Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Food and Drink

Well, Jacob seems to be doing much better these days. His mood has improved greatly, although he's definitely still a little moody at times. He'll still flip out over going in his carseat or when we lay him on his changing table to get dressed...from a good mood to screaming in two seconds. Ugh. But when he's legitimately happy, you can definitely tell the difference that health makes. I'll even go out on a limb and say I haven't heard much coughing lately. As routine as the coughing became, I still cringed every time I heard it, and I don't recall cringing lately. Even still, once a day or so is better than periodic coughing fits, so hopefully that means that the medications are working. He had some sleeping issues three nights in a row, where he'd wake up crying around 2 or 3am, and as long as we rubbed his back he quieted down...but the second we'd stop, he'd be right back at it. He'd almost always seem to be half asleep, without any visible clue about what was wrong. Usually if he's teething he'll be chewing on his hands, or if he's in pain he'll arch his back and scream bloody murder. But all three nights, he just went between a whine and a cry, mostly with his eyes closed. We took turns but eventually we needed to sleep so he slept on one of us for at least a while the first two nights. The third night I said that we had to stop that practice, because that was a bad habit to get into. Once in a while is one thing...repeatedly, that's a problem. It took a while but he did get back to sleep. Last night he was only up for about 10 minutes...much better. Tonight he woke up about an hour after he went to sleep. We let him cry for a bit to see if he'd calm down. He didn't, but a little rocking got him back to sleep again...for now, anyway. I'm hoping it's just a phase.

The sleeping problems made it a bit of an up-and-down weekend. Friday through early Sunday was pretty good...Jacob was great, and we had a good time hanging out, napping, and doing some running around. We even went to the Knighthawks game. Things were ok until Sunday evening, when he got a bit fussier, and that got frustrating. It's one thing when you know they're sick...and it's another when they're seemingly fine and you have no idea what's triggering the crankiness. One of my current theories (including the nighttime problems) is gas. I have no idea why all of a sudden it would be an issue again, but considering his poop changed consistency completely practically overnight a while back (despite not changing his diet during that time), nothing would surprise me.

But the overriding issue for a while has been his eating. He's just not doing very well...and the trouble lies more with breastfeeding and bottles than it does solids. He's been cutting off his feedings early...both with me and when he's bottle-fed at day care. He'll cut off quite early and cry, but if I stand him back up or let him play, he's fine. Sometimes I think it could be the acid reflux, but that should be under control based on all of his medication, and the reduced coughing would indicate it's working...and even if I try to feed him sitting up, he doesn't want to do it. Then I think he's just too eager to go play. He's trying to crawl and pull up and get all over the place these days, and part of me thinks he just doesn't want to bother wasting time eating. He gets a little to drink, enough to calm any hunger pangs, and then can think of nothing else besides practicing his stuff. That's all I can figure. It's worrying me a bit, because it is having a bit of an effect on my milk supply and I'm not quite ready to wean yet. It was bad enough that he was losing weight from not eating when he was sick, but God forbid we go back to the doctor again sometime soon and he's plateaued for any significant period of time. I don't want people thinking I'm not feeding him enough, nor do I want him to have any complications from not getting adequate nutrition. I guess before I freak out I'll give it a little time in case it's just a phase, and see how things look in a couple weeks. If it's still a problem, we'll call the doctor.

While many people would probably say to feed him more solids to compensate, there are two issues with that...first, I'm not sure he'd eat more. While he is eating, I think it would be pushing it to do more. He's still been a little fussy in the high chair so it's been a challenge for him to finish what he has. Second, they say that breast milk/formula is really a baby's main source of nutrition for at least the first year. And if that's the problem, filling his stomach with more solid food is only going to make him want to drink less. So, I'm feeling a little stuck. I keep hoping it is just a phase and he'll get out of it soon when he realizes he's hungry and needs more calories to support his active lifestyle :)

On the food and drink front, Jacob continues to like what we give him. Even if he's not one of those feed-me-now-before-I-freak-out-waiting babies, he still seems to like whatever he's getting. Tonight we tried his second meat, some pureed turkey and gravy from the jar. I mixed it a bit with his green beans and cereal, and he seemed to like it. I will keep working on that in the evenings until that jar is gone, and then I have a couple stage 2 jars to try--turkey and sweet potatoes and chicken and apples. I really want to give him some variety but am finding it difficult because so many baby foods now have citrus or tomatoes (some meat/pasta types), and both are a little acidic considering Jacob's reflux issues. Others have berries, which are supposed to be a little allergenic for babies. Go figure. I could just puree our food, but that's just weird to me. I did try the frozen mixed veggies again yesterday, and he seemed to do much better this time around. No renegade carrot bit popping out of his mouth 10 minutes later this time. We also started Cheerios a few days ago. He hasn't quite figured out how to get them up to his mouth, but will happily take them if we feed them to him. Cheerios got us through church on Sunday, actually. Between feeding them to him, letting him dig around in the little container they were in, and letting him shake the container (it's a nice muffled version of a rattle), he was well-occupied for the entire hour. No wonder they've been a church staple for generations!

Still no progress on the sippy cup. I keep trying, and so does day care, but he doesn't seem to want to suck on it. He likes to chew it or bang it around. He does like drinking out of a real cup, though. He's not very good at it yet, since a lot dribbles down his chin and I have to hold it for him, but he seems sort of obsessed with it when it's sitting there. My next steps will be to buy a couple other varieties of them--one with a really soft spout that's supposed to be a perfect transition, and maybe one with a straw. You never know what he will take to. And if he's starting to wean himself off of the breast and/or bottle, then we might really need to get working on this.

The roller coaster ride is tough, but I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt or some other short term issue, and he'll be his normal happy self soon. I'm happy he seems to be feeling better, but now more than ever I wish I could read his mind...

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