Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘feeding baby


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.


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!


*Breastfeeding Survey* It’s anonymous and takes only a second. (See survey at the bottom of this post.) Thanks!

“Breast is Best”! This message is in your face as a new mother, and there’s a lot of pressure to breastfeed. I was actually surprised to find out that my grandmother who had five kids didn’t breastfeed a single one of them. She told me this when we visited her this winter. I just sort of assumed that most people breastfed back in those days. But she went on to say that it just wasn’t popular, and actually it was the poorer people who breastfed because they couldn’t afford formula. Wow. Times certainly have changed. I mean it’s just so trendy now! Maybe too trendy?

I know there are lots of benefits to breastfeeding and I am breastfeeding, but I have seen friends who for whatever reason formula fed their babies and some of them were made to feel guilty – be it by nurses, or self-inflicted or societal pressures. But you know what? All those babies from back in the day when breastfeeding was on the outs, are OK! I mean look at my mom and her brothers and sisters – none of them were breastfed and they all lived to tell the tale.

What I’m wondering is, how long will I continue to breastfeed? I mean the Little N Man has two teeth now, and thankfully as of yet they haven’t inflicted any damage. But how much longer will we go on like this? Ontario Public Health nurses recommend breastfeeding for six months, and he’s almost seven. But still there seems to be this societal pressure to keep going – to forge forward until pre-school. OK that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do here of it. And to be honest I’m sort of torn. I like breastfeeding him – it’s convenient, it’s bonding and it’s free. But, that means he also relies on my physical presence to eat. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I’m just curious about other mothers. Did you breastfeed or not? And if you did, for how long?


Now that  I have been a mommy for close to five months, I have honed quite a few taking-care-of-baby skills: changing diapers, getting up in the wee hours of the night, entertaining a newborn, and (drum roll, please…) breastfeeding in public! Although I can’t say for certain I’ve honed this skill to perfection, I have done it and met with success and am sure I will do it again in the future.

Is the public arena my place of choice to feed little Niko? No.

Have I developed a comfort and skill level that allow me to feed my baby when he’s hungry out in public? Yes.

And, truth be told, most of this comfort developed on the recent trip Niko and I took to Halifax, where airports and airplanes became ground for free-range feeding! Being discreet helped a lot with building up my level of comfort: I mean a lot of times I don’t think that anyone was even aware of what I was doing, that is unless they took note of the big pink, Babe au Lait nursing canopy draped over my front. But seeing as most people are so wrapped up in their own business, I find they for the most part don’t even look at others, as I will explain later…

Interestingly enough, in the March 2010 issue of Today’s Parent there is an article (p. 107-108) about Breastfeeding in Public. The writers are all for it, despite the qualms that nursing mothers may have about this task. The most important thing is to get that hungry baby fed, right? And I agree with the article – hungry babes do need to eat, and when the time comes, they pretty much need to eat pronto! The article goes on to give tips to mothers who breastfeed in public, and one of them is as follows: “Smile at people. Make eye contact. Look confident.” OK, looking confident is one thing, but smiling and making eye contact?! Come on! It’s not like I am looking to make new friends while I am nursing my baby. I mean people out and about in the general public barely even look each other in the eye – so yes I would feel a bit awkward sitting on a bench in the mall, breastfeeding my baby, while giving the old wink and smile to passersby! Confidence – YES! Smiling and eye contact – WEIRD!

Note: Like Greg mentioned in his comment, I’ll just “have to take what ‘they’ say with a large grain of sea salt”.


They say you should just let your baby cry it out. They say you should comfort your crying baby. They say get him on a schedule. They say get him on a routine. They say so many darn things it’s hard to decipher what’s going to work for you and your baby!

Like I’ve mentioned before, there is a flurry of dizzying information out there about how to be a parent in the right way.  And I have noticed over the last few months that sometimes what one source says conflicts with another.  My friend Traci and I have this joke about what they say. Neither one of us is big on reading about parenting, but as a new parent you sort of do get caught up in at least a book or article or something for guidance every once in a while. Anyway, whenever we get talking about parenting we’ll phrase what we’ve read or heard by saying, “You know, they say…”. And by they we mean any one of a million different sources: it’s just what they say, and they always seem to think that what they say will work for you!

