How To Deal With A Fussy Toddler At Dinner Time

How To Deal With A Fussy Toddler At Dinner Time

Since my eldest was old enough to walk he has always been very particular about things. His cars had to be lined up exactly the right way, he hated any change in his routine and dinner time was just as hard. Then, being turned into a fussy toddler and it started to get really hard.

 

At first, he couldn’t eat foods with certain textures, then it progressed onto, he didn’t like it when one food would get mixed into another. For example, he couldn’t eat bread, pasta, minced beef because he didn’t like the texture. This then progressed into him refusing to eat anything but chicken and chips. I spent so much time agonising and worrying about him. When I finally took him to our local weigh-in clinic and he wasn’t at the weight he should be I knew something needed to change. I spoke to the health visitor and she gave me some brilliant tips that have really helped and those are the tips I would love to share with you now.

 

Don’t make dinner time a battle!

When sitting your little one down for dinner and set the boundaries. For example, “If you eat all of your dinner you can have pudding.” or “ I really would like you to try some of ___, if you do you can have a pudding.” Make it clear that if they don’t eat their dinner that they don’t get a pudding. This gives them a reason to try new food or to eat all of their meals. As hard as it is, make sure you stick to it! When they ask to get down make it clear once more that they won’t be getting a pudding and then let them get down.

 

Give them a multivitamin with Iron

I must admit that I struggled to get a kid’s multivitamin with iron in it for a child until 10 but I did manage to find a bottle of flavored chewable ones from ASDA. Click here to go to the ones I use. I was told by my health visitor that if a child is anemic it can suppress their appetite. I will admit that I have seen a difference in his willingness to sit at the table and eat something. He also loves these. We call them his magic sweet because they make him big and strong.

Use plates that separate foods

I found this to also be a brilliant idea. This helped reduce his anxiety about food touching which then helped him enjoy dinner time. There are some really expensive ones, but I just got these to try. We got two pack just over a year ago and have only had to throw away one. These are brilliant! Click here to go to the ones we use!

Get them involved in making the meal

I got my eldest involved in cooking school at pre-school. Each week they spend time making meals and baking. He absolutely loves it. I know that not all schools and nurseries offer this, but this is something you can do at home yourself.

 

I simply brought a set of children safety knives from Amazon. These knives are made so that they cut through food like apples effortlessly, but if your child runs it along their arm it doesn’t break the skin.

We love both getting up together and cooking. He has been taught, how to safely use this knife and he loves being able to get involved. It then makes him excited to try foods as he is cooking and to sit down and eat the meal after. Click here to look at the safety knives.

 

When they do eat a meal or try something new make it a big deal!

This can be done in whatever way you choose! You can clap, cheer, do a dance, call a family member and get them to tell them or all of the above! I loved seeing the happiness and excitement on his face when we got him to show everyone his plate! We also used a star chart for a while, it all depends on what is best for your child. Now when he does eat his meal he comes running over with his plate!

There is something I really want to reassure you of, YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME!

I spent nights lying awake worrying wondering what I could have done wrong and what I could do to change things. Once children get to a certain age, they like to test their abilities of control and they also like to test the boundaries (as I’m sure we all know too well). It’s normal for children to be fussy about food. It’s nothing to do with whether or not you’re a good parent. The fact that you care enough to be reading this post shows that you’re a good parent!

Guest Post by Jade Wilson.

 

Self-Care Tips throughout Pregnancy

Self-Care Tips throughout Pregnancy

Looking after yourself once falling pregnant is super important! Your body goes through some amazing changes but woah is it a rollercoaster…from beautiful, luscious hair to nausea (feeling sick from the smell of your own perfume)…it REALLY is HARD work.

Here, are a few tips that could help your journey to motherhood, be a smoother one.

