Packing

Baby Girl being hugely helpful with the holiday packing today…

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Rusks

What started out as a biscuit quickly became more mush. It was like a gloopey paste covering Baby Girl. It was even in her ears.

Baby Girl’s verdict? She liked it so much she cried when she’d finished it.

IMG_3898.JPGAs you can see, sippy cup is still a work in progress.

Book Review: Feeding Your Baby by Fiona Wilcock

"I'm ready!!!"

“I’m ready!!!”

Blurb: published in 2014, a step by step guide to weaning your baby from first tastes to family meals. Feeding Your Baby employs a cross between weaning on purées & Baby Led Weaning. It features a meal planner that can start from five months, if your baby is ready, or that can be adapted to start from six months. Feeding Your Baby covers the following, all in line with current official advice;

  1. Is your baby ready? (including a section for premature babies)
  2. Different foods for different purposes; growing foods vs nutrients & what’s best for baby vs what’s best to avoid
  3. Food shopping for your baby & kitchen preparation: what do you need?
  4. Purée & first meals preparation
  5. Allergies, intolerants & choking
  6. Understanding how much is enough, giving your baby water with their meal or milk along side them & establishing good habits
  7. Meal planner from five months to the toddler years & recipes

Price: £12.99 (Amazon)
Worth it? Definitely

Thoughts: *****
For a first time mom, this was exactly what I needed. I’ve found the weekly planners great, especially when doing the food shopping & planning ahead. But it’s not a strict regime; Wilcock has provided more recipes than the meal planner features so you can pick & choose depending what you have in the fridge. Baby Girl is only on stage 1, but further on it gives you ‘Meals for leisurely days,’ ‘Meals for busy days,’ ‘Storecupboard recipes’ & ‘Economy dishes’ making sure there’s something for everyone & to help you navigate the ever expanding choice of recipes in the back of the book.

Perusing this week's menu...

Perusing this week’s menu…

The recipes appear to be tried & tested, winning Feeding Your Baby it’s fifth star. Nearly three weeks into weaning & so far all my purées have looked like the picture. (I appreciate that it’s not hard to mush up food…) After the first few days, while I was still getting to grips with everything, I’d say Wilcock’s timings are spot on give or take a minute or two. (And depending on whether Baby Girl needs some attention half way through!) IMG_3734

 

Baby Bullet

Don’t worry, this isn’t nearly as violent or risky as it sounds. I have a new toy:

(fruit bowl not included)

(fruit bowl not included)

Making purées with our standard food processor, was, as I mentioned last week, somewhat time consuming. This was causing me to spend a ridiculous amount of time whizz, whizz, whizzing. Quite frankly, it was boring. And because of the size, I was also having to make double, if not triple the portion sizes to fill the processor. Our freezer really isn’t that big!

Well not any more! My dad sent us a little gadget called the Baby Bullet. A small, baby-sized blender with which to prepare purees for Baby Girl. It has different bowl sizes for different portion sizes & two different blade types. One for fruit & veg, the other for when she’s on to slightly more advanced foods like porridge or whatever more advanced babies eat. (Haven’t got that far in my weaning book yet. Can you tell?)

In just over an hour, I made three different batches of purées for the week with a few extra pots worth for freezing (rather than 8 extra pots worth). Much better.

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The Baby Bullet is £49 from Amazon. It does have quite mixed reviews on Amazon, but so far, my experience has been nothing but positive. My only qualm is that it can’t go in the dishwasher. Which is quite a downside when I already have bottles to wash daily and purées to prepare. But swings & roundabouts.

Baby Girl’s Naming Ceremony

This weekend, we hosted Baby Girl’s Naming Ceremony. We aren’t religious, so felt a Christening was hypocritical. Instead, we invited our friends & family to a picnic in the park behind our apartment to celebrate the birth of our lovely little girl & to introduce everyone to her ‘Odd Parents’.

SONY DSCThere’s great debate over whether it’s appropriate for non-religious ceremonies to have a Godparent like figure. To which I reply, absolutely. A Godparent’s role is to support & guide a child on their spiritual journey. While we don’t require this for Baby Girl, we’ve asked our two best friends to be the friends they’ve been to us over the years to Baby Girl . This way, she’ll know she has two people in this world always looking out for her, always there for support or to ask those awkward questions to. And who’ll always tell her that pink hair isn’t a good idea.

