solids

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A few months ago I created a Vimeo channel for my blog. So far, it’s mostly just been for family – so they can see Adelaide’s day-to-day life and milestones – bath time, laughing, crawling, pulling up. As I’ve mentioned before, both my parents and Tim’s parents live far away. My parents haven’t seen Adelaide since Christmas, and for reasons out of their control (stupid cancer), Tim’s parents haven’t seen her since the beginning of October. I’m so completely in love with her that I want to show her off any chance I get – at brunch, at the grocery store, on the subway. I want to share her infectious smile with others. It breaks my heart that those who love her so dearly (namely her grandparents), get to see her so rarely. I knew it would be this way. I knew we lived far away and that they would only see her about twice a year. Still, that knowledge is hard to swallow when actually put into action.

To console myself, I try to do little things to make our distance feel shorter. We Skype with both sets of grandparents around once a week or so. I mail them photos when I send cards for holidays (yes, actual printed photographs like in the olden days). My Vimeo site is just another way for me to feel as if I’m bringing family one step closer. It took me a while to catch up with uploading all the videos we had taken since Adelaide’s birth, but I think they are now all there. The quality isn’t always great – I didn’t realize that I could only film horizontally and that the vertical recordings would appear sideways on screen (neck cramp, anyone?). I also had to teach myself that I couldn’t switch from horizontal to vertical mid-video. Oops. I also started to realize that I narrate the filming too much. Sometimes I think it’s important to say the date or how old Adelaide is, but sometimes I filled the down time with needless chatter and watching the videos back, I sound pretty goofy. My more recent versions feature more silence on my part, which works out well as Adelaide becomes more vocal.

Adelaide turns 11 months today (I know it’s cliche, but this small fact blows my mind), and while I was preparing for this post last night, I uploaded a few recent videos to Vimeo. My little netbook laptop doesn’t stream video very well, so we used our Roku to bring up Vimeo on our tv. It was fun to watch my little videos on a big screen. Tim and I watched several of the most recent videos and found ourselves taken with serendipitous smiles. Then, Tim went back a few months and found the video of Adelaide first trying solids. The video is a little long, and maybe it’s not as heartwarming to those who aren’t family, or who aren’t her mother for that matter, but this three-minute video had me with tears streaming my face. The video was taken on Adelaide’s 6-month birthday, and I just can’t believe how much she has changed. In some ways, she looks the same and has many of the same expressions, but she’s just so much bigger, more controlled, and less round.

Happy 11 months, Adelaide. It’s been an awesome ride.

 

6-months eating “solids” video

10-months eating video

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The first three months after babies are born are often referred to as “the fourth trimester.” It’s because human newborns are so much more dependent on their parents and vulnerable than other newborn mammals. While some mammals can practically walk at birth, I remember reading that human babies intuitively know only how to suck, swallow and breathe. They even have problems breathing consistently sometimes. I believe this has something to do with evolution and since we walk upright, we have evolved to a gestation period of around 40 weeks so that we can safely birth our babies’ big heads and big brains. So, the infant human baby is still developing during that fourth trimester in a way that is similar to how other mammals develop while still in the womb.

In learning about the fourth trimester, I remember feeling relieved that parents shouldn’t expect babies under three months to be on a schedule or to sleep through the night. We need only feed them on demand and let them be infants.

Adelaide turned nine months on April 28. Tim pointed out that she has now had equal amounts of time growing both inside and outside of me. “Nine months in, nine months out” as my friend Jennifer put it.

At her nine-month appointment on Tuesday, Adelaide weighed in at 19 lbs 11 oz (50th percentile) and 28 1/2 inches tall (75th percentile). She’s leveled off a bit on the weight chart, but our pediatrician said that was normal at nine months. Adelaide still has no teeth. My friend Brooke’s son is a month younger than Adelaide and he’s had six teeth for weeks. No teeth and six teeth are both totally normal.

We also talked to the pediatrician about food. Although Adelaide has loved all the solids we’ve given her, we’ve been slow to introduce them. Knowing she’s getting all her necessary nutrients from my breastmilk, we’ve just been experimenting with solids at night and on the weekends. And we haven’t even been doing that consistently every night. But that’s all starting to change. Our pediatrician suggested that we start sending food to daycare and giving Adelaide three “meals” a day. While she doesn’t really “need” solids as a form of nutrients right now, she will start to need nutrients from solids at around a year old. She’ll be twelve months with just a blink of an eye, so we’re going to step-up her solids intake. We’ve also started letting her play with a sippie cup and drinking from a straw is next.

We have a real crawler on our hands now (no more just hacking it with an army crawl). She has pulled herself up to standing in her crib (just once that we’ve seen – but hey, she can do it). She likes to clap and is happy and social, smiling at strangers and letting everyone hold her. People ask us all the time if she is always that smiley (answer: yes, usually), and when we pick her up from daycare they always say she just smiled and laughed all day.

Someone recently told me that it’s around nine months when babies really start to develop personality. Nine months in, nine months out. Six months post the “fourth trimester.” And so much to look forward to.

 

 

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Our baby girl turns six months tomorrow! To celebrate her half birthday, we’re going to introduce something other than breastmilk for this first time. I’m proud to have made it exclusively breastfeeding for six months (especially while back at work for three of those months and pumping during the day five days a week). Go me! I have no immediate plans to stop, but Adelaide seems interested in the food we eat, so we’re going to start introducing some solids.

From what I’ve read, rice cereal is a good first food since babies digest rice easily and are less likely to be allergic to it than to any other grain. Tomorrow morning we are going to start with this brown rice and breastmilk recipe.

I’m interested in the idea of baby-led solids, or baby-led weaning as it’s also called. I just ordered the book from Amazon yesterday, and already it arrived this morning. I like the saying “solids before one are just for fun,” and the notion that baby doesn’t need solids for nutrition or to feel full. She’s getting all she needs from me. Introducing solids is just a chance to learn about different flavors and textures and explore the world of food.

I’m not one to believe there’s a “one-size-fits-all” guide to any aspect of parenting, but I felt strongly about waiting until 6 months to introduce solids. In the breastfeeding community, Kellymom.com is a well-known resource. They have an interesting list of signs that baby is developmentally ready for solids, and I especially enjoyed reading the Myths section at the bottom of the page.

I’ve told several friends about Adelaide’s six-month birthday this weekend and our plan to introduce rice cereal for the first time.

“How exciting!” one friend exclaimed.

Then, another astute friend observed, “Isn’t it funny how what we find exciting has changed.”

 

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