To say we’ve had a rough couple of months is an understatement!! There’s been a lot of tears, a lot of much needed coffee (for me!) and definitely not enough sleep!
I’ve always been skeptical of the so called “sleep regressions”. Mainly because every child is different, so not every child will go through it, it’s not a written law that everyone will experience them. I’d always heard the 18 month sleep regressions was the worst, BUT OH. MY. GOD…. For us it has just been awful and honestly the first proper regression we’ve ever really had haha! (Not to scare anyone reading this who’s child hasn’t hit this age yet!)
It started a couple of weeks after Maddie turned 18 months old, so probably nearer 19 months old, and it started with her fighting her nap time. Honestly, Maddie’s never been the best napper, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she does drop her naps completely soon. She currently only has 1 nap a day and it lasts 1-2 hours, but ONLY if she’s had an active morning and been really stimulated, or she just won’t be tired enough.
Anyway, it started with nap struggles, closely followed by her waking up more and more in the night. At the worst point, she was waking and crying almost every 2 hours throughout the whole night. This regression also coincided with some sort of separation anxiety (click here to read more), which is probably what made the regression so bad! The only way Maddie and I could get any sort of sleep, was by bringing her into my bed and sleeping together; which normally happened at about 2am. I’ve always tried to avoid co-sleeping, but if it meant we both got any sort of sleep, it was worth it.
It’s funny because I’ve never had any problems settling her to sleep. Maddie’s always self-soothed since 4 months old. It was just during the night which was hell! Every night I’d put her down, hopeful of a good sleep, and then the crying would start! So the lack of sleep at night, along with the refusal to nap, we were BOTH only getting about 6 hours sleep in a 24 hour period. I was seriously struggling to survive each day on such little sleep, so I don’t understand at all how Maddie kept going?!
Truthfully, I was desperate. I tried calming music/white noise, lavender room spray, filling her up with a bigger dinner/extra pre-bed snack, always stuck to the bedtime routine, tried no tv before bed, story books, warm bottle of milk... the list goes on! The only thing which I think did help a little bit is I gave Maddie a pillow which she now always has in her cot with her, as I feel it reminds her of being in my bed and is more comfortable.
I was honestly getting to a point where I was considering getting professional help like consulting a sleep specialist as I just felt lost. I remember hitting a point after 5 weeks of next to no sleep, and just crying on the phone to my mum, so lost with what else I could do! I felt like a robot and just persisted and persisted every day with nap time, even if she didn’t sleep, I made sure she had some “quiet time” alone in her cot. The same with bedtime, stuck it out with the same routine and bed time on the dot. I didn’t know what more I could do!
Then suddenly, it was like a switch was flicked, and for the past 9 days now Maddie has been napping every day AND sleeping so much better at night only waking the once, maybe twice!! Which honestly I will take any day over 6 times a night!!
If you’re struggling with a sleep regression right now, just know you are not alone and I’ll admit fucking hard to go through… but there IS an end to it. The only advice I can give from my experience is to persist with your routines, I personally didn’t find any “magic” tricks or answers! Just know that it is one of those phases your little one might go through and despite how lost and helpless you may feel, it will pass!!
If any of you guys have any other sleep tips/advice feel free to share them below for anyone else who might be reading and struggling!
Lots of love, Beth xxx
If you follow me over on Instagram, you will know from my stories Maddie has been exceptionally clingy right now. To the point of refusing to sleep unless she is snuggled up in bed with me (usually in my armpit haha), constantly asking to be picked up and just basically wanting to be held 24/7, making day-to-day jobs near impossible. Safe to say the housework has had to take a backseat right now!
Maddie has never really been a clingy child at all, she’s always been very independent. The only times she is quite clingy is if she’s been teething or unwell, but never to the point of wanting to co-sleep with me! That’s something we’ve never done before! So I’ve been left these past few weeks feeling a bit baffled as to why she won’t let go of me..? I mean I’m incredibly flattered, but confused! I think, having spoken to you guys on Instagram, that a lot of toddlers seem to go through a sort of separation anxiety stage at 18/19 months – glad to know it’s not just me!
