Weaning – a month on – 3 meals a day, proteins and poos!

So you’ll know from our first update that we were taking things relatively slowly, I was happy to just try one meal a day for a while – we were also loosely following the #5stepweaningplan and working up to the final 2 steps of meat/alternative and then 3 meals a day.

But a week ago today, I took baby W to get weighed for the first time in about 6 weeks. At 6 and a half months, he weighed 16lb 3oz – all good but he had slipped every so slightly under the 25th percentile for the first time.

Nothing to worry about, but the health visitor suggested ramping up to 3 meals a day, and giving him some protein (meat/fish/egg) to make sure he didn’t slip down the growth chart any further. She was really happy with our initial approach to baby-led weaning but just wanted him to start actually consuming a bit more of the food instead of just nibbling on it 🙂

So, for a week now we’ve been having 3 meals a day – still very much finger-food led, but I have been spoon-feeding him a bit, when spoon-feeding him I try to guide the spoon towards his mouth and let him guide it in so that he still feels like he’s in control 🙂

Baby-led weaning egg mess!
Baby-led weaning egg mess!

 

So here’s some of the foods he’s had:

Finger foods

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Banana
  • Cucumber (he loves this – so easy to eat!)
  • Rice cakes – his favourite food so far, I started with plain ones and also tried Organix apple ones – he loves both!
  • Potato waffles
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Plain omelette (SO much less messy than the hard-boiled egg!)
  • Pasta – plain, and with some tomato sauce on it
  • Avocado – he finds this too slippery to eat so I might just mash it up next time and pop it on a spoon… or on a rice cake?

On a spoon

  • Flakes of cod mixed with sweet potato mash, and normal mash
  • Yoghurt – I bought Rachel’s diary yoghurt as a) no added sugar b) they’re made in my hometown (Aberystwyth)
  • Baby porridge – the only thing he hasn’t really liked so far! We tried it with some puree that Cow&Gate sent us and he definitely preferred it with the puree!
  • A jar of lamb/sweet potato puree – due to our baby-led approach, I wasn’t going to bother with purees but seeing as we were sent some, I thought we might as well try it – we tried the meaty one to up his protein intake – and he quite liked it!
  • Weetabix – this is our usual breakfast
We like these Rachel's yoghurts - no added sugar!
We like these Rachel’s yoghurts – no added sugar!

Our learnings so far

  • Now we’re pretty much past the gagging phase, we’re enjoying it! He puts most of the food in his mouth and I can tell by his weekly poo that he’s definitely swallowing more and more – it’s starting to get more solid – gross!!!!
  • I think both find finger food more fun – it’s so cute watching him grab something and hold it in his fist while he munches on it – I gave him yoghurt the other day but he still had omelette in his fist which he would NOT let go!
  • His favourite thing so far has been Rachel’s banana yoghurt – he was kicking his legs in excitement for this one!
  • Our daily routine is out the window as having 3 meals a day probably takes about 2 hours of day in total (prep/eating/cleaning up)
  • It’s nice to give him undivided attention for that time – obviously he needs to be supervised while he’s eating so it means proper quality time where I can’t do any chores and I make a point of not checking my phone!
Baby-led weaning: I am NOT letting go of the egg!
Baby-led weaning: I am NOT letting go of the egg!

Next steps

  • I need to get better at eating with him – although when I do, I’ve finished mine in 2 mins while he obviously takes ages so I’m not sure if it really matters! (well practised from when he was younger and I had to snaffle my food down!)
  • Meat! I want to give him meat but it seems so grown-up! Not quite sure if he’s ready for it – might practice with some more textures first??
  • Water – I’ve kinda given up giving him the doidy cup with every meal, but every now and then I give him some water using it and ‘directing’ it into his mouth
  • I’ll take him to get weighed next Thursday – hopefully he’s back on the curve 🙂

If you have any questions about baby-led weaning, I recently reviewed the ‘baby-led weaning: step by step’ book and will be interviewing the author next week – so leave a question here by Dec 1st if we can help at all!

Joined up to #BinkyLinky

Binky Linky

 

 

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REVIEW: Baby-led weaning, Step by Step by Julie Clarke

Before we started weaning, I bought a few books to help us through it as I found all the information online a bit overwhelming! We wanted to try baby-led weaning so we bought a book by Gill Rapley as a lot of peers named her as a guru. In case this route didn’t work, we’d need to try purees so I bought a book by Annabel Karmel who is known as the queen of weaning through puree recipes!

Our books about weaning
Our books about weaning

While buying these, Amazon also recommended ‘Baby-led weaning, step-by-step’ by Julie Clarke, and this ended up being the most useful book of the lot!

