13 October 2015


Most people spend the entire 40 weeks of your second pregnancy telling you how hard it is with two, much like they spent the whole of your first telling you about all the women/babies they'd know who have died or been seriously disabled by childbirth and in my case, all the major fuck-ups your hospital have made. Now I don't want to sound awful but apart from the first-six-weeks-eating-every-hour-and-a-half fiasco Jim has been a really lovely baby. Yes sometimes he sleeps through, sometimes he doesn't and he throws-up. A lot. All the time. But he smiles, and he sleeps and he's funny and he laughs and his big brother adores him. So I'm pretty smug and lucky over here.

I was told I'd forget how to breastfeed. I didn't. Told that Ned would hate him. He didn't. Told that I would never wash again. I do, even if I have to listen to one of my children being cross with me while I do it. I have, however, completely forgotten how to wean.

Ned was known to be a bit of a screamy baby. Hours were spent bouncing in front of the speakers blasting out Motley Crue, Refused and Jay-Z which was one of the few ways to stop him shouting. But man that boy would eat. Anything in a bottle was downed like a darts player on a tight schedule and when it came to weaning after the initial week of not actually knowing what to do with his mouth he would eat whatever came near him on a spoon. Or in an Ella's pouch. My friends marvelled at my wonder baby and his eating.

Not Jim. He eats. But not all his bottle all the time, not all in one go and I keep forgetting to wean him. Some days he has something then I'll forget for a week. I've had to become really focussed on it and I'm thankful that I signed up to an Abel & Cole delivery box years ago which means that, due to my terrible eating habits, there is always something around to puree. I just can't remember what to feed when, what to do with the bottles, when to aim for dropping one. It's as if all knowledge of how to get your child from liquids to solids has fully left the building. It's like it was never there. So of course, it's back to the books. Re-reading the trusty Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner feels like the first time. It's amazing Ned is not just walking round with a bottle of formula.

I've also bought, on recommendation from a friend, River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook, I'm hoping will give me ideas for things that Ned can eat (whether he will or not...) that I can puree for Jim further down the line. So far Jim's had pear, baby rice and porridge. This afternoon we're having parsnip. Fingers crossed something will come back to me soon.

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