Joie Every Stage Car Seat Review

When you have a child one of the most used things which you will need is a car seat I think this is something which we used nearly every single day. Around 18 months ago we had to replace Jess’s baby car seat and I did a lot of research into finding the best car seat for us because of course, it has to be something which works for you all. Jess spends a bit of time when she is going around in the car.  We chose the Jolie every stages car seat in the black colour this is one which is going to last her until she is around 12 years old or 36kg which is scary because it is such a long time away.

One of the reasons why we chose this car seat was because it has 5 different reclining settings this allows you to reface until 18kg which is around 4 years old.  You do have to wait till your child is around 9kg to forward face which approximately is 9 months old.
We didn’t reface once we got this car seat because Jess was a nosy child and she actually wanted to look out of the window we actually let her do this even though we know the benefits of having your child refacing for a longer period of time. There are another 4 settings which allow you to forward face which is amazing because this means that once your child is kicking the back of the actual car seat and this could be annoying to others you may want to change the setting.
Due to the fact that this car seat can last till your child is 12 you are able to adjust the headrest, it has 10 different settings and this is something we have found is pretty easy to be able to do. The sides also can widen which allows your child the room they need within the car seat. Of course, this is not a full car seat when they become older it becomes a high backed booster which fits in the guidelines within the UK when this occurs the 5-point harness gets tooked away and you use the normal seat belt which means that it is not in the way. Currently, we have to use the actual seat belt in order to keep the car seat safe meaning that it does not move. 

This car seat can actually be stripped down and the covers thrown in the wash which is something which we have had to do in the past because Jess can struggle with car sickness. This is handy as well if you have a small child in the car who could do the same I have also had to wipe it and found it drys pretty quickly which is amazing because if you are like us you are always using it. This car seat is very easy to actually install into your car and can be done in only a couple of moments which is great if you are like me and you might need to take it in and out to either put it in someone else’s car or due to the fact that there has been a spillage. 

Jess must find this comfortable due to the fact that on more than one occasion we have found her sleeping in this for long periods of time while she has been travelling which proves this claim it even comes with thick padding on the shoulder straps and buckles meaning it is even more comfortable for the child. For sure this car seat is very well padded as well as being secure. 
I would recommend any parents who are looking at either purchasing their child’s first car seat and are not bothered about been able to click it onto a pushchair. Or patents like us who were looking to upgrade their original car seat to purchase this item. I know it does seem expensive at close to £200 however it will last your child a long time and you can not put a price on their safety.  If you are not interested in rear facing you could look into the Jolie elevate 123 car seat another car seat I own foe a different car which I will do a review on at a later date.
Do you own the Jolie ever every stage car seat if so what are your thought? 
Charlotte xx

Dreaming of A Jet Plane

I am sure that I am not alone when I say I am sat dreaming of hotter climates while I spend a lot of time on the commute because as all know January is a month where most of us travel when it is dark in the morning and arrive home when it is again dark. Without factoring in the weather, we have had snow, ice and rain already this month. Some of us can not wait to have some sun on our backs in the summer in the UK is not guaranteed, and it seems months till people jet off on their summer holidays. Why should you have to wait that long when your children’s have a break from school next month in February or are you lucky like us and are not tied down to school holidays yet.

I am dreaming of jetting off on my a holiday soon because it is dark as I have mentioned when I am commuting it is always dark which never makes you feel amazing. I have a hell of a lot of work which is causing me stress because as some of you know, I am only around 4 months away from completing my degree. I feel like being able to spend a week with Jess and having a lot of quality time would make me feel less stressed and I could always work when she is sleeping on a night.  I also need to make sure I take a break because otherwise, I will become ill when I finish because the amount of stress will come down fast. This is something which happened at Christmas which is never good because it almost ruined quality family time which is never good and increase my mum guilt.
It was not until I actually thought about it we have not been on a family holiday as a family of 3. The first summer Jess was born we went to Norfolk with Joes’s parents so even though this was a holiday it was not a pure family holiday. Then last year because Joe was deployed we did not actually have a family holiday this is something which I really want to change very soon. I feel like we would have a lot of family time which would create some amazing memories which we could treasure for the rest of our lives.  Of course, this would be Jess’s first time on a plane and I have not been on a plane for over 5 years which is not great when you love to travel and explore new places.

