Potty Training Tips, Tricks and Tools

Potty Training Tips, Tricks and Tools 0

Ready, Set, Potty!  

Potty training is something all parents engage in with their children at some point.  It’s a major milestone for your child, and one that takes a little practice.  It’s one of those experiences that take a child from baby to big kid.  It’s something to celebrate!

There are several approaches to potty training, and all parents will do what works best for them and their child.  We have compiled some lists of helpful tips when it comes to potty training. 

Here are a few tips, tricks, tools and tidbits to help your little one through the potty training process.

Potty Training Readiness Signs:

  • Showing an interest in pottying in the toilet
  • Showing signs of wanting to be more independent in general
  • Ability follow directions
  • Not liking the feeling of a dirty diaper
  • Asking you to change his or her diaper when it’s soiled
  • Having an awareness of needing to go potty
  • Talking about going potty, or telling you that he or she is going or has gone potty
  • Having long periods of time when his/her diaper is dry/clean (especially when waking up in the morning or after a nap)
  • Expressing an interest in wearing big kid underwear

Potty Training Success Tips:

  • Make it fun, interesting
  • Read your child’s signs/cues
  • Introduce
  • No pressure
  • Keep it casual
  • Talk about it
  • Make it fun
  • Celebrate successes
  • Be prepared, patient, positive and persistent

Potty Training Products

Here are some fun products that can help with the potty training process.


Potty Chair – there are tons to choose from, including the little stand-alone models and the kind that are placed on the toilet.  Some make sounds or play music.  Some flush.  Some feature fun characters.  There are even some that include an iPad holder.


Pull-up diapers –part diaper, part underwear, they allow your child to easily pull them down when they need to go the toilet and pull them back up when they’re finished, like real underwear.  And, if they miss the opportunity, the diaper part takes over.

Big kid underwear – take your child shopping and let him/her choose them.  My daughter enjoyed picking out several packs with her favorite characters, then putting them in her drawer after I washed them.  She wanted to start wearing them immediately, which was great potty training incentive.

Potty training sticker chart – there are several you can buy, download or emulate online.  We made our own and hung it in the bathroom.  We bought fun stickers, and let our daughter put them on the chart every time she went potty in the potty chair or toilet.   


Books and DVD’s – our favorites included Everyone Poops, by Gomi Taro, Where’s the Poop?, by Julie Markes, Potty, by Leslie Patricelli, A Potty for Me!, by Karen Katz, and  Elmo’s Potty Time DVD.


Toys – The Little Mommy Princess and The Potty Doll, which comes with a flushing toilet (“now you see the potty, now you don’t!”), a little sipping cup and hand sanitizer.  Our daughter loved having the doll “go potty” and then flushing the toilet to see the potty disappear. 

Waterproof mattress cover – this is a must in order to protect the mattress.

When it comes to potty training, you provide the incentive, opportunity, and expectations, and your child will do it when he or she is ready.  Like the famous book says, everyone poops (and pees) ... in the toilet eventually.

It will eventually click.  Meanwhile, have fun, and enjoy the learning process. 

Family Travel Destination: Catalina Island

Family Travel Destination: Catalina Island 0

Catalina Island is a fun travel destination for families with kids of any age.  Whether you visit overnight, for a weekend, a few days, or a week, you’ll find plenty to do.

Just 22 miles off the California coast, Catalina Island is 22 miles long and up to 8 miles wide.  It takes about an hour to get there by boat (or 15 minutes by air).  Boats leave year-round out of ports in Long Beach, Dana Point, Newport Beach, and San Pedro.  For my family, the boat ride to and from the island was a fun and memorable part of the trip. 

Once you get to the island, you’ll instantly notice how cute and quaint it is.  It’s pretty small with hills off in the distance, a charming little town with lots of shops and restaurants, little strips of beach, a pier, and the most spectacular views from everywhere.

The main town on Catalina Island is Avalon (there’s also the unincorporated community village of Two Harbors).  Avalon’s main street is Crescent Avenue, where you can walk around, shop, eat, visit the beach, and enjoy stunning views.


