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Why Baby Led Weaning?

Why Baby-Led Weaning :
Your question's answered

An Interview with BLWing blogger Sarina from ‘Stop The Munchies’!

Thanks to social media, we are now able to meet people we wouldn’t ordinarily connect with from a business perspective. I met Sarina through instagram when she tagged @grabease.au in her posts and this started a lovely exchange between us about food, baby-led weaning and CJ’s (her son) development. I then had the pleasure of meeting her the One Fine Baby Fair in Sydney. When we met in person and spoke, I realised her story was a great one to share with other families in similar circumstances or those researching how they wanted to start solids.

So, here we are…..Enjoy!

Why did you choose Baby-Led Weaning with CJ?

As CJ was getting closer to being ready for solids I found a free online child nutrition course by FutureLearn which led me to the Baby-Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley. This book spoke on the many benefits of BLW including minimising fussiness. Growing up and even to this day I was your typical fussy eater! I hated my veggies. Being a fussy eater, I find is very restricting and often left me feeling anxious in social circles. I do not want this for CJ and as CJ has been exploring new foods I’ve also been trying to retrain myself. I want him to know how amazing Fruits and Veggies really can be!

How old was CJ when you started?

I started CJ at 6 months to the day! However, that doesn’t mean it would be the same for everyone. For me, CJ showed all the signs he was ready; He could support his own head, he would bring toys to his mouth and he had lost his tongue thrust. Before 6 months CJ was showing a lot of these signs, for me waiting also was about making sure his gut was mature enough to handle solids, this is said to happen from 6 months onwards and is a recommendation by The World Health Organization.

What has been the biggest positive of BLW?

The biggest positive was seeing what an independent little boy CJ has become. He is willing to try anything! He doesn’t always like everything he tries but he will continue to explore, taste and feel a variety of foods. To me this is the essence of why I do this!

What has been the biggest negative of BLW?

When I read this question aloud my husband instantly said the MESS! Yes, there is a lot of Mess to deal with at the beginning! But I promise it gets better 😊 the mess is all part of learning, and weather you do BLW or traditional weaning there is always going to be a component of MESS.

What has been the biggest positive of BLW?

The biggest positive was seeing what an independent little boy CJ has become. He is willing to try anything! He doesn’t always like everything he tries but he will continue to explore, taste and feel a variety of foods. To me this is the essence of why I do this!

Tell us your must-have tools to start the weaning journey

There are so many tools out there to help you with this journey and a lot of them developed or sold by some amazing Mums that have been through this experience themselves!

Here are my top 5:

  •  Mumma’s Little Helpers Food Catcher! This saved my carpet
  • Suction Plate!! We use EZPZ Mats. Trust me a suction plate comes in handy for when they start throwing!!
  • Sippy Cups. When bub starts solids, they should also be offered water! Our favourite one to use is by Nuby
  • Smock/Bib we actually use a combo here! The smocks from IKEA are so easy to machine wash and we have a crumb catcher bib from Mummas Little Helpers
  • Last but not least, our Grabease cutlery set. CJ is such a pro with scooping up yogurt and is now working on his fork skills! I stumbled across Grabease after seeing another insta account recommend them and have not looked back since!

The 'Stop The Munchies' story

What to know when starting baby-led-weaning

Sarina is a Sydney based Mum to 3 year old CJ and the Mummy behind @stopthemunchies. Stop the Munchies came about in the hopes of sharing Sarina and CJ’s BLW Journey. Sarina is passionate about educating parents on all things BLW. If Sarina isn’t cooking she’s usually thinking about what she’ll be cooking next!

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Toddler Tooth Care

Toddler Tooth Care

The Lowdown on Toddler Tooth care by Caroline from AVIDIVA

That first glimmer of white usually appears between the ages of 6 and 10 months. Although some bubs are even born with a tooth or two, and others won’t crack their first until after their first birthday. Between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, our bubbas will gain all 20 of their teeth!! Eeeeeep, yep 20! It’s a good job we can’t remember this stage when we grow up, as teething is SO not fun (for mum or baby). The sore gums, endless drool, irritability, upset tummies, rashy chins and bums, restlessness… it’s not nice to see your little one so uncomfortable.

Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw. These teeth can appear out of the gums in any order they like, but often you will see the two middle bottom teeth (central incisors) pop up first. Last to come in are the molars at the back. This set of baby teeth are then replaced with 32 adult teeth from around the age of 6.

Infographic credit: Mamanatural.com

Along with the pain and sleeplessness of teething come a few questions about how to care for these little teeth now they are here. We’ve done our research and have compiled a bunch of answers for you lovely:

Should I be cleaning gums before any teeth have even come through?

Yes! You can use a clean damp cloth to just wipe over the gums to clear away any harmful bacteria. If they are teething, they will love the pressure on the gums. Plus, it gets baby use to the idea of teeth cleaning and you sticking something in their mouth… #winning

How often should I brush their teeth?

Same as with adults, these baby teeth need cleaning twice a day – in the morning after breakfast and before bed, after dinner.

What should I do to clean them

Brush the inside and outside of their teeth, as well as their tongue, if they will let you! No need to worry about flossing at this age (only when teeth start to touch, and the brush can’t get in between them).

What should I use?

An age appropriate brush is perfect. The grabease double-sided toothbrush is sutiable from 6 months and it comes with a stage 1 silicone finger-brush which is suitable from 4 months. Just using a brush with water is fine until they are 18 months old. From then on, you can use a rice size amount of low-fluoride toothpaste (increasing to pea-sized amount at around 3 years old

Manual or Electric?

This is up to personal preference after the age of 3… Electric brushes can be pretty fun!. Plus, if mummy and daddy use one then they will probably want to have a go at electric too! They can also give a better clean compared to manual brushes… but really, it’s up to you (or let’s be honest, it’s up to your kid!)

Fluoride or no fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that helps teeth grow strong. It also prevents tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and making it more resistant to acids and harmful bacteria.. It is best in small quantities i.e. in the water we drink, foods, and low-fluoride toothpaste. Most tap water in Australia has very low amounts of added fluoride (your local authority will be able to tell you the levels). If children take in too much fluoride, it can cause fluorosis, which is a build-up of fluoride, resulting in white marks on the teeth. Best to keep the levels down until they are old enough to rinse and spit. For under 18 months toothpaste is not actually needed, unless a dentist advises otherwise. From 18 months, a low fluoride toothpaste is recommended. You can also find fluoride free toothpastes if you are concerned with the levels. These are also available in fruity flavours if your little one isn’t a fan of the minty options!

Who should be doing the brushing?

Most likely they will want to ‘help’ i.e. do it themselves!! You can give them a toothbrush to hold while you brush their teeth. They can likely have a go themselves but always be sure to ‘check’ for them 😉 When they are around 8 years old you can probably trust they will do a good enough job on their own, but below that age you will want to supervise and ensure they are not swallowing toothpaste and doing a thorough job.

How do I fit it into our busy routines?

Kids love a routine, they know what’s coming next and it helps them feel safe and secure. As much as it may feel like a chore (and it’s not always easy, cleaning little teeth!), stick to the plan and be sure to get it done each morning and night. That way, there will be much less wiggle room (quite literally!)

When do they need to see the dentist?

It’s a good habit to get into when they are young, so it becomes part of their normal routine, and not something they dread! Take them along to the dentist when they are around 1, or 6 months after their first tooth appears. From them on, regular check ups will help keep their teeth in healthy condition and the dentist can offer advice with any issues they may be having.

How can I make it fun?

Depending on what your kid likes, there are a few ways to get the job done: - For the young ones, a toothbrush for them to hold is a must have - Also them seeing themselves in the mirror can be a good distraction - You can set a timer so they know how long you will be brushing for (also a good visual distraction). This can be a traditional egg timer or simply from an app on your phone. - A song is always a good way to get the brushing happening and also some distraction too. Have a selection they can pick from, sing, or play it and they know that the teeth brushing happens for the duration of the song - Pretending to ‘roar’ like a dinosaur, toot like a train, or get them to say their alphabet… anything they like that will get them making the right shapes to get in all the nooks and crannies! - You can always bring up a you tube video or short clip of a favourite show, song, or even kids brushing their teeth as a bit of entertainment

What about foods?

