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Parenting Univeristy: Potty Training 101

When your child shows signs of potty training readiness, it’s time to purchase some essential potty training items. There are many new products which can help to make potty training quick and easy for both you and your child. We have researched all of the latest and most effective potty training products.

Here, you’ll find a number of new potty training aids [http://www.zipbaby.com/catalog/?cPath=21], such as the Tinkle Toonz musical potty or the anatomically correct drink & wet dolls that can be used with Dr. Phil’s potty training method [http://www.zipbaby.com/potty-training-articles-drphil.php]. Be sure and browse through our selection of 2005 potty training books and DVDs, which provide a great introduction for both parents and children.

The important thing is to begin potty training with the right training products and information, to ensure your child has a positive experience from beginning to end. Don’t wait until you and your child are frustrated to buy a fun musical potty chair or read a bedtime potty training book.

After you have purchased the potty training products, begin introducing the idea of potty training by reading a book or watching a DVD. Place you child’s new potty chair in the bathroom and let him observe you going potty. Children learn by imitating other family members. This is a good time to teach him good hygiene by washing your hands after using the potty.

Be sure your child knows that he can come to you if he feels uncomfortable or afraid. He needs to know that you will always love him, even if he has accidents. For tips on handling accidents, read our article, Handling Accidents with Composure.

Copyright ? 2004 ZIP Baby. All Rights Reserved.

Danna Henderson

ZIP Baby

101 Convention Center Drive, Ste 700

Las Vegas, NV 89109
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What You Need To Know Before Beginning Potty Training Boys and Girls

Let’s face it changing diapers is not much fun and you long to start potty training. However, this is something that can’t be rushed. You have to be sure your child is ready. If you push the issue it usually ends in tears and frustrations (could be both yours and your child).

There is no golden rule that says you must begin potty training at a particular age. All children are individual. Also potty training boys can often begin later than girls and it can take longer. This article will help you evaluate whether your child is ready.

Some level of communication skills is vital. Does the child understand the meaning of basic words such as wash, dry, wet, clean, dirty, stand and sit? Can they understand and follow simple instructions such “pick up the bricks and put them in the toy box”? Or do they need added guidance or repeated instructions? Are they able to communicate their needs to you? Do they mainly point and say a few words (and you guess or interpret the rest) or can they string some meaningful words together, perhaps even sentences?

You want to see some sign that the child’s bowel and urinary control functions are developing. Does the diaper need changed every one/two hours or is the child able to go two/three hours or longer without soiling the diaper.

Is your child able to sit quietly? For instance, if you were to read a story would they sit and listen attentively or would they fidget, ignore you or even wander off after a few minutes? What you are looking for is a consistent pattern not the odd occasion when they are restless.

How independent is the child? Can they do some tasks all by themselves, such as pulling up their pants? Or do they need adult assistance?

Your answers to the above questions will help you decide whether your child is ready for potty training. Remember, you should answer truthfully not give an answer you think you should.

Make no mistake about it, potty training boys and girls can be a stress free experience for both you and your child if you start when the child is ready and not before!
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5 Best Books to Read While Pregnant

Families are flooded with media about pregnancy and childbirth. Publishers happily send free magazines, television shows are devoted to the subject and even full websites have been born to share information about the process of pregnancy and childbirth. If that weren’t enough to prevent an expectant mom from buying a book on the subject, when she arrives at the book store she finds herself searching through shelves of books trying to find just the right one.

It is worth it to buy a book, if you know what you are looking for. Every book is different, written for a different purpose by an author with a unique expertise. The following books are five of the best about pregnancy and childbirth, but they may not all be good matches for you. Choose the book or books that have the best chances of answering your questions in a way you can relate to.

For Fun

Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz is by no means your typical childbirth text. Written by a midwife, it talks about the spiritual, emotional and psychological issues surrounding birth missed by most other authors. Instead of telling you what to do, the book is designed to help you discover who you are and where your strengths lie. This is done through games, art projects and a variety of other activities. Mothers who are looking for something other than the nuts and bolts of pregnancy will find Birthing from Within a welcome treat. However, mothers who are looking for answers may find the book too vague and scattered and would do better to pair this book with another more intentional about answering questions.

