Baby Led Weaning VS Puree Weaning

Happy Wednesday!  It is the middle of the week and I thought I would do a bit of a parenting post for you.  This one is about my experience with weaning.  Please note, this post is written entirely based on my own experiences.  I am not an expert but after doing this a couple of times, I thought I would share what I found with the whole process.

Guidelines

The WHO guidelines suggest solely breast/bottle milk for the first 6 months of a baby’s life.  The weaning process can then begin.  Some common signs that your little one is ready for weaning can include

  • chewing their fists
  • being able to sit well unaided
  • waking in the night when previously sleeping through
  • drinking increased amounts of milk

These are not necessarily present in all babies and can also indicate other things, but will give you an idea of things to look out for.  Your health visitor will be able to advise you on your baby as they are all so different, especially if you think you may need to wean early.

Puree Weaning

I started weaning Leo at around 5.5 months and chose to use a mixture of purees and finger foods.  His first meal was a couple of teaspoons of baby rice which he loved!  I would make up my own fruit and vegetable purees and started off with simple, one item purees so he got used to different tastes.

I would generally cook a load of extra vegetables on a Sunday when I made the roast dinner, and then puree them all down in a bit of a marathon mash up!  I would then put them into large ice cube trays to freeze, which would then be popped out and placed in freezer bags to save space.  This made the whole process really easy as I had homemade purees, ready and to hand.  I could also choose a single puree, or as he got older choose two or three different fruits/veggies to mix together.

When I started to give him breakfast, Leo would generally have weetabix, baby rice or baby porridge and I would also sometimes mix in some fruit.

I would give finger foods as a type of pudding or for snacks.  These started off as very soft and mushy items, generally getting more complex as he got older.  I would always give Leo his own spoon and encourage him to dip it in and feed himself from an early age.  Around the age of 7 months, I started to introduce small bits of meat into his diet and by ten months he was eating our meals, well chopped.  His favourite at this age was my chicken enchiladas -although not super spicy, don’t be worrying about introducing a little spice to their palate.

This method of combining the two worked really well.  Leo was always content, he got a wide range of different fruits, veggies and flavours and as a result is a very good eater.  If I were to have another one this is definitely the approach I would take again.  I have tried to round up the weaning process in a timeline below but please comment or pop me a message with any questions.

6 months

Baby Led Weaning

This approach became more and more popular since I had Leo and with a recommendation from my health visitor, I decided to give it a go with Riley.  We started off with soft veg sticks when he had just turned 5 month old.  I think the fact he had to be weaned slightly early may have meant this was not the most suitable way to do it, but hindsight gives you all the information too late.

Riley was a hungry baby which was why he needed weaning a little early, and unfortunately, he could not feed himself fast enough so it just got terribly frustrating for us all.  Just before he turned one I had finally had enough and took a little step back and started mashing his food and feeding him with a spoon.  It felt like a from of regression but we had to almost begin again to get it right for him.  He was nowhere near as adept at feeding himself and using a spoon and fork, even though, like Leo, he had always been given them.

I am in no way ‘bashing’ baby-led weaning – I have friends who have done it very successfully – it just did not work for us!  I also think it depends on your child, and what works best for them.  This infographic shows you my top 5 purchases if you are going to attempt baby-led weaning to get you prepared!

5

I hope you have enjoyed my little round up.  I can definitely go into more detail if anyone is interested, on either of the methods.  Feel free to comment below or message me with any questions.  I would also love to hear your success stories and how you coped with the weaning process?  Let me know below!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Top Five Tips For Getting Through Chicken Pox

It is that time of year again and chicken pox is running rife!  My five year old niece has just gone down with it, just in time for the school Easter holidays.  My boys picked it up in April 2013 and I am pretty sure they got it from the swimming pool at the Havens Holiday Park we had been at a fortnight before.  Leo was four and Riley was one.  I thought I would share my top tips on how I managed to keep them comfortable and scar free for those of you who haven’t been through it yet.

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Medication

Chicken pox, unless the child is a lot older, doesn’t generally cause them to be too ill.  Mine were a bit grotty for a couple of days and nights so having some children’s paracetamol on hand is good.  Ibuprofen should NOT be given to a child with chicken pox, it can be extremely dangerous so please take care with what pain relief you choose and make sure it is paracetamol based.

I also gave the boys antihistamines (eg. Piriton) to help with the itchiness.  This can make them a little drowsy so is especially beneficial at night time.

You do not need to take your child to a doctor with chicken pox unless they look like they are becoming infected, or like me, when I took Leo as he had them in his mouth and throat and was struggling to eat.  Be sure to make the reception staff aware you think your child has chicken pox so they can give you an alternative place to wait, other than the main waiting room.  The phone in 111 service or your local pharmacy can also be very helpful in answering questions rather than taking your child into the doctor’s surgery.

Bicarb Baths

Twice a day I would give the boys a lukewarm bath with a heap of bicarbonate of soda in.  The bicarb in the bath will help dry out the spots quicker and the lukewarm bathwater (as opposed to too warm/cold) will help ease their skin.  After each bath I would gently pat them dry using clean towels.

