Passing of the Torch

Posted by Anthony on Tuesday Sep 18, 2012 Under About, Freya

As you might have guessed, this blog is all but done.  Freya is now a school-girl, fully-weaned and speaking fluently.  I’d say it’s time to put the blog to bed, but there’s good news to go with the bad…

A friend of ours has just started weaning their son and they have gone with Baby-Led Weaning too.  While you won’t get the same adventures of Freya and her chip armies in Ikea, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Head on over to and watch a whole new adventure with a self-feeding child.

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That’s my toddler!

Posted by Linda on Monday Dec 28, 2009 Under Cutlery, Freya, Weaning

Freya is growing up so fast now. She is no longer a baby. She hasn’t been for some time, but the most recent clutch of Christmas presents has really reinforced this. She now plays with her pirate ship, her caravan and her vet surgery. She doesn’t know the ins and outs of what a vet is but she likes the ‘house’ and the animals. She plays with the ‘car’ and the ‘man’. She also knows that pirates go ‘aaaaahhhh!’

Food has been quite strange lately. In the three weeks before Christmas we had a cold and her eating went down to almost nothing. I mean seriously, one meatball and a butter bean was her dinner one evening and I thought she didn’t eat much on a normal day! Luckily she is still breast fed and I could relax knowing that she still got plenty of nutrition from that.

After she recovered the eating went mad. I think maybe it was a growth spurt or making up for the week she was ill, but she seriously ate me out of house and home. Nothing was safe and quite suddenly her spoon and fork control also improved so she was eating a much larger quantity of food at dinner. Things she has previously rejected were suddenly greeted with enthusiasm.

Right now I think she’s found a middle ground. Unfortunately since it is Christmas she has also discovered chocolate or ‘uh, uh’ as she calls it. Since it is Christmas we are letting her have a little, but she seems to have realised that chocolate is actually very yummy and has been demanding it a little more than I’m comfortable with.

So what new words do we have now? Too many to really mention I think, but we’ll see what I can do – nose, mouth, eye, baby, feet, nap’ee (nappy), ap’aw (apple), tea, house, duck are the few that spring to mind but we have groups of words now too.

Numbers are un (one), tooo (two), free (three), four, fief (five), seeks (six), se’en (seven), ayt (eight), noin (nine) yeahn (ten).

Colours came suddenly the other day although we have been telling her colours from when she was very little. It was a bit of a shock to have her suddenly sit there and tell me them. Pup’el seems to be the favourite and green seems to give the most difficulty.

This month Freya really surprised me with how fast she is growing up and the nicest surprsie of all could be that she is now and again sleeping through the night – yes, that holy grail of parenting!

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Freya counts to ten and more growing up…

Posted by Anthony on Friday Nov 20, 2009 Under About, Freya

Freya continues to impress us with her quickly-growing skill-set. The video here is not the best quality, but it does show that Freya is learning her numbers. It might look like some pushy parenting, but she has been practising and asking for help. I also think that watching Numberjacks (much as I hate that program) is helping her learn numbers.

Her other trick (which we have yet to catch on camera) is shouting out the names of the characters in Waybuloo; they sound more ‘la-la’ and ‘joo-joo’, but we can definitely tell what she is saying.

In terms of physical ability, she has taken to bouncing on her bed, stepping off her step-stool while shouting ‘whee!’, climbing down the stairs without holding on and she successfully used the toilet last week.  In all, it is an exciting time to be a parent…

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What’s new?

Posted by Linda on Sunday Oct 25, 2009 Under About, Freya

We dressed Freya up as a fairy last night and, as we are very diligent parents, then completely forgot to take any photographs. This is a shame as she did look very cute, but also quite odd. We think she enjoyed herself running around and ‘helping’ out with the things going on. It was an unusual party and at one point there was a UV painting session which Freya absolutely loved. By the way this wasn’t a children’s party, just a lot of very strange adults who’s idea of a good party is building things from bricks or lego and playing with play dough while discussing philosophy. One of the strangest problems Freya seemed to have was that many of the men there had long hair and quite often she would approach one of them calling them Daddy rather confused.

So where are we with words I hear you ask? They are coming thick and fast lately so…

The letters and numbers Freya now recognises are – A (still quite an aggressive ‘argh’ sound,) B (only now and again), C, D, E, F(ffff), G (now and again), L (eh), M (mmm), N (mmm), O, R, S (sss), T, U (ooo), 6, 7 (se’en) and just this morning we had 8 (ay).

‘S’ words seem to be a favourite at the moment so we have – star, sand, sea, six, sit, socks, spider (si-er), seven (se-en).

Other words – food (foo), cat (mao), bear, drink (dink),  bubbles (buh-els) milk (mat), moon (moo), bat (ba), hat (ha), Makka Pakka (ma-a pa-a), Upsy Daisy (ai ee Daisy), daisy, flower (fower), Freya, fairy (faer ee), bath, daddy, mummy (mama), boob (yes, thanks, Tony), ear, eye (ahy). I think that’s all but it’s so difficult to remember as she obviously doesn’t say all the words all the time so it’s also hard to know whether something was a fluke or not.

