Finger foods are a really important part of the weaning process. We didn’t go down the baby-led weaning route with Jacob. We gave him purees, but with finger foods as well from 6 months. Finger foods are great for teaching babies to feed themselves and getting them used to chewing lumps and as they get older they become much more dexterous and more food actually gets eaten. Although, at 11 months Jacob does still like chucking food on the floor.

Don’t worry about whether your baby has teeth. Jacob was (is) a late teether, so I’ve been surprised by how well he managed finger foods with no teeth at all. Those gums are strong. He now has 2 teeth and manages almost everything.

I found that after a while I was relying on the same old finger foods, so I did a search for suggestions and came up with these. I try to give at least one finger food with each meal.

All the cheese got eaten, all the tomato got chucked on the floor.

Finger foods for babies

Fruits

  • Banana chunks
  • Apple slices
  • Slices of kiwi
  • Slices of mango
  • Strawberries
  • Slices of nectarine, plum or peach
  • Segments of orange
  • Slices of melon
  • Chopped dried prunes or apricots
  • Halved cherries or grapes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Blueberries

Vegetables

  • Carrot sticks (lightly steamed is easier if they don’t have many teeth)
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Sliced pepper (red, yellow or orange—green doesn’t go down too well!)
  • Steamed courgette sticks
  • Okra
  • Steamed florets of broccoli or cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Cubes of butternut squash
  • Baby sweetcorn (steamed)

Protein

  • Slices of hard-boiled egg
  • Cubes of cheese
  • Thin strips of chicken or other meat
  • Omelette—I make an omelette using whichever veg I have in the fridge and a bit of cheese. Once it is cool I cut it into strips

Carbs

  • Toast fingers
  • Rice cakes—a money-saving tip: buy large unsalted rice cakes and cut into strips. Much cheaper than buying the ones designed for babies (Jacob loves those too, but I save them for when we are out and about. Not every day. Too expensive)
  • Bread sticks (make sure they are unsalted)
  • Pitta bread (can serve with hummus)
  • Sweet potato wedges
  • Potato wedges
  • Pieces of pasta

More complex finger foods

What other finger foods do you give your baby? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also want to take a look at My weaning essentials.

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11 months! Who’d have thought it? Not me. I was hoping to manage to breastfeed to 6 months, so I’ve vastly exceeded my expectations. Again, there’s not much new to report this month. Jacob’s two teeth aren’t causing me too much trouble. He manages to avoid the temptation to bite most of the time… I think I got very lucky having such a late teether.

Like last month, we are still doing two feeds per day (morning and evening) with a bottle in the afternoon. At 10 months, I’d started to think he was losing interest, but I think that was just a particularly wriggly phase. He’s settled down a bit and has quite long morning feeds now. It’s still easier than sterilising lots of bottles, so I’ll continue for a bit longer. Once he drinks milk from a cup I’d be more inclined to stop. It seems silly to stop right now anyway. Just a few more weeks and we’ll have been feeding for a year.

11-month-old Jacob sweetly playing with my necklace, but 2 seconds later he tried to look down my top!

Stopping at a year?

I’m very conflicted about whether to stop at 12 months. I feel like I should. Everyone expects that I will. But I’ve read a few articles lately about people who continue past a year and let their baby decide when to stop and I’ve started thinking “well, why not?”. The bond we have is lovely and Jacob definitely gets a lot of comfort from it (and antibodies and presumably some nutrition). But sometimes I do get sick of it. I always have to do the early mornings because I have to feed him, which is hard. It would be nice to get a proper lie in some time.

Before having a baby I was definitely in the “breastfeeding past a year is gross” camp. Now I think it’s nobody else’s business and can’t believe how judgemental I was. Who knows how I’ll feel next month. I’ll be back at work so my viewpoint might change. I’m keeping an open mind.

