Sunday, March 27, 2011

Waiting for signs

I received this text from Max, exclusive provider of most of our toddler's meals:
1. carefully select most expensive organic foods  2. cut into tiny pieces  3. pick up tiny pieces off floor  4. throw away
Baby-led feeding naturally leaves me looking for signs of change in Sam's eating habits.  But, much like signs of spring this year, they're just not showing up.  Sam tries lots of foods but still throws most of it on the floor  and drinks milk by the gallon. 

Signs of increasing appreciation for solid food would encourage me that it's OK to reduce pumping milk.  Absent these, I reduce pumping milk anyway because I'm tired of doing it.  The result is that instead of feeling like we're moving forward, I feel like I'm giving up on the effort.  Reducing to two pumps a day has decreased my supply to less than 8 oz. a day.  We make up the majority with cow milk.

The WHO's "minimum two years of breastfeeding" talks into one ear, while the voices of my many sensible friends and family who think it would be perfectly fine to wean talk into the other.  I'm pretty confused right now.


  1. Being a confused parent is a constant state-of-being. There's always a new issue to try to figure out. (Should I tell Kenny not to play with Dominic because D is always in trouble, or do I let him make his own friends and deal with the consequences?) My point-of-view on the WHO vs. family/friends debate is similar to how I feel about the Department of Education vs. teachers debate that we often have at work. Yes, the DOE (and WHO) is comprised of experts, but they're not dealing with the day-in/day-out education of our individual students (or raising of our children), so although their theories and guidelines may be considered "best practice," they simply aren't practical all of the time. You have to find your own happy medium and be confident that you made the best choice for your situation. Easier said than done, I know!

  2. Thanks for the as usual insightful comment, Tabitha. I've been thinking about the DOE analogy, and for argument's sake...

    You are a professional educator, armed with years of education, experience, and a degree, much like people working at the DOE. Except you know your students and can say with confidence that you know them and what they need in order to learn.

    I, on the other hand, had an extra glass of wine one night and poof, I'm a parent. I'm a total amateur--as all parents are--I'm nothing like the health experts at WHO. So when they speak, I listen.

    In the end I still need to find my way to feeling confident in the decisions I make for Sam, but I'm OK with the journey--the "permanent state of confusion."

  3. Ok I had to laugh at the 'extra glass of wine poof I'm a parent" comment ;) Perhaps you can find comfort in the millions of children raised on cow's milk (even from day one, ick) and are perfectly fine. But, I feel you, totally.

    I am so OVER nursing right now. Even though we are only nursing about 3 times per day, I just DO NOT want to do it anymore. The wiggling and slapping and teeth and whining for it, I'm just over it. But, per previous experiences with Karter, he needs to take things slow (unlike his older brother who at 15 mos asked for juice one morning instead of nursing and that was the end of it). I figure, we've just finally got him weaned and sleeping through the night in the last 2 months, I should let the sink in for a bit and then pull back more. I know that the experts say 2 years, I know that I talk to lots of moms who are nursing 3 & 4 year olds but that's not me, I don't want to do that! We have a different aspect that Karter can't have the cow's milk, so I grit my teeth and bear it a bit longer.

    The food on the ground, is super typical. Kian did at this age and Karter does a ton, especially since the dog is always under his chair. Do you just give him the meals you eat? Both my kids still pitch a fit if I try to give them something other than what we eat. How many teeth? Instead of small pieces, have you tried big chunks to gnaw on or whole things (apples, pears, bananas, pretzel rods, etc.)? Due to Karter's weight I try to get as much of anything and everything in him, so we often play a "ooh mommy's tasting it, now you eat it" if he seems to lose interest quickly. Is the milk in a bottle still or cup? Food first?

    I definitely limit the when/where/how long of nursing for my comfort level, and sometimes feel guilty about it. But, cognitively Karter's capable of understanding now. You can safely lower the amount of milk he's taking in and just continue offering the food and he'll put 2 and 2 together and respond ;) And yes kids are frustrating and constantly changing the game on us!

  4. Is he drinking more than the recommended amount per day of milk, for his age? Whatg are his iron levels? calcium interferes with iron absorption... but also if he's getting filled up on milk, and he likes it, he-as a toddler-sees no reason to change things. So, as a parent, don't feel badly about gently guiding him to something else. Mom's milk is great, but def fruits and veggies offer a lot more various nutrition that milk (cow or mom) don't have...which you already know ;) Second guessing yourself as a parent is non-stop and hard to suppress. Heck, I still think about what I might have done while pregnant that made Karter have reflux and weight issues--that glass of wine when I was 3 weeks prego? Too much ice cream? Just know you're doing an amazing job and as soon as you think he's stuck in a phase, he'll change =)

  5. How much milk? 4 or 5 5 oz bottles (not cups) a day, whether that's more than recommended I have no idea! Iron levels--no clue. He eats what we eat, usually cut up depending on what it is. He's not over or under weight according to the pediatrician.

    Our pediatrician did say to get rid of the milk for the health of his teeth. I'm not sure I'm on board with that, but we have tried replacing requests for milk with 1)food or 2)attention and feeding him solids first--and it actually does seem to be helping. Next step: sippy cups!

  6. I also read another blog post that really captures the gray area between safest/best vs. sanity/happiness/convenience , relating to the new car seat guidelines:

    We are not alone!

  7. I don't think his teeth are affected by the milk, it's not like he's laying in bed with it.
    You'll probably see a decrease in drinking when you start sippy cups and an increase in solids, at first. I think the recommended milk intake for 1 year olds is between 16-20 oz, around there? Karter might drink 4 oz of almond milk-if I'm lucky, and 3 short nursings, so who knows if he even gets that amount. But, we do vitamin and supplements, and he eats a good amount of proteins (beans!) and I think he gets enough calcium, so I'm not too worried.
    Sam might refuse the milk in the sippy cups at first, since my kids weren't on bottles, i just did water at first. Until Kian went to daycare, then we switched to the organic cow milk, that went in his cup. I was too lazy to pump just for a cup... He might surprise you and be able to use an open cup right away too. It's the spilling/picking up/setting it down that's the problem hehe.

    Ahh, like that blog post. I am now known as the carseat police and people avoid me and call my psychoic ;)