Ensimmäinen viikko kotona ja imettäminen – The First Week at Home

Ensimmäinen viikko vastasyntyneen kanssa on vierähtänyt kotona. Kuinka erilaista kaikki onkaan toisella kertaa. Ensimmäisen kanssa olin jossain shokin ja kauhistuksen välitilassa ensimmäiset kuukaudet miettien minunko pitäisi huolehtia tästä nyytistä, pitää tämä pieni olento hengissä, kuinka? Nyt olen vain nautiskellut haleista, vauvantuoksusta ja ennen kaikkea imettämisestä.

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Imetys aiheuttaa paljon tunteita. Siihen liittyy syyllisyyttä, tuskaa, epäonnistumista, ahdistusta, vapaudenpuutetta ja kaikkea sitä sekaisin. Omalla kohdallani, ensimmäisen lapsen kanssa imetys lähti käyntiin vaivatta mutta allergioiden vuoksi luovutin 7kk jälkeen. Olen kokenut tuosta päätöksestä syyllisyyttä siitä saakka. Koin, että todella epäonnistuin. Luovutin sen vuoksi, että saisin syödä mitä vaan itse eli olin itsekäs. Pää oli hajota kun ei saanut syödä maitoa, munaa, pähkinöitä lähes mitään, en voinut juuri ulkona syödä koskaan…maitovarantokin alkoi heiketä, kun dieetti kaventui ja laihduin jo varsin alhaisesta painosta vielä lisää.

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Nyt toisen kanssa olinkin jo etukäteen päättänyt, että jos vain imetys lähtee vaivatta käyntiin en luovuta ja nautin joka halista ja jokaisesta syöttöhetkestä. Vaikka sitä välillä onkin olo, että on pikemminkin meijeri tai lypsylehmä on se minulle itselleni terapeuttinen kokemus. Naisen keho on ihmeellinen, että se todella tuottaa jotakin, jolla vauva pysyy hengissä. Lisäksi tyttäreni kanssa totesin jälkikäteen, että pullosirkus oli paljon kuluttavampi vaihtoehto kuin imetys ja kapea dieetti. Etenkin, kun matkustelimme paljon oli pullojen kanto, korvikkeen kanto ja pesu aivan kaameaa. Maiden vaihtuessa jouduimme myös totuttamaan tyttäremme uuteen korvikkeeseen..huh..jos minun ei tarvitse käydä tuota läpi uudelleen en aio.

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Ainoa syy miksi ehkä vaihtaisin imetyksen osittain imetykseen, osittain pulloon olisi töihin paluu 6kk jälkeen. En ole vielä päättänyt mitään paluustani, sillä on aivan liian aikaista sanoa mitään. Tiedän tosin, että he toivovat kovasti töissä, että palaisin mahdollisimman pian. Minä katselen nyt kuinka asiat etenevät, sillä haluan nauttia jokaisesta hetkestä, halista ja vauvan tuhinasta.

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Ensimmäinen viikko on sujunut hyvin. Vauva syö hyvin, on melko ahmatti, maitoa riittää. Pojallamme on kovin erilainen temperamentti kuin tyttärellämme, hän tuskin itkee pikemminkin vikisee, kun on nälkä. Hän on vain syönyt ja nukkunut ja valveilla ollessaan viihtyy sitterissä kuunnellen soivaa pehmolelua. Tyttäremme itki hysteerisesti alusta saakka niin vaippaa vaihtaessa kuin kylvettäessä ihan kuin joku olisi kiduttanut. Tyttäremme ei suostunut nukkumaan sängyssään lainkaan, halusi vain nukkua vatsaa vasten. Tämä poika viihtyy kapaloituna sängyssään. Yöt ovat sujuneet toistaiseksi hyvin syöttöjä noin 1.5-3h välein. Koska totuin tyttäremme kanssa rikkinäisiin öihin -oli kuukausia jolloin meillä heräiltiin joka 15min välein- nämä 1.5h-3h pätkät tuntuvat luksukselta! Viime yönä oli yksi yli 3h pätkä! Olo on siis toistaiseksi virkeä, mutta ennen kaikkea onnellinen ja kiitollinen tuosta pienestä ihmislapsesta. Järkyttävä nälkä päällä, sillä pikkukaveri syö koko ajan päiväsaikaan. Olenkin mättänyt hyvällä omallatunnolla valtavia määriä rasvaisia juustoja, jogurttia, pastaa, porkkanaa, jotta maito on täynnä ravinteita.

