Weaning

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Here it is, finally a post about weaning. I’ve been putting this post off now for quite a number of weeks. I can’t really rationalise why, apart from the fact at the start I didn’t massively enjoy the process of weaning and I still don’t feel 100 per cent confident about what I’m doing with it all. But then I figure I’m in no way holding this blog up as a place to come for professional advice, I just tell anyone who cares to read a little bit about my baby and how life’s going for the pair of us. So I’m taking the plunge and at least starting this post. No doubt I’ll have more to talk about as the months go on and Alexandra starts having a more exciting diet.

Beforehand (as in during pregnancy and the first few months of Alex’s life), I’d always said I’d probably try a combination of baby-led and traditional weaning. For the non-weaners, baby-led is essentially giving the child finger food for them to feed themselves with rather than spooning purees into their mouths. When the time came to wean at six months (ended up being a week before due to various reasons, not long after I published this post which I’d actually written weeks before so it probably looked as if I’d done a massive U-turn!) we initially started giving her purely foods she was feeding herself. I say feeding herself, pretty much none of it ended up being chewed and even less actually swallowed. People around me then began talking about the importance of getting a variety of flavours into them before around the eight-month mark when they can become fussy. So we decided the introduction of purees couldn’t be a bad thing and that we could always go back to solely baby-led if traditional weaning wasn’t working.

As it was, she took to purees like the proverbial duck to water and, although she does have finger foods to try herself, we now spoon feed her something three times a day. She’s on a variety of foods now: sometimes she has what we’ve had for dinner but blended down, sometimes she has something specially made for her. Our steamer and the blender we bought ages ago in readiness for weaning have been excellent as it takes less than ten minutes to get something prepared for Alex, or occasionally I have a mass blend and then freeze some stuff up ready for future use.

So far we haven’t used any pouches of shop-bought baby food, not being a snob about it but thankfully I’m managing to find time in the day to make our own. From what I’ve heard, Ella’s Kitchen are best as they don’t add any unnecessary junk into their food, but when I had a look in one shop they were £1 each! Which seems really steep when I can get quite a few meals from £1 worth of veg, or by simply taking a bit out of what I’m cooking for us. Despite not being a keen cook (I’m one of those people who can throw together a basic meal but I cook to eat rather than enjoying the process, Dylan is definitely head chef in our house when it comes to anything fancy!), I’m actually really enjoying putting meals together for her and seeing which flavours she enjoys. She hasn’t refused anything at all which is fabulous, for some reason she absolutely loves Weetabix! The process of eating it is always accompanied by ‘mmm’ and squealing if I don’t get the next mouthful to her quick enough.

At first I was very worried about weaning, whether I was doing the right thing, whether she should be spoon fed or baby led etc. There just seemed to be all sorts of things to worry about after we’d got into a nice little routine with our days and knew where we were with bottles. I knew I had to be positive about the experience otherwise Alexandra would pick up on the weird vibes, but finally weeks in I’m not really worrying too much any more. She got weighed recently and is actually now nearer the 75th centile than the 50th so she’s piling the weight on. It’s stopped feeling like such a faff now and it’s just a normal part of our day to feed her as well as her having her bottles. I could probably still do without the dreaded ‘weaning poos’ though!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Seven Months Later

How to add to your child's cuteness: 1. Dress them up in hilarious outfit. Extra points if seasonal. 2. Make them hold a teddy and grin like a loon.

How to add to your child’s cuteness:
1. Dress them up in hilarious outfit. Extra points if seasonal.
2. Make them hold a teddy and grin like a loon.

Well here we are, seven months into this epic journey today. Alexandra is basically a grown up now and we expect her to be moving out and getting a job any time soon.

There’s been a lot happening this month, most of which I’ve already documented in some form or another on this blog, but let’s repeat because I’m a big fan of forgetting what I’ve told people and saying it again and watching them roll their eyes at me. She’s now in her own nursery, being a big girl in her big girl bed. We’ve mastered sleeping through the night in her own room (I say we, I still don’t sleep through the night, but she does). The general pattern now is she’ll go down anywhere between 8 and 9pm and will maybe wake once for the dummy to be put in before getting up for the day around 7.30/8am.

Dummy wise she now consistently goes to sleep without it but does want it to get back off to sleep if she wakes in the early hours. We’d started trying to wean her off it a little for daytime naps but then she got a cold (again!) so it seemed mean to deprive her of something which helps her sleep much more easily. I don’t think we’re doing too bad to only have it in for naps and a couple of hours in the morning, but this is something I want to cut down on in the coming months.

Weaning is the topic of an upcoming post so I won’t talk about that at all here, I’m sure the suspense will kill you all but basically the gist of it is the baby now eats mushy stuff.

