Tag Archives: survival

Great Apps for Baby Development

Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.

There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.

Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are  listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities  post.

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks app has some great information on development and fussy periods

Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!

You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.

Download Wonder Weeks here:
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So many places to keep track of various baby things!

Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to?  Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.

If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).

Download Kidfolio here:

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Kinedu is a great resource for developmental activities!

I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.

It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!

Download Kinedu here:
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I hope these come in handy like they have with me!

What apps have you found to be useful as a parent, or helpful for baby’s first years or after?

The Common Cold: A Pit of Misery

Pampers Disposable Nappies
Mummy Confession: Before kids, my thoughts towards the common cold weren’t much, but after kids, even the common cold is the most vile of things to strike my children.

Cold, tissues, sneeze, sick, illness, common cold, sick children, misery, sniffles
“We can’t make it today. The kids have come down with something.”
I used to scoff at those words. I used to think, “Oh come on. It’s just a cold. Sniffles and a little itchy nose.”

I take all those thoughts back now as a mum. Both being the one who has kids with a cold and kids who play with my children that has a cold.

We are currently battling the dreaded common cold in our house, times five. One of those is me. But, that doesn’t hurt as much as seeing my babies suffer through the drippy-runny noses and sore throats that take them on a roller coaster of misery. It is probably more exhausting trying to care for the sick when sick yourself, but we must carry on!

Nights are now spent waking up every half hour (because every hour with teething wasn’t  enough already), and fighting to get anyone to sleep. Cries in the night as they try to breathe, and moaning as they clutch their throats. Begging for more medicine which they can’t have just yet, and every five minutes haunted by their tiny voices saying, “I’m still stick Mummy.”

These are the times sleep exhaustion takes over and you just have to get by with each day. I’m not joking when I say I’ve been living on sleep fumes the last few days especially. With a teething baby who takes literally hours to stop screaming, and now this virus, I’m just getting by walking around to do the necessities.

Let me just give some advice to you out there who have yet to experience the misery of illnesses with children: keep your kids away. Whether they are the one sick, keep them away from other kids if possible. If you think that colds are nothing bad, you may think twice after your child is infected. It may seem like a simple sniffle, and during the day it may just be that. Somewhere in the night it transitions into an endless pit of misery and destruction, sucking the joy (and sleep) out of anything in its path. So, wash your hands, and stay away from the sick children, and introduce plenty of vitamin C when your child is around others.

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I’m not saying board up the house and never leave, but the common cold is nothing to be messed with, and it’s just best to stay clear. And if your child is the one infected, be kind and let others know (and ask if they want to reschedule) rather than them seeing snot everywhere only to weep on the inside for their anticipation of their child being the next recipient of the plague.

This goes a million times over for babies, especially young babies. You may think it’s something kids get over, it just comes and goes, but even a simple cold can have devastating effects on small babies. Not only can they not understand what is happening, but they can suffer so badly they require hospitalisation. They go downhill fast.

We were once transported by ambulance for this very reason. A cold turned into a cough, and my baby couldn’t breathe properly. And let’s not mention the time my less than week old baby couldn’t breathe through her nose. Even though endless hours were spent cuddling and diligently using an aspirator.

Be kind and, unlike you have been taught all your life for everything else, don’t share. Please, for the love of everything, don’t share. We don’t want to spend our entire night cuddling sniffling balls of mess and reminding them every five minutes that sleep makes the sickness go away quicker! To parents and carers, a cold is not ever “just” a cold. It turns sane people (perspective, people) into anxious messes.

Next time you have a cold, please be mindful that, while children need to “get used to” germs, it’s probably not your job to introduce them.

What if your child is already sick? Check out these helpful tips here (WebMD resource)!

Not sure if you should be seeing a doctor, or concerned about your child? Never hesitate to even just call in and ask questions when you are concerned! Feel free to use my list of helpful Pregnancy, Baby, and Beyond resources for that!

