Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Seventh Month

This month has been so much fun!  I have been home with Farrah due to summer break and have loved every minute of it!  Farrah has turned into a little roly poly since she learned to roll over.  She now rolls from back to tummy (to the left) and tummy to back (both directions) very easily.  She has also started sitting up.  She leans to the front a lot and folds over, but she is sitting up.  She is also trying very hard to crawl (see the video at the bottom).  She has not gotten it down yet, but she is able to get around pretty good.  Farrah has also become much more vocal.  She has been saying yayaya and dadada which we are counting as DaDa.  My favorite thing right now, besides hearing her sweet little voice, is watching her play with her paci. She is so funny.  She puts in her mouth and pulls it right back out.  She can also spot a paci from across the room.

As for solids, we have added peaches, plums, pears, and sweet potatoes.  We also finally found something Farrah does not like, avocados.  I have been in search of more green vegetables for her to eat because I try to feed her one green and one yellow/orange vegetable a day.  Well, lets just say she has been eating a lot of peas!  Maybe we will find a new green soon. 

At the end of my last monthly blog I mentioned that Farrah would not sleep in her room anymore.  Visit my post on Cry It Out to see how that is going. 

Farrah's Schedule
6:30 - 8:00 Bottle/Wake-time (swing most days)
8:00 - 9:30 Nap
9:30 - 11:00  3T cereal + 1 fruit serving + 2oz bottle/Wake-time
11:00 - 12:30  Nap (sometimes this nap is only 45 minutes -1 hour)
12:30 -1:30/2:00  1 vegetable serving + 2oz bottle/Wake-time
1:30/2:00 - 3:30 Nap (sometimes 1 1/2 housr some times 2 hours)
3:30 - 5:00 Bottle/Wake-time (she has a snack while I cook dinner)
5:00 - 6:30 Nap (sometimes)
6:30 - 7:00/7:30 1 vegetable serving + 1 fruit serving + some water/Wake-time/Bath
7:00/7:30 - 8:30 Nap
8:30 Bottle and Bed

(by 1 serving I mean 1 Gerber 2nds sized serving)
Pool Time
Pool Time

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cry It Out

At the end of Farrah's 6th month she would not sleep in her crib.  She would only sleep if she was being held or if she was in our bed with us.  She would not even sleep in her swing.  This was very strange for her because she had been sleeping in her crib in her room since we brought her home from the hospital.  Another new mom I know told be she had the same problem with her daughter at around the same age.  She used a cry it out method and had great success. I knew I could not continue to hold Farrah during her naps and let her sleep with us, so I decided to give it a try.  I did a little online reading and set up my plan. {Put Farrah in her crib, once she starts crying I will go in every 10 minutes to giver her her paci, rub her belly, tell her it is nap time yada-yada-yada.}  I had even gotten out my notebook that I jot things down in to do a blog post on later.  I was ready.  Farrah's first nap time came around and I put her in her crib.  She didn't cry or sleep for about 30 minutes.  She just kinda laid there looking around.  Then she rolled over and began to cry.  So, I went in, rolled her back over (she could not roll herself back over at this point), gave her her paci, told her it was nap time, and left the room.  She started crying as soon as I shut her door.  I waited my 10 minutes, went back in, and did the same routine.  Once again she started crying when I shut the door.  I was doing okay with the crying.  The friend I mentioned earlier had warned me that the crying was "put your iPod in" bad.  She was right, it was horrible!  We spent almost her entire nap time with me going in every 10 minutes to comfort her.  The last time I went in (30 minutes until her nap was over) my heart just broke.  Farrah's face and sheet were soaked with tears, her nose was running, and her little face was so red.  Hearing the crying I could handle, seeing that poor little face I could not.  I picked her up, told her I was so sorry, dried off her little face, and held her for the last 30 minutes of her nap.  I learned at that moment that I was not cut out for CIO.  So, I gave up.  That is actually what I wrote in my blog notes "9:00 - GAVE UP".  I have read and heard many success stories with CIO, but it just isn't for me.  Am I still holding Farrah for every nap?  No.  Luckily she has gone back to sleeping in her crib.  I would put her in her crib at nap time and she would usually sleep about 30 minutes, then cry and want to be held.  I would get her and put he her in the swing.  She would not sleep in the swing, but I figured it was still some calm time for her.  Then the next nap I would hold her figuring she needed to sleep.  After about 2 weeks, she went right back to normal.  However, night time is a different story.