Just because it is February does not mean that you have to travel hours on a plane to somewhere like the Carribean for hot weather which you might not want to if you have young children. This for sure is not something which I would want to do with Jess yet because I know she would not sit for that long.  You do not have to break the bank either February half term holidays deals can be found I found a holiday to Crete for only £123pp with the weather likely to be double the temperature of the of the UK. I think that travelling in February/March time is a good time to travel as it will not be as busy as in the summer which may night suit you should you have young children like Jess.  Also, it will not be too hot which could be a problem should you go in the height of the summer.

Have you ever travelled in a half term?

Charlotte xxx

This post is sponsered by Holiday Gems

Mum Guilt- Being A Working Mum

Mum guilt is something which I think every single parent struggles with and there is multiple reasons as you might have read a few months ago now when I did a post about the guilt which I suffer because of the fact that I missed two whole trimesters with Jess. Today I am going to share with you another thing which causes me mummy guilt is the fact that I am a working mum well university student mum which is the same as having a full-time job due to a number of hours I have to pump into my studies.

I was lucky to have a whole year of staying at home to look after Jess because of the fact that her birthday is September and this is when the academic year starts so I had to wait to be able to go back to continue my studies. At the time it was not one of the most enjoyable times for me because I would get bored quite easy I would love now to have the year with her. The reason behind this is because now she does have her own personality which is amazing and we can play a lot more which is something that I know she thoroughly enjoys.
However, getting time to play with Jess and spending quality time with her is something which I know I don’t do enough because of the fact that I am always busy either commuting ok yes we do spend time together then but she is usually in her pram grumpy. Or she is at nursery while I study and now as I had reached my third year it can mean that I have work to do on a weekend because my workload is so much higher I don’t always get it all done in the week which is something that really sucks and eats on family time.

When I start to feel guilty  for this I remind myself that I am actually studying in order to give her a better life because it should improve my job opportunities. Currently, I have to wake Jess up around 5.45 and she is not getting to bed till between 7/8pm. Of these hours I properly only see her for a couple of these most of them are spent on a train going to university which means the time is not good quality.

My stress levels, of course, this year are higher because of the fact that I know I need to succeed and get good grades in order to be able to continue my studies. I have spoken to a number of people about the fact that I sometimes feel super guilty about this issue and they always come back saying they don’t know how you actually do it. Sometimes I think I do need to see the bigger picture and it is going to allow me to provide a much better life for her then she would have if I did not complete my studies. At the moment while I am slaving away over essay plans and readings I think about how amazing it is going to be to have Jess at my graduation. Another excuse for Mummy to purchase her a beautiful dress for the occasion. 

I am fully aware that the mum guilt will not go away even when I complete my studies because I am going to have a job no doubt which means that I do not work normal 9-5 hours. The benefit of already been a qualified sports therapist and someone who wants to continue into physiotherapy. I think one of the reasons why the mum guilt at the moment is even more increased for me is due to the fact that Daddy is not here. This means the at the moment Jess is spending a lot less time with us as a family than I would like and she is growing up a lot faster than I would like. I don’t want to miss so much of the precious moments which occur while they are developing their personalities even more. 
I do not regret having a child so young because I know that I am still able to continue my dreams of a career. As well as enjoy all the fun times which I have as a result of having a toddler. Yes, it might mean that my days as a university student are over as I used to know them but there is nothing better than not been hungover at 9am in a lecture and getting huge cuddles and Jess shouting I missed you when you pick her up. Even though this does pull at the heartstrings because I know nursery does her so much good and allows her to learn and develop as a person but I can’t help but feel guilty that at the age of 2 she misses me. 
I know I am not alone a recent study shows that 57% of  British parents priorities work over family life. I know for sure at the moment that I am one of them because of how important this year is in terms of my study. I know that I really need to work on my work-life balance and this is something which I am going to focus on more when Joe is home. I may even do a post on how I have changed my ways in order to spend more time with Jess. There are quizzes online such as this one which will help you see the work-life balance you have. 
Do you have mum guilt because of being a working parent?
Charlotte x 

