Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Feeding’ Category


Does Niko know how to use a spoon? Yes. At least usually he’s open to trying. But at snack time the other day he had a different idea about what to do with his yogurt…

Me: Niko, can you use your spoon please?

Niko: No Mama! Hahahahaha

And as you can see, there’s no spoon in sight. It’s probably lying somewhere underfoot, licked clean by our live-in vacuum cleaner.

Note Niko’s “camera smile” in his squinty-eyed pics. When he knows his picture is being taken he actually poses with that face. Where does he learn these things?



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This situation took place a while ago, but seeing as it’s remained in the forefront of my mind, and seeing as I am over the initial shock, I now feel ready to share its full and hideous glory with the blogosphere. Will it serve as a cautionary tale? Maybe. Will it change the world for the better? Most definitely (just as the rest of my posts do on a daily basis). When it happened, I was too repulsed to write about it; I mean when your baby ends up with a live and unidentifiable bug in his mouth, it’s not something you necessarily want to keep as a permament memory. But you know what? As time passed I’ve had many a good laugh over the whole thing. So, here it is.

A few weeks ago, Little N Bomb was sitting on the floor playing with toys. At this point in his wee life he was still pretty stationary. So while he played, I stepped in to the kitchen to battle dishes or something housewifey like that. When I checked on him just a moment later, he had the strangest look on his face (one of puzzlement, verging on disgust), and a stream of drool that gave Niagara Falls a run for its money. I also noticed that he was moving something around in his mouth, and at this point I got a little worried. So I gently pried open his tiny jaw and scooped out a “wild blueberry”? But we didn’t have any blueberries in our house. Upon closer inspection I realized this “blueberry” had eight tiny wriggling legs and a hard shell. Ugh. I opened the front door and tossed it, never having seen the likes of it again.

It wasn’t until today, that I actually had the courage to Google this mysterious bug. And despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find an image of it anywhere. The best pics I could find were of a VW Bug, a wooden spider and a DC comic book character (and obviously none of them are what I found that day). I guess the closest one is the wooden spider, but the one Niko had in his mouth only had one body sphere, not two. And who knew there was even a comic book character called the Blue Beetle?! Geesh, the things you can learn on this wild and wacky interweb.

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When it comes to meal time Niko has his ups and downs. Sometimes he gobbles everything up, and sometimes he whines through dinner or breakfast or lunch. Sometimes he’s pretty clean at the end, and sometimes it looks like he lost the world’s biggest food fight. On days like those, the days where food is everywhere, I do what I can to lessen the mess by scraping the spoon up his face, in an effort to remove the cereal or whatever the mush of the hour may be. And truth be told, this spoonful of face goo usually ends up back in his mouth. It’s a lovely bout of recycling, really.

Anyway, as Niko was eating his breakfast a couple of days ago and we were trudging through a slightly (oh, who am I kidding?) really, messy bout of cereal, Aunt Carolyn noticed my adept spoon maneuvering and couldn’t help but comment that I was performing the old Spoon Shave trick. Spoon shave trick?, I wondered. But really, when you give it an ounce of thought, it’s pretty self-explanatory. (See pics below for further explanation.)

Note: To the right of this post you can see Aunt Carolyn and Little N sitting on the grass, which as it turns out was Niko’s first time ever sitting on bare grass. And as far as we could tell he didn’t even swallow any bugs! Although, given some time I am sure anything could have been possible.


Despite all my qualms about breastfeeding, after 10 months it seems to have come to a natural end for me and Niko. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I nursed him and it worked out really well for us, but our time is over. I had planned to breastfeed for one year, but over the past few weeks it seems to have just naturally tapered off. I didn’t really feel like I was producing enough milk and little Niko was often frustrated during and after feeding, so I introduced more bottle feedings and he seemed more content and satisfied.

Another sign that it was the end for this little guy? Even though we’ve been tapering off, sometimes I still try nursing him when he seems fussy and I don’t have a bottle on hand. (And let’s face it, breastfeeding is more convenient than preparing a bottle.) When we gave it whirl yesterday he went for it, for all of about 10 seconds, then stopped, looked up at me and started giggling, showing off his six white and ever growing teeth. (And trust me, the fact that those chompers are in there doesn’t make it any easier either. Let’s just say I’ve bared the brunt of a few bites.)  Anyway after the bout of giggles, he pulled himself away and focused his attention elsewhere. Yah, I think that’s pretty much a sign that he’s done. I’m done. It’s over, but also the beginning of a new era as well. After all aren’t all endings just the beginning of something else anyway?

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As the days, and weeks and months of motherhood whip by, my confidence in parenting continues to gain momentum: from being a complete rookie, to successfully (kudos to me and Borys) raising an (almost) 10 month old. One, among many, major factors in parenting is feeding. First it’s: Will I breastfeed or formula feed? Then it’s: Will I make my own baby food or buy store bought? And I suppose food related questions will continue to persist from here on in. I mean there’s always things to learn and people willing to lend their two cents of advice.

