Toddler Bed Hack: Keeping Your Toddler From Falling Out Of Bed

Sweet M has been sleeping in his toddler bed at night pretty much since we received our household goods here in Oahu. 

We weren’t totally sure how it would go since he’s always been a co-sleeper, but it was a pretty smooth transition. 

He typically falls asleep in our bed, then we put him in his bed, and most nights he’d sleep there until somewhere between 3am-5am and then crawl into bed with us. It works.

But.

He falls out of bed a million times sometimes. We have a ruggie right next to his bed, and put pillows all around the floor. Falling out of bed doesn’t even wake him up 9 times out of 10 – just J and I. He’s typically pretty graceful about it, actually.

Well, J leaves today for work travel today (yes, you read that correctly. We have a 12 day old and he’s leaving for work for a week. You can just call me Wonder Woman. Or, if we’re being honest, Sleep-Deprived-Disheveled-Caffeine-and-Sugar-Addict Woman. Basically the same thing, right?).

Anyway, I knew we had to do something about this sleep arrangement because no way I’d survive nursing a baby all night and  constantly putting M into his bed throughout the night if he continuously swan dives out.

And yes, yes, I could just sleep with him in my bed, too, but he kind of needs someone to hold him in place so he doesn’t fall out. He’s that wriggly in his sleep (except when he shoves himself in his too-small Dock-a-Tot, haha). Which is hard to do when also trying to have a safe sleep space for Bean, and Sweet M not all up in her business (have I mentioned that he really loves her?).

So off I went to buy a mesh rail for his bed. Yes, his cute little toddler bed has a built-in side rail, but let’s be honest, it does nada because it’s not remotely high enough. 

Well, all the reviews for the mesh bed rail I purchased declared it was not possible to install this on a toddler bed. In all fairness, the box even clearly states it’s intended for a twin or queen sized bed. 

But you know what? Wonder Woman is too smart for that. Or SDDCSA Woman. I’ll leave that up to you. 

I took a few screws out of Sweet M’s bed, removed the built-in rail, and voila!  The rail that many reviewers claimed wouldn’t fit on a toddler bed suddenly fit perfectly. 

And my sweet toddler slept peacefully and safely in his bed throughout the night, and still had the means the get out on his own and come cuddle J at 5am.

That folks, is how we are going to survive the upcoming week.

One Week Old

Our darling Bean girl is one week old. 

It seems like she’s always been a part of this chaos. It equally seems like she was born just seconds ago. 

It’s crazy how quickly a week can fly by.

She sleeps soundly at night (as in, she doesn’t wake inconsolable or cry, she just roots around, I put a boob in her mouth, and we both fall back to sleep), I’m not really certain why I’m so exhausted. You know, other than having just given birth and having three other kiddos who, let’s be honest, demand a lot of attention. As they should. 

Miss H seems to love having a baby sister. The transition has definitely been challenging for her; I know she’s feeling incredibly displaced and unsure of how exactly she will fit into this family. It’s emotionally depleting on a lot of levels; I just hope if I love her enough she’ll pull through okay. 


Mr. B seems wholeheartedly unaffected by our newest family member. He’s so easy going, he just seems to truck along at his normal happy-go-lucky pace, regardless of what we throw at him. He asks to hold Bean a few times throughout the day, and will pause to kiss her head running from one place to the other. But otherwise, you’d never know he’d just had a huge life changing event occur in the shape of his new baby sister.


And dear Sweet M. Oh boy! He loves “Beebee!” as he calls her. He loves her a bit too much most of the time. He’s also deep in the throes of testing limits; cutely asking if he can hit or kick her. He clearly knows that he cannot, but he cannot resist asking anyway. I mean, at least he asks, right? And typically accepts “no” as an answer. But we definitely aren’t leaving him unattended with her anytime in the near future, haha. 

She is the first person he wants to see when he wakes up in the morning, and the person he wants to fall asleep next to at night. He always wants to hold her and kiss her and have her right where he can see her at all times. I think they’re going to get along beautifully as they grow. 


