June 26, 2010

Sharing Saturday - Your Questions

Hey guys.  We've got a few more reader questions we need your help with today.  Two of them are urgent!  We're calling in you as the expert.  Tell us what you know!

1) I have a question that I desperately need an answer to! My three, almost four month old only likes ONE kind of pacifier. It's the kind the hospital provided and I could buy more online but a) they're ugly and b) I would love to just run to the store and pick up a bunch of paci's. How do I get her to take other pacifiers?


2) Our anniversary is coming up and I would appreciate some inexpensive, yet thoughtful ideas of things to do for the hubby.

3) Potty training.

If you have any questions you want to ask everyone, just drop me an e-mail and I'll add it to the list.  Let me know if it's urgent and we'll get it in fast, okay?  Thank you SO, SO, SO much for sharing.  I love reading everyone's suggestions and advice on Saturdays.  Kind of makes me feel like we're all sisters or good friends sharing great info.  Have a great day!


  1. I never had to deal with the paci thing. My kids just took whatever & weaned REALLY easy. Good luck mama.

    As far as gifts go here are a few:

    * Coupon book. Those are ALWAYS a hit with my hubby. I add in a back rubs, dinner & control of the remote just to name a few.

    * A simple homemade, romantic dinner is usually a hit. Isn't food the way to a mans heart?

    * If you have kids, or if he is close to his mom or dad, you could get a nice picture & frame it or put it on a canvas for fairly cheap on the net. If you have kids, have the kids help make the frame.

    Then potty training. I have one trained & am working with the second one now. What worked for us was putting my son on the potty every 30 minutes. Pain right? But it worked. We also praised him like crazy when he went. We made up a potty dance & song that he just loved. I also gave him candy too. A few M&M's. The 1st time he pooped I was so excited that we ran to Target right after & got him a Poop Gift. lol It was a lawn bowling set on sale for like $5. He was poop trained after that. We also never did pull ups. Just at night. The rest was underwear. I did have to deal with several wet pants BUT they learn fast that they need to pee on the potty or they will be soaked! Good luck!

  2. Cheri - absolutely LOVE your blog. Can't remember if I've commented yet, but have spent WAY too long checking out all your tutes, etc...Plus you're a gal after my own heart b/c I've got 2 boys also. And there aren't many crafty blogs I've found w/ cute things for boys. So thanks & keep up the great work!

    For my answers:
    #1 - I'd say bite the bullet and order a larger quantity of the hospital ones. My DS#2 didn't take of a paci - AT ALL. So, order it, embrace the ugliness, and ENJOY the silence :)

    #2 - I created a Father's Day montage on www.onetruemedia.com for my DH. Maybe you could do something like that for your anniversary w/ photos & videos. Its free to upload & create & share to Youtube, but if you want an actual DVD you gotta pay. But, DH LOVED it and it is a keepsake that we will have forever. (I've heard if you have iMovie you could do the same thing).

    #3. Just the words potty training send shivers up my spine. I just potty trained my oldest DS who turned 3 in April. I started using the techniques in Potty Training 1-2-3 and it worked pretty well. But, I got sick and couldn't hack the intensive training anymore so I quit (well, cried then quit :*). Then one day (accidentally) let DS go naked after a shower for a bit and he said he needed to pee - BINGO!! Left him naked & stayed home for about 3 more days and he was potty trained - YAY! It was really pretty easy, but I'm already nervous about #2 and he's only 15 mos old! LOL!
    That's my 2 cents worth!

  3. Hi there if it is the green binkies from the hospital you can get them at babies r us and walmart. I had to order them in mass for my first, but for my 2nd they were averywhere. Hope these are the ones you need!

  4. Cheri, I love reading your blog! I dont have any experience with the paci. My first didnt take one at all and the second only likes one kind too! We didnt use one at the hospital bc I nursed, so he just loves the first one I bought! I think the Avent paci look similiar to the hospital pacis though.

    As far as the potty training, I agree with Kimi try not to use pullups, they are so much like a diaper Dylan didnt know when he was wet, so as soon as we got home from school every afternoon, I would put him in undies and we would got to the potty like every 30 minutes. And I bought the baby bjorn toilet seat that goes on the big potty! It was a big help. It took a couple weeks and he understood the concept, it was really pretty easy! Just took a lot of consistency and a lot of patience!! Oh and lots of laundry! Good Luck! I am anxious to train my second but he is only 12 months!

