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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Bottomless Pit

Vintage Charlie during a bottle/sleep battle
Its hard to believe that 10 short months ago, we were struggling and fighting with Charlie to take 20 - 30 mL at a single feeding. Day after day, trying to get him to stay awake long enough to down the tiniest amount of milk.

Look at how orange that poor child was! Jaundice wasn't a good look for him.

Now? Getting him to eat is the least of my worries. He's my little bottomless pit. It makes me all teary eyed to think of all he's gone through with his weight and eating to see him thriving and eating like a champ.

We haven't gotten an official weight since his appointment a few weeks ago, but he's got to be at least 19 lbs. now and though his skinny butt is still in 3-6 months pants, he's sporting 12 months sized onesies and pajamas.

While it doesn't make me feel super great, C's weight gain and obsession with eating definitely coincided with the move from breast milk to solid food. Granted, I'd probably prefer a cheeseburger to breast milk too....again, doesn't make me feel super great as a Mom. C'est la vie. He's doing well; I got over it.

Mmmmm spaghetti and meatballs
Though we started at 6 months with completely pureed foods, we began introducing more solid options around 7 months. Mum Mums and puffs were first, followed by fruit in a mesh feeder which, come to think of it, sounds like something for feeding animals, not children.
I quickly realized two things about introducing solid foods. 1) It was SCARY as hell. 2) He was going to cough and gag as he learned to move food around his mouth and I could not jump to "save" him at every single little noise. Okay, so maybe my sister helped me realize that second one. She successfully survived this with my nephew and now he eats hamburgers with six teeth.

Once this grand realization came around, we started giving him bits and chunks of just about everything. Waffles, spaghetti and meatballs, cheese, shredded chicken, rice, veggies, pizza, mac and name it. The key? Food scissors. I have a pair in the kitchen and a pair in the diaper bag and you bet your bonnet I whip those puppies out in a restaurant to cut up his food. And for those who knew her - yes, I realize that I am becoming my mother.

It makes preparing food so much faster and easier. The more varied food he eats, the better he gets. Tonight, we went out for pizza and he ate two small slices himself without as much as a single cough. I was floored. Where did my tiny baby go?

One important part of feeding solid foods confidently is knowing what to do if something goes wrong. It will happen at some point - something will get shoved by the handful and get stuck. What do you do? If you have a little one and are not trained in infant CPR, get trained. It could save your child's life. C has definitely had close calls over the months, but nothing a quick, calm reaction (read: swift smack on the back) didn't correct. Here is a free printable infant CPR guide. Print it and hang it near where your child eats. While it is not a substitute for proper training, it can't hurt.

All of the potentially scary stuff aside, introducing solid foods has been such a great experience. Seeing C try and love new foods is a lot of fun and trying out new recipes has made dinner interesting again. Gone are the days of a quick, clean bottle as a meal, however. Dinner regularly results in a bath, laundry, and vacuuming the dining room. Its just part of the fun.


  1. Are there any foods that he just hated?

  2. The only thing he balked at was shredded chicken with taco seasoning on it. It wasn't spicy, but I think he just didn't like it. Otherwise, he's downed absolutely everything!

  3. This is what I fear: giving up the 5 free minutes I still have at night to clean Ben, the room, etc. every single night. It's particularly hard because Ken works a lot of nights. I need to find him a non-retail job so we can tag team it all. Too bad that isn't going to happen!! I know Benny is ready for lots of solid foods, but the bottle on a rough night is so damn tempting. But I'm being a good Momma and giving him the pureed food almost daily now.