Potty Training with Briefs and Stickers...

~ Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 8:48 AM ~

I have previously blogged about our adventures in cloth diapering (which is part of my potty training plan apart from trying to see whether we can save more using CD instead of disposable diapers) but have realised we're not making much progress... as Ben soaked through 2 inserts (2 and 3 pre fold) in 3 hours time and being a heavy drinker (of water that is!), I don't think Ben can do much progress in potty training with CD. Plus I need Ben to be able to tell me when he feels like peeing and he is not able to do so while wearing diapers (be it CD or disposable)

I then read and Googled on what other parents do in their potty training plans and decided to try boy briefs. Just simply strip them off diapers and let them wear their briefs (I called them 'Big Boy Pants'). I dug out some of the briefs that my SIL passed on to me years ago and managed to find 3, wash and dry them off and got ready to start using it on Ben.

Day 1:

-> Had to coax Ben for a few minutes for him to wear his 'Big Boy Pants'. He keep insisting on wearing his diapers and pants. In the end, I managed to get him wearing it and also his normal pants. Well, at least he's wearing the brief now.

-> Now, Ben is the type of person who absolutely cannot stand any stains or dirts or spilled stuff on his body. So the moment he wets himself, he wailed. I had to comfort him and tell him "It's OK, let's try again and mummy put on a new pants for you ok?"

-> 2nd brief, he wets himself again in less than 10 minutes. At this point, I realised "Oh man... my son does not know how to tell me when he wants to pee. I am in deep trouble, this is more serious that I thought."

-> Decided to explain to Ben gently that it's OK for him to wet himself, mummy will wipe the floor, no worries, and maybe the next time when he feels like wanting to pee, he can tell mummy first? I repeated it every now and then, gently and careful not to put any pressure on him.

-> Within 5 minutes, he wets himself again. I'm out of briefs already, end up putting on a disposable diaper on him (plus it's near his naptime too).

-> Told myself, is OK, everyone's gotta start somewhere and it's been 2 years, I cannot expect miracle on 1st day!

-> I also told hubby about what I'm doing and told him I need more briefs for Ben. Hubby bought 3 more from the night market (3 for RM10). He got 2 with Bumblebee and 1 with Cars at the back of the briefs.

Then I was talking with my SIL (the one who gave me the briefs years ago) and asked her about her experience in potty training her 6 kids. She said for daytime potty training, I should have started when Ben turned 2 years old. As Ben is now 28 months old, she comforted me saying maybe I got sidetracked with the pregnancy and all  and though it's a wee bit late, it is still achievable and that I have to get it done before Spicy Baby comes along.

She also said the diapers must go off if I want to potty train Ben, which is what I'm doing right for now and she told me to make potty training a fun activity so that Ben will not feel pressured. OK, got it!

Day 2:

-> Googled around, found some sample sticker system for potty training and decided to DIY and customised one for Ben. Hubby has earlier promised to Ben if Ben is a big boy (aka do not need to use diapers) then daddy will buy him a bicycle (which Ben saw at a park during one of thier daddy-son park outing)

-> I put on some potty training goals into the chart which Ben can achieve, such as "You're wearing big boy pants!", "You told me you need to use the potty!", "You use / sat on the potty!", "You told me when you were wet!" and "You stayed dry all day!" and got ready some never before seen cute and small stickers which I told Ben we will stick on the chart when he did so and so goals.

-> I also showed him the new briefs that daddy bought for him, parading the one with Bumblebee to attract his attention. Boy, he's hooked! Then off we go to wearing his new brief without any fuss at all!

-> I'm happy to report, Ben started telling me 'potty, shee-shee' and we will run as fast as we could (to make it fun and exciting!) to his potty in the bathroom (I left the door open for ease of use)

-> So yes, on day 2 during daytime (from 11am to his naptime at 3pm), Ben successfully told me he wants to pee and he peed into the potty a total of 4 times - accident free! Oh, just want to add he was very excited as daddy was around the whole day and I guess he wants to impress daddy too!

-> Each time he achieved one goal, I told Ben he did a great job and mummy will give him stickers to paste on to the chart (taped to the wall) and cheered him on after he put on the stickers and repeated to him the bicycle reward which he will get when he's off diapers one day!

Ben choosing his stickers...
My big boy putting on the stickers...

Day 3:

-> We continued on, as of 11am to 2pm and 8pm to 9.30pm today, Ben has successfully told us he wants to pee and peed into his potty 7 times without any accidents at all! Woohoo, score!!

-> Of course, it was tiring for me to drop everything and run with him to the bathroom but seeing his pee shooting into the potty, seriously, is ever so priceless! And since hubby is around today, I got him to do a couple of the running trips too!

So, the CDs will be in storage for now as I plan to:

-> put Ben on briefs for his daytime potty training (right until his afternoon naptime) and then briefs again when he wakes until night time sleep.

-> once Ben is able to potty train for his pee control successfully, I will move on to training him to poop in the potty. He still does not want to be touched at all when he poops and prefers to do so in his diapers - standing.

Anyway, one step at a time. As of now, I'm already feeling on top of the world!

