Why My Parenting Style Is ‘Let Them Bleed’

http://www.scarymommy.com/parenting-style-let-them-bleed/

Loving this article.
I’m all about tough love.
“Oh…did you fall? Is anything broken? – No? OK. Cool. Get up then.”

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Sleep Rules and Keeping them in bed

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I got a message from a friend of mine about the sleep routine and rules in my household. Thought I’d share the question and response here. Anyone else have tips to share?

Question:

Do your kids sleep in their own rooms? Own beds? Sleep with you? Each other?
And what’s your bed time routine? How do you get them to stay in bed without having you lay with them until they fall asleep? My daughter has been wanting that for the past few months and it’s soooo time consuming! Any tips!

My Response:

Yes. They both sleep in their own rooms – V started at age 2 (but only because I needed to kick her out for baby K on the way – transitioned two months before the due date so she wouldn’t make the connection) hahaha. K started at Age 3. Note though that they have ALWAYS been in their own crib/bed. NEVER slept with me. And I was pretty firm about it because I didn’t want to build those habits that I know are hard to break.

There was a time when V tried to get out of bed and climb into ours… claiming she’s scared or for whatever other reason. My rule to her was: no coming into my bed unless the sun is up. So anything while its still dark out… I would tend to whatever she said got her out of bed… and back to bed she goes. If the sun happened to be out already and she came in… I’d let it go… Figure it would only be an hour or two so not as big of a deal. That rule has always seemed to work. Even til this day.

But although that’s always been the rule and worked for the most part, there was THAT PHASE… I was pulling my hair out trying to get her to figure her own demons/nightmares out and stop waking me up in the middle of the night. This happened on and off for months when she was 4 and again right before she turned 5. It was odd because for 4 solid years, she was able to sleep in a dark room with the door closed. Then all of the sudden there was this start of nightmares, etc. In my readings, I found that it was common at that age as their imaginations were so much more vivid and it was translating into their dreams. There were negotiations at that time with her… about how much the door could be cracked open.  We tried different night lights. Got her the Cloud B light (which did work very well and she still uses to this day). We tried some self-talk – having her say “Shoo Scared!” (like “shoo fly!”). During that phase, we also resorted to a reward/bribe (mini popsicle) for her to stay in bed without bothering me. That actually worked really well for a very long time. In the end, we did make it out alive. I lost a lot of sleep during that time that I will never get back. But we did survive. Now that she’s approaching 6 (omg. did I just say SIX!?!) there are some nightmare nights, but they don’t happen regularly so they are much tolerable. And the rules are still the same: Work it out. Back to bed. Don’t bother me before sunrise.

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Bed time routine – brush teeth/wash hands/face, floss…. Read one book.. and into bed. Once in bed, they want a little lullaby, hug, and kiss. I close the door. and I’m out! I was able to full on close the door for the first 4 years with V. Until she had that nightmare phase, so now its cracked open a bit and the hall light stays on outside the room. The little guy still sleeps in the dark with door closed. Either way, putting them down for bed is pretty routine and easy.

I NEVER have had to lie there with them. Never wanted to start that habit. So when I did the sleep training at 3-4 months old, its always been about training them to fall asleep on their own. No holding… no rocking… nada. I might have rubbed them on their backs or cheeks to soothe them.. but that’s it. Figure it out. HAHAHAHAH I know. Tough love. But in the end, its truly something they can do on their own and has made everyone’s lives easier. Makes it easier for me, makes it easier for anyone that babysits as well. Perhaps because I started this from infant time, then they never really fought it about staying in bed.

I’m not sure how to break such habit if its already been going on in your household for a while. But at 3 yrs old, reward system seems to “click” with them quite well.

Potty Training Followup Questions

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I recently had a friend who was preparing to potty train his son. Referred him to my potty training post and he had obtained the same manual and read through it. He also loved the approach and said it was the best one they had read as they prepare to tackle this milestone soon. Here were some of the questions he had for me, and my responses. 🙂

