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21 posts tagged toddler

the newbie: A New Babysitter

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By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


One issue I regularly have is that I have to wait for my husband to get home before I can head out. By the time he gets home, I’m meeting friends for dinner at 8pm or later… and that’s just too close to my bedtime for my liking!

So recently I met a college student who lives nearby and babysits for some of our neighbors. She’s lovely, very sweet and seems good with kids.

But Miss June is not having it.

My 17-month-old cries, screams and holds so tightly to my legs that the babysitter and I both have to work to pry her off. It’s very hard to leave and I find myself worrying about her until my husband gets home and texts me that all is well.

I know that she’s likely in a big ‘separation anxiety’ phase, and maybe it’s just a matter of getting her used to the new babysitter (she has a regular daytime sitter whom she takes to easily). I guess I’d just like some reassurance that it’s okay to leave her now and then with a babysitter. And that this phase will pass.

Is it? Will it? Any tips for making the transition easier?

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the newbie: Winter-Wear (or Not to Wear!)

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By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I have a very serious question: How the heck do you get winter gear to stay on a 16-month-old?

Maintaining possession of June’s mittens and hat when we go for a stroll is tougher than keeping track of Barbie’s tiny shoe sets. She flings them off, dropping them on the sidewalk while gleefully shouting “All done!” when clearly we are still walking and it is (very cold outside.

So far I have managed not to lose any pieces, but she’s often without hat or gloves outside, and she definitely gets cold. Even the snap-on hats don’t work. They make her crazy and she eventually gets them off after some tugging.

I’ve thought about disciplining her and forcing her to wear gloves and hat, though that involves near constant attention and struggling from me as we walk. Should just let her be cold and figure out that these items are there to keep her comfortable?

Any advice or magic solutions?

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the newbie: Food Drama

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


Baby June has been a good eater since she started solids, mostly chomping away happily at whatever we put on her tray. Berries, pasta, eggs with spinach… even Chicken Tikka Masala has gone down with ease.

Until now.

Suddenly she’s refusing lots of dishes, seemingly at random. One day at lunch she’ll try a bite of macaroni and then thrown the rest of the bowl on the floor. The next night at dinner, she’ll ignore everything but her water and maybe a piece of banana.

I’m not sure if it’s her taste buds developing or stubbornness or what… but it’s vexing. I try to keep my calm Mom-face on while I worry and (honestly) get annoyed on the inside.

Our doctor has told us not to offer her a buffet of choices, but try to stick to what we’ve given her and move along to the next snacktime or mealtime if she refuses to eat. I’ve mostly done that, but it’s hard not to offer her options when she’s fussy.

Any other parents have a way to handle this that they can share?

the newbie: Toddler Hair

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I have a confession: I don’t want to cut Baby June’s hair! While many of her friends are still bald, she has a lovely head of wavy brown hair that I just adore. Last weekend, she met her little cousin Clara for the first time, and Clara was obsessed with June’s curls, pulling at them every chance she got!

The thing is, her locks are always falling in her face and they often look more out- of-control than cute. Brushing is tough—and I’ve even seen the start of a baby dreadlock (I combed it out quickly!).

I’ve tried various types of barrettes and headbands, and they all end up as very interesting toys that go in her hands, her mouth… anywhere but on her head. Does anyone have any advice on something to try to tame her mane without losing those sweet curls that hang at the bottom?

If not, I think it’s time for the scissors.

the newbie: Late Walkers

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


June is almost 16 months old, and she’s still crawling. She stands up regularly, takes a step or two when encouraged (sometimes), but mainly she thinks the whole walking thing is overrated.

This means a few things for me:

First, her clothes are all insanely dirty. Muddy pants, sloppy sleeves, shoes that look like they’ve been run over by a dump truck. Forget the cute dresses in her closet—they cannot be worn until she’s upright.

