Another two months has gone by, so again I decided it would be easier to compile month 10 and 11 together this time as well. I mean, since Rio’s been on the move, I feel like I haven’t sat down to rest for weeks and weeks! It’s been so full on, with days and months going into one another, and I can safely say that I’ve never been this tired in my life. Not just mentally, but physically, as Rio’s such a big boy. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he’s so solid, strong and healthy – but it’s been pretty heavy and strenuous for me (especially with him going through the most intense separation anxiety for the past few months). When that said, these past few months have been so much more fun and rewarding! Yes, even though it’s been a quite tiring with the constant clinginess – it’s still pretty amazing that he now fully knows who I am, and although he’s a super active and boisterous boy, it’s been so much fun seeing him develop at such speed. So read on for all the various updates, news and any advice I’ll be sharing from the past few months – including his new routine, a sleep update, some breastfeeding news, a typical meal plan for Rio, his favourite toys and activities, including some personal wellness updates which are making all the difference to my health…
Rio’s 10/11-Month Routine
The main change since the last update, is that I’ve finally cut out the 11am feed. This wasn’t too hard actually, as I just replaced it with a snack (usually a homemade energy bar) and lots of water. I’ve also been planning on cutting out the 3pm feed this past one month, but as he still seems to want it, I’ve continued giving it to him (but I’m planning on stopping it in these coming weeks).
Other main changes is that he’s shortened his morning sleep. This has been a really gradual process and something which he’s naturally done by himself. Up until 3-4 weeks ago, he was still doing 1-1 hour 15 min in the mornings, but then suddenly he jumped down to 50 min, 40 min and now 30 min, which is the current average. Although I was expecting this to happen – I also think it had something to do with me starting to have him out in the pram every morning (which was not out of choice, but due to noisy building work in the house next to us). His main lunch nap is not consistently as long as I would like it to be (I’m happy if he does at least 1 hour 20 min – although on a rare occasion he does nearly 2 hours), but I’m hoping now that his morning nap is so short, his lunch time will continue to extend.
To summarise the feeding and solids below, Rio now has 3 milk feeds, 3 solid meals, 1-2 snacks in total every day.
Current Day Time Schedule:
6-7am – Wake & milk feed
7.30am – Light morning playtime
8am – Breakfast
8.30am – Light morning playtime
9am – Sleep (anything from 30min – 45min) – nursery or out and about in his pram
10pm – Playtime
10.30 – Snack
11pm – Playtime
12pm – Lunch
12.30am – Playtime
13pm – Sleep (anything from 1 – 2 hour) – always in his nursery.
3-3.30pm – Milk feed followed by snack
3.30pm – 5pm – Playtime
5/5.30pm – Dinner
6pm – Light play time in his nursery, with nappy free time
6.30pm – Bath time & massage
6.45/7pm – Final milk feed
7/7.30pm – Bedtime
The aim going forward is to cut out the 3pm milk feed completely, and make his lunch time a consistent, 2 hour nap.
The thing with sleep (or lack thereof), is that you quickly forget. That horrible 8-10 month sleep regression seems suddenly like a distant memory, and sleepless nights whilst on holiday are nearly all forgotten as well… I’m now pleased to say that his sleep has been great these past few months! Except for the recent 2-3 weeks, where he’s been waking at 5.30am, he has consistently been sleeping through for the past 5-7 weeks, from 7pm-ish at night, until 6-7am (bar the random early wake ups these last few weeks). It’s funny that; what I would have done in the past for a 7pm-5.30am sleep – yet when you get the taste of what life is like with a 11-12 hour sleeping baby, you start complaining when it regresses just slightly again!
This early morning start may have something to do with his 2 new teeth which has ripped through (he now has 10 teeth), and the fact that he’s a super active and alert baby. He sleeps deep when he sleeps, but always seems eager for cuddles and plays when he wakes up (he’s seldom very happy being left on his own to play in hit cot in the mornings).
To summarise, night time sleep is generally really good! We had to resort to some mild controlled crying during the 8-10 month sleep regression (it took 3-4 nights and we were back on track), and all night feeds are finally also a distant memory. He’s generally much easier to settle now and is a pretty good sleeper, considering the fact that he’s still 100% exclusively breast fed (studies have shown that babies which are EBF, have generally more distrusted sleep, than formula fed babies).
Although breastfeeding is going well and I still haven’t had a proper bite yet (even with 10 teeth and all), it’s definitely starting to take a toll on my health. There’s also a lot of things I can’t do health wise, because I’m breastfeeding (who knew how many things weren’t breastfeeding safe!), so it’s looking likely that I might be cutting things down in the next few months, which I’m feeling really sad about to be honest. My aim was always to exclusively breast feed for at least 12 months, which as I write this, is only 3-4 weeks away – so whatever happens, I’m still really pleased with being fortunate enough to have come so far in my breastfeeding journey.
