People always say that having a second child is different and they are right but the difference between my first and second child is not that my second sleeps better (unfortunately), is more adaptable or that I'm more confident the difference for me is much more emotional than practical. I was smacked in the face with love for Booboo! Not as soon as I gave birth but a few days or weeks in (I cant actually remember) it dawned on me that I was now so vulnerable and so strong because of her. I remember that I vehemently and rudely defended every choice I made for Booboo and I was the only one who could make the choices (with a little decision making power for irrelevant things allocated to the dad). This feeling of protecting what was mine was overwhelming at times and it is that feeling that has toned down with the Boy. I cant be a new mum again. I'm weathered now. I know I need help and those that help me don't want to hog my baby or ruin all of my good work they want to help me. I feel less irrational with the Boy and that at first worried me. I thought maybe I didn't feel as strongly as I did for Booboo but that's nonsense. All the love is there! I'm just staring at his sleep pale face as he lies across me and I'm so in love I feel sick but it's the craziness that's not there. In my opinion, as a first time mum, you need the craziness, you need to dismiss everyone's ideas (even those tried and tested for generations) and slag everyone else's parenting choices off to your other half because I think that's how you learn to be the parent you want to be and that shouldn't be influenced by anyone. So that's it really and it's obvious: the main difference between having my first child and my second is that my second cant be my first.
The people seated next to us and behind us on the Monarch flight to Lanzarote looked as scared as we felt when Baby Bjorn ladened Dad, sweaty me and wild eyed Booboo boarded and apologetically sat down! The theory behind going on holiday at this crazy point in our lives was that Booboo would be free and the Boy doesn't need anything but boob and I wouldn't mind breastfeeding night and day
whilst on holiday. There is so much wrong with that theory that doesn't need spelling out but we definitely learnt a lot.
1. Flying with two babies under 2
On our flight we couldn't sit next to each other, the best we could do is sit either side of the aisle as there are only 4 oxygen masks on each infant enabled row so if two babies are sitting on two adults laps on one row there wouldn't be enough masks. That's a reason in itself to wait for your oldest to be two as there is a chance you could all be separated. Luckily we had
quiet flights before the school holidays so got aisle seats but it could have been horrible.
A major lesson is to only take one hand luggage bag to be carried by the one wearing the baby. A baby carrier was a necessity for us! It's a fact that toddlers are mental and run fast in crowded and dangerous places so someone needs to have both hands free and be unencumbered to chase and wrestle a writhing toddler as it legs it through passport control without understanding the requirement of showing a passport. We had way too many bags on the way out to deal with this situation very well and a stranger had to get involved.
A portable DVD player is a good idea but I reckon you should get your little one to watch the films you are taking before you go and monitor their reaction. Tarzan was put on for Booboo and in the opening frames the baby's parents die and baby Tarzan is rescued by a monkey. This blew my girl's mind and she sobbed uncontrollably asking why his mummy and daddy
had gone. This was an unexpected screaming fit that could have been avoided. We did all the other toddler advised things like take little presents, loads of snacks and drawing but the DVD player was all that was required so we will pack a lot lighter next time.
2. Breastfeeding on a plane
I dread to think how many people I exposed myself to? I had a thin scarf that did a much better job of covering me than a stupid muslin! I hate Muslins!! They slip off without warning,
I've only ever got a stained one and there is never one around when the big vomm happens! Grr! I also found feeding the Boy uncomfortable when people were next to me as there was nowhere near enough room and he is only 3 months. Any bigger and his legs would be kicking my neighbours gin and tonic (the drink I miss the most). So I think I would try and express if we go away again before weaning (unlikely unless we win the lottery). All in all
taking a little baby on a flight whilst breastfeeding was quite straightforward and involved very little crying but quite a lot of sick because I force fed to avoid crying.
3. Changing bums on the flight
The only lesson learnt was that it was relatively easy. Seem to be more room in a piddly little toilet cubicle than there is in Starbucks baby change.
We went for a villa and it was a good bet. At least I could watch everyone having fun in the pool from the sofa or under an umbrella if I was in a hotel room I would have been very depressed. The fact is a newborn shouldn't compete with you to get a tan and when it's hot will feed 20 hours a day so my best tip - spray tan before you go because you will not catch a ray unless your baby sleeps and mine doesn't do that very much.
