What does James think? 9/10 (yummy scrummy)
Plantain puree is a winner.
What does James think? 9/10 (yummy scrummy)
Plantain puree is a winner.
At the start I tried a few different approaches to weaning. I was quite keen on baby-led as the reasoning makes a lot of sense to me, ie they explore the food more, eat as much as they like, you can give them some of what you’re eating, not to mention how cute it looks when they’re holding a baton of food and gumming it to pieces!
But as it turns out James is a fan of purees. He likes eating quickly, he likes a bowlful of delicious goop and he likes being spoon fed. I really enjoy it too! It’s a lovely next step in our relationship – I trust him to tell me when he’s ready for the next mouthful and when he’s done, and he trusts me to make sure he gets regular meals, interesting food, and to listen to him when he’s full or wants more. It helps a lot that he likes food so much. In fact he eats a bit like Pacman.
(Ok, maybe not quite that quickly but you get the idea.)
Boy does he eat a lot too. At the start we were on those tiny little pots that are no more than a few spoonfuls, then seemingly overnight he wanted loads to eat! (It caught me completely by surprise, to the point where he ate some of another baby’s food when we were out one day because I hadn’t brought enough!) In response, this is what I do every week:
Most of them are straight veg or fruit that I then combine at mealtime, sometimes with some baby rice or porridge. (This usually involves me staring gormlessly at the fridge and trying to remember what he ate the day before!)
I’d like to say I enjoy every second of preparing his meals but that wouldn’t be true. It’s time consuming and fiddly. Oh to think back to the days when a bit of boob every few hours would suffice!
Haha, give it a few months and no doubt I’ll be looking back on all these purees with rose-tinted spectacles too…
We’re about two months into weaning now, on three meals a day, and boy don’t I know it if any of those meals are late! I’m starting to become organised enough to have a stash of homemade purees in the fridge and freezer (which reminds me that I need to get some out to defrost for tomorrow!) so now comes the next challenge: Variety.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been cooking up lots of different things so far, but he’s mostly had them on their own or mixed with baby rice. I’m sure we’ll both get bored if I carry on down that road so I’ve started combining foods. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities since you can add flavours that you wouldn’t necessarily eat on their own (call me crazy but a whole pot of pureed sweetcorn just doesn’t appeal to me…and imagine the nappies). Yesterday sweet potato, sweetcorn and red pepper went down a treat. Today’s dinner was as follows:
1 part pear puree
2 parts pea puree
2 parts mashed potato
1 part proccoli (ok, broccoli) puree
All that blitzed together gives you something that looks like this:
I thought it was really tasty and a so did little Jim.
James’ verdict: 8/10 yummy!
Now to work out his meals for tomorrow!
Before continuing, I should point out that I am writing this post on the basis that you know and I know that mothers of babies find poo fascinating and could probably talk about it all day, so let’s not pretend we think that this post will really be disgusting.
On the way back from the monthly weigh-in (baby, not me) today I was chatting to one of the other gorilla mums about how quickly our babies are growing up. I found it rather frightening to be sat in the waiting room for the weigh-in to see at least 2 “baby babies” as I call them – that is, little babies who are probably only a few months old. I was frightened because that was Hannah just a few weeks ago, and that in that same amount of time I will be back at work, and back into my own routine. It made me think about just how true the advice was that I was given by sooooo many people that I should take time to enjoy Hannah when she is so small because the time flies by so quickly.
Anyway, I digress. Me and the other Gorilla Mum (it was Anna, actually) were talking about poo – as one does – and the effect on it of our babies eating solids. I, like Anna, was entertained and amused by the particular effect that banana has on it – poo with little black streaky dots in it, what’s all that about? The conversation then developed into how the substance of the poo has changed (a lot more solid than it used to be) as well as the colour (mainly orangey) and that we missed that oddly cute smell of a baby’s milk poo. My husband and I still quite like changing her nappy, and it’s even a favourite Grandma (my mum) and Nanny (his mum) task to perform.
Now, I’m a clever lass (or clever enough to think at least) and I know this is not going to last. I have very clear visions of the future based on the experiences of dealing with my (gorgeous) nephews for a start. However, I just don’t want the future to come too quickly. The poo is just one issue which, for me, symbolises the pace at which life is moving now. Hannah is in size 3s at the moment, but not for that much longer and there will be no going back. My little girl is growing up. Do I want this to happen? Yes of course – I want her to develop and grow into the fantastic young woman I know she is going to be. But not too fast please, because she can never go back.
My grandma, after whom Hannah is named (one of her middle names), used to say to my mum that each age has its rewards and I think that’s true. There’s nothing like the wonderfulness of a newborn, but then you don’t get the fun of playing with a newborn that you do with an older baby. I guess Hannah will, as I am to my mum, always be my baby, but I’m not half going to miss those early days. Especially when she hits the terrible twos……..
I’ve been off work since the end of October, and I’m due to go back in July. I won’t dwell on that here; the thought of it isn’t pleasant for a number of reasons and most of them are to do with Hannah. However, when I was having one of my little wobbles yesterday, I got to thinking about what I could bring to my job rather than what I would be taking away from her. Here are a few of my thoughts (let me know what yours are…).
