The last 10 days have been hectic! Amelia’s been under the weather and so have I. I don’t think I’ve had such frequent bugs since I was little. In my years as a doctor I have managed to avoid most illnesses, but somehow Amelia seems to share hers with me, with ease! I also think she is teething because she is dribbling constantly. My carpet has a trail of dribble across it much of the time, and the edges of the sofa (and most other pieces of furniture) are a little damp! The two together have led to some bad nights sleep. The other night she was awake on and off for much of the time between 4 and 6am. It leads to the days being long and tiring for both of us. The combination of teething, a cold and frustration at not being able to walk have led to her being exceptionally whingey. She’s off her food – she wants to feed herself, but she wants to feed herself with the spoon which she cant really do just yet. So mealtimes have become increasingly frustrating because she eats just morsels of food most of the time, and spends more time breaking pieces of food up and then casually throwing them on the floor. Her minions (myself and daddy) are left to sweep the mess up off the floor as she continues to throw little bits of egg, toast and such like on to our heads. I feel like we’ve lost all the power in the house. The only food that she will reliably eat is toast or fruit puree.
How have we managed this behaviour? The teething is being managed with paracetamol and ibuprofen in an attempt to relieve the symptoms and improve her mood. I’m not really certain how much they’ve helped but they seem to provide some respite. Her cold is also being helped with medicine. It’s hard to manage her frustrations with lack of walking ability but we try to encourage her and help her learn how to cruise or use her little walker. We are trying to give her as much freedom as possible but it’s a steep learning curve for all of us! Oh I should say that nappy times have become a battle – there have been multiple times that she has escaped as soon as the nappy is off. She’s trying to crawl about with poo stuck to her bottom, and she’s doing her best to smear it on the floor. I’ve had to chase her around the floor with wipes, or try to clean her up whilst she’s emptying the pack of wipes and trying to eat them. She’s been nappy free (not through my own choice) many times because I simply can’t get a nappy back on due to her rolling, crawling, trying to strand or the mega tantrum she throws when I wont let her do any of the above! I have tried distracting her with toys with little benefit.
The mealtimes have been the toughest, and most frustrating. I guess she had just got her appetite back after being ill, and was starting to have more lumpy foods and feed herself more, so we finding it easier. Suddenly it became a battle. If we tried to spoon feed her she often cries and clamps her mouth shut. If we give her finger foods she will look at it and whinge or take it for a few bites then throw it on the floor. She’s developed a knack for becoming tired as soon as food is put in front of her, and rubbing her eyes to emphasise this, but as soon as the food is taken away she’s suddenly not tired. Every now and again she surprises us by eating really well. But this is rare currently. I am loath to give in to her preferences and feed her only sweet purees. I’ve read that up to 12 months the majority of their nutritional requirements still comes from milk, and food is more about learning about taste and texture. So I’m trying not to worry too much and accept that if she’s only had a few bites that’s that. I am still offering a wide variety of flavours and textures. Occasionally I will disguise her Bolognese with a fruit puree. I’m convinced there is some psychological element to it as she will watch me take a spoon from the bowl and refuse to eat it but seconds later she will happily take a spoonful of puree that’s come from a fruit pot or come out of the Ella’s Kitchen pouch!
Trying to get her to nap has become a battle at times too. Somehow daddy finds he can put her down in her cot and she will fall asleep after maybe a minute or two of crying. Admittedly he’s developed a nice little repertoire of songs he sings to her to help get her to sleep which helps. However, I have found that some days she will take 45 minutes to go to sleep. She will doze off in my arms but as soon as I put her in the crib the crying starts. Eventually I settle her and she sleeps for 25minutes before she wakes, crying, again.
I have found the last couple of weeks extremely frustrating. I have resorted to googling again. I have read that this may all be related to her making developmental milestone leaps. I guess if she’s teething as well, and a bit under the weather it all adds up. But because it’s leading me to be tired too I am becoming frustrated which adds to the atmosphere. I think she senses my frustration and probably feeds off it. Hence, I think I need to work on my reaction to her behaviour.
We are also trying to move her from breast milk to bottles now. Since she has been attending nursery I’ve noticed some more frustration during breast feeds. I suspect that the flow is reducing, especially since I never really notice them to be full with milk in the morning again or after she’s been at nursery for a half day. She doesn’t feed quite as easily as she used to and is constantly latching on and off and pushing her legs off the side of the chair or whatever is in leg reach. We’ve been doing well. Over the weekend she had one breastfeed per day and yesterday she had none. It’s a change for the both of us. I do miss the closeness of breastfeeding but I am also feeling reassured that she’s not dependant on me for milk. She doesn’t take her bottle as efficiently as she does the breast milk so feeding has become a bit longer again, but I guess that will change as she gets used to it now. She recognises the bottle now and reaches for it and tries to hold it. She is also just about doing the right baby signing for ‘milk’ if I show her the bottle.
I’m sure the last couple of weeks are just a phase, and that several things have been happening all at once but it has been tough. I’m particularly keen for any suggestions as to how to manage nappy changes or types of savoury finger foods I could be offering her.