Once your baby is more familiar with the potty, start changing him/her in the bathroom so that s/he associates toileting with the bathroom – even if your child has already used the bathroom in his/her diaper, it is a good idea to suggest s/he sits on the potty after they are changed and before putting the diaper back on if that is what you are doing. You probably know your child well enough to know when s/he has a bowel movement and you can take her/him to the bathroom then. S/he will be more likely to do something in the potty if she needs to go right when you take her/him. So you could start asking your child to use the potty upon waking up, after meals, before naps…and see what happens. It is best not to ask them every five minutes if they need to go. Finally, I suggest not using bribery. Toilet learning should be rewarding in itself in my opinion. Your child will very likely be satisfied with him/herself when s/he manages to pee in the potty. The first time Sixtine peed in the potty, I was very excited (and emotional too) and jumped around like a maniac. I danced even. She had a big smile on her face, and I guess she took it as encouragement. That is more than enough in my opinion. You do not need to go overboard like I did. It was just that one time I promise.
Yesterday marked the first day of December. Sixtine woke up to her very first advent calendar which I had made in a rush the previous night. Day one included a maple leaf cookie stamp which I thought would make a perfect keepsake! I first came across those beautifully handmade stamps while browsing How We Montessori Shop. I ended up purchasing them directly via JBK Pottery as they are located in Canada! It made more sense considering Kylie ships from Australia.
This is a very easy recipe, that requires very little preparation and baking time. I love baking those shortbread cookies because they taste amazing and are so easy to make! Sixtine enjoyed tasting the dough (and so did I) and had fun stamping away!
Here is the recipe:
You will need four ingredients (or five depending on the type of butter you use):
- ” Butter: 1 cup (226 grams) the recipe called for unsalted butter but all I had was salted so I just didn’t use any more salt. If you do use unsalted, then add 1/4 tsp of salt (2g)
- Flour: 2 cups (260g)
- Sugar: 1/2 cup (60g)
- Pure Vanilla Extract: 1tsp (4g)
- Beat butter until smooth, add sugar, beat until smooth and then add the vanilla extract.
- Gently stir in flour until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dought into a 1/4 inch (0.6cm) thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using lightly floured cookie cutter.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step! I did and my cookies weren’t as nicely decorated as I expected!
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire rack.”
Recipe from Joy Of Baking.
I put this – I would love to say quickly but it was rather long and oh Lord, was I ever tired – together last night for Sixtine. It is a 15-day calendar as we will be celebrating Christmas on the 15th. My husband will be working during Christmas.
The pockets are filled with art and crafts items (stickers, pompoms, colored pencils…), vouchers (date with Mama, date with Papa, hot chocolate, make a stranger happy…), activities (make ornaments…), wooden bits and pieces to collect.
She was very excited to open her first little pocket and loved the sparkly numbers. The first little pocket included a Christmassy travel cup and a maple leaf cookie stamp, announcing a baking activity (shortbread cookies) that I will post about tomorrow.
Did you celebrate the first day of Christmas? Do you care at all for Advent Calendars?
Have a beautiful weekend – Deb
It seems pretty obvious but I thought it was important enough to mention. Your baby will need to get familiar to the idea of using the bathroom without a diaper before actually using the potty or the toilets.
First things first, allowing your child to follow you in the bathroom (I know my girl can’t get enough of me and follows me everywhere I go so it was very natural for us) and tell them what is going on. I even let Sixtine look at the toilet bowl and put words on what she’d see.
Inspired by a couple other Montessori Mama bloggers ( Kylie, Irene, Beth, Rachel ) I decided to set a toilet learning area for Sixtine which consisted of a little towel to define her own space (to bring a sense of security and comfort), a Baby Bjorn Potty, a basket with the Everybody Poops book, some wipes, and underwear, and a bright little sparkly star to decorate the area (Sixtine loves sparkle and I wanted her to feel special).
I knew Sixtine had decided that she had enough wearing a diaper when she started waking up without one and wanting to be naked all the time. So I let her. We had a few (many) mishaps the first few days but I never made her feel bad about it and I believe it helped her make the mental connection: “when I feel this way, there is something coming out of me, and it looks like this. It is not pleasant to be wet or soiled…”.
We had tried earlier this summer but she wasn’t exactly ready. She would just wait for a diaper to pee in but no accidents and eventually decided that she wasn’t really done with diapers. And I didn’t question it. I followed her lead and she is doing great today because it was her decision!
This is number 2 (no pun intended) of a series of Toilet Learning Stages. Here is the introduction post if you missed it.
- one 8-ounce package of Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger (didn’t have any)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups.
Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
- Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.
- Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
- Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4″ to 3/8″ of the top of each muffin cup. But don’t try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you’ll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired. (I didn’t have any extra!)
- Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
- Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you’re able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it’ll firm up.”
Find original recipe here.
Enter here to win a Little Chef Kit including child-sized baking tools for your little one! And spread the love x
As a girl, I would stay drawing in my room for hours. Later on, my mother enrolled me to drawing classes, and as a young adult, I took painting. I don’t know if Sixtine or Victoire will take after me but I love sharing these moments with Sissi. I find watercolor painting extremely relaxing. It brings a sense of peacefulness. Sixtine’s face shows.
