Baby Led Weaning Journey #4

To say I do baby led weaning seems so trendy! I read up on it quite a bit with my third baby because it was a buzz issue. With my first two babies I did not know my philosophy of introducing food to babies had a name. It was kind of neat to read about the third go round.

My philosophy started with some research into the Weston A Price diet and what order they suggest food to be introduced to babies. So at about 9 months we started with bits of meat and then soft cooked green beans, carrots and the like. I tried to be normal and feed the first baby rice cereal, once I even gave her a jar food, but it just was not my style so those foods took a nose dive.

With our first three babies, we traveled all the time and we had to order our diet around foods we could easily make. Cost, ease and availability suggested that I use unsalted or un-sweetened canned veggies and fruit in addition to boiled eggs, bananas and avocados. We would order meat somewhere or buy a rotisserie chicken and split our food with the babies. It was also easy to find cheese, crackers, pretzels, apples, oranges and the like when the children were old enough. When we had to eat out, we tried to east cost effectively at Cracker Barrel, Chick Fil A, Sarku Japan, and local restaurants (Asian or diner style). Not all these foods were high on my list of ‘healthy’ foods, but the healthiest I could provide with our lifestyle.

Baby #4, Felicity, came along last year and shes been eating solids since December already! She is 12 months now and quite the pro! Her favorites are cut tomato and cooked carrots. She really only needs spoon fed if I am serving her my applesauce (which took some serious convincing for her to try!), I even put her yogurt in a snipped bottle so she can feed herself.

I think what draws me naturally to this philosophy is both the desire to breastfeed primarily for the first year and the idea of fostering independence. There is also a bit of insecurity of knowing how much a baby needs to eat and not wanting to over feed (maybe it is just me, I over worry). So I give the child the power to decide how much is enough. Like magic, when they are done they clear that tray onto the floor so fast!

Baby Led Weaning is a bit of a mess, but my absolute favorite part is watching those tiny fingers manage a pincer grasp with all the focus and dedication of a surgeon and put that food in their mouth with pride.

IMG_6310

My biggest hook up is cleaning avocado, but I have made it through 4 babies unscathed

 

Happy 10 Months!

Image

My daughter is 10 months old today! It would be impossible to express how much fun it is to see a little personality grow up. Children are all so unique, and I am constantly amazed at how my three are all so different.

My sweet Josephine is full of personality. She loves to make people laugh; she has the largest, happiest smile accompanied with huge blue eyes; she can be patiently sneaky, but is very selective with which battles she chooses; I have never seen a baby enjoy hugs and kisses as much as her, or cry with as much brokenness if you walk by without acknowledging her.

She has taken several steps, though never more than two at a time. She pulled up at 4 months old, and like my others was born with a determination to move. She rolled over both ways at just 3 days old, said Momma at 5 months and Da-Da at 6. She currently says a ton of words from Bye-Bye to Bear, Dis {this} to Dat {That}, Ada {For Adelle} to Down {often as she is reaching to the ground making herself impossible to hold}.

She loves to play patty-cake, show us the “Big Girl” and mimic your sounds and gestures, hide from us in Peek-a-boo, and whatever other game requires interaction. She is in love with her brother and sister. Anytime they are asleep, she sneaks in their room to wake them up. Once they were gone at Granny’s house when she woke from a nap and she went straight in their room looking for them, when their beds were empty she yelled, “Ada!” over and over hoping to find them. Josephine knows she is one of them and gleefully jumps in the middle of rough housing with daddy with no concern for danger.

All my children are unique and interesting to me. I could have a dozen more and they would all be a source of fascination for their mother. I think that realizing the strengths and weaknesses of their personalities has helped me understand people a bit better. God created us all different and for different reasons. Realizing that God intended people to be the way they are has helped me appreciate the things I did not used to understand in people before. It is now easier to appreciate people for who they are instead of how much we get along.

Having three children has taught me a lot more than how to take care of a baby, meal plan or clean house, it has taught me more about life in general and it is so much fun to learn.

