The Boy is becoming something of a changing mat nuisance. I’m constantly having to try and devise ways to distract him long enough to keep him (a) on his back and on the mat (b) keep his wandering hands at bay.The scene below unfolded in the seconds it took to put a dirty nappy in the bin. I let my guard down and forgot to put the lid back on the changing supplies box. On my return he’d flipped himself off the mat (shoved to one side in disdain) and was making his excited ‘I’ve-got-something-I-shouldn’t-have’ noise while waving a Pampers in the air and stuffing another one in his mouth! He can’t crawl quite yet. I am proper afraid of what he will be able to do/eat/destroy once he’s really on the move!
I had been meaning to post a six-month update on our Little Mister but as his half-birthday was on New Year’s Day it didn’t happen. So I thought I’d save it for his seven-month birthday a few days ago.
I can’t quite believe our happy little man is already seven months old! He’s changed such a lot in the last few weeks. Given his size – 9.5lb at birth – he was never going to stay a teeny tiny newborn for very long. Now, at more than 21lb, he seems to get stronger every day and he’s desperate to be on the move!
He’s not quite crawling yet. He certainly has the upper body strength – and we’ve already caught him reaching up pretty high while balanced on one elbow – but he hasn’t worked out what to do with his legs. Once he does, we’re in for trouble! He has already discovered the low down drawers in our living room.
His cheeky character continues to develop. He loves being on the floor, exploring, playing and trying to get his hands (and invariably mouth) on his sister’s toys. Little Miss is fairly tolerant but we are now hearing regular disgruntled shouts of “no, he’s ruining it!”. Plenty more of that to come I’m sure. He’s certainly not the most polite guest when it comes to her pretend picnics! Smash and grab pretty much sums up his style.
He’s now finding his voice much more as well and loudly objects to being removed from the scene of his more prohibited explorations. And if his sister snatches something away from him he will screw up his little face and do a full-on cry in protest. His angry face is actually very cute!
Also on the vocal side is his growl. This can be the funniest or most annoying noise depending on the time of day. He’ll growl when he’s excited or really enjoying himself. He also growls himself to sleep. And he also growls to resettle himself if he stirs in the middle of the night. While I suppose it’s preferable to inconsolable crying, it would have been nice if he could have discovered a different self-soothing technique – it’s like trying to sleep next to a baby lion sometimes. Usually his eyes aren’t even open. Mine, obviously, are though. Grrrrr!
Of course, all is forgiven when first thing in the morning he looks up at me all smiles, flapping his arms in delight. He is now starting to hold his arms up towards me to be picked up, which is so lovely.
He also now sits very well and is generally pretty steady on his own. One of my highlights from the last month has been how he is able to join in so well at the music group we go to on Mondays. He absolutely adores the parachute play and very happily sits on his own next to me and Little Miss and helps shake it (combined with trying to eat it, of course!). And his sister’s reaction to his new abilities is lovely too. She is delighted he is joining in with her.
We started weaning just after Christmas and, as you might guess for a boy his size, he’s taken very well to solid food. We’re probably more confident too this time around and he’s definitely progressed to three good meals a day much quicker than his sister did. She’s never been a bad eater but her first spoonfuls of baby rice were spat straight back out whereas he finished a small bowl on his first sitting!
It’s lovely that we are now able to sit together at the table for family meals and Little Miss likes to feed him the odd spoonful. She also loves to feed her beloved dolly in the highchair she got for Christmas. In fact, so much of her play at the moment seems to be inspired by what her baby brother is doing.
And despite the odd grumble, Little Miss is genuinely affectionate with him. She always likes to cuddle him before bed, often holds his hand and today at lunch I came back to find the pair of them at the table giggling at one another. So sweet and long may it last!
A few weeks ago I wrote about how our two babies were about to move beds – and shared some cute photos of them in their current sleeping quarters. Well, just over two weeks ago, we finally sorted the move. Little Miss is now sleeping in her new ‘big girl’s’ bed – quite literally as I’m writing this during afternoon nap time – and Little Mister has moved out of the crib and into the cot, freshly vacated by his sister. It’s a bad pun I know, but the move really has gone like a dream! We, for now at least, have two very happy little sleepers.
