Flannery turned seven months on November 30.
This post is being written a month late, Flansie Dear, so I will try to remember what this month was like for you without mixing it up too much with the month you’ve just completed!
At the beginning of this month, just after you turned six months, you had your sixth month doctor visit. It was a disappointing one, though maybe it shouldn’t have been, since you seemed perfectly healthy in practically every way. But I had been picking you up, watching how your clothes fit, and guessing how much you probably weighed. I assumed you were around 15 pounds. Small for your age, maybe, but still good. Instead you were right at 13 pounds. That meant you were still one whole pound away from doubling your birth weight, even at six months, when that milestone is “supposed” to happen.
It was decided that there wasn’t any cause for alarm yet–after all, somebody has to be at the very very bottom of the percentile chart. And that’s where you happen to land. Not underweight–not yet–but just very small. In your last update I wrote you were a wiry little peanut with hardly any hair. Turns out you are more peanutty than I even thought. (For comparison, Beatrice was 13 pounds at around two months.)
So we were to go home and work on solids and see if that helped.
starting solids unsolidly
In my mothering career, I have started seven babies on solids. I’ve done Baby Led Weaning, spoons and purees, and a combination of the two. I’ve started babies at five months, six months, and seven months. I’ve had babies spit things out, sure, or make funny faces. But I’ve never had–in my recollection–a baby so stolidly averse to food. And GOOD FOOD, too.
I started you, Flansie, on the simplest food I can make, and one generally liked by everyone. Just a mashed sweet potato. Easy, tasty. Can add butter or a little salt if needed. I cooked one up, prepared a little in a bowl, and offered it to you on a spoon. You tasted it and pulled the most hilariously offended, disgusted face I’ve ever seen. Then you let your open mouth slowly fill with saliva until all of it spilled out and down your chin, carrying the offending sweet potato with it.
Another day I made a large batch of applesauce for the freezer. I made some with spices, some with a little sugar, but made a special batch just for you, unsweetened and unspiced. I cut the apples by hand, cooked them, and ground them by hand in the food mill. Then when you tasted the applesauce, you pulled your same disgusted face and, methodically, filled your mouth with spit again until it and all of the food ran out.
Typically a baby just starting solids will spit a lot of food out, but you can reassure yourself that some of it got down into their belly, even if just a little. But your spit-and-dribble routine made sure that no tiny speck of food went down your throat.
With those and several other typical First Foods soundly rejected, I shifted to a more Baby-Led approach, just offering whatever we were eating instead of trying to get you to eat specially prepared food. It had about as much success–except with just little pieces of toast or bread which you would hold in your hand and chew on. Those escaped the disgusted expression, and you would swallow them.
tall and happy
Beyond being really small (but not underweight! …yet) you are also on the tall side. So in your little sleepers, you stretch aaaall the way down to the end, and your feet fill the little footies perfectly, lengthwise. Your fingers are also long, so long! And your eyes are very big. Everywhere we go people comment on your great big blue eyes. Even at the Mexican market, a fellow shopper stopped to look at you and exclaimed, ¡Mira tus ojotes!
You still have very little hair, but it’s coming in slowly, ever so slowly. It still looks red. But we’ll see.
You have a very easygoing personality, when you’re not being disgusted by food, that is. You are always smiling and happy, unless you’re tired. When you’re tired, you’re ready to go right to bed! You don’t care for rocking or snuggles. You just want your pacifier and blanket and to be left alone!
You started sitting up pretty well, supported of course. Better than I expected considering we hadn’t been doing any practicing! You love rattling, crinkly things, as evidenced by this picture of you playing with the wipes container.