Sunday, June 24, 2012
SEVEN MONTHS! Where does the time go? I swear it was just a few days ago that you were born and now you are almost crawling, sprouting teeth and pulling yourself up onto everything. This month, you have started rolling and scooting everywhere. You are so, so, so close to crawling. In fact, you have crawled once or twice but since you are not consistent with it, I can't really say that you are crawling. You love rolling around and every night insist on lots of wiggle time before bed. You've become quite enamored with your toys and love your stacking cups. I've also acquired a standing table that plays lots of music for you. You love music. I play a lot of children's music throughout the day and we dance along to it. "You got to shake those wiggles out!" Unfortunately this month has been terrible for sleep. You are refusing the sleep the night through in your pack 'n play and end up in our bed way more than we'd like. One does not make the best sleep decisions at 4 a.m. when faced with a screaming little lady. Tomorrow night we are moving you to your crib in your own bedroom. I really hope this goes well for everyone's sake. I have a feeling that Pop Pop and I are disrupting your sleep. This move might either be genius or the worst idea ever! You continue to be super social and love to flirt with strangers. We've been taking you out to eat a lot and you flirt a ton with the waitresses. You are great when we eat out. You sit in the restaurant high chairs and really like it when we give you food so you can eat along with us. Speaking of solid food, you LOVE it! Other than peas, we haven't found a food that you do not LOVE. I really hope that you continue to be a non-picky eater. I won't be holding my breath but one can certainly hope! You are still attending swim lessons and working to be a fantastic water baby. The swim instructor and you have a great time splashing each other. I think by the end of the summer, you are going to be the very best water baby around. You've also begun pulling yourself up onto objects. I was shocked when you started doing this because well it's too early for that kind of behavior but you think it is funny, funny and try to do it everywhere. Your little baby biceps strain with the exertion which makes me giggle. And the biggest deal of all is that you have TWO teeth! You are working on the top two teeth too which explains our latest sleep troubles. It's so hard to hear you crying when your mouth hurts. We've been giving you all the soothers and tylenol that you want. You also love chewing on frozen fruit in your feeder as it helps your mouth. We love you Molly Pop!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
At Molly's 4 month appointment, her doctor gave me a pamphlet on introducing solid food to Molly. I was a bit unprepared for that discussion and stuttered that we would be waiting until 6 months to introduce food as recommended by WHO. I also said something about not giving her rice cereal. My doctor stammered back, but the cereal is fortified!
I went home and began stocking up on ALL the books about feeding babies. I also started reading all the parenting blogs and pretty much just became obsessed with babies and food. And I began polling every parent I knew on how they introduced solid food to their kids.
Shaping Molly's appetite for good, healthy, fresh food is so very important to me. I want her to crave carrots and fresh fruit over processed, fast food. What this means is that while I tend to cook lots of good, fresh food at home, I have had to curb my unhealthy food desires. It is not fair for me to tell Molly that she shouldn't have McDonald's as I'm driving through and ordering fries. Of course, moderation is a-ok and I know that she will have some of these foods at times, but I'd like those times to be few and far between.
After doing all sorts of research and driving my husband crazy with my findings, I decided to offer Molly some solid food. I did start with rice cereal, mainly because it is boring and tends not to be allergenic. This was one of my many hypocritical moments as a parent. Sometimes I say that I'm going to do something as a parent and then I'm faced with reality where I change my mind. I'm still on the fence about rice cereal as a first food.
I also decided to offer Molly food before her six-month birthday because it was getting hard to keep her from it. She was constantly stealing food off my plate and putting it in her mouth. Her first food was brie cheese from my salad. It wasn't necessarily my choice as a first food but it was a strong indication to me that Molly was ready for it. On the day of solid food introduction, we were excited! We put Molly in her high chair, strapped on the bib and put the very liquid-y rice cereal on a spoon. I aimed the spoon toward Molly's mouth and she opened it, ready for the food! I was not expecting that at all. Molly has shown a fine appreciation for food. She practically sings with joy when I feed her while trying to stuff all the food in her mouth.
