In honor of Prince George’s birthday on 22 July, Jo wrote this post about what his parents, and all parents heading into the toddlers years, can start to expect once their child hits the one year mark.
Like most parents, William and Catherine will be sitting back asking themselves where did the year go? From what seemed like yesterday, bringing Prince George home, to getting ready to celebrate his first birthday! Congratulations to them both, that’s what I say!! With nanny on hand or not, ALL parents deserve a pat on the back and a toast to celebrate what they imagined at the time of expecting, and a journey that might be too overwhelming at times. So, to get them on their way to the “terrible twos,” here’s just how NOT the terrible twos are and some advice for this next year:
Baby proofing – This will be needed as George will be roaming everywhere he can, exploring the world, stimulating his visuals senses one room at a time — very exciting! To do this, parents like Catherine and William will need to be proactive (getting on their hands and knees), looking at the world from little George’s height to appreciate where the hazards are and to play it safe by removing lamps with leads, filling in plug sockets, safety gating staircases, and everything deemed too dangerous for toddlers, including the pool and paddling pools — making sure all water is emptied from paddling pools at the end of the day.
Off to the Doctors – It’s that time again! But now George is fully aware for the MMR jab/immunizations. We all know as parents, keeping our children safe from disease is vital — as is regular checks for hearing, weight, height, and development. Looking at Prince George, I’d say these parents are doing a brilliant job!! To deal with the immunizations, distract George the other way, a quick cry and another distraction. After the shots, lots of TLC — and keep an eye on a slightly elevated body temperature for a few days until that will disappear.
Life Lessons – “I can do it,” will be what these parents will experience from little George wanting to do everything from dressing himself to putting his shoes on, to actually walking in his first pair of shoes after six weeks of seeing his toes firmly on the ground, to feeding himself very confidently, to holding his first Sippy cup. Parents must remember it’s all about repetition, teaching calmly, carving out the time, and lots of facial and verbal praise for a great effort! George’s temperament is one that is strong-willed, so his will to do will make him successful!!
Social and Emotional development – A time when George is looking up to his parents for social approval, he will figure out that the baby in the mirror is himself. Now a toddler, his sense of humour has also kicked in, as he will know what makes his parents laugh! George will also know what he likes and what he doesn’t, meaning these parents will need to be patient when introducing new things into George’s routine. For example, transitions from highchair to table, and no more bot bot for bed, and sticking to techniques that will help continue healthy sleeping and eating habits, and playing — the fun of enjoying others and learning to share your toys, even though one day you will truly be the King of the castle!
Activities – George has hardly been baron to this in his first year — from jet setting to OZ, to play with babies Down Under, and even joining his parents on fun day outings! No doubt there will be many a personal play date with nannies, young family members, and the children of close friends this coming year and beyond! George’s parents can really go to town because little George will learn from having fun with activities like puppets shows, doing simple arts and crafts, learning how to be more coordinated by developing those fine and large motor skills, sing-a-long songs, dance, and playing with water and sand. Also, let’s not to forget the fun of interactive reading and early learning child development games like push-and-pull problem solving.
Boundaries – All little ones push them, but that’s how they learn where the perimeter lines are. It’s our job as parents to create and establish those lines to keep them safe, but also to allow our children the freedom to grow and develop, raising toddlers who are confident little treasures, hungry to try everything (and get into everything)! Use your tone of voice to show displeasure — whether it be over a bite or a certain naughty behavior, like pulling another one’s hair — letting your child know that is not okay. And, through actions, teach kindness and empathy, as starting young makes all the difference.
So, parents, make sure you both keep talking to each other about your children. The more you are on the same page, the more fun this wonderful journey is because as you will see it’s not about coping, it’s about recognizing every little challenge is a learning opportunity to become more confident as a parent, trusting your own instincts.
Happy 1st Birthday, Dearest George!
Nanny Jo Jo xoxo
Copywritten by Jo Frost