In the midst of living life with a very exciting and demanding little one, finalizing the new house, packing up the old and moving to the new, the holidays, and the trials and tribulations of combating and managing GERD, this blog has completely suffered.  Oh well.

Today’s post is primarily to share the excitement of life with my 5 month old (and for other mamas who have struggled with high need babies- this hopefully will bless your spirit and give you hope for relief).

Pud is into EVERYTHING!  He is my daily reminder that someone is always watching  If that’s not a wake-up call to pay attention to bad habits, I don’t know what is. 

He started grabbing food off my plate at about 4 1/2 months.  I SWORE I would wait until he was 6 months to feed him real food, but in the past 3 weeks, he’s mooched and tried boiled and baked potatoes (loves them), steamed green beans (loves them), rice cereal and rice husks (they’re fun to play with), bananas (I need to get riper ones), and bread (I’m going to stop him from grabbing this anymore- I think the gluten creates too much mucous right now).  This week’s grocery list includes avocados and sweet potatoes, so we can give those a try next.  Baby-led weaning– so much fun!  We watch him closely as he tries to eat whatever foods, but we don’t feed them to him- he feeds himself.  I’m impressed with his spoon skills.  Guess that whole month of letting him play with spoons and bowls and cups during meals instead of just swatting his hands away from food gave him the much-needed practice to explore and practice and mimic us. 

Every morning and evening, he has watched with great intensity as we brush our teeth.  I started brushing his with a fingertip brush when he was 3 months old.  Anyway, so this week, I saw a baby  toothbrush that’s supposed to be for 6-24 months, and got it for him to play with.  He took to it right away, so now you can imagine the cuteness of baby on my hip brushing his sore gums and budding teeth with his own tooth brush while I brush mine.  He does a pretty good job, actually, but I do go back and brush for him, too, just to be sure to get all the yucky acid reflux off his gums.

Speaking of acid reflux- GERD- we got this diagnosis when Pud was about 2 months old, thanks in part to Callie and Bandit’s insistence that his mouth needed to be checked.  Good grief and bless his heart.  He preferred to be held upright for the longest time- no cradling for this one.  He arched his back when he nursed.  He screamed bloody murder about 10-15 minutes after he ate.  He refused to sleep anywhere but in my arms.  He ate quick snacks constantly.  So we went through several adjustments as we learned to deal with this: wedges for him to sleep on (eventually, we ponied up and got him an AR pillow and AR changing table pad for him for my birthday), I cut milk and then all dairy before we saw some relief.  That was a HUGE source of relief, but it took a full 2 weeks before we could see the results.  The amount of screaming cries, the spit-up and vomit, and the inability to sleep for more than 30-45 minutes at a time reduced significantly.  I can tell really quickly now which kinds of foods are harder for him to deal with, so we’ve added to the list of foods mom and baby can’t have: chocolate, soy milk (I drink almond milk), and peppers.  I have to severely limit soy, tomatoes, and garlic- it seems like he’s okay with them in small doses infrequently.  Zantac, keeping him upright, the AR gear, and BABYWEARING have helped tremendously in managing his symptoms and increasing his comfort.  The dogs have, too.  If he is having a particularly rough day, they will lick and lick and lick his face- and next thing we know, he’s vomiting or spitting up again.  They are my compass for knowing if he’s doing okay or if he needs extra help in the form of Mylanta and warm baths.  He is generally SO much happier.

Pud is awake from his morning nap, so I’ll have to update more later.  Next post: bathtime fun, love for books and music, exploring, and sleep