Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Little Yellow Boat, Dummy Fairy Delivery Pack - A Review

So we are currently in the process of weaning my Dummy loving toddler off her favourite ‘Nummies’ and after a rocky start she’s actually starting to settle. Like many parents we took the Dummy fairy approach and in replacement for handing her dummies over to the Fairy Daisy received a special gift. In her case this was a pair Peppa Pig PJs, a new bedtime book and a Peppa Pig toy.

Leading up to the dreaded day we talked a lot to Daisy about what was going to happen, telling friends and relatives so she felt really special and grown up. We also purchased a wonderful Dummy Fairy Delivery pack from The Little Yellow Boat company website which we arranged for her to find the day before.

The pack is truly wonderful and in my opinion a must for those parents planning on having a visit from the Dummy fairy. Daisy came down from her nap to find the letter on the doormat and was instantly excited when I said it was for her. The labels are all personalised so it feels really special and added to the idea Daisy was a big girl getting big girl post.

Inside there is a tiny weeny letter from the Dummy Fairy and a special magnifying glass so to help you read it. Plus a bag to leave the dummies in and some fairy dust to sprinkle so she knows where to find you.  For after the dummy collection there is a certificate which tells the child how proud the Dummy Fairy is of them personally signed by the Dummy Fairy herself.

The pack worked a treat and got Daisy really excited about the Dummy Fairy’s visit - she handed her dummies over without a problem and eagerly waited to see if she could see the Fairy collect them. As suspected the sneaky Fairy came while she was getting dressed but Daisy was more than happy to see the presents she left with the certificate.

All in all I would highly recommend the pack, it bought the whole idea of the Dummy Fairy to life and added a bit of true magic to what is essentially a bit of a stressful situation for both parents and child. If I were to be critical I would say that the bag for the Dummies is too small – Like Daisy I think most children have two or more Dummies so we have had to use a separate gift bag for hers. However I am being picky as everything else is truly wonderful.

The Dummy fairy packs are a bargain at £5, including postage and can be bought online at www.thelittleyellowboat.co.uk

We’re on day 6 of being Dummy free and I would lie if I said it has been easy but I hope we are starting to turn a corner with 2 tantrum free nights, the Dummy Fairy has certainly tested my patience and ability to exist on zero sleep but I think we are finally starting to see the results.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Day I became the Dummy Fairy (Part two)

I'd actually intended to write this post sooner, but if I'm absolutely honest I've been holding off, hoping for a break through. I wanted to report that the Dummy Fairy is the perfect solution to weaning toddlers off dummies and talk of how wonderful it is to be getting a full nights sleep. 

The reality however is a little less magical. For those who haven't read my previous post, The dummy Fairy visited Daisy almost a week ago and magically swapped her Dummies for some lovely gifts. Daisy  was fully on board and still loves to talk about how the Dummies are now with the babies as she's a big girl so I thought we were onto a winner, despite her loving her Numnums. On the first night she didn't ask for them at bedtime and other than taking longer to settle went to sleep with no problems - success? 

Not quite, The rest of the night wasn't so easy, Daisy woke several times looking for her Dummies and got really upset when she couldn't find them, the dummy fairy explanation of earlier in the day doesn't work so well on a tired, upset toddler at 1pm and She ended up in our bed with me wondering whether she just wasn't ready to give them up yet.

The next few nights were much the same, fine at bedtime but tears and upset during the night. We were both getting exhausted and I vowed to give it a week before deciding what to do. Last night was a mini break through, Daisy slept through to 5.30am and although she woke a couple of times was able to self settle, I'm not getting excited yet but it felt like a step in the right direction. We'll see how tonight goes......

For me the jury's still out on whether the Dummy Fairy idea has been a success. I'm starting to wonder if at just over 2 she's a little young to understand and whether she actually just still needs that bit of comfort at night. I've never been against Dummies and she only needs then during the night so personally, despite the inevitable 'no don't do it's' I have no problem with taking a step back if she's not ready yet - like everything I'm always keen to take Daisy's lead where possible. 

So here it is, my story, not a success story and not a failure - But I reckon there's a few more twists in the tale yet!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Day I Became the Dummy Fairy

So today was the day we decided to take the plunge and take Ds dummies off her. I know everyone has their views on Dummies but personally I didn't have a major problem with D having one, she never had it during day, her speech is fantastic and I certainly wasn't concerned she'd be packing them away when she heads off to uni. However they had become a bit of a problem at night, D would wake several times a night dummy hunting which inevitably meant I would be up several times a night dummy hunting with her and we were both suffering. 

So we started preparing her a few weeks back, talking about how big she is and how the little babies need her Dummies. I bought a fab little dummy fairy pack from The little yellow boat website (separate review to follow) some Peppa Pig pjs and one of her favourite Humphrey bedtime books as a thank you from the babies and the scene was set!

Thankfully she happily popped her dummies in her little bag and hung it on the tree in the garden, saying goodbye and telling us how she'll cuddle her teddies in bed tonight instead - all seemed to go as planned. A few hours later the fairy replaced the dummies with her wonderful gifts and we talked again about how proud we are of her for helping the little babies. (The dummies incidentally went straight into the bin so I have no chance of caving if things get tough later tonight!)

The Dummy Fairy thing may not be everyones bag but despite having her dummies only at night D does LOVE them and a little bit of magic feels a lot less brutal than her having to watch me throw them in the bin declaring she's too big now. It's success however is yet to be seen.

So here we are, bath time then bed - wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Search for a Nursery School

So the time has finally come to start the search for a nursery school for Daisy, we've decided to start her from just under 3 so that gives us 7 months to get her name down at a place we both like. There are 2 in our village and a couple in the next village so I am going to try and visit them all.

I thought I'd start blogging my visits as a way to note down the pros and cons of each place in a hope it'll make the final decision easier.

The first Nursary we visited is in the next village and I got a really good feeling when I approached, there were lots of children having fun in the garden, all wrapped up in coats and wellies. It was lovely to see the staff weren't afraid of them getting a bit muddy and having a good time.

The staff were really friendly and Daisy obviously felt instantly comfortable. She happily went off to play while I had a look around. The children looked genuinely happy and engaged with lots of different activities to do which would suit all types of children.

Snack - rather than have a structured snack time children are encouraged to have a drink or a snack when they wanted one. There were tables (with a member of staff) where they could help themselves to drinks and fruit. Really liked how they were encouraged to pour own drinks etc.

The Nursery is really flexible in terms of the sessions children could attend and seemed willing to accommodate what I would like. As Daisy is still napping (most days) I would rather opt for morning sessions.

One of the downsides for this place was the distance from home, when we moved out of London I always imagined being able to walk my children to school so the thought of sitting in traffic every morning isn't attractive. It's not a deal breaker though if the place is right.

So this was my first visit but generally I was pretty happy and could see Daisy attending this Nursery, it's blooming expensive but with her funding kicking in shortly after she turns 3 I'm trying not to let that cloud my judgement.

If you're in the same boat as us and on the Nursery / pre school hunt here's a few practical things to consider

- Costs - generally this has been between £12 and £15 per session (3    Hours!!!)
- Funding - after their 3rd birthday (and in some cases after their 2nd) all children are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare.
- Do they accept childcare vouchers?
- Distance - walking or driving
- Snacks - is it healthy? Is it provided?
- Reporting - are there daily diaries, parent days regular parent updates?
- Staff to child ratio, do they have key workers for each child?
- Are the sessions structured, free play or a combination of both?
- Do they provide Lunch / dinner clubs
- Do the children take part in trips, have visitors in, do plays or performances?
- Does your little need to be potty trained?
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