Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Day Two: Down but Not Out
Today the gloves came off. I opened with a blistering barrage of Avent materiel. Sawyer countered with a left hook, a feint, three farts and a shonkey dollop of spittle. I returned to base camp, called Rumsfeld and was advised to go into Stealth Mode. In this, we followed the manual kindly sent us via Michael's Saucisse:
Latest advice from La Belle Saucisse:
She suggests Wendy should feed SJ with a receiving blanket or dry face cloth
against her skin. Doesn't matter if some milk accidentally spills onto the
blanket. The idea is - you're later going to lay the same blanket over the
top of the bottle as you're feeding Sawyer, so he gets the comforting scent
I followed the manual, chapter and verse. I also deployed a blanket that I put over his head, as Wendy often does in public places. So there I was, cloaked in scent of Mum, SJ on my lap, his head under the blanket, where all he could see was the blanket, the bottle, and my head peeking in. Scent of Mum KICKED ARSE - he went into full boob mode, rooting around madly looking for the Real Thing. I launched the Avent ''teat''; he took it, and began sucking...for about 20 seconds, then...fell sound asleep. What I forgot is, he does this all the time with Wendy - acts hungry, but the moment he gets on the boob, it's like he's mainlining H - out he goes. This is called, quaintly enough, Placid Baby Syndrome. It tends to lengthen the feeding process tremendously.
Later I unleashed a second barrage of uncloaked Avent. A poop blast registering on seismic equipment in Argentina was all Sawyer's retort. Three battalions are MIA. More when the smoke clears...
[edited for accuracy]
Monday, March 31, 2003
Day One, Round One
I wrote my question last night, but I see it was recorded as Monday in Blogsprog time. Anyway, thanks - we are in Day One of Operation Discomboobululation. A field update:
We led with the Nuk system, using referigerated breastmilk, warmed before serving. Sawyer was hunkered in his swingchair, attention captured by decoy battalions from Baby Einstein DVD. Initial response to our deployment was encouragingly accommodating, but over time, resistance strengthened. Much playing with nipple, with little actual engagement.
I decided to fall back to Plan B: a 10 ml medicine dropper - a plunger-like device that, when applied to the inside cheek, delivers a steady stream of Ordinance - about a teaspoonful, of which SJ swallowed about half. Encouraged, I followed with repeated plungings, until 1.5 oz. was consumed. SJ showed an eagerness to capitulate and even seemed to savor the meal. Since the plunger does not seem ideal, I'll open Round Two with the Playtex system. Thanks for Avent advice Michael. I believe we might have that somewhere, and it will see action - trust me.
This response has ended up longer than I expected, so I've pulled it out of Comments and into here...
I agree with Gary: persistence, and SJ's hunger, will probably be the key.
Both of our two oldest were exclusively breast fed (Sausage is a stay-at-home Mum).
Ruairi, though, for a combination of reasons was just not wild about the breast. He had difficulty 'latching' and just wasn't getting full up enough.
So we introduced formula early on - starting with a little medicine cup (messy - but helped get him used to the taste), then switching to bottles.
He's now a happy, hungry bottle beast - hoovering down 40+ ounces of formula per day.
A few general observations and things we've found that make a difference:
1. Waiting until the kid is really hungry for the first few times. It seems cruel, and you'll feel like a complete bastard at first; but it may be the only way to help SJ learn that the bottle is his only option until Mum comes home.
2. Having the formula just slightly warmer than the books suggest. This may be a matter of taste, but Ruairi likes his milk a good bit above room temperature. Not hot, of course, but certainly a little warmer than you'd think.
3. Avent bottles. Quite simply the only ones that worked - and they have the added bonus of dramatically reducing the burp factor.
4. Using canned concentrate as opposed to powder. We only twigged this one fairly recently - but the difference in Ruairi's appetite has been remarkable since switching. Think about it: would you drink powdered milk?
5. Using a non-iron formula at first. The iron stuff led to Ruairi suffering dreadful, painful week-long constipation. Apparently, kids don't actually need the extra iron until after the third month. We switched to unleaded and everyone was much happier. Going to reintroduce the added iron formula now.
Hope some of his helps. If you can get him comfortable with the bottle it becomes a genuinely wonderful thing for a Dad to be able to experience. Gives you much more of a feeling of participation and a certain extra bond you can't get from watching Mum do all the work.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
If you good gentlemen have any energies left after your vigorous takeover tussel over Bag and Baggage, I'd appreciate any tips, clues, or other wisdom on a matter of some moment. Wendy, you see, returns to work tomorrow, and I am, for the next eight weeks or so, Strategic Daytime Coordinator charged with implementing the daily care and feeding of SJ. Now this is not entirely new to me - I'm perfectly used to diaper changing, calming, playing, etc.
The thing is, SJ sees no reason on earth to drink from bottles when God created breasts. We've been trying to get him to take a bottle, on and off, for several weeks. At times he'll play with it, appear to be sucking on it, laugh, etc., and I'm thinking, "at last!" only to find, after 90 minutes of this, that less than an ounce has actually been consumed, half of that by his shirt.
He will continue to be breastfed when possible. But for eight hours a day, it's the bottle, or a sippy cup, or a dropper, or whatever works. Only, we don't yet know what that is. We've even tried this. Suggestions?