New look and tasty new treats

It’s seems like ages since I last blogged, it isn’t, but so much happens so quickly in this life!

I had all my hair chopped off to donate to  Little Princesses Trust  who make wigs for children who have lost there hair. I got the idea from a girl I used to go to school with and who also cuts my hair, she posted a picture on Facebook and said about the charity on Friday and Saturday lunch time she was chopping mine off!

I love it! I’ve never had short hair though, so have basically no idea how to style it.. It’s going to take some practice! At least there is a little less for Leo to grab now!

The baby led weaning is still going well, I have started trying to feed him nearer being hungry time, rather than after milk as he just wasn’t interested. It doesn’t seem to be stopping him from taking his normal milk feeds either. The latest foods are white fish, hummus and blood oranges.

He went crazy for the hummus (homemade of course) , I gave it to him off my finger to begin with and he just kept grabbing my hand. I then put a big blob of it on rice cake and he just sucked away on that for ages. I just gave him the blood orange segments and he sucked them dry pretty quickly too. Its really quite satisfying watching him eat.

Getting adventurous

Mmm, curry!
There is a kiwi firmly smashed in his grasp!

I’m getting a huge amount of pleasure from this method of weaning. I absolutely love all things about food, taste, texture, smells, variety; so being able to share it this way with Leo is fantastic.

I do find myself lying awake at night, planning our meals so that I can incorporate new foods for Leo without going too crazy just yet. I’m hugely paranoid the whole time I’m feeding him in case of allergies, but then that would be the same with normal weaning. I am currently blogging whilst watching him sleep as he has had a few new tastes today and I want to make sure he keeps breathing!

Today’s new tastes were lentil curry that I made last night for Tom and I and it was superb. I used  this recipe, omitted any stock and salt and made his without the spinach (purely because I can’t find anything, even on the baby led sites, saying it’s good at 6 month’s) I left the chilli in there but it really wasn’t very hot. He seemed to enjoy it, we loaded a spoon and gave it to him (he feeds himself at his own pace off the spoon, we never place anything in his mouth) but also put some on his tray for him to grab and smush about, he kept putting it in his mouth so that can only be a good sign!

He also had an egg yolk and cracked black pepper omelette, cooked in olive oil. He was pretty happy about that. Egg is one of the ones I have been worrying about, but we don’t have allergies in the family and the protein that most are allergic to is in the white.  Just separating the whites doesn’t get rid of it all, so he will still ingest some but in a much smaller volume, maybe they suggest it to make people worry less! The yolk is where all the good fats etc are anyway and good fat should be a major portion of a babies diet at this age.

He also had kiwi.. Wow, that was a hit! And not only with Leo. Tom has never eaten fruit, he just gets no enjoyment from it and doesn’t like the texture. I kind of know what sort of tastes he likes now, so if I have some especially good and strong tasting fruit then I get him to try it. These kiwi’s are organic ones from tesco and they are beautifully ripe, so I got him to have a taste and it was a hit there too! Perfect

Im also really lucky as far as Ruzina, our chosen childminder goes. She is vegetarian due to her religion and cooks everything herself from scratch and she cooks Indian fare too; so his relationship with tasty food will carry on with her. I need to discuss a few things with her as far as baby led goes, I’m not sure if it is something she does or has done, so we need to be on the same page. Other things too, like the type of oils she uses are important to me as some are just so bad for the body. Vegetable oil should specifically be rape seed oil and it should be cold pressed too. Whilst I can’t expect her to buy organic due to the expense, I can make sure he gets that where he can and has good quality  non organic at other times.

I won’t be giving him refined sugar either, so how that will be fielded is anyone’s guess as I know her boys do have biscuits periodically. You never know, I may convert her.. Or just make some refined sugar free cookies that she can give to Leo should the need arise.

I don’t really want to substitute things though, I want Leo to learn about what food is good and bad and learn to make these choices himself; I just feel it may be a little beyond the conceptual grasp of a 1 year old.. But, I basically have no idea, so we will see.

I know I will be met with a lot of disdain about restrictions I will place on his diet and I find it so strange and incredibly ignorant of people that they don’t want to educate their children to make good choices about their health and nutrition. I absolutely hate children’s menus in places, I have a huge hatred for seeing children tucking into  big plate of deep fried chips and beans with a scummy sausage to boot.

I got the same disdainful treatment when I was super strict with my diet during pregnancy. I don’t know if it a coincidence or not, but we have a big, strong and healthy baby to show for it. It’s something I am really passionate about, gaining a deeper understanding of what goes on in our bodies at a cellular level has only deepend the drive in me to be healthy! (apart from the last 6 month’s of cake eating frenzy!)

Tasty treats

Now that I have realised there is no time restrictions on weaning as in getting it done, I am loving baby led. We’ve been doing it for a couple of days, it’s messy but really good fun.

