Sunday, 29 March 2009

6 months, 3 weeks, 5 days

Well, after the excitement at the beginning of the week that I was already seeing an improvement with the weaning and evidence that Callum was swallowing food, its all gone a bit flat! Over the last few days, he hasn't really shown any interest in eating food and much prefers to throw it on the floor instead. He occasionally will take a lick of something, then pull a face and throws it on the floor! I wonder whether it is because of his tooth/teeth. He sucked on a cucumber for a bit today. Cucumber is meant to be cooling on their gums.

Apparently, periods of not being interested in eating is to be expected though, according to the BLW book, so I'm not worried and I'm sure he will be interested/excited in food again soon. 

Some exciting progress - Callum has finally rolled over - yipee! I was on the floor with him and I swung his legs over and he took his body over quite easily so he was on his front (hard to explain without a demonstration). I do this quite a bit but it rarely leads to him doing it himself. I was then playing aeroplanes with him on my knees and me on my back on the floor, when he puked on me! Lovely, I know! I had a nice pool of puke on my chest so had to go and change my top. I put Callum on his play gym and went upstairs to change. I came downstairs after to him really crying. I was wondering why he had got himself into a state when I saw he was on his front!!!! I couldn't believe it, he must have rolled over on his own while I was upstairs. Typical I didn't get to see it. Stuart said he felt wrong being happy at something that made his son cry ;o). Callumn pretty much rolled over again the next day when we were at my parents with us all watching and then managed to flick himself back again so maybe he will start doing it more soon and he may even stop getting upset when he is on his front. Not expecting miracles though.

Callum is regularly sleeping through the night now - hooray!!! He has only woken in the night once over the last week. He often wakes and wants to get up around 6.15am but I can cope with that. I am hoping his get up time might get later now that the clocks have gone forward. We have decided to start his bedtime routine at 7pm now (so, technically, it isn't changing for him - 7pm new time is 6pm old time which is when we used to start). The theory being, he will now be going to bed between 7.30 and 8pm and waking after 7. Like I say, the theory - being lighter in the morning means this might not come to plan. Plus Stuart will still be getting up at 6am so this might be what is waking him up during the week. 

My parents had a party on Saturday which Callum came along to. We kept him awake for family pictures at the beginning of the night and then got him ready for bed and gave him his last milk. He then managed to go to sleep despite the loud music. We put him behind the DJ stand (where it was a bit quieter and cooler) and he stayed there asleep the whole night. He even stayed asleep through the rest of the night after we got back to my parents too, which Stuart and I were both grateful for despite the early rise of 6.15am (which was actually 7.15am new time :o)). 

So, two big developments which I seriously thought we might never see have happened - sleeping through the night and rolling over. Three if you count his tooth coming through too. Our little boy is growing up and developing!

Monday, 23 March 2009

6 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 days

On Sunday, I had a lovely Mothers' Day. It was a bit slow to start as it was my turn to get Callum (it was Stuart's turn to get up in the night/morning to feed him) so no lay in or breakfast/tea in bed. I got my card and present whenCallum got up from his morning nap. It was really sweet as Stuart brought him downstairs holding a pen, made to look like a silk rose, (well, he was actually have a good old suck of the rose pen (the rose end) and I'm not too sure that he was keen to give it up but hey ho). I had a great card and inside the card was my main present. Some money for a tattoo I want done next weekend. Not sure how appropriate a present a tattoo is from your 6.5 month son but I was thrilled :o). Just to think, he saved the money up all by himself and went out and got the card when I wasn't looking - such a clever boy ;o). We then went to the driving range - first time I've hit a golf ball in about 18 months and I wasn't quite as bad as I thought I would be (still very bad though) - then for a walk along the river and finally went to Prezzo for lunch/dinner at 3pm.

Now, enough about me, back to Callum!

I'm already starting to see an improvement with the weaning. There was definitely food in his poo this morning. God, to hear myself. Getting excited about examining Callum's poo and finding food in it - what has my life become :-/

So, on Saturday, I gave Callum some porridge with mashed banana and there was definitely less gagging. Then mid afternoon, we gave him the remainder of the banana (minus a few bites from us!). You peel it but keep the bottom part of it in the skin and just cut back the flaps with scissors. This way, he can keep a grip on the banana (can be very slipper otherwise!). He had a really good suck on it. He seemed to be really enjoying it. For lunch, I gave him a prawn and some bits of cucumber (we had prawn and cucumber sandwiches). He sucked on the prawn for quite a bit and then put it down and went for the cucumber. He seemed to like nibbling and sucking on the cucumber too. There were little dent marks in some of the pieces of cucumber. I understand they like it for their gums when they are teething.

