The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Food – the first week – a recap

As I have mentioned numerous times, for various reasons I wanted to hold off starting Stella on solid food. A big reason was probably the most selfish one, that I want her to remain my little baby for as long as possible and starting her on food meant that she no longer needed me as her sole form of nutrition. This however makes no sense when you consider the other reasons, that Stella is a giant baby who is getting hungrier and the fact that she has started waking through the night again for feeds which makes me feel resentful, exhausted and selfishly grumpy. Its so hard being NEEDED so much. Sigh. Its just another one of those parenting paradoxes, I want my baby to remain my baby forever yet I lie awake at night listening to her talk, knowing she is going to escalate to crying and the only way to soothe her is to feed her and all I can think about is the day that she no longer needs me in the middle of the night!

I felt very pleased with myself for holding out on feeding Stella when she suddenly started sleeping through the night without requiring a feed. Although I was still going in occasionally to settle her, these prolonged periods of deep sleep had a miraculous effect on me rendering me suddenly functional, proactive, even cheerful! And all before I had my morning coffee! After more than a week of continuous sleeping from 7pm till 7am with no feeds I felt almost proud of myself, as though I had somehow rigged my baby to do this. I should have known pride comes before a fall. We are back to twice nightly feeds and my ability to function as a proper person has ceased. I am irritable, moody, emotional, irrational and angry. Even a double dose of caffeine and some carefully administered doses of ice-cream and medicinal chocolate aren’t having the desired effects and I dare not increase these doses for fear of my rapidly expanding arse and the negative side-affects of too much caffeine which is weirdly inversely proportional to my ability to function at all!

So, five days into solid foods I thought it best I recap what I have been doing and how its been working, any changes or noticeable impact, for the sake of recording it for Stella and for myself because I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Oh wait, I forgot to have breakfast, which makes sense now as I am bloody starving. Better self-administer some emergency ice-cream!

Day 1 – Monday 12th October 2009 – Stella is 5 months, 2 weeks and 5 days
11am – one sided breastfeed before:
2 teaspoons organic rice cereal mixed with expressed breastmilk.
Stella did not enjoy this and managed to spit most of it out without sampling it.
1 cube of pear puree.
Stella enjoyed this slightly more than the rice cereal but still not much went down.
The other side of the breastfeed which she wolfed down like I was starving her.

Day 2 – Tuesday 13th October 2009
11am – one sided breastfeed before:
2 teaspoons organic rice cereal mixed with expressed breastmilk.
Stella still didn’t seem to know what to do with the food and swilled most of it round her mouth before dribbling it onto her bib until she discovered a much more effective way of removing it from her mouth – blowing large and expressive raspberries thereby covering me in sticky rice cereal.
1 cube of pear puree.
Stella seemed to get the hang of this texture and I think she swallowed a few mouthfuls before a hidden lump confounded her swallowing reflux and most of what she had already eaten came up.
The other side of the breastfeed which she was less interested in.

Day 3 – Wednesday 14th October 2009
11am – one sided breastfeed before:
2 teaspoons organic rice cereal mixed with expressed breastmilk combined with 2 cubes pear puree.
Victory! Stella suddenly gets the concept of swallowing and proceeds to down the container, even opening her mouth in anticipation of the next mouthful. I rush to defrost another cube of pear and mix this with another 2 teaspoons of rice cereal.
The other side of the breastfeed which she was less interested in. I believe we are making headway.

(please note my elder daughter jumping on the couch unnoticed in the above photo!)
Day 4 – Thursday 15th October 2009
11am – one sided breastfeed before:
3 teaspoons organic rice cereal mixed with expressed breastmilk combined with 3 cubes pear puree.
Stella eats all of this without pausing although she does still blow the occasional raspberry and she slows down towards the last few mouthfuls.
The other side of the breastfeed.
6pm – I spontaneously decide to give Stella some dinner as we are all sitting down around the table eating at the same time.
2 cubes of carrot puree
Stella does not enjoy carrot puree and wears most of it, thankfully she doesn’t blow raspberries so I don’t have to wear it as well. I declare dinner a non-starter and feed her her usual double breastfeed after her bath before bed.

Its Friday afternoon and Stella had a good lunch, she still doesn’t like carrot puree but I will persist, trying again tonight along with some parsnip puree too. As well as feeding her her food I am also giving her a sippy cup with cooled boiled water in to drink out of at intervals during her lunch. She hasn’t quite got the hang of sucking at it and mostly gums the teat but she is having a good go of it!

So the good news is that Stella is slowly getting the hang of eating solid food, its all homemade purees made by steaming the fruit/veg and then pureeing with a hand held food whizzer so the texture is not perfectly smooth which might be why its taking a little while for her to adjust. This process worked well with Amy so I will persevere, slowly, giving her digestion time to adjust to the new tastes and textures I am introducing. The next flavours are apple, sweet potatoe, butternut pumpkin, broccoli, avocado and then lentil savoury which has red lentils, potato, parsnip and carrot made with homemade veg stock.

The bad news is that all of this food has had no effect on Stella’s sleeping habits. Which is not to say its had a negative effect, just no noticeable improvement in her night waking which again makes me conclude that she is waking not from hunger but from habit and I have absolutely NO solution to this. I am going to give it another week for her to adjust to the foods and also to increase the amount she is eating at dinnertime and then after that we will have to do some kind of sleep training because I just can’t exist on three hour intervals of sleep, not when she will happily go for 4-5 hours during the day without a feed.

Only time will tell at this point. I am going to give her another week to get her system used to food and will update again at the end of next week. In other news we are having Stella christened not this weekend, next weekend, I hope she fits into the family christening gown, I am too afraid to try!
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