How can I make screen time with my toddler productive?

This is an honest question that I’ve asked myself as I got to a point where I wondered whether all of this time in front of a tablet was doing her any good.

I’ll share some of my observations and tips for navigating this sometimes taboo subject

1. For me I feel that a lot can be learnt through the many educational and interactive apps and videos available on a tablet. My daughter has learnt so much through some of the educational videos and also enjoys the games in the apps too.

2. As an adult vetting what your child is watching is paramount. If you allow your child to watch video streaming sites such as YouTube please please ensure that you restrict the videos that you deem inappropriate. There’s a lot of content on there that can be scary for children, especially the Halloween themed content. Create an account and block any videos or channels that don’t look right to you.

3. If you’re not sure about the video streaming sites here are some apps that are great for children aged 2-5: Highlights Shapes, Build a Truck by Duck Duck Moose, ABC Fruit Alphabet App, ABC Kids tracing and phonics, NumberBlocks, Hey Duggee, NumberBlocks- Hide and Seek, Lego – Airplane Adventures

4. If you can, stay with your child whilst they are on the tablet. Ask them questions about what is happening. Ask him or her to describe what they can see. This avoids the passive consumption that can happen on the tablet.

5. Limit the time that they use the app. Plan other activities for them to do that doesn’t involve a screen. I typically don’t allow my daughters usage to exceed one hour in a day.

6. Where do they watch their tablet? Encourage the right posture by allowing them to watch setting in a chair with good back support where their neck isn’t strained and the tablet isn’t too close to their eyes.

Thank you for reading and let me know if you’ve found any of this useful x

I do not own the image used in this blog. Source: phys.org

The holiday travel checklist for families with children under the age of 3

As we look towards sunnier days some maybe thinking about a family holiday. If like me you like to get organised early and book the perfect place. There’s a lot to think about when travelling with babies so here are some tips to help your trip run as smoothly as possible!

1. Give yourself time to prepare and plan for your trip. Check that passports are in date and that your baby is up to date with their vaccinations.

2. Read reviews on the hotel where you’ll be staying. Ensuring that your accommodation caters for families and can provide amenities like a baby cot and baby bath. Read reviews left by families especially. Booking.com usually show you if a review has been left by a family. Check the hotel pictures left by customers to get a real feel of the place.

3. Check if the airline your flying with provide meals for children. Some short flights do offer separate meals for babies and children.

4. Most airlines offer additional allowance without charge for you to check in your car or booster seat, collapsible buggy, travel cot and baby back carrier. Some airlines are specific about the type of stroller you can take to the door of the plane. Once checked in you should specify whether you want to pick up the stroller from the door of the plane or from the conveyor belt. Either way it’s best to have your baby carrier with you just incase baby is asleep when you land for example.

5. Baby food and water for your baby is allowed on the plane but will be screened by security. You can get more information from your airports website.

6. Pack snacks like fruit and sandwiches for the kids. It’s always good to have some to hand incase there are any delays to the flight.

7. Nappies and wipes although light can be bulky in a suitcase. Pack enough for the first night and second day of your stay. Use maps to check the local area for the nearest supermarket or pharmacy so you know where to go to pick some up.

8. Will you be hiring a car? Some providers offer car or booster seats. If your planning lots of trips whilst away it may be worth hiring a car seat instead of bringing the one you have. Call your car hire company and find out.

9. Most airports have a family check-in area, take advantage of these as they have specific tags for bulky check in items like pushchairs and buggies and are usually less busy than the normal check-in desks.

Credit: Getty images

10. Check your children’s baggage allowance. Some airlines don’t offer children under a certain age any baggage and some do. Always check beforehand to avoid any surprises at the airport.

I hope you’ve found this useful. Let me know in the comments section if you have any other top tips for travelling with babies. Thank you for reading x

5 things that potty training my daughter has taught me

Hello hello! It’s been a while and I’ve missed blogging. Parenting two young kids has been a big adjustment and the adjusting is still taking place lol.

It’s been a few weeks now since I started potty training my daughter and I wanted to share some real life lessons that I’ve taken away from it.

1. Patience when trying to reach your goals is key. When your patient you’re less likely to become frustrated and give up. Patience helps you to see the bigger picture and keep the end goal in mind. I’ve learnt to understand that I’m steering my daughter into a new way of thinking and also negotiating with someone who is very independent lol!

2. It’s okay to change strategy. Changing your mind and being innovative keeps the challenge fresh and less laborious. I’ve asked for lots of advice from mums and I’ve implemented them at different times to help reach the end goal.

3. Stay positive. Even when my daughter has an ‘accident’ I assure her that she’s going to get there. I never make her feel bad for what she has done, make a scene about it and I most certainly don’t tell her off. Positivity and a smile goes a long way and will actually help in progressing with the training. The way we talk to ourselves and the thoughts we entertain are important, say good things about your plans and ideas, use scripture if you’re a believer.

4. Celebrate the small wins. There has been more dancing’s between singing in our home these past few weeks than ever before as we celebrate each successful use of the potty and the same can be said about life too. Don’t demote something to mediocre when actually it should be celebrated. It gives you motivation to continue and reminds you that progress is being made.

5. Stay the course. It would be easy to give in and put a nappy on but we are so determined to stay the course and finally have a potty trained child. The reward at the end far outweighs giving in now into what’s more comfortable and familiar for her. The same goes for any other goal you have, put in the work and the results will be something you’ll be so so proud of.

Thank you for reading x

Am I making the most of my time as a mum?

Being a stay at home mum means that I sometimes feel as though I’m not being productive, even though I’m maintaining a home and raising a child my efforts can sometimes feel as though they aren’t really bring forth any tangible benefits.

This is when I must remind myself that I am investing in my children’s future and what I am doing now will put them in good steed for the future.

I must also remember that this is just a season and one that I must embrace and enjoy because it will pass and it will be before I know it, my daughter will be much older and independent not needing my help in many day to day things.

Remembering this also helps me to relax and doesn’t give me the feeling that I’m in some way ‘missing out’ by not being at work. I must say that after you’ve cleaned up food off the floor for what feels like the 55th time in one day, being in an office does sound very very appealing 🙂

Having worked since my teenage years this new season has taken some adjusting to but watching my little grow and blossom has been so so rewarding, it’s such a honour. I’ve gained a new perspective on life and I’m thankful for that.

Thank you for reading x