How to deal with the Terrible Two’s

Every parent knows that at some point, their lovely little toddler will hit the point when they will push their boundaries.  The terrible two’s is something you quietly dread.  Oliver hit this point at around 18 months, and slowly and surely he’s tested the boundaries we have put in place.   Recently he’s ramped it up a gear and has thrown huge tantrums, starting physically hitting out and just shouted no at everything he doesn’t want to do.

Throughout the past 6 months I have learnt what does and doesn’t work.  I know that his strops, tantrums and sometimes aggressive behaviour are all a way of him processing what he doesn’t understand.  He’s not being ‘naughty’ he’s learning boundaries and what behaviours are and aren’t acceptable.  I can tell that 99% of the time it is due to frustration because he can’t get his point across.  Oliver still can’t tell me what he wants, the words he does say are very limited, so it is immensely frustrating for him when he doesn’t understand or can’t tell me what he wants.  So I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks.  Obviously every child is different and all children respond differently to these.

Don’t just say ‘no’

Oliver seems to get more worked up when I just tell him ‘no’.  I have worked out that if I say ‘don’t do that, you’ll break it/you’ll hurt yourself etc. he is a lot more likely to stop whatever he is doing that he shouldn’t.  Quite often if I do end up saying no, I will follow it up with why he shouldn’t do what he is doing.  This has a much better response than if I just say no.

Give them a choice

Oliver hates wearing a hat or his hood up, however when it’s cold, wet or windy, he often needs something to protect his head.  If he throws a strop because he doesn’t want to wear whatever it is I’m trying to get him to, I will give him the option of lets say hood or hat.  He responds a lot better to this.  It doesn’t always work, but it definitely works a lot better than trying to get him to do what he doesn’t want to.

Sometimes they just need a cuddle

More times than not now when Oliver gets himself worked up and lashes out, he usually scares himself.  This usually results in him welling up or starting to cry.  These times I always offer him a cuddle, and he usually goes straight for that option and will sit on my lap cuddling until he calms down.  It can be really scary for them to feel so out of control, so to show them that you are there to help can really reassure them.

Offer a distraction

Sometimes distraction is the only way to calm Oliver down or stop him from doing something.  I’ve learnt that some behaviours are down to him just being hungry.  If I offer him a snack when he’s doing something he shouldn’t, he will quite often stop it for food.  A bowl of strawberries, raspberries or a bit of cereal resolve most of our problems!  Other times, if he I having a tantrum I will offer him a distraction, like ‘if you stop doing that then we can do some colouring/have a cuddle’ sometimes he goes for it, sometimes he doesn’t but it’s always worth trying!

Praise the good behaviour

Children want to please you, and whenever you say well done, you’ve done so well, they respond so much better.  Even if it’s a little win for you, praise it.  Oliver hates getting in the car seat, it almost always results in him screaming eat me.  But 1 time in 10 he will sit nicely and let him strap him in.  Every time he does this I make sure I praise him, sometimes I over praise because I want him to know that that behaviour is what I want.  He is always really pleased when he receives praise from us, and slowly but surely I think it is changing the way he behaves.

What’s worked for your child when they’ve had a tantrum?  I would love to hear!


Snow: The Ordinary Moments

As I am sure you are all aware, we had snow last week!!  Living in Surrey, this isn’t something we get often, it’s usually just a sprinkle and never enough to do anything with.  So when the weather reports all told us we were set for some snow I started to get excited.  I LOVE the snow.  I get excited like a child, so I couldn’t wait for Oliver to experience it too. 

We got our first shower of snow on Monday.  Although it didn’t settle very well, the woodland we walk through to get to Oliver’s pre-school had a good covering.  I couldn’t resist getting some cute snaps of Oliver walking through.  He loved it and he loved listening for the crunch underfoot.

It snowed a few more times through the week but the biggest snowfall came on Thursday and Friday.  Friday it really came down.  Just as Oliver went down for his nap the snow started falling and by the time he woke up it was completely white outside.  He just stood there shouting ‘no, no!’ (because he isn’t able to say his s’s yet, not because he didn’t want to go out in it!).  We wrapped up and braced the winds to enjoy a bit of sledging and trampling through the snow.

Once I convinced Oliver to sit on the sledge, he wouldn’t get off! Luckily the estate we live on has quite a few hilly bits so there were plenty of opportunities to slide down the hills and he loved it!  He fell off once, and he just lay there in the snow looking at me, like ‘this is freezing!’ but he quickly hopped back on the sledge, brushed the snow off and kept going.