 

Getting Mentally Ready

Antenatal Classes

Having a baby takes two, so I was adamant that my husband attended the essentials antenatal NCT classes with me. We specially chose a couples class and it was a great way to meet new parents-to-be and 5 years on, we still keep in touch. The course prepared you for labour, the different birthing plans that you could have and it was a great place to ask questions freely without judgement.

https://www.nct.org.uk/courses-workshops/nct-essentials-antenatal-course

Reading

I was fortunate to be given The New Contented Little Baby Book, by Gina Ford, by a friend and so when I was expecting my first, I would do a little bedtime reading. I know Gina Ford stirs up mixed emotions about the way she suggests routines etc, but I simply adjusted routines to fit my babies. Put it this way, both my babies were sleeping 12 hours straight by 7 months old, so a happy mama meant a happy household!

It’s fantastic to have some guidelines and I would regularly refer to the book about anything for reassurance. This book made motherhood an easy and enjoyable experience. She is so right, if baby is well fed, nappy changed, regular sleep time and cuddles/kisses, you end up with one happy baby!!

Wearing the right clothes

I can seriously write a completely separate blog on maternity clothing, but have decided on the things that I could not live without.

Maternity/Nursing Bras

I am all for making the most of your purchases and these maternity/nursing bras are amazing. Not only can you wear them during pregnancy, they double up as breastfeeding bras too. These are soft and come with padding so you have a choice to have it or not. The straps are wider than normal, which I liked and the back is designed for great support let alone being able to nurse in them. The material stretched for when my milk came in- making them super comfortable.

 

Maternity Leggings

These over-the-bump leggings were a must for both my pregnancies. They are super comfy and made of a thick material, so, you no need to worry about them being see-through. They are great for lounging around in but look fab with a pair of heels and a blouse.

 

Dealing with nausea

Sea Bands

Urggghhh! one of THE side effects of being pregnant, I definitely did NOT enjoy! I suffered with nausea and sickness with both my children. Apart from not eating (ha…not an option), you are seriously restricted. My husband is a doctor, and I remember him mention Sea bands to me and how they may help…I had no idea what they were, but was ready to give anything a try.

He bought me these ones and they definitely helped me. I would pop them on as soon as I woke up and removed them before bed. I noticed that the sickly feeling I would normally have in the day had gone, so I was able to go and do my job (teacher) with ease. They are comfortable to wear and easily hide under a long sleeve top. Best of all, it’s a drug-free solution, which no further side effects-yay!

 

Ginger Biscuits

Ginger is a plant and is well known as a spice and flavouring. It is also used in many cultures as a traditional remedy for many ailments, including reducing nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women. I don’t know if eating ginger biscuits helped me, but they definitely made for a handy snack, when I got hungry in the middle of the night.

 

Eating better

This one goes without saying, although not technically true…you are eating for two…means a better balanced diet is important for both you and little bub. But lets face it, there will be days when you just crave chocolate or cake or anything that YOU know you shouldn’t be having. To have some guilt-free pleasure I always made sure I took additional vitamin supplements.

I personally liked these ones, as they were easy to take and didn’t leave me feeling bloaty as did other brands.

 

To further support my immune system, especially as my second was a spring baby, and being pregnant over the winter was no fun, I took folic acid supplements too. Not only does it support your immune system, it’s great for your general wellbeing too.

 

Sleeping better

As you progress through your pregnancy, it gets increasingly difficult to get a good nights sleep. I saw so many pillows that are specific for sleeping but I decided to use a normal pillow to rest my bump on and that worked fine for me. I also bought this maternity pillow whilst pregnant. This worked great a sturdy back rest/to prop my feet up when they swelled up.

 

After my babies were born, I used IT over several stages of their growth.

