Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.
Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.
There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.
Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities post.
The Wonder Weeks
Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!
You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.
Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to? Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.
If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).
I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.
It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!
Mummy Confession:This week has been phenomenal, and it’s not even half over yet!
This week has been super busy, even though it’s the first week of school holidays! We haven’t left the house yet, but my goodness has a lot been happening anyway! All of my kids have huge accomplishments for the past few days, and I’m so excited for them! As for me personally, I am pretty happy with my accomplishments this week as well. I have to write it all out because it is just so much all at once! What a joy!
Little Bub has just started crawling the conventional, all-fours style (not that he wasn’t getting around before) and is well into everything! Apparently under the trampoline or train table are the spots to be for a four-wheel driver! In addition to that, he has been attempting to wave, and has actually started to eat some solid foods. We were struggling to get him to open his mouth before this. He’s a big fan of chicken.
One child is doing exceptionally with toilet training- next to no accidents! I am probably more excited about the last part, as it means less laundry for mama! I could really do with less laundry, as I have to catch up on a room full! I admit this not happening sooner has been all my fault, as I was a little daunted by the prospect of toilet training while managing an infant who is very needy and clingy! And, well, all of the lovely stories as we attempted in the past.
Lastly, and nearly five years in the making, my eldest and resident picky child has started to actually eat new foods as we started Meal Plan Monday. No word of a lie, I was shocked that she finished her portion of peas the first night, and a portion of meat the following night! We still do her meal a little differently, but I am amazed! I will let you in on my secret for her success: the desire for big muscles. No, I’m not joking, and it has taken some time, but I guess the way we went about it helped. Her daddy goes to the gym to work out, and the incentive of going with him someday, and having bigger muscles than him has encouraged her to eat her food. (We also may have told her that her muscles got bigger with each bite…) After she ate them, she told me she liked them, so hopefully less of a battle the next time!
For myself, I finally finished up a post on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors which I have been working on (and reviewing) for probably around two months now! I have to say I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, although the video could use some work. Hubs helped me take some great photos with it in action, and I have to say it is helping with my clingy child who hates sleep!Mum
I have also started up a weekly series with a meal plan, and so far I am doing pretty well with keeping up! It is probably part of the reason my picky Child is doing well, and I hope it keeps helping us as a family as well as giving others ideas and recipes for the week ahead!
So, wow! This mother has her work cut out for her in the remaining week, but I am so excited about all of these significant milestones for all of the kids and my small accomplishments apart from being their mum. These may all be small things to some, but to see my kids flourishing makes me so happy!
What have your littles been up to this week? What have you accomplished? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?
Mummy Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with introducing solids.
I love this adventure, because it means my little bitty baby is growing well. I hate a little bit that it spoils bub’s somewhat “easy” fix for sustenance. (Solids don’t replace milk or formula, but are an addition.)
In the beginning, there is no menu to plan, no food to buy or prepare, dishes to wash (besides bottles and the like) and no disgust for the food I cook. When babes are little they get what they get, and they don’t complain.
It’s adorable to watch them immerse themselves in the brand new exploration of tastes and textures, whether you feed purees or do baby led weaning. Personally, my kids do a bit of both. They have always loved spoons for some reason.
I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve gotten in preparation for our sooner-than-I’m-ready-for-it journey into the land of foods. And I will say, they have come out with some pretty cool stuff since my last babe!
Keep in mind: Introducing solids usually starts around 6 months old, but please consult with your doctor or medical professional beforehand if you want any resources in regards to the process. I’m no expert, and I know there are differing perspectives on the appropriate age to introduce food and how to go about doing it. I will include some resources below for your convenience, but feel free to check out my Pinterest board for some more ideas on milestones and related topics.
Now, you don’t NEED all of these products, usually any bowl, utensils and cup be fine, but look how stinkin’ cute this all is! And I will say the no-spill cups are more than just a gimmick, as I prefer my carpets to be dry. I delve into the varieties of sippy cups here.