I found Rapley’s book very theoretical – one big, long advert on why you should do baby-led weaning (the most useful bit being lots of quotes from parents who had gone through it). But I’d already decided we wanted to do weaning the baby-led way, so I wanted something more practical on what foods to try and when etc.

This is where Julie Clarke’s baby-led weaning book excels – it’s very practical – full of advice and tips including:

  • which highchair to buy
  • which yoghurts to buy that aren’t packed in sugar
  • what mix of food types you should try and give your baby
  • an example menu schedule
  • ideas on which first foods to try
  • how and when to drop milk feeds

The other big selling point for me is that there’s a real-life case study running all the way through the book – you get to follow baby Rosie’s weaning journey – it’s always useful to hear real-life stories e.g. how they initially missed a few meals due to nap times etc (something we’re trying to work our way around!)

The chapters are split by the age of the baby, but obviously not all babies are the same and they might not follow these months religiously! Like with everything, I tend to read and then do things my own way – so for example, the book recommends starting straight away on 3 meals a day, but we wanted to start with 1 meal a day initially (check out our first weaning update) – so I’d recommend you use this book as a guide to suit you, not a rule book! We’re also doing a bit of spoon-feeding (or guiding the spoon in the right direction) and initially tried a bit of baby-specific food like baby rice – the book recommends against this but isn’t judgemental about it – again, do what suits you!

That’s all I can really say about the book without giving away all the tips! The only thing I would have liked a bit more info on is gagging – it does mention it, but it would be good to know a bit more about what to expect when it happens, I’m not sure exactly what I was after but it was definitely the thing I was most nervous about when starting our weaning journey!

So overall I highly recommend the book, it’s already been really useful and I’m sure it will be over the next few months! It’s very easy-to-follow and understand, and very practical – to buy it, support your local bookstore or click on the Amazon link in the image…

Q&A with the author, Julie Clarke

Co-incidentally, I’ve ended up chatting to the author on Twitter and I will be interviewing her for the blog about all-things-baby-led-weaning! So if you have a question for Julie, please leave it in the comments section below by Dec 1st (2014!) and I’ll give you a mention when the interview goes live early December!

Another NCT Nearly new sale haul!

My first NCT haul post is one of the most popular posts on my blog, so I figured you’d love to see what I got on my second visit last weekend…

This time we arrived quite late as we had our underwater photo shoot at the same time, so who knows what bargains we missed out on… but there was still plenty left to choose from, and it was a lot less crowded! Also, as I had baby W with me this time, sleeping in his pram we couldn’t make it upstairs to the books, toys etc 😦

This is my favourite item from the day… a H&M cardigan that he can wear straight away (cost £3)

H&M stars baby boy cardigan
H&M stars baby boy cardigan

And a hoodie he can wear right away – this is our first piece of clothing from Zara’s baby range 🙂 (cost £1) I should have taken a close-up, but I love the ‘toggle’ button detail 🙂

Zara baby hoodie
Zara baby hoodie

And another hoodie, we love turtles so I had to buy this – it’s Marks and Spencer and was only 50p! I love the detail of the lining and the elbows…

M&S Turtle hoodie
M&S Turtle hoodie

As well as hoodies and cardies we need some long-sleeved tops so got these… this one is from Next and I love that it has detail on the back… only 50p!

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This one is perfect for Autumn – foxes seem to be ‘in’ at the moment! This was £1 and originally from George at Asda’s.

Fox top from George at Asda
Fox top from George at Asda

Another long-sleeved top, this time for when he’s a year old – a bit forward-thinking perhaps but it’s a Diesel top so I HAD to buy it!! This cost £2.50 but it originally would have cost about £28 (!!) – I must say the fabric does feel more expensive than any other baby clothes we’ve had thus far – I would never spend that much on 1 item for him so it’s nice to get it at such a good price!

Diesel baby boy long-sleeved top
Diesel baby boy long-sleeved top

You can buy baby boy tops for a few quid in the supermarkets, but bottoms are always a bit more expensive so I was chuffed to find him another pair of jeans that he can wear straight away – these are from Mothercare, I love the style and also they’re lined with cotton on the inside so hopefully he will find them warm and comfy 🙂 (Cost: £2)

Mothercare baby boy jeans
Mothercare baby boy jeans

And because bottoms are expensive, I found a couple of pairs of cords that will fit him when he starts wearing 9-12 months clothes. They cost £1 each – H&M on the left, Next on the right…

Baby boy cords from H&M and Next
Baby boy cords from H&M and Next

Now the first time I went to a NCT sale, I made the mistake of buying the next size up in the wrong season i.e. a lot of summery clothes that weren’t warm enough to wear by the time he could fit in them! So I tried to be more sensible this time around – I’m sure he will get wear out of all the items above… but I HAD to buy this T-shirt for him which he might not wear now that it’s Winter (although thinking about it, he could wear it over a long-sleeved top :))

I don’t even like the idea of babies wearing clothes with skulls on them BUT I do love photo-print style T-shirts… and it was only 50p (Florence and Fred, Tesco)…

Skull t-shirt from Tesco
Skull t-shirt from Tesco

So a good few items that he can wear straight away plus a couple for a few months time, all in excellent condition and the grand total was a bargainous £13 – the cost of 1 new outfit from most stores (if you’re lucky!)

