When Emmet was teeny we literally had no idea what we were doing. Each time we went to see his doctor we were super surprised at what new things he told us. I remember his 4 month appointment being super exciting because his doctor told us we could start introducing rice cereal and purees. Partly because it just seemed really exciting to give him food AND because I was getting tired of breastfeeding so much (and pumping in the library closet at work).
Fast forward to this time around with Henry. This time I was expecting to start food at 4 months, but our doctor suggested waiting until 6 months instead..he has since switched over to the "baby led weaning". We decided to try it out but ended up caving and introducing rice cereal at 5 months to help fill his belly at night. If I could go back, I think I would have just started feeding Henry purees in addition to rice cereal around 5 months as well. He seemed ready.
From my understanding, when practicing baby-led weaning, you wait until babies show readiness signs for feeding themselves and you simply start placing small pieces of food in front of them for them to eat. So after our 6 month appointment we tried for a few days and I found it incredibly inefficient, at least for having 2 kids around. So instead I started introducing purees and putting out small pieces for him to practice with at the same time.
When Emmet was little I was still working and the idea of making our own purees seemed really daunting, so we bought the plastic ones from the grocery store. This time around I also decided to brave making my own baby food because a) I have more time and b) because we are trying to waste less and the idea of throwing out 3+ plastic containers a day (aka 21 little plastic containers a WEEK) seemed incredibly wasteful. As it turns out it is not hard at all! I spend a lot of time in our kitchen anyways with Emmet on eating or making art at the dining room table, so chopping up a few vegetables and steaming them doesn't seem to add too much to our day.
I think what made it less scary to start out was finding the cookbook, The Big Book of Organic Baby Food. We don't always adhere to organic part, BUT it spells out step by step how to make smooth purees, chunky purees, and more! Plus, it also suggests a variety of vegetables and flavor combinations that I wouldn't have ever thought to feed a baby. So hopefully with trying vegetables that Emmet never has, Henry ends up being a far less picky eater! Plus we get to rest easy knowing exactly what is in Henry's food and that he is getting a healthy diet.
We didn't completely drop the baby led weaning practice that our doctor suggested. Instead, I leave some of each vegetables steamed and not pureed. Then when I am feeding him a puree, I also give him some of the chunks instead. I just make sure they are small enough and soft enough that he can safely eat. Bananas, avocados, and the center of bread work really easily in a pinch too!
Making our own food also gives us the benefit of wasting FAR LESS plastic and trash in general. We use only glass, silicone, wood and metal when possible, and only things that are entirely reusable. We also have been composting all of the vegetable scraps in hopes of using it in our garden in the spring (to grow Henry even more vegetables!) Below are some of the supplies we use:
The Big Book of Organic Food -
Glass Jars - I used 4 oz jam jars that are now sold out on amazon, but these are similar in function and size. Bonus, they are perfect for storing baby food and feeding babies from AND they can be reused for something else later on.
Silicone Freezer Tray - For freezing 2 oz portions of food to use later. The recipe book uses frozen portions to make the combination purees (aka apple & pear puree, etc)
Ninja Blender - I used this blender until I warped the plastic by putting in food too hot, whoops. Now we use our Ninja Blender and it works just as well.
Re-Usable Baby Food Pouches - Emmet got really into these pouches at about 1 year, they were really handy for letting him feed himself a puree so I could get some things done. We used disposable ones then, and again felt really wasteful. These are reusable and dishwasher safe!
Silicone Bib - Keeps food off of Henry AND it is dishwasher safe. You are welcome.
Bamboo Baby Spoons - We also use their plates, bowls, and child sized cutlery for Emmet.
Stock Pot with Steamer Insert - The book has you steam just about everything, this one works just great.
After I had Emmet, I started out taking photos and doing updates on him every month to and it started to feel like way too much. For the first few not a whole lot changed each time; he could push up on his arms, then roll, then crawl, ate a new food, etc. So I decided to start doing them every three months and then to every six months instead, but now it feels like he is almost a brand new kid every single month! I guess we can't always win!
As I write this, Emmet is standing at the coffee table "playing" with 8 different colors of play dough (aka getting them out and leaving them out to dry) and opening and closing the bag of bananagram tiles and exclaiming about it being open and closed. Because in the last six months he went from saying a handful of words to learning at least one new word a day, to speaking in full sentences, to singing songs, "reading" a few of his books, and cracking me up with his banter. He knows all of his colors (the way he says "yebbow" is my favorite), shapes (his favorite is a pentagon), and can count to ten. He narrates almost everything he does or witnesses and will repeat it until it is acknowledged.
