First Stage Weaning – Parsnip Pureé

Has your little one tried parsnips yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely as a purée on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_MealPlan_Wednesday_ParsnipPuree

How to Make Parsnip Pureé For Your Weaning Baby

1. Chop up parsnip into small pieces.
2. Gently cook parsnip in a saucepan using only a little freshly drawn water so it is not too wet when puréed.
3. Mash with a fork or push the stewed parsnip through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning – Carrot Pureé

Has your little one tried carrots yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely as a purée on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_MealPlan_Tuesday_CarrotPuree

How to Make Carrot Pureé For Your Weaning Baby

1. Chop up carrotts into small pieces.
2. Gently cook carrots in a saucepan using only a little freshly drawn water so it is not too wet when puréed.
3. Mash with a fork or push the stewed carrotts through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning – Baby Rice & Cereal

Has your little one tried baby rice or cereal yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely on its own or with a couple of teaspoons of fruit or vegetable pureé added in. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_BabyRice

How to Make Baby Rice Or Cereal

If you make up a small bowl of baby rice or any first stage baby cereal with some breast milk or formula and your baby yums it up, it looks like they may be ready to wean (check the weaning in my book ‘Happy Baby, Happy Family’). If they aren’t really interested but are showing other weaning signs, leave it a week or two before you try again.

1. Sterilise the bowl and weaning spoon (if they’re under six months).
2. Put 2 tsps of plain baby rice into a bowl.
3. Mix in 2 tsps of expressed breast milk or warmed formula milk and stir with a weaning spoon until it is a smooth paste.

You can also give your baby a little fruit or vegetable puree mixed in with the prepared baby rice or on its own.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

 

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning – Apple Pureé

Has your little one tried apple yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely as a purée on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_MealPlan_Monday_ApplePuree

How to Make Apple Pureé For Your Weaning Baby

1. Chop up apple into small pieces.
2. Gently stew apple in a saucepan using only a little freshly drawn water so it is not too wet when puréed.
3. Mash with a fork or push the stewed apple through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning – Plum Pureé

Has your little one tried plums yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely as a purée on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_MealPlan_Sunday_PlumPuree

How to Make Plum Pureé For Your Weaning Baby

1. Chop up plums into small pieces.
2. Gently stew plums in a saucepan using only a little freshly drawn water so it is not too wet when puréed.
3. Mash with a fork or push the stewed plums through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning Foods – Pear Pureé

Has your little one tried pear yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely as a purée on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_Pear

How to Make Pear Pureé For Your Weaning Baby

1. Chop up pear into small pieces.
2. Gently stew pear in a saucepan using only a little freshly drawn water so it is not too wet when puréed.
3. Mash with a fork or push the stewed pear through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

 

 

 

Find out more in Sarah’s books.

First Stage Weaning Recipes – Banana Mash

Has your little one tried banana yet? Try this recipe from Mrs Beeson’s Family Cookbook. Suitable from 5+ months and lovely on its own or added to a couple of teaspoons of baby rice or cereal. 🥄 #weaning

WeaningSuggestion_Banana

HOW TO MAKE BANANA MASH FOR YOUR WEANING BABY

1. Chop up banana into small pieces.
2. Mash banana with a fork into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

You can add 2 tsps of baby rice made into a paste with expressed breast milk or formula if you want to.

You don’t want it to be too solid or runny, so you can always add a little more expressed breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water to make it the right consistency.

Bon Appétit!

sarah name

How to introduce your pet to a new baby

We were glad to give new parents and parents to be some advice in Mumfidential. New research from The Baby Show with MadeForMums has found that nearly half of new parents today have pets and that three-quarters of parents believe that having a pet is beneficial for a child’s development, teaching them a sense of responsibility and improving their social skills. (Photo credit Bumpkins).

This said, the process of introducing the family pet to a new baby can be a tricky experience and one that needs to be managed and monitored carefully. Expert speaker at The Baby Show, Sarah Beeson MBE, and Head Vet at Notting Hill and Baron’s Court Vet, Dr Emma Nicholas, share some top tips.

Dr Emma Nicholas (Mum of 2) and Head Veterinary Nurse Anna Connell (Mum to be).

Dr Emma Nicholas (Mum of 2) and Head Veterinary Nurse Anna McConnell (Mum to be).

Dr Emma Nicholas’s tips

Prepare your pet
Give yourself plenty of time to let your dog or cat adjust to being demoted in importance before your baby arrives. You can prepare your pet by gently starting to distance yourself, for example, leaving your dog at home for slightly longer periods of time.

If your dog or cat is used to sleeping on the bed or sofa, it’s a really good idea to get them used to a bed or basket of their own nearby while you are pregnant. In this way they won’t suddenly be upset if they are no longer allowed on when the baby arrives. By encouraging your pet to become self-sufficient the stress of the change will be minimised.

Watch out for the cat litter
Pregnant women who own a cat need to keep away from the cat litter. I advise my pregnant clients not to handle the tray because of the risk of Toxoplasma. If you are worried you can ask your doctor to perform a test to see if you have antibodies to the parasite.

