Why I love toddlers

Toddlers seem to get a bad rap. There is so much talk of the terrible twos, toddler tantrums and other such things that it seems like all the positives of toddlers get ignored. And there are lots of positives.

I actually love toddlers. They have their challenges but I think there are more good points than bad points (like saying goodbye to breast feeding). Here’s why!

Why I love toddlers

1. They are super cute.

Toddlers are super cute. They are such little things with such big personalities. From the way they dress to the way they play to the way they draw, they are super cute to watch and enjoy.

2. Their amazement in the world is beautiful to watch.

My favorite part of toddlerdom is the amazement they have in the world. It doesn’t take much for their faces to beam and their interest to be heightened. It is a great age to explore and discover as you can see them lapping it all up. It doesn’t have to be far afield exploring either – they love the little things, like a walk to the park. It’s fun!

3. They love cuddles.

No other age group seems to lap up cuddles like a toddler. They love many many cuddles and aren’t shy about launching themselves in your direction to get one. The amount of love that they show is priceless.

4. They nap.

As much as I love toddlers, I also love that they generally sleep well at night time by this point and also have a decent day time nap. I love the downtime in the middle of the day giving us both a chance to rest.

5. They don’t talk much.

If you have had a preschooler, you will know why this is good! They can say enough to get their point across but don’t have a million questions and the constant chit chat of older kids which helps stop my own brain from exploding!

6. Even when they have a tantrum, they are still small enough to handle.

Tantrums are never fun but toddler tantrums can at least be cute! And they are still small enough that you can pick them up and remove them from a situation if you have to. You also don’t get as many judgmental looks as what happens if your preschooler has a tantrum.

7. It doesn’t take much to make them happy.

Toddlers are super easy to please. Just give them a tutu or a snack or some blocks or anything at all really and you are likely to see a big smile and have them happily play for awhile. It’s great!

There are many more reasons why I love toddlers – these are just the main ones! Do you love toddlers?

Apparently this has been floating around the internet for a bit. But I’ve just come across it, thanks to some of my friends sharing it around. I’m talking about the Babocush. Someone sent me to this great video on facebook and so I had to check it out some more.

The video makes it pretty clearly but if for some reason you’re allergic to facebook the Babocush is like a rocker for a baby where they lie on their stomach and not their back, held in place by a harness and then rocked to sleep. It seems so obvious…once I’ve seen it.

This video shows it in a little bit more detail:

It looks to be a great idea and part of me is just a tiny bit sad that my own kids are too big to use one: its’ really for kids that are under 6 months.

It’d be fun to try and see if it really could rock a baby to sleep so easily. It makes a lot of sense to have a baby securely on their tummy instead of their back. After all, that’s a natural preference for really young kids. Having the harness cuts out any rusk of sudden infant death syndrome (I would thing but I am not an expert).

I’ve liked walks for calming down children but this would work well in the home.

Medicinal Benefits

The Babocush website claims – or perhaps just suggests – that the Babocush helps babies with colic or reflux calm down and relax. It’s hard to say if that’d be true, especially as I don’t know much about either condition.

I’ve been lucky in that I have no experience with reflux or colic with our two kids. I don’t know if this product would help or not. I would be interested in anyone’s feedback if they want to send it to me.

Winding a baby is meant to be made easier with the babocush as well. That’s what that video was about above, if you didn’t watch it. That I have less trouble believing.

Just to be clear: I am not affiliated with Babocush and did not receive anything for writing this. 

After my last article, and having written about breastfeeding previously, I was accused of being too in favour of breastfeeding and wasn’t being balanced enough. My friend, in a good natured way, pointed out I don’t talk about alternatives or the downsides of breastfeeding.

I wasn’t sure how t respond. I mean, firstly this is a private bog and not some professional or official source of information like a newspaper or a government agency. There is no requirement for me to be anything at all – as a private citizen I can be as biased as I like.  If I want to root for Donald Trump and advocate  for a 100 foot high, electrified, border crossing proof fence along the Rio Grande I can (but I won’t because that would be silly).

Secondly I did try and point out I’m not all out in favour of breastfeeding as much as I advocate it. I don’t want to be one of those people who will implicitly or explicitly  criticise the choice of other mothers who don’t breastfeed or do whatever it is they believe in.

