mind, it looks just as at home in our traditional dining room.

The RRP for this highchair is £180 which would have been a little out of our price range, especially as we ended up buying two, however purchasing this item in the sale made it much better value for money.  I would definately recommend this highchair to friends if it was within their budget and hope to be using ours for many years to come.

No incentives were offered for the publication of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Talking Tips For Kids - A Review

C is still on the waiting list for Speech Therapy.
Apparently we are nearly top of the list but as things stand at the moment we are still waiting.
In the meantime we were asked if we would like to review a Talking Tips For Kids video by Speech Therapist Fiona Barry.

I was already familiar with Fiona's work through aricles she had written in the Telegraph and thought this an excellent opportunity to get access to some additional resources.

We were asked to review the "Wise Words" video which is aimed for parents of children aged between 1 and 2 years.  Obviously C is slightly older than this but this level best fitted her speaking ability.  Wise Words focusses on when children are beginning to learn lots of single words but not yet joining them together.

I have become more defensive about C's speech as the months have gone on as the comments that many make are particularly unhelpful and usually imply that C's speech issues are due to a fault in my parenting, something I refuse to accept.
My personal favourite which comes up again and again is...

"My son/daughter has great speech but that is because I have read to them everyday from an early age"
I am well aware of the importance of reading to young children and have also read to C from an early age, often 3 or 4 times a day.  We have an extensive book collection and since the age of 18 months she has also visited the library once a week meaning we have a constant stream of new and interesting books to read.  I really enjoy reading to C so a lack of being read to is not the root of C's speech issues.

I therefore began watching this video with a little trepardation but was pleased to see immediately that Fiona's clear, concise tone did not sound patronising
Much of what she says I was already aware of from my own research previously.
For example the importantance of getting down at the same level as your children and engaging in fun, imaginative play; however having this information all together was helpful to collect my thoughts.

There were a few little gems that were new to me though.  The most fundermental being not to constantly question your child, particularly with pointless questions you know the answer to.
This I am definately guilty of!  In an attempt to get C to speak, I am the Queen of Questions....
What colour is that train? 
How many wheels does the car have? 
What animal is on your T Shirt?
In my defence it was one of the more effective ways of getting C to speak however the video has made me take a step back and either wait for her to describe the item off her own back or if not for me to simply tell her what it is.

Also as a result of this video I have been trying to add more songs into our every day activities.  My favourite time is in the car when there are minimal distractions.
Our current favourite in Old MacDonald.  I sing the main words but pause at the animal names and noises for C to fill in the blanks.  C has taken to this really well and I am definately seeing an improvement.  She is even started joining a couple of words together at the chorus e.g. "woof woof here, woof woof there".
I am hoping that as she sees these improvements in herself it will improve her confidence to try new words.

I have tried a similar approach with certain key books e.g. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin, Jr.  Because the text is simple and repetative, and is associated with clear pictures, C is now able to have an attempt at all the animals in the book when i pause .

"Brown _____ Brown _____ what do you see?  I see a Red ____ looking at me"

Just this week she has started to make an attempt at "horse" and that is purely down to using this technique with this book.
It is so great to see these improvements
In the past month I really do feel her speech has come on so much.
In May she had 10 words, now she has 25!
For a child of 28 months she is still well behind where she should be but to double her word tally in 2 months is pretty impressive!


At only £1.49 each the Talking Tips for Kids premium videos are great little aids for parents wanting direction with regards to their child's speech. They are useful in encouraging you to step back and look at the practices you are currently using with a more critical eye.  I can certainly see I got into some bad habits.
There are also shorter free videos which address particular issues or areas.

We were given free access to one premium video from the Talking Tips for Kids website for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Potty Training Preparations

C is coming up for 2 1/2 years old.

As the summer holidays approach I feel it is the perfect time to start potty training.

Many of her friends are potty trained already, but I was determined to wait until the summer holidays when we were not also trying to juggle nursery and other toddler classes so we could really focus of the task in hand.

I also have been acutely aware of C’s struggles to communicate and am concerned that this will bring its own additional challenges.
I have spent the last few weeks researching how to potty training children with Verbal Dyspraxia.  Although this is not yet a confirmed diagnosis for C, as they are unwilling to pigeon hole them so young, my Mummy’s hunch is this is what closely matches her symptoms.
Many on Verbal Dyspraxia forums have stressed that waiting until the child is 3-4 years old provides better results.  They may prove to be right but I feel I would be doing my daughter a disservice by not using this opportunity to try at the same time as her peers.

We are embarking on this challenge alongside Dry Like Me’s #PottyTrainingLive campaign.  

Come back over the next 4 weeks to see how we are progressing and for competitions and reviews of Dry Like Me products.

#PottyTrainingLive runs for 4 weeks starting on the 14th July. You can sign up for weekly advice, tips and offers here...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Are you ever free from Post Natal Depression?

As I write this I am not sure whether I will actually post this on the blog or just use it as a personal vent.

As someone who has suffered with infertility, having a family of my own is something I have fought long and hard for.  I even quit my dream job for something that paid better so I could save enough to be able to give up work and look after my children full time.

The majority of people I have seen in this position savour every minute of motherhood when they are finally blessed with a family.  Every sleepless night, every long day, every milestone, they take in their stride.

But what if it doesn’t happen like that for you?