While you’re there, you may want to try some of these family-friendly activities: taking a boat or submarine ride, renting a golf cart to explore the island, relaxing and playing at the beach, shopping, visiting a museum, playing miniature golf, and more.  Here are a few recommendations:

Sea Adventures
You can choose from a variety of sea-going activities, which you can book and access from the centrally located pier, the Green Pleasure Pier.  We loved the submarine ride, Undersea Expedition, where we got to go under water and look at lots of fish through the windows.  See



Other boat adventures include the popular glass-bottom boat, Ocean Runner dolphin watching tour, nighttime Flying Fish Tour, Sundown Isthmus Cruise, and if you really want a true ocean submersion experience, the Sea Trek Walking Tours and “Snuba” – not something I’m willing to try.  You can also go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, or paddle boarding.


Land Adventures

One of the most favorite things my family did when we there was rent a golf cart to drive all over the island.  You can follow the map the rental company gives you to go on a self-guided scenic tour.  It takes you way up in the hills where you can stop and take in the most beautiful views.  You can also venture off and explore more of the island, such as through residential streets and other hillside areas.  Visit

Other options for exploring by land include walking, hiking, or renting bicycles, as well as taking tours by Jeep, Hummer, or bus.  Visit


Catalina has a few cute little beaches, including Descanso Beach (mentioned below).  The main beach is Crescent Beach, which is right next to the Green Pleasure Pier, from where many of the sea excursions depart.  There are no big waves at these beaches, so swimming, playing or floating in the water is ideal.  It also makes it really nice for young kids.  Our daughter enjoyed collecting shells, rocks, and sea glass there.


Descanso Beach Club

Descanso Beach Club is a beautiful and fun cove beach with stunning views.  You can lie out in the sand and play in the water there.  They sell all kinds of whimsical rafts and tubes in the gift shop.  You can also rent a cabana or chaise lounge chairs.  


It’s a lot of fun to have lunch at the outdoor restaurant, where the food is delicious, and the setting and views are amazing.  My daughter enjoyed her first mocktail there, a Virgin Strawberry, Mango, Coconut Daiquiri.  See


Catalina Island Museum

If you’re interested in learning about Catalina’s history, visit the Catalina Island Museum, which is in a gorgeous new building (the New ADA Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building).  The museum includes over 18,000 square feet of exhibit space and features artifacts from and about the island.  Museum staff engage kids by giving them a treasure hunt/fact-finding task to earn a prize at the end.  The museum is located at 217 Metropole Avenue, and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  See


More Catalina Island Adventures

Other fun activities to consider, if you’re interested, include rock wall climbing, zip-lining, miniature golfing (at Golf Gardens), and touring the iconic Catalina Casino, which also has a movie theater that shows a first-run movie each night.  


Catalina has tons of cute little shops, most of which are on Crescent Ave. and adjoining side streets.  Your kids will be happy to know that there is a great toy shop, at 233 Sumner Ave., right off Crescent Avenue (near the intersection of Sumner and Beacon St.).  Island Toy Store Plus More is a darling little shop with all kinds of toys and goodies (and a small section of goodies for pets).  There are also several souvenir and gift shops, clothing stores, a general store, and other shops and boutiques.

Great Food

There’s lots of great food on Catalina Island!  Here are just a few suggestions (all on Crescent Ave.):

Luau Larry’s – a casual, tropical bar and restaurant, it serves burgers, sandwiches, sea food, salads, appetizers and specialty cocktails.  See

Blue Water Grill – on the water with gorgeous views and great food, including all kinds of fresh seafood.  See


Antonio’s Pizzeria and Cabaret – waterfront with excellent Italian food.  See

Sweet Treats

If you have kids, you will most likely visit Lloyd’s of Avalon Confectionery, which has delicious and beautiful candies of all kinds, including their renowned saltwater taffy, caramel apples, fudge, chocolates, and ice cream.  It’s located at 315 Crescent Ave.


Other places to get sweet treats: Scoops Homemade Ice Cream (505 Crescent Ave.) and Avalon Bake Shop (122 Catalina Ave.).

Getting to Catalina Island

We took the Catalina Express out of Long Beach.  It was an enjoyable, comfortable, smooth, hour-long ride.


There are lots of hotels in Avalon, and most are within walking distance of everything.  I would recommend staying at an ocean-front hotel (on Crescent Ave.), steps from the beach and everything else.  Here are a few:

Hotel Mac Rae

Pavilion Hotel

Portofino Hotel

Hotel Vista Del Mar

The Edgewater

Another option that looked interesting was the Catalina Cottages (via the Hermosa Hotel), which are located right next to the new Catalina Island Museum (131 Metropole Ave.).  These are affordable, studio apartment style rooms, some with kitchens.  See

For more information on planning your family trip to Catalina Island, see or

Fun Fourth of July Foods

Fun Fourth of July Foods 0

Add some spark to your 4th of July celebration this year with some fun, festive, patriotic foods!  There are lots of ways to add July Fourth flair to all of your Independence Day meals.  Think American flags, stars, stripes, red, white and blue, fireworks, sparklers, and so on.  I'm sure you can come up with lots of great ideas.  We'd like to share some of our tried and true 4th of July food ideas, from smoothies to breakfast to simple snacks and drinks.  Enjoy, and have a fun and festive Fourth of July!