If you stay in a villa try and find a local hotel that puts on entertainment for little ones call them and see if you can go. Any resort that's not all inclusive shouldn't mind as you're a paying customer. We went to the Princess Yaiza in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote and enjoyed the wonders of Kikoland and his various shows and the mini disco every night. Booboo loved it and the Boy just ate throughout. I think the villa and gate crashing hotel entertainment was a good mix and we will be doing this again. Anyone looking for a very, very child friendly and plush hotel should check out the Princess Yaiza.
5. Eating out
Eating abroad with a toddler is different from eating abroad with a baby. At 14 months when we took Booboo to Spain she happily tried anything and sat in a highchair and enjoyed the experience which in turn meant that we enjoyed eating food. This time no new foods were tried, her diet consisted of Weetabix, Pom Bears and bread. The unknown was refused or indelicately spat on the floor. Booboo must be have come home vitamin deficient!
6. Sleeping arrangements abroad
In my experience, however well equipped your accommodation is with cots, cribs, bed guards, you will always end up with one baby or child in your bed.
7. Never as bad as you think
For all the times I considered flying home early there were times when I thought 'we are actually doing this and everyone is alive and well', I really wish we had been more adventurous when we just had one child but this holiday taught me that it is possible to travel with babies and it can go ok. Flights, airport queuing, getting bags, forgetting my glasses on the plane out there and miraculously getting them back, car hire nightmares, my driving being described as go-kart driving, no air con in the villa, over tired babies and 30 degree heat were all dealt with and we had a good time. Booboo absolutely loved swimming all day, and the Boy loved eating all day. We had some really cool times and some pretty stressful times but it hasn't put me off. I do question those people who say that they could go travelling around the world with their children, not for me thank you very much.
The Boy is too gorgeous to sleep, if he sleeps he may crumple his flawless skin on his delicate face and that just wouldn't do. Unfortunately I am getting more ugly every night that goes by without any shut eye! I'm done in and I think I am medically exhausted (and incredibly dramatic). I am hallucinating that the Boy is shouting 'Milk!', 'Milk!' during the long nights and even get confused as to who I'm feeding?! Last night I thought I was feeding Booboo when she was little. The Boy wakes every hour or two and has done for 4 weeks now. He gets fed every time because he is screaming blue murder and he won't be settled. I wish I could settle my babies, I've always just fed them and I don't doubt that there is another way but I hate crying, it annoys me, so feeding is what I do. I also bring the Boy in bed with be but unlike BooBoo he doesn't get on with it. He eats too much and then is sick so i don't even have the lazy, lying down feeding option.
The books and experts say that at 4 months babies go through sleep regression. The Boy only ever slept through once but apparently babies who actually slept through begin to feed or wake many times a night. I don't know why this happens but it is unjust!
I'm sure this regression will pass and it will get easier but I had to document it because I completely forgot about it ever happening with BooBoo. That's the weird thing about labour and babies, the absolutely painful and exhausting periods are forgotten. That must be a clever evolutionary thing to keep us stupid humans procreating.
One thing this month has had me and everyone around me discussing is formula and early weaning. Still holding strong on the breastfeeding though even if it's draining me. The Boy is
very plump now and my instincts say it's not more food he wants he just needs to grow and soon I will forget this time and I will miss holding my little boy in my arms at 1am , 2am, 2:30am, 3am ...
I've just had 8 hours of glorious, uninterrupted night's sleep and I feel on top of the world! I thought people actually lied about little babies sleeping more than 3 hours. The Boy is 10 weeks old and for the last 2 or 3 days I've noticed a massive change in his contentent; I think we've turned a corner.
True friends told me before Booboo that the first 12 weeks can be dark days and, in my experience, they definitely are but the night that I finally get some sleep all of that is forgotten and my baby becomes understandable for the first time and I want to tell strangers in the street how well my baby sleeps. So for me, the secret to surviving the newborn days is gritting my teeth and waiting for time to pass whilst trying to capture as many milk drunk naps, cheeky smiles (even if they are just precursors to vomit) and calm moments of tea drinking and biscuit eating.
The only difference with how I'm parenting the Boy compared with Booboo is a complete lack of routine so last night's mammoth sleep has nothing to do with any kind of plan. I have no time for baby books and no other babies to compare the Boy to so I have absolutely no clue where we are in the day with naps, feeds or playtime but it's actually less stressful. I constantly felt behind schedule with Booboo and nowadays we're going with the flow. I know this will come back to bite me when the Boy doesn't self soothe, sleeps in our bed and refuses to be weaned but i will take that risk.
