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Things I wish I would have known before having a baby

  1. It’s hard (really hard – imagine how hard you think it’s going to be and then multiply by 100 – at least.  Totally worth it though!)
  2. Infant potty training (to be fair I knew about this but just felt too overwhelmed in the first couple of months to even try but now I wish I would have approached it just like eating, walking, or drinking.  Just do it and realize there will be messes to clean up – that’s part of the learning process and it takes WAY longer to unlearn peeing and pooping whenever and where ever baby feels like it than to just learn it proper in the beginning).  We started Dee at 9 months and she was crawling to the potty and waiting to be put on by 11 months.  FYI – every kid does this in China from the beginning and is potty trained by 12 months.  Crazy.
  3. Sleep train from the beginning (we did this and have been thankful that we did! We have a baby that slept 6 hrs out of the hospital, 10 hours at 2 months, and 13+ hours by 3 months.  Yay mommy and daddy time!)
  4. This potty seat
  5. Make a rule from the beginning that when they’re in a store they’re in the toddler seat in the shopping cart or stroller (it took quite a few trips to the store to realize that Dee just didn’t have the mental capability to NOT touch EVERYTHING she saw and get pulled away from all the fun stuff – breakdowns in the store are just no fun)
  6. On the other hand . . . take many walks where you practice various toddler attention tricks/training to make them listen to you on walks and in public places (do this is safe areas like parks and such).  Approach close distance walking/training as if your kid was actually running into the street and you were saving their lives by getting them to pay attention.  One day it may!
  7. Start brushing your babies teeth with a electronic toothbrush so that when they’re not great at brushing (and really only hold it in their mouth) they still get their teeth brushed.
  8. Kids are smart and can do much more than you think they can.  I learned this at Dee’s daycare when I came in after a meal and all the 18 month olds were clearing their plates into milk, food, and dirty dish containers, then proceeded to go over and wash up their hands and face with damp washcloths and put those in a dirty washcloth container.  My “world image” was blown to pieces. From then on I’ve made her help with everything around the house and she now loads the dishwasher, sweeps, and wipes down her tables (at 2 years old).  Sure we’ll have fights in the future I’m sure but take advantage of your toddler wanting to be helpful to set good habits now!
  9. Water is entertaining.  Anytime.  Anywhere. So are bubbles.
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