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The first week at home has gone fast. Everything has been rolling nicely. The baby sleeps swaddled in his cot, breastfeeding is painless and he feeds well. Nights have been good too, he has woken up  every 1.5h-3h. It seems luxurious as with our daughter I got used to broken nights when she woke up every 15min and did not settle. This little boy likes to be swaddled, feeds and falls back to sleep in his own bed. His temperament seems to be very different from our daughter. The cries are quiet whinging and he only cries a bit when changing nappy. Our daughter used to scream hysterically about everything hunger, changing nappy, bathing, boredom..everything. Maybe it all feels different as we have gone this through once. This time I find it is so therapeutic and I truly enjoy the baby smell and cuddles. I enjoy the walks around Albert Park lake. Today we had a 1.5h walk and it was so lovely to walk properly without a big pregnancy belly. Every moment is precious and I am so thankful for this  little human being.

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Mainokset

Synntyksestä Australiassa -Giving Birth in Australia

Vauva on täällä. Pieni poika (3166g, 50cm) syntyi viime torstaina 11.40 aamupäivällä.

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Kaikki kävi jälleen erittäin nopeasti. Aamulla kahdeksan aikaan heräsin hieman kipuilevaan vatsaan ja muutamiin kivuliaihin supistuksiin, joita tuli harvakseltaan. Tunnistin nuo kivut viime kerrasta. Teimme äkkiä mieheni kanssa suunnitelman mihin laittaa tyttäremme. Tällaiset tilanteet ovat haastavia, kun ei ole isovanhempia lähettyvillä. Niinpä soitimme päiväkotiin ja kysyimme voisimmeko tuoda tyttäremme ”casual” päiväksi, normaalistihan hän on maanantaista keskiviikkoon hoidossa. Tämä onnistui, mieheni lähti yhdeksän aikaan viemään tytärtämme päiväkotiin, hänen poissa ollessaan alkoivat supistukset ilmaantua hieman säännöllisemmin. Soitin sairaalaan, kerroin puhelimessa, että edellinen synnytykseni oli vain muutaman tunnin, kuvailemani perusteella kätilö pyysi minun suuntaamaan sairaalaan. Puoli kymmeneltä lähdimme ajamaan sairaalaan, supistukset alkoivat tulla 5-6 minuutin välein.

Kun pääsimme sairaalaan, minut vietiin ”assessement centeriin” ja tehtiin pika-arvio, synnytys oli käynnissä ja se eteni nopeasti. Kaikki synnytyssalit olivat varattuja. Kätilö ilmoitti, että minut vietäisiin heti seuraavaan vapautuvaan, mutta jos se ei onnistuisi voisin synnyttää ”assessment centerissä”. Lopulta synnytyssali vapautui. En edelleenkään tajua kuinka tein sen mutta kävelin sinne supistusten kourissa juuri ennen vauvan maailmaan putkahtamista. Kun pääsimme synnytyssaliin syntyi pieni poika 10 minuutin sisällä ja syöksyi ulos viidessä minuutissa. Kaikki tapahtui valonnopeudella ja kuten ensimmäisessä synnytyksessäni myös tässä kätilöt olivat hämmentyneitä kuinka nopeasti kaikki vain eteni, vastahan saavuin synnytyssaliin.

Oli siis minuuteista kiinni, ettei vauva olisi syntynyt joko ”assessment centerissä” tai sairaalan käytävällä! Mitään kivunlievitystä en saanut kuten en edellisessäkään, luomumenolla siis alusta loppuun mentiin jälleen. Jotenkin ihana tunne, se että voi kokea asioiden etenevän luonnollisesti ja kuunnella ruumistaan. Toki tilanteeni on hyvin erilainen kuin monien, joilla synnytys kestää ja voimat heikkenee ja on pakko ottaa kivunlievitystä levätäkseen. Ensimmäinen synnytykseni oli muistaakseni 2h 30min kokonaisuudessaan ja tällä kertaa mentiin 2h 5minuutissa.

Kaikki sujui ihanasti, olin pystyssä kävelemässä tunnin jälkeen ja pääsimme ihanaan isoon huoneeseen, jossa oli parisänky ja oma kylpyhuone. Minua pidettiin sairaalassa kaksi yötä, jonka jälkeen kätilöt ovat käyneet kotikäynneillä katsomassa minua ja vauvaa.