For Education

Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley and Ann Keppler covers everything you could think to ask about the entire childbearing year. Written very much like a text book, this comprehensive guide is well indexed and follows a logical sequence with charts to help you quickly find and compare information. The authors’ expertise as nurses, childbirth educators and doulas is displayed in the wide variety of information they share, from the physical process to how it feels and what to do about it. Mothers who are pregnant for the first time, or want to understand more about the process of pregnancy and childbirth will love reading this book cover to cover. Experienced mothers who know the basics will benefit from looking up answers to specific questions.

For Information

New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas shares the information you need to know to work with your body during labor. Moving beyond the basics of what options are available and what different terms mean, Active Birth explains the movements of the baby through the pelvis and how to help your baby make these moves. Authored by a childbirth educator, the book not only explains what to do, but why you should do it based on good body mechanics. With exercises for pregnancy to help you learn to move your pelvis, this is the perfect book for any mother looking for the next step of information to help her prepare for labor. Mothers without previous birth experience may find the book too focused on position and movement of labor to answer all their questions and should use it in combination with another book.

For Courage

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin is written in such a warm style you feel as if the author is a trusted friend sharing her experience. Rather than being impersonal, Ina May’s Guide treats birth as a normal, healthy event and celebrates the wonderful experiences women have during pregnancy and labor. Not shy about answering embarrassing questions, and not to proud to admit mistakes, the author, a midwife experienced in homebirth, teaches you about labor from her first hand experiences. Most mothers will feel much more confident in their ability to give birth after reading this book, however a handful of mothers find it difficult to read because of the non-standard terminology used (i.e. rushes instead of contractions).

For a Challenge

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Childbirth by Heci Goyer is a synopsis of the medical research on pregnancy and childbirth. Rather than saying “do what your doctor tells you and you’ll be OK,” The Thinking Woman’s Guide challenges you to pay attention to what is happening to your body and to be a part of the decision making process. The author, an award winning medical writer specializing in birth issues, holds nothing back when exposing common misunderstandings and myths that can harm you during labor. With information about how to avoid unnecessary procedures, and advice about how to make the procedures better if you need them, most mothers will find this book indispensable as they prepare for childbirth. However, the text of the book is filled with research findings and mothers who get overwhelmed with too much information may prefer to start with the pros and cons of each chapter, reading the text if they want or need more information on a subject.
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Potty Training Boys – 7 Sure Fire Ways To Mess Up

There is no doubt getting out of diapers marks a milestone in any child’s development. Do not make potty training boys any harder than it needs to be.

1. Starting potty training without the necessary communication skills

Solution: wait until your little boy understands simple instructions and knows the words associated with using a potty. Start a daily pre-potty training routine that teaches your child these developmental skills.

2. Other carers using different training techniques

Solution: agree in advance a toilet training program all carers will follow otherwise you just confuse the child.

3. Showing displeasure when accidents happen

Solution: face facts, accidents will happen. Disapproval or punishment only increases the likelihood of future accidents or physiological issues. Learn to count to ten and smile. Watch the tone of your voice. Use training pants.

4. Pushing your child too hard leading to stress and constipation

Solution: work out a strategy that makes potty training fun for you and your little boy. Think about teaching a boy doll to potty train and using wallcharts and stickers.

5. Inadequate fiber in diet leading to painful bowel movements

Solution: ensure lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in diet. Increase intake of fluids, especially water. Do not start potty training if child is constipated.

6. Not setting aside sufficient time for toilet training

Solution: block off a weekend or a few days. Give child and potty training the focus and attention they deserve.

7. Starting potty training when your little boy is stressed

Solution: wait until any emotional issue has been resolved. Waiting a few weeks or months is better than adding to your child’s stress.
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Potty Training Reward System

Potty training does not come easy with every toddler. Some toddlers need little incentives to make them finally go on the potty. Start out easy then progress each week until the potty training is official.