He is all about music these days. He has always enjoyed it, especially movies with terrific soundtracks, like Moana, Coco, and Frozen. Now he even picks out songs that he likes as we listen to music on our Google Home. He sings along and requests his favorites, like "Rocket Man" and "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John, "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons, and "Don't Stop, Color on the Walls" by Foster the People. I made him a play list with all of his favorites and his face lights up and he exclaims with joy for every. single. one. He even changes the words to make up his own songs; like "Rocketman eats _____ (Mac and Cheese, Yog-uh-t, chocolate chips, ...). And he inserts names/things into the "I love you song" that I sing him. "Emmet, I love you. Emmet, Emmet, Emmet" becomes about Henry, Mama, Dada, Moose, Boogers, Mac and Cheese, etc.
He has an amazing way of playing that I find fascinating to watch. I call it "creative tinkering." He combines his toys to play with them in a whole new way and latches on to the weirdest things. Like the penguin and the monkey that he often plays with together that I think might "live" in the microwave of his play kitchen. His current favorite toys are his flashlight (or any light), his rock collection, that he transfers from their jar to any other container (or all over my bed), and his duplos, that he has started to build and label things with. The other day he turned with one of his creations and said, "It's an airplane!" and then made it fly around while making airplane sounds. I was in shock.
But I think, most of all, my current favorite thing about him is how much he loves and cares for other people. He is obsessed with Henry, brings him toys and his pacifier, tells him he is okay when he is sad, and whispers quietly when he is asleep. He chases Moose all around the house and gives him kisses (Moose isn't always a HUGE fan of it...) and pets him gently (most of the time). He gets so excited when he sees his favorite people and he talks about them all the time, like his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Or babysitter Caroline, his preschool teacher Ms. Kristin, or his Lolly at the Coffee Shop. PLUS, his snuggles and kisses make my heart absolutely melt.
He still has his two and a half year old moments, because he is two and a half and it would be weird if he didn't. He is the pickiest human I have ever met when it comes to food, he throws the occasional tantrum, and screams rather than using one of his new words. But the majority of the time he is the sweetest, happiest, most loving little kid I have ever met. He is everything I could have ever hoped for in a kid.
Henry - Weighs 15lbs 1.5oz and is 26 inches long, tall and skinny and with a big (adorable) head! Loves to roll and can sit for short periods of time, but usually topples over (probably due to his large head). Loves his pacifier. Sleeps pretty well at night once he falls asleep, but lately he would rather stay up and play. Loves his big brother a LOT, he could watch him play all day long and giggles at him constantly. Is super happy and a little social butterfly! Gets to start eating food! He tried avocado this morning and sort of liked it.
Mama - Is glad to be getting more sleep at night. loves to snuggle with her little baby. is excited to start feeding him real food. loves to watch her boys play together.
I've added a brand new card to the shop! An A2 sized wreath of beautiful greens printed on 100% savoy cotton paper. The perfect card to accompany your baby gifts, for those who aren't comfortable giving their friend a boob card.
My new favorite textile design! A splatter of dainty, tiny black dots on a crisp white background. Perfect for boys or girls in a neutral nursery. Perfect for fitting into any design or theme. Simple, easy, and beautiful and available as a blanket, burp rag, or teether toy.
The wait is over! For those who love my watercolor ICT flag but don't have a baby to wrap in a blanket I now have a 5x7 print available! Printed on thick, velvet fine art paper.
Hello Little One Greeting Card
A2 card (4.25x5.5 inch) on 100% savoy cotton paper.
Featuring a print of an original watercolor and ink illustration.
Tiny Dots Baby Blanket
Soft Organic Cotton Knit Fabric
Original Illustrations printed on one side
Approximately 33x35 inches wide and serged around the edges.
Pre-washed in all natural lavender detergent.
Care Instructions: Machine wash warm or cool on a gentle/delicate setting, using phosphate-free detergent. Machine dry using a low temperature or permanent press setting and remove promptly to avoid wrinkles.
Tiny Dots Burp Rag
Three Layers: Soft Organic Cotton Knit Fabric, Thick Cotton Batting, Soft & Absorbent White Flannel
Original Illustrations printed on one side
Approximately 9x19 inches wide and serged around the edges.
Pre-washed in all natural lavender detergent.
Care Instructions: Machine wash warm or cool on a gentle/delicate setting, using phosphate-free detergent. Machine dry using a low temperature or permanent press setting and remove promptly to avoid wrinkles
TIny Dots Teether Toy
Entertain your little one with this adorable bison print wooden ring teether toy. They are perfect for gripping, biting, shaking, and throwing- the perfect toy for keeping your little one busy and happy!
Each teether toy is made out of two layers of printed soft organic cotton knit fabric that are professionally serged around the edges to give it a finished look. Fabric is then tied around an all natural wood ring without chemicals or treatments added, only the pure and natural beeswax blend to protect and seal the wood organically to keep it from splintering and preserve the wood.
Saw Henry was nakie and needed to be nakie too
Emmet is unable to bring just one toy to Henry
He gave my legs a big hug shortly after this photo was taken
Classic Henry Face
Classic Henry Face #2
My favorite thing he does
None of the fruit, bacon, or banana pancakes were consumed by this toddler, the chocolate chip pancakes, however, he did quite enjoy