Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

Bought Baby Food VS Homemade Baby Food

When my partner and I decided to start a family one of the first things we talked about was baby food being made at home or store bought. It wasn’t even a debate we both obviously choose to do the at home route. Sure it did require more work than grabbing a jar and opening and heating it. You had to plan ahead, prep the food, cook it and blend/puree it for your little human. BUT, It was a lot cheaper and healthier than the store made/brand made. Did you know we bought a jar of baby food approximately April or May of 2020 and and it expires the following year. That does not feel right for us to be feeding whatever substance was in there but we couldn’t complain about the convenience so through we would have a few jars on hand just in case we had a situation where we needed to give him food.

Homemade experience for me has to be fair, been pretty great. Before I had moved to Quebec I worked as a Residential Councillor Assistant. Where I worked in homes with adults who have difficulties ranging from mental to physical. I had to puree some of my clients foods there so when I thought about doing it at home It really wasn’t that hard as long as you unstuck the blades and have patience to not completely water down the food before it is fully pureed!

Making homemade baby food seems easy. And even though it does take time it really is easy! We started with carrots and sweet potatoes with our son. Then we moved on to peas and green beans and green peppers as well. We never added meat til he was a bit older. He loved veggies, Oh and we also did squash and turnip too! But depending on how those are mixed he isn’t always a fan! When I cook things I made sure to over cook them. Remember from a previous blog I don’t really eat a lot of fruits or veggies HOWEVER this is something I do know by looking how cooked they are or how they should feel. A friend of mine said their doctor said also if the veggie is green to use the water from it to puree, however if it was orange or whatever else color to throw it away. We followed this advice too. We never puree mixed veggies together as we like to mix and match cubes for his meals and if we were to put say squash and turnip together that would be weird having to use those cubes all the time. We also use the same trays so that way it really can help when measuring and figuring out if he is eating the same amount to add another cube or not too.

Pureeing meat can be tough, Again based on my previous job I was doing this quite frequently but to my boyfriend who never really seen it before he described it looking like cat food. When a friend of mine was telling me about how to make baby food, she suggested that to do chicken breasts or say stew beef in a crock pot. Add some stock with it and put it on for the day. The juices help when pureeing and it also makes the meat very tender so you can blend it quite easily.

Thankfully, with Covid we don’t go anywhere so my experience with store baby food is limited. When covid was low here and travel wasn’t frowned upon, we went to visit and introduce our son to my partners parents. They live about 2.5 hours away. Sure, we could have fitted out a small cooler for the ice cubes. Instead we thought for the obvious convince why not bring a jar. I’m not even sure if he was old enough for protein yet! Lunch time came around to prep his food. The instructions were simple enough. Just put in a bowl, heat, serve. Do not heat in jar as it heats unevenly. I went to dump the jar into his bowl and whoa, It was so watery I’m not sure how people give it to their babies. It was for sure smooth but I have no idea how parents give it when the “sauce” barely stays on the spoon. It was so close to water my boyfriend even asked if I added too much when I jokingly said “No, no.. This is straight from the jar”. For convenience, sure, but anything else I feel like it was just not the quality, texture, or thickness that I would like to give my son or future kids either. Not to mention I think it is about a dollar a jar. This means if you give your child (as they grow) a jar or a few a day, it will become super costly. Not including biscuits or other purees or snacks that you give to your ever growing child.

Also before closing, if time is something you are worried about, don’t be! Friends of ours whose son is 2 months older than my son are simply pureeing food they eat for supper. Which essentially just a few moments at dinner times to prepare. My boyfriend and I eat at weird times and you all know my eating habits. Thankfully my partner has a lot better food habits than myself but with his job and or time we still do cubes. I make different cubes all at once over a weekend and it typically lasts for the month or so depending how much of a particular fruit or veggie we get. Remember once froen the cubes can last about 3 months too. Though I have never had them stay in there that long, we normally used them up.

Few tips I would suggest is:
– If you have a blender, you wont need to go get a food processor. A blender is what we used and it works fine. Just do not over fill as it will be harder to get the texture you want because you will always be pushing the chunks to the bottom.
– Add water SLOWLY, Once you add too much water it is hard to go back. So add it slowly to not over add.
– Things like blueberries, strawberries, cooked green peppers will not likely require much water if any because they are so watery. You just might need to stir a bit more to move the chunks around.
– If it is a green vegetable, keep the water from it to use to mix things a bit smoother.
– Also if possible, get ice cube trays that are the same size (or super close) so that way you can judge if your child is eating more or less of something.

Other than that, I would suggest just trying it out and seeing! If someone was to ask me which I would say to do, hands down making baby food at home is the best thing, for multiple reasons. Sure, it may take longer then opening a jar, but in the end it is totally worth it!


