12 Common Potty Training Problems (and Solutions!)

Is your child ready to make the transition from nappy to potty? If so, read our previous blog first on “How to Master Potty Training: The Ultimate Guide,” only then will you be ready to read about the challenges that you may face along the way.

The process of potty training is a combination of successes and setbacks so it’s important to be aware of what the potential setbacks are so you can be prepared for them and handle them effectively. You may encounter resistance from your toddlers during various stages of potty training, so here is our quick guide to the most common potty training problems that arise and how to overcome them!

Problem 1: You are ready but your child is not

Is your child asking for a nappy when a bowel movement is expected? Do they then stand in a special place to go to the toilet? Is your child resisting to use the potty completely?

All of these are signs that your child may be physically ready to use the potty but they aren’t emotionally. Praise your child for recognising that they need to go to the toilet, explain what needs to happen in a positive way and suggest that they make their special place to go in the bathroom until they are ready to use the potty.

Problem 2: Not sitting still or uncomfortable bowel movements

Active children won’t sit still long enough to have a proper bowel movement so when you sit them on the potty, keep some books in the bathroom to keep them occupied.

Other reasons that your child may not poo on the potty or toilet is that it is uncomfortable for them or because they feel more in control when they are wearing a nappy. For toddlers who use the toilet, make sure to use a stool to support their legs and if they only poo in their nappy, empty it into the toilet and let them flush it away.

Problem 3: They don’t make it to the potty in time

Accidents happen especially when children are running around or doing an activity; they just keep doing what they are doing, ignoring the urge until it’s too late. All you can do to overcome this problem is to keep reminding them to use the bathroom, especially before leaving the house and dressing them in easy-to-remove clothing. Whatever you do, do not get upset or punish them as this will make them feel bad and will potentially take them longer to learn to use the toilet.

Problem 4: My toddler recognises the need to poo but not wee

You might be wondering why your child keeps on wetting themselves but they go to the potty when they need to poo. Don’t worry, this is normal. Children learn to control bowel movements first while it may take up to many months for them to achieve complete bladder control.

Problem 5: Boys insisting on sitting down to wee

While this isn’t a major problem, it is an important lesson to teach boys. If your son insists on sitting down, let them learn this first and only once they’ve mastered bladder control, explain to them that boys use the potty standing up. Let him watch other male siblings or his dad so that he can copy.

Read: How to Conquer the 5 Biggest Potty Predicaments

Problem 6: Going to the toilet after being taken off the potty

Does your child urinate or have a bowel movement right after you take them off the potty? This actually happens frequently as when you take them off the potty, your child relaxes. While this can be normal early on as it will take time for your child to learn muscle control, if it happens a lot, they may not be ready to start training yet.

A baby sitting on the potty

Problem 7: They stay dry during the day but wake up wet

Bedwetting is completely normal even months or years after daytime dryness is achieved as it takes some time to master nighttime bladder control. Encourage your child to use the potty immediately before going to bed and as soon as they wake up. Also, make sure they wear absorbent underwear in the night and tell them that if they wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the potty, they can go by themselves or wake you up to go with them.

Problem 8: They will only go to the potty with one particular person

This may be frustrating but some children are only comfortable training with the same person consistently. This is normal, just make sure to gradually withdraw yourself from the process. First, offer to help them undress then wait outside the door. Eventually, when they say they need to go, you can encourage them to go alone but to call you if they need any help.

Problem 9: Regressing back to nappies after weeks of being dry

Minor setbacks or complete regression is normal, especially when children are stressed or there’s a big change in the house, so don’t worry too much if your child insists on going back to diapers after successfully using the potty on their own for a while. Give it time, it will pass. All you can do is be positive and encourage them to return to using the potty.

Problem 10: An aversion to flushing

Another potty training problem can be a fear of flushing. The noise and rapid motion can be scary to some children so try and do it when they leave the bathroom first and then casually while you are talking or singing or playing. It will become less frightening over time.

If your child gets upset when they see their stools being flushed away, this may be because they believe that they are a part of them and they don’t understand where they are going. Calmly explain to them what body waste is and why we need to get rid of it, make sure they know that it is a good thing and try to make it fun.

Problem 11: They only use the potty or toilet at home

The bathroom routine is so well established at home that children can be overwhelmed when it comes to using a different toilet. They may even be scared as the surroundings are so unfamiliar. Try and keep the routine as similar as possible. If you sing a song, sing it, or concentrate on the steps of sitting, talking, flushing and washing hands to show them that it is still the same wherever they are.

Problem 12: Fear of the toilet

Your toddler is a potty master but they just will not progress to the toilet. This may be because they are afraid of it, afraid of falling in or getting sucked down the hole when you flush it. Even children who use the toilet can develop a fear of it if they have one bad experience. To help lessen this fear, help your child feel in control. Explain to them that the toilet will only flush if they pull the handle and let them flush it themselves when they are done.


Are there any potty training problems that you’ve been experiencing with your child?

Be patient and don’t worry if your child takes a step back every once in a while. This is an important learning process and it will take them however long it will take to fully transition from nappy to toilet.


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? See more from us here:

15 Creative Gift Ideas to Save You Money at Christmas

When you have little ones, your budget can become tight. While this can be a source of stress for you, it doesn’t have to be, especially since children have the best imaginations! Some toys or games might be ‘must-gets’ in your family, but for the most part, you can spend some time making your gifts and they will be just as over the moon.

