There are several posts like this floating in the ether thanks to Jennie @Edspire inspiring us all! So here is what we did:
This is what was waiting for Toby after his nap
Although quite excited by the idea, there was a little bit of reticence…perhaps the thought of getting paint on his trains was worrying him? He certainly wanted mummy to make the first move and so after I had made tracks with Gordon, he was off with the other trains. Toby didn’t get quite as involved as I thought he might; he didn’t experiment or mix up the colours, for example. Perhaps he wasn’t ready to assume a different game with his trains, or rather this idea might need returning too as he slowly assimilates a new way of playing with his fall-back toys, either way, his play soon returned to linking up the carriages and blowing the whistle to signal the off (except he didn’t want them to move…). He also enjoyed getting paint on his fingers and then smearing it on his nose! Getting used to messy play at least!
and they’re off!
So it appears that my beautiful boy is allergic/intolerant to dairy. Hasn’t been a problem up until now and I’ve eaten dairy (and you’ve seen the size of him!), but since weaning, his face has turned from the perfect, peachy skin of a chubby baby to a dry, rashy, and now blistered, mess. Oh Harry, I am so sorry! I started this weaning business a little reluctant but confident and keen to go down the BLW route. There are no allergies or intolerances (bar to each other) in our family and so I went in, all guns blazing, giving him little bits of what we were eating (as per instructed by the book!). The rash started after some yoghurt, but, not being a purist, I had just dunked the spoon in Toby’s strawberry fromage frais rather than trying first with natural yoghurt…so it wasn’t clear if the reaction was to strawberries or yoghurt. I’d also made him drop scones with a bit of cheese…and given him pitta bread. I was kicking myself that I’d done it this way so that it was impossible to isolate the culprit.
Anyway, after a bit more of a systematic approach, it appears that it is, in fact, dairy. Unfortunately, the NHS is not terribly helpful here as I’ve been told that they won’t test him unless he has a bad reaction and so I’ve just got to go through a process of trial and error. The problem is, that the ‘error’ results in my baby looking like he’s had acid thrown at him (perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but that what it feels like to me). I feel a bit adrift with it all now and don’t know whether to start again following the official puree advice (which is what my HV wants, clearly) or to carry on with BLW…answers on a postcard please!
Look at me, I can sit on my own!
…and read a book
getting a taste for the good stuff
Are you sure this is safe???
but sometimes a boy just needs to flop!
I know that ‘pretty’ doesn’t always work when applied to a boy, but I feel it is particularly pertinent when looking at these pictures and comparing them to what he looks like now…cue next post
Continuing with the theme of counting games, I thought we would extend the singing beyond fish to frogs so introduced Toby to the speckled frogs song. I then made a very simple small world scene of a pond with a log and five frogs stuck to pegs as I thought that not only could we practice counting but he would also be getting some fine motor skills practice. I say ‘I made’, but actually, the artistic credit belongs to meanderingdaddy! In the end, this was the element that Toby enjoyed as squeezing the pegs was a new thing and something that was a challenge, but that he could manage with encouragement. It’s something we can come back to as it will really help with the concept of subtraction…but a bit later I think!!
Toby has been able to count to ten for a while now but they have only really been words that come in a particular order…and not always the same order…and not always starting with one. Recently, he’s really enjoyed the “1,2,345, once I caught a fish alive” song but it has meant that his counting has been reduced to the “3,4,5” part of the song (because it’s quicker?). He’s also been really keen to point out the numbers on his Thomas trains and so I thought it was time to start gently introducing more number games into our play.
I found the first on another fantastic blog (Imagination Tree) and thought he might enjoy it. I gathered a load of lids from general household items and fitted them inside the lid of a shoebox. I then traced around each lid and coloured the shape the same colour as the lid. They were both the shape and the lid were numbered ready to be matched.
When I showed it to him, he got really excited and straight away pointed out the number 1! I showed him how it worked and he completed the puzzle himself with me helping him with the numbers. He was fascinated by the number four and kept pointing to it saying ‘number pour!’ Although he was obviously matching the colours and shapes, he was also looking at the written numbers and we named them as we went.
Later, he took the lily and lily pads from our ‘speckled frog’ game (here) and placed them over the circles too, obviously identifying similarities in shape.
Later in the day, I asked him to help tidy up by putting the lids back into the tray and he amazed me by putting them all back in the right place! No probs with matching then!
Happy half a year birthday little Harry!! Well, I say ‘little’ but there isn’t anything particularly ‘little’ about my chunky monkey; today’s weigh-in confirmed that my 10 kilo monster is tracking the 98th centile very nicely thank you very much. He’s not supposed to be that big: breastfed babies are traditionally smaller than their formula-fed counterparts… allegedly!! Perhaps it’s the quantity of cake that I’ve consumed whilst feeding him, or perhaps I’ve just been feeding him too much (not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby is the mantra, I do believe!)….whatever it is, and I think he’s just a tall boy that will thin out eventually, the last six months have largely been filled with feeding, day and night.
And I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
I feel privileged to have had an easy time and lots of support at the beginning (not so with no 1 son) and proud that we have come this far. Feeding your baby is the most wonderful and most draining thing all at the same time and its bloody hard work! Whilst its true that there are no bottles to sterilise or kettles to boil, feeding on demand is just that…demanding. But I’ve loved every minute of it. I loved the constant suckling of the first 2 days of Harry’s life and I’ve loved that every couple of hours, we get to snuggle together. I haven’t really minded all the night feeds either and this time round, I haven’t felt taunted by the mums of formula-fed babies whose little ones sleep through the night. I’m not judging feeding choices here…far from it…and I know that for some, it is not a ‘choice’. But the perceived race to get your child to sleep sometimes feels alienating to someone who has chosen to truly feed ‘on-demand’. This time, I don’t care!
So ‘big’ Harry is six months today and the weaning is just starting. Although I intend to continue feeding him, this marks quite an important point as, up until now, all 22lbs of him has come from me and now it’s time to begin to loosen that tie. I’m excited for him that he gets to experience new things, but I’m also mourning the passing of the first stage of his life. Six months signals all sorts of things: sitting upright in the big buggy (although he’s been doing that for months…there’s no way I could squeeze him into any cocoon after 3 months!!); eating food; moving into the nursery (sort of, possibly…usually ending up in our bed!) – all things that move my little boy onwards on his journey. I’m sad, but I’m ready.
October: Mum’s eye view!
November: post-bath massage with Daddy