What’s In My Toddler Diaper Bag



I get asked all the time what I keep in my diaper bag for daily outings. Even though my daughter is potty-trained so there aren’t technically any diapers packed in there, I found some great staples that make going out with my toddler a lot easier. This covers all bases, from basic food and drink for both little and mama to entertainment for my two year old. A happy toddler makes for a happy mommy! I just recently switched over to a backpack style diaper bag and holy cow! Why did I wait so long? I have been loving my new Dokoclub Diaper Bag. I found mine on Wish.com but I’ve seen it on several websites. This bag has SO much room which is great especially for the days I have my newborn niece in tow, with tons of room for her bottles, swaddle blankets and everything else!




For me:

Chapstick- I feel like I always need chapstick, especially this time of year! My favorite is Burt’s Bees. I’m slightly addicted to it!

Hand Sanitzer- This one is kind of obvious but I use the heck out of it on a daily basis. My little one loves washing her hands but in public restrooms, sometimes it just make a bigger mess!

Water- I usually always have a straw cup with ice water in tow with me. I drink a ton of water throughout the day but I need a straw and ice …I’m a weirdo, I know! But I always try to pack a bottle of water in my bag to either refill my own or Harlow’s cup. We can both kill some water while we are out and about!

Snacks- Packing snacks for yourself, not just your kids, is one of the biggest pieces of advice I would give any mom. Mama needs to eat, too! Some of my usual snacks are a banana, apple, banana chips or a protein bar. Now being pregnant, my go-tos are an apple and/or plain crackers.

Planner- I am an old school paper planner girl! I write everything down in my weekly calendar. I have tried to convert to the calendar on my phone and what can I say, I am a creature of habit! I use the Notes section on my phone for to-do lists, grocery lists, etc but for all things appointment and scheduling related, I use my trusty planner. I never know when I am going to have a client contact me to make an appointment, so I like to be prepared. Living about 20 minutes outside of our main “city”, I tend to use my time in the car to make phone calls (with the help of Bluetooth of course) whether its making a doctors appointment or paying a bill, keeping my planner on me just helps me feel and stay organized.



For her:

Baby Wipes- Baby wipes are a staple regardless if your kid is potty-trained or not. I always keep some for cleaning up quick messes, dirty faces and any and everything else toddler parenthood could lead you to!

Sippy Cup- Our favorite sippy cup is the Munchkin360 spoutless cup. I always pop it into a ziplock bag to avoid any spills.

Snacks- A ziplock baggy full of snacks can go a long way when it comes to outings with toddlers. I try to keep a variety packed in case I forget to refill the next day. Applesauce pouches, peanut butter crackers, granola bars and clementines are some of her favorites.

Extra pants and underwear: Like I mention before, Harlow is potty-trained but any toddler parent will tell you, you don’t want to be without a change of clothes! You never know when an accident will strike!

Stickers- Similar to snacks, stickers have become a form of currency around here! They are a great reward (lets be honest, bribe, haha!) for small tasks or just a great way to reward them for an outing of good behavior.

Notebook and pencil for doodling- This has been an absolute lifesaver! I am constantly “working” as Harlow would say, even when we are out and about. Rather I am texting with clients and booking appointments, working on a blog post, making shopping lists for work or for home, or just jotting down thoughts, she wants to “work” too. I picked up a couple of these smaller notebooks from the dollar store and always keep one and a mechanical pencil with us! I made the mistake of giving her a pen once and it ended up all over her clothes! Mechanical pencil is less-mess and doesn’t need to be sharpened. She will doodle in that thing in the car for 15 minutes! Score!





What are you favorite diaper bag must have? Any secret weapons you keep packed that you swear? Let me know in the comments below!





