Baby Led Weaning

Baby led weaning…..lets talk about this for a moment.

This is a new concept for me. All my children were fed straight from a bowl, to their mouths, on a spoon (or sometimes direct from a pouch) by me.

When Charlie was younger he choked on everything.  Sometimes he brought it up himself, sometimes he needed a firm pat on the backand, and on one occasion our good friends, (who happen to be a doctor and nurse) had to hang him upside down to help bring up the offending food.

That period of parenting left me mentally scared. 

After that, Mike and I chopped up his food into the tiniest pieces until he was about seven!!! 

I had to logically tell myself that if he copes ok at school then I should leave him to get on with it himself at home, but even then I struggled.
I carried this paranoia with me during Libby and Georges early years.

Even now my heart stops when i see a toddler eating a banana, sausage or a whole grape.
And now it is time to wean Arthur and I dont know what to do.
Arthur is quite independent and likes to grab the food/spoon himself which can make feeding him a little frustrsting.

Lets be honest, with an independent baby, a toddler and four older children, BLW is probably the more convenient and obvious option.

I can’t tell you I agree or am doing it to avoid having fussy children or children prone to allergies.  

All of my five who were weaned ‘traditionally’ are far from fussy.  They eat anything from roast diner (even the brussels) to jamaican hot curries to oysters, cockles, olives and even liver!

Food is a big part of our family. We socialise around food, We enjoy eating out, cooking and trying lots of different cuisines and I think that has had a bigger impact on their food choices than how they were weaned (but i am open to suggestion).

We have a rule in our house…..you can not say you do not like something or do not want something unless you try it first.

Back to BLW, From what I understand, you put a selection of food in front of them and let them feed themselves.  

I love the concept and it fits in with our family values of encouraging independence and choices.

The Problem is my anxiety levels go through the roof at just the thought of it.

So recently I compromised and I did let Arthur feed himself…..baby rice and pureed food.

I popped Arthur in his highchair and let him loose with the rice and a spoon.  

Well, i put the spoon in his hand but that was swiftly given to the dog who was waiting patiently by his highchair, then he dived in hands first.

The food was in his hair, over the highchair and even inbetween the plastic strap clickers (you know what I mean if you have ever had to clear the aftermath up!)

After a mammoth cleaning session and a bath in the kitchen sink I decided to re think my strategy.

I am going to try a mummy led dinner again tonight and see how that goes.  

But I would really like to try more BLW.

Does anyone have any tips on what foods are good for babies to eat on their own wihout risking heart failure (mine that is).

I feel like after having six babies you are expected to have all the answers, but things change so much and each baby is so different. 
HELP! 
I’ll update you with our progress over the next week.

Wish me luck!

Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Today I found what might be one of my favourite places as a mum of a toddler and a baby! 
I have to share this little gem with you because I have been waiting over 10 years to find somewhere like this!  

Rosies Coffee Lounge in Lingfield is every parents Haven.
The front of the shop is set out like a usual coffee lounge with a lovely vintage theme and on arrival you wouldn’t necessarily expect much more than a great breakfast and cup of tea. 

It is the back of the shop that left my speechless, I can only describe It like a mums ‘speak easy’ coffee shop. 

At the side of the coffee Lounge is a babygate that leads into a lovely ‘play room’ full of dressing up clothes and toy boxes. 

On the other side of this lovely room is a fantastic, covered, outdoor area with tables and chairs and a contained soft play area for babies and toddlers.
Perfect for a rainy day, you can sit and catch up with friends or just enjoy some time indulging a coffee and slice of cake while the little ones crack on and play. 

Rosies offers even more to us parents on a sunny day with a gorgeous outdoor garden. 
Completly covered in fake grass it feels a little like being in teletubby land.

They have ride on toys, benches, bouncy castle and lots more to keep the children entertained.
I honestly couldnt find fault in this wonderful place. 
The decor is quaint, cosy and vintage which makes chilling in their garden all the more relaxing. 
Baby gates and fencing everywhere means there is no way of children escaping which takes the anxiety out of enjoying your cuppa.
When i normally take George out for coffee with the girls i’m forever having to wrestle him into staying in a high chair, chasing him round like a lunatic before he starts stealing food from an unassuming diners plate or running out the front door. 