Let's hope this sleeping at night continues because I'm planning on going to the gym and scraping together the body two babies have used as a home which has now been left resembling a house. It's goodbye to mainlining chocolate and bread and I will probably forever be on a diet. A nutritionist told me, happily 2 years too late, that excessive carbs aren't actually the answer to nutritional breast milk it's protein and fats. If anyone thinks that theory is inaccurate and that a share bag of Cadbury Buttons a day is a medical requirement for a breast feeding mother I'm all ears!
A New Woman!
You read about this phase in labour where you feel like you don't want to go through with the crowning bit and would rather zip it all up and just go home but I reckon I also go through a breast feeding transitional phase. It's a theory I have developed pretty much overnight, without any sleep or scientific basis whatsoever.
In my experience, I get to the 6 week mark think all is going ok with the breast feeding, sorted out the latch by queuing up to let a 'counsellor' fiddle with my boobs, got rid of green poos (a topic for another post), weight gain becomes acceptable to even the most judgmental health visitor and then we hit a wall. Both my babies started screaming day and night at this 6 week stage. Wonder week? Growth spurt? Colic peak? Reflux? Whatever it is it sends me into a breast feeding hating rant and makes the Dad kindly offer to buy formula. I then grab the breast pump to sadly find out what I ready know, milk drips out at the rate of an ounce an hour mechanically confirming I can't feed my baby and my baby is actually screaming that he's starving!
I've been through all this before. Booboo's first weeks were exactly the same so I think it's a 6-8 week mountain I have to overcome. I haven't reached for the formula just yet because I hold it out to be the miracle answer when things get desperate and if I gave it to the Boy and he still screamed It would send me over the edge! So I'm soldiering through and choosing to believe that I am built to feed my baby just what he needs and that he isn't actually starving as he's putting on weight and, just like the labour transitional phase, I'm praying once it passes we are home and dry! Today I hate breast feeding and in a few months when I am weaning the Boy off I will be a hormonal wreck not wanting to stop.
Just to make sure the screaming isn't anything to do with his cranium? I'm also going to see a cranial osteopath which may probably be akin to burning £40 but talk of such pro activity and an appointment got me up and dressed today!
The power of the dummy allowed me to do this!
I got to the stage where the Boy's colic is battling with my sleep deprivation and I am desperate to put the Boy down for one minute to get on with the mundane tasks of life. I don't want to go to a party or even to the loo I just want to put the washing on or prevent Booboo from falling off a bench. The Boy (just like Booboo) wants to be held because he's brand new and that's how nature
intended before the expectations of superwomen made you feel like your house needed to be in order before your first cup of tea. It's not his fault. I understand his needs I just can't fulfil them 100% of the time.
It's his screaming that I need to curb because I can't do the tasks I need to do with normal blood pressure whilst I watch veins protrude from my baby boy's forehead. I doesn't help that the Boy was born with fully functioning tear ducts so has been crying, run down your face, tears since day 1! So last weekend, after hosting the most shambolic BBQ, the dad went to get a dummy. We tried this with Booboo but either our reservations or her unwillingness to comply meant we soon gave up. The Boy however took quite willingly and broke his 13 hour straight feeding/screaming session and fell asleep for over an hour. I then splashed about with Booboo in the paddling pool and devoured the left over BBQ food.
I feel guilty about dummy use but I don't know why? Why do I feel like I've given up? Maybe because cave women didn't have them and therefore I'm not being natural? That's a crap argument as I push my kid in a buggy and change him using disposable nappies. Maybe it's because Booboo didn't have one and I am already feeling like standards of parenting are slipping in the Guilty House. And why do I feel like a dummy is reinforcement of slipping standards? What school of thought ever started that ridiculous notion?
On the upside, I wrote this post on my phone sat in the sunny park, eating a sausage sandwich whilst the Boy drifted off with the aid of the dummy.
So a dummy sometimes means my boy doesn't scream for so long, I am not feeding every 45 minutes and I can play with my daughter. The dummy is therefore the best thing for the family as a whole but why do I feel a bit sad about it?
Posts from now on will have to be short and I apologise in advance for the spelling and grammatical mistakes. To get on the laptop I've already had to walk 2 miles to get the Boy to sleep and as I frantically type standing up in the kitchen I can hear him waking up. He's in the garden as helpfully both my newborns only sleep outside in the day.
