Posts Tagged ‘toddler’

Getting so big and clever

February 8, 2014

Argh! Time is flying, I keep thinking of things to blog but then don’t get around to doing it.

The boys are getting bigger and better at everything. Bub is now four. Can you believe it? He’s suddenly got really into drawing and writing. He does ‘stories’ in which he draws random letters and numbers on the page. And his pictures aren’t scribbles any more. His people have faces, bodies, legs, toes, even shoes. And big smiley faces!
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And Baby is nearly one. He’s started to pull up to standing all the time. Though rather annoyingly for all concerned he doesn’t yet know how to get back down.
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Fireworks

November 5, 2013

Went to a local fireworks display. Baby’s first. It went surprisingly well. He’s very sensitive to some noises but didn’t mind the fireworks at all. Some borrowed war defenders helped. He spent the display tucked up safe in my sling watching the bright lights with a look of complete awe on his face. Three year old Bub loved them too and watched with a massive grin. My boys clearly do have a taste for all things loud.

I didn’t get any photos of our fireworks outing. But here’s a lovely one of the two boys this Halloween.

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Recipe: wakey, wakey cakes

October 8, 2013

I am a lazy cook. Something has to be really worthwhile for me to roll up my sleeves and get baking. But these are so good I’ve made them twice in as many weeks! Brilliant for breakfasts on the go or indeed any time an easy, mess-free snack is required. Both my six month old and three year old love ’em.

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Wakey Wakey Cake (makes 8-12)

2 weetabix
20g cornflakes
100ml milk
1 small banana

1 small fairy-cake tin & cases (optional)
Butter or olive oil for greasing

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1. Preheat oven to 190C (or 170 for fan ovens) and grease the tin.
2. Mix together one of the weetabix, milk and cornflakes, crushing cornflakes in the process until you have a paste.
3. Mash the banana into the cereal mixture until smooth, then add the second weetabix. You should have something with a sticky, cement like consistency.

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4. Divide into six and spoon into the greased tin or into baking cases (optional), pressing down with a spoon so that you have six little discs of cereal mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

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5. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack.

These can be made more interesting for an older baby by adding a handful of raisins, apricots or other fruit. They are great warm or cold and will keep in an air right container in the fridge for a few days.

And here is proof that they really did go down a treat. Baby isn’t really showing them off at their mess-free best though as he had some yoghurt just before.

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Recipe from the wonderful Baby Led Weaning forum.

Don’t make children eat their greens!

September 23, 2013

Read this great article in the Guardian today about fussy eating in children.

The author talks about his struggles to make his children eat their greens. It concludes that this was ultimately counter-productive and made them less likely even to try them.

Psychotherapist Susie Orbach, author of Fat Is a Feminist Issue, is quoted in the article:

She sees such anxiety as centring on issues of control and rejection of the offerer of the food rather than the food itself. In other words, you’re not getting upset when your child won’t eat because it’s not healthy. It’s because you perceive the child as rejecting your love. And the whole framing of the issue around health and nutrition – food as “medicine” – is misguided.

“As long as we make food ‘healthy’ or ‘good’ food an issue,” she says, “we are going to produce anxiety. We should just eat well when we are hungry. We need to be relaxed about it – like you pee when you need to. When nourishment is labelled ‘bad’ or ‘good’, it becomes part of an emotional language and therefore problematic.

“We have a society with rules, regulations and terrors about eating and BMIs and God knows what, and mothers being assaulted by industries to create body hatred. It’s induced.”

This story comes at a great time for me as we embark on baby-led weaning with our second. One of the main benefits, from my point of view, is the lack of control parents have over what and how much their baby’s have. I know with a more traditional weaning approach I’d have been anxiously documenting every mouthful and getting concerned over X, Y and Z. By letting Baby feed himself and deliberately stepping back this just isn’t an issue. Any temporary lack of hunger or dislike of a food one day just isn’t a big issue and is not something likely to be blown out of proportion. We’ve not had a single ‘bad’ mealtime as Baby always enjoys playing and experimenting with what we give him. No stress meals are fab.