Skip Hop Unicorn Backpack Review

A year ago I was on the hunt for a nursery bag because Jess was going to be starting nursery and it meant that I needed to be able to carry a few items for her every single day. I actually watched a video that Jess Avey did a video which was all about what was in her toddler’s nursery bag. He has an amazing Skip Hop backpack and once I saw that I knew I had to have one. I think her son had the monkey one however, I knew that I needed to get one which could be a little bit more girly I am all for gender neutral but Jess does get called a boy a hell of a lot. This is when I saw this amazing Unicorn bag on the JoJo Maman Bebe website and this was before the unicorn trend actually started. I have seen a lot of people use these style of bags recently I think I have seen a couple of these people who have been had the unicorn bag.

These skip hop bags are actually £20 which to some people may seem expensive for a backpack bag for a toddler to carry or use for nursery. I did actually a discount code which got me £2 off this bag but I did worry that I had an purchased a bag which was actually expensive would not last us that long. This bag has actually lasted us at least a year I have been able to wash the bag I do not know if you’re meant to wash it, however, I did and it looked as good as new. I only washed it on a gentle wash I would not recommend washing it on a high temperature I think I did ours on a 30.

This is inside the bag as you can tell there is a lot of space in this bag and it does actually have a couple of complete full outfits in the bag. As you can see there is a lot of room which means that a lot more could be carried in the bag. I think I have managed to put a whole weekend worth of clothes including spares and pj’s as well as nappies and wipes which is a hell of a lot of stuff to fit in a bag which does not look like it will be able to fit that much in. This means you could use your bag as a weekend bag for your toddler or for your hand luggage if you lucky to be going on holiday.

The bag also has a huge pocket on the front which I have found is good for storing gloves and socks which is something which we always need now because Jess seems to be able to get her socks wet at nursery easy and I know I am going to need easy access to her gloves because of the fact that the seasons are changing and mornings are getting colder. I think this would be a great place for snacks if you are traveling because it is so easy to access them.  On the side, the bag does have a holder for a bottle which is great for when we are traveling because I can stick a fruit shoot in the pocket so I can grab it before Jess kicks off because she is thirsty.

The straps which are on the back can be adjusted which means this bag can grow with your toddler which is great because if yours is anything like Jess they will want to be able to carry their own bag. I can even adjust it so it fits over one of my shoulders should I need to carry the bag instead of Jess, for example, should I make the bag to full for her to carry it. I think that one of the reasons Jess wanst to carry her bag is because she thinks she is a big girl and because of the fact that the bag is so cute she wants to.  The straps as comfortable for Jess to be able to wear them all day which is great because it means that she is not going to get in discomfort when she wants to wear this.

I would say that the skip hop bags are worth the money because we have used ours nearly every single weekday for a year. However, if you are not going to use the bag every day and are scared that your child will not get their money’s worth I would look for a discount code or on Amazon as they are on offer every so often. I think that the quality of this is still as good as new of course it does have a few scraps from the use but you could not tell we have had this bag over a year. I think that had I purchased a cheaper bag I may have had to repurchase a new bag by now.

Have you tried a skip hop backpack?

Charlotte x

Our Favourite Toddler Snacks

With the summer nearly over now I thought I would share with you some of our favouite toddler snacks because we all know that after a long day exploring there is something nothing better than been able to give your whining toddler a snack to tide them along till the next meal. This is something which we have had to do a number of times this summer because we have been exploring and that sometimes means that meals times do get pushed backwards.

Toddler snacks are not something new to us we have been using them since we started weaning of course we do try and use things like fruit as snacks but sometimes when you are always on the go like we see to be. We have to resort to snacks which come in packs which can be easy put into bags and had when someone is about to have a temper tantrum.

