Layman’s Guide to Our Toddler

With impending labour and a soon-to-be out of commission mumma, nana brought up a good point as one of Logan’s potential lined up caregivers on standby: what do we do with him? So I decided to write this all out, as I have no idea how long I will be gone and what sort of timeframes people will need reference to. This has actually turned into a fun post, no doubt a nostalgic memory of Logan hitting 20-months, for me to look back upon. :)

I think the best place for him to stay is at home, rather than going from house to house while all these changes are going on. Plus, he’s a rascally little devil who can and WILL get into everything. Yet he has pretty much free range of *our* entire home, because we’ve managed to get it Logan-proofed to a satisfactory level.

Basement: There is no point in Logan going down there, unless daddy’s down there too and *currently NOT working*. So we generally keep the gate to the stairs from the main floor down to the basement closed. Keeps Logan from going down there on his own, playing with all the electronics & fine wiring, daddy’s multiple workstations, and eating the dog food (which he seems to enjoy ever so much..)

Main level: Logan is generally free to roam the kitchen/living room/foyer to his heart’s content. Though one thing to note is that he is able to crawl up onto the dining table, which he could then use to crawl onto the countertop and stove, if left unattended. (I have yet to see him try to crawl towards the stove – he seems to know it’s “tsss, hot!” *wavy hand* – but he has gotten onto the counter and messed around with the toaster – which can also get very hot if recently used.) He also cannot get down once he climbs up, silly boy. So obviously don’t leave him completely unattended; though you don’t have to watch him like a hawk and follow him around either. He’ll cry if he gets himself into trouble, which differs ever-so-slightly from his “my toy isn’t doing what I want it to!” whimper. ;)

All lower cabinets in the kitchen have a little clip inside that you have to push down on to open. And most doors (like our bedroom, linen closet, and the pantry) have a safety knob that Logan for the most part hasn’t managed to crack. We didn’t have a ton of these safety knobs, so doors like the bathrooms can be locked from the outside with a penny in the slot if need be. (We find that he ignores the downstairs bathroom if we keep the door simply closed. Though occasionally he has snuck in to dismantle a roll of toilet paper or throw his shoes into the toilet bowl. It’s the upstairs bathroom – his bathroom – that he will try to get into and do terrible things to! So we lock that from the outside at all times, definitely!)

Keep the vertical blinds to the backyard open and pushed all the way aside, otherwise Logan will frolic in them and rip them out of their sockets. :P

Also make sure that the front door and door to the garage are locked at all times, as they have a tendency to blow open otherwise!!

Logan generally just plays happily in the living room with his many toys there. He loves his puzzles, various noisy toys with buttons, Legos, and he loves writing on his Aquadoodle. He loves to watch people write too! Specifically, his name. He has literally spent over an hour sitting next to his nana learning how to spell and write his name in all caps- with no signs of ever wanting to stop! So feel free to sit down with him and fill his eager young brain with learnings. :) If you want to leave him to colour, keep him in his high chair with just a few crayons. Make sure he doesn’t ‘accidentally’ drop any crayons when you’re not looking, or expand his artwork past the paper. :P

We have a handful of his favourite shows on the PVR (‘Super Why’ and ‘In the Midnight Garden’), with new ones being recorded each day. In the mornings he loves channel 8, and noon onwards it’s over to Treehouse TV (channel 221). He understands that grownups like to watch TV too, so feel free to take over at any time. ;)

Upstairs: We keep our master bedroom doors closed with a safety knob. We lock Logan out of his own bathroom (using the penny trick), until it’s bathtime and then he’s off to bed. We have also closed the linen closet across from Logan’s bathroom, as he has gotten up to no good in there too.

Logan is free to access the spare room and his bedroom as he likes, however. He will often go off on his own for some time, and is generally quiet and well-behaved upstairs as he’ll find his pacifier and blankets from his crib and cuddle up with them. :) Sometimes he likes to dump his box of toys, and shuffle around his book collection. It’s still a good idea to keep checking in on him, though.

Make sure to keep his bedroom blinds up while he is awake, cord out of reach, so that he can crawl up onto the chair and look out of the window at all the “gogos” driving by when he wants. :) Otherwise you may find the blinds torn out of the wall completely, and that wouldn’t be good. :P Also make sure that the window itself stays closed while he’s free, as he could easily remove the screen and crawl out onto the roof. *hyperventilates at the thought*

In his bedroom you can use the suction cup thingie on top of the dresser to open the drawers if you need access to his clothes, as we have removed all of the knobs! I often apply pressure underneath the drawer until I get a bit of lip, which I can then use to pull open the drawers that way. Everyone has their own technique! :) From the bottom up are jeans, pants, t-shirts, and long-sleeved tops. The little drawers have onesies, socks, shoes, hats, and other such miscellany. He’s got a few items in his closet too- hoodies, coats, a few PJs and the like.

Logan’s Sleep Schedule:
Logan is generally ready to start his day after 9:30AM. He has been a little off of his usual hours since the time change.

He used to nap at noon, but now I’ll have him in bed anywhere from 1:15-2PM until around 4-4:30PM. If he doesn’t end up actually sleeping, just leave him quiet in there until he starts bouncing and chanting loudly. We ALLLL benefit from Logan at least having some quiet time during his regularly scheduled nap period! :) That being said, don’t wake him up either, no matter how long he sleeps! Even if he gets up at 6PM! It just means he needed the extra hours, and to postpone his bedtime routine until maybe 9 if that is the case.

These days I will typically have Logan in bed just after 8PM.

Logan & Food:
Generally we feed Logan in the living room in front of the TV. (Tsk, I know, terrible parents.) With food that isn’t terribly messy I’ll set a bowl/plate on the glass table in the middle of the living room and let him eat there. Messier items I’ll usually feed to him from the sofa as he comes up to me. Though sometimes I will also pop him into his high chair and let him feed himself, with rolled sleeves and bib on.

Paul and I have always had this ‘tradition’ of eating a meal accompanied by our favourite show and chatting about that together, and that seems to have expanded now to include Logan. If we are eating at the same time as Logan, we are always sure to include his food on our own plates (which is the same as what we’re having, only in bite-sized portions) as he has absolutely NO interest in eating his own food if mum and dad have plates in front of them! He will come up to our plates and grab those bits meant for him.

Yet if no one else is eating, Logan will quite happily eat whatever is on his plate! In addition, he will also eat from his high chair if he is to be eating on his own.

If you want him to eat in his high chair, you will need to be sure he is strapped in around the waist (not shoulders) so he doesn’t wiggle or kamikaze his way out. He is often happy in there with a good meal, kid’s show on, and possibly even some crayons and paper on the side (just make sure he’s not too close to the wall as he likes to expand his artistic territory…) Just say “Let’s go eat in your chair!” and he will already be there trying to climb into the seat. ;)

We do occasionally aim to be civilized and attempt a meal at the dining table. However Logan tends to get fussy when we bring him over in his high chair, is completely disinterested in his food, and wants to be at the table with us. Unfortunately, this usually results in him standing and bouncing on the chairs, crawling all over us and onto the table, and lolling his body about in our food. Quite frankly, meals are easier in the living room if all parties are hoping to leave the scenario with full tummies in the end.

Logan’s Daily Routine: A Typical Quiet Day at Home
10AM – get up
bottle of milk & diaper change
first and second breakfasts
1:15PM – nap
4:30PM – lunch
7PM – dinner
winding down playtime/quiet tv
8PM – bottle of milk, bathtime, and teeth-brushing
story in bed, followed by lights-out & bedtime music

Read more of this post