From potty training to picky eaters, Rosie Pope weighs in on our readers' toughest parenting challenges.
-I'm Rosie Pope and I'm a contributing editor of Parents Magazine. And today, I'm gonna answer some of your questions. What people asked me about depressions of potty training, the first thing I always ask them is have they ever seen anybody walked down the aisle to get married in a diaper. The answer is no. They will get there in their own time and I really do not believe in pushing them. Most children learn between ages of 2 and 3 and the closer you wait 'til 3, the easier it will be. People asked me about picky eaters all the time and I actually do have a picky eater. The first thing I'd say is, do not label your child a picky eater. They will learn to eat different foods overtime. It's really important they don't fall into that label. The second this is often picky eating is not just about the food but it's also about control. So, give them a little bit of a choice so maybe they can choose between different shapes of pasta, they kinda choose between-- say pasta and pizza. And the third thing is to introduce new things slowly. Don't try all at once to introduce carrots and peas and broccoli and brussel sprouts 'cause it's just not gonna work. It's gonna be overwhelming. Kids really kinda get nutrition from lots of different places and to really focus on healthy foods that they are eating and give them a lot of them often. And bit by bit introduce into those things they like-- new things. My son likes fruit in a shape of a flower and every now and then, I slip in some raw carrots and he usually eats them. Mommy guilt is everywhere and while I think a tiny bit of mommy guilt can be okay. If it keeps [unk] too much of it is really bad. And I think it completely gets in the way of us enjoying our time with our kids and instead of focusing on good times, we obsessed about a few bad times. So maybe you had a really hard time brushing your kid's teeth in the morning and that's what you're worried about before the fight about the teeth there were some laughs. And I think it's really important to try and push it aside so we can enjoy each moment. Sweet dreaming can be a very controversial subject. So I'm gonna tell you my first experience. I normally sleep training my kids between around 6 to 8 months but I will say, the long you wait the harder it can be. Sleep training for us meant-- first of all, making sure they're getting enough food during the day so that you don't feed them at night time. Having really healthy night time routine [unk] and stories and music and then at 7:00, bring them down into their crib and then not coming back so that means letting them crying out. And for us, when you're 100 percent consistent-- for all of my children it took about 2 to 3 days and then they will sleep into the night. And for our family, we really needed to do it so that we had great night sleep and when we wake up during the day and had so much energy to play and be together. So for us, it really, really worked.