Things no one tells you after giving birth

Having a baby can be a super stressful time, Believe me, I was there. Not that long ago. In fact, the goal is to even go back there once my boyfriend and I find out we are moving back home to Nova Scotia (And a third time too!). However, There is a lot of things that no one talks about when giving birth and had it not been for a few friends who have been having kids a lot longer than myself or a friend who has a son who is 2 months older than my own telling me these things I would have had no idea some of these things. Sure you get the books and read them but do you REALLY read them? I know I skipped through pages near the end so you aren’t alone. Here is some things that stuck out to me.

Stairs Suck! When I was in the hospital I was on like the 2nd or 3rd floor. I never once took the stairs until I arrived home. We took the elevator and that was basically all. Well let me tell you, It was CRAZY the amount of pain you have when you have to walk up the stairs. I had about 5 or so stairs going into my house and our bedrooms were on the top floor which was another 10. No one ever said that your whole legs and butt we’re going to have this weird pain for a while as you walked up them. Thinking back I guess I could have said that would be the case since you know, You did just have a baby come out of down there but it was something I never read about or even thought about at all until I had to go home and walk up the stairs myself.

This next part might have been my own oversight, But DAMN do you ever bleed. Think basically a super period that lasts for an ACTUAL month straight. Some people may have known this I suppose but this was actually insane for me. Not to mention you are unable to wear tampons for this journey, you have no choice but to wear pads. And let me stress this enough, You can NEVER have enough pads and make sure they are maxi and the highest absorbance ever. I didn’t even use a pad in the first 2 days I was there per say as I was using the hospital ones that was basically 4 times the size of a normal one. That was mostly as a second layer. Then I used them at home which is extremely large amount. Thankfully with Covid 19, I didn’t really leave the house. Also don’t forget the “Water Bottle” That you need to fill with warm water and have it run over you as you .. ya know go to the bathroom.. so that it doesn’t hurt your down there when you go to pee. Something no one mentions until you actually have to go to the bathroom that’s for sure. Thankfully I never really tore anywhere so that wasn’t really a concern for me. At least with this baby anyways! A friend of mine had recently said that they discovered adult diapers and said they were a life saver and wished that she had them for her other kids. Me, I don’t think I can go that route because mentally I cannot fathom changing the diaper of my new baby and my own diaper. Pad’s or not I just cannot picture myself being in that situation.

Breastfeeding is not easy and is normally pressured to new moms. I started and stopped after a few days and I will probably put that in another blog later about my story for it. They make breastfeeding look so easy on movies and TV shows that it really isn’t easy at all. You have to make sure your baby is latching properly, that they are getting enough to drink, for me it was extremely stressful and when we were in the hospital for 48 hours due to my son having jaundice and a slight heart murmur (That went away thankfully!) it was stressing me out whether or not he was drinking enough. And then when we came home, being up by myself I felt alone and my Boyfriend wanted to be more involved also. It just did not feel right for us. Will we try it again with a second baby? Maybe. But if it doesn’t workout it doesn’t workout. You have people who will be snobby towards you and pressure you into breastfeeding because that is apparently the best way when in reality the mindset should be fed is best. Especially nurses in the hospital can make you feel this way. My friend who had decided with her partner that they wanted to do formula from the beginning. She also felt the pressures of this. I can tell you one thing though, if with baby number 2 we do end up breastfeeding straight through, there is absolutely no way I will be breastfeeding when the baby is over the age of 1.5 MAX or if we are pregnant with baby number 3. Imagine, having a 2 year old drinking your milk while a new born is also there. That is insane to me!

Hospital bag is pretty standard I would say. There is plenty of resources online and lists you can check out. For me I think the biggest things was a phone charger since we live away from my family this was great to keep in touch. Another would be snacks. They don’t provide any really only meals. Mind you, if you are picky like me this was a really big deal and if you end up having an epidural than you cannot have any food. We never had to deal with that as it was so fast with my son. If you have a tablet or even a laptop though with some DVDs (In case the hospital doesn’t have WiFi) then I would bring that too. I used that on my phone to put some shows from Netflix on since the hospital didn’t have WiFi and where I was home for the time before I had my son I had plenty of data so there was no charges thankfully, but it was great when I was overnight in the hospital and my boyfriend was home with the dog.

And lastly, and certainly not least. Formula is FLIPPING expensive. Normally when people talk about babies and what have you they talk about diapers being super expensive and blah blah blah. Wrong, Formula is super expensive! Funny enough we started by using the brand Similac. You would think it would be fine as it was one of the most popular brands or well known at least. We found it was making our son constipated though. Which was not good. I would push and have himself throw up or formula come out of his nose. It was strange. We talked to a few friends and they all were on basically store brand ones. One of them even recommended us to use the Walmart brand, Parents Choice I think. The difference was incredible. He was fine on the store bought brand AND it was 10$ cheaper as well. Needless to say we started using that one. For baby number two if we do go the formula side we for sure will be starting with that one as well too.

As you can see there are some things that people really don’t tell you about having a baby. I’m sure there will be a lot more as the time rolls around for baby number 2. Or even 3 when that happens as well. And hopefully you maybe learned something interested for your own pregnancy or even your spouses!