It is so fun to go back and read this post tonight, one year later!
Today the boys had their one year well baby visit. It will also be their last well baby visit. I also will be switching to a new pediatrician. I'm sure our current pediatrician thinks I'm a wacko, but she can think that if she wants. Her out dated research and narrow minded attitude is not what I need or want from a pediatrician.
My sons are not circumcised. I do not believe circumcision is necessary. I think it is ridiculous to do it for cosmetic or social reason. I have read and researched this topic at length. I have also recently read up on caring for uncircumcised penises. In case you are wondering ... you don't do much with them. And you don't let your doctor do anything to them. There is no reason to pull the foreskin back. The pediatrician today started to pull on Nathan's foreskin and I said, "Oh no, we don't pull on that" and I took her hand off my son's penis. I couldn't believe I did it. I was at first scared of what I did and then I was extremely proud of myself for stepping in and protecting my son from someone who should know better. She proceeded to tell me that my son's penis will close off if I don't start pulling his foreskin back. I think she is wrong, and I have the literature and research to prove it. Strike one against her.
Then the subject of vaccinations came up. Yes, I will vaccinate my children. I'm not sure when they will be vaccinated and I'm not sure what they will be vaccinated against at this point. The more I read, the more I'm scared to vaccinate. The research is not bonk, it's not a bunch of hipppy hype. It's really scary what the big pharmaceutical companies are willing to do to hide and or manipulate research. I do believe that vaccinations are good. The question becomes, how much, when and which ones. I'm still working on that. Still reading, learning and trying to figure it out. For now, the babies have never had any vaccinations and they are healthy with fantastic immune systems! Jake has had all his vaccinations and he too is healthy with a great immune system. Her lecture on vaccines, wasn't horrible this time, but it is still a strike against her. Strike 2!
She asked me about their nursing and eating. I explained that we are doing baby led weaning. I explained how it worked and loaned her my book to read up on it. She said, "most babies can't eat that way". I told her I disagreed. She told me she's not just a pediatrician, but she has 3 children. She went on to tell me how her 9 1/2 month old (at the time) choked on a teething biscuit. I asked her to clarify, gagging or choking? I think he was gagging, she said choking, she was there, she was a doctor so I'll have to take her at her word. I asked her if he'd been fed purees? She said "of course" so I gave her my two cents and told her that's probably why he was gagging (or choking) on the teething biscuit. She proceeded to tell me that I'm lucky my children haven't choked. Strike 3 your out!
I had their hemoglobin levels checked. Nathan was border line and Wesley was a little low. I am now reading up on that. It surprises me because Wesley eats way more meat than Nathan. I think the nurse might have mixed up the samples but she swore she didn't. The thing that really irked me is when the nurse said, "Well they do look rather pale". I said, "my very Caucasian infants who never go in the sun are pale". My husband is Norwegian, I'm German/Welsh. Were' lucky their not blue their so white caucasian. Then she asked me if they eat paper and stuff off the floor. Well, yes, they do, like most babies. It was an extremely odd conversation.
I really don't think my babies need check ups when they are perfectly healthy, hitting milestones and not having any issues. I think I'm an intelligent enough person to figure out if there is a problem. I doubt after today's visit that I'll be jumping at the chance to do WBV or to see this pediatrician again.
I was going to blog about this months ago, but I never got around to it. Now I'm feeling like a total schmuck for not doing it sooner as it has been probably one of the most fun parts of raising the babies.
You can do a google search for "Baby Led Weaning" to find out more. I know there is a group on Face book and lots of web sites that explain it. I'll give you a brief explanation. Baby led weaning is really in my opinion, a poor title or description. It is basically the introduction of solid foods without using purees.
Purees were introduced years ago when formula became popular and doctors realized that formula was not nutritionally fulfilling. They needed to give babies something to fill the void. These days formula and breast milk are nutritionally complete for the first year or so of life. There is no nutritional need for purees nor is there any digestive need for purees instead of a solid. Feeding purees does not teach a baby to eat solids as they are sucking the food off the spoon and it is a totally different reflex than chewing.
There has been many studies done on feeding babies anything other than formula or breast milk before six months of age. The consensus is that it actually makes babies more susceptible to food allergies and can cause intestinal issues because their guts are not mature enough to handle foods that early.
This is where BLW or natural approach to feeding solids comes in. When the baby is old enough to sit up and grab food for himself off your plate he's ready to eat! This naturally happens about the time babies digestive tracks start to mature enough to handle food, about six months. It is amazing to me how nature has built in the most perfect time clock for babies.
How you "do" BLW is pretty simple. You offer your baby just about any food. Whole nuts, honey and salty foods are No-Nos but pretty much anything else is up for grabs. (pun intended) Most foods you keep in large chunks so that babies can hold them and gnaw on them. Good first foods include bananas or avocados strips of chicken or steak. Babies have to learn how hard to hold a banana without having it squish out of their hand. Feeding babies this way teaches them about temperatures, textures and helps with motor skills. Spoon feeding purees doesn't give them the wealth of experiences that allowing them to feed themselves does. Not only that, babies know when they are full or still hungry. Allowing them the power to choose what they eat off their tray and how much teaches them how to have a satisfying and not overfilled meal time.
