My son is 9 months old.
He took his first step a few days before he turned 9 months. He’s still not walking on his own, but he’s taken up to two steps at a time, and he absolutely loves pushing the office chair around the living room. We’re also not trying very hard to get him to walk more. He’s on the early end, and he gets into enough and moves around enough without being a walker too. We’re in no rush.
He’s the cutest, most wonderful person. I mean really, is he not adorable? He so smiley, his giggle lights up my life, and he makes the cutest noises that make even people who have had multiple children comment on how cute and funny he is. He’s wonderful.
But, he’s also a little low on weight. He’s always been long and skinny, but he dropped below his normal percentile range, so his doctor urged me to work on getting more calories into him during the day. Thankfully, she didn’t suggest formula. Maybe she will if we go in to weigh him in a month and he’s still at 1st percentile (instead of his usual 5th-10th), but for now she just wants to see if we can shovel a little more food into that tiny tummy every day.
And she suggested avocado. I love his doctor. I’m not sure why I hadn’t ever gotten around to having him try avocado before, but he made some headway on the contents of that plate yesterday, and enjoyed every moment of it.
But really, what is a mom supposed to do when her baby’s health care giver says, “He needs a little more meat on his bones”? What is she supposed to feel? I know I haven’t been doing anything wrong, per se, but apparently I wasn’t as on top of his daily feedings as I needed to be. He was eating 2-3 solid food meals and nursing multiple times a day just fine, usually twice each wake time. I made sure to get at least one good protein source, like a full can of baby meat, into him each day. People commented on him being a good eater, so I thought it was enough, but there were some signs. I was starting to get a suspicion that something was up; I probably wasn’t too far behind the doctor, but she had numbers while I only had first-time mom observations. He hadn’t eaten as well when he had a cold. He had increased his nighttime feedings (he’d been down to waking me up 1-2 times before his cold, and now was back to 3+) and naps weren’t going as long as they should. All of those can be signs of not getting enough calories, and therefore waking up hungry.
I was definitely starting to realize something was up. So hopefully it really was his need for more calories, which he was communicating to me with bad sleep instead of by crying for food when he’s awake.
Last night was certainly encouraging. Yesterday, I got as much food into him as I could. He nursed when he woke up, then ate 3 ounces of baby oatmeal with fruit, then nursed again before his nap. He woke up, nursed a little, at some avocado finger food, we went for a walk, came back and got a good lunch of about 5-6 ounces of food into him, and then nursed a little bit before his last nap. When he woke up, I again gave him a full meal, probably about 7 ounces this time (a full 6 ounce 3rd foods jar of baby food and the last of some banana from lunch). Then he hung out in the kitchen while I cooked, and I gave him a couple of tiny pieces of bacon while I cooked. He had a final late night small meal of 2-3 ounces of meat and veggies, followed by bath, a last full nursing session, and bed.
The result? He woke me up only three times, and did it like clockwork at the times that I would expect him to wake me up (1, 4, and 6), and he slept in until 8:30. Now, after nursing, breakfast, nursing again, he’s well into his first nap without waking up prematurely.
This is amazing.
I have some very real hopes that this is the solution to his waking up from sleep so often. I have some very real hopes for him starting to sleep through the night, or at least get down to waking me up only once. That would be amazing. And while I doubt I’ll ever have a chunk, I am looking forward to him getting his little belly back.