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Henry the Hungry, Hungry Baby

Henry has decided to eat everything in our house today. He has always been a hungry baby, feeding so much and often that it got to the point of doing nothing else. And now he is on solids, it is a lot better, as he stays full for longer. Well, he did. Today has been one of those days. Henry must be going through a growth spurt or something, because he hasn’t stopped eating and crying for milk. We’ve given him at least twice the amount of food as normal, increasing the amount per serving as well as giving him snacks, and he has had almost twice the quantity of milk as is his usual too.

It’s hard to keep up with his ever changing food habits. Just when I thought we had got into a routine. Thank god for the handy fruit pot I always keep in the nappy bag, just in case. Without it, I don’t know how we would have finished our meal without an ‘inbetween lunch and dinner’ drama!

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Eating a Roast Dinner With One Hand

I had a lovely lunch with a good friend today. Henry was only a little moany, but I think that was because it was sweltering in the restaurant. He was crying and refused to settle down, so I attempted to eat my roast while holding him. There was a few well-meaning fellow diners around that offered to hold Henry while I ate. I smiled politely and rejected their offers. One kind lady even asked if I had a bottle she wanted me to feed him so my food wouldn’t get cold, but I informed her that he was a breastfed baby, and we all made a joke of it.

It isn’t that I wasn’t thankful for their willingness to help, it’s lovely that they understood the difficulty of juggling a crying baby and dinner in a public place, it’s just I don’t feel comfortable letting strangers hold my child let alone feeding him. I’m sure they are lovely people, but for all I know they could be one of those few psychotic child-snatchers. I’m pretty sure they aren’t, but I can manage, so why take the risk?

My friend had the good sense to suggest maybe sitting outside. It was cooler and we were the only ones out there so it didn’t feel so stressful. If Henry cried there would be no one to tut or to make judgement, and no one to make me feel like I was ruining their dinner by being there. I know I have a right to be there too, but sometimes it’s nice having the seclusion and privacy. He was calm after that, and fell asleep in his pushchair, allowing us to eat our lukewarm vegetables in peace.

I love my little munchkin, and I am so proud of him. Sometimes I over-stress about him crying in public, which I know is ridiculous but I do get the occasional glare from someone who has obviously had no experience of babies whatsoever. They must think that if he is crying, surely I have done something wrong.

It really helps to have a friend there too, especially the lovely lady I spent lunch with today. She’s a calming influence, the type of person that says ‘oh dear’ with a smile when Henry grumbles, then picks him up and plays with him instead of panicking that they don’t know what to do. I used to be the one who panics, because I’ve never had that mothering instinct. I was never too fussed by babies growing up, unlike most girls. I’m turning into a more natural mother, quite slowly, but I’m definitely getting there.

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When to Wean?

There is no shortage of advice on the subject of weaning; everything from when to start to what equipment you should be using. If you hunt around for the recommendations, you will soon realise that most of the well-meaning advice is often conflicting and very confusing.

Obviously, as a parent, I want to do the best for my little Henry. I know that the digestive system is not yet developed enough to cope with anything other than breastmilk or formula until 17 weeks. However, it is now recommended that weaning is started after six months, but I don’t know any parents that have waited until then. Also, I’m sure that each and every baby is different. The question is, what is right for mine?

Well, he can sit up with minimal support now, he has started waking up for another feed in the night, he seems so much hungrier and I always seem to be feeding him now. He stares at us when we eat, and he has recently started sucking his hands like there’s no tomorrow.

I think it really is better to just go with your instincts. Failing that, my own mother is a pretty good source of information…