More Autumnal Fun and kicking up leaves – 17-18 months

The clue is in the title really but Monkey loves kicking up leaves! My regime of making sure I tire him out enough to nap well and sleep well is working and involves a lot of time wandering about outdoors.  Actually I think that was just a blip as his naps are basically back to normal now, yay! Sorry, sidetracked, yes lots of time walking outdoors. When my mum (Nanny) and I first showed him kicking up the leaves he looked at us like we had gone mad, but lately he loves it! As you can see in the pictures :)

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Not much else to say about it is there really! So cute though! In fact I am finding this to be such a cute age. I have pretty much thought that at every age but his personality is really developing now and he is such a funny little monkey. He’s playing so much more independently, babbling away constantly (though still no words) and just chuckles and grins all the time!

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Dropping daytime naps at 17 months??? Nooooooo!

Monkey has been worrying me slightly this week. For a while now we have had an awesome routine, where we are busy all morning and then he naps really well in the afternoon. (And I can get some jobs done, or blog or rest etc.) The amount of time he sleeps can fluctuate quite a bit, but apart from the odd occasion where he only sleeps for 40 mins, he generally sleeps for a good hour and a half at the very least, and most of the time it’s more like 2 and a half hours! Which is amazing. He always sleeps really well overnight too, generally from 7.15 to about 6.30/7am. Sometimes he is still randomly awake (and happy) in his cot at like 8pm, but not often and he usually sorts himself out.

Anyway, it started at the weekend, and on Saturday afternoon he went to bed (seemingly tired) at around 1.45 ish, which is pretty normal, but then didn’t actually go to sleep until nearly 2.40. He was perfectly happy, chattering and giggling so I didn’t worry and he did sleep in the end, it just meant we had to wake him up at 4.30 so it didn’t mess up night time. Anyway then on Sunday, he went for his nap, but DIDN’T SLEEP AT ALL!! Me no likey! He was perfectly happy the whole time, and we kept hoping he would go off to sleep, so he was up there for nearly 2 hours! I guess he was resting at the least but the worrying thing for me was that he was happy the whole time and happy all evening, in other words, he can cope without a daytime nap, WHAT???!!!!

Ok, so I know I am lucky with the routine we have had. It wasn’t always so easy, we did the Ferber progressive wait when he was three months old and it changed our lives, he became a brilliant sleeper. I know it isn’t for everyone and for a long time we didn’t want to try it, but it absolutely worked for us. Anyway, I also know that at some point he isn’t going to need to nap during the day any more and I will have to cope with him being awake all day. But, I have really been hoping that it won’t be for some time yet. I was hoping that in 6 months to a year, when he is happier playing more independently, and using his imagination at playtime, and basically not needing my input or help as much, then I will be able to cope with the no more daytime naps. But 17-18 months seems so early!! I also in the back of my mind thought that no more naps, may coincide with playgroup or something 1 or 2 afternoons a week, but we will see.

All week has been up and down but it has pretty much taken him ages to get to sleep everyday, although Monday and Tuesday he did sleep. Yesterday however, he did it again! No sleep! Just chatting and happy in his cot for about 2 hours. We both got a rest obviously and who knows maybe he did doze a bit, but it’s concerning me a lot. We had had quite an easy day though as his grandparents came round and we were nattering and chatting a lot. So maybe he just wasn’t tired enough?

I took to my good friend Google and searched various forums online and found other mums in the same situation. Some whose children dropped their naps at around this age and never slept in the day again (Yipes!) others where it was just a phase and they carried on putting them down and they just started napping in the day again. (Please please please)

I have decided I am not going to let him drop his naps without a fight, this may seem selfish, but seriously how can he go from a 2 1/2 hour sleep to 0?? No way. So today I have been on a mission to tire him out! We have been out at the shops without the buggy. Interesting and I got laughed at by a passer by when I was trying out a ‘look, don’t touch’ method, but otherwise it was fine and we had fun.

Then after lunch we went for a walk to a local play park. Normally we go in the buggy and it takes about 10 mins to get there. At Monkey speed it took us 40 minutes! Was fun though, and we had a short play at the park then I wanted to come home before he got too tired. I failed in this though as his poor little legs were far too tired for the journey home! I don’t blame him because my legs are tired too! I managed to get him to walk about half way but then had to carry him the rest, and boy is he heavy now!! We came in and started to play a little but he was getting very easily frustrated, which is a clear sign of tiredness with him.

So up he went to bed and after just a couple of minutes chattering he is fast asleep! Phew! So clearly I need to tire him out more to keep this nap, we shall see how it goes. When did your little ones drop daytime naps? How did you cope?