Red, White, and Blue Smoothie

Start the morning off, or cool down in the afternoon with a delicious, healthy and colorful Fourth of July Smoothie.  It's very easy to make, and ingredients and amounts will vary depending on your tastes and how many smoothies you plan to make.  Here's the basic recipe:
Blend the following separately, and then layer them in a glass (red, white, and blue), and garnish with strawberry and blueberry skewers:
  • Red: crushed ice, strawberries, a little bit of milk or coconut milk
  • White: crushed ice, bananas, milk/coconut milk
  • Blue: crushed ice, blueberries, milk/coconut milk

4th of July Breakfast

Kids will love this red, white, and blue breakfast that's super easy to make. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, you can add a 4th of July touch to lots of different foods - toast, French toast, pancakes, cookies, etc.  Here, we made waffle stars, which we served with red, white, and blue fruit (strawberries, bananas, and blueberries). 

Star-Shaped Waffles

Star-shaped waffles are served with some maple syrup and red, white, and blue fruit.  You could also add some powdered sugar or whipped cream.

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Platter

To make a 4th of July fruit platter, simply, create rows of sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, and blueberries. You could also add raspberries, watermelon, and a little whipped cream.

Star-Shaped Mini Sandwiches for 4th of July

As a simple snack or lunch item that kids will love, cut out star-shaped mini sandwiches.  Here are some with peanut butter and jelly and some with turkey.  

Festive 4th of July Appetizers

Star-Shaped Quesadillas 

Red, White, and Blue Bell Pepper Nachos

Here are some 4th of July Bell Pepper Nachos (above, topped with star quesadillas).
If you like red bell peppers, you will love these!  They are really easy to make, too.  Set your oven to 350.  In a small glass baking dish, pour some red taco sauce.  Add a layer of "chip sized" red bell peppers, a layer of black beans, and a layer of grated Monterey Jack Cheese.  Repeat these three layers.  Cook at 350, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.  

More 4th of July Appetizers

Here is a table display with some fun, festive 4th of July snacks, including chips and salsa in a flag serving tray, blueberries and star-shaped watermelon, red, white and blue strawberries (strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate and then in blue sugar), a festive drink (see below), and American Flag seven-layer dip (in more detail below).

American Flag Seven-Layer Dip

You can make this dip as you would with any other seven-layer dip (such as, spread a layer of refried beans on the bottom, then a layer of each: salsa, guacamole, grated cheese, and sour cream).  With the American Flag dip, top it with "stars and stripes" -- rows of diced red bell peppers and grated Monterey Jack cheese, and a corner that consists of some sour cream covered with black beans, and some chopped white onions for stars.

4th of July Cocktails and Mocktails

These drinks are as tasty as they are pretty.  The two in the back are the adult version and the one in the front is kid-friendly.  
Adult 4th of July Cocktails: over ice, Blue Curacao, vodka, and top with 7-up or club soda.  Garnish with red fruit (watermelon, raspberry, cherry)
4th of July Mocktails: over ice, blue Gatorade, 7-up or club soda.  Garnish with fruit.
Have a happy, healthy, fun and festive 4th of July!
Adorable Onesies for Adorable Babies

Adorable Onesies for Adorable Babies 0

Kabana Kids’ collection of Beachy Baby Bodysuits features cute, original designs silkscreened on soft, 100% cotton one-pieces.  Our first Summer 2018 Collection includes Sweet Pineapple, Surf Baby, Stars and Stripes, Beach Baby Waves, and Mermaid Vibes.  More are in the works.   


Our onesie designs are playful, whimsical, fun, cute, beachy, kind of cartoony, colorful, and happy.  They come in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months.  We will soon be adding designs in toddler and big kid t-shirts as well.  Several of our designs are gender neutral.

 We will also be adding a fun, beachy holiday collection of onesies and t-shirts. 

