To Wean Or Not To Wean.

The thing about this Motherhood malarky is knowing what to do, when and why. I spend half my time taking Emily-Rae to baby classes that she sleeps through because she is possibly still too young to really get anything out of them & the other half of my time is spent thinking that she spends too much time in her bouncer and worrying that I’m not doing enough with her. One subject that came up recently was weaning, I was under the impression that you did this at six months but other people have said to me that I should be giving her baby rice and other basic foods from four months old. The thing is there is SO much conflicting information that it’s hard to work our whats right for us. After asking The Gram and spending hours reading various articles I have decided to wait until she is six months old and these are the reasons that lead to me that decision. This information has been complied from information on the NHS website as well as an interesting article on cafemom.com. I thought I would share it as after interacting with so many new Mamas over on Instagram it would appear that we have all be wondering the same thing.

When To Start Introducing Solid Foods
Introducing your baby to solid foods which is sometimes called weaning or complementary feeding should start when your baby is around six months old. It’s a really important step in their development, and it can be great fun to explore new flavours and textures together. To begin with, how much your baby takes is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating. They will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or infant formula. Babies don’t need three meals a day to start with, so you can begin by offering foods at a time that suits you both. Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats, until they can eventually eat the same as the rest of the family, in smaller portions.

10 Reasons Why It Pays To Wait
1. It’s recommended by the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, The American Academy of Family Physicians, National Health & Medical Research Council, and many prominent paediatricians. The lower range numbers, and many of the reasons along with it, have been outdated for quite awhile.

2. Waiting until the cells lining the baby’s gut have closed helps prevent many allergies, gas, rashes, and medical issues.

3. Waiting also shows less incidences of gastroenteritis, diabetes, and obesity (as much as six-fold) and even ear infections.

4. Breastfeeding for at least seven months actually shows decreased rates of anemia.

5. Baby is much less likely to choke (even on purees) when baby is older, and can also sit upright of their own accord (babies should never be fed foods leaning back).

6. Baby’s gut doesn’t produce enzymes to aid in digestion until 3-4 months, and the ones that break down more complicated fats, starches, and carbohydrates won’t be produced until 6-9 months, meaning lots of gas, constipation, vomiting, and wasted nutrients before then. Even generally fussiness months later is noted in babies who were started too early.

7. While some babies may be ready between 4-6 months (no evidence has ever shown anything but risks earlier), it’s impossible to tell without looking with a microscope in the gut, so waiting until 6 months minimum is a safer move for all babies.

8. Waiting until your baby can pick up and put food into their own mouth while sitting up straight is a clear sign of readiness, especially if they can gum and swallow the foods. The Department of Health’s Infant Feeding recommendation actually suggests allowing babies who show readiness before 6 months to play with finger foods (that’s right, no purees), as it’s also unlikely they will swallow before they’re biologically ready.

9. The tongue thrust reflex is to help prevent choking, but spoons of liquid purees can often get past it, since the reflex point is farther forward than an adult’s gagging reflex. Putting food in the front of the mouth and allowing baby to move it back, which they can’t do until often after 6 months, helps prevent choking and is also, of course, a sign of readiness.

10. Most parent assumptions about when babies are ready are related to other biological norms — waking up at night, reaching for food, mimicking your eating, wanting to eat more — and are confused for signs of readiness. Having a set date AND a list of readiness signs helps prevent early introduction based on confusion about normal behaviours.

So there it is, the reasons why I am going to wait it out until October. What fills me with much excitement is the fact that she can have a mini Christmas dinner this year! I’m going to leave that thought there because once I start taking about Christmas (yes, I know it’s July) I can’t stop.

 

Hospital Bag Ramblings.

I had no idea what to pack in my hospital bag, obviously I Googled the shit out of it, stalked fellow expectant Mamas on Instagram for reassurance and asked a few friends what they packed for the big day. They all offered sage advice and pretty much said the same thing having packed a bag and come out the other side but did I listen? ‘Course I didn’t because I am what my Mother calls a stubborn little Ox. However, here I am giving my wisdom to anyone that wants it. Firstly, pack whatever you like, pack it all, pack everything you feel you need to be prepared and ready irrespective of what others say but maybe learn from my mistakes in the process & leave the questionable items in the car so they are there if you need them but not in the hospital with you as chances are you probably won’t.