  • ✅ SUCCESSFUL BREAST FEEDING: It helps the mother during breastfeeding.
  • ✅ RIGHT POSITIONING DURING THE FEED : Supports the newborn in the correct position. So baby can attach properly to your breasts. In this way it reduces tension and pain near the nipples.
  • ✅ RELAX AFTER THE FEED : In the first few months of life, the pillow helps the baby to stay in the correct position even after feeding. This can avoid the risk of regurgitation and facilitate digestion.
  • ✅ LEARN TO CRAWL AND SIT : In the first 6 months, the newborn develops and strengthens the muscles of the back and neck. It will also help to keep the baby’s balance while sitting. 
  • ✅ 100% COTTON REMOVABLE AND WASHABLE PILLOWCASE : The pillowcase is 100% cotton, completely removable and machine washable 30°. 

Managing skin care

Dry Skin

With both my pregnancies, I got random days of itchy, dry skin. I found that this cocoa butter cream was fantastic at soothing it. I loved the fact that it wasn’t oily, so it seeped into your skin, leaving it silky smooth. Oh, and it smells yummy!

 

  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is a rich & luxurious daily body lotion which locks in moisture & provides deep hydration.
  • For normal to dry to extra dry skin. This emollient rich lotion effectively softens and relieves, leaving skin smooth, supple and beautifully nourished.
  • This velvety soft formula absorbs quickly, creating a protective barrier that locks in moisture.
  • Dermatologist recommended

Stretch Marks

Some women are more prone to getting stretch marks than others. Mine were not bad but put it this way, I was not about to put on a bikini any time soon! If you are looking for a natural herbal remedy to get rid of stretch marks, then have a look at my blog post here.

I hope you have found this post useful. I would love to hear your thoughts on it- why not drop me a comment.

Tried & Tested Ways To Get Your Toddler to Poop

Tried & Tested Ways To Get Your Toddler to Poop

Is your toddler ready to be potty trained?

Are you recognising the signs that they are ready?

How do you prepare/what do you buy?

If you are thinking YES! YES! and YES! Then have a read here, where I talk through exactly what I did with both my children. They were ready in 3 DAYS!

Now, I consider myself very lucky as both my children ‘got’ weeing and pooping with no problems. So, when I hear family and friends tell me that their toddler can wee but, just does NOT get, going for a poop- I found it hard to give any meaningful advice.

That is, until NOW…

 

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information read my disclosure page.

Tips From Mamas Who Have Been There and Done That…

Consistency

Lindsey – My son cried saying he didn’t want to poop in the potty! He was 4 and we tried everything from new underwear and sticker charts to promising him a trip to see his beloved Thomas the Train if he would just poop in the potty. But he refused. I finally called his pediatrician who suggested we try having him sit on the potty for 5 -10 minutes 3 times a day at set times. So we sat on the potty after breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a timer and his tablet. And it worked wonderfully! We’ve had a few accidents here and there but mostly just success! bantermama.com

Erica – Any accidents that the child may have say “no we don’t pee or poop on the floor” then take them straight to the potty and tell them this is where we pee and poop. Eventually it will stick and they will learn.

Time & Space

Stephanie – We STRUGGLED with my youngest until I figured out that she just wanted to be left alone to do the deed! So our little code was that if she asked for “pwivacy” I would just step outside the bathroom and wait for her to squeeze in peace. ???? Whatever works!! mommystandardtime.com

Jennifer – If you are able, and not on a time crunch, I think waiting until three years old might make for a much more enjoyable transition from diapers to big kid undies. https://formodernkids.com/3-proven-potty-training…/

Katie – When my daughter was little, she would NOT poop on the potty no matter how much we encouraged her. We tried lollipops, toys, had a potty timer and a chart. But the final thing that worked? We gave her a basket of books and simply said, “take your time”. And that was it! She would go to the potty and flip through a book, but on her terms! https://themerrykate.com

Getting Ready

Niki – We gradually worked toward pooping in the potty by allowing her to poop in a diaper in the bathroom. Then in a diaper on the potty. And finally when she really had to go we had her sit on the potty normally until she went https://www.tootsmomistired.com/potty-train-stubborn-3…/

Josephine – This is what we did! She did great. Read, Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki. She literally changed my entire thought process on how a child should be potty trained. ???? https://betterasus.com/how-to-potty-train/

Distraction

Danielle – What we did at my day care was use bubbles (candles at home too). Kids can’t hold in bowels or urine when blowing, so it forces a release if they are holding it in. ????‍

Rewards

Erin – What brought my son around was good old fashioned bribery. If he pooped in the toilet without accidents for 7 days he got a big expensive toy. We were all set in around 2 weeks.