  5. Hi, you don't know me but I love your blog!

    #1: My almost 2 year old still uses those darn hospital binkies, ugh! You can buy them everywhere now. I have the best luck at Target or Walmart.

    #2: Is your hubby a sports fan? I took my hubby to a local baseball game one year. The team wasn't great but it was fun to go with him and cheer like they were the best team and it was cheap. I've also rented a limo just to drive us downtown to get some dinner, we felt so fancy, it was fun.

    #3: AHH, the dreaded potty training. I trained my oldest about 6 months ago (she is 3), this was my third attempt. The first two times I tried my timing was WAY off. I was determined to get her potty trained a few months before a big move (ha!) then I tried again a few months after our move (ha! again) then I tried again when things had settled down for all of us - easy peasy! Make sure there are no "extra" stresses going on in your family life (moving, vacations, deaths, etc...), it will only make it harder. I used the book Potty Wise and it worked like magic - for us. Every child is different, if one technique doesn't work, try another one :) Good Luck!!!

  6. Hi, you don't know me but I love your blog!

    #1: My almost 2 year old still uses those darn hospital binkies, ugh! You can buy them everywhere now. I have the best luck at Target or Walmart.

    #2: Is your hubby a sports fan? I took my hubby to a local baseball game one year. The team wasn't great but it was fun to go with him and cheer like they were the best team and it was cheap. I've also rented a limo just to drive us downtown to get some dinner, we felt so fancy, it was fun.

    #3: AHH, the dreaded potty training. I trained my oldest about 6 months ago (she is 3), this was my third attempt. The first two times I tried my timing was WAY off. I was determined to get her potty trained a few months before a big move (ha!) then I tried again a few months after our move (ha! again) then I tried again when things had settled down for all of us - easy peasy! Make sure there are no "extra" stresses going on in your family life (moving, vacations, deaths, etc...), it will only make it harder. I used the book Potty Wise and it worked like magic - for us. Every child is different, if one technique doesn't work, try another one :) Good Luck!!!

  7. My baby loves the hospital pacifiers too! We bought more at Walmart, and I see them everywhere around here (Utah), even at the grocery store. One thing I hate is that you can't use just any ol' paci clip, but my friend found this one for us. I also have a friend who just used a leather punch to punch a hole in the little tab so she can use the regular paci clips.

    For my husband's birthday last December I gave him a "subscription" to the Date of the Month Club, found here on Love Actually. It's inexpensive to put together and the overall expense depends on which dates you plan. And since the dates are all in the future, you can budget for them better. Happy anniversary!

  8. Sorry, can't help with the paci thing. My son would take any of them. My daughter would take none of them

    I can't help you with gift ideas either. My husband seems to not like anything I buy. His favorite gifts have been doing stuff together that might be out of the ordinary: a picnic, a hike, going to a restaurant with a live (acoustic) band. You don't want it to be too loud you can't hear anything.

    Potty Training: I used the method in the book Potty Training in less than a Day with my son and it worked perfect. My daughter did not cooperate with that method. Instead, I showed her how many diapers were left and told her I would not be buying any more. Every time I changed her diaper, we would count how many were left (she was about 2.5 years old). When we were out of diapers, that was it. I stuck to it. She had a couple accidents the first day or two, but was accident free by day 3. I also do not believe in pull-ups, even for nighttime. It's still a diaper. For nighttime, I put those plastic fitted sheet under the regular sheets. Yes, I had to wash sheets frequently, but the mattress was protected, I didn't waste money on glorified diapers, and the kids learned to wake up to go to the bathroom.

  9. Ditto everyone else on buying them at BRU, Target or Walmart! They are called Soothies and you can even buy them in pink/blue now! :o)

    Gifts... IDK... our standing gifts are a 6 pack of beer and "favors"... :o)

    We just started potty training... I am not above great prizes for doing it right... and I let him pick the prizes (within reason) so he's even more motivated. :o)

  10. #1. Who cares what the binky looks like! If it works, it works! Plus, maybe since they aren't the cutest things ever, it will help you avoid the temptation to over-use the pacifier and maybe ween off of it sooner than later.

