This past Saturday, I found myself breastfeeding in public for the first time. Well, public in this sense. I have breastfed Caleb in the car many, many times when we have either been coming or going somewhere. It’s not like I have been avoiding breastfeeding in public, it’s just one of those things that never needed to happen. When I’ve gone somewhere, typically I will feed Caleb before leaving. Now that he’s a little bit older, we usually are able to give him a little something from our plates.

On Saturday, however, a local coffee shop welcomed a group of breastfeeding women as part of the Global Big Latch On.

Global Big Latch On events take place at registered locations around the world, where people gather together to breastfeed and offer support to each other. 20,562 children were counted as breastfeeding during the one minute count (and quite many more were attending but snoozing during that moment). The purpose behind the event is to promote and support breastfeeding families. There were a couple of lactation consultants attending this event available for question.

All in all, there were 17 babies attending this event with about 12 breastfeeding at the same time. Our local newspaper was present to cover the event and we even had someone taking pictures of the moms and their babes. It was great getting to meet with other women and share our experiences with one another. It’s been hard for me to find other moms to connect with in person since this is a small town. There typically aren’t a lot of opportunities out there for connecting.

These photos were taken by Amanda Kielar Photography. She took a ton of great photos that you can view on her Facebook page. These are just some of the ones featuring me and little man (there are a couple more on her page).

I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event. I had a hard time breastfeeding when Caleb was first born. To be honest, without Robb encouraging me and pushing me, I think that I would have given up. Yes, I do give Caleb formula on occasion at daycare (when I’ve had a stressful day at work and just can’t pump much) but at home, he is 100% on the breast. I use a special organic formula sourced from Germany that I’ll feature in another post.

I love muffins. They are delicious, easy to fix, and I tend to make enough to have them last for a couple of meals. When I was thinking up ideas of what Caleb could eat in lieu of purees, I instantly thought of muffins stuffed with delicious (and soft) foods that he had already tried. We are going with a more Baby-Led Weaning approach to introducing food to Caleb which has been fun, a bit scary, and super messy!

These muffins come together in no time which is essential when you are trying to cook in the kitchen and wrangle a baby that has just began to discover crawling.

Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Then you’ll add your wet ingredients. The only real wet ingredients here are the applesauce, avocado, and banana. You can mash them together BEFORE you add them to your dry ingredients but I just threw them in and mashed them all together in the bowl.

 

Once everything is all nicely combined, you spoon the mixture into your muffin tins. This recipe creates 24 mini muffins which is the perfect size for your little one. The muffins don’t rise so what you put into the muffin cup is pretty much equal to the size of the muffin once you remove it. The muffins will still be moist in the middle when you remove them but that’s okay. A dry, crumbly muffin seems like a nightmare to me for a baby to try to eat.

Caleb had a lot of fun watching me work in the kitchen. I put a few toys on the ground for him, including the bowl that I used to mix up the muffins in and just let him go to town with it. He ended up being a sticky mess afterward but it was worth it.

I don’t have any shots of the muffins after they finished baking so here is a picture of Caleb enjoying them. Belle, our dog, enjoyed them a little bit more than Caleb did, I think. His favorite part of the entire muffin was feeling it squish in his hand but he had fun playing with them and I had fun making them. These little muffin bites would make a great addition to a snack bag or lunch box.

Robb tasted one after I finished and even he thought that they didn’t taste half bad!

 

Print Recipe
Healthy Baby Muffin Bites
Course Baby/Toddler
Servings
24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
Course Baby/Toddler
Servings
24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in the center and add the banana, avocado and applesauce. Mashing and stirring until well combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the 24 mini muffin cups. Bake for 14-16 minutes until set.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze individually for up to 30 days.
Recipe Notes

Please note that this recipe creates a muffin that is a bit more moist on the inside than typical muffins.

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Not long after Caleb was born, I discovered the idea of Baby Led Weaning (BLW). BLW is what it sounds like – letting the child feed themselves about the time they reach 6 months and are showing interest in food. For Caleb, he started showing interest in food at about 4 months, but we held off for the most part offering him anything.

The biggest takeaway here is “weaning”. In the United States, weaning is considered to be leading a baby off of breast milk while the United Kingdom, weaning is more so where you simply add complementary foods to the child’s diet. After all, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

I fell in love with the approach even if the rest of my family isn’t quite sold. The biggest concern that they’ve expressed is choking. I remember the first time my mom watched Caleb feed himself. She quickly told me to stop because she couldn’t handle watching him do it. There is a HUGE difference between gagging and choking however. I know it is hard watching Caleb struggle but as long as I stay calm, he stays calm.

Baby Led Weaning can help a child develop into a good eater. If they eat it, they eat it, if not, they don’t. You don’t force them to eat it. You allow them to explore and feed themselves. It’s meant to be fun, after all and it is fun. And messy. Soooo messy. You can make them little special treats (like my Healthy Baby Muffin Bites) or you can feed them what you eat, just making sure that they are sized appropriately.  They are exposed to new textures and tastes, and learn to chew first and then swallow (versus swallow first and then chew like with purees).

