Tag Archives: routine

My life as a mummy of two!

My life as a mummy of two!

So settling into being a mummy of two has been challenging. Loving it, but challenging.

Experiencing the love all over again, smelling and absorbing my new born and still being everything I can be for my 2 year old.

My 2 year old has been a little jealous and understandably. He has had his mummy all to himself for the past 2.5years, now all of a sudden he has to share his mummy and it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for him.

Throughout my pregnancy I was trying to help him adjust, I bought books about becoming a big brother, books about expecting a baby and we would chat about how he is getting a little sister and that it’s very special for both him and her.

I thought he would be a little jealous but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the huge change in him.

Firstly my little man used to be a fairly good sleeper. After night nurses and reward charts I had managed to get him to go down approx 6pm in his own bed, we would read 3 books then it was lights off. My little man would then sleep through in his own big boy bed until approx 6am the next morning.

Since I was in hospital for over a week my husband and mother were looking after my little man. His routine wasn’t really followed and for a few weeks he didn’t like to go to bed and wasn’t sleeping through, waking multiple times per night and insisting on sleeping with me and leaving his bedside lamp on.

The first few nights I was really strict and walked him back to his room, comforted him and helped him to go back to sleep but after 5 nights of the same behaviour I began to feel bad and allowed him to come into my bed and sleep with me.

Mainly because it’s a huge adjustment and in between feeding my little girl every 2.5 hours I have been pretty tired. Also secretly I love snuggling with him and he is my little man, my first born and always will be.

This phase only lasted approx 3 weeks though and now he is happy to go to his own bed, he isn’t sleeping through every night, however most nights he does, and if he doesn’t he is only waking once or twice and I carry him back to his room and he goes back to sleep.

He is really sweet with his sister and is quite protective and loving towards her. If he hears her cry he will come straight to me and tell me she is upset and he also runs to her room and says in the sweetest little voice ‘you ok Mila?’

He also loves to help me change her nappy and I allow him to choose her outfits. I want him to feel involved and part of her life. Although he is only 2.5years old I think that by allowing him to be a big part in the decisions around her will help him to adjust and accept her more easily and not have him be as jealous or feel left out or pushed aside.

My little girl though is a different story, she sleeps very well and I actually wake her to feed. During the day I’m feeding every 3 hours however of a night I let her sleep and she wakes me. She is only 3 weeks old though and I anticipate that this may change.

The dynamic in the house has also changed, it feels complete now. I feel like I’m whole. My little man and my little princess have completed me, of course with my husband. 🙂 I was once told that to have one child of each sex is a ‘gentleman’s family’ or a ‘pigeon pair’ which is apparently quite well looked upon in the eyes of some. I feel blessed that I have been able to create this little family with my husband and also be able to give him a child of each sex.

Being a parent is a constant lesson, I’m always learning more about myself but also about my children. I’m feeling very blessed at this stage in my life.

I’m sure with each step and change in growth patterns with my 2 children things within our home will change also with dynamics and learning. I look forward to sharing these moments with you.

Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.

Sleeping issues!

My toddler is now 22 months old and I thought I had hit the jackpot approx 4 months ago when he decided to sleep through from 7pm until 6am – woohoo! I was finally feeling normal and getting a constant ‘block’ of sleep. I felt like a new person as he has never been a great sleeper. Most nights I was up with him 4, 5 sometimes more each night.

I became used to it and learnt how to survive on 5 hours of broken sleep and still function. When he woke I would have to re settle him as he just couldn’t settle himself. I would be in his room with him for approx 20 minutes each time he woke.

I have tried everything, white noise, control crying, shhh him, night lights, temperature control, you name it I’ve tried it!

I guess I just have in and assumed he would sleep through when he was ready. Guess what, he did, in his own time and it was lovely for the 4 months whilst it lasted.