    #2. I recently celebrated my anniversary and we are on a very tight budget. For the week leading up to the date, I stuck little love notes in his work shirt and pants pockets. We started our anniversary day off with my family's traditional Belgium waffles with icecream and strawberry toppings. Just because it is so over-the-top, it makes any celebration really feel like a celebration. And its much more appreciated than a bowl of cereal, so it gets the day started right.
    His favorite homemade meal. I think acts of love go much further than gifts for the most part, so it is easy to skip spending a fortune. Sometimes doing something cheasy and movie like can be a lot of fun, like once I covered the bedroom floor with chocolate kisses and then had a sign on the bed that said 'I kiss the ground you walk on'. Or coming up with a gratitude list about all the things hubby does that I appreciate, from the smallest things to the big things. And I've never met a man who hasn't wanted sexual favors as a gift, even if he won't out-right say it out of fear that it will upset you. I think when sex is kind of a gift, that it should be done in a way that is a bit different than usual, either a different position, act, role, or place. Just spice it up some!

    #3. I agree with a lot of the posts above. When possible, use the big kid panties rather than diapers or pull ups. Positive reinforcement goes a LOOONG way! I think rewards should come with expectations... so that maybe the first poop in the toilet you get to go to the doller store or something. And the first day with no "oops" you get to do something a little bigger, like go to the zoo. And remember for all the little things to praise like there is no tomorrow. go ahead, give your kid a big ego, all these things to learn is hard and deserves some attention!

  11. #1 The Binkie: I would personally bite the bullet in a different way and not give your child a binkie at all. They are to addictive and if the child still uses it as they get older, it can delay speech and deform their mouth a bit.

    #2 Dh present: You can get a gift card from a local massage place for $10 for 10 minutes. My husband got me 3 of these for my birthday and they are wonderful. He can set up the appointment whenever he wishes.

    #3 Potty Training: I have potty trained my 2 boys and I was a preschool teacher in the potty training room. Put your child in underwear whenever possible. This includes at preschool (just bring plenty of clean clothes). There is the rare child who doesn't mind walking around wet, but for the most part they won't like the feeling. Make a big deal out of buying the underwear (have them pick it out and say what a big boy or girl they are). When my oldest pooped in his underwear, I made him watch me throw this beloved undies in the trash. He never pooped in his underwear again. My youngest thought that was funny, so it doesn't work for every kid. I like making an award chart that looks like a game chart. For every time they pee in the potty, they get a sticker on the chart and advance. For every poop, they get 2 stickers. They get a small cheap prize at the mid point and a larger prize at the end of the chart. As they get better with potty training, the chart gets longer. Praise them when they use the potty and don't make a big deal of them messing up. Remember any attention, good or bad, is attention and they like the attention. My youngest really likes the Cracker Barrel's mini mints, so that is his reward for staying dry on outings, etc. If one thing doesn't work with your child, just try something else. Every child is different. Good luck!

  12. My second child would only take the big, ugly ones from the hospital, too. I hated them. They are big, ugly, and roll all over when they are spit out. But, what are you going to do when that's all they'll take, right? When he was a baby, I did find them at WalMart and had to replace quite a few because they would roll and roll and get lost. I don't know if they still carry them at WalMart but you could look.

    For my 3rd and 4th child I took my own pacifier to the hospital and made sure the nurses DID NOT give them the hospital ones, just the one I brought. Once the nurse gave them the hospital one and I took it out of the crib for good.

    Good Luck!!

  13. #3 For DD we went cold turkey. The method is to give the kid lots of liquids, but cut the liquids off about 2 hours before bed. Then right before bed, potty, then 30 min. later wake them up for potty again. Then right before you go to bed, potty one more time. In the morning wake them up 30 min. earlier than normal to go potty. Do this for three days, and hopefully your kid will be potty trained. My DD has to wear pull-ups at night, because she tends to wet the bed, and I don't want to wash her sheets every day. Most mornings she wakes up dry now, but she sometimes is wet. The thing with this method is that you have to be able to stay home, and focus only on this child for three days for it to work. It is tough, but it works pretty well, and sure beats dragging potty training out for months on end.

  14. I baby-sat a baby twice a week who used only those Soothies. I found some at my local grocery store too, if you look, you will find them! BE AWARE of how often your kid gets it (or any other paci), though, since they are not orthodontic. I watched my little charge's upper teeth/palate totally conform to the pacifier... and it looks pretty bad.