By the time we woke up on Saturday morning the sun was shining and the snow was melting pretty quickly.  I took Oliver out on a quick walk around before the snow disappeared entirely and he loved the sludge that was forming and jumping in the puddles.

I’m so pleased Oliver got to experience a good snowfall at an age he could actually enjoy it!  Thank you Beast from the East or Storm Emma, whichever name you want to refer to!


New Baby Gift Guide

I love finding something really special to give as a gift.  Whenever I have given baby gifts I have always tried to give something that’s useful or something thats personal.  A personal gift that someone has really given some thought to are always the ones that last in my memories.  I love being given little baby clothes and cuddly toys but there are so many other gifts out there which are just so much more special.  I thought I would share with you just a few of my gift ideas for a new baby or baby shower gift.

Firstly, I thought I would share with you one of the best loved children’s stories. Guess How Much I Love You, I think it really is a staple story for every young child.  Books are always a great gift, they’re something you will always need, and it’s so nice to have the favourites of your friends and relatives gifted to your child.  Oliver was given this book by a family friend when he was born, because it was their favourite bedtime story, and I really love reading it to him at bedtime.

They are now selling the story in a gift pack with a pack of milestone cards. How cute is this?  Combined with a little Nutbrown Hare rattle, it makes such lovely gift.  I loved taking photos with Oliver’s milestone cards.  They are such a nice way to document the little moments like their first smile, and I love that these ones are themed!

Another lovely gift is this Messy Me changing clutch.  I love this, it’s a very compact oilcloth clutch bag with a compact changing mat inside.  It has enough space in it for your changing essentials, and would fit perfectly in your handbag or under your buggy, making sure all those little bits you need are at hand quickly.  It would also be perfect to keep in the car for those little emergencies!  You could pop this in a baby essentials hamper or pair it with a pack of nappies and wipes for a practical gift!

Finally I have this beautiful handmade sign from Kent Made.  This is the perfect keepsake gift for any newborn.  It would look perfect placed on a shelf or hanging on the wall.  I really love items like this, they just show that little bit more thoughtfulness.  The quality is great and it arrived very quickly.  This is so beautiful and Chantel, the owner of Kent Made, has such a gorgeous variety of wooden gifts, you would be spoilt for choice!

So these are just a few great products on offer for that new arrival.  If you’re a parent, what were your favourite gifts when you had your baby?  I would love to hear in the comments below!

These items were all gifted to me for inclusion in this post.  All words and opinions are my own.


29 week bumpdate

Yep, its official.  This bump updates are very sporadic!!  The weeks seem to be flying by and I just haven’t managed to get on top of documenting this bump.  I was having a little blog break, which contributed to the lack of updates, but I really want to try and document the last third of my pregnancy better.  My last update was actually the 22 week update, a lot has changed since then!

So I am firmly in the third trimester now, I’m not sure how that happened but here we are!  The bump is ever growing, kicking and wriggling.  I had my 28 week midwife appointment last week.  It was really lovely, as my usual midwife was off and the midwife who stepped in was the one we had for our last pregnancy.  She partially retired about 2 weeks before Oliver arrived, she did one of my postnatal visits and obviously I haven’t seen her since!  It was lovely to have a catchup, I just wish she was my midwife again this time around.

How is baby?

Baby is growing well, although at 28 weeks he was only measuring 26cm, but I am sure he will catch up by the next appointment!  He was finally head down (hooray!) as he has spent most his time in breech.  Heartbeat was nice and strong as well.  I really love it when you get to listen in to their little hearts, his was between 138-140bpm, as the midwife said, the typical boy!

Apparently at this point, he is now the size of a cauliflower, and his skin is smoothing out as he puts fat on.  He’s around 39cm big and 2.5lbs in weight.  His testicles have now descended from near the kidneys into the scrotum as well! The vernix caseosa (that waxy white stuff they are born with on their skin) and the soft downy hair that has covered their body, is starting to disappear now.  His eyes are also beginning to focus.

How am I?

I am starting to feel tired again now.  Most days I could do with a nap, especially if we have been busy!  I’m struggling to run around after Oliver already, and really find it hard when he doesn’t want to play ball.  My eczema is still quite bad, which hasn’t been helped by the cold weather.  I constantly need to wee, when I’m at work, I think I go at least 5 times a shift.  Compared to the once or occasionally zero times that I went before, it’s a lot!  Baby brain is real, if I don’t write it down, or act on something straight away I am 90% sure it will be forgotten.

