A Rag Quilt…& lessons in Potty Training!

It has been a long time coming, but I am finally posting pics of my first-ever rag quilt! This project was inspired by a wonderful group of women from my community who decided to get together once a month & SEW! This was our first project and it took me about a month to complete. All-in-all it was pretty easy & forgiving – I am bad at following patterns & am more of a “bend the rules” crafter! You can find loads of easy & cute tutorials for rag quilts online & on pinterest, of course. This pattern was for a crib-size quilt and my plan was to gift it to my 2-year old on her birthday as added motivation to transition to her toddler bed before baby sister arrived…however, things did not go according to plan.

I thought moving my toddler into her “big girl bed” (or what she refers to as “elmo’s bed” where her stuffed elmo sleeps) would be easier to do BEFORE baby #2 arrived. Everyone says to avoid squeezing too many transitions into one timeframe for toddlers (I’d guess this is probably helpful for adults too!) – less stress & meltdowns. However, after 5 days of “transition” I decided it was better for both of us to just wait. Each naptime was getting pushed later & later as she would sit quietly in bed, then sneak to her door to peek out at me and then RUN back to her bed. This “game” would go for at least an hour and I would then break down and put her back in her crib. She would cry for about 5 minutes and then fall sound asleep. I figure the baby will be in a bassinet for a while anyway, and worst-case scenario would be to just have the baby sleep in a pack-&-play for a little while.

I’m trying not to “sweat the small stuff.” N won’t be sleeping in a crib for the rest of her life…and I need the naps now more than ever so we can be flexible! 🙂

On another note, without hardly trying N is practically potty-trained! Well, you know, potty-trained-with-minor-assistance 😉 for the past 3 days she has only worn a diaper at nap and bedtime! Here I was stressing out about it and resigning myself to double diaper duty and she caught on like a champ – we did NOT go “cold turkey” like I’ve read so much about but these were a few of the guiding forces:

  • Readiness: she was able to follow basic commands & communicate how/what she is feeling (in general). These are the ABC’s according to BabyCenter.
  • Communication: we talked about it a LOT leading up to the day I let her go “diaper free” & I tried to suggest/guide v. pressure/push (obviously, this is probably pretty dependent on your child’s personality!) – the first few days were mostly about accident control…watching for her cues & then running to the bathroom. Also making a BIG deal out of successes & making it seem like “using the potty” was quite possibly THE most exciting experience in the world (i.e. using my most exaggerated happy voice & clapping & cheering a lot) – however, we didn’t go the present/prize/candy route which I’ve heard works well for lots of kids. I just felt like why set a precedent? 😉 There is an intrinsic value to staying dry and making mommy & daddy proud!
  • Modeling: this is probably a given, but we also used her Elmo doll & it was only about a day or two before she was rushing her teddy bear & dolls to “use the potty” 🙂
  • Reading: we have 2 books as her “reading material” that sit near the sink and it is amazing how willing she is to sit there as long as I read to her…and recently she will even sit by herself and flip through them too. We used Potty Time & Big Girls Go Potty.
  • Guiding: I wanted her to get used to a normal size toilet (rather than constantly having to clean one of those little potty seats all day long!) and as I have a large preggo belly to work with, it was challenging to lift her on & off the toilet all day. We’ve used a simple step stool & a seat adaptor that have both worked really well. She likes the security of the handles & is able to mostly get on & off by herself. We’ve also given her “big girl undies” which she takes great pride in keeping dry!
  • Grandparents: the power of impressing grandma & grandpa should NOT be underestimated!

It goes without saying – every child is different! I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far (maybe in parenting in general) is to follow THEIR lead & give YOURSELF a break. Life is too short to stress yourself (and your kid) out with cultural milestones & “deadlines.” It will be easier & more enjoyable for both of you to just do what works and is right (BEST) for your family. Somedays I’m just too tired to chase her to the potty (or I’ve cleaned up one too many “accidents”) & I just put a diaper on her and wait for her cues. It seems like the days that I just let her have her space & don’t hover over her constantly asking if she has to go, are the days she is most successful. If you have the time, space, mental-stability to go “cold turkey” – go for it! But if not, give yourself a pat on the back for growing a pretty cute kid and rest assured she will be “going” by herself in no time! 😉

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