So I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is worth checking out NCT sales in your area – much less hassle than ebay and you get to help raise money for the NCT charity in the process 🙂 The next one in Cardiff is scheduled for 7th March 2015.

Thanks for calling by – do let me know what you think and which item is your fave 🙂

 

REVIEW: Cow and Gate’s 5-step weaning plan

I was delighted to be asked to be an ambassador for Cow and Gate’s ‘5 step weaning plan’ and even more chuffed when our box of goodies arrived to go with it!

Cow & Gate goodies!
Cow & Gate goodies!

The ‘5 step weaning plan’ is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a website that helps you wean your baby onto food in 5 easy steps!

  1. Step 1 – first spoonfuls (e.g. baby rice, banana puree)
  2. Step 2 – Introducing breakfast (e.g. porridge)
  3. Step 3 – Introducing variety (e.g. fruit/veg)
  4. Step 4 – Meat/fish/alternatives
  5. Step 5 – Establishing 3 meals a day
5 step weaning plan
5 step weaning plan

I used this on my smartphone and I was very impressed with how good the website looks, and how easy it is – you register with an email address and password and you’re good to go – working through the 5 steps with lots of useful tips and recipes along the way.

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My favourite bit has to be the ‘eaticons’ – cartoon faces you use to rate food to remind you whether your baby liked or disliked something – so cute!!

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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that we’ve already started weaning and that we’re trying the baby-led method which involves giving baby W finger food from day 1 e.g. a piece of banana instead of pureed banana. The ‘5 step weaning plan’ is mostly about purees, but I think you can use it like I do and just use ‘proper’ food instead of purees if that’s what you’re doing?

We also mixed up the steps a bit, so we did steps 1 and 3 together (first tastes/variety), then step 2 (breakfast) then step 5 (3 meals a day) and we still haven’t started step 4 yet (meat/fish although we have given him egg as a protein alternative!)

So however you intend to wean, I think you can use this plan as a really useful guide but personally I wouldn’t stress if you go ‘off-plan’! Use it as a guide not as a rule book 🙂  As well as useful tips and recipes, Cow and Gate also email you money-off vouchers for their baby food so it’s definitely worth signing up – register here 🙂

So overall pros and cons…

Pros:

  • Really easy to use
  • Perfect starting point for weaning
  • Mobile-friendly, lovely-looking website
  • Lots of tips and recipes – you can either make the food from fresh or buy it in jars!
  • Money-off vouchers

Cons

  • Not a con as such, but as I said I tweaked it slightly to suit us – the 5 steps might not suit everyone but Cow & Gate don’t say anywhere that you MUST stick to it rigidly!

Suggestions

Some improvements I would love to see Cow and Gate make are:

  • the ability to add your own recipes and foods that you’ve tried e.g. baby W loves rice cakes so it would be great to be able to add that as a reminder – it’s easy to forget what you’ve tried!
  • wouldn’t it be great to turn this into a bit of a community where parents can share their baby’s likes/dislikes and share recipes etc? Now that we’ve started weaning, I notice there’s quite a lot of banter on Twitter about foods to try etc – so I think this website could be a really interactive community for weaning parents

Since our first weaning update, we’ve moved to step 5 (3 meals a day), which I’ll blog about this week including reviewing some of the food that Cow & Gate sent us!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to write this review but I was sent a box of goodies (weaning equipment, food and cuddly cow!) before trying it out

We're going on an adventure

11 question blogger challenge

Months ago, the lovely Jenna at TinyFootsteps tagged me in this blogger challenge – go over and take a look – turns out she’s a fellow Pink fan!

You’ll know I love taking part in these (here’s my previous efforts) so here’s my answers:

1) If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

I’d pay off the mortgage… and my sister’s mortgage…. then I’d head to the travel agents…..

2) How did you meet your partner?

Well,  I had just joined Match.com and I was in the work kitchen telling a colleague about it, when another colleague overheard and said ‘I didn’t know you were single, I know someone who I could set you up with….’ and that was that 🙂 (So I always say I wouldn’t have met him if it wasn’t for Match.com!)

3) What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done? (Come one, it’ll be like therapy!) 😉

I honestly can’t divulge all here but let’s just say I have a couple of poo-related travel stories!

4) If you could banish anything to Room 101, what would it be?

