Indoor Activity: Spa Day With Your Child

Sometimes you just need a bit of pampering, right? So, last week, Toby and I decided to do a mama/baby spa day…

Our particular spa day was held at my friend Gemma’s apartment. That way, Toby and her son Errol could enjoy the splashy fun together. (Also, they have a much nicer tub; ours is exactly 1 billion years old—and looks older.)

First Toby ran a bubble bath…(Nothing is sweeter than multiple babies in the bath!)

Then, since it was a special day, we busted out The Ultimate Toddler Treat: lollipops.

With that sugary snack, they didn’t mind when we shampooed their hair, made soapy mohawks and washed their nooks and crannies.

The highlight of the spa experience was when we brought a colander into the bath and made it “rain.” The boys were totally delighted. (Brilliant idea, Gemma!)

After the bath, the little guys dried off with their animal towels. (I am going to weep and then frame Toby’s duck towel when he grows out of it, I love it so much:) Also, you will note that Toby is wearing diapers—we’re taking a few-month hiatus from potty training, since, in the end, he didn’t seem ready. I can explain more in the comments below, if you’d like!

Finally, we gave them massages with body lotion—an activity which, we quickly realized, had been easier with infants than with squirmy toddlers! (Here’s a tutorial.) But Errol blissed out during the foot massage, and Toby thought leg massages were hilarious. He would dissolve into giggles as soon as I pressed his little calf muscle, it was so cute. (Is that a baby thing?)

It was such a cute afternoon, and the boys ended up happy, sleepy and sparkly clean. Mission accomplished. :)

For our sweet babes, we used natural products from The Honest Company, which we trust and adore: bubble bath, shampoo and body wash, face and body lotion, diapers and wipes. We also lit one of their new soy candles, which smelled like gardenia jasmine.

Bonus for all readers: Get $10 off a $40 purchase at The Honest Company using code ACupofJo10off40. (Limited to first-time customers and one use per customer. Good until April 1st.)

(This post is sponsored by The Honest Company, a company that we use everyday and whose mission we admire. Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo)

  1. Hi
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  2. seriously, toby is just too precious. and great idea with the colander to soften the hair wash-out (many a baby-sitting jobs where the sweet kiddos hated that part) — will have to keep that catalogued for the future :)

  3. The notion of judging parents and a baby one has never actually met for a decision that is not life-threatening, nor in any way poised to do developmental damage, is repugnant. Dialogue is indeed valuable, so long as it is intelligent.

  4. Hi Jo, I’ve commented before on sponsored posts and how I’ve often felt disappointed (and even betrayed!) by them. They’re not my favourite kind of post in general, however I’d like to say that this is the kind of sponsored post that I can get into, and more importantly don’t feel duped by. Okay, so I did wonder why the long post on a whole afternoon of bathing, only to get a little let down when you plugged the products, but still it was a creative and personal way to do it. Obviously very well planned, using original content, and of course well written in your personable style. It felt like you. Much better than Old Navy sale posts (esp for non-US readers!).

  5. gorgeous photos. :)

  6. I have to agree with “sml” on some points; If this post hadn’t been sponsored I would have really liked it. I read blogs because I think they provide an interesting and often inspiring window into other peoples lives. Cup of Jo used to be one of my favorites as it was well written, sweet and covered things I am interested in. Most of all tough, I think I was drawn to this blog because it felt so genuine – almost as if Joanna was an actual, likeminded friend who shared her thoughts and discoveries with me in a personal way. And I doubt I was alone – were I to venture a guess, I’d say it’s the key to the popularity of her blog. Joanna seems aware of this and often expresses her appreciation for the special connection she feels she has with her readers…

    However lately – for me at least, that “relationship” is being somewhat compromised by all these endorsements. As a 30 something, city dwelling wife and mother myself, I found it encouraging to read how similar my joys and struggles were to Joanna’s… Now that so many choices in her life seem commercially driven, I can’t help but to feel less connected.

    While understanding the desire to make a good living, I personally wish no blogger would turn precious experiences like dates with their husbands or bath time with their kids into commercially viable opportunities, curtesy of (in this case) Coach, Honest Company etc; What should be totally charming personal posts suddenly seem a little contrived and oddly vain (what with a professional photographer being present).

    This, of course is just my opinion, and yes I can obviously stop reading the blog if I don’t like it, but I would still hope it matters what devoted readers think – whether this constitutes a “nice comment” or not…

    • I think you were very respectful and courteous in your disagreement, and I think that falls well within the comment guidelines of Cup of Jo. I have to disagree with you, though, about the sponsored posts. While I totally understand where you are coming from, and while sponsored posts are not my favorite on this blog, I think that, well, people need to be able to earn a living. In my mind, Cup of Jo is a professional’s work — with multiple posts a day, beautiful photographs, well edited writing — this is obviously someone’s passion. I enjoy Cup of Jo and want it to continue; for that to be so, Joanna earning money, from banner ads, from sponsored posts, &c, seem a necessary part of the equation. This allows her blog to be a priority in her busy life. I don’t think we’d have the Cup of Jo we have if she was working a 40-50 hour job in addition to her work here.

