a letter to my two year old - mother and daughter with personalised gold glitter cake topper and rainbow cake

Aria, now you’re two. Where have these past two years gone? It’s fair to say that you’ve been spirited right from the start; my pregnancy was tough, my labour was crazy and these last two years have been a whirlwind of love, fun, sass and exhaustion.

I’m not one for soppiness, but I can’t deny that my love for you has grown stronger each day, don’t get me wrong, there are some trying moments here and there when it may welt a little, but it soon grows back, bigger and stronger.

My love for you started as a maternal thing, in the early days I loved you because you were my baby, I had ‘made’ you and I wanted to nurture you and care for you. Now that love has changed. I love your personality, I love your attitude to life, I love you for YOU.

It’s amazing how much you have learnt in two years, don’t get me wrong, you still have a lot to learn, but you’re getting there. You’re still very cautious and like to assess situations before throwing yourself in, I joke around and call you a ‘wimp’, but in reality you are actually really very clever. I, quite literally, see other toddler’s throwing theirselves head first into situations, but not you, you stand on the sideline assessing the situation before taking my hand and asking me to come with you.

We’ve been going to music and dance lessons for about a year and a half now, just last week you did something major, you went and picked up your own instruments from the box in the middle of the room, you went up there, with all the other crazy toddlers and babies, and picked a xylophone out of the box. You then went back up there to get the stick to play it. Most parents don’t bat an eyelid when their child does this, but when you did it I was so proud as it is so unlike you. My baby is growing.

You have an amazing personality, you are so full of life and you always make people smile, even strangers struggle to walk past you without smiling. By the time this goes live (at the time you were born assuming my scheduling goes to plan!) we will have already opened your birthday presents, and I’m sure there will have been lots of ‘wows’ and eager arm flapping. Wow is one of your favourite words, even when the postman brings a boring parcel to the door you let out a big ‘wow’, much to everyone’s amusement.

You’re still really small, you’ve currently wearing size 12-18 month clothing and size 3 shoes. This just adds to your cuteness and your ability to wrap everyone around your little finger. No one can resist it when you smile, or when you cry. We all run around after you, and take pleasure in doing so.

My beautiful girl, now you are two. 

Cake topper by Lucy Rose Gifts.

Toddler sat playing on bed - blog post with hints and tips on smooth transition from cot to bed

I mentioned a little while ago that my toddler has transformed into a sleep demon. It’s quite typical of her really, she doesn’t like to conform to stereotypes so of course she would be ‘backwards’ and sleep through when babies typically don’t; and then digress to not sleeping when toddlers typically do. Typical Aria. We’ve tried a few things to get her back into a good sleeping routine, all of which have failed miserably. The next step was to make the transition from a cot to a bed, so, when Emma Mattress got in touch asking if we would like to review one of their single mattresses* we decided to take the plunge and move straight from the cot into a single bed. Why waste time and money with a toddler bed?

 

Pretty much as soon as we put the bed up Aria came down with a Viral Infection, she was super poorly and clingy and it just didn’t feel right to put her into a new bed while in this state. Instead, Spencer slept in Aria’s new bed while Aria slept with me. Spencer gave it a big thumbs up and was actually quite disapointed when Aria had recovered enough to trial her new bed – high praise for the man who is dead set against co-sleeping.

 

During the time that Aria was ill I sat her on her new bed during the day with her toys, this was a great way to get her used to the bed without piling the pressure on her. We decided to pile the bed with things that Aria loves, i.e. Peppa Pig. We bought Peppa bedding and stuck a little Peppa sticker on the wall next to the bed, above her Peppa pillow. Knowing how much Aria likes to throw herself around the bed resulted in a search for a long bed guard, most of them are quite short and I didn’t trust that they would prevent her from taking a dive.

 

Fast forward a little while and Aria has now been sleeping in her ‘big girl bed’ for two weeks – did the transition from a cot to a bed help with the sleepless nights? A little. I am so glad that we made the move. Aria still wakes up once most nights, but has a bottle and almost always goes straight back to bed. Sometimes there will be a few tears but when left to settle she gets over it within around two minutes.

 

Aria loves her ‘big girls bed’ and I am so glad that we made the move. Every morning, or at least on the mornings when she wakes up in a good mood, she excitedly sits in bed and points out all the Peppa’s to me, which is usually followed up by a tour of her soft toys and then switching the night light on and off. She is so proud of her bed and it just melts my heart.