The first few nights Farrah slept with us, my husband and I hardly slept at all.  We were so afraid we would roll over on her or something.  Then we started to like having her there.  It was so sweet and special.  But, we know she can't sleep with us forever.  We decided to start putting her back in her crib and night when our monitor started to mess up.  We have a video monitor that I have been absolutely spoiled by.  I LOVE being able to look in on her anytime I want.  I just wake up sometimes during the night and look at her.  The "parent" part of the monitor can be used while plugged in an outlet or you can charge it and make it more portable.  I went to charge it one day and it would not charge.  It would not even work while it was plugged in.  Our house is really not even big enough to need a monitor.  Farrah's room is probably all of 10 steps from our room.  But, I have gotten so used to the monitor that I just can not put her in her room to sleep at night without it.  So, Farrah is still sleeping with us at night until we get the monitor working.  I keep forgetting to check the warranty on it.  Maybe I should do that now...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baby Food - Batch Cooking


Baby Food!

I have been making baby food for a few months now.  I typically make a little here and there.  When we have fruits of vegetables I do not think we are going to eat before they go bad, I make baby food.  Well today I decided to try batch cooking some baby food.  I made apples, plums, and sweet potatoes.  I have made apple baby food several times, but this was my first try with sweet potatoes and plums.  I am going to take you through the general steps I took to make the baby food.  For specific steps on each type, check out my post on apples, plums, and sweet potatoes.

Step 1:  Wash all of the produce.  I cooked the sweet potatoes in the oven, so I preheated my oven before I started washing the produce to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Prepare the produce and start cooking.
  • Sweet Potatoes:  I started with the sweet potatoes because they had the longest to cook.  I pierced the potatoes with a fork, put them in the oven (400 degrees), and set a timer for 45 minutes. 
  • Plums:  Then I went on to the plums.  I cut an X on one side of each plum (to help remove the skins after they cooked) then place them in a pot with about 2 inches of water.  Once they came to a boil, I let them cook for about 5 minutes while I prepared the apples.
  • Apples:  While the plums and sweet potatoes were cooking, I peeled, cored, and chopped the apples.  I put the apples in a pot and covered them with water.  Once they came to a boil, I cooked them for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Blend and store. Once I got the apples in the pot and my cutting board cleaned up, the plums were ready.  So, I blended them with a little water until smooth and poured them in an ice cube tray.  After washing my blender, the apples were ready.  Same thing, blended them with a little water until smooth and poured in an ice cube tray.  I also put some of the apples in containers for the refrigerator for Farrah's dinner and breakfast the next day.  After washing the blender and a few more dishes, the sweet potatoes were ready.  Again, I blended them with (a lot) of water until smooth and poured in an ice cube tray and some containers for the refrigerator.  The sweet potatoes took a lot of water.  Around 2 cups.  It is recommended to use your leftover cooking water, but since I baked the potatoes I had no leftover cooking water.  I did have cooking water left from the apples, so I used that.

After about an hour, I had 5 1/2 cups of homemade baby food.  Which, according to my calculations (1/3 cup a serving), equals a little over 16 containers of Gerber 2nd Foods.  I will definitely watch for sweet potatoes to go on sale and make them as often as I can.  The four sweet potatoes I cooked produced a lot of baby food! 

Here's another look at my end results.
Freezer Stash
Refrigerator Stash

Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

I caught sweet potatoes on sale last week and decided to get some to make for Farrah.  I have to tell you this has been the easiest of any baby food I have made so far.  Here's what I did. 

What do you need?
  • An oven
  • A blender/food processor.  I use a Baby Bullet.
  • Storage containers
Ingredients:  Sweet Potatoes and Water

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2:  Wash the sweet potatoes and prick several times with a fork.

Step 3:  Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes.

Step 4:  Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half.  Scoop out with a spoon.

Step 5:  Place the sweet potatoes and some water in your blender and blend until you reach the desired consistency.  I started with only a little water because all of the baby food I have made so far has needed little to no water.  Sweet potatoes are a different story.  I used about 2 cups of water.  I was batch cooking baby food that day and used the water left from cooking apples.

Step 6:  Pour your sweet potato puree in storage containers.

This picture is of everything I made that day. But, you can see the sweet potatoes I ended up with.
 I used 4 good sized sweet potatoes.  This yielded around 3 cups of puree which is about 8 Gerber 2nds sized servings.

Baby Food - Apples

Apples are something I have made often for Farrah.  So, I decided to do a post on making apples.  I was batch cooking baby food and forgot to take many pictures of the apples!  Maybe next time I make them I will remember to take to pictures to add to this post!

What do you need? 
  • A pot with a lid
  • Blender/food processor.  I use a Baby Bullet.
  • Storage Containers
Ingredients:  Apples and Water

Step 1:  Wash, peel, core and chop your apples.  Sorry, I didn't take a picture of just the apples!