Toddler Meals (July 18 - 24)

~ Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 10:30 PM ~

Pictures of meals are getting less since quite a number of the meals served to Ben have been featured in previous posts of toddler's meals. Continuing on with Ben's meals for July 18th to 24th...

18 July
Breakfast - Noodle with some lotus, 4 pieces of chocolate biscuits, a bottle of grape Vitagen
Tea - Mango pudding, a slice of Cheddar cheese
Dinner - Japanese tofu, rice, mushroom, pork

Left: Breakfast for 18 July
Above: Dinner for 18 July

19 July
Breakfast - Oats, cornflakes, UHT choc milk
Lunch - cheese & omelette, a bottle of Vitagen
Dinner - Sushi rice, egg mayo, salmon skin, chawan mushi, miso soup

20 July
Breakfast - Oats, cornflakes, UHT choc milk, some blueberry cheese tart
Lunch - Yogurt, a slice of Cheddar cheese
Tea - some chicken rice, mango juice, kaya bun
Dinner - rice, egg custard, chicken, passionfruit jelly

Dinner for July 20...

21 July
Breakfast - UHT choc milk, alphabet pasta with cheese
Lunch - Oats, cornflakes, strawberry pudding
Tea (6pm) - Plain wheat crackers
Dinner - Salmon skin, chawan mushi, miso soup, udon, green tea ice cream

Above: Breakfast for 21 July
Right: Lunch for 21 July

22 July
Breakfast - Oats, cornflakes, a bottle of Vitagen
Lunch - Chicken rice, egg tart,
Tea - Blueberry cheese tart
Dinner - Rice, chicken, potato, egg, tofu
Supper - cornflakes

Left: Tea for 22 July
Above: Dinner for 22 July

23 July
Breakfast - Oats, cornflakes
Lunch - Forgot :P
Dinner - Egg, rice vermicelli, fish

Dinner for 23 July

24 July
Breakfast - Pancakes, a bottle of Vitagen
Lunch - Rice, mushroom
Dinner - Papaya, oats with cornflakes, half cream cheese bun

Book Review - Photographing Children and Babies (Michal Heron)

~ Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM ~

(* Article first published as Book Review - Photographing Children and Babies (Michal Heron) on Blogcritics.)

I have the privilege of reviewing this awesome photography book packed with cool tips and tutorials and below is my review of the book...

Title: Photographing Children and Babies: How to Take Great Pictures
Author: Michal Heron

 Publisher:  Allworth Press (October 2005)
ISBN: 978-1581154207
Paperback: 160 pages; Softcover
Dimension: 8 1/2 X 10 inches

Description from the product page:
"This family-friendly guide shows parents how to dramatically improve their baby photos and create beautiful, memorable albums without extensive experience, technical knowledge, or equipment. Featuring more than 150 striking examples of successful pictures, the book provides the skills and technique to create excellent portraits, action shots, group pictures and more. Written in an easy-to-understand, to-the-point tone, the book evolves from general to specific photographic concepts, with chapters including: seeing your children, the value of shooting close ups, portraits, capturing different moods, backgrounds and environments, film and editing, choosing b/w or color, the technical side, and family photos. Dozens of tips and instructions for bringing creativity to kids' photos are featured, including posing and catching great non-posed shots, working with children as models, advice on equipment, and more. A chapter on "Tips for Photographing All Ages" gives recommendations on how to get the best pictures in all stages of a childís life. Special assignment forms help the reader go beyond good intentions, get organized, and fulfill their goal of excellent portraiture.
 "

About the author:

"Michal Heron has been a freelance photographer for more than thirty years Heron has appeared on an NBC morning show to talk about children’s protraiture, and currently works on assignment for a variety of publishing and corporate clients as well as stock photo agencies. She is active with photographic associations and is a frequent lecturer at seminars and workshops throughout the country. She lives in New York City."

This is a great book for those of you who wants to take great pictures of children and babies!

When I first saw the book title, I was having some doubts as I seriously do not have any experience or knowledge at all in photography or camera stuff (see, I don't even know the proper jargons in photography world!) I researched further and found this in the product description "family-friendly guide shows parents how to dramatically improve their baby photos and create beautiful, memorable albums without extensive experience, technical knowledge, or equipment", oh hey, I'm in!!!

Like I said earlier, I have no experience in photography skills and I mostly use my trust Panasonic Lumix 10MP digital camera to take all my pictures. One thing that I always always do is to take loads and loads of pictures, since digital camera can store more pictures. I am happy to read that this is one of the tips found on page 21 which tells us to 'Shoot a Lot!' - so I guess, I'm doing something right here, hehehe...

I also learned that background (chapter 6) plays an important part in our photography as well and am glad to learn the tips and tutorials from this chapter. In chapter 7 (How Much Film Do You Need?) I also learned a lot on the things to look for during the editing process and I am practising some of the criterias listed currently too.

The pictures in this book are totally gorgeous and beautiful and I love the basic 4 precepts on page 11 which tells you how to best improve our photographs.

In my opinion, Heron's book is a good one to invest in if you would like to take better (and professional looking!) pictures of children and babies! 

You can get this book from Allworth Press, Amazon and many more.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book by Allworth Press in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"