Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parenting Shortcuts - Vol. 1

Four kids? Yeah, I know all about shortcuts. I'd like to share some of them with you. Maybe one of my helpful hints can save you some time or money or sheer aggravation. I'd love to hear your feedback...maybe you have an idea to make my shortcut even better! So, with much fanfare (or maybe just a big "WHOOPIE" from me), here's my first Parenting Shortcut.

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Benjamin was fully potty trained at the age of 3 1/2. For quite some time after that, he would have an occasional nighttime accident (maybe once a week or so). Usually it happened on the nights when he was overly tired and couldn't wake himself up to use the bathroom. It wasn't anything to be alarmed about....most boys take longer for full nighttime training.

We had been using Pull-Ups for nighttime anyway, but I quickly realized how expensive this could become if it continued for too long. I was throwing away a pull-up every morning. Using them for more than one night seemed gross (would you wear a pair of underwear two nights in a row?). My solution? I bought the next box of pull-ups in a bigger size than he needed. At night, he would put on a regular pair of underwear and a pull-up over the top of that. He never complained that it was uncomfortable (and trust me, if there's any discomfort to complain about, Ben will speak up immediately). So in the morning, if there hadn't been an accident, I put the pull-up on his dresser to be used again. There were times when we made one pull-up last a whole week.

On a related note, I also made his bed in a way that would save me some time in the middle of the night. Over his mattress, I put a waterproof mattress protector (the kind that fits like a sheet). Then I put on a fitted sheet. After that, I put on a waterproof mattress pad (the kind that are just flat). And another sheet. I did about 3 or 4 layers of waterproof pad/fitted sheet. So in the middle of the night, when he came to me saying he'd had an accident, I went to his room and pulled off the sheet and pad...underneath would be a clean sheet. (I also do this with the crib mattress.) (By the way, this technique is priceless if you have a kid with a stomach virus. Puke + rip off sheet and pad = New surface for puking on. Whoopie!)

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Peace out, my peeps!

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