This isn’t to say we don’t have our food fad issues with our three year old. Despite BLW him he can be fussy from time to time. He much prefers food separated out into distinct bits rather than mixed together. This is a shame as he no longer eats and enjoys his Dad’s cottage pie. He also claims not to like onions which is annoying as they are a staple of many meals. But by serving his food slightly earlier in the preparation process, before it gets mixed together, we can usually prevent any issues fairly painlessly.

Three year old Bub definitely has a feast or famine approach to food. Some weeks he eats everything we give him and then wants more. He’ll consume adult portions of meals and is endlessly hungry. Usually these phases coincide with him growing two inches almost overnight. But other times he has almost no appetite. Three small mouthfuls of a meal and he claims to be done. On these days he appears to eat almost nothing and you think he might waste away. This is a pattern we’ve observed in him over several years and we’ve learned to put our anxieties to one side somewhat. I know that trying to control or influence his appetite would be unhelpful and stress inducing on all sides. I thank my lucky stars I was baby-led weaning when he was younger as this feast/famine approach would have driven anyone doing purée/spoon feeding nuts.

Mealtimes in our house aren’t perfect. But any issues we have probably say more about me than him and I try to keep that in mind. I do feel bad when I cook something new and he won’t even try it. But forcing him would remove any traces of enjoyment from the meal and probably make him even more fussy next time. So I try to resist.

“It’s very difficult with children,” says Orbach. “You want to give them something delicious and nutritious, but children go through food fads when they are rejecting many foods. It’s just part of their development. Probably you will feel upset, but you must approach the issue in a neutral way. Don’t lose your rag. The meal table should never be a site of conflict. You shouldn’t make any threats around food.”

Good advice, I’ll try to remember it!

So pissed off with sleep issues right now

July 2, 2013

Never again shall I post up about our sleeping success. It’s definitely a jinxing thing to do. Twice I’ve done this, saying we seem to be getting there. And twice it’s been only a few days until it feels like square one again. Maybe it’s me getting complacent which swings it?

Anyway things are crap with sleep again. With BOTH kids. Baby’s routine is all out of whack which is leading to him feeding just before sleep. Uh oh! And yes, of course, it didn’t take too long for this to take us right back to where we started. He now desperately wants to feed to sleep and we’re having to sleep train all over again. As for his big brother I really don’t know what is going on. He’s regularly screaming in his room at bedtime and refusing to go to bed. I think Baby’s bedtime tears are upsetting Bub. But it’s also my decreased availability to him as I stay with Baby through the tears. And all our heightened stress levels and tiredness doesn’t help. Feels like the whole house is over tired and it’s no fun.

Last night both Baby and Bub screamed themselves to sleep… And then Bub woke at 2am shouting and screaming and refusing to be comforted. And of course Baby woke at 4.30am. And at 7.30am he was up for the day. And has only just dozed off after yet more tears at nap time. This is crap and I am shattered!

So pissed off with sleep issues right now

July 2, 2013

Never again shall I post up about our sleeping success. It’s definitely a jinxing thing to do. Twice I’ve done this, saying we seem to be getting there. And twice it’s been only a few days until it feels like square one again. Maybe it’s me getting complacent which swings it?

Anyway things are crap with sleep again. With BOTH kids. Baby’s routine is all out of whack which is leading to him feeding just before sleep. Uh oh! And yes, of course, it didn’t take too long for this to take us right back to where we started. He now desperately wants to feed to sleep and we’re having to sleep train all over again. As for his big brother I really don’t know what is going on. He’s regularly screaming in his room at bedtime and refusing to go to bed. I think Baby’s bedtime tears are upsetting Bub. But it’s also my decreased availability to him as I stay with Baby through the tears. And all our heightened stress levels and tiredness doesn’t help. Feels like the whole house is over tired and it’s no fun.

Last night both Baby and Bub screamed themselves to sleep… And then Bub woke at 2am shouting and screaming and refusing to be comforted. And of course Baby woke at 4.30am. And at 7.30am he was up for the day. And has only just dozed off after yet more tears at nap time. This is crap and I am shattered!

And now the other one won’t sleep!!

June 30, 2013

I think my two boys might be ganging up on me. It seems that as soon as one has their sleep sorted the other gets in a pickle.

Bub, our three year old, has become a total nightmare to get to sleep. He used to go to sleep within minutes of us saying good night. He’d be snoring gently by 9pm and sleep soundly till around 9-9.30am. This seems like a very late bedtime to most but we structure his whole day around it and use blackouts to help him sleep in till ‘up time’. This last week or so he’s totally lost it however. The other night I actually ended up going to bed whilst he was still awake. I turned out the lights and lay here with him still shouting for me! I think that night he went to sleep at 11pm. And the night before it’d been 10.30pm. All far too late and meaning he is seriously overtired.

We’ve always had our challenges with Bub’s sleep. So much so it led to me naming this blog as I did. Routine, routine, routine was our salvation. Bub knew what was coming and when and he didn’t think he had a choice. Except now he realises he can play about in his room, turn on the light, shout for a story, a wee, a drink…

I think the root of this lies in him actually oversleeping one day and us letting him. So he wasn’t tired next day and started messing. And liked it so much he did it again and again. And a couple of times we didn’t realise he had put his light on and he was awake ages having a whale of a time.

This does happen from time to time. Often it is accompanied by early morning wakings and over tiredness. The only solution I have found is to put him to bed much earlier. Even for early wakings. We put him down earlier and he messes about but falls asleep that bit earlier too. So next day he is less overtired and sleep comes a bit easier. So again less overtired etc. Eventually we can revert back to the usual sleep time.

Last night we put him in bed a half hour early. He then had an hour of rampaging in his bedroom, of course. We ignored him as best we could and tried not to engage more than absolutely necessary. And he fell asleep at quarter to ten. Not brilliant but better than the previous two nights. He was asleep on two pillows which he’d put in the floor behind the bed, mind you. However luckily he didn’t wake when moved. What a monkey!

Worrying about the three year old

June 23, 2013

I write a lot on here about Baby’s sleeping, eating etc. But in actual fact it’s his brother who his daddy and I spend most time worrying about. I guess with Baby we have been here before. And whilst I am concerned to ensure he is ok it’s all fairly straightforward. With Bub, who is three, we feel much more uncertain. This is the uncharted territory for us that occupies much more of our thoughts and discussions.

For example Bub is regularly getting hurt at nursery. In particular he is getting bitten. However he is super reluctant to talk about it and never tells the ladies there. We don’t know if this is just part of the rough and tumble of boys play or something more targeted. Is he always the one hurt or bitten? The one who is always chased when they play monsters? We just don’t know and Bub can’t or won’t tell us. I know he likes his friends as he tells us so and is keen to see them. And in the past he’s had his own issues with pushing and hitting. But I hate the idea of him putting up with mean behaviour just to be someone’s friend. The other day he even said “I like bites” in response to questions about where the latest mark came from.

Bub has definitely changed since moving up to the 3-5 year olds room at nursery. He used to be very much the leader when with the two year olds. But now he is meek and a definite follower. This could be a natural personality change which arises from greater social awareness. Or perhaps a temporary thing stemming from his poor language skills compared to his peers. I just hope it’s not because he is having a really tough time and his natural tendencies are being squashed.

His move to the bigger age group happened at the same time as his brother was born which probably hasn’t helped. My hope is that come September all the very big kids will go to school. Bub will no longer be one if the littlest and hopefully he’ll be more confident and secure.

Would welcome any thoughts from readers. What can we do to help our little boy feel secure and happy? How can we encourage him to tell us what is going on?

Holiday fun

May 15, 2013

Lovely long weekend away. Our first for about a year. Shamefully this is because Bub’s sleep is often really disrupted and this tends to dampen my enthusiasm to do it again. But you know what? His sleep was appalling, again, but it was still worth it. We had lots of fun.

Some highlights

  • Bub’s massive and complete excitement about going on holiday, our ‘holiday house’ and everything to do with the holiday.
  • Bub playing for HOURS with the wooden marble maze provided in our caravan lodge.
  • Having a cup of tea and reading the paper in our hot tub (for about five minutes) before being joined by an excited three year old who was delighted to have his own personal swimming pool.
  • Visiting a beautiful waterfall (England’s highest) and trekking all the way up to the top. Bub walked pretty much the whole way, he did so well and had boundless energy. And Baby did well in the sling too.
  • Bub and his daddy being Adventurers, including finding a stream with stepping stones.
  • Visiting the great British seaside on a wet and blustery afternoon, including a walk along the beach and doughnuts.
  • Bub having fun on the two penny slots on the pier and going on a 20p kids motorbike ride.
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    Sleeping with your baby

    May 4, 2013

    Have been chatting with friends about sleeping in bed with your baby and thought I might write about our experiences here.

    First things first, safety. There is a good article here so I won’t repeat it. But suffice to say I think sleeping with your baby is safe so long as you take care.

    With my first child Bub I hadn’t intended to co-sleep. We had a Moses basket and thought that he would sleep next to our bed. And most of the time he did. But Bub had a really strong Moro reflex and in the early days he’d wake himself frequently if not held. Swaddling was ultimately what resolved this but for a few weeks I found lying next to him and holding him when he stirred helped him stay asleep. So in the early weeks when I was desperately exhausted he came in bed with us. And then during growth spurts or any time he was waking a lot to feed I brought him into bed too. But actually most nights he slept entirely in his own bed. And I think he slept better like this too – after the first few weeks my presence seemed quite distracting for him and made it harder for him to fall and stay asleep.

    I’m very strict now though and never have Bub sleep in our bed. His sleep is generally good but only because of a predictable routine and clear boundaries. I don’t want to open up the option of coming into our bed as I fear he’d want to do it a lot. That’s not to say we don’t occasionally sleep in with him though. If he’s ill or in need of companionship then we put a mattress on the floor of his bedroom and sleep next to him. And sometimes he’ll come down and sleep on it too. And then I get NO sleep! He’s just as distracted and distractable a co-sleeper as when he was a baby so it’s not a very restful experience. Hence my reluctance to have him come into our bed on a regular basis.

    With Baby things are a little different. He’s a MUCH better sleeper than his brother (so far anyway.) Once asleep he tends to sleep well and not wake himself up. At nights he usually does 6 to 8 hours at a stretch. And then after a feed he’ll go down for another three hours. All highly satisfactory! 😉 But I’m more relaxed about co-sleeping this time around and have embraced it a little more. So Baby does his ‘big sleep’ in his own bed which is in our bedroom. Then at 6am (or whenever he wakes for his feed) I bring him into my bed. After feeding I’ll lay him next to me to sleep until he wakes properly. This is mainly to help him sleep as easily and as long as possible. It’s usually light by then and I want to move/disrupt him as little as possible. Also I can hold and respond to him quickly if necessary and avoid him waking fully should he stir prematurely. And it also reduces the chance he’ll make a noise that might wake up Bub.

    I sleep much more easily with Baby in my bed than with Bub. I’ve temporarily turfed his daddy into the spare room so we have the whole kingsize to ourselves. And I’ve put a toddler bed guard on the edge of the bed. So I can rest easy knowing he’s safe. And he’s nearby without being squeezed in right next to me.

    So that’s our co-sleeping experience so far. Not sure how it’ll continue with Baby but for now this arrangement seems to suit us both fine.


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