It happened almost over night. One day Franci said yes to just about everything. Do you want cheese? “Yeah.” Do you want your teddy bear? “Yeah.” Do you want a hug? “Yeah.” Then all of a sudden the answer to everything was “Ye-Oh”, followed by “No” two days later.
If it were just lip-service, it wouldn’t be so bad. But she really does mean “no”! No shoes, no potty, no milk, NO! I realize this is a classic phase that every child goes through, and “this too shall pass” is the typical parental mantra, but still!
How did you deal with the “No Phase”? Since it just started for us, I still need to decide a course of action. Do I let Franci run around the cold house naked (since clothes are clearly a “no”) or do I wrangle a squirmy, squealing little girl into her pants and a shirt? Asserting independence and having an opinion is one thing, but so is having authority and being in charge! Is the struggle easier if you don’t have a full term baby squirming around from the inside?
Franci likes to use a spoon to feed herself and, as long as the food is thick or sticky enough, doesn’t drop too many spoonfuls down her front. She isn’t that great at getting the food on the spoon, however. The scoop is either too big or too small and as soon as she gets frustrated or distracted, she starts using her bowl as a drum and the spoon a drumstick. Or she pretends the spoon is a crayon and “draws” on the table.
I’m not really in the mood to sit at the table first thing in the morning and supervise breakfast, and four days a week I’m hurrying to get us both ready and I don’t want to take the time to help her eat or clean up any messes.
In the interest of feeding her a healthy home-cooked breakfast without having to sit there and “feed” her, I came up with a Faux Oatmeal Cookie recipe. You can do this with any oatmeal: store-bought, quick-cooking, old-fashioned, or buckwheat cereal. Pretty much any porridge works.
I usually make a big batch of oatmeal and freeze it in cubes. Then Franci can eat it with a spoon, or I’ll make it into cookies as need be.
Faux Oatmeal Cookies
Exactly how cooked you make them depends on your child’s taste. Do they prefer crunchy cookies? Do they like them better soft? The minumum amount of baking time is enough that you can transfer cookies off the sheet and they don’t fall apart. It’s hard to give an exact time, since everyone cooks their oatmeal to a different consistency. The runnier, the longer you need to cook it.
Since you are only baking them at 275F, you don’t have to check every two minutes. They aren’t going to burn if you get distracted and let them cook longer then intended. I usually forget that I’m making them, then smell cookies baking and remember to flip them over.
There really is no limit to what you can turn into “cookies”, or “patties” as I call the savory version. I have a ton of fish and vegetable puree leftover from when she was still into purees, and I mix in a little garbanzo bean flour to thicken it up before baking it into patties. I’ve also thickened it with buckwheat flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast…you get the picture.
Frances’ “bad behavior” started off with hair pulling and nipple biting. A stern “NO” and forcing her to release the hair (or nipple) results in a giggle and a big smile. She has since grown out of these – through no help from me, I suspect – and has moved on to hitting. It’s not often, but when she does hit I grab the offending arm firmly, look her right in the eye, and give her a stern “NO”.
Like all babies and toddlers, she loves computers. If she’s sitting on my lap while I type, she struggles in my arms to reach for the keyboard. Moving her farther away, or removing the keyboard from her path, results in a meltdown. I calmly explain that my computer isn’t a toy, and she can’t sit on my lap if she won’t follow directions and not touch my computer. This doesn’t really work.
Once Franci started crawling, she started getting herself into a lot more trouble. It has only increased as she started to walk. We put most dangerous items out of reach, and baby proofed the bathroom cabinets. I also try to stop her from opening any drawers I don’t want emptied out. I’m hoping she breaks the habit, but sometimes (like when I’m cooking) I don’t have time to correct her over and over. As a temporary deterrent, I put a chair in front of the tempting drawer.
We’re more into “house-proofing” the baby than “baby-proofing” the house, but parenting books don’t seem to get into the “how-tos” of accomplishing that. Since she loves music, and can’t resist a remote or computer, if she touches either without permission, the music gets turned off until she finds something else to play with. It is not working.
I’ve read different ideas on correcting “wrong” behavior, and I’m curious to hear what our readers have found to be successful. Getting mad or yelling certainly isn’t the answer, and it’s impossible to make a child listen if they don’t want to.
How do you discipline your child? Have you tried methods that don’t work (but you thought might)? What worked for you?
