We’ve made a few good discoveries in the past week about what Daniel really likes, and also finally found something that he doesn’t like! First the good news: Weetabix for breakfast went down very well from loaded spoons, although I kind of regretted my decision to let him loose with the leftovers once he lost interest in focused eating! He’s also really keen on cream cheese and has enjoyed Philadelphia on ricecakes and on toast. It could be coincidence, and he’s just getting better at eating generally, but he seems to actually put away much more of the ricecake/toast when it’s spread with cream cheese than when it just has margarine on it. Eggy bread (which I think is the same thing as French toast??) has also been a big hit. He seems to like the taste, and the ‘solid yet soft’ consistency seems to be ideal for him holding it whilst also being able to bite off and chew manageable pieces. So far I’ve mainly given it to him plain – a finger spread with marmite was dispatched to the floor pretty quickly.
Rice mixed into tomato sauce went down really well for tea last night. Jon was in charge of loading the spoons for the first time, and I’ve discovered he’s a bit of a ‘feeder’! Daniel’s plate was empty by the end of the meal (something I’ve never persevered long enough to achieve) and although of course there was a lot on the floor, the words “There’ll be no waste on my watch” were sternly uttered and Daniel dutifully munched down every loaded spoonful he was offered! He was less interested in eating the meatball that went with his rice and sauce, but seemed very curious to explore its texture and gave it a good squeeze and dismantle.
Another success has been ice pops! I got some rocket-shaped lolly makers from Poundland (for £1, naturally!) and I was amazed at how well D was able to pick up the lolly and manoeuvre it around in his hands and mouth. We’ve thus found a creative way of getting some water into him!
He’s still not very interested at all in drinking water from a beaker, and I am still not very good at remembering to offer him water at every meal. However, I have bought a ‘Doidy cup’ and this has improved things somewhat, in that the design means he can’t stick his tongue into the water and lap it all over the place! But mostly he’s still more interested in wrestling the cup off me and flinging it about.
Now for the bad news. It turns out that Daniel is not a fan of chilli! I gave him some spoons of carrot and sweetcorn soup that had quite a lot of chilli flakes in, and the poor guy really struggled! He only had about two mouthfuls, but then started crying and was evidently distressed and in pain. It was kind of funny but I felt really sorry for inflicting this discomfort on him. I offered him water (and for the first and only time so far, he was actually interested in drinking it!) and also tried giving him some strawberries straight from the fridge, and a frozen green bean to try and cool his mouth down. He didn’t really go for either of these solutions, but thankfully he got over it after 10 minutes or so. To add insult to injury, the same thing happened the next day when Jon offered him a bit of his burger in a café, which (we didn’t realise) was also quite spicy. Poor kid! I’ll lay of the hot stuff for a while.
Yesterday I bought, for the first time, some actual ‘baby foods’. I had mixed feelings about this – for some reason it felt like a fail to go into Boots and buy branded baby snacks, as if I’d fallen for the marketing ploy. However, I was mildly fed up of Daniel pinching (okay, ‘sharing’) and then immediately dropping bits of my food when we go out, I’m not always having something that’s suitable to share with him, and the alternative of buying him his own portion of bread or vegetables is pretty expensive, relative to how much he actually eats. So I decided I would get him some of those puffed corn snacks that we could take with us when out and about. And they’ve turned out to be a huge success! I take back all my misgivings! At a café with a friend yesterday afternoon, I managed to eat all but two spoonfuls of my own cheesecake (I did offer him a few mouthfuls, as it was so delicious that it only seemed fair) while Daniel munched away happily at his cheesy puffs. They’re also relatively tidy – there were several bits to sweep up off the highchair and the floor, but they didn’t stick too badly to Daniel or his clothes. And I guess as he gets more advanced with what he can hold and how tidy he can be, there’ll be less need to buy these special things. So the special crisps phase might not last that long anyway.
D is very interested in his hands and what they can do at the moment. It’s fascinating to watch him examining his hand as he turns his open palm this way and that in front of his face, puts his thumb and forefinger together or opens and closes his fist to see what happens to the thing he’s currently holding. I’m sure BLW must be useful in developing these kinds of awareness and skills. It was so interesting to watch him examining a piece of toast with Philadelphia the other day, turning it this way and that to see what the spread and unspread sides looked like, and running his fingers through the sticky cream cheese!
Lastly for today, I’m still being struck by how quickly D seems to be reducing his breastfeeds (although looking at the BLW forum, I don’t think he’s doing this unusually fast – just faster than I’d expected it to happen). He’s now definitely reduced from six ‘full’ (i.e. both boobs) feeds a day to only five. As he’s had a cold the last week or so, he’s actually been a bit off his milk because it was so hard to suck and breathe at the same time, so some days it felt like he’d only really had about four full feeds. And apart from at night time, he doesn’t really seem to ‘ask’ for milk any more. I’ve not experimented with how long I can stretch him, but he’ll often go for four hours between milk feeds now without complaint. I’ve started using these windows to take the opportunity to express a bit for the freezer, but until he gets better at drinking water, I think I do need to keep offering milk pretty regularly, even if he’s not demanding it.
Oh, and a final final thing – he weighed in at 22lb (98th centile) last Friday, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about in that respect!