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See posts about: // Isabelle // Parenting // Family //

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Weaning update...

So it's not almost three weeks since we began weaning with Izzy, and I thought I'd bring you a little update on how we are getting on!

As we decided to do (our version) of baby led weaning, we jumped right in to three meals a day, and I have to say finding time to fit breakfast and lunch in for Isabelle has really thrown me! Until she started eating, breakfast for me was a bowl of cereal shovelled in as we got ready to leave the house, and lunch was generally either non-existent, or something we had when out with other people. So it has been a challenge for me to rethink our morning schedule, in particular, to make sure we have enough time to have breakfast together. As Isabelle feeds herself, I like to leave 30 minutes for each meal, as she will have a chomp, then talk for a few minutes, then stare at the dogs, then the cat, then the washing, then another chomp...so it can take a while!



Overall, I am really pleased with her progress. I've noticed her motor skills improving a lot over the last three weeks as she works out how to pick various things up, and she is improving her skills every day. She has the whole "bite, chew, swallow" thing down to a tee and - touch wood - hasn't choked on anything yet. I did have to manually evacuate an orange segment after 15 minutes one day however, although only because we were going out! She was happy as anything rolling it around in her mouth!

The list of foods she has tried grows every day - from apples to avocados, cheese to celery, melon to mince, toast to tomatoes, grapes to green beans, and plums, pears, potatoes, peaches and pineapple and a whole host more - the kid has had a LOT!



So far, her favourites seem to be:
*plum
*orange
*strawberry
*cucumber

She will give almost everything a go, but so far she has refused to put broccoli into her mouth, and wasn't to interested on her first try with meat either. It's weird as she will pick up broccoli and feel it, but it is the only thing (I think in the whole house!) that she won't even try to stick into her mouth. The only other thing she has hated is yoghurt, which actually led to her crying!




Because we follow baby led weaning, at the minute she isn't eating huge amounts, but what I love is that she is very clear on when she has had enough; she simply won't pick up, or take from us, any more food. Some days she will attack her food like a ravenous beast, other days she isn't interested, but she still get plenty of milk and has managed to put on half a pound in one week, so we aren't at all worried!



She has also taken to drinking water well. We use a Doidy cup rather than a sippy cup, and she has started to indicate when she would like some water, and holds the handles well. Every day she dribbles a little less out, and gets a little more down, and she has actually out-peed a few nappies very quickly this week due to the amount she is drinking.



All in all then, she is doing wonderfully well. Both Simon and I are so happy we have chosen the baby led approach to weaning - it's hassle free from our point of view (save the cutting up of fruit/veg into a few stick shapes!) and has made our meal times such a lovely family time which we can all enjoy.

Over the next few weeks we hope to move her on to more 'meal' type foods, with the hope that by Christmas, she is eating the same meals as we are all, as much as possible. Stay tuned to see how she (and I!) get on!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Splish, splash, baby swim lessons

I am not a great swimmer at all. I like a bit of a splash around on holiday, but nothing more serious than that. However, I have fond memories of my dad taking me swimming at our local pool every Sunday, and both Simon and I think that swimming is a really lovely family activity to do. We also want Isabelle to be confident in the water from an early age, both to enjoy swimming and to be safe in and around water.

With that in mind, we started taking her swimming when she was almost 3 months old. There are loads of swim schools in our local area but, at £14 for a half hour lesson - £140 in total for the 'term' - we decided we would just take her to our local pool ourselves.

Very worried about it being cold, we ordered Isabelle a Splash About Warm In One, which is a fleecy lined wetsuit, so she would be nice and toasty in any pool. The first time we went I was very nervous, but we assumed that she would love it as she really enjoyed splashing about in her bath. Instead, she gave us the most non-chalent face she could muster for half an hour, and couldn't have looked less bothered about the whole affair! But, since she wasn't screaming, we chalked it up to a success and decided we would continue to take her each week - or as much as we could at least. At at just £7.30 for  us to go to our local pool, it was certainly much cheaper than the lessons!

