A successful big bed move…

A few weeks ago I wrote about how our two babies were about to move beds – and shared some cute photos of them in their current sleeping quarters. Well, just over two weeks ago, we finally sorted the move. Little Miss is now sleeping in her new ‘big girl’s’ bed – quite literally as I’m writing this during afternoon nap time – and Little Mister has moved out of the crib and into the cot, freshly vacated by his sister. It’s a bad pun I know, but the move really has gone like a dream! We, for now at least, have two very happy little sleepers.

I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on making the transition from cot to bed but later on I’ll share a few observations of things that I think helped with the move.

New toddler bed

Loving her ‘big girl’s bed’. Puppy’s smiling too!

While I always thought Little Miss would love her new bed, there had been a part of me that felt apprehensive. What if she really hated it? And would she accept seeing her baby brother now occupying the cot that had been hers for more than two years? That was a big concern because we really had to move him into it as soon as she was out. All those parenting books say this is a big no, no but he’s a big baby and his crib was becoming increasingly cramped. I did fear we could have an epic parenting fail on our hands!

But, thankfully, my fears were unfounded. Little Miss absolutely loves her new bed and has been sleeping and napping better than ever in it. Just prior to the move we’d had a run of fretful bed times but now she can’t wait to climb in and snuggle down.

She especially loves her new pillow and proper cosy duvet, something she had’t had in the cot. We got her a princess print set from Next in her favourite colour pink and she keeps telling us “my bed is so pretty!”.

We sorted her new-look room out on one of her nursery days and made it look as lovely as possible, so she returned home that day to see it all nice and ready for her. She was so excited and jumped into bed straight away for a test run.

We’ve got a stairgate on her bedroom door but so far (fingers crossed!) she’s been great at staying put. She loves snuggling down at night and will only leave the comfort of her covers once it’s morning and time to get up.

Little Mister has also been fine moving from crib to cot. He’s got a lot more room to move around now and as it’s got cooler we’ve got out the baby sleeping bags which also help him sleep more soundly. *Whispers* at the moment he’s sleeping through from about 9pm until 5 or 6am in the morning. Not bad for a three-month-old. Bit scared he might suddenly change his mind about this nice convenient arrangement!

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Little Mister chilling in his cot (with Mr Elephant keeping watch)

My tips for moving a toddler from cot to bed…

- Get your toddler excited about the change. We talked a lot about how nice it would be to have a new bed in the run up to the move. I think the most important thing was that by the time it finally happened our daughter felt ready and had expressed how keen she was to have a ‘big girl’s bed’.

- Help you little one know what to expect. Little Miss has two slightly older cousins who were already in toddler beds so we were able to show her their beds. As she looks up to her cousins this also helped fuel her enthusiasm too.

Next Woodland toddler bed set

Our second duvet set

- There’s quite a lot to buy – more than you might first think – so it does take a bit of planning ahead for a smooth transition. Certain items will need to be ordered and may take a few weeks to arrive as well – we had the bed itself weeks before the mattress was delivered. We then needed to buy a toddler bed sized duvet, pillow, a couple of duvet cover and pillow case sets, fitted sheets and a couple of mattress protectors.

- Cover appeal is key! We got two sets from Next which were reasonably priced – the one a bargain at £12 and the other is reversible so we effectively have three designs for the price of two. So far they’ve washed well and Little Miss loves the pretty designs.

- Don’t make it too different. We kept the bed in the same position in the room as the cot had been and moved all the toys she usually had into the new bed so it was still familiar.

- Think carefully about whether or not you need to have a rail. We had bought a rail to go on the side of the new bed but decided against using it at the last minute. Once it was installed it kind of ruined the effect of having a new ‘big girl’ bed – the one we got had wooden bars like her cot – and we strongly suspected our daughter would hate this. So far she hasn’t fallen out of bed and even if she did the bed is not very high up.

- And as with most toddler behaviour that you want to encourage, heap on the praise!

Categories: Baby steps, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Baking Peppa Pig cup cakes…

Baking Peppa Pig cakes

Two of my toddler’s favourite things in life right now are Peppa Pig and cake so when I spotted the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Cup Cake mix pack in Tesco a few weeks ago I suspected I might be onto a winner!

I’ll confess now that I’m pretty *coughs shyly* underwhelming when it comes to cooking. I once managed to burn fried eggs! Our family is very well looked after most days by Daddy chef. I lack confidence in the kitchen and as a result my inclination is to steer well clear whenever I can.

But I don’t want to be like that and I certainly don’t want it to rub off on Little Miss. And, when I’m in the right mood, I do secretly enjoy a spot of baking. Everybody loves cake and there’s generally less to go wrong with sweet compared to savoury! Less chance people could get sick if I screw up!

Peppa Pig cakes pack So, keen to give Little Miss her first foray into home baking – and perhaps just a little bit inspired by Great British Bake Off mania – I snapped up the Peppa mix for a bargain £1.69.

