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17/12/2018

It's just milestone after milestone these days

Peyton will be six months old on Thursday. SIX MONTHS.

I don't quite know where the time has gone. The first three months went quickly, but the last three just seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye.



We are getting to the stage now where it's constant milestones, too.

Obviously, we've already started weaning so we can cross that one off. But we've also just put her in her own room. This was a big one for me.

In my head, she was going to be in our room until around six months. But six months has come around so quick, as we've just established.



When we were buying the majority of the stock from Mamas and Papas, we decided we would get a SnuzPod instead of a Moses basket. We figured she would last longer in the SnuzPod as they were considerably bigger than a Moses basket; which would mean that she would stay in our room longer.

If you are pregnant now and considering what to get for baby to sleep in in your bedroom, I'd highly recommend a SnuzPod. Peyton's slept in it every night, with the side down, alongside our bed. She slept in her Sleepyhead (another must-buy!) and has been happy and content, on the whole, every night.



However, I could tell she was starting to get a little bit cramped in her Sleepyhead. When I'd put her down for her naps in the day she liked sprawling out, but she was more restricted in the Sleepyhead. We decided that we would try her without the Sleepyhead to see if she could sleep ok without it before we forked out for the bigger, next size up Sleepyhead.

Friday night was the first night of this - we picked a night when Tom wasn't at work the next day incase we had an unsettled night. She went down absolutely fine but, when she stirred around midnight, she just wouldn't go back off in her SnuzPod. Each time I put her back down, and she was asleep, she would try roll onto her front but, because the SnuzPod wasn't wide enough, she just face planted the side and woke herself up. After a few attempts, I realised she probably needed to be in her cot.



I got up and took her through to her own room, but by this time she was wide awake. As soon as I put her in her cot she thought it was playtime and was flashing me all the big smiles while flailing her arms and legs around. Cute, but not ideal at 3am.



In the end, we succumbed and put her back in the Sleepyhead in the SnuzPod, and she was out like a light.

The next night, we decided to bite the bullet and put her in her cot, in her own room, from the off. We did our bedtime routine as usual and put her to bed in her own room. She was absolutely fine!

She woke up after 45 mins - which seems to be a common theme at the moment - but after a feed she went straight back down. We heard nothing from her until 2.30 when she woke for a feed. When I went to put her back down, she wasn't quite sure and took a bit of settling. However, after about half 15 minutes she soon soothed herself and was out like a light until 6.45am!



She was really tired all day yesterday, so I wondered if she was awake and rolling around for quite a while before she made enough noise for me to hear her and go get her up.

Last night she had a similar routine to the night before. Although, instead of waking up at 6.45am, she woke for a quick feed at 5.30am and then went straight back to sleep until just before 8am. I felt like a new woman sleeping in until 8am!

And so, tonight is the third night of her sleeping in her own room. She's been asleep just over an hour so far and, touch wood, she hasn't stirred yet. She seems to be quite taken with sleeping on her side/her front. As soon as I put her down she almost instantly rolls onto her front. She is a very good roller so I don't mind so much, as I know she can roll back to her back if she needs to. She is also good at pushing herself up, so I don't worry she'll get stuck. However she is comfy is fine by me.



She has also taken to sucking her thumb. It was inevitable, I knew it was coming. Pretty much as soon as she was born she was sucking her thumb!

I'm currently typing this from the comfort of my bed while watching Love Actually.



While I'm so, so sad that she's no longer right by my side, it's actually lovely to be able to watch a film in bed again, and have a shower in the en suite after I have put her to bed, and get ready for bed with the light on. It's also nice to not have to worry when I need to cough in the night and not accidentally kick her crib when I violently roll over.



I said to Tom the other day that we are coming into the period now where it is going to be milestone after milestone. We're still waiting for her to be able to sit up unaided. She is so close, but she just flops to the side a couple of seconds after letting go.

I've managed to capture a few split seconds before the flop which, if I posted on social media, would look like she was a competent sitter upper. However, in reality, she's just like a little drunk person who can't stay upright for more than a few seconds without being supported.



After the above picture was taken she just flopped to the side like a bike that you've taken the stabilisers off. I'm going to have to start putting a helmet on the poor girl soon, the amount of times a day she must just fall to the side and bump her head!

She'll get there when she's ready.

Another milestone that will come with her turning six months is my original goal of breastfeeding. I always said I just wanted to get to six months; something that seemed impossible in those first few days and weeks. Now, however, I can't imagine stopping yet. Given her reluctance to take a bottle, too, it's going to be difficult to wean her off just yet. She takes her sippy cup really well, and is happy to have expressed milk from there, but I don't think I could keep up the demand for milk and express enough everyday for her. So, we'll just have to take each day as it comes in terms of breastfeeding and work out when our final milestone for that will be. I don't really still want to be breastfeeding beyond her being 1, so if we're still going then I will definitely start weaning her off then. She can have cows milk then so hopefully I can just do a straight swap.

