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Posted on March 9, 2011

Mummy Loves Graco’s Contempo Highchair!

graco/ weaning

I am very lucky to have come second place in Graco’s Symbio contest a couple of months ago and was made a Graco Ambassador! Which basically means Graco sends me fab products to try out and review for them! A couple of weeks ago we were sent the Graco Contempo Highchair this was perfect timing as Bugs was just starting weaning!

The Contempo was extremely easy to put together (seriously even I managed to do it) all that really need to be done was put the castor’s on, I managed to put them on without problem and then after about half an hour I realised I had put the back ones on the wrong way round! Seriously I am such a numpty at times! I blame that on having 3 kids because I was never as dizzy before ;O) Anyway we received the Contempo in Gorgeous Butterfly Blue but it does come in a couple of other designs too! If I was choosing though I would have definitely gone for this design! Perfect for a girl or boy in my opinion!
The highchair has six different height positions which is absolutely brilliant! It fits perfectly at our dining table so Bugs can join in all our family meals and I can also have him so low that I can sit on the floor and feed him too! It folds very flat and stands alone very sturdily once folded, so it can be slid down the side of a cupboard or something when not in use. We are lucky enough to have lots of room so ours just sits at the dining table all the time ready for it’s next use! It is very light too and I am often moving it around the house at snack time so Bugs can sit and snack whilst I get on it the kitchen. 
The seat is lovely and padded and appears very very comfy indeed! It also reclines very easily to 3 different positions and I would happily leave him in there for a nap if he was to fall asleep whilst eating! Which many kids do but Bugs has yet to! The seat is very easy to clean and has no little nooks and crannies for food to get trapped in! Every single bit of it is accessible! The seat pad is also removable!
It has a really good 5 point harness and I am very happy that Bugs is safe, secure and comfortable in it! It comes with two trays one of which is removable and can be washed in the dishwasher! We are very very happy with the Contempo and can honestly say that I can not find ANYTHING negative to say about it! So not surprisingly it won  the award for ‘Best Highchair’ in the 2011 Mumsnet Best Awards and was also spotted just the other day in The Independents Top 10 highchairs – coming in at number 6! Personally I think they were robbed of 1st place but still!!
Why not join Graco on facebook & Twitter as they are always running different competitions for you to win their fab products!!
Posted on February 28, 2011

True Baby led weaning by ChocOrangeCityMum

BLW/ Guest post/ weaning

This is a guest post on Baby Led Weaning by ChocOrangeCityMum from – Thanks hon x

I started weaning my son at 25 weeks, just before the recommended six months, because he was getting frustrated after a milk feed. For a few days spoonfuls of baby porridge and pureed pear went down a storm and I revelled in sharing this exciting new taste and texture experience with him. After a couple of days though, he started to scream whenever I tried to feed him causing us both to get very frustrated and upset. A few meals like this and I decided that I didn’t want to cause him stress towards food and so I would wait a few more weeks before we tried food again.
Whilst I had heard of and thought BLW was a good idea, being a big believer in making children independent beings, I was never quite comfortable with the thought that he might not be satisfied and might not get it. The Boy, however, had quite a different opinion and I never did get to “try” weaning again as one day, shortly after his six month birthday, he picked up a piece of naan bread and started sucking like his life depended on it. From then on finger food was all I could think of – toast, pitta bread and hummus, steamed veg, bananas, pears, cheese – and the Boy was so happy sitting there gumming away on a variety of foods. It was a very time consuming process with mealtimes taking an hour or more (which is quite a long time when you consider he was only awake for 9 hours a day!) but the experience was one I wouldn’t have rushed for anything. Watching him try new things and make bizarre combinations like sardines and strawberries, which would test even the most experimental palate, was something I looked forward to everyday.
I hope I am not the only parent who also threw in the odd lemon or spring onion to gauge an interesting reaction – lemon was a highly amusing screwed up face before demanding more and he happily chewed away on the whole spring onion. He ate everything that was given to him and I was so happy that my gorgeous baby was sharing in something I so enjoy. There were times when he did want me to spoon feed him and I slowly but surely learnt to read his cues as to how and when he wanted his food, which has led me to my new and improved definition of True Baby Led Weaning.
Posted on February 16, 2011