As Christmas is just around the corner, we thought we’d put together a list of creative gift ideas that will help save you money. So if you’re looking to spend less money while the kids are young, here are 15 homemade creative gift ideas that you can use all year round!

1. Sock Puppets

If you’re handy with arts and crafts, sock puppets are a great gift for young children! All of the components are cheap to buy such as colourful socks, multi-coloured puff balls and googly eyes and you have yourself a series of characters to make!

Here’s some help: How to make a sock puppet video and How to make a dog sock puppet, step by step

2. Bath Crayons

Children of all ages love bath time, so create your own bath crayons to make it even better. Your little ones won’t believe that they can draw on the tub!

Here’s how to make your own: Bath crayon recipe and DIY bath crayons

rubber duckies

3. A Tool Belt

Do your little ones like to build? Do they have some trusty tools that they use to fuel their imagination? Then why not make them a tool belt? A tool belt will help them dress the part!

Here’s some help: Make a tool belt tutorial and Step by step guide

4. Doll Accessories

Almost every household with children has dolls, whether they are life-sized babies, barbies or action men, so making them accessories will be the best gift!

Here’s some help: Barbie accessories, Barbie clothes, Winter accessories, Make your own doll nappies, Baby doll sewing patterns

5. Felt Pizza

Inspire creativity by making your own felt sets. You can buy different coloured felt and cut them into shapes and put them in a box. Now all is left to do is for your child’s imagination to run wild!

Here’s some help: Make your own pizza shop

6. A Puppet Theatre

This may take some time but it will be so worth it. If you have some cardboard or even just a cereal box, you can make a puppet theatre. Then all it needs is some characters! Depending on your craft skills, you can keep it simple by drawing and colouring characters and sticking them on to lollypop sticks or you can make your own finger puppets!

Here’s some help: Make your own puppet theatre out of a shoebox or cereal box, Make your own finger puppets, make puppets without sewing


7. A Mini Marshmallow Gun

A fun game and you can eat the bullets at the end! Your children will have so much fun running around the house shooting marshmallows at each other and the great thing is, is that they won’t get hurt.

Here’s some help: Make your own marshmallow gun

8. Clothespin Wrap Dolls

When children are young, their imaginations are amazing and anything can become a toy! Get creative and make something different like some clothespin wrap dolls. Simple and perfect for travelling, these dolls are a really great gift idea.

Here’s some help: Make your own clothespin wrap dolls

9. Play Dough

Play dough is a classic gift and every child loves it! Make your own and have hours of fun creating masterpieces!

Here’s some help: Best homemade playdough recipe, A simple and natural playdough recipe

10. Animal Ear Headbands

Children love dressing up and there are no easier accessories to make yourself than animal ear headbands! Not only are these fun to make and the perfect stimulus for creative play, but your children will revel in the variety of animals that they can become.

Here’s some help: Animal ear headbands, DIY animal costume ideas, 10 animal costume ideas

little girl with bunny ears


Homemade gift ideas for family and friends

If you’d rather spend what money you do have on your children and save money elsewhere, here are some great creative gifts that are thoughtful yet easy to make yourself.

11. Homemade Candles – using wax flakes, colours and essential oils, you can create beautiful candles where you choose the colour, scent and overall look.

12. Homemade Bath Bombs – many people love fizzy bath bombs but they can be expensive to buy from the shop. You can make your own with baking soda, food colouring and essential oils!

13. Knitted Hat/Scarf/Blanket – if you can knit, the world of gift-giving is your oyster.

14. Hand-Embroidered Gifts – if you can sew, there is a range of great gifts that you can give. Has a friend or family member had a baby? Buy plain white onesies and embroider their name. Other things you can stitch initials on include handkerchiefs, headbands, socks etc. You could also buy a sewing kit with a picture to follow and create things like a bookmark for a special person.

15. Any gift with photos – people love memories and these types of gifts are very budget-friendly so consider printing some pictures and making an album. You can also create things like a yearly calendar, a notebook, or even a canvas with special moments on.

camera and book


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

How to Know When to Visit the Doctor if Your Baby is Unwell

In our previous blog “How to Spot if Your Baby is Unwell,” we explored the signs to look for and what they mean when it comes to knowing if your baby is under the weather. Even know most of these signs and causes can be treated at home with a little of over-the-counter measures and a lot of TLC, sometimes a call or visit to the Doctor is needed. Even if it’s just for peace of mind.

Many parents don’t know when to call the doctor or to see the GP when their baby is unwell, so this blog aims to help you know when it is appropriate.

Does my baby need to go to the Doctor?

A Doctor’s time is precious and sometimes appointments can be a nightmare to get, but this doesn’t mean that you should put off an examination if you’re worried about your baby.

As we said in our previous blog, most childhood illnesses are viral infections and need no treatment so you just have to let them run their course. However, as a parent, your instinct will tell you if your baby isn’t quite right. If you are:

  • Worried about their symptoms
  • Not sure what is making them ill
  • Or they are not recovering as quickly as they should

Then you should take your baby to the Doctor.

a father with his baby lying on his chest

If you don’t think it’s serious and you just want peace of mind, you can always ring 111 (the NHS helpline) or ask a pharmacist. They will be able to help with home treatments and will tell you if you need to see a Doctor.

