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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Freya Walks

Posted by Anthony on Saturday Apr 11, 2009 Under Uncategorized

Yes, the little one is walking. She had just finished eating a freshly-baked cookie too, but that is less exciting. What amuses me is the little kiss at the end before she drops out of shot.

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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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An amusing incident

Posted by Linda on Thursday Jan 8, 2009 Under Uncategorized

So I was at the music type baby group thing today and for the first time Freya didn’t cry. You see they are allowed to play with instruments for some of the songs, but after the songs they have to put them away. Freya has such a nice time chewing on the instruments that she objects to this quite strongly and with tears. She also gets quite tired towards the end and this leads to the grumps. She has got better gradually, but I have got into the habit of carrying some food with me so that if Freya is happily nomming on a set of bells and they are taken away, she can nom on a rice cake instead.

Today we had moved round the room due to Ring a Ring of Roses and I was away from my changing bag. Another mum approached me a bit later and handed me Freya’s lunch box. Apparently her sneaky son (who is actually adorable) had ‘found’ the lunch box and had been relieved of it by said mum. So having it in my possession and knowing the session was nearing the end I thought Freya might like something. I opened the lunch box and the small thud of opening Tupperware seemed to catch the attention of all the babies and toddlers in the room. Three or four crawled or toddled straight for Freya and I. I quickly handed Freya the rice cake and backed off. A couple of them were restrained by parents, but I was impressed at how firmly Freya held on to her snack. It was her rice cake and no baby no matter how much bigger he was was going to get it from her. I was very impressed, but seeing them all going for the food was still the funniest thing I had seen all week.

Changing the subject slightly. One thing that has caught me unprepared is the lethal combination of crawling and pincer grip. Now although I’m not the messiest person in the world I do not hoover every day if I don’t have to, but this may have to change. If Freya finds the smallest crumb or the tiniest piece of paper and she will eat it. I knew this was coming. It’s obvious really and I’ve seen other babies doing it, but I’m still not ready for it. Everywhere we go she will find something to put in her mouth. I am reluctant to fish things out unless there’s an obvious danger as I always imagine I will only push it further in. Poor starved baby having to eat paper…

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Christmas Cheer

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Jan 6, 2009 Under About, Drinks, Eating Out, Freya, Weaning

Now although we follow a Pagan path in our household, we enjoy Christmas dinner as much as the next person, and presents, and lights, and decorations etc. So we were obviously excited about Freya’s first Christmas. We had bought her a few present, but didn’t go overboard as at 9 months I don’t think she was really aware of anything except that there were all these boxes that she wasn’t allowed to touch. Dinner was going to be a simple affair as we were having Christmas day alone and then seeing family on Boxing day. I got a large chicken breast joint thing from Sainsbury and did mashed potato, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Tony isn’t that keen on roast potato so I didn’t see the point and I don’t mind mashed potato. The idea was to have this at lunch time but we didn’t dressed until late so by the time I was ready to cook Freya was already begging for food so instead we put her out of her agony with some lunch and did it for the evening meal. It was almost perfect. The mashed potato was creamy and smooth and the chicken well cooked, but I couldn’t help thinking that there was something missing. It wasn’t until three days later, when we had come back from visiting relatives, I realised that in the oven lay some roast sweet potatoes now all cold and shrivelled. Never mind. Freya really enjoyed what we gave her anyway.

Boxing Day we went to my sister’s house for a party. I had to be more careful about what she ate there as it was mostly processed snacks and crisps. She was a little tired and overwhelmed to eat properly anyway, but I think she had a mini sausage, some bread and some pineapple and cheese on sticks. My sister in law was very impressed that she was drinking from a cup, but remained sceptical about baby led weaning even though Freya did demonstrate that it was perfectly safe. She even showed her a little gag and was very surprised to find herself being patted on the back. ;-)

That night we stayed with Freya’s great grandparents and she decided that this was so exciting that she couldn’t possibly go to sleep before 11.30pm and even then she tried to put up a fight when I realised she was getting grumpy. I had packed a small selection of foodstuff so that if she got hungry I had something for her. A banana, some plums and a rice cake. As she hadn’t eaten much at my sister’s, she ate the plum before bed and I think I gave her the banana in the morning. The poor old rice cake didn’t get a look in.

Although I’m glad I took the extra snacks, it was really liberating to have her just eat what was available and enjoy it. She really isn’t that fussy and will eat whatever is put in front of her with minimal fuss. We had taken the Bumbo with us so wherever we were we could sit on the floor with her. She certainly doesn’t mind sitting at the table but until I can get hold of one of those seats that you can strap to the dining chairs it’s the floor I’m afraid.

The only other thing to report is that Freya is now showing signs of preferring certain foods (pasta) over others and we are also getting to the stage of her eating things one day and then not touching them the next. I’m not worried. All I can do is offer it and, if she doesn’t want it, I eat it or it goes in the bin. It’s not like I’ve gone to any extra effort making food just for her. That’s the beauty of baby led weaning.

