May 12, 2008

In 'N Out, In 'N Out. It's What A 4-Month-Old's All About

in-n-out.gifNever mind that I can't believe K2's already four months old. After she checked out fine with the doctor last week, we thought we might as well get ready to try her out on solid food sometime, so my wife brought home a box of rice cereal.

Then the weirdest thing, we're eating a late breakfast Saturday morning, and K2's in her bouncy chair on the floor, freaking out that she's not sitting at the table. But when I bring her up, she's still antsy, her eyes riveted on her sister eating. And it's like she wants to eat, too. So I made a tablespoon or so of rice cereal and milk for her and wrapper her and me in a towel for the inevitable spit-out mess.

But damned if she didn't gobble the entire thing down like a pro, first time. And she was kicking for more. We finally had to hide the empty bowl to calm her down.

Yesterday was the same thing; she was so determined to eat with a spoon, she actually refused to finish her bottle. [Whoops.] We first figured that her quick, easy adaptation to a spoon Saturday had been because she'd just finished eating the old-fashioned way, but apparently not.

Then the consequences hit, as she screamed bloody murder last night trying to expel a giant, rock-hard poo. Today, too, she was restless and whiny until she finally got the rice out of her system. So we're giving her a day or two to recover before feeding her again.

Time and time again, though, we are finding that the patterns, milestones, signs, and tricks we got so familiar with for the first kid have only a random correspondence to the second kid. It's like, the more specific the parenting tip or expertise--the way to hold her, a calming technique, tummy time preferences, nap patterns, reactions to strange environments, etc.--the more likely it is to get tossed aside for the next kid. All you're left with, then, is bit more confidence and awareness that you can figure it out, or at least that you can survive.


Our second child was desperate to eat her first bites too... and to use a sippy cup... and to be done with baby food and move on to finger foods, her own spoon, and a fork. She's still a great eater at 18 months & we've gotten to the point where I'm afraid to share my meal with her because there might not be enough left for me.

Try the baby oatmeal (or some mashed avocado mixed with liquid) instead of rice cereal. They're both way less constipating.

Good luck!

[thanks, oatmeal's next on the progression, though we may switch them. and hold off on the bananas, obviously -ed.]

Our second child is now 4 months. He's not really ready for the spoon yet. He looks at it but isn't quite sure what to make of it. We'll probably start him out with strained carrots (yuck). We found with the first one that they come out easier than a cereal, and with such an interesting color!

Your headline had me worried that you fed her an "animal style" burger for her first solid food!

But I bet if she saw a picture of one of these scary fast food chain mascots, it might lead to quicker regularity than the in-n-out logo:

Try feeding her mashed avocado instead. Monster 3.0 also started insisting on food this week (just turned 5 mos) and she has done very well with avocado and apple sauce thus far.
I found at 4 mos, she was content to simply play with a spoon while we ate. It has just been in the last week she has figured out that there is more to this eating thing than sitting at the table chowing down in a delicious silicone spoon.

Our second one pretty much told us off the first time we tried to give her "baby food" (aka mashed food). She started eating at 5 months (I second the avo and oatmeal comment), and by 7 months was eating table food (as in, "Gimme a bite of that freaking turkey sandwich or you're gonna hear about it. For a while.") Second kids see that other little person at the table eating real food and decide that they're being oppressed and demand equal treatment.

Oh, and on the avocado note:
Try making her guaca-boobie - Mashed avocado mixed with breast milk. My kids went crazy for it. And, it's really easy on the tummy.

[guaca-boobie. I think Prolacta Bioscience is working on a juicebox version of that. -ed.]

Our #2 bypassed baby foods altogether, although he didn't really show any interest until about 6 months of age. He rejected all mashed up foods and then one evening demanded that he be fed spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce just like everyone else was having, dammit! We just made sure he had enough fruits and veggies to keep the digestive system moving. He was a natural-born chewer, though - our #1 wasn't. It will be interesting to see how #3 turns out on the food front.

I also thought from the title you were feeding the baby a 4x4 burger or something crazy.

As for the kid being different from the first - you're scaring me. We're at the point of going for #2

Number One didn't eat food until he could feed himself, mostly cause I was too lazy to clean it up. But luckily, our dog was more than happy to lick him clean after meals.

[we were just discussing how much more work feeding would become. clearly, we need a dog. -ed.]

Our semi- crunchy pediatrician told us to forgo the cereals and start with veggies only at first, by color (I think it was yellow ones only, one week each, then green ones, etc.) in order to give their digestive sytems time to adjust and see if any allergies or tolerance problems cropped up. That seemed to work really well.
Of course, none of the girls were those kind of babies that needed to carbo-load before bedtime so they could make it through the night, so eating cereals was not a priority.

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