Polystyrene

5) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Oh god, everywhere!!! But my heart is here in Wales, so I would just have to settle for holiday homes in all matter of exotic locations!

6) What was the last film you watched and what did you think of it?

Wolf of Wall Street – good film, racier than I was expecting! Reminded me a lot (too much) of ‘Blow’

7) What’s the one piece of advice would you give to a new mum?

Hire a cleaner – even if it’s just an hour a week it will be the best tenner a week you spend 🙂

8) What items are you unable to resist when you’re out shopping? For me, it’s baby clothes and cute stationary!

Scarves. Percy pigs.
9) If you had to eat the same meal for dinner every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Roast dinner

10) Tell me about your proudest moment (I’m talking before babies!)

Going travelling alone and getting a 2:1  in my degree are up there but probably my proudest moment is winning a Manager’s award in work last year, nominated by my boss only 12 are awarded each year out of a workforce of a few thousand!

11) How would your best friend describe you?

Laid-back, disorganised

Now, I’m supposed to nominate some other bloggers but everyone I know has already done one of these so I’ll leave this one here for now – if you enjoyed it, nominate yourself and share your answers with me 🙂

Baby W and mummy’s Autumn/Winter haul

I love seeing what other people buy, so thought I’d share with you some of our recent buys….

This snowsuit is actually the main reason I wanted to do this post – I LOVE it so much and *HAD* to share it with you! It’s from John Lewis, costs £28 which I think is relatively good value actually – it’s great quality!

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These dungaree sets were gifts from my mum and a family friend, so cute! The set on the left are from Matalan I think, and the set on the right is from M & Co…

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A family friend also got baby W some lovely things from Next, black cords,a red checked shirt and a cool long-sleeve top….

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I love Mamas & Papas but I’ve never bought any clothes there as they’re pricey, so I was delighted to pick up a couple of bargains there last week…. Some cool sleepsuits that were 30% off (so about £15) and some jeans that were reduced from £30 to £7 as they were originally part of a set – W needed some new jeans and I love a bargain!

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They have some lovely baby boy clothes in Tesco at the moment, I think I will go back for more stuff as and when we need it, but I couldn’t resist buying these items yesterday – a cool long-sleeved T-shirt for £4 and a GORGEOUS jumper for £9 – I want to wear that jumper myself! The detail and quality is fab and am sure it would cost about £30 at places like Next!

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Print t-shirt from Tesco
Print t-shirt from Tesco

And with all this shopping for baby W, it’s only fair that mummy gets a few treats too!

So here’s a dress and jumper I bought from H&M – I think they were about £25 each.. I love the jumper anyway but it has a bonus which is that baby W has a very similar fleecy all-in-one so we have a matching outfit!

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Also from H&M, a new jacket for the Autumn – I think it was only £35 and I already love it – goes with most outfits and is well-lined and so much warmer than it looks from the outside!

Jacket from H&M
Jacket from H&M

You might remember from my top tips post that my feet have grown since being pregnant/having a baby so I actually *NEED* new shoes… so here’s 2 pairs I’ve bought.. the ones on the left from Dune (about £95 eeek!) and the random, glistening ones from Next from a more affordable £35…

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And finally an outfit that I originally thought would be perfect for going back to work but maybe it’s wasted on work… I wore it out last Saturday night on my weekend away with those black heels….

The shirt is another bargain from H&M – only £15! And the skirt is from Oasis and I think it was about £30 – I think I’ll get lots of wear out of the skirt as I reckon lots of styles and colours of tops will match it 🙂

Blue shirt from H&M, zebra print skirt from Oasis
Blue shirt from H&M, zebra print skirt from Oasis

So that’s Autumn/Winter sorted – keep your eyes peeled for a Christmas outfit haul coming up soon!

A girly weekend in Clifton, Bristol

Last weekend I had my first weekend away from baby W and enjoyed a relaxing weekend with some great friends…

Friday – Clifton village including Somerset House and Wildwood

We picked Clifton/Bristol as it was central to all of us (from Cardiff/Devon/London). The Cardiff contingent got slightly lost driving into Clifton, but that wasn’t half as stressful as trying to find a parking space! We got one in the end, but I think we’d get a train next time – it would have saved me a giggling fit asking a local where to park and him reacting as if I’d asked how to cure ebola.. cue awkward silence!

Parked up, we explored Clifton village and fell in love with it straight away – it’s compact, and full of independent boutiques, bars and cafes. We had a great, late lunch in Somerset House – I had fish (can’t remember which!) on a bed of tomato/chorizo/chickpea with a glass of wine for just a tenner – delicious!

Lunch at Somerset House, Clifton
Lunch at Somerset House, Clifton

Post-lunch we had a look round the wonderful shops – we both bought some Christmas presents and treated ourselves to a few things (a candle and groovy umbrella for me!). Even the charity shops were amazing – I picked up a lovely Monsoon dress for £8!