  15. #2--Here is what I did for my husband for our 10 yr anniversary last year, and lots of other suggestions:


  16. Pacifier - My son only liked the hospital ones too but I agree, ugly and hid some much of his face. I heard about Gumdrop Pacifiers and totally recommend them!


    Vanilla scented, smaller, cuter colors and the same shape as the hospital. My son loved them!

  17. I know everyone will hate me when I say this, but potty training comes easily when the child is ready! My daughter is the type who WOULD NOT do something until she was 100% sure she could do it without failing. She was 3 1/2 before she was out of diapers (and believe me, we tried to convince her to use the potty earlier, but she refused to even look at it!) My son, on the other hand, was 2 yrs, 4 months and just decided to use the potty one day. He was ready, we didn't push and it happened almost overnight! We let them do it when they were ready and it was so easy!

  18. #1 - I think Jax found your solution. Great link!

    #2 - We don't really do gifts for our anniversary, but it's fun to do something that represents your wedding. Go eat at the place you had your reception or a place you went on a first date. My husband wrote me a letter for our anniversary that meant so much to me. I think sometimes just taking the time to plan something meaningful to do can be a great gift and also won't break the bank. Good luck and Happy Anniversary!

    #3 - BEFORE I had ever potty trained I thought you could just decide when and get it done. I thought everyone should do it around 2 years. Now that I've been through it my opinion has totally changed. I completely agree with waiting until the child wants to. I tried with Rex shortly after he turned 2 and it was a disaster. I waited about 6 more months until he was taking interest in it and he got it right away. I put undies on him and we went through a lot of outfits the first day. I wanted to give up. Day two he didn't have a single accident. Victory! I think pottytraining is so specific to your particular child. You just have to figure out what works for him or her. Good luck!

  19. we did the soothie pacifiers as well. i think they're ugly, but there's a site called wubbanub.com that has beanie animals sewn to them. they are adorable! and we get compliments on it everywhere we go. it's a lovey and a pacifier all in one!

  20. #1: For pacifiers: we tried EVERY pacifier in existence, and the only one our son would take were the newborn-size latex MAM kind (I think "newborn" is even smaller than 0-3). The brown latex stuff is more stretchy and easier to hold onto. Then he "graduated" to the bigger/clear ones. They come in tons of colors, and I preferred the transparent ones, which looked less weird but are SO hard to find when dropped!

    #2: Husband gift: give him a day, or a weekend, with absolutely no responsibilities. If he's an introvert, let him go somewhere completely alone all day. Or give him about a day's notice and let him figure out what he would do with a whole day of no watching kids, no household chores, etc. My husband did this for my birthday and it was the best day I've had in a long time. (He got a sitter on a weekday, and I spent the whole day alone, reading books, getting a pedicure, exploring museums, walking, etc..)

    #3: ??

  21. 1) I actually saw those very same hospital issued paci's at wal*mart and babys r us, if you can't get your baby to ween of it, they are there to just grab.

    2) Anniversary's are hard to celebrate with kiddo's around so we just try to keep it simple, rent a movie and eat whatever.

    3) I am in the potty training stage with my son, so no tips, I am still learning, but am curious to know what works!

  22. 1) I'd try putting some of that natural Gripe Water on it (you can get it at a natural foods store, it's made from herbs and made for little babies). My baby girl loved the taste of it, and took anything we'd put a couple drops on.

    2) I'm pretty cheap these days. Maybe 'cause I'm poor (yeah, that's it). Anyway, I like to cut out paper hearts and write things I love about my husband on them. Then I stick them all over the inside of the car before he goes to work. Warning: don't stick them on the outside, they'll just fly away as he drives. And don't stick them all on the windshield 'cause then he can't see as he drives. (can you tell we've experienced these before? ;)

    3) Good luck. I have no experience in that area. I hear incentives work. :)

  23. None of my kids used a pacifier, so I'm no help there.
    For our anniversary one year, I made my husband a hand bound journal. On the inside cover was a copy of my wedding vows and on each page was a picture from our life together. The pictures were printed as a watermark (or almost transparent) so that they could be written over and the words could still be seen.
    The only advice I have for potty training is no Pull Ups! I've found that with my kids cloth training pants (with a waterproof cover when going out) really helped them understand when they were wet. Pull Ups were more like glorified pampers.

