It’s week one!! Baby is very cute, likes to sleep a lot and is picking up on his feeding. The toddler (LL) is learning to be “gentle” with the baby by touching him very softly. I’m not sure how he feels about the new addition. He is excited to see the baby but also has been a bit more mischievous and cheeky this week.
Here’s what we got up to the last few days:
♥ Had several naps, feeds, nappy changes, a few changes of clothes
♥ Face to face time, quick look at a high contrast flash card and a bit of time in his basket
♥ Visit from the community midwife (standard follow up) for weighing and check-in on any issues. Fortunately this all went fine. We had the heel-prick/newborn blood spot test, which baby did not like, but is standard and necessary for early detection of some rare health conditions
♥ Had our first bath. The midwife said to wait at least 5 days so we didn’t have one straight away. He seemed to enjoy the water. He went very calm and quiet once in there
♥ Attempted a minute of tummy time, but was bit more of him just lying on his front!
Reaching the last stretch of pregnancy with no.2…
I have said goodbye to work, and got some very nice flowers and gifts. I’ve mostly packed the hospital bag, just the other day, but I still need a few things to go in there. So far I have a few tops and things to wear, post-natal stuff like pads and other glorious things. One newborn nappy and wipes, mainly because I got these free in some baby pack but I need to buy more (1 nappy obviously not enough!). Hairbrush and a few basic bathroom items in case I’m there for a while. Fluffy comfortable socks! Slippers. I’m not going to take a dressing gown this time. Last time I had two massive bags to take with me, it looked like I was going on holiday. This was mainly due to a large fluffy dressing gown and some old pillows I decided would be a good idea to take cause someone told me that they might not have any spare pillows at the hospital. I think I knelt on one of these pillows for about 1 minute, then got up because it wasn’t comfortable and never used it again, so I won’t be taking any this time. I need to pack snacks! I didn’t want to eat a thing the first time but just in case I’m peckish or for afterwards, i’ll pack some treats.
I’ve also “written” and printed off my birth plan – I say “written” because it’s based on the previous one but I’ve just changed a few small things on it. And even then, the original one was a template from the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). Here’s a link to information about giving birth from the NCT, including pain management, choosing where to have your baby, hospital birth, home birth, tips for labour and more. And, Here’s what the NHS says about birth plans, including some aspects to consider.
I finally went through all my old baby clothes and tried to pull out the newborn and 0-3 month old clothes. They need a good wash and some need a soak. I’ve forgotten about most of them; there are some little sleep-suits that my Little Lovely (LL) barely even worn because he grew out of them so quickly. I have so many 0-3 month old clothes, mainly because that’s what people buy you for presents and then after that it’s all down to you for providing clothing.
I was leaving for work on my last day and said goodbye to LL in the morning. I then suddenly realised that i’m going to be spending every day now with LL again, just like before. For some reason that had completely not registered with me. I’m not sure what i’m expecting this maternity leave to be like. I have a lot less time to sit around and “rest” at the moment, that’s for sure; there’s a small person that needs entertaining every day.
I haven’t done anything yet. I need to plan and sort stuff out for the new arrival.
I need to buy some stuff
I need to pack a hospital bag. I need to find a bag in the first place and put stuff in it. Actually, I probably need to buy stuff to put in the bag too, like nappies, something to wear, umm, other stuff I’ve forgotten about
I need to dig out all the old baby clothes and wash them
I need to make a definite list and back up list of people that can come take care of the first child for when I have to go to hospital (added element to this pregnancy!)
I need to write a birth plan – or just use the same one as last time, or at least find the last one and actually read it
I need to get my whooping cough jab
I need to make a dentist appointment (it’s free for pregnant women and 1 year postnatal in the UK)
I need to refresh my memory on newborn issues and check out activity ideas again!
Stuff I need to (probably) buy.