The Weaning Factors By Kerry

Guest post/ weaning

A fab guest post on weaning for you this morning by Kerry of
Thanks Kerry x

The Weaning Factors
The saying that all babies are different it is none too true when it comes to weaning. Second time round I was under the silly illusion that it would be a breeze. I was wrong, but reflecting on my lessons, next time round I would play it very differently. As a Mummy of three under two and half, (my toddler son and boy and girl twins of 17 months), I have since had time to conjure what I consider to be the ‘Weaning Factors’ that make the process fun, enjoyable and stress free.
  1. Acceptance
It is going to happen! Splats, splutters, mess and goo are all to be expected! Protect and prepare, do not wear your favourite cream top and maybe put some kind of covering on the floor if it is not wipeable!
  1. Patience
It is a slow process. Little and often is better than huge portions and it can take half an hour in the beginning to get down what looks like two teaspoons of food, of which you are not totally convinced of how much they have eaten!
  1. Preparation
When you feel the time is right to wean start collecting thing together. Plastic freezer pots and ice cube trays (pound shops do these, so check there first before spending a fortune.) A grater, blender or smoothie maker, masher, lots of bibs, cloths to wipe up mess, and a good chopping knife! If you are prepared it will take away some of the stress.
  1. A good recipe book/weaning guide.
I used Annabel Karmel because it was recommended and handed down to me but use whoever you feel comfortable with and check some of the recipes out first. It is all very well trying your baby on every type of food, but if it is not food you eat regularly then it might not fit into family eating later on anyway!
  1. Cheat!
Don’t be scared to have a few jars in cupboard, ready for those days when you just don’t have the time, energy or inclination to be a super mum. They are nutritionally balanced and if your child loves them, great!
  1. Trust your judgement
There seems to be a lot of pressure on when to wean. My oldest boy was a very hungry baby and I started weaning him at five months. I don’t think I could have waited longer without it upsetting his sleep. With the twins however, (because they were early) I was warned to not to wean too soon and so left them later – till seven months. On reflection I think I left it too long because it took them ages to get used to have anything thicker than milk in their mouths. Remember you know your baby so trust your instinct.
  1. Seating
Decide where to feed, bouncer, bumbo or highchair and start to make that routine. They pick up quickly on what is happening and if they are placed somewhere and a bib is put on it gives them the cues that food is coming!
  1. Don’t panic!
I always felt my stress levels raise when the babies would not eat something, especially if I had slaved away over it! The key is to remember that some days we are hungrier than others and this is true of babies too. Don’t right off the food, thinking they don’t like it, come back to it another day. Try not to offer too many alternatives, as they click on quickly that something better might be on offer, and finally don’t panic that they will starve. If they skip a meal it is not the end of the world and only makes them hungrier for the next. Things that can affect appetite I found were teething, temperature and strangely if they had a dirty or wet nappy, they would not eat!
This is by no means a set of rules to follow, just hopefully some helpful guidelines as to what I would do next time round! I hope I remember to read this. Just try to sit back and relax and enjoy this stage as one of the many firsts you little one will accomplish!
Posted on February 11, 2011

Weaning Twins by Suzanne

Guest post/ weaning

This is a guest post about weaning twins by Suzanne from

Double weaning

It’s going to be messy but you have to start eventually. I remember weaning my eldest daughter at 17 weeks as those were the current guidelines 8 year ago. We messed about with baby rice and pureed carrot and pear for a couple of months before being able to move on to the really good stuff at 6 months. Then when boy in the middle was born the advice changed and he was breastfed until 6 months and then we only had to mess about with the rice and pear for a couple of days before moving on to chicken soup.

