Potty Training the Monster

When I look back at my thoughts of potty training before starting, I was overwhelmed and dreading it a lot. So many parents had told us horrible stories of their little ones picking up their poop and wiping it on the wall.. To say we were worried is an understatement. But now that we have a potty trained little 3.5 year old things are much easier!! I am not posting this in any way to say that the way we trained is the best way or the only way you should do it, simply just that it is what worked for us, and it may be helpful for you.

 

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In summer just hanging outside in our undies

First things First here are some signs your child may be displaying if they are ready to start potty training:

  • they will wake up from naps/night-time with a dry bum
  • They may start telling you when they have gone to the washroom and need to be changed.
  •  they show interest in others having to use the washroom
  •  They may try to remove a wet or dirty diaper.
  •  They hide to go to the washroom.

Supplies we used that were helpful:

  • Mattress protector – I suggest 2-3 minimum and ensure they say waterproof!
  •  A toddler toilet seat to cover your current toilet seat ( this is also a great portable option), or the mini toilet ( you can also skip this option and I will tell you another trick that works really great and can be used on any toilet!)
  • Incentive – we chose to use stickers of his favorite characters as well as skittles.
  • Big Kid underwear, we got two options, ones that look like daddy which Pearce still prefers from Tumble and Roar and paw patrol ones from Amazon.
  • Cleaning supplies, if you have carpet you may want to make sure you have a spot cleaner, or just lots of paper towel because we all know accidents happen!

 

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See below how to win 2 pairs of these!

Conversations to have before starting: 

  • Speak to all care givers involved in raising your child and ensure you are all on the same page using the same methods. (For myself this meant getting my husband, daycare provider and my mom and sister whom also watch him all on the same page)
  • Have a conversation with your toddler and show them all the items you have purchased and show them the method in which they will be rewarded – if you chose to train them with a reward system. Gain their buy in! If your toddler seems unsure, do not push them, they may simply not be ready, try again in a few weeks

 

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A picture of our actual Pee Chart 

Our Potty Training Journey

We presented the items to Pearce and told him about going pee in the potty. We discussed how this was the next phase for him, that he was a big boy and that he was now going to use the big boy potty like mommy and daddy. For the first bit we used a little ikea potty or else sat him backwards on our large bathroom toilet, which is the easiest in my opinion as it can be used universal. We would put him in pants with no underwear and ask him about going to the bathroom. We started this journey in June so it was warm outside and we spent a lot of time outside. We allowed Pearce to pee outside but he would not receive a reward or sticker if it was not on the potty. When Pearce would go poop on the potty we would ask him to touch his toes and wipe, sometimes he wished to be alone during the pooping time and he would call us for wipes. For the first two months Pearce would be pull up free from Morning to Bed time except for long car rides. Which he often asked for us to pull over and let him pee even with his pull up on.

The reward system we decided to use was a Potty Training Chart – Pearce is a very visual child who loves doing arts and crafts, so we picked out stickers from his favorite tv shows and movies and I made a pee chart which allowed him to receive $1 for the dollar store every 10 pees and every 3 poops he got $2. Once he would receive his money I would take him to the dollar store and allow him to pick out his item. He also got 1 skittle for each pee or poop. We hung the chart up in our bathroom and it was used as a visual learner for Pearce.

After Pearce was going to the bathroom during the day for about 2 months he was very good at going pee but we developed an issue with pooping on the potty. I spoke to a few moms about it and because I was 7 months pregnant I wanted to ensure that Pearce didn’t revert back to diapers when the baby was born as we had read a lot about this. My husband and I decided that we would commit to no pull up at night at this point. Before we could start this with Pearce he asked us to wear his underwear to bed one night and so we told him if we did that we had to wake him up to go pee – he said this was okay. So we put him to bed that night with his under wear at 7pm. My husband woke him at 12 am, and I did a 2 am and 4 am pee if he didn’t pee at the 2 am. There were nights accidents happened – of course. But once we did this his confidence was very good and he was ready for this stage as well. After 3 weeks we moved 2 wakes 12 am 3 am. Then 3 weeks after that we woke him 1 time at night which was 2 am. After a week of us waking him once at night he started to wake up on his own and still currently does.

Waking Pearce in the beginning meant carrying a very tired little boy to the washroom where often he was half asleep. He would go pee and then we would take him back to bed. He never struggled to get back to bed.

After Pearce was fully potty trained we let him start to stand up to go pee. We wanted him to first learn how to go on the potty before focusing on aiming into the potty. Now that he is a little older and is potty trained we have taught him to stand up and aim into the bowl and make sure that he is watching to ensure the pee always goes into the bowl. Of course this is just the way we chose to do it – in no way do we think our way is perfect but sometimes hearing another’s journey helps to just get you started!