However, a few weeks later I saw a great deal on LivingSocial for 8 swim lessons with a local swim school for just £40. Since that is even cheaper than it would be at our local pool, we decided to snap that offer up, and I'm really glad we did!

Yesterday was our last lesson and I have to say, the lessons were super. We hadn't quite managed to 'dunk' Izzy ourselves, but of course this was something the classes focused on. The main idea of the lessons is to teach small babies what to do if they should fall into the water, and all activities focused on teaching them to float on their back, be confident under water, and move to the edge and grab the bar to stay safe.


Izzy was the youngest in the class, but she did a great job every week. She wasn't worried about being dunked, and generally enjoyed splashing about, singing the songs, having a look at the other babies and playing with all the new toys. I think Simon and I both benefitted from learning a bit more about how to help her become confident in water, and we both know that we need to continue dunking her under and teaching her how to float if we want her to remember the skills she has learnt. So, overall, the lessons were a success. I have to say that we were both really surprised that, after the first week, Simon and I were the only parents who both went into the water with their baby - everyone else had one parent in and one on the side. But, for us, swimming is a family activity, and we want Isabelle to be safe and happy with both of us in the pool.


I think we will maybe take a break from swimming next week, giving us a chance to do something else on a Sunday afternoon, and will maybe only go once every few weeks from now on. But we will continue to take her swimming as often as we can, and help her build up her confidence and skill in the water so she is a little water baby in no time!

After a quick dunking! 

(Simon took the photos one week when he was sick and couldn't join us in the pool.)




Thursday, 24 October 2013

Decorating for Halloween

I don't know if I am just getting old, because this seems like an old person thing to say, but when I was younger, I don't remember people DECORATING their houses for Halloween. But in the last week, our street has become a Halloween haven, with ghosts, pumpkins, witches and flashing lights popping up in every other house or garden. Obviously, I can't snap pictures of my neighbours houses and put them online, so instead I thought I would share a few Halloween decorations which have caught my eye online. They certainly aren't as flashy as my neighbours, however....






Compared to most of our street, our house looks decidedly bare! I'm sure when Isabelle is bigger we will be joining them, and carving pumpkins galore, but for now, we will save our decorating energy for Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review: bumGenius Freetime

I've been neglecting my cloth reviews for a while in favour of other products, so I thought this week I'd throw in some cloth love! I recently bought 7 bumGenius Freetimes from BabaMe in various sales, after trying one out and LOVING it. I was initially pretty resistant to both all in one nappies and bumGenius nappies, but have been proved very wrong!
(No pretty pictures today sadly! A boring day!)

bumGenius Freetime


Details:

A birth to potty (8-35lbs), all in one nappy with microfibre inserts and a PUL outer. Comes in both applix and snap closures, along with a variety of colours and some prints.

Fit:

This nappy is supposed to fit from 8lbs, but I don't see that to be honest. Isabelle was at least 14lbs when I started using them, and they were on the tightest setting then. She is now almost 18lbs, and only recently have I had to move up a rise setting and out one waist setting. That said, for her at this age the fit is great and I can't fault it at all. Snug in all the right places, but no too tight. BumGenius have a patented stretchy tab system on their closure tabs, so they get a nice snug fit every time. The leg elastic seems really gentle which is great.

Containment:

These are honestly the ONLY nappy I have never had a wee leak from. Even nappies which are supposedly more absorbent have leaked for me, but these never have. I can take one off and it is totally sodden, but events though it is microfibre, and is therefore supposedly prone to compression leaks, I have found the inserts totally sodden and flattened with no leaks at all! Containment of solids is good as well, but it have had one or two leaks on that front.

Washing:

One great feature of the Freetime is the way the inner microfibre inserts "flap" out. This means they are very quick to dry which is wonderful - they are dry in 24hours for me. BumGenius also say you can bleach all their products to get rid of stains. I haven't done this myself, but know of people who have, so if you we worried about stains or bacteria, then that would be a great bonus. I do find that the stay dry topper of the microfibre does stain quite badly, but I know that they are clean, and they sun well.