Crystal – With my two oldest, I used good old bribery. But it worked! My youngest is 1 so I’ll be there again soon ???? lol. I can’t remember what we used to bribe my daughter, but for my son it was a new Mario Bros. Plushie!

Julie – My daughter used to all of a sudden want to play in her room and pooped within 2 minutes of being up there. I had to bribe her with being able to go to school since other prizes didn’t work anymore ????

Jessica – I made a reward kit for my son, stickers that lead to a prize. It was very motivating for my son. For us, it was about setting the behaviour specifically and then positive reinforcement.

Mallory – My son asked to in the potty at 25 months- this was after a failed attempt to potty train him at 22 months before his little sister was born. He did great with pee but poop was hard. We did the Oh Crap! Potty Training method, and I had to go against their suggestion of no rewards for poop. It was still occasionally and he fought hard against it. He had been begging for a train set and so I promised the Easter Bunny (closest next holiday) would bring it of he pooped in the potty. It worked. He started going in the potty as soon as I made the promise! He got his train set and we had no regressions! Leading up to the train set, he still got his sweets and stickers, which lost their appeal after about 2 weeks. We also found a song on you tube (The Poo Poo Song) to be helpful also!

Elisabeth – My son went once on the potty with no issue but then seemed to decide going in his nap time/overnight pull-up was preferable. He loves Thomas so we showed him the train he’d get if he pooped on the potty again like a big boy. Took a few days of reminding him of the train he was missing by going in his pull-up and last week it seemed to click. He has been going on the potty- and collecting trains since.

Ashley – We got a treasure chest, filled it with prizes and he got one every time he pooped, and it worked. On week 3 and now he only gets 1 prize per day and it’s stickers and candy. Hoping by next week, we can slowly start taking the prizes away.

Rohini – After a long ordeal and with help from day care, my son was trained on Day 4. We are in the 3rd week and bribe him with 1 M&M for pee and 2 for poop. And once he’s fully trained he gets a new bed with new sheets and pillow that he can pick…he’s super excited and has been waking up dry most days.

TRIED & TESTED WAYS TO GET YOUR TODDLER TO POOP

Have you found some inspiration? What worked for you?

DIY Herb-Infused Stretch Mark Cream

DIY Herb-Infused Stretch Mark Cream

Guest Post By Alicia at Live Joyfully Inspired

Stretch Marks happen for a variety of reasons with pregnancy being at the top of the list. The reality is these skin scars can appear at any time. A few examples are during pregnancy, with a great weight gain, and during growth spurts in children.

If you suffer from these physical blemishes, there is something you can do about it. This all-natural DIY cream is easy to make and can help minimize the appearance of the indented stretch mark streaks.

DIY HERB-INFUSED STRETCH MARK CREAM

Stretch mark treatment can vary with the only real cure being surgical removal. For most of us, this isn’t an option either because we can’t afford it or just don’t want to.

Fortunately, there are home remedies that can help fade out the grooves, indentations, or fine lines that show up unexpectedly on our skin. This DIY herb-infused cream is one of them. It’s a topical stretch mark cream made with nourishing ingredients that are easy to find.

Further, this lightweight cream soaks in the skin quickly. Not to mention, this all-natural formula has been created while keeping in mind breastfeeding moms.

What are stretch marks exactly?

Typically, stretch marks appear when the skin has been stretched too quickly such as in the cases of pregnancy, weight gain, or growth spurts affecting boys, girls, men, and women. Essentially, the skin’s collagen (protein in connective tissue) production gets disrupted by overstretching causing scars.