They say that babies over 11lbs should be able to sleep through the night??? They say that you can start feeding your child solids at four months. They say solids should only be introduced at six months. They say that you should only bathe your child every other day. They say … blah blah blah! I mean we all want to be good parents, but if we listen to everything they say we’ll end up going in a million different directions and that can’t be good for anyone, right?!


BreastfeedingCartoonAll things considered I would say Canada is a society where the rights of women are advanced and for the most part pretty much on par with those of men. That said I am curious to see how most women or for that matter men, feel about women breastfeeding in public. This is a perfectly natural phenomenon: babies need to eat and this is feeding in its most natural form. But, do women feel comfortable breastfeeding in public? As a new mom, I am certainly not there (yet). And now that I think of it, I really don’t see (or maybe I just don’t notice) any women breastfeeding their babies in public. But does it happen? Are women comfortable?

My sister Carolyn, who until recently lived in highly conservative (and hot) East Timor, where women do not even swim or wear bathing suits or show much skin in general, told me that although women for the most part remain covered up, once they have a baby it is socially acceptable for them to breastfeed openly in public, sans blanket, just out there! This really does make sense: babies needs to eat and they feed them. Why then does it seem difficult for women to do this in emancipated North America? Or are these just merely my viewpoints and feelings toward it?

In talking with a friend (and new mom) over coffee today she told me she has breastfed in public once, but only when the positioning was right did she feel comfortable. (I think she said her back was to a wall and she was in a booth at a restaurant.) Well kudos to her for going for it! However, today, in the wide openness of Starbucks this was not happening and her baby got the bottle.  (I too had a bottle packed in my diaper bag, just in case…) As my little Niko  snoozed away I couldn’t help but wonder, will I ever breastfeed in public? As it stands right now, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it, but if faced with a crying and hungry son, my feelings could change. Perhaps I would resort to feeding him in my car… 🙂

What is it that makes us feel uncomfortable? Is it because of “women’s rights” that women don’t feel comfortable? Is this just a little too intimate a thing for equal rights women to be sharing in public? Or I am just too modest and thinking about this too much and most people actually do feel comfortable? Hmm…see the polls below.  I think women should breastfeed in public, but so far I am just not ready to take the plunge!

 


Bringing Niko HomeSo…now that I am on maternity leave I have decided to start a blog and post my daily thoughts and experiences. I have officially been a mom since September 15th 2009, when my son Niko was born just after 8 am. That day was a total surprise because he was born exactly four weeks before his due date and we weren’t exactly ready.

I mean we had intended to be ready, but only by the due date which was October 13th. Some people say the 13th is an unlucky day, so maybe it’s better off this way anyway. Regardless, we were having all new hardwood floors put in, in hopes that they would be installed before the birth of our son! Surprise surprise, you can’t always plan the birthday of your child! Needless to say we are so happy to have him, despite the early challenges of him being in intensive care for two weeks.

In a glimpse the last five weeks have gone like this:

1) I had planned to take a month off before the birth of Niko. My last day of scheduled work (regardless of the premature delivery – which of course we did not know about) was September 14th. He was born on September 15th just after 8am – at least I had a few hours off. 🙂

2) My mom – aka. superwoman extraordinaire – came up to stay with Borys (my hubby) and I for two weeks. She cooked, cleaned and supported me like a champ. Because I had a c-section I was super limited to what I could actually do, and she was there for all my needs and more! I seriously appreciate all she has done. I think she felt bad that Niko was in intensive care, or maybe she just didn’t get enough “Grandma time” in, but she also came back for another whole week, and is here with me right now: cleaning and cooking as I type – what a multi-tasker!

3) After my mom’s first two week stay, Borys took two weeks off and cooked, cleaned and supported me like a champ as well! And, of course, it was great to have some quality time together as a family!

4) Oh no…the baby is squirming, or grunting which is what he actually does more of than real crying. I better go see what the fuss is, but I think it means he’s HUNGRY!

5) Feeding him, sure does take a lot of time! But, man have I caught up on my TV! Rogers on Demand, has really introduced me to some new shows. Since the birth of Niko, I have caught up on and started watching: Glee, Mad Men, Melrose Place, 90210, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife and of course the wonderful – My Super Sweet 16 – I wish I could have a party like that!


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