Ease of use:

Flap the two flaps in and your done. How anyone couldn't do that would be a mystery! Very simple - nothing to fold or stuff! The inserts are marked to fold them down when the nappy is snapped to th smallest rise, but I didn't find I needed to, so you literally just whack it on a bum!

Appearance and quality:

As with all bumGenius nappies, this comes in a range of block colours - some of which have just been discontinued - and a few prints. Bumgenius don't traditionally do a lot of prints, but have brought out a new series in the last week to add to their collection. I don't mind the block colours of bumGenius, as their quality is generally much higher, and colours much nicer, than many other brands. These are clearly high quality, with a lot of effort put into making them user friendly.

Cost:
£15.99 which is comparable with many other all in ones, and they do often run offers.

Bug bears:

None at all! I can't believe how much I love these nappies - I just wish I could afford a full set as they are quite expensive. But you get what you pay for! I'm interested to see how the microfibre holds up unboosted as Isabelle grows though...

Overall:
No surprise I think - I give the bumGenius Freetime a 5/5! They are simple to use, wash and dry well, and although they aren't they nicest to look at from my stash, they do look good! I will hopefully be able to buy more and more of these in time!

If you've used Freetimes, how did you find them? 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Heading to Halloween...

Halloween is coming, and the goose is getting fat - or so the old rhyme goes! Who can believe that the end of October is coming so quickly towards us?

Of course, in the UK Halloween isn't as big a deal as in many the countries, but kids still love to dress up, and I think that it's starting to become more popular. We certainly got a lot of trick or treaters last year over the Halloween week. (Suddenly wondering how to handle the constant doorbell ringing with a sleeping baby - may have to get some to disconnect it?!)

Isabelle is still a little young for trick or treating, however we do have a special Halloween Baby Sensory session to go to, and so Simon bought Izzy a little pumpkin babygro from Tesco for the occasion.

For the more 'serious' dresser-uppers out there, here are some of my personal favourite baby/toddler/child Halloween outfits - where do some parents get the ideas and time to do these?!

I love this! It's so silly, but so cute! And on a similar note.....

Up!

This one just boggles my mind, I cannot figure it out - but I love it!

This is just random and hilarious!

Such a cute idea for a little one who can't walk.

Baby wearing at Halloween - what could be better?!

What will your little one be wearing this Halloween?

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Currently coveting crunchiness...

A few times recently I've thought about doing a 'currently coveting' post after seeing them on lots of other blogs. But when I try, I can't get that excited about anything for myself in terms of clothes etc.

However, I do find myself constantly looking online at a few different bits and bobs - and in true Natural Momma in Me style, they are all 'crunchy' mummy things, and things based around Izzy! So, here is my list of some 'crunchy' things I am currently coveting.

1// Ring slings
A lovely friend lent me her ring sling to try out, and I love it and know I need my own! The only problem is...which one!? You can get them in all price ranges (from £20-£120+) and every colour and pattern you can think of.
I love the Little Frog ring slings (available from b2boutique.co.uk) in both the Amethyst and rainbow styles, the Neobulle Feng Shui Glamour and the Oscha Ladybirds Juliet (available from oschaslings.com)
  


2// The new bumGenius prints
For ages I was resistant to buying any bumGenius nappies, I'm not sure why really. Then, when I tried them as part of my nappy library kit, I loved them and HAD to buy some! The only issue for me was that they didn't have lots of lovely, funky designs. Now, they have just brought out 4 new prints covering all their nappies varieties - what are they trying to do to me?! This one, based on Alice in Wonderland, really caught my eye as it's so girly.

3// Leg warmers and leggings
I recently reviewed Huggalugs legs warmers from Nappy Kind Boutique , and wrote about how leg warmers are a pretty staple part of many crunchy mommas baby wardrobes. Well, so too are baby leggings. When I say leggings, I don't mean the sort that you wear under a dress (or as the case for teenagers seems to be, you wear them instead of trousers), I mean leggings like these (both from NKB). They are comfy, stretchy and designed with a nice big bum area specially for cloth bums. I love the two prints below, and Frugi have some lovely ones which match their clothes AND some nappy prints. The mama who lent me her ring sling is particularly wonderful at co-ordinating her Frugi outfits for her little man (Isabelle's boyfriend!)

