Tuesday, April 27, 2010

21 Plant Families

Came across this list of 21 plant families that babies should be introduced to by the time they're a year old. This lists the families and some examples of each. *Green ones are things Emma has now tried. She will get watermelon tomorrow! I thought it was pretty interesting:
1. MUSHROOMS – button, shitake, portobello
2. AMARANTHS- buckwheat, quinoa, spinach, swiss chard and beet greens
3. UMBRELLIFERS – carrots, fennel, celery, parsnip, cumin, dill, cilantro, radish
4. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES – cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussles sprouts, turnip
5. BROMELIADS – pineapple
6. COMPOSITES – lettuce, endive, radicchio artichoke, basil, dandelion greens
7. BINDWEEDS – sweet potato
8. GOURDS – squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti) pumpkin, cucumber, melon, zucchini
9. HEATH PLANTS- cranberry, blueberry
10. LEGUMES – lentils, beans, peas (chickpeas and split peas), soy beans
11. LILIES – wild onions, leeks, garlic , asparagus
12. WOODY TREES – banana
13. SESAMES – sesame seeds (tahini)
14. TRUE GRASSES – oats, brown rice, barley, wheat,
15. ROSY PLANTS – apple, pear, peach, plums, strawberry, cherry, raspberry
16. CITRUS – orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit
17. NIGHTSHADE – peppers, tomatoes, potato, eggplant
18. GRAPES - grapes
19. LAURELS – avocado, cinnamon, bay leaf
20. MYRTLES – guava, all spice, clove
21. LOOSESTRIFES – pomegranate
(Updated foods she's tried by 7/31 - still have a lot to go before October!)

Days 23-26

Day 26
Nap and milk schedule are off today so we're skipping solids again.

Day 25
Menu: Sweet potatos and pureed prunes

Not much for variety, but we had leftovers. She did have a gagging incident with the sweet potato today (actually got quiet for a fraction of a second which freaked me out). Dan handles these things much better than I do! She, of course, cleared it and was happy as can be.

Day 24
Menu: Sweet potatos and pureed prunes
Newest food - pureed prunes! We went with prunes to help correct our recent "too many bananas" issue. It seems to have helped. I still can't tell if she loves purees or if she really just loves her spoon, either way she tends to have a good time. For now, I think prunes are in the top 5 foods for her (#1 is carrots and #2 is butternut squash). She flipped out a bit towards the end. We think it was a combination of her still being tired from last night's lack of sleep and the prunes starting to dry and get sticky on her face.

Day 23
Emmaline was a very good girl for Jess while Dan and I had our eye exams (and got new glasses). By the time we got home things were too rushed getting ready to go out of town and so we skipped solids for the day. Part of me feels like I should feel guilty when we skip foods, but I know that all of her nutritional needs are being met via breastmilk (and the vitamin supplement she now takes). The point of BLW is letting her experience textures & flavors while she develops a healthy relationship with food. I truly think that if we pushed ourselves to do solids everyday, we'd be stressed and that would start to make foods a negative thing for her.

Speaking of our out of town trip. That was quite a learning experience! Dan learned to never try to put Emma to bed without a bottle. We both learned that she won't sleep in a pack 'n' play - so we need to get rooms with a king sized bed unless I want to wake up with her turned sideways kicking me in the back! Generally, we are not co-sleepers and we are very proud that Emma has slept in her crib since her first night home. We are, however, very comfortable with letting her sleep with us on trips now. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Days 21 and 22

Day 22
Dan had another away game.

Emmaline has officially learned how to resist being put in the swing for her evening nap! She almost flopped out of my arms onto the floor while I was trying to put her down. This led for a very loooooong evening since she was already crying when I picked her up at 5. I ended up nursing her at 7 which put her to sleep, but she woke up as soon as I put her in the crib. By 8, I tried the swing again and finally had some success. She's still in there snoring away. I'm going to take her upstairs now that Dan is home, nurse her again and put her in the crib for the night. I'm exhausted!

