Category Archives: Infant

Creating a Family Cohesive Environment for your Tot

While attending church, we have always gone to the building that allows children to attend with their parents, instead of opting for weekly childcare. When the church recently added a building for high schoolers to participate in a church service with their peers, that felt off to me.  Isn’t attending church a family event to do together, not separate?  Unless they are homeschooled, children are at daycare or school with peers, up to 5 days a week.  Why would a 6th day at church be an additional option or offering?  I’m definitely not the only one that feels this way, because I do see some small tots to high schoolers with their parents during the service.
Recently I was led to a very intriguing book titled, Hold on to your Kids by Gabor Mate’.  This book provides profound information on the reasons that children are most often choosing to bond to peer groups, rather than parents, as early as 8 years of age. The book also cites the detrimental outcomes of children’s confidence, emotional development and even vocabulary by having an allegiance to their peers.  The dramatic increase in peer bonding is a fairly recent occurrence in society.
To get a flavor of the in depth information in Gabor Mate’s book, listen to this eye opening talk on the basis of peer group orientation.  It is a topic typically brought up by parents who are disgruntled and exasperated, yet regretfully accept that their children avoid communication with them and only want to be with their friends.   The link below and his book give perspective on a behavior that is believed to be “normal” for children, but in reality it is not normal, nor is it optimal for child development.  

Potty Training Done Easy

There are a few books on Potty Training and on The Tot’s Cafe’s ventures out meeting extraordinary mothers, we have found one Mother with an International perspective on potty training.  Her son is 2 and a half years of age and has been fully potty trained by 19 months and took only 5-days!  We were so impressed we had to get an exclusive interview with Anna.

Anna grew up in Poland as the average age for a child to be fully transitioned is from 1 to 2 years of age.  As you can see this is natural for Anna to have her son already going potty at such a young age.

Instead of the label “Potty Training,” Anna uses “Potty Transitioning” as that makes more sense as we are not per say training our children to do anything, they are giving us the signs that they are ready to transition out of the diapers and into undies.

Top Seven Secrets to Potty Transitioning by Anna:

  1. Start before one year of age by observing the signs on when the child wants to poo and set them on an infant toilet to get them familiar with the idea.
  2. Whenever you go to the bathroom, take them with you, let them see get curious about it.
  3. Mix cloth and eco-friendly disposable diapers from birth. Experience of wet cloth diaper will make them want to transition sooner.
  4. Allow your one-year old to run around without a diaper and make the potty available and in sight at all times.
  5. When they are aware of elimination and they already want to eliminate in a potty, start putting COTTON training pants on them.
  6. Eliminate the fear of potty training and think of it as the EASY  and NATURAL child transitioning.
  7. Initially let them eliminate in the potty. The toilet seat might seem a bit too overwhelming in the beginning.

During our interview with Anna, she did mention that it is not too late for those mothers who have toddlers who are still in diapers.

Anna’s Advice for Toddlers Still in Diapers:

  1. Take them with you to the toilet and allow them to sit on their potty too.
  2. Have them diaper free at home, watch the signs of them needing to go potty and show them their potty.
  3. Purchase Gerber’s Training Pants and have them wear those out as they will feel uncomfortable when they go wet.
  4. Never force or get upset when they do potty on the floor or in their training pants, just show them the the toilet and it is okay to go in there.
  5. Be patient with your tots as they have been use to diapers and has not had the distinction yet of diaper-free.
  6. Initially let them eliminate in the potty. The toilet seat might seem a bit too overwhelming in the beginning.

Have any questions for Anna please respond to this blog and Anna will answer your question within 24 hours by emailing your answer from Anna. In addition your question will be answered by video blog for other parents to learn from. We appreciate your questions to inspire other Mothers that there is hope for their child, eventually they all get out of diapers.

Check out the interview on YouTube:

Early Elimination Books referred to you by Anna:
Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, written by Ingrid Bauer
The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative, written by Christine Gross-Loh

An Environment That Grounds Our Children

How do we create a home environment and lifestyle that grounds our children?

Not grounding in the sense of “you are in big trouble mister,” but one that supports them in being stable children.