Anyway, this post isn't meant to be about where we are but how we got here. The Boy was born on 9 April 2013 at 10:40am weighing 8lb. He's amazing and I am still shocked I have a boy. I won't bore you with a detailed labour story, the result was as you would expect: some pain, lots of mess and a beautiful baby boy. This labour's only distinguishable feature from Booboo's was the accelerated timetable once it all kicked off. From car park to movie style waters breaking to first cuddle in less than 30 minutes. Looks like a home birth is on the cards if I ever do this again whether I want one or not.
One annoying feature of pregnancy this time was the protracted latent phase of labour or more straight up term - false labour. I thought I would know when I was in labour but I thought I was about 5 times before I actually was. For 4 days before the big day mild contractions started around about the time the Masterchef rounds started on TV and would stop if I had a bath, sit or lay down. So for 4 days I tried to not sit or lay down and kept walking. What a waste of time and energy. I just ended up exhausted at the very time I needed all my strength. If I have any advice about knowing when labour has started it's that if you have to do star jumps and pelvic thrusts into the stairs to maintain contractions that cause you some type of pain then labour hasn't started and you should sit down, eat something and relax. Oh another piece of advice, don't blame people for stopping your labour! It's most definitely not their fault unless they have a gun to your head which may impact on your relaxation techniques. On Friday 5th April I called the nans because I thought I was in labour, when they arrived and my contractions stopped I blamed them and asked them, quite rudely, to leave. Good job they like me because I could be doing this without their much needed support as I was such a stroppy cow.
So now we are 4 and 4 weeks in, it's been crazy! Nature is amazing at making you forget how hard the newborn phase is. If you could remember clearly I reckon we'd be quite a small population. I don't really understand how there are so many mummy bloggers. It seems pretty difficult to write stuff, type stuff or even find the laptop under all the mess. Hopefully I will get chance to post regularly as already there have been some amazing moments I want to note for the children and some really tough times I want to remember as a form of contraception.
I am publishing this whilst the Boy screams in my ear! Blog post guilt!
I am a week from my due date. I tricked myself into thinking this baby was coming early because my bump had dropped and I was feeling like I was holding a baby in rather than carrying one but it looks as though we're seeing this one through to the end and then probably another fortnight.
Luckily for friends and family I haven't turned into the impatient monster I became when waiting for Booboo's arrival. I am pretty relaxed this time because every night of uninterrupted, uncomfortable sleep is to be savoured. I was so mean at the end of Booboo's pregnancy and people stayed away because I lost any filter I've ever had that prevented me from snapping heads off. One week overdue I started throwing money at the situation. As a closet lover of the alternative and homeopathic I sought help at the local 'clinic'. A reflexologist promised me that my foot massage with the help of the good fairies and energy that surrounded me would have this baby in my arms in 24 hours for £40. Two acupuncturists reassured me with their success stories that contractions would start within 12 to 24 hours of their needles being inserted for the total cost of £120 plus travel fees to London on one occasion. Day 11 post due date and I desperately went back to an acupuncturist who told me to drop my bad attitude and accept that you cannot control labour and that I should just deal with the fact that induction was likely and before she had even put a needle in me I had my first contraction. So if anyone wants to come over and have a go at me, I will pay you for that service if it results in a baby but I am not paying upfront again.
Realistically, I am resigned to going 2 weeks over. Whenever this baby arrives I will be ready but I am still in the dark as to how Booboo will react. I think she now knows something is up, she has started being really loving, whereas usually she uses a cuddle to get close enough to my face to poke me in the eye she now cuddles me saying 'my mummy'. So cute but I worry she is already feeling the difference the imminent arrival will have on her life. Booboo doesn't know how to; or why she should, wait and she is going to have to learn that all of her needs cannot be catered for at supersonic speed very soon. I am quite teary lately at the thought of the changes Booboo will go through when this new baby arrives and I really do not want her to feel like a big girl because she is still my baby too.
Other than a gorgeous new baby who smells like vanilla milk, I am also waiting for a glass of cold fizzy wine, ideally this English one, a brie and grape sandwich from M&S and to be able to cough without having to cross everything to stop me from weeing myself. What did you look forward to most after giving birth? I would love to add a few more treats to my hospital bag!
