Baby Led Weaning Round 1

BLW time here at casa de’ LunchingMom.  Bambina just hit the half-birthday mark and has been working on her sittin’ up skillz (skills with extra umph right there).  And since I’m a crazy potato girl (sweet potato that is, though I try to limit our nightshade veggie intake), I thought she might enjoy some roasted or sauteed sweet potatoes.  One of the goals of baby led weaning is that your child will eat with you, instead of eating before or after or not be present and part of the family meal time. Here’s a great essay that simplifies BLW in a nutshell from Mom365.com

I remember when Sillyboy was little, the husband and I thought we were so awesome at tag-teaming at meals.  Except one of us always had to reheat our food. No one wants to nuke a freshly prepared whole-food meal of goodness (see radio wave lunch here)!  So for two nights we had a sweet potato side with dinner- and no one minded at all.

I washed and peeled two organic sweet potatoes then sliced them up into sticks so Sillyboy could regard them as having fries for dinner, and Bambina would have a good size to hold and munch. Then sauteed them stove top in a pan with a touch of sesame oil (try it- because it’s an amazing compliment to the sweetness).

Most of the articles and videos I’ve watched recommend the bigger the better in slicing shapes for BLW.  Think spear shapes or potato wedges.  This way your baby has something to hold onto in either hand, and adequate area to gum the food. Once they get the pincer grasp down (8-10 months-ish) you can hit up the smaller slices.  A lot of U.K. families swear by leaving the peel on most fruits and veggies, which is really helpful when handling avocado (a first favorite here and abroad) and bananas.  Babies learn which side has the good flavors pretty quick.

Baby’s food and the fam’s food done at the SAME time= #win.  I placed about 3-4 sweet potato slices on her highchair tray (no plates  or utensils needed) and tried not to stare Bambina down intently just waiting to ooh and ah.  So we all said our dinner prayer and chowed down.  I did peek at her from the corner of my eye as did the boys- to keep an eye on her for fear of choking and/or taste-bud delight.  It could go either way, really.  Luckily she loved it!  She was really quick to grab a piece at a time and start gumming it.  She smeared it around, she threw some pieces on the floor (aka gave the dogs some snackage), but managed to chew a few pieces off- eat some and spit some out.  Every time she’d run out of big pieces, I just handed over more until she was totally not interested which was about when we were all done eating.  Then I had to clean.

Clean I did.  I cleaned the tray, the floor, the seat, and what?- How did sweet potato get smeared inside her onesie?! I didn’t realize until she was having her bath she had smeared it in her hair above her ear. wth.  I did purchase a fancy long sleeved bib cover I plan to use when we’re out and about (Ikea makes super cheap useful ones that you can purchase on Amazon, because Ikea doesn’t have online purchasing for most of their kid items, especially not to Missouri), but she gets a bath after dinner every night so it’s one less thing for me to wash.

I feel like it’s one more stepping stone on this different kind of food journey and I’ll try to keep you posted.  Have you tried anything like BLW before?  Do you stick to purees (homemade?) and just give baby a nosh every once in awhile of your food?

Small Salve Step

A friend of mine (who isn’t tired of my lengthy “green” fact-fests) asked what type of baby or small-steps she could take without freaking out and reading every label.  Over-analyzing our lives is already work itself, no need to complicate things, I agree.  While I was finishing up my morning routine, I found just the thing.  Replacing this petrolatum product with this green salve.

 

First difference: the size of the product.  How long do people hold onto a jar of Vaseline anyhow? I couldn’t find an expiration date on mine, which could be good or bad depending on your opinion of the twinkie effect.  You literally use a dab of the salve, without adding a thick layer of greasiness.  The smaller size makes it just the thing to toss in a purse or pocket- even for a quick trail hike.

 

Next: actual effectiveness.  The reviews are hands down 5 out of 5 stars attesting to the Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment.  You can use this for anything you would normally use petroleum jelly for- and more even, like bruises and poison ivy.  The natural oils are absorbed by your skin to help heal.  We have a strict “no blood, no band-aid” rule in our house.  It’s easy to think a band-aid can fix everything, but if a paper cut or a small knick is bothering Sillyboy- he can just dab this on himself.