This time round I didn’t even find out what the advice was because boy in the middle is a great eater now (OK so the only vegetable he will dare to eat is broccoli) and eldest daughter still has to be coaxed into eating. Looking at my two tiny tots I was happy to delay the mess of weaning two babies for as long as possible.

When Baby A and Baby E were 6 months old I bought a box of baby rice, some new spoons and we gave it a go. I borrowed two bumbo seats specifically for the purpose of weaning. Both girls could sit well in them so I could put them both on the table in front of me and with 1 bowl and 1 spoon I fed them baby rice for a couple of days, followed by carrot, pear, butternut squash and then after a couple of weeks we moved nicely on to chicken soup.

I do remember between 6 and 8 months that it is one long meal throughout the day. I breastfed my twins and for a while is seemed they were either being fed from me or by me with a spoon. It takes a while for the food to be more important than the milk. It is hard enough with one baby eating all day, but when two are eating all day there really is no time for anything else!

Once the girls could climb out of the bumbo seats themselves I bought two great highchairs which attach on to my granite table. I then sat each baby at one side of the table so I could sit between them and spoon in from one side to the other. This worked well for another couple of months until once again both girls stood up in their seats. We now have them both in highchairs with straps which they still wriggle out of.

I would give the following advice to any twin mums:

1. Always use 1 bowl and 1 spoon
2. Give each baby their own cup
3. Spoon in from one mouth to the next
4. Don’t worry if it appears that one is eating more than the other
5. Make batches of vegetables and fruit and freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen tip into freezer bags so you can easily take out a couple at a time and defrost
6. Keep a sweeping brush near the table as once they learn to throw food off their highchairs you have double the mess to clear up
7. Invest in cover all bibs so that any mess doesn’t go all over their clothes
8. Offer finger foods from 8 months on their tray to distract them and then spoon in the good stuff
9. In the early days of weaning it does feel as if you are feeding all the waking hours between milk and highchair – keep with it, it only lasts a few weeks
10. Relax and enjoy – they will eat as much as they need to

I would say the best thing about feeding twins is that there is always a chance at least one of them will eat the lovingly prepared food. I remember it being so frustrating when I had taken time to make a winning favourite from Annabel Karmel that my daughter or son had enjoyed a couple of weeks earlier to find that it was no longer deemed delicious and the whole lot ended up in the bin. At least with two babies if one won’t eat something the other one often does so at least there is less food to be thrown at me or on the floor.

Posted on February 2, 2011

Rhiannon’s Weaning Experience

Guest post/ weaning

The lovely Rhiannon from Little Tots Baby Shop is here with us today to tell us about her experience weaning – Thank you Rhiannon x

Having already successfully weaned my first child four years previously, I thought this would also be a doddle. My Oldest One was a big eater from the minute she was born at a healthy 8lb 10oz I assumed the same would be true for my Littlest One when she was born at 8lb 15oz, and it was in the main. Littlest One seemed to like everything I gave her from the small selection of baby jars I gave her, except the baby rice which, in my opinion, means she has quite good taste as that stuff is vile in both texture and in taste.

So feeling more than a little smug that I’d successfully managed weaning second time round, I thought I’d be a good mummy and make Littlest One her own baby food from scratch. I spent hours looking on the Internet and in books for recipes that she might like and started buying vegetables I’d only really seen on restaurant menus – butter nut squash, avocado, sweet potato as well as your more run of the mill potato, cauliflower and broccoli. So I set about peeling, steaming, pureeing and freezing little amounts in pots. I rang my husband to tell him of my achievement (he wasn’t quite so impressed). I felt I’d had a really productive day and couldn’t wait to give Littlest One her dinner. I started her off on something simple that a friend advised me of – sweet potato. First mouthful, she pulled a bit of a funny face but it went the right way. I was elated! Second mouthful, she pushed it round her mouth with her tongue for a little while and it eventually went down. By the third mouthful she’d worked out she wasn’t having any of my lovingly prepared home cooked food and started spitting it out.

