Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Finger Food

In a previous post I was quite critical of this "baby lead weaning" business for the simple reason that Joseph couldn't handle anything with a firm texture, i.e. any of the first finger food suggestions. It took him a little while to work out how to chew on his food and in the last 7 days has been doing really well, to the point where I can put quite sizable chunks in his food, as long as they are squishy. He likes chopped up strawberry, and in quite big chunks! His grasping has improved as well, he's starting to reach for small things with thumb and forefinger and has much more control over how he handles objects.
Today I tried another experiment. Toast fingers was another recommended food for self feeding, so I considered it to be worth a shot, I chopped it up into eight fingers and placed it in a plastic bowl in front of him, expecting the same reaction as I had with the bread pieces some week before. Joseph had quite liked playing with the bread, but had made no attempts to put it in his mouth. The bowl got in the way so I put the toast just on the tray in front of him and the first thing he did was pick one up and put it straight in his mouth! It came back out again and he looked jolly puzzled, but it boded well. After quite a while he managed to get it damp enough to  be squishy and he did swallow it!
It took a very, very long time. That's probably my biggest issue, along with the high level of mess. Finger feeding is great if you're at home and have plenty of time to waste, but if you're out and about or are on a tight schedule, it's just too much. Plus, Joseph doesn't like being held still while I scrape a thick layer of crumbs off him, especially as it turned out he hadn't eaten everything, there were quite a few squashed crusts he'd dropped down into the bumbo. I will be persevering with this though, and I think banana pieces are probably a good idea. Got to go, Captain Roly-Poly is going for the lounge record....

Monday, 27 June 2011

Ten Things about Weaning

1, The futures bright, the future is the same colour as mashed carrot. So is the carpet.
2, Baby rice literally tastes of nothing. Some people complain that tofu is bland, but it's a myriad of flavours and interest compared to baby rice, but then I guess that's the point.
3, Baby lead weaning? Oh the middle class nose-in-the air mummies go on about this in the naive assumption that the baby is going to be able to pick up the pieces of food in front of them and get them in their mouths, gum them enough and swallow without choking. Joseph and I have done well with pureés, but so far with "baby lead" attempts he has nearly choked on a small piece of cucumber, squashed some pieces of soft bread and scattered the crumbs everywhere without any of it getting anywhere near his mouth and utterly ignored some lovely pieces of steamed carrot. All this "baby lead" stuff is stupid, he's a baby for goodness sake, not an adult and he has no ability to make sensible logical decisions at all. Besides, he likes pureés.
4, It seems, at least with Joseph, that it pays to be brave. I've been trying him on lots of new flavours recently and whilst the first few mouthfuls have been greeted with the kind of expression you'd expect if I was feeding him lime juice he's actually got used to the new stuff quite fast. He likes broccoli!
5, I have bought jars of baby food as they are easy, but I also have two lots of weaning pots in the freezer (really big ice-cube trays in essence) full of home-made stuff. I am also using the empty bought jars and re-filling with home made flavours.
6, Baby rice has no effect on nappy contents. Vegetables do. Nuff said, I think.
7, "Mummy, why are you waving that thing near my face? What's that, can I grab it? Oooh, it's all mushy! I like this, it feels all nice all over my hand and I can spread it all over myself, the bumbo, the floor and your face as you come a bit nearer to try and feed me again. Now why are you looking all cross?" - some of Josephs thoughts.
8, Baby pasta is expensive and a faff. Just use couscous!
9, Bibs. They used to just get a bit crusty from the flows of dribble all over them but now they're a vital piece of kit in the fun world of weaning. Josephs best trick to date is getting food on his hand, pulling at his bib and getting the food on the underside of the bib which then smeared all over his clothes whilst the top side of the bib remained quite clean! You can tell when he really likes a flavour because it doesn't end up all over his bib. Joseph likes tomato with onion, basil and oregano.
10,  Farleys rusks are nice with a mug of tea.


When he was a bump he was "it" to start with and then when we knew he was a boy we made special effort to refer to him by name, even though he was still a bump. After he was born we kept referring to him as "Little Man" but Andy wasn't happy with this.
I found myself often calling him "Pickle" but Andy hated that one even more, especially as we both know other children who are often referred to as "Pickle". I tried calling him "Chutney" for a while but it didn't feel right. For a short time he had no nickname at all and was Simply Joseph, which was fine, but why should my child miss out on an important part of childhood like a nickname.
"Pumpkin" is a new one. I don't know why I called him that, but I did and it worked quite well because at lunch time I was feeding him mashed carrot and he sure ended up a nice bright shade of orange. I don't know if it will stick or if we'll end up calling him something else, but it will probably be something food related.
And I haven't even started the debate over whether it's a nickname or a "pet" name. Gaah!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Ten Baby Observations