On Sunday, Callum had some wheatabix with mashed banana for breakfast. He was really enjoying eating it and, again, a lot less gagging. I'm sure he swallowed some too because I saw him put the spoon in his mouth with wheatabix on, the spoon came out without the wheatabix and nothing got spat out. Very proud mummy! He isn't even eating half a wheatix yet but it is still very early days. It could be a couple of months yet before he actually realises food can fill him up ad starts consuming more.

Later that morning he sucked on a banana again. He lost interest when a big lump broke off in his mouth - which he spat out. In between our walk and going for dinner we went for a cup of tea in Whetherspoons and I gave Callum a bit of cucumber which he enjoyed sucking on for a while. When we were in Prezzo, we put a couple of bits of pasta, half a cherry tomato, lettuce and a bit of chicken on a plate for Callum to eat/play with. He had a good suck on everything. Wasn't too bothered by the chicken but seemed to really like the tomato. I was worried after his rash on his cheeks the other day that he might be allergic to tomato but not sure now. He had a bit of a dribble rash on his chin but I'm not sure it was tomato related. 

Today, Callum had wheatabix and mashed banana again for breakfast (by the way, I mix it with a bit of full fat cow's milk - they aren't allowed cow's milk to drink until they are 1 but they can have full fat milk in cooking and with cereal), he sucked on banana for mid-morning snack then, for lunch, he sucked on a sausage for a bit. I tried to give him a rice cake for mid-afternoon snack but he wasn't really interested - I don't blame him!

Other news - we can finally see a tooth starting to break through. Just a tiny little dot but both Stuart and I have seen it. Hopefully, it will pop through properly over the next few days.

His sitting is coming on really well. He can sit up for quite a bit now but it is still way too soon to take the pillows away that we surround him with to soften the inevitable fall. 

He is doing this thing that I call the Tea-Pot. He sort of holds his breath, puffs out his cheeks and then blows so his face goes red - it looks like he is about to blow steam out of his ears. Its quite funny but no idea why he does it. He is still doing lots of raspberries too.

For proof of how much he likes his Jumperoo, if you hold him in a standing position on your lap or something, he tries to bounce and laughs - he he. Just to note he is really going for it now, bouncing vigorously while squealing at me. Money very well spent, me thinks!

Right, got to go - nap time.

Friday, 20 March 2009

6 Months, 2 weeks, 3 days

Well, we have started weaning! We started a week earlier than planned in the end - I guess I just couldn't wait once I knew we were allowed to start (i.e. he was 6 months and 2 weeks old).

So, it went a bit like this...

We all sat round the kitchen table to eat some toast together. Callum was in his Bumbo on a kitchen chair (we haven't bought a highchair yet). I cut up some bits of toast very thinly spread with butter into soldiers and put them on his tray. He went for them straight away and put them straight to his mouth. He pulled some funny faces but seemed to be ok. Then.....blurgh! blurgh! blurgh! Projectile vomit. All his milk from earlier came back up. It even came out of his nose :-o Poor little thing didn't know what to do, he looked in shock. 

So, that was that for Saturday.

We were staying with friends and had gone out for lunch. I had ordered a lasagne that came with lettuce, cucumber, carrot and coleslaw (and tomatoes but Stuart nicked those). The lasagne came in a bowl on the plate so, with Callum on my lap, I let him 'play' with the salad. He had a wail of a time. Seemed to love playing with the coleslaw. I also cooled a piece of lasagne down for him but he seemed to have had enough by the time I did that so didn't really try that.

He was still just putting things to his mouth to taste rather than trying to eat/chew/swallow anything.

Now, we weren't meant to be starting weaning yet so were completely unprepared. I needed to go shopping for specific things for Callum but I wasn't going until Friday.

Breakfast was fine. I made him a little bit of Wheatabix (half of one of mine). I loaded up the spoon then gave him the spoon to put in his mouth. Again, lots of funny expressions and lots of gagging but no sick this time. Not sure if he actually ate anything or just decorated the kitchen and himself with it!

For lunch, I was having ham & cheese in pitta bread so I did him a couple of sticks of cheese, rolled up some ham and cut a strip of pitta bread. He had a go at the ham but stopped when a bit broke off in his mouth and made him gag. He licked the cheese then put it down and didn't go near it again. Then he tucked into the pitta bread and - burgh! Not as much or projectile as with the toast, thankfully. I was worried that it was wheat that was making him sick (though the Wheatabix was fine), and thought it might be because, technically, he is only 5.5 months (according to his adjusted age). Decided it was probably best to leave bread products for a while. 

I moved the pitta bread away from him but he kept trying to reach for it and ignored the cheese and ham.