J snuck off to work on Friday and we all survived somehow. He’s home this week though, as he departs Saturday for a week on the mainland. I’m kind of past the lounge around stage, but I’m trying to still just rest and heal because I know my body needs it. But I’m a doer, so it’s always kind of challenging. 

Bean is tongue and lip tied with a very high palate. The first few days of breastfeeding were rather challenging and I was pretty set on having her ties revised, but it’s getting better so I’m leaning toward canceling that appointment at this point. She still clicks and gets a lot of air, but with her high palate that’s unlikely to go away with revision anyway. I figure I managed to breatfeed her big sister who had all the same issues (unknowingly at the time) until age 4; so I can do it with her. 


Unexpectedly, it seems Sweet M has weaned cold turkey with Bean’s birth. I was so looking forward to having a toddler nursing to help mitigate oversupply and plugged ducts, but alas. 

At her pediatrician appointment at 4 days old she was only an ounce shy of her birth weight, so I think she’s doing just fine.

I’m tired, but not the level of exhausted I anticipated. Probably because I have good help. I smell like sweat and stale milk; thank you Hawaii heat and humidity for ensuring I never smell decent again. 

We’ve made it one whole week as a family of 6. I couldn’t be more thrilled or more in love with these crazy people, no matter how challenging some moments may be. Nothing good comes without some sort of challenge, and challenge is not equivalent to bad. 

Happy one week, Bean! You are loved beyond measure! And it is a very good thing you can sleep through loud. Because your siblings are the walking definition of “loud.”

The Birth of Darling Freja

I never imagined that I would give birth to a baby before 40 weeks. And I was right, ha ha.

I had joked a week or two ago that it would be funny if she came on Labor Day. Not only was it such fitting day, but it is also my older sisters birthday.

So as I crawled into bed Sunday night, I told J I was pretty sure this baby would be here within the next 24 hours. I didn’t have any signs, symptoms, or early labor, just a very strong intuitive feeling that I would be holding my baby soon.

I woke up that morning at 2:40 AM and went to the restroom. At which point I realized I had lost part of my mucous plug. I went back to bed, and woke again at 4 AM. This time, I had lost all of my mucous plug. I tried to go back to bed, but sleep would not come. 

I was having mild, early labor contractions. I knew it was game day.

And Labor Day.

I bounced on my birthing ball in the living room looking at the beautiful city of Honolulu before the sun rose.


Throughout the morning, I had irregular contractions. Sometimes they would be seven minutes apart lasting for over a minute, other times I’d only have one in the entire hour.

My other births were pretty progressive. Once I started having contractions, it was game on and study and rhythmic and I had a baby in my arms few hours later. As I passed the time durations of each boy’s birth, I felt myself growing more and more frustrated and disheartened.

I tried to nap for a bit with Sweet M, but it was futile.


When it hit 2:40 PM, officially making it longer than any of my other labors, I broke down crying to J. 

Of course, he was ever wise, and supportive, telling me that I could do this, that I was strong, that the end result would be amazing.

Per usual, he was correct. 

A little after 3pm, still with nothing steady or strong enough to really feel like the end was near, I went ahead and texted my photographer to head on over as she was an hour away. I also called my midwife as she was bringing the birth tub and I figured maybe if I had the tub it’d take my mind off things. 

I labored in water with Miss H, but ultimately brought her into the world on land. I never desired to climb into the tub with B, so it became a swimming pool for Miss H. I assumed I’d never want the water with M and didn’t bother (and that’s all I wanted in the moment.) But with this baby I’d been envisioning bringing her right into the world in the water. Finally. 

My midwife and her assistant arrived a bit after 4pm. I continued to labor on as my midwife and her assistant, as well as J, set up the birthing tub. 


My photographer arrived at 4:25pm, followed within minutes by my friend JJ who is here for the month. She gracefully took over kid duty like a pro. 


At a little after 5pm I needed to pee. I had to stop three times before making it to the bathroom for the three most intense contractions. 

I sat on the toilet to pee and had another contraction, and I felt the baby move down involuntarily. It was no longer my ball game, my body and baby were in full control. 

“I think I need to push,” I said calmly. I learned later that my midwife and her assistant didn’t think I was anywhere close to being ready to push because I was so calm and composed. 