We’re getting much better at sitting (again I’m using the wrong pronoun. I am fabulous at sitting down and have been for a while), up to about ten minutes unaided but only if she’s occupied doing something else. I think she has ‘stabilisers syndrome’ (where the kid is riding along quite happily after mom/dad has let go of the bike which no longer has stabilisers on, but as soon as they realise no one’s holding the bike up they fall over dramatically) as she’ll topple to the side or face plant pretty soon if she doesn’t have something to hold/play with/focus on when she’s sitting up. She’s rolling from back to front all the time now and manages to scoot around in her cot with ease. She still doesn’t go from front to back so when she’s on her tummy she just bleats helplessly until someone comes and rescues her.

Mainly, she wants to bounce ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Honestly, I’m thinking of sending the people who make the jumparoo some money to thank them for all the babysitting their device has done for me. It’s a magic miracle worker, designed to let any tired mother catch their breath or, you know, eat/make an effort at cleaning something in the house. If she’s not in that, then most the time she’s bouncing up and down on anyone foolish enough to hold her. My thighs look like mouldy pears they’re so bruised from being jumped up and down on repeatedly. It’s a fun look.

Apart from that, she’s still got a super cute face designed to let her off the hook in any and every situation. I really like her, probably more this month than any of the previous ones (am I allowed to say that?)

Harriet and Alexandra x

Whining About Weaning

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Weaning is one of those topics which really divides mothers (and prospective mothers, and even just incredibly nosey people). Some people believe we should be forcing tasty morsels down our baby’s throats from pretty much the second they cut the umbilical cord. Others see no rush to get onto solids and are happy to wait a few months before they try out proper food with their baby.

I’m firmly in the latter camp. I accept there are occasions where a health visitor or doctor may advise early weaning, usually if there’s some sort of medical problem which necessitates it, but other than that I think all the research screams ‘wait til six months’ so that’s what I’d rather do.
Now Alexandra is five and a half months there’s almost a temptation to start trying her with foods, but equally she’s not quite sitting up by herself yet and I just don’t think she’s ready. Yes she puts everything in her mouth: tasting things is part of exploring and there’s nasty teeth coming through making her want to rub her gums along things. Yes she watches sometimes when I eat: but equally she watches me while I fill my pill box every week, should I be encouraging her to try some warfarin? She’s five months old and the world is new and distracting and amazing, colours and noise astound her and she wants to know what’s going on.
As someone choosing to wait to wean it seems like there’s a lot of pressure to ‘cave in’. Examples of people being weaned early and not immediately keeling over are banded around regularly. I myself was on baby rice aged 12 weeks. But the facts speak for themselves. We know early weaning is more likely to cause problems later on in life.
Plus I invite anyone advocating early weaning to look at my child, really properly look at her. She’s 23 weeks old and putting on weight along the 50th centile. She’s been following the 50th centile for as long as the health visitor’s been tracking her weight. She sleeps all night and is a happy, smiley baby. Does it look like she’s desperate to eat? Does it look like she’s malnourished?
Alexandra is perfectly happy on a bottle. She knows no different. But as a mom I feel confident to rely on the experts as well as my own instinct that we’re fine solely on milk for the next few weeks. Yes it will be amazing trying out different foods with her and hopefully instilling her with a healthy appetite for the rest of her life. But she has years and years of eating solids ahead of her, there’s no rush to make her grow up just for the thrill of telling people your baby eats solids or a cute Instagram picture. My baby thrives on milk and I thrive knowing she’s fine and dandy doing just that!
Harriet and Alexandra X

Baby Bits

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about my pregnancy is getting to buy little bibs and bobs ahead of our daughter’s arrival. I’m one of those people who’ve always loved shopping for friends’ babies so getting to do it for our own is majorly exciting for me. Although we’ve slowed down what we’re purchasing as we don’t want to have loads of stuff we’ll never use, we have seen some adorable stuff in the past couple of weeks which we haven’t been able to resist!

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This gorgeous swimming costume was just £2 in Primark! I’m on the lookout for some tiny cossies for her as we want to take her in the water as soon as possible, this one’s 9-12m so she won’t be using it til next summer but I can’t wait until she fits into it!

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I picked up this beautiful long-sleeved bib in Boots for just £2.50. I was drawn in by the cute design and then when I realised the price I just couldn’t leave it there! Then I saw this pack of two bibs in Aldi at the weekend, which again are long-sleeved but these are a kind of towelling material on the front. So baby is getting well stocked up already for once she starts weaning!

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This set again won’t be useful until she starts weaning but it was just a couple of pounds from Aldi and contains every from spoons and plates to snack pots and sippy cups. I like the feeling that we’re well prepared for those early feeding days!

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This was actually a gift from my mom, who’s become obsessed with buying teddies! This is a gorgeous little rattle from Next and I love the fact it’s an elephant as bump’s first (in utero) holiday was to Thailand! It also keeps reminding me how much I want some stuff with ‘born in 2015’ on as that’s what the label says – I’m hoping we’ll find at least one outfit for baby with the same on it.

Harriet and bump x