 

Spencer and I are extremely jealous of her new bed, the mattress from Emma is so comfortable and also pretty damn cool, even the way it arrives is impressive, it comes rolled up in a box and once opened it comes to life and ‘puffs’ up, I filmed a little video showing the unboxing and ‘puffing’. We highly recommend Emma Mattresses; who wouldn’t want a comfortable foam mattress delivered to their door?

 

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Transitioning your toddler from a cot to a bed - our hints and tips on making the transition from cot to bed

*Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and items marked ‘*’ were received for review purposes*

My daughter slept through from the age of two months, and oh how smug I was about that. I had the perfect baby who slept like a dream and everything was lovely and happy. Fast forward to today, she will be two next month and she hates sleep. She is a sleep thief and everything is grumpy and miserable.

from sleeping angel to sleeping demon - my two year old has started refusing to sleep in her own cot - a plea for advice

We are at a complete loss as to what to do with our darling daughter, the sleep thief. Every night gets a little less bearable. We are all exhausted, we are all grumpy, we are all snapping at each other. We all need sleep. Even the sleep thief herself needs sleep. Now that she is over tired she is sleeping less and needing sleep more – it is a vicious circle.

It’s been building up to this gradually. Quite a while ago Aria went from sleeping through to waking once or twice during the night, she would usually have a bottle and go straight back down, no qualms. On the odd occasion she would be really upset, we would assume she was teething and if hubby was dealing with her he would stay with her until she fell asleep. If I was dealing with her I would bring her in our bed – I have no patience, especially not at 3am, and definitely not at 5am.

This week it has escalated. She will go to sleep fine with her bottle and a book. Then she wakes up during the night and all hell breaks loose.  She will not settle. She hates the person who goes to see her, she hits and kicks so that she can get to the other one of us. She will absolutely not go back in her cot. Even hubby has started to bring her into our bed – which of course he says is all my fault. When she comes into our bed she has to be close to me, she literally lies on top of me and presses her head into mine, until she eventually shuffles off down the bed and settles at the bottom of the bed.

Then last night it blew up out of control. Her bed time came and went. She would not go to sleep. I tried giving her a bedtime bottle and she refused, just climbing down from my lap and running away. I tried reading to her and she cried. I tried putting her in her cot and leaving her and she screamed and screamed and screamed. She stayed up until around 9:30pm when I decided just to go to bed myself and bring her in with me. Then it was party time.

She went hyper in our bed. Pulling the duvet off me, walking across the bed and then throwing herself down, bouncing all over the place, singing, punching me, kicking me, pulling my hair – all while laughing hysterically.

At 11:30pm she eventually shuffled down to the bottom of the bed and fell asleep, where she stayed until the alarm went off at 7:30am. Eight hours sleep is not enough, not for a toddler. She has gone to nursery today with big bags underneath her tired little red eyes.

I am hoping she will have one of her famously long naps in nursery, the longest one was four hours. She needs it. And me? I’m getting drunk tonight in the hope that I sleep through everything.

We went to Bluestone in December and she slept through every single night, which has us thinking that maybe she just doesn’t like her cot? As a result we are getting her a new bed, her single bed should arrive today, I’ve also ordered a Peppa Pig duvet cover and some Peppa Pig wall sticks because she is obsessed with that bloody pig, I’m sure she prefers Peppa to mam & dad so hopefully she’ll happily sleep with Peppa!

She also loved veg, particularly broccoli, a quick look at the dried up veg splats across my dining room floor will show you how wrong I was to be smug about that…

When your toddler is as sassy as mine they need to have a seriously kick arse wardrobe to match their unique personality, which is where me&i comes into play (and mummy’s styling skills, obviously). We were thrilled when they got in touch asking if we would like them to send us more clothing following our decision to ditch the pink and add some serious personality into the toddler wardrobe.

seriously sassy toddler styling with me&i - perfectly fun and playful toddler clothing from me&i for unique toddler style

You may notice that there are quite a few splashes of pink here, but that is okay, because it is pink with personality rather than the run of the mill cutesy pink clothing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to the cutesy stuff, Aria actually has a pink hoody with the word ‘cute’ written on it, it cost around £3 from Primark and is perfect for nursery, but when we are out and about I like to dress Aria in something with a lot more personality, something as unique as she is.

colourful and unique clothing for your toddler from me&i - she wears harry & lily playing leggings-orange Indian pattern leggings with brown ankle boots

One of the first items of clothing to jump out at me was the Harry & Lily playing leggings, I love the bright orange colour and the unusual design. Teamed with Aria’s go to brown ankle boots from Primark and her pretty t-shirt from Marks & Spencer these made for a cute, playful and comfortable outfit.