If I am lucky enough for him to sit still he is usually screaming like something out of the exorcist for a biscuit, that once I give him, he chews and spits back out 😣 
The toys, grass and equipment at Rosies are spotless which I am completly in awe of as I have never found a kids space that I am happy to walk around without my shoes on. 
If there was a coffee themed Masterchef, my friend Rosie and I would be the Greg and John and with our vast experience I can tell you Rosies Coffee Lounge capuchinno is one of the best we’ve had. 

The jackets potatoes and breakfasts were great too. 

On top of all this, the staff were so wonderful, welcoming and patient with the children (and parents) it made the whole atmosphere even more enjoyable. 
Rosies also offer children’s party packages and events.   Take a look at their website for more information. 

https://www.rosiescoffeelounge.com
I should add,  don’t be put off of you have no children.  As I mentioned earlier,  the font of the shop is a great area and when I was there,  not a child in sight! 
It’s important,  given my glowing review that you know I did not recieve anything in return for this review.   In fact, I went ‘secret shopper’ style and didn’t even mention Modern Mum to them. 
So, if you want to find me between the hours of 9-2 this is probably where I will be plotted up with Rosie, my laptop, a copy of OK or If I’m feeling like a particularly good mum,  I might even be playing with my children 😉
Let me know if you take a trip down there and what you think and tell them I said hi 🤗

Peace Out

Day 10 – Sink or Swim 

Today is that day. 
The day after you have a baby that is sent to test your true strength.  

Today, Arthur is ten days old and this Is the day that is throwing everything at me, goading me, trying to break me.
Well, its midday and I haven’t reached for the gin.  Instead I’m laying in bed with my beautiful daughter watching trolls, enjoying a (hot) coffee and writing my blog.  

So guess what!?  You didn’t beat me!! I’m made of stronger stuff than that!! 
It started at 2am this morning.  

I woke up and popped to the loo, only to be greeted by the sight of a mouse running across the bathroom floor. 
I screamed at Mike but he seemed to deem his sleep more important than dealing with little Jerry in the bathroom. 

The mouse had dissappeared anyway so that had to wait till the morning to sort out.
Then at 4am George (our 20 month old) wakes up.  

The poor mite had been been sick in his cot.
He came in and snuggled in between Mike and I, then continued to be sick every ten minutes until 9am. 

Obviously I made sure it was aimed on mikes side of the bed,  resulting in him crashing Charlies room.
At 4.15am Arthur woke up for a feed. 

Ninja style, I managed to catch sick with a towel whilst breastfeeding AJ and making sure at no point I cross contaminated.
At 6am I went downstairs to make a coffee and let the dogs out.

Through bleary eyes I saw one of the dogs had escaped and was high-tailing it across the field without a care in the world. 
I chucked on the nearest shoes (mikes size 11 work boots) and dragged my feet out, into the garden and across the field to chase the Bullmastiff, who I’m pretty sure would have been waving a middle finger at me if she had one!  

Once she was safely indoors I went upstairs with my coffee and settled back into bed to feed again. 
Arthur had just  latched on when libby ran into the bathroom chucking her guts up. 

This is when I had a word with myself.  
I had two choices.  
I could crumple into the bed, crying into my sick smelling sheets.  

Just give up, admit defeat, open a bottle of prosecco and after 10 years of being a non smoker….spark up.
Or 
Pull myself together and work out what needs to be done.  

Stay calm, realise I can only do what I can do and If I start the day like this there might be a glimmer of hope. 

So, I finished feeding Arthur, ran a warm bubble bath, stripped the beds and chucked the sheets in the washing machine. 

I explained to my three older boys that I really needed there help and asked them to make their breakfast, tidy the kitchen and fed the animals. 

Usually this would be met with a moan but because they saw George was unwell,  they jumped to attention and helped without any questions.

George is like a little celebrity in our house. The kids adore him and put him on a very high pedestal.  In fact,  if Mike or I tell him off we usually have to explain ourselves to the older kids. 

Libby and George jumped in the bath and I washed Libby’s hair and rinse the smell of sick off birth of them. 
I put George back in his cot for a nap / play / whatever he wanted to do to buy me an hour or so.   As it happens, the early start was staying to affect him and he went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
Libby sat on my bed watching Game Shakers (one of the most irritating programmes ever)  but if it keept her happy it would make my morning easier.
Then I managed to clear all my washing away,  bleech the bathroom,  vacuum and freshen up my bedroom and make poached eggs on toast!  WTF! Even I didn’t expect to get all that done!  

By now the sheets are ready and I took them out of the tumble anf make the bed. 

I had a shower and washed my hair. 