I climbed into the birth tub and had one mild contraction, which pushed her down further and my waters burst, chunks of vernix flying through the water. It was followed closely by another mellow contraction that I would never have imagined had the power to do anything, but pushed her right down to crowning with nearly no effort from me. This was, of course, the least pleasant part because the ring of fire had been created. 


I held my hand over her head and sat like that for a few minutes, stroking her hair, prepping myself to push her into the world. At this point no one even realized she was crowning as it was a completely hands off birth; I wanted to do everything myself. 

“Okay,” I whispered, and the next contraction pushed her little head out. Miss H held a flashlight pointed into the water, J and the boys gathered by; Sweet M safely in JJ’s arms.  

I reached down, pushing her shoulders out and bringing her onto my chest. 

It was 5:25pm.


I’d done it. I did it. I brought her into the world just as I’d hoped, virtually all by myself. And it was literally the easiest and most pain free birth I’d ever experienced.


There are no words to fully explain how amazing and empowering this birth was. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to have great birthing experiences with all my babies, but this one takes the cake. 

I experienced less than half a dozen intense contractions. I barely pushed my body at all to bring her into the world. It was the calm and peaceful water birth I’d wanted forever. And I did it all myself. 


After I birthed the placenta, J took the baby, whom we had finally confirmed was indeed a little girl, into the bedroom. 


Mr. B had wanted to cut the cord from day one, so he was given the honors once everyone was calm and things had settled. 


It’s safe to say she has melded into our family instantaneously. Her older siblings are madly in love with her. 



Once finally measured and weighed, she came in at a whopping 7 pounds and 9 3/4 ounces and 20 inches long. Much smaller than both of her brothers, but only a hair bigger than her sister. 

Absolute perfection, of course. 

And her name? Seriously the easiest and also most difficult baby’s name to come up with.

Freja Lorelai Endellion

We’d decided on Freja (Fray-ah) when I was preggo with M. I always have my heart set on Spanish names for our kids, but then we never have any that we both love. Other than Mr. B’s name, of course.

But the name Freja just kind of fell into our laps and was perfect. It’s from Norse mythology, and the Norwegian blood in me runs thick (or at least it feels that way in this Hawaiian heat!). The Anglicized version of Freya is fairly common in most of Europe, so it’s not a completely out there name either. It’s strong and feminine and we both loved it immediately.

J chose Lorelai. I think it’s a given where he got that from. And I wasn’t protesting. 

I flip flopped the whole pregnancy for her second middle name (all our kidlets have two middle names). In the end I went with Endellion (En-del-lee-en), which hadn’t been on my short list at all, but just felt right. It means “fire soul” and is also a Saint name. 

And so she is our little love goddess. Our perfect 4th baby. The very person we needed to make our family complete. 

Homestretch 

We are in the homestretch now. 

40 weeks and 2 days.

This is the earliest I’ve ever given birth, and that was to my sweet, calm Mr. B. 

I don’t sense this baby is coming soon. 

I mean, she’s coming soon because she can only be in there for a few more weeks tops. She eventually has to come out.

Right? 

But I have a deep sense of contentment right now. I’m in no hurry for her to be here other than my own selfishness that I want to hold her in my arms and count her sweet fingers and toes and kiss her little nose.

But we are busy with lots to do, so she can stay put for a bit more and I won’t mind.

Yesterday we ventured to the Okinawan Fest, which was a lot of fun.


We ate a ton of delicious food from the land of my birth. We won’t discuss just how much food, and then plantation iced tea, I consumed, haha. 


The kids enjoyed visiting the cultural tent and looking at the calligraphy and karate paraphanalia. 


Then we ventured to the Jackass Ginger Pools for a leisurely hike and some creek stomping. I left swim suits and Sweet M’s ear plugs in the van so we didn’t swim in the actual pool, but the kids didn’t mind one bit. 


Then we headed over to the pool for a leisurely afternoon of food and swimming. Er, jumping. Lots and lots of Sweet M jumping into the pool because he’s a little jumping bean and that’s all he wants to do. For hours. No joke. 


