Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toilet training tots...

This is an issue that all parents face in the early years, and it is often just as daunting for us as it is for the little one we are teaching.

My 2yr old has been showing signs of wanting to be trained for a couple of months now, telling me everytime she had a wet or dirty nappy and wanting them changed right away. As we were in the midst of selling our house and then had to 'camp' at a motel while we waited for the new house to settle I had put it off till now.

My third baby is due in 3.5wks and so now is as good a time as any!

There is no perfect system which works for every child - but I have found a few things which seemed to work for my eldest, along with other tips from friends I have picked up along the way.
Sharing tips and stories is what helps us all learn from each other (even if it is sharing the mistakes too).

My youngest (soon to be middle) child has taken to the whole process, and has had less 'accidents' with each day that passes which is exactly what we are aiming for.
The main thing I have to work on is what she says when she needs the toilet - at the moment she yells at the top of her lungs..."mummy, done poo!" when she actually means "mummy, I need to go wee". Now that I know that she just has the lingo wrong it is less of an issue, and she is slowly changing to "mummy, toilet, toilet, toilet" which I much prefer (just the volume to work on next). My heart did skip a beat the first time she shouted out "mummy done poo in my room", when she really meant "I wet my pants on the way to the toilet". I was soooo thankful it was a communication error!

Anyway - here are a few tips to help with the early stages....
  • be relaxed about it - accidents happen, and it will only make things worse if your little one is worried about upsetting you as well as thinking about getting to the toilet.
  • set aside a few days where you can stay home, & if you have to go out start by doing really short outings where you know there are toilets near by.
  • start out by prompting your little one every half hour to 'try to go to the toilet', then extending to an hour etc until they learn to think about it themselves.
  • set up routines of going to the toilet before outings, before sitting at the table for meals etc.
  • When you do go out for longer periods, make sure you know where the toilets are, and ask your little one if they need to go before you move to far from them. This is not forever, but just while they are learning bladder control.
  • Some kids like to read while they are on the toilet, if yours is one of these (as my eldest was in the beginning) then have a little basket of books there for them. Others like to 'role play' with their favourite toy - setting up a 'potty' for teddy to use each time they go can be a helpful tool. Whatever helps them feel comfortable is worth a try.
  • incentives - these can be a treat like a sticker each time they go, or something to aim for, like a toy or trip to the park if they have no accidents all day etc.
  • picking the 'big kid pants' - I have found that my girls were a lot more worried about wetting their character printed pants than the plain ones, so I limited them to one pair with their favourite character each day, once they were wet then it was time for the plain ones. You can get cheap printed pants at little Asian stores in NZ, and otherwise pick up some inkjet printer t-shirt transfer, and create your own.
  • Most importantly - praise them everytime they get it right - kids generally thrive when they can see they are doing something right and are being recognised for it.

There are many others I'm sure - but these have stood me and my girls in good stead. We would love to hear your stories and tips too - so feel free to add comments ;0)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fairy Birthday Party - Wand cookie sticks

These magical fairy wands were a huge hit at Tia's party. And the great thing about them is that your child can help in the whole process of making them.

Here's what I used to make them:

  • Star shaped cookie cutter - mine came out of a playdough pack of cutters!

  • Sticks - I bought mine from

  • Packet of Sweet Shortcrust pastry - I'm letting you in on my biggest cheat secret here!

  • White Icing / rolled fondant icing (there are a few different names for it) - bought in the local supermarket in the cake decorating section. It came in a box, ready to be coloured & used. Alternatively you could pipe the shape, but this way is easier!

  • Edible glitter - this is the most expensive part. I bought a little jar at spotlight but you'd be able to source it at good cake decorating or kitchen stores. Alternatively you could use sprinkles.

  • Curling ribbon - ie the stuff you put on presents. Bought at the $2 Shop!

  • Aluminium foil, clean little paint brush, rolling pin

Step 1 - Thaw the sweet shortcrust pastry & cut out your shapes

Step 2 - Very gently insert your stick inbetween two star points

Step 3 - Position a little bit of folded aluminium foil under each stick on the baking tray to prevent the stick from sitting flat on the tray. This helps the stick to stay a little straighter in the cooking process.

Step 4 - Back for about 7 minutes at 180 degrees. Cool on a baking tray.

Step 5 - Icing - you'll need to soften your fondant up by massaging it in your hands. Add a little bit of colour at a time until you get the shade you're after. I use Wilton gel colours which give a much more concentrated colour without the watery mess of cheaper colours. Sprinkle a little bit of icing sure on the bench & rolling pin before rolling out the icing thinly (prevents from sticking). Paint a little bit of water onto the cooled cookie before placing the icing shape on top.

Step 6 - Mix a tiny bit of icing sugar with water & paint it thinly ontop of the fondant. Sprinkle the glitter on top & let dry in an air tight container.

Step 7 - Decorate with curling ribbon or similiar

Step 8 - EAT & ENJOY!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fairy Birthday Party - fairy sticks

We've been so quiet on here of late. Sometimes life just overwhelms us & something has to give. This time around it has been blogging & creating new items for Made it Baby - sorry!

While Amy has been busy moving house I (Suzan) have been trying to jam as much time in with my eldest daughter before she started school today. Happy to report that both mum & daughter are fine & there's been no tears shed ... just yet!

Anyway, part of the mayhem has been planning Tia's 5th birthday party. Tia is loving all things pretty, pink & breakable so a fairy party it was! Sooooo many girls around this age request fairies as a theme so we thought we could share a few ideas that made yesterdays party so much fun.

Edible fairy sticks

These are not only super cute to look at but super sweet to eat!

Step 1: Buy a pack of lollipop sticks from a cake supply place. I bought mine here Little Cookies. Carefully stick a marshmallow on each stick.

Step 2: Melt some chocolate (I bought a packet of white choc drops) in a bowl either over boiling water or in the microwave. Don't over cook the choc. Just keep checking on it & stirring every now & then.

Step 3: Carefully dip the marshmallow stick into the melt chocolate. You can just do the top or cover the lot like we did.

Step 4: Either sprinkle 100's & 1000's (or sprinkles or whatever you call them!) over the top of the choc whilst still wet or pour a bunch of them into a bowl & dip the stick into it & twirl around to cover the choc.

Step 5: Place the fairy stick in upright in a sturdy cup until it dries. And you're all done!

If you have some spare time between your party planning, please drop by our store. We put as much love into our creations as we do our party planning!

Facebook Page

Made It Baby on Facebook