It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Tommy update and I’ve been getting a ton of questions so I thought I’d share a little update on the things you guys are interested in.
Huge disclaimer: I am a first time mom. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just doing the best I can. This post is not meant to be a “This is how you should do it!” but rather “This is what we’re doing and it’s working or it’s not.” Personal adventures are welcome in the comments!
Things That Have Helped Us
Tommy is a typical 2-year-old. He has a hard time with transitions. For example, he used to have a fit if we took away the iPad from him to go take a bath or leave for school. Now, we give him a countdown or warning.
“Five minutes,” is what we say to him to let him know we will be changing our activity. He now tells us 5 minutes but after whatever we deem to be 5 minutes, which is usually between 3 and 20 (lol), he is great at transitioning and does so without a fight. It’s amazing how easy he is when we do it right. When I give him a screen to make him happy, like when he has to ride in the stroller, I tell him he can use it for 5 minutes. After “5 minutes” he let’s me have the screen back. We also use this at the playground to get him out of the damn swing.
Instead of 5 minutes, sometimes we will say one more time or last time.
Similarly, we will say, “First we are going to put on your shoes, then I will give you an M&M.” The ‘First, Then’ scenario plays out well when we want him to do something, like put on his shoes. Another example, “First we are going to go pee, and then we are going to go to the park.”
This is probably the most popular question I get about Tommy on Instagram. We are good with pee. He only wears a diaper for naps and bedtime. Tommy hasn’t had a pee accident in a really long time. I can’t remember to be honest when the last one was! We encourage him to go before we leave the house and bribe him occasionally with Unreal candy coated chocolates aka healthier M&M’s. He occasionally will I say, “I need a diapee,” which is his way of saying I have to use the potty.
I bring around with me this portable 2 in 1 potty from OXO which helps when we are out and about.
Number 2 is another animal. The book I used to potty train Tommy, Oh Crap, has an entire chapter on it and I keep meaning to read it. When he is commando, he never has an accident with either #1 or #2. We bought underwear after a month for him to start wearing and he has had a couple #2 accidents while wearing them because they feel like a diaper almost. He used the potty twice to go #2 in the first week and hasn’t again since. Perhaps the problem is the fact that even on my blog I’m calling it #2 instead of what it really is, poop.
He started holding it and going at night once he had his night time diaper on. He requests a diapee when he has to go and I reluctantly give it to him because I don’t want to deal with the situation of having him need to go to the hospital because he is backed up. I know two children that this happened to. I’m honestly not sure how to break him of this because he gets very upset if he doesn’t have a diaper and won’t sit on his potty even though he knows he has to go. Any advice, please share it below.
Here is my full post on potty training after 1 week including the method and why we did it.
Preparing For Baby
A lot of you also were curious how we are preparing Tommy for the arrival of his baby brother. Aside from teaching him the baby’s name and where he currently resides, we aren’t really doing much. When we see his friends at the park who have siblings, I try to tell him he is going to have a baby brother soon. I don’t think he has any idea and I haven’t had a minute to think about what we should be doing differently if anything at all!
There is one thing that bring me to my next point…
Transitioning Into a Big Boy Bed
We are going to go straight into a twin bed. Tommy will share a room with his brother but that won’t happen until January as the baby will be with us until then. Therefore we could theoretically keep him in his crib but we want to get him to sleep in a regular bed for a few reasons:
#1. He won’t sleep in a pack and play so for travel, it’s always stressful.
#2. I’m planning to spend a lot of time in the Cape after the baby arrives and there is no crib that can contain Tommy from climbing out.
#3. I don’t want to deal with transitioning him while having a baby who still wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse. It sounds like surviving on negative sleep.
We were planning to get a bed for his room this month but seeing as it’s almost over and we haven’t yet, it’s on the agenda for May! He sleeps 7/7:30- 6/7 am and rarely gets up in the middle of the night. I don’t want to lose this precious shut eye time for myself.
Some tips we have heard are to get sheets with his favorite characters and we also will be sure to get a railing for the bed. If you have tips on this, let me know.