And because we were all ready so close to Duke’s, we decided to finish our night off with hula pie. What more could you want for dinner? (Sorry, no pics of the actual hula pie because we devoured that decidence in .02 seconds and I didn’t think about taking a photo until the kids were mostly done.)


Our days as a family of 5 are limited. I’m trying to enjoy these insanity-inducing, feral children of mine as much as possible before things get a little chaotic in those days after bringing a new human into the world often tend to.

We are so close though. So close.  

Mr. B is 6!

My sweet first boy is 6!

I can’t believe how fast time has flown.

If we are being honest, I’ve been so exhausted as of late that I can’t believe I’m even writing right now. I want to lay down and hibernate. 

Forever.

But 6 years ago I labored through the night, certain I was about to bring another sweet girl into the world whom we’d name Lennox. We never even gave boy names a thought, I was so certain he was a girl, ha.

And then in the morning I pushed out my nearly 9lb perfect baby, and kept squeaking that he was a boy. I couldn’t have been more surprised, or thrilled.


I had no idea how badly I needed a little boy. How I needed his calm, peaceful infancy. His crazy, rambunctious toddlerhood that landed us in the pediatrician’s office more times than I care to admit as he learned about gravity and his own strengths; far too hardheaded and determined to take any caution to the wind.

Being his momma has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. He’s loud and full of energy, and he’s also the calm in the big storms. 

He’s the one who still crawls into my lap, enveloping himself in my arms, unafraid to show his immense love and affection.

He is so strong and brave. He is not afraid to cry and let the world know that he has feelings and emotions. He is the boy who is more than just “boy” – he is a good, kind human that will help pave the way for other boys to know that “tough” is great, but  there is no reason to “suck it up, buttercup” just because of your gender. It’s okay to be human. In fact, it’s necessary. 

He is your stereotypical little boy who loves to rough and tumble. He likes to fight and watch action movies. He loves science and all things gross. He wants to be an FBI agent and paleontologist when not in office as President some day. 

But he also likes to paint his toenails with his sister and care for his baby doll and cuddle his baby brother and cook with his papa.

He is everything that is so good and pure and right in this world that sometimes it’s easy to forget that he’s a rare little gem because it seems so normal and natural. 

6 years ago I brought my second precious baby into the world. 

And he filled up holes in my heart I didn’t even know existed. 

I can’t wait to see what the rest of his life entails because I know this sweet, fierce, sensitive, spitfire is going to change the world. And more than just mine. 

Honolulu Family Fun Run

Miss H has been dying to do an organized run since I ran my first 1/2 marathon last October. (I wish I could say my “only” but I’m insane and know there will be more. I mean, I’m signed up for my first full marathon in December – eep!).

I’ve had my eyes peeled, but I’ve also been in the throes of pregnancy and a huge move and adjustment, so I would be a liar if I said it’s been my number one priority. 

But then one kind of fell into my lap. The universe knew what we needed. 


Miss H and Mr. B were both thrilled to take part in their first ever 500m keiki dash. Watching them sprint their little hearts out was actually a much more emotional (hormonal?) experience for me than I anticipated. They were focused and determined. 


After the keiki dash the really fun (or funnies) took place. 

The kiddos and I had signed up to do the family 3k. Our only goal, which is my only goal any time I run: to finish and not die.

Mr. B declared he was going to the front and was running the fastest the whole time. I shrugged and told him to have at it. It was a pretty straightforward route around a few city blocks. And honestly, I figured we’d find him tuckered out after a few minutes; he’s not often my most physical child in terms of activities. 

I sent J a quick text, who was hanging out with Sweet M and the stroller, and told him B was starting at the front and could he please keep an eye on him.

You guys. B blew us away! 

For a good portion we could see him sprinting his heart out in the second place. Then after a bit we could just catch glimmers of J in his orange shirt flying ahead with the stroller in his sandals, trying to keep up with our 5-year-old. (J had not signed up to run, ha.)

At around the half way mark they gave us chocolate milk and H and I decided to power walk and chat, J and B long gone at that point. 

When we could see the end we decided to sprint our hearts out and we ended with a bang, long after Mr. B who came in amongst the top 10, which included all the adults running it semi-seriously. 