One of the lovely boutiques in Clifton village
One of the lovely boutiques in Clifton village

After checking into our accommodation (found via Airbnb – very basic and a bit grubby but perfect location!) and meeting a friend for a coffee, we headed out for cocktails. We stumbled on a new, big, cool-looking place called Wildwood.

We made this our home for the next few hours, while we waited for the rest of the girls. Great ambience, friendly and efficient staff, good food and drinks – I recommend it!

Cocktails at Westwood, Clifton village
Cocktails at Westwood, Clifton village
Dessert at Wildwood
Dessert at Wildwood

Saturday – spa day at Clifton Lido

On a beautiful misty, mysterious morning we walked over to the Lido for a half spa day (£85). Regular readers will know that I love spas and treaments and this place did not disappoint! I’ve never been to a restored Lido before, and I loved it – they’ve done a great job of restoring it, modernising it while keeping lots of the original features.

Looking down on the outdoor pool, Clifton Lido
Looking down on the outdoor pool, Clifton Lido

The outdoor pool was refreshing after using the steam room and sauna (both of which were great although could get busy) and the outdoor hot tub was a great place to unwind and watch over the pool. I had a full body massage with Erica and it was excellent – she really worked on my knots using all sorts of techniques – I was close to sleeping! After a ginger and lemongrass tea in the relaxation room, it was time for lunch…

View from the restaurant, Clifton Lido
View from the restaurant, Clifton Lido

I’m used to spa lunches involving salads and jacket potatoes. – this was something else, a really good restaurant that just happens to be in a spa! I had amazing scallops in garlic and herbs to start, followed by lightly spiced minced lamb on a bed of humus – it was highly delicious!

Minced lamb at Clifton Lido
Minced lamb at Clifton Lido

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Post-spa and lunch we were wiped out but managed to drag ourselves around some more shops! In the evening we wanted to try one of the other independent restaurants in the area but they were all fully booked so we defaulted to Pizza Express 🙂

Sunday – Clifton suspension bridge and Sunday dinner at Somerset House

A perfect, fresh, Autumnal morning for a walk to and across the famous Suspension bridge…

Clifton suspension bridge
Clifton suspension bridge

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After working up an appetite (doesn’t take much!) and a bit more shopping (!) we ended our weekend where it all started – Somerset House. As expected, they do a perfect Sunday dinner with excellent house wine. We shared a dessert of apple and cinnamon doughnuts served with toffee sauce and apple puree – yummmmmmmmm!

Doughnuts at Somerset House
Doughnuts at Somerset House

So there we have it – great company, a wonderful spa, delicious food and wine, beautiful shops – all in one unique, independent part of Bristol…. Clifton, I’ll be back!

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Weaning – our first few weeks

Baby W turned 6 months a week ago, and although I was in no rush (and nor was he really) it was time to start weaning! I think my reluctance was that this signalled the end of an era… the end of a milk-only diet… our baby boy growing up!!

We wanted to give ‘baby-led weaning’ a try but would try purees etc if that didn’t work for any reason.

Preparation for weaning

So a few weeks ago I started sitting baby W in his ‘snug‘ chair on our dining table to sit with me while I ate my breakfast/lunch, to start getting him interested in food. This was a change to our routine as I’d always tended to grab my food when he was having a nap.

I bought a couple of books, a ‘doidy’ cup, a cutlery set and off we went! In good timing we were given some wipe-clean Christmas bibs as a gift!

Some of our weaning kit
Some of our weaning kit

Attempt #1 – carrot, avocado, sweet potato

2 weeks ago we had some spare time on a Saturday lunchtime so we decided to try him with some foods – we gave him carrot sticks, avocado strips and some sweet potato mash and put them on his snug tray. And we both just stared at him, willing him to eat the lot! He didn’t like any of it – pulled some faces, gagged and puked!

In hindsight, we made a few mistakes – we weren’t eating at the same time as him (one of the key points of ‘baby-led weaning’), we maybe gave him too much choice and maybe the flavours were a bit too much for him after nearly 6 months of milk!

Oh and we also ‘helped’ guide the food into his month so it wasn’t strictly baby-led! It was still a great experience – while he pulled some really funny faces, me and my other half couldn’t stop laughing! (Bad parents ;))

Attempt #2 – banana and baby rice

Exactly a week later, we placed some banana strips in front of him and prepared some baby rice for him. Baby rice seems to go against the baby-led weaning approach as it’s not something that adults eat, but we just wanted to try him with something plain/bland. We kept putting it on his spoon and watched him get the spoon to his mouth but never in quite the right position! He enjoyed sucking on the banana!

This time daddy was eating banana with him, and mummy was pottering about – so a bit less pressure for him than the first attempt!

