I’ll kick this post off with this week’s weight report – 11lbs 3 ozs. Another 6 ounces put on (not pounds). This brings her just above the second percentile for the first time in many weeks. So saying, Hannah was remarking today that she thought Ella was getting fat, but relative to most other babies, she is still small. I suppose it is all reserves for a lot of growth to come.

For the past week, since my posting about her bad night last Saturday, I think there has only been one night when Ella has slept through. Indeed, one of my colleagues, James, who just had his second daughter, seems to be having the same number of interruptions as we are at the moment. This, combined with the health visitor remarking that 17 weeks was a big milestone – ‘what milestone?’ – ‘she can take solids now’, has set Hannah on to the route of trying this our. Hannah has a book (that I read, rather than Hannah) on the first year, and it has a checklist of things that show baby is ready for solids. Ella satisfies some of those criteria, but not all. The important one is that the natural reflex of the tongue to push out, in order to get milk from the breast, is being surpassed by baby controlling her tongue. If this hasn’t happened, then baby will just push solid food back out her mouth. The things you never realised you had to learn as a baby, and certainly don’t think about now!

The upshot is that we have had our first few experiments with Ella eating solid food. I say ‘solid’, but I have seen more substantial custard than the stuff we have been making up. Obviously you start your baby on something very simple: you don’t want to shock her with chicken vindaloo. We have got some baby rice, and you take a teaspoon of this and mix it with 20ml of milk. This concoction looks more like milk with grains of dust in it than solid food. The purpose is just to get Ella used to taking food from a spoon. I’m afraid the first two episodes were quite traumatic because both times Ella was very tired. She did brilliantly with the spoon, though, and took immediately to getting the stuff off the spoon and swallowing. She stopped crying every time the spoon arrived in her mouth. The first time we forgot a bib, and learnt that lesson very fast! Tonight I fed her on my own, after Hannah had gone out, with Ella propped up in her bumbo. She did very well, and gobbled it all up.

Today, Hannah’s Dad (Jack), stepmother (Karen) and little brother (Josh) were over, and we went out for lunch to the Lifeboat. Karen was very complementary of the food, and it was very tasty. Back at home, Josh had a bit of trouble trying to hold Ella. Previously he could cradle her as she was a little baby, but now she prefers to sit, or be held up standing, and he couldn’t quite get her into this position without her throwing herself about. Hopefully he’s not too put off. I know as a 10 year old kid with my little brother, Hamish, around, I was a bit scared to hold him in case of dropping him or doing something wrong.

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