*Disclosure,: Some of the products listed were provided, but this does not influence or change my opinion. I absolutely love everything I have listed and recommended here! This post contains affiliate links.
1. Cup– Obviously you need something to hold the water as you introduce that alongside solid foods. They don’t need too much at first, so just a tiny bit will do nicely. Check out my guide for cups here if you are flustered about the choices. For my bub, I have the Avent Penguin Sippy (he got it for Christmas). It’s a harder spout with a soft feel.
2. Bowl/plate– Rather than the food starting on the floor, it’s probably a good idea to keep it contained as much as possible! I love this plate from *Baby Bjorn! It is a bit deeper than your typical plate-making it perfect from first foods or purees through to when bubs navigates the use of using his own utensils!
3. Utensils– Something for you to feed baby, and have them feed themselves as well! Check out these *Baby Bjorn spoon and fork set! With a chunky easy-grip handle for you or baby, they make great first utensils. The fork is even more similar to a spork, making it easy to scoop as well.
4. Bib– In order to lessen the mess and minimise cleanup, it’s a good idea to purchase a bib for bub! The design of this *Baby Bjorn Bib is amazing! The nifty bit at the bottom helps to catch food if it should fall (and we all know how messy feeding can be)! It’s also made of BPA free plastic, so no wet and soggy mess covering your bub’s shirt! It’s easy to wipe off, rinse off, and is dishwasher safe!
(May I just add that Baby Bjorn has all of the above products available in a handy pack as well- the Bib, plate and utensils-all the tools you need for starting your baby’s journey into solids! Feel free to check out their online store here, or Amazon for those who live Stateside. And for the Aussies, if you review your Baby Bjorn products on their website, you can be entered to win items from their kitchen range here!)
5. Wet wipes/washcloth– Any cloth will do, or maybe those baby wipes we all love to use for everything else will come in handy! You can even purchase hand and face wipes which are specifically for these sticky messes, and they come in convenient packs that can go in the nappy bag, a purse, or the bottom of the pram. For my sensitive baby, I just use a clean wash cloth and water.
6. Food– Whether you do Baby Led Weaning or purees, you will need something to feed baby. We do a little bit of both. Sometimes I even cook and purée my own food using my Baby Bullet. Because I don’t have a huge amount of time on my hands, we use a fair few pouches and already prepared things to help mama feed bubs nutritiously.
*Bellamy’s Organic has a beautiful range for those first food moments! Whether you are looking for Rice Ceral or pouches to feed on-the-go or at home, they have you covered! To add to the list, they even have pasta, teething rusks, and more (and these are just the starting foods!) Their food is made with all natural organic ingredients and no articifical additives. You can check out their store online (for my Aussies), or Amazon for my US friends. Several stores in Australia also stock their products, which you can search for here.
7. Snacks– For those moments in between meals, snacks are always good to have on hand, whether you are out or home! (Some snacks vary by age, so please follow the recommendations accordingly.)
My main snacks are by *Little Bellies who have a great selection of organic snack foods for your baby! Starting at 8 months, they carry a variety of puffs and other easily-dissolving, nutritious snacks for bub. They are my personal favourite, as the packaging is simply adorable, and my toddler is a huge fan of the blueberry puffs! You can find these in Woolworths or Coles (in store as well as online). They make a great extra to throw in your bag or nappy bag when you go out (and you can sneak a bite or two) to distract or keep little mouths and hands busy and little bellies happy! My toddler always comes running when she hears a bag crinkle now!
8. Bathing products– Of course your baby is no expert when it comes to foods, and mess is inevitable! Have that bath ready for when your little munchkin finishes immersing themselves in their dinner! We use sensitive bath products for my eczema prone baby. (Tip: Some mums say it make sure it easier to feed baby with no more than a nappy to avoid sulking over stains later, too!)
9. Camera– Maybe it’s the sap oozing out of me, but I have to get these first moments on camera. Plus, it’s super cute to see a baby covered in food. Have your camera, phone or video ready to record memories!