Attempt #3 – mango and blueberries

A few days later I was having a healthy breakfast of ready-made pancakes with mango, blueberries and raspberries. I put some fruit on his tray, including squishing the blueberries… and he seemed to enjoy sucking/munching on the blueberries 🙂

Attempt #4 – banana, baby rice and houmous

Another lunchtime, another tray of bananas and baby rice. This time he was more adventurous in trying to eat the banana -twice he gagged up pieces of banana. Good progress but very scary for me watching him gag so much!

I was eating pitta bread and houmous for lunch so he also had a suck on that!

Attempt #5 – carrot and broccoli

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Friday was time for (over) cooked carrot sticks and broccoli florets. I read on some baby-led weaning forums that gagging on banana is quite common as it’s so squelchy, whereas carrot and broccoli break up easier. He definitely enjoyed sucking and chewing on the broccoli. He gagged some broccoli up once, but it wasn’t quite as scary this time around!

He somehow ended up with carrot on his shoulder 🙂

'Deconstructed' carrots and broccoli
‘Deconstructed’ carrots and broccoli

Attempt #6 – more carrots and some trifle!

Yesterday I went for Sunday dinner with my parents, baby W was very excited when the food arrived! I gave him 2 of my baby carrots to munch on, and I’m pretty sure he swallowed them as there was only a tiny bit left when I cleared up afterwards – clever boy! My parents also couldn’t resist spoon-feeding him some cream and custard from their trifle. I don’t really want him to be spoon-fed or to eat too much sweet stuff so lucky he doesn’t see my parents too often otherwise I’ll be having words 🙂

So:

The good bits

  • Watching him play with, discover and explore food is great fun to watch, already I can see why people advocate baby-led weaning for this alone!
  • Even though I said I was in no rush, it was encouraging to see him suck and chew on food after just a few attempts, and swallowing food on his 6th attempt seems pretty good to me!

The bad bits

The gagging – not nice to watch and a bit scary. I plan to watch some videos on it to make me feel less guilty! The baby-led weaning books I bought don’t seem to address how to deal with it or what to expect!

Next steps

  • I’ve just bought some all-over bibs. We still need to buy a highchair (after consulting with other mummy bloggers the faves are Ikea, Stokke, Chicco and Cosatto.) No rush, I think he’ll be fine in his snug for a while… I never leave him unattended in it!
  • We have carpet in the dining room so I need to buy a plastic sheet or shower curtain to cover the floor!
  • So we’ll carry on with our version of weaning – lunchtimes only to begin with and maybe some breakfasts. I’m going to make a conscious effort to eat healthier lunches so that we can try and eat the same food eg fish with veg.
  • I will also keep offering him different flavours and textures… Cucumber is ready in the fridge for him and I think we might try mash this week too.
  • Also need to start offering him water to drink with it… I imagine this will be fun and messy 🙂

We’ll keep you updated on progress – to stay updated follow me on twitter or bloglovin!

Memories: Where I’ve been and my travel bucket list

I love travel and holidays. Pre-baby, most of my disposable income went towards the next holiday… the next big trip. I love it all… package holidays, city breaks, backpacking on a budget and a bit of luxury!

My motto used to be ‘work hard, play hard, travel harder’! I’ve had some amazing experiences and I firmly believe that even not-so-good travel experiences should be classed as a positive life lessons!

Here’s some photos from some of the countries I’ve been to with some of the memories  created there….

Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal, Costa Rica

Costa Rica: zip wiring, kayaking with crocodiles, sloths, tarantulas, sunset at the Mariposa, monkeys on the beach, waterfalls, frogs, hot springs overlooking a volcano

New York after Sandy
New York after Sandy

New York: Sandy! sisters, coffee, waffles, SATC, Tiffany’s, Starbucks, shopping

Baby turtles, Sri lanka
Baby turtles, Sri lanka

Sri Lanka: first wonderful holiday with my other half, releasing baby turtles into the sea, seeing elephants in the wild, fishermen on stilts, afternoon tea and tea plantations, tuk tuks, beers at sunset, watching turtles in the sea

Sunset, San Antonio, ibiza
Sunset, San Antonio, Ibiza

Ibiza: sun, swimming pool, showers (or lack thereof), beers on sunset strip, sangria, amazing steak and awful paella, girly fun

Marbella, Spain
Marbella, Spain

Marbella: girly weekend, pretending to own a huge yacht, mixing  gin with red bull = awful hangover

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Anne Frank’s house, wine, scrabble in a pub on a Saturday night, the cat museum… and another trip…. 12 hours of madness including a stag do and getting behind a bar to DJ in a pub!

