Toby turned two a couple of weeks ago, but I waited until we’d had his appointment with the Heath Visitor before writing his update. We had a brilliant time celebrating his birthday at West Midlands Safari Park and he’s doing really well overall.
Toby’s still absolutely fine on an unrestricted diet now, so it’s been about 10 months and we’re so thrilled that his early dairy issues are a thing of the past.
Toby has quite an appetite on him, and while he can be a bit fussy with meals sometimes he does eat a good variety of food. He loves cucumbers, olives, tomato pasta, sausages, broccoli and, of course, chocolate and ice cream when he’s allowed them! He can be a bit hit or miss with things like sandwiches, meat, fruit and cereal although he’ll beg for a banana most mornings and either demolish the whole thing or prod it a bit and say he’s finished. He will also go to the cereal cupboard and get himself a Weetabix, which he’ll merrily sit on the floor chomping on!
Toby still has a warm bottle of milk before bed and we’re not in any rush to stop that. He doesn’t take it to bed with him or have bottles overnight any more.
Toby’s never been a great sleeper and although we’ve had brief glimpses of him sleeping through the night, it never lasts. We bought a Gro Clock back in the spring and have been really firm about him not getting up before the sun appears on the clock, because he had been getting up as early as 4am and just screaming until we gave in and took him downstairs. We’ve been really pleased with Toby’s progress using the Gro Clock, after a few weeks of it being set to half 5, he was really grasping the concept so we’ve slowly changed the time by 5-10 minutes every so often and we’re now working to 6am. He’s crying less when he wakes up, and we do now hear him chatting for a little while before he either bangs his cot or cries out to get attention and go downstairs!
Where we’re struggling, however, is that Toby is still generally waking up at least once a night and worst of all, he’s an absolute nightmare when going to sleep for naps or at bed time. The one saving grace with Toby’s sleep has always been that he self settled really well from very early and was rarely a problem to put to bed. He’s turned two and out of nowhere the demonic tantrums we know and love (!) are occurring at sleep times too, so it’s a huge battle. Toby doesn’t get much from any comforting techniques so if we’re trying to cuddle him and tell him it’s okay, explain that he’s tired and it’s bed time and all that, we are just being deafened by screams, breaking our backs trying to hold a writhing, thrashing child with and arched back and basically losing our minds in the process. It’s fun.
We are having to leave him to it because our presence does absolutely nothing to calm the situation. I detest the cry it out method and it’s not something that sits well with me, but I’ve had to accept that Toby doesn’t respond to comfort or redirection in this situation and he only ever calms after we’ve been out of the room for a short while. Once he’s calm we always go in to check on him and whilst I think that crying yourself to sleep is awful and I hate it, right now nothing else is working and I’ve cried a lot of tears about it.
**Edit: Toby slept in his big bed for the first time last night. He got up once in the night for a dummy, putting himself straight back to bed once I’d given him one!**
Development and Behaviour
I’ve obviously mentioned Toby’s nighttime tantrums and we do see these during the day too, but they generally occur when he’s tired, so it’s just a vicious cycle. More and more, he’s developing the speech to tell us when he’s disagreeing with us, so instead of a full blown tantrum when he doesn’t like an offered food or activity, or he’s been asked not to do something, we get “No, no, no, no!” or my personal ‘favourite’ of “Go away!” with a dismissive hand gesture. Ah, toddlers!
On the bright side, Toby is incredibly bright, funny and full of personality! His imagination is brilliant and random items regularly become rockets, trains or cups or tea and he loves to get his doll or teddies to eat or go on his scooter. The scooter was a birthday present from us and Toby keeps his helmet on the handle bars, then pops it on his head and merrily scoots around the house or outside. We didn’t even know that he knew how to ride a scooter but he’s a pro!
The health visitor was so impressed with Toby’s speech and skills, which made for one very proud mama! He is a very ‘spirited’ child and we’ve always said that a lot of his stubborn or challenging behaviour comes from his intelligence, so we really try to keep him occupied at all times. She was amazed that Toby holds a pen/pencil correctly and said that many children don’t do that when they start school, so that’s a good precursor to writing and Toby will copy straight lines, circles and swirls on the page.
His speech always blows us away and has done from the beginning. His sentences are 3 to 4 words now and he is structuring them really well, for example this morning when Martha woke up Toby said “Mummy, Martha’s awake. You get Martha.”. He’s learning his pronouns and is slowly referring to himself as ‘Me/I’ in place of ‘Boby’ more and more. I’ll miss is when he starts saying his name properly, which he’s perfectly capable of doing because when Phil’s manager Tony came for lunch, Toby said his name perfectly!
“Can you say ‘Tony’?” “Tony” “Can you say ‘Toby’?” “Boby!”
I’ve mentioned that Toby’s eating is really good and he’s also super active, so he’s a very slim little boy. He was weighed by the health visitor and came in at 11.84kg/26lb 1oz/1 stone 12lb, which means he’s sitting between the 25th and 50th centiles, as he has been for over a year now. His height is bang on the 50th centile although i can’t remember off the top of my head what his height was.
You may have seen my recent post about how we’re currently using Arbonne products on Toby’s eczema. He is having a bit of a flare up in the last day or two, which I think is because of the heat, but we’re not having to use steroid cream for the first time in probably 18 months.
What We’re Loving
- Martha – Toby is just the best big brother ever! He’s so kind and loving with her, my heart melts on a very regular basis!
- Finding Dory – We were lucky enough to go and see a preview of Finding Dory at Disney Studios in Hammersmith last week and although Toby needed a nap so we missed the ending, he’s not stopped talking about Dory since! We’re working with HUGGIES Little Swimmers, who have special edition Finding Dory print nappies so Toby loves putting those on for some water play.
- Lawn Hoovers – Yep, lawn hoovers. Toby’s favourite thing in the whole world is mowing the lawn and he uses his shopping trolley or toy pushchair as his own ‘lawn hoover’, making a ‘Vvvvvvv’ noise as he walks up and down on the grass.