The Things I Packed & Never Used

Make Up – I don’t know why but I had such a bee in my bonnet about getting the perfect first family photo. So much so that I packed make-up which is ironic as I barely ever wear the stuff. I thought I would want to look my best for meeting our tiny human and also for the people that would undoubtedly come to visit us at hospital but you won’t care at all. Not one bit. All you will want to do is sit there with your baby and the thought of wondering off to pop make up on will be the last thing from your mind.

Selfie Stick – Yes, really. I packed an actual Selfie Stick – there are no words.

Books & iPad – For some reason I thought I was going to have all of this down time waiting about for the baby to arrive. In some ways we did as we were last on the C-section roll call but all we did in those hours together was try to figure out a way to get both of us on the hospital bed comfortably, snuggle, snooze and scroll through the internet on our phones just like you would at home.

Towel – My advice on this would be to call your hospital and see if they actually provide towels as shockingly mine did. If they do provide them then use them, it’s one less thing to pack and then bring home with you to wash. I also bought a brand new, dark coloured towel for the occasion which has never been used and has lived in the airing cupboard ever since. Save your money.

Nightwear – Now, obviously I had a C-section so maybe that makes the amount of nighties that you will need a little different. However, I’m sure that you won’t need 5 nighties which is what I packed. The day of her birth & the day after I wore the same nightie, the following day when I finally got up and showered I changed into a clean nightie and finally wore the new dressing gown that I purchased – we then went home the following day. Pack light people, pack light.

Clothes – I also packed a few T-shirts and a few pairs of leggings thinking that during the day I would get up, dressed and changed. I didn’t & you probably won’t so leave the outfit changes at the door just making sure that whatever you wear home is warm, stretchy and comfortable. In heinsight I wish I treated myself to a nice lounge set to go home in as it would have ticked all the boxes and would have come in handy for all of the PJ days I have had at home since Em arrived.

Things I Packed & Was Glad That I Did

Shower Cap – The last thing I wanted to do was wash my hair, I just wanted to shower, get dressed and get back to our little room & baby bubble plus, there was NO way I had the energy to sit there and dry it all afterwards.

Shower Gel & Body Cream – I packed the poshest most fragranced shower gel and body cream that I had and I was so glad that I  did. After feeling less than clean for two days it was so nice to just stand there under the shower and feel human again and smell like it afterwards too.

Flip Flops – Goes without saying, they are easy to just push on if being down is painful. Plus who actually has time for laces?

Carrier Bag – Make sure you have a bag or two to shove anything dirty in, like when going on holiday it makes it easier at the other end.

Lip Balm – I have no idea why but my lips cracked and cracked quickly when in hospital therefor I was SO glad that I had my trusty lip balm with me.

Things I didn’t Pack & Wish That I Did

Water Bottle – Hospitals are as hot as hell especially on the maternity ward or so it would seem. At our hospital the only cups available fitted about two gulps of water in them so I wish I had a large water bottle with me which would have saved us the constant trips to the water machine.

Nappies – I packed nappies but I packed the wrong sized ones which instantly made me feel like an absolute failure on day one. When packing things for the baby take your time and double check everything to save yourself from that Oh my God how did I manage to do that / I am such an idiot feeling .

Hairbands – I packed one hairband. One. I will never forget getting out of the shower, finally feeling human and popping my hair up in a top knot when my one and only hairband broke which reduced me to hormonal tears in about 0.5 seconds. Pack more than one because you will want that hair on the top of your head for the duration of your stay.

As for the bag itself? Well, I got the Longchamp Weekend Bag and haven’t looked back since. I use it ALL the time including when we go to our weekly swim class. Yes it was expensive (I actually got mine for Christmas) but do I feel like one fly bitch when I’m using it? Hell yes.