Toddler Eating Habits
I swore my child would love healthy food and he does just not the kind I had hoped. He is not into vegetables sadly. I try making smoothies, putting them in eggs, but unless it’s roasted with all the salt and pepper seasoning or pureed in pizza sauce, he is not a fan. The few vegetables he enjoys are roasted cauliflower, avocado, sweet potatoes and corn. I don’t know if I’d categorize the last three really as vegetables but I’ll take it.
I can usually get him to have some form of vegetable in a pouch, like the Stonyfield yogurts or fruit purees. He hates the baby purees but the ones that look like apple sauce are ok.
The thing with Tommy is that what he likes today may be totally different tomorrow! He changes his mind very often.
He loves fruit. That is one good thing. Frozen mango and pineapple are great because I put them in his lunch box and by the time lunch rolls around, it’s thawed. He likes apples and bananas these days. He loves watermelon when I actually buy it and strawberries have to be perfectly ripe and organic.
He also loves almond and peanut butter as well as cashews.
For lunch at school, I’ll do a fruit, a chip/snack of some sort like Annie’s Bunnies or Baked Peas with a sun butter sandwich on whole wheat sourdough. I’ll throw in some cheese sometimes, too. Occasionally he will eat the roasted broccoli from Trader Joe’s if I put it in or roasted chick peas.
For dinner, Tommy loves homemade pizza, currently pasta with lots of parmesan cheese, sometimes chicken nuggets with roasted sweet potatoes, sometimes turkey meatballs, salsa chicken with roasted corn, pita chips with hummus, sometimes an egg… This will all probably change next week.
We get the Earth’s Best chicken nuggets. There are turkey meatballs at Whole Foods that are made with vegetables and we get those but I can’t remember the name! For pasta, I mix a regular kind that look like dinosaurs with a kind that has protein like Banza or Trader Joe’s Quinoa pasta. I make my own roasted sweet potatoes and other vegetables. Too many french fry type bags have spices that Tommy finds “spicy.”
I wish I made these deluxe homemade meals but being pregnant, 5 pm is like my zero energy time and I just don’t have the motivation to make him a meal from scratch.
Tommy is in a total pushing phase. It kills me. I don’t know what to do about it. I need to be better about discipline but half the time he does it is because he just wants to play and I just don’t feel like the Time Out works and punishing him by leaving the park, punishes me because now I’m at home with a TV and a 2 year old that just wants to watch it instead of enjoying the good weather we finally have!
I’m told it’s a phase. I’m nervous it will be bad especially when the baby arrives and it’s hard to constantly shadow your child to make sure he doesn’t lay a finger on another kid. I don’t want to helicopter but I feel like I have to.
This is something I really have no clue as to what I’m doing. I feel like this whole post is like that. I think it’s called first time parenting problems but I don’t want to be some blogger spewing out advice that I have no idea about. If your child had a pushing phase, how long did it last and what tips worked for you?
Instead of leaving the park, can you do a quick time out either in the stroller or having to sit down on the bench with you for a minute or two?
I am totally on board with leaving the park to go home is a punishment for you.
That is a great idea!
I am not an expert, just a mom going through the same! Some suggestions to encourage him to poop/sit on the potty. My almost 4 year old had held her poop since she was 6 months so we have been to the hospital for that. Not fun! She still holds until she has her nighttime pull up on. It is brutal. I don’t know if Tommy is too young but, our pediatrician and GI suggested scheduled sit times and we work to create a puzzle. No pressure to pee or poop (it can create an anxiety we aren’t aware of), just sit and “accidental poops” will happen. For the puzzle they pick any picture they want (my daughter loves this part). I print 2 copies, one in black and white and one in color. The black and white one is hung up in the bathroom. I cut up the color picture and place the pieces in an envelope. When she sits (doesn’t matter if she actually does anything), she gets a piece of the puzzle to tape onto the black and white picture. Eventually we complete the puzzle. Dr suggested offering a small prize once the puzzle is complete. She loves doing the puzzle so much we don’t even need a prize. The GI has had great success using this method. He also suggested sitting on the potty soon after breakfast. I’ve also read people get kids to push it out without knowing by blowing bubbles while on the potty. It’s fun too! Good luck!
ooooh the bubbles might be a good one! Never thought of that. I’ll have to check up on the puzzle suggestion too. Thank you for sharing!