It seems he has regressed and now doesn’t want to sleep again…. Last night we were awake for almost 2 hours from 3:19am. Admittedly he went down at 7:30pm after 30 minutes of me sitting in his room with him almost begging him to sleep. Then when he woke I tried every thing! He just did not want to go back to sleep. At 5am I gave in and put him in bed with me and he then slept until 7am.

I know I shouldn’t have given in and put him in my bed, however I was too tired and cold after 2 hours to confine the back and forth from his room to mine.

I’ve been following Nicole Johnson’s ‘The Baby Sleep Site’. She has great tips and for the most part they work.

Most of all though, they explain that children will sleep when they are ready and that we are not alone nor crazy!

I’ve found an article on sleep regression that I think is a great read.

Let me know your thoughts.

Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Or log onto ‘The Baby Sleep Site’ and have a look at other helpful and interesting articles for yourself.

http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-patterns/baby-sleep-regression-phase-habit/

Sleep regressions – most of us consider them the bane of our parenting existence! But is a sleep regression the same thing as a growth spurt? And if your baby or toddler’s sleep suddenly falls apart, how can you tell if it’s due to a regression or a growth spurt?

4 Month Sleep Regression
This sleep regression is tough on parents – it can sometimes feel like you’re straight back to having a newborn again, especially if your baby was sleeping through the night and napping well before the regression started! The 4 month regression happens because your baby’s brain and sleep patterns are maturing and changing. Before 4 months, your baby’s sleep patterns are very different from yours; during the 4 month regression, your baby’s sleep patterns are maturing and becoming much more like yours. As a result, you may find that your baby wakes more frequently at night and too early at nap time; this is usually a result of waking between sleep cycles. You can read our original 4 months sleep regression article, or you can read a newer, updated 4 month sleep regression article as well.

8 Month (or 9 Month, or 10 Month) Sleep Regression
If you manage to get your 4 month old sleeping well after the 4 month sleep regression, you’re not out of the woods yet – you still have the 8/9/10 month sleep regression to contend with! The cause of this regression is pretty easy to spot, for most parents – at this age, your baby is going through major developmental milestones! From 8-10 months, most babies are becoming expert crawlers, they’re pulling up on furniture and beginning to cruise around, and they may even be starting to walk. What’s more, your baby is learning a lot of hand-eye coordination at this time – by 8 months, most babies are becoming able to spot a toy they want, creep/crawl over to it, pick it up with their pincer grip, and then inspect it closely (and perhaps try to eat it!). Truly, this window of time is an explosion of physical development for most babies. No wonder, then, that sleep is disrupted – their brains and bodies are learning so many new physical skills!

12 Month Sleep Regression
This sleep regression is less-common; not every child will go through this one. That may be because it has more to do with naps, and therefore doesn’t have the same overall impact on sleep. Specifically, this regression is characterized by a 12-month old suddenly refusing to take two naps, and refusing to sleep during the first morning nap. Lots of parents assume this means it’s time to transition from two naps to one, but we discourage this. Most babies aren’t actually ready for just one nap per day until between 15 months and 18 months. So really, this regression has a lot to do with your baby consolidating sleep differently – by 12 months, your baby is likely sleeping very long stretches at night, and getting just 2-3 hours of sleep in naps. This change in sleep consolidation can cause a brief “nap strike” right around 12 months of age. You can read more about the 12 month sleep regression here.

If you feel like 3 sleep regressions in the first year of life is a lot, just wait until you see how many growth spurts you can expect in the first year:

7-10 days
2 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
4 months
6 months
8.5 months
10.5 months
12.5 months

Of course, your baby won’t experience growth spurts at exactly those times (babies aren’t nearly so predictable!) but you can use these as rough estimates. Baby growth spurts are short intervals (usually about a week) during which time your baby will have an increased appetite, and will often wake more at night to feed. And baby growth spurts affect sleep, too. During these baby growth spurts, your baby may also seem extra-sleepy, so even though sleep may be interrupted by extra feedings, you may find that your baby’s overall sleep amounts per day are greater during the growth spurt than they usually are.

