BLW (Baby Led Weaning) or TLWT (Tough Love Weaning Torture) or “this is a nightmare” as I’ve been heard to call it.

I introduced pureed solids to the boy at 5 months, it all went fine. We had one small chocking incident with a mini flapjack but he sorted himself out and all was well. Now, as a nearly 5year old, he is really fussy. Really, really fussy. It warrants a separate post! So I decided, this time I’d try a different approach to weaning. I knew a little about baby led weaning and it sounded ridiculous, but I read up about it, bought the book and realised that it IS ridiculous. (Although I think I bought the female version as the baby is referred to as a “she” throughout, I’d better find a male version!).

I tried the baby with a little baby rice and some baby porridge from a spoon and it put it politely, he didn’t seem to be the kind of baby that was going to be spoon fed, so I have approached weaning in that ridiculous, whole foods way.

I’m struggling to agree with the concept of BLW, maybe it’s my stubbornness but I find the BLWeensters proclamation that they are different and more natural, very irritating. At the heart of BLW is the principal that the baby feeds itself, rule no.1 – you must never feed your baby, rather counter intuitive! That babies are ready for whole or finger foods at 6 months (not 8 or 9 months as Annabel Karmel may suggest). That they are no stages and purees are not needed, but at the 2nd development stage (not stage 2) you should try some thick soups or dips (not purees) on a spoon or to dip into, (don’t you put the spoon in their mouths though, tut tut tut!) That choking is no more likely to happen with BLW than with puree weaning. You should offer food in large finger sized pieces, small pieces could be a choking hazard. The your baby can pick up the finger sized piece and bit off a small piece (Uh, um, small piece!?! Choking hazard?!?)

I’m finding BLW and anyone’s advice around it a bit too “Tough Love for weaning” for me. “Can’t manage it sweet heart? Well that’s how you learn, practise”. “Can’t swallow something that big honey? Well you have to learn to gag it up and spit it out”. “You’d like to eat taste this delicious thing, well you can’t because you haven’t any teeth to bite it or the skills to chew it or the ability to move it to the back of your mouth and swallow, ha ha ha!”
“You want to eat? Well here’s a load of food. Get on Ok!” “I’m not allowed to help. Sorry, it’ll make you a fussy eater”.

Gagging when beginning weaning is normal and I suppose when whole foods are introduced, gagging should certainly be expected, but if you ask a BLWeenster they will say their baby never gagged. Their baby didn’t gagg and gagg and gagg until it vomited and safely removed the offended piece of banana. Or got a mound of sweet potato stuck to the roof of their mouth and sit there with their mouth gaping open for 10 minutes until I realised and a river of drool covered the high chair tray. And if your baby ever does get anything stuck to the roof of the mouth, don’t remove it, you’re not allowed to remove it. You have to offer it a drink of water. A drink of water!!! My baby has only ever had milk from a bottle, how the hell is offering him a drink of water going to remove a mound of food from his upper palate. (BLWeensters and medical professionals don’t listen. I’m afraid I had to lie him down, shine a torch in his mouth and put my finger in there to get it out). It wasn’t a nice experience.

Well BLWeensters, I’m glad you had a good experience, I’m happy for you. How great that your baby happy chomps away on anything you them. I’ve yet to have a nice experience at meal times, every shudder followed bite, every eye watering swallow and every chicken sneeze* is stressful and worrying. Eating never used to be as difficult as this!

*yesterday the baby had his first taste of chicken. He picked it up, played a bit, put it in his mouth, chewed, spat some out, dropped some, picked some up, then started manically rubbing his eyes. After giving his chicken eyes a little wipe, and trying to wipe his chickeny hands to avoid further chickeny eyes, his sneezed. He sneezed out chicken! It came out of his nose, WTF!



missing you already – a uncharacteristic post

I’m not generally one that looks on the bright side or makes the best of a situation. I am always to be found wallowing on the dark side, wishing for better times with self-pitying sighs. Well, I’ve had a bit of a revelation at the weekend when I read this Guardian Lifestyle Liz Fraser.