Baby Led Weaning with Baby #3

Image

Image

I have started weaning the little one here! I cannot believe that time has gone by so fast and she is ready for solid food already. She began her curiosity of food early like my other two, but I was able to stave her off until she was 7 months old. I prefer not to give solids until it is necessary, but it worked out that we began letting her explore at 7 months.

At first she squished the food in her fingers, rubbed it into the table, plaited her hair with it, and pushed it onto the floor. All told, she rarely got more than a tablespoon or two of food inside her mouth. That is, until about a week ago. She is now 8 months old and something in her just clicked and she is now eating her food with great accuracy. She still makes a mess on the floor, but this wonderful meal pictured above, she at half an avocado, and only dropped two or three pieces.

Because she is breastfed, she has little need for solid food yet, but it is nice that we have been able to eliminate allergy concerns for many normal baby foods already. She has been introduced to egg yolk, chicken broth, green beans, potato, carrot, broccoli, peas, black eyed peas (but that was not a good idea :/), grilled chicken, avocado, sweet potato, potatoes, banana, cantaloupe and honeydew. It has been an easy journey, I don’t force her to eat, I just provide her with food while the “big people” eat and let her explore. If she is hungry, she eats, and when she is finished, she just splashes the juices. I still nurse her every 2.5-3 hours since that is where she derives her calories and nutrition.

At night, I do use a spoon to feed her egg yolk to supply her with iron. I add a little butter, avocado, chicken broth, or banana to make it easier and tastier to eat. Until a few days ago, she could only eat about 1/3 -1/2 of the egg yolk. This provides her with vitamins A, E, D and K, as well as DHA and iron a quite a bit of other nutrients (see chart below :). I wanted to avoid gluten until she has more teeth, so baby cereal did not seem like the best option for us.

I enjoy watching babies make faces at new foods and explore the new world of textures and taste. What is your favorite part of introducing solids? Which did you introduce to your infant (I could use some help with my imagination!)?

Image

 

 

 

 

Colic Help

I was a frazzled first time mother. My daughter almost never stopped crying. She had her content moments during the day, but she was unpredictable and very demanding. I was insecure and worried because of so much fear instilled from baby ‘experts.’

My first child cried every night starting at 7 pm until 1pm. It was like clockwork. We tried every comfort mechanism we could find and were usually left wondering why everything we did was wrong. Here are a handful of the soothing methods that have been successful for us:

1. Football hold. Not the nursing football position, but close. The baby’s head goes over your elbow like the picture below. This helps for a gassy baby, but in our case it helps the baby see as we are walking around.

Image

2. Walking/Dancing. Babies love movement, but my babies are not content with just a rocking chair. They prefer to be up high and moving quick-ish.

3. Talking. Both my girls are social. They want eye contact, and they want you to vocalize. It can be awkward to talk to a baby (you run out of things to say!), but it helps them develop emotionally, and socially anyway so you might as well use it to appease ;)

4. Going outside. This eliminates indoor, stressful stimuli (TV, radio, other people, microwave, water facet, animals, vacuum, drips, fans, and movement all amount to a stressful child). It is especially helpful if you are near a river, beach, or where you can hear crickets or wind in the trees. My first would calm down within seconds of walking out of the door and you could feel her body to relax the muscles.

5. Water therapy. While listening to the shower is a bit soothing, the best water therapy for my children was to fill the tub up and let them float. When you hold their head up, their plum bodies float pretty well and they can move freely (hold carefully!). My girls like to move! You could see their desire to sit up, crawl and scoot well before they had the ability. Being in deep water gave them the ability to use their arms and legs and to wiggle to their hearts content. I had to be careful not to over exhaust them in water though!

Image

This was just for swimming but how I held her in the tub. I had to watch out for flipping, she wanted to flip over so I held one hand close to her bottom while still maintaining her freedom

Potty Training Update

When I posted my experience of potty training I promised an update at some point. I guess now is as good a time as any since it has been 7 months! I feel like that is enough time to consider the potty training well established and unlikely to regress.

