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

 

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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

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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

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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?

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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

 

Transitions

childhood-stage-transitions-pick-the-best-child-health-insurance-californiaImage from: http://spfinsurance.com/california-baby-health-insurance/best-health-insurance-policy-for-baby-in-california/

As soon as you full pregnant there are loads of transitions from the get go. At first they are so small you can hardly tell they are there, but you feel the symptoms of the little person growing inside you. Morning sickness, sore breasts and for me indigestion.

I knew something was not right, and as soon as my period was late, as it is regular as clock work, I bought a pregnancy test. In fact two. I found out I am pregnant with my first child.

Tip 1#I would always advise to do more than one pregnancy test just to make sure.

Then there are the differences in the scans, in the first one you can see a hand and foot, but at this stage we didn’t know the sex of the baby. This was confirmed at our 20 week scan, where you can make out hair, nose, mouth and if the baby has a male part or female.

You then start to feel movement, you can have further symptoms of sickness and indigestion. I kept getting acid re-flux a lot, cramp at the back of my leg, which was excruciating, and would often wake me up in agony.

Sorry to scare monger but it is true.

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Image from: http://www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com/twin-belly-transition-12-to-32-weeks.html

Then as soon as they enter into the world, they continue to change. It is surprising how quickly they develop, smiling, making noises, reacting to sound, images on the TV, recognizing the things they like and don’t.

Then they go from just having milk to then solids, then proper food, and less milk. They can suddenly roll over, sit up, stand, walk and then start to talk.

Now my son is going to nursery, and last week we altered his cot into a toddler bed.

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The picture is of my son Henry, who just woke up from his nap today in this photo so looking a bit grumpy, as I was writing this blog. This was taken whilst he was in his cot which we have taken one of the sides off from, to then put the Bed Rail  up you see in the photo, from Argos priced at £19.99. This turns it into a Toddler bed.

Tip 2# I would recommend one of these cots, where you can change it into a toddler bed, as they are really a great money saver

We also bought him a new mattress too, as the other one was becoming worn and he had, had that since he first slept in his cot. Mattress from Argos, priced at £99.99.

The first night we changed the bed, I knew it would take him some time to get used to. My husband and I, just knew that Henry had outgrown his cot as it was and so it was time to change it.

He appeared to settle well at his bedtime, which is usually between 6:30 to 7pm, and got straight into bed. We had put a new gate on to his door aswell. So he couldn’t wonder around the house at night. The Gates were also from Argos at £19.99. We bought two, one for Henry’s room and one for the other entrance into our kitchen.

Putting up the Bed rail was not easy. It took a bit of time to figure out, and so my hubby put it up for me in the end.

Tip 3# If you can have someone help you with putting the bed rail up then do so. I still adamant that as parents we do need more than two hands from time to time.

As luck would have it, as soon as I got into bed, my son woke up, and kept getting up.

So settled him back down, checked his nappy, the temperature of his room, if he was thirsty and also he can have a blocked nose, so I spray his nose with  Calpol Nose spray, then settled him down.

It took a while, but eventually he did settle. I sat with him for a bit whilst he drifted off.

Advice: #It is all new to them, so don’t be surprised if they get a bit anxious at first about the change.

You will know, when it is time for the transition.

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Image from: http://talkmum.com

Nursery is a massive transition. I took for grunted I think at first, of how much of a change this would be for us all.

It was a brand new nursery and it so happened that my mum knew the people who were building and owned the nursery. So we went to see it with Henry for ourselves, as we had such wonderful feedback, and Henry walked in as if he was already attending the nursery.

I had no idea how it worked now. It was years since I went to nursery. I would drop him off and leave; however the last settle in, it was only and hour and I got a call to say Henry had a temperature and to come back to collect him.

I next time, had to let them know how Henry is before dropping him off. He had been fine all that morning so I hadn’t thought anything of it.

I felt so bad, and I did cry too.

Now it’s as if those days didn’t exist and he goes in as if there was never an issue.

Tip 4#They can become a bit weary at first. As it can take a while for them to really suss out what is happening. When the realization that mummy or daddy goes, and he stays there can be an unsettling shock to them at first. I would recommend to stay for a bit so they know that you are just there. Once you see them happy playing and have forgotten you, then go and take some free time to yourself.