So, is a sleep regression the same as a growth spurt? The short answer is no. For one thing, a baby will go through far more baby growth spurts during the first year than she will sleep regressions. Additionally, based on the information above, you can see that sleep regressions have much more to do with mental and physical development, and less to do with simple growth and weight gain. What’s more, the sleeplessness that comes with growth spurts has a cause – baby growth spurts cause babies to wake more often at night, and early from naps, because baby is hungry and needs to eat. But that’s not true of sleep regressions; during a sleep regression, your baby will wake more at night and have interrupted naps, but you may not be able to find a cause at all (indeed, because often there is no cause that you can see – it’s due to mental and physical development). Finally, growth spurts are usually short-lived (about a week) whereas a sleep regression can last up to 6 weeks (typically 2-4 weeks).

That said, if you compare the timing of each sleep regression against the list of baby growth spurts, you’ll notice significant overlap. Many of the baby growth spurts on the list coincide with the sleep regression stages. So, while sleep regressions and baby growth spurts are not the same thing – you can’t use the terms interchangeably – it’s likely that a sleep regression impacts a growth spurt, and that baby growth spurts impact sleep regressions.

Most parents find that they can survive baby growth spurts by simply offering more feeds and waiting them out. A sleep regression is tougher, though – it lasts a lot longer, and it’s not nearly as easy to comfort your baby during a sleep regression. We often find that sleep regressions drive parents to seek help from our team of consultants.
But be sure, as you consider baby growth spurts and sleep regressions, that you don’t chalk ALL of your baby’s sleep problems up to a sleep regression, or a growth spurt. The fact is, if your baby has never learned to sleep independently, and has sleep associations that involve you (like you rocking or feeding to sleep, or you replacing the pacifier), then your baby’s frequent night wakings and short naps may be a sign that it’s time to sleep train.

A great client of mine sent me this idea for an article about how to know whether your baby is going through a sleep regression or a phase. This is the same client who is a strong advocate of Attachment Parenting who contacted me over a year ago about her then 10 month old. She is now expecting a new baby, which is very exciting! This article will consider whether your baby is going through a sleep regression, a phase, or whether your baby or toddler simply has a bad habit.

This is very analytical, so it connect things that others may not, since my mind looks for patterns, even when I don’t mean to. I benefit from your experience and know the potential pitfalls to look out for, not only from my own experience, but from all of yours, too. It’s actually very interesting to put it all together!

4 months old – This is probably one of the biggest trouble spots for many new parents (though only some will consider it a sleep problem until 6 months, waiting for baby to “get over it”). The way your baby sleeps fundamentally changes and it never changes back!

8 months old – This one is another big one, but doesn’t always happen in the eighth month. This can be around 8, 9, or 10 months and usually related to a lot of development going on with your baby. This usually gets better a few weeks later, though it’s easy to develop new long-term habits trying to deal with it.

11 months old – I hear about this one enough to know I wasn’t alone, but not enough to say it’s a “big” problem for all families. Around 11 months old, I have found that some babies will start fighting one or both naps and then it will pass 2-3 weeks later.

18 months old – I have not written an article about this one (yet), but this is a common age to hear from parents about their toddler’s sleep, usually related to napping, night waking, and testing limits or questions about discipline.

2 years old – Around this age, I find many parents writing to me about bedtime getting later, which is common at this age, especially in the summer.
These are all very common trouble spots and, as I always say, the biggest “danger” with these times is to make new long-term habits such that something that would have been temporary becomes a long-term sleep problem for you and your baby.
Are there other challenging times? You bet! I would say the first two years (sometimes three) are difficult, regardless, but around 7 months, your baby begins developing separation anxiety, then there is teething, of course, and other issues like that come up here and there. Some will simply be more sensitive to all the changes than others.