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Regression While expecting

My husband and I had heard from so many people who this happens. It is one reason we committed so strongly to waking him at bed time to go pee. Brooks is now 4 months old and we haven’t noticed any regression.

Little Tips and Tricks

  • Little trick I learned was to buy 2 waterproof mattress protectors and make the bed like this: Mattress/Mattress protector/ Sheet/Mattress protector/ Sheet – Doing this allows you to just strip one layer of sheets and mattress protector at night-time so that it’s not a big ordeal if there is an accidents
  • Boys point your penis downwards.
  • Rather than doing the dollar store you could make a treasure chest of dollar store little finds and let them go into the treasure chest after so many pees or poops
  • A decision my husband made was to invest in a child toilet seat, because we have so many friends with toddlers and were pregnant again and both absolutely hate when our child pooped in the ikea portable potty this was awesome. These tend to be a little bit of an investment but Pearce loves it and feels a lot more comfortable on this as the seats that could be sat on top of our regular seat always made him uncomfortable as it would move a lot. Here is one I found on amazon, they are very easy to install.
  • Another option is to put your child on the seat backwards – its universal
  • If you are training your little one to go poo using a portable potty use a coffee filter it makes clean up just a little easier
  • Never get angry or upset if your child has an accident you never want to create a negative situation around potty training.
  • Potty training in the summer is also very helpful as your child can run around outside naked or just in undies!

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Tips from the Readers : I asked on my instagram for you to give me some tips that helped you with Potty Training and Here they are!

  • Don’t Force or Rush it – they will go when they are ready
  • Aim for cheerios In the toilet to fix any little boys bad aim
  • Add blue food coloring to the toilet and tell them it magically turns green when they pee
  • Portable potty in the car
  • Keep outings short or to a minimum
  • Puppy pee pads on car seats
  • Bumbo potty seat was recommended
  • Introduce the potty at a young age

 

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Find us on Monsterzmama’s Instagram page and enter to win!

Need Incentive to get started:

In honor of potty training we have teamed up with Tumble and Roar and will be giving one lucky winner 2 pairs of their adorable boxers, Made locally in Delta, BC.

All you have to do is like the above picture on Instagram, follow Monsterzmama and Tumble and Roar ! Tag a friend for extra entries! Contest Ends March 25th at 8 am pst.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Brooks Frederick Craig Helm to our Family

I wanted to wait until we truly absorbed these first few weeks with Brooks before I took time away from it to go back to writing. I have just enjoyed learning about this little guy, watching Pearce love on him and recovering from this whole process. It took time and I didn’t want to put pressure on getting this blog post out by a set day to take away from this. But here goes!

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For starters Brooks was due on November 4th, I tried not to share it as when you’re overdue you are bombarded daily by a lot of questions, some very personal and to be honest I didn’t have all the answers and I was sick of sharing them. People trying to tell you how to get the baby to come out, suggestion after suggestions. I tried it all, the days leading up to his birth I was at the gym running an hour on the elliptical – he wasn’t moving till he wanted. I tried acupuncture twice and had a great experience with a woman from Abbotsford who helped tremendously with my anxiety – I have had extremely bad anxiety this year not just about labor so I plan to do more of this in the future.

After seeing my doctor on November 5th he advised me that our baby was large and he did not think it was safe for him to be in much longer and that he wanted me to be induced that week, so I chose the 11th as my mom would be back from her work trip and we would have the week to prepare. At this point I had been 2 cm for 3 weeks and lost my mucus plug 3 weeks previous and had 3 sweeps. Chris and I planned to clean the house and organize Friday (November 9th) while Pearce was at daycare. We were going to organize and get ready so that Saturday we could have one last family day then Sunday have the babe.

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By November 7th I was so uncomfortable crying from the pressure in my abdomen, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do anything the pain of carrying Brooks was taking its toll on my body. The night of November 7th I cried and rocked on my exercise ball for 3 hours until finally forcing myself to sleep with lavender oil and bad tv. The night of November 8th was the same, but much worse contractions had started nothing consistent until about 5 am, when they started to come more consistently.

Well with contractions picking up I took Pearce to daycare (8:30am) and came home, stripped our bedding and started cleaning the kitchen and bathroom as I thought they were possibly Braxton Hicks since I  had them all week. By about 10:30 the contractions were getting a lot stronger my doctor had advised me that because of how quick my first labor was that we shouldn’t take our time going to hospital. So we packed up, made arrangements and headed to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Just a reminder we did not know the gender of our baby so we were still arguing about baby girl names on the way to the hospital. As we did not have one!