Leg warmer wise I am in love with these snowflake LW from Tiny Nippers, and the Candy Sparkle Stripe from Nappy Kind Boutique. (Don't forget to get your 10% off code for Nappy Kind Boutique exclusive to my readers here!)


4// Onesies for Izzy
OK, these aren't really a crunchy thing at all, but I need more of these in our lives. I don't mean onesies as in babygros/sleepsuits, I mean onesies that look like adult onesies shrunken down (that's the best way I can describe it!) I have bought two for Isabelle - one from Tesco, and the other from M&S, and I adore them both on her. They are so soft and cuddly, and just seem so comfy! They also keep her looking lovely and 'baby', and are super practical too. There is nothing about these that I don't love! This is Izzy rocking her 'Aztec' print onesie from Tesco. (It is listed under their 'nightwear' section - but I beg to differ as who would put a baby to bed in something with a hood?)

5// Grimm's wooden toys
Simon and I are both big fans of wooden toys for Isabelle. Everything we have so far for her for Christmas (don't worry - only 4 things! And she is underprivileged so won't be getting too much more from us!) is a wooden toy - or partially wooden at least. The Grimm's toys are just beautiful, and I especially love their Rainbow, and the stacking toys like the tower boat. They are just so beautiful, and I love how these toys are generally more 'open ended' than most 'normal' toys, and the fact that they are hand crafted and made of non-toxic products is a definite bonus.

So there you have it - my currently coveting list. Now, just to find the money to support all these crunchy ways...

Friday, 18 October 2013

The joy a baby girl can bring

I've always made a big effort to visit my granny as much as I can. When I was little, I went to her house after school, and as I have gotten older, I have tried to visit as much as I can. While I was working full time it was more difficult, but I knew when I was off and Isabelle arrived I would try to visit her each week.

My granny was beyond delighted when Isabelle - her 5th great-grandchild - appeared as a girl, after having 5 grandsons/great-grandsons born in 5 years. Throughout my pregnancy, she told me she was praying for a girl, and she must hold some weight with The Big Man, as her prayers were answered!

Since Izzy arrived, we have visited her (almost!) each week, and her delight at watching Isabelle grow, and at getting to spend time with her, is so clear every time we see her. She simply adores Isabelle, and Izzy is always so content to simply sit with her, nice and quietly, giving her great-granny a nice cuddle. Everything Izzy does, my granny thinks is simply the most marvellous thing, and it's so lovely for me to get to watch them together and see the joy Izzy brings to her.



On Tuesday when we visited, the sun was shining so I suggested we go for a short walk around the park. Since a fall last year, when she broke her hip, Granny hasn't been able to get out and about much, and I know she sometimes feels very trapped in the house. So she jumped at the chance, and we enjoyed a lovely little walk round the park, before Isabelle had a push on the swing.

The pair of them are like two peas in a pod- Izzy was more interested in looking all round her than the actual swinging, and my granny was more interested in looking all round her than watching Izzy! Then, when we got home, they both conked out! (And no joke, I actually thought my granny had died as she fells I deeply asleep!)

She later told my mum it was the best day she has had in a long time, and it made me so happy to hear that something we had done with her, something as simple as a walk round the park, had pleased her so much. Granny is 84, so the likelihood is that Isabelle won't know her for long, but I love knowing that at the minute, while she is still with us, Izzy and I can bring so much joy to her great-granny.

Enjoying a push on the swing

And the winners are...

If you entered the joint NMIN, SCJ-Photography and Photography by Marc Lawson competition you may be waiting to find out who the winners are...is it you?!

