Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: weaning

Easy as pie

A week ago Rupert had never had anything to eat other than breast milk, today he had 3 solid meals. Last week he was showing the signs of being interested as he intently watched every forkful of food from plate to mouth. He’s 4 months old this week so we thought we’d give him a little taste and see how he got on.

He liked it.

A lot.

Rupert smiling and eating

This morning for breakfast he had a whole bowl of baby porridge, for dinner half a sweet potato. Quite clearly he is a food monster and growing fast. There is also very little mess with every last drop of purée sucked off the spoon each time. He’s even started shouting at us if we don’t feed him quick enough.

I always knew he would start earlier than the other 2, he is after all already as heavy as Matilda was when she was 1, but we’ve gone from no food to regular meals awfully quickly. It’s one of those milestones that make you realise how much your baby is developing and we’re clinging onto each one for as long as possible because we have no plans to do this again. It feels odd writing that down, I’m not tempted at all by a 4th child but for the last 4 years our life has revolved around babies and toddlers. Knowing that we are on the path (albeit only on the very first step) towards having children rather than babies is strange. Right now it’s hard to remember a life without children, a time when we could just pop out at the weekend without having to plan around naps or take a suitcase worth of things with us. Life was simpler and most definitely easier then but it wasn’t half as much fun.

Rupert in Stokke eating porridge

For now though we can enjoy an immediate future full of messy bibs, purées, plastic cups and bowls and most likely needing to repaint food stained walls. Incidentally my top tip for anyone going through the weaning stage is to get a dog, makes cleaning up after a whole lot easier when the canine hoover has been sat under the high chair. I Imagine we’ll also be getting through quite a few sweet potatoes and bananas over the next few weeks also.

We have also been hoping but not daring to say out loud that maybe, just maybe he might decide to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time. That perhaps the combination of some solid food and him coming out of the development phase he’s going through could mean he wakes just 2 or 3 times a night? Would that be too much to ask for? Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Oh and if you have any great suggestions for meals we can offer a 4 month old then let me know. We did baby led weaning with the other 2 so didn’t really get involved with the mush.

What’s in my man bag?

One evening just before Rupert was born the Lady of the Manor announced that she had found our new nappy bag, which confused me a little. Given that we had children already we of course also had collected at least 4 nappy bags that were gradually gathering dust in a cupboard some where. But apparently a new baby means a new nappy bag no matter what, clearly I missed the bit of the baby book that covered the maths of having a baby. I believe the formula is b ≥ C + 2, where b is the number of bags and C is the number of children. Another useful formula to remember is the one for the number of hours sleep you’ll get a night which I believe is  8 – (C x 2). With 3 children at home I’d say that was about right.

The net result of this is that we now have a lovely new nappy bag with the Lady of the Manor clinching the deal by telling me that it was blue and therefore suitable for me to take out too. To give her some credit it is actually very nice and one I don’t mind taking out which can’t be said for many of them. It’s a Babymule Pegasus and so far has been very good, easy to use and big enough to take all the things we need with 3 children.

BabyMule Pegasus

Which is a good thing because it stops me ending up with wet wipes or half chewed bread sticks in my only real man bag which is the one I use for work. In fact the contents of my work bag don’t look a whole lot different to when I did this post 3 years ago. I have a newer phone and thankfully a better laptop but that’s about it, I don’t really want to turn up to a customer meeting and have a nappy fall out of my bag do I?

But Marks and Spencer have asked me to share an insight into the essential baby items in my bag to celebrate the launch of the new dedicated baby section of their website, so here’s what we stuff into our Pegasus each time. Having 3 children at very different stages of potty training means you need to carry lots of different things. Nappies and wipes for Rupert, multiple changes of clothes for a recently potty trained Henry and then spare clothes for an accident prone Matilda. Plus drinks, most likely some Calpol, a couple of toys and also a bottle of water for us.

Zip locked baby clothes

The other absolute essential is food, we’ve learnt the hard way that if you want Matilda to be happy on a walk or trip out you need to hand her something to eat as she gets out of the car. She could have eaten a huge breakfast just before we left home and would still be miserable until she gets some more food in her. Ham sandwiches seem to go down well as does a banana, although if she had a choice she would of course pick chocolate or cake, she has such a sweet tooth (just like me).

I’ve created a Pinterest board with the items any nappy bag should contain including a few of my favourites from the M&S Baby range. Would love to know what you think and what the essentials in your bag are.

Follow Ben’s board What’s in your man bag? on Pinterest.

Breastfeeding, weaning and a distinct lack of sleep

An old friend has made a re-appearance in the kitchen this week; Steve the steriliser had been put into retirement and gathering dust upstairs but has been called back into action. We’ve decided, with a somewhat heavy heart to introduce some formula into Henry’s diet.

It was something we’d been resisting and something that the lady of the manor really wanted to avoid but for a short while at least it’s needed. The problem is this; Henry is almost 7 months old and still waking every 3 hours, day and night, for a feed. He’s a hungry boy and while breastfeeding is working perfectly for the lady of the manor keeping this up while also dealing with both babies during the day is too much.

I help where I can but unless there is some scientific breakthrough Henry is going to be sorely disappointed trying to feed from my breasts. Plus I’m not sure my nipples can take it.

We hoped that when he started having some solids that this would fill him up a bit more and then he’d sleep longer. It seems to sporadically and he’ll only wake up twice between 10pm and 6am but after a few weeks doesn’t seem to have had a real change.

However trying to get solids into him has meant doing puree’s to ensure he gets a good amount which wasn’t our preference and has started to get pretty painful for all involved. Trying to get a spoon into a baby’s mouth is hard enough, but when he spends half the time screaming the house down and straining to get out of his chair it’s just not fun.

Enough is enough. We’re going to give him a few bottles each day, mainly in the evenings so I can help out, and change to baby led weaning. I know the lady of the manor feels guilty for doing this but 7 months of breastfeeding is an amazing achievement and it’s not like she will stop completely. Plus we found it a whole lot more fun doing baby led weaning with Matilda and watching her learn how to pick up foods. In the few days we have done it with Henry he is back to smiling and gurgling at meal times which is lovely.

As seems to often be the case this isn’t the perfect weaning plan that we  imagined, but if I’ve learned anything since becoming a parent it’s that you need to adapt and do what’s best for the whole family.