$_35

 

 

 

 

Dare I say It?

When I was pregnant people told me many things about parenthood. I was told to prepare myself for a life of no sleep, for a marriage that would be changed forever, to get used to the sound of a baby screaming and hair that smelled constantly of sick. All of these things were said with a smile but no one was painting a particularly positive picture of what life with a baby would be like. It got to the point that I honestly thought that my first few weeks at home would be spent in my PJ’s with a baby that would not stop crying and me being in tears at my absolute whits end. I remember telling my SIL my concerns during the finale of The Bachelor and she asked me why I thought that I would have a baby that wouldn’t stop crying. That’s when it daunted on me, I was letting other peoples thoughts and experiences cloud my vision of what Motherhood could be like. The thing that I have learnt over the past few weeks is that all of us Mums want to relate to each other, we all want to hear that actually we are finding it hard and that there have been times where we have sat and cried because we’re totally overwhelmed. We want to hear this because it makes us relatable to each other and feel less alone. The thing is what happens if actually you’re finding Motherhood relatively (dare I say it) easy, (easy is the wrong word – it isn’t easy but it’s easier than I thought it would be and I can’t think of a better word). What happens if you absolutely love it? Are you allowed to say that out loud? That’s how I feel and if I’m honest I find myself saying things to other Mums like “God it’s so hard isn’t it” even though I don’t feel that way because I want people to like me and not roll their eyes at me. Don’t get me wrong it could all change in the blink of an eye and my experience and how I feel is all down to Miss Emily-Rae because so far she has been an incredibly happy, content and relaxed baby. She’s never been sick once in her life, she now sleeps well, she barely ever cries (unless she’s hungry or has crapped herself) and yes my marriage has changed but so far only for the better. Now, don’t get me wrong there have been plenty of days that I haven’t brushed my teeth or changed my knickers till gone 3pm, there have been days that I have cried because I just want to take a bath knowing that I can stay in there for as long as I want to and not because the tiny human has decided she wants feeding again and there are days that I feel like I am so crap at this Mum thing like today when I left the house without any nappies or the fact that at times I feel like I have no idea of what I am actually doing or should be doing and why. However, for the most part I find it easy and that’s just my truth and I’m allowed to say it because I know there will be a time when I won’t feel this way. Sometimes I wonder if it is actually easy or if I have just become a lot more of a suck it up type of girl because of the road we have had to take to get to this point – infertility can do that to you. In some ways I wanted to write a blog talking about how I am struggling because thats what makes you relatable but equally I wanted to be honest, I wanted to share that actually this newborn bit can be an absolute dream, it can be fun and nothing but positive because if someone had said that to me I would have spent a lot less time worrying when I was pregnant that I wasn’t going to be able to handle everything that was coming my way. Again, I stress that I only feel this way because of the chilled out babe that I have and a husband as hands on as he is, if she had colic or reflux I know that this blog would be so, so different but she doesn’t and I am loving every single second of being her Mama. I love to take her everywhere with me, not because I can’t bare to be apart from her because I can and have been, but because she is great company (when she isn’t sleeping) and I feel like I can take her anywhere with me, we lunch together, we shop together and we go to Kwick Fit together, she is my best friend. What I will say is believe people when they tell you that time flies and to treasure every minute. I can’t believe that Em is already eleven weeks old. I don’t know where this time has gone and I wish I could get it back. She is growing and changing so much and now I finally get it. I get why Mum’s cry when their little one starts nursery or goes off to school and I finally get what my Mum means when she says that I will always be her baby. I cried the other day when I came downstairs to see Em sat in more of an upright position in her chair, she looked so big and it was just a nod to the fact that she was growing up and  developing – I want her to stay little forever. Emily-Rae has given me the most enjoyable introduction to Motherhood and I couldn’t be more grateful as I am so aware of how different it could be. I always knew that I would love being a Mum but I had no idea just how much it would change me for the better because in having her I feel like I have finally found myself & I realise now that it’s OK to admit that and enjoy the easy part while it lasts.