Remember the prizes were as follows:

1st place: 1 framed SCJ-Photography print, 1 framed Photography by Marc Lawson print and a 'Northern Ireland Landscapes 2014' calendar

2nd place: 1 SCJ-Photography print, 1 Photography by Marc Lawson print and a 'Northern Ireland Landscapes 2014' calendar

3rd place: 1 print from either SCJ-Photography OR Photography by Marc Lawson print and a 'Northern Ireland Landscapes 2014' calendar

And the winners are:

1st Place: Diane Semionova

2nd Place: Rebecca Bodkin

3rd Place: Darren Longthorne

Congratulations to our 3 winners! Make sure you check your inbox for an email with info on how to claim you prize!

Thanks to all who entered - maybe those of you who didn't win will be more lucky next time!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Exclusive 10% off code for Nappy Kind Boutique!

Following on from my review of Huggalugs leg warmers last Saturday, the lovelies over at Nappy Kind Boutique have offered Natural Momma In Me readers an exclusive 10% off code, which can be applied to ANYTHING on their website!! Simply enter 'feelingchilly' at the checkout!

Not sure what to go for?

How about this super cute bear romper to get your little one through the cold weather which is descending on us? (£19.99)



Or what about this Cath Kidston Flower gift set - maybe a great Christmas present for someone you know? (£24.99)


Or these Georgie the Jiraffe shoes have GOT to win you over! (£12.99)

Finally, this Blue and Green Owl Hat is a must have for the winter months - how adorable!?
Not seen anything yet? Pop on over to Nappy Kind Boutique and find the perfect gift for your little one, or a Christmas gift for someone else for Christmas. Don't forget to use your EXCLUSIVE 10% off voucher code by entering feelingchilly at the checkout!

(And don't forget, there is only ONE DAY LEFT to enter the Natural Momma In Me photography giveaway! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter here here here!)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review: Salter Mi Baby Baby and Toddler Scales

One of the first questions asked when a baby is born, or in the weeks following their birth is about their weight. Weight and babies go hand in hand - with health visitors and doctors using weigh to keep a close eye on the progress of a baby to ensure that they are getting plenty to eat and a baby who is gaining weight is generally seen as 'thriving'.

Isabelle's weight is something I like to keep a close eye on. As a breastfed baby, in particular, it's hard for me to ensure that she is getting plenty to eat, and so regular weight checks help put my mind at ease that she is getting plenty and is doing well. However, health visitor visits are few and far between after the first few months, so many parents like to own their own set of baby scales in order to keep track of their baby's weight gain in their own home.


The Salter Mi Baby Baby & Toddler Electronic Scales available from Origin are one way of doing this. The scales are suitable, not only for babies, but for toddlers and children right up to 4 stone, and cleverly adapt to grow with your child for easy measurement.

The scales are so easy to set up - they even come with batteries which is rare these days! I literally took them from the box and was able to use them without even a cursory glance at the instructions. Like my health visitors' scales, the Mi Baby scales have a long 'tray' in which to lie a baby for easy measurement, and Isabelle was happy to lie down each time I wanted to weigh her (she has clothes on for the sake of her modesty here!)


The scales read out in kilos which, although isn't traditionally what us Brits use to talk about baby weight, is actually the measurement used by health care professionals for babies and is always easy to translate into pounds and ounces. The large digital display was clear and easy to read.

The scales then convert to toddler scales with the addition of a handle to help keep little ones steady and focused on the scales - as demonstrated by beautiful Jacob below. They simply stand on the scales as normal, and the read out is taken in the same way.


The scales also come with a great height chart to track your little ones growth upwards - two charts actually; one in feet and inches, the other in centimetres. There are stickers to easily pop onto the chart to show what height they are at each age, and plenty of blank stickers to fill in on your own, which I think is a simple but very practical idea.



Along with being able to take readings of your baby or toddler's weight, what is really clever about the Mi Baby scales is that they come with PC software to track your little one's progress - their weight, height, BMI, teeth and developmental milestones. Using the software provided, you simply input the data in to the program, and you can save each child's information under their own section to keep track of their development, alongside up to 3 siblings. Think of it as the digital version of you 'red book' from the health visitor - one you can update easily, and keep track of very quickly.