The response from Liz Truss has arrived! As you may be aware, I asked readers of this blog to let me know their views on the Department for Education's report entitled More Great Childcare so that I could put these forward in a parent bloggers meeting with Liz Truss that I attended in February. I received a great response and summarised the views and opinions received into this table. I have set out below the minister's responses to the issues raised in the table. Please let me know what you think?! Does this response change your view in any way?
RESPONSES FROM LIZ TRUSS:
1. Will the quality of care be diminished?
On the contrary our proposals will help ensure more high quality childcare is available. High quality childcare promotes children’s development in the early years and is crucial to their future success at school and in life.
Our proposals will allow high quality nurseries to exercise their own professional judgement giving them the freedom to deploy their staff to best meet the needs of the children and parents. These flexibilities will only be available to nurseries employing highly trained staff. For example, if a member of staff is off sick or needs to leave the premises for a short period of time, then high quality nurseries will be able to put in place the cover which they Judge to be safe and appropriate.
These changes will give providers the incentives and flexibility they need to deliver the best for children and by doing so provide parents with more choice.
The current ratio requirements for childminders are needlessly complicated and burdensome. For example, childminders caring for twins, or for their own babies are allowed to look after two babies, but other childminders are not given this flexibility. Under our proposals, childminders will be able to use their own professional judgement about what works best for them and the children in their care.
There are superb childminders right across the country, but we need to attract more talented people to the profession. Nothing is more important in early education than the quality of the staff delivering it – this is what makes the difference to children’s development. That’s why we are introducing childminder agencies, which will offer a far simpler route into the job. Agencies will free up professionals to focus on their actual job – looking after children.
2. Will the objective of freeing up more places be met?
Yes, the proposed changes mean it will be easier for high quality nurseries to take on an extra child or children where they judge it appropriate – which will lead to more high-quality childcare places being available, at the time when parents need them.
We want childminders, like the one in the rural area that you mention, to have more flexibility and to be able to decide how many children of different ages they can care for. Within the existing overall limit of six, we are proposing that childminders can look after one additional child under the age of five. They will be able to use their own professional judgement about what works best for them and the children in their care.
3. Will the objective of decreasing the cost of childcare be met?
Being able to pay staff more will help attract more bright and talented people to the profession – and will help bring pay in line with some of our European counterparts. Currently the important staff who work in our nurseries have average annual earnings of £13,300 – well below the£16,000 in France, £20,000 in Denmark and £22,000 in Sweden. This is despite the fact that the UK Government spends the same on childcare as the French. Of course if nurseries are already employing highly qualified staff fees might be reduced.
Currently not enough money is going to the frontline. We outlined steps in More Great Childcare to remove the duplication of quality assessment that local authorities carry out in addition to Ofsted, which should mean more money can go to the frontline and are looking at further steps to make sure as much money as possible goes direct to nurseries.
Further announcements around what we are doing to make childcare more affordable will follow shortly.
We want to increase the number of childminders. Their numbers have halved in the last 20 years. New childminder agencies will provide a new route into the profession, helping them with registration, training and practice. This will create more choice for parents.
4. Will the safety of children be put at risk?
The safety of children is paramount. High quality staff working in well organised settings is what creates a safe environment. Only providers who employ highly qualified staff will be able to operate with the proposed new ratios.
We hope nurseries will be able to use the new ratios and most crucially their own professional judgement to better manage situations, such as a member of staff dealing with a problem. In practical terms, if a member of staff is off sick or needs to leave the premises for a short period of time, then high quality nurseries will be able to put in place the cover which they judge to be safe and appropriate.
Our proposals are intended to give providers the flexibility to exercise their own professional judgement about what works best for the children in their care and parents who use their services particularly in terms of the number of children they feel they can take on. This will bring us in line with some other European countries which have a more flexible approach to
The number of children a childminder can look after is staying the same. We are simply giving them more flexibility to decide the ages of those they care for. It will be up to individuals to decide how to manage their business.
5. Won’t staff in nurseries be demotivated, overworked and unhappy in their roles under the new proposals?
We want to make sure hard working and high quality staff are properly rewarded for this challenging job. It is wrong that nursery workers earn an average of £6.60 barely above the minimum wage. We want to make it easier for nurseries to attract quality and talented staff. We calculate that the new ratios create the headroom for many nurseries to pay staff an extra £3000, closing the gap between the average childcare worker in England (£13,300) and France (£16,300), with even larger increases in pay for highly-qualified staff.
