Thursday, June 11, 2009

4 month checkup

Well, the torture is over and Claire is sleeping peacefully. She got her shots at her checkup today, and I forgot to give her the Tylenol before we left, so then she got a shot and then we got in the car and she was hot and hungry and tired and sad and cried the whole way home. But before that, the nurse and the doctor were both so pleased with how happy and good she is. Her head is measuring 41 cm, which is in the 50th percentile. Her height is 24 3/4 inches (probably more like 25. She was scrunched a little bit), which is the 75th percentile and her weight is 14 lbs 10 oz, 75th percentile again. Her weight gain is matching her height now. Before her height was 75th and her weight was 50th. But she was good until the shots. She didn't pee on the scale or poop at the doctor like last time. She kept trying to grab the doctor's hands and tools while she was being examined though. She's just into everything. We talked to her about weaning Claire and starting solids. She said that cereal would be ok to start if Claire will eat it, and that might help her sleep better. Or giving her more formula before bed. I feel like I already give her as much as she will take though. I think I will keep nursing her the way we are for now. She nurses twice or three times a day, kind of depending on schedules. When it becomes obvious that there really isn't a point anymore (as in, I'm not getting anything when I pump or she isn't getting anything when she nurses) then I'll wean her. I can probably go cold turkey with her if I wanted to, because there just isn't much production going on, but I do want to keep nursing her as long as I can. But at least there is less pressure this way, ya know. The doctor said I can wean her whenever I like, so that's what we will do. As for solids, she said no baby food until 6 months. Just cereal. I kind of wanted to avoid cereal for a while, so I don't know what to do. I think we will try the sleep sack for a week or two, and see if that helps Claire sleep through the night, and if that doesn't help, then we will try the cereal. I don't know if she wakes up because she is cold, then decides she is hungry, or if she wakes up because she is hungry, and then wiggles around and gets cold. She doesn't "do" swaddling anymore, so I can't really force her to stay still. At least I've got those awesome sleep sacks though!

This is what I wanted Claire to wear to go have lunch with Daddy yesterday.

And this is what she ended up wearing, because two seconds after I got her dressed, she spit all over her clothes.

Here she is a few days ago. Gotta love that hair!

Here she is being a boy. Actually, I was just so tired of pink I thought I might puke. So I dressed her in the least girly things I could find. This lasted about an hour.

And here she is playing the drums for Rock Band. She didn't actually hit anything but herself, but it was cute that she was holding the sticks.
(Okay, it wasn't Rock Band. We got Guitar Hero World Tour as a graduation gift to Daddy from his parents. It's the basically the same thing though.)

Update: Shannon asked why we want to avoid cereal, if most people recommend it as baby's first food. Well, here's the deal. I've read a range of books and websites about baby food, and a lot of them talk about how babies can't really digest grains for a year or so. Rice cereal is thought to be the best for babies because it is bland, so you can flavor it with milk or formula, which might make younger babies more accepting. Though if mama has been breastfeeding and eating a range of foods, baby is used to a range of foods. (And some cultures like more spice than ours, and their kids do just fine with spicy or flavorful foods right away.) It is also thought to be a low allergenic, but some babies get terrible constipation and gas (which means discomfort and lots of crying). It's gluten free, which may or may not matter. And you can make it whatever texture you need. Of course, after 6 months, most kids want more texture and are not satisfied with purees anyway. My pediatrician said "before 6 months, nothing but cereal, but afterwards, she can have any baby food she wants". And that's what a lot of my research concurs with. After 6 months or so, baby can eat most any foods (beyond the obvious no-nos: honey, eggs, etc). So if we can wait until 6 months, we can skip the cereal all together and go straight to veggies and fruits. Most commercial cereals are also made from refined grains, so the fiber that baby may have been taking in is gone, along with many of the nutrients. Whole grain cereals are better, but hard to find. Feeding fruits and veggies gives baby more nutrients. Yes, breastfed babies are totally fine with just milk until the first year, and even formula babies get most of their nutrition from formula, but exposing them now to other tastes and nutrients is only going to do them good. So after she can eat other foods, I would rather her eat more fruits and veggies than cereal that doesn't have too many nutrients. Baby cereal is also fortified with iron, but so is formula, and we can also introduce meat after 6 months, which is an easier way to digest it anyway.

Basically, it comes down to this: I'm not convinced that cereal is the best thing for baby to eat. No one has convinced me of that. Whereas, we know how great fruits and veggies are, and we know that most people and kids don't get enough of them, so why not start there? Those are my thoughts on the subject. And Alann doesn't have an informed opinion, so he is going with me.

For more information, go here. Yes, it is slightly biased towards non-grain foods, but they do offer opinions on both sides.


Shannon said...

I love all the pictures. She is so cute. I'm glad that you mostly got your questions answered and that Claire is growing so well. I will die of shock if any of my kids are ever in the 75th percentile for height or weight. Lucky. :) Also, just curious, why are you avoiding cereal for as long as possible? That's always recommended as baby's first solid. Any reason?

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Becca said...

If someone left a comment anonymously about some product I should use, let me know it was you and I will reinstate the comment. Otherwise, I don't do random product endorsement. Thanks for playing.