Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A brief break

Well, have taken a couple of weeks off the blogging. Have been feeling really rather more tired than usual and simply haven't felt up to much. I had one of those twitchy muscles under my left eye that was going almost constantly for about four weeks and it really wasn't helping! It's stopped for now, but when it was going it felt like the whole left side of my face was cramping up.
Joseph is doing well. He can now roll from front to back and vice versa, which means I have to be very careful where I put him down, I don't want him rolling off the sofa! He tends to do it in his crib when unhappy and one time I had to run upstairs during one of his naps as he suddenly started really hollering! He'd rolled onto his front, but there wasn't quite enough room and he'd bumped his head.
If you hold his hands or support under his arms he can stand up quite well, he really enjoys it! Hasn't made any progress in the crawling front, but he can spend longer on his front before he gets upset now. He's eating well and appears to quite like spinach, although it does tend to show up in his nappy some while later.
Hoping to get back into the habit of this now, will write some more soon.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Yet more food and some less than pleasant experiences

He's been doing pretty well with all the mush we've been giving him.
Mashed swede and potato took a few bites to get used to, but has generally gone down well since. I have also tried mashed sweet potato and carrot, which he absolutely loved. He was reaching out for the spoon and didn't waste any by spilling it down his bib. We've also tried a few other things, namely free samples sent by various companies that I joined the loyalty clubs for. It's all been variations on a theme, tending to be varieties of flavoured baby rice, but he's liked them all. Andy thinks they all smell horrible.
Today we had our first full on food refusal. I have previously been told that it's a good idea to do small 'courses' for baby, to introduce new flavours. Today we started with the now standard mashed swede and potato and I followed it up with a small amount of creamy yoghurt with a single raspberry squashed into it. It might have been that he was just too tired, not having had a very good nap or he might have been full from the swede, but he really wasn't keen. The few mouthfuls that actually made it in were greeted with some very funny faces and in the end the mouth was clamped shut and Joseph started throwing a paddy.
It wasn't wasted, I'm not going to pass up some nice yoghurt and fresh raspberry! Perhaps it's too strong a flavour, but I'm not giving up on the idea. Later in the week we will try a little yoghurt with banana or strawberry.
He had his first blood test yesterday. It's all part of this clinical trial I have mentioned before and the part I have been least looking forward to. I had to put analgesic cream on both hands and in the crook of both elbows at least an hour before the appointment, which was actually quite hard. The cream had to be held in place by clear plasters and they leaked quite a bit. I ended up putting him down for his nap in a long sleeved t-shirt and socks over his hands. He had quite a lot of dummy use that morning, to stop him chewing on the socks!
In the end he took after me and they had a lot of trouble getting blood. He wasn't in any pain, the cream had done it's job, he just didn't like being held still for so long. Babies of his age have small veins hidden under a nice layer of puppy fat, so simply finding one was tough and when they did it didn't want to give up much. They got just enough to run the basic test to check his response to the vaccination, but more would have been useful. In the end it became clear that Josephs veins were not playing ball and rather than distress him any more they called it a day.
Andy bought Joseph a present for being a brave little boy, a nice big rug with a brightly printed town plan on it, ideal for when he starts playing with cars and quite useful now to sit him on when feeding as it's wipe clean. Joseph does seem to like rolling about on it, he managed to go from his back to his front, but looked a little startled at arriving there!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Weaning - two weeks

