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Thursday, October 27, 2016

1 Week of Homemade Baby Food : Strawberry-Banana, Pear-Banana, Avocado-Banana, Mango, and Pear

I have really been enjoying making baby food for Mr. Calvin, so I thought I'd tell you guys a little about what I whipped up for him this week.

He's eating 4-6 ounces of baby food daily these days, so what I accomplished today comes out to a little more than one week's worth of food. It took me about an hour and a half, perfect timing for baby's nap. 

1 banana + 3 strawberries = 4 oz food
2 pears + 2 oz breast milk = 12 oz food
1 pear + 1 banana = 6 oz food
2 avocados + 1 banana + 3.5 oz breast milk = 12 oz food
2 mangoes = 12 oz food (FYI mangoes seem to be controversial as a first baby food)

So here's a little price breakdown in case you're wondering. Keep in mind produce costs can vary.
3 organic bananas $.87
2 avocados $1.96
2 mangoes $2.00
3 pears $1.75
3 organic strawberries $.72 (damn expensive strawberries! haha)
total cost $7.30 for 46 oz = $.16 per oz of baby food

Compared to regular price Gerber at $.20/oz and Earth's Best Organic at $.25/oz.

If you want to save time, I recommend to pick a day to do all the same fruit or vegetable at once. You won't have to wash your dishes when you switch to the next food, etc. and things will go more quickly. Because I did so many different foods, I had to wash my blender, cutting board, etc. several times. Since Calvin hasn't eaten all of these yet, I was avoiding contamination by cleaning everything in between, if your baby has already proven to not have allergies with the foods you're preparing, perhaps you won't be as super diligent about cleaning every single thing the foods touched in between.

If anyone knows whether or not it is cost effective to make baby snacks like puffs or yogurt bites, please let me know. I know Cal isn't ready for those foods yet, but I'm just curious about them for future reference.

Thanks for reading!
I hope this was helpful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5 Month Old Baby Update : The 4 Month Sleep Regression is Real!

Happy 5 month birthday to my baby boy (tomorrow)!

According to our rough measurements, Mr. Calvin is about 19.5 pounds and 27.5 inches tall. Essentially, he is a giant. His big ole thighs are almost too big to fit in the Bumbo and his swing barely even swings anymore when he's in it, not matter what setting we have it one, it sways maybe four inches wide. And everyone always thinks he's so much older than he is so they are surprised when we say he isn't even crawling yet. Haha.

He is talking a lot lately. He likes to babble about (like in the car seat when he's tired, he just talks to himself lol). And he screams in excitement. Haha. Sometimes those screams scare me, I didn't realize that such a tiny baby could make such a high pitched screechy noises.
When he wakes up he'll usually just babble to himself in his crib for a few minutes before he starts whining for us to get him.
He really enjoys music. He likes to sit in the Bumbo in the kitchen while I listen to music, sing, and make dinner. He especially loves it when I hold him and sing and dance with him too.
He has been trying to escape his Bumbo. He leans really far and tries to fall out. He also plays with his feet a lot while in there. So he's kind of discovered his feet, but he doesn't really notice them in other daily activities.
He finally watches the cats.
He's been in size 3 diapers for awhile now and gradually starting to grow out of several 3-6 month clothing items. I just wish sizes were consistent among different brands! It feels like he's only been able to wear each onesie he owns like once or twice. We got a lot of stuff handed down to us so I don't feel like it's too much of a waste, but it does make me feel guilty that he has so many clothes that don't get nearly enough wear out of them. Good thing we want lots of kids! Haha.
He had his first sleepover! He stayed overnight at Grandma's (who lives literally right around the corner from us) and we went to get him first thing in the morning at like 7 am. I still woke up around 3 am just out of habit I guess (plus my boobs were like super engorged). It wasn't the magical dreamy sleep I had envisioned, I missed the baby. He's staying with my sister again this coming weekend, we have a Halloween party to attend and I plan on partying it up hardcore. Haha.
He's been trying new foods. We've been working on butternut squash this week and he really doesn't seem to be a fan unless we mix it with something sweet like apple or peach, but we're still working on it! I made something like 60 ounces of food from one butternut squash so he has to eat it!
He's moving about in his walker pretty well. He can go across the room when he's on a hard surface, not so much the carpet. He goes forward in our walker and backward in Grandma's walker.
He's rolling over like a champ. Both directions. He actually seems to be much better at rolling from back to tummy than tummy to back. With this, he'll almost always be facing a different direction when he wakes up from when you laid him down to sleep. He rotates all over his crib now. Some nights he'll even get his legs stuck through the crib spindles and scream at the top of his lungs to wake mom and dad to the assumption someone is murdering our baby. We've discussed getting bumpers.