8 signs your baby needs a Doctor

The easiest way to decide whether you should take your baby to the Doctor is to check for one or more of these 8 symptoms. If your baby has one or more of these, you should book an appointment as soon as possible:

  1. A fever of 38 degrees C or higher and they are under 3 months.
  2. A fever of 39 degrees C or higher and they are 3 to 6 months.
  3. Signs of severe dehydration – look out for sunken fontanelles (the soft spots on the head), dry lips and mouth, dark yellow wee, and fewer wet nappies.
  4. 6 or more episodes of diarrhoea in the past 24 hours or the persistence of diarrhoea after 5 to 7 days.
  5. Tummy pain – look out for bloating and whether they are arching their back and pulling up their legs.
  6. Vomiting repeatedly and bringing up blood-streaked or green vomit.
  7. Red, sticky eyes and they are younger than 28 days old.
  8. Bleeding or discharge from the navel while their umbilical cord stump is healing.

A newborn sleeping and holding his mother's finger

What if I can’t get an appointment for a while?

If for some reason, you can’t get an appointment soon enough, take your baby to a walk-in centre. The staff here can see your baby and let you know what treatment they need and if there is anything you can do in the meantime.

Alternatively, you can take your baby to A&E. However, there are only a few situations where this is needed, such as:

  • If your baby has a fever that persists after you’ve treated them with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Immediate treatment is needed if your baby appears floppy and drowsy.
  • If your baby has swallowed something harmful such as medicine for adults.
  • If your baby has an object lodged in their nose or ear. Never attempt to remove the object yourself as you can cause more damage.


While you know instinctively to call an ambulance in serious life-threatening situations such as choking, general illnesses can be much more difficult to decide what the best course of action is. If you follow this guide, you won’t have to worry, but it’s always important to keep in mind that it’s better safe than sorry. If you’re ever worried about your baby’s health, always call 111, see a local pharmacist or visit your Doctor.

Hands cradling a baby's feet

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice with your Baby? Find more from us here:


** DISCLAIMER: This blog is intended to increase awareness and to give parents some guidance on what to do when their baby is unwell but we always recommend seeking a medical professional’s opinion.**

How to Spot if Your Baby is Unwell

Many parents worry that their baby may be poorly but they don’t know it, a common worry as a baby can’t communicate to you that they are unwell. If this is a particular stress for you then take a moment to calm down, this worry is completely normal.


Your baby will become ill at some point during their first year as their immune system is busy developing, but it is important to remember that a lot of the time your parental instinct will tell you that they are not quite themselves.

As they grow a bit and their immune system really starts to take form, these minor illnesses will be more noticeable and easier to identify as they will show certain symptoms. Here are a few ways that you can spot if your baby is unwell.

Does your baby have a fever?

A fever (raised body temperature) is a normal symptom to have with the majority of illnesses as this helps the immune system to fight off an infection.

A newborn baby sleepinh

You will be able to tell if your baby has a fever just by touching their forehead, tummy or back, and sometimes they may have flushed cheeks. You can also confirm this with a digital thermometer.

Most of the time, you can let a fever run its course without treatment, just make sure that your baby is comfortable. If their temperature is 38 degrees C or more (for a baby of 0-3 months) or 39 degrees C or more (for a baby of 3-6 months) however, you should go and see the doctor.

Does your baby have a cough?

Most common colds come with a cough, so if your baby is coughing, they should recover completely at home with your care within a week or two.

You should go and see the doctor if a cough sounds like:

  • A bark – this could be croup.
  • A raspy, dry cough that persists – this could be bronchiolitis.
  • A distinctive “whoop” – this could be whooping cough and is very serious is your baby hasn’t had their vaccinations yet.
  • A blockage that comes with phlegm (a thick yellow, green or brown mucus) – this could be pneumonia.

A baby lying on his stomach

Does your baby have a runny/blocked nose?

Newborns and babies tend to have a runny nose normally when they are perfectly well and healthy as normal mucus builds up in their tiny noses and they are unable to clear it like us when we blow our nose. This is completely normal and it actually plays an essential part in protecting their airways from germs that will make them ill.

When your baby is young, a sniffly nose is more likely to be normal, but if they are older and the runny/blocked nose coincides with your baby not eating, sleeping properly, it is most likely a cold.

Most colds go away within a couple of weeks without medical treatment and lots of care and comfort from you. If it persists, however, and is accompanied by a fever, then you should take them to see a doctor.

a father with his baby lying on his chest

Does your baby have an ear infection?

Similarly to the mucus in your baby’s nose, the mucus in the ear is normal. However, if your baby has an excess of mucus (more than their normal amount), then they may have an ear infection.

Your baby may have an ear infection if they are:

  • Pulling, tugging or rubbing their ear
  • Not feeding well
  • Not sleeping well
  • Irritable
  • Not noticing quiet sounds

An infection should clear up on its own after 2-3 days, but if it lasts longer or seems to be causing your baby pain, you should take them to see the doctor.

A baby crying

Does your baby have a rash?

A rash looks worse than it is and most are harmless, so if your baby has spots, blisters or blotches on their skin, don’t worry, this is a normal immune response.