1, Let's start with a nice one - little baby smiles! They are just about the best thing in the world!
2, Before weaning you have to listen for the poop, but after you have to watch - for the tensing and the bright pink face and the cross expression. They can't digest spinach or sweetcorn.
3, Cutting a babies nails is actually really hard! I tried biting them as recommended, but that was a total failure and baby nail clippers are quite hard to use.
4, Having a littl'un makes you quite popular, even total strangers will walk past and say "Oh, cute baby!" which is nice. You can also exchange knowing nods and smiles with other mums of tots about the same age, you might never have met them before but they know, they know!
5, Managing on less than eight hours sleep a night is not something I can do. Not for more than a week or so. Joseph has been very kind to me, by 6 weeks old he was letting me sleep at night, and it saved my life.
6, I wish Ardman would make more childrens shows. Theirs are the only ones I can watch more than once without wanting to....  Seriously, what is up with that Waybuloo program? I felt like I'd accidentally walked into a room where the cool kids go to smoke something illegal! This is supposed to be childrens entertainment?? Thomas the Tank Engine isn't what it used to be either.
7, Dribble. Nobody warned me about the dribble.
8, Blowing raspberries on a little babies tum is as fun as I'd hoped it would be!
9, This isn't so much of an observation but a question - why do they put pockets on baby clothes? Seriously, what are they going to keep in them?
10, Sudocream. Jolly useful stuff.

Friday, 24 June 2011


Yesterday, about half an hour after we put Joseph to bed, we could hear a loud thumping noise from upstairs. It was a lot louder than the noise he normally makes when he bashes his feet on the mattress or cot bars, so we ran upstairs to find out what was going on.
Joseph had taken an extra toy with him, a toy zebra with a teething ring attached. He likes the zebra and will often hang on tight to it. He'd got hold of the zebra and was waving in back an forth, but as he was slightly on his side, the plastic teething ring was rattling up and down the bars on the side of the cot. I had a mental image at that point of a baby in prison stripes rattling a cup up and down the bars of his cell! My baby, the Alcatraz infant!
This week has seen another big leap in his mental development. I've been playing peek-a-boo with him a lot and he's really understanding the game now. When I hold something in front of my face he doesn't loose interest, he will often wiggle his head about, as if trying to see around the barrier. When I say "Boo!" he laughs and laughs!
I joked a little while ago that he could roll across my living room floor in 10 seconds, if only he he wanted to! Today he pretty much did, he must have rolled all the way over about three times before coming to rest and then trying to eat the shoelace on my trainers!
We are still practicing standing up and sitting, but he's not showing any signs of wanting to sit up without any support yet. We've also noticed in the last week that he has decided he doesn't want to be cuddled by anyone he doesn't know well. I think this is a step forward in his understanding that he is a separate person in is own right, in that he is recognising that people are different and that some people he sees a lot of and some he doesn't. He is deciding for himself who he trusts to cuddle him! It's sweet, but it does mean I can end up holding him for a long time as people who really want baby cuddles end up handing him back pretty fast!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Getting smaller

It's funny, but I looked at Joseph today and I thought "He's really starting to look like someone!" which is an odd thing to think, but what I mean is that he's not just looking like a baby any more, you can see more and more what he will be like when he's grown. He's getting more facial expressions now and Andy has noticed that when Joseph is happy he says "Da da dat" more and when he's upset or uncomfortable he says "Na na naa!" more. We've also had some "Ba ba" sounds and a couple of "Ummum" sort of noises, but nothing that you'd consider clear communication yet. Perhaps that's too big an ask for a baby who's still several weeks from being seven months old. He's getting better at sitting though, probably wont be long before he can support himself.
In other news, the post pregnancy diet has been going quite well, I tried on some old clothes today and actually fitted in them, which prompted me to finally get out and spend the Next voucher I had been given at Christmas. Hadn't bothered before, didn't want to waste money on clothes I would hopefully be too thin for after a short while.
The diet has hit a bit of a wobble this week though, with Andys birthday and fathers day I've eaten more sausages than is sensible and had a big burger meal at Frankie and Benny's, where I had a rather naughty pudding too. I will be extra strict for the remainder of the week and hopefully undo the damage!
I don't want to loose too much more, and I'm now thinking of how to modify my diet to maintain my weight rather than shrinking it. It's good to be pretty much the size I used to be when I was quite a bit younger!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

On the move

Andy's come up with a new trick for sleeping. One of the reasons Joseph wakes up so much is that he turns anti-clockwise in his sleep and then gets wedged crosswise in the cot. Andy has been putting him down turned almost as far in a clockwise direction so that as Joseph moves while he settles, he actually is pulling himself into a more comfortable position. It really worked last night and he slept through till 6am.
Now when he wakes up he starts to chatter. He's managed to start making a "dat dat dat" sort of sound, which is quite cute, but not as much so in the early hours of the morning. I can't help but wonder if "Dada" will not be far off, but I know that is pushing it, he's barely six months old and can't even sit up without help yet. On the other hand you can stand him on his feet and put his hands on the sofa and he will support himself for a little while. He hasn't made any more progress towards crawling, but I wonder if he will bypass it and go straight to walking, after all he's getting around quite well at the moment just by rolling. He can go from one side of the room to the other in about ten seconds. Thankfully he usually gives up half way. I'm having to be so careful what I leave at floor level now, he had no concept of what happens to his head as he rolls about and he's already clonked it on a chair leg! The computer cupboard is always closed now, Joseph does like grabbing at the wires!
The dribbling is still much the same and I am still wondering if two little teeth might make an appearance soon as there are now four quite distinct whitish bumps in his gum.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sleep Cycle

