sleep, rested

A heartfelt post about baby sleep

A heartfelt post about baby sleep

A post about baby sleep. Picture this. While my hubby and I were sitting by the campfire at a cottage, out of the blue, he mumbled “Thank you Dazzle”.

Let me give you the back story and tell you about Dazzle. For the first time since our 3rd child was born, our three kids were asleep and it was only 7:15pm. My hubby and I had the whole evening to ourselves and we were chatting together by a campfire. Now this was unheard of because I co-slept with my 3rd child until he was 10 months old, a few days before that cottage getaway. I used to spend hours trying to get him to fall asleep and he woke up several times a night to nurse. Needless to say, I had been tired. Look at these dark circles under my eyes:

tired, sleep, baby

I was so tired. This was me:

  • All I wanted to do was sleep
  • I didn’t want to work out anymore
  • I was impatient with all my children
  • I wasn’t laughing anymore
  • I wasn’t motivated to cook, work or even play
  • I couldn’t sleep because I was too tired (it’s a thing!)
  • I had no time for myself because I was always trying to get my baby to fall asleep
  • I wasn’t enjoying the precious moments with my baby because I was so tired
  • My brain was scattered because all I could think of was “I’m tired” and “When is the next time I will sleep”

It wasn’t only me who was tired. My baby was tired too. He would fall asleep at any time during the day, in the baby carrier, stroller, anywhere:

tired, sleep, baby, carrier

Needless to say, I was burnt out. I nursed my 10 month old back to sleep I don’t know how many times a night.

sleep, baby, nursing

I remember thinking “This is what it must feel like to have three kids. I can’t believe no one warned me about how difficult this would be”.

On June 12, 2019, a particularly bad day, I get a message from Jenn, asking me if I would like to collaborate.

Let’s back up way back in 2002 so you can get a visual of Jenn. I worked with her as a camp counsellor and her camp name was Dazzle (she is on the left, I’m on the right):

sleep, camp

Jenn is now a mom of a toddler and she recently trained to become a sleep consultant. She messaged me to collaborate because our audience is very similar (parents of infants). Reluctantly, I wrote back asking her what her approach to sleep is because I want to make sure it’s consistent with “mine”. Note: I wanted to know if she let babies cry in a dark room for hours because that’s what I thought sleep consultants were about. Selfishly, I asked her “What do you recommend with babies sleeping in their parents’ beds?”. Her response was “Lots of families choose to share a bed with their babies, and it works for them. Those families aren’t looking for my support. When moms who co-sleep with their babies approach me for support, it’s usually because they’re not happy with how things are going anymore. Mom is tired or baby is tired.” At that moment, a lightbulb went off. THAT’S ME! I’m so tired and my baby is probably super tired as well because we never get long stretches of sleep. Whatever I was doing WASN’T working anymore.

I agreed to schedule a call with her. Jenn is still the same gentle, open-minded and caring person she was 15 some years ago when we worked together at camp. She created a customized plan for us and I followed it to the T that same night. I have to say that her plan worked like magic for us. After a few nights of glorious sleep, I told Jenn:

“I’m falling in love with my baby all over again”

My life was changed:

  • I get evenings with my hubby
  • I feel rested
  • My baby’s naps are predictable
  • I know I will get to sleep from 7pm-6am without any wakings
  • I started running again
  • I’m laughing and making jokes now
  • My baby is rested
  • I’m feeling more present with my children and my biz

Look how rested and joyful we look!

sleep, rest, baby, blw, solids, dietitian

sleep, rested

I must say that I was against getting a sleep consultant because I thought it had to involve letting babies cry for hours several nights in a crib. Abandoned and alone in a dark room. I was ill informed. When people offered me help with sleep, I’d say I’m OK, it’s normal if they wake up. Until I couldn’t anymore.

Here are some reasons I never got help with sleep:

  • I thought I knew what I was doing
  • Our system was working quite well
  • I thought my baby would figure it out on his own
  • I actually wanted to sleep with my baby

If what you are doing with your baby works for you, great. I co-slept with my other children and it worked for us most of the time.

My message here is that if ever you notice that you’re tired and what you’re doing isn’t working, get help. Don’t wait until you are too depleted. It’s not normal to be tired all the time.

There are specialists for everything. If you need help with the introduction of solid food for your baby, you know to contact me, a dietitian. If you need help with sleep, contact a sleep consultant. I’m not advocating for all sleep consultants. I know there are some that recommend letting your baby cry for long periods of time at a very young age and even night weaning too early. Before paying for a sleep consultant, ask questions. If you want my personal recommendation, contact Jenn. All her services are online and she even offers a free 15 minute call so you can ask your questions to make sure she is the perfect fit for you.