However, I'm sure when she gets teeth (yet another milestone!) that'll determine how soon we actually stop. It's making my toes curl already just thinking about it.

We're on the final countdown to Christmas now. I know she won't have a clue what's going on, but it's going to be so special for us. I can't wait to take loads of photos and videos to show her when she's older. I loved it, when I was little, watching videos back from my first Christmas.

If I don't get a chance to write again before Christmas (which is unlikely because, let's be honest, I'm hardly consistent at the moment!) then I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! I will be back to spam you all with my life in 2019! xxx



An update on our weaning journey

I wrote recently about how we'd started doing baby-led weaning (BLW) with Peyton and I just wanted to check back in with a little update on how that's going.



She's been having, where possible, three meals a day now for 10 days. The days where we have been out and about I've not bothered with dinner. I'll sometimes take something for her to snack on - a Kiddilicious wafer or some Ella's Kitchen snack - or I'll let her have a little something off my plate, but nothing major. It's too much faff, too much effort and way too much cleaning up!

She's had breakfast almost everyday, ranging from Weetabix (absolute carnage) to just fruit, and croissants to waffles.



So far, everything she has tried she has liked. There hasn't been anything that she hasn't taken to. We've also had not much in the way of gagging. The worst time was probably Friday night where she coughed so hard she made herself sick - not just a little bit, either; it was proper waterfall stuff (if you know, you know!)



So, some of the things she has been having since I last wrote...

She's had 'picky' meals - usually when I cba! These have consisted of cucumber sticks, chopped cherry tomatoes, Babybel, ham, and usually something from Ella's Kitchen (melty puff, rice cakes etc). We've also substituted the ham and Babybel for Dairylea on bread and, oh my, it's taken me back to my own childhood having that with her!



She's had lasagne and peas which seemed to be a firm favourite. It was also a firm favourite with me as she slept through the night that night from 8.30pm-6am for the first time in two months! 



We've also tried waffles topped with puree and fruit, greek yoghurt (another firm favourite), Cheerios, pulled pork with potatoes and carrots, a beef casserole, a croissant, salmon and broccoli pasta, bolognese pasta bake, crumpets, peanut butter pancakes, cheese and tomato pastry wheels, scrambled egg and pizza.

She's crammed a lot into 10 days!

It's all going quite well so far. We're still trying with pre-loaded spoons for things that would be ridiculous to expect her to eat with her fingers. She's getting better each time with the spoon. It's amazing how clever babies are and how quickly they learn things.



She's still feeding a lot and still feeding from me. As I said before, I usually offer food 30-60 minutes after a feed and will always offer to feed her straight after. Last week she was feeding like she was a newborn again, it was every two hours during the day - sometimes even more frequently - and every three hours at night. I'm not sure what that was about. I thought she maybe had a tooth coming, but still no sign!



I'm going to try take her to be weighed tomorrow as it's been over six weeks now, I think. It doesn't really matter what she weighs, but I'm just curious to know. Someone said to me today that she looked small to say she's almost six months. That was, until, I stood her up and she saw how long/tall she is!


I must say, my favourite thing about weaning her so far has to be the faces that Peyton pulls. When she sees something new, when she tries something new, and just her general faces are absolutely hilarious. She has always been quite expressive but she's even more so now she's eating.

Honestly, it's amazing seeing everyday how much she is learning just from the day before.

If you'd like to follow our BLW journey I have set up a specific Instagram account for it, so as not to bother everyone on my own Instagram anymore than I already do!



09/12/2018

Weaning

We've hit a massive milestone this week and have started Peyton on proper food food. We've waved goodbye to the purees and said a big hello to proper solid solids.



I've touched on weaning before, but will quickly recap now.

We started giving Peyton pureed vegetable(s) at tea time around 18/19 weeks. She was showing all the signs of being ready and, when we gave them to her, she didn't gag or spit it out - so I knew she was game. We introduced porridge at breakfast time a week or so ago. By this time, she was comfortably having two, sometimes three, full little plastic weaning pots of vegetables and/or fruit at tea time.



We'd also started giving her some finger foods as well, to get her used to feeding herself. Namely the Ella's Kitchen melty sticks and melty puffs and the Kiddylicious wafers. The Ella's Kitchen ones were great as they were like Wotsits and just melted in her mouth. She had more luck with the sticks than the puffs as they were longer and easier to hold/put in her mouth and suck. Similarly with the wafers, they looked like a little surf board-shaped prawn cracker. But, they too melted in her mouth. She was getting really good at her hand-eye coordination and everything was going straight in her mouth and being sucked/gummed and, sometimes, swallowed.

