Food, warmth and tummy time…I love you all

[I wrote this post on Thursday. Obviously, we had an awful night last night as if to prove me wrong! I will however still post the below since I do believe we are getting somewhere.]

On Wednesday night, Sam slept for nearly 8 hours! This is a milestone we never thought we would reach and a symbol of how far we’ve come. It may be a long time before it happens again, but we now know it’s possible. I may even be able to go on a night out soon!

Much improved sleep

It is still difficult getting Sam to sleep, and we are continuing to rock or feed him to sleep each time, but that is something we will deal with in the future. However, he now seems to be consistently sleeping for longer stretches; even in Wales he often slept for the entire evening. Considering the weeks we went through where Sam woke hourly, this was unimaginable not so very long ago. 

Weaning is going well

We’ve always said Sam is hungry and has a big appetite. We were both weaned early since milk wasn’t enough (this does happen, not everyone’s milk keeps up!), so this didn’t surprise us. We started giving him baby rice at 14 weeks and introduced fruit purees at 17. 

For everyone who told us that his sleep would improve once we started giving him food, there was an article or someone else telling us that food makes no impact on sleep. 

At 26 weeks (somehow, I managed to hold off until the magic 6 months), we began giving him ‘proper’ purees; meals that have been blended up. It took me a week or 2 to get going, but in Wales I cooked up batches of salmon with carrots, potato & cheese and leek, potato & peas, which he really took to. Since being home, Sam has been having 2-3 meals a day with a fruit & yoghurt pudding, alongside his usual feeds. 

He is a big fan of food! 

It may well be coincidence and I feel that a lot of factors have come together, but his sleeping does seem to have come along a lot. There are more contributors though, I’m sure…

Staying warm

We have realised that although colder temperatures are better for a baby’s room, Sam doesn’t sleep well at all in the cold. As soon as we realised this, his sleeping improved. I’m not saying that we ramp up the radiator and pile on the blankets, but a fleece sleepsuit and a grobag seem to have done the trick. 

22C seems to be a good temperature for him. 

This is a bit warmer than is ‘ideal’ but we bear in mind that when Sam was tiny and the weather was cold, he was cosy in our room and mainly in our bed. During the summer, our house really retained the heat and we were all sleeping in temperatures in excess of 26C sometimes. Now the house has cooled off again, it took us a couple of nights to realise that he might need the grobag again. Instant improvement. 

More settled

He also seems much happier in his cotbed, which is an enormous help! I put him in it during the day so he can play with his cuddly toys. He has a little roll around, picks up and plays with his toys. Thank goodness this seems to have helped and he quickly moved on from crying whenever we took him into the nursery. 

Tummy time 

I’ve often maintained that Sam would sleep better on his front, and he seems to be neatly proving my point this week. Every night, he has either immediately rolled onto his front, or done so shortly after being put to bed. Thank goodness for rolling!

Phew

All in all, the picture is much improved from a few weeks ago. I would never have believed we would get to this stage!

Now I have to cook

Carl is the chef in our house (for good reason), but the time has finally come for me to step up. 

Now we’ve settled in Wales and have done a food shop for Sam (ignore the doughnuts I accidentally bought for us….), it was time to get on with weaning again. 

Lunch menu today: salmon, home grown tomatoes (thank you Great Papa!), cheese and carrots. 

The problem with home cooking baby food is that you spend all that time making a beautiful meal, only to blend it all up. Most sad! At home, I’ll keep some of it to eat myself, but today I made 6 portions for him. 5 are now in the freezer to be used during the course of the week. 

After he had napped (on Carl, for 45 minutes…poor Carl), it was time to try it out. Fish, and especially salmon, has a strong flavour so I was unsure what he would think. He liked it!! We had to work around him grabbing the food himself to shove in his mouth, on his face, in his hair, all down his clothes…but when he did take it off the spoon, he seemed to enjoy it. Success. 

When home, I plan to do a big cook every week and freeze enough different meals to last until the following weekend. Much easier than attempting to cook each day while he plays/watches/throws things. 

Lasagne later courtesy of his Great Granny, so let’s see how well he takes to that! 

The less attractive side of weaning 

Sometimes it’s not worth keeping track of how many feeds you’ve done during the night. Last night was one of those…Sam fed at least every hour, leaving us both exhausted this morning. 

One of the side effects of weaning is constipation and we didn’t realise that banana and apple sauce are two of the biggest offenders… Sam had apple sauce twice on Sunday and banana on Monday. He’s had both before but maybe the quantity was a bit much. As such, we have a very uncomfortable little boy. Breast milk naturally relieves constipation, so I’m happy for Sam to feed as frequently as he needs, in the hope it will help. He’s also had his usual warm bath and tummy massages. 

I’d like it to clear up soon…the longer it takes, the worse that nappy is going to be!!! 

It’s unfortunate timing, we had been making real progress with sleeping and naps (more on that in my next post) and yesterday it all went out of the window. 

Here’s hoping we get back to normal very soon and today has less tears than yesterday. 

The introduction of purees…how fast time flies!

Since Sam is now 18 weeks old and has been enjoying baby porridge whenever it’s been offered to him, we have decided to start introducing purees. While in Center Parcs, we had a lovely homemade apple sauce with one of our meals. Sam had been trying to pretty much take food out of my hand and off my plate all week, so we thought we would try him on a little bit of apple.

He loved it. 

He practically bit the spoon off in his eagerness to eat it. We didn’t give him much, just a couple of teaspoons. A couple of days later, having saved and stored all the remaining apple sauce, we mixed in a bit of formula and gave him some more. On Sunday, since we had a little bit of sweet potato left, we mashed it up with some formula to thin it and offered this to him. 

Once again, he gobbled it up.

We’ll stick with those for a few days, then decide what new flavour to give him next. I think introducing foods to Sam is going to be fun!