{FAMILY} You Can’t Handle The Tooth!

Fact: teething bites (pun very much intended).

I’m on my third tooth-bearing child, and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. No matter how much practice you get, those baby chiclets will sneak up on you, and hit you like a slap in the face. One minute your baby is sleeping well and melting your heart with sweet little smiles and giggles, and the next, the pterodactyl from within unleashes its unruly wails as those tiny little white nuggets push their way through to the surface of your poor baby’s gums.

Sleepless nights, soaked-through tops, and the biting (oh the biting!). Unfortunately, teething is inevitable. We have to let nature take its course – it’s just not optional. What is optional though, is how we deal with the disastrous childhood milestone.

As parents we have two choices: we can grin and bear it – suffer through the raw pain of parenting a teething toddler for the months (sometimes years!) of agony – or, we can numb the pain for our poor little biters by providing them with the right supplies they need to dull the distress.

Cue: Lou Lou Lollipop Teething Necklaces. Unlike many teething necklaces I’ve seen on the market, these cute little silicon-based gems come in a wide range of modern, wearable, hip designs that can be worn without looking “like a mom” when out and about with your little drooler.

teething necklace

I thought so many of their designs were cute and totally wearable (I love the black one above, it looks like it’s made of wood!), but I wanted something unique that would fit with my brand/personality, so the lovely ladies of LouLou Lollipop Finery made me this beautiful custom set for my little teether and I:

teething necklace2

I love the colours, and my oldest daughter likes to wear the larger necklace sometimes too so she can “twin” with her baby sister.

My littlest loves to prance around with her necklace in hand and take a little nibble as she plays. It’s adorable, and it keeps her drooly gums preoccupied which is of course a big win for me.

Not only did I get my own custom set, but I’m giving away one of these lovely necklaces to one of my readers!


Enter now for a chance to WIN your very own LouLou Lollipop teething necklace – in the design of your choice ($30 value)! Check out their site to see more styles, and enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About LouLou Lollipop Finery:

Lou Lou Lollipop Finery is a premium brand of modern, hip silicone accessories designed and handmade locally in Vancouver by two sisters, Eleanor and Angel.

Product features include:
* FDA approved high quality food grade silicone
* Made with non-toxic materials (no- BPA, PVC, phthalate, latex, lead, cadmium, or heavy metals)
* Features breakaway safety clasp as an added safety measure
* Silicone is anti-microbial; does not harbour bacteria or mold

Note: LouLou Lollipop teething jewelry is intended to be worn by adults. It is NOT a toy. It should not be worn by babies/children or left with any child unattended. Adult supervision is always required.


Get The Eff Out Of My Bed!

I can’t remember the last time my husband and I slept through the night without our toddler creeping into our bed in the middle of the night.

At first I enforced a strict “no sleeping in mommy’s bed rule”, getting up in the night and tucking him back in. I spent many a night sitting on the floor, rubbing his back until my arm went numb, curling into the fetal position, shivering quietly as I waited for the sound of his heavy inhale-exhale. Then I would creep out in stealth-like movements – hand to floor, stop, listen. Opposite hand to the floor, stop, listen. Slow crab walk to the door, head half-turned, ear cocked, squinting to see if the slits of his eyes had opened. Then, if I was lucky enough to make it to the crack of light – I’d do a grand jeté the eff outta there! Sometimes, it would be a successful exit, and other times, I’d hear the siren-like wail start up and I’d be back in to start the process all over again.

But after awhile, I became lazy. What’s the harm in letting him sleep in our bed anyways, he’s only young once, and so many people promote co-sleeping. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

I’ll tell you the worst thing that can happen – toys in the eye, kicks to the face, head bonks, facial bruises and fat lips. And worst of all, 3-4 hours of sleep at night. Tops.

Many times I’ve been smashed in the head by toy trucks, had cars zoom up and down my face (sound effects included), and superheroes jumping and dancing on my cheek. The other night? He brought the Canucks car flag into my bed. Imagine waking up to a sharp plastic pole poking into your nostril.

So I’ve decided to put my foot down – it’s time to get my toddler OUT of the “big bed” for good.

After some frantic Googling, I’ve devised a 3-step toddler exit strategy:

Step 1) Get the hubs to put him to bed. I’ve resorted to lying with him during the initial bed time and it’s gotten to the point where I have to lie with him until he’s completely asleep. This seems to be taking longer and longer, and if he wakes when I’m sneaking out, it becomes a struggle of epic proportions.

Step 2) Set up a little nest for him on the floor in my room. When he comes into my room in the middle of the night, I’ll encourage him to lie down on the little floor bed. Gradual exit in full effect.

Step 3) Encourage him to sleep in his bed with lots of positive reinforcement. I will set up a little spot for myself to lie beside him at first so he feels comfortable in his own bed again (and so that I’m not freezing). Then, keep my fingers crossed that this whole thing works.

I’ll leave you with this post about The Big Bed from a toddler’s perspective (via The Honest Toddler). I’m convinced that this is exactly how my toddler views our little sleep situation…

Ask Mama Dina: Taming the Toddler Tirades

I’m a word lover. I love them so much that I sometimes Google the definition of words just for fun.

