Mummy and me: Pressing questions…

By Deanna Campbell

Inspired by my almost-two year old’s incessant 2am/4am/6am ramblings, I thought it best to air some of my most pressing kiddie concerns in a public forum, in the hope that someone, somewhere has some answers.

1) Is sleeping through the night before the age of 2 a myth…or am I just doing something wrong?

My boy has always been a restless sleeper. The first few weeks, he’d be up every two hours (which I’ve heard is pretty normal) and sleep soundlessly for eons at a time during the daylight resulting in an almost surreal state of zombieness on my part. Things did eventually get better although I have to admit that we’ve only ever had a sprinkling of all-nighters here and there.

We’ve done the necessary checks… tummy full, nappy dry, room comfortable – and still, come 3am, he’s up and ready to get into our bed. I can’t count the number of times someone has regaled me with stories of their 6-month old sleeping through the night (while I mentally shoot them in the face). Which brings me to my question… is this normal? Am I missing something? Will I ever have a full night’s uninterrupted sleep again?


2) Should I be worried about his lack of ‘normal’ social skills?
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have a close family member take care of my son for his first almost two years while daddy and I go through the motions of our busy careers. As he slowly nears the age when I’d ideally like to get him enrolled in a creche, I’m starting to worry about his lack of, should we say, comfortable, social skills.
Recently, while at a sandbox in a playground nearby, he approached a little girl that had taken one of his toys and refused to give it back. When he eventually realised that this was the case, he proceeded to throw a handful of sand in her face. Mortified much?
Should I be concerned that he doesn’t yet quite have proper interaction/social skills or will this develop when he starts school and begins interacting more with kids his own age?


3) The great nappy/formula debate…
My son turns two in November. He still wears nappies and he still drinks a toddlers growing up milk that comes in powder form. I’ve spoken to various mums who’ve potty trained at 2, while a few have waited till 3… Also, my little guy loves his formula…
How long should I wait until I decide to wean him off both?

Deanna Campbell

Deanna spends her days buried in a jumble of words and her nights trying to balance family life and everything in between, all while doodling the name Grohl on her notepad and watching reruns of Supernatural. If it’s on TV, she’s seen it. If it’s the latest fad diet… she’s tried it. She’s got a lot to say.

Be warned.


One thought on “Mummy and me: Pressing questions…

  1. As the father of a two-year old – I have some advice, albeit superficial because, well, I’m also a first-time parent and I’m stumbling my way through parenthood one mistake at a time too.

    1) On the issue of sleep. We went to a fantastic parenting course before my boy was born. We learned that sleep is not something that comes naturally. To lie down, calm yourself and “fall asleep” is a skill that’s learned not something that happens because you’re tired. The down side is that at nearly two years old, your boy has probably got some bad habits that are hard to break. But they’re usually parent related – i.e. mommy holds me until i fall asleep, or I can’t sleep without my bunny.

    There’s also a routine that kids associate with “it’s time to sleep now”. This needs to be ingrained from the first day you’re back from the hospital and within 8 – 12 weeks, your baby is sleeping through. But you have to start early.

    At this toddler age, the best thing you can do for your kid is to show him that you and your hubby have a solid relationship. Sounds a bit wishy washy, but give it a bash. Kids sleep well when they know that everything is good in the home. It’s uncanny, they have this 6th sense about things.

    Try this: For the next week (and every night from now on) after work, sit with hubby on your couch and have 15 minutes “couch time”. Just you and him. Talk to eachother. If your boy comes hounding you, explain that this is “mommy and daddy time” and when you are finished talking to daddy, you will talk to him.

    He’ll carrying bugging you but keep re-enforcing that this is “mommy and daddy’s time”. Watch what happens in three of four day’s time.

    2) Social behaviour is a tough one. They’re at the age that they want to push the limits. We’re on this course at the moment which talks about bringing up kids with good morals. The first lesson we learnt about correction, but correction with purpose.

    It’s not good enough to say “no, don’t do that” all the time. you need to give a “why”. Toddlers are able to understand more than we give them credit for. If you explain the reason behind the “no”, it settles quicker. And for toddlers, you can be a bit more simple. “No, don’t hit mommy because you’re hurting her. It’s eina.”

    A simple “no don’t do that” also tells the child that it’s not okay to do that now, but in the future it will be okay. What you want to do is give the child the opportunity to understand WHY an action is not good and equip them with the ability to reason in the future.

    It’s also important to re-enforce the good. Don’t just use conflict situations where correction is necessary. Use every opportunity to explain to your boy why we do things. Why it’s good manners to open the door for mommy, why we eat at the table together and why we wait until everyone’s finished, why we don’t scream and why we don’t take other kid’s things.

    WHY WHY WHY. You’ll tire yourself out in the first few weeks, but, again, my boy is a changed toddler since we put effort into teaching him morals.

    3) We weaned my boy off formula and onto cow’s milk just after his 1st birthday. We figured that by 12 – 18 months, he’d be eating what we eat and he would be getting everything he needs from the food, without the need for formula. He gets a small bottle of full cream cows milk before bed and again when he wakes up, but the rest of the day he eats what we eat.

    As far as potty training goes, we’ve opted to wait for Spring when it’s a bit warmer. He’s also started showing signs that he’s ready to be potty trained – like telling us he needs a nappy change and also letting us know what he has in his nappy. The next step is actually getting him on the potty. We’ve started showing him the potty, and he also comes into the bathroom with me sometimes so I can explain the toilet and where daddy’s wee wee goes. He understands. Now we just need to start getting him to apply.

    Luckily, the school he goes to has a great potty training regime that that offer too so it makes life easier for us as working parents. We’ll see how this turns out.

    We have friends who have 5 (yes 5!) kids and their oldest (who’s now 7) potty trained their second-youngest (now 3) in less than a week.

    Hope this helps!

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