Holiday Stove Top Potpourri

We are ready for Halloween over here but I will honest, I’m just about ready to put up my Christmas tree! Ok, now try not to make fun of me. I did an Instagram post the other day [here] about how with Harlow now being two, this Fall and Halloween season has become so magical to experience through her eyes. It’s almost like her first fall now that she is old enough to understand and enjoy it so much more. During all of this, I can’t help but get excited for the upcoming holiday season! I picture her taking in all the magic and spirit of Christmas. While I refuse to put my tree up before Halloween (though November 1st is fair game) I am in full holiday mood otherwise!
I have shared with you guys before my love for Stove Top Potpourris [here], and let me tell you with my ultra-heightened pregnancy sense of smell, this is just what the doctor order! Ok maybe not actually from my doctor but shew, I have needed it! I hate complaining about any aspect of pregnancy but my sense of smell is so sensitive right now, it’s actually driving me a little nuts. I feel like I can smell the garbage, any and all lingering cooked food and the dog! This Stove Top Potpourri actually fills my entire house (even upstairs) and never competes with any other smells. My husband loves coming home from work the house filled with this scent (and trust me, he is picky!)
•1 orange
•1-2 handfuls cranberries
•2-3 cinnamon sticks
•1 Tbsp. whole cloves 
All you need to do is quarter your orange and toss all ingredients into a sauce own or tea pot and simmer on low. This stuff smells amazing and lasts for weeks by simply adding water. Add water each time you use it and continue to add water as needed while using.
I know you guys are going to love this stuff as much as I do! Where are my other right-after-Halloween-Christmas-tree-putter-uppers at? We usually wait until closer to Thanksgiving but I swear I am already nesting (let’s be honest, this is more like my usual state even outside of pregnancy) and I don’t think I can wait! What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Time Out Is For Me, Not For Them

When it comes to disciplining toddlers, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there. Do this, not that, do this instead …SHEW! For a first-time parent, it can be beyond overwhelming.
I remember my parents coming over to visit when Harlow was just a couple days old. My mom asked my husband and I, “How do you like being parents?” It was an interesting question because I really hadn’t felt like we had done any “parenting” yet. Lets be honest, the first six months, you are just trying to keep this thing alive! For me, my daughter entering toddlerhood was the start of what felt like “parenting” to me.
When it comes to toddlers acting out, not sharing or even hitting, I do strongly believe that redirecting is best. Showing them something new or giving them a different toy to play with is simple, yet can work wonders at that age. And its easy on mama, too! It’s actually one of the few benefits of them being so easily distracted, ha!
However, as they get older and stronger, and the full on tempter tantrums begin, sometimes redirecting is not enough. Sometimes they need to be physically removed from situations even if it’s just to calm down. More importantly, sometimes mama needs to calm down. Kids are truly the greatest blessing in life. They can also be the reason you lose your freakin mind! They test your sanity and it’s like a whole new world you’ve entered. Completely uncharted territory, at least for me. This is also when you are starting to lay ground work for future disciplinary actions. You are setting a bar so to speak. For example, if you completely lash out at them over something so small, punishments will continue to escalate, potentially to somewhere you will regret. I consider myself to be pretty chill and go with the flow but I will be the first to say, I never knew I had a temper until toddler parenting. I also have spent most of my days over the passed two years with two little ones, only ten months apart in age. To say some days I feel like I have completely lost my mind is the understatement of the year!
With two of them, there is a lot of bickering, fighting, even hitting, kicking and biting sometimes. That being said, a lot of days I do rely on time out just to physically separate them from each other to avoid one seriously hurting the other. Now, some people are not fans of time out for various reasons. Hey, to each their own. But, as these two have gotten older and the more often these situations occur, I have become more and more reliate on time out. Time out for myself.
While I am not a doctor or a child behavior expert of any sort, I am a mom that spends most days with two kids under the age of three. We all need a time out sometimes. And I mean, ALL of us! Whether is it just to regroup, collect thoughts, let out a cry or just to calm down and cool off. Time out is for me, not for them.
I think all toddler parents have at some point gotten beyond frustrated and reacted in a way they have later regretted. I know I have! And after that, cue the guilt! We all have mom guilt for one reason or another. And frankly, I don’t need another reason! If time out helps me be the best mom I can be, then sign me up! Time out is for me, not for them.
As soon as I became a mom, I quickly learned that you cannot judge any other mom out there. We are all just trying to do our best. Sometimes we are just trying to survive! That being said I am a firm believer in doing whatever you need to do to be the best mom you can be. For some people that may mean some a girls night out, away from home. Or maybe letting your little one watch a little extra TV just to get some stuff done! You do you, girl! For me, I need time out because time out is for me, not for them.