Moms, first you need to make a chart with each day of the month. Let the toddler help you design the chart so you can begin the talking process about the potty. Then you will need to buy some special stickers the toddler likes or cartoon characters they are into.

The very first week, you can start them by sitting on the potty. Just taking different time slots throughout the day and having them explore by sitting on the potty. If they do this just fine, then allow them to place a sticker on that day of the week. Each time they sit on the potty let them put one sticker on the chart.

The second week of training can involve actually trying to use the potty. If they actually sit on the potty and use it, then allow them to place two stickers on the chart.

The next few weeks can just be focusing on using the potty and slipping away totally from diapers.

Now moms you can make the rule to however many stickers allows a reward. I think 25 stickers is a pretty fair number to allow a new toy or whatever reward you would like to treat them with.

There you go moms, a great potty training reward system. Hopefully this will make potty training a little easier and give incentive for the little boy or girl to potty train faster.
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What To Eat And What To Avoid While Breastfeeding

There are no scriptures that would tell you what to eat and what to avoid during breastfeeding. However, it’s essential that a breastfeeding mother consumes a balanced diet, rich in all the vital nutrients. There are no do’s and don’ts about what foods to consume during breastfeeding and what foods to strictly avoid. Barring excessive alcohol and nicotine-related foods, there are no guidelines on the correct foods to eat during feeding. There is no cause of worry about the right food intake, as your baby’s reaction will help you detect what he likes and dislikes.

It is, however, important that you keep a check of your food habits during breastfeeding. This will help detect irritation-causing food items and would also ensure that you expose your child to a variety of flavors and tastes.

The following guidelines will ensure that your baby likes the taste of your milk and you have a sound sleep!

Avoid spicy food: Many amongst us would vouch that spices do no harm to the taste of breast milk. However, a certain section holds that spices interfere with the taste of the normal breast milk, causing mild reaction among the young ones. The same section also believes that cabbage, cauliflower, curries, chilies and excessive chocolates should be avoided.
Vitamin C should be avoided: Some believe that certain juices rich in Vitamin C like that of oranges, tomatoes, and grapefruit and lemon can cause mild irritability in toddlers. However, there is no research to support the same. The mother should take note of her eating habits and should discontinue a particular food item on noticing a change in behavioral pattern of her child.
Say no to caffeine and alcohol: Careful and restrictive intake of caffeine and alcohol do not harm the baby. However, excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol interfere with the child’s metabolism and with the taste of milk leading to irritable babies.
Avoid strong-flavored foods: It is important to avoid the intake of foods with sharp tastes and flavors. Such foods interfere with the taste of your breast milk, leading to its dislike by your kid. You must have mild foods that do not change the taste of your milk and which also at the same time ensure that your child gets a variety of tastes.

To sum up, there is no Biblical guideline that outlines the right foods for your baby. However, it’s pertinent to ensure that you consume the right food that matches with your baby’s taste. Also, ensure that you consume a variety of foods in order to expose your child to different tastes. Just make sure that you do not eat anything which has a family history of being allergic, which you can choose to rule out of your diet chart.

So The Mandate – Eat Healthy And Stay In Peace!

I am sure these useful tips would help you raise a healthy and happy baby! After all he’s a part of you!
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Breast Feeding Your Baby

Breast feeding or Infant feeding has become the most concerned for every mother who has just delivered a new born baby. The more concerned she will be if she is a working woman. She will have to manage all the previous duties including this new responsibility of feeding her baby. But how will she know as to how much feed and for how long is needed?

This is the only reason why I am here to help you in your new experience. Lets move to the point:

In general, breast milk is best for feeding babies at least for the first six to nine months, and this is very essential for the growth of your baby. The breast milk also comes in sterile containers at the right temperature, as this a good option. But there are some women who cannot afford to devote so much time to breast feed their babies, so carefully prepared bottle feeds provide a good alternative for them.

