Monday, May 27, 2013

Baby AJ: 7 Month Update

My little boy turned 7 months almost 2 weeks ago. I'm feeling so behind on my blog right now. I have so many ideas for posts, but I haven't taken the time to write them & edit photos for them. I'm a month behind on my P365. And a month behind on editing photos I take with my DSLR. I've started to slow down on the DSLR pics since I was falling behind. I shoot in RAW and then edit and export them in Adobe Lightroom. It's not like it takes that much extra work, but I'm lacking motivation lately for some reason. I think part of the reason is that my back has been hurting me the last month. I did something to it because it hurts when I sit for awhile, so I haven't wanted to sit in front of my computer and edit photos and work on my blog. All I want to do when I'm at home is lay on the couch, since laying down is the most comfy position for me right now. ANYWAYS, enough of my whining and onto AJ's 7 month update.

Wow, so many changes this last month. He became so much stronger and mobile. Lots of milestones and firsts this past month which I'll get to in a bit.

7 Month Stats:
Weight: Not sure maybe 18.5 lbs
Length: ???
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 month

Nicknames: Boo Boo Bear, Boo Boo, bub, baby boy, sweetie

 Health: Nothing new to report here.

Sleep: I could probably write a novel on his sleep at the moment. To summarize--it's crap. Bedtime has become a 2 hour struggle to get him to sleep every night. Then when he's finally asleep, we hope he doesn't wake up in half an hour, which he does sometimes. Then he cries and cries until I get him. Forget about Jack soothing him back to sleep. He only wants me. What can I say? I guess he's a mommy's boy. I rock him and he falls back asleep and then it's back in the crib. Rinse and repeat a few more times. Then when it's around 10-10:30, he comes to our bed for the rest of the night. He nurses a few times through out the night. Sometimes we have a hard time getting him back to sleep. He likes to sleep horizontally and kick me in the face. Needless to say, Jack and I are coming up with a game plan to get him sleeping better. I've realized he doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep and relies on us to soothe him back. So it's time to start working on that. Also, somewhere along the line, our bedtime routine is no more. So we're starting up a stronger bedtime routine again. Hopefully, next month's sleep report shows improvement.

Diet: Mama's milk and some solid foods. He's tried lots of new foods this past month. He seems to enjoy gnawing on meat. He also likes asparagus, broccoli, toast fingers, apples, & baby mum mums.

Baby Gear Love:

  • Mamas & Papas Pixi Highchair: I really love this highchair so far. It's feels sturdy, it's lightweight and folds up really compact. It can also be pulled up to the table or you can use it with the tray. We use it with the tray since our dinning room table has a lip that doesn't allow the chair to be pulled under it. It's easy to wipe down and clean. 
  • Exersaucer: He's actually starting to really discover the toys on this thing. It's fun to watch. It's also a nice place to set him if I need to do dishes or go to the bathroom. 
  • Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote: I bought this toy on a whim one day at Target and he really enjoys it. 

Loves: his bath every night, sitting up & playing with toys, trying to stand, when we blow raspberries on his belly, being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, when we make funny sounds at him, baby mum mums

Dislikes: He really hates being placed on his back. He wants to sit up all the time.

Milestones: Right before he turned 7 months, he rolled back to belly and learned to sit up on his own. He also figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position. Oh and he got his first two teeth!

Other things of note about month 7: 

-First time in a highchair out to eat.

-Around April 21, 2013, he cut his first bottom tooth and the second one popped up just 2 days later.

-He rode in a shopping cart for the first time. He loved it. Oh and some couple came up to him and this lady was going crazy over him. I pushed the husbands hand away because his hand got so close to his mouth and I didn't like that. Boundaries people!

-He figured out how to pick up balls

-Over the last month, he's really started to play with his toys. It's so fun to watch. He figured out how to spin the monkey in his exersaucer. He also figured out how to pull the string on his toy arch to make the pin wheel spin.

-Jack started a little game with him. He lays AJ on his back. Then he grabs onto his fingers and pull him up to sit and then up to a standing position. He loves it!

- May 4, 2013: He pulled himself up to a standing position for the first time and also went swimming for the first time.

-May 5, 2013: We took him to the park to swing for the first time.

-May 10, 2013: Rolled back to front for the first time and sat up by himself for the first time!

-May 12, 2013: I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day!