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We arrived at the hospital around 11:45 am at around 12:30 pm the doctor checked and advised I was only 4 cm and my membranes were bulging (your water will break soon) at this point we had 2 choices

1. Go walk around and hope your water breaks on its own

2. Be admitted and have the doctor break my water

When I had Pearce my water broke on its own and he was born 40 mins later so I wanted to try to wait. So we went to the mall and walked around for 3 hrs! Picked up some last-minute things, got Pearce a present and headed back to the hospital. When the dr checked me this time I was still 4 cm and still had bulging membranes. So they asked what I wanted to do, I said I really wanted to try to let it happen naturally and asked if I could have a bath before doing that, so we tried the bath – it completely slowed things down. So we got out of the bath and I walked a few laps around the hospital wing. At this point we were approaching a nurse shift change and I decided that I would wait till the shift change to have my water broken to ensure I could meet my new nurse and discuss my plans/wants before anything.

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While waiting I advised my nurse I hadn’t eaten anything that day since 9 am as my mom had told me I would need an enema and I didn’t want one so I was extremely hungry – the nurse laughed at me saying they no longer do enemas and that I could eat. She got me some toast and juice – it really helped! At 7:30pm we were introduced to our new nurse (she was our nurse who delivered Pearce as well) and at 7:40pm they broke my water. Contractions came on stronger and I was able to manage them until 9:45 I was exhausted and after speaking to the doctor who said I was only 7 cm and my cervix was starting to swell and that we may need to try to move the baby I gave in, I asked for fentenyl, after one dose I could still feel the pain and just felt very out of it not able to concentrate on anything. Each time you take an opioid you have to be checked and the baby, when they checked they noticed that our baby HR was starting to get irregular and my cervix was swelling more and the baby was not moving down. At this point it was about 10:45 and the doctor advised me that she thought the best thing to do would be to get an epidural, as she believed we may have to have a c section but at the very least it may allow them to adjust his position and get him moving.

Our doctors plan was to get the epidural, slow the labor down and adjust baby to have them enter the birth canal, then give oxytocin to try to deliver vaginal although she didn’t believe this was going to be successful due to the baby’s size and HR issues. After having the epidural our baby continued to not cooperate, he was fighting it and his HR got so bad that they had to put a HR monitor on the baby inside me. We tried changing my position to regulate his HR – nothing was helping and a c section was needed. We had to wait for the doctor to finish up with another patient and at 11:40 we headed to the OR. I asked the doctor that if there was anyway we could safely have the baby on November 10th I would love that so that both our boys were born on the 10th of the month. So they said they would make it happen.

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So with that we left my mom in the room and headed down to the OR, and at 12:02 am we met our beautiful BIG baby boy! Brooks Frederick Craig Helm was born at 12:02 am on November 10th, and weighed 9 lbs 8 ounces, 55 cm and a head circumference of 39 cm. The pediatrician said it was the biggest head he’d delivered!

While the doctor stitched me she advised me that due to the size of my son and his position he was unable to move down the birth canal to have a vaginal birth, and that even if we had successfully moved his position  he most likely would not have been able to fit – and that I should be thankfully he didn’t.

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When I got to recovery, my husband was there waiting with our son. He latched immediately and it was such a blessing to be holding him, I have no ill feelings about having a c section. My birth plan was always to get a healthy baby. While keeping me safe I put my hands in the care of medical professionals and am so incredibly pleased with the care of the delivery nurses, doctors and all the amazing nurses who took care of us afterwards.

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Now for how we picked his name:

Brooks – I found this name while on Instagram looking at Carousel Nursery designs, and messaged my husband told him I found the perfect name for a boy. He said he also found one and that he had been emailing with a guy about hockey and loved his name we both sent each other a picture – we both sent each other the name Brooks – it was meant to be

Frederick – my husbands grandpa

Craig – my maiden name to name after my family which is also my father in law’s name.

Thank you everyone for following my pregnancy story

– xOx CHELSEA

 

Photocred: Michelle Cervo Photography 

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Hospital Bag

As many of you know I am in my third trimester and have been spending the past few weeks getting my hospital bag ready, and this involves unpacking and repacking a few times. Making lists of things to pick up, and things to add, and taking out things I have changed my mind about only to re-add them later – typical indecisive pregnant lady thoughts.