It struck a cord. I took the boy back to school yesterday after his first school holiday, which I spent most of noting how much he had changed (since going to school). Not particularly in bad ways, not altogether good, (although he’s gained confidence in himself which I have to admit is good, despite sometimes making him a little shit!) just mainly – different. I’ve found myself looking back at photos and videos of him as a baby and little boy, and I miss him terribly. The awful thing is that I’ve realised I’m looking at old photos and videos of the boy at the ages I’m aching the baby to get to. I was wishing the weeks away to speed to 6 weeks old, then rushing through months to get to 3 months. Now he’s 6 months and eating food and beginning to crawl and I don’t realise how great these times are. I want him to be a year with some more of the hard bits over. I never really understood that there were good times ahead when the boy was a baby, it was just awful but now I know that there are lovely times and I just want to speed to them. Am I missing other joyful moments because of this?

This post is very out of character for me but I very sincerely mean it. I’m going to re-read this article often to remind me that, one day, perhaps, I will look back at these hellish days of babydom and miss them (it’s very easy to look back at something that’s over and done with and happily reminisce, stop it, stop it, go away pessimism for one minute won’t you). I’m going to try really hard to make the most of this unique time, to cherish these moments, blah blah blah

worth waiting for
worth waiting for




International free flow month

As my menstrual cycle is aching to start at the moment one item of news in particular has caught my eye ( MPs have voted against a move to compel the government to cut tax on sanitary products. The Bill amendment, which would have forced a negotiation with the EU for a reduction in the 5% VAT rate, and was rejected by 305 to 287 votes.

Now come on women (who menstruate) of the world, we all know that we have no choice but to buy sanitary products, we also all know that they can be expensive (buying those own brand cheap as chips kind can be rather grim). Well there’s 2 ways to protest, joining me by signing this petition – stop taxing periods  and joining me on International free flow month! A month with out the discomfort, inconvenience and most importantly the cost of using sanitary products. We will bleed on the buses, trains and tube, bleed on pavements and school yards, bleed in the shops, cafes and restaurants, bleed on our office chairs (although I might put a towel down at home on the new sofa!) Say “NO!” to VAT on sanitary products and show those fat cats at the EU just how messy it can get. Who’s with me?
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A Bit Of Everything

Life begins at 40

I thought I could get away with it, in that one vain moment I came to the decision that despite being 39, a bit over weight, not at all fit and still slightly scarred from PND and anxiety, that having another baby was a good idea, it would be fine this time, fun even, I’m not too old!

Well I am too old, I’m too old for this. I’m not even 39 anymore of course, I’m 40, a few months away from 41. I’m an “older mum” and I really feel it (and I’ve yet to experience the fun bit either). My body is ruined, my hips ache, my stomach muscles seem to have stretched beyond all use which means my back aches and even feeding the baby which gives me a shooting pain across my shoulder and down my back.

I also look a total mess. I admit I’ve given up washing my face, mostly. When I grab a shower I wash my face and hair and that really totals my beauty routine. My aged, sleep deprived body demands sugar (preferably mixed with cocoa and milk, and in a solid bar) to get me through the day, this has also led to requiring new, larger clothes and I’ve chosen things that are comfy!

I finally gave in and admitted my “older mum” status when recently  I stood up to reveal a soggy patch in my lap. There were only 2 possible reasons for this, 1 it’s baby dribble (this was the actual reason) 2 its a bit of a wee. These are now the only reasons that wetness occurs in this area of my body!

It’s ironic that despite my old age I find myself living the life of a small child, up at 5.30, school at 9.00, snacks and CBeebies through the day (don’t get the bloody naps though), tea at 5.00, bed at 8.00.

I’m too old for this.

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a thought about miscarriage

When I was trying to conceive I obsessed over researched how, why and when conception happens. The more you learn about the process the more you realise how unlikely and random conception is, how frought with danger it is even if sperm meets egg (I’ll save you from the details of  the complications of trying to get his sperm to meet my egg!)

