There are lots of things I didn’t think I would do as a parent which inevitably now I do. Before having children I’ll admit I didn’t realise how hard parenthood really is. You only really ever see a snapshot of a parents daily life. There is so much that happens when no one else is watching.

You never know how much sleep the parent had the night before. Whether they had to endure a massive temper tantrum just getting shoes on. Or if they haven’t even had a chance to grab a coffee that morning.

Things I didn’t think I would do as a parent

Let them watch TV

Watching TV face

Before kids I assumed that I would greatly limit the amount of TV my children watch. I had vaguely heard of the channel CBeebies but hadn’t yet appreciated how important it would become in my life.

CBeebies has been a life saver at times. Especially this year during the early days of bringing a baby home, to a house with a toddler. TV became the only way to pacify my toddler so I was able to spend thirty minutes with the baby.

I do try to limit the amount my children watch, but in these winter month’s it’s not always easy. You’ve been up since six, fed them, taken them out, fed them again, put them down for a nap, done an activity at home….tv becomes a very helpful friend to occupy them for an hr or so while you get jobs done.

After all my efforts I probably haven’t succeeded in limiting TV as much as I hoped As at ten months old my baby’s first word was Peppa Pig!

 

Eat anything apart from healthy snacks

With my first-born I was very strict on only feeding healthy snacks. Until her first birthday she had never tasted any chocolate, crisps or biscuits. Snacks included vegetable sticks, rice cakes and fruit.

Move on two years and my ten month old has already pinched crisps from plates, had buttons shoved in her mouth from sister and devoured a biscuit on first sight.

It becomes an impossible task to keep a second child away from ‘treats’ if their siblings are exposed to them. Unhealthy snacks are everywhere and always attract young eyes.

During the Christmas season its harder than ever. To counter balance the treats I try to feed them healthy balanced meals. In the hope that they understand that treats, are treats, and balance is best.

Listen to children’s music all the time

My daughters love listening to children’s music. Everything from nursery rhymes for the baby to pop songs sung by Justin Fletcher (aka Mr Tumble).

Whilst pregnant with my first born, I remember saying to my own mother ‘I won’t be spending all my time listening to children’s music’. She likes to remind me of this, when we have had ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’ on repeat for thirty minutes.

Parenthood is full of choices and decisions, some big and small. Now I am a parent I try not to judge anyone’s individual choices for their family. We all go down different paths and as long as the child is safe, cared for and happy, there are no rights and wrongs.

 

Is there anything you didn’t think you would do as a parent?
It would be great to get your comments, so please share below.

Across the country local libraries hold weekly events for little ones called Rhyme Time. We often go to our local library’s session when we don’t have any other plans with friends.

Beth enjoying the instruments at Rhyme Time

During the session there are nursery rhymes, simple stories, songs and finger rhymes. They are usually free and last about 30 minutes, depending on your area. The age limit they allow may be different depending on council but Rhyme Time is usually suitable for up to and including three-year olds. Both of my two daughters (2 years old and 9 months old) seem to enjoy and get a lot from the session.

Rhyme time is a great way to introduce your child to utilising a local library, whilst enjoying learning popular nursery rhymes. Repeating nursery rhymes have proven to be great for language development. They have a consistent rhythm which helps hold the child’s attention. The repetition makes it easy for them to learn a variety of words, which is good for their speech development. It is also a nice way of introducing babies and toddlers to their local library and encourages them to pick up and read books.

Favourite rhymes at our library include Old MacDonald, Zoom Zoom Zoom, Five Little Ducks and The Hokey Cokey!

Just as a warning Rhyme Time is usually a ticketed event (ours is always full) so you need to get there on time and get a ticket from a member of staff.

My daughter Beth and I have just completed a full term of Baby Sensory.
They are a nation wide franchise of classes specifically developed to encourage sensory interactions for babies and toddlers.

Each class focuses on a theme, and activities are created around the theme to engage the children. Classes aim to utilise all the senses with lights, fabrics, toys, musical instruments and sounds/songs.

The changing nature of the class week by week means that the class not only is highly engaging for the child but also keeps the adults happy.

A few of the theme highlights we enjoyed this term were On The Farm and Space.

The class always starts with the welcome song, followed by some activities, a break and then ends with further activities and the goodbye song. The babies enjoy the structure of the class as they begin to learn the order. During the break the babies are given freedom to enjoy soft play which they love.

Our experience of Baby Sensory

I didn’t have many expectations for the class apart from enjoying the one on one time with my daughter. So I was pleasantly surprised to actually see Beth get involved in all the activities and enjoy the hour we spent there each week.

She particular enjoyed activities that included lights, balloons or musical instruments. The soft play also seemed to engage her, as it was different each week and matched the overall theme.

Overall

Sadly today was our last class as I will be returning to work in a few weeks. I am so happy we decided to do the term though, as I think it has made her more sociable with other babies which will help her transition to nursery.

If you are interested in attending other baby classes with your child, consider looking at your nearest Rhyme Time class. These are sessions run by libraries across the country.