So, how do you know if you are seeing a sleep regression or a phase?
First, I should explain that a “sleep regression” has been a term that people have used to say “Sleep really messes up at this time, but don’t worry it will go back to normal.” But, a “regression” implies that something will go back to how it once was and, in that regard, I would say only the “8 month sleep regression” fits the definition. 18 months is a close second, but if you aren’t careful, that strong independence-seeking stage can bleed into 2 and 3 years old and that’s a heckuva long “regression!” At 4 months, your baby changes how he sleeps and while some will then begin to sleep better without you changing anything, he will never sleep the same. At 8 months, this is generally a “blip” due to rapid development and the simple inability to sleep with so much going on in their minds. As long as you don’t inadvertently make some new long-term habits, your baby most likely will get past this in 3 to 6 weeks and go back to how he was sleeping before. If it was bad before, though, that may not be very desirable!

Every other “blip” in your baby’s sleep, I would call a “phase”. Anytime your baby or toddler is working on a new developmental milestone (whether you can “see” it or not), it may affect his sleep. This is going to be quite a lot of “phases” in the first few years. They learn a LOT in a short amount of time! Just to name a few, they learn names of objects, how to roll, crawl, pull up, stand up, sign language and/or hand gestures, walk, talk, object permanence, eat, cause and effect, and so on and there are likely lots of “little” things we don’t even realize. Some of the things we’ve taken for granted that we know we have to teach our kids. All of that can make some babies feel unsettled, insecure, happy, tired, over-tired, excited, over-stimulated or all of the above! No wonder they can’t sleep, sometimes.

There is no black and white as far as when you have a sleep regression, phase, or a habit, but my general rule of thumb is 2-3 weeks. If you have an abrupt sleep change, try to give your baby 1-3 weeks to see if something reveals itself. It could be a new tooth or a new “trick” or even an illness a few days later. There is no reason to feel alarmed that something has changed until it has “stuck” and then that’s when I tend to tell people to take action.

If your baby wasn’t sleeping well before and then starts to sleep worse, that would be another reason to start working on sleep. Sleep may not become perfect until the sleep regression is over, for example, but it could be a whole lot better if your baby WAS waking 3 times per night and is now waking 6-8 times per night, which is excessive even for a sleep regression.

In the end, you know your baby best and, although you may be a new mom or on your third baby and forgot everything from your younger one(s), your instincts will guide you more than you think. As soon as you start to feel resentment or that you can barely function or, worse, your baby can barely function, it’s likely time to do something about it. Although it may be your fault your baby won’t sleep doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Only some will eventually grow out of their sleep problems. I work with parents of toddlers all the time still waiting for their baby to grow out of the same sleep problems they had at 4 months old!

Mia Freedman

26 beauty truths only mothers understand. (Or aunts)

I just read the best article from an extremely funny journalist. Mia Freedman. Mia is the brains and braun behind ‘MamaMia’ blog, website and much more.

I only have a toddler who happens to be a boy however  my sister has 3 beautiful children whom I am extremely close with so these ring true from them. My sisters kids are now 13, 11 and 8 with the 2 eldest being girls. ‘Tweens’ and ‘teenagers’ are always experimenting finding their own style and comfort zone with both clothes and make up.

I myself only wear make up on special occasions which is basically only ever mascara, eye liner and lippy and perhaps 3 time per year but this story made me smirk with happiness and automatically filled me with find memories.

 

Please read Mia’s story below.

Once the baby’s out, your beauty routine will never go back to the way it was.

Don’t like sharing your lipstick? Too late.

Your body is not the only thing that changes after you have a baby. Your beauty routine does too, because you’re never alone in your bathroom and you have no time.

Remember the days of luxuriating in the bath or cranking up the music while you spend a satisfying 25 minutes trying to perfect a make-up trick you saw in a magazine?

BAHAHAHAHAHHAAA.

How times change. Here are the beauty truths only mothers can understand.

