Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Giving up the Bottle!

Milk bottle that is…and Millie…the other type of bottle gets me through the week ;o)

Now Millie has turned one and we move from formula to cow’s milk I’m also starting the transition from bottle to sippy cup.

From what I remember with Callum (I’ve tried looking back through my blog for facts but can’t find any) we bought these cow patterned cups and removed the valve to make them freeflow then started by making the first bottle we changed his bedtime one. The reason being because it was the one he was usually most desperate for so would hopefully accept it regardless of what it came in. Or was that the first one in the morning??? I’m not 100% certain but think it was the bedtime one. I remember he had a little trouble with the freeflow at first and rejected it a bit the first night or two but think by the third day he accepted it. When we switched the remaining bottles or even how many bottles he was on at that time, I’ve no idea. I also think we tried to switch nearer 18 months rather than at a year.

Knowing I was going to try the switch with Millie I bought the cow cup again as it worked well with Callum. However, annoyingly, they have changed the design so that the valve (which we removed to make freeflow) is now built in. So, now hesitant to buy every style of cup to find out which have removable valves & which would work as a freeflow cup, I’ve gone with the larger Tommee Tippee style cup (but without handles) like this. I know Millie is OK drinking water out of it so figured it’d be a good cup for milk.

While we still have formula it’s not worth moving completely onto cow’s milk and not worth trying to make up formula in the sippy cup so the idea is just to keep the sippy cup for cow’s milk and the bottle for formula.

As Millie rudely woke me at 4am this morning for a feed, I thought I would slip in a cow’s milk feed in her cup at some point so I wouldn’t have to make up an extra bottle (I make up the bottles for the day either first thing in the morning or after her last bottle at night). So, shortly after her lunch (I figured she wouldn’t be starving, having just eaten) but when I knew she wanted her milk, I gave her a cup full of cow’s milk. She wasn’t happy. She went for it enthusiastically thinking it was water (I do intend to keep these cups solely for milk) but then quickly complained. She tried a few sips a couple of more times but then wouldn’t go near it.

The next two bottles I gave her as normal.

I’m going to try her first cup of the morning and see how that goes. I must remember to be consistent so if I’m going to do this, I can’t keep switching and changing the bottle I change. She is due to drop one of her bottles at the moment (as she hasn’t really dropped any of her bottles since weaning just reduced the volume an ounce or two) so I’m hoping that if she refused one cup of milk a day she isn’t really missing out.

I wish I could remember properly what I did with Callum as I know it worked. I’d also be interested to know how anyone else approached this so please feel free to comment and share your own experiences.

Thank you

Monday, 19 August 2013

At One!

Just where did the last 12 months go? It’s Millie’s 1st Birthday tomorrow and I can’t quite believe it. I’m not really one to get too sentimental and emotional about such things but I must admit it has hit me more than it did Callum and makes me go ‘gulp’!

With Callum, I hurried his baby days along always pushing him towards the next milestone & looking forward to the next phase of Callum. I wasn’t a fan of the baby phase and longed for more interactive stages. Looking back I was more stressed about doing things correctly and not getting into bad habits. I guess so many people are with the first child.

However, this time with Millie, I’ve relaxed into it and gone with Millie’s lead. Because my attitude has been different, I’ve enjoyed the baby stage so much more. Although I can’t wait to see what Millie is going to learn to do next I still look back with nostalgia.

But enough of that, lets look at the now!

Millie is still very quick to dish out the smiles at all & sundry and most of the time she is quite easy going but she is beginning to get a bit more of a spirited personality. She has always known what she wants but now she can get stroppy if she doesn’t get her way. This is especially true when it comes to walking around while holding our hands. Should we dare to ignore her desperate grabs for our hands as they pass by because we are busy with something else, or we tire of activity after the 14th cycle of the downstairs of the house, while rubbing our sore backs, she will cry like you’ve just taken her bottle away after the first taste of milk! Like I say above, she knows what she wants and while walking her around….I say walking her around but what I really mean is while she is walking you around because you really don’t get much say of where she goes.

We’ve tried persuading her the walker is a good independent way to practice her walking skills. She has use of a few. One which she sits in which she likes at first but gets frustrated with its size as she gets stuck occasionally and prefers to run me or the cats over with it! We also have one of those VTech walkers, the ones where you have lots of buttons to press & a phone on the front then a handle at the back which they can use to push it around. Similar to this, we have Callum’s old wooden blocks trolley walker. If we try to get Millie to walk with either of these latter types she freezes and cries.

Millie loves to dance and I think she is going to be the more musical out our two children.