The lack of sleep has been difficult, when sleep wasn’t one of our greatest areas of expertise to begin with. I am starting to find the typical day jobs overwhelming and feeling irritated that I can never get everything done! It’s hard enough trying to do everything yourself as a single mum anyway, let alone when you’re tired and have a toddler attached to your leg or hip. I’ve also found I feel guilty leaving her, knowing how much she wants and craves my attention right now. I’m trying to crack the balance of tending to her and this separation phase, but also taking some space for me so I don’t loose the plot!
Don't get me wrong though, the endless cuddles are bliss. Knowing my little girl just wants her mummy is unbelievably fulfilling. Maddie even napped on me on the sofa the other day, which she hasn’t done in about a year! So I’m just trying to look past the tiredness, the ever growing pile of washing and general mess, and enjoy these little moments when all she wants is her mummy as I know they won't last forever. Before I know it she’ll be a teenager and might resent mummy cuddles because it’s deemed “uncool” or “embarrassing”!
Not sure how long this episode of separation anxiety will last, hopefully not too much longer as I’m spending so much on coffee to compensate for the lack of sleep haha!
Did your LO go through this clingy stage at this age? How long did it last for? As always I’d love to hear from you, we’re all in this learning together!
Lots of love, Bethany x
It’s funny how we go through life with expectations of how things will or “should” be. Then often getting a big old slap in the face from reality. Growing up, I had the perfect and incredibly stereotypical image of how my life would be:married, the dream house, a couple of kids running around, maybe a couple of dogs too… my reality, single Mum to my beautiful little best friend, taking on the world just the two of us.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d done a stupid amount of research;listening to endless advice from friends and family to the point that my mind was kind of spinning with information. As soon as Maddie arrived though, that all disappeared. Something in my head and heart just clicked. This was my baby, and I will do what’s best for her and (at the time) my family. Forget everyone else’s opinions as no two babies are the same.
I think I adapted to being a parent incredibly well. I mean maybe it helped that Maddie on the whole has been a very well behaved, happy and independent baby but I do think it helped that I was very strong minded on what kind of parent I wanted to be. I just wanted to go with the flow and work around Maddie’s cues. Babies are human after all, and some daysthey’rejust not as hungry as others, or some days they’re more or less tired. I believe thisattitude helped me be a pretty calm Mum.I’ve never overly stressed or obsessed with anything. Being a millennial parent, I wonder whether my decision to “go with the flow” was influenced by the social media dominated world we live in today? I know I have never given in to pressure or judgement online, so maybe my happy-go-lucky attitude is me rebelling to the online “Mum police”. I have also always been particular about making time for me. I knew how easy it would be to forget about looking after myself while channeling all my efforts into looking after Maddie. But if I wasn’t fit and healthy physically and mentally, how could I expect myself to be the best Mum I possibly could be?
When Maddie was 11 months old, my whole world came crashing down. I became a single Mum. Even now, it still feels weird saying those words and labelling myself in that way. I was far from my old childhood fantasy of having the “perfect happy family”. My confidence was gone, and even though I still gave everything I could tobeing the best Mum that I knew I was and could be, I still doubted myself. My recurring thought was, “will I be enough?” … I knew I wasn’t the first women to go through this, and unfortunately, I won’t be the last, yet I felt so lonely.
Although I didn’t really want to talk about what I’d gone through, and still don’t like to in detail, the social media motherhood community I found myself in was my saviorandI will be eternally grateful for that. I no longer felt lonely. Being able to connect to so many women also experiencing the same journey as me definitely helped me through the dark times. I think back to when my Mum had me and the Instagram world didn’t exist, how different things would’ve been, where would I have turned to then? It’s funny how I didn’t let the judgement and potential negativity of social media affect my decisions of how to parent but how I almost needed affirmation that I was doing a good job to rebuild my confidence in myself as a mother…
So fast forward to today, and what kind of Mum am I? The best Mum I could possibly be is what! Nomatter what is happening around us,I still parent with my same gut instincts and intuition, following Maddie’s cues and her own individual development. Iknow I am also a much stronger and independent mama. The confidence that I lost following heartbreak has come back in full bloom, there was never anything wrong with me or how I parent, it wasn’t me who was the problem. I’ve stopped doubting and second guessing my decisions because I know they come from my heart and are what’s best for Maddie and myself and that is how I plan on continuing to parent.
