Saturday, 23 June 2012

Breastfeeding Update

I haven't written about breastfeeding and how it's been going lately, so I thought I'd if you don't want to read this (aka if you are a male) then I suggest you wait for the next post :)

As you know, we had a rough start with breastfeeding and I had a hard time accepting it.  It's the ONE thing I really wanted to do.  Well after 2 months of hard work, we got a good start on it and by 3.5 months we were breastfeeding like it was never an issue.  To this day we are still going strong.  I'd like to share my experience with Ethan because I have 2 pregnant friends and one that just had her baby, and I know they are all avid readers of this they can kinda see where I'm at and what to possibly expect lol.

But now we have come to another little roadblock (one that is normal that most babies do!)  He is VERY distracted.  I have to nurse in a quiet area.  But now that we are doing so well with it, I've been nursing more in the open where I can talk to people and he is getting used to it a bit more.  I was at a friends house yesterday and we were both nursing our babies (hers 1 week new, mine almost 7 months) and we were able to carry on a conversation without Ethan whipping his head around every 3 seconds.

Ethan is now very vocal about when he wants to eat.  He had learned how to "sign" for milk.  That is great because we are able to communicate with each other.  But sometimes he just does it to watch his hand move.  Regardless, I put him to breast whenever he does it so he gets the point that it's for milk.  Since I've been doing that he has been doing it less...only when he needs milk.

If I don't see his cue right away, he wants to be held so he can smack my chest and pulls my shirt down.... this is great, especially in public.  (No, not really).  I try not to respond when he does this but then he gets more irritated so I just give in.  It's partly my fault because I don't see him sign for it, but at the same time, he needs to learn that he won't get milk when he acts in that manner.

He also is bored in the cradle position unless he is tired or going down for a nap or just waking up.  His newest position is laying belly to belly, head in an upright position and to nurse that way lol.  Side lying is one of his favorites too...he can roll around and come back when he needs a drink.... or sweetly falls asleep - that's my favorite!

Feedings last a maximum of 10 minutes now (that's if he is REALLY hungry).  He still nurses every 2 to 3 hours, even with solids.  (He gets one or two servings a day..sometimes none if he is "backed up").   He is very efficient which is nice.  Breastfeeding never really consumed a large amount of time (15 minutes maybe), but it was a struggle getting him on.  Now it's like we are pros and never really had a problem, which I am grateful for.

HERE is a video I made of Ethan's first 6 months of life.  If you are on facebook, you more than likely have seen this.  If not, then enjoy :)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Adventures in Solids....

Ethan has turned 6 months, and in turn, we are now feeding (or trying to feed) solids!  From my observation, I would not say that Ethan is a picky eater, but rather picky in the way he eats and in the way things are prepared.

My first intention was to make ALL of Ethan's food.  Then I discovered Baby-Led Solids.  Then we discovered that Ethan likes jarred baby food.

Lets start with homemade food.  When I make food in the Baby Brezza, it's totally pureed.  I even strain it through a sieve.   But it just doesn't get to that reeeeaaallly smooth consistency....and he gags... a lot.  Thankfully, I only took about an hour of my time to prepare and store the foods I did puree.  I started to do this before he was eating so I'd have it all ready (and was just excited to start using a new kitchen gadget!)

So then I decided to go the Baby-Led route.  Now he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES anything we put in front of him.  But again, the gag reflex comes into play and it seems to scare a lot of people if we feed him in front of them (Grama's!!) for that sake, we go back to purees during family dinners.  However, at home we let him feed himself...  tonight for example he sucked on a piece of steak (no seasoning) and an asparagus.  He was way tired, so I held it for him, but usually we wouldn't do that, but it kept him quiet and mom and dad could eat with Ethan as a family :)

In the mornings, I have been doing the purees....from a jar.  At first I was really upset that I went that route, because I really wanted to make all of his food, but in all honesty, he just doesn't like the texture.  Plus, the jars I buy are organic and contain only fruits or veg (or meat) and no preservatives other than lemon juice.  Plus I don't think it will be a long term thing.  I also said I wasn't going to do cereal, but I found oatmeal and I thought it would be good for breakfast time and something a bit different and better than rice.  Aside from jarred, I also give him a banana at breakfast.  He loves banana (and I don't blame him!)

