Thank you Elizabeth for the books to help with this review. Special thank you to Michelle from Mama’s Baby Cupcakes for this review.
Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. Elizabeth frequently speaks to parents at schools, hospitals, and parent groups around the world. Her presentations are received with enthusiasm, and praised as realistic, warm and helpful.
Out of the eleven book offered from Elizabeth’s website, the two books above interested me the most. Our 5yr old daughter has always been a picky eater after having reflux issues as a baby, and developed texture issues from the delay. We also have a 2yr old that I’ve been wanting to potty train and the less issues the better in getting to a successful road of yet another potty trained child.
First I want to tell you more about the No-Cry Picky Eater Solution book. McKenzie turns 5 this month and immediately after birth suffered from severe reflex. She was on medication to help hold formula down, and still got sick all the time. Her reflex was so severe that her mouth was overly sensative and simple milestones like baby cereal and eventually baby food was a no go for her. She was even in Occupational therapy for some delays and one of them was teaching her to eat and figuring out solutions that worked for her. Finally around 1 she could start on table foods that were simple and we started the battle of needing to help her along the way.
As McKenzie aged, we noticed that she never wanted to eat many foods because the texture was too much for her handle. She often gagged on foods that you’d think would be no issue, and its carried with her through the years. We’ve struggled for years to try to get her to eat and nothing seemed to work. We’ve never made our children finish everything on their plates, but we also didn’t want to be a revolving door of different foods for each child at every meal. We tried making her eat, letting her go hungry, sending her to her room for not eating, and making her sit until she tried the foods. She never gave up and we eventually gave in with her and make different meals at dinner and catered to her odd taste buds.
Now that she’s older and more vocal we really wanted to learn the best way to get her to understand that eating variety is good for you and trying new foods isn’t bad. I was so happy when this book arrived because I didn’t want to scar her and make dinner time negative.
One of the first things in the book is a checklist to see if your child is a typical picky eater or if there could be other reasons for the this issue and she had everything on the list for a typical picky eater. While I’ve been concerned about her nutrition, our doctor and this book say that if your child is growing normally, has a good energy level, and appears in great health that they’re not at a dangerous level of picky eating.
Something else that caught my eye is that its mentioned if one or both of the parents was a picky eater than your child is more likely to be as well. I indeed was picky as a child and never liked many things unless it was covered in ketchup. McKenzie’s dip of choice is Ranch and its almost always requested with meals.
This book mentioned that children see food differently than adults because they have more taste buds and a higher sense of smell. Wanting to play with food is normal and another sense induced thing and all these together explain McKenzie very well. If I’m cooking something that might not smell the best, she’s not as likely to try it. She also tends to play in her food a lot and I always thought it was just her messing around until I read this book.
I always thought that having a strict time to eat was a good thing. Children often say they’re hungry, so I figured having set times to eat meant our children saw structure and knew food was coming. This book made me realize that children aren’t always hungry at the same times. Just because you’re ready to serve a meal doesn’t mean your child’s body is ready. They have to learn their body’s own signals and this was a big one for me. I’ve since started dinner at different times between 5-6pm and I’ve noticed that they eat better later in the evening. There’s many “rules” addressed in chapter two and besides strict eating times, another is that snacks before bed can be ok. It can help your child from waking up too early due to hunger and help them sleep better and fall asleep faster. This was a big flag to me with our 6yr old because she always asks to eat between dinner and bedtime and we always say no but it makes total sense now why she comes down and expresses her hunger or not being able to fall asleep. I know this won’t always be the case, but reading this book has helped me understand my children better. Because of this book I still put foods on our childrens’ plates they may not like but we have the rule of eating ONE bite of said food. Sometimes they’ll eat more with no issue and sometimes its just that one bite, but I’ve noticed with this rule that more often then not as time goes on more and more of the food may get a second or third taste.
I could go on for hours about this book! There’s so many great tips offered and so many valid points you’ll come across. Slowly introducing your child to other options, healthy alternatives to traditional candies and chips, and how to keep your cool during these trying times are all great sections in this book. There’s even guides that break down different groups of foods your child should get for their age range and how you can break them up during the day between the three meals and one or two snacks you’ll receive.
We have four children that range in age from 6 1/2 yrs to just 5 months old. Macyn turned 2 in February and has been showing some interest in the potty since March. With potty training two children already and them being totally different experiences, I wanted to read the No-Cry Potty Training Solution book for some great tips on the easiest way to guide our child without it being too difficult for us or her along the way.
The first thing you come across in this book is a Readiness Quiz. Its a couple questions with A,B,C choices and depending on how many of each letter for your answer is how the book judges if your child is ready. I tied B and C which means she’s in-between pre-potty training and full potty training. Because of this I have not read the whole book because it goes the full length of potty training and getting them used to staying dry at night which she’s no where near at this point.
I was happy to see that all the suggestions for pre-potty training is exactly what I do! Simple things like telling your child what they’ve done during a diaper change and letting them go to the bathroom with you can make a huge difference in their understanding of what’s going on with their body. Macyn sometimes knows the difference between pee and poo so I’m always letting her know what’s in her diaper and making sure if she’s incorrect that she knows what happened with her body. She occasionally asks to see what’s in he diaper and while I think its a little odd, I figure its the best way for her to understand better so I let her look.
One thing this book taught me was not to see words such as “ew, stinky, yuck” when talking to your child about their diaper. Going to the bathroom is natural so it makes sense not to use negative words with it but its something I never connected until this book pointed it out to me. With simple steps like letting her child try to dress themselves and learn independence will help nuture their wants to potty train and we’re taking all the right steps towards the ultimate goal of potty training our third child.
The book mentions it can take anywhere from 3-12 months to fully potty train a child and our first two girls were at different ends of that spectrum. I’ve learned to go with the flow and let Macyn lead the way. She’ll know when the perfect time is and while she has Pull-Ups and potty chairs, my biggest concern now is to guide her in the right direction without forcing her to do something she’s not ready to do.
You have to be just as committed as your child is to potty train and only when both of you are ready will you truly have a successful and stress free potty training experience.
While her books vary in retail value, the two I received are both $17 on Amazon. You can explore Elizabeth Pantley’s website to learn more about each book she’s written, and she also has a blog and Facebook page where you can find more tips and be able to connect with her and learn more.
I highly recommend these books to fellow parents! Even though I have four children, I want to be the best parent I can be and I’m thankful for this review. It’s taught me some valuable points that I can use for all my children and pass along to friends with children.