If it was up to me, I would continue to breast feed for a lot longer, as it’s something which I really enjoy, not to mention the bond I have with Rio from it. I have however realised these past few weeks – with various health scares – that I really need to get my body and wellness back on track, and some of the treatment required isn’t possible whilst breastfeeding. I’m not sure when exactly I will be stopping, but in the next month or so I will see how I feel, and perhaps look into starting some kind of weaning process… Not only will this benefit my own health, but the fact that I can more easily let other people help out (without having to plan ahead and pump etc.), will also give us so much more freedom. When he turns 12 months, he can also move straight over to cows milk, which will probably make things a lot straight forward too.
I can also reveal that I’ve been working on a breastfeeding blog post which will be going live in the next month or so, where I’m sharing my journey from the very beginning until 12months +. So stay tuned for that (and leave a comment below or e-mail me directly, if there’s something specifically you want to know!).
Food & Recipes
If you follow me on Instagram and watch my IG stories, I’m sure you would have noticed that I have been sharing a lot more of Rio’s meals and recipes as of late. Since the last update, we’ve now moved more over to BLW (baby led weaning), and it’s been so much fun! I would say we’re now doing BLW 80% of the time (he still enjoys being spoon fed his creamy goats milk porridge in the mornings and his favourite turkey bolognese). Fortunately, I really love cooking and have been enjoying planning, prepping and cooking all of his meals. It’s also been so much more fun and engaging when he’s been eating most of his food by himself (of course it helps that he has so many teeth).
In the last update I told you about his good appetite and that he would basically eat anything I gave him. This is still partly true, although since we moved more over to BLW, he’s definitely become more selective; eating his favourite part on the plate first, and if he really doesn’t like something towards the end, it ends up on the floor. Weaning and feeding him solids has generally been a really fun and relatively easy process, and we’re so lucky with him consistently having such a good appetite and not being fussy. I’m sure we have challenging times ahead, as I can already see him become a bit more particular, but I’m hoping the fact that I’ve always given him such a mixed diet (he loves my lentil stew with seaweed for example) and lots of green herbs and spices such as cumin, mild curry, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg etc., has also given him a more varied taste palette. Another thing which has made BLW so much easier, is that he can now eat what we’re having (we just add the salt and pepper to ours afterwards). This saves so much time on batch cooking and freezing his meals, and also makes it more fun when we can actually sit down and eat together!
Last but not least, after a lot of requests, I thought I would share a typical meal plan for Rio, where I’m giving 2-3 examples per meal. In last month’s update, I shared some books and Instagram accounts I follow – but since then, I’ve been freestyling it on my own, and just making it up as I go. I love experimenting with different flavours and food pairings (and love seeing Rio how reacts to all the different foods I give him).
1. Banana Buckwheat Pancakes (buckwheat flour, eggs, flax and chia seeds, cows milk and mashed banana) with a slices of orange, peaches, apples or pears
2. Creamy porridge with cows milk and goats milk yoghurt topped with banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
3. Scrambled egg, with smoked salmon, avocado and some sourdough or rye toast
1. Energy balls (dried apricots, dates, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut oil)
2. Apple slices or rice cakes with almond butter
1. Chickpea fusilli with hummus, a side of white fish, together with sliced avocado, cucumber and tomatoes
2. Pan fried tofu with sweet potato cubes, broccoli and a boiled egg
3. Lentils or chickpea patties (lentils/chickpeas, fried onion/garlic, spices, buckwheat flour) with a side of greens
1. Rice cake with hummus or almond butter
2. Banana or dried apricots
1. Turkey or beef bolognese with pasta
2. Roasted potatoes or butternut squash with parmesan, grilled chicken and broccoli/green beans/courgette
3. Lentil stew (mushrooms, tomatoes, courgette, onion, garlic and dried seaweed) with a side of salmon
So as you can see, quite a big variety of different foods, all seasoned well, and either cooked in organic ghee or coconut oil (sometimes olive or rapeseed oil too). I’m also still giving him BioCare Baby Infantis Powder (probiotics) and BioCare
Baby A, C, D Plus Drops every single day.
10-11 Months Activities & General Development
I get a lot of questions about what activities I do with Rio, now that he’s got a lot bigger and he’s way more alert and active; basically, how to entertain a baby who get’s bored quite easily. So we’re still doing our weekly classes – swimming, music and sensory classes. Then I’m doing more play groups with friends, as he loves the stimulation and fun with the other babies (he’s fascinated around older children too), and I take him to the park and swings every other day. Swimming has been a great activity to do with him, and I’ve seen a real improvement and development in his confidence and personality with this. In his other classes, he is definitely one of the more active ones (keeps me on my toes – quite literally!), but fortunately he’s always smiling and enjoying the interaction and playing. So although it can be strenuous in terms of him being constantly on the move, crawling from one spot to the other, he’s always so content and happy (most of the time), so it’s definitely worth it.