Harlow is TWO!

Two years ago today, I was in the hospital resting for the biggest task of my life. I had labored at home long and hard since noon the day before with contractions leading up to every two minutes. I was relieved to be at the hospital and grateful for my epidural. I honestly had a great hospital experience. We checked in around 4am. I got my epidural about two hours later and spent most of the rest of the day resting. Labor progressed slowly on its own the throughout the rest of the day. That evening when my nurse checked me for the last time, I was finally 10 centimeters and she told me she could feel our baby had a ton of hair! I had a ton of hair was I was born and I just knew she would, too! We had just finally decided on her name the week before but we were more than ready to meet her. After about 30 minutes of pushing and less than 4 hours before our due date, our baby girl was born. Brandon was right there for everything. He was the best partner to be my side. The nurses would even comment how sweet he was in offering to help them with any and everything. Harlow Ann Marie was born 8lbs, 3oz and 20inches long with a ridiculous amount of hair. The staff could not get over her hair, it was a sight to see and it still is! We ended up staying in the delivery room for a couple hours after and didn’t get moved to our family room until after midnight. God bless my parents who brought us pizza and we got to spend the first evening our in new room, having our very first pizza party with just the three of us!
Two years later and it’s wild. I still remember some parts like it was yesterday yet some moments are a total blur. I am so thankful for our positive delivery experience. We both cherish it. When we came home, Charlie was a different dog. He knew something was majorly different. He didn’t know what to do with this new thing but quickly become attached and would stand guard like a protective big brother around her. They have been best friends ever since.
Today Harlow is a wild but sweet and smart “big girl” as she would say! She loves to color, play with bubbles, slides, animals, and still loves bath time. She loves being read to, which cracks me up because it’s the only thing she will sit still for! She will sit and listen to 10 books in the row. I have found that to be the thing I cherish most right now. It’s a time when I can slow down, be present and just savor her sitting in my lap instead of running away from me. She also loves puzzles and taking care of her baby doll she has hilariously named Jimmy!
The days are long but the years are short. I used to have to remind myself of that every morning before tackling the day but now I know it all to well and it almost scares me. Time is a tricky thing and all we can do is cherish it. Cherish every little giggle, every tiny victory and every snuggle.

Our Day at Dutch Wonderland

Visiting Lancaster is always nostalgic for me. We lived there when I was little while my dad was getting his from degree from Millersville University. It’s always nice to go back for a visit. So when my sister-in-law suggested we take our daughters (9 and almost 2 years old) and our niece (4) for a day of summer fun, I was pumped! I hadn’t been to Dutch Wonderland since I was little and I was excited to take my own daughter back!
My initial impression of the park is that it is adorable. The girls were thrilled to be able to spot the castle as we got closer. The park is kept extremely clean too. We were also pleasantly surprise that because my daughter is under two, her admission was free! Major points for this mama, especially because I wasn’t sure how much she would be able to or want to ride. The size of the park is perfect for younger kids. It’s not too big that you feel like you are trekking all over endlessly, but it has plenty to offer for a full day of adventure. The lay out is great and easy to maneuver as well, with plenty of shade all over the park. It’s also very stroller-friendly! My little one was thrilled there were smaller rides, perfect for her! Most parks don’t have many rides she is tall enough for yet. It was a great mix of rides she could ride by herself (her first time!) and some I could ride with her! We were able to get a locker right away and stash our bathing suits and towels.
The girls had a blast on the first handful of rides. The Turtle Twirl was my daughter’s favorite! As the temperature rose, we decided to grab some lunch and hit the water park. We were able to get a shaded umbrella table for lunch, which was a much needed to cool down! After eating our yummy lunches, we hopped over to our locker and changing room. Now on to Duke’s Lagoon. Wow! The seating areas for the water park was great! We scored some chairs in the shade right by the kids play areas. We could watch them play and go down the slides right from our seats. The age range it accommodated was great, too. My 9 and 4 year old nieces had a blast on the slides and splash zones and my daughter loved the water table and smaller slides. I even hit the Pipeline Plunge with my oldest niece and it was a blast! I hadn’t been down a water slide like that in ages!
After a couple hours of water fun (and a shaded nap for my daughter), we headed back to our locker and changing room to change into some dry digs. We rounded out our afternoon with another round of rides and I hit the Double Splash Log Flume with my nieces! It was a hit and definitely my favorite! And my daughter loved watching with my sister-in-law from the bridge! Before leaving, we made sure to stop at the Breyer’s Ice Cream Shoppe for a cool treat!
My sister-in-law and I had such a fun day and we left with three very happy little girls! I so pleased with how much my little one was able to ride and do even with free admission. We will definitely coming back to Dutch Wonderland for more fun. I would love to go back for their Halloween Happy Hauntings and or their Dutch Winter Wonderland! Check out their website for a list of attractions, events and tickets!