Calamine Lotion

There are so many new things out on the market these days, most of which cost a small fortune.  My pharmacist told me to stick to good old calamine as it would be a waste of money to use anything else and that is what I did.  After each bath, I would dab calamine over all the spots (we would try and make it fun by counting the spots) with a cotton wall ball.  Leo thought it was funny seeing all the white blobs all over him!

Clothing

As Riley was a year old he still had lots of plain cotton sleep suits to wear.  The onesie had also made its fashionable entrance by then so Leo had some to wear too.  I chose the thin, cotton ones so they wouldn’t get too warm but it meant they couldn’t scratch as easily.  Pyjama days always make you feel better too!

Quarantine

It isn’t easy but this is particularly important to me.  I kept the kids inside for two weeks, until they were considered well enough to go back to nursery.  Chicken pox is highly contagious and almost seen as a right of passage for young children in the UK.  However, there are many adults and children who have compromised immune systems and catching chicken pox can make them extremely ill or even worse.  Please take these people into account when you are getting cabin fever and think one little trip out won’t hurt…it really could.  Chicken pox is contagious for up to two weeks before the spots come out (which nobody can help knowing about) and then until every spot has dried out.  This can take up to two weeks, so prepare for the long haul – plenty of movies, craft activities and Lego building will keep your little ones entertained.

I hope you found these tips helpful and will remember them for when you may need them.  Everyone remembers when they had chicken pox, how old were you?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Five Friday Favourites

So who has the Friday feeling? I’m not quite there yet, very tired today and I had to go to a hospital appointment this afternoon. Thought I would get on with my weekly favourites to cheer myself up a little!

I went into Superdrug on Wednesday and the eyeshadow palette I have been waiting for was finally back in stock! The MakeUp Revolution Flawless 3 Resurrection Palette is a beaut and I have heard is a great dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette. I was so pleased to be able to get my hands on one and my eyeshadow palette collection is now well rounded off (at least for now!). They are super value for money too at only £8!

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I ended up in one of my other favourite shops, Primark, while in town too. Found a few new tops, some more amazing outside lights for the garden, fairy lights for around my bedroom mirror and picked up some face wipes. The face wipes smell just like some of the antibiotic medicine I used to get as a child and I love it! I take off my makeup at night with my Simple Cleansing Oil that I’ve mentioned before and then a facial wash. I then only need to use these wipes or do a facial wash in the morning when I get up before moisturising and applying makeup. I also managed to pick up some bits for the boys for the holiday. Mostly Leo, as he has had another growth spurt! I find Primark perfect for the kids as they grow so fast and I love it for me too. The prices are great and it means I can give my wardrobe a little overhaul every now and again without spending a fortune!

 

Next up is sunshine! Been absolutely loving the weather this week, been nice to bring out the Summer clothes for me and the boys and getting more fresh air. My hair is feeling a little more frazzled though…if anyone can recommend a good shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair I’m looking for new ones to try!

 

Me and Ste watched the new Power Rangers movie a couple of nights again. All I can say is wow! Totally what I wanted from the movie after being a huge Mighty Morphine Power Rangers fan when I was younger! The new suits, zords and everything looked amazing. Do you remember the old scenes where they used toys to make it look like they were destroying the city?! And yes…a part of me still wants to be the pink ranger! I was also really pleased to see one of the Power Rangers was autistic. It’s a great way of helping young kids with autism understand that they are all superheroes and they can do anything they want! It will also help spread much needed awareness of the condition which is often poorly understood I find.

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And lastly I want to say how proud I am of how my ‘Dressing With An Ostomy’ week has gone on my blog. I’ve had lots of lovely responses and interaction. Amazing and brave people sending over photos for me to use. I hope it’s helped some people. I know I’ve been quite upset talking to some people and seeing how badly their confidence about this issue has been knocked. Some people struggle so much that they barely leave the house. I hope seeing all these ostomates rocking their outfits, whatever they choose to wear and keeping a sense of their own style about it the whole time inspires people that having an ostomy does not have to affect how you dress and diminish your clothing choices. I have really enjoyed the idea of having a themed week too so may do this again at some point! Any ideas for themes please let me know in the comments or by messaging me!

That’s all for this week, thankyou to everyone for reading all week and interacting through my different social media outlets. Remember you can follow me on

Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thespooniemummy

Twitter @thespooniemummy

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

Time for YOU!

So, the children are back to school!  The first few days of the new half term are over and our houses are getting back to normal post holiday hurricane.  Now you have a bit of time, what are you going to do for YOU?

Taking time for yourself is so important.  As a Mum, I recently found myself talking to someone who asked me what I enjoyed doing.  My response – ‘Oh I’m a Mum’.  I immediately felt lame.  Not that being a Mum isn’t my favourite thing to be.  But I realised I had lost sight of me as a person.  I couldn’t think of a single thing or hobby that I had done in the past six to twelve months (or possibly longer) to tell this person.  I realised I needed to start identifying as a person again, a woman who is a Mum but has other parts to her as well.