As for me and my postpartum journey, there are days that I'm really happy with how I look in certain clothes and there are days I just don't even want to get dressed because nothing suits me right. I want to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight already! I am about 12 pounds away at this point (but only 9 pounds from my goal. I made my goal an even number because it seemed more reasonable and attainable to me. I was 127 when I found out I was pregnant, my goal is 130, and I'm currently 139). But it's not even about the numbers man, it's about the fact that I can only wear one pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans, my rings are still tight some days, and I can't wear my favorite baggy sweaters comfortably. It's those damn thighs and upper arms man! Those stupid body parts are what have me going nuts! I can deal with a squishy belly for now, it's almost winter after all. But I gained a LOT of weight guys. I don't even know how much, but it was probably well over 50 pounds. I was around 155 when I got home from the hospital I'm pretty sure. 

It may be in vain but I really really don't want to gain that kind of weight next time around! 

I'm not going to lie, I expected breastfeeding to be a much more magical weight-loss assistant. I really did expect to be totally back to normal, lookin' good by the 6 month mark easy and I just don't envision myself losing the last ten pounds in one month's time...

And in other news, I've been very fortunate to not have suffered with any postpartum depression thus far. I did have what I would call baby blues in the beginning. I felt like such a failure for having a c-section and not being able to breastfeed normally because Cal wouldn't latch (and stay latched) and we had to use a nipple shield for the first two months. But I can honestly say that I have come to terms with those things and realize that I am the best mom I can be! I gave breastfeeding my all and we have become very successful at it, it truly is just second nature to us now. And I feel so blessed that it worked out for us in the end and I pray every day that I can continue and that my milk supply holds up so that we can nurse for as long as we are both happy to do so. And this past month I have truly been able to bask in the happiness that is motherhood, despite what I thought were failures to begin with. I love being Calvin's mom. 

Now for the big event of the month: the DREADED 4 month sleep regression. My sister said she did not remember experiencing this with her girls but let me tell you Calvin sure had it bad! It lasted about two weeks and it SUCKED. I thought we were all going to kill each other: me, Cal, and Justin. He would fight sleep so terribly. He hated nap time, he hated bedtime. He cried and cried and nothing consoled him, not even the boob. We rocked him and swayed him and put him in the swing and drove around in the car and let him cry in the crib, but every night sometime between 6-8 pm he flipped the f out. And sometimes for his early afternoon nap around 1-3 pm too! And along with the delightfulness before bedtime, he went back to waking up twice in the night instead of his usual one time. But honestly, that didn't really bother me, and it definitely wasn't as terrible as his fits before bed.
AND get this! It just so happened to coincide pretty closely with our great idea to take away the binky! We took away the binky and just a couple days later totally psycho Calvin emerged. We had already come so far in those couple of days, we couldn't turn back now. So we did the whole 4 month sleep regression without the binky and we survived! When they say "it's just a phase" and "this too shall pass," they mean it. It will be okay. In the midst of it all you feel like running away and abandoning your baby with Grandma for two weeks, but you can do it! I promise.

And if your baby does not have this problem, consider yourself the luckiest parents in the world!


So in conclusion, that baby is growing up so fast! This month it has really become apparent that he's not going to be a baby forever, he'll be a toddler in the blink of an eye. And that makes this momma sad. But at the same time, it is super cool to see all the new things he is learning to do. Like holy crap, babies grow and learn so quickly! All the information that is flooding that little baby head is just crazy to even think about! 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Stage 1 Homemade DIY Baby Food Recipes + Cost Effectiveness

Here's a little report on what baby foods I've made for Calvin so far.

I thought it could be helpful to see how I prepared them, but keep in mind fruits and veggies vary in size and it takes trial and error to figure out the best method to cook them for yourself, this is just what I've managed.

I've kept the recipes super simple and not too wordy. I hope this is helpful!

And of course water/breast-milk/formula are all interchangeable in these recipes. Just avoid using previously frozen breast-milk if you're going to be re-freezing your baby food.

Butternut Squash!

1 banana + 1 oz breast milk = 3 oz food

Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 1 hour
5 carrots + 5 oz water = 9 oz food

1 can pumpkin + 4 oz breast milk = 16 oz food

Peel, core, slice
Boil covered for 10 minutes
2 apples + 1 oz breast milk = 12 oz food

Boil covered 5 minutes
then remove skins (they'll peel off really easily after boiling)
2 peaches = 12 oz food

Sweet Potato
Peel and cube
Boil covered for 12 minutes
3 sweet potatoes + 10 oz water = 31 oz food

Butternut Squash
Cut squash in half, place in baking dish face down with one inch of water
Bake at 400 for 45 minutes
1 large butternut squash + 8 oz breast milk = 62 oz food

More butternut squash!

Future stage 1 foods to make (so keep an eye out for a future post):
mango/papaya? (questionable for first foods)
green beans

A little note on Cost Effectiveness

What I have learned is that for some foods, it's not really any cheaper to make your own, but for others the savings are significant. It just depends on the food. Baby food companies charge roughly the same no matter which food it is, when you make it yourself, you can see that some are cheaper per ounce than others.

For example, when I made the butternut squash it came out to about $.22 per ounce, and $.07 per ounce when I made sweet potatoes! I used a lot of water in the sweet potatoes, whereas the squash was already pretty watery and didn't require much additional liquid to get the consistency I needed.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped.
I hope to continue keeping track and update you on other homemade baby foods I make for little Calvin!