Our Weaning Adventures

At four months Frankie didn’t seem satisfied solely on bottles, he started to wake up for feeds throughout the night and was taking a lot of interest in our food and sucking his pudgy little hands, so regardless of recommendations of midwives, public health nurses and the likes I decided to start weaning Frankie earlier than the six months. It is advised to start a baby on solids when they are six-months due to development and nutritional reasons.

I suppose due to these ‘rules’ administered by health care officials I wasn’t very prepared for weaning, I had no high chair, baby spoons or water-proof bibs. I decided I wanted everything organic, homemade, full of nutritious ingredients although on a few occasions I have given him puree fruit pots, they are so handy if you are out and about or if your homemades haven’t fully defrosted by snack time.

It’s so true, the nutrition baby receives in their first year will impact on their eating habits for the rest of their lives. I look at Kayla my first born,  who eats dinners solely of mash, carrots and gravy. She is a very fussy eater and that is due to my poor diet I inflicted on her in the first years. It’s something I regret immensely, since then I have changed my attitude to parenting and put my her needs before my own. Over the past year Kayla has grew a love for fruit, all fruit, so her eating habits are slowly improving. If I had of introduced all the beautiful foods there are out there sooner maybe she wouldn’t be so picky.

I decided Frankie’s first meal would be a taste of porridge, something easy and simple to make, although it didn’t happen that way. The texture was nothing like my Nana’s, it resembled gloop and had the consistency of tar. He gagged, he heaved, he cried, he projectile-spat across the room, It was a big FAIL! So maybe porridge wasn’t the best decision but you have to learn these things for yourself. You have to find what works for you and your baby.

Frankie’s first spoon feed

When he learnt to swallow food we moved onto sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash. It wasn’t until I started cooking up a storm in the kitchen that I realised all his food was orange. So as the days and weeks went by, I started introducing more food like parsnips, peas and chicken all pureed of course. He took some time accepting some of the new flavours, he would spit the food allover the room but I never gave up. He loves his food; now that I’m offering a huge variety.

Frankie is six months now and I have many worries about weaning, Kayla my four-year-old was allergic to eggs, lactose intolerant and it was around this age we discovered it. The fear of him choking on finger food also scares me, it’s natural to worry but I take it to another level. I have taken a course in First Aid to ease my anxieties.

I’m also very house proud, so when it comes to finger food I tend to opt for dry food like bread and toast, soon realising I was starting to follow my old weaning habits I had on Kayla. I’ve given in to my former ways and have given him mango, banana and cheese. I’m allowing him to explore, play and make all the mess that needs be for him to enjoy it.

Weaning is such an important part of babies’ development and I’m so proud I’ve changed my old ways and allowed him to mush, squish and squeeze these new textures and flavours whether it be into his hair, ears or nose. I won’t lie the mess can be frustrating but it’s harder to have a child who won’t eat vegetables and meat than clean up a baby after a fun meal-time.

Fairy Hunting in the Woods and Finding Lost Things

We live in a house of make believe and fairy-tales. We have a fairy, Trixibelle, who comes and goes as she pleases through a door in Kayla’s room. Kayla has told me she seen her once or twice and always leaves out treats, toys and food by her little door.

Every couple of weeks we all head off to the deep dark woods with the my second child Tinkerbell, the labrador, we go climbing and exploring in search of fairies and their homes. This weekend we found the leftovers of a fairy game, Kayla claims she has seen fairies play this game before, apparently it’s very similar to big people hopscotch.

We found a huge tree similar to the pixi-dust tree but there were no fairies to be seen, they were all working hard getting everything ready for winter. Kayla explained that Queen Elsa’s magic doesn’t work outside of Erindale so the fairies must work extra hard to help make it snow so Olaf can go to Disneyland.

We even found a swing made by the tinker fairies, Kayla chuffed with life that yet again on another deep deep dark forest walk we can still find lost things.

Her imagination brings us to another world. She believes in all things magical, we cannot cross a bridge without being really quiet as we might wake up the trolls. We have no chimney so we must give Santa a special golden key so he can drop off her presents. Elves spy through mirrors when double-checking the naughty and nice list and dolls come to life when you leave a room.

I love watching Kayla pretend play, her imagination is so creative, she lives in her own little fantasy world full of unicorns, leprechauns and make believe. Her imagination is wild, I love seeing it come to life. The night before she started school Trixibelle left her a card and a little bag of sweets, Kayla is still trying to figure out how our house fairy got the card through her tiny little door, the maths just doesn’t add up. She was so happy she remembered it was her first day of school and couldn’t wait to get home to knock on the door to tell her fairy all about it.