Prepare your home
A lot women worry about cats getting into the cot with the baby. When I had my babies I had three cats and I was very worried about this. I bought a cat net to go over the cot to stop any cat jumping in and to put my mind at ease. A stair gate can also be useful for stopping the dog going upstairs (something that will come in useful when the baby starts climbing too!)

Make time for your pet
When your baby arrives, do make time for your cat or dog when you can or she will feel neglected. Try and keep to her routine and give her a cuddle when you can. It’ll do you good too. Studies consistently show that owning a pet is good for us. It drops our blood pressure and creates a sense of well-being.

Having a baby can be challenging at times and maintaining who you are is important. Your previous relationship with your pet may seem at first glance to be a trivial thing to some, but I believe that it helps you to maintain a sense of self whilst everything around and about you is changing. Embrace the fact you have a furry friend!

Keep your pet’s routine
Work out in advance how you can manage caring for your baby alongside your dog’s usual walk times. It is important that your dog doesn’t feel rejected when the baby comes home; forward planning will make it easier to adjust your dog’s routines as your baby’s routines change too.

Ask for help
Having some friends and family who can step in to take on dog or baby duties will help you get the rest you need.

Get some fresh air
It can be really great for mum, baby and dog to go for a walk. I really enjoyed the exercise and the head space it gave me. Everyone’s needs were met so it’s a win-win when you feel up to it. Babies who get out in the fresh air on a daily basis also have much more chance of sleeping well at night. The soothing motion frequently induces slumber so, fingers crossed after you’ve walked the dog you can put your feet up with a cuppa when you return home.

Sarah Beeson MBE (photo credit Our Family Film)

Sarah Beeson MBE (photo credit Our Family Film)

Sarah Beeson MBE health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby agrees that preparation is the key.

Sarah Beeson’s safety tips for pets and babies

1. No matter how nice your dog or cat is, it’s better to be cautious as accidents can happen in a spilt second.

2. Never leave your pet unattended around your baby or put them close together. If your baby pulls or hits the animal they are likely to retaliate on instinct.

3. Play it cool, don’t try and too hard to get your pet to like the baby, they’ll become friends in their own time.

4. Be realistic about your pet’s ability to understand and recognise what’s happening; it’s natural they may feel pushed out.

#PND – Signs of Postnatal Depression in Mums

Sarah Beeson talks to Kate Saines about Postnatal Depression in Just Her a magazine for military mums. 

There’s advice and the EPDS quiz for mum’s on depression in Chapter Three of Sarah’s book Happy Baby, Happy Family.’

Mums with older babies get postnatal depression too, it’s not just when you have a newborn 

“Postnatal depression, generally, is much higher than we realise because women either don’t want to say they have it, or don’t get an opportunity to say,” said Sarah, who is also author of Happy Baby, Happy Family.

But there are other factors, which Sarah believes provide a barrier to women coming forward. For one, there is a misconception that postnatal depression is suffered only by women with newborn babies.

In fact, Sarah believes the illness can occur in women whose babies are up to nine or ten months old and sometimes, even, in mums with toddlers.

“Often it’s seen in mothers with new babies,” she explained, “but usually it’s when the baby is three, four or five months old that postnatal depression can start.”

And it’s this misconception that discourages women from opening up to their health visitor, doctors or families – they believe they shouldn’t be feeling depressed at this stage.

Anyone, in any situation, from any background can get postnatal depression. Sarah said some women, maybe those who have lots of family nearby and seem to have a strong support network in place, often think they don’t deserve to seek help. But, said Sarah, everyone who recognises the signs should be frank and seek help, because support is there for all.

 Why women with partners in the military are at high risk of postnatal depression

But while anyone can suffer, there are certain groups of women who are more vulnerable to postnatal depression, and this includes those whose partners are in the armed forces.

“It all falls on the women.” said Sarah, “The childcare, housework, keeping things together. Plus there’s all the worry. It’s almost as if they are not allowed to express feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety.”

“Some women can’t say anything. They can’t say it because that makes it real.”  Importance of PND Support networks 

But Sarah believes that by actually admitting to these feelings, sharing them and admitting how you feel you are helping yourself on to the road to recovery.

But there are lots of other ways actually speaking out can help you. Sarah explained that there may be support in your area from charity Homestart which provides volunteers – who are all parents themselves – to help look after the kids while you have a sleep, do some housework or accompanying you on trips. In some areas there are PND support groups.

By speaking to friends, particularly those with babies the same age, you may find someone else who is the same situation.

Sarah said: “I have spoken to women who see other mums with babies and think ‘they know what they are doing’ but often those other women are looking at her and thinking exactly the same.

“When you are in the same boat there is a bond and support and often women going through PND can help each other and go on to have lasting friendships.”

Activities such as yoga can help with depression – some yoga teachers run classes where mums can bring their babies. Sarah also advises using relaxation CDs or DVDs and treating yourself to a spa day or back massage to provide some respite from the everyday strains.  How to help a friend you think may be postnatally depressed

Finally, if you happen to be reading this and think a friend or family member might be suffering from postnatal depression you may be wondering how to approach them about the subject.

Sarah suggests opening a dialogue with them, rather than just asking “how are you?”

“As a health visitor, I would never just ask someone how they were because people generally always say they are well. Instead I would ask them what sort of week they had. This opens a dialogue and gives them permission to open up and not have to put on a front.” 

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.