We are not very strict with solids.  His main source of nutrients is breast milk.  I don't think solids make him sleep any better (although.....he has been sleeping very well lately - but I don't think the two are related.  We are lucky if he gets even a tablespoon into him).  Every day he gets a bit better with the solids but if he doesn't want it, the spoon goes down and we go play.  He gets solids only after a feeding - we treat it as "dessert" so he doesn't fill up on them.  Eventually I'll replace a nursing session with solids but for right now, it's not necessary.

My intention is to get him onto Baby-Led Solids 100%, but for now, I'll mix the two.  I read that you shouldn't do that because it defeats the purpose, but he enjoys being spoon fed - never bats the spoon away and never shuts his mouth or turns away (unless he's had enough of course).  He also likes whole foods (like broccoli - can you believe that!).

All in all, it's an adventure but I'm loving it and I think Ethan is too (or will in the near future).  He is SO interested in what we eat and wants a little taste of everything.  I guess I'm really going to have to cut down on my salt on food (like omit it) if he is going to be tasting off our plates.   :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Half a year has passed...

I can't believe we have just about hit the 6 month mark (2 days away).  When I look back to what we were as a family and what we are now, it floors me.

When Ethan was a newborn, he always wanted to be held and cuddled and was not a fan of being put down, so we didn't.  We held him constantly.  I'm not complaining at all.  I loved wearing him and letting him fall asleep in my arms for hours.

Now, he really only wants to be held if he is tired and needs to fall asleep.... yes, a habit we are creating but, like everything else, he will grow out of it.

He is so independent, always wanting to do something - whether he is in his exersaucer, or sitting in his bumbo playing with his mirror station, jolly jumper or lying on his playmat.  Unfortunately I think these toys will be over soon....I can tell he is getting bored of them.  He does about 15 minutes max and then onto something new.

He is so interested in watching things happen now.  Gone are the days when he was happy staring at a he wants to grab my face, touch my skin, feel my's cute. Then he gets that "sparkle" in his eye and half my face gets ripped  Very fun. ;)   We have some construction going on at the house and he is so amused at the bobcats digging dirt.....I'm sure he'd watch for hours.

Nature is also something he loves and I try to provide him access as much as possible.  Unfortunately with a new driveway and patio being dug out and cement poured, access to outside is limited.  But when we go to the Grandparent's houses, we spend the time outside and he just loves it!

He is now sitting on his own for a good 20 seconds at a time and will put his hand down if he is falling to the side (So cute)!  I don't have a photo of him sitting alone because I don't want him to smash his face due to me needing to get a shot, but here is one of him on the couch playing with his toes....he is starting to suck his toes and blow raspberries on them - so cute and funny lol.

He is also in the process of starting to crawl.  He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back in forth.  You can't see it well in the photo below, but he does this in his crib constantly.

I've also become more relaxed as a mom.....I look back when he was brand spankin' new and everything was sanitized and I constantly pumped milk to keep my supply up - now a quick wipe on his blanket is suffice and I pretty much pump once a week.  We hardly use bottles anymore, but when we do use them I tend to still sanitize the nipple because they are used about once every two weeks.  (We use the drop ins so no need to sanitize the bottle -bonus!)

I need to work on that and maybe pump 3 times a week since I pretty much have nothing left as stash in my freezer.  He has taken so well to breastfeeding I don't really think about it....but I guess I should start. "sigh".

Diaper changes have become far less....we used to change about 15 diapers a day, and now we are down to about 7.  Some of this is due to his age, but some is just not being so worried about it.

Changing his clothes has also become less of a priority.  I used to change him if he dribbled on his sleeper, now, unless we have a pee thru, blow out or full on vomit, we don't change him much.  As soon as I change him, he just drools again so we go thru a lot of bibs instead :)

I think we are doing well raising Ethan.  He has routines down pat and we both know each other well to figure out what needs to be done to make each of us happy.  I provide him with food and comfort and he goes down for his naps before he gets cranky :)  We work well as a team I think!
Tomorrow we have a family photo shoot.  I'm looking forward to getting some pictures done of the three of us :)

Stay tuned to the adventures of giving Ethan solids!