The pack does only make 12 cakes, meaning the fruits of our labour were never going to last very long in our house. But the ease of using the mix and time it took were perfect for a toddler and even I found the simple recipe relatively stress-free.

We made the cakes while Little Miss’s baby brother slept and the whole activity took less than an hour – and given that Little Miss wanted to know when she could eat the cake within seconds of me first opening the box, this was important!

All the key ingredients are there for you and ready to go, meaning no fiddling around weighing everything out. You just need to add water and an egg and then you’re ready to unleash your child and a wooden spoon to mix it all together – until they get tired, which invariably they do after about 30 seconds! We then used an electric hand mixer to finish it off.

Peppa Pig cakes mixing

The mixture is then ready to spoon into the cake cases, which Little Miss loved setting out on the baking tray at the start, before going in the oven.

About 15 minutes later they came out and we left them to cool, amid much protest from my hungry little cooking partner, while we made the muddy puddle chocolate icing – which Little Miss lovingly sneezed into as well as constantly dipping her fingers in and eating while I tried to stir it into the right consistency!

Once ready, you then simply splodge a dollop of icing on each cake. As you can see my dollops varied quite wildly in size!
Peppa Pig cakes making muddy puddle icing

Muddy puddles in place, you then finish off with one of the Peppa printed sugar decorations on the top – or ‘stickers’ as Little Miss called them.

Finished Peppa Pig cakeAnd voila! You’re done. The cakes are fairly small in size, an ideal portion for little ones but gone in one bite for some greedy adults (who will remain nameless, ‘Daddy Pig’). This adult thought they were pretty darn tasty too!

Overall, I’d say our first little cooking activity was a bonafide success, much to my amazement. Yes, it was a very simple pack mix but it’s given me confidence to try other things in the future and hopefully get Little Miss interested in cooking from an early age.

And finally, of course, Little Miss got to eat her our handiwork. I think her face probably says it all. Yum!

Peppa Pig cakes yum

 

Categories: Toddler activities | Tags: | 4 Comments

Our babies are moving beds…

The last week has seen a bustle of activity and deliveries arriving that confirm yet another new milestone will very shortly be reached by the two little people in our house.

A toddler bed is now stashed in our garage while we await the arrival of its accompanying mattress. Alongside it is a new cot mattress. Hidden away in my bedroom cupboard is the pretty, if not ever-so-slightly-sickly, pink princess duvet set that Little Miss can’t wait to get her hands on. A second woodland themed set is on its way. And the much less exciting mattress protectors arrived this morning.

Big changes are afoot. Little Miss will soon leave behind the cot that has been her sleeping place for more than two years. And Little Mister, at ten weeks old and on the 98th percentile for height, is fast outgrowing the crib he’s occupied since the beginning of July. The same crib that his older sister slept in for the first four months of her life.

Little Miss cot action

It’s hard to imagine Little Miss now as that tiny baby, much smaller than her brother, sleeping next to me in that little wooden crib. She will soon have her eagerly anticipated ‘big girl bed’and Little Mister will be able to enjoy the extra space of his big sister’s old cot.

It will feel like the end of an era. I’m not sure which move is more emotional. Once the crib goes away it could be for the last time. We haven’t yet decided whether we’d have one more child or not but realistically speaking it seems unlikely at the moment. So this could be the end of all things newborn.

Little Mister in the crib

Little Mister in the crib.

And then there’s Little Miss leaving the ‘babyness’ of her cot behind. She’s always been on the small side, so we never had any worries about her being able to climb out of the cot – she still can’t now. The move to a bed, all-be-it a little toddler one, reminds me how grown up she is becoming, how every day she becomes a little bit more independent, less baby and more little girl. It’s lovely to see but at the same time nobody likes time to pass too quickly. She’ll be a teenager before we know it!

Little Miss in her crib

Little Miss in the crib. Happy memories!

We’re hoping the transition will be a smooth one. I’m not too worried about Little Mister. His sister was fine when she moved up from crib to cot and their temperaments so far have been pretty similar. Hopefully he won’t notice the little teeth marks Little Miss kindly added for him at one end quite recently!

Little Miss cot quad

Happy times in the cot! Top left was her first night in it in August 2012.

Little Miss is the one I’m more apprehensive about. She seems excited about having a new bed but toddler’s are unpredictable little creatures with a talent for changing their minds. She’s always been a good sleeper so I’m praying she can retain this good habit, not least because our nights are already broken by the feeding needs of her brother.

Again he’s pretty good and we’re generally down to one middle-of-the-night feed now but I have to confess I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to lost sleep. I know I have it so much easier than many parents do but even that single one hour wake-up in the early hours can still knock me for six some days.

Only time will tell whether or not, given her new-found freedom, Little Miss will become a night-time wanderer!

If anyone has any tips for making the transition from cot to bed then I’d love to hear them!