Overall, the Mi Baby Scales are simple, easy to set up, and easy to use. Most of all, they give parents the peace of mind that their little one is growing up big and strong, all in the comfort of your own home. The Salter Baby and Toddler Mi Baby Scales are available from Origin for £79.99, and come with a 15 year guarantee.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Silent Sunday 13/10/13

SCJ-Photography
Don't forget you can still enter the competition to win one of 3 photography prizes using the rafflecopter here!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Review: Huggalugs Leg Warmers

Leg warmers are very popular amongst mums who use cloth nappies and baby wear so, to me, they are a pretty "every day" item, while I know many mums probably think we are completely mad for using them - but let me convince you otherwise! I hadn't managed to actually buy any of my own for Isabelle yet, so I was thrilled when Nappy Kind Boutique got in touch and asked me to try out some of their new range of Huggalugs leg warmers.

I chose the "Aster Twist" Huggalugs leg warmers, which I thought were a  nice girly colour - without being too girly. They also have a winter/Christmas feel to them, so are perfect as we move into the colder months. These leg warmers cost £7.99 from NKB, and are suitable for babies and toddlers alike, as one size fits all. I was thrilled when they arrived, and couldn't wait to get a chance to get them on to Miss Isabelle! They were so soft to the touch, beautifully made, and very stretchy with nice soft elastic. Isabelle looked lovely in them, and they were so quick and easy to put on her and have washed very well, staying almost as soft as new.



So...what the heck am I using leg warmers for? Don't I buy her trousers?! Of course I do...but leg warmers definitely have their place in any baby wardrobe too. Here are some situations I use our Huggalugs in:

* When carrying Isabelle in her wrap, especially moving into the colder weather, as her little leggies are out wriggling about
* When we are lounging round the house so I don't need to fuss with trousers/leggings/tights for nappy changes
* Instead of tights or leggings underneath a dress
* To put on as an "extra layer" for when we go out in the car seat (blankets just get kicked off, and coats only come down so far!)
* To add extra warmth over tights when we are out and about (see below! Very mismatched, but never mind!)

They are so easy to keep in my change bag, and throw on her (arms or legs!) if I feel she is getting a bit chilly. I know that when Izzy starts crawling our wooden floors will be tough on her little knees, so her Huggalugs will provide a good layer of protection for her soft skin.



Now, my only tough choice is which pair of Huggalugs to go for next? There are around 30 patterns to choose from, but I think I have my eye on the candy stripe next, or maybe the lace flower, or the pretty rose....

You can get your own beautiful Huggalugs from Nappy Kind Boutique, in a range of great patterns for boys and girls, and you can follow them on Twitter, and find them on Facebook.

(Don't forget, there is still time to enter the NMIM giveaway to win 1 of 3 prizes! Simply enter using the rafflecopter here!)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Welcome to (baby led) Weaning...

Leave your OCD at the door!

Well, here we are. Isabelle's half birthday has been (and gone) and, following the World Health Organisation recommendations, Isabelle was exclusively breastfed until 6 months. That - if you will let me have a little boast - is something I am very proud of.

Now, where do we go from here? Simon and I eat homemade food every night, and we want Isabelle to eat homemade food too. However, as a crunchy momma, I am not about to start peeling and pureeing fruit and veg and spoon feeding Isabelle. Let's face it - I am far too lazy. I can barely work a peeler, and I certainly will not be spending my evenings peeling loads of fruit/veg, steaming it, pureeing it and freezing it - it just is not for me. If you are like I was a few months ago, you won't know that there is any other option, but happily I stumbled upon Baby Led Weaning (blw) and knew immediately that it was how I would introduce Izzy to solids. This is a very basic overview of blw and why we have chosen to go the blw route with Izzy.


Firstly, I truly believe the mantra that 'food is for fun until one'. What that means is that until Isabelle is around 1 year old, her milk will supply the bulk of her food and nutrients, with solid food supplementing that. As she approaches 1, she will gradually up her intake of solid food and reduce her milk feeds in her own time.