1. Your bikini line is now something for public commentary. “My mummy has a hairy front bum” is something every child will announce, usually in a supermarket queue.

2. Having to answer these and 100 other questions while putting on makeup or doing your hair: “What actually happens when you die? What rocks are made of? Where do farts go when you can’t smell them anymore?”

3. Eye makeup remover is the best way to remove lipstick from all over your child’s face. Also from the carpet and the dog.

4. Red lipstick and black eyeliner are the best way to create realistic looking scars and wounds. Particularly useful at Halloween.

5. You no longer associate the word ‘bath’ with relaxation or peace. Instead, you associate it with 37 bath toys and an inevitable tantrum when it’s time to wash hair.

6. Doing your makeup takes twice as long because your children want to play with all the brushes / EVERYTHING YOU OWN.

7. Eyeshadow is a bitch to get out of tiles when someone drops it on the floor and it smashes into a thousand powdery pieces.

8. You will be judged when you take your 2-year-old to the nail salon, even though you just really needed to get a pedicure and that’s what iPads were invented for.

9. You will always have chipped nail polish and chipped nails. Always.

10. You embrace ‘natural’ makeup because you actually have no time for the routine you once had and who actually cares what you look like today?

11. You will be asked “what’s that on your face, mummy?” as curious fingers are pointed at your pimples, moles and freckles.

12. Your GHD is covered in inches of dust, and you can’t remember the last time you switched it on.

13. Cleansing your face with anything other than a facial wipe? Not going to happen.

14. You have to keep your makeup hidden at all times, because lipsticks, even really, really expensive ones, are crayons.

15. You become an expert at putting makeup on without a mirror in two minutes flat because LITTLE CHILDREN. (This explains a lot about how I look before my first office bathroom visit of the day).

16. You can’t blow-dry your hair properly because either a) your child hates the sound of the hairdryer and will wail the whole time it’s running or b) loves the sound of the hairdryer and just keeps insisting you turn it on them in a HILARIOUS game.

17. “Grooming” now means shaving your legs once a month. In winter, it’s once every three months.

18. Shapewear. Shapewear. Shapewear.

19. “Doing your hair” now means just spraying it with dry shampoo.

20. Conversations like this when you’re putting on makeup:

“But Mama WHY are you painting your face?”

“Because it makes me feel good.

“Why does it make you feel good?”

“Er… because it makes me feel nicer.”

“But why? it looks sticky. Can I put it on?”

“No, little boys don’t really wear makeup…”

“But why? I want to look like a vampire too.”

(oh.)

21. Finding your makeup brushes being used as paint brushes. And the paint is… (oh no) your eye shadow. And the canvas is (oh no)… the wall.

22. Explaining to your three year old that she is too pretty for makeup… and then putting in on yourself.

23. Answering the urgent question every single day: “No, your hair isn’t as long as Elsa’s yet… No, your hair isn’t as long as Elsa’s yet. No, your hair isn’t a long as Elsa’s yet…”

24. Acting nonchalant when your daughter tells you that she has put “nappies” on her “babies” – the nappies being an entire packet of pads!

25. When your daughter becomes a teenager, you must start hiding every beauty product you own because she nicks them. All. The. Time.

26. On the flipside, you get to start nicking hers when she starts buying cool stuff.

You can read Mia’s other stories at:

http://www.mamamia.com.au/author/mia/

http://www.mamamia.com.au

http://www.theglow.com.au/beauty/beauty-for-mothers-truths/?mm

Mummy guilt.

Mummy guilt…

Let’s face it, being a mummy doesn’t come with a manual or handbook and nothing can prepare you for the unknown.

When I say unknown I mean, we all know that a baby cries, drinks milk and sleeps right? Yes we lean that from family, friends and pre natal classes. What we don’t lean is what each cry means and why they are constantly waking when they have a clean nappy, have a full tummy and are at perfect temperature.