I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on making the transition from cot to bed but later on I’ll share a few observations of things that I think helped with the move.
While I always thought Little Miss would love her new bed, there had been a part of me that felt apprehensive. What if she really hated it? And would she accept seeing her baby brother now occupying the cot that had been hers for more than two years? That was a big concern because we really had to move him into it as soon as she was out. All those parenting books say this is a big no, no but he’s a big baby and his crib was becoming increasingly cramped. I did fear we could have an epic parenting fail on our hands!
But, thankfully, my fears were unfounded. Little Miss absolutely loves her new bed and has been sleeping and napping better than ever in it. Just prior to the move we’d had a run of fretful bed times but now she can’t wait to climb in and snuggle down.
She especially loves her new pillow and proper cosy duvet, something she had’t had in the cot. We got her a princess print set from Next in her favourite colour pink and she keeps telling us “my bed is so pretty!”.
We sorted her new-look room out on one of her nursery days and made it look as lovely as possible, so she returned home that day to see it all nice and ready for her. She was so excited and jumped into bed straight away for a test run.
We’ve got a stairgate on her bedroom door but so far (fingers crossed!) she’s been great at staying put. She loves snuggling down at night and will only leave the comfort of her covers once it’s morning and time to get up.
Little Mister has also been fine moving from crib to cot. He’s got a lot more room to move around now and as it’s got cooler we’ve got out the baby sleeping bags which also help him sleep more soundly. *Whispers* at the moment he’s sleeping through from about 9pm until 5 or 6am in the morning. Not bad for a three-month-old. Bit scared he might suddenly change his mind about this nice convenient arrangement!
My tips for moving a toddler from cot to bed…
– Get your toddler excited about the change. We talked a lot about how nice it would be to have a new bed in the run up to the move. I think the most important thing was that by the time it finally happened our daughter felt ready and had expressed how keen she was to have a ‘big girl’s bed’.
– Help you little one know what to expect. Little Miss has two slightly older cousins who were already in toddler beds so we were able to show her their beds. As she looks up to her cousins this also helped fuel her enthusiasm too.
– There’s quite a lot to buy – more than you might first think – so it does take a bit of planning ahead for a smooth transition. Certain items will need to be ordered and may take a few weeks to arrive as well – we had the bed itself weeks before the mattress was delivered. We then needed to buy a toddler bed sized duvet, pillow, a couple of duvet cover and pillow case sets, fitted sheets and a couple of mattress protectors.
– Cover appeal is key! We got two sets from Next which were reasonably priced – the one a bargain at £12 and the other is reversible so we effectively have three designs for the price of two. So far they’ve washed well and Little Miss loves the pretty designs.
– Don’t make it too different. We kept the bed in the same position in the room as the cot had been and moved all the toys she usually had into the new bed so it was still familiar.
– Think carefully about whether or not you need to have a rail. We had bought a rail to go on the side of the new bed but decided against using it at the last minute. Once it was installed it kind of ruined the effect of having a new ‘big girl’ bed – the one we got had wooden bars like her cot – and we strongly suspected our daughter would hate this. So far she hasn’t fallen out of bed and even if she did the bed is not very high up.
– And as with most toddler behaviour that you want to encourage, heap on the praise!
The last week has seen a bustle of activity and deliveries arriving that confirm yet another new milestone will very shortly be reached by the two little people in our house.
A toddler bed is now stashed in our garage while we await the arrival of its accompanying mattress. Alongside it is a new cot mattress. Hidden away in my bedroom cupboard is the pretty, if not ever-so-slightly-sickly, pink princess duvet set that Little Miss can’t wait to get her hands on. A second woodland themed set is on its way. And the much less exciting mattress protectors arrived this morning.
Big changes are afoot. Little Miss will soon leave behind the cot that has been her sleeping place for more than two years. And Little Mister, at ten weeks old and on the 98th percentile for height, is fast outgrowing the crib he’s occupied since the beginning of July. The same crib that his older sister slept in for the first four months of her life.
It’s hard to imagine Little Miss now as that tiny baby, much smaller than her brother, sleeping next to me in that little wooden crib. She will soon have her eagerly anticipated ‘big girl bed’and Little Mister will be able to enjoy the extra space of his big sister’s old cot.
