Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, Parent

A letter to my one year old

Dear Samuel

You have been one for nearly a week now and it's as if you have turned into a toddler overnight. You are walking everywhere and everyday you let go of our fingers for a little bit longer and a little more often.

You are such a character and seem to find rough and tumble play hilarious, especially with Daddy, your Grandads and your cousins Max and Henry.

Your smile is infectious and you know what to do to make Mummy smile too. Although you are shy with people you don't know or don't know very well you are such a social little boy. You love to follow older children and try and copy what they are doing. You always wave to cars as they pass even if you don't know who they are.

I think you are going to be a bit of a class clown. You like to stick your tongue out and will keep doing something if it has made someone laugh such as dribbling water down your chin. Your newest thing is to roar like a dinosaur. I think that you have got that from Peppa Pig, which you love to watch especially on Mummy's phone. Another favourite is Pingu.

You like to sing (hum) and always starts to bob up and down if you hear music you like. Your favourite songs are 'Wind the Bobbin up' and 'I had a little turtle'. You have definitely got Mummy's love of books and you will quite happily sit there and look at one or bring one to us to read to you.

You are such a chatterbox too and have some long conversations with us. I wish I knew what you were saying. I love to hear you say Mama and Dada, it just melts my heart.

You have achieved so much already in such a short time and Mummy and Daddy are so proud of you. I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring for you but please stay my baby for just a little bit longer.

Lots of love always

Mummy xxxxx

Baby products, Breastfeeding, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, food, Sleep, Weaning

Samuel at 12 months

I can't believe I am writing this post. It seems crazy that I have a one year old. I'm sure it was only yesterday that I held him for the first time. Samuel has changed so much since he was that 8lb 4oz newborn and even since my last update. He really is turning into a little boy.

Gross Motor
Samuel is able to walk a short distance independently but would still rather hold your finger although he seems to be getting more confident everyday. He loves to climb and will pull himself up on anything, climbing on and off his scuttle bug and bike with ease.

Fine Motor
Samuel is able to use his hands with purpose. He can use a spoon to feed himself and is able to pick up small objects and food using a pincer grip. He is still obsessed with putting lids back on things.

Cognitive
Samuel remembers where things were or where they should be. He likes to push cars around on the floor and tries really hard to put the correct shape in the correct hole in his shape house.

Communication
Samuel is beginning to build up a repertoire of words such as mama, dada, ball, bubble, Peppa, no and Nanna. He is able to follow simple instructions such as 'sit down', 'find daddy' and 'come here' and understands lots of individual words. Samuel likes to sing and he loves books, bringing them to you to read.

Social
Samuel can be quite shy around unfamiliar people and can be quite clingy especially towards me. However with people he knows well he will happily go with them and talk to them. Samuel particularly likes older children who he can follow around and copy. He loves spending time with his older cousins and friends. It has been really good for Samuel to spend with Daddy and Grandad without me around.

Feeding
Samuel wakes and is breastfeed about half and hour before his breakfast. He then usually goes all day without milk until bedtime when he will have a formula bottle and a top up of breast milk if needed. If he does want milk during the day he will either have a small bottle of formula or some breast milk depending on where we are and what we are doing. Samuel will have breast milk during the night if he wakes to settle him quickly back to sleep.
Samuel is now eating pretty much anything and his favourite food is peas and sweetcorn. He now has 8 teeth; 4 at the top and 4 at the bottom.

Sleeping
Samuel still likes 2 naps a day and the car and pushchair are still the places he falls to sleep easiest. In the evenings he falls to sleep on our bed and we transfer him into his own room. He has now slept through the night (between 6 and 9 hours) a few times and it's very reassuring to know he can do it. We still occasionally co sleep and we do it because it works for us.

Although I am a little sad that I no longer have a baby (he will always be my baby though) I am excited to see the little boy he is growing in to.