I cuddled up with Libby with another coffee and I sat back and watched Trolls!

By now Arthur is due another feed and George is just waking up. 
All this before midday!
Now I feel on top of the day,  nothing can bring me down. 
Now, I don’t like to show off,  parenting can be hard,  especially with a newborn.
But today I rocked motherhood, today didn’t beat me! Today,  I’m winning 🏆
If you enjoy reading my blog please share the love amongst your friends.  

Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email or word of mouth, sharing is caring 😘

Love Kate 

Baby One vs Baby Five

​ I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed from the first time mum of twins I was ten years ago to the mum of nearly six now. 


This list worried me a bit,  and before you contemplate calling social services after reading this, George is the happiest baby I have ever known! 

You tend to do so much different the second, third, fourth,  fifth and sixth time round 😱
Baby One :

I started looking at buggies and cots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. 


Baby five: 

I dragged the dusty cot out of the loft on my due date. 

Buggy? I don’t have time for a buggy, I just strap baby to me and go! 

_________________

Baby One:
Book pregnancy massage at 30 weeks to relax.

Baby Five :

Radox relaxing bubble bath while one child is talking to me whilst taking a dump on the loo and another throwing toys at my head. 
___________________

Baby one :

‘oh wow, congratulations,  that is such wonderful news ‘

Baby Five:

‘ANOTHER ONE!?  you need to stop now!  Send him for the snip!

_______________________

Baby One :

Panic and Google everything about childbirth, gather as many stories as possible and hope your hospital stay is minimal. 
Baby Five :

Not to worried about the pain,  more concerned how I will muster the energy to actually push the baby out. 

After two homebirths,  considering a hospital birth to blag a couple of peaceful days with my feet up being waited on. 

_____________________

Baby One:

Sterilise the sh*t out of everything, dummies,  bottles,  hubby’s hands….  

Baby Five :

Put the dummy in my mouth to clean it!  (come on,  I just watched the dog lick the babies hands and my five year old put her fingers in his mouth!)

_____________________

Baby One :

Keep everyone away for a couple of days after the birth to recover,  when they do come,  hostess and act like the perfect, coping mum  

Baby Five :

Invite as many people as possible over as soon as baby is born and go straight to bed to ensure you can buy enough ‘visitor baby hugs’ time to get a good couple of hours sleep.

_____________________

Baby One :

Boil wash every item of clothing prior to baby wearing it and clean bedclothes daily.

Baby Five :

Wash at 30 degrees with the other kids clothes and only wash bed clothes when baby has been sick!  

Otherwise it falls in the general house rules of one wash a week! 

______________________

Baby One :

Buy every lotion, potion and gimic you can afford. 

Baby Five :

Olive oil for cradle cap, lavender oil in the bath rather than the £10 bottle of lavender scented baby bath cream.   

Oh, and FYI, Calpol is exactly the same as the own brand baby paracetamol but triple the price. 

_____________________

Baby One :

Two weeks post birth spent in hibernation.

Baby Five :

School run six hours later.


___________________

Baby One:

Panic over the ‘ right ‘ time to start your baby on solids. 

Baby Five:

Disregard the professionals and as soon as baby isn’t getting satisfied by milk the porridge comes out.


______________________

Baby One :

Toddler groups three mornings a week. 

Baby Five:

Organising coffee mornings around what coffee shop has  the best ‘kids area ‘ 

______________________

Baby One :

Never take the babies to McDonald’s! They will only eat healthy, organic food including their 5-a-day until they are 9!

Baby Five :

Tried McDonald’s by nine months and even substituted the fruit for an apple strudel.

______________________

Baby One :

6.30pm bedtime,  no excuses. Boom!

Baby Five :

It’s 8pm and the baby is watching Fresh Prince with the older kids. 

If the house is quiet why rock the boat? 


____________________

Baby One :

Plan toilet training like it is a military operation.

Baby Five :

Forget to put a nappy on the baby and realise after two days he has been using the potty in the corner. 

______________________

Baby One :

At one month old, researching primary schools, high schools and universities so that my angels can become the next prime minister, doctor or lawyer.

Baby Five :

Now looking at high schools for real for the older kids.

Primary school is already planned under the sibling rule and ive actually realised,  as long as they are happy and have good support, who cares what they are when they are older. 

_______________________

Baby One :

Baby gates everywhere! Can’t possibly risk baby falling down the stairs. 

Baby Five :

Teach baby how to climb down stairs safely before he can even walk. 

