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Growing So Fast

 |  Parenting

I realised earlier that I’ve not updated on Isabel in a while. I tend to assume you all know what’s going on in my daily life, which is a ridiculous notion even if I do tweet about it a lot.

So, Izz is 6 months old. She’s been sitting unsupported for about 2 weeks, give or take. As such, she started on her first foods this week. We’re not bothering with mush and purees, and skipping straight to proper solids. Other mums may be familiar with the term “baby led weaning”… basically it’s just a posh name for something parents have been doing for a long time; feeding their babies the food they’re having. The idea being that it gets babies quickly used to differing tastes and textures, teaches them how to chew/pass food back and forth in the mouth, control their own intake, etc. I would say that it’s the lazy option, but given how much mess it causes at the minute I’m not sure if that’s true. I think this picture says it all…

spaghetti bolognese

Of course, this also means 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. I won’t go on about it (too much), but I take some pride in being part of something like only 2% of UK mothers. Crazy crazy stats. It hasn’t been easy; I’ve had blocked ducts twice (ill fitting bra), narrowly avoiding mastitis the first time; thrush, thanks to mismanagement by the doctors; and the whole me-in-hospital disaster. There are two sad facts here though: 1) my problems were avoidable, perhaps with a culture more in tune with a nursing mother, and 2) UK health care providers know NOTHING about breastfeeding. How can we expect improved rates of breastfeeding (in mothers who can, and want to) if the very people who are supposed to be supporting it don’t have a clue?

I’m going on again, aren’t I?

Izz also does a cute head waving thing, like she’s saying “no”. I’ve been trying to teach her to nod “yes” instead but she doesn’t quite have the head/muscle control for it yet, so ends up bopping her head around like a little nodding doggy. She finds it hilarious… not as much as I do, though. ;)

Anyway… back to work in another 6 months. Sounds ages away, but given how quickly this first 6 months has gone, I don’t expect it to feel like a long time. Part of me misses work, part of me doesn’t want to go back. I will be going back (I can’t afford not to), but am not craving time away from the baby like I thought I might before Izz was born. I’ve gone all soft in the head in my old age!

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

18 comments so far

  1. Ben said:

    I recently heard about baby led weaning about a month ago (work related) and found the idea quite interesting and practical. Allowing the baby to decide what they eat etc.

    Look forward to seeing how much more Izz has grown by our next meet-up :)

  2. Mumblies said:

    The ‘no’ usually is learnt before the ‘yes’ no doubt to do with the various muscles required to do it.
    If you think her nodding doggie impersonations are funny, wait until she tries a wink! I used to fall about in fits of laughter at you lot when you were little, such fun.

    You havn’t gone soft in the head either Jem, this reluctance to share/leave your baby is perfectly normal. It’s nature’s way of making sure you spend as much time with her as you can, thus enabling strong bonds between you both. As she gets older you will find that you can bear to be parted from her and the pain upon parting does ease as time goes by.

  3. Asho said:

    Dirty diapers are about to get a lot more interesting!

    I ended up exclusively breastfeeding for six months, to the surprise of my friends, family, and self.

  4. Erin said:

    Ha! That age is so fun. Cody is making his way towards it too. Jas had a thing where at every meal she’d rub some of her food in her hair. Hopefully Izz doesn’t get any such ideas!

  5. Stephanie said:

    My mother attempted the puree stuff with my little sister, but she was not at all interested. She was so curious, so she ended up eating whatever we were having. She particularly liked gnawing on pizza crust when she was teething :P

  6. Audrey said:

    I do not envy your messes, but am happy for you at the same time. It sounds like you’re doing the whole mothering thing wonderfully. (:

  7. Melissa said:

    6 months? Wow. I swear it was only the other week when you were posting about being pregnant…

    I like the idea of baby eating whatever the parent’s are having, it always amazes me when I see my friend cooking dinner for himself ð

    Oh and I’m now imagining the Churchill dog eating spag bol!

  8. Jordan said:

    Wow so how long was your maternity leave altogether? That’s incrediblely long (and great) as I think when I was born my mom had only a few weeks (or perhaps a month) and eventually went back to work while my grandma took care of me during the day and/or a babysitter that lived across the street.

    That picture looks quite cute.. I take it the food went everywhere BUT her mouth? :P I would say I’d have more fun getting a chance to play with my food then eating it too!

  9. Jem said:

    @Jordan: 12 months – 6 weeks at 90% pay, 33 weeks at £123p/w (statutory maternity pay) and then the final 12 weeks unpaid. The UK is pretty good when it comes to maternity leave :)

  10. Mimi said:

    Look at her adorable little arm!!! I’m so happy you posted even that much of her, she is probably crazy adorable. That was fun reading about the day-to-day Jem. I like these posts.

    More on topic, I couldn’t breastfeed Mason (and I was terrified to anyway, I was this awkward 17 year old girl at the time) according to the doctors because of the high dose of anti-depressants I take. It’s a fluke, I never should have been on those in the first place at 12 years old, but it’s going to be hard to get it out of my system. Anyway they said it was not going to be a good thing for the baby in the milk, I don’t know if that’s accurate or not but I didn’t risk it regardless.

    I fed Mason the whole puree stuff but I was clueless of other options and just thought that’s how you had to do it. Poor kid with the clueless mother, he was loved and taken care of though. ;)

    I can’t wait until she starts yelling the word ‘no’, you’re going to wish she hadn’t learned it! Or when she grows up and pulls the, "I DON’T LIKE YOU ANYMORE, YOU AREN’T MY FRIEND!!" stunt. hhaahahaha Kids are great sometimes. :P

  11. Georgina said:

    My mum actually took… I don’t know, all of sixteen years off work because she wanted to take care of me and my brother (when he was born). She just didn’t want anyone else taking care of us, and since she moved to Australia from Indonesia, all our relatives were and still are living overseas (and grandparents, during the time they were still alive). It was so hard for her to get back into the workforce – she used to be a secretary and work with computers (in the 80s!) and now it makes me feel a bit sorry for her the way technology completely developed around her!

    Six months seems like a long way to me but I know it’ll be sooner than we think. It’s not time for you to quit working altogether yet! ;)

    My mum’s told me of her breastfeeding woes. I seem to like the idea of breastfeeding because it’s such a natural… thing to do? and it just feels like you’ve got that mother-daughter connection there.

  12. Mallory said:

    Oh, my! I’ve never heard of anyone popping their babies straight from the breast to the dinner table! ((So to speak.)) I’ve also never heard of anyone weaning their little one so quickly from the boobie.

    I’d ask you if you’re sure that it’s a good idea, but juging from everything you’ve written here on JJB about child care, I’m sure it’s perfectly acceptable, haha. Still, though, it seems to be pushing her a little quickly … But I suppose all mothers do things differently. :)

  13. Jem said:

    I think you’ve misunderstood ;) she’s not gone from boob to 3 meals a day just like that. She still gets all of the breastmilk that she was having before but also gets food to play with / eat at mealtimes. As she gets older, she will increase the amount of food she’s consuming and decrease booby feeds until she gradually self-weans from the breast.

  14. Sarah @ OneStarryNight said:

    Yay for 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding!

    We do baby-led eating (I don’t like to use the term weaning for solid foods). Tristan lately is ALL about sweet potato baked fries and avocado (which we have a LOT each week). Actually my oldest son is all about that as well lol.

    You’re doing an awesome job momma!

  15. Jenny said:

    Wow… Has it really been 6 months? I remember going to your website announcing that baby Isabel arrived home safely and everything. Time surely goes by fast. Before you know it, your baby will soon graduate high school! :D

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