Picky Eater

With both of my children, I introduced solids using the method, Baby Led Weaning.  Essentially if you wait until your baby shows signs of readiness to eat (usually around 6 months), your baby can self feed.  It concentrates on using whole foods, rather than purees or pre-packaged foods.  For clarification in England the word weaning refers to the introduction of solid food, not the act of reducing or stopping breastfeeding. 

At the age of two, my son would be considered a good eater.  He eats when he is hungry, and doesn’t eat when he isn’t.  It is not so much about the food that is in front of him, rather his hunger level.  Often, he likes things that could be considered unusual for a toddler; feta cheese, seeds, almost every vegetable or legume and even iced coffee.  His newest trick is to ask for something, take 2 bites and request something else.  Now if he asks for a third food item, he has to finish most of the other two.  Additionally, if he asks for a snack an hour after dinner and barely touched his dinner, the plate comes back out. 

My daughter was also a good eater, eating most everything you offered her.  Especially if it came from my plate! At some point she started to become a little more picky, I think around two.  I could only see where this was going, as she started to refuse certain foods.  In starting with Baby Led Weaning, I had originally committed to not making a separate meal for my children.  Yet, I didn’t want a nightly stand-off of forced bites of food.  I felt stopping this pattern before it started was of utmost importance. 

I am not sure where I heard this tip from, but it definitely became useful.  Include at least one item in your meal that you know your child will eat.  The purpose being your child will not get used to refusing meals.  This one worked well for us.  Once my daughter would start eating the foods she liked, we could often convince her to try a bite of something else on her plate.  The words “you don’t have to like it, but you should at least try it” became a dinner routine.  Somehow removing the pressure to like the food gave her more freedom to try it. 

Where are we now?  While my daughter has a few foods she is unwilling to eat (e.g. tomatoes, beans) she will try most foods. 

I think the one other tactic that really works is to limit snacks before meal time.  Somewhere along the way, being hungry before a meal became wrong.  I try to keep the last snack before a meal at least an hour before or if a snack closer to dinner can't be helped, I tend to choose vegetables or fruit and then don't care as much if dinner is picked at. 

You may also find that your child eats best earlier in the day.  Perhaps by the time dinner comes around, they have actually consumed a large number of calories throughout the day.  While veggies or meat might seem like a breakfast oddity, a late morning snack packed with healthy nutrients would certainly be an option. 

Do you have any suggestions for picky eaters?  Things you have heard?  Tactics you have tried?

If I Was a Betting Woman...

Twelve days late, for the third time.  Same weight gain for momma; for the third time.  Birth weight identical to one sibling and 2 ounces less than the other.  If I was a betting woman, I would start placing bets on my pregnancies.  That is if there were going to be a fourth one.  I am (almost) positive this is the last baby for us.  I think. 

Little Miss has arrived.

2nd VBAC

Going Past Your Due Date

In addition to a little fun, I thought this post might answer some of the sporadic posting I have been doing lately. 

This pregnancy I have been a little vague when answering about my due date.  I usually start with early June and then only reveal the actual date if pressed.  My hope is to avoid the many questions that come when people realize you have reached the 40 week mark.  With the first two both delivered at 41 weeks and 5 days, I have become subject to these well-meaning questions twice over.

So here are my top “favorite” questions and the answers that only live in my brain.

1.     Feeling any contractions? – Yes, all the time.  Thanks for reminding me.  If I labeled my uterus with a personality it would be irritable. 

2.     You’re still pregnant?!?- Well, unless unbeknownst to me the baby slipped out, yes I am very much indeed STILL pregnant.  Or - Does one typically hide a basketball under their shirt after they give birth?

3.     What does your doctor think? – I dunno.  They accidently dropped their crystal ball a few weeks ago and decided not to replace it.

4.     When do you think the baby is coming?  I dunno, my crystal ball is out of order as well. 

5.     How are you feeling? – Like I wanted to give birth 6 weeks ago.

6.     Are you sleeping at night? Yes, in between the trips to the bathroom, the baby’s nightly dance party, the ache of my hips, and my pillows falling to the floor. 

7.     Happy due date! – I am sorry, what are we celebrating? 

8.     Well they are easier to care for on the inside than the outside! – Says who?  You try carrying around a bowling ball 24/7 and let me know how that works for you. 

Any others I missed?

Perhaps post-delivery I will reveal the gestational age of this pic!

Perhaps post-delivery I will reveal the gestational age of this pic!

VBAC Series: April is Cesarean Awareness Month

April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  This seems to be designated by the International Cesarean Awareness Network, but I can't really find anything about its origin. 

Part of awareness is knowing your hospital's cesarean section and VBAC rates.  Leap Frog Group collects information from hospitals about their first time cesarean section rate.  This is under the classification of cesarean section, which is not immediately obvious that it is referring to only first time mother's whose baby is in the head down position.   

Consumer Reports recently reported on the variation in hospital’s first time cesarean section rate based on the Leap Frog Group data.  Neighboring hospitals may have very different cesarean section rates.  While some hospitals may claim they have a higher risk population driving their cesarean section rate, this statistic is based on low risk mother's only, leaving no room for that argument. 

While many larger New York City hospitals declined to submit their data to Leap Frog Group, New York State collects similar information.  However, in the NYS data there does not seem to be a difference between high or low risk mothers.  Additionally, primary cesarean section rate may also include mom's who had a previous vaginal delivery, but had a cesarean section in a following pregnancy.  Even without the separation of low risk to high risk pregnancies, the data is somewhat telling, especially between large academic medical centers where patient population should be similar.  NYS data also contains information on their VBAC rate, defined as the number of women delivering vaginally with a previous cesarean section, the denominator is all women delivering with a previous cesarean section. 

Other states may have cesarean section data available.  In a quick search New Jersey and Massachusetts seemed to have reports on the information, rather than an interactive website.  Have information for your state?  Feel free to post a link to it in the comments below.