The following day, I was not to be put off (plus I had a freezer full of mush) so tried her on some cauliflower cheese made with a special pouch of baby cheese sauce. Again, the first mouthful seemed to go down really well, but by mouthful four or five she gagged that much she brought up everything I’d just given her. I was mortified! Was it my cooking??? Now those that know me know that my cooking isn’t the best but surely not much can go wrong with pureeing a little veg!? I persevered but every meal time turned out the same, blowing raspberries in her food, spitting it out, I swear if she knew how, she’d feed it to the cat, but she would not eat my baby food. So after a week, she still hadn’t “got used to it” so I gave in. She now is a very healthy 9 month old who is fed on jars. She eats everything we give her, including cauliflower cheese, that is lovingly prepared by someone in a factory. Or at least I’d like to think they are lovingly prepared! Do I feel guilty? A little but she’s coming on so well and sleeps through the night so I don’t think any mother could complain!

Posted on February 1, 2011

Baby Led Weaning By Lizz

BLW/ Guest post/ weaning

This is a guest post on Baby Led Weaning by Lizz from or you can also find her on twitter @easyweaning – Thank you so much for your time Lizz x

What is baby led weaning?
Baby Led Weaning really is the easy way to wean your baby. As long as you eat a healthy diet then just give your baby what you eat. No need for pureeing, mashing, jars or even
cutlery. Breast fed babies and bottle fed babies can do it. The only essential item is a big bib!

I first got into blw when a friend mentioned it and I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. Then she lent me the Gill Rapley book ‘Baby Led Weaning’ and I fell in love with blw.

I went the traditional route with my first daughter and have to admit I didn’t enjoy it. It was far too much hassle. I breastfed both my daughters for a couple of reasons, obviously for the health reasons for both mother and baby, but my main reasons are it’s free and so convenient. No steriliser, no bottles, no teats and no organisation, so for me, not the most organised person, it was a bit of a no-brainer.

How does it work?
And blw is just the same. At the WHO recommended age of 6 months for weaning, you
can start to introduce solid food to your baby, even if they don’t have teeth. Anyone will know that gums can be just as painful as teeth if you’ve been chomped!
The emphasis has to be on eating healthy and common sense has to be used, for
example you can’t give your baby very hard foods, nuts, excess salt etc
My daughters first meal was mushroom stroganoff with potato wedges.
Within the first week she had eaten sandwiches, spaghetti bolognese, fruit, toast, sausages (veggie by the way as we’re all vegetarian) and baked beans and mashed potato. When I say eaten I really mean played with. Most babies learn to eat and food is fun for them. As long as you are still giving them all their milk feeds they will be getting the nutrients that they need and you will soon see a shift over from them wanting milk feeds to them wanting solids instead. But as the name implies the baby leads the way on this transition. When you give them the food they also choose what they would like to eat. What looks exciting, what’s easy to grab, and what have I had before that’s yummy?


Yes, blw does involve gagging, but not choking. There is a very big difference. When a
baby gags they will bring the food back up and generally spit it out. Then they’ll move onto the next piece of food. The gag reflex on a baby is further forward in the mouth and gradually moves back as the baby gets older. When an adult gags, the offending item is right at the back of the throat so when we see a baby gag we assume the same. Normally the food item will be further forward and easily spat out. Though when weaning any baby, safety must be adhered to. Cut foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and olives in halve and squash beans, peas and chick peas etc.

Easy Weaning
Having been able to compare two types of weaning, traditional and baby led, I can
honestly say blw wins hands down for me. If I’m out and about and hungry, I’ll choose a
healthy meal so my daughter can share it. She can eat with the rest of us and enjoy the
whole experience of eating together as a family.
If she eats all her food I just give her some more of mine, or as has happened before, I just go round picking the best bits of everyone else’s plates and give this to her!

I would say blw is a newish concept but this is what we did before blenders were invented so it really isn’t new. And if I have anymore babies (wink wink at my husband!) I’ll definitely do it this way again.

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