Saturday, July 21, 2007

'Taint Natural

Pureed baby food, that is. According to this guy.

I do believe the part about baby food companies and marketing, as that's been their M.O. the whole time anyway. But the thing about babies not being able to regulate their intake if food is pureed? I don't know. My kid lets me know when he's done, squished food or not.

The article also seems to be conflating pureed food with manufactured baby food. I've pureed his food, and/or squished it with a fork (or potato masher, depending.) They said that pureed food leads to babies being "picky" and "constipated," neither of which characterizes Limelet. he eats everything (except mangoes) and then gets rid of it all just fine.

Of course, it's all been homemade food items, not jarred food. And I did add items one at a time to screen for allergies, though lately I've been a bit more cavalier about that as he's 10 months old now and should be able to process more kinds of foods. He still doesn't get much if any dairy, soy, tomatoes, strawberries, shellfish, egg whites, and a few other common food allergens. Maybe some traces of dairy and egg whites, or as ingredients in his teething biscuits.

I started adding a little whole wheat to his diet this past week. He likes to wave it around, mostly, whether in bread form or spaghetti, but he does also eat it eventually. He's been getting squishier poo, but I don't yet know if it's the wheat that's doing it.

Tonight is the third night in a row that he's gone to sleep by 8:30. We are incredibly grateful, as it's been weeks since he's gone to bed before 9:30, usually about 10. Today I noticed the point of tooth #8 finally sticking out of his gum a little bit. Not a coincidence, I think.

It took three days for tooth #7 to erupt, and then six weeks for its opposite to erupt. Six miserable weeks, I might add. He was in a much better mood today than he has been for a while. Probably the teething relief and the good night's sleep combined. Boy, when they said that teething can throw off babies' sleep schedules, they weren't kidding. We had some 11:30 nights last week, which is rough when you're already completely knackered by 6pm.

[Knocking wood] Maybe we'll be able to keep him on this steady schedule for a while now. (Please, no laughter.)

Of course, the fact that we're moving in two weeks and then I'm going back to full-time work right after that probably won't help his sleep any.

I'm turning into one of those breastfeeding religious convert types. I just think it's really an incredible process. The more I find out about it, the more milk seems most closely analogous to blood: the same kind of living fluid that adapts its function to whatever's needed at the time, with the same living components (a lot of the same cells, in fact). Now I think of it as part nutrition, part transfusion. This is why there's no good "formula": the same reason there's really no artificial blood, only aspects of it, and those are usually for temporary use until "real" blood is available.

I can't believe how common formula feeding is. It seems odder and odder to me as time goes by. Yes, I know some people can't breastfeed and that's what formula is for--which is for some strange reason often the first thing that many people say if I mention anything about breastfeeding. You would think that most mothers can't breastfeed, by how often it's mentioned.

But I also recently read a discussion in which a woman wrote about how her 6-week-old "weaned" himself off breastmilk onto formula. She's really convinced herself the baby did it himself, rather than just finding the bottle-suckling easier (which it is, to their developmental detriment.) So, there's considerable blindness to some important issues out there.

I remember reading something about how there's this common conception that formula is "standard," and breastfeeding is some kind of "extra" boost (usually mentioning IQ, but sometimes immunity). But really, breastfeeding is the standard--babies need to be breastfed. It's not some super-duper extra thing. They can survive on formula, is what it is.

Also, I now can't believe how weird people are about breasts. I just can't even see them as any big deal at all. I really just think of them as my kid's food these days. And surely I can't be the first person to point out how cultures where formula feeding is the norm seem to be the most breast-fetishy, at least in my really unscientific "mental survey".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jug Band

Limelet seems to have settled into a pattern again, finally. The pattern is that I can't get him up before 7 without crying (him) and we can't get him to go to sleep before 9:30 (us crying). At least it's a pattern. Funny, I realized that this has been his underlying sleep pattern since he was about six weeks old, but now it's stupid daylight savings, so it's technically "later" in the morning and night.

His favorite thing to play with lately is any plastic jug--laundry detergent, vinegar, milk, whatever. As long as it's large (and preferably brightly colored), he desperately wants it. There's a whole collection of these jugs by his little toy bin. Insert your own euphemistic joke here.

He's getting a bit too big for his little bébéPOD chair, so I got him a booster seat at the resale shop. Did I mention I love the resale shop for his stuff? Clothes, toys, baby gear--it's great. Anyway, it's so cute to see him sitting in his little chair like a big boy.

I'm packing away some of his earliest toys now, since he's getting to the stage in which he likes toys with which he can "do" something, like press buttons or manipulate parts. Aside from the jugs, that is. Today in the store we played with a toy that consisted of a circular ramp to roll a little plastic ball down. After I did it a few times, he started doing it himself, and laughed when it came out by his feet. I think it's the first time I've seen him so overtly use several objects together like that, and copying my actions to boot. So funny!

He also likes to pick (and in some cases eat) flowers. His favorite delicious flowers are the leek blossoms in our garden, which are quite surprisingly oniony and hot. I'm surprised he keeps eating them.

Then he has little tiny onion breath all morning, after he washes the flowers down with breastmilk, of course.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

No Real Update

I think of updates all the time in my head, but when I get my limited chance to write something down, I've usually forgotten them. Of course, I'll remember again later when I can't be online.

Limelet seems very close to crawling. He leans forward from sitting onto hands and knees, and he's desperate to get somewhere. Everywhere. He still tries to "fly" on his belly, but a lot of times he just rolls where he wants to go. He's also learned to scoot backwards on his behind on the kitchen floor.

