Friday, October 26, 2007

A growing girl

Since she was tiny, Bean has always been a pretty good sleeper at night (not a great napper, but a good nighttime sleeper). So by the time I went back to work, little Bean was down to waking up once a night to eat. Which is SO doable after months on end of 3-4 times per night.

However, in the last three weeks, Bean is on an eating rampage. She has gone from eating 12 oz of milk while she's at daycare to eating 16 or 17 oz. That's a 33% increase! And so I've been running a deficit every day with the pumping... I pump 12-14 oz a day at best. In addition, little Bean has started waking up 3 or 4 times to eat at night. So I'm exhausted and drained. I literally can't keep up with her demand.

So we thought we'd finally start introducing solids. This is a big transition. Up until now, all 14 pounds and 8 ounces of biomass that is the Bean has come directly through me. All of it (I guess with the exception of some oxygen). And frankly it's a point of pride for me. I MADE her. But she's clearly needing to increase her calories, and she needs an external source of iron now, so solid foods it is...

But she won't bite. Literally. My stubborn little Bean just clams up no matter what we try to give her, be it sweet potato, peaches, rice cereal or apple sauce. She grabs for the spoon. She uses her hands to block my shots. She's playing more D than a college basketball team. And if you keep working at it, she eventually gets mad. Game over. We've successfully gotten a few tiny tastes of applesauce into her, but she makes a face as she works it around in her mouth. I would guess we've gotten maybe a gram of applesauce into her over several feedings.

My stubborn little girl. After our huge battle to get Bean to start taking the bottle, my mother warned me that I had a fighter on my hands. But Bean is generally so good natured and easy going, I was certain it was a one time thing. But now I know that Bean is a do-it-herself-er. SHE will determine what she eats and when.

I can only hope that if we persist we can eventually convince Bean to start eating some solids. Because right now I'm fighting an uphill battle to keep up with her demand. And although I do have that lovely stockpile in my freezer, it's going to disappear pretty quick if she keeps outpacing me by 5 oz a day...

And I have GOT to get some sleep!

10 comments:

EcoGeoFemme said...

Maybe some cow or goat milk to supplement your production until she gives in on the solids?

Kel and Spen said...

I'm a 60 yr old grandma now, but when my daughter (9 lb 9 oz at birth)was still very young she was constantly crying. Drs had no solution, but my grandmother said to fix her "thick bottles"...mix cereal in with the milk and cut an X in the nipple to allow the thicker consistency through. Worked out fabulously.

Kate said...

Obviously I can't be empathetic because I haven't gone through this myself, but I sure am sympathetic! I had a colleague whose baby loved water and breastmilk but hated food up through a year old. What she ended up doing instead of trying to get her to eat was just make foods available during mealtimes to see if just having the choices available (to make a mess with as well as eat with, I suppose) would make her decide to give it a try. Unfortunately that's about when I lost contact with her because she moved, so I have no idea how it turned out. But I do wish you the best! There's a certain point where the body just can't produce enough nutrients to be the only source of nutrition for the body, and I can understand how that transition must be tough!

Good job making your baby thus far :).

The bean-mom said...

You're right that the Bean will decide to take solids when she's ready. Since my own bean didn't take a bottle and we knew I had to go back to work, we started pushing solids on her when she was about a little over 4 months. Didn't work. Didn't work until she was around 7 months or so--and even then she only took a little sweet potato.

I know it's so frustrating. I completely empathize. Don't think you have to do it all on your own; it's fine if you start supplementing with formula now. Don't feel guilty in the least if that's what you need to do. You've already given her your all (literally) for more than 6 months.
That's more than a lot of moms are able to do.

Another Mom said...

In my (limited) experience, a growth spurt is a growth spurt, so no matter how much she gets during the day - of breast milk, formula, whatever - the night waking will last for a little while. But once the "spurt" is over, she'll just demand more during the day. And if you can keep up with her until then, there's a good chance she'll stimulate your milk supply to ramp up (the night time feedings, while exhausting - I know! - will tell your body she needs more). Be prepared to eat more calories! I can only speak from my own experience, but at 8 months my pumpkin is still basically eating only mommy's milk and my milk supply (eventually) responded - with the help of a few extra sandwiches and servings of ice cream a day ;)

Leigh said...

We had very good luck with rice cereal mixed into the last bottle before bed. They used to make a special nipple for this mixture (and perhaps they still do), but you can always just cut a nipple as "kel and spen" suggested.

Leigh

The bean-mom said...

After reading over the comments, I'm coming back to say... I second "another mom." The growth spurt probably won't last much longer, and your girl's appetite will taper off. And the night time feedings should stimulate your milk production, so you should be able to keep up with her during the day. So in another week or so the Bean may start sleeping better ... But I just want to say: if she doesn't, and she doesn't take her rice cereal, and you're really exhausted, please DON'T feel guilty about supplementing with forumula. I know how hard it is to pump at work...

By the way, I think my baby's also having a growth spurt, because I'm just RAVENOUS these days.

Anachronism said...

My little guy is the same -- periodic growth spurts (no way I can keep up during these) and a mind of his own.

We tried to introduce solids and had the same reaction. Turns out he just wanted to feed himself. Look into "baby lead weaning" (something of a misnomer) but helped us to feel better about a 6 month old who would only eat what he could feed himself --- and wouldn't touch anything pureed.


Only thing we managed to get him to eat off a spoon (it has now been 2 months) is pudding. I making it myself with infant formula and no added sugar (so in some ways it is a "thick milk" -- I sometimes add infant cereal). He loves it. Just recently we've been mixing pumpkin, squash, parsnip, and eggplant into the pudding ... so that he gets exposed to things which I've not yet figured out how to make into finger foods.


In addition, he's now eating a very BROAD set of finger foods and the baby safe feeder allows him to be independent and for us to keep peace of mind.

acmegirl said...

You might want to think about sending the food to daycare, as someone besides the "milk-lady" might have better luck getting Bean to bite. Both my kids were much more willing to accept food or bottles at this stage if I wasn't around. It was as if as long as they knew the breast was available, they would hold out for it.

Susan said...

How did this end up going ? (I found your blog the other day and I'm addicted now :-) There was one post about complaining about pumping and concurring that you just wanted to bitch about it. That sums it up EXACTLY. I've repeated that exchange a few times to people!

My daughter is 6 months (on 7-Nov) so this just sounds so familiar. She went from taking 2 6oz bottles at daycare - after a huge ordeal. I started giving her a bottle a day at 3 weeks and she was fine. RIGHT before I went back to work, she started rejecting it. They did such a good job, and we got to the point where she would drink 2 6oz bottles a day. Then finally she became an expert bottle drinker and went to 3 5oz bottles a day. But she's been so hungry, I've inched up to 5.5 for a while and today she had some 6 and 6.5s.

I pump at my desk 3 times a day, I feel like I'm pumping all day long. Then I pump again at 10pm. She had been nursing at 4, and I pumped after I fed her. Then for good or bad :-) she started sleeping until 5 or 5:30, and I can't pump then since she's up for the morning just an hour later and hungry again.

I've been able to stay in the black for the milk so far, and I work from home on Fridays so I can BF for 3 days, and get the supply back up. But at this rate, I hope I can keep up!!

She started on some solids a few weeks ago and is doing ok. She does seem to eat more at daycare then with me, but I think it's because by the time we get home from work (daycare is at work), she's already hungry for the real deal, and so not as interested in solids.