To develop and create stable, balanced and grounded children has to do with finding a balance considering the endless options of stimulating toys piled high in aisles of stores and visual distractions such as games and television.  Most adults are immune to these things and yet these same things strongly capture the attention of our tots. Only we can observe and determine if these things will contribute our precious children’s well-being, if they are neutral or harmful.

The way I’ve chosen to ground myself and my child has been through creating an environment that supports our daily lifestyle. Since birth, I have determined that my daughter and I benefit the most from minimal distractions around the house. As two years of her life have quickly flown by, I still observe that we are benefiting. This became especially apparent as of last year when I attended a 7 day course on how to teach you baby from birth to 2 years of age reading, math, encyclopedic knowledge, physical program, foreign language, and music program.  Early this month I returned to the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia to complete a 5 day graduate course that teaches parents how to advance the curriculum for children 2-4 years of age, plus introduce writing and independent reading. I see that the success and evolution of the teaching program, since we started last year, is not solely due to me being consistent and in tune with what topics my daughter enjoys. It would not be possible to teach my 2 year old daughter very much if I had to compete with the distraction of a stimulating television or more than a few dolls in the house. The rest of her toys are in the car piled in box near her car seat and the ones that I don’t want her to have are given away.  Most people know that the gifts she would use most are clothes or more teaching materials.

With a only few dolls and one musical DVD that she occasionally enjoys singing to, she is absolutely never bored. What I notice is that she is easily entertained with drawing, reading books, and listening to music and foreign language audios that we do together and in between our teaching time and physical fitness program. When I go to friends and family’s homes or mommy/baby events, there will be an array of toys and she will stay very busy with them.  Seeing this just makes it more clear, considering what I observe that keeps her grounded, that these things are better kept out of the house and she can experience them elsewhere. I see that my daughter is most grounded when she is listening to music, playing her percussion instruments, dancing, experiencing nature, and expressing curiosity and interest in the topics she chooses for me to teach her. I’m also more grounded because I’m doing things, rather than scheduling myself around a certain TV show, which I did years prior to my daughter’s birth. This feeling of balance and groundedness is all as a result of the environment I created that supports our lifestyle.

Yes, encouraging and supporting our children to be grounded in a world that’s abundant with environmental stimulation most everywhere is an interesting topic, because it will vary from one family to another. As parents, only we can effectively determine what is an optimal grounding environment for our children and how to create it based on the unique lifestyle we desire for ourselves and our tots for years to come.

This is aside from the bombardment of EMF frequencies from the cell phone towers, wireless networks and the challenge of keeping the little ones a safe distance from the computer, ipad and cell phone, which is a whole different topic for another time.

Special Product Choice for Children

As summer is approaching quickly, it is time to put some play shoes on our children.  The Tot’s Cafe is featuring this slick and healthy choice of shoes.  Bobux is a favorite for parents and has been scientifically proven to enhance mobility. There are a variety of sizes for infant to 4 years of age.  We know many parents who purchase shoes from Bobux and only have great things to say about the shoes.  Heck, we too are customers of Bobux.

Check it out! Bobux Eco Soft Leather Baby / Toddler Boy Walking Sandals Navy

Unconditional Love for your Infant

It is very exciting and new when we have a baby join our family.  Think of the responsibility we have as new parents. What the heck do we do, who do we listen to and where is the best advice going to come from?

Our baby depends on us for everything in the infant stage.  Their basic needs must be met like feeding, changing, rocking to sleep and unconditional love. What does that look like, unconditional love?

Picture yourself as an infant looking up at Mommy and Daddy while you are in your stroller.  Your cry is because you just want to be with them, want them to pick you up and hold you.   Without that holding and showing love, life for the child becomes a stale non-loving experience. Show your baby the world through your eyes and see them prosper and show love back.

Next time a baby is crying and they have been fed, changed and brought to a comfort, the next best thing and always the first choice is Pick Up the Baby.  Hug and be with them, allow them to hear your heart beat and your breathing.  It is the most comforting thing as that is what the baby was use to when they were in Mommy’s belly.

Two great books regarding infant care are:
The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost (Classics in Human Development)
The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby