Tag Archives: toddler

Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

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Ohhh you’re an only child

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, especially with ‘tone’. I would be a very rich only child.  It’s often followed by a couple of ridiculous questions. Were you bored? Did you hate it? Are you spoilt? Well no, actually I don’t know any different.

I believe I have been brought up well, I was rarely bored and I had friends. Being an only child didn’t affect my social skills and surprise surprise….. I really wasn’t any more spoilt than my peers (all of which had brothers and sisters). I didn’t get everything I wanted or my own way and my parents taught me respect. They may have spoiled me with love but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

While I like to say that my parents didn’t have anymore children after me because I am perfect. The reality is that it was a struggle to have me and just after I was born my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (at 30 years old). My mum has often told me she would’ve liked more children,  but they didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t even know if they could have more. When I was younger,  I often asked for a baby brother or sister, but the reality is that I didn’t really care. I was happy.

The only time I wished that I had that extra support was when my father was quite unwell a couple of years ago. He was in intensive care in hospital and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both him and my mum knew I was there for them. I am lucky though as my husband is very supportive, I am close with my aunty and we shared the load.

People need to stop with ridiculous comments about only children.  I believe couples are extremely lucky to have one healthy child, if they have more it’s a wonderful blessing. Yes, I now have two children, it’s not because I feel I missed out as a child. It’s simply because my husband and I wanted two children. If I hadn’t been able to have anymore children after my first I would have also been very happy. Decisions shouldn’t be judged, especially if you don’t know the back story. Next time someone tells you they are an only child or they only have or want one child let’s try to keep the ‘oh are they bored’ or ‘they must be spoilt’ comments to yourself.  One, two or ten children they are all beautiful and the number you have doesn’t need to be justified. Especially to judgemental strangers.

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Rachelle xx 

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Working at home with a toddler

I’m Ainsley and I have a little boy Rory, who is 17 months. In my spare time I run my own business, Dream Child Emporium, which is an online store for all sleep related products for babies and toddlers.

I thought I would write about a few of my work from home tips with a toddler.

So generally my days consist of  Rory running around, climbing on me and pulling at my shirt saying “booba” all with a bit of business work thrown in!

I feel like I am not super qualified to speak about this topic of working from home having only one toddler in my midst, but I can tell you what is working for me… this week.

TIP 1: Each day I have a mental to do list I need to get done. Those things are the priority when I get some time. This list keeps me focused and on task. I try and complete each task in full before moving on to the next task. (I may still have 17 tabs open on my computer but I try super hard to stick to one thing at a time)

TIP 2: Open the sliding doors, put a few toys outside and slap a hat on them and let them run wild in the back yard. Now this can kill about 10 minutes before they come back in wanting more food, water or booba (boob). But 10 solid minutes without a child climbing on me sticking his fingers in my nose and eyes, I will gladly take.

TIP 3.
Nap time is gold… when they actually nap. This nap time can be wonderful, uninterrupted and oh so productive. But without a plan or to do list of what you need to do… it can easily become not so productive. Online shopping and FB scrolling are my fave time wasters 🙂

TIP 4 : If you have a relative or trusted friend around, you could do a toddler swap for a few hours. I do this with my sister occasionally (not enough it seems). She will take Rory for a few hours so I can do some work. Then I take her kids for a few hours another day. It is a win win. It is nice to be able to focus for a few hours without the interrupting of a chatty toddler talking jibberish.

TIP 5 : I try and limit my computer time to bursts of 30 minutes. Then I stop and will have a play outside with him for a while, read a book or go for a walk. This ensures he doesn’t feel neglected and then he will happily play again by himself for a little while.

I try and keep in mind the whole reason behind wanting to work from home, and that was/is to be at home with my children and be there for them. So I try and keep that at the front of my mind when my business duties start stressing me out. Business can wait most of the time and if it can’t you could always distract them with a few toys to give you those few minutes to do what you need to get done 🙂

Ainsley
http://www.dreamchildemporium.com.au

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Mother of a toddler and a baby? I hear you!

The reality of motherhood is if you have more than one child, you have most likely had a point where you have had to deal with two babies or a baby and a toddler……to all these mothers RESPECT!!!

▫ I see the rings under your eyes from being woken up by a tag team of little humans. One screaming for food or pooping at ungodly hours. The other demanding water or yelling that their socks be put on after falling off in bed.

▫ I understand you are constantly checking nappies and sniffing for who has pooped. Now you have twice as much nappy time, it seems like all you do is check for poop change poop, change wees….ask the toddler of they want to got toilet….toddler then poops in their nappy or pants anyway……repeat the process over and over until bedtime.  No wonder you are always slightly distracted by poop or fart smells.

▫I see that you can barely hold a conversation like a normal person. As you always have one eye on the baby who is probably eating something off the ground or throwing things. While your toddler runs about screaming, having tantrums or interrupting you every 30 seconds to declare ‘Mum, look truck’….’Mummy, bus’. Also, see point one. The whole poop thing is very distracting and makes it hard to hold an adult conversation when you’re sniffing a small humans butt.

▫ I have observed you sweating at the shops. Where you either have
        * A – a double pram filled with arms and legs  
        * B – a double trolley full of arms and legs grabbing things off shelves    
          *C – a pram and baby carrier strapped to you like you’re a one man band.

▫ I get why you don’t find it funny when every second person stops to say ‘oh wow, you certainly have your hands full’. While I understand people are just trying to be nice, I have rarely been out alone with my two children without hearing this at least once. If people can see that my hands are full and I am a sweaty mess, don’t stop me to declare how you can see how busy I am???

▫ To the mum negotiating with the toddler with smarties (or chocolate of choice) because the baby is crying and you need them in the car. I get it, do what you can to get them where you need them. Having a toddler is like dealing with a small drunk person, negotiating with them is harder than negotiating with a terrorist,  add a screaming baby to the mix and you have a stressful situation, to say the least.

▫ I understand that your TV viewing mainly consists of Thomas the tank, In the night garden or Dora. I also get that eating is less relaxing these days and normally consists of scraps from the high chair tray or left over nuggets that are quickly consumed in the small 10 minute window that (if you’re lucky) both children are sleeping.

▫I can see the faded spit up/dribble  stains on your clothes that you have just wiped with nappy wipes because it’s easier than getting changed. Also, the small chocolate finger prints on your jeans from when the toddler was trying to get your attention while you changed the babies nappy are a dead giveaway that you’re a mother of a baby and toddler.

▫ I  see you on a baby free night out. You wait for these moments, footloose and fancy free. Yet, you really don’t know what to talk about. You hear a baby crying and it distracts you, your handbag feels so light without all the nappies and snacks.  Deep down, you miss your little snot monsters?

▫ Most of all I see the worry and doubt in your eyes. Am I doing enough? are my children happy? Am I doing the right thing? You are. 

Having one child is hard but wrangling a baby and toddler is definitely hard work and involves a lot of ducking and diving.

** NOTE: If you are a parent with twins, triplets etc 😙, I can only imagine….well done to all the mummas.

I think we have all earnt our wine tonight.

Rachelle xx

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Tonsils, Adenoids and Grommets in Toddlers – Guest Blog Olivia Bennett

When the doctors recommended that my 2.5 year old son have his tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets put in, I was relieved that his speech delay and hearing issues would be resolved but equally apprehensive about surgery for my sweet, little boy.

At 18 months of age, we become worried by our son’s speech delay. The tone and quality of his voice was concerning. He sounded like he had a mouthful of marbles and was very difficult to understand. He was an enthusiastic snorer, a restless sleeper and a very picky eater who would frequently gag on food. I wasn’t concerned about his hearing at all as he was able to follow instructions. He’d had no more than two or three episodes of tonsillitis and ear infections in his life. At GP appointments, our doctor would comment on the size of his tonsils but we assumed that was because he was sick – which is why you take a kid to the doctor in the first place!

