We were recently very kindly contacted by the lovely people at Studio Kids Design and asked if we would like to sample one of their lovely personalised kids melanine plates.
We were delighted, and I headed straight to their website to browse the available designs.
There are so many beautiful designs to choose from, or you can upload a photo to be used instead.
I decided on a pirate ship design as it just stood out to me as being so cute and such a lovely plate for a growing little boy - if Tyne had been younger there were some beautiful baby-oriented ones available too which would be perfect for keepsake gifts for new births or christenings.
Once I had selected my design, I was able to add on the text I wanted - in my case Tyne's name - and could then amend the size and the font design and colour to suit my taste.
Once my plate was ordered, I waited for it to arrive - just 2 days later it was here, and I was so impressed by the quality!
The design is gorgeous, and I know this plate will be cherished for years to come by my little pirate!
At just £13.49 I think this is a real bargain for a beautiful and unusual gift, and I really can't recommend the service, quality or the ease of use of the website highly enough.
You can make your own keepsake plate at www.studiokidsdesign.com
Speaking of dinner ware leads me on to another topic I've been meaning to discuss......
You hear a lot of talk about weaning - people starting, progress reports, and so on.
But I have noticed that these days, most of what you hear/read/see is all about the Baby Led approach.
BLW is very in vogue right now, and it's what a lot of people are choosing to practice and by all accounts its what a lot of health professionals are recommending.
But it's not for everyone.
And it wasn't for us.
I read about it while I was pregnant, and I knew right away I wouldn't be taking that route.
I have always had a real fear of choking - for myself and for people around me, I get scared when Jon eats a boiled sweet and he's a grown man! It's just always been one of my anxiety triggers.
And having nannied and worked in nurseries for years, I experienced a lot of near-choking incidents with babies - I am fully aware that the gag reflex is there to protect them and what can appear as choking is just the baby coughing up the food - but I also know that (in spite of the first aid training I have had) I not equipped to deal with it - in all of the situations I was in, I froze.
I panicked, and shrieked and stood back as other staff members resolved the situation.
So I knew I wasn't going to be following this approach with my own baby as most of the time there would be nobody else to help me and I have experienced my panic in these situations enough times to know that I do not react well.
Also - I have surprised myself by being quite a traditional mother.
I am somewhat of a "hippy" in most aspects of life - I always have been.
I read a lot of spiritual works, I practise meditation, I practise many different kinds of divination, I go to healing classes, I attend spiritualist churches, I go to folk festivals, I even lean toward a hippy-ish dress sense most of the time - so I thought that I would lean toward more baby-led approaches as a parent but instead I have favoured traditional methods.
My mindset has very much been "This is what I was raised on....it worked for me, it will probably work for my child too".
And so far....I have been right.
So what has our weaning journey been like?
We started Tyne on solid foods ahead of the recommended 6 month stage because we felt he was displaying all the classic signs of being ready, and he had always been a very hungry baby.
So we started off with baby rice at 17 weeks.
He wasn't much of a fan of baby rice (who can blame him!) but it helped him to learn how to swallow something thicker than milk - so after a few days of trying, we moved on to pureed carrot.
We then introduced different fruit and vegetable purees over the coming weeks.
By 6 months old, Tyne was well away - being spoon fed lunch and dinner each day and thoroughly enjoying EVERYTHING we tried him with.
We moved on to Stage 2 lumpier foods at approximately 9 months - he managed the transition very well and didn't seem to notice any change.
However we did try to introduce finger foods at this stage and he did not handle them well. He didn't seem to understand how much his mouth could handle and chose to put things into his mouth whole no matter what the size - he then couldn't chew the amount in his mouth and would end up gagging.
We stopped the finger foods for a while, and stuck with lumpy mashed up foods and soft things such as rice and pasta.
We still spoon fed but allowed him to self feed things like rice with his hands (we offered a spoon but he never used it).
Now he is 1 year old - at around 11 months we re-introduced finger foods and he seemed completely ready for them.
He now seems to understand how much to bite off, and chews well - he doesn't gag on things anymore, and can eat pretty much whatever we eat cut into bite size chunks and can self feed things such as breadstricks, biscotti, crisps, rice cakes, banana, etc.
I hear a lot of people say that they think BLW is to thank for their children not being fussy with their food but I have to say that I personally feel this could just as easily be down to the personality of the child rather than the weaning method as in his whole life so far Tyne has only ever refused ONE meal - this happened 2 weeks ago, and was a dinner of jacket potato with tuna - he happily ate the jacket potato but did not want to know about the tuna and kept spitting it back out.
I think that considering he is a year old and has only ever refused one meal (and he is exposed to a very varied diet with a range of meats, vegetables, spices etc) he is doing pretty well.
He thoroughly enjoys meal times, and loves to self feed with his hands although he has yet to learn how to hold a spoon!
He has recently learnt to drink through a straw too which he seems to really enjoy.
So in summary, I have found our traditional puree & spoon fed approach to weaning to be the right one for us - and I will follow it again with any future children we have.
How was your weaning experience? Did you try something different?
As always, I'd love to hear from you!
Coming Soon On Sparkles & Stretchmarks: Dressing The Baby - The Easter Edition