Getting Teeth and Starting Solid Food

Shawn and I took Finn on his fist vacation (and plane ride) to visit Shawn’s parents last week, and that was when Finn decided to start teething in earnest. He’s been getting, shall we say, chewy, for a while now, but it we really noticed it starting to cause him discomfort last week. Naturally, it was going to happen when we were away and things were all sorts of out of whack (more on that in another post).

Finn has liked putting stuff in his mouth ever since he figured out that he can get his hands to his face all on his own, but now it’s all about what he can get in there and chomp on. Some times, he’s perfectly all right, but there are moments when I know his mouth is causing him some distress, and both of us really wish that there was more we could do for the little guy.

He has teething toys, rubber toys, wash clothes that we soak in cold water. His Sophie the Giraffe toy has been gummed so much that the colour is starting to come off her feet. My dearest wish is that the teeth that are trying to make their appearance do so in a timely manner and don’t decide to go up and down a few times first. That would be awful. My wisdom teeth did that, and it was torment for me as an adult. I can only imagine what that must feel like for a nearly-six-month-old baby.

Luckily, his sleep hasn’t really been affected all that much. He still goes down for 7-8 hours at a time, gets up to breast feed, and then goes back to bed for another 2.5-4 hours. True, it’s not the 11 hours we were getting for a while, but that was extraordinary, and I’m happy with what we have. Last night, though, we did get 12.5 hours straight. Part of me wants to attribute it to the fact that we started feeding solid food a few days ago, even though I know it’s a coincidence. It’s more likely due to the fact that he’s still exhausted from our trip to Langley, and being back in your own bed feels amaze-balls.

I was planning, initially, to go right up to the six month mark with breast feeding (that would have been July 21, for anyone who has lost track). Finn has been showing a lot of interest in food for a while now, and he decided all on his own while we were on vacation that he should try and drink water from a cup. So be it. He drank water from a cup, and took water from an adult size spoon no problem, so the timeline moved forward a little. Babies tend to work on their own schedules.

When we got home, Finn had his first taste of rice cereal. To say he was pleased would be an understatement. He even tried to take the spoon from me and feed himself. That just made a mess, but it was a definite “A” for effort. He now has a training sippy cup, from which he will only have water to protect his unsprouted teeth, and two kinds of cereal. Tomorrow, we start veggies. I can say that he likes rice over oatmeal so far, but that could just be the texture aspect. The rice cereal is much more smooth, and probably feels more familiar on his palette.

Now, I’ve had some people ask why I didn’t start solids sooner. You can start as early as four months now, or so I’ve been told. Regardless of that, it’s never something that I was going to do. I just didn’t see the point in starting solids at such a young age when he was able to get all his nutrients from breast milk. he still loves to nurse, and has breast milk after his morning and evening cereal. Not only that, but until babies are able to do a fairly decent job of sitting on their own, they’re not going to do a great job of swallowing, so what’s the point in rushing? I didn’t want Finn to feel the need to wean himself early because I wanted him on solid food. I don’t mind breast feeding at all, so going EBF for the first six months was never an issue for me. (And hey, standard disclaimer: if you do solids earlier, great! I hope it’s going well! It’s just not what was right for us.)

So, at six months (or nearly six months), Finn:

  • sleeps through the night
  • sits on his own, with only minimal balance issues
  • can stand, needing only his hands held for ¬†balance
  • drinks water from a sippy cup on his own and an adult cup with help
  • really wants to feed himself, but lets me do it (while holding his own spoon)
  • weighs more and is taller than I was at age one
  • is getting much more free with his laughter (though not as free as he is with his smiles)

He still amazes us both, every single day. Being a parent, while it’s not for everyone, is the best job I’ve ever had. Cliche? Yes. Truth? Absolutely.

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