      I think that the internet is bringing around interesting questions of how we finance creative work. What work is “free,” what work is “professional investment” (like building up a name or a following), and what work is “professional” and needs to be paid for. I pose a question out to the internet world: would you rather sponsored posts or a paywall? Cup of Jo isn’t that different than a magazine in its content and the time it takes to produce (except to argue it’s more personally focused to one woman’s life and has a stronger community with its readers, which makes it even better, in my opinion). We all used to pay for magazines. If we, as readers, like Cup of Jo, and we like professional blogs, how do we want them financed? Out of our pocket or via corporate sponsorships? I don’t have an answer, merely a musing. I just don’t think that asking professionals to work for free is the answer.

      (Eeeps, hope this long comment made sense!)

    • It made perfect sense :) and I understand what you’re saying. But to continue our little discussion and to clarify my point – I’m certainly not asking anyone to work for free and my problem is not with advertising per se, I don’t mind banner ads, sponsored giveaways etc. at all! I only meant to criticize the “branded” posts like this one where Joanna writes endearingly about an intimate family activity – baby bath time – but when you scroll down it turns out to be “bath time sponsored by The Honest Co”. It just makes me uncomfortable; The world seems to be full of people literally branding themselves. This is not inspiring to me, nor do I think it should it be aspirational. Though I get the parallel you’re drawing between this blog and a magazine, as I see it there is still an important difference regarding advertisement; Magazines are products of big corporations, so flipping through the glossy pages you know you are going to be sold. It is expected and therefore not offensive.

      A blog on the other hand, is a platform used by one individual to get their unedited voice heard – that (to me) is the beauty of blogging. The best blogs are those that have a singular voice that resonates, that is unique in some way or other. Jo, through her hard work has managed to build a large audience and is able to blog full time these days, good for her! But if the tradeoff is that her readers no longer can be certain where her voice ends and her sponsors’ begin, I’m not sure that is an entirely positive development.

      It’s late, and this rambling comment is probably full of grammar mistakes etc. But there you have it – my to cents. Again :)

  7. Hi Jo — My little guy is a couple months younger than Toby, so I’ve been interested to hear how the potty-training is going for you. We dipped our toes in the water of potty training (hehe, sounds kind of gross) recently, and my son was so not interested in it that I decided to just wait until he’s closer to three. Part of it was that I myself wasn’t all that motivated to do it, either — I really don’t mind changing diapers, and it wasn’t doing me any favors to be chasing him around, cleaning up accidents and bugging him about sitting on the potty. I think I started it because I felt like it was “time,” and other people were doing it, but in the end, if he’s not ready and I don’t feel like making him be ready, there didn’t seem to be any reason to push it.

  8. Hi Joanna, Love this post! I think you’ve found such a good balance and approach for the sponsored posts these days. :) Also, re potty training, our pediatrician said not to expect too much before age 3, because apparently that’s when they finalize muscle control over their bladders, etc. I think it’s totally great to take it at his pace – if he’s motivated to start early, awesome! harness it! But, if he’s not ready yet, no big deal. Everyone learns how to use the toilet eventually and I could see how it might be a huge thing to add with the baby coming. Hang in there, Toby, you’re a champ. – Amy

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  10. Joanna, I tried to potty/train my now 6 yo when he was 3 and it was nuts. My paediatrician scolded me for even trying! She said that children must not be potty-trained, since they’re ready when they are. In fact he was around 3.5 when he finally told me one day he needed to sit on the loo for a poo. (He was one of the last kids in his pre-school to graduate from diapers, and our amazing pre-school shared the same opinion of the paed. and never put pressure on the kids.)
    My youngest did the same thing at 2 years. So yeah, they are all different and it’s great that you respect that and don’t go crazy over it. And honestly, changing baby diapers and toddler diapers at the same time is not that awful.

  11. Hi Joanna,

    All these comments aside, you said you would discuss the decision to hold off on potty training for awhile, but you haven’t said anything yet. I’m genuinely interested because I have a 16 month old and I know nothing about potty training yet. I’d like to hear more if you’re still willing to share. Thanks!

  12. Such a cute post! Toby’s smile!!!!

    In regards to potty training… I’ve noticed that a lot of people here have had different experiences with potty training. My siblings and I were all potty trained by 18 mos. That’s not to say that that is the only way to do it, just to say that that was what worked for our family. Both of my parents worked outside of our house, and my siblings and I were in day care by 2 and in pre-school by 3. My parents had 3 under 3 (my younger siblings are twins and were born when I was 2), so my parents wanted to potty train me before the next 2 arrived.
    Personally, I wouldn’t recommend “taking a break” because I think that it sends the message to the child that they have the power (…to run your life). (My thoughts on the matter are much more complicated than that… but to make it simple.) However, I think that all of these decisions should be made with your families values and with your life-style in mind. Thank you, Joanna, for sharing all of your ups and downs with parenthood. It is so encouraging and I’m sure your honesty makes many people feel less alone.

