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12:35 pm: Month Five (the last of the catch-up posts)
So far, month five has been the best yet. Of course, I would’ve said that about each of the preceding months, too. The older Teddy gets, the more his personality comes out, and the more interesting things he does.

At his four-month checkup, the doctor asked whether we were still using the nipple shield. I’d been trying to nurse without it every week or so, but realized I hadn’t tried in a couple of weeks. When we got home, I tried again. Woo HOO! Success at last! Teddy’s tongue has grown long enough to nurse without the nipple shield (I hadn’t known that most of your tongue’s growth in the first year is in the tip – interesting, eh?).

What a difference. I liked nursing already; without the nipple shield, it’s a lot less hassle... and it feels better, too. The lactation consultant had warned us that Teddy might need some re-training to nurse without the shield, but he got it right away. The first night, he got a little confused at the 3 am feeding, so I put the shield on, let him nurse for a few minutes, then took it off again. That was the last time we used it.

I’d known that discarding the shield would be more convenient, but it had never occurred to me how many places I’d never nursed because of having to have a shield. Now, if Teddy’s super-fussy on the changing table (rare, but it does happen), I can just lean over and wham-o! Instant calm! Or if we think he might be hungry, but aren’t sure, I just stick him on the breast to give it a try. If he’s hungry, we can settle down someplace comfortable; if he’s not, well, then, no fuss or bother.

Not using a nipple shield had one unforeseen side effect: significantly more milk spray. After I got used to the shield, I had relatively few accidents (even in my sleep-deprived daze, I knew that changing my pants after every feeding was excessive). But of course the shield contains everything. So now Teddy gets pretty frequent milk facials. Oops.

The doctor also gave us the go-ahead to start solid foods, with at least 3 days between introducing new foods. He’s had rice cereal (mixed with pumped milk), peas, squash, carrots, pears, sweet potatoes, apples, and peaches (in that order). His favorite, oddly enough, seems to be peas. Definitely doesn’t take after his father in that respect (Peter will eat peas, but he tends to fuss about vegetables before eating them). He got rice “pudding”, squash, and peas last night, and let me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted PEAS, and I could just chuck the rest of it out.

From his first feeding, Teddy has wanted to hold his own spoon. So we always use two. He does actually get it into his mouth fairly often, sometimes even with food still on it, but not reliably.

Solid foods mean the end of the Odorless Poop. Breastfed babies’ poops don’t stink. (Rebecca even gave Teddy the sniff test – brave woman – when we were there.) Add solid food to the mix, even something as apparently benign as rice cereal, and YIKES. Stinkaroony.

He had his first babysitters last week: Mum & Dad came over so that Peter could go out for a haircut. Everybody did great! I didn’t ask about any stinky incidents, and they didn’t volunteer any information. I hope they were spared.

Mother’s Day included one of the best things so far: Teddy said MAMA! Granted, he attached no meaning to the two randomly repeated syllables, but I was absolutely over the moon. I think my enthusiastic response scared him, though, because he didn’t say it again until a week later... but then he said it twice (in the day, not in a row ). He also said DADA.

Unfortunately, Peter missed it.

Peter did take Teddy out in the Bucky-pack to mow the lawn. He (Peter) seemed a bit uncertain about the idea, but it went just fine. Teddy was quiet (though he didn’t fall asleep) and Peter hasn’t complained about a backache or anything.

I finally started Teddy’s 529 account (for college savings) early this month. I picked a Vanguard moderate growth lifecycle fund (?life something, anyway), which has performed well and matches both our risk profile and our timing. I also ordered a new car seat, because he’s about to outgrow his infant seat. I think we’ll need to buy yet another seat, because the new one is apparently too large for many plane seats. Oh well.

A colleague at work gave me a book about the dangers of vaccination. I’m not crazy about the authors, who are clearly anti-choice and rather alarmist, but a lot of what they write about is beyond alarming. Please, if you’re reading this (is anyone reading this?), do not let your child be given a vaccination with mercury or thimerosal. Even the federal government has agreed that these are dangerous to children (ref. http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm)... And this is the same government that attached an amendment to a homeland security bill limiting liability for doctors and pharmaceutical companies who dispense it and harm children (2002 Homeland Security Act).


Current Mood: okayhappy, but worried
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