We finished out the morning and early afternoon enjoying the Honolulu Family Festival and continuously talking about how awesome B did. H did amazing, too, of course, and she was so pleased to run with her momma. 


It was a lovely, albeit hot day, with the humans I enjoy the very most! 

This photo says it all

Race to the Treasure!

We super love board games around here. I’d rather play a board game or build blocks with my kids than do something imaginary any given day (which is interesting, because I was really into imaginative play long after most kids). 

While we are waiting on all our belongings (2 more weeks yet!), there is only so much hiking and beach we can do in a day. And although my kiddos spend a lot of time outside playing and entertaining themselves, there is still downtime inside, too. 

Since I refuse to buy anything we all ready own, because that’s just a waste of money, even if we don’t currently have that possession in hand, there have been times the kids have gotten a bit stir crazy when they need down time from the outside exploring. 

Thus, last week, I packed them up and took them Target to buy some board games that we don’t own. 

One game they chose is titled “Race to the Treasure!” and has been a huge hit around here. I know it will be well-loved for years to come.


My kids, like a lot of kids, are still learning how to be good sports and lose games with grace. And while it’s something we are continuously working on as it’s a pretty important aspect to learn and accept and handle with grace as it will always be a part of their lives in social situations, it’s also something I need a break from in all of our board game playing ventures. 


Race to the Treasure! is a fun and exciting collaborative game where all the participants work together to get all the keys and reach the treasure before the ogre. So everyone wins or loses as a team, and must put forth their best collaborative skills.


And let’s be honest, teamwork is just as essential of a skill to learn as being a good sport. 

This game is recommended for ages 5+, but I’d say most thrre year olds could easily grasp the idea and play with help, and likely even precocious two year olds. And I enjoyed playing it myself at nearly 30, so I would say there isn’t much of an age limit. 

I cannot recommend collaborative board games enough to help kiddos come together and work as a team. Especially when they are in the throes of being ugly to one another. They immediately have to switch gears if they want to play and have fun! 

Needless to say, Race to the Treasure has been just the cure for our downtime blues around here!

4th of July 

I wasn’t feeling the 4th of July this year. Maybe it’s the move. Maybe it’s the pregnancy. Probably it’s the state of our country currently. 

Regardless, I wasn’t going to waste a perfectly good day having J home with us. 

I actually got to sleep in until 7am (yes, that’s sleeping in these days!) so I was feeling rather refreshed as I put swimsuits on everyone and we loaded up into the van. 

We stopped off at Leonard’s to grab a box of malasadas (you guys, I am not a donut person, but these are different and delicious and should be enjoyed by every human). Sweet M was asleep when I returned to the van (don’t worry, I ran in while J stayed in the van with the kids, I didn’t leave him out there to roast in the heat), so we decided to venture out of Honolulu for the day while he napped, since we didn’t have any real plans other than the kids wanted the beach. 

We found ourselves over in Kailua right in time for their 4th of July parade so we found parking and place to sit (and one sweet guy even insisted I take his chair and that we sit under their tent in the shade) and enjoyed the parade.

Enjoying a yummy custard filled malasada. This kid appreciates the finer things in life.
Night and day these two sweet babes. She couldn’t be bothered with clothes or shoes and he has on a lot more layers than you can see.

The kids were super excited even though it was mostly politics and military (I mean, I guess that sums up America, but in Indiana there are lots of fun floats and activities). The kids didn’t mind though, and we were really just there for them anyway, so it was completely fine. They each were given two popsicles during the parade in lieu of candy by some of the parade participants, so all three of them were in 7th heaven. 

After the parade we walked into Kailua town for some lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Mexican food is what I definitely miss most from home. Okay, maybe not most, but it’s pretty high on the list. Thankfully I brought my Mexican chef with me, but until we have real kitchenware I have to try and compensate with subpar, over priced cuisine that claims to be Mexican. 

When you dont bring your shoes with you – at all – you have to hitch a ride .

We were off to the beach when we were finished. 