Lots of love, Bethany x
A big thank you to Johnson’s Baby who have very kindly sponsored this post, but all words and opinions written are my own. #AD
As many of you will know if you’ve followed me for a while now, the one routine I have always stuck to and am consistent with is Maddie’s bedtime routine. Maybe this naturally stemmed from me as I always prefer having routines, but I swear having a clear bedtime routine is what always makes Maddie settle easily and peacefully at night.
Maddie’s had a structured bedtime routine ever since her first bath at 4 weeks old. Naturally it’s adapted slightly with the timings and steps involved in it now she’s a toddler, but it’s still an established and consistent routine. I’ve always believed repetition is key, not only to create good habits, but to also help Maddie’s development.
Since becoming a mum, I’ve discovered that bedtime is so much more than a routine. It’s a time of bonding and connection. During this time SO many of her senses are stimulated; what she smells, hears, touches and feels, and I was fascinated learning more about the multisensory experience bath/bedtime can be for little ones at our last Johnson’s Baby ambassador day.
Johnson’s Baby understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, which is why they developed they’re clinically proven bedtime routine which consists of 3 simple steps; 1 – bath time, 2 – gentle massage, 3 – quiet time. Our current bedtime routine (at 15 months old) is pretty similar and includes these 3 steps within it…
Dinner – 5/5:30pm
In my head, dinner is the start of the bedtime routine. It’s the last meal of the day and as soon as Maddie’s finished her dinner, I whisk her upstairs for a bath, normally because she’s covered in food! (It baffles me just HOW messy she gets!?!)
Bath - 6pm
Now I know some people prefer not to bath their kids every day, but Maddie absolutely loves her baths and she’s definitely a natural water baby!! Having bath time as an everyday ritual actually makes it less stressful and more predictable for baby’s and parents. It also influences emotion and memory in the brain and promotes relaxation for both parent and baby. I always run the bath with a drop of Johnson’s Baby bedtime bath, and use the bedtime baby wash to give her a little scrub, plus the smell of it always makes us calm and sleepy!! I try to wash Maddie’s hair every other night, but in all honesty it completely depends on how messy she’s gotten at dinner haha! We love to play with toys in the bath and always play music too! Sometimes I still like to join Maddie in the bath. I’ve always loved having that skin-to-skin contact and it definitely has made my bond with Maddie stronger.
Massage, hair & pjs - 6:15pm
After bath, I have always moisturized Maddie and done like a mini massage routine. Granted this is getting a LOT harder these days as she barely sits still for more than 30 seconds! So I try to teach her the different parts of her body as I massage to keep it interesting for her. We’ll start with toes, feet, legs, tummy, arms etc. Massage is one of those steps when if you’re tired and just want to get baby off to bed, it can be tempting to skip!! However, having learnt from Johnson’s Baby that not only does routine massage leads to improved cognitive performance and increased alertness and attentiveness, but also studies have shown that touch and massage can improve sleep quality and quantity as part of a consistent routine; I now definitely try to never miss out having that important touch post bath. After massage, it’s then time to get her nappy on, hair combed and pjs on!
Quiet time - 6:30pm
This has to be my favorite part of our bedtime! Having this quiet time together is just such a wonderful bonding time together. We like to either sit and watch In The Night Garden having cuddles on the sofa, or we sit in Maddie’s room and read a few books together.
Last bottle & self sooth - 7pm
Once we’ve had our quiet time, Maddie then takes her last bottle and settles off to sleep. I’m very lucky that Maddie has always self-soothed herself to sleep from about 4 months old. I can often hear her chatting away to herself in her cot for about 10 minutes before she drifts off to sleep. I believe if it wasn’t for the “quiet time” step prior to this, it would be a completely different story!! Then Maddie’s always asleep around 7pm.
From my personal experience with Maddie, even as she grows, I still want to try and maintain and good bedtime ritual as I know it helps her settle and sleep better than if I didn’t stick to one. If you’re feeling a bit stuck or uninspired by your routine, I hope sharing mine maybe gives you a few new ideas to try! I would also love to hear about your routines too!
Lots of love, Bethany x
*This post has very kindly been sponsored by Johnson’s Baby UK as part of their Ambassador programme. I have always loved and used Johnson’s Baby products even before working with them.