Also discovered tonight that we need to ease up with the banana - I think that was part of the extra crankiness this evening. We might try some apple juice or prune juice (mixed with water) tomorrow. It would give us a chance to use the sippy cup again.

On an unrelated note, the Easter box from my mom finally arrived yesterday. The pic is Emmaline in one of her new outfits playing with one of her new toys.

This is going to be an interesting weekend - tomorrow morning Dan & I have our eye exams. Jess is going to come babysit for a couple hours while we're doing that and getting our new glasses (@ Lenscrafters). I really hope Emma does okay- she is starting to get stranger anxiety. Hopefully the cats will behave too - they go a little nuts around her pregnancy hormones! In the evening we are heading down to JMU for a senior recital (voice) of one of my old Gov. School kids. We're going to spend the night in the 'burg - it'll be Emma's first night away from the house since she was brought home from the hospital. Figure we'll give traveling a test run before our big trips this summer. We will probably do solids before we leave on Saturday and then again on Sunday evening.

Day 21

Menu: sweet potato and banana

Emma is really starting to eat more! We noticed that there was a lot less food on the floor afterwards. She did gag once on the sweet potato tonight and had me in a little panic for a second when she got quite. I was doing the dishes and couldn't get to her right away, but she cleared it just fine and went on eating like nothing had happened.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Days 19 and 20

Day 20
Menu: butternut squash and broccoli

After 2 nights with squash, we are fairly confident that it is a big hit. The broccoli, on the other hand, is going to take some time. She did taste it and then enjoyed throwing the other pieces on the floor. She dropped quite a bit of squash on the floor too, but only the handfuls that were too small to get to her mouth. I think it's #2, right after carrots!

She was very active during dinner tonight. In addition to tossing vegetables around the kitchen, she was fascinated by one of the cats. She got very animated when Britney walked by and was trying to pet her. She was jabbering away and squealing. It was pretty adorable.

On a different note, I'm still running a fever. The only thing I can think of is that I might have an infection from where the tooth was pulled last week. The gum above that tooth is still swollen, but I haven't had any pain. The swelling has gone down over the last couple days and the parts I can see (it was a tooth all the way in the back) it doesn't look red. I'm not an expert on oral infections, but I would imagine that pain would be involved. I have a regular check-up next week so I guess I'll find out how it's healing then.

Day 19
Dan and I barely had time to eat, let alone find time to feed solids to Emma. Dan got home from practice, we were able to eat some of our dinner, and then we had to head back to my school for that. Emma was a very good girl during the program. Unfortunately, she is starting to get stranger anxiety. My principal was disappointed that she didn't get to squeeze Emma's cheeks (she tried to, but Emma stuck out her bottom lip and started to cry).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 18

Menu: sweet potato "fries"

Emma really enjoyed the squash last night! (Not as much as she loves carrots though.) Dan baked up some strips of sweet potato tonight. It is quickly becoming a favorite snack of ours too. Since it's not very slimy and Emma can hold it really well, she didn't have to sit in the bumbo to eat. She got to sit up on daddy's lap. It was a nice experience.

Doctor's appointment went well. She is 18lb, 2oz and 26.5 inches long. I can't remember her head circumference, but she is in the 75-85th percentile for length, weight, and head size! I am convinced that she somehow 'knew' why we were at the doctor's office, because as soon as we put her on the exam table she FLIPPED OUT! The bright red (almost purple) face, red blotches down her chest - there was no mistaking that this was one UNhappy camper! That continued off and on for the entire appointment, so the crying at the actual shots wasn't a big deal. I nursed her briefly afterwards and she bit me like 3 times! She has never chomped down on me before - it was more of a surprise than a pain since she still has no teeth. No thrush, no ear infection, even her adhesion is still looking good - perfectly healthy! On the other hand, I have a temp over 100 tonight (I usually run 97ish). Not sure what's going on.

