Toby is three and a half

Toby was three and a half a few weeks ago. On the one hand it really doesn’t seem that long since his third birthday but then when I think about it that was before we even moved from Scotland, which seems like it was ages ago now.

When you spend every day with a child it’s easy not to notice the changes and developments they make but when I was reading through Toby’s three year update I realised just how much he has changed in the last six months.

Three and a half year old Toby in his sunglasses on the slide

I guess I’ll start with the vital statistics – Toby is now 106 cm tall so he’s grown 4 cm in the last 6 months. He’s still sitting above the 91st centile for his height so he’s still tall for his age but he’s not off the top of the chart like he was when he was two! Read more

The reluctant potty trainer

Toby is three years and almost three months old. Three months ago he would cry and complain if you even suggested he go near a potty. He knew what it was for – if you asked him where wees and poos go he would tell you they go in the toilet (thanks Bing Bunny!) but he still wouldn’t contemplate sitting on the potty or the toilet, even with his clothes on.

As we were moving house in July we weren’t about to start pushing things but did mention to him that perhaps he could start using the potty when we lived in our new house and he seemed fairly open idea. We went out and chose some big boy pants together and we got a chair type of potty (this one if you’re interested) – I realised that because he is so tall sitting on a standard potty was really uncomfortable for him.

He sat on the potty a couple of times but didn’t do anything then seemed to lose all interest so we just put it in the living room and mostly ignored it for a while. We asked occasionally if he would like to use it and about six weeks ago he said yes one night. So, we got into a bit of a routine; Toby would sit on the potty in front of the TV every morning and every evening before bed. But still we didn’t even get a drip. He obviously has good bladder control as he could sit on the potty for half an hour and do nothing but do a massive wee as soon as he got a nappy on.


We were quite happy carrying on like this and I was confident that Toby would get there in his own time. Near the beginning of September though nursery forced the issue a bit, and I’m still not entirely happy about it. When school started back nursery moved all the kids who will be starting school next year up into the pre-school room. All the kids except Toby. Nobody had mentioned anything about it up to that point but it turned out they didn’t want him to go into the pre-school room while he was still in nappies. However, I spoke to the manager and explained I didn’t want him being held back. I understood that there were no nappy changing facilities in the pre-school room but he’s only changed two or three times a day so it can’t be that much trouble for someone to take him to the other room to do it. I also thought that maybe seeing all the other children using the toilet might encourage Toby to do the same.

Anyway, nursery were actually fine and moved him up to the pre-school room the next week. But a week or two later when I went to pick the boys up they told me Toby had used the toilet and apparently didn’t want his nappy back on after, he wanted big boy pants. They suggested I put some in his bag the next day so if he asked again they could put him in them.

The next day, and the following week he wore his big boy pants at nursery but had lots of accidents. In fact I’m not convinced he did a wee on the toilet at all. We tried to keep up the pants at home but still had quite a few accidents and still no wee on the potty. It seemed to me that Toby was scared of doing a wee anywhere but in a nappy (or in his pants).

So last week we spent a whole day at home. Toby seemed to know when he needed a wee and would sit on the potty but still nothing came. He would start panicking when it felt like he was about to wee…but eventually he did one. A few drips at first and then a full proper wee! He did two more big wees on the potty that day, and didn’t have any accidents. But he did spend pretty much the whole day just sitting on the potty watching CBeebies! And he got a sticker every time he did a wee so that seemed to help too.

Both days at nursery last week he wore pants but still had a few accidents. He did manage a poo in the toilet though which he was very proud of. But by Thursday lunch time he was crying and begging me to put a nappy on him, and he’d woken up crying a couple of nights too, which I think must be related. So I put a nappy back on. On Saturday we tried pants again and although all his wees went in the potty he did two poos in his pants.