    P.S. I am 17… and don’t have any experience raising children :)

  13. I have a “stupid” question. I see the water “raining” from the colander, but I don’t see anyone pouring water into the device. I’m stumped.

  14. My friend just took a potty training workshop and said that the teachers talked about a hormone that boys begin releasing around 27 months which makes it difficult to potty train them from that age until they are 3. I have no idea if this is true or not but I do believe there are “windows” of opportunity and if you happen to catch one, it just clicks. My son is 27 months and is potty training right now and doing great…I have a friend whose son is 3 years 3 months and shows no signs of interest. I would never judge her for not jumping on the potty training band wagon sooner! I don’t know why there is so much judgement in these comments! Do what makes sense for your family, we’re all just trying our best.

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  16. I’ve always read this blog and enjoyed it, but maybe because I am older now and getting more skeptical about presenting the “ideal’ family, marriage, etc… as these Martha Stewart like photos with endorsed products and fabulous vacations and parties. Are we all so sucked up in pretty pictures and making the ideal DIY weddings, parties, and family outings- that we have lost what is really genuine and with a quiet kind of love.

    I know I have a choice not to read these type of blogs and everyone will tell me to stop reading and I most likely will. But do these posts really make us better wives, friends, and parents? I read blogs because I enjoy the writing, thoughts and stories from the authors- not the image they portray. I guess I am starving for something real and maybe not so pretty anymore.

    Nice comments only? What does that mean…is there no dialogue anymore in blogging?

    • Thank you! It should say, No opinions, please!

    • sml – I read this blog specifically because I “enjoy the writing, thoughts and stories from the author[s]”. And I do think that many – most, even – of Joanna’s posts are by turns thought-provoking, funny, and/or touching.

      I also think that pretty much everything she posts is demonstrative of the quiet, genuine kind of love that you feel is missing. Is a toddler spa day a world-changing, high-brow event?, mmm probably not. Is it a fun, genuine thing to do? yes. Is it an event appropriate for a post on Cup of Jo? Well, being that Jo did it, I think so, yes.

      And being that Jo frequently posts about the hard, confusing, and stressful aspects of being a mum, I really don’t feel that I personally am getting sucked in by anything when she does a fun, lighthearted post with pretty pictures.

    • You completely missed my entire point. I never wrote anything about “High-Brow” events. I am writing about the lack of independent thoughts and stories and seeing more images of consumption and products. I love reading blogs to learn about entrepreneurs, new designers, and locally made products that help up and comers with no strings attached. I don’t want to read anymore blog posts about how great Old Navy is and making it look like it’s not endorsed.

      there is nothing quiet about an advertisement, especially when you involve your family. I get the need to make money, so post an ad on the side. I am only remarking on the work that is posted, not the writer or family life style. As a reader, I am allowed to comment on blog posts, as are you. I think the writer can handle getting comments on her blog posts, or she would not be in this line of work. I mean, we are her audience, aren’t we?

    • This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Thank you for the code! I just purchase this wonderful jasmine gardina candle (my two favorites!) as well as some awesome products for the summer — bug spray — and daily life — laundry detergent and dishwasher pods.

    He looks precious in his duck towel!

  18. Those photos are beautiful! Particularly the one of Toby with the colander. He is lucky to have such nice documentation of his life.

  19. In the end, we’re all on a path to raise happy adults. Never once have I been asked in a job interview how old I was when I was potty trained (too bad… because I’m told I was about 18 months old. Someone would undoubtedly see this as a sign of genius and hire me on the spot!).

    • well said!

    • ha, I love this!

  20. Can’t wait to try the honest products. I just placed my order!

    And, we did not start potty training our son until a few weeks before his 3rd birthday. If you try too hard before he’s ready, you are just fighting a hopeless battle. I will say the best advice that I got (and did not take until I learned from my mistake) is forget pull-ups or training pants except at night. Toddlers still know they can go in them and there will be no mess. It is really tough at first, but straight from diaper to underwear seemed to be a faster way to learn. Of course, every child is different, so definitely got to do what is best for you and your child.

  21. awe i love that you continue massages as he gets older! Everybody deserves a good massage, funny that he’s ticklish in the calves?!

  22. I am pretty disappointed with many of these comments. I love this blog. Love the family and Toby melts my heart. As a mother of one and expecting my second I think any comment other than one that is kind and compassionate is a waste of time. xx

  23. Love the post and the idea – me and my little guy will do a spa day soon!

    You can tell Beth E doesn’t actually have kids and is actually just a troll — no mom would actually talk that way. Also, no moms I know have time to be a condescending bully on blog comment sections but no time to give her kids fun baths. Case solved — “she’s” a 13 year old boy home sick from school trolling the internet looking to get reactions. Yawn.