Hair. Probably something I either over obsess with till I get every one of my curls perfect, or I literally end up sticking it into a greasy topknot on top of my head haha!! The topknot look unfortunately is normally the more regular “do” because mum life can get way too busy... so you gotta cut back somewhere right?! ;)
Either way, greasy or not, our hair is part of our identity and it’s a way of expressing ourselves, through colour, style and length. So it’s really important we treat and condition it the best we can to keep it healthy and strong no matter what crazy styles or colours we put it through! Being a super girly girl and having grown up dancing, it’s meant I’ve learnt a fair few hairstyles over the years. Of which, I cannot wait to try out on Maddie (once her hair’s grown a bit more obviously!) For now the most I can do is a rather adorable pigtail, which on a bad day sometimes make her look like she has a little antennae poking up on the top of her head... still cute though!! But I cannot wait till I’m able to braid her hair! I absolutely love doing French plaits!
At our last Johnson’s Baby Ambassadors day, we looked a little closer at the different types of hair we all have, hairstyles we can try on our kids and the various Johnson’s Baby haircare ranges. I was actually shocked at how many different ranges of baby shampoos they have and after trying them out, I’ve definitely discovered a few new favourites!!
Did you know...
Washing little ones hair can sometimes be a bit of a battle, and I will admit I do end up having to wash Maddie’s hair most nights because she ALWAYS seems to get food in her hair despite being as careful as possible!
Both of the 3-step routine ranges include a shampoo, conditioner and then a detangling/leave in conditioning spray. It sounds stupid, but I never even thought to condition Maddie’s little head of hair already? I don’t know why, but it just never crossed my mind! Making this change and including it in our routine is definitely the best decision I made though! I’ve been now conditioning Maddie’s hair for a month and I can absolutely tell the difference! Her hair is more shiny, super soft, glossy and most importantly it doesn’t tangle anywhere near as much as it used to! But it if does... a few sprays of Johnson’s Baby No More Tangles spray and we are good to go! Now I condition Maddie’s hair properly
there’s way less pulling which makes it a much more pleasant experience for Maddie AND myself when brushing her hair!
Did you know...
Luckily for me, Maddie seems to be a natural water baby and absolutely LOVES bath time or going swimming. So washing her hair has never really been too difficult. But I can tell as she’s getting more independent and wanting to try to do more things on her own, this might become more of a challenge and she’ll probably want to try and take over from me!! I’ve always found the quickest and easiest way to wash her hair is by distracting her with lots of bath toys!! Maddie’s favourites are definitely any squirty toys! I think this is what I might have to do going forward and use the art of distraction through toys & music to make washing her hair a smooth operation!!
I hope you all found this post useful, and I would definitely recommend the Shiny Drops range! It has argan oil in it which I LOVE, I’ve even used it on my hair occasionally and it feels and smells amazing!!
Lots of love, Bethany x
Wow.. where on earth has this past year gone?! I know they say time seems to go faster as you get older, but then when you have kids.. it’s a whole new ball game! I feel like I’ve blinked and this past year has just disappeared, but at the same time, I feel like thanks to my daughter, I have had the most special and rollercoaster year ever! Jam packed with endless memories and discoveries…
On 24thJune, Maddie turn ONE… holy shit! (I popped a video up on my YouTube channel with a look back over the past year, safe to say I cried the whole time making it haha!)
These past few weeks, it has definitely dawned upon me how baby Maddie is long gone… and now standing before me I now have a sassy, independent, smart, walking, babbling, cheeky, curious, adventurous, TODDLER! I’m not sure if there is a set age where they are “officially” classed as a toddler and not a baby anymore… I guess it differs from baby to baby depending on their development?! But for me, (as much as it pains me to say it,) it’s obvious that Maddie is not a baby anymore!
It’s a funny one, because as much as I miss those teeny tiny newborn days, where you could pop baby down and know that’s where they’d stay, and not go crawling and walking off, climbing on everything and causing just general chaos!! I do absolutely LOVE seeing her little character grow and having more and more interaction with her. Knowing that she does actually understand me! It’s the most fulfilling feeling hearing her say “Ma-meee” as she comes walking towards me, arms wide open! Nothing beats it! Makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside!!
She’s now even starting to understand commands without me even demonstrating! We’ve got “Maddie, can you clap your hands?” and she just does it! And also “Maddie, where are your toes?” and she’ll just point to them, no prompt needed!! It’s moments like that, I just sit back and go wow, you’re getting smart, you are definitely NOT a baby anymore?!