She can clap and she can wave and just within the last week she can pretend to talk on the phone. Not that she says any recognisable words as yet but she holds it to her ear and babbles into it.

Millie now has 4 definite teeth and a 5th one has just broken through the gum and I believe there are a couple more that will be close behind.

She is rather speedy at the bum shuffling now and can be guaranteed to make a beeline for the top of the stairs giving Stuart and I many a heart attack as we don’t have a stairgate and she refuses to go down backwards! Think it is time to accept we need a stairgate with this one!

Mille still loves lights like many young babies do – we have several lights with dangly things on (crystals on the downstairs ones, stars on Callum’s light and butterflies on hers) and she looks up at them and makes a herrrr noise (like when you breathe on a window) to indicate she wants you to blow them to make them move and she’ll smile and giggle when you do.

Like Callum was at this age, it feels like she is on the verge of learning so many new things.

It’s hard to imagine that over the next year she’ll be walking and talking and moving from baby to becoming a proper toddling little girl.

Here’s a little montage of her past year:

 

I think I must’ve blinked…could we do that again? Ha! Nah! No chance! Trot onwards please! Eyes forward!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Feeding Time at the Zoo!

Making & then the eating of dinner in our house is quite a stressful part of the day for me – it’s one of the reasons I took the BLW approach as puréeing and spoonfeeding, for me, would have added to that stress tenfold. But on days like today, the BLW approach isn’t much less stressful!

It’s not that I can’t cook or don’t enjoy it (as long as it’s savoury not dessert!), I can and I do but it is at that 4pm time when the “I’m hungry” cries, start ramping up a notch from Callum (Callum is always hungry!) and the “Mmmmmm, mmmmmmm” grunts start to get more insistent and my feet & legs get battered by Millie in the walker! It’s like she thinks, if she runs me over I might start cooking faster!

Most nights I cook for the children then eat later with Stuart but if Stuart is out/away I prefer to eat with the children to encourage them to eat & so I only have to cook one meal & get more of the evening to myself.

Tonight’s dinner time went a bit like this (with only some tiny elaborations):

4:00pm: Ooh got to get dinner on,  switch oven on & pull ingredients out of fridge

4:05pm: Notice the lemonade (which is laying down) is dripping as the lid hasn’t been done up tight enough by someone (again!), pull out salad draw and find a lemonade lake! Start drying up the lake.

4:10pm: Start preparing veg. I ask Callum if he wants to shell the peas – he says no & goes upstairs to play.

4:15pm: Remember that Millie is still napping & it’s gone past the dreaded 4pm cut off time which means she’ll not go to sleep until 1-1.5 hours after her bedtime (how do those maths work?)

4:16pm: Crash! Something has broken upstairs – I suspect the tea set.

4.18pm: I can confirm it was the tea set! The one from when I was a little girl that I gave Callum to play with. Fortunately, it’s not the first time parts of it have flown across the room (either accidentally as this time was or on purpose as happened when I first entrusted him with it!) so I’m a little less heartbroken than I would’ve been. I gather up the broken bits & put to one side to attempt to glue later.

4:23pm: Get Millie out of bed (bedtime is going to be hell!)

4:25pm: Feed Millie & put her down next to lots of toys

4:30pm: Get back to cooking dinner

4:34pm: Grunts & cries from Millie – I move her to her walker

4:36pm: I get back to cooking dinner

4:45pm: Grunts & cries from Millie – I move her to her booster seat in the kitchen with me.

4:55pm: Millie has kept up some grunts but less insistent but now, every time I move a piece of food she stretches out her arm to reach for it & grunts.

5:08pm: Dish up dinner & sit down to eat. Let out a big sigh but admire my lovely looking dinner of pork fillet medallions with a cheesey mushroom sauce, hasselback potatoes and Chantilly carrots (plus home-grown peas for the kids).

5:12pm: Pick up a carrot from floor

5:13pm: Pick up a fork

5:14pm: Pick up a piece of pork (this is not me with dyspraxia, this is Millie throwing stuff she doesn’t want – typical BLW behaviour)

5:15pm: I notice Millie is trying to use her fork properly & try to help her stab a piece of pork to keep her occupied so I can enjoy a bit of my dinner

5:16pm: Get Callum a different knife

5:17pm: Save the big piece of pork from flying across the kitchen & cut it up smaller.

5:18pm: Pick up a carrot, a potato and a piece of pork from the floor

5:20pm: Pour myself some wine!