So, now you have it. Thank you Dazzle for helping me and my baby get the sleep that we needed so much. We are sincerely grateful for your help and hope that other parents get the sleep they need.

 

Baby sleep, sleep, baby, solids, blw, baby led weaning

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

BLW Cut-Out Cookies

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Looking for a healthy cookie recipe for your baby approved by a dietitian? Don’t look any further! These BLW Holiday Cut-Out Cookies contain nourishing ingredients, no sugar added but TONS of taste. What’s more? You can even eat these BLW cookies for breakfast.  I’m not even kidding.

 

If you’re looking for more BLW recipes just like this one, check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook. Each recipe:

  • was created by a registered dietitian
  • was created as first foods that can be introduced to your baby
  • was created with your baby’s early nutritional requirements in mind
  • can be easily held and manipulated by your baby
  • has no sugar added
  • is gluten free
  • is fun and tasty for the entire family

 

Now, back to the holiday cut-out cookies!  Here’s how I prepared the BLW cookies.

 

I added the almond flour, spices and dates to a food processor and pulsed until the dates were broken up. Then, I added the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulsed until a soft dough formed. I placed the dough onto a piece of parchment paper:

 

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Then, I rolled out the dough.

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, holiday cut-out cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, holiday cut-out cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

 

After that, I put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, I cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, holiday cut-out cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, holiday cut-out cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

 

Finally, I baked the BLW holiday cut-out cookies in the oven at 300F for 10 minutes. There you go! Amazing BLW cookies with no sugar added, no refined ingredients and no dairy!

 

blw, holiday cookies, baby cookies, blw cookies, holiday cut-out cookies, snack, baby led weaning, recipe, paleo recipe, paleo baby, blw recipe, holiday cut-out cookies

Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

 

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

2 3/4 cups almond flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

4 soft Medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

 

Preparation

 

Place the almond flour, spices, baking powder and dates into a food processor.  Then, pulse until combined.  After that, add the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulse until a soft dough forms. Then, place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 3 mm thick. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, preheat oven to 300F.  After that, remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.  Finally, place the cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  After that, shape dough scraps into a ball, flatten until 3 mm thick and continue to cut cookies until no dough remains.  At last, bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

 

Want more recipes like this one?  Check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook today RIGHT HERE.

lamb chops blw Baby led weaning

Grilled Lamb Chops Recipe for Babies

Grilled lamb chops made baby led weaning (BLW)

This is the second blog post part of the “Half Lamb for Babies” series.  Basically, I bought a half lamb and every time I cook a portion, I make it appropriate to serve to babies six months or over (and the rest of the family for that matter!).  I started with minty lamb meatballs for babies made with ground lamb and today I’m sharing a scrumptious grilled lamb chops recipe.  Fancy yet simple.

First off, I thawed one package of lamb chops from La Ferme Valens:

lamb chops baby blw baby led weaning

 

I picked some fresh rosemary and thyme in fresh herbs pot:

rosemary fresh baby led weaning BLW Jessica Coll
Can you spot the one sprig of fresh rosemary in my pot of fresh herbs?

 

fresh thyme BLW baby led weaning
Check out the fresh thyme on the left

After that, I combined all the ingredients except the lamb chops in a small bowl:

oil lamb chops BLW baby led weaning

 

Then I rubbed the herb mixture on both sides of the lamb chops.  I placed the lamb chops in a container to marinate for one hour in the fridge:

lamb chops baby led weaning

 

Finally, I cooked them on the barbecue at the highest temperature.

 

lamb chops blw Baby led weaning
The finished product! You can offer one small lamb chop to your baby to gnaw on.

Babies can gnaw on these lamb chops even when just starting out at around 6 months old. They won’t get much meat off but the sucking action will draw out the iron from the meat and this can keep them busy for a long time. Long enough for the rest of the family to enjoy a nice hot meal while the baby chomps on the baby led weaning (BLW) lamb chops.

 

Did you ever give a lamb chop to a baby?

 

Grilled Lamb Chop Recipe for Babies

 

INGREDIENTS

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (omit if you have a baby under 12 months)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 lamb chops

 

Combine all ingredients except the lamb chops in a bowl. Rub the mixture on both sides of the lamb chops and let marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Then, remove from refrigerator and allow the lamb chops to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Then, heat barbecue over high heat, add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook for another 3 1/2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and offer one small lamb chop to your baby. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 4 adult-sized portions.

Recipe inspired from the Food Network.film Extinction 2015 download

 

Precautions

Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:

  • your baby is ready and does not start too early
  • your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
  • you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
  • the environment is calm during meals
  • you offer the right foods to your baby (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

 

Get your 100% FREE mini-cookbook featuring my top 5 BLW recipes by heading to jessicacoll.com.