The doctor was glad to hear that Emma is experience a range of fruits and vegetables. She asked if she was getting cereals, we said no, and that conversation was over. She did recommend starting a vitamin D supplement and suggested the Tri-vi-sol drops. We will pick those up tomorrow since I have been reading a lot about the need for more vitamin D. I still take the prenatal, Expecta DHA, and soy lecithin supplement (I swear by this to help prevent clogged milk ducts!). I've also been taking iron off and on because I'm pretty sure I'm low on that. I'm thinking about going to the doctor to get some blood work drawn up to check. I've had low iron issues off and on since (at least) middle school so it wouldn't be a surprise.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Days 15, 16, and 17

Day 17
Menu: Pureed pears and butternut squash

Obviously, I'm starting to slack on these daily posts, so some are being combined. I'm actually writing this before her meal tonight, which is part of why the picture is completely unrelated to food (it just happened to be a cute picture we took at Walmart this morning). Hopefully she will like the squash tonight and be a little more interested in the pears.

We ordered a crinkle cutter on amazon.com today. I've read that cutting the food with the crinkle cutter can help give them a better grip. Sometime this week Dan is going to do a stir-fry so Emma will get to try some broccoli.

Tomorrow is her doctor's appointment. I'm excited to see where she is on the charts for her weight & height. Not looking forward to the shots. I can't remember if she gets more or less shots this time. She has done really well on the last two sets of shots, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Dan is great and he helps hold her during the shots, while I sit across the room. As soon as the nurses give the ok, he brings her over and I nurse her. It takes a couple minutes, but settles her down. By the time we get home she usually sleeps for a while and then is ready to play! Hopefully she'll be willing to stick with that routine ;)

Day 16
Menu: banana and pureed pears

Emmaline has been super sleepy for the past week. She slept 11 hours last night (woke her up once to nurse), was awake for 3 hours, then took a three hour nap, up for two hours, back to sleep, etc. We keep telling ourselves that it's a growth spurt - but this is a pretty long growth spurt. We have her 6 month appointment on Monday and I won't be surprised to find out that she is sick. I've started to think 'thrush' because there are a couple white specks on her tongue and another part of me is thinking 'ear infection' although I have no real reason to suspect that. She's not being fussy, just sleepy! She gummed away on the banana and was biting off pretty big chunks. She ate some of the pears, but I think she was getting tired at that point because she wasn't very interested.

Day 15 - Dan @ soccer game = no solid food for Emma

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 14

Menu: pureed carrots

Tonight is one of those nights where we are completely exhausted. We're also out of any "non-cook" items to give Emma so we opted for the carrots again. I'm think that Emma now has a favorite food. This was the first night where she would drop the spoon once it was empty and wait for it to be re-loaded. After she'd eaten half a jar (probably more like a quarter since a good amount was all over her body) she decided to hunch over and try to suck the carrots off the tray! It was hilarious!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Days 12 and 13

Day 13

Menu: banana and pureed carrots

Tonight I gave in and tried a puree with Emma. We still let her feed herself with the spoon and she had a blast. Even though we ended up with a big mess, I think she still actually swallowed a good amount. She was awesome with the banana. Picked it up with ease and put it straight into her mouth. She's been working on the chewing motion lately. If she sees one of us eating, she will mimic the movements.

Day 12

I could never be a single mom. I find myself completely lost on evenings Dan is away with soccer. Although I feel comfortable doing most things with Emma, I still don't like to give her a bath alone. Since I skip baths on those nights, I can't actually give her any solids. Well, I guess I could but her crib would be a mess!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 11

Menu: sweet potato
I think the picture says it all tonight. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 10

No solids again today. Emma has been running a (very) low-grade temp since yesterday evening so we decided to just stick with breastmilk. She doesn't seem like she's coming down with anything. She has been a very happy, playful baby today. She was in a super silly mood about an hour ago.