The Star Chart

I’m just back from attending Kayla’s first school open evening. I got to witness where she sits, the colourful art work surrounding the room and learn more about the curriculum she will be absorbing throughout the year. Her teacher advised on some activities we could do at home to help with pencil grip and motor skills, literacy and maths. There was also a parenting talk by expert Sheila O’ Malley that was very interesting. I’m now rethinking my approach to discipline and how I speak to Kayla when she is upset or angry.

Her school have a star chart system, where a child gets rewarded for good behaviour, manner and overall performance throughout the day. When a child gets ten stars they get a small prize, great incentive for good behaviour, don’t you think? Kayla told me she has loads of stars, so I scoured through looking for the kid with the most stars, obviously and I couldn’t find her name anywhere.

So now we will call it the poxy star chart!

I see it, Kayla, two stars, two measly stars. Surely it’s wrong? She has the least amount stars in her class of twenty something kids. Some of her classmates are on the way to their third prize. I know it shouldn’t but I almost feel like it’s an attack on my parenting skills. Why isn’t she achieving what her friends are? Why is she lying about how many stars she is getting?

I thought she would be top of the class, teaching the new friends their abc’s in sign language, performing her ballet routine with an audience in yard, I assumed she would be top of the class, student of the month, highest achiever. It’s very upsetting; she’s clearly not settling how I envisaged. Maybe my expectations are too high, she’s four in a whole new environment where she is not centre of attention anymore. I only hope she starts to settle soon and her real personality shines through because she is a good kid, a really good kid.

If she gets a star tomorrow we can have chocolate ice-cream for dinner, it won’t change the fact she is struggling to adjust in school but it will make me feel better haha.

Look Who’s Walking

We reached another milestone last Thursday; Frankie is now six months old. It’s shocking how fast time passes us by, it feels like only yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. He’s thriving, he’s on solids almost two-months, gumming on finger food and sitting up unaided. In the past week he has dropped three of his seven bottles and (I’m going to whisper this just in case he hears me) he is sleeping through the night, HALLELUJAH!!

His uncle got him a walker and he loves it. It’s not even here a week and he gets so excited when he sees it coming out, kicking, cooing and grinning from ear to ear. He loves the freedom of propelling across the room. If he’s in bad form it’s almost like a soother for his feet too, once he’s in the walker he glides up and down the room exploring his future targets.

I’m fully aware crawling is essential for both physical and mental development but Frankie hates being on his belly, I refuse to force tummy time on him, he will crawl when he is good and ready. He likes to be sitting up, in his swing; he likes to see what’s going on and what everybody is doing around him.

I get why some people are against walkers, parents reaction time is hindered as babies are moving faster, reaching higher and some say development is delayed. It’s common knowledge if you leave a child unattended, accidents will happen and I would never leave him in the walker for more than twenty minutes a time. Some might say it’s lazy parenting too but I would rather have him working on his leg muscles, building up strength than have a puddle of tears to mop up after he continuously planks the floor.

Alternative Wear For A Discerning Baby | A Baby Dapper Review

baby dapper alternative wear for discerning babies irish onesie halloween costume

Baby Dapper apparel are unique costumes, alternative wear or fanciful everyday wear for babies with a large range of onesies, t-shirts, and bibs at a very reasonable price, ranging between €6-€25. All Baby Dapper attire is 100% cotton and machine washable. It is recommended you do not tumble dry and lay flat to dry. They take custom requests, whether it be a few alterations to an existing design or something extra special altogether.

BABY DAPPER ONESIE

The onesies arrived in tidy little boxes complete with a couple of bibs. Although I’m not personally a huge fan of bandana bibs (edited: how that has changed lol) you cannot deny the fact that they are as cute as hell.

I’ll start off with this onesie as it was my favourite. The package arrived a week prior to Frankie’s Christening, it was the perfect little outfit to change him into after the ceremony, it kept him all comfy and looking trim throughout the long day. It has definitely been his most worn onesie to date, I love it!

baby dapper tuxedo

This neat little onesie is by far the cutest, the colours were great with Frankie’s sallow skin tone and for some strange reason, he was always in great humour wearing this one.

baby dapper tiger onesie

Frankie has been wearing at least one onesie a day for the past two months. I half expected the vinyl to crack yet it hasn’t even faded and is still in pristine condition. On average, a onesie is €15 at Baby Dapper but for the outstanding quality and durability, it’s worth every penny. All onesies were, true to size and the feet fit perfect. I feel like I’m gloating here but I’ve yet to come across clothing with such unique and fun detail including the quality of material these onesies have, they are extremely hard wearing considering a number of cycles they have been on. You will be guaranteed to see Frankie in some more of their clobber as I’m now a huge fan.