I am 100% in the same boat with most of what your wrote (my 2 yr old throws things rather than pushes, but its acting out either way). We have pee 100% down, no accidents. #2 is very similar -- went twice in the first week, now refuses to even sit on the potty when he has to go. We’ve had epic day-long battles, but in the end my heart breaks for him and I’m also scared of constipation issues, so we let him have a diaper when he asks to go. My thought it, he knows he needs to wait for a diaper, so why push the potty if hes not ready. I have a 3 mo old as well, so I choose battles I feel are most important first. Transitions are slow, emotions are big, and energy is high. That’s life with a 2 yr old! Love your blog, you’re a great mom!
Thanks Mallory. I love your thinking here and totally makes me feel better 🙂
My daughter is the same age as tommy. She’s my 3rd kiddo. She eats far less variety than tommy sounds like he does so I think you are doing great! I’m jealous lol! My first two are just over two years apart. I tried the bed before baby got here and it was a nightmare. I was pregnant and too tired to deal with it. We ended up borrowing a crib and after the baby went to her room from ours (5 months) she used the borrowed crib.
My older daughter stayed in her crib until past 3. She could totally climb in and out but usually did not. Once she was over 3 she just seemed to understand the whole concept better and I had a bit more sleep under my belt to deal with it! All kids are different though! Good luck!
So helpful. We may be able to get a crib for the summer and I may just get one so I don’t have to deal with it. Thank you for sharing. I feel like it’s going to be a nightmare as well…
We transitioned straight to a twin as well. We just kept the boxspring and mattress on the floor for about 4 months until he was used to it. We also used a pool noodle under the fitted sheets which works just as well as a railing and way cheaper! As for staying in bed, we read books and then sang songs and laid with him first for ten minutes, then five, then we sat on the floor, then by the door. It took maybe a week before we just did our routine and left. To combat getting out of bed, we simply said, back to bed, it’s bedtime, scooped him up and tucked him in. A second time we would just say bed and scoop him up. A third time and any time after that we wouldn’t even talk to him just scooped him up and put him back. Eventually we have consequences for getting out of bed once he realized the expectations.
So helpful! Thank you Krystan for sharing! I have heard of the pool noodle and forgot about it!
I also don’t believe that time out works, particularly for a two year old. For pushing or any behavior we’d like to stop (our 2yo sons issue is playful hitting but only to mom and dad!) make sure you have a consistent message, getting on my son’s level we will say something like “pushing could hurt someone and that’s not nice. we do NOT push.” Then we will redirect his behavior (“Can you show me how you go down the slide?” Etc) Our son does really well with redirecting his excitedness with something else physical like a fist bump or high five (which could backfire if it’s directed at another kid who is too young or unwilling to participate but works well if he’s being a little too rough with us.) We also like to “stomp our feet like dinosaurs” when he gets too excited. I feel like at 2, making a massive deal of the behavior tends to be a mistake and tends to exaggerate the behavior. After all, what does a toddler like better than seeing a huge reaction (punishment, time out) from mom? ???? though of course if he were truly putting himself or others in danger i would amplify my response to the behavior!
So helpful! Thank you Rachel. I remember the consistent thing is important from a class we went to but forgot somehow. These are all such great ideas.
It’s so weird to feel so connected to someone I don’t know. Of all the bloggers I’ve followed through the years, you’ve been my favorite to keep up with. (I’ve actually had to stop reading a few recently because they just feel so disconnected from my reality.)
A few years back, I found myself so intimidated by you. Anytime I read your posts about working out and slimming down for photo shoots, I just felt so…less than. I know that says more about me than it does about you, but it’s truly how I felt.
I’ve loved watching how Tommy has changed your approach to life. I feel like you really, really nail it on being a good mom for Tommy without being an over-the-top Pinterest mom. From the outside looking in, it seems like you don’t put on any sort of façade about the hard parts of parenting and you’re not shy at all about admitting that it’s just hard to “do it all.” I love that.
Thank you for sharing so much of your life -- it’s really encouraging to read about another real mom just doing her best. (And THANK YOU for including potty training. It’s about time for us to start with my daughter and…UGH. I’m not looking forward to it.)
Thank you Nikki for taking the time to write this thoughtful comment. Every once in a while I feel burned out but comments like this keep me going 🙂 Thank you for sticking around!