I had wanted to do baby-led weaning (BLW) with Peyton - which is basically where you feed your baby exactly what you eat (with the exception of honey as they can't have anything with honey in/on until they are 1 and no whole nuts as they're a choking hazard). I'll also limit the amount of salt and sugar she has - so she won't eat exactly what I do - but you catch my drift.

I joined a group on Facebook to get ideas/top tips etc. in preparation for starting and, while it was great for these, it was also one of the most judgemental, attacking places I have seen. I know these mum won't, on the whole, mean any malice, and probably just have everyone's best interests at heart. But if a mum thinks their baby is ready, and is being safe with it, nobody should have any opinion on that. I have touched on it before, how the perfect mum brigade on there would jump on anyone who so much as suggested weaning their babies before 6 months/26 weeks and were quick to shoot down anyone who said they were going to progress from purees to BLW. In fact, I myself was shot down about this.

"It's not BLW if you've started with purees, that's traditional weaning."



I'm no expert, but to me, it's still baby led as I don't feed her. She takes the lead. I just put the food in front of her and she feeds herself. We just dived straight in with solid stuff, we didn't gradually go to thicker, chunkier purees first.

I've seen people say introducing purees can increase the choking risk when you do start on solids, as they just get used to swallowing, but that's definitely not been the case with us. If anything, I think it's helped her because it's going so well so far. Tom is a bit worried that she's not 'eating' as much as when she was having purees. She used to scoff down three pots sometimes, but obviously won't eat that much yet of her solid food. But, as I said to him, if she's hungry she'll just take more milk from me. I've tried, where possible, to use the purees I made as a sauce or spread or filling, so that she is still consuming them somehow but just in/on something else. And, if we find BLW stops working for us, we'll revert right back to purees. I'm not precious about it like some mums are on this group.

Some absolutely lose their mind when they find out someone has spoon-fed their baby a pouch of fruit, or they've given them a jar of food. Heaven forbid. I mean, they've been fed - surely that's the main thing? Chill the chuff out.

Anyway, I digress...

We started our BLW journey on Friday. I know, she's not six months yet. Bad mummy. But she was showing all the signs and was absolutely desperate to feed herself. When we'd give her the purees she was grabbing the spoon and feeding herself it, and she was forever trying to pinch bits off our plates.

So, we took the decision to begin. We started off simple and she had steamed apple slices with cinnamon on for breakfast. It smelt amazing - next time she has them I'm putting some on my porridge for me!



She did really, really well to say it was her first proper go at eating anything solid. It went in her mouth and she managed to chew and swallow some bits.

We were out at lunchtime and hadn't gone prepared, so we just picked some peppers off what we were eating and she gummed down on them. Most ended up on the floor, though. She was a fan of the potato wedge we let her have, though! That was demolished rather quickly.

Tea that night was a spinach and ricotta tortellini in a broccoli, pea and spinach sauce (aka a pot of puree left in the fridge!) with steamed tenderstem broccoli and asparagus. I'd seen that tenderstem was easier for them to hold as it was that bit longer than regular broccoli.





She did amazing to say it was her first go. The girl definitely loves her greens!

Day two, and Saturday morning's breakfast was Weetabix soaked in some expressed breast milk topped with chopped grapes and blueberries. Weetabix will definitely be a breakfast she has when Tom is home to help with the clean up because it was messy. She seemed to really enjoy it but, my God, it looked like she'd been covered in baby lotion and rolled around in sand! She was straight in the bath.




She ate quite a lot, though - despite how much it looked like she was wearing! We tried some pre-loaded spoons to see how she got on with those and she actually did really well. Some die-hard BLW-ers will slate you for starting on purees but I honestly thing it's prepared Peyton really, really well. She can move food around her mouth, she isn't gagging, and she's great with a pre-loaded spoon. Obviously every baby is different, but it's worked really well for her.





For lunch she had toast fingers with butter, a hard boiled egg and some beans - we had poached eggs on toast with beans and bacon, so it was our first time sitting down and, almost, eating the same thing. She wasn't so sure on the toast at first but she soon came round and couldn't shovel it in quick enough. The egg was a hit too and every time she smiled I could see beans tucked in her gums!





Teatime and she had fish fingers with cheesy mash, peas and steamed tenderstem broccoli. The broccoli is deffo one of her faves - but, then it was when she had her purees too! She always goes for that first and bites all the tree bits off. The mash and peas were a success, too, with us doing some more pre-loaded spoons for her. She was unsure about the fish fingers at first, but as with everything else once she started she couldn't get it in fast enough.




It was the first time we've given her anything other than fruit or veg, but I figured fish was a good place to start as it's flaky and not dry, so will be easy to chew/gum and swallow.