Kaikin puolin voin sanoa, että tämä synnytyskokemus oli uskomaton ihanuudessaan. Ei ainoastaan siksi, että se oli jälleen luonnollinen ja spontaani vaan myös siksi, että Royal Women´s Hospital, jonka on osavaltion paras naisten sairaala on todella maineensa väärti. Hoito oli ensiluokkaista, kaikki kätilöt ja lääkärit aivan ihania. Alusta loppuun oli tunne, että on parhaissa mahdollisissa käsissä. Todella erilaista kuin Briteissä, joissa tunnelma oli varsin kaoottinen. En voi ylistää tarpeeksi kuinka loistava Royal Womens sairaala on. Täytyy myös jälleen ylistää Australian sairaanhoito, se on vain aivan loistavaa!

Nyt olemme totutelleet elämään isompana perheenä. Kaikki on sujunut hyvin. Vauva syö valtavasti ja on nukkunut hyvin. Tyttäremme on niin hellä ja rakastava veljeään kohtaan, että se liikuttaa. Itse olen vaan istuskellut nyytti sylissä ja ihmetellyt tuota pientä ihmettä!

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Baby boy is here (3166g and 50cm).  He was born last week Thursday at 11.40am.

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I woke up to small pains around 8am on Thursday morning. I recognised the pain from the previous delivery. My husband and I had to make an action plan immediately where to take our daughter whilst we go to the hospital. These are the challenges when you do not have grandparents nearby. We managed to get her in the daycare for casual day. We headed to the hospital at 9.30am and contractions started to be more regular.

First I was taken to the assessment centre, they assessed the stage and noted that the labour has begun. I was told no birthing suites were available and I had to wait in the assessment centre, the labour progressed rapidly. I was told that if no birthing suites become available I could deliver in the assessment centre if needed. So we waited every minute hoping for the room to become available. Finally it did. I still cannot believe I walked all the way to the birthing suite only a little while before the baby was born. When we finally got to the birthing suite the baby came out almost straight away in 5minutes. Midwives were puzzled how quickly it all happened and so was I. My first labour was 2h 30 min altogether and this time it was even shorter 2h 5min. No pain relief in either of my labours, simply no time. Everything has happened so naturally in both times. I was mobile, up and walking an hour after and hardly lost any blood which was amazing as I did not feel weak or fainty at all.

They kept me for 2 nights in the hospital and we got home on Saturday midday. Now we have been learning to live as a bigger family. Our daughter is so loving and caring towards her little brother that it is touching. I just keep on sitting the baby in my arms admiring this little miracle. Wonders of life.

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Carrot Bread -Porkkanakakku

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I found this recipe from one of my favourite vegan blogs called Chocochili. It is such a good blog so I happily advertise it here too (Finnish blog).  Most of the recipes are suitable for my daughter but tasty enough such as I don’t think the flavour suffers from the allergy friendly cooking. The original recipe is for cupcakes but I used the same dough for carrot bread. It is definitely more of a bread than a cake. The only thing I really changed in the recipe was that I replaced almond milk with oat milk. I was surprised how moist the cake turned out. It is not very sweet either so it can be eaten both at breakfast or brunch time. I love it as I prefer sweet continental style breakfast, eggs and bacon are just not my cup of tea! Hope you enjoy this bread!

100ml grated carrot

150 ml (2/3 cup) dark brown sugar

250ml oat milk

100 ml vegetable oil

350ml (1 2/3 cup) white flour

2 tbs potato starch

1,5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1. Mix dark brown sugar, oat milk and oil in the bowl.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together.

3. Combine dry ingredients with the brown sugar-vegetable oil-oat milk mix.

4. Add grated carrot and mix.

5. Bake in 175 centigrades for 30-40min until fully cooked. Do a ”fork test” and if the dough does not get stuck to the fork it is ready.

PS. I tested the banana version too. You can make it simply by replacing the grated carrot with 1-2 mashed bananas -tasty!

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Löysin tämän ihanan kakkuohjeen lempi vegaaniblogistani Chocochili.  Voin lämpimästi suositella kyseistä blogia kaikille, jotka suosivat maidotonta ruokavaliota. On kyseinen blogi toki muutenkin mainio! Tämä kakku on todella herkullinen ja nopea.  Englantilaisessa maailmassa tämänkaltaisia kakkuja usein kutsutaan leiviksi pikemminkin kuin kakuiksi, sillä ne eivät ole niin makeita. Alkuperäinen ohje oli muffineille ja niissä oli mantelimaitoa. Korvasin mantelimaidon kauramaidolla ja tämä maittava kakku oli valmista uuniin. Suosittelen! Kakku ei ole liian makeva ja sopii jopa aamiaiaselle tai brunssille!

