Baby lead weaning

So we began our weaning journey with the intention to do spoon feeding rather than baby lead as per the advice given to us via our health visitor and it went really well from the get go. Our daughter loved food and would eat anything and everything! In fact I was thrilled at just how well it was going. I was actually a little concerned that we were over feeding her as she just would eat and eat! However we have hit a road bump and now the second the spoon is in sight, her mouth clamps shut. No entry. Keep moving, try again next time!

It has been very upsetting to me as her eating was so easy before and then it developed into a battle three times a day, every day. I am so thankful that I am still breastfeeding (as I so often am) as I would be more worried if she wasn’t since her food intake is lower than I would like.

Which brings us to now. I know that some children can get fed up being spoon fed and want to control their food intake themselves; so with that in mind we have switched to baby lead weaning. We always gave her some little bits of finger food but now we are relying heavily on food she can use her hands to eat and then have a bowl of food that we can offer a spoon of if she looks like she wants it.

She is definitely enjoying the independence that the baby lead weaning brings which is great although I feel more food ends up in her hair, clothes and on the floor, than in her mouth! I’m sure we will get there though! I am enjoying trying new recipes like the courgette and egg fritters that were on our lunch menu today. Things that just weren’t on my radar before and are delicious. I am also loving to watch her facial expressions as she feels different textures, not only in her mouth but also in her hands. Meal time has become a great sensory activity which I love!

Although I must admit, I am more concerned about choking now than I ever have been which I’m sure is only natural. Although I am also incredibly impressed by just what she can manage to eat. Especially since she only has two teeth! I am looking forward to when she has some more as I am hoping it will help her to eat more easily. Although between breast milk, the food she is managing to eat herself and the spoonfuls she is accepting, I’m sure she isn’t going to waste away any time soon! 

So while, quite frankly, the last few weeks have been a big of a nightmare, I am almost thankful for our set back because without which we would not be on this new path of discovery. One which has already been so fun and enjoyable. I truly hope that meals get easier but in the mean time, I’m happy that she is enjoying her little bit of independence.

Wife and mother, x

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Boob issues!

Our poor breasts go through a lot when we have a baby!

During pregnancy, they get ridiculously tender, sensitive, sore and not to mention huge…at least you think they are huge; that is until you have the baby and your milk comes in! Suddenly they are beyond huge, I’d say ginormous and are as solid as rocks! At least this was my experience…

Another issue is the leaking of milk, which in the beginning happened all the time! People said it would happen if my baby cried (not that it was limited to just those occasions) and man they weren’t kidding. In a matter of seconds I looked like a competitor at a wet t-shirt competition and had over sized breasts to match! It also doesn’t matter how many breast pads you go through, it will always be that one time that you felt confident enough to risk going without…oh the hilarity!

A little down the track things settled down and I actually didn’t leak at all; hooray! I didn’t need to worry when I was out, I could say goodbye to nipple pads and it was wonderful. That’s not to say my boobs didn’t occasionally rival that of Pamela Anderson but they were able to regulate my milk supply without any embarrassing incidents.

With another little fast forward to now; I am suddenly back in a bit of a danger zone. Since we are weaning and my daughter is drinking less my breasts suddenly have to adjust again! This didn’t seem to bad at the start of the weaning process, probably because she was still drinking an awful lot but now we have dropped our fair share of feeds my body has begun to struggle again.

I found myself out for dinner recently which was always a lovely treat but now with the baby is definitely a treat and not something we do very often at all. We were staying in a pretty little hotel with an in house restaurant so we thought this would be a good opportunity to have an evening meal effectively “out” but be able to quickly get our daughter to bed afterwards. The room was very warm so everyone was happily sitting in tops and shirts without the need or desire to wear anything more. Happily enjoying the atmosphere and our meal; I was aware that I was starting to feel a little full and not from the food! I mentioned to my husband that I was probably looking forward to the evening feed as much as our child and then not long after I happened to look down…Without even realising, I suddenly had an enormous wet patch over one side of my top! Panicked I quickly grabbed my napkin and covered myself up until I was able to wrap my cardigan around me. Now having to endure the hot room, looking rather silly with extra clothing on while I had a glow of heat across my face! Not quite what I had expected at our little treat!