10. A Place To Sit– For them of course, but possibly for you as well! There are many types of high chairs, baby seats, and boosters when it comes to where they can be most comfortable. Pick something that lends itself to an easy clean. We have a high chair that adjusts in height, so baby can sit at the table level with us, or couch level if we feel exceptionally lazy.
Always be sure they are supervised, seated on something suited to feeding strapped in properly as they can be wiggly little things.
11. Allergy Awareness– While allergies may not run in your family, it is best to be on the lookout for reactions when introducing new foods. Some mums follow the “4 day wait rule” when doing so, to ensure they pick up on any reactions. Though more geared to preparing your own foods, Momtastic has some excellent resources for recording baby’s reactions, preferences and listing foods to introduce to baby which you can find here.
If you have any suspicion about allergies, or wonder if something is normal while feeding baby, don’t hesitate to call your doctor to ask questions. If you believe a reaction could be life threatening, do not wait to call emergency services in your area.
But wait, there’s more! Since I’ve been given more than enough to try, I am going to share the love with one person (Open to Australian residents only). Enter via the link below and comment on this post in order to be eligible. Terms and Conditions below. Please feel free to share this, and subscribe for blog post updates!
Resources: Bellamy’s Organic: Their website for their amazing organic food range as well as articles on nutrition, recipes, and videos. Little Bellies: Their Website which lists the variety of snacks available
Baby Bjorn Australia and United States: Websites with their amazing products, and “Inspiration” section with article to help parents.
Mummy Confession:Even though this is my second time around the toilet training ring, it’s still just as painful as the first time.
“Mummy!! I need to poop!” She screams as she runs to the toilet. I’m, of course, in the middle of trying to eat my first meal of the day. Yes, it’s 1:00 PM, but its the first chance I’ve had to sit down. Among the treachery of a teething child and another who has decided today would be the day she would begin using the toilet, it’s a bit hard to get anything done.
It seems to be a cardinal rule of childhood that once mummy sits down, a child must either 1. Need to eat 2. Poop or need help in the toilet. 3. Injure themselves or others or 4. Need some other type of assistance. I’m not joking, though I wish I were. This rule can also be applied to when mum lays down her head after a long day. It’s exhausting.
So, back to the child training in the ways of using a toilet properly. She decides one day that she wants to start.
“Great,” I think, “this should be easy!” Oh mama, such a silly supposition.
We did the running back and forth to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so, but somewhere around the ten minute mark, she would wet her pants, and fail to use the toilet after. Many sighs and moans all around. This continues for the day, intermittently having a successful trip to the toilet or two. No worries, there’s always tomorrow.
It’s 10:30 am. The children are up again, and it’s Saturday. I barely got a wink of sleep because of a psychotic baby who decided sleep was his worst enemy. But alas, I am mum and the day must go on, potty training and all.
Now, with the fact that there are other children around, I obviously had to address a certain tiny tyrant in need of a sleep. He’s having many issues sleeping lately because of the teeth, so naturally it takes a good hour and a half to settle him enough to put down. Relief.
I hear strange noises in the bathroom. Oh please, no.
Tip-toeing down the hall to investigate the noise, I open the door to see the child in the process of training along with an accomplice, trying to clean up a stinky mess on the floor NEXT to the toilet. I sighed. I raised my voice. Then, I looked into the toilet.
Stuffed there was 3/4 a roll of unravelled toilet paper. Again, I’m not joking. I wish I was. The two were trying to cover their tracks and clean up the dirty mess and hide the evidence. No one had called for me, or their father, who was also in the house. I lost it. I yelled. And now, the baby was awake and I had a mess to clean.
Fortunately my husband heard the commotion and helped with the bathroom mess while I hosed down the child in the bathtub.
And that was just at 10:30am. Oh, what a weekend it would be!
These are the moments in potty training that you will look back on and laugh at, but it will probably be long after you calm down and clean up the mess. I have to remind myself that these moments are only a tiny speck in the timeline of her life, and while not all moments may be enjoyable, they are sure to create memories for life!
What stories do you have from toilet training? I’m sure mine isn’t the worst, though this is only the beginning!