1 dl hienoksi raastettua porkkanaa

1dl fariinisokeria tiiviiksi painettuna

2,5 dl kauramaito

1 dl rypsiöljyä

3,5 dl vehnäjauhoja

2 rkl perunajauhoja

1,5 tl leivinjauhetta

1 tl vaniljasokeria

1 tl kanelia

1/4 tl neilikkaa

1.Laita uuni kuumenemaan 175 asteeseen. Kuori ja raasta porkkanat.

2. Mittaa kulhoon fariinisokeri, mantelimaito ja öljy. Sekoita tasaiseksi.

3. Yhdistä toisessa kulhossa kuivat aineet. Kaada neste kuivien aineiden joukkoon ja kääntele tasaiseksi. Lisää lopuksi sekaan porkkanaraaste.

4. Paista n. 30-40minuuttia kunnes kypsä.

PS. Testasin baananilla myös. Voit tehdä banaaniversion korvaamalla porkkanaraasteen 1-2 banaanilla -herkullista!

Some shocking news about my baby’s allergies -Shokeeraavia uutisia vauvani allergioista

Our family life was turned upside down this week. We finally got to see the allergy specialist after a long wait for 6 months. When the appointment started the lady did not take me seriously at all but thought I was just a hysterically worried new mother with no perspective. I had faced this so many times with the doctors here in England so I stayed calm although cried a bit. The doctor was like usually belittling everything I was concerned about and basically questioned my weaning as I seemed to limit my baby’s diet without 100% evidence. She did not believe the allergy blood test results really mattered after all.

Due to my small cry to remove my on-going worry she offered to do the skin prick tests. She tested all the most important nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts), dairy, eggs, soy, sesame and wheat. We waited for 15 minutes, I dressed our daughter so that she would not scratch herself as her skin got irritated straight away. When we finally removed the clothing her whole wrist was swollen (the hand where the test was made), so was the back. The doctor’s face was shocked. Quite often skin prick reaction is a small hive like bump and it is measured in millimetres. My daughter’s dairy test showed 3 cm swollen bump around her wrist, egg reaction was big too and cashew bump was huge and red, other nuts caused large reactions around the prick as well. This all happened only after a small drop of each test liquid and a little crack of the skin. Doctor’s tone changed drastically, she prescribed immediately an Epipen (adrenaline pen) to carry with us at all times in case our daughter gets life threatening anaphylaxis. She also told us to remove eggs, dairy and nuts from our house as apparently our daughter with these kind of test results could react to only smells. We are not allowed to give her any products that may contain traces of milk, eggs or nuts. This is tough and means lots of special products.  Here in England almost every product contains traces of milk or nuts. I have been struggling to find even oats that would not be packed in a nut factory! Doctor told us she will be seeing us regularly from now on to follow the situation. We were told to come to the hospital for food challenges and not to try anything risky and new food at home. So we will have a soy and wheat challenge soon and after that a salmon and cod challenge. Challenges will start with extremely small quantities and special nurses will monitor her all that time.

After all this I am glad I trusted my mother instinct. Since my daughter’s excema flamed 9 months ago I had the feeling things were not right. This feeling was following me throughout the breastfeeding time as she reacted to everything I ate,  same happened with weaning. Every doctor I saw during the past one year belittled the allergy problem, treated me as a hysterical woman and told me to feed my daughter everything, all the food including dairy and eggs. Luckily I did not believe in any of them and trusted my own inner instinct. During the past year I read so much research about food allergies, literally everything I could get to my hands. After the test it was clear that if I had given dairy, eggs or nuts to her we would have been playing with her life and in an urgent need of First Aid from ambulance (which in London does not always come quickly enough.)

Phew. What a long journey. Nine months of uncertainty, desperate searching and begging for help from different doctors and the sad fact that if I had not paid for the allergy blood tests in Finnish private hospital last summer we would not even be here as no-one believed me, hardly with the blood test results in my hand. Luckily everything is clearer now and we can breath and relax. It is very reassuring for me to have an Epipen at home as I know that I can help my daughter if she accidentally eats something inappropriate and I can win more time before the help arrives.

My mum who is a doctor said that during their pediatric lectures their professor was telling all the students to listen to mothers and trust mothers’ instinct even more than doctors should trust their own medical knowledge. I think that is so true. There must be something bigger than life in a relationship between a child and a mother. Mothers not only sense but they also feel and know if something is wrong. For me the biggest challenge was that when everyone belittled my instinct I started to doubt myself and thought the fear has taken over my instinct and ability to read my own feelings. It did not.