As we know, sugary foods can cause tooth decay and erode enamel and cause cavities. The main culprits are juices, lollies, dried fruit, etc. These foods are best avoided in babies and toddlers under 2 years of age. If you decide to serve these types of food before 2, it's best to give bubs a big drink of water to rinse the sugar from their teeth. This helps the sugar not sit on the teeth for too long.

What about bedtime bottles?

As comforting as a bedtime bottle is, these liquids then just feed on bacteria in the mouth and cause tooth decay. This can lead to a condition called ‘bottle mouth’ where the front teeth are discoloured, pitted and cavities may develop. This is true for milk, formula or juice, and even sweetened medicines. So best avoided as soon as you can break the habit.

So there you have it, our toothcare lowdown! I hope this helps you and your littles on your teething journey.

To check out the grabease toothbrush range, Click Here.

 

Author Bio

Caroline is a Perth mum to two premmie babes now 1 and 4 years old. With tricky starts to life for both (and to motherhood!), Caroline has researched, tried and tested many natural, organic products to find those that are good for her babes and the environment too. Her biz, Avidiva, showcases her passion for stylish, but natural goodies and gifts.

 

 You can find Avidiva for a short time on Facebook and @avidivababy on Instagram or swing by the site at www.avidiva.com.au.  Currently they are having a closing down sale. Use code CLOSING50 to get 50% off all items. 

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Introducing Allergenic Foods to Babies

Introducing allergenic foods to babies

There has always been a lot of hype and speculation around introducing allergenic foods to babies such as eggs and peanuts. Recently, the guidelines have changed significantly and understandably there is a lot of confusion amongst parents as to when is the right time, and how to do it.

I often get asked by parents what is best, and so I am delighted to have the chance to write a guest blog all about this topic for Grabease!

By Caroline Partridge

What did we use to do?

Until recently, parents were told to delay introducing their children to foods such as egg and peanuts. Some people even suggested not introducing nuts until after the age of 5. There were concerns around choking, and beliefs that waiting until the child was older would mean that they were less likely to develop an allergy.

How do I give my baby nuts?

So what changed?

Basically, new evidence came to light. A lot of time and money was put into studying why there was suddenly such a rise in the incidence of childhood allergy. In Australia, 1 in 10 kids under the age of 1 have a food allergy. That number is shocking.

In working to discover why the rate of allergies had risen so fast, questions were asked and researched about what had changed. As well as about the guidelines suggesting waiting to introduce allergenic foods.

The new studies show a decreased likelihood of allergy in children who tried egg and peanuts under the age of 1. Once this evidence was reported, further research was undertaken, and subsequently, the infant feeding guidelines were updated by ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy)

The new guidelines?

The guidelines now suggest giving foods such as egg, tree nuts and peanuts to children between 6 and 10 months of age. Whole nuts pose a risk of choking and so should not be given. Nut butters are a great alternative and remove this choking risk. Egg should be well cooked, not raw.

First foods?

My favourite first foods to give to baby are meat and eggs. After 6 months of age, infants, particularly those that are still exclusively breastfed can become deficient in iron and zinc. These foods are great sources of these minerals. They can be pureed, or served in suitable sized chunks for baby-led weaning also.

A few tips!

  • Earlier in the day for trying new foods means less chance of a sleepless night
  • Just try one new food at a time, then if something happens you will know where to start
  • Give each new food at least 3 days before moving on to the next, a reaction may not happen on the first 1 or 2 tries
  • Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of allergic reactions, allergy.org.au is an amazing resource

Caroline Partridge is the Aussie Allergy Mum, a fun-loving mum of two girls, who lives the allergy life daily and wants to help make the journey as easy as possible for others.

introducing allergenic foods to babies written by aussie allergy mum Allergy blogger Australia

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