Mini Milestone: Ditching Diapers

Mini Milestone: Ditching Diapers

You can call it potty training, toilet learning or “big kid restroom time.” But no matter your terminology, helping little ones graduate from diapers to toilets can be an emotional minefield for families.

There are a lot of factors to consider (and worry about) – from when to start to how to approach the whole process. And there are no limits to opinions on the matter. Some people will insist it should be finished by age two, others will argue that age three is the magic number.

But the reality is this: Learning to use the potty is a process that should begin only when your child is ready.


Babies brains are constantly making connections. You can nurture that development daily.

By Brittany Fortman

Looking for fun, simple things to do with your child to support their development? Here are 10 easy activities for boosting your babies brain growth -- and your family connection! These ideas are adapted from the ASQ Learning Activities by Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink.

Floor Play

Put items on the floor and let your baby explore! Small stainless steel bowls, wooden spoons, plastic cups, rolled up socks, or books are good options.


Use wash cloths or sheer fabric to play peek-a-boo with your baby.

Use Baby’s Name

Sings songs about everything using your baby’s name. Babies respond to their name amazingly early and continue to listen for it as they get older.

Dance to Music

Dance to music with your baby. Moving to music helps babies learn rhythm which is helpful with math skills.

Empty & Fill

Put several pieces of fabric scraps in a container, such as a wipes container, for babies to pull out. Once it’s empty, they can help put them back in and start all over again!

Go Outside

Explore the outdoors with your baby. Sit near trees and talk about the leaves moving, the birds you see or hear, and the way the grass feels. You’ll be exploring all of their senses and building their vocabulary.

Play Ball

Have a variety of balls available for your baby to explore. Talk about the size of the ball and how it feels, bounce the ball and talk about what your baby is doing with the ball.


Read children’s books, the newspaper, food labels — anything you might be silently reading, read aloud to help build your baby’s brain!

Play with Clay

Get a block of clay, moisten it and let your baby explore by touching the clay. You can even cut off a piece and soften it so your baby can hold it in their hand and squeeze it.

Explore Velcro Rollers

These hair rollers stick together and pull apart easily. Babies can build and be surprised when the rollers stick to items other than each other!

Infants -- Great Roommates?

AAP Recommends “Rooming In” with Infants to Prevent SIDS

Being a parent is exhausting enough without keeping up with a rapidly changing world! Following all the news concerning recommendations for children can be a tough task. All of us at Partnerships for Early Learners try to help by finding, condensing and sharing the newest information.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is bringing 2016 to a close with some major changes to their recommendations concerning infants and toddlers. Yesterday, the AAP released updated information on safe sleep for infants, including an approach that many families already embrace and others may be surprised by: rooming in with your baby.


AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include:

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a fitted sheet.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface. Share the space preferably until the baby turns one, but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.  
  • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.

These changes may mean a little less sleep for families with infants, but they also go a long way toward implementing the practices that we know provide children with safe places to rest. These guidelines are focused on the first year of life, with special attention for the first six months that your little one is in your family. Some additional advice from the AAP includes:

  • Encourage families to breastfeed.
  • Avoid any soft surfaces like couches or cushioned chairs for nighttime breastfeeding or comforting.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices, including wedges or positioners, marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development.

Benjamin Planton is Partnerships for Early Learners’ Infant Toddler Outcome Specialist, which means that he devotes his workdays to ensuring healthy, positive starts for Indiana’s youngest citizens. With a background in working with early learners, including in infant and toddler classrooms, and a commitment to advancing the field of early childhood education, Ben brings a focus on high-quality, high-impact experiences for children, professionals and families. This post was originally published on the Partnerships for Early Learners blog.

Featured image by Flickr user Caitlin Regan, Creative Commons license.