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Following is a list of 7 problems we've been having, plus our extremely thoughtless solutions.

Paul Starke: As Luke gets older, my wife and I are starting to notice that all the bad habits/poor choices we've made over the past 15 months are now starting to pay dividends. That means it's time to solicit the momlogic community for some more free advice! Thanks in advance!

I'm going to list a few of the problems we've been having lately, plus our extremely thoughtless solutions. If you could give us yours, that would be much appreciated. Please no judgments -- we're trying our best.

toddler making a mess of cereal with frustrated mom
PROBLEM: Luke has been going to sleep later and later, sometimes not until 10 PM. He sleeps through the night when he finally does go to sleep, but getting him there is a bitch ...
OUR SOLUTION: We've tried everything, but the only thing that seems to work is watching reruns of "Full House." The soothing sounds of John Stamos sometimes have an effect ...

PROBLEM: Luke is starting to walk; our apartment is about as baby-proofed as a landfill or active volcano.
OUR SOLUTION: We've padded up corners and covered outlets, but our fireplace is a mild concussion waiting to happen ...

PROBLEM: Luke cannot eat food without playing with something: plastic caps, toys, and other sundry items.
OUR SOLUTION: We just pile toys and crap on his high-chair tray, and hope that he'll eat before all of it is thrown on the ground.

PROBLEM: We're trying to expand Luke's diet, but we don't know what else to feed him besides chicken (and fruits and vegetables).
OUR SOLUTION: Give him chicken every night.

PROBLEM: Luke's molars appear to be growing in, causing him great discomfort.
OUR SOLUTION: He hates Orajel and teething rings, so we just feel bad for him, basically.

PROBLEM: Luke's hair is starting to cover his eyes; he needs a haircut, but he won't let us.
OUR SOLUTION: A comb-over can look distinguished on a baby, right?

PROBLEM: Luke has this charming tendency to grab his crotch when we're changing his diaper, resulting in all sorts of things getting on his hands.
OUR SOLUTION: I still haven't grown out of that habit.

So that's just a few of the things we're dealing with, and probably incorrectly. Would LOVE to get your advice and perspective ...

next: Would Your Husband Do This??
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
JD In Vancouver July 24, 2009, 4:35 PM

You’re doing fine!

Problem 1 - Unless you HAVE to have him up early in the morning, let him run on his natural sleep cycle. He’ll be happier and healthier.

Problem 2 - Put a gate around/infront of the whole fire place. Voila!

Problem 3 - He’s a baby. Babies play. Don’t worry.

Problem 4 - My daughter wouldn’t touch any meat at all until she was 3 years old. We had to feed her tufo (which she loves and comes in many varities, good soft food for babies) even. Doctor tells me lots of kids just prefer fruits and veggies (and the fresher the better). Just make sure they get their protiens from some where.

Problem 5 - Put a banana in the freezer, then let him gnaw on it when it’s mostly frozen (always with supervision!) it’ll help.

Problem 6 - Wait till he’s sleeping and trim his bangs.

Problem 7 - Kids are curious. Don’t worry about it.

Take a deep breath. You’re doing fine. :)

Amber July 24, 2009, 4:47 PM

Don’t worry you’re doing a good job. I have a 10 month old, and haven’t reach all of your problems yet. As the mess goes, as long as there’s nothing toxic or choke worthy in reach everything will be fine.

Sharon July 24, 2009, 5:02 PM

Sleep: He NEEDS more sleep. He will be happier if he goes down earlier. Create a routine and stick to it. Try recording Full House and play it at 7pm, it could work—he can’t tell time!

Fireplace: They make padded corners and padded mats to go over fireplaces. Research online, then find it locally and take a family trip on Saturday and just do it. Stitches are NOT fun at this age, been there, done that!

Food and Toys: Food and playing is what a child is supposed to do at this age. Limit the things he can have on his tray and let him play as you feed him. Does a spoonful of sugar sound familiar?

New Foods: Allow a little one to try new foods by serving them snack style. Use a new food as a snack every 2-4 hours and he may surprise you and choose new foods. It is totally natural for wee ones to have 2-5 things only that they will eat. Try some smoothies with veggies and fiber in them to get him what he needs. Best advice, don’t worry about it.

Teething: Go to Whole Foods and purchase Hyland’s teething tablets. They work wonders. And maybe pick up a no sugar popsicle while you’re there, that will reduce the swelling in the gums. Teething just plain sucks.

Hair: Cut his hair, just a little bit in his sleep. Other wise he may get conjunctivitis, been there and done that too!