Most childhood rashes can be treated at home such as chickenpox, roseola, slapped cheek syndrome, and hand, foot and mouth disease, however, a few are caused by more serious illnesses that will need a visit to the doctor. These are:

The most serious rash to be aware of is bacterial meningitis. If your baby has lots of red or purple pinpricks that don’t fade when you press a glass against them, go straight to your local A&E or call 999. This rash is rare but can have very serious effects.

A newborn sleeping and holding his mother's finger

Does your baby have a tummy bug?

If your baby has vomiting and diarrhoea together, they most likely have a tummy bug. This is not when your baby is bringing up milk feeds, this is normal in the first few months as their digestive system matures, it is when your baby is bringing up most of their stomach contents consistently.

Most vomiting and diarrhoea goes away after one or two days (vomiting) and 5-7 days (diarrhoea), you just need to make sure that your baby is drinking plenty so that they don’t get dehydrated. If it persists or accompanies other unusual symptoms, take your baby to see the doctor.

Does your baby have any other symptoms?

You know your baby, so if you see any symptoms that won’t go away despite your efforts or care, it is always best to take them to see the doctor.

Examples of this would be dehydration (dry lips, fewer wet nappies than usual, dark yellow wee, cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet) that persists even when they drink lots of fluids or weight loss as your baby grows.

If you’re still unsure, read our blog on How to Know When to Visit the Doctor if Your Baby is Unwell

Hands cradling a baby's feet

Your baby will get unwell and most will be minor illnesses that go away in a few days. If you’re worried, however, or the symptoms persist, it is always better to take your baby to a doctor.

Although it may get you down to see your little one unwell, just remember, every cold is making them stronger for the future!



** Disclaimer: this blog is only meant as a basic resource, offering medical advice to parents with babies. We are in no way medical professionals so we always recommend consulting your local doctor when it comes to the care of your children.**

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Looking for more help or advice? See more from us here:

The Best Inside Activities for High Energy Kids

The Summer is the easy season when it comes to keeping our little ones entertained; the weather is great, the days are long, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to get outside and run around until their heart is content. The evenings are calmer and they sleep well because they wear themselves out every day.

When it comes to the colder seasons, however, all of these opportunities for exercise are suddenly gone and we are stuck indoors for long periods of time with our high-energy and extremely active kids…

If just the thought of this sends you into a panic, don’t fret! We have a list of inside activities for your children that will keep them entertained!

1. Go old school by using your imagination

Kids today get bored too easily so think about what games you played as a child and show them. You can re-create simple games like hopscotch with some tape indoors and they’ll be jumping and burning energy in no time or how about creating your own scavenger hunt?


2. Build a fort together

Whether you have a lot of empty cardboard boxes or you use all the cushions, sheets and blankets that you have in your house, you can spend some time together creating a fort. Not only is this great for keeping the kids occupied and bonding together as a team, but you can also spend some time afterwards acting out stories that take place in your castle or pirate ship fort which is really fun.

3. Make your routine longer and mix it up

If you are too tired one day, why not just make the usual routine longer? You have the time and it gets dark earlier! This can be as simple as letting your kids have a longer bath or making it more fun for them by breaking some glow sticks and having a glow in the dark bath. When it comes to bedtime, how about getting the whole family in bed to read a chapter together every night?

4. Bust out the board games

We all have some board games stored somewhere in the house, so why not get them out and have a few fun and competitive hours together. Whether you have cluedo, hungry hippos, mouse trap, battleships, snakes and ladders, twister, or even just a jigsaw puzzle, there is nothing like this kind of quality time as a family.

Pieces on a board game

5. Camp in the living room

This is a great family activity and it can easily last all day. From setting up the tent and sleeping bags to watching films, having a picnic, and sleeping in it overnight, camping indoors is a fun and easy activity to entertain the little ones.

6. Create an obstacle course

Building an obstacle course doesn’t take much time but it can provide hours of fun until your kids are completely burnt out. Compile a track of furniture with pillows and couch cushions for obstacles and time how long each of your children can complete the course. The great thing about this activity is that you can change it up to make it harder and you’ll have your children climbing, rolling, jumping, hopping, and crawling until they can’t anymore.

7. Play hide-and-seek

A family favourite is the classic hide-and-seek. Fun for all ages, you can spend some time playing by the usual rules or mixing it up by playing in the dark!

A child hiding and peering through a hole

8. Bring the outside indoors

It might be too cold to play outside but that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring the fun indoors! Whether it’s a pile of leaves and sticks or even snow from the garden, you can turn the kitchen into a creative space where the kids can play with spatulas and measuring cups and make it into what they want. Although this will need to be cleaned up, messy play is very stimulating and is important for a child’s development!

9. Make your own race track

Do your children love toy cars? Then help them make their own race track. Whether you make it out of tape, dry pasta, or even cardboard, you can keep this up in your home all week and your children can go back to it whenever they want.

10. Have a movie marathon

If you have kids that need a run around first before they can settle, then consider exhausting the list of physical activities first before this one. Having a movie marathon is a great indoor activity to have when it’s cold or raining outside. Take in turns to choose the film and make it a cosy activity by pulling the couch forward and bringing out lots of blankets.

A cat sleeping by a fire

11. Get creative with creations

Kids love getting messy so cover the table with newspapers or a plastic sheet and bring out the arts and crafts. If you don’t have arts and crafts, you can try baking and decorating instead and have your children give their lovely creations to each family member.