Please keep sharing your posts on Tommy! As a first time mom with a 13 month old boy I appreciate your candidness. Your previous posts on pregnancy, motherhood, stages in Tommy’s life have been so insightful. I appreciate your down to earth relatable attitude and honesty you share on the blog. Being a mom is a full time job and is the most rewarding and hardest thing all at the same time. We are all trying to do the best we can in our given situations. Thank you for sharing. I am sure there are many others in my situation who read and never comment but we thank you are are cheering you on from the sidelines 🙂
Thank you for all your candor! I have a two year old son who is around Tommy’s age. I actually order the Oh Crap book after you recommended on you blog. What helped for us was to buy boxer briefs rather than the little undies, I think it feels less like a diaper and more like tight shorts (it also helps that Dada has the same type of underwear). We also did went no diapers for anything even nap time and sleep. I believe the book said that you could go a few days without pooping and it wouldn’t be a big deal (although I know a mom that legit had to scoop poop out of her daughters’ butt). He knew that he wasn’t going to get a diaper and he had to choose to go in the potty (especially after we had success when he was naked on the bottom. Good luck and I hope this helps!
Love the boxer suggestion! Thank you
Since you asked, maybe this tip could help you with potty training. We didn’t really follow a method, but my boy was potty trained at about 3. He had the same issue as Tommy, fine with #1, but wouldn’t go on the potty for #2. we kind of got over that hump by making him go in the bathroom (with his diaper on) to go #2. To get him used to the idea, that that is where you do it. Then he could even sit on the potty with his diaper on too. Eventually he was just ready or fine with it, just takes time i think. Or hell, give him the iPad on the potty if he’s willing to sit and try!
haha we do try the iPad trick but the bathroom idea is great! thanks you for sharing 🙂
We had this exact problem (pooped the first week, then refused). The poop chapter in the Oh Crap book helps a lot, but honestly, our daycare provider is the one who helped the most. I wanted to keep our daughter in pullups at night, but she said that made a “safe space” to poop. Once we took away the diapers, she (reluctantly) started pooping on the toilet, even though there were lots of tears when she had to poop but refused to go. Our doctor assured us she would probably go within a couple of days, and that was not enough constipation to send her to the hospital. (Although that can happen, obviously.) I hated it SO MUCH, but our daycare teacher encouraged us that it would work eventually. It took 1-2 months, but now she poops with glee 😉
Another thing that worked was tons of healthy fats, like avocado and coconut oil in a smoothie. I think this is in the Oh Crap book. It’s like toddler laxative! GOOD LUCK! I had no idea potty training would be so tricky!
Thank you Nina for sharing! So helpful!
For the record, I also have no idea what I’m doing and it’s been 10+ years. 😉 Regarding the dreaded #2 in a diaper scenario… YEP!!! I had this issue with my first, and she requested a diaper/pull-up to go #2 until she was almost 4 years old (she was potty trained at age 2 but would not poop in it). I thought she’d go to college like that. One day it just clicked. We promised her ice cream if she’d just $h!t on the pot and she did. Who knew! 😉 But it took time… bribes didn’t work for a very long time. The other thing about the pushing… ugh, this is so hard at this age, especially when you aren’t sitting at home to constantly focus on the discipline. If you are out at a park, where in the world do you put him in TO where he will stay? Nowhere. When ours were toddlers, we tried the “Love & Logic” methodology (this was so long ago, keep in mind) and it helped. It took time and patience and work though. And you are pregnant! It’s hard! It’ll all be ok and work out! 🙂
A few things…my son potty trained this winter. #2 was definitely a problem and it turned out he was mainly scared of pooping on the toilet. It honestly just took time..and the promise of a new truck. His daycare teachers explained how it’s just intimidating to go from a diaper to the toilet for pooping and he just needed a long time to get used to the idea.
As for the playground pushing, one really insightful thing I heard this year was about how removing a kid from a social situation as a punishment for bad behavior is completely the wrong thing to do. The way he’ll learn that pushing is bad is by seeing the kids he pushes get upset. He needs to learn the social cues that will discourage him from pushing and other types of “bad” behavior. Punishment in the form of removal from the social environment won’t help with the development of empathy and social responsibility.
Interesting! Thanks for sharing. I read something like this and always say, look how sad you made “insert pushed child”