Deciding to try for another baby (you may be interested in this ) was consuming enough but actually trying to conceive was all consuming, but something that I didn’t want to share with anyone else (except my husband – obviously). Trying to get pregnant, success or loss and the first months of pregnancy are usually shrouded in secrecy. I told no one but one close friend that we were trying for another baby, I’m not one for talking about my periods or sex life so the ins and outs (so to speak!!) of trying to conceive were private. But this meant that I couldn’t grieve/lament/moan to anyone every month when it turned out I wasn’t pregnant. We suffered alone and didn’t share.

I was extremely fortunate that I didn’t experience losing a baby, escpecially as statistically speaking, the odds were against me. Today I’ve been wondering if, with my penchant for secrecy  and the usual “not telling anyone until the 12 week scan” thing, whether if I had, I would have told anyone. I actually think I wouldn’t. Would I have been comforted and reconciled with rational and scientific facts, that in general there is a 1:4 likelihood of miscarriage, it happens a lot. Would this fact mean that I shouldn’t grieve, after all it’s so common isn’t it or that there would be less sympathy or empathy?

Trying to conceive, for me, was full of ups and downs (so to speak!!) but I can’t claim to know what it must be like to have a miscarriage which is why, although I felt my journey was private, that we should feel that there’s no judgement or taboo around talking about miscarriage, that every sadness around trying for a baby, from deep disappointment when your period arrives to the devastation of losing a baby can be out in the open and shared – if you want!

This week has been Baby Loss Awareness Week, there’s still time to get involved – if you want! Miscarriage Association
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night feeds

At 5 months, my baby’s night time habits are really hitting us hard. He’s on the cusp of just waking for 1 feed but its completely unpredictable as to when and how many feeds he might actually have. I can’t help recalling the hell of night times when the boy was very young, and a comment made at the time by my husbands friend’s wife about the “amazing night feed I had last night” It blew my mind that any night feed could be amazing (perhaps she could see the northern lights from her chair, but I don’t think so).

My nights go more like this;

*baby starts crying* What! No way! I’ve only been asleep for 5 minutes. *look at time* God, its’s a bit early! Uh that means 2 feeds tonight, boody hell! *baby pauses crying for 34 seconds* I’ll close my eyes and pretend its not happening *baby starts crying again* Oh for gods sake! *getting up, turning the monitor down to 1, bash leg in edge of bed* Stupid _ucking Ikea beds, why have such a hard sticky-outy edge, the only purpose of this bed frame is to bang my leg on – again! *Husband sleepily asks if I’ve fed him yet* No! *What not at all?* No! *break the good news that its not morning yet and he goes back to sleep*

*Down stairs making up a bottle, baby goes quiet* For god sake, have you gone back to sleep? Should I warm this or not? *Hover around the microwave* I’ll close my eyes and pretend its not happening! *baby resumes crying, bottle is heated, creep in a pissed off way up stairs but linger on what I think is the stair before the top stair, (have to feel my way as we haven’t lived here that long and still don’t intuitively know where the stairs finish, in the dark.)* We need some _ucking lights here, this is ridiculous.

*baby screams like its being tortured, doesn’t stop until the bottle’s in the the mouth* Dam, I’m really uncomfortable, what’s the point of this stupid cushion, it doesn’t do anything, I’m going to chuck it out tomorrow. *Baby finishes and throws itself into a I’m going back to sleep now position* Um hang on I’ve got to burp you yet and change your nappy, don’t go to sleep now! *wrestle baby into a seated position, baby burps* Oh that was easy! Keep still, no bend you’re leg, bend it, Uh! Bigger baby grows just mean more poppers, I hate these stupid poppers. *baby makes the new noise it had mastered the day before – which pleases him immensely* Great, you’re awake now, wide _ucking awake. Get in your sleeping bag, get your legs in, get them in, let go of my finger, let go. Bloody great, it’s going to take him ages to go back to sleep now.

*Sitting on the sofa waiting for him to go to sleep* I’ll close my eyes and pretend its not happening! *baby goes quiet* Oh, well I’d better stay here a bit longer, he’s bound to wake up again in a minute. *baby stays quiet* Uhh! Bed! I bet it takes me bloody ages to fall back to slee…

I have concluded that she must have been lying.