Watched a somewhat sad and rather scary TV programme, it was called "Fast Food Babies."
Yes, that's right. There actually are parents out there who, rather than putting in the effort and actually cooking, feed their little ones constant takeaways. One family had a bit of an excuse, the little boy had been very ill and although he was offered healthy food he refused it and in desperation the parents were turning to the one thing he would eat - chips!
Another was just simply lazy and, to be brutally honest, a bit thick. She'd never ever offered her three year old son any home cooked food at all and he lived on a diet of pizza, chips and kebabs. Why on earth would you give your three year old a kebab? I feel guilty if I eat one myself, you can see the cholesterol in it! She was a hard one to shift, kept moaning that the changes required "didn't fit into my lifestyle" which mostly involved going out with her friends, getting drunk and bemoaning her lot. Well dear, no-one forced you to become a mother.
I really did feel for the first family I mentioned, they were trying hard but were simply at a loss as to what to do. They did get help and the little boy ended up discovering a love of that much maligned vegetable - broccoli! It was very sweet to watch him tucking into it and the look of relief on the parents faces was quite something.
Joseph has been getting on well with his two portions of baby rice a day. He has one in the morning and one in the evening, each in the middle of his usual milk feeds. It seems the trick with baby rice is to make it up before you begin the milk feed and leave it, rather than making it up when it's time to start giving it to him. It seems to need a good few minutes to absorb liquid, the number of times we've made it to what seemed like the right consistency only to discover that it's gone too dry by the end of the feed! You add about ten times the volume of milk to rice and it seems way too much, but after a minute of solid stirring and several more left to sit, it's about right. We make it up in the cap from the bottle, it stops me making way too much and it's a good sterile container as he's still only five months old.
Lunchtime today was the time for his first go at "real" food, some mashed swede and potato (mixed with a little milk). I had earmarked this recipe ever since seeing my niece tuck into it with great gusto one Christmas. She was just over a year old at the time and she liked it so much she pulled herself forwards in the high chair to get more. My sister had never seen her do anything like that before.
I was expecting mess. I was expecting to have him spit most of it back out and I was expecting to end up throwing most of it away.
Well, I got mess. Quite a lot of it did end up all over his face and the first four or five spoonfuls were treated with a degree of caution. However, he suddenly decided that he liked the whole thing and started opening his mouth wide and lunging forward for the spoon. In the end he ate the whole bowlful and seemed a little disappointed that there wasn't any more! But then, that's just the size Boots made their weaning pots and I suspect that too much in one go will probably lead to problems.
I really am feeling quite optimistic now. I was planning on having one meal of mashed veg for lunch and two meals of rice for breakfast and supper for a whole week, but Joseph loved the veg so much I think I might try him on the free sample of Baby Fruity Porridge I was sent tomorrow morning.
Better go now, his lordship is getting cranky.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ten Top Tips

1, Extra-virgin olive oil isn't just good for salads. It's also great for itchy baby skin. Joseph had flaky skin for quite a while, it comes with being a week overdue. We rubbed in the oil after bath time and it made a big difference.
2, Place a muslin folded into four underneath babies bottom when changing. Especially when babies are very tiny, they do like to have a little widdle on the mat. We have a soft plastic covered mat and the widdle tends to puddle where you don't want it to. To start with I was either totally stripping him off before each change or having to constantly wash widdle covered babygros. The muslin absorbs the wet before it has a chance to get where you don't want it to and you don't find yourself with a damp and slightly smelly baby.
3, Buy a cheap mobile from a charity shop and customise it with toys that are safe to play with. This is actually Grandmas idea, but I didn't think she'd mind me sharing it. We've had to move Joseph's cot down a level because he managed to pull one of the toys off! Most mobiles don't come with things attached that are actually designed to be played with.
4, We bought a play mat that folds in half and zips up. When he's not using it we use it to store his soft toys and is great for travelling.
5, Get a fast internet connection. During the day you can catch up on all those TV shows you were too tired to watch in the evening on the various internet players. It's cheaper than the sky boxes with the integral hard drive.
6, You can never have too many bibs. The soft ones are more comfortable but the plastic backed ones are better at stopping the Niagara Falls flow of dribble.
7, You can never have too many muslins
8, If someone offers to help you out, don't be too proud to accept. Take advantage of the extra time this will give you and pay them back with baby cuddles
9, When it comes to nappies, you get what you pay for.
10,  Join as many baby clubs as you can. I have been sent lots of free samples and coupons.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A week of Weaning

Well, seven days ago we decided to have a bash at getting Joseph to swallow some white mush.
It actually went quite well, he was eager for the food, leaning forwards and opening his mouth for the spoon. Most of it was actually swallowed, although a fair proportion did end up smeared around his face. He had a baby rice goatee.
Every evening since we have been trying to persuade him to take a little baby rice and the results have been a little mixed, but good on the whole. Some days he has spat more out than swallowed and today he worked out that attempting to chatter through a mouthful of rice was actually quite fun. This morning I offered him his first breakfast of baby rice and he was a little confused, but did take some in the end. We're going to have a week of a little in the morning and a little in the evening. If all goes reasonably well I shall be introducing lunch which wont be rice, but some vegetable purée I made up and froze yesterday. So far we have a batch of swede and potato and some carrot and sweet potato. When it had cooled down and I was about to put it in the freezer, I gave him some of the swede mix. He took it, but refused to swallow. It went round and round in his mouth, eventually depositing itself on his bib in little yellowy blobs. When it comes to the real thing, I'm going to wet it down with a lot of formula milk, might stand more chance that way. I think I also might get him a plastic poncho to wear and a matching one for myself when he inevitably ends up throwing it at me. I've already had to pick dried baby rice out of my hair, not a fun experience!