Since then he has only been wearing nappies and just doesn’t want to wear his pants. We have made progress though. He will now occasionally tell me he needs a wee (or sometimes just ‘I’m doing a wee!!’) or if I see him doing his ‘need a wee’ jiggle I will get him to sit on the potty and do it. So at home, most wees are going in the potty even though he is still wearing a nappy. We use cloth nappies and for that reason I don’t really want to go down the pull up route.

I had been trying to encourage Toby to wear his pants, and put him off nappies but I realised that if I don’t want to completely put him off I need to go back to listening to him and going with what he wants. And for the moment if he wants to wear nappies but still use the potty most of the time then I’m happy to go with that. I always said I would wait until he was ready and I think in the last couple of weeks I’ve been ignoring my own instincts. It’s come close to really causing an issue but hopefully by letting Toby go at his own pace he’ll get over whatever fear it is that he has and I’m sure it won’t be too long before he decides for himself that he is really ready for his big boy pants.

How old were your little ones when they potty trained? I would love to hear if any of you have had similar experiences to us.

Toby is three years old

Toby is three years old today. Can you believe it? My little tiny 6lb 10oz baby, who was only three months old when I started writing this blog, is three!

Baby Toby

This is the first time that he’s really understood about birthdays and so the first year we’ve bothered having presents wrapped and waiting for him in the morning. Of course, his favourite thing was the balloon though!

Birthday balloon

We only gave Toby a few small things today because we’re moving out of our house this week and won’t be in our new house for at least a week so we didn’t want to give him presents that would just need to be put straight into storage.

Opening presents

So anyway, what is Toby like at three years old? He’s funny and cheeky, polite for the most part, prone to crying when he doesn’t get his own way but rarely has a tantrum. He can count to 20 (if you ignore the fact he goes from 13 straight to 16). He knows his full name and can recognise the letter T for Toby. He still loves his muslin blankets and has four on the go at any one time and he still loves to suck his thumb, although we’ve started trying to get him to only have it at bedtime.

Sucking his thumb in a cushion house

He can name all the planets and will tell you that Venus is ‘berry berry hot’, Jupiter has got a big red spot and Saturn has got rings. He knows the names of at least five different dinosaurs and could probably tell you every single character in every program on CBeebies – which perhaps I shouldn’t be quite as proud of! He learns new words every day and we rarely have trouble understanding him these days. I love how I can have a proper conversation with him now, and some of the things he comes out with are hilarious.

He loves anything chocolate and always wants to eat some of my cake, even if he’s got his own. He eats most things, as long as he’s got mayonnaise to dip them in (he may have picked that one up from me!) and we seem to have mostly got over the fussy phase that I mentioned in his last update. He eats a lot and was 102 cm tall at the last measure and wears age 3-4 clothes but he still only weighs 2st 5lb so he’s only put on 2lb in the last six months.

Imaginative play at three years old
He loves playing outside, especially making giant bubbles, and he’s really starting to get into imaginative play at the moment; building things and making up stories about them. But he also loves playing games on his ‘tiny telly’ (which is actually my Kindle Fire). He would probably play on it all day if he could but we try to limit his time and make sure all the games are at least vaguely educational.

He sleeps in a single bed, and usually sleeps all night. He likes to have three stories at bedtime and fall asleep on my lap. He sometimes wakes up early but always stays in bed until ‘Mr Sun’ comes out on his Groclock at 7:20. Sometimes he sleeps later, it usually depends whether Gabe is being noisy and wakes him up. He doesn’t nap, except sometimes in the car, but if he does it’s a nightmare to try and get him to sleep at night.

He still wears nappies (cloth ones of course) and although he knows when he is doing a wee or poo he has absolutely no interest in using the potty or the toilet. I’m hoping we might have a breakthrough over the summer, although with all the changes coming with moving house I’m not going to push him if he doesn’t want to.

Toby and Gabe - best of friends

He loves his little brother, and is still the one person who is pretty much guaranteed to be able to make Gabe laugh, but he gets annoyed with him all the time and is still not keen on sharing his toys. We are seeing more moments of affection though and Toby even seems to have started babbling nonsense back to Gabe – I have no idea what they think they are talking about but it’s very cute.