So What Do I Think?

So here’s a balanced perspective, in a nutshell.

Firstly, I like breastfeeding and I like writing and talking about it. Now I don’t do it anymore I miss it.

Breastfeeding has well researched and documented advantages over other forms of feeding a baby. Breastmilk is perfectly suited for your baby and their digestive system and needs. Nothing else is as good for your baby.

I'm trying to balance here....!

I’m trying to balance here….!

That said, there are plenty of reasons why breastfeeding is impossible or hard and it shouldn’t be looked down upon as a failure when a mother does not breastfeed. It can hurt, your baby might never get the hang of it, a mother might not be able to make enough milk and it can drain your energy and make you really tired – on that I can speak from some experience.

In the end it is a choice for each and every mother to make specific to their circumstances. Sometimes that “choice” is dictated by those circumstances so the choice isn’t a choice at all.

The Bottom Line

So while I enjoy and encourage breastfeeding I think that as long as a mom makes the decision that ensures the best outcome for her and her child then scaremongers and everyone else should butt out. The important elements in any “formula” (pardon the pun) is making sure the baby gets what they need from mom without affecting mom’s health and wellbeing.

So there, I hope that adds a bit of balance and perspective to this blog and – if anyone ever reads this – the wider perennial debate.

Oh, and it seems like post-weaning depression is a thing after all. For anyone who was interested.

Hi everyone. I wanted to be more active on my blog this year. I really do enjoy writing when I get the chance to sit down and type out my thoughts or what’s been happening. Last year I never seemed to have the time although now my kids, especially my youngest, is now that bit older I’m hoping to improve. Not that I’ve done so well so far this year.

I’m a big advocate of breastfeeding and have spoken a lot about it before on my blog. Its something that I enjoy and advocate. It isn’t for everyone – I don’t like to be one of those people who are so strongly pro-breastfeeding that I’ll criticise anyone  who doesn’t breastfeed. It’s an individual thing.

Bu t that’s not what I am writing about today. I wrote in my last post about how well feeding solids was going. That was some time ago and in the passing weeks and months things are only going better.

What The End of Breastfeeding Means

So it means that my youngest has petty much stopped drinking milk, or at least my milk. My breastfeeding days  are pretty much over.

This isn’t a bad thing but I am surprised how sad it makes me feel when I stop and reflect on the fact I don’t need to breastfeed any more. It’s like a little bit of the bond between me and my daughter has gone. It’s silly I know but that’s how I feel.

I thought maybe it wasn’t just me – and it isn’t – but I’m not sure if post breastfeeding termination sadness is a thing or not. Some research on the internet and the library hasn’t turned anything up, but if it is a real thing (or rather something somebody’s researched) then I’m not surprised.

child-waving-goodbye

Breastfeeding is a special act involving mother and child, making you close as you can be (physically anyway) and helping forge the loving bonds that are so important. I wasn’t ready for it to end, even though the end was clearly coming (and has to come) so now the end is here I have been surprised by the depths of feeling I have. It’s almost a nostalgia.

I miss the special time of sitting on the couch with my “baby” and having it feel it  like we were the only two in the world. If only for that small slice of time. And maybe, to be honest, I miss having that special bond. Now I’m no longer my baby’s food source. Anyone can feed her!

Not every mom will go through this. In fact many moms are more than happy for breastfeeding to end as it means an end to the many aspects of it that are not nice or enjoyable (breastfeeding isn’t all roses, I know). And that’s okay.

One person who is happier is my husband! He is now able to take a greater role in feeding and loves his “special time” of having all his little girl’s attention and goofballing around, making planes fly or boats sail into her mouth.

There comes a time for every mom when she has to realize that her milk just isn’t enough for her baby. And that time is the time when it becomes obvious that your baby wants to eat food. From there it is only a short step to introduce solids.

After my husband had purchased the best air fryer to improve our health from the top air fryers listed here (I highly recommend purchasing one if you don’t own one already!) I knew it was time to improve our babies health as well. It was time to introduce solids.

I have to admit I was caught unawares when it happened to me. It sort of creeped up on me and it was my husband who first noticed the changes. Our baby was watching us intently when we were eating. You could see her follow the  food laden cutlery from our plates to our mouths. She even looked like she was imitating our chewing. When my husband pointed these things out to me I knew my little girl, and her diet, were growing up.

