All posts by The Parenting Adventures

About The Parenting Adventures

Customer Service Advisor/Bookings Co-ordinator, Blog Writer, Author, Content Creator, Mum and Housewife. Interests are managing my home, planning, being inspired by books, blogs and videos and journally and creating projects.

Toilet training

I didn’t expect this would be easy, but you do have to take a chunk of your schedule to go through this new transition, I discovered. I have to accept that Henry will have accidents and it may take several times for my son to get used to the fact that he won’t be toileting in the nappy anymore.

 

We have had some success, 3 times so far, but now it as if he is avoiding going in the potty, but is understanding that if he needs to go, it has to be in the nappy, and so it is teaching him to communicate to us too, that he needs to go. Get used to not having a nappy on. I did introduce pants, but they lasted on him about 2 minutes, so need to continue with this one.

So on Sunday I am going try different techniques and see if we have success.

It is going to take time, but I know I just have to be persistent and start teaching him that soon there will be no nappy and will have to use the potty or toilet.

I will report back once I have learned more.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Sitting up at the table 

We have finally changed from Henry having separate meal time to us, to us all eating together at the table. We chose to do this for dinner time to begin with as he didn’t like eating from his high chair anymore. So we had to make some changes. 

This was so important to me that we had one meal time where we all eat as a family together. So dinner to me was the perfect time, because this was what we did my brother and I, did when our parents were together.

One meal of the day and it’s lovely time for us as a family to all have that time. 

It has made dinner time easier as Henry will a lot of the time, eat what we eat. This also has helped save money. 

The first time we decided to do this was on boat race bank holiday weekend. It didn’t workout well. He lasted two seconds but come next day, monday, breakfast time he was happily eating his breakfast at the table and then his dinner, which as a family we ate together.

Again you do have to be persistent and now come breakfast and dinner he will eat at the table no problems.

If they don’t last for long give them a time frame so allow them 2 minutes breathing space if they are really kicking off then sit them back down but don’t entertain their tantrum. It is okay for your child as a toddler to miss a meal as if hungry enough they will eat whatever is in front of them.

One top tip I have learned as a parent. 

Second tip: Be flexible, don’t be fixated on feeding on exact times all the time. Of course it depends on the child but helps to be flexible if you have a late medical appointment or club/class as children will get used to eating as usual times. 

So I will post more as we continue with eating at the table and please I would love to hear your tips too on this subject, as well 

Many thanks for reading,
Carrie x 

Potty training

Yes we are potty training at the moment, and yesterday Henry used his potty for the first time and actually had a pea.

Why am I sharing this?

Well because I know how tricky of a transition it is. One minute they are in nappies next they are having to use this plastic thing and it is a different ball game altogether.

We did have a little accident the day before, I won’t say anymore, but I had to stick Henry straight in the bath, but least it happened in the right place, the bathroom, just not in the potty itself, well some of it was but I hadn’t realised until I trod straight into it.

My fault!

As said before you can prepare yourself but you can never really plan, when it comes to children.

Sorry for the TMI. Henry will probably be totally embarrased if he reads this when he is 18 years old. However it is out of good reason to help and give support to other mums, who may also be potty training now too.

If your child is potty training at the moment too, then my advice is to persist and be patient. If they aren’t ready then do not fear, you will soon know when they are. Henry was even asking for the potty and tells us when he needs his nappy changed. So children do pick up new skills quicker than what we think they do.

So true when it comes to children, every day is different, and you don’t know what to expect, so you just have to continue on, the best you can.

Anyway I will keep you updated on more news and what I am learning as a parent.

Thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Why we do settling down time

Getting out of repetition can be so easy as you can get bored doing the same thing, evening after evening, but the one thing I have learned, is that it is important for children, to continue repetition.

It helps with keeping the routine.

Settling down time for children, really does help, when it comes to the bedtime routine, it is so they know bedtime is coming up and will be soon, and helps them to wind down beforehand.

So no playing ball after 5pm and we will have TV on but not too bright and have the lights dimmed down quite a bit. When it gets lighter late evening it can be tricky to stick with the routine but keep with it the best you can, but make bedtime later or allow them to listen to soft music coming up to bed time.

I wrote about rituals, you do whatever it takes, some time ago, when it comes to bed time. That is why making settling down into a ritual, at night time will help bed time a lot less stressful, I say with a sigh.

It can be hard when they are screaming at night because they want to be up but they have to learn that they need sleep and it is coming up to that time.

We don’t do bath every evening but you can add this to the evening ritual if this will help and making nap times earlier making sure this is before a certain time (ours is before 2pm) if we can help it.