Check out Baby Dapper for more information.

These products were sent to us in return for an honest review.

The iPad is on the Naughty Step

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Kayla has been playing with my phone since she was about one, swiping through photos, taking selfies and now at four she can navigate through passwords, buys apps and understands the purpose of the internet.

Kayla could spend hours, and I mean hours on end playing dress the fairy, feed the doggie and doing some Barbie’s make-up. She become totally unresponsive when on the iPad, she gets sucked in and loses control of the real world.

Children develop and learn through social interaction. Whilst playing with touch screen devices, PlayStations and the likes young children are struggling to learn basic motor skills. Electronic play is hurting kid’s brain development and stunting their social skills. A friend recently told me she heard a child had to be re-educated on how to hold a pencil as he had weak hand muscles due to overexposure to an iPad. Imagine a junior infant been taught to hold a pencil again so he could write his abc’s, it’s crazy.

I found Kayla on YouTube last week, not in her account with videos I think is suitable for her to watch. She was on the iPad without my permission, flicking through recommended clips that I did not think were appropriate for her age. Not only did she spend four-minutes on the naughty step, but I banned the iPad for a week, myself included. I made the iPad available to her, leaving it lying around the house, I left the internet on and it took me long enough to realise the house was very quiet.

Kayla became ratty and irritable as she suffered withdrawals from the iPad. It’s not the first time either, so now I have now limited her usage. I’m trying to show by example, I’m constantly on my phone. She doesn’t understand why it’s okay for me, but not for her. So I’m limited access by switching off the internet and not leaving devices at arm’s reach. I’m going to started making her earn time with the iPad too. I introduced more educational games and story apps. Playtime can be more productive and I have now specified what apps she can use.

It’s so different for our generation of children, Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere, the modern day playground is almost virtual. Social media is crucial to our generation of children but it’s our job as parents to make sure that technology is being used wisely. Digital technology can be an excellent educational tool if used appropriately. We don’t need to deprive them of technological intelligence but I refuse to allow screen based technology erode her little brain.

So There Goes Student Of The Month

It’s week four in big school and Kayla has settled considerably well, or so I thought. Today while collecting Kayla, the teacher called me aside and asked for a ‘chat’. Like that I was sent to the bold corner, standing aside while all the other mummies and daddies collected their children.

Obviously thinking is everything okay? Did she fall? Was she upset today for some reason? Now as the next class of twenty something children get called name by name, the teacher approaches me ‘we had an incident today, didn’t we Kayla’. Teacher then proceeds to tell me my ‘little angel’ had hit not one but two other children in her class today.

So my darling as if butter wouldn’t melt daughter was a bully today. As someone who was bullied for years through small and secondary school, one thing I cannot stand is a bully. Teacher witnessed Kayla hit another pupil, unprovoked. I’m very disappointed and shocked to say the least.

Her school have a very strict anti-bullying policy; it was something I read through with a fine tooth comb. The schools I attended had awful approaches to bullies, almost leaving me more vulnerable for speaking up through my childhood. I’m happy it was dealt with abruptly, it proves bullying is totally unacceptable within her school. Fortunately for her she will get away with it this time, as both incidents happened in the one day, next time there will be consequences.

Maybe she was a little frustrated, maybe the other kid done something when the teacher wasn’t watching, we will never know. Anyways she has only got her iPad back after watching videos on YouTube without my permission, looks like it’s going to be gathering lots of dust again. She seems very embarrassed with her behaviour and genuinely sorry, only time will tell, so hopefully there will be no more incidents like this in the future.

                                                                          

Kayla's Frozen Themed Pamper Party – Review

My friend Jayne a qualified Montessori teacher of seven years and nail technician of four, recently set up her own business combining both her passions by creating kids party entertainment, Pinkys Princess Pamper Parties. I was so exciting when she contacted me asking to review a party for her.

So on the morning the excitement and anticipation as Kayla’s friends arrived on the morning of the party was bliss. I think I was more excited than the girls as they didn’t know Disney Frozen’s Elsa was making a special appearance.