12. Make chores fun

If you have a lot to do, why not include the children? Teach them the way the house works by making chores fun. You can load the dishwasher together, hang the washing up, or tidy their bedrooms, just think of ways that you can make it into a game and you’ll have some keen little helpers.

13. Make the garage into a play space

If you have any outdoor toys that be used indoors, wash them off and utilise your garage space for playing. Your kids can really get active if they have space to draw with chalk, roller-skate, skip, play basketball, or throw a ball around.

A pair of red roller skates

14. Ask them what they want to do

If you’re worried about how you can keep your little ones entertained and you’re coming up short, ask them what they would like to do. They have great imaginations themselves so sometimes you can come up with some new, fun game together.

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

8 Reasons Why Your Baby Might Be Crying

It can be difficult to work out which need your baby wants you to take care of. It can be even harder when your baby has been crying for a while and you just don’t know how to soothe them.

Don’t worry, this is normal for every baby and parent and it gets easier.

Crying is your baby’s way of communicating with you. As they grow, they’ll get better at making certain noises, smiling, and making eye contact, so crying won’t be as frequent as it is in the early days, but in the meantime, you will need to listen and learn the difference between your baby’s cries so that you can identify the need they need taken care of so that you can soothe them.

To help you recognise some needs, here are 8 reasons why your baby might be crying.

1. I’m hungry

One of the most common reasons why your baby will cry, especially if they are a newborn, is because they are hungry. Babies have very small stomachs which can’t hold much so they will need to be fed little and often in the early days.

2. I have colic

If your baby cries a lot but is otherwise healthy, they may have colic. Colic is a severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines and it is very common in babies. Symptoms include a flushed face, frustration, clenching fists, arching of the back, and drawing the knees close to the chest.

A baby crying

The causes of colic are unknown but experts think that it is associated with food allergies, acid reflux, wind or constipation. Living with a baby who cries inconsolably can be very stressful and tiring, so here are a few things that you can do to make it easier. 

3. I need comfort

Babies are completely dependent on us, so sometimes they just need to be held to feel safe. The physical contact of cuddling is reassuring and comforting to them so if they are crying because they need to be held, you’ll know this immediately when you pick them up and sway them.

4. I’m tired

You think it’s exhausting being a parent, but imagine being hypersensitive to every sound, smell and visual stimulus. Babies can get over-stimulated very easy, especially when there is a lot of noise and activity, so if they are extra fussy and crying all of a sudden they may just need to be taken into a quiet room to get some shut eye.

5. I’m too hot or too cold

If your baby won’t stop crying when you’ve tried to feed them and put them to sleep, check the temperature of their tummy or on the back of their neck. Being cold or overheated can cause your baby to become stressed so make sure not to overdress your baby, keep their room between 16 and 20 degrees C, and use a couple of cotton sheets in their cot which you can add or remove a layer as necessary.

A newborn sleeping and holding his mother's finger

6. I need my nappy changed

Another common reason that your baby might be crying is that their nappy is wet or dirty. You can imagine how uncomfortable this must be and it’s an easy reason to identify by feeling the outside of it or giving it a sniff.

7. I don’t feel well

Many parents say that when their baby is unwell, the tone of their cry is very different. Listen to your baby and try to identify if their cry is more urgent, continuous, high-pitched or weaker than normal. Here are some tips to help you.

8. I’m in pain

Sometimes your baby won’t stop crying because they are in pain but they can’t communicate this with you. Usually, they may be in pain from trapped gas or because they’re teething. Try to hold them against you with their head over your shoulder and pat them to burp them or if they are teething, try a remedy to soothe them.

a father with his baby lying on his chest

If you’ve tried to satisfy all of these needs and your baby still won’t stop crying, they may just be crying because they are a baby. Try to ride out this stage as smoothly and calmly as possible, it won’t last forever! And if you need some extra help, check out our blog that gives 12 tips to soothe a crying baby.


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:


What Are Tantrums and Why Do Toddlers Have Them?

Ahh, tantrums…the classic image of a toddler screaming on the floor with their arms and legs flailing as their parents stand by embarrassed, doing their best to calm them down. This is what many of us think of when we think of tantrums, but this isn’t necessarily always reality (for a lot of the time anyway).

Tantrums are a necessary part of a child’s development and they come in all shapes and sizes. To help you cope with them, you need to understand them, so here is everything you need to know about tantrums and why your little ones need to have them.


What are tantrums?

We have plenty of outbursts as adults, especially when it comes to being angry or frustrated, and it’s exactly the same for toddlers. Although they happen much, much more often.

Tantrums are a response to a sudden powerful emotion that your child feels, be it anger, frustration, fear, or sadness. They don’t know how to cope with it so they ‘explode’ with it either by crying, screaming, falling down, kicking or banging things, flailing about or running around, stiffening their limbs or arching their back. In some cases, some children even hold their breath or vomit when they are having a tantrum.

A young boy pulling a hat over his face

Why do tantrums happen?

As we said above, young children don’t know how to cope with strong emotions, so having a tantrum is their way of expressing themselves and attempting to understand and manage their feelings.

Ever heard of the terrible twos?

