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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 13

Officially I would say we are at the end of our bf journey. He barely asks for Boobie and if he does it’s not a demand for comfort. More of a fondness of a well thought of friend.

So now we have moved on to stage two of our plan… ending co sleeping. As I write this it’s 4.30am and he’s sleeping next to me seeking comfort now and again. We started three days ago… we’ll keep a note of that too.

Boobs still have a little milk in them, but nothing note worthy. No pain or discomfort now not that there was much any way.

Thank you for following our journey. We hope it helps you too if you’re contemplating starting yours.

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 7

I’ve not posted for a few days because there wasn’t much to update you all on.

Little man is rarely asking for booby out right. Once a day if at all and he’s no longer helping himself or rummaging around my tops.

However the nights have been more restless. So much so I thought he might have an ear ache. Docs confirmed there’s nothing wrong they restlessness and calling out for MUMMY is BF related. So I’ll continue to comfort him with cuddles as we co sleep.

Oh and Daddy is getting up to make sippy cups of warmed milk… so no ending the BF journey does not mean your little one will sleep through the night. Myth busted!

How do I feel now it’s been a week? I feel sad it’s coming to an end. It was a real struggle in the beginning like the hardest soul crushing experience I ever made was to bf my little boy but it’s my biggest and proudest achievement. I am so proud we did it for over a year. I am also relieved to stop as well because I needed to get some me time back – in the form of sleep. It’s been well over two years I’ve had a full nights sleep due to pregnancy related health issues.

So if you’re thinking about starting your BF journey – it’s amazing! Do it if you can. We’ve enjoyed some really amazing moments and it helped us immensely when bottle feeding wasn’t working for us.

Boob wise – there’s literally little to no milk. I just express once a day. No engorgement or anything.

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Days 2 and 3

So after a very tiresome first night without bf – everyone awoke feeling grumpy.

But little one didn’t ask for booby in the morning and went off to nursery ok. 

Feeling a bit full I’ve expressed a little in the morning.

Fast forward to the evening, he ate his tea and played without even asking for it again and he went to bed just fine – says daddy. Unfortunately I was in hospital getting a lump checked out… results in a few weeks.

Once I got home he awoke once – and slept through the WHOLE night!!!! He did however wake up at 4.30am!!! But none the less it’s a miracle!

Day 3 has been great too. Having woken up feeling more refreshed little monkey went to nursery just fine. Breasts are very engorged so having to express a few times today to feel more comfortable.

He’s asked for booby a couple of times but he’s not had a melt down like he did before and he seems to be accepting the explanation that it’s finished.

So far he’s been asleep for about an hour and a half and it’s 8.30pm nearly he’s not 100% settled but this feels amazing- a whole nights sleep…but we shall see what tonight brings…

Good night x

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 1

Never did I think these things:

  1. I couldn’t breast feed
  2. I’d still be breastfeeding over a year from when our journey began 
  3. I’d struggle to stop!

You see, my little monkey is 16 months old meaning we have been breastfeeding (in one way or another) for just as long! This amazes me in light of just how tough it was in the beginning to even start this journey.

Born slightly prematurely my little monkey had trouble latching for the first month of his life. This meant sore nipples, frustrated baby (screaming) & mum (meltdowns) and sadly weight loss.

I saw midwives, health visitors and finally a Lactation consultant who was also a chiropractor specializing in babies, who came to me on Valentines Day… and no one could help. It was a skill baby had to learn. 

The hours I spent feeling like a failure determined to feed by breast, made me miserable. The engorged breasts those first few days were crazy painful – hot shower and rub them hard to avoid blocked ducts and mastitis!!!! Turned out I was doing everything right – he just wouldn’t latch.

Fast forward past the challenges of mixed feeding, blocked ducts, and finally settled routine of exclusively breast feeding (ebf), it’s time to end our journey. Why do I not wish to prolong feed my little one you might be asking?

Well I have a few reasons:

  1. Breastfeeding keeps up certain hormones in your body like when you were pregnant (albeit less) that means your body doesn’t fully resettle from the pregnancy. I had spd/pgp and so these hormones mean my body is still too relaxed and isn’t healing quickly enough for my liking resulting in pain (I’m hoping ending our journey will help)
  2. Lack of night time sleep. Whilst we have reduced our daytime feeds to bed time, my little one treats booby like an all night snacking bar. And without fail is up every 3 hours… I’m tired of being tired.
  3. We’ve heard once the all night snacking bar closes, transitioning to their own beds is made easier… don’t quote me on this… but this is our ultimate goal

So here we are at 1.25am on day 1 of attempt number 2 of trying to end the bf journey (tried to start 4 nights ago- but I couldn’t handle the screaming)…

Let’s back track to the beginning of the night at 6.30pm: He cried and howled but it wasn’t as bad as a few nights ago. I sung “it’s all gone” – a song he learnt from baby signing class which instantly resulted in him cleaning up!!! (Shocked and feeling dumb I didn’t think of this before!)

