Subscribe to UltimateMama Subscribe to UltimateMama's comments

Posts tagged ‘Toddlers’

UltimateMama wants to give you all a heads up on something — most day camp and spring/summer class schedules are out now and registration has begun!  UltimateMama's three favorite words are "early enrollment discount" and she's seeing those words all over the place – from soccer to language classes to various day camps. 

Plan your child's schedule now for the following reasons:

1. You can get "early enrollment discounts"

2. Your child can get the days/times that work best for your family's schedule

3. Classes and camps are most likely not yet booked

4. You will be able to sleep better at night knowing that your child will be active and happy this summer!

UltimateMama's children have been in swimming classes since they were babies.  It is never easy to remember everything you need to pack for the pool or beac.  Hopefully, the following list will assist you as you pack for water fun:

– bathing suit for your child (we prefer one-pieces from Target or Speedo that have simple straps)

– bathing suit for you if you are required to join in the fun (UltimateMama likes one-piece suits by Speedo or Nike

– swim caps

- rash guard skirts/UV protection shirts (those by Speedo are great) or cover-ups


- swim diapers for those not yet potty trained (try both disposable and reusable and decide for yourself which is best for your child)

– clothing for after swimming (including diapers or underwear)

– snacks and water for after swimming  

– towels

– waterproof sandals for pool deck, shower, beach

Johnson's Body Wash in a small container for after swimming washing

– goggles (UltimateMama likes Speedo goggles for her whole family) 

UltimateMama is against buying little toys that are 1) not needed and 2) not useful just to fill holiday stockings.  Below is a list of UltimateMama's favorite stocking stuffers for babies, toddlers, and young children.

– fun, character toothbrushes (Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, Princess-themed, etc.) and toothpaste

– stickers

– washable crayons, colored pencils, markers

– small books for reading or coloring

– combs, brushes, or hair accessories such as bows or hair clips (for girls)

– socks

– mittens or hats

– watercolors

– colorful utensils or sippy cups

– slippers or sandals

– flash cards or playing cards

– bath tub toys or crayons

– boxes of raisins or bags of crackers (stay away from candy!)

– playdough or clay

– music accessories appropriate for children (like bells and such)

UltimateMama feels that you and your partner (and any other adult involved in the potty training process such as a relative, teacher, or childcare provider) must decide together how to proceed with potty training your
child.  In addition, you should have on hand all the necessary potty training supplies which may include:

– potty training seats or seat covers

– a step stool

– potty chairs

– wipes

– several pairs of training pants and/or several pairs of underwear

– extra bed/crib sheets for accidents

– any necessary cleaning supplies

– potty training books for the child

– potty training dolls for the child

– potty training rewards (such as charts, stickers, or
targets for the toilet)

All adults involved in potty training your child should make
potty training a fun milestone as opposed to a stressful experience for your child.  Accidents
will happen and you want all adults involved to reassure your child that they are
acceptable.  You should use a
lot of positive reinforcement and encouragement throughout the potty training
process.  You should not punish your child for accidents.  Aim to keep the experience positive by introducing children’s
books about potty training to your child months before actual potty training begins. 

If you have a creative edge, it is a nice idea
to make a fun and colorful potty training milestone chart with your child.  Using colored cardboard or construction paper
you could create a grid chart to detail the child’s potty
training progress.  The child can stick
their favorite stickers onto the chart when they’ve exemplified success.  

Exhibit.  Below is an example of a basic
potty training chart.  Have your child place stickers each time they successfully go potty!

  Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat
1:00 AM              
2:00 AM              
3:00 AM              
4:00 AM              
5:00 AM              
6:00 AM              
7:00 AM              
8:00 AM              
9:00 AM              
10:00 AM              
11:00 AM              
12 NOON              
1:00 PM              
2:00 PM              
3:00 PM              
4:00 PM              
5:00 PM              
6:00 PM              
7:00 PM              
8:00 PM              
9:00 PM              
10:00 PM              
11:00 PM              
12 MIDNIGHT              

One working East Coast parent was thrilled to discover her
nanny’s interest and patience in potty training her young son.  One day after a discussion regarding potty
training with the mother, the nanny took the child to a children’s clothing
store and told him to select a packet of his own big boy underwear.  Then, the nanny hosted a “potty training
party” at their apartment.  She invited a
few other nanny’s and children from their playground and over snacks he proudly
showed everyone his big boy underwear. 
She was able to potty train him in no time by making the experience absolutely
positive and fun.

