If there's one area of being responsible for another human being's growth and development and every need that turns me into a neurotic mess it has got to be nutrition and safely and healthily transitioning him to a diet of real-live human food that he will be eating for the rest of his life.
It's hard enough to feed Sweetie some days (and let's not talk about the issues that arise when trying to feed Sweetie's extended family), adding the issues inherent in feeding an infant. Really, why can't I just breastfeed the kid until he's 18 and leaves for college?
Part of the problem is that there are so many different approaches that it can be hard to figure out which one to follow - if you're going to follow one at all. And, best as I can tell, all the approaches and information out there deals mainly with introducing new foods to little ones and when and how to give them sweet potatoes or honey or peanuts or a whiskey sour and there's not so much information about the big-picture issues. How do you make the transition from breastmilk to giving new foods a try to actual meals to multiple meals over the course of a day? What constitutes a meal for a little one? What constitutes a balanced diet, and how is that best achieved?
And how do you do this without killing your kid from an allergy? While making sure they don't become the world's pickiest eater. Or morbidly obese.
The neuroses, they're almost inevitable.
And today they got to come out in full force.
One of the nice little soundbites you often hear in regards to infant feeding (usually spouted by the militant breastfeeders of the world) is "food is for fun until they're one." I liked that little soundbite because it gave me something solid to work towards - by 12 months old he should be eating actual meals and such - whatever that might mean.
I even went to a class at the local hospital taught by a nutritionist that billed itself as helping with issues of feeding the little ones. I asked her "So, when and how should you make the transition to feeding your kiddo more than once a day and how do you make sure you give them a balanced diet?" Her response was something along the lines of "If Hedgehog is 8 months old now you could be feeding him twice a day."
But that statement tells me nothing. I WANT INFORMATION, PEOPLE!
Well, today we got the information: Hedgehog may not be gaining weight at an ideal rate. He's not having developmental issues, so it's not OMG! DANGER! STOP THE PRESSES! But it is a "Hey, here's something we should address and keep an eye on." Long story short: Kiddo may not be able to get enough calories from me over the course of a day, so it's time for him to be eating three meals.
And so it is, Hedgehog is now an eater.
On the way home from the Doctor's office I was in a bit of a tailspin, but I think I've caught myself and am moving forward. I'm starting to form an idea of when and how he's going to eat, and we'll adjust on the fly as needed. Weight check in a month and, God-willing, everything will be hunky dory and the kid will get the free and clear.
Luckily, this all comes in time for Hedgehog's first Thanksgiving - so he can have seconds of everything. At BOTH Thanksgiving dinners he'll attend.