  24. 1. My son was exclusively breastfed...as soon as he was born the doctor put him on my stomach, he grabbed at me naturally and started nursing. It was like my sign. The doc had to wait to cut the cord.

    He only used a pacifier if he was crawling around and found it...mainly out of curiosity.

    2. I agree with the simple and sentimental ideas. One time I just started at the beginning of the month and left my husband a handmade card with some famous/ funny quotes about love.

    I did the photo thing for Father's Day and he got all teary. Big hit. Of course, if you have small kids, dropping them off at Nana's house and either going out for dinner or casually heading back home for some uninterrupted time.

    3. Potty training. Ahh, every mom's fear! I'm going through this with my son for the third time with the same child...we have the potty curse. Every time we start training- the plumbing goes out.Literally!

    I will say that if your child is still a baby, infant potty training really works. I started my son at 5 months because I wanted to be sure he could hold his head up and support his weight. Until our plumbing went out (FOR A WEEK) he was going at least twice a day.

    Now that he's older he just climbs off the pot if he doesn't feel like it...or worse!

    Hope this helps!

  25. Is the ugly pacifier a "Soothie"? If so, that's the only kind my son would take too. Try ordering a Wubbanub, which is a soothie pacifier with a "beanie baby" type stuffed animal sewn on to it. It helps them from sucking so hard that it flies across the crib, if it's dropped it lands on the animal and not the part they put in their mouth, and they're much easier to find. You can order them online from various sites, but we're found the best price with the lowest shipping was from clothdiaperoutlet.net. I'm in no way associated with this website, but I've recommended it enough that maybe I should be! :) Hopes this helps!

  26. I don't have any answers for the first two. but as far as
    Don't force it, wait until they are interested. IF YOUR STRESSED OUT YOUR CHILD WILL FEEL STRESSED OUT, so relax. THEN
    give them tons of drinks. buy cute juice boxes, and keep the potty close by, we stay in the kitchen with a new coloring book or toy. Encourage them to sit on it every 30 min or so. then a very small reward every time.
    Even get cool undies and talking about not getting it wet.
    This has worked for all 3 of mine, W got it done in a day for my girl and 2 days for both of my boys.
    The biggest mistake you can make is potty training a child just because someone else's child is potty trained. don't campare kids, and give them time or you will make yourself miserable!

  27. I just have to throw my hat in about the potty training - I work full-time so any method that involves going every "x" minutes or promised results in 3 days or whatever was not an option. My daughter was 2 months shy of three and I honestly thought she would never be potty trained, and then one day she just woke up from a nap, wanted to wear panties, and we were done! I can count on one hand the number of accidents we've had since then, and they've all been my fault - got us stuck somewhere with no potty for way too long! So, my advice, is just wait until they decide they want to train. :o)

    Oh, and the paci's? My daughter never took one, my son is hooked. He'll only take the green (infant) Soothies, I've tried the blue ones but they're a totally different texture! He has no less than 8 of those suckers in his crib at any given time. And, um, yeah...he's 2. :o) I have the best luck finding them at Target, I can never find them at Walmart.

  28. For the Binky: try dipping the binky in a little sugar water. That is how the hospital got my son to take it when they were putting in his IV.
    For Potty Training: Take the diaper off and put big boy underwear on. Pull ups at night. You will have accidents but it will get better. You will probably have to stay at home for 3 - 5 days. Don't force him to go. Give lots of praise and treats! If you have a boy try letting him pee outside. They really enjoy that! Good Luck.

  29. I guess you can say I am qualified for the potty question. I have trained 6 kids my youngest being 9 years old now. Am I glad those days are over!! One girl and 5 boys. The easiest ones were the ones I waited until they were ready. I agree with trying not to use pullups (if possible). The kids we didn't use pullups on were trained in a couple of days.

    Then on the subject on anniversary ideas. I ran out of ideas a long time ago. Just celebrated our 21st. With life so busy we are just excited to get to spend time together.

  30. Thank you to everyone for the paci suggestions! The one she's "addicted" to is called a Nu-Pacee. The gumdrop looks like the closest one so I ordered a bunch of them. I'll try the other suggestions too. Thanks so much!


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