Jayne arrived giving the girls a quick description of what would be happening and gave the girls some fairy dust (we are still eating glitter) and got them to make a big wish, all of a sudden Elsa appeared in our playroom.  It was magical; the girls didn’t know what to do. I half expected them to rugby tackle her but they were pretty stunned that their favourite Disney Princess had appeared all the way from Arendelle. They were amazed, their faces were priceless. They quickly got over the disbelief and started launching questions to Elsa. Kayla pulled apart her room to find everything and anything Frozen related to show off to Queen Elsa.

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Some of the question they asked where hilarious. The poor Snow Queen was interrogated by the four and five year olds, it was quite amusing to watch. The party continued with songs, stories and photos until the girls were ready to be pampered.

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The girls received the cutest little mini manicure fit for a princess and nail polish of their choice. The girls also got some glitter tattoos and got to experiment on each other too. While the girls were having their manicures Elsa was in the background curling their hairs and adding some sparkle with glitter hairspray.

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Once all the pampering was over they had a picnic of cupcakes and sparkling fruit juice in pink champagne flutes. It was picture perfect, they really enjoyed it. Then Elsa surprised me and the little ladies with bags that contained all the pieces to make their own edible Olaf with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Unfortunately some of the girls ate Olaf before he was complete.

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They continued to sing songs, tell stories and pose for pictures with the Snow Queen. The girls really loved their nails, tattoo’s and curls but Elsa made the party. Emma the girl who played Elsa is an actress in real life having performed in both theatre and appearing in short films. Jayne was fantastic with the girls, she knew exactly what the say and had the girls entertained at all times.

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Overall the girls had a fantastic enchanted day. It was a fairytale dream for the girls to meet, party and be pampered with Elsa. They were spoilt, pampered and all pinked out. Kayla is boasting daily that Elsa ‘magiced’ her way to our house and is now saving her pennies to go meet her again in Disneyland.

If you are interested in hosting a Pinkys Princess Pamper Parties here is the price-list.

PRICELIST
Pamper Party €10 per child (minimum five children)
Chocolate fountain with mallows and strawberries €25
Games with prizes to suit age group and child’s interests/hobbies etc. €30
Party bags €25
Appearance from Elsa €40

Pamper parties are only available Sat-Sun so book early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to contact Jayne to book or enquire about Pinkys Princess Pamper Parties you can do so through her Facebook page.

**This party was given to us for reviewing purposes. In no way will that effect my honest opinion about the day**

Tummy Time of Torture

Frankie spent his first two weeks on his tummy flaked across my chest like most babies, during that precious bonding time. Over the next few weeks as he became more alert he decided he didn’t want to be face down in my abdomen, so then tummy time became no more.

At my last Public Health Nurse appointment, the nurse pointed out the obvious that Frankie was getting a flat head. She nagged for at least ten-minutes about how important tummy time was; motor skills this, muscles development that. Let’s just face facts, he HATES it.

Now as a result of despising tummy time he has yet to roll over from his front to back whilst on a flat surface, he is six months next week. He will sit up on his elbows for all of two minutes then he proceeds to plank the floor, kicking and screaming.

I’ve tried it all, couple minutes here, couple there and couple feckin’ everywhere. I make a shrine for my little babóg, surrounded by colourful toys. I’ve got on all fours, flopped about like a fish singing twinkle-twinkle many a times. One day he even grunted at me, pretty sure he clenched his fist in a temper too. How dare I put him on his tummy?

We have tried this…

Tummy Time

and this…

Tummy Time

and this…

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So I get how tummy time is an important aspect of the larger concept of free floor time BUT every year with every new baby there is a new technique to raise your baby. Personally I think tummy time in just a new-fangled idea to make up for the fact that babies spend way to much of their days on their back. Tummy time wasn’t a major concern four-years-ago. Kayla NEVER had tummy time, ever, she’s fine, and her motor skill and muscles developed just like any other kid.

Today I have decided to stop forcing tummy time on my little man, he doesn’t like, and I don’t even know why I tried for so long. Frankie is sitting up aided by a couple of pillows, he is able to support his own feet and loves bouncing around in his swing. His motor skills are developing just perfect too. He can pick up and grab any object in his path and manoeuvre it into his dribbly mouth. He can even hold his own bottle; bet you my PHN’s baby can’t do that. And we are signing, which is great for motor skills and muscle development, not that he has returned a sign yet but he recognizes them and he will sign over the next couple of months.

Looking to get in touch? Email me at mylittlebabog@gmail.com or find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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To request my media kit, a review, enquire about a giveaway or just to have a chat don’t hesitate in popping me an email. I promise I won’t bite. One of my kids might, though…

And please remember I have four small kiddies that will always come first so please be patient I will get back to you!