September sees Pumpkin hitting the 6 month mark. This is the point that the WHO feels is appropriate to 'start solids'. I have a confession...Pumpkin swallowed some avocado at about 5 1/2 mths.
From about 4 1/2 mths she would watch intensely as I ate. Once she was able to sit in the high chair, we would sit her there, with us, at the table. She usually end up on my lap, but I could at least shovel in most of my dinner first... Then she started making a fuss, that clearly meant "Oi! You lot! Where is mine!". So we gave her a spoon. This held her interest, and kept her in her chair longer.
At the 5 1/2 mth mark, her "oi, what about me" was very much "I want to try the food". So I put some avocado on her spoon, she sucked away like she'd never been fed. Most of it was pushed out, but some went down and she was keen for more. The next night we had a BBQ, with chops. We gave her a chop bone to suck on. She thought that was pretty good.
So whilst she isn't 'on solids' she is exploring food.
This approach, which is quite intuitive, has been labelled 'baby-led solids' or 'baby-led weaning' (BLW). As with most of my parenting, I just do what feels right, and then later learn it is a 'thing'. With Pumpkin being number 4, it is a very unconscious 'thing'. Like learning to walk, once you can do it, you don't think about it any more. But with my first, I agonised over every mouthful, what order of foods she would have, how smooth it was, when it was given. It was exhausting. Eventually l̶a̶z̶i̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ sense took over, and I just fed her from my plate (because she wasn't eating the special smooth purees I was offering, but reaching for my food instead).
I followed an intuitive approach to toileting too. With my first, I was changing her nappy and she was still mid-poo. I held her over the toilet. It occurred to me that I could save on nappies if I did this when she needed to poo.So I did. I would hold her over the toilet for her morning wee, it wasn't long before she was dry over night. At 21 mths, her second summer started...the warmer weather meant no pants! She was successfully using the potty straight away. Of course I claimed all the credit. My second born did not take to the potty quite so easily. Whilst he was great with my managing things, the getting himself to the potty was more challenging. His summer of no pants was helped along by a lot of outdoor time and our dog. If we were inside, he would seek quiet places to poo...outside, he would simple drop his load. The dog followed him every where, would 'clean up' and look at me as if to say "I'm so ashamed". Once he could climb onto the toilet, pooing was a breeze. I guess he just did not find the potty comfortable. Number 3 was fine with the potty, and rarely has a daytime accident, but is not dry overnight (he is 4 on the 19th). Pumpkin, at 6 mths, rarely poos in her pants, and happily sits on the potty. Turns out, this approach is called 'Elimination Communication' (EC).
Speaking of intuition and acronyms, this month I was talking with a midwifery professor about my book. She was very positive about it but was concerned about my use of 'unassisted birth'. You see, the medical terminology for this is "Birth Before Arrival" or BBA.. Whatever you call it, it is wise to consider this in your birth preparations. I call this the "fast birth pathway".
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As you may be aware, I lost access to my primary facebook account for posting images that empower women. I am deeply disturbed by this and very reluctant to spend much time on facebook. For this reason I am working on an off-fb support group for birth preparation. It is a work in progress, but it seems the time has come to welcome Foundation Members into the space...even in it's unfinished state.
You can expect an official invite before the end of the month, this will be separate to the newsletter. Please let me know if you are keen by simply replying to the email with "count me in!". If you don't reply, I won't bother you.
(eek I am feeling nervous and excited about this!).
This past month I joined Instagram. I'm not convinced it is for me, so if you love ig, check out @birthmapping, and convince me to stay! (PLEASE NOTE: I am not on Instagram anymore. It is run by facebook)
Yours in Informed Birth Preparation,
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