When the skin is stretched beyond its limits, it creates grooves, indents, and ugly marks. These lines come from the excessive “stretching” and rupture of the elastic fibers.

In the case of pregnancy, most moms will tell you they wouldn’t trade the stretch marks for anything in the world because it meant their precious one was growing. That being said, stretch marks can affect your confidence.

Being a mom of two, my stretch marks are small and happen to be white and minor but if there’s a way to naturally get rid of them, you bet I’m going to try. So, I made this cream to try and combat the flawed skin and while it’s only been a few weeks, there has been some definite improvement in the overall appearance.

The Goodness Inside

This formula contains three amazing herbs, each with their own advantageous benefits, as well as Grapeseed oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax.

The first herb you’ll find is Calendula. Calendula is known to aid in the healing of wounds as well as improve the appearance of skin. It’s considered an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.

Next, we have Lavender. This has to be one of my most favorite herbs to use for every day. Lavender is a natural purifier and has the ability to minimize scars and improve skin condition. It’s been used for acne, fight wrinkles, and it’s an anti-inflammatory.

The third powerful herb in this stretch mark cream is Rosemary. Rosemary is a natural disinfectant, it promotes circulation of the skin, and provides moisture. It’s an excellent herb for rejuvenation and contains high antioxidants.

I chose grapeseed oil as the carrier oil in the recipe for several reasons. This potent oil is absorbed quickly into the skin. It has many vitamin-rich benefits with Vitamin E being one of them. Vitamin E has fantastic anti-aging properties. In addition, Grapeseed oil contains Omega-6 fatty acid as well as helpful antioxidants.

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter are both incredibly emollient with Shea butter containing Vitamins A, E, and F as well as providing UV protection. Shea butter has essential fatty acids and nutrients necessary for collagen production.

Cocoa butter is one of the amazing ingredients that smells so yummy, you kinda want to eat it. It has been used in stretch mark treatments for years with for good reason. Cocoa Butter is actually an edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean (If you plan to ingest this product, I recommend buying it from a reputable source).

What makes it an exceptional skin remedy is the high amount of fatty acids, which like Shea butter, help with collagen production. And when we are trying to minimize the appearance of stretch marks, we definitely want that cell turnover!

Moreover, cocoa butter can help smooth wrinkles, scars and other marks.

Last but not least, we have beeswax. Beeswax is a natural anti-bacterial product produced by honey bees. It helps to thicken this cream as well as seal in moisture. It creates a barrier locking in the goodness from our herb-infused oil while still allowing the skin to breathe.

A Few Notes

There are a few things I’d like to mention regarding this stretch mark cream. The ingredients chosen have been researched as being safe and effective for nursing mothers but I am not a doctor nor aromatherapist so please consult your doctor for a professional opinion.

If you prefer a vegan alternative to beeswax, I recommend Candellila wax at about half the amount.

That being said, I formulated this cream to be quickly absorbed and very lightweight. Should you desire a thicker cream, just increase the amount of wax. I would start with 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

If you don’t have Shea butter, Mango butter would make an excellent substitute as it has many incredible benefits too!

Make sure the container you choose is ceramic or plastic and the one you want to keep the cream in as it can be difficult to transfer to another container.

Let’s Make Some Stretch Mark Cream

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Infused-Grapeseed Oil (Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Butter
  • 1/8 cup Beeswax
  • 2 Tbsp Shea Butter

Directions

  1. Infuse herbs into Grapeseed oil. (If you don’t know how to do this, please check out this article from The Herbal Academy.)
  2. Add all ingredients to a double boiler on low heat and allow to melt completely stirring with wooden stick or skewer as necessary.
  3. Carefully pour into your chosen container and allow to harden. Use caution as the liquid does get hot. Apply once or twice daily.