When Henry realized that we, mum and dad come back, he then settled in fine.

I felt lost the first time I had to leave Henry at nursery, and I had no idea what to do. I had all the must do’s listed, but put on the spot the to do list went out the window.

Transitions are part of growth. As adults we are still going through transitions. Becoming a parent is a massive transition, getting married, changing jobs and old age.

Tip 5# Gradual steps I have found to be the perfect way to build their confidence with transitions. Before taking them to nursery for example, I would recommend some children’s classes such as Monkey Music, Gymboree or Tumble Tots, Play Schools, and soft play cafes. It helps build their social skills ready for nursery. Children tend to copy other children, which in turn helps their development and skills even more.

The next thing will be potty training. It will take time, and if I find Henry isn’t ready then we will not continue until he is. With parenting you do have to be persistent and listen to your child. You will know, by his actions if he is ready or not. I find Henry will decide when he is ready not us.

So good luck with the transitions, remember it is part of their growing so don’t be too hard on yourself, as I know us parents can be at times, as you are learning too as much as they are. Take gradual steps so you can all get used to your child’s development and changes.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Occupational Therapy

 

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So if you are like me, have not had children before and you are new to the parent world too, then you may have your own first child about to attend Occupational Therapy. I can reassure you if you do have any worries, there is no need. They are really great way to help your child’s development.

You may have heard of Occupational Therapy and associated it with the older generation, but they also provide these sessions to babies and children too, for free in the UK. If you feel your child will benefit from these sessions speak to your local Health Clinic or Doctor for advice.

All children develop at different stages, some can walk before they can talk and others can talk before they can walk. These classes are to encourage the power of speech using different activities. The sessions only go on for about 45 minutes and in Henry’s sessions they have two other children and no more.

It is very interesting to see how children are so different. There is one little boy who is into everything and as soon as he sees a toy he wants, it is very difficult to distract him, then there is another little boy does and follows wherever he is told to go, but does not say anything unless he is really pushed too, and even then it is very quiet.

With Henry he is still understanding words. We talk (my husband and I) to Henry all the time, and he is picking up a lot of words now, but I can see he can still be a bit puzzled as to understanding what the other person is saying.

Henry learns by observing a lot, like many children, and when he sees another child doing something he straight away will try and copy.

So I see him watching the other children and then I see him working out what he has to do. Or what the occupational therapist is trying to say.

See below a video which is an example of an Occupational Therapy Trust in Greenwich.

At the beginning of the session: Every child is encouraged to take of their shoes and socks

Then occupational therapist encourages them to sing the greeting song “Hello (Child’s name” for the child to say Hello.

They have to sit on a coloured dot or a bubble cushion.

Middle of the session: Playing different activities which includes a theme, last week it was different fruit and vegetables, which they had to pick up and put down, then put back into the basket.

They again sang a song to encourage these skills.

We all then moved to playing at the table and each child is given and object or a piece of paper. The first session the children had a clowns face and they stuck cut out pieces of paper onto the clowns face.

Then they each get a toy to choose. Every child gets a turn twice each.

At the end of the session: They do an assort course and then are encouraged to put their shoes and socks back on and sing the end of session song, again to encourage them to say goodbye.

Once the session is over we (the parents and guardians) are given homework to do, to help continue on what they had learned in the Occupational Sessions, last week it was various activities involving fruit and vegetables. Playing shops. Getting the children to point out a fruit and vegetable or pick them up.

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These have been an education to me aswell, being the parent and I had no idea there was a different type of signing you can do aswell to help encourage a child’s speech. Speaking to my mum about it, a friend whom is a childminder does this too.

See this video which shows examples of signing you can do to help encourage your child to talk with the skill of their hands.

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Games I invent at home to help Henry’s Development

We often play a game, called “Where’s Spongebob”. basically we hide his cuddly toy SpongeBob and Henry will go and find him. As he gets nearer we say if he is getting colder or warmer. Giving a clue or providing encouragement really helps him to stay focused on the game, as they can quickly lose interest.

It is a great game as it teaches them to use their site for observation and make decisions. Thinking is a great way to get their mind active and using the right tools to complete tasks. This hand in hand will help them in the future too.

