Monday, August 17, 2009

Rice cereal

From my prior post you know I was pretty excited for the start of rice cereal. Yes, it does mean she’s growing up and I can take a moment to sniffle about that, but as a first child we are clearly most excited for all her new developments! And rice cereal was a big step! And let’s not forget – she wasn’t exactly sleeping a lot at the moment per se. She had slept really well for awhile, but in the last few weeks, she started getting up every few hours again – a development I was NOT happy about (nobody told me they could regress like that? What is this? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – we need to move forward toward full night’s sleep! And, you know, picking up your own toys…). Anyway, the doctor had said that the rice cereal at night might fill her up more and she’d sleep better.

So my husband was sent off to pick up rice cereal on Friday afternoon so we could get started. As an aside, the lactation consultants (or lactation Nazis, if you prefer) called that afternoon. I didn’t give them a lot of opportunity to tell me that I shouldn’t be introducing any foods (possibly till she started high school if they had their way…), but they point out that rice cereal might not help her sleep. It might, in fact, have her up even more as the iron could cause an upset stomach. Ugh…

Of course, 2 days later I still have no idea whether rice cereal helps babies sleep or keeps them up – because I don’t think I’ve actually gotten enough in her mouth to know! Well, that might not be totally true. I think it gets in her mouth – it just comes RIGHT BACK OUT! Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $200.

My first problem is that the rice cereal box really has no directions on how to do this. I would have asked my doctor, but I sort of assumed that the box would have SOME preparation instructions. But nothing! The first time I made it, I just put an indeterminate amount of breast milk in – not really measured. Let’s go ahead and call it… 3 ounces with one tablespoon of rice cereal. Could be more / could be less. Who knows? Whatever the amount, my Mom, who was visiting on the weekend pronounced it too much (though she couldn’t remember how much one should use or how thick it should be). Anyway, she seemed to take some of that and actually had a pretty good nap after – so the “helps her sleep” camp definitely seemed to have the upper hand.

With her evening meal of rice cereal, I decided to actually measure out the milk and my husband decided to check the internet for info on how much we should mix in (because Google knows everything!). I tried 1 ounce – and he now pronounced it too thin (per Google), though I thought it was still too thick. He attempted to get her to eat it – and I think her bib really enjoyed it. Midway through the dog came sniffing over (what? Food?!) and had to be pushed away. (My husband’s theory was the dog was ticked about this as he has not been happy with this addition of a new person to the household who takes our attention from him and does not herself lavish attention on him. We’ve always said he will learn to love her when she starts dropping food – so being pushed away at the first opportunity for that couldn’t possibly be sitting well with him!) Anyway, she was far less happy with this meal of thicker cereal and started crying midway through. My husband’s decided we should stop trying to feed her (she’s upset. You can’t ‘reason’ with someone this upset so you can’t continue this activity with her.). I opted for giving her the bottle for a few minutes to calm down and then returning to feeding. (Is it just me? Or do Moms seem more prone to push on where Dads give up? Or, if you prefer to be all “21st century” and gender neutral, you can replace Moms and Dads with primary and secondary care givers – but I myself don’t plan to!)

Day 2, I decided on the compromise of 2 ounces of breastmilk to a tablespoon of rice cereal. I’m not sure that ANY of it actually made it past her esophagus in the morning. Now it’s possible that she MIGHT have actually gotten some down in the evening. But how this would effect sleep will remain a mystery as it all came right back up after her bath… Ugh.

See you. 2 am. My crib.

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