Introducing your kids to a new baby

It’s hard to believe this was just 3 years ago! My little guy has gotten so big so fast. In a few short months we will be a family of 5! Fingers crossed Ryder handles baby #3 a little better than he did with Camden.😳

When I first brought Camden home from the hospital, if you were holding him, Ryder would just sit there and give you dirty looks. He would refuse to come near anyone that was holding Camden. He would actually tell me to put Camden down. He was not a fan. That first month was definitely one of the hardest I’d ever experienced. It broke my heart that Ryder had such a hard time.

Hopefully now that he’s been around Camden so long he understands that a new baby isn’t a “threat.” He’s so good with Camden now and even tries to share with him (sometimes).

I did screw up with Ryder in the beginning when I had Camden. I thought after Camden was born I needed to give Ryder a ton of attention to make up for the shared attention that was about to happen. People kept telling me Ryder was going to get jealous and would need a lot of individual attention. I shouldn’t have listened to them.

I had my mom spend a lot of time with Ryder as well thinking that individual attention was needed because of everyone’s comments. That actually made Ryders jealousy worse. When he actually did spend time around Camden and I, it was really bad. He just couldn’t handle it and would have melt downs and be extremely upset. What I should have done is let Ryder spend time around just me and Camden the minute I brought him home. I should have gotten him used to being around Camden right away so he could see he and baby will both get my attention. I think if I’d done that, it may have not taken so long for Ryder to adjust to Camden. By giving him too much individual attention, it’s what he expected all the time and wasn’t getting used to having to share.

Obviously now things are ok. We have our days where one kid needs more attention than the other. But for the most part they both understand they have to share moms attention and that they will both get the attention they need. I definitely learned a lot that first time around. I think I have the hang of it this second time. Fingers crossed!

Toddler meltdowns

My toddler is in a stage of meltdowns. Even though he talks he’s still not able to voice or even truly understand all his feelings. He’s still learning. There’s two main causes for them we have learned.

The newest thing that causes meltdowns is hunger. He gets so busy playing some mornings that he doesn’t eat or will eat just a few bites of his breakfast. I get so distracted with the baby sometimes that I don’t notice Ryder hasn’t eaten or barely eaten his food. By 10am we will have multiple meltdowns if this happens. And it’s all due to hunger. When the meltdown happens, if we sit him at the table and get food in him, it’s like he becomes a different child. His attitude changes and you can literally see him go from mad, to calm and happy.

The other thing that causes major meltdowns is tiredness. If he’s overly exhausted he doesn’t understand the feeling so he has a meltdown. The only thing to fix this is obviously sleep. And of course he has a meltdown when we tell him it’s nap or bedtime. If I keep him on schedule and get him down for a nap before the tiredness hits I can usually avoid a melt down. But there are days that he’s been super busy and even when I stay on schedule, a meltdown is just unavoidable.

The toddler stage is super difficult, for you and your child. You’re both learning to understand their emotions and what causes them to feel a certain way. 💙

Embarrassing toddler moments

The other day while out to eat with my husband and oldest child, I had to go to the bathroom. I got up to leave and of course our little guy wanted to go with me. I figured sure why not, maybe he’ll need to go too. When we got to the bathroom there was only one stall open. We took that stall and I heard people coming in after us. We chose a busy time for the bathroom apparently!

Right as I sat down to use the bathroom, my child yells out “poop mommy poop.” I just looked at him and laughed and said “no mommy doesn’t need to poop.” But it continued. He kept cheering me on telling me to poop! Then if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, he yells out “poop out your butt mommy.” Oh My God! Why child, why?!? But wait it gets better….he then yells out “you’re peeing! Good job mommy good job.” At this point I’m a bit embarrassed because I can only imagine what the women in the other stalls and in line are thinking, but I’m also laughing SO hard. We have been working on potty training with him, so we praise him when he uses the potty. So he was praising me for using the potty. It was hilarious, embarrassing and absolutely adorable.

As we walked out of the stall people either avoided eye contact with me or just gave me an awkward smile. That made me start to laugh again because I’m sure this is only the start of our embarrassing toddler moments. I can’t wait to see what else follows. (Note there is sarcasm in my voice when saying that last sentence!)

Counting to 3

Ryder, my 3 year old, is in that rebellious toddler stage where he doesn’t want to do what he’s asked. He’s not overly mean about it or anything. He just ignores you and pretends like he never heard you. Even when you ask 10. So we have started doing the count to 3 method. It works every time. I will literally say 1 and he says “no no I’ll do it” or immediately begins doing what was asked of him. I don’t even have to count with my voice in a different tone. I just use my normal voice and he hops right to it like he knows it’s time to do what is asked of him.

