Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there.  After becoming a mom myself, I definitely appreciate my parents a lot more.  Not that I was an ungrateful child or anything, but it only takes a couple of sleepless nights with a newborn to really understand what this parenting thing is all about.

And now, my mom helps out with taking care of my son.  It’s so funny how resourceful she is.  For example, in lieu of a high chair for WZW, she took an old pair of shorts and sewed it to a piece of cloth that can be draped over the back of a chair.  Now, he can stay put while she feeds him.

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My dad helps out as well, but less so with direct baby care.  He’ll warm up milk for the little guy, or help cook dinner while my mom is taking care of him.  WZW starts looking longingly at my dad when he’s getting hungry- his way of saying he’s looking for milk.

WZW turned 8 months old this week.  A couple of weeks ago, he started crawling for the first time.  For me, I feel like that’s the biggest milestone so far, since now we have to suddenly keep an eye on him so he doesn’t get into trouble.  And we had to start babyproofing.  It’s amazing how it literally happened overnight.  Or rather, within the same day.  For a few days, he had been starting to move just inches.  He was mostly reaching for things, but would move himself a tiny bit to get to something just out of reach.  He was still doing that in the morning, then in the evening we put him down on the floor, and instead of inches he starting moving feet.

The other thing that’s interesting is that as he learned to crawl, he also improved his other motor skills.  When we’d put him down to sleep on his back, he’d flip himself right over, which he did more slowly and infrequently before.  He also quickly learned to sit himself up.  Previously, when he couldn’t fall asleep, we’d go back in to find him on his back crying.  But now, he’ll be sitting up crying.  And during his sleep, he ends up all over the place.

Which brings me to his sleeping quarters- sadly, we never used the crib that we got as a hand-me-down.  He went from the Rock ‘n Play to sleeping on the king bed.  At this point, now that he can roll and move around, the bed is no longer safe.  But he can also pull himself up to standing if he’s in the crib.  I’m sure it’s fine, but we were worried that he’d pull himself up, then fall and hit his head on the rails.  Or eventually learn to pull himself out of the crib altogether.

So being paranoid, we decided to get this Lotus travel crib:

Lotus Crib

It’s nice because we needed it for travel anyway, and it folds up and is easily carried in the bag it comes with.  But we have been using it for daily sleeping instead of the traditional crib.  We figure it’s safe because he’s on the ground, so even in the chance that he eventually learned to escape from it, there wouldn’t be as much distance to fall.  And the sides are soft, so if he falls he won’t have any hard surfaces where he can hit his head.  And my back appreciates the little zippered opening on the side, so I don’t have to reach down into it to get him out like I do with his playpen.  So far it’s been working well for us.

Our little guy loves standing and walking with help.  It’s so funny how when you help him up, he gets this happy look on his face.  Supposedly my husband started walking when he was 8 months, which sounds ridiculously early.  I guess we’ll see about WZW.  My chiropractor says it’s best if they crawl as long as possible, because it helps with their lumbar spine curvature.  And then once they start walking, they get the final sacral curvature at the bottom of the spine.  So according to her, it’s best not to walk too early.  Honestly, I don’t think there’s much one can do either way.  Your baby is gonna do what he wants to do when it comes to development.

With regards to food, we have been keeping it pretty Paleo for WZW.  We started with the baby food jars that we got from a friend.  They had various vegetables, fruit, and meat.  Some are mixed with brown rice- like peas & brown rice, or chicken & brown rice.  We’ve bought baby food in the pouches as well.  One had an interesting combo of spinach, black beans, yogurt, and pumpkin.  Other than some corn, beans, and rice mixed in with other ingredients, we haven’t been giving him non-Paleo foods regularly.

We went to a restaurant recently, and I decided to give him a piece of bread to nibble on.  I realized that was the first time I’d given him any gluten.  I do think he should be exposed to a variety of foods early on, but we don’t feel the need to feed him carbs regularly.  We’re not doing the baby cereals or puffs.  We are also not hippie enough to make our own baby food.  We don’t have that kind of time.

So far we’ve been spoon-feeding him, but he has been showing more interest in feeding himself.  I guess eventually we’ll move towards trying to have him feed himself pieces of food, but it’s a messy proposition.  Not to mention the amount of food that actually gets consumed as opposed to ending up all over him is minimal.  So we haven’t been doing it regularly yet.

He’s still getting both formula and breast milk.  Every day, I wonder how much longer I can keep up the breastfeeding and pumping.  My supply is pretty pitiful, and WZW’s feeding schedule rarely matches with my work/sleep schedule, but I figure there’s still benefit to him getting some.  So I’ll keep trying for at least another couple of months.

One last thing in relation to the Paleo lifestyle- our little guy loves being outdoors.  Lately my husband has been going running and taking him in the jogging stroller, and stopping midway to play in the grass.  It makes him so happy, and I like him being exposed to nature.

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2 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day!

  1. Meg May 30, 2016 / 2:45 am

    Hey POB,

    Been meaning to write for ages but been busy with house guests and baby! Our little monster just turned 9 months old. We can’t believe it’s been 3/4 of a year already. J is crawling at full speed and is standing on his own and cruising around furniture (holding on). We’re on walking watch. He is a little early with walking at 9 months. Neither his dad nor I were early walkers but my sister apparently walked at 8 months too.

    He has also started babbling quite a bit. That seemed to happen overnight – one day he was making occasional ‘aaaaa’ sounds and the next day it was ‘bababa’ with different tones. He seems to be a bit behind with the babbling and talking but maybe that’s not uncommon with boys?