If like me you have tried control crying, tried the shhh method, patting, night lights, baby monitors, white noise etc etc but sometimes after 2hrs of continuous toddler waking – for no apparent reason other than he calls out my name and thinks I should be sleeping in his room along side him. You snap…

Well last night I did. I had reached my teather of shhh, patting, white noise, coving in blankets and every other method known to mummy’s all over the world. I raised my voice at my 20 month old little man. The love of my life, my world. I told him ‘just go to sleep mummy is cold and tired and I’m over the constant waking’. He didn’t listen though and as soon as I left his room he started to stream and call out ‘mamma, mamma, mamma’. I eventually gave in as I often get ‘mummy guilt’ and feel bad for raising my voice at such an innocent little delight (delight when he isn’t awake at 2am!).

I gave in at 4am after 2 hours of back and forth from his room to my bed and put him in bed with me. He then slept until 8am. I know this is a terrible bad habit but I suffer ‘mummy guilt’ and this morning I feel terrible for many reasons.

1. I raised my voice at him
2. I ended up giving in to him and allowing him to sleep with me
3. I was to tired to get up and see my hubby off to work
4. It’s 8am when I’m usually up at 6:30am
5. His routine is now out by a couple hours all because ‘I gave in’

Does anyone else suffer from ‘mummy guilt’?

I’ve read all the sleep books, saving our sanity books, taming toddler books, healthy eating books but none of these methods seem to help my little one.

Perhaps he just has it over me?

I look at him with overwhelming love and stare into his beautiful brown eyes and feel besotted with love and adoration. Why am I yelling at him to sleep? Perhaps he is just ready to start his day? He did go down at 7pm. That’s 7hrs sleep, adults survive on that, is it enough? Then the little voice of reason kicks in, I hear it telling me – ‘no all the books say toddlers needs 14 hours of sleep’. So I’m confused and feeling ‘mummy guilt’ again.

It’s not only with his sleep I feel guilt, it’s also with his eating. We all want our children to grow up healthy and as my father used to say ‘big and strong’ and we were drummed in that vegetables and meat made us this way. ‘Eat your veg then your meat’ my dad used to say every night at the dinner table and it was a ceremony of us all sitting down to eat together. So I feel guilty that my little one eats alone at 5pm as to keep to his nightly routine of dinner, bath, bottle, story and bed.

I feel guilty about what if he isn’t getting enough nutrients or fruit and vegetables? I still do purée veg for him to endure he eats veg every night and I do them in weekly batches and freeze then in Snap lock bags, mixing up the veg so that it’s not boring and ensuring he eats a variety of different things. I know a few children who are almost teenagers who still don’t eat veg and I think it’s because it wasn’t encouraged as toddlers.

Your taste buds and also habits evolve on a 30 day cycle so you can either beat a habit or learn to enjoy something if you stick to it for 30 days. Now I’m not saying eat the same veg for 30 days straight but encourage healthy eating from a young age and when ten reach 8, 9 or 10 even older they will enjoy certain veg. Don’t get me wrong we don’t have to love all veg but at least like 1 of every colour. He eats meat every night and I ensure he is having enough dairy such as cheese, yogurt, custards, milk etc. I don’t allow too much excess or un necessary sugars and although I allow treats, I try to minimise chocolate, chips, lollies and biscuits to a special occasion.

I’ve listed some veggie and fruit colours below that I try to have at least one veg from each colour in his weekly cook up. I freeze these in 1 cup lots then thaw for the day and cook fresh meat each evening.

Orange / Yellow = pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, corn, squash, rockmelon, oranges, lemon, mango, pineapple.

Green = broccoli, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, green capsicum, spinach, asparagus, avocado, green apple, green grapes, limes, kiwi fruit, pear.

Red = tomato, red capsicum, radish, cherries, rhubarb, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries.

Purple / Blue = beetroot, purple asparagus, red cabbage, eggplant, blue berries, mulberries, black berries.