I would LOVE to freeze Maddie at this age. One years old is just perfection to me! The best balance of independence but knowing they still need you. Interaction and character, without the tantrums just yet (although I think we’re not too far away from those!), walking but not being able to run away from you yet, talking but not being able to answer you back.. yet! And she’s still small enough to curl up in my arms and cuddle into Mummy!
Yes, One has to be my favourite age so far!
Now I’m going to whizz off and enjoying it while it lasts, as I think if I blink again I’ll be writing about the “Terrible Twos” before I know it!!
I’d love to know what your favourite stage is of your little one growing up is? Did you prefer newborn or one year old? Or is your favourite way further ahead at 5 years old?! Feel free to leave your comments below or message me via the social page.
Lots of Love Bethany x
As you will already know if you follow me in Instagram, I feel very excited to be a part of the Johnson’s Baby New Ambassador Academy this year. For me personally, I didn’t even hesitate at saying yes. It just made sense for me to want to work with a company that not only did my mum use on me as a baby, but are now my go-to bath products for my daughter.
Bath time in our house has to be one of our favorite times of day, and I have used Johnson’s Baby products on Maddison ever since her very first bath. There is something so precious and nostalgic when brushing Maddie’s little hair and catching the scent of Johnson’s Baby shampoo, (Yes, I love to sniff my babies freshly washed hair on the regular haha!) it truly does take me right back to my childhood!
Now I know there has been a lot of speculation about Johnson’s Baby and accusations that have left a lot of parents anxious or worried about using their products. However, this actually spurred me on more to want to work with them, to find out the truth. To get proper educational and factual answers, rather than coming to my own conclusions because I had just read something unreliable in the media and jumped on the bandwagon!
For our first ambassador meet up, we were lucky enough to have Dr David Mays who is the Senior Director of Global Scientific Engagement for Johnson’s and Johnson’s, come over from the US to give us all a science lesson and debunk all the crazy scare stories about what is actually in the bottle and give us all some peace of mind.
One of the important things that stood from the day was clarifying what actually is and is not in the bottle.
Putting it out there nice and simply…
As said above, Johnson’s Baby do NOT and never have used formaldehyde in their products. BUT the formaldehyde we are so scared of and is a carcinogen (causes cancer), is formaldehyde in the form of gas, not liquid! When formaldehyde is in liquid form, it’s not the same type of chemical meaning it is not cancerous.
Parabens are a funny one. I had no idea that we actually EAT parabens every single day. There are parabens in fruits such as bananas and blueberries, and in honey! We actually eat more parabens every day, than our skin could ever absorb! So why is everyone so scared of them? It has never been proven that anything dangerous is actually linked to parabens, so it’s confusing why we are so scared of them and why everyone insists on products being “paraben free”. Even though Johnson’s Baby products don’t contain parabens, they were almost forced to put “paraben free” on the bottle, just to please and calm people down!
BABY SKIN vs ADULTS SKIN
I never realized just how different babies’ skin is to adults. I mean yes, the obvious thing of “it’s more delicate” but what does that really mean?
Well, babies skin is 30% thinner and their skin cells are much smaller than adults. Which means their skin has a higher rate of water loss as it is more permeable. This not only means that babies skin is much more prone to being dry but also vulnerable to environmental irritants. The best way to protect their skin is through regular moisturizing to help replenish the water loss! This is now a solid part of our bedtime routine!
NO MORE TEARS®
The “NO MORE TEARS®” slogan is what I think helps give Johnson’s Baby its identity. I mean it’s impossible to hear that phrase and not immediately think of Johnson’s! They know that while as careful as you can possible be as a parent, sometimes the shampoo gets in baby’s eyes! (Our little ones can be extremely wiggly after all!) So that is why Johnson’s Baby came up with their no more tears approach and it is actually based on how babies’ blink reflex develops! Babies actually blink 6x less per minute than adults. (Have you ever tried having a staring contest with your baby? Well… baby will probably win haha!) When they are born their tearing, blinking and defensive eye closure reflex are all still developing, so knowing this Johnson’s Baby pioneered the science behind “NO MORE TEARS®” that we know and are grateful for today!
OUR HOUSEHOLD FAVS
How could I not actually tell you guys what my favorite products are after ranting on about how much we use them?!