Worrying about the wheat thing, I gave him some baby breakfast stuff that I had a packet of in the cupboard. I treated it the same as I had the Wheatabix in that I put it on a spoon then gave it to him to lick. Same funny expressions, lots of gagging but no sick. Everytime I took the spoon away from him to top it up, he was fighting me for it back so I took that as a good sign.

I was at my sister's for lunch and she had prepared a chicken salad. I sat him on my lap and he played with some lettuce and kept trying to get bits to his mouth to suck on. Then he sucked on some chicken for a while but went back to the lettuce.

Baby breakfast for brekkie. 

For lunch, I tried the ham again and this time gave him a Babybell. Wasn't really interested in any of it.

Baby porridge in the morning.

For lunch, I tried him with a bit of pasta from the night before's dinner. As he seemed so keen to eat from my plate before, I sat with him on a blanket in the lounge and let him help himself as I ate. The pasta had chicken, onion and courgette in it and was in a red pepper pesto sauce. He sucked a bit of pasta then gave up when a bit broke off in his mouth. Sucked the courgette then put it down, sucked a bit of chicken until a bit broke off in his mouth and made him gag. To be honest, I don't think the pesto helped as it is quite bitty and there were pepper seeds in the sauce.

One thing he did that impressed me was when he first picked up the pasta, he did so with all the pasta in his fist, so he put it down and picked it up again with a bit of the pasta sticking out the top of his fist so he could put it in his mouth. I thought it might be a fluke but he did it again with another piece later. 

In the afternoon, I tried to give him a Babybell. He loved it while it was in the wrapper but lost interest as soon as I unwrapped it.

Morning - Baby porridge
Lunch - I had saved some dinner from the night before again. This time pork meat balls and some spaghetti in a tomato sauce. 

He just played with the spaghetti and didn't try to get it to his mouth. He did have a good go at the meat balls though but they were too difficult to hold and kept crumbling in his hands before he could get any in his mouth. He did manage to get some in his mouth once but just kept gagging until it all came out again.

I also gave him a rice cake as I thought that would be easy for him to hold. He did suck on it a bit but preferred to bash it against his tray on the Bumbo until it broke up.

Just after, I did notice that his cheeks looked really red. Looking more closer it looked a bit like a rash. He seemed happy in himself though. I also noticed a rash on his hands. Not sure if this is an allergic reaction from handling the food or from where I've washed his face and hands after eating.

I did try, again, to give him a Babybell in the afternoon. I offered it to him unwrapped and he took it and had a good suck on it - then a few bits broke off. Most of the bits came out but one bit got stuck at the back of his tongue and so he was a little bit sick again because it kept making him gag.

Basically, I really can't wait for his gag reflex to move further back in his mouth. He might actually start to hold food in his mouth for longer than a second and be more interested in the food too.

It is still very early days, though it is hard not to get a little frustrated that he isn't spending a little longer at least sucking food. I must be patient. Also, giving him the time he needs to explore the food. It is hard to know whether he has had enough or is just getting frustrated with something. In addition, unless you have no plans at all in the day, it is hard not to keep your eye on the clock when you have to be somewhere. I am trying to be patient and to give him as much time as possible.

I went shopping today and got lots of better food for him. Things like:

Sweet Potato
Red Pepper
Rice Cakes
Oat Cakes
Real ham rather than processed stuff

I'll update you with how week 2 goes soon.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Baby-Led Weaning

I just thought I would explain a bit more about Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) for those that weren't familiar with the concept. 

Basically, parents were originally advised to wean at 3 months. This was then changed to 4 months and is now 6 months. Originally, because babies' digestive systems were still very immature, they were more prone to allergies and couldn't sit up securely or get food to their mouths themselves, you were advised to give purées and baby rice at first and then were encouraged to introduce lumps then solids from 6 months. This guidance hasn't been updated despite the advice changing to wean babies at 6 months. At 6 months, babies are usually better at sitting up and most can get their hands to their mouths to put food (and other objects of course) in there. Also, their digestive systems are much more matured so they can digest solid food. Their bodies should also be less prone to allergies. The advice from the Department of Health (DoH) now says that you should introduce finger foods at the beginning as some babies prefer this. To be honest, baby-lead weaning does follow a lot of what it says in the DoH guidelines. It just misses out the purées, baby rice and spoon feeding. Although, even with the spoon feeding, it says to "Allow your baby to feed themself, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest". 

What you do
The idea is that, in the beginning, you offer food in easy to hold shapes (sticks of carrot, broccoli, toast soldiers) for your baby to hold and explore. You offer them, if possible, the same food that you are eating and you are encouraged to eat all your meals together as a family and, whenever you eat, offer your baby the same food. Some people who try BLW actually sit their baby on their laps and let them pick bits from their plate. You should try to expose your baby to a variety of tastes right from the beginning. this is different from the usual approach where you may offer the same single ingredient (i.e. sweet potato) for a few days before you try a new ingredient.