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My son and his twin sister were part of a medical study which included a physical and developmental review at the age of 2. At this assessment, the doctors noted his language delay and suggested a referral to a speech therapist and pediatrician. They also referred us for a hearing test which to our surprise, showed that my son had moderate hearing loss caused by fluid in his middle ear.

Fast forward a few months through speech therapy, pediatrician and ENT appointments and we had a diagnosis of “kissing” tonsils (when the tonsils are enlarged and touch at back of the throat), obstructive sleep apnoea (from enlarged adenoids which causes snoring and restless sleeping) and fluid build-up in the inner ear causing hearing loss.

In late August, the day of our surgery arrived and despite a few requests that “we go home now” my son was fairly calm during all the pre-surgery exams and the different waiting rooms. We spent a few days beforehand preparing him – talking about the doctors with their stethoscopes who would fix his sore throat and practicing breathing into a mask just like Luke Skywalker does when he flies space ships.

The actual surgery only took 45 minutes and I was able to go into recovery while he was waking up. Coming out of the anesthetic was distressing due to emergence delirium – a not uncommon reaction to anesthetic in little kids where they get very upset, do not recognize familiar people and thrash around. This lasted for around 45 minutes until we were back on the ward where he lay down in the bed with me and promptly fell into a deep sleep for 3 hours.

We stayed overnight in hospital and he was able to eat and drink normally almost straight away. We were sent home on a cocktail of pain medication and antibiotics that had to be administered every 4 hours for a week and then only paracetomol 4 hourly for the second week.

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I’m not going to lie; the first week was really tough. It was like having a large, newborn that was in terrible pain. During the day my son was quiet with moments of being his usual self. Often he just wanted me to sit with him or hold him. Overnight, he would wake every 2 to 3 hours in terrible pain so we took turns co-sleeping to give whichever pain medication was due and sips of water and then try to soothe him back to sleep. The pain got worse around day 5 until day 7 when he was refusing most food and we had to convince him to drink and swallow his medication. By day 10 he was back to sleeping through the night and eating most things with only a few complaints of being sore. Overall, the tonsil part of the procedure caused the most pain and discomfort.

A month later, the improvement in his hearing, speech and sleeping has been astounding. He now hears “birdies and planes” and is genuinely delighted by all these new sounds. We are often told we are being too loud! His words are much clearer but it will take a little longer for his brain to convert all the new sounds to correct sounding words. We will follow up with our speech therapy in a month or two. Previously, I had a very picky eater who would eat very little and then only foods that were easy to chew and swallow. Now he eats anything and everything. When he sleeps, he is so quiet and still that I often check he is still breathing. He no longer has obstructive sleep apnoea, and doesn’t need as much sleep as before – the only down side has been the end of my favourite time of the day – naptime!

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My hot tips for any parents or carers are to plan to be homebound and sleep deprived for 7 to 10 days following the surgery. If you have other children, try and get as much help from family and friends as possible. Make sure you follow the pain management plan to the letter and schedule pain relief 30 minutes before a meal or snack so that eating isn’t too painful. Using a small treat every time they take their medication worked well for us – over the 14 days that equated to dozens and dozens of chocolate drops but was worth it for a cooperative patient. Prepare your child so that having doctors examine them or having an anesthetic gas mask cover their face isn’t too distressing.

At the end of all this, I’m glad my son had this surgery, especially at a relatively young age. Although it was challenging at the time, those rough times only last for a week or so and the benefits will last his entire life.

Olivia

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Let them be little

As parents we are always told not to compare our children with others, that every child is different and they all do things in their own time.

This, my friends is a very hard task. Every book, website and other parent is jamming stats down our throats about what age we should expect our child to do every single little thing.  While I can understand that we need to monitor our children to ensure that developmental goals are being met.  I do believe there is far too much focus and pressure on our children to do things by certain ages and not enough focus on letting them be children and develop in their own time.

It’s almost like every parent wants to beat the age goal that is set so they can boast about their child being ‘advanced’ or ‘ahead’ of the game. This is fantastic if your child is doing everything on time or early but let’s all spare a thought for the parents of the children who may do things a little later (as a mother of a prem baby that didn’t walk until 17 months. I know this feeling all too well). Let’s also consider the parents of children who may have a learning difficulty or disability. They may not want to constantly hear how your child is running around at 10 months and speaking in sentences when they may be faced with the thought of their child never walking or talking.