We've quickly moved on from rice cereal to avocados, squash, applesauce and more. In fact, avocado is served at all of Molly's meals. It is unacceptable to her for avocado not to be served to her. It is her most favorite of all favorite foods. I've been doing a mixture of Baby Led Weaning and purees. Molly likes food so much that I'm nervous offering her food that is potentially a choking hazard so I like to give her foods that are easily mashable.
I have also been making a majority of Molly's food. It's so simple and fast that I'm happy to do so. It also aligns with my goal of introducing healthy, fresh food to Molly. I usually steam or bake a vegetable or fruit for Molly while making dinner for Scott and I. I then let the food cool while we eat dinner. After cleaning up from supper, I whirl the food through the food processor and place it into ice cube trays for freezing. I can quickly whip up about 10-12 serving sizes by making Molly's food this way. I've built up a good little food
stash for Molly along the way. It makes my daily prep of food so much easier and faster. I usually pull out Molly's food from the freezer the night before to allow it to defrost in the fridge. If I don't do that, I put it in the microwave for about 35 seconds and then provide plenty of time for the food to cool.
I've been giving Molly solid food for about six weeks now and while I only introduce one new food at a time, I've been a little more loose about waiting 3-5 days between introducing new items. There are no known food allergies in our family and she hasn't shown any reactions to any of the foods I've introduced so I feel ok with plan. Molly gets between one and two solid food meals a day in addition to her milk. It is important at this stage that their milk intake does not dip and I've been careful to ensure that Molly is still nursing as much as possible and getting formula as needed.
Molly does take in a lot of solid food at her meals but she loves it so much and is still drinking the right amount of milk so I'm not worried. I also offer milk before her solid meals. Molly's average solid meal consists of 4-6 T of oatmeal with 1 T applesauce/blueberries, 4 T of avocado and 4 T of another type of vegetable (i.e. squash, peas, carrots). I've been following this chart as a guideline as how much food to give Molly. I let her take the lead with the food. I spoon feed her a few bites of a new food and then she usually grabs the spoon and goes from there.
4-5 large apples
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1. Peel and core apples
2. Steam apples until easily pieced with a fork and slightly mushy.
3. Place in a food processor with cinnamon and process until smooth.
4. Place puree in ice cube trays and freeze overnight. This will provide you with 1-ounce servings which are the perfect serving size for a baby 6-12 months old.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Wow! It's been half a year since you joined our lives and it has been the best thing that has ever happened to us. This month has been so full of development and excitement that I'm not sure where to begin.
Well first of all, you started on solid food. You kept trying to get some of my food in your mouth so I decided to start you early even though I was firm that you were not going to have solid food before six months. This is just the start of so many times where you will prove me wrong. You have shown your true love for avocado and your intense dislike for peas. Other foods fall in between that spectrum. So far you have tried avocado, peas, sweet potatoes, pears, carrots, peaches, plums, oatmeal, rice cereal and bananas.
You also started swimming 'lessons' at the local outdoor pool. You love them and I love how they wear you out! You have the best naps afterwards. We have lessons throughout the summer so I look forward to watching you through this adventure. Last week we went down the big slide together. I had so much fun and yelled WHEEEEEE! the entire way. You thought it was ok. Silly girl! It was the MOST FUN EVER!
Shortly after your six month half birthday, we went to Orcas Island for the weekend (and honestly this is why this month's letter is a bit late, I was having too much fun!) to celebrate Pop Pop's birthday. We took you to a fancy restaurant for dinner and you did so well. You used your charming smile to lure all the other diners into loving you. The waitress complemented us on your 'perfect' attitude. Hooray! I hope you keep this up so I can continue eating good food.
This month you've mastered sitting and rolling over. You've also started really grasping things and moving them between your hands. You do these little hand gestures that crack us up. It's like you are amazed that these hands are yours. You are also grabbing everything which means noses, eyeballs, glasses, mustaches and the like are all up for grabs! I totally understand why Moms cut off their hair; between the postpartum hair loss and the grabbing, it is all too much.
Thank you for making this the best six months of my life. We really enjoy having you as our baby and feel like we got the best one out there. You are so much fun and such a beautiful little girl. I look forward to watching more of your personality emerge. It's already quite charming!
Six Month Stats
Weight: 16 lbs 7 oz
Length: 27.5 inches
Head Circumference: 17.64 inches