Lagos, Portugal
Lagos, Portugal

Portugal: a few days by myself but making a great friend in the hostel, amazing beaches, amazing seafood, a man cooking sardines outside his house, cobbled streets and a wonderful square

Near the top of mount Kinabalu, Borneo
Near the top of mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Borneo: arriving alone and deciding to climb a mountain twice as high as Ben Nevis: getting up at 3am see sunrise from the peak was pretty special! getting approached by an orang utan at the sanctuary, wandering round the city barefoot (lost my flip flops) with people calling ‘miss, miss, you wanna buy slippers?’, our bus breaking down and being propositioned by a politician

Sunrise after a full moon party, Koh Pangan (no filter!!)
Sunrise after a full moon party, Koh Pangan (no filter!!)

Thailand: full moon parties (3!), temples, hours waiting for buses, overnight journeys, my first (and only) drive of a moped, seeing fluorescence in the sea for the first time, waterfalls, jungle treks, live music, great food, beautiful beaches, ping pong bars

 

 

Whitsundays, Australia
Whitsundays, Australia

Australia: sleeping on the deck of a boat in the barrier reef, camping on fraser island and thinking a dingo was outside our tent, taxi fun in Sydney, kangaroos and koalas in Australia zoo, bats in the botanical gardens, meeting the English rugby team… and Romanian waterboys!

Snorkelling in the Gili islands, indonesia
Snorkelling in the Gili islands, Indonesia

Bali/Lombok/Gili islands: snorkelling with the crazy boat-man, Ramadan, amazing seafood

Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia: where do I start…. spending the night in a jungle hut, the night before sleeping in the worst accommodation ever – no running water!, the night after spending a fun night on the jungle night train, snorkelling with turtles in the Perhentian islands, having to leave said islands as co-travellers nearly started a riot, getting up early and hungover to go up the Petronas towers, bat cave, drinking in the hostel stairwell, rollercoasters in shopping centres

Sleeping man in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Sleeping man in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vietnam: lanterns in Hoi An, cone hats, noodle soup and cheap beer on the streets, getting lost on a moped looking for ‘chicken town’, hanging out with tribes in the North, getting invited to a wedding party, going to a fashion show, mud baths, war museum and tunnels, getting ripped off by a taxi driver on my first day, sleeping on the deck of a boat in Halong bay

Ta Phrom, cambodia
Ta Phrom, Cambodia

Cambodia: temples, hanging with locals at a sacred lake, scorpions, sad recent history, spending a day helping out at an orphanage (the day Michael Jackson died), making new friends for life, waiting around for a bus to go into the remote North East

Trinidad, Cuba
Trinidad, Cuba

Cuba: beautiful Trinidad and beautiful beaches at Varadero, dancing in the streets

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos
Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos: 10 pin bowling then staying up all night for sunrise to see the monks receive their alms, nearly drowning in a kayaking incident, long bus journeys, hanging in a hammock with sticky rice on 10 thousand island, Buddha park, beers and food at Vientiane riverside where you could buy a turtle’s foot for dinner 😦

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

Mexico: temples, driving a hire car, my first time snorkelling, dancing on the sand in a nightclub in Puerto del Carmen, Halloween in Cancun, sea sickness, amazing food!

Burj al Arab from medinat jumerah, dubai
Burj al Arab from medinat jumerah, Dubai

Dubai: family, breakfast on the beach, Atlantis, sunburn, shopping, 4×4’s in the desert

Old and new: Boston
Old and new: Boston

Boston: family, autumn, the crazy town of Salem, pretending to be students at Harvard

Shacks in Soweto, South Africa
Shacks in Soweto, South Africa

South Africa and Lesotho: horse riding to the highest waterfall in Africa, being so cold that I had to sleep fully clothed and keep my head under the covers, a bat in the house, roadside graveyards, shebeens (illegal drinking dens!), seeing elephants and giraffes in the wild, amazing landscape

The YSL garden in Marrakesh, morocco ,
The YSL garden in Marrakesh, morocco ,

Morocco: haggling, lanterns, amazing smells of spices, amazing food

Coliseum, Rome
Coliseum, Rome

Rome: rugby, lots of Chianti, pizza and club sandwiches in the hotel while playing cards

So there we have it – most of the places I’ve been! We’re hoping to continue seeing the world with baby W in tow and I still have so many places I’d like to visit….