Throughout this process like everything communication is key. Here I’m trying to change the dynamics of our relationship not torture the little lamb. And I don’t think he understood it before but he does seem to now.

So having sung for ages various melodic albeit out of tune songs – including birds of a feather tv show songs he’s calm enough to attempt to put him down to bed… this included rocking as well.

Total time spent: 90mins

At which point his eyes sprung open and he lay next me cuddled into the fetus position and my body cocooning his. Seems to have worked … I fell asleep before he did through sheer exhaustion! Bouncing and singing does that to you after a full day at work.

He woke up at 11.30pm looking for his best friend (our other name for booby). But after a bit of distraction (trip to bathroom – I needed to go), he soon settled back into our cosy position with a firm “enough! It’s sleepy time goodnight”.

And he’s still sleeping now. Just the odd whine of booby has escaped his lips and I feel awful. But I remind myself my mental health is important too.

Please note my decision to stop now is down to my little boy being able to do the following:

Communicate what he does and doesn’t want – this includes words and pointing. He can ask and distinguish between booby and juice (water), say no and ask for his bed… so I know he comprehends what’s what.

He has a healthy appetite often asking for seconds at meal time albeit he isn’t a chubby monkey.

And overall he’s a happy soul. He didn’t take a dummy but used me instead and now it’s time to stop.

I think it’s important to pick the time to introduce a change in your little ones life. And if you can, manage the process.

He goes to nursery so doesn’t bf at all during the day most days, he can sleep on his own as he does so there. These were all challenges that we over came and now we’re ready for the next stage…

Hopefully you’ll find comfort on these pages as you start ending your BF journey too and can hopefully share your experiences too.

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First Time Mums/Parents: Eating Out with Baby

Avoiding eating out is just not an option as a new mum. My first trip out was horrendous, first of all it had taken me two hours atleast to get out of the hours and after an hour in the breast feeding room at Mamas & Papa trying to placate my screaming new born, I decided to go get something to eat in Carluccio’s.

Hard seats and bright lights didn’t help my plight, neither did the awkward table layout – as we were placed at a round table with the push chair sticking out and in the midst of room.

Baby of course started to scream his head off and I remember trying to settle him for a nap with a Muslim over his head, post partum hormones sweating out of my body thinking everyone’s looking at me! 

A savior in the form of the waiter helped me when he whisked away my plate so the chef could cut up my eagerly anticipated steak into child like bite sized pieces. I felt so silly – such the rookie mum but I was proud because we had finally made it out of the house on our own! And that’s no easy feat as a new mum!!!

That first trip was a disaster to be fair – I’ve skipped over some of the details. But what I learnt helped me to realize what both my baby and I need when out and about in order to survive.

1. Where to go to eat

Sometimes you don’t have many options, but if you can pick somewhere with comfy seats (for you :-)) and not harsh bright lighting – then you’re onto a winner

2. Pick where you want to sit

Don’t let the staff usher you to awkward spaces. Sometimes they have no experience with children and can’t identify your needs. 

The Centre of a restaurant is too awkward for buggies and breast feeding (even if your the most accomplished discrete person) unless you like people eyeing you whilst you see to your child. See if you can sit off to the side, leave your push chair somewhere. Don’t be afraid to ask for a rearrangement of tables

3. Pick somewhere with adequate changing facilities 

Parents shouldn’t be expected to change babies on the floors of restaurants toilets! It’s disgusting! Nor should you have to leave to find public facilities that are ages away thus disrupting your meal.

Once Baby can sit up:

4. High chairs

Different restaurants have different types. Definitely don’t hesitate to ask if they have any, nor to carry your own sterilizing wipes to clean them down before you put baby in – believe me some of them are left in disgusting states. But for me they need to have straps or a harness to keep baby secure. Without them, your little one will be slipping and sliding all over the place.

5. Carry the relevant milk/food you need to feed your little one. They most likely won’t make formula for you but may provide you with hot water if you ask.

6. Forgotten babies water cup ask for tap water with a straw – it’s a skill they learn very quickly whether bottle or breast fed. NO ICE! Ice can harbor harmful bacteria which isn’t good for baby when melting. Plus the extreme temperature may not be good for them as it takes quite some time before their bodies can do that.

