Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding balance in all of the advice

One thing I continue to struggle with is dealing with the countless bits of advice and information coming from every direction. Not just the sheer amount of "information", but the amount that completely contradicts so much other advice out there.

I tend to take what I read a little too seriously if it seems well-informed and researched. Key word is 'seems' because, unless I've read otherwise, I tend to believe the first thing I read about certain topics. This of course depends on just how complicated or unusual or important the topic is. If it is something health-related I take it a bit more seriously.

A recent example of contradictory advice I've received is regarding how much baby food to give my son. Most websites avoid the exact amount, other than the introductory amounts.I grew frustrated with this, and finally found a site willing to estimate an amount. Turns out it was way more than what I was feeding Nathan! How could I underfeed my precious baby? How long had I been not giving him enough baby food? Guilt-rendering questions like these popped up as I started blending and mashing up different foods like mad to try and get Nathan "back on track". Within 48 hours, Nathan's poop had gone from mushy, breastfed-baby poop, to what appeared to be mini adult-consistency poop. And he struggled with it. So much grunting and pushing went into the tiniest little poop. For a couple of days I gave Nathan this new recommended amount of baby food, until he started to nurse less. I know that babies should receive all of their nutrients from breastmilk (or formula if you go that route) for the first year, and that food is just for the experience and experimentation. I knew this then, but that took a backseat, because I had convinced myself that Nathan wasn't receiving enough baby food. However, when he stopped nursing as much, it snapped the common sense switch back ON and I cut down how much I was cramming into my baby.

Now it seems more than obvious that the reason most sites do not state a specific amount to feed your baby is because every baby is different. How many times will I need to hear this? Every. Baby. Is. Different. This relates to so many factors in his life, and reminding myself of this more often might relieve some of my stress.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Article on Signing

Here is a lovely article about signing with a young child.

We have recently begun teaching Nathan signs (he is about 8.5 months now) and it has been a blast! Very excited for when he starts signing back!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ambiguous Symptoms

I find it frustrating but also interesting how the same symptoms can mean so many different ailments. Especially the human body's natural reactions toward a virus or infection.

Specifically, at the moment my frustration lies in my son's low fever. Barely even registers as  fever, but he is warm to the touch. He also keeps tugging on his ear. And fussing. More difficult to get down for a nap or bed. Even more difficult to keep down for a good amount of time for sleep.

Is it a tooth? Ear infection? Something else? Who knows! He has been having these symptoms either continuously (and copious amounts of drooling) or on and off for the past several months, so I would think they are signs of teething. Of course this doesn't rule out an ear infection, since it could at some point be both. Gah!

Anyway, I've noticed this a while back but recently started trying to research the cause of a new symptom Nathan is showing. He is tilting his head to one side. Not all the time, not most of the time even. But every day, at some point. Apparently (from anecdotal evidence) it could be ear infection, trouble hearing, trouble seeing, or torticollis, or possibly something else. From what I've noticed (after my mini panic attack that it might be torticollis and require surgery) it appears as though he is trying to see something better, trying to focus his eyes. That is my best guess, in a couple of weeks is our next appointment so unless something else happens I will ask about it then.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shared Growth

I find it endlessly amazing and frustrating that as I figure out exactly what Nathan needs in order to thrive and be in good health, he grows and changes so that I no longer know. This past 8.5 months have literally flown by with Nathan learning new things all the time, and with me struggling to keep up! In a good way, usually.

Of course the worst part is his sleep. Being the at-home caretaker (and the one with the breasts for feeding) I am the one who is typically up whenever Nathan is. Even when my husband gives me a night off, I wake up with each little noise Nathan makes (I have always been a light sleeper, and even more so now). Right now, for some reason (be it a tooth or a possible milestone approaching) his sleep is just awful. He wakes 3-4 times just while I'm asleep. This past 3 nights, anyway. And he wakes around 6am on top of that. Just exhausting! Oh well, as they say, this too shall pass.

Two weeks ago we started working with Nathan on sign language! I am excited for when he starts repeating it back to me, although I know that won't happen for around 8 more weeks (or longer). Thus far, we're only on the most basic (and necessary) of signs, such as: Food, more, all done, water, milk. There's also non-ASL gestures or body language like when he wants up he raises his arms up (like most babies, I think).

On top of that, we introduced dairy into his diet recently. He really loves yogurt! I have been quite excited to work with him on finger foods, but he gets frustrated/bored/something and stops trying after a while. That's alright, practice every day and he'll get it eventually!

He still isn't really crawling yet. Part due to how big of a boy he is (already 26 pounds and 30 inches!). I have been giving him tons of tummy time to encourage him, but I'm wondering what else I could be doing. I've tried crawling around myself to help show him, I've helped scoot his legs one by one, and I've tried taking his pants off (he slips around a lot on the hardwood floors and his mats). However, I think all that I need to do is just let him be and let him figure it out in his own time. So that's what I'm doing now.