Tag Archives: food

Baby-led weaning

We love baby-led weaning!!  Baby led weaning means allowing your baby to lead the way – they tell you when they are ready to start solids (around six months, when they can sit unassisted and start grabbing food of your plate), and they eat the same food as you, as it is – so there’s no pureeing.  The Baby-led weaning book is my favourite parenting book and I highly recommend it to every parent.

Firstly, some of the benefits:

  • It’s so much fun!  Yes, in the early months there is a lot of mess, but be prepared with bibs, wipe clean floors, and plenty of flannels and baby wipes and it’s no problem
  • In the long run, it’s a lot less mess – I promise!  Because your baby has a head start on learning how to eat, they get the hang of eating neatly a lot sooner
  • It gives you extra time: spoon feeding a baby involves both of you and is over very quickly, but you can put your baby in their highchair with a selection of food and leave them to it (supervised) whilst you get on with eating your own dinner and doing the washing up
  • You can go out for dinner and they can eat at the same time as you, meaning you don’t have to entertain them or take your own food for them
  • It takes a lot less organisation as you just give them what you’re making anyway
  • It helps you eat more healthily as you want to introduce them to more foods
  • It’s makes for more adventurous eaters – it’s great showing off your kids eating things like olives and prawns and mustard!
  • It’s less cooking and washing up for you – as everyone eats the same food at the same time.

And a few tips:

  • At first your baby won’t understand that food fills them up, so if they’re hungry give them a milk feed first.  Food should be considered an activity in its own right, rather than a mealtime, for the first couple of weeks at least so offer it when they are wide awake and happy – it might not be at traditional mealtimes for a while
  • Offer a selection of foods and allow them to play with it and eat what they want.  Even if they seem to not like something, keep offering it a few times to give them opportunities to try it again.  Don’t worry if it all ends up on the floor!
  • Don’t worry if they don’t seem to eat much, they are still getting everything they need from milk – remember “food is for fun until they are one”
  • Start with things that are easy to hold: brocoli, roasted veg in chip shapes, soldiers of toast (spread with anything: hummus, cream cheese, avocado, banana, melted cheese)
  • If you are worried about giving your baby solid foods straight away, then try to team up with a friend who has done baby-led weaning (ideally one who is a couple of weeks ahead of you) so that they can give you more confidence.  Sharing mealtimes is also a great way to give you a break from cleaning up once in a while!!
  • Enjoy it and take lots of photos!  Here are three of my favourites of Oscar.

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Filed under food, work-life balance

Happy New Year!

So, Christmas is over, we’ve found homes for all the new toys (a good haul this year!) and it’s time to get back to reality.  I’ve got a busy few months ahead – the Flexi-Mum project is starting off in January, I’m getting married in April, and we’re braving our first flight with two kids in May, then my eldest boy (Oscar) starts school in September.

I was chatting with a friend about new year’s resolutions, and she said hers was simple: try to get her work-life balance right.  Easier said than done when she works full time and has a young child, but not impossible.  It made me realise just how much a project like this is needed.

After my first child, I returned to work part time.  I was so worried about it that I went for a meeting with my manager, and started looking round nurseries SIX MONTHS before I went back – I should have been using that time to enjoy my time with my baby, not worrying about work!  I had been confident at work before, but I lost all of my confidence and didn’t have the belief that I would still be able to do the job after a year’s break.  I would really have loved some support at that point to help me build that confidence back up.

Second time round was totally different as I had been made redundant.  I knew I couldn’t afford not to work, but there’s no support in finding work when your baby is young and your partner is in work.  I did have my own business as well by this point, and this served really well to maintain my self confidence.  If you start a micro-business even for that reason alone I think it’s worth it.  I also trained and started volunteering as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, which I really enjoyed and gave me new confidence and skills.

Running my own business and volunteering helped boost my confidence, and gave me some purpose in life other than being “Mummy”.  Without having done these, I would never have landed my job with Opportunity Plus.

Through Flexi-Mum, we want to provide you with the support that I wish I’d had.  I’ve been there, so I know how hard it can be, even when on paper everything is place for an easy transition back to work.  Please get in touch if you think we can help, or if you want to share your story on this blog.

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Filed under children, employment, online business, planning, self employment, work-life balance