Mother’s groups are notorious for this kind of behaviour and I speak to many women who are concerned about little things like their baby not sleeping,  rolling or walking, all because all the other babies in mother’s group are doing it? If your health nurse or pediatrician isn’t concerned there is probably no reason for you to be.

As mother’s, being truthful, thoughtful, supportive and compassionate of each other is very important. Some babies will walk early and may speak late. Some do everything early and others do everything late. Children develop at different speeds and it’s not reflective of what sort of parent you are.

I understand that we are all proud of our children, but sprouting off fun facts about how advanced your child is at every opportunity (including social media) isn’t an endearing trait.   Personally,  I would much prefer to hear the good and the bad, and I will tell you the same. 

At the end of the day,  take note of the stats but don’t base your life around them.  Children are all different and have different interests and personalities just like adults. Let them be kids, they are only little and carefree for a short time!!!

Rachelle xx

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Sneaky veg potato cakes

We all know toddlers aren’t vegetables number one fans. I’m always looking for easy ways to sneak a few extra veggies into Hudson’s diet. These sneaky veg potato cakes are pan fried so not 100% healthy but I can pack a few veggies in them so I’m happy. Steps to a veggie full mealtime are below:

1. Grate your veggies, finely slice onions and herbs. You can basically use whatever vegetables or herbs you like with your potatoes. Today I used zucchini, carrot, kale, onion, basil.

2. Squeeze out excess vegetable juices (otherwise you end up with soggy patties)

3.  Mix in two eggs

4. Form small patties and dust with flour.

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5. Pan fry until golden brown. I used olive oil but I have also used coconut oil in the past.

6. Serve to your tiny food critic.
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Variations:
* Add canned tuna or salmon to make fish cakes.
* Serve in a stack with sliced smoked salmon or ham and cream cheese spread
* Add a dipping sauce – ailoi, sweet chilli or the old favourite tomato sauce.

Rachelle xx

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Just for girls. I don’t think so!

Last night I was cooking dinner and my son was watching at the bench, playing with his tea set. My husband came over to sit with him and I asked him to play along with Hudson. His reply,  much to my surprise was ‘ummm no, tea parties are for girls’. I was furious, why would he say such a thing? I’m even embarrassed to write it now. My husband is very accepting and supportive, but when I heard him say this I was disappointed.  Tea parties are about teaching social interactions and imaginitive play.
Why would anyone say that about a boy playing tea party? Yet, if a girl kicks a football or plays with cars, its ok? I don’t agree with any stereotypes and I don’t want my children to be subjected to them either.

My husband is a bricklayer so I’m not sure if his blokish, on site, tough man behaviour just took over. However,  I want my children to grow up in a household that is welcoming and supportive of whatever decisions they make and whatever they want to be.  Hudson often plays with his toys and nurses them like babies because that’s what he sees his dad and I doing with his baby sister. Is this behaviour just for girls? Only for mum’s?  No way, this shows he is caring and will one day make a good parent. 

One thing my husband did explain to me is that he never played tea parties when he was younger, so he didn’t really know how to play. I have noticed that a lot of how he plays with my son is very masculine – cars, building things and wrestling.  I guess I will probably struggle with similar issues when my daughter wants to play catch or hit a ball. I am so very uncoordinated, there is no doubt I will feel like I am out of my comfort zone. It’s because when I was young, sport didn’t interest me. Probably in the same way tea parties didn’t interest my husband.

Being a parent is hard work. All the single parents and same sex couples would have to step out of their comfort zones all the time. Yet, here I find myself arguing with my husband about a tea party. Looking back,  perhaps I judged my husband too quickly for what he said. I know he loves his family more than anything and would do anything for us. 