The 5 Best Drugstore Beauty Products, Part II

Hi guys! Most of you know I’m a wife and mama but some of you may not know I am also a licensed hair stylist. Even though I am a stay at home mom during the week, I still continue to do hair on the weekends. I talk a lot about how important it is for me to continue to do hair. It is time I get to spend with myself and my dear clients, away from any toddlers. It is my creative outlet that gives me some freedom to play and experiment. It is also important to me that I continue to practice my craft and continue to grow as a stylist. Throughout the course of my cosmetology career, I have been able to try a wide range of hair, makeup and skin care products. Being that I am a frugal gal at heart, I am always weighing the value of these things. There are still quite a few professional products I swear by but I still prefer some drugstore goodies that can get the job done just as well as any expensive one. Today, I am sharing Round Two of My Favorite Drugstore Beauty Products! See the first installment [HERE]!
1.) L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $8.97
This mascara is brand new and just launched this Summer! It is said to be an awesome dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but at a fraction of the cost. I have been using it for about a month now and I absolutely love it! Since becoming at stay at home mom during the week, I have really simplified my daily makeup routine. Especially compared to what was my usual, everyday makeup while working in a salon full time. With that being said, I really seek getting the most out of each product I use. This stuff gives so much bang in each coat! First, I curl my lashes with an eyelash curler. Then I immediate apply my first coat to lock in the curl. Then, I move on the next eye. This stuff layers great so I usually add 2-3 more coats depending on how much time I have. This mascara provides great volume with very little flakey fall-out over the course of the day. The best part? It’s less than $10 at your local drugstore!
2.) Cetaphil Normal to Oily Skin Daily Facial Cleanser $9.52
I have raved about this face wash before [HERE] and I still cannot get enough of it! This stuff holds its own up against some of the most expensive, spa-quality skincare brands I’ve used over the course of my cosmetology career. I even had an aesthetician from a spa at a 5-star resort in Florida tell me this is one of the best products I could use on my face. I got turned on to the product when I was pregnant with my daughter when decided to stop using my current spa cleanser containing glycolic acid. I could not believe it did just as good of a job keeping break outs away and normalizing my oil production as my $32 cleanser. I have never looked back! To top all this goodness off, it’s less then $10!
3.) CoverGirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder $5.94
Because my skin fares on the side of oily, I always finish my makeup with a light powder to keep it in place. This stuff works wonders keeping toddler hand smudges away from my face! It’s so light-weight and mattes my face just enough so I don’t look cakey. This stuff, in combination with my foundation and concealer [HERE] are my secret weapons for my makeup lasting all day, even after a full day of chasing kids and an evening run in the summer humidity. A little goes a long way, so one compact lasts me quite a few months.
4.) Goody Ouchless Mini Clear Elastics $4.54
I have very fine hair and the grip of rubber bands over traditional hair ties tend to hold my hair best. BUT, they can snap under pressure or pull my when trying to take them out. These rubber bands are extra strong and a little thicker and don’t yank my hair. They glide when taking them out. They are also my favorite to use on my almost two year old which I get asked often what I use on her hair. Don’t like that age fool you, she doesn’t have typical toddler hair. See [HERE] and [HERE]. Believe me, it’s something else!
5.) Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin with SPF 15 $8.84
My mom and grandma always swore by Olay and I am convinced their skin actually got better with age! Because of that, Oil of Olay has been me and my sister’s go to moisturizer for as long as I can remember. It’s the perfect, not too heavy (even when my skin used to be oily beyond belief) and not too light. I also absorbs quickly and has a built-in sunscreen. Another under $10 steal!
That’s a wrap on Round Two of My Favorite Drugstore Products! I hope you guys find this products as helpful and valuable as I do! Be sure to follow us on Pinterest and Instagram to keep up with all my frugal fun and more!

