I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but last week Elijah turned six months old! He’s growing up so fast, I feel like I’m going to blink and he’ll be a teenager. Now that’s a frightening thought. It’s a constant battle for me though. Part of me wants
to will time away so I can see him walking or hear him talking and yet another part doesn’t want him to grow up at all, so I can enjoy him being a cute little baby…who stays in one position when you sit him down.
We seemed to have crossed a hurdle as regards sleeping through the night, as he now sleeps for around ten hours. This means we can put him to bed at 6.30pm and he won’t wake up until around 5am. That being said, he’s been getting a lot more active over the last few weeks and can occasionally wake himself up in the middle of the night. It’s not uncommon to find him the wrong way round in the cot or with an arm or leg sticking out the side. I just re-position him and he falls straight back to sleep. I’m convinced he could do twelve hours, but the curtains in his nursery don’t block out all the light and he seems to wake up not long after the sun rises. I’m thinking of investing in some blackout blinds, especially now it’s summer and maybe we’ll hit that twelve hour target.
Now Elijah’s six months old we’ve started weaning him. I know some people begin weaning at four months, but after doing some research we decided to wait. For us, it was the fact his digestive system would be more developed and could therefore deal with the change in diet more efficiently.
Having waited that extra two months, our first problem was how much we should give him and whether we would need to reduce his milk feeds. We decided to read up on it, after all neither of us had done this before and we didn’t want to mess it all up. There is surprisingly little about how much puréed food you should give your baby. Lots about what you should
feed them and when, but not the all-important amount. I realise this will probably differ from baby to baby, but some sort of guidelines would be really helpful. We started by just
giving him a spoonful or two of puréed fruit, to get him used to the textures, and eventually began increasing the amount. We knew we wouldn’t have a problem with him when it came to eating. He’s always had a healthy appetite and didn’t have a
problem going from boob to bottle. He’s also been good at letting us know he’s full, so hopefully we won’t turn him
into a little podge. At the moment we give him four bottles a day (7am/11am/3pm/7pm), two small pots of puréed food (9am&1pm) and a baby rusk (5pm). The baby rusk is a great idea because he can feed himself. At first I had to keep a close eye on him whilst he was eating it though because he had a bad habit of putting the whole thing in his mouth and then freaking out. He only did it a couple of times and then learned it was probably better to break it down with his two little white
teeth and suck it into submission. For the first two weeks we used Ella’s Kitchen products which are great and come in very handy when we’re out and about. This week though we’ve bought a machine designed for preparing baby food; it blends, defrosts, steams and reheats, so we’ve been experimenting. The sweet potato recipe has proved a big hit! We want to try and get some variety into his food as well, so I might have a go at some adventurous combinations next week.
I don’t want to give you the impression it was all smooth sailing and Elijah was a perfect baby who ate everything he was given and had no problems at all starting on solids. The truth is I learned very quickly you need a lot of patience when you begin the weaning process. These are textures and flavours he has never tasted before and at first he wasn’t
keen. I’ve been sat at the kitchen table for about forty minutes slowly feeding him five or six small mouthfuls of puréed apple. His attention wanders, he refuses to open his mouth or he blows raspberries, sending puréed fruit across the room. You just have to persevere. To hold his attention, I do the old trick
of pretending the spoon is either a plane or a train…with the accompanying sounds of course! To encourage him to open his mouth I will open mine really wide and he eventually copies me long enough for me to pop in another spoonful of food. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to deal with the raspberry blowing, so if anyone has any ideas please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.