When I gave birth to my son I went super basic, and my mom had to bring me stuff from her house because there were so many things I didn’t think of. But I’ve decided to share with you what I am bringing, and what I will be using from the hospital

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Mom’s Bag: 

  1. This time I opted for a house coat, last time we had so many visitors come to the hospital, Pearce was a bit of a traumatic birth, and it was really uncomfortable to be nursing, and having all my husbands friends around, and just sitting in a hospital gown or my mothers night-gown she brought me which was not nursing friendly. I got my house coat from Pink Blush Maternity, I went for a mid-length one and am really pleased with the quality.
  2. As stated below it was really difficult to breast feed in the night-gown my mom brought me and the last thing I wanted to wear was pants LOL. So I opted this time for 2 night gowns. One black one that is a tank top style from the Gap, and One that is a T-shirt Style from Thyme Maternity, Both will be great for breast-feeding and are long enough that I feel comfortable and aren’t too thick as I tend to run hot even when I am not pregnant!
  3. I also packed a pair of flip-flops – for showering at the hospital, and a pair of slippers for walking around at the hospital. – no specific type or brand
  4. I packed my favorite pillow and put an extra pillow case on it (that’s black – self-explanatory)
  5. When I gave birth to Pearce I did not buy ANY nursing bra’s prior, my thought was that I don’t want to spend the money and not be able to nurse, as I know so many woman who struggled with this. This time I purchased a few soft ones from Amazon, (since my boobs changed so much after the initial engorgement I will wait to buy any wire or supportive ones till that happens). I purchased a 4 pack of nursing bra’s from Amazon, they came with back extenders which is so nice when you first give birth. They were 4 for $39.99 which is pretty hard to beat (black, pink, beige and white)!
  6. I always like to pack my own towel and face cloth, just because I do like to shower after giving birth and having one from home just makes you feel more comfortable, and I have an obsession with washing my face with really hot water with a face cloth a few times a day.
  7. I packed a going home outfit – A pair of baggy sweat pants, a t-shirt and a sweater, nothing fancy, Comfort is key for me. As well as Warm Socks for the cold hospital floor when my slippers are too far away.
  8. Nursing pillow, I just have a jolly jumper one that I got when I was pregnant with Pearce, I didn’t find that I used it too much, except for at the hospital

Toiletry Bag:

  1. Loofa – This is self-explanatory, I bring a new loofa whenever we go anywhere.
  2. Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray – I didn’t have this spray with my son but I opted for it this time, just knowing how things feel down there before and after labor, so Far I have found it really helpful.
  3. K’Pure Smooch Lip Balm , K’Pure Get Closer Deodorant  & K’Pure Keep Going spray
  4. So Luxury Sitz Bath – I packed this as I plan to put it in my spray bottle for my bottom bits after labor!
  5. Then I packed your regular travel toiletries

For My Hub:

  1.  Change of Clothes – with Extra socks
  2. I Packed a sweat shirt this time for him as last time he was very cold.
  3. Snacks – I made some pumpkin muffins and froze them that we will grab on our way out the door and other snacks I know he will like
  4. Toiletries
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For The Baby:

  1. I grabbed the Baby Starter Kit from K’Pure Naturals as it came with everything I would want for the hospital, I have used the sleepy time bath stuff on my son since he was an infant. The Numpfer baby cloth is so incredibly soft compared to what the hospital provides.
  2. I packed 4 Sleepers, my last birth we were in the hospital for a few days so I wanted to pack a few to be safe
  3. I packed So Luxury Coco Oat Bath  – Depending on babes skin I may use this instead of the K’Pure sleepy time.
  4. I packed 2 pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of hand mits to cover babe from scratching
  5. I packed 4 diapers and a pack of wipes – I plan on using the diapers from the hospital so these were just extra.
  6. I packed 1 Muslin receiving blanket (I always used this as a breast-feeding shield with my first), 2 regular cotton receiving blankets, and 1 blanket to go over the car seat
  7. Take Home outfit for girl and Take home outfit for boy – I like to pack a different outfit for each gender so its obvious what we have in the picture. This time I got the outfits from Jax and Lennon.
  8. Nipple leaking pads – its unlikely that I will be leaking at the point of leaving the hospital because my milk most likely won’t have come in yet, but they’re packed just in case
  9. I also packed little knit skates we got made for my son, we didn’t know the gender of my son either so we had Pink, and blue laces made so I have packed them as well for babe to come home in. Below is a picture of the one I got in case its a boy, But I also got a matching bow so it can work for both!

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Its getting down to the final days of this pregnancy and I am so excited to meet this little bean and find out if it’s a boy or a girl, and to just really take some time to bond as a family of 4. Whether baby comes early, on time or late, I know that it is going to be an experience all its own!

xOx Chelsea