We will have a big challenge in future regarding schools and nurseries. In Finland where the allergy management is amazing and schools have cantines and children do not bring their own lunches in, the risk of your child eating something bad is very little. Here the things are very differently. Children not only bring their own food with them but people seem not to be very aware of allergies. I went to the nursery before Christmas to enquire a place for my daughter. I explained her allergies and highlighted the dairy allergy and the next question was could they give yogurt for her!!!!I was very disappointed.  I know I will need to accept the worry that our daughter eats her friend’s chocolate bar or just ends up accidentally putting something inappropriate to her mouth will shadow our days.  Still after all this nothing made me happier than to know for sure and to know how serious her allergies were and how cautious we should be in future. It removed the 9 months of uncertainty and fear. I think my baby girl has sensed my relief as she has been sleeping so well for the past two nights and has been smiling and enjoying her days in a way I have not seen for a long time.

She is such a sweetheart.

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My brave little girl at the hospital.

Walking socks -Tepsuttelua sukin

ca09e4fa-8adf-44d4-9260-4ae205172fc2_jpegIn England most of the mothers make their babies wear shoes all the time. Shoes? I could not believe my eyes when I saw some three month old babies in uncomfortable shoes. Do you know that babies are also force to wear shoes here in the nursery too?!!

I know if your baby starts walking early and does not wear shoes her feet will become flat and not beautifully formed. I certainly know that, I started walking super early myself and my sister even earlier and we both have what we call in Finland ”lättäjalka” – literally flat foot. Only thing my eight month old wants to do nowadays is walking. She wants me to walk her around the house and discover rooms and decide the direction herself. She pulls herself up and starts walking with support like a daredevil. I have been desperately looking for socks with rubber bottom but here in England it is not that easy to find those as instead of socks with grid the babies wear shoes. Luckily in Belgium I found amazing rubber socks, in fact they are so fantastic that I have not seen anything like that ever before. The socks have an actual thick rubber bottom that is flexible, bendy, folds with the foot and keeps the grid. I don’t think you can order them online (unfortunately) but if you end up in Belgium check out this store called Veritas. These baby socks are without comparison, they are wonderful! Plus they look cute!

Hope you have had a great Saturday, I had, our dear friends were visiting and it was so nice to see them!


Englannissa äidit laittavat vauvansa kulkemaan kengissä jo ennen kuin he ovat lähelläkaan kävelyikää.  Kengät? En voinut uskoa kun näin kolmekuiset vauavt kengissä! Tämän lisäksi, päivähoidossa täällä vauvat -jopa alle yksivuotiaat- pakotetaan pitämään kenkiä jalassa koko päivän.

Tiedän kyllä, että jos vauva lähtee aikaisin kävelemään riski lättäjalkojen kehittymiselle on suuri. Itse kävelin kymmenkuisena ilman tukea, siskoni yhdeksänkuisena ja molemmillaa meillä on lättäjalat. Oma tyttäreni on samanlainen, nyt kahdeksankuisena ainoa asia mitä hän haluaa tehdä on kävellä ympäri taloa! Hän vetää itsensä pystyyn ja kävelee pitkin tukia kuin mikäkin rämäpää. Olen siis yrittänyt etsiä hyviä jarrusukkia, mutta niiden löytyminen tästä maasta on lähes mahdotonta. Onneksi matkustinne Belgiaan ja löysin ihania jarrusukkia, joissa on superpaksu muovinen taipuisa pohja -täydelliset rämäpää tyttärelleni!!! Tsekatkaa siis kauppa Veritas, valitettavasti tuotteita ei voi tilata netin kautta, mutta jos eksytte Belgiaan suosittelen kyseistä putiikkia lämpimästi, siella on myös ihania naisten vaateteita, koruja, sukkia ym.

Toivottavasti viikonloppunne on ollut ihana, minulla on ollut rentouttava lauantai ja ihanat ystävämme olivat kylässä mikä piristi päivää!