  • Croatia especially Dubrovnik and some of the islands
  • Santorini (I’ve been to Rhodes, Corfu and Kos and loved them all!)
  • more places on our doorstep in France and Spain e.g. Valencia
  • Italy – Venice, the lakes, Sorrento
  • The Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • the whole of South America!
  • New Zealand especially the South island
  • India especially Kerala and Varanisi
  • Miami
  • San Francisco and Las Vegas
  • the Norwegian fjords

And anywhere else we end up 🙂

So there we have – I have lots of lasting memories from around the World – but lots more to create, now with a family in tow! I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ever quotes from Mark Twain…

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’

Read more of my travel posts here

This post is an entry for the #Flying100 Family Holiday Challenge, celebrating how flying allows us to make memories and ‘be there’, in association with #Flying100. Find out more at http://www.flying100years.com/

 

Baby W and mummy’s 6 month update

Boy, oh, boy – my baby boy turned 6 months old today! What a milestone! He is turning into a gorgeous, healthy, happy chappy…

Weight/size

I have no idea how much he weighs – it’s been nearly a month since he was last weighed. Assuming he’s still on the 25th percentile, then he should be getting close to 16lbs. He’s small and perfectly formed 🙂 He’s still in 3-6 month old clothes and I think we have a few weeks wear left in them. I’ve just bought my first load of size 4 nappies as the size 3 don’t fit him quite as well anymore.

Milestones

In the last few weeks he’s started rolling around a lot, especially in his cot! I can’t leave him on the sofa or bed any more as he could fall off!

Also during the last few weeks he’s found his feet, so he loves grabbing on to those in the cutest position!

We always feel like he’s had strong legs and at the moment he LOVES bouncing – he loves being in his jumperoo but if he’s being held by anyone he expects them to bounce him!

Today, to celebrate his 6 month birthday, his 3rd tooth is cutting through! So he’s grouchy and clingy today -it’s always tough as he’s usually a happy chappy.

He only poos around once a week these days, and last week that happened at my friend’s house – I think we can safely say he had his first poonami – as I took the nappy off, like a Mr Whippy machine it just kept coming…. and  coming! While I cleaned her rug, she carried him upstairs to be hosed down… he left a few deposits en route!!

Sleep

You’ll know from previous updates that baby W doesn’t sleep through the night – so as we were approaching the 6 month mark of poor sleep, something had to give and we started some ‘gentle sleep training’ last week – I will blog about it separately (once we’re sure it’s worked) but we’re off to a good start – the last 2 nights he has dropped all night feeds and only woke once (about 3am). I’ll keep you posted!

Daily routine

To get ready for the sleep training I’ve been doing lots of preparation over the last few weeks, trying to give his day a bit more structure and encourage longer naps, putting him in his cot for day naps etc so roughly our day looks like this:

  • 7-7.30 get up, first feed then play time!
  • 8-9 first nap starts (ideally an hour long)
  • more play, second feed about 1030
  • 11ish second nap starts (ideally an hour long)
  • 1230 ish try some food, playtime before and after
  • sometimes he has 2 afternoon naps, sometimes just the one depending on what we’re up to
  • 2.30 ish third feed
  • 6ish bedtime routine begins – bath, sometimes massage, bottle of formula (4th feed of the day) then bed

Weekly routine

It’s been the same for a while now:

  • Mondays – fortnightly local mother and baby group (Bambino’s)
  • Tuesdays – TinyTalk in the morning, mother and baby yoga (PureYoga) in the afternoon
  • Wednesdays – mother and baby group (Jellybabies)
  • Thursdays and Fridays – free for walks, meeting people etc!
  • Saturday – swimming lesson in the morning with daddy

Feeding/weaning

You’ll see I mentioned food – we’re slowly starting the weaning process – I’m in no rush and nor is baby W!

We’re going to attempt the baby-led route to begin with – so far we’ve tried it 3 times – he hated sweet potato and avocado, but has enjoyed sucking on banana, baby rice and blueberries! Again, will blog about it separately when I have more to report!

What we’ve been up to

We found a park that we can walk to – it has a duck pond and a heron, and views across to the sea! Nearby there’s also a new coffee shop that’s just opened – so far we’ve had a take-away from there but we need to check it out properly!

vOur local duck pond, Fairwater park, Cardiff

Last week we went to stay with my parents for a few days and had a lovely time in my hometown (Aberystwyth) and a lovely walk around New Quay.

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Sunrise from my parents’ house:

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For Halloween I dressed him in a skeleton outfit and took him into work for a ‘bring your kids to work’ afternoon. Much fun and many cuddles 🙂

Skeleton outfit from Asda!

Mummy update

A combination of sleep deprivation and my other half being away a few times with work left me feeling a bit blue a few weeks ago. I think I had one of those ‘who am I’ type crises as my maternity leave is coming to and end, I looked like crap and I’d maybe spent too much time with baby!

It was lovely at the weekend to have a bit of retail therapy, have my eyebrows and hair done, and get dressed up for a fab wedding party! And I had a lovely night in with my sister and her friends a coupled of Saturday nights ago… I’m a lucky girl, it’s just easy to forget when you’re frazzled!

Feeling good :)

Over the next few weeks I have some keeping in touch days at work and my first weekend away from baby W…. eeeeeeek!