Thursday 21 April 2016

An update on my almost 3 year old

I can't believe that it's close to the end of April. This year has flown by and in two weeks time, our little boy will turn three.


He's changing at a rate of knots - I swear that most days, when I've picked him from nursery, it's like he's learnt at least two or three new things. The things he says and understands amazes me and I am just so proud of him. He understands emotions and picks up on everything, so I don't think we'll be able to get away with talking about anything in front of him any more...

He's doing well at preschool and talks about all his friends and what they did during the day and I've even arranged a couple of play dates as we don't have any friends or family with young children and it would be nice for him to see his friends more.

Toddlers are well known for being fusspots when it comes to food. Ethan's been pretty good with food ever since we started weaning him at six months; he took to it pretty quickly and I was able to make my own purées and get him onto more substantial food with relative ease. And we haven't had too many trials with giving him meals at home.

Until recently.

For a long time now, we've been amazed at the variety of foods he seems to guzzle at nursery with gusto. Raisins? Not a problem - at nursery. Just try and give them to him at home...

Whether I make meals from scratch or pop something more instant in the oven or microwave, I'm never sure what reaction I'm going to get. A meal he loved the day before suddenly is the worst thing I could have put in front of him. And some days, just calling it 'lunch' or 'dinner' sends him into a fit - with him saying 'I DON'T want dinner Mummy, I just want something to eeeeeaaaaaat!".


Of course, we don't have nearly as much difficulty when it comes to biscuits and chocolate - unless, that is, we tell him there are none!

We're eating most evening meals at the dining room table now and I'm conscious of showing him that we (more often than not) are eating the same things as him, as my theory was that at nursery, all his friends are doing it. Think peer pressure for puddings.

I think we have got to the point of realising it is just a phase. Like so many things. We can just try and try again. So I'll keep on making portions for him to see if we can tempt him (my jambalaya went down quite well at the weekend) whilst having a few back ups to be on the safe side.

I recently came across Kiddyum - a range of ready meals that promise to have no nasties and a good dose of veggies - and quickly bought one of each option to stock my freezer up.

That's three real plus points of the range for me; 1) no preservatives, 2) good helping of veg, 3) convenient, as freezer meals will obviously keep longer so you can use what you need, when you need it.

You can choose from five different meal options: Cheesy Peasy Pasta, Macaroni Bolognese, Cottage Pie, Fish and Veg Pie and Chicken Curry and Rice. Pretty standard meal options, that most children like - pasta is always a winner with Ethan, so Kiddyum is a safe bet for him, but hopefully there will be some variety added to the range soon.

As with most things Ethan eats, I had a taste myself and thought the meals looked good and had a nice flavour to them. The meals look appealing - although the cheesy pasta is a little bland to look at - and sometimes, that's half the battle.

Ethan did well one day, eating most the pasta, and not so good the next day. But that's toddlers for you!

Available from Sainsbury's from around £1.90 per meal, and taking just four minutes on average to prepare, I'd recommend Kiddyum and, despite how changeable he is at the moment, Ethan probably would too. Handy to have on standby and with something to suit even the most fussiest of fusspot eaters.

Here's hoping...!

Aside from being a bit of a fusspot with food every now and then but other than that, he's doing really well.  His 'no' phase seems to be waning (thankfully!) and he's very affectionate of late too, telling us that he loves us with all his heart every day and being free with the cuddles. We've had a few weekends at home, just enjoying each other's company and it's been nice to do just that.

We've been using stickers to help reinforce his good behaviour, and this seems to be really working, which is a relief.

It's a funny thing; when it comes to brushing his teeth, Ethan can be hit or miss. He runs to the bathroom, in his PJ's, with glee to brush his teeth each evening before bed. He can even move his potty, which can be used as a step, into position, climb on, turn on the tap and pick up his toothbrush all by himself, ready for me to help him with the toothpaste. But in the mornings - well, let's just say he's less than keen!

It helps that we have a tap extender, in the shape of an elephant, to make the whole process easier and Ethan always laughs when he sees his giraffe shaped toothbrush holder. Sometimes, it's the small things that just make things easier for little ones, isn't it?

We've always used toothpaste appropriate to his age, like Pronamel (which we use the big grown-up version of ourselves), as it's meant to have the right balance for them. They kindly sent us a reward pack, complete with paste and reward stickers that Ethan's really taken to, along with some helpful information about acid erosion.

You've probably seen this in the news over the past week, and there's been a lot of talk about how many young children are having teeth issues. And even if they avoid fizzy drinks, there's other causes too.

I've made a little tune up to encourage Ethan when he's brushing his teeth - top and bottom and front and back - and he knows this well now, even if I need to step in and help him to make sure he's got every single toothy peg! They're meant to spend two minutes brushing apparently, so it's worth setting a timer too so they know what they should be doing.

The other reason why stickers are our friends right now is because we are potty training. We've taken baby steps to be honest, not forcing things but trying to encourage Ethan. And to be fair, whilst he's still in nappies, I feel like this way of doing things has helped him come around to the idea in his own time.

After several weeks of neglecting the potty, we are now going through a phase that most evenings, he will say he needs to wee and we go upstairs so he can sit on the potty. And, most of the time, he does indeed do a wee. Hurrah! The things us parents get excited about...

Our potty training kit - plus some superhero stickers for when he uses the potty as a reward!

But I really do get excited and I am so proud of him. And he is too. Almost every day now, he will successfully go potty and the other night, he went twice. The pirate potty book really helps, as do pull up nappies and pants.

There's a baby and toddler special buy event at Aldi starting today, so it's a good time to stock up on essentials. I know that nappies aren't the most exciting thing to buy online, but they're an essential and one thing I hate running low on, particularly when potty training. You can get jumbo boxes of Mamia nappies, sizes 2 to 5 online now for the first time, from £3.79 to £5.79, plus there's plenty in store too. Time to fill those cupboards!

* Whilst I received a couple of samples, this post and all opinions are my own - and that of my fusspot, potty training, teeth brushing toddler!
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