The A to Z of Parenting A 0-4 Year Old
A to Z of Parenting – well here goes.. best start at A ..
A to Z of Parenting – A is for Anxiety in Mums
Anxiety in new mums is totally normal and is something all new mums suffer with. There’s so much to worry about as well isn’t there?! I’ve decided to make you a list of my favourite things to worry about! I’m sure you can relate to many of these yourselves – If you have some extra ones I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
Some Of My Favourites To Worry About Were:
- is he hungry?
- is he being fed the right amount of milk?
- does he have enough blankets in the Moses basket?
- does he need a clean nappy?
- are these size nappies OK?
- is he tired?
- is he too hot / too cold?
- does he need a bath?
- is he gaining enough weight?
- is the water in his bath too hot / too cold?
- does he need a change of clothes?
STOP! Too much worry and anxiety isn’t good for you. As new mums we’ll always worry but don’t let it control you, if you feel like its taking over your life you may be suffering from postnatal anxiety and the best step would be to speak to your health visitor and GP.
A to Z of Parenting – B is for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a big topic for mums, especially the decision on if you breastfeed or formula feed. If you do choose to breastfeed here are some great tips to help you from real Moms who have breastfed!
- Breastfeeding can be painful and it can longer that you might imagine for it to become comfortable, after a month thought things have usually settled.
- It can take a while for your milk supply to stabilise so you are making the right amount for your baby.
- It can be very rewarding for both mum and baby in terms of bonding, nourishment, increased immunity etc.
- Lanolin nipple cream is a life saver!
- It’s important that you are comfortable as you’ll be feeding your baby a lot to start with – a breastfeeding pillow is great for this.
- Layers work well when breastfeeding in public if your not super confident about it (tank top underneath with a loose top over the top)
- Get your husband on board – breastfeeding is a family effort – it can be hard at time as support from your loved one is vital.
- Use a warm compress to get out clogged milk.
- If you have extra milk supply you could donate it to the NICU babies at your closest maternity hospital – most have a breast milk bank and welcome donations.
A to Z of Parenting – C is for Crawling
Watching your little one crawling about is totally adorable. They are so tiny and they really enjoy their new found freedom!
However, with their freedom comes a lot of dangers, kids have a knack and finding and playing with anything that they shouldn’t! Clearly household items are much more exciting than toys!
The first thing you should get when your little one starts to crawl about are some gates, especially for the stairs and the kitchen as this is where some of the biggest dangers are hidden.
Next I recommend some plastic safety covers for the plug sockets. No matter how many times you tell them not to touch – they will want to play with them. It’s a good idea to watch your little ones around these too, as by the age of 2 mine had learnt how to take the safety plugs out – very clever but not very safe!
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for what’s on the floor, especially for anything that’s small and could be swallowed. Little ones will and do put everything in their mouths, so be on guard for loose coins and small toys left around by older children etc. Remember anything is edible when your this age!
A to Z of Parenting – D is for Dad
It’s no secret as little ones grow they love playing with their daddy’s! They are great for football, play wrestling & piggy backs and anything that involves general mischief 🙂
When a new baby arrives a lot of fuss if made over the mum and baby (and rightly so!) but sometimes the dad can get a bit over looked.
During those early weeks and months though dads are lifesavers to us mums, when we’re struggling they’re there to to tell us we are doing an amazing job, and despite what we think about our changed bodies they think we’re more beautiful than ever!
To My Little Mans Dad – Thank You For:
- doing night-time feeds
- doing night-time wake ups
- changing nappies
- cleaning the house
- doing the food shop
- cooking us meals
- making me cups of tea
- loving us
- supporting us
- keeping me sane
- being a great Dad
What would you like to thank your little one’s Dad for? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!
A to Z of Parenting – E is for Excitement
There’s something wonderfully endearing about a small child’s excitement. Its difficult to not get caught up in this and go along with them. My absolute favourite has to be their anticipation and excitement of father Christmas arriving with presents.
Although they do seem to get over-excited about the small things in life to which is just too cute. I wish as adults we could keep this innocence! My little one has been excited by such things as the delivery man from Tesco’s has arrived at our house to bring food and also he loves when the pizza man comes to his house too – I’m seeing a food theme emerging here!
He also goes nuts when he seems our cat roaming about the place – the cat yeah he doesn’t share my toddlers level of excitement at the sight of him!
A to Z of Parenting – F is for Formula Feeding
Formula Feeders sometimes find themselves being portrayed as the ‘bad guys’ in the world of motherhood (compared to the mother who breastfeed). The truth is however you want to feed your baby its OK.
If you do choose to formula feed here are some great tips to help you.