 

 

Busy busy bees, walking, teething and more baby classes

Phew, so it has been a while since my last post and though there has been lots I have wanted to write I do not seem to have had the time!

It was my 30th birthday this week so last weekend we had the monkey stay at my mum’s so that we could have a big party to send off my twenties. I had friends coming from all over the place, including Edinburgh and Malta so there was a lot of advance preparation to be done and we had practice runs for monkey to stay with the grandparents. Despite all this though Monkey was not a happy bunny when I tried to put him to bed at their house and knew something was up so it all got off to a very stressful start with lots of crying (and not just from him :( ). He went off to sleep in the end though and after one or two drinks to calm down the party was fantastic and I felt very lucky to have such lovely friends.

Monkey was also very happy the next morning playing with his grandparents so although I was filled with guilt, I am sure it didn’t do him any harm for one night. That said though he has been really clingy this week, but also just very fragile, mainly because of his teething! Grr! His back teeth are coming through and it is certainly throwing him through a loop! He is really tired but also can’t seem to sleep for very long, so there was me boasting about his long naps in my last post! Tsk! I should have known better!!

So it has been a busy couple of weeks, and we returned to tumble tots on Tuesday but also started a new class on Wednesday which is called Music for Little People, and well the clue is in the title it is all about music for little people :) It was quite a busy class with a bit more of a variety of age ranges between 0-2 so he wasn’t the youngest in the class but there was still a fair few older than him. Anyway as I have mentioned before Monkey loves music and he seemed to really enjoy the class so we shall be going back there on a regular basis I think :)

Then on Thursday we met some of my other friends with little ones at a local park to play and enjoy the sunshine which was just lovely and hopefully we will have a summer of nice weather so we can play outdoors a lot :)

The big news of the week really was that on Thursday afternoon Monkey took a great leap forward with his walking abilities! He took his first steps a few weeks ago then seemed to lose his nerve, but on Thursday when Daddy got in from work we had a really good game of him walking backwards and forwards across the living room to mummy then to daddy then to mummy etc etc, with us extending the gap over time. He had so much fun and we just loved it! I’m sure all mummies feel that pride when their little one really starts going for it and getting more independent! Scary though it is! So now he has been doing more and more unaided walks which is lovely, although I now am rethinking child safety again and am terrified what he will now be able to get up to when I leave the room! So yes, scary but exciting!

But sadly he has got really poorly in the last 24 hours and is currently having a good long sleep. We think it’s his teeth but really, when they are babies do you ever really know 100% what is bothering them? He has a slight temperature but is just really unhappy though doesn’t seem poorly particularly. He’s rubbing his ear, but he rubs his ears all the time to signal tiredness, hunger, boredom etc. so well, who knows! Obviously getting lots of love and cuddles (and calpol as necessary) but just pleased that he is sleeping as he didn’t have a good night at all the poor thing! Fingers crossed he gets better soon!

Loving the long naps and cheeky development!

Tuesday of last week was a very trying day, but I thought I would share that Tuesday of this week was a looovely day :)

To start off we were going to Monkey’s first ever experience of Tumble tots. Now, I love being a stay at home mummy, but I also feel that I need to get out of the house with him most days, if not every day. Otherwise I go a bit stir crazy and also I find that he gets quite bored of the same toys when we are at home all day with no variety. He’s a very inquisitive little monkey and likes people and places and new things.

We spend a lot of our time visiting family and friends and other kiddies but now that he is down to one nap a day we have much more time to fill. This has led me to looking at some mum and baby class type things that we can do to entertain him. Tumble tots immediately sprang to mind. Now he has taken his first steps in the last few weeks but has gone a bit scared with it the last week or so and is very much clinging to mummy to walk again, which is fine he’ll do it in his own time. But the classes at Tumble tots are 6 months-walking and walking to 2 years, so I wasn’t sure which to take him to! The decision was made for me as the nearest location to me aren’t running the younger class at the moment so we went to walking-2. He was the youngest there I would say and couldn’t do a lot of the things but he was really loving it, running around all over the place (dragging mummy with him – he really doesn’t need me just hasn’t got the confidence yet) yelling happily.

I’m always a bit nervous of these places too and the other mummies, wondering whether there is any cliques, are they gonna be judgemental etc, but nope, they all seemed very nice, and the same as me, running around after their slightly more mobile toddlers! There was a few other new mums too and everyone seemed as nervous of each other as I was, but it was all nice and friendly.

Anyway the reason I am telling you about this is that that afternoon, monkey had a lovely long nap. 2 3/4 hours long! It was amazing!! I got so much done!