Toddler melt down image

Our is:

  • 5pm all toys away and we will get or ask Henry to choose a book or sit with one of us on the sofa
  • Get Henry ready for bed, so put on his night gear
  • Put on pepper pig for a bit, but come an hour or so to bedtime, all devices are turned off and we will have TV on, but winding him down, watching challenge
  • 6:30pm to 7pm take henry upstairs to bed and read, sometimes I will play lullabies too, but I put it in a place where he can hear the music but not see the screen.

So what do you do to settle down your baby or toddler I would love to hear.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

learning about transitions

As a mum of a three year old many transitions such potty training and then from nursery to school is a big change for everybody. We are about to start potty training.

So in the mornings when it comes to his change in the morning, I have been trying to sit him on it. This morning on the 2nd March 2017 not success but we (my hubby and I) will keep on trying.

Speaking to other mums really helps when it comes to transitions, and the one tip given to me by a nanny of many years, is not to stress over these transitions, such as potty training. If they aren’t ready for that next stage then stop but keep trying.

I always follow that motto of introducing for example solid foods to keep trying and make gradual steps . At first Henry wouldn’t drink from a cup so we continued on trying introducing different types of toddler cups until he was ready and then it was all of a sudden he began to drink from a cup.

They will make the choice, which is part of them using their own mind to make decisions.

You can buy a first training cup from boots for about £1.45 and the potty we have ready was £2.00, from Boots (see link below).

http://www.boots.com/search/toddler+cups

This is the same with diffrerent baby and toddler toys like bikes. Try them with ones that they use their legs to move the toy bike then as help push them along until they have built up their confidence to move the bike with their legs themselves.

The next stage is using a bike with pedals.

It is all about growth and learning for us as much as it is for them,  our children so not stressing but being patient, moving towards the new skill (transition) gradual is the key to helping your child grow.

I would love to hear your tips on what you have done to help your child with transitions. All information shared is welcomed. Knowing that other parents are going through the transitions too, does help and chatting about it, fears and worries helps to address them. Speak to your health visitors, I am going to chat with the doctors on Henry next visit this month and don’t forget if your child is 3 years and 4 months or near to book the next immunisations.

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Image from: http://www.clipartkid.com/images/825/vector-illustration-of-cartoon-toilet-pBDfm0-clipart.jpg

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie x

 

 

 

 

 

Speech and language

Let me begin by introducing my new page I created called “Recommended links”where I have recommended links to websites and videos with useful tips and information, on helping with the development of your child and other subjects too.

I wrote a post last year back in September/October about Henry starting Occupational Therapy to help him with his speech and language. (see link below to read this blog)

https://theparentingadventurestipsandtricks.wordpress.com/?s=Occupational+Therapy

Now he has begun his second lot of sessions to help him with his speech and language.

It really is an insight on how different children are, and how each child responds.

There was one child who when it came to sitting down at the table to do tasks, got really stressed out and began to really cry. Henry kicked off during this part too. One thing that we have been working on. He finds it hard to concentrate at the table, when there so many things to do, and in a room where he doesn’t spend time in that much, of course he wants to be nosy and look around.

Tips#1 The one thing I would suggest is to keep bringing your child back to the chair and encourage him/her to sit down. When they do sit down without wanting to get up and they join in the activity, I would always recommend a reward by praise.

Tell them that they have done something good. We used the words “Well done” from very early on when he was a baby, so he knows now what these words mean “Good”.

In a different environment, it is always going to be tricky.

If he saw other children playing at the table, then the chances are he would then follow.

Henry first session this week was all about outer space and parts of the body. They sang a song which encouraged them to touch their head, knees, shoulders and toes, then sang the song “10 Little Men in a flying saucer” and each child got to take a man off stuck to a piece of paper and then put it down.

Once all children took a man off the paper, they then got to each take turns in sticking the men back on.

The table activities were, finding stickers in a bucket full of rice, another with lentils, which had cups and a ladle in and the another one had sand, to encourage the children to draw lines, and use their motor skills.

This is to encourage the children to concentrate. Part of the occupational therapy is to help with that too, and to help children focus. One skill they will need for when they start school.

Tip#2 The one tip I was given by one of the therapists, because Henry doesn’t like touching sand or even stepping onto it much, was to massage his hands and feet, as it helps warm them up and help them get used to the sand texture.

Tip#3 What I would advise to do, is to put a bath toy that they like to play with into a bucket of sand see how much they can fill it up before it over flows and wet it a bit, and show them how to make a sand castle.

It is good unstructured play and gets in touch with their creative side, and speak to them as you are making the sand castle, keep repeating the word, as I have learned that the more you repeat a word, the more they will say it too.

