Now that Eric is 17 months old he is at a really awkward stage. Not quite ready to keep himself entertained but in constant need of stimulation our days are full systems go from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to sleep.
Not one to sit down for very long at all, if we have to spend a day in the house I slowly feel myself going mad. Tinny songs and annoying sound effects filter their way through to my brain and are on a constant loop. So more often than not we will venture out (plans permitting) and have got ourselves a good little routine going.
A few months ago I compiled a list of rainy day activities that are pretty much my back up plans should we be in desperate need of something to do. And now I'm back with a few more fool-proof ideas to keep your tiny tots entertained and will get the Peppa Pig theme tune out of your head for a few hours.
Baths - Totally dependent of course on if your little one is a fan of water. Eric loves being in the bath though and now that I have actually managed to give him one myself, it's now on my list as something to do if I am running short on ideas.
We tend to save this one for an afternoon purely because most of his classes do take place in the morning. I'll run the bath while he stays in his cot, pop him in and watch while he plays with all his toys, or I'll help him make bubble mountains and pour water over his hands from up high (he loves that game).
Plus he nearly always goes down for a nap afterwards - bonus!
Feed The Ducks - I used to do this loads with Eric when he was smaller. After stay and play sessions we would head straight down to the canal, walk along the path and see what birds we could spot.
Nowadays feeding the ducks is something I try to time around when Eric is due to have a sleep. When he is fully alert he simply cannot stand being in the pushchair for too long and gets really frustrated (and this now means you might find yourself in the middle of a toddler tantrum).
But if you don't live near a canal or pond never underestimate the power of fresh air. Pack up the baby bag, find the waterproofs and take a stroll to the park corner shop or even just round the block. Not only will it give you a change of scenery but it will also give loads for you to talk about with your toddler too!
Make A Mummy Date - It took me the longest time to make mummy friends. Even though I took Eric out to classes I never really found anyone that I felt like I could really get on with. I was worried everyone thought I was weird for the way I parented and was afraid to make connections.
Now however, I have a few lovely friends who I meet up with on a regular basis. And I live for those days. Eric gets to interact with other children and I get to have a coffee and a chat with grown ups who will happily talk about poo, sleepless nights and how shit it is when your baby is teething.
So if you have mummy friends, why not reach out and arrange a trip to the local coffee shop, invite them round for a play date or for a morning out at the park. Because having human contact as a parent is really important!
Garden Picnics - Possibly best saved for sunny days but definitely something we took full advantage of this summer. Whether it's the garden or local park, get outside with a sandwich box, box of fresh fruit or some biscuits and enjoy a picnic al fresco.
When the weather was warm Eric and I spent so much time in the garden. We would crank up the volume on Spotify, layer on sun cream and set up camp on the patio. It was blissful. He loved the freedom of being outside and I felt myself calm down because I wasn't trying to stop him banging his head or falling over every five minutes.
As it's heading into Autumn I'm not going to let this be an excuse. I'm pulling out Eric's puddlesuit and getting him back out there. With rain undoubtedly due and the leaves changing colour, it'll be a whole new sensory world we can talk about.
Soft Play (If You Dare!) - Hearing the words 'soft play' may fill your soul with dread but there are actually some really great play areas out there. And once you find one you really like they are a brilliant place to take your toddler to burn off some energy.
There's an amazing one not too far from where we live and I absolutely love it. They don't allow children over 4 or 5 so it's ideal for little ones and there's even a spacious designated baby area for those under 12 months. Eric absolutely loves going there and it's so nice to let him run around without having to follow him too closely.
Being a new parent can be as exhilarating as it is exhausting. And let's not forget confusing at times! If you're a parent-to-be or first time mum/dad reading this post then I have been given the opportunity to give away a pair of tickets to the North West Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester at the end of September.
With a range of exhibitors and experts ready to impart their knowledge and advice it's the perfect place to head to, peruse, and pick the brains of brands who are really in the know when it comes to choosing your ideal baby products.
Giveaway Rules -
*The prize is for ONE pair of tickets to the Manchester show.
* Entrants must be 18 years old or over.
* This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
*You must be able to make your own way to and from the show.
*The giveaway will close on 25/09/2018
The Baby And Toddler Show have also kindly given me a code to share with my readers for 1/3 off tickets to the North West show. Just use the code 'BL10' at the checkout.* I was very kindly gifted a free pair of tickets to the Baby & Toddler Show alongside the chance to giveaway a pair of tickets and a discount code for my readers. This does not affect my opinions. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
Imagery: Rachel Clarke Photography