Friday, November 25, 2011

Fake Nipples and The Dreaded Solid Food

Baby's first food- Mashed avocado!
 Around five months old we were able to finally get G to take a pacifier. Because breastfeeding was SO uncomfortable, I tried very hard to keep him from nursing simply for comfort because I would get blistered and sore for days when he did. We tried introducing the pacifier very early on to sooth the constant screams, but he would heave and gag every time we put it in his mouth. The day he actually latched on to the thing was a celebration in our home. RELIEF- And quite possibly a few less tears!
   Then came the time I had to go back to work. Because of my husband's schooling and work, I went back to my previous evening waitressing rather than the preschool teaching I had done before in order to work with our time constraints and avoid the extra expense of child care. I was unable to pump while waitressing so for the first time in my life, I went to buy formula and bottles. I had no idea what I was looking for, but chose what I thought were a good quality dairy-free formula and a bottle meant for breastfeeding infants. My poor son suffered for two full days of my husband trying to feed him from the bottle, but to no avail. I went back to Target and purchased yet another bottle meant for breastfeeding babies. Again, more screaming and hours of hungry baby boy. The next day I went to the store and bought one of every single bottle there was on the shelf, came home and boiled them all, then made my son a bottle and went to work. SUCCESS! Turns out Gerber makes a NUK nipple that is shaped EXACTLY like their NUK pacifier and I had happened to grab one of them. DUH! Wish I had noticed that three days previously!
   As a general rule we do not start our babes on solids until they're six months. Our boy was no exception. I was repeatedly told that perhaps he had what is called "silent reflux" and perhaps that was the cause of his relentless tears, and that solid foods would help keep his tummy calmer. At six months on the dot I marched right up to the avocado display and picked the nicest looking specimen and took it home. I carefully mashed a small portion with a fork, set my little man up in his high chair and gave him a bite- just a tiny bit on the end of the spoon. After less than a second he began heaving uncontrollably until that little bit of fruit slid out of his mouth on a boat of saliva. I thought perhaps I had choked him with the spoon so I dipped my finger into the avocado and stuck it in his mouth, knowing he LOVED sucking on my finger. He quickly sucked on my finger, then began to heave again until the little bit of food again left his mouth in a stream of saliva. Thinking he might want it thinner, I added just a touch of water and basically made a smooth avocado soup. Same results. I thought perhaps it was a flavor issue that he just needed to get used to, so I dipped his now ever-present binky in the avocado liquid and popped it in his mouth. Almost as quickly, the pacifier shot from his mouth like projectile as he heaved and gagged until he vomited. I was at a loss. So I gave up. Maybe he just wasn't ready and his bizarre oral pyrotechnics were his way of showing it.
Chubby bubby!
   So I waited. Every month on the 19th I'd try again, something new and every time it was met with the same gagging. After the second time, however, he seemed to know it was going to mean violent and uncontrollable heaving, so he began screaming every time I put something in his mouth. After our try at 9 months old, I gave up. Quit. I don't care anymore. Clearly the child was not starving- He weighed 25 pounds and wore size 24 months clothing! Between my breastmilk 2/3's of the day and soy formula while I was at work he was surviving and thriving.
   Then one day it happened, and it happened all on its own. As usual, we were all around the dining room table, plates in front of three of us and a toy in front of 10.5-month-old G. As I turned away from my own plate to cut up food for our 2.5-year-old daughter, I watched out of the corner of my eye as he reached out, grabbed a fistful of whole wheat rotini and crammed all of it in his mouth. He didn't gag. He didn't scream. In fact, he grabbed another fistful with one hand and the edge of my plate with his other and pulled the whole thing toward him. I let him. My husband and I just sat and watched as the boy used two hands and devoured an entire adult-size portion of pasta in quick order, then hollered for more. And we gave it!

1 comment:

  1. ohhh yes....the gagging...the only child we had the had sensory/autistic type things (no talking, babbling, couldn't look you in the eye..those were my sons issues but....) He would gag on everything EVERYTHING.... ohhhh I am so glad he let you know what he wanted!!! LOL...makes me's an amazing relief... :)


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