White / Brown = cauliflower, mushroom, onion, peaches, nectarines, garlic, banana, potato, ginger, brown pears, dates.
I know I’m not the perfect mother, I wish I was but what is ‘perfect’? I try my best to raise my child to be the best person he can be. Encouraging him to try new things, be brave, show leadership skills, be kind and caring, fun and happy, help others but most of all I encourage him to be himself. Strive for what he wants rather than what I want him to be.

Perhaps I just have too high of expectations on what is being a good mummy?

Does your toddler sleep?

Toddler Sleeping Issues!

My little guy has never been a great sleeper, I fact he has always woken minimal 4 times per night.

I’ve read all minds of books to try and get assistance with this. I’ve done control crying and white noise. You name it, I’ve tried it! Still with no avail.

I’ve been told not by one but by many that once asleep, most toddlers sleep through most nights without waking the house hold. But toddlers love to test their independence, so getting them to bed in the first place can be a challenge within itself!

Toddlers also get overtired easily. When they do, they find it harder to get to sleep. They become over stimulated and more aroused. Once you can spot these little signs of tiredness, you should start to settle your bub before grumpiness sets in. A consistent bedtime routine will be a big help.

Understanding sleep and sleep patterns is an important starting point for helping your child develop healthy habits and a positive attitude towards sleep.

Toddler sleep schedule according to our peaditrician should be :

7 am: wake up
1 pm: morning sleep of approx 2 hours
3 pm: wake up
7 pm: bedtime.
If your toddler’s day sleep is too long or too late in the day, you might struggle in getting them ready for bed until late at night.

Some toddlers like to wake with the birds at 5.30 am or 6 am. Like my little guy. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. Putting him toddler to bed later at night in the hope of later starts in the morning doesn’t tend to work. He still wakes with the first chirp of a birdie!

In some books I’ve read they say a consistent bedtime routine helps prepare a child for sleep. Most toddlers are ready for bed between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm. This is a good time, because they sleep deepest between 8 pm and midnight.

A routine might look something like this:

6.30 pm: brush teeth and change nappy
6.45 pm: quiet time (read a book or tell a story)
7 pm: into bed and kiss goodnight.
If your child takes a dummy to bed, you might consider saying goodbye to it at around three years old. My little guy still has one but he is only 16 months old. I constantly get judged by others for allowing him to have it but it settles him and comforts him when upset so I’m happy to allow it for the time being.

Every night if I don’t wait in my little mans room until he is completely asleep he will cry and call out to me. Not daddy or anyone else, just me. This can be testing and I have tried to let him cry it out but he works himself up so much that he vomits. This then means I have to change the sheets and do extra washing. I’ve been suggested by trecillian to try these tips:

1. Avoid boisterous play before bedtime. This can make it harder for your child to settle. Imagine if you were to listen to very loud techno music then try sleeping straight away? Not going to happen as your too pumped up and exited. The same goes for a toddler.

2. Establish a consistent, calming bedtime routine. Before leaving the room, check that your child has everything they need. Remind your child to stay quietly in bed.

3. Try not to respond to your child’s calls after you’ve turned the light out, no matter how loud he protests. If you respond, he’ll try the same thing again next bedtime.

4. If your child gets up and try’s to get out of bed, return them to bed firmly or pay them back down and quietly – over and over until there’s no more getting up. Or you can return them to their bed once – if they get up again, close the bedroom door and ignore all further protests.

5. If your toddler shares a bedroom with a brother or sister, you might need to delay your other child’s bedtime by half an hour until your toddler is settled and asleep. With luck, your toddler will very quickly get the message that bedtime is for sleeping, and the disruption to all will be minimal.

6. In calling out, your child might actually need something. If your child has done a poo, change the nappy with the lights dim and no talking. If your child is scared of a monster under the bed, a quick check by you (with the light off) can confirm the room is monster-free. Your toddler might settle after that. If your child is scared of the dark, think about using a night-light. Whatever the issue is, keeping on eye on light and noise in your child’s room is a good idea.