Tantrums are often most common in toddlers because:

  • Their social and emotional skills are starting to develop
  • They don’t often have the vocabulary to communicate how they are feeling yet
  • They are at an age where they desire independence but fear being separated from you
  • They are discovering that their actions can change what’s going on around them

Although they are most common in this age group, older children can have tantrums too although their reasons for them will be much different:

  • They haven’t learned more appropriate ways to express or manage their feelings
  • They may be slower in developing self-regulation (the ability to understand and manage your behaviour on your own)

A little girl hiding under pillows

Tantrums are important!

Tantrums are an essential developmental stage for children as they are the beginnings of them learning how to process and manage their emotions and then adapt their behaviour accordingly. This sets a precedent for how they will manage difficult situations throughout their whole life, so developing healthy habits now is absolutely crucial to their emotional and mental wellbeing in the future.

Although coping with tantrums can be very draining and stressful (for the both of you!), the effort you put in now to help your children through them will make a massive difference in their lives as an adult.

Don’t know what to do about tantrums? If you need help in getting your family through this stage in one piece, here are the secrets to handling toddler tantrums like a pro!


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

The Secrets to Handling Toddler Tantrums like a Pro

Living with young children can sometimes feel like you’re walking delicately across a tantrum minefield. One wrong step and there’s crying and screaming, falling down, kicking, biting, hitting, or throwing things. Something that didn’t set them off one day, may set them off on another, and this can go on for months and yes, it is as exhausting as it sounds.

Tantrums are extremely common in toddlers and preschoolers. It doesn’t mean that your child is badly misbehaved, this is just how young children deal with difficult feelings and emotions that they don’t understand yet. It’s essential in your role as a parent that you help them through this stage so that you can mould a healthy way to process emotion for them in the future.

Finding your child’s tantrums draining and stressful? To help you breeze through them so that you can end your days with that satisfying cup of tea, here are our top secrets to handling toddler tantrums like a pro.

Don’t lose your cool

If you get angry or frustrated with your child and you end up shouting or threatening punishment, you will find that they will respond negatively and often worse than before. Children are often just frightened of this emotion they are feeling, so don’t leave them alone, sit with them while they get through it.

A toddler sitting next to a teddy bear

Be calm and positive

By staying calm, your calming effect will eventually help your child to calm down too. If they are not flailing too much, a comforting embrace or stroking their hair and telling them “I know”, “it’s okay” should work too as it makes them feel safe and understood.

Remember that you’re the adult

It can be so easy to respond to a tantrum with anger, but just take a breath and remind yourself that you’re the adult and that this is a teaching moment. No matter how long it goes on for, don’t cave in or try to pacify them with reward, they need to know that you’re in control as they feel scared.

Stay calm and don’t worry what others think if you are in public, all parents understand. If it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon, take them to their bedroom or outside of the restaurant and explain why they are there and that they will stay there until they calm down.

Don’t reason or reward

Your toddler is so overwhelmed with emotion that they are unable to think or verbalise their feelings, so don’t try and reason with them about their behaviour straight away. Save that for later when their emotional brain isn’t in control. Don’t accidentally reward tantrums either. Rewards can be shouting or pleading (as your child is getting attention) or caving into something that you previously said no to.

But don’t punish either (Use time-outs as a last resort!)

Although tantrums may sometimes start as a means to get something that they want, often they tend to escalate into a strong hormonal storm that scares your child as they are not equipped to cope with it themselves. It is in these moments where punishing them will have a very damaging effect.

Yes, tantrums are a behaviour that we as parents want to discourage, but by punishing them with a time-out or isolation, this can make your child feel very alone and it teaches them that they can’t trust you to help them when they feel this way as you don’t understand their pain. This can have very negative effects on your child as they grow, especially when it comes to being able to handle stress, self-soothe, or being assertive.

Time-outs can be used, but should only be used when your child has hurt someone intentionally or is not flooded with emotion. It is in these moments where you can place your child in a designated spot, explain to them that what they did was wrong and that they need to think about what they did, and you can go about your business for a few minutes to let them self-soothe. When you come back to them to lift the time-out, get them to explain to you why they were there and how they are going to change their behaviour.

Always talk it over afterwards

While your toddler is in the midst of a tantrum, it’s a waste of time reasoning. When the storm has subsided, however, now is the time to hold your child close and talk about what happened. It’s essential that they process their emotion and try to understand it, so discuss it in very simple terms with them.

a father hugging his daughter

Something as simple as “I’m sorry I didn’t understand you. Now that you’re not screaming, I can find out what you want or what was wrong” and “okay, so you were angry because your food wasn’t the way you wanted it?” can make your child feel like they are acknowledged and will help them be able to communicate verbally in the future.

Let your child know that you love them

Once your toddler is calm and you’ve discussed why the tantrum came to be, always end the episode with a hug and tell them that you love them. Not only are you rewarding good behaviour (your child calming down and talking to you) but you are also making them feel acknowledged, setting a healthy precedence for managing and communicating emotions as they grow.

Watch out for signs of stress

Most tantrums are because of over-stress, so pay attention to your little one. Use HALT to prevent potential outbursts. Are they:

H – Hungry?

A – Angry?

L – Lonely or bored?

T – Tired?

If you set a good sleep-eat-rest schedule, many tantrums can be avoided, but it’s always handy just to observe them every now and then as you may be able to predict a potential one coming.

It is also essential to bear in mind any external stresses on your child. If you’re having a particularly busy week, there are parental or family tensions or an upheaval in the family, all of these can make your child feel emotional and provoke tantrums.