The changes we are introducing will make sure that the contribution nursery staff make to young children’s development is recognised and valued and ensure that as many children as possible get the benefits of a high-quality early education, which is what we and early years professionals both want.
6. Are comparisons with other countries persuasive enough to warrant the
The truth is that we have one of the most stringent set of ratio requirements for children aged two and under of any European country. Our restrictive ratios contribute to the low pay of childcare workers and high costs for parents and mean it is harder to attract bright and talented people to join the profession.
Childcare in this country must be world-class, we want a system which is looked upon with envy by other countries. We feel there is real value in looking abroad to see what works particularly countries like France where high quality childcare places are widely available and hugely popular with parents.
Childminder agencies already operate successfully in many countries like France and Canada, and we know that many nurseries in this country are already drawing upon best practice by, for example, introducing family rooms, similar to a model which is popular in Scandinavia where children of mixed ages from 2-5 years learn and play together.
7. Will childcarers get a say on whether the ratio reforms are
Yes. We are currently running a consultation on our ratio proposals and I encourage
anyone with an interest in the issue to make their views known.
I am prone to a strop and have often been described as mardy but I actually need discipline for my daughter. As previously disclosed, I'm a walkover or should I say I was a walkover. I am on maternity leave now and I am determined to get some actual direction and strategy as to how to discipline Booboo for her own good and for the happiness of the Guilty House.
It is mainly temper tantrums and obstinance that we struggle with, oh and embarrassingly, Booboo at 19 months has started to mock us! If we ask her to sit down in the bath she will say 'Oooh sit down'. This is funny, funny to everyone we tell but she says it standing up, 3 inches away from a dangerous, protruding tap that could seriously harm her should she fall. Booboo can also turn family fun into a high stress situation in moments even when all intentions were to give her the best time possible. The picture above shows a happy little girl, imaginatively playing in her princess castle painted by her own fair hands, however, the reality of this picture is a 'lock in' situation whereby Booboo had painted most of her body and then begun to flick paint all over the room and put glue followed by glitter in her own hair and mine. This well meant craft project had gone horribly wrong and as I tried to tempt Booboo to the bathroom to tidy up she sensed my panic and refused to move until I finally asserted my strength and wrestled her raging up the stairs. I take all the blame for this craft carnage, I didn't set it up at all well, gave her too much choice and forgot that I pay for nursery to do messy play.
I have already spoken to Booboo's nursery about discipline. I kind of had to. Last week as Booboo was rolling under our car in the nursery car park in a fit of rage at the mere mention of going into the car seat, the nursery manager appeared. With a magical 'Hello, what are you doing under there', Booboo shimmied out smiling her little face off with open arms for the nursery manager to pick her up and place her in the hated car seat in our car. I felt like a right winner! Anyway, the nursery manager is a kind woman and didn't gloat but she said that I might want to think about getting Booboo a timer and that when I wanted her to do something to set the timer to go off in so many minutes and when it buzzed Booboo would be more likely to do the thing I asked of her. So in other words, give Booboo a bit more warning and autonomy. It sounds plausible to me so we will give it a go. Anyone else used the egg timer discipline method, ETD as I will now call it? I really do hope ETD doesn't stand for Estimated Time of Disaster in Booboo's case!
We don't think Booboo's behaviour is anything out of the ordinary and the worst of it is luckily reserved for just for me and her dad. Third parties that care for Booboo think she is an angel and experts would say that the temper tantrums and meltdowns stem from frustration because her communication is not as advanced as her understanding. This is all fine but my instincts say that we need to set some boundaries around here. The Babycentre website has some helpful articles but their suggestions have been tried and tested in this house and to no effect. They say use compromise, don't rationalise with her when she is worked up, be consistent and unwavering and to explain that life just isn't fair all of the time. I think we do all of these! We need new ideas.
I am a wannabe, most of the time failing, earth mother and I don't want to break my girl's spirit or knock her confidence but I want to keep her safe and us sane and not wanting to sound too hopeful but it would be great if our stern voice didn't make her laugh. The naughty step is often cited as an effective tool but at 19 months I don't think Booboo will understand and just attempt to climb our ridiculously steep stairs. Can anyone offer any advice, techniques or tips they have employed to deal with toddler discipline? Open to all suggestions!