Moving beds

Categories: Baby steps, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | 6 Comments

What we’ve been reading…

Our reading updates seem to be becoming monthly rather than weekly at the moment but books are still a very big part of our lives, I just need to wait for both children to synchronise nap times before I get to write anything! That holy grail has been achieved today so here goes…

The pretty picture shows most of our latest reads, which takes our 300 Picture Books Challenge effort up to 246 different books read so far this year. The full list is on our 300 Picture Books Challenge Pinterest board.

300 Picture Books August update

We’re still managing to get to the library every few weeks and as Little Mister rapidly gets bigger I’m sure it will be easier for us all to get out more. Our library does some great Rhyme Time sessions that I took Little Miss to when she was tiny so I’m hoping we can all enjoy those together in the coming weeks. I’ve always found the library an easy, free, all-weather activity for little ones, as I wrote about in one of my earliest posts on Loving the Library.

The Animal Nursery Colours book was chosen by Little Miss on our latest library trip. It’s quite a simple book but a good one for a toddler who’s trying to get to grips with learning her colours – she’s a bit hit and miss at the moment so maybe this will help! She seems to like it anyway.

Her favourite book from the latest selection has been Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne, a gift from Nanny. The story features a winning toddler combination of fruit and naughty animals! I won’t completely ruin the surprise but the tale, set in Africa, sees a little girl called Handa set out to walk to her friend’s nearby village carrying a gift of a basket of different fruits on her head. Along the way a series of animals steal items from the basket, all without Handa noticing, but a lucky twist at the end means she still arrives with a full basket. Just not the one she was expecting.

Little Miss gets very excited about the animals secretly taking the fruit, especially the monkey swiping the banana. The story has her squealing with delight every time!

As well as the new books, two old favourites remain the most requested bedtime stories – ie that means every single night! They’re both Julia Donaldson books – Superworm and The Monkey Puzzle. Little Miss, my husband and I all know most of the words off by heart now, we’ve read them that often. In a bid to move her on from these – one is a library book I’ve had for months and the other… well, I’m a bit bored of it even if she isn’t – I’ve got a new Julia Donaldson book arriving this week. So I’m looking forward telling you all about A Squash and a Squeeze very soon.

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10 cute things I love about my kids right now…

In my ‘happy place’ in the shower the other day I found my mind wandering, as usual, and got thinking about all the lovely little things my two children have said (the toddler not the baby!) or done lately. Those precious, magic moments that have made me smile, laugh or feel truly blessed. It’s so easy for these things to become a distant memory so I thought I should write them down so they don’t get forgotten – I have most of my better ideas in the shower!

10 cute things I love about my kids right now

1. Little Miss currently loves to say “see you later alligator…” when she’s saying goodbye. She also says the second bit for you but instead of saying “in a while” it comes out as “in a ‘pile’ crocodile!”

2. Little Mister has this cute and very noisy waking up ritual. He’ll grunt and shift around a lot, sometimes fart (sorry!), then stretch and screw his little face up. He can do this for a good ten to fifteen minutes before properly opening his eyes. It’s fascinating to watch!

3. Little Miss is desparate to do everything “all by myself” at the moment and given half a chance loves going into her room and getting ready to go out. Trouble is she usually emerges dressed entirely inappropriately, often with winter hat, mittens and big cardigan regardless of it being 30 degrees outside. But she does it with such pride!

4. Little Mister, who really isn’t that little at all, likes his milk and doesn’t like a delay in it being delivered to him. Pick him up when he’s feeling peckish and he’ll pound his little fists on my chest.

5. Little Miss came home from nursery a few weeks ago having learnt a new song, ‘Hop Little Bunnies’. It was one I wasn’t familiar with, and in fact I didn’t even realise it was a song at all to start with. But then I typed it into You Tube and played this video and Little Miss’s face lit up. “Like nursery” she said. And now we love playing the song to her while she hops (kind of) around the room being a little bunny.

6. Little Mister has really started smiling more these last few weeks. It’s lovely to see him becoming more responsive to us and, like any parents, his little grin makes it all worthwhile.

7. Little Miss pretending to ‘do ballet’. This has mainly been inspired by an episode of Peppa Pig and Angelina Ballerina.

8. Little Mister’s new baby smell. Everyone always says it but that newborn aroma is so addictive – warm, milky and sweet.

9.  Little Miss has this funny way of saying ‘please’. She seems to take on this strange accent, which can be slightly annoying but endearing at the same time. It comes out as “yeah playse”! If it’s not that then she says “peas” like the vegetable!

10. Little Mister is just starting to find his voice now, making proper noises. We have little ‘conversations’ with him, primarily based around him saying “oh”! I just love the way it sounds – so small and completely innocent. And I love the look of concentration on his little face as he works hard to form new sounds.

If you’ve got kids, then I’d love to hear what cute little things they’re doing at the moment.

Categories: Baby steps, Motherhood, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | 11 Comments

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