Thursday 31 January 2019

A relaxed approach to weaning your baby

"What are you having for lunch, Sol?"
"Same as you, mummy.
"Correct answer, baby girl!"

That's how we roll in our house. Okay, so I'll lace my Bolognese with chipotle chili, but other than that, it's the same fresh ingredients. I'm so glad I read Gill Rapley baby led weaning book (thanks Rachel for the tip!).

'Fun before one is the motto!' removing any pressure to get food into her in the first year.  As long as she's drinking her milk, she's going to be just fine. The few times I've googled baby weaning, I've narrowly missed suffocating under an avalanche of anxieties.

Do parents need to be having such a tough time? One woman reported that a nurse had told her that, rather than breastfeed her hungry and crying 8 months old first thing in the morning, she should hurriedly get up and prepare her cereal instead. Why? It doesn't sound logical. Just breastfeed the baby and have a solid breakfast later.

Did the nurse just feel she needed to give some advice for the sake of it? Or was it a bit like when a stranger asks for directions and you kind of know so decide to have a stab at it?

These weaning 'rules' are flexible. We should trust ourselves more and trust our babies. I started with sticks of steamed vegetables to suck and she soon started grabbing at everything that was put before her. She lunges for chicken, I give her chicken. She lunges for my biro, I say no biro. It's common sense.

So, your baby prefers purees, then give them purees. The point is you've got to do what's best for both of you. The point is you can't believe one set of ideas fits all.

Cada bebé es un mundo, they say here in Spain. Every baby is a whole world. I hate the thought of stressed parents desperately aeroplaning mash into their 4 or 6 or 8 month old babies, and worrying themselves silly when they don't swallow it, and thinking that they must be starving. They're not starving if they're drinking their milk, plus they've got a tiny stomach and know when they've had enough.

I'm not a pediatrician, and maybe I'm just adding another opinion that the world doesn't need; but if my positive experience helps one mother relax, I'm happy. I can't recommend Gill Rapley's book enough.


It was inevitable that I was going to start writing about motherhood, wasn't it?! My latest non-fiction book, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be out this Spring. 

I also write fiction... if you haven't already, check out my latest novel The Hen Party! 

Thursday 24 January 2019

Mamma mia! Are you letting yourself go?

I will not let myself go! I told myself, when I got pregnant. I'd see ragged mums in stained jumpers and think, Seriously, how long does it take to put on a bit of make-up?

It's not the putting on though, I've since discovered. It's the taking off. Who has time for that? Foundation I'm fine to leave on until the next rushed shower. But mascara?... eyeliner? There have been nights when I've heard my baby call, and have been unable to locate her, too blinded by the congealed mascara gluing my eyelids together.

I say 'call', not cry, because at 7 months baby Sol can already say MAMMMMMM-A. That's how she says it; like an exuberant Italian. 

Mammmmm-ma!  Why are you taking so bloody long-a?
Sorry bambina, it's my maledetto mascara!

As for stained jumpers? I remember in the first weeks I'd change my top at the slightest proximity of milky dribble. Now I'll rub it in and consider myself good to go. All the shoulders of my jumpers whiff and under a forensic's lights the sleeve of my dressing gown would doubtless glow like a Vegas hotel.

I've also been wearing the same clothes for 7 months, because I only wear breastfeeding-friendly outfits. Basically 98% of my wardrobe is on holiday, leaving four spaghetti straps with clever clips to do all the work. Spaghetti straps in winter? Oh, yes. Motherhood has made me square up to the cold, boobs exposed, eyes narrowed: Bring it, bitch! Is that all you got? 

Funny. I used to be such a shivering wuss.

Anyway, enough is enough, it's time to get myself on track. Look good, feel good, right? Which is why I'm going to get a haircut today... or tomorrow...well, at some point this year. Letting myself go? Never. 


Hello lovely reader, you may as well succumb to buying The Hen Party, because it's my best novel so far, and novel number 5 has still a lot of cooking to do! Thank you!