Harry was 17 weeks when I considered weaning. I had read so much about the government guidelines being 6 month (24 weeks),plus the health visitor drills it in to you, but Harry was always hungry, and I had already moved to combination feeding but he still wanted more. He had slept through the night from 11/12 weeks old, and all of a sudden he was waking at 1am for another feed. We brought back the dream-feed, that did the trick, but i felt we were going backwards instead of forwards.
Both my own mum and my mother-in-law told me I should start weaning. I was a little scared, and I didn’t want to damage his digestive system, but I could also see the signs. He was sitting up by himself, he was watching us eat and drink (i constantly felt guilty, and even hid when I was eating), so I gave it a go with a tiny bit if baby rice, well he nearly took my hand off!!!
We gave him 1 teaspoon of rice mixed with his milk, and he ate it so fast we had to make more, he wasn’t bothered by the spoon, right then I knew we’d made the right decision to start him weaning.
I had no idea what to do next, how do you make the transition from milk to food. What foods can you give him? Is there anything dangerous? what happens if he chokes, When do you cut down their milk? I needed guidance, so who else to turn to but Gina Ford (and my mum – of course!).
Gina Fords book ‘The contented little baby book of weaning‘ actually addresses how to wean a baby before the recommended 6 month mark, this helped a lot. She takes you through introducing food in groups, so fruit, veg then protein etc.
I was really looking forward to the weaning, and it was exciting to be starting a new stage of Harry’s life. A couple of my friends had warned me about weaning, about how tedious it could be, and you get sick of pureeing food, boiling fruit, filling ice-cube trays and cleaning it all up. To begin with it was novelly, but now I am 10 weeks in, I can not wait for Harry to be able to eat what we eat!
I followed GF’s book to the tee for about the first 8 weeks, but I found Harry was getting a bit bored of the same food, and he was starting to reject his own food, and be grabbing for ours instead. I had heard of ‘Baby-led weaning’ when I was pregnant, but as I started weaning Harry early, and he couldn’t hold his own food, I didn’t think it would work. Now Harry was gone 6 months and could easily hold his food, I tried it out a couple of times, just giving him chunks of broccoli, cheese, fruit etc to eat himself. They say it encourages the baby to develop quicker, better hand-eye coordination, and plus it means they can join in family meal times.
Once I let Harry pick his own food, I realised he could chew more than I thought (and not choke!), and so I stopped pureeing his food (hurrah!!!), and I started to make the things we were eating but mashing them up, so tuna pasta, pasta in tomato sauce with cheese and ham, roast dinners and salmon with veg. I would mash it so it was ‘textured’ (not lumpy), and he loves it. I do also give him finger foods, so pieces of pear, strawberries and in the mornings, and he either has porridge which I feed him, or I make him wholemeal toast very lightly buttered, and just cut one piece in to strips.
Harry’s nearly 7 months and seems really happy and content. Over the past two weeks, I have experimented with what I can make for him, and stopped worrying so much about following a plan, and gone with what i think is best for him. I dont include salt in any of my cooking, and use low salt, sugar free, and wholemeal ingredients where possible. I tend to give him a mixture of finger foods and mashed foods now, but i am working towards giving him more solid foods when i can.
Cutting down his milk was a bit worry of mine, and I really went with my gut instinct on this one. I cut down his lunch time milk first and about 2 weeks ago removed it completely, and spent time trying to get him to drink from a sipy cup instead, either water or juice. This took about 4 weeks, but now we have a cup of water/juice every day, and drinks it between his feeds and milk. I haven’t figured out when i will take down his afternoon milk, probably when he doesn’t drink it all, or even seem to want it anymore.
What I am really learning with each of these new stages and experiences, is you need someone to give you an initial guidance on how to manage the next stage, such as weaning, breastfeeding, but once you start working with your baby, you seen realise you will always know whats best for your own child, and you have to go with your gut (maternal) instincts. I still find the best advice comes from my mum. She brought up 4 of us, and works with children, but she will always remind me ‘mum knows best!’
If anyone has any advice or tips, i would love to hear, as i am still in the thick of the ‘weaning’ stage, and so welcome the help.
In school I was always a keen runner, I don’t think many would believe me now, but I actually ran cross country for my school. I gave it up at 16, as I wanted to be out with all my mates rather than training. Its one of those ‘told you so’ moments from your parents, when you look back, and think ‘what could of happened’ if I had stuck to what I was actually good at. Well I would be skinnier and toned for a start!
I have never struggled with my weight, and I took this for granted. I have (mostly) good skinny genes, but even they don’t keep you skinny forever. The usual happened, I got in to a relationship, settled (and my fiancé being a superb cook hasn’t helped), and put on a stone. This happened gradually over 5 years, so I only really noticed when looking back at Facebook photos for some ‘thinspiration’ to loose my baby weight, did I realise how much I had let myself go.
As mentioned in my earlier post No more (baby) weighting around, I bought a treadmill and downloaded a couple of new apps as a replacement for my gym membership. Between Rich and I, we were paying over £1,000 a year for our gym memberships, which neither of used since Harry arrived. Our Treadmill was a steal at £350, thats a saving of over £650 a year on our membership. Plus it folds-up, so doesn’t need much room.