Today has been day three and we all started with pancakes for breakfast. Peyton had strawberry, apple and banana compote (aka a leftover pot of puree in the fridge, but compote sounds way fancier) in hers and some strawberries on the side. We had Nutella on ours, but she's too small for that amount of sugar first thing just yet!



The pancake went down an absolute treat! Next time, I'd maybe make hers a little thicker. Because it was quite thin it did break easily when she picked it up. Not that it seemed to bother her, and I guess it means it's easier to swallow that way. She didn't touch the side of strawberries, but I'm not too bothered about how much she eats - it's more about her learning what to do with it. Already I'm seeing her get better and better each day.



We ended up being out for lunch. We had Sunday dinner at a pub so just picked bits off our plate to give to P. She had a bit of carrot, cabbage, mash, pork and Yorkshire pudding. It was all received well but, of course, the Yorkshire pudding went down best.





And, finally, onto her tea for today. She had cheesy macaroni with peas and asparagus as well as some Ella's Kitchen carrot and sweet potato rice cakes topped with a carrot, apple and hummus spread from a company I found called Baby Led Spreads.



The asparagus was a huge hit and she ate A WHOLE PIECE in ONE GO! My heart was in my mouth, I won't lie. I was quickly racking my brains on how to do baby first aid, convinced she'd start choking, but she saw it off like a champ; she didn't even gag. She chewed the ends off all the other asparagus pieces, had a good suck on the rice cakes and spread, and had a go at some peas. Her pincer grip just isn't quite there yet for her to be able to pick up a pea and put it in her mouth. She didn't really entertain the pasta, only really touching it to move it to get to the asparagus!






I've been so impressed with how well she's taken to it. We're only on our third day but, as I said, she hasn't gagged or anything yet. I am not naive and know we have a long way to go, but I was fully prepared to have to deal with her gagging or, even worse, choking. I've been watching YouTube videos on how to do baby first aid.

I'm really glad that we started when we did. Yes, we could have waited another two weeks, but she was really ready. If she hadn't taken to it well we'd have stopped and tried again when she hit six months.

I am still breastfeeding alongside her having meals now. I'm still unsure about what I am going to do about breastfeeding going forward. She's still being really fussy with a bottle so I'm not sure how we'd go about her having formula from a sippy cup. I know with formula everything has to be sterilised to within an inch of its life - and I dunno how you'd do that with a sippy cup? I could just keep expressing breast milk and giving her it in the cup, but it's a lot of effort to express milk and can be quite time consuming sometimes. So that's something I'll have to work out over the next couple of weeks.

At the moment, though, she still feeds from me. Milk - either from the boob or formula - is still their main source of nutrition until they're 1. I try and feed her an hour before I know she'll have a meal and then either straight after or about an hour after, depending how she was acting. I can't really say I've noticed her cutting her feeds down as such, but then I never know how much milk she takes from me. They say they need to have at least 20oz of milk a day but it's impossible to know how much she gets from me. She still seems happy, though, so I am not worried. She is still feeding between 8 and 12 times in a 24-hour period, which is as before.

So, that's about it. Sorry if I have rambled a lot - I got on a bit of a roll!

If you are interested in following our weaning journey I set up a specific Instagram page for it. I didn't want to spam people on my own Instagram profile with Peyton anymore than I already do, so set up a specific place for it.



I followed quite a few baby food accounts to prepare me for feeding Peyton and got really addicted to seeing what babies were eating. Some of them are like Mrs Hinch - completely unachievable to the normal person but you just can't stop watching them and wishing you had time to do it too!

They've been good to get ideas from, though, and to see how babies cope with certain foods and learn new things. It's been so handy! It's also been good for my confidence and knowing it's ok to feed her certain things. It can be quite daunting giving them proper solid solids when they have no teeth, but they're so clever.

I do want to try, as much as possible, to just give her what we have. I'll have to get used to cooking without salt which will be tricky, but hopefully we'll get there. I'd like us all to sit down and eat tea together, but with Tom getting home so late that would be impossible most days. I might try have my tea with Peyton some nights, but I guess we'll just have to see how we go.

Tomorrow night's tea is going to be lasagne and chips. I usually make my own chips in the Actifry, but I like them really salty. So I'll have to have a think about what I'm going to do with those!

There we are - that's where we are at.



Hope I've not bored you to tears too much. I'll try keep my blog updated as much as possible with how we're getting on, but it's hard to find time to sit down and write it now. Peyton's on the move now and just rolls all over the place, I need eyes in the back of my head. As I am typing this she's just rolled into the Christmas tree and is, once again, trying to get into the presents underneath. She's a right monkey! She is getting much more independent, though, and can entertain herself with toys/the TV remote so I really should utilise that time better than I do now.



I'm going to stop now because I keep going off on tangents!

Lots of love
xxx
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