________________________

Baby One :

Worry at 2pm that baby hasn’t had lunch and stop everything to make sure they have a suitable meal. 

Baby Five :

At 2pm wonder if the two ginger biscuits and a mouthful of mud he had at the park is ok to pass for lunch.


______________________

Baby One :

Perfect changing bag packed and full of baby necessities at all times.  

Baby Five :

Two nappies in one pocket and baby wipes and a dummy in the other and off we go! 

_________________________

Baby One :

If the baby starts creating in a restaurant,  stick by your guns,  ride the tantrum out and beam with pride when you win and other diners are patting you on the back. 

Baby Five :

Baby creates in a restaurant and you pass them the lemon from your g&t, a left over rib, order a chocole brownie or do just about anything they want just to shut them up…..then roll your eyes at the disapproving diners! 😂


 

Chicken Pox help 

Looks like Chicken Pox is doing the rounds again 🤒

I have to share an amazing medicine that relieved my boys and ended their misery..

My four older children have all had ‘the pox’ and one caught it off another.

First Charlie (very mild and over in no time), Libby was the last to get it and it didnt really effect her either.  Then there was the twins, in the middle and it was worse than I could imagine!

They had spots everywhere, their bodies, their eyelids, mouth, lips, absolutly everywhere.  

They were in agony, one evening they didnt sleep at all, wriggling, itching and crying.  I tried all the creams and drugs they offered but nothing worked.
I cant remember who it was that suggested it, whether it was advice given on Facebook or an answer to my desperate google searches but the suggestion was OATS.


Oats that you can buy from any supermarket.

I took an old pair of tights, filled the foot with oats and wrapped it around the bath tap.  I let the bath run through the tights, warm water but not too hot. 

It ran out like a milky liquid and as soon as the boys got in there was instant relief.

That was the beginning of the end of Chicken pox for them, the relief wasnt just instant, it also lasted hours.  As soon as they felt uncomfortable again I would run another bath.

Your babe may not get it as bad and,  like Charlie and libby,  probably cope fine with a bit of camomile lotion.

For anyone whose children really suffer, I hope this helps you as much as it did for us!

Lots of Love xxxx 


 

 

 

 

Happy New Years……Resolutions? 

​2016 has been an exciting year for me.   My new addition, George has given me his first giggles, crawled, taken his first steps and become a fully fledged toddler.

I watch my beautiful sister in law get married on one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

I spent a fantastic weekend in Dublin with some of my favourite girls. 

I found out we are expecting baby number 6 and started my Modernmum blog.

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my blogging experience.😘

I have met some wonderful new people through this journey and still feel it is only just beginning.   

Looking forward to seeing you on the other side…2017! 🎊🎉

I was chilling in the bath earlier,   thinking about what my new years resolutions will be for 2017.
I’ve never made NY resolutions before (mainly because I know I’ll never keep them,  why add pressure!?) 
But this year, I feel like I want to challange myself,  to see if I am capable.   

So here it goes….   

-Being pregnant I’m not about to put pressure on myself to lose weight,  however,  baby is due in April.  By next Xmas I would like to be pre pregnancy weight. #goals

-Stop convincing myself Libby’s messy bun is an acceptable school hairstyle.   Actually start brushing and tieing it up neatly every morning. 

-Take George to more toddler groups and less coffee shops. 

-Start working at a desk rather than on the laptop infront of the TV.

-Always make sure the kids have lots of paper/supplies for homework projects.  They get so embarrassed taking in a scrappy bit of A4 when little jonny looks like Monet has done his homework. 

-With the children,  sign up to at least three charity fundraisers.

-No more dogs! 
-Always answer my mobile phone, even if I know it is cold callers, politely tell them to fuck off.

-Go out for more family walks,  such a cheap fun way to spend time together.  If we end up at the local pub… Even better!

-Stick with this blogging lark, I am really enjoying it and maybe even double my followers (feel free to share away😘)
-Get my arse into gear and make sure we have turkeys here in the summer.  Next Xmas we will be supplying your Xmas dinner) 
-Laugh more,  love more and try harder. 
So what’s your news years resolutions?  Or like me in the past,  do you just not bother? 
Happy New Year, Lots of Love
Kate xxxx

How I get shit done with a baby 

​One of the most common things I get asked as a mum of thousands of children is ‘ how do you get anything done with a baby? ‘

The answer is really simple,  at home, behind closed doors, we call it ‘ the cage’ on the outside you call it a playpen!