I feel this is going to be an on going issue as my daughters feeding habit changes and evolves over the next few months or even years. There is going to be a looming fear of when my milk might suddenly get the urge to strike and escape. I just hope that it isn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time however I don’t think that’s how it works; certainly not for me anyway! At least it will provide some entertainment if nothing else!

Wife and mother, x

 

Please don’t choke!

I think parenthood is a constant battle in so many different ways.

The battle that has been on my mind lately is one of self conflict between the excitement between my baby developing new skills and moving onto the next stage vs terrified of what is to come and wanting my baby to stay a baby.

Now I love children, always have. I have always wanted a big family and I think children make life a fun and enjoyable experience. I hoped that I would be a youngish mum so I could spend most of my life raising the family I had dreamed of and I am incredibly fortunate that it has worked out this way. So when I say I want my baby to stay a baby, I don’t really mean it from the point of view that I can’t wait for all the family adventures that are to come. Exploring the park together, family holidays, jumping waves at the beach or cycling together. These are all things that will come in time and require growth.

However…change and development can be scary. The bigger and older children get, the more things you have to worry about!

Choking! 

So this is why I have had inner conflict this week. Weaning is an exciting time of new tastes and textures. The development of new skills and co-ordination to be able to hold food and eat it.

I have been placing different types of finger food in front of my daughter for months and at first it ended up on the floor. Then she decided it was actually quite good fun to hold, squeeze and smear; be it on her high chair, face and/or clothes. I have spent many a meal time showing her how to bring the food up to her mouth. Demonstrating with pieces of food making yummy noises. Taking bites of food she held in her hand to encourage her to try too.

I had been eagerly anticipating when my baby would make this big step forward. It was only a week ago that she finally cracked how to pick up and drink from her cup with no assistance what so ever. So with this progression I knew that picking up and eating her food wouldn’t be far behind. This was exciting! My daughter is around about 9 months but I haven’t felt the pressure of timescales for doing anything as I feel all children develop at their own speed. So when she finally put food in her mouth for the first time this week I felt incredibly torn. I was unbelievably proud of my little baby girl doing such a grown up thing. Although… Oh… Goodness… Be careful!

The sudden realisation that my child was in control of what was entering her mouth was scary! Before I started weaning I had been worried about choking and I am probably not alone in this fear. I have family who have really struggled with their child terribly gagging while eating which was very frightening for both parent and child. I would say I entered weaning cautiously but determined to not be too afraid that I held her back. She turned out to be a very good eater and a few gags aside (which I think every child has and will continue to have) everything was actually pretty easy.

Which is probably why this is making me a little uneasy as she holds a baby rice cracker in her mouth. I know that she has to learn and I know that realistically she can handle it. Although that fear creeps in. The fear that actually what if she takes too much and I can’t stop it from happening? What if she doesn’t just gag, what if she chokes?!

I feel like I spent the entire meal on tender hooks and I must admit it hasn’t got any easier yet. I am sure in a week or two when this becomes old news then I will find it isn’t a big deal but for now I think I will spend most meal times slightly anxious.

Something I can not advocate enough is a first aid course. I strongly urge every parent or caregiver to learn how to help a choking child and any other life saving skill.

I had already signed up for a course thankfully and it was running the day after her achievement. So I know with the knowledge I have, while it might make me sick to the stomach thinking of ever having to use it, makes me feel confident that I could help my child in a bad situation or at least until I got help if nothing else.

Everything aside, this was a big achievement and I think no matter how scary each milestone is for the parent, we must remember how amazing each and every development stage is and be thankful as it happens.

Wife and mother, x

 

 

First aid courses are widely offered in most areas. Speak to your local health service for advice on where you could find one. Encourage your family to go too, it might just save a life.