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Two teeth

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Dec 23, 2008 Under About, Eating Out, Freya, Linda, Weaning

Freya has two teeth now. The second one is coming through a bit crooked, but then she is my daughter so it’s not entirely surprising. I had to have a brace for two years for all the good it did me. As soon as my wisdom teeth came through my entire bottom set just went back as crooked as they ever were. I really hope she gets better treatment than I had if she needs it.

Food has still been going very well. I read about other people have blips and bumps, but as yet we haven’t had any although every day I expect her to turn around and just not eat anything. Even when she has a cold she loves solid food. I guess it’s easy to eat than her usual breast milk in some ways.

She was weighed at 8 months and hadn’t put on very much weight at all. She had dropped below the 9th percentile, if you take much notice of those things, but I am only mildly concerned. I know that I have a healthy, happy and hugely energetic little girl. She looks so long and slim though just like Daddy!

We went out for Tony’s Christmas meal on the 13th and I was really torn about leaving Freya. A friend of ours looked after her and I knew that Freya would be perfectly safe, but I was worried that she would cry the whole time we were gone and the friend would never look after her again or even never want to see us again!

I packed Freya a lunch of pasta, creme fraiche, sausage, chicken, courgette and red pepper. I threw the courgette and red pepper in the water that I was cooking the pasta in and it worked really well. I think I used chives and paprika. I wasn’t expecting her to eat much to be honest. I thought she would miss Mummy and Daddy too much but I made much more than I thought she would eat just to be on the safe side. To be honest it tasted so good that I wondered if our Christmas dinner was going to be as nice!

How wrong can you be? Not only was she grinning happily when we arrived to pick her up, she had eaten most of her dinner (a few lonely pieces of pasta and courgette hadn’t made it and lay strewn across the floor – sorry Emma) and she had only had a little grizzle once in the four hours we were gone. I was proud, relieved and perhaps oddly a little hurt. There is the realisation that actually she doesn’t need me and Tony as much as we would like to believe.

Anyway, Freya eats three meals a day now, even if we have to wake her up for dinner. The day we didn’t she woke at 11pm, was really angry and would not go back to sleep! Banana still seems to be the best food for breakfasting in bed (although she makes us laugh when she eats it) although she has been trying to steal some of our toast again lately.

Lunch remains pita breads, normally with cheese, carrot and cumin, as they are so very easy and I know that Freya will eat them and enjoy them. Plum for afters.

Dinner is whatever we have although I did give her fish the other day instead of burgers. Since Tony hates the smell of fish I was very careful about washing up straight away and dealing with Freya eating it. It seemed to be successful and Freya liked it. I’m glad, as fish is supposed to be good for them. Much more is going in now than ever before. We pick her up afterwards expecting to see stuff all over her legs but with the exception of rice there is very little mess. The other day I noticed that when she dropped something, even if it was seemingly on purpose, she would reach down and pick it up and continue eating.

Just one last tip – When your baby is eating and you want to take a photo, don’t leave the knife you were using to cut the pita breads up in front of them… :-p

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Bite the meatball…

Posted by Anthony on Saturday Dec 6, 2008 Under Eating Out, Freya, New Food, Weaning

We took Freya to Ikea for dinner and, knowing how much of our food we normally have to give her, gave her a plate of her own.  Five meatballs and two big boiled potatoes sat staring up at her next to her own dollop of lingonberry sauce.

The first thing she did was to take a large handful of sauce and eat it.  Even I would be hesitant to eat that sauce on its own, but that is what she did.  As expected, it was a little much for her and she did not like it.  She tried a meatball, but could not find the pruchase to open it.  I cut one open, she tried to swallow it whole.  She chewed half-balls quite well, but ended up spitting them out quite soon.

By now, the floor was looking like a meatball battleground; chip-spears (stolen from our plates) lay discarded by the gravely-wounded meatballs, who lay dying in little pools of lingonberry blood.  Some were barely wounded, others were torn asunder.  One or two had almost made it away from the carnage, only to lie inert in the path beside which this awful tragedy had taken place.

Freya herself looked like she had been in an accident of some kind; her face, hands and sleeves were red with sauce and red fingerprints decorated every pale surface within range.

She was brought home, bathed and put to bed eventually.

This morning, we discovered evidence of the event that we had been awaiting so eagerly.  This morning, we saw the first tooth to break free of its gummy captivity.  This morning, we brushed the sharp implement of destruction and nipple-mutilation.  And it is sharp.  I was not sure what I expected, but it hurt to run my finger along it, like a knife or prepared flint.  This thing, this incisor, could easily break skin and excise flesh.

My daughter is now armed, a warrior in the fight against the edible invaders…  She will find them in the dining room, she will eat them in the bedroom and she will nibble them in her buggy.  Never have so many foodstuffs had so much to fear from one small child…

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