The things I wish I’d known a year ago!

The first 18 months of my son’s life were, well a roller-coaster. Highs, lows and pretty much everything in between. But weaning? Weaning has been fun. It has, by far, been my favourite part of helping my baby turn into a little chap. There are loads of things I’ve learned along the way about what it means to nourish a child AND it isn’t always what you had planned in your pre-kids head…crikey there are so many things I wished I’d known. But then, on the other hand, I’ve learned so much from my experiences as a Mama, maybe I wouldn’t want to change any of it? I guess the first part, the bit I’m going to explain to you now, but the rest…wow. Just an amazing learning curve. Here are the things I wished I’d known…

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For those who know me or have followed me for a while, you will all know Dexter’s rather dramatic entrance into the world and the subsequent problems I had with breastfeeding.

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Because of the trauma of a difficult pregnancy, anesthetics and a c-section, my body went into panic mode and didn’t produce any milk.

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At five days old my son had lost over 20% of his birth weight and was really quite poorly. He was rushed to A&E and fed through a tube in his nose to help him gain some of the weight he had lost. I was attached to a pump every two hours, trying to breastfeed in between and he was being topped up with formula. Although I gave it my best shot, after around six weeks I decided to bottle feed.

Now I can totally see this was the best thing for all of us. However, these early feeding problems haunted me for months and I felt like I’d let my child down. I now, with the perspective of sleep and a new self assurance I had lost, know that this wasn’t the case. But, it’s so hard to be rational when you are seriously #wingingit right?

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So, when it was time to wean I was super excited. I love cooking and baking and I really felt it was my second chance to nourish my son with all the good stuff. And it really has been the most wonderful journey. There are things I wish I’d known or done earlier or differently. So, here they are!

Weaning will not make your kid sleep through the night

It’s a myth. Or at least it was in my house.

Nobody likes baby rice

Except the dog. The dog thinks it’s ace.

They really do tell you when they are ready

Dex was five and a half months. He was physically taking food from our plates and eating it. He told us he wanted to eat. The world health people do recommend six months. But you know your kid, right?

Give a fork

I don’t know why I didn’t give a fork sooner, but he actually finds a fork easier.

Learn the signs for ‘food’ and ‘more’

My niece is REALLY good at signing. My son only does a few, but these were a BIG help.

Keep it simple

It’s fine to keep it really simple. If you don’t eat beetroot…don’t suddenly start cooking with it. Offer your own family foods and build from there. I found porridge bites, veggies, toast and yoghurts or smoothies to be the best first foods. (Shout out to Suzanne at @nomnomkids here – amazing pouches for homemade smoothies and yoghurt).

It’s fine for it to not be homemade

Sometimes. I do think homemade is best but a cheeky Ella’s pouch never hurt anyone.

Finally…

You are doing great

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And you won’t tell yourself enough. Well done you.

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Faye xxx

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20 thoughts on “The things I wish I’d known a year ago!

  1. Totally understand you on the breastfeeding part… I initially had a lot of trouble with it and it stressed me out. Now I’m more relaxed about it, #wingingit indeed πŸ™‚
    Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    themamadrama.sg

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  2. I am a c-section mother myself and had trouble producing milk as well. Despite all the pressure to exclusively breast feed, I knew I wasn’t producing enough and took to formula pretty early too. I even had strangers trying to tell me that BF is best, but hey don’t we mothers know what is best for the baby ? And sure as hell, she gained weight as expected after introducing formula full time supplemented with breast milk. A SAHM doesn’t necessarily need to BF or a WM doesn’t necessarily need to feed formula. Things tend work themselves out and I am not ashamed/ stressed out I gave formula to her.

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    1. Thanks for your reply. I know, it is crazy that there is so much guilt attached to choice! I don’t know how much of it was guilt I placed on myself to be fair. I think we all have unrealistic expectations of how we are going to ‘parent’. As long as you are both thriving, who cares how the milk comes? If we have another baby, I will still give it a go but I won’t feel half as screwed up if it doesn’t work out. Well hopefully! xxxx

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  3. Oh, I loved weaning my two. Feeding them all kinds of random combinations and seeing them take charge of their eating. Unfortunately now they are headstrong three year old the days of me smugly smiling as they ate dhal and rice or parboiled carrots are over. Nowadays they just want to eat fish-fingers and ice lolliies.Enjoy it while you can. x #bestandworst

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  4. I’ve written about the pressure of breastfeeding before. I didn’t BF my newest one as too much stress when she was in special care. I now have a perfectly healthy and chubby 4 month old so can’t say I feel guilty! Happy first birthday to your little chap! #bestandworst

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  5. Great post, I’ll be honest, I hated the weaning. It nearly broke me, but looking back (it was 2 years ago), I think that was because of my mental state more than anything. Keeping it simple is so important and keeping a level head is a hard one to remember but also important too (for you more than anything!) #bestandworst

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  6. I really enjoyed the weaning stage with my daughter. I agree the baby rice was awful she preferred the porridge. The jars of purΓ©ed food you can get all tastes the same – like sardine fish paste. We only tried a few jars…she preferred fresh food. We did purΓ©ed and baby led weaning, we didn’t use the purΓ©ed for too long she loved to take the lead. I really think all your points are such great advice for new mums! Thanks for sharing #BestAndWorst

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  7. What a beautiful little boy! He is so changed from the previous picture. Baba also started solids a couple of weeks ago and still doesn’t sleep the entire night. As you said, a myth πŸ˜” But I still have hope!
    #bestandworst

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  8. I hated weaning and kick myself even now because I think I did it all wrong. If I ever go for baby number two I will learn from my mistakes – this is a great post! #bestandworst

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  9. I so get this! Our little ones must be the same age actually. I have enjoyed weaning although every so often feel a bit overwhelmed with it all and ‘what in earth I can give her to eat next’ (either because it’s a throw everything on the floor day, or she’s eating everything in the house!) x

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  10. Great tips! So agree with the pouches now and then and keeping things simple. I did all the purees last time but think may try more BLW or the little one just having what we are next time around. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

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