May 14, 2008

When is your toddler ready for potty training?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:14 pm by boutbabies

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You’ve just returned from the grocery store, and spent another $14.99 on pull-ups or premium diapers.  Your toddler is showing signs of readiness to potty train… what do you do? 

First of all, you need to stop, and think about whether YOU are ready to be a potty trainer.  Here’s a little checklist I put together, to determine what I like to call, “parental potty training readiness.”

  1. Are you a stay at home parent, or do you have a couple of weeks vacation to stay home and do nothing but work with your child on using the potty?
  2. If your child is in daycare, or has an in-home provider, is that provider ready to work in unison with you, to ensure your child is offered potty times throughout the day?
  3. Can you completely clear your schedule, stay at home, and devote yourself to the job of potty training your child?
  4. Do you have underwear for your child – (do not use diapers or pull-ups while actually potty training, or it will take 10 times as long.)
  5. Do you have a potty for your child?
  6. Are you ready to set your alarm at such a time, that you will be awake approximately 10 minutes before your toddler wakes up – so you can begin his or her day on the potty?
  7. Are you mentally prepared to drop absolutely EVERYTHING over the next couple of weeks, when your child tells you – “I HAVE TO GO POTTY.”
  8. Do you have 100% dedication to completing this task at this time – and will not give up?

Potty training is a learned behavior by toddlers and young children.  Like everything else your child will ever learn, it requires practice, practice, practice – as well as patience on your part.  Give you and your child a solid two week learning curve, and if you can honestly check off each item I’ve mentioned in the above checklist, then you’re ready to get your child potty trained. 

Remember, a child can learn this life skill, only as well as they are taught.  If you are not consistent in placing your toddler on the potty – you will have major set-backs.  If you cave in when your child does not want to go on the potty – you will not be successful.  You are your child’s mentor and role model.  Make this experience positive, and reward them with your love and attention when they do what you have asked.  Most importantly, give yourself, as the “potty trainer,” pats on the back for sticking to your commitment, and JUST DO IT!

From one potty trainer to another – YOU CAN DO THIS!

Until next time,

Christina Archer

Bout Babies Blog


May 13, 2008

Daycare versus In-Home child care….it’s fuzzy math!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:31 am by boutbabies


Back in the 1970’s, women were fighting to leave the home, and go back to work for an employer; sure to pay them approximately 1/3 less than they would any male,  with less qualifications.  Fast forward to the 2000’s, and we’re fighting to get back out of the work-force, so that we can take responsibility for the raising of our children. 

My how times have changed.     For those of us who don’t have the option to start a home-based business, or quit our jobs, we have the option of putting our babies in daycare, or hiring a babysitter to come into our homes.  Which option makes the most sense, and why?    

Daycare is an affordable option for professional families – and in most cases, for working families.  In the case of the working family or single parent home, financial assistance for daycare is available, for qualifying individuals.  Having worked in daycare centers, as well as running my own family daycare home for a number of years, I can tell you completely honestly, there is no way for one “provider” to show enough love, affection, and attention to the high number of children who need something at exactly the same time.  Think of it as standing in line at a concert to use the bathroom.  When you really have to go, and there are 50 people ahead of you, you’re basically out of luck.      

Now, imagine your precious child being in a daily environment, in which there needs can’t possibly be 100% met, and you’re supposed to drop off your child everyday, go to work, and not have guilty feelings.  Yeah, right!  There’s a reason we have guilt, guys.  Guilt is a natural feeling that you are not doing absolutely everything you can, to ensure you child receives the best available child care. 

Do children go to daycare for years and survive?  Sure they do.  Is their potential tapped, all of their needs met, and are they loved like they deserve?  Think about it.     What is a viable alternative for parents who do not want to put their children through the daycare experience? 

Hiring a babysitter or nanny to come to your home is one option that enables your children to remain in a controlled environment that they are comfortable in.  One drawback that we have seen “splashed” all over the news, is the fact that the child care provider has the opportunity to be abusive in your absence.  It’s food for thought……but with today’s technology, a nanny cam can shut your babysitter down – immediately.  Let your provider know you have, and plan to use the nanny cam, in advance of him or her starting to work for your family.  Any honest, hard-working, and dependable professional will not have a problem with this, whatsoever. 

Conversely, anyone who is “shady” is going to tell you how you are invading their privacy, taking away their rights, etc.       The way all parents should look at this is simple:  Your house, your child, YOUR rights!  The babysitter or nanny is paid help.  Nothing more.  You don’t have to be best friends with your provider…’s strictly a business relationship.      

Going through a nanny or babysitting agency is one way to provide additional security for your family.  Yes, agencies may have a slightly higher cost, but you are paying for the background screening, the guarantee, and additional assurance that your child is well taken care of, while you work.  Peace of mind is priceless, afterall.    

So what have we concluded, in this daycare versus in-home child care discussion?  The best option is keeping your child in an environment that is comfortable, where they can have their needs met, and where they are loved.  You do the math!

Until next time,

Christina Archer

Bout Babies Blog

How to Prepare for the Birth of Your First Child

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:04 am by boutbabies

FREE stuff for the coming baby!


You’ve just confirmed the news that you’re expecting your first baby.  Congratulations!  How do you prepare for the big day?  What is a first-time mother to do, to ensure that she takes the best care of herself and her growing baby?   Let’s talk about some important secrets that will optimize your pregnancy, and ensure a stress-free delivery.

Now that you have a tentative due date, it’s important that you realize a couple of things that can literally make, or break your pregnancy, as well as your delivery.  First of all, pregnancy is a condition; you are not in your normal state.  Therefore, you need to focus on eating right, sleeping more, and following a “physician approved” exercise program, designed for pregnant women.  When the mom to be pays strict attention to these important items, she realizes that she will feel better than ever, and she will receive positive reports from her physicians and healthcare staff.

The next item to consider, is your job.  If the pregnant woman has a job that requires a great deal of physicial demands, it is probably time to consider a career change.  One of the things many women do, is place too many demands on their body, at a time when it is critical that she take extra care of herself.  During this time, many women who have the option to become “stay at home moms” choose to do so, because it coincides with the high number of appointments and time constraints that increase as your due date draws closer.  At this time, and increasing number of new mothers are choosing to start a home-based business, or select a telecommute option, that works for their new family.

Due to the high cost of bringing a baby into the world, it’s important for the mother to be, to choose whether or not she will breast feed, or bottle feed.  Preparation is the true hallmark of motherhood, and the more prepared the woman is for the choices she will need to make, the easier the transition.  For mothers who plan to bottle feed, or wish to receive free baby stuff, there are companies you can register with, to ensure you receive your new baby items about the same time you’ll be returning from the hospital with your bundle of joy.

The key elements of success for the newly pregnant mom, revolve around eating right, getting more sleep, and having an approved fitness regimen.  Pre-planning for the important choices necessary, such as breast feeding or bottle feeding, help keep stress levels low, when going through a major transition.  New moms can take the time to register for freebies, discounts, and complimentary products; allowing for extra savings, when expenses are especially high. 

Having a baby is the most exciting time of your life, when you take care of yourself, and take time to plan for your future.

Until next time,

Christina Archer

Bout Babies Blog