Friday’s Favs

Another Summer week in the books for us as we are getting closer to Fall around here. This week has been especially cool and I’ve really enjoyed it. As Summer is coming to a close, I can’t help but think of some last fun Summer bucket list items to squeeze into the next couple weeks. What are you making sure to do before the Summer ends?
1.) Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier
I have recently fallen back in love with this product. To be honest, I kinda forgot about it! Simply spray onto damp hair and you BOOM, you’ve got the best detangler and light weight leave-in conditioner! Using this, I have even been able to skip any type of serum or any other leave-in product. This has also been a game-changer on my toddlers hair, as well and has made brushing through her tangles, easier than ever. For anyone new around here, this isn’t your average toddler’s hair, see here. Wild, right? This stuff is great for after the pool, too! Per usual with all my professional hair product recommendations, you guys know I am all about supporting those local salons, so contact your local Redken/Pureology salon to check for this products availability.
I am always looking for new Pandora stations to switch up my jams. Especially new ones for work that are all-around crowd pleasers and some a softness to keep my clients relaxed. Pandora’s Mumford and Sons station has been my new go to. Along their their own music, it plays everything from The Lumineers to Of Monsters and Men. You have got to check it out!
I kinda feel like a broken record when it comes to this stuff but I cannot stress to you guys enough how good it is! I had been making my iced coffee at home all wrong and would still ended up picking some up from a coffee shop most mornings. Not anymore! This stuff is just as good, if not better and is so easy and cheap to make! It nice and strong to avoid getting diluted by the ice but not bitter at all. It is so smooth! I’ve been adding some cinnamon to mine lately.
I shared on my recent potty training post [HERE], that this was the most beneficial products throughout the process and I still cannot say enough good things abound it! We use it daily. It has foldable legs that when laid out completely, makes a great seat insert for your large toilet at home. With the legs folded downwards, this makes a great, free standing toddler potty that is designed for trash bags to feed directly through for easy disposal. And finally, with the legs folding completely in, this thing becomes so compact, it can go just about anywhere!
This has been one of the girls’ favorite things to do outside. It keep them busy for a good hour and because it’s just water, I don’t have to worry about a mess. They love doing this on our front porch, driveway and even at the pool! It has been all over Summer win!
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Sidewalk Water Painting

Hi friends! It’s been a wild and busy summer over here. How are the days longer yet seem to fly by faster than ever? We have been living outside these passed couple months. The kids love running around and exploring more than anything so there hasn’t been much rhyme or reason to our outdoor adventures. However, I did want to share the girls’ latest favorite outdoor fun, Sidewalk Water Painting!
We like to scribble, practice letters and trace shapes. As the fall weather as been coming in more and more here, my niece loving water painting and tracing leaves. “Painting” over chalk is fun too. It turns the chalk into more of an actual paint. This is also a great activity for the pool!
Kind of a summer twist to our Construction Paper Water Painting! It’s easy and FREE as well. All you need is some water and some paint brushes and boom! They will seriously do this for over an hour which lets me honest, for two toddlers, that’s pretty much a lifetime! It’s also a life saver that it’s just water so their is not paint mess to worry about!
I hope you guys are soaking up these last couple weeks of summer like we are! Don’t forget to click “follow” to keep up with all our fun, plus follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!