Limelet and his dad both love the wooden blocks, for different reasons. They also both like the little pool, especially as it's been incredibly hot these past couple of weeks. However, only Limelet likes the noisy Explore 'n' Play toy I got him recently. I have to admit, Froggy Went a Courtin' has gotten permanently stuck in my head, too. I wish the volume was a bit lower, but that seems par for the course for kids' toys. Actually, I was thinking of the old Farmer See n Say when I was looking for it, but there's only the updated version now. I didn't even find that, for some reason. I originally looked under "See n Say", so that's probably why.

We went to our last LLL meeting at this location last week; hope we find another nice group.

While we have continued to keep regular get-up times, naptimes, and bedtimes, Limelet's sleep schedule is actually devolving now, such that he has a hard time staying asleep between 8 pm and 11 pm.

He looks so tired even by 6 or 6:30: circles under his eyes, glazed expression, etc. etc., but if I put him to sleep then, his body treats it as a third nap and he awakes 40 minutes later, thus taking the edge off his sleepiness and ensuring that he stays awake at least another 3 hours.

Whereas before if I kept him awake just until 7:30, he'd go to sleep and more or less sleep through (albeit with some help), this pattern seems to have dissolved in the past few weeks. Now he wakes up some time after 8 and can't get back to sleep, until at least 9:30, usually 10:30 and sometimes after 11, no matter when he initially fell asleep. Sometimes we just go out for a walk in the evening with him in the stroller when he can't sleep. It may not get him to sleep (and so far it hasn't) but at least we all get out of the house and its cargo of non-sleeping vibes.

Sometimes I think he's still trying to take three naps, though I've kept it to two.

These days I absolutely must take his second nap with him, or I am an absolute wreck due to lack of sleep. I'm usually knackered by 6 pm anyway, even if I do take his nap. It's really hard to get up in the morning to get him up, which only makes the whole darn cycle worse.

Have I mentioned how nice it is to take a nursey-nap? It really is the most comfortable, pleasant activity ever. The closest thing I can think of is it's like sleeping in a warm bath. Apart from the obvious aspect of snuggling, it must be the hormones. ("Nursie" = body part, or the activity, or the milk itself, but I just have to spell it "nursey-nap" for some reason.)

Limelet's not feeling too well today, as he wasn't yesterday. Could be teething again / still--there's no fever or any specific illness symptoms. But he seems to have been teething forever! And no more teeth have come through in a long while. I wish they would. He's really miserable today.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

No title! For some reason Blogger won't let me enter one. Huh.

It feels like forever since I last posted. I constantly compose entries in my head that I haven't had time to enter, as we are packing to move, along with the persistent dissertation-and-baby-care drumbeat.

First, more about sleep:

The sleep plan was working. Oh, it was working great. I loved it! There were days in a row in which he went to sleep by, oh, 8pm or at least 8:30, only needing top-ups for the first few hours. It was wonderful. Then Limelet had several nights of teething, which meant he stayed up late several nights in a row. This was immediately followed by an evening we went out and dragged the poor thing out with us.

I meant to truncate the event severely and only push his bedtime forward a little, but it took most of the allotted time to even find the place. And there were people there that I haven't seen since his birth (who hadn't even seen Limelet in real life yet), who are now leaving state so I won't see them again for who knows how long. So we really didn't get him home until a couple hours past his bedtime. He was falling asleep sitting up by the time we left. And instead of falling asleep in the car as I thought he would, he freaked out and cried, in fact was screaming in misery by the last mile of the trip. So that was terrible.

But since he'd had about 4 nights of staying up, this only served to reinforce the pattern. It's a week later and his circadian cycle is still all messed up. He's been going to sleep immediately after his bath (not my intention), and then waking up at 8, only to remain awake until 10:30. And he's cranky and unhappy during that time--so we are, too (soothed only by Haagen-Dasz, Bailey's flavor). As TheLimey exclaimed in exhaustion, "it's the longest two hours of the day."

But other than that, he's still developing by leaps and bounds, as far as I can tell anyway. He's almost crawling now; he lunges forward from sitting in order to try to grab things that he's purposely thrown out of his own reach, including and especially over the edge of the couch. When he really wants to get somewhere, he rolls, of course.

But that throwing thing--that's his favorite game now. Just two weeks ago, he started realizing that things he dropped went onto the floor and could be picked up again (by his slaves). Within a day or two he started dropping things repeatedly for fun. Then he realized that he could get more interesting results by moving his hand while dropping, and thus he discovered throwing.

He's still obsessed with the baby monitor and cries when he can't have it. Ditto laundry detergent jugs. One of his favorite toys is a big empty vinegar jug. He especially liked it when it had some vinegar traces that he could taste when he chewed on it. (I guess he wouldn't be our kid if that weren't the case.)

Lately he has had several instances of being frightened--no, terrified--by loud noises. One, the train going past the sidewalk he was on and blowing its whistle; two, the suddent demolition of a structure Daddy built out of wooden blocks; and three, the town's monthly test-siren going off. (Needless to say we haven't tried taking him out to any soccer games with crowds lately, like the one that made him scream for an hour straight.)

We got him a wading pool that's on the back patio--he loves it. He is just crazy about water! Cries when it's time to get his little blue-lipped self out of it.

He's eating a lot of meals, but I don't know about total amount of food. He loses patience with eating after a short time, just as I used to. (Used to.) He loves legumes, meats (even fish), grains, and veggies, but oddly is not that interested in fruit. Well, I always used to say I had a "salt-tooth" instead of a "sweet-tooth," so maybe he does, too.

Well, so much for break time, back to the dissertation.