The day went brilliantly, despite Hurricane Bertha blowing in the week before & threatening to drown us all. Thankfully, the gods were shining down on us (yes, I’m aware of the irony as we had a non-religious ceremony) as the sun found it’s way through the clouds.

Baby Girl’s dad gave a rather heart-felt speech, which I wasn’t allowed to hear before hand. (Much against my better judgement!) People laughed, then they got teary, then we drank bubbles. Baby Girl was the life & soul as she snoozed through the whole thing. Clearly, she is not our daughter!

I think Baby Girl wants a piece...

I think Baby Girl wants a piece…

Of course, no special day is complete without a cake. So last week I got my bake on again, the first time I’ve braved baking with a baby in tow. I’ll be honest, not the least stressful Friday I’ve ever had, even with Mom there to look after Baby Girl!

Our oven is frankly ridiculous. It’s a nightmare. If you follow the instructions and roast a chicken at 180’C, it is burnt in half the time it would usually take to cook. It’s always been a trial and error to use. So, to make a three layer pink ombre cake for Little Miss’ Naming Ceremony, I had to bake nine – yes nine – layers of cake to finally get three acceptable layers. But I got there in the end! (And won’t be baking again for a while… Or at least until we move!)

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Thank you to everyone who joined us at the weekend. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Pears pears, good for the heart…

…The more you eat the more you…

Apparently, this is Baby Girl’s mantra this evening. Pear purée went down well. She had three whole teaspoonfuls & we even got a smile.

She woke up about an hour ago (9:45pm) absolutely screaming the house down. Wouldn’t feed. Wasn’t dirty. Turns out she has the world’s worst wind.

She’s calmed down now & usually, I’d sit quietly, not talking, in the dark waiting for her to fall asleep again. However, she is wide awake so instead, she’s playing with Sophie the Giraffe on a rug in front of me as I desperately try to tire her out again!

But every two minutes or so she either burps or toots. It seems that while Baby Girl was keen on the pear, her digestive system is a bit surprised by it!

Weaning: AKA, Mess

 

Purists, avert your eyes, for we have started weaning Baby Girl at five months. Yes, the official lines are all ‘you’ll kill your baby if you give them anything but breast milk before six months old’ (I may be paraphrasing) but –

1. my entire generation was weaned at four months, & we are very clearly alive & well.
2. we think Baby Girl is ready. She is fascinated by us eating, tries to swipe at our food & most importantly, is starting to sit up on her own.

Baby Rice 

SONY DSCWe started on Friday with Baby Rice. This you mix 1 tsp of rice powder with 10 tsps of your baby’s usual milk. Baby Girl did not like. She just kept looking at us as if to say, ‘You idiots. Why are you serving me milk on a spoon?’ So we knocked that on the head.

Carrot purée 

SONY DSCSaturday we tried carrot, prepared by my own fair hands… Jesus purées are hard work! To get them smooth enough for our Precious Little-Bean, I had to whizz that carrot with cooled boiled water for about 30 minutes. And after all that? Baby Girl does not like carrot. At all. She didn’t like it on Sunday either.

Broccoli purée 

IMG_3569 - Version 2Now, broccoli is probably my favourite vegetable. So I was feeling optimistic.

Monday, I prepared broccoli purée, this time, made with her usual milk. I whizzed & I whizzed & I whizzed for nearly an hour to get it smooth. (Turns out this was really boring & Baby Girl decided to have a nap after only about 15 minutes. Either that or the food processor sounds like Ewan the Sheep & tricked her into sleeping!)

6pm came, we cleared the table, got her all set up, bib on, broccoli ready, and?

Baby Girl likes broccoli! Woohoo!

Never have I felt so relieved. If I had wasted an hour of my life whizzing that broccoli within an inch of it’s life & she hadn’t liked it, she might not have been the only one crying!

It was lovely to watch. I presented her with the spoon and she just mushed it with her hand, then began to spread it all over the tray. The next spoonful, she started sucking it off her fingers. After a few goes at this, she let me put the spoon in her mouth twice & a third time even pulled it into her mouth herself. Her dad kept laughing at me I was so excited. By the end, there was green mush everywhere.

It becomes very clear to me now why it was recommended we got her into the habit of bottle then bath. Because when bottle becomes dinner, she needs it!