Diapers: When changing a diaper sing a song that uses hand movements. That will engage and distract him. After the diaper phase, well, boys will be boys?

For more tips about everyday parenting go to ProActive Parenting dot net. And breathe, your doing fine!

Secret Mommy July 25, 2009, 3:04 PM

I agree with previous comments. You’re doing fine. You’re his parents and so whatever you come up with that works for your family will be “right.” Having said that, my hubs and I have battled our 15 month old son over some of these same issues. I was willing to give in, but my hubs said, “We need to let him know now that we’re in charge, or we’re in for it.” I agreed and things are good. For bedtime, we sometimes slip and let Henry go until 9:30 or so, too. But we have a bedtime routine (bath, book, boob, bed) and we can follow the steps at any time from 7:30pm to 10:00pm and we get a kid who goes to sleep after we put him to bed. Following the routine seems to be key for us. We didn’t babyproof our house much either. At least compared to some people. I’ve piled pillows in front of our fireplace and we’ve made it a “no” zone. It takes an incredible amount of patience, but after a few days he lost interest in trying to get to the fireplace. For some reason, I always have had a pet peeve about toys at the table, so I’ve never let Henry have a toy when I put him in his high chair. But if your son likes it, and you can get him to also eat his food…why bother? As for food, we switched Henry from “special” baby meals to eating whatever we eat a couple months ago. There are nights every once in a while where I wonder if he got enough to eat because he didn’t seem to love what we were having, but we just stick to it. He eats almost EVERYTHING now. It’s really kind of cute and fun and amazing. But that, too, took some patience and a couple weeks of wondering and worrying if he was getting enough dinner. I don’t know if I have any advice for you on the others, except we decided to pay the extra price to go to a “kid” salon for Henry’s haircuts after his squirming almost caused both me and hubs to cut his ears off. He sits in a car or airplane at the kiddie place, steers the wheel, watches cartoons, and remains 50% fuss-free while the professional wrangles a semi-decent haircut onto him. We fork over $20 (15 plus tip) and leave happy enough. :) My son also grabs his crotch with diaper changes, whether wet or dirty. Ick! I give him something to play with that he ordinarily cannot have (my car keys, his fingernail clippers, a bottle of lotion I’m relatively sure he can’t get the lid off of…) before I open the dirty diaper. It usually works, though a time or two I’ve been washing poop off the fingernail clippers. And for teething I just let Henry be a grump. I don’t like giving him medicine, even something as benign as Orajel, but have given him that holistic baby teething gel (which doesn’t seem to work.) We snuggle more and watch more cartoons and eat more popsicles when he’s teething. Good luck, and again, whatever you guys do is going to be best!

Secret Mommy July 25, 2009, 3:11 PM

(oops, I wrote too much and got cut off…) Anyway, we pay $20 (15 plus tip) and leave happy. Henry also gets a sticker. :) I’ve tried the Hyland’s teething gel with little success, but never the tablets. For us, we just snuggle more, watch cartoons more (TV is typically rare in our house…) and have fruit pops more (either store bought or homemade frozen fruit juice.) And then of course there’s the part of just letting him run around and be a grump when he’s teething. :) As for the diaper, though, I’ve found that keeping a stash of otherwise banned items that he can only play with while getting a poopy diaper changed has worked wonders! I give him his fingernail clippers, some old housekeys on a ring, an small empty bottle of perfume that he likes or whatever and he stays distracted enough while I get the poo off. Though there have been a few times I’ve been washing poo off fingernail clippers and housekeys. :) Again, whatever you guys do is going to be right! You’re his parents! :D Have fun.

Secret Mommy July 25, 2009, 3:19 PM

Oh, I was also going to add about the food thing. If your son is 15 months old or older, he really can eat anything you guys eat. Even spicy-ish foods. My son ate a bowl of spicy chili the other night! It’s good for him to start developing a taste for more flavors, though you may have to ease him into it. Henry decided recently that he’s kind of fond of romaine lettuce and spinach salads! It’s really key, I think, to just serve him what you guys are eating and then not oversell it. We just put little bits of food on his high chair tray and then we all start eating our dinner. We refill his tray based on what he’s liking and eating, but I also keep putting bits of things he might be avoiding. Eventually he tries the stuff. Well, most of it anyway. :) Good luck on that one. I’ve been vigilant because now that I’m expecting another boy, I want everyone in my family to eat the same things at the same time. I don’t want to be making separate meals or have kids who only eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I was inspired by a family my hubs and I had dinner with when I was preggo. Their daughter ate roasted eggplant with capers, lemon-mint cous-cous, and a spinach salad. And she was about 18 months old. I thought it was amazing. The parents told us they’d always just given her what they ate and so she knew no other options. I like this tactic and we use it.