You could stress yourself out, intent on baking cookies with your 9 month old who cant even eat properly yet.   

Or spend hours with play doh that your toddler would rather eat than play with.

Or try and get jobs done with a year old on your hip.

All this is lovely of corse, memory making and learning but don’t let the ‘perfect mum’ give you shit for needing to get stuff done,  especially when you have older children that still need your attention.
When George was a baby I used the playpen to keep him safe.


So that I could go and start dinner, sort the washing out, help the others with homework or simply chill out for 10 minutes without the worry that Libby might start feeding him like one of her dolls or the dog didn’t lick his face after giving their doggy bits a chew.

As he has got older and started to crawl and walk I put a couple of his favourite toys in their and let him play.   

Not only does this give me time to get stuff done it also teaches him how to play without me,  gain confidence and problem solve. 


Obviously, before you start judging me I’m not talking about putting him in the cage and popping out for a few vodkas at the pub.

I’m usually in the next room or running up and downstairs constantly checking on him. 
By doing this when I need it it leaves me calm quality time to spend when I do sit down and bake cookies and play with the play doh (😂😂😂 whatever,  he is 15 months, I have years of that to come) when I play blocks, helping him climb in and out of his toy car or play who can scream the loudest.
My point is,  don’t try and be a martyr, it doesn’t hurt them to play on their own for a while while you do whatever you need to get done or just sit down with a cuppa.
I have done it with all of mine.

Saint Nick popped in for a cuppa!

​Deck the halls!  
We have had a really special,  festive weekend full of friends,  wine,  mince pies, sausage rolls, tinsel, The Pogues and Santa Claus! 
Back in November I looked into which Santa to take the kids to visit.  
I looked into local garden centres, National trust venues and shopping centres.   

I know most of them are great experiences but when you have 5 children they are also really expensive. 
It got me thinking,  how much would it cost to bring the big guy to us!?

I hit Google and found a company called Hiresanta.  
They sent me a few videos of different Santa auditions and the relevant price for each Santa.

Obviously, the best,  most realistic was the most expensive….. And typically the one I set my heart on. 

The price tag for our Santa came at a wopping £300, but,  considering I was going to spend £100 for 2 minutes with a half decent Santa at the local garden centre, I thought I’d give it a go.

He didn’t disappoint!

The children were absolutely blown away (and so were the adults). 

Turns out our Santa was a professional actor with credits such as Eastenders, The Bill, Frost, Londons Burning and Casualty just to name a few.
He spent two hours talking to the children,  listening to each of their presie lists and told them a lovely Christmas story. 

We are definatly going to book again for next year. 
Some of the older kids were suspicious but he was pretty convincing and left even the most defiant believers wondering….. Could he be!? 

So I can confirm we are now officially in the Christmas spirit! 
If you can get a few friends together and split the cost it is a great experience and a chance to make special memories that last forever. 
It’s also a great excuse for the parents to get together with a few bottles of wine and let a jolly man in a suit entertain the children for a couple of hours. 

Only one problem, Santa left his belt on my bed!…. Try explaining that one too the kids 😆🙊🎅

HO HO HO!!!! 🎅
http://www.hiresanta.co.uk

My little man

I’ve been finding it hard to blog lately. 

Since George turned one he up’ed his game massivly.
He has gone from a quiet little baby who sits contently playing in his playpen (or cage to you that know us well) to a walking,  talking, shouting Hitler whos day consists of eating,  tipping up the dogs water bowl,  eating some more,  shitting and then eating again. 

Happy times though,  He has started saying my name! It’s so cute! 
He hasn’t learned that whine yet, He just walks around saying 

‘ mum, mum, mum, mum ‘ 

Let’s see how long that little novelty lasts before the sound ‘mum’ has me scratching at my eyes! 

When my babies are born i always make the mistake of strutting around with my beautiful new baby telling everyone how lucky I am that he is so good. 
This was true,  he was good,  most babies are when all they do is sleep,  drink milk and poo.

It’s when they start crawling/walking and learning the art of manipulation that things start to change. 

When I had the twins I used to take a high and mighty ‘i will not give in ‘ approach……not anymore. 

George wants chocolate,  I say no,  George screams,  I give him the chocolate. 

…..bad, bad mum 

All that aside, I am loving every precious moment with my number five.  
He is growing into a sweet, funny and affectionate little boy, just like his big brothers USED to be🙈.

I am so excited to see what he makes of his new little brother when he arrives.