I found this useful site called Pathways.org, which talks more about Sand Play:

https://pathways.org/blog/sand-play-natures-etch-a-sketch/

Please see my Recommended Tips page, which also has links to helpful ideas on how to help your child with speech and language.

Try not to fret over the fact your child has speech problems. It won’t help you or them.

The Occupational Therapists are there to help and so if you are unsure as to what you can do at home or any activities you could try that would help them, ask the Occupational Therapists. They are there to give you support as much as your child.

They give you home work type activities at the end, to help continue their learning at home.

Children will catch up and they will learn how to communicate once they see it and do it often enough.

Tip#4 So one tip I would give is to put them into social situations as much as possible, example, take them to a zoo, a play cafe, a museum or a park where there are other children there too.

No child is the same that is why they are so unique.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Handling Meltdown and Tantrums at Christmas

Toddler melt down image

Getting ready for the festive season can be so exciting for children. They may not be too aware of what it is all about, but they sense that the home they live in, is twinkling like stars, there’s a funny looking spiky green thing, which their mummy calls a Christmas Tree, covered in colourful balls and sparkles, and their keeps being a man mentioned, someone call Santa Claus.

They sense something is on the horizon. They are given a new toy, and if they are anything like my child, will throw it as soon as it is put into their hand.

We then say “No Henry, don’t chuck those toys, only balls we throw”, but then at Occupational Therapy he is given an activity where he is to throw little bean bags, so I can understand the confusion. However we have to be weary in case it is something heavier like a brick, as if it hits someone (such as another child) it could hurt them, so we are teaching him that we throw a plastic ball for example but not other items. Not only that, it also teaches him, when we tell him off for chucking his toys, that a toy is to be respected not thrown, and the toy must be played this way and we will then demonstrate.

He will then often have a tantrum, because we have taken the toy from his hand he was chucking. We do give him a warning first, before doing so, so he knows it is wrong and by carrying on his behaviour there is a consequence.

This in turn teaches them what is right and wrong. The important thing I have learned is the reaction you give. I have learned from Henry is that, sometimes he is throwing a toy for a certain reaction; Or having a tantrum, to get a reaction.

We will then give him a warning, to say “Stop or you will go to your room to cool down”. If he does continue we will follow our warning through, which is highly important, and we take him to his room to calm down. This does work.

The worst thing I have found to do, is to rant and rave yourself, as all it looks like is that you have now become the child having a tantrum too

With children I have found that the anger they show, through their tantrums is more to do with frustration rather than to be naughty. It is important to talk to them to encourage them to speak, even if they are like my son, have development delay in speaking. Our son usually gets angry because like with hitting and biting, he is usually trying to tell us something but we aren’t picking it up, so encouraging them to show you and tell you, is a good place to prevent tantrums and encourage their communication to you. The best thing to do is to:

  • Step back
  • Observe
  • Step in

Today when we were queuing to see Santa at Henry’s nursery, a little boy in front, got really frightened at seeing Santa Claus, and he wouldn’t go in to see him.

I can see why young babies and toddlers would be scared. They have no idea who this big fella with a red suit and white beard is, so some children will be weary.

What I have learned, is if they do get panicky and start to scream, is to encourage them to calm down, and tell them everything will be okay and Santa is a nice man who delivers the presents for them on Christmas Day.

Another idea to help a child who may be a bit frightened of Santa is to get another child to go in with them, aswell as yourself (the parent or grandparent), because if they see that their big sister for example is okay with Santa, it may help them more to see that there isn’t anything to be frightened about.

If they are completely hysterical, having a meltdown and it looks like nothing will console or convince them to see Santa, then I would take them out of the situation, but don’t fear about trying next year.

Many children aren’t aware of Christmas and what it really is all about until they are much older, at which they may be fine when they get older and they know more of who Santa Claus is.

If a child starts to get upset over a toy they want, but it isn’t in store, it’s sold out or it is beyond budget then I would again take then out of the situation. Take then back in once they have calmed down and get down to their level, and say “We will go to the toy shop, mummy or daddy isn’t able to buy you that present you saw today, but if you are good then we can choose something else”.

As Henry (my son) is not a fan of shopping and always makes a fuss when I look around the shops, I will find a good time like when he is at nursery or daddy is with me, to go and have a look.

Sometimes it is best to buy a toy when your children aren’t with you. They are not able to see all the choice and I would, if you are buying for similar aged children to try and buy them the same things if possible. It will save arguments later.

Children will often want what another child has, so if you buy them all the same thing, then they are less likely to have a tantrum.