    • Gosh, I love it when women act like there is a perfect recipe for a mom and say “no mom would ever do blank”. I have two lovely children and I work full time. I take a break to return personal calls and read (and occasionally comment on) parenting blogs and newspapers around this time every afternoon because it is when I’m at my least productive. I don’t think I sound like a bully. I’m sorry if I hurt your delicate feelings but I wasn’t talking to you.

    • Beth E – you ‘love’ it when people act like there is a perfect recipe for a mum?

      hmmm…some of your earlier comments: –

      “He is a child. He doesn’t get to make decisions! No more diapers. The end”

      “He is awfully old to be wearing diapers as it is”

      “And seriously? A massage for your child? Natch. Baths are to get playground dirt off”

      Sounds to me like you think there is a perfect recipe for parenting and you aren’t afraid to tell Joanna she is doing it wrong, lady. You haven’t been sharing your opinion with people, you have been making statements like they are facts.

      No-one is being delicate (way to undermine the conversation with that one, by the way), they/we are just trying to express that EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINION – (you included), but that we all need to respect how we are doing things and not state our opinions like they are facts.

    • I didn’t say she is doing it wrong. It’s my opinion that he is a little old for diapers. I won’t back down on that and I had no idea people massaged their children. It frankly seems kind of creepy to me. Maybe I am being bossy with the children don’t make decisions thing but that is something I firmly believe. They don’t get autonomy until their out of my house. He can’t even tie his shoes yet. He can’t vote but he gets to make major decisions that affect the family? Nononono. This is a blog with a comment section designed for a dialogue. Usually I am Team Joanna but I think some of this is silly and indulgent. Apologies if you can’t handle that. I don’t think I’ve said anything hurtful. If Joanna didn’t want input she wouldn’t let people comment.

    • Writing “[fill in the blank] is awfully late to be [fill in the blank]” when talking about someone else’s child or parenting experience isn’t dialogue. It’s didacticism. And it’s lame.

      Let’s try some other random examples of how your comments might sound using other common areas of parent-on-parent judgement:
      •”A child at 40 seems awfully late to be giving birth…”
      •”Going back to work at 10 weeks postpartum is awfully early…”
      •”2 months seems awfully long to be recovering from a C-section…”
      •”Your child’s not walking by 12 months? Awfully late…”
      •”Your child’s still breastfeeding at 18 months? Awfully long to be nursing…”
      •”You were weepy at 3 months postpartum? Awfully late to have the baby blues…”
      •”Your child started spending the night away from you at an aunt’s house at 4 months? Seems awfully early…”
      •”Your child is sucking her thumb at 3 years old? Awfully late.”


      This isn’t an open forum parenting blog like babycenter or whatever – it’s a personal blog where a real human being is choosing to share the ups and downs and joys and trials of parenting and, sometimes, sharing personal details about a child — that’s a vulnerable exercise. It’s not an open invitation to issue judgement about ANOTHER PERSON’S ACUAL CHILD’S development – a child you do not know and on whom you are far less an expert than that child’s own parents. That’s hurtful and mean. I am sure you must know in your heart of hearts that you weren’t contributing to a healthy exchange of ideas — comments like yours have the opposite impact. They shut down the exchange of ideas and make it harder for people to talk honestly because they feel perpetually judged by people who think they have all the answers. So don’t hide behind “oh why is everyone so sensitive?” and “oh we can’t have opinions now?” That’s like a weird, whiney form of rhetorical gaslighting.

      It’s not about being on “Team Joanna” – it’s about being on “Team Common Decency.”

    • well said, Cheveu. opinions, even opposing opinions, can be delivered with grace and consideration.

    • That is really well said, Cheveu. I usually try to ignore overly opinionated comments – and honestly rarely even read them, but it made me kind of sad to see all this happening.

      A few people have mentioned that different things work for different people, and I completely agree. I think anyone who tries their best to foster a happy, nurturing, and fun environment for their children deserves respect as a parent. Being human is hard because there is no one answer that works for everyone – if there was we would ALL be doing it.

      I love and respect this blog because every time I read it I always feel like no matter what the post is about, the tone is always intended as positive or helpful. Even Joanna’s articles regarding depression left me feeling positive about what had been said.

      If you have a great relationship with your kids, and you are happy, they are happy, and you enjoy your life, then I’m happy for you. Even if that means answering emails while sitting on the toilet and watching your kids have a bath. Just remember that what you did might not work for the next person, just like others advice or opinions likely didn’t always help you. Think about saying “have you thought about trying….” instead of “you’re doing it wrong….”

      I think Joanna sets a great example – there is always a positive or helpful way to give your opinion.

  24. Toby is so lovely and he looks so happy! A happy face warms my heart more than anything :)

  25. Beth E.

    You are a nasty bitch. Go get some sex.