Whether you’re a Johnson’s Baby fan or not, the intention of this post was not to preach to you guys. I don’t want to lecture, I would never try and push my opinion on others… I’m just sharing what I have learnt with you and I will leave it up to you to make up your minds now you know the correct facts! But what I will say, from everyone at Johnson’s Baby I have had the pleasure of meeting so far, is that their passion, commitment and care is obvious. Not only in just producing baby products but their dedication and enthusiasm for everything science, medical and research. Most scientific research papers have actually been tested, written and published by Johnson’s and these papers are referred to and used by professionals worldwide!
I hope you have all found this post interesting. I’m proud and excited for the year ahead working with Johnson’s Baby! Of course, any questions, feel free to ask and I will answer them the best I can or find out the answers for you!
Lots of love, Beth x
*This post has very kindly been sponsored by Johnson’s Baby UK as part of their Ambassador programme. I have always loved and used Johnson’s Baby products even before working with them.
I feel like the topic of weaning could go on forever! Just because every baby is so different and will take or not take to various foods at their own pace! I get a lot of questions about Maddie's weaning journey so far and how I started so I thought I'd share it all for you!! Hopefully this helps any mums that are about to start weaning or are already weaning their baby but are stuck for ideas etc. It's funny because despite doing a weaning course and a weaning workshop.. I still felt a bit stuck on where to start with Maddie. So using the information I gained, I just went with my gut, played it by ear and went with the flow following Maddie's cues!
(Also along with this blog post will be a video on my YouTube channel, with a food diary video of "What my baby eats in a day", so keep your eyes peeled for that!!)
So rewinding all the way back to December... Maddie was 5 and 1/2 months old and majorly teething! So I actually started giving her some cold cucumber sticks to munch on to help sooth her gums. Although she never properly "ate" it, she just sucked the water out of the pieces and chewed on it a lot, but I guess you could say this was her first proper "food". She LOVED them! It also meant when we went out to dinner she could sit with her cucumber sticks and feel like she was joining in with us!
A few days after that we tried some baby rice at breakfast. Bland, boring, not very nutritious, I know... BUT I made it with her formula thinking if it was a familiar taste so she wouldn't immediately reject it, also I just wanted to see how she'd cope with a texture. She gobbled it all down in the blink of an eye! Right then, time for something a little more fun...
For the first 2 weeks of feeding, we just tried some food at breakfast time, thinking it's nice to start the habit of having breakfast (and being the most important meal of the day to fuel you!) I didn't always stick to your typical breakfast food though.. I just wanted to start seeing how she would react to different tastes to give us some options and variety. These ranged from mushed banana with cinnamon, mashed sweet potato with a dash of cream cheese, peas, apples, butternut squash and broccoli. The only thing she rejected (and still does to this day), is avocado which is annoying because it's so good for you nutritionally haha!! I'm sure we'll find a way to disguise it... once we'd established a few thing's one their own, I then started mixing up food combinations straight away and adding spices or herbs to get her used to interesting tastes and not just bland pureeed food.
I also decided to dive straight in with some BLW (Baby Lead Weaning) along with her pureed food. Maddison has always been a very independent baby, she's always wanted to sit up and take charge from an early age (god help me...), so I knew she'd thrive on BLW. And I was right.
Along with her cucumber sticks, I actually gave her sticks of cheese straight away. Now I know a lot of people would panic at this because of chocking hazards, of course I sat with her just in case and pulled out the chunk if she'd bitten too much off. But it just really worked! I think again because of the teething, she liked having something hard she could chew on, and due to all the slobber the cheese did slowly mush up making it easy for her to try to chew and swallow it. She managed to grasp the chewing and swallowing concept fairly quickly, so I do feel lucky that this hasn't been much of a challenge for us.
It's difficult when it comes to chunks of food and letting baby gag a little so they can learn to to cope with coughing/chewing/swallowing vs actually chocking. I was surprisingly impressed at myself by not freaking out whenever Maddie coughed on food, waited to see if she could cope with it and if not, then intervene, rather than jumping down her throat the second she coughed. It's a fine line, and I think it's down to the parent and baby. All I'd say from my personal experience is don't be scared of harder foods when you feel your babies ready, they soon learn how to cope with biting, chewing and swallowing on their own. And you know the difference between a little gag or proper chocking!
Anyway, we next started to have 2 tastes a day.. I won't say meals yet, because it wasn't enough for meals, but she'd have a breakfast taste and then a dinner taste. This then did very quickly turn into proper meals and a midday snack as her lunch. By 7 months, (beginning of Feb) Maddie is now having 3 meals a week with her bottles in between.