The first step was baby cereal. Made from either ground rice or grains these baby cereals are available for babies from the age of four months or up. Our baby was a little bit older than this so we were fine. We mixed our baby cereal with either water or some expressed breast milk (when I started doing that) and made something that looked like a baby version of oatmeal. Together with little baby spoons, whose tips were rubber coated to be gentle on soft baby gums, we began feeding our baby.

My husband really enjoyed this as he could get far more involved than was possible with breast feeding. I think it became a real bonding activity for them.

The next stage was baby purees – those little jars of baby foods that are so easy to buy. We started off adding a little to flavour the cereal we were making up. When we were confident she was happy with the flavour we began feeding her whole jars. Starting with fruits we slowly expanded the foods she had been exposed to before adding some vegetable purees.

eating

I wasn’t sure how to progress next -it was obviously too big a jump to go from there to giving her whole foods. So I had to do a little bit of research. It turns out I simply had to make the foods more coarse – slowly – until our baby was ready to eat solids.

This wasn’t too hard as I was already making some fruit purees using my blender. I just started blending the foods less, making them less smooth. This proved a success! Now I was my own baby food supplier I realised all the different things I could give my daughter. I started adding vegetables, such as potato, pumpkin, broccoli, sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot, parsnip and peas to the mix. Each time I tried something new I added just a little to a mix of existing fruits or vegetables. This worked really well, for the few times my daughter didn’t like something I could easily cut it out for a bit.

Soon after I felt my daughter was ready to try meat. Given my baby was now happily eating foods that were chopped finely but not to the point of being pureed it did not seem too big a jump. Like the vegetables I would steam the meat – chopped up bits of chicken or beef to start with, before introducing fish and even port. My daughter really enjoyed the new textures of meat.

From there it was a slow but steady progression to more solid food. Rusks seems a sign she could handle small pieces of steamed food. And sure enough she could, and that’s when I knew – for my daughter at least – my days of breastfeeding were numbered.

baby girl

This is a guest post by my friend, Amy, who recently had a baby girl about the struggles of adapting to a new baby in the house

I just had a baby girl and I’m going to talk about my life as a brand new mother. One thing I’m trying to adapt to is numerous sleepless nights because the baby wakes up mostly during overnight hours and either my husband and I will get up and hold and feed her. By the time the morning arrives, I’m so sleepy that I can barely get up. If that’s not difficult enough, my two older sons continue to beg for their favorite breakfast of oatmeal, sugar and berries but I have to tend to the baby and change her diaper. Meanwhile, my husband is engrossed in his home office, but he does help as much as he can before starting his assignments for the day.

baby girl

She’s cute but a lot of work!

Romance Is Slipping Away

My husband and I used to have quite a few date nights and we would drop our two sons off at my in-laws’ house, but now that the baby is here, there isn’t a lot of time for romance. This doesn’t mean that the romance has completely left us, but we had to cut back on our alone time. My husband decided to put in more work hours so that I can remain home with the children and I’m grateful to him for making the sacrifice. I just wish we had more time alone as a couple.

My Emotions Are Bouncing Around

I won’t say that I’m depressed and in fact I’m overwhelmed with joy about my baby girl. However, I think about the ups and downs that await me as I raise her in the next 17 or 18 years. The challenges for girls today are different from the ones I faced as a girl and I’m sometimes scared of what could happen to her as she enters school and society at large. I just want the best for her and I hope that I will be the best parent to her.

I Can’t Hang Out With Friends As Much

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time with the baby and my other children, my friends do not see me as much as they used to before the baby arrived. I also noticed that some of my friends have pulled away from me assuming that I don’t want to maintain the friendship but this is not true. I try to call my friends at least once or twice a week to let them know how my life is going and to inquire about them.

Physical Changes

I sometimes struggle with confidence in my appearance since I gained weight during the pregnancy. My husband loves me for the person I am on the inside and he has no trouble with the way I look but I criticize myself at times. I put myself on a reasonable diet which includes fish, chicken, turkey, fruits and vegetables. I’ve been also drinking more water and natural fruit juices.

I’m experiencing different changes following the baby’s birth, but with help from others and determination, I believe it will all turn out great.