How to get your baby to take solids? -Kuinka saada vauva syömään kiinteitä ruokia?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have been struggling to wean my baby for three months now. I will not go into details as it will bore you all. It is enough to mention my baby girl is a fussy eater with the capital F. There were two months that she literally did not take anything and I tried so many lovely things. Due to her allergies (milk, soy, nuts, egg, gluten, coconut, carrot, banana, sesame, pulses…etc…) we have had crazily limited range of foods to choose from which has not made things any easier. My baby girl is not only fussy with flavours but also with textures. In addition to this she is moody and I mean really moody. She is worse than ladies in their menopause. She gets ridiculous tantrums like a two year old, throws herself to the floor, kicks her legs and acts theatrically without any reason. The better side of the coin is that she is intellectually very developed, alert and attentive. She is extremely mobile but slightly hyperactive -like her parents :)- which means she cannot concentrate on sitting down in her highchair for any longer than five minutes. Below you can see my list of things how I got her to eat..eventually. Of course we are still talking about spoonfuls. A huge feed for her is half of the regular size baby food pot which means half of the 125g. Her favourite fruit and berry flavours are pear, blueberry, blueberry-raspberry-lingonberry, rose berry-pear.  So my poor mother has dragged tens of pots from Finland to her as you cannot find pure blueberry puree in the UK. My baby girl’s vegetable favourites are potato-broccoli, potato-parsnip, cauliflower and sweetcorn. Pear and broccoli are perfect as they have a huge iron content. I also recently read an article about white vegetables. The article highlighted that cauliflower should not be overlooked as it is one of the healthiest vegetables and has amazing nutrients and vitamins in it, luckily my fussy baby likes it!

Before you start reading this I want to highlight that I am very much pro breastfeeding. I find myself belonging to the school of though that believes ”boob is the best”. I was dreaming of breastfeeding until my baby was one year old. I encourage breastfeeding on demand, I have never looked at the clock and thought ”my baby cannot be hungry”. I have always fed her whenever she has asked for it (this is why I woke up hourly for months and months..). So when I decided to quit breastfeeding it was mainly due to my baby’s allergies and bad excema. It was a difficult decision and I shed many tears for it feeling like I failed as a mother. During the first few weeks of formula feeding my bad mother syndrome got just worse and worse until I got over it. In the end I just felt I had no choice. Despite how carefully I looked at what I ate, my baby girl’s skin and tummy just reacted badly all the time. Now when she is on formula (special formula Nutramigen in which milk protein has been broken down) her skin has cleaned and she is pretty much all smiles. We were recently discharged from the special excema care and she is happier than ever which for me is more important than my ideal of breastfeeding. She has also finally started to sleep peacefully during the day. Now when I look back I almost think that the reason why I carried on breastfeeding after 6 months was not only that I thought it was best for her, I also did it for myself thinking selfishly that I would be somehow a better mother. I know it is naive, but I think this is quite typical for new mothers with their first child. What I have learned is that sometimes you have to forgive yourself and let your ideals go in order to gain something more profound and better.

Here you can see what helped me with my baby:

1. Starting mixed feeding changed my baby girl’s eating drastically. I started giving bottles during the day time (she was 7 1/2 months old) and I breastfed only at the night time. Suddenly she started eating during the day time as the breast was not available every minute. In fact she forgot breastfeeding and is hardly interested in it anymore so in the end the quitting of breastfeeding happened quite easily after she started to take bottles (it was a fight at first!!).  If you feel like you could do this I would say it is not a bad option.

2. Smooth purees. My baby girl was so fussy with the textures that if there was even one lump in it she spitted it all out. The food processor that saved my life was Tommy Tippee Explora Baby Food Blender. It was only £20 (now in fact even cheaper) and it makes the smoothest and creamiest puree textures ever! My baby girl loves those purees now. After your baby is bigger you can leave the purees lumpier. This is a very good blender so definitely worth every penny!

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3. Books and toys. Some people would say this is malpractice and that babies should not be taught to think eating time is play time. I can only comment on this by saying that you don’t care about good practice as long as your baby starts eating. I bought books that had textures on them hairy or scrubbily spots to touch, feel and experience and whilst she was discovering the book I scooped spoonfuls into her mouth. Works these days every time!

4. Distraction. If your baby gets tantrum and starts crying whilst putting her to highchair distract her with something unusual,  a new noise works quite often. I do drumming noises or I knock the table and suddenly the crying stops and she cannot even remember why she was crying. After the distraction you can finally start feeding her.

5. Timing. It is all about timing. If your baby is cranky (unless hunger crankiness) , don’t even try to feed her. If she is a fussy eater she needs to be cheerful in order to discover new food and flavours. Try different meal plans. Try Central European 3 meals plus snack a day, if that does not work for you, try Northern European 4 meals plus snack a day. For my baby girl who is very petite the English meal planner just did not work, the Finnish guidelines  have been the best. My baby could not possibly drink 210ml of formula in one go she would have popped as she has been exclusively breastfed so far and her tummy is a lot smaller than that of formula fed babies. By spreading meals and giving smaller portions in one go she felt better and she actually started eating more overall and what matters is overall, not one meal. So try smaller portions often. Don’t look at the clock, try to offer her food when she is cheerful and willing to experience new things.