But if you can afford it then please, go ahead with it, as this will prove as a blessing for the health of your baby throughout his life. Now, i think it would be better for you to know the benefits of breast feeding or infant feeding. So, here they are:

Benefits for the baby:

babies who get breast feed from their mothers, are less prone to infections less weight problems they get less allergies or maybe no allergies at all less coeliac disease less heart disease in later life less dental decay

Benefit for the mother:

1. you won’t have to suffer the dreadful breast cancer, or the chances are the minimum

How many times should you breast feed your baby?

For the first month, you should feed your baby ten times a day, thereby reducing in the succeeding months. Milk supply depends on frequent sucking, not on some “inherent” factor in the mother’s breast. Engorgement is due to infrequent feeds or maybe due to a rigid schedule.

When to feed your baby?

The right time for you to feed your baby is:

whenever he/she cries when your breasts feel full whenever “you feel like it” after every four hours

Warning:

Some mothers remain in the illusion, that if their baby is sleeping without feed for long periods, then he/she might be already contented, but this is not the truth my dear lady. Doing this way, you are underfeeding your innocent baby, and this can lead to severe undernourishment.

But there are few babies under three months, who manage on less than five feeds a day.
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Easy To Follow Breastfeeding Tips

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Three Great Potty Training Tips To Follow

Toilet training can be one of the most challenging times parents have with their toddlers. In this article, I would like to share with you three great potty training tips so you will find the experience less stressful for yourself and your child.

1) To ensure a pleasant and successful training, make sure that your child is ready. This is the most crucial of all potty training tips. The worst thing you can do is to push your toddler into it when they are not ready. You will be wasting your time with something which your child is not ready for…yet. Observe and keep a close eye on your child to see if he or she shows any cues of giving up diapers. Some of the signs your child my exhibit include: starting to show interest in going to the toilet and is able to tell you that his or her diaper is wet. Some will even express to you that they feel very uncomfortable with wet diapers on.

2) Stay consistent once you begin potty training with your child. Do not switch between having diapers and not having them, especially when you have to run an errand. When you are not consistent with your child, he or she will get the idea that it is alright to do things the wrong way. The child will also be confused as to what is expected of him or her. Have your child go potty first before leaving the house for any outing. You do not want to send mixed message to your child. Training your kid to go potty will not take long as long as you stay consistent. You will find your kid trained in no time.

3) Potty training can sometimes be difficult and frustrating for both you and your child. Where possible, be creative and make the experience of toilet training fun. Your toddler will rely very much on your patience to make it through this experience. One of the potty training tips meant to create fun during training is to use a potty training doll. It is a doll which drinks and wets itself; it can be used to help make toilet training fun and easy by means of demonstrating the process. Remember not to yell at your child if he or she makes a mistake. Always keep in mind that each time your child wet his or her pants, your child is doing his or her best to get the hang going potty. Be patient and encourage your toddler each time he or she makes it to the potty on time, and you will realize that very soon your toddler will be out of diapers.

I hope these three potty training tips will help you and your toddler to have a more pleasant experience.
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Stay-at-Home Parenting – The Glamorous Side

I am a SAHM. That is the acronym for my job. I have been doing this for three years. I have expressed desire to start working again, and I am sure that will happen…eventually. However, I now completely accept my current gig without reservation. I no longer feel the need to talk to others about future career plans. I no longer fear stigmatization or stereotyping. It has been a long time coming and I am pretty excited about it. After all, whenever I do start working for money again, I want to be able to look back on this moment and know that I enjoyed it 100%.

What is life like for a stay-at-home parent? It differs in each individual case. It varies based on the number of children and their respective ages. It varies widely based on what the spouse is like, if indeed there is a spouse at all. Admittedly, it varies dramatically based on income level. Uniformity is no fun. As the French say, “vive la difference”! The key is to like what you are doing and take ownership of it.

My SAHM job goes a little something like this: I have two boys 19 months apart in age. The oldest is just shy of three years and the youngest is nearly sixteen months old. Both boys are active and healthy. They are now fully capable of moving most of our furniture. They are both able to open the fridge and pull out its contents. My husband and I have decided not to gate them in. I do a lot of running around. I chase them to feed them. I chase them to stop the floor lamp from breaking. Occasionally I clean up broken glass at warp speed. I change a lot of diapers. These are the unglamorous aspects of the job.

