Thursday, May 30, 2013

Updates on Rachel

Some significant updates this week. Firstly, babydoll is standing up without assistance! I ticked it off after I caught her standing on her feet for about half a minute (after which she got distracted by something and crawled off). From a squatting position, she can push up into a stand entirely on her own, and from a standing position, she can lower herself into a squat and then a sit.

It's very strange to see her standing on her own! It's almost as if something is missing. I still worry that she's vulnerable and I still feel the urge to provide physical support. I have to consciously restrain myself from reaching out to her. She doesn't seem particularly amazed that she is standing up, so I don't want to make it seem like a big deal and risk stressing her.

In a less earth-shattering development, babydoll's hair has grown long enough to get into her eyes and cause her discomfort. We haven't had the heart to trim it though. Well, matters came to a head (bad pun, I know!) and her nanny came up with the obvious solution - tie up lah! 

Here she is sneaking up on the dog. I think this "flower" on the top of her head makes her looks even more like a doll.

I've been digging up the hair accessories that I've accumulated for her, although I don't have many - now I have good reason to collect more!

In very-important-to-me news, Richard and babydoll have moved back into our master bedroom! I mentioned a few weeks ago that we paired up and slept in different rooms. I put Ryan to bed while Rachel went with Richard. It was part of an effort to wean Rachel off night latching and to give her the chance to consistently sleep through the night. I felt that I was actually preventing her from getting a good night's rest because, if she woke up during the night the first thing I did was to put her on the breast. It was the fastest way to quiet her and put her back to sleep. If I didn't do that, Rachel would fuss and search for the breast herself and then Ryan would wake and, realising that the buffet line was open, he would want his share. Rachel would wake a few times and she would wake Ryan up at least once of those times. It was physically shattering on me, to be honest.

The tipping point came when I was so ill and not recovering because I was not getting sufficient rest. Richard put his foot down and split us up. I was horrified at the idea but Richard didn't waver. He took care of Rachel throughout the night while I continued our existing routine with Ryan. I recovered after a couple of good nights and Richard reported good progress with Rachel so we continued on for a bit, and last week, we re-united everyone under one air-conditioner. I'm pleased to record that we are all doing very well now.

Eating! Always a hot topic when it comes to babies. As babydoll is so easygoing about food, we find ourselves taking extra care in selecting food for her. I give her a lot of finger food and she really enjoys that. I should point out that I am not adopting baby-led weaning for Rachel. Some people think that giving finger food to your children means you are doing baby-led weaning - nope, that's completely off. That's like saying your bicycle is the same as your neighbour's Aston Martin, just because they both have wheels.

Baby-led weaning is a method that was marketed as "helping your baby love good food". However, having tried baby-led weaning with Ryan, I can tell you that Ryan is a very picky eater, so I wouldn't swear by it as a preventive measure against picky eating. As for Rachel, well, she already loves food and I don't think that's going to change soon, so I don't think we need to do baby-led weaning. I just don't believe that spoonfeeding breakfast cereal to her is going to switch off her love for food. 
There are some principles of baby-led weaning which I find to be true and useful and I do bear these in mind. First one is, babies are generally happier about food that they can touch and feel with their hands. Second, if your baby says she has had enough food, then she has had enough food - trust her and don't force her to take more. Third, eat together as a family - this includes your baby - and make it an enjoyable time. She will learn that a meal is an occasion, she can see how cutlery is used, etc. Fourth, try to let your baby eat the same dishes that the rest of the family eats.
I would still recommend reading the book on baby-led weaning because there are lots of good insights in there and some useful perspectives on feeding solids. If you have a picky eater you might even want to give the method a go. I guess it really depends from child to child.

Some modelling action going on there - in the set of photos above, Rachel is in a white Tommy Hilfiger dress which Shann bought for her from USA in April. I love how the skirt poofs up!

Last photo for today - Here's babydoll on our Miata. We've just sold this car and I'm feeling very very sentimental right now. I'll write more about it in another post.

That's all for now. Till next time, then.


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