He’s pretty adept with the veggies now and does seem to consume quite a lot and is reasonably good at getting his aim right. I made porridge today using water and normal oats and added some puree apple for a rough of taste. I made it quite sticky so I could load it on his spoon and it not pour off and his first attempt went in his eye.. All subsequent attempts were way more successful and he did actually eat a fair few bits of it too. I decided to see what it was like to put breakfast all over my face too, somewhat over rated I’d say, but oats are meant to be good for the skin!

I’ve ordered some wild caught salmon for his first foray with meat and I have my eye on some lentil dishes and can’t wait to start adding some herbs and spices.. All very exciting and I love thinking a out food, so this is perfect for me!

How can it be so hard!

So, off the back of all the professional advice out there, I am looking for a vitamin supplement for Leo. The ones they say are necessary are iron as the stock they have from birth is pretty much depleted by 6 month’s and it isn’t readily available from breastmilk. Vitamin D, which is touted for everyone in a not so sunny environment. Vitamin C and A also.
Whilst I am a firm believer that a balanced diet can pretty much all the vitamins and minerals you need, smushing a load of avocado, banana and raspberries in your hand is far from balanced.. I find it tricky to think they aren’t getting what they need from breastmilk too tbh.. But I’m searching none the less.

Finding one that is of any good to me is proving really quite tricky.. They all contain huge amounts of unnecessary shite in them; glucose syrup, colouring, flavouring, sweeteners,  D2 instead of D3  and I’ve even found one containing peanut oil.. WHY!?

I am currently looking for them that aren’t all in ones. There are some great ones out there for 1 upwards, but it appears the baby market is just a joke.

We also definitely have a crawler! It’s not very stylish just yet, but it gets the job done!

He followed this ball all the way from one side of the room to the doorway.. Then chewed the door stop
Only happy when he can lick the floor!

This week’s affliction

A milk blister! Overall, my booby struggles have gone away since taking lecithin, then last week I had a random blocked ducts start on one side. Being the seasoned coper with that now, I dealt with it and it was gone by morning.. However, I did notice that it was quite painful when he was feeding, which is new!

I thought maybe it was that his gums were harder and that was doing it, but it got more and more sore, so I inspected it and it was indeed a little white blister. Apparently, skin grows over the top if a milk outlet and it backs up behind it. The cure us heat and keep feeding off it to get it to burst.. Or some people burst it themselves. I tried that, way too painful! I couldn’t be bothered warm compression before each feed so figured I’d just grin and bear it until it burst of it’s own accord.. Which I must’ve done on his final bedtime feed as im now pain free! Woo. Hopefully it won’t come back!!

Formula fun!

I am a firm believer that breastfeeding is the only way to go unless there are specific medical issues preventing it, whether it be the mother or the baby. As with most things, I have read all about formula too and I am still firmly in the breastfeeding camp, regardless of progress in the quality of formula.

During a discussion I was involved in, I was pointed in the direction of research into the epigenetic effects of breastfeeding and it is incredibly interesting. Rather than me do a dreadful job of explaining it, I advise you Google it and read about it; but the short story is that breastmilk can change composition and activate otherwise dormant properties within the baby’s DNA!

Anyway, that wasn’t the point of the post.. The point was that I was looking into a potential formula for Leo.. “but why?! After what you’ve just said!” Don’t panic, it’s as a backup. I seem to have an issue with my milk where is tastes really bad after storage, it is potentially an excess of the enzyme  Lipase in my milk and it appears to be fairly common. Leo has recently been turning his nose up at my expressed milk and I have a feeling that this could be why. You can fix it if you boil the milk to  scald before storing it, this does destroy some nutrients but is still considered the best option if your baby won’t take the change in taste. I have such a massive stock of milk though, it seems a shame to waste it.

So my plan was to take it out to use it and if Leo won’t have it and I’m not around, he can have formula instead. Well, that’s opened a can of worms! Whilst the organic options are indeed the best, there are a number of clangers to avoid and not one product avoids them all for milk suitable at Leo’s age! The good old palm oil is lurking in most, and whilst there are the obvious ethical issues related to this, there are also other concerns when it comes to babies consuming it. It is used as a source of palmitic acid, but this version of the chemical is not readily processed by the body and can inhibit the absorption of calcium and iron as it forms a type of stay substance in the intestines. 
There is also the use of multiple different forms of sugar that each have their own set of issues relating to it and the use of hexane to strip down substances to utilise part of something present that they feel is required for the milk. Like DHA, an  essential fatty acids  that is extracted by methods involving the use of neurotoxic hexane, even if the label states organic..