It will feel like the end of an era. I’m not sure which move is more emotional. Once the crib goes away it could be for the last time. We haven’t yet decided whether we’d have one more child or not but realistically speaking it seems unlikely at the moment. So this could be the end of all things newborn.
And then there’s Little Miss leaving the ‘babyness’ of her cot behind. She’s always been on the small side, so we never had any worries about her being able to climb out of the cot – she still can’t now. The move to a bed, all-be-it a little toddler one, reminds me how grown up she is becoming, how every day she becomes a little bit more independent, less baby and more little girl. It’s lovely to see but at the same time nobody likes time to pass too quickly. She’ll be a teenager before we know it!
We’re hoping the transition will be a smooth one. I’m not too worried about Little Mister. His sister was fine when she moved up from crib to cot and their temperaments so far have been pretty similar. Hopefully he won’t notice the little teeth marks Little Miss kindly added for him at one end quite recently!
Little Miss is the one I’m more apprehensive about. She seems excited about having a new bed but toddler’s are unpredictable little creatures with a talent for changing their minds. She’s always been a good sleeper so I’m praying she can retain this good habit, not least because our nights are already broken by the feeding needs of her brother.
Again he’s pretty good and we’re generally down to one middle-of-the-night feed now but I have to confess I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to lost sleep. I know I have it so much easier than many parents do but even that single one hour wake-up in the early hours can still knock me for six some days.
Only time will tell whether or not, given her new-found freedom, Little Miss will become a night-time wanderer!
If anyone has any tips for making the transition from cot to bed then I’d love to hear them!
In my ‘happy place’ in the shower the other day I found my mind wandering, as usual, and got thinking about all the lovely little things my two children have said (the toddler not the baby!) or done lately. Those precious, magic moments that have made me smile, laugh or feel truly blessed. It’s so easy for these things to become a distant memory so I thought I should write them down so they don’t get forgotten – I have most of my better ideas in the shower!
1. Little Miss currently loves to say “see you later alligator…” when she’s saying goodbye. She also says the second bit for you but instead of saying “in a while” it comes out as “in a ‘pile’ crocodile!”
2. Little Mister has this cute and very noisy waking up ritual. He’ll grunt and shift around a lot, sometimes fart (sorry!), then stretch and screw his little face up. He can do this for a good ten to fifteen minutes before properly opening his eyes. It’s fascinating to watch!
3. Little Miss is desparate to do everything “all by myself” at the moment and given half a chance loves going into her room and getting ready to go out. Trouble is she usually emerges dressed entirely inappropriately, often with winter hat, mittens and big cardigan regardless of it being 30 degrees outside. But she does it with such pride!
4. Little Mister, who really isn’t that little at all, likes his milk and doesn’t like a delay in it being delivered to him. Pick him up when he’s feeling peckish and he’ll pound his little fists on my chest.
5. Little Miss came home from nursery a few weeks ago having learnt a new song, ‘Hop Little Bunnies’. It was one I wasn’t familiar with, and in fact I didn’t even realise it was a song at all to start with. But then I typed it into You Tube and played this video and Little Miss’s face lit up. “Like nursery” she said. And now we love playing the song to her while she hops (kind of) around the room being a little bunny.
6. Little Mister has really started smiling more these last few weeks. It’s lovely to see him becoming more responsive to us and, like any parents, his little grin makes it all worthwhile.
7. Little Miss pretending to ‘do ballet’. This has mainly been inspired by an episode of Peppa Pig and Angelina Ballerina.
8. Little Mister’s new baby smell. Everyone always says it but that newborn aroma is so addictive – warm, milky and sweet.
9. Little Miss has this funny way of saying ‘please’. She seems to take on this strange accent, which can be slightly annoying but endearing at the same time. It comes out as “yeah playse”! If it’s not that then she says “peas” like the vegetable!
10. Little Mister is just starting to find his voice now, making proper noises. We have little ‘conversations’ with him, primarily based around him saying “oh”! I just love the way it sounds – so small and completely innocent. And I love the look of concentration on his little face as he works hard to form new sounds.
If you’ve got kids, then I’d love to hear what cute little things they’re doing at the moment.