We really love the brand Organix we have used them since day one and have found that the bags which they come in are a perfect size which means they do not spoil a meal should they have them close to the time you may be eating. They have no nasties in them which is always a positive because if you are like me you do not want to pump your child with food which will not be good for them and send them super hyper. As you can see from the picture we love the crackers we also love the gingerbread men which they do carrot sticks, tomato crosses and they also do an amazing flapjack style bar. Can you tell that they are one of our favourite brands they are a name which we have come to trust and if we are out and about and we have no snacks with us and Jess needs something we would try and head in a shop and get an Organix snack.

Little Dish are a new company to us I think we tried them first around Easter time when we have been travelling. Jess had tried the Go Go biscuits which are wholegain, oats, flax and chai seeds biscuits. Which means that there is no rubbish in them which again is something which we love these are some snacks which I will admit I have actually tried myself and thought these were tasty. They come in a pack of 5 which means that you can always have some spare in the cupboards and they are individually wrapped so can pop them in the bag very easy. We have only tried the coconut and raspberry ones I need to keep my eyes out for the other ones because I am sure Jess will love them.

Ella’s Kitchen are another brand which we love as well if you haven’t heard of them they are another company who do not like to put naties in food and are very proud of that fact. Jess has not tried a lot from their snack range I think she has tried some of the crisps which she demolished which must mean that she actually likes them. However, the product that I really recommend is the nibbly fingers which are also like a flapjack treat which is great because I like that they are small which means Jess can actually hold them which is a problem with some of the larger snack she can not get her little hands around them. I would recommend Ella’s Kitchen as you may remember I reviewed their cereal a while back.

The final brand which we love is Kiddylicous who make the most amazing wafers for sure these are something which we repurchase time and time again. The ones which Jess seems to love the most is the blueberry ones. Inside the pack you get two wafers which means that you can always give your child one now and then give them one at another stage during the day. They can easily be broken down which means that you child doesn’t have to hold the whole wafer and make it very sticky and it also saves it been dropped and another tantrum occurring which is the last thing we all want.

What are toddler’s favouite snack?

Charlotte x

Time To Potty Train Using Our Favourite Characters

Since Jess is approaching two I can not believe that only in less than a month she will be a two-year-old where did my little baby go. Jess has now decided that she is not a huge fan of wearing nappies and she now wants to start been potty trained it started a few weeks ago when she would tell us she needed a wee and I would have to hover her over the normal toilet. I knew that then I needed to pick some things up which would make potty training a hell of a lot easier for us. Not long after I purchased these items a lot of bloggers got sent some potty training items, however, I purchased these with my own money. 
The first item which we picked up was this paw patrol step which Jess is obsessed with it when we first purchased it would take it out of the bathroom and walk around the whole house with it. She used it as a seat and everything the reason why we purchased this was because it allows Jess to be able to climb up to the normal toilet and then it also helps her reach the sink which means that she can easily wash her hands after using the toilet because of course we still have to supervise her she isn’t big enough to do this alone yet. This step takes up to 100kg which means that should ever I need a small step I can use this which is always a bonus and I have seen Jess take her toy pups to the step to show themselves them on the step.