Tonight, we’re sticking with a good thing & she’s having broccoli again & tomorrow she gets to try pear. We’re loosely following a plan set out in Feeding Your Baby by Fiona Wilcock to make sure Baby Girl is introduced to vitamin full foods along with yummy ones. I can hear her stirring, however, so my time is up. Time to down my coffee & get back on the merry-go-round! I’ll post separately about the book another day.

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Baby Girl looks on as I whizz my life away with a food processor. 

 

The Wonder Weeks: 5 months & Leap 5

Baby Girl is now changing visibly every day, learning something new, trying something new, surprising us (& herself) all the time. Last month her personality was really beginning to shine through.This month, it’s all about physical ability.

SONY DSCBaby Girl is rolling left, right & centre now. And for the last two weeks or so is already starting to show signs of crawling. When lying on her tummy, she kicks up onto her knees & pushes forward, sliding her face along the ground. (She’s not quite mastered lifting bum & head at the same time yet.)

She also sat up on her own the other day for the first time. She was sat in her bouncy chair & sat bolt up right. My heart was in my mouth as she nearly toppled the chair forwards. So that’s that then. We officially can’t turn our backs on her at all.

Alas, with month five comes Leap 5. 30 days of cranky, confused, overwhelmed baby. Oh goodie. So how do we know Leap 5 is under way?

Leap 5: reaching for Ewan the Sheep in her sleep

Leap 5: reaching for Ewan in her sleep

  1. Cries more, more often or longer. Tick. (Sad face.)
  2. Asks for more attention. Tick. (Tired face.)
  3. Sleeps less or worse and eats less. Thankfully, not sleeping less. No more sleep regression! Hallelujah! But yes, we’re struggling to get her to have a full feed.
  4. Protests & fusses when changing their diaper or clothes. Yep.
  5. ‘Talks’ to her teddy looking for comfort. Yep, she shuffles up the cot to Ewan & often falls asleep holding his foot. Utterly adorable.
  6. Has mood-swings.
  7. Is not pleased with many things. Her dad said this & the mood-swings is just her becoming a woman & nothing to do with Leap 5. The cheek!

And what is Baby Girl mastering this time?

  1. interested in people who ‘act differently’ to ‘normal’
  2. immense interest in details, eg, zippers, labels or stickers.
  3. lifts things up to see if anything is below
  4. tries to untie laces
  5. throws something to see the content
  6. puts food in the mouth of others
  7. makes connections between words & deeds
  8. blows air
  9. protests when parents walk away
  10. imitates sounds with her tongue
  11. standing up with a little help or pulls herself to an upward position

Not all of these are obvious to us yet but will become so over the coming month(s). However, Baby Girl definitely loves a label – whether it’s a muslin or a stuffed bunny, she finds that label & chews it to death! She’s throwing things all over the place too; whether it’s to discover the contents I’m not sure. Seems more like a game of how-many-times-will-Mama-pick-it-up to me. She’s also just started blowing raspberries this week & howls if she’s left alone in a room.

Baby Girl’s been ‘standing’ & taking her own weight for at least a month. My arms are getting stronger by the day as often she refuses to sit, lie down, do anything but stand on my lap. So in short, she’s raring to go.

"Ooooh! Labels"

“Ooooh! Labels”

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonder Weeks posts.

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FINDING OUR FEET IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE WONDER WEEKS. WE JUST REALLY LIKE THE APP. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS REVIEW ARE INDEPENDENT AND MY OWN.

The best company

This year has been a biggun for my group of girls from school. We’ve had our first friend buy a house, our first baby, our second engagement & this week, our first wedding. Not gunna lie, it was emotional.

This particular friend, however, lost her heart to Devon before she lost it to a boy. So we all traipsed down to the beautiful ars-end-of-no-where (spot the city-dweller…) for three days.

Baby Girl was a joy on what could have been a painfully long train journey. Windows still provide her with endless entertainment. & on the way home, post my first real night out (today’s been tough), we fell asleep curled up in a seat together. Baby Girl gives the best cuddles. Even when you’re suffering from your first hangover in 13 months!

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Ps – big shout out & massive thanks to my mom who came with us to help look after Baby Girl during the evening so her dad & I could relax & enjoy ourselves!