You can do this game with any cuddly toy. Pick one they always play with regularly and put in a box or on the sofa with a blanket over the top and say “Where is SpongeBob?” for example and encourage them to find it, and look every where. It is good if you look like you are looking for it too.

The other games we play is if I see a Rainbow and train, I will say Henry there’s the train, or there’s a rainbow and point, great at grabbing their attention and learning what they are interested in. Then you can use that to help build their skills more. Show them pictures and encourage them to say what it is they see. Get them to make choices of items. Not too many as they can easily get overwhelmed, but for example I will get two boxes of variety cereal, show him and say “Which one the one with the tiger or the one with the monkey picture on it”. It is great way to help them identify pictures and make associations with words.

Now I am off because my son now wants play time so we are going to have that time.

I would recommend Occupational Therapy as it is a weight off your shoulders too. We always think as parents we should know how to help our children’s development, but why should we? We aren’t robots who are programmed but living creatures who go on what we think is right most of the time, and question ourselves, but getting that expert help can make all the difference.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

An Update on Parenting

So since the last time I posted a blog on this page my son has grown and developed so much, he is now saying many words and trying to mimic sounds, and wants to explore wherever we go.

At 2 years old their routine does change slightly and between 10 months to 2 years their transition from a baby to a toddler as they start to lose their baby features into a little child, quadruples as they start to do more new things each day.

They say “Health professionals” that a child who was born premature have caught up by the time they are 2 years old, but in watching and observing my son, I do not believe this to be true, as it depends on each child. Every child is different, and no matter what it may say on a chart doesn’t mean that this is the case. Their numbers and charts are based on statistics a lot of the time, but not on fact. I can see for myself where Henry is advanced in his age and development and where he still got some catching up to do.

He is very social and interactive. His observation is second to none, but he is still got some catching up to do in terms of speaking and feeding himself. We are getting there but just needs a bit more persistence from us and practice.

We are now looking into nurseries for Henry, which he is ready to go, and this will really help a lot. You will find that between 10 months to 2 years their nap times will change as they continue to grow, having more growth spurts, meaning that their appetite may increase.

When Henry has a tantrum it usually is because he is trying to tell us something but he gets frustrated because he can’t properly communicate yet, and so we do try to step back and observe him to find out what it is. It is usually is because, he is thirsty, needs his blanket over him as he will fuss if we put it over him straight away, we will usually do this when he is a sleep as he has always been a very warm little boy, he needs another nappy change and wants to sleep but can’t, nose needs clearing or he just wants to know that someone is there. We will have the light deemed slightly before he goes off. We also do a bedtime ritual that includes calm peaceful music, deemed light, all toys away, dinner, brush of teeth, last nappy change and then story time.

It can be mind boggling sometimes to workout what to do, when they won’t settle or they have melt down, or how to get them from fussing when out and you’reToddler melt down image trying to have some time out and have a coffee, but you just have to do your best, forget about those onlookers and those that give that look as if to say “Can’t you quiet him down I’m trying to have a coffee too” but then remember you will never be the first one, that is what children do, as soon as they find they feet they want to be off. A great place to go is the Soft Play Cafe’s as you are with other parents, children can play and you can still have a coffee and chat.

I did see if I could provide a link to a list of Soft Play Cafes but there doesn’t appear to be one. I found out about these by accident when I was looking for the Gymboree class I was going to take Henry to and then heard about the ones close by where I live.

The Soft Play Cafes are brilliant as an alternative to the park, because lets face it living in the UK you never know what the weather will be like and if it is running cats and dogs outside then these Play Cafes are the place to go.

There are also many classes like Monkey Music which I take Henry to once a week for half and hour, and they have different classes from 3-6 months, 7-12 months, 1-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-4 years.

It is teaching children different skills through music. I have seen how much this has helped Henry as he is learning when to sit still, when his name is called to walk over he will and high-five, tap on the box and will now walk around the room with me, instead of fighting against me which he used to do.

So I will report back soon. I now have YouTube Channel Carries Realworld where I film Days in My Life, about Parenting, Hauls, My home organisation, cooking and baking, and sharing the favourite parts of my life.

I also have a new website called www.carriesrealworld.com

So many thanks for reading, and see you again soon.

 

Carrie X