Potty Training: The Ultimate Test of Patience

Mummy Confession: Even though this is my second time around the toilet training ring, it’s still just as painful as the first time.
toilet, toilet training, potty, potty training, toilet paper, messy, accidents, bathroom, toddler, milestones

“Mummy!! I need to poop!” She screams as she runs to the toilet. I’m, of course, in the middle of trying to eat my first meal of the day. Yes, it’s 1:00 PM, but its the first chance I’ve had to sit down. Among the treachery of a teething child and another who has decided today would be the day she would begin using the toilet, it’s a bit hard to get anything done.

It seems to be a cardinal rule of childhood that once mummy sits down, a child must either 1. Need to eat 2. Poop or need help in the toilet. 3. Injure themselves or others or 4. Need some other type of assistance. I’m not joking, though I wish I were. This rule can also be applied to when mum lays down her head after a long day. It’s exhausting.

So, back to the child training in the ways of using a toilet properly. She decides one day that she wants to start.

“Great,” I think, “this should be easy!” Oh mama, such a silly supposition.

We did the running back and forth to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so, but somewhere around the ten minute mark, she would wet her pants, and fail to use the toilet after. Many sighs and moans all around. This continues for the day, intermittently having a successful trip to the toilet or two. No worries, there’s always tomorrow.

It’s 10:30 am. The children are up again, and it’s Saturday. I barely got a wink of sleep because of a psychotic baby who decided sleep was his worst enemy. But alas, I am mum and the day must go on, potty training and all.

Now, with the fact that there are other children around, I obviously had to address a certain tiny tyrant in need of a sleep. He’s having many issues sleeping lately because of the teeth, so naturally it takes a good hour and a half to settle him enough to put down. Relief.

I hear strange noises in the bathroom. Oh please, no.

Tip-toeing down the hall to investigate the noise, I open the door to see the child in the process of training along with an accomplice, trying to clean up a stinky mess on the floor NEXT to the toilet. I sighed. I raised my voice. Then, I looked into the toilet.

Stuffed there was 3/4 a roll of unravelled toilet paper. Again, I’m not joking. I wish I was. The two were trying to cover their tracks and clean up the dirty mess and hide the evidence. No one had called for me, or their father, who was also in the house. I lost it. I yelled. And now, the baby was awake and I had a mess to clean.

Fortunately my husband heard the commotion and helped with the bathroom mess while I hosed down the child in the bathtub.

And that was just at 10:30am. Oh, what a weekend it would be!

These are the moments in potty training that you will look back on and laugh at, but it will probably be long after you calm down and clean up the mess. I have to remind myself that these moments are only a tiny speck in the timeline of her life, and while not all moments may be enjoyable, they are sure to create memories for life!

What stories do you have from toilet training? I’m sure mine isn’t the worst, though this is only the beginning!

If you are starting toilet training (potty training) with your child, be sure to check out here for a list of essentials and some extra resources!

Toilet Training Essentials

Mummy Confession: I get really frustrated with toilet training. toilet, toilet training, potty training, kids, miilestones, frustration, toilet, potty, toddlerToilet training/Potty training is the most rewarding and frustrating challenge in toddler life, especially when they insist they can do everything on their own. I’ve compiled a list of essentials that may help you as you enter into this battlefield. And watch your step! For signs that your child may be ready to start toilet training, start by reading here.

1. Toilet. Obviously. Whether you just use your normal toilet and help your child manage it, purchase a potty or potty seat to put on the toilet, you will need something for your child to use. We have a potty and a little seat that goes on the toilet to make it easier if we need to bring the potty with us to another room, just in case! We actually have one that is a 3-in-1 and can be put on the big toilet, on its own little seat, or just used as a step.

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Image Credit: Amazon.com

2. Underwear. Or pull-ups. Or nothing. Some brave souls use the nappy-free method for training. We were not that adventurous, so we opted for thicker training underpants at night with plastic covers over top, and pull ups for overnight. 3. Steps. Your child, unless you are training over the age of 10, will probably be too short to get to the toilet or sink by themselves. You may want them to need you, but this will not always be the case. It is helpful for them to have a step to reach when they may possibly go without you around. (Cool product: steps attached to a potty seat! So you have both in one!)

