What I Know Now.

I recently toilet trained my three-year-old with minimum fuss and maximum success. I am not boasting here although I admit it does sound that way. I am writing about it because what struck me when she finally decided she was ready to be trained was the difference between what I ‘knew’ working as a childcare professional and what I know being a mother of three.

No more nappies!

No more nappies!

What I ‘knew’ working in crèches was that all children can be toilet trained from the age of two and that the sooner you do it, the easier it is and the better for them. I ‘knew’ that the parents that resisted training their children were not doing them any favours. We always made sure that the children were intellectually ready to be trained, training was approached by both the crèche and the family at the same time, patience and keeping cool were the name of the game and nine times out of ten they succeeded according to our timeline.

What I know now, is that although children can be trained from that age they don’t need to be trained that early. There was always pressure to train children before they started in pre-school /Montessori classes  because the teachers either didn’t have time or were not willing to change nappies. I know now that parents who resisted the crèche timetable were absolutely looking out for their child and I would love the opportunity to shake hands with them now.

If I were to do it all again I would absolutely scrap training children according to the crèche timetable and encourage training each child when they felt ready for it. Waiting until the child chooses to start using the toilet makes for an easier, faster and healthier transition in the developing child’s life.

What I ‘knew’ working in crèches was that hungry children will eat. Now I am not talking about starving the children or giving them tiny portions – in spite of what sometimes gets highlighted in the media most people working in childcare have a genuine love of children and are actively interested in encouraging the growth and development of the children in their care. I know, imagine that! One of the side effects of running a busy crèche is that most of the day is timetabled so as to ensure that the day runs smoothly. So wherever I worked, there was at least a two hour gap between breakfast-snack-lunch-snack. With organised activities and free play in between, it generally meant that the children ate what they were given, happily and heartily.

Big,expensive, unhealthy snacks means...

Big,expensive, unhealthy snacks means…

What I now know is that, when you are at home with your child there is no timetable and you can find yourself (myself ) giving them a snack an hour – not necessarily a healthy snack either – and then when it comes to their main meal they are not hungry and don’t eat. So in this case it is better to take a leaf out of the crèche books to encourage healthy eating. Keep to set mealtimes and either eliminate or reduce the amount of snacks they have.


..anarchic mealtimes!

What I ‘knew’ working in crèches was that TV was not good for children. When I opened my own crèche I didn’t even install a television on the premises, there were enough staff and activities planned that there was no need to turn on a television. Quiet time was story time or singing songs.  And when I gave up work I would allow maybe 30 minutes of television a day.

My plans.

My plans.

What I know now is that television is one of the best inventions ever – actually, strike that – Sky+ is the best invention ever as you can ensure your child never misses their favourite programme during the two to three hours television they watch a day! 😉

My reality.

My reality.

What have you learnt since becoming a parent?

Thanks for reading



10 Random Things I have learnt as a Mother

Because I had a long career in childcare, everyone (myself included) thought that I’d find having children of my own a doddle. Yes, I know, ridiculous! Of course I was taken down a peg or two hundred when my eldest arrived. That in mind, this week I am linking up with fellow blogger Learna Mamma’s post on 10 random things I have learnt since becoming a mother.


  • Don’t jiggle a recently fed baby over your head whilst gazing up at them laughing. Regurgitated breast milk tastes as disgusting as it sounds.
I don't recommend this after a feed!

I don’t recommend this after a feed!

  • Breast-feeding is A LOT harder then you think! And when you do get ‘a good latch’, you will ask your husband to take photos from all angles in the hope that you can re-create it on the next feed.
  • ALL the tear jerker films that didn’t make you cry before having children will reduce you to an inconsolable wreck nowadays. In fact, tears in general come much more easily.
  • If your child sleeps an extra ten minutes, you will send your husband in to check them as you ‘can’t face the corpse’. Every time!!
  • Your face is your baby’s favourite toy.
  • No matter how uncomfortable you are, or how much you need the loo, if your baby falls asleep on you, nothing on earth could move you!
I could stay like this forever :)

I could stay like this forever 🙂

  • You finally understand what selfless means. Your children take over your independence, freedom and bank balance, whilst giving you ‘lip’, wrinkles, worries and grey hair – but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Sometimes ‘turning a blind eye’ is the best option! Not seeing the fight/punch can be the best way to get it resolved. Trying to ‘sort it’ can often make things ten times worse. However, you would hunt down and hurt anyone who really harms your child. ANYONE!!
  • The sound of your children giggling and playing together lifts your spirits to the highest heights!
Sunshine and happiness makes it all worth while!

Sunshine and happiness makes it all worth while!


These are just a few things I have learnt, and I am in no doubt whatsoever that I have years of learning ahead of me! If you fancy reading what other random things we learn as parents, check out the link below!


Thanks for reading


I love feedback, please leave any thoughts and comments below.

Learner Mamma


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