5:23pm: Duck a piece of potato, get hit by a carrot

5:25pm: Get up to get Millie a drink

5:26pm: Scrape….crash! I was too slow to react as Millie pulled her plate across the breakfast bar, it falls to the floor & does not bounce (this time). They are square plates & two of the corners have flown to different sides of the kitchen.

5:27pm: I bend down to pick up the broken bits of plate & get pieces of pork rained down on me from Millie above accompanied by hysterical Millie giggles.

5:29: While clearing up plate & food mess there is a chorus of “I’ve finished my dinner & haven’t had puuuuudiiiiiing! I’ve finished my diiinner & haven’t had puuuuudiiiiiing!” from Callum. I politely beg ask Callum to be patient while I clean up the mess.

5:31pm: I notice the pool of meat juices around the bottom of the bin & have no idea how it got there. Assuming the bin bag has split, I now empty the bin to outside bin but find all is well with the bag. It’s a mystery! Callum pipes up again “I’m not talking to you, I’m singing to myself, [sings] Iiiiiiii’ve noooot had puuuuuddddiiiiiiiiing!” (I don’t even give them pudding every night!)

5:36pm: Get a fruit pot for Callum & a yogurt for Millie and wonder why I ever decided to eat dinner with the kids – I may have even got to taste it if I had eaten separately and neither of them appreciated it!

(my only elaboration was ducking the potato to get hit by a carrot! They went straight on the floor! Everything else was as it happened!)

(an hour & a half past Millie’s bedtime & I’ve just had to go into her to find her kneeling up in bed holding onto cot sides & waving at me – I can still hear her awake on the monitor)

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Proof is in the Plastic

At nearly 1 year old and now mobile (albeit by bum shuffling), Millie is well and truly at that stage where she is into everything! And unlike Callum who was pretty good really, she really is into everything!

With Callum, we decided not to take the ‘baby-proofing’ approach as we wanted to teach him, however frustrating it is repeating no & distracting them, there are things he isn’t allowed to touch. Thus making it a lot easier (in theory) when visiting houses where there are no children living and no child proofing has taken place.

For Callum, this approach worked so we are hoping to adopt the same approach with Millie too. Though I am sure it wont work for every child and Millie is infinitely more curious and persistent than Callum ever was. Quite frankly, Callum was rather lazy – I hear this is common for boys but I’ll make no comment aloud. This probably made our job much more easier.

One of the best bits of advice I got, which was from my sister, is to allocate a ‘child friendly’ kitchen cupboard, such as the evil tupperware cupboard, which your child is allowed to go in, pull everything out & explore. Thus distracting them from all the cupboards they aren’t allowed to enter. DSCF7641

The added bonus about this being the tupperware cupboard is that, if it is anything like mine, it is always collapsing and falling out of the cupboard anyway as piles upon piles of plastic tries to kill you. It is eternally messy! You tidy it and when the cupboard door is closed it comes alive & jumbles itself up again. So, with your child in absolute glee pulling out plastic cups, plates, bowls & take away cartons (*cough*) galore, you either don’t care about just picking it all up and throwing it back in again if short on time or it gets a daily tidy as you neatly stack it all back in again!

(Yes, rather embarrassingly, that really is my tupperware cupboard!)

So far, this tip appears to be working with Millie too. However, Millie’s refusal to go down the stairs backwards may mean we abolish the no stairgate theory!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Here we grow again! Sleep regression.

It takes me by surprise each time! But this time I recognised the warning signs from 8 months - the doubting my ability as a mum, comparing my parenting to when we had Callum. Hang on when I started doing this last time, I was reminded about the 8th month sleep regression so I googled & sure enough I'd hit the 12th month sleep regression phase.

Experience has taught me that to survive these phases I just need to ride it out. Go with it no matter how hard the sleep deprivation hits me. Acknowledge my emotional state is down to the sleep disturbance & trust that all will be right again in a week or 2. Stressing about it or trying to get Millie to continue sleeping through the night will actually just make everything 10 times more stressful & emotional for everyone.

This time I have 2 things to be thankful for: i) I at least get continuous sleep until between 5 and 6 which, compared to the previous sleep regression phases, really isn't that bad; and ii) I appear to be in sync with Millie & suffering from bouts of insomnia around the same time (maybe I'm growing or developing too!). I wake up just before Millie does so the actual sleep disturbance is a lot less...disturbing!

If I was going to add a 3rd advantage it would be that I recognised what it was early so when I do start to reach the emotionally unstable sleep deprived stage I'm more likely to keep my cool for longer...maybe...hopefully!

However, if you hear a crying banshee over the next few days it may well be me but rest assured it won't be for long!