You Know There is a Little Person in Your House When…

When you are pregnant, it becomes really irritating that those friends and family with children constantly tell you to ‘enjoy the peace’, ‘get as much sleep as you can’ and ‘to go out as often as you like now because you won’t be able to when the baby is here’. It becomes very annoying after hearing this for the hundredth time – you know that your world is going to turn upside down after all everyone keeps telling you …

The reality is nothing and no-one can really prepare you for this life changing event. You know there is a little person in your house when…

  1. You can never go to the bathroom alone.
  2. You have to microwave your cup of tea three times before you get to drink it.
  3. You hide the latest Julia Donaldson favourite because you can’t face reading it yet again for the 1000th time!
  4. When asked what your favourite TV programme is you automatically struggle to decide between Peppa Pig and Thomas The Tank Engine.
  5. When you keep the bathroom bin and toilet paper purposely on the bathroom counter rather than in their respective places.
  6. When you have washed the same load of washing for the last three days because you keep forgetting to empty it.
  7. You can’t eat anything by yourself – you always have to demonstrate ‘good sharing’.
  8. You see a dog and say ‘woof woof’ … even when your child isn’t with you.
  9. When you battle and struggle for 20 minutes to get them dressed and turn your back for one second to find they are stark naked.
  10. 7.05am is considered a lie-in.
  11. You know that laughter and hysteria is quickly followed by tears.
  12. You count the minutes to 7pm and once they are asleep you feel guilty for doing so.
  13. The dental hygenist appointment is a nice chance to have a lie down.
  14. You realise you didn’t need to buy any toys … the kitchen bin would have sufficed.
  15. You hear a baby crying and immediately your body starts swaying and rocking.
  16. You always have a packet of wet wipes at arm’s reach whether you’re at home or out and about.
  17. When you spend an entire evening making nutritious and appealing food to see it pushed away with little voice demanding ‘cheese sandwich’.
  18. Satisfaction is learning the art of putting a nappy on standing to avoid battles with a wriggling toddler.
  19. You are worried by the sound of silence.
  20. You find yourself playing ‘Peekaboo’ between every mouthful at dinner in the hope they giggle, open their mouth and eat!

 

What was your defining moment when you realised life had changed?

 

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Why Cooking With Your Toddlers is So Worthwhile

As we await some consistent sunshine why not occupy your toddler(s) with some cooking fun. Not only is cooking a brilliant activity to keep them occupied, it is economical if you select ingredients carefully, educational learning about numbers, weights, ingredients, new tastes and healthy eating. They can learn new skills whilst giving them an appreciation for where food comes from.  However, most importantly it is one of the most enjoyable bonding activities to do with your toddler(s).

 


An entire morning can be spent simply getting all the children’s coats, hats and wellies on to walk to the shops to purchase the ingredients.  In the shop they are proudly holding the shopping basket and seem to touch every item you walk past as you reason with them why they can’t buy every ingredient. Before you know it you take a basket piled high of ingredients with a few added extras that you have compromised on. You allow your toddler to give the cashier the money before watching it fall all over the floor as a rather large queue forms behind you!

The cooking activities commence – it could be the simplest recipe in the world but your toddler(s) always seem to end up needing a change of clothes and the kitchen floor needing a steam clean afterwards! As they ‘gently’ beat the egg or ‘slowly’ sieve the flour … you watch it spill over the sides onto the counter and then the floor you can sometimes be forgiven for wondering why you had embarked upon this cooking activity!! Even putting bun cases in the bun tray could be mistaken for being a ‘clean’ activity and before you know it they are scattered all over the floor sticking to the ‘gloop’ that you had missed whilst cleaning up the earlier spills!

Amazingly the washing up can bring more mess as you see white foam floating around your kitchen alongside little puddles on the floor and inevitably toddlers are drenched from their over-excitement of playing with water.


You do it because their enjoyment is priceless. Their smiles and giggles throughout the activity is worth it.  It is seen as a ‘grown up’ thing to do yet they never tire of this messy fun and the bonus is … they might actually eat something nutritious as a result!

