Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Success: Weaning

I haven’t done any research on this matter yet, but somehow I feel like babies progress naturally. Nonetheless, a little encouragement and training helps quite a lot.

At 6 months of age, Emmet was starting on his solids. I remembered I tried giving him Farley’s rusks. He didn’t like it at all. All he did was shut his mouth tight and pulled his face away from me. And there I was thinking all babies definitely like Farley’s rusks. The rejection made me feel dissapointed and depressed. I tried shoving them into his mouth, he screamed and cried and gagged. I was already thinking ‘Apsal la anak aku ni tanak makan pulak…’

Only then did I know that he was actually allergic to Farley’s rusks because it contains milk. That why la I noticed the area around his mouth was so red and patchy. I haven’t tried giving him cow’s milk since he was just 6 months. But when I tried some Petit Felous fromage frais, his whole face was swollen and puffy. That was the moment that I knew he had food allergies. From then on every new food introduced, I had to conduct a smear test…hehe…calit sikit the food at his wrist and if he’s allergic he would get a reaction within 2 minutes. This I learned from my mom.

So back to the dificulties I faced…I tried carrot puree, potato puree, sweet potato puree and he kept pushing them away. I didn’t know what else to to. I felt like I’ve lost hope. Cewah…over sikit kedepressanku time tu. Tak tau macam mana boleh terfikir satu hari tu I tried making bubur nasi with chicken, carrot, some onion and garlic. I blended everything together and nervously tried giving him a spoon.

There you go, terus bukak mulut luas-luas. And he just can’t get enough of rice porridge after that. After finishing a bowl he wanted more but I said ‘Finished!’ for a few occasions and he knew he’ll get no more no matter how hard he cried. And I always say ‘Last one!’ when I gave him the last spoon of porridge so he’ll know meal time is about to finish or to encourage him to finish his porridge. Tu la dia budak-budak ni. Tau aje ape yg suka and ape yg tak suka.

When I was just starting to cook food for Emmet, I made one full pot that would last for 7 days. At first I froze them in ice cube trays coz Emmet started eating only 2 cubes per meal. I gave him for lunch and dinner. The cubes increased to 4 when he was 7 months. By 9 months I stopped freezing Emmet’s porridge because he finished one pot in 5 meals (2 and a half day). So I just put them into individual plastic containers and inside the fridge.

For breakfast Emmet still eats oat porridge until now. I remembered I was thinking hard about what to give Emmet for breakfast. He can’t eat cereal with milk. He didn’t like fruits at all. I tried giving him some plain toast since he’s allergic to butter. He tried for a week or so and got bored. I was reluctant to give the oat porridge thinking it must be mixed with milk. But I went ahead and tried mixing it with just hot water. He loved it eversince!

By 1 year and 9 month or so he started to get bored of the rice porridge ans was showing interest in Daddy’s rice. Always tryng to steal Daddy’s rice from the dinner table when I was heating up his porridge. The reason I didn’t want him to stop eating his porridge earlier was because he won’t take plain water or fruit juices before. So the only fluid that he was getting were from his porridge and my breastmilk. I didn’t want him getting constipated for having not enough fluid in his body. And I guess I was a bit lazy to prepare separate dish since he has too many allergies.

But by 1 year and a half, after every hour or so every day encouraging him to drink plain water from his sippy cup, I guessed he finally learned that drinking water could quench his thirst and wash down all the biscuits that he ate. And he was also slowly trying to take fruit juices as well. He even ask for drinks or search himself for his sippy cup when he feels like drinking.

Since his water intake increases, by close to 2 years old I started giving him plain rice with baked chicken or beef or lamb with olive oil, garlic, parsley and rosemary with some baked vege, all baked together in a tin foil. He seems to favour plain taste. He doesn’t like anything in tomato sauce or anything with colours in the sauce.

For snacks in between meals, I have to give this a lot. This is to distract him from scratching his whole body when his eczema was at its worst. First stage of weaning, I gave him Organix carrot puff. It’s soft and crunchy melt-in-your-mouth crisps that is suitable from months old. When he was starting to grow his first four theeth, I upgraded to Organix carrot sticks, cereals like regular corn flakes, malt crunchies. He loved malt crunchies the most because it was just the right size for him to hold in his had. Furthermore that was the time when he likes to pick up things with his hand and put in his mouth. Figured might as well give him something that he could actually chew and swallow.

Other snacks like cream crackers, digestive biscuits, oat biscuits and bread sticks were introduced later when he passed his 1 year mark. These snacks contain more salt and I try to keep salt as minimum as possible. But it’s quite hard because there aren’t that many allergy free snacks that he could eat. Only recently that he begins to take interest in fruit puree. Itu pun because he saw Mika loving his fruit puree at tea time. So now I felt more relieved knowing he is getting better in consuming more fruits in his diet.

So overall, I think Emmet is getting on the right track. He eats oat porridge for breakfast. He’s even starting to like a toast before breakfast or during supper. He eats rice with lauk for lunch and dinner. In between that he’ll have fruit puree or cereal or biscuits. He drinks water from his sippy cup and from the mug as well. When we have fruit juice he’ll have them too. Even if my breastmilk is less he still wants to cuddle with them. But he still won’t eat chunky fruits.

Oh yeaaa……his latest craze is popcorn!!!

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