She knows quite a few signs now too and the sounds certain animals make. Cow – moo, sheep – baa, lion/tiger/dinosaur/dragon – rah!, monkey -oo oo oo ah ah ah, cat – maow, dog – pants, owl – hoo hoo, elephant – brrrr, car – brrrm, train – see car, pirates – arrr (very gently). The signs she knows are – milk, finished, food, sand, giraffe, book, nappy change, sleep, monkey, cake, biscuit.

One of the scariest realisations as a parent comes when you finally get it into your head that your child actually can understand pretty much most of what you say. So when I said jokingly at the party, ‘oh, Freya you have glitter all over your hands. Ah, well, just wipe it on a random stranger,’ and she does, it was quite a shock and hugely amusing to everyone watching fortunately.

She can now get down the stairs completely unaided with her Cat and Bear in her hands, she can complete her jigsaw effortlessly and she now wants me to put nappies on her cuddly toys and takes great pleasure in wiping their faces and there hands. This personification of her toys is a dramatic jump in intellect to my mind and really rammed home the fact that my little girl is growing up!

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Oh, looking back makes me laugh!

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Aug 25, 2009 Under Freya

Well, there I am saying that she’s sleeping through and going down at 8.30pm without a fight! How wrong am I? I should know by now that Freya is in a constant state of flux and things will change minute by minute. She went to sleep at about 9.20pm last night and woke at 7.30am with one wake in the night.

Actually I can live with this. I can’t complain about the lack of sleep I get because if I went to bed at the same time she did, I would get lots. It’s my own fault if I choose to go to bed at midnight.

On the plus side, the naps are back to two hours. You see, now I’ve said that she’ll only sleep for one now I bet!

I have been slowly stock piling clothes in the next size up for winter. Freya is small. I knew that when she was just a 6 cm blob and I still know it. She is still wearing some 6-9 month clothes at 17 months although mostly she’s in 9-12 month things at the moment. I am kind of hoping that by the end of September or October that she’ll be in 12-18 months. There are a couple of things in 12-18 months that seem to fit ok. Her main trouble is that she is a fairly good height but has a tiny waist so when trousers fit lengthwise they just tend to end up round her ankles as they won’t stay up. Wearing a cloth nappy helps, but it’s still awkward. I guess she’ll always have that trouble.

New words this week -

Cat seems to have disappeared in favour of Maow or prrrrr and we now have a ‘b’ on bear instead of ‘w’.

deeg (dog), dey (dice), ‘R’, sees (’6′) wasat (we think means ‘what is that’), deed (possibly ‘did it’?), ‘D’, ‘E’.

I guess I had better explain the numbers and letters. We’re not pushy parents. I promise you that, but we do love books so Freya has built up quite a collection of her own already. She loves being read to, but equally loves sitting and flicking through them herself. Over the last few weeks she has become much more aware of letters and numbers and has been pointing and asking what they are, just as she would with a picture of a cat/fish/rabbit etc. I couldn’t tell you what she understands by them or if she is aware that stringing them together make words, but then who knows. I know that Tony and I were both early readers so I guess we’ll see what happens.

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She’s no fool

Posted by Anthony on Saturday May 23, 2009 Under About, Freya

There are issues with Baby-Led Weaning, I will not deny it. Not least of all, we have deliberately trained her to be both willing to eat almost anything and used to picking food according to taste and whim.

She has worked out, for instance, that we drink juice with dinner while she is drinking water. This is my fault; she started drinking from my glass when her water ran out and I decided to let her have some of mine rather than go and get her another cup of water. Since then, she has shown a great interest in our drinks and less in her own. We tried adding juice to her water a little at a time, but she was not fooled. Linda’s solution is that we should start drinking water ourselves, but surely there is a better answer…

The other issue is the biscuit tin. We used to let her play with it like a drum, safe in the knowledge that she could not open it. And then one day, I started slipping her the odd custard cream or ginger nut. Not daily, just as an occasional treat… Now she comes to us with the tin and forlornly shows us how the lid is stuck. Not that the charade stays long if we won’t play along…

I am not sure that ‘tantrum’ is the right word. It is a very good word, maybe peerless, but not completely right. They are characterised by falling down, screaming, tears and completely stopping when she gets what she wants. And I can only imagine that it will get worse…

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Posted by Linda on Saturday Apr 18, 2009 Under About, Freya

So now that Freya is walking we wondered what we needed to do about shoes. Luckily we know a few people who have been here before and mainly the advice seems to be let her wear soft soled shoes for a while.

We still got her measured up at Clarks. A very nice man measured her and she was very well behaved. She really enjoyed walking around the shop and trying to chew on all the yummy leathery shoes there. I did fall in love with one pair of proper boots that looked a bit like girly DMs with lace laces, but they were out of our price range and not the ‘soft soled’ shoes we were after. The guy helping wasn’t pushy at all. I was told to expect them to rush us to buy ‘proper’ shoes, but he didn’t and even suggested that cruisers were a better idea as she had only just started.