When that said, and aside from when we’re together at classes and play groups – he’s developed a pretty intense separation anxiety (it’s been full on for the past 6 weeks). It’s especially around me – I can literally hardly leave a room without him starting to cry. Even when I’m just in the kitchen, which is a few metres away from his play area, and he can see me, he still gets frantic, crawls over and climbs onto me so I hold him. This has definitely been the most challenging thing which has happened so far, and it’s pretty relentless (and has also meant I’ve had to stop putting him in the gym creche – more on that further down). When that said, he’s fine when I leave him with our nanny, friends or family (especially if he’s left in his own environment), which is good, but it’s still hard when I haven’t been able to use the gym creche, or walk into another room when we’re at home, without him going a bit frantic. I’m really hoping it will settle soon!
In terms of walking, although he can walk aided holding on to his walker, I still think we’re quite away from walking on his own, and I’m fine with this to be honest. He’s so strong, climbs stairs, crawls so fast, so I don’t think there’s any rush at all! Everything will happen when the time is right.
In terms of toys, he loves lego, cars, even dolls and soft toys (he loves to cuddle these), play with books and instruments. He still uses his ball pit, both walkers, and I’ve recently got him a portable playpen/teepee which he loves – although I seldom leave him in it (I keep the front open so he can roam in and out), because of his separation anxiety – so I just end up using when it’s shut, if I have to do something really quickly. I’m glad we didn’t end up getting a large and solid playpen unit to be honest, as he wouldn’t have liked using it, and although it would be the safest scenario having a playpen, there’s something quite nice letting him explore and have that bit more space and freedom to crawl around. In general, I’m trying to let him do this as much as he wants within the house, at baby classes or in the garden (within reason, of course). I find the more I’m doing this, the less frustrated and angry he gets. I also think that he respects when I say ‘no’ a lot more (as I don’t end up saying it all the time). Of course, with this method, I have to be way more hands own and watch his every move (which can be pretty time consuming), but for now anyways, this is what’s been working for us (I’m sure this will change when he starts to be really naughty!).
My Health & Fitness
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I gave birth to Rio. This time last year I was so uncomfortable, so heavy and so ready to meet my man! I never thought much about how my own body and wellness post baby would be, and as spoke about in the last update, it took me months to get it back on track. Over 11 months later, and I’m still feeling the effects of being pregnant – and there are so many underlying issues I want to get sorted. Which goes back to one of the main reasons I’m now considering cutting down on the breastfeeding. One of those things are Chinese herbs, which is something which worked wonders on my body when I was trying to conceive, and I know will really help with getting my hormone levels and body back in balance. As soon as I can start, I will continue to take the herbs in conjunction with my weekly acupuncture sessions (which are a god send for my body and mind at the moment).
In other news, my nanny has officially started this week! I’m so excited (Rio is too), and it feels good to have one whole day a week to myself. I could have had her more, but for now, that was the amount I wanted. I had also been popping Rio into the creche every week for an hour here and there, but since his separation anxiety kicked in around 6-7 weeks ago, it’s been a no-go. So after a long break, I popped him in this week for the first time in 6 weeks, and it was actually ok! Not great, but slightly better than before, so I will continue to preserve, so I can finally get back into the gym.
In terms of fitness, I have still been doing yoga as much as I can (when daddy day care has kicked in at the weekends), as well as some weights, general toning and light cardio on the gym floor. I’m still suffering from back issues and a seriously weak core, so I’m also planning on starting with a PT in the new few weeks, to help regain strength and stability back in my body.
Other things I’m trying to prioritise, and will be a lot easier to get done now that I have a nanny once a week, are bi-weekly thai massages (so hard, but so good!). I suffer from a lot of tension in the neck and back, and this really helps loosen things up. I’m also excited to start having more general pampering, such as my nails and hair (I try to go to Josh Wood for cut and colour every 8-10 weeks) and last but not least, having monthly facials at my favourite, Face Place at Rosewood Hotel. Their signature facial has been my go-to for years, always leaving my skin glowing and so much brighter.
Then the supplements I’m taking at the moment on a daily basis, is Wild Nutrition Food-Grown Breast-Feeding Complex, Wild Nutrition Pure Strength Omega 3 and BioCare BioAcidophilus Forte (probiotics).
Please leave a comment below, or drop me an e-mail, if there is anything else you would like me to cover in my next update!