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Travel, weaning and other stories

Wow, it has been a busy two weeks and I’ve been too lazy or too tired to post. Also the sun has been shining – surely everyone has better things to do than spend it online reading a blog! Anyway, after the Oxford trip, I’ve had a few days out – a lovely garden party at Buckingham palace (thank you bro-in-law), a picnic at Richmond park with baby & daddy as well as a beautiful day trip to Whitstable. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

When I’ve not been basking in the sunshine with my boys, I’ve been home giving this weaning thing my best shot. And I suppose it is paying off. Although James seems to love his fruits – I’ve tried apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches and apricots, he will absolutely not have any veggies. Every time I’ve tried to get a bit of carrot, peas or sweet potato in to him, he spits it all out and no amount of coaxing works. However surprisingly today he did accept a bit of butternut squash (which I mixed with peach puree) – perhaps thats the key – to mix it with fruit and it goes down a treat. Having said that his milk intake has declined quite substantially which is quite worrying. But he seems happy so hopefully it isn’t too bad.

Another exciting development is that he’s now got a high chair, an amazing Polly Chicco one – that has extra padding/an insert for smaller babies and is perfect for my little man . It has 7 (yes 7!) heigh positions and three reclining ones. Although it might seem a bit bulky, it can be folded and put away easily. It is then typical of him to get bored sitting in it after 10-15mins so I have to move him to the bouncer near the window as he eats while enjoying the view (we have ceiling to floor windows). Ah, it must be awesome being a baby :)

Whitstable - day out with baby

Polly Chicco High Chair

Butternut squash puree, Peach puree

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Babys Day Out – Oxford

Since the husband is partying away on a stag do for a week(!), I decided to make most of mine by going away with a couple of girlfriends and James to our lovely neighbouring city of Oxford. We decided on an overnight trip to help us relax and make the most of sightseeing with a baby. While I admit it was not probably the most relaxing of trips (feeding, changing and entertaining a 6 month old can overshadow the most amazing of sights), it was definitely an experience to remember.

Some things I will definitely bear in mind for my next trip with baby.

1. Get a baby carrier. Lugging a massive folded buggy in and out of trains was exhausting. We happened to travel on one hell of a busy weekend – the Henley on Thames regatta meant trains were bursting at its seams – and even though we had reserved outgoing seats, we found it very difficult getting around.

Funnily I had actually purchased a baby carrier a day before our trip only to open it later in the evening to find out it was the wrong model. *head desk*

And although I love my Joolz Day pram, it is quite bulky to travel with.

2. Hotel rooms. Try booking these way in advance. I couldn’t believe almost all hotels in Oxford were sold out except for one extremely expensive one and some university rooms. We went with a supposedly ‘child friendly’ university – Keble college. Only while checking in we were told that my room was on the second floor and there was no lift to take us there. Eventually I did swap rooms with my friend who had her room on the ground floor. Overall I wasn’t too impressed with the accommodation i) we booked superior rooms which we were led to believe faced a picturesque quad however actually faced some blasé back garden. ii) the staff were a bit too patronising. iii) Check in time is 2pm however is at 10am!

On a positive note however, the building itself is stunning. And the dining hall, where we had a pleasant breakfast is a sight to behold. Having said that I definitely would not recommend staying here if you have an infant.

3. Bottle sterilising. This was something I didn’t think about up until the last minute. Thankfully, these disposable steriliser bags came to the rescue. All you have to do is fill them with water and let the bottles sit in them for at least 30 mins. They’re easy to use and excellent for long or short trips.

And finally if you are visiting Oxford, definitely make it to the Ashmolean Museum – it is not only a good museum, but it also has a fantastic roof top restaurant. I must admit we spent more time in the restaurant than in the museum but it was well worth it. Especially since it had one of the best Pimms I’ve ever had.

Having great friends definitely makes it easier travelling with a baby. So don’t forget to bring them along :)

Oxford, Travelling with Baby

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Banana..na na na

So this weaning thing is not going exactly to plan. In my head I had conjured up images of James loving everything I feed him. In reality he hasn’t really lost his tongue thrust reflex yet, so keeps pushing whatever I give him out of his mouth. He did like sucking on a piece of pear but was not too keen on baby rice or bananas. Why he even makes a face while sipping on some water! I’m not too disappointed though, a little part of me expected it as it’s just the start.

James does seem to be leaning towards baby led weaning rather than me feeding him purees. He’ll happily hold and lick his spoon or a piece of fruit all by himself. The health visitor has told me to persevere with trying to feed him however as he needs to let go of his tongue thrust reflex at some point. So I’m just going to carry on.

Here’s a picture of him ‘not enjoying’ his baby rice.

Baby rice weaning

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Happy Sunday

Sunny days are happy days. Today James and I went to Richmond park to cheer a special girl friend who was running her very first Race for Life (very proud of her by-the-way). Unfortunately because of my terrible inability to follow directions – I was actually given wrong directions- I ended up missing the entire race but managed to catch up with her for lunch after and it was super as always.

I am getting confident with travelling on trains with James now and have found this app called “Mumderground” that is specifically built for mums (but would also help the disabled) as it tells you which stations have step free access and other mummy/baby travel facilities. It’s a bit steeply priced at £1.49 but quite helpful regardless.

So, all in all a fantastic day – we even did a little lazing around in park which James seemed to love. I did have to pry him away from the grass that he seemed very intent on pulling and yes, eating. Kids!

Here’s an image of my little mans outfit of the day!

baby dungarees

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Juice or not to juice

I’m not really sure what the consensus is on giving juice to babies. Some recommend small quantities while to others it is a complete no-no. However after having a poo-ey baby for the last two weeks, overflowing laundry baskets, a broken washer dryer and going through 2×56 packs of nappies, I finally buckled in and gave James a home remedy that my MD suggested. MD not as in Doctor of Medicine but Mother Dearest. So if pomegranate juice was going to make my days a bit easier, pomegranate juice was what James was going to have.

I squeezed about two or three seeds on to a weaning spoon, strapped him on to his fathers lap and gave him a taste. He made the funniest face but nevertheless it went down almost immediately. Whether it has made him better, only time will tell – although at the time of writing this he has been asleep for two hours with no sign of a pooey nappy. Phew!

Pomegranates

Pomegranate Juice

Juice

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Are we there yet?

I’m not entirely sure why but I am super excited about WEANING! James will be 6 months old in a few days and I can’t wait for him to have his first taste of baby rice and bananas. I was quite skeptical about buying/reading weaning books as I thought – it’s baby veg or fruit mash, how hard can it be? And really it isn’t hard at all, but then I came across Annabel Karmel’s book on superfoods for babies – “superfoods” I tell you and I decided I MUST have it. Afterall I am nuturing a mini superman. It turns out they are all mashed fruit and veg anyway. It does have a great daily/weekly feeding plan which is helpful however.

Annabel Karmel

I’ve also bought an Annabel Karmel food mash and serve bowl – Amazon convinced me I needed this although I’m sure a fork and spoon and a normal plastic bowl would’ve done just fine. Nevertheless I am excited and I’m sure I will photograph and imprint in my memory all of James’ expressions as he takes his first bite.

Annabel Karmel Mash & Serve Bowl

Oh and here’s a picture of him chilling out in front of the TV.

Friday Night Live