Fun with mummy
He winds me up every day, and then he melts my heart when he says ‘I ruv you mummy’. My Toby-Bear, my T-dog,my Super-T, my Toby-tobleroney, my baby.

Now you are three.



Stuck in a never ending Twinkle Twinkle loop

I think the title of this post says it all really…. I wonder just how long Toby would have kept on in his loop of Twinkle Twinkle if I hadn’t helped him finish the song, eventually. Apologies for the weird hand waving by the way – he was in the middle of lunch and had hummous all over his fingers which apparently was very interesting!

What Toby Wore // The Princess and the Frock

Here we are for another instalment of What Toby Wore. You might have been slightly surprised by the title that Toby is wearing clothes from a company called The Princess and the Frock but this lovely company not only make fabulous dresses they also make some very funky leggings too.

Flamingo leggings

I think Toby was about 10 months old when I realised that even though he was a boy I could still dress him in leggings. They are super comfy for him, and perfect for active babies and toddlers. There are so many awesome designs out there too. Having said that even I wasn’t sure if these pink flamingo leggings were a step too far but I loved them. And I reckon Toby totally rocks them! He’s wearing them with a t-shirt and long sleeve vest both from Marks & Spencer.

Princess and the Frock

The boys also have some matching red star leggings from The Princess and the Frock, and I loved them so much I’ve just bought Gabe the next size up when he grew out of the 0-6 month ones. I’ll try and get a picture of them both together to share soon.


What Toby & Gabe Wore // Polarn O. Pyret

In last week’s What Gabe Wore post I mentioned my love for the Scandi brands, and when I was looking for Christmas pyjamas for the boys I found myself looking at Polarn O. Pyret. PO.P is a Swedish brand and it means ‘Buddy and the Little One’. I was initially drawn to all their stripes but when I was trying to find an all-in-one that they had in sizes to fit both Toby and Gabe I came across these stars…

Twinning is winning

Now they weren’t exactly cheap (£21 each if I remember rightly) but they should at least last a while. Both boys have got the the leg and arm cuffs turned up but as you can see there isn’t a lot of room left in the body for either of them. They both are on the 91st centile for height but it seems most of it is in the length of their bodies so finding sleepsuits/ onesies that fit can be a bit of a struggle!

Polarn O Pyret

(This picture was Toby pointing at the camera to try and make Gabe look in the right direction!)

The other fab thing about these onesies is that they have zips which go all the way down from the neck to the bottom of one leg. No more messing about with poppers but still easy access for nappy changes.

Laughing brothers

I know Toby and Gabe won’t let me put them in matching clothes forever so I’m going to take the opportunities wherever I can get them for now! Twinning is winning after all…


My Wild Ones // First time snow fun

I can’t actually remember if it snowed last winter, if it did it definitely wasn’t enough for Toby to go out and play in. So when it started snowing on Saturday night we were all hoping that Sunday morning would bring enough snow in the garden to go out and play.

We didn’t have much in the end but there was certainly enough to play in so we got Toby bundled up (although I was putting Gabe down for a nap at the beginning and so wasn’t there to make sure he put his hat on) and out he went…

snow wonder

Even though you can’t see his face I think you can still see the look of wonder as he saw the snow up close for the first time.

circles in the snow

Then came the circles and looking at his footprints.

building a snowman

And the beginnings of a snowman.


For some reason, even though he’s normally really good at throwing, every snowball went behind him. He even managed to hit himself in the back of the head!

snow owl

Just enough snow for a tiny snowman (I think it looks like an owl though) and every day since Toby has come downstairs in the morning, looked out of the back window and said ‘snowman melted away’.

that face

And lastly, just look at that face! How did we make such pretty kid? One whose childhood photos will all feature a wonky fringe cut by his mum!