Second, I have to handle the “Is she walking yet?” question with finesse. “She’s not,” I say. “But we’re not worried.” Because the thing is, we’re mostly not. She’s a healthy, happy kid with fine muscle control. But lots of people seem to think we should be concerned. Everyone has an anecdote about the kid who walked late, but most people say it with a little gleam of worry in their eye (or maybe I’m projecting).

Third, I’ll admit it: I just want her to stand up on the playground and toddle off with the other kids. And I want to make use of those cute dresses.

Anyone else have a late walker?

the newbie: Halloween!

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I know that, at 15 months, June is too young to remember this Halloween. But still, how can we resist dressing her up and taking her door to door?

My husband is getting out of work early on Wednesday, we’re bundling up our baby girl in a strawberry outfit that’s cozy and cute, and we’re collecting candy! (Whether June gets to eat any of it remains to be seen.)

This year, I think we’ll just do some trick-or-treating on our block, but I’d really like to make our family holiday celebrations special starting next year. My mom used to peel grapes so they felt like eyeballs in the dark. And cold cooked spaghetti sure can pass as a bowl of brains when you’re young and impressionable!

Happy Halloween!

Please share: Do you guys have any Halloween traditions that you do with your children? Does your neighborhood have an event? Also: What are your little ones dressing up as this year?

the newbie: Ditching the Bottle

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


At the 12-month visit our doctor advised us to move to full-time sippy cup usage and get rid of bottles. I was excited to stop washing out bottles and dealing with all the various parts involved—big step! As for the transition, I thought, “No problem!” June’s been drinking water from a sippy for months now, so I figured she’d be comfortable with it.

Boy, was I wrong.

When it comes to milk, this girl wants bottle, bottle, bottle. She throws the sippy cup with milk in it, refusing to drink. I’ve started giving her a big smoothie so she gets enough milk, but having her drink milk on its own is a real struggle without the “baba.”

I think she got dependant on the bottle as a comfort object, and I know we should break her of that, but it’s proving hard. I wonder if it’s just a matter of making bottles disappear altogether, or a gradual process…

Has anyone else handled this transition in a way that worked well?

the newbie: Food Play!

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


June is now over 13 months old and eating three meals a day, along with some whole milk. I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a cook, but suddenly it feels very important to be making balanced, nutritious meals for her (as opposed to heating up ravioli, which is what I do for myself if my husband isn’t home—he’s the chef in the family).

If the baby had it her way, she’d eat bananas 24/7 (the girl asks for “nana!” all the time). She eats berries, too, and even pomegranate seeds, so we’re okay for fruit, I think. Snacktime is like a fruit explosion!

I’ve found some ways to have her eat vegetables—spinach in scrambled eggs, pureed broccoli under the cheese in a pita pizza—but I’m definitely looking for new recipe ideas. I even got the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook, but I’m not sure how much I want to use purees; I’d definitely like her to try the full vegetables, but I don’t want her to spit them out (she tends to do that).

I would love to hear what other moms do for their kids to have them try new flavors, eat well and enjoy mealtimes.

the newbie: Scheduling Time at Grandma’s

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


June just spent her first night away from home, at 13 months, at her grandparents’ place. There’s a crib (same one we have), lots of toys, and of course we brought her blankie-animal and her pajamas, anything to smell like home. She did pretty well—I know she had a lot of fun and play time with the little dogs—but her grandma reported that she went to bed late and woke up early, losing almost an hour and a half of her normal nightly sleeping time. (This gave me anxiety.)

Not being there, I can never be sure exactly what happened. I wonder, though if anyone has any advice on how to navigate the first nights away from home. It won’t be a very regular thing, but Grandma has asked that she come at least every other month or so, just so they can have quality time.

I wonder if I should just let things go and try not to worry, knowing that she’s safe and cared for. And if she misses a little sleep in exchange for spending the day with Grandma, it’s okay?

Or should I strictly outline routines and rules? I’ve tried to communicate these, but I’m not sure how specific to be. I guess I’m afraid of being overbearing about her schedule.

Any advice?