*Cooking Skills that Under 5s can learn:

  • Buttering a slice of bread
  • Cracking eggs into a bowl
  • Crushing biscuits for bases in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
  • Crushing garlic in a garlic press
  • Cutting pastry or dough shapes out using cookie cutters
  • Cutting soft fruit such as a banana with a non sharp knife
  • Decorating fairy cakes or biscuits
  • Grating cheese
  • Kneading and rolling out dough using a rolling pin
  • Mashing bananas with the back of a fork
  • Mashing potatoes with a potato masher
  • Peeling vegetables with a vegetable peeler
  • Rubbing in butter and flour for a crumble or pastry
  • Sieving flour
  • Whisking eggs in a bowl

We recommend the following recipe that toddlers will just love to make and adore to eat:

*Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (80mL) oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a loaf pan

Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugars. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients with mashed banana and fold until just combined – do not overmix.
Place in the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and slice thickly.

If you are cooking with a toddler when you have a newborn baby you might be thankful for the muslinsdribble bibs or swaddles to protect your baby from these messy cooking sessions! Additionally you might look for some toys to keep your baby occupied.

*www.under5s.co.nz

Books, Books & More Books

Research has shown that the single most important thing that a parent can do to help their child acquire language, prepare their child for school, and instill a love of learning in their child, is to read to them.* From the moment a baby is born we are bombarded with information from leaflets, books, email bulletins from baby websites, family and friends about the importance of speaking to our babies regularly and this is followed consecutively by the need for us to read to them.

Everyone buys books for gifts and you naturally purchase books when they are on offer especially the favourite classics, you join the library and that in itself is an exciting way to spend an hour or two with your child. Before you know it you have books lying around in every corner of every room in your house!

We KNOW we should be reading to our children, after all it is what we are told all the time, however, perhaps not all of us understand WHY we should be reading to our babies and toddlers. Ten top reasons to read to your child include:

  1. Children who are read to consistently by their parents often begin reading earlier than their peers.
  2. A lovely way to connect with your child and build a bond around learning.
  3. Insight into what your child is interested in.
  4. Following a character’s actions in a story helps develop problem solving skills.
  5. Children who are read to develop a love of reading.
  6. Reading to children helps to develop their imaginations.
  7. Reading exercises our brains and improves concentration.
  8. Gives babies information about the world around them.
  9. Reading improves a child’s vocabulary, leads to more highly-developed language skills and improves the child’s ability to write well.
  10. Helps to prepare children about new upcoming events e.g. arrival of a sibling or a visit to the dentist
 Today we are celebrating World Book Day and children around the country are dressing up as their favourite characters – some toddlers so excited they slept with their dressing up outfit the night before whilst others may have screamed and shrieked as their parents tried to dress them up and then failed miserably to get a photo of their child smiling in their respective outfits (another blog in its own right!)

Whilst most of us try our hardest to read to our children it can sometimes seem a little like ‘groundhog day’ as the request for the same story is asked for day in and day out for weeks on end before the book is carefully hidden so they can be persuaded to change to look at different book. Indeed ‘A Room on the Broom’ becomes deeply philosophical after reading it for the 500th time!

Bedtime stories are a favourite part of the day in many households, your little ones all clean and snuggled up in their beds (any naughty behaviour that day mysteriously disappears). Siblings often allowed in the same bed as you all cuddle tight and read the story watching their faces as you say the words. However, reality is that the same questions are asked every night (and often answered by the child themselves)…delayed bedtime tactics are cleverly used as children turn back pages to start asking other questions whilst you are trying to finish the story and get your child to sleep and have some precious ‘ME’ time!

Younger babies may wave their hands excitedly when their favourite book comes out and adores touching the shiny wheels in ‘That’s not my Tractor’. However, they can also delay bedtime reading as they try and turn the pages back to the soft fur they had been touching moments ago whilst you are mid sentence. When they realise this tactic doesn’t work they then start to wriggle out of your arms as they spot a cupboard slightly ajar which has to be opened that second so they can proceed to empty the contents of their vests and sleepsuits on the floor!

As your toddler falls asleep surrounded by ten different books (yes corners are bent as they fall asleep awkwardly on an open page and ‘peekaboo’ flaps well used) there is something magical about that ‘picture perfect’ image!

*Russ et al., (2007)