    Joanna, this post is LOVELY.
    You are a wonderful mother.

    • I agree that this is a lovely post, and Joanna is a wonderful mother. However, I don’t think that calling someone a “nasty bitch” because you don’t agree with what they had to say qualifies as “nice comments only”.

  26. Joanna, I think taking a break (and taking your child’s lead) is absolutely a good idea, based on my experience. My daughter “got it” just before her third birthday, and has had very few accidents. It may be luck, but I think that “waiting” allowed her to fully develop both the cognitive and physical capabilities needed to be potty trained, even through the night.
    And yes, I felt a lot of pressure from friends and family, as well as one potential daycare who told us that she could not be enrolled in the “3s” class if she was not potty trained, unless she had goals for potty training, through special education. I literally shared this article with the director,
    written by a pediatric urologist, and found a wonderfully nurturing program elsewhere.
    One last thing, and this is sort of an unconventional piece of advice, based on our experience, alone. It seemed like things really clicked here when I took myself out of the process. Specifically, I noticed that if the reward/praise came from someone else (in our case, a character on a Pez candy dispenser), she was much more motivated to try. I’m not sure how or why this was the case, but I do think it’s important to not let it turn into a power struggle.
    Hope this helps!

  27. Ah! What a fun idea. They must have felt giddy having their bath together… very sweet.

  28. This may be a too much information question, but I am not a parent and my sisters and I were potty-trained by six months because my mother always told us that once we began to eat solid food she didn’t care how old we were–sh*t was sh*t. When your children are 3 or 4 and still training, aren’t they terribly uncomfortable to hold bowel movements in their diapers? Because wouldn’t it be the same as adult excrement if they’re eating the same food as adults?

    • Nobody’s potty trained at 6 months. Either you are a lying troll or completely ignorant.
      Human development, brain development, bodily development does not work that way.
      So, so bizarre!

    • actually, i know several people who have helped potty train their kids early on using techniques that help train babies to recognize when they need to use the bathroom. any kind of new technique is not foolproof, and of course depends on a host of other factors, including child readiness, but there are kids who potty-train very early, just as there are those who potty train late. just because carla’s experience differs from yours doesn’t justify you calling her “a lying troll or completely ignorant.”

    • Yeah, wow, I’ll tell my mother she’s been lying to us for 50+ years. I don’t think so.

      For the record, I’m neither a troll, nor ignorant. She explained to us exactly how she did it, and she’s not the only mother from whom I’ve heard this.

      And what a bizarre, unnecessarily hostile response. Thanks, Tania. People are really strange, and I won’t even attribute that to the internet. Something’s wrong with Marcia.

  29. Just to say that potty training was the worst! Both my boys were 3 and it was still bad. But….they are 8 and 11 now and use the potty very well now. It will happen it just stinks.

  30. oh so sweet. i love the rain and the duckiness and the all around fun. although, those lollipop sticks in that slippery tub scare me just a tad… but oh the fun.

  31. Fun! And oh so cuuuutte. The colander idea is magic, going to give it a try.

  32. I love the pictures! Sweet memories in the making!

    No worries, Joanna! We have six kids and they are all potty trained and sleep through the night. Even the two in college :-) Just enjoy the journey and do what works for your child and your family.

    • Best comment ever!

  33. I was wondering one thing (This is in no way meant to be criticism! I have no kids and no experience!): Why is it ok to do sleep training but not to do potty training?
    When I was young everybody was out of diapers by the age of 1 or 1 1/2 with very few accidents here and there and there was no sleep training. I know times change and it also depends on where you live. But I do not get the difference between letting my child cry at night or letting him cry because he wants his diaper back/does not want to go on the potty?
    Maybe some mom on here could explain it to me :)

    • AJ says...

      Hi Elli,

      In my humble experience (one child), the difference is developmental readiness. Potty training relies not only on a young child’s ability to communicate the need to use the potty, but also the ability to control their bladders (which can come months after the ability to control their bowels!) and the desire to be clean. It isn’t just a physical milestone, but an emotional and psychological one as well.

      Sleep training is helping to teach a child in a bounded way how to fall asleep by themselves and comfort themselves when wakened. They are capable of this at a much younger age, debatable by different opinions when this occurs.

      If I have learned anything from being a parent, it is not only how to be patient with other human beings but also not to judge parenting styles. Children grow up healthy and happy in all kinds of households. As a community, we should be supporting each other in every way possible.

      That being said, diaper cakes are nice. What your friend who just had a baby probably REALLY wants is for someone to come over, give her a hug after you’ve washed your hands, bring food, take out the garbage, do her dishes, give more hugs, hold the baby, and let her take an uninterrupted shower. Just my opinion. If you really want to go for it, massage her hands for her. It’s so personal, and so nice, but so overlooked.