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If you are interested, here are my previous monthly updates (it’s such a shame I only started this at 4 months, because the early months were the interesting ones! Maybe I’ll do some retrospective ones):

Breastfeeding: 4 month update

Breastfeeding—the 5 month update

Breastfeeding—the 6 month update

Breastfeeding—the 7 month update

Breastfeeding—the 8 month update

Breastfeeding—the 9 month update

Breastfeeding—the 10 month update

 

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Welcome to the second instalment of my guest series on breastfeeding. The series aims to share the good and the bad of breastfeeding and show that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ when it comes to feeding stories. This week MummySetra is sharing her experiences.

Mummysetra’s breastfeeding experiences

As a healthcare professional, I knew all about the benefits of breastfeeding, and knew it was something that I wanted to do (if I could). I didn’t put too much pressure on myself about it before baby arrived, as I knew that as long as I gave it a shot, even if it didn’t work, as long as baby was getting the feeds he/she required then that’s all that mattered. During my pregnancy I became more and more aware of the pressure out there to breastfeed, and had a friend who thought she had totally failed as a mum when she couldn’t breastfeed.

When the little man was born, we did skin to skin within the first few minutes, and I was amazed at how he worked his way towards my nipple—it was absolutely amazing. The midwife came in a few hours later just to check that the latch was fine, and we were good to go.

The first few days were tough, especially when my milk started coming through, and when I think back, I feel as though it was all a bit of a blur! I was lucky that his latch was good, and he seemed to take what he needed without many issues. I had one case of sore nipples which was quickly fixed by the miracle that is Lansinoh cream, but all in all, no further issues (very lucky I know)!
I had purchased a breast pump so that my husband could help with feeds, but the little man refused to take a bottle until he was about 4 months old, which meant there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders, especially when the 4 month sleep regression hit. I was also never a fan of pumping, as I felt like it would take ageesssss to get a decent amount of milk.
I had always assumed that I would breastfeed until 6 months (as recommended), but I was lucky that I was part of an NCT group where everyone carried on breastfeeding, and that made me do so as well. We hadn’t had any problems, and I was really enjoying the bonding, so I decided to keep going with it. I had initially been a bit anxious about breastfeeding in public, as I wasn’t one of those women who is happy to just whip her boob out in the middle of a restaurant. A friend of mine had bought me a feeding apron when he was first born and it was the best thing ever for me, and completely put me at ease breastfeeding when out and about.
At around 10 months I felt as though I was ready to stop. I needed some time out for me and wanted to start losing my baby weight before I started back at work, and have the flexibility to go to the gym in the evenings without having to worry about the bedtime feed. We were down to 3 breastfeeds by this point and switched each one on a weekly basis to formula, which he took to really well.
I think there is a lot more that can be done to support breastfeeding mothers, as apart from the initial help from the midwife, I don’t feel like there was any further support offered to me. Thankfully I had the NCT girls, and the blogging community who offered me advice when I needed it. And, thanks to those support networks, we carried on breastfeeding for 10 months successfully, and enjoyed the journey.
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Thanks for sharing your experiences MummySetra. I totally relate to this. We really struggled with getting Jacob to take a bottle, so I too felt the pressure. It’s great you were so supported by your NCT friends.
Why not follow MummySetra on social media?
If you’d like to contribute to this guest series comment below or send me an email andjacobmakesthree@gmail.com  
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As I may have mentioned before, I am a big fan of my Abel & Cole organic veg boxes. We get the Medium Very Veggie Veg Box. This gives us 8 vegetables and is plenty for two people (plus a baby).

5 things I love about my veg box

5 things I love about my veg box

1. Forces me to be creative

Ever heard of a kohlrabi? I hadn’t! (it’s a weird-looking thing that tastes a bit like cabbage in case you were wondering). The box forces me to think outside my usual repertoire of recipes, which can only be a good thing.

2. Saves time

My veg box is delivered once a week and it means I don’t have to go to the supermarket to get healthy food. Once I go back to work I can use it to supplement all the meals I’ll have batch cooked and put in the freezer (ha!). They also deliver milk, cheese, meat and loads of other organic stuff too, which is really handy.

