#1 Transition to Bottle
Problem: Baby refuses to transition from breastfeeding to bottle.
Solution: After trying different people, positions, bottles and every other trick in “the book,” we finally tried a tip my husband found on Babycenter.com. (Yes, we were desperate enough at that point as I was heading back to work that my husband was searching baby forums for answers.) What worked? Feeding our four month old a bottle in the tub. Eventually we had to wean from the tub since that became the only place she would drink a bottle, and the babysitter stubbornly refused to take a bath with her at every feeding. But it worked. No, that is not our tub pictured. Photo credit idbest.com.
#2 Sleeping Through the Night
Problem: Baby is waking up multiple times a night and parents are exhausted.
Solution: Our first baby was 5-6 months old and getting up more than ever. Desperate one Saturday I called my sister-in-law, a mother of three, school psychologist, and parent I admire. She said, “You need to let her cry.” But I countered, “We do! Last night she cried for a full two minutes before I picked her up!” When she finished laughing her advice was to read Dr. Ferber’s book. “Read it,” she said, “don’t just let her cry. It gives you the rationale and strategies you’ll need.” I drove to Barnes & Noble (2006- pre-Kindle and iPad) and bought the book. It was the best parenting decision ever. Two babies sleeping through the night later, monsters aside, I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
#3 Potty Training
Problem: After taking forever to train our first child, we knew what to do with child number two.
Solution: Forever may be an exageration, but it didn’t feel like it at the time. I though potty training was the biggest parenting challenge and accidents became a regular part of our routine at one point. With the second toddler ready to train we had a few tricks up our sleeve. First, we waited for signs of potty training readiness. Next, we used the Little Looster to make it logistically easier for our tiny tot. Since #2 is a boy we used the Cheerio trick and also made sure not to ask “Do you need to use the potty?” but rather stated every hour, eventually extending the time, “It’s time to try the potty.” We also used a potty training app and rewarded success with M&Ms. The result…weeks instead of months and our little guy was trained.
#3 Preschooler Discipline
Problem: Children who don’t always listen or share and need to find better solutions to hitting and “freaking out.”
Solution: I’ll start by clarifying that we haven’t licked this particular problem 100%. With two preschoolers 17 months apart, teaching sharing and creative solutions to anger is a daily lesson. One component to teaching appropriate behavior that has worked for us are Super Nanny’s reward charts. The kids do know our house rules and before “moving up” are very aware of the number rule they followed. Every day after a good report at school they move one space. We also love to catch them being good to ensure success.
#5 Bedroom Monsters
Problem: Preschool aged daughter is terrified to sleep in her bedroom due to monsters.
Solution: It started with Santa. For nearly two months after Christmas our daughter was afraid to sleep in her room terrified “Santa was there.” At one point there was a certifiable monster party: Ursula, crocodile from Peter Pan, Santa…they were all in there. After trying a myriad of solutions including (but not limited to) monster spray, a moster light and drawing the monsters and talking it out during the day, we finally purchased a fish tank last week after reading about this gem online. “Get a fish for something to focus on and calm them a bit.” After finding this Ariel Fish Tank, the family made a trip to Petsmart and Nemo has done the trick! I did appreciate a colleague of mine pointing out that an Ariel tank was a fabulous idea given the Ursula monster issue.
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