Friday’s Favs

Happy Friday, loves! We have had a fall-ish week here in Maryland and its been bittersweet! I love fall and happy to see it making its way here but I will be sad to let go of summer completely. What are final things on your summer bucket list?
One of my main sources of working out is walking and running. I have been using this app for over a year now. It provides distance and pace per mile, which I love! It works great for running too. It’s simple to use and saves your work outs for future reference. The best part? It’s free!
if you guys saw my Toddler Smoothies with Hidden Greens post from last week, you know we have been all about the smoothies this summer! I’ve always made smoothies and shakes and myself and now Lo has been loving them for breakfast for even as a late-morning snack, to help tide her over for lunch! It’s been a great way to sneak in some greens and protein! The best part is, she thinks they are a real treat! After getting her hooked on these, I needed a toddler-proof cup with a lid and straw that could be easily cleaned. That’s when I spotted these adorable cups at target! They have been prefect. The straw is wide enough for a thicker smoothie and I like that it is completely separate from the straw for easy cleaning! You can see Harlow using one for water here too.
I cannot say enough about this gem! This is one of those things I would say I didn’t want to spend my money old but my sister got it for me for Christmas about four years ago and it has honestly helped transform my skin! It gives the deepest clean ever and has held up so well over the years, it is completely worth the money! For the best clean possible, wash your face once with cleanser to remove all makeup. Then, wash a second time with your cleanser and the Clarisonic.
Why does bread have to be full of carbs? I love bread. I love buttered toast. I love sandwiches. I could go on all day. If you are a carb lover like myself, Cloud Bread is exactly what you need! This recipe only calls for a few ingredients and is extremely low carb. Now, go get your sandwich on!
I had been on the hunt for a new phone case because mine was getting gross. It was time to retire (aka trash) my old one! I wanted something that would protect my phone from drops and toddlers 😉 but didn’t want anything too bulky. Most importantly, I wanted something cute and cheap! I found this gem on Amazon for $8! Now, speaking of being cheap, it shouldn’t surprise you guys that I’m still rocking an iPhone 5! So here are the same cases that fit an iPhone 6 and my really fancy friends with an iPhone 7!
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How I Potty Trained My 22-month-old in Two Days

