Three generations of Chicago moms share their best baby advice


The Basile/Panfil/Ober family

Potty training

Great Grandma: My daughter was still in diapers in kindergarten. I tried and tried, I just had to wait until they were ready do it.

Grandma: I tried diligently with my first and failed at it. And then the other three kids did it when they seemed to be ready and interested.

Mom: With my first, we started at around 2 1/2 and tried and tried and tried. Finally we gave up for several months. Then a few weeks before his third birthday we let him run naked for a week. There were lots and lots of accidents, but by the fourth day, something clicked in him and that was it.


Great Grandma: Just ignore them. I remember just stepping over my son on the kitchen floor.

Grandma: Distraction worked best. Give them a toy, treat or remove them from the situation.

Mom: I would try to give them all my attention or a hug to calm them down. But as my oldest has gotten older, that doesn't work so well, so we typically ignore the tantrum and he will stop on his own.

Biting or hitting

Great Grandma: I remember once, my son bit another little girl in the leg. I was so embarrassed. For punishment, we would spank, as that's how we were raised.

Grandma: I stopped it right away and let them know it was NOT tolerated. Worked really well.

Mom: If my child would bite me or another kid, I would always take them away from whatever they were doing or sit them down if I was holding them. But more than anything, we try to nip it before it happens. Really paying attention to them keeps the bad behavior from even starting.


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