Baby products, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, Parent

Samuels First Shoes

Now Samuel is standing independently and trying to walk we thought it was time he had something sturdier on his feet, so we went and got Samuel measured for his first ‘proper’ pair of shoes. We took him to our local Clarks store. A definite right of passage in the UK. 

The Sales Assistant alongside a trainee asked us to sit Samuel on the edge of the seat so his feet hung down. She then used a handheld foot measure (no idea what they are called) to measure the length and width of Samuels feet. I remember as a child they had a machine that you put your foot in and it closed in around it to work out the size you needed. Surprisingly in this day and age there was nothing that technical. 

Samuels feet measured at a 3.5 F and the shoes that we liked also happened to be in the sale at 50% off. 

Samuel was such a good boy trying on his new shoes and the Sales Assistant even commented on how good he was. His cousin Henry was with us and he helped to feel Samuels feet to make sure they fitted in the shoes. My Dad was also there, he always said he would buy Samuel his first pair of shoes. 

I took my camera with me so made sure I got some pictures of Samuel trying his new shoes on and standing in them. 

When we got home I went on to Clarks Kids Facebook page and via their link I uploaded a picture of Samuel alongside his name and date of birth. They then created for us a lovely animation to celebrate Samuel getting his first pair of shoes. Such a lovely touch that can be shared (see my Instagram page) and such a lovely experience overall. โ€‹

Early Years, First time Mum, Parent, Parties

Samuels Christening Day

On Sunday 11th June we celebrated Samuels Christening. Although we are not strongly religious it was something we wanted to do. We chose to have the service in the village where my husband grew up and the local church there also had strong links to his family with both his Dad and Grandad being choir boys when they were younger. 

The vicar had just retired but we knew how fabulous he was having been to his services a few times before and he agreed to come back and conduct Samuels Christening for us.

It really was a celebration of Samuel and the service was so family orientated. We chose 3 godparents for Samuel; our 2 best friends and our Sister in Law. 

Samuel has so many important people in his life it was a difficult decision. We decided against having our own brothers and sister as they had such important roles in Samuels life already. That being said my brother did play a big part in the christening. He did a reading and lit (helped by my nephew) and presented Samuel with the candle. Our own goddaughter filled the font which was such a lovely touch.

It was purely a christening service and Samuel was the only child being christened. We even got to choose the hymns so we made sure they were upbeat ones. It definitely felt like such a happy occasion. 

The after party was at my Sister in laws parents pub in the village I grew up in. My very talented Mum had organised the decorations and baked cupcakes and we had so much delicious food ( always a big part of our family celebrations). We hired soft play to keep the children entertained and my godson provided background music. 

It really was a beautiful day and we are so grateful to my parents who paid for it all as their christening present to Samuel. 

Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, food, Parent, Sleep, Weaning

Samuel at 9 months

I can’t believe we are at this point already! Samuel has nearly been here as long as he was growing inside me. He just amazes us everyday. He is so clever. I know all parents say that and it’s always true. 

Gross Motor

Samuel is able to crawl and pull himself up to standing on sturdy furniture. He is able to sit himself up from laying down or crawling by getting up on his hands and feet. He still loves to walk holding both hands. 

Fine Motor

Samuel is much more purposeful with his movements. He is able to grasp anything he needs and swap between his hands. Even at this early stage he seems to be favouring his right hand. Samuel is able to keep hold of an object for long periods of time such as his dummy or his cup. He loves filling and emptying and attempts to put lids back on things. 

Cognitive 

Samuel actively explores the world around him. Now he is on the move he is literally into everything. He lifts things to see what is underneath and is copying actions such as shaking his head, clapping and waving. 

Communication 

Samuel loves to talk and will babble phrases of 3/4 syllables. He babbles frequently even when alone and listens with more interest to familiar words such as Mummy, Daddy and water and to familiar songs such as Wind the Bobbin up. Samuel is able to say Mama and Dada. He also seems to say hello in context. 



