Gumtree baby: Feeding and baby-proofing

On The Move

Just when you think you’re getting the hang of having a baby, everything changes. The way they sleep, the things they like; it constantly changes from week to week. But it’s around the six month mark – give or take – that the really noticeable changes begin. Your baby starts getting more mobile, they’re well and truly teething (may even already have a few!) and will soon start transitioning to solid foods.

Your little baby is becoming a little person. And as they grow, you’ll need to adapt along the way. Two of the biggest changes for you at this time will be introducing a new feeding routine and baby-proofing the house. So for our last post in the Gumtree baby series, we look at tips to help you through these as your little explorer starts discovering the world.

By around six months, you’ll notice your baby is starting to pay more attention to you at meal times. They’ll stare at you while you eat and mimic you by opening and closing their mouth. This is a pretty clear sign that they’re ready to start trying food.

When it comes to introducing solids, there are a couple of ways parents go about it. The more traditional route is to start with pureed foods, which many parents prefer because it’s easy for babies to eat. If you decide to start with purees, you’ll want to invest in a good food processor as you’ll be blending food every couple of days. To make life easier, cook big batches at once and freeze leftovers in ice cube containers. This way you can just defrost small amounts as you need them.

An alternative option is to jump straight into finger foods (a method called baby-led weaning). Baby-led weaning saves loads of prep time because you’re not pureeing special meals, but instead sharing food from your plate. It also means you can eat together instead of having separate meal times – another great time saver. But the convenience of this method makes up for it in mess factor, with food guaranteed to end up all over the highchair, the floor, and all over you baby’s face. If you opt for baby-led weaning, you’ll want to invest in several long sleeved smocks to protect your little one’s clothes. And to make cleaning up easier, pop a beach towel or plastic sheet on the floor during meals.

When your baby start to move around the house, your world will change overnight. Gone are the days where you could do the laundry knowing that your baby will stay put on the floor. If you leave the room now, you never know what you’ll come back to – a baby facing a different direction, a baby who’s rolled over or a baby who’s making a beeline for a power point or electrical cord. Because they’re never going to crawl their way towards safe, fluffy toys – certainly not while you’re out of the room.

One way to find out what needs baby-proofing is to view the home from you baby’s perspective. Crawl around on your hands and knees and see what might look attractive to a small person. Look out for cords, electrical devices, any small items that could be a choking hazard and of course any poisons or medicines that could be easily reached. Here are just a few things you should consider when baby-proofing your home:
• Protect power points with outlet covers (aim for big covers rather than the small, plastic plugs as these can be a hazard on their own)
• Tape down cords or electrical cables that can’t be put elsewhere
• Install safety gates for areas that are completely out of bounds, such as kitchens or balconies
• Bolt heavy cupboards or bookcases to the wall
• Make sure the cords on blinds and curtains are either fastened to the wall or pulled up out of reach
• Lock cupboards with dangerous chemicals and, where possible, move them up high

You’ll definitely notice the difference when your baby is older. They’ll be sleeping less, playing more, and keeping you on your toes more than ever before. But they’re also going to be lots of fun, laughing and interacting with you more each day. So enjoy this new phase, because the next one will be here before you know it! And don’t forget, as your baby grows up and moves on from old toys, clothes and other items, you can always make space and a few extra dollars by selling your unwanted baby gear on Gumtree.

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