Other issues that you may experience that I have are night terrors and or bad dreams. A night terror is when your child suddenly becomes very agitated while in a state of deep sleep. A night terror can last from a few minutes up to 40 minutes. My little one often does this and they say not to wake them as they don’t understand or realize what is happening and quite often don’t even remember. Waking them can result in them going back to sleep and experiencing the sane dream / terror.

Many children grind their teeth at some stage. Children won’t usually be woken up by the sound of their own teeth grinding – but other people in the room might be!

Moving to a ‘big bed’
Most children move from a cot to a bed somewhere between two and three-and-a-half years old. But there’s no hurry, particularly as some young toddlers become trickier to manage in a bed. Of course, you might need to move your child if your child has started climbing out of the cot or needs to use the potty at night, or if you need the cot for a new baby.

Getting help
Pills, potions and tonics aren’t usually the answer to solving children’s sleeping problems – there are better ways to deal with your child’s sleep difficulties. I’ve tried rescue remedie, baby calm, lavender, white noise. Everything. We are moving house in 3 weeks so I plan on getting trecillian in to help at the new house.

More info on this can be found at:

http://www.tresillian.net/tresillian-tips/settling-techniques-newborn-12-months.html
http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tackling-toddler-sleep-problems
http://www.mumsnet.com/toddlers/sleep-problems
http://www.sleeplady.com/toddler-sleep-problems/2-year-old-sleep-tips/
http://sleepsense.net/tassessment/?gclid=CMitr9Gfhb0CFYHhpAodXVcAxA
http://www.nightnannies.com.au/parents/services.aspx

 

Saturday night in!

I career woman, business owner, stay at home mum, working mum, blogging mum.

So how do I spend my Saturday nights? By watching tv and blogging!

It’s approx 8:30pm and I’ve climbed into bed and am watching the E channel. Basically the E channel is – no disrespect here – tv that you don’t have to think to. It’s easy to watch and doesn’t necessarily require you to think.

My day has been long as it’s been raining so we have been inside with a 15 month old very active little man who seems to get ‘cabin fever’. He goes a little hyper being cooped up inside all day. Although we have a great toy / playroom being inside all day isn’t always ideal.

Hubby decided to make the evening easy so he bought a BBQ chicken for dinner – easy, tasty, yummy! I made my fav coleslaw (recipe is another post) and we chatted about our day.

Bub has not long gone down because he has FOMO – fear of missing out. He has never been to easy to put to bed but of late, he has been terrible! He simply does not want to go to bed. I’ve read numerous articles with all kinda of tips on how to get him to  ‘wind down’ for the night but nothing seems to work. I’m open to your tips!

Our routine at the moment starts at 5pm with dinner followed by a bath approx 5:30pm, quiet time if reading and sitting in the couch, bottle approx 6:40pm bed about 7pm. What am I doing wrong?

So I was only thinking, how did I spend my Saturday nights prior to bub? Well I used to be a bit of a social butterfly! this of course is also prior to marriage. Not that marriage should stop you from going out but going out doesn’t seem as fun when you know your loved one is at home waiting for you. Hubby doesn’t mind me going out but I’d much rather spend the time with him.

So my pre marriage / pre meeting hubby days, they would consist of sleeping in until mid morning, getting up to meet a friend to go shopping. Shopping for an outfit for that night of course. Have some lunch, head home, do my nails then graze on snacks all afternoon awaiting the perfect time to start and get ready for the big night out. These days / nights seem so long ago!

I love my nights in and am so happy with how my life has changed.  I feel like a different person. My bub is amazing every day he makes me smile and feel blessed to have him. I then think how I’d cope with going out and having a big night then waking to a bub throughout the night then being up at 5am ready to play! That’s what time I used to finish my nights. 🙂

So what’s a typical Saturday night for you?