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Family Travel Destination Spotlight: Ventura, California

Family Travel Destination Spotlight: Ventura, California 0

Located on the California coast, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Ventura has a casual beach town feel and lots to do and see. 

There’s something fun for families with kids of all ages – lounging on the beach, cruising the boardwalk, bike riding, kayaking and paddle boating, boat trips and whale watching, playing at the park, shopping, listening to live music, and much, much more.  Here are just a few of the many fun things for families to see and do in Ventura.

Ventura Pier and Beachfront Promenade

The Ventura Pier and Beachfront Promenade (at Harbor Boulevard East of California Street) are perfect for strolling, sightseeing, and enjoying beautiful scenery. 

One of California’s oldest wooden piers and designated a Ventura Historic Landmark, the Ventura Pier features interpretive display panels, benches, restrooms, and amazing views of the Channel Islands, coastline, and mountains.


It includes two restaurants, Beach House Fish (previously Erik Erikson’s), with an upstairs deck, fish market, and gift shop (, and Beach House Tacos (, in a casual outdoor setting.

The Ventura Promenade is a pathway that runs between the Ventura Pier and Surfers Point beach.  You can rent bicycles or surreys for riding along the path.  Visit

The beach next to the Pier has a playground with swings and climbing structures, making it a favorite beach for families.

Downtown Ventura

Go a few blocks inland from the pier and promenade (straight up California Street), and you’re in Downtown Ventura.  The downtown area is located primarily on Main Street, as well as on a few side streets.  It features lots of great shops and restaurants, a movie theater, and the San Buenaventura Mission (  Visit free trolley runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday ( 

Ventura Harbor

The Ventura Harbor is located off Harbor Boulevard, and includes the Channel Islands National Park and Visitor Center, Ventura Harbor Village, Surfer’s Knoll Beach, and Harbor Cove beach. 

Ventura Harbor Village (, located on the Channel Islands Coast, at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, is dubbed California’s Seaside Village.  It features a beautiful marina, several shops and restaurants, live entertainment, and recreational activities. 


While you’re at Ventura Harbor Village, you and your family can:

  • Enjoy live outdoor music performances
  • Take funny photos with some fun photo op face cut-out props
  • Look across the harbor through a telescope
  • Rent a boat, paddle boats, or kayaks
  • Take a Harbor Cruise
  • Go on a whale watching excursion
  • Play in the arcade
  • Ride on the carousel


Some family-friendly Ventura Harbor Village restaurants include:

  • Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar – fresh seafood, famous clam chowder, fresh sourdough bread
  • 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese – gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, and tapas
  • The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood – traditional Greek cuisine, fresh fish, and gourmet burgers – inspired by the isle of Santorini (in the evenings live entertainment features Greek folk musicians and belly dancers)
  • The Parlor Restaurant and Soda Fountain – classic, burgers, hot dogs, and a 1940’s vintage-style soda fountain

And for dessert…

  • Coastal Cone Ice Cream – they have more than 40 flavors of ice cream, plus custom made sundaes, Dole Whips, and more, and they make their own waffle cones in-house.

More Ventura Harbor Locations 


Across the street (on Spinnaker Drive) from the Ventura Harbor Village is the beach.  Directly across is Surfer’s Knoll Beach, where the surf breaks at the Santa Clara River Mouth.  Next to that is Harbor Cove Beach (Mother’s Beach), named one of the safest beaches in Ventura.  This beach is very popular with families, is framed by the jetty, and is a great spot for watching boats going in and out of the harbor. 


Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center

Across the street from Harbor Cove Beach (1901 Spinnaker Dr.) is the Channel Island National Park Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center is dedicated to the Channel Islands National Park, a United States national park that consists of five islands off the coast (see  You can also take a boat trip out to the Channel Islands from the Harbor (

The Visitor Center has displays of wildlife and sea life from the islands, a live tidal pool, book and gift store, and daily educational talks.  Upstairs, there’s a viewing tower with one of the best views of Ventura Harbor, the Channel Islands, and the Ventura coastline.  In the center’s auditorium, a 25-minute movie, “A Treasure in the Sea” narrated by Kevin Costner, is shown throughout the day.  The center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Harbor Cove Café

Next to the Visitor Center is a little gem of a restaurant, Harbor Cove Café, which serves breakfast and lunch.  You can sit indoors or outdoors with a close-up view of the marina. 

