Update at 15 months

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Jack is 15 months old now, and just within the past week started walking all the time. It’s really mind-boggling and amazing to watch a baby learn a whole new skill like that. It took several weeks of him walking a step here and there before it just seemed to click one day. It was probably the how to walk DVDs we play him… just kidding!

For several weeks now Jack has been switching off and on between mostly 2 naps a day but sometimes just 1. He’s always tired for his morning nap 2-3 hours after waking up, but sometimes he just doesn’t fall asleep for the afternoon one. Then we have a tricky situation where he gets exhausted by an early time like 5pm and I don’t know whether to let him sleep or not. The other day he took a 10 minute nap after breastfeeding at 5, but then stayed awake until 9pm! So I think from now on I’ll try to keep any really late naps to 5 minutes and see how it goes.

Today for example Jack woke up at 7am and napped from 10-11:30. I tried to get him to nap again between 2:45-3:15 and he wouldn’t fall asleep while I walked him around in the carrier, so we skipped the afternoon nap. I took him to the park at 5 to keep him busy and now he’s passed out after breastfeeding at 6:30. Hopefully he’ll stay asleep all night!

Jack’s also been crying more lately and putting his fingers in his mouth so I think he’s getting a canine tooth. We always have a hard time deciding about giving tylenol (all the chemicals and possible side effects vs. don’t want our child to be in pain or never sleep) so I’ve been trying to limit it to once a night. The ingredients list is frightening though- I don’t know why medicine for children needs artificial colors and flavors…

Jack has also started (finally!) eating some more solids, but still not a lot compared to other kids. The things he likes are either puff type textures like cheerio-type things or these baked pea snacks, or mushy stuff in a spoon like egg salad and refried beans. I need to think of some more things to offer him though, maybe that will help him sleep more…

Baby led weaning with a picky eater

blueberries for Jack

 

We’ve been doing baby led weaning with Jack since he was 6 months old, and he’s 13 months now but still barely eating much at all. All our friends with similar aged babies have babies who can’t get enough of food, but Jack often just throws it off the table to our dog. At first he will often put food in his mouth and then spit it out a little later, and then move to just throwing it over.

Some of the foods that he likes more than others are:

  • freeze dried fruit, especially blueberries (whole foods sells them near the nuts and dried fruit, and they taste really good)
  • puffed corn (sold at whole foods in the cereal aisle in a plastic bag. He prefers the corn over the kamut, maybe because it’s slightly bigger)
  • dried apple chips with cinnamon (sold near the dried fruits at whole foods)
  • banana chips I found at trader ioe’s
  • baked dried pea snack sold at trader joe’s and whole foods
  • most types of bread except sliced bread which I think is too squishy for him to hold well

 

Since his iron was a tiny bit low, I’ve also been giving him applesauce with some blackstrap molasses in it because that has iron, and he likes it better than many other foods (i.e. will eat about 2 teaspoons). Since we do baby led weaning I put it on a spoon and have him hold it with me, and he usually brings it to his mouth. You can also just leave the “loaded spoon” on the table but that got super messy for us.

I bought some special baby organic puffs at whole foods, but Jack didn’t like them, and they had mostly rice flour which I worry about Jack eating too much of because of the arsenic, so I’m glad he prefers blueberries and corn.

We also tried those food pouches everyone seems to use once, but Jack would only eat a tiny amount at once and you are supposed to use it in 24 hours so it seemed like a waste. They also had some issues with recalls, so I’d rather just make my own purees and freeze them in ice cube trays and then use a cube over several days.

Hopefully Jack will start eating more soon! I’ve heard that sometimes they get really interested in food overnight, so we’ll see.

First tooth

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On Wednesday, Jack’s first tooth broke through his gum! He was really fussy the night before which now makes sense, and has still been fussy especially in the evenings and nights since then. The night before and after the tooth breaking the skin were the worst ones- he was waking up and crying, while he usually wakes up, eats, and goes back to sleep.

I’m really nervous about him biting me while breastfeeding! He clamps down sometimes and I try to stop feeding him when that happens, but I don’t know if he realizes the connection. Right now the tooth is still barely out (I’m surprised how slowly it’s growing in) but I can’t imagine how much it could hurt if he bit me after the tooth sticks out more. So far it seems really sharp!

I wonder how long it will take until the tooth is all the way out- I’ve heard anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. It also seems like in a couple of weeks his other bottom one and then top ones will start coming in. I get the feeling that the next 6 months are going to be non-stop teething! Ironically he is drooling less now than at 4 months, but the fussiness is pretty challenging. I may have to just wear him in some kind of carrier most of the days until it’s over.

I’ve been trying to offer him more solids lately, and he really enjoyed watermelon yesterday. I cut a slice with the peel on to make it easier to hold without breaking, but I took the peel off the edges so he was less likely to try to eat it.

I also made a puree for the first time (oatmeal with breastmilk and spinach) to see if he liked it. I was thinking since it had milk in it, he might prefer it more than the fruits and veggies he has been nonchalant about. Sadly he only ate a small spoonful of it (which I gave in a “loaded spoon” ) before deciding to play with it. I think even though it’s messy, I’ll try to focus on offering him food 1-3 times a day in small amounts to get him used to it rather than trying to get him to eat more at once. At least he really enjoys his baths in the sink afterwards!