And everything was going so well....
It's still ok overnight, thank goodness! But he's starting to get really fussy during the day now. You can't just give him a little blanket, he'll kick it off, get tangled in it and try to eat it. He has to be in his sleeping bag all the time and he has to have a toy nearby for entertainment and it's been a very long time since I was able to put him down and have him settle without the dummy. It's helping with the weight loss programme, I'm running up and down stairs a lot during nap times now, to deal with the screaming.
It used to be that he'd cry a little, a very sleepy cry, and then settle himself. Now he's started doing a full on cry, the kind of cry where you don't stop and give it a minute to see if he'll calm down, you just run because it sounds like he's hurt himself.
He hasn't, of course and I'm starting to think he's cottoned on to the fact that if he screams I'll come running. I'm having to pick him up out of the crib and cuddle him to calm him down, simply sticking his dummy in his mouth and walking away no longer works, all he does is scream some more.
On a lighter note, I tried him on Dairylea today. He ate a small piece, gave me a withering look that said "Mum, this isn't food!" and spat it out. Oh well, most of a Dairylea triangle for me then!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

He's getting on

It's hard to believe he's the same baby he was six months ago. Admittedly he wasn't the smallest of babies right from the start, but he was still pretty tiny! Now he seems huge, a behemoth of a child, a "little chunk" as I like to call him. He's still a littl'un, but growing!
He's mastered rolling around the floor now. I can put him at one end of his play mat, pop out of the room to get something and when I come back, he's at the other end! He will roll closer to me as I'm using the computer and grab at my feet, which usualy makes me laugh as I'm very ticklish! Every time The Cat walks past him, he makes a grab for her, something she's not too keen on!
He can focus on things very well now, something I really notice when we sit and watch "Timmy Time" together. He used to just stare at the screen, but now he focuses on the images and I can see his eyes moving about to follow them. He's getting a little better at recognising people he doesn't see every day, especially Grandma and Grandpa!
He really has found his feet now, and I mean that literally! He's got the toes of his left foot in his mouth several times now, I'm sure he's not far off with the right one! His favourite thing is still kicking, especially in his cot when he can bang them on the wooden bars making quite a noise!
We went out for lunch on tuesday, which was very nice. Joseph behaved himself in the restaraunt and ate his own dinner, but at some point in our after meal wanderings he managed to throw little brown mouse out of the pushchair without me seeing and although we did hve a good look, we didn't find it. I guess it's something to get used to, but it's annoying becasue of all of his toys it's the one where we can't go and buy a new one as it came with the toy bar on his bouncy chair! He's too chunky for that now too, it doesn't so much bounce as just bend and creak in a slightly worrying way. I've retired it now, it's packed away.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Six Months

It's nearly time for the first half-anniversary of little Joseph's birth.
It's been a fun old time, right from the word go, what with the 39 hour delivery and all. We've had some ups, some downs and a lot in between. There have been times when I've wondered if being a mother was something I should have ever considered at all and there have been times when I've cuddled him close, wishing never to let go!
He's asleep right now, at last. He awoke in the middle of his nap in a mighty bad mood, probably something to do with the very full nappy he had. Took a while to settle him back, but it seems to have worked. Now when he's upset in his cot he doesn't just holler, he rolls around. He's very good at getting from back to front, but less good the other way. So often he's crying because he's rolled onto his front and hasn't been able to get back again. This results in some quite loud, but muffled, screams. He's getting harder to settle back if he wakes. It used to be that a dummy would do the trick, but on its own it's not enough. This last week I've had to cuddle him for a while when he's woken up, he's been to distressed to settle himself back.
He's starting to get the hang of peek-a-boo now. Andy said that last night as he was putting him down, he started playing it all on his own! He was flapping the blanket over his head, yanking it back and grinning. He did this several times.
Got some good giggles this week. I have tried blowing raspberries on his belly before now, but he has either not reacted at all, or cried. This time he laughed, and what a laugh it was! He's got a giggle like nothing else I have ever heard. He also likes it if you hold him flat in your arms and wiggle him about, he really smiles at that! Playing with his feet is also good, he's always liked that.
Weaning is progressing. Got him weighed on Friday and he's gained a little more than I expected which means weaning has perhaps gone a little too well, but not so much to worry about. I wont be introducing chocolate or cream any time soon!