Due to the fact the Jess has a small bum and if we put her on the normal toilet we would have to holder hover her over which would be very hard and I am sure there would have been a stage where I would have ended up dropping her into the toilet which wouldn’t have been fun at the time but I am sure would have been looking back. So when I was to my mum she told me that I would need to invest in a toilet trainer seat which is something which you add to the main rim of your toilet and then it makes the seat smaller as your child sits on this and not the main toilet. I knew that when I saw Paw Patrol did this maybe I could get Jess to visit the toilet by asking her if she wanted to go and see the pups and so far she has been running to it when she needs the toilet. 
As someone who is rarely at home, I knew that we needed a potty which we would be able to take with us but would be discrete enough for people not to judge that we did, in fact, have a potty with us. I remember that when some of the YouTubers who I watched had a my carry potty when they were training their own children which made me have a look at them. They are very simple they are a potty which has a handle so can be transported around they are discrete so you wouldn’t know it was a potty which is a bonus they are small enough to be carried under the pram which is another positive. The potty is leak proof and you can lock into until you are able to empty the potty of the contents which for us good for because as you know Jess likes to be outside which means sometimes when she is playing she does not want to come inside so she can go on the potty outside and we can deal with it while she continues to play. 
Of course, when you are potty training your child you need them to be able to pull their nappies down easy. I have found that sometimes at the moment with Jess been in the early stages she does not tell me with a lot of time so it can mean that she does end up going in the nappy. However, I have found that since using pull ups with her I have been using the Little Angels one because this is the company which we have used since birth. I love how simple these are Jess can pull them up and down when she needs which is great because it means that it is quicker for Jess to get on the potty which means that there is less a chance of an accident. These are super absorbant so if she does manage to have an accident it is not as much as a problem as if she had an accident in a pair of pants. 
What did you use for your child when they were potty training?
Charlotte x

Bye bye Dummy

If you have ever seen a picture of Jess or read my blog you will know since she has been born she has had had a dummy. This was not a choice I was actually given because of the circumstances and how ill I was shortly after having her she was actually in NICU. It was there that the lovely nurses decided to give her a dummy because they didn’t know if she had reflex and there decided to give her a dummy to help.

I don’t know if the choice was down to me if I would have actually given her a dummy so this maybe be something which I don’t do should we have another child. I look back now and maybe I should have actually removed the dummy from her when she left the hospital but has kept her quiet for several times when I am glad and thankful for it.It is not something which I regret her having it is something which I am thankful for but I wish that maybe so many of the pictures did not have it in but this is something to know for the future.

However, since Daddy left way back in May we had just made that she was becoming a bigger girl and she only needed it when she was tired and needed to go to sleep. This was the first stage of weaning her off the dummy because I didn’t want her to be a child who was addicted and wouldn’t stop. Since then she has only been using it for bed and when she has been traveling on trains because usually she is tired as we travel early morning and towards bedtime.

This is something which I would recommend instead of going cold turkey with is to cut it to certain times when you think they need it the most it seemed to work for us. However, one day back in July Jess decided that she was going to throw her dummy this was usually me hunting for it on the train, however, this day we managed to lose it. This meant that Jess had to go to nursery without a dummy and they didn’t give her a spare for the first time which Jess did not mind. She has been taking it out and putting it on the side when she has been playing so this proved to us that she did not actually need when she was there and was kept busy whether it be with other children or the workers in the room.

I took this as a sign that she was ready to stop having a dummy full stop and since that day I have not given her one. I believe that children tell you when they are ready and because we want to keep them small for a long as we can we do not want to push them to have no dummy. Since that day there is only one occasion where I cracked and that was because she was actually poorly. When she now asked for her dummy we say haven’t the birds taken it so they can look after there little ones and then she no longer wants a dummy as she thinks of babies with them.

How did you get your little one to stop using a dummy?

Charlotte x

Mattel Play!- Liverpool Review 

I know this post has been a long time coming every single time I see the pictures I think about that fact I that I need to do a review, however, I have not got around to it. That is the reason why Jess may look young in the pictures because they were actually taken back at Easter time when we visited Mattel Play! which is on the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

The only reason I actually knew it was there was that I had seen the lovely Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks visit with her boys. Mattel is a 3 floored building which is designed for under 5’s. The top floor is dedicated to Thomas the tank engine which has you may know because Jess goes on a lot of trains she likes to watch Thomas.

On the Thomas floor, there is a signalling box which allows your child to feel like they are in control of the whole network. As you can see Jess is playing with part of it here and I think we had to wait a while for her to actually come off because she was having so much fun. Also on the floor, there are little trains which the children can get on a be pushed around on it is almost like a ride on Thomas. There is a farm which allows the child to grow the fruit and veg before picking them which allows you to help your child learn their fruit and veg.