But here’s the funny part…..I really have NO IDEA what happens if I ever get to 3. Literally no idea! He’s never gotten past 2. Every time I count I think to myself, omg please don’t let me get to 3 because I don’t know what to do next.

I know the day will come that he decides to push it and see what happens next. So I’ll definitely have to have a plan for when that happens. But for now I’m going to appreciate the fact that he does what’s asked of him before 2.

Potty training win

Want to know what the biggest early parenting win is? (In my eyes that is)……When your child finally uses the potty!!

It sounds ridiculous to be making such a big deal of something like that. But when you’ve had to deal with diapers, it’s exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Even if that light may be super far away.

Diapers aren’t cheap and if your child is like mine, they go through SO many. My child drinks so much water during the day. I swear it seems like I change his diaper every couple minutes. Yes that’s a bit dramatic and I know it’s not that often. But if feels like it!

Potty training itself isn’t terribly difficult. I would say the most difficult part for me was getting my child to actually want to go in the potty. A regular toilet scared him. I think the size was a bit overwhelming. So I got him a little kids potty. He didn’t like that I had it in the bathroom at first because it was close to the big potty. So strangely enough I moved it into the living room and tucked it behind a chair so he had his privacy. That’s when he actually showed a little interest in it!

I started by letting him run around naked and just reminding him he didn’t have a diaper on so he needed to tell me when he had to go potty. The first two times he didn’t even tell me. He walked right over to the potty, sat down and went! After that we had a few accidents. He peed on the carpet twice while playing. However he did stop himself. He started peeing then was like omg I don’t have a diaper on. He stopped, told me, then went over and used the potty. While I don’t love that he peed on the carpet, it’s all a learning process so I didn’t get mad at him.

I’ve figured out if I put “big boy underwear” on him, he can tell the difference in the feel of that and a diaper. So he will tell me he needs to go potty if wearing underwear. However, if I put pull-ups on him, he uses the diaper not the potty. It’s almost like it’s done out of laziness. He doesn’t want to stop playing to use the potty so he’s like ok cool I have a diaper on I’ll use that. So lately if we are at home, I have him just wear underwear (and pants) so he gets used to the feel and using the potty becomes a habit!

He does get super excited about using the potty. He would tell me he needed to go then when he finished he would excitedly announce that he used the potty. It was super cute! He gets so proud of himself.

I know we aren’t 100% done with diapers. But we are past the starting line! That’s a success in my eyes!

Toddler Finds

Last night while I was trying to rock the baby to sleep, my 2 year old walked in with a loaf of bread and handed it to me. You would have thought he had found buried treasure by the proud look on his face. I don’t know what he thought it was, but he sure thought it was something important that I needed that minute! 😂 I’ll never understand the toddler mind 🤦🏼‍♀️

Kids and technology

I always said I would never be one of those moms who just stuck their kid in front of the tv or let them spend hours playing a video game. I’m still not. However I will use technology to my advantage.

I grew up in a time with no cell phones and only one tv in the house. People had pagers and made calls on land lines or pay phones. People didn’t have a tv in every room of their house. You had one in the living room and that was it. In our house, tv time was only allowed if homework was done or on weekends in the mornings. After the morning tv time was up we could either play outside or in our rooms.

Going to dinner as a family we all sat together and talked or my brother and I would eat fast, find a tree on the restaurant patio and go climb it! We didn’t have phones or video games to entertain ourselves. I want Ryder to grow up not fully relying on a tv, a cell phone or a video game to entertain himself like I did. I know it’s not logical to completely avoid this. So that’s where I feel moderation comes in.

Ryder’s so little right now that he has no interest in the tv or video games. However going to a restaurant it can be a battle to keep him entertained. He’s in a throwing phase so we can’t bring toys our we spend the entire dinner picking them up off the floor. At football games he wants to run all over the place and there’s not much space for him to do that. That’s where the cell phone comes in handy! Ryder loves to watch videos of himself. He thinks it’s so funny. What’s even better is he will sit still for a good 30 minutes watching videos of himself!

I know as he gets older the battle over the tv or phones will get worse. That’s part of growing up in a tech savvy world. But I do hope we are able to be that family I see on occasion, out to eat with no cell phones in hand, just hanging out spending time together. But for now I’ll be appreciative of cell phones and their ability to entertain my child through a short meal or and event like a football game!