Growing a baby is probably one of the most all-consuming things you can do. Raising a child at the same time is also equally all-consuming! So it’s no surprise I’ve found my second pregnancy, well let’s just say, ‘harder’ than my first. There’s not a minute of the day to focus on bump because my baby boy (now 20 months old) needs my full attention 24/7. He’s pretty much the noisier, more demanding one, even if she is trying to kick and punch her way out of my womb! It’s just the way it is with second, third, fourth pregnancies – bump has to slot into daily life.
I’m 36 weeks pregnant now (where did that go?) and on the final hurdle of panic nesting and getting any last jobs ticked off the to-do list. Amongst all the cleaning, laundry and newborn set up, my main focus has been making sure that I spend as much time enjoying special moments with Hector as possible. I’m all too aware it’s all about to change around here and as exciting as it is to be evolving into a family of four, I also really want to cherish these last moments when it’s just the three of us – and just Hector and I most daytimes until dada gets home from work.
So here I’m sharing my go-to list of autumn activities, the things we’re loving doing together right now to keep him occupied and make this mama feel like she’s putting a little extra effort into making his days special. I’m all for swapping ideas too, so let me know how you’re keeping your little ones entertained throughout autumn/winter.
How I’m Keeping My Toddler Busy This Autumn
1. Visiting The Pumpkin Patch
Is it even autumn unless you’ve visiting a pumpkin patch? We’re lucky to have an amazing pick-your-own farm close by but even if you can’t visit a patch then pumpkin carving and creating pumpkin displays around the house gets the autumn harvest mood going for Halloween month! Leave them out way into Bonfire night too. When November is in full swing check out what other seasonal produce your local PYO farms are harvesting. It makes such a fun day out.
2. Hitting Up Soft Play
The older Hector gets, the more energy he has to burn off. An hour or so at soft play each week really helps, plus soft play venues always have coffee and cakes for mamas! Check out your nearest soft play areas, some smaller ones situated in cafes and garden centres can be more practical than the big centres too, so ask around and do your research until you find something ideal.
3. Get Colouring and Crafting
Nothing fixes his attention more right now than getting the crayons, stickers and Play-Doh out. I made Hector a small craft kit (just a pencil case, twistable crayons, stickers and an art pad) which has now grown into an all singing and dancing craft box. Don’t forget a waxy table cloth and XL placemat for protecting your tables, floors and carpets.
4. Foraging and Leaf Gathering
Taking them to the park or local woods is free and this time of the year is perfect for foraging and gathering natures treasure. Take a bag with you to hold all your loot – pine cones, leaves, acorns – and then turn them into play time at home. Leaf printing makes great art to give to grandparents while pinecones can be transformed into Christmas tree decorations (look on Pinterest for all the inspo.)
5. Join A Play Group
I took Hector to baby sensory class when he was born and above anything else, the weekly meet up with other friendly mama faces was invaluable in the early days. He’s now moved onto the toddler version of his baby sensory class and loves the weekly interaction with other kids while I get to take a break from the day to day routine. I’m seeing his confidence grow at each class and the best bit is you can take siblings along so newborn will be getting the full sensory impact once she arrives too. See what local classes you can find in your area.
How are you keeping your kids busy this autumn? Share your ideas for things to do in the comments below!
Meanwhile I’ll be over here doing the final cooking of bump. I can’t quite believe there will be a new mini human in our family and that this Christmas there will be four of us! Is anyone else expecting a newborn during the last stint of 2018? Let me know.
Autumn Wardrobe Go-To’s
I’ve been pretty limited with my wardrobe for this last part of the final trimester and seriously cannot wait to get back into proper waistbands and tailoring, tops that don’t ride up over bump and wearing winter coats that actually do up! These pieces have kept me going, sometimes it just takes a handful of wardrobe updaters to freshen things up.
Top of the list is The Cambridge Satchel Company’s brand new Emily Tote, a kind gift from the brand. I chose the Oxblood saffiano finish because, hello, could you get a more ‘autumn’ colour? And it’s been clipped onto the pram for days out and used as a work bag too. It’s perfectly sized for my mobile office – laptop, chargers, notebook, pen and whatever magazines and books I’m reading at the time.
H&M’s vast array of cosy, fluffy coats and jackets are right up there in the comfort stakes. They’re perfect for just throwing on when you’re headed out of the door for a walk around the block to get the kids to sleep. Their rust pile jacket and white pile jacket are my picks.
I wouldn’t be without Isabella Oliver’s star jumper this autumn either. It’s one of those maternity finds that’ll last forever and I’m going to wear way past pregnancy. I was gifted this classic fine knit that’s perfect for all seasons and haven’t taken it off since. Comes in more colours too so be sure to check it out.