I think she actually prefers food to her bottles now, with a bottle she gets bored after a while and will only drink for so long, then want to play a bit and come back to it. Whereas food she loves it! Each meal we start with a spoon fed dish, and then finish with a finger food. I've found having this 50/50 balance with each meal ensures Maddie is good with a spoon but also gets to enjoy her BLW independence. She also has her sippy cup of water with each meal, which now she will rarely let me hold and just loves to be in charge! She'll normally have her water the the end of the meal but sometimes might need some sips during just to help wash her food down.
As I said earlier, I feel our weaning journey so far has been fairly easy and straight forward because Maddie has taken SO well to any and every texture and taste we've given her, (except of course avocados haha!) But here below are some examples of all the finger foods we have tried so far...
When it comes to Maddie's meals, it's 50/50 whether I've made them or if its from a pre-made food pouch. I'm not opposed to food pouches, sometimes if you have a busy and hectic lifestyle they can be very convenient and handy! Although now Maddie is eating more they are starting to become less cost affective!
The thing I do ALWAYS look out with the food pouches is the sugar content. Sometimes if a pouch says it contains broccoli, carrots, kale and apple, you'd presume the percentage of each food went in that order... when actually a lot of the time its made up of 50% or more of apple and only 7% broccoli!! Which is SO much sugar for little one! So I always check the packages and make sure I go for the pouches with little to no fruit in them to ensure Maddie's getting all her nutrients from the veggies then having excessive amounts of fruit sugars. I much prefer giving her fruit as finger foods so I can control the amount. At the beginning I was a little too controlling with this and actually didn't give Maddie enough fruit so she got constipated from not enough fibre bless her!! Nothing a few apricots and prunes couldn't sort out though haha (poo-narmi!!!) But I think I've now got the balance perfect!
So that's all our weaning details so far!! I hope you find it useful and like I said make sure to check out my YouTube coming soon for a video to go long with this blog.
If you have any further questions please feel free to ask below or via any of my social media platforms! And of course would love to hear your weaning experiences so far! Lots of love, Beth x
It’s so funny when people say “mother knows best”, because now I am a mummy, I know that saying is SO unbelievably true! And not in a “I told you so” kind of way.. I’m sure that’s all to come as Maddison gets older and becomes a rebellious teenager.. (God help me!) I’m talking about that mother’s instinct when you just know if something isn’t right with little one!
It is so hard at this stage to know sometimes what is going on exactly with baby.. because they can’t just tell you “oh mummy my tummy hurts” or “mummy I have a headache”. It’s a constant guessing game, just trying to go off of their facial expressions and behaviors! Also, it can be so so confusing when many symptoms that babies show or go through, could be the result of multiple different problems! Just to name a few..
Temperature: cold be a virus, could be teething, could be an infection or something more serious..
Rash: could be viral, could be serious, could be eczema or an allergy/reaction..
Refusal to feed: could be poorly, or just not particularly hungry one day, could be due to a cold, could be more serious..
You see what I mean!! It’s hard trying to work out what is going on with these babas sometimes!!
BUT.. what I have learnt is a mother’s instinct NEVER lies! It’s such a crazy thing, but you honestly do just know when something isn’t right! It’s like this deep unsettled feeling in your gut, when you know you can’t just shrug it off! If you’re reading this and are a mama, you will totally know what I mean!!
Every time I’ve been particularly worried about Maddie or she hasn’t seemed herself, I’ve always gone and got it checked out straight away. Partly because if something is wrong, babies conditions can change quickly if it’s serious.. but also because I just know that something is up! From my personal experience so far, I’ve ever had a doctor not listen to me. No matter what GP I’ve seen, they have always said “mother knows best” and “no-one knows your baby like you do”, so they have actually listened and believed me when I’ve said, “I know something isn’t right”. And both times it’s actually turned out that Maddie’s had an ear infection, so yes, I was right! But I know there are so many times when you could get a GP shrug off something as a virus or whatever, and it’s actually been more serious.
When I was 4 years old, I was really poorly. My mum knew something was wrong with me, but every time she went to the doctors they kept saying, oh it’s just a virus, it’s just a virus. My mum KNEW it wasn’t, so she persisted and kept returning. Until one doctor listened to my right lung and realsied that she couldn’t hear anything.. because there was no air intake! I was sent straight up to hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. Just a virus hey? Mother knew best.