Our sample day is:

07-07.30am breakfast: porridge with fruit or berry puree and 120ml formula

10-11am lunch: vegetable puree and 120ml formula (potato-broccoli,  potato-parsnip or cauliflower)

1.30-2.30pm snack: fruit or berry puree and 120ml formula (pear, blueberry or blueberry raspberry puree)

4-5pm dinner: vegetable puree and 120ml formula (potato-broccoli,  potato-parsnip or cauliflower)

6.30-7pm  supper: porridge with berry or fruit puree (and sometimes a tiny bit of formula)

7-7.30pm 150ml formula

01-02am 120ml formula

6. Good spoon. You need a really good spoon as you don’t want all the food to fall down or dribble out from her mouth. I found that OXO Tot Travel spoon has been super good. It is deep enough, the shape is good and with it I find it easy to stuff food into my baby’s mouth. She seem to like it too. This spoon comes also with a handy travel pack. At least John Lewis sells them in the UK.

oxo tot

7. Patience. Babies can take a long time to taste and feel the food in their mouths. In the beginning our eating sessions took 20-30 minutes (long sessions do not work anymore). Try small amounts often if longer feeds don’t work for you. It feels like you are offering the food constantly but it does not matter as long as she takes some. I was a way too petty about feeding solids with the clock. In the beginning of weaning process it does not work, fussy eaters eat only when they are happy.

8. Sleep. I noticed that my baby started eating better if she slept better during the day time. Particularly after the naps she was very inclined to take solids and happily experience new flavours. For 8 months my baby hardly slept regularly. Between 6-8 months she stopped sleeping all together. She was cranky, frustrated and tired all the time but she did not understand to go to sleep. She fought back and just refused to sleep when she was put down. Of course this was related to her allergies as she was just feeling unwell and could not relax as she was scratching herself all the time. By establishing or even trying to establish a nap schedule will ease the weaning. My baby takes solids very happily right after her long day time nap which is usually between 10am and 12 or 1 pm.

9. Pep talk! Give yourself a good old fashioned pep talk. Imagine of coaching a rugby team. You can do it, you can do it, you can do it. Don’t give up. My GP gave me the biggest pep talk ever when I visited her tears in my eyes. She told me not to give up as ” if you give up now, next comes TV watching, then home works and then boyfriends!”. Be disciplined and strict but kind and patient. It is tough, I know, I have been going through this for almost four months now. It will change just do not give up.

10. Age. If none of my tips works I comfort myself by saying every baby learns to eat within the time. Some are slower, some love food immediately. My baby girl has not gotten teeth yet and she is almost eight and half months old. I see teething having a natural relationship to their ability to eat. If the baby does not have any teeth how could she possibly feel ready for chewing things, no she is not ready, she needs more time. Many people have told me when the teeth appear, taking solids takes a new turn. Whilst waiting for the first tooth, I keep on giving myself pep talks.

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Good luck!

Mummy diet – Äitiysdieetti

I have often wondered how some women can have pregnancy kilos after being a mum for more than half a year. One of my friends commented on this question in one of the emails we sent to each others by saying ”I think those ladies who still have kilos left after mummy days must have boring babies”. I don’t know how fair this comment is but this applies to my situation at least!

nobody sleeps

My ”mummy diet” is very simple. I wake up at 6am at the latest (after waking up 2-4 times a night). I prepare the breakfast for my restless baby. I bounce her in my arms whilst making the porridge, I feed her whilst entertaining her like a circus clown (believe it or not I am doing African drumming at the moment, it is the hit!). After her breakfast I manage to prepare my own breakfast but just when I am about to have it, my baby starts crying again and I cannot finish it as I need to breastfeed her…a new attempt..fails..a new attempt..fails..a new attempt..finally a success and I eat in a speed of a rocket. I take my baby upstairs, change her nappy, I put her to bouncer, I bounce her with my leg whilst putting on my make up.