And 'in her own time' is really the key to blw. Instead of us feeding Isabelle, we are here to help her to learn to eat and feed herself. It might not sound that different, but let me put it this way: you don't teach a baby to walk by moving their feet for them - you provide opportunities for them to move their feet themselves, until they are able to walk themselves. Blw provides Izzy with opportunities to try food for herself, and learn all about food, and all about eating, without any pressure from us to actually eat. The emphasis is not on how much, or what, she is eating, the emphasis is on her gaining the skill set to feed herself, and learn about what food she likes or doesn't like. To do that, she is offered 'real' pieces of food, basically finger food. We decided we want to start with sticks of fruit/veg but in a fortnight or so we will move on to include basically everything else we eat. We'll cook, and she will get a whack of whatever we have.


For her to start blw, she needed to be able to do 2 major things: sit up unaided (check) and pick up items and move them to her mouth with accuracy (check). That way, we know she can sit and pick up her own food, and if she wants to put it in her mouth - she can. If she wants to smoosh it into her hair, or on the table, that's OK too! (Not ideal, but OK!)

Blw is all about learning, and putting Izzy in control of her meal times. I want to give her the chance to learn for herself what food is and what she is supposed to do with it. I want to offer her the opportunity to progress her dexterity and hand/eye coordination by handling her own food, of all shapes and sizes. I want to allow her the chance to learn about the colour, texture, smell and taste of different foods, and learn what she likes and what she doesn't. If I mix apple, banana and pear and offer it all at once on a spoon, she might know there is something there she hates, but she doesn't know what it is, so she will reject it all. If I offer her a piece of apple, a piece of pear and a piece of banana she will know she doesn't like that weird yellow thing, but still eat the apple and pear.


Mostly, I want to give Isabelle control. So far, I have let her do everything in her own time. I haven't forced her to do anything on MY schedule, and eating is no different. I will give her the opportunity to eat by offering her food at meal times. I know she CAN pick it up, put it in her mouth and bite a bit off,  so if she wants to, then she can. If she doesn't want to, she doesn't have to. Chewing food is a natural progression for a breastfed baby, as the motion they make when feeding is more of a 'chew' motion with their jaw than a sucking motion as they would with a bottle. So I don't have to worry about her not being able to handle the chunks of food in her mouth.

Blw offers us the chance to put Izzy in control of her eating, and to hopefully develop a healthy attitude to her eating with no pressure from anyone to eat a certain amount, or to eat a certain food. If she wants it, she will eat it; if not, she won't.


Last night, at 6 months exactly, we began. Ironically, Simon wanted to make a batch of soup - basically pureed vegetables! - so he cooked the butternut squash, parsnip and carrot for that. While he went on to blend ours, Isabelle was given the finger sized chunks of vegetables. We ate at the same time as she did, and she was at the table with us the whole time. To be honest, she couldn't have been less interested - I think she was wondering where her beloved spoons had gone to! But she did pick up a piece of each vegetable eventually and have a go. The parsnip got smooshed up, the butternut squash and carrot made it to the mouth, and chunks were bitten off! I am pretty sure a little bit was even chewed and swallowed! That might not sound impressive, but this child has never - IN HER LIFE - swallowed anything except breast milk. Yet she managed to eat a piece of carrot, just like that! Her daddy and I were suitably proud! Yes, she may not have eaten a lot, but that isn't what is important to us with blw. What's important is that last night, Isabelle learnt. She learnt that some things can be broken up in her mouth. She learnt that some things can be swallowed. She learnt how to spit things out that she doesn't want. She learnt that parsnip is fun to squish. She learnt that carrot is OK...but butternut squash clearly is not! (Last picture!) Most of all, she learnt this all by herself. Tomorrow, she will learn something new - something about peaches, pears, melon, broccoli or whatever else we have in the house for her to munch on. And over the next few months as we introduce all the other types of food, she will learn about those to.

All in her own time.






If you want to learn more about BLW, just Google! There are LOADS of resources out there, including a great book by Gill Rapley which gives lots of detail about the rationale behind blw, how to start, and some recipes to get going. There are several different ways to go about blw, we've tailored our approach to suit our life with Isabelle.

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