The Blands

Getting baby ready for winter

With the colder months fast approaching read top tips from The Blands on how to dress your toddler for winter, and your Christmas tree!

This isn’t our first winter with Freddie but in many ways it feels like it is. Bear with me on this one. Freddie was born on September 16, 2015, so when it came to winter, he was little more than a pooping, sleeping, vomiting, crying, often smiling, bundle of joy. Preparation for the colder months meant making sure the heating was on and we had enough sleepsuits ordered. We didn’t have to think about a winter wardrobe, we didn’t have to consider how to stop him sticking his hands in the open fire and we definitely didn’t have to Google ‘how to stop a toddler destroying a Christmas tree.’ While we’re on that, can you buy a special toddler Christmas tree fence?

The Winter wardrobe

So onto that winter wardrobe. It’s a cliché but buying clothes for Fred is genuinely more fun than buying clothes for ourselves. As a result, he’s definitely going to be the best dressed member of the Bland family this winter. He’s got cords, jeans, chinos, cable knit jumpers, a gilet… the list goes on. I’m sure when I was growing up, the options were C&A, M&S or Mothercare. Now you’ve got Joules, Boden, Baby Gap, Jojo Maman Bebe to name but four. It’s a tough job dressing a little one!

Then you’ve got the dilemma of what to dress them in at night! It’s fair to say we’ve had one or two arguments over the last year or so about what Fred should wear overnight. My inclination is always to err go on the side of less whereas Rachael would probably go with an extra layer. To be honest, I don’t know that there’s a right answer. We’ve got Fred a new winter sleeping bag, it’s 2.5 tog in case you’re interested and at the moment we're going with pyjamas underneath. We’re keeping the temperature in his room at something around the 19 degree mark and it seems to be working. We’ve got a smart thermostat that we can control from our phones so we can change the temperature in his room without risking waking the monster!

The radiators also need bleeding so I’m going to have to learn how to do that. And while we’re on radiators, right at the top of my ‘to do’ list is getting something to cover the radiators and in particular, the pipes. Fred keeps threatening to grab them.

The dreaded clock change 

So that’s all quite straightforward so far right? Yep, we thought it was pretty much sorted too. And then the clocks changed. A mate of mine said once that the day the clocks change in October is pretty much the worst day of the year for the parents of small children and I’m happy to confirm that that seems to be true. We’re not quite back to square one but we’re having to work on getting Fred into a new routine - it feels like all our hard work is under threat unless we act quickly!

Christmas trees

So how do we stop a toddler toddling into the Christmas tree and tearing down all those decorations or worse still, eating the needles? Answers on a postcard! I’m a massive fan of real trees – I think it’s the smell that takes me back to my childhood - but it seems that we’re faced with three options. Firstly, get a very small real tree and place it next to EVERYTHING else at least a metre off the ground. Or we could go with a fake tree. That way he might still pull it apart but at least he (probably) won’t eat the fake needles. Or we go big with a real, seven foot tall tree and, assuming one exists, get some kind of tree fireguard. I know which way I’m leaning at the moment but I’ll save the big reveal for a blog entry a bit nearer Christmas. Let’s just say I’m not willing to give up my real tree smell without a fight!

A useful experiment

We inadvertently carried out a very revealing and interesting experiment over the last couple of nights around bed times. We put Fred down the night before last at about 7.20pm and the next morning he was wide awake and shouting at 7am. Last night his head didn’t hit the mattress until closer to 8pm and the next morning, I was almost late for work when Fred didn’t wake until 7.45am. When Fred was very young someone told us that babies have 12 hour sleep cycles and it seems that that’s bang on. So, and please don’t think this is me preaching, if you’re putting your little one to bed at 6pm and then grumbling when he or she is screaming blue murder at 5.30am, it might be that you’ve only got yourself to blame!

Lecture over

Steve