DIY HERB-INFUSED STRETCH MARK CREAM

That’s all there is to it. A simple herbal remedy for those unwanted blemishes that appear without warning on our skin. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, please let me know if you have any questions.

I’d like to say thanks once again to my gracious host for the opportunity to guest post on her blog. Thank you Justonemommysview.

Have a blessed day

A Simple Guide To Sleep Training Your Baby

A Simple Guide To Sleep Training Your Baby

Before I go into what worked for me (and both my children), can I just say, that I totally get that sleep training is not for everyone. Some parents find their own way that works for their family. I found mine and I hope it can help you 🙂

So let me set the scene…

Both my babies were sleeping for longer stretches at night, having a feed or two and going back down with little fuss. I felt like I was getting a handle on things and actually almost smug about it!

We had a good bedtime routine and I continued to do what I was doing, so couldn’t figure out what had changed. I reached out to several parenting Facebook groups and that’s when I heard about the 4 month SLEEP REGRESSION!!

After a bit of reading around, all I could remember was that the 4 month regression was a permanent change in your babies sleep pattern…so feeding, cuddling or rocking to sleep would ALWAYS happen.

I had to do something.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information read my disclosure page.

Sleep Training preparation

At this point, my babies slept in our room. Hubby and I decided to move them in to their nursery. Their bedroom was perfectly suited to getting a good nights rest (see what I did here).

To help my babies get used to their new room, I would let them lie in the cot and play, in the day and we also started to do the bedtime routine there too. I would like to think, that it helped them familiarise themselves to their surroundings so when we did eventually want them to sleep there, it wouldn’t be as scary.

I read about sleep training and there were several different ways, some stated that they would be quick and others took the longer approach. We (yep, I got hubby involved- read on to find out why) decided to go with the quicker, cry-it-out method. I hear you gasp! Believe me, I did too, but we made it work for us. We decided to do this, when we were able to commit to:

  • Staying at home for at least 3 days.
  • Tackling day naps and night sleep, consistently.

And, once our babies were 5 months old. Just to clarify, my children are 15 months apart, so we did this with both, separately.

 

 

Sleep Training in Action

So, the day came. We got our baby ready for bed, like always. But, this time we placed her in her cot, awake, gave her a kiss goodnight and left the room.

I started the timer on my phone.

AND…

Instantaneously the crying started 🙁 I won’t lie, it was awful…I cried with her. This is where hubby came to the rescue. It was decided that he would do the sleep training (mainly because I was an emotional wreck and secondly, babies are super attached to mommy, meaning it would take much longer).

After 1 minute, hubby went in and picked our daughter up and soothed until she stopped crying, kissed her goodnight and lay her back down and left the room. She cried again as soon as she was back in her cot, but hubby still left the room.

This time we waited 2 minutes (arrrggghhhh!) and hubby repeated the steps. Then waited 4 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 10 minutes. After that we stuck with 10 minute intervals. Our baby cried but she was not in pain. Still, it wasn’t easy. It is not for every family, so please do not take any offence. Our children are now 4 and 3 years old and the happiest of children.

We waited a total of 45 minutes until she fell asleep. The next day, we decided to tackle her day naps as well her bedtime and did the same method. I kept a log of how long it took her to go to sleep each time (I suppose as reminder that it was working). Each day, she went to sleep quicker and quicker and by day 4 she was falling asleep independently. She had found her thumb and would cuddle her blankie to sleep.

BUT,

Our son was completely different, we started sleep training him at 5 months old, but, honestly he whimpered for 30 seconds and fell asleep from day 1. It just shows how each child is different.

Night Waking

What if they wake up in the night, I hear you say? Both mine were still waking in the night to feed, so I would still go to their room and feed them (kept it very quiet with a dim light), after feeding I would lay them down awake and kiss them goodnight. By 6 months old, both mine were sleeping 12 hours straight and still do (unless ill). They love sleeping and wake up happy and full of energy, as do we!

I hope this post gives you some reassurance. Feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.