It feels like forever since I’ve written anything Motherhood related and so much seems to have changed over the months. Alfie is now 19 months, I had to count that out month by month using my fingers, it doesn’t feel possible. Anyway I thought I’d do a little update on where we both are at, sleeping, eating, development milestones, isn’t the early toddler stage just the sweetest! I’m finding Alfie is doing something new pretty much every day, I couldn’t be prouder however it’s important to remember every little person is unique and developing in their own way. I’ve fallen into the old comparing life to the online world trap before, I’ve doubted myself and Alf over the months… don’t do it. I now never compare my little guy and please don’t feel you have to compare your toddler with another… they are all little superstars.
Yip we are still co sleeping and yes I love it! I wrote a blogpost back in December about our co-sleeping arrangements and not much has changed since. Alfie wakes at around 6am every morning and naps for around 2 hours at midday. It’s taken well over a year but he now naps willingly, which is such a relief after months of fighting sleep. Bedtime is also just lovely at this stage. We start our bedtime routine around 6pm. We do bath, book, bottle and bed. Alfie still takes around 5 once of formula milk to go down at night, (he won’t drink cows milk at all)! I lay with him until he doses off which takes anything from around 5 to 50 minutes but I don’t mind, it isn’t forced, most often he is desperate to sleep but struggles to get comfortable, he’s so wriggly.
It’s only now at 19 months I can look forward to napping and bedtime. Until a few months back, Alfie was a cat napper which made the simplest of tasks a struggle. He would wake at least 10 times per night every night and nap for around 20 minutes in the afternoon. He was grumpy and exhausted daily and I was running on empty, co-sleeping has worked wonders for our family. At around 16 months I changed the cot to a bed in the hope that not being restricted would entice him to settle more, I gave it 4 weeks, it just didn’t work. I then moved his bed from his nursery to our room with the intention that he would stay in his own bed if he knew I was within the same room, again it wasn’t for us! Alfie now goes to sleep in our bed, he stays there the whole night, it works and we are all more energetic and happier people for it.
Can you believe at 19 months he has just 4 teeth! He manages to eat just fine with them however I do hope that more teeth will allow him to chomp away on a wider variety of foods. I found weaning at 6 months just horrendous. I was so anxious and hesitant, looking back I wish I had just gone for it! I often wonder if that’s the reason he’s not very open to try new foods, he’ll point blank refuse to put anything new in his mouth. The thing is, our home is packed full of fruit, vegetable, homegrown organic goodies. Alfie sees me eat a rainbow of foods at every mealtime yet he himself isn’t interested. A typical day for him looks like, Weetabix with strawberries for breakfast, sandwich and yoghurt for lunch, mac n cheese for dinner, his favourite snacks are bananas or cheese crackers. The thing I struggled with most was getting my head around his nutritional needs do not match mine. For example, I wouldn’t dream of having a pasta dish 3 nights on the trot but that is perfectly okay for him. We’re slowly but surely making progress. My top tips for any fussy eater is to just be consistent. Keep putting down a side of tomato with his mac n cheese, who knows this may just be the time he tries it, perhaps even likes it. Be consistent and be patient and don’t give up. Have your go to meals prepared as a back up. For example I cook a batch of pasta to last 3 dishes. I may try him with let’s say fish and potatoes at dinner, if he’s not interested (and I do a fair amount of coaxing) then it’s easy enough to heat up some pre cooked pasta and sauce. When I first tried this approach I found the whole process a little soul destroying! I’d find myself cooking 3, 4 meals a night to then be left with a hungry toddler and sink full of dishes. Food preparing is key and meal planning is great to keep one step ahead of the game. There are some fantastic Instagram accounts that I love to follow for toddler meal ideas, I’ll link them at the bottom.
I have to admit, there has been milestones that have just naturally happened, sitting up at 4 months, walking at 9 months, feeding himself at 10 months and I couldn’t be prouder. Then there are others, (the ones that keep me up at night), no teeth at 14 months, continuous waking through the night at 16 months and the latest milestone, his speech. You see, I done what I promised myself I would never do, I compared my little guy to children who I do not know but I see online, (shaking my head as I say that)! I started to panic around 16 months when my little one wasn’t saying much more than Mama and Dada. I mean his communication skills are amazing, he will point to, direct you, bring to you but he physically couldn’t say the word, (and all these other online babies could)! So I irrationally referred him to a speech and language therapist who surprisingly did see us, I mean he’s still so young. The therapist quickly and kindly reassured me that Alfie’s speech is perfectly normal for a toddler of his age. Since then I’ve relaxed a little and his speech has come on heaps. Bottle, bus, bubble, ball, he’s definitely got the hang of the ‘b’ sound, he’s even got a slight Glaswegian accent going on, it’s adorable. The point to reiterate here is to never compare. Our little people will do what they can when they can. I find I embrace our everyday together and rarely think about what is next, after all who knows, lets face it they decide what happens next we’re just here to support them along the way.
I’m just loving this stage with Alfie. Only now I can look back and appreciate just how challenging the first year of motherhood really was, I was completely exhausted, it’s all bit of a haze! Now that my little guy is much more independent, life doesn’t feel as tough and instead of just getting through the days we have so much fun together, I just love it. I love that everyday is a day to explore, this summer is the first time he’s been able to put on his wellies and go explore the garden on his own, what an adventure for him. I’m still working hard on overcoming my mum guilt and separation anxiety. I find it really difficult to do anything for me, anything without him. It’s been baby steps but I’ve found a few little tips that has helped me move in the right direction. Firstly I’ve stopped beating myself up about it, I need my baby as much as he needs me, maybe even more, and hey that’s not the end of the world. I fit in the things I love most when he sleeps, that means a 5am rise some mornings but it also means I can go a jog before he wakes, it’s a great start to the day and Alfie is none the wiser. I also make good use if any free time that I do have. That means I don’t spend hours scrolling through social media, (how easy does watching stories pass so much time), I try not to even acknowledge my phone in my free time! Instead I’ll plan out an hour of reading or some writing, whatever I enjoy but not what I need to do.
Nursery is next on the agenda for us. The grandparents fortunately look after Alfie to allow us both to work so I’ve not yet had the ‘need’ for a nursery placement. That being said I feel that it is time for Alfie to interact more with little people, I think he will love it and I think he will thrive. My thoughts are to enrol him for a half day and see how we get on from there, I’ll report back on that one. Potty training is another on the list. So far we’ve been singing ‘poo poo in the potty’ every time we pass the loo, so far he loves it, he even has his own little potty dance going on. It’s early days so any tips on potty training please do get in touch. With summer just about here I’m looking forward to days spent outdoors and lots of fun weekends away, (I also work term time so I’m absolutely buzzing about our 6 weeks together, so much time with my little guy)!
I’m so glad I eventually put this piece together… it’s been a lovely reminder of how far we’ve both came. It’s been 19 months of being a Mum and I wake up with the fullest heart and a crazy amount of gratitude every morning. Everyday is a school day for us both, I mean today I had to google ‘at what age does a baby become a toddler.’ It’s when they start to toddle/walk, who knew!
I’d love hear if your little one is at a similar stage or if anything discussed here is relevant to you, please do get in touch and promise I won’t leave it so long till our next update.
Hope you and your little ones have a wonderful day.