Also on a lot less serious note.. Before becoming a mummy, I was always curious as to how my mother knew when I was realllyyyyy poorly, or just trying to fob her off and have a day off school because I was tired! She ALWAYS knew! There was no getting away with it, even when I could talk and say, “I feel sick”! I guess that’s the mother intuition kicking in, she knows me, she nurtured me, I’m her baby, so she knows my behaviors if I’m truly poorly or something is wrong!
It’s so funny discovering things like this on my motherhood journey! Things I hadn’t even given a thought about but are so important! A mother’s instinct, it is SO real!!
So always trust your gut mamas… because you will almost always be right!!
Any of you had similar situations, and just known when little one isn’t right? I’d love to hear as always!
Lots of love, Bethany x
I think you can guess from the title.. I have been having a little bit of a rough time recently. And because I’m normally so positive and upbeat, you might find it hard to believe. Motherhood is just incredible in so many ways, but this past month feels like it has hit me hard. Just when I thought I’d cracked certain things/routines/behaviours, it’s like Maddie has decided to laugh in my face and change EVERYTHING I thought I knew about my baby. Plus, the fact that I’ve been fight a cold for nearly 2 weeks, just makes everything even harder when you’re feeling grotty!
When pregnant, I had totally geared myself up for this super tough time of little sleep, a crying screaming baby, potentially arguing and snapping with my boyfriend, not getting any housework done, living in pjs etc.. But it wasn’t like that at all! Maddie slept amazingly, I’d blog or clean during the day, get dressed and meet friends for coffee no problem and have date nights away from baby! Go for long walks and Maddie would just sleep away in the pram no problem.. I honestly couldn’t understand what the big fuss was about (sorry I know that makes me sound ridiculously naive!) I knew I had gotten lucky with a very well-tempered, sleepy baby, but even so motherhood was just heavenly!!
And then, Maddison turned 5 months..
My baby that slept through the night disappeared. Teething hit in HARD. She was struck with a virus and then an ear infection. Cranky, bipolar baby was an UNDERSTATEMENT. She’s now at an age where she is getting more mobile and dying to crawl and grab everything so I’m having to watch her constantly.. it’s just exhausting! It felt like karma had come to bite me on my bum for thinking being a mummy was easy - haha! I’d gone from flying high on cloud 9, to a tired and snappy reality. Last week, I had my first proper melt down in the middle of the night, when I just sat there and cried, feeling so unbelievably useless and helpless as Maddison (despite being fed, changed, burped, rocked, cuddled and comforted) would simply not go back to sleep!!!
I sat there and thought. There is no need to pretend life is perfect. There is no need to stick a filter on this chapter of motherhood and pretend that everything is okay. Let’s just be real for a minute Beth and admit.. that this chapter I’m struggling with. But you know what.. that’s okay!! We are allowed to not be peachy perfect and bubbly once in a while! Being a parent is tough and yes of course there are plenty of highs but there are also plenty of lows to go with it!! It’s okay to have a period where your “positive pants” have been temporarily lost.
Being a mummy has been totally the other way around to what I expected. I thought the first 6 months would be hell, then as Maddie got older it would be easier! Instead the first 5 months were amazing and now it’s turned challenging. Maddie is such an active baby, having to constantly entertain her, every minute of every day is exhausting!! Oh.. and she rarely naps. *slaps palm in face moment*.
Now, I’m not complaining one bit. I LOVE being a mummy, I love my daughter to pieces, she is perfect. And this isn’t a sympathy post either, as I know there are mums out that have it a lot harder than me or have health complications to worry about! (Which just breaks my heart to think what it would be like if I was in that sort of position!)
The main reason why I wanted to write this was because I want you to know, that if you’re having a tough period.. it’s okay to say so! No-one is going to judge you and think you’re a bad mum or that you love your little one any less. You’re just keeping it real and speaking how you feel. You are not alone! We are all in this together, no one has it perfect. Despite however many “picture-perfect” moments you see online, there is always a behind the scenes. I think my favourite quote right now would be..
So, if you’re having a tough time, know I am here too! And I hope this phase passes soon for us!
Lots of love, Bethany x
This section will all be focused on being pregnant, discovering motherhood and baby bits!