Try to avoid tantrum-inducing situations

You’ll get to know your child and what seem to push their buttons, so in time, you’ll be able to predict a tantrum coming and plan accordingly to avoid it. If you know that your child will get upset when they won’t be getting something that they want, provide alternative or distractions in advance. If you know your child is more likely to explode when they are hungry or tired, always bring snacks with you and schedule errands after nap time.

You can avoid many tantrums this way, but when there is one definitely brewing, questions and distractions are always best. If your child is a pain when it comes to eating, instead of shouting “eat your carrots!” and making them feel like their in control, ask them “what are you going to eat first?” This surprising change of tone distracts them from their feelings and stimulates their logical thinking, putting out that fire before it even began.

A little girl looking into a bowl with fruit in it

Other great tactics include telling your child what is going to happen to give them time to adjust, such as “we’re going to eat once we’ve cleaned up your toys” or “we are going to leave the park soon to go home,” or even just doing something that they didn’t expect, such as making a silly face, giving them a random toy, or pointing out something for them to look at.

Teach them new vocabulary

I’m sure you’ve all heard “use your words” when it comes to toddler tantrums and it’s a good piece of advice. When you’re talking through the tantrum after everything has settled, teach your child what they need to say next time that they feel this way.

You can also explain to them how their tantrums make you feel, as not only will this expand their vocabulary and help them communicate ensuring fewer tantrums for you in the future, but it also helps them learn how their actions affect others and what empathy is.

Reward in the right way

Always positively promote good behaviour in the ways that we’ve suggested above and you’ll soon find that this technique will begin to reduce the number of tantrums that occur. We always say not to give inappropriate behaviour your attention as this is a reward for your toddler, so ignore the behaviour by not showing emotion and waiting for them to calm down. Once they are calm, you can then reward them in ways that will reinforce the being calm behaviour, teaching them that tantrums won’t bring attention so they are not the way to communicate.

A dad talking to his son on a hammock

Consistency is key!

Tantrums are going to happen and they are going to get you down, just remember that it is just a phase and that you can teach your child healthy habits. It will take time and a lot of trial and error, but once you’ve found the best way to manage your toddler’s outbursts, stick with it and you’ll soon see positive results!


** If your child’s tantrums seem overly frequent or intense (or they keep hurting themselves or others), seek help. Your doctor will discuss your child’s developmental and behavioural milestones with you at routine well-child checkups **


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

12 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Baby

It’s tough when your baby won’t stop crying. Worries fill your head like “is there actually something seriously wrong with them?” ,  “am I doing something wrong?” or “I don’t know what to do and I’ll never connect with my baby.” If you’ve been in this situation, don’t worry, it’s normal. Crying is just your baby’s way of trying to communicate with you, so it’s all about recognising their type of cry and using the right techniques to soothe them.

This will take time and patience for you both, but to help you stay as calm and in control, here are our top 10 tips to soothe your crying baby.

1. Learn what each cry means

In time, you will learn that each cry sounds slightly different and you will be able to decipher between their “I’m hungry” cry from their “I’m tired” cry and so on. Notice the differences in volume, pitch, and intensity, and pay attention to their body language and facial expressions.

Sometimes, however, it will appear that your baby is crying for no reason at all, this is where you should use one or more of the tactics below.

crying baby

2. Shush your baby

You may think that making more noise is counterproductive, but it actually helps soothe a crying baby. Try shushing your baby at a similar volume to his cries, decreasing in volume as their cries do. For some babies, this makes them feel understood and it calms them, for others, it’s the white noise in the background which does the trick.

3. Rock, swing or sway your baby

Another classic soothing technique that works like a charm is to create a rhythmic motion of any kind. Most babies love to be gently rocked, so walk around and sway them, rock them in a chair, or take them for a walk in the pram or a drive in the car.

4. Swaddle them

In the first few months of life, swaddling is a great technique that you can use to soothe your baby. Not only does it mimic the womb, making your baby feel warm and secure, but it also prevents your baby from being disturbed by their own startle reflex, as newborns typically flail their arms randomly for the first several weeks.

swaddled baby and a young girl lying together

5. Create white noise

We all find some repetitive background noise soothing (have you ever fallen asleep in front of the TV?), so it makes sense that white noise will calm your baby. Rhythmic white noise can include the shower, extractor fan, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, or even an app on your phone that plays ocean sounds or rain.  

6. Rub their tummy

This has been known to work for adults too! Rubbing your baby’s tummy when they are restless can soothe and comfort them, whilst also helping with their digestion. You might find that in doing this regularly before they sleep that they tend to cry and fuss less, if so, incorporate it into their bedtime routine.

7. Give them something to suck on

Most babies have a strong sucking reflex with some even sucking their thumbs or fingers before they’re born, so let them suck on your clean finger or knuckle and you may find that this will have a soothing effect. If your baby needs this sensation a lot, then consider introducing a dummy.

A newborn sleeping and holding his mother's finger

8. Hold them in a different position

If your baby is restless, holding them in a different position can have a calming effect. Lie them on their side or their stomach and rock them or rub their back gently. Just remember to always place them on their back when you put them back in bed.

9. Give them a warm bath

A soothing bath can help your baby to calm down, especially if they like the sensation of water, so consider giving them a warm bath either before bed or when they are particularly restless. Just remember to check the temperature with your elbow, it should feel neither hot nor cold.

