Thursday 26 January 2017

10 Things You Might Not Know About Raising a Boy

Are you expecting a baby boy any time soon?  Well, if you’ve never had a son before, or didn’t grow up with boys, you might be worried about what to expect. 
The good news is that it’s no harder to raise a boy than a girl, and in fact there are lots of wonderful things about raising a son! 

However, there are some things you might not know about raising a boy in particular... 

1. Gender stereotypes really are just stereotypes 

Everyone imagines that little girls are the ones who want to cuddle and be close to you, but many parents will confirm that it’s their sons who are the clingiest. Forget those gender stereotypes, and expect your little boys to be the ones who won’t leave your side in the playground. I can honestly testify to this. Aaron used to spend an hour on my knee at breakfast and same at night before bed, where I can already see Lottie is a lot more independent. So I'd actually say it's fulfilling a different stereotype which is "Mummy's boy and Daddy's girl". But I still get gazillions of cuddles from her.

A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

2. But do believe the stereotypes when it comes to toys... boys do love cars, or at least mine does - we have hundreds of the things

And boys also love guns. Even if you refuse to buy toy guns out of principle, they will make guns out of sticks, the TV remote, a banana, or just their finger. Don’t fret about this: it doesn’t mean they’re going to grow up to be particularly evil adult. Instead, it’s just the way that boys explore the world or act out the films they’ve seen. It’s role-play, and it’s just a bit of fun. We were those parents who refused to buy guns but then a really hot Summer came along and he wanted to play water pistols and so...... I ... let... him....eeeek!

But equally there are LOADS of boys who love to bush buggies and play with kitchens. So there's lots of examples of boys disproving stereotypes too. Those same boys who adore Ana and Elsa. Not really.... Aaron is a man's man type of boy. Very stereotypically a boy. BUT there's nothing he likes more than pushing his sister in her buggy. What's the worst that could happen?!? He''ll grow up to be a Dad ha ha! Caring has to be nurtured which is the same reason I let him cry when he needs to. None of that "you're a boy you don't cry!" - Daddy tries that approach and I tell him to stop!!!

3. Clothes shopping is actually really easy 

For the most part, boys aren’t terribly fussy about what they’re wearing. They’d rather get dressed so they can get on with the day than argue with you about which socks they’re going to wear. Errrrmmm coughs, Aaron. He will definitely tell you what socks he wants to wear. Just today I was talking to my friend who said her eldest boy would only wear Thomas and Friends t-shirts whereas her youngest ignores them all favouring Fireman Sam. 

Boys can be easier to dress and even easier to buy for. However, what you will find is that their clothing needs to be really well made. Boys are forever climbing on things, tackling each and covering their clothes in stains. So, invest in good quality clothing for everyday and, in particular, buy high quality outerwear too. Boys’ waterproofs need to be durable and washable and, if possible, contain pockets. After all, where else are they going to store those cereal bars and batteries and, er... bits of Lego? Don't believe that you can't be creative with boys due to the absence of ribbons and bows. My creativity came with Aaron in how I coordinated his clothes and I used to have SO much fun dressing him up. I chose bright colours over darks for those precious early years.

4. Boys are more likely to end up in A&E than girls 

Boys are more likely to end up in in Accident and Emergency than girls are, with boys accounting for more injuries for most injury types. In fact, 30% more! That’s probably due to the fact boys are so physical in the games they play, and the way they interact with each other... Hmmmm but girls can end up blue-lighted to hospital in an ambulance for different reasons. Think Lottie, think urinary tract infection with a bonkers temperature in the middle of the night. She had a full on "rigor" which terrified the daylights out of me!

5. Rough and tumble is pretty normal 

For some reason, boys seem to be innately ‘physical’ with each other. Whether they’re clamouring over each other, play fighting or wrestling, expect to find a balance between monitoring it to check it doesn’t get out of hand, while learning that it’s just what boys do. Oh my God this is Aaron with his mate after football every week. Me and the other boy's Mum now just chat and wait for them to get the inevitable out of their system. Sometimes I have to split them up so we don't miss our bus home.

6. Little boys aren’t great at aiming... 

If you’ve ever bemoaned how poor a grown man’s aim is in the bathroom, it won’t surprise you to learn that little boys are even worse at peeing neatly. For some reason, the laws of gravity and physics don’t seem to apply when boys use the bathroom, so be prepared to bleach the toilet seat regularly. Consider removing that bathroom rug near the toilet too, unless you want the hassle of replacing it over and over again... Hmmm this has never been an issue with Aaron and he's a neat eater too. Plus that thing where they pee over your shoulder when you're changing their nappy....?!?! In well over 2 years in nappies I think he did it ONCE. He's never pooed at night either and he's never pooed in the bath, whereas Lottie has already done both.

7. Boys tend to reach some milestones a little slower than girls 

There’s no need to worry if your son doesn’t say his first words or sentences for a while after your friends’ daughters have started speaking. There’s a normal range within which children meet certain language milestones, and it’s normal for boys to be on the later end of this scale. This isn't true of every child. Aaron was a talker. He had I think 20-30 words by the time he was 2 or younger. As for walking he walked a week after he turned 1 and Lottie has walked a week before turning 1, which is a negligible difference considering some kids walk at 14-18 months.

8. It’s perfectly normal for boys to want to wear girls’ clothing or do ‘girly’ things 

Many parents are surprised or even concerned to find that their sons want to wear dresses for a while, or play with Barbie dolls or do things we typically associate with girls. However, this is completely normal. Little boys are just as attracted to sparkly, pink or otherwise ‘feminine things’ for the same reasons that little girls are, and it’s rarely a sign that your son secretly wishes he was female. 

Aaron adores playing with Lottie and her toys and exploring things he hasn't before but in the main she plays with his old toys. 

He ALWAYS wants to push her in the buggy though as you can see below and that novelty shows NO signs of wearing off despite her now being a YEAR (where has that year gone?!?). Bless! 

But even if it is a girlie toy he has to explore all it has to offer before he will let he play with it by herself. 

I am beyond thrilled that despite a 5.5 years age gap they do get down on the floor and play together. A lot. Not getting him an xbox or playstation for Christmas means this will continue for a while too LOL! 

9. Bath time is invariably a battle 

For some reason, boys don’t like getting clean. Expect to have a hard job persuading them to go in the shower, and if they’re younger than that, brace yourself for lots of stalling at bath time. However, that might have something to do with the fact that bathing is a boring inconvenience that takes time away from playing. So, load the bath up with toys and bubbles, and you’ll probably find your boy is happy to jump in the tub after all... Aaron loved baths as a baby as they all do and loves them again now. He did go through this phase aged 4/5 but it was short-lived. He likes being clean again now :-)

10. And finally, boys can brush their teeth without the toothbrush getting wet ...yes! 

Really! Just like magic! And stranger still, there’s not a splash of water in the sink, and their breath will mysteriously still smell like dinner and not at all like minty toothpaste. Nahhhh my Aaron adores brushing his teeth and doesn't really ever tell fibs so he wouldn't be leaving the sink dry and pretending he'd brushed when he hadn't.

Do any of these things surprise you about little boys? Or, is there anything you’ve discovered since having a boy that you’d like to share!?

Don't fret about having a boy they're angels really:

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