Freya got on surprisingly well with her shoes considering the fight we have sometimes to get some of the pram shoes she has on her and can walk rather well in them.

The only strange thing currently is that Freya seems to have two fears emerging. Grass and whirry things. The first one I think she will get used to fairly quickly, but it is funny when she’s in the garden as she keeps shouting at the grass in outrage. It appears she thinks the grass shouldn’t be there!

The whirry things we noticed first with the shredder. I had to take her out of the house while it was on and even then the slight noise of it disturbed her. As we don’t do much shredding we didn’t think this would be a problem however the fear extends to the blender (thank goodness we don’t do puree), the food processor, the strimmer and the lawn mower. Unfortunately it also means that if she can hear anything like that within the entire area we live it, she flips out. Shaking and wailing. She can, however, just about bear the vacuum cleaner.

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A minor tangent

Posted by Linda on Monday Mar 2, 2009 Under Linda, Weaning

I just found this from a site on Victorian children and weaning. It’s quote from a Victorian book. They do advocate mush as a first food but…

The practice of giving thickened food to infants at too tender an age is a source of endless trouble, as before observed. In one of Dr. Edward Smith’s admirable articles on dietary he remarks that the feeding of young infants on bread, flour, biscuits, and other substances than milk, is a “constant source of derangement of the liver, and a frequent cause of fits.” However considerable the quantity of such food passed into the stomach of a young infant may be, the body is not thereby nourished, but irritated. A babe, like an adult, is only nourished by what it has power to digest.
As a general rule a babe ought to be entirely nourished on milk until the first tooth appears. Even after that period milk should for a considerable time form the staple article of food. Larger quantities should then be given, and greater intervals between the meals observed. It is estimated that a babe three months of age will consume at least three pints of milk in twenty-four hours.
“Up to six or seven months of age,” Dr. Letheby says, “infants have not the power of digesting farinaceous or fibrinous substances.” After that age many descriptions of farinaceous food may be used, and are to be strongly recommended.

So even the good old Victorians knew that early weaning caused digestive problems!

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Greek Yoghurt

Posted by Anthony on Thursday Feb 19, 2009 Under Freya, New Food, Weaning

greekyoghurtWe had heard of the idea of Greek Yoghurt somewhere, but it seemed to us to be too close to mush.  Freya likes lumps, but we must constantly show that we are unafraid of mess.  As such, we added banana one day and later pineapple and papaya to this plain white substance, then prepared to see what happens.

What happens, it appears, is that it took two spoons to keep up with her.  I would not recognise a papaya to see one, but Freya loved it.  She took some chunks that we had thought too big from the spoon, grabbing spoons as fast as we could load them.  In the end, she was taking fruit from the bowl.  Banana on the first day of the trial, papaya and pineapple in the following days.

It made a mess, as expected, but deft intervention with a warm damp flannel and a trip straight to the bath helped.  We only knew that there was a mouth inside the white mess because it kept opening to accept more food…

All in all, a resounding success.  A messy success, but all of the best ones are…

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Trying new recipes

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Jan 20, 2009 Under About, Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

As money is tight I’ve been trying new recipes instead of relying on old favourites that may cost more, but one I had wanted to try for a while was risotto. It’s fairly labour intensive or rather it is kitchen intensive so it had to wait for a time when Tony was home and could stop Freya wrecking the place. It turned out really well. We had to use the loaded spoon technique, but she could pick out the chicken bits herself and I cooked some veg to go with it. It wasn’t actually any cheaper to make than some of the other things we have but it was so nice that we may have it again.

On the cooking front I have also been making soups. I haven’t tried the bread soaked in soup for weaning yet and there’s no way Freya is steady enough for loaded spoons of it so she had the chunks of meat and veg with a rice cake which went down very well. It was Thai chicken noodle soup so I dread to think how much salt ended up in it, but I didn’t add any extra salt (even though the recipe said to) and since she didn’t drink the soup itself I think it was ok. Besides, when you look at it over the course of the week, or even the day, I think it all evens out.

We are having a little trouble with our carpets. I have been sitting Freya on the floor for lunch as she has been pretty good at not making much mess, but unfortunately all those little bits of mess have added up and now our carpet is in a terrible state. Blame the lazy woman who can only wash up once a day and so the Bumbo is never clean for the lunch times. The worst culprit by far has been plum. It’s not helped by the fact that Freya often drops it and then skilfully sits in it. Really, her bum shifting accuracy scares me sometimes.

On the teething front we have two bottom front teeth and definitely something going on at the top. At the weekend we were woken up by screaming at 3am on both Friday and Saturday nights and it took much rocking, feeding and finally firmness to get her to go back to sleep. I know we are really lucky in that Freya has always slept through from an early age and so I never feel too bad about it. I know there are many unlucky parents out there with very wakeful babies.

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