Victoire is very mobile. She rolled over very early and has been army crawling for quite a while now. I believe that providing her with plenty of floor time has enabled her to develop at her pace but quite rapidly – child that is left to his “own device” will soon realize how capable he is.
However, she is turning 8 months next week and sat for the first time a week ago. Most infants her age in my entourage are able to sit up and have been doing so way earlier than she did, and I can’t say that it didn’t worry me. I wondered why my baby couldn’t sit. In fact, none of my babies were early sitters. Sixtine never really sat. She went from laying on her back, to army crawling, to pulling herself up and cruising around with the help of furniture.
I happen to be very fond of Janet Lansbury‘s work. A couple weeks ago, My Baby Can’t Sit showed up in my Facebook feed. And it all became clear. I had nothing to worry about, my baby was following her natural gross motor development. And the key word in all of this was: natural. It made so much sense and brought so much peace to my heart.
Two weeks later, as Victoire was crawling around in the living room, I noticed that a balloon had gotten her attention. I didn’t go in, instinctively feeling that something beautiful and special was going to happen. She went on her side, and slowly made her way up to a sitting position. Here she was, a happy, self-confident, proud little individual, holding the balloon she had been reaching for.
Sixtine turned two mid-October and with that came wonders and struggles! A lot of struggles. My husband works away and it has been affecting her increasingly. This last period has been an extremely difficult one. She started having night time terrors the night before her Dad was leaving – sleepless nights, a lot of tears and defiant behaviors in the daytime, you name it! So tonight, when Sixtine started screaming, I decided to take matters in my own hands and said: I know you are upset and you wish Mama would stay by your side all night but this isn’t possible. I need time for myself and you need to rest. I will be in the next room and I will be here for you in the morning. I am going to leave now. She was still crying but listening nevertheless. I wished her goodnight and told her I loved her. And to my surprise…she fell asleep. Janet always says that children feel reassured when they have clear boundaries set up - I think she heard in my tone that I wasn’t going to let her.
I don’t know what the rest of the night holds but it is a start - it means that there are effective tools out there to help you go through a tough time with your children, one day at a time. I don’t always keep my cool but I try really hard and I think that is what matters the most.
And for that Janet, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a wonderful resource for our family and I highly recommend you.
What was the highlight of your week? Have a beautiful weekend!
How ridiculous is it that I was actually nervous about the whole toilet learning process? Never have I pushed Sixtine to be “potty trained”. I would get her up in the morning and would find her naked. She started requesting a diaper change as soon as her diaper would be wet or soiled and would just rip it off herself if it wasn’t done in a timely manner. I thought: there is something there! Let’s try her. But really, I was extremely stressed about it. I didn’t know where to start! Should I go cold turkey and take everything off? The idea of a reward-oriented training didn’t appeal to me – in fact, I thought: why reward something so natural when really, being independent is a reward in itself?
I decided to do some toilet learning preparation, in this case, not so much for Sixtine but for myself as a parent. First things first I did my research. Read tons. Parenting site, parenting blogs, asked around, just took it all in. And breathed. I told myself that it would happen eventually.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Diaper Free Before Three
- Janet Lansbury (She is just awesome – I will write about her and what she brings into our home at a later date) – she wrote about Toilet Troubles and gives very insightful tools.
- Toilet Learning Made Easy by Lisa Sunbury
- Rachael wrote about her daughter Lucy’s potty adventure,
- And more recently Irene and Joshua were entering the toilet learning world. There are many other sites and resources but these are the ones I felt most in tune with.
- Oh and I almost forgot Kylie and her son…! She wrote quite a few posts on the subject and they were very helpful as well. She gives a lot of tips and shares the ups and downs of the whole process. If you are short with time, then I would suggest reading this one : Toilet Learning – Our Journey In Summary.
Once you are all done with your reading and you start getting a feel for it: get equipped!
- You will need a potty. I love the high-back of our Baby Bjorn as it provides support for Sixtine. She seems very comfortable on it and I believe this is key in toilet training. It also has a removable bowl which makes it easier on everyone!
- Pick out a few books on the subject. I can’t remember where I first heard about Everyone Poops (Rachael’s blog?) but it is beautifully done. Sixtine thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it helped a lot. I highly recommend it! Sitting down with a book takes away a bit of the stress of being watched or waiting for something to happen too!
- Undies! Training pants! Or even pull ups if you want to go this route. I love Petit Bateau’s panties because they have the perfect fit! They are also high-waist which is nice (Sixtine tends to show a little too much otherwise hehe) We also purchased a few training pants but I wasn’t too impressed with them. They didn’t fit her right and they were hard to pull down or up for that matter but you could find a different kind that works for you. We have used all three and only use underwear and pull ups for nights.
- Diaper Free Before Three is a very good read. It really helped me understand how things worked and was a great starting point. It provides background, as well as tools depending on the age (or stage) of your child which is very beneficial.
This post is the first of a series. Stay tuned for the next post which will be about stage one: introducing the potty. I had written a previous post on the subject a few months ago where I mentioned not having a plan. It didn’t work – we both weren’t really ready for it.
If you had one tip to share about toilet learning, what would it be? Any book or equipment recommendation you would like to make? Or maybe a fun story?