Jack and I love this little dude so much. I'm really loving this stage that he's in. It's so easy to take him out. I'm still working half days, and I take him out on an errand everyday. He really enjoys it. When we get somewhere, he knows he's coming out of his car seat and he gets all excited. He gets this big ol' grin and starts shaking his arms and legs. It's the cutest thing. He is such a happy baby. Constantly smiling. Anytime someone starts talking to him, he gets this big smile on his face and acts shy, but just keeps giving them a smile. Such a little ham. I'm excited for what this next month has in store for us!

Monday, May 6, 2013

First Solids & Baby Led Weaning

AJ got his first taste of solid foods just one week shy of turning 6 months. I decided I wanted to try out a baby-led weaning (BLW) (or baby-led solids BLS) approach to starting solid foods. It basically means we skipped purees and went straight to just regular food.

I bought this book off Amazon and read it before we started.

I actually wish I would have read the reviews for the cookbook version and bought that one instead. Many reviewers say it summarizes the book nicely at the beginning. 

The premise behind BLW:

  • Your baby sits with the family during mealtimes and feeds himself. No spoon feeding necessary! 
  • Your baby is offered food in pieces that are a size and shape he can handle. Usually strips or sticks that are long enough that your baby can hold onto it and still have food stick out the top of their hand. No need to mess with making baby food! 
  • No worries about how much your baby eats. He decides for himself! At first your baby will just be discovering food and they won't actually eat very much at all, if any at first.
  • Your baby continues to have as many milk feedings as he wants and will decide when he's ready for less. 
AJ was showing the signs of readiness to start solids. These include: being at least 6 months of age, sitting up with little to no assistance, accurately grabbing objects and bringing them to mouth, gnawing on toys and making chewing movements. 

I decided his first food would be sticks of roasted sweet potatoes. I had read that sweet food was actually a good first food for breastfed babies since breast milk is so sweet anyways. I've also heard that meat is also good for the iron content. 

We were making sweet potato fries to go with dinner. I just drizzled them in some olive oil and roasted in the oven until soft. I kept some separate for him, since I sprinkled ours with paprika, and I wasn't sure how he would like it. 

He wasn't really sure of it at first. But quickly picked one up and brought it to his mouth. 

It seemed he mostly chewed on his thumb rather than the potato. He did bite off a little chunk and quickly spit it out. 

It was very anti-climatic. I don't think I gave him anymore solids for almost another week since there was really nothing I was making that I thought he could eat. If I'm being honest, it all made me very nervous at first to be giving him such big chunks of food. Even now that he's almost 7 months, I like Jack to be home when he eats so I'm not alone if he starts choking. There have been a few heart pounding moments where he takes a big bite. But he always just spits it out. The book says they will not choke, but it still makes me nervous. 

The next foods we tried was roasted pork loin and squash. He loved the pork! But hated the squash. As soon as his mouth touched it, he shivered in disgust. I had made a herb roasted pork loin that had a lot of flavor, and I think that's why he liked it so much more than the squash. He really enjoyed sucking the juice out of it. 

Some points about BLW:
  • According to the book, a baby's gag reflex is at the front of their mouth until around 8-9 months of age where it moves to the back like an adults'. So it's very normal for a baby to gag a lot on their food and it doesn't necessarily mean they're choking. The gagging is what makes me nervous. 
  • I love that we get to eat at the table as a family. Jack and I used to always eat in the living room in front of the TV and now we eat at the dining room table. I love it! 
  • He has yet to really ingest much food at this point. He mostly plays with it and spits it all out. 
  • BLW has made the transition to solids relatively stress-free (minus mommy's nervousness about choking). We just offer him some food on his tray and if he eats it, awesome. If not, that's ok too. I'm not too worried about it. I know eventually he'll get the hang of it. 
  • It's messy. See photo above. Food ends up all over him, his highchair and the floor. Sometimes it's just easier to strip him down to a diaper to feed him and he usually goes straight into the bath after dinner. The clean up isn't too bad though. I just wet a cloth, take off the tray and then wipe him down. Then I take him out of the high chair and just wipe down the chair and wipe off all the food chunks onto the floor. Then just collect all the food chunks on the floor and pick it up with the rag. I have a little bucket by the sink that I throw the wet rags into and then just wash them all. This is saving us lots of paper towels by cleaning up this way. 
  • Minimal effort. He eats what we eat. Just no salt and no sugar. No need to make baby food! 
  • We've encountered some raised eye brow looks from people. It's definitely not the norm among my friends and family. My mom and grandma are constantly worried he's going to choke. His pediatrician said it was ok for us to introduce solids in this manner, so we're sticking with it.  
If you're considering BLW with your baby, I highly recommend you read the book or do some research online and decide if it's right for your family and your baby. I don't think this approach is right for all babies and all parents.