Monica July 26, 2009, 2:20 PM

None of these seem like a problem to me. Just seems typical of a baby his age. My son will be three next month and we have a loose schedule of putting him to bed at 10 PM to 1030 every night. I don’t work and I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning. He wakes up about 10 in the morning or maybe even a little later. A friends mother told me when he was one that it didn’t matter as long as he gets enough sleep. If you don’t have to be anywhere then that just means you both can sleep in late. The only thing baby proof that we have ever had where outlet covers, extension or electrical cord wraps, a cabinet fastener or two when he was crawling and a gate. We might have padded the corner of our coffee table but eventually they fell off and we didn’t bother to put them back. I don’t see a problem with the sundries to play with as long as the items are not big enough for him to swallow. Besides that what kid doesn’t grab his crouch, mine still does. They are just curious. While he can eat what you eat if he has a lot of teeth, if he doesn’t say mommy where’s the beef, don’t be too concerned. We are talking about children who drunk the same milk everyday all day for almost a whole year. Chicken and fruit and vegetables sound good to them. Just make sure you give him a variety of fruits and veggies and cut them down to bite sizes. My son didn’t like Orajel either but we gave it to him anyway. Better for him to suffer once then suffer all day. In the end the point is that we are all guilty of some of these and really they aren’t a big deal because everyone goes thru it.

kris July 27, 2009, 4:20 PM

Do everything the same each night at the same time. Hard for working parents I know but we’ve adjusted…Start with bathtime at 7:30 and between 8:00 and 8:30 take him to bed, read him a story, talk to him, pray with him and then cuddle him for just a few minutes. He’ll be crashing by 9:00 in a few days once he realizes the routine.

As far as the hair cut. We had the same problem. When he’s asleep in his car seat take a piece of paper and lay it over his face. Have your hair cutting scissors and comb in the car. Might take a couple of times but you can get everything cut but maybe the back. (The paper is to keep the hair from getting in his eyes when you cut it off). FOr the back, have your partner hold him over his shoulder (maybe while he’s still asleep) and you can get that done too. My daugther has beautiful short hair thanks to this.

The molars…dip a washcloth in water, fold it so it will fit in his mouth, freeze it and before you give it to him to chew on, dip it in sugar.

Take the toys away at dinner. You’ll pay later.

As far as the fireplace goes…he won’t get a concussion.

Becca July 28, 2009, 12:34 PM

I am busy today, but I just want to make a general comment. I have raised and homeschooled four children. They have all graduated from college but one, and she is entering this fall. The particulars that you are dealing with are normal behavior for a child that age. What you have to decide is, what are YOUR limits, and what behaviors will be a problem for him if you don’t train him otherwise. I would say that he needs to know that when you put him to bed, he has to be quiet, and stay there…whether it is late or early.. The biggest mistake we made, especially with our first, was not realizing just how young they can learn to obey!!!! And it starts with bed time. Finding things to get them to drift off to sleep with and then putting them im bed teaches them that THEY are in charge! That will not lead to a secure happy child. They need to know that you can take care of them, and that includes teaching them the limits. The discipline needs to be strong enough that they really don’t like the consequences of disobedience…not a little pat or slap. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not advocating beating your child. But you may have to just put him in bed and let him scream it out. And it ma take a long time, because he is older, and can hold out longer. We had this problem with our son. I had to let him scream. Every 10 minutes, by the clock, I would go back in and tell him it is okay, mommy’s here, and to go to sleep. No more than 5 seconds, no cutesy talk, just let him see that I haven’t disappeared, then back out again. I did that night after night, and gradually the length of time got shorter. Once he got the message that I wouldn’t give in, it became clear just how tired he really was! And he became a really good sleeper! It turned out he had ADHD, and just didn’t know how to turn himself off. My third child had a similar problem. She would only sleep in my arms. Luckily, I knew that I had to work on this early on…so I began putting her in bed, and firmly keeping my hand on her back, to keep her lying still. But, I patted her, and sang to her, until she settled down and would stay with her head down. I just would tell her “no” and gently put her head back down (turned to the side of course). Now, with the new teaching about only on the back…you can do the same thing, just on their backs. A lot of times it is simply a struggle of the will, even under a year.

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