- Always read the instructions on the formula carefully so you are using the correct amount of milk powder vs water for your baby.
- Keep bottles and teats sterilised -an electric or microwaveable steriliser works best and is easy to clean.
- Once a bay has drunk from the bottle of milk it must be finished within the hour as bacteria starts to grow in the milk.
- You will need a bottle brush to have an easy way to clean all the sneaky corners in the different parts of the bottles.
- Bottle feeding your baby is a good time for you to bond with your baby. Let dad help to he will enjoy being able to help and it gives him a great chance to bond with the baby to.
A to Z of Parenting – G is for Go!
Put your clothes on we need to go, put your shoes on we need to go, go to the potty we need to go, put your coat on we need to go – why aren’t you still not dressed we need to go!
This has become my life and it will become yours too! Trying to be on time with children is god damn hard work. They have an answer for everything and no concept of time what so ever.
Have you noticed as well with your baby they are always sick or do a poop in the nappy just as you’ve gotten them ready and strapped them in their car seat? I swear they do it on on purpose as they always give you that smiling haha face when you realise you need to go back and change them again!
A to Z of Parenting – H is for Highchair
The Highchair.. oh how you drove me insane, there was always a sticky mess on the seats and straps. There was always some long lost dinner from days ago burying itself away in deep in the bottom to. Oh how it drove me insane that little man would throw his food all over the tray and floor meaning a consent cycle of cleaning, but yet it never managed to look ‘clean’. I couldn’t wait for the day for you to be gone Highchair – all messy in the corner of the dining room looking cluttered.
Now Highchair, I’m sorry please come back. The little one is nearly 3 years old he walks around everywhere eating – meaning the crumbs are not to confined to you in the corner but are all over the downstairs floor. Now bits of old food are no longer just found in your seat. I’ve found a cheese sandwich shoved down the side of the coffee table and a plate with some sausage rolls on hide behind the lounge curtains for ‘later’. Lets not talk about the days old cocktail sausages I found in the ball pool.
Highchair I though you were messy but I’m sorry please come back at least you kept the mess in one neat spot!
A to Z of Parenting – I is for ‘It’s Mine’
Kids in general aren’t always great at sharing, from the moment they become a toddler ‘It’s Mine!’ is a phrase you’re going to get used to – sorry. However sharing is an important life skill – especially if you have more than one child as wouldn’t it be great if they could just play happily with out shouting ‘Mummy he’s playing with my toys’ ‘but it’s mine’, we just want 5 minutes peace to drink our coffee!
If you have more than one child it’s important to teach them to learn to share and take turns, if you’ve only the one then you can take them to play-groups or pre-schools so they learn how to interact with other children their own age.
A to Z of Parenting – J is for Jealousy
This is one that I have witnessed recently and it’s to do with not wanting to share his mummy.
When I drop him off at pre-school the other children will come over to talk to me he runs over and clings on to my legs for dear life and shouts ‘shouts no she’s my mummy’
When his little cousin wanted to sit on my lap for a cuddle off his Auntie he again shouts ‘no you can’t sit on my mummy she’s mine’ ‘go and sit on your own mummy’
Whilst this can be a little frustrating I have to admit I totally love that he’s so protective of his mummy and doesn’t want to share me with anyone else, it’s kind of sweet really! Aww!
A to Z of Parenting – K is for Kiss Good Night
Always kiss your children goodnight, sometime the days are long and tough and they’ve drove you insane. You’ve spent the day yelling at them because they just will not listen and even the threat of the naughty step and no pudding hasn’t worked out.
Some days kids are just hard work – that’s how it is. However when you tuck them into bed and give them a kiss good night they know everything is OK. That they are loved and they are safe. Nobody likes to go to bed upset and sad so always make sure things are all sorted before bedtime.
A to Z of Parenting – L is for Love Little Ones
They say there’s no love like the love you have for your own child. How true these words turned out to be. I’m a mum to a 3 year old little boy, yes he drives me mad with his consent questions and total reluctance to go to bed, but would I have it any other way? Not at all. He is my little miracle – a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to be a better person.
The love I have for him is completely over-whelming. When I’m holding him and watching him sleep (eventually!) its the most beautiful thing in the world. My heart bursts with pride when he says please and thank you to others. Do I like to show him off – absolutely!
What mum doesn’t like to boost about their little ones and all their wonderful achievements 🙂 I’ve never really considered myself to be maternal but oh how wrong I was. Love that baby new baby smell!
A to Z of Parenting – M is for Mommy
Mommy – sometimes this word drives us insane, especially when they say it as Moooommmmmyyy, it’s like yeah what are you after now child.