One thing I’ve noticed (and enjoyed) over the past few months is that feeding time has gotten progressively less messy: that was until today. I mean I used to deal with slippery hands and a messy floor on a daily basis, especially when Niko first started eating solids. One of his favourite tricks used to be getting a handful of cereal and then itching his face with his palm, all the while rubbing the mess onto his face, neck hair, you name it.

Tonite I saw the ghosts of feeding past come back to life. Niko made a huge mess with his dinner! If there was a running commentary for dinner time it could have gone something like this: “Hello cereal face mask. And oh, how I missed you cereal hair gel. And why not throw all my utensils and my bowl on the floor as well? I mean let’s just make a huge production of it!” But why not, really? I guess we’re all entitiled to periods of regression, and Niko’s no exception. Although, I have to admit, there is something alluring and perhaps even liberating about getting a handful of cereal and doing what you want with it. So in that light: Go Niko Go! But let’s just do it when it’s Daddy’s watch, next time.

Note: Niko’s hairstyle below, is 100% courtesy of the styling aids of baby cereal and his own hands. Contact me, if you’d like an appointment.


It’s been a long time since I’ve written about baby food. Whereas once, it was all consuming, as of late the real estate deals and daycare dilemmas have been at the forefront of my mind and keeping me distracted. And, seeing as we’ve switched mainly to the Heinz variety, Niko’s eating issues seam to have dissipated. Even though my freezer still carries memories of my attempts at making baby food: those memories coming in the form of tiny little ice cube sized, homemade varieties, double sealed and aptly labeled and dated inside Ziploc freezer bags. Yes, every time I open my freezer I am haunted by the issues I used to face with making baby food, and getting Niko to eat. One thing hasn’t changed though: Niko still loves squash, whether it’s the homemade or store bought kind. Squash has become a go to food of sorts and is usually the first one he tries at lunch and dinner, my thinking being if he starts with a flavour he likes he is more likely to try (albeit perhaps unknowingly) any other Heinz delicacies (even meat) that I place in front him.

Niko has also developed a way to tell me when he’s had enough. I am still pretty much following the serving guidelines set out by the public health nurse when she came to visit last October, but sometimes if he’s got too much on his plate he becomes adamant that he does not want anymore. Even this morning as I tried to feed him his last bite of cereal – and it literally was the last bite: a spoonful I had scraped off the sides and bottom of the bowl -, he adamantly refused, and I caught it on video (Baby Niko Refuses his Last Bite of Cereal [0:25]). Yes, he seems to know how to say “No more. I’m full.” quite well: envision whining and head turning from side to side. He’s got it down.

Note: Please take note of my perfect manicure in the picture of me and Niko below. That’s just how I roll: dishwater and baby wipes ain’t got nothin’ on my nails.


Babies sure do go through many ups and downs in their sleeping patterns. I mean just when I think Niko is “sleeping through the night” it won’t be but a few days or maybe weeks (if I’m lucky), that he will start waking in the night again. And you know what? I somewhat came to accept this waking pattern over the last month or so. First he was waking at 1am and 6am, not bad: I would hear him, feed him and put him back to bed. This went on for a few weeks, then within the last couple of weeks he started waking at midnight, 3am, 6am, 8am, and I just sort of went with it, in a waking daze: feeding him and putting him back to bed, that was until last night. Here’s how a conversation went in our house yesterday.

Borys: How’s Niko sleeping these days? Is he still waking up at 1am? (Note: Yes you read that right! Daddy has no idea what goes on in the night! He just doesn’t hear him, partially due to the fact that he knows I’m listening for him. But still! WOW!)

Me: 1am!? He’s now waking up even more! 12, 3, 6, 8…

B: What? Oh my gosh! Are you serious?

Me: Yes! But you know what? When I go back to work (sniff, sniff…), we’re sharing this duty: one night me, one night you…

B: I know, I know…

But this convo. got me thinking. Niko, come on! I mean you’re a grown baby: waking up this often is not a necessity any more. And then I started wondering if I was inadvertently supporting this behaviour by feeding him every time he wakes. Bad Mommy, bad mommy! In talking with one of my friends over the weekend she told me her two year old son wakes up like clockwork five times every night! Yikes! I don’t want that under my repertoire of experience, so last night I made a conscious decision to try to put an end to these night wakings. I vowed that if I heard him, I would just let him fuss it out (he doesn’t actually cry too much when he wakes, which again leads me to believe he is not really hungry, just waking and waiting to go back to sleep) until he hit the zzzs once again.

So, last night went like this: fed him at midnight, but I was still up anyway. Went to bed. Heard him around 3am. Listened to him fuss for about five minutes or so, and then he went back to sleep and I didn’t even get out of bed: just a little long distance and quiet parenting from down the hall. And once he went back to sleep he didn’t wake again ’til 8am! What a good little monkey. This makes me think that if I dont’ go to see him and don’t interrupt him, he is more likely to fall back into a deep sleep and sleep for longer. However, as with most things baby related, time will tell, and it’s bound to change. But I’m trying this technique again tonight, and the next night, and the next night, and the next… I mean really, let’s just get this kid on a good sleeping routine!


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