Marina Park

Near the Ventura Harbor, at the south end of Pierpont Boulevard, Marina Park is a beautiful 15-acre oceanfront park.  Set on the beach, this park features palm trees, a huge grassy area, picnic tables, barbecues, restrooms, and a great playground with a replica sailing ship.  It’s perfect for a picnic and a day of family fun!

Getting to Ventura

Ventura is right off the 101 freeway.  If you live in California, it’s a pretty easy drive from just about anywhere.  You can also get here by train – the Amtrak station is located at the Ventura Fairgrounds.  Or, from out of state, you can fly into the Santa Barbara Airport, Burbank Airport, or LAX.


Where to stay in Ventura

Our favorite hotel here is the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, which overlooks the beach near the Ventura Pier, on the Beachfront Promenade.  All rooms, which have recently been renovated, have ocean views.  It has a beachfront pool and patio and dining area (with a fire pit), and two restaurants, the Aqua Beachfront Bar and La Cosecha Modern Mexican Food restaurant.  It’s located at 450 E. Harbor Blvd.  Call (805) 648-2100 or visit

Another recommended hotel is the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor.  It is located at the Ventura Harbor, and has rooms with a harbor view.  It has a pool and hot tub, an on-site tennis court and fitness center, and bicycle rentals. 

Four Points’ Alexander’s Restaurant has dining indoors and out on the patio, and also has a Grab and Go menu so you can order food from their kitchen and take it with you on your adventures.  It’s located at 1050 Schooner Dr.  Call (805) 658-1212 or visit

For more information about Ventura, California, visit www.visitventuraca.comEnjoy your trip, and feel free to share your discoveries, adventures, and recommendations with us!

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How to Pick the Right Diaper Bag for Your Lifestyle

How to Pick the Right Diaper Bag for Your Lifestyle 0

Finding a High-Quality, Sustainable, Multi-Functional Diaper Bag

When it comes to diaper bags, there are so many choices.  You can find something for everyone’s tastes and lifestyle needs.  

Babies need a lot of stuff, and when you and baby are on the go, you need something that will easily hold all that stuff.  Something nice and roomy but that’s still soft enough to stow away when needed is ideal.  So is a bag that not only goes with you and baby everywhere you go, but that also grows with you and your baby – it can still be used beyond the baby years. 

So how do you know which diaper bag to choose? 

Consider the following:

Your lifestyle – Diaper bags were invented to allow parents to get out with their baby and take the things they need with them.  The more active and on-the-go you are, the more you’ll use your diaper bag.  How will you use yours?  Where will you take it – on daily outings, shopping, the park, the pool, weekend trips, the beach, travelling, etc.?  Think about what you need in a bag.  You’ll want something convenient and versatile, that holds a lot, and is easy to carry.

Your style and taste – Choose a diaper bag that suits your taste and reflects your style.  What colors and fabrics do you like?  Maybe you want something soft and pastel, bold and bright, or neutral.  Maybe you want something that matches your overall baby décor and theme.

Other important factors – A good diaper bag is also sturdy, durable, convenient, sustainable, multi-functional, and well-made with high-quality materials.

Kabana Kids’ Beachy Diaper Bags are all of these things and more.   

  • They are soft and flexible yet sturdy.
  • They’re large and roomy.
  • They’re made with cotton canvas, are fully lined inside, and have a waterproof bottom that is made from safe, non-toxic (PVC-free, BPA-free) vegan leather (made of polyurethane).
  • The have convenient pockets inside and outside, and a zip-top closure.
  • They have two sets of straps so they can be carried as a tote or worn as a backpack, adding more convenience.
  • They’re in a beachy, casual style and come in six color choices.
  • They coordinate with our Beachy Play Mats, which fold up easily and fit into the bags and still leave room for all of your other stuff.

Beachy Diaper Bag Colors and Themes

Our first collection includes an assortment of colors inspired by the beach and tropical islands.  With six options to choose from, there’s definitely a bag for everyone – two nautical options, two tropical options, and two soft and dreamy color options.

Our collection is as follows:

  • Navy and Sand – beige with navy trim
  • Deep Navy – navy with beige trim
  • Tropical Green – soft jade with dark green trim
  • Coconut – brown with tan trim
  • Coastal Sky – dreamy sky blue with royal blue trim
  • Pink Sand – pretty pink with sand trim

These pair perfectly with our various Beachy Play Mats, in 11 different prints, that are also coming soon. 

Sign up for our mailing list for product release updates.  Also, follow us on Instagram @kabanakids and like us on Facebook @KabanaKidsCo