Step 2:  Place your chopped apples in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and boil covered for about 10 minutes, or until fork tender.

Step 3:  Blend your apples with a little of the cooking water (I used about 1/8 of a cup) until you reach your desired consistency.

Step 4:  Pour your apple puree or applesauce in storage containers.

This is everything I made that day.  You can see the apples in the tray on the left and the bullet containers on the right.

I used 5 Fuji apples.  This yielded around 2 cups of puree which is about 6 Gerber 2nds sized servings.

Baby Food - Plums

Here's a play by play of my fist experience of making plum baby food.  I only made a little because Farrah has not been introduced to plums yet.  I would hate to have a freezer full and find out she hates it!  Plums were on sale, so I decided to give it a try.

What do you need?
  • A pot with a lid
  • A blender/food processor of some type.  I use a Baby Bullet.
  • Containers for storage.  I used ice cube trays to freeze, then I pop them out and store in a freezer bag.
Ingredients:  Plums and water.

Step 1:  Wash the plums and cut an X in to one side of each plum.  This makes it easy to remove the skin after cooking.

Step 2:  Place the plums in a pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Make sure the X is submerged in the water.  Let boil gently for about 5 minutes.
Step 3:  Run cold water over the plums or submerge in ice water.  Then, remove the skins and seeds.
Step 4:  Place the plums in your blender (I tore them in to small chunks) with a little water (I started with about 1/2 tbsp).  Blend, adding water as needed, until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 5:  Pour your plum puree in the container of your choice and freeze or refrigerate if you plan on using within a couple of days. 

Didn't it turn out beautiful!  I did learn a few things during this process.  Plums are messy!  My cutting board and I were a mess after removing the skins and the seeds.  I may try baking them next time as suggested on this site.  Maybe it would not be as messy if I only had the skin to remove and not the seed! 

I used 5 small plums.  That yielded about  a little less that 1 cup of puree which is about 2 - 3 Gerber 2nds sized servings.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Sixth Month

 I can not believe we have made it to the sixth month already!  This month started my summer break.  So, I am home with Farrah until August!  Farrah has been a busy little baby this month.  She is much more active and grabs for her toys and bottle now.  Farrah also started noticing one of our cats this month.  His name is Mouse, yes a cat named Mouse.  We have two, but for some reason Farrah really only pays attention to one of them.  She loves to watch him and smile at him.  However, he pays not attention to her other than the occasional sniff of her head.  We also added a Bumbo seat to our collection of baby items.  Farrah seems to enjoy it.  As far as milestones go, Farrah rolled over this month.  So far she only rolls from back to tummy to her left.  She did roll from tummy to back a few times, but she doesn't exactly have the hang of it.  The rolling has not caused a huge problem in her sleeping.  Farrah sleeps swaddled.  I have been swaddling her with her arms out so she can hold her head up if she does roll over.  She is having a difficult time adjusting to sleeping with her arms out.  This seems to cause more disruptions in her sleep then the rolling.  The last few days she has been having trouble sleeping though.  For naps, I typically just hold her when she starts to act sleepy and she falls asleep.  Then, I take her to her bed and swaddle her.  We typically have no problems.  At night, I swaddle her, then rock her to sleep.  Again, we typically have no problems.  But, for the last 4 days as soon as I put her in her crib (for naps and nighttime), she wakes up and can not get herself back to sleep.  She seems to only want to sleep if she is being held.  Last night was the worst.  We tried several times to help her get back to sleep with no success.  They only way she would sleep was if we held her or put her in our bed with us.  I have no idea what is causing this.  Any suggestions?  

As far as solids, Farrah is up to two meals a day.  We had already introduced rice cereal and squash.  Now we have added bananas, prunes, apples, peas, carrots, and oatmeal.  Farrah is a really good eater! I am also still making a lot of her baby food.  If you didn't see my post on making baby food, check it out.  Baby Food - Zucchini
Enjoying the sun.
Loving her Bumbo!

Homemade Baby Food

Farrah's Schedule 
6:30-7:30 - Bottle and Wake-time
7:30-9:00 - Nap
9:00-10:30 - 1-2 Tbsp. Oatmeal plus 1- 2 Tbsp. Fruit and Wake-time (plus a 2 oz. bottle)
10:30-12:00 - Nap
12:00-1:30 - Bottle and Wake-time
1:30-3:00 - Nap
3:00-4:30 - Bottle and Wake-time
4:30-5:30/6 - Nap
6:00-7:00 - 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. Rice Cereal plus  2-3 Tbsp. Vegetable and Wake-time
7:00-8/8:30 - Nap (sometimes)
8/8:30 - Bottle and Bedtime