Saturday, January 10, 2009

Food

I'm not quite sure what to make of Jacob and solid food. He seemed to do ok early on. He seemed to like the cereal and was pretty good about opening his mouth once in a while and eating it. But in the past few days it's been tough. He cries in the high chair, won't open his mouth, and won't look at me when I'm trying to feed him. I tried green beans last night and while he cried through that portion of the feeding, he did stop momentarily every time I managed to sneak a spoonful in, almost like, "Hmmm...this isn't bad. Now back to what I was saying...waaaaaah..." I don't know if he decided he doesn't like cereal, or if he doesn't like being in the high chair, or if there's some other disconnect somewhere that's making him not be in the right mood for eating. I'm very perplexed by solid foods in general because I can't for the life of me find a good schedule for introducing them. I have been hoping to find somewhere (internet, doctor, etc.) something that's basically like:

Days 1-3: 1 tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with formula/breastmilk to desired consistency
Days 4-6: 2 tablespoons of cereal and 1 tablespoon of stage one vegetable

You know, basically giving a blow by blow description of what to feed him when, as well as a good timeline during the day of when it should happen. I know all babies are different, but a good base would be a nice start, and we could tweak from there. But so far, no luck. I've just found a lot of generalities, like start with rice cereal, do veggies before fruits, avoid these allergenic foods, and wait at least three days before you try something new in case allergic symptoms develop. Part of my problem is that most sources talk about starting solid foods as early as 4 months, so those same charts are saying that 6 months is a good time to start other things like meats...but obviously if Jacob is just starting the other stuff, he's not ready for meats yet. But since he's already at the six month point where meats can be tolerated, does he have to wait until 8 months to hit meats? Probably not, but I can't find anything that really clearly gives a good timeline. Very frustrating.

Timing the solid food around his other feedings is confusing as well. Breastmilk is still his main source of nutrition, and they say that you don't want to replace that. So, they say you should feed them when they're just a little hungry, like a 1/2 hour to an hour after they last ate. Well...I've tried that with Jacob and he still fusses, perhaps because he's not hungry yet. I also don't want to push off another feeding if he does eat and spoils his dinner, so to speak. So confusing. And they say not to overfeed them, but how are we supposed to practice solid foods if he'll never eat them?

Last night I almost felt like I had to discipline Jacob a bit. Unfortunately, he may still be a little young to really make the connection. See, he starting fussing pretty early on into the cereal, for the second day in a row. I decided to try the green beans. He ate a few bites that I could sneak in between the fussing, and then I gave up and pulled him out of the high chair. Just for kicks, I sat him on my lap to see if he would eat. Sure enough, he opened wide for the the green beans. So maybe he was hungry and was just being cranky about sitting in the high chair (which, ironically, he seemed to like early on). I put him back in the high chair to try again, hoping he had calmed down, but he started back up again. So for the second day in a row I had to toss most of a serving of cereal.

After cleaning up, we could have played for a little while but I didn't want him to connect his crying fit with getting out of the high chair and playing. Hence where my "disciplining" comes in. We went to take his bath instead, and even there I was hesitant to let him play with the rinsing cup like he normally does at the end of the bath. He cried when I put it away. I think I relented a bit right before he got out, but I was trying to send the message that if he doesn't eat he can't play. Harsh for a six month old? I don't know. It's got to start somewhere, I suppose. I made sure to hug him and kiss him a lot to make sure he understood that I still loved him even if he couldn't play with the cup. Message sent? No idea. Even if it was, the throwing up incident probably changed everything anyway. He's better today, by the way. So I guess the Jumperoo theory was probably the right one, barring any further incidents with green beans. We've had a pretty good day...lots of playing and two naps...oh, and one diaper blowout...ugh. Grandma and Grandpa are coming to visit, and we're all going to the lacrosse game tonight. Not sure how that will work with Jacob's bedtime, but once in a while doesn't hurt (for long, anyway). It should be fun!

Happy Saturday!

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