There also was the coal works which has foam bricks in which you could build the areas was a little dark and this was not something which actually interested Jess. You could even drive a stationary Thomas which of course Jess spent a fair amount of time on. However, I think Jess’s favourite part of the floor was the ball pit which has Harold the helicopter in because she could with help get in a slide out the back into his ball pool. For sure this was the bit which she spent the longest in it was so nice to hear her laugh so much.

The second floor is dedicated to bob the builder which I will admit is a show which Jess has not seen a lot of. I think since the visit it is one which she has seen more of. On this floor, they have beanbags which allow you to sit and watch episodes of the show, however, only been one Jess wanted to play rather than sit. They have a kitchen which allows you to make food and drink for the famous builder making his lunch before he departs for the job I know this is an area which Jess would love so much more now as she is obsessed with play food.  They also have an area where you mend pipes and stop a water leak as well as build a new wall for a house. These are area which Jess spent some time at. The other acts on the is tracing your favourite character from the show however, Jess was still a little bit young to want to do this. I, on the other hand, had a great time trying to do it.

The third and bottom floor is an area dedicated to Fireman Sam. So as you can imagine as you enter you can put on fireman’s helmets these were too big for Jess which is a huge shame. But when you got into the main room Thai was the smallest of all three levels you have little slide area which Jess loved walking up the stairs and sliding down. A speedboat which you could drive and use the hoses to put the fire out which was on a wall. This floor also has a little grocery store which Jess decides she would fill her trolley up and pretend to be a shoplifter. Mmm might have to keep my eyes on this little one. There was also a huge fire engine in there which you could play inside but this is not something we did.

When Mattel is busy you get a period of 2 hours from entrance however, we did everything we wanted and spent around an hour and a half and we were all shattered after it. Overall we had an amazing time I seem to remember that it was not very expensive for how much you actually got I would revisit maybe in a years time when Jess may get more out of it. Anyway, that’s just an excuse to visit Liverpool again.

Have you visited Mattel Play If so what did you think? 7

Charlotte x

Keeping a Toddler Entertained Indoors

If anyone has a toddler like mine who loves to play outside. You will know how hard it is to keep them entertained when they are unable to  get outside because it is raining outside. Jess for one really hates been inside. There is only so many cartoons she can watch on the tv before she starts to her really bored and she doesn’t have the attention span yet to be able to watch films.

Since the weather this summer seems to have been really hit and miss one day she will be able to go outside and enjoy the sun and the next day it will be horrible and have to be a day in. At the moment she is going to nursery around 3 days a week which is great and really handy should the weather be really rubbish them days as nursery can keep her entertained . However, on the days that it is horrible I have had to become creative and have some ideas of what to do because we can not be running to soft play like everyone else because those places give mummy a headache and are also bad for her bank balance.

Due to the fact that Jess is hardly in it does mean that some days she will be very content just playing with her toys because they are all new again to her and ones which she might not have played with for a while. I recommend rotating your child’s toys around every couple of months so that they get to play with everything and it doesn’t always mean you have to fork out for new toys.

Having fun with paints is something which we have done as well. A while ago I think it might have actually been way back at Easter time we popped to Asda and they had large rolls of paper for around £1 and also had some finger paints reduced due to a battered box. We decided that we would tape the paper to the floor so that did not end up moving and Jess ending up painting all over the floor. I would recommend getting some paints and some coloured pencils because it helps children become so creative and i know it is something which keeps Jess occupied for a long time on a rainy day.

Yes this picture is from nursery and I promise she was not crying because she was in the ball pit she just didn’t want to leave nursery. Jess is lucky to have a ball pool at her nannys unfortunately currently we don’t have the room for her to have one at our house which is a shame because she loves playing it in so much. She will pick the balls up and tell you the colours of the balls as well as playing pass with you and having a whale of a time. You can pick ball pools up for around the £10 mark and then it is just getting the balls I would recommend around 100-200 for the chad valley one that is the one which she has at the grandparents house.

