People ask or make comments about Raegan, quite often, that always go a little something like this: “She’s little. Is she little? She seems little.” And the reason I hear that stuff all the time is because it’s true. Raegan is such a little peanut.
At 9 months, she weighed a little over 18 lbs. A week and a half ago, when I took her in for her 12 month Well Baby visit, she weighed 18 lbs., 7 oz. As you can probably imagine, that’s not great weight gain for three months time. And whereas everything else at the exam was great, our doctor was visibly concerned about this. There are no nutritional or developmental concerns at this point, but still, she went from the 50th percentile of weight down to the 12th. In three months. Now I don’t think our doc thinks I’m not feeding her, but he did ask, straight away, how she’s been eating because that is clearly a big drop.
Well, let me tell you….
Feeding Raegan is not easy. This does not mean I don’t try. We do three meals, two snacks, and three nursing sessions a day, but each one is an exercise or workout (of both the body and spirit, some days). But, for whatever reason, she just gets in these moods, quite often, where she doesn’t want to eat.
A few months ago we were still nursing probably 5-6 times a day. About a month or two ago, that trimmed down to a solid four feedings from me. Some moms I know talk about how they miss nursing or hate it when the baby starts to wean; they miss that sweet connection time with their littles. Now, I will stand by my previous claims that Raegge is the happiest, smiliest, sweetest baby I know, but nursing her is rarely happy, smiley, or sweet. She is just too darn wiggly. And squirmy. And grabby. Seriously. When I sit down in the rocker and place her on the boppy, I have to prepare myself for moving hands and feet and, before long, her entire body. These days, she barely nurses for 5-8 minutes and then she’s twisting off my lap, ready to go again. We haven’t started any whole milk yet, but I’m thisclose to trying it. Part of me hates to give up nursing her because I think she still needs nutrients from my milk, but the rest of me will not miss the thrice-daily wrestling match.
Although we were a little late to start (maybe 6 1/2 or 7 months old?), we began introducing solids a while ago and followed much the same path that we did with Harrison. And Harrison is a wonderful eater; always has been. But I do have to admit, I have sucked big time at making baby food this time around. With HD, I barely bought any baby food from the store. With Raegan, it’s been pretty much the opposite; most of her stuff has been jarred. I don’t know if that has made the difference or if it is their personalities or preferences or what, but different they are. By this age, Harrison was eating all kind of food and certainly not all pureed. Raegan, as much as we keep trying and offering, doesn’t seem to want anything to do with “real” food. She like yogurt and sometimes does cheese. And, of course, crunchy things like crackers and Cherrios, etc. But even bananas and ripe pears have been slow going, and steamed or chunked veggies or meats or pasta? Nope. Not having it. You would not believe how much food ends up on our floor at each meal thanks to this little girl!
As an added bonus, Raegan is a noisy little squawker at the table. I mean, this girl is LOUD. We’ve taught her the signs for “more” and “please” but there is far more lunging at the table and squawking going on than polite little baby signs. Or she makes the signs and then yells anyway. I mean, whatever…it’s just that I apparently gave birth to a child who is part pterodactyl. The real problem is that even when we give her whatever she’s hollering for, she often just chucks it on the floor. So why is she yelling in the first place? I have no clue. And, because she’s the baby, she gets away with it, which is terribly confusing, as you might imagine, for her 3-yr-old big brother who is not supposed to be dumping food on the floor.
As I often find myself saying (now that I have children and no longer try to swear so much): Goodness Graciousness.
We go back in three months for RL’s next Well Baby. Hopefully we’ll have made some progress with the eating and the weight gain by then, but I don’t know. Right now Raegan is on the verge of walking and, as you know, she climbs all the time, so she is going to have start eating a LOT to actually get some calories to stick on her little bod. I think that’s the other thing our doctor doesn’t fully understand. When I say my children are active, I mean they move all the time, never sit still for a second. So how on earth are they ever going to get big? Even Harrison, my good eater, has never been a brute; it took him until age 15 months to cross the 20 lb. mark, and it looks like Little Sis might be taking more like 18+ to get there!
Noise and mess and frustration aside, we will keep trying. I’m really hoping she isn’t going to have a big aversion to textures or anything like that. I guess at this point, we can’t really know. We just have to keep offering (and plugging our ears and sweeping our floors!).