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".


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