Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Silver linings all over

Friday, February 4th, 2011

It’s funny, I’ve often thought “Oh wow, I wish I would have done more spontaneous things, gone to more events, taken more little trips before we had 80.” I didn’t really want to blog about it, because it’s pretty whiny, and I don’t want to give the impression that life is limited now. It’s more like I didn’t realize how much free time I had until now.

Now that I’ve spent four days in bed (thanks to my back), I realized I’m starting to thing “Oh wow, I can’t wait until I can walk, and I’m going to go on walks with 80, go down to Harvard Square to look at people, play in the snow, and go visit friends.” Part of the reason why I’m lying here in bed is because I’d not being leaving the house much and not getting exercise. A million feet of snow will do that to you.

So now, I’m reminded that much like before I had 80 I should have done so many things that are harder to do with a baby, now that I have her I should go and do all of the things that are great to do with a baby, that maybe seem a little hard (restock the diaper bag, put tiny snowpants on) but that I’d kill to do today instead of lying here in bed.

Today’s lesson is: Pollyanna yourself! Also, don’t forget to exercise (especially walking) if you’re a new mom. Those ligaments are extra stretchy still and not being able to take care of your child is reason enough to get moving.

BLW update

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

80’s been eating adult food (non-pureed solid food, you sicko) for a month and a half now. It’s taking me a while to figure out BLW. She’d been cramming entire “sticks” of food in her mouth, so I started giving her smaller sticks of food (which works, because she’s gotten the fine motor skills to hold them … mostly). She’d just stick more smaller sticks of food in her mouth, creating the same traffic jam, just in more chokeable chunks. Today I had cut up apple into 1/16th sticks, and left a quarter for myself. I was feeling playful, and offered it to 80 (I bit off the skin around the edges so it wasn’t … so she couldn’t … you know, get a paper cut with the skin. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen, but I’m a little short on sleep.)

She LOVED IT. This is what she’s wanted all along. She happily gnawed on the apple (both soft side and skin side) for a good long while. She cried when I took it away (she’d been rubbing her eyes so furiously, I knew we needed to get her cleaned up and on to napping pronto). The look in this picture is her “extreme pleasure” face.

The big lesson is that the baby-led weaning book I love (Baby-Led Weaning: helping your baby to love good food)* really does know what they’re talking about. There’s a picture of a baby nomming on a whole apple, and I thought “yeah, maybe in a few months”.

Also, I remember my friends Abby and Sara having to keep apples on hand at all times, when their son would nom on a whole one for a snack every day. They’d have to keep track, so the chewed-on apple didn’t end up forgotten under his bed, since he took it to play with him all over their house.

The word “apple”, much like the word “fork” will become hilarious as 80 learns to say them, and yet sounds more like she’s swearing a blue streak. Remind me to take a video of her narrating eating an apple with a fork.

*which is now “translated” into American English, so courgette becomes zucchini and spello-tape becomes Scotch tape. One of the authors left a comment here, to let me know.

Baby-led weaning in action

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Here’s a video of 80 having lunch. It’s not actually that exciting, but I thought it would be good for someone who was skeptical (as I often am).

Ask any questions about BLW in the comments — and anyone else who is doing this, let me know if you have other tips.

Eating food! (pause) Oh.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Right before Thanksgiving, we started feeding 80 … food. It seems redundant to say feeding food, but up until this point, she’d only had breast milk and formula.1. We decided 80 was ready for food because she’d been staring at us eating in front of her and my impression was that she thought it looked like fun, she was sitting up well, and she generally seemed game to try new experiences.

Wearing a bib, ready to go.

I’d read a while ago about what to feed babies, and at the 6mo checkup, our doctor reminded us about the things NOT to feed babies until they’re older. You might find it surprising what’s not OK: honey, peanut butter or peanuts, any dairy, salt, sugar (everything I love, basically). I checked my favorite parenting site Moms4Mom to see what other parents have opined about what to feed your 6mo.

I knew the basics, but was surprised to find out about feeding theories that weren’t covered in the books I had read. I had come to the site to find out if I should start with rice cereal with breastmilk, or some sort of vegetable. I wasn’t expecting to find anything else. I settled on rice cereal as 80’s first food, because it is iron fortified, and at 6 months there isn’t much else she needs other than breastmilk.

The other feeding theory had caught my eye. At the time, I was impatient to start in on the food, and didn’t want to wait, so I made a mental note to look it up later.

I also read about other good first foods, things that are easily gummed. I decided that 80 should also try avocado, because I find it so incredibly delicious. Plus, as Keem says, “It’s the cheese of the vegetable kingdom.” So we sat down to try eating.

And it was awesome! The rice cereal was mostly milk, and 80 slurped it down. There was no pushing it out of her mouth with her tongue (this being a reflex that younger babies have, and a good indicator that they’re not ready for food yet), and not that much mess … until she realized that the spoon was the food vehicle. Then it was not so awesome. She wanted to hold the spoooooooon. Why couldn’t she just hold the spoooooooon? (Answer: because she would gnaw on it, not give it back for a refill, and couldn’t get it into her mouth without rotating it so all the cereal fell off.)

But whatever, it was eating food! This meant the eventual freedom of my boobs.2 It meant new adventures.

Within 24 hours, I was reminded of the other aspect to starting solid foods. The poop. I’d forgotten that it changes, even though everyone who’s had a baby talks about it. I wouldn’t have been so excited about food if I’d remembered. I now understand why people get a Diaper Genie.

See, breastmilk poop doesn’t smell that bad at all. I think it smells vaguely like bagels. It’s a subtle odor. Everything-else poop is wow. Like adult poop.

We realized we’d need to start using a sprayer or liners with her cloth diapers. The trash can in her room was suddenly smelly. My favorite baby book ever, Be Prepared, suggests having a trash can outside the window, and dropping diapers out the window into the trash can below. I seriously considered it.3

What can be done about this new development in diapers? Nothing. As long as we keep feeding her food, her poop is going to stink just like everybody else. Perhaps we could just feed her roses.

Next up, I’ll explain moving from shoving gruel into my angry baby’s mouth, to the much more fun Baby-led Weaning!

1. We gave her formula the first week of her life, as a means to flush out the jaundice she had.
2. This was a bigger thing than just having my boobs to myself again. I have a low-level amount of worry that 80 will be hungry and I won’t be around.
3. I’m sure the other condo owners are glad I didn’t.

Traveling Wadsburys

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Sonya on a sled

Jason and I have sworn that we’re not going to be parents who end up staying home for the next five years. We’d like to start our kid on dinners out and traveling as soon as we can. Our motivation is to be able to continue to travel, but also to have a child who is comfortable in many situations. Since all of our family lives out of town, this will ensure good family contact as well.

I’m researching the author Laurie R. King for an interview I’m doing with her, and I just found this quote:

I’ve been to India twice, once as an undergraduate on a set tour, the other time for six months with my husband and daughter (when that Taj Mahal photo was taken). Perhaps the most interesting thing about the longer trip was traveling with a child. It’s a thing few people do (with reason — it’s hard work!) and as a result, the people who live there get a somewhat skewed idea of who and what Americans are. To see a Western family walking up the village street — mother, father and small blonde child — acts like an instant outstretched hand.

This may be an idea for diplomatic overtures to parts of the world with ambivalent feelings about the United States: offer free plane tickets to any family willing to take small children with them, and watch the amity grow.

Now I can add “bringing about world peace” to the list of benefits.

Yes, that’s a photo of me, on a sled, with kittens. I figured you could use it to get through your day.