So today when my toddler  threw himself on the floor and rag-dolled his tiny little body, screaming in pitches that Mariah Carey could never reach, I turned, walked away, and took my frustrations to Google.

First, I looked up the definition of ‘temper tantrum’:

A tantrum (or temper tantrum or tirade or hissy fit) is an emotional outburst, usually associated with children or those in emotional distress, that is typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, yelling, shrieking, defiance, angry ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification and, in some cases, violence. Physical control may be lost, the person may be unable to remain still, and even if the “goal” of the person is met he or she may not be calmed. A tantrum may be expressed in a tirade: a protracted, angry, or violent speech.


Check, check, and double check. All confirmed. My boy is having a raging temper tantrum.
I had accurately defined the issue. Now it was time to find a solution to my problem.
I started to type into the Google search bar “how to stop toddler temper….” – and Google knew exactly what I was looking for. It completed my sentence with “….tantrums in 2 year olds.”
Am I the only one who feels a little relieved when Google reassures me (through predictive search words), that I’m not the only person who has Googled this enquiry?
I scrolled through the results of my search, and came across an article posted by Today’s Parent. In the article, the writer describes a few toddler tantrum scenarios, and provides tips/comments like: try to maintain your good humour when your toddler colours the walls with a Sharpie, they can’t anticipate the difficulties of stain removal (ya right, easier said than done).
She writes about the tantrum as a passing stage, that avoiding the use of the word ‘no’ could help alleviate the start of a tantrum, and that threatening, bribing or reasoning will have no affect as the toddler is experiencing an emotional short circuit.
While I appreciate the truth to these statements, they don’t help me to address the problem at hand. My child is lying on the floor, convulsing, shrieking, thrashing, and kicking. Why? Because he wants to have the scissors that I’ve placed on the counter out of his reach.
My first-born didn’t have tantrums, so this has all been new to me. When the tirades first began with my boy, I tried time outs, I tried holding him and cooing him in a soothing voice, and I tried talking it out – explaining why he couldn’t have what it was he was after. But none of it worked, in fact, it only progressed the wild behavior.
Still looking for answers, I took my questions to the best resource in the world, my mom. Her advice doesn’t only come from her experience as a mom – she ran an infant toddler daycare for 25 years, takes in foster children of all ages (many of which have special needs), and takes courses and studies medical journals in her spare time to learn everything there is to know about childhood development. She knows her stuff.
When I asked her how to deal with the tantrums, her answer was simple. She gave me these three tips:
1) When the toddler starts to get riled up (ie: my boy likes to try to put on his own socks, and when he can’t do it right away, he starts to growl and moan and grunt in frustration). When this happens, try saying to them in a calm voice, “it’s ok, just say, ‘help please mommy’ and I’ll help you.” Believe it or not, I’ve tried this, and it works.
2) It’s important to spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging in one-on-one child-led play (I’ll write more about this point in a later post). This helps to build their confidence and gives them control of something.
3) When the toddler is engaged in a full tantrum, say, “I’m going to turn my back until you have finished making a fuss.” Then turn around and don’t give them any attention until they’ve finished. She said don’t push them away or leave the room as they can feel insecure, but the important thing is to not give them your attention when they are acting up. No eye contact, no talking, just you with your back turned. Once they finish, you follow up with lots of positive reinforcement, hugs and kisses.
Note: if you’re not at home when this happens, try picking up your toddler, and taking him/her to a quiet place where you can use the same method, like the car or a washroom.
Remember that all children are different. There is never one solution that will work for all, but until I find what works for mine, I’m willing to try anything.
What do you to to stop the toddler tirades?

Two Close For Comfort

My boy is just over 19 months – or as I like to say – too close to two. As he approaches this toddler milestone, I have been very wary of the challenges this stage represents. I’ve been there before – the sporadic temper tantrums, the sudden nocturnal tendencies, and the wild look in the eyes (like a beast ready to attack its fragile prey). I know what I’m in for, and it’s giving me nightmares.
Some might say that I’m being superstitious, that “age ain’t nothin’ but a number”. But I know the signs, and the craziness has already reared its ugly head. My boy hasn’t slept in over a month. At all. I put him down at 8pm or so (with difficulty might I add – I bath him, I rock him, I read a book, I lay him down, I sing, I rub his back, I leave, I let him cry it out, I come back, I leave, yada yada). He sleeps for 2-3 hours, during which time I convince myself that it has worked, that the curse has been broken.
Then, with no warning, he blows. Blood curdling screams burst through his tiny lips, and it doesn’t stop until I return to his room. I’ve tried to let him cry it out, crossed my fingers that if I waited long enough, it would slow down, or even stop. But I’ve waited for as long as two straight hours, and he doesn’t falter. When I give in and return to his cave, he stops immediately, giggles and grins and murmurs “mama” (like he is boasting that he has won the battle). If I stay, he stares and plays and chatters. If I leave, he blows. He’s only two and he owns me.
I know this is only the beginning, and I dread the rest of the challenges to come. My little beast is clever, stubborn, and relentless. Qualities that might someday attribute to his success. I have a long year ahead of me, and it’s keeping me up at night.

Now I know why they make them so adorable. So that our impatience, frustration, and sleeplessness melts away upon the sight of their sweet little faces.