You have to be careful that what you are eating (and they are eating) doesn't contain food that should be avoided, such as salt, sugar, honey and nuts - or these ingredients are used sparingly (with the exception of honey which should be avoided until they are 1 as it could cause Botulism). If you want to eat foods that you don't want your baby to have, either don't offer these foods to your baby (perhaps try to give them that is similar but better for them or looks the same) or eat them when they are not around.

Some of the benefits of doing BLW compared to the traditional spoon feeding and purées can be:
  • Less chance of a fussy eater (considering what a fussy eater I was, for this reason alone it is worth trying)
  • More confidence in themselves
  • Gives baby independence
  • Can help with their speech (something to do with the chewing action)
  • The main one for me - can go out to eat with your baby without having to worry about taking preprepared food with you. You can either order something for them or give you stuff of your own plate.
  • They can join in with family meals - this could also mean they learn good table manors early on - they mirror what they see their parents doing.
I am sure there are more, but these are enough to be getting on with.

The down-sides are:
  • It can be considered messier
  • It can take longer - both in terms of mealtimes can take longer and it can take a while before baby is actually eating food (they are learning about tastes and textures before they learn to eat food)
BLW is a lot slower as you are completely led by your baby (hence the name). In the beginning, babies are just exploring tastes and textures and don't actually eat very much at all. Eventually, they learn how to push food to the back of their mouths and to swallow. Then they realise that food can stop them from being hungry which is when they finally start actively eating meals. So this can all take a couple of months.  

However, it can be a lot more fun and relaxed. As long as you approach it in a relaxed manner and expect there to be mess and don't put pressure on your baby to eat or direct him/her to eat specific food then the whole weaning process should be a much more enjoyable experience for both parents and baby.

The book I've read is the aptly named Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.
You may also find the following websites useful: (by the authors of the abovementioned book)

6 months, 1 week

Weight has stayed the same for the last few weeks, hense why there isn't an update. Have fallen off the diet wagon big time! Need to be motivated to get back on it before I start putting on weight again.

Quick update on Callum.

I got Callum weighed last week and he is now 15lb 9 oz. The nappy rash has finally gone and his poo is starting to go back to normal. Hoorah! Can recommend Drapolene if your other creams aren't working. It is a barrier cream as well so you can use it even when they haven't got nappy rash if you wish. I'm going to continue to use it for this week then will just use it when his bottom is looking a bit sore (this is what I was doing with Sudocrem).

Big news is he sat on his own, unsupported for about a minute :o) I was at a friend's house and just put him on the floor in a sitting position and let go but keeping my legs either side of him fully expecting him to go to fall over pretty quickly. However, he didn't and he kept adjusting himself. He hasn't done it for as long since, normally because he always wants whatever is just out of his reach.

On that note, he always want whatever it is I am holding/using now. Laptop, phone, remote control, glass of water, food...!!! Good sign that he is finally ready for weaning. Getting really excited about starting now.

Going to do another post just after this regarding BLW so keep reading...

Monday, 2 March 2009

6 months

I had to write today! I can't believe it is Callum's 6 month birthday today.

Right now he is happily bouncing away and screeching in his Jumperoo! 

Still not much to report on the development progress. Still not rolling. Still not sitting up unaided. Still no teeth!

I know we aren't weaning him for a while yet but we have let him attempt to chew/suck on a couple of things - lettuce, cucumber and a runner bean. Just why he was sat on Stuart's lap. He still isn't ready but he did have them in his mouth for a bit and his face wasn't too sure of the flavour or texture. Still really looking forward to weaning him properly.

One thing that changes when your baby gets to 6 months is that you can now give them water straight from the tap instead of having to boil and cool it first. Callum doesn't have much water at the moment but he will when he starts having proper food. I might start giving him a bit in his doidy cup (a plastic cup that is slanted on one side so they can see what they are drinking and don't have to tip it up as much) to help train him to use it.

I got out the next stage of clothes (6-9 months) that we have been given or have bought to wash today. He is normally a month behind before moving up to the next stage of clothing so I'm doing it a bit early but at least it will be ready. 

Callum's bottom is still not better but is still a lot better than it was. 

Calum seems to be really happy at the moment and is so fun to be with. I'm sure now that I've said that he'll be grumpy for the next few days now but I'm enjoying it why it lasts. I think it helps when his days are varied with going out and the toys he plays with.

I take it back on the development front. I've just sat here for the last 15-20 minutes blowing continuous raspberries with Callum. In fact he is still at it. It is so funny. He first blew a raspberry about 3 weeks ago and has tended to only do it when he is a bit fed up. Now he is doing them over and over again. May be he is really really fed up? ;o)