  • what type of reward system did you use? did you get one of those stars and day of the week thing? What did you reward your kids with if their diapers stayed dried? I don’t want to give him cookies all day or anything like a toy car. any good suggestions?
    I DIDN’T USE A REWARD SYSTEM FOR KEEPING THE UNDIES DRY… JUST A WHOLE LOT OF PRAISE AND HIGH FIVES. IT SEEMED TO WORK FINE WITH BOTH MY KIDS. WHEN THEY STARTED TO GET SOME PEE IN THE POTTY, I WAS GIVING THEM CHEDDAR BUNNIES (THOSE ORGANIC ONES LIKE THE GOLDFISH). BUT SERIOUSLY, I WAS GIVING LIKE 2 EACH TIME….WHICH ISN’T MUCH. MY KIDS RARELY GET COOKIES AND CERTAINLY DIDNT GET COOKIES OR TOYS FOR IT. I THINK IF YOU CAN MINIMIZE THOSE TYPES OF REWARDS, THEN YOU WON’T HAVE AS MUCH OF A PAIN WITH TRYING TO WEAN OFF THAT TYPE OF REINFORCEMENT LATER. PARENTAL PRAISE REALLY GOES A LONG WAYS!
  • how did you do the nighttime training without a huge mess and cleaning up? did you put absorbent mats on the bed? I’ve heard people put diapers outside of their undies so they feel the wetness but the diaper stops it (I know, I’m supposed to throw away all my diapers)
    OK. SO ON THIS ONE… I DIDN’T REALLY FOLLOW THE MANUAL. I WAS TOO CHICKEN. HAHA. SO I USED PULL-UPS FOR NAPTIME AND OVERNIGHT. MY PEDIATRICIAN SAID THAT WAS FINE ANYWAYS BECAUSE THE BIGGEST THING IS BEING POTTY TRAINED WHEN YOU ARE AWAKE. ALSO, AT THE TIME OF POTTY TRAINING, MY KIDS WERE STILL SLEEPING IN A CRIB… AND I WANTED TO KEEP IT THAT WAY, SO I WASN’T ABOUT TO TEACH THEM HOW TO GO PEE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. THEY EVENTUALLY WEANED THEMSELVES OFF THE SLEEP-PEEING. NAPTIMES WOKE UP DRY AFTER AS WHILE, AND EVENTUALLY OVERNIGHT TOO.
  • did your kids go to daycare at that age? i’ll need to talk to my daycare and tell/ bribe them to check up on my son more often
    MY KIDS WERE BOTH POTTY TRAINED AT 22 MONTHS AND DID  NOT START PRESCHOOL UNTIL 36 MONTHS, SO THAT WAS NOT AN ISSUE FOR US. HOWEVER, IF YOU DEDICATE THE WEEK TO POTTY TRAIN, THEN ASSUMELY, YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE READY TO GO TO SCHOOL AND PRACTICE WHAT HE LEARNED BY TELLING SOMEONE WHEN HE NEEDS TO GO… AND JUST SOME ACCIDENTS WHICH WOULD BE EXPECTED AS THEY STILL LEARNING.
  • did you use a potty chair for your son? I find that my son needs a splash guard in front of him or else it don’t quite work. Did you have to carry a potty chair in your car for when you go out to public places?
    MY FRIENDS AND I ALL TRAINED OUR BOYS SITTING DOWN ON POTTY CHAIR TO START. STANDING PEE CAME LATER ONCE THEY WERE CONSISTENT AND READY. AND YES. I HAD A PORTABLE POTTY SEAT THING THAT I LOVE. CHECK OUT BLOG POST ON POTTY PRODUCTS. KALENCOMM PETITE SEAT. STILL KEEP IT IN THE TRUNK FOR EMERGENCY ON THE ROAD BATHROOM STOPS.
  • what kind of high fiber foods did you feed your kids? (to help them poop normally)
    MY KIDS EAT A LOT OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES. DAUGHTER DID HAVE AN ISSUE WITH CONSTIPATION FOR A WHILE, SO DR HAD HER TAKING MIRALAX SOMETIMES WITH HER MILK.
  • what kinds of liquids did you give them? I’m thinking coconut juice since that’s a lot less sugar than regular juice (we’re trying to be healthy parents)
    HEALTHY IS GOOD! THAT’S WHAT I TRY TO DO AS WELL. I DID DO SOME JUICE, BECAUSE THEY DON’T DRINK IT OFTEN, SO IT INCLINED THEM TO DRINK MORE… BUT IT WAS DILUTED, AND ORGANIC. ALSO POPSICLES WERE A NICE TREAT. MOSTELY DILUTED JUICE THOUGH. I NEEDED THOSE ACCIDENTS TO HAPPEN DURING TRAINING!!!

Hello… are you there?

Hello readers… followers… and anyone who just happens to stumble across this tiny piece of neuroticism that I share with the world.

So I realize that I’ve been bad about keep up with the blog lately. Real bad. So sad. So busy. busy busy busy. But that’s no excuse. So I apologize up front. In any case… outside of the every day things that I am personally going through as a parent to now 5 and 3 year olds…. what else can I offer to you on this blog? What else would you like to have a schedule or plan for? haha. Is it even possible to plan anything else outside of sleep and feeding? 🙂

Ask and you may (If I can conjure) receive.
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Get in gear! Let’s have a Robot Party!

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Since I did a fairy themed party when my daughter turned 3… that meant it was my one opportunity to do a boy-themed party… whoohooo! Robot it was! For the centerpieces, I found these Valentine Boxes from Oriental Trading – which of course I bought after V-day for much cheaper. Came in a dozen, I only used 5 though. But they were super cute and easy to put together with adhesive foam. I put a small vase inside to weight it down and with a styrofoam piece inside the vase, I was able to make the toppers.

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I saw a robot from cardboard on Pinterest and thought… I could do that! The hardest part was finding all the pieces. More details on how this robot came to life here.

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A party is not a party without a watermelon carving! Saw this idea on Pinterest as well. 🙂

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We were hoping for a transformer pinata… but couldn’t find one… so Iron mad had to do!