I keep on bouncing her, entertaining her until it is her morning snack time..same show again..she starts to be tired but doesn’t know how to fall asleep. A new breastfeed, I call this a knock down morning feed..usually it works. I go for a pram walk in the park to keep her asleep then to supermarket to use this nap time efficiently by buying all the food for lunch and dinner. This includes some super heavy spring water bottles and vegetable bags. My baby wakes up just as I am about to start walking back home..she start with a whinge that turns to a cry and she cries and cries. I sing to her, no impact. She cries still so I have to pick her up and take her to my arms. I keep on pushing the pram that weighs like it was full of stones. I do this with one hand, holding my baby in another. Whilst doing this I regret we chose the house that is uphill from the supermarket as I need to always hike uphill with all these bags and baby in my arms. I look like a donkey.

At home I keep on bouncing my baby whilst unloading the shopping into the fridge. It is time to prepare her lunch, I repeat the bouncing, putting her down pattern, never works. I feed her, this time drumming doesn’t work so we need toys. A new game, my dear daughter throws the toys to the ground I pick them up, she throws them down, I pick them up. We play this game and I scoop food into her mouth. My back feels sore.  Finally done. I start preparing my own lunch (usually salad , it is fast to eat and not bad if eaten cold) and I reckon I have never chopped cucumber and tomatoes so quickly. I have no time to do any meat as my baby is cranky. I throw some leftover chicken on top of the salad, I eat it whilst holding my wiggling baby who does not want to crawl on the ground or be left alone with her toys. I have  a cup of coffee -surprisingly warm this time- and yay I got some lunch down. I am still hungry, salad whilst breastfeeding is not enough but there is no time to prepare anything extra as I really need to do some washing too. I carry dirty washing baskets up and down the stairs whilst holding my baby. In my mind I wonder why I let them fill up so full that they are heavier than my usual 20 kilo travel suitcase.

I try an afternoon knock down breastfeed, sometimes it works. I take my baby for another walk so that she would stay asleep even for half an hour. Same story as in the morning, she wakes up 15 minutes before we hit the home door and I end up carrying her in my arms whilst wheeling the pram uphill. It is time for her afternoon snack. This time we start with African drumming and end up throwing toys. I comfort myself, at least she ate it all. Now my baby starts getting her ”evening crankies”.  The alternating game begins. This means I move her from room to room, we have a mirror game in between, I put her to door bouncer, then to the regular bouncer and a new round again. As the clock approaches 5.30pm she gets manic. She wiggles and requires heavier bouncing. At 5.30pm I am too tired to bounce, my hands ache and eyes hardly stay open. I take one rice cake and stuff it into my mouth, some blood sugar.  I open a pack or crisps but manage to get only two into my mouth. I prepare her porridge whilst entertaining her, I sing, I dance and she still whinges. I feed her the porridge. This time no games, good eating, luckily.

I run upstairs to make the bath whilst holding her, I let the water run. I realise all her washed clothes are downstairs. I hold her  and I run downstairs to pick her night romper, I run upstairs with her. I bath her and entertain her by splashing the water and singing songs. I take her away from the bath and I wrap her with the towel. When I get to her room I remember her sleeping bag is downstairs. I run downstairs whilst holding my towel wrapped baby. I run upstairs with my towel wrapped baby. Suddenly I feel something warm against my skin. She weed. Well here we go again. I take her to bathroom and wash her again.  Whilst doing this I realise that all the towels are downstairs as I have not had a chance to bring them upstairs during this day long entertainment show. I take my wet baby to downstairs and wrap her in her towel. I run upstairs hoping she has no more wees to do. I start putting her nappy on. She hates it, she wants to be naked like Adam and Eve.  So I sing and I drum. Nothing works, I give up. As soon as I get her ready I start the knock down good night feed. I see her falling asleep, her eyes are slowing closing and after every minute I feel my body is getting more and more relaxed. Soon I will have my own spare moment. Win. Sleeping baby.

I run downstairs, I prepare a dinner for me and my husband. Usually this is something super carbful like risotto or potato dish!  I have my glass of white wine and take a breath. I haven’t had a chance to snack anything during the day, I have hardly visited a loo myself, I have run like a crazy chicken, I have entertained my baby like a jumping monkey. I reckon I have lifted up weights more than I could ever do at the gym. I have walked at least two hours outside, I have pushed the heavy pram and shopping uphill. I have run up and down the stairs all day long and not alone. No kilos after this. Does your baby not need entertainment? Mine does. All the time. This is my mummy diet. Does it sound familiar?

As crazy as it is I love it and I love her.

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If you felt like this could be a day of your life listen to this song on Youtube. This ”Motherhood feat” video was something that my colleagues told me to watch before going to maternity leave. I was laughing at it back then, now I know what they meant 🙂