  34. Noice! Great idea to include a friend :-)

    Our eldest, Oliver, almost 3, is only just completely out of nappies these past few weeks (I should add that he does wet the bed quite regularly, but he’s doing pretty well overall). The whole process took about seven months with some pretty big hiccups (the birth of my second boy – yikes). We started potty training because he started to tell us before he would poo or wee, so we thought, ‘Awesome, let’s do this’. But it was very much a two steps forward, one step back thing. Our biggest lesson during the adventure was not to force anything. Taking a break is a great idea. Good luck going forward ;-)

  35. Nice comments only, please! (That means you, anonymous, or “Beth E”). Ha! Seriously, lady, we get it. And “it” isn’t that you are a superior parent as you’d like us all to believe.

    Love you and your blog Joanna!

  36. really lovely photos and a sweet afternoon for those boys. my mom is involved in massage therapy. she taught infant massage classes when I was a kid and I’ve always loved massages from my her. I still ask for them when I go home ;) xoxo

  37. DR says...

    I think it is good to take a break for now. My daughter trained at 27 months, and when I had my baby boy (she was 3 yrs and 2 months she totally regressed for a few weeks). Sometimes taking a break, even if only for a few months will be all that it takes.

  38. An entire afternoon devoted to giving your son a bath? Must be nice to be a stay at home mom. I always just stuck my kids in the bath and answered emails on my phone while sitting on the toilet. I mean, the pictures are cute but it seems like a waste of an afternoon. And seriously? A massage for your child? Natch. Baths are to get playground dirt off.

    • Joanna’s a working mother. She’s designed a job for herself in which she gets to make her own schedule a lot, but you’ll notice she got to spend this time because the post was sponsored by The Honest Company. Give credit where credit is due. This woman is a hardworking mother with a very real and very successful career. Also, please feel free to read about the benefits of massaging children here: http://www.infantmassageusa.org/learn-to-massage-your-baby/benefits-of-infant-massage/

    • Wow Beth E – take it easy!

    • I am a working Mother and still find the time to spend entire afternoons having a fun bath, going for a long walking adventure or just romping around in bed reading books. I think it is important to find time to share these moments with your little ones…. I love being in the moment and try to keep the phone away until after bedtime. With the exception of using the camera function.

    • it’s ok, team, Beth E also doesn’t think children get to make decisions and that Toby is too old to wear nappies. So, you know…

    • Zoe, everyone’s job requires a different time commitment. If I’m not answering my emails they just start calling my work cell phone and then my personal cell and if I don’t pick those up they call my house and my husband’s cell. They’ve even called my son trying to get in touch with me before. They knew I was at parent teacher interviews last fall and my husband and I were both ignoring our phones so they called the office at the school and pulled me out of a meeting with a second grade teacher. I’m not saying I’m so important but if someone sends me an email I have to answer it. The rule is that I don’t return emails after midnight and before 5:30 and they can only call me in the middle of the night if it is an emergency (some people are a little fuzzy on what actually constitutes an emergency but that is another matter for another time) and then I usually end up going into work. I don’t make lunches or drive car pool but I would if I could. We have dinner at 8 or 8:30 so my husband and I can eat with the kids most nights and I kiss them goodnight. I check history and English homework and my husband checks math and science. I generally don’t work weekends but it happens more often than I would care to admit. I’m a working mom with a big job but I won’t always have to work like this. And by the way, I really don’t think I said anything so terrible. Heaven forbid someone not agree with Joanna.

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    • Beth E: What a shame that you seem to have the free time within your busy work schedule to come on here and criticize others whilst you could be spending this valuable time with your children.

      Keep up the good work Jo!

  39. This is such an adorable idea! Lucky little boys. I know what you mean about multiple babies in the bath- there is a picture of me, my two brothers, and two family friends in ONE bath when we were little- even though I’m in the picture, I still think it’s seriously cute! x

  40. What a fun idea! I’m thinking that my almost-2-year-old grandson would giggle during the massage, also.

  41. Also, wow, u have the coolest friends. I am so ordering Gemma’s book! Thanks for sharing! Xo,

  42. I think that is good that you are taking a break with the potty training. We tried early on with T and it just seemed like an epic fail. So we took a long break and now this time around, just shy of 3.5, he trained in a day. He can tell when he needs to go and can aritculate the need and also seems ready for it (pulling down his pants and underwear, lifting the toilet seat, washing his hands, etc.). I’m glad we waited. And he seems so proud of his accomplishment and milestone which is great, as well.

  43. What a neat idea! Love it, and the boys look like they had the best time.

  44. I love the colander idea. Thanks!
    For the towel- when my kiddos got too big for theirs but still wanted to use them, I sewed a matching towel onto the bottom- voila! Big kid hooded towels.
    now my daughter has outgrown her yellow duck towel at age 9. I’m putting it to use for my 16 month old- but it’s way to big for him! I might have to take the second towel off for a while.

