Monday, December 05, 2022

Dad Files: Months 6 and 7 Solid Food, Sickness, Hand Control, and Holiday Travel

Tis the season...for RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus). As mentioned in a previous dad files edition, daycare is a great delivery mechanism for spreading sickness among children and their parents. RSV can be a serious illness in children and thankfully we got through it though it was rough for baby and me for about 10 days and we took a couple trips to urgent care between the two of us. Caring for a sick baby with a 102 degree fever yourself is not fun but you can get some good snuggles from baby if you're aware enough to enjoy them. Incidentally, sometimes healthcare providers are very helpful and recommend tools like the NozeBot which is fantastic at removing snot from the nasal passage. Other times, they may diagnose your child with a crack in his hiney.

Baby has developed much greater dexterity and control of his hands which can result in activities such as grabbing you by the throat while burping him implying "GIVE ME MORE MILK!," apprehending the hand sanitizer container while you're changing his diaper, and undoing his own diaper after you've put a new one on and are in the midst of re-clothing him. You will also want to be conscious of drawstrings on a hoodie or jacket because baby may not let go even when you put him down or hand him off and give you a good yank. The consumption of reading material during story time takes on new meaning as baby grabs pages, puts them in his mouth and chews on them. So far he's not "digested" any books yet.

As he moves beyond only consuming milk, the introduction of solid foods also introduces a change in the output to diaper. Solid food = solid poo. This can sometimes work in your favor with a less runny diaper but can also be very messy and smelly. During the past month's diaper changes I've been working on a song with the lyrics "got a dirty diaper if you know what I mean, got a dirty diaper and it needs to be clean." As baby masters sounds like blowing raspberries, he may do this with increasing frequency. Pray that it's not during church. During diaper changes, blowing raspberries are his way of mocking you...PPPPHTHHHTTT....heh heh heh you have to change another diaper ....PPPHHTTTHTHTT...heh heh heh I've got something else coming out right now.

Learning to feed baby with a spoon can be an adventure as he figures out how to maneuver his tongue. Sometimes he'll be very interested and get excited, kicking his legs and pounding his hands for more as he tries tasty foods. Other times he'll be totally uninterested and you'll resort to any manner of method to get food into him like pretending the spoon is an airplane, acting like you're eating the food yourself, making silly noises, or opening and closing your mouth repeatedly an inch from his face. Getting through a 2 ounce container of food can seem as daunting as trying to fill up a bathtub a spoonful at a time.

This high chair has fed 3 generations of children

I've heard it said that feeding a baby can be like trying to put toothpaste back into a toothpaste tube and it's an apt analogy. Bibs are highly recommended and will save you laundering time later on. Super hero bibs add an element of fun to meal time though baby may decide he wants to play with, pull off, or try to eat the bib. You will develop strategies like simply putting food on the bib or his hands since he's sticking them in his mouth anyway rather than letting you get a spoon in.

With holiday travel to visit family and friends, it behooves you to keep baby on schedule as close as possible. He can get over stimulated being passed from person to person coupled with long car rides and interrupted or no naps. After one event, baby was so tired that he fell deep asleep on the back seat of the car while I was changing him. All of these factors together can result in a very grumpy baby by the time the day is over. Remember, you're the parent and you get to choose what's best for baby.

In pursuit of His best,


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