The big kids brought their boogie boards and the waves were amazing for them, until they got to be too much (for J and I, the kids would have happily kept going). Once the tide and waves got to be too strong we grounded them to the beach area because with 3 kids and only 2 adults we were outnumbered. And while we tend to be pretty free range, I’m really attached to my kiddos, so the line has to be drawn somewhere. 

But they didn’t seem to mind having to stick close by. They can entertain themselves anywhere!


J played with Sweet M in the sand and then in the waves. Sweet M is fearless and knows no boundaries. He’s been knocked under by waves more than once since we’ve been here (someone is always at least holding his hand), but he doesn’t mind. He just goes head first for more. Subsequently, he stars IRS self rescue swim lessons soon. 


I was so focused on keeping all the kids well sunscreened that I completely forgot myself. Needless to say, I have lobster shoulders and nose now. But the kids aren’t pink! 

The kiddos were so exhausted they fell asleep before the fireworks ever began once we got home. We have perfect views of the Honolulu fireworks from our living room, which is pretty spectacular. And the fireworks started at 8:30 so I was actually awake, haha. 

We also later could see the firework show in Pearl City from our living room as well. So that was equally cool. J really did get us the best house location over here. 

I doubt this will go down as a terribly memorable day or holiday in my kids’ lives, but at least I know it was happy day.

Kolekole Trail

One hike here in Oahu that I read about and knew we wanted to check out was the Kolekole Trail at Schofield Barracks.

It was touted as being a fairly easy hike (and I haven’t bought proper hiking shoes yet, I’m totaling Birkenstocking it right now), semi-shades (remember the heat and my Norwegian blood?), and the views were promised to breathtaking (aren’t they all here, though?).

The only catch was that Kolekole Trail is only open for hiking a handful of times throughout the year. 

Well, wasn’t it our luck that it was open over the 4th of July weekend then? 

I knew we needed to take advantage of this trail asap because who knows what may or may not happen throughout the year, and I definitely didn’t want to miss this opportunity. 

So Sunday we loaded up the kids and headed to the other side of the island for another day of fun in the great outdoors. 


The hike up was fairly steep in some places, but that didn’t hold anyone back. Not J with a napping Sweet M on his back. Not me and my big ol’ pregnant belly. Not Miss H in her dress (you can totally hike in a dress!). And not Mr. B who insisted he didn’t like hiking and yet was sprinting like a tazmaninan devil all over the place, light years ahead of us all. 

We were so rewarded on this hike with various look out points. Each one gorgeous. 


I actually had a dream a few nights ago that Mr. B fell off a cliff. Like, plop! It just happened and there was nothing to be done. I woke up in a cold sweat all panicky because it was one of those dreams that seemed real. So most of this hike I was just biting my tongue really hard because suddenly it was all I could think of and I didn’t want to ruin his fun when he was clearly safe at all times. 

We got to one look out point that was breath taking. A gentleman was flying his  quadcopter, which the kids and J (okay, especially J) thought was really cool. 


We sallyforthed further and were of course rewarded. 

This island, y’all. I apologize if I just spend the next year gushing about how pretty this place is.

I’m not sure which view is better here: the amazing landscape or the amazing man wearing his sleeping toddler.
 

On our way back down we came upon a guy with his two dogs. The larger dog lunged for Mr. B. He slightly scratched him but if B hadn’t had such great reflexes, he’d easily be missing a chunk of his face right now. J and I were super calm, although the owner was quite blasé about the whole situation when J kindly, but firmly suggested he either keep his dog on a shorter leash or not bring him out around people. 

We didn’t want the kids to be scared suddenly of dogs by stating the very scary relating of the situation in the terms that the dog realistically could have badly hurt or even killed B in a split second. But we did make it a learning experience and talk to them about how it’s situations like this that we’ve always taught them to ask first before ever approaching someone’s animal, and to also never approach a stray or wild animal. 

We also discussed with them why it was so important that if they ever own an animal they really know their animal’s temperament and if the animal gets anxious, scared, aggressive, etc., around certain people or all people because it would be their job to protect their animal both from such an unfortunate situation, as well as making sure all other people are safe because in the event where an animal injures a human, especially a child, it is not uncommon for it to be required that the animal be put down. And what a tragic situation that would be, especially if they knew the animal got scared around people and was just reacting instinctually. 

