Realisations about Life with a Toddler

Elise is 13 months now and has graduated from being a baby to a toddler. She’s more assertive, mischievous, tries to push boundaries (because she doesn’t know what the boundaries are) and vocal. There’s a stark difference between parenting a baby and a toddler. It’s the next stage of our video game. I’ve come up with some realisations about this stage.

  1. Co-sleeping with a toddler = Toddler Taekwondo
    We have been co-sleeping with Elise ever since she was an infant. She sleeps in between us on a king-sized bed. For someone that little, she takes up way too much space. She does a 360 degree rotation and wriggles around to find her perfect spot. I’d be sleeping when I get whacked on the face with her arm. I’ve also woken up in the middle of the night to find her sleeping precariously at the edge of the bed where our feet are. We’re going to get a new mattress so we can kick her out of our bed and reclaim it.

    – Knowing your baby is right beside you
    – Being able to comfort her without having to get out of bed

  2. Cons:
    – Decreased sleep quality for everyone
    Dead bedroom
  3. Peaceful Toilet Time? Not happening anymore

    Elise has a new habit where she goes right up to the toilet door, repeatedly slams on it and yells at you to finish your business until you come out. Toddlers have no concept of privacy. This kid is determined.
  4. There are only very few baby items which are essential

    I went on overdrive when I was pregnant and by the time Elise was born, I had close to everything, plus a few toys which she will take a few years to grow into (wooden kitchen set, anyone?). It’s only when the first year is over that you realise what is necessary and what is rather useless.It’s also why when it comes to the subsequent kids, we only purchase the bare necessities (clothes, toiletries, bottles).

  5. Toddler Discipline should start early

    Elise had her first post-op playdate with her October buddies a few days ago. Elise kept touching Hana’s head and attempted to bite her, K wanted to play with Matty’s ride on scooter and Matty had to deal with sharing all his toys with his friends. They’re at the age where they haven’t completely grasped the concept of sharing yet, so we kept having to break up petty fights.
    Our babies were born into our world without knowing social norms and rules. That’s why we cannot expect toddlers to behave in-line with our cultures and guidelines. Instead, we need to guide them into finding proper ways to express themselves while being nice to others.

     As parents, we need to take charge of discipline at home rather than push the responsibility to others. We cannot expect schools, grandparents, nannies or domestic helpers to discipline our kids for us. The last thing I want is for Elise to grow up to become a self-entitled, arrogant brat.Discipline does not need to be terrifying for the child. “Don’t scold her, she’s still young” is NOT an excuse to back down on discipline for young toddlers. Every incident can be a teaching opportunity. I need to work on my tone though, because my dad says I don’t sound scary enough when I tell Elise”no”.

  6. Toddlers have an immense capability for learning

    Now that I’m no longer required to be present in the office daily, my role has switched from a FTWM to a WFHM. It appears to be a luxury, but all I can say is that each role comes with its own responsibilities and challenges. It’s my third week of spending 24/7 with Elise, and she surprises me at how fast she learns.After seeing her friends walk unassisted at the play date, she has started walking unassisted for more steps with confidence. Yesterday, she took her longest unassisted stride from the bedroom to the living room and when she realised that she did it, she had the biggest grin on her face.
    Just this morning, I realised there was a missing ball from her toy and questioned her “Where’s the ball?”. She crawled to a short drawer and peered below it. Sure enough, the missing ball was right under, out of her reach. She has better memory than me. She is fascinated by books and can be entertained for hours with the same few lift-the-flap books. My dad uses this to introduce new vocabulary to her.

    While she still speaks in her own language, she understands most instructions.Now is the best time to bring her out more so she can explore her interests, develop new abilities and learn through play before she begins formal education (10 years of hitting the books. I wonder if there’s a way out of typical Singapore education).I could plonk her in front of the television or entertain her with a tablet full of childrens’ programmes but doesn’t maximise her capabilities. I want to do more.Whoever said having a kid was easy?


Nestlé CERELAC Infant Cereal

After babies turn 6 months of age, solid food should be introduced to complement their diet as milk alone may not contain enough iron for their growing needs. Milk should still be their main source of diet till they are about 1 year of age though!

This simple tool lets you find out whether your baby is consuming enough iron for their needs.

When Elise turned 6 months, I introduced solid food to her by feeding her bits of fruit and steamed pumpkin. She took to it quite well! Then again, it’s at the stage where she puts everything into her mouth.

The good thing about skipping the puree stage is that they learn that they need to chew their food before swallowing. I have no qualms feeding her larger pieces of food now because I have confidence that she can deal with it without choking. This has incurred a lot of doubt and disbelief from the elders I meet, but everyone has their own methods of doing things.

On most mornings, I prepare her porridge before leaving the house using the laziest method possible – I put oats together with vegetables, meat or fish and some water to boil for a few minutes before placing everything into a thermal jar to cook with the residual heat until she’s ready to be fed at lunchtime.

Infant cereals are another popular choice because preparation is as easy as it gets – just add water and other ingredients, or if you’re really pressed for time, just water will do! A well-fed baby is a happy baby.

About Nestlé CERELAC


Nestlé CERELAC has been in the market for 150 years and was created by Henri Nestle who was a pharmacist with a passion for science who created the first milk-based nutritional food for infants and saved the life of a young infant with his recipe.

Since then, it has grown to become a trusted brand by many generations of mothers.

  • It is the FIRST and ONLY infant cereals with BIFIDUS BL probiotics – helps to fight against harmful bacteria, thereby maintaining a healthy digestive system.
  • Iron-fortified along with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Contains DHA – an important building block for brain and eye development
  • Made with baby grade ingredients that are grown especially for babies
  • Cereals hydrolyzed enzymatically (CHE) is a unique technology used in CERELAC® to breakdown carbohydrates in cereal into smaller pieces for easier digestion

They’ve also made it really easy for parents to select the right type of cereal with different stages – After 6 months, 8 months and 12 months. Just grab and go. It cannot get easier than that.

Source: Nestlé CERELAC 

Weaning Recipes

Here are some weaning recipes you can try for your child. You can choose to follow the recipes or create your own recipe! Note that babies below 1 should not consume egg whites as it contains 4 proteins which range from mildly allergenic to highly allergenic, so it’s best to wait it out.

Raw honey should also not be fed to children below 1 as it is known to contain Clostridium botulinum spores linked to infant botulism. The good news is that the spores are killed and prevented from growing in Nestlé CERELAC cereals containing honey, so your baby can safely get a taste of honey before the other babies do!

Source: Nestlé CERELAC
Source: Nestlé CERELAC

Banana Blueberry Cereal
1/2 Banana
A few blueberries


1. Add cereal to warm water. The recommended amount is 5tbsp cereal to 150ml warm water but I just go by feel. Adding cereal to water eliminates clumps. I’ve been making my Milo and Nestum the wrong way all along…

2. Stir after adding each spoonful of cereal to the water to get your desired consistency.

3. Throw in whatever you want. Result? It is Elise-approved! It’s easy to prepare and nutritious for your little one.

Feeling very comfortable in her holey-tee from the market

Start creating your own recipes with a free sample! 🙂

Nestlé CERELAC is readily available for purchase at leading supermarkets and the following online stores:

Nestle E-shop
Lazada (One Mart)
Q10 (One Mart)