Thursday, March 22, 2012

To BLW and back

It's funny how your ideas on things change about parenting- before you have a child, and then they continue to change as things go.

When I heard about BLW, it made sense, I studied the book, and decided to go along with it.
We started with purely fingerfood at 6 months
I'm not exactly sure, but I don't think she'd had anything but finger food at 12 months, where we discovered her love of mashed potato- so she had mash
And then closer to 18 months, we discovered pureed food is very handy when she'll hardly eat any solid food for weeks when teething.

Finger food- mash-puree

Sound really backwards to anyone else?

What I've discovered along the way:
* You can serve up broccoli for a year- but she still won't eat it. I'm starting to think fussy eating is inherent to some degree, rather than something that can be avoided by an eating/ feeding method. We eat our vegetables in front of her. We serve her vegetables. After that, mayby we just have to admit mayby she's just not fond of broccoli for now.

* Puree of itself is not evil. (shock, horror)

* Sometimes, for the parent at least, any (healthy-ish) food she eats is better than no food. Rachael seems to take teething harder than most children. And, to be perfectly honest, I'm finding it hard for breastmilk to be nearly the entire food source for an 18 month old who happens to be both teething and having a growth spurt at the same time, for weeks on end, all day and all night. A little help by puree is appreciated to give me a little break.

*Kids really love those sqeegy pouches. Crazy stuff; if it's in a pouch, it'll get sucked dry quickly. Even though the manufacturers state you've got to decant the food first, honesty, no-one does because this way it gets eaten. I see parents everyday giving them tothe kids like this. I'm pretty sure it's the reason why they're packaged like that in the first place, but they're just covering their backsides.

*BLW purists would be appalled.

 But you know what? I don't have a problem with the way we're doing things. Firstly, we've figured out by now Rachael is not your "average" child. She's not at all inclined to follow the baby books, or the "methods". I don't wish we'd gone back and done purees from the begining; I like that Rachael is not used to being force fed. She's confident and in control. Even when that independance can be inconvenient to us at times.

So we've been to BLW, and back again. We've learnt some stuff, softened ideals on some stuff. And that's just the way it goes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

18 months

18 months- another one of the "big ones". However, I more feel at the moment like she's a little baby again, rather than a big girl. Blame the teething. Teething always sends her on quite a regression. We go back to being whiny, impatient, clingy and teary. Also, Rachael eats practically no solids, preferring round the clock breastfeeding, and not much sleep overnight, even in our bed. She even woke up crying strongly, it took us a while to be able to calm her down again. A difference between the "big girl who acts like a little baby while teething" and an actual little baby is the big girl version also throws tantrums. Yesterday it was screaming and thrashing about in. the. library. (honestly, of all places) because mummy said it was time to go. It's the four eye teeth that are cutting through the gums. At least we know from experience that so far, this behavior change has only lasted for about two weeks each time, so we'll get through it, and out the other side. But really, two weeks sounds like a long time from where I'm standing. We haven't been able to get any Panadol into her yet, as she just spits it all out. I've also tried mixing it into some pureed apple and berry mix, but haven't managed to get it into her yet.

Before the regression, I;m pleased to say we were doing quite well. Rachael was eating meals and snacks throughout the day, as well as plenty of water. Sleeping was on the improve too. Our night routine works quite well. Rachael is happy to go into her cot once the routine is finished, knowing she's going to go to sleep. I just sit next to the cot, so she knows I'm there if needed. On a "good" night, she'll go to sleep herself fairly quickly and happily. Some nights she finds it rather diffucult to go to sleep though. It's quite funny to watch, because she'll have backside in the air, and moving around, but with her head on the mattress the whole time, like she's trying to say that she really is trying to get to sleep. On these nights, she'll often need my hand in the cot with her; to either just hold onto, or sometimes I pat her to try to help her settle in, or just have my hand on her. She seems to appreciate having me there as a "only if needed measure". Once she's settled in, but usually not asleep, she's ok for me to leave the room. So she really is learning to go to sleep by herself, but in a comfortable and supported way.
We'll be back to it after this phase passes, I'm sure.

Today we had Rachael's 18 month checkup, and vaccination. Boy oh boy, needle soreness on top of teething, we're going to have an interesting few days coming up it seems. I have no idea why, but I've just found out the health nurse didn't put her info into her blue book. I do remember though that's she's 10.6kg. About 40th percentile weight, and 20th percentile height, with a small head. All of the above is pretty normal for her.