  45. So cute! Love this idea.


  46. Love it! So much fun! I give all three of mine foot rubs (6, 4, and 2).

    Regarding potty training…just my experience here. My 4 and 6 year olds are boys. When my oldest was 2 we tried and failed to potty train. We were all miserable, so we backed off. He potty trained around 3 years, 4 months. Almost overnight. I think it took a full week to get accident free. Fast forward to #2. We decided to go child led. He too potty trained around 3 years, 4 months. Fast forward to #3, a girl. We fully expected her to be in diapers until she was three-ish. So imagine our surprise when, almost three weeks after turning two, she decided to be potty trained. We did nothing but provide undies. She made it clear she was ready (she already had the language, motor skills, etc.) I’m thrilled (it’s been about three weeks of almost no accidents).
    Anyway, my point is that the child led for us was way more successful, and we were all happier for it.

    • I’m with you, Liz! Boys just seem to take longer. It’ll happen.
      Watch out for this weird control issue/bully-mom thing going on here with some of these commenters. Yikes.
      And, by the way, if you start too young you are only training yourself.

    • My daughter was 3 and a half before she was fully potty-trained. A long time to wait, yet she never regressed (is almost 5 now) and accidents have been very minor and very very few. Literally the day she decided she was ready, we never put a diaper on her again and she never asked for one. My take-away after stressing about this for so long: When they are ready, they are ready. No need to stress and fuss until that time has come.

    • We tried with my daughter when the month before she turned three. Things seemed to go well, until a week or so after her 3rd birthday, when she told me she was “over the potty”. !!! After a couple of weeks of struggle, I talked to our pediatrician, she told me to take a break – that when the girlie was ready, it would happen (and she told me that all of her five year old patients are potty trained!). At about 3 years, 2 months, she told us she was ready. We got “fancy” pants (no pull-ups), and pretty much no accidents and no regressions after a couple of days.

  47. Where is this duck towel from? It’s absolutely adorable and you do not mention where it’s from in any of your posts.

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  50. So sweet! What a great “play date” for a bad weather day. I’m sure you & your friend enjoyed it just as much as the little ones. Toby is so precious. Thanks for sharing. And best of luck with the potty training. Hang in there. I tried on and off for 8 months to train my middle son. He just didn’t care anything about it. It will come when he is ready.

  51. My son is a month or so older than Toby. Some days he wants to wear his “big boy underwear” and pee in the potty, other days he insists on wearing a diaper and flat out refuses the potty. The way I see it, he’ll get there eventually, but on his own time.

    Love the toddler spa idea!

  52. Such precious photos! Sounds like it was a dreamy day. :)

  53. so much fun! i can’t wait to try the colander during out next bath. thanks for the idea!

  54. Hi Joanna, very nice pictures – what camera do you use?
    I’m looking for a good quality+design camera that is easy to carry around with the kiddos.. thanks

  55. love! the tub is a great winter activity! ever tried glow sticks in the bath tub! a favorite pass time in our house :)

  56. Thanks for your honesty. I feel disappointed in myself when I read blogs where their kid just got it all figured out the first weekend they tried. We have decided to stop for a while. When he had a meltdown and didnt want to get off the potty until he went (even though it was clear he was not going to go), we realized he is not ready. He has type A tendencies for sure, and apparently doesnt like like to fail at things. It broke my heart :)

  57. What a sweet idea :). I particularly like the idea of making these lovely little memories for little ones and their friends!

    And can I just give you some encouragement about potty training? I actually bought the book that was recommended by a few of your readers (Oh Crap! Potty Training) and read it cover to cover before I started to potty training my 23 month old a couple of weeks ago. I felt confident she would get it and then the first week it literally all fell apart around me (being 5.5 months pregnant and hormonal didn’t help). I was THIS close to throwing in the towel because my daughter was driving both my husband and I insane and having accidents everywhere. We were getting RIDICULOUS toddler tantrums over potty training EXCEPT when her nanny did it during the day. That was my one sign that my daughter actually did get it and was ready, she just didn’t want to do it when mommy and daddy were involved. I actually got some advice directly from the Jamie, the book’s author, and a couple of days of attitude shifting/transitioning later? It totally CLICKED and now she’s diaper free (no training pants either) and self-initiating peeing and pooping, at home and while we’re out. I could barely believe it. Anyway, to get to the encouraging part of this comment :), I totally understand the need to just take a break and reset the process, and I especially get it since we’re both in the same boat expecting number 2. I’m not sure what exactly happened with Toby that made you decide to pause, but whenever you are ready, stick to your guns and know that you two have made a capable, bright little boy who will get it :). Potty training is not an overnight process and they’re being taught a skill that is so completely foreign to them…I don’t blame them for getting freaked about by it! But as long as you stick to it, he’ll get it too…there is hope :).

    • YES! Please download and read Oh Crap Potty Training. We read the book and gave it a go when my daughter was 21 months. It is a couple of intense days, that in retrospect were fun and sweet. You will hit a day where you think this sucks and you want to give up — the author says keep going, but give your kid a little space (but do not go back to diapers!) and they will surprise you. This was exactly our experience.