This weekend she made a lot of progress with sitting on her own! She does some wobbling, but can sit up for quite a while on her own and is even figuring out how to balance herself when she does start to topple. Falling over doesn't seem to bother her one bit though. As for crawling, nothing new. She still has red knees from trying, but doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. Earlier in the week she was starting to move backwards, but I haven't even noticed that again. She is still getting very frustrated that she can't do it and refuses to be on her back.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 9

Menu: apple and banana

We introduced apple for lunch today. Results were mixed. She seemed to have a good time sucking on the apple for a while, but eventually got frustrated because the apple was too hard and the banana was too soft. We left the peel on the apple to help her grip it better, but she kept picking it up on the soft side and putting the peel side in her mouth. I guess that is a benefit of doing purees - everything is one texture so it doesn't take practice to get it right for a baby! She finally managed to get a couple "bites" off the apple slice and gagged. This was the most coughing she has done yet, but she successfully got it back up on her own. By the end she was a fairly upset baby (the frustration from not being able to actually hold/eat much, I think) and even the spoon didn't cheer her up.

I need to be better and do more research on how to actually prepare these things before we decide "hey, it's time to feed her" and attempt to wing it. Perhaps that is why I already prefer avocado and banana - they don't have to be cooked!

As to the nursing strike - she has been a good baby for the last three feedings. She was also a very good sleeper last night! Around 10:30 we brought her upstairs, nursed and put her right into the crib. When I went in to check on her at 6:30 she was sleeping on her tummy (which is a first). She must have been starting to wake up, because she rolled onto her back and opened her eyes as soon as I got to the crib.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 8

I picked Emma up around 4:45 from daycare and she had just fallen asleep at 4:30. When this happens, she refuses to fall back asleep for her evening nap! Tried everything - didn't happen. Dan came home from practice, tried everything - still didn't happen. Since we had a very fussy baby, we decided not to even bother trying to give her solids tonight. She finally fell asleep around 8:30 (had been awake since 1:30 other than that 15 minute nap) but woke up as soon as we put her in the crib, so she's in the swing snoozing away for now. I figure we'll relax and watch some tv til 11 and then I'll take her up, try to nurse, and put her in the crib. This routine worked wonders when she was going through the colicky phase, so hopefully it will still have some magic left. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 7

* The battery on the camera died as soon as we started dinner tonight so I had to take pictures on my phone. I deleted most pictures because they were too blurry and then I realized the ones I was left with were still blurry and don't really show her with food. This one is still cute - so enjoy!

Menu: sweet potato and some mashed up banana mixed with breastmilk

Emma was a good eater today and Dan was home early from soccer practice so we tried some solids again tonight. She picked up the sweet potato very easily tonight and seemed to actually eat more than she has in the past. She got super excited as soon as she saw the blue spoon though. The banana on the spoon ended up all over the place (and the milk combo made it especially messy tonight), but she absolutely loves playing with that spoon and chewing on it. It was hilarious to see little banana chunks floating in the bath water tonight!
Today was also her half-birthday! Luckily she's not scheduled for her shots until the 19th so didn't have to deal with that extra fussiness today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 6

Skipping solids tonight and working on getting Emma back on her old eating schedule. It is very nice to have the flexibility to do this since we're not relying on any calories or nutrition to come from the solids. I can't believe she will officially be 6 months old tomorrow! I also can't believe that she's wearing 12 mo. clothes already!

I'm hopeful that she is getting her sleeping schedule back on track. She would have slept through the night last night but I went in and nursed her around 2:30 to try to make up for a feeding she skipped during the day. I know, I know - 'never wake a sleeping baby'.....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 5

Menu: banana

We debated tonight on whether or not to offer food. We were hesitant because 1) she took a very long evening nap and it pushed "dinner" time very close to bedtime and 2) she has been refusing to nurse more often than not. Reason #2 has been going on for about a month. It started as a weekend phenomena - she would absolutely throw a fit if I tried to nurse her during my regular work hours. We figured she was just in a routine of getting a bottle so I went ahead and pumped and let Dan give her a bottle. Then she started spreading her daytime bottles out which caused her final bottle to be late and pretty much knock out the chance to nurse her after work. Since I've been home on spring break she has cut back to only nursing 2 1/2 times a day (yes, it's possible to nurse her 1/2 a time). Other than that she absolutely throws a fit if I try to nurse her. Doesn't matter what I try: different room, different position, different side, lights off, noise off, daddy in room, daddy away from room. She also spreads her bottles out on days we're home and only eats about 5 times instead of her 'usual' 7. I don't think the solids has made this worse, but it hasn't helped.

