As might have come across in my last post, I was having a temporary moment of feeling somewhat disillusioned with BLW. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was a workable approach. I just started to wonder why we were bothering with this more drawn-out, messy approach, asking myself questions like “When Daniel is 25, will the fact that I never spoon fed him make any difference to his ability to get on in the world?” For just a moment, I also wondered if I should at least be mincing some foods that are iron and protein rich so that he could start eating more of them.
But then I took a step back and realised that my wavering was all about the sleeping through issue, and that it really doesn’t matter a jot that Daniel isn’t sleeping through yet. There is nothing wrong with him waking to feed in the night. He’s very quick about it, as I’ve said before, and most significantly, I realised, I’m not actually tired at all during the day, so what’s the problem! I just needed to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what other babies are doing. My baby is doing just fine, he’s happy, healthy and I feel good about going with the ‘attachment’ style of parenting that feels right to me – including feeding in the night if that’s what he needs.
And then, as if he was giving me some kind of reward for regaining my perspective and patience, Daniel has had an absolutely mega day of eating today. At breakfast time he ate pretty much all of half a plum and three wedges of orange, and persisted for ages with his pieces of French toast. Then at my friend’s house he ate almost a whole Hobnob – okay, not the most wholesome, but the speed and tidiness with which it vanished were remarkable! And then for ‘afternoon tea’ he ate nearly all of the roasted pepper and the ricecake with cashew nut butter that I put on his tray. It took a long while, but it was a really good, engaged session – he seemed to really want to finish his food. The whole time, he was doing really well with pincer grips, manoeuvring the food around in his hands to get it into his mouth, and doing some really proficient chewing action. That was also his first introduction to nuts, and he seemed to really like the taste and had no adverse effects. (Tho not sure cashews are an allergy trigger in the same way as peanuts…?)
As his pincer grip is improving, I’ve noticed that he seems to prefer some of his food presented to him in bite-sized pieces rather than fist-sized chunks, so I’ve been cutting up his French toast to include some little cubes as well as fingers. He was very interested in the freeze-dried raspberries I offered him the other day (picked out of my cereal because I really dislike them!) so I bought some fresh ones, but that was yesterday when he wasn’t having such an impressive day, and although they got a good squish, I think only one of the four went into his mouth (I only gave him four, because they’re too expensive for him to push a whole punnet’s worth onto the floor!)
At tea time a couple of days ago we were having a kind of vegetable pilau rice, and I decided to put his whole plateful in front of him to see what happened. Again, this was during our little slump, where he wasn’t really eating anything. However, he spent a long time very methodically and concentratedly removing fistfuls of rice from his bowl and placing them onto one side of the highchair tray, as if it was the most important task in the world! Jon and I just watched him with amusement for a good five minutes until the job was complete 🙂
As for the nutrition issue, I’ve taken some positive action and sat down with the Annabel Karmel book, the BLW recipe book and the NHS Birth to Five book (which I find really helpful – clear and concise) and have made notes on all the nutrients babies need and which foods to find them in. I’m going to type it up and stick it on the kitchen cupboard as an aide memoir for meal planning. Don’t think I’ve ever opened a tin of mackerel in my life so it’s going to be new experiences all round next week…