 

And, of course: it’s green.  Green all around.  The salve comes in a small metal green tin.  The salve itself is dark green color. And the ingredients inside are green- the first two ingredients are sweet almond oil and olive oil.  The ingredients on Vaseline= petrolatum is the active ingredient, and… nothing else is listed.

 

All in all, just try this small salve step.  If you can’t remember how old your petroleum jelly is, toss it anyways.  After my experience with spraying ethanol around the house, that is one less product I need to slather on.  What other baby steps can you take to turn one thing in your life into something green?

Being EcoMom Made Easy

Every time I visit a big box store, or even a grocery store,  I make a beeline for the HBA’s.  In retail talk, that’s Health and Beauty Accessories.  I look for organic, eco-friendly brands that I can find in other places.  I always hope that the one store will have a special little niche that has exactly what I’m looking for- at hopefully decent budget friendly prices.  But then I blame Missouri.  Not that I should- it can be really great at times.  But since we’re literally in the middle of everything, it takes awhile for trends and most brands to make their availability known here if they’re not sold at Walmart. (Thank goodness for Target!).

I feel so lucky to have the availability to ship whatever I want from online sites.  Luckily, EcoMom does a heft of work as well- by gathering all those organic, wooden, cloth, natural rubber, and earth happy products and putting them on their site.  They’re motto is “We do the research, so you don’t have to.”  Unlike a few other green sites that do the same thing, Ecomom has product reviews readily available (you can even volunteer for that).  They include upscale make-up for moms, books, kitchen gear, organizing tools, perfect giftsets, and even giftcards!  I’ve only ordered a few things so far, as I slowly replace each few plastic toys in our house with something better, but the quality is awesome so I really recommend them.  Where do you find green products?

 

Healthy Child Healthy World [useful printables link!]

Since I finally got around to testing out my free trial sizes of Honest products, I took the plunge and ordered my first set of diaper/wipes bundle and a home product bundle.  I’m excited to test out the sunscreen and multi-purpose cleaner the most!  The eco-green earth-friendly talk has been everywhere, with today being Earth Day and all.  The motivation behind a lot of movements was spurred on by Healthy Child Healthy World– a non-profit organization that is trying to promote a healthier environment for all kids (and families).

Former CEO of the company, Chris Gavigan, authored a highly revered book by the same name.  (I just grabbed it from the library today!).  The org has helped many families identify and remove harmful toxins in their lives to create lower allergy and asthmatic environments.  Healthy Child Healthy World works to educate families for the future of our children.  While perusing their site, I found a list of informational printables for you here.  You can print some out, or download the app to keep the pocket lists with you always.  They’ve already done the research for the healthiest brands- look for them by name.

Baby Slinging

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Get Blossom‘s and Amy Farrah Fowler‘s images out of your head, and try out reading Mayim Bialik’s Beyond the Sling book.  If you’ve ever heard of attachment parenting or helicopter parenting, the image of an unwashed hippie in dreads with a tie-dyed baby sling with the smell of patchouli over their shoulder might come to mind.  Nothing wrong with that.  Patchouli gives me headaches. But people- and trends (what works and what doesn’t) have adapted just as the ways we raise our kiddos have.  I  like to read a lot of non-fiction, and even if I disagree or find faults with a book’s message, I’m not lost on gaining some education.

Mayim is touted in both good and bad ways for this book, written by herself as a mom of two.  No one can ignore that she earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.  And she wasn’t a baby person at all before having kids, so she’s a strong voice now for attachment parenting, La Leche League International (she’s a certified consultant), and the Holistic Moms Network.

Bed sharing and elimination communication are not for me.  I might have to do some more research on the latter with bambina though…  I do believe, however, that raising a confident child by gently communicating with them (no yelling!) is a great and wonderful plan.  She shares a lot of the personal sacrifices she and her husband have made to create this environment for their kids.  I read her book cover to cover in just a few days, and I’ve taken some small learned habits away from it that I think make me a better mom.  Be sure to read her section on sharing toys at a playground- or not forcing “please” and “thank you” on her kids!

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