In August my 1 year and 4 months old started school. She at first enjoyed just going straight into school no bye to me just off she went to school. My little one has been teething and not sleeping well so out of the past 4 weeks has stayed home for 3 of the 4 weeks. When I returned her to school, after being out of school for 3 weeks, she was not very happy about going to school on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I had to sit with her for a little bit in class because she wanted to stay with me but also go to school too. Then Thursday and Friday she walked right into class just like the first week of school. If she does not want to go to school I don’t leave her at school and I try not to delay that decision at the drop off spot because I don’t want to upset the other children.
How I parent:
Food. I breastfeed exclusively until 6 months old. When I introduced food I continue to breastfeed on demand/want. My montra regrading solid food is “food before one is just for fun”. I leave food out for my child to eat when she feels hungry. Grapes and oranges are some easy foods for my child that she enjoys eating and playing with. I don’t force feed any foods. She has refused foods for all sorts of reasons. She is sick, teething, dislikes, or is just full. My goal with food is for my child to know what it feels like when she is hungry and to get food when she feels hungry and to also stop eating when she is no longer hungry and to enjoy foods.
Play/school time. I don’t guide my child much at home, playtime is decided by my child and what she wants it to do at home and at school she is expected and encouraged to follow the school routine. At home I don’t let her do things that are too dangerous or annoying to me. An example of something I find annoying is when she puts things that are not rubbish in the garbage bin. Also, if there is an item that she has just thrown on the ground I will tell her to pick it up and put it back on the table or in the bowl or where ever she just got if from. Making a mess and leaving it for others to clean up is unacceptable behaviour at home and at school.
Hygiene. I have taken my child to the potty since day one of her life. I practice elimination communication. and I have used ASL (American Sign Language) to help communicate when we do a change of a soiled diaper. Brushing teeth is a bedtime routine which was not always enforced because I breastfeed to sleep. I would use a silicone finger brush on the gums when she was toothless and then added a manual toothbrush when she got 4 teeth at once. Now, with molars and canines added to the mouth I have introduced an electric toothbrush that she uses on her own after I have done the first go over before bedtime. Bath time happens when I think she needs or wants a bath. Sometimes, bathtimes are just for fun and other times bathtime is purely practical to get clean.
Routine. Having a routine is a fantastic way for child and parent/carer to know what is expected of the day. At first I would just follow my newborns ques for feeding, sleeping, pooping, and playing. But now She has to be in school at 8:30 until 12:00 noon, so I have to make a routine that works with getting the sleep she needs to be awake to go to school on time. Also having a routine that is actually posted at home with times and details helps when someone besides me (the main caregiver) takes over the bedtime routine. We as household found the need to be clear about what is expected and when because of school and work schedules making it difficult to stay awake too late. Our bedtime routine: 5pm dinner clean up and bath 5:30-6:00, Play and read bedtime stories 6:00- 6:30, Brush teeth 6:30-6:40, Potty and clean diaper and pj’s6:40 -7pm. 7pm bedtime (lights out breastfeeding to sleep). Last night it took until 9:30 for her to fall asleep because she wanted Dad to be in the room too. She would feed a bit then run to chase dad when he left the room. Then We wake at 6:30 get dressed for school and next figure out our morning routine so we get out of the house with everybody getting to work/school on time.
Speaking about time: it is now time to pick up the child from her half day at toddlers class.
If I have spelling errors or you have questions please ask me. 🙂 I am very willing to answer any questions that you have.