7. Keeping little ones entertained is a feat. Place the child between you and another person if you can so you can take it in turns to eat.

Take toys, books – if weaning crudités (bread sticks, carrot, sweet peppers, cucumber sticks) are often available for the little ones. Cheddar cheese is another good one to keep them entertained. Talking to them throughout the meal also helps them to understand their surroundings.

8. Sit them away from where plates of hot food will be passing over them and if necessary guide the staff accordingly to avoid doing this and a burn on a baby can be fatal if they go into shock from the burn.

9. Try to relax and enjoy yourself and baby will too 🙂

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Traditional vs Baby Led Weaning – unbiased view

Thinking about weaning your little one into solids does require some planning and consideration of certain issues.

We have already covered how to tell if your little one is ready but HOW you decide to wean can be influenced by other factors:

Iron stores

Prem or low birth weight babies tend to have lower iron stores in their bodies due to the fact they either were born prematurely and their systems weren’t fully ready yet or that nutritionally they just don’t have the stores. 

My little one was both of these being in the 25 percentile (on a good day) and was eventually put on iron supplements for 6 months to help boost his iron stores.

Iron is hugely important in babies as it affects their brain development.

At around 4-6 months when your health visitor may have spoken to you about Weaning, your little ones iron stores (what they have from you at birth) will have started depleting. So you’ll want to boost this as soon as you can.

Weaning helps you to do this along side their usual milk.

Weaning can be done through puréed foods – Traditional Weaning. You build up introducing thicker textures over time and also accompany purée foods with finger foods.

Or 
Baby Led Weaning – where you present foods to baby and baby picks up the foods to feed themselves. Often this involves just finger foods.

There’s a saying food before one is just for fun: but at the same time you do want your child to maintain their weight or even gain weight so it’s up to you whichever method you chose.

Some books for receipts include Ella’s Kitchen and Annabel Karmel for Traditional and finger food ideas. And for Baby LED Weaning you can checkout various facebook groups and Gill Rapley who advocates BLW as well.
Whatever you decide – best of luck on this exciting new journey 🙂

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Baby Weaning – NHS Class Notes

Signs to look out for when ready to eat:

Feeding bm/fm after an hour

Sit up with support

Good head control

If push spoon away with tongue not ready

Baby Weaning – helps with jaw control chewing biting and speech development and head control

Getting Started
Start (under 6m) before 26 weeks no younger than 17w

Finely mash food if nearer to 6m, but can have lumps. If smaller 17w must be runny/ puréed like runny honey – use babies formula or breast milk to achieve the right consistency. 
Under 6m formula or breast milk is main source of food, so just 1spoon per meal is ok as you build up. Give little tastes. No set amount, don’t force feed or force to finish plate. Let it happen naturally. 

You can offer Rice, veg and fruit (non citrus) – blander foods firsts so your little one won’t refuse them later on.
Don’t offer – citrus fruit, wheat, nuts seeds, fish or eggs AND NO HONEY! This rule about honey is very important as honey can carry a bacteria that can cause brain damage if ingested by under 1s as their digestive and immune systems are not developed enough to handle this.
By 6m you should have also introduced free flow feeder cups. 

Water ok – you can use ice cubes- can use frozen Breast Milk (BM). 

Don’t have to give water for first few months, but can introduce from 4-5m. 

Under 6m? Then water must be cool boiled water. No bottled water.

You need to take multivitamin and you can introduce your little one into one too. 

You have to test foods with your mouth.

Freeze fruit n veg up to 6m in ice cubes in freezer bag, defrost 1-2 bits at a time

Mothercare has pouches for home made food as do other sources including Amazon!

Don’t add sugar or salt (toxic) can add salt at 8/9 m. BUT limit it to approx. 1g a day!

Try not use microwave due to hotspots. 

8+ months

Family foods and finger foods can now be introduced especially if you’re not doing BLW – Baby Led Weaning
Breast milk/formula milk is main milk drink until first bday. 

Can have small amount of cows milk in foods. 

Can keep on 1st stage baby milk don’t have to get extra formulas such as next stage. 

Cows milk from 1, can become the main milk source if you no longer wish to BF.

Brush those Teeth – 

Dentist advise at 1yr to stop using bottles to avoid rotten teeth. 

Brush teeth twice a day: Brush teeth last thing at night.

Babies need food by 6m for extra calories

Finger foods can include; banana, cheese toast, rice cakes etc let baby feed self

Extra Warning

Anything soft encase in skin, cut into smaller pieces so air can pass through

Petit felu yogurt – has 6 cubes of sugar. Not healthy give natural yogurt. Give non sugary food as snacks.