A new changing mat. I’ve been using the last one for 19 months and it’s actually falling apart. A new baby monitor. A double buggy or maybe a baby sling to begin with. I have a sling but it’s the wrapping type and although this was nice, it is a bit fiddly and I found that if you tie it up too loose or “wrong” then there’s no saving it and you have to take it all off and wrap it on again. I’m not sure I have the ability to do that whilst attempting to calm one child and having a toddler screaming/running off/needing food/etc at the same time. Clip and go would be better. I probably need more baby bedding as current toddler is using all of the child sized blankets. I should probably buy the current toddler a gift and various things to please him as well.
So, a lot to do!
Yes that’s right! We’re expecting again. I won’t go into too much detail but it’s not too far away… I’m into the 30s. I’m at the point where i’m needing to sit up in bed to sleep, again, thanks reflux.
I’m a bit slowed down compared to usual and notice that I can’t walk as fast as I used to. I remember this the last time. Oddly, I haven’t put on as much weight as the first time round, but then I came into this pregnancy heavier on account of not having lost all the weight from the first time (that takes more than a year, right?!).
I have various disillusioned and delusional ideas about how things might go this time round, for example, this child will sleep well and won’t mind me putting them down whilst I chase a toddler around/take care of toddler/feed toddler etc. They won’t cry at all, unlike the first one, and need holding constantly, need to sleep in our bed, appear allergic to their cot, Moses basket, anything really that is not us? Also, toddler won’t mind, toddler will get used to new baby very soon, I won’t be more tired that I thought possible, no matter how tired I thought I was the first time round, it’s certainly not at all going to be more difficult?!
Already getting people stopping me in the street asking when i’m due (note to self, I must look fat/huge/add other i’m really obviously pregnant term here). Someone at work I don’t know at all touched my tummy yesterday…
On the plus side, people are actually getting up on the tube, on a few occasions, without me having to ask for a seat! However, on the bus, a different story, people still staring at me in silence when I ask if they mind if I sit down in ONE OF THE TWO ONLY DARNED SEATS AVAILABLE NEXT TO THE BUGGY AREA – COME ON PEOPLE…. ok rant over. But seriously, there are only 2 seats on the whole bus I can sit on, they are the seats in front of the two small spots where I can park my 19 month old child in his buggy. Maybe you could MOVE ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE BUS – oh and these two seats are almost always labelled as priority seats so yes, I am actually entitled to ask to sit there. See my rant here on priority seat hoggers and how pregnant/disabled/less able to stand people really love the additional stress of having to justify themselves for a seat or deal with hogs. Rant really over. Apart from the man a few weeks ago who thought I should get off the bus, despite standing next to my buggy, obviously pregnant, so that he could put some inanimate item there (luggage). He said he didn’t see I was pregnant. Oh and the woman who was extremely concerned that my toddler was touching on her straggly rose plants, but not enough to get up and offer her seat to me. I got called a “princess” for daring to comment on that. Oohhh well. Time for a car maybe?
Anyway, on a more happy note, now is apparently the right time to finish everything around the house like decorating and doing minor building work (yes, really). So hopefully everything will be all new and pretty for when the time comes.
I’m going to have to get onto Pinterest and search again for all the pregnancy, newborn and beyond articles, because I haven’t looked at them for some time!
We are one and a half years old! Time has gone quickly; it doesn’t seem like that long ago I was planning his little first birthday get together.
What have we noticed? Well in the last few weeks he’s:
Been using more than one word at a time and
Making small sentences.
For example, he might say “off the bus”, or “kiss owl” (kiss his toy owl).
He can also repeat short sentences and strings of 2 or 3 words that I say to him, although I don’t know how much he understands as it’s only repetition and not generated by himself in context. But, that said, this seems different because recently he’d only say one word at a time.
Typical developments at 18-24 months:
This timeline of typical development from birth to five years old from the NHS outlines skills and milestones at different ages. There’s also a link to an article from the Zero to Three website on their page here on child development at 18-24 months, what your toddler can do and how to support emerging skills.
Apparently it’s typical at 1.5-2 years old for children to start to put at least 2 words together.
At this age toddlers will also learn to kick or throw a ball.