What Toby Wore // Tobias & the Bear

In Toby’s first year and a half most of his clothes came from either Tesco or Asda. He had a few bits from places like Next and Marks and Spencer, and he was lucky enough to have a Nana who lived round the corner from a Jojo Maman Bebe shop so he had lots of things from there too. Generally though he grew out of things so quickly that it just wasn’t worth spending a lot of money on them. However he started wearing age 2-3 clothes early last year and he has only recently started moving into the next size. His clothes still get a bit of a battering with the amount they’re worn but he doesn’t seem to get quite so messy at nursery any more so I feel happier spending a bit more on clothes that are well made and will last.

I thought it was about time I started sharing some of Toby’s outfits with you (and I’ll probably post some of Gabe’s too at some point). I also like to support independent retailers and small manufacturers where I can these days and there are so many fabulous online shops now so I’ll be sharing some of my favourites with you as we go along.

I think I need to get Toby to work on his modelling poses though, and find somewhere better to take pictures of him too!

Tobias and the Bear

The sweatshirt is from Marks and Spencer. It was another gift from Nana which she gave to Toby probably six months ago but he’s only just got big enough for it. He doesn’t really wear jumpers that much but it’s been so chilly lately that this one has come in useful. I love the colours on him too.

I love Toby in leggings, he’s got loads and he always seems so comfy in them. These are new ones from Tobias & the Bear. The material is a little thicker than some of the other leggings he has so they’re perfect for this wintery weather we’re having too. And I think £16 is a very reasonable price for something that is designed and handmade in the UK.

I’ll try and work on my photography and outfit putting together skills for next time (maybe some shoes would be good?)

Linking up with the lovely Hannah at Make Do and Push and Alex at Medicated Follower for Funky Kid Friday.

Toby is two and a half years old

I don’t know where the time has gone. I mean, I know I have a nearly five month old baby as well but how on earth did my little baby boy end up as a walking, talking, two and a half year old boy?!

Toby is two and a half

And Toby really is a little boy now. He’s heading for being a metre tall (98cm at the last measuring) and he’s wearing mostly age 3-4 clothes! He’s still super skinny though – he weighs 2st 3lb having only put on 3lb in the last year. Sometimes I worry about how thin he is – you can see every rib and feel every bump in his spine. But he eats plenty (although has become quite fussy recently – more on that later) and has lots of energy so I’m assured it’s nothing to be concerned about.

Toby’s speech has come on loads in the last couple of months. He now mostly speaks in sentences, although not necessarily with all the words in the right order. He knows so many words now and manages to surprise us almost every day with what he knows. A couple of weeks ago I downloaded an app onto my phone for him to play with which has all sorts of different animals and different activities. One of them is about what animals eat and a picture of a squirrel came up. I asked Toby if he knew what squirrels eat and he came out with ‘squirrels eat acorns’ – I have no idea where he got that from! He really understands emotions now as well and will quite often say ‘my sad’ (although usually if he’s not getting his own way rather than if he’s actually sad). It’s quite likely that moments later he’ll follow it up with ‘I’m so happy now’. For the first time yesterday he actually said ‘I love my mummy’ – I tell Toby I love him all the time but he has never said it to me before. I was so surprised I had to get him to repeat it!

Toby still wants to do everything for himself – ‘Toby do it’ or ‘my do it’ is still heard several times a day. This is mostly great and we do try and encourage him to do things for himself, but it can be occasionally frustrating when it means everything takes three times as long! He really can do lots of things though, his motor skills are great for his age and he has no trouble doing things like unscrewing lids. He still struggles with putting shoes and coats on but he’s trying and getting better all the time. He loves climbing and jumping too, although he can take his time to get used to things like soft play before he’s confident enough to go off exploring on his own. He’s quite happy to go running off up a hill if we’re out for a walk somewhere though!