It may sound crazy but I have no regrets. I potty trained our 22-month-old in one weekend, with zero accidents by day three. Now, I am not a heath care professional nor am I an “expert” on this topic. I’m just a mom that wanted potty training to end before it even started. The most common piece of advice I got before starting this adventure was, “make sure your child ready”. I do agree this is important but don’t believe it is the end-all, be-all. I think an even larger factor is making sure the parents are ready! The beginning can be brutal and if you aren’t able to give it 100% at that time, it will only leave you both frustrated! That brings us to another large factor, lifestyle. I am a stay at home mom during the week, so being able to hunker down and stay in for 3 days while going through the initial, intense “boot camp” so to speak, was probably easier for me than parents that work outside of the home. There’s no right or wrong, or even a right or wrong time to start, but keeping these factors in mind will ultimately help make the process go much smoother. Here is what worked for us:
Potty Introduction
We have been putting our daughter on a toddler potty on and off since she was about fifteen months old. We would explain to her when we were using the potty and she would be curious by nature. Sometimes she would go, sometimes she wouldn’t. It just got her used to it. I am so glad we did this because she hated sitting on that thing the first couple times. I don’t know what it was but she would cry and cry! I kept doing it though and she got used to it over  time.
Why We Did It
The main thing that prompted me to nip this thing in the bud was the diaper changing battles. And I mean battles! She never minded her diaper being changed before but something shifted a few months ago and it had been awful ever since. Kicking, screaming, it was the worst! I thought it was a phase she would grow out of but she didn’t and I was done. So done!
When We Did It
Like I said, I had just about had it with the diaper changing battles so I was ready to get it over with ASAP! However, we had a vacation coming up within a few weeks so I decided to wait until after we got back. A three and a half hour car ride there and back plus long days on the beach with no close by bathrooms was just something I did not want to deal with. I waited until we got home and started the following day.
So. Much. Pee.
The first thing I will say about this “boot camp” approach is that it is not easy, but it is simple and it does work! For all of Day 1 and Day 2, my child ran around our house naked, with no diaper other than during nap and bedtime. Two words: Pee. Everywhere. I will be completely honest, she peed all over my floors the first two days. We have two toddler potties at our house and during those first couple days, they posted right in the middle of all the action and in front of the TV. The TV, along with toys and books acted as distractions during potty time. This is the most tedious part, but most important part–put your child on the potty for five minutes, every twenty minutes. Even doing this, she was still peeing on the floor some, but it continued to get better, a little bit at a time.
Turning Point
I will be completely honest, by the end of the second day, I had almost given up. She was getting better at going on the potty but was still having accidents and/or not making it to the potty in time. I just wasn’t sure such an aggressive and even at times frustrating approach was worth it. I would think to myself, maybe she isn’t ready? Maybe she is too young? The morning of Day 3 came and something just clicked! I got her up and put her on the potty in the bathroom while I was doing my makeup and was ecstatic that she peed almost right away. For the first two hours of that day, I continued to put her on the potty about every twenty minutes and she went almost every single time. Then, I started spacing it out a little more throughout the day- thirty minutes, forty-five minutes, etc. By the end of Day 3, she had successful used the potty all day with zero accidents! She even woke up from her three hour nap completely dry. I mention this shift in particular as a way of saying don’t give up! I was so close to throwing in the towel and now so thankful I didn’t! She still wears a diaper or pull-up during nap and bed time. Holding it throughout the night is something that comes later, around age three or so.
Reward system
Every time she went pee on the potty she got one M&M and one sticker of her choice that she got to pick out and two of each for poop. By Day 2, I started adding “undies” to our reward system. I had bought her a pack of underwear before we had left for vacation and started showing them to her and telling her they were for when she could pee and poop on the potty and not in her diaper. She was so excited! What made the underwear so exciting? They were Trolls Underwear, haha! She is obsessed with Poppy and still gets excited to put on her “Poppy undies” every day! I would say this helped a lot! Pick out some underwear they will love and will be even more excited to wear. I starting putting the undies on her even knowing she would most likely pee in them because she realized fairly quickly she did not like them being wet and that going on the potty keeps them dry.
Follow Up
We are about five weeks in now and I could not be prouder! She wakes up from most naps (about three hours) completely dry. Has she had any accidents? Of course! She had a couple at home and one while we were out within those first two weeks but that is it! We are sure to never punish or scold her when this happens. She simply does not get her reward. We tell her to let us know as soon as she has to go next time so she can go on the potty and get her rewards. Over all, she has done amazing and not changing diapers all day has been a game changer in our household!
Helpful Tips
-Try to keep them as happy on the potty as possible! The last thing I wanted was for her to start resenting the toilet. We set up baskets of books and small toys next to each potty to help keep her entertained.
-Daniel Tiger’s “Prince Wednesday Goes To The Potty” episode was a lifesaver! I have it recorded on my DVR and showed it to her before going on vacation and it got her very excited! We played that thing on repeat while on the potty the first day!
Training Underwear are a great alternative to pull-ups! I really did not want to take the pull-up route, at least for day time. Anyone who knows me, knows I am the frugal queen and I refuse to add something else to my weekly shopping list that we would go through so quickly, just like diapers. I also thought the idea of pull-ups could be confusing for her and slow down her potty training success. These training underwear are like normal clothe undies but they have a thick, padded crotch area to help catch accidents!
-Worried about an accident in the car? I keep a pack of Dog Training Pads in my car and put one on her carseat to avoid messing up the seat. She has yet to have an accident in the car but it’s nice peace of mind and one less thing to stress about.
-Our Travel Potty has been a life (and undies) saver! This has honestly been the most helpful product during this entre process! It folds up super compact and trash bags go right over it for easy disposal! Most days we are out and about, I have two toddlers in tow. Running to the bathroom in the middle of a shopping trip with a cart full of stuff and two littles, running around a public restroom is not always ideal! I keep the travel potty in my trunk and put her on it right before we go into the store and as soon as we get back out to the car. Total game changer! It has also been great for so many outdoor activities this time of year! With outdoor family reunions and cook-outs, having that thing right in my trunk has been a breeze and has helped us avoid porty-potties!
-Lastly and most importantly, have grace for you and your little! Mommin’ aint easy and I think this was one of the toughest hurdles to jump. Don’t be discouraged if your little one takes a little longer to catch on, it will all come in time!
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