Social

Samuel is such a flirt and will put on the smile for people who show him attention. He loves to play Peekaboo and likes to talk to the ‘Mirror Baby’. Samuel is now able to wave bye and likes to share his toys and food (although he doesn’t actually want you to keep them). He loves other children and had so much fun on holiday with his big cousin. 

Feeding

Samuel is still breastfeeding on demand and still needs a feed during the night to settle him quickly back to sleep. He also has 1-2 formula bottles a day. Samuel loves his food, especially finger foods that he can feed himself. He now has 4 teeth. 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom, and 2 more top teeth trying to come through. 

Sleeping

Samuel is still not a great sleeper. He has still never slept through the night and we spend a lot of time co-sleeping. He is down to 2 naps a day and has to be really tired to fall asleep if we are somewhere new (nosey baby). When we are at home though he is sleeping in his own room for the first part of the night which means Lee and I have got our evenings back. He loves to nap in the car and will often fall asleep even if he has only just had a nap. We do not and will not use the car as a sleep aid though but often try and time our journeys around nap time where possible. 

Samuel has achieved so much already and being his Mummy really is the best job in the world! 

Baby products, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, food, Parent, Weaning

Weaning Wednesday – Breakfast

Breakfast is never something I have been good at. Before getting pregnant it was very rare that I had breakfast and if I did, it would have to be an hour or so after I woke up. When I found out I was expecting I made the effort to always eat something but it is never anything exciting and I fear I am going down the same route with Samuel. I seem to be giving him the same things and have only, a couple of times, tried to mix it up a bit. By writing this post I hope to inspire myself to get more adventurous with both Samuels and my own breakfast choices. 

When we first introduced Samuel to breakfast we started off with rusk mixed with a bit of milk. This went down well and as he got used to it we made it thicker and thicker. We then moved on to baby porridge. We used the plain aptimal one and Samuel loved it. This was something we then stuck with for a long time as we knew he would eat it. It wasn’t until he was nearly 7 months that we tried other things. 

Toast is now a popular choice with Samuel. We just toast it lightly and cut into strips. Weatabix is also a favourite and I just mix it up with some warm formula milk. 

This week Samuel has tried scrambled egg, which he really liked and the new Ella’s Kitchen brekkie pouches which he has also found tasty. 

Samuels other breakfast tries have been beans on toast, crumpets and American pancakes. Over the next few weeks it is my aim to try some of the breakfast choices from the list I posted last week and hopefully make our mornings a little more interesting. 

Baby products, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, Parent, Weaning

Weaning Wednesday – using up the leftoversย 

This week I thought I would share a couple of really simple recipes that we have tried.

The first is super easy and great for using up any leftover mash potato.

Mashed Potato Lego Bites

  1. Blend the leftover mash to make it even smoother.
  2. Spoon into ice-cube trays (we used Lego shaped ones hence ‘Lego Bites’) and freeze.
  3. To cook pop the frozen shapes onto a non-stick baking tray, spray with oil and lightly sprinkle on some mixed herbs.

Pop in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown on top.
The next recipe is great for using up any leftover vegetables. These would be lovely with sweetcorn or sweet potato. 

Veggie Bites

  1. First cook all the vegetables you want to include. We used potato, carrots, frozen peas, parsnip and cauliflower. It’s important that you include either potato or sweet potato though. 
  2. Blend or mash all the vegetables together. I mashed as I wanted a slightly thicker consistency as we are trying to get Samuel to eat more textured food.
  3. Add mild grated cheese whilst the mixture is still warm so it melts in.
  4. Add 1 egg and mix well.
  5. Roll a small handful into a ball, coat in breadcrumbs and flatten slightly onto a baking sheet. Make sure you grease the tray or use grease proof paper as they tend to stick. 
  6. Place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for around 25-30 minutes turning halfway through. 

The Bites can be placed in the freezer before cooking. Just defrost before popping in the oven. 

Samuel seemed to like them especially the Veggie Bites. Lots of messy fun! 

He liked them even more the next day when they were cold.