The main big change since I wrote Toby’s 27 month update is that he has now moved into his big boy bed. The cot he had isn’t one that converts to a bed (and we’ll be needing it for Gabe soon anyway) so we decided just to move him straight into a single bed. And on the whole it has been a resounding success. We let Toby ‘help’ when we dismantled the cot and built the bed so he would know exactly what was going on, and I’d got him some space themed bedding to go with the rest of his room. We have a Lindam bed guard to stop him falling out of bed and so far at least he hasn’t got out of bed at all once he is put in at night. Even when he wakes up in the morning he just sits there waiting on the bed until one of us goes to get him up. We still have one wake up a night most nights and I usually end up getting in bed with him to get him back to sleep. Although he hasn’t woken up for the last two nights so fingers crossed that continues.

Toby is still going to nursery four afternoons a week and things have settled down since he started his new nursery back in October. He still cries every day when I drop him off but they tell me he calms down within a few minutes and then he’s absolutely fine. We were getting concerned that he was refusing to eat his tea at nursery but that seems to be improving since he went back after the Christmas break.

Food generally can be a bit frustrating – from weaning up until about six months ago Toby would eat anything you put in front of him but in the last few months he has become increasingly fussy. He’ll like something one day then refuse it the next, or he’ll ask for something then refuse to eat it. I was starting to get stressed at meal times and we were all getting wound up with Barry and me trying to encourage Toby to eat, and then getting annoyed when he didn’t, then he would get upset and totally refuse to eat anything. Then I read something a couple of weeks ago (I’d link to it but I can’t remember where I read it!) which basically said just live by the six words ‘you don’t have to eat it’. Provide a variety of different foods and try and include at least one thing at every meal that you think they are likely to eat and then leave them to it. And do you know what? It’s actually working. I’m less stressed and therefore so it Toby, meaning he’s probably eating more anyway.

We’ve also realised that by letting Toby help prepare food, even if it’s just getting the cereal off the shelf or putting potatoes in the pan, he is much more likely to sit at the table without any fuss. I’ve been doing quite a lot of baking with Toby lately too – we’ve made gingerbread biscuits (or ginner man biggits as Toby calls them), chocolate cake and banana bread. Even though he can’t really do much at the moment he enjoys standing on a chair in the kitchen with an apron on and putting things in bowls or stirring. I even got him washing up after making the banana bread yesterday. Start as we mean to go on eh?

baking with mummy

Even though he has got more fussy about food, he’s just like his mum in that he never says no to cake or chocolate! He doesn’t have loads of sweet foods but he certainly enjoys them. I’m doing my best not to use sweet things as ‘treats’ or rewards. I have such a terrible relationship with food and my weight and I really don’t want to pass that on to Toby so we’re trying to just see sweet things as foods we eat sometimes, just like everything else. Although to be honest at the moment I’m just happy to get some extra calories into him in the hope of trying to put on at least a little bit of weight!

On the whole Toby is just a lovely little boy and we couldn’t be more proud of him. I know every parent says that but he really is amazing…most of the time! Several people have commented on how polite he is, and he does say please and thank you, mostly without prompting. He’s starting to become a really lovely big brother too. I think now Gabe is smiling and a bit more responsive he’s getting a bit more interesting for Toby. He likes to show him toys and will pull his bib down for him when Gabe’s managed to cover his face for the tenth time that morning! I actually can’t wait for the next few months when hopefully we’ll see a real relationship start to develop between them.

I could probably keep writing about Toby all day, and I’m sure there were things I wanted to say that I’ve forgotten (oh yeah, potty training – that’s still nowhere near happening!) but I think this post is probably long enough already! I can’t believe the next update I’ll be writing about Toby will be when he’s three. He certainly isn’t a baby any more.