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image Credit: Amazon.com

4. Toilet Paper/Flushable Wipes. NOT baby wipes. Always ensure you go by the recommendation on the packet, but we use flushable wipes for stinky messes only, as it’s a bit difficult to get everything with toilet paper for the child by themselves. We teach an “only one at a time” policy for flushing these, and make sure to mention how much toilet paper is appropriate, so you don’t wind up with 3/4 of  a roll inside.

5. Soap. For hand washing, of course!

6. Endless praise. Your child needs to hear they are doing well, and be endlessly encouraged after doing well especially! This can be given along with bribes.

7.  Rewards. This goes hand in hand with praise. But, I have a treat I give for every successful trip to the toilet. Sticker charts work very well, too! Reward for trips to the toilet, dry underpants, dry days/weeks, or going by themselves, and never stop telling them how great it is they are using the bathroom!

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Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Be sure to get yourself a reward, too! It’s hard work trying to teach something like this and managing the accidents!

8. Patience. Like any other milestones, this one especially takes some patience. Maybe your child just isn’t ready? Patience. Maybe your child is just taking a while to learn? Patience. Maybe your child is just missing the cues seconds before and keeps having accidents? Patience.

Obviously, consult your doctor if you have concerns about your child in any way, but sometimes it is just time and patience needed. I hope these will help you as you embark on the journey of potty training.

For further resources, please check out these

My Virtual Medical Centre -Article on toilet training readiness, how to approach setbacks, etc.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network– article on toilet training.

Baby Center Resources for Toilet Training

Huggies– Downloadable Guide on Training and also a place to request free sample of Pull-Ups. (Or go here for the direct link to the free sample for US and Aus)

Life of an Ex-Pat Mother: Help Me Cope

Cope, help, missing, friends, mummy confessionsMummy Confession: I miss my American friends and family all the time. And occasionally a few other things about my “home” country.

I was a teenager when I first visited what I now call home. I had no clue that the metric system would be an integral part of my future. I scoffed at science and math problems that had me calculate train collisions using meters per second speeds. Though, let me be honest, no one actually thinks in metres (yes, spelling!) per second here (or no one I have met thus far).

My story of how I came to live here is a tad long and filled with the a mushy story about how my man transversed oceans for my love- what a guy! So, we will skip that for now and just suffice to say, it wasn’t expected. And now, I find myself living a good 20,000 miles or so from my closest friends and half of my family, in a totally different world.

I can’t say that it’s been easy, but here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to help cope with missing people and places you know and love. I’m sure these can be used for any mum, as I know well, motherhood can sometimes feel like a lonely place.

1. Connect

Whether it’s your local church, mother’s group, or community events, try to connect with people. The road may be difficult, but it is well worth it in the long run to have a good shoulder to lean on and feel needed by others in return. Volunteer to help in different organisations and events to meet other people who love to help. You can find some great and lovely people. What also helps me when I can’t get out of the house to connect is to jump onto the Pregnancy and Parenting Forums or Social Media.

2. Keep in Touch

Write old fashioned letters and cards to far away people. Connect on social media. Make a phone call or Skype your family. Sometimes it can be discouraging to keep reaching out and feel like it’s a one-sided ordeal, but keep trying. I’ve actually kept in touch with friends from high school days, and surprising to me is the fact that it includes some people I hadn’t connected with a ton IN high school. Having kids creates a great base of connection it seems! 🙂

3. Get Out

While you do need to foster old relationships, this goes hand-in-hand with connecting. Spend some time with your new mummy friends. Reach out and have a coffee with someone from your workplace. Set up an evening out with close friends who are nearby, or a date with your husband.

4. Time Out

Take time to yourself. I know maybe this sounds anti-social, but the key here is balance. Pray for your friends and family. Read a good book and have a nice bath. Journal your thoughts. Crank up the radio and dance your heart out. Let someone else watch the kids for a while.

5. Ask for Help

If you are like me, sometimes it can get overwhelming. I mean, going on 9 years of being far from a world you miss having only been back once, sometimes I need a good cry. I am so blessed to have a husband who is there for me when I’m down. Find someone you can confide in and reach out. Call a helpline if necessary. You can find a list of websites and numbers here for you reference.

These have all been essential in my life for helping me cope with being so far away from some of my loved ones, and enjoying being where I am. I hope this will help you, too!