I’m sure we’ve all had those days when we’ve heard Mommy 64 million times and think that’s it I’m so changing my name if they ask me one more daft question!
Truth is though we really do love our name Mommy. As to someone out there we are the most special person in their life. Being a Mom is an honour – we get to take care of and teach the next generation – and whats more important than that?
No matter how old we get at some point we all need our Mom. I’m 32 years old and I still need mine that’s for sure. I love going round my moms as she looks after me. Making me cups of tea and lunch – you’re never too old to be looked after by your Mom.
A to Z of Parenting – N is for No!
NO! As soon as they learn to say no it’s game over I’m afraid. Everything becomes a battle, even asking them the smallest of things will have you pulling your hair out by the end of the day!
It starts as soon as they wake up – do you want some breakfast? NO! – can you put your shoes on please? NO! – hurry up and get in the car please we’re going to be late! NO! It continues all the way to the end of the day to – can we put your pj’s on? NO! can you brush your teeth please? NO! It’s time for bed now – NO!
No wonder us parents are so shattered by bedtime. It’s hard convincing a little one to do the basic tasks of the day let a lone anything more complicated!
A to Z of Parenting – O is for Organisation
Organisation is a key part of parenting as it can be very hectic. Having a system, calendars, and a meal planner in place can makes things just a little easier for you.
There’s so much to keep track of : parents evenings, plays, friends parties, projects, dentist and doctor appointments, after-school activities oh and the cat needs to go to the vets too.
All of this can be very stressful especially when trying to fit in everything that everybody wants to do! This is why I have a shared family calendar on my phone that everyone can put up-coming events in to. I set reminders on all mine so when I forget my wonderful phone remembers for me. It has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
A to Z of Parenting – P is for Please
It’s lovely when your child says ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’. Especially when they say it someone out of your immediate family, it makes you burst with pride! Aww look at the little darling I’ve brought up with such good manners.
Thing is now I’m wondering if I’ve actually created a monster. He’ll ask me for something such as a biscuit or chocolate bar. I’ll say no and he’ll reply ‘Please Mommy’ in a little cutie sad voice. Of course because he’s asked me so lovely and sweetly I cave in and go oh OK then. I precede to give him said treat – I think he’s playing me there!
In teaching my child manners have I actually also taught him manipulation skills at the age of 3? Probably.
A to Z of Parenting – Q is for Quiet
Quiet is a double-edged sward for us parents. We always wish we could have more peace and quiet. Imagine being able to get up in the morning, get dressed, then go down stairs and eat your toast and drink your coffee without being bothered by anyone – Bliss.
However, if your children were this quiet to enable you to do this you know something mischievous us going on. It’s safe to say as parents we’ve all experienced the situation of the kids are quiet – what are the up to?!
Children and Quiet are never a good mixture!
A to Z of Parenting – R is for Rules
Kids will always test the boundaries that us parents put into place – if they didn’t it wouldn’t be right! It’s important to set out good ground rules from the start and make them aware of this is what you except from them. You should try and stick to the rules and constant change or lack of enforcement sends out mixed messages.
If you keep changing the goals your kids will get confused as to what they are supposed to be working towards. Consistency is key which is why its important both Mom and Dad are on the same page and agree on the rules before you start.
They can and will try it on. If one parent says no they can’t do something they will go and ask the other one – come on you’ve done it to when you were younger!
A to Z of Parenting – S is for Self-Care
How many times have I felt like I’m losing my sanity as a Mom, too many to remember. It’s so easy to feel like you’re not doing a good job and to get bogged down in the in’s and out’s of daily life. It’s easy to feel like nothing is going right and that your kids will never listen to you, but they will.
Take some time out and have a little self-care for yourself. Even just a few minutes here and there can make a big difference to your well-being. Try a bubble bath once a week, or reading that book you’ve always planned to – even just half hour before bed can be great.
I’m a big believer in a hot drink and a good box set! Try and plan for one night a week for when you and your other half to snuggle up together and watch something romantic like the Walking Dead!
A to Z of Parenting – T is for Teething
Is it me or when your little ones are babies everything is blamed on Teething? Upset – must be teething, can’t sleep – must be teething, off their milk or food – you guessed it!
Our little one was a complete nightmare when he was teething. Even with Calpol, Bonjella and a tonne of other recommended products nothing worked. If you wanted him to sleep you’d have to hold him and cuddle him. As soon as you put him down he’d magically wake up and cry!
Do I miss the teething phase – not at all I’m glad he’s 3 years old and over it. I definitely would not want to re-live those LONG nights again. You’d think in 2016 they’d be a cure for the pain babies suffer during teething. I tell you what whoever comes up up with that one deserves a medal. I bet every parent would give them a big hug! Not to mention the plenty of money I’m sure they’d make ££££ – come on someone we’re waiting – help a tired parent out!