At this stage of a baby's life, (six months) their gag reflex is the farthest forward in their mouth that it will ever be. This is nature's way of teaching the baby how much food they can swallow. Trust me, if they take too big a bite, it comes back out. The first time I read, "gagging is learning", I freaked out a bit. I thought it may not be a safe thing. But the more I read and the more we tried, the more convinced I became that this was not only safe, it is actually more safe than feeding purees. The key to gagging is to not panic and freak the baby out. It is amazing how my boys, even Nathan who is a bit more on the drama side, a bit choosier about food, would gag and then keep on eating as if nothing happened. The first few times this happened I was white knuckling the dinner table. I'd say within 7 to 10 days the gagging episodes were just about done with. They learn so quickly how to manipulate that food and how much they can swallow.
As a mom to twins and a 3yo, nothing could make meal time more easy. I cook one meal for all five of us. Unless something is too salty or too spicy, then I'll fix something else or reheat left overs. Although Wesley likes spice ... Nathan not so much. Last night we had beef stew. The boys were given carrots, potatoes and beef. Now that they are old pros at eating, I don't have to give them big chunks of food. Their pincher grasp (index finger and thumb) works quite well and they have mastered the ability to pick up the tiniest of foods off their trays. I loaded up their trays and a few minutes later I looked over and saw this:
Wesley had polished off his meat and left most of his potatoes and Nathan had not touched his meat but had eaten all of his potatoes and both boys ate most of their carrots. They were both completely happy and wanting more of the stuff they preferred.
Another great result of introducing solids this way, our ability to dine out as a family. I never would have guessed I could have taken six, eight or ten month old twins, and a 3yo out for breakfast, lunch or dinner and not have any issues. It blows my mind that the babies can sit and be so content eating a meal in a restaurant for 45 minutes or longer. They love to interact with other people while eating. We get so many compliments about their behavior and how neat they are. They really do eat the food instead of play with it.
They also try so many different foods. My boys eat veggies! They like toaster waffles with yogurt spread on them and apple slices that I don't even have to peel. Oh and Nathan still doesn't have any teeth and Wesley just got his first bottom teeth after Thanksgiving. You would be amazed how well they chew and eat without teeth.
So that's how we introduced solids. If you are pregnant or have a little one, I highly suggest you do some of your own research on it. There is a book called Baby Led Weaning by Gil Rapley. The best part about having the book is having others read it if they start to freak. My girlfriend started her six month old twins out this way about 3 weeks ago. She asked to borrow the book last week. She said her in laws were coming for a visit and she wanted something to hand them to read when they started to question her or make comments! Really there is enough info out on the internet that you dont' need the book, but again, it might come in handy!
Geeze people, relax. I'm not depressed. I'm tired, I was sick and I've got a lot on my plate, but I'm fine. No wonder I've not been blogging very much. LOL!
For the record. I got 90% of the presents wrapped tonight. We do have a tree and it is beautifully decorated. Although we are keeping it on the front porch so the babies don't destroy it. I also have multi-colored lights and garland on the mantle and Christmas decor in the kitchen and bathroom. Oh and a wreath on the front door. So there!
Christmas cards got finished today. The photos on them suck, but hey, I got 3 kids and one out of 3 dogs in the picture and they don't have any stains on their shirts and nobody is crying. I call that success.
I made stock today for the Gumbo we are going to have on Christmas day. It should be yummy and I suspect this may turn out to be a new tradition for us. The house smells so good today just from making the stock. Jake walked inside and said, "smells good mom. You did a good job. Good job mom, I'm proud of you". Then he waves to me and heads back outside. I about wet my pants I laughed so hard. I tell you this kid is either making me cry from laughing or cry from biting my tongue and pulling my hair out!
Here's a pic of Jake the first time he met Santa. We went to the zoo on Saturday night and he was there. It was the first time Jake ever met Santa. Such a fine time!
And of course the babies had to meet him. Nathan ... not a fan yet. Wesley was just trying to figure out why Nathan was upset.
Took Nathan and Wesley to the pediatrician for a well baby check up. I've decided to hold off on vaccinations for the time being. Mostly the visit was for my issues with Nathan. His non sleeping. I needed to rule out that it was anything physically wrong with him that was causing him to wake up. It's not a physical issue, it's more of a sleep disorder. Her suggestion of "crying won't hurt him" did not sit well with me as a disagree with her completely. I bit of crying doesn't hurt, but Nathan is at the far end of the spectrum. His crying in the night turns into violent, loud never ending screams. It is horrible and I will not be doing it. It's like night terrors or panic attacks. We tried to let him work things out. Crying in our arms, even crying out of arms for awhile. It doesn't work with Nathan.
In other news, the physical stats at 8 1/2 months old:
Nathan 16 pounds 3 ounces 26 inches long.
Wesley 19 pounds 11 ounces 27 inches long.
Still no teeth!
Wesley is crawling very well. Nathan still crawls upside down and rolls to get a lot of places, but his army crawl is improving. Nathan says Mama. Both boys are starting to wave and try to clap.
They are healthy, amazing little men!