1. I work smarter. Note that this isn’t the same as harder, or more. To me it means that I have a fresher approach to prioritisation and that I therefore work more efficiently, using the tools at my disposition as they are really needed. I feel more confident now about deciding what needs to be done and when, and whether it needs to be gold plated or whether a quick and dirty job will allow me to get on with other things. Baby and home management basics?
2. I delegate more effectively. I don’t need to do everything and I don’t need to control everything either. Tesco can deliver the shopping. My husband can clean the loo (it doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect) and I will spend time making puréed food for my daughter because I know what she needs and how much.
3. I can walk away from things that aren’t important. It’s easy for me to say now but I will be able to set aside petty issues in favour of the major stuff and at will be able to leave work where it belongs at the end of the day. My family is my world and work will always play second fiddle. A smile from my little girl would make me far happier than praise from my boss (although that will also be pleasing. If indeed it happens).
4. I can do loads of things single handed….. For the healthy minded readers of this post I mean that I am rather surprised that I can, for example, open bottles with one hand. I hope to have my eyes open to the possibility that I will discover new skills at work too.
5. I have rediscovered things I had forgotten. I am a right hander, but do certain things left handed such as pulling pints, and am ambidextrous with others such as using cutlery. I had forgotten this until I started to eat food with a fork in one hand and a baby in the other. Again, I’m rather hoping I will remember other skills that I had forgotten on my return.
6. I have more patience than I thought I had.
7. Other people have hidden talents too. They just need to be confronted with a new situation for them to be revealed. My husband is, for example, great at bathing and massaging our baby. Let’s see if I get any people to manage who I can test my theory on.
8. I’m more comfortable than I used to be with my competitors- who aren’t actually competitors at all. I’m perfectly happy with the kind of mother I am and with the way my daughter is progressing. The same will apply to my career- I will worry about me and my job rather than other people and theirs.
9. I am far more chilled out than I used to be. A former manager once told me in my annual appraisal that I needed to “change my face”. When I asked why she said it was because I “look stressed and unapproachable sometimes”. Perhaps, therefore, having a baby has given me a motherly and relaxed look that will encourage colleagues to come hither….
There will be more, I’m sure/I hope. I don’t want to go back to work; I have to. And leaving my little girl at nursery makes me feel sick. But knowing that I can bring great new skills to the workplace gives me some professional comfort after 8 months off in a climate where jobs aren’t secure, not to mention the fact that because of Hannah I will always have the best job in the world anyway.
Serena is 4 months today. I decided to celebrate by treating her to a rusk – something to gnaw on (under supervision obv) that isn’t her own hand. She sucked at it for a bit but then got bored and frustrated shoved it down the side of her seat and cried at me, looking both puzzled and angry.
So I made a paste out of it using some warm baby milk and tried to feed it to her off her new spoon. She had absolutely no idea how to use a spoon, eat solids or swallow what was in her mouth. Instead she ejected every morsel I attempted to give her with a massive “PFFFFFFFTH” raspberry spit, (mainly in my face). I persevered for a bit until we were both covered in it, and she was crying. I find that’s usually one of the more obvious social queues to end a meal so I gave up and put her in the bath where she quite happily tried to drink the bath water.
Think I’ll leave the solids and stick to the milk for now. It’s not like she needs it to sleep through (I’m the one writing this at 4am whilst everyone around me, including the baby, snores).
Yep, it’s parsnip and carrot puree.
And what did James think?
6/10, not bad but not as nice as pear.
For the last 5 weeks I have been feeding James solid food. He’s just reached 28 weeks. Hmmm (I hear you say)…that must mean…let’s see…28 take 5…divided by 52…times by 12…you mean…he wasn’t 6 months old??? Yes that’s right, we started 3 weeks early. So shoot me.
I have agonised over this decision long and hard, I mean, when the World Health Organisation tells you to do something you do it…right? As if that global pressure wasn’t enough, a brief consultation with Dr Google will have you marching the streets with a placard “No carrot sticks until 26 (weeks)” and chanting “What do we want? Only milk. When do we want it? Until 6 months.”
So why did I fly in the face of all this advice? Reason 1 James seemed ready: he was starting to sit up, was bringing things to his mouth and didn’t automatically push food back out of his mouth. Reason 2 was that his sleep was getting steadily worse. We’d been through colds and the 4 month regression and I was waiting and hoping for things to improve naturally. They didn’t and by 5 months he was having a full feed every 2 hours.
Now I know there have been studies that show how sleep isn’t affected by early weaning but hey, I was sleep deprived and everyone (including my GP) suggested it. James is a big baby too so it made sense that he was hungry. I’m also aware that early weaning is discouraged because of immaturities in the gut. But you’re not telling me that on their 6 month birthday their gut suddenly matures and they can start munching cheeseburgers. Of course not, because that would be silly.
Anyway, we started with a mixture of finger foods, purees, and lumpy slop to see what he’d like. Turned out he liked being spoon fed and gradually he’s gone from eating tiny little amounts to great bowlfuls. And the sleep? Well that wasn’t affected at all, but the sleep deprivation was a lot easier to cope with once the fun of weaning began.