3. Increases variety of veg I eat

It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut and eat the same things every week. Because the veg boxes are seasonal, you don’t get the same things all year round. Eating a varied diet is really important to ensure you get a balance of nutrients. Having a veg box also makes me so much less likely to order a takeaway. I feel guilty about wasting anything, so I tend to make sure I use everything up.

It’s also great for Jacob as it means he tries more different types of veg than he would otherwise.

4. Environmentally friendly

The boxes are really environmentally friendly for several reasons. Firstly, they are organic so no pesticides go into the environment. Secondly, the boxes themselves are recycled—you just leave it outside the following week and your delivery driver collects it when they drop off your next box. They try not to use unnecessary packaging and a lot of the stuff they do use is recyclable, bio-degradable or reusable.

Unlike with a lot of services, your delivery day isn’t negotiable. At first I found that weird, but it actually makes a lot of sense. All deliveries in the area are made on the same day to reduce van trips–and therefore carbon emissions and food miles. If you won’t be in you can tell them a safe place to leave the box.

5. It’s easy to change your order

Although I love getting surprised each week, occasionally there are things I don’t feel like eating. You can log onto your account and see what is coming that week. If there’s anything you don’t like or want you can swap it for another seasonal vegetable. Sometimes I already have enough carrots for example, so I swap them for something else. Not all of the veg box services allow this.

You can also change your order frequency (weekly, fortnightly, 3-weekly, 4-weekly etc) and let them know when you’ll be on holiday and won’t need your box really easily.

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 Here are some of my favourite recipes I’ve cooked with my veg box:

*This post contains affiliate links. I get a small amount of commission for any orders made when clicking on these links.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Baby’s bedtime routine is something that can be established pretty much from birth. We didn’t realise this straight away, and didn’t really have one until Jacob was about 8 weeks old. Since then, we’ve stuck to pretty much the same routine, with a few variations. If we had another baby I’d probably try this routine from birth.

Baby’s bedtime routine

Cot

Bath

We tend to start the bedtime routine with a bath. We used to do this daily without fail, although when Jacob was around 4 months he started to suffer with eczema. One of the pieces of advice I read said avoid giving a bath too frequently as it can dry the skin more, so we reduced it down to a couple of times a week. Now his skin is a lot better, we’ve gone back to every other night. I’d love to be able to do every night again, so I might trial it and see how his skin responds. I think bath time is a great part of the bedtime routine—it gives them one last chance to burn some energy and when they are tiny babies I think they find it quite relaxing.

PJs

Then it’s time for nappy change and PJs. We try to keep this calm and start by shutting the curtains and turning on a lamp. I think this helps signal that it’s time for bed.

Sleeping bag

We then put Jacob in his sleeping bag before story time. He has recently learnt how to get out of his sleeping bags (he kicks his legs up until the poppers on the shoulder un-pop), so I’ve swapped to ones with a zip like this one!

When it is very hot, we’ve been skipping this step and just covering Jacob with a large muslin (we have ones from Boden which are brilliant) once we put him in the cot.

Book

Story time is one of my favourite parts of the day. Tiny babies won’t understand, but it’s never to early to start and they’ll still be soothed by the sound of your voice. I find that it’s easier to start the story once they are already in their sleeping bag. It makes it harder for them to crawl off! I’ve written a few posts on our favourite books:

Ewan the Dream Sheep

Baby sleeping in Chicco Next to Me crib

Tiny Jacob with Ewan the Dream Sheep

Ewan the Dream Sheep is our secret weapon. I’ve written a more detailed review previously, but to summarise we’ve used Ewan pretty much every day since Jacob was born. He plays soothing tunes and emits a soft red glow (reminiscent of the womb apparently). I really think using this consistently has helped Jacob associate the noise it makes with sleep.

Into the cot

Once Ewan is on, Jacob has a brief cuddle and then is put down in the cot. And hopefully he just drifts off calmly! (Disclaimer: I make no promises!)

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That’s it. It’s simple really. I do think having a bedtime routine helps. Jacob knows what to expect and can start winding down.

*Post contains affiliate links. I receive a small amount of commission for anything purchased using the links but this doesn’t cost you anything.

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