Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites


Who needs an alarm clock? Not me, baby…

I'd have to say that Babybear is an excellent sleeper (although she is currently playing with her baby gym beside me and it's nearly 1am sowhat'sallthatabout?) but her parents are a couple of disorganised layabouts who like to stay up late and get up later. So we obviously knew from the minute I peed on the stick that we weren't going to be following any strict childcare regime. (Well, that and the fact that the likes of Gina Ford's routine is SO badly written that it makes your skin itch. Say what you like about letting babies cry it out – and I'd prefer you say that it's unnecessarily cruel – but, my GOD that woman's writing gave me the heebie-jeebies.)

So when she was first born, we consciously decided not to stress about Babybear's sleeping habits, so once we got throught the first six weeks of constant night-time breastfeeding, we all used to go to bed as a family at about 12midnight and watched DVDs while I breastfed and the bub dropped off at about 1am. She would then generally sleep 'til 9 or 10am, the good little sausage. (Actually, these were pretty much the hours I kept while pregnant, which I don't think can be a coincidence).

It was the baby herself who dialled that back to 11pm, then 9pm then 7.30pm and more recently since weaning her we've noticed that she needs to go to bed at 6.30pm if we want to avoid that hellish 'over-tired' thing. (That bloody Vauxhall advert has so re-programmed the Husband's puny brain that he cannot pronounce it any other way than 'ooooveh-tiad' so for that reason alone I find it's best to get the baby down before she gets to that stage. )

I'm not sure if it got worse because of weaning, teething, or learning to crawl so that she is now more fatigued, but we did have a bad spell quite recently where she was just roaring with pain and exhaustion for a couple of hours at night – bearing in mind we have been so spoilt we thought our world was coming to an end – and it took us a while and a few frantic 'help me oh dear god help me' posts on Mumsnet before we got to the bottom of it and decided that we were feeding her solids too close to her last milk feed. See, you knew this would come back to baby led weaning eventually, you just had to stick with me…

So for interest I can tell you that I tend to treat her milk feeds and solids as something quite different to her solids, and insofar as we have a schedule it goes a little seomthing like this:

She normally wakes up at 7.52am – you think I'm kidding? – has a bottle at about 8-ish, then solids
(cheese, porridge pancakes, peaches) at 9-ish then a bath or a wipe-up and another
bottle before another nap from about 10 or 11 till 12-ish or 1-ish…

Then some snacks (rice cakes, a banana, Organix moon biscuits and her water) as we
are out and about and probably another bottle after an afternoon nap in
the buggy, then if we are at home she has some solids (fruit, pasta,
whatever is around) at 4 ish and then her last bottle at 6-ish.

It's all very -ish, isn't it? But basically all I am saying is that if I want her to drink her bottles
properly I know I have to leave a good couple of hours without snacks. And even at that her daytime bottles are often left half-empty… which I have just had to chill right out about because as you know, baby led weaning is all about responding to the child's cues, not your poxy paranoia that they are about to starve to death…

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4 Responses to “Routine…Shmoutine…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey looking forward to starting BLW soon but am breastfeeding and going back to work when my little one is eight months old. How much expressed milk am I likely to need to provide nursery with?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can I bring this back to the fore, to see if there are any more comments? The Nome's night sleep has been a bit shot since weaning – I think it's starting to improve, but after a long time of 9 hours a night, it's hard to go back to broken nights! Would like to hear what other people's daily routines are foodwise, especially for a 7 month old…

  3. Anonymous says:

    We never had a daily routine for milk feeds and still don't, really. At 7 months I was offering her food at three standard mealtimes a day and then she'd have feeds around those times whenever she fancied… by about 8 1/2mo the milk feeds settled down of their own accord to mid-morning, mid-afternoon, bedtime and late-night, but the odd extra one still creeps in according to need. I don't think it's affected her sleep much, compared to pre-weaning (teething was a much bigger factor) – but, looking ahead, I'm still encouraging her to have afternoon milk although she's getting less and less interested, because I sense that what she misses in the day she makes up for at the dream feed, and it would suit me soooo much better if she'd continue to have milk feeds in the day and drop the night one! (massed wingbeats of a flock of pigs flying over)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I've got an 8 month old, who obtusely started sleeping through the night just before we started BLW at 6 months.
    We seem to have fallen into breastfeeds at 7.45am-ish, 12ish, 4ish & 7pm, with solid food offered at 8.30am-ish (ie just after milk), lunchtime (anytime between 12 and 2) and 5.30/6pm-ish.
    Pre-weaning, the 12ish and 4ish feeds were a little earlier and she'd get a half feed at 5.45pm-ish to keep her going til bedtime, but she seems fine without that now, and able to go slightly longer between the other feeds.

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