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Archive for the ‘Baby-led weaning’ Category

1. Lying in bed feeding the baby, I remember a time when the length from the top of his head to his toes was less than the current length from head to bum.

2. After a disastrous bedtime with baby and toddler both demanding attention and each keeping the other awake, I finally get the baby off to sleep. Toddler and I have a cuddle in bed; he tells me he’s my friend and he loves me. He falls asleep smiling.

3. We’re very lucky to get the vast majority of our kids’ clothes as hand-me-downs or gifts. Today the toddler actually wears something that I’ve bought and chosen for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. On his way to bed, my husband takes time to stop and tell me that he loves me.

5. The toddler tells me that Daddy is old, but Mummy is young.

6. I throw caution and frugality to the wind and add both chicken and bacon to the pasta sauce.

7. We go to a birthday party. The cake is covered in fondant icing; to get a vivid ‘lego brick’ colour, it’s been painted with neat food colouring. When we eat it, our fingers, lips, teeth and tongues turn bright blue.

 

These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.

 

This post is also linked up to the British Mummy Bloggers’ January Blog Hop. You can follow the links to read a selection of funny, interesting and diverse posts from a host of brilliant bloggers.

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When it came to weaning my toddler I went the baby-led route, and I’ve been doing the same with my second son. We’re currently about three weeks in, although we’ve been taking it slowly the past couple of days as both boys have had bad colds and not really fancied eating anything. But we’ve had some lovely moments, with the whole family sitting at the table eating the same meal. Anyway, here’s a few tips that have come back to me in the last couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

1. Sometimes they won’t eat anything. The baby might spend a whole meal chewing an empty spoon, banging his hands on the table or simply staring at everyone else. It’s all part of learning about food and mealtimes.

2. Sometimes they’ll try loads. Providing your food is low in salt, let baby join in with every meal and try snack times too. The more chances to experiment, the better.

3. Most ‘baby food’ is overpriced and totally unnecessary. Apparently they make baby pasta – um, that’s just little pasta in fancy shapes with a load of extra packaging. I try not to see baby food vs grown-up food – it’s all just food.

4. If at the end of the meal you find yourself thinking “Wow, he’s eaten loads!” – he probably hasn’t. There’s a big wet piece of cucumber wedged between his leg and the side of the highchair. Several halves of cherry tomato squashed between the bar and his lovely new trousers. Those rice cakes? They’re on the floor. And he’s probably sitting on a spoonful of yogurt.

5. Yes, absolutely let him try all sorts of family foods. But unless you want to be hoovering little pieces from under the kitchen units months down the line, maybe wait until he’s mastered a spoon before you introduce the couscous.

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Since my baby turned six months a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started baby-led weaning. We did baby-led weaning with our first son, who is now nearly two and a half. He started slowly, and seemed to take a couple of big leaps at around eight months and ten months, when things seemed to ‘click’ a bit more and he started eating more food. I’ll be writing more about baby-led weaning in the coming weeks; this post is an introduction to the practicalities.

First, resources. I started with a bit of research online. At the time I was on a wedding forum with a great baby section where I read the experiences of a lot of people trying baby-led weaning. I haven’t been on there for a couple of years now so I can’t say for certain that it’s the same, but at the time it was a great resource for weaning and other baby-led, attachment-type parenting methods. I’m more of a Mumsnet girl these days and you’ll also find good advice and a variety of experiences in the weaning section on their talk boards.

Next I bought the book. I can’t recommend this enough – it has a very clear explanation of how to do baby-led weaning, how to deal withany problems, what to say to sceptical grandparents… you get the idea. I think it’s really important because it talks about the science and philosophy behind a baby-led approach as well as the practicalities.

I’ve also read a bit of Aitch’s excellent baby-led weaning blog and the associated forum. To be honest, I got on so well with baby-led weaning that I never really needed to look on here, but I have used it occasionally as a recipe resource.

So, the practicalities. We have an Ikea Antilop highchair, which seems to be a favourite with baby-led weaners due to its remarkably simple design. The first highchair we had for our now-toddler was a huge padded throne, but we quickly realised that padding and frills just means more places for food to get stuck.

I had the Antilop tray for Baby1, but I prefer to have my kids sitting right up at the table with the family, so this time I bought a stick-on place mat from Kiddicare. It’s very flexible, which means that baby can easily empty the contents of the food-catcher into his lap, and it can stain easily, but apart from those minor quibbles I really like it so far. It’s definitely easier than seeing a whole plate of food slung on the floor.

If we’re eating something with sauce I’ll use a bib with long sleeves. If it’s something dry then a plastic bib with a scoop is better for catching things that otherwise might end up on the floor (Tommy Tippee ones are popular, although we get on fine with Tesco Value range).

I don’t bother putting a cloth on the floor. If he drops something I either pick it up quickly or just leave it. He does tend to drop the majority of his food at the moment, but then picking up four bits of broccoli doesn’t take much more effort than picking up one, and they do get better as the months go on. Cleaning up can be a bit of a hassle; this is how I do it:

1. Wipe the baby (I’ve used the same batch of muslin cloths from toddler’s birth, and am still using them for all sorts)

2. Baby somewhere safe out of the way, clear the table (big bits in the bin, most of the rest on the floor)

3. Wipe the highchair (as above)

4. Pick up the big bits from the floor

5. Wait a couple of hours for everything else on the floor to dry out, then hoover up. I have one of these and I totally love it.

I realise that I haven’t actually discussed the food that I offer. Basically, he has what the rest of us are having, as long as it’s sufficiently low in salt and sugar, and isn’t too hard to squash with his gums. Top successes so far have included tuna sandwich and sweet potato wedges. But I’ll save a proper food post for another day.

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Today my baby is six months old. The time has gone quickly – it doesn’t seem so long ago that you and I first met, in a bright, white room surrounded by doctors and midwives.

At five days overdue and weighing in at 10lb 14oz (yes, you read that right!) you were quite a sight to behold. The newborn clothes that we’d brought to hospital didn’t even fit you. I’d never spent a night apart from your brother then all of a sudden here I was, starting all over again with a brand new baby. I’d never been one of the mothers who wonders whether they’ll love their second child as much as their first. I always knew I’d love you, but still I’ve been surprised just how much it is possible to love. Our little family is complete.

Of course, in other ways the time seems to have gone slowly. When I think of the early days, of all the times you screamed while I frantically tried to get your brother dressed, of the times you wanted feeding all day or the times we all shouted and cried… those days sometimes seemed to last for years.

Yet for all the challenging times, there have been wonderful moments that make up for the tears 100 times over.

My poor baby has suffered indignities at the hands of his big brother.

He has been squashed, bitten and enthusiastically licked by a toddler learning to express his love and affection.

He has stretched, reached, rolled over.

He has spent hours and hours drinking litres and pints of breastmilk.

Most of all, he has smiled his way through life.

 

 

 

 

Today my son has reached the grand old age of six months. So today we start a new adventure. Baby, welcome to the world of food!

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