      It really comes down to sending a clear message: “We are done with diapers and I know you can learn how to use the potty. I am here to help you, but we are all done with diapers.”

      Good luck!

  58. all i have to say is when they are ready the potty training isn’t really “training”… they just move on. my son was a few months shy of turning 3 and my daughter claims she is ready at not quite 2 but i don’t really believe her! we are doing it for now but if she wants back in diapers then by all means i will put her back in them. diapers are easy!! having to find a potty at a moments notice is far from easy! let him decide and in the meantime just enjoy that he is still a little guy. it doesn’t last forever… boo hoo!

    • He is a child. He doesn’t get to make decisions! No more diapers. The end. It is going to be SO much harder to potty train when you have an infant. I would just get it done with now. He is awfully old to be wearing diapers as it is. Do they let children wear them at preschool now? I remember they had to be fully potty trained when we were looking at schools.

    • Really??? Children don’t get to make decisions??
      Kids are so different. There is not one age that is ok. Your OPINION that it will be harder when she has an infant is just that, your opinion.
      Some kids are ready at 1year old. Some kids are ready at 4. Neither is better than the other.

    • @Beth E. as Karen said, in YOUR opinion. I hate when people make statements like they are facts, when they are obviously just opinions. Who are you to say what age is too old to be in nappies? In NZ, as far as I am aware, they don’t have to be pottytrained.
      And [in my opinon] children DO get to make decisions. I THINK that providing kids with a range of options and choices and empowering them to progress through a decision-making process is a key part of their development. Removing all decision-making opportunities for children I THINK pushes them down and could leave them feeling devalued. I’m not saying that I think all kids should get to make all the decisions all the time, but they should get to weigh in and be listened to.

      Side note- my MIL says that her youngest refused to toilet train and then suddenly got up one morning and said “mum, I’m a big boy now, I wear undies”. and that was the end of nappies – he never wore them again and never had an accident.

  59. What an adorable, creative idea and what precious photos! Love those baby feet.. my baby’s feet are now a size 11! He’s a young man now but will always be my baby! Thanks for sharing your special spa day with us!

  60. It IS a fun idea – love it! (Another example of a really good sponsored post.) And would love to hear more of the Toby story if you’re up for sharing. I think kids get there when they’re ready.

  61. What a fun idea, I’ll have to remember this. xo!

  62. the colander idea is so great! I’m going to try it with my littles ones tonight :)
    My daughter was 3 when she was finally potty trained. I felt like a failure for not having her done sooner, but realized it was pressures around me making me feel like I wasn’t doing it right. We waited and with some new strategies, tried again and it stuck! It will happen for Toby when it happens :)

  63. How precious!!

  64. My almost 4yr old has started to like foot massages after his bathtime. It is the cutest thing ever. My husband tried to lightly massage his shoulders which just throws him into a fit of laughter. But he still comes back for more, it’s so adorable and hilarious!
    They say 3 is the magic number for boys. Glad you to see you are letting it happens as it does and not forcing it. He won’t be in diapers forever. Enjoy the sweet diaper bum while you can!

  65. So cute! The colander idea is brilliant! We took a break from potty training too… If they aren’t ready, there is no sense in continuing until they are!!

  66. so sweet! love the honest company! their stuff is fantastic.

  67. SO cute! toby is really starting to look more grown up!

  68. Love the colander idea – great fun!

  69. Eeeeeeeek! His eyebrows just kill me!!

    Also – he’ll pee in the loo when he’s ready! Dont rush a brother!


  70. I totally agree with you about the duck towel… it’s so cute!! And so is Toby, what a lovely face!
    Did you buy the towel as it is? Or did you DIY?


  71. How totally precious, and a fun idea! My little one, who’s still an infant, giggles when I massage his legs too. Maybe we’ve just got ticklish boys? It’s super cute though. He’s just now starting to enjoy bath time, I’ll have to introduce him to bubbles and a colander some day.

    Boys are a little more resistant to potty training, I’ve been told. So taking a hiatus is totally normal! Good on you for picking up Toby’s cues. When he’s ready, you’ll both know it!

  72. Aww…my heart is melting! :) Great post! Xo,

  73. Good post. enjoyed looking at the pictures..

  74. CC says...

    My gosh, Toby could not be more adorable! What a gorgeous kid, Joanna. You and Alex must be so psyched to meet the next one :)

  75. Could this be any cuter? I’m thinking, no.

  76. so yes, why is he wearing diapers?

  77. What an adorable idea!! I have to check out The Honest Company! I’ve heard such wonderful things about it & Jessica Alba from the last Alt Summit! =)

    Ergo – Blog

  78. Ai says...

    Awwww they’re so cute!! Man, I don’t remember ever getting lollipops when I took baths as a little kid haha.

  79. What a fun day! We started and waited with our boys on training too, I never rushed things and if they didn’t seem ready, I waited.