Apr. 28, 2012

Raising a Foodie: At 7 and 8 Months

I am very pleased to note that Thomas now (often) eats three meals a day. I wasn't sure this would ever happen a few weeks ago.

In mid-March, Thomas caught a lingering cold and he entirely lost his appetite. Literally the boy refused food, aside from a few (very small) mid-afternoon meals, for weeks. We continued to offer fruit, vegetables and meat two or three times a day and celebrated every time he accepted a bite. I tried baby led weaning too, in case he was expressing a preference to feed himself instead, but nothing seemed to work. I kept reminding myself that when I'm sick I rarely want to eat, so this was likely what was going on with our little man. I kept sane knowing that he was getting plenty of breast milk and was continuing to gain weight.

However, after all signs of illness subsided, it occurred to me that Thomas might also be overfed. He does after all nurse all night long (literally! I've woken up at night and he's already been latched!). After confiding in a few other moms, one with a similar baby (a frequent night feeder) shared that her nutritionist recommended she nurse only to sleep for naps and bed, and then (at eight months, which is the age Thomas is now) offer food and water throughout the day. I tried it, and all of a sudden Thomas started eating! Before that we'd been nursing every three hours, which is what's generally recommended, but for babies who nurse at night might be too much if establishing solids is a priority for the family. For those super curious, this means I nurse Tom to sleep for a nap at 8:30/9:00 am, again for a midday nap, and then late afternoon before supper (around when he often takes a mini nap when we're out in the car/stroller/carrier). He then cluster feeds for an hour or so before dozing off for the night (which happens anywhere from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, depending on how long his late afternoon nap lasted).

Having Tom eat three meals a day was very relieving. But the quantity of food he was consuming at these 'meals' remained slight.

But we've found a (hopefully temporary) solution to that too!

Oh a whim, I bought a Baby Gourmet pouch (I had never (well aside from a few jars of pureed chicken) given my baby jar food before), and he loved it. When offered Baby Gourmet, Thomas went from passively accepting a few bites to literally standing in his high chair and jumping up with his mouth open to accept the food. It turns out Thomas thinks mama is a bad cook (I really didn't think you could mess up purees that bad!). I still have a freezer full of organic, homemade purees that I hope to move back to, but for now we're munching on pre-made organic purees.

To wash down those meals, and when outside on a warm day, we offer Thomas water from a regular cup. He loves it so much that he reaches for everyone's water glass when they're having a sip. He can't get enough. This is a habit that I'm so happy to encourage! 

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