A to Z of Parenting – U is for Uh-Oh
As soon as you hear UH-OH you know something has been broken and or spilt!
What I love best is how there stand there with their drink all over the floor – you ask them ‘What Happened?’ and they reply ‘I don’t know it just fell over all on its own!’ Yeah of course it did – you got to hand it to them they learn to lie from a young age!
My favourite UH-OH moment has to be when you’ve just vacuumed up and they open a packet of crisps and the whole thing explodes all over the nice clean carpet. Well played toddler well played!
What’s your favourite UH-OH moment? I’d love to read your comments below!
A to Z of Parenting – V is for Vacation
Family vacations are great. It’s so nice to be able to spend time with just your family without the normal everyday worries or the stress of work. I love our holidays together as I means I’m not too tired from my full-time job to join and with all the adventure. For a week at least it’s nice to just be Mom and not torn between two very different things.
It’s great to be able to get up and have breakfast without rushing out the door by 8am. I love being able to ask my toddler ‘what do you want to do today’ rather than just telling him OK you’ve got pre-school today.
If you can’t make time for a whole weeks holiday then weekends out are great to. Its so important to have some family time and not worry about your washing and ironing pile that’s back at home waiting for you!
A to Z of Parenting – W is Why?
BUT WHY! Their favourite saying along with No! and It’s Mine!
I have to say the why question is the one that annoys me the most. It usually ends in me replying ‘because I said so that’s why’. Lately its been why is the sky blue, why is the grass green, why are the leaves falling off the trees.
When I say ‘because they are’ it’s never good enough. He always asks why again. Next time he asks I’m prepared though. I’m going to explain that the grass is green because of the chlorophyll inside it, and that we get winter because the earth tilts away from the sun for 6 months of the year – that should shut him up. I’ll probably still get BUT WHY!
A to Z of Parenting – X is for X-Ray Vision
No this is what I’m talking about all parents need super-powers such as X-Ray Vision.
Imagine it your in the kitchen making a cuppa your little one is being a little TOO quiet, no problem just look through the walls with your X-Ray Vision to see whats going on in there. Another super-power I’d like is the ability to freeze time. Running late in the morning getting ready for the school run, no problem freeze the time. Now you’ve got plenty of time to do your hair and makeup, pack those school lunches and of course drink that cup of tea.
What super-powers do you wish you had to help you out with parenting? Comment below I’d love to read your ideas.
A to Z of Parenting – Y is for Years Go By Too Fast
It’s true that once you become a parent the years fly past. Your little baby grows up way too quickly. It only seems like 6 months ago I was pregnant but here I am with a 3 year old toddler being a little whirlwind around the place.
It’s important to make memories as a family as they do grow up quick. Take plenty of photo’s and have a keepsakes box for all the special times you spent together. Not only will you enjoy looking back at the memories you had with them but they will enjoy looking back on their childhood memories when they are all grown up themselves.
A to Z of Parenting – Z is for Zzzzzz
Lack of sleep is something us parents have all suffered through. Especially during that fateful time when they want night feeds! To be fair I think I’m massively understating it as ‘Lack of Sleep’. Full on ‘Sleep Deprivation’ covers it a bit better I think.
Sleep deprivation can cause you to do many strange things. I kept finding ham, butter etc in the cupboards, not quite sure what was wrong with the fridge! Also I remember trying to make a cup of tea and coffee in the same cup – that was interesting. I think I actually lost a year of my life through tiredness. I’m struggling to remember anything about this time period!
It used to drive me nuts when I was pregnant and people would say ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. I remember thinking I won’t have time to sleep I’ve got housework to do, meals to prepare. I even thought I’d have time to do a few days work at home so I wouldn’t lose so much money from being on maternity leave. Wow was I delusional as a first time mom!
Now I totally get it, even now as my little one approaches his 3rd birthday I will join in for his afternoon nap on a weekends. The simple fact is your house work can wait. It’s not going to harm a soul if you’ve an ironing pile or three or you forgot to stick the dishwasher on. What will harm you is lack of sleep – it affects moods and can also contribute to anxiety and depression in mums. Your baby needs a well rest mum not a ironed baby grow, they’ll do just fine in a creased one.
So now you finished reading this at some go forsaken hour of the night go get yourself some well deserved sleep mommy 🙂
What strange things have you done whilst being exhausted from looking after your little ones? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!
Mummy It’s OK – You’re Doing Great!
Hi! I’m Julie. I write about all things related to mum life. I’m also a postpartum depression survivor. I love helping mum start their mum blog journey and I have step-by-step guides to help!