The apps I found via Facebook were advertised on my feed, I never click those ads as I always think they are scams – I was pleasantly surprised. Running for Weight Loss is the first app, this does exactly as it says on the tin. You loose weight by following a ten-week running program. I have been using this app for 12 weeks, and I am still only up too week 6 (oops!). You have to do 3 runs a week. I always find it better to run first thing in the morning, before any breakfast, but this isn’t always easy with Harry. Each run is about 40 minutes, and I can’t always guarantee he is going to sleep for that long, or I sometimes have chores to do during his morning nap. Ideally I would like to do two a week, and if I can manage three then great.
Running for Weight loss App
I am not going to lie, the runs are not easy, and throughout each run I battle in my head ‘should I stop?’, ‘can I carry on?’. I know that my body shouldn’t be tired, that most of the battle when running is in my head. I try to motivate myself by thinking about why I am doing this, to be healthy for Harry, to feel confident in myself, and so I can get in to my Zara Skinny Jeans!!
I have been combining my running with a bit of core training, using Fitstar . This is a free app, but if you want a specific training program i.e. to loose weight you have to upgrade to the premium at £2.99 a month. I used the app a couple of times before signing up, and I loved it. It was really easy, each session was only 30 minutes, and wasn’t exhausting. The sessions are based on your fitness levels, and it continuously asks to asses your fitness through-out the programmes. I have never been one for doing push-ups, crunches etc but I knew I couldn’t tone my body by just running. I decided to upgrade to the ‘Get Lean’ program, and to alternate between this and running, for at least 4/5 days a week. I had been looking at ‘Results with Lucy’ by Lucy Meck, there was a lot of positive press and success stories flying about, and this uses the same format as Fitstar, but it was £12 a month! I think I got a better deal.
I used both of these apps through-out the whole of April, as planned doing 4-5 days of training a week, along with eating 1,500 calories a day, and even though I didn’t loose any weight, I could notice a huge difference in my body shape, especially towards the end, I was fitting in to my pre-pregnancy jeans with ease, I was starting to see some definition in my stomach, and my energy levels where through the roof. I didn’t DREAD each run like I did at the beginning and I looked forward to my Fitstar training, as it was fairly easy, and I was seeing results.
May, however was a busy month, we were away every weekend, and my exercise plan pretty much stopped, with the exception of a run and a couple of Fitstar sessions.
I decided to pick back up my training and healthy eating from June onwards. I am on day 5, and 2 Fitstar sessions done this week, but still to do that first run!! eek!
It shows you don’t have to spend a fortune, have a fully equipt home gym or a personal trainer to get fit. By cancelling my gym membership, buying the treadmill (shared with Rich), the two apps (£39 for the year) and a yoga mat (£8) I saved myself £294!!
Download the apps! They really work, and let me know how you get on, it would be great to hear someone else’s results and experiences.
So starting day 1 of my detox! Due to not finding my juicer till about midnight the day before starting, I only managed to do my shopping on the morning of day 1. So when bubba woke from his morning nap, I dashed out to ALDI and picked up my ingredients, by the time I made it back and got juicing I was having my ‘breakfast’ juice at 11.30am (only 4 hours after I would usually have my breakfast, so I was starving).
You have 4 juices in day 1, the first two being the same (JuiceMaster Super Detox), so I could of skipped a juice given it was almost lunch time, but I wanted to stick to the plan as much as I could. Therefore I just prepared and juiced enough for two batches and stuck one in the fridge.
The ingredients for the first juice included apples, cucumber, celery, carrot, lemon, yellow pepper, avocado and ice. You juice everything but the avocado and ice (obviously). Once everything is juiced you whack it in a blender with the avocado and ice. You need a really good blender, preferably one that is for using ice, which mine wasn’t, so I was a little limited to how much ice I could use, and I had to blend for about a minute to make sure the avocado was complexly liquified.
This resulted in a PINT of juice!!! It was not what I expected, the avocado had really thickened it up, so it was like drinking yoghurt. I could really taste the pepper, I think in the future I maybe not add this, as even a small piece seemed to overpower the other flavours. I managed the whole pint, and it was so filling, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit 3 more of these bad boys in before the end of the day.
I decided to have my second, as an afternoon snack about 3.30pm. By now I was starting to miss my food, I wasn’t hungry, more so the physical action of eating, like a biscuit with a cuppa.
The third juice was actually more of an energy drink, so the consistency was similar to water and squash rather than a thick yogurt. This was a relief as after my second juice I was feeling really full. This drink was to be drunk throughout the day instead of water, or to help you along when exercising. Called H20 Detox, it was made up of apples, lemon, pineapple, betroot and water (water being 75% of the drink).
I decided to use this when I was doing my core strength training (post to come on this). It had a strong betroot taste and with the sweetness from the pineapple, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was, and was perfect for during and after my exercise. I would definetely make this if I was going on a long walk or doing a charity run! I felt it really made a difference to my energy levels.
I was starving after my training, my sister and boyfriend were both making their dinner, I was feeling really jealous, but not tempted, I wanted to stay on track. I made my final juice Beyond Detox, this included apples, baby spinach, betroot, parsley, cucumber, avocado and ice. Same as before you juice everything but the avocado and ice. I was really surprised you could juice spinach and parsley! This was probably my favourite of the day, still thick, but quite sweet.
I had made it through day, I felt really full, and very proud, only two more to go.
Juice detox: Day 2to follow soon…