I’ve always been a bigger fan of “Reusing” than “Reducing” and “Recycling”. I’m not the only thriftstore bargin hunter and garage-salers at The Green Baby Guide, so I combed through the archives for the best posts on used baby gear.
Are you a dedicated thrift store bargin hunter and garage sale negotiator? Or do you prefer new gear for your baby?
Let’s face it: no kid wants to find raisins instead of candy in their Halloween loot. A toothbrush? Come on! Still, not all of us are comfortable with giving out a bunch of junk food to the neighborhood kids. Are there any kid-approved alternatives, candy or otherwise?
I always thought that packs of stickers were a good choice. There might not be a one-size-fits-all sticker, but you can stock up on choices that appeal to separate age groups and genders. Or just get scratch and sniff stickers, since who doesn’t like those? The bonus is that you can save leftovers for next year, like if you get rolls of Halloween stickers.
Crayons and mini activity books are another non-candy alternative. As a parent, I think these are a great choice! Not only are they sugar-free, but they last longer than a jaw-breaker. A handful of little toys is a similar option.
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks Variety Pack (24 ct) are a sweet alternative to candy, and contain no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives.
This 5 Pound Bag YumEarth Organic Lollipops won’t break the bank and will last all night (contains 325 pops). Free of gluten, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial dyes, they are also allergen free AND kosher!
One option I was hoping to include is a fun-sized chocolate bar. I haven’t come across any chocolate choices that are reasonably priced and don’t contain artificial flavors, besides Lindt LINDOR Assorted Chocolate Truffles. I would love to hear your suggestions!
Do you still give out candy or have you switched to other treats for Halloween?
Since I can’t fit into any of the clothes in “Franci’s” closet any way, I decided to take advantage of the situation and pack it up first. That way the closet would be empty and I could move Franci from her crib to a mattress on the floor. That way she’d get to take baby steps towards her new sleeping situation. I set up her crib mattress in the corner on the floor, and spread one of her softest blankets next to it (since she’ll probably roll off once or twice).
When it was time for bed, I made a few mistakes I wouldn’t repeat. We went through her usual routine, but when it was time to read her bedtime story we read it in her bed instead of mine (like usual). That was my first mistake. I said good night and closed the closet door and she immediately started crying. I wanted to reassure her, so I went back into the closet and laid down with her. I sang a couple of songs in the dark, but her eyes were wide open. If I was quiet, she made up for the silence by talking and playing.
I should have known she wouldn’t sleep if I was there. I’ve never once gotten her to nap in my bed with me (but she will nap in bed or on the couch with her dad). Instead, she prefers to crawl all over me like I’m a jungle gym. She was so busy jumping on her bed and dancing around the closet; she was more worked up than calmed by my presence.
Finally, I just left. She cried for a minute or two, and then was quiet for ten or so minutes. This repeated a couple of times until she finally went to sleep. When I checked on her a couple hours later, she was curled up on the bed with her stuffed animals. While not a total failure, I couldn’t count it as a win.
The next night I decided to stick to our routine, and just laid her on her mattress, kissed her goodnight and shut the door. I don’t know if that was the magic trick, or if it was the fact that she was already used to the change, but she went right to sleep. We’ll see later this week if the mini-transition made the move to a big bed in a big room any easier!
How did you transition your little one out of a crib? What things went well and what would you do differently?
My favorite part of Halloween has always been making my own costume. Not only do you get to come up with a creative idea, but then you get to scour all the local thrift stores for the perfect materials! The ones you don’t find lurking in your own closet, that is. We’ve posted about DIY Halloween costumes every year, and here are some of the best posts!
I’m not planning too hard this year, since I could very well be in labor, or too big to move. But Franci’s grandma has taken charge of her costume and has been busy gathering materials and sewing accessories.
What DIY costume ideas have been your favorite over the years?
What are your favorite tips for a greener move?
Franci has loved this book since she was old enough to turn pages. I’m not sure what attracted her to it a year ago, but she preferred it over her other board book. Perhaps it was the soothing colors, or the soft cover, or that it is oversized. For some reason she preferred to turn its pages than those of another book.
Recently it has become her go-to bedtime book and she loves it more than ever. She likes to point at the characters and details and can follow along as the little boy and girl get ready for bed. I’m sure she enjoys the story now and not just turning the pages, since she is getting ready right along with them.
I enjoy Good Night, I Love You because it’s not too long and we can read it once through slowly, pointing out all the details, and then one more time quickly. The characters’ routine is very similar to our own so it is a good choice for us.
What is your child’s favorite bedtime book?