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The bakery from Ranch Events did an amazing job as usual!

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For the crafts, I couldn’t resist these adorable little ceramic robot piggy banks! 12 for $20. I bought a set of Owls for any girls who didn’t want to paint a Robot. The kids enjoyed it.. but I think adults had more fun with them!

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Lastly, our lovely photobooth, designed by Snapshots Moments. Check out how I put together the backdrop here.

Santee Lakes Splash Park

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The kids went to the splash park (aka Sprayground) at Santee Lakes for the first time. Looks like they give it a thumbs up! Parking was $5 and it was $2 to get a wristband for them to enjoy the water fun (good for the entire day!). Afterwards, they enjoyed a picnic on the grass and the playground nearby. Overall it was an inexpensive way to enjoy a warm summer afternoon!

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Toddler Breakfast Eating: Banana Raisin Granola Porridge

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I feel like breakfast is the one meal that I have struggled the most with in terms of finding things that are healthy and with variety to feed my children in the morning. Let’s not forget that it should be quick too – because 1) I’m not a morning person and 2) I don’t cook. This comes from a person who usually just grabs a protein shake to-go as I’m running out the door to go do a gazillion things… Or I turn to caffeine for myself to wake me up and suppress my appetite. Sigh. But of course, I wouldn’t do that to my kids! So here’s the thing…. My daughter doesn’t like eggs. My son dabbles with it. Both will do the pancake thing but I’m not too enthusiastic about how much they soak it with syrup. Plus, if they do eat pancakes, I’d prefer it be some healthy homemade version I’ve seen a recipe for on Pinterest. But… remember I’m not a morning person and I don’t cook… so therefore, it is unlikely that I’d be up every morning making pancakes for my little people.

Surprisingly enough… my kids have been eating nearly the SAME breakfast (variation) since they were both 15 months old? (Around there). Its crazy that they are ok with eating similar breakfast day in and day out. Its basically a toddler variation of of the rice cereal that they at as babies. To be honest, its like softer version of adult oatmeal in my opinion, which is why I titled it “porridge”. I’ve actually bought some Steel Oats to try and make other variations of oatmeal, but the kids are still happy with this breakfast, so I’m not one to try and fix something that isn’t broken. This post is specifically about Banana Raisin Granola…. but – I’ll list some other fruit variations we do at the bottom. The base – the cereal is all the same. The variation is all in the fruit that’s mixed.

Nonetheless, my kids like it, and its healthy, organic, and its a great way for them to start the day. Here’s how it goes:

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So what’s not pictured here: Horizon 2% DHA Milk (or whatever milk you want to use) and an organic Banana.

Directions – Warm up about 2-3oz of milk in the microwave. Mix in about 3 tablespoons of the baby cereal (I alternate between the HappyBellies multi-grain, rice, and oatmeal) or as much to get the consistency you like. Then I mash/dice in 1/2 a banana. My daughter likes a 1.5 tablespoons of the granola and dumps a box of the organic raisins in.  Mix…… and she kills it!

This is my daughter’s favorite variation.

Other fruit variations that we rotate through: (Note – my kids like the granola added in no matter what fruit it is. This started more recently – I’d only do it for experienced eaters because they are really crunchy with some big pieces)

– Applesauce – You can buy the 4oz snack packages in organic apple flavor and non-organic I have found a berry flavor as well. I usually add cinnamon sometimes instead of buying the cinnamon flavored applesauce.

– Pear – Trader Joes sells the 4oz snack packages of pear sauce – this is great for the younger kids. My kids are older now, so I usually get a can of diced pears or use the Dole’s diced Pears 4oz snack packages that are come in 100% juice – not syrup! My kids like to drink the juice after I’ve put all the diced pieces into their bowl.  Don’t forget fresh pears are always good!

– Passion Fruit – My daughter likes the passion fruit that comes from the Dole’s Tropical Fruit cups – again – the one in 100% juice!

– Mango or Peach Mango – For this one, I usually buy frozen organic peaches and Trader Joes has frozen organic mangoes. I put enough to fill a small sauce pan and boil it with some water until its pretty soft. Then I drain the fruit and toss it in the Magic Bullet and smooth it out a bit. These end up in small 2oz containers in the fridge – or freezer if you make a lot. Each breakfast serving usually requires about 2oz of fruit.

-Blueberry or Blueberry/Raspberry – Similar to Mango, buy the frozen organic fruit and boil it in a saucepan. For the berries, no need to puree – just spoon it into the bowl and/or containers.

 

P.S. If you are wondering what happens when we aren’t home and are traveling? Well…. for the most part, if you are staying at a house or somewhere with a microwave and fridge, then just bring a can of the rice cereal. You can buy milk and bananas anywhere to make a simple breakfast version. On days when I’m just doing a quick overnighter somewhere or staying at someone’s house – I usually grab the Gerber Graduates Breakfast – apple cinnamon oatmeal. The kids like it. 🙂