My son was 16.5 months when we began potty training and it only took him 2 days to be potty trained. The first few months accidents were rare, but there were about three rougher spots when he would have several accidents a week. These ‘rough’ spots were between one and two weeks each and ALWAYS happened when we were home (we travel for a living). I think that I get preoccupied when we are home trying to do everything I miss out on while we travel, and he reconnects with his toys and room and forgot to tell me in time sometimes.

The last good while has been excellent but I do still take him preemptively before we go for a drive, to the park or even play outside. I don’t mind reminding him myself because it is easier to make him go before we leave somewhere then to have to take him as soon as he gets the ‘call’ and I’m halfway down a park trail.

He is going to be 2 in 2 weeks and still cannot dress himself. He can undress himself, but still expects me to do it for him. Like I mentioned before, we skipped the kid sized potty seat and he has always used the ‘big’ potty. He can finally get on and off of the potty himself, but still sits facing backward since it is less messy.

I say less messy, because he is still a boy, and he thinks aiming is fun. Pretty sure you cannot change that in a boy ;)

He has had 3 accidents while I had him out in public. Most of them after sitting in a restaurant for a bit, and all three times I was out with friends. Accidents don’t really bother me. It is not any more difficult to change his clothes than it would be to change a diaper. He doesn’t empty his bladder when he has an accident so it is not terrible to handle, just a change of pants I was going to wash anyway ;)

I still feel like early potty training is for me and I haven’t regretted it for a second!

I don’t know that he could possibly remember being in diapers because it has been so long, but he still knows that he is doing something wonderful when he goes on the potty. When he climbed on the potty by himself the first time for me he told me, “Say, ‘good boy JJ,'” and grinned at me. If he is in silly or fantastic kind of mood he waves and says, “Bye-Bye poo-poo!” and giggles at himself while the toilet flushes.

I think early training was good for him and not stressful as many would probably assume. Early potty training has given us something to bond over, and increased my son’s confidence in his ability to learn new things. I am proud of his accomplishment, however normal of a milestone it may be.

20130628-155050.jpg

Baby Blanket Cheat

I was so relieved to finally finish a mini quilt I made two years ago, that I got the nerve to make a new blanket for Little Sis, my full term, not yet born baby. I have made each of my children one so far, so I felt like it was only right.

I bought this awesome spray that adheres batting to fabric without using a hundred safety pins! It was on sale for half price, otherwise it would have been a bit pricey. I paid 7 USD.

To make this super easy baby comforter, all I did was cut two pieces of cotton fabric the desired size and two pieces of batting (I like extra loft). I sprayed the batting pieces to each other and the fabric on either side of the batting.

All was left to do was sew the quilting lines and add the binding.

Now when Little Sis is born she has a Mommy made blankie like Addy and JJ!

Here is her baby comforter, and pics of my earth-side children (at 2 days and then day of birth) and their blankets.

Image

ImageImage

My 3rd Pregnancy in a Nutshell

I have not kept a pregnancy journal and honestly I’m not sure there are enough interesting happenings to put in one. But I thought I would jot down all the things I remember about this pregnancy.

I first suspected pregnancy toward the beginning of November. We were not trying to conceive so it was a surprise, but we have never tried before so it was not a huge surprise either. I took me a week after my missed cycle before I could test positive and the wait was tough!

Early in the pregnancy, about 5 weeks, I started having trouble eating. I was super nauseous my first pregnancy, and just a manageable sickness with my second but this time was different. I did feel nauseous sometimes, but I just couldn’t eat. I could not bear to put food in my mouth at all, everything made me gag. I tried to eat healthy anyway, but ate so little that I lost about 14 lbs the first trimester.

I started making smoothies to get some calories and vitamins and drank a few a day between my scant meals.

The only major issue I had my first trimester was extreme exhaustion. I was super tired my last two pregnancies but this felt like an other worldly kind of tired. Maybe because I had two children, some people blamed my age (I’m only 25, so I doubt that), but baby growing is tiring, do we really need another reason?

At about 16 weeks that awful gag reflex went away and I was able to eat like a normal person. This is also when I was less tired, still not normal, but operable. The second trimester was not eventful, we spent it traveling the States from church to church, so much of it is a blur anyway!