Allergy update

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Jack had his 6 month visit to the pediatrician today (a month behind schedule because the doctor was on vacation). He weighs 19 pounds now and is right around 50% for everything. I told the doctor about his getting a rash on his face after eating tomatoes, so now neither of us are supposed to eat tomato or citrus fruits until he’s a year old.

Apparently tomato allergies aren’t that uncommon, and may be due to the fact that they were not historically part of many people’s diets until somewhat later than other foods when they were brought over from the Americas to Europe in the 1500s.  I told the doctor that Jack has been waking up every 2-3 hours at night which he said can be allergy related, so he advised for me to continue avoiding dairy, but also try cutting out soy again as well as the citrus fruits and tomato. Of course that happens right after I went to the farmer’s market and bought tomatoes yesterday! It’s a shame too because Jack found tomatoes easy to eat because they are so watery.

Some new foods I have been meaning to have Jack try are:

  • Watermelon (has as much iron as spinach! but probably easier for a baby to eat)
  • Oatmeal- probably a baked oatmeal “muffin” so Jack can hold it himself
  • Maybe egg yolk which is supposed to be high in a lot of vitamins. I just have to figure out how to serve it. “Loaded spoons” with food haven’t worked well so far since Jack just grabs them and flips them upside-down or something and doesn’t end up eating it.

I’m a little sad to have to go back to basically cooking/baking everything from scratch because most processed things have soy in them. The new diet means no mayo, ketchup, any desserts from trader joe’s, or most frozen foods I eat. Some desserts I can still easily make are:

  • Pancakes with whole wheat flour (made with almond milk)
  • Brownies in a mug if I feel really lazy!
  • Easy peanut butter cookies
  • Brownies (but not with chocolate chips because they all seem to have soy)

Baby led weaning update

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Jack has been eating sold food for about a week and a half now, and some foods have been working better than others.

Here are some things that worked or didn’t work well for us with baby led weaning (everything was organic FYI):

  • We tried baked sweet potato spears first, but he didn’t eat much of them. I cut them into fry shapes and baked with olive oil for about 30 minutes or so at around 400 degrees. They were easy for him to grab because I made then pretty fat and long, but they were so soft that they turned into mush quickly and he didn’t eat much.
  • Some things we gave I guess weren’t cooked enough because he was able to grab them easily and with minimal mess and suck on them a little, but didn’t eat any. This included roasted carrot (pictured above), sauteed broccoli spear, and a probably not ripe enough avocado spear.
  • Some things were too soft and therefore hard for him to hold. I tried giving him a roasted red pepper from a glass jar sold at whole foods, but it was really floppy and he couldn’t put it in his mouth well
  • Bananas have been the only thing he actually eats a decent amount of so far. I at first gave him a half banana with part of the peel on to make it less slippery. However, he took the peel off and then started sucking bits off the inside of the peel which was creative. I cute the banana lengthwise in half so he could grab it, and while it was slippery as long as the pieces were long he could put it in his mouth easily and it was soft enough to eat.

Next on my list to try:

  • Dipping a spoon in applesauce or coconut greek yogurt (we’re avoiding dairy due to allergy) and letting him feed himself
  • spears of melon or watermelon
  • kiwi
  • steamed carrot
  • mashed beans

At least he’s been having fun so far, and the dog especially loves it!

Introducing Solids

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Jack turned 6 months old the other day so we started giving him solid food! We are doing baby-led weaning and the first food we have been giving him is baked sweet potato fries. I peeled a sweet potato from the farmer’s market and cut it into long thick fry shapes and baked them for about 30 minutes. Jack loves to put everything in his mouth, but over a few days he seems to mainly just be licking the food so far and eating very little of it which I think is normal.

We are using the Tripp Trapp high chair which I love so far. Jack has been playing with spoons and sitting in it for a few weeks now, and he really enjoys it. He seems comfortable and likes to be able to reach things and watch me in the kitchen. We got the espresso color which was on sale here and are using the baby seat that I found on craigslist. You can apparently use the harness and don’t need the baby seat, but it seems to really secure him in there (it’s a tiny bit hard for me to even get him in/out) so I like it. eating also gets messy, so I like that I can just wipe the seat off. The chair is REALLY easy to clean and is made of eco-friendly wood, so I love it. It’s also ergonomic so the child’s feet can always be resting on something as they grow. I was able to put it together by myself while wearing the baby!

We decided not to buy the tray which is really expensive but got this silicone placemat instead. It sort of sticks to our glass table although Jack can pull it off if he wants to.

We’re going to avoid dairy because of possible allergies and likely most other allergy-causing foods. Our doctor recommended we start with vegetables and then move to fruits which are sweeter, so I’m going to try to think of some other options. I think the sweet potato may have been too mushy and stringy, so I may try something more firm and easy to hold that he can suck on like broccoli, or just give him an avocado I have… Hopefully he continues to be interested and starts actually eating some food soon!

For now, our dog Bear is the main one enjoying the sweet potatoes

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