I do give Caleb some pureed items on occasion just to give him that sort of texture (which some purists believe that any puree means that you are not doing BLW) but for the most part, I go with the Baby Led Weaning approach. Follow my Instagram for pictures of some of what I feed him or check back on the blog soon for a “What Caleb Ate” post!

Wow. Caleb is 6 1/2 months already. I absolutely cannot believe it. While we think that he started teething back when he was 3 months old, we still haven’t had any teeth break through the surface. Every time I feel around in his mouth though, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a tooth poking out. We’ve been keeping a few items in the fridge to help soothe his gums (and him on these hot summer days) so I thought that I would share a few of our, or rather Caleb’s favorite items to help him through his first teething experience.

Is your little one having issues teething? Check out the Hippie and the Hunter's suggestions for teething helpers!

Wink Naturals Cool Gums Teething Gel 

I picked up this teething gel long before the FDA released its warning in May about teething gels with benzocaine. The Cool Gums Teething Gel is a natural, drug-free formula containing zero numbing agents and it helps soothe tender gums. It has a great flavor to it and Caleb really seems to enjoy it. Sometimes I’ll even put it in the fridge for a little bit to get it a little extra cool. Fun fact: you can also use it on canker sores yourself!

Use “EELLIOTT15” to get 15% off of anything in the Wink Naturals shop!

 

Baby Buddy Silicone Finger Toothbrush

I’ve mentioned this product before but it is too good to not mention again. This is sort of like a starter toothbrush for those first teeth but it doubles as a gum massager to help with sore gums. It’s never too early to start your little one on the right path to good dental hygiene! The finger toothbrush is super easy to use and it almost seemed like a game to Caleb for me to use it. It’s a completely different sensation to have against your gums and I think he found it funny!

Mary & Kate Benny the Bunny Teether Rattle

This wooden rattle is made of European beechwood and is such a fun little rattle to play with. I love the sound of it. It’s durable and safe for babies to chew on. Studies have shown that wood can naturally eliminate even most harmful bacteria like e-coli or salmonella from its surface within minutes, so you don’t need to sterilize some wooden toys. Just rinse them under running water or wipe clean. This rattle was designed Montessori style to stimulate baby’s senses, encourage learning and social skills and promote grasping and fine motor skills development.

Go GaGa Squeeze & Teethe Elephant – Kiki

Finger!

One of Caleb’s favorite things to gnaw on is my finger! Or rather… my knuckle to be more specific. I don’t mind, especially since he doesn’t have any teeth yet. Even better – fingers are free and easily cleaned!

Essential Oil Blend

Yes, there IS an essential oil blend that may help with teething. To 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, add 1 drop of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of roman chamomile essential oil. You’ll want to massage a small amount on the OUTSIDE of your little one’s cheek along the gum line. Again – OUTSIDE. Essential oils are potent and should be treated as such!

What are some of the things that helped your little one when s/he started teething?

 

Before I had my son, I never really carried a purse. It just seemed like such a hassle when I could fit everything that I needed into my pocket. But now? If I don’t have my diaper bag somewhere around me when we go around, then we are testing our limits.

As my son grows older, I know that my diaper bag will evolve. No longer will it be a bag mostly of diapers. Instead it will hold coloring books, juice boxes, and best of all – snacks! Food tends to be more on my mind during the day than anything else. I live for meal to meal. Even though we aren’t big snackers, I know that as Caleb gets bigger, his needs will grow too, especially as we start taking longer and longer trips. So I might as well get used to packing some snacks. Besides, I enjoy having a little treat for myself during the day.

Here are a few of my favorite – and easy – snacks for the diaper bag.

  • Happy Baby Organic Yogis Freeze-Dried Yogurt & Fruit Snacks – Nom, nom, nom. I’m not going to lie, I enjoy eating these myself. These bites are made with probiotics to help maintain digestive health and are certified USDA organic. The size is perfect for little ones learning to self-feed.
  • Banana Chips – Banana chips are a great addition to any diaper bag. They are easy, low-effort, sweet, and best of all, CRUNCHY. I like to snack on them instead of potato chips when I need something to keep my hands busy. Even better, Target has no come out with chocolate-covered banana chips! Yes – CHOCOLATE covered. How yummy?
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are such an easy thing to add to your diaper bag. I highly recommend breaking down the produce and putting them in a container of sorts instead of leaving them whole. There is nothing that I hate more than a mushy banana and if the peel pops? Bleh, your whole bag will smell like bananas.
  • Happy Tot Organic Fiber & Protein Soft-Baked Oat Bars – The package image pretty much sums it up. Even though we tend to avoid overly processed packaged foods in our house, it’s still nice to have something to grab when you are on your way out the door and realize that you don’t have anything packed. These oat bars are made with whole grains and real fruits and vegetables in palate-pleasing combos like apple & spinach and bananas & carrots.
  • Seaweed snacks – Okay. I know that this might be completely out in left field for some but dried seaweed is a great, crunchy and salty snack to pack, even if it ends up being more for you than your little one. Seaweed is chock full of nutrients, including high levels of vitamins A and C, and calcium.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found a few new snacks for your diaper bag.

What are some of your tried and true favorites?