Blowing bubbles is another fun thing to do if it raining sometimes we will blow them in the house and sometimes when Jess has a bath. There is nothing more that she loves that to chase them and help try and pop bubbles. I managed to pick this huge litre bottle of mixture from the works which is not a place I would normally have thought to visit looking for bubble mixture.  I recommend looking in stores such as this home bargains , B&M and such for cheap toys and activities. I must admit I am always keeping my eye out in these kind of stores for things to keep Jess busy.

Speaking of baths sometimes we have a lot of fun when it’s raining by treating her to a lush bath bomb and then getting her bath toys out . I have known her stay in the bath for up to an hour and half which then makes her so tired and she has to go for a nap which means that she is entertained for even longer. Sometimes we do not even use lush we use her normal bubble bath because we keep lush for a treat.

What do you do to keep your toddler entertained when the weather is rubbish?

Charlotte x

Tips For Eating Out With A Toddler

This summer seems to be going very very fast would you believe that tomorrow is August. I for one can not believe how fast the year is actually going it is scary. Once the summer months approach more people seem to have more meals out this could be because you have had a lovely day out and a great way to finish the day by having a meal out. Eating out with Jess is something which we have done for a long period of time she has been used to eating out since before I think she could eat.
I have had questions by people who have been in the same restaurant as us on how I manage to cope eating out with a toddler and I have had multiple people come up and tell me that she is a huge credit to us because she is so well behaved while been out. I will admit I do not have the answers to everything these are just my tips and what I do to make sure that Jess is respectful to other guests who may be eating at the same place as us.

The first one is making sure that you are going to a restaurant which is suitable the last thing you want to do is get to a place and actually find out that your child is not going to want to eat anything on the menu. Most places do have a children’s menu which for the majority you can find online because there is nothing worse than forcing your child to eat something which they do not want to consume. For example, we love eating at all you can eat buffets such as Cosmo’s however, this is not a place we would go with Jess because she would not eat as much we would be more likely to hit a pizza hut.

If your child is as young as Jess is you might want to use a highchair which a lot of places have because this stops you worrying that they are going to be able to run around the whole restaurant and disrupt other diners. I have also found that making sure that she has something to play with always helps I have noticed that if Jess has something such as some colouring pencils and a menu which usually is the child menu she seems to be able to keep her entertained for a while which means that she is able to wait a little bit longer for her food.

Jess still used a bib when she is having food which means that when we eat out we make sure that we still take one because it helps catches the food which she may drop and this stops it been all over the floor. If there is one thing which makes me really embarrassed it is when I have to leave a messy table with food all over it and the floor so this is something which we have started doing and Jess seems to be fine with it because it is what she is used to we have a bib which folds up and lives in her changing bag so that we can just grab it when we eat out.

Another thing which you may notice if you have a young child who likes to use cutlery that when eating out it can be very heavy which means that Jess and other children her age may not be able to lift them. If you are like me you do not want to allow them to eat with their fingers when it suits you however, you do not want them to get into this routine and do it at home. I picked up a while ago in Jojo Maman Bebe this ladybird tum tum cutlery they are not to heavy for her at all they are the same weight as normal children’s cutlery. I have noticed that Jess eats really well with them and she will ask for them if she knows I have them and the cutlery in the place is going to be too heavy fot her I think this is because she knows she will be told off if she eats with her fingers.

Make sure that you are not eating out too late with children as well because sometimes if you make them eat too late they will be very grumpy which will end up stressing you all out and make the meal unpleasant. I try to make sure that Jess goes for meals close to the times when she would actually be eating because otherwise she can be horrible and it is not something I also do not like her going out too late because it means that she is more likely to go to bed on a full stomach which is not good for her at all.
The final tip which I have is to make sure that you have a beaker or cup which your child is used to drinking from with you. The amount of times we have found that we have been out and the place we are eating at only has glass or cups which have a large rim and are unsuitable for Jess to drink out of. We do purchase the drink from the place we’re we are eating and then just pour it into the cup which we have with us this means that Jess then can have a drink without it having to be a fruit shoot with a sports cap and does not end up with her drink all over herself.

What are your top tips for eating out with a toddler?

Charlotte x