In the end, we decided at the last minute to give her some banana (easy choice since it doesn't have to be cooked in any way). You may notice that she actually has clothes on tonight - that's because we didn't think and just tossed her in the bumbo. We also put about 1/2 oz of water in her sippy cup. Most of it ended up on her, but she did get a sip. She definitely does better with the sippy cup that has handles on it. The mush on the spoon was still the hit of the night.

*On a side note, she refused to nurse at bedtime. This was the first time I've ever had to give her a bottle at night and it made bedtime much more difficult since she didn't get to nurse herself to sleep. She didn't refuse the bottle and chugged down all 6 oz. I'm really not sure what to make of this nursing strike -- I'm really hoping that it's just the change in weather (it was 90+ degrees today). I'm feeling worn out and don't have much of an appetite. Maybe she was just too sweaty being up against me. We'll see how she does when she wakes up in a couple hours. I'm not holding my breath for the morning feeding though. I did try to go see the lactation consultant, but she was out. I won't be able to go this week because I have meetings on the days she's at work. We may put a stop on the foods until she gets her real eating schedule back on track.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 4

Menu: avocado and sweet potato

We decided that it was time to try a new food, so we bought 10 pounds of sweet potatoes at Costco! It wasn't our intention to buy SO much, but we forgot to buy any at the grocery store. We were at Costco to pick up some other stuff and decided that it was worth $8 to avoid another trip to the grocery store. (At the end of the month, remind me of this decision when I'm wondering where our money went!)

Dan sliced up the potatoes into fry-like strips and baked them in the oven. (He added some oregano to the ones we munched on.) They were delicious! Emma was intrigued and kept grabbing for that. The avocado was pretty much ignored until all the potato was smushed up or dropped on the floor.

Our system is to let her experiment with the food however she wants, but when she breaks pieces down too small we move those from the tray. Those are the pieces that I smash up with a fork and pre-load on the spoon for her at the end of the meal. We put the spoon portion at the end because she loves the spoon so much and will throw a fit once we take it away. (Although she seems to understand when we're reloading it and will wait anxiously.)

I think she knows when meal time is coming because she gets really excited when we put her in the bumbo now! (I might want to let daycare know about this or they might have an angry baby in a bumbo waiting for a snack.) ***Side note on the Bumbo -- we attached the tray to the stand part and cannot get them apart. Does anyone know a special trick to pull these apart?

No gagging tonight. Still not sure how much she actually ate- have to wait for a dirty diaper to figure that out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 3

Menu: avocado and banana

Tonight we skipped the cereal dust and she was happy again! I took the suggestion from another mom to break the banana along the natural thirds instead of cutting it lengthwise so it isn't as slippery. This does leave the banana fairly thick and was a little difficult for Em's chubby little hands - but the part I'm really enjoying so far is watching her try to figure it out. I love her face when she's concentrating and trying to think of a way to pick it up. There was one time where she just reached down and picked up a slice of avocado like it was something she'd been doing forever. I think it's funny that she hestitates a little before putting food in her mouth - toys and cloth go directly to the mouth, but she thinks twice on a banana?!? She also had fun licking her fingers.

We discovered tonight that Emma loves mush! There was a chunk of banana left over that she'd already drooled all over so I decided to smash it up. We pre-loaded the spoon and handed it to her. She went to town. I'm not sure if she was more excited about the banana or the spoon. That led to the only gagging incident tonight - she stuck the spoon too far back. Although my instincts told me to pull it away from her, I paused and she corrected the problem on her own. Although a big part of BLW is skipping purees, my take on it is that it's more about letting Emma take charge of her eating - whether it's in solid form or mashed up. We will not be putting food in her mouth; she will control what goes in.