    We also spoon feed him. I tried the baby led weaning thing a couple of times but man the mess it made! I am quite tolerant of mess, but this was just too much. Also he seems to eat a wider variety of food if we feed it to him. We also try to keep it paleo-ish, but he has tried bits of bread. It was interesting to see how much he liked it. It’s easy eating and tasty I guess. So we limit it quite strictly – I can see how he could easily fill up on bread and not eat other things.

    A couple of weeks ago we had a nursing strike – 2 days of refusing breastfeeding. Not sure why, it wasn’t teething. That was oddly stressful. I was pumping and he did take the bottle when he was really hungry but generally doesn’t like the bottle (though he loves his pacifier!). I introduced him to cow’s milk then. It was interesting reading about it beforehand. In Scandinavia they suggest that introduction of cow’s milk (not total replacement of breast of formula, I don’t think) from 9-10 months is ok. So he had a bit (60 mls/ 2 oucnes) and seemed to like it. He doesn’t seem to want to drink more than that of it though – I’m guessing it’s not sweet enough compared to breast milk.

    Speaking of breast milk, as of about a week ago, J has been waking up every 2 hours through the night to feed! I’m so tired!! It’s not teething, but it might be a growth spurt. He does have a lot going on at the moment with the pre-walking and quite a lot of separation anxiety so maybe it’s just that. We’ve moved our mattress onto the floor and J sleeps on a little mattress of his own next to me so that makes the multiple wakings a little less bad. How’s WZW’s sleep now? You said he sleeps through sometimes? Do you feel my eyes looking at you with longing/ jealousy?

    As J heads to one year of age I’m looking at going back to work. Really can’t imagine how I’ll cope! We also keep talking about the timing of the next child. We seem to oscillate between ‘closer together is better – the hard stuff will be done quickly’ to ‘I really need a break before putting my body through this again!’. My weight is down to being 5 kgs above pre-baby weight and isn’t budging. Might be the breastfeeding. I also don’t feel as healthy as I was before baby. Feel like I should get back there before baby #2. What do you think of this Weston A Price idea of the second child not getting enough micronutrients from the mum if the children are too close together because the mother’s body hasn’t had enough time to build it up? Anecdotally my husband is 18 months younger than his brother and has crooked lower teeth (his brother doesn’t). I’m the older child and have straight teeth, while my sister, who is two years younger, has crooked lower teeth. Or is it just that, anecdotes?

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    • Paleo OB June 4, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      WZW turns 9 months tomorrow, and I agree- amazing how quickly time has passed. Our little guy is crawling easily, and also loves pulling himself up to standing, and walking with help. So we’ll see when he starts walking on his own. He’s babbling a lot now, and it’s fun because sometimes he’ll try to repeat what we say- yayaya, etc.

      I tried feeding him boiled egg yolk recently, and it was such a mess. They seem to sell much of the baby food in pouches these days. We just bought some pouch toppers (ChooMee brand) which limit the flow, so it’s easier for him to eat straight from the pouch. Seems like it doesn’t work as well with the thicker consistency foods, but for the more liquidy ones, the toppers help. In any case, it seems to be cleaner feeding him straight from the pouches compared to spoon feeding him. I wondered to my husband if there would be any unintended consequences of feeding him mostly from pouches. Thus far, haven’t heard of any concerns. I figure regardless of what we do, eventually he’s going to learn to eat the regular way. Our pediatrician gives us handouts after every visit, and the latest one did say to wait until 1 year for cow’s milk, so I figure no rush.

      The nursing strike and the waking every 2 hours sound terrible! So sorry you had to deal with that! Guess I shouldn’t complain. WZW occasionally sleeps through the night, but usually wakes up at least once. What’s tough is that he often wakes up in the 4 am range, so by the time I breastfeed him and head back to sleep, I don’t have much time until I have to get up for work. I feel like I’m in my deepest sleep when that alarm goes off and it’s so painful getting up. It can be tough working on those days when I’m really tired. But you’ll be surprised how well you adjust to the “new normal.” And hopefully he’ll be sleeping better by then.

      Even though WZW is getting up only once per night most of the time, I still feel chronically sleep-deprived. And I think that’s a big reason for my weight gain. The breastfeeding does make me extra hungry as well. I haven’t even stepped on the scale lately- figure it would be too depressing. I do think about how I want to get a little more healthy again before trying for baby #2. I realize that the reality of life after WZW is not going to allow me to eat as strictly Paleo and exercise as much as I did before him. But I don’t want to remain at this weight prior to the next pregnancy.

      I haven’t looked into the research regarding spacing of children. I think the crooked teeth thing is just by chance. My husband is 13 months younger than his brother, and his teeth were not bad. I had terribly crooked teeth and my younger brother never needed braces. My husband played sports at the college level and in general turned out well, so I don’t think there is any concern for issues in the second child when babies are born close together. I’m thinking there might be some consequences for the mother, like not allowing her body to recuperate from all of the stress on the body from pregnancy and breastfeeding. And not losing the post-baby weight.

      We know in general that there are more risks for women who are obese or have medical conditions prior to pregnancy. So for me, even though I may not be exactly how I was before WZW, I do want to give baby #2 the best start possible, and would want to get healthier. But it’s always a trade-off, since if one waits too long, it can be harder to conceive. So ultimately timing is whatever works for the couple. And then many of my patients have an oops and get pregnant again, and then they just deal.

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