UltimateMama knows first hand that bringing home a new sibling
can be a time of both joy and anxiety. 
Less than an hour after my youngest daughter arrived home from the
hospital I remember thinking that 
dealing with a toddler and a newborn is going to be IMPOSSIBLE. 

Now that I am several months into raising two
children I have concluded:  Challenging
-  yes; Impossible -  no. 

Sure having two children in diapers presents some sticky situations (quite literally at times) but
with the right organization and attitude you will have the ability and
confidence to tackle anything these little o
nes throw your way.  Keep in mind that the first few months are
quite rough but with time and order things do get easier. 
Although both children need
your attention in different ways it is possible to nurture them
simultaneously.  It is possible to have a situation in which your baby and tot are in harmony, even during the adjustment period!

Below please find a few
suggestions to  organize your domestic

For brother/sister:

– Appoint the toddler CHO, or Chief
Helping Officer.  Tell them that as CHO
their duties are to do such things as hand you new diapers when changing the
newborn and grab burp clothes when the baby spits up.  Your toddler will love their new set of
responsibilities and bond with you and the new sibling in the process

– Engage in art projects together.  Of course your newborn will not be able to
pick up a crayon and create a mural but your toddler sure can.  While you feed the newborn, stimulate your
toddler’s creative juices by watching them create a masterpiece.  Give them stickers, crayons and construction
paper and encourage them to make pictures for their sibling’s room.  After you finish the newborn’s feeding and
your toddler’s masterpiece is complete, have your toddler show their artwork to
the new baby and hang it up together. 
Your toddler’s pride is priceless. 

– Create “Big Sibling Day”.  Have your toddler wear a big sister or big brother shirt or
pin that either you make or buy and tell them it is their day to show the baby their
favorite things.  Your toddler can pick
out a favorite book and you can read it together.  The baby can touch your toddler’s favorite
stuffed animal or toy while your toddler explains why the object is so special
to them. 

– Photo proof.  Your toddler needs to see that they were
indeed a baby once upon a time.  Bring
out the photo albums and show your toddler pictures of them as a baby.  Compare these pictures to those of your
newborn.  Remind the toddler how they
have grown and explain to them that the baby will grow up as well and that one
day they will be able to play and eat together.  

For mom:  

– Prepare toddler meals the night
before.  As soon as your toddler is
asleep engage in meal preparation including slicing, dicing, and storing.  You may be exhausted as the evening looms but
spending the time to rinse and peel fruits for breakfast, make sandwiches for
lunch, and cut up leftovers for dinner will be extremely helpful the next

Pick out your both baby and toddlers
clothes right after dinner.  Set aside
outfits for your children so that when morning comes all you have to do is grab
from the pile.  This will serve as a
lifesaver after a difficult, sleepless night.  

Clean up messes along the way.  Sleep deprivation makes it tempting to let
dishes pile up but resist the temptation to do so and stack them in your
dishwasher after each meal.  Sweep up any
post-meal crumbs right way.  Put away any
toys, shoes, or baskets that you or your family members may accidentally trip
on if they are not too careful.  Importantly, teach your children to clean up
after themselves as well.

– Keep the changing area and diaper bag
stocked with all necessary supplies.  You
never want to run out of diapers, wipes, or creams.  Make a shopping list and post it to your
refrigerator detailing all needed items and grab the list the next time you
venture to the store. 

– Shop online.  Do you cringe at the thought of dealing with
an infant and a toddler at a store.  As
the parent of two winter babies I would have been lost without the Internet for
many of my shopping needs.  Websites such
as, ,, and  are helpful
for various baby supplies.  Online shopping is especially useful during
your infant’s early days when they may not be ready to step out into the

UltimateMama's Parental Shopping Tip:
UltimateMama has rounded up some of my favorite big
brother/big sister items that will be sure to fill your older
children with pride.

1. "I'm a Big Sister" or "I'm a Big Brother"
book by Joanna Cole:  A must-have for older siblings. This book
describes the arrival of a new baby with a gentle tone.  See the category "Ultimate Books" for the best places to purchase books! 

2. I'm the Big Sister or I'm the Big Brother photo album by Gund.  These
super-soft albums hold twelve 4"x6" pictures.  Your child
will be proud to show off her little sibling to her peers. 


3. Big Sister or Big Brother t-shirts.  Let your child wear the big
news in style.  This is the perfect gift from the newborn baby to her


4. Love Me or My Big Brother Loves Me photo frames.  The perfect addition to your child's room.