Siblings: Toddler meets Baby, My Most FAQ

One of the most frequent conversations I have with parents goes a little like this……………………….. 

Parent: My toddler has started to ——————- towards my baby.

Insert type of aggression: push, pull, throw, hit, slap, bite, pinch.

Me: When did this begin?

Parent: I think it started a few weeks ago when they baby started —————-.

Insert Milestone: sitting, crawling, weaning, talking, standing, walking

Me: When does it happen?

Parent: Normally, when I’m there, it definitely feels like its for my attentionf ollowed by; But I make sure they don’t feel displaced by baby and/or, But I give them loads of one to one and/or, But they love their brother/sister so much.

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Toilet Training – Are they ready?

Toilet Training is one of those milestones that causes stress for most parents, especially with more and more pre school services expecting them to be independent regardless of age. A lot of parents are feeling the pressure to train and not sure whether their child is actually ready.

If you are not feeling this pressure then my personal attitude is wait, wait and wait some more. You can only start potty training too early there’s no such thing as too late. Don’t be pushed by Granny or by neighbour Janet most importantly even after reading my advice go with your gut. You know your child best.

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Top Tips – Communicating With a Toddler, Think Statements!


The Toddlers in our lives are a far more complicated bunch than they would appear. They often talk and act a lot older than their age and sometimes even lull us into a false sense of not only maturity but of emotional understanding and even have us believing their comprehension is more developed than it is. This is totally normal and all part of that Toddler rollercoaster. When expectations are raised above their abilities, you can expect tantrums, meltdowns, aggression, screaming and no doubt tears! We’ve set our little toddlers up for failure. Toddlers can feel like a mystery from one day to the next fighting over which colour plate and tantrumming over what seems like the silliest of things. Today I’ll take one area of communication we as parents can nurture, in an attempt at reducing some of these toddler frustrations and in turn hopefully nurturing some positive behaviors. 

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Think outside the Egg Box!

Guest blog from Deirdre Doyle 


Easter is fast approaching and with it, the never ending dilemma of parents. Easter eggs! Which one to buy, how many to buy and what to do with all that chocolate once Easter is over. A MummyPages survey in 2016 showed that Irish children receive an average of 5 Easter eggs every year with a small percentage getting 10-15 Easter eggs. And parents are not happy about it with 91% of them rationing out the Easter chocolate and 51% of mums wishing to be consulted before family or friends gift an egg.

Easter is another of those events that children celebrate by the over-consumption of cheap chocolate and sweets. Selection boxes at Christmas, jellies and eye balls and chocolate coins and all manners of other awful sweets at Halloween and then Easter eggs. Many children think that Easter is in fact the Easter bunny’s birthday and have no idea of the real meaning of Easter (according to a very unscientific straw poll I did!). I despair when I see Tesco selling 3 Easter eggs for €5, making it very hard for parents and well-meaning friends and family to resist. But what benefit is this to our children in the long run? And don’t get me started on all that packaging …………

Over the years, I have gently reduced the number of Easter eggs my kids receive so that grannies and aunties and friends now know not to buy them eggs. I’m not a complete bah humbug (or should that be a maah humbug for the time of year? Geddit?!) and my children will get 1 or possibly 2 Easter eggs. If you’re visiting with friends and family this Easter why not bring the children an alternative to cheap, overpackaged chocolate. Here are my suggestions of alternative, reasonably priced gifts:

Toys: Toys and Games Ireland has some perfect little gifts in her online shop starting from 2.50. Try the Dinosaur slime eggs which are clear eggs containing slime and a dino skeleton ( or chick hatching eggs ( Other stores with similar options include: www.LittleOnes.Ie

Accessories: Claire’s Accessories has a range of Easter themed gifts from Bunny Erasers for €4.99 to Bella the Bunny Glitter Mini-Pack for €24.99

Books: Check out your local book shop for Easter-themed books such as “We’re going on an Egg Hunt” €8.49 from A book is a great gift and it’s not just for Easter – it can be read all year around, as let’s face it, kids have no idea what time of year it is!! My Higher Shelf and Jackanory also have some fantastic titles to cover all ages.

Crafts: You can get some lovely Easter craft sets and the Art and Hobby Shop are always a great source of inspiration. They have Easter stickers starting at €0.99, sand art decorations for €5.99 and lots more. Not only are crafts sugar-free, they also occupy the kids for hours (if you’re lucky) or minutes (if you’re not so lucky!). and for great craft ideas.

Cooking and Baking: You might have a little extra time with the kids at Easter to do some cooking and baking. has some cute Easter themed cookie cutting sets and you can use up some of the chocolate that the kids get in cakes and buns! Or you can get Kiddies Food Kutters which allow the children to chop food safely. Available at


Plants: Buy a little plant or a pot and some seeds and get the kids planting. Lettuce are easy and quick to grow. Look at for growing kits for kids as well as the cutest welly liners! Starting from €3.59

So there you have it – some suggestions for gifts you can share this Easter with the kids in your life that won’t send them into a sugar spin! Have you anything else to add to the list, tell me in the comments? 

Happy Easter from Deirdre Doyle at The Cool Food School

Discount Code: Deehol for any purchases on


Blowing off steam – Tackling post school frustrations

We all have to blow off steam and we all do it appropriately and inappropriately at times, whether its arguing with our partners as adults or throwing a tantrums as toddlers. We all have different ways of doing it appropriately too; some enjoy a glass of wine, a bath, some chocolate, a book, the gym, yoga. Kids are the very same.

Since Neds started playschool it has become more and more apparent that sometimes after playing by the rules they need to let loose. What do you mean playing by the rules i hear you say, the rules of school, society and community all new and novel to them. Don’t shout, run, talk, eat, drink, toliet now, colour here, stand there, hold hands, read this and so on. So after a few jam packed hours of learming societies expectations of you, you may have a little steam to blow off. As parents we need to facilitate that or they will seek it themselves! Sometimes they’ll seek it and it will be accomplished in an appropriate way and sometimes they wont and we then as parents pay the price trying to manage unwanted behaviour.

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