There was some issue with a due date at my 17 week ultrasound. The baby measured small for gestational age. The difference in age was between 7-13 days and the tech told us she would put 10 days different on the report, but ended up putting 9 days instead. The midwife would have changed the due date if the difference was 10 days, but could not because it was 9 days on the report. I was a little worried because my last two babies were off by two weeks and even after changing my due date two weeks farther away, my son came over a week past his due date.

I did not have my due date changed despite the evidence my first pregnancy and did not enjoy being induced. I do worry about induction this time around in case the due date is faulty, but my new provider, a midwife, would not induce until 42 weeks so I would still be at least 40 weeks, and that is okay. My last induction was 38 weeks and baby was not ready, even if it does happen, baby will be ready at 40 weeks no doubt.

One interesting issue I had this pregnancy is insomnia. I went several weeks where I could not for the life of me sleep more than 6 hours. This made me very productive in the very early hours, but sleepy the second half of the day!

Eeesh! My back does not like being pregnant! I try not to complain because I feel like ignoring pain makes it more tolerable, and I really don’t like admitting pain to people. Talking about pain builds it up and gives a sort of anticipation that makes it less than easy to handle. But it is another one of those symptoms that has been harder every pregnancy. Makes me nervous to have a fourth, or maybe the third one reaches capacity…..?

I am currently 37 weeks 3 days pregnant. We are trying to get every cupboard and drawer organized in the next few days just in case. We had a scare two days ago when I had some false labor for a few hours. It was rougher than the real labor I had last time and sent pain clear down to my knees from every contraction! I sure hope this labor does not feel like that when it really comes!

But I doubt it will, one day of false labor with my second child was a day of back labor. Yes, a whole day of back labor. Luckily my mom was in town visiting and knew how to use a rolling pin effectively!

I believe we have everything we need for baby to come, we may buy a few pacifiers, we used them a tiny bit with our other two, but they both suck on their fingers or thumb so it was not necessary (and I’m lazy). This girlie has been sucking her thumb since 17 weeks and if that is what a baby is inclined to do, can you really stop them? I tried with my son, and it just goes back in so I quit trying. He’s almost 2 now and he still does it.

I have not written a birth plan. Maybe I should? I’m not sure. All the things I would put on a plan are not customary anyway since I am delivering out of hospital. IV’s are only used if absolutely necessary (and GBS +), there are no pain medications to decline, they do not do episiotomies and are excellent at preventing tears with counter pressure. They ask before doing anything to my child, so I get to choose whether I desire the K shot or eye ointment. There is no where to take my baby to, and the newborn exam will take place in my arms’ reach and they will share every detail with me.

They do not bathe the baby because it is not necessary, and will place the baby immediately in my arms. Honestly, I don’t know what else there is to choose. I can choose to birth in land or water during labor and I can labor any way I desire.

As long as my blood pressure stays in range and there is no prolapsed cord or other emergency, I don’t believe I need a birth plan with my provider. On the other hand, if I do have to get transferred, what good is a plan in an emergency?

Wait, while you rush to save my baby’s life, will you please read this paper?…..I don’t think so.

About that baby’s name. WE STILL DO NOT HAVE A NAME! Is that horrible? We try and try to come up with the right name but cannot seem to find it. I am full term so maybe we should start trying a little harder.

Our current favorite name would leave her the nickname Jolie, and I love it, but my husband is worried people would always think of a certain actress or think we named her after the actress. But I feel like one person shouldn’t have the monopoly on a name and that people can learn new associations with names.

We already get asked all the time if we named our daughter Adelle after the singer Adele.

Most of pregnancy topics are about how uncomfortable Mom is, or how long pregnancy is and I do not want to go into all the uncomfortable details. Besides, time, and your patience, would fail before I finished my woes on my back, hips, swelling, headaches and painful BH contractions ;)

I am super excited to have baby number 3! I do worry tad about being outnumbered parents to children, but we love children and probably are not stopping at number 3 either. We will see what God wills is :)

34.5 weeks

34.5 weeks