Friday, 26 February 2016

Weaning With Allergies

One thing that I really want to help educate people on (although certainly no expert myself!) is allergies vs intolerances. It wasn't a topic I was too clued up on before having children and was in the bracket that now annoys me, of the uneducated sort that put both allergies and intolerances in the same category. They are completely different and one is more harmful than the other, so in this post, I want to talk about what we've found in our allergy experience.

Grace is never a fan of an empty bowl!
Unless you're new to this post, you may know that Grace has been diagnosed with having a cow milk protein allergy. It's thought that as many as 1 in 4 people are affected by some form of allergy, and about half of these are children. Grace's allergy was discovered after a few weeks of difficulties following birth, she began to come out in hives followed by eczema (which neither myself or my husband suffer with), along with a lot of tummy problems.

Always eyeing up her next spoonful!
Intolerance symptoms are usually bloating, excess wind, general discomfort and diarrhoea but if you suspect your baby has any of these symptoms, please speak with your GP to discuss this further. An allergic reaction is when you react to a protein in a food and it involves the immune system. The common food proteins that can cause a reaction include peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, cow’s milk, eggs, soya and wheat. It isn’t really known what causes most food intolerances, but lactose (milk sugar) intolerance is due to having less of the enzyme in your body which breaks it down.

Working alongside Hipp Organic, their nutritionist Helen has a great deal of experience and information with allergies and you can find a lot of this on the Hipp Organic website. Use the Quick Find search tool on the site to see which products are suitable for your dietary needs. I find the tool so handy when I'm trying to look which products are suitable for Grace, I wish that there were free-from sections in the baby weaning aisles, it would save me so much time hunting through the ingredients!

Have you had any experience with weaning with allergies? I'd love to hear any tips in the comments about what you found on your journey.

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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Weaning Month 1

Weaning is well under way now and we've just completed our first month of solids. Grace is now fully adapted to solid food and knows what she likes and dislikes. She much prefers solid food to milk so it's been a fun experiment. Here's how we've got on in the past month:

As I've mentioned in my previous posts, we are involved in the Hipp Organic Wean Team so for Grace's solids, we use a combination of homemade food as well as Hipp Organic jars and pouches whilst on the go. Grace is 5 1/2 months so we're still on purees, mainly single tastes, but also combining familiar flavours.

In the first month, we started with baby rice at lunchtime twice a day for a fortnight. It helped to adapt to the texture and consistency and wasn't a huge jump from liquid to flavours. After 2 weeks we then introduced dinner and stuck to just fruits and vegetables. Due to Grace's reflux and milk allergy, we were already well researched on the foods to be wary of or avoid completely.

We're slowly introducing more variety of foods including meat over the next few weeks in month 2, before working our way up to more lumpy solids gradually. She's been coping well with the technique of opening her mouth and swallowing easily, but it did take around a week for her to get to the stage that she'd open her mouth as she saw the spoon heading towards her mouth.

Grace loves food and is becoming more aware of the different tastes. She still pulls the disgusted face at the start of each meal which makes me laugh, but then realises she actually likes it and by the end, she's looking for more. She'd happily have fruit for every meal, so I make sure to give more vegetables to ensure she doesn't start to refuse them and just go for the sweet option.

We started the third meal of the day on the fourth week after slowly introducing each meal time, starting with lunch time and lastly introducing breakfast. She has absorbed the whole weaning process and I'm really proud of how well she's taken to it! 

I'll do another update following the next month but stay tuned for a post specifically targeted at how we're coping with regards to Grace's allergy.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Not so long back I put a post up on Instagram about Grace's scrapbook that I started when she was born. I had quite a bit of positive feedback and messages from people eager to start their own scrapbook, mainly from new mums, who were wondering where to begin. I got the inspiration from various Instagram accounts, but mainly Pinterest which is the source of all inspiration! I've made a board on Pinterest (link) with some ideas.

It took me a while to get into it properly and collate all the bits together to put into the scrapbook, but I do it when I have time once Grace is in bed. I wanted to do a Project Life scrapbook, but not only is that expensive, this is actually more flexible in terms of what you can do with the pages and input. I started by getting a 12 x 12 plain brown scrapbook album from Hobbycraft but there are various colours and styles available.

The other main essentials that you need for scrapbooking are pens - metallic preferred depending on your background colour (here), tape - I prefer double sided tape (here) and glue sticky dots (here), washi tape and of course; photos, memories and anything else you'd like to put in there.

Work in progress..retro prints from Cheerz. Referral code PAUIAL for £4 off your first order!
 I get all of my photos, other than the ones shown above, printed using apps such as Snapfish and Freeprints. Every month they give free prints (50 with Snapfish and 45 with Freeprints), you just need to pay P&P and it's really quick delivery. I also look out regularly for print offers on Wowcher as they usually do offers such as 100 prints for £1 or 200 for £2 etc, so it's worth checking to see if they have a deal before ordering.

Ebay is my main source for most of my scrapbook supplies and I am obsessed with washi tape! There are endless types on there and for so cheap too. Here is a link to see what I mean. It's so addictive! I use washi tape for sticking down photos or using as borders on pages but the possibilities are endless. I've got a lot of random stickers from Ebay too, such as the heart ones shown below.

Another favourite place is TK Maxx/Homesense. They have American brands often at a fraction of the online price. My favourite buy was definitely the Simple Stories Snap Baby Girl set below, it's still in store too if you have a girl! The alpha stickers are from there too.

Favourite websites for scrapbooking supplies


And that's all there is to it. It's rather addictive, therapeutic and I love adding bits to it. It'll be something lovely for Grace to look back on in time and for me too! If you decide to be inspired enough to start one please let me know, I'd love to see your progress!

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