When I was pregnant, the idea of parenting a child (let only a high spirited child) barely crossed my mind. My focus was solely in babyville.
I was reading article upon article on the “must-haves” for 3-6-month-old brain development and sensory play, tummy time mats, baby-led weaning and breast pumps.
And sure, those things served us well for a time… but now she’s a little older, she is obviously more mobile, wanting to be more active and is certainly wanting more stimulation.
A friend had encouraged me to check out an article by Dr Sears. This was a few months ago when I was really struggling with parenting Elliott feeling “full-on” that I found extremely comforting. Even if you don’t consider your baby/toddler to be “high needs” (or as my Nanna would say “a highly spirited child”, I find that these products help in those patches where connection is craved more such as teething, development or illness.
Ellie’s first birthday came and went in a flash and my husband and I found ourselves answering that all familiar question “how old?” with a surprised, quick flash of a smile.
“She’s one!” we’d reply together.
It’s funny how fast things become the preferred object.
How only Mum and Dad know that two seemingly identical looking toys are wildly different in the eyes of their toddler.
Here’s what’s been rocking our kiddo’s world lately.
Products for Your Spirited Child
This post may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a small commission (which I mostly spend on tea and biscuits, I”m pretty wild). For my full statement click here
One of Ellie’s first toys was a Fischer Price dog that her Poppy sent over from Sydney when she was around 4 months old. I routinely took the batteries out and claimed that “new dog” (I’m not particularly imaginative) was sleeping because the thing was so. damn. annoying.
We haven’t waged an entire war on plastic and don’t currently live in gorgeous beige Insta-dreamland ( Ellie would happily take her big bag of knock-off Duplo to bed with her every night if it wasn’t 1) weird and 2) a hazard). However, most of her toys are either wooden or they encourage free play.
We’ve noticed that there’s only so many times she can push a button and hears the same jingle before she gets frustrated and bored.
There was a time, when we were first in the MBU (Mother and Baby Unit) when I was convinced that Elliott would never eat “human” food. I was convinced she would live off of breast milk forever.
Eventually, she got some teeth and began enjoying solids more and that was it! We’ve found that like me, she falls victim to the hangry monster, and it’s important to stuff snacks in the car, my bag and everywhere else.
Yumbox was a recommendation from a friend with an older child and it seemed like a smart and sensible choice as I guess it’s likely that Ellie will continue to enjoy food for the foreseeable future*
I can tell that Ellie likes having her *own* little box of things to choose from, and it seems to make sitting in a high chair palatable when we’re out in public (that’s another post though).
Picture you’re in a glorious chamomile and lavender-scented bubble bath. It’s deliciously warm, which is great because the outside air is so chilly.
You’re kicking your legs, you’ve washed your hair, you’re playing with a rubber duck.
And then you have to get out.
This was our reality every night with Ellie. We discovered we had no idea what a TOG was, or what to dress her in for the winter. We’d struggle with 3-4 layers each night, plus 2 pairs of socks. Wrestling her was like wrestling a small, angry and tired hairless cat, every night for bed.
I’d seen Love To Dream on Instagram and at different baby stores and had made a “mental note” to check them out when Ellie was bigger as I still didn’t like the idea of a blanket in her cot.
Since using the sleepsuit and sleep bag, we’ve not had to worry about Ellie’s overnight comfort temperature wise which is uh-mazing. The suit is also great for playtime as the feet can be rolled up to set the toes “free”.
It may seem like one small thing, and it is one *tiny* change in our ~routine~ but let me tell you, not having to wrestle and negotiate 3+ layers every night is heavenly.
I’ve written before about our carrier journey. I believe that carriers are a really personal thing and it’s good to be able to try a few different types and makes before settling in to one that suits yourself and your child.
Gone are the days of needing to wear Ellie consistently to settle her, now our Boba X carrier is for those trips when a pram would usually be used (like supermarkets or when running errands).
Babywearing has proved to be a massive tool for us as a family in that it helped us in those early days foster a connection (and practice kangaroo care) as well as soothe our daughter.
An excellent, in-depth review and guide to the Boba X can be found over at Raising Ziggy.
Thoughts on The High Spirited Child
If you’ve found your way here after a frantic Google of “high spirited child” + some random keyword combo or via divine Facebook sharing intervention, then firstly, hi!
I want to say that I don’t believe that there’s any product(s) that can make parenting 100% easy, 100% of the time – if that were the case, it’d be pretty unsatisfying don’t you reckon?
I also have to say that, despite my finding the things on this list incredibly useful, I don’t believe that parenting requires stuff.
When it all gets too much sometimes, and my toddler’s emotions seem big and wild and hard for us both to handle, I know I can lean on the following low cost/free things:
Facebook groups (Get in touch with me for a list of FB Groups)
Heading outdoors (picnic outside with friends, to the park, to the river, etc)
Off to the zoo (we have a yearly membership, only pay for parking)
We have a bath together, as a sort of reset for both of us
We Skype family. Seeing her face in the phone is usually enough to bring a smile to my daughter’s face, if not seeing her Nan or Pop.
Is anything on this list surprising to you? What are your must-haves?