She Who Fears

A Christian lifestyle blog that exists to glorify Jesus, encourage community, and build a healthy fear of the Lord

The Solution to Your Toy Pollution

Jordyn Brazil2 Comments

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I can tell you every single toy that my kids own.

I can even take it a step further and tell you where those toys are at in my house this very moment.

I think that's pretty cool.

Play/Dining Room

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Toys are a topic that every single parent deals with. Most conversations I am involved with are along the lines of overwhelm, clutter, junk, and tantrums, to name a few.

I'm a type-a, clean freak person to start, so from the beginning, I've tried to be intentional about keeping the amount of toys in our home to a minimum. If it were up to me I'd only have open-ended, natural toys in my house. Not only do they keep the kids busy for hours and spark imagination and creativity, but I think they're way prettier, too, HA!

Over time, maybe, all of our toys will be transformed into a very small and curated collection, but for now, this is what works well for us, and I think that for three kids it's not too shabby! The photos I've included in this post show just about every toy we have, apart from our craft cabinet, a small trampoline, outside toys, and a wobbel board that we bought a few days after these photos were taken ;)

Mattheus' room

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Twins' Room

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Living room

Tips:

  1. If you're trying to pare down your kids' toys, I think the best way to start is to watch them. We have a lot of stuff, but to be honest, my kids gravitate towards probably the same 25% of things every day. What do your kids actually care about? What goes untouched? One day during nap or evening after bedtime, put all of the untouched toys in a big box in a closet or garage. After a few days, have your kids even noticed? You also don't have to do one big purge. Take your time and just get rid of a few things each week. Repeat this step as necessary; for example, maybe your baby has turned into a toddler -- onto the next stage of toys! (It's totally time for me to do this again)!
  2. I also love, love, love these cubby type shelves for toy storage. Rather than a black hole of a toy box, give each special piece a special place. Even my one year olds know where toys go away because they can remember which cubby the objects belong.
  3. Utilize baskets and boxes. Having a big basket for the balls, a medium one for all of the blocks, and smaller ones for things like toy cars and musical instruments helps keep things together. I even have a small basket with small, miscellaneous stuff that my kids like to use that just feel out of place otherwise. Whatever works, man.
  4. Try to replace toys that only have one specific purpose with things that inspire open ended and creative play. (I'm obviously still working on this one!)

Here's a little list of some toys we love as well as some we can't wait to add to our collection:

https://www.amazon.com/shop/shewhofears

Are you type-A like me or are you swimming in stuff? I hope that this post has been helpful to you either way!

Potty Training

Jordyn BrazilComment
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One of the perks of having a blog is having a place to store your "mom-hacks" if you will. I do a lot of sharing over on the 'gram and I get asked a lot about potty training. Somehow, Mattheus was out of diapers - officially - shortly after his second birthday. My approach was very laid back, natural (big surprise, much wow) and child-led. I attempted to do the whole "drink a gallon of juice and lockdown" method and LOL. Can you just imagine my child peeing everywhere while I'm stuck under two nursing newborns? Because it felt like a joke.

What we did probably won't work for everyone, but if I can help anyone with a stress free transition outta diapers, I feel that sharing my experiences can be valuable.

  1. I attribute a lot of our success to the fact that we used cloth diapers. Disposables immediately wick away the feeling of being wet, but you don't get that with cotton cloth diapers. If you don't cloth diaper, I think that my "method" can still work for you.
  2. Mattheus was a very obvious pooper so from about 7 months, whenever we were at home and I was able to, I'd pick Mattheus up, unfasten his diaper as we walked back to the bathroom, and sit him on the toilet to finish pooping. Because I started at such a young age, Mattheus was never afraid of the toilet or pooping in it. I started with the twins around 6 months, but they're more silent poopers so I don't always catch them. However, Kinsley has caught on pretty quick and by 15ish months she mostly only poops on the toilet.
  3. Start naked. Once summer hit, I decided to just leave Bub pants less and leave my back door open if we weren't out back playing. I always just told him to go pee in the grass and so then even when he was inside, if we were closer to the back door than the toilet, we'd run to the grass to pee. I get that this might not work for everyone, but the naked factor was pretty important. I think that this increases the child's awareness of what happens when they go to the bathroom. I mean, they've literally just peed and pooped into a diaper until now so that seems natural to them.
  4. We never made a big deal out of the "training". We didn't do a special song or a timer or treats or stickers or charts or anything. I think that helped Mattheus to know that using the toilet is just something that we do.
  5. A C C I D E N T S - Accidents happen. A lot actually. So just be prepared to not lose your mind. We also didn't make a big deal about these either. We would just put him on the toilet, whether we caught him mid pee/poo or after he was done, and say "Pee/poo goes in the toilet. Not on the ground." Now if there is an accident, Mattheus can take off his own clothes, clean his mess, and put his clothes into the laundry. Hallelujah. 
  6. C H O N E S - Once Mattheus seemed to be making it onto the toilet consistently, I added in pants to the situation. Once he was good with not having accidents in those we added underwear. 
  7. O U T I N G S - Outings were kind of tricky. At first I decided to keep diapering Mattheus for outings because I didn't feel like I was ready to be in situations in bathrooms with newborn twins and trying to help a toddler pee. (Stranger lady from the Costco bathroom that held Kins that one day? You da real MVP. Thanks for not stealing my baby). Once we were ready for outings, I mainly kept them brief --bike around the block after using the bathroom at home, quick run to tarjaaaaayyy--and when we got to the location the first thing I would do is ask Bub if he felt like he needed to pee, show him where the bathroom is at, and then remind him of how much of a bummer it is to have an accident and have to go home. We only had a few outing accidents. No poop.
  8. N A P S - For naps, I decided to just go for it and have him go pee beforehand and then nap naked. He did fine and he actually dropped his nap not too long after this anyways.
  9. N I G H T - At first for sleeping I tried this method where I woke him up to have him go pee every few hours....buttttt that just didn't work for us for a few reasons. One; Mattheus is a lot like me. We don't like being woken up. So, he was always reeeeaaally grumpy and threw big fits and it became really miserable, which is not what I wanted the experience to be. Two; occasionally, Miles or I would not wake up to the alarm to wake up Mattheus to fight him to pee on the toilet and he'd end up peeing the bed. Three; despite doing the doubled up sheets system, I was washing bedding CONSTANTLY. And on top of all of our clothes and the twins' diapers and our other linens, Iw as swamped. Sooooo, I finally just decided to put him in diapers until he was waking up pretty dry and then switched him to pull ups until he was waking up dry consistently. To be honest, we still have a night time accident every now and again and I'm not entirely sure why, but I am ok with it. The kid is hardly three!

I'm honestly just kind of spacing on what else was a big deal since I'm not in the thick of it anymore, but if I think of anything else I will definitely add it to this post. I plan on following this pretty much to a tee with the twins but, you know, twins. They tend to like to complicate things! Ha!

Please feel free to shoot me a message via instagram or email if you have any questions at all about any of this!

I'm so happy to help!