I will provide support and interactions for our children in ways that he can’t and vice versa. I guess that’s why it’s called a partnership. While he knows the ‘it’s for girls’ comment wasn’t appropriate and I don’t want him to say it again. I appreciate that eventually he did have a tea party and Hudson was happy.
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Rachelle xx

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Through the eyes of babes

I know last week my post compared two year olds to drunk people.  However,  I also wanted to address another side.

My son Hudson is just over 2.5 and I have watched him develop into a kind and gentle little boy. Yes, he has bad days, tantrums and is unreasonable.  When all is said and done, I admire his attitude towards life.

Life excites him, he smiles and he embraces it. At what point between his age and adulthood do we become so worried, judgemental and stressed.

I completely understand that growing older brings the stress of working, family, bills, ill health…the list goes on. However, seeing how young children view the world makes me happy. 

*They are uninhibited and not self  conscious or concerned with labels.  *They don’t see race or disabilities.
*They don’t care of you’re rich, poor, straight, gay, transgender, fat, skinny, tall or short. 
*They also have no real understanding of war or religion. 
*If they have a problem they have a tantrum and pretty much get on with life.
*They see everyone as equals and just want to be happy.

My father has Parkinson’s disease and is unable to walk, he has bad tremors and is very hard to understand when he talks.  Adults often stare or act awkward, yet Hudson sees none of this he is just happy to see his Pa.  He often tells him to run, when my dad says he can’t Hudson simply responds ‘ok’ and just continues playing. 

I am in no way saying my child is better or different to anyone else’s.  It’s not just Hudson, it’s all children.  Their innocence and wonderment at the world amazes me.

I am guilty of being stressed and worried about silly things. I don’t pay attention to the little pleasures in life and it’s passing me by so quick. I believe as adults we need to slow down, see the good in people,  stop judging and competing.  Support, build each other up and most importantly Smile! Being happy won’t kill you.

Perhaps even our politicians could even take some advice from little children. Starting by viewing everyone as equals. image

Rachelle xx

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Two year olds are like tiny drunk people.

When I was thinking about having children, I really only ever thought of the baby part. The newborn, cuddly squishy stage.  I never even considered the two year old stage. If you dont have children or you have a new baby and you’re wondering what your two year old will be like. Just imagine living with an unreasonable drunk person.  Here are some examples of why:

* They are emotional. Happy and scampering around one minute and laying on the floor screaming the next.

* Their requests are often not reasonable.  Like having a bath but wanting to wear a shirt or wanting to be carried but not wanting to be touched?

*You will often have to remove car keys from their tight little fists and remind them that they are unable to drive. Often ending in crying or some sort of emotional reaction.

*There will be falls and trips.  They are still unsteady or try to do things that their little bodies can’t handle. This is also accompanied with spinning around until they get dizzy then, trying to walk while giggling hysterically.

* Food is often thrown around like confetti.  They spill food, poke at it and if it doesn’t please them, will simply fling it at you or toss it on the floor.

* They believe pants are optional and often enjoy a nudie run.

* To them, catching the dog and attempting to ride it around seems like a good time.

* There are often poop or vomit incidents without warning.

* When your out in public they get in the way of other people,  yell, fall and don’t listen. My son often tells random people to ‘stop’ or ‘sssshhh’ while they are just going about their business?

* They don’t care if anyone sees them picking their nose or with their hand in their pants.

* Pulling toilet paper off the roll and flinging it around is one of their favourite things to do.

* They will attempt to put underwear on their head or shoes on the wrong feet.

*They find bodily functions (burps, farts) absolutely hilarious.

* They often repeat themselves or just do the same thing over and over.

* They may fall asleep at the table, under the table or in the center of the floor.

* There is no filter. Comments like ‘mummy yuk’, ‘phheeeew stinky’, ‘you poo poo’ are completely normal.

* They don’t understand personal space and will lay all over you, touch your bottom in public, point out jiggly bits and pull hair.

Having a two year old (and also an infant) definitely keeps me on my toes. One thing for sure is I’m never short on entertainment and even though he is like a little whirlwind, his cuddles are the best. Cherish the moments with your little cooing newborn as before you know it you will feel like you’re living with a tiny Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen.

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Rachelle xx

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