Smiling toddler

Linking up with Lauren at Belle Du Brighton for #WhatMyKidDid

Toby is 27 months old

OK, so I know 27 months seems an odd age to do an update post but that’s when the health visitors round here do a development check so yesterday we had a visit to see if Toby is doing everything he ‘should’ be at 27 months old. We were sent a questionnaire to complete before the health visitor came – most of it was pretty straight forward; things like can he run, walk upstairs, eat with a fork, identify body parts, stack seven bricks, put three or four words together, but some of the other questions seemed a bit odd; does he copy you if you open and close your mouth or pull your earlobe? No, he doesn’t. I mean why would he? He might do if I asked him to but he’s more likely to just look at me like I’ve gone a bit mental! Or another one was if something is out of his reach will he get a chair or box and climb on it to get whatever it is. Also no. Mostly because he’s really tall so most things are within his reach. And if they aren’t then that’s probably because we’ve purposely put them out of his reach and would tell him not to if he started trying to climb on a chair to reach them. Stupid questionnaire!

Anyway, the health visitor didn’t have any concerns with Toby and neither do we. Physically he can do everything other two year olds are doing. He’s very active and loves running and climbing and jumping off things. Mostly he likes jumping on his daddy! He’s still very tall for his age, although at 2 st 2lbs he hasn’t put on much weight at all this year. At two years and three months he’s starting to wear age 3-4 clothes from some shops and is wearing size 8 shoes.

27 months old

Toby’s very affectionate (when he wants to be) and loves having cuddles on the sofa and giving out kisses when he’s in the mood. He is so polite, and it makes me very proud – he says please and thank you without being prompted. He’s very well behaved most of the time, and usually does what he’s asked, even if sometimes it takes a few times of asking! He’s good at tidying up after himself too – sometimes he seems to enjoy tidying toys away more than he does playing with them. He’s got a set of wooden blocks that he likes nothing more than just to take out of the box and put back in again. Although, he’s quite a fan of the tower too – remember that questionnaire asking can he stack seven bricks? I decided to actually see what he could manage today….16 bricks! Nailed that one. He’s so clever too – he can count to 13 (because that’s how many stairs there are in our house), he knows most of his colours, he can identify all 50 of the flash cards in the set we have…he surprises us every day with just how much he knows and can do.

Toby has recently become really friendly too, saying hello and goodbye to people in shops, or the postman when he comes to the door. He also likes to say hello and goodbye to lots of other things too – it can take five minutes to leave the park as he says ‘bye bye slide, bye bye swing…’ today we even had ‘bye bye shop’ after we’d been to the post office! He likes to be helpful whenever he can too. He likes to bring things for Gabe when I’m feeding him. Admittedly they aren’t always things he needs, or wants but it’s still adorable when he presents me with a teddy or a muslin with a ‘there you go Gabe’. Yesterday he was determined to give Gabe his dummy, even when it was quite clear that he really didn’t want it.

I know I’m sounding like Toby is some sort of angel child here – of course he has his fair share of tantrums and whining. He’s going through a bit of a phase of just crying whenever he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, when he wants it, or quite often it will because he wants to do something for himself when he either can’t, or just it would be much easier to do it myself. One of his favourite phrases at the moment is ‘my do it!’ I have to admit I sometimes take the easy road and just let him have his own way if it will avoid a meltdown. At the moment I just feel like he’s coping with so many changes – a new brother and a new nursery, and he’s adjusting so well really that if I can let him have his own way about things sometimes (and I’m not talking about anything major, just things like which shoes he wears, or what to have for lunch) then I can make his life a bit easier and less stressful…which in turn of course makes life easier and less stressful for me too.

I’m sure there’ll be lots more changes for Toby over the next few months – we really need to get him in his big boy bed soon, there’s toilet training to think about at some point (although I don’t think he’s anywhere near ready yet) and the biggest change of all will, hopefully, be a move down to England (and there’ll be much more on that from me in future blog posts!). I have no doubt though that our adorable boy will continue to grow and thrive and amaze us every day.

This last photo was taken one day after nursery a few weeks ago – Toby had been playing in the garden and this picture just captures him in all his snot-covered, grime-coated, adorable two-ness!

27 month old urchin