That’s great because we’ve signed up for football classes and have been going for a few months. Initially he wasn’t kicking the ball but was picking it up and putting it in the goal (at least he understood the concept). But more recently he has been able to kick the ball, plus we’ve been out with the ball at the weekends too, which I think has helped because of the added practice of those motor and coordinator skills.
From 1.5 to 4 years children start to develop bladder control
We bought a potty but haven’t started any potty training yet. For a month or even two now he’s been able to tell us when he’s done a poo which I assume means that he is more aware of his bodily functions and can communicate that. My plan is to buy a story book about using a potty to start to introduce the concept to him. I don’t know if he can tell us in advance yet that he needs to do a poo. We haven’t discussed that with him but I suppose I could start talking with him about “tell me if you need to do a poo”, or something, and reinforcing or rewarding if he says something.
Zero to Three write that
at 18-24 months toddlers are starting to use their imagination, e.g. feeding a toy pretend food, making car noises when playing with cars
I’ve definiately noticed this. The Little Lovely has “fed” his milk to some of his toys before. Not sure we’ve heard car noises though. Extend on these skills by pretend and imaginative play!
I’ve noticed increased “obstinate” behaviour!!
OK, not a fair way of putting it, but what I mean is that when I ask LL not to do something, he pauses and does it anyway, like “drop” his food on the floor (he throws it sometimes, but then looks up and says “dropped”), or touch on the television screen. I repeatedly ask him not to do it and issue a consequence like turning the television off (*gasp*, yes, we watch some television) and asking him to pick up the food off the floor and put it in the bin (which he does). But he still repeats the same behaviour.
Apparently at this young age he might understand what i’m saying, but not have the self control to do much about it (according to the Zero to Three handout on 18-24 month old development). And this is a skill that can take some time to develop. I guess I’ll have to remain consistent, firm, and give clear instruction and consequence anyway.
For other areas of development at 18-24 months (and from prenatal to 36 months old) see this brilliant “baby brain map”, (zero to three) that outlines different areas that are developing in the brain (e.g. social and emotional) at this time.
This is a Monster “feed me” slot game, using bottle tops and an old plastic food pot
Another DIY, “junk” toy we made and had fun with!
Great for imagination
Developing fine motor skills with baby and toddlers
What I used:
An old plastic container with a lid (old raisin pot)
Colour pens and stickers for decoration
Lids from old milk jugs and other plastic bottles
1) Take plastic container
2) Cut a slot in the top
3) I covered the edges of the slot with masking tape to ensure any sharp edges were covered up. The tape also made it easier to draw a mouth on
4) I cut up some old stickers to use as eyes (or use any baby-safe decoration/feature you like)
5) No picture for this but I coloured in some details on the eyes and drew teeth around the slot. I was going to do scary eyes and sharp pointy teeth but then decided maybe that was a bit too scary so toned it down a bit
6) Et voilà! He is done – a “monster” lid eater. I decided not to decorate the rest of the pot but I might put some coloured card around the edge, draw some hands on, stick feet on etc in the future
What to feed your Monster with:
We later added some food stickers to the bottle lids. We stuck them on together (aged 20 months when we did this) and talked about the foods. I used different coloured tops and mostly matched these to the food colours. Here’s some pictures of the “food” we fed the monster with. Some of the stickers had to be updated after the toddler decided one day peel most of them off!
Monster feeder in action!
Here’s some pictures of my Little Lovely playing with the Monster Pot. He was 17 months here but he’s enjoyed slotting and sorting things for several months now and has had the motor skills to do it, so this activity might be suitable for babies and toddlers younger and older than this. We don’t know colours yet (we’re starting to learn) but we could extend the game in the future by asking baby to post certain colour lids.
Experimenting with what else he can do with the pot: what’s inside, what does it taste like and, can I wear it as a hat?
Safety first: This activity was supervised. Please be mindful of sharp edges, choking risks with small parts and materials used to decorate the pot. Please decide based on your own baby and stage of development as to what might be appropriate for them.