If you are starting toilet training (potty training) with your child, be sure to check out here for a list of essentials and some extra resources!
With every ounce of my being, I abhor the teething stage. My poor, helpless child, who has no idea about what is going on, is in pain. He can’t tell me about it. All he does is cry. No apparent reason for this, but as I open his mouth, I peer in and see them. It looks different than yesterday, and two spots are starting to resemble parking spots for his first pearly whites. Surely he is too young for this treachery?
Teething is the bane of existence for any infant or toddler and their mother. It turns our sweet cherubs into psychotic beings. Some are lucky to have a child barely effected by the milestone, but I have never been in that position. Below, I have compiled a bit of my tool belt for teething essentials for the soothing of baby and the sanity of mum (and anyone in baby’s life).
1. Washcloth, damp and frozen.
Give baby this to chew on and help soothe those sore gums. Everyone has to have something like this around the house, so no need to buy. (Obviously just make sure it is clean and monitor use.)
2. Kids Munch Mitt
Now, I haven’t personally used this one, but I have heard from mums first hand that this is an excellent product. Especially for the littles who can’t quite grasp toys as easily, this if perfect. It’s available on Amazon and even ships to other countries!
photo source: Amazon.com
3. Teething Toys
These are a no-brainers, and the range for these toys is endless! From the Nuby Teething Keys to the Banana Teether to the infamous Sophie the Giraffe (just keep this one out of water to reduce risk of mould), you can find these fairly decently priced in many stores. Heaps of mothers I know have used these specific toys, and if you look for others, just be sure they are made by a reputable brand, and preferably have a high recommendation from others. (I check Amazon for reviews on everything!)
4. Munchkin Fresh Feeder
Not just for weaning and solids! This is an excellent tool for a teething baby! If your baby is eating solids, pop in a cold or frozen fruit or frozen yoghurt. How to freeze? Use an ice tray. Simple! For the babies not on solids yet, freeze a cube of breast milk or formula And put a bib on baby and let them have at it! Just be sure to monitor any consumption of food, especially the frozen things, using them only for short periods of time.
5. Bibs . Lots of bibs.
The dribble is real for a lot of babies! None of mine have had it quite as bad as my current tiniest! Thicker or plastic-backed bibs are your best bet for avoiding soaked clothing! The Nuby teething bib is also an excellent product, as it has an attached teether at the end of the bib, so it’s easy to reach and use for baby!
6. A sense of humour
Poor little bubs, and poor mama! A little laugh has a lot of power in dealing with the stress of teething, and will help take your baby’s mind off of the pain! Look into some funny YouTube videos, memes, or Pinterest boards. Put a hilarious movie on after a long day.
8. Baby Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
Desperate times call for medicine! If bubs is truly inconsolable, use a pain reliever in accordance with the instructions. If you would take it for the pain, these little ones need it more!
9. Nappies and Nappy Rash Cream
Teething can see nasty rashes and explosions of epic proportions. Be sure your nappies (diapers to you Americans) are stocked, and find a good rash cream and barrier cream. I highly recommend Sudocream for Aussies, as its thick and stays on! From Americans, I have heard good things about Boudreaux’s Butt Paste
10. A nice bath
If your child enjoys baths, they can be an excellent way to calm down and distract from teething. They are also a helpful way to wind baby down for the night and help them sleep.
11. A good wind-down for mum and any associated party
A good book, a glass of wine or hot cocoa, or whatever you go to is for relaxation- do it! Take a nice bath, or just get out into the fresh air to take a minute to breathe! Make sure anyone else who is under the same roof has something for them, too. Teething is rough on everybody in baby’s proximity! Chocolates for the kids to help out and give peace for a minute is well received (like there’s any doubt).
Honourable Mentions include a Amber teething necklacesand essential oils. It’s best to consult a professional first and use only as directed. Refrain from using necklace while baby is unattended or sleeping.
I really hope this helps someone out there, as these products have had their place in helping me or people I know. What products, tips and tricks do you have for teething babies and toddlers?