It’s Saturday night as I write this and Sam is out in London meeting his friends. So I’m enjoying some time on the sofa after indulging in an oven-cooked frozen pizza after putting the smallest member of our household to bed with, amongst other woes, a summer cold and hoping she stays asleep. Although I suspect she won’t since I’ve already been in to soothe her twice. Anyway, it felt like time for a blog post I’ve been trying to get to all week because there is a lot going on in the world of my small person at the moment.
H has been dribbling and chewing away for a good couple of months now. But over the last 3 weeks it has really cranked up a notch. About 14 days ago her sleeping suddenly went to pot and she started waking an average of 5-6 times between 9pm and 6am. She started chewing everything in sight and grumbling a lot when she didn’t have something in her mouth. Then I noticed a couple of little lines on her bottom gum which have slowly been getting more prominent. Yes…the dreaded teething is starting.
The sleeping has improved a little over the last 7 days aided by the introduction of a dream feed (she was waking routinely at about 10:30pm so it seemed worth a try introducing one now to see if she would sleep a bit whilst I was sleeping!) and the night-time application of Bojella. The daytime seems a little easier for her as she is distracted and fortunately in pretty good spirits. But when discomfort strikes we have some trusty aids.
It does beg the question though, given that teething is so horrible for babies, should it not be declared Mother Nature’s biggest fail? Well, joint first with child birth perhaps…
Another big change is that a couple of weeks ago we started weaning. This is earlier than the NHS ‘guidelines’ but given that I have been intensely watched eating my porridge for about a month and now have to fight to hang on to my lunch it felt like time. Because she isn’t yet six months, we started with purees and a little bit of water. After the initial shock of being given something other than milk, H has not looked back! I haven’t made any purees myself yet and have been relying on Ella’s Kitchen pouches but as I start to understand what she likes I’ll get-a-cookin’.
Whilst ‘Baby Led Weaning’ is the recommended way now, I’m going to use a combined approach. When we hit six months imminently I am going to introduce some soft vegetables for her to play with. I also have some baby porridge ready so we can enjoy the same breakfast in the next few weeks. Although then I need to introduce all other foods and it’s quite a daunting responsibility knowing I have to get her on to a balanced and nutritional diet.
There has been an awful lot in the press over the last twelve months about both breastfeeding and formula feeding. Some articles have been about mothers being criticised in public for breastfeeding. Others have been about mothers being insulted by strangers for giving their child a bottle. It seems it is a topic on which too many people have too many opinions and too many of those people feel need to share them uninvited.
I have been breastfeeding H since she was born. About a month ago though the pre-bedtime feed was just getting too stressful for us both because H was tired and less tolerant at working for the milk, coupled with the fact I probably had low supply at that time of day. So we introduced a formula bottle at bedtime. The introduction of a regular bottle went really well and has made bedtime far more relaxing for us all. It also means that Sam can now be more actively involved in bedtime.
Right now I am trying to work out what I want to do about breastfeeding going forward. As she starts eating more solid food, I would like to get to the point where there isn’t a dependency on me for feeding through the day, with probably the exception of first thing and overnight (if that continues for some time). But I am feeling some reluctance at planning to stop breastfeeding during the day, even though it won’t be for another month or two yet. I really think I am being influenced by everything in the media and in the NHS literature / talks; I feel guilty that I am even thinking about stopping breastfeeding at six months.
But I keep reminding myself that she’ll still get everything she needs from food and formula so if I decide to make the change over the next month or two then I shouldn’t feel like a bad mother. At this point I also need to do what is right for me. I do wish that society would remember though that parents should be allowed to choose to raise their children how they see fit (abuse etc aside of course) and it would be wonderful to see undue guilt and pressure being placed on parents who have enough to deal with already!