The first thing I did was set up my blog which I had been wanting to do for a long time.  I love writing and I have always wanted to be involved with helping people with the same chronic illnesses as me.  I then signed up to restart my second year of university in October.  I am completing my degree through The Open University part time.  I have passed my first year but have attempted my second year twice and had to defer due to my health problems.  This year I’m determined to get back on track with it.  I then got the amazing opportunity to appear on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show ( https://www.facebook.com/theibdandostomyshow/?ref=bookmarks ).  Louise ( http://www.crohnsfighting.com ) came up with the idea of an hour long, weekly, interactive live show during which four women would discuss all things IBD and Ostomy related.  She called us the ‘Loose Women of IBD and Ostomies’!  Through this I have made three beautiful and inspiring friends for life.  I am getting to help people by sharing my story and experiences which help them in their situations.  I have signed up to the gym although unfortunately have been unable to start yet as I have been in an arthritis flare.  And I have begun reading more again which has always been one of my favourite hobbies.

A few weeks ago Stephie ( http://www.colitistoostomy.com ) came to us with an idea of doing a June challenge she was going to call #OstoMYlove.  She was inspired by Rachel ( http://www.rocking2stomas.co.uk ) who just does far too much for others, which can sometimes be at the detriment to her own health and wellbeing.  She had done the challenge before but basically, there is a micro action for each day of the month.  They are called micro actions as they are small, simple tasks which shouldn’t take long but they give you a little time each day for yourself.  Today is the end of the first week and so far it is going really well.  It is definitely nice to know you have a little bit of time dedicated to you during your day which encompasses a move, love, mind or food element.  If you fancy joining in, pop me a message at http://www.facebook.com/thespooniemummy or in the comments below and I can point you in the right direction of all the information.  You also don’t need to have an ostomy to take part!

ostomylove

There are also other things that you can do to get a bit of ‘me time’.  Take a walk, go and get a massage or your nails done.  You could meet a friend for lunch or a coffee.  I try and meet my Mum once a week for lunch now I am back living in Derby again.  She loves to see me with the kids but I really enjoy this time of just me and her.  Some grown up girl bonding and chat time over some lovely food.

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You could take a bath and pop in a bath bomb or some Epsom Salts to relax and unwind.  Read a book or watch a movie that isn’t child friendly.  Me and Ste dropped the boys off at school the week before last and realising we had nothing to do, the house was clean and the washing was done.  So we took a trip to the cinema for an impromptu ‘date morning’.  Taking time out for you and your partner is also very important.  When you have children it may not be as easy, and it may not be able to be a weekly thing but having that time to reconnect as adults and partners is vital to a relationship.

Whatever you choose to do, try and make it a regular thing.  Not necessarily every day, or even every week depending on your schedule.  But we all deserve a little time to ourselves and we are all people – women and men who may also be mums and dads, we may have chronic illnesses, but that is only part of us.  Give yourself time for what YOU enjoy.

A Letter To My Children

So me and the ladies on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show have been talking part in the #ostoMYlove challenge for June which Stephie over at Colitis To Ostomy came up with. It’s all about giving yourself a little time each day to appreciate, take time out and focus on yourself. This was my day four post and I wanted to share it on my blog too. Please comment if you would like more information on the challenge, you don’t need an ostomy to do it either. And it’s never too late to start giving yourself a little time each day!

Day 4 #ostoMYlove #thanksomeone

Today our micro action is to thank someone. I have chosen my amazing children.

Dear Leo and Riley,

My two beautiful boys. I want to thank you both for giving me the greatest gift I’ve ever been granted. Of being a mum, your mum.
I couldn’t be prouder of you both, of how you are growing and learning. Leo, you are handsome, compassionate, helpful and so clever. Your charity fundraising is a wonderful thing and I couldn’t be prouder. Riley you me smile with your cheekiness, you are gorgeous, empathetic and funny.
The last couple of years haven’t been easy for us. Mummy and Daddy split up, Mummy hasn’t been well and we moved to Derby. You two have coped amazingly well in what would have been tough for a grown up, never mind two young boys. I’m sorry I couldn’t shield you from the whole lot, I’m sorry for not being able to protect you from not being hurt at all. But I thankyou for being so brave, for opening up and being honest with me always, for starting new schools and not only getting on with it but thoroughly thriving.
I’m sorry that I’ve been poorly recently and not always been the Mum I want to be and have been in the past to you both. Before having you both I made a promise to myself that I would never rely on you both to care for me. I’m happy that this has never been the case but I do realise that sometimes you miss out when I can’t take you to the park one day or we miss a day out as I am not feeling too good. Thankyou for being happy playing board games, watching movies, colouring, baking and playing with playdough indoors.
Thankyou for always being there for a cuddle. Thankyou for being the reason I keep going, keep fighting, and look forward to every new day. Thankyou for being you.

Love you both so much,

Mummy xx

Me, Being Mummy