Tomorrow we will introduce something new - probably sweet potato.
Her diapers today proved that she has managed to swallow some food! :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 2

Menu: avocado and banana - coated with mashed-up cheerio "dust"

Tonight was didn't go so hot. We tried the cheerio "dust" to see if she could get a better grip. She was not happy. I think that she just couldn't stand the texture, because after her hands got messy she held her arms out with her fingers spread and wouldn't really touch anything else. By the time we took her out of the bumbo, she was crying. I don't think the food touched her mouth more than twice and she definitely didn't eat anything.

Dan is thinking that maybe she's just not ready. We'll try again tomorrow (without the cheerio "dust"). If she doesn't seem to enjoy it, we will wait until next weekend before we try again.

Even though everything I've read says that this time period is for experimentation with textures and taste, I already have that little voice worrying that she needs to be eating something. Part of me is ready to run out and buy a little jar of food to shove in her mouth. I guess in a way, I just need to trust the process. I'm doing this because I want her to develop a sense of independence and confidence. I think that she would be very resistant if we tried to spoon-feed her (although she would probably have fun taking the spoon away from us to chew on it). I also want her to have a good relationship with healthy food. It's kind of funny that for 6 months I've taken such pride in the fact that I've been able to provide all the nutrients she has needed and now I'm doubting that.

*It's late and the camera is downstairs so I will post pictures tomorrow.

** Also, in case you think that starting solids will magically help your baby sleep through the night - don't believe it! Emmaline woke up at least 6 times last night.... which is why I am off to bed now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 1

Menu: avocado and banana

I know I should probably only introduce 1 food at a time and wait a couple days before introducing the next thing, but since thing is baby-led I wanted to provide Emmaline with some options.

We set her up in the Bumbo about 1 1/2 hours after her regular nursing. We gave her a sippy cup with 1oz of breastmilk and a spoon to play with. Then we put some slices of banana and a slice of avocado on her tray. She immediately went to the sippy cup and eventually we took it away from her so she would notice the other items on her tray.

We made a couple mistakes - 1) we didn't leave any of the peel on the avocado so it was very difficult for her to grasp and we didn't have any plain cheerios around to coat it in "cheerio dust" and 2) the banana was too mushy. She did start to get frustrated that she couldn't pick it up sometimes and a lot of food ended up on the floor. We knew she wouldn't actually eat much, but wish she could have been able to grasp things better. She did gag several times, which I had read would happen, but still wasn't prepared. At those times, we didn't intervene and she pushed the food right back out without a problem and kept going like nothing had happened.

In the end, we had a happy baby who desperately needed a bath. We will do it again tomorrow (but with a firmer banana and some cheerio-dusted avocado)!

Adventures in BLW

BLW is short for 'Baby-Led Weaning'. BLW is an approach to introducing solids in a baby-friendly manner. It is not the same as "extended breast-feeding". I just wanted to clarify that from the beginning, because while I am a huge fan of breastfeeding- the idea of nursing a 3 or 4 year old does creep me out. (*This statement isn't meant to offend anyone who EBFs, it's just my opinion. A year ago the idea of breastfeeding past 9 months would have creeped me out too and now I'm planning on going at least 12 months*)

I heard about BLW on a message board a couple months ago when I was starting to look into info about starting solids. Someone mentioned 'baby-led weaning' and so I did what I usually do when I hear about something new .... I googled it! Most of what I found pointed me towards the book "Baby-Led Weaning: Helping your baby to love good food" by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.

From the start, BLW has seemed logical and seemed like the best thing for Emmaline. I'll try to post more about it later. So, for two months I have continued to read about it and looked for people who have tried this approach and waited for Emma to be old enough to start. Technically, Emma won't be 6 months old until next Thursday, but today seemed like a good day to give it a try.