pink heart top and velour trousers with heart knee patches for baby - toddler - children from me&i

I started to type that this was one of my favourite outfits overall, but then I realised I could say the same thing about them all as I love them all. This one is pretty funky though. The leggings with hearts are just adorable and teamed with the hearts puffy long sleeve top they make a lovely outfit. Aria seems to agree too!

pink dress for toddler girl with black houses print from me&i teamed with knee high brown monkey socks and brown ankle boots from primark

This is Aria’s super hero dress – you know how you see all the funky buildings and houses in the background of super hero prints? It just reminds me of that. The house tunic looks amazing teamed with knee high monkey socks and brown ankle boots.

toddler girl wearing long dress green and pink bird print from me&i clothing

The birds dance dress is just adorable. It is a little longer than any other dress that Aria owns and I joked that when teamed with her hat and her coat (see header photo) she looked like the cutest little old lady in it. The print and the style of this dress is just perfect, although not quite perfect for when Aria takes a tumble as the longer length does mean that her feet get caught in it!

As well as being colourful and pretty damn awesome clothing, me&i clothing is high quality, OEKO-TEX certified, all of the baby range is organic and the majority of children’s clothing is double cuffed and elasticated to ensure the best fit and wear time.

 

*Disclosure – all items of clothing from me&i were sent to us in exchange for coverage – all thoughts are my own*

You may recall me mentioning that Aria still wasn’t walking at twenty months and was undergoing tests for suspected hip problems, possibly hip dysplasia. Fast forward two months and we have had A LOT of progress! First and most important things first, the X-Ray came back clear, Aria does not have hip dysplasia – huge sigh of relief. Secondly the Physio thinks that she has hyper-mobility which is causing confidence and stability issues and therefore slowing her down. Thirdly, and quite amazingly, Aria is now walking, at almost twenty two months she decided to take the plunge and go for it – and now there is no stopping her!

after fears of hip dysplasia and with hypermobility my toddler took her first steps at twenty two months. This blog post explains the diagnosis and shares a video of her first steps.

Our Physiotherapist doesn’t know that Aria is walking yet, we have our second appointment with her after Christmas and I am hoping that we will now be discharged. I did check in the first appointment if we were to cancel if Aria started walking but she said no, she would still like to see her.

At our first Physio appointment our physiotherapist spent time getting to know Aria and examining her, she didn’t start the exercises as we hadn’t yet had the X-Ray results back and so she wanted to wait until we had them to be sure that she wasn’t going to cause her any further damage or aggravate her. She noted that her feet were flexible, not flexible to the extent of severe hyper-mobility but she definitely suspects mild hyper-mobility. Mild enough that she will grow out of it, much like it seems that I have as I mentioned that I have previously been tested for hyper-mobility and didn’t have it, Aria’s physiotherapist explained that I likely did have it and just grew out of it.

We were advised to buy some trainers or boots with ankle support, which we have finally managed to buy, it isn’t an easy task when your toddler has size three and a half feet (well, one 3 & 1/2, one 2 &1/2 to be exact!) and await the X-Ray results. What we didn’t expect was for Aria to take her first steps in the meantime!

Last week, with a bit of encouragement, while we were prepping for our Bluestone holiday Aria decided to take a little walk completely unaided! We were so excited and managed to capture the second and third walk on camera which is just magical. While we were in Bluestone she walked, a lot. People were amazed when we told them that she had only just started walking as she is doing so well. I bought her some new trainers with ankle support yesterday and she is getting even better with her walking, she now runs and jumps too!

I’m amazed and so proud that, at almost twenty two months, we are finally here.

When my baby was sixteen months and still not walking I thought she was just a little ‘slow’ compared to others her age, she is so small she probably will take longer to do things.

When my baby was seventeen months and still not walking I thought she was just waiting until she was more confident and fully able, but mentioned it to the health visitor just in case.

When my baby was eighteen months and still not walking I hadn’t heard back from the health visitor so assumed that if they weren’t worried, I needn’t be. She is a bum shuffler and they always take longer to walk.

When my baby was nineteen months and still not walking I started to think that there may be a problem, we had received a letter from the health visitor stating that she had a check up next month. They were concerned and so was I.

When my baby was twenty months and still not walking the health visitor confirmed what we had worried about, she may have hip problems and they would X-Ray her for suspected Hip Dysplasia and send her to Physiotherapy.

When my baby was twenty one months and still not walking we were worried, wondering how she and us would cope with life in a spica and fearing the worse.

When my baby started walking at twenty two months it was one of the proudest moments of my life.