Needless to say, Miss H was horrified and heartbroken by such a thought, but if (when…) they do finally get a pet one day, you can bet they will be so well-prepared. 

After the hike we ventured to a nearby coffee bean farm and sampled some tea and played in the coffee bean trees. 


We then finished our day off at home by chalk dyeing two little kids’ hair that were over the moon delighted that their momma said yes. 

It’s true, I’ve not been terribly fun since we moved here. I’ve been so focused on other things and trying to make this transition easy for them that I think I’ve been making it significantly harder. I want everything to be normal and great and happy, and obviously big changes aren’t instantaneously dreamy. But this stuff doesn’t really come with a full proof manual, so I’m basically making it up as I go at this point. 

But they’re going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. And I know this move is such a great thing for our family. Nothing good in life comes without challenges.  

Potty Learning 101

I have had a lot of people ask what we do in terms of potty learning with our children.

Miss H and Mr.B  were both fully potty learned before age two. And Sweet M seems to be on the same path.

This may be shocking, but honestly, I don’t feel like we did anything particularly special.

We made sure the party was readily available. Both a toddler potty separate from the big potty, as well as the big potty with an infant ring seat.

Going potty was never taboo. They watched us go so it was a completely normal thing for them. They knew that pee pee went into the party.

We offered lots and lots of naked time. It allowed them to get a true sense of their body, and when their body needed to use the bathroom.

We also cloth diaper. I don’t know if it made a huge difference or not, but they were definitely aware that they were wet anytime they peed in the cloth diaper. When we would travel and use disposable diapers, they were completely oblivious. Miss H was several years old and would still pee in a pull up if we put one on her without thinking twice. Long after she was potty learned. So that alone makes me an avid believer in cloth diapers in their correlation to potty learning. Especially “early” potty learning.

We never used bribes, threats, coercion, or rewards. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sustain giving them an M&M or a marshmallow every time they peed for the rest of their life. So why start now? 

Plus, using the bathroom is a very natural part of life. Much like walking and talking. They will get the hang of it on their own time, no need to rush it, and every kiddo is different. And that’s okay!

Miss H showed an interest in the potty at 12 months. We just went with her flow. Lots of naked time, being excited when she went, and just letting her do it at her own leisure. She was fully in underwear with virtually no accidents by age 16 months.

Of course, when her baby brother was born three weeks later, she regressed for a little over a week. But then she got back on the bandwagon and that was that. No big deal.

Mr. B showed zero interest in the potty until essentially the day he potty learned.

We went and saw the movie Planes in theater when he was 23 months old, and when we came home he announced he wanted airplane chonies (slang Spanish word for underwear). We went to the store and purchased some, came home, he put them on, and that was that. He seriously maybe had three accidents that whole week and never looked back.

It was truly easy as pie. I never expected it, especially since he hadn’t shown any previous interest. I figured he’d be 4 before he ever potty learned. 

And now we have Sweet M. 


He’s 16 months old and has been showing quite an interest in the potty for the past two months. With the big move and all, I haven’t been able to offer him as much naked time or had much time to really encourage potty usage, but we’re finally getting there. 

He consistently was telling us each time he’d potty and bringing us clean diapers, demanding his dirty ones be removed asap (not like I blame him!). 

Now that we are offering him a lot of naked time he is pretty consistently sitting on the potty throughout the day by choice. Sometimes he pees, sometimes he doesn’t. He’s about 50/50 on actually getting to the potty before he starts to pee. There is a lot of him starting to pee on the floor, realizing it, and zooming off to finish in the potty. 

And that’s okay. We just roll with it. It’s called “potty learning” for a reason. As he is learning. 

I can’t begin to guess how long this process will be with Sweet M. We may spend months, dare I say even years, in the learning stages before he’s fully potty learned. Or maybe he’ll be in full-time chonies tomorrow. You never know. 

Maybe he’ll greatly regress when Jelly Bean is born in a few weeks. Maybe he won’t. 

All I do know is the process is only as stressful as I make it. And since I’m super laid back, it will be a calm and gentle experience for Sweet M, just as it was his older brother and sister.