The list goes on basically, the only one that doesn’t have any of the well documented nasties isn’t made for children under 12 months and the next best thing appears to be HIPP organic, which still contains palm oil unfortunately! Leo is starting on solid food now so it won’t really be an issue for long, I was planning on continuing a morning and an evening breastmilk feed for as long as possible, potentially even past 1 year.. But we shall see, he may reject me before then!

This definitely needs refining

As I have started down the cloth bum route, I feel that I need to make the process as efficient and successful as possible. By this, I mean the absorption, layering, washing, packing, storing… The whole shebang.

I am currently focusing on how to make the nappy last as long as possible, without being mahoosive so he can still wear his super cute skinny jeans!

I have found that normal microfibre cloths work really well and absorb an absolute load, he had a bamboo insert in yesterday, which is 4 layers of material and then I folded a normal microfibre cloth into 4 and placed in the front of the nappy. This lasted 4.5 hours but was fairly bulky. I’m not sure if they both have the same absorbency capacity, but I think I will try using 2 triple folded microfibre cloths when I’m at home one day and see how that goes. It should be pretty slimline and I reckon it would go 3 hours min, I could then maybe add a couple of layers of hemp as this can hold more than microfibre but doesn’t absorb as quickly.

I have also ordered a small sample of Zorb II fabric, this is meant to be a titan in its class in both rate and capacity and has the added benefit of not being the bulky and fairly resistant to compression leaks, which I don’t think microfibre will be as it doesn’t have enough density.

The testing continues!

The swaddle challenge continues

We are definitely making progress. He is mainly doing his day sleeps with his swaddle bag wrapped around his torso and his arms free in his zipedeezip. We have done a couple of successful sleeps with just the zipedeezip top so far.

This mornings snooze I didn’t even tuck the zipedeezip sleeves under him and he was fantastically calm and is still snoozing. He managed an hour yesterday morning so potentially will this morning as long as the nappy holds out. I didn’t think it through when I changed him and only put a single layer flip nappy on, which will struggle to last that long and it was on for half an hour before snoozing. It’s all a learning curve. I will aim to be just in the zipedeezip next week and then introduce it overnight! Scary stuff

We are progressing with weaning, he hasn’t had any watery nappies since last week so I have continued, I just won’t introduce the rice and porridge until next week in case that wasn’t helping. He has been having stewed apple the last couple of days and he LOVES it.. Unsurprisingly!

I will be giving him his first taste of sweet potato today for his lunch and I will look to try him on some broccoli florets at the weekend. I think I will combine baby led nd puree to begin with, it just feels right for us. He can get used to the feel and look of the food and feeding himself, but at the same time actually managed to eat some too!

New challenges

So, we are finally embracing cloth nappies. I met a lovely lady at the breastfeeding clinic that we go to and both of her babies are cloth bums so she gave us a demo/training session with them. One of the other girls from NCT is having a go too, but she is considerably more brave than me and has just gone at it full throttle. I’m being my usual research /planning self and taking extensive notes on my findings as I go.

One of the unknowns is whether Leo is classed as a heavy wetter! I don’t think he is at night as his nappy after 11 hours is only just full really. I have always noted that he is pretty hardcore first thing in a morning though so we shall see. I’m testing all combos out at the minute and keeping track in my faithful app!

Obviously, the more boosters you have then the bigger their little bottoms end up. Not a problem at night really but in the day it’s not great, especially when I like Leo in his skinny jeans.. It just means I will have to make sure I change him regularly.

There are challenges to this definitely, but it will be as with anything new. It will seem like a chore for a while whilst I get used to it and then it will just be second nature and I will have to train up mum, Tom and the childminder!

Stiiiiill poopin!

Not that it seems to be bothering him, but I can’t help but be bothered. I took him to the docs on Friday and he seems to be happy that there is nothing up but can test for an infection if I’m still worried in a few days. I’ve taken him off anything but breast milk to see if that makes a difference, so far it hasn’t.

I noticed a tiny fleck of blood this morning, bright red so most likely it is just from the fact he is going so often, but I have booked him in at the doctors again and I will get them to take a sample.

He is still working on the crawl. If he is on the right surface, he can get movement but it’s not very elegant and I’m not convinced he even realises he’s moving! He did employ a little bit of a drag maneuver yesterday, which Tom did as a baby instead of crawling!

I’ve just settled him down for a nap with my latest tactic. Swaddle sack around his torso with his arms free and then his zipedeezip over the top. It’s great as it stops him fussing around his face so much and gives him a feeling of security whilst still being safe if he choses to roll over. He went off pretty quickly and with very little protest, so we will have to wait and see how long he manages. What I find is that he gets to the 30/45min mark and then stirs, feels less secure and wakes up. He was like this initially when swaddled in the cot and as long as I was there to catch it right, I could persuade him on and he gradually went longer by himself. So that is the plan this time!