I’ve definitely slowed down as well, when I’m out walking with my husband I am constantly telling him to slow down!  It’s usually the other way around so I know I am slow!   When I’m out walking or busy around the house I notice I’m becoming breathless a lot quicker as well.  I’m really looking forward to my maternity leave starting now.  I have 3 weeks of work left, thankfully only one week is a ‘full week’ as I have some shorter shifts instead of the long days.  I’m really looking forward to the long days being over, 12.5 hours, mostly on your feet looking after others is hard work!! Thankfully, I have some really great colleagues who have started making sure I get the ‘quieter’ bays of patients.

Other than that I am feeling well.  I’ve not really having cravings, I really love eating fresh fruit at the moment.  I wouldn’t usually pick an apple up as a snack, but a nice cold pink lady from the fridge is most appealing.  Its got to the point now that I can’t fit in any of my ‘normal’ clothes anymore, so I know I am properly pregnant now!  I tried to put one of my normal tops on the other day and I had about half my belly hanging out!  Not a great look!  I am really loving dressing my bump, I much prefer it when you have a proper bump to dress, and you aren’t in that in between stage when you just look a bit pudgy!

I’m looking forward to the next few months, getting all the baby bits together.  I need to go through all of Oliver’s old clothes and see what I will and won’t be able to use.  Going from a winter to a summer baby, there are going to be a fair few bits I can’t use as they will be a bit too warm!  Now I am just soaking up this last trimester, although I can’t wait to have that little baby in my arms at the end.

Hopefully I will see you again soon for another update!


Preparing to start pre-school & win a set of name tags

Oliver’s just finished his first week of of pre-school.  I can’t believe this time has already come around!  We went to visit the pre-school a year ago, just after Oliver had turned one, and signed him up straight away.  It is such a lovely little space, located in our local primary school.  I knew when we walked through the door that Oliver would love it there.  In fact he (at just turned one) tried to crawl off and get involved when we went on the visit!

When I dropped him off in the morning, he dragged me through to the room he would be based in and quickly started trying to join in.  I was shown by his key worker where his locker was and where to pop his snack down.  I felt very happy that he wasn’t bothered that I was leaving!

Of course, the second day he wasn’t so amenable to be being left!  He cried as soon as I took him in and tried to put his coat back on (the coat, which he hates wearing!) and just screamed.  I quickly put all of his bits down, and left.  When I went to collect him he was fine until he saw me and he started crying again.  As soon as I picked him up though he stopped, so it was all for show!

In the weeks running up to Oliver starting at pre-school, I made sure I kept mentioning it and talking about it to him.  I hope in some way that even though he is very little and doesn’t understand what pre-school is, that it helped prepare him.  in the morning when I was getting him ready for the day I said to him, ‘today you have your first day at pre-school!’ and when we arrived there I told him ‘look this is where your pre-school is’.

One item you definitely need when starting school..

Another thing I needed to do in preparation for him starting was to get some name labels for all his things he would be taking along.  When I was looking around at name labels, I decided that a sticker was probably the best for us.  It would be more versatile, being able to be stuck on things like his water cup and snack pot as well as his coat and shoes.

When My Nametags got in contact to see if I wanted to try their name labels, I was so pleased.  They have a big variety of different designs you can choose from.  You can buy their pre-designed stickers or iron-on labels or you can design your own.  I chose to design our own, as I wanted to choose a picture and design that Oliver would recognise easily.

My husband and I spent a little while looking at the different designs and pictures.  Eventually we decided on a fire engine on a grey striped background. They arrived within just a couple of days and I was really pleased with how they came out.  I have stuck them on a variety of Oliver’s things, and they don’t feel like they will come off any time soon!  I have washed up his cup and tub with them on and the stickers have stayed firmly stuck on.  They’ve already been through the wash as well and they haven’t faded or come unstuck at all.  I am so pleased with the quality of the stickers.

Priced at £11.95 (+P&P) for 56 colour stickers or iron ons, 180 black and white stickers, or 120 black and white iron ons, they are very reasonable.  They also have a Hello Kitty, Mr Men & Little Miss and Battersea Dogs and Cats range for £13.95.

My Nametags have very kindly given one of my readers the opportunity to win a set of 56 colour stickers. Perfect for your little ones if they’re starting school or nursery soon.  To enter just use the widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent a set of My Nametags name labels in return for inclusion in this post.  All words and opinions are my own.