Or as I have spoken in my Children’s Christmas Gift guide this year (see video below), is buy them a joint present like a game or puzzle that they can both do. This can help save money on the Christmas budget and encourage children to play together and share.

I would also encourage them to choose a gift for nanny or daddy for example, this will then teach them that Christmas isn’t just about receiving gifts but about giving too.

Make Christmas decorating or shopping into a game. Have your children see how many baubles they can put on the tree and time them. Or see how many toy cars they can spot, and give them a selection of 2 or 3 they can choose from. Never more than 2 or 3 as they can become overwhelmed.

Example you are in a toy shop and they have some Christmas money given to them and so you ask them to choose a toy.

A place to start is to say “here we are, you can choose one of these toys” and show them the toys by picking them up from the shelves to show them. If they fuss and want more than one, then explain make it into a story, that Santa sent the money and that on his instructions mummy is to offer you one of these toys, if you want another one then you will need to be good boy or girl again and perhaps Santa will send or let me buy it for you next year.

Get them to right a Wish List, and say “You may not be able to have all these on the list, but I will pass the list to Santa Claus and see what he can do”.

Never make promises that can’t be kept, if you do make promises always follow through with them, it is surprising what children remember, when you don’t.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Hearing test and Eye Test

Henry a couple of months ago, had an eye test and has two lots of hearing tests too.

He does have a bit of development delay, so they wanted to monitor (at the health clinic and our local hospital) out anything that could be causing issues with Henry’s development.

You can’t get him to point at things, very much, but he does know what certain things mean. Like he now knows that water is something he drinks and nappy change is changing his bottom.

The hearing and the eye test both went well. With children the hearing test is done via the Audiology department of in my case Epsom and St Helier Hospitals.

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Hearing Test

childhood-hearing-test-aa025678-377x171

The first appointment was late afternoon and wasn’t our usual hospital under Epsom and St Helier but in Bourne Hall in Ewell Village. I didn’t get to choose the appointment this time round as sometimes it is what they can fit in. You will usually be sent a letter and they will let you know of numbers to call, if you need to rearrange. However it was quite close in date and so I thought it won’t harm just one afternoon.

So we went along, and what the hearing test consisted of was two speakers and the Audiologist starts to play with some toys, like building bricks or a puzzle for example, and then the speakers either side will make a sound, and if Henry turns towards the right one of the speakers that is making the sound then it will light up, and inside each of the speakers is a cuddly toy.

Henry was very co-operative during this point and did really well but then shortly after he started to get fed up and began throwing some of the toys. So then his ears were checked inside and then they test for any water in the ear that could effect his hearing, but Henry had enough by then and was not going to co-operate, but the Audiologists said that they couldn’t see any issues and his hearing was fine, but another appointment would be arranged. I advised for it to be booked in the morning, as later in the day can be tricky and Henry can be a bit less co-operative due to tiredness and it was around near his dinner time.

He did have another hearing appointment and has another, coming up, but they aren’t too concerned at all. The second appointment did go a lot better, but when it came to having his ears check inside again, he began to fuss. So they will try next time.

However it was a learning curve for me, as I had no idea until the first appointment how they check a babies and toddlers ears, and was an insight for me aswell as Henry.

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Eye Test

kid_exam_32385

Two or so months ago I finally get a letter for an eye appointment for Henry to attend his first eye test, to check that he has no eye site problems. I already had to change his first appointment because it was early and at St Helier hospital in Sutton, where Henry was born, and was too much of a trek to get to, so I asked for the appointment to be moved to a later time or to my local hospital.

Very happy it was changed. Still an early appointment, but was moved to our local hospital around the corner to me. The eye test consists, of seeing the eye nurse first who will go through some tests. to see if he sees the bright lights on some squeaky finger toys, so she can have a look at the front of the eye. Then she holds up boards with pictures and letters, but as he does have speech delay and won’t always talk when asked, he didn’t say any of the shapes shown. However she said that the front of the eyes appeared to be okay.

Then I was asked about my medical history and other members of the family whom have or had eye site issues in the family. Then thought great all done. However the bomb shell was hit, I had to stay there for another hour for them to put eye drops in Henry’s eyes, then have his height and weight checked.

So I was like oh great, so I changed his nappy to save a bit of time and then put some bits on my phone to entertain him, plus some snacks. I just wished I had, had more of an idea of what the eye test consisted of as a heads up, so I knew to bring some of Henry’s toys with me.

However least I know for next time. They have to wait 20 minutes or so for the eye drops to work, they basically help clean the eyes so the doctor can check behind the eyes.

Henry did okay, they put some special glasses on, which at first i could see he was like “What, what are you doing?”. Then he began to laugh but then did become restless.

It didn’t take long once seen by the doctor who was pleased but again, another appointment has been arranged in a few months time to make sure. They think that Henry has a slight Astigmatism like me, and may later on need glasses but are not too concerned for now.

I just wished I knew more of what they involved before going along, and had a bit of an idea of how long I and Henry would be waiting. Children, especially Henry don’t always know about waiting. They don’t understand the concept, they just know that their legs travelling and their eyes can see, so want to run around and explore.

I hope you fellow parents find this blog helpful, so I can give those who like me had no idea what these were about and to help give heads up so you do.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

I still find it hard when Henry is sick

Even now Henry is 3 years old, I still find it so difficult to handle when Henry is sick. I am not talking about a cold, even though that can be hard to deal with aswell, but more when he is vomiting. Sorry if this is TMI, but babies and toddlers can be sick in that way a lot.

Last Monday we had a really good day at the start, it was quite gloomy outside so we stayed in, but played with some toys, listened to some music and played upstairs. We had been playing hide and sick, well a hobbled version as I had hurt my leg the week before, falling down the stairs.

I had wondered when running his bath as he had dribble on his chin, if he had been sick, but he did eat his lunch even though he was a bit hesitant at first, and then after his bath it was as if his hole body decided it wanted to do something else and sorry for the TMI, but he was sick all over his carpet and some clothes, and for me to help you mums out there sometimes I have to paint the picture you can identify with.

At times you can feel like”I am a failure” but let me tell you, if your child is sick and you are thinking that “Why does this only happen to me*  it does not. When a sick bug strikes it can be all of a sudden.

Now I know babies and toddlers can be sick and Henry was on some occasions, but no way to this extent not like that and it was if he couldn’t stop, and I could nor help but panic myself. He was crying and I was like a frantic woman lost.

What do I do?

How do I handle this?

boy-sick-26277011

I tried to get him to move and then took him in the bathroom to wash him off and get him by the toilet in case he was sick again, which he was. I was so unprepared and I kept thinking “Oh why didn’t I see the signs”, but there wasn’t. We just before then were laughing and I was tickling him and singing.

It seems to always happen when I am on my own. I called Elv and then my mum. I was in a complete mess. It was one of those episodes where I felt it wasn’t going to end, and this was just the start.

He did finally settle that evening and in the morning he was fine, but kept and eye on him, and stayed in doors just in case, but my word I don’t think I could have anymore of that if I can help it.

It was scary how quickly it passed. I cleaned all the sick and had to throw some bits of clothes and a fabric storage box away, and went on a cleaning frenzy, all the doors and handles, the bathroom, kitchen and washed the bedding.

Then on Wednesday morning, it was my turn. It just hit, I was fine when I went to bed, but so totally different the next day.

All I could do is lie in my bed no sudden movements I felt like I was gonna become the girl in the exorcist so my husband took Henry to nursery on that day. I stayed in bed the whole time as I also felt really cold, with fuzzy head and headache. As soon as I stood up I felt sick again.

It made me think about my son and how he must have felt, I wish sometimes I could see into my child’s mind. For children they have no idea and to them it is a shock. Henry was in shock and I could see as he was being sick the not knowing what was happening to his body. I couldn’t help that night on Monday, but cry myself.

I felt so helpless.

As a mum you want to have a magic wand with you all the time to get rid of anything bad, and I could have done with a wand that Monday. It was horrific and I know children do get sick, but I find it so hard when he is.

I always like to turn a negative situation to a positive and so doing so, I wanted to share this because I know that there are other parents who may feel the same too about their child being sick, even when they are 3 years older. It can be traumatic all around, when Henry was first sick in hospital with Reflux it was a massive shock, especially as I had no idea that milk can come out through babies noses. I had no idea that could happen, there was no mention of that in any of the baby books I read, and even my husband found it a shock at first.

So what I have learned through this experience is that:

  • To think who is the most important? Your Child
  • So comfort first make sure they are alright
  • Then clean up after and if you can call help to support you then do so, as it can be like a sudden pressure and make you panic, but having someone else help can help stop you from getting too overwhelmed when your child is suddenly sick
  • Remember it doesn’t last forever

When it comes to being a mum and expecting a child you can prepare but you can’t really plan, as it is like entering the unknown, you don’t know what to expect really until your child arrives, and can be totally different to what you expected to be. It is life changing, and so when they are sick for the first time, up to when they are a toddler it can still be heart wrenching, and you can panic.

Never fear that you are alone as you are not. All parents go through dilemmas, and so knowing that there are others who are going through the same, can be a massive help as a parent.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X