I baked some lovely oat and raisin biscuits, did some yoga (my latest thing in an attempt to tighten the wobbles) changed our bed, got washing out on the line, hoovered downstairs, perused the internet for a bit, looked at hotels for a girly weekend I am going on in a few months, emailed some friends and on and on and on! It was amazing!!

By the time he woke up it was nearly 4! Most of the afternoon was gone and he was so well rested and happy that we had so much fun! He is such a cheeky monkey though, we sat in the sunshine in the garden for a bit and he kept picking daisies (and trying to eat them, d’oh!) so played a bit of back forth, you know, hand out, can mummy have it, and he was so cute, he’d go to put it in my hand, then snatch it back giggling and shaking his head! So funny, I dunno where he has got that from but such a cheeky monkey.

He’s developed a funny little chuckle this week all of a sudden and now just sits and chuckles to himself sometimes, which is so cute. We were walking along in the buggy the other day and a car drove past, then disappeared behind a huge roundabout and when it came out the other side, monkey had a right chuckle!

Anyway I will stop gushing now! I have also been busy crocheting and made some adorable little booties and a hat for my friend, more info and pictures to follow soon!

Naps..when 2 becomes 1

We knew this day would come, though we weren’t sure when, and here it is, Monkey has dropped his morning nap and we are down to one a day. New routine time! As with everything in parenting, there are many different opinions about routines for babies. From what makes a good routine to whether to have a routine at all. I found early on that routines make both monkey and I happier. I am a planner and like to know what is in store for me. I like to be able to tell someone I will see them at a specific time and know that 9 times out of ten I will be able to stick to it. (Of course babies are people and have off days so I don’t think any routine can be 100% perfect!) He is always happier when he has eaten well and slept well.

I struggled with a lack of routine in the beginning and had no idea how to get in to a routine at all. This coincided with lots of problems with monkey’s sleeping, mainly during the day with between 3 and 5 naps a day. We ended up for a while where he would only fall asleep if he was sucking on one of our little fingers, and well as you can imagine, we couldn’t maintain that forever! When he was born we were initially 100% against the Dr Ferber progressive wait or “Cry it out” techniques but by about 3 1/2 months (after he had finally outgrown the colic) we had changed our mind and though it was horribly hard, it really worked for all of us in just a few days. It really was this that settled monkey to his routine of morning nap, afternoon nap, and bedtime at around 7.

So we have had a fairly solid routine for a good 6 or 7 months now really. I had the feeling that we were approaching a nap change as he had started waking up a lot earlier in the mornings and his naps were both a lot shorter. I was reading articles and books to see if there was any way I could help or make the change or to find out if it would happen naturally. Then one day last week, boom! No morning nap. This sounds simpler than it was as obviously being so used to the routine I went to put him down for his nap but he was chatting and giggling away, so I thought, ok, maybe you want a slightly later nap today and got him up. Eventually after a couple more tries and when he got a bit unhappier about being put in his cot, I gave up and gave him his normal post-nap feed and that was it, no nap until the afternoon.

Apart from one day where he had a very late morning nap, and then a late afternoon nap where I had to wake him up for fear he wouldn’t sleep at bedtime (mean mummy) he has done pretty well on just one nap a day, though he now naps pretty much straight after lunch and is pretty dozy before lunchtime bless him.

In many ways, no morning nap is a good thing. There are some baby groups I would like to take him to that I haven’t before because they were slap bang in the middle of nap time, which we can of course now go to. His sleep in general has settled down, he’s no longer waking up at 530am every day, and he has a good two hour nap in the afternoon. But man, the long awake time in the morning is exhausting! I definitely need to find some new ways of keeping him entertained and I think the baby groups will help, although of course being easter holidays they aren’t on at the moment!

I also need to find time for housework. I know I now have 2 hours in the afternoon but I really am tired by then so don’t want to be spending the whole two hours cleaning! Whereas up until now I have basically had his awake time as playtime, now he is going to have to help with some chores I think, in the loosest sense of the word of course! So far he has stood and helped pull some wet clothes out of the washing machine. Unfortunately when trying to get him to help put clothes in the machine, he would much rather pull them out, but hey it’s a start! He also enjoys a nice ride in the laundry basket with the wet clothes to get to the airer.

When I get the dustbuster out he does like it, especially if he gets a little hoover kiss on his tummy through his clothes. He likes trying to grab it, but so far hasn’t actually helped in any way! As long as he’s happy when I’m dong chores is the main thing as I am going to have to find time to do them when he is awake from now on! My mother in law said that the boys liked helping her do the dusting so maybe when he’s a bit bigger I’ll give that a try! How do you manage to get chores done with the baby awake?