10. Drape a white blanket over them

Sometimes babies can get over-stimulated, so the best way to soothe them is to put a white sheet over their pram or over your shoulder while you hold them in your arms. Having a plain background has a very calming effect for babies, so even standing with your back to a white wall will have the same effect.

11. Wait a few minutes to see if they will self-soothe

Between four and six months, your baby can learn to self-soothe, so when you hear them crying in the middle of the night, wait a few minutes. Sometimes babies cry out when they stir in their sleep but within a few minutes, they are able to settle themselves.

12. Take a moment to see how you feel

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Frustrated? When you’re harbouring negative emotions, your baby can sense this, so try your best to remain calm and collected and you’ll soon see that this soothes your baby the most.

It’s normal for babies to cry and it’s just a phase, so try your best to get through it and don’t blame yourself. Your baby isn’t crying because they don’t like you or you’re a bad parent, they are just trying to learn and get through life just like the rest of us!

A baby lying down and looking up at the camera


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

How to Create a Daily Routine that Works for Your Family

Following on from our last article “Why Routines are Important for Your Child’s Well Being,” we are now exploring the How so you can apply it to your everyday life at home.

First things first, we do have to tell you that there is no magical solution; there is no perfect routine that we can hand every family and life will become perfect.

Like everything in life (especially when there are children involved), creating an environment that is almost perfection takes a lot of time, effort, patience, and time and error. What will work for one family won’t work for another, and no matter how much planning and preparation that you do, things will change. And they will change regularly.

You may be thinking “well, what’s the point then?” The point is all the benefits that it offers our children (see previous article) and the benefits that it offers us as parents so that we can have quality time all together and not feel like we are running this never-ending hamster wheel.

A dad talking to his son on a hammock

To get off the wheel and make the most of every day with your family, here are our top tips on how to create a daily routine that works for you.

Always write things down

With so much to do and remember, our heads are swimming with tasks and activities that just add to our stress and worry throughout the day. Spend the mornings, even just 5 minutes over breakfast, writing these things that need to be done down. It’ll get them out of your head and you’re much less likely to forget something which will make you feel much better!

Create a routine and keep it flexible

Think about the daily chores that need to be done and then the weekly chores and monthly chores, and put them all into a calendar-type sheet. Depending on how organised you like to be, you could even colour code this to make it easier to glance at and know what’s coming up! Make sure to always write down everyone’s individual activities and events as well so that nothing is forgotten. You could even print out your calendar and hang it so that everyone knows what is going on too, just follow your plan lightly as things are expected to change all the time.

a planner book

Revisit your plan weekly

Make a point of sitting down with your partner every week and reviewing your plan. What worked well? What didn’t? How can you make the next week better? By doing this, you’re making steps towards creating your ideal routine. Plus you may become aware of something that is happening in the week that you forgot about or you need to reschedule!

Have everyone do certain activities at the same time

A daily routine can really help bring you all closer as a family so make sure to have everyone eat, sleep, and play at the same time as much as possible. By making sure that you spend time together, you won’t feel as guilty when you have your much needed alone time.

Aim to get three tasks done every day

Rather than try and do everything (which can’t be done easily), choose three things every day which are the most important to get done. Focus all of your energy on these three and anything else extra that gets done is a bonus!

to do list

Learn to be happy with partial solutions

As family to-do lists just keep growing, you’ll never be able to get everything done, so rather than stress, be happy when something gets done. Haven’t got time to clean the bathroom? Give it a quick tidy and leave it for another day.

Don’t overwhelm yourself; get your little ones to help

As much as we want to be “super-mum” or “super-dad” we literally can’t do everything, so get your little ones to help you as much as possible. By simply getting them to help you clean away the dishes after dinner and tidy up, this is less stress for you, more time with them, and it teaches them valuable life skills such as responsibility.

Accept that mess is okay sometimes

A messy house is a well lived-in house, so learn to be okay with it sometimes. Teach your children the value of work and cleaning and model this by keeping the house that way when you can, but try not to stress if there is a mess and all you want to do is play games or take the children to the park.

A little boy throwing a pile of leaves in the air outside

Teach your children the value of waiting

Today, children just don’t get bored anymore, but they should. Not only is this time essential for them to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them, but it is also necessary for their cognitive development. When you’re a bit late on dinner or you need to push back play time for another activity, don’t get tempted to give them a device to keep them occupied, make them wait.

Cut down on TV

We’ve all heard or even said the classic “I would but I just don’t have the time” but the truth is, we all have the time. Many of us spend a lot of time, especially in the evenings, watching TV so this should be an activity that you can cut to spend more time together as a family before bed.

Try and maintain the routine when away

Sometimes an emergency occurs, you’ve booked a holiday, or something has just come up that you have to adapt to. Whatever the situation that occurs, if anything disrupts your usual routine, try to still do as much of it as possible. It’s important that children maintain normalcy, especially in times of stress, so make sure to stick to the daily routine to keep them calm and comforted.

Mother holding her baby in her arms

Look after yourself

This sounds impossible, right? Manage the whole family schedule AND fit enough time in for yourself to get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and exercise. It might seem that way but it’s not if you plan and stick to your daily routine. Just remember not to always prioritise everyone else. The whole family needs you to be healthy so make sure to know your energy levels and schedule in downtime for you too.


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.


Need more help or advice? Find more from us here: