Friday, September 29, 2006

Grieving the loss of a baby

Okay, that may sound dramatic, but this past week I have been so sad that Liam is almost a year old! A YEAR OLD!!! It worries me to death!

Why?

Well, let me list my worries:

1) He still uses his pacifier like ALL the time! Especially at night.

2) He knows how to drink from a sippy, but isn't serious about it.

3) If he can't drink seriously from a sippy, then how soon will he be able to drink from a cup?

4) He thinks every kind of feeding (breast, bottle or spoon) is a game. He giggles and bites me way too often during feedings. He laughs and snickers every few seconds with the breast or bottle (in turn letting go of the food way too much). He won't open his mouth for food as eagerly as you'd think he should. I have to stuff it in and then he still spits some of it out. Finger foods are swiped to the floor, tasted then spit out or ignored.

5) When do I wean him from the bottle? When is it over the line for a kid to have a pacifier and bottle hanging out of his mouth? Can he just stay a baby forever???

So I have been stuck in baby mode and thought only of convenience. Now I finally realize I have NOT been prepping him (nutritionally) for toddlerhood. I guess I am set in my ways. In one month I have to train myself to feed a toddler as he should be fed. And all I want do is whine, "I don't wanna!"

Planning, preparing, feeding and especially cleaning up food for a toddler is not appealing. I am so worn out this past week that I have left that mess under the high chair TWICE! That is a huge sticky, crumby mess to be cleaning more than once a day! And the boy and his clothes... another mess! I wish he'd sit still, cuz I would just feed him in the bathtub with only a diaper to save myself the time and trouble of clean up. Thank goodness for paper towels at least...

Anyway, it's just another "daily grind" I need to get used to. It's just hard in the mornings when I am working at home. (And I just hate crumbs on my floor....)

P.S. The actual Liam-growing-up is okay. It does make me sad because I love having a baby to hold and cuddle, but I know him growing up is exciting and has it's trade offs too. But, yes, I see how women get baby hungry at this stage.

12 comments:

utmommy said...

They do grow up too fast. My baby is 4. I can't believe it. Unfortunately I believe your messes are just beginning, especially with a boy.

Green Goblin said...

gina, I am a stranger, and have no children, but I have been a teacher for the last 5 years and have studied a lot of child development. After all I have studied, the biggest conclusion is this:

Dr. Spock, the PimpDaddy of child psychology and development, after all his studies said this, "If you just follow your instincts, you will be doing what is right for your child."

This makes sense to me. Every child is the composition of his genetic heritage, which is invariably linked to instinct. Your instincts come from your history and your genetics, and they will serve for your kid.

So, take it easy on yourself, Gina. In the end, you are doing the best you can, and it will be good enough.


it sounds like you care a lot.

Ashley said...

i have the same worries!! little bit only uses her pacifier at night and nap time so i'm not stressing about that as much but the whole bottle/sippy cup thing--i'm clueless! how do you wean from a bottle when the child will only drink seriously from it and nothing else? she just gets a mouth full out of her sippy cup and spits it out. i have about 6 different types and brands of sippy cups and it hasn't helped at all!

and the nutrition thing--with baby food at least you can see what and how much they are getting. little bit cares NOTHING about baby food anymore though so i give her "real" food now. but how many green beans is the same as one of those containers? and nursing--we've all but given it up. we're down to one nursing a day and i'm pretty sure it might be gone by tomorrow. she just won't be still for it anymore.

and the whole milk thing--i think we've discovered little bit has a sensitivity to it (not full blown allergy but definitely some eczema w/ a lot of dairy) so i'm not swapping her over just yet but isn't it weird to go from packed-full-of-vitamins formula to cow's milk? seems like there will be some stuff lacking. i'm so confused! there should be a support group...

Robin said...

Oh Gina, I don't think we'll ever enjoy the mess of food. Charlotte's high chair is always smeared with a variety of cheerios, graham crackers and baby food. She rips off her bib faster than I can get two bites in her, so her clothes are always good only until her nest feeding usually. Anyway, you're doing alright. A little at a time, he'll see that more food and less nursing is how it is going to be. Wait until he's pretty hungry and hopefully he'll be a little more focused on the food going down than just playing with it. Luvs.

Poopydigs said...

Gina and Ashley--I'll be in your support group! I need it! I have a one-year old and we all have the same issues.

1) She NEEDS her pacifier to go to bed. Well, maybe I need the pacifier more (because the babysitter seems to be able to put her down without it. argh)

2) She's taking to cow's milk pretty well, but from a bottle. sippy cups are for juice and water she says. If i put milk in it, she thinks I'm about to poison her and refuses to drink.

3) Feeding has become a fiasco. now that we've started introducing adult food, she refuses her baby food and will spit it out and point to the pasta sitting next to it. Sometimes, she won't even eat until we turn on her Baby einstein dvd. Argh.

Not that I'm complaining, I'm just so scared that I'm failing this whole transition thing.

LynAnne said...

Feeding time IS a game... or at least it should be a pleasant experience. Toddlers learn a lot about their world through mashing, squishing, dropping and smearing.

A toddler’s stomach is quite tiny – about the size of their fist. One tablespoon is a serving size for a 1-yr old. This may seem strange for a child who once downed a jar or two of baby food, but remember baby food has a lot of water in it. Growth spurts and plateaus make him hungrier or have less appetite than usual. Take your child’s lead. If he fusses, turns away or is silly, he’s telling you mealtime is over. (He’ll cry when you take the food away if he’s still hungry).

Don’t feel guilty for leaving the mess under the high chair! Any parent with kids understand how much of a losing battle this is. To save your floors you can either buy a plastic splat mat for under the high chair or use the disposable kind (I think Munchkin makes the kind we use at the grandparent’s house). Shake the mat outside to get rid of crumbs. If you buy a mat with patterns, it doesn’t show the food stains. Give it a soak in the bathtub (or throw it in the wash if it’s the rubberized fabric kind) once a week.

We use sleeved bibs and they are great for easy mealtime clean up. I’ve also been known to strip my child down to a diaper for supper and schedule bath time right afterwards.

About bottles/pacifiers: there really is no good time. With our 1st two we gave both up at 1 year exactly. We did it in one day and it was fairly easy because they were forgotten very quickly. With our third, though, I think it will be a while yet. I'm with the others - use your instinct.

Re: biting while nursing - As soon as he starts biting, stop and say, "ouch, that hurts." If he giggles and thinks its funny, put him down and don't make eye contact with him. Usually, this is a sign he's done eating. (when he's actively eating he can't bite down because his tongue covers his lower teeth and he'd bite himself in the process)

On sippy cups: I found that as soon as we stopped using the bottle, our kids figured out the sippy cup right away. Your son isn’t being funny by spitting liquids out. He tries to suck on it like a bottle and gets more than he can hold in his mouth. The rest runs out – frustrating both you and him. It seems to be “nipple confusion” of the toddler sort. As soon as he starts eating more table food and less baby food he’ll be thirstier during meal time (because baby food has so much liquid).

How’s that for an incoherent babbling of ass-vice? I feel for you, I really do. Even though I’ve been through this twice before, it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten how chaotic this stage is. Luckily, like colic, it’s over pretty quickly (though it feels like forever at the time). Then you’ll get a brief reprieve before he starts doing gross things like chewing food and spitting it out just to be disgusting.

Katie said...

Sounds like you got some good advice already. I'll just add that a baby's main source of nutrition should come from breastmilk for the first year. You've still got a while before you need to worry about him eating you out of house and home. Babies tend to learn things when they are ready, not when we wish they were ready. Miss you!

Thrills said...

My little girl will be one on Oct 20. She is still attached to her pacifier. Recently I have been taking it away from her more often. I try to only let her have it at bed time or in the car. I am not perfect with this though. I just pray that one day she will give it up. (Wishful thinking)

soleclaw said...

Wow, lots of awesome advice! I'm actually taking mental notes while reading, myself.

E is about 13 months old, and we switched her from bottle to sippy over a week ago (if not longer...time seems to fly lately.) My husband was home when we transitioned, and his mantra for E was "If you don't drink it out of the sippy you don't get any." Of course, we have been giving E sippy cups for a few months now, with water or juice if we had long trips out, but never really consistently. The transition to sippy cup was pretty flawless, and I was really shocked.

Of course, every mother is different. Trust your own instincts, as Green Goblin said. E only takes her pacifier for naps and bedtime, and ocassionally when on outings if she becomes inconsolable...so I'm not worried about her pacifier (yet.)

Also, our pedi suggested a slow transition to cow's milk. E was on formula after 8 months of age though, so we didn't have to deal with the breast issue at all at the time we transitioned. But, all we did was add more and more cow's milk every week. So, week one was 6 oz. formula, 2 oz. cow's milk...etc.

Good luck, above everything, let your little man guide you!

Nettie said...

We have the same baby seat! Don't you hate cleaning it?! But I love how it looks and it takes up much less space than the darn high chair.

As for the sticky floor- you need a dog. Only puppies have sticky floor issues of their own.

Angel Baby said...

Seriously, Gina, the fun is just getting started.

I mourned Annabelle's babyhood for about half a second. Because that's how long it took me to appreciate how totally fun she is as a toddler. Now you really get to see his personality shine, his true self- the self that comes from God, not you- and that is such a wonderful experience.

I have yet to wish Annabelle was "that" age again. She just keeps getting better!!

Barb said...

When my first grandchild was a week old I told my daughter that as fast as that first week went, so would the years. She didn't believe me at first. Now that he's four years old.. she finally does.