Now for the glamorous parts: my boys nap each afternoon for 2-3 hours. I have roughly 15 hours per week of childcare. I personally manage my own household. My husband gets home at 6:30 p.m. each night and we all have dinner together. My husband is a very involved father who is constantly supportive of me and the boys. I give a lot of love to my family and receive so much love in return. These gifts are incredibly luxurious and I do not take them for granted.

The naptime is hugely glamorous, allowing me a chance to read, write, meditate and catch up on whatever needs to be done. I never had a 2-3 hour break during my former jobs. Then again, I wasn’t on duty from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. I still count it as a luxury.

My childcare provider is an enormous help and is now like a member of our family. She has known my youngest from birth and she calls us when she is not with us to check on our boys. I can trust her completely and she is a good friend. My children get to benefit from a third caregiver and all of the variety that she can bring to their upbringing. I don’t know if I think “it takes a village”, as Hillary Clinton says, but I am of the philosophy of “the more the merrier!” Sometimes I am able to spend time with one or another of my children while she takes the other one to do something fun. Other times I clean the entire house, or go to a doctor’s appointment without two toddlers. It is a luxury that makes me a calmer, more centered mother. Additionally, my husband and I get a date night twice per month. I feel like someone in the MasterCard commercials: “Childcare? Priceless.”

How is it glamorous to personally manage one’s household? Well, let’s see: I get to choose what we eat, how it is cooked, what we wear, our standard of cleanliness and the routine of our days. I feel like that is a treat, but that’s my perspective. I would rather pay for childcare than for a housekeeper, because I am picky about housework. I like to be able to walk barefoot on my floors and not feel any sand from the sandbox. I don’t like dust on the ceiling fan blades. That is luxurious. I can’t get that from a bi-weekly housekeeper, and probably not even from a weekly one. I also find cleaning to be an exercise in mindfulness. Buddhist and Catholic monks and nuns garden, clean and cook to gain a clearer mind and a better spiritual perspective. Mindfulness is a beautiful practice and housework, if done mindfully, can be quite therapeutic.

Having dinner together as a family on a regular basis is becoming old-fashioned, it would seem. I can’t praise this practice enough. I look forward to dinner all afternoon. Our oldest tells Mom and Dad what happened at pre-school, Dad tells us about work, and the one year old squeals to drown us out. Food gets thrown all over the floor and the mood is generally festive. The happiness of the boys is measurable as they have the attention of both parents. It is a wonderful ritual, and in our society, it is glamorous due to rarity.

The icing on the cake is the support that I receive from my husband. He does not resent the fact that I stay home with the children. He never belittles me. I don’t see how he could have the time to be unfaithful, like the fictional fathers in “Mad Men.” He does exceptional professional work and is fully engaged with us at home. He respects my intelligence and my goals and we are full partners in all that we do. I feel more liberated now than I have ever felt as a woman.

What is it like to lack a respected career? Honestly, my opinion on this aspect of stay-at-home parenting continually evolves. I have forgotten how to use attorney timekeeping software and I couldn’t tell you about the latest and greatest regulations from the SEC. I don’t wear suits and heels and blow-dry my hair every day. No one calls me on my cell phone to yell at me at 9:00 p.m. when I am with my husband. Just this week, a doctor said to me, “It is a shame for you to waste your education. You must have worked your ass off in school.” Actually, I didn’t work my ass off. I love school. I could be an eternal student. Staying at home with my kids allows me to pursue a lot of interests that I never had time for previously. Do I care what others think about my life choices? I used to care. I used to care too much. Formerly, I lived my life in pursuit of approval. Now, I live my life in pursuit of survival, love, enjoyment and stability for my family. The best part is this: right now is perfectly acceptable, and anything can happen in the future. You might say I can’t put these years on my resume? I will always be so much more than a resume could ever represent. This is true of every stay-at-home parent and I believe that opinions are turning in our favor, irrespective of the importance we place on opinions!
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